Science.gov

Sample records for fossilized vertebrate integument

  1. First investigation of the collagen D-band ultrastructure in fossilized vertebrate integument

    PubMed Central

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten; Wesley-Smith, James

    2008-01-01

    The ultrastructure of dermal fibres of a 200 Myr thunniform ichthyosaur, Ichthyosaurus, specifically the 67 nm axial repeat D-banding of the fibrils, which characterizes collagen, is presented for the first time by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The fragment of material investigated is part of previously described fossilized skin comprising an architecture of layers of oppositely oriented fibre bundles. The wider implication, as indicated by the extraordinary quality of preservation, is the robustness of the collagen molecule at the ultrastructural level, which presumably contributed to its survival during the initial processes of decomposition prior to mineralization. Investigation of the elemental composition of the sample by SEM–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicates that calcite and phosphate played important roles in the rapid mineralization and fine replication of the collagen fibres and fibrils. The exceedingly small sample used in the investigation and high level of information achieved indicate the potential for minimal damage to prized museum specimens; for example, ultrastructural investigations by SEM may be used to help resolve highly contentious questions, for example, ‘protofeathers’ in the Chinese dinosaurs. PMID:18577504

  2. Adaptive evolution of Hoxc13 genes in the origin and diversification of the vertebrate integument.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianghong; Husile; Sun, Hailian; Wang, Feng; Li, Yurong; Zhao, Cunfa; Zhang, Wenguang

    2013-11-01

    The problem of origination and diversification of integument derivatives in vertebrates is still a challenge. The homeobox (Hox) genes Hoxc13 control integument formation in vertebrate. Hoxc13 show strong expression in the integument development, are highly conserved across vertebrates, and show mutations that are associated with skin and appendages. To test whether the evolution of the integument is associated with positive selection or relaxation of Hoxc13, we obtained these genes in a wide range of vertebrates. In Hoxc13, we found evidence of diversifying selection after speciation during the origin of vertebrates. In addition, we found the glycine-rich regions in Hoxc13 protein in mammals, but not among non-mammalian taxa. Our results strongly implicate that Hoxc13 genes could have played an important role in the evolution of integument structure. PMID:25961277

  3. Adaptation to the sky: Defining the feather with integument fossils from Mesozoic China and experimental evidence from molecular laboratories

    PubMed Central

    Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Wu, Ping; Zhang, Fu-Cheng; Xu, Xing; Yu, Minke; Widelitz, Randall B.; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Hou, Lianhai

    2015-01-01

    In this special issue of Evo-Devo of the amniote integument, Alibardi has discussed the adaptation of the integument to the land. Here we will discuss the adaptation to the sky. We first review a series of fossil discoveries representing intermediate forms of feathers or feather-like appendages from dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds from the Jehol Biota of China. We then discuss results from the molecular and developmental biological experiments using chicken integument as the model. Feather forms can be modulated using retrovirus mediated gene mis-expression that mimics those found in nature today and in the evolutionary past. The molecular conversions among different types of integument appendages (feather, scale, tooth) are discussed. From these evidences, we recognize that not all organisms with feathers are birds, and that not all skin appendages with hierarchical branches are feathers. We develop a set of criteria for true avian feathers: 1) possessing actively proliferating cells in the proximal follicle for a proximo – distal growth mode; 2) forming hierarchical branches of rachis, barbs and barbules, with barbs shaped by differential cell death into either bilaterally or radially symmetric structures; 3) having a follicle structure, with a mesenchyme core during development; 4) maturing into a structure consisting of epithelia without a mesenchyme core with two sides of the vane facing the previous basal and supra-basal layer, respectively; and 5) having stem cells and dermal papilla in the follicle and hence the ability to molt and regenerate. A model of feather evolution from feather bud → barbs → barbules → rachis is presented, which is opposite to the old view of scale plate → rachis → barbs → barbules. PMID:12949768

  4. Evidence for Evolution from the Vertebrate Fossil Record.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gingerich, Philip D.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses three examples of evolutionary transition in the vertebrate fossil record, considering evolutionary transitions at the species level. Uses archaic squirrel-like Paleocine primates, the earliest primates of modern aspect, as examples. Also reviews new evidence on the origin of whales and their transition from land to sea. (JN)

  5. REE compositions in fossil vertebrate dental tissues indicate biomineral preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žigaite, Ž.; Kear, B.; Pérez-Huerta, A.; Jeffries, T.; Blom, H.

    2012-04-01

    Rare earth element (REE) abundances have been measured in a number of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic dental tissues using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Fossil vertebrates analysed comprise scales and tesserae of Silurian and Devonian acanthodians, chondrichthyans, galeaspids, mongolepids, thelodonts, as well as teeth of Cretaceous lungfish and marine reptiles. The evaluation of fossil preservation level has been made by semi-quantitative spot geochemistry analyses on fine polished teeth and scale thin sections, using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). Fossil teeth and scales with significant structure and colour alteration have shown elevated heavy element concentrations, and the silicification of bioapatite has been common in their tissues. Stable oxygen isotope measurements (δ18O) of bulk biomineral have been conducted in parallel, and showed comparatively lower heavy oxygen values in the same fossil tissues with stronger visible alteration. Significant difference in REE concentrations has been observed between the dentine and enamel of Cretaceous plesiosaurs, suggesting the enamel to be more geochemically resistant to diagenetic overprint.

  6. Vertebral anomaly in fossil sea cows (Mammalia, Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Voss, Manja; Asbach, Patrick; Hilger, André

    2011-06-01

    Four incompletely preserved caudal vertebrae lacking the neural arches of two fossil sirenian individuals of Halitherium schinzii (Oligocene) from the Rhine area in Germany and northern Belgium reveal osteological alterations. The caudal vertebrae possess a transverse process with growth retardation. This asymmetry indicates that the affected transverse processes are less developed than their counterparts and, consequently, deviate from the norm. Computed tomography (CT) scans reveal osteosclerotic patterns, a morphological feature that characterizes sea cows and supports the nonpathological state of the vertebrae. Additionally, no indications of vertebral fractures or any other occurrences due to external factors are present. This is the oldest documentation of such an anomaly in any sirenian and is interpreted here as hypoplasia, the underdevelopment of an organ or parts of it that might cause a functional deficiency. PMID:21538937

  7. Decay of vertebrate characters in hagfish and lamprey (Cyclostomata) and the implications for the vertebrate fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Robert S.; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Purnell, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The timing and sequence of events underlying the origin and early evolution of vertebrates remains poorly understood. The palaeontological evidence should shed light on these issues, but difficulties in interpretation of the non-biomineralized fossil record make this problematic. Here we present an experimental analysis of decay of vertebrate characters based on the extant jawless vertebrates (Lampetra and Myxine). This provides a framework for the interpretation of the anatomy of soft-bodied fossil vertebrates and putative cyclostomes, and a context for reading the fossil record of non-biomineralized vertebrate characters. Decay results in transformation and non-random loss of characters. In both lamprey and hagfish, different types of cartilage decay at different rates, resulting in taphonomic bias towards loss of ‘soft’ cartilages containing vertebrate-specific Col2α1 extracellular matrix proteins; phylogenetically informative soft-tissue characters decay before more plesiomorphic characters. As such, synapomorphic decay bias, previously recognized in early chordates, is more pervasive, and needs to be taken into account when interpreting the anatomy of any non-biomineralized fossil vertebrate, such as Haikouichthys, Mayomyzon and Hardistiella. PMID:20947532

  8. Late Pleistocene Vertebrates and Other Fossils from Epiguruk, Northwestern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Thomas D.; Ashley, Gall M.; Reed, Katherine M.; Schweger, Charles E.

    1993-05-01

    Sediments exposed at Epiguruk, a large cutbank on the Kobuk River about 170 km inland from Kotzebue Sound, record multiple episodes of glacial-age alluviation followed by interstadial downcutting and formation of paleosols. Vertebrate remains from Epiguruk include mammoth, bison, caribou, an equid, a canid, arctic ground squirrel, lemmings, and voles. Radiocarbon ages of bone validated by concordant ages of peat and wood span the interval between about 37,000 and 14,000 yr B.P. The late Pleistocene pollen record is dominated by Cyperaceae, with Artemisia, Salix, Betula, and Gramineae also generally abundant. The fossil record from Epiguruk indicates that the Kobuk River valley supported tundra vegetation with abundant riparian willows during middle and late Wisconsin time. Large herbivores were present during the height of late Wisconsin glaciation as well as during its waning stage and the preceding interstadial interval. The Kobuk River valley would have been a favorable refugium for plants, animals, and possibly humans throughout the last glaciation.

  9. Experimental taphonomy and the anatomy and diversity of the earliest fossil vertebrates (Chengjiang Biota, Cambrian, China)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purnell, Mark; Gabbott, Sarah; Murdock, Duncan; Cong, Peiyun

    2016-04-01

    The oldest fossil vertebrates are from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of China, which contains four genera of fish-like, primitive vertebrates: Haikouichthys, Myllokunmingia, Zhongjianichthys and Zhongxiniscus. These fossils play key roles in calibrating molecular clocks and informing our view of the anatomy of animals close to the origin of vertebrates, potentially including transitional forms between vertebrates and their nearest relatives. Despite the evident importance of these fossils, the degree to which taphonomic processes have affected their anatomical completeness has not been investigated. For example, some or all might have been affected by stemward slippage - the pattern observed in experimental decay of non-biomineralised chordates in which preferential decay of synapomorphies and retention of plesiomorphic characters would cause fossil taxa to erroneously occupy more basal positions than they should. This hypothesis is based on experimental data derived from decay of non-biomineralised chordates under laboratory conditions. We have expanded this analysis to include a broader range of potentially significant environmental variables; we have also compared and combined the results of experiments from several taxa to identify general patterns of chordate decay. Examination of the Chengjiang vertebrates in the light of these results demonstrates that, contrary to some assertions, experimentally derived models of phylogenetic bias are applicable to fossils. Anatomical and phylogenetic interpretations of early vertebrates that do not take taphonomic biases into account risk overestimating diversity and the evolutionary significance of differences between fossil specimens.

  10. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  11. Discriminating signal from noise in the fossil record of early vertebrates reveals cryptic evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Robert S.; Randle, Emma; Donoghue, Philip C. J.

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of early vertebrates has been influential in elucidating the evolutionary assembly of the gnathostome bodyplan. Understanding of the timing and tempo of vertebrate innovations remains, however, mired in a literal reading of the fossil record. Early jawless vertebrates (ostracoderms) exhibit restriction to shallow-water environments. The distribution of their stratigraphic occurrences therefore reflects not only flux in diversity, but also secular variation in facies representation of the rock record. Using stratigraphic, phylogenetic and palaeoenvironmental data, we assessed the veracity of the fossil records of the jawless relatives of jawed vertebrates (Osteostraci, Galeaspida, Thelodonti, Heterostraci). Non-random models of fossil recovery potential using Palaeozoic sea-level changes were used to calculate confidence intervals of clade origins. These intervals extend the timescale for possible origins into the Upper Ordovician; these estimates ameliorate the long ghost lineages inferred for Osteostraci, Galeaspida and Heterostraci, given their known stratigraphic occurrences and stem–gnathostome phylogeny. Diversity changes through the Silurian and Devonian were found to lie within the expected limits predicted from estimates of fossil record quality indicating that it is geological, rather than biological factors, that are responsible for shifts in diversity. Environmental restriction also appears to belie ostracoderm extinction and demise rather than competition with jawed vertebrates. PMID:25520359

  12. 3D Microstructural Architecture of Muscle Attachments in Extant and Fossil Vertebrates Revealed by Synchrotron Microtomography

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Sophie; Dupret, Vincent; Tafforeau, Paul; Trinajstic, Katherine M.; Ryll, Bettina; Gouttenoire, Pierre-Jean; Wretman, Lovisa; Zylberberg, Louise; Peyrin, Françoise; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Firm attachments binding muscles to skeleton are crucial mechanical components of the vertebrate body. These attachments (entheses) are complex three-dimensional structures, containing distinctive arrangements of cells and fibre systems embedded in the bone, which can be modified during ontogeny. Until recently it has only been possible to obtain 2D surface and thin section images of entheses, leaving their 3D histology largely unstudied except by extrapolation from 2D data. Entheses are frequently preserved in fossil bones, but sectioning is inappropriate for rare or unique fossil material. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we present the first non-destructive 3D investigation, by propagation phase contrast synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRµCT), of enthesis histology in extant and fossil vertebrates. We are able to identify entheses in the humerus of the salamander Desmognathus from the organization of bone-cell lacunae and extrinsic fibres. Statistical analysis of the lacunae differentiates types of attachments, and the orientation of the fibres, reflect the approximate alignment of the muscle. Similar histological structures, including ontogenetically related pattern changes, are perfectly preserved in two 380 million year old fossil vertebrates, the placoderm Compagopiscis croucheri and the sarcopterygian fish Eusthenopteron foordi. Conclusions/Significance We are able to determine the position of entheses in fossil vertebrates, the approximate orientation of the attached muscles, and aspects of their ontogenetic histories, from PPC-SRµCT data. Sub-micron microtomography thus provides a powerful tool for studying the structure, development, evolution and palaeobiology of muscle attachments. PMID:23468901

  13. Charles Darwin's beagle voyage, fossil vertebrate succession, and "the gradual birth & death of species".

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing view among historians of science holds that Charles Darwin became a convinced transmutationist only in the early spring of 1837, after his Beagle collections had been examined by expert British naturalists. With respect to the fossil vertebrate evidence, some historians believe that Darwin was incapable of seeing or understanding the transmutationist implications of his specimens without the help of Richard Owen. There is ample evidence, however, that he clearly recognized the similarities between several of the fossil vertebrates he collected and some of the extant fauna of South America before he returned to Britain. These comparisons, recorded in his correspondence, his diary and his notebooks during the voyage, were instances of a phenomenon that he later called the "law of the succession of types." Moreover, on the Beagle, he was following a geological research agenda outlined in the second volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which implies that paleontological data alone could provide an insight into the laws which govern the appearance of new species. Since Darwin claims in On the Origin of Species that fossil vertebrate succession was one of the key lines of evidence that led him to question the fixity of species, it seems certain that he was seriously contemplating transmutation during the Beagle voyage. If so, historians of science need to reconsider both the role of Britain's expert naturalists and the importance of the fossil vertebrate evidence in the development of Darwin's ideas on transmutation. PMID:20665232

  14. A comprehensive database of quality-rated fossil ages for Sahul’s Quaternary vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Herrando-Pérez, Salvador; Brook, Barry W.; Saltré, Frédérik; Alroy, John; Beeton, Nicholas; Bird, Michael I.; Cooper, Alan; Gillespie, Richard; Jacobs, Zenobia; Johnson, Christopher N.; Miller, Gifford H.; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Roberts, Richard G.; Turney, Chris S.M.; Bradshaw, Corey J.A.

    2016-01-01

    The study of palaeo-chronologies using fossil data provides evidence for past ecological and evolutionary processes, and is therefore useful for predicting patterns and impacts of future environmental change. However, the robustness of inferences made from fossil ages relies heavily on both the quantity and quality of available data. We compiled Quaternary non-human vertebrate fossil ages from Sahul published up to 2013. This, the FosSahul database, includes 9,302 fossil records from 363 deposits, for a total of 478 species within 215 genera, of which 27 are from extinct and extant megafaunal species (2,559 records). We also provide a rating of reliability of individual absolute age based on the dating protocols and association between the dated materials and the fossil remains. Our proposed rating system identified 2,422 records with high-quality ages (i.e., a reduction of 74%). There are many applications of the database, including disentangling the confounding influences of hypothetical extinction drivers, better spatial distribution estimates of species relative to palaeo-climates, and potentially identifying new areas for fossil discovery. PMID:27434208

  15. A comprehensive database of quality-rated fossil ages for Sahul's Quaternary vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Herrando-Pérez, Salvador; Brook, Barry W; Saltré, Frédérik; Alroy, John; Beeton, Nicholas; Bird, Michael I; Cooper, Alan; Gillespie, Richard; Jacobs, Zenobia; Johnson, Christopher N; Miller, Gifford H; Prideaux, Gavin J; Roberts, Richard G; Turney, Chris S M; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2016-01-01

    The study of palaeo-chronologies using fossil data provides evidence for past ecological and evolutionary processes, and is therefore useful for predicting patterns and impacts of future environmental change. However, the robustness of inferences made from fossil ages relies heavily on both the quantity and quality of available data. We compiled Quaternary non-human vertebrate fossil ages from Sahul published up to 2013. This, the FosSahul database, includes 9,302 fossil records from 363 deposits, for a total of 478 species within 215 genera, of which 27 are from extinct and extant megafaunal species (2,559 records). We also provide a rating of reliability of individual absolute age based on the dating protocols and association between the dated materials and the fossil remains. Our proposed rating system identified 2,422 records with high-quality ages (i.e., a reduction of 74%). There are many applications of the database, including disentangling the confounding influences of hypothetical extinction drivers, better spatial distribution estimates of species relative to palaeo-climates, and potentially identifying new areas for fossil discovery. PMID:27434208

  16. Homeotic effects, somitogenesis and the evolution of vertebral numbers in recent and fossil amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Johannes; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Head, Jason J.; Barrett, Paul M.; Werneburg, Ingmar; Ericson, Per G. P.; Pol, Diego; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2010-01-01

    The development of distinct regions in the amniote vertebral column results from somite formation and Hox gene expression, with the adult morphology displaying remarkable variation among lineages. Mammalian regionalization is reportedly very conservative or even constrained, but there has been no study investigating vertebral count variation across Amniota as a whole, undermining attempts to understand the phylogenetic, ecological, and developmental factors affecting vertebral column variation. Here, we show that the mammalian (synapsid) and reptilian lineages show early in their evolutionary histories clear divergences in axial developmental plasticity, in terms of both regionalization and meristic change, with basal synapsids sharing the conserved axial configuration of crown mammals, and basal reptiles demonstrating the plasticity of extant taxa. We conducted a comprehensive survey of presacral vertebral counts across 436 recent and extinct amniote taxa. Vertebral counts were mapped onto a generalized amniote phylogeny as well as individual ingroup trees, and ancestral states were reconstructed by using squared-change parsimony. We also calculated the relationship between presacral and cervical numbers to infer the relative influence of homeotic effects and meristic changes and found no correlation between somitogenesis and Hox-mediated regionalization. Although conservatism in presacral numbers characterized early synapsid lineages, in some cases reptiles and synapsids exhibit the same developmental innovations in response to similar selective pressures. Conversely, increases in body mass are not coupled with meristic or homeotic changes, but mostly occur in concert with postembryonic somatic growth. Our study highlights the importance of fossils in large-scale investigations of evolutionary developmental processes. PMID:20080660

  17. Water relations of tetrapod integument.

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, Harvey B

    2006-01-01

    The vertebrate integument represents an evolutionary compromise between the needs for mechanical protection and those of sensing the environment and regulating the exchange of materials and energy. Fibrous keratins evolved as a means of strengthening the integument while simultaneously providing a structural support for lipids, which comprise the principal barrier to cutaneous water efflux in terrestrial taxa. Whereas lipids are of fundamental importance to water barriers, the efficacy of these barriers depends in many cases on structural features that enhance or maintain the integrity of function. Amphibians are exceptional among tetrapods in having very little keratin and a thin stratum corneum. Thus, effective lipid barriers that are present in some specialized anurans living in xeric habitats are external to the epidermis, whereas lipid barriers of amniotes exist as a lipid-keratin complex within the stratum corneum. Amphibians prevent desiccation of the epidermis and underlying tissues either by evaporating water from a superficial aqueous film, which must be replenished, or by shielding the stratum corneum with superficial lipids. Water barrier function in vertebrates generally appears to be relatively fixed, although various species have ;plasticity' to adjust the barrier effectiveness facultatively. While it is clear that both phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation can account for covariation between environment and skin resistance to water efflux, studies of the relative importance of these two phenomena are few. Fundamental mechanisms for adjusting the skin water barrier include changes in barrier thickness, composition and physicochemical properties of cutaneous lipids, and/or geometry of the barrier within the epidermis. While cutaneous lipids have been studied extensively in the contexts of disease and cosmetics, relatively little is known about the processes of permeability barrier ontogenesis related to adaptation and environment. Advances in

  18. X-ray computed tomography datasets for forensic analysis of vertebrate fossils

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ketcham, Richard A.; Maisano, Jessica A.; Colbert, Matthew W.

    2016-01-01

    We describe X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets from three specimens recovered from Early Cretaceous lakebeds of China that illustrate the forensic interpretation of CT imagery for paleontology. Fossil vertebrates from thinly bedded sediments often shatter upon discovery and are commonly repaired as amalgamated mosaics grouted to a solid backing slab of rock or plaster. Such methods are prone to inadvertent error and willful forgery, and once required potentially destructive methods to identify mistakes in reconstruction. CT is an efficient, nondestructive alternative that can disclose many clues about how a specimen was handled and repaired. These annotated datasets illustrate the power of CT in documenting specimen integrity and are intended as a reference in applying CT more broadly to evaluating the authenticity of comparable fossils. PMID:27272251

  19. X-ray computed tomography datasets for forensic analysis of vertebrate fossils.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Timothy B; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ketcham, Richard A; Maisano, Jessica A; Colbert, Matthew W

    2016-01-01

    We describe X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets from three specimens recovered from Early Cretaceous lakebeds of China that illustrate the forensic interpretation of CT imagery for paleontology. Fossil vertebrates from thinly bedded sediments often shatter upon discovery and are commonly repaired as amalgamated mosaics grouted to a solid backing slab of rock or plaster. Such methods are prone to inadvertent error and willful forgery, and once required potentially destructive methods to identify mistakes in reconstruction. CT is an efficient, nondestructive alternative that can disclose many clues about how a specimen was handled and repaired. These annotated datasets illustrate the power of CT in documenting specimen integrity and are intended as a reference in applying CT more broadly to evaluating the authenticity of comparable fossils. PMID:27272251

  20. Evidence of inherent spontaneous polarization in the metazoan integument epithelia.

    PubMed Central

    Athenstaedt, H; Claussen, H

    1983-01-01

    The live integument epithelia of the metazoa have an inherent spontaneous polarization (an inherent permanent electric dipole moment) of corresponding direction perpendicular to the integument surface. The existence of the inherent polarization was proved by their temperature dependence, i.e., by the pyroelectric (PE) effect. Quantitative PE measurements were carried out on a number of integument epithelia of vertebrates (a) in vivo, (b) on fresh epidermis preparations, and (c) on dead, air-dried epidermis specimens of the same species. The demonstrated spontaneous polarization is not dependent on the living state and not caused by a potential difference between the outer and inner integument surface. Dead, dry epidermis samples (potential difference less than 0.01 mV) as well as dead, dry integument appendages (bristles, hairs), and dead cuticles (of arthropoda, annelida, nematoda) showed an inherent dipole moment of the same orientation as the live epidermis. The findings reveal a relationship between the direction (vector) of inherent spontaneous polarization and that of growth (morphogenesis) in the animal epidermis, their appendages, and cuticles. We conclude (a) that the inherent spontaneous polarization is present in live individual epithelial cells of the metazoan integument, and (b) that this physical property is related to the structural and functional cell polarity of integument epithelia and possibly of other epithelia. Images FIGURE 10 PMID:6838974

  1. Nd and Sr isotope compositions in modern and fossil bones - Proxies for vertebrate provenance and taphonomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tütken, Thomas; Vennemann, Torsten W.; Pfretzschner, Hans-U.

    2011-10-01

    Rare earth elements (REE), while not essential for the physiologic functions of animals, are ingested and incorporated in ppb concentrations in bones and teeth. Nd isotope compositions of modern bones of animals from isotopically distinct habitats demonstrate that the 143Nd/ 144Nd of the apatite can be used as a fingerprint for bedrock geology or ambient water mass. This potentially allows the provenance and migration of extant vertebrates to be traced, similar to the use of Sr isotopes. Although REE may be enriched by up to 5 orders of magnitude during diagenesis and recrystallization of bone apatite, in vivo143Nd/ 144Nd may be preserved in the inner cortex of fossil bones or enamel. However, tracking the provenance of ancient or extinct vertebrates is possible only for well-preserved archeological and paleontological skeletal remains with in vivo-like Nd contents at the ppb-level. Intra-bone and -tooth REE analysis can be used to screen for appropriate areas. Large intra-bone Nd concentration gradients of 10 1-10 3 are often measured. Nd concentrations in the inner bone cortex increase over timescales of millions of years, while bone rims may be enriched over millenial timescales. Nevertheless, ɛ Nd values are often similar within one ɛ Nd unit within a single bone. Larger intra-bone differences in specimens may either reflect a partial preservation of in vivo values or changing ɛ Nd values of the diagenetic fluid during fossilization. However, most fossil specimens and the outer rims of bones will record taphonomic 143Nd/ 144Nd incorporated post mortem during diagenesis. Unlike REE patterns, 143Nd/ 144Nd are not biased by fractionation processes during REE-uptake into the apatite crystal lattice, hence the ɛ Nd value is an important tracer for taphonomy and reworking. Bones and teeth from autochthonous fossil assemblages have small variations of ±1 ɛ Nd unit only. In contrast, fossil bones and teeth from over 20 different marine and terrestrial fossil

  2. Upper Devonian vertebrate taphonomy and sedimentology from the Klunas fossil site, Tervete Formation, Latvia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasiļkova, J.; Lukševičs, E.; Stinkulis, Ä.¢.; Zupinš, I.

    2012-04-01

    The deposits of the Tervete Formation, Famennian Stage of Latvia, comprising weakly cemented sandstone and sand intercalated with dolomitic marls, siltstone and clay, have been traditionally interpreted as having formed in a shallow, rather restricted sea with lowered salinity. During seven field seasons the excavations took place in the south-western part of Latvia, at the Klunas site, and resulted in extensive palaeontological and sedimentological data. The taphonomical analysis has been performed, having evaluated the size, sorting, orientation of the fossils, articulation and skeletal preservation as well as the degree of fragmentation and abrasion. The sedimentological analysis involved interpretation of sedimentary structures, palaeocurrent direction reconstruction, grain-size analysis and approximate water depth calculations. The vertebrate assemblage of the Klunas site represents all known taxa of the Sparnene Regional Stage of the Baltic Devonian, comprising placoderms Bothriolepis ornata Eichwald, B. jani Lukševičs, Phyllolepis tolli Vasiliauskas, Dunkleosteus sp. and Chelyophorus sp., sarcopterygians Holoptychius nobilissimus Agassiz, Platycephalichthys skuenicus Vorobyeva, Cryptolepis sp., Conchodus sp., Glyptopomus ? sp., "Strunius" ? sp., and Dipterus sp., as well as an undetermined actinopterygian. Placoderms Bothriolepis ornata and B. jani dominate the assemblage. The fossils are represented in the main by fully disarticulated placoderm plates and plate fragments, sarcopterygian scales and teeth, rarely bones of the head and shoulder girdle, and acanthodian spines and scales. The characteristic feature is the great amount of fragmentary remains several times exceeding the number of intact bones. The horizontal distribution of the bones over the studied area is not homogenous, distinct zones of increased or decreased density of fossils can be traced. Zones of the increased density usually contain many elements of various sizes, whereas zones of the

  3. First direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level trophic chain in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Witzmann, Florian; Klug, Stefanie; Heidtke, Ulrich H J

    2008-01-22

    We describe the first known occurrence of a Permian shark specimen preserving two temnospondyl amphibians in its digestive tract as well as the remains of an acanthodian fish, which was ingested by one of the temnospondyls. This exceptional find provides for the first time direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level food chain in the fossil record with the simultaneous preservation of three trophic levels. Our analysis shows that small-sized Lower Permian xenacanthid sharks of the genus Triodus preyed on larval piscivorous amphibians. The recorded trophic interaction can be explained by the adaptation of certain xenacanthids to fully freshwater environments and the fact that in these same environments, large temnospondyls occupied the niche of modern crocodiles. This unique faunal association has not been documented after the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, this Palaeozoic three-level food chain provides strong and independent support for changes in aquatic trophic chain structures through time. PMID:17971323

  4. Fossil vertebrate footprints in the Coconino Sandstone (Permian) of northern Arizona: Evidence for underwater origin

    SciTech Connect

    Brand, L.R.; Thu Tang )

    1991-12-01

    Numerous fossil vertebrate trackways in the Coconino Sandstone of northern Arizona exhibit several features that imply that these trackways were not made in subaerial conditions. Some trackways begin or end abruptly on undisturbed bedding planes, and in other trackways the individual prints are oriented in a different direction from that of the trackway. These features indicate buoyancy of the animals in water. The animals were swimming in the water part of the time and at other times walking on the substrate, and they were sometimes orienting upslope on the surface of the underwater dunes, while being drifted sideways by lateral currents. Observations on salamander locomotion in a sedimentation tank with flowing water support this model.

  5. Rare earth and trace elements of fossil vertebrate bioapatite as palaeoenvironmental and sedimentological proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žigaitė, Živilė; Fadel, Alexandre; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Jeffries, Teresa

    2015-04-01

    Rare earth (REE) and trace element compositions of fossil vertebrate dental microremains have been studied in Silurian and Devonian vertebrate dental scales and spines in-situ, using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Samples were selected from the well-known Silurian bone beds of Vesiku and Ohesaare in Saaremaa island of Estonia, and a number of Lower Devonian localities from Spitsbergen (Svalbard), Andrée Land group. Biomineral preservation was assessed using spot semi-quantitative elemental chemistry (SEM-EDS) and electron back-scatter difractometry (EBSD) for cristallinity imaging. The obtained PAAS shale-normalised REE concentrations were evaluated using basic geochemical calculations and quantifications. The REE patterns from the Lower Devonian vertebrate apatite from Andrée Land, Spitsbergen (Wood Bay and Grey Hœk formations) did not show any recognisable taxon-specific behavior, but had rather well expressed differences of REE compositions related to biomineral structure and sedimentary settings, suggesting REE instead to reflect burial environments and sedimentological history. The Eu anomaly recorded in two of the studied localities but not in the other indicate different taphonomic conditions and palaeoenvironment, while La/Sm, La/Yb ratios sugeest considerable influence of terrestrial freshwater during the early diagenesis. The La/Yb and La/Sm plots also agree with the average REE concentrations, reflecting domination of the adsoption over substitution as principal REE uptake mechanism in the fossils which had significantly lower overall REE concentrations, and vice versa. Vesiku (Homerian, Wenlock) microremains yielded very uniform REE patterns with slightly lower overall REE concentrations in enameloid than in dentine, with strong enrichment in middle REE and depletion in heavy REE. Negative Europium (Eu) anomaly was pronounced in all the profiles, but Cerium (Ce) anomalies were not detected suggesting possible

  6. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. PMID:27040775

  7. Surface drag reduction and flow separation control in pelagic vertebrates, with implications for interpreting scale morphologies in fossil taxa

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Colin; Young, Mark T.

    2015-01-01

    Living in water imposes severe constraints on the evolution of the vertebrate body. As a result of these constraints, numerous extant and extinct aquatic vertebrate groups evolved convergent osteological and soft-tissue adaptations. However, one important suite of adaptations is still poorly understood: dermal cover morphologies and how they influence surface fluid dynamics. This is especially true for fossil aquatic vertebrates where the soft tissue of the dermis is rarely preserved. Recent studies have suggested that the keeled scales of mosasaurids (pelagic lizards that lived during the Late Cretaceous) aided in surface frictional drag reduction in a manner analogous to the riblets on shark placoid scales. However, here we demonstrate that mosasaurid scales were over an order of magnitude too large to have this effect. More likely they increased the frictional drag of the body and may have played a role in controlling flow separation by acting as surface roughness that turbulated the boundary layer. Such a role could have reduced pressure drag and enhanced manoeuvrability. We caution those studying fossil aquatic vertebrates from positing the presence of surface drag reducing morphologies, because as we show herein, to be effective such features need to have a spacing of approximately 0.1 mm or less. PMID:26064576

  8. Surface drag reduction and flow separation control in pelagic vertebrates, with implications for interpreting scale morphologies in fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Colin; Young, Mark T

    2015-01-01

    Living in water imposes severe constraints on the evolution of the vertebrate body. As a result of these constraints, numerous extant and extinct aquatic vertebrate groups evolved convergent osteological and soft-tissue adaptations. However, one important suite of adaptations is still poorly understood: dermal cover morphologies and how they influence surface fluid dynamics. This is especially true for fossil aquatic vertebrates where the soft tissue of the dermis is rarely preserved. Recent studies have suggested that the keeled scales of mosasaurids (pelagic lizards that lived during the Late Cretaceous) aided in surface frictional drag reduction in a manner analogous to the riblets on shark placoid scales. However, here we demonstrate that mosasaurid scales were over an order of magnitude too large to have this effect. More likely they increased the frictional drag of the body and may have played a role in controlling flow separation by acting as surface roughness that turbulated the boundary layer. Such a role could have reduced pressure drag and enhanced manoeuvrability. We caution those studying fossil aquatic vertebrates from positing the presence of surface drag reducing morphologies, because as we show herein, to be effective such features need to have a spacing of approximately 0.1 mm or less. PMID:26064576

  9. Middle Pleistocene vertebrate fossils from the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia: Implications for biogeography and palaeoecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stimpson, Christopher M.; Lister, Adrian; Parton, Ash; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Breeze, Paul S.; Drake, Nick A.; Groucutt, Huw S.; Jennings, Richard; Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; White, Tom S.; Zahir, Muhammad; Duval, Mathieu; Grün, Rainer; Al-Omari, Abdulaziz; Al Murayyi, Khalid Sultan M.; Zalmout, Iyaed S.; Mufarreh, Yahya A.; Memesh, Abdullah M.; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2016-07-01

    The current paucity of Pleistocene vertebrate records from the Arabian Peninsula - a landmass of over 3 million km2 - is a significant gap in our knowledge of the Quaternary. Such data are critical lines of contextual evidence for considering animal and hominin dispersals between Africa and Eurasia generally, and hominin palaeoecology in the Pleistocene landscapes of the Arabian interior specifically. Here, we describe an important contribution to the record and report stratigraphically-constrained fossils of mammals, birds and reptiles from recent excavations at Ti's al Ghadah in the southwestern Nefud Desert. Combined U-series and ESR analyses of Oryx sp. teeth indicate that the assemblage is Middle Pleistocene in age and dates to ca. 500 ka. The identified fauna is a biogeographical admixture that consists of likely endemics and taxa of African and Eurasian affinity and includes extinct and extant (or related Pleistocene forms of) mammals (Palaeoloxodon cf. recki, Panthera cf. gombaszogenis, Equus hemionus, cf. Crocuta crocuta, Vulpes sp., Canis anthus, Oryx sp.), the first Pleistocene records of birds from the Arabian Peninsula (Struthio sp., Neophron percnopterus, Milvus cf. migrans, Tachybaptus sp. Anas sp., Pterocles orientalis, Motacilla cf. alba) and reptiles (Varanidae/Uromastyx sp.). We infer that the assemblage reflects mortality in populations of herbivorous animals and their predators and scavengers that were attracted to freshwater and plant resources in the inter-dune basin. At present, there is no evidence to suggest hominin agency in the accumulation of the bone assemblages. The inferred ecological characteristics of the taxa recovered indicate the presence, at least periodically, of substantial water-bodies and open grassland habitats.

  10. Exceptionally well preserved late Quaternary plant and vertebrate fossils from a blue hole on Abaco, The Bahamas.

    PubMed

    Steadman, David W; Franz, Richard; Morgan, Gary S; Albury, Nancy A; Kakuk, Brian; Broad, Kenneth; Franz, Shelley E; Tinker, Keith; Pateman, Michael P; Lott, Terry A; Jarzen, David M; Dilcher, David L

    2007-12-11

    We report Quaternary vertebrate and plant fossils from Sawmill Sink, a "blue hole" (a water-filled sinkhole) on Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas. The fossils are well preserved because of deposition in anoxic salt water. Vertebrate fossils from peat on the talus cone are radiocarbon-dated from approximately 4,200 to 1,000 cal BP (Late Holocene). The peat produced skeletons of two extinct species (tortoise Chelonoidis undescribed sp. and Caracara Caracara creightoni) and two extant species no longer in The Bahamas (Cuban crocodile, Crocodylus rhombifer; and Cooper's or Gundlach's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii or Accipiter gundlachii). A different, inorganic bone deposit on a limestone ledge in Sawmill Sink is a Late Pleistocene owl roost that features lizards (one species), snakes (three species), birds (25 species), and bats (four species). The owl roost fauna includes Rallus undescribed sp. (extinct; the first Bahamian flightless rail) and four other locally extinct species of birds (Cooper's/Gundlach's Hawk, A. cooperii/gundlachii; flicker Colaptes sp.; Cave Swallow, Petrochelidon fulva; and Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna) and mammals (Bahamian hutia, Geocapromys ingrahami; and a bat, Myotis sp.). The exquisitely preserved fossils from Sawmill Sink suggest a grassy pineland as the dominant plant community on Abaco in the Late Pleistocene, with a heavier component of coppice (tropical dry evergreen forest) in the Late Holocene. Important in its own right, this information also will help biologists and government planners to develop conservation programs in The Bahamas that consider long-term ecological and cultural processes. PMID:18077421

  11. Exceptionally well preserved late Quaternary plant and vertebrate fossils from a blue hole on Abaco, The Bahamas

    PubMed Central

    Steadman, David W.; Franz, Richard; Morgan, Gary S.; Albury, Nancy A.; Kakuk, Brian; Broad, Kenneth; Franz, Shelley E.; Tinker, Keith; Pateman, Michael P.; Lott, Terry A.; Jarzen, David M.; Dilcher, David L.

    2007-01-01

    We report Quaternary vertebrate and plant fossils from Sawmill Sink, a “blue hole” (a water-filled sinkhole) on Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas. The fossils are well preserved because of deposition in anoxic salt water. Vertebrate fossils from peat on the talus cone are radiocarbon-dated from ≈4,200 to 1,000 cal BP (Late Holocene). The peat produced skeletons of two extinct species (tortoise Chelonoidis undescribed sp. and Caracara Caracara creightoni) and two extant species no longer in The Bahamas (Cuban crocodile, Crocodylus rhombifer; and Cooper's or Gundlach's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii or Accipiter gundlachii). A different, inorganic bone deposit on a limestone ledge in Sawmill Sink is a Late Pleistocene owl roost that features lizards (one species), snakes (three species), birds (25 species), and bats (four species). The owl roost fauna includes Rallus undescribed sp. (extinct; the first Bahamian flightless rail) and four other locally extinct species of birds (Cooper's/Gundlach's Hawk, A. cooperii/gundlachii; flicker Colaptes sp.; Cave Swallow, Petrochelidon fulva; and Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna) and mammals (Bahamian hutia, Geocapromys ingrahami; and a bat, Myotis sp.). The exquisitely preserved fossils from Sawmill Sink suggest a grassy pineland as the dominant plant community on Abaco in the Late Pleistocene, with a heavier component of coppice (tropical dry evergreen forest) in the Late Holocene. Important in its own right, this information also will help biologists and government planners to develop conservation programs in The Bahamas that consider long-term ecological and cultural processes. PMID:18077421

  12. Integument und Anhangsorgane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schliemann, Harald

    Das Integument umhüllt den Wirbeltierkörper lückenlos. In der embryonalen Mundbucht (Stomodaeum) und der Afterbucht (Proctodaeum) grenzt es an die Auskleidung des Darmrohres. Über die generelle Bedeutung einer Haut als Abgrenzung zwischen Körperinnenraum und Außenmedium hinaus hat es bei Schädeltieren ein breites Spektrum von Funktionen. Die wichtigsten sind: Mechanischer Schutz durch Verhornungen und Verknöch erungen; Wundheilung; Schutz vor Wasserverlust; Schutz vor Infektionen durch bakterizide Drüsensekrete und immunkompetente Zellen; Schutz vor kurzwelliger Strahlung durch Pigmente; Schutz vor Überwärmung durch Schweißdrüsensekrete und Schutz vor Wärmeverlust durch Federn und Haare; Ausbildung lokomotorisch wichtiger Strukturen wie Federn, Flug- und Schwimmhäute, Krallen und Hufe; Redukt ion des Strömungswiderstandes durch Dämpfungshaut; Abgabe von Sekreten zur Ernährung (Milch); Ausbildung von Strukturen zu Nahrungserwerb und_-bearbeitung, z. B. Zähne, Barten;

  13. Scenes from the past: initial investigation of early jurassic vertebrate fossils with multidetector CT.

    PubMed

    Bolliger, Stephan A; Ross, Steffen; Thali, Michael J; Hostettler, Bernhard; Menkveld-Gfeller, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    The study of fossils permits the reconstruction of past life on our planet and enhances our understanding of evolutionary processes. However, many fossils are difficult to recognize, being encased in a lithified matrix whose tedious removal is required before examination is possible. The authors describe the use of multidetector computed tomography (CT) in locating, identifying, and examining fossil remains of crocodilians (Mesosuchia) embedded in hard shale, all without removing the matrix. In addition, they describe how three-dimensional (3D) reformatted CT images provided details that were helpful for extraction and preparation. Multidetector CT can help experienced paleontologists localize and characterize fossils in the matrix of a promising rock specimen in a nondestructive manner. Moreover, with its capacity to generate highly accurate 3D images, multidetector CT can help determine whether the fossils warrant extraction and can assist in planning the extraction process. Thus, multidetector CT may well become an invaluable tool in the field of paleoradiology. PMID:22977034

  14. High-elevation late Pleistocene (MIS 6-5) vertebrate faunas from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Stucky, Richard K.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Newton, Cody; Fisher, Daniel C.; Scott, Eric; Demboski, John R.; Lucking, Carol; McHorse, Brianna K.; Davis, Edward B.

    2014-11-01

    The vertebrate record at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (ZRFS) near Snowmass Village, Colorado ranges from ~ 140 to 77 ka, spanning all of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. The site contains at least 52 taxa of macro- and microvertebrates, including one fish, three amphibian, four reptile, ten bird, and 34 mammal taxa. The most common vertebrate is Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander), which is represented by > 22,000 elements representing the entire life cycle. The mastodon, Mammut americanum, is the most common mammal, and is documented by > 1800 skeletal elements making the ZRFS one of the largest accumulations of proboscidean remains in North America. Faunas at the ZRFS can be divided into two groups, a lake-margin group dating to ~ 140-100 ka that is dominated by woodland taxa, and a lake-center group dating to ~ 87-77 ka characterized by taxa favoring more open conditions. The change in faunal assemblages occurred between MIS 5c and 5a (vertebrates were absent from MIS 5b deposits), which were times of significant environmental change at the ZRFS. Furthermore, the ZRFS provides a well-dated occurrence of the extinct Bison latifrons, which has implications for the timing of the Rancholabrean Mammal Age in the region.

  15. Involvement of microbial mats in early fossilization by decay delay and formation of impressions and replicas of vertebrates and invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iniesto, Miguel; Buscalioni, Ángela D.; Carmen Guerrero, M.; Benzerara, Karim; Moreira, David; López-Archilla, Ana I.

    2016-05-01

    Microbial mats have been hypothesized to improve the persistence and the preservation of organic remains during fossilization processes. We test this hypothesis with long-term experiments (up to 5.5 years) using invertebrate and vertebrate corpses. Once placed on mats, the microbial community coats the corpses and forms a three-dimensional sarcophagus composed of microbial cells and exopolymeric substances (EPS). This coverage provides a template for i) moulding superficial features, resulting in negative impressions, and ii) generating replicas. The impressions of fly setulae, fish scales and frog skin verrucae are shaped mainly by small cells in an EPS matrix. Microbes also replicate delicate structures such as the three successive layers that compose a fish eye. The sarcophagus protects the body integrity, allowing the persistence of inner organs such as the ovaries and digestive apparatus in flies, the swim bladder and muscles in fish, and the bone marrow in frog legs. This study brings strong experimental evidence to the idea that mats favour metazoan fossilization by moulding, replicating and delaying decay. Rapid burial has classically been invoked as a mechanism to explain exceptional preservation. However, mats may play a similar role during early fossilization as they can preserve complex features for a long time.

  16. Involvement of microbial mats in early fossilization by decay delay and formation of impressions and replicas of vertebrates and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Iniesto, Miguel; Buscalioni, Ángela D; Carmen Guerrero, M; Benzerara, Karim; Moreira, David; López-Archilla, Ana I

    2016-01-01

    Microbial mats have been hypothesized to improve the persistence and the preservation of organic remains during fossilization processes. We test this hypothesis with long-term experiments (up to 5.5 years) using invertebrate and vertebrate corpses. Once placed on mats, the microbial community coats the corpses and forms a three-dimensional sarcophagus composed of microbial cells and exopolymeric substances (EPS). This coverage provides a template for i) moulding superficial features, resulting in negative impressions, and ii) generating replicas. The impressions of fly setulae, fish scales and frog skin verrucae are shaped mainly by small cells in an EPS matrix. Microbes also replicate delicate structures such as the three successive layers that compose a fish eye. The sarcophagus protects the body integrity, allowing the persistence of inner organs such as the ovaries and digestive apparatus in flies, the swim bladder and muscles in fish, and the bone marrow in frog legs. This study brings strong experimental evidence to the idea that mats favour metazoan fossilization by moulding, replicating and delaying decay. Rapid burial has classically been invoked as a mechanism to explain exceptional preservation. However, mats may play a similar role during early fossilization as they can preserve complex features for a long time. PMID:27162204

  17. Involvement of microbial mats in early fossilization by decay delay and formation of impressions and replicas of vertebrates and invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Iniesto, Miguel; Buscalioni, Ángela D.; Carmen Guerrero, M.; Benzerara, Karim; Moreira, David; López-Archilla, Ana I.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial mats have been hypothesized to improve the persistence and the preservation of organic remains during fossilization processes. We test this hypothesis with long-term experiments (up to 5.5 years) using invertebrate and vertebrate corpses. Once placed on mats, the microbial community coats the corpses and forms a three-dimensional sarcophagus composed of microbial cells and exopolymeric substances (EPS). This coverage provides a template for i) moulding superficial features, resulting in negative impressions, and ii) generating replicas. The impressions of fly setulae, fish scales and frog skin verrucae are shaped mainly by small cells in an EPS matrix. Microbes also replicate delicate structures such as the three successive layers that compose a fish eye. The sarcophagus protects the body integrity, allowing the persistence of inner organs such as the ovaries and digestive apparatus in flies, the swim bladder and muscles in fish, and the bone marrow in frog legs. This study brings strong experimental evidence to the idea that mats favour metazoan fossilization by moulding, replicating and delaying decay. Rapid burial has classically been invoked as a mechanism to explain exceptional preservation. However, mats may play a similar role during early fossilization as they can preserve complex features for a long time. PMID:27162204

  18. Heart fossilization is possible and informs the evolution of cardiac outflow tract in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Maldanis, Lara; Carvalho, Murilo; Almeida, Mariana Ramos; Freitas, Francisco Idalécio; de Andrade, José Artur Ferreira Gomes; Nunes, Rafael Silva; Rochitte, Carlos Eduardo; Poppi, Ronei Jesus; Freitas, Raul Oliveira; Rodrigues, Fábio; Siljeström, Sandra; Lima, Frederico Alves; Galante, Douglas; Carvalho, Ismar S; Perez, Carlos Alberto; de Carvalho, Marcelo Rodrigues; Bettini, Jefferson; Fernandez, Vincent; Xavier-Neto, José

    2016-01-01

    Elucidating cardiac evolution has been frustrated by lack of fossils. One celebrated enigma in cardiac evolution involves the transition from a cardiac outflow tract dominated by a multi-valved conus arteriosus in basal actinopterygians, to an outflow tract commanded by the non-valved, elastic, bulbus arteriosus in higher actinopterygians. We demonstrate that cardiac preservation is possible in the extinct fish Rhacolepis buccalis from the Brazilian Cretaceous. Using X-ray synchrotron microtomography, we show that Rhacolepis fossils display hearts with a conus arteriosus containing at least five valve rows. This represents a transitional morphology between the primitive, multivalvar, conal condition and the derived, monovalvar, bulbar state of the outflow tract in modern actinopterygians. Our data rescue a long-lost cardiac phenotype (119-113 Ma) and suggest that outflow tract simplification in actinopterygians is compatible with a gradual, rather than a drastic saltation event. Overall, our results demonstrate the feasibility of studying cardiac evolution in fossils. PMID:27090087

  19. Fossil vertebrates from Antigua, Lesser Antilles: Evidence for late Holocene human-caused extinctions in the West Indies

    PubMed Central

    Steadman, David W.; Pregill, Gregory K.; Olson, Storrs L.

    1984-01-01

    Vertebrate remains recovered from a limestone fissure filling on Antigua, Lesser Antilles, are associated with radiocarbon dates ranging from 4300 to 2500 yr B.P., contemporaneous with the earliest aboriginal human occupation of the island. Nine taxa of lizards, snakes, birds, bats, and rodents (one-third of the total number of species represented as fossils) are either completely extinct or have never been recorded historically from Antigua. These extinctions came long after any major climatic changes of the Pleistocene and are best attributed to human-caused environmental degradation in the past 3500 yr. Such unnatural influences have probably altered patterns of distribution and species diversity throughout the West Indies, thus rendering unreliable the data traditionally used in ecological and biogeographic studies that consider only the historically known fauna. PMID:16593490

  20. Heart fossilization is possible and informs the evolution of cardiac outflow tract in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Maldanis, Lara; Carvalho, Murilo; Almeida, Mariana Ramos; Freitas, Francisco Idalécio; de Andrade, José Artur Ferreira Gomes; Nunes, Rafael Silva; Rochitte, Carlos Eduardo; Poppi, Ronei Jesus; Freitas, Raul Oliveira; Rodrigues, Fábio; Siljeström, Sandra; Lima, Frederico Alves; Galante, Douglas; Carvalho, Ismar S; Perez, Carlos Alberto; de Carvalho, Marcelo Rodrigues; Bettini, Jefferson; Fernandez, Vincent; Xavier-Neto, José

    2016-01-01

    Elucidating cardiac evolution has been frustrated by lack of fossils. One celebrated enigma in cardiac evolution involves the transition from a cardiac outflow tract dominated by a multi-valved conus arteriosus in basal actinopterygians, to an outflow tract commanded by the non-valved, elastic, bulbus arteriosus in higher actinopterygians. We demonstrate that cardiac preservation is possible in the extinct fish Rhacolepis buccalis from the Brazilian Cretaceous. Using X-ray synchrotron microtomography, we show that Rhacolepis fossils display hearts with a conus arteriosus containing at least five valve rows. This represents a transitional morphology between the primitive, multivalvar, conal condition and the derived, monovalvar, bulbar state of the outflow tract in modern actinopterygians. Our data rescue a long-lost cardiac phenotype (119-113 Ma) and suggest that outflow tract simplification in actinopterygians is compatible with a gradual, rather than a drastic saltation event. Overall, our results demonstrate the feasibility of studying cardiac evolution in fossils. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14698.001 PMID:27090087

  1. Fossil vertebrates from the Pranhita-Godavari Valley (India) and their stratigraphic correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Sohan L.; Roychowdhury, Tapan

    Little comprehensive information on Gondwana vertebrates from India is available which enables useful stratigraphic correlations with the world's better known faunas. In this context the Upper Gondwana sequence from the Pranhita-Godavari Valley presents a unique vertebrate faunal record. During the last 25 years, this faunal record has been considerably improved with the discovery of new faunas and better material than earlier records. A Middle Triassic age fauna (Yerrapalli fauna) in the valley consists of two large dicynodonts, two labyrinthodonts, a cynodont, a rhynchosaur, and a saurichthyid fish. In many respects this fauna is comparable to the Middle Triassic Manda beds of Tanzania. An Upper Triassic fauna (Maleri fauna) is represented by a labyrinthodont (Metoposaurus), a rhynchosaur (Paradapedon), a parasuchid (Parasuchus), a cynodont (Exaeretodon), and a protorosaur (Malerisaurus). In addition, fishes are represented by dipnoans and xenacanths. This fauna is comparable to several well-documented Upper Triassic faunas elsewhere. Another fauna (Dharmaram fauna), which may be Upper Norian to Rhaetian in age, has been found (but not described) that includes at least two prosauropods (a plateosaurid and a thecodondotosaurid) and at least two more archosaurs. This fauna is comparable to a Rhaetic fauna. An Early Jurassic fauna (Kota fauna) includes a large sauropod (Barapasaurus) a pterosaur (Compylognathoides), a? teleosaurid crocodile, and a few symmetrodont mammals besides a number of piscine members (Lepidotes, Paradapedium, Tetragonolepis, Indocoelacanthus and Pholidophorus). The presence of four distinct faunas from the Pranhita-Godavari Valley has suggested possibilities of meaningful stratigraphic correlations.

  2. Pigmented anatomy in Carboniferous cyclostomes and the evolution of the vertebrate eye.

    PubMed

    Gabbott, Sarah E; Donoghue, Philip C J; Sansom, Robert S; Vinther, Jakob; Dolocan, Andrei; Purnell, Mark A

    2016-08-17

    The success of vertebrates is linked to the evolution of a camera-style eye and sophisticated visual system. In the absence of useful data from fossils, scenarios for evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye have been based necessarily on evidence from development, molecular genetics and comparative anatomy in living vertebrates. Unfortunately, steps in the transition from a light-sensitive 'eye spot' in invertebrate chordates to an image-forming camera-style eye in jawed vertebrates are constrained only by hagfish and lampreys (cyclostomes), which are interpreted to reflect either an intermediate or degenerate condition. Here, we report-based on evidence of size, shape, preservation mode and localized occurrence-the presence of melanosomes (pigment-bearing organelles) in fossil cyclostome eyes. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses reveal secondary ions with a relative intensity characteristic of melanin as revealed through principal components analyses. Our data support the hypotheses that extant hagfish eyes are degenerate, not rudimentary, that cyclostomes are monophyletic, and that the ancestral vertebrate had a functional visual system. We also demonstrate integument pigmentation in fossil lampreys, opening up the exciting possibility of investigating colour patterning in Palaeozoic vertebrates. The examples we report add to the record of melanosome preservation in Carboniferous fossils and attest to surprising durability of melanosomes and biomolecular melanin. PMID:27488650

  3. Pigmented anatomy in Carboniferous cyclostomes and the evolution of the vertebrate eye

    PubMed Central

    Gabbott, Sarah E.; Sansom, Robert S.; Vinther, Jakob; Dolocan, Andrei; Purnell, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    The success of vertebrates is linked to the evolution of a camera-style eye and sophisticated visual system. In the absence of useful data from fossils, scenarios for evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye have been based necessarily on evidence from development, molecular genetics and comparative anatomy in living vertebrates. Unfortunately, steps in the transition from a light-sensitive ‘eye spot’ in invertebrate chordates to an image-forming camera-style eye in jawed vertebrates are constrained only by hagfish and lampreys (cyclostomes), which are interpreted to reflect either an intermediate or degenerate condition. Here, we report—based on evidence of size, shape, preservation mode and localized occurrence—the presence of melanosomes (pigment-bearing organelles) in fossil cyclostome eyes. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses reveal secondary ions with a relative intensity characteristic of melanin as revealed through principal components analyses. Our data support the hypotheses that extant hagfish eyes are degenerate, not rudimentary, that cyclostomes are monophyletic, and that the ancestral vertebrate had a functional visual system. We also demonstrate integument pigmentation in fossil lampreys, opening up the exciting possibility of investigating colour patterning in Palaeozoic vertebrates. The examples we report add to the record of melanosome preservation in Carboniferous fossils and attest to surprising durability of melanosomes and biomolecular melanin. PMID:27488650

  4. Early development of rostrum saw-teeth in a fossil ray tests classical theories of the evolution of vertebrate dentitions

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Moya Meredith; Riley, Alex; Fraser, Gareth J.; Underwood, Charlie; Welten, Monique; Kriwet, Jürgen; Pfaff, Cathrin; Johanson, Zerina

    2015-01-01

    In classical theory, teeth of vertebrate dentitions evolved from co-option of external skin denticles into the oral cavity. This hypothesis predicts that ordered tooth arrangement and regulated replacement in the oral dentition were also derived from skin denticles. The fossil batoid ray Schizorhiza stromeri (Chondrichthyes; Cretaceous) provides a test of this theory. Schizorhiza preserves an extended cartilaginous rostrum with closely spaced, alternating saw-teeth, different from sawfish and sawsharks today. Multiple replacement teeth reveal unique new data from micro-CT scanning, showing how the ‘cone-in-cone’ series of ordered saw-teeth sets arrange themselves developmentally, to become enclosed by the roots of pre-existing saw-teeth. At the rostrum tip, newly developing saw-teeth are present, as mineralized crown tips within a vascular, cartilaginous furrow; these reorient via two 90° rotations then relocate laterally between previously formed roots. Saw-tooth replacement slows mid-rostrum where fewer saw-teeth are regenerated. These exceptional developmental data reveal regulated order for serial self-renewal, maintaining the saw edge with ever-increasing saw-tooth size. This mimics tooth replacement in chondrichthyans, but differs in the crown reorientation and their enclosure directly between roots of predecessor saw-teeth. Schizorhiza saw-tooth development is decoupled from the jaw teeth and their replacement, dependent on a dental lamina. This highly specialized rostral saw, derived from diversification of skin denticles, is distinct from the dentition and demonstrates the potential developmental plasticity of skin denticles. PMID:26423843

  5. The many functions of fish integument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott, D.G.

    2011-01-01

    The integument or skin is the envelope that not only separates and protects a fish from its environment, but also provides the means through which most contacts with the outer world are made. It is a large organ and is continuous with the linings of all body openings, and also covers the fins. Fish integument is a multifunctional organ, and its components may serve important roles in protection, communication, sensory perception, locomotion, respiration, ion regulation, excretion, and thermal regulation.

  6. Why does the larval integument of some sawfly species disrupt so easily? The harmful hemolymph hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Boevé, Jean-Luc; Schaffner, Urs

    2003-01-01

    The larvae of several sawfly species belonging to the Tenthredinidae (Hymenoptera) have such a low mechanical resistance in the integument that slight mechanical damage to the integument is enough to provoke the release of hemolymph at a given spot. We quantified this phenomenon, which we call "easy bleeding", by measuring the pressure needed to pierce dissected sawfly integument. We also investigated the feeding deterrance of ethanolic extracts of the hemolymph by laboratory bioassays using Myrmica rubra ant workers. These traits, integument resistance and hemolymph deterrence, were inversely related, considering 22 tenthredinid species. A negative correlation was obtained by only taking into account the species of one tenthredinid tribe, namely the Phymatocerini (nine species studied). Our results support the "harmful hemolymph hypothesis" that we present here and that assumes a functional link between these morphological and chemical traits, jointly acting as a chemical defense strategy. We suspect hemolymph deterrence to be often due to sequestration of plant secondary metabolites. We discuss the role of easy bleeding, considering the fact that sawfly larvae are frequently the prey of invertebrate and vertebrate predators. It is suggested that invertebrates such as ants were more important than vertebrates in the evolution of easy bleeding. PMID:12647187

  7. Heterogeneous rare earth element (REE) patterns and concentrations in a fossil bone: Implications for the use of REE in vertebrate taphonomy and fossilization history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, Celina A.; Macpherson, G. L.; González, Luis A.; Grandstaff, David E.

    2010-05-01

    A bone fragment (CGDQ-3) of Falcariusutahensis, a therizinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, contained within a carbonate nodule, was analyzed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in order to investigate REE variability within a thin-walled phalanx. Previous studies have found depth-related REE pattern variations; however, in CGDQ-3 variation occurs along the circumference of the bone. NASC-normalized REE patterns and concentrations vary between two apparent end members. A light-REE enriched (LREE) pattern, similar to solution ICP-MS analysis of this bone, characterizes approximately two-thirds of the bone fragment. Total REE concentrations are high and do not vary significantly from the periosteal surface to the medullar surface. Conversely, the remaining one-third of the bone has REE patterns that are MREE-depleted and low in total REE concentrations. REE concentrations in this part of the bone do not vary significantly from the periosteal to the medullar surface. A positive Ce anomaly is found throughout the entire bone, and is greatest within the LREE-enriched portion of the bone. This, in combination with the LREE-enrichment, suggests that the bone fossilized under reducing conditions. The distance between the LREE-enriched and MREE-depleted regions is less than 1 mm. Isotopic and petrographic analyses of the bone and surrounding carbonate matrix suggest the REE patterns in the bone were the result of partial fossilization/incomplete filling of micro-pore spaces around bone crystallites in an environment with changing redox conditions. The lower, MREE-depleted part of the bone fossilized contemporaneously with a pendant cement that formed on the underside of the bone in the vadose zone. Formation of the pendant cement restricted water flow through the bone, isolating the lower portion, which incorporated a MREE-depleted pattern. The upper part of the bone (LREE-enriched side) fossilized under

  8. A diverse Rancholabrean vertebrate microfauna from southern California includes the first fossil record of ensatina ( Ensatina eschscholtzii: Plethodontidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wake, Thomas A.; Roeder, Mark A.

    2009-11-01

    Analysis of late Pleistocene fossils recovered from near the Huntington Beach, California (USA), pier (site LACM 7679) has revealed a diverse fauna dating to approximately 40 14C ka BP. Extinct megafauna (three genera) are present; however, a microfauna including three genera of fish, five genera of amphibians, twelve genera of reptiles, two genera of birds, and ten genera of small mammals dominates the assemblage in terms of diversity. Additional identification of seven genera of non-marine mollusks and various macro- and microscopic plant remains including grasses, three families of herbs, and seven genera of trees provides a wealth of information concerning the past ecology of what is currently a coastal dune field complex. During the Rancholabrean Period, the LACM 7679 locality was approximately 10 km inland from the Pleistocene coastline and contained lush riparian zones interspersed with coastal sage scrub, a few trees, and grasslands teeming with a variety of small and large animals.

  9. An analysis of pterosaurian biogeography: implications for the evolutionary history and fossil record quality of the first flying vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Upchurch, Paul; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    The biogeographical history of pterosaurs has received very little treatment. Here, we present the first quantitative analysis of pterosaurian biogeography based on an event-based parsimony method (Treefitter). This approach was applied to a phylogenetic tree comprising the relationships of 108 in-group pterosaurian taxa, spanning the full range of this clade's stratigraphical and geographical extent. The results indicate that there is no support for the impact of vicariance or coherent dispersal on pterosaurian distributions. However, this group does display greatly elevated levels of sympatry. Although sampling biases and taxonomic problems might have artificially elevated the occurrence of sympatry, we argue that our results probably reflect a genuine biogeographical signal. We propose a novel model to explain pterosaurian distributions: pterosaurs underwent a series of ‘sweep-stakes’ dispersal events (across oceanic barriers in most cases), resulting in the founding of sympatric clusters of taxa. Examination of the spatiotemporal distributions of pterosaurian occurrences indicates that their fossil record is extremely patchy. Thus, while there is likely to be genuine information on pterosaurian diversity and biogeographical patterns in the current data-set, caution is required in its interpretation. PMID:26339122

  10. Microscopical and elemental FESEM and Phenom ProX-SEM-EDS analysis of osteocyte- and blood vessel-like microstructures obtained from fossil vertebrates of the Eocene Messel Pit, Germany

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The Eocene (∾48 Ma) Messel Pit in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its exceptionally preserved fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Messel fossil vertebrates are typically characterized by their articulated state, and in some cases the skin, hair, feathers, scales and stomach contents are also preserved. Despite the exceptional macroscopic preservation of Messel fossil vertebrates, the microstructural aspect of these fossils has been poorly explored. In particular, soft tissue structures such as hair or feathers have not been chemically analyzed, nor have bone microstructures. I report here the preservation and recovery of osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures from the bone of Messel Pit specimens, including the turtles Allaeochelys crassesculpta and Neochelys franzeni, the crocodile Diplocynodon darwini, and the pangolin Eomanis krebsi. I used a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) and a Phenom ProX desktop scanning electron microscope (LOT-QuantumDesign) equipped with a thermionic CeB6 source and a high sensitivity multi-mode backscatter electron (BSE) for microscopical and elemental characterization of these bone microstructures. Osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures are constituted by a thin layer (∾50 nm thickness), external and internal mottled texture with slightly marked striations. Circular to linear marks are common on the external surface of the osteocyte-like microstructures and are interpreted as microbial troughs. Iron (Fe) is the most abundant element found in the osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures, but not in the bone matrix or collagen fibril-like microstructures. The occurrence of well-preserved soft-tissue elements (at least their physical form) establishes a promising background for future studies on preservation of biomolecules (proteins or DNA) in Messel Pit fossils. PMID:26819855

  11. Microscopical and elemental FESEM and Phenom ProX-SEM-EDS analysis of osteocyte- and blood vessel-like microstructures obtained from fossil vertebrates of the Eocene Messel Pit, Germany.

    PubMed

    Cadena, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    The Eocene (∾48 Ma) Messel Pit in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its exceptionally preserved fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Messel fossil vertebrates are typically characterized by their articulated state, and in some cases the skin, hair, feathers, scales and stomach contents are also preserved. Despite the exceptional macroscopic preservation of Messel fossil vertebrates, the microstructural aspect of these fossils has been poorly explored. In particular, soft tissue structures such as hair or feathers have not been chemically analyzed, nor have bone microstructures. I report here the preservation and recovery of osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures from the bone of Messel Pit specimens, including the turtles Allaeochelys crassesculpta and Neochelys franzeni, the crocodile Diplocynodon darwini, and the pangolin Eomanis krebsi. I used a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) and a Phenom ProX desktop scanning electron microscope (LOT-QuantumDesign) equipped with a thermionic CeB6 source and a high sensitivity multi-mode backscatter electron (BSE) for microscopical and elemental characterization of these bone microstructures. Osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures are constituted by a thin layer (∾50 nm thickness), external and internal mottled texture with slightly marked striations. Circular to linear marks are common on the external surface of the osteocyte-like microstructures and are interpreted as microbial troughs. Iron (Fe) is the most abundant element found in the osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures, but not in the bone matrix or collagen fibril-like microstructures. The occurrence of well-preserved soft-tissue elements (at least their physical form) establishes a promising background for future studies on preservation of biomolecules (proteins or DNA) in Messel Pit fossils. PMID:26819855

  12. The skin: the many functions of fish integument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott, Diane G.

    2011-01-01

    The integument or skin is the envelope that not only separates and protects a fish from its environment, but also provides the means through which most contacts with the outer world are made. It is a large organ and is continuous with the linings of all body openings, and also covers the fins. Fish integument is a multifunctional organ, and its components may serve important roles in protection, communication, sensory perception, locomotion, respiration, ion regulation, excretion, and thermal regulation.

  13. Fossil Horses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.

    1994-06-01

    The family Equidae have an extensive fossil record spanning the past 58 million years, and the evolution of the horse has frequently been used as a classic example of long-term evolution. In recent years, however, there have been many important discoveries of fossil horses, and these, in conjunction with such new methods as cladistics, and techniques such as precise geochronology, have allowed us to achieve a much greater understanding of the evolution and biology of this important group. This book synthesizes the large body of data and research relevant to an understanding of fossil horses from several disciplines including biology, geology and paleontology. Using horses as the central theme, the author weaves together in the text such topics as modern geochronology, paleobiogeography, climate change, evolution and extinction, functional morphology, and population biology during the Cenozoic period. This book will be exciting reading for researchers and graduate students in vertebrate paleontology, evolution, and zoology.

  14. New occurrences of fossilized feathers: systematics and taphonomy of the Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin (Cretaceous), NE, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Anelli, Luiz Eduardo; Petri, Setembrino; Romero, Guilherme Raffaeli

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe three fossil feathers from the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin, Brazil. Feathers are the most complex multiform vertebrate integuments; they perform different functions, occurring in both avian and non-avian dinosaurs. Despite their rarity, fossil feathers have been found across the world. Most of the Brazilian feather fossil record comes from the Santana Formation. This formation is composed of two members: Crato (lake) and Romualdo (lagoon); both of which are predominantly reduced deposits, precluding bottom dwelling organisms, resulting in exceptional preservation of the fossils. Despite arid and hot conditions during the Cretaceous, life teemed in the adjacency of this paleolake. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs have not yet been described from the Crato Member, even though there are suggestions of their presence in nearby basins. Our description of the three feathers from the Crato laminated limestone reveals that, despite the small sample size, they can be referred to coelurosaurian theropods. Moreover, based on comparisons with extant feather morphotypes they can be identified as one contour feather and two downy feathers. Despite their rareness and low taxonomic potential, fossilized feathers can offer insights about the paleobiology of its owners and the paleoecology of the Araripe Basin. PMID:27441102

  15. New occurrences of fossilized feathers: systematics and taphonomy of the Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin (Cretaceous), NE, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Prado, Gustavo M E M; Anelli, Luiz Eduardo; Petri, Setembrino; Romero, Guilherme Raffaeli

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe three fossil feathers from the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin, Brazil. Feathers are the most complex multiform vertebrate integuments; they perform different functions, occurring in both avian and non-avian dinosaurs. Despite their rarity, fossil feathers have been found across the world. Most of the Brazilian feather fossil record comes from the Santana Formation. This formation is composed of two members: Crato (lake) and Romualdo (lagoon); both of which are predominantly reduced deposits, precluding bottom dwelling organisms, resulting in exceptional preservation of the fossils. Despite arid and hot conditions during the Cretaceous, life teemed in the adjacency of this paleolake. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs have not yet been described from the Crato Member, even though there are suggestions of their presence in nearby basins. Our description of the three feathers from the Crato laminated limestone reveals that, despite the small sample size, they can be referred to coelurosaurian theropods. Moreover, based on comparisons with extant feather morphotypes they can be identified as one contour feather and two downy feathers. Despite their rareness and low taxonomic potential, fossilized feathers can offer insights about the paleobiology of its owners and the paleoecology of the Araripe Basin. PMID:27441102

  16. Development and Evolution of the Amniote Integument: Current Landscape and Future Horizon

    PubMed Central

    CHUONG, CHENG-MING; HOMBERGER, DOMINIQUE G.

    2015-01-01

    This special issue on the development and evolution of the amniote integument begins with a discussion of the adaptations to terrestrial conditions, the acquisition of water-impermeability by the reptilian integument, and the initial formation of filamentous integumentary appendages that pave the way towards avian flight. Recent feather fossils are reviewed and a definition of feathers is developed. Hierarchical models are proposed for the formation of complex structures, such as feathers. Molecular signals that alter the phenotype of integumentary appendages at different levels of the hierarchy are presented. Tissue interactions and the roles of keratins in evolution are discussed and linked to their bio-mechanical properties. The role of mechanical forces on patterning is explored. Elaborate extant feather variants are introduced. The regeneration/gene mis-expression protocol for the chicken feather is established as a testable model for the study of biological structures. The adaptations of the mammalian distal limb end organs to terrestrial, arboreal and aquatic conditions are discussed. The development and cycling of hair are reviewed from a molecular perspective. These contributions reveal that the structure and function of diverse integumentary appendages are variations superimposed on a common theme, and that their formation is modular, hierarchical, and cyclical. They further reveal that these mechanisms can be understood at the molecular level, and that an integrative and organismal approach to studying integumentary appendages is needed. We propose that future research should foster interdisciplinary approaches, pursue understanding at the cellular and molecular level, analyze interactions between the environment and genome, and recognize the contributions of variation in morphogenesis and evolution. PMID:12949766

  17. Evo-Devo of Amniote Integuments and Appendages

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ping; Hou, Lianhai; Plikus, Maksim; Hughes, Michael; Scehnet, Jeffrey; Suksaweang, Sanong; Widelitz, Randall B.; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Integuments form the boundary between an organism and the environment. The evolution of novel developmental mechanisms in integuments and appendages allows animals to live in diverse ecological environments. Here we focus on amniotes. The major achievement for reptile skin is an adaptation to the land with the formation of a successful barrier. The stratum corneum enables this barrier to prevent water loss from the skin and allowed amphibian/reptile ancestors to go onto the land. Overlapping scales and production of β-keratins provide strong protection. Epidermal invagination led to the formation of avian feather and mammalian hair follicles in the dermis. Both adopted a proximal - distal growth mode that maintains endothermy. Feathers form hierarchical branches which produce the vane that makes flight possible. Recent discoveries of feathered dinosaurs in China inspire new thinking on the origin of feathers. In the laboratory, epithelial - mesenchymal recombinations and molecular mis-expressions were carried out to test the plasticity of epithelial organ formation. We review the work on the transformation of scales into feathers, conversion between barbs and rachis, and the production of “chicken teeth”. In mammals, tilting the balance of the BMP pathway in K14 noggin transgenic mice alters the number, size and phenotypes of different ectodermal organs, making investigators rethink the distinction between morpho-regulation and pathological changes. Models on the evolution of feathers and hairs from reptile integuments are discussed. A hypothetical Evo-Devo space where diverse integument appendages can be placed according to complex phenotypes and novel developmental mechanisms is presented. PMID:15272390

  18. Deadly hairs, lethal feathers--convergent evolution of poisonous integument in mammals and birds.

    PubMed

    Plikus, Maksim V; Astrowski, Aliaksandr A

    2014-07-01

    Hairs and feathers are textbook examples of the convergent evolution of the follicular appendage structure between mammals and birds. While broadly recognized for their convergent thermoregulatory, camouflage and sexual display functions, hairs and feathers are rarely thought of as deadly defence tools. Several recent studies, however, show that in some species of mammals and birds, the integument can, in fact, be a de facto lethal weapon. One mammalian example is provided by African crested rats, which seek for and chew on the bark of plants containing the highly potent toxin, ouabain. These rats then coat their fur with ouabain-containing saliva. For efficient toxin retention, the rodents have evolved highly specialized fenestrated and mostly hollow hair shafts that soak up liquids, which essentially function as wicks. On the avian side of the vertebrate integumental variety spectrum, several species of birds of New Guinea have evolved resistance to highly potent batrachotoxins, which they acquire from their insect diet. While the mechanism of bird toxicity remains obscure, in a recently published issue of the journal, Dumbacher and Menon explore the intriguing idea that to achieve efficient storage of batrachotoxins in their skin, some birds exploit the basic permeability barrier function of their epidermis. Batrachotoxins become preferentially sequestered in their epidermis and are then transferred to feathers, likely through the exploitation of specialized avian lipid-storing multigranular body organelles. Here, we discuss wider implications of this intriguing concept. PMID:24698054

  19. Evidence for pyroelectric and piezoelectric sensory mechanisms in the insect integument.

    PubMed Central

    Athenstaedt, H; Claussen, H

    1981-01-01

    Quantitative pyroelectric (PE) and piezoelectric (PZE) measurements were carried out on the insect integument of live Blaberus giganteus (cockroach) and on dry integument preparations of the same species. Voltage responses to optical pulses of 10--500 ms, absorbed in the live integument, were PE: interference filter measurements showed the responses to be proportional to the absorbed thermal radiation flux and independent of the wavelength. The voltage/time-course of the responses was in agreement with theoretically calculated PE signals. Voltage responses to mechanical pulses were PZE. The responses of the inner and outer integument surfaces always had opposite electric signs. The polar character of the integument was confirmed by means of a separate dielectric heating method. To explain these results, we hypothesize that the PE properties are for the most part localized in the two outermost layers (outer and inner epicuticle) of the integument, which consists mainly of polar lipids and proteins. Parallel alignment of these polar molecules perpendicular to the integument surface is very likely. PE and PZE responses, therefore, will not only occur in live insects but will also be measurable in dead, dry integument preparations as long as the polar tissue texture remains intact. Due to its polar texture, the insect integument will react to rapid changes in temperature, illumination, or uniaxial pressure in the same way as nonbiological PE materials, where the voltage responses depend on dX/dt (X, pressure or temperature). It seems clear, therefore, that the well-known physiological reactions of various arthropods to such physical outside influences may be related to the PE property of their integument. Images FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 PMID:7272444

  20. Vertebral Morphometry.

    PubMed

    Chou, Sharon H; Vokes, Tamara

    2016-01-01

    There is as yet no agreement about the criteria by which to arrive at an imaging diagnosis of a vertebral fracture. Because high-grade fractures result in alterations in vertebral shape, 1 possible avenue of diagnosis has been to quantitate changes in vertebral shape. The result has been a variety of methods for the relative and absolute measurements of vertebral dimensions. Such measurements have also lent themselves to automated computed analysis. The number of techniques reflects the absence of any consensus about the best. The semiquantitative technique proposed by Genant has become the most widely used and has served the field well for comparative purposes. Its use in higher grade fractures has been widely endorsed, if some concepts (e.g., short vertebral height-vertebrae) are at variance with lower grades of fracturing. Vertebral morphometry may be the only recourse in high volume epidemiological and interventional studies. PMID:26349790

  1. Proteome analysis of the inner integument from developing Jatropha curcas L. seeds.

    PubMed

    Soares, Emanoella L; Shah, Mohibullah; Soares, Arlete A; Costa, José H; Carvalho, Paulo; Domont, Gilberto B; Nogueira, Fábio C S; Campos, Francisco A P

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we performed a systematic proteomic analysis of the inner integument from developing seeds of Jatropha curcas and further explored the protein machinery responsible for generating the carbon and nitrogen sources to feed the growing embryo and endosperm. The inner integument of developing seeds was dissected into two sections called distal and proximal, and proteins were extracted from these sections and from the whole integument and analyzed using an EASY-nanoLC system coupled to an ESI-LTQ-Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer. We identified 1526, 1192, and 1062 proteins from the proximal, distal, and whole inner integuments, respectively. The identifications include those of peptidases and other hydrolytic enzymes that play a key role in developmental programmed cell death and proteins associated with the cell-wall architecture and modification. Because many of these proteins are differentially expressed within the integument cell layers, these findings suggest that the cells mobilize an array of hydrolases to produce carbon and nitrogen sources from proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids available within the cells. Not least, the identification of several classes of seed storage proteins in the inner integument provides additional evidence of the role of the seed coat as a transient source of reserves for the growing embryo and endosperm. PMID:25010673

  2. "Fossil" Forecasting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brody, Michael J.; deOnis, Ann

    2001-01-01

    Presents a density study in which students calculate the density of limestone substrate to determine if the specimen contains any fossils. Explains how to make fossils and addresses national standards. (YDS)

  3. Marquee Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2008-01-01

    Professors of an online graduate-level paleontology class developed the concept of marquee fossils--fossils that have one or more unique characteristics that capture the attention and direct observation of students. In the classroom, Marquee fossils integrate the geology, biology, and environmental science involved in the study of fossilized…

  4. Covering the limb – formation of the integument

    PubMed Central

    Byrne, Carolyn; Hardman, Matthew; Nield, Kerry

    2003-01-01

    An organism's outermost covering, the integument, has evolved to fulfil a diverse range of functions. Skin provides a physical barrier, an environment for immunological surveillance, and also performs a range of sensory, thermoregulatory and biosynthetic functions. Examination of the skin of limb digits reveals a range of skin types including the thickened hairless epidermis of the toe pads (palmar or plantar epidermis) and thinner epidermis between the hair follicles (interfollicular epidermis) of hairy skin. An important developmental function of skin is to give rise to a diverse group of appendages including hair follicles, with associated sebaceous glands (or feathers and scales in chick), eccrine sweat glands and the nail. A key question is how does this morphological variety arise from the single-layered epithelium covering embryonic limb buds? This review will attempt to address this question by linking the extensive morphological/anatomical data on maturation of epidermis and its appendages with (1) current research into the range, plasticity and location of the putative epidermal stems cells; (2) molecular/microenvironmental regulation of epidermal stem cell lineages and lineage choice; and (3) regulation of the differentiation pathways, focusing on differentiation of the interfollicular epidermis. PMID:12587926

  5. Hydrodynamic role of fish squamosal integument as an analog of the surfaces directly formed by the turbulent flow. Report 2: Hydrodynamic function of squamosal integument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kudryashov, A. F.; Barsukov, V. V.

    1980-01-01

    The stream flowing round the slowly swimming squama free fish can be laminized with the aid of the external slime coat alone. The slime of the fish with well developed squamae can laminize the stream together with the squamatic integument. Adjustments preventing a loss of the slime during laminization are better developed in the fastest squama free fishes.

  6. Gypsy embryo specifies ovule curvature by regulating ovule/integument development in rice.

    PubMed

    Yamaki, S; Satoh, H; Nagato, Y

    2005-10-01

    The embryo position in a seed is stable in most plant species, indicating the existence of a strict regulatory mechanism that specifies the embryo position in the seed. To elucidate this mechanism, we analyzed the gypsy embryo (gym) mutant of rice, in which the position of the mature embryo in the seed is altered at a low frequency. Analyses of early embryogenesis and ovule development showed that the ectopic embryo was derived from an ill-positioned egg cell, which resulted from the incomplete curvature of the ovule. Although the development of both the inner and outer integuments was impaired, the ovule curvature was associated closely with the extent of inner integument growth. Therefore, inner integument development controls ovule curvature in rice. The expression patterns of OSH1 and OsMADS13 indicated that, in gym, a small number of indeterminate cells are maintained on the style side of the ovule and then in the integument primordium at a low frequency. The prolonged survival of these indeterminate cells disturbs normal integument development. The gym fon2 double mutant suggests that GYM and FON2 are involved redundantly in floral meristem determinacy. Possible functions of the GYM gene and the ovule developmental mechanism are discussed. PMID:16001259

  7. Ediacara Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented…

  8. Fossil Fuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  9. Fossil spiders.

    PubMed

    Selden, Paul A; Penney, David

    2010-02-01

    Over the last three decades, the fossil record of spiders has increased from being previously biased towards Tertiary ambers and a few dubious earlier records, to one which reveals a much greater diversity in the Mesozoic, with many of the modern families present in that era, and with clearer evidence of the evolutionary history of the group. We here record the history of palaeoarachnology and the major breakthroughs which form the basis of studies on fossil spiders. Understanding the preservation and taphonomic history of spider fossils is crucial to interpretation of fossil spider morphology. We also review the more recent descriptions of fossil spiders and the effect these discoveries have had on the phylogenetic tree of spiders. We discuss some features of the evolutionary history of spiders and present ideas for future work. PMID:19961468

  10. Fossil Crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  11. Fossil Crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    1999-10-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  12. Travels with the Fossil Hunters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whybrow, Peter J.

    2000-04-01

    Whether dodging bullets in West Africa, or rabid dogs in Pakistan, surviving yak-butter tea in Tibet, or eating raw fish in China, the life of a globe-trotting fossil hunter is often hazardous and always filled with surprises. Travels with the Fossil Hunters lets readers share the wonder, joys of discovery, and excitement of these intrepid scientists. Packed with more than 100 beautiful, full-color photographs, the volume takes readers on twelve expeditions to remote parts of the world in search of diverse fossil remains, from those of dinosaurs to human ancestors. Each expedition by paleontologists from London's Natural History Museum reveals the problems and challenges of working in extreme conditions, from the deserts of the Sahara and Yemen to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from the mountains of India to the forests of Latvia. Along the way they also describe the paleontology and geology of the countries they visit and the scientific reasons for their expeditions. With a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and an introduction from Richard Fortey, this fascinating book will appeal to amateur and professional fossil hunters alike and to readers interested in accounts of exotic locales. Peter Whybrow is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests include Arabian Miocene vertebrates, paleoclimates, paleogeography, and biotic diversity. He is senior editor with A. Hill of Fossil Vertebrates of Arabia (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

  13. Microscopic identification of novel cell types in the integument of larval lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens.

    PubMed

    Shute, Lauren; Huebner, Erwin; Anderson, W Gary

    2016-01-01

    Osmoregulation, respiration, nutrient/mineral transport, and defense mechanisms are all evident in the integument of fish. The role of the integument in these physiological processes is particularly important during early life history in larval fishes, as functional systems such as the gills and gastrointestinal tract are not fully developed. Using a variety of microscopy techniques, we describe the morphology of keratinocytes, mitochondria rich cells, ciliated cells and mucous cells of the skin, yolk sac, and gills. The cytology we observed was similar to previous studies describing the integument of larval fish, however, we have also identified two novel cell types on the integument of larval Lake Sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, between 9 and 34 days post fertilization. Our detailed analysis included a multifaceted microscopy approach using scanning electron, transmission electron, and light microscopy to elucidate the histology of the tissue and cellular morphology in addition to quantification and distribution of these novel cell types. The first cell type had a characteristic ampullary shape with a central cavity and a pore opening at the surface. The second, located on the free surface of the epidermis, had an uneven plasma membrane surface. Based on the abundance of secretory vesicles, organelles necessary for protein synthesis, and the lack of neural connection in both cell types, we propose these cells to be involved in the release of semiochemicals that may act as a pheromone, alarm substance, or chemical defense mechanism. PMID:26440535

  14. Brochosomal coats turn leafhopper (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) integument to superhydrophobic state

    PubMed Central

    Rakitov, Roman; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2013-01-01

    Leafhoppers (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) actively coat their integuments with brochosomes, hollow proteinaceous spheres of usually 200–700 nm in diameter, with honeycombed walls. The coats have been previously suggested to act as a water-repellent and anti-adhesive protective barrier against the insect's own exudates. We estimated their wettability through contact angle (CA) measurements of water, diiodomethane, ethylene glycol and ethanol on detached wings of the leafhoppers Alnetoidia alneti, Athysanus argentarius and Cicadella viridis. Intact brochosome-coated integuments were repellent to all test liquids, except ethanol, and exhibited superhydrophobicity, with the average water CAs of 165–172°, and the apparent surface free energy (SFE) estimates not exceeding 0.74 mN m−1. By contrast, the integuments from which brochosomes were removed with a peeling technique using fluid polyvinylsiloxane displayed water CAs of only 103–129° and SFEs above 20 mN m−1. Observations of water-sprayed wings in a cryo-scanning electron microscope confirmed that brochosomal coats prevented water from contacting the integument. Their superhydrophobic properties appear to result from fractal roughness, which dramatically reduces the area of contact with high-surface-tension liquids, including, presumably, leafhopper exudates. PMID:23235705

  15. Expression of ovule and integument-associated genes in reduced ovules of Santalales.

    PubMed

    Brown, Ryan H; Nickrent, Daniel L; Gasser, Charles S

    2010-01-01

    Santalales comprise mainly parasitic plants including mistletoes and sandalwoods. Bitegmic ovules similar to those found in most other angiosperms are seen in many members of the order, but other members exhibit evolutionary reductions to the unitegmic and ategmic conditions. In some mistletoes, extreme reduction has resulted in the absence of emergent ovules such that embryo sacs appear to remain embedded in placental tissues. Three santalalean representatives (Comandra, Santalum, and Phoradendron), displaying unitegmic, and ategmic ovules, were studied. Observed ovule morphologies were consistent with published reports, including Phoradendron serotinum, which we interpret as having reduced ategmic ovules, consistent with earlier reports on this species. For further understanding of the nature of the ovule reductions we isolated orthologs of the Arabidopsis genes AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) and BELL1 (BEL1), which are associated with ovule development in this species. We observed ovular expression of ANT and BEL1 in patterns largely resembling those seen in the integumented ovules of Arabidopsis. These genes were found to be expressed in the integument of unitegmic ovules and in the surface layers of ategmic ovules, and in some cases, expression of BEL1 was also observed in the surrounding carpel tissue. We hypothesize that ategmic ovules derive from a fusion of the integuments with the nucellus or that the nucellus has taken on some of the characteristics confined to integuments in ancestral species. PMID:20433462

  16. Vertebrate Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kornbluth, Sally; Fissore, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    Vertebrate reproduction requires a myriad of precisely orchestrated events-in particular, the maternal production of oocytes, the paternal production of sperm, successful fertilization, and initiation of early embryonic cell divisions. These processes are governed by a host of signaling pathways. Protein kinase and phosphatase signaling pathways involving Mos, CDK1, RSK, and PP2A regulate meiosis during maturation of the oocyte. Steroid signals-specifically testosterone-regulate spermatogenesis, as does signaling by G-protein-coupled hormone receptors. Finally, calcium signaling is essential for both sperm motility and fertilization. Altogether, this signaling symphony ensures the production of viable offspring, offering a chance of genetic immortality. PMID:26430215

  17. Ontogenetic and structural variation of mineralizations and ossifications in the integument within ceratophryid frogs (anura, Ceratophryidae).

    PubMed

    Quinzio, Silvia; Fabrezi, Marissa

    2012-12-01

    Ceratophryidae represent a monophyletic group of terrestrial and aquatic frogs inhabiting lowlands of South America where they are more diverse in semiarid environments of the Chaco region. Adult morphology of ceratophryids presents some features associated to terrestrial and fossorial life such as hyper-ossified skulls, spade feet for digging, among others. For anurans, different mineralized structures have been described in the integument as calcium reservoirs and related to the terrestrial life and water balance (e.g., the calcified layer and dermal ossifications). We describe the ontogeny of the integument in the three genera of ceratophryids (Chacophrys, Ceratophrys, and Lepidobatrachus) that inhabit in semiarid environments. Data obtained demonstrated the early acquisition of metamorphic transformations in the integument layers in larvae of Ceratophrys cranwelli and Lepidobatrachus spp. and a continuous increment in the thickness of them up to old postmetamorphic stages. The integument of ceratophryids develops calcium deposits as the calcified layer during postmetamorphic stages. Furthermore, dorsal shields are also present in adult stages independently of terrestrial versus aquatic lifestyles. While the calcified layer seems to be a feature of a fully developed integument, in which their layers have acquired the adult thickness, dorsal shields develop at premetamorphic stages in L. llanensis and postmetamorphic individuals of C. cranwelli. In ceratophryids, similar to other studied taxa (e.g., Brachycephalus spp.) dorsal shields develop via an intramembranous ossification in which the calcified layer does not precede its differentiation. Within anurans, the occurrence of dorsal shields in the monophyletic ceratophryids suggested a distinctive evolutionary history in the lineage. PMID:23074148

  18. Vertebrate skeletogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Véronique; Bhattaram, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate skeletogenesis consists in elaborating an edifice of more than 200 pieces of bone and cartilage. Each skeletal piece is crafted at a distinct location in the body, is articulated with others, and reaches a specific size, shape, and tissue composition according to both species instructions and individual determinants. This complex, customized body frame fulfills multiple essential tasks. It confers morphological features, allows controlled postures and movements, protects vital organs, houses hematopoiesis, stores minerals, and adsorbs toxins. This review provides an overview of the multiple facets of this ingenious process for experts as well as nonexperts of skeletogenesis. We explain how the developing vertebrate uses both specific and ubiquitously expressed genes to generate multipotent mesenchymal cells, specify them to a skeletogenic fate, control their survival and proliferation, and direct their differentiation into cartilage, bone, and joint cells. We review milestone discoveries made toward uncovering the intricate networks of regulatory factors that are involved in these processes, with an emphasis on signaling pathways and transcription factors. We describe numerous skeletal malformation and degeneration diseases that occur in humans as a result of mutations in regulatory genes, and explain how these diseases both help and motivate us to further decipher skeletogenic processes. Upon discussing current knowledge and gaps in knowledge in the control of skeletogenesis, we highlight ultimate research goals and propose research priorities and approaches for future endeavors. PMID:20691853

  19. First Evidence of Reproductive Adaptation to “Island Effect” of a Dwarf Cretaceous Romanian Titanosaur, with Embryonic Integument In Ovo

    PubMed Central

    Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Codrea, Vlad; Folie, Annelise; Higa, Alessandra; Smith, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Background The Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages of Romania are famous for geographically endemic dwarfed dinosaur taxa. We report the first complete egg clutches of a dwarf lithostrotian titanosaur, from Toteşti, Romania, and its reproductive adaptation to the “island effect”. Methodology/Findings The egg clutches were discovered in sequential sedimentary layers of the Maastrichtian Sânpetru Formation, Toteşti. The occurrence of 11 homogenous clutches in successive strata suggests philopatry by the same dinosaur species, which laid clutches averaging four ∼12 cm diameters eggs. The eggs and eggshells display numerous characters shared with the positively identified material from egg-bearing level 4 of the Auca Mahuevo (Patagonia, Argentina) nemegtosaurid lithostrotian nesting site. Microscopic embryonic integument with bacterial evidences was recovered in one egg. The millimeter-size embryonic integument displays micron size dermal papillae implying an early embryological stage at the time of death, likely corresponding to early organogenesis before the skeleton formation. Conclusions/Significance The shared oological characters between the Haţeg specimens and their mainland relatives suggest a highly conservative reproductive template, while the nest decrease in egg numbers per clutch may reflect an adaptive trait to a smaller body size due to the “island effect”. The combined presence of the lithostrotian egg and its embryo in the Early Cretaceous Gobi coupled with the oological similarities between the Haţeg and Auca Mahuevo oological material evidence that several titanosaur species migrated from Gondwana through the Haţeg Island before or during the Aptian/Albian. It also suggests that this island might have had episodic land bridges with the rest of the European archipelago and Asia deep into the Cretaceous. PMID:22412852

  20. Transition from two to one integument in Prunus species: expression pattern of INNER NO OUTER (INO), ABERRANT TESTA SHAPE (ATS) and ETTIN (ETT).

    PubMed

    Lora, Jorge; Hormaza, José I; Herrero, Maria

    2015-10-01

    While gymnosperm ovules have one integument, in most angiosperms two integuments surround the ovules. Unitegmic ovules have arisen independently several times during the evolution of angiosperms, but the ultimate genetic cause of the presence of a single integument remains elusive. We compared species of the genus Prunus that have different numbers of integuments: bitegmic species, such as Prunus armeniaca (apricot) and Prunus persica (peach), and unitegmic species, such as Prunus incisa, analyzing the expression pattern of genes that are involved in integument development in Arabidopsis thaliana: INNER NO OUTER (INO), ABERRANT TESTA SHAPE (ATS) and ETTIN (ETT). Bitegmic and unitegmic species showed similar INO expression patterns, indicative of the conservation of an outer integument. However, expression of ETT, which occurs in the boundary of the outer and inner integuments, was altered in unitegmic ovules, which showed lack of ETT expression. These results strongly suggest that the presence of a single integument could be attributable to the amalgamation of two integuments and support the role of ETT in the fusion of the outer and inner integuments in unitegmic ovules, a situation that could be widespread in other unitegmic species of angiosperms. PMID:25991552

  1. A Cretaceous eutriconodont and integument evolution in early mammals.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Vullo, Romain; Martín-Abad, Hugo; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Buscalioni, Angela D

    2015-10-15

    The Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago), known as the domain of dinosaurs, witnessed a remarkable ecomorphological diversity of early mammals. The key mammalian characteristics originated during this period and were prerequisite for their evolutionary success after extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Many ecomorphotypes familiar to modern mammal fauna evolved independently early in mammalian evolutionary history. Here we report a 125-million-year-old eutriconodontan mammal from Spain with extraordinary preservation of skin and pelage that extends the record of key mammalian integumentary features into the Mesozoic era. The new mammalian specimen exhibits such typical mammalian features as pelage, mane, pinna, and a variety of skin structures: keratinous dermal scutes, protospines composed of hair-like tubules, and compound follicles with primary and secondary hairs. The skin structures of this new Mesozoic mammal encompass the same combination of integumentary features as those evolved independently in other crown Mammalia, with similarly broad structural variations as in extant mammals. Soft tissues in the thorax and abdomen (alveolar lungs and liver) suggest the presence of a muscular diaphragm. The eutriconodont has molariform tooth replacement, ossified Meckel's cartilage of the middle ear, and specialized xenarthrous articulations of posterior dorsal vertebrae, convergent with extant xenarthran mammals, which strengthened the vertebral column for locomotion. PMID:26469049

  2. A Cretaceous eutriconodont and integument evolution in early mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Thomas; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Vullo, Romain; Martín-Abad, Hugo; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Buscalioni, Angela D.

    2015-10-01

    The Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago), known as the domain of dinosaurs, witnessed a remarkable ecomorphological diversity of early mammals. The key mammalian characteristics originated during this period and were prerequisite for their evolutionary success after extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Many ecomorphotypes familiar to modern mammal fauna evolved independently early in mammalian evolutionary history. Here we report a 125-million-year-old eutriconodontan mammal from Spain with extraordinary preservation of skin and pelage that extends the record of key mammalian integumentary features into the Mesozoic era. The new mammalian specimen exhibits such typical mammalian features as pelage, mane, pinna, and a variety of skin structures: keratinous dermal scutes, protospines composed of hair-like tubules, and compound follicles with primary and secondary hairs. The skin structures of this new Mesozoic mammal encompass the same combination of integumentary features as those evolved independently in other crown Mammalia, with similarly broad structural variations as in extant mammals. Soft tissues in the thorax and abdomen (alveolar lungs and liver) suggest the presence of a muscular diaphragm. The eutriconodont has molariform tooth replacement, ossified Meckel's cartilage of the middle ear, and specialized xenarthrous articulations of posterior dorsal vertebrae, convergent with extant xenarthran mammals, which strengthened the vertebral column for locomotion.

  3. [Alterations of the integument of fattening pigs in different housing systems].

    PubMed

    Mayer, C; Hauser, R

    2001-04-01

    Alterations of the integument of fattening pigs were investigated on a total of eleven farms with the following housing systems: "Krieger" system, fully slatted floors, partially slatted floors and kennel housing systems. For this purpose, the alterations of the integument of the animals were visually assessed at different times during fattening. In addition, spot investigations were carried out on three farms with deep litter systems. In the non-littered systems, significantly more changes at the limbs were observed than in the littered systems. The least damages occurred in the deep litter system. Similar as with cattle, soft and deformable lying areas seem to be a prerequisite for the prevention of such alterations. With respect to injuries caused by tailbiting, apart from possibilities of activity, other parameters such as air quality and space availability also play an important role. PMID:11344943

  4. A seed coat outer integument-specific promoter for Brassica napus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Limin; El-Mezawy, Aliaa; Shah, Saleh

    2011-01-01

    In search for seed coat-specific promoters for canola (Brassica napus), transgenic plants carrying a 2,121 bp fragment of Arabidopsis thaliana At4g12960 promoter (AtGILTpro) fused to the uidA reporter gene (GUS) were generated. Out of 7 independent events in transgenic canola plants raised, 2 exhibited GUS activity exclusively in the outer integument of the seed coat. GUS activity in other tissues was also observed in the remaining five transformants. Therefore, the AtGILT promoter can be used as a canola seed coat outer integument-specific promoter after the generation and selection of desired transformants from several transgenic lines. PMID:21052676

  5. Microarray Analysis of the Juvenile Hormone Response in Larval Integument of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Daojun; Peng, Jian; Meng, Meng; Wei, Ling; Kang, Lixia; Qian, Wenliang; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) coordinates with 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) to regulate larval growth and molting in insects. However, little is known about how this cooperative control is achieved during larval stages. Here, we induced silkworm superlarvae by applying the JH analogue (JHA) methoprene and used a microarray approach to survey the mRNA expression changes in response to JHA in the silkworm integument. We found that JHA application significantly increased the expression levels of most genes involved in basic metabolic processes and protein processing and decreased the expression of genes associated with oxidative phosphorylation in the integument. Several key genes involved in the pathways of insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) and 20E signaling were also upregulated after JHA application. Taken together, we suggest that JH may mediate the nutrient-dependent IIS pathway by regulating various metabolic pathways and further modulate 20E signaling. PMID:24809046

  6. Microarray Analysis of the Juvenile Hormone Response in Larval Integument of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Daojun; Peng, Jian; Meng, Meng; Wei, Ling; Kang, Lixia; Qian, Wenliang; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) coordinates with 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) to regulate larval growth and molting in insects. However, little is known about how this cooperative control is achieved during larval stages. Here, we induced silkworm superlarvae by applying the JH analogue (JHA) methoprene and used a microarray approach to survey the mRNA expression changes in response to JHA in the silkworm integument. We found that JHA application significantly increased the expression levels of most genes involved in basic metabolic processes and protein processing and decreased the expression of genes associated with oxidative phosphorylation in the integument. Several key genes involved in the pathways of insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) and 20E signaling were also upregulated after JHA application. Taken together, we suggest that JH may mediate the nutrient-dependent IIS pathway by regulating various metabolic pathways and further modulate 20E signaling. PMID:24809046

  7. Deciphering principles of morphogenesis from temporal and spatial patterns on the integument

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ang; Lai, Yung-Chih; Figueroa, Seth; Yang, Tian; Widelitz, Randall B; Kobielak, Krzysztof; Nie, Qing; Chuong, Cheng Ming

    2015-01-01

    How tissue patterns form in development and regeneration is a fundamental issue remaining to be fully understood. The integument often forms repetitive units in space (periodic patterning) and time (cyclic renewal), such as feathers and hairs. Integument patterns are visible and experimentally manipulatable, helping us reveal pattern formative processes. Variability is seen in regional phenotypic specificities and temporal cycling at different physiological stages. Here we show some cellular / molecular bases revealed by analyzing integument patterns. 1) Localized cellular activity (proliferation, rearrangement, apoptosis, differentiation) transforms prototypic organ primordia into specific shapes. Combinatorial positioning of different localized activity zones generates diverse and complex organ forms. 2) Competitive equilibrium between activators and inhibitors regulates stem cells through cyclic quiescence and activation. Dynamic interactions between stem cells and their adjacent niche regulate regenerative behavior, modulated by multi-layers of macro-environmental factors (dermis, body hormone status and external environment). Genomics studies may reveal how positional information of localized cellular activity is stored. In vivo skin imaging and lineage tracing unveils new insights into stem cell plasticity. Principles of self-assembly obtained from the integumentary organ model can be applied to help restore damaged patterns during regenerative wound healing and for tissue engineering to rebuild tissues. PMID:25858668

  8. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Stephen J.; Smith, Joshua B.

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation.

  9. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Smith, Joshua B

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation. PMID:20213300

  10. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals. PMID:11277086

  11. Using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to explore geochemical taphonomy of vertebrate fossils in the upper cretaceous two medicine and Judith River formations of Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, R.R.; Fricke, H.C.; Addona, V.; Canavan, R.R.; Dwyer, C.N.; Harwood, C.L.; Koenig, A.E.; Murray, R.; Thole, J.T.; Williams, J.

    2010-01-01

    Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to determine rare earth element (REE) content of 76 fossil bones collected from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Two Medicine (TMF) and Judith River (JRF) Formations of Montana. REE content is distinctive at the formation scale, with TMF samples exhibiting generally higher overall REE content and greater variability in REE enrichment than JRF samples. Moreover, JRF bones exhibit relative enrichment in heavy REE, whereas TMF bones span heavy and light enrichment fields in roughly equal proportions. TMF bones are also characterized by more negative Ce anomalies and greater U enrichment than JRF bones, which is consistent with more oxidizing diagenetic conditions in the TMF. Bonebeds in both formations show general consistency in REE content, with no indication of spatial or temporal mixing within sites. Previous studies, however, suggest that the bonebeds in question are attritional assemblages that accumulated over considerable time spans. The absence of geochemical evidence for mixing is consistent with diagenesis transpiring in settings that remained chemically and hydrologically stable during recrystallization. Lithology-related patterns in REE content were also compared, and TMF bones recovered from fluvial sandstones show relative enrichment in heavy REE when compared with bones recovered from fine-grained floodplain deposits. In contrast, JRF bones, regardless of lithologic context (sandstone versus mudstone), exhibit similar patterns of REE uptake. This result is consistent with previous reconstructions that suggest that channel-hosted microfossil bonebeds of the JRF developed via the reworking of preexisting concentrations embedded in the interfluve. Geochemical data further indicate that reworked elements were potentially delivered to channels in a recrystallized condition, which is consistent with rapid adsorption of REE postmortem. Copyright ?? 2010, SEPM (Society for

  12. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  13. Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1976-01-01

    A comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.

  14. Will My Fossil Float?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riesser, Sharon; Airey, Linda

    1993-01-01

    Explains how young students can be introduced to fossils. Suggests books to read and science activities including "Fossils to Eat" where students make fossils from peanut butter, honey, and powdered milk. (PR)

  15. Integument Mycobiota of Wild European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) from Catalonia, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Molina-López, R. A.; Adelantado, C.; Arosemena, E. L.; Obón, E.; Darwich, L.; Calvo, M. A.

    2012-01-01

    There are some reports about the risk of manipulating wild hedgehogs since they can be reservoirs of potential zoonotic agents like dermatophytes. The aim of this study was to describe the integument mycobiota, with special attention to dermatophytes of wild European hedgehogs. Samples from spines and fur were cultured separately in Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) with antibiotic and dermatophyte test medium (DTM) plates. Nineteen different fungal genera were isolated from 91 cultures of 102 hedgehogs. The most prevalent genera were Cladosporium (79.1%), Penicillium (74.7%), Alternaria (64.8%), and Rhizopus (63.7%). A lower prevalence of Aspergillus (P = 0,035; χ2 = 8,633) and Arthrinium (P = 0,043; χ2 = 8,173) was isolated during the spring time and higher frequencies of Fusarium (P = 0,015; χ2 = 10,533) during the autumn. The prevalence of Acremonium was significantly higher in young animals (70%, 26/37) than in adults (30%, 11/37) (P = 0,019; χ2 = 5,915). Moreover, the majority of the saprophytic species that grew at the SDA culture were also detected at the DTM. Finally, no cases of ringworm were diagnosed and no dermatophytes spp. were isolated. Concluding, this study provides the first description of fungal mycobiota of the integument of wild European hedgehogs in Spain, showing a large number of saprophytic species and the absence of dermatophytes. PMID:23762757

  16. Integument Mycobiota of Wild European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) from Catalonia, Spain.

    PubMed

    Molina-López, R A; Adelantado, C; Arosemena, E L; Obón, E; Darwich, L; Calvo, M A

    2012-01-01

    There are some reports about the risk of manipulating wild hedgehogs since they can be reservoirs of potential zoonotic agents like dermatophytes. The aim of this study was to describe the integument mycobiota, with special attention to dermatophytes of wild European hedgehogs. Samples from spines and fur were cultured separately in Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) with antibiotic and dermatophyte test medium (DTM) plates. Nineteen different fungal genera were isolated from 91 cultures of 102 hedgehogs. The most prevalent genera were Cladosporium (79.1%), Penicillium (74.7%), Alternaria (64.8%), and Rhizopus (63.7%). A lower prevalence of Aspergillus (P = 0,035; χ (2) = 8,633) and Arthrinium (P = 0,043; χ (2) = 8,173) was isolated during the spring time and higher frequencies of Fusarium (P = 0,015; χ (2) = 10,533) during the autumn. The prevalence of Acremonium was significantly higher in young animals (70%, 26/37) than in adults (30%, 11/37) (P = 0,019; χ (2) = 5,915). Moreover, the majority of the saprophytic species that grew at the SDA culture were also detected at the DTM. Finally, no cases of ringworm were diagnosed and no dermatophytes spp. were isolated. Concluding, this study provides the first description of fungal mycobiota of the integument of wild European hedgehogs in Spain, showing a large number of saprophytic species and the absence of dermatophytes. PMID:23762757

  17. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging for the study of fossils.

    PubMed

    Giovannetti, Giulio; Guerrini, Andrea; Salvadori, Piero A

    2016-07-01

    Computed tomography (CT) has long been used for investigating palaeontological specimens, as it is a nondestructive technique which avoids the need to dissolve or ionize the fossil sample. However, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have recently gained ground as analytical tools for examination of palaeontological samples, by nondestructively providing information about the structure and composition of fossils. While MRI techniques are able to reveal the three-dimensional geometry of the trace fossil, MRS can provide information on the chemical composition of the samples. The multidimensional nature of MR (magnetic resonance) signals has potential to provide rich three-dimensional data on the palaeontological specimens and also to help in elucidating paleopathological and paleoecological questions. In this work the verified applications and the emerging uses of MRI and MRS in paleontology are reviewed, with particular attention to fossil spores, fossil plants, ambers, fossil invertebrates, and fossil vertebrate studies. PMID:26979538

  18. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

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

  19. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  20. Architecture of the integument in lower teleostomes: functional morphology and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Gemballa, Sven; Bartsch, Peter

    2002-09-01

    A bony ganoid squamation is the plesiomorphic type in actinopterygians. During evolution, it was replaced by weak and more flexible elasmoid scales. We provide a comparative description of the integument of "ganoid" fishes and "nonganoid" fishes that considers all dermal components of mechanical significance (stratum compactum, morphology of ganoid scales, and their regional differences) in order to develop a functional understanding of the ganoid integument as a whole. Data were obtained for the extant "ganoid" fishes (Polypteridae and Lepisosteidae) and for closely related "lower" actinopterygians (Acipenser ruthenus, Amia calva) and "lower" sarcopterygians (Latimeria chalumnae, Neoceratodus forsteri). Body curvatures during steady undulatory locomotion, sharp turns, prey-strikes, and fast starts in "ganoid" fishes were measured from videotapes. Extreme body curvatures as measured in anesthetized specimens are never reached during steady swimming, but are sometimes closely approached in certain situations (sharp turns, prey-strike). During extreme body curvatures we measured high values of lateral strain on the convex and on the concave side of the body. Scale overlap changes considerably (66-127% in Lepisosteus, 42-140% in Polypterus). The ganoid squamation forms a protective coat, but at the same time it permits extreme body curvatures. This is reflected in characteristic morphological features of the ganoid scales, such as an anterior process, concave anterior margin, and peg-and-socket articulation. These characters are most pronounced in the anterior body region, where maximum changes in scale overlap are required. The anterior processes and anterior concave margin, together with the attached stratum compactum, guide movements in a horizontal plane during bending. Displacements of scales relative to each other are possible for scales of different scale rows, but are impeded in scales of the same scale row due to the peg-and-socket articulation. Furthermore

  1. Antagonism of entomopathogenic fungi by Bacillus spp. associated with the integument of cicadellids and delphacids.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Andrea; López, Silvina; Aulicino, Mónica; de Remes-Lenicov, Ana María; Balatti, Pedro

    2015-06-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi are potential tools to biocontrol cicadellids and delphacids, two groups of insects that cause extensive damage to agricultural crops. However, bacteria living on the host cuticle may inhibit fungal growth. In the present work, following the molecular characterization of 10 strains of Bacillus isolated from the integument of cicadellids and delphacids, we selected isolates of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae that are resistant to the antimicrobials secreted by these bacterial strains. The antagonistic activity of the 10 bacterial isolates belonging to the genus Bacillus (i.e., B. amyloliquefaciens, B. pumilus, and B. subtilis) against 41 isolates of Bea. bassiana and 20 isolates of M. anisopliae was investigated in vitro on tryptic soy agar using the central disk test. With this approach, isolates of Bea. bassiana and M. anisopliae resistant to antagonistic bacteria were identified that can be further developed as biological control agents. PMID:26496616

  2. Third-harmonic generation microscopy reveals dental anatomy in ancient fossils.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Cheng; Lee, Szu-Yu; Wu, Yana; Brink, Kirstin; Shieh, Dar-Bin; Huang, Timothy D; Reisz, Robert R; Sun, Chi-Kuang

    2015-04-01

    Fossil teeth are primary tools in the study of vertebrate evolution, but standard imaging modalities have not been capable of providing high-quality images in dentin, the main component of teeth, owing to small refractive index differences in the fossilized dentin. Our first attempt to use third-harmonic generation (THG) microscopy in fossil teeth has yielded significant submicrometer level anatomy, with an unexpectedly strong signal contrasting fossilized tubules from the surrounding dentin. Comparison between fossilized and extant teeth of crocodilians reveals a consistent evolutionary signature through time, indicating the great significance of THG microscopy in the evolutionary studies of dental anatomy in fossil teeth. PMID:25831331

  3. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  4. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  5. Moisture harvesting and water transport through specialized micro-structures on the integument of lizards.

    PubMed

    Comanns, Philipp; Effertz, Christian; Hischen, Florian; Staudt, Konrad; Böhme, Wolfgang; Baumgartner, Werner

    2011-01-01

    Several lizard species that live in arid areas have developed special abilities to collect water with their bodies' surfaces and to ingest the so collected moisture. This is called rain- or moisture-harvesting. The water can originate from air humidity, fog, dew, rain or even from humid soil. The integument (i.e., the skin plus skin derivatives such as scales) has developed features so that the water spreads and is soaked into a capillary system in between the reptiles' scales. Within this capillary system the water is transported to the mouth where it is ingested. We have investigated three different lizard species which have developed the ability for moisture harvesting independently, viz. the Australian thorny devil (Moloch horridus), the Arabian toadhead agama (Phrynocephalus arabicus) and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum). All three lizards have a honeycomb like micro ornamentation on the outer surface of the scales and a complex capillary system in between the scales. By investigation of individual scales and by producing and characterising polymer replicas of the reptiles' integuments, we found that the honeycomb like structures render the surface superhydrophilic, most likely by holding a water film physically stable. Furthermore, the condensation of air humidity is improved on this surface by about 100% in comparison to unstructured surfaces. This allows the animals to collect moisture with their entire body surface. The collected water is transported into the capillary system. For Phrynosoma cornutum we found the interesting effect that, in contrast to the other two investigated species, the water flow in the capillary system is not uniform but directed to the mouth. Taken together we found that the micro ornamentation yields a superhydrophilic surface, and the semi-tubular capillaries allow for an efficient passive - and for Phrynosoma directed - transport of water. PMID:21977432

  6. Moisture harvesting and water transport through specialized micro-structures on the integument of lizards

    PubMed Central

    Comanns, Philipp; Effertz, Christian; Hischen, Florian; Staudt, Konrad; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Summary Several lizard species that live in arid areas have developed special abilities to collect water with their bodies' surfaces and to ingest the so collected moisture. This is called rain- or moisture-harvesting. The water can originate from air humidity, fog, dew, rain or even from humid soil. The integument (i.e., the skin plus skin derivatives such as scales) has developed features so that the water spreads and is soaked into a capillary system in between the reptiles' scales. Within this capillary system the water is transported to the mouth where it is ingested. We have investigated three different lizard species which have developed the ability for moisture harvesting independently, viz. the Australian thorny devil (Moloch horridus), the Arabian toadhead agama (Phrynocephalus arabicus) and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum). All three lizards have a honeycomb like micro ornamentation on the outer surface of the scales and a complex capillary system in between the scales. By investigation of individual scales and by producing and characterising polymer replicas of the reptiles' integuments, we found that the honeycomb like structures render the surface superhydrophilic, most likely by holding a water film physically stable. Furthermore, the condensation of air humidity is improved on this surface by about 100% in comparison to unstructured surfaces. This allows the animals to collect moisture with their entire body surface. The collected water is transported into the capillary system. For Phrynosoma cornutum we found the interesting effect that, in contrast to the other two investigated species, the water flow in the capillary system is not uniform but directed to the mouth. Taken together we found that the micro ornamentation yields a superhydrophilic surface, and the semi-tubular capillaries allow for an efficient passive – and for Phrynosoma directed – transport of water. PMID:21977432

  7. Integument pattern formation involves genetic and epigenetic controls: feather arrays simulated by digital hormone models.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ting-Xin; Widelitz, Randall B; Shen, Wei-Min; Will, Peter; Wu, Da-Yu; Lin, Chih-Min; Jung, Han-Sung; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2004-01-01

    Pattern formation is a fundamental morphogenetic process. Models based on genetic and epigenetic control have been proposed but remain controversial. Here we use feather morphogenesis for further evaluation. Adhesion molecules and/or signaling molecules were first expressed homogenously in feather tracts (restrictive mode, appear earlier) or directly in bud or inter-bud regions ( de novo mode, appear later). They either activate or inhibit bud formation, but paradoxically colocalize in the bud. Using feather bud reconstitution, we showed that completely dissociated cells can reform periodic patterns without reference to previous positional codes. The patterning process has the characteristics of being self-organizing, dynamic and plastic. The final pattern is an equilibrium state reached by competition, and the number and size of buds can be altered based on cell number and activator/inhibitor ratio, respectively. We developed a Digital Hormone Model which consists of (1) competent cells without identity that move randomly in a space, (2) extracellular signaling hormones which diffuse by a reaction-diffusion mechanism and activate or inhibit cell adhesion, and (3) cells which respond with topological stochastic actions manifested as changes in cell adhesion. Based on probability, the results are cell clusters arranged in dots or stripes. Thus genetic control provides combinational molecular information which defines the properties of the cells but not the final pattern. Epigenetic control governs interactions among cells and their environment based on physical-chemical rules (such as those described in the Digital Hormone Model). Complex integument patterning is the sum of these two components of control and that is why integument patterns are usually similar but non-identical. These principles may be shared by other pattern formation processes such as barb ridge formation, fingerprints, pigmentation patterning, etc. The Digital Hormone Model can also be applied to

  8. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  9. The angiosomes of the mammals and other vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Taylor, G I; Minabe, T

    1992-02-01

    This is a comparative study of the vasculature of the integument and underlying deep tissues of a range of mammals and other vertebrates. The investigation was conducted in the pig, monkey, dog, cat, possum, guinea pig, rat, rabbit, duck, and toad. The results from each are compared not only to each other, but also to previously performed human studies. The arterial network of the fresh animal cadaver was injected with a mixture of lead oxide and gelatin. The vascular anatomy of the skin, deep tissues, and individual muscles was defined by dissection, cutaneous perforator counts, photography, and radiography. A similar pilot study of the venous framework was performed in the pig, dog, and rabbit that included maps of the sites and orientations of the valves. The vasculature of the integument and deep tissues was correlated, and we found that we were able to define angiosomes (composite blocks of tissue supplied by the same source vessel) in each animal. Results revealed a marked dissimilarity of the overlying cutaneous vessels in many cases, yet a striking resemblance of the vascular architecture of the deep tissues. The size and density of the cutaneous perforators bore a close relation to the degree of the skin mobility, being large and sparse where the skin was mobile and smaller and more densely grouped where the integument was tethered or fixed. The cutaneous vasculature of the human resembled that of the monkey closely, was similar to that of the dog, cat, and possum, and was dissimilar to that of the pig, rat, guinea pig, and rabbit. Studies of the amphibian and bird bore many resemblances to those of the mammals. They provided basic concepts regarding modification of the animals' vascular anatomy in response to the functional demands of the species. In each animal, the arteries formed an unbroken network throughout the body. This consisted of anatomic territories linked by anastomotic vessels that were usually of reduced caliber. The pattern of the venous

  10. The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brazeau, Martin D; Friedman, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils from the Silurian and Devonian periods are beginning to challenge embedded perceptions about the origin and early diversification of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Nevertheless, an explicit cladistic framework for the relationships of these fossils relative to the principal crown lineages of the jawed vertebrates (osteichthyans: bony fishes and tetrapods; chondrichthyans: sharks, batoids, and chimaeras) remains elusive. We critically review the systematics and character distributions of early gnathostomes and provide a clearly stated hierarchy of synapomorphies covering the jaw-bearing stem gnathostomes and osteichthyan and chondrichthyan stem groups. We show that character lists, designed to support the monophyly of putative groups, tend to overstate their strength and lack cladistic corroboration. By contrast, synapomorphic hierarchies are more open to refutation and must explicitly confront conflicting evidence. Our proposed synapomorphy scheme is used to evaluate the status of the problematic fossil groups Acanthodii and Placodermi, and suggest profitable avenues for future research. We interpret placoderms as a paraphyletic array of stem-group gnathostomes, and suggest what we regard as two equally plausible placements of acanthodians: exclusively on the chondrichthyan stem, or distributed on both the chondrichthyan and osteichthyan stems. PMID:25750460

  11. Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia into the twenty-first century

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Jacqueline M. T.; Molak, Martyna; Black, Karen H.; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Travouillon, Kenny J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.

    2011-01-01

    The 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics (CAVEPS) took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 27 to 30 April 2011. This biennial meeting was jointly hosted by Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. Researchers from diverse disciplines addressed many aspects of vertebrate evolution, including functional morphology, phylogeny, ecology and extinctions. New additions to the fossil record were reported, especially from hitherto under-represented ages and clades. Yet, application of new techniques in palaeobiological analyses dominated, such as dental microwear and geochronology, and technological advances, including computed tomography and ancient biomolecules. This signals a shift towards increased emphasis in interpreting broader evolutionary patterns and processes. Nonetheless, further field exploration for new fossils and systematic descriptions will continue to shape our understanding of vertebrate evolution in this little-studied, but most unusual, part of the globe. PMID:21715395

  12. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  13. Palynologically calibrated vertebrate record from North Dakota consistent with abrupt dinosaur extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearson, D.A.; Schaefer, T.; Johnson, K.R.; Nichols, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    New data from 17 Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary sections and 53 vertebrate sites in the Hell Creek and Fort Union Formations in southwestern North Dakota document a 1.76 m barren interval between the highest Cretaceous vertebrate fossils and the palynologically recognized K-T boundary. The boundary is above the formational contact at 15 localities and coincident with it at two, demonstrating that the formational contact is diachronous. Dinosaurs are common in the highest Cretaceous vertebrate samples and a partial dinosaur skeleton in the Fort Union Formation is the highest recorded Cretaceous vertebrate fossil in this area.

  14. Transcriptome analysis of integument differentially expressed genes in the pigment mutant (quail) during molting of silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Nie, Hongyi; Liu, Chun; Cheng, Tingcai; Li, Qiongyan; Wu, Yuqian; Zhou, Mengting; Zhang, Yinxia; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    In the silkworm Bombyx mori, pigment mutants with diverse body colors have been maintained throughout domestication for about 5000 years. The silkworm larval body color is formed through the mutual interaction of melanin, ommochromes, pteridines and uric acid. These pigments/compounds are synthesized by the cooperative action of various genes and enzymes. Previous reports showed that melanin, ommochrome and pteridine are increased in silkworm quail (q) mutants. To understand the pigment increase and alterations in pigment synthesis in q mutant, transcriptome profiles of the silkworm integument were investigated at 16 h after head capsule slippage in the fourth molt in q mutants and wild-type (Dazao). Compared to the wild-type, 1161 genes were differentially expressed in the q mutant. Of these modulated genes, 62.4% (725 genes) were upregulated and 37.6% (436 genes) were downregulated in the q mutant. The molecular function of differently expressed genes was analyzed by Blast2GO. The results showed that upregulated genes were mainly involved in protein binding, small molecule binding, transferase activity, nucleic acid binding, specific DNA-binding transcription factor activity and chromatin binding, while exclusively down-expressed genes functioned in oxidoreductase activity, cofactor binding, tetrapyrrole binding, peroxidase activity and pigment binding. We focused on genes related to melanin, pteridine and ommochrome biosynthesis; transport of uric acid; and juvenile hormone metabolism because of their importance in integument coloration during molting. This study identified differently expressed genes implicated in silkworm integument formation and pigmentation using silkworm q mutant. The results estimated the number and types of genes that drive new integument formation. PMID:24718369

  15. Transcriptome Analysis of Integument Differentially Expressed Genes in the Pigment Mutant (quail) during Molting of Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Tingcai; Li, Qiongyan; Wu, Yuqian; Zhou, Mengting; Zhang, Yinxia; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    In the silkworm Bombyx mori, pigment mutants with diverse body colors have been maintained throughout domestication for about 5000 years. The silkworm larval body color is formed through the mutual interaction of melanin, ommochromes, pteridines and uric acid. These pigments/compounds are synthesized by the cooperative action of various genes and enzymes. Previous reports showed that melanin, ommochrome and pteridine are increased in silkworm quail (q) mutants. To understand the pigment increase and alterations in pigment synthesis in q mutant, transcriptome profiles of the silkworm integument were investigated at 16 h after head capsule slippage in the fourth molt in q mutants and wild-type (Dazao). Compared to the wild-type, 1161 genes were differentially expressed in the q mutant. Of these modulated genes, 62.4% (725 genes) were upregulated and 37.6% (436 genes) were downregulated in the q mutant. The molecular function of differently expressed genes was analyzed by Blast2GO. The results showed that upregulated genes were mainly involved in protein binding, small molecule binding, transferase activity, nucleic acid binding, specific DNA-binding transcription factor activity and chromatin binding, while exclusively down-expressed genes functioned in oxidoreductase activity, cofactor binding, tetrapyrrole binding, peroxidase activity and pigment binding. We focused on genes related to melanin, pteridine and ommochrome biosynthesis; transport of uric acid; and juvenile hormone metabolism because of their importance in integument coloration during molting. This study identified differently expressed genes implicated in silkworm integument formation and pigmentation using silkworm q mutant. The results estimated the number and types of genes that drive new integument formation. PMID:24718369

  16. Positive Effects of Diphlorethohydroxycarmalol (DPHC) on the Stability of the Integument Structure in Diet-Induced Obese Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chae-lim; Cha, Sun-yeong; Chun, Min Young; Kim, Bumsoo; Choi, Min Young; Cheon, Yong-Pil

    2015-01-01

    Diphlorethohydroxycarmalol (DPHC) is a known to modulate the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in 3T3-L1. However, the possible role of DPHC in integument stability during obesity induction is not clear yet. We evaluated the effects of DPHC on collagen or elastic fiber quantity in integument during obesity induction with high-fat diet. The dorsal back integument sections were stained with hematoxylin–eosin, Masson trichrome, and Verhoff-Van Gieson. The intensities of collagen fibers and elastin fibers were analyzed with ImageJ. The number of fibroblasts was counted at ×1,000 fields. The number of fibroblast was increased by obesity induction, but DPHC suppressed it in a concentrationdependent manner both in lean and obese mice. On the other hand, the intensities of collagen fibers were increased by DPHC treatment in obese mice groups but not in lean mice groups. The intensities of collagen fibers of obese mice were lower than that of the lean mice in 0% group. However, the number became similar between lean and obese mice by the treatment of DPHC. The intensity of elastic fibers was increased in the lean mice with the concentration of DPHC. In the obese mice group, there were increasing patterns but only significant at 10% DPHC group. The intensity of elastic fibers of obese mice was higher than lean mice in 0%, 1%, and 10% groups. Histologically epithelial cells and follicle cells which were diffused nuclear staining forms were increased by DPHC treatment. The results suggest that the activity of integument cells during obesity induction can be modulated by DPHC. PMID:27004271

  17. Isolation, Purification, and Identification of an Important Pigment, Sepiapterin, from Integument of the lemon Mutant of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Wang, Wenjing; Liu, Chaoliang; Meng, Yan

    2013-01-01

    Sepiapterin is the precursor of tetrahydrobiopterin, an important coenzyme of aromatic amino acid hydroxylases, the lack of which leads to a variety of physiological metabolic diseases or neurological syndromes in humans. Sepiapterin is a main pigment component in the integument of the lemon mutant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori (L.) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), and is present there in extremely high content, so lemon is a valuable genetic resource to extract sepiapterin. In this study, an effective experimental system was set up for isolation and purification of sepiapterin from lemon silkworms by optimizing homogenization solvent, elution buffer, and separation chromatographic column. The results showed that ethanol was the most suitable solvent to homogenize the integument, with a concentration of 50% and solid:liquid ratio of 1:20 (g/mL). Sepiapterin was purified successively by column chromatography of cellulose Ecteola, sephadex G-25-150, and cellulose phosphate, and was identified by ultraviolet-visible absorption spectrometry. A stable and accurate high performance liquid chromatography method was constructed to identify sepiapterin and conduct qualitative and quantitative analyses. Sepiapterin of high purity was achieved, and the harvest reached about 40 ug/g of integument in the experiments. This work helps to obtaining natural sepiapterin in large amounts in order to use the lemon B. mori mutant to produce BH4 in vitro. PMID:24773269

  18. Ultrastructural analysis of the integument of a desert-adapted mammal, the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius).

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C J; Osman, A H K; Pfeiffer, D C

    2006-04-01

    In this study, we conducted a light microscopic and ultrastructural analysis of the integument of the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius). In general, the epidermal strata of the camel integument appeared typical of those found in non-desert mammals. Two cell populations were noted in the stratum basale: one with a flat, non-serrated base and the other with a highly serrated base. Typical fine structure was observed in keratinocytes of the stratum spinosum and stratum granulosum. The stratum corneum was six to 10 cells thick. Within the different strata, overall cell morphologies and the general distribution and relative abundance of cellular organelles appeared typical. Dermal features included the presence of myoepithelial cells surrounding apocrine tubular glands. Inter- or intracellular canaliculi within the secretory cells of the apocrine glands, reported to be present in certain other non-desert mammals, were not evident in the camel. Together, these data indicate that while the camel is clearly adapted for a desert lifestyle, these adaptations do not include significant specializations at the cellular or subcellular level in the integument. PMID:16542174

  19. Integument coloration signals reproductive success, heterozygosity, and antioxidant levels in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclaire, Sarah; White, Joël; Arnoux, Emilie; Faivre, Bruno; Vetter, Nathanaël; Hatch, Scott A.; Danchin, Étienne

    2011-09-01

    Carotenoid pigments are important for immunity and as antioxidants, and carotenoid-based colors are believed to provide honest signals of individual quality. Other colorless but more efficient antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may protect carotenoids from bleaching. Carotenoid-based colors have thus recently been suggested to reflect the concentration of such colorless antioxidants, but this has rarely been tested. Furthermore, although evidence is accruing for multiple genetic criteria for mate choice, carotenoid-based colors have rarely been shown to reflect both phenotypic and genetic quality. In this study, we investigated whether gape, tongue, eye-ring, and bill coloration of chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla reflected circulating levels of carotenoids and vitamins A and E. We further investigated whether integument coloration reflected phenotypic (body condition and fledging success) and genetic quality (heterozygosity). We found that the coloration of fleshy integuments was correlated with carotenoid and vitamin A levels and fledging success but only in males. Furthermore, the coloration of tongue and eye-ring was correlated with heterozygosity in both males and females. Integument colors might therefore be reliable signals of individual quality used by birds to adjust their parental care during the chick-rearing period.

  20. Integument coloration signals reproductive success, heterozygosity, and antioxidant levels in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leclaire, S.; White, J.; Arnoux, E.; Faivre, B.; Vetter, N.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Danchin, E.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments are important for immunity and as antioxidants, and carotenoid-based colors are believed to provide honest signals of individual quality. Other colorless but more efficient antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may protect carotenoids from bleaching. Carotenoid-based colors have thus recently been suggested to reflect the concentration of such colorless antioxidants, but this has rarely been tested. Furthermore, although evidence is accruing for multiple genetic criteria for mate choice, carotenoid-based colors have rarely been shown to reflect both phenotypic and genetic quality. In this study, we investigated whether gape, tongue, eye-ring, and bill coloration of chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla reflected circulating levels of carotenoids and vitamins A and E. We further investigated whether integument coloration reflected phenotypic (body condition and fledging success) and genetic quality (heterozygosity). We found that the coloration of fleshy integuments was correlated with carotenoid and vitamin A levels and fledging success but only in males. Furthermore, the coloration of tongue and eye-ring was correlated with heterozygosity in both males and females. Integument colors might therefore be reliable signals of individual quality used by birds to adjust their parental care during the chick-rearing period. ?? Springer-Verlag 2011.

  1. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2015-04-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the oxic-anoxic interface zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus, formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that it is produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Thioploca-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized "electric wire".

  2. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization. PMID:26250386

  3. Three-Dimensionally Preserved Integument Reveals Hydrodynamic Adaptations in the Extinct Marine Lizard Ectenosaurus (Reptilia, Mosasauridae)

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Johan; Everhart, Michael J.; Caldwell, Michael W.

    2011-01-01

    The physical properties of water and the environment it presents to its inhabitants provide stringent constraints and selection pressures affecting aquatic adaptation and evolution. Mosasaurs (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a broad array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems about 98–65 million years ago) have traditionally been considered as anguilliform locomotors capable only of generating short bursts of speed during brief ambush pursuits. Here we report on an exceptionally preserved, long-snouted mosasaur (Ectenosaurus clidastoides) from the Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) part of the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Formation in western Kansas, USA, that contains phosphatized remains of the integument displaying both depth and structure. The small, ovoid neck and/or anterior trunk scales exhibit a longitudinal central keel, and are obliquely arrayed into an alternating pattern where neighboring scales overlap one another. Supportive sculpturing in the form of two parallel, longitudinal ridges on the inner scale surface and a complex system of multiple, superimposed layers of straight, cross-woven helical fiber bundles in the underlying dermis, may have served to minimize surface deformation and frictional drag during locomotion. Additional parallel fiber bundles oriented at acute angles to the long axis of the animal presumably provided stiffness in the lateral plane. These features suggest that the anterior torso of Ectenosaurus was held somewhat rigid during swimming, thereby limiting propulsive movements to the posterior body and tail. PMID:22110629

  4. Structure-function relationships in the integument of Salamandra salamandra during ontogenetic development.

    PubMed

    Pederzoli, Aurora; Gambarelli, A; Gabbay, Shosh; Rozman, A; Katz, U

    2002-06-01

    Morphological, cytological and transport properties of the integument of Salamandra salamandra were investigated during natural ontogenetic development, from birth to adult. Three stages were operationally defined: I, larvae, from birth to metamorphosis; II, metamorphosis (judged externally by the colour change and loss of the gills); and III, post-metamorphosis to adult. Pieces of skin were fixed at various stages for immunocytochemical examinations, and the electrical properties were investigated on parallel pieces. Distinct cellular changes take place in the skin during metamorphosis, and lectin (PNA, WGA and ConA) binding indicates profound changes in glycoprotein composition of cell membranes, following metamorphosis. Band 3 and carbonic anhydrase I (CA I) were confined to mitochondria-rich (MR)-like cells, and were detected only in the larval stage. CA II on the other hand, was detected both in MR-like and in MR cells following metamorphosis. The electrical studies show that the skin becomes more tight (transepithelial resistance increases) upon metamorphosis, followed by manifestation of amiloride-sensitive short-circuit current (I(SC)) indicating that functional Na+ uptake has been acquired. The skin of metamorphosed adults had no finite transepithelial Cl- conductance, and band 3 was not detected in its MR cells. The functional properties of MR-like and MR cells remain to be established. PMID:12206657

  5. Proliferative and Non-Proliferative Lesions of the Rat and Mouse Integument

    PubMed Central

    Mecklenburg, Lars; Kusewitt, Donna; Kolly, Carine; Treumann, Silke; Adams, E. Terence; Diegel, Kelly; Yamate, Jyoji; Kaufmann, Wolfgang; Müller, Susanne; Danilenko, Dimitry; Bradley, Alys

    2014-01-01

    The INHAND (International Harmonization of Nomenclature and Diagnostic Criteria for Lesions in Rats and Mice) project is a joint initiative of the societies of toxicological pathology from Europe (ESTP), Great Britain (BSTP), Japan (JSTP) and North America (STP). Its aim is to develop an internationally-accepted nomenclature for proliferative and non-proliferative lesions in laboratory rodents. A widely accepted international harmonization of nomenclature in laboratory animals will decrease confusion among regulatory and scientific research organizations in different countries and will provide a common language to increase and enrich international exchanges of information among toxicologists and pathologists. The purpose of this publication is to provide a standardized nomenclature for classifying microscopical lesions observed in the integument of laboratory rats and mice. Example colour images are provided for most lesions. The standardized nomenclature presented in this document and additional colour images are also available electronically at http://www.goreni.org. The nomenclature presented herein is based on histopathology databases from government, academia, and industrial laboratories throughout the world, and covers lesions that develop spontaneously as well as those induced by exposure to various test materials. (DOI: 10.1293/tox.26.27S; J Toxicol Pathol 2013; 26: 27S–57S) PMID:25035577

  6. Investigating integument alterations in cubicle housed dairy cows: which types and locations can be combined?

    PubMed

    Brenninkmeyer, C; Dippel, S; Brinkmann, J; March, S; Winckler, C; Knierim, U

    2016-02-01

    In this study, a data set of 2922 lactating dairy cows in a sample of 64 conventional and organic dairy farms with Holstein Friesian cows in Germany and 31 conventional dairy farms with the dual purpose breed Fleckvieh in Austria was used to screen for correlations between the occurrences of different integument alterations. All cows were housed in cubicle systems. Alterations were classified as hairless areas (H), scabs or wounds (W) or swellings (S) and assessed at 15 locations of the cows' body. Highest median farm prevalences were found at the joints of the legs, which are already commonly included in studies on integumentary alterations: median farm prevalence was 83% for S and 48% for H at the carpal joints, followed by H (38%) and S (20%) at the lateral tarsal joints and H at the lateral calcanei (20%). Additional body parts with notable median prevalences for H were the hip bones (13%), pin bones (12%) and sacrum (11%). Three cluster models, with 2, 5 and 14 clusters, were built by hierarchical clustering of prevalences of the 30 most relevant alteration location combinations. Clustering revealed that location overruled type of lesion in most cases. Occasionally, clusters represented body segments significantly distant from each other, for example the carpal joints and lateral and dorsal calcanei. However, some neighbouring areas such as the medial and lateral hock area should be analysed separately from each other for causal analysis as they formed distinct clusters. PMID:26144555

  7. Modes of fossil preservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  8. A new arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase in silkworm (Bombyx mori) affects integument pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Long, Yaohang; Li, Jiaorong; Zhao, Tianfu; Li, Guannan; Zhu, Yong

    2015-04-01

    Dopamine is a precursor for melanin synthesis. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is involved in the melatonin formation in insects because it could catalyze the transformation from dopamine to dopamine-N-acetyldopamine. In this study, we identified a new AANAT gene in the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and assessed its role in the silkworm. The cDNA of this gene encodes 233 amino acids that shares 57 % amino acid identity with the Bm-iAANAT protein. We thus refer to this gene as Bm-iAANAT2. To investigate the role of Bm-iAANAT2, we constructed a transgenic interference system using a 3xp3 promoter to suppress the expression of Bm-iAANAT2 in the silkworm. We observed that melanin deposition occurs in the head and integument in transgenic lines. To verify the melanism pattern, dopamine content and the enzyme activity of AANAT were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We found that an increase in dopamine levels affects melanism patterns on the heads of transgenic B. mori. A reduction in the enzyme activity of AANAT leads to changes in dopamine levels. We analyzed the expression of the Bm-iAANAT2 genes by qPCR and found that the expression of Bm-iAANAT2 gene is significantly lower in transgenic lines. Our results lead us to conclude that Bm-iAANAT2 is a new arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene in the silkworm and is involved in the metabolism of the dopamine to avoid the generation of melanin. PMID:25712907

  9. Restoring Fossil Creek

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flaccus, Kathleen; Vlieg, Julie; Marks, Jane C.; LeRoy, Carri J.

    2004-01-01

    Fossil Creek had been dammed for the past 90 years, and plans were underway to restore the stream. The creek runs through Central Arizona and flows from the high plateaus to the desert, cutting through the same formations that form the Grand Canyon. This article discusses the Fossil Creek monitoring project. In this project, students and teachers…

  10. Major African contributions to Palaeozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate palaeontology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, J. F.

    2005-10-01

    Over more than two centuries, Africa has been an important source of knowledge with regard to the origins, evolution and distribution of important animal taxa. Not only did Africa south of the Sahara contain a second zoogeographical region virtually unknown four centuries ago, but also gave the world the first insight into the palaeontological wealth and the existence of Gondwana. The section on Agnatha includes a discussion on conodonts from South Africa, considered to be the some of the oldest and best-preserved vertebrate fossils in the world. The section on the Gnathostomata includes a very brief overview of the most important fish taxa from the Palaeozoic to Mesozoic of Africa. The section on the Tetrapoda includes an overview of the major taxa found in the fossil record of the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of Africa. The Permian and Triassic tetrapod fossils that indicate the evolution and radiation of the parareptiles, eureptiles and synapsids are highlighted. The most important vertebrate fossils from Africa that contributed to our understanding of the radiation of evolutionary important groups such as the fish, tetrapods, tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs and mammals are discussed. The Jurassic and Cretaceous assemblages containing dinosaur and mammal remains, deposited after the break up of Gondwana, are discussed. Finally a perspective on the importance of Africa as fossil repository and the limitations of palaeontological endeavour in Africa is given.

  11. Molybdenum cofactor deficiency causes translucent integument, male-biased lethality, and flaccid paralysis in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Tsuguru; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Banno, Yutaka

    2016-06-01

    Uric acid accumulates in the epidermis of Bombyx mori larvae and renders the larval integument opaque and white. Yamamoto translucent (oya) is a novel spontaneous mutant with a translucent larval integument and unique phenotypic characteristics, such as male-biased lethality and flaccid larval paralysis. Xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) that requires a molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) for its activity is a key enzyme for uric acid synthesis. It has been observed that injection of a bovine xanthine oxidase, which corresponds functionally to XDH and contains its own MoCo activity, changes the integuments of oya mutants from translucent to opaque and white. This finding suggests that XDH/MoCo activity might be defective in oya mutants. Our linkage analysis identified an association between the oya locus and chromosome 23. Because XDH is not linked to chromosome 23 in B. mori, MoCo appears to be defective in oya mutants. In eukaryotes, MoCo is synthesized by a conserved biosynthesis pathway governed by four loci (MOCS1, MOCS2, MOCS3, and GEPH). Through a candidate gene approach followed by sequence analysis, a 6-bp deletion was detected in an exon of the B. mori molybdenum cofactor synthesis-step 1 gene (BmMOCS1) in the oya strain. Moreover, recombination was not observed between the oya and BmMOCS1 loci. These results indicate that the BmMOCS1 locus is responsible for the oya locus. Finally, we discuss the potential cause of male-biased lethality and flaccid paralysis observed in the oya mutants. PMID:27041280

  12. Fossil fuels -- future fuels

    SciTech Connect

    1998-03-01

    Fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- built America`s historic economic strength. Today, coal supplies more than 55% of the electricity, oil more than 97% of the transportation needs, and natural gas 24% of the primary energy used in the US. Even taking into account increased use of renewable fuels and vastly improved powerplant efficiencies, 90% of national energy needs will still be met by fossil fuels in 2020. If advanced technologies that boost efficiency and environmental performance can be successfully developed and deployed, the US can continue to depend upon its rich resources of fossil fuels.

  13. Prevalence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants characterized by 454 pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Duarte, A P M; Ferro, M; Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Nagamoto, N S; Forti, L C; Pagnocca, F C

    2016-09-01

    The relationship of attine ants with their mutualistic fungus and other microorganisms has been studied during the last two centuries. However, previous studies about the diversity of fungi in the ants' microenvironment are based mostly on culture-dependent approaches, lacking a broad characterization of the fungal ant-associated community. Here, we analysed the fungal diversity found on the integument of Atta capiguara and Atta laevigata alate ants using 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 35,453 ITS reads grouped into 99 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). Data analysis revealed that A. capiguara drones had the highest diversity of MOTUs. Besides the occurrence of several uncultured fungi, the mycobiota analysis revealed that the most abundant taxa were the Cladosporium-complex, Cryptococcus laurentii and Epicoccum sp. Taxa in the genus Cladosporium were predominant in all samples, comprising 67.9 % of all reads. The remarkable presence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants alates from distinct ant species suggests that this fungus is favored in this microenvironment. PMID:27307255

  14. Integument and defence in larva and prepupa of a sawfly living on a semi-aquatic plant.

    PubMed

    Boevé, Jean-Luc; Voigt, Dagmar; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2013-01-01

    The larvae of the sawfly Rhadinoceraea micans live and feed on a semi-aquatic plant, Iris pseudacorus, and their integument is strongly hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity is part of a chemical defence strategy, easy bleeding, also known from congeners. The prepupae burrow into the soil where they form a cocoon in which they pupate, thus implying different micro-environmental conditions. The cuticle structure and wetting defensive effectiveness of R. micans were compared between larvae and prepupae. The two stages were similarly well defended against attacking ants by the bleeding of a deterrent hemolymph, whereas they were dissimilar in the cuticle surface that presented sculptures and wax crystals at the larval stage only. The integument of prepupae was less structured, and hydrophilic. Larvae of R. micans exhibit, among sawflies, an exceptional cuticle structuring and we assume that they occupy this particular niche of a semi-aquatic environment to avoid encounters with ground-dwelling predators whereas prepupae may benefit from the chemical defence acquired at larval stage. PMID:23183874

  15. Integument and defence in larva and prepupa of a sawfly living on a semi-aquatic plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boevé, Jean-Luc; Voigt, Dagmar; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2013-01-01

    The larvae of the sawfly Rhadinoceraea micans live and feed on a semi-aquatic plant, Iris pseudacorus, and their integument is strongly hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity is part of a chemical defence strategy, easy bleeding, also known from congeners. The prepupae burrow into the soil where they form a cocoon in which they pupate, thus implying different micro-environmental conditions. The cuticle structure and wetting defensive effectiveness of R. micans were compared between larvae and prepupae. The two stages were similarly well defended against attacking ants by the bleeding of a deterrent hemolymph, whereas they were dissimilar in the cuticle surface that presented sculptures and wax crystals at the larval stage only. The integument of prepupae was less structured, and hydrophilic. Larvae of R. micans exhibit, among sawflies, an exceptional cuticle structuring and we assume that they occupy this particular niche of a semi-aquatic environment to avoid encounters with ground-dwelling predators whereas prepupae may benefit from the chemical defence acquired at larval stage.

  16. Differential expression of cysteine peptidase genes in the inner integument and endosperm of developing seeds of Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    Rocha, Antônio J; Soares, Emanoella L; Costa, José H; Costa, Washington L G; Soares, Arlete A; Nogueira, Fábio C S; Domont, Gilberto B; Campos, Francisco A P

    2013-12-01

    In several plant tissues, programmed cell death (PCD) is mediated by the combined action of cysteine peptidases, namely KDEL-tailed cysteine peptidases (KDEL-CysEP) and vacuolar processing enzymes (VPE). Here, we performed a search of the draft genome of Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) and identified 2 genes for KDEL-CysEP (Jc-CysEP1 and Jc-CysEP2) and 3 genes for VPE (Jc-βVPE, Jc-γVPE and Jc-δVPE) and determined the expression patterns of these genes by RT-qPCR in integument and cellular endosperm of seeds collected at seven different developmental stages. We were able to demonstrate that the expression of Jc-CysEP1, Jc-CysEP2, Jc-βVPE and Jc-γVPE proceeded rapidly from Stage IV, with Jc-CysEP2 displaying the highest relative expression; expression of Jc-δVPE could not be detected in any of the tissues/developmental stages analyzed. Additionally, we showed that the expression pattern of these peptidases correlates with anatomical changes in integument and cellular endosperm, thus suggesting a role for both classes of peptidases in PCD and in protein processing, both of which occur simultaneously in each of these tissues. PMID:24157205

  17. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review. PMID:11550762

  18. [Vertebral hydatidosis: case report].

    PubMed

    Varela, R; Santelices, J P; Cuzmar, D; Aldunate, J T; Plaza-Guzmán, N; Lizama-Calvo, P

    2015-01-01

    Hydatidosis caused by echinococcus granulosus may affect any organ in the body, with the lungs and the liver as the most commonly affected organs. Vertebral compromise resulting from echinococcus granulosus has a low prevalence and accounts for less than 1% of bone compromise. We report the case of a 50 year-old female who presented at the Trauma Service with progressive low back pain with 5 months of duration that irradiated to the right lower limb, and led to neurologic compromise of the limb. Imaging studies showed spondylodiscitis at T12-L1, confirmed by a biopsy. Treatment of this condition is both orthopedic and surgical. The recurrence rate is high, between 30 and 40%. The objective of describing this case is to propose the differential diagnosis of a vertebral mass of unknown origin and provide details as to how to manage this condition. PMID:27012085

  19. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  20. The origin of the myelination program in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zalc, B; Goujet, D; Colman, D

    2008-06-24

    The myelin sheath was a transformative vertebrate acquisition, enabling great increases in impulse propagation velocity along axons. Not all vertebrates possess myelinated axons, however, and when myelin first appeared in the vertebrate lineage is an important open question. It has been suggested that the dual, apparently unrelated acquisitions of myelin and the hinged jaw were actually coupled in evolution [1,2]. If so, it would be expected that myelin was first acquired during the Devonian period by the oldest jawed fish, the placoderms [3]. Although myelin itself is not retained in the fossil record, within the skulls of fossilized Paleozoic vertebrate fish are exquisitely preserved imprints of cranial nerves and the foramina they traversed. Examination of these structures now suggests how the nerves functioned in vivo. In placoderms, the first hinge-jawed fish, oculomotor nerve diameters remained constant, but nerve lengths were ten times longer than in the jawless osteostraci. We infer that to accommodate this ten-fold increase in length, while maintaining a constant diameter, the oculomotor system in placoderms must have been myelinated to function as a rapidly conducting motor pathway. Placoderms were the first fish with hinged jaws and some can grow to formidable lengths, requiring a rapid conduction system, so it is highly likely that they were the first organisms with myelinated axons in the craniate lineage. PMID:18579089

  1. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate fauna, North Slope, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Clemens, W.A.; Allison, C.W.

    1985-01-01

    Closely related terrestrial vertebrates in Cretaceous mid-latitude (30/sup 0/ to 50/sup 0/) faunas of North America and Asia as well as scattered occurrences of footprints and skin impressions suggested that in the Late Mesozoic the Alaskan North Slope supported a diverse fauna. In 1961 abundant skeletal elements of Cretaceous, Alaskan dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) were discovered by the late R.L. Liscomb. This material is being described by K.L. Davies. Additional fossils collected by E.M. Brouwers and her associates include skeletal elements of hadrosaurid and carnosaurian (.tyrannosaurid) dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The fossil locality on the North Slope is not at about 70/sup 0/N. In the Late Cretaceous the members of this fauna were subject to the daylight regime and environment at a paleolatitude closer to 80/sup 0/N. Current hypotheses attributing extinctions of dinosaurs and some other terrestrial vertebrates to impact of an extraterrestrial object cite periods of darkness, decreased temperature (possibly followed by extreme warming) and acid rain as the direct causes of their demise. Unless members of this North Slope fauna undertook long-distance migrations, their high latitude occurrence indicates groups of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates regularly tolerated months of darkness.

  2. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    The vertebrate body can be subdivided along the antero-posterior (AP) axis into repeated structures called segments. This periodic pattern is established during embryogenesis by the somitogenesis process. Somites are generated in a rhythmic fashion from the paraxial mesoderm and subsequently differentiate to give rise to the vertebrae and skeletal muscles of the body. Somite formation involves an oscillator-the segmentation clock-whose periodic signal is converted into the periodic array of somite boundaries. This clock drives the dynamic expression of cyclic genes in the presomitic mesoderm and requires Notch and Wnt signaling. Microarray studies of the mouse presomitic mesoderm transcriptome reveal that the segmentation clock drives the periodic expression of a large network of cyclic genes involved in cell signaling. Mutually exclusive activation of the Notch/FGF and Wnt pathways during each cycle suggests that coordinated regulation of these three pathways underlies the clock oscillator. In humans, mutations in the genes associated to the function of this oscillator such as Dll3 or Lunatic Fringe result in abnormal segmentation of the vertebral column such as those seen in congenital scoliosis. Whereas the segmentation clock is thought to set the pace of vertebrate segmentation, the translation of this pulsation into the reiterated arrangement of segment boundaries along the AP axis involves dynamic gradients of FGF and Wnt signaling. The FGF signaling gradient is established based on an unusual mechanism involving mRNA decay which provides an efficient means to couple the spatio-temporal activation of segmentation to the posterior elongation of the embryo. Another striking aspect of somite production is the strict bilateral symmetry of the process. Retinoic acid was shown to control aspects of this coordination by buffering destabilizing effects from the embryonic left-right machinery. Defects in this embryonic program controlling vertebral symmetry might lead

  3. Fossil Simulation in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoehn, Robert G.

    1977-01-01

    Describes classroom science demonstrations and experiments that simulate the process of fossil formation. Lists materials, procedures and suggestions for successful activities. Includes ten student activities (coral fossils, leaf fossils, leaf scars, carbonization, etc.). Describes a fossil game in which students work in pairs. (CS)

  4. Damage to the gills and integument of Litoria fallax larvae (Amphibia: Anura) associated with ionoregulatory disturbance at low pH.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Edward A; Cramp, Rebecca L; Franklin, Craig E

    2010-02-01

    In fish, exposure to waters of low pH causes significant damage to the gill resulting in fatal iono- and osmoregulatory disturbance. In amphibians, exposure to acid waters also disrupts ionic homeostasis, however the extent and nature of injuries to amphibian larvae from acid exposure are poorly understood. Changes in gross morphology and ultrastructure of the gills and integument were examined, together with measures of Na(+) efflux/uptake, in larval Litoria fallax (Amphibia: Anura) following acute acid exposure. Examination of tissues revealed significant changes in morphology and ultrastructure of both gills and the integument following acutely lethal exposure to low pH water. Changes to the gills of acid-exposed L. fallax larvae included lifting of the branchial epithelium and opening of tight junctions between pavement cells (with a consequent reduction in tight junction length). Damage to epithelial cell-cell tight junctions was also apparent at the integument along with widespread oncosis and localised epithelial necrosis. Mucous secretory activity at the gills and body surface was largely unaffected by acid exposure, with little or no difference in density, cross-sectional area and number of epithelial mucous secretory vesicles in acid-exposed and control larvae. Changes in morphology and ultrastructure at low pH were accompanied by significant Na(+) loss (up to 50% of the total body Na(+) content) attributable in large part to increased paracellular ionic efflux across the gills as well as increased transcellular and paracellular efflux of ions across the integument. PMID:19879955

  5. Influence of Microbial Biofilms on the Preservation of Primary Soft Tissue in Fossil and Extant Archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Joseph E.; Lenczewski, Melissa E.; Scherer, Reed P.

    2010-01-01

    Background Mineralized and permineralized bone is the most common form of fossilization in the vertebrate record. Preservation of gross soft tissues is extremely rare, but recent studies have suggested that primary soft tissues and biomolecules are more commonly preserved within preserved bones than had been presumed. Some of these claims have been challenged, with presentation of evidence suggesting that some of the structures are microbial artifacts, not primary soft tissues. The identification of biomolecules in fossil vertebrate extracts from a specimen of Brachylophosaurus canadensis has shown the interpretation of preserved organic remains as microbial biofilm to be highly unlikely. These discussions also propose a variety of potential mechanisms that would permit the preservation of soft-tissues in vertebrate fossils over geologic time. Methodology/Principal Findings This study experimentally examines the role of microbial biofilms in soft-tissue preservation in vertebrate fossils by quantitatively establishing the growth and morphology of biofilms on extant archosaur bone. These results are microscopically and morphologically compared with soft-tissue extracts from vertebrate fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of southeastern Montana (Latest Maastrichtian) in order to investigate the potential role of microbial biofilms on the preservation of fossil bone and bound organic matter in a variety of taphonomic settings. Based on these analyses, we highlight a mechanism whereby this bound organic matter may be preserved. Conclusions/Significance Results of the study indicate that the crystallization of microbial biofilms on decomposing organic matter within vertebrate bone in early taphonomic stages may contribute to the preservation of primary soft tissues deeper in the bone structure. PMID:20967227

  6. Mechanotransduction During Vertebrate Neurulation.

    PubMed

    Sokol, Sergei Y

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate neural tube formation is a complex morphogenetic process, which involves hundreds of genes dynamically coordinating various behaviors in different cell populations of neural tissue. The challenge remains to determine the relative contributions of physical forces and biochemical signaling events to neural tube closure and accompanying cell fate specification. Planar cell polarity (PCP) molecules are prime candidate factors for the production of actomyosin-dependent mechanical signals necessary for morphogenesis. Conversely, physical forces may contribute to the polarized distribution of PCP proteins. Understanding mechanosensory and mechanotransducing properties of diverse molecules should help define the direction and amplitude of physical stresses that are critical for neurulation. PMID:26969989

  7. Fossilization of feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Paul G.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    1995-09-01

    Scanning electron microscopy of feathers has revealed evidence that a bacterial glycocalyx (a network of exocellular polysaccharide fibers) played a role in promoting their fossilization in some cases. This mode of preservation has not been reported in other soft tissues. The majority of fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces. More rarely, bacteria on the surface are replicated by authigenic minerals (bacterial autolithification). The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved mainly by imprintation following early lithification of the substrate and decay of the feather. Lacustrine settings provide the most important taphonomic window for feather preservation. Preservation in terrestrial and normal-marine settings involves very different processes (in amber and in authigenically mineralized coprolites, respectively). Therefore, there may be a significant bias in the avian fossil record in favor of inland water habitats.

  8. Coregulation of host-response genes in integument: switchover of gene expression correlation pattern and impaired immune responses induced by dipteran parasite infection in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Jayaram, Anitha; Pradeep, Appukuttan Nair R; Awasthi, Arvind K; Murthy, Geetha N; Ponnuvel, Kangayam M; Sasibhushan, Sirigineedi; Rao, Guruprasad C

    2014-05-01

    The activation of host response proteins against parasitic infection is dependent on the coregulation of immune gene expression. The infection of commercially important silkworm Bombyx mori through endoparasite Exorista bombycis enhanced host-response gene expression in integument early in the infection and was lowered asymptotically. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed heterogeneity while explaining ∼80 % variance among expression timings. PCA showed positive and negative correlation with gene expression and differentiated transcriptional timings, and revealed cross talk within the immune system. Pearson correlation analysis showed significant linear correlation (mean R (2) = >0.7; P < 0.004) between the expression of 16 pairs of genes in control, while the relation switched over to curvilinear due to parasitism. The genes showed pleiotropic interaction among them, with four genes each for prophenoloxidase activating enzyme (PPAE) and caspase. Besides, after parasitism, exclusive correlation of five gene pairs including PPAE-Spatzle pair (R (2) = 0.9; P < 0.011) was observed in the integument. In integument, the phenol oxidase (PO) activity showed a positive correlation with the tyrosine level (R (2) = 0.410; P < 0.002) and a curvilinear relation (R (2) = 0.745; P < 0.0002) with the expanding lysis area. The PO activity was positively correlated with BmToll expression and negatively correlated with paralytical peptide expression, revealing polygenic influence. Caspase expression was tightly regulated by signal genes in control integument, whereas they were deregulated after infection. Switchover from linear to curvilinear correlation and the appearance of new gene correlations in parasitized integument revealed deviation from gene coregulation, leading to impaired immune responses, characterized by lowered gene expression and varied phenotypic consequences. PMID:24310719

  9. Vertebral Angiosarcoma. Case Study.

    PubMed

    Guzik, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    Bone angiosarcomas, especially vertebral angiosarcomas, are very rare. There are no studies based on large clinical samples in the literature, and only a few single case reports can be found. The symptoms of the disease are not specific. It is usually detected incidentally or at a late stage when pathological vertebral fractures or neurological complications occur. Diagnostic imaging and history help to recognize the tumour behind the symptoms, but do not allow accurate clinical diagnosis. The basis for a diagnosis is the histopathological examination supported by immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays. The case of a 26-year-old woman with an angiosarcoma involving the eighth thoracic vertebra we report reflects diagnostic problems adversely affecting the efficacy and accuracy of treatment offered to patients. The patient underwent three surgeries of the spine, including two biopsies. A needle biopsy did not provide sufficient information for the diagnosis. An open excisional biopsy, which at the same time temporarily reduced neurological deficits in the patient, was the only chance to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The third surgery was posterior decompression of the spinal cord due to the rapidly escalating paraparesis. It was not until 8 weeks later that the final diagnosis was established. At that time, the patient could not be qualified for any supplementary treatment. The patient died in hospital 6 months after the onset of disease. PMID:26468177

  10. DEVELOPMENTAL PALEOBIOLOGY OF THE VERTEBRATE SKELETON

    PubMed Central

    RÜCKLIN, MARTIN; DONOGHUE, PHILIP C. J.; CUNNINGHAM, JOHN A.; MARONE, FEDERICA; STAMPANONI, MARCO

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the development of organisms can reveal crucial information on homology of structures. Developmental data are not peculiar to living organisms, and they are routinely preserved in the mineralized tissues that comprise the vertebrate skeleton, allowing us to obtain direct insight into the developmental evolution of this most formative of vertebrate innovations. The pattern of developmental processes is recorded in fossils as successive stages inferred from the gross morphology of multiple specimens and, more reliably and routinely, through the ontogenetic stages of development seen in the skeletal histology of individuals. Traditional techniques are destructive and restricted to a 2-D plane with the third dimension inferred. Effective non-invasive methods of visualizing paleohistology to reconstruct developmental stages of the skeleton are necessary. In a brief survey of paleohistological techniques we discuss the pros and cons of these methods. The use of tomographic methods to reconstruct development of organs is exemplified by the study of the placoderm dentition. Testing evidence for the presence of teeth in placoderms, the first jawed vertebrates, we compare the methods that have been used. These include inferring the development from morphology, and using serial sectioning, microCT or synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reconstruct growth stages and directions of growth. The ensuing developmental interpretations are biased by the methods and degree of inference. The most direct and reliable method is using SRXTM data to trace sclerochronology. The resulting developmental data can be used to resolve homology and test hypotheses on the origin of evolutionary novelties. PMID:26306050

  11. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    PubMed

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  12. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  13. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    PubMed Central

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  14. Contemporaneous Trace and Body Fossils from a Late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, Allow Assessment of Bias in the Fossil Record

    PubMed Central

    Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul

    2013-01-01

    The co-occurrence of vertebrate trace and body fossils within a single geological formation is rare and the probability of these parallel records being contemporaneous (i.e. on or near the same bedding plane) is extremely low. We report here a late Pleistocene locality from the Victorian Volcanic Plains in south-eastern Australia in which demonstrably contemporaneous, but independently accumulated vertebrate trace and body fossils occur. Bite marks from a variety of taxa are also present on the bones. This site provides a unique opportunity to examine the biases of these divergent fossil records (skeletal, footprints and bite marks) that sampled a single fauna. The skeletal record produced the most complete fauna, with the footprint record indicating a markedly different faunal composition with less diversity and the feeding traces suggesting the presence, amongst others, of a predator not represented by either the skeletal or footprint records. We found that the large extinct marsupial predator Thylacoleo was the only taxon apparently represented by all three records, suggesting that the behavioral characteristics of large carnivores may increase the likelihood of their presence being detected within a fossil fauna. In contrast, Diprotodon (the largest-ever marsupial) was represented only by trace fossils at this site and was absent from the site's skeletal record, despite its being a common and easily detected presence in late Pleistocene skeletal fossil faunas elsewhere in Australia. Small mammals absent from the footprint record for the site were represented by skeletal fossils and bite marks on bones. PMID:23301008

  15. Trace Fossil Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasiotis, Stephen T.

    2009-05-01

    Today, the study of trace fossils—ichnology—is an important subdiscipline of geology at the interface of paleontology and sedimentology, mostly because of the efforts of Adolf Seilacher. His ability to synthesize various aspects of ichnology and produce a hierarchy of marine ichna and sedimentary facies has made ichnology useful worldwide in interpreting paleodiversity, rates of sedimentation, oxygenation of bottom water and sediment pore water, and depositional energy. Seilacher's book Trace Fossil Analysis provides a glimpse into the mind, methodology, and insights of the father of modern ichnology, generated from his course notes as a professor and a guest lecturer. The title sounds misleading—readers looking for up-to-date principles and approaches to trace fossil analysis in marine and continental strata will be disappointed. In his preface, however, Seilacher clearly gives direction for the use of his text: “This is a course book—meaning that it is intended to confer not knowledge, but skill.” Thus, it is not meant as a total compilation of all trace fossils, ichnotaxonomy, ichnological interpretations, applications, or the most relevant and up-to-date references. Rather, it takes the reader on a personal journey, explaining how trace fossils are understood in the context of their three-dimensional (3-D) morphology and sedimentary facies.

  16. Fossil-Fired Boilers

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1993-09-23

    Boiler Performance Model (BPM 3.0S) is a set of computer programs developed to analyze the performance of fossil-fired utility boilers. The programs can model a wide variety of boiler designs, and can model coal, oil, or natural gas firing. The programs are intended for use by engineers performing analyses of alternative fuels, alternative operating modes, or boiler modifications.

  17. Fossil-energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1981-08-01

    Progress in the following areas of fossil energy is reported: physiochemical cleaning and recovery of fine coal; a systematic investigation of the organosulfur components in coal; microstructures of coal; rapid analysis of mineral content in coal; coal blending experiments; performance characteristics of heavy media cyclones using fly ash derived heavy media; briquetting solvent treated coal; and coal preparation and testing.

  18. Advanced fossil energy utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Shekhawat, D.; Berry, D.; Spivey, J.; Pennline, H.; Granite, E.

    2010-01-01

    This special issue of Fuel is a selection of papers presented at the symposium ‘Advanced Fossil Energy Utilization’ co-sponsored by the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division and Research and New Technology Committee in the 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Spring National Meeting Tampa, FL, on April 26–30, 2009.

  19. The epidemiology of vertebral fractures. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Cooper, C; O'Neill, T; Silman, A

    1993-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are recognised as a hallmark of osteoporosis, yet little is known of their epidemiology. This deficiency limits accurate characterisation of the public health importance of osteoporosis. Assessment of the impact of vertebral fractures has been hampered by the absence of formal criteria for identifying fractures on a thoracolumbar radiograph. Initial methods relying upon subjective radiological assessments have given way to morphometric measurements of vertebral heights, with deformities defined according to various algorithms. These methods have been used in a series of studies performed in Rochester, MN, to determine the incidence, outcome, and time trends of vertebral deformities. The results suggest a prevalence rate of vertebral deformity of 25.3 per 100 Rochester women aged 50 years and over (95% CI, 22.3-28.2), with an estimated incidence of 17.8 per 1,000 person-years. The incidence of clinically diagnosed vertebral fractures among women in the same population was 5.3 per 1,000 person-years, suggesting that around 30% of such deformities in women receive clinical attention. Morphometric measurement on the radiographs of women with clinically diagnosed fractures revealed that 80% had grade 2 ( > 4 SD) deformities. Comparable data on the occurrence and health impact of vertebral deformities throughout Europe are urgently required. The European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) is a multicentre epidemiological study that aims to address this issue. It is designed as a radiographic prevalence study in 34 European centres.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8110529

  20. The 'Tully monster' is a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Victoria E; Saupe, Erin E; Lamsdell, James C; Tarhan, Lidya G; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G; Anderson, Ross P; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R; Briggs, Derek E G

    2016-04-28

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years. PMID:26982721

  1. Molecules, fossils, and the origin of tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Meyer, A; Dolven, S I

    1992-08-01

    Since the discovery of the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, more than 50 years ago, paleontologists and comparative morphologists have debated whether coelacanths or lungfishes, two groups of lobe-finned fishes, are the closest living relatives of land vertebrates (Tetrapoda). Previously, Meyer and Wilson (1990) determined partial DNA sequences from two conservative mitochondrial genes and found support for a close relationship of lungfishes to tetrapods. We present additional DNA sequences from the 12S rRNA mitochondrial gene for three species of the two lineages of lungfishes that were not represented in the first study: Protopterus annectens and Protopterus aethiopicus from Africa and Neoceratodus forsteri (kindly provided by B. Hedges and L. Maxson) from Australia. This extended data set tends to group the two lepidosirenid lungfish lineages (Lepidosiren and Protopterus) with Neoceratodus as their sister group. All lungfishes seem to be more closely related to tetrapods than the coelacanth is. This result appears to rule out the possibility that the coelacanth lineage gave rise to land vertebrates. The common ancestor of lungfishes and tetrapods might have possessed multiple morphological traits that are shared by lungfishes and tetrapods [Meyer and Wilson (1990) listed 14 such traits]. Those traits that seem to link Latimeria and tetrapods are arguably due to convergent evolution or reversals and not to common descent. In this way, the molecular tree facilitates an evolutionary interpretation of the morphological differences among the living forms. We recommended that the extinct groups of lobe-finned fishes be placed onto the molecular tree that has lungfishes and not the coelacanth more closely related to tetrapods. The placement of fossils would help to further interpret the sequence of morphological events and innovations associated with the origin of tetrapods but appears to be problematic because the quality of fossils is not always high enough, and

  2. Vertebral fracture classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijne, Marleen; Pettersen, Paola C.; Tankó, László B.; Nielsen, Mads

    2007-03-01

    A novel method for classification and quantification of vertebral fractures from X-ray images is presented. Using pairwise conditional shape models trained on a set of healthy spines, the most likely unfractured shape is estimated for each of the vertebrae in the image. The difference between the true shape and the reconstructed normal shape is an indicator for the shape abnormality. A statistical classification scheme with the two shapes as features is applied to detect, classify, and grade various types of deformities. In contrast with the current (semi-)quantitative grading strategies this method takes the full shape into account, it uses a patient-specific reference by combining population-based information on biological variation in vertebra shape and vertebra interrelations, and it provides a continuous measure of deformity. Good agreement with manual classification and grading is demonstrated on 204 lateral spine radiographs with in total 89 fractures.

  3. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental

  4. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  5. The eyes of Tullimonstrum reveal a vertebrate affinity.

    PubMed

    Clements, Thomas; Dolocan, Andrei; Martin, Peter; Purnell, Mark A; Vinther, Jakob; Gabbott, Sarah E

    2016-04-28

    Tullimonstrum gregarium is an iconic soft-bodied fossil from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstätte (Illinois, USA). Despite a large number of specimens and distinct anatomy, various analyses over the past five decades have failed to determine the phylogenetic affinities of the 'Tully monster', and although it has been allied to such disparate phyla as the Mollusca, Annelida or Chordata, it remains enigmatic. The nature and phylogenetic affinities of Tullimonstrum have defied confident systematic placement because none of its preserved anatomy provides unequivocal evidence of homology, without which comparative analysis fails. Here we show that the eyes of Tullimonstrum possess ultrastructural details indicating homology with vertebrate eyes. Anatomical analysis using scanning electron microscopy reveals that the eyes of Tullimonstrum preserve a retina defined by a thick sheet comprising distinct layers of spheroidal and cylindrical melanosomes. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and multivariate statistics provide further evidence that these microbodies are melanosomes. A range of animals have melanin in their eyes, but the possession of melanosomes of two distinct morphologies arranged in layers, forming retinal pigment epithelium, is a synapomorphy of vertebrates. Our analysis indicates that in addition to evidence of colour patterning, ecology and thermoregulation, fossil melanosomes can also carry a phylogenetic signal. Identification in Tullimonstrum of spheroidal and cylindrical melanosomes forming the remains of retinal pigment epithelium indicates that it is a vertebrate; considering its body parts in this new light suggests it was an anatomically unusual member of total group Vertebrata. PMID:27074512

  6. Paleophysiology: From Fossils to the Future.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Geerat J

    2015-10-01

    Future environments may resemble conditions that have not existed for millions of years. To assess the adaptive options available to organisms evolving under such circumstances, it is instructive to probe paleophysiology, the ways in which ancient life coped with its physical and chemical surroundings. To do this, we need reliable proxies that are based on fundamental principles, quantitatively verified in living species, and observable in fossil remains. Insights have already come from vertebrates and plants, and others will likely emerge for marine animals if promising proxies are validated. Many questions remain about the circumstances for the evolution of environmental tolerances, metabolic rates, biomineralization, and physiological responses to interacting species, and about how living organisms will perform under exceptional conditions. PMID:26411617

  7. Origin and evolution of the integumentary skeleton in non-tetrapod vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sire, Jean-Yves; Donoghue, Philip C J; Vickaryous, Matthews K

    2009-04-01

    Most non-tetrapod vertebrates develop mineralized extra-oral elements within the integument. Known collectively as the integumentary skeleton, these elements represent the structurally diverse skin-bound contribution to the dermal skeleton. In this review we begin by summarizing what is known about the histological diversity of the four main groups of integumentary skeletal tissues: hypermineralized (capping) tissues; dentine; plywood-like tissues; and bone. For most modern taxa, the integumentary skeleton has undergone widespread reduction and modification often rendering the homology and relationships of these elements confused and uncertain. Fundamentally, however, all integumentary skeletal elements are derived (alone or in combination) from only two types of cell condensations: odontogenic and osteogenic condensations. We review the origin and diversification of the integumentary skeleton in aquatic non-tetrapods (including stem gnathostomes), focusing on tissues derived from odontogenic (hypermineralized tissues, dentines and elasmodine) and osteogenic (bone tissues) cell condensations. The novelty of our new scenario of integumentary skeletal evolution resides in the demonstration that elasmodine, the main component of elasmoid scales, is odontogenic in origin. Based on available data we propose that elasmodine is a form of lamellar dentine. Given its widespread distribution in non-tetrapod lineages we further propose that elasmodine is a very ancient tissue in vertebrates and predict that it will be found in ancestral rhombic scales and cosmoid scales. PMID:19422423

  8. What fossils can tell us about the evolution of viviparity and placentation.

    PubMed

    Carter, A M

    2008-11-01

    Recently a fossil of one of the earliest jawed fishes was found with a fetal skeleton and the remains of a cord. It was from the Devonian period and takes the history of vertebrate placentation back to 380 million years ago. This and later fossil evidence for viviparity in marine reptiles and early mammals is reviewed. Of particular interest are the fossils of horses as they document that a reproductive strategy with a single precocial newborn was evolved early on. In one instance there is sufficient representation of soft tissue to imply that early horses had a diffuse placenta, much as had been predicted by phylogenetic analyses of placentation. PMID:18774606

  9. Effects of some botanical extracts on the midgut, integument and fat body of the cotton leaf worm, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    PubMed

    Khatter, Najat A

    2010-08-01

    Botanical extracts (8%) of four plants (Artemisia monosperma, Zygophyllum cocccineum, Lupinus termis and Brassica tournifortii) fed to the 4th larval instars of Spodoptera littoralis induced histopathological changes in the structure of the midgut, integument and fat body of the 5th instars. Zygophyllum cocci-neum and Lupinus termis induced severe damages in the midgut. The integument of treated larvae showed degeneration in the cuticle and epidermal cells which were also detached from each other. Water extracts of A. monosperma, Z. coccinieum and L. termis were the most promising in inducing shrinkage in the fat body cells and detachment of midgut muscle layers. Also, the degeneration of the midgut membrane and epithelial layer occurs in different degrees with the tested plants. This study supports the use of botanical extracts in pest control programs of lepidopterous insects. PMID:21246948

  10. [The structure of the skin of the ear in domesticated pigs, with special reference to their use for human dermatological research. 2. Specific histology of the integument].

    PubMed

    Meyer, W; Zschemisch, N H; Godynicki, S; Neurand, K

    2001-01-01

    Based on light microscopy, the study describes the specific histology of the ear integument of the white domesticated pig. After careful tissue fixation and embedding, routine histological staining, collagen fibre staining, fat demonstration based on frozen sections, and ink injection of the integumental blood vessel system were applied. A detailed description is presented of the structure of the skin layers (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis), the ear cartilage envelopes (fascia, perichondrium), the plica scaphae, the blood vessel distribution, the architecture of the collagen fibre bundles, as well as the hair follicles and the skin glands (sebaceous glands, apocrine tubular glands). The results are discussed with regard to a direct comparison with the histological structure of the human integument, and the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the porcine ear skin as model system in human dermatological research are emphasized. PMID:11314580

  11. Gaps in the Rock and Fossil Records and Implications for the Rate and Mode of Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Grant Sackett

    1988-01-01

    Examines three types of gaps in the fossil record: real gaps, imaginary gaps, and temporary gaps. Reviews some recent evidence concerning evolution from the paleontological record of microfossils, invertebrates, and vertebrates in order to make some general conclusions regarding the manner in which life evolved on earth. (CW)

  12. Chemistry of bone remodelling preserved in extant and fossil Sirenia.

    PubMed

    Anné, Jennifer; Wogelius, Roy A; Edwards, Nicholas P; van Veelen, Arjen; Ignatyev, Konstantin; Manning, Phillip L

    2016-05-01

    Bone remodelling is a crucial biological process needed to maintain elemental homeostasis. It is important to understand the trace elemental inventories that govern these processes as malfunctions in bone remodelling can have devastating effects on an organism. In this study, we use a combination of X-ray techniques to map, quantify, and characterise the coordination chemistry of trace elements within the highly remodelled bone tissues of extant and extinct Sirenia (manatees and dugongs). The dense bone structure and unique body chemistry of sirenians represent ideal tissues for studying both high remodelling rates as well as unique fossilisation pathways. Here, elemental maps revealed uncorrelated patterning of Ca and Zn within secondary osteons in both extant and fossil sirenians, as well as elevated Sr within the connecting canals of fossil sirenians. Concentrations of these elements are comparable between extant and fossil material indicating geochemical processing of the fossil bone has been minimal. Zn was found to be bound in the same coordination within the apatite structure in both extant and fossil bone. Accurate quantification of trace elements in extant material was only possible when the organic constituents of the bone were included. The comparable distributions, concentrations, and chemical coordination of these physiologically important trace elements indicate the chemistry of bone remodelling has been preserved for 19 million years. This study signifies the powerful potential of merging histological and chemical techniques in the understanding of physiological processes in both extant and extinct vertebrates. PMID:26923825

  13. Morphological alterations in the synganglion and integument of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks exposed to aqueous extracts of neem leaves (Azadirachta indica A. JUSS).

    PubMed

    Remedio, R N; Nunes, P H; Anholeto, L A; Camargo-Mathias, M I

    2014-12-01

    Currently, the necessity of controlling infestation by ticks, especially by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, has led researchers and public health managers around the world to search for new and more efficient control methods. This way, we can highlight neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) leaf, bark, and seed extracts, which have been very effective on tick control, and moreover causing less damage to the environment and to the host. This study showed the potential of neem as a control method for R. sanguineus through morphological and morphometric evaluation of the integument and synganglion of females, in semiengorged stage. To attain this, routine techniques of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and morphometry of the cuticle and subcuticle of the integument were applied. Expressive morphological alterations were observed in both organs, presenting a dose-dependent effect. Integument epithelial cells and nerve cells of the synganglion showed signs of cell vacuolation, dilated intercellular boundaries, and cellular disorganization, alterations not previously reported in studies with neem. In addition, variations in subcuticle thickness were also observed. In general, the effects of neem are multiple, and affect the morphology and physiology of target animals in various ways. The results presented in this work are the first evidence of its effects in the coating and nervous system of ticks, thus allowing an indication of neem aqueous extracts as a potential control method of the brown dog tick and opening new perspectives on acaricide use. PMID:25130979

  14. Cycles in fossil diversity

    SciTech Connect

    Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.

    2004-10-20

    It is well-known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 Ma). Using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36380 marine genera, we report a strong 62 {+-} 3 Myr cycle, which is particularly strong in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance, we also consider contributing environmental factors and possible causes.

  15. Bizarre tubercles on the vertebrae of Eocene fossil birds indicate an avian disease without modern counterpart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, Gerald

    2007-08-01

    Remains of fossil birds with numerous bony tubercles on the cervical vertebrae are reported from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany and the Late Eocene of the Quercy fissure fillings in France. These structures, which are unknown from extant birds and other vertebrates, were previously described for an avian skeleton from Messel but considered a singular feature of this specimen. The new fossils are from a different species of uncertain phylogenetic affinities and show that tuberculated vertebrae have a wider taxonomic, temporal, and geographic distribution. In contrast to previous assumptions, they are no ontogenetic feature and arise from the vertebral surface. It is concluded that they are most likely of pathologic origin and the first record of a Paleogene avian disease. Their regular and symmetrical arrangement over most of the external vertebral surface indicates a systemic disorder caused by factors that do not affect extant birds, such as especially high-dosed phytohormones or extinct pathogens.

  16. Finding fossils in new ways: an artificial neural network approach to predicting the location of productive fossil localities.

    PubMed

    Anemone, Robert; Emerson, Charles; Conroy, Glenn

    2011-01-01

    Chance and serendipity have long played a role in the location of productive fossil localities by vertebrate paleontologists and paleoanthropologists. We offer an alternative approach, informed by methods borrowed from the geographic information sciences and using recent advances in computer science, to more efficiently predict where fossil localities might be found. Our model uses an artificial neural network (ANN) that is trained to recognize the spectral characteristics of known productive localities and other land cover classes, such as forest, wetlands, and scrubland, within a study area based on the analysis of remotely sensed (RS) imagery. Using these spectral signatures, the model then classifies other pixels throughout the study area. The results of the neural network classification can be examined and further manipulated within a geographic information systems (GIS) software package. While we have developed and tested this model on fossil mammal localities in deposits of Paleocene and Eocene age in the Great Divide Basin of southwestern Wyoming, a similar analytical approach can be easily applied to fossil-bearing sedimentary deposits of any age in any part of the world. We suggest that new analytical tools and methods of the geographic sciences, including remote sensing and geographic information systems, are poised to greatly enrich paleoanthropological investigations, and that these new methods should be embraced by field workers in the search for, and geospatial analysis of, fossil primates and hominins. PMID:22034235

  17. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression. PMID:23640588

  18. Comparative analysis of the integument transcriptomes of the black dilute mutant and the wild-type silkworm Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Songyuan; Tong, Xiaoling; Peng, Chenxing; Xiong, Gao; Lu, Kunpeng; hu, Hai; Tan, Duan; Li, Chunlin; Han, Minjin; Lu, Cheng; Dai, Fangyin

    2016-01-01

    The insect cuticle is a critical protective shell that is composed predominantly of chitin and various cuticular proteins and pigments. Indeed, insects often change their surface pigment patterns in response to selective pressures, such as threats from predators, sexual selection and environmental changes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the construction of the epidermis and its pigmentation patterns are not fully understood. Among Lepidoptera, the silkworm is a favorable model for color pattern research. The black dilute (bd) mutant of silkworm is the result of a spontaneous mutation; the larval body color is notably melanized. We performed integument transcriptome sequencing of the wild-type strain Dazao and the mutant strains +/bd and bd/bd. In these experiments, during an early stage of the fourth molt, a stage at which approximately 51% of genes were expressed genome wide (RPKM ≥1) in each strain. A total of 254 novel transcripts were characterized using Cuffcompare and BLAST analyses. Comparison of the transcriptome data revealed 28 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that may contribute to bd larval melanism, including 15 cuticular protein genes that were remarkably highly expressed in the bd/bd mutant. We suggest that these significantly up-regulated cuticular proteins may promote melanism in silkworm larvae. PMID:27193628

  19. Comparative analysis of the integument transcriptomes of the black dilute mutant and the wild-type silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wu, Songyuan; Tong, Xiaoling; Peng, Chenxing; Xiong, Gao; Lu, Kunpeng; Hu, Hai; Tan, Duan; Li, Chunlin; Han, Minjin; Lu, Cheng; Dai, Fangyin

    2016-01-01

    The insect cuticle is a critical protective shell that is composed predominantly of chitin and various cuticular proteins and pigments. Indeed, insects often change their surface pigment patterns in response to selective pressures, such as threats from predators, sexual selection and environmental changes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the construction of the epidermis and its pigmentation patterns are not fully understood. Among Lepidoptera, the silkworm is a favorable model for color pattern research. The black dilute (bd) mutant of silkworm is the result of a spontaneous mutation; the larval body color is notably melanized. We performed integument transcriptome sequencing of the wild-type strain Dazao and the mutant strains +/bd and bd/bd. In these experiments, during an early stage of the fourth molt, a stage at which approximately 51% of genes were expressed genome wide (RPKM ≥1) in each strain. A total of 254 novel transcripts were characterized using Cuffcompare and BLAST analyses. Comparison of the transcriptome data revealed 28 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that may contribute to bd larval melanism, including 15 cuticular protein genes that were remarkably highly expressed in the bd/bd mutant. We suggest that these significantly up-regulated cuticular proteins may promote melanism in silkworm larvae. PMID:27193628

  20. Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Astafleva, Marina; Hoover, Richard; Rozanov, Alexei; Vrevskiy, A.

    2006-01-01

    Ancient Archean and Proterozoic rocks are the model objects for investigation of rocks comprising astromaterials. The first of Archean fossil microorganisms from Baltic shield have been reported at the last SPIE Conference in 2005. Since this confeence biomorphic structures have been revealed in Archean rocks of Karelia. It was determined that there are 3 types of such bion structures: 1. structures found in situ, in other words microorganisms even-aged with rock matrix, that is real Archean fossils biomorphic structures, that is to say forms inhabited early formed rocks, and 3. younger than Archean-Protherozoic minerali microorganisms, that is later contamination. We made attempt to differentiate these 3 types of findings and tried to understand of burial of microorganisms. The structures belongs (from our point of view) to the first type, or real Archean, forms were under examination. Practical investigation of ancient microorganisms from Green-Stone-Belt of Northern Karelia turns to be very perspective. It shows that even in such ancient time as Archean ancient diverse world existed. Moreover probably such relatively highly organized cyanobacteria and perhaps eukaryotic formes existed in Archean world.

  1. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). PMID:18442873

  2. New occurrences of microvertebrate fossil accumulations in Bauru Group, Late Cretaceous of western São Paulo state, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alveş, Y. M.; Bergqvist, L. P.; Brito, P. M.

    2016-08-01

    In this work, we present the results of several palaeontological expeditions to four Upper Cretaceous fossil microsites of the Adamantina and Presidente Prudente formations in western São Paulo State, Brazil. Despite the fragmentary condition of the fossils recovered, they represent an important record of vertebrate microremains. The material, recovered through screen washing, comprises teeth and scales of Lepisosteidae; two morphotypes of Halecostomi teeth with similarities to Characiformes and Amiiformes; a Teleostei tooth of molariform shape; fin spines of Siluriformes; teeth of possible Baurusuchidae, Notosuchia (probably Adamantinasuchus or Mariliasuchus), Neosuchia (probably Itasuchus or Goniopholis), and other Mesoeucrocodylia indet.; probable teeth of Abelisauroidea, other Theropoda indet., and a phalanx of Aves. The comparative microvertebrate fossil accumulation from western São Paulo State provides evidence that: 1) floodplain channels accumulate large concentrations of microremains; 2) coarse sandstone privileges enamel tissues like teeth and scales; 3) new vertebrate fossil records have been discovered in Florida Paulista, Alfredo Marcondes, and Alvares Machado outcrops.

  3. Evolution of vertebrate retinal photoreception

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent findings shed light on the steps underlying the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. Vertebrate ciliary photoreceptors are not as wholly distinct from invertebrate rhabdomeric photoreceptors as is sometimes thought. Recent information on the phylogenies of ciliary and rhabdomeric opsins has helped in constructing the likely routes followed during evolution. Clues to the factors that led the early vertebrate retina to become invaginated can be obtained by combining recent knowledge about the origin of the pathway for dark re-isomerization of retinoids with knowledge of the inability of ciliary opsins to undergo photoreversal, along with consideration of the constraints imposed under the very low light levels in the deep ocean. Investigation of the origin of cell classes in the vertebrate retina provides support for the notion that cones, rods and bipolar cells all originated from a primordial ciliary photoreceptor, whereas ganglion cells, amacrine cells and horizontal cells all originated from rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Knowledge of the molecular differences between cones and rods, together with knowledge of the scotopic signalling pathway, provides an understanding of the evolution of rods and of the rods' retinal circuitry. Accordingly, it has been possible to propose a plausible scenario for the sequence of evolutionary steps that led to the emergence of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. PMID:19720653

  4. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong

    2014-01-01

    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous. PMID:25313060

  5. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle.

    PubMed

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong

    2014-10-28

    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous. PMID:25313060

  6. Fossil mammals and paleoenvironments in the Omo-Turkana Basin.

    PubMed

    Bobe, René

    2011-01-01

    Although best known for its fossil hominins, the Omo-Turkana Basin of Kenya and Ethiopia is the source of one of the best records of vertebrate evolution from the Late Cenozoic of Africa. Located near the heart of the East African Rift Valley, the basin serves as an important frame of reference for the continent. The fossil record from this region plays a key role in our efforts to understand the environmental and ecological context of human evolution in Africa. The Omo-Turkana faunal data shed light on key questions of human evolution: What kinds of environments did early humans inhabit? How did these environments change over time? What is the relationship between faunal change in East Africa and broader patterns of climatic change? PMID:22170694

  7. Medical treatment of vertebral osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Lippuner, K

    2003-10-01

    Although osteoporosis is a systemic disease, vertebral fractures due to spinal bone loss are a frequent, sometimes early and often neglected complication of the disease, generally associated with considerable disability and pain. As osteoporotic vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fracture risk, including at the hip, medical management is targeted at reducing fracture risk. A literature search for randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled clinical studies addressing medical treatment possibilities of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Caucasian women was performed on the leading medical databases. For each publication, the number of patients with at least one new vertebral fracture and the number of randomized patients by treatment arm was retrieved. The relative risk (RR) and the number needed to treat (NNT, i.e. the number of patients to be treated to avoid one radiological vertebral fracture over the duration of the study), together with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each study. Treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men were reviewed separately, based on the low number of publications available. Forty-five publications matched with the search criteria, allowing for analysis of 15 different substances tested regarding their anti-fracture efficacy at the vertebral level. Bisphosphonates, mainly alendronate and risedronate, were reported to have consistently reduced the risk of a vertebral fracture over up to 50 months of treatment in four (alendronate) and two (risedronate) publications. Raloxifene reduced vertebral fracture risk in one study over 36 months, which was confirmed by 48 months' follow-up data. Parathormone (PTH) showed a drastic reduction in vertebral fracture risk in early studies, while calcitonin may also be a treatment option to reduce fracture risk. For other substances published data are conflicting (calcitriol, fluoride) or insufficient

  8. Fossil energy materials needs assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, R. T.; Judkins, R. R.

    1980-07-01

    An assessment of needs for materials of construction for fossil energy systems was prepared by Oak Ridge National Laboratories staff members who conducted a literature search and interviewed various individuals and organizations that are active in the area of fossil energy technology. Critical materials problems associated with fossil energy systems are identified. Background information relative to the various technologies is given and materials research needed to enhance the viability and improve the economics of fossil energy processes is discussed. The assessment is presented on the basis of materials-related disciplines that impact fossil energy material development. These disciplines include the design-materials interface, materials fabrication technology, corrosion and materials compatibility, wear phenomena, ceramic materials, and nondestructive testing.

  9. Organic molecules as chemical fossils - The molecular fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eglinton, G.

    1983-01-01

    The study of biochemical clues to the early earth and the origin of life is discussed. The methods used in such investigation are described, including the extraction, fractionation, and analysis of geolipids and the analysis of kerogen. The occurrence of molecular fossils in the geological record is examined, discussing proposed precursor-product relationships and the molecular assessment of deep sea sediments, ancient sediments, and crude petroleums. Alterations in the molecular record due to diagenesis and catagenesis are considered, and the use of microbial lipids as molecular fossils is discussed. The results of searches for molecular fossils in Precambrian sediments are assessed.

  10. Fossil fuel furnace reactor

    DOEpatents

    Parkinson, William J.

    1987-01-01

    A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

  11. Variation in anthropoid vertebral formulae: implications for homology and homoplasy in hominoid evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A

    2012-03-01

    Variation in vertebral formulae within and among hominoid species has complicated our understanding of hominoid vertebral evolution. Here, variation is quantified using diversity and similarity indices derived from population genetics. These indices allow for testing models of hominoid vertebral evolution that call for disparate amounts of homoplasy, and by inference, different patterns of evolution. Results are interpreted in light of "short-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 302B:241-267) and "long-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 314B:123-134) ancestries proposed in different models of hominin vertebral evolution. Under the long-back model, we should expect reduced variation in vertebral formulae associated with adaptively driven homoplasy (independently and repeatedly reduced lumbar regions) and the relatively strong directional selection presumably associated with it, especially in closely related taxa that diverged relatively recently (e.g., Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus). Instead, high amounts of intraspecific variation are observed among all hominoids except humans and eastern gorillas, taxa that have likely experienced strong stabilizing selection on vertebral formulae associated with locomotor and habitat specializations. Furthermore, analyses of interspecific similarity support an evolutionary scenario in which the vertebral formulae observed in western gorillas and chimpanzees represent a reasonable approximation of the ancestral condition for great apes and humans, from which eastern gorillas, humans, and bonobos derived their unique vertebral profiles. Therefore, these results support the short-back model and are compatible with a scenario of homology of reduced lumbar regions in hominoid primates. Fossil hominin vertebral columns are discussed and shown to support, rather than contradict, the short-back model. PMID:22532475

  12. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  13. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  14. Fossil evidence and stages of elongation of the Giraffa camelopardalis neck.

    PubMed

    Danowitz, Melinda; Vasilyev, Aleksandr; Kortlandt, Victoria; Solounias, Nikos

    2015-10-01

    Several evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain the adaptation of the long giraffe neck; however, few studies examine the fossil cervical vertebrae. We incorporate extinct giraffids, and the okapi and giraffe cervical vertebral specimens in a comprehensive analysis of the anatomy and elongation of the neck. We establish and evaluate 20 character states that relate to general, cranial and caudal vertebral lengthening, and calculate a length-to-width ratio to measure the relative slenderness of the vertebrae. Our sample includes cervical vertebrae (n=71) of 11 taxa representing all seven subfamilies. We also perform a computational comparison of the C3 of Samotherium and Giraffa camelopardalis, which demonstrates that cervical elongation occurs disproportionately along the cranial-caudal vertebral axis. Using the morphological characters and calculated ratios, we propose stages in cervical lengthening, which are supported by the mathematical transformations using fossil and extant specimens. We find that cervical elongation is anisometric and unexpectedly precedes Giraffidae. Within the family, cranial vertebral elongation is the first lengthening stage observed followed by caudal vertebral elongation, which accounts for the extremely long neck of the giraffe. PMID:26587249

  15. Fossil evidence and stages of elongation of the Giraffa camelopardalis neck

    PubMed Central

    Danowitz, Melinda; Vasilyev, Aleksandr; Kortlandt, Victoria; Solounias, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    Several evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain the adaptation of the long giraffe neck; however, few studies examine the fossil cervical vertebrae. We incorporate extinct giraffids, and the okapi and giraffe cervical vertebral specimens in a comprehensive analysis of the anatomy and elongation of the neck. We establish and evaluate 20 character states that relate to general, cranial and caudal vertebral lengthening, and calculate a length-to-width ratio to measure the relative slenderness of the vertebrae. Our sample includes cervical vertebrae (n=71) of 11 taxa representing all seven subfamilies. We also perform a computational comparison of the C3 of Samotherium and Giraffa camelopardalis, which demonstrates that cervical elongation occurs disproportionately along the cranial–caudal vertebral axis. Using the morphological characters and calculated ratios, we propose stages in cervical lengthening, which are supported by the mathematical transformations using fossil and extant specimens. We find that cervical elongation is anisometric and unexpectedly precedes Giraffidae. Within the family, cranial vertebral elongation is the first lengthening stage observed followed by caudal vertebral elongation, which accounts for the extremely long neck of the giraffe. PMID:26587249

  16. Fossilization causes organisms to appear erroneously primitive by distorting evolutionary trees

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Robert S.; Wills, Matthew A.

    2013-01-01

    Fossils are vital for calibrating rates of molecular and morphological change through geological time, and are the only direct source of data documenting macroevolutionary transitions. Many evolutionary studies therefore require the robust phylogenetic placement of extinct organisms. Here, we demonstrate that the inevitable bias of the fossil record to preserve just hard, skeletal morphology systemically distorts phylogeny. Removal of soft part characters from 78 modern vertebrate and invertebrate morphological datasets resulted in significant changes to phylogenetic signal; it caused individual taxa to drift from their original position, predominately downward toward the root of their respective trees. This last bias could systematically inflate evolutionary rates inferred from molecular data because first fossil occurrences will not be recognised as such. Stem-ward slippage, whereby fundamental taphonomic biases cause fossils to be interpreted as erroneously primitive, is therefore a ubiquitous problem for all biologists attempting to infer macroevolutionary rates or sequences. PMID:23985991

  17. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume III lists the model equations and a one line definition for equations, in a short, readable format.

  18. Fossilized bioelectric wire – the trace fossil Trichichnus

    PubMed Central

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2015-01-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the oxic–anoxic interface zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus, formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that it is produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Thioploca-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized “electric wire”. PMID:26290671

  19. Sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in vertebrate epithelial appendage morphogenesis: perspectives in development and evolution.

    PubMed

    Chuong, C M; Patel, N; Lin, J; Jung, H S; Widelitz, R B

    2000-11-01

    Vertebrate epithelial appendages are elaborate topological transformations of flat epithelia into complex organs that either protrude out of external (integument) and internal (oral cavity, gut) epithelia, or invaginate into the surrounding mesenchyme. Although they have specific structures and diverse functions, most epithelial appendages share similar developmental stages, including induction, morphogenesis, differentiation and cycling. The roles of the SHH pathway are analyzed in exemplary organs including feather, hair, tooth, tongue papilla, lung and foregut. SHH is not essential for induction and differentiation, but is involved heavily in morphogenetic processes including cell proliferation (size regulation), branching morphogenesis, mesenchymal condensation, fate determination (segmentation), polarizing activities and so on. Through differential activation of these processes by SHH in a spatiotemporal-specific fashion, organs of different shape and size are laid down. During evolution, new links of developmental pathways may occur and novel forms of epithelial appendages may emerge, upon which evolutionary selections can act. Sites of major variations have progressed from the body plan to the limb plan to the epithelial appendage plan. With its powerful morphogenetic activities, the SHH pathway would likely continue to play a major role in the evolution of novel epithelial appendages. PMID:11130174

  20. Early vertebrate whole genome duplications were predated by a period of intense genome rearrangement

    PubMed Central

    Hufton, Andrew L.; Groth, Detlef; Vingron, Martin; Lehrach, Hans; Poustka, Albert J.; Panopoulou, Georgia

    2008-01-01

    Researchers, supported by data from polyploid plants, have suggested that whole genome duplication (WGD) may induce genomic instability and rearrangement, an idea which could have important implications for vertebrate evolution. Benefiting from the newly released amphioxus genome sequence (Branchiostoma floridae), an invertebrate that researchers have hoped is representative of the ancestral chordate genome, we have used gene proximity conservation to estimate rates of genome rearrangement throughout vertebrates and some of their invertebrate ancestors. We find that, while amphioxus remains the best single source of invertebrate information about the early chordate genome, its genome structure is not particularly well conserved and it cannot be considered a fossilization of the vertebrate preduplication genome. In agreement with previous reports, we identify two WGD events in early vertebrates and another in teleost fish. However, we find that the early vertebrate WGD events were not followed by increased rates of genome rearrangement. Indeed, we measure massive genome rearrangement prior to these WGD events. We propose that the vertebrate WGD events may have been symptoms of a preexisting predisposition toward genomic structural change. PMID:18625908

  1. Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Bradford J

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty were developed to reduce pain and improve quality of life for patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the use of vertebral augmentation has been debated and questioned since its inception. This article addresses some of these issues. PMID:26490134

  2. Dating Fossil Pollen: A Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheridan, Philip

    1992-01-01

    Describes a hands-on simulation in which students determine the age of "fossil" pollen samples based on the pollen types present when examined microscopically. Provides instructions for the preparation of pollen slides. (MDH)

  3. An Introduction to Fossil Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, B. A.

    1976-01-01

    Introduces methods of studying fossil plants and of teaching palaeobotany. Brief accounts are given of different types of preservation and where to find specimens. An annotated bibliography is provided. (Author/SL)

  4. Evolution of hard proteins in the sauropsid integument in relation to the cornification of skin derivatives in amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Valle, Luisa Dalla; Nardi, Alessia; Toni, Mattia

    2009-01-01

    Hard skin appendages in amniotes comprise scales, feathers and hairs. The cell organization of these appendages probably derived from the localization of specialized areas of dermal–epidermal interaction in the integument. The horny scales and the other derivatives were formed from large areas of dermal–epidermal interaction. The evolution of these skin appendages was characterized by the production of specific coiled-coil keratins and associated proteins in the inter-filament matrix. Unlike mammalian keratin-associated proteins, those of sauropsids contain a double beta-folded sequence of about 20 amino acids, known as the core-box. The core-box shows 60%–95% sequence identity with known reptilian and avian proteins. The core-box determines the polymerization of these proteins into filaments indicated as beta-keratin filaments. The nucleotide and derived amino acid sequences for these sauropsid keratin-associated proteins are presented in conjunction with a hypothesis about their evolution in reptiles-birds compared to mammalian keratin-associated proteins. It is suggested that genes coding for ancestral glycine-serine-rich sequences of alpha-keratins produced a new class of small matrix proteins. In sauropsids, matrix proteins may have originated after mutation and enrichment in proline, probably in a central region of the ancestral protein. This mutation gave rise to the core-box, and other regions of the original protein evolved differently in the various reptilians orders. In lepidosaurians, two main groups, the high glycine proline and the high cysteine proline proteins, were formed. In archosaurians and chelonians two main groups later diversified into the high glycine proline tyrosine, non-feather proteins, and into the glycine-tyrosine-poor group of feather proteins, which evolved in birds. The latter proteins were particularly suited for making the elongated barb/barbule cells of feathers. In therapsids-mammals, mutations of the ancestral proteins

  5. Stripes and belly-spots -- a review of pigment cell morphogenesis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kelsh, Robert N; Harris, Melissa L; Colanesi, Sarah; Erickson, Carol A

    2009-02-01

    Pigment patterns in the integument have long-attracted attention from both scientists and non-scientists alike since their natural attractiveness combines with their excellence as models for the general problem of pattern formation. Pigment cells are formed from the neural crest and must migrate to reach their final locations. In this review, we focus on our current understanding of mechanisms underlying the control of pigment cell migration and patterning in diverse vertebrates. The model systems discussed here - chick, mouse, and zebrafish - each provide unique insights into the major morphogenetic events driving pigment pattern formation. In birds and mammals, melanoblasts must be specified before they can migrate on the dorsolateral pathway. Transmembrane receptors involved in guiding them onto this route include EphB2 and Ednrb2 in chick, and Kit in mouse. Terminal migration depends, in part, upon extracellular matrix reorganization by ADAMTS20. Invasion of the ectoderm, especially into the feather germ and hair follicles, requires specific signals that are beginning to be characterized. We summarize our current understanding of the mechanisms regulating melanoblast number and organization in the epidermis. We note the apparent differences in pigment pattern formation in poikilothermic vertebrates when compared with birds and mammals. With more pigment cell types, migration pathways are more complex and largely unexplored; nevertheless, a role for Kit signaling in melanophore migration is clear and indicates that at least some patterning mechanisms may be highly conserved. We summarize the multiple factors thought to contribute to zebrafish embryonic pigment pattern formation, highlighting a recent study identifying Sdf1a as one factor crucial for regulation of melanophore positioning. Finally, we discuss the mechanisms generating a second, metamorphic pigment pattern in adult fish, emphasizing recent studies strengthening the evidence that undifferentiated

  6. The potential of paleozoic nonmarine trace fossils for paleoecological interpretations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maples, C.G.; Archer, A.W.

    1989-01-01

    Many Late Paleozoic environments have been interpreted as marine because of the co-occurrence of supposedly exclusively marine trace fossils. Beginning in the Late Ordovician, however, nonmarine trace-fossil diversity increased throughout the Paleozoic. This diversification of nonmarine organisms and nonmarine trace fossils was especially prevalent in Devonian and later times. Diversification of freshwater organisms is indicated by the large number of freshwater fish, arthropods, annelids and molluscs that had developed by the Carboniferous. In addition to diverse freshwater assemblages, entirely terrestrial vertebrate and invertebrate ecosystems had developed by the Devonian. This rapid diversification of freshwater and terrestrial organisms is inherently linked to development and diversification of land plants and subsequent shedding of large quantities of organic detritus in nonmarine and marginal-marine areas. Nearshore marine organisms and their larvae that are able to tolerate relatively short periods of lowered salinities will follow salt-water wedges inland during times of reduced freshwater discharge. Similarly, amphidromous marine organisms will migrate periodically inland into nonmarine environments. Undoubtedly, both of these processes were active in the Paleozoic. However, both processes are restricted to stream/distributary channels, interdistributary bays, or estuaries. Therefore, the presence of diverse trace-fossil assemblages in association with floodplain deposits is interpreted to reflect true nonmarine adaptation and diversity. Conversely, diverse trace-fossil assemblages in association with stream/distributary channel deposits, interdistributary-bay deposits, or estuarine deposits may reflect migration of salt-water wedges inland, or migration of marine organisms into freshwater environments (amphidromy), or both. ?? 1989.

  7. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2007-08-01

    The visibility of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide an interesting methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  8. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2008-01-01

    The frequency of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide a valuable methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  9. RNAi-induced phenotypes suggest a novel role for a chemosensory protein CSP5 in the development of embryonic integument in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Maleszka, J; Forêt, S; Saint, R; Maleszka, R

    2007-03-01

    Small chemosensory proteins (CSPs) belong to a conserved, but poorly understood, protein family found in insects and other arthropods. They exhibit both broad and restricted expression patterns during development. In this paper, we used a combination of genome annotation, transcriptional profiling and RNA interference to unravel the functional significance of a honeybee gene (csp5) belonging to the CSP family. We show that csp5 expression resembles the maternal-zygotic pattern that is characterized by the initiation of transcription in the ovary and the replacement of maternal mRNA with embryonic mRNA. Blocking the embryonic expression of csp5 with double-stranded RNA causes abnormalities in all body parts where csp5 is highly expressed. The treated embryos show a "diffuse", often grotesque morphology, and the head skeleton appears to be severely affected. They are 'unable-to-hatch' and cannot progress to the larval stages. Our findings reveal a novel, essential role for this gene family and suggest that csp5 (unable-to-hatch) is an ectodermal gene involved in embryonic integument formation. Our study confirms the utility of an RNAi approach to functional characterization of novel developmental genes uncovered by the honeybee genome project and provides a starting point for further studies on embryonic integument formation in this insect. PMID:17216269

  10. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  11. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, C Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M

    2016-05-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  12. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, C. Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D.; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  13. Vertebral Fractures: Clinical Importance and Management.

    PubMed

    Kendler, D L; Bauer, D C; Davison, K S; Dian, L; Hanley, D A; Harris, S T; McClung, M R; Miller, P D; Schousboe, J T; Yuen, C K; Lewiecki, E M

    2016-02-01

    Vertebral fractures are common and can result in acute and chronic pain, decreases in quality of life, and diminished lifespan. The identification of vertebral fractures is important because they are robust predictors of future fractures. The majority of vertebral fractures do not come to clinical attention. Numerous modalities exist for visualizing suspected vertebral fracture. Although differing definitions of vertebral fracture may present challenges in comparing data between different investigations, at least 1 in 5 men and women aged >50 years have one or more vertebral fractures. There is clinical guidance to target spine imaging to individuals with a high probability of vertebral fracture. Radiology reports of vertebral fracture need to clearly state that the patient has a "fracture," with further pertinent details such as the number, recency, and severity of vertebral fracture, each of which is associated with risk of future fractures. Patients with vertebral fracture should be considered for antifracture therapy. Physical and pharmacologic modalities of pain control and exercises or physiotherapy to maintain spinal movement and strength are important components in the care of vertebral fracture patients. PMID:26524708

  14. Bilateral mechanical rotational vertebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Dargon, Phong T; Liang, Conrad W; Kohal, Anmol; Dogan, Aclan; Barnwell, Stanley L; Landry, Gregory J

    2013-10-01

    Rotational vertebral artery occlusion, or bow hunter's stroke, is reversible, positional symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia. The typical mechanism of action is obstruction of a dominant vertebral artery with contralateral head rotation in the setting of baseline ipsilateral vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion. Here we present a rare case of mechanical occlusion of bilateral patent vertebral arteries manifesting as near syncope with rightward head rotation. Diagnostic cerebral angiography showed dynamic right C5 vertebral occlusion and left C2 vertebral occlusion. The patient underwent right C4/5 transverse process decompression. Postoperative angiogram showed patent flow through the right vertebral artery in neutral position and with head turn with resultant resolution of symptoms. PMID:23465174

  15. New genomic and fossil data illuminate the origin of enamel.

    PubMed

    Qu, Qingming; Haitina, Tatjana; Zhu, Min; Ahlberg, Per Erik

    2015-10-01

    Enamel, the hardest vertebrate tissue, covers the teeth of almost all sarcopterygians (lobe-finned bony fishes and tetrapods) as well as the scales and dermal bones of many fossil lobe-fins. Enamel deposition requires an organic matrix containing the unique enamel matrix proteins (EMPs) amelogenin (AMEL), enamelin (ENAM) and ameloblastin (AMBN). Chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fishes) lack both enamel and EMP genes. Many fossil and a few living non-teleost actinopterygians (ray-finned bony fishes) such as the gar, Lepisosteus, have scales and dermal bones covered with a proposed enamel homologue called ganoine. However, no gene or transcript data for EMPs have been described from actinopterygians. Here we show that Psarolepis romeri, a bony fish from the the Early Devonian period, combines enamel-covered dermal odontodes on scales and skull bones with teeth of naked dentine, and that Lepisosteus oculatus (the spotted gar) has enam and ambn genes that are expressed in the skin, probably associated with ganoine formation. The genetic evidence strengthens the hypothesis that ganoine is homologous with enamel. The fossil evidence, further supported by the Silurian bony fish Andreolepis, which has enamel-covered scales but teeth and odontodes on its dermal bones made of naked dentine, indicates that this tissue originated on the dermal skeleton, probably on the scales. It subsequently underwent heterotopic expansion across two highly conserved patterning boundaries (scales/head-shoulder and dermal/oral) within the odontode skeleton. PMID:26416752

  16. A comparative study of the ocular skeleton of fossil and modern chondrichthyans.

    PubMed

    Pilgrim, Brettney L; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A

    2009-06-01

    Many vertebrates have an ocular skeleton composed of cartilage and/or bone situated within the sclera of the eye. In this study we investigated whether modern and fossil sharks have an ocular skeleton, and whether it is conserved in morphology. We describe the scleral skeletal elements of three species of modern sharks and compare them to those found in fossil sharks from the Cleveland Shale (360 Mya). We also compare the elements to contemporaneous arthrodires from the same deposit. Surprisingly, the morphology of the skeletal support of the eye was found to differ significantly between modern and fossil sharks. All three modern shark species examined (spiny dogfish shark Squalus acanthias, porbeagle shark Lamna nasus and blue shark Prionace glauca) have a continuous skeletal element that encapsulates much of the eyeball; however, the tissue composition is different in each species. Histological and morphological examination revealed scleral cartilage with distinct tesserae in parts of the sclera of the porbeagle and blue shark, and more diffuse calcification in the dogfish. Strengthening of the scleral cartilage by means of tesserae has not been reported previously in the shark eye. In striking contrast, the ocular skeleton of fossil sharks comprises a series of individual elements that are arranged in a ring, similar to the arrangement in modern and fossil reptiles. Fossil arthrodires also have a multi-unit sclerotic ring but these are composed of fewer elements than in fossil sharks. The morphology of these elements has implications for the behaviour and visual capabilities of sharks that lived during the Devonian Period. This is the first time that such a dramatic variation in the morphology of scleral skeletal elements has been observed in a single lineage (Chondrichthyes), making this lineage important for broadening our understanding of the evolution of these elements within jawed vertebrates. PMID:19538630

  17. A Galactic Fossil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-05-01

    How old are the oldest stars? Using ESO's VLT, astronomers recently measured the age of a star located in our Galaxy. The star, a real fossil, is found to be 13.2 billion years old, not very far from the 13.7 billion years age of the Universe. The star, HE 1523-0901, was clearly born at the dawn of time. "Surprisingly, it is very hard to pin down the age of a star", the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Anna Frebel, explains. "This requires measuring very precisely the abundance of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium, a feat only the largest telescopes such as ESO's VLT can achieve." ESO PR Photo 23a/07 ESO PR Photo 23a/07 The 'Cosmic Clock' This technique is analogous to the carbon-14 dating method that has been so successful in archaeology over time spans of up to a few tens of thousands of years. In astronomy, however, this technique must obviously be applied to vastly longer timescales. For the method to work well, the right choice of radioactive isotope is critical. Unlike other, stable elements that formed at the same time, the abundance of a radioactive (unstable) isotope decreases all the time. The faster the decay, the less there will be left of the radioactive isotope after a certain time, so the greater will be the abundance difference when compared to a stable isotope, and the more accurate is the resulting age. Yet, for the clock to remain useful, the radioactive element must not decay too fast - there must still be enough left of it to allow an accurate measurement, even after several billion years. "Actual age measurements are restricted to the very rare objects that display huge amounts of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium," says Norbert Christlieb, co-author of the report. ESO PR Photo 23b/07 ESO PR Photo 23b/07 Uranium Line in the Spectrum of an Old Star Large amounts of these elements have been found in the star HE 1523-0901, an old, relatively bright star that was discovered within the Hamburg/ESO survey [1]. The

  18. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

  19. Variance in the treatment of vertebral haemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Rawat, Sheh; Nangia, S; Ezhilalan, R B; Bansal, A K; Ghosh, D

    2007-01-01

    Vertebral haemangiomas constitute an infrequently encounterd entity in clinical practice. Although x-ray, computerised tomography scan and magnetic resonance Imaging scan provide a pathognomic picture confirming the diagnosis of vertebral haemangiomas, angiography constitutes an important tool for diagnosis and helps in deciding and execution of treatment. Various treatment modalities like surgery, radiotherapy, pre-operative embolisation, percutaneous vertebroplasty and intralesional ethanol have been discussed in the setting of asymptomatic vertebral haemangiomas to those presenting with features of cord compression. PMID:17802977

  20. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates. PMID:27053733

  1. General management of vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Rapado, A

    1996-03-01

    Vertebral fractures cause pain and disability. Four concepts should guide their comprehensive management: treat the patient, not the skeleton; use a multidisciplinary approach; engage the patient and his or her family in the treatment; and provide appropriate goals, education, encouragement, and support. The goals include procuring bone mass and preventing injury: back support, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial support, and prevention of falls. Initial treatment includes bed rest, pain management with local and systemic analgesia, bracing to improve comfort, and patient reassurance. Long-term management includes spinal stretching exercises and continuing ordinary activities within limits permitted by pain. A back school program is an effective addition to conventional concepts using physiotherapy exclusively. In certain selected patients, the indication for operative treatment of vertebral fracture depends on the additional injury, and extent and characteristics of cord compression; stability of the fracture; and the amount of deformity. Vertebroplasty can be effective in the control of pain and in obtaining stability of the spine. PMID:8777087

  2. Centrosome positioning in vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Nan; Marshall, Wallace F.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The centrosome, a major organizer of microtubules, has important functions in regulating cell shape, polarity, cilia formation and intracellular transport as well as the position of cellular structures, including the mitotic spindle. By means of these activities, centrosomes have important roles during animal development by regulating polarized cell behaviors, such as cell migration or neurite outgrowth, as well as mitotic spindle orientation. In recent years, the pace of discovery regarding the structure and composition of centrosomes has continuously accelerated. At the same time, functional studies have revealed the importance of centrosomes in controlling both morphogenesis and cell fate decision during tissue and organ development. Here, we review examples of centrosome and centriole positioning with a particular emphasis on vertebrate developmental systems, and discuss the roles of centrosome positioning, the cues that determine positioning and the mechanisms by which centrosomes respond to these cues. The studies reviewed here suggest that centrosome functions extend to the development of tissues and organs in vertebrates. PMID:23277534

  3. Basal jawed vertebrate phylogenomics using transcriptomic data from Solexa sequencing.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ming; Zou, Ming; Yang, Lei; He, Shunping

    2012-01-01

    The traditionally accepted relationships among basal jawed vertebrates have been challenged by some molecular phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial sequences. Those studies split extant gnathostomes into two monophyletic groups: tetrapods and piscine branch, including Chondrichthyes, Actinopterygii and sarcopterygian fishes. Lungfish and bichir are found in a basal position on the piscine branch. Based on transcriptomes of an armored bichir (Polypterus delhezi) and an African lungfish (Protopterus sp.) we generated, expressed sequences and whole genome sequences available from public databases, we obtained 111 genes to reconstruct the phylogenetic tree of basal jawed vertebrates and estimated their times of divergence. Our phylogenomic study supports the traditional relationship. We found that gnathostomes are divided into Chondrichthyes and the Osteichthyes, both with 100% support values (posterior probabilities and bootstrap values). Chimaeras were found to have a basal position among cartilaginous fishes with a 100% support value. Osteichthyes were divided into Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii with 100% support value. Lungfish and tetrapods form a monophyletic group with 100% posterior probability. Bichir and two teleost species form a monophyletic group with 100% support value. The previous tree, based on mitochondrial data, was significantly rejected by an approximately unbiased test (AU test, p = 0). The time of divergence between lungfish and tetrapods was estimated to be 391.8 Ma and the divergence of bichir from pufferfish and medaka was estimated to be 330.6 Ma. These estimates closely match the fossil record. In conclusion, our phylogenomic study successfully resolved the relationship of basal jawed vertebrates based on transtriptomes, EST and whole genome sequences. PMID:22558409

  4. Fossil power plant systems description

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This single-volume, looseleaf text presents the functions and relationships between each major component and its auxiliaries within a system. The text also describes the relationships between systems. All major components are addressed, and system boundaries are defined for a generic fossil power plant.

  5. Progress of fossil fuel science

    SciTech Connect

    Demirbas, M.F.

    2007-07-01

    Coal is the most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel. More than 45% of the world's electricity is generated from coal, and it is the major fuel for generating electricity worldwide. The known coal reserves in the world are enough for more than 215 years of consumption, while the known oil reserves are only about 39 times of the world's consumption and the known natural gas reserves are about 63 times of the world's consumption level in 1998. In recent years, there have been effective scientific investigations on Turkish fossil fuels, which are considerable focused on coal resources. Coal is a major fossil fuel source for Turkey. Turkish coal consumption has been stable over the past decade and currently accounts for about 24% of the country's total energy consumption. Lignite coal has had the biggest share in total fossil fuel production, at 43%, in Turkey. Turkish researchers may investigate ten broad pathways of coal species upgrading, such as desulfurization and oxydesulfurization, pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroliquefaction, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction, gasification, oxidation, briquetting, flotation, and structure identification.

  6. Fossils of big bang turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, C. H.

    2004-12-01

    A model is proposed connecting turbulence, fossil turbulence, and the big bang origin of the universe. While details are incomplete, the model is consistent with our knowledge of these processes and is supported by observations. Turbulence arises in a hot-big-bang quantum-gravitational-dynamics scenario at Planck scales. Chaotic, eddy-like-motions produce an exothermic Planck particle cascade from 10-35 m at 1032 K to 108 larger, 104 cooler, quark-gluon scales. A Planck-Kerr instability gives high-Reynolds-number (Re 106) turbulent combustion, space-time-energy-entropy and turbulent mixing. Batchelor-Obukhov-Corrsin turbulent-temperature fluctuations are preserved as the first fossil-turbulence by inflation stretching the patterns beyond the horizon ct of causal connection faster than light speed c in time t 10-33 seconds. Fossil-big-bang-temperature-turbulence re-enters the horizon and imprints nucleosynthesis of H-He densities that seed fragmentation by gravity at 1012 s in the low Reynolds number plasma before its transition to gas at t 1013 s and T 3000 K. Multi-scaling coefficients of the cosmic-microwave-background (CMB) temperature anisotropies closely match those for high Reynolds number turbulence, Bershadskii and Sreenivasan 2002, 2003. CMB spectra support the interpretation that big-bang-turbulence-fossils triggered fragmentation of the viscous plasma at supercluster to galaxy mass scales from 1046 to 1042 kg, Gibson 1996, 2000, 2004ab.

  7. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor: a review of its role in the physiology and pathology of the integument and its relationship to the tryptophan metabolism.

    PubMed

    Noakes, Rowland

    2015-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a cytosolic receptor for low molecular weight molecules, of which the most widely recognized ligand is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and the most widely recognized effect, chloracne. Adverse effects of manipulation were most recently and graphically demonstrated by the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko during the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2004. However, recent research has revealed a receptor with wide-ranging, and at times, paradoxical actions. It was arguably among the first biological receptors to be utilized by dermatologists, dating from the time of topical tar preparations as a therapeutic agent. I provide a review outlining the role AHR plays in the development, cellular oxidation/antioxidation, responses to ultraviolet light, melanogenesis, epidermal barrier function, and immune regulation and its relationship to tryptophan metabolism. Finally, I will review the role of AHR in diseases of the integument. PMID:25733915

  8. The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: A Review of Its Role in the Physiology and Pathology of the Integument and Its Relationship to the Tryptophan Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Noakes, Rowland

    2015-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a cytosolic receptor for low molecular weight molecules, of which the most widely recognized ligand is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and the most widely recognized effect, chloracne. Adverse effects of manipulation were most recently and graphically demonstrated by the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko during the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2004. However, recent research has revealed a receptor with wide-ranging, and at times, paradoxical actions. It was arguably among the first biological receptors to be utilized by dermatologists, dating from the time of topical tar preparations as a therapeutic agent. I provide a review outlining the role AHR plays in the development, cellular oxidation/antioxidation, responses to ultraviolet light, melanogenesis, epidermal barrier function, and immune regulation and its relationship to tryptophan metabolism. Finally, I will review the role of AHR in diseases of the integument. PMID:25733915

  9. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  10. Integrated Analyses Resolve Conflicts over Squamate Reptile Phylogeny and Reveal Unexpected Placements for Fossil Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Reeder, Tod W.; Townsend, Ted M.; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Noonan, Brice P.; Wood, Perry L.; Sites, Jack W.; Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are a pivotal group whose relationships have become increasingly controversial. Squamates include >9000 species, making them the second largest group of terrestrial vertebrates. They are important medicinally and as model systems for ecological and evolutionary research. However, studies of squamate biology are hindered by uncertainty over their relationships, and some consider squamate phylogeny unresolved, given recent conflicts between molecular and morphological results. To resolve these conflicts, we expand existing morphological and molecular datasets for squamates (691 morphological characters and 46 genes, for 161 living and 49 fossil taxa, including a new set of 81 morphological characters and adding two genes from published studies) and perform integrated analyses. Our results resolve higher-level relationships as indicated by molecular analyses, and reveal hidden morphological support for the molecular hypothesis (but not vice-versa). Furthermore, we find that integrating molecular, morphological, and paleontological data leads to surprising placements for two major fossil clades (Mosasauria and Polyglyphanodontia). These results further demonstrate the importance of combining fossil and molecular information, and the potential problems of estimating the placement of fossil taxa from morphological data alone. Thus, our results caution against estimating fossil relationships without considering relevant molecular data, and against placing fossils into molecular trees (e.g. for dating analyses) without considering the possible impact of molecular data on their placement. PMID:25803280

  11. Integrated analyses resolve conflicts over squamate reptile phylogeny and reveal unexpected placements for fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Reeder, Tod W; Townsend, Ted M; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Noonan, Brice P; Wood, Perry L; Sites, Jack W; Wiens, John J

    2015-01-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are a pivotal group whose relationships have become increasingly controversial. Squamates include >9000 species, making them the second largest group of terrestrial vertebrates. They are important medicinally and as model systems for ecological and evolutionary research. However, studies of squamate biology are hindered by uncertainty over their relationships, and some consider squamate phylogeny unresolved, given recent conflicts between molecular and morphological results. To resolve these conflicts, we expand existing morphological and molecular datasets for squamates (691 morphological characters and 46 genes, for 161 living and 49 fossil taxa, including a new set of 81 morphological characters and adding two genes from published studies) and perform integrated analyses. Our results resolve higher-level relationships as indicated by molecular analyses, and reveal hidden morphological support for the molecular hypothesis (but not vice-versa). Furthermore, we find that integrating molecular, morphological, and paleontological data leads to surprising placements for two major fossil clades (Mosasauria and Polyglyphanodontia). These results further demonstrate the importance of combining fossil and molecular information, and the potential problems of estimating the placement of fossil taxa from morphological data alone. Thus, our results caution against estimating fossil relationships without considering relevant molecular data, and against placing fossils into molecular trees (e.g. for dating analyses) without considering the possible impact of molecular data on their placement. PMID:25803280

  12. Results and assessment of uranium series dating of vertebrate fossils from Quaternary alluvium in Colorado.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Szabo, B. J.

    1980-01-01

    An average uranium-series age of 102 000 yr for bones from Louviers Alluvium, near Denver, Colorado, is compatible with the inferred geologic age of from 120 000 to 150 000 yr. A uranium date of about 190 000 yr for a bone from Slocum Alluvium, near Canon City, Colorado, is consistent with the inferred geologic age of from 150 000 to 260 000 yr. Age determinations for the Broadway Alluvium are inconsistent but its geologic age is considered to be 15 000 to 30 000 yr BP. -Authorsage bones Louviers Alluvium Slocum Alluvium Canon City(Colorado) Broadway Alluvium

  13. Morphological characterization of the nymphs Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks (Latreille, 1806) (Acari: Ixodidae). Description of the testes, integument, Malpighian tubules, and midgut on the detachment day.

    PubMed

    De Oliveira, Patrícia Rosa; Calligaris, Izabela Braggião; Roma, Gislaine Cristina; Bechara, Gervásio Henrique; Mathias, Maria Izabel Camargo

    2012-06-01

    This study presents the morpho-histological and histochemical characterization of the testes, integument, Malpighian tubules, and midgut of engorged Rhipicephalus sanguineus nymphs on the detachment day, showing the morphological and physiological characteristics to this phase in the life cycle of these individuals. The testis is constituted by germinative cells (only spermatogonia) with large, round-shaped and strongly stained nuclei which are organized into cysts by a thin layer of somatic cells. The integument consists of a cuticle subdivided into epicuticle (lipoprotein) and procuticle (glycoproteic), and a layer of epithelial cells which present glycolipoprotein elements. The procuticle presents two distinct regions: the exocuticle (next to the epicuticle) and the endocuticle (next to the epithelial layer). The Malpighian tubules present a simple epithelium with small flat and/or cubic cells, which form its wall and delimitates a lumen full of lipoprotein material. The midgut consists of an epithelial wall formed by two types of digestive cells, spent cells and empty digest cells, and by generative cells supported by a basal lamina and a thin layer of muscular tissue. This study described the main organs of engorged nymphs of R. sanguineus, to generate information that can help researchers to better understand the biology of these ectoparasites; which is fundamental for the development of compounds that are less aggressive to the environment. In addition, if the immature stages of the ticks are controlled, the number of adult ticks able to cause damages to the animals--and to the man as well--is also under control. PMID:22615106

  14. Fossil Energy: Drivers and Challenges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedmann, Julio

    2007-04-01

    Concerns about rapid economic growth, energy security, and global climate change have created a new landscape for fossil energy exploration, production, and utilization. Since 85% of primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and 85% of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel consumption, new and difficult technical and political challenges confront commercial, governmental, and public stakeholders. As such, concerns over climate change are explicitly weighed against security of international and domestic energy supplies, with economic premiums paid for either or both. Efficiency improvements, fuel conservation, and deployment of nuclear and renewable supplies will help both concerns, but are unlikely to offset growth in the coming decades. As such, new technologies and undertakings must both provide high quality fossil energy with minimal environmental impacts. The largest and most difficult of these undertakings is carbon management, wherein CO2 emissions are sequestered indefinitely at substantial incremental cost. Geological formations provide both high confidence and high capacity for CO2 storage, but present scientific and technical challenges. Oil and gas supply can be partially sustained and replaced through exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar-sands, methane hydrates, coal-to-liquids, and oil shales. These fuels provide enormous reserves that can be exploited at current costs, but generally require substantial energy to process. In most cases, the energy return on investment (EROI) is dropping, and unconventional fuels are generally more carbon intensive than conventional, presenting additional carbon management challenges. Ultimately, a large and sustained science and technology program akin to the Apollo project will be needed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, real funding in energy research has dropped dramatically (75%) in the past three decades, and novel designs in fission and fusion are not likely to provide any

  15. The 'Goldilocks' effect: preservation bias in vertebrate track assemblages.

    PubMed

    Falkingham, P L; Bates, K T; Margetts, L; Manning, P L

    2011-08-01

    Finite-element analysis was used to investigate the extent of bias in the ichnological fossil record attributable to body mass. Virtual tracks were simulated for four dinosaur taxa of different sizes (Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Edmontosaurus), in a range of substrate conditions. Outlines of autopodia were generated based upon osteology and published soft-tissue reconstructions. Loads were applied vertically to the feet equivalent to the weight of the animal, and distributed accordingly to fore- and hindlimbs where relevant. Ideal, semi-infinite elastic-plastic substrates displayed a 'Goldilocks' quality where only a narrow range of loads could produce tracks, given that small animals failed to indent the substrate, and larger animals would be unable to traverse the area without becoming mired. If a firm subsurface layer is assumed, a more complete assemblage is possible, though there is a strong bias towards larger, heavier animals. The depths of fossil tracks within an assemblage may indicate thicknesses of mechanically distinct substrate layers at the time of track formation, even when the lithified strata appear compositionally homogeneous. This work increases the effectiveness of using vertebrate tracks as palaeoenvironmental indicators in terms of inferring substrate conditions at the time of track formation. Additionally, simulated undertracks are examined, and it is shown that complex deformation beneath the foot may not be indicative of limb kinematics as has been previously interpreted, but instead ridges and undulations at the base of a track may be a function of sediment displacement vectors and pedal morphology. PMID:21233145

  16. Using extant taxa to inform studies of fossil footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falkingham, Peter; Gatesy, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    Attempting to use the fossilized footprints of extinct animals to study their palaeobiology and palaeoecology is notoriously difficult. The inconvenient extinction of the trackmaker makes direct correlation between footprints and foot far from straightforward. However, footprints are the only direct evidence of vertebrate motion recorded in the fossil record, and are potentially a source of data on palaeobiology that cannot be obtained from osteological remains alone. Our interests lie in recovering information about the movements of dinosaurs from their tracks. In particular, the Hitchcock collection of early Jurassic tracks held at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst, provide a rare look into the 3D form of tracks at and below the surface the animal walked on. Breaking naturally along laminations into 'track books', the specimens present sediment deformation at multiple levels, and in doing so record more of the foot's motion than a single surface might. In order to utilize this rich information source to study the now extinct trackmakers, the process of track formation must be understood at a fundamental level; the interaction of the moving foot and compliant substrate. We used bi-planar X-ray techniques (X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology) to record the limb and foot motions of a Guineafowl traversing both granular and cohesive substrates. This data was supplemented with photogrammetric records of the resultant track surfaces, as well as the motion of metal beads within the sediment, to provide a full experimental dataset of foot and footprint formation. The physical experimental data was used to generate computer simulations of the process using high performance computing and the Discrete Element Method. The resultant simulations showed excellent congruence with reality, and enabled visualization within the sediment volume, and throughout the track-forming process. This physical and virtual experimental set-up has provided major insight into

  17. Fossils and Fossil Climate: The Case for Equable Continental Interiors in the Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wing, Scott L.; Greenwood, David R.

    1993-08-01

    There are many methods for inferring terrestrial palaeoclimates from palaeontological data, including the size and species diversity of ectothermic vertebrates, the locomotor and dental adaptations of mammals, characteristics of leaf shape, size, and epidermis, wood anatomy, and the climatic preferences of nearest living relatives of fossil taxa. Estimates of palaeotemperature have also been based on stable oxygen isotope ratios in shells and bones. Interpretation of any of these data relies in some way on uniformitarian assumptions, although at different levels depending on the method. Most of these methods can be applied to a palaeoclimatic reconstruction for the interior of North America during the early Eocene, which is thought to be the warmest interval of global climate in the Cenozoic. Most of the data indicate warm equable climates with little frost. Rainfall was variable, but strong aridity was local or absent. The inferred palaeoclimate is very different from the present climate of the region and from model simulations for the Eocene. This suggests that models fail to incorporate forcing factors that were present at that time, that they treat the heat regime of continents unrealistically, and/or that model inputs such as sea surface temperature gradients or palaeotopography are incorrect.

  18. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning. PMID:25968309

  19. Fossil group origins. VII. Galaxy substructures in fossil systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarattini, S.; Girardi, M.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Boschin, W.; Barrena, R.; del Burgo, C.; Castro-Rodriguez, N.; Corsini, E. M.; D'Onghia, E.; Kundert, A.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.

    2016-02-01

    Context. Fossil groups (FG) are expected to be the final product of galaxy merging within galaxy groups. In simulations, they are predicted to assemble their mass at high redshift. This early formation allows for the innermost M∗ galaxies to merge into a massive central galaxy. Then, they are expected to maintain their fossil status because of the few interactions with the large-scale structure. In this context, the magnitude gap between the two brightest galaxies of the system is considered a good indicator of its dynamical status. As a consequence, the systems with the largest gaps should be dynamically relaxed. Aims: In order to examine the dynamical status of these systems, we systematically analyze, for the first time, the presence of galaxy substructures in a sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems with redshift z ≤ 0.25. Methods: We apply a number of tests to investigate the substructure in fossil systems in the two-dimensional space of projected positions out to R200. Moreover, for a subsample of five systems with at least 30 spectroscopically-confirmed members we also analyze the substructure in the velocity and in the three-dimensional velocity-position spaces. Additionally, we look for signs of recent mergers in the regions around the central galaxies. Results: We find that an important fraction of fossil systems show substructure. The fraction depends critically on the adopted test, since each test is more sensitive to a particular type of substructure. Conclusions: Our interpretation of the results is that fossil systems are not, in general, as relaxed as expected from simulations. Our sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems need to be extended to compute an accurate fraction, but our conclusion is that this fraction is similar to the fraction of substructure detected in nonfossil clusters. This result points out that the magnitude gap alone is not a good indicator of the dynamical status of a system. However, the

  20. The ‘Tully monster’ is a vertebrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, Victoria E.; Saupe, Erin E.; Lamsdell, James C.; Tarhan, Lidya G.; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D.; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G.; Anderson, Ross P.; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    2016-04-01

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the ‘problem of the problematica’, particularly the ‘weird wonders’ of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309–307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years.

  1. A compendium of fossil marine animal families, 2nd edition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    A comprehensive listing of 4075 taxonomic families of marine animals known from the fossil record is presented. This listing covers invertebrates, vertebrates, and animal-like protists, gives time intervals of apparent origination and extinction, and provides literature sources for these data. The time intervals are mostly 81 internationally recognized stratigraphic stages; more than half of the data are resolved to one of 145 substage divisions, providing more highly resolved data for studies of taxic macroevolution. Families are classified by order, class, and phylum, reflecting current classifications in the published literature. This compendium is a new edition of the 1982 publication, correcting errors and presenting greater stratigraphic resolution and more current ideas about acceptable families and their classification.

  2. A compendium of fossil marine animal families, 2nd edition.

    PubMed

    Sepkoski, J J

    1992-03-01

    A comprehensive listing of 4075 taxonomic families of marine animals known from the fossil record is presented. This listing covers invertebrates, vertebrates, and animal-like protists, gives time intervals of apparent origination and extinction, and provides literature sources for these data. The time intervals are mostly 81 internationally recognized stratigraphic stages; more than half of the data are resolved to one of 145 substage divisions, providing more highly resolved data for studies of taxic macroevolution. Families are classified by order, class, and phylum, reflecting current classifications in the published literature. This compendium is a new edition of the 1982 publication, correcting errors and presenting greater stratigraphic resolution and more current ideas about acceptable families and their classification. PMID:11542296

  3. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations. PMID:26154335

  4. Problems with six-point vertebral morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Jill C.; Yaffe, Laurence G.; Johansen, Jennifer M.; von Ingersleben, Gabriel; Chestnut, Charles H., III

    1998-06-01

    In this study we have examined errors in measurements of vertebral heights and vertebral area resulting from spin rotation and projection effects in x-ray images. Measurement errors were evaluated with phantom images, and simulated rotations of a 3D spine model. An active contour model (snake) was used for measurements of vertebral area. The model contained two pressure parameters which were needed to obtain good fits of the snake to upper and lower edges (endplates) of rotated vertebral bodies. Details of the snake model are included in this report. The results of this study indicate that six point vertebral morphometry can result to significant measurement errors, representing an overestimation of vertebral height and area, in cases showing projection effects and concealed endplate contours. In serial studies, such errors could produce the erroneous appearance of `growing' vertebral bodies. One can improve the accuracy of the morphometric analysis by using additional fiducial points placed on corresponding endplate contours. Additional useful information on fracture and vertebral deformity can be obtained by accurately tracking edge contours, using an active contour model, or comparable techniques.

  5. [Vertebral changes in histiocytosis x (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Greinacher, I; Gutjahr, P

    1978-06-01

    Manifestations of histiocytosis X in the vertebral column occurred in 3 of 15 children. Pathological alterations showed a marked variability. Especially a vertebra plana should be considered as eosinophilic granuloma, until another cause is proven. Bone scans were positive in all three cases. Even in most severe cases with vertebral destruction neurological abnormalities were absent. PMID:308238

  6. Fishing for jaws in early vertebrate evolution: a new hypothesis of mandibular confinement.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Tetsuto

    2016-08-01

    The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate jaw persists as a deeply puzzling mystery. More than 99% of living vertebrates have jaws, but the evolutionary sequence that ultimately gave rise to this highly successful innovation remains controversial. A synthesis of recent fossil and embryological findings offers a novel solution to this enduring puzzle. The Mandibular Confinement Hypothesis proposes that the jaw evolved via spatial confinement of the mandibular arch (the most anterior pharyngeal arch within which the jaw arose). Fossil and anatomical evidence reveals: (i) the mandibular region was initially extensive and distinct among the pharyngeal arches; and (ii) with spatial confinement, the mandibular arch acquired a common pharyngeal pattern only at the origin of the jaw. The confinement occurred via a shift of a domain boundary that restricted the space the mesenchymal cells of the mandibular arch could occupy. As the surrounding domains replaced mandibular structures at the periphery, this shift allowed neural crest cells and mesodermal mesenchyme of the mandibular arch to acquire patterning programs that operate in the more posterior arches. The mesenchymal population within the mandibular arch was therefore no longer required to differentiate into specialized feeding and ventilation structures, and was remodelled into a jaw. Embryological evidence corroborates that the mandibular arch must be spatially confined for a jaw to develop. This new interpretation suggests neural crest as a key facilitator in correlating elements of the classically recognized vertebrate head 'segmentation'. PMID:25899041

  7. Fossil groups of galaxies: Are they groups? Are they fossils?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupke, Renato de Alencar; Miller, Eric; de Oliveira, Claudia Mendes; Sodre, Laerte; Rykoff, Eli; de Oliveira, Raimundo Lopes; Proctor, Rob

    2010-11-01

    Fossil groups present a puzzle to current theories of structure formation. Despite the low number of bright galaxies, their high velocity dispersions and high TX indicate cluster-like potential wells. Measured concentration parameters seem very high indicating early formation epochs in contradiction with the observed lack of large and well defined cooling cores. There are very few fossil groups with good quality X-ray data and their idiosyncrasies may enhance these apparent contradictions. The standard explanation for their formation suggests that bright galaxies within half the virial radii of these systems were wiped out by cannibalism forming the central galaxy. Since dry mergers, typically invoked to explain the formation of the central galaxies, are not expected to change the IGM energetics significantly, thus not preventing the formation of cooling cores, we investigate the scenario where recent gaseous (wet) mergers formed the central galaxy injecting energy and changing the chemistry of the IGM in fossil groups. We show a test for this scenario using fossil groups with enough X-ray flux in the Chandra X-ray Observatory archive by looking at individual metal abundance ratio distributions near the core. Secondary SN II powered winds would tend to erase the dominance of SN IA ejecta in the core of these systems and would help to erase previously existing cold cores. Strong SN II-powered galactic winds resulting from galaxy merging would be trapped by their deep potential wells reducing the central enhancement of SN Ia/SN II iron mass fraction ratio. The results indicate that there is a decrement in the ratio of SN Ia to SN II iron mass fraction in the central regions of the systems analyzed, varying from 99±1% in the outer regions to 85±2% within the cooling radius (Figure 1) and would inject enough energy into the IGM preventing central gas cooling. The results are consistent with a scenario of later formation epoch for fossil groups, as they are defined

  8. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  9. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  10. FOSSIL SPRINGS ROADLESS AREA, ARIZONA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, L.S.; Ellis, C.E.

    1984-01-01

    Based on field studies, the Fossil Springs Roadless Area in central Arizona is concluded to have little promise for the occurrence of mineral or energy resources. Rocks in the Supai Formation (Pennsylvanian-Permian) near the central part of the roadless area contain widespread but spotty copper mineralization and trace amounts of uranium. Analyses obtained during the study define geochemical anomalies in two portions of the area that remain unexplained. The suites of anomalous metals suggest the possibility of hydrothermal veins and the presence of ultramafic rocks; neither were found in the field. Although there is little promise for the occurrence of mineral resources in the Fossil Springs Roadless Area, studies to identify the source of the geochemical anomalies could have valuable implications for regional studies and mineral exploration in the surrounding area.

  11. Looking at Fossils in New Ways

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    2005-01-01

    Existing fossils could be studied from a different prospective with the use of new methods of analysis for gathering more information. The new techniques of studying fossils binds the new and the old techniques and information and provides another way to look at fossils.

  12. Cycads: Fossil evidence of late paleozoic origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mamay, S.H.

    1969-01-01

    Plant fossils from Lower Permian strata of the southwestern United States have been interpreted as cycadalean megasporophylls. They are evidently descended from spermopterid elements of the Pennsylvanian Taeniopteris complex; thus the known fossil history of the cycads is extended from the Late Triassic into the late Paleozoic. Possible implications of the Permian fossils toward evolution of the angiosperm carpel are considered.

  13. Liquid fossil-fuel technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1982-07-01

    Highlights of research activities at Bartlesville Energy Technology Center for the quarter ending March 1982 are summarized. Major research areas are: liquid fossil fuel cycle; extraction (resource assessment and enhanced production); processing (characterization, thermodynamics, processing technology); utilization; and product integration and technology transfer. Special reports include: EOR data base, major new industry tool; properties of crude oils available via telephone hookup; alternative fuels data bank stresses transportation.

  14. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  15. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

  16. Comparative Taphonomy, Taphofacies, and Bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, Central California: Strong Physical Control on Marine Vertebrate Preservation in Shallow Marine Settings

    PubMed Central

    Boessenecker, Robert W.; Perry, Frank A.; Schmitt, James G.

    2014-01-01

    Background Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings. Methodology/Principal Findings Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies. Conclusions/Significance Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the

  17. THE NATURE OF FOSSIL GALAXY GROUPS: ARE THEY REALLY FOSSILS?

    SciTech Connect

    La Barbera, F.; Sorrentino, G.; De Carvalho, R. R.; De la Rosa, I. G.; Gal, R. R.; Kohl-Moreira, J. L.

    2009-04-15

    We use SDSS-DR4 photometric and spectroscopic data out to redshift z {approx} 0.1 combined with ROSAT All Sky Survey X-ray data to produce a sample of 25 fossil groups (FGs), defined as bound systems dominated by a single, luminous elliptical galaxy with extended X-ray emission. We examine possible biases introduced by varying the parameters used to define the sample, and the main pitfalls are also discussed. The spatial density of FGs, estimated via the V/V {sub MAX} test, is 2.83 x 10{sup -6} h {sup 3} {sub 75} Mpc{sup -3} for L{sub X} > 0.89 x 10{sup 42} h {sup -2} {sub 75} erg s{sup -1} consistent with Vikhlinin et al., who examined an X-ray overluminous elliptical galaxy sample (OLEG). We compare the general properties of FGs identified here with a sample of bright field ellipticals generated from the same data set. These two samples show no differences in the distribution of neighboring faint galaxy density excess, distance from the red sequence in the color-magnitude diagram, and structural parameters such as a {sub 4} and internal color gradients. Furthermore, examination of stellar populations shows that our 25 FGs have similar ages, metallicities, and {alpha}-enhancement as the bright field ellipticals, undermining the idea that these systems represent fossils of a physical mechanism that occurred at high redshift. Our study reveals no difference between FGs and field ellipticals, suggesting that FGs might not be a distinct family of true fossils, but rather the final stage of mass assembly in the universe.

  18. Development of the Synarcual in the Elephant Sharks (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes): Implications for Vertebral Formation and Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Johanson, Zerina; Boisvert, Catherine; Maksimenko, Anton; Currie, Peter; Trinajstic, Kate

    2015-01-01

    The synarcual is a structure incorporating multiple elements of two or more anterior vertebrae of the axial skeleton, forming immediately posterior to the cranium. It has been convergently acquired in the fossil group ‘Placodermi’, in Chondrichthyes (Holocephali, Batoidea), within the teleost group Syngnathiformes, and to varying degrees in a range of mammalian taxa. In addition, cervical vertebral fusion presents as an abnormal pathology in a variety of human disorders. Vertebrae develop from axially arranged somites, so that fusion could result from a failure of somite segmentation early in development, or from later heterotopic development of intervertebral bone or cartilage. Examination of early developmental stages indicates that in the Batoidea and the ‘Placodermi’, individual vertebrae developed normally and only later become incorporated into the synarcual, implying regular somite segmentation and vertebral development. Here we show that in the holocephalan Callorhinchus milii, uniform and regular vertebral segmentation also occurs, with anterior individual vertebra developing separately with subsequent fusion into a synarcual. Vertebral elements forming directly behind the synarcual continue to be incorporated into the synarcual through growth. This appears to be a common pattern through the Vertebrata. Research into human disorders, presenting as cervical fusion at birth, focuses on gene misexpression studies in humans and other mammals such as the mouse. However, in chondrichthyans, vertebral fusion represents the normal morphology, moreover, taxa such Leucoraja (Batoidea) and Callorhinchus (Holocephali) are increasingly used as laboratory animals, and the Callorhinchus genome has been sequenced and is available for study. Our observations on synarcual development in three major groups of early jawed vertebrates indicate that fusion involves heterotopic cartilage and perichondral bone/mineralised cartilage developing outside the regular skeleton

  19. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  20. Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D

    2016-01-01

    Older evolutionary scenarios for the origin of vertebrates often gave nervous systems top billing in accordance with the notion that a big-brained Homo sapiens crowned a tree of life shaped mainly by progressive evolution. Now, however, tree thinking positions all extant organisms equidistant from the tree's root, and molecular phylogenies indicate that regressive evolution is more common than previously suspected. Even so, contemporary theories of vertebrate origin still focus on the nervous system because of its functional importance, its richness in characters for comparative biology, and its central position in the two currently prominent scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition, which grew out of the markedly neurocentric annelid and enteropneust theories of the nineteenth century. Both these scenarios compare phyla with diverse overall body plans. This diversity, exacerbated by the scarcity of relevant fossil data, makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions). In addition, our current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way. These issues are discussed here with special reference to the evolution of nervous systems during proposed transitions from invertebrates to vertebrates. PMID:26598728

  1. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  2. The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarty, Prosanta; Davis, Matthew P; Sparks, John S

    2012-01-01

    We show using the most complete phylogeny of one of the most species-rich orders of vertebrates (Gobiiformes), and calibrations from the rich fossil record of teleost fishes, that the genus Typhleotris, endemic to subterranean karst habitats in southwestern Madagascar, is the sister group to Milyeringa, endemic to similar subterranean systems in northwestern Australia. Both groups are eyeless, and our phylogenetic and biogeographic results show that these obligate cave fishes now found on opposite ends of the Indian Ocean (separated by nearly 7,000 km) are each others closest relatives and owe their origins to the break up of the southern supercontinent, Gondwana, at the end of the Cretaceous period. Trans-oceanic sister-group relationships are otherwise unknown between blind, cave-adapted vertebrates and our results provide an extraordinary case of Gondwanan vicariance. PMID:22937155

  3. Sediments, geomorphology, magnetostratigraphy, and vertebrate paleontology in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona

    SciTech Connect

    Lindsay, E.H.; Smith, G.A.; Haynes, C.V.; Opdyke, N.D. )

    1990-07-01

    The San Pedro Valley in southern Arizona was probably formed by block faulting during the Miocene. Sediments that filled the valley, primarily the St. David Formation, have yielded a robust vertebrate fossil record, calibrated during the last 25 years by magnetostratigraphy and isotopic dating of volcanic ejecta. This chronologic framework is combined with new sedimentologic, paleomagnetic, and geomorphic data to evaluate the influence of subsequent tectonism within the basin. The authors conclude that tectonism in the San Pedro Valley has been relatively quiescent following the initial block faulting and suggest that ensuring rates of sedimentation and incision were most likely controlled by climatic factors rather than tectonic-geologic ones. Vertebrate datum planes established in 1975 are revised on the basis of new paleontologic and geologic-isotopic data. The authors now recognize only three faunal datum planes in the St. David Formation, and have abandoned the youngest (Lepus) datum plane.

  4. Exceptional record of mid-Pleistocene vertebrates helps differentiate climatic from anthropogenic ecosystem perturbations.

    PubMed

    Barnosky, Anthony D; Bell, Christopher J; Emslie, Steven D; Goodwin, H Thomas; Mead, Jim I; Repenning, Charles A; Scott, Eric; Shabel, Alan B

    2004-06-22

    Mid-Pleistocene vertebrates in North America are scarce but important for recognizing the ecological effects of climatic change in the absence of humans. We report on a uniquely rich mid-Pleistocene vertebrate sequence from Porcupine Cave, Colorado, which records at least 127 species and the earliest appearances of 30 mammals and birds. By analyzing >20,000 mammal fossils in relation to modern species and independent climatic proxies, we determined how mammal communities reacted to presumed glacial-interglacial transitions between 1,000,000 and 600,000 years ago. We conclude that climatic warming primarily affected mammals of lower trophic and size categories, in contrast to documented human impacts on higher trophic and size categories historically. Despite changes in species composition and minor changes in small-mammal species richness evident at times of climatic change, overall structural stability of mammal communities persisted >600,000 years before human impacts. PMID:15197254

  5. The oldest caseid synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the evolution of herbivory in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  6. The Oldest Caseid Synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Reisz, Robert R.; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  7. Dinosaur Fossils Predict Body Temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Andrew P; Charnov, Eric L

    2006-01-01

    Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 °C at 12 kg to approximately 41 °C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy. PMID:16817695

  8. Topographical mapping of α- and β-keratins on developing chicken skin integuments: Functional interaction and evolutionary perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ping; Ng, Chen Siang; Yan, Jie; Lai, Yung-Chih; Chen, Chih-Kuan; Lai, Yu-Ting; Wu, Siao-Man; Chen, Jiun-Jie; Luo, Weiqi; Widelitz, Randall B.; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Avian integumentary organs include feathers, scales, claws, and beaks. They cover the body surface and play various functions to help adapt birds to diverse environments. These keratinized structures are mainly composed of corneous materials made of α-keratins, which exist in all vertebrates, and β-keratins, which only exist in birds and reptiles. Here, members of the keratin gene families were used to study how gene family evolution contributes to novelty and adaptation, focusing on tissue morphogenesis. Using chicken as a model, we applied RNA-seq and in situ hybridization to map α- and β-keratin genes in various skin appendages at embryonic developmental stages. The data demonstrate that temporal and spatial α- and β-keratin expression is involved in establishing the diversity of skin appendage phenotypes. Embryonic feathers express a higher proportion of β-keratin genes than other skin regions. In feather filament morphogenesis, β-keratins show intricate complexity in diverse substructures of feather branches. To explore functional interactions, we used a retrovirus transgenic system to ectopically express mutant α- or antisense β-keratin forms. α- and β-keratins show mutual dependence and mutations in either keratin type results in disrupted keratin networks and failure to form proper feather branches. Our data suggest that combinations of α- and β-keratin genes contribute to the morphological and structural diversity of different avian skin appendages, with feather-β-keratins conferring more possible composites in building intrafeather architecture complexity, setting up a platform of morphological evolution of functional forms in feathers. PMID:26598683

  9. Topographical mapping of α- and β-keratins on developing chicken skin integuments: Functional interaction and evolutionary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ping; Ng, Chen Siang; Yan, Jie; Lai, Yung-Chih; Chen, Chih-Kuan; Lai, Yu-Ting; Wu, Siao-Man; Chen, Jiun-Jie; Luo, Weiqi; Widelitz, Randall B; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2015-12-01

    Avian integumentary organs include feathers, scales, claws, and beaks. They cover the body surface and play various functions to help adapt birds to diverse environments. These keratinized structures are mainly composed of corneous materials made of α-keratins, which exist in all vertebrates, and β-keratins, which only exist in birds and reptiles. Here, members of the keratin gene families were used to study how gene family evolution contributes to novelty and adaptation, focusing on tissue morphogenesis. Using chicken as a model, we applied RNA-seq and in situ hybridization to map α- and β-keratin genes in various skin appendages at embryonic developmental stages. The data demonstrate that temporal and spatial α- and β-keratin expression is involved in establishing the diversity of skin appendage phenotypes. Embryonic feathers express a higher proportion of β-keratin genes than other skin regions. In feather filament morphogenesis, β-keratins show intricate complexity in diverse substructures of feather branches. To explore functional interactions, we used a retrovirus transgenic system to ectopically express mutant α- or antisense β-keratin forms. α- and β-keratins show mutual dependence and mutations in either keratin type results in disrupted keratin networks and failure to form proper feather branches. Our data suggest that combinations of α- and β-keratin genes contribute to the morphological and structural diversity of different avian skin appendages, with feather-β-keratins conferring more possible composites in building intrafeather architecture complexity, setting up a platform of morphological evolution of functional forms in feathers. PMID:26598683

  10. Stratigraphical investigations on a new Miocene fossil-bearing sequence in Central Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaakinen, Anu; Aziz, Hayfaa Abdul; Passey, Benjamin H.; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Liu, Liping; Krijgsman, Wout; Fortelius, Mikael

    2014-05-01

    Central Inner Mongolia has been an area of great paleontological interest since the beginning of the 20th century. Although the area has produced numerous diverse collections of Miocene faunas, fossil records from the early Miocene of Inner Mongolia are relatively rare. The localities occur mainly as scattered faunal horizons and their stratigraphy is challenging owing to lack of continuous vertical exposures. Consequently, most age estimations of these Miocene sites are based on paleontological evidence alone, with very few sites having been dated independently based on paleomagnetics. The Damiao site in Siziwang Qi, Inner Mongolia, was discovered in 2006, and during the following four years extensive field activities were undertaken. The focus was on paleontological studies and on the stratigraphy of the Neogene sediments. The field survey led to the recovery of approximately 30 new fossiliferous localities, which have produced a rich mammalian fauna, including pliopithecid remains. The bulk of the vertebrate fossils and localities have been recovered from three main fossil horizons. We have interpreted the Damiao sequence as the remains of a fluvio-lacustrine system comprising channels, subaerially exposed floodplains and ephemeral/marginal lacustrine environments. This study presents the litho- and magnetostratigraphy of the Damiao area and provides age estimations for the important fossil-bearing localities. The two local stratigraphic sections measured and sampled for paleomagnetic analysis coincide with important vertebrate fossil localities. The western section is about 30 m thick and includes fossil locality DM16 while the eastern section spans up 40 m and comprises localities DM01 and DM02. The paleomagnetic results and faunal evidence suggest a correlation in the magnetozones C6Ar through C5r with an age range of ca 21 to 11 Ma. The interval of reversed polarity at the base of the section (C6Ar) coincides with fossil locality DM16. The pliopithecid

  11. New dinosaur fossils from ANA locality, Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous, Cinctorres, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Cubedo, A.; de Santisteban, C.; Suñer, M.; Galobart, A.

    2009-04-01

    Ana is one of the several dinosaur bone sites located in the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous; eastern Iberian Chain, Spain). This site was discovered in 1998, but it remained unexcavated until 2002, when a palaeontologist team formed by members of the Institut Paleontología Miquel Crusafont from Sabadell and the Grup Guix from Vila-real unearthed the first fossil from the locality. Nowadays there are five hundred fossils collected, including vertebrate and invertebrate species. Dinosaur bones (Theropoda and Ornithopoda) are abundant in this assemblage and in the last field season bones determined as Sauropoda were found. Taxonomically, Ana is dominated by disarticulated remains of Ornithopoda, which are usually fragmentary and abraded. Many of the elements may have been reworked (spatial averaging and/or time averaging), and the fossil concentration constitutes an autochthonous to parautochthonous association, in a spatial sense. The remains found in the Ana fossils site are placed in sandstones and limes containing marine autochthonous fauna. These deposits were formed during the transgressive infilling of an incised valley. Sedimentological features indicate that fossils were finally deposited in starved shallow estuarine environment. Mineralogically, the sediment including the fossils contains grains of quartz, illite/mica, kaolinite/clorite, K-feldspar and plagioclase, distributed in two mainly grain populations, a silty-clay and a coarse sand size grain, indicating that the sediments were bedded in a low-medium energy depositional environment. Nowadays we identified in Ana, teeth of Theropoda indet. and Baryonychinae indet., and bones of Iguanodon sp. Herein, we report new fossil findings from Ana site. These materials have been determined as Iguanodontia, Titanosauriformes and Theropoda. These new findings will help to understand the dinosaur fauna present in the Lower Cretaceous of Els Ports (Castellón, Spain). Acknowledgments This

  12. Vertebrate eye development as modeled in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wawersik, S; Maas, R L

    2000-04-12

    Pax6, a member of the paired-box family of transcription factors, is critical for oculogenesis in both vertebrates and insects. Identification of potential vertebrate Pax6 targets has been guided by studies in Drosophila, where the Pax6 homologs eyeless ( ey ) and twin of eyeless ( toy ) function within a network of genes that synergistically pattern the developing fly eye. These targets, which share homology with the fly genes sine oculis, eyes absent and dachshund, exist in mice and humans as the Six, Eya and Dach gene families. Members of these gene families are present in the developing vertebrate eye, and preliminary studies suggest that they may function in a network analogous to that in the fly. Thus, despite radically different architecture, a similar molecular scaffold underlies both vertebrate and fly eye patterning, suggesting that the considerable power of Drosophila genetics can be harnessed to study mammalian ocular development. PMID:10767315

  13. Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2000-08-01

    Although herbivory probably first appeared over 300 million years ago, it only became established as a common feeding strategy during Late Permian times. Subsequently, herbivory evolved in numerous lineages of terrestrial vertebrates, and the acquisition of this mode of feeding was frequently associated with considerable evolutionary diversification in those lineages. This book represents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of herbivory in land-dwelling amniote tetrapods in recent years. In Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates, leading experts review the evolutionary history and structural adaptations required for feeding on plants in the major groups of land-dwelling vertebrates, especially dinosaurs and ungulate mammals. As such, this volume will be the definitive reference source on this topic for evolutionary biologists and vertebrate paleontologists.

  14. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  15. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  16. Update of vertebral cementoplasty in porotic patients

    PubMed Central

    Masala, Salvatore; Muto, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Vertebroplasty (VP) is a percutaneous mini-invasive technique developed in the late 1980s as antalgic and stabilizing treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral fracture due to porotic disease, traumatic injury and primary or secondary vertebral spine tumors. The technique consists of a simple metameric injection of an inert cement (poly-methyl-methacrylate, PMMA), through a needle by trans-peduncular, parapeduncular or trans-somatic approach obtaining a vertebral augmentation and stabilization effect associated with pain relief. The technique is simple and fast, and should be performed under fluoroscopy or CT guidance in order to obtain a good result with low complication rate. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the utility of VP, the indications-contraindications criteria, how to technically perform the technique using imaging guidance, and the results and complications of this treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral compression fracture. PMID:26015527

  17. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states. PMID:22640621

  18. Innate immunity in vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Riera Romo, Mario; Pérez-Martínez, Dayana; Castillo Ferrer, Camila

    2016-06-01

    Innate immunity is a semi-specific and widely distributed form of immunity, which represents the first line of defence against pathogens. This type of immunity is critical to maintain homeostasis and prevent microbe invasion, eliminating a great variety of pathogens and contributing with the activation of the adaptive immune response. The components of innate immunity include physical and chemical barriers, humoral and cell-mediated components, which are present in all jawed vertebrates. The understanding of innate defence mechanisms in non-mammalian vertebrates is the key to comprehend the general picture of vertebrate innate immunity and its evolutionary history. This is also essential for the identification of new molecules with applications in immunopharmacology and immunotherapy. In this review, we describe and discuss the main elements of vertebrate innate immunity, presenting core findings in this field and identifying areas that need further investigation. PMID:26878338

  19. [Vertebral osteomyelitis associated with epidural block].

    PubMed

    Carrillo Esper, R; Cruz-Bautista, I

    2001-01-01

    Infectious complications after epidural anesthesia are infrequent and the most common are epidural and subdural abscess. We report one rare case of vertebral osteomyelitus associated with an epidural catheter and review the literature. PMID:11381807

  20. Recombination Drives Vertebrate Genome Contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Selective and/or neutral processes may govern variation in DNA content and, ultimately, genome size. The observation in several organisms of a negative correlation between recombination rate and intron size could be compatible with a neutral model in which recombination is mutagenic for length changes. We used whole-genome data on small insertions and deletions within transposable elements from chicken and zebra finch to demonstrate clear links between recombination rate and a number of attributes of reduced DNA content. Recombination rate was negatively correlated with the length of introns, transposable elements, and intergenic spacer and with the rate of short insertions. Importantly, it was positively correlated with gene density, the rate of short deletions, the deletion bias, and the net change in sequence length. All these observations point at a pattern of more condensed genome structure in regions of high recombination. Based on the observed rates of small insertions and deletions and assuming that these rates are representative for the whole genome, we estimate that the genome of the most recent common ancestor of birds and lizards has lost nearly 20% of its DNA content up until the present. Expansion of transposable elements can counteract the effect of deletions in an equilibrium mutation model; however, since the activity of transposable elements has been low in the avian lineage, the deletion bias is likely to have had a significant effect on genome size evolution in dinosaurs and birds, contributing to the maintenance of a small genome. We also demonstrate that most of the observed correlations between recombination rate and genome contraction parameters are seen in the human genome, including for segregating indel polymorphisms. Our data are compatible with a neutral model in which recombination drives vertebrate genome size evolution and gives no direct support for a role of natural selection in this process. PMID:22570634

  1. Vertebral artery occlusion and oral contraceptives.

    PubMed Central

    Ask-Upmark, E; Bickerstaff, E R

    1976-01-01

    If vertebral artery occlusion occurs in degenerative arterial disease it is almost invariably left-sided, but in vertebral artery deficiency syndromes associated with oral contraceptives a striking preponderance of right-sided involvement has been shown. This observation adds support to the view that causes other than changes in the wall of the vessel at the site of occlusion must be sought as an explanation of the occlusion. PMID:1252812

  2. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  3. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  4. Cilia in vertebrate development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Edwin C.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Through the combined study of model organisms, cell biology, cell signaling and medical genetics we have significantly increased our understanding of the structure and functions of the vertebrate cilium. This ancient organelle has now emerged as a crucial component of certain signaling and sensory perception pathways in both developmental and homeostatic contexts. Here, we provide a snapshot of the structure, function and distribution of the vertebrate cilium and of the pathologies that are associated with its dysfunction. PMID:22223675

  5. Cervical vertebral fusion with anterior meningocele

    PubMed Central

    Chavredakis, Emmanuel; Carter, David; Bhojak, Manesh; Jenkinson, Michael D; Clark, Simon R

    2015-01-01

    We present the first described case of cervical vertebral fusion associated with anterior meningocele and syringomyelia. A 45-year-old woman presented with minor trauma, and plain cervical spine radiographs highlighted a congenital deformity of the cervical vertebral bodies. She had a normal neurological examination; however, further imaging revealed a meningocele and syringomyelia. This case highlights the importance of thorough imaging investigation when presented with a congenital deformity in order to detect and prevent development of degenerative spinal cord pathologies. PMID:25923673

  6. Risk factors for vertebral deformities in men: relationship to number of vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Ismail, A A; O'Neill, T W; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    2000-02-01

    Recent epidemiological studies suggest a similar overall prevalence of vertebral deformity in men to that in women, though the influence of increasing age on the prevalence of vertebral deformity is less marked in men. However, most affected men have only a single or two vertebral deformities, which may be unrelated to osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to examine the role of risk factors, previously demonstrated to be associated with vertebral osteoporosis in females, in men with single/dual deformities compared to those with multiple deformities. Age stratified random samples of men aged 50 years and over were recruited from population registers in 30 European centers as part of the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS). Subjects had a lateral spinal radiograph and the presence of vertebral deformity was determined using the McCloskey algorithm. Lifestyle and other risk factor data were obtained from an interviewer-administered questionnaire. In all 6937 men with a mean age of 64.4 (SD = 8.5) years were studied of whom 738 (10.6%) subjects had one or two deformities, and 109 (1.6%) subjects had three or more deformities. There was a marked increase in the prevalence of multiple vertebral deformities with increasing age, but only a modest effect of age on the prevalence of single deformities. Associations between various risk factors for osteoporosis and vertebral deformity were analyzed separately in men with single/dual vertebral deformity from those with three or more deformities using logistic regression. After adjustment for age, there were statistically significant associations between the following risk factors and multiple deformities: previous hip fracture (odds ratio [OR] 10.5), lack of regular physical activity (OR 2.9), low body mass (OR 2.5), and previous steroid use (OR 2.3). By contrast, there were only weak associations with these same variables in males with single/dual deformities and, apart from poor self-reported general health, all

  7. Fossil energy program. Summary document

    SciTech Connect

    1980-05-01

    This program summary document presents a comprehensive overview of the research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) activities that will be performed in FY 1981 by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE), US Department of Energy (DOE). The ASFE technology programs for the fossil resources of coal, petroleum (including oil shale) and gas have been established with the goal of making substantive contributions to the nation's future supply and efficienty use of energy. On April 29, 1977, the Administration submitted to Congress the National Energy Plan (NEP) and accompanying legislative proposals designed to establish a coherent energy policy structure for the United States. Congress passed the National Energy Act (NEA) on October 15, 1978, which allows implementation of the vital parts of the NEP. The NEP was supplemented by additional energy policy statements culminating in the President's address on July 15, 1979, presenting a program to further reduce dependence on imported petroleum. The passage of the NEA-related energy programs represent specific steps by the Administration and Congress to reorganize, redirect, and clarify the role of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of national energy policy and programs. The energy technology RD and D prog4rams carried out by ASFE are an important part of the Federal Government's effort to provide the combination and amounts of energy resources needed to ensure national security and continued economic growth.

  8. Cycling operation of fossil plants

    SciTech Connect

    Devendorf, D.; Kulczycky, T.G. )

    1991-05-01

    A necessity for many utilities today is the cycling of their fossil units. Fossil plants with their higher fuel costs are being converted to cycling operation to accommodate daily load swings and to decrease the overall system fuel costs. For a large oil-fired unit, such as Oswego Steam Station Unit 5, millions of dollars can be saved annually in fuel costs if the unit operates in a two-shift mode. However, there are also penalties attributable to cycling operation which are associated with availability and thermal performance. The objectives of Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation were to minimize the losses in availability and performance, and the degradation in the life of the equipment by incorporating certain cycling modifications into the unit. The objective of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of three of these cycling modifications: (1) the superheater and turbine bypass (Hot Restart System), (2) the use of variable pressure operation, and (3) the full-flow condensate polishing system. To meet this objective, Unit 5 was tested using the cycling modifications, and a dynamic mathematical model of this unit was developed using the Modular Modeling System (MMS) Code from EPRI. This model was used to evaluate various operating modes and to assist in the assessment of operating procedures. 15 refs., 41 figs., 22 tabs.

  9. Molecular evolution of the vertebrate mechanosensory cell and ear

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Beisel, Kirk W.; Pauley, Sarah; Soukup, Garrett

    2014-01-01

    The molecular basis of mechanosensation, mechanosensory cell development and mechanosensory organ development is reviewed with an emphasis on its evolution. In contrast to eye evolution and development, which apparently modified a genetic program through intercalation of genes between the master control genes on the top (Pax6, Eya1, Six1) of the hierarchy and the structural genes (rhodopsin) at the bottom, the as yet molecularly unknown mechanosensory channel precludes such a firm conclusion for mechanosensors. However, recent years have seen the identification of several structural genes which are involved in mechanosensory tethering and several transcription factors controlling mechanosensory cell and organ development; these warrant the interpretation of available data in very much the same fashion as for eye evolution: molecular homology combined with potential morphological parallelism. This assertion of molecular homology is strongly supported by recent findings of a highly conserved set of microRNAs that appear to be associated with mechanosensory cell development across phyla. The conservation of transcription factors and their regulators fits very well to the known or presumed mechanosensory specializations which can be mostly grouped as variations of a common cellular theme. Given the widespread distribution of the molecular ability to form mechanosensory cells, it comes as no surprise that structurally different mechanosensory organs evolved in different phyla, presenting a variation of a common theme specified by a conserved set of transcription factors in their cellular development. Within vertebrates and arthropods, some mechanosensory organs evolved into auditory organs, greatly increasing sensitivity to sound through modifications of accessory structures to direct sound to the specific sensory epithelia. However, while great attention has been paid to the evolution of these accessory structures in vertebrate fossils, comparatively less attention has

  10. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  11. Fossil energy biotechnology: A research needs assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    The Office of Program Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned this study to evaluate and prioritize research needs in fossil energy biotechnology. The objectives were to identify research initiatives in biotechnology that offer timely and strategic options for the more efficient and effective uses of the Nation's fossil resource base, particularly the early identification of new and novel applications of biotechnology for the use or conversion of domestic fossil fuels. Fossil energy biotechnology consists of a number of diverse and distinct technologies, all related by the common denominator -- biocatalysis. The expert panel organized 14 technical subjects into three interrelated biotechnology programs: (1) upgrading the fuel value of fossil fuels; (2) bioconversion of fossil feedstocks and refined products to added value chemicals; and (3) the development of environmental management strategies to minimize and mitigate the release of toxic and hazardous petrochemical wastes.

  12. Ultrastructure of Wax-Producing Structures on the Integument of the Melaleuca Psyllid Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), with Honeydew Excretion Behavior in Males and Females.

    PubMed

    Ammar, El-Desouky; Hentz, Matthew; Hall, David G; Shatters, Robert G

    2015-01-01

    The melaleuca psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), was introduced to Florida as a biological control agent against Melaleuca quinquenervia, an invasive evergreen tree that has invaded large areas of Florida Everglades. Colonies of B. melaleucae nymphs are normally covered by white waxy secretions, and nymphs of various instars produce long bundles of white waxy filaments extending laterally and posteriorly from their abdomen. Scanning electron microscopy of 'naturally waxed' and 'dewaxed' nymphs (cleaned from wax) revealed two types of wax pore plates located dorsally and laterally on the integument of posterior abdominal segments starting with the 4th segment. Type-1 wax pore plates, with raised rim, peripheral groove, slits and pits, produce long ribbons and filaments of waxy secretions that are wound together forming long wax bundles, whereas type-2 wax pore plates, with slits only, produce shorter wax curls. Additionally, in both nymphs and adult females, the circumanal ring contained ornate rows of wax pores that produce wax filaments covering their honeydew excretions. Video recordings with stereomicroscopy showed that adult females produce whitish honeydew balls, powerfully propelled away from their body, probably to get these sticky excretions away from their eggs and newly hatched nymphs. Adult males, however, produce clear droplets of honeydew immediately behind them, simply by bending the posterior end of the abdomen downward. The possible role(s) of waxy secretions by nymphs and adults of B. melaleucae in reducing contamination of their colonies with honeydew, among other possibilities, are discussed. PMID:25793934

  13. Ultrastructure of Wax-Producing Structures on the Integument of the Melaleuca Psyllid Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), with Honeydew Excretion Behavior in Males and Females

    PubMed Central

    Ammar, El-Desouky; Hentz, Matthew; Hall, David G.; Shatters, Robert G.

    2015-01-01

    The melaleuca psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), was introduced to Florida as a biological control agent against Melaleuca quinquenervia, an invasive evergreen tree that has invaded large areas of Florida Everglades. Colonies of B. melaleucae nymphs are normally covered by white waxy secretions, and nymphs of various instars produce long bundles of white waxy filaments extending laterally and posteriorly from their abdomen. Scanning electron microscopy of ‘naturally waxed’ and ‘dewaxed’ nymphs (cleaned from wax) revealed two types of wax pore plates located dorsally and laterally on the integument of posterior abdominal segments starting with the 4th segment. Type-1 wax pore plates, with raised rim, peripheral groove, slits and pits, produce long ribbons and filaments of waxy secretions that are wound together forming long wax bundles, whereas type-2 wax pore plates, with slits only, produce shorter wax curls. Additionally, in both nymphs and adult females, the circumanal ring contained ornate rows of wax pores that produce wax filaments covering their honeydew excretions. Video recordings with stereomicroscopy showed that adult females produce whitish honeydew balls, powerfully propelled away from their body, probably to get these sticky excretions away from their eggs and newly hatched nymphs. Adult males, however, produce clear droplets of honeydew immediately behind them, simply by bending the posterior end of the abdomen downward. The possible role(s) of waxy secretions by nymphs and adults of B. melaleucae in reducing contamination of their colonies with honeydew, among other possibilities, are discussed. PMID:25793934

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1981-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weber, F.R.; Hamilton, T.D.; Hopkins, D.M.; Repenning, C.A.; Haas, H.

    1981-01-01

    The Canyon Creek vertebrate-fossil locality is an extensive road cut near Fairbanks that exposes sediments that range in age from early Wisconsin to late Holocene. Tanana River gravel at the base of the section evidently formed during the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range. Younger layers and lenses of fluvial sand are interbedded with arkosic gravel from Canyon Creek that contains tephra as well as fossil bones of an interstadial fauna about 40,000 years old. Solifluction deposits containing ventifacts, wedge casts, and rodent burrows formed during a subsequent period of periglacial activity that took place during the maximum phase of Donnelly Glaciation about 25,000-17,000 years ago. Overlying sheets of eolian sand are separated by a 9500-year-old paleosol that may correlate with a phase of early Holocene spruce expansion through central Alaska. The Pleistocene fauna from Canyon Creek consists of rodents (indicated by burrows), Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Equus lambei (Yukon wild ass), Camelops hesternus (western camel), Bison sp. cf. B. crassicornis (large-horned bison), Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli (mountain sheep), Canis sp. cf. C. lupus (wolf), Lepus sp. cf. L. othus or L. arcticus (tundra hare), and Rangifer sp. (caribou). This assemblage suggests an open landscape in which trees and tall shrubs were either absent or confined to sheltered and moist sites. Camelops evidently was present in eastern Beringia during the middle Wisconsin interstadial interval but may have disappeared during the following glacial episode. The stratigraphic section at Canyon Creek appears to demonstrate that the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range is at least in part of early Wisconsin age and was separated from the succeeding Donnelly Glaciation by an interstadial rather than interglacial episode. ?? 1981.

  16. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular

  17. The Pipe Creek Sinkhole biota, a diverse late tertiary continental fossil assemblage from Grant County, Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farlow, J.O.; Sunderman, J.A.; Havens, J.J.; Swinehart, A.L.; Holman, J.A.; Richards, R.L.; Miller, N.G.; Martin, R.A.; Hunt, R.M., Jr.; Storrs, G.W.; Curry, B. Brandon; Fluegeman, R.H.; Dawson, M.; Flint, M.E.T.

    2001-01-01

    Quarrying in east-central Indiana has uncovered richly fossiliferous unconsolidated sediment buried beneath Pleistocene glacial till. The fossiliferous layer is part of a sedimentary deposit that accumulated in a sinkhole developed in the limestone flank beds of a Paleozoic reef. Plant and animal (mostly vertebrate) remains are abundant in the fossil assemblage. Plants are represented by a diversity of terrestrial and wetland forms, all of extant species. The vertebrate assemblage (here designated the Pipe Creek Sinkhole local fauna) is dominated by frogs and pond turtles, but fishes, birds; snakes and small and large mammals are also present; both extinct and extant taxa are represented. The mammalian assemblage indicates an early Pliocene age (latest Hemphillian or earliest Blancan North American Land Mammal Age). This is the first Tertiary continental biota discovered in the interior of the eastern half of North America.

  18. Deoxygenation in cycling fossil plants

    SciTech Connect

    Pearl, W.L.; Hobart, R.L.; Hook, T.A.; McNea, D.A. )

    1992-04-01

    In a previous EPRI study (Phase 1 of RP1184-9) at the Port Everglades plant of Florida Power and Light, it was demonstrated that minimizing shutdown oxygen levels at a cycling plant could reduce corrosion product transport to the boilers. A continuation of the program was performed to demonstrate the use of two forms of activated carbon to catalyze the hydrazine/oxygen reaction as a method to minimize the oxygen levels of cycling fossil plants. An activated carbon impregnated fiber overlay on a powdered resin precoat was tested at TU Electric's Tradinghouse Creek Unit 1 and a carbon bed followed by a deep bed demineralizer was tested at Duquesne's Elrama Unit 4. The improvement in attainable oxygen control was demonstrated and the effect on corrosion product transport during cyclic operation was evaluated. The study also demonstrated the application of a data acquisition system for prompt data assessment, control of chemical additions, identification of problems, and development of responsive corrective actions.

  19. Fossil diatoms and neogene paleolimnology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Platt, Bradbury J.

    1988-01-01

    Diatoms have played an important role in the development of Neogene continental biostratigraphy and paleolimnology since the mid-19th Century. The history of progress in Quaternary diatom biostratigraphy has developed as a result of improved coring techniques that enable sampling sediments beneath existing lakes coupled with improved chronological control (including radiometric dating and varve enumeration), improved statistical treatment of fossil diatom assemblages (from qualitative description to influx calculations of diatom numbers or volumes), and improved ecological information about analogous living diatom associations. The last factor, diatom ecology, is the most critical in many ways, but progresses slowly. Fortunately, statistical comparison of modern diatom assemblages and insightful studies of the nutrient requirements of some common freshwater species are enabling diatom paleolimnologists to make more detailed interpretations of the Quaternary record than had been possible earlier, and progress in the field of diatom biology and ecology will continue to refine paleolimnological studies. The greater age and geologic setting of Tertiary diatomaceous deposits has prompted their study in the contexts of geologic history, biochronology and evolution. The distribution of diatoms of marine affinities in continental deposits has given geologists insights about tectonism and sea-level change, and the distribution of distinctive (extinct?) diatoms has found utilization both in making stratigraphic correlations between outcrops of diatomaceous deposits and in various types of biochronological studies that involve dating deposits in different areas. A continental diatom biochronologic scheme will rely upon evolution, such as the appearance of new genera within a family, in combination with regional environmental changes that are responsible for the wide distribution of distinctive diatom species. The increased use of the scanning electron microscope for the

  20. Vertebrate land invasions-past, present, and future: an introduction to the symposium.

    PubMed

    Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Hsieh, S Tonia; Gibb, Alice C; Blob, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    The transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitats was a seminal event in vertebrate evolution because it precipitated a sudden radiation of species as new land animals diversified in response to novel physical and biological conditions. However, the first stages of this environmental transition presented numerous challenges to ancestrally aquatic organisms, and necessitated changes in the morphological and physiological mechanisms that underlie most life processes, among them movement, feeding, respiration, and reproduction. How did solutions to these functional challenges evolve? One approach to this question is to examine modern vertebrate species that face analogous demands; just as the first tetrapods lived at the margins of bodies of water and likely moved between water and land regularly, many extant fishes and amphibians use their body systems in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats on a daily basis. Thus, studies of amphibious vertebrates elucidate the functional demands of two very different habitats and clarify our understanding of the initial evolutionary challenges of moving onto land. A complementary approach is to use studies of the fossil record and comparative development to gain new perspectives on form and function of modern amphibious and non-amphibious vertebrate taxa. Based on the synthetic approaches presented in the symposium, it is clear that our understanding of aquatic-to-terrestrial transitions is greatly improved by the reciprocal integration of paleontological and neontological perspectives. In addition, common themes and new insights that emerged from this symposium point to the value of innovative approaches, new model species, and cutting-edge research techniques to elucidate the functional challenges and evolutionary changes associated with vertebrates' invasion of the land. PMID:23660589

  1. Mid-Holocene vertebrate bone Concentration-Lagerstätte on oceanic island Mauritius provides a window into the ecosystem of the dodo ( Raphus cucullatus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rijsdijk, Kenneth F.; Hume, Julian P.; Bunnik, Frans; Florens, F. B. Vincent; Baider, Claudia; Shapiro, Beth; van der Plicht, Johannes; Janoo, Anwar; Griffiths, Owen; van den Hoek Ostende, Lars W.; Cremer, Holger; Vernimmen, Tamara; De Louw, Perry G. B.; Bholah, Assenjee; Saumtally, Salem; Porch, Nicolas; Haile, James; Buckley, Mike; Collins, Matthew; Gittenberger, Edmund

    2009-01-01

    Although the recent history of human colonisation and impact on Mauritius is well documented, virtually no records of the pre-human native ecosystem exist, making it difficult to assess the magnitude of the changes brought about by human settlement. Here, we describe a 4000-year-old fossil bed at Mare aux Songes (MAS) in south-eastern Mauritius that contains both macrofossils (vertebrate fauna, gastropods, insects and flora) and microfossils (diatoms, pollen, spores and phytoliths). With >250 bone fragments/m 2 and comprising 50% of all known extinct and extant vertebrate species ( ns = 44) of Mauritius, MAS may constitute the first Holocene vertebrate bone Concentration-Lagerstätte identified on an oceanic volcanic island. Fossil remains are dominated by extinct giant tortoises Cylindraspis spp. (63%), passerines (˜10%), small bats (7.8%) and dodo Raphus cucullatus (7.1%). Twelve radiocarbon ages [four of them duplicates] from bones and other material suggest that accumulation of fossils took place within several centuries. An exceptional combination of abiotic conditions led to preservation of bones, bone collagen, plant tissue and microfossils. Although bone collagen is well preserved, DNA from dodo and other Mauritian vertebrates has proved difficult. Our analysis suggests that from ca 4000 years ago (4 ka), rising sea levels created a freshwater lake at MAS, generating an oasis in an otherwise dry environment which attracted a diverse vertebrate fauna. Subsequent aridification in the south-west Indian Ocean region may have increased carcass accumulation during droughts, contributing to the exceptionally high fossil concentration. The abundance of floral and faunal remains in this Lagerstätte offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct a pre-human ecosystem on an oceanic island, providing a key foundation for assessing the vulnerability of island ecosystems to human impact.

  2. Influence of depositional environment in fossil teeth: a micro-XRF and XAFS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zougrou, I. M.; Katsikini, M.; Pinakidou, F.; Papadopoulou, L.; Tsoukala, E.; Paloura, E. C.

    2014-04-01

    The formation of metal-rich phases during the fossilization of vertebrate fossil teeth, recovered from various deposition environments in northern Greece, is studied by means of synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SR-XRF) as well as Fe and Mn K edge X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. XRF line-scans from the samples' cross-sections revealed different contamination paths for Mn and Fe. The two-dimensional XRF maps illustrate the spatial distribution of P, Ca, Mn and Fe as well as the precipitation of Fe-rich phases in cementum, dentin and dentinal tubules. Goethite, lepidocrocite and ferrihydrite were detected in the samples' cross-section by means of Fe K edge EXAFS spectroscopy. Moreover the Fe and Mn K edge EXAFS revealed the presence of vivianite and birnessite (MnO2) on the external surface of two samples.

  3. Mass extinctions in the fossil record of late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic tetrapods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benton, Michael J.

    The fossil record of tetrapods is very patchy because of the problems of preservation in terrestrial sediments, and because vertebrates are rarely very abundant. However, the fossil record of tetrapods has the advantages that it is easier to establish a phylogenetic taxonomy than for many invertebrate groups (many characters; fast evolution), and there is the potential for more detailed ecological analyses (greater knowledge of modern tetrapod ecology). The diversity of tetrapods increased during the Devonian, the Carboniferous, and the Permian, but it remained generally constant during the Triassic, the Jurassic, and the Early Cretaceous. Overall diversity then began to increase in the Late Cretaceous, and continued to do so during the Tertiary. The rapid radiation of modern tetrapod groups — frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, birds and mammals — was hardly affected by the celebrated end-Cretaceous extinction event.

  4. Exceptional soft tissue fossilization of a Pleistocene vulture (Gyps fulvus): new evidence for emplacement temperatures of pyroclastic flow deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iurino, Dawid A.; Bellucci, Luca; Schreve, Danielle; Sardella, Raffaele

    2014-07-01

    Volcanic sediments are often unsuitable for the fossilization of both hard and soft organic tissues, however, in some circumstances, they can provide unusual conditions for the preservation of remains. Here we report an exceptional case of soft tissue fossilization of a Late Pleistocene Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in the pyroclastic sequence of the Alban Hills volcanic region (SE Rome, Italy). CT analyses have revealed an exceptional natural cast of the complete head and neck that preserve extraordinary detail including the fossilized everted tongue, beak, feather insertions and the first record of the nictitating membrane of the eye. This fossilization (superior in detail even to the victims of the AD 79 Plinian eruption of Vesuvius) reveals no evidence of burning and requires re-evaluation of the thermal constraints in operation for the preservation of organic materials within pyroclastic sediments. The analysis of the external morphological features has provided key information regarding the taphonomic processes in operation, the emplacement temperatures of distal pyroclastic flow deposits and the relationships between organic materials and low temperature phreatomagmatic flows. This sheds light not only on the extremely rare situation of fossilization in volcanic contexts but also provides a new perspective on taphonomic studies of highly detailed casts of fossil vertebrates.

  5. Molecular evolution of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-09-30

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:10570995

  6. Horizontal transfer of non-LTR retrotransposons in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-01-01

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestral snake lineage (Boidae) has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 mya. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:10952205

  7. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, John P.; Woodruff, D. Cary; Gardner, Jacob D.; Flora, Holley M.; Horner, John R.; Organ, Chris L.

    2016-01-01

    Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not. PMID:27442509

  8. Vertebrate community on an ice-age Caribbean island

    PubMed Central

    Steadman, David W.; Albury, Nancy A.; Kakuk, Brian; Mead, Jim I.; Soto-Centeno, J. Angel; Singleton, Hayley M.; Franklin, Janet

    2015-01-01

    We report 95 vertebrate taxa (13 fishes, 11 reptiles, 63 birds, 8 mammals) from late Pleistocene bone deposits in Sawmill Sink, Abaco, The Bahamas. The >5,000 fossils were recovered by scuba divers on ledges at depths of 27–35 m below sea level. Of the 95 species, 39 (41%) no longer occur on Abaco (4 reptiles, 31 birds, 4 mammals). We estimate that 17 of the 39 losses (all of them birds) are linked to changes during the Pleistocene–Holocene Transition (PHT) (∼15–9 ka) in climate (becoming more warm and moist), habitat (expansion of broadleaf forest at the expense of pine woodland), sea level (rising from −80 m to nearly modern levels), and island area (receding from ∼17,000 km2 to 1,214 km2). The remaining 22 losses likely are related to the presence of humans on Abaco for the past 1,000 y. Thus, the late Holocene arrival of people probably depleted more populations than the dramatic physical and biological changes associated with the PHT. PMID:26483484

  9. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, John P; Woodruff, D Cary; Gardner, Jacob D; Flora, Holley M; Horner, John R; Organ, Chris L

    2016-01-01

    Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not. PMID:27442509

  10. Vertebrate community on an ice-age Caribbean island.

    PubMed

    Steadman, David W; Albury, Nancy A; Kakuk, Brian; Mead, Jim I; Soto-Centeno, J Angel; Singleton, Hayley M; Franklin, Janet

    2015-11-01

    We report 95 vertebrate taxa (13 fishes, 11 reptiles, 63 birds, 8 mammals) from late Pleistocene bone deposits in Sawmill Sink, Abaco, The Bahamas. The >5,000 fossils were recovered by scuba divers on ledges at depths of 27-35 m below sea level. Of the 95 species, 39 (41%) no longer occur on Abaco (4 reptiles, 31 birds, 4 mammals). We estimate that 17 of the 39 losses (all of them birds) are linked to changes during the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition (PHT) (∼ 15-9 ka) in climate (becoming more warm and moist), habitat (expansion of broadleaf forest at the expense of pine woodland), sea level (rising from -80 m to nearly modern levels), and island area (receding from ∼ 17,000 km(2) to 1,214 km(2)). The remaining 22 losses likely are related to the presence of humans on Abaco for the past 1,000 y. Thus, the late Holocene arrival of people probably depleted more populations than the dramatic physical and biological changes associated with the PHT. PMID:26483484

  11. Forty Years Later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, ZhaoHong

    2013-01-01

    A founding concept in second language acquisition (SLA) research, fossilization has been fundamental to understanding second language (L2) development. The Fossilization Hypothesis, introduced in Selinker's seminal text (1972), has thus been one of the most influential theories, guiding a significant bulk of SLA research for four decades; 2012…

  12. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    PubMed

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'. PMID:27325828

  13. The original colours of fossil beetles

    PubMed Central

    McNamara, Maria E.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Orr, Patrick J.; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui

    2012-01-01

    Structural colours, the most intense, reflective and pure colours in nature, are generated when light is scattered by complex nanostructures. Metallic structural colours are widespread among modern insects and can be preserved in their fossil counterparts, but it is unclear whether the colours have been altered during fossilization, and whether the absence of colours is always real. To resolve these issues, we investigated fossil beetles from five Cenozoic biotas. Metallic colours in these specimens are generated by an epicuticular multi-layer reflector; the fidelity of its preservation correlates with that of other key cuticular ultrastructures. Where these other ultrastructures are well preserved in non-metallic fossil specimens, we can infer that the original cuticle lacked a multi-layer reflector; its absence in the fossil is not a preservational artefact. Reconstructions of the original colours of the fossils based on the structure of the multi-layer reflector show that the preserved colours are offset systematically to longer wavelengths; this probably reflects alteration of the refractive index of the epicuticle during fossilization. These findings will allow the former presence, and original hue, of metallic structural colours to be identified in diverse fossil insects, thus providing critical evidence of the evolution of structural colour in this group. PMID:21957131

  14. Beyond fossil calibrations: realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Hipsley, Christy A.; Müller, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each). Vertebrate taxa were subjects in nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each). Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected in methodological evaluations. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of

  15. The Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA: A Deeper Examination of Pliocene Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, L. D.; Brooks, K.; Chen, R.; Chen, T.; James, T.; Gonzales, J.; Schumaker, D.; Williams, D.

    2005-12-01

    Fossil samples from the Pliocene Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County, CA were collected in July-August 2005. The Purisima Formation composes the bulk of the cliffs exposed at Capitola Beach and a rich assemblage of well-preserved fossils occur in gray to brown sandstone and siltstone. Erosion of the cliff face averages 0.3 meter/year and fresh cliff falls in the winter and spring months of 2005 provided an excellent opportunity to resample the Capitola Beach section of the Purisima Formation previously documented by Perry (1988). Organisms were identified from information in Perry (1988) and were compared with collections at the California Academy of Sciences. The most abundant fossils found are from the phylum Mollusca, classes Bivalvia and Gastropoda. Abundant bivalve taxa are: Anadara trilineata, Clinocardium meekianum, Macoma sp., Protothaca staleyi, and Tresus pajaroanus. Also common are the gastropods, Calyptraea fastigata, Crepdiula princeps, Mitrella gausapata, Nassarius grammatus, Nassarius californianus, Natica clausa, and Olivella pedroana. Less common invertebrate fossils are from the phylum Echinodermata ( Dendraster sp., the extinct fossil sand dollar) and from the phylum Arthropoda ( Crustacea), crab fragments ( Cancer) and barnacles ( Balanus). Because numerous fossils are concentrated as fragments in shell beds, Norris (1986) and Perry (1988) believe many were redeposited as storm beds during strong current events that promoted rapid burial. In contrast, whale and other vertebrate bones are common in certain horizons and their presence may be related to the conditions that promoted phosphate mineralization, such as episodes of low sedimentation rates and prolonged exposure on the seafloor (Föllmi and Garrison, 1991). The bone beds, together with the rich infaunal and epifaunal invertebrate assemblages, represent a community of invertebrate organisms that thrived in a shallow marine sea during the Pliocene epoch, approximately

  16. Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, L. G.; Emslie, S. D.; Huang, T.; Blais, J. M.; Xie, Z. Q.; Liu, X. D.; Yin, X. B.; Wang, Y. H.; Huang, W.; Hodgson, D. A.; Smol, J. P.

    2013-11-01

    Biological responses to climate and environmental changes in remote polar regions are of increasing interest in global change research. Terrestrial and marine polar ecosystems have suffered from impacts of both rapid climate change and intense human activities, and large fluctuations in the population sizes of seabirds, seals, and Antarctic krill have been observed in the past decades. To understand the mechanisms driving these regime shifts in polar ecosystems, it is important to first distinguish the influences of natural forcing from anthropogenic activities. Therefore, investigations of past changes of polar ecosystems prior to human contact are relevant for placing recent human-induced changes within a long-term historical context. Here we focus our review on the fossil, sub-fossil, archaeological, and biogeochemical remains of marine vertebrates in polar sediments. These remains include well-preserved tissues such as bones, hairs and feathers, and biogeochemical markers and other proxy indicators, including deposits of guano and excrement, which can accumulate in lake and terrestrial sediments over thousands of years. Analyses of these remains have provided insight into both natural and anthropogenic impacts on marine vertebrates over millennia and have helped identify the causal agents for these impacts. Furthermore, land-based seabirds and marine mammals have been shown to play an important role as bio-vectors in polar environments as they transport significant amounts of nutrients and anthropogenic contaminants between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

  17. Late Miocene/Early Pliocene vertebrate fauna from Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): an update.

    PubMed

    Bover, Pere; Rofes, Juan; Bailon, Salvador; Agustí, Jordi; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Torres, Enric; Alcover, Josep Antoni

    2014-03-01

    The vertebrate fossil record from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) has improved considerably over the past decade, especially in Mallorca and Menorca. In Menorca, the Pliocene terrestrial fauna was updated by the discovery and description of the large-sized leporid Nuralagus, several reptiles and an amphibian. In Mallorca, paleontological exploration yielded 2 deposits with a Late Miocene/Early Pliocene chronology, Caló den Rafelino (CdR) and Na Burguesa-1 (NB-1). So far, 4 new mammalian taxa and 2 new reptiles have been identified for the CdR deposit, whereas the faunal assemblage from the recently discovered deposit (Apr 2012) of NB-1 is currently composed of, at least, 6 terrestrial mammals, 8 reptiles and an amphibian. Its faunal composition and some primitive characteristics of the obtained taxa suggest that the chronology of this deposit is slightly earlier than the CdR. The terrestrial vertebrates recorded in these 2 Mallorcan deposits are changing the view of the paleofaunal assemblage previously known for the Plio-Pleistocene of the island. Morphological characteristics displayed by some of the taxa suggest that these faunas would be at the beginning of an isolated evolution. In this paper we present a preliminary report on the fossils recovered from the NB-1 deposit, as well as some unpublished data from CdR, and we analyze the whole fauna from both Mallorcan deposits, focusing on taxonomical and paleobiogeographical aspects. PMID:24673762

  18. Biomechanical aspects of bone microstructure in vertebrates: potential approach to palaeontological investigations.

    PubMed

    Mishra, S

    2009-11-01

    Biomechanical or biophysical principles can be applied to study biological structures in their modern or fossil form. Bone is an important tissue in paleontological studies as it is a commonly preserved element in most fossil vertebrates, and can often allow its microstructures such as lacuna and canaliculi to be studied in detail. In this context, the principles of Fluid Mechanics and Scaling Laws have been previously applied to enhance the understanding of bone microarchitecture and their implications for the evolution of hydraulic structures to transport fluid. It has been shown that the microstructure of bone has evolved to maintain efficient transport between the nutrient supply and cells, the living components of the tissue. Application of the principle of minimal expenditure of energy to this analysis shows that the path distance comprising five or six lamellar regions represents an effective limit for fluid and solute transport between the nutrient supply and cells; beyond this threshold, hydraulic resistance in the network increases and additional energy expenditure is necessary for further transportation. This suggests an optimization of the size of the bone's building blocks (such as osteon or trabecular thickness) to meet the metabolic demand concomitant to minimal expenditure of energy. This biomechanical aspect of bone microstructure is corroborated from the ratio of osteon to Haversian canal diameters and scaling constants of several mammals considered in this study. This aspect of vertebrate bone microstructure and physiology may provide a basis of understanding of the form and function relationship in both extinct and extant taxa. PMID:20009272

  19. Developmental palaeontology in synapsids: the fossil record of ontogeny in mammals and their closest relatives

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2010-01-01

    The study of fossilized ontogenies in mammals is mostly restricted to postnatal and late stages of growth, but nevertheless can deliver great insights into life history and evolutionary mechanisms affecting all aspects of development. Fossils provide evidence of developmental plasticity determined by ecological factors, as when allometric relations are modified in species which invaded a new space with a very different selection regime. This is the case of dwarfing and gigantism evolution in islands. Skeletochronological studies are restricted to the examination of growth marks mostly in the cement and dentine of teeth and can provide absolute age estimates. These, together with dental replacement data considered in a phylogenetic context, provide life-history information such as maturation time and longevity. Palaeohistology and dental replacement data document the more or less gradual but also convergent evolution of mammalian growth features during early synapsid evolution. Adult phenotypes of extinct mammals can inform developmental processes by showing a combination of features or levels of integration unrecorded in living species. Some adult features such as vertebral number, easily recorded in fossils, provide indirect information about somitogenesis and hox-gene expression boundaries. Developmental palaeontology is relevant for the discourse of ecological developmental biology, an area of research where features of growth and variation are fundamental and accessible among fossil mammals. PMID:20071389

  20. Developmental palaeontology in synapsids: the fossil record of ontogeny in mammals and their closest relatives.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2010-04-22

    The study of fossilized ontogenies in mammals is mostly restricted to postnatal and late stages of growth, but nevertheless can deliver great insights into life history and evolutionary mechanisms affecting all aspects of development. Fossils provide evidence of developmental plasticity determined by ecological factors, as when allometric relations are modified in species which invaded a new space with a very different selection regime. This is the case of dwarfing and gigantism evolution in islands. Skeletochronological studies are restricted to the examination of growth marks mostly in the cement and dentine of teeth and can provide absolute age estimates. These, together with dental replacement data considered in a phylogenetic context, provide life-history information such as maturation time and longevity. Palaeohistology and dental replacement data document the more or less gradual but also convergent evolution of mammalian growth features during early synapsid evolution. Adult phenotypes of extinct mammals can inform developmental processes by showing a combination of features or levels of integration unrecorded in living species. Some adult features such as vertebral number, easily recorded in fossils, provide indirect information about somitogenesis and hox-gene expression boundaries. Developmental palaeontology is relevant for the discourse of ecological developmental biology, an area of research where features of growth and variation are fundamental and accessible among fossil mammals. PMID:20071389

  1. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  2. [Amphioxus: how to become a vertebrate].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Stéphanie; Camasses, Alain; Escriva, Hector

    2007-01-01

    Evo-devo is a young disciplin, which aims to explain the morphological evolution of organisms through developmental mechanisms and genes networks. A major question within this discipline is the origin of vertebrates. It seems now admitted that vertebrates derive from an invertebrate chordate ancestor. Several models among living chordate representatives are used today to answer this question. The small world of evo-evo interested in the emergence of vertebrates is ebullient about the advent of several totally sequenced genomes allowing comparative analyses to become evermore reliable. Furthermore "non classical" models are developed which can be submitted to refined developmental analysis. One of these is amphioxus (genus Branchyostoma), "a peaceful anchory fillet to illuminate chordate evolution" (Garcia-Fernandez, 2006a, b). The features of this model are described in this review. PMID:17762824

  3. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  4. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. PMID:23580532

  5. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  6. Pediatric congenital vertebral artery arteriovenous malformation.

    PubMed

    Shownkeen, Harish; Bova, Davide; Chenelle, Andrew G; Origitano, Thomas C

    2003-05-01

    Vertebral arteriovenous fistulas are rare in children and the congenital form has been seldom reported in the literature. Prior to using endovascular therapy techniques, only surgery was the main treatment. The most common endovascular treatment is through the use of detachable balloons. This report describes the clinical and radiological findings of a congenital vertebral artery fistula in a 20-month-old child. Balloons could not be safely employed; therefore, embolization was performed with Guglielmi detachable microcoils. We review the history and treatment of these lesions, their clinical presentation, and imaging features, including their outcome, with particular attention to the pediatric population. PMID:12695869

  7. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  8. The future of fossil fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lackner, Klaus

    2007-03-01

    With today's energy technology, the world faces a stark choice between economic growth and a healthy environment. The accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere must stop, while energy services to a growing world population striving for a high standard of living must improve. New technologies must eliminate CO2 emissions. Only carbon capture and storage can maintain access to fossil carbon reserves that by themselves could satisfy energy demand for centuries. Technologies for CO2 capture at power plants and other large sources already exist. A new generation of efficient, clean power plants could capture its CO2 and deliver it for underground injection or mineral sequestration. However, the remaining CO2 emissions from distributed sources are too large to be ignored. Either hydrogen or electricity need to substitute for carbonaceous energy carriers, or CO2 emissions must be balanced out by capturing an equivalent amount of carbon from the environment. Biomass growth offers one such option; direct capture of CO2 from the air provides another. Carbon capture and storage technologies can close the anthropogenic carbon cycle and, thus, provide one possible avenue to a world that is not limited by energy constraints.

  9. Cycling operation of fossil plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatnagar, U.S.; Weiss, M.D.; White, W.H. ); Buchanan, T.L.; Harvey, L.E.; Shewchuk, P.K.; Weinstein, R.E. )

    1991-05-01

    This report presents a methodology for examining the economic feasibility of converting fossil power plants from baseload to cycling service. It employs this approach to examine a proposed change of Pepco's Potomac River units 3, 4, and 5 from baseload operation of two-shift cycling. The project team first reviewed all components and listed potential cycling effects involved in the conversion of Potomac River units 3, 4, and 5. They developed general cycling plant screening criteria including the number of hot, warm, or cold restart per year and desired load ramp rates. In addition, they evaluated specific limitations on the boiler, turbine, and the balance of plant. They estimated the remaining life of the facility through component evaluation and boiler testing and also identified and prioritized potential component deficiencies by their impact on key operational factors: safety, heat rate, turn down, startup/shutdown time, and plant availability. They developed solutions to these problems; and, since many solutions mitigate more than one problem, they combined and reprioritized these synergistic solutions. Economic assessments were performed on all solutions. 13 figs., 20 tabs.

  10. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation for painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Anselmetti, Giovanni C; Tutton, Sean M; Facchini, Francis R; Miller, Larry E; Block, Jon E

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Vertebral metastases are associated with significant pain, disability, and morbidity. Open surgery for fracture stabilization is often inappropriate in this population due to a poor risk-benefit profile, particularly if life expectancy is short. Percutaneous vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are appealing adjunctive procedures in patients with malignancy for alleviation of intractable pain. However, these patients have higher risk of serious complications, notably cement extravasation. Described in this report is a case of a painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis that was successfully treated by a novel percutaneous vertebral augmentation system. Case presentation A 42-year-old Caucasian female presented with a history of metastatic lung cancer unresponsive to radiation and chemotherapy with symptoms inadequately controlled by opiates over the previous 6 months. Magnetic resonance imaging and spiral computed tomography with two-dimensional reconstruction showed an osteolytic vertebral metastasis with complete involvement of the T10 vertebral body, extending to the cortical vertebral wall anteriorly and posteriorly. The patient was treated with percutaneous vertebral augmentation (Kiva® VCF Treatment System, Benvenue Medical, Inc, Santa Clara, CA) utilizing a novel coil-shaped polyetheretherketone implant designed to minimize the risk of cement extravasation. After the minimally invasive procedure, bone cement distribution within the vertebral body was ideal, with no observed cement extravasation. No complications were reported, pain completely resolved within 24 hours, and use of intravenous narcotics was progressively diminished within 1 week. Complete pain relief was maintained throughout 4 months of follow-up. Conclusion The Kiva System represents a novel and effective minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from severe pain due to osteolytic vertebral metastasis. PMID:23754917

  11. Histology and affinity of anaspids, and the early evolution of the vertebrate dermal skeleton.

    PubMed

    Keating, Joseph N; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2016-03-16

    The assembly of the gnathostome bodyplan constitutes a formative episode in vertebrate evolutionary history, an interval in which the mineralized skeleton and its canonical suite of cell and tissue types originated. Fossil jawless fishes, assigned to the gnathostome stem-lineage, provide an unparalleled insight into the origin and evolution of the skeleton, hindered only by uncertainty over the phylogenetic position and evolutionary significance of key clades. Chief among these are the jawless anaspids, whose skeletal composition, a rich source of phylogenetic information, is poorly characterized. Here we survey the histology of representatives spanning anaspid diversity and infer their generalized skeletal architecture. The anaspid dermal skeleton is composed of odontodes comprising spheritic dentine and enameloid, overlying a basal layer of acellular parallel fibre bone containing an extensive shallow canal network. A recoded and revised phylogenetic analysis using equal and implied weights parsimony resolves anaspids as monophyletic, nested among stem-gnathostomes. Our results suggest the anaspid dermal skeleton is a degenerate derivative of a histologically more complex ancestral vertebrate skeleton, rather than reflecting primitive simplicity. Hypotheses that anaspids are ancestral skeletonizing lampreys, or a derived lineage of jawless vertebrates with paired fins, are rejected. PMID:26962140

  12. Unusual horizontal transfer of a long interspersed nuclear element between distant vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1998-09-01

    We have shown previously by Southern blot analysis that Bov-B long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are present in different Viperidae snake species. To address the question as to whether Bov-B LINEs really have been transmitted horizontally between vertebrate classes, the analysis has been extended to a larger number of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species. In this paper, the evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINEs is shown unequivocally to be in Squamata. The previously proposed horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes is a possible donor of Bov-B LINEs to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINEs in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINEs from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINEs have been maintained stably by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:9724768

  13. Multi-variate models are essential for understanding vertebrate diversification in deep time

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Mannion, Philip D.

    2012-01-01

    Statistical models are helping palaeontologists to elucidate the history of biodiversity. Sampling standardization has been extensively applied to remedy the effects of uneven sampling in large datasets of fossil invertebrates. However, many vertebrate datasets are smaller, and the issue of uneven sampling has commonly been ignored, or approached using pairwise comparisons with a numerical proxy for sampling effort. Although most authors find a strong correlation between palaeodiversity and sampling proxies, weak correlation is recorded in some datasets. This has led several authors to conclude that uneven sampling does not influence our view of vertebrate macroevolution. We demonstrate that multi-variate regression models incorporating a model of underlying biological diversification, as well as a sampling proxy, fit observed sauropodomorph dinosaur palaeodiversity best. This bivariate model is a better fit than separate univariate models, and illustrates that observed palaeodiversity is a composite pattern, representing a biological signal overprinted by variation in sampling effort. Multi-variate models and other approaches that consider sampling as an essential component of palaeodiversity are central to gaining a more complete understanding of deep time vertebrate diversification. PMID:21697163

  14. Oldest pathology in a tetrapod bone illuminates the origin of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Peter J; Walmsley, Christopher W; Phillips, Matthew J; Quayle, Michelle R; Boisvert, Catherine A; McHenry, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  15. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Peter J.; Walmsley, Christopher W.; Phillips, Matthew J.; Quayle, Michelle R.

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  16. Histology and affinity of anaspids, and the early evolution of the vertebrate dermal skeleton

    PubMed Central

    Keating, Joseph N.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.

    2016-01-01

    The assembly of the gnathostome bodyplan constitutes a formative episode in vertebrate evolutionary history, an interval in which the mineralized skeleton and its canonical suite of cell and tissue types originated. Fossil jawless fishes, assigned to the gnathostome stem-lineage, provide an unparalleled insight into the origin and evolution of the skeleton, hindered only by uncertainty over the phylogenetic position and evolutionary significance of key clades. Chief among these are the jawless anaspids, whose skeletal composition, a rich source of phylogenetic information, is poorly characterized. Here we survey the histology of representatives spanning anaspid diversity and infer their generalized skeletal architecture. The anaspid dermal skeleton is composed of odontodes comprising spheritic dentine and enameloid, overlying a basal layer of acellular parallel fibre bone containing an extensive shallow canal network. A recoded and revised phylogenetic analysis using equal and implied weights parsimony resolves anaspids as monophyletic, nested among stem-gnathostomes. Our results suggest the anaspid dermal skeleton is a degenerate derivative of a histologically more complex ancestral vertebrate skeleton, rather than reflecting primitive simplicity. Hypotheses that anaspids are ancestral skeletonizing lampreys, or a derived lineage of jawless vertebrates with paired fins, are rejected. PMID:26962140

  17. Selective Preservation of Fossil Ghost Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meacham, Amanda

    2016-04-01

    A unique type of fossil fish preservation has been discovered in the Angelo Member (Fossil Lake) of the Green River Formation. The Angelo Member is a predominately evaporative deposit dominated by dolomite, but contains facies of fossiliferous laminated calcimicrite. Fossil fish occurring in two beds conspicuously lack bones. Fish in the lower bed are only preserved as organic material, including skin, pigments, and eyes. Fish in the upper bed have three-dimensional etching where bones once existed but also contain skin, pigments, and eyes. The top third of the upper bed often contains calcite crystals that are pseudomorphs after trona and possibly halite. Preliminary mineralogical analysis and mapping of evaporate facies suggests that this unique preservation may be related to lake geochemical conditions, such as high pH and alkalinity. To our knowledge, this is the first time this type of preservation has been observed and studied. Fossils and sediments within these beds are being studied both vertically and laterally through the one-meter thick sequence containing the fossil fish using XRD, isotopic, SEM, thin section, and total organic carbon analysis. Nine quarries, 0.5-1 meter square, were excavated for both fossils and rock samples along with 17 additional rock sample locations across an approximately 25-kilometer square region. This investigation has the capability of reconstructing the paleoenvironment and lake chemistry of Fossil Lake during the deposition of the "ghost-fish" beds and solving the mystery of the "missing bones" and the unusual process of preservation.

  18. Fossil oak galls preserve ancient multitrophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Graham N; van der Ham, Raymond W.J.M; Brewer, Jan G

    2008-01-01

    Trace fossils of insect feeding have contributed substantially to our understanding of the evolution of insect–plant interactions. The most complex phenotypes of herbivory are galls, whose diagnostic morphologies often allow the identification of the gall inducer. Although fossil insect-induced galls over 300 Myr old are known, most are two-dimensional impressions lacking adequate morphological detail either for the precise identification of the causer or for detection of the communities of specialist parasitoids and inquilines inhabiting modern plant galls. Here, we describe the first evidence for such multitrophic associations in Pleistocene fossil galls from the Eemian interglacial (130 000–115 000 years ago) of The Netherlands. The exceptionally well-preserved fossils can be attributed to extant species of Andricus gallwasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) galling oaks (Quercus), and provide the first fossil evidence of gall attack by herbivorous inquiline gallwasps. Furthermore, phylogenetic placement of one fossil in a lineage showing obligate host plant alternation implies the presence of a second oak species, Quercus cerris, currently unknown from Eemian fossils in northwestern Europe. This contrasts with the southern European native range of Q. cerris in the current interglacial and suggests that gallwasp invasions following human planting of Q. cerris in northern Europe may represent a return to preglacial distribution limits. PMID:18559323

  19. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  20. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  1. Oldest Near-Complete Acanthodian: The First Vertebrate from the Silurian Bertie Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Burrow, Carole J.; Rudkin, David

    2014-01-01

    Background The relationships between early jawed vertebrates have been much debated, with cladistic analyses yielding little consensus on the position (or positions) of acanthodians with respect to other groups. Whereas one recent analysis showed various acanthodians (classically known as ‘spiny sharks’) as stem osteichthyans (bony fishes) and others as stem chondrichthyans, another shows the acanthodians as a paraphyletic group of stem chondrichthyans, and the latest analysis shows acanthodians as the monophyletic sister group of the Chondrichthyes. Methodology/Principal Findings A small specimen of the ischnacanthiform acanthodian Nerepisacanthus denisoni is the first vertebrate fossil collected from the Late Silurian Bertie Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte of southern Ontario, Canada, a deposit well-known for its spectacular eurypterid fossils. The fish is the only near complete acanthodian from pre-Devonian strata worldwide, and confirms that Nerepisacanthus has dentigerous jaw bones, body scales with superposed crown growth zones formed of ondontocytic mesodentine, and a patch of chondrichthyan-like scales posterior to the jaw joint. Conclusions/Significance The combination of features found in Nerepisacanthus supports the hypothesis that acanthodians could be a group, or even a clade, on the chondrichthyan stem. Cladistic analyses of early jawed vertebrates incorporating Nerepisacanthus, and updated data on other acanthodians based on publications in press, should help clarify their relationships. PMID:25093877

  2. Integrated Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction and Taphonomy of a Unique Upper Cretaceous Vertebrate-Bearing Locality (Velaux, Southeastern France).

    PubMed

    Cincotta, Aude; Yans, Johan; Godefroit, Pascal; Garcia, Géraldine; Dejax, Jean; Benammi, Mouloud; Amico, Sauveur; Valentin, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The Velaux-La Bastide Neuve fossil-bearing site (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) has yielded a diverse vertebrate assemblage dominated by dinosaurs, including the titanosaur Atsinganosaurus velauciensis. We here provide a complete inventory of vertebrate fossils collected during two large-scale field campaigns. Numerous crocodilian teeth occur together with complete skulls. Pterosaur, hybodont shark and fish elements are also represented but uncommon. Magnetostratigraphic analyses associated with biostratigraphic data from dinosaur eggshell and charophytes suggest a Late Campanian age for the locality. Lithologic and taphonomic studies, associated with microfacies and palynofacies analyses, indicate a fluvial setting of moderate energy with broad floodplain. Palynomorphs are quite rare; only three taxa of pollen grains occur: a bisaccate taxon, a second form probably belonging to the Normapolles complex, and another tricolporate taxon. Despite the good state of preservation, these taxa are generally difficult to identify, since they are scarce and have a very minute size. Most of the vertebrate remains are well preserved and suggest transport of the carcasses over short distances before accumulation in channel and overbank facies, together with reworked Aptian grains of glauconite, followed by a rapid burial. The bones accumulated in three thin layers that differ by their depositional modes and their taphonomic histories. Numerous calcareous and iron oxides-rich paleosols developed on the floodplain, suggesting an alternating dry and humid climate in the region during the Late Campanian. PMID:26287486

  3. Integrated Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction and Taphonomy of a Unique Upper Cretaceous Vertebrate-Bearing Locality (Velaux, Southeastern France)

    PubMed Central

    Cincotta, Aude; Yans, Johan; Godefroit, Pascal; Garcia, Géraldine; Dejax, Jean; Benammi, Mouloud; Amico, Sauveur; Valentin, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The Velaux-La Bastide Neuve fossil-bearing site (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) has yielded a diverse vertebrate assemblage dominated by dinosaurs, including the titanosaur Atsinganosaurus velauciensis. We here provide a complete inventory of vertebrate fossils collected during two large-scale field campaigns. Numerous crocodilian teeth occur together with complete skulls. Pterosaur, hybodont shark and fish elements are also represented but uncommon. Magnetostratigraphic analyses associated with biostratigraphic data from dinosaur eggshell and charophytes suggest a Late Campanian age for the locality. Lithologic and taphonomic studies, associated with microfacies and palynofacies analyses, indicate a fluvial setting of moderate energy with broad floodplain. Palynomorphs are quite rare; only three taxa of pollen grains occur: a bisaccate taxon, a second form probably belonging to the Normapolles complex, and another tricolporate taxon. Despite the good state of preservation, these taxa are generally difficult to identify, since they are scarce and have a very minute size. Most of the vertebrate remains are well preserved and suggest transport of the carcasses over short distances before accumulation in channel and overbank facies, together with reworked Aptian grains of glauconite, followed by a rapid burial. The bones accumulated in three thin layers that differ by their depositional modes and their taphonomic histories. Numerous calcareous and iron oxides-rich paleosols developed on the floodplain, suggesting an alternating dry and humid climate in the region during the Late Campanian. PMID:26287486

  4. Transposon-mediated Genome Manipulations in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ivics, Zoltán; Li, Meng Amy; Mátés, Lajos; Boeke, Jef D.; Bradley, Allan; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna

    2010-01-01

    Transposable elements are segments of DNA with the unique ability to move about in the genome. This inherent feature can be exploited to harness these elements as gene vectors for diverse genome manipulations. Transposon-based genetic strategies have been established in vertebrate species over the last decade, and current progress in this field indicates that transposable elements will serve as indispensable tools in the genetic toolkit of vertebrate models. In particular, transposons can be applied as vectors for somatic and germline transgenesis, and as insertional mutagens in both loss-of-function and gain-of-function forward mutagenesis screens. The major advantage of using transposons as genetic tools is that they facilitate analysis of gene function in an easy, controlled and scalable manner. Transposon-based technologies are beginning to be exploited to link sequence information to gene functions in vertebrate models. In this article, we provide an overview of transposon-based methods used in vertebrate model organisms, and highlight the most important considerations concerning genetic applications of the transposon systems. PMID:19478801

  5. Vertebral osteomyelitis combined streptococcal viridans endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kuo-Chen; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Lin, Chih-Yuan; Tsai, Chien-Sung

    2003-01-01

    Endocarditis may be difficult to diagnose in patients with osteomyelitis in an early stage because they usually are treated for fever, bone pain and stiffness in the outpatient department. Herein we report an uncommon patient who developed severe lower back pain sustained for 2 months, and streptococcal viridans infected vertebral osteomyelitis combined endocarditis were diagnosed and cured. PMID:12493523

  6. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  7. Vertebral Osteomyelitis Caused by Helicobacter cinaedi

    PubMed Central

    Yoshizaki, Aisa; Takegawa, Hiroshi; Doi, Asako; Mizuno, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter cinaedi causes bacteremia, cellulitis, and gastroenteritis. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by H. cinaedi in an elderly man with low back pain and fever. The pathogen was detected in blood and lumbar disc, and the infection was successfully treated with oral doxycycline for 11 weeks. PMID:26109448

  8. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  9. Diagnosis and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Jason; Davis, Amy

    2016-07-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common complication of osteoporosis, affecting more than 700,000 Americans annually. Fracture risk increases with age, with four in 10 white women older than 50 years experiencing a hip, spine, or vertebral fracture in their lifetime. VCFs can lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, height loss, impaired activities of daily living, increased risk of pressure sores, pneumonia, and psychological distress. Patients with an acute VCF may report abrupt onset of back pain with position changes, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. Physical examination findings are often normal, but can demonstrate kyphosis and midline spine tenderness. More than two-thirds of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally on plain radiography. Acute VCFs may be treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, and calcitonin. Physicians must be mindful of medication adverse effects in older patients. Other conservative therapeutic options include limited bed rest, bracing, physical therapy, nerve root blocks, and epidural injections. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, is controversial, but can be considered in patients with inadequate pain relief with nonsurgical care or when persistent pain substantially affects quality of life. Family physicians can help prevent vertebral fractures through management of risk factors and the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:27386723

  10. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  11. A differential staining technique for vertebrate histology.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, T K

    1979-03-01

    A staining method is described for studying micro-anatomy of different vertebrate tissues in the light microscope. A staining sequence of celestin blue--erythrosin--orange G--fast green with mordanting in phosphomolybdic acid yields a satisfactory differentiation and fine colour contrast in various tissues. The efficacy of the method was tested on different avian and mammalian tissues. PMID:86938

  12. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  13. Spitzer Digs Up Galactic Fossil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 2

    This false-color image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a globular cluster previously hidden in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Globular clusters are compact bundles of old stars that date back to the birth of our galaxy, 13 or so billion years ago. Astronomers use these galactic 'fossils' as tools for studying the age and formation of the Milky Way.

    Most clusters orbit around the center of the galaxy well above its dust-enshrouded disc, or plane, while making brief, repeated passes through the plane that each last about a million years. Spitzer, with infrared eyes that can see into the dusty galactic plane, first spotted the newfound cluster during its current pass. A visible-light image (inset of Figure 1) shows only a dark patch of sky.

    The red streak behind the core of the cluster is a dust cloud, which may indicate the cluster's interaction with the Milky Way. Alternatively, this cloud may lie coincidentally along Spitzer's line of sight.

    Follow-up observations with the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory helped set the distance of the new cluster at about 9,000 light-years from Earth - closer than most clusters - and set the mass at the equivalent of 300,000 Suns. The cluster's apparent size, as viewed from Earth, is comparable to a grain of rice held at arm's length. It is located in the constellation Aquila.

    Astronomers believe that this cluster may be one of the last in our galaxy to be uncovered.

    This image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by Spitzer's infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red).

    Galactic Fossil Found Behind Curtain of Dust In Figure 2, the image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the

  14. A Fossil Group in Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Eric D.; Rappaport, Saul A.; McDonald, Michael; Bautz, Mark W.; Grant, Catherine E.; Veilleux, Sylvain

    2016-04-01

    In the current picture of hierarchical structure formation, galaxy groups play a vital role as the seeds from which large assemblies of matter form. Compact groups are also important environments in which to watch the fueling of star formation and AGN activity, as the conditions are ideal for galaxy-galaxy interactions. We have identified a galaxy system that may represent an intermediate or transition stage in group evolution. Shakhbazyan 1 (or SHK 1) is a remarkably compact collection of about ten massive, red-sequence galaxies within a region 100 kpc across. Several of these galaxies show signs of AGN activity, and new, deep optical observations with the Discovery Channel Telescope reveal an extended stellar envelope surrounding the galaxies. This envelope is much more extended than what would be expected from a superposition of normal galaxy envelopes, and it indicates a large amount of intra-group starlight, evidence that the galaxies in SHK 1 are dynamically interacting.We here present new Chandra spectral imaging observations of this unusual system that confirm the presence of an X-ray-emitting diffuse intra-group medium (IGM), with a temperature of 1.5 keV and X-ray luminosity of 1043 erg/s. Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, the system is about 1/3 as massive as expected from the optical richness. In addition, three of the ten central galaxies exhibit signatures of X-ray AGN. The under-luminous IGM, high density of bright galaxies, and evidence for galaxy-galaxy interaction indicate that this system may be in a transition stage of galaxy merging, similar to that expected in the formation of a fossil group. Alternatively, SHK 1 may consist of multiple poor groups in the final stages of merging along our line of sight. We explore these scenarios and outline paths of future study for this enigmatic system.

  15. THE GB/3D Fossil Types Online Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, M. P.; McCormick, T.

    2012-12-01

    The ICZN and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants require that every species or subspecies of organism (living & fossil), should have a type or reference specimen to define its characteristic features. These specimens are held in collections around the world and must be available for study. Over time, type specimens can deteriorate or become lost. The British Geological Survey, the National Museum of Wales, the Sedgwick Museum Cambridge and the Oxford Museum of Natural History are working together to create an online database of the type fossils they hold. The web portal provides data about each specimen, searchable on taxonomic, stratigraphic and spatial criteria. For each specimen it is possible to view and download high resolution photographs, and for many of them, 'anaglyph' stereo pairs and 3D scans are available. The portal also provides educational resources (OERs). The rise to prominence of the Web has transformed expectations in accessing information and the Web is now usually the first port of call. However, while many geological museums are providing web-searchable text catalogues, few have undertaken a large-scale program of providing images and 3D models. This project has tackled the issues of merging four distinct data holdings, and setting up workflows to image and scan large numbers of disparate fossils, ranging from small invertebrate macrofossils to large vertebrate skeletal elements. There are three advantages in providing such resources: (1) All users can exploit the collections more efficiently. End-users can view specimens remotely and assess their nature, preservation quality and completeness - in some cases this may be sufficient. It will reduce the need for institutions to send specimens (which are often fragile and always irreplaceable) to researchers by post, or for researchers to make possibly long, expensive and environmentally damaging journeys. (2) A public outreach and education dividend - the ability to

  16. The gospel of the fossil brain: Tilly Edinger and the science of paleoneurology.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, E A; Seyfarth, E A

    1999-03-01

    Tilly Edinger (1897-1967) was a vertebrate paleontologist interested in the evolution of the central nervous system. By combining methods and insights gained from comparative neuroanatomy and paleontology, she almost single-handedly founded modern paleoneurology in the 1920s while working at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main. Edinger's early research was mostly descriptive and conducted within the theoretical framework of brain evolution formulated by O. C. Marsh in the late 19th century. Nevertheless, she became immediately known in 1929 after publishing an extensive review on "fossil brains." Reconstructing evolutionary history from the fossil record instead of from the comparative analysis of living forms allowed her to identify the sequence of neural innovations within several mammalian lineages. Anti-Jewish terrorism forced Edinger to leave Nazi Germany in 1939. After finding refuge first in England, she continued her career at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. There she documented the occurrence of gross neural correlates of specialized behavior in several vertebrate lineages, and identified parallel evolution in mammalian sulcation patterns. Her insight that neural innovations need not be "correlated" with either nonneural innovations or with evolutionary "success" led her to reject Marsh's theory of progressive increase in brain size over time and other "anthropocentric" understandings of brain evolution. Edinger's research, her insistence on a stratigraphic and evolutionary framework for interpretation, and her massive compilations of paleoneurological literature established her as the leading definer, practitioner, and chronicler of her field. PMID:10357066

  17. An overview of the South American fossil squamates.

    PubMed

    Albino, Adriana María; Brizuela, Santiago

    2014-03-01

    The evolution of squamates in South America is the result of the complex geological and paleoclimatic history of this part of the world. The incomplete and episodic fossil record allows us to know only a small part of this evolution. Most Mesozoic squamate remains come from the Patagonian region, but remarkable specimens have also been recovered from Brazil. Both major squamate clades (Iguania and Scleroglossa) are present in the South American Mesozoic. Remains of Mesozoic snakes are common and diverse in Cretaceous deposits, including some of the most primitive terrestrial forms. Paleogene and Neogene squamate remains have been recognized from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Paleogene lizard record appears to be scarce in comparison to that of the Mesozoic, whereas snakes show an important Paleogene diversity. At least two extant boid snakes appeared during this epoch (Boa and Corallus). The South American Miocene included some extant genera of Iguania, Teiidae, and Boidae but extinct genera were also present. "Colubrids" appeared at the early Miocene, whereas the first viperid is known from the late Miocene. Most of the Paleogene and early Neogene squamate families and genera have been recognized outside their current range of distribution following favorable climatic conditions for ectothermic vertebrates. During the latest Miocene and Pliocene few extant squamate taxa are found to occur outside their present distribution. The earliest amphisbaenian of South America is known from the Pliocene. Most Pleistocene and Holocene squamate remains are assigned to living genera, and some extant species were recognized. PMID:24482358

  18. Development incentives for fossil fuel subsidy reform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakob, Michael; Chen, Claudine; Fuss, Sabine; Marxen, Annika; Edenhofer, Ottmar

    2015-08-01

    Reforming fossil fuel subsidies could free up enough funds to finance universal access to water, sanitation, and electricity in many countries, as well as helping to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions.

  19. Proceedings: 1990 fossil plant cycling conference

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Fossil plant cycling continues to be a key issue for many electric utilities. EPRI's previous cycling workshops, held in 1983, 1985, and 1987, allowed utilities to benefit from collective industry experience in the conversion of baseload fossil units to cyclic operation. Continued improvements in equipment, retrofits, diagnostics, and controls were highlighted at the 1990 conference. The objective is to provide a forum for utility discussions of the cycling operation of fossil fuel power plants. Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) hosted the 1990 EPRI Fossil Fuel Cycling Conference in Washington, DC, on December 4--6, 1990. More than 130 representatives from utilities, vendors, government agencies, universities, and industry associations attended the conference. Following the general session, technical sessions covered such topics as plant modifications, utility retrofit experience, cycling economics, life assessment, controls, environmental controls, and energy storage. Attendees also toured PEPCO's Potomac River generating station, the site of an earlier EPRI cycling conversion study.

  20. Expected anomalies in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Mareike; Steel, Mike

    2008-01-01

    The problem of intermediates in the fossil record has been frequently discussed ever since Darwin. The extent of 'gaps' (missing transitional stages) has been used to argue against gradual evolution from a common ancestor. Traditionally, gaps have often been explained by the improbability of fossilization and the discontinuous selection of found fossils. Here we take an analytical approach and demonstrate why, under certain sampling conditions, we may not expect intermediates to be found. Using a simple null model, we show mathematically that the question of whether a taxon sampled from some time in the past is likely to be morphologically intermediate to other samples (dated earlier and later) depends on the shape and dimensions of the underlying phylogenetic tree that connects the taxa, and the times from which the fossils are sampled. PMID:19204808

  1. Fossil Finds Expand Early Hominid Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bower, B.

    1991-01-01

    Hominid fossils found in late 1990 in Ethiopia are reported. A controversy surrounding these remains and those of earlier expeditions, including Lucy, over whether more than one species of hominid are represented is discussed. (CW)

  2. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-03-01

    Desert varnish, a mixture of clays, Mn-oxides, and Fe-oxides, is a potential terrestrial analogue to Martian hematite. A scanning electron microscopic examination of samples from Pilbara, Australia revealed evidence of microbial fossilization.

  3. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    PubMed

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (< 9%) have a fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. PMID:26932459

  4. Fossil energy program. Progress report, July 1980

    SciTech Connect

    McNeese, L. E.

    1980-10-01

    This report - the seventy-second of a series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives to oil and gas as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process and program analysis, fossil energy environmental analysis, coal preparation and waste utilization, coal preparation plant automation, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, technical support to the TVA fluidized bed combustion demonstration plant program, fossil energy applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international assessment of atmospheric fluidized bed combustion technology, and PFBC systems analysis.

  5. Determination of vertebral pose in 3D by minimization of vertebral asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrtovec, Tomaž; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2011-03-01

    The vertebral pose in three dimensions (3D) may provide valuable information for quantitative clinical measurements or aid the initialization of image analysis techniques. We propose a method for automated determination of the vertebral pose in 3D that, in an iterative registration scheme, estimates the position and rotation of the vertebral coordinate system in 3D images. By searching for the hypothetical points, which are located where the boundaries of anatomical structures would have maximal symmetrical correspondences when mirrored over the vertebral planes, the asymmetry of vertebral anatomical structures is minimized. The method was evaluated on 14 normal and 14 scoliotic vertebrae in images acquired by computed tomography (CT). For each vertebra, 1000 randomly initialized experiments were performed. The results show that the vertebral pose can be successfully determined in 3D with mean accuracy of 0.5mm and 0.6° and mean precision of 0.17mm and 0.17. according to the 3D position and 3D rotation, respectively.

  6. Fossil facies of the Greater Caspian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svitoch, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    The Pliocene-Pleistocene marine sediments of the Great Caspian region host various lithological fossil facies, which reflect specific sedimentation conditions caused by different structural-geomorphologic settings, tectonic regimes, climates, and hydrologies. The facies of shelf, epicontinental basins, ingression gulfs and estuaries, intermontane and mountainous basins, and deep-sea depressions form a hierarchy of geological bodies from types to subtypes. Paragenetic associations of fossil facies, which form various series in space and along the section, are typical of marine sediments.

  7. Soft tissue influence on ex vivo mobility in the hip of Iguana: comparison with in vivo movement and its bearing on joint motion of fossil sprawling tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Patrick; Fischer, Martin S; Nyakatura, John A

    2014-07-01

    The reconstruction of a joint's maximum range of mobility (ROM) often is a first step when trying to understand the locomotion of fossil tetrapods. But previous studies suggest that the ROM of a joint is restricted by soft tissues surrounding the joint. To expand the limited informative value of ROM studies for the reconstruction of a fossil species' locomotor characteristics, it is moreover necessary to better understand the relationship of ex vivo ROM with the actual in vivo joint movement. To gain insight into the relationship between ex vivo mobility and in vivo movement, we systematically tested for the influence of soft tissues on joint ROM in the hip of the modern lizard Iguana iguana. Then, we compared the ex vivo mobility to in vivo kinematics of the hip joint in the same specimens using X-ray sequences of steady-state treadmill locomotion previously recorded. With stepwise removal of soft tissues and a repeated-measurement protocol, we show that soft tissues surrounding the hip joint considerably limit ROM, highlighting the problems when joint ROM is deduced from bare bones only. We found the integument to have the largest effect on the range of long-axis rotation, pro- and retraction. Importantly, during locomotion the iguana used only a fragment of the ROM that was measured in our least restrictive dissection situation (i.e. pelvis and femur only conjoined by ligaments), demonstrating the discrepancy between hip joint ROM and actual in vivo movement. Our study emphasizes the necessity for caution when attempting to reconstruct joint ROM or even locomotor kinematics from fossil bones only, as actual in vivo movement cannot be deduced directly from any condition of cadaver mobility in Iguana and likely in other tetrapods. PMID:24762236

  8. Soft tissue influence on ex vivo mobility in the hip of Iguana: comparison with in vivo movement and its bearing on joint motion of fossil sprawling tetrapods

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Patrick; Fischer, Martin S; Nyakatura, John A

    2014-01-01

    The reconstruction of a joint's maximum range of mobility (ROM) often is a first step when trying to understand the locomotion of fossil tetrapods. But previous studies suggest that the ROM of a joint is restricted by soft tissues surrounding the joint. To expand the limited informative value of ROM studies for the reconstruction of a fossil species’ locomotor characteristics, it is moreover necessary to better understand the relationship of ex vivo ROM with the actual in vivo joint movement. To gain insight into the relationship between ex vivo mobility and in vivo movement, we systematically tested for the influence of soft tissues on joint ROM in the hip of the modern lizard Iguana iguana. Then, we compared the ex vivo mobility to in vivo kinematics of the hip joint in the same specimens using X-ray sequences of steady-state treadmill locomotion previously recorded. With stepwise removal of soft tissues and a repeated-measurement protocol, we show that soft tissues surrounding the hip joint considerably limit ROM, highlighting the problems when joint ROM is deduced from bare bones only. We found the integument to have the largest effect on the range of long-axis rotation, pro- and retraction. Importantly, during locomotion the iguana used only a fragment of the ROM that was measured in our least restrictive dissection situation (i.e. pelvis and femur only conjoined by ligaments), demonstrating the discrepancy between hip joint ROM and actual in vivo movement. Our study emphasizes the necessity for caution when attempting to reconstruct joint ROM or even locomotor kinematics from fossil bones only, as actual in vivo movement cannot be deduced directly from any condition of cadaver mobility in Iguana and likely in other tetrapods. PMID:24762236

  9. Reconciling molecular phylogenies with the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; Parsons, Todd L; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2011-09-27

    Historical patterns of species diversity inferred from phylogenies typically contradict the direct evidence found in the fossil record. According to the fossil record, species frequently go extinct, and many clades experience periods of dramatic diversity loss. However, most analyses of molecular phylogenies fail to identify any periods of declining diversity, and they typically infer low levels of extinction. This striking inconsistency between phylogenies and fossils limits our understanding of macroevolution, and it undermines our confidence in phylogenetic inference. Here, we show that realistic extinction rates and diversity trajectories can be inferred from molecular phylogenies. To make this inference, we derive an analytic expression for the likelihood of a phylogeny that accommodates scenarios of declining diversity, time-variable rates, and incomplete sampling; we show that this likelihood expression reliably detects periods of diversity loss using simulation. We then study the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), a group for which standard phylogenetic inferences are strikingly inconsistent with fossil data. When the cetacean phylogeny is considered as a whole, recently radiating clades, such as the Balaneopteridae, Delphinidae, Phocoenidae, and Ziphiidae, mask the signal of extinctions. However, when isolating these groups, we infer diversity dynamics that are consistent with the fossil record. These results reconcile molecular phylogenies with fossil data, and they suggest that most extant cetaceans arose from four recent radiations, with a few additional species arising from clades that have been in decline over the last ~10 Myr. PMID:21930899

  10. Reconciling molecular phylogenies with the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Morlon, Hélène; Parsons, Todd L.; Plotkin, Joshua B.

    2011-01-01

    Historical patterns of species diversity inferred from phylogenies typically contradict the direct evidence found in the fossil record. According to the fossil record, species frequently go extinct, and many clades experience periods of dramatic diversity loss. However, most analyses of molecular phylogenies fail to identify any periods of declining diversity, and they typically infer low levels of extinction. This striking inconsistency between phylogenies and fossils limits our understanding of macroevolution, and it undermines our confidence in phylogenetic inference. Here, we show that realistic extinction rates and diversity trajectories can be inferred from molecular phylogenies. To make this inference, we derive an analytic expression for the likelihood of a phylogeny that accommodates scenarios of declining diversity, time-variable rates, and incomplete sampling; we show that this likelihood expression reliably detects periods of diversity loss using simulation. We then study the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), a group for which standard phylogenetic inferences are strikingly inconsistent with fossil data. When the cetacean phylogeny is considered as a whole, recently radiating clades, such as the Balaneopteridae, Delphinidae, Phocoenidae, and Ziphiidae, mask the signal of extinctions. However, when isolating these groups, we infer diversity dynamics that are consistent with the fossil record. These results reconcile molecular phylogenies with fossil data, and they suggest that most extant cetaceans arose from four recent radiations, with a few additional species arising from clades that have been in decline over the last ∼10 Myr. PMID:21930899

  11. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  12. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  13. The variety of vertebrate mechanisms of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Trukhina, Antonina V; Lukina, Natalia A; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D; Smirnov, Alexander F

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24369014

  14. Intra-arterial Onyx Embolization of Vertebral Body Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Sedora-Roman, Neda I.; Reddy, Arra Suresh; Ogilvy, Christopher S.; Thomas, Ajith J.

    2013-01-01

    While Onyx embolization of cerebrospinal arteriovenous shunts is well-established, clinical researchers continue to broaden applications to other vascular lesions of the neuraxis. This report illustrates the application of Onyx (eV3, Plymouth, MN) embolization to vertebral body lesions, specifically, a vertebral hemangioma and renal cell carcinoma vertebral body metastatic lesion. PMID:24729960

  15. The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Brocklehurst, Neil; Upchurch, Paul; Mannion, Philip D.; O'Connor, Jingmai

    2012-01-01

    Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes) radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and Coniacian–Santonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a ‘sampling corrected’ residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagerstätten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this interval but

  16. New postcranial fossils of Australopithecus afarensis from Hadar, Ethiopia (1990-2007).

    PubMed

    Ward, Carol V; Kimbel, William H; Harmon, Elizabeth H; Johanson, Donald C

    2012-07-01

    Renewed fieldwork at Hadar, Ethiopia, from 1990 to 2007, by a team based at the Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, resulted in the recovery of 49 new postcranial fossils attributed to Australopithecus afarensis. These fossils include elements from both the upper and lower limbs as well as the axial skeleton, and increase the sample size of previously known elements for A. afarensis. The expanded Hadar sample provides evidence of multiple new individuals that are intermediate in size between the smallest and largest individuals previously documented, and so support the hypothesis that a single dimorphic species is represented. Consideration of the functional anatomy of the new fossils supports the hypothesis that no functional or behavioral differences need to be invoked to explain the morphological variation between large and small A. afarensis individuals. Several specimens provide important new data about this species, including new vertebrae supporting the hypothesis that A. afarensis may have had a more human-like thoracic form than previously appreciated, with an invaginated thoracic vertebral column. A distal pollical phalanx confirms the presence of a human-like flexor pollicis longus muscle in A. afarensis. The new fossils include the first complete fourth metatarsal known for A. afarensis. This specimen exhibits the dorsoplantarly expanded base, axial torsion and domed head typical of humans, revealing the presence of human-like permanent longitudinal and transverse arches and extension of the metatarsophalangeal joints as in human-like heel-off during gait. The new Hadar postcranial fossils provide a more complete picture of postcranial functional anatomy, and individual and temporal variation within this sample. They provide the basis for further in-depth analyses of the behavioral and evolutionary significance of A. afarensis anatomy, and greater insight into the biology and evolution of these early hominins. PMID:22652491

  17. Fossil group origins. IV. Characterization of the sample and observational properties of fossil systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarattini, S.; Barrena, R.; Girardi, M.; Castro-Rodriguez, N.; Boschin, W.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Catalán-Torrecilla, C.; Corsini, E. M.; del Burgo, C.; D'Onghia, E.; Herrera-Ruiz, N.; Iglesias-Páramo, J.; Jimenez Bailon, E.; Lozada Muoz, M.; Napolitano, N.; Vilchez, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    Context. Virialized halos grow by the accretion of smaller ones in the cold dark matter scenario. The rate of accretion depends on the different properties of the host halo. Those halos for which this accretion rate was very fast and efficient resulted in systems dominated by a central galaxy surrounded by smaller galaxies that were at least two magnitudes fainter. These galaxy systems are called fossil systems, and they can be the fossil relics of ancient galaxy structures. Aims: We started an extensive observational program to characterize a sample of 34 fossil group candidates spanning a broad range of physical properties. Methods: Deep r-band images were obtained with the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope and Nordic Optic Telescope. Optical spectroscopic observations were performed at the 3.5-m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo for ~1200 galaxies. This new dataset was completed with Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 archival data to obtain robust cluster membership and global properties of each fossil group candidate. For each system, we recomputed the magnitude gaps between the two brightest galaxies (Δm12) and the first and fourth ranked galaxies (Δm14) within 0.5 R200. We consider fossil systems to be those with Δm12 ≥ 2 mag or Δm14 ≥ 2.5 mag within the errors. Results: We find that 15 candidates turned out to be fossil systems. Their observational properties agree with those of non-fossil systems. Both follow the same correlations, but the fossil systems are always extreme cases. In particular, they host the brightest central galaxies, and the fraction of total galaxy light enclosed in the brightest group galaxy is larger in fossil than in non-fossil systems. Finally, we confirm the existence of genuine fossil clusters. Conclusions: Combining our results with others in the literature, we favor the merging scenario in which fossil systems formed from mergers of L∗ galaxies. The large magnitude gap is a consequence of the extreme merger ratio within

  18. Fossil group origins - VI. Global X-ray scaling relations of fossil galaxy clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundert, A.; Gastaldello, F.; D'Onghia, E.; Girardi, M.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Barrena, R.; Corsini, E. M.; De Grandi, S.; Jiménez-Bailón, E.; Lozada-Muñoz, M.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Wilcots, E.; Zarattini, S.

    2015-11-01

    We present the first pointed X-ray observations of 10 candidate fossil galaxy groups and clusters. With these Suzaku observations, we determine global temperatures and bolometric X-ray luminosities of the intracluster medium (ICM) out to r500 for six systems in our sample. The remaining four systems show signs of significant contamination from non-ICM sources. For the six objects with successfully determined r500 properties, we measure global temperatures in the range 2.8 ≤ TX ≤ 5.3 keV, bolometric X-ray luminosities of 0.8 × 1044 ≤ LX, bol ≤ 7.7 × 1044 erg s-1, and estimate masses, as derived from TX, of M500 ≳ 1014 M⊙. Fossil cluster scaling relations are constructed for a sample that combines our Suzaku observed fossils with fossils in the literature. Using measurements of global X-ray luminosity, temperature, optical luminosity, and velocity dispersion, scaling relations for the fossil sample are then compared with a control sample of non-fossil systems. We find the fits of our fossil cluster scaling relations are consistent with the relations for normal groups and clusters, indicating fossil clusters have global ICM X-ray properties similar to those of comparable mass non-fossil systems.

  19. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: An Economic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Untreated vertebral compression fractures can have serious clinical consequences and impose a considerable impact on patients' quality of life and on caregivers. Since non-surgical management of these fractures has limited effectiveness, vertebral augmentation procedures are gaining acceptance in clinical practice for pain control and fracture stabilization. The objective of this analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in patients with cancer. Methods We performed a systematic review of health economic studies to identify relevant studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in adults with cancer. We also performed a primary cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the clinical benefits and costs of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management in the same population. We developed a Markov model to forecast benefits and harms of treatments, and corresponding quality-adjusted life years and costs. Clinical data and utility data were derived from published sources, while costing data were derived using Ontario administrative sources. We performed sensitivity analyses to examine the robustness of the results. In addition, a 1-year budget impact analysis was performed using data from Ontario administrative sources. Two scenarios were explored: (a) an increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario, maintaining the current proportion of kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty; and (b) no increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario but an increase in the proportion of kyphoplasties versus vertebroplasties. Results The base case considered each of

  20. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  1. Dynamic epithelia of the developing vertebrate face

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Chong Pyo; Crump, J. Gage

    2015-01-01

    A segmental series of endoderm-derived pouch and ectoderm-derived cleft epithelia act as signaling centers in the developing face. Their precise morphogenesis is therefore essential for proper patterning of the vertebrate head. Intercellular adhesion and polarity are highly dynamic within developing facial epithelial cells, with signaling from the adjacent mesenchyme controlling both epithelial character and directional migration. Endodermal and ectodermal epithelia fuse to form the primary mouth and gill slits, which involves basement membrane dissolution, cell intercalations, and apoptosis, as well as undergo further morphogenesis to generate the middle ear cavity and glands of the neck. Recent studies of facial epithelia are revealing both core programs of epithelial morphogenesis and insights into the coordinated assembly of the vertebrate head. PMID:25748249

  2. Clinical Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Miller, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCF's) are the most common form of osteoporotic fractures. Whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, they both represent a high risk for not only vertebral but also nonvertebral fractures in untreated populations. This high risk of future fracture after a VCF is independent of the T-score because bone strength is a combination of bone mineral density and bone quality. VCFs are the single greatest risk for future fractures at all other skeletal sites in untreated populations, including hip fractures. They are often unrecognized despite their exceptionally high prevalence in all genders and most ethnic groups as age increases. This article highlights some of the key messages about VCF's, and how assessment for their presence and then management will reduce the risk of all osteoporotic fractures. PMID:26439186

  3. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  4. Turning Heads: Development of Vertebrate Branchiomotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2007-01-01

    The cranial motor neurons innervate muscles that control eye, jaw, and facial movements of the vertebrate head and parasympathetic neurons that innervate certain glands and organs. These efferent neurons develop at characteristic locations in the brainstem, and their axons exit the neural tube in well-defined trajectories to innervate target tissues. This review is focused on a subset of cranial motor neurons called the branchiomotor neurons, which innervate muscles derived from the branchial (pharyngeal) arches. First, the organization of the branchiomotor pathways in zebrafish, chick, and mouse embryos will be compared, and the underlying axon guidance mechanisms will be addressed. Next, the molecular mechanisms that generate branchiomotor neurons and specify their identities will be discussed. Finally, the caudally directed or tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons will be examined. Given the advances in the characterization and analysis of vertebrate genomes, we can expect rapid progress in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these vital neuronal networks. PMID:14699587

  5. Population momentum across vertebrate life histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koons, D.N.; Grand, J.B.; Arnold, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Population abundance is critically important in conservation, management, and demographic theory. Thus, to better understand how perturbations to the life history affect long-term population size, we examined population momentum for four vertebrate classes with different life history strategies. In a series of demographic experiments we show that population momentum generally has a larger effect on long-term population size for organisms with long generation times than for organisms with short generation times. However, patterns between population momentum and generation time varied across taxonomic groups and according to the life history parameter that was changed. Our findings indicate that momentum may be an especially important aspect of population dynamics for long-lived vertebrates, and deserves greater attention in life history studies. Further, we discuss the importance of population momentum in natural resource management, pest control, and conservation arenas. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. [A vertebral arteriovenous fistula diagnosed by auscultation].

    PubMed

    Iglesias Escalera, G; Diaz-Delgado Peñas, R; Carrasco Marina, M Ll; Maraña Perez, A; Ialeggio, D

    2015-01-01

    Cervical artery fistulas are rare arteriovenous malformations. The etiology of the vertebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) can be traumatic or spontaneous. They tend to be asymptomatic or palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. An arteriography is necessary for a definitive diagnosis. The treatment is complete embolization of the fistula. We present the case of a two year-old male, where the mother described it «like a washing machine in his head». On palpation during the physical examination, there was a continuous vibration, and a continuous murmur in left cervical region. A vascular malformation in vertebral region was clinically suspected, and confirmed with angio-MRI and arteriography. AVF are rare in childhood. They should be suspected in the presence of noises, palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. Early diagnosis can prevent severe complications in asymptomatic children. PMID:24598790

  7. Vertebral osteomyelitis: disk hypodensity on CT

    SciTech Connect

    Larde, D.; Mathieu, D.; Frija, J.; Gaston, A.; Vasile, N.

    1982-11-01

    The importance and role of computed tomography (CT) are discussed on the basis of 36 cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. The bone images themselves, the detection of lumbar disk hypodensity, and the exploration of soft paraspinal regions in the search for an abscess are factors that contribute to the superiority of this method in difficult cases. In cases where the diagnosis is already known, CT offers an excellent method to assess the extent of the lesions. Its accuracy, coupled with its rapidity and noninvasive nature, affects the role of conventional tomography, a method that is incomplete and involves higher radiation doses. CT offers an excellent method for follow-up after treatment of vertebral osteomyelitis.

  8. Vertebral destruction due to abdominal aortic aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez Viseu Pinheiro, J.F.; Blanco Blanco, J.F.; Pescador Hernández, D.; García García, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Low back pain is a common cause of medical consultation, and usually supposes a non-malignant prognostic. Presentation of case We report an atypical appearance of low back pain associated to shock and pulsatile abdominal mass that made us diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm as reason of vertebral lysis and pain. Discusion Surgical repair of contained AAA should be directed to secondary re-rupture prevention, with an approximate survival near to 100% at selected patients for elective surgery. Consequently, orthopedic surgery for back spine stabilization has to be elective in those cases when vertebral destruction is above 30% and clinic is directly related to spine instability. Conclusion We should consider AAA as other cause of low back pain and routinely examine the abdomen and seek complementary imaging proves when risk factors for AAA are present. PMID:25569196

  9. Acute compressive myelopathy due to vertebral haemangioma

    PubMed Central

    Macki, Mohamed; Bydon, Mohamad; Kaloostian, Paul; Bydon, Ali

    2014-01-01

    A 47-year-old woman with a history of anaemia presented to the emergency room with an acute onset of leg weakness. Physical examination of the bilateral lower extremities was significant for 0/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups with decreased pinprick and temperature sensation. A sensory level at the umbilicus was appreciated. Fine touch and proprioception were preserved. Bowel and bladder function were intact. CT revealed several thoracic, vertebral haemangiomatas. An MRI was suggestive of an epidural clot at the T8–T10-weighted posterior epidural space. At the level of the lesion, the cerebrospinal fluid space was completely effaced, and the flattened spinal cord exhibited signs of oedema and compressive myelopathy. The patient immediately underwent surgical decompression of the spinal cord. An epidural clot and vessel conglomeration were identified. A postoperative spinal angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of vertebral haemangioma. At 1-month follow-up, the patient regained strength and sensation. PMID:24777075

  10. The Timing of Timezyme Diversification in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2′paralogs, the 2′ isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  11. Light sensitivity in a vertebrate mechanoreceptor?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Gary E.; de Grip, Willem J.; Turton, Michael; Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Foster, Russell G.; Douglas, Ron H.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis, we demonstrate that melanopsin is localised in cells around the central pore of lateral line neuromasts in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Since melanopsin is a known photoreceptor pigment with diverse functions in vertebrates, we suggest that the lateral line of Xenopus laevis, which is primarily a mechanoreceptor, might also be light sensitive. Potential functions of such photosensitivity are discussed, including its role in mediating locomotor responses following dermal illumination. PMID:26206352

  12. Transmission of Ranavirus between Ectothermic Vertebrate Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J.; Waltzek, Thomas B.; Wilkes, Rebecca P.; Miller, Debra L.

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen’s persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance. PMID:24667325

  13. The timing of Timezyme diversification in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2'paralogs, the 2' isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  14. Pyogenic Vertebral Osteomyelitis in Heroin Addicts

    PubMed Central

    Fishbach, Ronald S.; Rosenblatt, Jon E.; Dahlgren, James G.

    1973-01-01

    The diagnosis of pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis was made in seven narcotic addicts between 1967 and 1972. Vertebrae involved were either cervical or lumbar. Bacteriologic diagnosis was made in each case by percutaneous needle biopsy and aspiration. Staphylococcus aureus was cultured in two patients. Five patients had infections due to Gram-negative bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter. All patients were cured by treatment with antibiotics and immobilization. PMID:4199351

  15. The properties of fossil groups of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eigenthaler, P.; Zeilinger, W. W.

    2009-12-01

    Numerical simulations as well as optical and X-ray observations over the last few years have shown that poor groups of galaxies can evolve to what is called a fossil group. Dynamical friction as the driving process leads to the coalescence of individual galaxies in ordinary poor groups leaving behind nothing more than a central, massive elliptical galaxy supposed to contain the merger history of the whole group. Due to merging timescales for less-massive galaxies and gas cooling timescales of the X-ray intragroup medium exceeding a Hubble time, a surrounding faint-galaxy population having survived this galactic cannibalism as well as an extended X-ray halo similar to that found in ordinary groups, is expected. Recent studies suggest that fossil groups are very abundant and could be the progenitors of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in the centers of rich galaxy clusters. However, only a few objects are known to the literature. This article aims to summarize the results of observational fossil group research over the last few years and presents ongoing work by the authors. Complementary to previous research, the SDSS and RASS surveys have been cross-correlated to identify new fossil structures yielding 34 newly detected fossil group candidates. Observations with ISIS at the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma have been carried out to study the stellar populations of the central ellipticals of 6 fossil groups. In addition multi-object spectroscopy with VLTs VIMOS has been performed to study the shape of the OLF of one fossil system.

  16. Dental development in living and fossil orangutans.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies have investigated molar development in extant and fossil hominoids, yet relatively little is known about orangutans, the only great ape with an extensive fossil record. This study characterizes aspects of dental development, including cuspal enamel daily secretion rate, long-period line periodicities, cusp-specific molar crown formation times and extension rates, and initiation and completion ages in living and fossil orangutan postcanine teeth. Daily secretion rate and periodicities in living orangutans are similar to previous reports, while crown formation times often exceed published values, although direct comparisons are limited. One wild Bornean individual died at 4.5 years of age with fully erupted first molars (M1s), while a captive individual and a wild Sumatran individual likely erupted their M1s around five or six years of age. These data underscore the need for additional samples of orangutans of known sex, species, and developmental environment to explore potential sources of variation in molar emergence and their relationship to life history variables. Fossil orangutans possess larger crowns than living orangutans, show similarities in periodicities, and have faster daily secretion rate, longer crown formation times, and slower extension rates. Molar crown formation times exceed reported values for other fossil apes, including Gigantopithecus blacki. When compared to African apes, both living and fossil orangutans show greater cuspal enamel thickness values and periodicities, resulting in longer crown formation times and slower extension rates. Several of these variables are similar to modern humans, representing examples of convergent evolution. Molar crown formation does not appear to be equivalent among extant great apes or consistent within living and fossil members of Pongo or Homo. PMID:27178461

  17. African fossil tali: further multivariate morphometric studies.

    PubMed

    Lisowski, F P; Albrecht, G H

    1976-07-01

    Analysis of measurements from the tali of 21 individual fossil primates from Africa shows that the specimens fall into five clearly defined groups. Accordingly, these specimens have been included as groups along with extant species in a subsequent canonical analysis thus allowing the fossils to play their part in the determination of the canonical separations. The results of this procedure show that the five fossil groups lie in a part of the canonical space not occupied by any extant African primate. Their positions are between the envelope of Asiatic apes (Hylobates and Pongo) and the envelope of African forms near the edge which contains Pan and Papio. One fossil group is so similar to Hylobates that its talus may have functioned in locomotion in a parallel manner. Others lie near to Pongo in directions proceeding towards Pan and Papio and it is possible that this similarity may indicate remnants of morphological adaptation for climbing in these fossils. At the same time, however, individual specimens are closer to one or another of the extant groups and this considerable spread suggests that the locomotor adaptations as evidenced by talar morphology, of the primate fauna in Africa, may have been very different from those of the present day. This would not the inconsistent with the different habitats, floras and non-primate faunas that may have characterized the East African scene at these earlier times. Particular fossils from Olduvai and Kromdraai that are supposed to be australopithecine and therefore bipeds, are confirmed (Oxnard, '72; Lisowski et al., '74) as being totally different from man in their talar morphology and essentially rather similar to the majority of the other fossil tali examined. PMID:961834

  18. T-cell receptors in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S; De Guerra, A; Kerfourn, F; Partula, S

    1998-12-01

    The structure and expression of genes encoding molecules homologous to mammalian T-cell receptors (TCR) have been recently studied in ectothermic vertebrate species representative of chondrychthians, teleosts, and amphibians. The overall TCR chain structure is well conserved in phylogeny: TCR beta- and TCR alpha-like chains were detected in all the species analyzed; TCR gamma- and TCR delta-like chains were also present in a chondrychthian species. The diversity potential of the variable (V) and joining (J) segments is rather large and, as in mammals, conserved diversity (D) segments are associated to the TCR beta and TCR delta chains. An important level of junctional diversity occurred at the V-(D)-J junctions, with the potential addition of N- and P-nucleotides. Thus, the conservation of the structure and of the potential of diversity of TCR molecules have been under a permanent selective pressure during vertebrate evolution. The structure of MHC class I and class II molecules was also well conserved in jawed vertebrates. TCR and MHC molecules are strongly functionally linked and play a determinant role in the initiation and the regulation of the specific immune responses; thus, it is not surprising that their structures have been reciprocally frozen during evolution. PMID:9914905

  19. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight. PMID:27030773

  20. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  1. Effects of hypoxia on vertebrate blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Russell, Michael J; Dombkowski, Ryan A; Olson, Kenneth R

    2008-03-01

    Hypoxia contracts mammalian respiratory vessels and increases vascular resistance in respiratory tissues of many vertebrates. In systemic vessels these responses vary, hypoxia relaxes mammalian vessels and contracts systemic arteries from cyclostomes. It has been proposed that hypoxic vasoconstriction in cyclostome systemic arteries is the antecedent to mammalian hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, however, phylogenetic characterization of hypoxic responses is lacking. In this study, we characterized the hypoxic response of isolated systemic and respiratory vessels from a variety of vertebrates using standard myography. Pre-gill/respiratory (ventral aorta, afferent branchial artery, pulmonary artery) and post-gill/systemic (dorsal and thoracic aortas, efferent branchial artery) from lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), chicken (Gallus domesticus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) were exposed to hypoxia at rest or during pre-stimulation (elevated extracellular potassium, epinephrine or norepinephrine). Hypoxia produced a relaxation or transient contraction followed by relaxation in all pre-gill vessels, except for contraction in lamprey, and vasoconstriction or tri-phasic constriction-dilation-constriction in all pulmonary vessels. Hypoxia contracted systemic vessels from all animals except shark and rat and in pre-contracted rat aortas it produced a transient contraction followed by relaxation. These results show that while the classic "systemic hypoxic vasodilation and pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction" may occur in the microcirculation, the hypoxic response of the vertebrate macrocirculation is quite variable. These findings also suggest that hypoxic vasoconstriction is a phylogenetically ancient response. PMID:18214862

  2. Fungal osteomyelitis with vertebral re-ossification

    PubMed Central

    O′Guinn, Devon J.; Serletis, Demitre; Kazemi, Noojan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We present a rare case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to pulmonary Blastomyces dermatitides. Presentation of case A 27-year-old male presented with three months of chest pains and non-productive cough. Examination revealed diminished breath sounds on the right. CT/MR imaging confirmed a right-sided pre-/paravertebral soft tissue mass and destructive lytic lesions from T2 to T6. CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed granulomatous pulmonary Blastomycosis. Conservative management with antifungal therapy was initiated. Neurosurgical review confirmed no clinical or profound radiographic instability, and the patient was stabilized with TLSO bracing. Serial imaging 3 months later revealed near-resolution of the thoracic soft tissue mass, with vertebral re-ossification from T2 to T6. Discussion Fungal osteomyelitis presents a rare entity in the spectrum of spinal infections. In such cases, lytic spinal lesions are classically seen in association with a large paraspinous mass. Fungal infections of the spinal column may be treated conservatively, with surgical intervention reserved for progressive cases manifesting with neurological compromise and/or spinal column instability. Here, we found unexpected evidence for vertebral re-ossification across the affected thoracic levels (T2-6) in response to IV antibiotic therapy and conservative bracing, nearly 3 months later. PMID:26692163

  3. The Immunoglobulins of Cold-Blooded Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  4. FRAX and the effect of teriparatide on vertebral and non-vertebral fracture

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Nicholas C; Kanis, John A; Odén, Anders; Burge, Russel T; Mitlak, Bruce H; Johansson, Helena; McCloskey, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Summary Daily teriparatide injections have been shown to reduce vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Here we demonstrate that the magnitude of fracture risk reduction is independent of baseline fracture probability assessed by FRAX. Background Daily administration of 20μg or 40μg teriparatide has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture compared with placebo. The aim of the present study was to evaluate fracture risk assessed at baseline using the FRAX® tool and to determine the efficacy of teriparatide as a function of baseline fracture risk. Methods 1637 postmenopausal women in the pivotal phase 3 trial, randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=544), teriparatide 20 μg per day (n=541) or teriparatide 40 μg per day (n=552), were studied. Baseline clinical risk factors were entered into country-specific FRAX models to compute the 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures with or without input of femoral neck BMD. Because there was no difference in effect of 20 and 40μg teriparatide daily on fracture occurrence, the two active groups were merged. The interaction between probability of a major fracture and treatment efficacy was examined by Poisson regression. Results The 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures (with BMD) ranged from 2.2-67.2%. Treatment with teriparatide was associated with a 37% decrease in all non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:10-56 %) and a 56% decrease in low energy non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:24-75%) compared with placebo. The risk of morphometric vertebral fractures decreased significantly by 66% (95% CI:50-77%). Hazard ratios for the effect of teriparatide on the fracture outcome did not change significantly with increasing fracture probability (p>0.30). Similar findings were noted for the interaction when BMD was excluded from the FRAX model, or when probability of hip fracture was used as the marker of baseline risk. Conclusion We conclude that teriparatide

  5. New craniodental fossils of papionin monkeys from Cooper's D, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Folinsbee, Kaila E; Reisz, Robert R

    2013-08-01

    Papionin monkey fossils are common in the Plio-Pleistocene aged karst cave deposits northwest of Johannesburg in South Africa. These deposits have yielded important primate and other vertebrate fauna since their discovery in the early part of the 20th century. In this article, we describe new primate cranial and dental specimens from excavations at the site of Cooper's D in the Sterkfontein Valley that date to around 1.5 million years ago. Unlike other localities in southern Africa, most of the new fossils are referred to Theropithecus oswaldi oswaldi, an extinct gramnivorous monkey related to the living gelada. Diagnostic features of T. o. oswaldi crania and teeth include large, thickly enameled molars with tall, columnar cusps, and high molar relief, an upright mandibular ramus, postorbital constriction, and anterior fusion of temporal lines. Also present in the new sample are teeth referred to Papio sp., which show low crowned bunodont molars, and a number of indeterminate papionin teeth and skull fragments. The presence of T. o. oswaldi at Cooper's D extends the list of known localities where the taxon is found, and may indicate the presence of an open, grassland environment in the area during the early Pleistocene. The abundance of theropith fossils at Cooper's suggests that Papio was not consistently the most common papionin in southern Africa over the past three million years. PMID:23868174

  6. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  7. A geochronologic framework for the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahan, Shannon A.; Gray, Harrison J.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Wilson, Jim; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Paces, James B.; Blaauw, Maarten

    2014-11-01

    The Ziegler Reservoir fossil site near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA), provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct high-altitude paleoenvironmental conditions in the Rocky Mountains during the Last Interglacial Period. We used four different techniques to establish a chronological framework for the site. Radiocarbon dating of lake organics, bone collagen, and shell carbonate, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al ages on a boulder on the crest of a moraine that impounded the lake suggest that the ages of the sediments that hosted the fossils are between ~ 140 ka and > 45 ka. Uranium-series ages of vertebrate remains generally fall within these bounds, but extremely low uranium concentrations and evidence of open-system behavior limit their utility. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages (n = 18) obtained from fine-grained quartz maintain stratigraphic order, were replicable, and provide reliable ages for the lake sediments. Analysis of the equivalent dose (DE) dispersion of the OSL samples showed that the sediments were fully bleached prior to deposition and low scatter suggests that eolian processes were likely the dominant transport mechanism for fine-grained sediments into the lake. The resulting ages show that the fossil-bearing sediments span the latest part of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 6, all of MIS 5 and MIS 4, and the earliest part of MIS 3.

  8. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  9. A geochronologic framework for the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahan, Shannon; Gray, Harrison J.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Wilson, Jim; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Paces, James B.; Blaauw, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    The Ziegler Reservoir fossil site near Snowmass Village, Colorado, provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct high-altitude paleoenvironmental conditions in the Rocky Mountains during the last interglacial period. We used four different techniques to establish a chronological framework for the site. Radiocarbon dating of lake organics, bone collagen, and shell carbonate, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al ages on a boulder on the crest of a moraine that impounded the lake suggest that the ages of the sediments that hosted the fossils are between ~ 140 ka and > 45 ka. Uranium-series ages of vertebrate remains generally fall within these bounds, but extremely low uranium concentrations and evidence of open-system behavior limit their utility. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages (n = 18) obtained from fine-grained quartz maintain stratigraphic order, were replicable, and provide reliable ages for the lake sediments. Analysis of the equivalent dose (DE) dispersion of the OSL samples showed that the sediments were fully bleached prior to deposition and low scatter suggests that eolian processes were likely the dominant transport mechanism for fine-grained sediments into the lake. The resulting ages show that the fossil-bearing sediments span the latest part of marine isotope stage (MIS) 6, all of MIS 5 and MIS 4, and the earliest part of MIS 3.

  10. Prospective Single-Site Experience with Radiofrequency-Targeted Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Franklin G.; Maya, Marcel M.; Blaszkiewicz, Laura; Scicli, Andrea; Miller, Larry E.; Block, Jon E.

    2013-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures are widely used to treat osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). We report our initial experience with radiofrequency-targeted vertebral augmentation (RF-TVA) in 20 patients aged 50 to 90 years with single-level, symptomatic osteoporotic VCF between T10 and L5, back pain severity > 4 on a 0 to 10 scale, Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 21%, 20% to 90% vertebral height loss compared to adjacent vertebral body, and fracture age < 6 months. After treatment, patients were followed through hospital discharge and returned for visits after 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. Back pain severity improved 66% (P < 0.001), from 7.9 (95% CI: 7.1 to 8.6) at pretreatment to 2.7 (95% CI: 1.5 to 4.0) at 3 months. Back function improved 46% (P < 0.001), from 74 (95% CI: 69% to 79%) at pretreatment to 40 (95% CI: 33% to 47%) at 3 months. The percentage of patients regularly consuming pain medication was 70% at pretreatment and only 21% at 3 months. No adverse events related to the device or procedure were reported. RF-TVA reduces back pain severity, improves back function, and reduces pain medication requirements with no observed complications in patients with osteoporotic VCF. PMID:24228187

  11. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  12. Biodiversity and endemism of the Silurian vertebrates in the Siberian palaeocraton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žigaitä-, Živilä--

    2010-05-01

    Vertebrate fossil record in the Silurian successions of northwestern Mongolia, Tuva, central and southern parts of the East Siberia between Yenisey and Lena rivers (Siberian platform) comprises large diversity of endemic fish species and genera. All this present day terrirories are infered to have been existed as united Siberian palaeocraton, an independent geological terrane in the Palaeozoic. Comparative isolation of the Siberian palaeocontinent throughout the Palaeozoic also meant that the area was colonised by marine faunas, which are not found elsewhere on Earth (Cocks & Torsvik, 2007). A separate palaeobiogeographical province has been suggested, and can be confirmed by the abundance, content, and distribution of early fish. Majority of vertebrate groups, such as thelodonts and acanthodians, reported from the region (Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1978; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Smith, 2003; Žigaitė, in press) are diverse, abundant and restricted to the province, showing palaeobiogeographical unity of the territory. Distinct in their taxonomic content, but less common are chondrichthyans (Žigaitė & Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 2008). Finally, the most peculiar types of early vertebrates as mongolepids, tesakoviaspids, and tesserated galeaspids (Afanasieva & Janvier, 1985; Karatajūtė-Talimaa et al., 1990; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Smith, 2004; Karatajūtė-Talimaa & Žigaitė, 2005), also specific heterostracans refer the region to strong faunal endemism and favours consideration of the separate palaeobiogeographical province. The biodiversity of vertebrates indicates warm and productive palaeobasins, which most likely have been existed as well connected epeiric seas on the integral Siberian palaeocraton. It might have been a proper place for origin and radiation of at least some early vertebrates in the Silurian (Žigaitė & Blieck, 2006). Nevertheless, recent palaeogeographical studies place Siberia at high northern latitudes, inferring the inherent endemic brachiopod

  13. Fossil fuels in a trillion tonne world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Vivian; Haszeldine, R. Stuart; Tett, Simon F. B.; Oschlies, Andreas

    2015-05-01

    The useful energy services and energy density value of fossil carbon fuels could be retained for longer timescales into the future if their combustion is balanced by CO2 recapture and storage. We assess the global balance between fossil carbon supply and the sufficiency (size) and capability (technology, security) of candidate carbon stores. A hierarchy of value for extraction-to-storage pairings is proposed, which is augmented by classification of CO2 containment as temporary (<1,000 yr) or permanent (>100,000 yr). Using temporary stores is inefficient and defers an intergenerational problem. Permanent storage capacity is adequate to technically match current fossil fuel reserves. However, rates of storage creation cannot balance current and expected rates of fossil fuel extraction and CO2 consequences. Extraction of conventional natural gas is uniquely holistic because it creates the capacity to re-inject an equivalent tonnage of carbon for storage into the same reservoir and can re-use gas-extraction infrastructure for storage. By contrast, balancing the extraction of coal, oil, biomass and unconventional fossil fuels requires the engineering and validation of additional carbon storage. Such storage is, so far, unproven in sufficiency.

  14. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi.

    PubMed

    Krings, M; Taylor, T N; Dotzler, N

    2013-06-01

    Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved Carboniferous and Triassic fossils interpreted as zygosporangium-gametangia complexes and resembling those of modern Endogonales. Enigmatic microfossils from the Precambrian to Cenozoic that have variously been interpreted as, or compared to, zygomycetous fungi are also discussed. Among these, the spherical structures collectively termed 'sporocarps' are especially interesting because of their complex investments and abundance in certain Carboniferous and Triassic rocks. Circumstantial evidence suggests that at least some 'sporocarp' types represent mantled zygosporangia. Zygomycetous fungi probably were an important element in terrestrial paleoecosystems at least by the Carboniferous. PMID:24027344

  15. Application of biochemical interactions in fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, M.S.; Premuzic, E.T.

    1994-12-31

    Certain extreme environments tolerant microorganisms interact with heavy crude oils by means of multiple biochemical reactions, asphaltenes, and bituminous materials. These reactions proceed via pathways which involve characteristic components of oils and coals such as asphaltenes, and in the chemically related constituents found in bituminous coals. These chemical components serve as markers of the interactions between microorganisms and fossil fuels. Studies in which temperature, pressure, and salinity tolerant microorganisms have been allowed to interact with different crude oils and bituminous coals, have shown that biochemically induced changes occur in the distribution of hydrocarbons and in the chemical nature of organometallic and heterocyclic compounds. Such structural chemical rearrangements have direct applications in monitoring the efficiency, the extent, and the chemical nature of the fossil fuels bioconversion. Recent developments of chemical marker applications in the monitoring of fossil fuels bioconversion will be discussed.

  16. Anthropometric measurements and vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) Group.

    PubMed

    Johnell, O; O'Neill, T; Felsenberg, D; Kanis, J; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    1997-08-15

    To investigate the association between anthropometric indices and morphometrically determined vertebral deformity, the authors carried out a cross-sectional study using data from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS), a population-based study of vertebral osteoporosis in 36 European centers from 19 countries. A total of 16,047 EVOS subjects were included in this analysis, of whom 1,973 subjects (915 males, 1,058 females) (12.3%) aged 50 years or over had one or more vertebral deformities ("cases"). The cases were compared with the 14,074 subjects (6,539 males, 7,535 females) with morphometrically normal spines ("controls"). Data were collected on self-reported height at age 25 years and minimum weight after age 25 years, as well as on current measured height and weight. Body mass index (BMI) and height and weight change were calculated from these data. The relations between these variables and vertebral deformity were examined separately by sex with logistic regression adjusting for age, smoking, and physical activity. In females, there was a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing quintile of current weight, current BMI, and weight gain since age 25 years. In males, subjects in the lightest quintile for these measures were at increased risk but there was no evidence of a trend. An ecologic analysis by country revealed a negative correlation between mean BMI and the prevalence of deformity in females but not in males. The authors conclude that low body weight is associated with presence of vertebral deformity. PMID:9270407

  17. Early Bone Marrow Edema Pattern of the Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture : Can Be Predictor of Vertebral Deformity Types and Prognosis?

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sung Eun; Park, Ji Seon; Jin, Wook; Park, So Young; Kim, Sung Bum

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate whether an early bone marrow edema pattern predicts vertebral deformity types and prognosis in osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). Methods This retrospective study enrolled 64 patients with 75 acute OVCFs who underwent early MRI and followed up MRI. On early MRI, the low SI pattern of OVCF on T1WI were assessed and classified into 3 types (diffuse, globular or patchy, band-like). On followed up MRI, the vertebral deformity types (anterior wedge, biconcave, crush), degree of vertebral body height loss, incidence of vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis were assessed for each vertebral fracture types. Results According to the early bone marrow edema pattern on T1WI, 26 vertebrae were type 1, 14 vertebrae were type 2 and 35 vertebrae were type 3. On followed up MRI, the crush-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 1 OVCFs, the biconcave-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 2 OVCFs and the anterior wedge-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 3 OVCFs (p<0.001). In addition, type 1 early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI were associated with higher incidence of severe degree vertebral body height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis on the follow up MRI. Conclusion Early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI, significant correlated with vertebral deformity types on the follow up MRI. The severe degree of vertebral height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis, and spinal stenosis were more frequent in patients with diffuse low SI pattern. PMID:26962419

  18. Cerium anomaly at microscale in fossils.

    PubMed

    Gueriau, Pierre; Mocuta, Cristian; Bertrand, Loïc

    2015-09-01

    Patterns in rare earth element (REE) concentrations are essential instruments to assess geochemical processes in Earth and environmental sciences. Excursions in the "cerium anomaly" are widely used to inform on past redox conditions in sediments. This proxy resources to the specificity of cerium to adopt both the +III and +IV oxidation states, while most rare earths are purely trivalent and share very similar reactivity and transport properties. In practical terms, the level of cerium anomaly is established through elemental point quantification and profiling. All these models rely on a supposed homogeneity of the cerium oxidation state within the samples. However, this has never been demonstrated, whereas the cerium concentration can significantly vary within a sample, as shown for fossils, which would vastly complicate interpretation of REE patterns. Here, we report direct micrometric mapping of Ce speciation through synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and production of local rare earth patterns in paleontological fossil tissues through X-ray fluorescence mapping. The sensitivity of the approach is demonstrated on well-preserved fishes and crustaceans from the Late Cretaceous (ca. 95 million years (Myr) old). The presence of Ce under the +IV form within the fossil tissues is attributed to slightly oxidative local conditions of burial and agrees well with the limited negative cerium anomaly observed in REE patterns. The [Ce(IV)]/[Ce(tot)] ratio appears remarkably stable at the microscale within each fossil and is similar between fossils from the locality. Speciation maps were obtained from an original combination of synchrotron microbeam X-ray fluorescence, absorption spectroscopy, and diffraction, together with light and electron microscopy. This work also highlights the need for more systematic studies of cerium geochemistry at the microscale in paleontological contexts, in particular across fossil histologies. PMID:26239283

  19. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-01-01

    Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data indicate regions with significant levels of hematite (_Fe2O3). Fe-oxides, like hematite, can form as aqueous mineral precipitates and as such may preserve microscopic fossils or other biosignatures. Several potential terrestrial analogues to martian hematite like hydrothermal vents have preserved microfossils. Microbial fossilization in Fe-oxides is often a function of biomineralization. For example, goethite (FeO2H) encrustation of fungal mycelia from the mid-Tertiary preserved fungal morphologies such that their genera could be determined.

  20. Fossil generation restructuring in the Ukraine

    SciTech Connect

    Galambas, J.W.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes the Ukrainian electrical system as it was in 1991, defines the need for restructuring, outlines the restructuring process, identifies a number of major obstacles that are hindering the implementation of the fossil generation, restructuring process, and points out major problems in the coal procurement system. It describes the visits to several Ukrainian power plants, defines restructuring success to date, makes suggestions for improved restructuring progress, highlights lessons learned, and enlightens the audience on the opportunities of investing in the Ukrainian power generation industry. The primary focus is on the Fossil Generator Advisor task, which was carried out under the direction of Hagler Bailly Consulting, Inc. (Hagler Bailly).

  1. Fossils, Genes and The Origin of Organs

    SciTech Connect

    Shubin, Neil

    2011-04-20

    A toolkit of experimental and comparative biology can be applied to understand the great transformations in the history of life. Expeditionary paleontology can be used to target key nodes of the tree of life for which new fossils can provide insights into major morphological transformations. These fossils often have intermediate conditions that allow extant creatures to be compared in new ways. The tools of developmental genetics can then be used to explore these new comparisons to understand the genetic basis for macroevolutionary change. These different approaches can be used to predict new discoveries and this is only possible because of the empirical content of the tree of life.

  2. Fossils as candidate material for orthopedic applications.

    PubMed

    Pesenti, Hector; Leoni, Matteo; Motta, Antonella; Scardi, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Ceramic powders from fossil deposits were thoroughly characterized from the material point of view and sintered to produce massive components. The raw material, a mixture of apatite minerals, feldspars, and quartz, seems ideally suitable to obtain a biologically compatible glass ceramic. Preliminary in vitro tests of proliferation and adhesion of MG63 human osteoblast-like cell line on a selected sample are encouraging. Results are correlated with sintering conditions and phase composition: the fossil can be sintered to almost full density at temperatures as low as 900 °C and seems to quickly promote cell activation with respect to hydroxylapatite. PMID:20089607

  3. Aquatic ape theory and fossil hominids.

    PubMed

    Verhaegen, M J

    1991-06-01

    While most older palaeo-anthropological studies emphasise the similarities of the fossil hominids with modern man, recent studies often stress the unique and the apelike features of the australopithecine dentitions, skulls and postcranial bones. It is worth reconsidering the features of Australopithecus, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis in the light of the so-called Aquatic Ape Theory (AAT) of Hardy and Morgan, and to compare the skeletal parts of our fossil relatives with those of (semi)aquatic animals. Possible convergences are observed with proboscis monkeys, beavers, sea-otters, hippopotamuses, seals, sea-lions, walruses, sea-cows, whales, dolphins, porpoises, penguins and crocodiles. PMID:1909768

  4. Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic control on early diagenetic processes and fossil record in Cretaceous continental sandstones of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, Antônio J. V.; da Rosa, Átila A. S.; Goldberg, Karin

    2005-08-01

    The Early Cretaceous, pre-rift continental rock sequences of northeastern Brazil (Rio do Peixe, Araripe, Recôncavo-Tucano, and Sergipe-Alagoas basins), deposited in a wide intracontinental basin (Afro-Brazilian Depression), and the Late Cretaceous, post-rift continental deposits of the Paraná Basin (Bauru Group, Minas Gerais) reflect the controlling processes related to the Brazilian record of nonmarine fossil vertebrates. These sequences were deposited in braided fluvial, eolian, and lacustrine environments in a semi-arid to arid climate. Sedimentary and diagenetic processes ascribed to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions are among the major factors that control fossil preservation in fluvial deposits. The pre-rift successions contain a rare record of a dinosaur fauna that lived near more humid highlands in the northern portion of the Afro-Brazilian Depression, relative to its southern counterpart, where hardly any fossil remains would have been preserved in the adverse climatic conditions. The Afro-Brazilian Depression is interpreted as a large pathway for dinosaurs before the breakup of Gondwana. Conversely, abundant dinosaur remains (bones, eggs, and teeth) and other vertebrates (turtles, crocodiles, frogs, and fish) are found in the Bauru Group in the Paraná Basin. In this unit, the seasonal paleoclimate provided sufficient conditions for the maintenance of bodies of water that served as nesting and living sites for various vertebrate forms. Paleoclimatic conditions are assumed to account for the different preservation of bones in the Paraná Basin relative to the Afro-Brazilian Depression, because the latter was subject to more arid conditions, and the humid environment was restricted to the northern margin.

  5. Tail use improves performance on soft substrates in models of early vertebrate land locomotors.

    PubMed

    McInroe, Benjamin; Astley, Henry C; Gong, Chaohui; Kawano, Sandy M; Schiebel, Perrin E; Rieser, Jennifer M; Choset, Howie; Blob, Richard W; Goldman, Daniel I

    2016-07-01

    In the evolutionary transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, early tetrapods faced the challenges of terrestrial locomotion on flowable substrates, such as sand and mud of variable stiffness and incline. The morphology and range of motion of appendages can be revealed in fossils; however, biological and robophysical studies of modern taxa have shown that movement on such substrates can be sensitive to small changes in appendage use. Using a biological model (the mudskipper), a physical robot model, granular drag measurements, and theoretical tools from geometric mechanics, we demonstrate how tail use can improve robustness to variable limb use and substrate conditions. We hypothesize that properly coordinated tail movements could have provided a substantial benefit for the earliest vertebrates to move on land. PMID:27387947

  6. Heterochronical patterns of evolution in the transitional stages of vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Schad, W

    1993-12-01

    Transitional forms of the recent classes of vertebrates are only known in paleontology. The well described examples are: Eusthenopteron foordi (Crossopterygii), Ichthyostega and Acanthostega (Labyrinthodontia) between Osteichthyes and Amphibia, Seymouria baylorensis (Amphibiosaria) between Amphibia and Reptilia, Archaeopteryx lithographica (Archaeornithes) between Reptilia and Aves, and the mammal-like reptiles Pelycosauria, Therapsida and Cynodontia between Reptilia and Aves, and the description of their phylogenetical heterochronies in terms of peramorphosis and paedomorphosis shows the progressive role of the motorial, especially the locomotorial organ systems and their functions in comparison with the retarded evolution of the axial system, especially the skull and central nervous system. The evolution of the Hominidae shows the same rule. The evaluation of these transitional forms in their fossil context reveals them as inhabitants of biotopes situated in the border areas of coastal and shore landscapes of marine, brackish or fresh water. These biotopes have obviously favoured the innovations on the high taxonimic level of macro-evolutionary characteristics. PMID:8191805

  7. Vertebral Body Growth After Craniospinal Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, Katherine A.; Li Chenghong; Laningham, Fred H.; Krasin, Matthew J.; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: To estimate the effects of radiotherapy and clinical factors on vertebral growth in patients with medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The height of eight individual or grouped vertebral bodies (C3, C3-C4, T4, T4-T5, C6-T3, T4-T7, L3, L1-L5) was measured before and after CSI (23.4 or 36-39.6 Gy) in 61 patients. Of the 61 patients, 40 were boys and 21 were girls (median age, 7 years; range, 3-13 years), treated between October 1996 and October 2003. Sagittal T{sub 1}-weighted magnetic resonance images were used for the craniocaudal measurements. The measurements numbered 275 (median, 5/patient; range, 3-7). The median follow-up after CSI was 44.1 months (range, 13.8-74.9 months). Results: Significant growth was observed in all measured vertebrae. Excluding C3-C4, the growth rate of the grouped vertebrae was affected by age, gender, and CSI dose (risk classification). The risk classification alone affected the growth rates of C3 (p = 0.002) and L3 (p = 0.02). Before CSI, the length of all vertebral bodies was an increasing function of age (p <0.0001). The C3 length before CSI was affected by gender and risk classification: C3 was longer for female (p = 0.07) and high-risk (p = 0.07) patients. Conclusion: All vertebrae grew significantly after CSI, with the vertebrae of the boys and younger patients growing at a rate greater than that of their counterparts. The effect of age was similar across all vertebrae, and gender had the greatest effect on the growth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. The effect of the risk classification was greatest in the lumbar spine by a factor of {<=}10.

  8. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  9. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Trevor D; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C; Davies, Wayne I L; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-08-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  10. Vertebrate gravity sensors as dynamic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    This paper considers verterbrate gravity receptors as dynamic sensors. That is, it is hypothesized that gravity is a constant force to which an acceleration-sensing system would readily adapt. Premises are considered in light of the presence of kinocilia on hair cells of vertebrate gravity sensors; differences in loading of the sensors among species; and of possible reduction in loading by inclusion of much organic material in otoconia. Moreover, organic-inorganic interfaces may confer a piezoelectric property upon otoconia, which increase the sensitivity of the sensory system to small accelerations. Comparisons with man-made accelerometers are briefly taken up.

  11. Quaternary vertebrates from Greenland: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    Remains of fishes, birds and mammals are rarely reported from Quaternary deposits in Greenland. The oldest remains come from Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene deposits and comprise Atlantic cod, hare, rabbit and ringed seal. Interglacial and interstadial deposits have yielded remains of cod, little auk, collared lemming, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. Early and Mid-Holocene finds include capelin, polar cod, red fish, sculpin, three-spined stickleback, Lapland longspur, Arctic hare, collared lemming, wolf, walrus, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. It is considered unlikely that vertebrates could survive in Greenland during the peak of the last glaciation, but many species had probably already immigrated in the Early Holocene.

  12. Evaluation and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Alexandru, Daniela; So, William

    2012-01-01

    Compression fractures affect many individuals worldwide. An estimated 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures occur every year in the US. They are common in elderly populations, and 25% of postmenopausal women are affected by a compression fracture during their lifetime. Although these fractures rarely require hospital admission, they have the potential to cause significant disability and morbidity, often causing incapacitating back pain for many months. This review provides information on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of compression fractures, as well as clinical manifestations and treatment options. Among the available treatment options, kyphoplasty and percutaneous vertebroplasty are two minimally invasive techniques to alleviate pain and correct the sagittal imbalance of the spine. PMID:23251117

  13. An Analytical Approach for Estimating Fossil Record and Diversification Events in Sharks, Skates and Rays

    PubMed Central

    Guinot, Guillaume; Adnet, Sylvain; Cappetta, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Background Modern selachians and their supposed sister group (hybodont sharks) have a long and successful evolutionary history. Yet, although selachian remains are considered relatively common in the fossil record in comparison with other marine vertebrates, little is known about the quality of their fossil record. Similarly, only a few works based on specific time intervals have attempted to identify major events that marked the evolutionary history of this group. Methodology/Principal Findings Phylogenetic hypotheses concerning modern selachians’ interrelationships are numerous but differ significantly and no consensus has been found. The aim of the present study is to take advantage of the range of recent phylogenetic hypotheses in order to assess the fit of the selachian fossil record to phylogenies, according to two different branching methods. Compilation of these data allowed the inference of an estimated range of diversity through time and evolutionary events that marked this group over the past 300 Ma are identified. Results indicate that with the exception of high taxonomic ranks (orders), the selachian fossil record is by far imperfect, particularly for generic and post-Triassic data. Timing and amplitude of the various identified events that marked the selachian evolutionary history are discussed. Conclusion/Significance Some identified diversity events were mentioned in previous works using alternative methods (Early Jurassic, mid-Cretaceous, K/T boundary and late Paleogene diversity drops), thus reinforcing the efficiency of the methodology presented here in inferring evolutionary events. Other events (Permian/Triassic, Early and Late Cretaceous diversifications; Triassic/Jurassic extinction) are newly identified. Relationships between these events and paleoenvironmental characteristics and other groups’ evolutionary history are proposed. PMID:22957091

  14. A kind of specific osteolytic destruction of the vertebral bodies

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Baogan; Chen, Jinhong; Pang, Xiaodong; Hei, Yan

    2012-01-01

    This report describes two young patients with osteolytic destruction in two adjacent vertebral bodies along with the intervertebral disc, and reveals its possible mechanism. A lateral radiograph and CT scan displayed a giant osteolytic cavity in the L4 vertebral body. An MRI or CT scan with a two-dimensional reconstruction displayed the same changes in the L4 vertebral body and lower endplate erosion in the L3 vertebral body. A comprehensive preoperative evaluation did not identify a specific cause of vertebral destruction. Both patients underwent anterior lumbar fusion surgery. The lesions were removed for histological and immunohistochemical examination. Histopathological study of the destructed vertebral bodies in the two patients revealed the disruption or atrophy of bone trabeculae with infiltration of a large amount of B-lymphocytes and macrophages into the marrow cavities. Studies of its pathogenesis reveal that it is likely to be a B-lymphocyte-mediated local immune inflammatory reaction in the lumbar spine. PMID:22675148

  15. Solid modeling of fossil small mammal teeth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschallinger, Robert; Hofmann, Peter; Daxner-Höck, Gudrun; Ketcham, Richard A.

    2011-09-01

    This paper presents an approach to create solid models of fossil small mammal teeth using a combination of microcomputed tomography, object based image analysis and voxel modeling. Small mammal teeth, because of their durability, are widely found in Cenozioc sediments the world over and play a key role in stratigraphy as well as in researching the rapid evolution and the paleogeographic spreading of small mammals. Recent advances in microcomputed tomography make this non-destructive analysis method an ideal data source for high-resolution 3D models of fossil small animal teeth. To derive internally consistent solid models of such fossils from micro-CT imagery, we propose a combination of 3D object based image analysis and solid modeling. Incorporating paleontological expert knowledge in the image processing cycle, object based image analysis yields topologically consistent image stacks classified by the main tooth components—enamel, dentine and pulp. Forwarding these data to a voxel modeling system, they can be quantitatively analyzed in an unprecedented manner: going beyond the possibilities of the state-of-art surface models, solid models are capable of unambiguously portraying the entire object volume—teeth can be peeled by material properties, subvolumes can be extracted and automatically analyzed by Boolean operations. The proposed method, which can be flexibly extended to handle a range of paleontological and geological micro-objects, is demonstrated with two typical fossil small mammal teeth.

  16. Fundamentals of fossil simulator instructor training

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This single-volume, looseleaf text introduces the beginning instructor to fundamental instructor training principles, and then shows how to apply those principles to fossil simulator training. Topics include the fundamentals of classroom instruction, the learning process, course development, and the specifics of simulator training program development.

  17. Fossil Cores In The Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Brian

    Most gas giant exoplanets with orbital periods < few days are unstable against tidal decay and may be tidally disrupted before their host stars leave the main sequence. These gas giants probably contain rocky/icy cores, and so their cores will be stranded near their progenitor's Roche limit (few hours orbital period). These fossil cores will evade the Kepler mission's transit search because it is focused on periods > 0.5 days, but finding these fossil cores would provide unprecedented insights into planetary interiors and formation ? e.g., they would be a smoking gun favoring formation of gas giants via core accretion. We propose to search for and characterize fossil cores in the Kepler dataset. We will vet candidates using the Kepler photometry and auxiliary data, collect ground-based spectra of the host stars and radial-velocity (RV) and adaptive optics (AO) data to corroborate candidates. We will also constrain stellar tidal dissipation efficiencies (parameterized by Q) by determining our survey's completeness, elucidating dynamical origins and evolution of exoplanets even if we find no fossil cores. Our preliminary search has already found several dozen candidates, so the proposed survey has a high likelihood of success.

  18. Learning about Fossil Formation by Classroom Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlenker, Richard M.; Yoshida, Sarah J.

    1991-01-01

    Activities in which students build their own simulations of fossils, using seashells, chicken bones, toy dinosaurs, or leaves as models and plaster of paris, sand, mud, clay, or a mixture of gravel and clay as a matrix are presented. Curriculum extensions are included. (KR)

  19. Evolution: Fossil Ears and Underwater Sonar.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Olivier

    2016-08-22

    A key innovation in the history of whales was the evolution of a sonar system together with high-frequency hearing. Fossils of an archaic toothed whale's inner ear bones provide clues for a stepwise emergence of underwater echolocation ability. PMID:27554653

  20. Fossil fuels supplies modeling and research

    SciTech Connect

    Leiby, P.N.

    1996-06-01

    The fossil fuel supplies modeling and research effort focuses on models for US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) planning and management. Topics covered included new SPR oil valuation models, updating models for SPR risk analysis, and fill-draw planning. Another task in this program area is the development of advanced computational tools for three-dimensional seismic analysis.

  1. Fossil Energy Materials Program conference proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Judkins, R.R.

    1987-08-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy has recognized the need for materials research and development to assure the adequacy of materials of construction for advanced fossil energy systems. The principal responsibility for identifying needed materials research and for establishing a program to address these needs resides within the Office of Technical Coordination. That office has established the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR and TD) Fossil Energy Materials Program to fulfill that responsibility. In addition to the AR and TD Materials Program, which is designed to address in a generic way the materials needs of fossil energy systems, specific materials support activities are also sponsored by the various line organizations such as the Office of Coal Gasification. A conference was held at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 19-21, 1987, to present and discuss the results of program activities during the past year. The conference program was organized in accordance with the research thrust areas we have established. These research thrust areas include structural ceramics (particularly fiber-reinforced ceramic composites), corrosion and erosion, and alloy development and mechanical properties. Eighty-six people attended the conference. Papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  2. Fossils of reionization in the local group

    SciTech Connect

    Gnedin, Nickolay Y.; Kravtsov, Andrey V.; /KICP, Chicago /Chicago U., EFI /Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr.

    2006-01-01

    We use a combination of high-resolution gas dynamics simulations of high-redshift dwarf galaxies and dissipationless simulations of a Milky Way sized halo to estimate the expected abundance and spatial distribution of the dwarf satellite galaxies that formed most of their stars around z {approx} 8 and evolved only little since then. Such galaxies can be considered as fossils of the reionization era, and studying their properties could provide a direct window into the early, pre-reionization stages of galaxy formation. We show that 5-15% of the objects existing at z {approx} 8 do indeed survive until the present in the MW like environment without significant evolution. This implies that it is plausible that the fossil dwarf galaxies do exist in the Local Group. Because such galaxies form their stellar systems early during the period of active merging and accretion, they should have spheroidal morphology regardless of their current distance from the host galaxy. We show that both the expected luminosity function and spatial distribution of dark matter halos which are likely to host fossil galaxies agree reasonably well with the observed distributions of the luminous (L{sub V} > 10{sup 6} Lsun) Local Group fossil candidates near the host galaxy (d<200 kpc). However, the predicted abundance is substantially larger (by a factor of 2-3) for fainter galaxies (L{sub V} < 10{sup 6} Lsun) at larger distances (d>300 kpc). We discuss several possible explanations for this discrepancy.

  3. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  4. Thermal dissolution of solid fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    E.G. Gorlov

    2007-10-15

    The use of oil shales and coals in the processes of thermal dissolution is considered. It is shown that thermal dissolution is a mode of liquefaction of solid fossil fuels and can be used both independently and in combination with liquefaction of coals and processing of heavy petroleum residues.

  5. Quaternary fossil fish from the Kibish Formation, Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Josh

    2008-09-01

    The late Quaternary Kibish Formation of the Omo Valley, southwestern Ethiopia, preserves environments reflecting a history of fluctuations in the level of nearby Lake Turkana over the past 200,000 years. The Kibish Formation has yielded a diverse mammalian fauna (as well as birds and crocodiles), stone tools, and the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Fish, the most common vertebrate fossils in this unit, are reported in this study. Catfish (especially clariids and Synodontis) and Nile perch (Lates niloticus) predominate, but the gymnarchid Gymnarchus, a cyprinid (Barbus), tigerfish (Hydrocynus), pufferfish (Tetraodon), and other catfish are also present. In total, nine teleost genera are found in the Kibish Formation, representing a subset of the 37 genera that constitute the modern Omo-Turkana ichthyofauna. Several taxa present in the modern fauna, including Polypterus and members of the family Cichlidae, are not found in the Kibish deposits. Most specimens are preserved as disarticulated or broken skeletal elements, but some preservation of articulated elements (e.g., sets of vertebrae, crania with lower jaws or cleithra) also occurs. Many of the catfish and Nile perch specimens are larger than the largest reported from the modern river or lake. Faunas of Kibish Members I and III closely resemble one another; the fauna from Member IV contains only the three most common taxa (Clarias, Synodontis, Lates), though this may result from insufficient sampling. Barbed bone points have been collected from the upper part of the formation, indicating a long association between the human inhabitants and the fish fauna of the Omo Valley. PMID:18691738

  6. Developmental evidence for serial homology of the vertebrate jaw and gill arch skeleton

    PubMed Central

    Gillis, J. Andrew; Modrell, Melinda S.; Baker, Clare V. H.

    2013-01-01

    Gegenbaur’s classical hypothesis of jaw-gill arch serial homology is widely cited, but remains unsupported by either paleontological evidence (e.g. a series of fossils reflecting the stepwise transformation of a gill arch into a jaw) or developmental genetic data (e.g. shared molecular mechanisms underlying segment identity in the mandibular, hyoid and gill arch endoskeletons). Here we show that nested expression of Dlx genes – the “Dlx code” that specifies upper and lower jaw identity in mammals and teleosts – is a primitive feature of the mandibular, hyoid and gill arches of jawed vertebrates. Using fate-mapping techniques, we demonstrate that the principal dorsal and ventral endoskeletal segments of the jaw, hyoid and gill arches of the skate Leucoraja erinacea derive from molecularly equivalent mesenchymal domains of combinatorial Dlx gene expression. Our data suggest that vertebrate jaw, hyoid and gill arch cartilages are serially homologous, and were primitively patterned dorsoventrally by a common Dlx blueprint. PMID:23385581

  7. Taphonomy and paleoecology inferences of vertebrate ichnofossils from Guará Formation (Upper Jurassic), southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dentzien-Dias, Paula C.; Schultz, Cesar L.; Bertoni-Machado, Cristina

    2008-03-01

    In southern Brazil, the eolian facies of the Guará Formation (Late Jurassic) reveal footprints and trackways of vertebrates (dinosaurs), as well as burrows made by small vertebrates. All the footprints and trackways are preserved in dunes and sand sheets. The footprints made in the sand sheets are not well preserved due to intense trampling and can be distinguished only by the deformation of the sandstone laminations. In some cases it is possible to see this deformation in plan and in section. Tracks of theropods, ornithopods and middle-sized sauropods are present. Two footprints preserved in the foreset of a paleodune permitted recognition of slide structures and identification of the trackmaker, a theropod. Burrows horizontally across the foresets were found at this same paleodune. Ribbons of massive sandstone - interpreted as the partial filling of the base of the burrows - covered by little blocks of stratified sandstone - suggest the collapse of the burrow roof inward. There are no body fossils in the Guará Formation, consequently the preservation of these tracks provides unique evidence of widespread dinosaurs activity in southern Brazil near the end of the Jurassic.

  8. A new vertebrate fauna from the Cretaceous Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, Southwestern Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Patrick M.; Gottfried, Michael D.; Stevens, Nancy J.; Roberts, Eric M.; Ngasala, Sifa; Kapilima, Saidi; Chami, Remigius

    2006-03-01

    The Rukwa Rift Basin Project was initiated to conduct exploratory field paleontology in poorly sampled terrestrial strata in southern and western Tanzania. Here we report the discovery of a series of new fossiliferous localities from Red Sandstone Group deposits in the Rukwa Rift Basin. These localities contain a diverse Cretaceous terrestrial/freshwater vertebrate fauna that consists of members of several major clades, including fishes, turtles, crocodyliforms, dinosaurs and mammals. Expeditions conducted in the austral summers of 2002-05 have identified numerous fossil-bearing localities, with specimens ranging from isolated elements to semi-articulated sauropod and theropod dinosaurs. Notable among the finds are the most complete mammal specimen recovered from the Cretaceous of continental Africa, megaloolithid dinosaur eggshell, and both theropod and sauropod dinosaurs. Given the scarcity of Cretaceous terrestrial faunas from sub-equatorial Africa, this portion of the East Africa Rift System holds great promise for providing new paleontological data that will contribute to testing and refining a number of biogeographic hypotheses that have been advanced to explain Gondwanan vertebrate distributions in the latter half of the Mesozoic.

  9. Evolution of the hominoid vertebral column: The long and the short of it.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Russo, Gabrielle A

    2015-01-01

    The postcranial axial skeleton exhibits considerable morphological and functional diversity among living primates. Particularly striking are the derived features in hominoids that distinguish them from most other primates and mammals. In contrast to the primitive catarrhine morphotype, which presumably possessed an external (protruding) tail and emphasized more pronograde trunk posture, all living hominoids are characterized by the absence of an external tail and adaptations to orthograde trunk posture. Moreover, modern humans evolved unique vertebral features that satisfy the demands of balancing an upright torso over the hind limbs during habitual terrestrial bipedalism. Our ability to identify the evolutionary timing and understand the functional and phylogenetic significance of these fundamental changes in postcranial axial skeletal anatomy in the hominoid fossil record is key to reconstructing ancestral hominoid patterns and retracing the evolutionary pathways that led to living apes and modern humans. Here, we provide an overview of what is known about evolution of the hominoid vertebral column, focusing on the currently available anatomical evidence of three major transitions: tail loss and adaptations to orthograde posture and bipedal locomotion. PMID:25684562

  10. Integrated biochronology for Triassic marine vertebrate faunas of Guizhou Province, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zuoyu; Jiang, Dayong; Ji, Cheng; Hao, Weicheng

    2016-03-01

    The Middle and Upper Triassic marine deposits of Guizhou Province, which yielded exceptionally well-preserved vertebrate faunas, are further investigated. New age-diagnostic conodonts and ammonoids from six measured sections, together with already published data, allow us to construct an integrated biochronology straddling strata from the upper Guanling Formation (Anisian, Middle Triassic) to the basal Xiaowa Formation (Carnian, Upper Triassic). Age constrains for those fossil Lagerstätten are now dated to the substage and zone levels: the Panxian Fauna, within the conodont Nicoraella kockeli Zone and broadly coexisted with the ammonoid 'Schreyerites' binodosus, is suggested as latest Pelsonian (middle Anisian) in age; the Xingyi Fauna is assumed to be not younger than the middle Longobardian (Late Ladinian) because the conodont Paragondolella inclinata with free-blade and the ammonoid Haoceras xingyiensis are recorded from slightly younger strata; the conodont Paragondolella auriformis and the ammonoid Trachyceras multituberculatum and Austrotrachyceras triadicum clearly indicate that the Guanling Fauna is not older than Julian (early Carnian) in age (time interval between Aon Zone or Aonoides Zone). With the new biostratigraphic data, a relative sequence and correlation of the Middle Triassic vertebrate faunas from Guizhou (South China) and Monte San Giorgio (Southern Alps, Switzerland/Italy) is proposed.

  11. The Vertebrate Primary Cilium in Development, Homeostasis, and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gerdes, Jantje M.; Davis, Erica E.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Cilia are complex structures that have garnered interest because of their roles in vertebrate development and their involvement in human genetic disorders. In contrast to multicellular invertebrates in which cilia are restricted to specific cell types, these organelles are found almost ubiquitously in vertebrate cells, where they serve a diverse set of signaling functions. Here, we highlight properties of vertebrate cilia, with particular emphasis on their relationship with other subcellular structures, and explore the physiological consequences of ciliary dysfunction. PMID:19345185

  12. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Marjorie; Reynaert, Nicole; Chávez, Myra N; Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L; Egaña, José T

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  13. Vertebrate helentrons and other novel Helitrons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Russell T M; Goodwin, Timothy J D; Butler, Margaret I

    2003-08-14

    Helitrons, a novel class of eukaryote mobile genetic elements, are distinguished from other transposable elements by encoding a 'rolling circle' replication (RCR) protein (Rep) and a helicase. Helitrons have recently been described from Arabidopsis, rice and the nematode Caenorhabditis. We now report the discovery of Helitron-like elements in vertebrates, specifically in the genomes of the fish Danio rerio and Sphoeroides nephelus. We also describe Helitrons from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and from the Anopheles genome. Many of the fish Helitrons have an uncorrupted open reading frame encoding both the RCR Rep protein and a helicase. These fish elements are of particular interest because they also encode, within the single open reading frame, an apurinic-apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease most closely related to those of certain non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons. As they invariably carry an endonuclease and also form a very distinct clade, we have named these vertebrate elements 'helentrons'. It is likely that these helentrons are still active. PMID:12957391

  14. Degenerative diseases of the vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Resnick, D

    1985-07-01

    Several distinct degenerative processes affect the articulations of the vertebral column; each is associated with characteristic radiographic and pathologic abnormalities, and many are accompanied by significant clinical manifestations. A discussion of these processes is best accomplished according to the type of joint that is involved. With regard to cartilaginous articulations, of which the intervertebral disk is most important, intervertebral (osteo)chondrosis, spondylosis deformans, and, in the cervical spine, uncovertebral arthrosis are the major degenerative disorders. Osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosis) affects any of the synovium-lined joints of the vertebral column, including the apophyseal, costovertebral, transitional lumbosacral, median atlantoaxial, and sacroiliac articulations. Fibrous articulations, ligaments, or entheses (sites of tendon or ligament attachment to bone) are involved in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, ossification of the posterior spinal ligaments, and Baastrup disease. Of the many complications of these degenerative processes, alignment abnormalities (including segmental instability, degenerative spondylolisthesis, senile kyphosis, and degenerative scoliosis), intervertebral disk displacement, calcification or ossification, and spinal stenosis are the most important. PMID:3923556

  15. What can vertebrates tell us about segmentation?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Segmentation is a feature of the body plans of a number of diverse animal groupings, including the annelids, arthropods and chordates. However, it has been unclear whether or not these different manifestations of segmentation are independently derived or have a common origin. Central to this issue is whether or not there are common developmental mechanisms that establish segmentation and the evolutionary origins of these processes. A fruitful way to address this issue is to consider how segmentation in vertebrates is directed. During vertebrate development three different segmental systems are established: the somites, the rhombomeres and the pharyngeal arches. In each an iteration of parts along the long axis is established. However, it is clear that the formation of the somites, rhombomeres or pharyngeal arches have little in common, and as such there is no single segmentation process. These different segmental systems also have distinct evolutionary histories, thus highlighting the fact that segmentation can and does evolve independently at multiple points. We conclude that the term segmentation indicates nothing more than a morphological description and that it implies no mechanistic similarity. Thus it is probable that segmentation has arisen repeatedly during animal evolution. PMID:25009737

  16. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  17. Identifying Synonymous Regulatory Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Nobrega, M A

    2005-02-07

    Synonymous gene regulation, defined as driving shared temporal and/or spatial expression of groups of genes, is likely predicated on genomic elements that contain similar modules of certain transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). We have developed a method to scan vertebrate genomes for evolutionary conserved modules of TFBS in a predefined configuration, and created a tool, named SynoR that identify synonymous regulatory elements (SREs) in vertebrate genomes. SynoR performs de novo identification of SREs utilizing known patterns of TFBS in active regulatory elements (REs) as seeds for genome scans. Layers of multiple-species conservation allow the use of differential phylogenetic sequence conservation filters in the search of SREs and the results are displayed as to provide an extensive annotation of genes containing detected REs. Gene Ontology categories are utilized to further functionally classify the identified genes, and integrated GNF Expression Atlas 2 data allow the cataloging of tissue-specificities of the predicted SREs. We illustrate how this new tool can be used to establish a linkage between human diseases and noncoding genomic content. SynoR is publicly available at http://synor.dcode.org.

  18. The origins and evolution of vertebrate metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Laudet, Vincent

    2011-09-27

    Metamorphosis, classically defined as a spectacular post-embryonic transition, is well exemplified by the transformation of a tadpole into a frog. It implies the appearance of new body parts (such as the limbs), the resorption of larval features (such as the tail) and the remodelling of many organs (such as the skin or the intestine). In vertebrates, metamorphosis has been well characterized in anuran amphibians, where thyroid hormones orchestrate the intricate and seemingly contradictory changes observed at the cellular and tissue levels. Thyroid hormones control a complex hierarchical cascade of target genes via binding to specific receptors, TRα and TRβ, ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. Metamorphosis is actually widespread in the vertebrates, though quite diverse in the way it manifests in a particular species. Furthermore, evolutionary and ecological variations of this key event, from paedomorphosis to direct development, provide an excellent illustration of how tinkering with a control pathway can lead to divergent life histories. The study of invertebrate chordates has also shed light on the origin of metamorphosis. The available data suggest that post-embryonic remodelling governed by thyroid hormones is an ancestral feature of chordates. According to this view, metamorphosis of the anurans is an extreme example of a widespread life history transition. PMID:21959163

  19. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  20. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes

    PubMed Central

    Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-01-01

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from pre-mRNA transcripts. However, some long D. melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, called a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing1,2. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis remain unclear. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of a “RS-exon” that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform due to competition with a reconstituted 5′ splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic exons or promoters that are prevalent in long introns, but which fail to reconstitute an efficient 5′ splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion may decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling inclusion of cryptic elements with RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  1. Gene expression throughout a vertebrate's embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Describing the patterns of gene expression during embryonic development has broadened our understanding of the processes and patterns that define morphogenesis. Yet gene expression patterns have not been described throughout vertebrate embryogenesis. This study presents statistical analyses of gene expression during all 40 developmental stages in the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus using four biological replicates per stage. Results Patterns of gene expression for 7,000 genes appear to be important as they recapitulate developmental timing. Among the 45% of genes with significant expression differences between pairs of temporally adjacent stages, significant differences in gene expression vary from as few as five to more than 660. Five adjacent stages have disproportionately more significant changes in gene expression (> 200 genes) relative to other stages: four to eight and eight to sixteen cell stages, onset of circulation, pre and post-hatch, and during complete yolk absorption. The fewest differences among adjacent stages occur during gastrulation. Yet, at stage 16, (pre-mid-gastrulation) the largest number of genes has peak expression. This stage has an over representation of genes in oxidative respiration and protein expression (ribosomes, translational genes and proteases). Unexpectedly, among all ribosomal genes, both strong positive and negative correlations occur. Similar correlated patterns of expression occur among all significant genes. Conclusions These data provide statistical support for the temporal dynamics of developmental gene expression during all stages of vertebrate development. PMID:21356103

  2. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes.

    PubMed

    Sibley, Christopher R; Emmett, Warren; Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-05-21

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from precursor messenger RNA transcripts. However, some long Drosophila melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, known as a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis have not been examined. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of an 'RS-exon' that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform owing to competition with a reconstituted 5' splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic promoters or exons that fail to reconstitute an efficient 5' splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion can decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling cryptic elements with inclusion of RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  3. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L.; Egaña, José T.

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  4. Neural induction and early patterning in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ozair, Mohammad Zeeshan; Kintner, Chris; Brivanlou, Ali H

    2013-07-01

    In vertebrates, the development of the nervous system is triggered by signals from a powerful 'organizing' region of the early embryo during gastrulation. This phenomenon--neural induction--was originally discovered and given conceptual definition by experimental embryologists working with amphibian embryos. Work on the molecular circuitry underlying neural induction, also in the same model system, demonstrated that elimination of ongoing transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling in the ectoderm is the hallmark of anterior neural-fate acquisition. This observation is the basis of the 'default' model of neural induction. Endogenous neural inducers are secreted proteins that act to inhibit TGFβ ligands in the dorsal ectoderm. In the ventral ectoderm, where the signaling ligands escape the inhibitors, a non-neural fate is induced. Inhibition of the TGFβ pathway has now been demonstrated to be sufficient to directly induce neural fate in mammalian embryos as well as pluripotent mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Hence the molecular process that delineates neural from non-neural ectoderm is conserved across a broad range of organisms in the evolutionary tree. The availability of embryonic stem cells from mouse, primates, and humans will facilitate further understanding of the role of signaling pathways and their downstream mediators in neural induction in vertebrate embryos. PMID:24014419

  5. Sensing and surviving hypoxia in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jonz, Michael G; Buck, Leslie T; Perry, Steve F; Schwerte, Thorsten; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2016-02-01

    Surviving hypoxia is one of the most critical challenges faced by vertebrates. Most species have adapted to changing levels of oxygen in their environment with specialized organs that sense hypoxia, while only few have been uniquely adapted to survive prolonged periods of anoxia. The goal of this review is to present the most recent research on oxygen sensing, adaptation to hypoxia, and mechanisms of anoxia tolerance in nonmammalian vertebrates. We discuss the respiratory structures in fish, including the skin, gills, and air-breathing organs, and recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in these tissues that initiate reflex responses to hypoxia. The use of the zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model has allowed observation of the ontogenesis of respiratory and chemosensory systems, demonstration of a putative intracellular O2 sensor in chemoreceptors that may initiate transduction of the hypoxia signal, and investigation into the effects of extreme hypoxia on cardiorespiratory development. Other organisms, such as goldfish and freshwater turtles, display a high degree of anoxia tolerance, and these models are revealing important adaptations at the cellular level, such as the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in defense of homeostasis in central neurons. PMID:25959851

  6. TRPM7 regulates gastrulation during vertebrate embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Su, Li-Ting; Khadka, Deepak K.; Mezzacappa, Courtney; Komiya, Yuko; Sato, Akira; Habas, Raymond; Runnels, Loren W.

    2010-01-01

    During gastrulation, cells in the dorsal marginal zone polarize, elongate, align and intercalate to establish the physical body axis of the developing embryo. Here we demonstrate that the bifunctional channel-kinase TRPM7 is specifically required for vertebrate gastrulation. TRPM7 is temporally expressed maternally and throughout development, and is spatially enriched in tissues undergoing convergent extension during gastrulation. Functional studies reveal that TRPM7’s ion channel, but not its kinase, specifically affects cell polarity and convergent extension movements during gastrulation, independent of mesodermal specification. During gastrulation, the non-canonical Wnt pathway via Dishevelled (Dvl) orchestrates the activities of the GTPases Rho and Rac to control convergent extension movements. We find that TRPM7 functions synergistically with non-canonical Wnt signaling to regulate Rac activity. The phenotype caused by depletion of the Ca2+- and Mg2+-permeant TRPM7 is suppressed by expression of a dominant negative form of Rac, as well as by Mg2+ supplementation or by expression of the Mg2+ transporter SLC41A2. Together, these studies demonstrate an essential role for the ion channel TRPM7 and Mg2+ in Rac-dependent polarized cell movements during vertebrate gastrulation. PMID:21145885

  7. Dominance in vertebrate broods and litters.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Hugh

    2006-03-01

    Drawing on the concepts and theory of dominance in adult vertebrates, this article categorizes the relationships of dominance between infant siblings, identifies the behavioral mechanisms that give rise to those relationships, and proposes a model to explain their evolution. Dominance relationships in avian broods can be classified according to the agonistic roles of dominants and subordinates as "aggression-submission," "aggression-resistance," "aggression-aggression," "aggression-avoidance," "rotating dominance," and "flock dominance." These relationships differ mainly in the submissiveness/pugnacity of subordinates, which is pivotal, and in the specificity/generality of the learning processes that underlie them. As in the dominance hierarchies of adult vertebrates, agonistic roles are engendered and maintained by several mechanisms, including differential fighting ability, assessment, trained winning and losing (especially in altricial species), learned individual relationships (especially in precocial species), site-specific learning, and probably group-level effects. An evolutionary framework in which the species-typical dominance relationship is determined by feeding mode, confinement, cost of subordination, and capacity for individual recognition, can be extended to mammalian litters and account for the aggression-submission and aggression-resistance observed in distinct populations of spotted hyenas and the "site-specific dominance" (teat ownership) of some pigs, felids, and hyraxes. Little is known about agonism in the litters of other mammals or broods of poikilotherms, but some species of fish and crocodilians have the potential for dominance among broodmates. PMID:16602272

  8. Postsacral vertebral morphology in relation to tail length among primates and other mammals.

    PubMed

    Russo, Gabrielle A

    2015-02-01

    Tail reduction/loss independently evolved in a number of mammalian lineages, including hominoid primates. One prerequisite to appropriately contextualizing its occurrence and understanding its significance is the ability to track evolutionary changes in tail length throughout the fossil record. However, to date, the bony correlates of tail length variation among living taxa have not been comprehensively examined. This study quantifies postsacral vertebral morphology among living primates and other mammals known to differ in relative tail length (RTL). Linear and angular measurements with known biomechanical significance were collected on the first, mid-, and transition proximal postsacral vertebrae, and their relationship with RTL was assessed using phylogenetic generalized least-squares regression methods. Compared to shorter-tailed primates, longer-tailed primates possess a greater number of postsacral vertebral features associated with increased proximal tail flexibility (e.g., craniocaudally longer vertebral bodies), increased intervertebral body joint range of motion (e.g., more circularly shaped cranial articular surfaces), and increased leverage of tail musculature (e.g., longer spinous processes). These observations are corroborated by the comparative mammalian sample, which shows that distantly related short-tailed (e.g., Phascolarctos, Lynx) and long-tailed (e.g., Dendrolagus, Acinonyx) nonprimate mammals morphologically converge with short-tailed (e.g., Macaca tonkeana) and long-tailed (e.g., Macaca fascicularis) primates, respectively. Multivariate models demonstrate that the variables examined account for 70% (all mammals) to 94% (only primates) of the variance in RTL. Results of this study may be used to infer the tail lengths of extinct primates and other mammals, thereby improving our understanding about the evolution of tail reduction/loss. PMID:25132483

  9. Investigation of Chemical and Physical Changes to Bioapatite During Fossilization Using Trace Element Geochemistry, Infrared Spectroscopy and Stable Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, C. A.; Kohn, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Bioapatite in the form of vertebrate bone can be used for a wide variety of paleo-proxies, from determination of ancient diet to the isotopic composition of meteoric water. Bioapatite alteration during diagenesis is a constant barrier to the use of fossil bone as a paleo-proxy. To elucidate the physical and chemical alteration of bone apatite during fossilization, we analyzed an assortment of fossil bones of different ages for trace elements, using LA-ICP-MS, stable isotopes, and reflected IR spectroscopy. One set of fossil bones from the Pleistocene of Idaho show a diffusion recrystallization profile, however, rare earth element (REE) profiles indicate diffusion adsorption. This suggests that REE diffusion is controlled by changing (namely decreasing) boundary conditions (i.e. decreasing concentration of REE in surrounding pore fluids). Reflected IR analysis along this concentration profile reveal that areas high in U have lost type A carbonate from the crystal structure in addition to water and organics. Stable isotopic analysis of carbon and oxygen will determine what, if any, change in the isotopic composition of the carbonate component of apatite has occurred do to the diffusion and recrystallization process. Analysis of much older bone from the Cretaceous of China reveal shallow REE and U concentration profiles and very uniform reflected IR spectra with a significant loss of type A carbonate throughout the entire bone cortex. Analysis of stable isotopes through the bone cortex will be compared to the stable isotopes collected from the Pleistocene of Idaho.

  10. Health impact associated with vertebral deformities: results from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS).

    PubMed

    Matthis, C; Weber, U; O'Neill, T W; Raspe, H

    1998-01-01

    To study the association between vertebral deformities and subjective health outcome indicators, including back pain and disability, a cross-sectional survey with spinal radiographs and personal interviews was carried out in 36 study centres in 19 European countries on a total of 15,570 men and women aged 50-79 years (population-based stratified random samples). No interventions were done. The main outcome measures were the presence and intensity of current and previous back pain, functional capacity (ADL questionnaire) and overall subjective health. The presence and intensity of back pain and functional and health impairments varied within wide ranges with no obvious regional pattern. However, the associations between negative health outcomes and vertebral deformity were homogeneous between countries and between centres within countries. In logistic regression analyses weak but significant associations between the presence of vertebral deformities and various health indicators were demonstrated. The magnitude of the associations increased with severity and number of deformities. Compared with subjects without deformities those with low-grade deformities had no or only a weakly elevated risk for back pain, disability and impaired subjective health (odds ratios (OR) 1.2-1.3). The odds ratios increased for individuals with single severe deformities (OR 1.3-2.1) and were highest in those with multiple severe deformities (OR 1.7-4.2). The associations between vertebral deformities and negative health outcomes were stronger in men than in women. In this cross-sectional study radiologically assessed vertebral deformities were therefore weakly associated with both current and previous back pain as well as with functional and health impairments in both women and men. Multiple severe deformities were associated with severe and disabling back pain with stronger effects in men. PMID:10024907

  11. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H.; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P.; Tabin, Clifford J.; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-01-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3′ UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae. PMID:26283362

  12. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. PMID:25943906

  13. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders.

    PubMed

    Gopinathan, Anusha; Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-04-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  14. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  15. Electron Microscopy and Analytical X-ray Characterization of Compositional and Nanoscale Structural Changes in Fossil Bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boatman, Elizabeth Marie

    highly conserved in these four fossil specimens. Finally, the results of this study indicate that bioapatite can be preserved in even the most ancient vertebrate specimens, further supporting the idea that fossilization is a preservational process. This work also underlines the importance of using appropriately selected characterization and analytical techniques for the study of fossil bone, especially from the perspective of spatial resolution and the scale of the bone structural features in question.

  16. The ‘Goldilocks’ effect: preservation bias in vertebrate track assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Falkingham, P. L.; Bates, K. T.; Margetts, L.; Manning, P. L.

    2011-01-01

    Finite-element analysis was used to investigate the extent of bias in the ichnological fossil record attributable to body mass. Virtual tracks were simulated for four dinosaur taxa of different sizes (Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Edmontosaurus), in a range of substrate conditions. Outlines of autopodia were generated based upon osteology and published soft-tissue reconstructions. Loads were applied vertically to the feet equivalent to the weight of the animal, and distributed accordingly to fore- and hindlimbs where relevant. Ideal, semi-infinite elastic–plastic substrates displayed a ‘Goldilocks’ quality where only a narrow range of loads could produce tracks, given that small animals failed to indent the substrate, and larger animals would be unable to traverse the area without becoming mired. If a firm subsurface layer is assumed, a more complete assemblage is possible, though there is a strong bias towards larger, heavier animals. The depths of fossil tracks within an assemblage may indicate thicknesses of mechanically distinct substrate layers at the time of track formation, even when the lithified strata appear compositionally homogeneous. This work increases the effectiveness of using vertebrate tracks as palaeoenvironmental indicators in terms of inferring substrate conditions at the time of track formation. Additionally, simulated undertracks are examined, and it is shown that complex deformation beneath the foot may not be indicative of limb kinematics as has been previously interpreted, but instead ridges and undulations at the base of a track may be a function of sediment displacement vectors and pedal morphology. PMID:21233145

  17. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  18. First fossil evidence of an ``interglacial refugium'' in the Pyrenean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, Juan Manuel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Allué, Ethel; Bañuls, Sandra; Bargalló, Amelia; Martín, Patricia; Morales, Juan Ignacio; Pedro, Mireia; Rodríguez, Anna; Solé, Alex; Oms, F. Xavier

    2010-08-01

    A refugium is generally understood as an area where temperate species survive cold periods, such as the Iberian, Italian, or Balkan Peninsulas in Europe. Strictly speaking, this definition refers to what is known as a glacial refugium. However, there are various types of lesser-known refugia such as the interglacial refugium, which denotes a mountainous region at low latitudes, such as the Pyrenees, where species adapted to the cold survive during interstadial periods. The small-vertebrate association from the sequence of Cova Colomera, which is located on the southern face of the Pyrenees and contains the final cold spell of the Late Pleistocene and the beginnings of the temperate period in which we currently find ourselves (the Holocene), could constitute the first fossil evidence of such an interglacial refugium, thus providing new paleoecological data on the phenomenon.

  19. A dinosaurian facial deformity and the first occurrence of ameloblastoma in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Dumbravă, Mihai D.; Rothschild, Bruce M.; Weishampel, David B.; Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Andrei, Răzvan A.; Acheson, Katharine A.; Codrea, Vlad A.

    2016-01-01

    Despite documentation of various types of neoplastic pathologies encountered in the vertebrate fossil record, no ameloblastic tumours have been recognised so far. Ameloblastoma is a benign neoplasic tumour with a strong preponderance for the mandible. Here, we report for the first time the presence of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in the lower jaw of a specimen referred to the derived non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid dinosaur Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus from the uppermost Cretaceous of the Haeg Basin in Romania. The location, external appearance and internal structure of the pathological outgrowth provide clear evidence for the diagnosis of ameloblastoma in Telmatosaurus. This report extends the range of pathologies encountered in hadrosauroid dinosaurs. In addition, recognition of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in a taxon lying close to the origin of ‘duck-billed’ hadrosaurid dinosaurs confirms the predisposition of this clade towards neoplasia pathologies already in its basal members. PMID:27377317

  20. A dinosaurian facial deformity and the first occurrence of ameloblastoma in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Dumbravă, Mihai D; Rothschild, Bruce M; Weishampel, David B; Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Andrei, Răzvan A; Acheson, Katharine A; Codrea, Vlad A

    2016-01-01

    Despite documentation of various types of neoplastic pathologies encountered in the vertebrate fossil record, no ameloblastic tumours have been recognised so far. Ameloblastoma is a benign neoplasic tumour with a strong preponderance for the mandible. Here, we report for the first time the presence of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in the lower jaw of a specimen referred to the derived non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid dinosaur Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus from the uppermost Cretaceous of the Haeg Basin in Romania. The location, external appearance and internal structure of the pathological outgrowth provide clear evidence for the diagnosis of ameloblastoma in Telmatosaurus. This report extends the range of pathologies encountered in hadrosauroid dinosaurs. In addition, recognition of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in a taxon lying close to the origin of 'duck-billed' hadrosaurid dinosaurs confirms the predisposition of this clade towards neoplasia pathologies already in its basal members. PMID:27377317

  1. The stratigraphic distribution of large marine vertebrates and shell beds in the Pliocene of Tuscany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominici, Stefano; Benvenuti, Marco; Danise, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    The record of 337 shark fossils, 142 cetaceans and 10 sea cows from the Pliocene of Tuscany, mostly from historical museum collections, is revised. The majority of these fossils are concentrated at a few geographic sites from separated hinterland basins, on the South-Western side of the Northern Apennines. To better understand the meaning of these concentrations, the sequence stratigraphic distribution of more recent findings of large marine vertebrates is reconstructed against a high-resolution framework based on sedimentary facies analysis. These remains are usually covered by, or included in mudstones deposited far from the coast (N=12), skeletons being usually articulated, slightly displaced, and often bioeroded. A minor part of better preserved articulated skeletons is associated with sandstones from deltaic paleonenvironments (N=2). Marine mammal and shark remains may be associated with laterally-continuous shell accumulations, a type of concentration occurring at maximum flooding surfaces, separating relatively coarse-grained facies from open marine mudstones. Shell beds were bulk-sampled at 66 locations from six basins, covering a wide range of sedimentary facies, and spanning a chronologic interval of about 2.5 million years. A dataset of 62,655 mollusc specimens belonging to 496 species formed the basis of a statistical study to reconstruct the structure of the benthic communities, and to estimate paleodepths from intertidal to upper bathyal settings. Mollusc associations closely mirror the distribution of sedimentary facies, allowing for a fine tuning of the sequence stratigraphic architecture. Merging paleogeographic, stratigraphic and paleoecologic data, we conclude that the more abundant and diverse accumulations of large vertebrates took place in settings under the influence of coastal upwelling. A modern analogue occurs today in the Ligurian Sea, on the Tuscan offshore, where abundant nutrients carried by deep-marine currents of Western origin

  2. Probable Carbonate Fossilization Processes Within Dead Sea Microbial Remains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, P. A.; Wentworth, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Allen, C. C.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    Microbial fossilization processes in the Dead Sea is primarily associated with the calcium cation. The putative fossilized microbes do not represent the reported living microbial population. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  3. Control of Vertebrate Skeletal Mineralization by Polyphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Omelon, Sidney; Georgiou, John; Henneman, Zachary J.; Wise, Lisa M.; Sukhu, Balram; Hunt, Tanya; Wynnyckyj, Chrystia; Holmyard, Douglas; Bielecki, Ryszard; Grynpas, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Skeletons are formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and compositions of organic and mineral components. Many invertebrate skeletons are constructed from carbonate or silicate minerals, whereas vertebrate skeletons are instead composed of a calcium phosphate mineral known as apatite. No one yet knows why the dynamic vertebrate skeleton, which is continually rebuilt, repaired, and resorbed during growth and normal remodeling, is composed of apatite. Nor is the control of bone and calcifying cartilage mineralization well understood, though it is thought to be associated with phosphate-cleaving proteins. Researchers have assumed that skeletal mineralization is also associated with non-crystalline, calcium- and phosphate-containing electron-dense granules that have been detected in vertebrate skeletal tissue prepared under non-aqueous conditions. Again, however, the role of these granules remains poorly understood. Here, we review bone and growth plate mineralization before showing that polymers of phosphate ions (polyphosphates: (PO3−)n) are co-located with mineralizing cartilage and resorbing bone. We propose that the electron-dense granules contain polyphosphates, and explain how these polyphosphates may play an important role in apatite biomineralization. Principal Findings/Methodology The enzymatic formation (condensation) and destruction (hydrolytic degradation) of polyphosphates offers a simple mechanism for enzymatic control of phosphate accumulation and the relative saturation of apatite. Under circumstances in which apatite mineral formation is undesirable, such as within cartilage tissue or during bone resorption, the production of polyphosphates reduces the free orthophosphate (PO43−) concentration while permitting the accumulation of a high total PO43− concentration. Sequestering calcium into amorphous calcium polyphosphate complexes can reduce the concentration of free calcium. The resulting reduction of both free PO43− and free

  4. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  5. Routine needle biopsy during vertebral augmentation procedures. Is it necessary?

    PubMed

    Pneumaticos, Spiros G; Chatziioannou, Sofia N; Savvidou, Christiana; Pilichou, Anastasia; Rontogianni, Dimitra; Korres, Dimitrios S

    2010-11-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures are currently widely performed to treat vertebral compression fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of underlying previously unrecognized etiology in a consecutive series of patients undergoing kyphoplasty to treat vertebral compression fractures. A prospective histological evaluation of vertebral body biopsy specimens from presumed osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures were performed in order to identify aforementioned causes. Over a 2-year period, vertebral body biopsies from 154 vertebral levels were performed in 75 patients undergoing kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fractures. All patients received a preoperative workup that included plain radiographs, MRI, whole body bone scan, and laboratory examinations. Bone specimens were obtained from affected vertebral bodies and submitted for histologic evaluation to identify the prevalence of an underlying cause. All specimens demonstrated fragmented bone with variable amounts of unmineralised bone, signs of bone-remodeling and/or fracture-healing. In 11 patients underlying pathology other than osteoporosis was identified (prostate cancer, 1; pancreatic cancer, 1; colon cancer, 1; breast cancer, 2; multiple myeloma, 3; leukemia, 1; and lung cancer, 2). In all but one patient the results of the biopsy confirmed the diagnosis suspected from the preoperative workup. For the last patient, namely the one with pancreatic cancer, the workup did not identify the origin of the primary tumor, although the patient was considered to have a compression fracture secondary to metastatic disease of unknown origin, the vertebral biopsy suggested the presence of adenocarcinoma which eventually was proven to be pancreatic cancer. In augmentation procedures for vertebral compression fractures, bone biopsy should be reserved for the patients where the preoperative evaluation raises the suspicion of a non-osteoporotic etiology. PMID:20372942

  6. Clumped isotope paleothermometry of eggshells as an indicator of vertebrate endothermy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canavan, R. R.; Field, D. J.; Therrien, F.; Zelenitsky, D.; Affek, H. P.

    2014-12-01

    Isotopic analyses of the calcite or aragonite shells of aquatic organisms are often used in the study of the environmental conditions in which they grow; however, this approach is less straightforward in the terrestrial realm, where environments may be more heterogeneous. In such terrestrial localities, the bioapatite of vertebrate teeth comprises the typical archival material for isotopic analyses. The calcitic eggshells of birds and other reptiles may provide suitable material for isotopic analyses that are aimed at studying their physiology and ecology. Here we apply a novel thermometer, carbonate clumped isotopes (Δ47), to test for endothermy in extinct non-avian dinosaurs in the context provided by eggs of modern reptiles and birds. These Δ47-derived temperatures should reflect the temperature of shell formation, which in endothermic animals such as birds should represent the mother's internal body temperature. In ectothermic animals, the same is true although their body temperatures are more affected by the external environment and thus Δ47 temperatures could more accurately describe local environmental temperatures during eggshell formation. Fossil eggshells represent appropriate material for reconstructing internal body temperatures of extinct non-avian dinosaurs since they mineralized within the mother's body, and fragments of eggshell are commonly recovered from dinosaur-bearing fossil deposits. The dimensions of these fragments provide sufficient material for the relatively large sample required for clumped isotope analysis (~20mg). Fossil eggshell samples from several taxa of Late Cretaceous non-avian dinosaurs were analyzed using Δ47 paleothermometry. Textural inspection was used as a first test for diagenetic alteration of the original calcite, and histological indicators were used for broad taxonomic identifications. Preliminary results of Δ47-derived body temperature estimates from eggshells are consistent with previous body temperatures

  7. Ischemic stroke: carotid and vertebral artery disease.

    PubMed

    Vilela, P; Goulão, A

    2005-03-01

    Ischemic strokes may have distinct aetiologies, including several different intrinsic arterial pathological disorders. The diagnosis and understanding of these arterial diseases is critical for the correct management of stroke as different treatment approaches are undertaken according to the aetiology. Atherosclerosis is by far the most common arterial disease among adults, and other pathological processes include arterial dissection, small vessel disease, inflammatory and non-inflammatory vasculopathy and vasomotor disorders. In children, there are several vasculopathies responsible for vaso-occlusive disease such as sickle-cell anemia, acute regressive angiopathy and Moya-Moya disease, neurofibromatosis, dissections, vasculitis associated with intracranial and systemic infections. An overview of the major carotid and vertebral pathological diseases responsible for ischemic stroke in adults and children, highlighting the accuracy of the different imaging modalities for its diagnosis and the imaging appearance of these diseases, is given. PMID:15657789

  8. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

    PubMed

    Haines, L; Currie, P D

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  9. De Novo Genesis of Enhancers in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Eichenlaub, Michael P.; Ettwiller, Laurence

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary innovation relies partially on changes in gene regulation. While a growing body of evidence demonstrates that such innovation is generated by functional changes or translocation of regulatory elements via mobile genetic elements, the de novo generation of enhancers from non-regulatory/non-mobile sequences has, to our knowledge, not previously been demonstrated. Here we show evidence for the de novo genesis of enhancers in vertebrates. For this, we took advantage of the massive gene loss following the last whole genome duplication in teleosts to systematically identify regions that have lost their coding capacity but retain sequence conservation with mammals. We found that these regions show enhancer activity while the orthologous coding regions have no regulatory activity. These results demonstrate that these enhancers have been de novo generated in fish. By revealing that minor changes in non-regulatory sequences are sufficient to generate new enhancers, our study highlights an important playground for creating new regulatory variability and evolutionary innovation. PMID:22069375

  10. Control of segment number in vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Ozbudak, Ertuğrul M; Wunderlich, Joshua; Baumann, Diana; Lewis, Julian; Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-07-17

    The vertebrate body axis is subdivided into repeated segments, best exemplified by the vertebrae that derive from embryonic somites. The number of somites is precisely defined for any given species but varies widely from one species to another. To determine the mechanism controlling somite number, we have compared somitogenesis in zebrafish, chicken, mouse and corn snake embryos. Here we present evidence that in all of these species a similar 'clock-and-wavefront' mechanism operates to control somitogenesis; in all of them, somitogenesis is brought to an end through a process in which the presomitic mesoderm, having first increased in size, gradually shrinks until it is exhausted, terminating somite formation. In snake embryos, however, the segmentation clock rate is much faster relative to developmental rate than in other amniotes, leading to a greatly increased number of smaller-sized somites. PMID:18563087

  11. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art.

    PubMed

    Sebaaly, Amer; Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-04-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  12. Salmonella Typhi Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Epidural Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Ying Ying; Chen, John L. T.

    2016-01-01

    Salmonella vertebral osteomyelitis is an uncommon complication of Salmonella infection. We report a case of a 57-year-old transgender male who presented with lower back pain for a period of one month following a fall. Physical examination only revealed tenderness over the lower back with no neurological deficits. MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a spondylodiscitis at T10-T11 and T12-L1 and right posterior epidural collection at the T9-T10 level. He underwent decompression laminectomy with segmental instrumentation and fusion of T8 to L3 vertebrae. Intraoperatively, he was found to have acute-on-chronic osteomyelitis in T10 and T11, epidural abscess, and discitis in T12-L1. Tissue and wound culture grew Salmonella Typhi and with antibiotics susceptibility guidance he was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for a period of six weeks. He recovered well with no neurological deficits. PMID:27034871

  13. Spontaneous resolution of lumbar vertebral eosinophilic granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bavbek, M; Atalay, B; Altinörs, N; Caner, H

    2004-02-01

    Eosinophilic granuloma (EG) is a rare disease but is more common in adults than children. It's often self-limiting. Spinal involvement is rare. It is the localized and most benign form of Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (previously known as histiocytosis X), characterised by lytic lesions in one or more bones. Spontaneous resolution of vertebral body lesions is very rare. In this case, the patient had one EG in a cervical vertebra and a similar lesion in a lumbar vertebra. This case is important because it featured a symptomatic lesion in the cervical spine accompanied by an asymptomatic lesion in a lumbar vertebra. We treated the cervical lesion by surgical fusion and followed the lumbar lesion up conservatively, with the patient in a corset. After 8 years of follow-up, control MRI showed that the lumbar lesion had spontaneously resolved. PMID:14963750

  14. Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) Signaling in Vertebrate Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xiaoqin; Chun, Jerold

    2009-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a cell membrane phospholipid metabolite that can act as an extracellular signal. Its effects are mediated through at least five G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), LPA1-5, and likely others as well. Studies in multiple species including LPA receptor-deficient mice and humans have identified or implicated important roles for receptor-mediated LPA signaling in multiple aspects of vertebrate reproduction. These include ovarian function, spermatogenesis, fertilization, early embryo development, embryo implantation, embryo spacing, decidualization, pregnancy maintenance, and parturition. LPA signaling may also have pathological consequences, influencing aspects of endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Here we review recent progress in LPA signaling research relevant to female and male reproduction. PMID:19836970

  15. Ewing's sarcoma of the vertebral column

    SciTech Connect

    Pilepich, M.V.; Vietti, T.J.; Nesbit, M.E.; Tefft, M.; Kissane, J.; Burgert, O.; Pritchard, D.; Gehan, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    Twenty-two patients with vertebral primaries were registered in the Intergroup Ewing's Sarcoma Study between 1973 and 1977. The radiation doses to the primary tumors ranged between 3800 and 6200 rad. All patients received intensive combination chemotherapy. After a followup ranging between 14 and 62 months, 14 patients remained disease-free. All patients with primary tumor of the cervical and dorsal spine remained disease-free. Of eight patients with lesions in the distal spine, (sacrococcygeal region) six developed recurrence, in three a local recurrence was observed despite doses of 6000 rad or higher. Doses of 5000 rad or less (in addition to combination chemotherapy as used in the Intergroup Ewing's Study) appear adequate in controlling the primary tumors of the proximal segments of the spinal column.

  16. Magnetic Susceptibility in the Vertebral Column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, F.; Nagele, T.; Lutz, O.; Pfeffer, K.; Giehl, J.

    1994-01-01

    A magnetic resonance method is described which provides good-quality field-mapping images of the spine, although the in vivo signals from red bone marrow of the vertebral bodies exhibit similar fractions of lipid and water protons with their chemical-shift difference of 3.4 ppm. The susceptibilities of bone marrow and intervertebral disks were examined in 20 cadaveric human spines, 9 healthy volunteers, and 9 patients with degenerative disk alterations. The influence of geometrical properties was studied in cylindrical spine phantoms of different size and contents with different susceptibility. The measurements reveal interindividual differences of the susceptibility of the intervertebral disks in healthy subjects. Three out of nine degenerated disks with low signal in T2-weighted spin-echo images showed irregularities of the field distribution within the nucleus pulposus.

  17. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art

    PubMed Central

    Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  18. Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Bondesson, Maria; Hao, Ruixin; Lin, Chin-Yo; Williams, Cecilia; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. PMID:24954179

  19. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  20. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications. PMID:12629209