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Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)  

PubMed Central

ABSTRACT A 4-year and 2-month-old male capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on the buttocks after chronic recurrent dermatosis. The capybara was euthanized, examined by computed tomography and necropsied; the tumor was examined histologically. Computed tomography showed a dense soft tissue mass with indistinct borders at the buttocks. Histological examination of the tumor revealed islands of invasive squamous epithelial tumor cells with a severe desmoplastic reaction. Based on the pathological findings, the mass was diagnosed as a squamous cell carcinoma. This is the first study to report squamous cell carcinoma in a capybara. PMID:24909968

HAMANO, Takahisa; TERASAWA, Fumio; TACHIKAWA, Yoshiharu; MURAI, Atsuko; MORI, Takashi; EL-DAKHLY, Khaled; SAKAI, Hiroki; YANAI, Tokuma



Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris).  


A 4-year and 2-month-old male capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on the buttocks after chronic recurrent dermatosis. The capybara was euthanized, examined by computed tomography and necropsied; the tumor was examined histologically. Computed tomography showed a dense soft tissue mass with indistinct borders at the buttocks. Histological examination of the tumor revealed islands of invasive squamous epithelial tumor cells with a severe desmoplastic reaction. Based on the pathological findings, the mass was diagnosed as a squamous cell carcinoma. This is the first study to report squamous cell carcinoma in a capybara. PMID:24909968

Hamano, Takahisa; Terasawa, Fumio; Tachikawa, Yoshiharu; Murai, Atsuko; Mori, Takashi; El-Dakhly, Khaled; Sakai, Hiroki; Yanai, Tokuma



Natural infestation of Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris by Amblyomma dubitatum ticks.  


Natural infestation of Amblyomma dubitatum in relation to individual specific attributes of Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris such as sex, body mass and body condition was analyzed. The anatomical distribution of A. dubitatum on H. hyrochaeris was also evaluated. Prevalence of adults and nymphs were significantly higher than prevalence of larvae. Non-significant differences in the infestation levels were found among host sex. Multiple regression analysis did not show any statistically significant association among the level of infestation with ticks and body mass and body condition of the host. All parasitic tick stages were collected in all five anatomical areas of the host, but they exhibited significant differences in feeding site preference. Factors associated to the host which determine the high levels of infestation with A. dubitatum could be assigned to a combination of population-level properties of the host as abundance, ubiquity and aggregation, rather than individual specific attributes related to body condition, body mass or sex. PMID:24469297

Debárbora, Valeria N; Mangold, Atilio J; Eberhardt, Ayelén; Guglielmone, Alberto A; Nava, Santiago



Life cycle of Amblyomma cooperi (Acari: Ixodidae) using capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) as hosts.  


The life cycle of Amblyomma cooperi was evaluated under laboratory conditions testing different host species. Larval infestations were performed on chickens (Gallus gallus) and capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris). Nymphal infestations were performed on G. gallus, H. hydrochaeris, guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) and wild mice (Calomys callosus). Infestations by adult ticks were performed only on capybaras. All free-living stages were observed in darkness at 27 degrees C and RH 85%. Capybaras were significantly (p < 0.05) the most suitable hosts for immature ticks, with the highest larval (63.6%) and nymphal (48%) recovery. Larval and nymphal feeding and premolt periods were significantly different (p < 0.05) between ticks fed on different host species. Male nymphs showed premolt period significantly shorter (p < 0.05) than female nymphs. The overall sex ratio of adult ticks was 0.92:1 (M:F). Infestations by adult ticks on capybaras yielded more than 76% of engorged female recovery. Only three out of 33 engorged females fed on capybaras did not lay fertile eggs. The life cycle of A. cooperi in laboratory, reported for the first time, was completed in an average period of 189.4 days. During the premolt period, all A. cooperi engorged nymphs secreted distinct blackish drops, which seem to be inherent to this species. Our results, associated data in the literature, confirm the high suitability of capybaras for the adult stage of A. cooperi and also indicate this animal species as a primary host for immature stages of A. cooperi in nature. On the other hand, the results of larval and nymphal infestation on chickens and guinea pigs suggest that birds and wild guinea pigs, which are also present in the distribution area of A. cooperi in South America, could be potentially infested by A. cooperi immature stages in nature. PMID:15139274

Labruna, Marcelo B; Pinter, Adriano; Teixeira, Rodrigo H



Zooarqueologia dos mamferos aquticos e semi-aquticos da Ilha de Santa Catarina, sul do Brasil  

E-print Network

) and b) cetaceans: Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822), Delphinus delphis Linnaeus,1758, Stenella, 1804.. Three species of semi-aquatic mammals were also recorded: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1758), Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers, 1818). Both sites presented

Simões-Lopes, Paulo César


A review of the nutritional content and technological parameters of indigenous sources of meat in South America.  


Meat yields, proximate compositions, fatty acids compositions and technological parameters are reviewed for species which might be further developed as indigenous sources of meat in South America. These include the alpaca (Lama pacos), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), guanaco (Lama guanicoe), llama (Lama glama), nutria (Myocastor coypus), collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), greater rhea (Rhea americana), lesser rhea (Rhea pennata), yacare (Caiman crocodilus yacare), tegu lizard (Tupinambis merianae) and green iguana (Iguana iguana). PMID:22063568

Saadoun, A; Cabrera, M C



Observations of sylvatic rabies in Northern Argentina during outbreaks of paralytic cattle rabies transmitted by vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus).  


During rabies outbreaks in cattle (paralytic rabies) in Argentina associated with the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, rabies was observed in marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), red brocket deer (Mazama americana), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), savanna fox (Cerdocyon thous), and great fruit-eating bat (Artibeus lituratus). Rabies could constitute a threat to the survival of marsh deer in places where they live in small groups, and infection of both great fruit-eating bats and savanna fox represent a risk for humans; both species exhibit aggressiveness and fury when infected. PMID:19901391

Delpietro, H A; Lord, R D; Russo, R G; Gury-Dhomen, F



Detection of virulence factors and molecular typing of pathogenic Leptospira from capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris).  


Leptospirosis is a globally prevalent zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp.; several serologic variants have reservoirs in synanthropic rodents. The capybara is the largest living rodent in the world, and it has a wide geographical distribution in Central and South America. This rodent is a significant source of Leptospira since the agent is shed via urine into the environment and is a potential public health threat. In this study, we isolated and identified by molecular techniques a pathogenic Leptospira from capybara in southern Brazil. The isolated strain was characterized by partial rpoB gene sequencing and variable-number tandem-repeats analysis as L. interrogans, serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. In addition, to confirm the expression of virulence factors, the bacterial immunoglobulin-like proteins A and B expression was detected by indirect immunofluorescence using leptospiral specific monoclonal antibodies. This report identifies capybaras as an important source of infection and provides insight into the epidemiology of leptospirosis. PMID:22782467

Jorge, Sérgio; Monte, Leonardo G; Coimbra, Marco Antonio; Albano, Ana Paula; Hartwig, Daiane D; Lucas, Caroline; Seixas, Fabiana K; Dellagostin, Odir A; Hartleben, Cláudia P



Growth and development of the placenta in the capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)  

PubMed Central

Background The guinea pig is an attractive model for human pregnancy and placentation, mainly because of its haemomonochorial placental type, but is rather small in size. Therefore, to better understand the impact of body mass, we studied placental development in the capybara which has a body mass around 50 kg and a gestation period of around 150 days. We paid attention to the development of the lobulated arrangement of the placenta, the growth of the labyrinth in the course of gestation, the differentiation of the subplacenta, and the pattern of invasion by extraplacental trophoblast. Methods Material was collected from six animals at pregnancy stages ranging from the late limb bud stage to mid gestation. Methods included latex casts, standard histology, immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin, vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen as well as transmission electron microscopy. Results At the limb bud stage, the placenta was a pad of trophoblast covered by a layer of mesoderm from which fetal vessels were beginning to penetrate at folds in the surface. By 70 days, the placenta comprised areas of labyrinth (lobes) separated by interlobular areas. Placental growth resulted predominantly from proliferation of cellular trophoblast situated in nests at the fetal side of the placenta and along internally directed projections on fetal mesenchyme. Additional proliferation was demonstrated for cellular trophoblast within the labyrinth. Already at the limb bud stage, there was a prominent subplacenta comprising cellular and syncytial trophoblast with mesenchyme and associated blood vessels. At 90 days, differentiation was complete and similar to that seen in other hystricognath rodents. Overlap of fetal vessels and maternal blood lacunae was confirmed by latex injection of the vessels. At all stages extraplacental trophoblast was associated with the maternal arterial supply and consisted of cellular trophoblast and syncytial streamers derived from the subplacenta. Conclusion All important characteristics of placental development and organization in the capybara resembled those found in smaller hystricognath rodents including the guinea pig. These features apparently do not dependent on body size. Clearly, placentation in hystricognaths adheres to an extraordinarily stable pattern suggesting they can be used interchangeably as models of human placenta. PMID:19493333

Kanashiro, Claudia; Santos, Tatiana C; Miglino, Maria Angelica; Mess, Andrea M; Carter, Anthony M



Assessment of historical fecal contamination in Curitiba, Brazil, in the last 400 years using fecal sterols.  


A 400-year sedimentary record of the Barigui River was investigated using fecal biomarkers and nutrient distribution. The temporal variability in cholesterol, cholestanol, coprostanol, epicoprostanol, stigmastanol, stigmasterol, stigmastenol, sitosterol, and campesterol between 1600 and 2011 was assessed. Anthropogenic influences, such as deforestation and fecal contamination from humans and livestock, were observed from 1840. The sterol ratios exhibit evidence of hens, horses, cows, and an unknown herbivore, which may be a capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), from 1820 and has been observed more markedly from 1970 onward. Human fecal contamination was detected from 1840 and was observed more markedly from 1930 due to population growth. Thus, the sanitation conditions and demographic growth of Curitiba seemed to be the main factors of human sewage pollution, as the coprostanol concentration over time was strongly correlated with the population growth (r=0.71, p<0.001) although diagenetic processes have also been observed.(1.) PMID:25016471

Machado, Karina S; Froehner, Sandro; Sánez, Juan; Figueira, Rubens C L; Ferreira, Paulo A L



New tick records in Rondônia, Western Brazilian Amazon.  


In the present study, we provide new tick records from Vilhena Municipality, in the Southeast of the State of Rondônia, Northern Brazil. Ticks collected from a capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus), were identified as Amblyomma romitii Tonelli-Rondelli (1 female), and Amblyomma sp. (1 larva). Ticks collected from a harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja (Linnaeus), were identified as Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius) (16 nymphs) and Haemaphysalis juxtakochi Cooley (1 nymph). Ticks collected from a yellow-footed tortoise, Chelonoidis denticulada (Linnaeus), were identified as Amblyomma rotundatum Koch (10 females, 2 nymphs), and Amblyomma sp. (2 larvae). The present record of A. romitii is the first in the State of Rondônia, and represents the southernmost record for this tick species, indicating that its distribution area is much larger than currently recognized. Although both A. cajennense and H. juxtakochi have been reported parasitizing various bird species, we provide the first tick records on a harpy eagle. A. rotundatum is widespread in the State of Rondônia, and has been previously reported on the yellow-footed tortoise. The present records increase the tick fauna of Rondônia to 26 species. PMID:20943027

Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Barbieri, Fábio Silva; Martins, Thiago Fernandes; Brito, Luciana Gatto; Ribeiro, Francisco Dimas Sales



Detection of Trypanosoma evansi infection in wild capybaras from Argentina using smear microscopy and real-time PCR assays.  


Trypanosoma evansi is a flagellated protozoan that parasitizes a wide variety of mammals, occasionally including humans. In South America, it infects horses, cattle, buffaloes, dogs and wild mammals, causing a disease known as "Mal de Caderas", which results in important economic losses due to a wide range of pathological expressions. Argentina represents the southern limit of its distribution. The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is a large rodent found in tropical to temperate freshwater wetlands of South America. As capybaras infected with T. evansi present no clinical signs of disease, withstanding high parasitaemia, this species was proposed as a reservoir host. In this study we investigated the prevalence and parasitaemic intensity of T. evansi in samples obtained from 60 free-ranging capybaras of Esteros del Iberá (Corrientes province, northeastern Argentina) using smear microscopy and real-time PCR assays. All the cases of capybaras infected with T. evansi were found during one of the years studied, with no evidence of seasonality. The overall infection prevalence was 10%, but between years it ranged from 0% to 17% (in 2011). This is the first confirmation of T. evansi infection in Argentina by molecular biology techniques. Our results showed no differences between the methods used to detect the presence of T. evansi in capybaras, which indicates that simple methods like microscopy can generate important data on the ecoepidemiology of this parasite. Both techniques used in this study represent a viable tool for ecoepidemiological studies, and can be used to produce good estimates of prevalence and parasitaemic level of the infection, which inform for the implementation of strategies for the control of the disease. PMID:24636712

Eberhardt, A T; Monje, L D; Zurvera, D A; Beldomenico, P M



Molecular detection of Rickettsia bellii and Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi in ticks from Cordoba, Colombia.  


The purpose of this study was to provide molecular evidence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks collected from 2 sites of Cordoba. From May to June 2009, 1069 Amblyomma cajennense ticks were removed from 40 capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in a rural locality of Monteria. Furthermore, 458 Amblyomma sp. larvae and 20 Amblyomma sp. nymphs were collected in a rural locality of Los Cordobas (Cordoba) by drag sampling on vegetation (n=1547). Ticks were grouped into pools and tested for rickettsial infection by real-time PCR targeting the rickettsial gene gltA. Subsequently, PCR targeting for gltA, ompA, ompB, and 16S rRNA, sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses were undertaken. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 10 (4.6%) out of 214 pools of ticks by RT-PCR. Five (33%) of free-living Amblyomma sp. larval pools were positive, as well as 5 (2.6%) pools from A. cajennense. Only the gltA gene was amplified from 5 pools of free-living larvae. The nucleotide sequences were 100% identical to R. bellii by BLAST. Only one pool from A. cajennense was positive for gltA, ompA, ompB, and 16S rRNA. The partial nucleotide sequences of these genes were 100% identical to nucleotide sequences of the same genes of a new proposed species Candidatus Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. This is the first report of R. bellii in ticks in Colombia and the second report of detection of Candidatus Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. These Rickettsia species are still considered of unknown pathogenicity. Further studies are needed to characterize the ecological and potential pathogenic role of these 2 Rickettsia species found in Cordoba. PMID:24378078

Miranda, Jorge; Mattar, Salim



Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) attracted to dung of the largest herbivorous rodent on earth: a comparison with human feces.  


The capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (L.) (Rodentia: Caviidae), is the largest herbivorous rodent on Earth and abundant in the Neotropical region, which can provide a stable food source of dung for dung beetle communities (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). However, the use of capybara dung by dung beetles is poorly known. Here, we present data on the structure of the dung beetle community attracted to capybara dung and compare with the community attracted to human feces. Dung beetles were captured with pitfall traps baited with fresh capybara dung and human feces in pastures with exotic grass (Brachiaria spp.), patches of Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), and points of degraded riparian vegetation along the Aquidauana river in Anastácio and Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In traps baited with human feces, 13,809 individuals of 31 species were captured, and in those baited with capybara dung 1,027 individuals belonging to 26 species were captured. The average number of individuals and species captured by the traps baited with human feces was greater than for capybara dung in all habitats studied. Composition of the communities attracted to human feces and capybara dung formed distinct groups in all habitats. Despite the smaller number of species and individuals captured in capybara dung when compared with human feces, capybara dung was attractive to dung beetles. In Brazil, the legalization of hunting these rodents has been debated, which would potentially affect the community and consequently the ecological functions performed by dung beetles that use the feces of these animals as a resource. In addition, the knowledge of the communities associated with capybaras may be important in predicting the consequences of future management of their populations. PMID:24468553

Puker, Anderson; Correa, César M A; Korasaki, Vanesca; Ferreira, Kleyton R; Oliveira, Naiara G



Hosts, distribution and genetic divergence (16S rDNA) of Amblyomma dubitatum (Acari: Ixodidae).  


We supply information about hosts and distribution of Amblyomma dubitatum. In addition, we carry out an analysis of genetic divergence among specimens of A. dubitatum from different localities and with respect to other Neotropical Amblyomma species, using sequences of 16S rDNA gene. Although specimens of A. dubitatum were collected on several mammal species as cattle horse, Tapirus terrestris, Mazama gouazoubira, Tayassu pecari, Sus scrofa, Cerdocyon thous, Myocastor coypus, Allouata caraya, Glossophaga soricina and man, most records of immature and adult stages of A. dubitatum were made on Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, making this rodent the principal host for all parasitic stages of this ticks. Cricetidae rodents (Lundomys molitor, Scapteromys tumidus), opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus) also were recorded as hosts for immature stages. All findings of A. dubitatum correspond to localities of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and they were concentrated in the Biogeographical provinces of Pampa, Chaco, Cerrado, Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Parana Forest and Araucaria angustifolia Forest. The distribution of A. dubitatum is narrower than that of its principal host, therefore environmental variables rather than hosts determine the distributional ranges of this tick. The intraspecific genetic divergence among 16S rDNA sequences of A. dubitatum ticks collected in different localities from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay was in all cases lower than 0.8%, whereas the differences with the remaining Amblyomma species included in the analysis were always bigger than 6.8%. Thus, the taxonomic status of A. dubitatum along its distribution appears to be certain at the specific level. PMID:20084537

Nava, Santiago; Venzal, José M; Labruna, Marcelo B; Mastropaolo, Mariano; González, Enrique M; Mangold, Atilio J; Guglielmone, Alberto A



Sustainability of a constructed wetland faced with a depredation event.  


A free water surface constructed wetland (CW) designed for effluent treatment was dominated by the emergent macrophyte Typha domingensis reaching a cover of roughly 80% for 5 years. Highly efficient metal and nutrient removal was reported during this period. In June 2009, a population of approximately 30 capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) caused the complete depredation of the aerial parts of macrophytes. However, plant roots and rhizomes were not damaged. After depredation stopped, T. domingensis showed a luxuriant growth, reaching a cover of 60% in 30 days. The objective of this work was to evaluate the sustainability of the CW subjected to an extreme event. Removal efficiency of the system was compared during normal operation, during the depredation event and over the subsequent recovery period. The CW efficiently retained contaminants during all the periods studied. However, the best efficiencies were registered during the normal operation period. There were no significant differences between the performances of the CW over the last two periods, except for BOD. The mean removal percentages during normal operation/depredation event/recovery period, were: 84.9/73.2/74.7% Cr; 66.7/48.0/51.2% Ni; 97.2/91.0/89.4% Fe; 50.0/46.8/49.5% Zn; 81.0/84.0/80.4% NO3(-); 98.4/93.4/84.1% NO2(-); 73.9/28.2/53.2% BOD and 75.4/40.9/44.6% COD. SRP and TP presented low removal efficiencies. Despite the anoxic conditions, contaminants were not released from sediment, accumulating in fractions that proved to be stable faced with changes in the operating conditions of the CW. T. domingensis showed an excellent growth response, consequently the period without aerial parts lasted a few months and the CW could recover its normal operation. Plants continued retaining contaminants in their roots and the sediment increased its retention capacity, balancing the operating capacity of the system. This was probably due to the fact that the CW had reached its maturity, with a complete root-rhizome development. These results demonstrated that faced with an incidental problem, this mature CW was capable of maintaining its efficiency and recovering its vegetation, demonstrating the robustness of these treatment systems. PMID:23694854

Maine, M A; Hadad, H R; Sánchez, G C; Mufarrege, M M; Di Luca, G A; Caffaratti, S E; Pedro, M C



What is the role of small rodents in the transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma evansi (Kinetoplastida Trypanosomatidae)? A study case in the Brazilian Pantanal.  


Determining the reservoir hosts for parasites is crucial for designing control measures, but it is often difficult to identify the role that each host species plays in maintaining the cycle of infection in the wild. One way to identify potential maintenance hosts is to estimate key parameters associated with transmission and pathogenicity. Here we assess the potential for three native rodent species of the Brazilian Pantanal (Clyomys laticeps, Thrichomys pachyurus and Oecomys mamorae) to act as reservoir or maintenance hosts of Trypanosoma evansi, an important parasite of domestic livestock. By analyzing blood parameters of naturally infected wild-caught rodents of these species, we compared their levels of parasitemia and anemia due to T. evansi infection with literature values for other host species infected by this parasite. We also analyzed levels of these blood parameters relative to infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in humans, for which wild rodents are already thought to be important reservoir species. All three species showed low impacts of the two trypanosomes on their blood parameters compared to other species, suggesting that they experience a low virulence of trypanosome infection under natural conditions in the Pantanal and might act as maintenance hosts of trypanosome infections. The low parasitemia of trypanosome infections suggests that these rodents play a secondary role in the transmission cycle compared to other species, especially compared to the capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) which also experiences low pathogenicity due to infection despite much higher levels of parasitemia. PMID:19467452

Rademaker, V; Herrera, H M; Raffel, T R; D'Andrea, P S; Freitas, T P T; Abreu, U G P; Hudson, P J; Jansen, A M



Life cycle and host specificity of Amblyomma triste (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions.  


We report biological data of two generations of Amblyomma triste in laboratory and compared the suitability of different host species. Infestations by larval and nymphal stages were performed on guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), chickens (Gallus gallus), rats (Rattus norvegicus), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), wild mice (Calomys callosus), dogs (Canis familiaris) and capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris). Infestations by adult ticks were performed on dogs, capybaras and rabbits. Tick developmental periods were observed in an incubator at 27 degrees C and RH 90%. Guinea pigs were the most suitable hosts for larvae and nymphs, followed by chickens. The remaining host species were less suitable for immature ticks as fewer engorged ticks were recovered from them. Mean larval feeding periods varied from 3.8 to 4.7 d between different host species. Mean larval premolt periods ranged from 8.9 to 10.4 d. Nymphal mean feeding periods varied from 4.2 to 6.2 d for ticks fed on different host species. Premolt period of male nymphs (mean: 15.4 d) was significantly longer than that of female nymphs (14.7 d). Female nymphs were significantly heavier than male nymphs. The overall sex ratio of the adult ticks emerged from nymphs was 0.9:1 (M:F). Capybaras were the most suitable host for the tick adult stage as significantly more engorged females were recovered from them and these females were significantly heavier than those recovered from dogs or rabbits. The life cycle of A. triste in laboratory could be completed in an average period of 155 d. The potential role of guinea pigs, birds and capybaras, as hosts for A. triste in nature, is discussed. PMID:14756395

Labruna, Marcelo B; Fugisaki, Eric Y M; Pinter, Adriano; Duarte, José Maurício B; Szabó, Matias J P



Response of wild mammals to seasonal shrinking-and-expansion of habitats due to flooding regime of the Pantanal, Brazil.  


The Pantanal is a large savanna wetland (138,183 km2 in Brazil), important for its wildlife, fed by tributaries of the upper Paraguay River, center of South America (Brazil, touching Bolivia and Paraguay). Uplands are plateaus (250-1,200 m high, 215,000 km2 in Brazil) and flatland is the Pantanal (80-150 m high, 147,574 km2 in Brazil). Rivers are slow moving when they meet the flatland (slope 0.3-0.5 m/km east-west; 0.03-0.15 m/km north-south), periodically overflowing their banks, creating a complex seasonal habitat range. Recurrent shallow flooding occupies 80% of the Pantanal; during the dry season flooded areas dry up. Fluctuating water levels, nutrients and wildlife form a dynamic ecosystem. A flooding regime forms distinct sub-regions within the Pantanal. A mammal survey was carried out in the sub-region of the Rio Negro from April, 2003 through March, 2004 to study the diversity and abundance of terrestrial mammals during the dry and flooding seasons. A total of 36 species were observed in the field. The capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris was the most frequent species, followed by the crab-eating-fox Cerdocyon thous and the marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus. The highest abundance of species was observed during the dry season (August and September), when there is a considerable expansion of terrestrial habitats, mainly seasonally flooded grassland. Animal abundance (in terms of observed individual frequencies) varied during the dry and wet seasons and the seasonally flooded grassland was the most utilized habitat by mammals in the dry season. PMID:17299935

Mamede, S B; Alho, C J R