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Sample records for lizard island great

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

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-01-01

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments. PMID:26624066

  7. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Niel L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region. PMID:25878536

  8. Community calcification in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef: A 33 year perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, J.; Schneider, K.; Kline, D. I.; Rivlin, T.; Rivlin, A.; Hamylton, S.; Lazar, B.; Erez, J.; Caldeira, K.

    2014-11-01

    Measurements of community calcification (Gnet) were made during September 2008 and October 2009 on a reef flat in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 33 years after the first measurements were made there by the LIMER expedition in 1975. In 2008 and 2009 we measured Gnet = 61 ± 12 and 54 ± 13 mmol CaCO3 m-2·day-1, respectively. These rates are 27-49% lower than those measured during the same season in 1975-76. These rates agree well with those estimated from the measured temperature and degree of aragonite saturation using a reef calcification rate equation developed from observations in a Red Sea coral reef. Community structure surveys across the Lizard Island reef flat during our study using the same methods employed in 1978 showed that live coral coverage had not changed significantly (∼8%). However, it should be noted that the uncertainty in the live coral coverage estimates in this study and in 1978 were fairly large and inherent to this methodology. Using the reef calcification rate equation while assuming that seawater above the reef was at equilibrium with atmospheric PCO2 and given that live coral cover had not changed Gnet should have declined by 30 ± 8% since the LIMER study as indeed observed. We note, however, that the error in estimated Gnet decrease relative to the 1970's could be much larger due to the uncertainties in the coral coverage measurements. Nonetheless, the similarity between the predicted and the measured decrease in Gnet suggests that ocean acidification may be the primary cause for the lower CaCO3 precipitation rate on the Lizard Island reef flat.

  9. Sphaerodoridae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including the description of two new species and reproductive notes.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-01-01

    Sphaerodorids are scarce at Lizard Island archipelago and other localities in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Intensive collections at a variety of habitats within the Lizard Island archipelago over the last four decades have resulted in a total of just 11 specimens. Nevertheless, they represent two new species and a new record for Lizard Island. Sphaerodoropsis aurantica n. sp. is characterised by nine longitudinal rows of sessile and spherical dorsal macrotubercles, arranged in a single transverse row per segment; parapodia with around 10 spherical papillae; and compound chaetae with thin shafts and long blades. Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp. is characterised by more than 12 more or less clearly arranged longitudinal rows of sessile spherical dorsal tubercles (variable in size), in four transverse rows per segment; parapodia lacking papillae; and semi-compound chaetae with distally enlarged shaft and short blades. Ephesiella australiensis is reported for the first time in Lizard Island. Laboratory observations of live specimens of Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp., revealed the use of spermatophores by males. These were found attached externally to the body surface of both sexes, indicating pseudo-copulation. PMID:26624069

  10. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Pat; de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-01-01

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners. PMID:26624072

  11. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species. PMID:26624067

  12. A new species of gnathiid (Crustacea: Isopoda) parasitizing teleosts from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Maryke L; Smit, Nico J; Grutter, Alexandra S; Davies, Angela J

    2009-10-01

    During March 2002 and November 2005, teleost fishes were collected at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Gnathiid isopod juveniles were allowed to detach from these host fishes and were maintained in fresh seawater until they molted into adults. Adult males emerged 5 days post-detachment (d.p.d.) and females 10 d.p.d. of juveniles from host fish. The adults and juveniles were identified as new to science and described as Gnathia aureamaculosa n. sp. The species description is based on brightfield and scanning electron microscopy observations primarily of males, since the taxonomy of gnathiids is based on male morphology. This species has been widely employed in various studies on the Great Barrier Reef, from its involvement in feeding patterns in reef fish to its role in transmitting blood parasites, and has been referred to as Gnathia sp. A. Distinctive features of the male include gold-spotted pigmentation on the dorsal pereon of live specimens, a cephalosome with a conical superior fronto-lateral process, an inferior and conical medio-frontal process, and mandibles, each with an armed carina and an internal lobe. The female is characterized by its broad, rounded shape and cephalosome setae. The mandible of the third stage juvenile has 2 small teeth on the tip and 7 large teeth on the mesial margin. Differential pigmentation occurs in live male and female third-stage juveniles; females have greenish-yellow spots distributed over the pereon and males have white blotches and light brown and yellow spots on the pereon. PMID:19895161

  13. New and previously known species of Oenonidae (Polychaeta: Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Zanol, Joana; Ruta, Christine

    2015-01-01

    The family Oenonidae consists of Eunicida species with prionognath jaws. Its Australian fauna had been reported to comprise six species belonging to Arabella, Drilonereis, and Oenone. This study provides descriptions for four new species, redescriptions for three species (two previously recorded and a new record, Drilonereis cf. logani) and diagnoses for the genera recorded from Australia. Currently, eleven species of oenonids, distributed in three genera, are known for the Australian coast. On Lizard Island, this family shows low abundance (19 specimens collected) and high richness (seven species). Our results suggest that despite the increasing accumulation of information, the biodiversity of the family is still poorly estimated. PMID:26624086

  14. Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia with notes on orbiniid phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Zhadan, Anna; Stupnikova, Alexandra; Neretina, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    The fauna of Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from the Lizard Island has been studied. Five species were found and each was redescribed and illustrated using light microscopy and SEM. Scoloplos acutissimus Hartmann-Schröder, 1991 and Scoloplos dayi Hartmann-Schröder, 1980 collected for the first time since their original descriptions and confirmed through re-examination of their type materials. Molecular analyses were carried out using nuclear 18S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA and CO1 gene sequences with evolutionary distances and the Neighbor-Joining Method. The molecular analyses did not support the monophyly of the genera Scoloplos, Leitoscoloplos, Leodamas, and Naineris, and its results are incongruent with morphological data. PMID:26624087

  15. Spionidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Aonides, Dipolydora, Polydorella, Prionospio, Pseudopolydora, Rhynchospio, and Tripolydora.

    PubMed

    Radashevsky, Vasily I

    2015-01-01

    Nineteen species in seven genera of spionid polychaetes are described and illustrated based on new material collected from the intertidal and shallow waters around the Lizard Island Group, northern Great Barrier Reef. Only one of these species had been previously reported from the Reef. Six species are described as new to science, and the taxonomy of seven species should be clarified in the future. Prionospio sensu lato is the most diverse group with 11 species identified in the present study. One species is identified in each of the genera Dipolydora, Polydorella, Rhynchospio and Tripolydora, and two species are identified in each of the genera Aonides and Pseudopolydora. The fauna of spionid polychaetes of the Great Barrier Reef seems to be more diverse than previously described and more species are expected to be found in the future. An identification key is provided to 16 genera of Spionidae reported from or likely to be found on the Great Barrier Reef. PMID:26624082

  16. A taxonomic guide to the fanworms (Sabellidae, Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including new species and new records.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Murray, Anna

    2015-01-01

    This comprehensive taxonomic work is the result of the study of fan worms (Sabellidae, Annelida) collected over the last 40 years from around the Lizard Island Archipelago, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Some species described herein are commonly found in Lizard Island waters but had not previously been formally reported in the literature. Most species appear to be not particularly abundant, and few specimens have been collected despite the sampling effort in the area over this time period. After this study, the overall sabellid diversity of the archipelago has been greatly increased (by more than 650%). Before this revision, only four sabellid species had been recorded for Lizard Island, and in this paper we report 31 species, 13 of which belong to nominal species, six are formally described as new species (Euchone danieloi n. sp., Euchone glennoi n. sp., Jasmineira gustavoi n. sp., Megalomma jubata n. sp., Myxicola nana n. sp., and Paradialychone ambigua n. sp.), and the identity of 12 species is still unknown (those referred as cf. or sp.). Two species are newly recorded in Australia and two in Queensland. The invasive species Branchiomma bairdi is reported for the first time at Lizard Island. The genus Paradialychone is reported for Australia for the first time. Standardised descriptions, general photographs of live and/or preserved specimens and distribution data are provided for all species. New species descriptions are accompanied by detailed illustrations and exhaustive morphological information. A dichotomous key for sabellid identification is also included. PMID:26624068

  17. Changes in coral assemblages during an outbreak of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995-1999)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratchett, M. S.

    2010-09-01

    Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci L.) represent one of the most significant biological disturbances on tropical coral reefs and have the potential to devastate coral communities, thereby altering the biological and physical structure of reef habitats. This study reports on changes in area cover, species diversity and taxonomic composition of corals during an outbreak of A. planci at Lizard Island, in the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Mean coral cover declined by 28.8% across ten locations studied. However, densities of A. planci, and their effects on local coral assemblages, were very patchy. Declines in coral cover were mostly due to the selective removal of certain coral taxa (mainly Acropora and Pocilloporidae corals); such that the greatest coral loss occurred at locations with highest initial cover of preferred coral prey. Most notably, coral assemblages in back-reef locations were transformed from topographically complex staghorn Acropora-dominated habitats, to relatively depauperate assemblages dominated by alcyonacean soft corals. Although coral loss was greatest among formerly dominant taxa (especially Acropora), effects were sufficiently widespread across different coral taxa, such that overall coral diversity tended to decline. Clearly, moderate outbreaks of A. planci have the potential to greatly alter community structure of coral communities even if they do not devastate live corals. Recovery in this instance is expected to be very rapid given that all coral taxa persisted, and effects were greatest among fast growing corals.

  18. Six new species of the genus Armandia Filippi, 1861 (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-01-01

    From the study of the material collected during the Polychaete Workshop held in Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) in August 2013, six species belonging to the genus Armandia (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) are newly described. Armandia bifida n. sp. is characterised by the bifid shape of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. dolio n. sp. by the barrel-shaped anal (=pygidial) tube (=funnel), A. filibranchia n. sp. by the extremely long and thin branchiae, A. laminosa n. sp. by the foliose shape and large size of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. paraintermedia n. sp. by the squared-shaped anal tube and size and shape of anal cirri, and A. tubulata n. sp. by the tubular shape of the anal tube. All species are fully described and illustrated, and compared with similar species. Several body characters of taxonomic relevance (e.g., anal tube and parapodia shape) are studied based on SEM micrographs. A key of the Armandia species hitherto described or reported in South-East Asia and Australasia is provided based on features of the anal tube. PMID:26624079

  19. A new gnathiid (Crustacea: Isopoda) parasitizing two species of requiem sharks from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, Maryke L; Smit, Nico J; Grutter, Alexandra S; Davies, Angela J

    2008-06-01

    Third-stage juveniles (praniza 3) of Gnathia grandilaris n. sp. were collected from the gill filaments and septa of 5 requiem sharks, including a white tip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, and 4 grey reef sharks, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, in March 2002. Some juvenile gnathiids were then maintained in fresh sea water until they molted to adults. Adult males appeared 19 days following detachment of juveniles from host fishes, but no juveniles molted successfully into females. The current description is based, therefore, on bright field and scanning electron microscopy observations of adult males and third-stage juveniles. Unique features of the male include the triangular-shaped inferior medio-frontal process, 2 areolae on the dorsal surface of the pylopod, and a slender pleotelson (twice as long as wide) with lateral concavities. The third-stage juvenile has distinctive white pigmentation on the black pereon when alive, while the mandible has 9 triangular backwardly directed teeth. This species has the largest male and third-stage juvenile of any Gnathia spp. from Australia and of any gnathiid isopods associated with elasmobranchs. PMID:18605791

  20. New records of Pectinariidae (Polychaeta) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Five species of Pectinariidae have previously been reported from Australia. This study documents the first records of this family from the Lizard Island region: Pectinaria antipoda is recorded, in addition to its already currently wide Australian distribution; two new species, Amphictene lizardensis n. sp. and Pectinaria carnosus n. sp. were also discovered and described. A key to all Australian species of Pectinariidae is provided. PMID:26624085

  1. Spionidae (Annelida: 'Polychaeta': Canalipalpata) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes.

    PubMed

    Meißner, Karin; Götting, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    Seven species belonging to the spionid genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes were found during the polychaete workshop on Lizard Island in August 2013. One species is new to science and named Scolelepis inversa n. sp., another Scolelepis species is probably also a new species but was represented in our samples by only a single specimen and not formally described. All other species have been reported previously from Australia. Species diagnoses of all species found during the workshop and of Scolelepis balihaiensis Hartmann-Schröder, 1979, Microspio microcera (Dorsey, 1977) and M. minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) have been critically reviewed and amended based on the study of type material. The potential synonymy of Microspio minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) and M. microcera (Dorsey, 1977) is discussed. The new combination Spio jirkovi (Sikorski, 1992) proposed by Sikorski (2013) is returned to Malacoceros. We added DNA barcodes for five species collected in the Lizard Island area to public databases which will be useful in future phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. For Microspio we provide the first sequence data for this genus. PMID:26624075

  2. Impact Of Coral Structures On Wave Directional Spreading Across A Shallow Reef Flat - Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, J. X.; Baldock, T.; Callaghan, D. P.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.; Saunders, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    Coral reef hydrodynamics operate at several and overlapping spatial-temporal scales. Waves have the most important forcing function on shallow (< 5 m) reefs as they drive most ecological and biogeochemical processes by exerting direct physical stress, directly mixing water (temperature and nutrients) and transporting sediments, nutrients and plankton. Reef flats are very effective at dissipating wave energy and providing an important ecosystem service by protecting highly valued shorelines. The effectiveness of reef flats to dissipate wave energy is related to the extreme hydraulic roughness of the benthos and substrate composition. Hydraulic roughness is usually obtained empirically from frictional-dissipation calculations, as detailed field measurements of bottom roughness (e.g. chain-method or profile gauges) is a very labour and time-consuming task. In this study we measured the impact of coral structures on wave directional spreading. Field data was collected during October 2012 across a reef flat on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Wave surface levels were measured using an array of self-logging pressure sensors. A rapid in situ close-range photogrammetric method was used to create a high-resolution (0.5 cm) image mosaic and digital elevation model. Individual coral heads were extracted from these datasets using geo-morphometric and object-based image analysis techniques. Wave propagation was modelled using a modified version of the SWAN model which includes the measured coral structures in 2m by 1m cells across the reef. The approach followed a cylinder drag approach, neglecting skin friction and inertial components. Testing against field data included bed skin friction. Our results show, for the first time, how the variability of the reef benthos structures affects wave dissipation across a shallow reef flat. This has important implications globally for coral reefs, due to the large extent of their area occupied by reef flats, particularly, as

  3. The Oweniidae (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with the description of two new species of Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844.

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Study of the Oweniidae specimens (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) stored at the Australian Museum, Sydney and newly collected in August 2013 revealed the presence of three species, namely Galathowenia quelis Capa et al., 2012 and two new species belonging to the genus Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844. Owenia dichotoma n. sp. is characterised by a very short branchial crown of about 1/3 of thoracic length which bears short, dichotomously-branched tentacles provided with the major division close to the base of the crown. Owenia picta n. sp. is characterised by a long branchial crown of about 4/5 of thoracic length provided with no major divisions, ventral pigmentation on thorax and the presence of deep ventro-lateral groove on the first thoracic chaetiger. A key of Owenia species hitherto described or reported in South East Asia and Australasia regions is provided based on characters of the branchial crown. PMID:26624080

  4. Quantifying Water Flow within Aquatic Ecosystems Using Load Cell Sensors: A Profile of Currents Experienced by Coral Reef Organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Jacob L.

    2014-01-01

    Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (<$150) to provide a detailed current velocity profile of the coral-reef system around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) at a spatial and temporal scale relevant to the ecology of individual benthos and fish. The instrument uses load-cell sensors to provide a correlation between sensor output and ambient current velocity of 99%. Each instrument is able to continuously record current velocities to >500 cms−1 and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.). Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm−2 allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m), mid-slope (6 m) and deep-slope (9 m depth) of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: Currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms−1, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms−1. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m) and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz), emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats. PMID:24421878

  5. Sabellariidae from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new species of Lygdamis and notes on external morphology of the median organ.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Faroni-Perez, Larisse; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    We document herein the occurrence of three species of Sabellariidae at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new Lygdamis species. Sabellaria lungalla, described from Northern Territory, is reported for Queensland for the first time. The genus Gesaia, represented by a planktonic larva collected in shallow waters of the Archipelago, is a new record for Australia. Lygdamis nasutus n. sp. is characterised by one of the most conspicuous median organ described in the family (cylindrical, distally pigmented and is provided with a flattened, teardrop corona), its paleae morphology (with straight paleae, outer ones with asymmetrical pointed tips and subtle thecal sculpture and inner paleae with blunt tips and smooth surface), three lateral lobes on chaetiger 2, abdominal chaetigers with two type of neurochaetae, and notopodial uncini with 1-4 longitudinal rows of teeth. Comparison of the external morphology of the medial organ and median ridge of several species has been undertaken. Even though its function remains uncertain, the median organ morphology seems species specific and may provide relevant information about the evolutionary history and adaptations of sabellariids. PMID:26624070

  6. Seven new species of Paleanotus (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) described from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs of northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific: two cryptic species pairs revealed between western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Watson, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length < 5 mm). This complex resolved into 7 new species, described herein: Paleanotus inornatus n. sp., P. adornatus n. sp., P. chrysos n. sp., P. aquifolia n. sp., P. latifolia n. sp., P. silus n. sp., and P. silopsis n. sp. A key is provided to the new species and Paleanotus distinguished from Treptopale and Hyalopale, two closely related genera. Diagnostic features of the apical structure and shape of the notochaetal main paleae plus median paleae shape and raised rib pattern, differentiates each species from the other. Gametous states are described. Two cryptic species pairs (Paleanotus silopsis n. sp. and P. silus n. sp.; Paleanotus aquifolia n. sp. and P. latifolia n. sp.) were identified. In each case one species is restricted to either the NE or NW Australian coast. In each pair the most eastern point for the NW Australian species range occurs at Darwin, western Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Additional material for each species pair extends their respective ranges northwards: NW Australia to Thailand, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean or NE Australia, Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. sp. and P. adornatus n. sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. sp. is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia. PMID:26624084

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop: sampling sites and a checklist of polychaetes.

    PubMed

    Ribas, Julia; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, a two week polychaete workshop was held at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Twenty-one sites representing 121 collection events were sampled for polychetes around Lizard and on the Outer Barrier. Workshop participants sorted polychaetes to family and each participant received on loan selected families to work up. This Zootaxa monograph describes 91 new species, 67 new records for Lizard Island, and 19 for Australia. Details regarding the habitats and locations are provided in Table 2 together with two maps (Figs 1, 2) showing sampling locations. In this paper we also list previously collected polychaete material from the region together with any published records for families which are not included in this volume. PMID:26624064

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  12. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area. PMID:26624074

  13. Geological history and within-island diversity: a debris avalanche and the Tenerife lizard Gallotia galloti.

    PubMed

    Brown, Richard P; Hoskisson, Paul A; Welton, John-Henry; Báez, Marcos

    2006-10-01

    Several processes have been described that could explain geographical variation and speciation within small islands, including fragmentation of populations through volcanic eruptions. Massive landslides, or debris avalanches, could cause similar effects. Here we analyse the potential impact of the 0.8 million-year-ago (Ma) Güimar valley debris avalanche on the phylogeography of the lizard Gallotia galloti on the Canary Island of Tenerife. Distributions of mitochondrial DNA lineages (based on cytochrome b sequences) were analysed on a 60-km southeastern coast transect centred on this area. Three main clades were detected, which can be divided into northern (one clade) and southern (two clades) groups that introgress across the valley. Maximum-likelihood estimates of migration rates (scaled for mutation rate) revealed highly asymmetric patterns, indicating that long-term gene flow into this region from both the northern and the southern populations greatly exceeded that in the opposite directions, consistent with recolonization of the area. The ancestral Tenerife node on the G. galloti tree is estimated at 0.80 Ma, matching closely with the geological estimate for the debris avalanche. Morphological variation (body dimensions and scalation) was also analysed and indicated a stepped cline in female scalation across the valley, although the patterns for male scalation and male and female body dimensions were not as clear. Together these findings provide support for the hypothesis that the debris avalanche has shaped the phylogeography of G. galloti and may even have been a primary cause of the within-island cladogenesis through population fragmentation and isolation. Current estimates of timing of island unification mean that the original hypothesis that within-island diversity is explained by the secondary contact of populations from the two ancient precursor islands of Teno and Anaga is less plausible for this and some other Tenerife species. Large-scale landslides

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation. PMID:26405734

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

    PubMed Central

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Ecology of Great Salt Pond, Block Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    Great Salt Pond is an island of estuarine water on Block Island, which sits in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. When the last continental glaciers retreated, they left a high spot on a terminal moraine. The rising sea from melting glaciers formed two island...

  18. Simulating reef response to sea-level rise at Lizard Island: A geospatial approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamylton, S. M.; Leon, J. X.; Saunders, M. I.; Woodroffe, C. D.

    2014-10-01

    Sea-level rise will result in changes in water depth over coral reefs, which will influence reef platform growth as a result of carbonate production and accretion. This study simulates the pattern of reef response on the reefs around Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Two sea-level rise scenarios are considered to capture the range of likely projections: 0.5 m and 1.2 m above 1990 levels by 2100. Reef topography has been established through extensive bathymetric profiling, together with available data, including LiDAR, single beam bathymetry, multibeam swath bathymetry, LADS and digitised chart data. The reef benthic cover around Lizard Island has been classified using a high resolution WorldView-2 satellite image, which is calibrated and validated against a ground referencing dataset of 364 underwater video records of the reef benthic character. Accretion rates are parameterised using published hydrochemical measurements taken in-situ and rules are applied using Boolean logic to incorporate geomorphological transitions associated with different depth ranges, such as recolonisation of the reef flat when it becomes inundated as sea level rises. Simulations indicate a variable platform response to the different sea-level rise scenarios. For the 0.5 m rise, the shallower reef flats are gradually colonised by corals, enabling this active geomorphological zone to keep up with the lower rate of rise while the other sand dominated areas get progressively deeper. In the 1.2 m scenario, a similar pattern is evident for the first 30 years of rise, beyond which the whole reef platform begins to slowly drown. To provide insight on reef response to sea-level rise in other areas, simulation results of four different reef settings are discussed and compared at the southeast reef flat (barrier reef), Coconut Beach (fringing reef), Watson's Bay (leeward bay with coral patches) and Mangrove Beach (sheltered lagoonal embayment). The reef sites appear to accrete upwards

  19. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies).

    PubMed

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17(th) century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  20. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  1. Intraspecific Colour Variation among Lizards in Distinct Island Environments Enhances Local Camouflage

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Stevens, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Within-species colour variation is widespread among animals. Understanding how this arises can elucidate evolutionary mechanisms, such as those underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here, we investigated whether five island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) have more effective camouflage against their own (local) island substrates than against other (non-local) island substrates to avian predators, and whether this was linked to island differences in substrate appearance. We also investigated whether degree of local substrate matching varied among island populations and between sexes. In most populations, both sexes were better matched against local backgrounds than against non-local backgrounds, particularly in terms of luminance (perceived lightness), which usually occurred when local and non-local backgrounds were different in appearance. This was found even between island populations that historically had a land connection and in populations that have been isolated relatively recently, suggesting that isolation in these distinct island environments has been sufficient to cause enhanced local background matching, sometimes on a rapid evolutionary time-scale. However, heightened local matching was poorer in populations inhabiting more variable and unstable environments with a prolonged history of volcanic activity. Overall, these results show that lizard coloration is tuned to provide camouflage in local environments, either due to genetic adaptation or changes during development. Yet, the occurrence and extent of selection for local matching may depend on specific conditions associated with local ecology and biogeographic history. These results emphasize how anti-predator adaptations to different environments can drive divergence within a species, which may contribute to reproductive isolation among populations and lead to ecological speciation. PMID:26372454

  2. The lizard fauna of Guam's fringing islets: Island biogeography, phylogenetic history, and conservation implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, G.; Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.; Sharp, T.R.

    1998-01-01

    We sampled the lizard fauna of twenty-two small islets fringing the Pacific island of Guam and used these data to shed light on the processes responsible for present-day diversity. Habitat diversity, measured by islet area and vegetation complexity, was significantly correlated with the number of species found on an islet. However, islet distance and elevation were not significant predictors of diversity. Distribution patterns were slightly different for the two major families in our sample, Scincidae and Gekkonidae: skinks needed larger islets to maintain a population than did geckos. Presence/absence patterns were highly and significantly nested, and population density was correlated with the number of islets on which a species was found. An area cladogram was poorly supported and showed no faunal similarity between nearby islands. These patterns indicate that extinctions on most islets were due mostly to non-catastrophic, long-acting biological causes. The presence on the islets of species extirpated on Guam and the lack of significant nestedness on islands with greater maximum elevation highlight the impact that predators (primarily brown treesnakes) can have. Our findings also show that small reserves will not suffice to protect endangered lizard faunas, and that the islets may serve as a short-term repository of such species until snake-free areas can be established on Guam.

  3. New host and distributional records for Cryptosporidium sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) from lizards (Sauria: Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, South Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McAllister, Chris T.; Duszynski, Donald W.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Between 1991 and 1993, 295 lizards, comprising 21 species in 2 families (Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Takapoto, and Vanuatu in the South Pacific, were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Only 6 lizards (2%) were found to be passing Cryptosporidium oocysts in their feces, including 2 of 30 (7%) Oceania geckos, Gehyra oceanica, from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and 4 of 26 (15%) Pacific blue-tailed skinks, Emoia caeruleocauda, from Efate Island, Vanuatu. This represents the largest survey for Cryptosporidium in Pacific island lizards, and we document 2 new host and 2 new locality records for this parasite genus.

  4. Stable isotopes document mainland-island divergence in resource use without concomitant physiological changes in the lizard Liolaemus pictus.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Marcela A; Sabat, Pablo

    2010-05-01

    Shifts in feeding ecology are believed to promote island-mainland divergence. The lizard Liolaemus pictus has several different subspecies on Chilean islands and mainland. These subspecies inhabit contrastingly different habitats both in different islands and mainland, which suggests the potential for habitat related dietary variation. We investigated the dietary habits of L. pictus by both stomach content analyses and by nitrogen stable isotope analyses (delta(15)N), which we used as a proxy variable for trophic level. We also compared the morphology of the digestive tract and the activity of intestinal digestive enzymes of mainland and island lizards. We hypothesized differences in diet and trophic level among populations and that these differences would predict the expression of the morphological and biochemical features of the digestive tract. More specifically, we predicted shorter intestines and higher levels of peptidases in more insectivorous than in more frugivorous/herbivorous lizards. The diet of L. pictus was characterized by the consumption of a wide diversity of food types, including fruit and insects, in all populations. Stable isotopes revealed higher trophic level, and hence probably higher protein intake, in mainland than in island populations, but contrary to our prediction, they had shorter intestines and higher relative activity of intestinal peptidases than mainland lizards. Furthermore, the proportion of fruit items in the stomach content was higher in the population that exhibited the lowest tropic level. These results suggest that morphological and physiological differences among populations of L. pictus are not correlated with feeding ecology, suggesting that the lizard's first responses to the selective pressure represented by a diet shift are behavioral. PMID:20172042

  5. Equilibrium speciation dynamics in a model adaptive radiation of island lizards

    PubMed Central

    Rabosky, Daniel L.; Glor, Richard E.

    2010-01-01

    The relative importance of equilibrium and nonequilibrium processes in shaping patterns of species richness is one of the most fundamental questions in biodiversity studies. If equilibrium processes predominate, then ecological interactions presumably limit species diversity, potentially through diversity dependence of immigration, speciation, and extinction rates. Alternatively, species richness may be limited by the rate at which diversity arises or by the amount of time available for diversification. These latter explanations constitute nonequilibrium processes and can apply only to biotas that are unsaturated or far from diversity equilibria. Recent studies have challenged whether equilibrium models apply to biotas assembled through in situ speciation, as this process may be too slow to achieve steady-state diversities. Here we demonstrate that speciation rates in replicate Caribbean lizard radiations have undergone parallel declines to equilibrium conditions on three of four major islands. Our results suggest that feedback between total island diversity and per-capita speciation rates scales inversely with island area, with proportionately greater declines occurring on smaller islands. These results are consistent with strong ecological controls on species richness and suggest that the iconic adaptive radiation of Caribbean anoles may have reached an endpoint. PMID:21135239

  6. Development and characterization of 12 microsatellite markers for the Island Night Lizard (Xantusia riversiana), a threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    The Island Night Lizard is a federally threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands of California. Twelve microsatellite loci were developed for use in this species and screened in 197 individuals from across San Nicolas Island, California. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 6 to 21. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.520 to 0.843. These microsatellite loci will be used to investigate population structure, effective population size, and gene flow across the island, to inform protection and management of this species.

  7. Molecular detection of invertebrate prey in vertebrate diets: trophic ecology of Caribbean island lizards.

    PubMed

    Kartzinel, Tyler R; Pringle, Robert M

    2015-07-01

    Understanding community assembly and population dynamics frequently requires detailed knowledge of food web structure. For many consumers, obtaining precise information about diet composition has traditionally required sacrificing animals or other highly invasive procedures, generating tension between maintaining intact study populations and knowing what they eat. We developed 16S mitochondrial DNA sequencing methods to identify arthropods in the diets of generalist vertebrate predators without requiring a blocking primer. We demonstrate the utility of these methods for a common Caribbean lizard that has been intensively studied in the context of small island food webs: Anolis sagrei (a semi-arboreal 'trunk-ground' anole ecomorph). Novel PCR primers were identified in silico and tested in vitro. Illumina sequencing successfully characterized the arthropod component of 168 faecal DNA samples collected during three field trips spanning 12 months, revealing 217 molecular operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) from at least nine arthropod orders (including Araneae, Blattodea, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera). Three mOTUs (one beetle, one cockroach and one ant) were particularly frequent, occurring in ≥50% of samples, but the majority of mOTUs were infrequent (180, or 83%, occurred in ≤5% of samples). Species accumulation curves showed that dietary richness and composition were similar between size-dimorphic sexes; however, female lizards had greater per-sample dietary richness than males. Overall diet composition (but not richness) was significantly different across seasons, and we found more pronounced interindividual variation in December than in May. These methods will be generally useful in characterizing the diets of diverse insectivorous vertebrates. PMID:25545675

  8. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert; Ineich, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Most documented declines of tropical reptiles are of dramatic or enigmatic species. Declines of widespread species tend to be cryptic. The early (1900s) decline and extinction of the common Pacific skink Emoia impar from the Hawaiian Islands is documented here through an assessment of literature, museum vouchers and recent fieldwork. This decline appears contemporaneous with the documented declines of invertebrates and birds across the Hawaiian Islands. A review of the plausible causal factors indicates that the spread of the introduced big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is the most likely factor in this lizard decline. The introduction and spread of a similar skink Lampropholis delicata across the islands appears to temporally follow the decline of E. impar, although there is no evidence of competition between these species. It appears that L. delicata is spreading to occupy the niche vacated by the extirpated E. impar. Further confusion exists because the skink E. cyanura, which is very similar in appearance to E. impar, appears to have been introduced to one site within a hotel on Kaua'i and persisted as a population at that site for approximately 2 decades (1970s–1990s) but is now also extirpated. This study highlights the cryptic nature of this early species extinction as evidence that current biogeographical patterns of non-charismatic or enigmatic reptiles across the Pacific may be the historical result of early widespread invasion by ants. Conservation and restoration activities for reptiles in the tropical Pacific should consider this possibility and evaluate all evidence prior to any implementation.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

    Potential to Further Environmental/Human Health Protection

    This study will i...

  10. Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of the Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Islands at Its Northern Range

    PubMed Central

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J.; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M.; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction. PMID:25659074

  11. Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on islands at its northern range.

    PubMed

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction. PMID:25659074

  12. Revealing Beta-Diversity Patterns of Breeding Bird and Lizard Communities on Inundated Land-Bridge Islands by Separating the Turnover and Nestedness Components

    PubMed Central

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities. PMID:25992559

  13. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  14. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  15. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  16. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  17. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  18. Diversification and Demography of the Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor) on Hainan Island and the Adjacent Mainland

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yong; Guo, Xianguang; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Shi, Haitao; Li, Jiatang; Li, Jun; Cai, Bo; Wang, Yuezhao

    2013-01-01

    The Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) is one of the few non-gekkonid lizards that are geographically widespread in the tropics. We investigated its population dynamics on Hainan Island and the adjacent mainland of China and Vietnam, focusing on the impact of cyclic upheaval and submergence of land bridges during the Pleistocene. Our Bayesian phylogenetic analysis reveals two mitochondrial lineages, A and B, which are estimated to have coalesced about 0.26 million years ago (95% credibility interval: 0.05–0.61 million years ago). Lineage A contains individuals mainly from central and southern Wuzhi Mountain on Hainan Island, whereas lineage B mainly comprises individuals from other sites on the island plus the adjacent mainland. The estimated coalescence times within lineages A (0.05 million years ago) and B (0.13 million years ago) fall within a period of cyclical land-bridge formation and disappearance in the Pleistocene. A spatial analysis of molecular variance identified two distinct population groupings: I, primarily containing lineage A, and II, mainly consisting of lineage B. However, haplotypes from lineages A and B occur sympatrically, suggesting that gene flow is ongoing. Neither Wuzhi Mountain nor Qiongzhou Strait and Gulf of Tonkin act as barriers to gene flow among C. versicolor populations. Analyses of the data using mismatch distributions and extended Bayesian skyline plots provide evidence of a relatively stable population size through time for Group I, and moderate population expansions and contractions during the end of the Pleistocene for Group II. We conclude that the phylogeographical patterns of C. versicolor are the combined product of Pleistocene sea-level oscillations and nonphysical barriers to gene flow. PMID:23840304

  19. Genetic Variation in the Green Anole Lizard (Anolis carolinensis) Reveals Island Refugia and a Fragmented Florida During the Quaternary

    PubMed Central

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus and (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain. PMID:24379168

  20. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  1. The 2006-2007 Kuril Islands great earthquake sequence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lay, T.; Kanamori, H.; Ammon, C.J.; Hutko, Alexander R.; Furlong, K.; Rivera, L.

    2009-01-01

    The southwestern half of a ???500 km long seismic gap in the central Kuril Island arc subduction zone experienced two great earthquakes with extensive preshock and aftershock sequences in late 2006 to early 2007. The nature of seismic coupling in the gap had been uncertain due to the limited historical record of prior large events and the presence of distinctive upper plate, trench and outer rise structures relative to adjacent regions along the arc that have experienced repeated great interplate earthquakes in the last few centuries. The intraplate region seaward of the seismic gap had several shallow compressional events during the preceding decades (notably an MS 7.2 event on 16 March 1963), leading to speculation that the interplate fault was seismically coupled. This issue was partly resolved by failure of the shallow portion of the interplate megathrust in an MW = 8.3 thrust event on 15 November 2006. This event ruptured ???250 km along the seismic gap, just northeast of the great 1963 Kuril Island (Mw = 8.5) earthquake rupture zone. Within minutes of the thrust event, intense earthquake activity commenced beneath the outer wall of the trench seaward of the interplate rupture, with the larger events having normal-faulting mechanisms. An unusual double band of interplate and intraplate aftershocks developed. On 13 January 2007, an MW = 8.1 extensional earthquake ruptured within the Pacific plate beneath the seaward edge of the Kuril trench. This event is the third largest normal-faulting earthquake seaward of a subduction zone on record, and its rupture zone extended to at least 33 km depth and paralleled most of the length of the 2006 rupture. The 13 January 2007 event produced stronger shaking in Japan than the larger thrust event, as a consequence of higher short-period energy radiation from the source. The great event aftershock sequences were dominated by the expected faulting geometries; thrust faulting for the 2006 rupture zone, and normal faulting for

  2. Snake and Bird Predation Drive the Repeated Convergent Evolution of Correlated Life History Traits and Phenotype in the Izu Island Scincid Lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus)

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Kuriyama, Takeo; Hasegawa, Masami

    2014-01-01

    Predation may create strong natural selection pressure on the phenotype and life history characteristics of prey species. The Izu scincid lizards (Plestiodon latiscutatus) that inhabit the four Japanese Izu Islands with only bird predators are drab brown, mature later, lay small clutches of large eggs, and hatch large neonates. In contrast, skinks on seven islands with both snake and bird predators are conspicuously colored, mature early, lay large clutches of small eggs, and hatch small neonates. We test the hypothesis that these suites of traits have evolved independently on each island via natural selection pressures from one of two predator regimes – birds-only and birds + snakes. Using two mtDNA genes and a nuclear locus, we infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of P. latiscutatus that reveals a basal split between Mikura and all islands south, and Miyake, all islands north, and the Izu Peninsula. Populations inhabiting Miyake, Niijima, Shikine, and Toshima are not monophyletic, suggesting either multiple colonizations or an artifact of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). We therefore developed novel phylogenetic comparative analyses that assume either a multiple colonization or more restrictive single colonization ILS scenario and found 1) statistically significant support for the of different suites of phenotypic and life history characteristics with the presence of bird-only or bird + snake predator assemblages, and 2) strong phylogenetic support for at least two independent derivations of either the “bird-only” or “snakes + birds” phenotypes regardless of colonization scenario. Finally, our time-calibrated phylogeographic analysis supports the conclusion that the ancestor to modern Izu Island P. latiscutatus dispersed from the mainland to the Izu proto-islands between 3–7.6 million years ago (Ma). These lineages remained present in the area during successive formation of the islands, with one lineage re-colonizing the mainland 0.24-0.7 Ma. PMID

  3. 77 FR 45988 - Anchorage Regulations; Great Chebeague Island, ME

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-02

    ... Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR... order moving counter-clockwise around the island starting at the west side of the northern tip of the... the point of beginning. This area is approximately 5,500 sq. yards, encompassing the...

  4. 77 FR 51552 - The Great Lakes Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Michigan and Wisconsin

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-24

    .../ Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuges (northern section managed by Seney NWR), 1674 Refuge Entrance Rd... Fish and Wildlife Service The Great Lakes Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Michigan and Wisconsin... Wildlife Refuges (NWR) for public review and comment. The group of five national wildlife refuges...

  5. Source process of the great 1971 Solomon Islands doublet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, Susan Y.; Lay, Thorne; Ruff, Larry J.

    1989-09-01

    Large underthrusting earthquakes in the Solomon Islands tend to occur as multiplets, separated by a few hours to several days in time and 30-100 km in space. The largest sequence, a doublet on July 14, 1971 ( Mw = 8.0) and July 26, 1971 ( Mw = 8.1), is particularly unusual in that it occured at the junction of two trenches, with the July 14 event in the Solomon Islands Trench preceding the July 26 rupture in the New Britain Trench. The location and large moment release of this doublet as well as an incompatibility of published body wave and surface wave focal mechanisms for the July 14 event, motivated a detailed study of the source process of the 1971 sequence. To satisfy both the surface wave and body wave data, we explored the possibility of a change in the faulting geometry during rupture for the July 14 event. A fault model that changes orientation from a northwest-southeast striking, shallow-dipping plane, similar to the mechanisms of neighboring underthrusting events in the Solomon Islands Trench, to a more north-south striking plane ˜ 70 s after rupture initiation is consistent with the observed Rayleigh and Love wave amplitude patterns. This change in mechanism is suggested by systematic variations in the mechanisms of smaller earthquakes near the cusp in the Solomon Islands plate. A simultaneous inversion of WWSSN P wave seismograms for the time, location, seismic moment and focal mechanism of individual subevents gives results in agreement with the surface wave model, although the precise change in mechanism is not well resolved. The spatiotemporal distribution of subevents reveals two major pulses of moment release. The first occurred on the initial fault near the epicenter at the origin time of the earthquake. The second occurred on the north-south striking fault, 50-70 km northwest of the epicenter ˜ 70 s after the origin time. The change in mechanism appears to reflect contortion of the slab near the trench junction. Inversion of WWSSN P wave

  6. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  7. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    A new species of bunchgrass lizard in the Sceloporus scalaris group is described from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The new species, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov., was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Principal component analyses of 24 traditional morphological characters used to describe previous S. scalaris group taxa indicate that these characters may be of limited use to delineate species in this species group. However, male lateral and ventral coloration may still be an important character for diagnosing species. PMID:24869877

  8. The importance of large benthic foraminifera to reef island sediment budget and dynamics at Raine Island, northern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, John L.; Smithers, Scott G.; Hua, Quan

    2014-10-01

    Low-lying reef islands are among the most vulnerable environments on earth to anthropogenic-induced climate change and sea-level rise over the next century because they are low, composed of unconsolidated sediment that is able to be mobilised by waves and currents, and depend on sediments supplied by reef organisms that are particularly sensitive to environmental changes (e.g. ocean temperatures and chemistry). Therefore, the spatial and temporal links between active carbonate production and island formation and dynamics are fundamental to predicting future island resilience, yet remain poorly quantified. In this paper we present results of a detailed geomorphological and sedimentological study of a reef and sand cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef. We provide an empirical investigation of the temporal linkages between sediment production and reef island development using a large collection of single grain AMS 14C dates. Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are the single most important contributor to contemporary island sand mass (47%; ranging from 36% to 63%) at Raine Island, reflecting rapid rates of sediment production and delivery. Standing stock data reveal extremely high production rates on the reef (1.8 kg m- 2 yr- 1), while AMS 14C dates of single LBF tests indicate rapid rates of sediment transferral across the reef. We also demonstrate that age is statistically related to preservation and taphonomic grade (severely abraded tests > moderately abraded tests > pristine tests). We construct a contemporary reef and island sediment budget model for Raine Island that shows that LBF (Baculogypsina, Marginopora and Amphistegina) contribute 55% of the sediment produced on the reef annually, of which a large proportion (54%) contribute to the net annual accretion of the island. The tight temporal coupling between LBF growth and island sediment supply combined with the sensitivity of LBF to bleaching and ocean acidification suggests that islands dominated by LBF are

  9. Unprovoked fatal shark attack in Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, South Pacific) by a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

    PubMed

    Clua, Eric; Séret, Bernard

    2010-09-01

    The case of a fatal, unprovoked shark attack is reported and analyzed. The incident took place on the 30th of September 2007, in the lagoon of Luengoni Bay, Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia). A young French woman who was snorkeling was severely bitten on the right thigh and died of hemorrhage. An analysis based in particular on the size and color of the shark, the characteristics of the wounds, and the behavior of the shark before and after the bite suggests that the aggressor was a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. PMID:20606572

  10. Relationships of scincid lizards (Mabuya spp; Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Cape Verde islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Brehm, A; Jesus, J; Pinheiro, M; Harris, D J

    2001-05-01

    Partial DNA sequences from two mitochondrial (mt) and one nuclear gene (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, and C-mos) were used to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among the six extant species of skinks endemic to the Cape Verde Archipelago. The species form a monophyletic unit, indicating a single colonization of the islands, probably from West Africa. Mabuya vaillanti and M. delalandii are sister taxa, as indicated by morphological characters. Mabuya fogoensis and M. stangeri are closely related, but the former is probably paraphyletic. Mabuya spinalis and M. salensis are also probably paraphyletic. Within species, samples from separate islands always form monophyletic groups. Some colonization events can be hypothesized, which are in line with the age of the islands. C-mos variation is concordant with the topology derived from mtDNA. PMID:11341812

  11. 78 FR 7907 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Island Night Lizard From the Federal...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-04

    ... (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996) and requesting that we delist the San Clemente and San Nicolas Island DPSs (Navy 2004, p. 12). In 2006, we published a 90-day finding (71 FR 48900) concluding that the Navy... temperatures, lower rainfall amounts, and rising sea level are important issues with potential effects to...

  12. 78 FR 16287 - Great Lakes Islands Refuges, MI and WI; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-14

    ... Federal Register (73 FR 76677) on December 17, 2008. The Great Lakes Islands Refuges are comprised of... and EA to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability (77 FR 51552) on... Fish and Wildlife Service Great Lakes Islands Refuges, MI and WI; Final Comprehensive Conservation...

  13. Continuous resistivity profiling data from Great South Bay, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, V.A.; Bratton, J.F.; Kroeger, K.D.; Crusius, John; Worley, C.R.

    2013-01-01

    An investigation of submarine aquifers adjacent to the Fire Island National Seashore and Long Island, New York was conducted to assess the importance of submarine groundwater discharge as a potential nonpoint source of nitrogen delivery to Great South Bay. Over 200 kilometers of continuous resistivity profiling data were collected to image the fresh-saline groundwater interface in sediments beneath the bay. In addition, groundwater sampling was performed at sites (1) along the north shore of Great South Bay, particularly in Patchogue Bay, that were representative of the developed Long Island shoreline, and (2) at sites on and adjacent to Fire Island, a 50-kilometer-long barrier island on the south side of Great South Bay. Other field activities included sediment coring, stationary electrical resistivity profiling, and surveys of in situ pore water conductivity. Results of continuous resistivity profiling surveys are described in this report. The onshore and offshore shallow hydrostratigraphy of the Great South Bay shorelines, particularly the presence and nature of submarine confining units, appears to exert primary control on the dimensions and chemistry of the submarine groundwater flow and discharge zones. Sediment coring has shown that the confining units commonly consist of drowned and buried peat layers likely deposited in salt marshes. Low-salinity groundwater extends from 10 to 100 meters offshore along much of the north and south shores of Great South Bay based on continuous resistivity profiling data, especially off the mouths of tidal creeks and beneath shallow flats to the north of Fire Island adjacent to modern salt marshes. Human modifications of much of the shoreline and nearshore areas along the north shore of the bay, including filling of salt marshes, construction of bulkheads and piers, and dredging of navigation channels, has substantially altered the natural hydrogeology of the bay's shorelines by truncating confining units and increasing

  14. Flea (Siphonaptera) species richness in the Great Basin Desert and island biogeography theory.

    PubMed

    Bossard, Robert L

    2014-06-01

    Numbers of flea (Siphonaptera) species (flea species richness) on individual mammals should be higher on large mammals, mammals with dense populations, and mammals with large geographic ranges, if mammals are islands for fleas. I tested the first two predictions with regressions of H. J. Egoscue's trapping data on flea species richness collected from individual mammals against mammal size and population density from the literature. Mammal size and population density did not correlate with flea species richness. Mammal geographic range did, in earlier studies. The intermediate-sized (31 g), moderately dense (0.004 individuals/m(2)) Peromyscus truei (Shufeldt) had the highest richness with eight flea species on one individual. Overall, island biogeography theory does not describe the distribution of flea species on mammals in the Great Basin Desert, based on H. J. Egoscue's collections. Alternatively, epidemiological or metapopulation theories may explain flea species richness. PMID:24820569

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-29

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

  16. Foraging movements of great frigatebirds from Aldabra Island: Relationship with environmental variables and interactions with fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Corre, Matthieu Le; Kai, Emilie Tew; Marsac, Francis

    2010-07-01

    Great Frigatebirds ( Fregata minor) are large tropical seabirds that rely primarily on sub-surface predators such as tunas or cetaceans to capture their prey. We studied the foraging movements of 14 Great Frigatebirds breeding on Aldabra Island (9.4°S, 46.4°E), the largest colony in the Indian Ocean. This colony is located at more than 500 km from the main fishing grounds of a very important industrial purse-seine fishery targeting surface-dwelling tunas. Despite their slow flight speeds (16 km h -1), frigatebirds are able to forage at more than 1000 km from the colonies when breeding, using 2500-4750 km long foraging loops over oceanic waters. All trips were directed to the north of the island up to the equator. Foraging bouts, indicated by reduced flight speeds, were rare and located throughout the trips. Foraging spots tended to be more frequent on higher surface chlorophyll concentration and in association with some cyclonic vortices. However, mesoscale activity is relatively weak between Aldabra and the equator and the chlorophyll variability is mostly the result of wind-mixing processes during the southwest monsoon. These results suggest that frigatebirds forage for widely distributed resources to the north of Aldabra. The northernmost foraging bouts were located in the vicinity of the purse-seine fishing grounds, but without a significant overlap between frigatebirds and tuna fleets. The results of the study are compared with those from another population at Europa Island (22.3°S, 40.3°E) where birds were foraging on predictable features, the edge of cyclonic eddies that are marked in the Mozambique Channel. We discuss the consequences of the reliance of populations on contrasted oceanographic conditions on foraging strategies and on the evolution of life histories in these long-lived animals in a changing climate, as well as the possible effects of overfishing on frigatebird populations.

  17. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

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

  18. Coral community responses to declining water quality: Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Angus; Schroeder, Thomas; Brando, Vittorio E.; Schaffelke, Britta

    2014-12-01

    A five-year period (2002-2006) of below-median rainfall followed by a six-year period (2007-2012) of above-median rainfall and seasonal flooding allowed a natural experiment into the effects of runoff on the water quality and subsequent coral community responses in the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Satellite-derived water quality estimates of total suspended solids (TSS) and chlorophyll- a (Chl) concentration showed marked seasonal variability that was exaggerated during years with high river discharge. During above-median rainfall years, Chl was aseasonally high for a period of 3 months during the wet season (February-April), while TSS was elevated for four months, extending into the dry season (March-June). Coinciding with these extremes in water quality was a reduction in the abundance and shift in the community composition, of juvenile corals. The incidence of coral disease was at a maximum during the transition from years of below-median to years of above-median river discharge. In contrast to juvenile corals, the cover of larger corals remained stable, although the composition of communities varied along environmental gradients. In combination, these results suggest opportunistic recruitment of corals during periods of relatively low environmental stress with selection for more tolerant species occurring during periods of environmental extremes.

  19. Haemoproteus iwa in Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) in the Islands of the Western Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Bastien, Matthieu; Jaeger, Audrey; Le Corre, Matthieu; Tortosa, Pablo; Lebarbenchon, Camille

    2014-01-01

    Blood parasites of the sub-genus Haemoproteus have been reported in seabirds, in particular in species in the Suliformes order. These parasites are transmitted by hippoboscid flies of the genus Olfersia; strong specificity has been suggested between the vector and its vertebrate host. We investigated the prevalence of Haemoproteus infection in Suliformes and hippoboscid flies in two oceanic islands of the Western Indian Ocean: Europa and Tromelin. In total, 209 blood samples were collected from great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) and red-footed boobies (Sula sula). Forty-one hippoboscid flies were also collected from birds. Seventeen frigatebirds and one fly collected on Europa tested positive for the presence of Haemoproteus parasites by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of the Cytochrome b gene showed that parasites were closely related to Haemoproteus iwa reported from frigatebirds in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean. Plasmodium was also detected in a frigatebird on Europa; however, its placement on the phylogenetic tree could not be resolved. We provide strong support for transmission of blood parasites in seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean and suggest that migrations between the Pacific and the Indian oceans could favor the large-scale distribution of Haemoproteus iwa in frigatebird populations. PMID:24810172

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

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Spatiotemporal patterns of coral disease prevalence on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haapkylä, J.; Melbourne-Thomas, J.; Flavell, M.; Willis, B. L.

    2010-12-01

    Despite increasing research effort on coral diseases, little is known about factors driving disease dynamics on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This is the first study to investigate the temporal patterns of coral disease prevalence and potential drivers of disease around Heron Island, in the southern Capricorn Bunker sector of the GBR. Surveys were conducted in two austral summers and three winters between November 2007 and August 2009 on six sites around the island. Six diseases were detected: brown band syndrome (BrB), growth anomalies (GA), ulcerative white spots (UWS), white syndrome (WS), skeletal eroding band disease (SEB) and black band disease (BBD). The lowest overall mean disease prevalence was 1.87 ± 0.75% (mean ± SE) in November 2007 and the highest 4.22 ± 1.72% in August 2008. There was evidence of seasonality for two diseases: BrB and UWS. This is the first study to report a higher prevalence of BrB in the winter. BrB had a prevalence of 3.29 ± 0.58% in August 2008 and 1.53 ± 0.28% in August 2009, while UWS was the most common syndrome in the summer with a prevalence of 1.12 ± 0.31% in November 2007 and 2.67 ± 0.52% prevalence in January 2008. The prevalence of GAs and SEB did not depend on the season, although the prevalence of GAs increased throughout the study period. WS had a slightly higher prevalence in the summer, but its overall prevalence was low (<0.5%). Sites with high abundance of staghorn Acropora and Montipora were characterised by the highest disease prevalence (12% of Acropora and 3.3% of Montipora species were diseased respectively). These results highlight the correlations between coral disease prevalence, seasonally varying environmental parameters and coral community composition. Given that diseases are likely to reduce the resilience of corals, seasonal patterns in disease prevalence deserve further research.

  2. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records. PMID:27103877

  3. Continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah- east of Antelope and Fremont Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, P.M.; West, J.C.

    1989-01-01

    A continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, was conducted east of Fremont and Antelope Islands in 1984 by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources and produced data along approximately 80 miles of seismic lines. The survey was conducted to determine depth to consolidated rock, and definition and continuity of overlying basin fill under the lake. Interpretation of the data indicates the presence of faulted rock dipping away from Fremont and Antelope Islands. A north-south-trending consolidated-rock ridge is identified 200 ft below lake bottom, 275 miles east of Fremont Island. Shallow rock is also inferred 380 ft below lake bottom, near Hooper Hot Springs, and 520 ft below lake bottom approximately 4 miles east of the south end of Antelope Island. Interpretation of reflections from overlying basin fill indicates fine-grained, thinly-bedded deposits that become coarser with depth. Strong reflectors in the basin fill can be correlated with water-bearing strata penetrated by wells near the north end of Antelope Island and along the east shore of the lake. Many continuous, high-amplitude reflections can be identified in data from basin fill and may represent sedimentary sections or aquifer boundaries but cannot be defined because of a lack of subsurface control in the area. (USGS)

  4. Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. The Great 2006 and 2007 Kuril Earthquakes, Forearc Segmentation and Seismic Activity of the Central Kuril Islands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranov, B. V.; Ivashchenko, A. I.; Dozorova, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a structural study of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, where the great megathrust tsunamigenic earthquake ( M w 8.3) occurred on November 15, 2006. Based on new bathymetry and seismic profiles obtained during two research cruises of R/V Akademik Lavrentiev in 2005 and 2006, ten crustal segments with along-arc length ranging from 30 to 100 km, separated by NS- and NW-trending transcurrent faults were identified within the forearc region. The transcurrent faults may serve as barriers impeding stress transfer between the neighboring segments, so that stress accumulated within separate forearc segments is usually released by earthquakes of moderate-to-strong magnitudes. However, the great November 15, 2006 earthquake ruptured seven of the crustal segments probably following a 226-year gap since the last great earthquake in 1780. The geographic extent of earthquake rupture zones, aftershock areas and earthquake clusters correlate well with forearc crustal segments identified using the geophysical data. Based on segmented structure of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, we consider and discuss three scenarios of a great earthquake occurrence within this area. Although the margin is segmented, we suggest that a rupture could occupy the entire seismic gap with a total length of about 500 km. In such a case, the earthquake magnitude M w might exceed 8.5, and such an event might generate tsunami waves significantly exceeding in height to those produced by the great 2006-2007 Kuril earthquakes.

  6. Long-term redevelopment of resource islands in shrublands of the Great Basin, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil resource availability in semi-arid and arid shrubland ecosystems is highly heterogeneous and includes patterns of resource accumulation primarily beneath shrubs as opposed to shrub interspaces. These resource islands contribute to ecosystem relience after natural disturbances such as fire, yet...

  7. Coseismic vertical deformation during the great 2007 Solomon Islands megathrust rupture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, R.; Taylor, F. W.; Frohlich, C.; Papabatu, A. K.; Billy, D.; Brown, A.; Meltzner, A. J.

    2007-12-01

    A joint US-Solomon Islands team visited the epicentral area of the 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 Solomon Islands earthquake a few weeks after the event. We used coral microatolls, satellite imagery, and displaced geomorphic and cultural features to map the coseismic deformation pattern in the region directly above and adjacent to the subduction megathrust rupture. Among our main findings is that most slip occurred on the shallow portion of the megathrust and that slip appears to have reached the deformation front at Ranongga island, which was uplifted as much as ~2.5 m when the rupture propagated across the subducting Simbo ridge transform. Simbo island, which sits on the downgoing Australian plate and lies only 8 km across the plate boundary from uplifted Ranongga, subsided ~0.7 m coseismically and experienced only subdued ground motions. The line of zero vertical displacement (hingeline) runs closely along the southwestern coasts of Vella Lavella, Ghizo, and Parara islands, implying a persistent structural relationship between the downdip limit of coseismic slip and these coastlines. A broad, asymmetrical subsidence trough as deep as ~0.7 m extends across Vella Lavella, Kolombangara, Parara, and New Georgia. Uplift of ~0.35 m on the westermost tip of Rendova, along with overall subsidence of Rendova and Tetepare, place a firm limit on the southeastern extent of rupture. Uplift of Mono and subsidence of Fauro and the Shortlands, and no resolvable vertical change on Bougainville, define a rupture length of nearly 250 km between Rendova and the Woodlark rise.

  8. Effects of herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on breeding piping plovers, South Monomoy Island, Massachusetts. Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, S.E.; Fraser, J.D.; Buckley, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    The large population of breeding herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on South Monomoy Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been thought to negatively affect the breeding success of the threatened piping plover. Following the Piping Plover Recovery Plan's call for gull colonies to be removed from piping plover breeding sites, in 1996, the USFWS conducted gull removal on part of South Monomoy Island. We determined relative gull abundance on South Monomoy Island from 1998-2000 by counting gulls within 100-m radius plots located on the shoreline. We quantified piping plover behavior and habitat use by conducting instantaneous and 5-minute behavioral observations. We quantified characteristics of piping plover nesting habitat by measuring characteristics along random transects. We measured gull abundance, beach width, and prey abundance, and then used logistic regression to determine what habitat characteristics influenced piping plover nesting area selection. We monitored piping plover reproductive success and population fluctuations on South Monomoy Island. Gull abundance in the gull-removal area was lower than gull abundance in the reference area throughout the piping plover breeding season. The difference in gull abundance between the areas did not affect piping plover behavior, nest success, chick survival, or productivity. We found that gull removal did not result in an increased piping plover population on the island. In both management areas, prenesting plovers preferred to forage in moist substrate habitats. Wide backshore and open vegetation habitats characterized nesting areas. Broods spent most of their time foraging and preferred moist substrate habitats when available. Plovers were not prevented from occupying more suitable habitat by large gulls. Fewer large gulls were observed near prenesting plovers, plover nests, and plover broods than near random plots. Fewer large gulls were observed in plover nesting areas than in unused areas when the nesting

  9. Tsunami Runup in the Middle Kuril Islands from the Great Earthquake of 15 Nov 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgeois, J.; Pinegina, T.; Razhegaeva, N.; Kaistrenko, V.; Levin, B.; Macinnes, B.; Kravchunovskaya, E.

    2007-12-01

    Two expeditions to the middle Kuril Islands [IMGG FED RAS, NSF Kurils Biocomplexity Project] in the summer of 2007 yielded tsunami runup and inundation measurements from the 15 Nov 2006 Mw 8.3 subduction-zone earthquake, and possibly from the 13 Jan 2007 Mw 8.1 earthquake seaward of the subduction zone. Both earthquakes produced measurable tsunamis in the far field, the 13 Jan tsunami significantly smaller; the 15 Nov tsunami did some damage in the harbor of Crescent City, CA. Ours are the first near-source measurements because no one lives in the middle Kurils. Moreover, because KBP visited many of the same sites in summer of 2006, we have numerous before-and-after comparisons, including quantified erosion. We measured 120 profiles and made more than 300 runup measurements. We found dramatic tsunami effects of erosion and deposition, with widespread runup of 8-12 m, up to about 20 m, between and including Simushir and Matua islands. In most cases, we measured runup with a transit and surveying rod, producing a topographic profile from sea level to the slope above runup indicators; in some cases, we used a hand level and tape. Runup/inundation criteria were generally subhorizontal lines of floatable debris, typically wood, plastic, glass floats, and styrofoam. Single occurrences, e.g., of a plastic bottle were not considered adequate. Corroborative evidence, not used independently, included limits of consistently oriented stems of tall grasses and flowers, limit of sand and gravel deposits above turf and dead vegetation, and elevation of fresh erosion of turf from slopes landward of the beach plain. Currently we are compiling, correcting and vetting our measurements, which will be submitted to online databases. Topographic profiles obviously had an effect on the data, with short, steep profiles generating high runup and short inundation; most beach-ridge profiles had longer inundation and shorter runup. However, at Ainu Bay on Matua Island, we found as much as 18

  10. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Martha M; Stimola, Maureen A; Algar, Adam C; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J; Landestoy, Miguel A; Bakken, George S; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-03-01

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. PMID:24430845

  11. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Martha M.; Stimola, Maureen A.; Algar, Adam C.; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J.; Landestoy, Miguel A.; Bakken, George S.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. PMID:24430845

  12. The Effect of the Great Barrier Reef on the Propagation of the 2007 Solomon Islands Tsunami Recorded in Northeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baba, Toshitaka; Mleczko, Richard; Burbidge, David; Cummins, Phil R.; Thio, Hong Kie

    2008-12-01

    The effect of offshore coral reefs on the impact from a tsunami remains controversial. For example, field surveys after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami indicate that the energy of the tsunami was reduced by natural coral reef barriers in Sri Lanka, but there was no indication that coral reefs off Banda Aceh, Indonesia had any effect on the tsunami. In this paper, we investigate whether the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) offshore Queensland, Australia, may have weakened the tsunami impact from the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake. The fault slip distribution of the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake was firstly obtained by teleseismic inversion. The tsunami was then propagated to shallow water just offshore the coast by solving the linear shallow water equations using a staggered grid finite-difference method. We used a relatively high resolution (approximately 250 m) bathymetric grid for the region just off the coast containing the reef. The tsunami waveforms recorded at tide gauge stations along the Australian coast were then compared to the results from the tsunami simulation when using both the realistic 250 m resolution bathymetry and with two grids having fictitious bathymetry: One in which the the GBR has been replaced by a smooth interpolation from depths outside the GBR to the coast (the “No GBR” grid), and one in which the GBR has been replaced by a flat plane at a depth equal to the mean water depth of the GBR (the “Average GBR” grid). From the comparison between the synthetic waveforms both with and without the Great Barrier Reef, we found that the Great Barrier Reef significantly weakened the tsunami impact. According to our model, the coral reefs delayed the tsunami arrival time by 5-10 minutes, decreased the amplitude of the first tsunami pulse to half or less, and lengthened the period of the tsunami.

  13. High antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards: a warning signal of excessive specimen collection?

    PubMed

    Delibes, Miguel; Blázquez, María del Carmen; Soriano, Laura; Revilla, Eloy; Godoy, José Antonio

    2011-01-01

    We live-captured lizards on islands in the Gulf of California and the Baja California peninsula mainland, and compared their ability to escape predation. Contrary to expectations, endemic lizard species from uninhabited islands fled from humans earlier and more efficiently than those from peninsular mainland areas. In fact, 58.2% (n=146) of the lizards we tried to capture on the various islands escaped successfully, while this percentage was only 14.4% (n=160) on the peninsular mainland. Separate evidence (e.g., proportion of regenerated tails, low human population at the collection areas, etc.) challenges several potential explanations for the higher antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards (e.g., more predation pressure on islands, habituation to humans on the peninsula, etc.). Instead, we suggest that the ability of insular lizards to avoid predators may be related to harvesting by humans, perhaps due to the value of endemic species as rare taxonomic entities. If this hypothesis is correct, predation-related behavioral changes in rare species could provide early warning signals of their over-exploitation, thus encouraging the adoption of conservation measures. PMID:22216244

  14. Legacy Pollutants are Declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but Remain Higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Sjurdur; Nager, Ruedi G; Alonso, Sarah; McGill, Rona A R; Furness, Robert W; Dam, Maria

    2016-08-01

    To monitor environmental pollutants in Faroese biota, samples from a top predator were analysed and put into a spatial and temporal context. Analysis of 20 Great Skua eggs sampled in 2012 from the Faroe Islands showed >70 % lower concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than in samples analysed in 1977. The 2012 Faroese eggs showed higher concentrations than for eggs in Shetland from about the same period (2008). Eggshells were analysed for sub-lethal effects but there were no detectable effects of legacy POP levels on eggshell colour or thickness. A temporal decline in legacy POPs would indicate a reduction in the general pollutant levels present in the environment as has been shown in other areas of the North Atlantic, but there are significant geographic differences in POPs levels likely due to differences in diet resulting in significantly different exposures on a relatively limited spatial scale. PMID:27329112

  15. Sheet-gravel evidence for a late Holocene tsunami run-up on beach dunes, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichol, Scott L.; Lian, Olav B.; Carter, Charles H.

    2003-01-01

    A semi-continuous sheet of granule to cobble-size clasts forms a distinctive deposit on sand dunes located on a coastal barrier in Whangapoua Bay, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. The gravel sheet extends from the toe of the foredune to 14.3 m above mean sea level and 200 m landward from the beach. Clasts are rounded to sub-rounded and comprise lithologies consistent with local bedrock. Terrestrial sources for the gravel are considered highly unlikely due to the isolation of the dunes from hillslopes and streams. The only source for the clasts is the nearshore to inner shelf of Whangapoua Bay, where gravel sediments have been previously documented. The mechanism for transport of the gravel is unlikely to be storm surge due to the elevation of the deposit; maximum-recorded storm surge on this coast is 0.8 m above mean high water spring tide. Aeolian processes are also discounted due to the size of clasts and the elevation at which they occur. Tsunami is therefore considered the most probable mechanism for gravel transport. Minimum run-up height of the tsunami was 14.3 m, based on maximum elevation of gravel deposits. Optical ages on dune sands beneath and covering the gravel allow age bracketing to 0-4.7 ka. Within this time frame, numerous documented regional seismic and volcanic events could have generated the tsunami, notably submarine volcanism along the southern Kermadec arc to the east-southeast of Great Barrier Island where large magnitude events are documented for the late Holocene. Radiocarbon ages on shell from Maori middens that appear to have been reworked by tsunami run-up constrain the age of this event to post ca. 1400 AD. Regardless of the precise age of this event, the well-preserved nature of the Whangapoua gravel deposit provides for an improved understanding of the high degree of spatial variability in tsunami run-up.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  17. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M.; Jones, Alison M.

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  18. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M; Jones, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  19. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard

    PubMed Central

    Pike, David A.; Clark, Rulon W.; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-01-01

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor. PMID:26915464

  20. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Clark, Rulon W; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-01-01

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor. PMID:26915464

  1. The western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis: evidence of field exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi in relation to infestation by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Manweiler, S A; Lane, R S; Tempelis, C H

    1992-09-01

    The role of the Western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis in the enzootiology of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was evaluated in the Hopland and Ukiah areas of Mendocino County, California. In 1989, half of 74 lizards collected monthly from April to October at Hopland were infested by the immature western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus at a mean intensity of 6.0 ticks per lizard. The prevalence of infestation of lizards by immature I. pacificus (36 of 73) at Ukiah was similar, but the mean intensity (12.9) was approximately twice as great. Overall, zero of 223 larvae and 2 (0.6%) of 330 nymphs from both sites were found to contain spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence. Larval and nymphal I. pacificus fit the negative binomial distribution in spring, and the prevalence and abundance of these stages were significantly greater in spring than in summer at both sites. Spirochetes were not visualized in thick blood films prepared from 133 lizards from both localities. Plasma antibodies against B. burgdorferi were detected in seven of 10 experimentally inoculated lizards, in five (8%) of 63 lizards from Hopland, and in 10 (14%) of 70 lizards from Ukiah. Adult lizards had a significantly greater tick burden and seropositivity rate than juvenile lizards only at Ukiah. In 1991, efforts to detect and culture spirochetes from the blood of 21 wild-caught lizards and from the tissues of 189 associated ticks that fed xenodiagnostically on them were unsuccessful.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1524146

  2. Molecular survey of Apicomplexa in Podarcis wall lizards detects Hepatozoon, Sarcocystis, and Eimeria species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of apicomplexan parasites in Podarcis sp. wall lizards from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands was studied by amplification and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Species from 3 genera, Hepatozoon , Sarcocystis , and Eimeria , were found. The phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene provides unexpected insights into the evolutionary history of these parasites. All Hepatozoon spp. specimens were recovered as part of a clade already identified in lizards from North Africa. The Sarcocystis species, detected in Podarcis lilfordi from Cabrera Island in the Balearic Islands, appears related to Sarcocystis gallotiae , known only from endemic Gallotia sp. lizards from the Canary Islands. Based on the lack of snake predators on this island, this parasite presumably presents an atypical transmission cycle that uses the same host species as both intermediate and final host through cannibalism, like S. gallotiae . Eimeria sp. is reported for the first time from Podarcis spp. lizards. This study shows the power of detecting multiple different apicomplexan parasites through screening of tail tissue samples and blood drops that are often collected in reptiles for other purposes. PMID:22746392

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Genetic and biological characterization of Muko virus, a new distinct member of the species Great Island virus (genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae), isolated from ixodid ticks in Japan.

    PubMed

    Ejiri, Hiroko; Lim, Chang-Kweng; Isawa, Haruhiko; Kuwata, Ryusei; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Yamaguchi, Yukie; Takayama-Ito, Mutsuyo; Kinoshita, Hitomi; Kakiuchi, Satsuki; Horiya, Madoka; Kotaki, Akira; Takasaki, Tomohiko; Maeda, Ken; Hayashi, Toshihiko; Sasaki, Toshinori; Kobayashi, Mutsuo; Saijo, Masayuki; Sawabe, Kyoko

    2015-12-01

    Among the tick-borne orbiviruses (genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae), 36 serotypes are currently classified within a single virus species, Great Island virus. In this study, we report the first characterization of a tick-borne orbivirus isolated from the tick Ixodes turdus in Japan, which we identified as a new member of the species Great Island virus. The virus isolate, designated Muko virus (MUV), replicated and induced cytopathic effects in BHK-21, Vero E6, and CCL-141 cells and caused high mortality in suckling mice after intracerebral inoculation. Full genome sequence analysis showed that MUV shared the greatest phylogenetic similarity with Tribeč virus in terms of the amino acid sequences of all viral proteins except for outer capsid protein 1 (OC1; VP4 of MUV). Analysis of genome segment 9 in MUV detected an uninterrupted open reading frame that overlaps with VP6 (Hel), which putatively encodes a molecular and functional equivalent of NS4 from Great Island virus. Our study provides new insights into the geographic distribution, genetic diversity, and evolutionary history of the members of the species Great Island virus. PMID:26350980

  5. Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement

    PubMed Central

    Roff, George; Clark, Tara R.; Reymond, Claire E.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yuexing; McCook, Laurence J.; Done, Terence J.; Pandolfi, John M.

    2013-01-01

    The inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have undergone significant declines in water quality following European settlement (approx. 1870 AD). However, direct evidence of impacts on coral assemblages is limited by a lack of historical baselines prior to the onset of modern monitoring programmes in the early 1980s. Through palaeoecological reconstructions, we report a previously undocumented historical collapse of Acropora assemblages at Pelorus Island (central GBR). High-precision U-series dating of dead Acropora fragments indicates that this collapse occurred between 1920 and 1955, with few dates obtained after 1980. Prior to this event, our results indicate remarkable long-term stability in coral community structure over centennial scales. We suggest that chronic increases in sediment flux and nutrient loading following European settlement acted as the ultimate cause for the lack of recovery of Acropora assemblages following a series of acute disturbance events (SST anomalies, cyclones and flood events). Evidence for major degradation in reef condition owing to human impacts prior to modern ecological surveys indicates that current monitoring of inshore reefs on the GBR may be predicated on a significantly shifted baseline. PMID:23135672

  6. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor)

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-01-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin – Wolf, N. Seymour – Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φST values (N. Seymour – Darwin, N. Seymour – Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry. PMID:23170212

  7. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor).

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-11-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin - Wolf, N. Seymour - Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φ(ST) values (N. Seymour - Darwin, N. Seymour - Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry. PMID:23170212

  8. Acoustical coupling of lizard eardrums.

    PubMed

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Manley, Geoffrey A

    2008-12-01

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

  9. Acoustical Coupling of Lizard Eardrums

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Will Coral Islands maintain their growth over the next century? A deterministic model of sediment availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010-2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr-1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr-1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000-2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr-1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution through time

  11. Will Coral Islands Maintain Their Growth over the Next Century? A Deterministic Model of Sediment Availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010–2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr−1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr−1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000–2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr−1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution

  12. Chlorinated contaminants in chorio-allantoic membranes from great blue heron eggs at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

    PubMed

    Cobb, G P; Norman, D M; Miller, M W; Brewer, L W; Johnston, R K

    1995-01-01

    Chorio-allantoic membranes (CAMs) were collected and analyzed for chlorinated hydrocarbons as part of a wildlife toxicology demonstration project at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington, USA. Concentrations of DDT, DDE, DDD, Aroclor 1254, and Aroclor 1260 were found at concentrations below 0.4 ppm for 13 of 14 samples. The low correlations among DDT and its metabolites in CAMs suggest herons are not being exposed to a consistent source of these compounds. Comparison of chlorinated hydrocarbon data for CAMs from three Puget Sound heron colonies, NAS Whidbey, Samish Island and Dumas Bay, indicates contaminant burdens in herons from NAS Whidbey and Samish Island are significantly lower than burdens in herons from Dumas Bay. PMID:7874465

  13. Conspicuous male coloration impairs survival against avian predators in Aegean wall lizards, Podarcis erhardii.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Animal coloration is strikingly diverse in nature. Within-species color variation can arise through local adaptation for camouflage, sexual dimorphism and conspicuous sexual signals, which often have conflicting effects on survival. Here, we tested whether color variation between two island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) is due to sexual dimorphism and differential survival of individuals varying in appearance. On both islands, we measured attack rates by wild avian predators on clay models matching the coloration of real male and female P. erhardii from each island population, modeled to avian predator vision. Avian predator attack rates differed among model treatments, although only on one island. Male-colored models, which were more conspicuous against their experimental backgrounds to avian predators, were accordingly detected and attacked more frequently by birds than less conspicuous female-colored models. This suggests that female coloration has evolved primarily under selection for camouflage, whereas sexually competing males exhibit costly conspicuous coloration. Unexpectedly, there was no difference in avian attack frequency between local and non-local model types. This may have arisen if the models did not resemble lizard coloration with sufficient precision, or if real lizards behaviorally choose backgrounds that improve camouflage. Overall, these results show that sexually dimorphic coloration can affect the risk of predator attacks, indicating that color variation within a species can be caused by interactions between natural and sexual selection. However, more work is needed to determine how these findings depend on the island environment that each population inhabits. PMID:26442582

  14. Microgeographic variation in locomotor traits among lizards in a human-built environment

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Microgeographic variation in fitness-relevant traits may be more common than previously appreciated. The fitness of many vertebrates is directly related to their locomotor capacity, a whole-organism trait integrating behavior, morphology, and physiology. Because locomotion is inextricably related to context, I hypothesized that it might vary with habitat structure in a wide-ranging lizard, Podarcis erhardii, found in the Greek Cyclade Islands. I compared lizard populations living on human-built rock walls, a novel habitat with complex vertical structure, with nearby lizard populations that are naive to human-built infrastructure and live in flat, loose-substrate habitat. I tested for differences in morphology, behavior, and performance. Lizards from built sites were larger and had significantly (and relatively) longer forelimbs and hindlimbs. The differences in hindlimb morphology were especially pronounced for distal components—the foot and longest toe. These morphologies facilitated a significant behavioral shift in jumping propensity across a rocky experimental substrate. I found no difference in maximum velocity between these populations; however, females originating from wall sites potentially accelerated faster over the rocky experimental substrate. The variation between these closely neighboring populations suggests that the lizards inhabiting walls have experienced a suite of trait changes enabling them to take advantage of the novel habitat structure created by humans. PMID:26989616

  15. Successful Forecast of the Place of Great Solomon Islands Earthquake of April 1, 2007, Mw8.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purcaru, G.

    2007-12-01

    Predicting the large and great earhquakes proved to remain at present a complicated and most difficult problem, regarding the place and magnitude, and especially the time, on medium- or long-term interval, which is the principal component of any prediction. As a result a few (scientific) predictions are really successful, with a desired precision. False alarms and failures are by far dominant. However, the incresed number of higher accuracy data, advancements in the rupture- imaging at a smaller scale, seimotectonics details, increase of GPS data, different deterministic and probabilistic methods and numerical experimnts, retrospective predictions, etc. All these have to contribute, to increase a knowledge necessary to find better prediction-laws and methods in order to make particular earthquakes in specified regions more predictable. Along this view, we present a successful prediction (deterministic prediction) of a large earthquake in the Solomon Islands subduction zone: 154°E to 165°le E, where large earthquakes are occurring. We analized in detail historical earthquakes and aftershock areas (Kelleher et al, 1973, 1974; McCann et al 1979; Lay and Kanamori, 1980) of large events, their distribution and space and time, and the fluctuations of earthquake activity. We identified, in 1984, a seismic gap in the Central region of the subduction zone, with the boundary to No time prediction was made. The gap bundaries were fixed to NW at the SE-end of aftershock areas of the Jan - Feb. 1974 earthquake doublet (M7.0, M7.1) and to SE at the location of the Jan. 30, 1939 (Ms7.9-8.0) and its aftersock area was not known. The 2007 Solomon epicenter is well inside the gap. No evidence or rationale at that times would at least suggest that a future large earthquake in the gap will possibly rupture further to NW, and if the contrary than it is only a coincidence. Therefore the forecasted earthquake has closed very well the gap. The 6-days (also the 8-days) earthquake

  16. U-Th age distribution of coral fragments from multiple rubble ridges within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef: Implications for past storminess history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Entao; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Leonard, Nicole D.; Clark, Tara R.; Roff, George

    2016-07-01

    Prograded coral rubble ridges have been widely used as archives for reconstructing long-term storm or storminess history. Chronologies of ridge systems in previous studies are often based on a limited number of low-resolution radiocarbon or optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages per ridge (usually only one age per ridge), which carry intrinsic age uncertainties and make interpretation of storm histories problematic. To test the fidelity of storm ridges as palaeo-storm archives, we used high-precision U-Th dating to examine whether different samples from a single ridge are temporally constrained. We surveyed three transects of ridge systems from two continental islands (Normanby Island and High Island) within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and obtained 96 U-Th dates from coral rubble samples collected from within and between different ridges. Our results revealed significant differences in age ranges between the two islands. The steeper and more defined rubble ridges present on Normanby Island revealed that the majority of U-Th ages (over 60%) from a single ridge clustered within a narrow age range (∼100 years). By contrast, the lower and less defined ridges on High Island, which were more likely formed during both storm and non-storm high-energy events, revealed significant scatter in age distribution (>>200 years) with no notable clustering. The narrower age ranges obtained from the steeper and more defined rubble ridges suggest that previous approaches of using either limited samples from a single ridge or low-precision dating methods to establish chronologies are generally valid at centennial to millennial timescales, although caution must be taken to use such approaches for storm history reconstruction on shorter timescales (e.g. decadal). The correlation between U-Th mortality ages of coral rubble and historical stormy periods highlights the possibility of using coral rubble age distribution from rubble ridges to reconstruct the long

  17. Comparison of Holocene With Coseismic Vertical Deformation Accompanying the Great 1 April 2007 Solomon Islands Megathrust Rupture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, F. W.; Briggs, R.; Frohlich, C.; Papabatu, A. K.; Billy, D.; Brown, A.; Meltzner, A. J.

    2007-12-01

    The 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 earthquake in the western Solomons arc is the first major seismic rupture of this segment of plate boundary in historical times. A remarkable property of this region is the existence of coral- fringed islands located in a belt from ~90 km to as close as ~5 km from the trench. This setting provides a unique opportunity in which to measure forearc vertical movements using corals and other data to reveal relationships among coseismic vertical displacement, extremely rapid uplift of the outer forearc, and slower uplift of the main volcanic arc. The location of maximum coseismic uplift along a trench-parallel belt adjacent to the trench is consistent with the trench-parallel belt of maximum Holocene uplift rates. However, islands along the main volcanic arc lie in the swath of coseismic subsidence located arcward and parallel to the uplift zone. These islands typically have mean Holocene uplift rates up to ~1mm/yr. Thus, coseismic uplift correlates with rapid outer forearc Holocene uplift, but coseismic subsidence occurred throughout the more slowly uplifting volcanic arc. Using these observations, we can deconvolve and isolate the components of co- seismic, interseismic, and net vertical deformation and seek to address the underlying mechanisms. Interpretation is complicated by the late Quaternary history that includes subsidence of both the inner and outer arc islands prior to initiation of the ongoing net uplift since ~50 ka.

  18. Parrotfish predation on massive Porites on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaldo, R. M.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-03-01

    Parrotfish grazing scars on coral colonies were quantified across four reef zones at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The abundance of parrotfish grazing scars was highest on reef flat and crest, with massive Porites spp . colonies having more parrotfish grazing scars than all other coral species combined. Massive Porites was the only coral type positively selected for grazing by parrotfishes in all four reef zones. The density of parrotfish grazing scars on massive Porites spp., and the rate of new scar formation, was highest on the reef crest and flat, reflecting the lower massive Porites cover and higher parrotfish abundance in these habitats. Overall, it appears that parrotfish predation pressure on corals could affect the abundance of preferred coral species, especially massive Porites spp , across the reef gradient. Parrotfish predation on corals may have a more important role on the GBR reefs than previously thought.

  19. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-01-12

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

  20. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments. PMID:27074746

  1. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-08-01

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

  2. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  4. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  5. Review Article: Potential geomorphic consequences of a future great (Mw = 8.0+) Alpine Fault earthquake, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, T. R.; Davies, T. R. H.

    2013-09-01

    The Alpine Fault in New Zealand's South Island has not sustained a large magnitude earthquake since ca. AD 1717. The time since this rupture is close to the average inferred recurrence interval of the fault (~300 yr). The Alpine Fault is therefore expected to generate a large magnitude earthquake in the near future. Previous ruptures of this fault are inferred to have generated Mw = 8.0 or greater earthquakes and to have resulted in, amongst other geomorphic hazards, large-scale landslides and landslide dams throughout the Southern Alps. There is currently 85% probability that the Alpine Fault will cause a Mw = 8.0+ earthquake within the next 100 yr. While the seismic hazard is fairly well understood, that of the consequential geomorphic activity is less well studied, and these consequences are explored herein. They are expected to include landsliding, landslide damming, dam-break flooding, debris flows, river aggradation, liquefaction, and landslide-generated lake/fiord tsunami. Using evidence from previous events within New Zealand as well as analogous international examples, we develop first-order estimates of the likely magnitude and possible locations of the geomorphic effects associated with earthquakes. Landsliding is expected to affect an area > 30 000 km2 and involve > 1billion m3 of material. Some tens of landslide dams are expected to occur in narrow, steep-sided gorges in the affected region. Debris flows will be generated in the first long-duration rainfall after the earthquake and will continue to occur for several years as rainfall (re)mobilises landslide material. In total more than 1000 debris flows are likely to be generated at some time after the earthquake. Aggradation of up to 3 m will cover an area > 125 km2 and is likely to occur on many West Coast alluvial fans and floodplains. The impact of these effects will be felt across the entire South Island and is likely to continue for several decades.

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

    PubMed

    Ord, T J

    2012-10-01

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

  7. Effects of insularity on digestion: living on islands induces shifts in physiological and morphological traits in island reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2015-10-01

    Living on islands entails numerous challenges for animals, among which resource scarcity stands out. In order to survive, animals have to optimize energy acquisition. We examined the impact of insularity on digestion comparing a series of physiological and morphological traits of adult males between insular and mainland populations of the Balkan green lizard. Island lizards had longer gastrointestinal tracts and gut passage times and higher digestive efficiencies. The dissection of the hindgut revealed an unexpected finding, the presence of cecal valves that were more frequent in island lizards. Thanks to all above islanders retain food for longer periods and thus maximize energy income and increase the amount of the extracted nutrients. That way, they secure energy income from the limited, in time and quantity, food resources of the islands.

  8. Effect of colony size and surrounding substrate on corals experiencing a mild bleaching event on Heron Island reef flat (southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, J. C.; Gomez-Cabrera, M. Del C.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2009-12-01

    In January-May 2006, Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef experienced a mild bleaching event. The effect of colony size, morphology and surrounding substrate on the extent of bleaching was explored. In contrast with previous studies, colony size did not influence bleaching sensitivity, suggesting that there may be a threshold of light and temperature stress beyond which size plays a role. Also contrasting with previous studies, massive corals were more affected by bleaching than branching corals. Massive corals surrounded by sand were more affected than the ones surrounded by rubble or dead coral. It is hypothesized that light reflectance from sand increases stress levels experienced by the colonies. This effect is maximized in massive corals as opposed to branching corals that form dense thickets on Heron Island. These results emphasize the importance of the ecological dynamics of coral communities experiencing low, moderate and high levels of bleaching for the understanding of how coral communities may change under the stress of climate change.

  9. Sand and nest temperatures and an estimate of hatchling sex ratio from the Heron Island green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) rookery, Southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

    Sand and nest temperatures were monitored during the 2002-2003 nesting season of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sand temperatures increased from ˜ 24°C early in the season to 27-29°C in the middle, before decreasing again. Beach orientation affected sand temperature at nest depth throughout the season; the north facing beach remained 0.7°C warmer than the east, which was 0.9°C warmer than the south, but monitored nest temperatures were similar across all beaches. Sand temperature at 100 cm depth was cooler than at 40 cm early in the season, but this reversed at the end. Nest temperatures increased 2-4°C above sand temperatures during the later half of incubation due to metabolic heating. Hatchling sex ratio inferred from nest temperature profiles indicated a strong female bias.

  10. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  11. Effect of immersion in seawater on egg survival in the lizard Anolis sagrei.

    PubMed

    Losos, Jonathan B; Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A

    2003-11-01

    Studies on the lizard, Anolis sagrei, revealed that after Hurricane Floyd devastated the Bahamas in 1999, some populations consisted only of hatchlings. Because the storm surge of the hurricane completely inundated these islands, apparently for up to 6 h, survival of anole eggs in salt water for such periods is implied. To test this hypothesis directly, we placed A. sagrei eggs in saltwater for 3 or 6 h with unimmersed eggs serving as the control. Hatching success and incubation time did not differ among the three treatments. These findings help explain the persistence of anole populations on small islands vulnerable to hurricanes. PMID:12910410

  12. Anatomy, morphology and evolution of the patella in squamate lizards and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    Regnault, Sophie; Jones, Marc E H; Pitsillides, Andrew A; Hutchinson, John R

    2016-05-01

    The patella (kneecap) is the largest and best-known of the sesamoid bones, postulated to confer biomechanical advantages including increasing joint leverage and reinforcing the tendon against compression. It has evolved several times independently in amniotes, but despite apparently widespread occurrence in lizards, the patella remains poorly characterised in this group and is, as yet, completely undescribed in their nearest extant relative Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia). Through radiography, osteological and fossil studies we examined patellar presence in diverse lizard and lepidosauromorph taxa, and using computed tomography, dissection and histology we investigated in greater depth the anatomy and morphology of the patella in 16 lizard species and 19 Sphenodon specimens. We have found the first unambiguous evidence of a mineralised patella in Sphenodon, which appears similar to the patella of lizards and shares several gross and microscopic anatomical features. Although there may be a common mature morphology, the squamate patella exhibits a great deal of variability in development (whether from a cartilage anlage or not, and in the number of mineralised centres) and composition (bone, mineralised cartilage or fibrotendinous tissue). Unlike in mammals and birds, the patella in certain lizards and Sphenodon appears to be a polymorphic trait. We have also explored the evolution of the patella through ancestral state reconstruction, finding that the patella is ancestral for lizards and possibly Lepidosauria as a whole. Clear evidence of the patella in rhynchocephalian or stem lepidosaurian fossil taxa would clarify the evolutionary origin(s) of the patella, but due to the small size of this bone and the opportunity for degradation or loss we could not definitively conclude presence or absence in the fossils examined. The pattern of evolution in lepidosaurs is unclear but our data suggest that the emergence of this sesamoid may be related to the evolution of secondary

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

    PubMed Central

    Mathewson, J J

    1979-01-01

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

  14. Wall lizards display conspicuous signals to conspecifics and reduce detection by avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Visual signals are often under conflicting selection to be hidden from predators while being conspicuous to mates and rivals. Here, we investigated whether 3 different island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) with variable coloration among diverse island habitats exhibit simultaneous camouflage and sexual signals. We examined whether signals appear better tuned to conspecific vision as opposed to that of avian predators, and whether background-matching camouflage and sexual signals are partitioned to specific body regions. This could facilitate both covert sexual signaling and camouflage according to the viewing perspectives of predators and conspecifics. We found that lizards typically appeared twice as conspicuous to conspecifics than to avian predators against the same visual background, largely due to lizards’ enhanced sensitivity to ultraviolet, suggesting that P. erhardii signals are tuned to conspecific vision to reduce detection by predators. Males were more conspicuous than females to both predators and conspecifics. In 2 populations, male backs were relatively more camouflaged to predators compared to signaling flanks, whereas in females, exposed and concealed surfaces were camouflaged to predators and generally did not differ in background matching. These findings indicate that lizard coloration evolves under the competing demands of natural and sexual selection to promote signals that are visible to conspecifics while being less perceptible to avian predators. They also elucidate how interactions between natural and sexual selection influence signal detectability and partitioning to different body regions, highlighting the importance of considering receiver vision, viewing perspectives, and signaling environments in studies of signal evolution. PMID:25419083

  15. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-10-27

    Geochemical analyses (δ(11)B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼-0.05 to -0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ(11)B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ(11)B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4-8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges. PMID:26438833

  16. High-intensity cardiac infections of Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) in the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Matthew J; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H; Miller, Terrence L

    2016-10-01

    We report a new species of aporocotylid trematode (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) from the heart of the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), from off Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used an integrated approach, analysing host distribution, morphology, and genetic data from the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal DNA, to circumscribe Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. This is the first species of Phthinomita Nolan & Cribb, 2006 reported from the Apogonidae; existing species and known 'types' are recorded from species of the Labridae, Mullidae, and Siganidae. The new species is distinguished from its 11 congeners in having a body 2977-3539 long and 16.5-22.4 times longer than wide, an anterior testis 6.2-8.2 times longer than wide and 8.3-13.0 times longer than the posterior testis, a posterior testis whose width is 35-56% of the body width, and an ovary positioned 11-13% of the body length from the posterior end, and is entirely anterior to the posterior margin of the anterior testis. In addition, 2-34 base differences (0.4-7.0% sequence divergence over 485 base positions) were detected among the ITS2 sequence representing P. heinigerae n. sp. and the 14 representing other Phthinomita species/molecular types. Prevalence and intensity of infection with P. heinigerae n. sp. was relatively high within the heart tissue of T. fucata, with 19 of 20 fish examined from off Heron Island infected (95%) with 7-25 adult worms (arithmetic mean 16.6). Infections by these parasites accounted for an occupation of 7-30% of the total estimated heart volume. PMID:27185234

  17. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I.; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-01-01

    Geochemical analyses (δ11B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼−0.05 to −0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ11B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ11B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4–8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges. PMID:26438833

  18. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    PubMed

    Massot, Manuel; Aragón, Pedro

    2013-07-22

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

  20. Species interactions mediate phylogenetic community structure in a hyperdiverse lizard assemblage from arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Cowan, Mark A; Talaba, Amanda L; Lovette, Irby J

    2011-11-01

    Evolutionary history can exert a profound influence on ecological communities, but few generalities have emerged concerning the relationships among phylogeny, community membership, and niche evolution. We compared phylogenetic community structure and niche evolution in three lizard clades (Ctenotus skinks, agamids, and diplodactyline geckos) from arid Australia. We surveyed lizard communities at 32 sites in the northwestern Great Victoria Desert and generated complete species-level molecular phylogenies for regional representatives of the three clades. We document a striking pattern of phylogenetic evenness within local communities for all groups: pairwise correlations in species abundance across sites are negatively related to phylogenetic similarity. By modeling site suitability on the basis of species' habitat preferences, we demonstrate that phylogenetic evenness generally persists even after controlling for habitat filtering among species. This phylogenetic evenness is coupled with evolutionary lability of habitat-associated traits, to the extent that closely related species are more divergent in habitat use than distantly related species. In contrast, lizard diets are phylogenetically conserved, and pairwise dietary overlap between species is negatively related to phylogenetic distance in two of the three clades. Our results suggest that contemporary and historical species interactions have led to similar patterns of community structure across multiple clades in one of the world's most diverse lizard communities. PMID:22030728

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in clams, sediments, and seawater from the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Bagg, J.; Smith, J.D. )

    1988-09-01

    On the Great Barrier Reef actively growing organisms occur mainly in shallow water, between the low-water mark and about 5m depth. The effects of hydrocarbon pollution either from discharge into the sea or run-off from the shore might be expected to be most significantly at air/water or solid/water interfaces and so the earliest indications of contamination are likely to be found in species that live in this vulnerable zone. For this reason the clam Tridacna maxima which is found in the intertidal region was chosen to be analyzed for PAH content. This clam occurs in adequate numbers along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef and yields enough tissue to permit detection of PAH at very low concentrations. In addition during collection their shells close so that the chance of significant contamination during transport is very small. Clams were taken from a number of sites including isolated reefs such as John Brewer Reef, the research stations, Heron and Lizard Islands, and a tourist resort, Green Island. At all these sites sediments were analyzed for PAH and at Green Island, in addition, seawater was analyzed.

  4. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This book contains lesson plans that provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into elementary subjects. The book is divided into three subject areas: (1) History, which includes the origins of the Great Lakes, Great Lakes people, and shipwrecks; (2) Social Studies, which covers government, acid rain as a…

  6. Rickettsia Detected in the Reptile Tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri from the Lizard Tiliqua rugosa in South Australia.

    PubMed

    Whiley, Harriet; Custance, Georgie; Graves, Stephen; Stenos, John; Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Gardner, Michael G

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick-host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands) with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia. PMID:27338482

  7. Rickettsia Detected in the Reptile Tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri from the Lizard Tiliqua rugosa in South Australia

    PubMed Central

    Whiley, Harriet; Custance, Georgie; Graves, Stephen; Stenos, John; Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Gardner, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick–host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands) with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia. PMID:27338482

  8. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in Great Barrier Reef organisms and environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, M.; Connell, D. W.; Bodero, J.; Miller, G. J.; Back, R.

    1986-07-01

    This investigation was undertaken to assess the chemical nature, occurrence, and possible origin of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments, water, and a suite of seven species from widely separated coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef area were analysed by gas chromatography, and by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The hydrocarbons found were substantially of biogenic origin. The major components were n-pentadecane, n-heptadecane, pristane and mono-alkenes based on heptadecane, and were believed to originate from benthic algae and phytoplankton. There was no evidence to suggest that lipid content had any influence on hydrocarbon content. Hydrocarbons from the organisms and sediments have characteristic composition patterns which would be altered by the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons. An unresolved complex mixture, usually considered indicative of petroleum contamination, was found in greater than trace amounts only in Holothuria (sea cucumber) and Acropora (coral) from the Capricorn Group, and in some sediment samples from the Capricorn Group and Lizard Island area.

  9. The stinging Apidae and Vespidae (Hymenoptera: Apocrita) in Iranian islands, Qeshm, Abu-Musa, Great Tunb and Lesser Tunb on the Persian Gulf

    PubMed Central

    Khoobdel, Mehdi; Tavassoli, Maryam; Salari, Mehdi; Firozi, Fateme

    2014-01-01

    Objective To study the stinging flying Hymenoptera (Apidae and Vespidae) fauna in four Iranian Islands, Qeshm, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu-Musa on the Persian Gulf. Methods The flies were captured by used of Malaise trap, fly trap, bottle trap and insect net-hashing from March 2011 to July 2012. Results In this study, 11 species of stinging Hymenoptera were reported for the first time in Persian Gulf region. Conclusions Some of this species such as Vespa orientalis and Polistes olivaceus are more common in the Persian Gulf islands and can cause clinical problem to islands resident and travelers. PMID:25183092

  10. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  11. Patterns of coccidial prevalence in lizards of Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Leinwand, Ian; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Cole, Nik; Jones, Carl G; Daszak, Peter

    2005-10-01

    This paper reports prevalence of coccidial oocysts in fecal samples from 6 endemic and 2 introduced lizard species on Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Total coccidian prevalence was 54% (n = 341) for the endemic 'ornate day gecko,' Phelsuma ornata; 48% (n = 159) for the endemic 'Durrell's night gecko,' Nactus durrelli; 53% (n = 15) for the endemic 'Serpent Island night gecko,' N. serpensinsula; and 78% (n = 248) for the introduced gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. These high prevalences may reflect lack of long-lasting immune response to coccidial infection. There were few significant differences in prevalence among age, island, sex, or body condition within species, suggesting that these coccidia are relatively nonpathogenic and have little effect on host fitness. Prevalence was higher in the dry season than the wet season. These data suggest other factors, such as low host immune response to reinfection, affect overall prevalence more significantly than the effect of humidity on oocyst survival on Mauritius. No coccidia were found in samples from the endemic 'Gunner's Quoin night gecko,' N. coindemirensis (n = 155), probably reflecting parasite extinction due to a host population bottleneck following historical introduction of rats. There was no evidence of competitive or facilitative interactions between Eimeria sp. and Isospora sp., but evidence of competition between 2 Eimeria species in the 'ornate day gecko,' Phelsuma ornata. No evidence was found of cross-species infection, suggesting that reptile coccidia have high host specificity and are, therefore, poor subjects for studies of parasite-mediated competition and the evolution of sex. PMID:16419754

  12. Adaptive color polymorphism and unusually high local genetic diversity in the side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana.

    PubMed

    Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J

    2012-01-01

    Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation. PMID:23133520

  13. Adaptive Color Polymorphism and Unusually High Local Genetic Diversity in the Side-Blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana

    PubMed Central

    Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation. PMID:23133520

  14. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  16. Great Lakes: Great Gardening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York Sea Grant Inst., Albany, NY.

    This folder contains 12 fact sheets designed to improve the quality of gardens near the Great Lakes. The titles are: (1) "Your Garden and the Great Lakes"; (2) "Organic Gardening"; (3) "Fruit and Vegetable Gardening"; (4) "Composting Yard Wastes"; (5) "Herbicides and Water Quality"; (6) "Watering"; (7) "Soil Erosion by Water"; (8) "Soil…

  17. A modern soft-bottom, shallow-water crinoid fauna (Echinodermata) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messing, C. G.; Meyer, D. L.; Siebeck, U. E.; Jermiin, L. S.; Vaney, D. I.; Rouse, G. W.

    2006-03-01

    A recent preliminary survey revealed that 12 species of unstalked crinoids occur on a gentle sandy slope (12 18 m depth) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia; five of which are also found on coral reefs. The other seven appear to constitute a unique assemblage restricted to unconsolidated substrates, where most cling to algae or hide beneath rubble or sponges. Members of this assemblage exhibit all of the basic feeding postures found among reef-dwelling species. However, Comatula rotalaria, which lacks anchoring cirri and bears uniquely differentiated short and long arms, exhibits a posture different from other living crinoids. Quantitative transects reveal apparent depth-related differences in species composition: C. rotalaria dominated the 12 transects in 12 13 m (84% of 82 specimens), while Comatella nigra, Comatula cf. purpurea, Amphimetra cf. tessellata and Zygometra microdiscus accounted for 96% of 54 specimens observed along 12 transects in 16 17 m.

  18. Predation-associated modulation of movement-based signals by a Bahamian lizard

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, David S.; Losos, Jonathan B.; Schoener, Thomas W.; Spiller, David A.; Kolbe, Jason J.; Leal, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Signaling individuals must effectively capture and hold the attention of intended conspecific receivers while limiting eavesdropping by potential predators. A possible mechanism for achieving this balance is for individuals to modulate the physical properties of their signals or to alter the proportion of time spent signaling, depending upon local levels of predation pressure. We test the hypothesis that prey can alter their visual signaling behavior to decrease conspicuousness and potentially limit predation risk via modulation of signal properties or display rate. To do so, we conducted a manipulative experiment in nature to evaluate the possible effect of predation pressure on the physical properties of movement-based signals and on the proportion of time spent signaling by using a well-understood predator–prey system in the Bahamas, the semiarboreal lizard Anolis sagrei, and one of its main predators, the curly-tailed lizard Leiocephalus carinatus. We find that on islands onto which the predator was introduced, male anoles reduce the maximum amplitude of head-bob displays but not the proportion of time spent signaling, in comparison with control islands lacking the predator. This reduction of amplitude also decreases signal active space, which might alter the reproductive success of signaling individuals. We suggest that future studies of predator–prey interactions consider the risk effects generated by changes in signals or signaling behavior to fully determine the influence of predation pressure on the dynamics of prey populations. PMID:24843163

  19. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the clam Tridacna maxima from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, J.D.; Bagg, J.; Bycroft, B.M.

    1984-05-01

    The concentrations of eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), anthracene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(ghi)perylene, fluoranthene, and perylene, were measured in clams, Tridacna maxima, collected from sites on the Great Barrier Reef ranging in latitude from 14/sup 0/31'S to 23/sup 0/33' S. At most locations the concentrations of PAH were not significantly above the limit of detection, e.g., pyrene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg wet weight, benzo(a)pyrene < 0.01 ..mu..g/kg, and chrysene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg. These levels of PAH appear to be the lowest reported for clams anywhere in the world, indicating the pristine nature of the Great Barrier Reef at the present time. Concentrations significantly above detection levels were found at only two sites, Lizard Island First Beach (anthracene, 3.2 ..mu..g/kg; pyrene, 1.4 ..mu..g/kg) and Heron Island Harbour (pyrene, 1.2 ..mu..g/kg; benzo(a)pyrene, 0.02 ..mu..g/kg). Both sites are frequently visited by power boats which are the most likely source of hydrocarbon contamination. These low levels of contamination would not have been demonstrated by the measurement of only the most commonly studied PAH, benzo(a)pyrene. Simultaneous determination of several PAH was necessary to show clearly that some localized pollution had occurred.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-02-01

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

  1. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a "visually-oriented" lizard, Anolis sagrei.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, Simon; Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of 'true' chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

  2. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a “visually-oriented” lizard, Anolis sagrei

    PubMed Central

    Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of ‘true’ chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-10-01

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

  4. Lizards in the ecology of salmonellosis in Panama.

    PubMed Central

    Kourany, M; Telford, S R

    1981-01-01

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

  5. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This booklet introduces an environmental curriculum for use in a variety of elementary subjects. The lesson plans provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into the subjects of history, social studies, and environmental sciences. Each of these sections contains background information, discussion points, and a…

  6. Data use investigations for applications Explorer Mission A (Heat Capacity Mapping Mission): HCMM's role in studies of the urban heat island, Great Lakes thermal phenomena and radiometric calibration of satellite data. [Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester New York and Lake Ontario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schott, J. R. (Principal Investigator); Schimminger, E. W.

    1981-01-01

    The utility of data from NASA'a heat capacity mapping mission satellite for studies of the urban heat island, thermal phenomena in large lakes and radiometric calibration of satellite sensors was assessed. The data were found to be of significant value in all cases. Using HCMM data, the existence and microstructure of the heat island can be observed and associated with land cover within the urban complex. The formation and development of the thermal bar in the Great Lakes can be observed and quantitatively mapped using HCMM data. In addition, the thermal patterns observed can be associated with water quality variations observed both from other remote sensing platforms and in situ. The imaging radiometer on-board the HCMM satellite is shown to be calibratible to within about 1.1 C of actual surface temperatures. These findings, as well as the analytical procedures used in studying the HCMM data, are included.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-02-01

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

  8. Island biogeography of the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Helmus, Matthew R; Mahler, D Luke; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-09-25

    For centuries, biogeographers have examined the factors that produce patterns of biodiversity across regions. The study of islands has proved particularly fruitful and has led to the theory that geographic area and isolation influence species colonization, extinction and speciation such that larger islands have more species and isolated islands have fewer species (that is, positive species-area and negative species-isolation relationships). However, experimental tests of this theory have been limited, owing to the difficulty in experimental manipulation of islands at the scales at which speciation and long-distance colonization are relevant. Here we have used the human-aided transport of exotic anole lizards among Caribbean islands as such a test at an appropriate scale. In accord with theory, as anole colonizations have increased, islands impoverished in native species have gained the most exotic species, the past influence of speciation on island biogeography has been obscured, and the species-area relationship has strengthened while the species-isolation relationship has weakened. Moreover, anole biogeography increasingly reflects anthropogenic rather than geographic processes. Unlike the island biogeography of the past that was determined by geographic area and isolation, in the Anthropocene--an epoch proposed for the present time interval--island biogeography is dominated by the economic isolation of human populations. PMID:25254475

  9. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

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

  10. Bermuda as an evolutionary life raft for an ancient lineage of endangered lizards.

    PubMed

    Brandley, Matthew C; Wang, Yuezhao; Guo, Xianguang; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Fería Ortíz, Manuel; Hikida, Tsutomu; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2010-01-01

    Oceanic islands are well known for harboring diverse species assemblages and are frequently the basis of research on adaptive radiation and neoendemism. However, a commonly overlooked role of some islands is their function in preserving ancient lineages that have become extinct everywhere else (paleoendemism). The island archipelago of Bermuda is home to a single species of extant terrestrial vertebrate, the endemic skink Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) longirostris. The presence of this species is surprising because Bermuda is an isolated, relatively young oceanic island approximately 1000 km from the eastern United States. Here, we apply Bayesian phylogenetic analyses using a relaxed molecular clock to demonstrate that the island of Bermuda, although no older than two million years, is home to the only extant representative of one of the earliest mainland North American Plestiodon lineages, which diverged from its closest living relatives 11.5 to 19.8 million years ago. This implies that, within a short geological time frame, mainland North American ancestors of P. longirostris colonized the recently emergent Bermuda and the entire lineage subsequently vanished from the mainland. Thus, our analyses reveal that Bermuda is an example of a "life raft" preserving millions of years of unique evolutionary history, now at the brink of extinction. Threats such as habitat destruction, littering, and non-native species have severely reduced the population size of this highly endangered lizard. PMID:20614024

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Occurrence and distribution of the exotic lizard Hemidactylus mabouia Moreau de Jonnès, 1818 in Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Bergallo, H G

    2011-05-01

    The gekkonid lizard Hemidactylus mabouia is an exotic species in Brazil and is found in different ecosystems. This species was recorded at Ilha Grande, RJ, one of the largest insular remains of the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. In this study, the occurrence of H. mabouia was determined throughout the island, including the rain forest, restinga and anthropic environments. We used the active search method in points along 19 trails that surround Ilha Grande. At each regular interval of 100 m, we searched for the presence of H. mabouia. The species was recorded in a total of 100 points among the 719 sampled and, in all cases, the occurrence of the lizard corresponded to points located in anthropic or perianthropic areas. As most of Ilha Grande is covered by dense tropical rain forest, we believe this has restricted the invasion of H. mabouia in natural environments within the island. PMID:21755162

  13. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Divergence in morphology, but not habitat use, despite low genetic differentiation among insular populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus in Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Logan, M.L.; Montgomery, Chad E.; Boback, Scott M.; Reed, R.N.; Campbell, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of recently isolated populations are useful because observed differences can often be attributed to current environmental variation. Two populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus have been isolated on the islands of Cayo Menor and Cayo Mayor in the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago of Honduras for less than 15 000 y. We measured 12 morphometric and 10 habitat-use variables on 220 lizards across these islands in 2 y, 2008 and 2009. The goals of our study were (1) to explore patterns of sexual dimorphism, and (2) to test the hypothesis that differences in environment among islands may have driven divergence in morphology and habitat use despite genetic homogeneity among populations. Although we found no differences among sexes in habitat use, males had narrower pelvic girdles and longer toe pads on both islands. Between islands, males differed in morphology, but neither males nor females differed in habitat use. Our data suggest that either recent selection has operated differentially on males despite low genetic dill'erentiation, or that they display phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation. We suggest that patterns may be driven by variation in intrapopulation density or differences in predator diversity among islands.

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

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Variation in steroid hormone levels among Caribbean Anolis lizards: endocrine system convergence?

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F; Lovern, Matthew B

    2014-04-01

    Variation in aggression among species can be due to a number of proximate and ultimate factors, leading to patterns of divergent and convergent evolution of behavior among even closely related species. Caribbean Anolis lizards are well known for their convergence in microhabitat use and morphology, but they also display marked convergence in social behavior and patterns of aggression. We studied 18 Anolis species across six ecomorphs on four different Caribbean islands to test four main hypotheses. We hypothesized that species differences in aggression would be due to species differences in circulating testosterone (T), a steroid hormone implicated in numerous studies across vertebrate taxa as a primary determinant of social behavior; more aggressive species were expected to have higher baseline concentrations of T and corticosterone. We further hypothesized that low-T species would increase T and corticosterone levels during a social challenge. Within three of the four island assemblages studied we found differences in T levels among species within an island that differ in aggression, but in the opposite pattern than predicted: more aggressive species had lower baseline T than the least aggressive species. The fourth island, Puerto Rico, showed the pattern of baseline T levels among species we predicted. There were no patterns of corticosterone levels among species or ecomorphs. One of the two species tested increased T in response to a social challenge, but neither species elevated corticosterone. Our results suggest that it is possible for similarities in aggression among closely related species to evolve via different proximate mechanisms. PMID:24662425

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  2. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Postseismic gravity change after the 2006-2007 great earthquake doublet and constraints on the asthenosphere structure in the central Kuril Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Shin-Chan; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred

    2016-04-01

    Large earthquakes often trigger viscoelastic adjustment for years to decades depending on the rheological properties and the nature and spatial extent of coseismic stress. The 2006 Mw8.3 thrust and 2007 Mw8.1 normal fault earthquakes of the central Kuril Islands resulted in significant postseismic gravity change in Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) but without a discernible coseismic gravity change. The gravity increase of ~4 μGal, observed consistently from various GRACE solutions around the epicentral area during 2007-2015, is interpreted as resulting from gradual seafloor uplift by ~6 cm produced by postseismic relaxation. The GRACE data are best fit with a model of 25-35 km for the elastic thickness and ~1018 Pa s for the Maxwell viscosity of the asthenosphere. The large measurable postseismic gravity change (greater than coseismic change) emphasizes the importance of viscoelastic relaxation in understanding tectonic deformation and fault-locking scenarios in the Kuril subduction zone.

  5. Conservation of sex chromosomes in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Spatial memory: are lizards really deficient?

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  8. Islands in the ice stream: were spawning habitats for native salmonids in the Great Lakes created by paleo-ice streams?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riley, Stephen; Binder, Thomas R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Menzies, John; Eyles, Nick; Janssen, John; Muir, Andrew M.; Esselman, Peter C.; Wattrus, Nigel J.; Krueger, Charles C.

    2016-01-01

    Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis and cisco Coregonus artedi are salmonid fishes native to the Laurentian Great Lakes that spawn on rocky substrates in the fall and early winter. After comparing the locations of spawning habitat for these species in the main basin of Lake Huron with surficial substrates and the hypothesized locations of fast-flowing Late Wisconsinan paleo-ice streams, we hypothesize that much of the spawning habitat for these species in Lake Huron is the result of deposition and erosion by paleo-ice streams. This hypothesis may represent a new framework for the identification and protection of spawning habitat for these native species, some of which are currently rare or extirpated in some of the Great Lakes. We further suggest that paleo-ice streams may have been responsible for the creation of native salmonid spawning habitat elsewhere in the Great Lakes and in other glaciated landscapes.

  9. Genotoxicity induced by Roundup® (Glyphosate) in tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) embryos.

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-06-01

    Environmental contaminants produce multiple adverse consequences at individual, population and ecosystem levels. High volumes of agrochemicals applied to great variety of crops, together with agricultural expansion, generate great concerns due to the impact for the environment and large risk implicated for wildlife. The lack of data on these threats is striking. The tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) is one of the species that live in environments under contaminant effects. Several characteristics allow proposing this species as a potential sentinel organism for the monitoring of pesticides in their habitat. The present study is the first report about genotoxicity in tegu lizard neonates after embryonic exposure to Roundup® (glyphosate 66.2%). The micronucleus test (MN), nuclear abnormalities (NAs) assay and comet assay (CA) were used as biomarkers of genotoxic effects induced in erythrocytes by topical exposure of the eggs to the glyphosate commercial formulation Roundup® (RU), in laboratory controlled conditions. A total of 96 eggs were distributed in six groups exposed to RU (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600μg/egg), one positive control (PC; 200μg cyclophosphamide/egg) and one negative control (NC; distilled water). No teratogenic effects were observed in any of the exposed or control neonates. A significant increase in DNA damage was observed in all concentrations higher than 100μg/egg with respect to NC (p<0.05). However, no statistical differences were found in the frequencies of MN and NAs in any group exposed to RU compared to the NC. No statistically significant differences were found in the size of the lizards at birth or after six months post-exposure (p>0.05). Our results provide new information about the undesirable effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide formulations RU on this lizard species that inhabits areas permanently exposed to several pesticide formulations. We consider of utmost necessity a strict regulation of the agrochemical application

  10. Contrasting Selective Pressures on Seed Traits of Two Congeneric Species by Their Main Native Guilds of Dispersers on Islands

    PubMed Central

    Nogales, Manuel; González-Castro, Aarón; Marrero, Patricia; Bonnaud, Elsa; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Many fleshy-fruited plants from the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands are dispersed through endozoochory. In mainland Mediterranean areas, reciprocal adaptations have been found between plants and animals, although evidence is scarce. On small isolated oceanic islands, such reciprocal adaptations might well be more prevalent due to intrinsic island traits. Here we evaluate the existence of selective pressures exerted by two different disperser guilds (lizards and birds) on two seed traits (seed coat thickness and seed germination pattern) of two congeneric species present on Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. In the continental Balearic Islands, Rubia peregrina has evolved mostly with birds, although frugivorous lizards are present in some of these islands and are known to eventually consume its fruits. By contrast, R. fruticosa, endemic to the Macaronesian archipelago, has evolved mostly interacting with lizards and only recently with birds. We hypothesized that R. fruticosa would be especially adapted to saurochory, with thicker seed coats and higher germination proportion, whereas R. peregrina would be more adapted to ornithocory, with thinner seed coats and showing a lower germination percentage after being ingested by lizards. Captivity experiments of seed ingestions by natural and non-natural dispersers (i.e., frugivores that have not evolved with those plants) were conducted. Results suggest that dispersers did not exert any strong enough selective pressure to induce changes in germination patterns. We attribute this to the fact that the Rubiaceae is an ancestral family in the Mediterranean (both on continent and islands) and thus probably interacted with lizards in the past. Lastly, although we hold that the seed coat structure of R. fruticosa is probably associated with its evolutionary success after a long interaction with insular lizards, our findings support the idea that the relationship between endozoochorous plants and the guild of

  11. 15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION. (Northwest and northeast elevations and basement floor plan). Drawing No. 5912, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  12. 14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, FOG SIGNAL BUILDING, AND OIL HOUSE, AND DOCK. United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  13. 16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION; ARRANGEMENT OF PIPING & MACHINERY FOR FOG SIGNAL INSTALLATION. Drawing No. 8075, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Prey capture kinematics of ant-eating lizards.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Jay J; Herrel, Anthony

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Stephan T.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  2. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-08-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  3. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  4. Dynamics of seasonal outbreaks of black band disease in an assemblage of Montipora species at Pelorus Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Sato, Yui; Bourne, David G; Willis, Bette L

    2009-08-01

    Recurring summer outbreaks of black band disease (BBD) on an inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) constitute the first recorded BBD epizootic in the region. In a 2.7 year study of 485 colonies of Montipora species, BBD affected up to 10 per cent of colonies in the assemblage. Mean maximum abundance of BBD reached 16+/-6 colonies per 100 m(2) (n=3 quadrats, each 100 m(2)) in summer, and decreased to 0-1 colony per 100 m(2) in winter. On average, BBD lesions caused 40 per cent tissue loss and 5 per cent of infections led to whole colony mortality. BBD reappearance on previously infected colonies and continuous tissue loss after the BBD signs had disappeared suggest that the disease impacts are of longer duration than indicated by the presence of characteristic signs. Rates of new infections and linear progression of lesions were both positively correlated with seasonal fluctuations in sea water temperatures and light, suggesting that seasonal increases in these environmental parameters promote virulence of the disease. Overall, the impacts of BBD are greater than previously reported on the GBR and likely to escalate with ocean warming. PMID:19419991

  5. Discovery of a Giant Chameleon-Like Lizard (Anolis) on Hispaniola and Its Significance to Understanding Replicated Adaptive Radiations.

    PubMed

    Mahler, D Luke; Lambert, Shea M; Geneva, Anthony J; Ng, Julienne; Hedges, S Blair; Losos, Jonathan B; Glor, Richard E

    2016-09-01

    We report a new chameleon-like Anolis species from Hispaniola that is ecomorphologically similar to congeners found only on Cuba. Lizards from both clades possess short limbs and a short tail and utilize relatively narrow perches, leading us to recognize a novel example of ecomorphological matching among islands in the well-known Greater Antillean anole radiation. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the assembly of island faunas can be substantially deterministic and highlights the continued potential for basic discovery to reveal new insights in well-studied groups. Restricted to a threatened band of midelevation transitional forest near the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this new species appears to be highly endangered. PMID:27501092

  6. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Waldschmidt, S.; Tracy, C.R.

    1983-06-01

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

  8. Differences in demographic traits of four butterflyfish species between two reefs of the Great Barrier Reef separated by 1,200 km

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berumen, M. L.; Trip, E. D. L.; Pratchett, M. S.; Choat, J. H.

    2012-03-01

    Many species demonstrate variation in life history attributes in response to gradients in environmental conditions. For fishes, major drivers of life history variation are changes in temperature and food availability. This study examined large-scale variation in the demography of four species of butterflyfishes ( Chaetodon citrinellus, Chaetodon lunulatus, Chaetodon melannotus, and Chaetodon trifascialis) between two locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island and One Tree Island, separated by approximately 1,200 km). Variation in age-based demographic parameters was assessed using the re-parameterised von Bertalanffy growth function. All species displayed measurable differences in body size between locations, with individuals achieving a larger adult size at the higher latitude site (One Tree Island) for three of the four species examined. Resources and abundances of the study species were also measured, revealing some significant differences between locations. For example, for C. trifascialis, there was no difference in its preferred resource or in abundance between locations, yet it achieved a larger body size at the higher latitude location, suggesting a response to temperature. For some species, resources and abundances did vary between locations, limiting the ability to distinguish between a demographic response to temperature as opposed to a response to food or competition. Future studies of life histories and demographics at large spatial scales will need to consider the potentially confounding roles of temperature, resource usage and availability, and abundance/competition to disentangle the effects of these environmental variables.

  9. Embryonic development of the skull of the Andean lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Jaimes, Carlos; Jerez, Adriana; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2012-01-01

    The study of cranial design and development in Gymnophthalmidae is important to understand the ontogenetic processes behind the morphological diversity of the group and to examine the possible effects of microhabitat use and other ecological parameters, as well as phylogenetic constraints, on skull anatomy. Complete morphological descriptions of embryonic skull development within Gymnophthalmidae are non-existent. Likewise, very little is known about the complete chondrocranium of the family. Herein, the development of the skull of the semi-fossorial lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor is described along with an examination of the chondrocranium of other gymnophthalmid taxa and the teiid Cnemidophorus lemniscatus. Cranial chondrification begins with early condensations in the ethmoid, orbitotemporal and occipital regions of the chondrocranium as well as the viscerocranium. Ossification of the skull starts with elements of the dermatocranium (pterygoid, prefrontal, maxilla and jugal). The orbitosphenoid is the last chondral bone to appear. At birth, the skull is almost completely ossified and exhibits a large frontoparietal fontanelle. In general terms, the chondrocranium of the gymnophthalmids studied is characteristic of lacertiform terrestrial lizards, in spite of their life habits, and resembles the chondrocranium of C. lemniscatus in many aspects. However, the gymnophthalmids show great variation in the orbitosphenoid and a complex nasal capsule. The latter exhibits greater development of some nasal cartilages, which make it more complex than in C. lemniscatus. These characteristics might be related to microhabitat use and the well-developed olfactory and vomeronasal systems observed within this clade. PMID:22881276

  10. Limited overwater dispersal and genetic differentiation of the snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus) in the Oceanic Ogasawara Islands, Japan.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Fumio; Shima, Akina; Horikoshi, Kazuo; Kawakami, Kazuto; Segawa, Ryoko D; Aotsuka, Tadashi; Suzuki, Tadashi

    2009-08-01

    The genetic differentiation and speciation of lizards on oceanic islands may be affected by their rate of overwater dispersal. Cryptoblepharus is one of the most geographically widespread scincid lizards throughout the Indo-Pacific and Australian regions. Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus is the northernmost species of the genus, dwelling on several small Pacific islands. To examine the colonization history of this lizard, mitochondrial 16S rDNA and D-loop sequences were compared among populations of the Ogasawara Islands consisting of four island groups (the Muko-jima, Chichi-jima, Haha-jima, and Kazan groups), and an isolated island, Minamitori-shima (Marcus Island). These four groups and Minamitori-shima have not been connected to each other because each is surrounded by deep sea (>100 m). DNA analyses showed that the lizard populations on individual islands had each representative haplotypes. The ancestors of C. nigropunctatus probably arrived on the islands from the southern Pacific Ocean via wave dispersal and differentiated to produce the present state. They appear to have dispersed from their origin along two independent pathways: one between Kitaiwo-to (Kazan group) and the Muko-jima and Chichi-jima groups, and the other among the Minamitori-shima, Minamiiwo-to (Kazan group), and Haha-jima groups. Limited long-distance overwater dispersal may be responsible for the genetic structure of the C. nigropunctatus populations on these oceanic islands. However, among the small islands within the same island group, D-loop haplotypes were shared and the local genetic diversity was usually high, suggesting frequent gene flow across the same group of islands. PMID:19719406

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2008-05-01

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

  14. Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Great Barrier Reef extends for 2,000 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. It is not a single reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). This nadir true-color image was acquired by the MISR instrument on August 26, 2000 (Terra orbit 3679), and shows part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to the central Queensland coast. The width of the MISR swath is approximately 380 kilometers, with the reef clearly visible up to approximately 200 kilometers from the coast. It may be difficult to see the myriad details in the browse image, but if you retrieve the higher resolution version, a zoomed display reveals the spectacular structure of the many reefs.

    The more northerly coastal area in this image shows the vast extent of sugar cane cultivation, this being the largest sugar producing area in Australia, centered on the city of Mackay. Other industries in the area include coal, cattle, dairying, timber, grain, seafood, and fruit. The large island off the most northerly part of the coast visible in this image is Whitsunday Island, with smaller islands and reefs extending southeast, parallel to the coast. These include some of the better known resort islands such as Hayman, Lindeman, Hamilton, and Brampton Islands.

    Further south, just inland of the small semicircular bay near the right of the image, is Rockhampton, the largest city along the central Queensland coast, and the regional center for much of central Queensland. Rockhampton is just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Its hinterland is a rich pastoral, agricultural, and mining region.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Diane; Nelson, Cathi

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leal, Manuel; Gunderson, Alex R

    2012-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Elevational covariation in environmental constraints and life histories of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami

    SciTech Connect

    Grant, B.W. ); Dunham, A.E. )

    1990-10-01

    We examine environmental constraints on life history characters among three elevationally distinct populations of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami in west Texas. We show how environmental gradients in temperature and food abundance interact to constrain body temperatures, daily activity times, growth rates, and age-specific body size. We suggest that these differences resulted in opposite responses from males and females with respect to their size and age at first reproduction. Results suggest an interaction between resource levels and biophysical constraints that may greatly influence differences among populations in important life history characteristics. Although these responses are hypothesized to be proximally induced by environmental constraints, the resulting life history differences in age-specific resource allocation to growth, storage, and reproduction may significantly affect fitness.

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

    PubMed

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffield, Glen; Bull, Michael

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

    PubMed Central

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  8. Long-Term Data Reveal a Population Decline of the Tropical Lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a Negative Affect of El Nino Years on Population Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Stapley, Jessica; Garcia, Milton; Andrews, Robin M.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity worldwide, however predicting how particular species will respond is difficult because climate varies spatially, complex factors regulate population abundance, and species vary in their susceptibility to climate change. Studies need to incorporate these factors with long-term data in order to link climate change to population abundance. We used 40 years of lizard abundance data and local climate data from Barro Colorado Island to ask how climate, total lizard abundance and cohort-specific abundance have changed over time, and how total and cohort-specific abundance relate to climate variables including those predicted to make the species vulnerable to climate change (i.e. temperatures exceeding preferred body temperature). We documented a decrease in lizard abundance over the last 40 years, and changes in the local climate. Population growth rate was related to the previous years’ southern oscillation index; increasing following cooler-wetter, la niña years, decreasing following warmer-drier, el nino years. Within-year recruitment was negatively related to rainfall and minimum temperature. This study simultaneously identified climatic factors driving long-term population fluctuations and climate variables influencing short-term annual recruitment, both of which may be contributing to the population decline and influence the population’s future persistence. PMID:25671423

  9. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  10. Long-term data reveal a population decline of the tropical lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a negative affect of el nino years on population growth rate.

    PubMed

    Stapley, Jessica; Garcia, Milton; Andrews, Robin M

    2015-01-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity worldwide, however predicting how particular species will respond is difficult because climate varies spatially, complex factors regulate population abundance, and species vary in their susceptibility to climate change. Studies need to incorporate these factors with long-term data in order to link climate change to population abundance. We used 40 years of lizard abundance data and local climate data from Barro Colorado Island to ask how climate, total lizard abundance and cohort-specific abundance have changed over time, and how total and cohort-specific abundance relate to climate variables including those predicted to make the species vulnerable to climate change (i.e. temperatures exceeding preferred body temperature). We documented a decrease in lizard abundance over the last 40 years, and changes in the local climate. Population growth rate was related to the previous years' southern oscillation index; increasing following cooler-wetter, la niña years, decreasing following warmer-drier, el nino years. Within-year recruitment was negatively related to rainfall and minimum temperature. This study simultaneously identified climatic factors driving long-term population fluctuations and climate variables influencing short-term annual recruitment, both of which may be contributing to the population decline and influence the population's future persistence. PMID:25671423

  11. Great Apes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Cerveny, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Anesthesia of great apes is often necessary to conduct diagnostic analysis, provide therapeutics, facilitate surgical procedures, and enable transport and translocation for conservation purposes. Due to the stress of remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents, recent studies have focused on oral delivery and/or transmucosal absorption of preanesthetic and anesthetic agents. Maintenance of the airway and provision of oxygen is an important aspect of anesthesia in great ape species. The provision of analgesia is an important aspect of the anesthesia protocol for any procedure involving painful stimuli. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often administered alone, or in combination to provide multi-modal analgesia. There is increasing conservation management of in situ great ape populations, which has resulted in the development of field anesthesia techniques for free-living great apes for the purposes of translocation, reintroduction into the wild, and clinical interventions.

  12. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Bucklitsch, Yannick; Böhme, Wolfgang; Koch, André

    2016-01-01

    We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov

  13. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Along the coast of Queensland, Australia (18.0S, 147.5E), timbered foothills of the Great Dividing Range separate the semi-arid interior of Queensland from the farmlands of the coastal plains. Prominent cleared areas in the forest indicate deforestation for farm and pasture lands. Offshore, islands and the Great Barrier Reef display sand banks along the southern sides of the structures indicating a dominant southerly wind and current direction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  15. Dragon's Paradise Lost: Palaeobiogeography, Evolution and Extinction of the Largest-Ever Terrestrial Lizards (Varanidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hocknull, Scott A.; Piper, Philip J.; van den Bergh, Gert D.; Due, Rokus Awe; Morwood, Michael J.; Kurniawan, Iwan

    2009-01-01

    Background The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed) species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago). Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka) on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. Conclusions/Significance Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival. PMID:19789642

  16. The very-broad-band long-base tiltmeters of Grotta Gigante (Trieste, Italy): Secular term tilting and the great Sumatra-Andaman islands earthquake of December 26, 2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braitenberg, Carla; Romeo, Giovanni; Taccetti, Quintilio; Nagy, Ildikò

    2006-01-01

    The horizontal pendulums of the Grotta Gigante (Giant Cave) in the Trieste Karst, are long-base tiltmeters with Zöllner type suspension. The instruments have been continuously recording tilt and shear in the Grotta Gigante since the date of their installation by Prof. Antonio Marussi in 1966. Their setup has been completely overhauled several times since installation, restricting the interruptions of the measurements though to a minimum. The continuous recordings, apart from some interruptions, cover thus almost 40 years of measurements, producing a very noticeable long-term tiltmeter record of crustal deformation. The original recording system, still in function, was photographic with a mechanical timing and paper-advancing system, which has never given any problems at all, as it is very stable and not vulnerable by external factors as high humidity, problems in power supply, lightning or similar. In December 2003 a new recording system was installed, based on a solid-state acquisition system intercepting a laser light reflected from a mirror mounted on the horizontal pendulum beam. The sampling rate is 30 Hz, which turns the long-base instrument to a very-broad-band tiltmeter, apt to record the tilt signal on a broad-band of frequencies, ranging from secular deformation rate through the earth tides to seismic waves. Here we describe the acquisition system and present two endline members of the instrumental observation, the up to date long-term recording, and the observation of the great Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake of December 26, 2004, seismic moment magnitude Mw = 9.1-9.3 [Lay, T., Kanamori, H., Ammon, C.J., Nettles, M., Ward, S.N., Aster, R.C., Beck, S.L., Bilek, S.L., Brudzinski, M.L., Butler, R., DeShon, H.R., Ekström, G., Satake, K., Sipkin, S., 2005. The Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 26 December 2004. Science. 308, 1127-1133.]. The secular-term observations indicate an average tilting over the last four decades towards NW of 23.4 nrad

  17. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vilfan, Andrej; Duke, Thomas

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Partial characterization of new adenoviruses found in lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. X-ray microtomography provides first data about the feeding behaviour of an endangered lizard, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati).

    PubMed

    Bochaton, C; Boistel, R; Charles, L

    2015-12-01

    Reporting the diet of recently extinct or very rare taxa, only known by a few museum specimens, is challenging. This study uses X-ray microtomography, a non-destructive investigation method, to obtain the first data about feeding behaviours in the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati) by scanning one of the two specimens known to date. The scans revealed the occurrence of shell fragments of a freshwater snail (Omalonyx matheroni) in the digestive tract of the specimen. This data combined with morphological evidence shows the occurrence of a durophagous feeding habit and a possible tendency of association with freshwater environments. This information could be crucial to save this critically endangered lizard endemic on Montserrat island. PMID:27019732

  4. X-ray microtomography provides first data about the feeding behaviour of an endangered lizard, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, C.; Boistel, R.; Charles, L.

    2015-01-01

    Reporting the diet of recently extinct or very rare taxa, only known by a few museum specimens, is challenging. This study uses X-ray microtomography, a non-destructive investigation method, to obtain the first data about feeding behaviours in the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati) by scanning one of the two specimens known to date. The scans revealed the occurrence of shell fragments of a freshwater snail (Omalonyx matheroni) in the digestive tract of the specimen. This data combined with morphological evidence shows the occurrence of a durophagous feeding habit and a possible tendency of association with freshwater environments. This information could be crucial to save this critically endangered lizard endemic on Montserrat island. PMID:27019732

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J.

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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