Science.gov

Sample records for male elephant behavioural

  1. Risk and Ethical Concerns of Hunting Male Elephant: Behavioural and Physiological Assays of the Remaining Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Tarryne; Page, Bruce; Van Dyk, Gus; Millspaugh, Josh; Slotow, Rob

    2008-01-01

    Background Hunting of male African elephants may pose ethical and risk concerns, particularly given their status as a charismatic species of high touristic value, yet which are capable of both killing people and damaging infrastructure. Methodology/Principal Findings We quantified the effect of hunts of male elephants on (1) risk of attack or damage (11 hunts), and (2) behavioural (movement dynamics) and physiological (stress hormone metabolite concentrations) responses (4 hunts) in Pilanesberg National Park. For eleven hunts, there were no subsequent attacks on people or infrastructure, and elephants did not break out of the fenced reserve. For three focal hunts, there was an initial flight response by bulls present at the hunting site, but their movements stabilised the day after the hunt event. Animals not present at the hunt (both bulls and herds) did not show movement responses. Physiologically, hunting elephant bulls increased faecal stress hormone levels (corticosterone metabolites) in both those bulls that were present at the hunts (for up to four days post-hunt) and in the broader bull and breeding herd population (for up to one month post-hunt). Conclusions/Significance As all responses were relatively minor, hunting male elephants is ethically acceptable when considering effects on the remaining elephant population; however bulls should be hunted when alone. Hunting is feasible in relatively small enclosed reserves without major risk of attack, damage, or breakout. Physiological stress assays were more effective than behavioural responses in detecting effects of human intervention. Similar studies should evaluate intervention consequences, inform and improve best practice, and should be widely applied by management agencies. PMID:18560517

  2. Elephant behaviour and conservation: social relationships, the effects of poaching, and genetic tools for management.

    PubMed

    Archie, Elizabeth A; Chiyo, Patrick I

    2012-02-01

    Genetic tools are increasingly valuable for understanding the behaviour, evolution, and conservation of social species. In African elephants, for instance, genetic data provide basic information on the population genetic causes and consequences of social behaviour, and how human activities alter elephants' social and genetic structures. As such, African elephants provide a useful case study to understand the relationships between social behaviour and population genetic structure in a conservation framework. Here, we review three areas where genetic methods have made important contributions to elephant behavioural ecology and conservation: (1) understanding kin-based relationships in females and the effects of poaching on the adaptive value of elephant relationships, (2) understanding patterns of paternity in elephants and how poaching can alter these patterns, and (3) conservation genetic tools to census elusive populations, track ivory, and understand the behavioural ecology of crop-raiding. By comparing studies from populations that have experienced a range of poaching intensities, we find that human activities have a large effect on elephant behaviour and genetic structure. Poaching disrupts kin-based association patterns, decreases the quality of elephant social relationships, and increases male reproductive skew, with important consequences for population health and the maintenance of genetic diversity. In addition, we find that genetic tools to census populations or gather forensic information are almost always more accurate than non-genetic alternatives. These results contribute to a growing understanding of poaching on animal behaviour, and how genetic tools can be used to understand and conserve social species. PMID:21880086

  3. Rival assessment among northern elephant seals: evidence of associative learning during male-male contests.

    PubMed

    Casey, Caroline; Charrier, Isabelle; Mathevon, Nicolas; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2015-08-01

    Specialized signals emitted by competing males often convey honest information about fighting ability. It is generally believed that receivers use these signals to directly assess their opponents. Here, we demonstrate an alternative communication strategy used by males in a breeding system where the costs of conflict are extreme. We evaluated the acoustic displays of breeding male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), and found that social knowledge gained through prior experience with signallers was sufficient to maintain structured dominance relationships. Using sound analysis and playback experiments with both natural and modified signals, we determined that males do not rely on encoded information about size or dominance status, but rather learn to recognize individual acoustic signatures produced by their rivals. Further, we show that behavioural responses to competitors' calls are modulated by relative position in the hierarchy: the highest ranking (alpha) males defend their harems from all opponents, whereas mid-ranking (beta) males respond differentially to familiar challengers based on the outcome of previous competitive interactions. Our findings demonstrate that social knowledge of rivals alone can regulate dominance relationships among competing males within large, spatially dynamic social groups, and illustrate the importance of combining descriptive and experimental methods when deciphering the biological relevance of animal signals. PMID:26361553

  4. Information content and acoustic structure of male African elephant social rumbles.

    PubMed

    Stoeger, Angela S; Baotic, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the prevailing theory about male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) was that, once adult and sexually mature, males are solitary and targeted only at finding estrous females. While this is true during the state of 'musth' (a condition characterized by aggressive behavior and elevated androgen levels), 'non-musth' males exhibit a social system seemingly based on companionship, dominance and established hierarchies. Research on elephant vocal communication has so far focused on females, and very little is known about the acoustic structure and the information content of male vocalizations. Using the source and filter theory approach, we analyzed social rumbles of 10 male African elephants. Our results reveal that male rumbles encode information about individuality and maturity (age and size), with formant frequencies and absolute fundamental frequency values having the most informative power. This first comprehensive study on male elephant vocalizations gives important indications on their potential functional relevance for male-male and male-female communication. Our results suggest that, similar to the highly social females, future research on male elephant vocal behavior will reveal a complex communication system in which social knowledge, companionship, hierarchy, reproductive competition and the need to communicate over long distances play key roles. PMID:27273586

  5. Information content and acoustic structure of male African elephant social rumbles

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Baotic, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the prevailing theory about male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) was that, once adult and sexually mature, males are solitary and targeted only at finding estrous females. While this is true during the state of ‘musth’ (a condition characterized by aggressive behavior and elevated androgen levels), ‘non-musth’ males exhibit a social system seemingly based on companionship, dominance and established hierarchies. Research on elephant vocal communication has so far focused on females, and very little is known about the acoustic structure and the information content of male vocalizations. Using the source and filter theory approach, we analyzed social rumbles of 10 male African elephants. Our results reveal that male rumbles encode information about individuality and maturity (age and size), with formant frequencies and absolute fundamental frequency values having the most informative power. This first comprehensive study on male elephant vocalizations gives important indications on their potential functional relevance for male-male and male-female communication. Our results suggest that, similar to the highly social females, future research on male elephant vocal behavior will reveal a complex communication system in which social knowledge, companionship, hierarchy, reproductive competition and the need to communicate over long distances play key roles. PMID:27273586

  6. Rival assessment among northern elephant seals: evidence of associative learning during male–male contests

    PubMed Central

    Casey, Caroline; Charrier, Isabelle; Mathevon, Nicolas; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2015-01-01

    Specialized signals emitted by competing males often convey honest information about fighting ability. It is generally believed that receivers use these signals to directly assess their opponents. Here, we demonstrate an alternative communication strategy used by males in a breeding system where the costs of conflict are extreme. We evaluated the acoustic displays of breeding male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), and found that social knowledge gained through prior experience with signallers was sufficient to maintain structured dominance relationships. Using sound analysis and playback experiments with both natural and modified signals, we determined that males do not rely on encoded information about size or dominance status, but rather learn to recognize individual acoustic signatures produced by their rivals. Further, we show that behavioural responses to competitors' calls are modulated by relative position in the hierarchy: the highest ranking (alpha) males defend their harems from all opponents, whereas mid-ranking (beta) males respond differentially to familiar challengers based on the outcome of previous competitive interactions. Our findings demonstrate that social knowledge of rivals alone can regulate dominance relationships among competing males within large, spatially dynamic social groups, and illustrate the importance of combining descriptive and experimental methods when deciphering the biological relevance of animal signals. PMID:26361553

  7. The Social and Ecological Integration of Captive-Raised Adolescent Male African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) into a Wild Population

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Background A rapid rise in the number of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) used in the tourism industry in southern Africa and orphaned elephants in human care has led to concerns about their long-term management, particularly males. One solution is to release them into the wild at adolescence, when young males naturally leave their herd. However, this raises significant welfare concerns: little is known about how well released elephants integrate into wild populations and whether they pose a greater threat to humans than wild elephants. We document the release of three captive-raised adolescent male African elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Methodology/Principal Findings Despite having been part of a herd of working elephants for at least eight years, the three males progressively integrated into the complex fission-fusion society of wild bull elephants. In the three years following release, they showed no tendency to be closer to human habitation, and there were no significant differences between wild and captive-raised adolescent males in the total number of social interactions, size of ranges and habitat use. However, the captive-raised elephants sparred less and vocalised more, and spent more time alone and in smaller social groups. Thereafter the released elephants continued to expand their ranges and interact with both mixed-sex herds and males. One male was shot by farmers 94 months after release, along with ten wild elephants, on a ranch outside the protected area. Conclusions/Significance We show that captive-raised adolescent male elephants can integrate into a wild population. Long-term studies are required to determine the longevity, breeding success, and eventual fate of released male elephants, but we identified no significant short-term welfare problems for the released elephants or recipient population. Release of captive-raised mammals with complex social systems is a husbandry option that should be explored further. PMID

  8. Southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands confronted by Antarctic Sea ice. Changes in movements and in diving behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoıˆt; Ezraty, Robert; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; McMahon, Clive R.; Field, Iain C.; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    The behaviour of southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Island ( 49∘50'S, 70∘30'E) was investigated in relation to the oceanographic regions of the Southern Ocean. The oceanographic and the seal behaviour data, including location and diving activity, were collected using a new generation of satellite-relayed devices measuring and transmitting pressure, temperature, and salinity along with locations. Dive duration, maximum diving depth, time spent at the bottom of the dives, and shape of dive profiles were compared between male and female seals, and were related to the oceanographic characteristics of areas prospected by the seals. Most animals travelled to the Antarctic shelf. However, during winter, adult females travelled away from the continent, remained and foraged within the marginal sea-ice zone, while juvenile males remained within the pack ice to forage mainly on the Antarctic shelf. Therefore, as the ice expanded females appeared to shift from benthic to pelagic foraging farther north, while males continued to forage almost exclusively benthically on the continental shelf. This difference is likely related to the different energetic requirements between the two sexes, but also may be related to pregnant females having to return to Kerguelen in early spring in order to give birth and successfully raise their pups, while males can remain in the ice. Our results show an important link between elephant seals and Antarctic sea ice and suggest that changes in sea-ice conditions could strongly affect the behaviour of this species.

  9. Androgen changes and flexible rutting behaviour in male giraffes.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Peter A; Duncan, Patrick; Fritz, Hervé; Ganswindt, André

    2013-10-23

    The social organization of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) imposes a high-cost reproductive strategy on bulls, which adopt a 'roving male' tactic. Our observations on wild giraffes confirm that bulls indeed have unsynchronized rut-like periods, not unlike another tropical megaherbivore, the elephant, but on a much shorter timescale. We found profound changes in male sexual and social activities at the scale of about two weeks. This so far undescribed rutting behaviour is closely correlated with changes in androgen concentrations and appears to be driven by them. The short time scale of the changes in sexual and social activity may explain why dominance and reproductive status in male giraffe in the field seem to be unstable. PMID:23925833

  10. Pharmacokinetics of amoxicillin trihydrate in male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) following intramuscular administration.

    PubMed

    Sinphithakkul, P; Klangkaew, N; Sanyathitiseree, P; Giorgi, M; Kumagai, S; Poapolathep, A; Poapolathep, S

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic characteristics of amoxicillin (AMX) trihydrate in male Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, following intramuscular administration at two dosages of 5.5 and 11 mg/kg body weight (b.w.). Blood samples were collected from 0.5 up to 72 h. The concentration of AMX in elephant plasma was measured using liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. AMX was measurable up to 24 h after administration at two dosages. Peak plasma concentration (Cmax ) was 1.20 ± 0.39 μg/mL after i.m. administration at a dosage of 5.5 mg/kg b.w., whereas it was 3.40 ± 0.63 μg/mL at a dosage of 11 mg/kg b.w. A noncompartment model was developed to describe the disposition of AMX in Asian elephants. Based on the preliminary findings found in this research, the dosage of 5.5 and 11 mg/kg b.w. produced drug plasma concentrations higher than 0.25 mg/mL for 24 h after i.m. administration. Thereafter, i.m. administration with AMX at a dosage of 5.5 mg/kg b.w. appeared a more suitable dose than 11 mg/kg b.w. However, more studies are needed to determine AMX clinical effectiveness in elephants. PMID:26411748

  11. The Influence of Life History Milestones and Association Networks on Crop-Raiding Behavior in Male African Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Chiyo, Patrick I.; Moss, Cynthia J.; Alberts, Susan C.

    2012-01-01

    Factors that influence learning and the spread of behavior in wild animal populations are important for understanding species responses to changing environments and for species conservation. In populations of wildlife species that come into conflict with humans by raiding cultivated crops, simple models of exposure of individual animals to crops do not entirely explain the prevalence of crop raiding behavior. We investigated the influence of life history milestones using age and association patterns on the probability of being a crop raider among wild free ranging male African elephants; we focused on males because female elephants are not known to raid crops in our study population. We examined several features of an elephant association network; network density, community structure and association based on age similarity since they are known to influence the spread of behaviors in a population. We found that older males were more likely to be raiders than younger males, that males were more likely to be raiders when their closest associates were also raiders, and that males were more likely to be raiders when their second closest associates were raiders older than them. The male association network had sparse associations, a tendency for individuals similar in age and raiding status to associate, and a strong community structure. However, raiders were randomly distributed between communities. These features of the elephant association network may limit the spread of raiding behavior and likely determine the prevalence of raiding behavior in elephant populations. Our results suggest that social learning has a major influence on the acquisition of raiding behavior in younger males whereas life history factors are important drivers of raiding behavior in older males. Further, both life-history and network patterns may influence the acquisition and spread of complex behaviors in animal populations and provide insight on managing human-wildlife conflict. PMID:22347468

  12. The influence of life history milestones and association networks on crop-raiding behavior in male African elephants.

    PubMed

    Chiyo, Patrick I; Moss, Cynthia J; Alberts, Susan C

    2012-01-01

    Factors that influence learning and the spread of behavior in wild animal populations are important for understanding species responses to changing environments and for species conservation. In populations of wildlife species that come into conflict with humans by raiding cultivated crops, simple models of exposure of individual animals to crops do not entirely explain the prevalence of crop raiding behavior. We investigated the influence of life history milestones using age and association patterns on the probability of being a crop raider among wild free ranging male African elephants; we focused on males because female elephants are not known to raid crops in our study population. We examined several features of an elephant association network; network density, community structure and association based on age similarity since they are known to influence the spread of behaviors in a population. We found that older males were more likely to be raiders than younger males, that males were more likely to be raiders when their closest associates were also raiders, and that males were more likely to be raiders when their second closest associates were raiders older than them. The male association network had sparse associations, a tendency for individuals similar in age and raiding status to associate, and a strong community structure. However, raiders were randomly distributed between communities. These features of the elephant association network may limit the spread of raiding behavior and likely determine the prevalence of raiding behavior in elephant populations. Our results suggest that social learning has a major influence on the acquisition of raiding behavior in younger males whereas life history factors are important drivers of raiding behavior in older males. Further, both life-history and network patterns may influence the acquisition and spread of complex behaviors in animal populations and provide insight on managing human-wildlife conflict. PMID:22347468

  13. Food and feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus Linn.) in Kuldiha Wild Life Sanctuary, Odisha, India.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, Kalpana K; Patra, A K; Paramanik, D S

    2013-01-01

    The feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) with food reference was studied in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha during 2007 to 2009. Though the study area houses a good number of plant species only 71 species were identified as elephant fodder plants. The food trail of elephant was observed as twig breaking, bark peeling, branch breaking, stem twisting uprooting and flower plucking in different regions of study area during different seasons. Alteration of predominantly browsing strategy with that of grazing around the year was related to seasonal variation of food plants. Consumption of tree species (56%) was highest as compared to shrubs (20%), herbs (14%) and climbers (10%). A high degree of variation in dicot- monocot ratio (61:10)) was marked during identification of elephant fodder plant by direct observation. Microscopic analysis of dung showing a high degree of variation in average dicot- monocot ratio suggested that the food plant selection of elephant was highly opportunistic and seasonal. The elephants extensively fed on the plant species like Careya arborea, Kydia calycina, Helicteres isora, Mallotus philippinensis, Aegle marmelos, Zizyphus mauritiona, Bauhinia racemosa, Bauhinia vahlii, Mimosa pudica, Asparagus racemosus, Smilax zeylanica and Diosporea species. They were fond of Madhuca indica (Mahula) flowers in winter and fruits of Mangifera indica (Mango) in summer. They were never found feeding on Tectona grandis and Eucalyptus maculate inside the study area. PMID:24006812

  14. Environment and activity affect skin temperature in breeding adult male elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Norris, A L; Houser, D S; Crocker, D E

    2010-12-15

    The large body size and high rates of metabolic heat production associated with male mating success in polygynous systems creates potential thermoregulatory challenges for species breeding in warm climates. This is especially true for marine predators carrying large blubber reserves intended for thermoregulation in cold water and fuel provision during extended fasts. Thermographic images were used to measure changes in skin temperature (T(S)) in adult male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) over the breeding season. Environmental variables, primarily ambient temperature and solar radiation, were the principal determinants of mean and maximum T(S). When controlled for environmental variables, dominance rank significantly impacted mean T(S), being highest in alpha males. Behavioral activity significantly influenced T(S) but in a counter-intuitive way, with inactive males exhibiting the highest T(S). This was likely due to strong impacts of environmental variables on the kinds of behavior exhibited, with males being less active on warm, humid days at peak solar radiation. We classified thermal windows as areas in which T(S) was one standard deviation greater than mean T(S) for the individual seal within a thermograph. Thermal features suggest active physiological thermoregulation during and after combat and significant circulatory adaptations for heat dumping, as evidenced by recurring locations of thermal windows representing widely varying T(S) values. Frequent observations of localized T(S) above 37°C, particularly after combat, suggest the production of thermoregulatory stress during breeding behavior. Our findings demonstrate the importance of environmental drivers in shaping activity patterns during breeding and provide evidence for thermoregulatory costs of successful breeding in large polygynous males. PMID:21113001

  15. Oxidative stress is a potential cost of breeding in male and female northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Sharick, J.T.; Vazquez-Medina, J.P.; Ortiz, R.M.; Crocker, D.E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The trade-off between current reproductive effort and survival is a key concept of life history theory. A variety of studies support the existence of this trade-off but the underlying physiological mechanisms are not well-understood. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a potential mechanism underlying the observed inverse relationship between reproductive investment and lifespan. Prolonged fasting is associated with oxidative stress including increases in the production of reactive oxygen species, oxidative damage and inflammation.Northern elephant seals (NES) undergo prolonged fasts while maintaining high metabolic rates during breeding. We investigated NES of both sexes to assess oxidative stress associated with extended breeding fasts. We measured changes in the plasma activity or concentrations of markers for oxidative stress in 30 adult male and 33 adult female northern elephant seals across their 1–3 month breeding fasts. Markers assessed included a pro-oxidant enzyme, several antioxidant enzymes, markers for oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA, and markers for systemic inflammation.Plasma xanthine oxidase (XO), a pro-oxidant enzyme that increases production of oxidative radicals, and several protective antioxidant enzymes increased over breeding in both sexes. Males showed increased oxidative damage to lipids and DNA and increased systemic inflammation, while oxidative damage to proteins declined across breeding. In contrast, females showed no oxidative damage to lipids or DNA or changes in inflammation, but showed increases in oxidative damage to proteins. XO activity, antioxidant enzymes, oxidative damage markers, and inflammatory markers were strongly correlated in males but these relationships were weaker or non-existent in females.NES provide evidence for oxidative stress as a physiological cost of reproduction in a capital breeding mammal. Both sexes strongly up-regulated antioxidant defenses during breeding. Despite this response

  16. Detusking Fence-Breaker Elephants as an Approach in Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Mutinda, Matthew; Chenge, Geoffrey; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Omondi, Patrick; Kasiki, Samuel; Soriguer, Ramón C.; Alasaad, Samer

    2014-01-01

    Background Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is a recurring problem that appears wherever the range of elephants and humans overlap. Different methods including the use of electric fences are used worldwide to mitigate this conflict. Nonetheless, elephants learn quickly that their tusks do not conduct electricity and use them to break down fences (fence-breakers). Methodology/Principal Findings In Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, destructive elephants (Loxodonta africana) were monitored between 2010 and 2013. The fence-breaking rate reached four incidents (fence-breaking) per elephant per 100 days. Ten bull males and 57 females were identified as fence-breakers. The bulls were involved in 85.07% and the females in 14.93% of incidents. The Kenya Wildlife Service approved detusking (partial cutting of tusks) in four of the 10 fence-breakers as a way of preventing them from breaking down fences, thereby mitigating HEC in the Conservancy. The result of the detusking was a drastic six-fold reduction in damage to fences (range: 1.67 to 14.5 times less fence-breaking) by the four worst fence-breaker elephants, because with trimmed tusks elephants lack the tools to break down fences. Detusking could not totally eliminate fence destruction because, despite lacking their tools, elephants can still destroy fences using their heads, bodies and trunks, albeit less effectively. On the other hand, apart from inherent aesthetic considerations, the detusking of elephants may have certain negative effects on factors such as elephants' social hierarchies, breeding, mate selection and their access to essential minerals and food. Conclusions Elephant detusking seems to be effective in drastically reducing fence-breaking incidents, nonetheless its negative effects on behaviour, access to food and its aesthetical consequences still need to be further studied and investigated. PMID:24614538

  17. Male gender identity and sexual behaviour.

    PubMed

    Chused, J F

    1999-12-01

    One consequence of a heightened interest in intersubjectivity in the current psychoanalytic literature has been a relative neglect of the examination of unconscious fantasies. Presenting material from the analysis of three males, each of whom, in childhood and/or adolescence, hid his penis between his legs and looked at himself in a mirror naked, the author demonstrates the importance of attending to both unconscious fantasies and their manifestations within the interactive field of analysis. The first patient is a young child with a gender identity disorder, whose wish to be like his mother was a response to the emotional loss of her during early childhood. The second patient is an adolescent, whose behaviour in front of a mirror was a manifestation of his desire to possess his mother and be her, to humiliate and sadistically control her, and at the same time, to experience the masochistic sexual gratification of being a seemingly helpless victim. The third patient, a 48-year-old male, came to analysis filled with suicidal impulses and self-hatred related to homosexual impulses. His repeated examination of himself in a mirror, with penis hidden, reflected severe castration anxiety, related to an ambivalent relationship with an angry mother and a longing for attention from an unavailable father. The article closes with a description of the similarities and differences in the dynamics of these three males as well as a discussion of the meaning of similar behaviour in other males seen in consultation. PMID:10669962

  18. Home Range and Ranging Behaviour of Bornean Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) Females

    PubMed Central

    Alfred, Raymond; Ahmad, Abd Hamid; Payne, Junaidi; Williams, Christy; Ambu, Laurentius Nayan; How, Phua Mui; Goossens, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    Background Home range is defined as the extent and location of the area covered annually by a wild animal in its natural habitat. Studies of African and Indian elephants in landscapes of largely open habitats have indicated that the sizes of the home range are determined not only by the food supplies and seasonal changes, but also by numerous other factors including availability of water sources, habitat loss and the existence of man-made barriers. The home range size for the Bornean elephant had never been investigated before. Methodology/Principal Findings The first satellite tracking program to investigate the movement of wild Bornean elephants in Sabah was initiated in 2005. Five adult female elephants were immobilized and neck collars were fitted with tracking devices. The sizes of their home range and movement patterns were determined using location data gathered from a satellite tracking system and analyzed by using the Minimum Convex Polygon and Harmonic Mean methods. Home range size was estimated to be 250 to 400 km2 in a non-fragmented forest and 600 km2 in a fragmented forest. The ranging behavior was influenced by the size of the natural forest habitat and the availability of permanent water sources. The movement pattern was influenced by human disturbance and the need to move from one feeding site to another. Conclusions/Significance Home range and movement rate were influenced by the degree of habitat fragmentation. Once habitat was cleared or converted, the availability of food plants and water sources were reduced, forcing the elephants to travel to adjacent forest areas. Therefore movement rate in fragmented forest was higher than in the non-fragmented forest. Finally, in fragmented habitat human and elephant conflict occurrences were likely to be higher, due to increased movement bringing elephants into contact more often with humans. PMID:22347469

  19. Foraging fidelity as a recipe for a long life: foraging strategy and longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals.

    PubMed

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon (δ13C) in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints. PMID:22505993

  20. Foraging Fidelity as a Recipe for a Long Life: Foraging Strategy and Longevity in Male Southern Elephant Seals

    PubMed Central

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon () in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints. PMID:22505993

  1. Methodological considerations of acoustic playbacks to test the behavioral significance of call directionality in male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Marla M.; Insley, Stephen J.; Southall, Brandon L.; Schusterman, Ronald J.

    2005-09-01

    While attempting to gain access to receptive females, male northern elephant seals form dominance hierarchies through multiple dyadic interactions involving visual and acoustic signals. These signals are both highly stereotyped and directional. Previous behavioral observations suggested that males attend to the directional cues of these signals. We used in situ vocal playbacks to test whether males attend to directional cues of the acoustic components of a competitors calls (i.e., variation in call spectra and source levels). Here, we will focus on playback methodology. Playback calls were multiple exemplars of a marked dominant male from an isolated area, recorded with a directional microphone and DAT recorder and edited into a natural sequence that controlled call amplitude. Control calls were recordings of ambient rookery sounds with the male calls removed. Subjects were 20 marked males (10 adults and 10 subadults) all located at An~o Nuevo, CA. Playback presentations, calibrated for sound-pressure level, were broadcast at a distance of 7 m from each subject. Most responses were classified into the following categories: visual orientation, postural change, calling, movement toward or away from the loudspeaker, and re-directed aggression. We also investigated developmental, hierarchical, and ambient noise variables that were thought to influence male behavior.

  2. Assessment of scale-dependent foraging behaviour in southern elephant seals incorporating the vertical dimension: a development of the First Passage Time method.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Frederic; Pinaud, David; Hindell, Mark; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît; Guinet, Christophe

    2008-09-01

    1. Identifying the spatial scales at which top marine predators forage is important for understanding oceanic ecosystems. Several methods quantify how individuals concentrate their search effort along a given path. Among these, First-Passage Time (FPT) analysis is particularly useful to identify transitions in movement patterns (e.g. between searching and feeding). This method has mainly been applied to terrestrial animals or flying seabirds that have little or no vertical component to their foraging, so we examined the differences between classic FPT and a modification of this approach using the time spent at the bottom of a dive for characterizing the foraging activity of a diving predator: the southern elephant seal. 2. Satellite relayed data loggers were deployed on 20 individuals during three successive summers at the Kerguelen Islands, providing a total of 72 978 dives from eight juvenile males and nine adult females. 3. Spatial scales identified using the time spent at the bottom of a dive ( = 68.2 +/- 42.1 km) were smaller than those obtained by the classic FPT analysis ( = 104.7 +/- 67.3 km). Moreover, foraging areas identified using the new approach clearly overlapped areas where individuals increased their body condition, indicating that it accurately reflected the foraging activity of the seals. 4. These results suggest that incorporating the vertical dimension into FPT provides a different result to the surface path alone. Close to the Antarctic continent, within the pack-ice, sinuosity of the path could be explained by a high sea-ice concentration (restricting elephant seal movements), and was not necessarily related to foraging activity. 5. Our approach distinguished between actual foraging activity and changes in behaviour induced by the physical environment like sea ice, and could be applied to other diving predators. Inclusion of diving parameters appears to be essential to identify the spatial scale of foraging areas of diving animals. PMID

  3. Sensory regulation of C. elegans male mate-searching behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Barrios, Arantza; Nurrish, Stephen; Emmons, Scott W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary How do animals integrate internal drives and external environmental cues to coordinate behaviours? We address this question studying mate-searching behaviour in C. elegans. C. elgans males explore their environment in search of mates (hermaphrodites) and will leave food if mating partners are absent. However, when mates and food coincide, male exploratory behaviour is suppressed and males are retained on the food source. We show that the drive to explore is stimulated by male specific neurons in the tail, the ray neurons. Periodic contact with the hermaphrodite detected through ray neurons changes the male’s behaviour during periods of no contact and prevents the male from leaving the food source. The hermaphrodite signal is conveyed by male-specific interneurons that are post-synaptic to the rays and that send processes to the major integrative center in the head. This study identifies key parts of the neural circuit that regulates a sexual appetitive behaviour in C. elegans. PMID:19062284

  4. Supression of testicular function in a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccines.

    PubMed

    Lueders, Imke; Hildebrandt, Thomas Bernd; Gray, Charles; Botha, Stephan; Rich, Peter; Niemuller, Cheryl

    2014-09-01

    The ability to control testosterone concentrations and sperm production is of great interest in both Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. GnRH vaccination may pose an alternative to surgical castration. This is a case report of a male Asian elephant treated with two commercial GnRH vaccines (Equity and Improvac). Beginning at the age of 7 yr, the male was vaccinated monthly for 6 consecutive months, then every 6 mo and, finally, every 12 to 24 mo over a period of 6 yr. In order to evaluate the GnRH vaccine as a potential method of immunologic castration, behavioral observations, testosterone level analysis, body weights, ultrasound examinations, and semen collection were part of the routine monitoring of this bull (no. 1) and a half-brother (bull 2) who remained untreated and served as control. The results showed a decrease in serum testosterone concentrations after the second booster. Levels stayed continuously below 5.0 ng/ml within the study period. The combined testicle diameter of 9.03 +/- 0.3 cm prior to treatment had decreased to a size of 6.93 +/- 0.19 cm (P < 0.001) when measured 2 yr later. Accessory sex gland fluid content disappeared and penile atrophy was observed. Semen collections yielded no spermatozoa 1 yr after the initial treatment. Bull 1 showed slowed weight gain as compared to bull 2 and, due to its friendly temperament and the absence of musth, remained in free contact. This report documents the GnRH vaccine as a possible noninvasive and inexpensive method for immune-castration. PMID:25314829

  5. Female mate choice and male behaviour in domestic fowl.

    PubMed

    Leonard; Zanette

    1998-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to use paired choice tests to examine mate selection by female domestic chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus. We examined five behavioural and six morphological traits of 34 pairs of males to determine which male features influenced female mate choice. The frequency of a behavioural display known as wingflapping was the only variable that differed significantly between males that were chosen and males that were not. Within trials, females selected males with the highest wingflapping rate. Across trials, the wingflapping rate of chosen males ranged widely (3-82 wingflaps/h) suggesting that females used a relative choice mechanism when selecting a mate. These results differ from earlier work on the closely related red junglefowl, G. g. murghi, in which females use morphological traits and a threshold choice mechanism when selecting mates. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9819324

  6. Linking foraging behaviour to physical oceanographic structures: Southern elephant seals and mesoscale eddies east of Kerguelen Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragon, Anne-Cecile; Monestiez, P.; Bar-Hen, A.; Guinet, C.

    2010-10-01

    In the Southern Ocean, mesoscale features, such as fronts and eddies, have been shown to have a significant impact in structuring and enhancing primary productivity. They are therefore likely to influence the spatial structure of prey fields and play a key role in the creation of preferred foraging regions for oceanic top-predators. Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators should adjust their movement behaviour in relation to prey density. While crossing areas with sufficient prey density, we expect predators would change their behaviour by, for instance, decreasing their speed and increasing their turning frequency. Diving predators would as well increase the useful part of their dive i.e. increase bottom-time thereby increasing the fraction of time spent capturing prey. Southern elephant seals from the Kerguelen population have several foraging areas: in Antarctic waters, on the Kerguelen Plateau and in the interfrontal zone between the Subtropical and Polar Fronts. This study investigated how the movement and diving behaviour of 22 seals equipped with satellite-relayed data loggers changed in relation to mesoscale structures typical of the interfrontal zone. We studied the links between oceanographic variables including temperature and sea level anomalies, and diving and movement behaviour such as displacement speed, diving duration and bottom-time. Correlation coefficients between each of the time series were calculated and their significance tested with a parametric bootstrap. We focused on oceanographic changes, both temporal and spatial, occurring during behavioural transitions in order to clarify the connections between the behaviour and the marine environment of the animals. We showed that a majority of seals displayed a specific foraging behaviour related to the presence of both cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. We characterized mesoscale oceanographic zones as either favourable or unfavourable based on the intensity of foraging activity as

  7. Male sexual harassment alters female social behaviour towards other females.

    PubMed

    Darden, Safi K; Watts, Lauren

    2012-04-23

    Male harassment of females to gain mating opportunities is a consequence of an evolutionary conflict of interest between the sexes over reproduction and is common among sexually reproducing species. Male Trinidadian guppies Poecilia reticulata spend a large proportion of their time harassing females for copulations and their presence in female social groups has been shown to disrupt female-female social networks and the propensity for females to develop social recognition based on familiarity. In this study, we investigate the behavioural mechanisms that may lead to this disruption of female sociality. Using two experiments, we test the hypothesis that male presence will directly affect social behaviours expressed by females towards other females in the population. In experiment one, we tested for an effect of male presence on female shoaling behaviour and found that, in the presence of a free-swimming male guppy, females spent shorter amounts of time with other females than when in the presence of a free-swimming female guppy. In experiment two, we tested for an effect of male presence on the incidence of aggressive behaviour among female guppies. When males were present in a shoal, females exhibited increased levels of overall aggression towards other females compared with female only shoals. Our work provides direct evidence that the presence of sexually harassing males alters female-female social behaviour, an effect that we expect will be recurrent across taxonomic groups. PMID:21976624

  8. Urine marking in male common voles: does behavioural activity matter?

    PubMed

    Lantová, Petra; Brixová, Lenka; Lanta, Vojtěch

    2012-06-01

    Rodent urine provides animals with a large amount of information, from the identity of the animal through its physical condition to social status. Many studies therefore focus on rodent urine-marking behaviour and use marking frequency as an indicator of social status or competitive ability. However, marking, like many other aspects of rodent behaviour, may be affected by individual behavioural activity, a factor that has not been examined so far. We therefore studied a relationship between male urine-marking in reaction to another male's marks (standard opponent) and individual personality profile, characterised by behavioural activity in an open field test (OFT). The marking appeared to be consistent and specific for particular individuals as there was a significant positive relationship between individual markings in two different phases of the experiment. The linkage between behavioural activity in the OFT and urine-marking frequency was non-linear (quadratic), which suggested that males with intermediate activity marked more intensively than males from the extremes of the behavioural spectra. The relationship between the opponent's and the tested males' markings was positive, however, we found no statistically significant evidence that the voles would attempt to overmark the opponent. Marking thus seems to have more of a self-advertising than a competitive function in the common vole. Further, as high marking activity is under strong intra- or intersexual selection, the result might suggest a stabilising selection of the personality trait described as behavioural activity in our study. PMID:22285890

  9. Individual recognition based on communication behaviour of male fowl.

    PubMed

    Smith, Carolynn L; Taubert, Jessica; Weldon, Kimberly; Evans, Christopher S

    2016-04-01

    Correctly directing social behaviour towards a specific individual requires an ability to discriminate between conspecifics. The mechanisms of individual recognition include phenotype matching and familiarity-based recognition. Communication-based recognition is a subset of familiarity-based recognition wherein the classification is based on behavioural or distinctive signalling properties. Male fowl (Gallus gallus) produce a visual display (tidbitting) upon finding food in the presence of a female. Females typically approach displaying males. However, males may tidbit without food. We used the distinctiveness of the visual display and the unreliability of some males to test for communication-based recognition in female fowl. We manipulated the prior experience of the hens with the males to create two classes of males: S(+) wherein the tidbitting signal was paired with a food reward to the female, and S (-) wherein the tidbitting signal occurred without food reward. We then conducted a sequential discrimination test with hens using a live video feed of a familiar male. The results of the discrimination tests revealed that hens discriminated between categories of males based on their signalling behaviour. These results suggest that fowl possess a communication-based recognition system. This is the first demonstration of live-to-video transfer of recognition in any species of bird. PMID:26915426

  10. Metabolic responses to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) vary with life-history stage in adult male northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Ensminger, David C; Somo, Derek A; Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-08-01

    Strong individual and life-history variation in serum glucocorticoids has been documented in many wildlife species. Less is known about variation in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responsiveness and its impact on metabolism. We challenged 18 free-ranging adult male northern elephant seals (NES) with an intramuscular injection of slow-release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) over 3 sample periods: early in the breeding season, after 70+ days of the breeding fast, and during peak molt. Subjects were blood sampled every 30 min for 2h post-injection. Breeding animals were recaptured and sampled at 48 h. In response to the ACTH injection, cortisol increased 4-6-fold in all groups, and remained elevated at 48 h in early breeding subjects. ACTH was a strong secretagogue for aldosterone, causing a 3-8-fold increase in concentration. Cortisol and aldosterone responses did not vary between groups but were correlated within individuals. The ACTH challenge produced elevations in plasma glucose during late breeding and molting, suppressed testosterone and thyroid hormone at 48 h in early breeding, and increased plasma non-esterified fatty acids and ketoacids during molting. These data suggest that sensitivity of the HPA axis is maintained but the metabolic impacts of cortisol and feedback inhibition of the axis vary with life history stage. Strong impacts on testosterone and thyroid hormone suggest the importance of maintaining low cortisol levels during the breeding fast. These data suggest that metabolic adaptations to extended fasting in NES include alterations in tissue responses to hormones that mitigate deleterious impacts of acute or moderately sustained stress responses. PMID:24798580

  11. Sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted disease patterns in male homosexuals.

    PubMed Central

    Willcox, R R

    1981-01-01

    Male homosexual behaviour is not simply either "active" or "passive", since penile-anal, mouth-penile, and hand-anal sexual contact is usual for both partners, and mouth-anal contact is not infrequent. A simplified method for recording sexual behaviour--a "sexual behaviour record (SBR)"--can be of value in determining the sites to be investigated and as a basis for further epidemiological questioning. Mouth-anal contact is the reason for the relatively high incidence of diseases caused by bowel pathogens in male homosexuals. Trauma may encourage the entry of micro-organisms and thus lead to primary syphilitic lesions occurring in the anogenital area. Similarly, granuloma inguinale, condylomata acuminata, and amoebiasis may be spread from the bowel of the passive homosexual contact. In addition to sodomy, trauma may be caused by foreign bodies, including stimulators of various kinds, penile adornments, and prostheses. Images PMID:6894558

  12. Sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted disease patterns in male homosexuals.

    PubMed

    Willcox, R R

    1981-06-01

    Male homosexual behaviour is not simply either "active" or "passive", since penile-anal, mouth-penile, and hand-anal sexual contact is usual for both partners, and mouth-anal contact is not infrequent. A simplified method for recording sexual behaviour--a "sexual behaviour record (SBR)"--can be of value in determining the sites to be investigated and as a basis for further epidemiological questioning. Mouth-anal contact is the reason for the relatively high incidence of diseases caused by bowel pathogens in male homosexuals. Trauma may encourage the entry of micro-organisms and thus lead to primary syphilitic lesions occurring in the anogenital area. Similarly, granuloma inguinale, condylomata acuminata, and amoebiasis may be spread from the bowel of the passive homosexual contact. In addition to sodomy, trauma may be caused by foreign bodies, including stimulators of various kinds, penile adornments, and prostheses. PMID:6894558

  13. Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders

    PubMed Central

    Wignall, Anne E.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2013-01-01

    During courtship, individuals transfer information about identity, mating status and quality. However, male web-building spiders face a significant problem: how to begin courting female spiders without being mistaken for prey? Male Argiope spiders generate distinctive courtship vibrations (shudders) when entering a female's web. We tested whether courtship shudders delay female predatory behaviour, even when live prey is present in the web. We presented a live cricket to females during playbacks of shudder vibrations, or white noise, and compared female responses to a control in which we presented a live cricket with no playback vibrations. Females were much slower to respond to crickets during playback of shudder vibrations. Shudder vibrations also delayed female predatory behaviour in a related spider species, showing that these vibrations do not simply function for species identity. These results suggest that male web-building spiders employ a phylogenetically conserved vibratory signal to ameliorate the risk of pre-copulatory cannibalism. PMID:24356181

  14. Elephant resource-use traditions.

    PubMed

    Fishlock, Victoria; Caldwell, Christine; Lee, Phyllis C

    2016-03-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) use unusual and restricted habitats such as swampy clearings, montane outcrops and dry rivers for a variety of social and ecological reasons. Within these habitats, elephants focus on very specific areas for resource exploitation, resulting in deep caves, large forest clearings and sand pits as well as long-established and highly demarcated routes for moving between resources. We review evidence for specific habitat exploitation in elephants and suggest that this represents socially learned cultural behaviour. Although elephants show high fidelity to precise locations over the very long term, these location preferences are explained neither by resource quality nor by accessibility. Acquiring techniques for exploiting specific resource sites requires observing conspecifics and practice and is evidence for social learning. Elephants possess sophisticated cognitive capacities used to track relationships and resources over their long lifespans, and they have an extended period of juvenile dependency as a result of the need to acquire this considerable social and ecological knowledge. Thus, elephant fidelity to particular sites results in traditional behaviour over generations, with the potential to weaken relationships between resource quality and site preferences. Illustrating the evidence for such powerful traditions in a species such as elephants contributes to understanding animal cognition in natural contexts. PMID:26359083

  15. Elephant ear

    MedlinePlus

    Elephant ear plants are indoor or outdoor plants with very large, arrow-shaped leaves. Poisoning may occur if you ... The harmful substances in elephant ear plants are: Oxalic acid ... plant Note: Leaves and stems are the most dangerous when eaten ...

  16. Chemical cues from females trigger male courtship behaviour in grasshoppers.

    PubMed

    Finck, Jonas; Kuntze, Janine; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Gomphocerine grasshoppers use species-specific calling songs for sex recognition and mate attraction. In two closely related species, Chorthippus biguttulus and C. mollis, acoustic communication is the only experimentally characterized communication channel that elicits male courtship behaviour. However, courtship in these species involves extensive close-range interactions that are likely to be mediated by other signalling modalities, in particular chemical cues. We developed a bioassay to determine if female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) act as chemical cues that induce courtship behaviour, and if males assess variation in CHCs to determine whether or not to court a female. The results of this approach provide evidence that grasshopper males use species- and sex-specific information from CHC signals and respond with a courtship song to the CHC profile of conspecific females but not to the CHC profile of heterospecific females and conspecific males. We conclude that males of C. biguttulus and C. mollis use multimodal channels for mating decisions, based on both acoustic and olfactory cues. We discuss various factors that might favour the evolution of male choosiness in grasshoppers. PMID:27025933

  17. Targeting male mosquito mating behaviour for malaria control.

    PubMed

    Diabate, Abdoulaye; Tripet, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Malaria vector control relies heavily on the use of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). These, together with the combined drug administration efforts to control malaria, have reduced the death toll to less than 700,000 deaths/year. This progress has engendered real excitement but the emergence and spread of insecticide resistance is challenging our ability to sustain and consolidate the substantial gains that have been made. Research is required to discover novel vector control tools that can supplement and improve the effectiveness of those currently available. Here, we argue that recent and continuing progress in our understanding of male mating biology is instrumental in the implementation of new approaches based on the release of either conventional sterile or genetically engineered males. Importantly, further knowledge of male biology could also lead to the development of new interventions, such as sound traps and male mass killing in swarms, and contribute to new population sampling tools. We review and discuss recent advances in the behavioural ecology of male mating with an emphasis on the potential applications that can be derived from such knowledge. We also highlight those aspects of male mating ecology that urgently require additional study in the future. PMID:26113015

  18. Elephant ear

    MedlinePlus

    The harmful substances in elephant ear plants are: Oxalic acid Asparagine, a protein found in this plant Note: ... days to a week if treated correctly. Rarely, oxalic acid may cause swelling severe enough to block the ...

  19. Population genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda based on variation at mitochondrial and nuclear loci: evidence for male-biased gene flow.

    PubMed

    Nyakaana, S; Arctander, P

    1999-07-01

    A drastic decline has occurred in the size of the Uganda elephant population in the last 40 years, exacerbated by two main factors; an increase in the size of the human population and poaching for ivory. One of the attendant consequences of such a decline is a reduction in the amount of genetic diversity in the surviving populations due to increased effects of random genetic drift. Information about the amount of genetic variation within and between the remaining populations is vital for their future conservation and management. The genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda was examined using nucleotide variation of mitochondrial control region sequences and four nuclear microsatellite loci in 72 individuals from three localities. Eleven mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes were observed, nine of which were geographically localized. We found significant genetic differentiation between the three populations at the mitochondrial locus while three out of the four microsatellite loci differentiated KV and QE, one locus differentiated KV and MF and no loci differentiated MF and QE. Expected heterozygosity at the four loci varied between 0.51 and 0.84 while nucleotide diversity at the mitochondrial locus was 1.4%. Incongruent patterns of genetic variation within and between populations were revealed by the two genetic systems, and we have explained these in terms of the differences in the effective population sizes of the two genomes and male-biased gene flow between populations. PMID:10447852

  20. Reciprocal relationships between behaviour and parasites suggest that negative feedback may drive flexibility in male reproductive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Snider, Matthew H

    2016-05-25

    Parasites are ubiquitous components of the environment that contribute to behavioural and life-history variation among hosts. Although it is well known that host behaviour can affect parasite infection risk and that parasites can alter host behaviour, the potential for dynamic feedback between these processes is poorly characterized. Using Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti) as a model, we tested for reciprocal effects of behaviour on parasites and parasites on behaviour to understand whether behaviour-parasite feedback could play a role in maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour. Adult male gazelles either defend territories to attract mates or reside in bachelor groups. Territoriality is highly variable both within- and between-individuals, suggesting that territory maintenance is costly. Using a combination of longitudinal and experimental studies, we found that individual males transition frequently between territorial and bachelor reproductive status, and that elevated parasite burdens are a cost of territoriality. Moreover, among territorial males, parasites suppress aspects of behaviour related to territory maintenance and defence. These results suggest that territorial behaviour promotes the accumulation of parasites in males, and these parasites dampen the very behaviours required for territory maintenance. Our findings suggest that reciprocal feedback between host behaviour and parasitism could be a mechanism maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour in the system. PMID:27194703

  1. Elephant natural history: a genomic perspective.

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; Ishida, Yasuko; Brandt, Adam L; Benjamin, Neal R; Zhao, Kai; Georgiadis, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    We review DNA-based studies of elephants and recently extinct proboscideans. The evidence indicates that little or no nuclear gene flow occurs between African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), establishing that they comprise separate species. In all elephant species, males disperse, whereas females remain with their natal social group, leading to discordance in the phylogeography of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA patterns. Improvements in ancient DNA methods have permitted sequences to be generated from an increasing number of proboscidean fossils and have definitively established that the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is the closest living relative of the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). DNA-based methods have been developed to determine the geographic provenance of confiscated ivory in an effort to aid the conservation of elephants. PMID:25493538

  2. Low coverage sequencing of two Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) genomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are three species of elephant that exist, the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and two species of African elephant (Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis). The populations of all three species are dwindling, and are under threat due to factors, such as habitat destruction and ivory hunting. The species differ in many respects, including in their morphology and response to disease. The availability of elephant genome sequence data from all three elephant species will complement studies of behaviour, genetic diversity, evolution and disease resistance. Findings We present low-coverage Illumina sequence data from two Asian elephants, representing approximately 5X and 2.5X coverage respectively. Both raw and aligned data are available, using the African elephant (L. africana) genome as a reference. Conclusions The data presented here are an important addition to the available genetic and genomic information on Asian and African elephants. PMID:25053995

  3. Sex-specific foraging strategies and resource partitioning in the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina)

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Rebecca; O'Connell, Tamsin C; Lewis, Mirtha; Campagna, Claudio; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of resource specializations is poorly understood, especially in marine systems. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest of the phocid seals, sexually dimorphic, and thought to prey predominantly on fish and squid. We collected vibrissae from male and female southern elephant seals, and assessed stable C and N isotope ratios along the length of the vibrissae. Given that whiskers grow slowly, this sampling strategy reflects any variation in feeding behaviour over a period of time. We found that isotopic variation among females was relatively small, and that the apparent prey choice and trophic level of females was different from that for males. Further, males showed a very broad range of trophic/prey choice positions, grouped into several clusters, and this included isotopic values too low to match a broad range of potential fish and cephalopod prey tested. One of these clusters overlapped with data for South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens), which were measured for comparison. Both male southern elephant seals and southern sea lions forage over the continental shelf, providing the potential for competition. We discuss the possibility that individual southern elephant seals are pursuing specialist foraging strategies to avoid competition, both with one another, and with the South American sea lions that breed nearby. PMID:17015314

  4. Sex behaviour of male Japanese tourists in Bangkok, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Fumihiko

    2006-01-01

    This paper explores why Japanese men engage in potentially risky commercial sexual behaviours while on holiday in Thailand. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 heterosexual male Japanese tourists, aged 19-36, who paid for sex with Thai women. Study participants were recruited at guesthouses in Bangkok. Analysis revealed eight main factors that encourage participation in commercial sex: a sense of freedom and anonymity during "time-out" spent travelling in a foreign country; a sense that there are permissive norms governing commercial sex in Thailand; the perceived sexual desirability of Thai women, a sense of economic and racial superiority relative to Thai women; a sense of loneliness or feeling in need of companionship; peer influence; the widespread availability of inexpensive sexual services in Thailand; and sexual desire or need. Findings indicate that Japanese male sexual conduct reflects individual drives while on holiday, in the context of interactions among Japanese peers, shaped by Thailand's socio-cultural environment. PMID:16641061

  5. Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Kaori; Irie, Naoko; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Mariko; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Many animals acquire otherwise inaccessible food with the aid of sticks and occasionally water. As an exception, some reports suggest that elephants manipulate breathing through their trunks to acquire inaccessible food. Here, we report on two female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Kamine Zoo, Japan, who regularly blew to drive food within their reach. We experimentally investigated this behaviour by placing foods in inaccessible places. The elephants blew the food until it came within accessible range. Once the food was within range, the elephants were increasingly less likely to blow as the distance to the food became shorter. One subject manipulated her blowing duration based on food distance: longer when the food was distant. These results suggest that the elephants used their breath to achieve goals: that is, they used it not only to retrieve the food but also to fine-tune the food position for easy grasping. We also observed individual differences in the elephants' aptitude for this technique, which altered the efficiency of food acquisition. Thus, we added a new example of spontaneous behaviour for achieving a goal in animals. The use of breath to drive food is probably unique to elephants, with their dexterous trunks and familiarity with manipulating the act of blowing, which is commonly employed for self-comfort and acoustic communication. PMID:26541597

  6. Individual consistency in exploratory behaviour and mating tactics in male guppies.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Jennifer L; Phillips, Samuel C; Evans, Jonathan P

    2013-10-01

    While behavioural plasticity is considered an adaptation to fluctuating social and environmental conditions, many animals also display a high level of individual consistency in their behaviour over time or across contexts (generally termed 'personality'). However, studies of animal personalities that include sexual behaviour, or functionally distinct but correlated traits, are relatively scarce. In this study, we tested for individual behavioural consistency in courtship and exploratory behaviour in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) in two light environments (high vs. low light intensity). Based on previous work on guppies, we predicted that males would modify their behaviour from sneak mating tactics to courtship displays under low light conditions, but also that the rank orders of courtship effort would remain unchanged (i.e. highly sexually active individuals would display relatively high levels of courtship under both light regimes). We also tested for correlations between courtship and exploratory behaviour, predicting that males that had high display rates would also be more likely to approach a novel object. Although males showed significant consistency in their exploratory and mating behaviour over time (1 week), we found no evidence that these traits constituted a behavioural syndrome. Furthermore, in contrast to previous work, we found no overall effect of the light environment on any of the behaviours measured, although males responded to the treatment on an individual-level basis, as reflected by a significant individual-by-environment interaction. The future challenge is to investigate how individual consistency across different environmental contexts relates to male reproductive success. PMID:24036665

  7. Individual consistency in exploratory behaviour and mating tactics in male guppies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Jennifer L.; Phillips, Samuel C.; Evans, Jonathan P.

    2013-10-01

    While behavioural plasticity is considered an adaptation to fluctuating social and environmental conditions, many animals also display a high level of individual consistency in their behaviour over time or across contexts (generally termed ‘personality’). However, studies of animal personalities that include sexual behaviour, or functionally distinct but correlated traits, are relatively scarce. In this study, we tested for individual behavioural consistency in courtship and exploratory behaviour in male guppies ( Poecilia reticulata) in two light environments (high vs. low light intensity). Based on previous work on guppies, we predicted that males would modify their behaviour from sneak mating tactics to courtship displays under low light conditions, but also that the rank orders of courtship effort would remain unchanged (i.e. highly sexually active individuals would display relatively high levels of courtship under both light regimes). We also tested for correlations between courtship and exploratory behaviour, predicting that males that had high display rates would also be more likely to approach a novel object. Although males showed significant consistency in their exploratory and mating behaviour over time (1 week), we found no evidence that these traits constituted a behavioural syndrome. Furthermore, in contrast to previous work, we found no overall effect of the light environment on any of the behaviours measured, although males responded to the treatment on an individual-level basis, as reflected by a significant individual-by-environment interaction. The future challenge is to investigate how individual consistency across different environmental contexts relates to male reproductive success.

  8. Exploring urban male non-marital sexual behaviours in Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In Pakistan, sexual practices outside marriage are proscribed by law. We aimed to assess the range and magnitude of non-marital sexual behaviours of urban men, focusing on men having sex with men. Methods In this cross sectional survey undertaken in six cities of Pakistan, we interviewed 2400 men aged 16–45 years selected through a multistage systematic sampling design. Sexual behaviours were assessed through a structured questionnaire. Multivariable analysis was used to identify association between various individual level characteristics and probability of engaging in sexual activities involving men. Results Nearly one-third (29 percent) reported having had non-marital sex in their lifetime. Of these men 16 percent reported premarital sex, while 11 percent reported engaging in both pre- and extramarital sex. Only two percent reported exclusive extramarital sex. In total 211 respondents, 9 percent reported ever having had sexual relations with men. While 62 respondents, 2.6 percent reported exclusive sex with males. Factors that were significantly associated with MSM behaviours were being less than 27 years (adjusted OR 5.4, 95% CI 3.8–7.7, p < 0.000), less than 10 years of schooling (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.2, p < 0.000), being unemployed (adjusted OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.6–4.3, p < 0.000), being exposed to pornographic materials (adjusted OR 4.8, 95% CI 3.0–7.7, p < 0.000) and being a migrant (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3–3.4, p < 0.002). Factors significantly associated with exclusive homosexual behaviour were having sexual debut at a younger age i.e. 16–22 years (adjusted OR 12.5, 95% CI: 3.8–40.7, p < 0.000), being unemployed (adjusted OR 8.8, 95% CI: 3.0–26.0, p = 0.000), having had exposure to pornographic materials (adjusted OR 3.3, 95% CI: 1.5–7.2, p = 0.002). Conclusions To prevent the spread of STI’s in Pakistan, preventive interventions should focus on reaching out to young uneducated

  9. Mate choice and male behaviour following castration and replacement of testosterone in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos ).

    PubMed

    Klint, T

    1985-11-01

    Male sexual behaviour was controlled by castration and testosterone replacement. The first experiment shows that, within a group of similarly coloured and castrated male mallards, females preferred males treated with testosterone. The second experiment shows that a testosterone-treated male was always preferred by the females, irrespective of plumage colour, in a choice between a wild and a white mallard drake. The results shows that testosterone dependent male cues is important in mate choice in the mallard duck. PMID:24896699

  10. Male mating behaviour and sperm production characteristics under varying sperm competition risk in guppies.

    PubMed

    Evans; Magurran

    1999-11-01

    Since natural populations of guppies, Poecilia reticulata, often differ from one another in social structure, the intensity of sperm competition is likely to vary between localities. Guppies are promiscuous, with female choice for colourful males playing a central role in the mating system. In addition, male guppies use forced copulations to circumvent female choice. Both methods of copulation are used interchangeably by individual males, but the degree to which either is used may depend on the social environment into which males are born. Here we show that male mating behaviour varies according to the rearing sex ratio: when reared in male-biased groups, males performed more forced copulations and fewer courtship displays but showed the opposite pattern of behaviour when reared in female-biased groups. Our prediction, based on sperm competition theory, that stripped sperm number would reflect social structure was not supported by our results. Instead, the overall level of sexual activity (gonopodial thrusts+sigmoid displays) was a better predictor of sperm number in the different groups of males. Rearing density, where sex ratio was controlled, did not significantly affect male mating behaviour or sperm traits. Males reared under the different sex ratios continued to show their characteristic behaviour patterns when placed in equal sex ratio tanks. We conclude, therefore, that males adopt mating strategies to suit their social environment, and that these strategies remain fixed, for short periods at least, if population structure changes. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10564602

  11. Male ruff colour as a rank signal in a monomorphic-horned mammal: behavioural correlates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovari, S.; Fattorini, N.; Boesi, R.; Bocci, A.

    2015-08-01

    Coexistence of individuals within a social group is possible through the establishment of a hierarchy. Social dominance is achieved through aggressive interactions, and, in wild sheep and goats, it is related mainly to age, body size and weapon size as rank signals. Adult male Himalayan tahr are much larger than females and subadult males. They have a prominent neck ruff, ranging in colour from yellow (5.5-9.5 years old, i.e. young adults, golden males) to brown (7.5-14.5 years old, i.e. older individuals, pale and dark brown males), with golden males being the most dominant. We investigated the social behaviour of male tahr and analysed the relationships between ruff colour, courtship and agonistic behaviour patterns during the rut. Colour classes varied in their use of several behaviour patterns (male dominance: approach, stare, horning vegetation; courtship: low stretch, naso- genital contact, rush). Golden-ruffed males used more threats than darker ones. Pale brown and dark brown males addressed threats significantly more often to males of lower or their own colour classes, respectively, whereas golden ones addressed threats to all colour classes, including their own. The courtship of dominant males was characterised by the assertive rush, whereas that of subordinates did not. Ruff colour of male Himalayan tahr may have evolved as a rank signal, homologous to horn size in wild sheep and goats.

  12. Diurnal and seasonal variations in the duration and depth of the longest dives in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina): possible physiological and behavioural constraints.

    PubMed

    Bennett, K A; McConnell, B J; Fedak, M A

    2001-02-01

    This study seeks to understand how the physiological constraints of diving may change on a daily and seasonal basis. Dive data were obtained from southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from South Georgia using satellite relay data loggers. We analysed the longest (95th percentile) dive durations as proxies for physiological dive limits. A strong, significant relationship existed between the duration of these dives and the time of day and week of year in which they were performed. The depth of the deepest dives also showed a significant, but far less consistent, relationship with local time of day and season. Changes in the duration of the longest dives occurred irrespective of their depth. Dives were longest in the morning (04:00-12:00 h) and shortest in the evening (16:00-00:00 h). The size of the fluctuation varied among animals from 4.0 to 20.0 min. The daily pattern in dive depth was phase-shifted in relation to the diurnal rhythm in dive duration. Dives were deeper at midday and shallower around midnight. Greater daily changes in duration occurred in seals feeding in the open ocean than in those foraging on the continental shelf. The seasonal peak in the duration of the longest dives coincided with austral midwinter. The size of the increase in dive duration from autumn/spring to winter ranged from 11.5 to 30.0 min. Changes in depth of the longest dives were not consistently associated with particular times of year. The substantial diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in maximum dive duration may be a result of changes in the physiological capacity to remain submerged, in addition to temporal changes in the ecological constraints on dive behaviour. We speculate about the role of melatonin as a hormonal mediator of diving capability. PMID:11171347

  13. Altered reproductive behaviours in male mosquitofish living downstream from a sewage treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Saaristo, Minna; Myers, Jackie; Jacques-Hamilton, Rowan; Allinson, Mayumi; Yamamoto, Atsushi; Allinson, Graeme; Pettigrove, Vincent; Wong, Bob B M

    2014-04-01

    Freshwater environments are common repositories for the discharge of large volumes of domestic and industrial waste, particularly through wastewater effluent. One common group of chemical pollutants present in wastewater are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can induce morphological and behavioural changes in aquatic organisms. The aim of this study was to compare the reproductive behaviour and morphology of a freshwater fish, the mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), collected from two sites (wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a putative pristine site). The mosquitofish is a sexually dimorphic livebearer with a coercive mating system. Males inseminate females using their modified anal fin as an intromittent organ. Despite this, females are able to exert some control over the success of male mating attempts by selectively associating with, or avoiding, certain males over others. Using standard laboratory assays of reproductive behaviour, we found that mosquitofish males living in close proximity to WWTP showed increased mating activity compared to those inhabiting a pristine site. More specifically, during behavioural trials in which males were allowed to interact with females separated by a transparent divider, we found that WWTP-males spent more time associating with females. Concordant with this, when males and females were subsequently allowed to interact freely, WWTP-males also spent more time chasing and orienting towards the females. As a result, females from both sites showed more interest towards the WWTP-site males. Male anal fin morphology, however, did not differ between sites. Our study illustrates that lifetime exposure to WWTP-effluents can greatly affect male behaviour. The results underscore the importance of behaviour as a potential tool for investigating unknown contaminants in the environment. PMID:24569133

  14. The Extreme Male Brain Theory and Gender Role Behaviour in Persons with an Autism Spectrum Condition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stauder, J. E. A.; Cornet, L. J. M.; Ponds, R. W. H. M.

    2011-01-01

    According to the Extreme Male Brain theory persons with autism possess masculinised cognitive traits. In this study masculinisation of gender role behaviour is evaluated in 25 persons with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) and matched controls with gender role behaviour as part of a shortened version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality…

  15. Male prairie voles with different avpr1a microsatellite lengths do not differ in courtship behaviour.

    PubMed

    Graham, Brittney M; Solomon, Nancy G; Noe, Douglas A; Keane, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Females are generally expected to be selective when choosing their social and sexual partners. In a previous laboratory study, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) showed significant social and sexual preferences for males with longer microsatellite DNA within the avpr1a gene encoding the vasopressin 1a receptor, as predicted if females select mates whose parental behaviour should increase female reproductive success. We tested the hypothesis that males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles exhibit differences in courtship behaviour, which could act as cues for female mate preference. The only behavioural difference we detected between males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles in mate preference trials was that males with short avpr1a microsatellite alleles sniffed the anogenital region of females more frequently during the first two days of the trials. Our results did not strongly support the hypothesis that a male's avpr1a genotype predicts the courtship behaviours we measured and suggests that other courtship behaviours or traits, such as odour and vocalizations, may be more important to female prairie voles when choosing mates. Additional studies using a wider array of species are needed to assess the degree to which male mammal courtship behaviour provides information on mate quality to females. PMID:27083501

  16. Supplementary feeding affects the breeding behaviour of male European treefrogs (Hyla arborea)

    PubMed Central

    Meuche, Ivonne; Grafe, T Ulmar

    2009-01-01

    Background We investigated the effects of energetic constraints on the breeding behaviour of male European treefrogs Hyla arborea and how calling males allocated additional energy supplied by feeding experiments. Results Presence in the chorus was energetically costly indicated by both fed and unfed males losing weight. Males that were supplied with additional energy did not show longer chorus tenure. Instead, fed males returned sooner to the chorus. Additionally, fed males called more often than control males, a novel response for anurans. A significantly higher calling rate was noted from males even 31 nights after supplementary feeding. Conclusion This strategy of allocating additional energy reserves to increasing calling rate is beneficial given the preference of female hylids for males calling at high rates and a female's ability to detect small incremental increases in calling rate. PMID:19128468

  17. Effect of genes, social experience, and their interaction on the courtship behaviour of transgenic Drosophila males.

    PubMed

    Svetec, Nicolas; Houot, Benjamin; Ferveur, Jean-François

    2005-06-01

    Behaviour depends (a) on genes that specify the neural and non-neural elements involved in the perception of and responses to sensory stimuli and (b) on experience that can modulate the fine development of these elements. We exposed transgenic and control Drosophila melanogaster males, and their hybrids, to male siblings during adult development and measured the contribution of genes and of experience to their courtship behaviour. The transgene CheB42a specifically targets male gustatory sensillae and alters the perception of male inhibitory pheromones which leads to frequent male-male interactions. The age at which social experience occurred and the genotype of tester males induced a variable effect on the intensity of male homo- and heterosexual courtship. The strong interaction between the effects of genes and of social experience reveals the plasticity of the apparently stereotyped elements involved in male courtship behaviour. Finally, a high intensity of homosexual courtship was found only in males that simultaneously carried a mutation in their white gene and the CheB42a transgene. PMID:16174337

  18. Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Kasumovic, Michael M.; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey H.

    2015-01-01

    Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn’t explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player’s attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when

  19. Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Kasumovic, Michael M; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey H

    2015-01-01

    Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn't explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player's attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when

  20. Female aggression and the maintenance of monogamy: female behaviour predicts male mating status in European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Sandell, M. I.

    1998-01-01

    Any reduction in the fitness of a breeding female induced by the settlement of additional females with her mate creates a conflict between the sexes over mating system. In birds, females are often aggressive towards other females but few studies have been able to quantify the importance of female-female aggression for the maintenance of monogamy. This study of the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, quantifies male and female behaviour towards a potential prospecting female, presented in a cage during the pre-laying period, and relates it to the subsequent mating status of the male. A solitary breeding male was given the opportunity to attract an additional mate, which almost half of the males did. No biometric characters of the male or female were related to the subsequent mating status. Males demonstrated mate-attraction behaviour towards the caged female but the behaviour of the male did not predict the likelihood to attract an additional female. However, the proportion of time that the female spent near the potential settler was related to mating status, indicating that females that reacted more strongly towards a potential female competitor maintained their monogamous status. These results suggest that female behaviour may play an important role in shaping the mating system of facultatively polygynous species.

  1. Behavioural and physiological consequences of male reproductive trade-offs in edible dormice ( Glis glis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fietz, Joanna; Klose, Stefan M.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.

    2010-10-01

    Testosterone mediates male reproductive trade-offs in vertebrates including mammals. In male edible dormice ( Glis glis), reproductivity linked to high levels of testosterone reduces their ability to express torpor, which may be expected to dramatically increase thermoregulatory costs. Aims of this study were therefore to analyse behavioural and physiological consequences of reproductive activity in male edible dormice under ecologically and evolutionary relevant conditions in the field. As we frequently encountered sleeping groups in the field, we hypothesized that social thermoregulation should be an important measure to reduce energy expenditure especially in sexually active male edible dormice. Our results revealed that the occurrence of sleeping groups was negatively influenced by male body mass but not by reproductive status or ambient temperature. In reproductive as in non-reproductive males, the number of individuals huddling together was negatively influenced by their body mass. Thus in general males with a high body mass were sitting in smaller groups than males with a low body mass. However, in reproductive males group size was further negatively affected by ambient temperature and positively by testes size. Thus breeders formed larger sleeping groups at lower ambient temperatures and males with larger testes were found in larger groups than males with smaller testes. Measurements of oxygen consumption demonstrated that grouping behaviour represents an efficient strategy to reduce energy expenditure in edible dormice as it reduced energy requirements by almost 40%. In summary, results of this field study showcase how sexually active male edible dormice may, through behavioural adjustment, counterbalance high thermoregulatory costs associated with reproductive activity.

  2. The model anti-androgen flutamide suppresses the expression of typical male stickleback reproductive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sebire, Marion; Allen, Yvonne; Bersuder, Philippe; Katsiadaki, Ioanna

    2008-10-20

    Over the past 15 years considerable attention has been given to the presence in the environment of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that may have harmful effects on organisms. Specific test guidelines for the detection of EDCs used for short-term fish screening assays have been developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Compared to the core species used in the OECD guidelines, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has an additional and unique endpoint for (anti-)androgenic substances through the androgen-dependent glue protein (spiggin) used in the nest building. Here we describe a specific behavioural assay that was developed in parallel to the OECD protocol, utilising unique behavioural features of sticklebacks. In the assay, a photoperiod of 16L:8D (light:dark) and a temperature of 17+/-1 degrees C was used to induce breeding in quiescent male sticklebacks that were simultaneously exposed for a 21-day period to the mammalian anti-androgen flutamide (FL) at 100, 500 and 1000 microg/l (plus a water control). Spiggin production and the reproductive behaviour (nest building and courtship) of male sticklebacks were the main measured endpoints. The control fish entered an active breeding cycle including nest building and courtship behaviours as expected due to the stimulating temperature and photoperiodic conditions. The FL-exposed males showed significantly lower spiggin levels at 500 and 1000 microg/l. In addition, there was a significant decrease in the number of nests built by the FL-treated males at 100 microg/l with no nest built at 500 and 1000 microg/l. Finally, FL affected the courtship behaviour of the males with a significant reduction of the number of zigzags towards the female. When the breeding status of the stickleback males is controlled, the behavioural assay developed here is a suitable tool for the detection of androgen antagonists. PMID:18809216

  3. Individual plastic responses by males to rivals reveal mismatches between behaviour and fitness outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Bretman, Amanda; Westmancoat, James D.; Gage, Matthew J. G.; Chapman, Tracey

    2012-01-01

    Plasticity in behaviour is of fundamental significance when environments are variable. Such plasticity is particularly important in the context of rapid changes in the socio-sexual environment. Males can exhibit adaptive plastic responses to variation in the overall level of reproductive competition. However, the extent of behavioural flexibility within individuals, and the degree to which rapidly changing plastic responses map onto fitness are unknown. We addressed this by determining the behaviour and fitness profiles of individual Drosophila melanogaster males subjected to up to three episodes of exposure to rivals or no rivals, in all combinations. Behaviour (mating duration) was remarkably sensitive to the level of competition and fully reversible, suggesting that substantial costs arise from the incorrect expression of even highly flexible behaviour. However, changes in mating duration matched fitness outcomes (offspring number) only in scenarios in which males experienced zero then high competition. Following the removal of competition, mating duration, but not offspring production, decreased to below control levels. This indicates that the benefit of increasing reproductive investment when encountering rivals may exceed that of decreasing investment when rivals disappear. Such asymmetric fitness benefits and mismatches with behavioural responses are expected to exert strong selection on the evolution of plasticity. PMID:22438501

  4. Male and female behaviour and extra-pair paternity in the wheatear

    PubMed

    Currie; Burke; Whitney; Thompson

    1998-03-01

    Behavioural observations and DNA fingerprinting were used to determine the relationship between male and female behaviours and levels of extra-pair paternity in the wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe. Behavioural observations were consistent with the hypothesis that males attempted to ensure paternity by mate guarding, while pursuing extra-pair copulations (EPCs) primarily outside the fertile period of their pair female. The intensity of guarding varied with time of season and was greater at late nests. However, although males on territories with late nests also experienced high intrusion rates, the intensity of guarding was influenced more by the operational sex ratio (which was female skewed at early nests) than by intrusion rates per se. We suggest that early breeding males adopted a strategy of territorial defence to ensure paternity, as opposed to guarding their female directly (which late breeding males did), to capitalize on the increased opportunities to pursue EPCs in neighbouring territories. Females were less conspicuous than males in their pursuit of EPCs, were never seen off territory or observed to solicit extra-pair males directly, and rejected the majority of EPCs. The frequency of extra-pair paternity was 11% of 73 offspring, in 29% of 17 broods, and was not correlated with the intensity of guarding. Female cooperation appeared to be important for successful copulation, and extra-pair paternity is therefore likely to be a consequence of solicited, or at least accepted, EPCs. We discuss why females might have participated in EPCs. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9514681

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

    PubMed

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

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

  6. Male-specific (Z)-9-tricosene stimulates female mating behaviour in the spider Pholcus beijingensis

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yong-Hong; Zhang, Jian-Xu; Li, Shu-Qiang

    2010-01-01

    Chemical signals play an important role in spider sexual communication, yet the chemistry of spider sex pheromones remains poorly understood. Chemical identification of male-produced pheromone-mediating sexual behaviour in spiders has also, to our knowledge, not been reported before. This study aimed to examine whether chemically mediated strategies are used by males of the spider Pholcus beijingensis for increasing the probability of copulation. Based on data from gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, electroantennography assay and a series of behavioural tests, we verified that (Z)-9-tricosene is a male-specific compound in the spider P. beijingensis. This compound acts as an aphrodisiac: it increases the likelihood that a female will mate. Mate-searching males release (Z)-9-tricosene to stimulate sexual behaviour of conspecific females. In the two-choice assay, however, sexually receptive females show no preference to the chambers containing (Z)-9-tricosene. This indicates that the male pheromone of P. beijingensis is not an attractant per se to the conspecific females. This is, to our knowledge, the first identification of a male-produced aphrodisiac pheromone in spiders. PMID:20462911

  7. Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders and Adverse Health Behaviours in Male Professional Soccer Players

    PubMed Central

    Gouttebarge, Vincent; Aoki, Haruhito; Kerkhoffs, Gino

    2015-01-01

    To present time, scientific knowledge about symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players is lacking. Consequently, the aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders (distress, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance) and adverse health behaviours (adverse alcohol behaviour, smoking, adverse nutrition behaviour) among professional soccer players, and to explore their associations with potential stressors (severe injury, surgery, life events and career dissatisfaction). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on baseline questionnaires from an ongoing prospective cohort study among male professional players. Using validated questionnaires to assess symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours as well as stressors, an electronic questionnaire was set up and distributed by players’ unions in 11 countries from three continents. Prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players ranged from 4% for smoking and 9% for adverse alcohol behaviour to 38% for anxiety/depression and 58% for adverse nutrition behaviour. Significant associations were found for a higher number of severe injuries with distress, anxiety/depression, sleeping disturbance and adverse alcohol behaviour, an increased number of life events with distress, sleeping disturbance, adverse alcohol behaviour and smoking, as well as an elevated level of career dissatisfaction with distress, anxiety/depression and adverse nutrition behaviour. Statistically significant correlations (p<0.01) were found for severe injuries and career dissatisfaction with most symptoms of common mental disorders. High prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours was found among professional players, confirming a previous pilot-study in a similar study population. PMID:26925182

  8. Interdependent effects of male and female body size plasticity on mating behaviour of predatory mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that traits with low phenotypic plasticity are more fitness relevant, because they have been canalized via strong past selection, than traits with high phenotypic plasticity. Based on differing male body size plasticities of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity), we accordingly hypothesized that small male body size entails higher costs in female choice and male–male competition in P. persimilis than N. californicus. Males of both species are highly polygynous but females differ in the level of polyandry (low level in P. persimilis; medium level in N. californicus). We videotaped the mating interactions in triplets of either P. persimilis or N. californicus, consisting of a virgin female (small or standard-sized) and a small and a standard-sized male. Mating by both small and standard-sized P. persimilis females was biased towards standard-sized males, resulting from the interplay between female preference for standard-sized males and the inferiority of small males in male–male competition. In contrast, mating by N. californicus females was equally balanced between small and standard-sized males. Small N. californicus males were more aggressive (‘Napoleon complex’) in male–male competition, reducing the likelihood of encounter between the standard-sized male and the female, and thus counterbalancing female preference for standard-sized males. Our results support the hypothesis that male body size is more important to fitness in the low-level polyandrous P. persimilis than in the medium-level polyandrous N. californicus and provide a key example of the implications of sexually selected body size plasticity on mating behaviour. PMID:25673881

  9. Male clients' behaviours with and perspectives about their last male escort encounter: comparing repeat versus first-time hires.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Margaret M; Grov, Christian; Smith, Michael D; Koken, Juline A; Parsons, Jeffrey T

    2014-01-01

    Research on men who have sex with men suggests that condomless anal intercourse occurs more frequently in established sexual relationships. While comparable data regarding male-for-male escorting is unavailable, research implies that many clients seek emotional as well as physical connections with the men they hire. In 2012, 495 male clients, recruited via daddysreviews.com completed an online survey about their last hiring experience. Most participants were from the USA (85.7%), the UK and Canada (3.2% each). In total, 75% of encounters involved an escort hired for the first time; 25% were with a previously hired escort ('repeat encounter'). The client's age, lifetime number of escorts hired and number hired in the past year were positively associated with the last encounter being a repeat encounter. Cuddling, sharing a meal, drinking alcohol, taking a walk, watching a show and shopping were also positively associated with repeat encounters. Conversely, none of the sexual behaviours were significantly associated with repeat encounters. Repeat encounters were significantly more likely to include non-sexual behaviours alongside sexual activities, but no more likely to involve condomless anal intercourse. Moreover, clients' knowledge of escorts' HIV status was not significantly associated with engaging in condomless anal intercourse with repeat encounters. PMID:24915753

  10. Hypogonadism predisposes males to the development of behavioural and neuroplastic depressive phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, Steven R; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Galea, Liisa A M

    2011-10-01

    The incidence of depression is 2-3× higher in women particularly during the reproductive years, an occurrence that has been associated with levels of sex hormones. The age-related decline of testosterone levels in men corresponds with the increased acquisition of depressive symptoms, and hormone replacement therapy can be efficacious in treating depression in hypogonadal men. Although it is not possible to model depression in rodents, it is possible to model some of the symptoms of depression including a dysregulated stress response and altered neuroplasticity. Among animal models of depression, chronic mild unpredictable stress (CMS) is a common paradigm used to induce depressive-like behaviours in rodents, disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and decrease hippocampal neuroplasticity. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of hypogonadism, produced by gonadectomy, on the acquisition of depressive-like behaviours and changes in hippocampal neuroplasticity in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. A 21-day unpredictable CMS protocol was used on gonadectomised (GDX) and sham-operated males which produced an attenuation of weight gain in the GDX males receiving CMS treatment (GDX-CMS). Behavioural analysis was carried out to assess anxiety- and depressive-like behaviours. The combination of GDX and CMS produced greater passive behaviours within the forced swim test than CMS exposure alone. Similarly, hippocampal cell proliferation, neurogenesis and the expression of the neuroplastic protein polysialated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) were all significantly reduced in the GDX-CMS group compared to all other treatment groups. These findings indicate that testicular hormones confer resiliency to chronic stress in males therefore reducing the likelihood of developing putative physiological, behavioural or neurological depressive-like phenotypes. PMID:21481538

  11. Fluoxetine inhibits aggressive behaviour during parental care in male fighting fish (Betta splendens, Regan).

    PubMed

    Forsatkar, Mohammad Navid; Nematollahi, Mohammad Ali; Amiri, Bagher Mojazi; Huang, Wen-Bin

    2014-11-01

    The increasing presence of aquatic contaminants, such as the pharmaceutical fluoxetine, has raised concerns over potentially disrupting effects on several aspects of fish reproduction. However, the effects of fluoxetine on reproductive and paternal behavior in fish remain understudied, particularly at environmentally relevant concentrations. In the current study, we therefore tested the hypothesis that waterborne fluoxetine at an environmentally relevant concentration (540 ng/l), disrupts specific reproductive and paternal behaviors in male Siamese fighting fish at distinct reproductive phases. A pre-post test design was adopted to investigate specific behavioral responses at the individual fish level in response to male conspecific intruders at two different distances from the nest across four distinct reproductive phases (before bubblenest construction, following bubblenest construction, after spawning and after hatching of the larvae). In the control specimens, the measured behaviours were not different between the spawning times and among the interactions in either distance to nest at the different reproduction phases. Our results indicate that fluoxetine specifically disrupts characteristic paternal territorial aggression behaviour only after spawning and hatching of the larvae, while male behaviour in previous reproductive phases is unaffected by fluoxetine exposure. Results of comparison between males at 1st spawning and specimens exposed to fluoxetine at 2nd spawning showed that the first reaction of the nest-holding males to the intruders, duration of fin spreading, number of bites, and 90° turn, and the frequency of sweeps were different between the spawning times after spawning or hatching of embryos. However, interaction of spawning time and reproduction phase was significant on biting behaviour. These results demonstrate that fluoxetine exposure at environmental concentrations negatively affects territorial defense behaviour in fighting fish during

  12. Melanic body colour and aggressive mating behaviour are correlated traits in male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki).

    PubMed Central

    Horth, Lisa

    2003-01-01

    Correlated traits are important from an evolutionary perspective as natural selection acting on one trait may indirectly affect other traits. Further, the response to selection can be constrained or hastened as a result of correlations. Because mating behaviour and body colour can dramatically affect fitness, a correlation between them can have important fitness ramifications. In this work, melanic (black) male mosquitofishes (Gambusia holbrooki) with temperature-sensitive body-colour expression are bred in captivity. Half of the sons of each melanic sire are reared at 19 degrees C (and express a black body colour) and half are reared at 31 degrees C (and express a silver body colour). The two colour morphs are placed in the same social setting and monitored for behavioural differences. Mating behaviour and colour are correlated traits. Mating behaviour differs markedly between the two phenotypes, despite high genetic relatedness. Melanic (black) phenotypes are more aggressive towards females, chasing them and attempting more matings than their silver siblings. Females avoid melanic-male mating attempts more than silver-male mating attempts. When males with temperature-sensitive colour expression are melanic and aggressive, they probably experience a very different selective regime in nature from when they are silver and less aggressive. Under some conditions (e.g. predation), melanic coloration and/or aggression is advantageous compared with silver coloration and/or less aggressive behaviour. However, under different conditions (e.g. high-frequency melanism), melanism and/or aggression appears to be disadvantageous and melanic males have reduced survival and reproduction. Selective advantages to each morph under different conditions may enable the long-term persistence of this temperature-sensitive genotype. PMID:12803892

  13. Male moths bearing transplanted female antennae express characteristically female behaviour and central neural activity.

    PubMed

    Kalberer, N M; Reisenman, C E; Hildebrand, J G

    2010-04-01

    The primary olfactory centres of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta, the antennal lobes, contain a small number of sexually dimorphic glomeruli: the male-specific macroglomerular complex and the large female glomeruli. These glomeruli play important roles in sex-specific behaviours, such as the location of conspecific females and the selection of appropriate host plants for oviposition. The development of sexually dimorphic glomeruli depends strictly on the ingrowth of sex-specific olfactory receptor cell afferents. In the present study we tested the role of female-specific olfactory receptor cells (ORCs) in mediating female-specific host plant approach behaviour and in determining the response of downstream antennal lobe neurons. We generated male gynandromorphs by excising one imaginal disc from a male larva and replacing it with the antennal imaginal disc from a female donor. Most male gynandromorphs had an apparently normal female antenna and a feminised antennal lobe. These gynandromorphs were tested for flight responses in a wind tunnel towards tomato plants, a preferred host plant for oviposition in M. sexta. Male gynandromorphs landed on host plants as often as normal females, demonstrating that the presence of the induced female-specific glomeruli was necessary and sufficient to produce female-like, odour-oriented behaviour, i.e. orientation towards host plants. We also characterised the physiological and morphological properties of antennal lobe neurons of male gynandromorphs. We found that projection neurons with arborisations in the induced female-specific glomeruli showed physiological responses akin to those of female-specific projection neurons in normal females. These results therefore indicate that ORCs confer specific odour tuning to their glomerular targets and, furthermore, instruct odour-specific behaviour. PMID:20348339

  14. Insightful problem solving in an Asian elephant.

    PubMed

    Foerder, Preston; Galloway, Marie; Barthel, Tony; Moore, Donald E; Reiss, Diana

    2011-01-01

    The "aha" moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food. PMID:21876741

  15. Male behaviour drives assortative reproduction during the initial stage of secondary contact.

    PubMed

    Heathcote, R J P; While, G M; MacGregor, H E A; Sciberras, J; Leroy, C; D'Ettorre, P; Uller, T

    2016-05-01

    Phenotypic divergence in allopatry can facilitate speciation by reducing the likelihood that individuals of different lineages hybridize during secondary contact. However, few studies have established the causes of reproductive isolation in the crucial early stages of secondary contact. Here, we establish behavioural causes of assortative reproduction between two phenotypically divergent lineages of the European wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), which have recently come into secondary contact. Parentage was highly assortative in experimental contact zones. However, despite pronounced divergence in male phenotypes, including chemical and visual sexual signals, there was no evidence that females discriminated between males of the two lineages in staged interactions or under naturalistic free-ranging conditions. Instead, assortative reproduction was driven by male mate preferences and, to a lesser extent, male-male competition. The effects were more pronounced when the habitat structure promoted high lizard densities. These results emphasize that assortative reproduction can occur in the absence of female choice and that male behaviour may play an important role in limiting hybridization during the initial stages of secondary contact. PMID:26848540

  16. Peer influence on speeding behaviour among male drivers aged 18 and 28.

    PubMed

    Møller, Mette; Haustein, Sonja

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive research, preventive efforts and general improvements in road safety levels, the accident risk of young male drivers remains increased. Based on a standardized survey of a random sample of 2018 male drivers at the age of 18 and 28, this study looked into attitudes and behaviours related to traffic violations of male drivers. More specifically, the role of peer influence on speeding was examined in both age groups. In regression analyses it could be shown that the descriptive subjective norm, i.e., the perception of friends' speeding, was the most important predictor of speeding in both age groups. Other significant factors were: negative attitude towards speed limits, injunctive subjective norm, and the perceived risk of having an accident when speeding. In the older age group it was more common to drive faster than allowed and their speeding was largely in line with the perceived level of their friends' speeding. In the younger age group a higher discrepancy between own and friends' speeding was found indicating that young male drivers are socialized into increased speeding behaviour based on peer pressure. By contrast for the 28-year-olds peer pressure mainly seems to maintain or justify individual speeding behaviour. It is suggested that preventive measures should take these different influences of peer pressure into account by using a peer-based approach for the 18-year-olds and a more individual approach for the 28-year-olds. PMID:24355559

  17. Problem-Elephant Translocation: Translocating the Problem and the Elephant?

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Prithiviraj; Leimgruber, Peter; Prasad, Tharaka; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict (HEC) threatens the survival of endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Translocating “problem-elephants” is an important HEC mitigation and elephant conservation strategy across elephant range, with hundreds translocated annually. In the first comprehensive assessment of elephant translocation, we monitored 16 translocations in Sri Lanka with GPS collars. All translocated elephants were released into national parks. Two were killed within the parks where they were released, while all the others left those parks. Translocated elephants showed variable responses: “homers” returned to the capture site, “wanderers” ranged widely, and “settlers” established home ranges in new areas soon after release. Translocation caused wider propagation and intensification of HEC, and increased elephant mortality. We conclude that translocation defeats both HEC mitigation and elephant conservation goals. PMID:23236404

  18. Kin recognition and cannibalistic behaviours by adult male fathead minnows ( Pimephales promelas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Warren W.; Mirza, Reehan S.; Pyle, Greg G.

    2008-03-01

    Parental care is an energetically demanding activity that ensures genes are efficiently passed from one generation to the next. According to evolutionary theory, the greatest energetic investment should be directed towards offspring that are most closely related to the parent. Male fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, provide this parental investment to developing embryos but not newly hatched larvae. Therefore, selection should favour recognition of embryonic kin to ensure energetic expenditure is optimally invested. In this study, adult male fathead minnows were tested using behavioural assays, with egg cannibalism as an endpoint, to determine whether adult males could discriminate between related and unrelated embryos. Egg cannibalism was highest when adult male fathead minnows were presented with unrelated eggs and lowest when presented with eggs fertilized by the test subject (related eggs). The degree of cannibalism was also a function of breeding status. Unrelated males in breeding condition showed an intermediate response between the low cannibalism demonstrated by related males and the high cannibalism demonstrated by unrelated males in a nonbreeding condition. These results suggest that although male fathead minnows can discriminate between unrelated and related embryos, at least some component of parental investment is a simple function of breeding status.

  19. Eavesdropping on elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Katy

    2001-05-01

    The Elephant Listening Project is creating an acoustic monitoring program for African forest elephants, an endangered species that lives in dense forests where visual censusing is impossible. In 2002, a 21/2-month continuous recording was made on an array of autonomous recording units (ARUs) surrounding a forest clearing in the Central African Republic. Each day between 10 and 160 forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), the subjects of Andrea Turkalo's 13-year demographic study, were present on the clearing. Thousands of vocalizations were recorded, most of which contained infrasonic energy. The calls were located in space using software developed in the Bioacoustics Research Program. During daylight hours simultaneous video recordings were made. GPS time-synchronization of video cameras and the ARUs made it possible to identify the elephants responsible for many calls and to examine associated circumstances and behaviors. Recordings were also made on a second acoustic array, permitting a preliminary estimate of propagation and an indication of source level for selected elephant calls. Automatic detection of elephant calls is increasing the feasibility of analyzing long acoustic recordings, and paving the way for finer-tuned analyses, with an ultimate goal of describing forest elephants' acoustic repertoire.

  20. Mammoths, Mastodons, and Elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, Gary

    1993-05-01

    The diminishing population of African and Asian elephants can be compared to the extinction of other elephant-like species, such as mammoths and mastodonts, which occurred more than ten thousand years ago. The purpose of this book is to use the ecology and behavior of modern elephants to create models for reconstructing the life and death of extinct mammoths and mastodonts. The source of the models is a long-term and continuing study of elephants in Zimbabwe, Africa. These models are clearly described with respect to the anatomical, behavioral, and ecological similarities between past and present proboscideans. The implications of these similarities on the life and death of mammoths and mastodonts is explored in detail. The importance of this book is primarily its unifying perspective on living and extinct proboscideans: the fossil record is closely examined and compared to the natural history of surviving elephants. Dr. Haynes's studies of the places where African elephants die (so-called elephant burial grounds) are unique.

  1. The role of ghrelin signalling for sexual behaviour in male mice.

    PubMed

    Egecioglu, Emil; Prieto-Garcia, Luna; Studer, Erik; Westberg, Lars; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2016-03-01

    Ghrelin, a gut-brain signal, is well known to regulate energy homeostasis, food intake and appetite foremost via hypothalamic ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A). In addition, ghrelin activates the reward systems in the brain, namely the mesolimbic dopamine system, and regulates thereby the rewarding properties of addictive drugs as well as of palatable foods. Given that the mesolimbic dopamine system mandates the reinforcing properties of addictive drugs and natural rewards, such as sexual behaviour, we hypothesize that ghrelin plays an important role for male sexual behaviour, a subject for the present studies. Herein we show that ghrelin treatment increases, whereas pharmacological suppression (using the GHSR-1A antagonist JMV2959) or genetic deletion of the GHS-R1A in male mice decreases the sexual motivation for as well as sexual behaviour with female mice in oestrus. Pre-treatment with L-dopa (a dopamine precursor) prior to treatment with JMV2959 significantly increased the preference for female mouse compared with vehicle treatment. On the contrary, treatment with 5-hydroxythyptohan (a precursor for serotonin) prior to treatment with JMV2959 decreased the sexual motivation compared to vehicle. In separate experiments, we show that ghrelin and GHS-R1A antagonism do not affect the time spent over female bedding as measured in the androgen-dependent bedding test. Collectively, these data show that the hunger hormone ghrelin and its receptor are required for normal sexual behaviour in male mice and that the effects of the ghrelin signalling system on sexual behaviour involve dopamine neurotransmission. PMID:25475101

  2. Effect of Aqueous Extract of Massularia acuminata Stem on Sexual Behaviour of Male Wistar Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yakubu, M. T.; Akanji, M. A.

    2011-01-01

    Ancient literature alluded to the use of a number of plants/preparations as sex enhancer. One of such botanicals is Massularia acuminata in which the stem has been acclaimed to be used as an aphrodisiac. Documented experiments or clinical data are, however, lacking. Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate the acclaimed aphrodisiac activity of M. acuminata stem. Sixty male rats were completely randomized into 4 groups (A–D) of 15 each. Rats in group A (control) were administered with 1 mL of distilled water (the vehicle) while those in groups B, C, and D were given same volume containing 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight of the extract, respectively. Sexual behaviour parameters were monitored in the male rats for day 1 (after a single dose), day 3 (after three doses, once daily), and day 5 (after five doses, once daily) by pairing with a receptive female (1 : 1). The male serum testosterone concentration was also determined. Cage side observation on the animals revealed proceptive behaviour (ear wiggling, darting, hopping, and lordosis) by the receptive female rats and precopulatory behaviour (chasing, anogenital sniffing and mounting) by the extract-treated male rats. The extract at 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight significantly (P < .05) increased the frequencies of mount and intromission. In addition, the ejaculation latency was significantly prolonged (P < .05). The latencies of mount and intromission were reduced significantly whereas ejaculation frequency increased. The extract also reduced the postejaculatory interval of the animals. Computed percentages of index of libido, mounted, intromitted, ejaculated and copulatory efficiency were higher in the extract treated animals compared to the distilled water-administered control whereas the intercopulatory interval decreased significantly. The extract also significantly (P < .05) increased the serum testosterone content of the animals except in those administered with 250 mg/kg body

  3. Effect of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem on the sexual behaviour of male rats.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, M T; Afolayan, A J

    2009-12-01

    The phytochemical constituents of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem and its effect on male rat sexual behaviour were evaluated for 7 days. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of saponins, cardiac glycoside, tannins, alkaloids and anthraquinones. Administration of the extract at the doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg body weight resulted in the significant increase (p < 0.05) in mount frequency, intromission frequency, ejaculatory latency, ejaculation frequency, serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone concentrations, computed indices of sexual behaviour, erection, quick flips, long flips and total penile reflexes whereas the mount latency, intromission latency and post-ejaculatory interval were significantly decreased (p < 0.05) throughout the experimental period. The 100 mg/kg body weight of the extract produced contrasting pattern to the lower doses of the extract in all the parameters of sexual behaviour monitored throughout the experimental period. The results are indicative of prosexual stimulatory potentials of Bulbine natalensis in male rats. The aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis stem at these doses (25 and 50 mg/kg body weight) may be used in the management of disorders of desire/libido, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction in males. PMID:18710410

  4. Mild mutations in the pan neural gene prospero affect male-specific behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Grosjean, Yaël; Savy, Mathilde; Soichot, Julien; Everaerts, Claude; Cézilly, Frank; Ferveur, Jean François

    2004-01-30

    The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most appropriate model organisms to study the genetics of behaviour. Here, we focus on prospero (pros), a key gene for the development of the nervous system which specifies multiple aspects from the early formation of the embryonic central nervous system to the formation of larval and adult sensory organs. We studied the effects on locomotion, courtship and mating behaviour of three mild pros mutations. These newly isolated pros mutations were induced after the incomplete excision of a transposable genomic element that, before excision, caused a lethal phenotype during larval development. Strikingly, these mutant strains, but not the strains with a clean excision, produced a high frequency of heterozygous flies, after more than 50 generations in the lab. We investigated the factors that could decrease the fitness of homozygotes relatively to heterozygous pros mutant flies. Flies of both genotypes had slightly different levels of fertility. More strikingly, homozygous mutant males had a lower sexual activity than heterozygous males and failed to mate in a competitive situation. No similar effect was detected in mutant females. These findings suggest that mild mutations in pros did not alter vital functions during development but drastically changed adult male behaviour and reproductive fitness. PMID:14744542

  5. Cognitive Behavioural Suicide Prevention for Male Prisoners: A pilot randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, D.; Tarrier, N.; Dunn, G.; Awenat, Y.; Shaw, J.; Ulph, F.; Gooding, P.

    2015-01-01

    Background Prisoners have an exceptional risk of suicide. Cognitive behavioural therapy for suicidal behaviour has been shown to offer considerable potential, but has yet to be formally evaluated within prisons. This study investigated the feasibility of delivering and evaluating a novel, manualised cognitive behavioural suicide prevention (CBSP) therapy for suicidal male prisoners. Methods A pilot randomised controlled trial of CBSP in addition to treatment as usual (CBSP; n=31) compared to treatment as usual alone (TAU; n=31), was conducted in a male prison in England. The primary outcome was self-injurious behaviour occurring within the past six months. Secondary outcomes were dimensions of suicidal ideation, psychiatric symptomatology, personality dysfunction and psychological determinants of suicide, including depression and hopelessness. The trial was prospectively registered (number ISRCTN59909209). Results Relative to TAU, participants receiving CBSP therapy achieved a significantly greater reduction in suicidal behaviours with a moderate treatment effect (Cohen’s d=−0.72, 95%CI: −1.71 to 0.09; baseline mean [SD], TAU: 1.39[3.28] vs CBSP: 1.06[2.10], 6 months mean [SD], TAU: 1.48[3.23] vs CBSP: 0.58[1.52]). Significant improvements were achieved on measures of psychiatric symptomatology and personality dysfunction. Improvements on psychological determinants of suicide were non-significant. More than half of participants in the CBSP group achieved a clinically significant recovery by the end of therapy, compared to a quarter of the TAU group. Conclusions The delivery and evaluation of cognitive behavioural suicide prevention therapy within a prison is feasible. CBSP therapy offers significant promise in the prevention of prison suicide and an adequately powered randomised controlled trial is warranted. PMID:26165919

  6. A fatal elephant attack.

    PubMed

    Hejna, Petr; Zátopková, Lenka; Safr, Miroslav

    2012-01-01

    A rare case of an elephant attack is presented. A 44-year-old man working as an elephant keeper was attacked by a cow elephant when he tripped over a foot chain while the animal was being medically treated. The man fell down and was consequently repeatedly attacked with elephant tusks. The man sustained multiple stab injuries to both groin regions, a penetrating injury to the abdominal wall with traumatic prolapse of the loops of the small bowel, multiple defects of the mesentery, and incomplete laceration of the abdominal aorta with massive bleeding into the abdominal cavity. In addition to the penetrating injuries, the man sustained multiple rib fractures with contusion of both lungs and laceration of the right lobe of the liver, and comminuted fractures of the pelvic arch and left femoral body. The man died shortly after he had been received at the hospital. The cause of death was attributed to traumatic shock. PMID:22085093

  7. Genetic variation in male sexual behaviour in a population of white-footed mice in relation to photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Kathy; Bucci, Donna; Zelensky, Paul K.; Chesney, Alanna; Tidhar, Wendy; Broussard, David R.; Heideman, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    In natural populations, genetic variation in seasonal male sexual behaviour could affect behavioural ecology and evolution. In a wild-source population of white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus, from Virginia, U.S.A., males experiencing short photoperiod show high levels of genetic variation in reproductive organ mass and neuroendocrine traits related to fertility. We tested whether males from two divergent selection lines, one that strongly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (responder) and one that weakly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (nonresponder), also differ in photoperiod-dependent sexual behaviour and responses to female olfactory cues. Under short, but not long, photoperiod, there were significant differences between responder and nonresponder males in sexual behaviour and likelihood of inseminating a female. Males that were severely oligospermic or azoospermic under short photoperiod failed to display sexual behaviour in response to an ovariectomized and hormonally primed receptive female. However, on the day following testing, females were positive for spermatozoa only when paired with a male having a sperm count in the normal range for males under long photoperiod. Males from the nonresponder line showed accelerated reproductive development under short photoperiod in response to urine-soiled bedding from females, but males from the responder line did not. The results indicate genetic variation in sexual behaviour that is expressed under short, but not long, photoperiod, and indicate a potential link between heritable neuroendocrine variation and male sexual behaviour. In winter in a natural population, this heritable behavioural variation could affect fitness, seasonal life history trade-offs and population growth. PMID:25983335

  8. Female behaviour and the interaction of male and female genital traits mediate sperm transfer during mating.

    PubMed

    Friesen, C R; Uhrig, E J; Mason, R T; Brennan, P L R

    2016-05-01

    Natural selection and post-copulatory sexual selection, including sexual conflict, contribute to genital diversification. Fundamental first steps in understanding how these processes shape the evolution of specific genital traits are to determine their function experimentally and to understand the interactions between female and male genitalia during copulation. Our experimental manipulations of male and female genitalia in red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) reveal that copulation duration and copulatory plug deposition, as well as total and oviductal/vaginal sperm counts, are influenced by the interaction between male and female genital traits and female behaviour during copulation. By mating females with anesthetized cloacae to males with spine-ablated hemipenes using a fully factorial design, we identified significant female-male copulatory trait interactions and found that females prevent sperm from entering their oviducts by contracting their vaginal pouch. Furthermore, these muscular contractions limit copulatory plug size, whereas the basal spine of the male hemipene aids in sperm and plug transfer. Our results are consistent with a role of sexual conflict in mating interactions and highlight the evolutionary importance of female resistance to reproductive outcomes. PMID:26809830

  9. Nutritional effects on male calling behaviour in the variable field cricket.

    PubMed

    Wagner; Hoback

    1999-01-01

    In the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps, females prefer higher chirp rates and longer chirp durations in male calling song. Higher chirp rates are energetically more expensive to produce, but the energetic cost of calling does not vary with chirp duration. We tested the hypothesis that nutrition affects male chirp rate and chirp duration. Full-sibling brothers of similar age were placed on high- and low-nutrition feeding regimes. There was no effect of feeding regime on male weight; neither group showed a significant change in weight, and the two groups did not differ from each other in weight change. However, males on the high-nutrition feeding regime both called more frequently and called at higher chirp rates when they did call. The two groups did not differ in chirp duration, the duration of pulses within chirps or chirp dominant frequency. These results suggest that females select mates based on one nutrition-dependent call character (chirp rate) and one nutrition-independent call character (chirp duration). In addition, because males in the two groups did not show significant differences in weight change, and because males on the high-nutrition feeding regime engaged in energetically more expensive calling, these results suggest that males invest any excess energy above their basic maintenance requirements in the production of call types that increase their attractiveness to females. The absence of a relationship between body condition and calling song structure for males in the field may be a consequence of this pattern of energy allocation. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10053075

  10. Host plant volatiles induce oriented flight behaviour in male European grapevine moths, Lobesia botrana.

    PubMed

    von Arx, Martin; Schmidt-Büsser, Daniela; Guerin, Patrick M

    2011-10-01

    The European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana relies on a female produced sex pheromone for long-distance mate finding. Grapevine moth males compete heavily during limited time windows for females. The aim of this study was to investigate the perception of host plant volatiles by grapevine moth males and whether such compounds elicit upwind oriented flights. We compared five host plant headspace extracts by means of gas chromatography linked electroantennogram (EAG) recording. We identified 12 common host plant volatiles (aliphatic esters, aldehydes, and alcohols, aromatic compounds and terpenes) that elicit EAG responses from grapevine moth males and that occur in at least three of the host plant volatile headspace extracts tested. Subsequently the behavioural response of grapevine moth males to four these compounds presented singly and in mixtures (1-hexanol, 1-octen-3-ol, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and (E)-β-caryophyllene) was recorded in a wind tunnel. Grapevine moth males engaged in upwind flights to all of four compounds when released singly at 10,000 pg/min and to all, except 1-octen-3-ol, when released at 100 pg/min. A blend of the four host plant volatiles released at 10,000 pg/min and mixed at a ratio based on the analysis of Vitis vinifera cv. Solaris volatile emissions attracted significantly more males than any single compound. Grapevine moth males perceive and respond to host plant volatiles at biologically relevant levels indicating that host plant volatiles figure as olfactory cues and that L. botrana males can discern places where the likelihood of encountering females is higher. PMID:21729701

  11. Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-05-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  12. Erratum: Erratum to: Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-08-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  13. Change in Mesoherbivore Browsing Is Mediated by Elephant and Hillslope Position

    PubMed Central

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Thaker, Maria; de Boer, Willem F.; Page, Bruce R.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Slotow, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Elephant are considered major drivers of ecosystems, but their effects within small-scale landscape features and on other herbivores still remain unclear. Elephant impact on vegetation has been widely studied in areas where elephant have been present for many years. We therefore examined the combined effect of short-term elephant presence (< 4 years) and hillslope position on tree species assemblages, resource availability, browsing intensity and soil properties. Short-term elephant presence did not affect woody species assemblages, but did affect height distribution, with greater sapling densities in elephant access areas. Overall tree and stem densities were also not affected by elephant. By contrast, slope position affected woody species assemblages, but not height distributions and densities. Variation in species assemblages was statistically best explained by levels of total cations, Zinc, sand and clay. Although elephant and mesoherbivore browsing intensities were unaffected by slope position, we found lower mesoherbivore browsing intensity on crests with high elephant browsing intensity. Thus, elephant appear to indirectly facilitate the survival of saplings, via the displacement of mesoherbivores, providing a window of opportunity for saplings to grow into taller trees. In the short-term, effects of elephant can be minor and in the opposite direction of expectation. In addition, such behavioural displacement promotes recruitment of saplings into larger height classes. The interaction between slope position and elephant effect found here is in contrast with other studies, and illustrates the importance of examining ecosystem complexity as a function of variation in species presence and topography. The absence of a direct effect of elephant on vegetation, but the presence of an effect on mesoherbivore browsing, is relevant for conservation areas especially where both herbivore groups are actively managed. PMID:26083248

  14. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size. PMID:21831296

  15. Behavioural processes in social context: female abductions, male herding and female grooming in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Polo, Pablo; Colmenares, Fernando

    2012-06-01

    The formation of bonds between strangers is an event that occurs routinely in many social animals, including humans, and, as social bonds in general, they affect the individuals' welfare and biological fitness. The present study was motivated by an interest in the behavioural processes that drive bond formation in a social context of hostility, in which the incumbent partners vary greatly in physical power and reproductive interests, a situation in which individuals of many group-living species find themselves often throughout their lives. We focused on the quantitative analysis of female abductions via male aggressive herding in a nonhuman primate, the hamadryas baboon, in which intersexual bonds are known to be strong. We tested three hypotheses informed by sexual conflict/sexual coercion theory (male herding-as-conditioning and female grooming-as-appeasement) and by socioecological theory (unit size and female competition). The results supported the predictions: males resorted to coercive tactics (aggressive herding) with abducted females, and abducted females elevated the amount of grooming directed at their new unit males; in fact, they escaped from the otherwise negative effect of unit size on female-to-male grooming. These findings reveal that conflicts of interest are natural ingredients underpinning social bonds and that resorting to coercive aggression may be an option especially when partners differ greatly in their physical power. PMID:22391051

  16. Tuberculosis surveillance of elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal at the captive-wild interface

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A comprehensive elephant tuberculosis (TB) survey using culture and four serological screening tests was conducted in Nepal. Private and government-owned male and female captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were included in the study. The mean reported age was 38 years (range 5-60 years). A tot...

  17. Transient Population Dynamics of Mosquitoes during Sterile Male Releases: Modelling Mating Behaviour and Perturbations of Life History Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The release of genetically-modified or sterile male mosquitoes offers a promising form of mosquito-transmitted pathogen control, but the insights derived from our understanding of male mosquito behaviour have not fully been incorporated into the design of such genetic control or sterile-male release methods. The importance of aspects of male life history and mating behaviour for sterile-male release programmes were investigated by projecting a stage-structured matrix model over time. An elasticity analysis of transient dynamics during sterile-male releases was performed to provide insight on which vector control methods are likely to be most synergistic. The results suggest that high mating competitiveness and mortality costs of released males are required before the sterile-release method becomes ineffective. Additionally, if released males suffer a mortality cost, older males should be released due to their increased mating capacity. If released males are of a homogenous size and size-assortative mating occurs in nature, this can lead to an increase in the abundance of large females and reduce the efficacy of the population-suppression effort. At a high level of size-assortative mating, the disease transmission potential of the vector population increases due to male releases, arguing for the release of a heterogeneously-sized male population. The female population was most sensitive to perturbations of density-dependent components of larval mortality and female survivorship and fecundity. These findings suggest source reduction might be a particularly effective complement to mosquito control based on the sterile insect technique (SIT). In order for SIT to realize its potential as a key component of an integrated vector-management strategy to control mosquito-transmitted pathogens, programme design of sterile-male release programmes must account for the ecology, behaviour and life history of mosquitoes. The model used here takes a step in this direction and can

  18. A role for acoustic distortion in novel rapid frequency modulation behaviour in free-flying male mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Simões, Patrício M V; Ingham, Robert A; Gibson, Gabriella; Russell, Ian J

    2016-07-01

    We describe a new stereotypical acoustic behaviour by male mosquitoes in response to the fundamental frequency of female flight tones during mating sequences. This male-specific free-flight behaviour consists of phonotactic flight beginning with a steep increase in wing-beat frequency (WBF) followed by rapid frequency modulation (RFM) of WBF in the lead up to copula formation. Male RFM behaviour involves remarkably fast changes in WBF and can be elicited without acoustic feedback or physical presence of the female. RFM features are highly consistent, even in response to artificial tones that do not carry the multi-harmonic components of natural female flight tones. Comparison between audiograms of the robust RFM behaviour and the electrical responses of the auditory Johnston's organ (JO) reveals that the male JO is tuned not to the female WBF per se but, remarkably, to the difference between the male and female WBFs. This difference is generated in the JO responses as a result of intermodulation distortion products (DPs) caused by non-linear interaction between male-female flight tones in the vibrations of the antenna. We propose that male mosquitoes rely on their own flight tones in making use of DPs to acoustically detect, locate and orientate towards flying females. We argue that the previously documented flight-tone harmonic convergence of flying male and female mosquitoes could be a consequence of WBF adjustments so that DPs generated through flight-tone interaction fall within the optimal frequency ranges for JO detection. PMID:27122548

  19. A nose that roars: anatomical specializations and behavioural features of rutting male saiga

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Roland; Volodin, Ilya; Volodina, Elena

    2007-01-01

    The involvement of the unique saiga nose in vocal production has been neglected so far. Rutting male saigas produce loud nasal roars. Prior to roaring, they tense and extend their noses in a highly stereotypic manner. This change of nose configuration includes dorsal folding and convex curving of the nasal vestibulum and is maintained until the roar ends. Red and fallow deer males that orally roar achieve a temporary increase of vocal tract length (vtl) by larynx retraction. Saiga males attain a similar effect by pulling their flexible nasal vestibulum rostrally, allowing for a temporary elongation of the nasal vocal tract by about 20%. Decrease of formant frequencies and formant dispersion, as acoustic effects of an increase of vtl, are assumed to convey important information on the quality of a dominant male to conspecifics, e.g. on body size and fighting ability. Nasal roaring in saiga may equally serve to deter rival males and to attract females. Anatomical constraints might have set a limit to the rostral pulling of the nasal vestibulum. It seems likely that the sexual dimorphism of the saiga nose was induced by sexual selection. Adult males of many mammalian species, after sniffing or licking female urine or genital secretions, raise their head and strongly retract their upper lip and small nasal vestibulum while inhalating orally. This flehmen behaviour is assumed to promote transport of non-volatile substances via the incisive ducts into the vomeronasal organs for pheromone detection. The flehmen aspect in saiga involves the extensive flexible walls of the greatly enlarged nasal vestibulum and is characterized by a distinctly concave configuration of the nose region, the reverse of that observed in nasal roaring. A step-by-step model for the gradual evolution of the saiga nose is presented here. PMID:17971116

  20. Complex vibratory patterns in an elephant larynx.

    PubMed

    Herbst, Christian T; Svec, Jan G; Lohscheller, Jörg; Frey, Roland; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Stoeger, Angela S; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2013-11-01

    Elephants' low-frequency vocalizations are produced by flow-induced self-sustaining oscillations of laryngeal tissue. To date, little is known in detail about the vibratory phenomena in the elephant larynx. Here, we provide a first descriptive report of the complex oscillatory features found in the excised larynx of a 25 year old female African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the largest animal sound generator ever studied experimentally. Sound production was documented with high-speed video, acoustic measurements, air flow and sound pressure level recordings. The anatomy of the larynx was studied with computed tomography (CT) and dissections. Elephant CT vocal anatomy data were further compared with the anatomy of an adult human male. We observed numerous unusual phenomena, not typically reported in human vocal fold vibrations. Phase delays along both the inferior-superior and anterior-posterior (A-P) dimension were commonly observed, as well as transverse travelling wave patterns along the A-P dimension, previously not documented in the literature. Acoustic energy was mainly created during the instant of glottal opening. The vestibular folds, when adducted, participated in tissue vibration, effectively increasing the generated sound pressure level by 12 dB. The complexity of the observed phenomena is partly attributed to the distinct laryngeal anatomy of the elephant larynx, which is not simply a large-scale version of its human counterpart. Travelling waves may be facilitated by low fundamental frequencies and increased vocal fold tension. A travelling wave model is proposed, to account for three types of phenomena: A-P travelling waves, 'conventional' standing wave patterns, and irregular vocal fold vibration. PMID:24133151

  1. The Effect of Timing of Female Vibrational Reply on Male Signalling and Searching Behaviour in the Leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi.

    PubMed

    Kuhelj, Anka; de Groot, Maarten; Blejec, Andrej; Virant-Doberlet, Meta

    2015-01-01

    Sexual communication in animals often involves duetting characterized by a coordinated reciprocal exchange of acoustic signals. We used playback experiments to study the role of timing of a female reply in the species-specific duet structure in the leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). In leafhoppers, mate recognition and location is mediated exclusively by species- and sex-specific substrate-borne vibrational signals and a female signal emitted in reply to male advertisement calls is essential for recognition and successful location of the female. In A. makarovi, males have to initiate each exchange of vibrational signals between partners, and in a duet the beginning of a female reply overlaps the end of the male advertisement call. Results of playback treatments in which female replies were delayed and did not overlap with the male call revealed that in order to trigger an appropriate behavioural response of the male, female reply has to appear in a period less than 400 ms after the end of the initiating male call. Results also suggest that males are not able to detect a female reply while calling, since female reply that did not continue after the end of male call triggered male behaviour similar to behaviour observed in the absence of female reply. Together, our results show that vibrational duets are tightly coordinated and that the species-specific duet structure plays an important role in mate recognition in location processes. PMID:26488472

  2. The Effect of Timing of Female Vibrational Reply on Male Signalling and Searching Behaviour in the Leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi

    PubMed Central

    Kuhelj, Anka; de Groot, Maarten; Blejec, Andrej; Virant-Doberlet, Meta

    2015-01-01

    Sexual communication in animals often involves duetting characterized by a coordinated reciprocal exchange of acoustic signals. We used playback experiments to study the role of timing of a female reply in the species-specific duet structure in the leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). In leafhoppers, mate recognition and location is mediated exclusively by species- and sex-specific substrate-borne vibrational signals and a female signal emitted in reply to male advertisement calls is essential for recognition and successful location of the female. In A. makarovi, males have to initiate each exchange of vibrational signals between partners, and in a duet the beginning of a female reply overlaps the end of the male advertisement call. Results of playback treatments in which female replies were delayed and did not overlap with the male call revealed that in order to trigger an appropriate behavioural response of the male, female reply has to appear in a period less than 400 ms after the end of the initiating male call. Results also suggest that males are not able to detect a female reply while calling, since female reply that did not continue after the end of male call triggered male behaviour similar to behaviour observed in the absence of female reply. Together, our results show that vibrational duets are tightly coordinated and that the species-specific duet structure plays an important role in mate recognition in location processes. PMID:26488472

  3. Reproductive and sexual behaviour development of dam or artificially reared male lambs.

    PubMed

    Damián, Juan Pablo; Beracochea, Florencia; Hötzel, Maria José; Banchero, Georgget; Ungerfeld, Rodolfo

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if artificially reared male lambs differ from those reared by their mothers in their reproductive development and sexual behaviour during the first breeding season and in their serum testosterone to a GnRH challenge at the end of the first breeding season. Lambs were assigned to two experimental groups: 1) artificially reared lambs, separated from their dams 24-36h after birth (Week 0) and fed sheep milk until 10weeks of age (group AR, n=14); and 2) lambs reared by their dams until 10weeks of age (group DR, n=13). Reproductive parameters and sexual behaviour were recorded from Weeks 9 to 39. The GnRH challenge was performed on Week 40. Body weight, scrotal circumference, gonado-somatic index, testosterone concentration and sperm parameters were unaffected by group, but increased with age (P<0.0001). Lambs reared by their mothers had greater values of gonado-somatic index on Weeks 9, 16 and 19 (P<0.05), and tended to reach puberty earlier than AR (22.9±0.7 vs. 25.1±1.1weeks, respectively, P=0.087). Lambs reared by their mothers presented more lateral approaches and mount attempts than AR (P<0.05), and DR lambs presented more mounts on Weeks 32 and 39 than AR (P<0.05). Blood testosterone concentrations 3.5 and 4h after the GnRH challenge were higher in AR than in DR lambs (P<0.05). In conclusion mother rearing promoted sexual behaviour and reproductive performance of male lambs. PMID:25846838

  4. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state-space models.

    PubMed

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-04-22

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State-space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. PMID:25808888

  5. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state–space models

    PubMed Central

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-01-01

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State–space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. PMID:25808888

  6. Variation in body condition during the post-moult foraging trip of southern elephant seals and its consequences on diving behaviour.

    PubMed

    Richard, Gaëtan; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Jouma'a, Joffrey; Picard, Baptiste; Génin, Alexandre; Arnould, John P Y; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2014-07-15

    Mature female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) come ashore only in October to breed and in January to moult, spending the rest of the year foraging at sea. Mature females may lose as much as 50% of their body mass, mostly in lipid stores, during the breeding season due to fasting and lactation. When departing to sea, post-breeding females are negatively buoyant, and the relative change in body condition (i.e. density) during the foraging trip has previously been assessed by monitoring the descent rate during drift dives. However, relatively few drift dives are performed, resulting in low resolution of the temporal reconstruction of body condition change. In this study, six post-breeding females were equipped with time-depth recorders and accelerometers to investigate whether changes in active swimming effort and speed could be used as an alternative method of monitoring density variations throughout the foraging trip. In addition, we assessed the consequences of density change on the swimming efforts of individuals while diving and investigated the effects on dive duration. Both descent swimming speed and ascent swimming effort were found to be strongly correlated to descent rate during drift dives, enabling the fine-scale monitoring of seal density change over the whole trip. Negatively buoyant seals minimized swimming effort during descents, gliding down at slower speeds, and reduced their ascent swimming effort to maintain a nearly constant swimming speed as their buoyancy increased. One per cent of seal density variation over time was found to induce a 20% variation in swimming effort during dives with direct consequences on dive duration. PMID:24803471

  7. Temperature constraints on foraging behaviour of male Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) in summer.

    PubMed

    Aublet, Jean-François; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Bergero, Domenico; Bassano, Bruno

    2009-02-01

    In arctic and alpine environments, warm summer temperatures may force a reduction in foraging time of large herbivores, whose tolerance for heat is lower than for species adapted to warmer weather. We constructed time budgets for marked ibex (Capra ibex) males over two summers to test whether warm temperatures constrained foraging behaviour and forced altitudinal migrations. As daily temperature and solar radiation increased, feeding activity was reduced at midday and evening, but increased in the early morning, probably to anticipate for an expected reduction in foraging later in the day. With increasing temperature and solar radiation, ibex moved to higher elevations where they spent very little time feeding. Changes in forage quality and availability could not explain altitudinal migration. Temperatures above 15-20 degrees C apparently result in heat discomfort in male Alpine ibex. As temperature and solar radiation increased, older and larger ibex spent less time feeding during daylight and showed a steeper decrease in feeding time than younger and smaller ibex. Larger males may be more sensitive to temperature and solar radiation, or may have more flexibility in allocating time to different activities, given their lower relative energetic requirements. PMID:18987895

  8. An investigation into resting behavior in Asian elephants in UK zoos.

    PubMed

    Williams, Ellen; Bremner-Harrison, Samantha; Harvey, Naomi; Evison, Emma; Yon, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining adequate welfare in captive elephants is challenging. Few studies have investigated overnight rest behavior in zoo elephants, yet time spent resting has been identified as a welfare indicator in some species. We investigated resting behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in UK zoos, with the aim of identifying patterns or preferences in lying rest. Details of standing (SR) and lying (LR) rest behavior were identified by observing video footage of inside enclosures collected for 14 elephants (2 male, 12 female) housed at three UK zoos (Zoo A: 18 nights; Zoo B: 27 nights; Zoo C: 46 nights) from 16:00 to 08:30 (approximately). Elephants engaged in a mean of 58-337 min rest per night. Time of night affected mean duration of LR bouts (P < 0.001); longest bouts were observed between 22:01 and 06:00. Elephants showed a substrate preference when lying to rest; LR was not observed on concrete or tiled flooring. Where sand was available (to 11/14 elephants), all elephants engaged in LR on sand flooring. Only two elephants engaged in LR on rubber flooring (available to 7/14 elephants). Mean duration of rest bouts was greater when a conspecific was within two body lengths than when conspecifics were not (P < 0.01). Our study indicated that elephants show substrate preferences when choosing an area for rest and engage in more rest when conspecifics are in close proximity. The results of this study could be used as a basis for future studies investigating the link between rest and welfare in captive elephants. PMID:26189573

  9. Individuality in nest building: do southern masked weaver (Ploceus velatus) males vary in their nest-building behaviour?

    PubMed

    Walsh, Patrick T; Hansell, Mike; Borello, Wendy D; Healy, Susan D

    2011-09-01

    We currently have little understanding of how birds know what nest to build and what little we do know has been gained largely from investigations of the completed structures (morphology of finished nests) or of material selection. Here we looked at the behaviours performed by male Southern Masked weaverbirds when building their nests. During the two earliest phases of construction individual males varied in the direction in which they carried and inserted grass into their developing nest, the speed at which they completed phases of nest construction and in the frequency with which they dropped grass during weaving. Behaviours performed during the initial attachment phase, when grass is being secured to a bare branch, were not repeatable within males, whereas during the subsequent "ring" phase behaviours tended to be repeatable. Some males were biased as to which side of the nest they inserted grass blades and strongly lateralized individuals completed phases of nest-building more quickly. The lack of repeatability of most nest-building behaviours and the changes in those behaviours as males build more nests seems most readily explained by increasing dexterity. Further work is required to confirm any role for cognition in these experience-dependent changes. PMID:21736928

  10. Architectural organization of the african elephant diencephalon and brainstem.

    PubMed

    Maseko, Busisiwe C; Patzke, Nina; Fuxe, Kjell; Manger, Paul R

    2013-01-01

    novel concept regarding the reception and localization of infrasonic sources. The orexinergic system of the hypothalamus displayed a medial hypothalamic parvocellular cluster of neurons in addition to the magnocellular clusters typical of mammals located in the lateral hypothalamus, and a novel medial division of the locus coeruleus was observed in the pons. These systems are related to appetitive drive and promotion of wakefulness, two aspects of elephant behaviour that appear to be inextricably linked. Lastly, we observed an extensive potential neurogenic lining of the ventricles throughout the brainstem that is present in even quite old elephants, although the function of these cells remains elusive. These observations combined demonstrate that, while much of the elephant brainstem is typically mammalian, certain aspects of the anatomy related to specialized behaviour of elephants are present and instructive in understanding elephant behaviour. PMID:24021932

  11. Balancing the competing requirements of air-breathing and display behaviour during male-male interactions in Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens.

    PubMed

    Alton, Lesley A; Portugal, Steven J; White, Craig R

    2013-02-01

    Air-breathing fish of the Anabantoidei group meet their metabolic requirements for oxygen through both aerial and aquatic gas exchange. Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens are anabantoids that frequently engage in aggressive male-male interactions which cause significant increases in metabolic rate and oxygen requirements. These interactions involve opercular flaring behaviour that is thought to limit aquatic oxygen uptake, and combines with the increase in metabolic rate to cause an increase in air-breathing behaviour. Air-breathing events interrupt display behaviour and increase risk of predation, raising the question of how Siamese fighting fish manage their oxygen requirements during agonistic encounters. Using open-flow respirometry, we measured rate of oxygen consumption in displaying fish to determine if males increase oxygen uptake per breath to minimise visits to the surface, or increase their reliance on aquatic oxygen uptake. We found that the increased oxygen requirements of Siamese fighting fish during display behaviour were met by increased oxygen uptake from the air with no significant changes in aquatic oxygen uptake. The increased aerial oxygen uptake was achieved almost entirely by an increase in air-breathing frequency. We conclude that limitations imposed by the reduced gill surface area of air-breathing fish restrict the ability of Siamese fighting fish to increase aquatic uptake, and limitations of the air-breathing organ of anabantoids largely restrict their capacity to increase oxygen uptake per breath. The resulting need to increase surfacing frequency during metabolically demanding agonistic encounters has presumably contributed to the evolution of the stereotyped surfacing behaviour seen during male-male interactions, during which one of the fish will lead the other to the surface, and each will take a breath of air. PMID:23178457

  12. Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A.; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K.; Malloy, Elizabeth J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Mench, Joy A.; Carlstead, Kathy; Brown, Janine L.

    2016-01-01

    This study quantified social life events hypothesized to affect the welfare of zoo African and Asian elephants, focusing on animals that were part of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional elephant welfare study in North America. Age was calculated based on recorded birth dates and an age-based account of life event data for each elephant was compiled. These event histories included facility transfers, births and deaths of offspring, and births and deaths of non-offspring herd mates. Each event was evaluated as a total number of events per elephant, lifetime rate of event exposure, and age at first event exposure. These were then compared across three categories: species (African vs. Asian); sex (male vs. female); and origin (imported vs. captive-born). Mean age distributions differed (p<0.05) between the categories: African elephants were 6 years younger than Asian elephants, males were 12 years younger than females, and captive-born elephants were 20 years younger than imported elephants. Overall, the number of transfers ranged from 0 to 10, with a 33% higher age-adjusted transfer rate for imported African than imported Asian elephants, and 37% lower rate for imported females than males (p<0.05). Other differences (p<0.05) included a 96% higher rate of offspring births for captive-born females than those imported from range countries, a 159% higher rate of birthing event exposures for captive-born males than for their imported counterparts, and Asian elephant females being 4 years younger than African females when they produced their first calf. In summarizing demographic and social life events of elephants in North American zoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications. PMID:27415437

  13. Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Malloy, Elizabeth J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Mench, Joy A; Carlstead, Kathy; Brown, Janine L

    2016-01-01

    This study quantified social life events hypothesized to affect the welfare of zoo African and Asian elephants, focusing on animals that were part of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional elephant welfare study in North America. Age was calculated based on recorded birth dates and an age-based account of life event data for each elephant was compiled. These event histories included facility transfers, births and deaths of offspring, and births and deaths of non-offspring herd mates. Each event was evaluated as a total number of events per elephant, lifetime rate of event exposure, and age at first event exposure. These were then compared across three categories: species (African vs. Asian); sex (male vs. female); and origin (imported vs. captive-born). Mean age distributions differed (p<0.05) between the categories: African elephants were 6 years younger than Asian elephants, males were 12 years younger than females, and captive-born elephants were 20 years younger than imported elephants. Overall, the number of transfers ranged from 0 to 10, with a 33% higher age-adjusted transfer rate for imported African than imported Asian elephants, and 37% lower rate for imported females than males (p<0.05). Other differences (p<0.05) included a 96% higher rate of offspring births for captive-born females than those imported from range countries, a 159% higher rate of birthing event exposures for captive-born males than for their imported counterparts, and Asian elephant females being 4 years younger than African females when they produced their first calf. In summarizing demographic and social life events of elephants in North American zoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications. PMID:27415437

  14. It Gets Crowded with an Elephant and an Ape in the Room: Teaching about Female and Male Cognitive Differences and Similarities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halpern, Diane F.

    2014-01-01

    It is important to understand the many controversies about cognitive sex differences because beliefs about these differences are often used to justify pubic policies and individual actions. As teachers of psychology, we need to provide a safe environment where students can think and argue about why, how, and how much females and males are similar…

  15. Use of a deslorelin implant for influencing sex hormones and male behaviour in a stallion - Case report.

    PubMed

    Schönert, Susanne; Reher, Martina; Gruber, Achim D; Carstanjen, Bianca

    2012-12-01

    This case report describes the use of a subcutaneously applied 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implant in a three-year-old Arabian crossbred stallion showing unwanted strong male behaviour. Following deslorelin acetate implantation the stallion showed a short transitional increase in male behaviour. A 'gelding-like' behaviour was noted 15 days (D15) after treatment. The horse was surgically castrated at the owners request at D52 after treatment. Serum testosterone, oestradiol-17β and oestrone sulphate values decreased after deslorelin acetate implantation, but serum LH and FSH levels remained unchanged. Histopathological analysis of both testes and sperm analysis revealed a reduced spermatogenesis at D52. The testicular volume decreased after treatment. The use of a subcutaneously applied deslorelin acetate implant might be a promising tool to change the behaviour of aggressive stallions. PMID:23160033

  16. Is painting by elephants in zoos as enriching as we are led to believe?

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Gisela; Rogers, Lesley J.

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the activity of painting and performance of stereotyped and other stress-related behaviour was investigated in four captive Asian elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. The activity involved the elephant being instructed to paint on a canvas by its keeper in front of an audience. Painting by elephants in zoos is commonly believed to be a form of enrichment, but this assumption had not been based on any systematic research. If an activity is enriching we would expect stress-related behaviour to be reduced but we found no evidence of the elephants anticipating the painting activity and no effect on the performance of stereotyped or other stress-related behaviour either before or after the painting session. This indicates that the activity does not fulfil one of the main aims of enrichment. However, if an elephant was not selected to paint on a given day this was associated with higher levels of non-interactive behaviour, a possible indicator of stress. Behavioural observations associated with ear, eye and trunk positions during the painting session showed that the elephant’s attentiveness to the painting activity or to the keeper giving instruction varied between individuals. Apart from positive reinforcement from the keeper, the results indicated that elephants gain little enrichment from the activity of painting. Hence, the benefits of this activity appear to be limited to the aesthetic appeal of these paintings to the people viewing them. PMID:25071994

  17. Immunogenetics of the Elephant Seal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garza, John Carlos

    1999-01-01

    The goals of this cooperative agreement fall into three categories: 1) A basic description of Immunogenetic variation in the northern elephant seal genome; 2) A basic genetic map of the northern elephant seal genome; 3). Microevolutionary forces in the northern elephant seal genome. The results described in this report were acquired using funds from this cooperative agreement together with funds from a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant.

  18. Effect of Bombax ceiba L. on spermatogenesis, sexual behaviour and erectile function in male rats.

    PubMed

    Bhargava, C; Thakur, M; Yadav, S K

    2012-05-01

    A number of herbal drugs are advocated in the traditional Ayurvedic literature for the improvement of overall sexual function. Young roots of Bombax ceiba Linn. (Fam. Bombacaceae) [correction added after online publication 1 August 2011: the family of Bombax ceiba was incorrectly mentioned as Orchidaceae. It has been corrected to Bombacaceae] also known as Semal Musli are used traditionally in Indian subcontinent as sexual stimulant. Its juice is considered nutritive and restorative tonic. Lyophilised aqueous extract of roots was studied for effect on sexual behaviour and spermatogenesis in male albino rats. Administration of 100 mg Kg(-1) body weight of aqueous extract influenced the five parameters evaluated in vivo. Sexual behaviour analysis in the presence of a female rate, serum testosterone level, anabolic effects, epididymal sperm count and seminal fructose level were the parameters evaluated. In B. ceiba extract-treated animals, a gain in body and sexual organ weights was observed. Mount, intromission and ejaculation frequencies were significantly improved (P < 0.05). An increase in serum testosterone levels was also observed, but it was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Seminal fructose content and epididymal sperm count were significantly improved as well. Penile erection index was also higher compared to control group animals. Hesitation time was significantly reduced (P < 0.01), and copulatory rate was doubled in treated animals compared with control group animals. PMID:21806665

  19. Genetic composition of social groups influences male aggressive behaviour and fitness in natural genotypes of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Saltz, Julia B.

    2013-01-01

    Indirect genetic effects (IGEs) describe how an individual's behaviour—which is influenced by his or her genotype—can affect the behaviours of interacting individuals. IGE research has focused on dyads. However, insights from social networks research, and other studies of group behaviour, suggest that dyadic interactions are affected by the behaviour of other individuals in the group. To extend IGE inferences to groups of three or more, IGEs must be considered from a group perspective. Here, I introduce the ‘focal interaction’ approach to study IGEs in groups. I illustrate the utility of this approach by studying aggression among natural genotypes of Drosophila melanogaster. I chose two natural genotypes as ‘focal interactants’: the behavioural interaction between them was the ‘focal interaction’. One male from each focal interactant genotype was present in every group, and I varied the genotype of the third male—the ‘treatment male’. Genetic variation in the treatment male's aggressive behaviour influenced the focal interaction, demonstrating that IGEs in groups are not a straightforward extension of IGEs measured in dyads. Further, the focal interaction influenced male mating success, illustrating the role of IGEs in behavioural evolution. These results represent the first manipulative evidence for IGEs at the group level. PMID:24068359

  20. First report of behavioural lateralisation in mosquitoes: right-biased kicking behaviour against males in females of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni; Romano, Donato; Messing, Russell H; Canale, Angelo

    2015-04-01

    Lateralisation (i.e. functional and/or structural specialisations of left and right sides of the brain) of aggressive traits has been studied in a number of vertebrates, while evidence for invertebrates is scarce. Mosquito females display aggressive responses against undesired males, performing rejection kicks with the hind legs. In this research, we examined lateralisation of kicking behaviour in females of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. We found a right-biased population-level lateralisation of kicking behaviour. Four repeated testing phases on mosquito females confirmed the preferential use of right legs. However, when left legs were used, the mean number of kicks per rejection event was not different to that performed with right legs. Both left and right kicking behaviour lead to successful displacement of undesired partners. This is the first report about behavioural lateralisation in mosquitoes. PMID:25648446

  1. Relationship dynamics and sexual risk behaviour of male partners of female sex workers in Kampala, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Mbonye, Martin; Siu, Godfrey E; Kiwanuka, Thadeus; Seeley, Janet

    2016-07-01

    Regular male partners of female sex workers (FSWs) represent an important population to reach with HIV-prevention interventions. This paper discusses the relationship dynamics and HIV/sexually transmitted infection risk behaviour of men involved with self-identified FSWs in Kampala. Between 2011 and 2014 we conducted repeat in-depth interviews with 42 male partners of FSWs attending a clinic for women at high risk of HIV-infection in Kampala. Men publicly struggled with the stigma of dating women who are considered to be engaged in a shamed profession, but privately saw meaning in these relationships. In coping with the stigma, some described the work of their partners in terms that distanced them from sex work, while others struggled to have the control that "being a man" demanded since they could not monitor all movements of their partners. Dealing with HIV disclosure was hard and seeking support was difficult for some of the men, leading to missed opportunities and guilt. Despite challenges, relationships with sex workers offered men some benefits such as access to much needed care and treatment. A few men also admitted to being motivated by material and financial benefits from sex workers who they perceived as being rich and this was one factor that helped them sustain the relationships. These findings offer insights into the complex relationship dynamics within high risk sexual partnerships. However, the findings suggest that effective interventions that are couple centred can be established to promote better health. PMID:27399044

  2. Effect of short term administration of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) on reproductive behaviour of adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Kantak, N M; Gogate, M G

    1992-04-01

    Effect of feeding Tulsi leaves along with the normal diet, on the reproductory behaviour of adult male Wistar rats, was studied. Experimental animals were given Tulsi extract in graded doses of 100 mg/kg, 150 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and 400 mg/kg along with the normal diet while control group only had similar normal diet. Each dose was given for 15 days and reproductory behaviour monitored in terms of score, on every alternative day. There was significant decrease in sexual behavioural score, when Tulsi leaves extract dose was increased to 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg. PMID:1506071

  3. Sexual behaviour and neuronal activation in the vomeronasal pathway and hypothalamus of food-deprived male rats.

    PubMed

    Caquineau, C; Leng, G; Douglas, A J

    2012-04-01

    As feeding and mating are mutually-exclusive goal-orientated behaviours, we investigated whether brief food deprivation would impair the display of sexual behaviour of male rats. Analysis of performance in a sexual incentive motivation test revealed that, similar to fed males, food-deprived males preferred spending time in the vicinity of receptive females rather than nonreceptive females. Despite this, food-deprived males were more likely to be slow to mate than normally-fed males, and a low dose of the satiety peptide α-melanocyte-stimulating-hormone attenuated the effect of hunger. Using Fos immunocytochemistry, we compared neuronal activity in the vomeronasal projection pathway in response to oestrous cues from receptive females between food-deprived and fed males. As in fed males, more Fos expression was seen in the rostral part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and in the medial preoptic area in food-deprived males, confirming that food-deprived males can recognise and respond to female oestrous cues. However, although there was also an increase in Fos expression in the bed nucleus of the accessory tract and in the posteromedial amygdala in fed males, no increases were seen in these areas in food-deprived rats. We also found selective attenuation in the activation of lateral posterior paraventricular nucleus (lpPVN) oxytocin neurones in food-deprived males. Taken together, the data show that, although food-deprived males can still become sexually motivated, copulation is delayed, and this is accompanied by variations in neuronal activity in the vomeronasal projection pathway. We propose that, in hungry rats, the lpPVN oxytocin neurones (which project to the spinal cord and are involved in maintaining penile erection) facilitate the transition from motivation to intromission, and their lack of activation impairs intromission, and thus delays mating. PMID:22309296

  4. First reported case of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus infection in Laos.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, Bertrand; Xaymountry, Bounmy; Thongtip, Nikorn; Lertwatcharasarakul, Preeda; Wajjwalku, Worawidh

    2014-09-01

    The elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is now recognized as one of the main causes of death of young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American zoos. Its impact in wild and domestic elephant populations in Asia is not clearly understood. This article describes the first case of EEHV infection in Lao People's Democratic Republic of a 2.5-yr-old domestic male Asian elephant. Clinical signs and pathological findings reported here are consistent with previous infections in Asian elephant calves. Phylogenetic analyses showed 100% homology with other EEHV-1A strains identified in Asia, Europe, and North America. Contamination of the molecular assays was ruled out, because the DNA polymerase sequence identified in this study differed from the positive control by two base pairs. PMID:25314848

  5. Skewed birth sex ratio and premature mortality in elephants.

    PubMed

    Saragusty, Joseph; Hermes, Robert; Göritz, Frank; Schmitt, Dennis L; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2009-10-01

    Sex allocation theories predict equal offspring number of both sexes unless differential investment is required or some competition exists. Left undisturbed, elephants reproduce well and in approximately even numbers in the wild. We report an excess of males are born and substantial juvenile mortality occurs, perinatally, in captivity. Studbook data on captive births (CB, n=487) and premature deaths (PD, <5 years of age; n=164) in Asian and African elephants in Europe and North America were compared with data on Myanmar timber (Asian) elephants (CB, n=3070; PD, n=738). Growth in CB was found in three of the captive populations. A significant excess of male births occurred in European Asian elephants (ratio: 0.61, P=0.044) and in births following artificial insemination (0.83, P=0.003), and a numerical inclination in North American African elephants (0.6). While juvenile mortality in European African and Myanmar populations was 21-23%, it was almost double (40-45%) in all other captive populations. In zoo populations, 68-91% of PD were within 1 month of birth with stillbirth and infanticide being major causes. In Myanmar, 62% of juvenile deaths were at >6 months with maternal insufficient milk production, natural hazards and accidents being the main causes. European Asian and Myanmar elephants PD was biased towards males (0.71, P=0.024 and 0.56, P<0.001, respectively). The skewed birth sex ratio and high juvenile mortality hinder efforts to help captive populations become self-sustaining. Efforts should be invested to identify the mechanism behind these trends and seek solutions for them. PMID:19058933

  6. Longitudinal study of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, indicates intermittent shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Laura; Dunham, Stephen; Yon, Lisa; Chapman, Sarah; Kenaghan, Megan; Purdie, Laura; Tarlinton, Rachael

    2015-01-01

    Introduction EEHV-1 is a viral infection of elephants that has been associated with a fatal haemorrhagic syndrome in Asian elephants. Previous studies have suggested that pregnant animals may shed more virus than non-pregnant animals. Methods This study examined whether pregnancy affected the frequency or magnitude of shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 (EEHV1) using Taq man real-time PCR on trunk washes from four female elephants from a UK collection over three time periods between 2011 and 2014. These periods included pregnancies in two animals (period 1 and period 3). Behavioural observations made by keepers were also assessed. Results During period 1 there was a high degree of social hierarchical instability which led to a hierarchy change, and was associated with aggressive behaviour. Also during period 1 EEHV-1 shedding was of a higher magnitude and frequency than in the latter two time periods. Conclusions These results suggest that there is no clear relationship between shedding and pregnancy, and that behavioural stressors may be related to an increase in EEHV-1 shedding. PMID:26392899

  7. Concurrent modulation of neuronal and behavioural olfactory responses to sex and host plant cues in a male moth

    PubMed Central

    Kromann, Sophie H.; Saveer, Ahmed M.; Binyameen, Muhammad; Bengtsson, Marie; Birgersson, Göran; Hansson, Bill S.; Schlyter, Fredrik; Witzgall, Peter; Ignell, Rickard; Becher, Paul G.

    2015-01-01

    Mating has profound effects on animal physiology and behaviour, not only in females but also in males, which we show here for olfactory responses. In cotton leafworm moths, Spodoptera littoralis, odour-mediated attraction to sex pheromone and plant volatiles are modulated after mating, producing a behavioural response that matches the physiological condition of the male insect. Unmated males are attracted by upwind flight to sex pheromone released by calling females, as well as to volatiles of lilac flowers and green leaves of the host plant cotton, signalling adult food and mating sites, respectively. Mating temporarily abolishes male attraction to females and host plant odour, but does not diminish attraction to flowers. This behavioural modulation is correlated with a response modulation in the olfactory system, as shown by electro-physiological recordings from antennae and by functional imaging of the antennal lobe, using natural odours and synthetic compounds. An effect of mating on the olfactory responses to pheromone and cotton plant volatiles but not to lilac flowers indicates the presence of functionally independent neural circuits within the olfactory system. Our results indicate that these circuits interconnect and weigh perception of social and habitat odour signals to generate appropriate behavioural responses according to mating state. PMID:25621329

  8. Brief cognitive behavioural therapy with male adolescent offenders in open custody or on probation: an evaluation of management of anger.

    PubMed

    Valliant, P M; Jensen, B; Raven-Brook, L

    1995-06-01

    A 6-wk. cognitive behavioural program administered to 24 adolescent male offenders assigned to open custody and 5 to probation showed no mean differences on the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, and the Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory. Significant correlations were found for the personality measures with pretreatment and posttreatment scores on the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory. PMID:7568580

  9. Assessing the General Education Elephant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eubanks, David A.

    2008-01-01

    Determining the success of a general education program can resemble the task of John Godfrey's six blind men in trying to acquaint themselves with an elephant. One man's approach is to feel the tusk and conclude that the elephant is a spear. Another approach leads to thinking that the broad side of the animal is a wall. The many ways of asking and…

  10. A comparison of the effects of different serotonin reuptake blockers on sexual behaviour of the male rat.

    PubMed

    Mos, J; Mollet, I; Tolboom, J T; Waldinger, M D; Olivier, B

    1999-01-01

    In human males, SSRIs differentially affect (premature) ejaculation; paroxetine and fluoxetine markedly and sertraline, moderately inhibited ejaculation latency, whereas fluvoxamine did not inhibit this parameter (Waldinger, M.D., Hengeveld, M.W., Zwinderman, A.H., Olivier, B., The effect of SSRI antidepressants on ejaculation: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study with fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline. J. Clin. Psychopharmacol. (in press)). The present studies tried to investigate, using sexual behaviour in male rats, whether such differences could also be found in animal paradigms of sexual behaviour. In a series of three experiments we compared various specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for their ability to suppress sexual behaviour in male rats. In the first experiment sexually experienced rats were tested 60 min after oral administration of clomipramine, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine (all in a range of 0, 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg p.o.), sertraline or paroxetine (both in a range of 0, 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg p.o.). Clomipramine, paroxetine and fluvoxamine did not significantly inhibit male sexual behaviour, although some trends were observed. Sertraline inhibited sexual behaviour at 3 and 10 mg/kg p.o., the effects being stronger at 3 mg/kg p.o. Fluoxetine (3 mg/kg p.o.) facilitated sexual behaviour, while at 30 mg/kg p.o. a modest increase in the postejaculatory interval was noted. In the second experiment, sexual behaviour of sexually naive male rats was slightly inhibited by paroxetine 10 mg/kg p.o., but sertraline (range 1-10 mg/kg p.o.), fluvoxamine and fluoxetine (both in a range of 3-30 mg/kg p.o.) were ineffective. In the last experiment the effects of paroxetine (0-10 mg/kg p.o.), fluvoxamine and fluoxetine (both 0-30 mg/kg p.o.) were studied during an exhaustion design in sexually experienced male rats. As rats get more 'sluggish' when they have had multiple ejaculations, we hoped to see stronger inhibitory effects in the

  11. Health-seeking behaviour of male foreign migrant workers living in a dormitory in Singapore

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Foreign workers’ migrant status may hinder their utilisation of health services. This study describes the health-seeking behaviour and beliefs of a group of male migrant workers in Singapore and the barriers limiting their access to primary healthcare. Methods A cross-sectional study of 525 male migrant workers, ≥21 years old and of Indian, Bangladeshi or Myanmar nationality, was conducted at a dormitory via self-administered questionnaires covering demographics, prevalence of medical conditions and health-seeking behaviours through hypothetical scenarios and personal experience. Results 71% (95%CI: 67 to 75%) of participants did not have or were not aware if they had healthcare insurance. 53% (95%CI: 48 to 57%) reported ever having had an illness episode while in Singapore, of whom 87% (95%CI: 82 to 91%) saw a doctor. The number of rest days was significantly associated with higher probability of having consulted a doctor for their last illness episode (p = 0.026), and higher basic monthly salary was associated with seeing a doctor within 3 days of illness (p = 0.002). Of those who saw a doctor, 84% (95%CI: 79 to 89%) responded that they did so because they felt medical care would help them to work better. While 55% (95%CI: 36 to 73%) said they did not see a doctor because the illness was not serious, those with lower salaries were significantly more likely to cite inadequate finances (55% of those earning < S$500/month). In hypothetical injury or illness scenarios, most responded that they would see the doctor, but a sizeable proportion (15% 95%CI: 12 to 18%) said they would continue to work even in a work-related injury scenario that caused severe pain and functional impairment. Those with lower salaries were significantly more likely to believe they would have to pay for their own healthcare or be uncertain about who would pay. Conclusions The majority of foreign workers in this study sought healthcare when they fell ill. However

  12. Factor analysis shows that female rat behaviour is characterized primarily by activity, male rats are driven by sex and anxiety.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, C; González, M I; Wilson, C A; File, S E

    1999-12-01

    This experiment explored sex differences in behaviour using factor analysis to describe the relationship between different behavioral variables. A principal component solution with an orthogonal rotation of the factor matrix was used, ensuring that the extracted factors are independent of one another, and thus reflect separate processes. In the elevated plus-maze test of anxiety, in male rats factor 1 accounted for 75% of the variance and reflected anxiety, factor 2 represented activity, and accounted for 24% of the variance. This contrasted with the finding in female rats in which factor 1 was activity, accounting for 57% of the variance, with the anxiety factor accounting for only 34% of the variance. When behaviour in both the plus-maze and holeboard were analysed, a similar sex difference was found with anxiety emerging as factor 1 in males and holeboard activity as factor 1 in females. Locomotor activity in the inner portion of the holeboard loaded on the anxiety factor for males, but on activity for females. When behaviours in the plus-maze and sexual orientation tests were analysed, anxiety emerged as factor 1 in males, sexual preferences factor 2, and activity factor 3. In females, activity was factor 1, sexual preference factor 2, anxiety factor 3, and social interest factor 4. These results suggest caution should be exercised in interpreting the results from female rats in tests validated on males because the primary controlling factor may be different. PMID:10593196

  13. Demographic Variables for Wild Asian Elephants Using Longitudinal Observations

    PubMed Central

    de Silva, Shermin; Webber, C. Elizabeth; Weerathunga, U. S.; Pushpakumara, T. V.; Weerakoon, Devaka K.; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Detailed demographic data on wild Asian elephants have been difficult to collect due to habitat characteristics of much of the species’ remaining range. Such data, however, are critical for understanding and modeling population processes in this endangered species. We present data from six years of an ongoing study of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka. This relatively undisturbed population numbering over one thousand elephants is individually monitored, providing cohort-based information on mortality and reproduction. Reproduction was seasonal, such that most births occurred during the long inter-monsoon dry season and peaked in May. During the study, the average age at first reproduction was 13.4 years and the 50th percentile inter-birth interval was approximately 6 years. Birth sex ratios did not deviate significantly from parity. Fecundity was relatively stable throughout the observed reproductive life of an individual (ages 11–60), averaging between 0.13–0.17 female offspring per individual per year. Mortalities and injuries based on carcasses and disappearances showed that males were significantly more likely than females to be killed or injured through anthropogenic activity. Overall, however, most observed injuries did not appear to be fatal. This population exhibits higher fecundity and density relative to published estimates on other Asian elephant populations, possibly enhanced by present range constriction. Understanding the factors responsible for these demographic dynamics can shed insight on the future needs of this elephant population, with probable parallels to other populations in similar settings. PMID:24376581

  14. Neural and behavioural changes in male periadolescent mice after prolonged nicotine-MDMA treatment.

    PubMed

    Adeniyi, Philip A; Ishola, Azeez O; Laoye, Babafemi J; Olatunji, Babawale P; Bankole, Oluwamolakun O; Shallie, Philemon D; Ogundele, Olalekan M

    2016-02-01

    The interaction between MDMA and Nicotine affects multiple brain centres and neurotransmitter systems (serotonin, dopamine and glutamate) involved in motor coordination and cognition. In this study, we have elucidated the effect of prolonged (10 days) MDMA, Nicotine and a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment on motor-cognitive neural functions. In addition, we have shown the correlation between the observed behavioural change and neural structural changes induced by these treatments in BALB/c mice. We observed that MDMA (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) induced a decline in motor function, while Nicotine (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) improved motor function in male periadolescent mice. In combined treatment, Nicotine reduced the motor function decline observed in MDMA treatment, thus no significant change in motor function for the combined treatment versus the control. Nicotine or MDMA treatment reduced memory function and altered hippocampal structure. Similarly, a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment reduced memory function when compared with the control. Ultimately, the metabolic and structural changes in these neural systems were seen to vary for the various forms of treatment. It is noteworthy to mention that a combined treatment increased the rate of lipid peroxidation in brain tissue. PMID:26088184

  15. Sociodemographic characteristics and HIV risk behaviour patterns of male sex workers in Madrid, Spain.

    PubMed

    Belza, M J; Llácer, A; Mora, R; Morales, M; Castilla, J; de la Fuente, L

    2001-10-01

    This paper describes the sociodemographic and work characteristics, prevalence of HIV infection and associated risk behaviours among male sex workers (MSWs) in Madrid (Spain). Using an anonymous semi-structured questionnaire, educators attached to a mobile unit under a street-based prostitution programme surveyed 84 MSWs from several Madrid areas. Of the total surveyed: 35% were immigrants, mean age was 23 years, mean period in prostitution was four years; 21% had no primary education; 16% had injected drugs at some time; 11% reported private sexual relationships exclusively with women; 89% always used condoms in anal practices with clients; and 41% were in sexual relationships with their partners. Only 11% had ever used fortified condoms. In the preceding month, 37% had experienced condom failure, 82% without having used any lubricant. In all, 67% reported having undergone HIV testing, with a higher percentage of positive results among injecting (60%) versus non-injecting drug users (17%). Immigrants had a lower level of education, made less use of condoms, had more condom failures and, in their private lives, a greater proportion reported sexual relationships exclusively with women. In Spain, MSWs should be included in HIV prevention programmes, which ought to be specifically adapted to immigrants. Priority should be given to reducing the condom failure rate in anal intercourse, by improving access to fortified condoms. PMID:11571014

  16. Understanding male sexual behaviour in planning HIV prevention programmes: lessons from Laos, a low prevalence country

    PubMed Central

    Toole, M J; Coghlan, B; Xeuatvongsa, A; Holmes, W R; Pheualavong, S; Chanlivong, N

    2006-01-01

    Methods Focus group discussions were conducted with a range of young men in Vientiane, Laos; interviews were conducted with male sex workers. A questionnaire survey was conducted with a purposive sample of 800 young men. Results Most young men initiate sex at an early age and have multiple sex partners. Married men are more likely to pay for sex and most sex for money is negotiated in non‐brothel settings. Despite high reported condom use for last intercourse with a casual partner, decisions on condom use are subjective. Many men have extramarital sex when their partner is pregnant and post partum. 18.5% of men report having had sex with another man; most of these men also report having sex with women. Moreover, more men report having had anal sex with a woman than with a man. Conclusions Although not a probability sample survey, this study of a broad range of young men in Vientiane reveals sexual behaviours that could lead to accelerated HIV transmission. Education should emphasise the need to use condoms in all sexual encounters outside the primary relationship. This needs special emphasis when the partner is pregnant or post partum. Advice on safe sex with other men needs to be integrated into all sexual health education for young men. PMID:16581739

  17. Behavioural evidence of male volatile pheromones in the sex-role reversed wolf spiders Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aisenberg, Anita; Baruffaldi, Luciana; González, Macarena

    2010-01-01

    The use of chemical signals in a sexual context is widespread in the animal kingdom. Most studies in spiders report the use of female pheromones that attract potential sexual partners. Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps are two burrowing wolf spiders that show sex-role reversal. Females locate male burrows and initiate courtship before males perform any detectable visual or vibratory signal. So, females of these species would be detecting chemical or mechanical cues left by males. Our objective was to explore the potential for male pheromones to play a role in mate detection in A. brasiliensis and A. alticeps. We designed two experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the occurrence of male contact pheromones by evaluating female courtship when exposed to empty burrows constructed by males or females (control). In Experiment 2, we tested the existence of male volatile pheromones by evaluating female behaviour when exposed to artificial burrows connected to tubes containing males, females or empty tubes (control). Our results suggest the occurrence of male volatile pheromones that trigger female courtship in both Allocosa species. The sex-role reversal postulated for these wolf spiders could be driving the consequent reversal in typical pheromone-emitter and detector roles expected for spiders.

  18. Behavioural determinants of gene flow in malaria vector populations: Anopheles gambiae males select large females as mates

    PubMed Central

    Okanda, FM; Dao, A; Njiru, BN; Arija, J; Akelo, HA; Touré, Y; Odulaja, A; Beier, JC; Githure, JI; Yan, G; Gouagna, LC; Knols, BGJ; Killeen, GF

    2002-01-01

    Background Plasmodium-refractory mosquitoes are being rapidly developed for malaria control but will only succeed if they can successfully compete for mates when released into the wild. Pre-copulatory behavioural traits maintain genetic population structure in wild mosquito populations and mating barriers have foiled previous attempts to control malaria vectors through sterile male release. Methods Varying numbers of virgin male and female Anopheles gambiae Giles, from two strains of different innate sizes, were allowed to mate under standardized conditions in laboratory cages, following which, the insemination status, oviposition success and egg batch size of each female was assessed. The influence of male and female numbers, strain combination and female size were determined using logistic regression, correlation analysis and a simple mechanistic model of male competition for females. Results Male An. gambiae select females on the basis of size because of much greater fecundity among large females. Even under conditions where large numbers of males must compete for a smaller number of females, the largest females are more likely to become inseminated, to successfully oviposit and to produce large egg batches. Conclusions Sexual selection, on the basis of size, could either promote or limit the spread of malaria-refractory genes into wild populations and needs to be considered in the continued development and eventual release of transgenic vectors. Fundamental studies of behavioural ecology in malaria vectors such as An. gambiae can have important implications for malaria control and should be prioritised for more extensive investigation in the future. PMID:12296972

  19. Effects of gonadectomy and serotonin depletion on inter-individual differences in anxiety-like behaviour in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Näslund, Jakob; Studer, Erik; Johansson, Elin; Eriksson, Elias

    2016-07-15

    Previous studies in Wistar rats suggest inter-individual differences in anxiety-like behaviour as assessed using the elevated plus maze (EPM), both between sexes and among males, to be abolished by serotonin depletion. To shed further light on the influence of sex steroids and serotonin - and on the interplay between the two - on proneness for EPM-assessed anxiety in males, outbred Wistar rats were divided into those with high and low anxiety, respectively, and exposed to gonadectomy or sham operation followed by administration of a serotonin synthesis inhibitor, para-chlorophenylalanine, or saline. Whereas gonadectomy enhanced anxiety-like behaviour in low anxiety rats so that these no longer differed in this regard from the high anxiety group, serotonin depletion reversed this effect, and also reduced anxiety in the low anxiety group regardless of gonadal state. A previously observed association between high anxiety-like behaviour and high expression of the serotonin-synthesizing enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) in the raphe was confirmed in sham-operated animals but absent in gonadectomised rats, an ANCOVA revealing a significant interactive effect of baseline anxiety and gonadal state on Tph2 expression. It is suggested that androgens may contribute to upholding inter-individual differences in anxiety-like behaviour in male rats by interacting with serotonergic neurotransmission. PMID:27083304

  20. Elephants also like coffee: trends and drivers of human-elephant conflicts in coffee agroforestry landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Bal, P; Nath, C D; Nanaya, K M; Kushalappa, C G; Garcia, C

    2011-05-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders. PMID:21359868

  1. Erratum to: Elephants also like coffee: Trends and drivers of human-elephant conflicts in coffee agroforestry landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Bal, P; Nath, C D; Nanaya, K M; Kushalappa, C G; Garcia, C

    2011-08-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders. PMID:21751010

  2. Male mate location behaviour and encounter sites in a community of tropical butterflies: taxonomic and site associations and distinctions.

    PubMed

    Tiple, Ashish D; Padwad, Sonali V; Dapporto, Leonardo; Dennis, Roger L H

    2010-12-01

    Male mate location behaviour and encounter sites have been studied in 72 butterfly species at Nagpur, India, and related to taxonomy, morphology, habitat and population parameters. Species can be placed in three broad classes of mate location behaviour: invariant patrolling, invariant perching, and perch-patrol, the latter associated with increasing site fidelity, territorial defence and male assemblages. Significant taxonomic differences occur, closely related species tending to share mate location behaviours. Morphological differences are found with heavier and larger butterflies displaying greater site fidelity and territorial defence, and differences occur between individuals of species which both perch and patrol. Invariant patrolling is particularly associated with tracks through vegetation, host planttrack distributions, and high female to male numbers observed on transects; invariant perching is linked more to edge features than patrolling, and to lower population counts on transects. Species which perch-patrol, defend territories and establish male assemblages are associated with more complex vegetation structures, and have encounter sites at vegetation edges, landforms and predictable resource (host plant) concentrations. Attention is drawn to the importance of distinctive mate encounter sites for the conservation of butterfly species' habitats. PMID:21289445

  3. Corridor use by Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Pan, Wenjing; Lin, Liu; Luo, Aidong; Zhang, Li

    2009-06-01

    There are 18 km of Kunming-Bangkok Highway passing through the Mengyang Nature Reserve of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China. From September 2005 to September 2006 the impact of this highway on movement of wild Asian elephants between the eastern and western part of the nature reserve was studied using track transecting, rural surveys and direct monitoring. Our results showed that the number of crossroad corridors used by Asian elephants diminished from 28 to 23 following the construction of the highway. In some areas, the elephant activity diminished or even disappeared, which indicated a change in their home ranges. The utilization rate of artificial corridors was 44%. We also found that elephants preferred artificial corridors that were placed along their original corridors. During the research, wild elephants revealed their adaptation to the highway. They were found walking across the highway road surface many times and for different reasons. We suggest that the highway management bureau should revise their management strategies to mitigate the potential risks caused by elephants on the road for the safety of the public and to protect this endangered species from harm. It is also very important to protect and maintain current Asian elephants corridors in this region. PMID:21392292

  4. Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age

    PubMed Central

    McComb, Karen; Shannon, Graeme; Durant, Sarah M.; Sayialel, Katito; Slotow, Rob; Poole, Joyce; Moss, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    The value of age is well recognized in human societies, where older individuals often emerge as leaders in tasks requiring specialized knowledge, but what part do such individuals play in other social species? Despite growing interest in how effective leadership might be achieved in animal social systems, the specific role that older leaders may play in decision-making has rarely been experimentally investigated. Here, we use a novel playback paradigm to demonstrate that in African elephants (Loxodonta africana), age affects the ability of matriarchs to make ecologically relevant decisions in a domain critical to survival—the assessment of predatory threat. While groups consistently adjust their defensive behaviour to the greater threat of three roaring lions versus one, families with younger matriarchs typically under-react to roars from male lions despite the severe danger they represent. Sensitivity to this key threat increases with matriarch age and is greatest for the oldest matriarchs, who are likely to have accumulated the most experience. Our study provides the first empirical evidence that individuals within a social group may derive significant benefits from the influence of an older leader because of their enhanced ability to make crucial decisions about predatory threat, generating important insights into selection for longevity in cognitively advanced social mammals. PMID:21411454

  5. Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age.

    PubMed

    McComb, Karen; Shannon, Graeme; Durant, Sarah M; Sayialel, Katito; Slotow, Rob; Poole, Joyce; Moss, Cynthia

    2011-11-01

    The value of age is well recognized in human societies, where older individuals often emerge as leaders in tasks requiring specialized knowledge, but what part do such individuals play in other social species? Despite growing interest in how effective leadership might be achieved in animal social systems, the specific role that older leaders may play in decision-making has rarely been experimentally investigated. Here, we use a novel playback paradigm to demonstrate that in African elephants (Loxodonta africana), age affects the ability of matriarchs to make ecologically relevant decisions in a domain critical to survival-the assessment of predatory threat. While groups consistently adjust their defensive behaviour to the greater threat of three roaring lions versus one, families with younger matriarchs typically under-react to roars from male lions despite the severe danger they represent. Sensitivity to this key threat increases with matriarch age and is greatest for the oldest matriarchs, who are likely to have accumulated the most experience. Our study provides the first empirical evidence that individuals within a social group may derive significant benefits from the influence of an older leader because of their enhanced ability to make crucial decisions about predatory threat, generating important insights into selection for longevity in cognitively advanced social mammals. PMID:21411454

  6. Perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours of adults in rural Uganda: a cross sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Mukama, Trasias; Ndejjo, Rawlance; Musinguzi, Geofrey; Musoke, David

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Medical male circumcision is currently recognized as an additional important HIV preventive intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men. However, sexual behaviours after medical circumcision can potentially reduce the expected benefits of the practice. This study explored the perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours of adults in Kayunga district, Uganda. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out among 393 respondents using a semi structured questionnaire. In addition, four focus group discussions were conducted. Quantitative data was analysed using STATA 12. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out. Qualitative data was analysed thematically. Results The study established various perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours. Majority 247 (64.5%) did not perceive circumcision as a practice that can lead men to have multiple sexual partners. Males were 3 times more likely to think that circumcision would lead to having multiple sexual partners than females (AOR=2.99, CI: 1.93-4.61). Only 89 (23.2%) believed that circumcision would lead to complacency and compromise the use of condoms to prevent against infection with HIV. Respondents who had education above primary were less likely to think that circumcision would compromise the use of condoms (AOR=0.49, CI: 0.31- 0.79). The perception that circumcised youths were less likely to abstain from sexual intercourse was less held among those with education above primary (AOR=0.58, CI: 0.37-0.91) and those older than 30 years (AOR=0.59, CI: 0.38-0.92). Conclusion There were gaps in knowledge and negative perceptions about MMC in the study community. Measures are needed to avert the negative perceptions by equipping communities with sufficient, accurate and consistent information about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviour. PMID:26985272

  7. The Effect of Mixing Entire Male Pigs Prior to Transport to Slaughter on Behaviour, Welfare and Carcass Lesions

    PubMed Central

    van Staaveren, Nienke; Teixeira, Dayane Lemos; Hanlon, Alison; Boyle, Laura Ann

    2015-01-01

    Research is needed to validate lesions recorded at meat inspection as indicators of pig welfare on farm. The aims were to determine the influence of mixing pigs on carcass lesions and to establish whether such lesions correlate with pig behaviour and lesions scored on farm. Aggressive and mounting behaviour of pigs in three single sex pens was recorded on Day −5, −2, and −1 relative to slaughter (Day 0). On Day 0 pigs were randomly allocated to 3 treatments (n = 20/group) over 5 replicates: males mixed with females (MF), males mixed with males (MM), and males unmixed (MUM). Aggressive and mounting behaviours were recorded on Day 0 at holding on farm and lairage. Skin/tail lesions were scored according to severity at the farm (Day −1), lairage, and on the carcass (Day 0). Effect of treatment and time on behaviour and lesions were analysed by mixed models. Spearman rank correlations between behaviour and lesion scores and between scores recorded at different stages were determined. In general, MM performed more aggressive behaviour (50.4 ± 10.72) than MUM (20.3 ± 9.55, P < 0.05) and more mounting (30.9 ± 9.99) than MF (11.4 ± 3.76) and MUM (9.8 ± 3.74, P < 0.05). Skin lesion scores increased between farm (Day −1) and lairage (P < 0.001), but this tended to be significant only for MF and MM (P = 0.08). There was no effect of treatment on carcass lesions and no associations were found with fighting/mounting. Mixing entire males prior to slaughter stimulated mounting and aggressive behaviour but did not influence carcass lesion scores. Carcass skin/tail lesions scores were correlated with scores recorded on farm (rskin = 0.21 and rtail = 0.18, P < 0.01) suggesting that information recorded at meat inspection could be used as indicators of pig welfare on farm. PMID:25830336

  8. The Impact of Adult Vitamin D Deficiency on Behaviour and Brain Function in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Karly M.; Eyles, Darryl W.; McGrath, John J.; Burne, Thomas H. J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Vitamin D deficiency is common in the adult population, and this has been linked to depression and cognitive outcomes in clinical populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of adult vitamin D (AVD) deficiency on behavioural tasks of relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods Ten-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a control or vitamin D deficient diet for 6 weeks prior to, and during behavioural testing. We first examined a range of behavioural domains including locomotion, exploration, anxiety, social behaviour, learned helplessness, sensorimotor gating, and nociception. We then assessed locomotor response to the psychomimetic drugs, amphetamine and MK-801. Attention and vigilance were assessed using the 5 choice serial reaction time task (5C-SRT) and the 5 choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) and, in a separate cohort, working memory was assessed using the delay match to sample (DMTS) task. We also examined excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in prefrontal cortex and striatum. Results AVD-deficient rats were deficient in vitamin D3 (<10 nM) and had normal calcium and phosphate levels after 8–10 weeks on the diet. Overall, AVD deficiency was not associated with an altered phenotype across the range of behavioural domains tested. On the 5C-SRT AVD-deficient rats made more premature responses and more head entries during longer inter-trial intervals (ITI) than control rats. On the 5C-CPT AVD-deficient rats took longer to make false alarm (FA) responses than control rats. AVD-deficient rats had increases in baseline GABA levels and the ratio of DOPAC/HVA within the striatum. Conclusions AVD-deficient rats exhibited no major impairments in any of the behavioural domains tested. Impairments in premature responses in AVD-deficient rats may indicate that these animals have specific alterations in striatal systems governing compulsive or reward-seeking behaviour. PMID:23951200

  9. Determinants of male floating behaviour and floater reproduction in a threatened population of the hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

    PubMed Central

    Brekke, Patricia; Ewen, John G; Clucas, Gemma; Santure, Anna W

    2015-01-01

    Floating males are usually thought of as nonbreeders. However, some floating individuals are able to reproduce through extra-pair copulations. Floater reproductive success can impact breeders’ sex ratio, reproductive variance, multiple paternity and inbreeding, particularly in small populations. Changes in reproductive variance alter the rate of genetic drift and loss of genetic diversity. Therefore, genetic management of threatened species requires an understanding of floater reproduction and determinants of floating behaviour to effectively conserve species. Here, we used a pedigreed, free-living population of the endangered New Zealand hihi (Notiomystis cincta) to assess variance in male reproductive success and test the genetic (inbreeding and heritability) and conditional (age and size) factors that influence floater behaviour and reproduction. Floater reproduction is common in this species. However, floater individuals have lower reproductive success and variance in reproductive success than territorial males (total and extra-pair fledglings), so their relative impact on the population's reproductive performance is low. Whether an individual becomes a floater, and if so then how successful they are, is determined mainly by individual age (young and old) and to lesser extents male size (small) and inbreeding level (inbred). Floating males have a small, but important role in population reproduction and persistence of threatened populations. PMID:26366197

  10. Determinants of male floating behaviour and floater reproduction in a threatened population of the hihi (Notiomystis cincta).

    PubMed

    Brekke, Patricia; Ewen, John G; Clucas, Gemma; Santure, Anna W

    2015-09-01

    Floating males are usually thought of as nonbreeders. However, some floating individuals are able to reproduce through extra-pair copulations. Floater reproductive success can impact breeders' sex ratio, reproductive variance, multiple paternity and inbreeding, particularly in small populations. Changes in reproductive variance alter the rate of genetic drift and loss of genetic diversity. Therefore, genetic management of threatened species requires an understanding of floater reproduction and determinants of floating behaviour to effectively conserve species. Here, we used a pedigreed, free-living population of the endangered New Zealand hihi (Notiomystis cincta) to assess variance in male reproductive success and test the genetic (inbreeding and heritability) and conditional (age and size) factors that influence floater behaviour and reproduction. Floater reproduction is common in this species. However, floater individuals have lower reproductive success and variance in reproductive success than territorial males (total and extra-pair fledglings), so their relative impact on the population's reproductive performance is low. Whether an individual becomes a floater, and if so then how successful they are, is determined mainly by individual age (young and old) and to lesser extents male size (small) and inbreeding level (inbred). Floating males have a small, but important role in population reproduction and persistence of threatened populations. PMID:26366197

  11. Long-Term Monitoring of Dzanga Bai Forest Elephants: Forest Clearing Use Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Turkalo, Andrea K.; Wrege, Peter H.; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Individual identification of the relatively cryptic forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) at forest clearings currently provides the highest quality monitoring data on this ecologically important but increasingly threatened species. Here we present baseline data from the first 20 years of an individually based study of this species, conducted at the Dzanga Clearing, Central African Republic. A total of 3,128 elephants were identified over the 20-year study (1,244 adults; 675 females, 569 males). It took approximately four years for the majority of elephants visiting the clearing to be identified, but new elephants entered the clearing every year of the study. The study population was relatively stable, varying from 1,668 to 1,864 individuals (including juveniles and infants), with increasingly fewer males than females over time. The age-class distribution for females remained qualitatively unchanged between 1995 and 2010, while the proportion of adult males decreased from 20% to 10%, likely reflecting increased mortality. Visitation patterns by individuals were highly variable, with some elephants visiting monthly while others were ephemeral users with visits separated by multiple years. The number of individuals in the clearing at any time varied between 40 and 100 individuals, and there was little evidence of a seasonal pattern in this variation. The number of elephants entering the clearing together (defined here as a social group) averaged 1.49 (range 1–12) for males and 2.67 (range 1–14) for females. This collation of 20 years of intensive forest elephant monitoring provides the first detailed, long term look at the ecology of bai visitation for this species, offering insight to the ecological significance and motivation for bai use, social behavior, and threats to forest elephants. We discuss likely drivers (rainfall, compression, illegal killing, etc.) influencing bai visitation rates. This study provides the baseline for future demographic and behavioral

  12. Peri-pubertal exposure to testicular hormones organizes response to novel environments and social behaviour in adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Gillian R.; Kulbarsh, Kyle D.; Spencer, Karen A.; Duval, Camille

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has shown that exposure to testicular hormones during the peri-pubertal period of life has long-term, organizational effects on adult sexual behaviour and underlying neural mechanisms in laboratory rodents. However, the organizational effects of peri-pubertal testicular hormones on other aspects of behaviour and brain function are less well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of manipulating peri-pubertal testicular hormone exposure on later behavioural responses to novel environments and on hormone receptors in various brain regions that are involved in response to novelty. Male rodents generally spend less time in the exposed areas of novel environments than females, and this sex difference emerges during the peri-pubertal period. Male Lister-hooded rats (Rattus norvegicus) were castrated either before puberty or after puberty, then tested in three novel environments (elevated plus-maze, light–dark box, open field) and in an object/social novelty task in adulthood. Androgen receptor (AR), oestrogen receptor (ER1) and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor (CRF-R2) mRNA expression were quantified in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and medial amygdala. The results showed that pre-pubertally castrated males spent more time in the exposed areas of the elevated-plus maze and light–dark box than post-pubertally castrated males, and also confirmed that peri-pubertal hormone exposure influences later response to an opposite-sex conspecific. Hormone receptor gene expression levels did not differ between pre-pubertally and post-pubertally castrated males in any of the brain regions examined. This study therefore demonstrates that testicular hormone exposure during the peri-pubertal period masculinizes later response to novel environments, although the neural mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. PMID:26159287

  13. How to swallow an elephant

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, K.B.

    1995-03-01

    There is an old East Indian fable of a young man who went to see a wise man. The young man had a question - {open_quotes}How can I become rich and powerful?{close_quotes} The wise man paused for a moment then asked a question in return - {open_quotes}How can you swallow an elephant?{close_quotes} The young man was astounded, {open_quotes}There is no way a man can swallow an elephant!{close_quotes} {open_quotes}Yes, there is,{close_quotes} replied the wise man, {open_quotes}You just have to do it one bite at a time.{close_quotes} Many large problems can only be handled the same way that an elephant is swallowed, one bite at a time. Global warming and other environmental problems are obviously of elephant-swallowing scale. Some have set a goal for our society of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), by 20%. The cost to accomplish this has been estimated to be about five trillion dollars! As big as this elephant is, I suspect that its size is understated, if all the factors involved are included. The proponents of the plan tell us that it is well worth the cost to save the world. Therein lies another elephant-style problem.

  14. The elephant brain in numbers

    PubMed Central

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Avelino-de-Souza, Kamilla; Neves, Kleber; Porfírio, Jairo; Messeder, Débora; Mattos Feijó, Larissa; Maldonado, José; Manger, Paul R.

    2014-01-01

    What explains the superior cognitive abilities of the human brain compared to other, larger brains? Here we investigate the possibility that the human brain has a larger number of neurons than even larger brains by determining the cellular composition of the brain of the African elephant. We find that the African elephant brain, which is about three times larger than the human brain, contains 257 billion (109) neurons, three times more than the average human brain; however, 97.5% of the neurons in the elephant brain (251 billion) are found in the cerebellum. This makes the elephant an outlier in regard to the number of cerebellar neurons compared to other mammals, which might be related to sensorimotor specializations. In contrast, the elephant cerebral cortex, which has twice the mass of the human cerebral cortex, holds only 5.6 billion neurons, about one third of the number of neurons found in the human cerebral cortex. This finding supports the hypothesis that the larger absolute number of neurons in the human cerebral cortex (but not in the whole brain) is correlated with the superior cognitive abilities of humans compared to elephants and other large-brained mammals. PMID:24971054

  15. Hazardous Drinking and HIV-risk-related Behaviour among Male Clients of Female Sex Workers in Tijuana, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Goodman-Meza, David; Pitpitan, Eileen V.; Semple, Shirley J.; Wagner, Karla D.; Chavarin, Claudia V.; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Patterson, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are at high risk for HIV. Whereas the HIV risks of alcohol use are well understood, less is known about hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs, particularly in Mexico. We sought to identify risk factors for hazardous alcohol use and test associations between hazardous alcohol use and HIV risk behaviour among male clients in Tijuana. Method Male clients of FSWs in Tijuana (n = 400) completed a quantitative interview in 2008. The AUDIT was used to characterize hazardous alcohol use. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent associations of demographic and HIV risk variables with hazardous alcohol use (vs. non-hazardous). Results Forty percent of our sample met criteria for hazardous alcohol use. Variables independently associated with hazardous drinking were reporting any sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with a FSW while under the influence of alcohol, being younger than 36 years of age, living in Tijuana, and ever having been jailed. Hazardous drinkers were less likely ever to have been deported or to have shared injection drugs. Discussion and Conclusions Hazardous alcohol use is associated with HIV risk, including engaging in sex with FSWs while intoxicated and having an STI among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana. Scientific Significance We systematically described patterns and correlates of hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico. The results suggest that HIV/STI risk reduction interventions must target hazardous alcohol users, and be tailored to address alcohol use. PMID:25066863

  16. Together we have fun: native-place networks and sexual risk behaviours among Chinese male rural-urban migrants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaozhao Yousef; Kelly, Brian C; Yang, Tingzhong

    2016-05-01

    Some scholars argue that the maintenance of social networks contributes to the lower prevalence of deviant behaviours and fewer adverse health effects among migrants. But others suggest that if migrants are embedded in homogeneous networks, such networks may enable the formation of a deviant subculture that promotes risk taking. Facing this dilemma, the present study investigates how native-place networks influence sexual risk behaviours (SRBs), specifically the pursuit of commercial sex and condomless sex with sex workers, for male rural-urban migrants. Using a multi-stage sample of 1,591 male rural-urban migrants from two major migrant-influx cities within China, we assessed migrants' general friend network ties and native place networks (townsmen in migrants' local networks) and tested their associations with SRBs. Multiple logistic regression analyses indicate that native-place network ties are associated with paying for sex (OR = 1.33, p < 0.001) and condomless sex with sex workers (OR = 1.33, p < 0.001), while general friendship network ties reduce such risks (OR = 0.74, p < 0.001; OR = 0.84, p < 0.01) even after controlling for demographic background, housing conditions, length of stay, health beliefs and behaviours, and spousal companionship. Our findings suggest that native-place networks among Chinese male rural-urban migrants are associated with SRBs because homogenous networks may serve as a platform for the emergence of a deviant subculture that promotes risk behaviours. A Virtual Abstract of this paper is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wg20I6j8XQ. PMID:26582759

  17. Organization and chemical neuroanatomy of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Patzke, Nina; Olaleye, Olatunbosun; Haagensen, Mark; Hof, Patrick R; Ihunwo, Amadi O; Manger, Paul R

    2014-09-01

    Elephants are thought to possess excellent long-term spatial-temporal and social memory, both memory types being at least in part hippocampus dependent. Although the hippocampus has been extensively studied in common laboratory mammalian species and humans, much less is known about comparative hippocampal neuroanatomy, and specifically that of the elephant. Moreover, the data available regarding hippocampal size of the elephant are inconsistent. The aim of the current study was to re-examine hippocampal size and provide a detailed neuroanatomical description of the hippocampus in the African elephant. In order to examine the hippocampal size the perfusion-fixed brains of three wild-caught adult male African elephants, aged 20-30 years, underwent MRI scanning. For the neuroanatomical description brain sections containing the hippocampus were stained for Nissl, myelin, calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin and doublecortin. This study demonstrates that the elephant hippocampus is not unduly enlarged, nor specifically unusual in its internal morphology. The elephant hippocampus has a volume of 10.84 ± 0.33 cm³ and is slightly larger than the human hippocampus (10.23 cm(3)). Histological analysis revealed the typical trilaminated architecture of the dentate gyrus (DG) and the cornu ammonis (CA), although the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus appears to have supernumerary sublaminae compared to other mammals. The three main architectonic fields of the cornu ammonis (CA1, CA2, and CA3) could be clearly distinguished. Doublecortin immunostaining revealed the presence of adult neurogenesis in the elephant hippocampus. Thus, the elephant exhibits, for the most part, what might be considered a typically mammalian hippocampus in terms of both size and architecture. PMID:23728481

  18. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nissani, Moti; Hoefler-Nissani, Donna; Lay, U. Tin; Htun, U. Wan

    2005-01-01

    Two experiments explored the behavior of 20 Asian elephants ("Elephas aximus") in simultaneous visual discrimination tasks. In Experiment 1, 7 Burmese logging elephants acquired a white+/black- discrimination, reaching criterion in a mean of 2.6 sessions and 117 discrete trials, whereas 4 elephants acquired a black+/white- discrimination in 5.3…

  19. Condom use behaviours among 18–24 year-old urban African American males: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    KENNEDY, S. B.; NOLEN, S.; APPLEWHITE, J.; WAITERS, E.; VANDERHOFF, J.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this pilot project was to develop, administer and assess a brief male-focused and behavioural-driven condom promotion programme for young adult African American males in an urban setting. To achieve the aims of this study, linkages with local community centres were initially fostered and both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed. Based on relevant tenets of the social cognitive theory and the stages of change model, a series of focus groups were conducted among the target population, recruited from non-traditional urban settings, to identify and further explore their perceived condom use barriers and facilitators in order to support programme development. Specifically, the topical items addressed those young men’s perceptions of sexuality and condom use within three broad contexts: general sexual behaviours, condom use behaviours, and the relationship between condoms and substance use. The focus group discussions were audiotaped and the transcribed data summarized and analysed based on those thematic topics. The findings revealed that significant myths, misconceptions and knowledge gaps exist regarding HIV/STD-related prevention, condom promotion and substance use. The findings imply that there is a critical need to develop target group suitable condom promotion programmes in order to successfully promote, foster and sustain condom use among high-risk populations. PMID:17852001

  20. The best time to have sex: mating behaviour and effect of daylight time on male sexual competitiveness in the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    Aedes albopictus is the most invasive mosquito worldwide and works as a vector for many important pathogens. Control tools rely to chemical treatments against larvae, indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets. Recently, huge efforts have been carried out to propose new eco-friendly alternatives, such as evaluation of plant-borne compounds and sterile insect technique (SIT) programs. Success of SIT is dependent to the ability of sterile males to compete for mates with wild ones. Little is still known about mating behaviour of Aedes males. Most of the studies focus on comparisons of insemination ability in sterilised and wild males, while behavioural analyses of mating behaviour are lacking. Here, I quantified the courtship and mating behaviour of A. albopictus and evaluated how daylight hours affect male mating behaviour and success. A. albopictus males chased females facing them frontally, from behind, or from a lateral side. If the female allowed genital contact, copulation followed. Otherwise, females performed rejection kicks and/or flew away. Thirty-seven percent of males obtained a successful copulation (i.e. sperm transfer occurs), lasting 63 ± 4 s. Unsuccessful copulation (20 % of males) had shorter duration (18 ± 1 s). Successful copulations followed longer male courtships (39 ± 3 s), over courtships preceding unsuccessful copulation (20 ± 2 s) or male's rejection (22 ± 2 s). After copulation, the male rested 7 ± 0.4 s close to the female, then move off. In a semi-natural environment, male mating success was lower in early afternoon, over morning and late afternoon. However, little differences in courtship duration over daylight periods were found. This study adds knowledge to the reproductive behaviour of A. albopictus, which can be used to perform comparisons among courtship and mating ethograms from different mosquito species and strains, allowing monitoring and optimisation of mass rearing quality over time in SIT programs. PMID

  1. School Dropout, Problem Behaviour and Poor Academic Achievement: A Longitudinal View of Portuguese Male Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beatriz Saraiva, A.; Pereira, Beatriz O.; Zamith-Cruz, Judite

    2011-01-01

    This study examines school dropouts from the perspective of male adults themselves through interviews with offenders currently serving sentences. Participants were 10 Portuguese male inmates, between the ages of 19 and 46 years of age, incarcerated in two prison facilities on the Azores. Qualitative and interpretative methods were carried out…

  2. Intention to start cigarette smoking among Iranian male adolescents: usefulness of an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Karimy, Mahmood; Niknami, Shamsaddin; Hidarnia, Ali Reza; Hajizadeh, Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    Background Smoking is one of the risk behaviours that begin in adolescence, and therefore identifying predictors of smoking is necessary for planning prevention programmes. Objectives To examine the ability of the extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to predict the intention to smoke. Methods This was a cross-sectional study carried out in Iran, 2011. The data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire which included items on demographics, smoking behaviour, components of the TPB model (attitude, subjective norms, perceived behaviour control and intention) and an added construct on smoking self-identity. Data were analysed using descriptive, correlation and linear regression statistics. Results 365 male high school students with a mean age of 16.5 (SD=1.2) years were studied. Fifty-five (15.1%) of the students surveyed were current smokers. All components of the TPB model and smoking self identity were statistically significantly related to intention to smoke (p<0.001). The TPB constructs with and without smoking self-identity accounted for 58.5% (adjusted R2) and 54.8% of the variance observed for intention to smoke, respectively. Result also revealed the highest weights for perceived behaviour control (β=−0.35). Conclusions The extended model of the TPB predicted ‘intention to smoke’ better than the original TPB. The findings of this study might be used as a framework in designing heart disease prevention programmes. Thus the findings have implications for both health promotion specialists and cardiologists. They could place an emphasis on perceived behaviour control, specifying that individuals who do not smoke should not start and if they are smokers it is possible to stop smoking. PMID:27326046

  3. Male Roman high and low avoidance rats show different patterns of copulatory behaviour: comparison with Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Sanna, Fabrizio; Corda, Maria Giuseppa; Melis, Maria Rosaria; Piludu, Maria Antonietta; Giorgi, Osvaldo; Argiolas, Antonio

    2014-03-29

    Roman high- (RHA) and low-avoidance (RLA) rats, selectively bred for, respectively, rapid vs. extremely poor acquisition of avoidant behaviour in the shuttle-box, display different coping strategies when exposed to aversive environmental conditions: RLA rats are reactive copers and show hyperemotional behaviour characterized by hypomotility and freezing, while RHA rats show a proactive coping behaviour aimed at gaining control over the stressor. RHA rats also display a robust sensation/novelty seeking profile, high baseline levels of impulsivity, and marked preference for, and intake of, natural and drug rewards. This study shows that the Roman lines also differ in sexual behaviour, a main source of natural reward. Thus, male RHA rats engaged in copulatory activity with a receptive female showing more mounts, intromissions and ejaculations in the first copulation test as compared with their RLA counterparts and Sprague Dawley rats used as an external reference strain. Such differences decreased only partially in subsequent copulation tests, with RHA rats always showing higher levels of sexual motivation and performance than RLA rats. Accordingly, analysis of copulatory parameters of five copulation tests performed at 3-day intervals confirmed that the Roman lines display different patterns of copulatory activity that persist after stabilization of copulatory behaviour by sexual experience. Finally, the weight of the testes, epididymides and seminal vesicles increased to a similar extent in both Roman lines after sexual activity. These results are discussed in terms of the relative contribution of differences in brain neurotransmission (mainly dopamine) and neuroendocrine function to the different patterns of copulatory behaviour of the Roman lines. PMID:24472324

  4. An Asian Elephant Imitates Human Speech

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Mietchen, Daniel; Oh, Sukhun; de Silva, Shermin; Herbst, Christian T.; Kwon, Soowhan; Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2012-01-01

    Summary Vocal imitation has convergently evolved in many species, allowing learning and cultural transmission of complex, conspecific sounds, as in birdsong [1, 2]. Scattered instances also exist of vocal imitation across species, including mockingbirds imitating other species or parrots and mynahs producing human speech [3, 4]. Here, we document a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) that imitates human speech, matching Korean formants and fundamental frequency in such detail that Korean native speakers can readily understand and transcribe the imitations. To create these very accurate imitations of speech formant frequencies, this elephant (named Koshik) places his trunk inside his mouth, modulating the shape of the vocal tract during controlled phonation. This represents a wholly novel method of vocal production and formant control in this or any other species. One hypothesized role for vocal imitation is to facilitate vocal recognition by heightening the similarity between related or socially affiliated individuals [1, 2]. The social circumstances under which Koshik’s speech imitations developed suggest that one function of vocal learning might be to cement social bonds and, in unusual cases, social bonds across species. PMID:23122846

  5. Male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective: A comment on “Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila”

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Shohat-Ophir et al.1 demonstrate a connection between sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption in male Drosophila flies, and how the neuropeptide F system regulates ethanol preference. Their results are rightly discussed only in a physiological context, but this has facilitated erroneous anthropomorphic interpretations by the media. Here we discuss the link between male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective, providing a broader context to interpret their results. PMID:25970263

  6. Preparatory behaviours and condom use during receptive and insertive anal sex among male-to-female transgenders (Waria) in Jakarta, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Prabawanti, Ciptasari; Dijkstra, Arie; Riono, Pandu; Hartana Tb, Gagan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The male-to-female transgender (waria) is part of a key population at higher risk for HIV. This study aims to test whether psychosocial determinants as defined by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) can explain behaviours related to condom use among waria. Three preparatory behaviours (getting, carrying, and offering a condom) and two condom use behaviours (during receptive and insertive anal sex) were assessed. Methods The study involved 209 waria, recruited from five districts in Jakarta and interviewed by using structured questionnaires. Specific measures were developed to study attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control (PBC) in order to predict intentions and behaviours. Results The explained variance between intentions with regard to three preparatory behaviours and two condom uses ranged between 30 and 57%, and the variance between the actual preparatory behaviours of three preparatory and two condom uses ranged between 21 and 42%. In our study, as with several previous studies of the TPB on HIV protection behaviours, the TPB variables differed in their predictive power. With regard to intention, attitude and PBC were consistently significant predictors; attitude was the strongest predictor of intention for all three preparatory behaviours, and PBC was the strongest predictor of intention for condom use, both during receptive and insertive anal sex. TPB variables were also significantly related to the second parameter of future behaviour: actual (past) behaviour. TPB variables were differentially related to the five behaviours. Attitude was predictive in three behaviours, PBC in three behaviours and subjective norms in two behaviours. Conclusions Our results have implications for the development of interventions to target preparatory behaviours and condom use behaviours. Five behaviours and three psychological factors as defined in the TPB are to be targeted. PMID:25529498

  7. Behavioural differences between male and female carpenter bees in nectar robbing and its effect on reproductive success in Glechoma longituba (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y-W; Zhao, J-M; Yang, C-F; Gituru, W R

    2011-01-01

    Male and female nectar robbers may show significantly different behaviour on host plants and thus have different impacts on reproductive fitness of the plants. A 4-year study in natural populations of Glechoma longituba has shown that male carpenter bees (Xylocopa sinensis) are responsible for most of the nectar robbing from these flowers, while female bees account for little nectar robbing, demonstrating distinct behavioural differentiation between male and female bees in visiting flowers. The smaller male bee spends less time visiting a single flower than the larger female bee, consequently, the male bee is capable of visiting more flowers per unit time and has a higher foraging efficiency. Moreover, the robbing behaviour of female carpenter bees is more destructive and affects flower structures (ovules and nectaries) and floral life-span more than that of the male bee. According to the energy trade-off hypothesis, the net energy gain for male bees during nectar robbing greatly surpasses energy payout (17.72 versus 2.43 J), while the female bee net energy gain is barely adequate to meet energy payout per unit time (3.78 versus 2.39 J). The differences in net energy gain for male and female bees per unit time in nectar robbing are the likely cause of observed behavioural differences between the sexes. The differences in food resource preference between male and female bees constitute an optimal resource allocation pattern that enables the visitors to utilise floral resources more efficiently. PMID:21134084

  8. Relationships between circulating androgens, aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles in males of the common bream Abramis brama L. in an aquarium environment.

    PubMed

    Poncin, P; Matondo, B Nzau; Termol, C; Kestemont, P; Philippart, J C

    2011-09-01

    In this study, relationships between circulating androgens, aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles in males of common bream Abramis brama were examined in an aquarium environment. The breeding tubercles of fish were counted, the number of attacks was quantified by male status and circulating rates of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone from blood plasma were analysed using radioimmunoassay procedures. The results revealed that no significant differences were found between circulating testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone in territorial and nonterritorial males. Furthermore, no significant correlations were found between circulating androgens, androgens and aggression, androgens and tubercles and breeding tubercles and aggression in common bream by male status. However, territorial fish displayed a significantly higher level of aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles than nonterritorial fish. In natural environments, the occurrence of breeding tubercles during the spawning season could contribute to identifying the behavioural status of common bream males. PMID:21132526

  9. Divergent evolution of male aggressive behaviour: another reproductive isolation barrier in extremophile poeciliid fishes?

    PubMed

    Bierbach, David; Klein, Moritz; Saßmannshausen, Vanessa; Schlupp, Ingo; Riesch, Rüdiger; Parzefall, Jakob; Plath, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive isolation among locally adapted populations may arise when immigrants from foreign habitats are selected against via natural or (inter-)sexual selection (female mate choice). We asked whether also intrasexual selection through male-male competition could promote reproductive isolation among populations of poeciliid fishes that are locally adapted to extreme environmental conditions [i.e., darkness in caves and/or toxic hydrogen sulphide (H(2)S)]. We found strongly reduced aggressiveness in extremophile P. oecilia mexicana, and darkness was the best predictor for the evolutionary reduction of aggressiveness, especially when combined with presence of H(2)S. We demonstrate that reduced aggression directly translates into migrant males being inferior when paired with males from non-sulphidic surface habitats. By contrast, the phylogenetically old sulphur endemic P. sulphuraria from another sulphide spring area showed no overall reduced aggressiveness, possibly indicating evolved mechanisms to better cope with H(2)S. PMID:22315695

  10. The Relationship between Lifestyle and Campus Eating Behaviours in Male and Female University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Rebecca A.; Berry, Tanya R.; Kennedy, Michael D.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Poor nutritional practices and heightened levels of stress, two common attributes of university life, are strongly linked with weight gain and decreased health. Little research has examined the relationships between university students' lifestyle factors and campus eating behaviours; therefore, this study aimed to examine relationships…

  11. Young Male Prisoners in a Young Offenders' Institution: Their Contact with Suicidal Behaviour by Others

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hales, H.; Davison, S.; Misch, P.; Taylor, P. J.

    2003-01-01

    Prison suicide rates are increasing. The impact of witnessing a suicide or how many people do so is unknown. The aim of this study was to find how many young people detained in a Young Offenders' Institution (YOI) have had contact with another's suicide attempt and to test for association between this and own self-harming behaviour. A…

  12. Unsafe sexual behaviour in domestic and foreign migrant male workers in multinational workplaces in Jordan: occupational-based and behavioural assessment survey

    PubMed Central

    Al Rifai, Rami; Nakamura, Keiko; Seino, Kaoruko; Kizuki, Masashi; Morita, Ayako

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the prevalence of unsafe sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted infection (STI)-related knowledge, health and work-related conditions, and correlates of practising unsafe sex among domestic and foreign male workers in multinational workplaces in Jordan. Design Cross-sectional behavioural assessment survey. Setting Multinational workplaces in Jordan. Participants 230 Jordanian and 480 foreign male workers aged ≥18 years who had worked in a Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) for 12 months or more. Outcomes The primary outcome was the prevalence of practising unsafe sex. ‘Unsafe sex’ was defined as sex with a non-regular sexual partner with inconsistent condom usage. Results Overall, 74.3% of workers reported lifetime sexual experience. The proportion of lifetime unsafe sex was similar among domestic (31.8%) and foreign (35.6%) workers. Of those, 59.2% of domestic and 68.1% of foreign workers started practising unsafe sex after joining the QIZ. Rates of lifetime unsafe sex were significantly higher among those who had their sexual debut after joining the QIZ in domestic (aOR, 2.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.4) and foreign workers (aOR, 2.4, 95% CI 1.4 to 4.1). Among the domestic workers, being 18–24 years old (aOR, 4.9), unmarried (aOR, 4.8), working in the QIZ for 5–8 years (aOR, 5.0), sometimes/frequently shopped with foreign workers (aOR, 2.1) or were current/ex-alcohol drinkers (aORs, 3.4) were independently significantly associated with higher odds of practising unsafe sex. Conclusions A significant proportion of domestic and foreign male workers had been practising unsafe sex. The findings indicated that not only foreigners but also domestic male workers associating with foreign workers are at high risk of unsafe sex. Tailored interventions to promote safer sex in multinational workplaces in Jordan are needed. PMID:26068511

  13. Stress, social behaviour, and secondary sexual traits in a male primate.

    PubMed

    Setchell, Joanna M; Smith, Tessa; Wickings, E Jean; Knapp, Leslie A

    2010-11-01

    We examined variation in glucocorticoid levels in the mandrill, a brightly coloured primate species, to identify major social influences on stress hormones, and investigate relationships among glucocorticoid levels, testosterone and secondary sexual ornamentation. We collected a total of 317 fecal samples for 16 adult male mandrills over 13 months, including mating and non-mating periods and periods of both dominance rank stability and instability, and compared fecal glucocorticoid levels with dominance rank, rank stability, presence of receptive females, gastro-intestinal parasite infection, fecal testosterone and facial red coloration. Glucocorticoid levels did not vary systematically with dominance rank, but increased when the dominance hierarchy was unstable, and increased in the presence of receptive females. The relationship between dominance rank and glucocorticoid levels changed direction according to the stability of the dominance hierarchy: glucocorticoid levels were higher in subordinate males under stable conditions, but under conditions of instability higher ranking males had higher glucocorticoid levels. The influence of dominance rank also interacted with the presence of receptive females: glucocorticoids were higher in dominant males than in subordinates, but only during mating periods, suggesting that dominant males are more stressed than subordinates during such periods. These findings support previous studies showing that the relationship between glucocorticoids and dominance rank in male baboons is dependent on the social environment. We also found that males with higher glucocorticoids suffered a higher diversity of gastrointestinal parasite infection, in line with evidence that glucocorticoids suppress the immune system in other species. However, we found no support for the stress-mediated immunocompetence handicap hypothesis for the evolution of condition-dependent ornaments: glucocorticoid and testosterone levels were positively related

  14. Female puberty acceleration by male odour in mice: neural pathway and behavioural consequences.

    PubMed

    Jouhanneau, Mélanie; Szymanski, Laura A; Keller, Matthieu

    2014-08-01

    In female mice, exposure to male chemosignals results in early puberty onset characterized by advanced vaginal opening and higher uterine weight. Evidence suggests that the male chemosignals responsible for acceleration of female puberty are androgen-dependent, but not all of the compounds that contribute to puberty acceleration have been identified. The male chemosignals are primarily detected and processed by the vomeronasal system including the vomeronasal organ, the accessory olfactory bulb and the medial amygdala. By contrast, the mechanism by which this olfactory information is integrated in the hypothalamus is poorly understood. In this context, the recent identification of the neuropeptide kisspeptin as a gatekeeper of puberty onset may provide a good candidate neuropeptide system for the transmission of chemosensory information to the gonadotrope axis. PMID:25109972

  15. Enriched cages for groups of laboratory male rats and their effects on behaviour, weight gain and adrenal glands.

    PubMed

    Lidfors, L; Wichman, A; Ewaldsson, B; Lindh, A-S

    2014-01-01

    We investigated if there were any negative effects on the behaviour and physiology of rats housed in groups of five in two types of enriched cages and compared them with paired-housed rats housed in traditional cages. Eighty-four male Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats were housed in an enriched rat cage (ERC), a rebuilt rabbit cage (RRC) or a Makrolon III cage (MC) system from 5-16 weeks of age with access to different enrichments. Recordings of behaviour and cage use (3 × 24 h video recording), weekly weighing, measuring food consumption four days/week and water consumption two days/week, were carried out. The rats' muscle strength was assessed using the 'inclined plane' at the end of the study, and after euthanasia the adrenal glands were removed and weighed. Being in the shelter was the most common behaviour in the ERC and RRC groups. In the MC group, which lacked a shelter, rats performed the highest percentage of lying, grooming, rearing, play fighting and manipulating paper shreds. Rats in the RRC had the highest percentage of standing and manipulating gnawing sticks. Water consumption was higher in MC than in ERC and RRC rats. Rats from the RRC managed to remain at a steeper angle on the 'inclined plane' than rats from the MC. There were no significant effects of cage type on weight gain, food consumption or relative weights of adrenal glands. In conclusion, male rats kept in groups of five in larger enriched cages benefited from the enrichments, and no negative effects were found in the larger groups. PMID:24080597

  16. IMMUNOLOCALIZATION OF INHIBIN/ACTIVIN SUBUNITS AND STEROIDOGENIC ENZYMES IN THE TESTES OF AN ADULT AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    PubMed

    Li, Qinglin; Lu, Lu; Weng, Qiang; Kawakami, Shigehisa; Saito, Eriko; Yamamoto, Tatsuya; Yamamoto, Yuki; Kaewmanee, Saroch; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi

    2016-06-01

    In this case report, the authors investigated immunolocalization of inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits, as well as steroidogenic enzymes, in the testes of an African elephant. Testes were collected from a reproductively active male African elephant (24 yr old) at autopsy. Histologically, all types of spermatogenic cells including mature-phase spermatozoa were found in the seminiferous tubules. Positive immunostaining for inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits was observed in Sertoli and Leydig cells. In addition, P450scc, 3βHSD, P450c17, and P450arom were also detected in the cytoplasm of Leydig cells. These results suggested that Leydig cells of adult African elephant testes have the ability to synthesize progestin, androgen, and estrogen, whereas both Sertoli and Leydig cells appear as a major source of inhibin secretion in the male African elephant. PMID:27468011

  17. Causes and Correlates of Calf Mortality in Captive Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)

    PubMed Central

    Mar, Khyne U.; Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Juvenile mortality is a key factor influencing population growth rate in density-independent, predation-free, well-managed captive populations. Currently at least a quarter of all Asian elephants live in captivity, but both the wild and captive populations are unsustainable with the present fertility and calf mortality rates. Despite the need for detailed data on calf mortality to manage effectively populations and to minimize the need for capture from the wild, very little is known of the causes and correlates of calf mortality in Asian elephants. Here we use the world's largest multigenerational demographic dataset on a semi-captive population of Asian elephants compiled from timber camps in Myanmar to investigate the survival of calves (n = 1020) to age five born to captive-born mothers (n = 391) between 1960 and 1999. Mortality risk varied significantly across different ages and was higher for males at any age. Maternal reproductive history was associated with large differences in both stillbirth and liveborn mortality risk: first-time mothers had a higher risk of calf loss as did mothers producing another calf soon (<3.7 years) after a previous birth, and when giving birth at older age. Stillbirth (4%) and pre-weaning mortality (25.6%) were considerably lower than those reported for zoo elephants and used in published population viability analyses. A large proportion of deaths were caused by accidents and lack of maternal milk/calf weakness which both might be partly preventable by supplementary feeding of mothers and calves and work reduction of high-risk mothers. Our results on Myanmar timber elephants with an extensive keeping system provide an important comparison to compromised survivorship reported in zoo elephants. They have implications for improving captive working elephant management systems in range countries and for refining population viability analyses with realistic parameter values in order to predict future population size of the Asian

  18. Causes and correlates of calf mortality in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Mar, Khyne U; Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Juvenile mortality is a key factor influencing population growth rate in density-independent, predation-free, well-managed captive populations. Currently at least a quarter of all Asian elephants live in captivity, but both the wild and captive populations are unsustainable with the present fertility and calf mortality rates. Despite the need for detailed data on calf mortality to manage effectively populations and to minimize the need for capture from the wild, very little is known of the causes and correlates of calf mortality in Asian elephants. Here we use the world's largest multigenerational demographic dataset on a semi-captive population of Asian elephants compiled from timber camps in Myanmar to investigate the survival of calves (n = 1020) to age five born to captive-born mothers (n = 391) between 1960 and 1999. Mortality risk varied significantly across different ages and was higher for males at any age. Maternal reproductive history was associated with large differences in both stillbirth and liveborn mortality risk: first-time mothers had a higher risk of calf loss as did mothers producing another calf soon (<3.7 years) after a previous birth, and when giving birth at older age. Stillbirth (4%) and pre-weaning mortality (25.6%) were considerably lower than those reported for zoo elephants and used in published population viability analyses. A large proportion of deaths were caused by accidents and lack of maternal milk/calf weakness which both might be partly preventable by supplementary feeding of mothers and calves and work reduction of high-risk mothers. Our results on Myanmar timber elephants with an extensive keeping system provide an important comparison to compromised survivorship reported in zoo elephants. They have implications for improving captive working elephant management systems in range countries and for refining population viability analyses with realistic parameter values in order to predict future population size of the Asian

  19. Comparative sequence analyses of genome and transcriptome reveal novel transcripts and variants in the Asian elephant Elephas maximus.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Puli Chandramouli; Sinha, Ishani; Kelkar, Ashwin; Habib, Farhat; Pradhan, Saurabh J; Sukumar, Raman; Galande, Sanjeev

    2015-12-01

    The Asian elephant Elephas maximus and the African elephant Loxodonta africana that diverged 5-7 million years ago exhibit differences in their physiology, behaviour and morphology. A comparative genomics approach would be useful and necessary for evolutionary and functional genetic studies of elephants. We performed sequencing of E. maximus and map to L. africana at ~15X coverage. Through comparative sequence analyses, we have identified Asian elephant specific homozygous, non-synonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that map to 1514 protein coding genes, many of which are involved in olfaction. We also present the first report of a high-coverage transcriptome sequence in E. maximus from peripheral blood lymphocytes. We have identified 103 novel protein coding transcripts and 66-long non-coding (lnc)RNAs. We also report the presence of 181 protein domains unique to elephants when compared to other Afrotheria species. Each of these findings can be further investigated to gain a better understanding of functional differences unique to elephant species, as well as those unique to elephantids in comparison with other mammals. This work therefore provides a valuable resource to explore the immense research potential of comparative analyses of transcriptome and genome sequences in the Asian elephant. PMID:26648035

  20. Epidemiology of eating disorders, eating disordered behaviour, and body image disturbance in males: a narrative review.

    PubMed

    Mitchison, Deborah; Mond, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Challenges to epidemiological studies of eating and related body image disturbance disorders in males include, in addition to low base rates and the predominance of residual diagnostic categories, the female-centric nature of current classification schemes and the consequent lack of appropriate assessment instruments. In this narrative review, we summarise epidemiological data regarding the prevalence and correlates of eating disorders, related body image disturbance disorders, and eating disorder features in males. Attention is focused on disorders most likely to be observed among males, such as muscle dysmorphia and muscularity-oriented excessive exercise. It is argued that, given the multiple challenges involved in research of this kind, a focus on features is more likely to advance the field than a focus on diagnoses. In terms of correlates, we focus on impairment and help-seeking, since these issues are most relevant in informing public health burden, service provision, and related issues. We end with some thoughts about current gaps in the knowledge base and directions for future research that we consider to be most promising. PMID:27408719

  1. Unmanned aerial survey of elephants.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe; Lisein, Jonathan; Sawadogo, Prosper; Bouché, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana) were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km(2) with a coefficient of variation (CV%) of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min). Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS). The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys. PMID:23405088

  2. Unmanned Aerial Survey of Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe; Lisein, Jonathan; Sawadogo, Prosper; Bouché, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana) were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km2 with a coefficient of variation (CV%) of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min). Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS). The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys. PMID:23405088

  3. Sterile 'Judas' carp--Surgical sterilisation does not impair growth, endocrine and behavioural responses of male carp.

    PubMed

    Patil, Jawahar G; Purser, G J; Nicholson, A M

    2015-09-15

    Use of 'Judas' fish to betray the locations of conspecifics is a powerful tool in management of invasive pest fish but poses a risk of contributing to recruitment. Our aim therefore was to generate surgically sterilised male common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and test whether they readily assimilate into wild populations, retain sexual behaviour and successfully betray the locations of feral carp. Male common carp were surgically sterilised (n=44) adopting a two-point nip technique, using either a haemoclip, suture or electro cautery to tie each of the testicular ducts about 2.5 cm cranial to urogenital sinus-retaining all of the glandular testis tissue. Observed survival (95%) and success (>70%) rates were relatively high. Plasma steroids (11-keto testosterone and 17β-estradiol) were quantified by immunoassay. A subset of sterile and control male fish (n=7 each) were implanted with radio-transmitters and released into Lake Sorell (50 km(2)) and their ability to betray the location of feral carp was assessed by radio tracking and targeted fishing. There was a statistically significant difference in 11-keto testosterone and 17β-estradiol levels over time (P<0.05), but not between the sterile and control groups within each sampling time (P>0.05), implying that surgery did not compromise the animals physiologically. The sterile Judas fish integrated well into the population-behaving similarly to control Judas males and assisted in the capture of feral carp. The study marks a significant breakthrough in the management of this pest fish with potential adoption to the management of other pest fish globally. PMID:25776462

  4. [Influence of a turkey stable with a veranda on performance, behaviour and health of male turkeys].

    PubMed

    Berk, J; Wartemann, S

    2006-03-01

    Throughout 4 fattening periods (summer and winter) the influence of a veranda (roofed outside run) on the performance, behaviour and health of tom turkeys was investigated in a pilot study. A second conventional naturally ventilated stable without a veranda was also included in the investigations for special aspects. The aim of this study was to investigate this first turkey stable with a veranda and to give first recommendation for the practical use. The use of the veranda and the differences in behaviour between inside the stable with a veranda and inside the veranda as well as inside both stables were analysed. From 100 turkeys in each period we examined feather condition, walking ability and leg posture in the 9th, 13th and 17th week of age in both stables. In addition, body weight, food consumption and mortality were recorded. The results of this pilot study indicate that the tom turkeys of the line BUT Big 6 used the veranda without negative effects on health and performance parameters. There was some indication for an improved health of animals or a reduced mortality in the stable with veranda. The decrease of walking ability and normal leg posture with increasing age and body weight in both stables suggests that the genetic influence seems to have a higher influence than the enrichment of environment in this study using the fast growing line BUT Big 6. On the other hand, in this pilot study only one stable with a veranda and another commercial stable without a veranda at a different location were included. For this reason the results should be interpreted carefully with respect to possible effects in the management between the two farms. PMID:16669193

  5. Non-invasive assessment of reproductive status and stress in captive Asian elephants in three south Indian zoos.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vinod; Palugulla Reddy, Vivekananda; Kokkiligadda, Adiseshu; Shivaji, Sisinthy; Umapathy, Govindhaswamy

    2014-05-15

    Asian elephants in captivity need immediate attention to be bred so as to meet the increasing demand for captive elephants and to overcome the dependence on supplementing the captive stock with wild animals. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs across the globe have met with limited success and therefore more effort is needed to improve breeding in captivity. Endocrine profiling of reproductive hormones (progestagens and androgens) and the stress hormone (glucocorticoids) could facilitate better management and breeding strategies. In the present study, we investigated reproductive and stress physiology of 12 captive Asian elephants for 10-27 months using a non-invasive method based on steroid analysis of 1700 elephant dung samples. Most of the elephants were cycling regularly. Males during musth showed increased fecal androgen metabolite concentrations and exhibited a slight increase in fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. Elephants used in public festivals and processions showed significantly increased in faecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. The results indicate that captive elephants require periodic health care, better husbandry practices and scientific management for sustainable captive population. PMID:24698789

  6. The Clactonian elephant butchery site at Southfleet Road, Ebbsfleet, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenban-Smith, F. F.; Allen, P.; Bates, M. R.; Parfitt, S. A.; Preece, R. C.; Stewart, J. R.; Turner, C.; Whittaker, J. E.

    2006-07-01

    Archaeological excavations at Southfleet Road, Ebbsfleet, Kent, have revealed a complex sequence of fossiliferous Middle Pleistocene sediments containing lithic artefacts. An incomplete skeleton of straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon antiquus was found in lacustrine sediments in close association with a cluster of mint condition cores, flakes and notched flake-tools, some with evidence of use-damage. These finds appear to reflect in situ tool production and butchery of the elephant carcass. A far larger concentration of similar artefacts, again in mint condition, occurred nearby in the same horizon. These finds were overlain by a fluvial gravel containing abundant handaxes, some also in mint condition. A range of fossils, including pollen, molluscs and small vertebrates, indicates temperate conditions with local woodland coeval with the elephant butchery. The sediments appear to have formed during the early part of an interglacial, almost certainly MIS 11. As well as providing rare undisturbed evidence of human behaviour, the site supports the existence of a distinctive non-handaxe Clactonian core/flake-tool industry in southeast England at this period. Copyright

  7. Fine structure and meiotic behaviour of the male multiple sex chromosomes in the genus Alouatta.

    PubMed

    Solari, A J; Rahn, M I

    2005-01-01

    The meiotic cytology and fine structure of the sex multiples in males from two species of the genus Alouatta are presented and compared with descriptions from other species of this genus. As shown in pachytene by synaptonemal complex analysis and in metaphase I by spreading, there is a quadrivalent in male meiosis in A. caraya, which is formed by an X(1)X(2)Y(1)Y(2) complex, while in A. palliata there is a trivalent formed by an X(1)X(2)Y(1) complex. Chromosome painting with human probes shows that A. caraya sex multiples share the same components as those of A. seniculus sara and A. seniculus arctoidea. However, as shown here for A. palliata and by others in A. fusca, there are differences among the multiples of some species. It is shown that in this genus there are several varieties of sex multiples that share some features, and that the origin of these multiples is most probably a primitive development in the genus Alouatta. PMID:15545739

  8. Forest Elephant Crisis in the Congo Basin

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Strindberg, Samantha; Boudjan, Patrick; Makombo, Calixte; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Ilambu, Omari; Grossmann, Falk; Bene-Bene, Lambert; de Semboli, Bruno; Mbenzo, Valentin; S'hwa, Dino; Bayogo, Rosine; Williamson, Liz; Fay, Mike; Hart, John; Maisels, Fiona

    2007-01-01

    Debate over repealing the ivory trade ban dominates conferences of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Resolving this controversy requires accurate estimates of elephant population trends and rates of illegal killing. Most African savannah elephant populations are well known; however, the status of forest elephants, perhaps a distinct species, in the vast Congo Basin is unclear. We assessed population status and incidence of poaching from line-transect and reconnaissance surveys conducted on foot in sites throughout the Congo Basin. Results indicate that the abundance and range of forest elephants are threatened from poaching that is most intense close to roads. The probability of elephant presence increased with distance to roads, whereas that of human signs declined. At all distances from roads, the probability of elephant occurrence was always higher inside, compared to outside, protected areas, whereas that of humans was always lower. Inside protected areas, forest elephant density was correlated with the size of remote forest core, but not with size of protected area. Forest elephants must be prioritised in elephant management planning at the continental scale. PMID:17407383

  9. Forest elephant crisis in the Congo Basin.

    PubMed

    Blake, Stephen; Strindberg, Samantha; Boudjan, Patrick; Makombo, Calixte; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Ilambu, Omari; Grossmann, Falk; Bene-Bene, Lambert; de Semboli, Bruno; Mbenzo, Valentin; S'hwa, Dino; Bayogo, Rosine; Williamson, Liz; Fay, Mike; Hart, John; Maisels, Fiona

    2007-04-01

    Debate over repealing the ivory trade ban dominates conferences of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Resolving this controversy requires accurate estimates of elephant population trends and rates of illegal killing. Most African savannah elephant populations are well known; however, the status of forest elephants, perhaps a distinct species, in the vast Congo Basin is unclear. We assessed population status and incidence of poaching from line-transect and reconnaissance surveys conducted on foot in sites throughout the Congo Basin. Results indicate that the abundance and range of forest elephants are threatened from poaching that is most intense close to roads. The probability of elephant presence increased with distance to roads, whereas that of human signs declined. At all distances from roads, the probability of elephant occurrence was always higher inside, compared to outside, protected areas, whereas that of humans was always lower. Inside protected areas, forest elephant density was correlated with the size of remote forest core, but not with size of protected area. Forest elephants must be prioritised in elephant management planning at the continental scale. PMID:17407383

  10. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination In Asian Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Nissani, Moti; Hoefler-Nissani, Donna; Lay, U Tin; Htun, U Wan

    2005-01-01

    Two experiments explored the behavior of 20 Asian elephants (Elephas aximus) in simultaneous visual discrimination tasks. In Experiment 1, 7 Burmese logging elephants acquired a white+/black− discrimination, reaching criterion in a mean of 2.6 sessions and 117 discrete trials, whereas 4 elephants acquired a black+/white− discrimination in 5.3 sessions and 293 trials. One elephant failed to reach criterion in the white+/black− task in 9 sessions and 549 trials, and 2 elephants failed to reach criterion in the black+/white− task in 9 sessions and 452 trials. In Experiment 2, 3 elephants learned a large/small transposition problem, reaching criterion within a mean of 1.7 sessions and 58 trials. Four elephants failed to reach criterion in 4.8 sessions and 193 trials. Data from both the black/ white and large/small discriminations showed a surprising age effect, suggesting that elephants beyond the age of 20 to 30 years either may be unable to acquire these visual discriminations or may require an inordinate number of trials to do so. Overall, our results cannot be readily reconciled with the widespread view that elephants possess exceptional intelligence. PMID:15762378

  11. Predictors of condom use behaviour among male street labourers in urban Vietnam using a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model.

    PubMed

    Van Huy, Nguyen; P Dunne, Michael; Debattista, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    HIV risk in vulnerable groups such as itinerant male street labourers is often examined via a focus on individual determinants. This study provides a test of a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model to predict condom use behaviour among male street workers in urban Vietnam. In a cross-sectional survey using a social mapping technique, 450 male street labourers from 13 districts of Hanoi, Vietnam were recruited and interviewed. Collected data were first examined for completeness; structural equation modelling was then employed to test the model fit. Condoms were used inconsistently by many of these men, and usage varied in relation to a number of factors. A modified IMB model had a better fit than the original IMB model in predicting condom use behaviour. This modified model accounted for 49% of the variance, versus 10% by the original version. In the modified model, the influence of psychosocial factors was moderately high, whilst the influence of HIV prevention information, motivation and perceived behavioural skills was moderately low, explaining in part the limited level of condom use behaviour. This study provides insights into social factors that should be taken into account in public health planning to promote safer sexual behaviour among Asian male street labourers. PMID:26416016

  12. Roadless Wilderness Area Determines Forest Elephant Movements in the Congo Basin

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Deem, Sharon L.; Strindberg, Samantha; Maisels, Fiona; Momont, Ludovic; Isia, Inogwabini-Bila; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Karesh, William B.; Kock, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    A dramatic expansion of road building is underway in the Congo Basin fuelled by private enterprise, international aid, and government aspirations. Among the great wilderness areas on earth, the Congo Basin is outstanding for its high biodiversity, particularly mobile megafauna including forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). The abundance of many mammal species in the Basin increases with distance from roads due to hunting pressure, but the impacts of road proliferation on the movements of individuals are unknown. We investigated the ranging behaviour of forest elephants in relation to roads and roadless wilderness by fitting GPS telemetry collars onto a sample of 28 forest elephants living in six priority conservation areas. We show that the size of roadless wilderness is a strong determinant of home range size in this species. Though our study sites included the largest wilderness areas in central African forests, none of 4 home range metrics we calculated, including core area, tended toward an asymptote with increasing wilderness size, suggesting that uninhibited ranging in forest elephants no longer exists. Furthermore we show that roads outside protected areas which are not protected from hunting are a formidable barrier to movement while roads inside protected areas are not. Only 1 elephant from our sample crossed an unprotected road. During crossings her mean speed increased 14-fold compared to normal movements. Forest elephants are increasingly confined and constrained by roads across the Congo Basin which is reducing effective habitat availability and isolating populations, significantly threatening long term conservation efforts. If the current road development trajectory continues, forest wildernesses and the forest elephants they contain will collapse. PMID:18958284

  13. Appetitive and consummatory sexual and agonistic behaviour elicits FOS expression in aromatase and vasotocin neurones within the preoptic area and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of male domestic chickens.

    PubMed

    Xie, J; Kuenzel, W J; Sharp, P J; Jurkevich, A

    2011-03-01

    Some components of male sexual and agonistic behaviours are considered to be regulated by the same neurocircuitry in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and the medial portion of bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTM). To better understand this neurocircuitry, numbers of aromatase- (ARO) or arginine vasotocin- (AVT) immunoreactive (ir) neurones expressing immediate early gene protein FOS were compared in the POM and BSTM of male chickens following sexual or agonistic behaviours. Observations were made on males showing: (i) appetitive (courtship) and consummatory (copulation) sexual behaviours; (ii) only appetitive sexual behaviour, or (iii) displaying agonistic behaviour toward other males. Control males were placed on their own in the observation pen, or only handled. In the POM, appetitive sexual behaviour increased ARO+FOS colocalisation, whereas agonistic behaviour decreased the number of visible ARO-ir cells. In the dorsolateral subdivision of BSTM (BSTM1), appetitive sexual behaviour also increased ARO+FOS colocalisation, although the numbers of visible ARO-ir and AVT-ir cells were not altered by sexual or agonistic behaviours. In the ventromedial BSTM (BSTM2), appetitive sexual behaviour increased ARO+FOS and AVT+FOS colocalisation, and all behaviours decreased the number of visible ARO-ir cells, particularly in males expressing consummatory sexual behaviour. Positive correlations were found between numbers of cells with ARO+FOS and AVT+FOS colocalisation in both subdivisions of the BSTM. Waltzing frequency was positively correlated with ARO+FOS colocalisation in the lateral POM, and in both subdivisions of the BSTM in males expressing sexual behaviour. Waltzing frequency in males expressing agonistic behaviour was negatively correlated with the total number of visible ARO-ir cells in the lateral POM and BSTM2. These observations suggest a key role for ARO and AVT neurones in BSTM2 in the expression of appetitive sexual behaviour, and differential roles

  14. A simple and inexpensive molecular method for sexing and identification of the forensic samples of elephant origin.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sandeep K; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Singh, Lalji

    2006-07-01

    The population of the Asian elephant is being dramatically reduced due to poaching of the ivory from the male. As poaching occurs in remote forests, it often takes weeks or longer for it to be discovered and it is therefore often very difficult to determine the sex of the decomposed body. Data suggest that in the recent past, over 2000 male elephants have been poached in South India. We have developed a technique based on molecular markers to determine that the carcass is an elephant and that it is a male. Using DNA sequence information from Genbank, we have developed two primer pairs: one for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the other for the sex-determining region of Y chromosome (SRY) gene of the Indian elephant. After PCR amplification of known elephant DNA, we found that the mtDNA was common in both males and females, whereas the SRY-specific amplicon was observed only in the male. PMID:16882222

  15. An exploratory study of HIV risk behaviours and testing among male sex workers in Beirut, Lebanon

    PubMed Central

    Aunon, Frances M.; Wagner, Glenn J.; Maher, Rabih; Khouri, Danielle; Kaplan, Rachel L.; Mokhbat, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Male sex workers (MSW) are a particularly high-risk subset of men who have sex with men in Lebanon and report higher numbers of sex partners and lower rates of condom use. The purpose was to explore the factors influencing sexual risk behaviors and HIV testing among MSW. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 MSW living in Beirut and working in bathhouses (hammam) or as escorts; content analysis identified emergent themes. Escorts reported more consistent condom use with clients and HIV testing than hammam MSW, with influential factors including HIV risk knowledge and perceived risk susceptibility, job security, and internalized stigma and related feelings of self-worth and fatalism regarding health and HIV risk. In contrast, both groups of MSW typically opted not to condoms with nonclient sex partners, in an effort to differentiate sex for work versus pleasure. The uptake of HIV testing was limited by concerns about the confidentiality of the test results and fear of repercussions of a positive test result for their health and employment. The respondents described an insular existence within the sex work culture, in part to limit exposure to stigma, which has implications for access to support as well as the influence of peer norms regarding sexual risk behavior and health seeking behaviors such as HIV testing. Further research is needed to tailor prevention and HIV testing efforts to reflect the distinct sexual health “cultures” that distinguish these two populations of MSW in Lebanon. PMID:25950906

  16. African Elephant Alarm Calls Distinguish between Threats from Humans and Bees

    PubMed Central

    Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Vollrath, Fritz; Savage, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The Samburu pastoralists of Northern Kenya co-exist with African elephants, Loxodonta africana, and compete over resources such as watering holes. Audio playback experiments demonstrate that African elephants produce alarm calls in response to the voices of Samburu tribesmen. When exposed to adult male Samburu voices, listening elephants exhibited vigilance behavior, flight behavior, and produced vocalizations (rumbles, roars and trumpets). Rumble vocalizations were most common and were characterized by increased and more variable fundamental frequencies, and an upward shift in the first [F1] and second [F2] formant locations, compared to control rumbles. When exposed to a sequence of these recorded rumbles, roars and trumpets, listening elephants also exhibited vigilance and flight behavior. The same behavior was observed, in lesser degrees, both when the roars and trumpets were removed, and when the second formants were artificially lowered to levels typical of control rumbles. The “Samburu alarm rumble” is acoustically distinct from the previously described “bee alarm rumble.” The bee alarm rumbles exhibited increased F2, while Samburu alarm rumbles exhibited increased F1 and F2, compared to controls. Moreover, the behavioral reactions to the two threats were different. Elephants exhibited vigilance and flight behavior in response to Samburu and bee stimuli and to both alarm calls, but headshaking behavior only occurred in response to bee sounds and bee alarm calls. In general, increasingly threatening stimuli elicited alarm calls with increases in F0 and in formant locations, and increasing numbers of these acoustic cues in vocal stimuli elicited increased vigilance and flight behavior in listening elephants. These results show that African elephant alarm calls differentiate between two types of threat and reflect the level of urgency of threats. PMID:24586753

  17. African elephant alarm calls distinguish between threats from humans and bees.

    PubMed

    Soltis, Joseph; King, Lucy E; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Vollrath, Fritz; Savage, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The Samburu pastoralists of Northern Kenya co-exist with African elephants, Loxodonta africana, and compete over resources such as watering holes. Audio playback experiments demonstrate that African elephants produce alarm calls in response to the voices of Samburu tribesmen. When exposed to adult male Samburu voices, listening elephants exhibited vigilance behavior, flight behavior, and produced vocalizations (rumbles, roars and trumpets). Rumble vocalizations were most common and were characterized by increased and more variable fundamental frequencies, and an upward shift in the first [F1] and second [F2] formant locations, compared to control rumbles. When exposed to a sequence of these recorded rumbles, roars and trumpets, listening elephants also exhibited vigilance and flight behavior. The same behavior was observed, in lesser degrees, both when the roars and trumpets were removed, and when the second formants were artificially lowered to levels typical of control rumbles. The "Samburu alarm rumble" is acoustically distinct from the previously described "bee alarm rumble." The bee alarm rumbles exhibited increased F2, while Samburu alarm rumbles exhibited increased F1 and F2, compared to controls. Moreover, the behavioral reactions to the two threats were different. Elephants exhibited vigilance and flight behavior in response to Samburu and bee stimuli and to both alarm calls, but headshaking behavior only occurred in response to bee sounds and bee alarm calls. In general, increasingly threatening stimuli elicited alarm calls with increases in F0 and in formant locations, and increasing numbers of these acoustic cues in vocal stimuli elicited increased vigilance and flight behavior in listening elephants. These results show that African elephant alarm calls differentiate between two types of threat and reflect the level of urgency of threats. PMID:24586753

  18. Elephants: Big, Strong and Wise. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfeffer, Pierre

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume examines the characteristics and natural history of elephants. Topics included are: (1) elephant's ancestors; (2) elephant life; and (3) training elephants for work. Quiz items are included. (YP)

  19. The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing since 1880

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, David Gershom

    2006-01-01

    When Vladimir Nabokov was up for a chair in literature at Harvard, the linguist Roman Jakobson protested: "What's next? Shall we appoint elephants to teach zoology?" That anecdote, with which D. G. Myers begins "The Elephants Teach", perfectly frames the issues this book tackles. Myers explores more than a century of debate over how writing should…

  20. Female and Male Teachers' Pro-Environmental Behaviour, Conceptions and Attitudes Towards Nature and the Environment Do Not Differ: Ecofeminism Put to the Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mc Ewen, B.; Clément, P.; Gericke, N. M.; Nyberg, E.; Hagman, M.; Landström, J.

    2015-01-01

    Teachers' pro-environmental behaviour, conceptions and attitudes towards nature and the environment were investigated using 47 questions from the BIOHEAD-Citizen questionnaire. The sample included 1,109 pre- and in-service teachers from Sweden and France. Analyses showed only few significant differences between female and male teachers. Forty-one…

  1. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-04-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1-15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed. PMID:25830107

  2. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    PubMed Central

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R.; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-01-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1–15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed. PMID:25830107

  3. Free-swimming northern elephant seals have low field metabolic rates that are sensitive to an increased cost of transport.

    PubMed

    Maresh, Jennifer L; Simmons, Samantha E; Crocker, Daniel E; McDonald, Birgitte I; Williams, Terrie M; Costa, Daniel P

    2014-05-01

    Widely ranging marine predators often adopt stereotyped, energy-saving behaviours to minimize the energetic cost of transport while maximizing energy gain. Environmental and anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt energy balance by prompting avoidance behaviours that increase transport costs, thereby decreasing foraging efficiency. We examined the ability of 12 free-ranging, juvenile northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) to mitigate the effects of experimentally increased transport costs by modifying their behaviour and/or energy use in a compensatory manner. Under normal locomotion, elephant seals had low energy requirements (106.5±28.2 kJ kg(-1) day(-1)), approaching or even falling below predictions of basal requirements. Seals responded to a small increase in locomotion costs by spending more time resting between dives (149±44 s) compared with matched control treatments (102±11 s; P<0.01). Despite incurred costs, most other dive and transit behaviours were conserved across treatments, including fixed, rhythmic swimming gaits. Because of this, and because each flipper stroke had a predictable effect on total costs (P<0.001), total energy expenditure was strongly correlated with time spent at sea under both treatments (P<0.0001). These results suggest that transiting elephant seals have a limited capacity to modify their locomotory behaviour without increasing their transport costs. Based on this, we conclude that elephant seals and other ocean predators occupying similar niches may be particularly sensitive to increased transport costs incurred when avoiding unanticipated disturbances. PMID:24790099

  4. Successful foraging zones of southern elephant seals from the Kerguelen Islands in relation to oceanographic conditions.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît; Monestiez, Pascal; Roquet, Fabien; Biuw, Martin; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-11-29

    Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, undertake large-scale oceanic movements to access favourable foraging areas. Successful foraging areas of elephant seals from the Kerguelen Islands are investigated here in relation to oceanographic parameters. Movements and diving activity of the seals as well as oceanographic data were collected through a new generation of satellite relayed devices measuring and transmitting locations, pressure, temperature and salinity. For the first time, we have associated foraging behaviour, determined by high increased sinuosity in tracks, and dive density (i.e. number of dives performed per kilometre covered), and changes in body condition, determined by variations in drift rate obtained from drift dives, to identify the oceanographic conditions of successful foraging zones for this species. Two main sectors, one close to the Antarctic continent and the other along the Polar Front (PF), where both foraging activity and body condition increase, seem to be of particular interest for the seals. Within these regions, some seals tended to focus their foraging activity on zones with particular temperature signatures. Along the Antarctic continent, some seals targeted colder waters on the sea bottom during benthic dives, while at the PF the favourable zones tended to be warmer. The possible negative effect of colder waters in Antarctic on the swimming performances of potential fish or squid prey could explain the behaviour of elephant seals in these zones, while warmer waters within the PF could correspond to the optimal conditions for potential myctophid prey of elephant seals. PMID:17472917

  5. Influence of sildenafil on copulatory behaviour in sluggish or normal ejaculator male rats: a central dopamine mediated effect?

    PubMed

    Giuliani, D; Ottani, A; Ferrari, F

    2002-03-01

    The present study investigates the effects induced by sildenafil (1 mg/kg, p.o.) and the dopamine agonist, SND 919 (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) on copulatory behaviour of male rats, categorized, on the basis of seven consecutive mating pre-tests, as sluggish and normal ejaculators (SE and NE, respectively). The data obtained show that sildenafil modifies both sexual arousal and ejaculatory mechanisms of copulation. It appears that, although it induced a facilitatory effect on ejaculation of all rats, similarly to SND 919, the lowering of ejaculatory threshold was achieved by means of a reduction of mount frequency and intromission frequency in SE and NE groups, respectively. Differently from SND 919, sildenafil increased sexual arousal, diminishing post ejaculatory interval in SE animals and inter-intromission interval in both SE and NE rats. As the dopamine antagonist, (-)eticlopride (0.02 mg/kg, s.c.), significantly inhibited sildenafil-induced enhancement of sexual arousal in SE rats, it is suggested that the drug acts both peripherally and centrally. PMID:11955526

  6. Automated detection of elephants in wildlife video

    PubMed Central

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Biologists often have to investigate large amounts of video in behavioral studies of animals. These videos are usually not sufficiently indexed which makes the finding of objects of interest a time-consuming task. We propose a fully automated method for the detection and tracking of elephants in wildlife video which has been collected by biologists in the field. The method dynamically learns a color model of elephants from a few training images. Based on the color model, we localize elephants in video sequences with different backgrounds and lighting conditions. We exploit temporal clues from the video to improve the robustness of the approach and to obtain spatial and temporal consistent detections. The proposed method detects elephants (and groups of elephants) of different sizes and poses performing different activities. The method is robust to occlusions (e.g., by vegetation) and correctly handles camera motion and different lighting conditions. Experiments show that both near- and far-distant elephants can be detected and tracked reliably. The proposed method enables biologists efficient and direct access to their video collections which facilitates further behavioral and ecological studies. The method does not make hard constraints on the species of elephants themselves and is thus easily adaptable to other animal species. PMID:25902006

  7. Implementing immunocontraception in free-ranging African elephants at Makalali conservancy.

    PubMed

    Delsink, A K; van Altena, J J; Grobler, D; Bertschinger, H J; Kirkpatrick, J F; Slotow, R

    2007-03-01

    The goal of programmes to provide contraception for elephants should be to formulate an approach that does not require the relocation or immobilisation of the same individual year after year, which would be long-lasting and cause minimal disruption to social and reproductive behaviour. The programmes should be simple to administer, safe and cost-effective, and must meet the objectives defined by managers in the field. An immunocontraceptive programme was initiated in a small free-roaming population of elephants at the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve in Limpopo Province in 2000 to determine whether the porcine zona pellucida (pZP) vaccine can successfully control population sizes. Further objectives were to determine implementation costs and efficiency through a multi-faceted approach. We have demonstrated that immunocontraception meets the objectives set by managers in the field. Minimal social disruption was observed over the course of treatment, with the mode of delivery (ground or aerial vaccinations) determining the degree of stress within herds and speed of resumption of normal movement patterns. Aerial vaccinations resulted in the least disturbance, with target herds being approachable within a day. In 2005, implementation costs were R880-R1000/elephant/year, inclusive of darts, vaccine, helicopter and veterinary assistance. Irrespective of the source or method of vaccine delivery, a non-pregnant elephant is rendered infertile from 1st vaccine administration. The sooner immunocontraception is implemented, the sooner population growth rates can be controlled. pZP contraception is a realistic alternative management tool, particularly if used as part of a long-term management strategy. Mass-darting from the air eliminates the need for detailed individual histories of each elephant or for employing a person to monitor elephants. Thus, implementation of immunocontraception in larger populations is feasible and practical. PMID:17665762

  8. Conservation outside protected areas and the effect of human-dominated landscapes on stress hormones in Savannah elephants.

    PubMed

    Ahlering, M A; Maldonado, J E; Eggert, L S; Fleischer, R C; Western, D; Brown, J L

    2013-06-01

    Biodiversity conservation strategies are increasingly focused on regions outside national protected areas, where animals face numerous anthropogenic threats and must coexist with human settlements, livestock, and agriculture. The effects of these potential threats are not always clear, but they could have profound implications for population viability. We used savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) as a case study to assess the physiological stress associated with living in a human-livestock-dominated landscape. We collected samples over two 3-month periods in 2007 and 2008. We used fecal DNA to identify 96 individual elephants in a community conservation area (CCA) and measured fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations as a proxy for stress. The CCA is community Maasai land managed for livestock and wildlife. We compared the FGM concentrations from the CCA to FGM concentrations of 40 elephants in Amboseli National Park and 32 elephants in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where human settlements and intense livestock grazing were absent. In the CCA, we found no significant individual differences in FGM concentrations among the elephants in 2007 (p = 0.312) or 2008 (p = 0.412) and no difference between years (p = 0.616). The elephants in the CCA had similar FGM concentrations to the Maasai Mara population, but Amboseli elephants had significantly lower FGM concentrations than those in either Maasai Mara or the CCA (Tukey pairwise test, p < 0.001), due primarily to females excreting significantly lower FGM relative to males (p = 0.025). In the CCA, there was no relation among female group size, average pairwise group relatedness, and average group FGM concentration. We found no clear evidence of chronic stress in elephants living on CCA communal land, which is encouraging for conservation strategies promoting the protection of animals living outside protected areas. PMID:23692020

  9. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  10. Diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of zoo elephants in an outdoor facility.

    PubMed

    Horback, Kristina M; Miller, Lance J; Andrews, Jeff R M; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined the activity budgets of 15 African elephants (1 bull, 6 cows, 2 male juveniles, 2 female juveniles, and 4 male calves) living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Onsite behavioral data (n = 600 hr) were collected for approximately 12 weeks from 0400 to 0830 and 1100 to 2400 during the 2010 and 2011 summer season. Foraging was the most common behavior state during the day followed by resting, and walking. During the evening hours, the elephants spent majority of their time foraging, resting, and sleeping. The average rate of self-maintenance behavior events (dust, wallow, etc.) increased from 0600 to 0700, 1100 to 1500, and from 1700 to 1900. Positive social behavior events (touch other, play, etc.) remained high from 0500 to 2300, with peaks at 0600, 1300, 1500, and 1900. Negative social events occurred at low rates throughout the day and night, with peaks at 0600, 1900, and 2200. The majority of positive behavior events during the daylight and nighttime hours involved the mother-calf pairs. Furthermore, the calves and juveniles initiated approximately 60% of all social events during the daytime and 57% of all social interactions at night. The results of this study demonstrate the differences between diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of a multi-age and sex elephant herd in a zoological facility, which highlights the importance of managing elephants to meet their 24 hr behavioral needs. PMID:25113850

  11. Temporal patterns of rat behaviour in the central platform of the elevated plus maze. Comparative analysis between male subjects of strains with different basal levels of emotionality.

    PubMed

    Casarrubea, M; Faulisi, F; Caternicchia, F; Santangelo, A; Di Giovanni, G; Benigno, A; Magnusson, M S; Crescimanno, G

    2016-08-01

    We have analyzed the temporal patterns of behaviour of male rats of the Wistar and DA/Han strains on the central platform of the elevated plus maze. The ethogram encompassed 10 behavioural elements. Durations, frequencies and latencies showed quantitative differences as to walking and sniffing activities. Wistar rats displayed significantly lower latency and significantly higher durations and frequencies of walking activities. DA/Han rats showed a significant increase of sniffing duration. In addition, DA/Han rats showed a significantly higher amount of time spent in the central platform. Multivariate T-pattern analysis revealed differences in the temporal organization of behaviour of the two rat strains. DA/Han rats showed (a) higher behavioural complexity and variability and (b) a significantly higher mean number of T-patterns than Wistar rats. Taken together, T-pattern analysis of behaviour in the centre of the elevated plus maze can noticeably improve the detection of subtle features of anxiety related behaviour. We suggest that T-pattern analysis could be used as sensitive tool to test the action of anxiolytic and anxiogenic manipulations. PMID:26247889

  12. Source levels of northern elephant seal vocalizations in-air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Insley, Stephen J.; Southall, Brandon L.

    2005-09-01

    Accurate measurements of vocalization sound-pressure levels are necessary to determine the acoustical active space of animals in natural and human-altered ambient noise conditions. Despite this basic need, such data are limited or nonexistent for most species. Our study characterized aerial ambient noise and vocalization source levels for northern elephant seals during the breeding season. Subjects were adult males, lactating females, and dependent offspring (pups) at An~o Nuevo State Reserve. Source level measurements were made using a Type 1 sound level meter and calibrated microphones on-axis: (1) at 1 m; (2) at several known distances (laser measured); and (3) simultaneously at 1 m and a second known distance. Concurrent ambient noise conditions were measured in situ (non-weighted 5 min Leq integrated averages) and recorded for later spectral analysis. Measurements were made at two sites, one relatively noisy and the other relatively quiet, to determine whether animals compensate for higher noise conditions by increasing source levels (Lombard effect). Results indicate a wide range in signal strength, particularly for adult males whose vocalization source levels appear to be correlated with dominance rank and related to ambient noise conditions. The Lombard effect was not observed for adult females or elephant seal pups.

  13. The Influence of Social Structure, Habitat, and Host Traits on the Transmission of Escherichia coli in Wild Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Chiyo, Patrick I.; Grieneisen, Laura E.; Wittemyer, George; Moss, Cynthia J.; Lee, Phyllis C.; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Archie, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Social structure is proposed to influence the transmission of both directly and environmentally transmitted infectious agents. However in natural populations, many other factors also influence transmission, including variation in individual susceptibility and aspects of the environment that promote or inhibit exposure to infection. We used a population genetic approach to investigate the effects of social structure, environment, and host traits on the transmission of Escherichia coli infecting two populations of wild elephants: one in Amboseli National Park and another in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. If E. coli transmission is strongly influenced by elephant social structure, E. coli infecting elephants from the same social group should be genetically more similar than E. coli sampled from members of different social groups. However, we found no support for this prediction. Instead, E. coli was panmictic across social groups, and transmission patterns were largely dominated by habitat and host traits. For instance, habitat overlap between elephant social groups predicted E. coli genetic similarity, but only in the relatively drier habitat of Samburu, and not in Amboseli, where the habitat contains large, permanent swamps. In terms of host traits, adult males were infected with more diverse haplotypes, and males were slightly more likely to harbor strains with higher pathogenic potential, as compared to adult females. In addition, elephants from similar birth cohorts were infected with genetically more similar E. coli than elephants more disparate in age. This age-structured transmission may be driven by temporal shifts in genetic structure of E. coli in the environment and the effects of age on bacterial colonization. Together, our results support the idea that, in elephants, social structure often will not exhibit strong effects on the transmission of generalist, fecal-oral transmitted bacteria. We discuss our results in the context of social, environmental

  14. Male and female rats differ in brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function and in behavioural traits predisposing to drug addiction: effect of ovarian hormones.

    PubMed

    Castelli, Maria Paola; Fadda, Paola; Casu, Angelo; Spano, Maria Sabrina; Casti, Alberto; Fratta, Walter; Fattore, Liana

    2014-01-01

    Sex-dependent differences are frequently observed in the biological and behavioural effects of substances of abuse, including cannabis. We recently demonstrated a modulating effect of sex and oestrous cycle on cannabinoid-taking and seeking behaviours. Here, we investigated the influence of sex and oestrogen in the regulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function, measured by [(3)H]CP55940 and CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding autoradiography, respectively, in the prefrontal cortex (Cg1 and Cg3), caudate- putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus of male and cycling female rats, as well as ovariectomised (OVX) rats and OVX rats primed with oestradiol (10 µg/rat) (OVX+E). CB1 receptor density was significantly lower in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of cycling females than in males and in OVX females, a difference that appeared to be oestradiol-dependent, because it was no more evident in the OVX+E group. CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding was significantly higher in the Cg3 of OVX rats relative to cycling and OVX+E rats. No difference was observed in CB1 receptor density or function in any of the other brain areas analysed. Finally, sex and oestradiol were also found to affect motor activity, social behaviour and sensorimotor gating in rats tested in locomotor activity boxes, social interaction and prepulse inhibition tasks, respectively. Our findings provide biochemical evidence for sex- and hormone- dependent differences in the density and function of CB1 receptors in selected brain regions, and in behaviours associated with greater vulnerability to drug addiction, revealing a more vulnerable behavioural phenotype in female than in male rats. PMID:23829370

  15. Dose-dependent effects of ethanol extract of Salvia haematodes Wall roots on reproductive function and copulatory behaviour in male rats.

    PubMed

    Bansode, F W; Rajendran, S M; Singh, R K

    2015-04-01

    This study was aimed to investigate the dose-dependent effects of Salvia haematodes Wall roots (SHW) extract on male reproductive function and copulatory behaviour in rats. Sexually mature males were assigned to four groups: control and treated (5, 50 and 300 mg kg(-1)  day(-1) for 30 days). At the end of treatment regimes, the reproductive activity viz. body/organ weights, testicular spermatogenesis, daily sperm production rate (DSP) and epididymal sperm counts, and sexual behaviour including mounting latency (ML), mounting frequency (MF), intromission latency (IL), intromission frequency (IF), ejaculation latency (EL), post-ejaculatory interval (PEI) and penile reflexes (PE) were assessed. Results showed significant increase in body weight (at 300 mg kg(-1) ), testis/epididymis weights (at 50 and 300 mg kg(-1) ), testicular spermatids, DSP, tubular diameter and epididymal sperm counts (at 50 and 300 mg kg(-1) doses) in treated compared with control rats. It also produced dose-dependant changes in sexual behaviour. The 5 mg kg(-1) dose of extract increased MF and PE, whereas 50 and 300 kg(-1) doses caused significant increase in MF, IF, PE, EL (but less than sildenafil citrate treatment), hit rate and seminal plug weight. It is concluded that SHW extract enhances anabolic activity, testicular function and sexual behavioural performance in a dose-dependant manner. PMID:24621398

  16. Could Dromedary Camels Develop Stereotypy? The First Description of Stereotypical Behaviour in Housed Male Dromedary Camels and How It Is Affected by Different Management Systems

    PubMed Central

    Padalino, Barbara; Aubé, Lydiane; Fatnassi, Meriem; Monaco, Davide; Khorchani, Touhami; Hammadi, Mohamed; Lacalandra, Giovanni Michele

    2014-01-01

    Dromedary camel husbandry has recently been evolving towards a semi-intensive system, due to the changes in use of the animal and the settlement of nomadic populations. Captivity could restrict its social activities, limiting the expression of various behavioural needs and causing the manifestation of stereotypy. The aims of this trial were, firstly, to identify and describe some stereotypical behaviours in captive male dromedary camels used for artificial insemination and, secondly, to study the effects on them of the following husbandry management systems: i) housing in single boxes for 24 hours (H24), ii) housing in single boxes for 23 hours with one hour free in the paddock (H23), and iii) housing in single boxes for 22 hours 30 min with 1 h of paddock time and 30 min exposure to a female camel herd (ExF). Every day, the camels were filmed in their single box in the morning for 30 minutes to record their behavioural activities and a focal animal sampling ethogram was filled in. In this study, male camels showed both oral and locomotor stereotypy most frequently when the bulls were reared in H24. Overall, this preliminary study is a starting point in the identification of stereotypies in male camels, reporting the positive effects of spending one hour outdoor and of social interaction with females. PMID:24586522

  17. Could dromedary camels develop stereotypy? The first description of stereotypical behaviour in housed male dromedary camels and how it is affected by different management systems.

    PubMed

    Padalino, Barbara; Aubé, Lydiane; Fatnassi, Meriem; Monaco, Davide; Khorchani, Touhami; Hammadi, Mohamed; Lacalandra, Giovanni Michele

    2014-01-01

    Dromedary camel husbandry has recently been evolving towards a semi-intensive system, due to the changes in use of the animal and the settlement of nomadic populations. Captivity could restrict its social activities, limiting the expression of various behavioural needs and causing the manifestation of stereotypy. The aims of this trial were, firstly, to identify and describe some stereotypical behaviours in captive male dromedary camels used for artificial insemination and, secondly, to study the effects on them of the following husbandry management systems: i) housing in single boxes for 24 hours (H24), ii) housing in single boxes for 23 hours with one hour free in the paddock (H23), and iii) housing in single boxes for 22 hours 30 min with 1 h of paddock time and 30 min exposure to a female camel herd (ExF). Every day, the camels were filmed in their single box in the morning for 30 minutes to record their behavioural activities and a focal animal sampling ethogram was filled in. In this study, male camels showed both oral and locomotor stereotypy most frequently when the bulls were reared in H24. Overall, this preliminary study is a starting point in the identification of stereotypies in male camels, reporting the positive effects of spending one hour outdoor and of social interaction with females. PMID:24586522

  18. Involvement of dopamine D2 receptors in the effect of cocaine on sexual behaviour and stretching-yawning of male rats.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, F; Giuliani, D

    1997-06-01

    The effect of cocaine (7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg) administered in acute or subchronic mode, on the mating behaviour of sexually active male rats varied in a dose- and mode-dependent manner. Regardless of mode of treatment, 30 mg/kg markedly impaired the rats copulatory ability and impairment continued for a week after suspension of subchronic treatment. An acute dose of 15 mg/kg reduced intromission frequency, while in subchronic mode it also reduced ejaculation latency. Mount frequency was increased by 7.5 and 15 mg/kg, but only on first injection. In the case of sexually-naive male rats, acute administration of cocaine (3-30 mg/kg) stimulated penile erections at 7.5 mg/kg and motor hyperactivity at all doses. (-) Eticlopride (0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg), a DA D2 antagonist, counteracted cocaine-induced motor hyperactivity but not penile erection, which it enhanced. (-) Eticlopride at the same doses also antagonized cocaine potentiation of lisuride (0.2 mg/kg)-induced behavioural effects. When male rats treated with subchronic cocaine (15 mg/kg) were injected with the DA D2 agonist SND 919 (0.1 mg/kg), they displayed a more marked stretching-yawning behaviour than control animals receiving SND 919 at the same dose. The involvement of DA D2 receptors in cocaine-induced effects is suggested. PMID:9225304

  19. Self-recognition in an Asian elephant.

    PubMed

    Plotnik, Joshua M; de Waal, Frans B M; Reiss, Diana

    2006-11-01

    Considered an indicator of self-awareness, mirror self-recognition (MSR) has long seemed limited to humans and apes. In both phylogeny and human ontogeny, MSR is thought to correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior. Apart from humans and apes, dolphins and elephants are also known for such capacities. After the recent discovery of MSR in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), elephants thus were the next logical candidate species. We exposed three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a large mirror to investigate their responses. Animals that possess MSR typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror: (i) social responses, (ii) physical inspection (e.g., looking behind the mirror), (iii) repetitive mirror-testing behavior, and (iv) realization of seeing themselves. Visible marks and invisible sham-marks were applied to the elephants' heads to test whether they would pass the litmus "mark test" for MSR in which an individual spontaneously uses a mirror to touch an otherwise imperceptible mark on its own body. Here, we report a successful MSR elephant study and report striking parallels in the progression of responses to mirrors among apes, dolphins, and elephants. These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation. PMID:17075063

  20. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon.

    PubMed

    Ngama, Steeve; Korte, Lisa; Bindelle, Jérôme; Vermeulen, Cédric; Poulsen, John R

    2016-01-01

    In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become "problem animals". To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level. PMID:27196059

  1. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon

    PubMed Central

    Ngama, Steeve; Korte, Lisa; Bindelle, Jérôme; Vermeulen, Cédric; Poulsen, John R.

    2016-01-01

    In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become “problem animals”. To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level. PMID:27196059

  2. Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Mumby, Hannah S; Courtiol, Alexandre; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-05-01

    Concern about climate change has intensified interest in understanding how climatic variability affects animal life histories. Despite such effects being potentially most dramatic in large, long-lived, and slowly reproducing terrestrial mammals, little is known of the effects of climatic variation on survival in those species. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are endangered across their distribution, and inhabit regions characterized by high seasonality of temperature and rainfall. We investigated the effects of monthly climatic variation on survival and causes of death in Asian elephants using a unique demographic data set of 1024 semi-captive, longitudinally monitored elephants from four sites in Myanmar between 1965 and 2000. Temperature had a significant effect on survival in both sexes and across all ages. For elephants between 1 month and 17 years of age, maximal survival was reached at -24 degrees C, and any departures from this temperature increased mortality, whereas neonates and mature elephants had maximal survival at even lower temperatures. Although males experienced higher mortality overall, sex differences in these optimal temperatures were small. Because the elephants spent more time during a year in temperatures above 24 degrees C than in temperatures below it, most deaths occurred at hot (temperatures>24 degrees C) rather than cold periods. Decreased survival at higher temperatures resulted partially from increased deaths from infectious disease and heat stroke, whereas the lower survival in the coldest months was associated with an increase in noninfectious diseases and poor health in general. Survival was also related to rainfall, with the highest survival rates during the wettest months for all ages and sexes. Our results show that even the normal-range monsoon variation in climate can exert a large impact on elephant survival in Myanmar, leading to extensive absolute differences in mortality; switching from favorable to unfavorable climatic

  3. Dose- and time-dependent effects of Garcinia kola seed extract on sexual behaviour and reproductive parameters in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Sewani-Rusike, C R; Ralebona, N; Nkeh-Chungag, B N

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a crude extract of Garcinia kola on male sexual function after subchronic and chronic treatment periods at different sublethal doses. Adult male Wistar rats were treated orally with 100, 200 and 400 mg kg(-1) of a 70% ethanolic extract of G. kola daily for 56 days. Sexual behaviour studies were performed on days 28 and 50. At termination on day 56, organ weights, sperm count, reproductive hormone levels and testicular histology were assessed. Subchronic and chronic treatment of normal male rats with G. kola extract resulted in overall increase in components of libido, erection and ejaculation in treated rats - with lower doses being more efficient than the higher dose. There was a slight reduction in some components of sexual behaviour with prolonged time of treatment. G. kola treatment at all doses resulted in increased testicular weights, increased sperm count with no change in motility and increased serum testosterone levels with no change in gonadotropin levels. Gross testicular histology was not affected by treatment. We conclude that G. kola seed extract possesses potent aphrodisiac activity in male albino rats with resultant increase in sperm count and testosterone levels. PMID:26123866

  4. Minimum cost of transport in Asian elephants: do we really need a bigger elephant?

    PubMed

    Langman, Vaughan A; Rowe, Michael F; Roberts, Thomas J; Langman, Nathanial V; Taylor, Charles R

    2012-05-01

    Body mass is the primary determinant of an animal's energy requirements. At their optimum walking speed, large animals have lower mass-specific energy requirements for locomotion than small ones. In animals ranging in size from 0.8 g (roach) to 260 kg (zebu steer), the minimum cost of transport (COT(min)) decreases with increasing body size roughly as COT(min)∝body mass (M(b))(-0.316±0.023) (95% CI). Typically, the variation of COT(min) with body mass is weaker at the intraspecific level as a result of physiological and geometric similarity within closely related species. The interspecific relationship estimates that an adult elephant, with twice the body mass of a mid-sized elephant, should be able to move its body approximately 23% cheaper than the smaller elephant. We sought to determine whether adult Asian and sub-adult African elephants follow a single quasi-intraspecific relationship, and extend the interspecific relationship between COT(min) and body mass to 12-fold larger animals. Physiological and possibly geometric similarity between adult Asian elephants and sub-adult African elephants caused body mass to have a no effect on COT(min) (COT(min)∝M(b)(0.007±0.455)). The COT(min) in elephants occurred at walking speeds between 1.3 and ∼1.5 m s(-1), and at Froude numbers between 0.10 and 0.24. The addition of adult Asian elephants to the interspecific relationship resulted in COT(min)∝M (-0.277±0.046)(b). The quasi-intraspecific relationship between body mass and COT(min) among elephants caused the interspecific relationship to underestimate COT(min) in larger elephants. PMID:22496287

  5. Investigating the seismic signal of elephants: using seismology to mitigate elephant human conflict

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, S. J.; Manzi, M.; Naidoo, A.; Raveloson, A.

    2015-12-01

    Human interactions with wild elephants are often a source of conflict, as elephants invade inhabited lands looking for sustenance. In order to mitigate these interactions, a number of elephant defense systems are under development. These include electric fences, bees and the playback of warning calls recorded from elephants. With the discovery that elephants use seismic signals to communicate (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2006, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.), it is hoped that seismic signals can also be used to help reduce conflict. Our current research project investigates the spectral content of the elephant seismic signal that travels through the ground using a variety of geophones and seismometers. Our experimental setup used a Geometrics Geode 24 channel seismic system with an array of 24 geophones spaced 1 m apart in an area of compact soil overlying weathered granites. Initially we used 14 Hz vertical geophones. The ground and ambient noise conditions were characterized by recording several hammer shots. These were used to identify the air wave, wind noise, and the direct wave, which had a dominant frequency of ~50 Hz. Several trained elephants that 'rumble' on command were then deployed ~5 m perpendicular to a line of 24 (14 Hz) vertical geophones between the 1 and 10 m geophone positions. We recorded a number of different elephants and configurations, and digitally recorded video for comparison. An additional deployment of 20 (14 Hz) horizontal geophones was also used. For all data, the sample interval was 0.25 ms and the recording length was 16 s as the timing of the rumbles could not be precisely controlled. We were able to identify the airwave due to the elephant's rumble with velocities between 305-310 m/s and the ground seismic signal due to the rumble with frequencies between 20-30 Hz. Our next experiment will include broadband seismometers at a further distance, to more fully characterize the frequency content of the elephant signal.

  6. The consequences of poaching and anthropogenic change for forest elephants.

    PubMed

    Breuer, Thomas; Maisels, Fiona; Fishlock, Vicki

    2016-10-01

    Poaching has devastated forest elephant populations (Loxodonta cyclotis), and their habitat is dramatically changing. The long-term effects of poaching and other anthropogenic threats have been well studied in savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana), but the impacts of these changes for Central Africa's forest elephants have not been discussed. We examined potential repercussions of these threats and the related consequences for forest elephants in Central Africa by summarizing the lessons learned from savannah elephants and small forest elephant populations in West Africa. Forest elephant social organization is less known than the social organization of savannah elephants, but the close evolutionary history of these species suggests that they will respond to anthropogenic threats in broadly similar ways. The loss of older, experienced individuals in an elephant population disrupts ecological, social, and population parameters. Severe reduction of elephant abundance within Central Africa's forests can alter plant communities and ecosystem functions. Poaching, habitat alterations, and human population increase are probably compressing forest elephants into protected areas and increasing human-elephant conflict, which negatively affects their conservation. We encourage conservationists to look beyond documenting forest elephant population decline and address the causes of these declines when developing conversation strategies. We suggest assessing the effectiveness of the existing protected-area networks for landscape connectivity in light of current industrial and infrastructure development. Longitudinal assessments of the effects of landscape changes on forest elephant sociality and behavior are also needed. Finally, lessons learned from West African elephant population loss and habitat fragmentation should be used to inform strategies for land-use planning and managing human-elephant interactions. PMID:26801000

  7. The effects of gonadectomy and binge-like ethanol exposure during adolescence on open field behaviour in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wensheng; Kang, Jie; Zhang, Guoliang; Li, Shuangcheng; Kang, Yunxiao; Wang, Lei; Shi, Geming

    2015-09-14

    Binge drinking ethanol exposure during adolescence can lead to long-term neurobehavioural damage. It is not known whether the pubertal surge in testosterone that occurs during adolescence might impact the neurobehavioural effects of early ethanol exposure in adult animals. We examined this hypothesis by performing sham or gonadectomy surgeries on Sprague-Dawley rats around postnatal day (P) 23. From P28-65,the rats were administered 3.0g/kg ethanol using a binge-like model of exposure. Dependent measurements included tests of open field behaviour, blood ethanol concentrations, and testosterone levels. As adults, significant decreases in open field activity were observed in the GX rats. The open field behaviour of the GX rats was restored after testosterone administration. Binge-like ethanol exposure altered most of the parameters of the open field behaviour, suggestive of alcohol-induced anxiety, but rats treated with alcohol in combination with gonadectomy showed less motor behaviour and grooming behaviour and an increase in immobility, suggesting ethanol-induced depression. These results indicated that testosterone is required for ethanol-induced behavioural changes and that testicular hormones are potent stimulators of ethanol-induced behaviours. PMID:26238258

  8. Exposure to Pornographic Videos and Its Effect on HIV-Related Sexual Risk Behaviours among Male Migrant Workers in Southern India

    PubMed Central

    Mahapatra, Bidhubhusan; Saggurti, Niranjan

    2014-01-01

    Objective Research on pornography and its association with HIV-related sexual behaviours is limited in India. This study aims to examine the prevalence and correlates of viewing pornographic videos and examine its associations with HIV-related sexual risk behaviours among male migrant workers in India. Methods Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2007–08 across 21 districts in four states of India. Respondents included 11,219 male migrants aged 18 years or older, who had migrated to at least two places in the past two years for work. Bivariate and multivariate methods were used to examine the association between viewing pornography and HIV-related sexual risk behaviours. Results Two-fifths (40%) of the migrants had viewed pornographic videos in one month prior to the survey. Migrants aged 25–29 years, literate, unmarried and away from native village for more than five years were more likely to view pornography than their counterparts. Migrants who viewed pornographic videos were more likely to engage in paid (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.7–4.8) and unpaid sex (AOR: 4.2, 95% CI: 3.7–4.7), report inconsistent condom use in paid sex (AOR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.7–3.0) and experience STI-like symptoms (AOR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.5–1.8) than their counterparts. Conclusions The findings regarding migrants' exposure to pornography and its linkage with high HIV risk behaviour suggest that the HIV prevention programmes for migrants need to be more innovative to communicate on the negative-effects of viewing pornography. More importantly, programmes need to find alternative ways to engage migrants in infotainment activities during their leisure time in an effort to reduce their exposure to pornographic videos as well as risky sexual behaviours. PMID:25423311

  9. Age Determination by Back Length for African Savanna Elephants: Extending Age Assessment Techniques for Aerial-Based Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Trimble, Morgan J.; van Aarde, Rudi J.; Ferreira, Sam M.; Nørgaard, Camilla F.; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C.; Moss, Cynthia J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables. PMID:22028925

  10. The elephant knee joint: morphological and biomechanical considerations

    PubMed Central

    Weissengruber, G E; Fuss, F K; Egger, G; Stanek, G; Hittmair, K M; Forstenpointner, G

    2006-01-01

    Elephant limbs display unique morphological features which are related mainly to supporting the enormous body weight of the animal. In elephants, the knee joint plays important roles in weight bearing and locomotion, but anatomical data are sparse and lacking in functional analyses. In addition, the knee joint is affected frequently by arthrosis. Here we examined structures of the knee joint by means of standard anatomical techniques in eight African (Loxodonta africana) and three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Furthermore, we performed radiography in five African and two Asian elephants and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in one African elephant. Macerated bones of 11 individuals (four African, seven Asian elephants) were measured with a pair of callipers to give standardized measurements of the articular parts. In one Asian and three African elephants, kinematic and functional analyses were carried out using a digitizer and according to the helical axis concept. Some peculiarities of healthy and arthrotic knee joints of elephants were compared with human knees. In contrast to those of other quadruped mammals, the knee joint of elephants displays an extended resting position. The femorotibial joint of elephants shows a high grade of congruency and the menisci are extremely narrow and thin. The four-bar mechanism of the cruciate ligaments exists also in the elephant. The main motion of the knee joint is extension–flexion with a range of motion of 142°. In elephants, arthrotic alterations of the knee joint can lead to injury or loss of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament. PMID:16420379

  11. The elephant interferon gamma assay: a contribution to diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants.

    PubMed

    Angkawanish, T; Morar, D; van Kooten, P; Bontekoning, I; Schreuder, J; Maas, M; Wajjwalku, W; Sirimalaisuwan, A; Michel, A; Tijhaar, E; Rutten, V

    2013-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) has been shown to be the main causative agent of tuberculosis in elephants worldwide. M. tb may be transmitted from infected humans to other species including elephants and vice versa, in case of prolonged intensive contact. An accurate diagnostic approach covering all phases of the infection in elephants is required. As M. tb is an intracellular pathogen and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses are elicited early after infection, the skin test is the CMI assay of choice in humans and cattle. However, this test is not applicable in elephants. The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) assay is considered a good alternative for the skin test in general, validated for use in cattle and humans. This study was aimed at development of an IFN-γ assay applicable for diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants. Recombinant elephant IFN-γ (rEpIFN-γ) produced in eukaryotic cells was used to immunize mice and generate the monoclonal antibodies. Hybridomas were screened for IFN-γ-specific monoclonal antibody production and subcloned, and antibodies were isotyped and affinity purified. Western blot confirmed recognition of the rEpIFN-γ. The optimal combination of capture and detection antibodies selected was able to detect rEpIFN-γ in concentrations as low as 1 pg/ml. The assay was shown to be able to detect the native elephant IFN-γ, elicited in positive-control cultures (pokeweed mitogen (PWM), phorbol myristate acetate plus ionomycin (PMA/I)) of both Asian and African elephant whole-blood cultures (WBC). Preliminary data were generated using WBC from non-infected elephants, a M. tb infection-suspected elephant and a culture-confirmed M. tb-infected elephant. The latter showed measurable production of IFN-γ after stimulation with ESAT6/CFP10 PPDB and PPDA in concentration ranges as elicited in WBC by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)-specific antigens in other species. Hence, the IFN-γ assay presented potential as a diagnostic tool for the

  12. On-ground housing in “Mice Drawer System” (MDS) cage affects locomotor behaviour but not anxiety in male mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simone, Luciano; Bartolomucci, Alessandro; Palanza, Paola; Parmigiani, Stefano

    2008-03-01

    In the present study adult male mice were housed for 21 days in a housing modules of the Mice Drawer System (MDS). MDS is the facility that will support the research on board the International Space Station (ISS). Our investigation focused on: circadian rhythmicity of wide behavioural categories such as locomotor activity, food intake/drinking and resting; emotionality in the elevated plus maze (EPM); body weight. Housing in the MDS determined a strong up-regulation of activity and feeding behaviour and a concomitant decrease in inactivity. Importantly, housing in the MDS disrupted circadian rhythmicity in mice and also determined a decrease in body weight. Finally, when mice were tested in the EPM a clear hyperactivity (i.e. increased total transitions) was found, while no evidence for altered anxiety was detected. In conclusion, housing adult male mice in the MDS housing modules may affect their behaviour, circadian rhythmicity while having no effect on anxiety. It is suggested that to allow adaptation to the peculiar housing allowed by MDS a longer housing duration is needed.

  13. Foetal age determination and development in elephants.

    PubMed

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Drews, Barbara; Gaeth, Ann P; Goeritz, Frank; Hermes, Robert; Schmitt, Dennis; Gray, Charlie; Rich, Peter; Streich, Wolf Juergen; Short, Roger V; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2007-02-01

    Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all mammals, with an average gestation of around 660 days, so their embryonic and foetal development have always been of special interest. Hitherto, it has only been possible to estimate foetal ages from theoretical calculations based on foetal mass. The recent development of sophisticated ultrasound procedures for elephants has now made it possible to monitor the growth and development of foetuses of known gestational age conceived in captivity from natural matings or artificial insemination. We have studied the early stages of pregnancy in 10 captive Asian and 9 African elephants by transrectal ultrasound. Measurements of foetal crown-rump lengths have provided the first accurate growth curves, which differ significantly from the previous theoretical estimates based on the cube root of foetal mass. We have used these to age 22 African elephant foetuses collected during culling operations. Pregnancy can be first recognized ultrasonographically by day 50, the presumptive yolk sac by about day 75 and the zonary placenta by about day 85. The trunk is first recognizable by days 85-90 and is distinct by day 104, while the first heartbeats are evident from around day 80. By combining ultrasonography and morphology, we have been able to produce the first reliable criteria for estimating gestational age and ontological development of Asian and African elephant foetuses during the first third of gestation. PMID:17164195

  14. Biomechanics of locomotion in Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Genin, J J; Willems, P A; Cavagna, G A; Lair, R; Heglund, N C

    2010-03-01

    Elephants are the biggest living terrestrial animal, weighing up to five tons and measuring up to three metres at the withers. These exceptional dimensions provide certain advantages (e.g. the mass-specific energetic cost of locomotion is decreased) but also disadvantages (e.g. forces are proportional to body volume while supportive tissue strength depends on their cross-sectional area, which makes elephants relatively more fragile than smaller animals). In order to understand better how body size affects gait mechanics the movement of the centre of mass (COM) of 34 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) was studied over their entire speed range of 0.4-5.0 m s(-1) with force platforms. The mass-specific mechanical work required to maintain the movements of the COM per unit distance is approximately 0.2 J kg(-1) m(-1) (about 1/3 of the average of other animals ranging in size from a 35 g kangaroo rat to a 70 kg human). At low speeds this work is reduced by a pendulum-like exchange between the kinetic and potential energies of the COM, with a maximum energy exchange of approximately 60% at 1.4 m s(-1). At high speeds, elephants use a bouncing mechanism with little exchange between kinetic and potential energies of the COM, although without an aerial phase. Elephants increase speed while reducing the vertical oscillation of the COM from about 3 cm to 1 cm. PMID:20154184

  15. Patch-occupancy models indicate human activity as major determinant of forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis seasonal distribution in an industrial corridor in Gabon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buij, R.; McShea, W.J.; Campbell, P.; Lee, M.E.; Dallmeier, F.; Guimondou, S.; Mackaga, L.; Guisseougou, N.; Mboumba, S.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Alonso, A.

    2007-01-01

    The importance of human activity and ecological features in influencing African forest elephant ranging behaviour was investigated in the Rabi-Ndogo corridor of the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in southwest Gabon. Locations in a wide geographical area with a range of environmental variables were selected for patch-occupancy surveys using elephant dung to assess seasonal presence and absence of elephants. Patch-occupancy procedures allowed for covariate modelling evaluating hypotheses for both occupancy in relation to human activity and ecological features, and detection probability in relation to vegetation density. The best fitting models for old and fresh dung data sets indicate that (1) detection probability for elephant dung is negatively related to the relative density of the vegetation, and (2) human activity, such as presence and infrastructure, are more closely associated with elephant distribution patterns than are ecological features, such as the presence of wetlands and preferred fresh fruit. Our findings emphasize the sensitivity of elephants to human disturbance, in this case infrastructure development associated with gas and oil production. Patch-occupancy methodology offers a viable alternative to current transect protocols for monitoring programs with multiple covariates.

  16. Pharmacokinetics and intramuscular bioavailability of a single dose of butorphanol in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Tana, Leann M; Isaza, Ramiro; Koch, David E; Hunter, Robert P

    2010-09-01

    Captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are susceptible to lameness resulting from foot and joint pain, including chronic arthritis. In the past, opioid analgesics, such as butorphanol, have been used clinically for pain management. However, dosages used in treating elephants were often extrapolated from data in horses, with no pharmacokinetic information on the specific agents used in elephant species. In this pharmacokinetic study, six adult captive Asian elephants (5 female, 1 male castrate) were administered a 0.015 mg/kg dose of butorphanol by both i.v. and i.m. routes. A complete crossover design was used with a 3-wk washout period between treatments. Serial blood samples were collected immediately prior to butorphanol administration and at 5, 10, 20, and 40 min and 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 24 h after administration. The butorphanol analysis was performed using a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectrophotometric assay with a limit of quantitation of 0.025 ng/ml. The mean Cmax after i.m. administration was 7.9 ng/ml, with a corresponding Tmax, of 40 min and t(1/3), of 7.1 h. After i.v. administration, the mean Vd(ss) was 1.4 L/kg and the mean Cl(p) was 0.26 L/kg/h. Mean i.m. bioavailability was 37%. The results indicate that butorphanol used at 0.015 mg/kg i.m. or i.v. could be useful in elephants when given for pain control. PMID:20945638

  17. Aspects of elephant behavior, ecology, and interactions with humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    This dissertation is comprised of two chapters relating to the acoustic behavior of elephants, their surrounding ecology and interactions with humans. The first chapter investigates the seismic aspects of Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) acoustic communication. The second chapter is comprised of a synthesis of two separate studies conducted on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, both in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region. The two studies were combined and published in Biological Conservation as one large study on aspects of the economic and social impacts of elephant/human conflict and experiments conducted to reduce conflict. In chapter one, seismic and acoustic data were recorded simultaneously from Asian elephants during periods of vocalizations and locomotion. Acoustic and seismic signals from rumbles were highly correlated at near and far distances and were in phase near the elephant and were out of phase at an increased distance from the elephant. Data analyses indicated that elephant generated signals associated with rumbles and "foot stomps" propagated at different velocities in the two media, the acoustic signals traveling at 309 m/s and the seismic signals at 248--264 m/s. Both types of signals had predominant frequencies in the range of 20 Hz. Seismic signal amplitudes considerably above background noise were recorded at 40 m from the generating elephants for both the rumble and the stomp. Seismic propagation models suggest that seismic waveforms from vocalizations are potentially detectable by instruments at distances of up to 16 km, and up to 32 km for locomotion generated signals. Thus, if detectable by elephants, these seismic signals could be useful for long distance communication. In chapter two, the economic impact of elephants, Loxodonta africana , and predators, particularly lions, Panthera leo, on rural agriculturists in the Kwando region of the East Caprivi, Namibia was assessed from the years 1991 to 1995. Elephants

  18. Behavioural evidence that different neurochemical mechanisms underly stretching-yawning and penile erection induced in male rats by SND 919, a new selective D2 dopamine receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, F; Pelloni, F; Giuliani, D

    1993-01-01

    The behavioural effects induced in male Wistar rats by SND 919, a new drug reputed to have selective agonistic activity at D2 dopamine (DA) receptors, were studied. The following aspects of behaviour were considered: motor activity, stretching-yawning (SY), penile erection (PE) and stereotyped behaviour (SB). Intraperitoneal injection (IP) of the drug (0.01-20 mg/kg) induced an SY syndrome in the form of a bell-shaped dose-response curve, the effect being maximal at the dose of 0.1 mg/kg and disappearing completely at 10 mg/kg. SND 919 also potently elicited PE; this latter effect, however, was not coincident with SY induction, being maximal at 1 mg/kg and persisting at 10 and 20 mg/kg. SND 919-induced SY was potently antagonized by pretreatment not only with the D2 antagonist, L-sulpiride (20 mg/kg), but also with the alpha 2 antagonist, yohimbine (1, 3 mg/kg), and the more selective alpha 2 antagonist, idazoxan (1, 2 and 5 mg/kg). While sulpiride also decreased SND 919-induced PE, idazoxan at all doses and yohimbine at 1 mg/kg did not affect this behaviour. Inhibition of motor activity was induced by the D2 agonist at low doses (0.05, 0.1 mg/kg), while at high doses (1, 10 and 20 mg/kg), it was actually replaced by a form of SB characterized by downward sniffing and licking. When, for comparison, the D2 agonist, RU 24213 (0.1-20 mg/kg IP), was tested for PE, SY, motor activity and SB, it displayed a behavioural pattern very similar to that obtained with SND 919. Idazoxan (2 mg/kg), administered before RU 24213 (10 mg/kg), significantly antagonized the drug-induced SY, but not PE.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7855178

  19. CLINICAL INFECTION OF TWO CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 1B.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Tan, Jie; Peng, RongSheng; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    The ability of prior infection from one elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) type to protect against clinical or lethal infection from others remains an important question. This report describes viremia and subsequent shedding of EEHV1B in two juvenile 4-yr-old Asian elephants within 3 wk or 2 mo following significant infections caused by the rarely seen EEHV4. High levels of EEHV1B shedding were detected in the first elephant prior to emergence of infection and viremia in the second animal. The EEHV1B virus associated with both infections was identical to the strain causing infection in two herd mates previously. High EEHV viremia correlated with leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, which was followed by leukocytosis and thrombocytosis when clinical signs started to resolve. The observations from these cases should be beneficial for helping other institutions monitor and treat elephants infected with EEHV1, the most common virus associated with lethal hemorrhagic disease. PMID:27010294

  20. Genetic relatedness and disrupted social structure in a poached population of African elephants.

    PubMed

    Gobush, Kathleen; Kerr, Ben; Wasser, Samuel

    2009-02-01

    We use genetic measures of relatedness and observations of female bonding to examine the demographic signature of historically heavy poaching of a population of free-ranging African elephants. We collected dung samples to obtain DNA and observed behaviour from 102 elephant families over a 25-month period in 2003-2005 in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Poaching reduced the population by 75% in the decade prior to the 1989 ivory trade ban; park records indicate that poaching dropped significantly in Mikumi following the ban. Using 10 microsatellite loci, DNA was genotyped in 203 elephants and pair-wise relatedness was calculated among adult females within and between groups. The Mikumi population is characterized by small group size, considerable variation in group relatedness, females with no first-order adult relatives and females that form only weak social bonds. We used gene-drop analysis and a model of a genetically intact pedigree to compare our observed Mikumi group relatedness to a simulated genetically intact unpoached expectation. The majority of groups in Mikumi contain 2 to 3 adults; of these, 45% were classified as genetically disrupted. Bonding, quantified with a pair-wise association index, was significantly correlated with relatedness; however only half of the females formed strong bonds with other females, and relatedness was substantially lower for a given bond strength as compared to an unpoached population. Female African elephants without kin demonstrated considerable behavioural plasticity in this disturbed environment, grouping with other females lacking kin, with established groups, or remaining alone, unable to form any stable adult female-bonds. We interpret these findings as the remaining effect of poaching disturbance in Mikumi, despite a drop in the level of poaching since the commercial trade in ivory was banned 15 years ago. PMID:19175507

  1. Swimming speed and foraging strategies of northern elephant seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassrick, Jason L.; Crocker, Daniel E.; Zeno, Ramona L.; Blackwell, Susanna B.; Costa, Daniel P.; Le Boeuf, Burney J.

    2007-02-01

    We investigated swimming speed, a key variable in both the management of oxygen stores and foraging strategies, and its relationship to diving behaviour in northern elephant seals , Mirounga angustirostris. Swimming speed significantly reduced the dive duration and time at depth for presumed foraging dives, but increased with dive depth. This suggests that the extended duration of deep dives is made possible by physiological adjustments and not by changes in swimming speed or effort. Swimming speeds were similar across sex and age classes despite different predicted minimum cost of transport speeds. All seals exhibited characteristic dive shapes and swimming speed patterns that support their putative functions, but two-dimensional dive shapes and swimming angles varied between sexes and age classes. Mean dive angles on descent were markedly shallow, suggesting use of negative buoyancy to cover horizontal distance while diving. Buoyancy also appeared to affect two-dimensional dive shapes and ability to use extended gliding behaviours between surface and deep foraging zones. Significant differences in diving behaviour between sexes and between young and adult females were evident for various phases of the dive cycle, potentially resulting from physical constraints or differences in dive functionality.

  2. Isolation of Leptospira from a phocid: acute renal failure and mortality from Leptospirosis in rehabilitated northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), California, USA.

    PubMed

    Delaney, Martha A; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Spraker, Terry R; Zuerner, Richard L; Galloway, Renee L; Gulland, Frances M D

    2014-07-01

    During rehabilitation, acute renal failure due to leptospirosis occurred in eight male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) that stranded along the central California coast in 2011. Characteristic histologic lesions including renal tubular degeneration, necrosis, and mineralization, and mild lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis were noted in the six animals examined. Immunohistochemistry, bacterial culture, and PCR were positive in 2/3, 2/3, and 3/4 seals, respectively, and 6/8 had high serum antibody titers to Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis confirmed one isolate as serovar pomona. Variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis showed both elephant seal isolates were identical to each other but distinct from those isolated from California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The time from stranding to onset of azotemia was 1 to 38 (median=24) days, suggesting some seals were infected at the rehabilitation facility. Based on temporal and spatial incidence of infection, transmission among elephant seals likely occurred during rehabilitation. Molecular (VNTR) analysis of the two isolates indicates there is a unique L. interrogans serovar pomona genotype in elephant seals, and sea lions were not the source of infection prior to or during rehabilitation. This study confirms the susceptibility of northern elephant seals to leptospirosis, indicates intraspecies transmission during rehabilitation, and reports the first isolation and preliminary characterization of leptospires from elephant seals. PMID:24807176

  3. Supporting elephant conservation in Sri Lanka through MODIS imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perera, Kithsiri; Tateishi, Ryutaro

    2012-10-01

    The latest national elephant survey of Sri Lanka (2011) revealed Sri Lanka has 5,879 elephants. The total forest cover for these elephants is about 19,500 sq km (2012 estimation) and estimated forest area is about 30% of the country when smaller green patches are also counted. However, studies have pointed out that a herd of elephants need about a 100 sq km of forest patch to survive. With a high human population density (332 people per sq km, 2010), the pressure for land to feed people and elephants is becoming critical. Resent reports have indicated about 250 elephants are killed annually by farmers and dozens of people are also killed by elephants. Under this context, researchers are investigating various methods to assess the elephant movements to address the issues of Human-Elephant-Conflict (HEC). Apart from various local remedies for the issue, the conservation of elephant population can be supported by satellite imagery based studies. MODIS sensor imagery can be considered as a successful candidate here. Its spatial resolution is low (250m x 250m) but automatically filters out small forest patches in the mapping process. The daily imagery helps to monitor temporal forest cover changes. This study investigated the background information of HEC and used MODIS 250m imagery to suggest applicability of satellite data for Elephant conservations efforts. The elephant movement information was gathered from local authorities and potentials to identify bio-corridors were discussed. Under future research steps, regular forest cover monitoring through MODIS data was emphasized as a valuable tool in elephant conservations efforts.

  4. Winter use of sea ice and ocean water mass habitat by southern elephant seals: The length and breadth of the mystery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, Sara; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Heerah, Karine; Guinet, Christophe; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Authier, Matthieu; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the responses of animals to the environment is crucial for identifying critical foraging habitat. Elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from the Kerguelen Islands (49°20‧S, 70°20‧E) have several different foraging strategies. Why some individuals undertake long trips to the Antarctic continent while others utilize the relatively close frontal zones is poorly understood. Here, we investigate how physical properties within the sea ice zone are linked to foraging activities of southern elephant seals (SES). To do this, we first developed a new approach using indices of foraging derived from high temporal resolution dive and accelerometry data to predict foraging behaviour in an extensive, low resolution dataset from CTD-Satellite Relay Data Loggers (CTD-SRDLs). A sample of 37 post-breeding SES females were used to construct a predictive model applied to demersal and pelagic dive strategies relating prey encounter events (PEE) to dive parameters (dive duration, bottom duration, hunting-time, maximum depth, ascent speed, descent speed, sinuosity, and horizontal speed) for each strategy. We applied these models to a second sample of 35 seals, 20 males and 15 females, during the post-moult foraging trip to the Antarctic continental shelf between 2004 and 2013, which did not have fine-scale behavioural data. The females were widely distributed with important foraging activity south of the Southern Boundary Front, while males predominately travelled to the south-eastern part of the East Antarctica region. Combining our predictions of PEE with environmental features (sea ice concentration, water masses at the bottom phase of dives, bathymetry and slope index) we found higher foraging activity for females over shallower seabed depths and at the boundary between the overlying Antarctic Surface Water (AASW) and the underlying Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW). Increased biological activity associated with the upper boundary of MCDW, may provide

  5. Africa's elephants and rhinos: Flagships in crisis.

    PubMed

    Western, D

    1987-11-01

    Despite extensive conservation measures over the last two decades, populations of elephants and rhinos in Africa continue to decline. The plight of the black rhino is especially acute. Poaching for rhino horn and ivory, rather than habitat loss, remains the principal threat to these species. The only long-term hope may lie in the effective protection of small, isolated populations. PMID:21227879

  6. Elephant teeth from the atlantic continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitmore, F.C., Jr.; Emery, K.O.; Cooke, H.B.S.; Swift, D.J.P.

    1967-01-01

    Teeth of mastodons and mastodons have been recovered by fishermen from at least 40 sites on the continental shelf as deep as 120 meters. Also present are submerged shorelines, peat deposits, lagoonal shells, and relict sands. Evidently elephants and other large mammals ranged this region during the glacial stage of low sea level of the last 25.000 years.

  7. Urinalysis in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Wiedner, Ellen; Alleman, A Rick; Isaza, Ramiro

    2009-12-01

    Urine was collected from 22 healthy female adult Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and analyzed for the purpose of determining normal biochemical and microscopic parameters. Findings included urine that was less concentrated compared to other mammals, predominantly alkaline pH, crystalluria of varying types in all samples, and minimal cellularity. Glucose and urobilinogen were not detected in any samples. Trace ketones and trace bilirubin occurred in two different samples. Trace blood was identified in another sample. Three samples tested positive for protein via dipstick but were confirmed negative through the sulfosalicylic acid test. Two samples contained mucus threads. Bacteria were seen microscopically in four samples, and could be cultured from six others, but, because of the lack of an associated inflammatory response and the heterogeneous populations of organisms observed, were considered to be contaminants from the distal urethra, the vestibulovulva, or the environment. Because of the variability in elephant urine, baseline values for elephants within captive herds should be obtained and regular assessments should be performed over time to allow trending of data. Establishment of normal urine values provides an important tool in elephant health care. PMID:20063811

  8. A Novel Objective Method of Estimating the Age of Mandibles from African Elephants (Loxodonta africana Africana)

    PubMed Central

    Stansfield, Fiona J.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of assigning an accurate estimate of age and sex to elephant carcasses found in the wild has increased in recent years with the escalation in levels of poaching throughout Africa. Irregularities identified in current ageing techniques prompted the development of a new method to describe molar progression throughout life. Elephant mandibles (n = 323) were studied and a point near the distal dental alveolus was identified as being most useful in ranking each jaw according to molar progression. These ‘Age Reference Lines’ were then associated with an age scale based on previous studies and Zimbabwean mandibles of known age. The new ranking produced a single age scale that proved useful for both male and female mandibles up to the maximum lifespan age of 70–75 years. Methods to aid in molar identification and the sexing of found jaws were also identified. PMID:25970428

  9. A Novel Objective Method of Estimating the Age of Mandibles from African Elephants (Loxodonta africana Africana).

    PubMed

    Stansfield, Fiona J

    2015-01-01

    The importance of assigning an accurate estimate of age and sex to elephant carcasses found in the wild has increased in recent years with the escalation in levels of poaching throughout Africa. Irregularities identified in current ageing techniques prompted the development of a new method to describe molar progression throughout life. Elephant mandibles (n = 323) were studied and a point near the distal dental alveolus was identified as being most useful in ranking each jaw according to molar progression. These 'Age Reference Lines' were then associated with an age scale based on previous studies and Zimbabwean mandibles of known age. The new ranking produced a single age scale that proved useful for both male and female mandibles up to the maximum lifespan age of 70-75 years. Methods to aid in molar identification and the sexing of found jaws were also identified. PMID:25970428

  10. ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 5, A NEWLY RECOGNIZED ELEPHANT HERPESVIRUS ASSOCIATED WITH CLINICAL AND SUBCLINICAL INFECTIONS IN CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)

    PubMed Central

    Atkins, Lisa; Zong, Jian-Chao; Tan, Jie; Mejia, Alicia; Heaggans, Sarah Y.; Nofs, Sally A.; Stanton, Jeffrey J.; Flanagan, Joseph P.; Howard, Lauren; Latimer, Erin; Stevens, Martina R.; Hoffman, Daryl S.; Hayward, Gary S.; Ling, Paul D.

    2013-01-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause acute hemorrhagic disease with high mortality rates in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Recently, a new EEHV type known as EEHV5 has been described, but its prevalence and clinical significance remain unknown. In this report, an outbreak of EEHV5 infection in a herd of captive Asian elephants in a zoo was characterized. In February 2011, a 42-yr-old wild-born female Asian elephant presented with bilaterally swollen temporal glands, oral mucosal hyperemia, vesicles on the tongue, and generalized lethargy. The elephant had a leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. She was treated with flunixin meglumine, famciclovir, and fluids. Clinical signs of illness resolved gradually over 2 wk, and the white blood cell count and platelets rebounded to higher-than-normal values. EEHV5 viremia was detectable starting 1 wk before presentation and peaked at the onset of clinical illness. EEHV5 shedding in trunk secretions peaked after viremia resolved and continued for more than 2 mo. EEHV5 trunk shedding from a female herd mate without any detectable viremia was detected prior to onset of clinical disease in the 42-yr-old elephant, indicating reactivation rather than primary infection in this elephant. Subsequent EEHV5 viremia and trunk shedding was documented in the other five elephants in the herd, who remained asymptomatic, except for 1 day of temporal gland swelling in an otherwise-healthy 1-yr-old calf. Unexpectedly, the two elephants most recently introduced into the herd 40 mo previously shed a distinctive EEHV5 strain from that seen in the other five elephants. This is the first report to document the kinetics of EEHV5 infection in captive Asian elephants and to provide evidence that this virus can cause illness in some animals. PMID:23505714

  11. Behavioural response of sexually naïve and experienced male rats to the smell of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and female rat faeces.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Birte L; Jerôme, Nathalie; Saint-Albin, Audrey; Rampin, Olivier; Maurin, Yves

    2013-08-15

    Sexually experienced male rats display penile erections when exposed to faeces from mammalian females in oestrus (Rampin et al., Behav Brain Res, 172:169, 2006), suggesting that specific odours indicate female receptiveness across species. However, it is unknown to what extent the sexual response observed results from an odorous conditioning acquired during sexual experience. We tested the behavioural response of male Brown Norway rats both when sexually naïve and experienced to four odours, including oestrous rat faeces and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (methylheptenone; a molecule found in higher concentrations during oestrus in female rats, foxes and horses). Odour had a significant effect on the sexual response of the naïve rats, with oestrus faeces provoking significantly more erections than herb odour, and with methylheptenone and di-oestrus faeces being intermediate. This indicates that sexually naïve male rats have an unconditioned ability to detect oestrous mediated via odour. After gaining sexual experience, the response to methylheptenone, di- and oestrus faeces was significantly higher than that observed with herb odour. These results strongly suggest that methylheptenone is part of the odorous bouquet of oestrus and contributes to the olfactory determination of female receptiveness. PMID:23911690

  12. Elephant-to-Human Transmission of Tuberculosis, 2009

    PubMed Central

    Warkentin, Jon V.; Dunn, John R.; Schaffner, William; Jones, Timothy F.

    2011-01-01

    In 2009, the Tennessee Department of Health received reports of 5 tuberculin skin test (TST) conversions among employees of an elephant refuge and isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from a resident elephant. To determine the extent of the outbreak and identify risk factors for TST conversion, we conducted a cohort study and onsite assessment. Risk for conversion was increased for elephant caregivers and administrative employees working in the barn housing the M. tuberculosis–infected elephant or in offices connected to the barn (risk ratio 20.3, 95% confidence interval 2.8–146.7). Indirect exposure to aerosolized M. tuberculosis and delayed or inadequate infection control practices likely contributed to transmission. The following factors are needed to reduce risk for M. tuberculosis transmission in the captive elephant industry: increased knowledge about M. tuberculosis infection in elephants, improved infection control practices, and specific occupational health programs. PMID:21392425

  13. Seismic waves from elephant vocalizations: A possible communication mode?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günther, Roland H.; O'Connell-Rodwell, Caitlin E.; Klemperer, Simon L.

    2004-06-01

    We conducted experiments with trained African elephants that show that low-frequency elephant vocalizations produce Rayleigh waves. We model a potential range for these seismic waves, under ideal conditions, of c. 2 km. In appropriate conditions, surface waves from an elephant's infrasonic vocalizations might propagate further than airborne sound and provide advantages over acoustic communication. However, if we use the detection capabilities of the human ear as a benchmark for the signal-detection thresholds of elephants, our estimates of attenuation and ambient seismic noise suggest that the seismic detection range is unlikely to exceed the acoustic detection range under normal atmospheric conditions. We conclude that elephants may benefit from seismic detection in circumstances where the range of acoustic communication is limited, or in cases where multimodal communication is advantageous. Given our current understanding, elephants are unlikely to rely on seismic waves as their primary mode for long-range communication.

  14. Differential effects of CB1 receptor agonism in behavioural tests of unconditioned and conditioned fear in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Simone, Jonathan J; Green, Matthew R; Hodges, Travis E; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2015-02-15

    We investigated the effects of the highly selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA and the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 on two behavioural tests of unconditioned fear, the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT), as well as on the recall and extinction of a conditioned auditory fear. Both ACEA and AM251 increased anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM and OFT. There was no effect of either drug on recall of the conditioned fear, and ACEA enhanced and AM251 impaired fear extinction. Further, though both the low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (0.5 mg/kg) dose of ACEA facilitated fear extinction, the low dose attenuated, and the high dose potentiated, fear induced corticosterone release suggesting independent effects of the drug on fear and stress responses. Although the extent to which cannabinoids are anxiogenic or anxiolytic has been proposed to be dose-dependent, these results indicate that the same dose has differential effects across tasks, likely based in differences in sensitivities of CB1 receptors to the agonist in the neural regions subserving unconditioned and conditioned fear. PMID:25446756

  15. Plasma preparation and storage for African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Knauf, Sascha; Blad-Stahl, Julia; Lawrenz, Arne; Schuerer, Ulrich; Wehrend, Axel

    2009-03-01

    The use of plasma as a life-saving tool for neonatal African elephants (Loxodonta africana) that failed passive transfer of immunoglobulins is proposed. The methodology of blood sampling, plasma extraction, and plasma storage is described. Values for cellular component sedimentation and biochemical parameters of extracted plasma that was collected from 2 female elephants is presented. The proposal for a central plasma bank for elephants in European zoos is suggested. PMID:19368242

  16. Mating Behaviour in Laevicaudatan Clam Shrimp (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) and Functional Morphology of Male Claspers in a Phylogenetic Context: A Video-Based Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sigvardt, Zandra M. S.; Olesen, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    Clam shrimps are freshwater branchiopod crustaceans which often present complicated breeding systems including asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis) and mixed mating systems (in androdioecious species both selfing and outcrossing occurs due to the co-presence of hermaphrodites and males). Reproductive patterns of Spinicaudata, which contains most clam shrimp species, have received much attention. Another group of clam shrimps, Laevicaudata, which holds a key position in branchiopod phylogeny, has practically not been studied. As a part of the mating process, males clasp to the carapace margin of the females with a pair (or two pairs) of anterior trunk limbs modified as claspers. Previous studies have shown that clasper morphology is important in a phylogenetic context, and that some parts of the claspers in Spinicaudata and Laevicaudata may have undergone a remarkable parallel evolution. Here we have used video microscopy to study aspects of the mating behaviour, egg extrusion, and fertilization in Lynceus brachyurus (Laevicaudata). It is shown that fertilization is likely to be external and that the peculiar tri-lobed lateral lamellae of female's hind body assist in guiding the egg mass to the exopodal egg carriers where they are collected by their distal setation. The functional morphology of the male claspers was studied in detail by close-up video recordings. The movable “finger” of the clasper bends around the female's carapace edge and serves to hold the female during mating. The larger palp grasps around the female carapace margin in a way very similar to the movable “finger”, possibly indirectly providing sensory input on the “finger” position. A brief comparative study of the claspers of a spinicaudatan clam shrimp showed both similarities and differences to the laevicaudatan claspers. The presence of two pairs of claspers in Spinicaudata seems to give males a better hold of the female which may play a role during extended mate guarding. PMID

  17. A Comparison of Walking Rates Between Wild and Zoo African Elephants.

    PubMed

    Miller, Lance J; Chase, Michael J; Hacker, Charlotte E

    2016-01-01

    With increased scrutiny surrounding the welfare of elephants in zoological institutions, it is important to have empirical evidence on their current welfare status. If elephants are not receiving adequate exercise, it could lead to obesity, which can lead to many issues including acyclicity and potentially heart disease. The goal of the current study was to compare the walking rates of elephants in the wild versus elephants in zoos to determine if elephants are walking similar distances relative to their wild counterparts. Eleven wild elephants throughout different habitats and locations in Botswana were compared to 8 elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Direct comparisons revealed no significant difference in average walking rates of zoo elephants when compared with wild elephants. These results suggest that elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park walk similar rates to those of wild elephants and may be meeting their exercise needs. PMID:26963741

  18. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

    The isoleucine epimerization reaction has been used to date tooth enamel from dwarf elephants collected from the Sicilian caves of Spinagallo and Puntali. Elephant teeth from the Isernia la Pineta deposit in central Italy, dated at ˜700 ka by potassium-argon (K-Ar) and paleomagnetics, were used for calibration of the isoleucine epimerization rate. The ages determined for the dwarf elephants found at the Spinagallo Cave are considerably older than the more robust dwarf species found at the Puntali Cave. These dates suggest that more than one invasion of continental elephants have taken place on Sicily. The subsequent isolation of the continental species has apparently produced varying stages of dwarfism.

  19. CLINICAL INFECTION OF CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 4.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Browning, Geoffrey R; Tan, Jie; Long, Simon; Hayward, Gary S; Cox, Sherry K; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants. A number of EEHV types and subtypes exist, where most deaths have been caused by EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV4 has been attributed to two deaths, but as both diagnoses were made postmortem, EEHV4 disease has not yet been observed and recorded clinically. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detected EEHV4 viremia that correlated with clinical signs. High levels of EEHV4 shedding from trunk wash secretions of the first viremic elephant correlated with subsequent infection of the second elephant with EEHV4. It is hoped that the observations made in these cases--and the successful treatment regimen used--will help other institutions identify and treat EEHV4 infection in the future. PMID:27010293

  20. A diet high in fat and sugar reverses anxiety-like behaviour induced by limited nesting in male rats: Impacts on hippocampal markers.

    PubMed

    Maniam, Jayanthi; Antoniadis, Christopher P; Le, Vivian; Morris, Margaret J

    2016-06-01

    Stress exposure during early development is known to produce long-term mental health deficits. Stress promotes poor lifestyle choices such as poor diet. Early life adversity and diets high in fat and sugar (HFHS) are known to affect anxiety and memory. However additive effects of HFHS and stress during early development are less explored. Here, we examined whether early life stress (ELS) simulated by limited nesting (LN) induces anxiety-like behaviour and cognitive deficits that are modulated by HFHS diet. We examined key hippocampal markers involved in anxiety and cognition, testing the hypothesis that post-weaning HFHS following ELS would ameliorate anxiety-like behaviour but worsen memory and associated hippocampal changes. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to LN, postnatal days 2-9, and at weaning, male siblings were given unlimited access to chow or HFHS resulting in (Con-Chow, Con-HFHS, LN-Chow, LN-HFHS, n=11-15/group). Anxiety-like behaviour was assessed by Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) at 10 weeks and spatial and object recognition tested at 11 weeks of age. Rats were culled at 13 weeks. Hippocampal mRNA expression was measured using TaqMan(®) Array Micro Fluidic cards (Life Technologies). As expected HFHS diet increased body weight; LN and control rats had similar weights at 13 weeks, energy intake was also similar across groups. LN-Chow rats showed increased anxiety-like behaviour relative to control rats, but this was reversed by HFHS diet. Spatial and object recognition memory were unaltered by LN exposure or consumption of HFHS diet. Hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor (GR) protein was not affected by LN exposure in chow rats, but was increased by 45% in HFHS rats relative to controls. Hippocampal genes involved in plasticity and mood regulation, GSKα and GSKβ were affected, with reductions in GSKβ under both diet conditions, and reduced GSKα only in LN-HFHS versus Con-HFHS. Interestingly, HFHS diet and LN exposure independently reduced expression of

  1. Seismic Census Technique for African Elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. D.; O'Connell-Rodwell, C. E.; Klemperer, S. L.

    2005-12-01

    Large mammal populations are difficult to census and monitor in remote areas. In particular, elephant populations in Central Africa are difficult to census due to dense forest making aerial surveys impractical. Conservation management would be improved by a census technique that was accurate and precise, did not require large efforts in the field, and could record numbers of animals over a period of time. We report a new detection technique that relies on sensing the footfalls of large mammals. Geophones were used to record the footfalls of elephants and other large mammal species at a water hole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. We were able to discriminate between species using the spectral content of their footfalls with an 85% accuracy rate while only using a single geophone. This was done using correlation coefficients comparing the shape of the spectra for various species. An ANOVA found significant differences between these correlation coefficients (F4,1785 = 147.78, P = 0.000). An estimate of the energy created by passing elephants (the area under the amplitude envelope) can be used to estimate the number of elephants passing the geophone. Our best regression line plotting number of elephants versus energy recorded in the geophone explained 55% of the variance in the data. Much of the unexplained variance is due to the variation in distance from the geophone to the passing elephants. By subjecting the recordings to a narrow band-pass filter and using beamforming techniques on array data, we believe that we can control for the variation in distance between animal and geophones, and thus achieve better estimates of the number of animals passing the array. Using 7 pairs of geophones in a linear array, we offset the pairs of time series to correspond with the time delay associated with the signal intersecting the pair of geophones at increments of 2 degrees. The offset time series were then summed and the RMS value calculated. The largest RMS value was then

  2. KINETICS OF VIRAL LOADS AND GENOTYPIC ANALYSIS OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS-1 INFECTION IN CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Jeffrey J.; Zong, Jian-Chao; Eng, Crystal; Howard, Lauren; Flanagan, Joe; Stevens, Martina; Schmitt, Dennis; Wiedner, Ellen; Graham, Danielle; Junge, Randall E.; Weber, Martha A.; Fischer, Martha; Mejia, Alicia; Tan, Jie; Latimer, Erin; Herron, Alan; Hayward, Gary S.; Ling, Paul D.

    2013-01-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants (Elephas maximus); however, sporadic shedding of virus in trunk washes collected from healthy elephants also has been detected. Data regarding the relationship of viral loads in blood compared with trunk washes are lacking, and questions about whether elephants can undergo multiple infections with EEHVs have not been addressed previously. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the kinetics of EEHV1 loads, and genotypic analysis was performed on EEHV1 DNA detected in various fluid samples obtained from five Asian elephants that survived detectable EEHV1 DNAemia on at least two separate occasions. In three elephants displaying clinical signs of illness, preclinical EEHV1 DNAemia was detectable, and peak whole-blood viral loads occurred 3–8 days after the onset of clinical signs. In two elephants with EEHV1 DNAemia that persisted for 7–21 days, no clinical signs of illness were observed. Detection of EEHV1 DNA in trunk washes peaked approximately 21 days after DNAemia, and viral genotypes detected during DNAemia matched those detected in subsequent trunk washes from the same elephant. In each of the five elephants, two distinct EEHV1 genotypes were identified in whole blood and trunk washes at different time points. In each case, these genotypes represented both an EEHV1A and an EEHV1B subtype. These data suggest that knowledge of viral loads could be useful for the management of elephants before or during clinical illness. Furthermore, sequential infection with both EEHV1 subtypes occurs in Asian elephants, suggesting that they do not elicit cross-protective sterilizing immunity. These data will be useful to individuals involved in the husbandry and clinical care of Asian elephants. PMID:23505702

  3. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K.; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals’ experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience), environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice) and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (p<0.001). Elephants spent an average of 55.1% of their time outdoors, 28.9% indoors, and 16% in areas with a choice between being in or out. Time spent on hard flooring substrate ranged from 0% to 66.7%, with Night values significantly greater than Day (p<0.001). Social factors included number of animals functionally housed together (Social Experience) and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (p<0.001). There were few significant social or housing differences between African (N = 138) and Asian (N = 117) species or between males (N = 54) and females (N = 201). The most notable exception was Total Space Experience, with African and male elephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-value<0.05). The housing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes. PMID:27414034

  4. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals' experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience), environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice) and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (p<0.001). Elephants spent an average of 55.1% of their time outdoors, 28.9% indoors, and 16% in areas with a choice between being in or out. Time spent on hard flooring substrate ranged from 0% to 66.7%, with Night values significantly greater than Day (p<0.001). Social factors included number of animals functionally housed together (Social Experience) and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (p<0.001). There were few significant social or housing differences between African (N = 138) and Asian (N = 117) species or between males (N = 54) and females (N = 201). The most notable exception was Total Space Experience, with African and male elephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-value<0.05). The housing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes. PMID:27414034

  5. Sticky snack for sengis: The Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea), as a pollinator of the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

    Following the recent discovery of rodent pollination in the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae) in South Africa, now the Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea, Afrotheria) is reported as an additional pollinator. Elephant-shrews, live-trapped near W. bifolia plants, were released in two terraria, containing the plants. The animals licked nectar with their long and slender tongues while being dusted with pollen and touching the stigmas of the flowers with their long and flexible noses. The captured elephant-shrews had W. bifolia pollen in their faeces, likely as a result of grooming their fur as they visited the flowers without eating or destroying them. The animals mostly preferred nectar over other food. This is the first record of pollination and nectar consumption in the primarily insectivorous E. edwardii, contributing to the very sparse knowledge about the behaviour of this unique clade of African mammals, as well as pollination by small mammals.

  6. New evidence for hybrid zones of forest and savanna elephants in Central and West Africa.

    PubMed

    Mondol, Samrat; Moltke, Ida; Hart, John; Keigwin, Michael; Brown, Lisa; Stephens, Matthew; Wasser, Samuel K

    2015-12-01

    The African elephant consists of forest and savanna subspecies. Both subspecies are highly endangered due to severe poaching and habitat loss, and knowledge of their population structure is vital to their conservation. Previous studies have demonstrated marked genetic and morphological differences between forest and savanna elephants, and despite extensive sampling, genetic evidence of hybridization between them has been restricted largely to a few hybrids in the Garamba region of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, we present new genetic data on hybridization from previously unsampled areas of Africa. Novel statistical methods applied to these data identify 46 hybrid samples--many more than have been previously identified--only two of which are from the Garamba region. The remaining 44 are from three other geographically distinct locations: a major hybrid zone along the border of the DRC and Uganda, a second potential hybrid zone in Central African Republic and a smaller fraction of hybrids in the Pendjari-Arli complex of West Africa. Most of the hybrids show evidence of interbreeding over more than one generation, demonstrating that hybrids are fertile. Mitochondrial and Y chromosome data demonstrate that the hybridization is bidirectional, involving males and females from both subspecies. We hypothesize that the hybrid zones may have been facilitated by poaching and habitat modification. The localized geography and rarity of hybrid zones, their possible facilitation from human pressures, and the high divergence and genetic distinctness of forest and savanna elephants throughout their ranges, are consistent with calls for separate species classification. PMID:26577954

  7. Is Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI) Useful in Risk Behaviour Assessment of Female and Male Sex Workers, Mombasa, Kenya?

    PubMed Central

    van der Elst, Elisabeth M.; Okuku, Haile Selassie; Nakamya, Phellister; Muhaari, Allan; Davies, Alun; McClelland, R. Scott; Price, Matthew A.; Smith, Adrian D.; Graham, Susan M.; Sanders, Eduard J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) may elicit more frequent reporting of socially sensitive behaviours than face-to-face (FtF)-interview. However, no study compared responses to both methods in female and male sex workers (FSW; MSW) in Africa. Methodology/Principal Findings We sequentially enrolled adults recruited for an HIV-1 intervention trial into a comparative study of ACASI and FtF-interview, in a clinic near Mombasa, Kenya. Feasibility and acceptability of ACASI, and a comparative analysis of enrolment responses between ACASI and FtF on an identical risk assessment questionnaire were evaluated. In total, 139 women and 259 men, 81% of eligible cohort participants, completed both interviews. ACASI captured a higher median number of regular (2 vs. 1, p<0.001, both genders) and casual partners in the last week (3 vs. 2, p = 0.04 in women; 2 vs. 1, p<0.001 in men). Group sex (21.6 vs. 13.5%, p<0.001, in men), intravenous drug use (IDU; 10.8 vs. 2.3%, p<0.001 in men; 4.4 vs. 0%, p = 0.03 in women), and rape (8.9 vs. 3.9%, p = 0.002, in men) were reported more frequently in ACASI. A surprisingly high number of women reported in ACASI that they had paid for sex (49.3 vs. 5.8%, p<0.001). Behaviours for recruitment (i.e. anal sex, sex work, sex between males) were reported less frequently in ACASI. The majority of women (79.2%) and men (69.7%) felt that answers given in ACASI were more honest. Volunteers who were not able to take ACASI (84 men, and 37 women) mostly lacked reading skills. Conclusions/Significance About 1 in 5 cohort participants was not able to complete ACASI, mostly for lack of reading skills. Participants who completed ACASI were more likely to report IDU, rape, group sex, and payment for sex by women than when asked in FtF interview. ACASI appears to be a useful tool for high risk behaviour assessments in the African context. PMID:19412535

  8. Epidemiology of male same-sex behaviour and associated sexual health indicators in low- and middle-income countries: 2003–2007 estimates

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, C F; Konda, K; Segura, E R; Lyerla, R

    2008-01-01

    Objectives: To conduct a systematic review of published and unpublished data from research and public health information systems on the prevalence of male-to-male sex in the total male population; as well as among men who have sex with men (MSM), data on prevalence of heterosexual activity and heterosexual unions; prevalence of condom use with male and female partners; and prevalence of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Methods: Key indicators were defined (a) among men in the general population: prevalence of sex with a man ever and last year; (b) among MSM: prevalence of heterosexual experiences ever and last year; proportion of male-female transgenders; proportion of sex workers; prevalence of HIV and other STIs, condom use in last sexual encounter; consistent condom use with men last year; never used a condom with a man. With help from key informants, study searches were conducted in Pubmed, LILLACS, institutional databases, conference records and other sources. Methodology and quality of information were assessed, and the best data available for 2003–7 were selected. Indicator estimates from each study were used to propose regional estimate ranges. Results: A total of 83 new entries were entered into the database in addition to the previous 561, totalling 644. Of these, 107 showing 2003–7 data were selected. Many new studies came from sub-Saharan Africa, portraying hidden HIV epidemics among MSM. The most frequently reported estimate was HIV infection, with high estimate ranges in most of the regions, except for Middle East and North Africa and Eastern Europe. The next most frequently reported was lifetime frequency of heterosexual sex, showing that roughly 50% of MSM ever had sex with a woman. The small number of newer studies reporting prevalence of “sex with a man in last 12 months” between 2003 and 2007, did not warrant enough new evidence to revise our 2005 size estimates for MSM populations. Conclusions: A

  9. Baltimore Zoo digester project. Final report. [Elephants

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, P.W.

    1980-01-01

    The results of a project to produce methane using the manure from zoo animals as a feedstock is presented. Two digesters are in operation, the first (built in 1974) utilizing wastes from the Hippo House and a second (built in 1980) utilizing wastes from the Elephant House. Demonstrations on the utilization of the gas were performed during zoo exhibits. The Elephant House Digester has a capacity of 4200 gallons and a floating gas dome which can retain at least 150 cu ft of gas. Solar energy has been incorporated into the design to maintain digester temperature at 95/sup 0/F. The system produces 50 cu ft per day. After cleaning the gas, it is used to generate electricity to power an electric light, a roof fan, and an air conditioner. The gas is also used to operate a gas range and a gas lamp. During the opening day exhibit, 50 meals were cooked using the bio-gas from just 2 elephants. (DMC)

  10. Morphology and surface topography of the schistosome Bivitellobilharzia nairi from the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Rajapakse, R P V J; Iwagami, M; Wickramasinghe, S; Walker, S M; Agatsuma, T

    2013-09-01

    Bivitellobilharzia nairi was first recorded from an Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Berlin. Infections with this parasite have become increasingly important in E. maximus maximus populations in Sri Lanka. The present work is the first morphological description of this schistosome from Sri Lanka. A number of adult worms were recovered from a dead Asian elephant near the elephant orphanage, Pinnawala, in Sri Lanka. The observed clinical features of the infected elephant included emaciation, subventral oedema and anaemia. Post-mortem results indicated that the liver was enlarged and adult schistosomes were found in the blood vessels of the liver parenchyma. The total number of worms recovered from a portion of the liver was 129,870, which is an average of 22 worms per 100 g of liver. The present study uses both light microscopic and scanning electron microscope (SEM) techniques for the morphological and topographical characterization of this parasite and to permit comparison with other species of schistosomes. Morphologically, these worms correspond very well to the description of B. nairi by Dutt & Srivastava (1955). Moreover, it is clear that B. nairi is a distinctive species easily differentiated from other schistosomes. The SEM study of the tegument of male worms shows that the surface of B. nairi is smoother than in other schistosomes. PMID:22989615

  11. How should the psychological well-being of zoo elephants be objectively investigated?

    PubMed

    Mason, Georgia J; Veasey, Jake S

    2010-01-01

    Animal welfare (sometimes termed "well-being") is about feelings - states such as "suffering" or "contentment" that we can infer but cannot measure directly. Welfare indices have been developed from two main sources: studies of suffering humans, and of research animals deliberately subjected to challenges known to affect emotional state. We briefly review the resulting indices here, and discuss how well they are understood for elephants, since objective welfare assessment should play a central role in evidence-based elephant management. We cover behavioral and cognitive responses (approach/avoidance; intention, redirected and displacement activities; vigilance/startle; warning signals; cognitive biases, apathy and depression-like changes; stereotypic behavior); physiological responses (sympathetic responses; corticosteroid output - often assayed non-invasively via urine, feces or even hair; other aspects of HPA function, e.g. adrenal hypertrophy); and the potential negative effects of prolonged stress on reproduction (e.g. reduced gametogenesis; low libido; elevated still-birth rates; poor maternal care) and health (e.g. poor wound-healing; enhanced disease rates; shortened lifespans). The best validated, most used welfare indices for elephants are corticosteroid outputs and stereotypic behavior. Indices suggested as valid, partially validated, and/or validated but not yet applied within zoos include: measures of preference/avoidance; displacement movements; vocal/postural signals of affective (emotional) state; startle/vigilance; apathy; salivary and urinary epinephrine; female acyclity; infant mortality rates; skin/foot infections; cardio-vascular disease; and premature adult death. Potentially useful indices that have not yet attracted any validation work in elephants include: operant responding and place preference tests; intention and vacuum movements; fear/stress pheromone release; cognitive biases; heart rate, pupil dilation and blood pressure

  12. Elephants and Their Young: Science and Math Activities for Young Children. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Echols, Jean C.; Kopp, Jaine; Blinderman, Ellen

    This book contains a series of playful activities in which young children actively learn about the African elephant's body structure, family life, and social behavior. Children make model elephants out of paper and cardboard, then devise elephant puppets with sock trunks as well as create models of elephant's ears, trunks, tusks, make elephant…

  13. Deep-ocean foraging northern elephant seals bioaccumulate persistent organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Peterson, Michael G; Debier, Cathy; Covaci, Adrian; Dirtu, Alin C; Malarvannan, Govindan; Crocker, Daniel E; Schwarz, Lisa K; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-11-15

    As top predators in the northeast Pacific Ocean, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Our study examined a suite of POPs in blubber (inner and outer) and blood (serum) of free-ranging northern elephant seals. For adult females (N=24), we satellite tracked and sampled the same seals before and after their approximately seven month long foraging trip. For males, we sampled different adults and sub-adults before (N=14) and after (N=15) the same foraging trip. For females, we calculated blubber burdens for all compounds. The highest POP concentrations in males and females were found for ∑DDTs and ∑PCBs. In blubber and serum, males had significantly greater concentrations than females for almost all compounds. For males and females, ∑DDT and ∑PBDEs were highly correlated in blubber and serum. While ∑PCBs were highly correlated with ∑DDTs and ∑PBDEs in blubber and serum for males, ∑PCBs showed weaker correlations with both compounds in females. As females gained mass while foraging, concentrations of nearly all POPs in inner and outer blubber significantly decreased; however, the absolute burden in blubber significantly increased, indicating ingestion of contaminants while foraging. Additionally, we identified three clusters of seal foraging behavior, based on geography, diving behavior, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, which corresponded with differences in ∑DDTs, ∑PBDEs, MeO-BDE 47, as well as the ratio of ∑DDTs to ∑PCBs, indicating the potential for behavior to heighten or mitigate contaminant exposure. The greatest concentrations of ∑DDTs and ∑PBDEs were observed in the cluster that foraged closer to the coast and had blood samples more enriched in (13)C. Bioaccumulation of POPs by elephant seals supports mesopelagic food webs as a sink for POPs and highlights elephant seals as a potential sentinel of contamination in deep ocean food webs. PMID

  14. My College Education: Looking at the Whole Elephant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrow, John

    2006-01-01

    In a well-known fable, several blind men are asked to describe an elephant. One says, ''An elephant is flat, like a pancake," another says that it's "like a big snake." Their descriptions are accurate but limited, based on whichever part of the beast each happens to be holding--the ear, the trunk, and so forth. America's "system" of higher…

  15. Resisting Elephants Lurking in the Music Education Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Regelski, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Music education has many "elephants" in its classrooms: obvious major problems that go unmentioned and suffered silently. Two of the larger, more problematic "elephants" are identified, analyzed, and critiqued: (1) the hegemony of university schools of music on school music and the resulting focus in school music on…

  16. Triangulating the provenance of African elephants using mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Yasuko; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Hondo, Tomoko; Roca, Alfred L

    2013-01-01

    African elephant mitochondrial (mt) DNA follows a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. As females do not migrate between elephant herds, mtDNA exhibits low geographic dispersal. We therefore examined the effectiveness of mtDNA for assigning the provenance of African elephants (or their ivory). For 653 savanna and forest elephants from 22 localities in 13 countries, 4258 bp of mtDNA was sequenced. We detected eight mtDNA subclades, of which seven had regionally restricted distributions. Among 108 unique haplotypes identified, 72% were found at only one locality and 84% were country specific, while 44% of individuals carried a haplotype detected only at their sampling locality. We combined 316 bp of our control region sequences with those generated by previous trans-national surveys of African elephants. Among 101 unique control region haplotypes detected in African elephants across 81 locations in 22 countries, 62% were present in only a single country. Applying our mtDNA results to a previous microsatellite-based assignment study would improve estimates of the provenance of elephants in 115 of 122 mis-assigned cases. Nuclear partitioning followed species boundaries and not mtDNA subclade boundaries. For taxa such as elephants in which nuclear and mtDNA markers differ in phylogeography, combining the two markers can triangulate the origins of confiscated wildlife products. PMID:23798975

  17. Large brains and cognition: where do elephants fit in?

    PubMed

    Hart, Benjamin L; Hart, Lynette A; Pinter-Wollman, Noa

    2008-01-01

    Among terrestrial mammals, elephants share the unique status, along with humans and great apes, of having large brains, being long-lived and having offspring that require long periods of dependency. Elephants have the largest brains of all terrestrial mammals, including the greatest volume of cerebral cortex. In contrast to what one might expect from such a large-brained species, the performance of elephants in cognitive feats, such as tool use, visual discrimination learning and tests of "insight" behavior, is unimpressive in comparison to the performance by chimpanzees and, of course, humans. Where elephants do seem to excel is in long-term, extensive spatial-temporal and social memory. In addition, elephants appear to be somewhat unique among non-human species in their reactions to disabled and deceased conspecifics, exhibiting behaviors that are mindful of "theory-of-mind" phenomena. Information gleaned from studies on the neural cytoarchitecture of large brains reveals that the neurons of the cerebral cortex of elephants are much less densely populated than in large-brained primates. The interactions between cortical neurons would appear to be more global and less compartmentalized into local areas, and cortical information processing slower, than in great apes and humans. Although focused neural cytoarchitecture studies on the elephant are needed, this comparative perspective on the cortical neural cytoarchitecture appears to relate to differences in behavior between elephants and their primate counterparts. PMID:17617460

  18. 38. ELEPHANT BOILERS 1905: Photocopy of April 1905 photograph ...

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

    38. ELEPHANT BOILERS - 1905: Photocopy of April 1905 photograph showing elephant boilers along the west wall of the Washington and Mason Street powerhouse and car barn. View looking west on first floor of building. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  19. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in captive elephants (Elephaus maximus maximus) in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Dangolla, A; Ekanayake, D K; Rajapakse, R P V J; Dubey, J P; Silva, I D

    2006-04-15

    Serum samples collected during August 2003-June 2004 from 45 privately owned captive and 8 elephants from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage were tested for the presence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the direct modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies were found in sera of 14 of 45 (32%) privately owned elephants with titers of 1:25 in three, 1:50 in three, 1:100 in three, 1:200 in three, and 1:400 in three elephants. The elephants from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage were seronegative. This is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in elephants in Sri Lanka. PMID:16414192

  20. Development and evaluation of an interferon-γ release assay in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Paudel, Sarad; Villanueva, Marvin A; Mikota, Susan K; Nakajima, Chie; Gairhe, Kamal P; Subedi, Suraj; Rayamajhi, Nabin; Sashika, Mariko; Shimozuru, Michito; Matsuba, Takashi; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Tsubota, Toshio

    2016-08-01

    We developed an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) specific for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Whole blood collected from forty captive Asian elephants was stimulated with three different mitogens i.e., phytohemagglutinin (PHA), pokweed mitogen (PWM) and phorbol myristate aceteate/ionomycin (PMA/I). A sandwich ELISA that was able to recognize the recombinant elephant interferon-γ (rEIFN-γ) as well as native interferon-γ from the Asian elephants was performed using anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as capture antibodies and biotinylated anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as detection antibodies. PMA/I was the best mitogen to use as a positive control for an Asian elephant IGRA. The development of an Asian elephant-specific IGRA that detects native IFN-γ in elephant whole blood provides promising results for its application as a potential diagnostic tool for diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) in Asian elephants. PMID:26983683

  1. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

    PubMed

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants. PMID:25062469

  2. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants. PMID:25062469

  3. Determinants of elephant distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch, Burkina Faso

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenks, Jonathan A.; Klaver, Robert W.; Wicks, Zeno W., III

    2007-01-01

    We used seasonal ground total counts and remote sensing and GIS technology to relate elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch to environmental and anthropogenic factors. Variables used in analyses were normalized difference vegetation index, elevation, stream density, density of poaching and human illegal activities, distance to dams, distance to rivers, distance to roads, and distance to poaching risk. Contrary to our expectation, road traffic did not disturb elephants. Strong negative relationships were documented between elephant abundance and stream density, distance to dams, and poaching density. Density of poaching and other human illegal activities explained 81%, vegetation greenness 6%, and stream density 3% of the variation in elephant density. Elephant distribution represented a survival strategy affected by poaching, food quality and abundance, and water availability. 

  4. Why Was the Elephant Late in Getting on the Ark? Elephant Riddles and Other Jokes in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazemek, Francis E.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses why elephant riddles are viable catalysts for word play and language development in the primary grades. Explores some relationships between children's thinking and elephant riddles. Offers some suggestions for incorporating them as a regular part of the classroom flow. (SR)

  5. Distribution and load of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses in tissues from associated fatalities of Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Seilern-Moy, Katharina; Darpel, Karin; Steinbach, Falko; Dastjerdi, Akbar

    2016-07-15

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs) are the cause of a highly fatal haemorrhagic disease in elephants primarily affecting young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in both captivity and in the wild. The viruses have emerged as a significant threat to Asian elephant conservation, critically affecting overall sustainability of their population. So far insight into the pathogenesis of EEHV infections has been restricted to examination of EEHV-infected tissues. However, little is known about distribution and burden of the viruses within the organs of fatal cases, crucial elements in the understanding of the virus pathogenesis. This study was therefore undertaken to assess the extent of organ and cell involvement in fatal cases of EEHV-1A, 1B and 5 using a quantitative real-time PCR. EEHV-1 and 5 DNA were detectable in all the tissues examined, albeit with substantial differences in the viral DNA load. The highest EEHV-1A DNA load was observed in the liver, followed by the heart, thymus and tongue. EEHV-1B and 5 showed the highest DNA load in the heart, followed by tongue and liver. This study provides new insights into EEHV pathogenicity and has implications in choice of sample type for disease investigation and virus isolation. PMID:27102836

  6. "The Elephant in the Dark Room": Merrick and Menacing Mimicry in Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasani, Samira

    2015-01-01

    This paper tries to look at Pomerance's "The Elephant Man," from a new perspective from which no critic has investigated the play, before. Applying postcolonial theory of Homi K. Bhabha to the play, the author scrutinizes how "mimicry strategy", employed by the colonizer and the Other, can be threatening for both and how the…

  7. Putting the elephant back in the herd: elephant relative quantity judgments match those of other species.

    PubMed

    Perdue, Bonnie M; Talbot, Catherine F; Stone, Adam M; Beran, Michael J

    2012-09-01

    The ability to discriminate between quantities has been observed in many species. Typically, when an animal is given a choice between two sets of food, accurate performance (i.e., choosing the larger amount) decreases as the ratio between two quantities increases. A recent study reported that elephants did not exhibit ratio effects, suggesting that elephants may process quantitative information in a qualitatively different way from all other nonhuman species that have been tested (Irie-Sugimoto et al. in Anim Cogn 12:193-199, 2009). However, the results of this study were confounded by several methodological issues. We tested two African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to more thoroughly investigate relative quantity judgment in this species. In contrast to the previous study, we found evidence of ratio effects for visible and nonvisible sequentially presented sets of food. Thus, elephants appear to represent and compare quantities in much the same way as other species, including humans when they are prevented from counting. Performance supports an accumulator model in which quantities are represented as analog magnitudes. Furthermore, we found no effect of absolute magnitude on performance, providing support against an object-file model explanation of quantity judgment. PMID:22692435

  8. Tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ong, B L; Ngeow, Y F; Razak, M F A Abdul; Yakubu, Y; Zakaria, Z; Mutalib, A R; Hassan, L; Ng, H F; Verasahib, K

    2013-07-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20.4% and 24.8%, respectively. From 151 trunkwash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces. PMID:23414617

  9. Shackleton's men: life on Elephant Island.

    PubMed

    Piggott, Jan R

    2004-09-01

    The experiences of the 22 men from Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914-1916 who were marooned on Elephant Island during the Antarctic winter are not as well known as the narrative of the ship being beset and sunk, and Shackleton's open boat journey to South Georgia to rescue them. Frank Wild was left in charge of the marooned men by Shackleton and saved them from starvation and despair. The morale of the men in the face of extreme exposure to the elements, the ingenuity of their devices for survival and their diet, conversation and entertainments all reveal heroic qualities of Shackletonian endurance. PMID:15350763

  10. Will Elephants Soon Disappear from West African Savannahs?

    PubMed Central

    Bouché, Philippe; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George; Nianogo, Aimé J.; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Lejeune, Philippe; Vermeulen, Cédric

    2011-01-01

    Precipitous declines in Africa's native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km2 Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (−76%) than those in West Africa (−33%). As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (∼900 km) of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa's northern savannas. PMID:21731620

  11. Observations on elephant mortality and bones in water holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conybeare, A.; Haynes, Gary

    1984-09-01

    An unusually severe drought in 1982 led to a temporary die-off of elephants at a natural water source in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Compared to living populations, the age structure of the animals killed by drought is strongly biased toward 2-to 8-year-old animals. However, the fresh carcasses of these young elephants were commingled with weathered remains of adults that had died earlier, creating a mixed skeletal sample whose age structure was much closer to that of living populations. Observations of elephant bones that have accumulated due to natural mortality at water holes might provide analogs for paleoecological interpretations of fossil proboscidean assemblages.

  12. Random recursive trees and the elephant random walk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kürsten, Rüdiger

    2016-03-01

    One class of random walks with infinite memory, so-called elephant random walks, are simple models describing anomalous diffusion. We present a surprising connection between these models and bond percolation on random recursive trees. We use a coupling between the two models to translate results from elephant random walks to the percolation process. We calculate, besides other quantities, exact expressions for the first and the second moment of the root cluster size and of the number of nodes in child clusters of the first generation. We further introduce another model, the skew elephant random walk, and calculate the first and second moment of this process.

  13. Molecular population genetics of the southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina.

    PubMed Central

    Slade, R W; Moritz, C; Hoelzel, A R; Burton, H R

    1998-01-01

    Southern elephant seals breed on sub-Antarctic islands and have a circumpolar distribution. We assayed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA) variation in the three main populations in the south Atlantic, south Indian, and south Pacific oceans, and a smaller continental population in South America. Population structure of mtDNA was strong and not consistent with isolation by distance. The nDNA loci, although less informative, were consistent with the mtDNA results. Geographic structure appears to be dominated by historical processes, not contemporary gene flow. Uncorrected levels of nucleotide diversity for mtDNA control region I (2.86%) and nDNA (0.09%) were similar to those in humans and mice. Mutation rates for control region I (75 x 10(-9) substitutions per site per year) and nDNA (1.23 x 10(-9)) were similar to those in other mammals. Female effective population size and total effective population size were roughly equal at approximately 4 x 10(4), indicating a twofold greater rate of drift for mtDNA. Effective breeding sex ratio of four to five females per male was estimated from nucleotide diversity and mutation rates for mtDNA and nDNA, and was much less than behavioral observations would suggest. There was no evidence for selection at any of the assayed loci. PMID:9691049

  14. The Elephant Vanishes: impact of human-elephant conflict on people's wellbeing.

    PubMed

    Jadhav, Sushrut; Barua, Maan

    2012-11-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impact upon the wellbeing of marginalised people, worldwide. Although tangible losses from such conflicts are well documented, hidden health consequences remain under-researched. Based on preliminary clinical ethnographic inquiries and sustained fieldwork in Assam, India, this paper documents mental health antecedents and consequences including severe untreated psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse. The case studies presented make visible the hidden mental health dimensions of human-elephant conflict. The paper illustrates how health impacts of conflicts penetrate far deeper than immediate physical threat from elephants, worsens pre-existing mental illness of marginalised people, and leads to newer psychiatric and social pathologies. These conflicts are enacted and perpetuated in institutional spaces of inequality. The authors argue that both wildlife conservation and community mental health disciplines would be enhanced by coordinated intervention. The paper concludes by generating questions that are fundamental for a new interdisciplinary paradigm that bridges ecology and the clinic. PMID:22819603

  15. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt-Burbach, Jan; Ronfot, Delphine; Srisangiam, Rossukon

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue’s welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated ‘Monkey schools’ offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn’t have a negative impact on wild populations. PMID:26407173

  16. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare.

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Burbach, Jan; Ronfot, Delphine; Srisangiam, Rossukon

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue's welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated 'Monkey schools' offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn't have a negative impact on wild populations. PMID:26407173

  17. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  18. On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Michael C; Garstang, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical calculations suggest that sounds produced by thunderstorms and detected by a system similar to the International Monitoring System (IMS) for the detection of nuclear explosions at distances ≥100 km, are at sound pressure levels equal to or greater than 6 × 10(-3) Pa. Such sound pressure levels are well within the range of elephant hearing. Frequencies carrying these sounds might allow for interaural time delays such that adult elephants could not only hear but could also locate the source of these sounds. Determining whether it is possible for elephants to hear and locate thunderstorms contributes to the question of whether elephant movements are triggered or influenced by these abiotic sounds. PMID:26487406

  19. Identifying foraging events in deep diving southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, using acceleration data loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallon, S.; Bailleul, F.; Charrassin, J.-B.; Guinet, C.; Bost, C.-A.; Handrich, Y.; Hindell, M.

    2013-04-01

    Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) range widely throughout the Southern Ocean and are associated with important habitats (e.g., ice edges, shelf) where they accumulate energy to fuel their reproductive efforts on land. Knowledge of the fine scale foraging behaviour used to garner this energy, however, is limited. For the first time, acceleration loggers were deployed on three adult southern elephant seals during a translocation study at Kerguelen Island. The aims of the study were to (1) identify prey capture attempts using 2-D accelerometer tags deployed on the head of southern elephant seals, (2) compare the number of foraging dives identified by simple dive depth profiles and accelerometer profiles and (3) compare dive characteristics between prey encounter and non-prey encounter dives. The 2-D loggers recorded depth every second, surge and heave accelerations at 8 or 16 Hz and were carried for periods between 23 and 121 h. Rapid head movements were interpreted to be associated with prey encounter events. Acceleration data detected possible prey encounter events in 39-52% of dives whilst 67-80% of dives were classified as foraging dives when using dive depth profiles alone. Prey encounters occurred in successive dives during days and nights and lasted between tenths of a second and 7.6 min. Binomial linear mixed effect models showed that seals were diving significantly deeper and increased both descent rate and bottom duration when encountering prey. Dive duration, however, did not significantly increase during dives with prey encounters. These results are in accordance with optimal foraging theory, which predicts that deep divers should increase both their transit rates and the time spent at depth when a profitable prey patch is encountered. These findings indicate that this technique is promising as it more accurately detects possible prey encounter events compared with dive depth profiles alone and thus provides a better understanding of seal foraging

  20. Subclinical hypocalcaemia in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    van der Kolk, J H; van Leeuwen, J P T M; van den Belt, A J M; van Schaik, R H N; Schaftenaar, W

    2008-04-12

    The hypothesis that hypocalcaemia may play a role in dystocia in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) was investigated. The objectives of the study were to measure the total calcium concentration in elephant plasma; assess the changes in parameters of calcium metabolism during a feeding trial; investigate a possible relationship between calcium metabolism and dystocia; and assess bone mineralisation in captive Asian elephants in vivo. The following parameters were measured: total and ionised calcium, inorganic phosphorous and magnesium, the fractional excretions of these minerals, intact parathyroid hormone, 25-OH-D(3) and 1,25-OH-D(3). Radiographs were taken from tail vertebrae for assessment of bone mineralisation. The mean (sd) heparinised plasma total calcium concentration was 2.7 (0.33) mmol/l (n=43) ranging from 0.84 to 3.08 mmol/l in 11 Asian elephants. There was no significant correlation between plasma total calcium concentration and age. Following feeding of a calcium rich ration to four captive Asian elephant cows, plasma total and ionised calcium peaked at 3.6 (0.24) mmol/l (range 3.4 to 3.9 mmol/l) and 1.25 (0.07) mmol/l (range 1.17 to 1.32 mmol/l), respectively. Plasma ionised calcium concentrations around parturition in four Asian elephant cows ranged from 0.37 to 1.1 mmol/l only. The present study indicates that captive Asian elephants might be hypocalcaemic, and that, in captive Asian elephants, the normal plasma concentration of total calcium should actually be around 3.6 mmol/l and normal plasma concentration of ionised calcium around 1.25 mmol/l. Given the fact that elephants absorb dietary calcium mainly from the intestine, it could be concluded that elephants should be fed calcium-rich diets at all times, and particularly around parturition. In addition, normal values for ionised calcium in captive Asian elephants should be reassessed. PMID:18408195

  1. Foraging habitats of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, from the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muelbert, Monica M. C.; de Souza, Ronald B.; Lewis, Mirtha N.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-04-01

    Elephant Island (EI) is uniquely placed to provide southern elephant seals (SES) breeding there with potential access to foraging grounds in the Weddell Sea, the frontal zones of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Patagonian shelf and the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Quantifying where seals from EI forage therefore provides insights into the types of important habitats available, and which are of particular importance to elephant seals. Twenty nine SES (5 sub-adult males—SAM and 24 adult females—AF) were equipped with SMRU CTD-SLDRs during the post-breeding (PB 2008, 2009) and post-moulting (PM 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) trips to sea. There were striking intra-annual and inter-sex differences in foraging areas, with most of the PB females remaining within 150 km of EI. One PB AF travelled down the WAP as did 16 out of the 20 PM females and foraged near the winter ice-edge. Most PM sub-adult males remained close to EI, in areas similar to those used by adult females several months earlier, although one SAM spent the early part of the winter foraging on the Patagonian Shelf. The waters of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP) contain abundant resources to support the majority of the Islands' SES for the summer and early winter, such that the animals from this population have shorter migrations than those from most other populations. Sub-adult males and PB females are certainly taking advantage of these resources. However, PM females did not remain there over the winter months, instead they used the same waters at the ice-edge in the southern WAP that females from both King George Island and South Georgia used. Females made more benthic dives than sub-adult males—again this contrasts with other sites where SAMs do more benthic diving. Unlike most other populations studied to date EI is a relatively southerly breeding colony located on the Antarctic continental shelf. EI seals are using shelf habitats more than other SES populations but some individuals still

  2. Towards an Automated Acoustic Detection System for Free Ranging Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Hensman, Sean; Stoeger, Angela S.

    2015-01-01

    The human-elephant conflict is one of the most serious conservation problems in Asia and Africa today. The involuntary confrontation of humans and elephants claims the lives of many animals and humans every year. A promising approach to alleviate this conflict is the development of an acoustic early warning system. Such a system requires the robust automated detection of elephant vocalizations under unconstrained field conditions. Today, no system exists that fulfills these requirements. In this paper, we present a method for the automated detection of elephant vocalizations that is robust to the diverse noise sources present in the field. We evaluate the method on a dataset recorded under natural field conditions to simulate a real-world scenario. The proposed method outperformed existing approaches and robustly and accurately detected elephants. It thus can form the basis for a future automated early warning system for elephants. Furthermore, the method may be a useful tool for scientists in bioacoustics for the study of wildlife recordings. PMID:25983398

  3. On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Michael C.; Garstang, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary We use data similar to that taken by the International Monitoring System for the detection of nuclear explosions, to determine whether elephants might be capable of detecting and locating the source of sounds generated by thunderstorms. Knowledge that elephants might be capable of responding to such storms, particularly at the end of the dry season when migrations are initiated, is of considerable interest to management and conservation. Abstract Theoretical calculations suggest that sounds produced by thunderstorms and detected by a system similar to the International Monitoring System (IMS) for the detection of nuclear explosions at distances ≥100 km, are at sound pressure levels equal to or greater than 6 × 10−3 Pa. Such sound pressure levels are well within the range of elephant hearing. Frequencies carrying these sounds might allow for interaural time delays such that adult elephants could not only hear but could also locate the source of these sounds. Determining whether it is possible for elephants to hear and locate thunderstorms contributes to the question of whether elephant movements are triggered or influenced by these abiotic sounds. PMID:26487406

  4. The elephants of Zoba Gash Barka, Eritrea: part 4. Cholelithiasis in a wild African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Agnew, Dalen W; Hagey, Lee; Shoshani, Jeheskel

    2005-12-01

    A 4.0-kg cholelith was found within the abdominal cavity of a dead wild African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Eritrea. Analysis of this cholelith by histochemistry, electron microscopy, electrospray mass spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy revealed it was composed of bile alcohols but no calcium, bilirubin, or cholesterol. Bacteria were also found in the cholelith. Similar, but smaller, bile stones have been identified previously in other wild African elephants and an excavated mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). Choleliths have been reported only once in a captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants, along with hyraxes (Procavia capensis) and manatees (Trichechus manatus), are unique among mammals in producing only bile alcohols and no bile acids, which may predispose them to cholelithiasis, particularly in association with bacterial infection. Dietary factors may also play an important role in cholelith formation. PMID:17312726

  5. The Proteus syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed.

    PubMed Central

    Tibbles, J A; Cohen, M M

    1986-01-01

    Sir Frederick Treves first showed Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man, to the Pathological Society of London in 1884. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis was suggested in 1909 and was widely accepted. There is no evidence, however, of café au lait spots or histological proof of neurofibromas. It is also clear that Joseph Merrick's manifestations were much more bizarre than those commonly seen in neurofibromatosis. Evidence indicates that Merrick suffered from the Proteus syndrome and had the following features compatible with this diagnosis: macrocephaly; hyperostosis of the skull; hypertrophy of long bones; and thickened skin and subcutaneous tissues, particularly of the hands and feet, including plantar hyperplasia, lipomas, and other unspecified subcutaneous masses. Images FIG 1 FIG 2 FIG 3 FIG 4 PMID:3092979

  6. Hydrothermal calcite in the Elephant Moraine

    SciTech Connect

    Faure, G.; Taylor, K.S.; Jones, L.M.

    1986-01-01

    In the course of geologic mapping of the Elephant Moraine on the east antarctic ice sheet, Faure and Taylor (1985) collected several specimens of black botryoidal calcite, composed of radiating acicular crystals that resemble stromatolites. Calcite from this and other specimens is significantly enriched in strontium-87 (the strontium-87/strontium-86 ratio equals 0.71417 +/- 0.00002), carbon-12 (delta carbon-13 equals -22.9 parts per thousand, PDB standard) and oxygen-16 (delta oxygen-18 equals -21.1 parts per thousand, standard mean ocean water) compared with calcite of marine origin. The enrichment in carbon-12 is similar to that of calcite associated with coal in the Allan Hills. The enrichment in oxygen-16 indicates that the calcite from the Elephant Moraine could only have precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with glacial melt water. Therefore, the temperature at which the black calcite precipitated from water of that isotope composition was about 85/sup 0/C. A temperature of this magnitude implies that the black calcite formed as a result of volcanic activity under the east antarctic ice sheet. The enrichment of the black calcite in carbon-12 suggests that it formed in part from carbon dioxide derived from the coal seams of the Weller Formation in the Beacon Supergroup. The isotopic composition of strontium in the black calcite is similar to that of carbonate beds and concretions in the Beacon rocks of southern Victoria Land. A volcanic-hydrothermal origin is also consistent with the very low total organic carbon content of 0.15% in the calcite.

  7. Population pharmacokinetics of pyrazinamide in elephants.

    PubMed

    Zhu, M; Maslow, J N; Mikota, S K; Isaza, R; Dunker, F; Riddle, H; Peloquin, C A

    2005-10-01

    This study was undertaken to characterize the population pharmacokinetics (PK), therapeutic dose, and preferred route of administration for pyrazinamide (PZA) in elephants. Twenty-three African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants infected with or in contact with others culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were dosed under treatment conditions. PZA was dosed daily at 20-30 mg/kg via oral (fasting or nonfasting state) or rectal (enema or suppository) administration. Blood samples were collected 0-24 h postdose. Population PK was estimated using nonlinear mixed effect modeling. Drug absorption was rapid with T(max) at or before 2 h regardless of the method of drug administration. C(max) at a mean dose of 25.6 (+/-4.6) mg/kg was 19.6 (+/-9.5 microg/mL) for PZA given orally under fasting conditions. Under nonfasting conditions at a mean dose of 26.1 +/- 4.2 mg/kg, C(max) was 25% (4.87 +/- 4.89 microg/mL) and area under concentration curve (AUC) was 30% of the values observed under fasting conditions. Mean rectal dose of 32.6 +/- 15.2 mg/kg yielded C(max) of 12.3 +/- 6.3 microg/mL, but comparable AUC to PZA administered orally while fasting. Both oral and rectal administration of PZA appeared to be acceptable and oral dosing is preferred because of the higher C(max) and lower inter-subject variability. A starting dose of 30 mg/kg is recommended with drug monitoring between 1 and 2 h postdose. Higher doses may be required if the achieved C(max) values are below the recommended 20-50 microg/mL range. PMID:16207301

  8. Sperm DNA fragmentation and morphological degeneration in chilled elephant (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta Africana) semen collected by transrectal massage.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, J K; Steinman, K J; Montano, G A; Love, C C; Robeck, T R

    2013-05-01

    Ejaculates from nine Asian and two African elephants were analysed to gain a further understanding of mechanisms underlying variable semen quality after transrectal massage. Semen analysis was performed after collection (0 h; subjective motility parameters only) and after 24 h of chilled storage at 10 °C (24 h; all ejaculate and sperm characteristics). Ejaculates with ≤50% total motility (TM) at 24 h, which represented >90% of collection attempts, contained a sperm population with a high degree of DNA damage (64.2 ± 19.2% fragmented DNA) and an elevated incidence of detached heads (43.3 ± 22.5%). In contrast, good quality ejaculates designated as those with >50% TM at 24 h displayed higher (p < 0.05) values of sperm kinetic parameters, DNA integrity and normal morphology. Fertility potential was high for good quality ejaculates from two males (one Asian and one African bull) based on in vitro characteristics after chilled storage for up to 48 h post-collection. Urine contamination of semen, as assessed quantitatively by creatinine concentration, was confirmed as a significant factor in reduced elephant ejaculate quality. However, the identification of considerable DNA damage and morphological degeneration in the majority of ejaculates after only 24 h of chilled storage indicates that sperm ageing could be a primary contributor to inconsistent semen quality in the elephant. PMID:23536498

  9. Field application of serodiagnostics to identify elephants with Tuberculosis prior to case confirmation by culture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three serologic methods for antibody detection in elephant tuberculosis (TB), multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), ElephantTB STAT-PAK kit, and DPP VetTB test, were validated prospectively using serial serum samples from 14 captive elephants in 5 countries which were diagnosed with TB by positive...

  10. Elephant trunk technique for hybrid aortic arch repair.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Yuji

    2014-03-01

    The original elephant trunk technique was developed by Borst in 1983 for the treatment of aortic arch aneurysms. This technique reduced operative risks, but was associated with cumulative mortality rates of 6.9 % for the first stage and 7.5 % for the second stage. Patients also waited a long time between two major surgical procedures. Only 50.4 % of patients underwent the second-stage surgery, and there was a significant interval mortality rate of 10.7 %. With the advent of stent-graft techniques, two different hybrid elephant trunk techniques were developed. One technique is first-stage elephant trunk graft placement followed by second-stage endovascular completion. The conventional elephant trunk graft provides a good landing zone for the stent-graft, and endovascular completion is a useful alternative to conventional second-stage surgery. This method has few major complications, and a postoperative paraplegia rate of 1.1 %. The other technique is the frozen elephant trunk technique. This technique eliminates the need for subsequent endovascular completion, and is particularly useful for the treatment of acute type A dissection because it can achieve a secure seal. However, it is associated with a higher rate of spinal cord ischemia than other methods such as the original elephant trunk technique. The left subclavian artery (LSA) is often lost when performing a hybrid elephant trunk procedure. Revascularization of the LSA should be performed to prevent arm ischemia and neurological complications such as paraplegia or stroke, although the level of evidence for this recommendation is low. PMID:23943042

  11. Elephant low-frequency vocalizations propagate in the ground and seismic playbacks of these vocalizations are detectable by wild African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell-Rodwell, Caitlin E.; Wood, Jason D.; Gunther, Roland; Klemperer, Simon; Rodwell, Timothy C.; Puria, Sunil; Sapolsky, Robert; Kinzley, Colleen; Arnason, Byron T.; Hart, Lynette A.

    2001-05-01

    Seismic correlates of low-frequency vocalizations in African and Asian elephants propagate in the ground at different velocities, with the potential of traveling farther than their airborne counterparts. A semblance technique applied to linear moveouts on narrow-bandpass-filtered data, coupled with forward modeling, demonstrates that the complex waves observed are the interference of an air wave and a Rayleigh wave traveling at the appropriate velocities. The Rayleigh wave appears to be generated at or close to the elephant, either by coupling through the elephant's body or through the air near the body to the ground. Low-frequency elephant vocalizations were reproduced seismically and played back to both a captive elephant and to elephant breeding herds in the wild, monitoring the elephants' behavioral responses, spacing between herd members and time spent at the water hole as an index of heightened vigilance. Breeding herds detected and responded appropriately to seismically transmitted elephant warning calls. The captive studies promise to elucidate a vibrotactile threshold of sensitivity for the elephant foot. Elephants may benefit from the exploitation of seismic cues as an additional communication modality, thus expanding their signaling repertoire and extending their range of potential communication and eavesdropping beyond that possible with airborne sound.

  12. The contribution of hypothalamic neuroendocrine, neuroplastic and neuroinflammatory processes to lipopolysaccharide-induced depressive-like behaviour in female and male rats: Involvement of glucocorticoid receptor and C/EBP-β.

    PubMed

    Adzic, Miroslav; Djordjevic, Jelena; Mitic, Milos; Brkic, Zeljka; Lukic, Iva; Radojcic, Marija

    2015-09-15

    Peripheral inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) causes behavioural changes indicative for depression. The possible mechanisms involve the interference with neuroinflammatory, neuroendocrine, and neurotrophic processes. Apart from heterogeneity in the molecular background, sexual context may be another factor relevant to the manifestation of mood disturbances upon an immune challenge. We investigated sex-dependent effects of a 7-day LPS treatment of adult Wistar rats on depressive-like behaviour and their relation with hypothalamic neuroendocrine factor, corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), proplastic brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), pro-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and nuclear factor kappa beta (NFkB). Also, their regulators, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) β were followed. LPS induced depressive-like behaviour in females was associated with the increased hypothalamic CRH and decreased BDNF, but not with COX-2. These changes were paralleled by an increase in nuclear GR, NFkB and 20 kDa C/EBPβ. LPS also altered behaviour in males and increased CRH expression, but in contrast to females, this was accompanied with the elevated COX-2, accumulation of cytosolic GR and elevated nuclear 38 kDa C/EBPβ and NFkB. In conclusion, depressive-like phenotype induced by LPS in both sexes emerges from similar HPA axis activation and sex-specific alterations of hypothalamic molecular signalling: in males it is related to compromised control of neuroinflamation connected with cytoplasmic GR retention, while in females it is related to diminished proplastic capacity of BDNF. Sex-dependent mechanisms by which inflammation alters hypothalamic processes and cause pathological behaviour in animals, could be operative in the treatment of depression-related brain inflammation. PMID:26024764

  13. Acute death associated with Citrobacter freundii infection in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Joaquín; Corpa, Juan M; Orden, José A; Blanco, Jorge; Carbonell, María D; Gerique, Amalia C; Latimer, Erin; Hayward, Gary S; Roemmelt, Andreas; Kraemer, Thomas; Romey, Aurore; Kassimi, Labib B; Casares, Miguel

    2015-09-01

    A 21-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) died suddenly with no previous medical history. Grossly, there were severe multifocal epicardial and endocardial hemorrhages of the atria and ventricles, hydropericardium, multifocal pleural hemorrhages, and severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Histologically, there was fibrinoid vasculitis and thrombosis in the heart and lung and myocardial necrosis. Citrobacter freundii was isolated in abundance in pure culture from liver and heart samples. Low levels of multiples types of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV-6, EEHV-2B, and EEHV-3A) were detected in spleen samples, but not in heart samples. The levels of EEHV DNA found were much lower than those usually associated with acute EEHV hemorrhagic disease, and many other genomic loci that would normally be found in such cases were evidently below the level of detection. Therefore, these findings are unlikely to indicate lethal EEHV disease. Polymerase chain reaction for encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and toxicology for oleander (Nerium oleander) were negative. Stress, resulting from recent transport, and antimicrobial therapy may have contributed to the death of this animal. PMID:26179092

  14. Frozen elephant trunk surgery—the Bologna’s experience

    PubMed Central

    Pantaleo, Antonio; Murana, Giacomo; Pellicciari, Giovanni; Castrovinci, Sebastiano; Berretta, Paolo; Folesani, Gianluca; Di Bartolomeo, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Background Different approaches are available to treat patients with complex and extensive diseases of the thoracic aorta. This study aims to report and comment on our experience with the frozen elephant trunk (FET) technique. Methods Between January 2007 and July 2012, 122 patients (male: 86.9%; mean age: 61 years) underwent extensive thoracic aorta surgery using the FET approach with an E-vita open prosthesis. The most frequent indications for surgery included residual type A chronic dissection (45.9%), extensive degenerative aneurysm of the thoracic aorta (27%), and type A acute aortic dissection (7.4%). Sixty-nine patients had already undergone cardiac/aortic interventions through a median sternotomy. A total of 60 associated procedures were performed, with 76.6% on the aortic root. Selective antegrade cerebral perfusion and moderate hypothermia were used in all cases. Results Overall, hospital mortality was 15.2%. Post-operatively, 7.4% and 9.0% of patients were complicated by permanent neurologic dysfunction and spinal cord injury, respectively. For the surviving patients, 1- and 3-year freedom from all-cause mortality was (91.7±2.8)% and (79.1±6.1)%, respectively. 1- and 3-year freedom from re-intervention was (83.1±3.5)% and (74.1±4.3)%, respectively. Conclusions In our experience, FET surgery allowed treatment of complex patients with extensive thoracic aortic diseases with satisfactory short- and mid-term results. Acute and chronic dissections represent interesting subsets for FET application. While further larger and longer-term studies are required to show the survival benefits of the FET technique versus other types of management, new strategies for spinal cord injury (paraplegia/paraparesis) reduction should also be researched. PMID:24109567

  15. Using morphometric and analytical techniques to characterize elephant ivory.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rina Rani; Goyal, Surendra Prakash; Khanna, Param Pal; Mukherjee, Pulok Kumar; Sukumar, Raman

    2006-10-16

    There is a need to characterize Asian elephant ivory and compare with African ivory for controlling illegal trade and implementation of national and international laws. In this paper, we characterize ivory of Asian and African elephants using Schreger angle measurements, elemental analysis {X-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)} and isotopic analysis. We recorded Schreger angle characteristics of elephant ivory at three different zones in ivory samples of African (n=12) and Asian (n=28) elephants. The Schreger angle ranged from 32 degrees to 145 degrees and 30 degrees to 153 degrees in Asian and African ivory, respectively. Elemental analysis (for Asian and African ivory) by XRF, ICP-AES and ICP-MS provided preliminary data. We attempted to ascertain source of origin of Asian elephant ivory similarly as in African ivory based on isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and strontium. We determined isotopic ratios of carbon (n=31) and nitrogen (n=31) corresponding to diet and rainfall, respectively. Reference ivory samples from five areas within India were analyzed using collagen and powder sample and the latter was found more suitable for forensic analysis. During our preliminary analysis, the range of delta13C values (-13.6+/-0.15 per thousand and -25.6+/-0.15 per thousand) and delta15N values (10.2+/-0.15 per thousand and 3.5+/-0.15 per thousand) were noted. PMID:16891073

  16. Interpretation of human pointing by African elephants: generalisation and rationality.

    PubMed

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-11-01

    Factors influencing the abilities of different animals to use cooperative social cues from humans are still unclear, in spite of long-standing interest in the topic. One of the few species that have been found successful at using human pointing is the African elephant (Loxodonta africana); despite few opportunities for learning about pointing, elephants follow a pointing gesture in an object-choice task, even when the pointing signal and experimenter's body position are in conflict, and when the gesture itself is visually subtle. Here, we show that the success of captive African elephants at using human pointing is not restricted to situations where the pointing signal is sustained until the time of choice: elephants followed human pointing even when the pointing gesture was withdrawn before they had responded to it. Furthermore, elephants rapidly generalised their response to a type of social cue they were unlikely to have seen before: pointing with the foot. However, unlike young children, they showed no sign of evaluating the 'rationality' of this novel pointing gesture according to its visual context: that is, whether the experimenter's hands were occupied or not. PMID:24942107

  17. Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Three Zoo Elephants and a Human Contact - Oregon, 2013.

    PubMed

    Zlot, Amy; Vines, Jennifer; Nystrom, Laura; Lane, Lindsey; Behm, Heidi; Denny, Justin; Finnegan, Mitch; Hostetler, Trevor; Matthews, Gloria; Storms, Tim; DeBess, Emilio

    2016-01-01

    In 2013, public health officials in Multnomah County, Oregon, started an investigation of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak among elephants and humans at a local zoo. The investigation ultimately identified three bull elephants with active TB and 118 human contacts of the elephants. Ninety-six (81%) contacts were evaluated, and seven close contacts were found to have latent TB infection. The three bulls were isolated and treated (elephants with TB typically are not euthanized) to prevent infection of other animals and humans, and persons with latent infection were offered treatment. Improved TB screening methods for elephants are needed to prevent exposure of human contacts. PMID:26741355

  18. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jen N.; Leighty, Katherine A.; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J.; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015). For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009), and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175), increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985), and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate

  19. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jen N; Leighty, Katherine A; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015). For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009), and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175), increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985), and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate

  20. Sexual differentiation in three unconventional mammals: spotted hyenas, elephants and tammar wallabies.

    PubMed

    Glickman, Stephen E; Short, Roger V; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2005-11-01

    The present review explores sexual differentiation in three non-conventional species: the spotted hyena, the elephant and the tammar wallaby, selected because of the natural challenges they present for contemporary understanding of sexual differentiation. According to the prevailing view of mammalian sexual differentiation, originally proposed by Alfred Jost, secretion of androgen and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) by the fetal testes during critical stages of development accounts for the full range of sexually dimorphic urogenital traits observed at birth. Jost's concept was subsequently expanded to encompass sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. Although the central focus of this review involves urogenital development, we assume that the novel mechanisms described in this article have potentially significant implications for sexual differentiation of brain and behavior, a transposition with precedent in the history of this field. Contrary to the "specific" requirements of Jost's formulation, female spotted hyenas and elephants initially develop male-type external genitalia prior to gonadal differentiation. In addition, the administration of anti-androgens to pregnant female spotted hyenas does not prevent the formation of a scrotum, pseudoscrotum, penis or penile clitoris in the offspring of treated females, although it is not yet clear whether the creation of masculine genitalia involves other steroids or whether there is a genetic mechanism bypassing a hormonal mediator. Wallabies, where sexual differentiation occurs in the pouch after birth, provide the most conclusive evidence for direct genetic control of sexual dimorphism, with the scrotum developing only in males and the pouch and mammary glands only in females, before differentiation of the gonads. The development of the pouch and mammary gland in females and the scrotum in males is controlled by genes on the X chromosome. In keeping with the "expanded" version of Jost's formulation, secretion

  1. The occurrence of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): first case of EEHV4 in Asia.

    PubMed

    Sripiboon, Supaphen; Tankaew, Pallop; Lungka, Grishda; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is a type of herpesvirus that causes acute hemorrhagic disease in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and is often fatal, especially in calves. This study describes the postmortem evaluation of two captive-born Asian elephants (2 and 3 yr of age, respectively) diagnosed with EEHV in Thailand. Both elephants presented only mild depression, lethargy, and anorexia before death within 24 hr of symptom onset. Necropsies were performed, and tissue samples were tested for EEHV viral presence using polymerase chain reaction. Molecular and phylogenetic evidence illustrated two types of EEHV, which were closely related to EEHV1A in Case 1 and EEHV4 in Case 2. Pathologic findings differed between the cases. More specific organ tropism was found in Case 1, where mainly the cardiovascular system was affected. In contrast, in Case 2, hemorrhages were noted in most organs, including in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. This report is the first to document EEHV4 in Asia and the second case of this strain to be identified in an elephant worldwide. PMID:23505709

  2. Positive Reinforcement Training for a Trunk Wash in Nepal's Working Elephants: Demonstrating Alternatives to Traditional Elephant Training Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Fagen, Ariel; Acharya, Narayan; Kaufman, Gretchen E.

    2016-01-01

    Many trainers of animals in the zoo now rely on positive reinforcement training to teach animals to voluntarily participate in husbandry and veterinary procedures in an effort to improve behavioral reliability, captive management, and welfare. However, captive elephant handlers in Nepal still rely heavily on punishment- and aversion-based methods. The aim of this project was to determine the effectiveness of secondary positive reinforcement (SPR) in training free-contact elephants in Nepal to voluntarily participate in a trunk wash for the purpose of tuberculosis testing. Five female elephants, 4 juveniles and 1 adult, were enrolled in the project. Data were collected in the form of minutes of training, number of offers made for each training task, and success rate for each task in performance tests. Four out of 5 elephants, all juveniles, successfully learned the trunk wash in 35 sessions or fewer, with each session lasting a mean duration of 12 min. The elephants’ performance improved from a mean success rate of 39.0% to 89.3% during the course of the training. This study proves that it is feasible to efficiently train juvenile, free-contact, traditionally trained elephants in Nepal to voluntarily and reliably participate in a trunk wash using only SPR techniques. PMID:24410366

  3. Comparison of glycoprotein B (gB) variants of the elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) isolated from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Fickel, J; Lieckfeldt, D; Richman, L K; Streich, W J; Hildebrandt, T B; Pitra, C

    2003-01-01

    The recently described elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV) have been associated with the deaths of numerous captive elephants. A proposed tool for the detection of EEHV infection in elephants is the PCR-based screening for EEHV-DNA in whole blood samples. Unfortunately, this detection method has only been successful in post-mortem analyses or in animals already displaying clinical signs of EEHV disease, thus rendering this method unsuitable for identification of carrier elephants. Here, we focus on glycoprotein B (gB) for serologic assay development, since gB is an envelope protein known to induce a neutralising antibody response in other herpesvirus infections. We sequenced the entire gB gene from five Asian elephants with EEHV, representing four different gB variants. Computer-aided methods were used to predict functionally important regions within EEHVgB. An extra-cytoplasmic region of 153 amino acids was predicted to be under positive selection and may potentially contain antigenic determinants that will be useful for future serologic assay development. PMID:12441228

  4. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants

    PubMed Central

    Schlossberg, Scott; Griffin, Curtice R.; Bouché, Philippe J.C.; Djene, Sintayehu W.; Elkan, Paul W.; Ferreira, Sam; Grossman, Falk; Kohi, Edward Mtarima; Landen, Kelly; Omondi, Patrick; Peltier, Alexis; Selier, S.A. Jeanetta; Sutcliffe, Robert

    2016-01-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss. Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa. To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations. Here, we report the results of the Great Elephant Census (GEC), the first continent-wide, standardized survey of African savannah elephants. We also provide the first quantitative model of elephant population trends across Africa. We estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries. Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching. Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality. Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants’ downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat.

  5. Megagardeners of the forest - the role of elephants in seed dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Blake, Steve

    2011-11-01

    As the largest frugivores on Earth, elephants have unique ecological properties. Found in deserts, savannahs, and forests, they are the last remnants of a diverse lineage. Among the three currently recognized forms, African forest elephants are the most frugivorous, followed by Asian and African savannah elephants, although their role as seed dispersers is variable and context-dependent. African forest elephants may consume more seeds from more species than any other taxon of large vertebrate dispersers, defecating them over long distances in viable conditions into nutrient-rich and protective dung. In short, elephants are forest gardeners. The signature of elephant dispersal is evident in the spatial distribution of trees suggesting that elephants maintain tree diversity and retain low redundancy in seed dispersal systems. Large numbers of forest elephants ranging over large areas may be essential for ecosystem function. The loss of elephants will have important negative consequences for the ecological trajectories of some plant species and whole ecological communities, yet the conservation status of forest elephants is catastrophic in Asia and rapidly becoming so in Africa due to hunting and other conflicts with people. In this paper we review the current knowledge of elephants as seed dispersers, discuss the ecological consequences of their decline, and suggest priority areas for research and conservation action.

  6. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Aba’a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D.; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C.; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E.; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L.; Bezangoye, Anicet N.; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A.; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J.; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S.; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants– taxonomically and functionally unique–are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002–2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  7. Exploratory rigid laparoscopy in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Sweet, Julia; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Neiffer, Donald L

    2014-12-01

    In March 2009, a 25-yr-old captive female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) underwent an exploratory laparoscopy after several weeks of diarrhea, submandibular and ventral edema, and swelling on medial and lateral aspects of all feet. Although there have been recent advances in laparoscopic vasectomies in free-ranging African elephants in South Africa utilizing specially designed rigid laparoscopes and insufflation devices, this was the first attempt at using these same techniques for an exploratory purpose. The elephant was sedated in a static restraint chute and remained standing for the duration of the procedure. Laparoscopy provided visibility of the dorsal abdomen, enabled collection of reproductive tract biopsies and peritoneal fluid samples, and allowed for instillation of antibiotics and crystalloid fluids directly into the abdominal cavity. Abdominal exploration, collection of tissue samples, and local therapy is possible via standing laparoscopy in megavertebrates. PMID:25632688

  8. Elephant trunks in aortic surgery: fresh and frozen.

    PubMed

    Hagl, Christian; Pichlmaier, Maximilian; Khaladj, Nawid

    2013-03-01

    Aneurysmal diseases are often silent but can cause potentially life-threatening complications in cases of dissection or rupture. Surgical strategies depend on the involved part of the aorta and frequently require extracorporeal circulation and circulatory arrest. From data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aneurysm disease is the 18th most common cause of death in all individuals, and the incidence is certain to increase as our population ages. This article discusses different treatment options introduced in the past few decades to address multifocal pathologic conditions of the thoracic aorta. These include the conventional elephant trunk procedure introduced by Hans Borst in 1983, with several modifications, and also hybrid procedures combining open surgical and endovascular techniques: the so-called frozen elephant trunk. Advantages and drawbacks of both techniques will be discussed based on personal and practical perspectives, with specific mention of the elephant trunk procedure in acute aortic dissections. PMID:23410783

  9. The return of the giants: ecological effects of an increasing elephant population.

    PubMed

    Skarpe, Christina; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Andreassen, Harry P; Dhillion, Shivcharn S; Dimakatso, Thatayaone; du Toit, Johan T; Duncan; Halley, J; Hytteborn, Håkan; Makhabu, Shimane; Mari, Moses; Marokane, Wilson; Masunga, Gaseitsiwe; Ditshoswane, Modise; Moe, Stein R; Mojaphoko, Rapelang; Mosugelo, David; Motsumi, Sekgowa; Neo-Mahupeleng, Gosiame; Ramotadima, Mpho; Rutina, Lucas; Sechele, Lettie; Sejoe, Thato B; Stokke, Sigbjørn; Swenson, Jon E; Taolo, Cyril; Vandewalle, Mark; Wegge, Per

    2004-08-01

    Northern Botswana and adjacent areas, have the world's largest population of African elephant (Loxodonta africana). However, a 100 years ago elephants were rare following excessive hunting. Simultaneously, ungulate populations were severely reduced by decease. The ecological effects of the reduction in large herbivores must have been substantial, but are little known. Today, however, ecosystem changes following the increase in elephant numbers cause considerable concern in Botswana. This was the background for the "BONIC" project, investigating the interactions between the increasing elephant population and other ecosystem components and processes. Results confirm that the ecosystem is changing following the increase in elephant and ungulate populations, and, presumably, developing towards a situation resembling that before the reduction of large herbivores. We see no ecological reasons to artificially change elephant numbers. There are, however, economic and social reasons to control elephants, and their range in northern Botswana may have to be artificially restricted. PMID:15387059

  10. Strangulating intestinal obstructions in four captive elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Wiedner, Ellen B; Peddie, James; Peddie, Linda Reeve; Abou-Madi, Noha; Kollias, George V; Doyle, Charles; Lindsay, William A; Isaza, Ramiro; Terrell, Scott; Lynch, Tim M; Johnson, Kari; Johnson, Gary; Sammut, Charlie; Daft, Barbara; Uzal, Francisco

    2012-03-01

    Three captive-born (5-day-old, 8-day-old, and 4-yr-old) Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and one captive-born 22-yr-old African elephant (Loxodonta africana) from three private elephant facilities and one zoo in the United States presented with depression, anorexia, and tachycardia as well as gastrointestinal signs of disease including abdominal distention, decreased borborygmi, tenesmus, hematochezia, or diarrhea. All elephants showed some evidence of discomfort including agitation, vocalization, or postural changes. One animal had abnormal rectal findings. Nonmotile bowel loops were seen on transabdominal ultrasound in another case. Duration of signs ranged from 6 to 36 hr. All elephants received analgesics and were given oral or rectal fluids. Other treatments included warm-water enemas or walking. One elephant underwent exploratory celiotomy. Three animals died, and the elephant taken to surgery was euthanized prior to anesthetic recovery. At necropsy, all animals had severe, strangulating intestinal lesions. PMID:22448519

  11. Geographic variation of stable isotopes in African elephant ivory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, S.; Merker, S.; Jacob, D.

    2012-04-01

    In 1989, the international community listed the African elephant in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) thus prohibiting commercial ivory trade. Recent surveillance data show that the illegal trade in ivory has been growing worldwide. Long-term preservation of many of the African elephant populations can be supported with a control mechanism that helps with the implementation of remedial conservation action. Therefore, setting up a reference database that predicts the origin of ivory specimens can assist in determining smuggling routes and the provenance of illegal ivory. Our research builds on earlier work to seek an appropriate method for determining the area of origin for individual tusks. Several researchers have shown that the provenance of elephant ivory can be traced by its isotopic composition, but this is the first attempt to produce an integrated isotopic reference database of elephant ivory provenance. We applied a combination of various routine geochemical analyses to measure the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur. Up to now, we analysed 606 ivory samples of known geographical origin from African range states, museums and private collections, comprising 22 African elephant range states. The isotopic measurements were superimposed with data layers from vegetation, geology and climate. A regression function for the isotope composition of the water isotopes in precipitation and collagen in ivory was developed to overcome the problem of imprecise origin of some of the sampled material. Multivariate statistics, such as nearest neighborhood and discriminate analysis were applied to eventually allow a statistical determination of the provenance for ivory of unknown origin. Our results suggest that the combination of isotopic parameters have the potential to provide predictable and complementary markers for estimating the origin of seized elephant ivory.

  12. Review of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses and Acute Hemorrhagic Disease.

    PubMed

    Long, Simon Y; Latimer, Erin M; Hayward, Gary S

    2016-01-01

    More than 100 young captive and wild Asian elephants are known to have died from a rapid-onset, acute hemorrhagic disease caused primarily by multiple distinct strains of two closely related chimeric variants of a novel herpesvirus species designated elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV1A and EEHV1B). These and two other species of Probosciviruses (EEHV4 and EEHV5) are evidently ancient and likely nearly ubiquitous asymptomatic infections of adult Asian elephants worldwide that are occasionally shed in trunk wash secretions. Although only a handful of similar cases have been observed in African elephants, they also have proved to harbor their own multiple and distinct species of Probosciviruses-EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7-found in lung and skin nodules or saliva. For reasons that are not yet understood, approximately 20% of Asian elephant calves appear to be susceptible to the disease when primary infections are not controlled by normal innate cellular and humoral immune responses. Sensitive specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA blood tests have been developed, routine monitoring has been established, the complete large DNA genomes of each of the four Asian EEHV species have now been sequenced, and PCR gene subtyping has provided unambiguous evidence that this is a sporadic rather than epidemic disease that it is not being spread among zoos or other elephant housing facilities. Nevertheless, researchers have not yet been able to propagate EEHV in cell culture, determine whether or not human antiherpesvirus drugs are effective inhibitors, or develop serology assays that can distinguish between antibodies against the multiple different EEHV species. PMID:26912715

  13. Freezing African Elephant Semen as a New Population Management Tool

    PubMed Central

    Hermes, Robert; Saragusty, Joseph; Göritz, Frank; Bartels, Paul; Potier, Romain; Baker, Barbara; Streich, W. Jürgen; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Background The captive elephant population is not self-sustaining and with a limited number of breeding bulls, its genetic diversity is in decline. One way to overcome this is to import young and healthy animals from the wild. We introduce here a more sustainable alternative method - importation of semen from wild bulls without removing them from their natural habitat. Due to the logistics involved, the only practical option would be to transport cryopreserved sperm. Despite some early reports on African elephant semen cryopreservation, the utility of this new population management tool has not been evaluated. Methodology/Principal Findings Semen was collected by electroejaculation from 14 wild African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) bulls and cryopreserved using the directional freezing technique. Sperm treatments evaluated included the need for centrifugation, the use of hen or quail yolk, the concentration of glycerol (3%, 5% or 7%) in the extender, and maintenance of motility over time after thawing. Our results suggest that dilution in an extender containing hen yolk and 7% glycerol after centrifugation best preserved post-thaw sperm motility when compared to all other treatments (P≤0.012 for all). Using this approach we were able to achieve after thawing (mean ± SD) 54.6±3.9% motility, 85.3±2.4% acrosome integrity, and 86.8±4.6% normal morphology with no decrease in motility over 1 h incubation at 37°C. Sperm cryopreserved during this study has already lead to a pregnancy of a captive female elephant following artificial insemination. Conclusions/Significance With working techniques for artificial insemination and sperm cryopreservation of both African and Asian elephants in hand, population managers can now enrich captive or isolated wild elephant populations without removing valuable individuals from their natural habitat. PMID:23483917

  14. Identifying Source Populations and Genetic Structure for Savannah Elephants in Human-Dominated Landscapes and Protected Areas in the Kenya-Tanzania Borderlands

    PubMed Central

    Ahlering, Marissa A.; Eggert, Lori S.; Western, David; Estes, Anna; Munishi, Linus; Fleischer, Robert; Roberts, Melissa; Maldonado, Jesus E.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana) in East Africa, using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. We then examined this population structure to determine the source population for a recent colonization event of savannah elephants on community-owned land within the trans rift valley region. Four of the five sampled populations showed significant genetic differentiation (p<0.05) as measured with both mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellites. Only the samples from the adjacent Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems showed no significant differentiation. A phylogenetic neighbour-joining tree constructed from mtDNA haplotypes detected four clades. Clade four corresponds to the F clade of previous mtDNA studies that reported to have originated in forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) but to also be present in some savannah elephant populations. The split between clade four and the other three clades corresponded strongly to the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes across the rift valley in the study area. Clade four was the dominant clade detected on the west side of the rift valley with rare occurrences on the east side. Finally, the strong patterns of population differentiation clearly indicated that the recent colonists to the community-owned land in Kenya came from the west side of the rift valley. Our results indicate strong female philopatry within the isolated populations of the trans rift valley region, with gene flow primarily mediated via male movements. The recent colonization event from Maasai Mara or Serengeti suggests there is hope for maintaining connectivity and population viability outside formal protected areas in the region. PMID:23300634

  15. Identifying source populations and genetic structure for savannah elephants in human-dominated landscapes and protected areas in the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands.

    PubMed

    Ahlering, Marissa A; Eggert, Lori S; Western, David; Estes, Anna; Munishi, Linus; Fleischer, Robert; Roberts, Melissa; Maldonado, Jesus E

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana) in East Africa, using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. We then examined this population structure to determine the source population for a recent colonization event of savannah elephants on community-owned land within the trans rift valley region. Four of the five sampled populations showed significant genetic differentiation (p<0.05) as measured with both mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellites. Only the samples from the adjacent Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems showed no significant differentiation. A phylogenetic neighbour-joining tree constructed from mtDNA haplotypes detected four clades. Clade four corresponds to the F clade of previous mtDNA studies that reported to have originated in forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) but to also be present in some savannah elephant populations. The split between clade four and the other three clades corresponded strongly to the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes across the rift valley in the study area. Clade four was the dominant clade detected on the west side of the rift valley with rare occurrences on the east side. Finally, the strong patterns of population differentiation clearly indicated that the recent colonists to the community-owned land in Kenya came from the west side of the rift valley. Our results indicate strong female philopatry within the isolated populations of the trans rift valley region, with gene flow primarily mediated via male movements. The recent colonization event from Maasai Mara or Serengeti suggests there is hope for maintaining connectivity and population viability outside formal protected areas in the region. PMID:23300634

  16. Beveled reversed elephant trunk procedure for complex aortic aneurysm.

    PubMed

    Fujikawa, Takuya; Yamamoto, Shin; Sekine, Yuji; Oshima, Susumu; Kasai, Reo; Sasaguri, Shiro

    2016-03-01

    The reversed elephant trunk procedure uses an inverted graft for distal aortic replacement before aortic arch replacement in patients with mega aorta, to reduce the risk in the second stage. However, the conventional technique restricts the maximum diameter of the inverted graft to the aortic graft diameter. We employed a beveled reversed elephant trunk procedure to overcome the discrepancy between graft diameters in a 54-year-old woman with a severely twisted ascending aortic graft and enlarging chronic dissection of the aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta. The patient was discharged with a satisfactory repair and no neurologic deficit. PMID:25406402

  17. Voluntary exercise and palatable high-fat diet both improve behavioural profile and stress responses in male rats exposed to early life stress: role of hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Maniam, Jayanthi; Morris, Margaret J

    2010-11-01

    Childhood trauma induced by adverse early life experience is associated with increased risk of psychological disorders in adulthood. Disruption of normal development has been shown to affect hippocampal morphology and function, influencing adaptations to stress. Here we investigated whether palatable food and/or exercise would ameliorate the behavioural responses following early life stress in rats. Rats were subjected to 15 (S15) or 180 (S180) minutes separation from dams on postnatal days 2-14. After weaning, rats were assigned to either receive chow (C), high-fat diet (HFD), voluntary exercise (running, R), or combined HFD and R for 11 weeks. In addition to anxiety- and depression-like behaviours, response to restraint stress was measured. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5HT1A) receptor mRNA in the hippocampus were measured. S180 rats had similar body weight to S15, however their plasma insulin concentrations were double those of S15 rats when consuming HFD; adding exercise reduced plasma insulin. Anxiety-like behaviour in S180 rats, measured using Light Dark test (LDT) and Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) were ameliorated by the provision of HFD, R or HFD+R. A similar effect was observed on depression-like behaviour assessed by forced swim test (FST), with less time being spent immobile. Exposure to early-life stress during development was associated with significant reductions in hippocampal GR, 5HT1A receptor and BDNF mRNA, and these changes were normalized in S180 rats provided with HFD or exercise. Prolonged maternal separation resulted in exacerbated hyperinsulinemia when consuming HFD suggesting that these rats are metabolically disadvantaged. In summary, voluntary exercise alone or in combination with HFD produced beneficial effects on both behaviour and metabolic outcomes in rats exposed to early life stress. PMID:20594764

  18. Reconciling Apparent Conflicts between Mitochondrial and Nuclear Phylogenies in African Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Georgiadis, Nicholas J.; David, Victor A.; Zhao, Kai; Stephens, Robert M.; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Roca, Alfred L.

    2011-01-01

    Conservation strategies for African elephants would be advanced by resolution of conflicting claims that they comprise one, two, three or four taxonomic groups, and by development of genetic markers that establish more incisively the provenance of confiscated ivory. We addressed these related issues by genotyping 555 elephants from across Africa with microsatellite markers, developing a method to identify those loci most effective at geographic assignment of elephants (or their ivory), and conducting novel analyses of continent-wide datasets of mitochondrial DNA. Results showed that nuclear genetic diversity was partitioned into two clusters, corresponding to African forest elephants (99.5% Cluster-1) and African savanna elephants (99.4% Cluster-2). Hybrid individuals were rare. In a comparison of basal forest “F” and savanna “S” mtDNA clade distributions to nuclear DNA partitions, forest elephant nuclear genotypes occurred only in populations in which S clade mtDNA was absent, suggesting that nuclear partitioning corresponds to the presence or absence of S clade mtDNA. We reanalyzed African elephant mtDNA sequences from 81 locales spanning the continent and discovered that S clade mtDNA was completely absent among elephants at all 30 sampled tropical forest locales. The distribution of savanna nuclear DNA and S clade mtDNA corresponded closely to range boundaries traditionally ascribed to the savanna elephant species based on habitat and morphology. Further, a reanalysis of nuclear genetic assignment results suggested that West African elephants do not comprise a distinct third species. Finally, we show that some DNA markers will be more useful than others for determining the geographic origins of illegal ivory. These findings resolve the apparent incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear genetic patterns that has confounded the taxonomy of African elephants, affirm the limitations of using mtDNA patterns to infer elephant systematics or population structure

  19. A visual health assessment of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) housed in India.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Anand; Mallapur, Avanti

    2008-06-01

    A visual health assessment and survey questionnaire was conducted on 81 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) housed in 10 animal facilities throughout India between November 2004 and February 2005. The survey questionnaire consisted of 10 questions that evaluated the health of the elephants, and they were completed after visually assessing each individual elephant. The information collected was ranked on a scale that was used to statistically compare the health among the study subjects. This study documented that 43.21% of the captive elephants surveyed exhibited hyperkeratosis. A significant proportion of the elephants owned by tourist camps had poor skin condition when compared with elephants from zoos and at a forest camp. Similarly, captive-born individuals were found to have better skin condition than animals that were caught from the wild. Sixty (74.1%) of the captive elephants that were observed during this study had fissures in their footpads, 20% of which were severe. The prevalence of foot fissures was significantly higher in females. A greater proportion of elephants owned by tourist camps displayed vertical and horizontal toenail cracks in comparison with the forest camp and zoo elephants. It was noted that 76.9% of the wounded animals and 80% of those having abscesses were housed at temples and tourist camps. Also, approximately 8.5% of the captive elephant population observed during this study had eye-related problems, and they were all housed at temples and tourist camps. In conclusion, it was evident that elephants housed at temples or tourist camps exhibited poor skin condition with wounds and abscesses. These findings suggest that the overall condition of the elephants housed at tourist camps was poor compared with elephants housed at zoos and at the forest camp. PMID:18634204

  20. Elevated elephant density does not improve ecotourism opportunities: convergence in social and ecological objectives.

    PubMed

    Maciejewski, Kristine; Kerley, Graham I H

    2014-07-01

    In order to sustainably conserve biodiversity, many protected areas, particularly private protected areas, must find means of self-financing. Ecotourism is increasingly seen as a mechanism to achieve such financial sustainability. However, there is concern that ecotourism operations are driven to achieve successful game-viewing, influencing the management of charismatic species. An abundance of such species, including the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), has been stocked in protected areas under the assumption that they will increase ecotourism value. At moderate to high densities, the impact of elephants is costly; numerous studies have documented severe changes in biodiversity through the impacts of elephants. Protected areas that focus on maintaining high numbers of elephants may therefore face a conflict between socioeconomic demands and the capacity of ecological systems. We address this conflict by analyzing tourist elephant-sighting records from six private and one statutory protected area, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP), in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in relation to elephant numbers. We found no relationship between elephant density and elephant-viewing success. Even though elephant density in the AENP increased over time, a hierarchical partitioning analysis indicated that elephant density was not a driver of tourist numbers. In contrast, annual tourist numbers for the AENP were positively correlated with general tourist numbers recorded for South Africa. Our results indicate that the socioeconomic and ecological requirements of protected areas in terms of tourism and elephants, respectively, converge. Thus, high elephant densities and their associated ecological costs are not required to support ecotourism operations for financial sustainability. Understanding the social and ecological feedbacks that dominate the dynamics of protected areas, particularly within private protected areas, can help to elucidate the management

  1. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P

    2014-09-01

    Illegal wildlife trade has reached alarming levels globally, extirpating populations of commercially valuable species. As a driver of biodiversity loss, quantifying illegal harvest is essential for conservation and sociopolitical affairs but notoriously difficult. Here we combine field-based carcass monitoring with fine-scale demographic data from an intensively studied wild African elephant population in Samburu, Kenya, to partition mortality into natural and illegal causes. We then expand our analytical framework to model illegal killing rates and population trends of elephants at regional and continental scales using carcass data collected by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program. At the intensively monitored site, illegal killing increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. More broadly, results from application to continental data indicated illegal killing levels were unsustainable for the species between 2010 and 2012, peaking to ∼ 8% in 2011 which extrapolates to ∼ 40,000 elephants illegally killed and a probable species reduction of ∼ 3% that year. Preliminary data from 2013 indicate overharvesting continued. In contrast to the rest of Africa, our analysis corroborates that Central African forest elephants experienced decline throughout the last decade. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is not sustainable. Further, our approach provides a powerful basis to determine cryptic mortality and gain understanding of the demography of at-risk species. PMID:25136107

  2. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants

    PubMed Central

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M.; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    2014-01-01

    Illegal wildlife trade has reached alarming levels globally, extirpating populations of commercially valuable species. As a driver of biodiversity loss, quantifying illegal harvest is essential for conservation and sociopolitical affairs but notoriously difficult. Here we combine field-based carcass monitoring with fine-scale demographic data from an intensively studied wild African elephant population in Samburu, Kenya, to partition mortality into natural and illegal causes. We then expand our analytical framework to model illegal killing rates and population trends of elephants at regional and continental scales using carcass data collected by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program. At the intensively monitored site, illegal killing increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. More broadly, results from application to continental data indicated illegal killing levels were unsustainable for the species between 2010 and 2012, peaking to ∼8% in 2011 which extrapolates to ∼40,000 elephants illegally killed and a probable species reduction of ∼3% that year. Preliminary data from 2013 indicate overharvesting continued. In contrast to the rest of Africa, our analysis corroborates that Central African forest elephants experienced decline throughout the last decade. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is not sustainable. Further, our approach provides a powerful basis to determine cryptic mortality and gain understanding of the demography of at-risk species. PMID:25136107

  3. Elmer and His Elephant Friends. Literature in the Art Room.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigan, Jackie

    2000-01-01

    Describes a first-grade lesson that combines art and literature in which students learn how to mix colors. Explains that they listen to the story "Elmer" by David McKee and then create their own patchwork elephants just like Elmer. Discusses how the students made the jungle scene. (CMK)

  4. Elephants classify human ethnic groups by odor and garment color.

    PubMed

    Bates, Lucy A; Sayialel, Katito N; Njiraini, Norah W; Moss, Cynthia J; Poole, Joyce H; Byrne, Richard W

    2007-11-20

    Animals can benefit from classifying predators or other dangers into categories, tailoring their escape strategies to the type and nature of the risk. Studies of alarm vocalizations have revealed various levels of sophistication in classification. In many taxa, reactions to danger are inflexible, but some species can learn the level of threat presented by the local population of a predator or by specific, recognizable individuals. Some species distinguish several species of predator, giving differentiated warning calls and escape reactions; here, we explore an animal's classification of subgroups within a species. We show that elephants distinguish at least two Kenyan ethnic groups and can identify them by olfactory and color cues independently. In the Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya, young Maasai men demonstrate virility by spearing elephants (Loxodonta africana), but Kamba agriculturalists pose little threat. Elephants showed greater fear when they detected the scent of garments previously worn by Maasai than by Kamba men, and they reacted aggressively to the color associated with Maasai. Elephants are therefore able to classify members of a single species into subgroups that pose different degrees of danger. PMID:17949977

  5. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress.

    PubMed

    Plotnik, Joshua M; de Waal, Frans B M

    2014-01-01

    Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants' behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities. PMID:24688856

  6. New insights into the cardiorespiratory physiology of weaned southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina).

    PubMed

    Cummings, Cloe R; Lea, Mary-Anne; Morrice, Margaret G; Wotherspoon, Simon; Hindell, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) pups must strike a balance between conserving energy during their post-weaning fast and simultaneously developing diving abilities to attain nutritional independence. Little is known about environmental influences on cardiorespiratory patterns, hence energy use, throughout the 6 week fast. Continuous heart rates were recorded for free-ranging, newly weaned southern elephant seals using heart rate time-depth recorders for 5-9 days at Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, during October 1994 (n = 1), 1995 (n = 4) and 1996 (n = 1). Daytime observations of respiration and behaviour were made throughout. We present the first instance of synchronous heart rate traces recorded simultaneously for individual weaners. Generalized additive models revealed that a sinusoidal pattern of diurnal heart rate elevation and nocturnal depression was evident in all seals and, on at least one occasion, a conspicuous break in this pattern coincided with an extreme cold weather event. Seals in this study were capable of considerable cardiorespiratory control and regularly demonstrated bradycardia during periods of resting apnoea. Apnoeic duration ranged from 33 to 291 s (mean 134 s). Apnoeic heart rates (mean 67 ± 15 beats min(-1), range 40-114 beats min(-1)) were on average 19.7% lower than those exhibited during periods of eupnoea (mean 83 ± 15 beats min(-1), range 44-124 beats min(-1)). The early development of the cardiorespiratory response is characterized by arrhythmic heart and respiration rates. The strong temporal patterns observed are being driven by the opposing requirements of maximizing time spent fasting in order to develop diving capabilities and of maximizing departure mass. This pilot study has highlighted a potentially large effect of ambient weather conditions on newly weaned southern elephant seal cardiorespiratory activity. Given the increasing westerlies and more erratic and increasing

  7. New insights into the cardiorespiratory physiology of weaned southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, Cloe R.; Lea, Mary-Anne; Morrice, Margaret G.; Wotherspoon, Simon; Hindell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) pups must strike a balance between conserving energy during their post-weaning fast and simultaneously developing diving abilities to attain nutritional independence. Little is known about environmental influences on cardiorespiratory patterns, hence energy use, throughout the 6 week fast. Continuous heart rates were recorded for free-ranging, newly weaned southern elephant seals using heart rate time–depth recorders for 5–9 days at Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, during October 1994 (n = 1), 1995 (n = 4) and 1996 (n = 1). Daytime observations of respiration and behaviour were made throughout. We present the first instance of synchronous heart rate traces recorded simultaneously for individual weaners. Generalized additive models revealed that a sinusoidal pattern of diurnal heart rate elevation and nocturnal depression was evident in all seals and, on at least one occasion, a conspicuous break in this pattern coincided with an extreme cold weather event. Seals in this study were capable of considerable cardiorespiratory control and regularly demonstrated bradycardia during periods of resting apnoea. Apnoeic duration ranged from 33 to 291 s (mean 134 s). Apnoeic heart rates (mean 67 ± 15 beats min−1, range 40–114 beats min−1) were on average 19.7% lower than those exhibited during periods of eupnoea (mean 83 ± 15 beats min−1, range 44–124 beats min−1). The early development of the cardiorespiratory response is characterized by arrhythmic heart and respiration rates. The strong temporal patterns observed are being driven by the opposing requirements of maximizing time spent fasting in order to develop diving capabilities and of maximizing departure mass. This pilot study has highlighted a potentially large effect of ambient weather conditions on newly weaned southern elephant seal cardiorespiratory activity. Given the increasing westerlies and more erratic and

  8. Increases in self-reported consistent condom use among male clients of female sex workers following exposure to an integrated behaviour change programme in four states in southern India

    PubMed Central

    Lipovsek, Varja; Navin, Deepa; Marjara, Pritpal; Sharma, Aseem; Roy, Kali Prosad

    2010-01-01

    Purpose As part of the Avahan India AIDS Initiative, a behaviour change communication programme sought to increase consistent condom use (CCU) among male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) in four Indian states through the use of outdoor static promotional materials, interpersonal communication and mid-media activities. This paper presents key findings related to programme coverage levels, trends over time in self-reported condom use, and correlations between levels of exposure to programme activities and self-reported condom use. Methods Five stratified two-stage cluster sample surveys were conducted between April 2006 and November 2008 (sample sizes ranged from 1741 to 2041). The independent samples were composed of clients of FSWs in selected clusters. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model whether behavioural outcomes varied between baseline and endline, and whether they varied with levels of exposure to the intervention. Results Over two-thirds of men in each survey round recalled one or two of the main intervention channels. An increase in CCU with FSWs was found between baseline and endline (63.6% vs 86.5; p<0.01). Men exposed to two intervention channels reported higher CCU than men exposed to none or only static outdoor media (89.4% vs 82.0%, p<0.05). This trend was sustained for condom use at last sex (96.2% vs 92.6%, p<0.05). Conclusion Evaluation suggests that a multi-channel behavioural intervention delivered at sites where FSWs are solicited can increase CCU among male clients of FSWs. Further research is needed on the dynamics of exposure to multiple communication channels and the contributions of complementary interventions. PMID:20167727

  9. Working with an Adult Male with Down's Syndrome, Autism and Challenging Behaviour: Evaluation of a Programme of Staff Support and Organizational Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, David W.; Summerhill, Lisa; Mosley, Ellis; Tooth, Claire

    2003-01-01

    This article examines the case of a male with Down syndrome who has been referred to a clinical psychology service due to challenging behaviors. It provides a case history and rationale for the assessment of autism, and describes the positive effects of an intervention for increasing staff awareness of autism. (Contains references.) (CR)

  10. The dynamics of social networks among female Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Patterns in the association of individuals can shed light on the underlying conditions and processes that shape societies. Here we characterize patterns of association in a population of wild Asian Elephants at Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka. We observed 286 individually-identified adult female elephants over 20 months and examined their social dynamics at three levels of organization: pairs of individuals (dyads), small sets of direct companions (ego-networks), and the population level (complete networks). Results Corroborating previous studies of this and other Asian elephant populations, we find that the sizes of elephant groups observed in the field on any particular day are typically small and that rates of association are low. In contrast to earlier studies, our longitudinal observations reveal that individuals form larger social units that can be remarkably stable across years while associations among such units change across seasons. Association rates tend to peak in dry seasons as opposed to wet seasons, with some cyclicity at the level of dyads. In addition, we find that individuals vary substantially in their fidelity to companions. At the ego-network level, we find that despite these fluctuations, individuals associate with a pool of long-term companions. At the population level, social networks do not exhibit any clear seasonal structure or hierarchical stratification. Conclusions This detailed longitudinal study reveals different social dynamics at different levels of organization. Taken together, these results demonstrate that low association rates, seemingly small group sizes, and fission-fusion grouping behavior mask hidden stability in the extensive and fluid social affiliations in this population of Asian elephants. PMID:21794147

  11. Solar Radiation during Rewarming from Torpor in Elephant Shrews: Supplementation or Substitution of Endogenous Heat Production?

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Michelle L.; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C.; McKechnie, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  12. Solar radiation during rewarming from torpor in elephant shrews: supplementation or substitution of endogenous heat production?

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle L; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  13. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in elephants (Elephus maximus indicus) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tuntasuvan, D; Mohkaew, K; Dubey, J P

    2001-02-01

    Serum samples from captive 156 elephants (Elephus maximus indicus) from Thailand were examined for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT) and the latex agglutination test (LAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 45.5% of 156 elephants by MAT (> or = 1:50) and 25.6% of 156 elephants by LAT (> or = 1:64). This is the first report of T. gondii infection in E. maximus indicus from Asia. PMID:11227899

  14. Deep divers in shallow seas: Southern elephant seals on the Patagonian shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campagna, Claudio; Piola, Alberto R.; Marin, Maria Rosa; Lewis, Mirtha; Zajaczkovski, Uriel; Fernández, Teresita

    2007-10-01

    Elephant seals are wide-ranging, pelagic, deep-diving (average of 400-600 m) predators that typically travel to open waters and continental shelf edges thousands of kilometers from their land breeding colonies. We report a less common pattern of foraging in the shallow waters of a continental shelf. Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, that breed at Península Valdés (Argentina), face an extended (˜1,000,000 km 2; 400-700 km-wide, depending on track), shallow (<150 m) and seasonally productive plateau, the Patagonian shelf. Adults of both sexes usually cross it in rapid transit to other potential foraging grounds on the shelf edge or in the Argentine Basin, but 2-4 year-old juveniles spread over the plateau and spent months in shallow waters. This behavior was recorded for 9 seals (5 males and 4 females) of 23 satellite-tracked juveniles (springs of 2004 and 2005) and for 2 subadult males studied in previous seasons. Trips included travel trajectories and time spent in areas where swim speed decreased, suggesting foraging. Preferred locations of juvenile females were in the proximity of the shelf break, where stratified waters had relatively high phytoplankton concentrations, but young and subadult males used the relatively cold (7-8 °C), low-salinity (˜33.3) mid-shelf waters, with depths of 105-120 m and a poorly stratified water column. Three of the latter seals, instrumented with time-depth recorders, showed dives compatible with benthic feeding and no diel pattern of depths distribution. Regions of the mid-shelf were used in different seasons and were associated with low chlorophyll- a concentration at the time of the visit, suggesting that surface productivity does not overlap with putative quality habitat for benthic foragers. Benthic diving on the shallow mid-shelf would be a resource partitioning strategy advantageous for young males prior to greater energetic demands of a high growth rate and a large body size. Later in life, the more predictable

  15. An Improved Real Time Image Detection System for Elephant Intrusion along the Forest Border Areas

    PubMed Central

    Sugumar, S. J.; Jayaparvathy, R.

    2014-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict is a major problem leading to crop damage, human death and injuries caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans. In this paper, we propose an automated unsupervised elephant image detection system (EIDS) as a solution to human-elephant conflict in the context of elephant conservation. The elephant's image is captured in the forest border areas and is sent to a base station via an RF network. The received image is decomposed using Haar wavelet to obtain multilevel wavelet coefficients, with which we perform image feature extraction and similarity match between the elephant query image and the database image using image vision algorithms. A GSM message is sent to the forest officials indicating that an elephant has been detected in the forest border and is approaching human habitat. We propose an optimized distance metric to improve the image retrieval time from the database. We compare the optimized distance metric with the popular Euclidean and Manhattan distance methods. The proposed optimized distance metric retrieves more images with lesser retrieval time than the other distance metrics which makes the optimized distance method more efficient and reliable. PMID:24574886

  16. Elephant (Elephas maximus) Health and Management in Asia: Variations in Veterinary Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Miller, David; Jackson, Bradford; Riddle, Heidi S.; Stremme, Christopher; Miller, Thaddeus

    2015-01-01

    There is a need to identify strategic investments in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) health that will yield maximal benefits for overall elephant health and conservation. As an exploratory first step, a survey was administered to veterinarians from Asian elephant range countries at a workshop and via email to help prioritize health-related concerns that will mostly benefit elephants. Responses were received from 45 veterinarians from eight countries that had a range of experience with captive and wild elephants. The occurrence of medical conditions and responses to treatment varied among responses. However, injuries, parasitism, and gastrointestinal disease were reported as the most common syndromes responsible for elephant morbidity, whereas injury and infectious disease not due to parasitism were the most commonly reported sources of elephant mortality. Substandard nutrition, water quality and quantity deficiencies, and inadequate or absent shelter were among the factors listed as barriers to optimal elephant health. While this survey's results do not support definitive conclusions, they can be used to identify where and how subsequent investigations should be directed. Rigorous assessment of the relative costs and benefits of available options is required to ensure that investments in individual and population health yield the maximal benefits for elephants. PMID:25688328

  17. Ivory Harvesting Pressure on the Genome of the African Elephant: A Phenotypic Shift to Tusklessness.

    PubMed

    Raubenheimer, Erich J; Miniggio, Hilde D

    2016-09-01

    The unique chequered pattern of elephant ivory has made it a desired commodity for the production of various works of art. The demand however outstrips the supply and with soaring prices, illegal tusk harvesting is thriving on the African continent. Formal restrictions placed on trade in elephant products have been ineffective in reversing the rapid decline in elephant numbers. We are presently facing the reality of extinction of free roaming elephant on the African continent. This paper describes the histogenesis of the chequered pattern, the genomic impact of ivory harvesting on the phenotype of breeding herds, and the contribution of science to tracing the origin of illegal ivory. PMID:26920555

  18. An improved real time image detection system for elephant intrusion along the forest border areas.

    PubMed

    Sugumar, S J; Jayaparvathy, R

    2014-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict is a major problem leading to crop damage, human death and injuries caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans. In this paper, we propose an automated unsupervised elephant image detection system (EIDS) as a solution to human-elephant conflict in the context of elephant conservation. The elephant's image is captured in the forest border areas and is sent to a base station via an RF network. The received image is decomposed using Haar wavelet to obtain multilevel wavelet coefficients, with which we perform image feature extraction and similarity match between the elephant query image and the database image using image vision algorithms. A GSM message is sent to the forest officials indicating that an elephant has been detected in the forest border and is approaching human habitat. We propose an optimized distance metric to improve the image retrieval time from the database. We compare the optimized distance metric with the popular Euclidean and Manhattan distance methods. The proposed optimized distance metric retrieves more images with lesser retrieval time than the other distance metrics which makes the optimized distance method more efficient and reliable. PMID:24574886

  19. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection as a zoonotic disease: transmission between humans and elephants.

    PubMed Central

    Michalak, K.; Austin, C.; Diesel, S.; Bacon, M. J.; Zimmerman, P.; Maslow, J. N.

    1998-01-01

    Between 1994 and 1996, three elephants from an exotic animal farm in Illinois died of pulmonary disease due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In October 1996, a fourth living elephant was culture-positive for M. tuberculosis. Twenty-two handlers at the farm were screened for tuberculosis (TB); eleven had positive reactions to intradermal injection with purified protein derivative. One had smear-negative, culture-positive active TB. DNA fingerprint comparison by IS6110 and TBN12 typing showed that the isolates from the four elephants and the handler with active TB were the same strain. This investigation indicates transmission of M. tuberculosis between humans and elephants. PMID:9621200

  20. Elephant (Elephas maximus) Health and Management in Asia: Variations in Veterinary Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Miller, David; Jackson, Bradford; Riddle, Heidi S; Stremme, Christopher; Schmitt, Dennis; Miller, Thaddeus

    2015-01-01

    There is a need to identify strategic investments in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) health that will yield maximal benefits for overall elephant health and conservation. As an exploratory first step, a survey was administered to veterinarians from Asian elephant range countries at a workshop and via email to help prioritize health-related concerns that will mostly benefit elephants. Responses were received from 45 veterinarians from eight countries that had a range of experience with captive and wild elephants. The occurrence of medical conditions and responses to treatment varied among responses. However, injuries, parasitism, and gastrointestinal disease were reported as the most common syndromes responsible for elephant morbidity, whereas injury and infectious disease not due to parasitism were the most commonly reported sources of elephant mortality. Substandard nutrition, water quality and quantity deficiencies, and inadequate or absent shelter were among the factors listed as barriers to optimal elephant health. While this survey's results do not support definitive conclusions, they can be used to identify where and how subsequent investigations should be directed. Rigorous assessment of the relative costs and benefits of available options is required to ensure that investments in individual and population health yield the maximal benefits for elephants. PMID:25688328

  1. Three Blind Men and the Elephant

    SciTech Connect

    Long, J S

    2007-02-13

    Just like the blind men in the popular story of perceiving the elephant, the three major constituencies participating in the energy debate have greatly different perceptions of the problem. The constituency that is worried about climate change believes the energy problem is caused by profligate use of fossil fuel that has dramatically changed our atmosphere. The energy security group sees dangerous reliance on foreign sources of oil increasingly held by countries hostile to the US. The economic vitality group sees high energy prices and their effect on the economy and our life-style. Just like the blind men, each of the three constituencies perceives a different problem. And just as with the blind men, while each perspective is right as a piece of the elephant, it takes all the perspectives together to actually solve the problem. Environmentalists focus on solutions responding to the scientific consensus that greenhouse gases are creating rapid climate change. The tipping point has come: it is now a consensus position among scientists the global warming is being affected by anthropogenic activity to 90% certainty according to the last IPCC report. Although they still struggle with the prediction of how much global temperatures will rise if we do nothing--is it 5 deg or 10 under BAU? This group believes that we cannot afford to take a chance because we get only one chance. We can not afford to do this kind of experiment with the Earth. Any choice which decreases our CO{sub 2} footprint is favored, even if it means a decrease in standard of living. The energy security constituency sees the geo-politics of oil becoming increasingly dire. They look at oil money being used to fund anti-American activities of groups such as the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the infamous Al Qaeda. They quip that the Iraq war is the first war where we are paying for both sides. They note Iran and the Shia throughout the Middle East seeing the possibility of controlling

  2. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  3. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ(13)C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  4. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  5. Recursion to food plants by free-ranging Bornean elephant.

    PubMed

    English, Megan; Gillespie, Graeme; Goossens, Benoit; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Linklater, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants. The monthly growth in leaf and branch or shoot length for each plant was used to calculate the time required (months) for each species to recover to its pre-eaten length. Elephant returned to all but two transects with 10 eaten plants, a further 26 plants died leaving 146 plants that could be re-eaten. Recursion occurred to 58% of all plants and 12 of the 30 species. Seventy-seven percent of the re-eaten plants were grasses. Recovery times to all plants varied from two to twenty months depending on the species. Recursion to all grasses coincided with plant recovery whereas recursion to most browsed plants occurred four to twelve months before they had recovered to their previous length. The small sample size of many browsed plants that received recursion and uneven plant species distribution across transects limits our ability to generalise for most browsed species but a prominent pattern in plant-scale recursion did emerge. Plant recovery time was a good predictor of time to recursion but varied as a function of growth form (grass, ginger, palm, liana and woody) and differences between sites. Time to plant recursion coincided with plant recovery time for the elephant's preferred food, grasses, and perhaps also gingers, but not the other browsed species. Elephants are bulk feeders so it is likely that they time their returns to bulk feed on these grass species when quantities have

  6. Modeling elephant-mediated cascading effects of water point closure.

    PubMed

    Hilbers, Jelle P; Van Langevelde, Frank; Prins, Herbert H T; Grant, C C; Peel, Mike J S; Coughenour, Michael B; De Knegt, Henrik J; Slotow, Rob; Smit, Izak P J; Kiker, Greg A; De Boer, Willem F

    2015-03-01

    Wildlife management to reduce the impact of wildlife on their habitat can be done in several ways, among which removing animals (by either culling or translocation) is most often used. There are, however, alternative ways to control wildlife densities, such as opening or closing water points. The effects of these alternatives are poorly studied. In this paper, we focus on manipulating large herbivores through the closure of water points (WPs). Removal of artificial WPs has been suggested in order to change the distribution of African elephants, which occur in high densities in national parks in Southern Africa and are thought to have a destructive effect on the vegetation. Here, we modeled the long-term effects of different scenarios of WP closure on the spatial distribution of elephants, and consequential effects on the vegetation and other herbivores in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Using a dynamic ecosystem model, SAVANNA, scenarios were evaluated that varied in availability of artificial WPs; levels of natural water; and elephant densities. Our modeling results showed that elephants can indirectly negatively affect the distributions of meso-mixed feeders, meso-browsers, and some meso-grazers under wet conditions. The closure of artificial WPs hardly had any effect during these natural wet conditions. Under dry conditions, the spatial distribution of both elephant bulls and cows changed when the availability of artificial water was severely reduced in the model. These changes in spatial distribution triggered changes in the spatial availability of woody biomass over the simulation period of 80 years, and this led to changes in the rest of the herbivore community, resulting in increased densities of all herbivores, except for giraffe and steenbok, in areas close to rivers. The spatial distributions of elephant bulls and cows showed to be less affected by the closure of WPs than most of the other herbivore species. Our study contributes to ecologically

  7. Allometric variation among juvenile, adult male and female eastern bearded dragons Pogona barbata (Cuvier, 1829), with comments on the behavioural implications.

    PubMed

    Wotherspoon, Danny; Burgin, Shelley

    2011-02-01

    The functional significance of allometric change in reptiles has received limited attention and the reason for such changes has been regarded as 'obscure'. In this paper we report data on the Australian Pogona barbata, the eastern bearded dragon, from across their range and review changes in allometric growth among juveniles, and adult males and females and consider the functional relevance of these changes. There were significant differences in the population for mass, tail length, tail width, rear leg length and jaw length. These differences were consistent with differences required in locomotor performance and thus habitat use, together with access to different preferred dietary components. PMID:21236651

  8. The sterile male technique: irradiation negatively affects male fertility but not male courtship.

    PubMed

    Magris, Martina; Wignall, Anne E; Herberstein, Marie E

    2015-04-01

    The sterile male technique is a common method to assign paternity, widely adopted due to its relative simplicity and low cost. Male sterility is induced by exposure to sub lethal doses of chemosterilants or irradiation, the dosage of which has to be calibrated for every species to provide successful male sterilisation, without affecting male physiology and behaviour. While the physiological effects of sterilisation are usually assessed for each study, the behavioural ones are rarely analysed in detail. Using the orb web spider Argiope keyserlingi as a model we first tested (1) the validity of the thread assay, which simulates male courtship behaviour in a standardised context, as a proxy representing courtship on a female web. We then investigated (2) the effectiveness of male sterilisation via irradiation and (3) its consequences on male courtship behaviour. Our results validate the thread assay and the sterile male technique as legitimate tools for the study of male courtship behaviour and fertilisation success. We show that these techniques are time and cost effective and reduce undesirable variation, thereby creating opportunities to study and understand the mechanisms underlying sexual selection. PMID:25794431

  9. Dating Studies of Elephant Tusks Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Sideras-Haddad, E; Brown, T A

    2002-10-03

    A new method for determining the year of birth, the year of death, and hence, the age at death, of post-bomb and recently deceased elephants has been developed. The technique is based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon analyses of small-sized samples extracted from along the length of a ge-line of an elephant tusk. The measured radiocarbon concentrations in the samples from a tusk can be compared to the {sup 14}C atmospheric bomb-pulse curve to derive the growth years of the initial and final samples from the tusk. Initial data from the application of this method to two tusks will be presented. Potentially, the method may play a significant role in wildlife management practices of African national parks. Additionally, the method may contribute to the underpinnings of efforts to define new international trade regulations, which could, in effect, decrease poaching and the killing of very young animals.

  10. Delayed postpartum fetotomy in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Schaftenaar, Willem

    2013-03-01

    A 37-yr-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) started parturition after 640 days of pregnancy but no fetal parts entered the birth canal. Despite veterinary intervention, the calf was not delivered. After 13 mo calving resumed and a full-term dead calf advanced into and lodged within the vagina. With standing xylazine tranquilization, the dam received a vagino-vestibulotomy to permit total fetotomy of the calf, which presented with bilateral carpal arthrogryposis. Severe infection of the caudal vaginal vestibulum complicated wound healing, and over the following year two corrective surgeries were performed, which resolved the fistula 3 mo after the second debridement. The elephant not only survived the procedures but also resumed normal estrous cycles, as demonstrated by blood progesterone concentration monitoring. PMID:23505713

  11. Point Prevalence and Incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in captive elephants in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Melissa; Isaza, Ramiro; Prins, Cindy; Hernandez, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Background Captive elephants infected with tuberculosis are implicated as an occupational source of zoonotic tuberculosis. However, accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of elephant tuberculosis from well-defined captive populations are lacking in the literature. Studies published in recent years contain a wide range of prevalence estimates calculated from summary data. Incidence estimates of elephant tuberculosis in captive elephants are not available. Objective This study estimated the annual point prevalence, annual incidence, cumulative incidence, and incidence density of tuberculosis in captive elephants within the USA during the past 52 years. Animals and Methods We combined existing elephant census records from captive elephants in the USA with tuberculosis culture results obtained from trunk washes or at necropsy. This data set included 15 years where each elephant was screened annually. Results Between 1960 and 1996, the annual point prevalence of tuberculosis complex mycobacteria for both species was 0. From 1997 through 2011, the median point prevalence within the Asian elephant population was 5.1%, with a range from 0.3% to 6.7%. The incidence density was 9.7 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 7.0–13.4). In contrast, the annual point prevalence during the same time period within the African elephant population remained 0 and the incidence density was 1.5 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 0.7–4.0). Conclusions The apparent increase in new cases noted after 1996 resulted from a combination of both index cases and the initiation of mandatory annual tuberculosis complex (MTBC) screening in 1997 for all the elephants. This study found lower annual point prevalence estimates than previously reported in the literature. These discrepancies in prevalence estimates are primarily due to differences in terminology and calculation methods. Using the same intensive testing regime, the incidence of tuberculosis differed significantly between Asian and

  12. Rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance in free and protected contact elephant management systems.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Megan L; Perdue, Bonnie M; Bloomsmith, Mollie A; Maple, Terry L

    2015-01-01

    Protected contact is an alternative to traditional captive elephant training techniques that emerged as a result of concerns for animal welfare and personnel safety. The present study documented the behavior of elephants and their animal care professionals to determine rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance under two handling systems. Behavioral data were collected from animal care professionals and elephants during the elephants' baths in both free contact (FC) and protected contact (PC). Positive reinforcement, in the form of food, was delivered, on average, nearly eight times more frequently in the PC condition. Further, the mean rate at which the animal care professionals used the ankus in the FC condition as negative reinforcement was similar to the mean rate at which they provided positive reinforcement to the elephants in the FC condition. Latencies between verbal commands and the elephants' behaviors demonstrated an inconsistent pattern, but were generally longer in the PC condition. The mean percent of "refusals" by the elephants was higher for most behaviors across elephants in the PC condition. The findings suggest that animal care professionals did not heavily rely on positive reinforcement in the FC condition to elicit desired behaviors from the elephants, but this was the case in the PC condition. We propose that longer latencies and higher mean percent of refusals by the elephants may indicate that they were exercising choice or control over their environment, which has been associated with improved well-being. Additional studies of this kind are needed to enable other institutions to make informed decisions about elephant management and welfare. PMID:26179311

  13. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection of Domesticated Asian Elephants, Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Angkawanish, Taweepoke; Sirimalaisuwan, Anucha; Kaewsakhorn, Thattawan; Boonsri, Kittikorn; Rutten, Victor P.M.G.

    2010-01-01

    Four Asian elephants were confirmed to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis by bacterial culture, other diagnostic procedures, and sequencing of 16S–23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, 16S rRNA, and gyrase B gene sequences. Genotyping showed that the infectious agents originated from 4 sources in Thailand. To identify infections, a combination of diagnostic assays is essential. PMID:21122228

  14. Effects of economic downturns on mortality of wild African elephants.

    PubMed

    Wittemyer, George

    2011-10-01

    Declines in economic activity and associated changes in human livelihood strategies can increase threats of species overexploitation. This is exemplified by the effects of economic crises, which often drive intensification of subsistence poaching and greater reliance on natural resources. Whereas development theory links natural resource use to social-economic conditions, few empirical studies of the effect of economic downturns on wild animal species have been conducted. I assessed the relations between African elephant (Loxodonta africana) mortality and human-caused wounds in Samburu, Kenya and (1) livestock and maize prices (measures of local economic conditions), (2) change in national and regional gross domestic product (GDP) (measures of macroeconomic conditions), and (3) the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (a correlate of primary productivity). In addition, I analyzed household survey data to determine the attitudes of local people toward protected areas and wild animals in the area. When cattle prices in the pastoralist study region were low, human-caused wounds to and adult mortality of elephants increased. The NDVI was negatively correlated with juvenile mortality, but not correlated with adult mortality. Changes in Kenyan and East Asian (primary market for ivory) GDP did not explain significant variation in mortality. Increased human wounding of elephants and elephant mortality during periods of low livestock prices (local economic downturns) likely reflect an economically driven increase in ivory poaching. Local but not macroeconomic indices explained significant variation in mortality, likely due to the dominance of the subsistence economy in the study area and its political and economic isolation. My results suggest economic metrics can serve as effective indicators of changes in human use of and resulting effects on natural resources. Such information can help focus management approaches (e.g., antipoaching effort or proffering of

  15. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Elephant Head Observatory: 2013 August- October

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alkema, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Photometric observations of two main-belt asteroids, 541 Deborah and 1468 Zomba, were made from Elephant Head Observatory during 2013 August to October. The period and amplitude results are, respectively, P = 29.368 ± 0.005 h, A = 0.10 ± 0.01 mag; P = 2.773 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.34 ± 0.02 mag.

  16. Prolonged fasting increases glutathione biosynthesis in postweaned northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Forman, Henry Jay; Crocker, Daniel E.; Ortiz, Rudy M.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Northern elephant seals experience prolonged periods of absolute food and water deprivation (fasting) while breeding, molting or weaning. The postweaning fast in elephant seals is characterized by increases in the renin–angiotensin system, expression of the oxidant-producing protein Nox4, and NADPH oxidase activity; however, these increases are not correlated with increased oxidative damage or inflammation. Glutathione (GSH) is a potent reductant and a cofactor for glutathione peroxidases (GPx), glutathione-S transferases (GST) and 1-cys peroxiredoxin (PrxVI) and thus contributes to the removal of hydroperoxides, preventing oxidative damage. The effects of prolonged food deprivation on the GSH system are not well described in mammals. To test our hypothesis that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting in postweaned elephant seals, we measured circulating and muscle GSH content at the early and late phases of the postweaning fast in elephant seals along with the activity/protein content of glutamate-cysteine ligase [GCL; catalytic (GCLc) and modulatory (GCLm) subunits], γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutathione disulphide reductase (GR), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), GST and PrxVI, as well as plasma changes in γ-glutamyl amino acids, glutamate and glutamine. GSH increased two- to four-fold with fasting along with a 40–50% increase in the content of GCLm and GCLc, a 75% increase in GGT activity, a two- to 2.5-fold increase in GR, G6PDH and GST activities and a 30% increase in PrxVI content. Plasma γ-glutamyl glutamine, γ-glutamyl isoleucine and γ-glutamyl methionine also increased with fasting whereas glutamate and glutamine decreased. Results indicate that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting and that GSH contributes to counteracting hydroperoxide production, preventing oxidative damage in fasting seals. PMID:21430206

  17. Elephant trail runoff and sediment dynamics in northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sidle, Roy C; Ziegler, Alan D

    2010-01-01

    Although elephants may exert various impacts on the environment, no data are available on the effects of elephant trails on runoff, soil erosion, and sediment transport to streams during storms. We monitored water and sediment fluxes from an elephant trail in northern Thailand during seven monsoon storms representing a wide range of rainfall energies. Runoff varied from trivial amounts to 353 mm and increased rapidly in tandem with expanding contributing areas once a threshold of wetting occurred. Runoff coefficients during the two largest storms were much higher than could be generated from the trail itself, implying a 4.5- to 7.9-fold increase in the drainage areas contributing to storm runoff. Clockwise hysteresis patterns of suspended sediment observed during most storms was amplified by a "first flush" of sediment early on the hydrograph in which easily entrained sediment was transported. As runoff areas expanded during the latter part of large storms, discharge increased but sediment concentrations declined. Thus, sediment flux was better correlated to kinetic energy of rainfall on the falling limbs of most storm hydrographs compared to rising limbs. Based on a power function relationship between sediment flux and storm kinetic energy, the estimated annual sediment yield from the trail for 135 storms in 2005 was 308 to 375 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1), higher than from most disturbed land surfaces in the tropics. The eight largest storms (30% of total storm energy) in 2005 transported half of the total annual sediment. These measurements together with site investigations reveal that highly interconnected elephant trails, together with other source areas, directly link runoff and sediment to streams. PMID:20400583

  18. Comparative endocrinology of testicular, adrenal and thyroid function in captive Asian and African elephant bulls.

    PubMed

    Brown, Janine L; Somerville, Malia; Riddle, Heidi S; Keele, Mike; Duer, Connie K; Freeman, Elizabeth W

    2007-04-01

    Concentrations of serum testosterone, cortisol, thyroxine (free and total T4), triiodothyronine (free and total T3) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured to assess adrenal and thyroid function as they relate to testicular activity and musth in captive elephants. Blood samples were collected approximately weekly from Asian (n=8) and African (n=12) bulls at seven facilities for periods of 4 months to 9.5 years. Age ranges at study onset were 8-50 years for Asian and 10-21 years for African elephants. Based on keeper logs, seven Asian and three African bulls exhibited behavioral and/or physical (temporal gland secretion, TGS, or urine dribbling, UD) signs of musth, which lasted 2.8+/-2.5 months in duration. Serum testosterone was elevated during musth, with concentrations often exceeding 100 ng/ml. Patterns of testosterone secretion and musth varied among bulls with no evidence of seasonality (P>0.05). Only three bulls at one facility exhibited classic, well-defined yearly musth cycles. Others exhibited more irregular cycles, with musth symptoms often occurring more than once a year. A number of bulls (1 Asian, 9 African) had consistently low testosterone (<10 ng/ml) and never exhibited significant TGS or UD. At facilities with multiple bulls (n=3), testosterone concentrations were highest in the oldest, most dominant male. There were positive correlations between testosterone and cortisol for six of seven Asian and all three African males that exhibited musth (range, r=0.23-0.52; P<0.05), but no significant correlations for bulls that did not (P>0.05). For the three bulls that exhibited yearly musth cycles, TSH was positively correlated (range, r=0.22-0.28; P<0.05) and thyroid hormones (T3, T4) were negatively correlated (range, r=-0.25 to -0.47; P<0.05) to testosterone secretion. In the remaining bulls, there were no clear relationships between thyroid activity and musth status. Overall mean testosterone and cortisol concentrations increased with age

  19. Ovarian cycle activity varies with respect to age and social status in free-ranging elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Elizabeth W.; Meyer, Jordana M.; Putman, Sarah B.; Schulte, Bruce A.; Brown, Janine L.

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging African elephants live in a fission–fusion society, at the centre of which is the matriarch. Matriarchs are generally older females that guide their families to resources and co-ordinate group defense. While much is known about elephant society, knowledge is generally lacking about how age affects the physiology of wild elephants. Investigation of the ovarian activity of free-ranging elephants could provide insight into the reproductive ageing process, with implications for population management. Faecal samples were collected from 46 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 60 years for a 2-year period, and progestagen metabolite analyses were used to examine relationships between social status, age, season, and ovarian activity in female elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Social status was the strongest predictor of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in non-pregnant elephants, with grand matriarchs (n = 6) having the lowest values compared with matriarchs (n = 21) and non-matriarch females (n = 19). Likewise, social status and age were the strongest predictors of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in pregnant elephants (n = 27). The number of years since a non-pregnant female gave birth to her last calf (post-partum duration) was longer for older females with a higher social status, as well as during the dry season. Our results indicate that social standing and age of elephants are related to reproductive function, and that older females exhibit reductions in ovarian capacity. These results expand our understanding of reproduction and fertility throughout an elephant's lifespan, and the factors that impact gonadal function in free-ranging females. Given that possible over-abundance of elephants in areas such as Addo Elephant National Park is fuelling the debate over how best to manage these populations, knowledge about the reproductive potential of high-ranking females can provide managers with

  20. RESULTS OF THE MEGAVERTEBRATE ANALGESIA SURVEY: ELEPHANTS AND RHINO.

    PubMed

    Kottwitz, Jack; Boothe, Matthew; Harmon, Roy; Citino, Scott B; Zuba, Jeffery R; Boothe, Dawn M

    2016-03-01

    An online survey utilizing Survey Monkey linked through the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians listserve examined current practices in megavertebrate analgesia. Data collected included drugs administered, dosing regimens, ease of administration, efficacy, and adverse events. Fifty-nine facilities (38 housing elephants, 33 housing rhinoceroses) responded. All facilities administered nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with phenylbutazone (0.25-10 mg/kg) and flunixin meglumine (0.2-4 mg/kg) being most common. Efficacy was reported as "good" to "excellent" for these medications. Opioids were administered to elephants (11 of 38) and rhinoceroses (7 of 33), with tramadol (0.5-3.0 mg/kg) and butorphanol (0.05-1.0 mg/kg) being most common. Tramadol efficacy scores were highly variable in both elephants and rhinoceroses. While drug choices were similar among institutions, substantial variability in dosing regimens and reported efficacy between and within facilities indicates the need for pharmacokinetic studies and standardized methods of analyzing response to treatment to establish dosing regimens and clinical trials to establish efficacy and safety. PMID:27010292

  1. Nearby grandmother enhances calf survival and reproduction in Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    Usually animals reproduce into old age, but a few species such as humans and killer whales can live decades after their last reproduction. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that such life-history evolved through older females switching to invest in their existing (grand)offspring, thereby increasing their inclusive fitness and selection for post-reproductive lifespan. However, positive grandmother effects are also found in non-menopausal taxa, but evidence of their associated fitness effects is rare and only a few tests of the hypothesis in such species exist. Here we investigate the grandmother effects in Asian elephants. Using a multigenerational demographic dataset on semi-captive elephants in Myanmar, we found that grandcalves from young mothers (<20 years) had 8 times lower mortality risk if the grandmother resided with her grandcalf compared to grandmothers residing elsewhere. Resident grandmothers also decreased their daughters' inter-birth intervals by one year. In contrast to the hypothesis predictions, the grandmother's own reproductive status did not modify such grandmother benefits. That elephant grandmothers increased their inclusive fitness by enhancing their daughter's reproductive rate and success irrespective of their own reproductive status suggests that fitness-enhancing grandmaternal effects are widespread, and challenge the view that grandmother effects alone select for menopause coupled with long post-reproductive lifespan. PMID:27282468

  2. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress

    PubMed Central

    de Waal, Frans B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants’ behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities. PMID:24688856

  3. Nearby grandmother enhances calf survival and reproduction in Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Mar, Khyne U.; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    Usually animals reproduce into old age, but a few species such as humans and killer whales can live decades after their last reproduction. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that such life-history evolved through older females switching to invest in their existing (grand)offspring, thereby increasing their inclusive fitness and selection for post-reproductive lifespan. However, positive grandmother effects are also found in non-menopausal taxa, but evidence of their associated fitness effects is rare and only a few tests of the hypothesis in such species exist. Here we investigate the grandmother effects in Asian elephants. Using a multigenerational demographic dataset on semi-captive elephants in Myanmar, we found that grandcalves from young mothers (<20 years) had 8 times lower mortality risk if the grandmother resided with her grandcalf compared to grandmothers residing elsewhere. Resident grandmothers also decreased their daughters’ inter-birth intervals by one year. In contrast to the hypothesis predictions, the grandmother’s own reproductive status did not modify such grandmother benefits. That elephant grandmothers increased their inclusive fitness by enhancing their daughter’s reproductive rate and success irrespective of their own reproductive status suggests that fitness-enhancing grandmaternal effects are widespread, and challenge the view that grandmother effects alone select for menopause coupled with long post-reproductive lifespan. PMID:27282468

  4. Luteal maintenance of pregnancy in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Stansfield, F J; Allen, W R

    2012-06-01

    The ovaries of eight African elephant foetuses and their mothers between 2 and 22 months of gestation, and those of two cycling and two lactating elephants, were examined grossly, histologically and immunocytochemically, with emphasis on the development and regression of accessory corpora lutea (CL) of pregnancy and the steroidogenic capacities of the accessory CL and the foetal ovaries. The results supported recent findings that the accessory CL form as a result of luteinisation, with and without ovulation, of medium-sized follicles during the 3-week inter-luteal period of the oestrous cycle. They enlarge significantly and become steroidogenically active around 5 weeks of gestation, probably in response to the placental lactogen which is secreted by the implanting trophoblast of the conceptus. The large luteal cells stained strongly for 3β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3βHSD) activity throughout the 22-month gestation period although they showed vacuolation and other degenerative changes in the final months of gestation coincident with hypertrophy and hyperplasia of 3βHSD-positive interstitial cells in the foetal gonads. It is proposed that the progestagens secreted by the enlarged gonads of the elephant foetus may function both to assist the maternal ovaries in supporting the pregnancy state and to induce torpor and intrauterine immobility of the rapidly growing foetus. PMID:22457432

  5. Resource partitioning through oceanic segregation of foraging juvenile southern elephant seals ( Mirounga leonina).

    PubMed

    Field, Iain C; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Burton, Harry R; Sumner, Michael D; Hindell, Mark A

    2005-01-01

    In highly dynamic and unpredictable environments such as the Southern Ocean, species that have evolved behaviors that reduce the effects of intra-specific competition may have a selective advantage. This is particularly true when juveniles face disadvantages when foraging due to morphological or physiological limitation, which is the case for many marine mammals. We tracked the at-sea movements of 48 juvenile southern elephant seals ( Mirounga leonina) between the ages of 1 and 4 years from the population at Macquarie Island using locations derived from recorded light levels. There were significant differences in the total amount of the Southern Ocean covered by the different age-groups. The younger seals used a smaller area than the older seals. On average, the younger individuals also made more trips to sea than the older seals and did not travel as far on each trip. Females spent more time at sea than males and there were no significant differences between the total areas used by male and females. In summary, younger seals remained closer to the island at all times, and they spent more time in more northerly regions that older seals. These differences in behavior created temporal and spatial segregation between juveniles of different ages. Therefore, we suggest that these temporal and spatial separations help to avoid intra-specific competition for resources on land, space on beaches, and at-sea foraging areas. Such modifications of haul-out timing and behavior enable them to exploit a patchy and unpredictable environment. PMID:15365810

  6. Response of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) to Seasonal Changes in Rainfall

    PubMed Central

    Garstang, Michael; Davis, Robert E.; Leggett, Keith; Frauenfeld, Oliver W.; Greco, Steven; Zipser, Edward; Peterson, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The factors that trigger sudden, seasonal movements of elephants are uncertain. We hypothesized that savannah elephant movements at the end of the dry season may be a response to their detection of distant thunderstorms. Nine elephants carrying Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were tracked over seven years in the extremely dry and rugged region of northwestern Namibia. The transition date from dry to wet season conditions was determined annually from surface- and satellite-derived rainfall. The distance, location, and timing of rain events relative to the elephants were determined using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite precipitation observations. Behavioral Change Point Analysis (BCPA) was applied to four of these seven years demonstrating a response in movement of these elephants to intra- and inter-seasonal occurrences of rainfall. Statistically significant changes in movement were found prior to or near the time of onset of the wet season and before the occurrence of wet episodes within the dry season, although the characteristics of the movement changes are not consistent between elephants and years. Elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location. While the environmental trigger that causes these excursions remains uncertain, rain-system generated infrasound, which can travel such distances and be detected by elephants, is a possible trigger for such changes in movement. PMID:25299514

  7. Heart rate variability in relation to stress in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Vézina-Audette, Raphaël; Herry, Christophe; Burns, Patrick; Frasch, Martin; Chave, Emmanuelle; Theoret, Christine

    2016-03-01

    This study describes a safe, reliable, and accessible means to measure heart rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) and evaluates the use of HRV as a physiological correlate of stress in the Asian elephant. A probabilistic model indicates that HRV measurements may adequately distinguish between stressed and non-stressed elephants. PMID:26933266

  8. Elephant impact on shoot distribution on trees and on rebrowsing by smaller browsers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makhabu, Shimane W.; Skarpe, Christina; Hytteborn, Håkan

    2006-09-01

    In order to determine the effects of a megaherbivore, the African elephant ( Loxodonta africana) on browse available for mesoherbivores, we assessed the vertical distribution of shoots (< 6 mm in diameter) on trees with different accumulated elephant impact. We also determined the foraging responses by a mixed feeder, impala ( Aepyceros melampus) and a browser, greater kudu ( Tragelaphus strepsiceros) which are mesoherbivores. The foraging responses by impala and kudu were in terms of preferences of trees with different accumulated elephant impact levels and whether animals browsed in different height sections in proportion to availability of shoots. We counted shoots in each 20 cm height section up to 2.6 m on trees in 25 m by 25 m plots and on trees observed to be browsed by impala and kudu. In most tree species, individuals with high accumulated elephant impact were shorter and had more shoots at low levels than tree individuals with either low or no accumulated elephant impact. Impala and kudu preferred to browse tree individuals with accumulated elephant impact over those without such impact. Impala and kudu browsed more than expected at height sections with many shoots and less than expected at height sections with fewer shoots indicating a non-linear overmatching foraging response. We suggest that increased shoot abundance at low levels in the canopy might explain part of the observed preferences. Elephants, therefore, seem to facilitate browsing by mesoherbivores by generating 'browsing lawns'. Such benefits need to be considered when making decisions on how to manage populations of megaherbivores like elephant.

  9. Response of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to seasonal changes in rainfall.

    PubMed

    Garstang, Michael; Davis, Robert E; Leggett, Keith; Frauenfeld, Oliver W; Greco, Steven; Zipser, Edward; Peterson, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The factors that trigger sudden, seasonal movements of elephants are uncertain. We hypothesized that savannah elephant movements at the end of the dry season may be a response to their detection of distant thunderstorms. Nine elephants carrying Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were tracked over seven years in the extremely dry and rugged region of northwestern Namibia. The transition date from dry to wet season conditions was determined annually from surface- and satellite-derived rainfall. The distance, location, and timing of rain events relative to the elephants were determined using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite precipitation observations. Behavioral Change Point Analysis (BCPA) was applied to four of these seven years demonstrating a response in movement of these elephants to intra- and inter-seasonal occurrences of rainfall. Statistically significant changes in movement were found prior to or near the time of onset of the wet season and before the occurrence of wet episodes within the dry season, although the characteristics of the movement changes are not consistent between elephants and years. Elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location. While the environmental trigger that causes these excursions remains uncertain, rain-system generated infrasound, which can travel such distances and be detected by elephants, is a possible trigger for such changes in movement. PMID:25299514

  10. Heart rate variability in relation to stress in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

    PubMed Central

    Vézina-Audette, Raphaël; Herry, Christophe; Burns, Patrick; Frasch, Martin; Chave, Emmanuelle; Theoret, Christine

    2016-01-01

    This study describes a safe, reliable, and accessible means to measure heart rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) and evaluates the use of HRV as a physiological correlate of stress in the Asian elephant. A probabilistic model indicates that HRV measurements may adequately distinguish between stressed and non-stressed elephants. PMID:26933266

  11. Validation of a new radiographic protocol for Asian elephant feet and description of their radiographic anatomy.

    PubMed

    Mumby, C; Bouts, T; Sambrook, L; Danika, S; Rees, E; Parry, A; Rendle, M; Masters, N; Weller, R

    2013-10-01

    Foot problems are extremely common in elephants and radiography is the only imaging method available but the radiographic anatomy has not been described in detail. The aims of this study were to develop a radiographic protocol for elephant feet using digital radiography, and to describe the normal radiographic anatomy of the Asian elephant front and hind foot. A total of fifteen cadaver foot specimens from captive Asian elephants were radiographed using a range of projections and exposures to determine the best radiographic technique. This was subsequently tested in live elephants in a free-contact setting. The normal radiographic anatomy of the Asian elephant front and hind foot was described with the use of three-dimensional models based on CT reconstructions. The projection angles that were found to be most useful were 65-70° for the front limb and 55-60° in the hind limb. The beam was centred 10-15 cm proximal to the cuticle in the front and 10-15 cm dorsal to the plantar edge of the sole in the hind foot depending on the size of the foot. The protocol developed can be used for larger-scale diagnostic investigations of captive elephant foot disorders, while the normal radiographic anatomy described can improve the diagnostic reliability of elephant feet radiography. PMID:24048633

  12. Recursion to food plants by free-ranging Bornean elephant

    PubMed Central

    Gillespie, Graeme; Goossens, Benoit; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Linklater, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants. The monthly growth in leaf and branch or shoot length for each plant was used to calculate the time required (months) for each species to recover to its pre-eaten length. Elephant returned to all but two transects with 10 eaten plants, a further 26 plants died leaving 146 plants that could be re-eaten. Recursion occurred to 58% of all plants and 12 of the 30 species. Seventy-seven percent of the re-eaten plants were grasses. Recovery times to all plants varied from two to twenty months depending on the species. Recursion to all grasses coincided with plant recovery whereas recursion to most browsed plants occurred four to twelve months before they had recovered to their previous length. The small sample size of many browsed plants that received recursion and uneven plant species distribution across transects limits our ability to generalise for most browsed species but a prominent pattern in plant-scale recursion did emerge. Plant recovery time was a good predictor of time to recursion but varied as a function of growth form (grass, ginger, palm, liana and woody) and differences between sites. Time to plant recursion coincided with plant recovery time for the elephant’s preferred food, grasses, and perhaps also gingers, but not the other browsed species. Elephants are bulk feeders so it is likely that they time their returns to bulk feed on these grass species when quantities have

  13. Cotton fields drive elephant habitat fragmentation in the Mid Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibanda, Mbulisi; Murwira, Amon

    2012-10-01

    In this study we tested whether cotton fields contribute more than cereal fields to African elephant (Loxodonta africana) habitat loss through its effects on woodland fragmentation in the Mid-Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. In order to test this hypothesis, we first mapped cotton and cereal fields using MODIS remotely sensed data. Secondly, we analysed the effect of the area of cotton and cereal fields on woodland fragmentation using regression analysis. We then related the fragmentation indices, particularly edge density with elephant distribution data to test whether elephant distribution was significantly related with woodland fragmentation resulting from cotton fields. Our results showed that cotton fields contributed more to woodland fragmentation than cereal fields. In addition, results showed that the frequency of the African elephant increased where cotton fields were many and small relative to cereal fields. We concluded that cotton fields are the main driver of woodland fragmentation and therefore elephant habitat in the Mid-Zambezi Valley compared with cereal fields.

  14. Forensic species identification of elephant (Elephantidae) and giraffe (Giraffidae) tail hair using light microscopy.

    PubMed

    Yates, Bonnie C; Espinoza, Edgard O; Baker, Barry W

    2010-09-01

    Here we present methods for distinguishing tail hairs of African elephants (Loxodonta africana), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), and giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) from forensic contexts. Such hairs are commonly used to manufacture jewelry artifacts that are often sold illegally in the international wildlife trade. Tail hairs from these three species are easily confused macroscopically, and morphological methods for distinguishing African and Asian tail hairs have not been published. We used cross section analysis and light microscopy to analyze the tail hair morphology of 18 individual African elephants, 18 Asian elephants, and 40 giraffes. We found that cross-sectional shape, pigment placement, and pigment density are useful morphological features for distinguishing the three species. These observations provide wildlife forensic scientists with an important analytical tool for enforcing legislation and international treaties regulating the trade in elephant parts. PMID:20549391

  15. Some clinico-pathologic findings in elephants (Elephas maximus) infected with Fasciola jacksoni.

    PubMed

    Caple, I W; Jainudeen, M R; Buick, T D; Song, C Y

    1978-01-01

    Severe submandibular and ventral abdominal oedema was observed in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in which liver flukes (Fasciola jacksoni) were recovered from the bile ducts at post-mortem examination. Clinico-pathologic examination of blood samples and serum from this elephant and another 8 elephants showed that most had anemia and hypoproteinemia. Fecal samples from 6 of the elephants contained from 6 to 83 eggs per gram. Treatment of elephants with nitroxynil (10 mg/kg) by subcutaneous injection produced severe local reactions at the injection site. Feces collected 2 and 4 months after treatment were free of trematode eggs. Hematologic values measured 4 months after treatment showed that the hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume, erythrocyte count and plasma protein concentration had increased to within the normal range. PMID:633508

  16. Quantity and Configuration of Available Elephant Habitat and Related Conservation Concerns in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain of Sabah, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Estes, Jason G.; Othman, Nurzhafarina; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Goossens, Benoit; Ambu, Laurentius N.; Estes, Anna B.; Palmiotto, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152–581) elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184–3,652). Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km2, our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km2). During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km2. As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km−2 (95% CI: 2.46–9.41), among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland) are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce human-elephant

  17. Usual Populations, Unusual Individuals: Insights into the Behavior and Management of Asian Elephants in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasaiah, Nishant M.; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Sinha, Anindya

    2012-01-01

    Background A dearth in understanding the behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the scale of populations and individuals has left important management issues, particularly related to human-elephant conflict (HEC), unresolved. Evaluation of differences in behavior and decision-making among individual elephants across groups in response to changing local ecological settings is essential to fill this gap in knowledge and to improve our approaches towards the management and conservation of elephants. Methodology/Principal Findings We hypothesized certain behavioral decisions that would be made by Asian elephants as reflected in their residence time and movement rates, time-activity budgets, social interactions and group dynamics in response to resource availability and human disturbance in their habitat. This study is based on 200 h of behavioral observations on 60 individually identified elephants and a 184-km2 grid-based survey of their natural and anthropogenic habitats within and outside the Bannerghatta National Park, southern India during the dry season. At a general population level, the behavioral decisions appeared to be guided by the gender, age and group-type of the elephants. At the individual level, the observed variation could be explained only by the idiosyncratic behaviors of individuals and that of their associating conspecific individuals. Recursive partitioning classification trees for residence time of individual elephants indicated that the primary decisions were taken by individuals, independently of their above-mentioned biological and ecological attributes. Conclusions/Significance Decision-making by Asian elephants thus appears to be determined at two levels, that of the population and, more importantly, the individual. Models based on decision-making by individual elephants have the potential to predict conflict in fragmented landscapes that, in turn, could aid in mitigating HEC. Thus, we must target individuals, in addition to

  18. Asian Elephants in China: Estimating Population Size and Evaluating Habitat Suitability

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu’Er) carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural

  19. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er) carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural

  20. Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Morfeld, Kari A.; Carlstead, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    As part of a multi-institutional study of zoo elephant welfare, we evaluated female elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and applied epidemiological methods to determine what factors in the zoo environment are associated with reproductive problems, including ovarian acyclicity and hyperprolactinemia. Bi-weekly blood samples were collected from 95 African (Loxodonta africana) and 75 Asian (Elephas maximus) (8–55 years of age) elephants over a 12-month period for analysis of serum progestogens and prolactin. Females were categorized as normal cycling (regular 13- to 17-week cycles), irregular cycling (cycles longer or shorter than normal) or acyclic (baseline progestogens, <0.1 ng/ml throughout), and having Low/Normal (<14 or 18 ng/ml) or High (≥14 or 18 ng/ml) prolactin for Asian and African elephants, respectively. Rates of normal cycling, acyclicity and irregular cycling were 73.2, 22.5 and 4.2% for Asian, and 48.4, 37.9 and 13.7% for African elephants, respectively, all of which differed between species (P < 0.05). For African elephants, univariate assessment found that social isolation decreased and higher enrichment diversity increased the chance a female would cycle normally. The strongest multi-variable models included Age (positive) and Enrichment Diversity (negative) as important factors of acyclicity among African elephants. The Asian elephant data set was not robust enough to support multi-variable analyses of cyclicity status. Additionally, only 3% of Asian elephants were found to be hyperprolactinemic as compared to 28% of Africans, so predictive analyses of prolactin status were conducted on African elephants only. The strongest multi-variable model included Age (positive), Enrichment Diversity (negative), Alternate Feeding Methods (negative) and Social Group Contact (positive) as predictors of hyperprolactinemia. In summary, the incidence of ovarian cycle problems and hyperprolactinemia predominantly

  1. Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Brown, Janine L; Paris, Stephen; Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Morfeld, Kari A; Carlstead, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    As part of a multi-institutional study of zoo elephant welfare, we evaluated female elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and applied epidemiological methods to determine what factors in the zoo environment are associated with reproductive problems, including ovarian acyclicity and hyperprolactinemia. Bi-weekly blood samples were collected from 95 African (Loxodonta africana) and 75 Asian (Elephas maximus) (8-55 years of age) elephants over a 12-month period for analysis of serum progestogens and prolactin. Females were categorized as normal cycling (regular 13- to 17-week cycles), irregular cycling (cycles longer or shorter than normal) or acyclic (baseline progestogens, <0.1 ng/ml throughout), and having Low/Normal (<14 or 18 ng/ml) or High (≥14 or 18 ng/ml) prolactin for Asian and African elephants, respectively. Rates of normal cycling, acyclicity and irregular cycling were 73.2, 22.5 and 4.2% for Asian, and 48.4, 37.9 and 13.7% for African elephants, respectively, all of which differed between species (P < 0.05). For African elephants, univariate assessment found that social isolation decreased and higher enrichment diversity increased the chance a female would cycle normally. The strongest multi-variable models included Age (positive) and Enrichment Diversity (negative) as important factors of acyclicity among African elephants. The Asian elephant data set was not robust enough to support multi-variable analyses of cyclicity status. Additionally, only 3% of Asian elephants were found to be hyperprolactinemic as compared to 28% of Africans, so predictive analyses of prolactin status were conducted on African elephants only. The strongest multi-variable model included Age (positive), Enrichment Diversity (negative), Alternate Feeding Methods (negative) and Social Group Contact (positive) as predictors of hyperprolactinemia. In summary, the incidence of ovarian cycle problems and hyperprolactinemia predominantly affects

  2. Assessment of Flooring Renovations on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Behavior and Glucocorticoid Response.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Sarah A; Roberts, Beth; Pope, Brittany M; Blake, Margaret R; Leavelle, Stephen E; Marshall, Jennifer J; Smith, Andrew; Hadicke, Amanda; Falcone, Josephine F; Knott, Katrina; Kouba, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Captive African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants can experience foot pathologies and arthritis. As a preventative measure against these pathologies and to alleviate the potential discomfort due to concrete substrates, some zoological institutions have renovated elephant housing to increase the amount of natural or shock-absorbent substrates. The objective of this study was to compare behavioral (diurnal and nocturnal) and glucorticoid (e.g., serum cortisol) responses of three female African elephants before, during, and after renovation to their indoor housing floor to assess whether renovations had short-term effects on the elephants' behavior and stress physiology. Behavioral data were collected using scan-sampling methods, and activity budgets were constructed for each of the three elephants. In addition, the duration of all lying rest activities were recorded. Weekly serum cortisol concentrations were determined with enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Overall, eating was the most prevalent behavior exhibited outdoors during the day, while resting (either in a lying or standing position) were most common during the indoor, nocturnal periods. Although variation existed among the three elephants, all three females spent significantly more time walking and less time eating during the day after the completion of the renovations. The extent to which the three elephants exhibited nocturnal lying rest behavior varied among the elephants, with the oldest elephant exhibiting the least amount (an average of 13.2 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans) compared to the two younger elephants (an average of 34.5 ± 2.1% and 56.6 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans). There was a significant increase in lying rest behavior for one elephant and standing rest for a second elephant following renovations. Baseline cortisol concentrations prior to renovations were 3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml, 4.5 ± 0.5 ng/ml, and 4.9 ± 0.5 ng/ml for the three elephants. Cortisol

  3. Male mating biology

    PubMed Central

    Howell, Paul I; Knols, Bart GJ

    2009-01-01

    Before sterile mass-reared mosquitoes are released in an attempt to control local populations, many facets of male mating biology need to be elucidated. Large knowledge gaps exist in how both sexes meet in space and time, the correlation of male size and mating success and in which arenas matings are successful. Previous failures in mosquito sterile insect technique (SIT) projects have been linked to poor knowledge of local mating behaviours or the selection of deleterious phenotypes during colonisation and long-term mass rearing. Careful selection of mating characteristics must be combined with intensive field trials to ensure phenotypic characters are not antagonistic to longevity, dispersal, or mating behaviours in released males. Success has been achieved, even when colonised vectors were less competitive, due in part to extensive field trials to ensure mating compatibility and effective dispersal. The study of male mating biology in other dipterans has improved the success of operational SIT programmes. Contributing factors include inter-sexual selection, pheromone based attraction, the ability to detect alterations in local mating behaviours, and the effects of long-term colonisation on mating competitiveness. Although great strides have been made in other SIT programmes, this knowledge may not be germane to anophelines, and this has led to a recent increase in research in this area. PMID:19917078

  4. Effects of social disruption in elephants persist decades after culling

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Multi-level fission-fusion societies, characteristic of a number of large brained mammal species including some primates, cetaceans and elephants, are among the most complex and cognitively demanding animal social systems. Many free-ranging populations of these highly social mammals already face severe human disturbance, which is set to accelerate with projected anthropogenic environmental change. Despite this, our understanding of how such disruption affects core aspects of social functioning is still very limited. Results We now use novel playback experiments to assess decision-making abilities integral to operating successfully within complex societies, and provide the first systematic evidence that fundamental social skills may be significantly impaired by anthropogenic disruption. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) that had experienced separation from family members and translocation during culling operations decades previously performed poorly on systematic tests of their social knowledge, failing to distinguish between callers on the basis of social familiarity. Moreover, elephants from the disrupted population showed no evidence of discriminating between callers when age-related cues simulated individuals on an increasing scale of social dominance, in sharp contrast to the undisturbed population where this core social ability was well developed. Conclusions Key decision-making abilities that are fundamental to living in complex societies could be significantly altered in the long-term through exposure to severely disruptive events (e.g. culling and translocation). There is an assumption that wildlife responds to increasing pressure from human societies only in terms of demography, however our study demonstrates that the effects may be considerably more pervasive. These findings highlight the potential long-term negative consequences of acute social disruption in cognitively advanced species that live in close-knit kin-based societies, and

  5. Elephant Transcriptome Provides Insights into the Evolution of Eutherian Placentation

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N.; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M.; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs using our custom annotation pipeline. A Markov algorithm was used to cluster orthologs of human, mouse, cow, and elephant placenta transcripts. We found 2,963 genes are commonly expressed in the placentas of these eutherian mammals. Gene ontology categories previously suggested to be important for placenta function (e.g., estrogen receptor signaling pathway, cell motion and migration, and adherens junctions) were significantly enriched in these eutherian placenta–expressed genes. Genes duplicated in different lineages and also specifically expressed in the placenta contribute to the great diversity observed in mammalian placenta anatomy. We identified 1,365 human lineage–specific, 1,235 mouse lineage–specific, 436 cow lineage–specific, and 904 elephant-specific placenta-expressed (PE) genes. The most enriched clusters of human-specific PE genes are signal/glycoprotein and immunoglobulin, and humans possess a deeply invasive human hemochorial placenta that comes into direct contact with maternal immune cells. Inference of phylogenetically conserved and derived transcripts demonstrates the power of comparative transcriptomics to trace placenta evolution and variation across mammals and identified candidate genes that may be important in the normal function of the human placenta, and their dysfunction may be related to human pregnancy complications. PMID:22546564

  6. Water conservation in fasting northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Lester, Christopher W; Costa, Daniel P

    2006-11-01

    Prolonged terrestrial fasting is a key element in the life history of elephant seals. While on land seals typically fast without access to fresh water, and thus must maintain positive water balance by reductions in water loss such that they can subsist primarily on metabolic water production (MWP). The terrestrial apnea demonstrated by seals may reduce respiratory evaporative water loss (REWL) to levels that allow seals to make a net gain of water from MWP. We empirically measured REWL in 13 fasting northern elephant seal pups and determined the effects on water conservation of a breathing mode that incorporates a regular pattern of apneas, of > or =1 min in duration, followed by eupneic recovery, compared with a breathing mode with no apneas longer than 20 s and resembling typical breathing patterns in other mammals (normative breathing). Overall REWL fell 41% from 0.075+/-0.013 g min(-1) (mean +/- s.d.) during normative breathing to 0.044+/-0.006 g min(-1) during apneic breathing. The decline in REWL is attributed to a decrease in overall ventilation rate, made possible by a decline in metabolic rate along with an increase in oxygen extraction that would occur during apneic breathing. Data on the range of ambient humidity conditions at the local breeding site were collected and used to bound the range of environmental conditions used in laboratory measurements. Our data showed that the observed variations in ambient humidity had no significant effect on REWL. A combination of apneic breathing and the complex nasal turbinates allows fasting elephant seals to reduce REWL well below the rate of MWP so that they can maintain water balance during the fast. PMID:17050843

  7. Elevated carboxyhemoglobin in a marine mammal, the northern elephant seal

    PubMed Central

    Tift, Michael S.; Ponganis, Paul J.; Crocker, Daniel E.

    2014-01-01

    Low concentrations of endogenous carbon monoxide (CO), generated primarily through degradation of heme from heme-proteins, have been shown to maintain physiological function of organs and to exert cytoprotective effects. However, high concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), formed by CO binding to hemoglobin, potentially prevent adequate O2 delivery to tissues by lowering arterial O2 content. Elevated heme-protein concentrations, as found in marine mammals, are likely associated with greater heme degradation, more endogenous CO production and, consequently, elevated COHb concentrations. Therefore, we measured COHb in elephant seals, a species with large blood volumes and elevated hemoglobin and myoglobin concentrations. The levels of COHb were positively related to the total hemoglobin concentration. The maximum COHb value was 10.4% of total hemoglobin concentration. The mean (±s.e.m.) value in adult seals was 8.7±0.3% (N=6), while juveniles and pups (with lower heme-protein contents) had lower mean COHb values of 7.6±0.2% and 7.1±0.3%, respectively (N=9 and N=9, respectively). Serial samples over several hours revealed little to no fluctuation in COHb values. This consistent elevation in COHb suggests that the magnitude and/or rate of heme-protein turnover is much higher than in terrestrial mammals. The maximum COHb values from this study decrease total body O2 stores by 7%, thereby reducing the calculated aerobic dive limit for this species. However, the constant presence of elevated CO in blood may also protect against potential ischemia–reperfusion injury associated with the extreme breath-holds of elephant seals. We suggest the elephant seal represents an ideal model for understanding the potential cytoprotective effects, mechanisms of action and evolutionary adaptation associated with chronically elevated concentrations of endogenously produced CO. PMID:24829326

  8. Elephant Seals and Temperature Data: Calibrations and Limitations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, S. E.; Tremblay, Y.; Costa, D. P.

    2006-12-01

    In recent years with technological advances, instruments deployed on diving marine animals have been used to sample the environment in addition to their behavior. Of all oceanographic variables one of the most valuable and easiest to record is temperature. Here we report on a series of lab calibration and field validation experiments that consider the accuracy of temperature measurements from animal borne ocean samplers. Additionally we consider whether sampling frequency or animal behavior affects the quality of the temperature data collected by marine animals. Rapid response, external temperature sensors on eight Wildlife Computers MK9 time-depth recorders (TDRs) were calibrated using water baths at the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA). These water baths are calibrated using a platinum thermistor to 0.001° C. Instruments from different production batches were calibrated before and after deployments on adult female northern elephant seals, to examine tag performance over time and under `normal' usage. Tag performance in the field was validated by comparisons with temperature data from a Seabird CTD. In April/May of 2004, casts to 200m were performed over the Monterey Canyon using a CTD array carrying MK9s. These casts were performed before and after the release of a juvenile elephant seal from the boat. The seal was also carrying an MK9 TDR, allowing the assessment of any animal effect on temperature profiles. Sampling frequency during these field validations was set at one second intervals and the data from TDRs on both the CTD and the seals was sub-sampled at four, eight, 30 and 300 (5 min) seconds. The sub-sampled data was used to determine thermocline depth, a thermocline depth zone and temperature gradients and assess whether sampling frequency or animal behavior affects the quality of temperature data. Preliminary analyses indicate that temperature sensors deployed on elephant seals can provide water column temperature data of high quality and

  9. Elevated carboxyhemoglobin in a marine mammal, the northern elephant seal.

    PubMed

    Tift, Michael S; Ponganis, Paul J; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-05-15

    Low concentrations of endogenous carbon monoxide (CO), generated primarily through degradation of heme from heme-proteins, have been shown to maintain physiological function of organs and to exert cytoprotective effects. However, high concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), formed by CO binding to hemoglobin, potentially prevent adequate O2 delivery to tissues by lowering arterial O2 content. Elevated heme-protein concentrations, as found in marine mammals, are likely associated with greater heme degradation, more endogenous CO production and, consequently, elevated COHb concentrations. Therefore, we measured COHb in elephant seals, a species with large blood volumes and elevated hemoglobin and myoglobin concentrations. The levels of COHb were positively related to the total hemoglobin concentration. The maximum COHb value was 10.4% of total hemoglobin concentration. The mean (± s.e.m.) value in adult seals was 8.7 ± 0.3% (N=6), while juveniles and pups (with lower heme-protein contents) had lower mean COHb values of 7.6 ± 0.2% and 7.1 ± 0.3%, respectively (N=9 and N=9, respectively). Serial samples over several hours revealed little to no fluctuation in COHb values. This consistent elevation in COHb suggests that the magnitude and/or rate of heme-protein turnover is much higher than in terrestrial mammals. The maximum COHb values from this study decrease total body O2 stores by 7%, thereby reducing the calculated aerobic dive limit for this species. However, the constant presence of elevated CO in blood may also protect against potential ischemia-reperfusion injury associated with the extreme breath-holds of elephant seals. We suggest the elephant seal represents an ideal model for understanding the potential cytoprotective effects, mechanisms of action and evolutionary adaptation associated with chronically elevated concentrations of endogenously produced CO. PMID:24829326

  10. Assessment of Flooring Renovations on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Behavior and Glucocorticoid Response

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Sarah A.; Roberts, Beth; Pope, Brittany M.; Blake, Margaret R.; Leavelle, Stephen E.; Marshall, Jennifer J.; Smith, Andrew; Hadicke, Amanda; Falcone, Josephine F.; Knott, Katrina; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Captive African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants can experience foot pathologies and arthritis. As a preventative measure against these pathologies and to alleviate the potential discomfort due to concrete substrates, some zoological institutions have renovated elephant housing to increase the amount of natural or shock-absorbent substrates. The objective of this study was to compare behavioral (diurnal and nocturnal) and glucorticoid (e.g., serum cortisol) responses of three female African elephants before, during, and after renovation to their indoor housing floor to assess whether renovations had short-term effects on the elephants’ behavior and stress physiology. Behavioral data were collected using scan-sampling methods, and activity budgets were constructed for each of the three elephants. In addition, the duration of all lying rest activities were recorded. Weekly serum cortisol concentrations were determined with enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Overall, eating was the most prevalent behavior exhibited outdoors during the day, while resting (either in a lying or standing position) were most common during the indoor, nocturnal periods. Although variation existed among the three elephants, all three females spent significantly more time walking and less time eating during the day after the completion of the renovations. The extent to which the three elephants exhibited nocturnal lying rest behavior varied among the elephants, with the oldest elephant exhibiting the least amount (an average of 13.2 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans) compared to the two younger elephants (an average of 34.5 ± 2.1% and 56.6 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans). There was a significant increase in lying rest behavior for one elephant and standing rest for a second elephant following renovations. Baseline cortisol concentrations prior to renovations were 3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml, 4.5 ± 0.5 ng/ml, and 4.9 ± 0.5 ng/ml for the three elephants. Cortisol

  11. Ticks of four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Horak, Ivan G; Welman, Shaun; Hallam, Stacey L; Lutermann, Heike; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi

    2011-01-01

    Several studies on ticks infesting small mammals, including elephant shrews, have been conducted in South Africa; however, these studies have included only a single four-toed elephant shrew and no hedgehogs. This study thus aimed to identify and quantify the ixodid ticks infesting four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs. Four-toed elephant shrews (Petrodromus tetradactylus) were trapped in dense shrub undergrowth in a nature reserve in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. They were separately housed, first in cages and later in glass terraria fitted with wire-mesh bases to allow detached ticks to fall through for collection. Southern African hedgehogs (Atelerix frontalis) were hand caught on a farm in the eastern region of the Northern Cape Province and all visible ticks were collected by means of tweezers while the animals were anaesthetised. The ticks from each animal were preserved separately in 70% ethanol for later identification and counting. The immature stages of five ixodid tick species were collected from the elephant shrews, of which Rhipicephalus muehlensi was the most common. It has not been recorded previously on any species of elephant shrew. Three ixodid tick species were collected from the hedgehogs. Large numbers of adult Haemaphysalis colesbergensis, which has not been encountered previously on hedgehogs, were collected from these animals. Four-toed elephant shrews are good hosts of the larvae and nymphs of R. muehlensi, and Southern African hedgehogs are good hosts of adult H. colesbergensis. PMID:23327207

  12. Field Application of Serodiagnostics To Identify Elephants with Tuberculosis prior to Case Confirmation by Culture

    PubMed Central

    Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Mikota, Susan; Miller, Michele; Moller, Torsten; Vogelnest, Larry; Gairhe, Kamal P.; Robbe-Austerman, Suelee; Gai, Jackie; Waters, W. Ray

    2012-01-01

    Three serologic methods for antibody detection in elephant tuberculosis (TB), the multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), ElephantTB STAT-PAK kit, and DPP VetTB test, were evaluated using serial serum samples from 14 captive elephants infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 5 countries. In all cases, serological testing was performed prior to the diagnosis of TB by mycobacterial culture of trunk wash or tissue samples collected at necropsy. All elephants produced antibody responses to M. tuberculosis antigens, with 13/14 recognizing ESAT-6 and/or CFP10 proteins. The findings supported the high serodiagnostic test accuracy in detecting infections months to years before M. tuberculosis could be isolated from elephants. The MAPIA and/or DPP VetTB assay demonstrated the potential for monitoring antimycobacterial therapy and predicting TB relapse in treated elephants when continuously used in the posttreatment period. History of exposure to TB and past treatment information should be taken into consideration for proper interpretation of the antibody test results. Data suggest that the more frequent trunk wash culture testing of seropositive elephants may enhance the efficiency of the TB diagnostic algorithm, leading to earlier treatment with improved outcomes. PMID:22695162

  13. Behavioral changes in female Asian elephants when given access to an outdoor yard overnight.

    PubMed

    Powell, David M; Vitale, Cathy

    2016-07-01

    A study was conducted at the Bronx Zoo to determine whether providing elephants with access to an outdoor corral at night had any significant effects on behavior, use of space, and use of a sand corral. Activity budgets for three female Asian elephants were compared when the subjects were housed indoors overnight and when they were given access to an outdoor yard overnight. Observations were recorded via infrared video cameras between the hours of 1900 and 0700 during the months of July-September. Two of the three elephants showed a significant preference for spending time outdoors, whereas, the third elephant spent most of her time indoors. Standing and play behavior increased when the elephants had outdoor access while lying down and feeding behavior decreased. Swaying behavior decreased significantly when the elephants had access to the outdoor yard. The elephants made very little use of a sand-floor stall regardless of whether or not they had access to outdoors. The results of this study, suggest that having access to alternate areas overnight can promote well-being by reducing repetitive behavior and allowing animals to express their preferences for different locations. The relative importance of choice alone vs. the behavioral opportunities provided by choice options for zoo animals is discussed. Zoo Biol. 35:298-303, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27128882

  14. Laparoscopic vasectomy in African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana); surgical technique and results.

    PubMed

    Marais, Hendrik J; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Zuba, Jeffery R; Penning, Mark; Siegal-Willott, Jess; Hardy, Christine

    2013-12-01

    Several small, enclosed reserves in southern Africa are experiencing significant elephant population growth, which has resulted in associated environmental damage and changes in biodiversity. Although several techniques exist to control elephant populations, e.g., culling, relocation, and immunocontraception, the technique of laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging bull elephants was investigated. Bilateral vasectomies were performed in 45 elephants. Of these elephants, one died within 24 hr of recovery and two had complications during surgery but recovered uneventfully. Histologic examination confirmed the resected tissue as ductus deferens in all the bulls. Most animals recovered uneventfully and showed no abnormal behavior after surgery. Complications recorded included incisional dehiscence, 1 full-thickness and 2 partial-thickness lacerations of the large intestine, and initial sling-associated complications, for example, deep radial nerve paresis. One bull was found dead 6 weeks after surgery without showing any prior abnormal signs. Vasectomy in free-ranging African bull elephants may be effectively performed in their normal environment. The surgical procedure can be used as a realistic population management tool in free-ranging elephants without major anesthetic, surgical, or postoperative complications. PMID:24437080

  15. Genetic identification of five strongyle nematode parasites in wild african elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    McLean, E R; Kinsella, J M; Chiyo, P; Obanda, V; Moss, C; Archie, E A

    2012-07-01

    African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) are an ecologically and economically important species in many African habitats. However, despite the importance of elephants, research on their parasites is limited, especially in wild populations. Currently, we lack genetic tools to identify elephant parasites. We present genetic markers from ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to identify five elephant-specific nematode parasites in the family Strongylidae: Murshidia linstowi, Murshidia longicaudata, Murshidia africana, Quilonia africana, and Khalilia sameera. We collected adult nematodes from feces deposited by wild elephants living in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Using both morphologic and genetic techniques, we found that the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region in rDNA provides a reliable marker to distinguish these species of strongyles. We found no evidence for cryptic genetic species within these morphologic species according to the cox-1 region of mtDNA. Levels of genetic diversity in strongyles from elephants were consistent with the genetic diversity seen within other strongyle species. We anticipate that these results will be a useful tool for identifying gastrointestinal nematode parasites in elephants. PMID:22740536

  16. Evidence of means-end behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Irie-Sugimoto, Naoko; Kobayashi, Tessei; Sato, Takao; Hasegawa, Toshikazu

    2008-04-01

    The present study explores to what extent Asian elephants show "means-end" behavior. We used captive Asian elephants (N = 2) to conduct four variations of the Piagetian "support" problem, which involves a goal object that is out of reach, but rests on a support within reach. In the first condition, elephants were simultaneously presented with two identical trays serving as the "support", with the bait on one tray and the other tray left empty. In the next two conditions, the bait was placed on one tray, while additional bait was placed beside the other tray. In the last condition, both trays contained bait, but one of the trays had a small gap which prevented the elephants from reaching the reward. Subjects were required to choose and pull either tray with their trunk and to obtain the bait (i.e. goal). Results showed that one elephant performed all of the support problems significantly above chance after several sessions, suggesting that the elephant was capable of understanding that pulling the tray was the "means" for achieving the "end" of obtaining the bait. This study showed that elephants show means-end behavior when subjected to a Piagetian "support" task, and indicates that such goal-directed behavior occurs in species other than primates. PMID:18087732

  17. Skeletal development in the African elephant and ossification timing in placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Lionel; Stansfield, Fiona J; Allen, W R Twink; Asher, Robert J

    2012-06-01

    We provide here unique data on elephant skeletal ontogeny. We focus on the sequence of cranial and post-cranial ossification events during growth in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Previous analyses on ossification sequences in mammals have focused on monotremes, marsupials, boreoeutherian and xenarthran placentals. Here, we add data on ossification sequences in an afrotherian. We use two different methods to quantify sequence heterochrony: the sequence method and event-paring/Parsimov. Compared with other placentals, elephants show late ossifications of the basicranium, manual and pedal phalanges, and early ossifications of the ischium and metacarpals. Moreover, ossification in elephants starts very early and progresses rapidly. Specifically, the elephant exhibits the same percentage of bones showing an ossification centre at the end of the first third of its gestation period as the mouse and hamster have close to birth. Elephants show a number of features of their ossification patterns that differ from those of other placental mammals. The pattern of the initiation of the ossification evident in the African elephant underscores a possible correlation between the timing of ossification onset and gestation time throughout mammals. PMID:22298853

  18. A single glycine-alanine exchange directs ligand specificity of the elephant progestin receptor.

    PubMed

    Wierer, Michael; Schrey, Anna K; Kühne, Ronald; Ulbrich, Susanne E; Meyer, Heinrich H D

    2012-01-01

    The primary gestagen of elephants is 5α-dihydroprogesterone (DHP), which is unlike all other mammals studied until now. The level of DHP in elephants equals that of progesterone in other mammals, and elephants are able to bind DHP with similar affinity to progesterone indicating a unique ligand-binding specificity of the elephant progestin receptor (PR). Using site-directed mutagenesis in combination with in vitro binding studies we here report that this change in specificity is due to a single glycine to alanine exchange at position 722 (G722A) of PR, which specifically increases DHP affinity while not affecting binding of progesterone. By conducting molecular dynamics simulations comparing human and elephant PR ligand-binding domains (LBD), we observed that the alanine methyl group at position 722 is able to push the DHP A-ring into a position similar to progesterone. In the human PR, the DHP A-ring position is twisted towards helix 3 of PR thereby disturbing the hydrogen bond pattern around the C3-keto group, resulting in a lower binding affinity. Furthermore, we observed that the elephant PR ligand-binding pocket is more rigid than the human analogue, which probably explains the higher affinity towards both progesterone and DHP. Interestingly, the G722A substitution is not elephant-specific, rather it is also present in five independent lineages of mammalian evolution, suggesting a special role of the substitution for the development of distinct mammalian gestagen systems. PMID:23209719

  19. Field application of serodiagnostics to identify elephants with tuberculosis prior to case confirmation by culture.

    PubMed

    Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Mikota, Susan; Miller, Michele; Moller, Torsten; Vogelnest, Larry; Gairhe, Kamal P; Robbe-Austerman, Suelee; Gai, Jackie; Waters, W Ray

    2012-08-01

    Three serologic methods for antibody detection in elephant tuberculosis (TB), the multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), ElephantTB STAT-PAK kit, and DPP VetTB test, were evaluated using serial serum samples from 14 captive elephants infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 5 countries. In all cases, serological testing was performed prior to the diagnosis of TB by mycobacterial culture of trunk wash or tissue samples collected at necropsy. All elephants produced antibody responses to M. tuberculosis antigens, with 13/14 recognizing ESAT-6 and/or CFP10 proteins. The findings supported the high serodiagnostic test accuracy in detecting infections months to years before M. tuberculosis could be isolated from elephants. The MAPIA and/or DPP VetTB assay demonstrated the potential for monitoring antimycobacterial therapy and predicting TB relapse in treated elephants when continuously used in the posttreatment period. History of exposure to TB and past treatment information should be taken into consideration for proper interpretation of the antibody test results. Data suggest that the more frequent trunk wash culture testing of seropositive elephants may enhance the efficiency of the TB diagnostic algorithm, leading to earlier treatment with improved outcomes. PMID:22695162

  20. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (<3 mm wide) for 1-4 months, and c) made available to all seed predators and secondary dispersers for 1-4 months. Using a model built on this experiment, we estimated that seed predation by small seed predators (most likely ants and termites) destroys between 82.9% and 96.4% of seeds in elephant dung between the time of defecation and the median germination date for D. indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (<3 mm) substantially reduces but does not eliminate the success of elephants as dispersers of D. indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  1. Population and Individual Elephant Response to a Catastrophic Fire in Pilanesberg National Park

    PubMed Central

    Woolley, Leigh-Ann; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Woods, Rami J.; Janse van Rensburg, Samantha; Mackey, Robin L.; Page, Bruce; Slotow, Rob

    2008-01-01

    In predator-free large herbivore populations, where density-dependent feedbacks occur at the limit where forage resources can no longer support the population, environmental catastrophes may play a significant role in population regulation. The potential role of fire as a stochastic mass-mortality event limiting these populations is poorly understood, so too the behavioural and physiological responses of the affected animals to this type of large disturbance event. During September 2005, a wildfire resulted in mortality of 29 (18% population mortality) and injury to 18, African elephants in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa. We examined movement and herd association patterns of six GPS-collared breeding herds, and evaluated population physiological response through faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (stress) levels. We investigated population size, structure and projected growth rates using a simulation model. After an initial flight response post-fire, severely injured breeding herds reduced daily displacement with increased daily variability, reduced home range size, spent more time in non-tourist areas and associated less with other herds. Uninjured, or less severely injured, breeding herds also shifted into non-tourist areas post-fire, but in contrast, increased displacement rate (both mean and variability), did not adjust home range size and formed larger herds post-fire. Adult cow stress hormone levels increased significantly post-fire, whereas juvenile and adult bull stress levels did not change significantly. Most mortality occurred to the juvenile age class causing a change in post-fire population age structure. Projected population growth rate remained unchanged at 6.5% p.a., and at current fecundity levels, the population would reach its previous level three to four years post-fire. The natural mortality patterns seen in elephant populations during stochastic events, such as droughts, follows that of the classic mortality pattern seen in predator

  2. Analysis and experiments with an elephant's trunk robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hannan, M. W.; Walker, I. D.

    2001-01-01

    The area of tentacle and trunk type biological manipulation is not new, but there has been little progress in the development and application of a physical device to simulate these types of manipulation. Our research in this area is based on using an 'elephant trunk' robot. In this paper, we review the construction of the robot and how it compares to biological manipulators. We then apply our previously designed kinematic model to describe the kinematics of the robot. We finish by providing some examples of motion planning and intelligent manipulation using the robot.

  3. Non-Gaussian propagator for elephant random walks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, M. A. A.; Cressoni, J. C.; Schütz, Gunter M.; Viswanathan, G. M.; Trimper, Steffen

    2013-08-01

    For almost a decade the consensus has held that the random walk propagator for the elephant random walk (ERW) model is a Gaussian. Here we present strong numerical evidence that the propagator is, in general, non-Gaussian and, in fact, non-Lévy. Motivated by this surprising finding, we seek a second, non-Gaussian solution to the associated Fokker-Planck equation. We prove mathematically, by calculating the skewness, that the ERW Fokker-Planck equation has a non-Gaussian propagator for the superdiffusive regime. Finally, we discuss some unusual aspects of the propagator in the context of higher order terms needed in the Fokker-Planck equation.

  4. Age profiles in elephant and mammoth bone assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, Gary

    1985-11-01

    Age profiles of modern African elephant ( Loxodonta africana) populations are significantly affected by drought conditions that cause local die-offs. Subadult animals die in proportions that may be nearly twice what is recorded in live populations. Such biasing of death sample age profiles might also have occurred during late Pleistocene die-offs of Mammuthus. This comparative study of modern and fossil proboscidean age structures supports a tentative interpretation that late Pleistocene extinction of Mammuthus (at least in the southwestern United States) resulted from severe drought conditions, at which Clovis hunters were witnesses, but not necessarily frequent participants.

  5. Understanding Long-Term Variations in an Elephant Piosphere Effect to Manage Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Landman, Marietjie; Schoeman, David S.; Hall-Martin, Anthony J.; Kerley, Graham I. H.

    2012-01-01

    Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact) are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities) that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points), which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site, albeit with greater

  6. Understanding long-term variations in an elephant piosphere effect to manage impacts.

    PubMed

    Landman, Marietjie; Schoeman, David S; Hall-Martin, Anthony J; Kerley, Graham I H

    2012-01-01

    Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact) are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities) that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points), which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site, albeit with greater

  7. Isotopic tracking of change in diet and habitat use in african elephants.

    PubMed

    Koch, P L; Heisinger, J; Moss, C; Carlson, R W; Fogel, M L; Behrensmeyer, A K

    1995-03-01

    The carbon, nitrogen, and strontium isotope compositions of elephants in Amboseli Park, Kenya, were measured to examine changes in diet and habitat use since the 1960s. Carbon isotope ratios, which reflect the photosynthetic pathway of food plants, record a shift in diet from trees and shrubs to grass. Strontium isotope ratios, which reflect the geologic age of bedrock, document the concentration of elephants within the park. The high isotopic variability produced by behavioral and ecological shifts, if it is representative of other East African elephant populations, may complicate the use of isotopes as indicators of the source region of ivory. PMID:17812610

  8. CONSERVATION. Genetic assignment of large seizures of elephant ivory reveals Africa's major poaching hotspots.

    PubMed

    Wasser, S K; Brown, L; Mailand, C; Mondol, S; Clark, W; Laurie, C; Weir, B S

    2015-07-01

    Poaching of elephants is now occurring at rates that threaten African populations with extinction. Identifying the number and location of Africa's major poaching hotspots may assist efforts to end poaching and facilitate recovery of elephant populations. We genetically assign origin to 28 large ivory seizures (≥0.5 metric tons) made between 1996 and 2014, also testing assignment accuracy. Results suggest that the major poaching hotspots in Africa may be currently concentrated in as few as two areas. Increasing law enforcement in these two hotspots could help curtail future elephant losses across Africa and disrupt this organized transnational crime. PMID:26089357

  9. THE IMPACT OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS ON THE CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) POPULATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (1995-2013).

    PubMed

    Kendall, Rebecca; Howard, Lauren; Masters, Nic; Grant, Robyn

    2016-06-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is one of the most devastating infections and causes of mortality in captive Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) populations. Eight confirmed fatal EEHV cases have occurred since 1995 within the captive Asian elephant population of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This report aims to review the impact of EEHV on the captive Asian elephant population in the United Kingdom and Ireland, document and compare fatal cases, and recommend a framework of monitoring within the United Kingdom and Ireland to increase the success of treatment of EEHV hemorrhagic disease (EEHV HD) in the future. Six zoologic institutions (which include zoos, safari parks, and wildlife parks) that currently house or have previously housed a captive Asian elephant group were included in this report. Medical records and postmortem results were collected from four of these institutions for each confirmed fatal case. EEHV HD was found to be responsible for 29.6% of fatalities in Asian elephants born in captivity in the United Kingdom and Ireland between 1995 and 2013. Following a review of all the cases, it is shown that although clinical signs may be associated with specific EEHV species, the swiftness of disease progression means that most body tissues are impacted 1-6 days following the presentation of visible clinical signs and treatment is less likely to succeed. Therefore, EEHV monitoring should consist of conducting regular polymerase chain reaction analysis of whole blood samples from at-risk, young Asian elephants aged 1-8 yr in order for subclinical viremia to be identified early and treatment to be started before the appearance of visible clinical signs. PMID:27468010

  10. Tuberculosis in elephants-a reemergent disease: diagnostic dilemmas, the natural history of infection, and new immunological tools.

    PubMed

    Maslow, J N; Mikota, S K

    2015-05-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants has been described since ancient times. However, it was not until 1996 when infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis was identified in a herd of circus elephants that significant research into this disease began. The epidemiology and natural history of TB were unknown in elephants since there had been no comprehensive screening programs, and diagnostic techniques developed for cervidae and bovidae were of unknown value. And, while precepts of test and slaughter were the norm for cattle and deer, this was considered untenable for an endangered species. With no precedent for the treatment of TB in animals, treatment regimens for elephants were extrapolated from human protocols, which guided changes to the Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. In the absence of diagnostic testing to confirm cure in elephants, the efficacy of these treatment regimens is only beginning to be understood as treated elephants die and are examined postmortem. However, because of pressures arising from public relations related to elephant husbandry and the added considerations of TB infection in animals (whether real or imagined), sharing of information to aid in research and treatment has been problematic. Here we review the challenges and successes of the diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants and discuss the natural history of the disease to put the work of Landolfi et al on the immunological response to tuberculosis in elephants in perspective. PMID:25633896

  11. Standing sedation with medetomidine and butorphanol in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Lüders, I; Tindall, B; Young, D; van der Horst, G; Botha, S; Luther, I; Maree, L; Bertschinger, H J

    2016-03-01

    Doses for standing sedation allowing for various procedures in otherwise inaccessible, untrained captive African elephant bulls are presented. Thirty-three standing sedations were performed in 12 males aged 8-30 years (one to four sedations per animal). Each bull received a combination of 0.009 ± 0.002 mg/kg medetomidine and 0.03 ± 0.007 mg/kg butorphanol. Full sedation was reached on average 25.5 min after injection. The addition of hyaluronidase (1000-2000 IU) significantly reduced time to full sedation to 16.5 min (paired t test, P = 0.024). Reversal was induced with intramuscular atipamezole 0.008 (±0.002) and naltrexone 0.035 (±0.015) mg/kg. Recovery took on average 7 min (3-18 min). The medetomidine/butorphanol combination provided safe standing sedation for smaller procedures. PMID:26831175

  12. Tusklessness and tusk fractures in free-ranging African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Steenkamp, G; Ferreira, S M; Bester, M N

    2007-06-01

    The incidence of tusklessness varies between free-ranging African elephant populations. Sex-linked genetic drift predicts 2 outcomes--the condition becomes fixed and sex-specific incidences diverge when populations are small and/or heavily poached. By contrast, for large and intact populations, tusklessness diminishes and there is no variation between sexes. We tested these predictions by comparing sex-specific incidences between 15 populations: a small one with a skewed founder effect towards tusklessness; 5 that had experienced intense levels of poaching; 2 that had been subjected to non-selective culling and 7 that are relatively pristine. Patterns of rainfall were studied of tusk fractures amongst these populations to correct for any effect that acquired tusklessness may have on our predictions. The incidence of tusk fractures was related to annual rainfall, but the mechanism that leads to an increase of the condition in drier areas was not clear Incidences of tusk fractures in free-ranging populations implied that the frequency of acquired bilateral tusklessness is low and should not affect our results. All males had tusks. Tusklessness in females was high in the small skewed founder population and some of those where there was a history of poaching. The incidence is expected to decline if the residual population is large. PMID:17941599

  13. Evidence and potential risk factors of tuberculosis among captive Asian elephants and wildlife staff in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, Yusuf; Ong, Bee Lee; Zakaria, Zunita; Hassan, Latiffah; Mutalib, Abdul Rahim; Ngeow, Yun Fong; Verasahib, Khebir; Razak, Mohd Firdaus Ariff Abdul

    2016-03-01

    Elephant tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an important re-emerging zoonosis with considerable conservation and public health risk. We conducted prospective cohort and cross-sectional studies in elephants and wildlife staff respectively in order to identify potential risk factors associated with TB in captive Asian elephants and their handlers in Peninsular Malaysia. Sixty elephants in six different facilities were screened for TB longitudinally using the ElephantTB STAT-PAK and DPP VetTB assays from February 2012 to May 2014, and 149 wildlife staff were examined for tuberculosis infection using the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube (QFT) assay from January to April, 2012. Information on potential risk factors associated with infection in both elephants and staff were collected using questionnaires and facility records. The overall seroprevalence of TB amongst the elephants was 23.3% (95% CI: 13.8-36.3) and the risk of seroconversion was significantly higher among elephants with assigned mahouts [p=0.022, OR=4.9 (95% CI: 1.3-18.2)]. The percentage of QFT responders among wildlife staff was 24.8% (95% CI: 18.3-32.7) and the risk of infection was observed to be significantly associated with being a zoo employee [p=0.018, OR=2.7 (95% CI: 1.2-6.3)] or elephant handler [p=0.035, OR=4.1 (95% CI: 1.1-15.5)]. These findings revealed a potential risk of TB infection in captive elephants and handlers in Malaysia, and emphasize the need for TB screening of newly acquired elephants, isolating sero-positive elephants and performing further diagnostic tests to determine their infection status, and screening elephant handlers for TB, pre- and post-employment. PMID:26775804

  14. Multiphasic strain differentiation of atypical mycobacteria from elephant trunk wash.

    PubMed

    Chan, Kok-Gan; Loke, Mun Fai; Ong, Bee Lee; Wong, Yan Ling; Hong, Kar Wai; Tan, Kian Hin; Kaur, Sargit; Ng, Hien Fuh; Abdul Razak, Mfa; Ngeow, Yun Fong

    2015-01-01

    Background. Two non-tuberculous mycobacterial strains, UM_3 and UM_11, were isolated from the trunk wash of captive elephants in Malaysia. As they appeared to be identical phenotypes, they were investigated further by conventional and whole genome sequence-based methods of strain differentiation. Methods. Multiphasic investigations on the isolates included species identification with hsp65 PCR-sequencing, conventional biochemical tests, rapid biochemical profiling using API strips and the Biolog Phenotype Microarray analysis, protein profiling with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, repetitive sequence-based PCR typing and whole genome sequencing followed by phylogenomic analyses. Results. The isolates were shown to be possibly novel slow-growing schotochromogens with highly similar biological and genotypic characteristics. Both strains have a genome size of 5.2 Mbp, G+C content of 68.8%, one rRNA operon and 52 tRNAs each. They qualified for classification into the same species with their average nucleotide identity of 99.98% and tetranucleotide correlation coefficient of 0.99999. At the subspecies level, both strains showed 98.8% band similarity in the Diversilab automated repetitive sequence-based PCR typing system, 96.2% similarity in protein profiles obtained by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, and a genomic distance that is close to zero in the phylogenomic tree constructed with conserved orthologs. Detailed epidemiological tracking revealed that the elephants shared a common habitat eight years apart, thus, strengthening the possibility of a clonal relationship between the two strains. PMID:26587340

  15. Meteorological Controls on the Infrasonic Communication of the African Elephant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larom, David Lee

    Vertical atmospheric temperature and wind gradients exert a marked influence on sound propagation at the infrasonic frequencies used by the African elephant for long-distance communication. Tethered balloon profiles taken at Okaukuejo, Namibia, in the Etosha National Park, are used as input to a computer model of atmospheric sound propagation. The results show that high daytime temperature lapse rates can restrict the calling area A to as little as 20 km ^2. With the formation of the regularly occurring low-level nocturnal radiative temperature inversion, A can expand rapidly to 300 km^2 or more. Calling range commonly triples from one hour before to one hour after sunset. The formation of a nocturnal low level jet reduces calling area after 2200 hours; wind shear makes propagation strongly directional, with enhancement downwind and degradation upwind. The early evening is therefore the optimum calling time at Etosha, with a secondary maximum before dawn. Different topography may lead to a dawn maximum in other parts of the African savannas. Synoptic weather patterns and seasonal change can enhance or dampen the diurnal cycle in calling area. These results explain important facets of elephant behavior, and may contribute to the understanding of territoriality by giving a physical explanation for the evening and dawn chorus in birdsong and animal calls.

  16. Multiphasic strain differentiation of atypical mycobacteria from elephant trunk wash

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kok-Gan; Loke, Mun Fai; Ong, Bee Lee; Wong, Yan Ling; Hong, Kar Wai; Tan, Kian Hin; Kaur, Sargit; Ng, Hien Fuh; Abdul Razak, MFA

    2015-01-01

    Background. Two non-tuberculous mycobacterial strains, UM_3 and UM_11, were isolated from the trunk wash of captive elephants in Malaysia. As they appeared to be identical phenotypes, they were investigated further by conventional and whole genome sequence-based methods of strain differentiation. Methods. Multiphasic investigations on the isolates included species identification with hsp65 PCR-sequencing, conventional biochemical tests, rapid biochemical profiling using API strips and the Biolog Phenotype Microarray analysis, protein profiling with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, repetitive sequence-based PCR typing and whole genome sequencing followed by phylogenomic analyses. Results. The isolates were shown to be possibly novel slow-growing schotochromogens with highly similar biological and genotypic characteristics. Both strains have a genome size of 5.2 Mbp, G+C content of 68.8%, one rRNA operon and 52 tRNAs each. They qualified for classification into the same species with their average nucleotide identity of 99.98% and tetranucleotide correlation coefficient of 0.99999. At the subspecies level, both strains showed 98.8% band similarity in the Diversilab automated repetitive sequence-based PCR typing system, 96.2% similarity in protein profiles obtained by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, and a genomic distance that is close to zero in the phylogenomic tree constructed with conserved orthologs. Detailed epidemiological tracking revealed that the elephants shared a common habitat eight years apart, thus, strengthening the possibility of a clonal relationship between the two strains. PMID:26587340

  17. Underwater and surface behavior of homing juvenile northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Matsumura, Moe; Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Robinson, Patrick W; Miller, Patrick J O; Costa, Daniel P; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2011-02-15

    Northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, travel between colonies along the west coast of North America and foraging areas in the North Pacific. They also have the ability to return to their home colony after being experimentally translocated. However, the mechanisms of this navigation are not known. Visual information could serve an important role in navigation, either primary or supplementary. We examined the role of visual cues in elephant seal navigation by translocating three seals and recording their heading direction continuously using GPS, and acceleration and geomagnetic data loggers while they returned to the colony. The seals first reached the coast and then proceeded to the colony by swimming along the coast. While underwater the animals exhibited a horizontally straight course (mean net-to-gross displacement ratio=0.94±0.02). In contrast, while at the surface they changed their headings up to 360 deg. These results are consistent with the use of visual cues for navigation to the colony. The seals may visually orient by using landmarks as they swim along the coast. We further assessed whether the seals could maintain a consistent heading while underwater during drift dives where one might expect that passive spiraling during drift dives could cause disorientation. However, seals were able to maintain the initial course heading even while underwater during drift dives where there was spiral motion (to within 20 deg). This behavior may imply the use of non-visual cues such as acoustic signals or magnetic fields for underwater orientation. PMID:21270312

  18. Testing the effects of perimeter fencing and elephant exclosures on lion predation patterns in a Kenyan wildlife conservancy.

    PubMed

    Dupuis-Desormeaux, Marc; Davidson, Zeke; Pratt, Laura; Mwololo, Mary; MacDonald, Suzanne E

    2016-01-01

    The use of fences to segregate wildlife can change predator and prey behaviour. Predators can learn to incorporate fencing into their hunting strategies and prey can learn to avoid foraging near fences. A twelve-strand electric predator-proof fence surrounds our study site. There are also porous one-strand electric fences used to create exclosures where elephant (and giraffe) cannot enter in order to protect blocs of browse vegetation for two critically endangered species, the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and the Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi). The denser vegetation in these exclosures attracts both browsing prey and ambush predators. In this study we examined if lion predation patterns differed near the perimeter fencing and inside the elephant exclosures by mapping the location of kills. We used a spatial analysis to compare the predation patterns near the perimeter fencing and inside the exclosures to predation in the rest of the conservancy. Predation was not over-represented near the perimeter fence but the pattern of predation near the fence suggests that fences may be a contributing factor to predation success. Overall, we found that predation was over-represented inside and within 50 m of the exclosures. However, by examining individual exclosures in greater detail using a hot spot analysis, we found that only a few exclosures contained lion predation hot spots. Although some exclosures provide good hunting grounds for lions, we concluded that exclosures did not necessarily create prey-traps per se and that managers could continue to use this type of exclusionary fencing to protect stands of dense vegetation. PMID:26893967

  19. Testing the effects of perimeter fencing and elephant exclosures on lion predation patterns in a Kenyan wildlife conservancy

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Zeke; Pratt, Laura; Mwololo, Mary; MacDonald, Suzanne E.

    2016-01-01

    The use of fences to segregate wildlife can change predator and prey behaviour. Predators can learn to incorporate fencing into their hunting strategies and prey can learn to avoid foraging near fences. A twelve-strand electric predator-proof fence surrounds our study site. There are also porous one-strand electric fences used to create exclosures where elephant (and giraffe) cannot enter in order to protect blocs of browse vegetation for two critically endangered species, the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and the Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi). The denser vegetation in these exclosures attracts both browsing prey and ambush predators. In this study we examined if lion predation patterns differed near the perimeter fencing and inside the elephant exclosures by mapping the location of kills. We used a spatial analysis to compare the predation patterns near the perimeter fencing and inside the exclosures to predation in the rest of the conservancy. Predation was not over-represented near the perimeter fence but the pattern of predation near the fence suggests that fences may be a contributing factor to predation success. Overall, we found that predation was over-represented inside and within 50 m of the exclosures. However, by examining individual exclosures in greater detail using a hot spot analysis, we found that only a few exclosures contained lion predation hot spots. Although some exclosures provide good hunting grounds for lions, we concluded that exclosures did not necessarily create prey-traps per se and that managers could continue to use this type of exclusionary fencing to protect stands of dense vegetation. PMID:26893967

  20. Periocular anterior adnexal anatomy and clinical adnexal examination of the adult Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Wong, Michael A; Isaza, Ramiro; Cuthbert, J Kelly; Brooks, Dennis E; Samuelson, Don A

    2012-12-01

    Formalin preserved ocular-associated anterior adnexa tissues from five necropsied Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were dissected with attention to the palpebrae, conjunctiva, nictitating membranes, nasolacrimal ducts, and periocular glandular tissues. Gross and histologic examination revealed that lacrimal and tarsal glands were not present. Evidence of the lacrimal drainage apparatus, including lacrimal punctae or any remnant of lacrimal sacs, was also absent. In contrast, well-developed sebaceous glands associated with accessory hairs along the palpebrae were exceptionally abundant. Mixed-secreting accessory lacrimal glands were noted in the deep stroma posterior to the tarsus of both palpebrae and the gland of the nictitating membrane. Apparently, the Asian elephant has developed a novel tear system in the absence of lacrimal and tarsal (meibomian) glands. Clinical examinations and bacterial cultures of the visible periocular tissues were performed on eight living adult Asian elephants to confirm the postmortem anatomic findings and provide guidance to the clinician during examination of the elephant conjunctiva. PMID:23272346

  1. Human fatalities from wild elephant attacks--a study of fourteen cases.

    PubMed

    Das, Sobhan Kr; Chattopadhyay, Saurabh

    2011-05-01

    Human-wild elephant conflicts are frequently reported from various parts of the country. Encroaching of animal habitat by human civilization is a primary reason for this. The present study comprises of fourteen autopsy cases conducted at the department of Forensic Medicine, B.S Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India over a period of three years. The study attempts to find out the nature of injuries caused by wild elephant attack and the common factors contributing to human-wild elephant conflict so that vulnerable population can be cautioned to avoid conflicts. A distinct seasonal as well as diurnal variation of attack incidences was noted. Attacks were sudden and unprovoked. Killer elephants were wild tuskers in all the cases. Victims were from the low socioeconomic group and the cause of death was due to trampling on the vital organs like chest and head. PMID:21550563

  2. Do Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) apply causal reasoning to tool-use tasks?

    PubMed

    Nissani, Moti

    2006-01-01

    Two experiments addressed contradictory claims about causal reasoning in elephants. In Experiment 1, 4 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were pretrained to remove a lid from the top of a bucket and retrieve a food reward. Subsequently, in the first 5 critical trials, when the lid was placed alongside the bucket and no longer obstructed access to the reward, each elephant continued to remove the lid before retrieving the reward. Experiment 2, which involved 11 additional elephants and variations of the original design, yielded similarly counterintuitive observations. Although the results are open to alternative interpretations, they appear more consistent with associative learning than with causal reasoning. Future applications of Fabrean methodologies (J. H. Fabre, 1915) to animal cognition are proposed. PMID:16435969

  3. Chronic sole ulcerations associated with degenerative bone disease in two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Luikart, Kimberly A; Stover, Susan M

    2005-12-01

    Chronic foot lesions and degenerative joint disease are common causes of morbidity in elephants. Lesions may become intractable and progressive despite intensive treatment regimens. The forelimbs of two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with chronic nonhealing sole ulcerations were examined using manual dissection and computed tomography. Both elephants had abnormal limb conformation that preceded the development of sole ulcerations. In both cases, sole ulcers were associated with remodeling and degeneration of underlying bones of the digits. Conformational abnormalities and altered weight distribution in these individuals may have induced compensatory bony degeneration and secondary ulcer formation. Sole ulcerations associated with digital abnormalities may have a guarded prognosis for resolution, even with aggressive treatment. Because limb conformational abnormalities could predispose to or result from chronic digital lesions, elephants with conformational abnormalities may have increased likelihood of having chronic sole ulcerations. PMID:17312727

  4. Reproductive cessation and post-reproductive lifespan in Asian elephants and pre-industrial humans

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Short post-reproductive lifespan is widespread across species, but prolonged post-reproductive life-stages of potential adaptive significance have been reported only in few mammals with extreme longevity. Long post-reproductive lifespan contradicts classical evolutionary predictions of simultaneous senescence in survival and reproduction, and raises the question of whether extreme longevity in mammals promotes such a life-history. Among terrestrial mammals, elephants share the features with great apes and humans, of having long lifespan and offspring with long dependency. However, little data exists on the frequency of post-reproductive lifespan in elephants. Here we use extensive demographic records on semi-captive Asian elephants (n = 1040) and genealogical data on pre-industrial women (n = 5336) to provide the first comparisons of age-specific reproduction, survival and post-reproductive lifespan in both of these long-lived species. Results We found that fertility decreased after age 50 in elephants, but the pattern differed from a total loss of fertility in menopausal women with many elephants continuing to reproduce at least until the age of 65 years. The probability of entering a non-reproductive state increased steadily in elephants from the earliest age of reproduction until age 65, with the longer living elephants continuing to reproduce until older ages, in contrast to humans whose termination probability increased rapidly after age 35 and reached 1 at 56 years, but did not depend on longevity. Post-reproductive lifespan reached 11–17 years in elephants and 26–27 years in humans living until old age (depending on method), but whereas half of human adult lifespan (of those reproductive females surviving to the age of 5% fecundity) was spent as post-reproductive, only one eighth was in elephants. Consequently, although some elephants have long post-reproductive lifespans, relatively few individuals reach such a phase and the

  5. Phylogenomic analyses reveal convergent patterns of adaptive evolution in elephant and human ancestries.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Morris; Sterner, Kirstin N; Islam, Munirul; Uddin, Monica; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Lipovich, Leonard; Jia, Hui; Grossman, Lawrence I; Wildman, Derek E

    2009-12-01

    Specific sets of brain-expressed genes, such as aerobic energy metabolism genes, evolved adaptively in the ancestry of humans and may have evolved adaptively in the ancestry of other large-brained mammals. The recent addition of genomes from two afrotherians (elephant and tenrec) to the expanding set of publically available sequenced mammalian genomes provided an opportunity to test this hypothesis. Elephants resemble humans by having large brains and long life spans; tenrecs, in contrast, have small brains and short life spans. Thus, we investigated whether the phylogenomic patterns of adaptive evolution are more similar between elephant and human than between either elephant and tenrec lineages or human and mouse lineages, and whether aerobic energy metabolism genes are especially well represented in the elephant and human patterns. Our analyses encompassed approximately 6,000 genes in each of these lineages with each gene yielding extensive coding sequence matches in interordinal comparisons. Each gene's nonsynonymous and synonymous nucleotide substitution rates and dN/dS ratios were determined. Then, from gene ontology information on genes with the higher dN/dS ratios, we identified the more prevalent sets of genes that belong to specific functional categories and that evolved adaptively. Elephant and human lineages showed much slower nucleotide substitution rates than tenrec and mouse lineages but more adaptively evolved genes. In correlation with absolute brain size and brain oxygen consumption being largest in elephants and next largest in humans, adaptively evolved aerobic energy metabolism genes were most evident in the elephant lineage and next most evident in the human lineage. PMID:19926857

  6. Molecular Characterization of Adipose Tissue in the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Choong, Siew S.; Giles, Thomas C.; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J.; Allen, William R.; Emes, Richard D.; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P.; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  7. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    PubMed

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Miller, Lance J; Shepherdson, David J; Morfeld, Kari A; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; p<0.001), and managed time increased by 20.2% for every year of age for both species. Enrichment, feeding, and exercise programs were evaluated using diversity indices, with mean scores across zoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses. PMID:27414654

  8. Molecular characterization of adipose tissue in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Emeli M; Fainberg, Hernan P; Choong, Siew S; Giles, Thomas C; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J; Allen, William R; Emes, Richard D; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  9. Patterns and Determinants of Habitat Occupancy by the Asian Elephant in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India.

    PubMed

    Jathanna, Devcharan; Karanth, K Ullas; Kumar, N Samba; Karanth, Krithi K; Goswami, Varun R

    2015-01-01

    Understanding species distribution patterns has direct ramifications for the conservation of endangered species, such as the Asian elephant Elephas maximus. However, reliable assessment of elephant distribution is handicapped by factors such as