Science.gov

Sample records for reptiles marinos elasmosauridae

  1. Reptiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of various reptiles. Contains teaching activities including making reptile number books and identification keys, flip-ups about cobras, puzzles involving graphing, and group presentations. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with some of the activities. (TW)

  2. San Marino.

    PubMed

    1985-02-01

    San Marino, an independent republic located in north central Italy, in 1983 had a population of 22,206 growing at an annual rate of .9%. The literacy rate is 97% and the infant mortality rate is 9.6/1000. The terrain is mountainous and the climate is moderate. According to local tradition, San Marino was founded by a Christian stonecutter in the 4th century A.D. as a refuge against religious persecution. Its recorded history began in the 9th century, and it has survived assaults on its independence by the papacy, the Malatesta lords of Rimini, Cesare Borgia, Napoleon, and Mussolini. An 1862 treaty with the newly formed Kingdom of Italy has been periodically renewed and amended. The present government is an alliance between the socialists and communists. San Marino has had its own statutes and governmental institutions since the 11th century. Legislative authority at present is vested in a 60-member unicameral parliament. Executive authority is exercised by the 11-member Congress of State, the members of which head the various administrative departments of the goverment. The posts are divided among the parties which form the coalition government. Judicial authority is partly exercised by Italian magistrates in civil and criminal cases. San Marino's policies are tied to Italy's and political organizations and labor unions active in Italy are also active in San Marino. Since World War II, there has been intense rivalry between 2 political coalitions, the Popular Alliance composed of the Christian Democratic Party and the Independent Social Democratic Party, and the Liberty Committee, coalition of the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. San Marino's gross domestic product was $137 million and its per capita income was $6290 in 1980. The principal economic activities are farming and livestock raising, along with some light manufacturing. Foreign transactions are dominated by tourism. The government derives most of its revenue from the sale of postage stamps to

  3. Reptile Facts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinheimer, Margaret

    1993-01-01

    Describes an award-winning bulletin board for introducing a unit on reptiles. This interactive bulletin board contains fun facts and counters common misconceptions about reptiles. Twelve true-false statements are hidden behind pull-up flaps. Four pictures ask students to identify the difference between often-confused animals. (PR)

  4. Project Reptile!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diffily, Deborah

    2001-01-01

    Integrating curriculum is important in helping children make connections within and among areas. Presents a class project for kindergarten children which came out of the students' interests and desire to build a reptile exhibit. (ASK)

  5. Reptile Hematology.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-09-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available. PMID:26297412

  6. Reptiles in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gantert, Robert L.

    1972-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of using reptiles in biology and elementary school classes, describes demonstration techniques used by the author, and suggests some student activities using reptiles, especially snakes and lizards. (AL)

  7. Viruses Infecting Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Marschang, Rachel E.

    2011-01-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch’s postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions. PMID:22163336

  8. Dan Marino Helping Those with Autism Spectrum Disorders | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... Marino Foundation. Photo: Dan Marino Foundation Former NFL star quarterback Dan Marino and his wife Claire experienced ... to succeed in life,'" says the former NFL star. "That's where the focus for The Dan Marino ...

  9. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals. PMID:26342508

  10. Parasites in pet reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles), belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (4)) of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3%) of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (6)) of endoparasites in 252 (76.1%) of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1) and Protozoa (2)) of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5%) animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners. PMID:21624124

  11. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  12. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  13. Viruses in reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of reptilian viral diseases can be attributed to a wide range of viruses occurring across different genera and families. Thirty to forty years ago, studies of viruses in reptiles focused mainly on the zoonotic potential of arboviruses in reptiles and much effort went into surveys and challenge trials of a range of reptiles with eastern and western equine encephalitis as well as Japanese encephalitis viruses. In the past decade, outbreaks of infection with West Nile virus in human populations and in farmed alligators in the USA has seen the research emphasis placed on the issue of reptiles, particularly crocodiles and alligators, being susceptible to, and reservoirs for, this serious zoonotic disease. Although there are many recognised reptilian viruses, the evidence for those being primary pathogens is relatively limited. Transmission studies establishing pathogenicity and cofactors are likewise scarce, possibly due to the relatively low commercial importance of reptiles, difficulties with the availability of animals and permits for statistically sound experiments, difficulties with housing of reptiles in an experimental setting or the inability to propagate some viruses in cell culture to sufficient titres for transmission studies. Viruses as causes of direct loss of threatened species, such as the chelonid fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus and ranaviruses in farmed and wild tortoises and turtles, have re-focused attention back to the characterisation of the viruses as well as diagnosis and pathogenesis in the host itself. 1. Introduction 2. Methods for working with reptilian viruses 3. Reptilian viruses described by virus families 3.1. Herpesviridae 3.2. Iridoviridae 3.2.1 Ranavirus 3.2.2 Erythrocytic virus 3.2.3 Iridovirus 3.3. Poxviridae 3.4. Adenoviridae 3.5. Papillomaviridae 3.6. Parvoviridae 3.7. Reoviridae 3.8. Retroviridae and inclusion body disease of Boid snakes 3.9. Arboviruses 3.9.1. Flaviviridae 3.9.2. Togaviridae 3.10. Caliciviridae

  14. Preserving reptiles for research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.; Zug, George R.

    2016-01-01

    What are voucher specimens and why do we collect them? Voucher specimens are animals and/or their parts that are deposited in a research museum to document the occurrence of a taxon at a specific location in space and time (Pleijel et al., 2008; Reynolds and McDiarmid, 2012). For field biologists, vouchers are the repeatable element of a field study as they allow other biologists, now and in the future, to confirm the identity of species that were studied. The scientific importance of a voucher specimen or series of specimens is that other people are afforded the opportunity to examine the entire animal and confirm or correct identifications. A photographic record is somewhat useful for recording the occurrence of a species, but such records can be insufficient for reliable confirmation of specific identity. Even if a photo shows diagnostic characters of currently recognized taxa, it may not show characters that separate taxa that may be described in the future. Substantial cryptic biodiversity is being found in even relatively well-known herpetofaunas (Crawford et al., 2010), and specimens allow researchers to retroactively evaluate the true diversity in a study as understanding of taxonomy evolves. They enable biologists to study the systematic relationships of populations by quantifying variation in different traits. Specimens are also a source of biological data such as behaviour, ecology, epidemiology, and reproduction through examination of their anatomy, reproductive and digestive tracts, and parasites (Suarez and Tsutsui, 2004). Preserving reptiles as vouchers is not difficult, although doing it properly requires care, effort, and time. Poorly preserved vouchers can invalidate the results and conclusions of your study because of the inability to confirm the identity of your study animals. Good science requires repeatability of observations, and the absence of vouchers or poorly preserved ones prevents such confirmation. Due to space restrictions, we are

  15. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples. PMID:22684953

  16. Covering the Plane with Rep-Tiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fosnaugh, Linda S.; Harrell, Marvin E.

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students use geometric figures, rep-tiles, to design a tile floor. Rep-tiles are geometric figures of which copies can fit together to form a larger similar figure. Includes reproducible student worksheet. (MKR)

  17. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  18. Melanophoromas and iridophoromas in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Heckers, K O; Aupperle, H; Schmidt, V; Pees, M

    2012-01-01

    Chromatophoromas are tumours of pigment-producing cells of the skin and are rarely reported in reptiles. These tumours are subclassified on the basis of the type of pigment. The present study characterizes chromatophoromas arising in 26 reptiles, including six snakes, 19 lizards and a tortoise. These include the first reports of melanophoromas in a yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus spp.), southern water snake (Nerodia fasciata), veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) and leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius); the first reports of benign iridophoromas in a savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus), veiled chameleon and bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps); and the first description of a malignant iridophoroma in a bearded dragon. Additionally, in three bearded dragons a 'mucinous' type of melanophoroma is described for the first time. Chromatophoromas generally arose from the skin of the body and head and ranged in size from 0.2 to 2.0cm in diameter. In six cases the animals were humanely destroyed immediately after diagnosis. Three further animals were humanely destroyed following recurrence of their tumour. Six of these nine reptiles had visceral metastases. Grossly, melanophoromas (n=20) were grey or black, while iridophoromas (n=6) were white in colour. Microscopically, most of the tumours were composed of spindle cells with varying pigmentation and 0-2 mitoses per 10 high power fields. Six of the 20 melanophoromas were classified as malignant due to the presence of intravascular tumour cells, visceral metastases, high pleomorphism and/or mitotic figures. Five of the six iridophoromas were classified as benign and the one malignant tumour was defined by the presence of intravascular tumour cells and visceral metastases. Immunohistochemically, melan A and S100 were coexpressed by all of the chromatophoromas. PMID:21864845

  19. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole. PMID:19143783

  20. Laboratory Reptile Surgery: Principles and Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects. PMID:21333158

  1. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  2. Global Taxonomic Diversity of Living Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M.; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world’s diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  3. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    PubMed

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans. PMID:27131163

  4. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  5. New country records of reptiles from Laos

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Four species of reptiles, of which one is represented by one of its subspecies, are recorded for the first time from Laos: Cyrtodactylus phongnhakebangensis, Lycodon futsingensis, and Lycodon ruhstrati, as Lycodon ruhstrati abditus, from limestone forests in Khammouane Province and Cyrtodactylus pseudoquadrivirgatus from hill evergreen forest in Salavan Province. These discoveries of lizards and snakes bring the total species number of reptiles to 189 in Laos. PMID:24723754

  6. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    PubMed

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings. PMID:25324132

  7. Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles. PMID:27037770

  8. Epidemiology of headache in the Republic of San Marino.

    PubMed Central

    D'Alessandro, R; Benassi, G; Lenzi, P L; Gamberini, G; Sacquegna, T; De Carolis, P; Lugaresi, E

    1988-01-01

    An epidemiological survey on headache was performed in the Republic of San Marino, which is the smallest independent State in the world, located near the Adriatic Coast, within Italy. Among a random sample of 1500 inhabitants over 7 years of age the frequency of headache, severe headache and migraine in the previous year was 35.3%, 12.2%, 9.3% respectively for men, and 46.2%, 20.6%, 18% for women. The most common factors reported to provoke headache were emotional stress, physical strain, lack of sleep, particular foods or drinks and for women menstruation. Migraine patients differed from people without headache in that they had a higher consumption of coffee, more frequently reported bad sleep, allergic disease and previous appendectomy. Furthermore, migraine patients and severe headache sufferers had a higher diastolic blood pressure than non headache subjects. PMID:3258357

  9. Toxicologic information resources for reptile envenomations.

    PubMed

    McNally, Jude; Boesen, Keith; Boyer, Leslie

    2008-05-01

    The United States is the largest importer of reptiles in the world, with an estimated 1.5 to 2.0 million households keeping one or more reptiles. Snakes account for about 11% of these imports and it has been estimated that as many as 9% of these reptiles are venomous. Envenomations by nonindigenous venomous species are a rare but often serious medical emergency. Bites may occur during the care and handling of legitimate collections found in universities, zoos, or museums. The other predominant source of exotic envenomation is from amateur collectors participating in importation, propagation, and trade of non-native species. This article provides toxicologic information resources for snake envenomations. PMID:18406394

  10. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

    Many children have an enormous fascination for reptiles of all kinds--snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Whatever the reason for their interest, you can channel the enthusiasm of reptile fans and build the interest of curious students with a few simple activities, e.g., getting acquainted with reptile characteristics…

  11. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During samplings of reptiles for Epsilonproteobacteria, Campylobacter strains were isolated from lizards and chelonians not belonging to any of the established taxa. Initial AFLP, PCR, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campy...

  12. CONTAMINANT-ASSOCIATED ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION IN REPTILES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The data presented suggest that contaminants can alter the endocrine and reproductive system of reptiles by mimicking hormones and by various mechanisms other than direct hormonal mimicry. However, these data indicate, as do many other studies using various vertebrates, that a fo...

  13. Diversity and distribution of reptiles in Romania

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Rozylowicz, Laurentiu; Székely, Paul; Samoilă, Ciprian; Stănescu, Florina; Tudor, Marian; Székely, Diana; Iosif, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The reptile fauna of Romania comprises 23 species, out of which 12 species reach here the limit of their geographic range. We compiled and updated a national database of the reptile species occurrences from a variety of sources including our own field surveys, personal communication from specialists, museum collections and the scientific literature. The occurrence records were georeferenced and stored in a geodatabase for additional analysis of their spatial patterns. The spatial analysis revealed a biased sampling effort concentrated in various protected areas, and deficient in the vast agricultural areas of the southern part of Romania. The patterns of species richness showed a higher number of species in the warmer and drier regions, and a relatively low number of species in the rest of the country. Our database provides a starting point for further analyses, and represents a reliable tool for drafting conservation plans. PMID:24146598

  14. Responses of riparian reptile communities to damming and urbanization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunt, Stephanie D.; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Price, Steven J.; Halstead, Brian J.; Eskew, Evan A.; Dorcas, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Various anthropogenic pressures, including habitat loss, threaten reptile populations worldwide. Riparian zones are critical habitat for many reptile species, but these habitats are also frequently modified by anthropogenic activities. Our study investigated the effects of two riparian habitat modifications-damming and urbanization-on overall and species-specific reptile occupancy patterns. We used time-constrained search techniques to compile encounter histories for 28 reptile species at 21 different sites along the Broad and Pacolet Rivers of South Carolina. Using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis, we modeled reptile occupancy responses to a site's distance upstream from dam, distance downstream from dam, and percent urban land use. The mean occupancy response by the reptile community indicated that reptile occupancy and species richness were maximized when sites were farther upstream from dams. Species-specific occupancy estimates showed a similar trend of lower occupancy immediately upstream from dams. Although the mean occupancy response of the reptile community was positively related to distance downstream from dams, the occupancy response to distance downstream varied among species. Percent urban land use had little effect on the occupancy response of the reptile community or individual species. Our results indicate that the conditions of impoundments and subsequent degradation of the riparian zones upstream from dams may not provide suitable habitat for a number of reptile species.

  15. A survey of Blastocystis in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Teow, W L; Ng, G C; Chan, P P; Chan, Y C; Yap, E H; Zaman, V; Singh, M

    1992-01-01

    A total of 28 species of reptiles were investigated for Blastocystis using light microscopy and in vitro culture in biphasic egg slant medium. Blastocystis species were detected in 8 (28.6%) of these 28 species in 3 tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus, G. elegans and G. carbonaria), 3 snakes (Boiga dendrophilla, Python reticulatus and Elaphe radiata), 1 crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and 1 iguana lizard (Cyclura cornuta). The reptilian Blastocystis appeared to be morphologically similar to B. hominis. PMID:1495927

  16. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  17. Reptile freeze tolerance: metabolism and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Storey, Kenneth B

    2006-02-01

    Terrestrially hibernating reptiles that live in seasonally cold climates need effective strategies of cold hardiness to survive the winter. Use of thermally buffered hibernacula is very important but when exposure to temperatures below 0 degrees C cannot be avoided, either freeze avoidance (supercooling) or freeze tolerance strategies can be employed, sometimes by the same species depending on environmental conditions. Several reptile species display ecologically relevant freeze tolerance, surviving for extended times with 50% or more of their total body water frozen. The use of colligative cryoprotectants by reptiles is poorly developed but metabolic and enzymatic adaptations providing anoxia tolerance and antioxidant defense are important aids to freezing survival. New studies using DNA array screening are examining the role of freeze-responsive gene expression. Three categories of freeze responsive genes have been identified from recent screenings of liver and heart from freeze-exposed (5h post-nucleation at -2.5 degrees C) hatchling painted turtles, Chrysemys picta marginata. These genes encode (a) proteins involved in iron binding, (b) enzymes of antioxidant defense, and (c) serine protease inhibitors. The same genes were up-regulated by anoxia exposure (4 h of N2 gas exposure at 5 degrees C) of the hatchlings which suggests that these defenses for freeze tolerance are aimed at counteracting the injurious effects of the ischemia imposed by plasma freezing. PMID:16321368

  18. Salmonella infection and carriage in reptiles in a zoological collection.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Meredith M; Davis, Meghan; Valitutto, Marc T; Nelson, Kenrad; Sykes, John M

    2016-05-01

    OBJECTIVE To identify important subspecies and serovars of Salmonella enterica in a captive reptile population and clinically relevant risk factors for and signs of illness in Salmonella-positive reptiles. DESIGN Retrospective cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 11 crocodilians (4 samples), 78 snakes (91 samples), 59 lizards (57 samples), and 34 chelonians (23 samples) at the Bronx Zoo from 2000 through 2012. PROCEDURES Data pertaining to various types of biological samples obtained from reptiles with positive Salmonella culture results and the reptiles themselves were analyzed to determine period prevalence of and risk factors for various Salmonella-related outcomes. RESULTS Serovar distribution differences were identified for sample type, reptile phylogenetic family, and reptile origin and health. Salmonella enterica subsp enterica was the most common subspecies in Salmonella cultures (78/175 [45%]), identified across all reptilian taxa. Salmonella enterica subsp diarizonae was also common (42/175 [24%]) and was recovered almost exclusively from snakes (n = 33), many of which had been clinically ill (17). Clinically ill reptiles provided 37% (64) of Salmonella cultures. Factors associated with an increased risk of illness in reptiles with a positive culture result were carnivorous diet and prior confiscation. Snakes had a higher risk of illness than other reptile groups, whereas lizards had a lower risk. Bony changes, dermatitis, and anorexia were the most common clinical signs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided new information on Salmonella infection or carriage and associated clinical disease in reptiles. Associations identified between serovars or subspecies and reptile groups or clinical disease can guide management of Salmonella-positive captive reptiles. PMID:27074614

  19. Dan Marino Helping Those with Autism Spectrum Disorders | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... gain experience in a supported work environment, learning communication, social, and teamwork skills. In 2014, the Foundation plans to open the Marino Vocational College in downtown Fort Lauderdale, a post-secondary vocational school for young adults with disabilities. Participants will receive ...

  20. All about Reptiles. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Dinosaurs may be extinct, but reptiles are distant cousins to the beasts that once walked the earth. From snakes and lizards to iguanas and tuataras, children learn what factors make them different from other animals. In this videotape, students explore the mysterious, often misunderstood, world of reptiles and learn about their characteristics…

  1. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  2. [Neuromuscular spindles of several amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Kurkina, E A

    1976-09-01

    The work presents data on the structure and innervation of the nerve-muscle spindles in the soleus of the lake from Rana ridibunda, Bufo bufo, turtle Testudo horsfieldi, lizzard Lacerta agilis. The animals under study were shown to have different structure and innervation of these receptors. The thickness of the spindle connective tissue capsule has certain correlation with the width of the subcapsular space. The innervation apparatus in the muscle spindles of reptiles and turtles are similar in the following: sensory nerve terminations in the equatorial area of the spindle are represented by reticulars, bushes, loops and in the lizzard there appear annulo-spirals with a small amount of coils. The character of motor nerve terminations in polar zones of intrafusal muscle fibres in the spindles of reptiles is similar to that of the extrafusal fibres: in the shape of "bayonets" and end bundles (Endbüuschel). In the muscle fibres of the turtle and lizzard in addition to typical motor plaques there occur trail endings. PMID:136238

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  4. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M., (Edited By); Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  5. Salmonella prevalence among reptiles in a zoo education setting.

    PubMed

    Hydeskov, H B; Guardabassi, L; Aalbaek, B; Olsen, K E P; Nielsen, S S; Bertelsen, M F

    2013-06-01

    Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were detected. Ten serotypes were isolated from more than one specimen and four from more than one species. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Eastbourne was the predominant serotype (32%, 22/69) and was also the serotype isolated from most reptile species (n = 7). Transmission of serotypes from one department to another was very limited indicated by the serotype distribution. Despite the relative high prevalence observed among the reptiles in the Zoo's Education Department compared to the reptiles in the Zoo's main reptile collection, no Salmonella cases have been linked to the Zoo, and Salmonella ser. Eastbourne is very rarely isolated from humans in Denmark. Simple hygienic procedures such as hand washing which is consistently carried out following handling of reptiles at the Education Department may reduce the risk and therefore contribute to this low prevalence. PMID:22835051

  6. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes. PMID:26322151

  7. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles. PMID:26638239

  8. The current status of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Bishop, C.A.; Linder, G.

    2000-01-01

    The extent of research conducted on the effects of contaminants on reptiles and amphibians has been scant compared to that of other vertebrate classes including fishes, birds and mammals. In a review of literature from 1972 until 1998 we found that only about 2.7% of the papers published on ecotoxicology in vertebrates concerned amphibians and 1.4% for reptiles. Most studies on amphibian ecotoxicology were on metals, pesticides, and acid deposition. For reptiles the greatest frequency of papers included metals, organochlorines, and others. In proportion to the taxonomic importance, far more papers were written on turtles than on other reptile orders. Most of the papers dealt with residues and very few dealt with effects of contaminant exposure.

  9. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-14

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

  11. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  12. The conservation status of the world’s reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Böhm, Monika; Reynolds, Robert P.; and others

    2013-01-01

    Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world’s reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles.

  13. Stable isotopes may provide evidence for starvation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D; Pollock, Erik D

    2008-08-01

    Previous studies have attempted to correlate stable isotope signatures of tissues with the nutritional condition of birds, mammals, fishes, and invertebrates. Unfortunately, very little is known about the relationship between food limitation and the isotopic composition of reptiles. We examined the effects that starvation has on delta13C and delta15N signatures in the tissues (excreta, carcass, scales, and claws) of six, distantly related squamate reptiles (gaboon vipers, Bitis gabonica; ball pythons, Python regius; ratsnakes, Elaphe obsoleta; boa constrictors, Boa constrictor; western diamondback rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox, and savannah monitor lizards, Varanus exanthematicus). Analyses revealed that the isotopic composition of reptile carcasses did not change significantly in response to bouts of starvation lasting up to 168 days. In contrast, the isotopic signatures of reptile excreta became significantly enriched in 15N and depleted in 13C during starvation. The isotopic signatures of reptile scales and lizard claws were less indicative of starvation time than those of excreta. We discuss the physiological mechanisms that might be responsible for the starvation-induced changes in 13C and 15N signatures in the excreta, and present a mixing model to describe the shift in excreted nitrogen source pools (i.e. from a labile source pool to a nonlabile source pool) that apparently occurs during starvation in these animals. The results of this study suggest that naturally occurring stable isotopes might ultimately have some utility for characterizing nitrogen and carbon stress among free-living reptiles. PMID:18613003

  14. Placental specializations in lecithotrophic viviparous squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Stewart, James R

    2015-09-01

    Squamate reptiles have been thought to be predisposed to evolution of viviparity because embryos of most oviparous species undergo considerable development in the uterus prior to oviposition. A related hypothesis proposes that prolonged intrauterine gestation, an intermediate condition leading to viviparity, requires little or no physiological adjustment, other than reduction in thickness of the eggshell. This logical framework is often accompanied by an assumption that mode of parity (oviparity, viviparity) and pattern of embryonic nutrition (lecithotrophy, placentotrophy) are independent traits that evolve in sequence. Thus, specializations for viviparity should be absent in some lecithotrophic viviparous species. Studies of species of lizards with geographic variation in mode of parity challenge this scenario by demonstrating that placental specializations are correlated with viviparity. Uterine specializations for placental transport of calcium to viviparous embryos alter uterine physiology compared to oviparous females. In addition, comparative studies of oviparous and viviparous species, i.e., in which gene flow is disrupted, reveal that both uterine and embryonic structural modifications are commonly associated with viviparity, suggesting relatively rapid evolution of placental specializations. Studies of squamate reproductive biology support two hypotheses: 1) evolution of viviparity requires physiological adjustments of the uterine environment, and 2) evolution of viviparity promotes relatively rapid adaptations for placentation. Models for the evolution of viviparity from oviparity, or for reversals from viviparity to oviparity, should reflect current understanding of squamate reproductive biology and future studies should be designed to challenge these models. PMID:26055953

  15. Environmental sex determination mechanisms in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Merchant-Larios, H; Díaz-Hernández, V

    2013-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) was first discovered in reptiles. Since then, a great diversity of sex-determining responses to temperature has been reported. Higher temperatures can produce either males or females, and the temperature ranges and lengths of exposure that influence TSD are remarkably variable among species. In addition, transitory gene regulatory networks leading to gonadal TSD have evolved. Although most genes involved in gonadal development are conserved in vertebrates, including TSD species, temporal and spatial gene expression patterns vary among species. Despite variation in TSD pattern and gene expression heterochrony, the structural framework, the medullary cords, and cortex of the bipotential gonad have been strongly conserved. Aromatase (CYP19), which regulates gonadal estrogen levels, is proposed to be the main target of a putative thermosensitive factor for TSD. However, manipulation of estrogen levels rarely mimics the precise timing of temperature effects on expression of gonadal genes, as occurs with TSD. Estrogen levels may influence sex determination or gonad differentiation depending on the species. Furthermore, the process leading to sex determination under the influence of temperature poses problems that are not encountered by species with genetic sex determination. Yolk steroids of maternal origin and steroids produced by the embryonic nervous system should also be considered as sources of hormones that may play a role in TSD. PMID:22948613

  16. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  17. Unmasking venom gland transcriptomes in reptile venoms.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tianbao; Bjourson, Anthony J; Orr, David F; Kwok, HangFai; Rao, Pingfan; Ivanyi, Craig; Shaw, Chris

    2002-12-15

    While structural studies of reptile venom toxins can be achieved using lyophilized venom samples, until now the cloning of precursor cDNAs required sacrifice of the specimen for dissection of the venom glands. Here we describe a simple and rapid technique that unmasks venom protein mRNAs present in lyophilized venom samples. To illustrate the technique we have RT-PCR-amplified a range of venom protein transcripts from cDNA libraries derived from the venoms of a hemotoxic snake, the Chinese copperhead (Deinagkistrodon acutus), a neurotoxic snake, the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), and a venomous lizard, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum). These include a metalloproteinase and phospholipase A2 from D. acutus, a potassium channel blocker, dendrotoxin K, from D. polylepis, and exendin-4 from H. suspectum. These findings imply that the apparent absence and/or lability of mRNA in complex biological matrices is not always real and paves the way for accelerated acquisition of molecular genetic data on venom toxins for scientific and potential therapeutic purposes without sacrifice of endangered herpetofauna. PMID:12470674

  18. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  19. VizieR Online Data Catalog: NGC 2808 HB stars abundances (Marino+, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, A. F.; Milone, A. P.; Przybilla, N.; Bergemann, M.; Lind, K.; Asplund, M.; Cassisi, S.; Catelan, M.; Casagrande, L.; Valcarce, A. A. R.; Bedin, L. R.; Cortes, C.; D'Antona, F.; Jerjen, H.; Piotto, G.; Schlesinger, K.; Zoccali, M.; Angeloni, R.

    2014-11-01

    To identify our stellar sample, we use the photometric catalogue of Momany et al. (2004), which has been obtained from U, B and V images collected with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) mounted at the 2.2m ESO-MPI (Max-Planck-Institut) telescope at La Silla observatory, Chile. Our spectroscopic data consist of FLAMES/GIRAFFE and FLAMES/UVES data collected under the ESO programme 086.D-0141 (PI: Marino). The GIRAFFE fibres were used with the HR12 setup, covering the spectral range from ~5820 to ~6140Å with a resolution of ~18700. (6 data files).

  20. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount

  1. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  2. Reptiles: a new model for brain evo-devo research.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Tadashi; Kawaguchi, Masahumi; Ono, Katsuhiko; Murakami, Yasunori

    2013-03-01

    Vertebrate brains exhibit vast amounts of anatomical diversity. In particular, the elaborate and complex nervous system of amniotes is correlated with the size of their behavioral repertoire. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying species-specific brain morphogenesis remain elusive. In this review we introduce reptiles as a new model organism for understanding brain evolution. These animal groups inherited ancestral traits of brain architectures. We will describe several unique aspects of the reptilian nervous system with a special focus on the telencephalon, and discuss the genetic mechanisms underlying reptile-specific brain morphology. The establishment of experimental evo-devo approaches to studying reptiles will help to shed light on the origin of the amniote brains. PMID:23319423

  3. Effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles: A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.

    1980-01-01

    The literature relating to the effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles is reviewed and certain generalizations based on studies of other kinds of vertebrates are presented. Reports of reptilian mortality from pesticide applications are numerous enough to establish the sensitivity of reptiles to these materials. Reports of residue analyses demonstrate the ability of reptiles to accumulate various contaminants. but the significance of the residues to reptilian populations is unknown. A few authors have reported the distribution of residues in reptilian tissues; others have investigated uptake or loss rates. Physiological studies have shown that organochlorines may inhibit enzymes involved in active transport and have correlated the activity of potential detoxifying enzymes with residue levels. There is some suggestion that pesticide residues may interfere with reproduction in oviparous snakes. Needs for future research are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Risk factors for invasive reptile-associated salmonellosis in children.

    PubMed

    Meyer Sauteur, Patrick M; Relly, Christa; Hug, Martina; Wittenbrink, Max M; Berger, Christoph

    2013-06-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) in children has been reported primarily due to direct contact with turtles, but recently also due to indirect contact with more exotic reptiles, causing disease in infants. To evaluate risk factors for RAS, we reviewed the RAS cases published in the literature since 1965. A case was defined as a child ≤18 years of age with an epidemiological link by identification of Salmonella enterica in cultures from both the affected child and the exposed reptile. We identified a total of 177 otherwise healthy children (median age 1.0 years, range 2 days to 17.0 years). RAS manifested mainly with gastrointestinal disease, but 15% presented with invasive RAS, including septicemia, meningitis, and bone and joint infection. The children with invasive RAS were significantly younger than children with noninvasive disease (median age 0.17 and 2.0 years, p<0.0001). RAS is most frequently seen after exposure to turtles (42%). However, children with invasive RAS had been exposed more often (p≤0.001) to reptiles other than turtles, including iguanas, bearded dragons, snakes, chameleons, and geckos. Children exposed to those latter reptiles usually kept indoors were younger than children exposed to turtles mostly kept outdoors (p<0.0001). RAS in children is significantly associated with invasive disease at young age, in particular infants <6 months of age. Exposure to reptiles, other than turtles, kept indoors is associated with RAS at younger age and more invasive disease. This finding is helpful for recognizing or even preventing invasive RAS in young infants that are at highest risk. PMID:23473215

  6. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given. PMID:19265581

  7. The neurologic examination and neurodiagnostic techniques for reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mariani, Christopher L

    2007-09-01

    This article will focus on specifics of performing the neurologic examination and neurodiagnostic testing in reptiles, and how these examinations differ from those performed in more conventional species. Physical examination and history are discussed, as well as invasive and noninvasive testing modalities. PMID:17765851

  8. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  9. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  10. Using Amphibians and Reptiles To Learn the Process of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses using amphibians and reptiles as an excellent resource for students to observe and gain an understanding of the process of science. These animals are easy to maintain in the classroom and play important roles in ecosystems as the prey for many birds and mammals and as the predators of various organisms. (SAH)

  11. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Buchtova, Marcela; Dosedelova, Hana; Tucker, Abigail S.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles have a diverse array of tooth shapes, from simple unicuspid to complex multicuspid teeth, reflecting functional adaptation to a variety of diets and eating styles. In addition to cusps, often complex longitudinal labial and lingual enamel crests are widespread and contribute to the final shape of reptile teeth. The simplest shaped unicuspid teeth have been found in piscivorous or carnivorous ancestors of recent diapsid reptiles and they are also present in some extant carnivores such as crocodiles and snakes. However, the ancestral tooth shape for squamate reptiles is thought to be bicuspid, indicating an insectivorous diet. The development of bicuspid teeth in lizards has recently been published, indicating that the mechanisms used to create cusps and crests are very distinct from those that shape cusps in mammals. Here, we introduce the large variety of tooth shapes found in lizards and compare the morphology and development of bicuspid, tricuspid, and pentacuspid teeth, with the aim of understanding how such tooth shapes are generated. Next, we discuss whether the processes used to form such morphologies are conserved between divergent lizards and whether the underlying mechanisms share similarities with those of mammals. In particular, we will focus on the complex teeth of the chameleon, gecko, varanus, and anole lizards using SEM and histology to compare the tooth crown morphology and embryonic development. PMID:24611053

  12. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Buchtova, Marcela; Dosedelova, Hana; Tucker, Abigail S

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles have a diverse array of tooth shapes, from simple unicuspid to complex multicuspid teeth, reflecting functional adaptation to a variety of diets and eating styles. In addition to cusps, often complex longitudinal labial and lingual enamel crests are widespread and contribute to the final shape of reptile teeth. The simplest shaped unicuspid teeth have been found in piscivorous or carnivorous ancestors of recent diapsid reptiles and they are also present in some extant carnivores such as crocodiles and snakes. However, the ancestral tooth shape for squamate reptiles is thought to be bicuspid, indicating an insectivorous diet. The development of bicuspid teeth in lizards has recently been published, indicating that the mechanisms used to create cusps and crests are very distinct from those that shape cusps in mammals. Here, we introduce the large variety of tooth shapes found in lizards and compare the morphology and development of bicuspid, tricuspid, and pentacuspid teeth, with the aim of understanding how such tooth shapes are generated. Next, we discuss whether the processes used to form such morphologies are conserved between divergent lizards and whether the underlying mechanisms share similarities with those of mammals. In particular, we will focus on the complex teeth of the chameleon, gecko, varanus, and anole lizards using SEM and histology to compare the tooth crown morphology and embryonic development. PMID:24611053

  13. Mitigating Reptile Road Mortality: Fence Failures Compromise Ecopassage Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H.; Riley, Julia L.; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  14. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  15. Trichinella zimbabwensis in wild reptiles of Zimbabwe and Mozambique and farmed reptiles of Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Pozio, Edoardo; Foggin, Chris M; Gelanew, Tesfaye; Marucci, Gianluca; Hailu, Asrat; Rossi, Patrizia; Morales, Maria Angeles Gomez

    2007-02-28

    In 1995, a new species of Trichinella (Trichinella zimbabwensis) was discovered in farmed Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Zimbabwe, where the mode of transmission was the consumption of the meat of slaughtered crocodiles, used as feed. To determine whether T. zimbabwensis affects poikilotherm vertebrates in the wild, monitor lizards (Varanus niloticus) and Nile crocodiles were collected in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In 5 (17.6%) of the 28 monitor lizards from Zimbabwe, T. zimbabwensis larvae were identified. For the wild Nile crocodiles from Mozambique, species-level identification was not possible, yet immunohistochemical analysis revealed that 8 (20%) of the 40 animals harboured non-encapsulated Trichinella sp. larvae, which probably belonged to T. zimbabwensis. This is the first report of T. zimbabwensis in wild reptiles, and the findings are consistent with reports that vertebrates with scavenger and cannibalistic behaviour are the most important hosts of Trichinella spp. The wide distribution of monitor lizards and crocodiles in Africa and the development of national crocodile breeding programs in many African countries should be taken into consideration when evaluating the risk of transmission of this parasite to mammals, including humans. PMID:16982152

  16. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    PubMed

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

  17. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C.

    2016-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

  18. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  19. Social learning by imitation in a reptile (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed

    Kis, Anna; Huber, Ludwig; Wilkinson, Anna

    2015-01-01

    The ability to learn through imitation is thought to be the basis of cultural transmission and was long considered a distinctive characteristic of humans. There is now evidence that both mammals and birds are capable of imitation. However, nothing is known about these abilities in the third amniotic class-reptiles. Here, we use a bidirectional control procedure to show that a reptile species, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), is capable of social learning that cannot be explained by simple mechanisms such as local enhancement or goal emulation. Subjects in the experimental group opened a trap door to the side that had been demonstrated, while subjects in the ghost control group, who observed the door move without the intervention of a conspecific, were unsuccessful. This, together with differences in behaviour between experimental and control groups, provides compelling evidence that reptiles possess cognitive abilities that are comparable to those observed in mammals and birds and suggests that learning by imitation is likely to be based on ancient mechanisms. PMID:25199480

  20. Discrimination of flicker frequency rates in the reptile tuatara ( Sphenodon )

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Kevin L.; Hunt, Maree; Harper, David; Nelson, Nicola J.; Daugherty, Charles H.; Bell, Ben D.

    2009-03-01

    By investigating the mechanisms that underlie the perception of environmental cues, we may begin to understand how the sensory system governs behavioral responses. This is the first empirical study to examine learning and visual sensitivity in a reptile species, the tuatara ( Sphenodon punctatus). We established a non-intrusive psychophysical method by employing an instrumental paradigm in order to examine discrimination learning and the ability to distinguish different flicker frequencies in the tuatara. Seventeen tuatara were trained under an operant conditioning task to respond to various discriminative stimuli flickering between 2.65 and 65.09 Hz. Tuatara were able to learn the operant task and discriminate between a constant light and flicker frequency rates between 2.65 and 45.61 Hz, but not at 65.09 Hz. We demonstrated a reliable psychophysical method where these reptiles could learn a basic operant task and discriminate visual stimuli in the form of flicker frequency rates. The tuatara’s ability to perceive flickering light is comparable to that of avian, mammalian, and other reptilian species. This method is thus suitable for more comprehensive examinations of vision and additional sensory abilities in other reptiles.

  1. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  2. Using operant conditioning and desensitization to facilitate veterinary care with captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hellmuth, Heidi; Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara; Hope, Katharine

    2012-09-01

    In addition to being a large component of most zoological collections, reptile species are becoming more popular as family pets. Reptiles have the cognitive ability to be trained to facilitate daily husbandry and veterinary care. Desensitization and operant conditioning can alleviate some of the behavioral and physiological challenges of treating these species. A survey of reptile training programs at zoos in the United States and worldwide reveals that there are many successful training programs to facilitate veterinary care and minimize stress to the animal. Many of the techniques being used to train reptiles in zoological settings are transferable to the exotic pet clinician. PMID:22998960

  3. Baseline Inventory of amphibians and reptiles of Kurupukari, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2013-01-01

    The habitat in the vicinity of Kurupukari, on the Essequibo River in central Guyana, is tall evergreen lowland forest. The area has suffered some human disturbance from agriculture, road construction and ferry activity. The area was sampled for 10 days in 1990 and 12 days in 1997; seven days in rainy season and 15 in dry season. During this sampling 23 anuran and 17 reptile species were collected. Some differences exist between species collected on either side of the river. Comparisons are made with collections from other locations in Guyana.

  4. Distribution pattern of reptiles along an eastern Himalayan elevation gradient, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chettri, Basundhara; Bhupathy, Subramanian; Acharya, Bhoj Kumar

    2010-01-01

    We examined the spatial distribution pattern of reptiles in an eastern Himalayan elevation gradient. The factors governing the distribution have been assessed with emphasis on the mid-domain effect. We surveyed reptiles along the elevation gradient (300-4800 m) of the Teesta valley in Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya, India using time constrained visual encounter survey. A total of 42 species of reptiles were observed during the study, and the species richness peaked at 500-1000 m with no species beyond 3000 m. The observed pattern was consistent with estimated richness, both showing significant negative relation with elevation. Lizards showed a linear decline with elevation, whereas snakes followed a non-linear relation with peak at 500-1000 m. Observed species richness deviated significantly from that predicted by a mid-domain null model. The regression between empirical and simulated richness was not significant for total reptiles as well as lizards and snakes separately. Most species distributed in the high elevation extended towards lower elevation, but low elevation species (around 50%) were restricted below 1000 m. Deviation of empirical from predicted richness indicates that the distributions of reptile species were least governed by geographic hard boundaries. Climatic factors especially temperature explained much variation of reptiles along the Himalayan elevation gradient. Most reptiles were narrowly distributed, especially those found in low elevation indicating the importance of tropical low-land forests in the conservation of reptiles in Eastern Himalayas.

  5. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of the species listed in this paragraph is prohibited except as...

  6. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of the species listed in this paragraph is prohibited except as...

  7. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition is prohibited of any live specimen or egg of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis): Provided, that the Director...

  8. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition is prohibited of any live specimen or egg of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis): Provided, that the Director...

  9. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of the species listed in this paragraph is prohibited except as...

  10. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  11. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role. PMID:20464342

  12. Triassic marine reptiles gave birth to live young.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yen-Nien; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Qiang

    2004-11-18

    Sauropterygians form the largest and most diverse group of ancient marine reptiles that lived throughout nearly the entire Mesozoic era (from 250 to 65 million years ago). Although thousands of specimens of this group have been collected around the world since the description of the first plesiosaur in 1821 (ref. 3), no direct evidence has been found to determine whether any sauropterygians came on shore to lay eggs (oviparity) like sea turtles, or gave birth in the water to live young (viviparity) as ichthyosaurs and mosasauroids (marine lizards) did. Viviparity has been proposed for plesiosaur, pachypleurosaur and nothosaur sauropterygians, but until now no concrete evidence has been advanced. Here we report two gravid specimens of Keichousaurus hui Young from the Middle Triassic of China. These exquisitely preserved specimens not only provide the first unequivocal evidence of reproductive mode and sexual dimorphism in sauropterygians, but also indicate that viviparity could have been expedited by the evolution of a movable pelvis in pachypleurosaurs. By extension, this has implications for the reproductive pattern of other sauropterygians and Mesozoic marine reptiles that possessed a movable pelvis. PMID:15549103

  13. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M; MacDougall, Mark J; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C; Reisz, Robert R

    2015-02-22

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors. PMID:25589601

  14. Prostaglandins are important in thermoregulation of a reptile (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed Central

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2003-01-01

    The effectiveness of behavioural thermoregulation in reptiles is amplified by cardiovascular responses, particularly by differential rates of heart beat in response to heating and cooling (heart-rate hysteresis). Heart-rate hysteresis is ecologically important in most lineages of ectothermic reptile, and we demonstrate that heart-rate hysteresis in the lizard Pogona vitticeps is mediated by prostaglandins. In a control treatment (administration of saline), heart rates during heating were significantly faster than during cooling at any given body temperature. When cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 enzymes were inhibited, heart rates during heating were not significantly different from those during cooling. Administration of agonists showed that thromboxane B(2) did not have a significant effect on heart rate, but prostacyclin and prostaglandin F(2alpha) caused a significant increase (3.5 and 13.6 beats min(-1), respectively) in heart rate compared with control treatments. We speculate that heart-rate hysteresis evolved as a thermoregulatory mechanism that may ultimately be controlled by neurally induced stimulation of nitric oxide production, or maybe via photolytically induced production of vitamin D. PMID:12952634

  15. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Modesto, Sean P.; Scott, Diane M.; MacDougall, Mark J.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C.; Reisz, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors. PMID:25589601

  16. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  17. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  18. Energetics of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds.

    PubMed

    Nagy, K A; Girard, I A; Brown, T K

    1999-01-01

    We summarize the recent information on field metabolic rates (FMR) of wild terrestrial vertebrates as determined by the doubly labeled water technique. Allometric (scaling) relationships are calculated for mammals (79 species), reptiles (55 species), and birds (95 species) and for various taxonomic, dietary, and habitat groups within these categories. Exponential equations based on body mass are offered for predicting rates of daily energy expenditure and daily food requirements of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds. Significant scaling differences between various taxa, dietary, and habitat groups (detected by analysis of covariance with P < or = 0.05) include the following: (a) The allometric slope for reptiles (0.889) is greater than that for mammals (0.734), which is greater than that for birds (0.681); (b) the slope for eutherian mammals (0.772) is greater than that for marsupial mammals (0.590); (c) among families of birds, slopes do not differ but elevations (intercepts) do, with passerine and procellariid birds having relatively high FMRs and gallinaceous birds having low FMRs; (d) Scleroglossan lizards have a higher slope (0.949) than do Iguanian lizards (0.793); (e) desert mammals have a higher slope (0.785) than do nondesert mammals; (f) marine birds have relatively high FMRs and desert birds have low FMRs; and (g) carnivorous mammals have a relatively high slope and carnivorous, insectivorous, and nectarivorous birds have relatively higher FMRs than do omnivores and granivores. The difference detected between passerine and nonpasserine birds reported in earlier reviews is not evident in the larger data set analyzed here. When the results are adjusted for phylogenetic effects using independent contrasts analysis, the difference between allometric slopes for marsupials and eutherians is no longer significant and the slope difference between Scleroglossan and Iguanian lizards disappears as well, but other taxonomic differences remain significant

  19. Current research on the behavioral neuroendocrinology of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wade, Juli

    2005-11-01

    Selected reptilian species have been the targets of investigations in behavioral neuroendocrinology for many years. Reptiles offer a particularly powerful set of traits that facilitate comparisons at multiple levels, including those within and between individuals of a particular species, between different environmental and social contexts, as well as across species. These types of studies, particularly as they are considered within the framework of results from other vertebrates, will enhance our understanding of the genetic and hormonal influences regulating changes in the structure and function of the nervous system. Work on the hormonal and environmental factors influencing courtship and copulatory behaviors in green anoles, including the development and maintenance of the neuromuscular structures critical for their display, is highlighted. Some very recent work on other model systems is also discussed to provide a context for suggested future research directions. PMID:16239163

  20. Social learning in a non-social reptile (Geochelone carbonaria).

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Anna; Kuenstner, Karin; Mueller, Julia; Huber, Ludwig

    2010-10-23

    The ability to learn from the actions of another is adaptive, as it is a shortcut for acquiring new information. However, the evolutionary origins of this trait are still unclear. There is evidence that group-living mammals, birds, fishes and insects can learn through observation, but this has never been investigated in reptiles. Here, we show that the non-social red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) can learn from the actions of a conspecific in a detour task; non-observer animals (without a conspecific demonstrator) failed. This result provides the first evidence that a non-social species can use social cues to solve a task that it cannot solve through individual learning, challenging the idea that social learning is an adaptation for social living. PMID:20356886

  1. Social learning in a non-social reptile (Geochelone carbonaria)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Anna; Kuenstner, Karin; Mueller, Julia; Huber, Ludwig

    2010-01-01

    The ability to learn from the actions of another is adaptive, as it is a shortcut for acquiring new information. However, the evolutionary origins of this trait are still unclear. There is evidence that group-living mammals, birds, fishes and insects can learn through observation, but this has never been investigated in reptiles. Here, we show that the non-social red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) can learn from the actions of a conspecific in a detour task; non-observer animals (without a conspecific demonstrator) failed. This result provides the first evidence that a non-social species can use social cues to solve a task that it cannot solve through individual learning, challenging the idea that social learning is an adaptation for social living. PMID:20356886

  2. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T.; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D.; Burt, David W.; Griffin, Darren K.; Larkin, Denis M.

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  3. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D; Burt, David W; Griffin, Darren K; Larkin, Denis M

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  4. High incubation temperatures enhance mitochondrial energy metabolism in reptile embryos

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Jun; Li, Teng; Gao, Jing; Ma, Liang; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Developmental rate increases exponentially with increasing temperature in ectothermic animals, but the biochemical basis underlying this thermal dependence is largely unexplored. We measured mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities of turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) incubated at different temperatures to identify the metabolic basis of the rapid development occurring at high temperatures in reptile embryos. Developmental rate increased with increasing incubation temperatures in the embryos of P. sinensis. Correspondingly, in addition to the thermal dependence of mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities, high-temperature incubation further enhanced mitochondrial respiration and COX activities in the embryos. This suggests that embryos may adjust mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities in response to developmental temperature to achieve high developmental rates at high temperatures. Our study highlights the importance of biochemical investigations in understanding the proximate mechanisms by which temperature affects embryonic development. PMID:25749301

  5. Genetic Diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. in Captive Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Lihua; Ryan, Una M.; Graczyk, Thaddeus K.; Limor, Josef; Li, Lixia; Kombert, Mark; Junge, Randy; Sulaiman, Irshad M.; Zhou, Ling; Arrowood, Michael J.; Koudela, Břetislav; Modrý, David; Lal, Altaf A.

    2004-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium in reptiles was analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene. A total of 123 samples were analyzed, of which 48 snake samples, 24 lizard samples, and 3 tortoise samples were positive for Cryptosporidium. Nine different types of Cryptosporidium were found, including Cryptosporidium serpentis, Cryptosporidium desert monitor genotype, Cryptosporidium muris, Cryptosporidium parvum bovine and mouse genotypes, one C. serpentis-like parasite in a lizard, two new Cryptosporidium spp. in snakes, and one new Cryptosporidium sp. in tortoises. C. serpentis and the desert monitor genotype were the most common parasites and were found in both snakes and lizards, whereas the C. muris and C. parvum parasites detected were probably the result of ingestion of infected rodents. Sequence and biologic characterizations indicated that the desert monitor genotype was Cryptosporidium saurophilum. Two host-adapted C. serpentis genotypes were found in snakes and lizards. PMID:14766569

  6. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region.In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs. PMID:22846258

  7. Rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras.

    PubMed

    Novakova, Marketa; Literak, Ivan; Chevez, Luis; Martins, Thiago F; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2015-09-01

    Ticks were collected from captive reptiles, wild birds, and incidentally from humans at two locations in Honduras and part of these were tested for the presence of Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction. The following species of ticks were found: Amblyomma dissimile on Iguanidae reptiles, Amblyomma longirostre and Amblyomma nodosum on birds, and Amblyomma mixtum (Amblyomma cajennense complex) on humans. A. dissimile was infected with Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. Both A. longirostre and A. mixtum were infected with Candidatus 'Rickettsia amblyommii'. This study provides the first report of rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras. New host - Amblyomma tick associations are documented. PMID:26159797

  8. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  9. Can reptile embryos influence their own rates of heating and cooling?

    PubMed

    Du, Wei-Guo; Tu, Ming-Chung; Radder, Rajkumar S; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Previous investigations have assumed that embryos lack the capacity of physiological thermoregulation until they are large enough for their own metabolic heat production to influence nest temperatures. Contrary to intuition, reptile embryos may be capable of physiological thermoregulation. In our experiments, egg-sized objects (dead or infertile eggs, water-filled balloons, glass jars) cooled down more rapidly than they heated up, whereas live snake eggs heated more rapidly than they cooled. In a nest with diel thermal fluctuations, that hysteresis could increase the embryo's effective incubation temperature. The mechanisms for controlling rates of thermal exchange are unclear, but may involve facultative adjustment of blood flow. Heart rates of snake embryos were higher during cooling than during heating, the opposite pattern to that seen in adult reptiles. Our data challenge the view of reptile eggs as thermally passive, and suggest that embryos of reptile species with large eggs can influence their own rates of heating and cooling. PMID:23826200

  10. Evidence for the transmission of Salmonella from reptiles to children in Germany, July 2010 to October 2011.

    PubMed

    Pees, M; Rabsch, W; Plenz, B; Fruth, A; Prager, R; Simon, S; Schmidt, V; Munch, S; Braun, Pg

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the Salmonella status in reptiles kept in households with children suffering from gastroenteritis due to an exotic Salmonella serovar, to obtain information on possible transmission paths. A number of affected households (n=79) were contacted, and almost half (34/79) comprised at least one reptile in the home. Of the households, 19 were further studied, whereby a total of 36 reptiles were investigated. Samples were taken from the reptiles including the oral cavity, the cloaca, the skin and, in the case of lizards, the stomach, and isolation of Salmonella strains was performed using repeated enrichment and typing. Where the Salmonella serovars of the infected child and the reptile were identical, typing was followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) constituted 19 of 36 examined reptiles. Altogether 319 Salmonella isolates were investigated and 24 different serovars identified in the reptiles. In 15 of 19 households, an identical serovar to the human case was confirmed in at least one reptile (including 16 of all 19 bearded dragons examined). The results demonstrate that reptiles and especially bearded dragons shed various Salmonella serovars including those isolated from infected children in the respective households. Hygiene protocols and parents' education are therefore highly necessary to reduce the risk of transmission. From a terminological point of view, we propose to call such infections 'Reptile-Exotic-Pet-Associated-Salmonellosis' (REPAS). PMID:24256890

  11. Assessing effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles: status and needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.

    1992-01-01

    Growing concern about the decline of certain amphibian populations and for conservation of amphibians and reptiles has led to renewed awareness of problems from pesticides. Testing amphibians and reptiles as a requirement for chemical registration has been proposed but is difficult because of the phylogenetic diversity of these groups. Information from the literature and research may determine whether amphibians and reptiles are adequately protected by current tests for mammals, birds, and fish. Existing information indicates that amphibians are unpredictably more resistant to certain cholinesterase inhibitors, and more sensitive to two chemicals used in fishery applications than could have been predicted. A single study on one species of lizard suggests that reptiles may be close in sensitivity to mammals and birds. Research on effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles should compare responses to currently tested groups and should seek to delineate those taxa and chemicals for which cross-group prediction is not possible. New tests for amphibians and reptiles should rely to the greatest extent possible on existing data bases, and should be designed for maximum economy and minimum harm to test animals. A strategy for developing the needed information is proposed. Good field testing and surveillance of chemicals in use may compensate for failures of predictive evaluations and may ultimately lead to improved tests.

  12. Reptile assemblage response to restoration of fire-suppressed longleaf pine sandhills.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; Smith, Lora L; Conner, L M; Litt, Andrea R; Provencher, Louis; Hiers, J Kevin; Pokswinski, Scott; Guyer, Craig

    2013-01-01

    Measuring the effects of ecological restoration on wildlife assemblages requires study on broad temporal and spatial scales. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests are imperiled due to fire suppression and subsequent invasion by hardwood trees. We employed a landscape-scale, randomized-block design to identify how reptile assemblages initially responded to restoration treatments including removal of hardwood trees via mechanical methods (felling and girdling), application of herbicides, or prescribed burning alone. Then, we examined reptile assemblages after all sites experienced more than a decade of prescribed burning at two- to thee-year return intervals. Data were collected concurrently at reference sites chosen to represent target conditions for restoration. Reptile assemblages changed most rapidly in response to prescribed burning, but reptile assemblages at all sites, including reference sites, were generally indistinguishable by the end of the study. Thus, we suggest that prescribed burning in longleaf pine forests over long time periods is an effective strategy for restoring reptile assemblages to the reference condition. Application of herbicides or mechanical removal of hardwood trees provided no apparent benefit to reptiles beyond what was achieved by prescribed fire alone. PMID:23495643

  13. Y Fuse? Sex Chromosome Fusions in Fishes and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C.; Peichel, Catherine L.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  14. Y fuse? Sex chromosome fusions in fishes and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Matthew W; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Otto, Sarah P; Vamosi, Jana C; Peichel, Catherine L; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-05-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  15. Cryptosporidium parvum is not transmissible to fish, amphibians, or reptiles.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, T K; Fayer, R; Cranfield, M R

    1996-10-01

    A recent report suggested that an isolate of Cryptosporidium parvum had established infections in fish, amphibians, and reptiles and raises concern that animals other than mammals might be a potential source of waterborne Cryptosporidium oocysts. To test this possibility, viable C. parvum oocysts, infectious for neonatal BALB/c mice, were delivered by gastric intubation to bluegill sunfish, poison-dart frogs, African clawed frogs, bearded dragon lizards, and corn snakes. Histological sections of the stomach, jejunum, ileum, and cloaca prepared from tissues collected on days 7 and 14 postinoculation (PI) were negative for Cryptosporidium developmental stages. However, inoculum-derived oocysts were detectable by fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibody in feces of inoculated animals from day 1 to day 12 PI in fish and frogs, and up to day 14 PI in lizards. Snakes did not defecate for 14 days PI. Impression smears taken at necropsy on days 7 and 14 PI revealed C. parvum oocysts in the lumen of the cloaca of 2 fish and 1 lizard on day 7 PI only. Because tissue stages of the pathogen were not found, it appears that C. parvum was not heterologously transmitted to lower vertebrates. Under certain circumstances, however, such as after the ingestion of C. parvum-infected prey, lower vertebrates may disseminate C. parvum oocysts in the environment. PMID:8885883

  16. Isolation and identification of mycobacteria from captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ebani, Valentina V; Fratini, Filippo; Bertelloni, Fabrizio; Cerri, Domenico; Tortoli, Enrico

    2012-12-01

    The occurrence of Mycobacterium species in clinically healthy pet reptiles was studied in Italy during the period 2004-2006. The feces samples of 223 animals were examined bacteriologically. Thirty-seven strains were isolated, in particular from 13/18 (72.2%) ophidians, 13/134 (9.7%) saurians and 11/71 (15.5%) chelonians. The isolates were classified, after HPLC analysis of bromophenacyl esters of cell wall mycolic acids, as Mycobacterium fortuitum (14 strains, 37.8%), Mycobacterium fortuitum-like (17, 45.9%), Mycobacterium peregrinum (4, 10.8%), and Mycobacterium chelonae (1, 2.7%). M. fortuitum was isolated from seven pythons, five saurians and two turtles; M. fortuitum-like from six saurians, six pythons and five turtles; M. peregrinum from four turtles; M. chelonae from one lizard. One isolate from an Iguana iguana could not be identified by HPLC analysis showing a previously unreported profile. Comparative 16S rDNA sequencing showed a low similarity with Mycobacterium triviale (97.2%) and Mycobacterium confluentis (97.1%). On the basis of such data the unidentified bacterium turned out to belong to a not yet described Mycobacterium species. PMID:22657144

  17. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  18. Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Striedter, Georg F

    2016-02-15

    Although the hippocampus is structurally quite different among reptiles, birds, and mammals, its function in spatial memory is said to be highly conserved. This is surprising, given that structural differences generally reflect functional differences. Here I review this enigma in some detail, identifying several evolutionary changes in hippocampal cytoarchitecture and connectivity. I recognize a lepidosaurid pattern of hippocampal organization (in lizards, snakes, and the tuatara Sphenodon) that differs substantially from the pattern of organization observed in the turtle/archosaur lineage, which includes crocodilians and birds. Although individual subdivisions of the hippocampus are difficult to homologize between these two patterns, both lack a clear homolog of the mammalian dentate gyrus. The strictly trilaminar organization of the ancestral amniote hippocampus was gradually lost in the lineage leading to birds, and birds expanded the system of intrahippocampal axon collaterals, relative to turtles and lizards. These expanded collateral axon branches resemble the extensive collaterals in CA3 of the mammalian hippocampus but probably evolved independently of them. Additional examples of convergent evolution between birds and mammals are the loss of direct inputs to the hippocampus from the primary olfactory cortex and the general expansion of telencephalic regions that communicate reciprocally with the hippocampus. Given this structural convergence, it seems likely that some similarities in the function of the hippocampus between birds and mammals, notably its role in the ability to remember many different locations without extensive training, likewise evolved convergently. The currently available data do not allow for a strong test of this hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself suggests some promising new research directions. PMID:25982694

  19. Occurrence and abundance of ants, reptiles, and mammals: Chapter 7

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2011-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)- associated wildlife are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and by impacts associated with anthropogenic disturbances, including energy development. Understanding how species of concern as well as other wildlife including insects, reptiles, and mammals respond to type and spatial scale of disturbance is critical to managing future land uses and identifying sites that are important for conservation. We developed statistical models to describe species occurrence or abundance, based on area searches in 7.29-ha survey blocks, across the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) area for six shrub steppe-associated species: harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex spp.), thatch ant (Formica spp.), short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi), white-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii), cottontail (Sylvilagus spp.) and least chipmunk (Tamius minimus). We modeled patterns in occupancy or abundance relative to multi-scale measures of vegetation type and pattern, abiotic site characteristics, and anthropogenic disturbance factors. Sagebrush habitat was a strong predictor of occurrence for shorthorned lizards and white-tailed jackrabbits, but weak for the other four species. Vegetation and abiotic characteristics were strong determinants of species occurrence, although the scale of response was not consistent among species. All species, with the exception of the short-horned lizard, responded to anthropogenic disturbance, although responses again varied as a function of scale and direction (negative and positive influences). Our results improve our understanding of how environmental and anthropogenic factors affect species distributions across the WBEA area and facilitate a multi-species approach to management of this sagebrush ecosystem. Key words: abundance, anthropogenic disturbance, cottontail, habitat, harvester ant, least chipmunk, occurrence, pygmy rabbit, short-horned lizard, thatch ant, white-tailed jackrabbit.

  20. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition.

    PubMed

    Voogdt, Carlos G P; Bouwman, Lieneke I; Kik, Marja J L; Wagenaar, Jaap A; van Putten, Jos P M

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  1. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    PubMed

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations. PMID:16351959

  2. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  3. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition

    PubMed Central

    Voogdt, Carlos G. P.; Bouwman, Lieneke I.; Kik, Marja J. L.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; van Putten, Jos P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  4. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  5. Challenges in evaluating the impact of the trade in amphibians and reptiles on wild populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Hoover, Craig; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish whether current take levels are sustainable. The void of information also implies that population declines due to overcollecting could be going undetected. Policy changes to acquire baseline biological information and ensure a sustainable trade are urgently needed.

  6. Mass population screening for celiac disease in children: the experience in Republic of San Marino from 1993 to 2009

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Prevalence of celiac disease in developed countries is assessed about 1:100–1:150. The real prevalence is unknown because mass screenings are expensive and difficult to organize. Moreover celiac disease can affect people at every age and studies on asymptomatic subjects at different ages are not comparable. In this study we wanted to know the real prevalence of celiac disease in children in the Republic of San Marino. We also analysed concordance of different tests used and costs of mass screening. Methods The study started in 1993. From 1993 to 1997 children aged 6, 10 and 14 were screened. Since 1997 only children aged 6 were monitored, in order to have a homogeneous population. In fact, every child born since 1980 was taken into account. Children were recruited by classroom lists of students for general paediatric examination. Until 2005 the screening test was based on dosage of antibodies anti-gliadin (AGA) IgA and IgG on venous blood. Since 2006 these tests were replaced by anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies (ATTG). Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) were performed if result of any between either AGA or ATTG tests was positive or borderline; if EMA was positive, then an endoscopy with histological examination was performed to confirm the final diagnosis. Results Attendance to paediatric examination was 96%, submission to blood test was 87%. 42 on 5092 (0,8%; 1:125) children resulted affected by celiac disease. Histology always confirmed diagnosis by serology except for two cases. AGA test (until 2005) yielded 28 on 4304 (0,7% 1:143); ATTG test (since 2006) revealed 14 positive cases on 788 (1,8%; 1:55) leading to a larger percentage of diagnosis. EMA antibodies always confirmed positivity of ATTG. Conclusions Prevalence of celiac disease in children of Republic of San Marino is comparable to other North-European Countries. Sensitivity of ATTG proved much higher than that of anti-gliadin antibodies. Concordance between ATTG and EMA was 100

  7. Captive Reptile Mortality Rates in the Home and Implications for the Wildlife Trade

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Janine E.; St. John, Freya A. V.; Griffiths, Richard A.; Roberts, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The trade in wildlife and keeping of exotic pets is subject to varying levels of national and international regulation and is a topic often attracting controversy. Reptiles are popular exotic pets and comprise a substantial component of the live animal trade. High mortality of traded animals raises welfare concerns, and also has implications for conservation if collection from the wild is required to meet demand. Mortality of reptiles can occur at any stage of the trade chain from collector to consumer. However, there is limited information on mortality rates of reptiles across trade chains, particularly amongst final consumers in the home. We investigated mortality rates of reptiles amongst consumers using a specialised technique for asking sensitive questions, additive Randomised Response Technique (aRRT), as well as direct questioning (DQ). Overall, 3.6% of snakes, chelonians and lizards died within one year of acquisition. Boas and pythons had the lowest reported mortality rates of 1.9% and chameleons had the highest at 28.2%. More than 97% of snakes, 87% of lizards and 69% of chelonians acquired by respondents over five years were reported to be captive bred and results suggest that mortality rates may be lowest for captive bred individuals. Estimates of mortality from aRRT and DQ did not differ significantly which is in line with our findings that respondents did not find questions about reptile mortality to be sensitive. This research suggests that captive reptile mortality in the home is rather low, and identifies those taxa where further effort could be made to reduce mortality rates. PMID:26556237

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-12-01

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

  9. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  10. DEVELOPING A WETLAND MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM IN MONTANA: AMPHIBIANS AND AQUATIC REPTILES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Timed visual encounter and dipnet surveys will be used to detect patterns of presence/nondetection and relative abundance of amphibians and aquatic reptiles in all standing water bodies in a number of randomly selected 6th level (12 digit) HUC watersheds in the Northern Rocky Mou...

  11. Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles in urban remnants are threatened with extinction by increased fire frequency, habitat fragmentation caused by urban development, and competition and predation from exotic species. Understanding how urban reptiles respond to and recover from such disturbances is key to their conservation. We monitored the recovery of an urban reptile community for five years following a summer wildfire at Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, using pitfall trapping at five burnt and five unburnt sites. The reptile community recovered rapidly following the fire. Unburnt sites initially had higher species richness and total abundance, but burnt sites rapidly converged, recording a similar total abundance to unburnt areas within two years, and a similar richness within three years. The leaf-litter inhabiting skink Hemiergis quadrilineata was strongly associated with longer unburnt sites and may be responding to the loss of leaf litter following the fire. Six rarely-captured species were also strongly associated with unburnt areas and were rarely or never recorded at burnt sites, whereas two other rarely-captured species were associated with burnt sites. We also found that one lizard species, Ctenotus fallens, had a smaller average body length in burnt sites compared to unburnt sites for four out of the five years of monitoring. Our study indicates that fire management that homogenises large areas of habitat through frequent burning may threaten some species due to their preference for longer unburnt habitat. Careful management of fire may be needed to maximise habitat suitability within the urban landscape. PMID:25992802

  12. Reptiles. Animal Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This 23-minute videotape for grades 5-8, presents the myriad of animal life that exists on the planet. Students can view and perform experiments and investigations that help explain animal traits and habits. The ancestors of reptiles date back to the dinosaurs. After the dinosaurs died out, it was one of the best-adapted species that survived and…

  13. Design and Management Criteria for Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Communities Within Created Agricultural Wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Design and management criteria for created agricultural wetlands in the midwestern United States typically focus on maximizing the ability to process agricultural runoff. Ecological benefits for fish, amphibian, and reptiles are often secondary considerations. One example of this water quality focu...

  14. Description of Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov., isolated from humans and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of 13 Campylobacter fetus-like isolates from humans (n=8) and reptiles (n=5). Phenotypic characterization, Genusgenus-specific and sap insertion-PCR initially identified all human isolates as type A Campylobacter fetus. Phylogenet...

  15. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles.

  16. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Mojave National Preserve: Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Mojave National Preserve in 2004-2005. Objectives for this inventory were to use fieldwork, museum collections, and literature review to document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at MOJA. Our goals were to document at least 90% of the species present, provide one voucher specimen for each species identified, provide GIS-referenced distribution information for sensitive species, and provide all deliverables, including NPSpecies entries, as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys and nighttime road driving. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 31 species during our surveys. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we found records for seven additional species from MOJA, elevating the documented species list to 38 (two amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 95% for Mojave National Preserve herpetofauna; 67% for amphibians and 97% for reptiles.

  17. Energy, water and large-scale patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Belmontes, Juan Alfonso; Hawkins, Bradford A.

    2005-07-01

    We used regression analyses to examine the relationships between reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe and 11 environmental variables related to five hypotheses for geographical patterns of species richness: (1) productivity; (2) ambient energy; (3) water-energy balance, (4) habitat heterogeneity; and (5) climatic variability. For reptiles, annual potential evapotranspiration (PET), a measure of the amount of atmospheric energy, explained 71% of the variance, with variability in log elevation explaining an additional 6%. For amphibians, annual actual evapotranspiration (AET), a measure of the joint availability of energy and water in the environment, and the global vegetation index, an estimate of plant biomass generated through satellite remote sensing, both described similar proportions of the variance (61% and 60%, respectively) and had partially independent effects on richness as indicated by multiple regression. The two-factor environmental models successfully removed most of the statistically detectable spatial autocorrelation in the richness data of both groups. Our results are consistent with reptile and amphibian environmental requirements, where the former depend strongly on solar energy and the latter require both warmth and moisture for reproduction. We conclude that ambient energy explains the reptile richness pattern, whereas for amphibians a combination of water-energy balance and productivity best explain the pattern.

  18. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles. PMID:24452285

  19. Framework for assessment and monitoring of amphibians and reptiles in the Lower Urubamba region, Peru.

    PubMed

    Icochea, Javier; Quispitupac, Eliana; Portilla, Alfredo; Ponce, Elias

    2002-05-01

    Populations of amphibians and reptiles are experiencing new or increasing threats to their survival. Many of these threats are directly attributable to human activity and resource development. This presents the increasing need for worldwide amphibian and reptile assessments and effective, standardized monitoring protocols. Adaptive management techniques can assist managers in identifying and mitigating threats to amphibian and reptile populations. In 1996, Shell Prospecting and Development, Peru initiated a natural gas exploration project in the rainforest of southeastern Peru. The Smithsonian Institution's Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program worked closely with Shell engineers and managers to establish an adaptive management program to protect the region's biodiversity. In this manuscript, we discuss the steps we took to establish an adaptive management program for amphibian and reptile communities in the region. We define and outline the conceptual issues involved in establishing an assessment and monitoring program, including setting objectives, evaluating the results and making appropriate decisions. We also provide results from the assessment and discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of protocols and criteria used for selecting species to monitor. PMID:12125750

  20. Reptiles from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Jivanildo Pinheiro; Costa, João Carlos Lopes; Rocha, Carlos Frederico D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We are presenting a list of the reptile species from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (LMNP), Maranhão, Brazil, obtained during 235 days of field work. The study area is located in the contact zone between three major Neotropical ecosystems: Amazonia, Caatinga, and Cerrado. The PNLM encompasses the largest dune fields in Brazil, wide shrubby areas (restingas), lakes, mangroves, and many freshwater lagoons. We have recorded 42 species of reptiles in the area: 24 snakes, 12 lizards, two worm lizards, three turtles, and one alligator. About 81 % of the recorded species occurred only in restinga areas. Our data highlights the uniqueness of the PNLM in the context of the biomes that surround it and shows the importance of efforts to improve the conservation of reptiles living in the restinga, which currently comprise only about 20 % of the total area protected by the park, but which are the mesohabitat containing most of the reptile species in the Lençóis Maranhenses complex of habitats. PMID:23275751

  1. Alternative Conceptions in Animal Classification Focusing on Amphibians and Reptiles: A Cross-Age Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yen, Chiung-Fen; Yao, Tsung-Wei; Chiu, Yu-Chih

    2004-01-01

    This study examined students' alternative conceptions of reptiles and amphibians and the extent to which these conceptions remain intact through the elementary (grades 4 and 6), junior, and senior high school years. We administered multiple-choice and free-response instruments to a total of 513 students and interviewed at least 20 students at each…

  2. Fatty acid analyses may provide insight into the progression of starvation among squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D

    2008-10-01

    Fasting-induced changes in fatty acid composition have been reported to occur within the body lipids of several types of animals; however, little is known about the changes in fatty acid profiles exhibited by reptiles subjected to prolonged fasting. This study characterizes the fatty acid profiles of six reptile species subjected to sublethal periods of fasting lasting 0, 56, 112, and 168 days. Analyses of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) conducted on the total body lipids of rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta), pythons (Python regius), boas (Boa constrictor), true vipers (Bitis gabonica), and monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus) revealed that all of the species exhibited similar characteristic changes in their fatty acid profiles during starvation stress. According to ANOVAs, the four most effective indicators of the onset of starvation were significant increases in the [1] fatty acid unsaturation index as well as ratios of [2] linoleic to palmitoleic acid, [3] oleic to palmitic, and [4] arachidonic to total fatty acid concentrations. The results of this study suggest that FAME analyses might be useful for identifying nutritional stress and/or starvation among squamate reptiles; however, forthcoming studies will be required to validate the generality of these responses. I also review the potential limitations of this approach, and suggest experiments that will be important for future applications of FAME analyses. Ultimately, it is hoped that FAME analyses can be used in conjunction with current practices as an additional tool to characterize the prevalence of starvation experienced by free-living reptiles. PMID:18657629

  3. Considering native and exotic terrestrial reptiles in island invasive species eradication programmes in the Tropical Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Richard N.

    2010-01-01

    Most island restoration projects with reptiles, either as direct beneficiaries of conservation or as indicators of recovery responses, have been on temperate or xeric islands. There have been decades of research, particularly on temperate islands in New Zealand, on the responses of native reptiles to mammal eradications but very few studies in tropical insular systems. Recent increases in restoration projects involving feral mammal eradications in the tropical Pacific have led to several specific challenges related to native and invasive reptiles. This paper reviews these challenges and discusses some potential solutions to them. The first challenge is that the tropical Pacific herpetofauna is still being discovered, described and understood. There is thus incomplete knowledge of how eradication activities may affect these faunas and the potential risks facing critical populations of these species from these eradication actions. The long term benefit of the removal of invasives is beneficial, but the possible short term impacts to small populations on small islands might be significant. The second challenge is that protocols for monitoring the responses of these species are not well documented but are often different from those used in temperate or xeric habitats. Lizard monitoring techniques used in the tropical Pacific are discussed. The third challenge involves invasive reptiles already in the tropical Pacific, some of which could easily spread accidentally through eradication and monitoring operations. The species posing the greatest threats in this respect are reviewed, and recommendations for biosecurity concerning these taxa are made.

  4. Diagnosis of gastrointestinal parasites in reptiles: comparison of two coprological methods

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Exotic reptiles have become increasingly common domestic pets worldwide and are well known to be carriers of different parasites including some with zoonotic potential. The need of accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal endoparasite infections in domestic reptiles is therefore essential, not only for the well-being of captive reptiles but also for the owners. Here, two different approaches for the detection of parasite stages in reptile faeces were compared: a combination of native and iodine stained direct smears together with a flotation technique (CNF) versus the standard SAF-method. Results A total of 59 different reptile faeces (20 lizards, 22 snakes, 17 tortoises) were coprologically analyzed by the two methods for the presence of endoparasites. Analyzed reptile faecal samples contained a broad spectrum of parasites (total occurence 93.2%, n = 55) including different species of nematodes (55.9%, n = 33), trematodes (15.3%, n = 9), pentastomids (3.4%, n = 2) and protozoans (47.5%, n = 28). Associations between the performances of both methods to detect selected single parasite stages or groups of such were evaluated by Fisher's exact test and marginal homogeneity was tested by the McNemar test. In 88.1% of all examined samples (n = 52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 77.1 - 95.1%) the two diagnostic methods rendered differing results, and the McNemar test for paired observations showed highly significant differences of the detection frequency (P < 0.0001). Conclusion The combination of direct smears/flotation proved superior in the detection of flagellates trophozoites, coccidian oocysts and nematode eggs, especially those of oxyurids. SAF-technique was superior in detecting larval stages and trematode eggs, but this advantage failed to be statistically significant (P = 0.13). Therefore, CNF is the recommended method for routine faecal examination of captive reptiles while the SAF-technique is advisable as

  5. Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, D G; Kelly, L T; Spence-Bailey, L M; Watson, S J; Taylor, R S; Clarke, M F; Bennett, A F

    2013-04-01

    Fire influences the distribution of fauna in terrestrial biomes throughout the world. Use of fire to achieve a mosaic of vegetation in different stages of succession after burning (i.e., patch-mosaic burning) is a dominant conservation practice in many regions. Despite this, knowledge of how the spatial attributes of vegetation mosaics created by fire affect fauna is extremely scarce, and it is unclear what kind of mosaic land managers should aim to achieve. We selected 28 landscapes (each 12.6 km(2) ) that varied in the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation succession after fire in a 104,000 km(2) area in the semiarid region of southeastern Australia. We surveyed for reptiles at 280 sites nested within the 28 landscapes. The landscape-level occurrence of 9 of the 22 species modeled was associated with the spatial extent of vegetation age classes created by fire. Biogeographic context and the extent of a vegetation type influenced 7 and 4 species, respectively. No species were associated with the diversity of vegetation ages within a landscape. Negative relations between reptile occurrence and both extent of recently burned vegetation (≤10 years postfire, n = 6) and long unburned vegetation (>35 years postfire, n = 4) suggested that a coarse-grained mosaic of areas (e.g. >1000 ha) of midsuccessional vegetation (11-35 years postfire) may support the fire-sensitive reptile species we modeled. This age class coincides with a peak in spinifex cover, a keystone structure for reptiles in semiarid and arid Australia. Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation. PMID:23163245

  6. Eaten Out of House and Home: Impacts of Grazing on Ground-Dwelling Reptiles in Australian Grasslands and Grassy Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J.; Manning, Adrian D.; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  7. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  8. Identifying bird and reptile vulnerabilities to climate change in the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Nowak, Erika M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Ironside, Kirsten E.; Van Riper, Charles, III; Peters, Michael; Truettner, Charles; Cole, Kenneth L.

    2016-01-01

    Current and future breeding ranges of 15 bird and 16 reptile species were modeled in the Southwestern United States. Rather than taking a broad-scale, vulnerability-assessment approach, we created a species distribution model (SDM) for each focal species incorporating climatic, landscape, and plant variables. Baseline climate (1940–2009) was characterized with Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data and future climate with global-circulation-model data under an A1B emission scenario. Climatic variables included monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation; landscape variables included terrain ruggedness, soil type, and insolation; and plant variables included trees and shrubs commonly associated with a focal species. Not all species-distribution models contained a plant, but if they did, we included a built-in annual migration rate for more accurate plant-range projections in 2039 or 2099. We conducted a group meta-analysis to (1) determine how influential each variable class was when averaged across all species distribution models (birds or reptiles), and (2) identify the correlation among contemporary (2009) habitat fragmentation and biological attributes and future range projections (2039 or 2099). Projected changes in bird and reptile ranges varied widely among species, with one-third of the ranges predicted to expand and two-thirds predicted to contract. A group meta-analysis indicated that climatic variables were the most influential variable class when averaged across all models for both groups, followed by landscape and plant variables (birds), or plant and landscape variables (reptiles), respectively. The second part of the meta-analysis indicated that numerous contemporary habitat-fragmentation (for example, patch isolation) and biological-attribute (for example, clutch size, longevity) variables were significantly correlated with the magnitude of projected range changes for birds and reptiles. Patch isolation was

  9. Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Santos, Xavier; Badiane, Arnaud; Matos, Cátia

    2016-01-01

    Changes in habitat structure constitute a major factor explaining responses of reptiles to fire. However, few studies have examined habitat factors that covary with fire-history variables to explain reptile responses. We hypothesise that more complex habitats should support richer reptile communities, and that species-specific relative abundance should be related to particular habitat features. From spring 2012-2014, twenty-five transects were surveyed in the Albera Region (north-east Iberia). The vegetation structure was measured and the extent of habitat types in a 1000-m buffer around each transect calculated. Reptile-community metrics (species richness and reptile abundance) were related to fire history, vegetation structure, and habitat types, using generalized additive models. These metrics correlated with habitat-structure variables but not with fire history. The number of species increased with more complex habitats but decreased with pine-plantation abundance in the 1000-m buffer. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1-2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat-accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire. PMID:26408003

  10. Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, Robert R.; Scott, Diane M.; Pynn, Bruce R.; Modesto, Sean P.

    2011-06-01

    We report on dental and mandibular pathology in Labidosaurus hamatus, a 275 million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America and associate it with bacterial infection in an organism that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement. Analysis of the surface and internal mandibular structure using mechanical and CT-scanning techniques permits the reconstruction of events that led to the pathology and the possible death of the individual. The infection probably occurred as a result of prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity to oral bacteria, and this exposure was caused by injury to the tooth in an animal that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement cycles. In these early reptiles, the reduction in tooth replacement is an evolutionary innovation associated with strong implantation and increased oral processing. The dental abscess observed in L. hamatus, the oldest known infection in a terrestrial vertebrate, provides clear evidence of the ancient association between terrestrial vertebrates and their oral bacteria.

  11. Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Neil; Jones, M E H; Evans, S E; O'Higgins, P; Fagan, M J

    2013-09-01

    The skull is composed of many bones that come together at sutures. These sutures are important sites of growth, and as growth ceases some become fused while others remain patent. Their mechanical behaviour and how they interact with changing form and loadings to ensure balanced craniofacial development is still poorly understood. Early suture fusion often leads to disfiguring syndromes, thus is it imperative that we understand the function of sutures more clearly. By applying advanced engineering modelling techniques, we reveal for the first time that patent sutures generate a more widely distributed, high level of strain throughout the reptile skull. Without patent sutures, large regions of the skull are only subjected to infrequent low-level strains that could weaken the bone and result in abnormal development. Sutures are therefore not only sites of bone growth, but could also be essential for the modulation of strains necessary for normal growth and development in reptiles. PMID:23804444

  12. European origin of placodont marine reptiles and the evolution of crushing dentition in Placodontia.

    PubMed

    Neenan, James M; Klein, Nicole; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2013-01-01

    Sauropterygia was the most successful marine reptile radiation in history, spanning almost the entire Mesozoic and exploiting a wide range of habitats and ecological niches. Here we report a new, exceptionally preserved skull of a juvenile stem placodont from the early Middle Triassic of the Netherlands, thus indicating a western Tethyan (European) origin for Placodontia, the most basal group of sauropterygians. A single row of teeth on an enlarged palatine supports this close relationship, although these are small and pointed instead of broad and flat, as is the case in placodonts, which demonstrate the strongest adaptation to a durophagous diet known in any reptile. Peg-like, slightly procumbent premaxillary teeth and an 'L-shaped' jugal also confirm a close relationship to basal placodonts. The new taxon provides insight into the evolution of placodont dentition, representing a transitional morphology between the plesiomorphic diapsid condition of palatal denticles and the specialized crushing teeth of placodonts. PMID:23535642

  13. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  14. Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Neil; Jones, M. E. H.; Evans, S. E.; O'Higgins, P.; Fagan, M. J.

    2013-01-01

    The skull is composed of many bones that come together at sutures. These sutures are important sites of growth, and as growth ceases some become fused while others remain patent. Their mechanical behaviour and how they interact with changing form and loadings to ensure balanced craniofacial development is still poorly understood. Early suture fusion often leads to disfiguring syndromes, thus is it imperative that we understand the function of sutures more clearly. By applying advanced engineering modelling techniques, we reveal for the first time that patent sutures generate a more widely distributed, high level of strain throughout the reptile skull. Without patent sutures, large regions of the skull are only subjected to infrequent low-level strains that could weaken the bone and result in abnormal development. Sutures are therefore not only sites of bone growth, but could also be essential for the modulation of strains necessary for normal growth and development in reptiles. PMID:23804444

  15. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.; Hillard, Scott

    2006-01-01

    We conducted a baseline inventory for amphibians and reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site (MANZ), Inyo County, California, in 2002-3. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species at MANZ, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) provide one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are known to be federally- or state-listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur at MANZ; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Survey methods included time-area constrained searches, lizard line transects, general surveys, nighttime road driving, and pitfall trapping. We documented the occurrence of ten reptile species (seven lizards and three snakes), but found no amphibians. Based on our findings, as well as literature review and searches for museum specimen records, we estimate inventory completeness for Manzanar to be 50%. Although the distribution and relative abundance of common lizard species is now known well enough to begin development of a monitoring protocol for that group, additional inventory work is needed in order to establish a baseline of species occurrence of amphibians and snakes at Manzanar. Key Words: amphibians, reptiles, Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo County, California, Owens Valley, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory.

  16. Burning in Banksia Woodlands: How Does the Fire-Free Period Influence Reptile Communities?

    PubMed Central

    Valentine, Leonie E.; Reaveley, Alice; Johnson, Brent; Fisher, Rebecca; Wilson, Barbara A.

    2012-01-01

    Fire is an important management tool for both hazard reduction burning and maintenance of biodiversity. The impact of time since last fire on fauna is an important factor to understand as land managers often aim for prescribed burning regimes with specific fire-free intervals. However, our current understanding of the impact of time since last fire on fauna is largely unknown and likely dependent on vegetation type. We examined the responses of reptiles to fire age in banksia woodlands, and the interspersed melaleuca damplands among them, north of Perth, Western Australia, where the current prescribed burning regime is targeting a fire-free period of 8–12 years. The response of reptiles to fire was dependent on vegetation type. Reptiles were generally more abundant (e.g. Lerista elegans and Ctenophorus adelaidensis) and specious in banksia sites. Several species (e.g. Menetia greyii, Cryptoblepharus buchananii) preferred long unburnt melaleuca sites (>16 years since last fire, YSLF) compared to recently burnt sites (<12 YSLF). Several of the small elapids (e.g. the WA priority listed species Neelaps calonotus) were only detected in older-aged banksia sites (>16 YSLF). The terrestrial dragon C. adelaidensis and the skink Morethia obscura displayed a strong response to fire in banksia woodlands only. Highest abundances of the dragon were detected in the recently burnt (<7 YSLF) and long unburnt (>35 YSLF) banksia woodlands, while the skink was more abundant in older sites. Habitats from a range of fire ages are required to support the reptiles we detected, especially the longer unburnt (>16 YSLF) melaleuca habitat. Current burning prescriptions are reducing the availability of these older habitats. PMID:22496806

  17. [Neonatal infection with Salmonella apapa after contact with a reptile in the home].

    PubMed

    Haase, R; Beier, T; Bernstädt, M; Merkel, N; Bartnicki, J

    2011-04-01

    Salmonella apapa is transmitted by reptiles, e.g., bearded dragons. To date only few cases of S. apapa-related human infections have been reported. Because the bacteria are transmitted through the feces of animals or direct contact with low infection doses, infection in early infancy is possible. We report an 18-day-old newborn with sepsis caused by Salmonella apapa. Salmonella apapa was isolated from the feces of a bearded dragon living along with the family. PMID:21541908

  18. Pathogenicity in six Australian reptile species following experimental inoculation with Bohle iridovirus.

    PubMed

    Ariel, E; Wirth, W; Burgess, G; Scott, J; Owens, L

    2015-08-20

    Ranaviruses are able to infect multiple species of fish, amphibian and reptile, and some strains are capable of interclass transmission. These numerous potential carriers and reservoir species compound efforts to control and contain infections in cultured and wild populations, and a comprehensive knowledge of susceptible species and life stage is necessary to inform such processes. Here we report on the challenge of 6 water-associated reptiles with Bohle iridovirus (BIV) to investigate its potential pathogenicity in common native reptiles of the aquatic and riparian fauna of northern Queensland, Australia. Adult tortoises Elseya latisternum and Emydura krefftii, snakes Boiga irregularis, Dendrelaphis punctulatus and Amphiesma mairii, and yearling crocodiles Crocodylus johnstoni were exposed via intracoelomic inoculation or co-habitation with infected con-specifics, but none were adversely affected by the challenge conditions applied here. Bohle iridovirus was found to be extremely virulent in hatchling tortoises E. latisternum and E. krefftii via intracoelomic challenge, as demonstrated by distinct lesions in multiple organs associated with specific immunohistochemistry staining and a lethal outcome (10/17) of the challenge. Virus was re-isolated from 2/5 E. latisternum, 4/12 E. krefftii and 1/3 brown tree snakes B. irregularis. Focal necrosis, haemorrhage and infiltration of granulocytes were frequently observed histologically in the pancreas, liver and sub-mucosa of the intestine of challenged tortoise hatchlings. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of ranavirus antigens in the necrotic lesions and in individual cells of the vascular endothelium, the connective tissue and in granulocytes associated with necrosis or present along serosal surfaces. The outcome of this study confirms hatchling tortoises are susceptible to BIV, thereby adding Australian reptiles to the host range of ranaviruses. Additionally, given that BIV was originally isolated from an

  19. In situ cardiac perfusion reveals interspecific variation of intraventricular flow separation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Joyce, William; Axelsson, Michael; Altimiras, Jordi; Wang, Tobias

    2016-07-15

    The ventricles of non-crocodilian reptiles are incompletely divided and provide an opportunity for mixing of oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood (intracardiac shunting). However, both cardiac morphology and in vivo shunting patterns exhibit considerable interspecific variation within reptiles. In the present study, we develop an in situ double-perfused heart approach to characterise the propensity and capacity for shunting in five reptile species: the turtle Trachemys scripta, the rock python Python sebae, the yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus, the varanid lizard Varanus exanthematicus and the bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps To simulate changes in vascular bed resistance, pulmonary and systemic afterloads were independently manipulated and changes in blood flow distribution amongst the central outflow tracts were monitored. As previously demonstrated in Burmese pythons, rock pythons and varanid lizards exhibited pronounced intraventricular flow separation. As pulmonary or systemic afterload was raised, flow in the respective circulation decreased. However, flow in the other circulation, where afterload was constant, remained stable. This correlates with the convergent evolution of intraventricular pressure separation and the large intraventricular muscular ridge, which compartmentalises the ventricle, in these species. Conversely, in the three other species, the pulmonary and systemic flows were strongly mutually dependent, such that the decrease in pulmonary flow in response to elevated pulmonary afterload resulted in redistribution of perfusate to the systemic circuit (and vice versa). Thus, in these species, the muscular ridge appeared labile and blood could readily transverse the intraventricular cava. We conclude that relatively minor structural differences between non-crocodilian reptiles result in the fundamental changes in cardiac function. Further, our study emphasises that functionally similar intracardiac flow separation evolved independently in

  20. Reptiles as Reservoirs of Bacterial Infections: Real Threat or Methodological Bias?

    PubMed

    Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial infections secondary to snakebites and human pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) have been linked to the oral microbiota of snakes and pet reptiles. Based on culture-dependent studies, it is speculated that snakes' oral microbiota reflects the fecal flora of their ingested preys. However, cultured-based techniques have been shown to be limited as they fail to identify unculturable microorganisms which represent the vast majority of the microbial diversity. Here, we used culture-independent high-throughput sequencing to identify reptile-associated pathogens and to characterize the oral microbial community of five snakes, one gecko, and two terrapins. Few potential human pathogens were detected at extremely low frequencies. Moreover, bacterial taxa represented in the snake's oral cavity bore little resemblance to their preys' fecal microbiota. Overall, we found distinct, highly diverse microbial communities with consistent, species-specific patterns contrary to previous culture-based studies. Our study does not support the widely held assumption that reptiles' oral cavity acts as pathogen reservoir and provides important insights for future research. PMID:25921519

  1. Reptile Embryos Lack the Opportunity to Thermoregulate by Moving within the Egg.

    PubMed

    Telemeco, Rory S; Gangloff, Eric J; Cordero, Gerardo A; Mitchell, Timothy S; Bodensteiner, Brooke L; Holden, Kaitlyn G; Mitchell, Sarah M; Polich, Rebecca L; Janzen, Fredric J

    2016-07-01

    Historically, egg-bound reptile embryos were thought to passively thermoconform to the nest environment. However, recent observations of thermal taxis by embryos of multiple reptile species have led to the widely discussed hypothesis that embryos behaviorally thermoregulate. Because temperature affects development, such thermoregulation could allow embryos to control their fate far more than historically assumed. We assessed the opportunity for embryos to behaviorally thermoregulate in nature by examining thermal gradients within natural nests and eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina; which displays embryonic thermal taxis) and by simulating thermal gradients within nests across a range of nest depths, egg sizes, and soil types. We observed little spatial thermal variation within nests, and thermal gradients were poorly transferred to eggs. Furthermore, thermal gradients sufficiently large and constant for behavioral thermoregulation were not predicted to occur in our simulations. Gradients of biologically relevant magnitude have limited global occurrence and reverse direction twice daily when they do exist, which is substantially faster than embryos can shift position within the egg. Our results imply that reptile embryos will rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to behaviorally thermoregulate by moving within the egg. We suggest that embryonic thermal taxis instead represents a play behavior, which may be adaptive or selectively neutral, and results from the mechanisms for behavioral thermoregulation in free-living stages coming online prior to hatching. PMID:27322129

  2. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  3. Sleep in amphibians and reptiles: a review and a preliminary analysis of evolutionary patterns.

    PubMed

    Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    Despite the ubiquitous nature of sleep, its functions remain a mystery. In an attempt to address this, many researchers have studied behavioural and electrophysiological phenomena associated with sleep in a diversity of animals. The great majority of vertebrates and invertebrates display a phase of immobility that could be considered as a sort of sleep. Terrestrial mammals and birds, both homeotherms, show two sleep states with distinct behavioural and electrophysiological features. However, whether these features have evolved independently in each clade or were inherited from a common ancestor remains unknown. Unfortunately, amphibians and reptiles, key taxa in understanding the evolution of sleep given their position at the base of the tetrapod and amniote tree, respectively, remain poorly studied in the context of sleep. This review presents an overview of what is known about sleep in amphibians and reptiles and uses the existing data to provide a preliminary analysis of the evolution of behavioural and electrophysiological features of sleep in amphibians and reptiles. We also discuss the problems associated with analysing existing data, as well as the difficulty in inferring homologies of sleep stages based on limited data in the context of an essentially mammalian-centric definition of sleep. Finally, we highlight the importance of developing comparative approaches to sleep research that may benefit from the great diversity of species with different ecologies and morphologies in order to understand the evolution and functions of sleep. PMID:26031314

  4. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  5. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  6. The importance of defining focal assemblages when evaluating amphibian and reptile responses to land use.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle E; Nowakowski, A Justin; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2016-04-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are primary threats to amphibians and reptiles, but the relative effects of common land uses on assemblages and the mechanisms that underlie faunal responses are poorly studied. We reviewed the effects of four prevalent types of habitat alteration (urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, and silviculture) on amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance by summarizing reported responses in the literature and by estimating effect sizes across studies for species richness in each land-use type. We then used a multinomial model to classify species as natural habitat specialists, generalists, and disturbed habitat specialists and examined variation in effect sizes for each land-use type according to habitat specialization categories. There were mixed conclusions from individual studies, some reporting negative, neutral, or positive effects of land use on species richness and total abundance. A large proportion of studies reported species-specific effects of individual species abundance. However, in our analysis of effect sizes, we found a general trend of negative effects of land use on species richness. We also demonstrate that habitat associations of common species and species turnover can explain variation in the effect of land use on herpetofauna. Our review highlights the pervasive negative effects of common land uses on amphibians and reptiles, the importance of identifying groups vulnerable to land-use change (e.g., forest-associated species) in conservation studies, and the potential influence of disturbance-associated species on whole assemblage analyses. PMID:26416506

  7. Morbidity and mortality of reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1991 to 2000.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2002-10-01

    Medical records from 694 reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV; Waynesboro, Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were reviewed to determine causes of morbidity and mortality. Eighteen species were represented but the majority of cases were four species; eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) (66%), eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) (11%), common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) (10%), and rat snake (Elaphe sp.) (6%). There was a significant increase in reptile cases during the study period both in absolute number and in proportion to the total caseload. Trauma (74%) was the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality followed by unknown or undetermined (13%), aural abscessation (7%), infectious diseases (2%), and one nutritional disorder (0.1%). In addition, 3% of the cases were healthy animals that had been removed from the wild and consequently brought to the WCV. Causes of morbidity and mortality differed between the four most numerous species. Impact with a motor vehicle was the most frequent cause of trauma for eastern box turtles, eastern painted turtles, and common snapping turtles; however, garden-equipment-related trauma was the most frequent cause for rat snakes. Aural abscessation was only seen in eastern box turtles. Eighty percent of cases occurred between May and September and 65% occurred within the five counties closest to the WCV. The majority of morbidity and mortality was the result of human activities. The expanding human population in Virginia likely will continue to have an impact on the health of wild reptiles. PMID:12528435

  8. Evolution and Function of the Insulin and Insulin-like Signaling Network in Ectothermic Reptiles: Some Answers and More Questions.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2016-08-01

    The insulin and insulin-like signaling (IIS) molecular network regulates cellular growth and division, and influences organismal metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, and lifespan. As a group, reptiles have incredible diversity in the complex life history traits that have been associated with the IIS network, yet the research on the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles is sparse. Here, we review the IIS network and synthesize what is known about the function and evolution of the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles. The primary hormones of this network-the insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGFs) likely function in reproduction in ectothermic reptiles, but the precise mechanisms are unclear, and likely range from influencing mating and ovulation to maternal investment in embryonic development. In general, plasma levels of IGF1 increase with food intake in ectothermic reptiles, but the magnitude of the response to food varies across species or populations and the ages of animals. Long-term temperature treatments as well as thermal stress can alter expression of genes within the IIS network. Although relatively little work has been done on IGF2 in ectothermic reptiles, IGF2 is consistently expressed at higher levels than IGF1 in juvenile ectothermic reptiles. Furthermore, in contrast to mammals that have genetic imprinting that silences the maternal IGF2 allele, in reptiles IGF2 is bi-allelically expressed (based on findings in chickens, a snake, and a lizard). Evolutionary analyses indicate some members of the IIS network are rapidly evolving across reptile species, including IGF1, insulin (INS), and their receptors. In particular, IGF1 displays extensive nucleotide variation across lizards and snakes, which suggests that its functional role may vary across this group. In addition, genetic variation across families and populations in the response of the IIS network to environmental conditions illustrates that components of this network may be evolving in

  9. Improving reptile ecological risk assessment: oral and dermal toxicity of pesticides to a common lizard species (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Yu, Shuangying; Talent, Larry G; Maul, Jonathan D; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Reptiles have been understudied in ecotoxicology, which limits consideration in ecological risk assessments. The goals of the present study were 3-fold: to improve oral and dermal dosing methodologies for reptiles, to generate reptile toxicity data for pesticides, and to correlate reptile and avian toxicity. The authors first assessed the toxicity of different dosing vehicles: 100 μL of water, propylene glycol, and acetone were not toxic. The authors then assessed the oral and dermal toxicity of 4 pesticides following the up-and-down procedure. Neither brodifacoum nor chlorothalonil caused mortality at doses ≤ 1750 μg/g. Under the "neat pesticide" oral exposure, endosulfan (median lethal dose [LD50] = 9.8 μg/g) was more toxic than λ-cyhalothrin (LD50 = 916.5 μg/g). Neither chemical was toxic via dermal exposure. An acetone dosing vehicle increased λ-cyhalothrin toxicity (oral LD50 = 9.8 μg/g; dermal LD50 = 17.5 μg/g), but not endosulfan. Finally, changes in dosing method and husbandry significantly increased dermal λ-cyhalothrin LD50s, which highlights the importance of standardized methods. The authors combined data from the present study with other reptile LD50s to correlate with available avian data. When only definitive LD50s were used in the analysis, a strong correlation was found between avian and reptile toxicity. The results suggest it is possible to build predictive relationships between avian and reptile LD50s. More research is needed, however, to understand trends associated with chemical classes and modes of action. PMID:25760295

  10. Increase in reptile-associated human salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, the Netherlands, 1985 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mughini-Gras, Lapo; Heck, Max; van Pelt, Wilfrid

    2016-08-25

    While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited. We quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3-2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles. The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually. We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile-human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners. PMID:27589037

  11. On an open question of V. Colao and G. Marino presented in the paper "Krasnoselskii-Mann method for non-self mappings".

    PubMed

    Guo, Meifang; Li, Xia; Su, Yongfu

    2016-01-01

    Let H be a Hilbert space and let C be a closed convex nonempty subset of H and [Formula: see text] a non-self nonexpansive mapping. A map [Formula: see text] defined by [Formula: see text]. Then, for a fixed [Formula: see text] and for [Formula: see text], Krasnoselskii-Mann algorithm is defined by [Formula: see text] where [Formula: see text]. Recently, Colao and Marino (Fixed Point Theory Appl 2015:39, 2015) have proved both weak and strong convergence theorems when C is a strictly convex set and T is an inward mapping. Meanwhile, they proposed a open question for a countable family of non-self nonexpansive mappings. In this article, authors will give an answer and will prove the further generalized results with the examples to support them. PMID:27563523

  12. Combined effects of climatic gradient and domestic livestock grazing on reptile community structure in a heterogeneous agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rotem, Guy; Gavish, Yoni; Shacham, Boaz; Giladi, Itamar; Bouskila, Amos; Ziv, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    Grazing plays an important role in shaping ecological communities in human-related ecosystems. Although myriad studies have explored the joint effect of grazing and climate on plant communities, this interactive effect has rarely been studied in animals. We hypothesized that the effect of grazing on the reptile community varies along a climatic gradient in relation to the effect of grazing on habitat characteristics, and that grazing differentially affects reptiles of different biogeographic regions. We tested our hypotheses by collecting data on environmental characteristics and by trapping reptiles in four heterogeneous landscapes experiencing differing grazing intensities and distributed along a sharp climatic gradient. We found that while reptile diversity increased with grazing intensity at the mesic end of the gradient, it decreased with grazing intensity at the arid end. Moreover, the proportion of reptile species of differing biogeographic origins varied with the interactive effect of climate and grazing. The representation of species originating in arid biogeographic zones was highest at the arid end of the climatic gradient, and representation increased with grazing intensity within this area. Regardless of the climatic context, increased grazing pressure results in a reduction in vegetation cover and thus in changes in habitat characteristics. By reducing vegetation cover, grazing increased habitat heterogeneity in the dense mesic sites and decreased habitat heterogeneity in the arid sites. Thus, our results suggest that the same direction of habitat alteration caused by grazing may have opposite effects on biodiversity and community composition in different climatic contexts. PMID:26350785

  13. Amphibian and reptile community response to coarse woody debris manipulations in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests.

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, Audrey, K.; Moseley, Kurtis, R.; McCay, Timothy, S.; Castleberry, Steven, B .; Kilgo, John, C.; Ford, W., Mark

    2008-07-01

    Coarse woody debris (CWD) has been identified as a key microhabitat component for groups that are moisture and temperature sensitive such as amphibians and reptiles. However, few experimental manipulations have quantitatively assessed amphibian and reptile response to varying CWD volumes within forested environments. We assessed amphibian and reptile response to large-scale, CWD manipulation within managed loblolly pine stands in the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States from 1998 to 2005. Our study consisted of two treatment phases: Phase I treatments included downed CWD removal (removal of all downed CWD), all CWD removal (removal of all downed and standing CWD), pre-treatment snag, and control; Phase II treatments included downed CWD addition (downed CWD volume increased 5-fold), snag addition (standing CWD volume increased 10-fold), all CWD removal (all CWD removed), and control. Amphibian and anuran capture rates were greater in control than all CWD removal plots during study Phase I. In Phase II, reptile diversity and richness were greater in downed CWD addition and all CWD removal than snag addition treatments. Capture rate of Rana sphenocephala was greater in all CWD removal treatment than downed CWD addition treatment. The dominant amphibian and snake species captured are adapted to burrowing in sandy soil or taking refuge under leaf litter. Amphibian and reptile species endemic to upland southeastern Coastal Plain pine forests may not have evolved to rely on CWD because the humid climate and short fire return interval have resulted in historically low volumes of CWD.

  14. Absence of detectable Salmonella cloacal shedding in free-living reptiles on admission to the wildlife center of Virginia.

    PubMed

    Richards, Jean M; Brown, Justin D; Kelly, Terra R; Fountain, Andrea L; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-12-01

    Salmonellosis is an important reptile-associated zoonotic infection in the United States. Cloacal swabs were collected from reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, Virginia, cultured for Salmonella using Hektoen and xylose lysine deoxycholate agars, and inoculated in selenite broth. All three were incubated at 37 degrees C for 18-24 hr. Seventy-five animals were included in the study, representing eight species, 34 eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), 14 eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta picta), 14 snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), 6 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), 2 redbelly turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris), 2 yellowbelly sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta), 2 eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and 1 eastern river cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna). All cultures were negative for Salmonella spp., which is in contrast to the high prevalence of Salmonella cloacal shedding reported in captive reptiles but similar to previous reports in free-living North American reptiles. We recommend, nonetheless, practicing proper hygiene methods when handling and housing all reptiles. PMID:15732603

  15. Projecting climate effects on birds and reptiles of the Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Riper, Charles, III; Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Mattson, David; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Nowak, Erika M.; Ironside, Kirsten; Peters, Michael; Heinrich, Paul; Cole, K.L.; Truettner, C.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    We modeled the current and future breeding ranges of seven bird and five reptile species in the Southwestern United States with sets of landscape, biotic (plant), and climatic global circulation model (GCM) variables. For modeling purposes, we used PRISM data to characterize the climate of the Western United States between 1980 and 2009 (baseline for birds) and between 1940 and 2009 (baseline for reptiles). In contrast, we used a pre-selected set of GCMs that are known to be good predictors of southwestern climate (five individual and one ensemble GCM), for the A1B emission scenario, to characterize future climatic conditions in three time periods (2010–39; 2040–69; and, 2070–99). Our modeling approach relied on conceptual models for each target species to inform selection of candidate explanatory variables and to interpret the ecological meaning of developed probabilistic distribution models. We employed logistic regression and maximum entropy modeling techniques to create a set of probabilistic models for each target species. We considered climatic, landscape, and plant variables when developing and testing our probabilistic models. Climatic variables included the maximum and minimum mean monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation for three time periods. Landscape features included terrain ruggedness and insolation. We also considered plant species distributions as candidate explanatory variables where prior ecological knowledge implicated a strong association between a plant and animal species. Projected changes in range varied widely among species, from major losses to major gains. Breeding bird ranges exhibited greater expansions and contractions than did reptile species. We project range losses for Williamson’s sapsucker and pygmy nuthatch of a magnitude that could move these two species close to extinction within the next century. Although both species currently have a relatively limited distribution, they can be locally common, and neither

  16. Biosynthesis of multiple forms of beta-endorphin in the reptile intermediate pituitary.

    PubMed

    Dores, R M; Surprenant, A

    1983-01-01

    Fractionation of the beta-endorphin-sized material from freshly dissected reptile intermediate pituitaries by ion exchange chromatography on sulfopropyl Sephadex (SP) revealed at least three distinct forms of immunoreactive beta-endorphin. These forms eluted at 0.25 M NaCl, 0.28 M NaCl, and 0.32 M NaCl and represent respectively, 6%, 65% and 29% of the total immunoreactivity. Only the 0.28 M NaCl peak and the 0.32 M NaCl peak exhibited naloxone reversible opiate bioactivity when tested in the isolated guinea pig ileum bioassay system; taking into account the molar amount of immunoreactive peptides the 0.32 M NaCl peak was 6 fold more potent than the 0.28 M NaCl peak. Intermediate pituitaries in culture were incubated with either [3H]tyrosine, [3H]arginine, or [35S]methionine for periods up to 24 hours and beta-endorphin-sized peptides were prepared by immunoprecipitation and gel filtration. Fractionation of the labeled beta-endorphin-sized peptides by ion exchange chromatography yielded profiles nearly identical to the immunoassay analyses of freshly dissected tissue. Further analysis of the major labeled forms of reptile beta-endorphin by chromatography on Sephadex G-50 equilibrated in 6 M guanidine HCl indicated that the 0.32 M NaCl peak had an apparent molecular weight of 3500 +/- 100 and the 0.28 M NaCl peak had an apparent molecular weight of 3200 +/- 100. Furthermore, pulse/chase experiments showed that the 0.32 M NaCl peak was the precursor for the 0.28 M NaCl peak. These results coupled with the relative opiate bioactivities of the major argue that the principal post-translational modification of reptile beta-endorphin is COOH-terminal proteolytic cleavage. PMID:6324141

  17. Assessing DNA Barcodes for Species Identification in North American Reptiles and Amphibians in Natural History Collections

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, E. Anne; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2016-01-01

    Background High rates of species discovery and loss have led to the urgent need for more rapid assessment of species diversity in the herpetofauna. DNA barcoding allows for the preliminary identification of species based on sequence divergence. Prior DNA barcoding work on reptiles and amphibians has revealed higher biodiversity counts than previously estimated due to cases of cryptic and undiscovered species. Past studies have provided DNA barcodes for just 14% of the North American herpetofauna, revealing the need for expanded coverage. Methodology/Principal Findings This study extends the DNA barcode reference library for North American herpetofauna, assesses the utility of this approach in aiding species delimitation, and examines the correspondence between current species boundaries and sequence clusters designated by the BIN system. Sequences were obtained from 730 specimens, representing 274 species (43%) from the North American herpetofauna. Mean intraspecific divergences were 1% and 3%, while average congeneric sequence divergences were 16% and 14% in amphibians and reptiles, respectively. BIN assignments corresponded with current species boundaries in 79% of amphibians, 100% of turtles, and 60% of squamates. Deep divergences (>2%) were noted in 35% of squamate and 16% of amphibian species, and low divergences (<2%) occurred in 12% of reptiles and 23% of amphibians, patterns reflected in BIN assignments. Sequence recovery declined with specimen age, and variation in recovery success was noted among collections. Within collections, barcodes effectively flagged seven mislabeled tissues, and barcode fragments were recovered from five formalin-fixed specimens. Conclusions/Significance This study demonstrates that DNA barcodes can effectively flag errors in museum collections, while BIN splits and merges reveal taxa belonging to deeply diverged or hybridizing lineages. This study is the first effort to compile a reference library of DNA barcodes for herpetofauna

  18. Helminths of reptiles from Komodo and Flores Islands, Indonesia, with descriptions of two new nematode species.

    PubMed

    Pinnell, J L; Schmidt, G D

    1977-04-01

    Helminths were examined from 12 different species of reptiles from Komodo and Flores Islands, Indonesia. Eight species of nematodes and 5 species of cestodes were identified. Spinicauda komodoensis sp. n. (Oxyurata) is characterized by a gubernaculum 295 micronm long. Trichoskrjabinia secundus sp. n. (Trichostrongylidae) differs from T. malayana (Baylis 1933) Travassos 1937, the only other species in the genus, by being shorter overall and having a shorter female esophagus and smaller eggs, spicules, and gubernaculum. Six new host records and 8 new geographical records are listed. PMID:870672

  19. Reptile and amphibian responses to large-scale wildfires in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rochester, C.J.; Brehme, C.S.; Clark, D.R.; Stokes, D.C.; Hathaway, S.A.; Fisher, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003, southern California experienced several large fires that burned thousands of hectares of wildlife habitats and conserved lands. To investigate the effects of these fires on the reptile and amphibian communities, we compared the results from prefire herpetofauna and vegetation sampling to two years of postfire sampling across 38 burned and 17 unburned plots. The sampling plots were spread over four vegetation types and four open space areas within San Diego County. Our capture results indicated that burned chaparral and coastal sage scrub plots lost herpetofaunal species diversity after the fires and displayed a significant shift in overall community structure. Shrub and tree cover at the burned plots, averaged across the second and third postfire years, had decreased by 53 in chaparral and 75 in coastal sage scrub. Additionally, postfire herpetofauna community structure at burned plots was more similar to that found in unburned grasslands. In grassland and woodland/riparian vegetation plots, where shrub and tree cover was not significantly affected by fires, we found no differences in the herpetofaunal species diversity or community composition. At the individual species level, Sceloporus occidentalis was the most abundant reptile in these areas both before and after the fires. We saw increases in the net capture rates for several lizard species, including Aspidoscelis tigris, Phrynosoma coronatum, and Uta stansburiana in burned chaparral plots and Aspidoscelis hyperythra and U. stansburiana in burned coastal sage scrub plots. The toad, Bufo boreas, was detected at significantly fewer burned plots in chaparral after the fires. Additionally, we documented decreases in the number of plots occupied by lizards (Elgaria multicarinata), salamanders (Batrachoseps major), and snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis getula, Pituophis catenifer, and Masticophis lateralis) in coastal sage scrub and chaparral after the fires. We discuss the individual species

  20. Reinvasion of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects on a reclaimed coal strip-mine

    SciTech Connect

    Ireland, T.T.; Schemnitz, S.D.; Wolters, G.L.

    1990-12-31

    We conducted wildlife and vegetation sampling on sites reclaimed in 1979, 1982, and 1986, as well as unmined sites, on The Pittsburgh & Midway (P&M) Coal Mining Co.`s McKinley Mine in McKinley County, New Mexico. In June, July, and August 1988 and 1989 we samples small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Soil and vegetation sampling was conducted in July and September 1988, respectively. We found several significant differences (P < 0.05) among plant and animal data that may have suggested differences between study sites. Recent reclamation procedures conducted or proposed by P&M promise increased wildlife value of reclaimed sites.

  1. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Reptiles and Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Hedley, Joanna

    2016-09-01

    A wide variety of disorders may be seen affecting the reptile and amphibian oral cavity. Owners can easily miss problems until they are at an advanced stage because of the difficulty of examining the oral cavity at home. Because many problems are secondary to an inappropriate environment or diet and may be related to systemic disease, a full history and clinical examination is always required. Treatment of oral disorders also requires a holistic approach including correction of any predisposing factors in order for long-term successful resolution of the problem. PMID:27497202

  2. Geochemical Methods of Inference the Thermoregulatory Strategies in Middle Triassic Marine Reptiles - A Pilot Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmik, Dawid; Pelc, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    The oxygen stable isotopes investigation to elucidate thermoregulatory strategies in Middle Triassic basal sauropterygians is currently ongoing at University of Silesia and University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska. The results of similar studies on Late Mesozoic marine reptiles indicate that some of fully aquatic reptiles like plesiosaurs or ichthyosaurs could be warm-blooded animals. Our investigation is an important part of the aim of the research project "The Marine and Terrestrial reptiles in the Middle Triassic environmental background of Southern Poland" to solve the thermoregulation issue in basal marine reptiles and show how, and when did homoiothermy evolve in Sauropterygia.. Homeothermy and gigantothermy were important physiological adaptations which allowed sauropterygian ancestors to leave the shores and conquer the open seas and oceans. Badania nad paleofizjologią kopalnych kręgowców ostatnimi laty stały się niezwykle modne. Polegają one na kompilacji danych uzyskanych wieloma komplementarnymi metodami z zakresu fizjologii (badania współczesnych form, zgodnie z zasadą aktualizmu) i geochemii izotopowej. Szczególnie interesujące stały się kwestie gospodarki termicznej u gadów kopalnych, które silnie dyskutowane są w kręgach badaczy dinozaurów (Reid, 1997; Ruben i in., 1996). Badania na izotopach stabilnych tlenu szkliwa zębowego przeprowadzone na obligatoryjnie morskich gadach okresu jurajskiego i kredowego (Bernard i in., 2010; zob. także Motani, 2010) wskazują, że ichtiozaury i plezjozaury późniejszego mezozoiku mogły być zwierzętami stałocieplnymi. Brak obecnie jednoznacznych danych dotyczących gospodarki termicznej bazalnych przedstawicieli gadów morskich z triasu, choć przyjmuje się, że te zamieszkujące nadbrzeżne i marginalne strefy mórz zwierzęta były gadami zmiennocieplnymi (pojkilotermicznymi), podobnie jak współczesny legwan morski, czy też smok z Komodo. Czy przejście z pojkilo- do homojotermii by

  3. Seasonal acclimatisation of muscle metabolic enzymes in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Guderley, Helga; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2003-04-01

    Reptiles living in heterogeneous thermal environments are often thought to show behavioural thermoregulation or to become inactive when environmental conditions prevent the achievement of preferred body temperatures. By contrast, thermally homogeneous environments preclude behavioural thermoregulation, and ectotherms inhabiting these environments (particularly fish in which branchial respiration requires body temperature to follow water temperature) modify their biochemical capacities in response to long-term seasonal temperature fluctuations. Reptiles may also be active at seasonally varying body temperatures and could, therefore, gain selective advantages from regulating biochemical capacities. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that a reptile (the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis) that experiences pronounced seasonal fluctuations in body temperature will show seasonal acclimatisation in the activity of its metabolic enzymes. We measured body temperatures of alligators in the wild in winter and summer (N=7 alligators in each season), and we collected muscle samples from wild alligators (N=31 in each season) for analysis of metabolic enzyme activity (lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase). There were significant differences in mean daily body temperatures between winter (15.66+/-0.43 degrees C; mean +/- S.E.M.) and summer (29.34+/-0.21 degrees C), and daily body temperatures fluctuated significantly more in winter compared with summer. Alligators compensated for lower winter temperatures by increasing enzyme activities, and the activities of cytochrome c oxidase and lactate dehydrogenase were significantly greater in winter compared with summer at all assay temperatures. The activity of citrate synthase was significantly greater in the winter samples at the winter body temperature (15 degrees C) but not at the summer body temperature (30 degrees C). The thermal sensitivity (Q(10)) of mitochondrial enzymes decreased

  4. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  5. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Maarten J.; Miller, William G.; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L.; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J.; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C. fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was performed. The genomes of C. fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C. fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C. fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus. Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C. fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C. fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  6. A predictive framework and review of the ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions on reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leigh J; Murray, Brad R

    2011-05-01

    The invasive spread of exotic plants in native vegetation can pose serious threats to native faunal assemblages. This is of particular concern for reptiles and amphibians because they form a significant component of the world's vertebrate fauna, play a pivotal role in ecosystem functioning and are often neglected in biodiversity research. A framework to predict how exotic plant invasion will affect reptile and amphibian assemblages is imperative for conservation, management and the identification of research priorities. Here, we present a new predictive framework that integrates three mechanistic models. These models are based on exotic plant invasion altering: (1) habitat structure; (2) herbivory and predator-prey interactions; (3) the reproductive success of reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. We present a series of testable predictions from these models that arise from the interplay over time among three exotic plant traits (growth form, area of coverage, taxonomic distinctiveness) and six traits of reptiles and amphibians (body size, lifespan, home range size, habitat specialisation, diet, reproductive strategy). A literature review provided robust empirical evidence of exotic plant impacts on reptiles and amphibians from each of the three model mechanisms. Evidence relating to the role of body size and diet was less clear-cut, indicating the need for further research. The literature provided limited empirical support for many of the other model predictions. This was not, however, because findings contradicted our model predictions but because research in this area is sparse. In particular, the small number of studies specifically examining the effects of exotic plants on amphibians highlights the pressing need for quantitative research in this area. There is enormous scope for detailed empirical investigation of interactions between exotic plants and reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. The framework presented here and further testing of

  7. Biodiversity and Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center: 1998 Close-Out Report to NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigel, Richard A.

    1999-01-01

    Since 1992, there have been researchers have been studying the population ecology and conservation biology of the amphibians and reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) This research is an outgrowth of my Master's work in the late 1970's under Lew Ehrhart at UCF. The primary emphasis of our studies are (1) examination of long-term changes in the abundance of amphibians and reptile populations, (2) occurrence and effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD) in gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), and (3) ecological studies of selected species.

  8. The monotreme genome: a patchwork of reptile, mammal and unique features?

    PubMed

    Grützner, Frank; Deakin, Janine; Rens, Willem; El-Mogharbel, Nisrine; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2003-12-01

    The first specimen of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) that reached Britain in the late 18th century was regarded a scientific hoax. Over decades the anatomical characteristics of these unique mammals, such as egg laying and the existence of mammary glands, were hotly debated before they were accepted. Within the last 40 years, more and more details of monotreme physiology, histology, reproduction and genetics have been revealed. Some show similarities with birds or reptiles, some with therian mammals, but many are very specific to monotremes. The genome is no exception to monotreme uniqueness. An early opinion was that the karyotype, composed of a few large chromosomes and many small ones, resembled bird and reptile macro- and micro-chromosomes. However, the platypus genome also features characteristics that are not present in other mammals, such as a complex translocation system. The sex chromosome system is still not resolved. Nothing is known about dosage compensation and, unlike in therian mammals, there seems to be no genomic imprinting. In this article we will recount the mysteries of the monotreme genome and describe how we are using recently developed technology to identify chromosomes in mitosis, meiosis and sperm, to map genes to chromosomes, to unravel the sex chromosome system and the translocation chain and investigate X inactivation and genomic imprinting in monotremes. PMID:14667850

  9. Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Bansal, Paramjit; Torres, Allan M; Wong, Emily S W; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Tina; Alsop, Amber; Schatzkamer, Kyriena; Kremitzki, Colin; Ponting, Chris P; Temple-Smith, Peter; Warren, Wesley C; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2008-06-01

    When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was first discovered, it was thought to be a taxidermist's hoax, as it has a blend of mammalian and reptilian features. It is a most remarkable mammal, not only because it lays eggs but also because it is venomous. Rather than delivering venom through a bite, as do snakes and shrews, male platypuses have venomous spurs on each hind leg. The platypus genome sequence provides a unique opportunity to unravel the evolutionary history of many of these interesting features. While searching the platypus genome for the sequences of antimicrobial defensin genes, we identified three Ornithorhynchus venom defensin-like peptide (OvDLP) genes, which produce the major components of platypus venom. We show that gene duplication and subsequent functional diversification of beta-defensins gave rise to these platypus OvDLPs. The OvDLP genes are located adjacent to the beta-defensins and share similar gene organization and peptide structures. Intriguingly, some species of snakes and lizards also produce venoms containing similar molecules called crotamines and crotamine-like peptides. This led us to trace the evolutionary origins of other components of platypus and reptile venom. Here we show that several venom components have evolved separately in the platypus and reptiles. Convergent evolution has repeatedly selected genes coding for proteins containing specific structural motifs as templates for venom molecules. PMID:18463304

  10. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  11. A new Early Permian reptile and its significance in early diapsid evolution.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M

    2011-12-22

    The initial stages of evolution of Diapsida (the large clade that includes not only snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, but also dinosaurs and numerous other extinct taxa) is clouded by an exceedingly poor Palaeozoic fossil record. Previous studies had indicated a 38 Myr gap between the first appearance of the oldest diapsid clade (Araeoscelidia), ca 304 million years ago (Ma), and that of its sister group in the Middle Permian (ca 266 Ma). Two new reptile skulls from the Richards Spur locality, Lower Permian of Oklahoma, represent a new diapsid reptile: Orovenator mayorum n. gen. et sp. A phylogenetic analysis identifies O. mayorum as the oldest and most basal member of the araeoscelidian sister group. As Richards Spur has recently been dated to 289 Ma, the new diapsid neatly spans the above gap by appearing 15 Myr after the origin of Diapsida. The presence of O. mayorum at Richards Spur, which records a diverse upland fauna, suggests that initial stages in the evolution of non-araeoscelidian diapsids may have been tied to upland environments. This hypothesis is consonant with the overall scant record for non-araeoscelidian diapsids during the Permian Period, when the well-known terrestrial vertebrate communities are preserved almost exclusively in lowland deltaic, flood plain and lacustrine sedimentary rocks. PMID:21525061

  12. Morbidity and mortality of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at a major exotic companion animal wholesaler.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Shawn; Brown, Susan; Ledford, Joel; Martin, Janet; Nash, Ann-Elizabeth; Terry, Amanda; Tristan, Tim; Warwick, Clifford

    2014-01-01

    The authors formally investigated a major international wildlife wholesaler and subsequently confiscated more than 26,400 nonhuman animals of 171 species and types. Approximately 80% of the nonhuman animals were identified as grossly sick, injured, or dead, with the remaining in suspected suboptimal condition. Almost 3,500 deceased or moribund animals (12% of stock), mostly reptiles, were being discarded on a weekly basis. Mortality during the 6-week "stock turnover" period was determined to be 72%. During a 10-day period after confiscation, mortality rates (including euthanasia for humane reasons) for the various taxa were 18% for invertebrates, 44.5% for amphibians, 41.6% for reptiles, and 5.5% for mammals. Causes of morbidity and mortality included cannibalism, crushing, dehydration, emaciation, hypothermic stress, infection, parasite infestation, starvation, overcrowding, stress/injuries, euthanasia on compassionate grounds, and undetermined causes. Contributing factors for disease and injury included poor hygiene; inadequate, unreliable, or inappropriate provision of food, water, heat, and humidity; presumed high levels of stress due to inappropriate housing leading to intraspecific aggression; absent or minimal environmental enrichment; and crowding. Risks for introduction of invasive species through escapes and/or spread of pathogens to naive populations also were identified. PMID:24875063

  13. Salmonella infections in reptiles--prevalence, serovar spectrum and impact on animal health.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Ackermann, Dorothee; Blazey, Birgit; Rabsch, Wolfgang; Szabo, Istvan

    2013-01-01

    In a seven year study, 235 lizards, 193 snakes and 111 chelonians were tested for the occurrence of Salmonella enterica. The material for analysis consisted of 251 faecal samples from reptiles suffering from diarrhoea and 288 carcasses of perished or euthanized reptiles. The carcasses were dissected and examined pathohistologically. A total of 35.3% of the lizards, 47.2% of the snakes and 11.7% of the chelonians were found to be Salmonella-positive. Systemic Salmonella infection was detected in 56.1% of the Salmonella-positive lizards and snakes carcasses; 67.4% of these were found to have pathohistological changes of varying severity in the affected organs. The relationship between the systemic Salmonella infection and pathohistological changes was highly significant. Furthermore, systemic Salmonella infections were accompanied by debilitating factors such as parasitic disease, husbandry-associated metabolic or degenerative diseases or viral infection in 63% of the cases. A total of 83 different serovars could be detected, of which 49 occurred in lizards, 36 in snakes and ten in chelonians. Infections with two Salmonella serovars were found in seven cases and in one case with three Salmonella serovars. One infection was associated with a previously undocumented Salmonella serovar in the faecal sample of a water dragon (Subsp. lllb,18:l,v,z13:z). PMID:23758034

  14. Tooth development in a model reptile: functional and null generation teeth in the gecko Paroedura picta

    PubMed Central

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Horacek, Ivan; Tucker, Abigail S

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes tooth development in a basal squamate, Paroedura picta. Due to its reproductive strategy, mode of development and position within the reptiles, this gecko represents an excellent model organism for the study of reptile development. Here we document the dental pattern and development of non-functional (null generation) and functional generations of teeth during embryonic development. Tooth development is followed from initiation to cytodifferentiation and ankylosis, as the tooth germs develop from bud, through cap to bell stages. The fate of the single generation of non-functional (null generation) teeth is shown to be variable, with some teeth being expelled from the oral cavity, while others are incorporated into the functional bone and teeth, or are absorbed. Fate appears to depend on the initiation site within the oral cavity, with the first null generation teeth forming before formation of the dental lamina. We show evidence for a stratum intermedium layer in the enamel epithelium of functional teeth and show that the bicuspid shape of the teeth is created by asymmetrical deposition of enamel, and not by folding of the inner dental epithelium as observed in mammals. PMID:22780101

  15. Isolation and characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression within photoreceptive sites of reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigato, Elena; Vallone, Daniela; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foulkes, Nicholas S.

    2006-08-01

    Non-mammalian vertebrates have multiple extraocular photoreceptors, mainly localised in the pineal complex and the brain, to mediate irradiance detection. In this study, we report the full-length cDNA cloning of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin. The high level of identity with opsins in both the transmembrane regions, where the chromophore binding site is located, and the intracellular loops, where the G-proteins interact, suggests that both melanopsin and pinopsin should be able to generate a stable photopigment, capable of triggering a transduction cascade mediated by G-proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both opsins are located on the expected branches of the corresponding sequences of ortholog proteins. Subsequently, using RT-PCR and RPA analysis, we verified the expression of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin in directly photosensitive organs, such as the lateral eye, brain, pineal gland and parietal eye. Melanopsin expression was detected in the lateral eye and all major regions of the brain. However, different from the situation in Xenopus and chicken, melanopsin is not expressed in the ruin lizard pineal. Pinopsin mRNA expression was only detected in the pineal complex. As a result of their phylogenetic position and ecology, reptiles provide the circadian field with some of the most interesting models for understanding the evolution of the vertebrate circadian timing system and its response to light. This characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression in the ruin lizard will be important for future studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of circadian light detection in reptiles.

  16. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Knapp, Charles R; Beati, Lorenza; Dold, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Ticks were collected or recorded from 522 individual reptiles on Dominica and from 658 reptiles from the Bahamas. Two species of ticks were collected on Dominica: Amblyomma antillorum and Amblyomma rotundatum. Similarly, 2 species were collected in the Bahamas: Amblyomma albopictum and Amblyomma torrei. On Dominica, A. antillorum was recorded from 517 Lesser Antillean iguanas (Iguana delicatissima), 2 boa constrictors (Boa nebulosa), 1 Antilles snake (Alsophis sibonius), and 1 Dominican ground lizard (Ameiva fuscata), whereas A. rotundatum was recorded from 1 Lesser Antillean skink (Mabuya mabouya). In the Bahamas, A. albopictum was recorded from 131 Andros iguanas (Cyclura cychlura cychlura), 271 Exuma Island iguanas (Cyclura cychlura figginsi), and 1 Andros curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus coryi), whereas A. torrei was recorded from 255 Exuma Island iguanas. In the Bahamas, A. albopictum parasitized iguanas on Andros Island and the central Exuma Islands, and A. torrei parasitized iguanas in the southern Exumas. An exception to this trend was that A. torrei was collected from iguanas on Pasture Cay in the central Exumas, an anomaly that is explained by the fact that iguanas (with attached ticks) on Pasture Cay were introduced by humans in the past from islands further south. External hyperparasitic larval erythraeid mites ( Leptus sp.) were recorded from A. torrei in the Bahamas. PMID:25274575

  17. Grassland Fire and Cattle Grazing Regulate Reptile and Amphibian Assembly Among Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches ( ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing ( ɛ ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  18. Climate change and elevated extinction rates of reptiles from Mediterranean Islands.

    PubMed

    Foufopoulos, Johannes; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Ives, Anthony R

    2011-01-01

    Recent climate change has caused the distributions of many species to shift poleward, yet few empirical studies have addressed which species will be vulnerable to longer-term climate changes. To investigate past consequences of climate change, we calculated the population extinction rates of 35 reptile species from 87 Greek land-bridge islands in the Mediterranean that occurred over the past 16,000 years. Population extinction rates were higher for those species that today have more northern distributions. We further found that northern species requiring cool, mesic habitats had less available suitable habitat among islands, implicating loss of suitable habitat in their elevated extinction rates. These extinctions occurred in the context of increasing habitat fragmentation, with islands shrinking and separating as sea levels rose. Thus, the circumstances faced by reptiles on the islands are similar to challenges for numerous species today that must cope with a changing climate while living in an increasingly human-fragmented landscape. Our island-biogeographical approach to investigating historical population extinctions gives insight into the long-term patterns of species responses to climate change. PMID:21091198

  19. Reptiles of Chubut province, Argentina: richness, diversity, conservation status and geographic distribution maps

    PubMed Central

    Minoli, Ignacio; Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano Javier

    2015-01-01

    Abstract An accurate estimation of species and population geographic ranges is essential for species-focused studies and conservation and management plans. Knowledge of the geographic distributions of reptiles from Patagonian Argentina is in general limited and dispersed over manuscripts from a wide variety of topics. We completed an extensive review of reptile species of central Patagonia (Argentina) based on information from a wide variety of sources. We compiled and checked geographic distribution records from published literature and museum records, including extensive new data from the LJAMM-CNP (CENPAT-CONICET) herpetological collection. Our results show that there are 52 taxa recorded for this region and the highest species richness was seen in the families Liolaemidae and Dipsadidae with 31 and 10 species, respectively. The Patagónica was the phytogeographic province most diverse in species and Phymaturus was the genus of conservation concern most strongly associated with it. We present a detailed species list with geographical information, richness species, diversity analyses with comparisons across phytogeographical provinces, conservation status, taxonomic comments and distribution maps for all of these taxa. PMID:25931966

  20. Climate Change and Elevated Extinction Rates of Reptiles from Mediterranean Islands

    PubMed Central

    Foufopoulos, Johannes; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Ives, Anthony R.

    2011-01-01

    Recent climate change has caused the distributions of many species to shift poleward, yet few empirical studies have addressed which species will likely be vulnerable to longer-term climate changes. To investigate past consequences of climate change, we calculated the population extinction rates of 35 reptile species from 87 Greek land-bridge islands in the Mediterranean that occurred over the last 16,000 years. Population extinction rates were higher for those species that today have more northern distributions. We further found that northern species requiring cool, mesic habitats had less available suitable habitat among islands, implicating loss of suitable habitat in their elevated extinction rates. These extinctions occurred in the context of increasing fragmentation, with islands shrinking and separating as sea levels rose. Thus, the circumstances faced by reptiles on the islands are similar to challenges for numerous species today that must cope with a changing climate while living in an increasingly human-fragmented landscape. Our island-biogeographical approach to investigating historical population extinctions gives insight into the long-term patterns of species responses to climate changes. PMID:21091198

  1. Is naïveté forever? Alien predator and aggressor recognition by two endemic island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gérard, A; Jourdan, H; Cugnière, C; Millon, A; Vidal, E

    2014-11-01

    The disproportionate impacts of invasive predators are often attributed to the naïveté (i.e., inefficient or non-existing anti-predator behavior) of island native species having evolved without such predators. Naïveté has long been regarded as a fixed characteristic, but a few recent studies indicate a capacity for behavioral adaptation in native species in contact with alien predators. Here, we tested whether two reptiles endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of six introduced species (two rodents, the feral cat, and three species of ants). We used an experimental design in which reptiles had a choice of retreat sites with or without the odor of predators or aggressors. Skinks avoided two or three of the predators, whereas geckos avoided at most one. These results suggest that diurnal skinks are more responsive than nocturnal geckos to the odor of introduced predators. Neither skinks nor geckos avoided the three species of ants. Thus, the odors of alien predators are shown to influence retreat site selection by two native island reptiles. Moreover, the study suggests that this loss of naïveté varies among native species, probably as a consequence of the intensity of the threat and of time since introduction. These findings argue for re-thinking the behavioral flexibility of ectothermic reptiles in terms of their responses to biological invasion. PMID:25193147

  2. Testing the Toxicofera: comparative transcriptomics casts doubt on the single, early evolution of the reptile venom system.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-12-15

    The identification of apparently conserved gene complements in the venom and salivary glands of a diverse set of reptiles led to the development of the Toxicofera hypothesis - the single, early evolution of the venom system in reptiles. However, this hypothesis is based largely on relatively small scale EST-based studies of only venom or salivary glands and toxic effects have been assigned to only some putative Toxicoferan toxins in some species. We set out to examine the distribution of these proposed venom toxin transcripts in order to investigate to what extent conservation of gene complements may reflect a bias in previous sampling efforts. Our quantitative transcriptomic analyses of venom and salivary glands and other body tissues in five species of reptile, together with the use of available RNA-Seq datasets for additional species, shows that the majority of genes used to support the establishment and expansion of the Toxicofera are in fact expressed in multiple body tissues and most likely represent general maintenance or "housekeeping" genes. The apparent conservation of gene complements across the Toxicofera therefore reflects an artefact of incomplete tissue sampling. We therefore conclude that venom has evolved multiple times in reptiles. PMID:25449103

  3. Reptiles with dermatological lesions: a retrospective study of 301 cases at two university veterinary teaching hospitals (1992-2008).

    PubMed

    White, Stephen D; Bourdeau, Patrick; Bruet, Vincent; Kass, Philip H; Tell, Lisa; Hawkins, Michelle G

    2011-04-01

    This retrospective study reviews the medical records of 301 reptiles with dermatological lesions that were examined at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California at Davis (VMTH-UCD) and the Unité de Dermatologie-Parasitologie-Mycologie, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes (UDPM-ENVN) from 1 January 1992 to 1 July 2008. The most common reptile groups differed between the two hospitals, with lizards being the most common at the VMTH-UCD and chelonians at the UDPM-ENVN. At the VMTH-UCD, boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), ball pythons (Python regius) and other Python species were over-represented, and box turtles (Terrapene carolina) were under-represented in the dermatological lesion caseload. When institutional data were combined, 47% of all reptiles at both institutions with confirmed or suspected cases of sepsis had petechiae, with the highest association seen in chelonians at 82%. Dependent on institution and reptile group, from 29% to 64% of the cases had underlying husbandry issues. Sixty-two per cent of all cases were alive at final status. Veterinarians treating reptiles with skin disease should be aware of the following: (i) that boa constrictors and Python species may be predisposed to dermatological lesions; (ii) that client education is important for proper husbandry; and (iii) that there is a possible association between petechiae and sepsis, especially in chelonians. The conjectural association between certain skin lesions and sepsis remains to be confirmed by systematically derived data that demonstrate a causal relationship between the two. PMID:20887405

  4. Interstitial Telomeric Motifs in Squamate Reptiles: When the Exceptions Outnumber the Rule

    PubMed Central

    Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and therefore helping to ensure their stability and integrity. Additionally, telomeric sequences can be localized in non-terminal regions of chromosomes, forming so-called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). ITSs are traditionally considered to be relics of chromosomal rearrangements and thus very informative in the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of karyotype formation. We examined the distribution of the telomeric motifs (TTAGGG)n using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 30 species, representing 17 families of squamate reptiles, and compared them with the collected data from another 38 species from literature. Out of the 68 squamate species analyzed, 35 possess ITSs in pericentromeric regions, centromeric regions and/or within chromosome arms. We conclude that the occurrence of ITSs is rather common in squamates, despite their generally conserved karyotypes, suggesting frequent and independent cryptic chromosomal rearrangements in this vertebrate group. PMID:26252002

  5. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Appendix C

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Ribic, C.

    1999-01-01

    Melinda Knutson (USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center) and Christine Ribic (USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit) contributed to a recent report published by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report summarizes a workshop held 8 December 1999 in Chicago, IL. Highlights of the report include resources and land management recommendations for riparian zones in the Midwest. The full report will soon be available at the USDA NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute website: http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/whmi/habitat.htm Knutson, M., and C. Ribic. 2000. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Pages 22-24, Appendix C in W. Hohman, ed. NRCS Management and Restoration of Midwestern Riparian Systems Workshop Report. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Chicago, IL.

  6. Alfredo Dugès' type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited.

    PubMed

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Ríos-Muñoz, César A; Magaña-Cota, Gloria E; Quezadas-Tapia, Néstor L

    2016-01-01

    The type specimens of amphibians and reptiles of the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugès, at the University of Guanajuato (MADUG) were reviewed following Smith & Necker's (1943) summary. Owing to this collection's eventful history and its historical importance as the oldest herpetological collection in Mexico, a review of its conservation status was needed. After many years, the collection has received proper recognition at the University of Guanajuato with a portion of the herpetological types considered "Precious Assets" of the university. We found 34 type specimens pertaining to 18 taxa; six are additional specimens to those previously reported; six herpetological types are missing, including the body of the type of Adelophis copei. All specimens are in good to reasonable condition except for the type of Rhinocheilus antonii, which has dried out completely. All specimens are illustrated to show their condition. PMID:27394365

  7. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, Charles J.; Townsend, Carol R.; Reynolds, Robert P.; MacCulloch, Ross D.; Lathrop, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Guyana has a very distinctive herpetofauna. In this first ever detailed modern accounting, based on voucher specimens, we document the presence of 324 species of amphibians and reptiles in the country; 148 amphibians, 176 reptiles. Of these, we present species accounts for 317 species and color photographs of about 62% (Plates 1–40). At the rate that new species are being described and distributional records are being found for the first time, we suspect that at least 350 species will be documented in a few decades. The diverse herpetofauna includes 137 species of frogs and toads, 11 caecilians, 4 crocodylians, 4 amphisbaenians, 56 lizards, 97 snakes, and 15 turtles. Endemic species, which occur nowhere else in the world, comprise 15% of the herpetofauna. Most of the endemics are amphibians, comprising 27% of the amphibian fauna. Type localities (where the type specimens or scientific name-bearers of species were found) are located within Guyana for 24% of the herpetofauna, or 36% of the amphibians. This diverse fauna results from the geographic position of Guyana on the Guiana Shield and the isolated highlands or tepuis of the eastern part of the Pantepui Region, which are surrounded by lowland rainforest and savannas. Consequently, there is a mixture of local endemic species and widespread species characteristic of Amazonia and the Guianan Region. Although the size of this volume may mislead some people into thinking that a lot is known about the fauna of Guyana, the work has just begun. Many of the species are known from fewer than five individuals in scientific collections; for many the life history, distribution, ecology, and behavior remain poorly known; few resources in the country are devoted to developing such knowledge; and as far as we are aware, no other group of animals in the fauna of Guyana has been summarized in a volume such as this to document the biological resources. We briefly discuss aspects of biogeography, as reflected in samples collected

  8. Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles (reptilia: Ichthyopterygia) in Their Physical Environments and Constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motani, Ryosuke

    2005-01-01

    Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines. They are unique in several anatomical characters, including the possession of enormous eyeballs sometimes exceeding 25 cm and an enlarged manus with sometimes up to 20 bones in a single digit, or 10 digits per manus. They are also unique in that their biology has been studied from the perspective of physical constraints, which allowed estimation of such characteristics as optimal cruising speed, visual sensitivity, and even possible basal metabolic rate ranges. These functional inferences, although based on physical principles, obviously contain errors arising from the limitations of fossilized data, but are necessarily stronger than the commonly made inferences based on superficial correlations among quantities without mechanical or optical explanations for why such correlations exist.

  9. Risk of pesticide exposure for reptile species in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Mingo, Valentin; Lötters, Stefan; Wagner, Norman

    2016-08-01

    Environmental pollution has an especially high impact on wildlife. This is especially the case in industrialized countries. Although, many species within the European Union benefit from protection by the Habitats Directive, no special consideration is given to possible detrimental effects of pesticides. This is in particular remarkable as negative effects, which may lead to a regional diversity loss, have already been identified in laboratory and mesocosm studies. We conducted a pesticide exposure risk evaluation for all European reptile species with sufficient literature data on the considered biological and ecological aspects and occurrence data within agricultural areas with regular pesticide applications (102 out of 141). By using three evaluation factors - (i) pesticide exposure, (ii) physiology and (iii) life history - a taxon-specific pesticide exposure risk factor (ERF) was created. The results suggest that about half of all evaluated species, and thus at least 1/3 of all European species exhibited a high exposure risk. At the same time, two of them (Mauremys leprosa and Testudo graeca) are globally classified as threatened with extinction in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Variation regarding species occurrence in exposed landscapes between pesticide admission zones within the EU is rather large. This variation is mainly caused by differing land use and species abundances between zones. At the taxonomic level, significant differences in exposure risk can be observed between threatened and non-threatened species, which can be explained by the formers remote distribution areas. Lizards display the highest sensitivity toward pesticides, although no differences in overall ERFs can be observed between taxonomic groups. By identifying species at above-average risk to pesticide exposure, species-based risk evaluations can improve conservation actions for reptiles from cultivated landscapes. PMID:27182977

  10. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-19

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5,797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in B. biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  11. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    In fiscal year 2000, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a nationwide program to inventory vertebrates andvascular plants within the National Parks, and an inventory plan was developed for the 19 park units in the Southern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network. We surveyed 12 parks in this network for reptiles and amphibians between 2001 and 2003. The overall goals of our herpetofaunal inventories were to document 90% of the species present, identify park-specific species of special concern, and, based on the inventory results, make recommendations for the development of an effective monitoring program. We used the following standardized herpetological methods to complete the inventories: time-area constrained searches, visual encounter ('general') surveys, and nighttime road cruising. We also recorded incidental species sightings and surveyed existing literature and museum specimen databases. We found 50 amphibian and reptile species during fieldwork. These included 1 salamander, 11 anurans, 21 lizards, and 17 snakes. Literature reviews, museum specimen data records, and personal communications with NPS staff added an additional eight species, including one salamander, one turtle, one lizard, and five snakes. It was necessary to use a variety of methods to detect all species in each park. Randomly-generated 1-ha time-area constrained searches and night drives produced the fewest species and individuals of all the methods, while general surveys and randomly-generated 10-ha time-areas constrained searches produced the most. Inventory completeness was likely compromised by a severe drought across the region during our surveys. In most parks we did not come close to the goal of detecting 90% of the expected species present; however, we did document several species range extensions. Effective monitoring programs for herpetofauna on the Colorado Plateau should use a variety of methods to detect species, and focus on taxa-specific methods. Randomly

  12. The terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago: species list and ecological aspects.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Dutra, G F; Vrcibradic, D; Menezes, V A

    2002-05-01

    We have studied the terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago (a group of five islands located ca. 70 km off the southern coast of the State of Bahia, Brazil) and analyze here some of its ecological aspects such as diet, thermal ecology, activity, and some reproductive parameters. Three lizards comprise the archipelago's terrestrial reptile fauna: Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae), Mabuya agilis (Scincidae), and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae). The first two are diurnal and the latter is crepuscular/nocturnal (initiating activity at ca. 17:30). The activity period of T. torquatus extended from 5:30 to 18:30 h. Mean field body temperatures of active T. torquatus, M. agilis, and H. mabouia were, respectively, 34.0 +/- 3.7 degrees C (range 23.8-38.0 degrees C; N = 75), 34.5 +/- 2.2 degrees C (range 30.8-37.0 degrees C; N = 6), and 26.3 +/- 1.1 degrees C (range 24.8-28.0 degrees C; N = 8). The predominant prey items in the diet of T. torquatus were ants, coleopterans, and hemipterans. In the diet of M. agilis, coleopterans were the most frequent prey items. For H. mabouia, the most important dietary items were orthopterans. Clutch size of T. torquatus averaged 4.1 +/- 1.1 (range 2-6; N = 15) and was significantly related to female size (R2 = 0.618; p = 0.001; N = 15). Clutch size for H. mabouia was fixed (two) and mean litter size of the viviparous M. agilis was 3.3 +/- 0.6 (range 3-4; N = 3). Tropidurus torquatus and H. mabouia deposit their eggs under rocks in the study area, with the former burying them but not the latter; in both species, more than one female often oviposit under the same rock. PMID:12489402

  13. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Catarina C.; Santos, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6–10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (Tp) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  14. Molecular characterization of insulin from squamate reptiles reveals sequence diversity and possible adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Genki; Yoshida, Ayaka; Kobayashi, Aya; Park, Min Kyun

    2016-01-01

    The Squamata are the most adaptive and prosperous group among ectothermic amniotes, reptiles, due to their species-richness and geographically wide habitat. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying their prosperity remain largely unknown, unique features have been reported from hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Insulin, a central anabolic hormone, is one such hormone, as its roles and effectiveness in regulation of blood glucose levels remain to be examined in squamates. In the present study, cDNAs coding for insulin were isolated from multiple species that represent various groups of squamates. The deduced amino acid sequences showed a high degree of divergence, with four lineages showing obviously higher number of amino acid substitutions than most of vertebrates, from teleosts to mammals. Among 18 sites presented to comprise the two receptor binding surfaces (one with 12 sites and the other with 6 sites), substitutions were observed in 13 sites. Among them was the substitution of HisB10, which results in the loss of the ability to hexamerize. Furthermore, three of these substitutions were reported to increase mitogenicity in human analogues. These substitutions were also reported from insulin of hystricomorph rodents and agnathan fishes, whose mitogenic potency have been shown to be increased. The estimated value of the non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio (ω) for the Squamata clade was larger than those of the other reptiles and aves. Even higher values were estimated for several lineages among squamates. These results, together with the regulatory mechanisms of digestion and nutrient assimilation in squamates, suggested a possible adaptive process through the molecular evolution of squamate INS. Further studies on the roles of insulin, in relation to the physiological and ecological traits of squamate species, will provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that have led to the adaptivity and prosperity of squamates. PMID:26344944

  15. New resources inform study of genome size, content, and organization in nonavian reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Daniel E.; Organ, Christopher; Valenzuela, Nicole

    2008-01-01

    Genomic resources for studies of nonavian reptiles have recently improved and will reach a new level of access once the genomes of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) have been published. Eleven speakers gathered for a symposium on reptilian genomics and evolutionary genetics at the 2008 meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Antonio, Texas. Presentations described results of reptilian genetic studies concerning molecular evolution, chromosomal evolution, genomic architecture, population dynamics, endocrinology and endocrine disruption, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms. The presented studies took advantage of the recent generation of genetic and genomic tools and resources. Novel findings demonstrated the positive impact made by the improved availability of resources like genome annotations and bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). The symposium was timely and important because it provided a vehicle for the dissemination of novel findings that advance the field. Moreover, this meeting fostered the synergistic interaction of the participants as a group, which is anticipated to encourage the funding and creation of further resources such as additional BAC libraries and genomic projects. Novel data have already been collected and studies like those presented in this symposium promise to shape and improve our understanding of overall amniote evolution. Additional reptilian taxa such as the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), and garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) should be the foci of future genomic projects. We hope that the following articles in this volume will help promote these efforts by describing the conclusions and the potential that the improvement of genomic resources for nonavian reptiles can continue having in this important area of integrative and comparative biology. PMID:21669805

  16. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Catarina C; Santos, Xavier; Carretero, Miguel A

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6-10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (T p ) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  17. Biased gene conversion and GC-content evolution in the coding sequences of reptiles and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins. PMID:25527834

  18. Infrared mapping resolves soft tissue preservation in 50 million year-old reptile skin

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, N. P.; Barden, H. E.; van Dongen, B. E.; Manning, P. L.; Larson, P. L.; Bergmann, U.; Sellers, W. I.; Wogelius, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    Non-destructive Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) mapping of Eocene aged fossil reptile skin shows that biological control on the distribution of endogenous organic components within fossilized soft tissue can be resolved. Mapped organic functional units within this approximately 50 Myr old specimen from the Green River Formation (USA) include amide and sulphur compounds. These compounds are most probably derived from the original beta keratin present in the skin because fossil leaf- and other non-skin-derived organic matter from the same geological formation do not show intense amide or thiol absorption bands. Maps and spectra from the fossil are directly comparable to extant reptile skin. Furthermore, infrared results are corroborated by several additional quantitative methods including Synchrotron Rapid Scanning X-Ray Fluorescence (SRS-XRF) and Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). All results combine to clearly show that the organic compound inventory of the fossil skin is different from the embedding sedimentary matrix and fossil plant material. A new taphonomic model involving ternary complexation between keratin-derived organic molecules, divalent trace metals and silicate surfaces is presented to explain the survival of the observed compounds. X-ray diffraction shows that suitable minerals for complex formation are present. Previously, this study would only have been possible with major destructive sampling. Non-destructive FTIR imaging methods are thus shown to be a valuable tool for understanding the taphonomy of high-fidelity preservation, and furthermore, may provide insight into the biochemistry of extinct organisms. PMID:21429928

  19. Biased Gene Conversion and GC-Content Evolution in the Coding Sequences of Reptiles and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins. PMID:25527834

  20. Carriage of antibiotic-resistant enteric bacteria varies among sites in Galapagos reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Emily; Hong, Pei-Ying; Bedon, Lenin Cruz; Mackie, Roderick I

    2012-01-01

    Increased overlap between humans and wildlife populations has increased the risk for novel disease emergence. Detecting contacts with a high risk for transmission of pathogens requires the identification of dependable measures of microbial exchange. We evaluated antibiotic resistance as a molecular marker for the intensity of human-wildlife microbial connectivity in the Galápagos Islands. We isolated Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica from the feces of land iguanas (Conolophus sp.), marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra), and seawater, and tested these bacteria with the use of the disk diffusion method for resistance to 10 antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in reptile feces from two tourism sites (Isla Plaza Sur and La Galapaguera on Isla San Cristóbal) and from seawater close to a public use beach near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on Isla San Cristóbal. No resistance was detected at two protected beaches on more isolated islands (El Miedo on Isla Santa Fe and Cape Douglas on Isla Fernandina) and at a coastal tourism site (La Lobería on Isla San Cristóbal). Eighteen E. coli isolates from three locations, all sites relatively proximate to a port town, were resistant to ampicillin, doxycycline, tetracycline, and trimethoprin/sulfamethoxazole. In contrast, only five S. enterica isolates showed a mild decrease in susceptibility to doxycycline and tetracycline from these same sites (i.e., an intermediate resistance phenotype), but no clinical resistance was detected in this bacterial species. These findings suggest that reptiles living in closer proximity to humans potentially have higher exposure to bacteria of human origin; however, it is not clear from this study to what extent this potential exposure translates to ongoing exchange of bacterial strains or genetic traits. Resistance patterns and bacterial exchange in this system warrant further investigation to understand better how human associations

  1. Contrasted evolution of the vomeronasal receptor repertoires in mammals and squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Brykczynska, Urszula; Tzika, Athanasia C; Rodriguez, Ivan; Milinkovitch, Michel C

    2013-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is an olfactory structure that detects pheromones and environmental cues. It consists of sensory neurons that express evolutionary unrelated groups of transmembrane chemoreceptors. The predominant V1R and V2R receptor repertoires are believed to detect airborne and water-soluble molecules, respectively. It has been suggested that the shift in habitat of early tetrapods from water to land is reflected by an increase in the ratio of V1R/V2R genes. Snakes, which have a very large VNO associated with a sophisticated tongue delivery system, are missing from this analysis. Here, we use RNA-seq and RNA in situ hybridization to study the diversity, evolution, and expression pattern of the corn snake vomeronasal receptor repertoires. Our analyses indicate that snakes and lizards retain an extremely limited number of V1R genes but exhibit a large number of V2R genes, including multiple lineages of reptile-specific and snake-specific expansions. We finally show that the peculiar bigenic pattern of V2R vomeronasal receptor gene transcription observed in mammals is conserved in squamate reptiles, hinting at an important but unknown functional role played by this expression strategy. Our results do not support the hypothesis that the shift to a vomeronasal receptor repertoire dominated by V1Rs in mammals reflects the evolutionary transition of early tetrapods from water to land. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics of the vomeronasal receptor families in vertebrates and reveals how mammals and squamates differentially adapted the same ancestral vomeronasal repertoire to succeed in a terrestrial environment. PMID:23348039

  2. Reptiles and Mammals Have Differentially Retained Long Conserved Noncoding Sequences from the Amniote Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Janes, D.E.; Chapus, C.; Gondo, Y.; Clayton, D.F.; Sinha, S.; Blatti, C.A.; Organ, C.L.; Fujita, M.K.; Balakrishnan, C.N.; Edwards, S.V.

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation. PMID:21183607

  3. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Reisz, R R; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Sidor, Christian A; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles. PMID:26289932

  4. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, R. R.; LeBlanc, Aaron R. H.; Sidor, Christian A.; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles.

  5. Studies of annual and seasonal variations in four species of reptiles and amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, E.I.; Haarmann, T.; Keller, D.C.; Foxx, T.

    1998-11-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the gathered data from 1990--1997 (excluding 1992), they plan to determine if patterns can be found in the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad, the western chorus frog, the many-linked skink, and the plateau striped whiptail lizard. Statistical analysis results show that significant changes occurred on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  6. Studies of Annual and Seasonal Variations in Four Species of Reptiles and Amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, D.C.; Nelson, E.I.; Mullen, M.A.; Foxx, T.S.; Haarmann, T.K.

    1998-07-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the data gathered from 1990-1997 (excluding 1992), we examined the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad (Bufo woodhousii), the western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata), the many-lined skink (Eunzeces nudtivirgatus), and the plateau striped whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus velox). Statistical analyses indicate a significant change on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  7. Community- and landscape-level responses of reptiles and small mammals to feral-horse grazing in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Brussard, P.F.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated species- and community-level responses of squamate reptiles and granivorous small mammals to feral-horse grazing in two elevational strata across nine mountain ranges of the western Great Basin, USA. Although mammal species richness did not differ between horse-occupied and horse-removed sites, occupied sites possessed less community completeness (biotic integrity) and 1.1–7.4 times greater deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) than removed sites. In opposite fashion, horse-removed sites possessed greater reptile species richness and tended towards greater abundance for seven of nine species, yet unequal species pools across sites dictated that community completeness did not differ statistically between horse-removed and -occupied sites.

  8. Results of Surveys for Special Status Reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Woollett, J J

    2008-09-18

    The purpose of this report is to present the results of a live-trapping and visual surveys for special status reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The survey was conducted under the authority of the Federal recovery permit of Swaim Biological Consulting (PRT-815537) and a Memorandum of Understanding issued from the California Department of Fish and Game. Site 300 is located between Livermore and Tracy just north of Tesla road (Alameda County) and Corral Hollow Road (San Joaquin County) and straddles the Alameda and San Joaquin County line (Figures 1 and 2). It encompasses portions of the USGS 7.5 minute Midway and Tracy quadrangles (Figure 2). Focused surveys were conducted for four special status reptiles including the Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), the San Joaquin Whipsnake (Masticophis Hagellum ruddock), the silvery legless lizard (Anniella pulchra pulchra), and the California horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronanum frontale).

  9. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Hilary C.; O’Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A.; Edwards, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general. PMID:25953959

  10. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus.

    PubMed

    Miller, Hilary C; O'Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A; Edwards, Scott

    2015-07-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general. PMID:25953959

  11. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  12. Biology of amphibians and reptiles in old-growth forests in the Pacific northwest. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Beatty, J.J.; Olson, D.H.; Storm, R.M.

    1995-03-01

    The amphibian and reptile fauna of older forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest includes several endemic species, species with unique behavioral and ecological characteristics, and species whose populations have been in decline in recent years. The authors review the biology of these species and include information on their distinguishing characteristics, behavior, and ecology. Herpetofaunal associations with forest characteristic and the impact of habitat loss are addressed.

  13. Moving into Protected Areas? Setting Conservation Priorities for Romanian Reptiles and Amphibians at Risk from Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Viorel D.; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  14. Human attitudes towards herpetofauna: The influence of folklore and negative values on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human values and folklore of wildlife strongly influence the effectiveness of conservation efforts. These values and folklore may also vary with certain demographic characteristics such as gender, age, or education. Reptiles and amphibians are among the least appreciated of vertebrates and are victims of many negative values and wrong ideas resulting from the direct interpretation of folklore. We try to demonstrate how these values and folklore can affect the way people relate to them and also the possible conservation impacts on these animals. Methods A questionnaire survey distributed to 514 people in the district of Évora, Portugal, was used to obtain data regarding the hypothesis that the existence of wrong ideas and negative values contributes to the phenomenon of human-associated persecution of these animals. A structural equation model was specified in order to confirm the hypothesis about the possible relationships between the presence of perceptions and negative values about amphibians and reptiles and persecution and anti-conservation attitudes. Sociodemographic variables were also added. Results The results of the model suggest that the presence of folklore and negative values clearly predicts persecution and anti-conservation attitudes towards amphibians and reptiles. Also, the existence of folklore varies sociodemographically, but negative values concerning these animals are widespread in the population. Conclusions With the use of structural equation models, this work is a contribution to the study of how certain ideas and values can directly influence human attitudes towards herpetofauna and how they can be a serious conservation issue. PMID:22316318

  15. The Middle Triassic marine reptile biodiversity in the Germanic Basin, in the centre of the Pangaean world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2012-03-01

    The Middle Triassic fossil reptile localities near Bayreuth (Bavaria, southern Germany) consist of shallow marine autochthonous glauconitic marls and terebratulid-rich tempestite carbonates of the newly defined Bindlach and Hegnabrunn formations. Single bones and incomplete skeletons of marine reptiles have been recorded in bone beds within in the Illyrian and Fassanian stages. These include the remains of the sauropterygians Neusticosaurus sp., Lariosaurus cf. buzzii [1], Nothosaurus mirabilis [2], Paranothosaurus giganteus [2], Placodus gigas [3], Cyamodus rostratus [4], Cyamodus münsteri [5], Pistosaurus longaevus [6], and ichthyosaurs Omphalosaurus sp., and Shastasaurus sp. or proterosaur Tanystrophaeus conspicuus [7]. New skeletal reconstructions are based on the osteological analysis of three dimensionally preserved bones and skeletal remains. The large number of marine endemic placodont macroalgae feeders ( P. gigas) in the Bayreuth sites coincides with the presence of invertebrate palaeocommunities that are characteristic of macroalgae meadow paleoenvironments. Most of the reptile species and genera from the Bayreuth localities also occur in beds of similar ages from the Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland/Italy) or Perledo (Italy) lagoonal areas. Ichthyosaurs and pistosaurs were adapted for open marine conditions, and may have migrated from the Panthalassa Oceans into the shallow marine Germanic Basin to reproduce, whereas placodonts and many other sauropterygians seem to have lived permanently in those shallow marine habitats, with large squamates and thecodont or smaller archosaurs in coastal areas.

  16. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Montero-Mendieta, Santiago; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra's most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8-54.4%. This has implications in the species' ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  17. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  18. The Middle Triassic marine reptile biodiversity in the Germanic Basin, in the centre of the Pangaean world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus

    2012-03-01

    The Middle Triassic fossil reptile localities near Bayreuth (Bavaria, southern Germany) consist of shallow marine autochthonous glauconitic marls and terebratulid-rich tempestite carbonates of the newly defined Bindlach and Hegnabrunn formations. Single bones and incomplete skeletons of marine reptiles have been recorded in bone beds within in the Illyrian and Fassanian stages. These include the remains of the sauropterygians Neusticosaurus sp., Lariosaurus cf. buzzii [1], Nothosaurus mirabilis [2], Paranothosaurus giganteus [2], Placodus gigas [3], Cyamodus rostratus [4], Cyamodus münsteri [5], Pistosaurus longaevus [6], and ichthyosaursOmphalosaurus sp., and Shastasaurus sp. or proterosaur Tanystrophaeus conspicuus [7]. New skeletal reconstructions are based on the osteological analysis of three dimensionally preserved bones and skeletal remains. The large number of marine endemic placodont macroalgae feeders (P. gigas) in the Bayreuth sites coincides with the presence of invertebrate palaeocommunities that are characteristic of macroalgae meadow paleoenvironments. Most of the reptile species and genera from the Bayreuth localities also occur in beds of similar ages from the Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland/Italy) or Perledo (Italy) lagoonal areas. Ichthyosaurs and pistosaurs were adapted for open marine conditions, and may have migrated from the Panthalassa Oceans into the shallow marine Germanic Basin to reproduce, whereas placodonts and many other sauropterygians seem to have lived permanently in those shallow marine habitats, with large squamates and thecodont or smaller archosaurs in coastal areas.

  19. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra’s most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8–54.4%. This has implications in the species’ ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  20. The restart of meteorological observations in the 19th century in Lisbon: the contribution of Marino Miguel FRANZINI (1779-1861)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcoforado, Maria-Joao; Nunes, Fatima

    2013-04-01

    After the early meteorological observations of the 1770s to the 1790s in continental Portugal (including a 5 year daily series by J. Velho), there were hardly any until 1815. In December 1815, a meteorological station was set up in Lisbon by Marino Miguel Franzini (1779-1861), an engineer who was also actively involved in Politics (liberal party). Following the tradition of the 18th century enlightenment movement, he took a keen interest in Nature and Sciences, particularly in the "influence" of weather and climate on health and agriculture. Franzini started his observations by request of a physician who sought to understand the reasons why the maximum mortality occurred on the summer months, unlike in northern countries of Europe where maximum mortality occurred in winter (as it happens nowadays in Portugal). The deterministic background of the two scientists is clear. Franzini was a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences (founded in 1799) and had contact with foreign Academies and foreign scientists. His instruments were carefully constructed and described, including graduation scales, and stations' location was indicated. Data from two years observations (several meteorological variables) was published in the Academy of Sciences Memoirs. From 1818 until 1826 and from 1835 until 1856 data was divulged in journals and newspapers, such as the "Journal of Medical Sciences", together with data on necrology in some of Lisbon parishes (illustrating the interest of physicians on weather); meteorological data and information about agriculture was also published in the "Lisbon Gazette". Unfortunately, there are hardly any daily data, as Franzini grouped his records according to weather types, as will be explained. Franzini's series will be presented in our talk. The gap between 1826 and 1835 was due to the political activities in which Franzini was involved: the civil war (liberals against absolutist) disruptedscientific research in Portugal. Official meteorological

  1. Living without DAT: Loss and compensation of the dopamine transporter gene in sauropsids (birds and reptiles)

    PubMed Central

    Lovell, P. V.; Kasimi, B.; Carleton, J.; Velho, T. A.; Mello, C. V.

    2015-01-01

    The dopamine transporter (DAT) is a major regulator of synaptic dopamine (DA) availability. It plays key roles in motor control and motor learning, memory formation, and reward-seeking behavior, is a major target of cocaine and methamphetamines, and has been assumed to be conserved among vertebrates. We have found, however, that birds, crocodiles, and lizards lack the DAT gene. We also found that the unprecedented loss of this important gene is compensated for by the expression of the noradrenaline transporter (NAT) gene, and not the serotonin transporter genes, in dopaminergic cells, which explains the peculiar pharmacology of the DA reuptake activity previously noted in bird striatum. This unexpected pattern contrasts with that of ancestral vertebrates (e.g. fish) and mammals, where the NAT gene is selectively expressed in noradrenergic cells. DA circuits in birds/reptiles and mammals thus operate with an analogous reuptake mechanism exerted by different genes, bringing new insights into gene expression regulation in dopaminergic cells and the evolution of a key molecular player in reward and addiction pathways. PMID:26364979

  2. Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland

    PubMed Central

    Surmik, Dawid; Boczarowski, Andrzej; Balin, Katarzyna; Dulski, Mateusz; Szade, Jacek; Kremer, Barbara; Pawlicki, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Fossil biomolecules from an endogenous source were previously identified in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossilized bones, the evidence coming from molecular analyses. These findings, however, were called into question and an alternative hypothesis of the invasion of the bone by bacterial biofilm was proposed. Herewith we report a new finding of morphologically preserved blood-vessel-like structures enclosing organic molecules preserved in iron-oxide-mineralized vessel walls from the cortical region of nothosaurid and tanystropheid (aquatic and terrestrial diapsid reptiles) bones. These findings are from the Early/Middle Triassic boundary (Upper Roetian/Lowermost Muschelkalk) strata of Upper Silesia, Poland. Multiple spectroscopic analyses (FTIR, ToF-SIMS, and XPS) of the extracted "blood vessels" showed the presence of organic compounds, including fragments of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as amides, that may suggest the presence of collagen protein residues. Because these amino acids are absent from most proteins other than collagen, we infer that the proteinaceous molecules may originate from endogenous collagen. The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the "blood vessels" was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization. This discovery provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic molecules in vertebrate remains in a marine environment. PMID:26977600

  3. Lunge feeding in early marine reptiles and fast evolution of marine tetrapod feeding guilds

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Chen, Xiao-hong; Jiang, Da-yong; Cheng, Long; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Traditional wisdom holds that biotic recovery from the end-Permian extinction was slow and gradual, and was not complete until the Middle Triassic. Here, we report that the evolution of marine predator feeding guilds, and their trophic structure, proceeded faster. Marine reptile lineages with unique feeding adaptations emerged during the Early Triassic (about 248 million years ago), including the enigmatic Hupehsuchus that possessed an unusually slender mandible. A new specimen of this genus reveals a well-preserved palate and mandible, which suggest that it was a rare lunge feeder as also occurs in rorqual whales and pelicans. The diversity of feeding strategies among Triassic marine tetrapods reached their peak in the Early Triassic, soon after their first appearance in the fossil record. The diet of these early marine tetrapods most likely included soft-bodied animals that are not preserved as fossils. Early marine tetrapods most likely introduced a new trophic mechanism to redistribute nutrients to the top 10 m of the sea, where the primary productivity is highest. Therefore, a simple recovery to a Permian-like trophic structure does not explain the biotic changes seen after the Early Triassic. PMID:25754468

  4. First evidence of unicellular glands in the general epidermis of terrestrial reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiller, Uwe; Werner, Yehudah L.

    2008-03-01

    The general integument of reptiles is traditionally defined as being dry, but we report here the discovery of unicellular mucoid glands (UCMG) in the dorsal skin of lizards of the genus Phelsuma (Gekkonidae). To this end, the skin of these lizards and of some others for comparison was studied by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. These photographs showed that the development and function of the UCMGs are related to the skin’s sloughing cycle. The UCMGs differentiate at scattered locations from Oberhäutchen cells of the inner (new) epidermal generation, above the differentiating β-keratin layer. While the inner generation matures, the UCMG increases in size; unlike the surrounding Oberhäutchen cells, it does not develop the spinules that characterize gecko skin. When, upon sloughing, the inner generation becomes the new outer generation, and the Oberhäutchen forms the skin surface, the UCMGs, several per scale, dot the surface as mucus-inflated “blebs” projecting from the surrounding spinulate Oberhäutchen, each nesting in a shallow pit of the underlying β-keratin. On the surface, the UCMGs rupture and the mucus appears to dissipate in cords, flowing over the tips of the spinules, and incorporating minute foreign bodies. It is concluded that, due to the low wettability of the spinulate surface (derived from the spacing of the spinules), the cords brush off easily, with the mucus functioning as a cleaning agent.

  5. Salmonella infection in healthy pet reptiles: Bacteriological isolation and study of some pathogenic characters.

    PubMed

    Bertelloni, Fabrizio; Chemaly, Marianne; Cerri, Domenico; Gall, Françoise Le; Ebani, Valentina Virginia

    2016-06-01

    The fecal samples from 213 captive reptiles were examined, and 29 (13.61%) Salmonella enterica isolates were detected: 14/62 (22.58%) from chelonians, 14/135 (10.37%) from saurians, and 1/16 (6.25%) from ophidians. The isolates were distributed among 14 different serotypes: Miami, Ebrie, Hermannsweder, Tiergarten, Tornov, Pomona, Poona, Goteborg, Abaetetube, Nyanza, Kumasi, Typhimurium, 50:b:z6, 9,12:z29:1,5, and a non-motile serotype with antigenic formula 1,4,[5],12:-:-. Salmonella typhimurium and 50:b:z6 isolates showed the spv plasmid virulence genes, responsible of the capability to induce extra-intestinal infections. In some cases, pulsed field gel electrophoresis revealed different profiles for the strains of the same serotypes, showing different origins, whereas a common source of infection was supposed when one pulsotype had been observed for isolates of a serovar. Twenty-seven (93.10%) isolates showed resistance to one or more antibiotics. Ceftazidime was active to all the tested isolates, whereas the highest percentages of strains were no susceptible to tigecycline (93.10%), streptomycin (89.66%), and sulfonamide (86.21%). PMID:27352973

  6. Pilot Inventory of Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, Marcia; Howell, Judd A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3-4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse-the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  7. Pilot Inventory of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, M.; Howell, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3?4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse?the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  8. Environmental contaminants in Texas, USA, wetland reptiles: Evaluation using blood samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R., Jr.; Bickham, J.W.; Baker, D.L.; Cowman, D.F.

    2000-01-01

    Four species of reptiles (diamondback water snake [Nerodia rhombifer], blotched water snake [N. erythrogaster], cottonmouth [Agkistrodon piscivorus], and red-eared slider [Trachemys scripta]) were collected at two contaminated and three reference sites in Texas, USA. Old River Slough has received intensive applications of agricultural chemicals since the 1950s. Municipal Lake received industrial arsenic wastes continuously from 1940 to 1993. Blood samples were analyzed for organochlorines, potentially toxic elements, genetic damage, and plasma cholinesterase (ChE). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentrations reached as high as 3.0 ppm (wet weight) in whole blood of a diamondback water snake at Old River Slough, a level probably roughly equivalent to the maximum concentration found in plasma of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in 1978 to 1979 when DDE peaked in this sensitive species. Possible impacts on diamondback water snakes are unknown, but at least one diamondback water snake was gravid when captured, indicating active reproduction. Arsenic was not found in red-eared sliders (only species sampled) from Municipal Lake. Red-eared sliders of both sexes at Old River Slough showed declining levels of ChE with increasing mass, suggesting a life-long decrease of ChE levels. Possible negative population consequences are unknown, but no evidence was found in body condition (mass relative to carapace length) that red-eared sliders at either contaminated site were harmed.

  9. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls

    PubMed Central

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D.

    2015-01-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic–Cenozoic origin (approx. 50–100 Myr). PMID:25878047

  10. Lunge feeding in early marine reptiles and fast evolution of marine tetrapod feeding guilds.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Chen, Xiao-hong; Jiang, Da-yong; Cheng, Long; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Traditional wisdom holds that biotic recovery from the end-Permian extinction was slow and gradual, and was not complete until the Middle Triassic. Here, we report that the evolution of marine predator feeding guilds, and their trophic structure, proceeded faster. Marine reptile lineages with unique feeding adaptations emerged during the Early Triassic (about 248 million years ago), including the enigmatic Hupehsuchus that possessed an unusually slender mandible. A new specimen of this genus reveals a well-preserved palate and mandible, which suggest that it was a rare lunge feeder as also occurs in rorqual whales and pelicans. The diversity of feeding strategies among Triassic marine tetrapods reached their peak in the Early Triassic, soon after their first appearance in the fossil record. The diet of these early marine tetrapods most likely included soft-bodied animals that are not preserved as fossils. Early marine tetrapods most likely introduced a new trophic mechanism to redistribute nutrients to the top 10 m of the sea, where the primary productivity is highest. Therefore, a simple recovery to a Permian-like trophic structure does not explain the biotic changes seen after the Early Triassic. PMID:25754468

  11. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls.

    PubMed

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D

    2015-04-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic origin (approx. 50-100 Myr). PMID:25878047

  12. Arrested embryonic development: a review of strategies to delay hatching in egg-laying reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rafferty, Anthony R.; Reina, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Arrested embryonic development involves the downregulation or cessation of active cell division and metabolic activity, and the capability of an animal to arrest embryonic development results in temporal plasticity of the duration of embryonic period. Arrested embryonic development is an important reproductive strategy for egg-laying animals that provide no parental care after oviposition. In this review, we discuss each type of embryonic developmental arrest used by oviparous reptiles. Environmental pressures that might have directed the evolution of arrest are addressed and we present previously undiscussed environmentally dependent physiological processes that may occur in the egg to bring about arrest. Areas for future research are proposed to clarify how ecology affects the phenotype of developing embryos. We hypothesize that oviparous reptilian mothers are capable of providing their embryos with a level of phenotypic adaptation to local environmental conditions by incorporating maternal factors into the internal environment of the egg that result in different levels of developmental sensitivity to environmental conditions after they are laid. PMID:22438503

  13. Patterns of Interspecific Variation in the Heart Rates of Embryonic Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Du, Wei-Guo; Ye, Hua; Zhao, Bo; Pizzatto, Ligia; Ji, Xiang; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    New non-invasive technologies allow direct measurement of heart rates (and thus, developmental rates) of embryos. We applied these methods to a diverse array of oviparous reptiles (24 species of lizards, 18 snakes, 11 turtles, 1 crocodilian), to identify general influences on cardiac rates during embryogenesis. Heart rates increased with ambient temperature in all lineages, but (at the same temperature) were faster in lizards and turtles than in snakes and crocodilians. We analysed these data within a phylogenetic framework. Embryonic heart rates were faster in species with smaller adult sizes, smaller egg sizes, and shorter incubation periods. Phylogenetic changes in heart rates were negatively correlated with concurrent changes in adult body mass and residual incubation period among the lizards, snakes (especially within pythons) and crocodilians. The total number of embryonic heart beats between oviposition and hatching was lower in squamates than in turtles or the crocodilian. Within squamates, embryonic iguanians and gekkonids required more heartbeats to complete development than did embryos of the other squamate families that we tested. These differences plausibly reflect phylogenetic divergence in the proportion of embryogenesis completed before versus after laying. PMID:22174948

  14. Sox2 marks epithelial competence to generate teeth in mammals and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Juuri, Emma; Jussila, Maria; Seidel, Kerstin; Holmes, Scott; Wu, Ping; Richman, Joy; Heikinheimo, Kristiina; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Arnold, Katrin; Hochedlinger, Konrad; Klein, Ophir; Michon, Frederic; Thesleff, Irma

    2013-01-01

    Tooth renewal is initiated from epithelium associated with existing teeth. The development of new teeth requires dental epithelial cells that have competence for tooth formation, but specific marker genes for these cells have not been identified. Here, we analyzed expression patterns of the transcription factor Sox2 in two different modes of successional tooth formation: tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth. We observed specific Sox2 expression in the dental lamina that gives rise to successional teeth in mammals with one round of tooth replacement as well as in reptiles with continuous tooth replacement. Sox2 was also expressed in the dental lamina during serial addition of mammalian molars, and genetic lineage tracing indicated that Sox2+ cells of the first molar give rise to the epithelial cell lineages of the second and third molars. Moreover, conditional deletion of Sox2 resulted in hyperplastic epithelium in the forming posterior molars. Our results indicate that the Sox2+ dental epithelium has competence for successional tooth formation and that Sox2 regulates the progenitor state of dental epithelial cells. The findings imply that the function of Sox2 has been conserved during evolution and that tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth represent variations of the same developmental process. The expression patterns of Sox2 support the hypothesis that dormant capacity for continuous tooth renewal exists in mammals. PMID:23462476

  15. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: miRNAs support an archosaur, not lepidosaur, affinity for turtles.

    PubMed

    Field, Daniel J; Gauthier, Jacques A; King, Benjamin L; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R; Peterson, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic position of crown turtles (Testudines) among amniotes has been a source of particular contention. Recent morphological analyses suggest that turtles are sister to all other reptiles, whereas the vast majority of gene sequence analyses support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodilians). Previously, a study using microRNAs (miRNAs) placed turtles inside diapsids, but as sister to lepidosaurs (lizards and Sphenodon) rather than archosaurs. Here, we test this hypothesis with an expanded miRNA presence/absence dataset, and employ more rigorous criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; instead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs. We further test this result by analyzing a super-alignment of precursor miRNA sequences for every miRNA inferred to have been present in the most recent common ancestor of tetrapods. This analysis yields a topology that is fully congruent with our presence/absence analysis; our results are therefore in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient molecular evidence from diverse independent datasets regarding the phylogenetic position of turtles. PMID:24798503

  16. In utero exposure to the oestrogen mimic diethylstilbestrol disrupts gonadal development in a viviparous reptile.

    PubMed

    Parsley, Laura M; Wapstra, Erik; Jones, Susan M

    2015-09-01

    The ubiquitous presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment is of major concern. Studies on oviparous reptiles have significantly advanced knowledge in this field; however, 30% of reptilian species are viviparous (live-bearing), a parity mode in which both yolk and a placenta support embryonic development, thus exposure to EDCs may occur via multiple routes. In this first study of endocrine disruption in a viviparous lizard (Niveoscincus metallicus), we aimed to identify effects of the oestrogen mimic diethylstilbestrol (DES) on gonadal development. At the initiation of sexual differentiation, pregnant N. metallicus were treated with a single dose of DES at 100 or 10µgkg(--1), a vehicle solvent or received no treatment. There was no dose-response effect, but the testes of male neonates born to DES-exposed mothers showed reduced organisation of seminiferous tubules and a lack of germ cells compared with those from control groups. The ovaries of female neonates born to DES-exposed mothers exhibited phenotypic abnormalities of ovarian structure, oocytes and follicles compared with controls. The results indicate that, in viviparous lizards, maternal exposure to oestrogenic EDCs during gestation may have profound consequences for offspring reproductive fitness. PMID:24718097

  17. Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland.

    PubMed

    Surmik, Dawid; Boczarowski, Andrzej; Balin, Katarzyna; Dulski, Mateusz; Szade, Jacek; Kremer, Barbara; Pawlicki, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Fossil biomolecules from an endogenous source were previously identified in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossilized bones, the evidence coming from molecular analyses. These findings, however, were called into question and an alternative hypothesis of the invasion of the bone by bacterial biofilm was proposed. Herewith we report a new finding of morphologically preserved blood-vessel-like structures enclosing organic molecules preserved in iron-oxide-mineralized vessel walls from the cortical region of nothosaurid and tanystropheid (aquatic and terrestrial diapsid reptiles) bones. These findings are from the Early/Middle Triassic boundary (Upper Roetian/Lowermost Muschelkalk) strata of Upper Silesia, Poland. Multiple spectroscopic analyses (FTIR, ToF-SIMS, and XPS) of the extracted "blood vessels" showed the presence of organic compounds, including fragments of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as amides, that may suggest the presence of collagen protein residues. Because these amino acids are absent from most proteins other than collagen, we infer that the proteinaceous molecules may originate from endogenous collagen. The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the "blood vessels" was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization. This discovery provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic molecules in vertebrate remains in a marine environment. PMID:26977600

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Two waves of diversification in mammals and reptiles of Baja California revealed by hierarchical Bayesian analysis.

    PubMed

    Leaché, Adam D; Crews, Sarah C; Hickerson, Michael J

    2007-12-22

    Many species inhabiting the Peninsular Desert of Baja California demonstrate a phylogeographic break at the mid-peninsula, and previous researchers have attributed this shared pattern to a single vicariant event, a mid-peninsular seaway. However, previous studies have not explicitly considered the inherent stochasticity associated with the gene-tree coalescence for species preceding the time of the putative mid-peninsular divergence. We use a Bayesian analysis of a hierarchical model to test for simultaneous vicariance across co-distributed sister lineages sharing a genealogical break at the mid-peninsula. This Bayesian method is advantageous over traditional phylogenetic interpretations of biogeography because it considers the genetic variance associated with the coalescent and mutational processes, as well as the among-lineage demographic differences that affect gene-tree coalescent patterns. Mitochondrial DNA data from six small mammals and six squamate reptiles do not support the perception of a shared vicariant history among lineages exhibiting a north-south divergence at the mid-peninsula, and instead support two events differentially structuring genetic diversity in this region. PMID:17698443

  20. Is “cooling then freezing” a humane way to kill amphibians and reptiles?

    PubMed Central

    Shine, Richard; Amiel, Joshua; Munn, Adam J.; Stewart, Mathew; Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Lesku, John A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT What is the most humane way to kill amphibians and small reptiles that are used in research? Historically, such animals were often killed by cooling followed by freezing, but this method was outlawed by ethics committees because of concerns that ice-crystals may form in peripheral tissues while the animal is still conscious, putatively causing intense pain. This argument relies on assumptions about the capacity of such animals to feel pain, the thermal thresholds for tissue freezing, the temperature-dependence of nerve-impulse transmission and brain activity, and the magnitude of thermal differentials within the bodies of rapidly-cooling animals. A review of published studies casts doubt on those assumptions, and our laboratory experiments on cane toads (Rhinella marina) show that brain activity declines smoothly during freezing, with no indication of pain perception. Thus, cooling followed by freezing can offer a humane method of killing cane toads, and may be widely applicable to other ectotherms (especially, small species that are rarely active at low body temperatures). More generally, many animal-ethics regulations have little empirical basis, and research on this topic is urgently required in order to reduce animal suffering. PMID:26015533

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Skin pigmentation provides evidence of convergent melanism in extinct marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Uvdal, Per; Gren, Johan A; Dyke, Gareth; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Shawkey, Matthew D; Barnes, Kenneth R; Polcyn, Michael J

    2014-02-27

    Throughout the animal kingdom, adaptive colouration serves critical functions ranging from inconspicuous camouflage to ostentatious sexual display, and can provide important information about the environment and biology of a particular organism. The most ubiquitous and abundant pigment, melanin, also has a diverse range of non-visual roles, including thermoregulation in ectotherms. However, little is known about the functional evolution of this important biochrome through deep time, owing to our limited ability to unambiguously identify traces of it in the fossil record. Here we present direct chemical evidence of pigmentation in fossilized skin, from three distantly related marine reptiles: a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur. We demonstrate that dark traces of soft tissue in these fossils are dominated by molecularly preserved eumelanin, in intimate association with fossilized melanosomes. In addition, we suggest that contrary to the countershading of many pelagic animals, at least some ichthyosaurs were uniformly dark-coloured in life. Our analyses expand current knowledge of pigmentation in fossil integument beyond that of feathers, allowing for the reconstruction of colour over much greater ranges of extinct taxa and anatomy. In turn, our results provide evidence of convergent melanism in three disparate lineages of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Based on extant marine analogues, we propose that the benefits of thermoregulation and/or crypsis are likely to have contributed to this melanisation, with the former having implications for the ability of each group to exploit cold environments. PMID:24402224

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan

    PubMed Central

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  7. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    PubMed

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  8. First Large-Scale DNA Barcoding Assessment of Reptiles in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar, Based on Newly Designed COI Primers

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Zoltán T.; Sonet, Gontran; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding of non-avian reptiles based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is still in a very early stage, mainly due to technical problems. Using a newly developed set of reptile-specific primers for COI we present the first comprehensive study targeting the entire reptile fauna of the fourth-largest island in the world, the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar. Methodology/Principal Findings Representatives of the majority of Madagascan non-avian reptile species (including Squamata and Testudines) were sampled and successfully DNA barcoded. The new primer pair achieved a constantly high success rate (72.7–100%) for most squamates. More than 250 species of reptiles (out of the 393 described ones; representing around 64% of the known diversity of species) were barcoded. The average interspecific genetic distance within families ranged from a low of 13.4% in the Boidae to a high of 29.8% in the Gekkonidae. Using the average genetic divergence between sister species as a threshold, 41–48 new candidate (undescribed) species were identified. Simulations were used to evaluate the performance of DNA barcoding as a function of completeness of taxon sampling and fragment length. Compared with available multi-gene phylogenies, DNA barcoding correctly assigned most samples to species, genus and family with high confidence and the analysis of fewer taxa resulted in an increased number of well supported lineages. Shorter marker-lengths generally decreased the number of well supported nodes, but even mini-barcodes of 100 bp correctly assigned many samples to genus and family. Conclusions/Significance The new protocols might help to promote DNA barcoding of reptiles and the established library of reference DNA barcodes will facilitate the molecular identification of Madagascan reptiles. Our results might be useful to easily recognize undescribed diversity (i.e. novel taxa), to resolve taxonomic problems, and to monitor the international pet trade

  9. Fetal nutrition in lecithotrophic squamate reptiles: toward a comprehensive model for evolution of viviparity and placentation.

    PubMed

    Stewart, James R

    2013-07-01

    The primary pattern of embryonic nutrition for squamate reptiles is lecithotrophy; with few exceptions, all squamate embryos mobilize nutrients from yolk. The evolution of viviparity presents an opportunity for an additional source of embryonic nutrition through delivery of uterine secretions, or placentotrophy. This pattern of embryonic nutrition is thought to evolve through placental supplementation of lecithotrophy, followed by increasing dependence on placentotrophy. This review analyzes the relationship between reproductive mode and pattern of embryonic nutrition in three lecithotrophic viviparous species, and oviparous counterparts, for concordance with a current model for the evolution of viviparity and placentation. The assumptions of the model, that nutrients for oviparous embryos are mobilized from yolk, and that this source is not disrupted in the transition to viviparity, are supported for most nutrients. In contrast, calcium, an essential nutrient for embryonic development, is mobilized from both yolk and eggshell by oviparous embryos and reduction of eggshell calcium is correlated with viviparity. If embryonic fitness is compromised by disruption of a primary source of calcium, selection may not favor evolution of viviparity, yet viviparity has arisen independently in numerous squamate lineages. Studies of fetal nutrition in reproductively bimodal species suggest a resolution to this paradox. If uterine calcium secretion occurs during prolonged intrauterine egg retention, calcium placentotrophy evolves prior to viviparity as a replacement for eggshell calcium and embryonic nutrition will not be compromised. This hypothesis is integrated into the current model for evolution of viviparity and placentation to address the unique attributes of calcium nutrition. The sequence of events requires a shift in timing of uterine calcium secretion and the embryonic mechanism of calcium retrieval to be responsive to calcium availability. Regulation of uterine

  10. Thermal niche predicts tolerance to habitat conversion in tropical amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Frishkoff, Luke O; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Daily, Gretchen C

    2015-11-01

    Habitat conversion is a major driver of the biodiversity crisis, yet why some species undergo local extinction while others thrive under novel conditions remains unclear. We suggest that focusing on species' niches, rather than traits, may provide the predictive power needed to forecast biodiversity change. We first examine two Neotropical frog congeners with drastically different affinities to deforestation and document how thermal niche explains deforestation tolerance. The more deforestation-tolerant species is associated with warmer macroclimates across Costa Rica, and warmer microclimates within landscapes. Further, in laboratory experiments, the more deforestation-tolerant species has critical thermal limits, and a jumping performance optimum, shifted ~2 °C warmer than those of the more forest-affiliated species, corresponding to the ~3 °C difference in daytime maximum temperature that these species experience between habitats. Crucially, neither species strictly specializes on either habitat - instead habitat use is governed by regional environmental temperature. Both species track temperature along an elevational gradient, and shift their habitat use from cooler forest at lower elevations to warmer deforested pastures upslope. To generalize these conclusions, we expand our analysis to the entire mid-elevational herpetological community of southern Costa Rica. We assess the climatological affinities of 33 amphibian and reptile species, showing that across both taxonomic classes, thermal niche predicts presence in deforested habitat as well as or better than many commonly used traits. These data suggest that warm-adapted species carry a significant survival advantage amidst the synergistic impacts of land-use conversion and climate change. PMID:26148337

  11. Phylogeny of chrysosporia infecting reptiles: proposal of the new family Nannizziopsiaceae and five new species.

    PubMed

    Stchigel, A M; Sutton, D A; Cano-Lira, J F; Cabañes, F J; Abarca, L; Tintelnot, K; Wickes, B L; García, D; Guarro, J

    2013-12-01

    We have performed a phenotypic and phylogenetic study of a set of fungi, mostly of veterinary origin, morphologically similar to the Chrysosporium asexual morph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (Onygenales, Eurotiomycetidae, Eurotiomycetes, Ascomycota). The analysis of sequences of the D1-D2 domains of the 28S rDNA, including representatives of the different families of the Onygenales, revealed that N. vriesii and relatives form a distinct lineage within that order, which is proposed as the new family Nannizziopsiaceae. The members of this family show the particular characteristic of causing skin infections in reptiles and producing hyaline, thin- and smooth-walled, small, mostly sessile 1-celled conidia and colonies with a pungent skunk-like odour. The phenotypic and multigene study results, based on ribosomal ITS region, actin and β-tubulin sequences, demonstrated that some of the fungi included in this study were different from the known species of Nannizziopsis and Chrysosporium and are described here as new. They are N. chlamydospora, N. draconii, N. arthrosporioides, N. pluriseptata and Chrysosporium longisporum. Nannizziopsis chlamydospora is distinguished by producing chlamydospores and by its ability to grow at 5 °C. Nannizziopsis draconii is able to grow on bromocresol purple-milk solids-glucose (BCP-MS-G) agar alkalinizing the medium, is resistant to 0.2 % cycloheximide but does not grow on Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) with 3 % NaCl. Nannizziopsis arthrosporioides is characterised by the production of very long arthroconidia. Nannizziopsis pluriseptata produces 1- to 5-celled sessile conidia, alkalinizes the BCP-MS-G agar and grows on SDA supplemented with 5 % NaCl. Chrysosporium longisporum shows long sessile conidia (up to 13 μm) and does not produce lipase. PMID:24761037

  12. Comparing Methods for Prioritising Protected Areas for Investment: A Case Study Using Madagascar's Dry Forest Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Metcalfe, Kristian; Raselimanana, Achille P; Smith, Robert J; Davies, Zoe G

    2015-01-01

    There are insufficient resources available to manage the world's existing protected area portfolio effectively, so the most important sites should be prioritised in investment decision-making. Sophisticated conservation planning and assessment tools developed to identify locations for new protected areas can provide an evidence base for such prioritisations, yet decision-makers in many countries lack the institutional support and necessary capacity to use the associated software. As such, simple heuristic approaches such as species richness or number of threatened species are generally adopted to inform prioritisation decisions. However, their performance has never been tested. Using the reptile fauna of Madagascar's dry forests as a case study, we evaluate the performance of four site prioritisation protocols used to rank the conservation value of 22 established and candidate protected areas. We compare the results to a benchmark produced by the widely-used systematic conservation planning software Zonation. The four indices scored sites on the basis of: i) species richness; ii) an index based on species' Red List status; iii) irreplaceability (a key metric in systematic conservation planning); and, iv) a novel Conservation Value Index (CVI), which incorporates species-level information on endemism, representation in the protected area system, tolerance of habitat degradation and hunting/collection pressure. Rankings produced by the four protocols were positively correlated to the results of Zonation, particularly amongst high-scoring sites, but CVI and Irreplaceability performed better than Species Richness and the Red List Index. Given the technological capacity constraints experienced by decision-makers in the developing world, our findings suggest that heuristic metrics can represent a useful alternative to more sophisticated analyses, especially when they integrate species-specific information related to extinction risk. However, this can require access to

  13. Thermal acclimation, mitochondrial capacities and organ metabolic profiles in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Seebacher, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles thermoregulate behaviourally, but change their preferred temperature and the optimal temperature for performance seasonally. We evaluated whether the digestive and locomotor systems of the alligator show parallel metabolic adjustments during thermal acclimation. To this end, we allowed juvenile alligators to grow under thermal conditions typical of winter and summer, providing them with seasonally appropriate basking opportunities. Although mean body temperatures of alligators in these groups differed by approximately 10°C, their growth and final anatomic status was equivalent. While hepatic mitochondria isolated from cold-acclimated alligators had higher oxidative capacities at 30°C than those from warm-acclimated alligators, the capacities did not differ at 20°C. Cold acclimation decreased maximal oxidative capacities of muscle mitochondria. For mitochondria from both organs and acclimation groups, palmitate increased oligomycin-inhibited respiration. GDP addition reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates more in liver mitochondria from warm- than cold-acclimated alligators. In muscle mitochondria, carboxyatractyloside significantly reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates. This effect was not changed by thermal acclimation. The aerobic capacity of liver, skeletal muscle and duodenum, as estimated by activities of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), increased with cold acclimation. At acclimation temperatures, the activities of COX and citrate synthase (CS) in these organs were equivalent. By measuring COX and CS in isolated mitochondria and tissue extracts, we estimated that cold acclimation did not change the mitochondrial content in liver, but increased that of muscle. The thermal compensation of growth rates and of the aerobic capacity of the locomotor and digestive systems suggests that alligators optimised metabolic processes for the seasonally altered, preferred body temperature. The precision of this compensatory response exceeds that typically shown by aquatic

  14. Seasonal and spatial dynamics of ectoparasite infestation of a threatened reptile, the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    Godfrey, S S; Bull, C M; Nelson, N J

    2008-12-01

    The conservation of threatened vertebrate species and their threatened parasites requires an understanding of the factors influencing their distribution and dynamics. This is particularly important for species maintained in conservation reserves at high densities, where increased contact among hosts could lead to increased rates of parasitism. The tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) (Reptilia: Sphenodontia) is a threatened reptile that persists at high densities in forests (approximately 2700 tuatara/ha) and lower densities in pastures and shrubland (< 200 tuatara/ha) on Stephens Island, New Zealand. We investigated the lifecycles and seasonal dynamics of infestation of two ectoparasites (the tuatara tick, Amblyomma sphenodonti, and trombiculid mites, Neotrombicula sp.) in a mark-recapture study in three forest study plots from November 2004 to March 2007, and compared infestation levels among habitat types in March 2006. Tick loads were lowest over summer and peaked from late autumn (May) until early spring (September). Mating and engorgement of female ticks was highest over spring, and larval tick loads subsequently increased in early autumn (March). Nymphal tick loads increased in September, and adult tick loads increased in May. Our findings suggest the tuatara tick has a 2- or 3-year lifecycle. Mite loads were highest over summer and autumn, and peaked in March. Prevalences (proportion of hosts infected) and densities (estimated number of parasites per hectare) of ticks were similar among habitats, but tick loads (parasites per host) were higher in pastures than in forests and shrub. The prevalence and density of mites was higher in forests than in pasture or shrub, but mite loads were similar among habitats. We suggest that a higher density of tuatara in forests may reduce the ectoparasite loads of individuals through a dilution effect. Understanding host-parasite dynamics will help in the conservation management of both the host and its parasites. PMID:19120965

  15. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  16. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya

    PubMed Central

    MALONZA, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-01-01

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  17. The Enigmatic Marine Reptile Nanchangosaurus from the Lower Triassic of Hubei, China and the Phylogenetic Affinities of Hupehsuchia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The study of the holotype and of a new specimen of Nanchangosaurus suni (Reptilia; Diapsida; Hupehsuchia) revealed a suite of hitherto unrecognized characters. For example, Nanchangosaurus has bipartite neural spines and its vertebral count is nearly identical to that of Hupehsuchus. It differs from the latter in having poorly developed forelimbs despite the advanced ossification in the rest of the skeleton. Other differences all pertain to hupehsuchian plesiomorphies retained in Nanchangosaurus, such as low neural spines. The relationship of Hupehsuchia within Diapsida was analyzed based on a data matrix containing 41 taxa coded for 213 characters, of which 18 were identified as aquatic adaptations from functional inferences. These aquatic adaptations may be vulnerable to the argumentation of character homology because expectation for homoplasy is high. There is an apparent incongruence between phylogenetic signals from aquatic adaptations and the rest of the data, with aquatic adaptations favoring all marine reptiles but Helveticosaurus to form a super-clade. However, this super-clade does not obtain when aquatic adaptations were deleted, whereas individual marine reptile clades are all derived without them. We examined all possible combinations of the 18 aquatic adaptations (n = 262143) and found that four lineages of marine reptiles are recognized almost regardless of which of these features were included in the analysis: Hupehsuchia-Ichthyopterygia clade, Sauropterygia-Saurosphargidae clade, Thalattosauria, and Helveticosaurus. The interrelationships among these four depended on the combination of aquatic adaptations to be included, i.e., assumed to be homologous a priori by bypassing character argumentation. Hupehsuchia always appeared as the sister taxon of Ichthyopterygia. PMID:25014493

  18. Globin gene structure in a reptile supports the transpositional model for amniote α- and β-globin gene evolution.

    PubMed

    Patel, Vidushi S; Ezaz, Tariq; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2010-12-01

    The haemoglobin protein, required for oxygen transportation in the body, is encoded by α- and β-globin genes that are arranged in clusters. The transpositional model for the evolution of distinct α-globin and β-globin clusters in amniotes is much simpler than the previously proposed whole genome duplication model. According to this model, all jawed vertebrates share one ancient region containing α- and β-globin genes and several flanking genes in the order MPG-C16orf35-(α-β)-GBY-LUC7L that has been conserved for more than 410 million years, whereas amniotes evolved a distinct β-globin cluster by insertion of a transposed β-globin gene from this ancient region into a cluster of olfactory receptors flanked by CCKBR and RRM1. It could not be determined whether this organisation is conserved in all amniotes because of the paucity of information from non-avian reptiles. To fill in this gap, we examined globin gene organisation in a squamate reptile, the Australian bearded dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps (Agamidae). We report here that the α-globin cluster (HBK, HBA) is flanked by C16orf35 and GBY and is located on a pair of microchromosomes, whereas the β-globin cluster is flanked by RRM1 on the 3' end and is located on the long arm of chromosome 3. However, the CCKBR gene that flanks the β-globin cluster on the 5' end in other amniotes is located on the short arm of chromosome 5 in P. vitticeps, indicating that a chromosomal break between the β-globin cluster and CCKBR occurred at least in the agamid lineage. Our data from a reptile species provide further evidence to support the transpositional model for the evolution of β-globin gene cluster in amniotes. PMID:21116705

  19. A new Triassic procolophonoid reptile and its implications for procolophonoid survivorship during the Permo-Triassic extinction event.

    PubMed

    Modesto, S; Sues, H D; Damiani, R

    2001-10-01

    A reptile specimen from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group, lowermost Triassic of South Africa, represents a new procolophonoid parareptile. Sauropareion anoplus gen. et sp. nov. is identified as the sister taxon of Procolophonidae in a phylogenetic analysis of procolophonoids. Stratigraphic calibration of the most parsimonious tree reveals that four of the six procolophonoid lineages originating in the Permian Period extended into the succeeding Triassic Period. This relatively high taxic survivorship (67%) across the Permo-Triassic boundary strongly suggests that procolophonoids were little if at all affected by the mass extinction event that punctuated the end of the Palaeozoic Era (ca. 251 million years ago). PMID:11571052

  20. A Single Residue in Ebola Virus Receptor NPC1 Influences Cellular Host Range in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Ndungo, Esther; Herbert, Andrew S.; Raaben, Matthijs; Obernosterer, Gregor; Biswas, Rohan; Miller, Emily Happy; Wirchnianski, Ariel S.; Carette, Jan E.; Brummelkamp, Thijn R.; Whelan, Sean P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Filoviruses are the causative agents of an increasing number of disease outbreaks in human populations, including the current unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in western Africa. One obstacle to controlling these epidemics is our poor understanding of the host range of filoviruses and their natural reservoirs. Here, we investigated the role of the intracellular filovirus receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as a molecular determinant of Ebola virus (EBOV) host range at the cellular level. Whereas human cells can be infected by EBOV, a cell line derived from a Russell’s viper (Daboia russellii) (VH-2) is resistant to infection in an NPC1-dependent manner. We found that VH-2 cells are resistant to EBOV infection because the Russell’s viper NPC1 ortholog bound poorly to the EBOV spike glycoprotein (GP). Analysis of panels of viper-human NPC1 chimeras and point mutants allowed us to identify a single amino acid residue in NPC1, at position 503, that bidirectionally influenced both its binding to EBOV GP and its viral receptor activity in cells. Significantly, this single residue change perturbed neither NPC1’s endosomal localization nor its housekeeping role in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Together with other recent work, these findings identify sequences in NPC1 that are important for viral receptor activity by virtue of their direct interaction with EBOV GP and suggest that they may influence filovirus host range in nature. Broader surveys of NPC1 orthologs from vertebrates may delineate additional sequence polymorphisms in this gene that control susceptibility to filovirus infection. IMPORTANCE Identifying cellular factors that determine susceptibility to infection can help us understand how Ebola virus is transmitted. We asked if the EBOV receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) could explain why reptiles are resistant to EBOV infection. We demonstrate that cells derived from the Russell’s viper are not susceptible to infection because EBOV

  1. Brain organization in a reptile lacking sex chromosomes: effects of gonadectomy and exogenous testosterone.

    PubMed

    Crews, D; Coomber, P; Baldwin, R; Azad, N; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    1996-12-01

    In mammals, males and females differ both genetically and hormonally, making it difficult to assess the relative contributions of genetic constitution and fetal environment in the process of sexual differentiation. Many reptiles lack sex chromosomes, relying instead on the temperature of incubation to determine sex. In the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), an incubation temperature of 26 degrees C produces all females, whereas 32.5 degrees C results in mostly males. Incubation temperature is the primary determinant of differences both within and between the sexes in growth, physiology, and sociosexual behavior, as well as the volume and metabolic capacity of specific brain nuclei. To determine if incubation temperature organizes the brain directly rather than via gonadal sex hormones, the gonads of male and female leopard geckos from the two incubation temperatures were removed and, in some instances, animals were given exogenous testosterone. In vertebrates with sex chromosomes, the size of sexually dimorphic nuclei are sensitive to hormone levels in adulthood, but in all species studied to date, these changes are restricted to the male. Therefore, after behavior tests, morphometrics of certain limbic and nonlimbic brain areas were determined. Because nervous system tissue depends on oxidative metabolism for energy production and the level of cytochrome oxidase activity is coupled to the functional level of neuronal activity, cytochrome oxidase histochemistry also was performed on the same brains. Hormonal manipulation had little effect on the volume of the preoptic area or ventromedial hypothalamus in geckos from the all-female incubation temperature, but significantly influenced the volumes of these brain areas in males and females from the male-biased incubation temperature. A similar relationship was found for cytochrome oxidase activity of the anterior hypothalamus, amygdala, dorsal ventricular ridge, and septum. The only sex difference observed was

  2. A Single Residue in Ebola Virus Receptor NPC1 Influences Cellular Host Range in Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ndungo, Esther; Herbert, Andrew S; Raaben, Matthijs; Obernosterer, Gregor; Biswas, Rohan; Miller, Emily Happy; Wirchnianski, Ariel S; Carette, Jan E; Brummelkamp, Thijn R; Whelan, Sean P; Dye, John M; Chandran, Kartik

    2016-01-01

    Filoviruses are the causative agents of an increasing number of disease outbreaks in human populations, including the current unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in western Africa. One obstacle to controlling these epidemics is our poor understanding of the host range of filoviruses and their natural reservoirs. Here, we investigated the role of the intracellular filovirus receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as a molecular determinant of Ebola virus (EBOV) host range at the cellular level. Whereas human cells can be infected by EBOV, a cell line derived from a Russell's viper (Daboia russellii) (VH-2) is resistant to infection in an NPC1-dependent manner. We found that VH-2 cells are resistant to EBOV infection because the Russell's viper NPC1 ortholog bound poorly to the EBOV spike glycoprotein (GP). Analysis of panels of viper-human NPC1 chimeras and point mutants allowed us to identify a single amino acid residue in NPC1, at position 503, that bidirectionally influenced both its binding to EBOV GP and its viral receptor activity in cells. Significantly, this single residue change perturbed neither NPC1's endosomal localization nor its housekeeping role in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Together with other recent work, these findings identify sequences in NPC1 that are important for viral receptor activity by virtue of their direct interaction with EBOV GP and suggest that they may influence filovirus host range in nature. Broader surveys of NPC1 orthologs from vertebrates may delineate additional sequence polymorphisms in this gene that control susceptibility to filovirus infection. IMPORTANCE Identifying cellular factors that determine susceptibility to infection can help us understand how Ebola virus is transmitted. We asked if the EBOV receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) could explain why reptiles are resistant to EBOV infection. We demonstrate that cells derived from the Russell's viper are not susceptible to infection because EBOV cannot bind to

  3. Molecular Characterization of Reptile Pathogens Currently Known as Members of the Chrysosporium Anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii Complex and Relationship with Some Human-Associated Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Hambleton, Sarah; Paré, Jean A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), Chrysosporium guarroi, Chrysosporium ophiodiicola, and Chrysosporium species have been reported as the causes of dermal or deep lesions in reptiles. These infections are contagious and often fatal and affect both captive and wild animals. Forty-nine CANV isolates from reptiles and six isolates from human sources were compared with N. vriesii based on their cultural characteristics and DNA sequence data. Analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer and small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene revealed that the reptile pathogens and human isolates belong in well-supported clades corresponding to three lineages that are distinct from all other taxa within the family Onygenaceae of the order Onygenales. One lineage represents the genus Nannizziopsis and comprises N. vriesii, N. guarroi, and six additional species encompassing isolates from chameleons and geckos, crocodiles, agamid and iguanid lizards, and humans. Two other lineages comprise the genus Ophidiomyces, with the species Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola occurring only in snakes, and Paranannizziopsis gen. nov., with three new species infecting squamates and tuataras. The newly described species are Nannizziopsis dermatitidis, Nannizziopsis crocodili, Nannizziopsis barbata, Nannizziopsis infrequens, Nannizziopsis hominis, Nannizziopsis obscura, Paranannizziopsis australasiensis, Paranannizziopsis californiensis, and Paranannizziopsis crustacea. Chrysosporium longisporum has been reclassified as Paranannizziopsis longispora. N. guarroi causes yellow fungus disease, a common infection in bearded dragons and green iguanas, and O. ophiodiicola is an emerging pathogen of captive and wild snakes. Human-associated species were not recovered from reptiles, and reptile-associated species were recovered only from reptiles, thereby mitigating concerns related to zoonosis. PMID:23926168

  4. Molecular characterization of reptile pathogens currently known as members of the chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii complex and relationship with some human-associated isolates.

    PubMed

    Sigler, Lynne; Hambleton, Sarah; Paré, Jean A

    2013-10-01

    In recent years, the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), Chrysosporium guarroi, Chrysosporium ophiodiicola, and Chrysosporium species have been reported as the causes of dermal or deep lesions in reptiles. These infections are contagious and often fatal and affect both captive and wild animals. Forty-nine CANV isolates from reptiles and six isolates from human sources were compared with N. vriesii based on their cultural characteristics and DNA sequence data. Analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer and small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene revealed that the reptile pathogens and human isolates belong in well-supported clades corresponding to three lineages that are distinct from all other taxa within the family Onygenaceae of the order Onygenales. One lineage represents the genus Nannizziopsis and comprises N. vriesii, N. guarroi, and six additional species encompassing isolates from chameleons and geckos, crocodiles, agamid and iguanid lizards, and humans. Two other lineages comprise the genus Ophidiomyces, with the species Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola occurring only in snakes, and Paranannizziopsis gen. nov., with three new species infecting squamates and tuataras. The newly described species are Nannizziopsis dermatitidis, Nannizziopsis crocodili, Nannizziopsis barbata, Nannizziopsis infrequens, Nannizziopsis hominis, Nannizziopsis obscura, Paranannizziopsis australasiensis, Paranannizziopsis californiensis, and Paranannizziopsis crustacea. Chrysosporium longisporum has been reclassified as Paranannizziopsis longispora. N. guarroi causes yellow fungus disease, a common infection in bearded dragons and green iguanas, and O. ophiodiicola is an emerging pathogen of captive and wild snakes. Human-associated species were not recovered from reptiles, and reptile-associated species were recovered only from reptiles, thereby mitigating concerns related to zoonosis. PMID:23926168

  5. Integration of autonomic and local mechanisms in regulating cardiovascular responses to heating and cooling in a reptile (Crocodylus porosus).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2004-10-01

    Reptiles change heart rate and blood flow patterns in response to heating and cooling, thereby decreasing the behavioural cost of thermoregulation. We tested the hypothesis that locally produced vasoactive substances, nitric oxide and prostaglandins, mediate the cardiovascular response of reptiles to heat. Heart rate and blood pressure were measured in eight crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) during heating and cooling and while sequentially inhibiting nitric-oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase enzymes. Heart rate and blood pressure were significantly higher during heating than during cooling in all treatments. Power spectral density of heart rate and blood pressure increased significantly during heating and cooling compared to the preceding period of thermal equilibrium. Spectral density of heart rate in the high frequency band (0.19-0.70 Hz) was significantly greater during cooling in the saline treatment compared to when nitric-oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase enzymes were inhibited. Cross spectral analysis showed that changes in blood pressure preceded heart rate changes at low frequencies (< 0.1 Hz) only. We conclude that the autonomic nervous system controls heart rate independently from blood pressure at higher frequencies while blood pressure changes determine heart rate at lower frequencies. Nitric oxide and prostaglandins do not control the characteristic heart rate hysteresis response to heat in C. porosus, although nitric oxide was important in buffering blood pressure against changes in heart rate during cooling, and inhibition caused a compensatory decrease in parasympathetic stimulation of the heart. PMID:15340754

  6. Climate change is predicted to negatively influence Moroccan endemic reptile richness. Implications for conservation in protected areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Argaz, Hamida; Fahd, Soumía; Brito, José C.

    2013-09-01

    The identification of species-rich areas and their prognosticated turnover under climate change are crucial for the conservation of endemic taxa. This study aims to identify areas of reptile endemicity richness in a global biodiversity hot spot (Morocco) under current and future climatic conditions and to investigate the role of protected areas in biodiversity conservation under climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) were performed over the distribution of 21 endemic reptiles, combined to estimate current species richness at 1 × 1 km resolution and projected to years 2050 and 2080 according to distinct story lines and ensemble global circulation models, assuming unlimited and null dispersion ability. Generalized additive models were performed between species richness and geographic characteristics of 43 protected areas. SDM found precipitation as the most important factor related to current species distributions. Important reductions in future suitable areas were predicted for 50 % of species, and four species were identified as highly vulnerable to extinction. Drastic reductions in species-rich areas were predicted for the future, with considerable variability between years and dispersal scenarios. High turnover rates of species composition were predicted for eastern Morocco, whereas low values were forecasted for the Northern Atlantic coast and mountains. Species richness for current and future conditions was significantly related to the altitude and latitude of protected areas. Protected areas located in mountains and/or in the Northern Atlantic coast were identified as refugia, where population monitoring and conservation management is needed.

  7. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuberville, Tracey D.; Andrews, Kimberly M.; Sperry, Jinelle H.; Grosse, Andrew M.

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself.

  8. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  9. Diversity of pulsed field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes, serovars and antibiotic resistance among Salmonella isolates from wild amphibians and reptiles in the California central coast

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey of cold-blooded vertebrates and associated surface waters in a produce-growing region on the Central California Coast was done between May and September, 2011 to determine the diversity of Salmonella strains in these habitats and individuals. Samples from 460 amphibians and reptiles and 119...

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

    PubMed

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

    1983-03-20

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

  11. Complete sequence determination of a novel reptile iridovirus isolated from soft-shelled turtle and evolutionary analysis of Iridoviridae

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Youhua; Huang, Xiaohong; Liu, Hong; Gong, Jie; Ouyang, Zhengliang; Cui, Huachun; Cao, Jianhao; Zhao, Yingtao; Wang, Xiujie; Jiang, Yulin; Qin, Qiwei

    2009-01-01

    Background Soft-shelled turtle iridovirus (STIV) is the causative agent of severe systemic diseases in cultured soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinensis). To our knowledge, the only molecular information available on STIV mainly concerns the highly conserved STIV major capsid protein. The complete sequence of the STIV genome is not yet available. Therefore, determining the genome sequence of STIV and providing a detailed bioinformatic analysis of its genome content and evolution status will facilitate further understanding of the taxonomic elements of STIV and the molecular mechanisms of reptile iridovirus pathogenesis. Results We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the STIV genome using 454 Life Science sequencing technology. The STIV genome is 105 890 bp in length with a base composition of 55.1% G+C. Computer assisted analysis revealed that the STIV genome contains 105 potential open reading frames (ORFs), which encode polypeptides ranging from 40 to 1,294 amino acids and 20 microRNA candidates. Among the putative proteins, 20 share homology with the ancestral proteins of the nuclear and cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs). Comparative genomic analysis showed that STIV has the highest degree of sequence conservation and a colinear arrangement of genes with frog virus 3 (FV3), followed by Tiger frog virus (TFV), Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV), Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV), Grouper iridovirus (GIV) and other iridovirus isolates. Phylogenetic analysis based on conserved core genes and complete genome sequence of STIV with other virus genomes was performed. Moreover, analysis of the gene gain-and-loss events in the family Iridoviridae suggested that the genes encoded by iridoviruses have evolved for favoring adaptation to different natural host species. Conclusion This study has provided the complete genome sequence of STIV. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that STIV and FV3 are strains of the same viral species belonging to the Ranavirus genus in

  12. Whole genome characterization of a chelonian orthoreovirus strain identifies significant genetic diversity and may classify reptile orthoreoviruses into distinct species.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Renáta; Marschang, Rachel E; Ihász, Katalin; Lengyel, György; Jakab, Ferenc; Bányai, Krisztián; Farkas, Szilvia L

    2016-04-01

    In this study we report the sequence and phylogenetic characterization of an orthoreovirus strain, CH1197/96, isolated from a spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) on chicken embryo fibroblast cells. The 23,957 bp long genome sequence was obtained by combined use of semiconductor and capillary sequencing. Although the genomic characterization showed that the virus was most similar to the bush viper reovirus strain, 47/02, and in phylogenies performed with all segments the two strains formed a monophyletic group, the nucleotide (48.4-70.3%) and amino acid (39.2-80.7%) sequence identity values were moderate between the two reptile origin reoviruses. Based on our results and existing classification criteria for the genus Orthoreovirus, the tortoise reovirus strain CH1197/96 might be the first representative of a novel reptilian origin Orthoreovirus species. PMID:26892635

  13. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: microRNAs support an archosaur, not a lepidosaur affinity for turtles

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; Gauthier, Jacques A.; King, Benjamin L.; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic placement of crown turtles (Testudines) among amniotes has been a source of particular contention. Recent morphological analyses suggest that turtles are sister to all other reptiles, whereas virtually all analyses of gene sequences support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodylians). Previously, a study using microRNAs (miRNAs) placed turtles inside diapsids, but as sister to lepidosaurs (lizards and Sphenodon) rather than archosaurs. Here, we test this result with an expanded dataset, and employ proper criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; intstead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs as the living sister group to birds + crocodylians. These results are in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient evidence from diverse independent datasets for the phylogenetic position of turtles. PMID:24798503

  14. Uterine Gene Expression in the Live-Bearing Lizard, Chalcides ocellatus, Reveals Convergence of Squamate Reptile and Mammalian Pregnancy Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Young, Rebecca L.; Warren, Dan L.; Thompson, Michael B.; Wagner, Günter P.

    2012-01-01

    Although the morphological and physiological changes involved in pregnancy in live-bearing reptiles are well studied, the genetic mechanisms that underlie these changes are not known. We used the viviparous African Ocellated Skink, Chalcides ocellatus, as a model to identify a near complete gene expression profile associated with pregnancy using RNA-Seq analyses of uterine transcriptomes. Pregnancy in C. ocellatus is associated with upregulation of uterine genes involved with metabolism, cell proliferation and death, and cellular transport. Moreover, there are clear parallels between the genetic processes associated with pregnancy in mammals and Chalcides in expression of genes related to tissue remodeling, angiogenesis, immune system regulation, and nutrient provisioning to the embryo. In particular, the pregnant uterine transcriptome is dominated by expression of proteolytic enzymes that we speculate are involved both with remodeling the chorioallantoic placenta and histotrophy in the omphaloplacenta. Elements of the maternal innate immune system are downregulated in the pregnant uterus, indicating a potential mechanism to avoid rejection of the embryo. We found a downregulation of major histocompatability complex loci and estrogen and progesterone receptors in the pregnant uterus. This pattern is similar to mammals but cannot be explained by the mammalian model. The latter finding provides evidence that pregnancy is controlled by different endocrinological mechanisms in mammals and reptiles. Finally, 88% of the identified genes are expressed in both the pregnant and the nonpregnant uterus, and thus, morphological and physiological changes associated with C. ocellatus pregnancy are likely a result of regulation of genes continually expressed in the uterus rather than the initiation of expression of unique genes. PMID:22333490

  15. Inhibition of MEK and GSK3 supports ES cell-like domed colony formation from avian and reptile embryos.

    PubMed

    Nakanoh, Shota; Okazaki, Kenji; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2013-07-01

    As amniotes diversified, mammals may have modified mechanisms of cellular pluripotency along with the acquisition of a placenta. What then defined pluripotent states in the ancestral amniotes? To study the evolutionary background of pluripotency in amniotes, we tested the effects of extracellular effectors on primary culture cells from avian and reptile embryos in serum-free medium. When treated with a combination of a MEK inhibitor and a GSK3 inhibitor (2i condition), chicken early embryos formed domed colonies (DCs), which were morphologically indistinguishable from the colonies formed by mouse and rat naïve embryonic stem cells. However, no DCs formed when cells from further-developed embryos were cultured in the 2i condition, indicating that there is a clear boundary of DC-forming ability at around the stage of primitive streak elongation. Quail embryos at the blastoderm and cleavage stages also formed DCs in the 2i condition, which is consistent with the notion that the appearance of DCs corresponds with the presence of pluripotent cells in embryos. Gecko blastoderms also formed DCs in the 2i condition, but gastrulas did not. ERK activation by bFGF caused an effect opposite to that of the 2i condition, namely, it dispersed colonies of cells even from early embryos in all species examined. These results suggest that the regulation of pluripotency by FGF/ERK signaling may date back at least to the common ancestor of mammals, birds, and reptiles. However, gene expression analysis indicated the possibility that mammalian pluripotency transcription factors function differently in non-mammalian amniotes. PMID:23829214

  16. Microscopic and molecular characterization of Hepatozoon domerguei (Apicomplexa) and Foleyella furcata (Nematoda) in wild endemic reptiles from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Maia, João P; Crottini, Angelica; Harris, David James

    2014-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's top twelve "megadiversity" hot spots hosting unique and threatened flora and fauna. Parasites are a major component of biodiversity but remain largely uncharacterized in wildlife. In this study we combine microscopic and molecular assessment of hemoparasites in endemic reptile species from Madagascar. We detected three distinct parasites: the apicomplexans Hepatozoon and Sarcocystis, and filarial nematodes. The prevalence and intensity of these apicomplexans were low overall, while microfilarial infections in chameleons were relatively high. We detected mixed infections of two Hepatozoon haplotypes in Madagascarophis colubrinus, and of Hepatozoon and microfilariae in a Furcifer sp. Phylogenetic analyses of Hepatozoon showed evidence of prey-predator transmission, with identical sequences found in the snakes M. colubrinus and Ithycyphus oursi, and their prey Furcifer sp. Based on previous studies regarding the life cycle of Hepatozoon domerguei Landau, Chabaud, Michel, and Brygoo, 1970 in these hosts and due to their morphological similarity, we propose that this Hepatozoon haplotype is Hepatozoon domerguei. Future studies, including the examination of invertebrate hosts, are needed to verify this preliminary taxonomic identification. A distinct hemogregarine haplotype was found in Oplurus sp., which displayed morphologically different gametocytes, some of which were apparently inside leukocytes. The Sarcocystis identified from Tracheloptychus petersi was identical to that reported in a North African snake, indicating that the same lineage is found in geographically distinct regions. By combining morphological and genetic information, Foleyella furcata (Linstow, 1899) filarial nematodes were identified in several Furcifer chameleons. This study provides insights into the distribution, diversity and host-parasite interactions of hemoparasites in wild reptile populations from Madagascar. PMID:25224723

  17. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned.

    PubMed

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Andrews, Kimberly M; Sperry, Jinelle H; Grosse, Andrew M

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself. PMID:25971738

  18. Microscopic and molecular characterization of Hepatozoon domerguei (Apicomplexa) and Foleyella furcata (Nematoda) in wild endemic reptiles from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Maia, João P.; Crottini, Angelica; Harris, David James

    2014-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world’s top twelve “megadiversity” hot spots hosting unique and threatened flora and fauna. Parasites are a major component of biodiversity but remain largely uncharacterized in wildlife. In this study we combine microscopic and molecular assessment of hemoparasites in endemic reptile species from Madagascar. We detected three distinct parasites: the apicomplexans Hepatozoon and Sarcocystis, and filarial nematodes. The prevalence and intensity of these apicomplexans were low overall, while microfilarial infections in chameleons were relatively high. We detected mixed infections of two Hepatozoon haplotypes in Madagascarophis colubrinus, and of Hepatozoon and microfilariae in a Furcifer sp. Phylogenetic analyses of Hepatozoon showed evidence of prey-predator transmission, with identical sequences found in the snakes M. colubrinus and Ithycyphus oursi, and their prey Furcifer sp. Based on previous studies regarding the life cycle of Hepatozoon domerguei Landau, Chabaud, Michel, and Brygoo, 1970 in these hosts and due to their morphological similarity, we propose that this Hepatozoon haplotype is Hepatozoon domerguei. Future studies, including the examination of invertebrate hosts, are needed to verify this preliminary taxonomic identification. A distinct hemogregarine haplotype was found in Oplurus sp., which displayed morphologically different gametocytes, some of which were apparently inside leukocytes. The Sarcocystis identified from Tracheloptychus petersi was identical to that reported in a North African snake, indicating that the same lineage is found in geographically distinct regions. By combining morphological and genetic information, Foleyella furcata (Linstow, 1899) filarial nematodes were identified in several Furcifer chameleons. This study provides insights into the distribution, diversity and host-parasite interactions of hemoparasites in wild reptile populations from Madagascar. PMID:25224723

  19. The development of the Middle Triassic tectonical controlled Germanic Basin of Central Europe and the palaeoenvironmental related distribution of marine and terrestrial reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    Nine Middle Triassic paleogeographical maps comprising the uppermost Upper Bunter, Lower to Middle Muschelkalk and Upper Muschelkalk to Lower Keuper time frame (Diedrich 2008b) show the marine ingression and regression cycle of the Middle Triassic Germanic Basin (Diedrich 2010c). For bathymetrical and palaeoenvironmental interpretations especially reptiles and their footprints are used. This Germanic Basin as analogon for the Arabian Gulf (Knaust 1997), north of the Tethys, was under marine and finally terrestrial influenced sediments in a time frame (after Kozur and Bachmann 2008) between 247.2 My (Myophoria Fm, Aegean, Lower Anisian) to 237.9 My (Grabfeld Fm, Longobardian, Lower Ladinian). In a duration of 9.3 My the Germanic Basin was filled up mainly with marine carbonates and at the end by siliciclastics influenced by the northern Tethys through the Silesian, Carpathian and later the Burgundian Gates which connected the Germanic Basin to the Northern Tethys. With the marine ingression from the East via the Silesian Gate (Poland) a ten to hundred kilometers extended intertidal flat to sabkha facies belt surrounded first only the central and then the Western Germanic Basin (Winterswijk, Netherlands). Those intertidal zones were used mainly by two different small reptiles as their primary habitat. Hereby they left Millions of the small tom medium sized footprints of the ichnogenera Rhynchosauroides and Procolophonichnium (Diedrich 2005, 2008a). Larger terrestrial and beach and sabkha adapted reptiles were Tanystrophaeus antiquus and unknown archosaurs, which are recorded only by their footprints. At the beginning of the ingression at the uppermost Bunter a shallow marine invertebrate fauna and coastal reptiles appeared in the Germanic Basin which must have originated mainly from the Northern Tethys. Especially all marine reptiles immigrated from the Tethys which is proven not only by assamblaged Tethyan cephalopod Ceratite species (cf. Diedrich 2008a). The

  20. Unraveling the Relative Importance of Oral and Dermal Contaminant Exposure in Reptiles: Insights from Studies Using the Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    PubMed Central

    Weir, Scott M.; Talent, Larry G.; Anderson, Todd A.; Salice, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread recognition of significant data deficiencies, reptiles remain a relatively understudied taxon in ecotoxicology. To conduct ecological risk assessments on reptiles frequently requires using surrogate taxa such as birds, but recent research suggests that reptiles have significantly different exposure profiles and toxicant sensitivity. We exposed western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to the same quantities of three model chemicals via oral (gavage) and dermal (ventral skin application) exposure for either 24 or 48 hours. Three phthalate esters (di-methyl phthalate [DMP], di-iso-butyl phthalate [DIBP], and di-n-octyl phthalate [DNOP]) were chosen as model chemicals because they represent a gradient of lipophilicity but are otherwise structurally similar. Overall, the more lipophilic phthalates (DIBP and DNOP) were found to have higher concentrations in tissues than the less lipophilic DMP. Significant differences in tissue concentrations between DIBP and DNOP were tissue-dependent, suggesting that delivery to a site of action following exposure is not only a simple function of lipophilicity. In dermal treatments, DMP usually had fewer detections (except in ventral skin samples), suggesting that lipophilicity (log Kow>2) is a requirement for uptake across the skin. In general, tissue residues were greater in oral treatments than dermal treatments (significant in adipose and liver tissue), but differences were driven strongly by differences in DMP which did not appear to be absorbed well across skin. When differences in tissue residue concentrations between oral and dermal exposure did occur, the difference was not drastic. Taken together these results suggest that dermal exposure should be considered in risk assessments for reptilian receptors. Dermal exposure may be an especially important route for reptiles as their ectothermic physiology translates to lower energetic demands and dietary exposure compared to birds and mammals. PMID

  1. Unraveling the relative importance of oral and dermal contaminant exposure in reptiles: insights from studies using the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread recognition of significant data deficiencies, reptiles remain a relatively understudied taxon in ecotoxicology. To conduct ecological risk assessments on reptiles frequently requires using surrogate taxa such as birds, but recent research suggests that reptiles have significantly different exposure profiles and toxicant sensitivity. We exposed western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to the same quantities of three model chemicals via oral (gavage) and dermal (ventral skin application) exposure for either 24 or 48 hours. Three phthalate esters (di-methyl phthalate [DMP], di-iso-butyl phthalate [DIBP], and di-n-octyl phthalate [DNOP]) were chosen as model chemicals because they represent a gradient of lipophilicity but are otherwise structurally similar. Overall, the more lipophilic phthalates (DIBP and DNOP) were found to have higher concentrations in tissues than the less lipophilic DMP. Significant differences in tissue concentrations between DIBP and DNOP were tissue-dependent, suggesting that delivery to a site of action following exposure is not only a simple function of lipophilicity. In dermal treatments, DMP usually had fewer detections (except in ventral skin samples), suggesting that lipophilicity (log Kow>2) is a requirement for uptake across the skin. In general, tissue residues were greater in oral treatments than dermal treatments (significant in adipose and liver tissue), but differences were driven strongly by differences in DMP which did not appear to be absorbed well across skin. When differences in tissue residue concentrations between oral and dermal exposure did occur, the difference was not drastic. Taken together these results suggest that dermal exposure should be considered in risk assessments for reptilian receptors. Dermal exposure may be an especially important route for reptiles as their ectothermic physiology translates to lower energetic demands and dietary exposure compared to birds and mammals. PMID

  2. Reptile and rodent parasites in raptor pellets in an archaeological context: the case of Epullán Chica (northwestern Patagonia, Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrame, María Ornela; Fernández, Fernando Julián; Sardella, Norma Haydeé

    2015-07-01

    Paleoparasitology is the study of parasite remains from archaeological and paleontological sites. Raptor pellets can be used as source for paleoparasitological information in archaeological sites. However, this zooarchaeological material has been scarcely studied. Epullán Chica (ECh) is an archaeological site in northwestern Patagonia. This cave yielded remains from more than 2000 years before present. The aim of this paper was to study the parasite remains found in owl pellets from the archaeological site ECh, and to discuss the paleoparasitological findings in an archaeological context. Twenty two raptor pellets were examined for parasites. The pellets were whole processed by rehydration in a 0.5% water solution of trisodium phosphate, followed by homogenization, filtered and processed by spontaneous sedimentation. Eight out of 22 bird pellets examined were positive for parasites from reptiles and rodents. Representatives of 12 parasite taxa were recorded; nine of this parasitic species were reported for the first time from ancient samples from Patagonia. This is the first time that pellets give evidences of ancient reptile parasites from archaeological contexts. It is noteworthy that Late Holocene hunter-gatherers of the upper Limay River basin, could have been exposed to some of these zoonotic parasites. Future paleoparasitological studies on owl pellets may reflect even more the parasitological diversity of all micromammal and reptile species presents in ancient times.

  3. Searching Before It Is Too Late: A Survey of Blood Parasites in Ctenosaura melanosterna, a Critically Endangered Reptile of Honduras

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Andrew K.; Benz, Andrew C.; Ruyle, Leslie E.; Kistler, Whitney M.; Shock, Barbara C.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    For species at risk of extinction, any parasites they have would be expected to face a similar fate. In such cases, time is running out for efforts to identify and study their parasitic fauna before they are gone. We surveyed the hemoparasite fauna of 50 black-chested, spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura melanosterna), a critically-endangered species, on an island off the coast of Honduras. Blood samples from captured animals were tested for hemoparasites by thin blood smear and molecular analyses. Based on microscopy, two parasites were identified, a Plasmodium sp. in 14% of iguanas and a Hepatozoon sp. in 32%. For both parasites, parasitemia levels were <0.1%. Prevalence and parasitemias of Hepatozoon declined with increasing host size, a pattern differing from most prior studies of saurian reptiles. From a subset of iguanas with microscopy-confirmed Plasmodium infections, sequence analysis of 454 bp of the cytochrome b gene indicated that the Plasmodium species was distinct from known Plasmodium and was most closely related to P. chiricahuae (96.5% similarity) followed by P. mexicanum (95.8% similarity). Efforts to amplify the Hepatozoon parasite using PCR were not successful. Additional surveys and studies of this host-parasite system would be valuable, both to science and to the management of this endangered animal. PMID:27335849

  4. Unique method of tooth replacement in durophagous placodont marine reptiles, with new data on the dentition of Chinese taxa.

    PubMed

    Neenan, James M; Li, Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Bernardini, Federico; Tuniz, Claudio; Muscio, Giuseppe; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2014-05-01

    The placodonts of the Triassic period (~252-201 mya) represent one of the earliest and most extreme specialisations to a durophagous diet of any known reptile group. Exceptionally enlarged crushing tooth plates on the maxilla, dentary and palatine cooperated to form functional crushing areas in the buccal cavity. However, the extreme size of these teeth, combined with the unusual way they occluded, constrained how replacement occurred. Using an extensive micro-computed tomographic dataset of 11 specimens that span all geographic regions and placodont morphotypes, tooth replacement patterns were investigated. In addition, the previously undescribed dental morphologies and formulae of Chinese taxa are described for the first time and incorporated into the analysis. Placodonts have a unique tooth replacement pattern and results follow a phylogenetic trend. The plesiomorphic Placodus species show many replacement teeth at various stages of growth, with little or no discernible pattern. On the other hand, the more derived cyamodontoids tend to have fewer replacement teeth growing at any one time, replacing teeth unilaterally and/or in functional units, thus maintaining at least one functional crushing area at all times. The highly derived placochelyids have fewer teeth and, as a result, only have one or two replacement teeth in the upper jaw. This supports previous suggestions that these taxa had an alternative diet to other placodonts. Importantly, all specimens show at least one replacement tooth growing at the most posterior palatine tooth plates, indicating increased wear at this point and thus the most efficient functional crushing area. PMID:24517163

  5. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Alejandro; Pyron, R Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history. PMID:27120100

  6. Searching Before It Is Too Late: A Survey of Blood Parasites in Ctenosaura melanosterna, a Critically Endangered Reptile of Honduras.

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew K; Benz, Andrew C; Ruyle, Leslie E; Kistler, Whitney M; Shock, Barbara C; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    For species at risk of extinction, any parasites they have would be expected to face a similar fate. In such cases, time is running out for efforts to identify and study their parasitic fauna before they are gone. We surveyed the hemoparasite fauna of 50 black-chested, spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura melanosterna), a critically-endangered species, on an island off the coast of Honduras. Blood samples from captured animals were tested for hemoparasites by thin blood smear and molecular analyses. Based on microscopy, two parasites were identified, a Plasmodium sp. in 14% of iguanas and a Hepatozoon sp. in 32%. For both parasites, parasitemia levels were <0.1%. Prevalence and parasitemias of Hepatozoon declined with increasing host size, a pattern differing from most prior studies of saurian reptiles. From a subset of iguanas with microscopy-confirmed Plasmodium infections, sequence analysis of 454 bp of the cytochrome b gene indicated that the Plasmodium species was distinct from known Plasmodium and was most closely related to P. chiricahuae (96.5% similarity) followed by P. mexicanum (95.8% similarity). Efforts to amplify the Hepatozoon parasite using PCR were not successful. Additional surveys and studies of this host-parasite system would be valuable, both to science and to the management of this endangered animal. PMID:27335849

  7. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Pyron, R. Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H.; Guayasamin, Juan M.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history. PMID:27120100

  8. Mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon: efficient sequencing method with reptile-oriented primers and novel gene rearrangements.

    PubMed

    Kumazawa, Yoshinori; Endo, Hideki

    2004-04-30

    The mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) was nearly completely sequenced, except for two highly repetitive noncoding regions. An efficient sequencing method for squamate mitochondrial genomes was established by combining the long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and a set of reptile-oriented primers designed for nested PCR amplifications. It was found that the mitochondrial genome had novel gene arrangements in which genes from NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 to proline tRNA were extensively shuffled with duplicate control regions. These control regions had 99% sequence similarity over 700 bp. Although snake mitochondrial genomes are also known to possess duplicate control regions with nearly identical sequences, the location of the second control region suggested independent occurrence of the duplication on lineages leading to snakes and the Komodo dragon. Another feature of the mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon was the considerable number of tandem repeats, including sequences with a strong secondary structure, as a possible site for the slipped-strand mispairing in replication. These observations are consistent with hypotheses that tandem duplications via the slipped-strand mispairing may induce mitochondrial gene rearrangements and may serve to maintain similar copies of the control region. PMID:15449544

  9. Palaeogeographic evolution of the marine Middle Triassic marine Germanic Basin changements - With emphasis on the carbonate tidal flat and shallow marine habitats of reptiles in Central Pangaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2009-01-01

    More than seventy-five vertebrate track-sites have been found in Central Europe in 243-246.5 m.y. old Triassic coastal intertidal to sabkha carbonates. In the western part of the very flat Triassic intracontinental Germanic Basin, the carbonate strata contain at least 22 laterally extensive track horizons (called megatracksites). In contrast, in the eastern part of the basin only six megatracksites extended to near the centre of the Basin during marine low stands. Marine ingression and the development of extensive coastal marine environments began during the Aegean (Anisian) stage. This incursion began in the region of the eastern Carpathian and Silesian gates and spread westward due to the development of a tectonically controlled intracratonic basin. The tectonic origin of this basin made it susceptible to tsunamis and submarine earthquakes, which constituted very dangerous hazards for coastal terrestrial and even marine reptiles. The shallow sea that spread across the Germanic Basin produced extensive tidal flats that at times formed extensive inter-peninsular bridges between the Rhenish and Bohemian Massifs. The presence of these inter-peninsular bridges explains the observed distribution and movement of reptiles along coastal Europe and the northern Tethys Seaway during the Middle Triassic epoch. Two small reptiles, probably Macrocnemus and Hescherleria, left millions of tracks and trackways known as Rhynchosauroides and Procolophonichnium in the Middle Triassic coastal intertidal zone. The great abundance of their tracks indicates that their trackmakers Macrocnemus and Hescherleria were permanent inhabitants of this environment. In sharp contrast, tracks of other large terrestrial reptiles are quite rare along the coastal margins of the Germanic Basin, for example the recently discovered archaeosaur tracks and trackways referable to Isochirotherium, which most probably were made by the carnivore Ticinosuchus. Smaller medium-sized predatory thecodont reptiles

  10. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

  11. Effect of species rarity on the accuracy of species distribution models for reptiles and amphibians in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franklin, J.; Wejnert, K.E.; Hathaway, S.A.; Rochester, C.J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Several studies have found that more accurate predictive models of species' occurrences can be developed for rarer species; however, one recent study found the relationship between range size and model performance to be an artefact of sample prevalence, that is, the proportion of presence versus absence observations in the data used to train the model. We examined the effect of model type, species rarity class, species' survey frequency, detectability and manipulated sample prevalence on the accuracy of distribution models developed for 30 reptile and amphibian species. Location: Coastal southern California, USA. Methods: Classification trees, generalized additive models and generalized linear models were developed using species presence and absence data from 420 locations. Model performance was measured using sensitivity, specificity and the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) plot based on twofold cross-validation, or on bootstrapping. Predictors included climate, terrain, soil and vegetation variables. Species were assigned to rarity classes by experts. The data were sampled to generate subsets with varying ratios of presences and absences to test for the effect of sample prevalence. Join count statistics were used to characterize spatial dependence in the prediction errors. Results: Species in classes with higher rarity were more accurately predicted than common species, and this effect was independent of sample prevalence. Although positive spatial autocorrelation remained in the prediction errors, it was weaker than was observed in the species occurrence data. The differences in accuracy among model types were slight. Main conclusions: Using a variety of modelling methods, more accurate species distribution models were developed for rarer than for more common species. This was presumably because it is difficult to discriminate suitable from unsuitable habitat for habitat generalists, and not as an artefact of the

  12. Unique method of tooth replacement in durophagous placodont marine reptiles, with new data on the dentition of Chinese taxa

    PubMed Central

    Neenan, James M; Li, Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Bernardini, Federico; Tuniz, Claudio; Muscio, Giuseppe; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2014-01-01

    The placodonts of the Triassic period (˜252–201 mya) represent one of the earliest and most extreme specialisations to a durophagous diet of any known reptile group. Exceptionally enlarged crushing tooth plates on the maxilla, dentary and palatine cooperated to form functional crushing areas in the buccal cavity. However, the extreme size of these teeth, combined with the unusual way they occluded, constrained how replacement occurred. Using an extensive micro-computed tomographic dataset of 11 specimens that span all geographic regions and placodont morphotypes, tooth replacement patterns were investigated. In addition, the previously undescribed dental morphologies and formulae of Chinese taxa are described for the first time and incorporated into the analysis. Placodonts have a unique tooth replacement pattern and results follow a phylogenetic trend. The plesiomorphic Placodus species show many replacement teeth at various stages of growth, with little or no discernible pattern. On the other hand, the more derived cyamodontoids tend to have fewer replacement teeth growing at any one time, replacing teeth unilaterally and/or in functional units, thus maintaining at least one functional crushing area at all times. The highly derived placochelyids have fewer teeth and, as a result, only have one or two replacement teeth in the upper jaw. This supports previous suggestions that these taxa had an alternative diet to other placodonts. Importantly, all specimens show at least one replacement tooth growing at the most posterior palatine tooth plates, indicating increased wear at this point and thus the most efficient functional crushing area. PMID:24517163

  13. Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Glaw, Frank; Köhler, Jörn; Townsend, Ted M.; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background One clade of Malagasy leaf chameleons, the Brookesia minima group, is known to contain species that rank among the smallest amniotes in the world. We report on a previously unrecognized radiation of these miniaturized lizards comprising four new species described herein. Methodology/Principal Findings The newly discovered species appear to be restricted to single, mostly karstic, localities in extreme northern Madagascar: Brookesia confidens sp. n. from Ankarana, B. desperata sp. n. from Forêt d'Ambre, B. micra sp. n. from the islet Nosy Hara, and B. tristis sp. n. from Montagne des Français. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of all nominal species in the B. minima group congruently support that the four new species, together with B. tuberculata from Montagne d'Ambre in northern Madagascar, form a strongly supported clade. This suggests that these species have diversified in geographical proximity in this small area. All species of the B. minima group, including the four newly described ones, are characterized by very deep genetic divergences of 18–32% in the ND2 gene and >6% in the 16S rRNA gene. Despite superficial similarities among all species of this group, their status as separate evolutionary lineages is also supported by moderate to strong differences in external morphology, and by clear differences in hemipenis structure. Conclusion/Significance The newly discovered dwarf chameleon species represent striking cases of miniaturization and microendemism and suggest the possibility of a range size-body size relationship in Malagasy reptiles. The newly described Brookesia micra reaches a maximum snout-vent length in males of 16 mm, and its total length in both sexes is less than 30 mm, ranking it among the smallest amniote vertebrates in the world. With a distribution limited to a very small islet, this species may represent an extreme case of island dwarfism. PMID:22348069

  14. The phylogeny of squamate reptiles (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians) inferred from nine nuclear protein-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Hedges, S Blair

    2005-01-01

    Squamate reptiles number approximately 8000 living species and are a major component of the world's terrestrial vertebrate diversity. However, the established relationships of the higher-level groups have been questioned in recent molecular analyses. Here we expand the molecular data to include DNA sequences, totaling 6192 base pairs (bp), from nine nuclear protein-coding genes (C-mos, RAG1, RAG2, R35, HOXA13, JUN, alpha-enolase, amelogenin and MAFB) for 19 taxa representing all major lineages. Our phylogenetic analyses yield a largely resolved phylogeny that challenges previous morphological analyses and requires a new classification. The limbless dibamids are the most basal squamates. Of the remaining taxa (Bifurcata), the gekkonids form a basal lineage. The Unidentata, squamates that are neither dibamids nor gekkonids, are divided into the Scinciformata (scincids, xantusiids, and cordylids) and the Episquamata (remaining taxa). Episquamata includes Laterata (Teiformata, Lacertiformata, and Amphisbaenia, with the latter two joined in Lacertibaenia) and Toxicofera (iguanians, anguimorphs and snakes). Our results reject several previous hypotheses that identified either the varanids, or a burrowing lineage such as amphisbaenians or dibamids, as the closest relative of snakes. Our study also rejects the monophyly of both Scleroglossa and Autarchoglossa, because Iguania, a species-rich lineage (ca. 1440 sp.), is in a highly nested position rather than being basal among Squamata. Thus iguanians should not be viewed as representing a primitive state of squamate evolution but rather a specialized and successful clade combining lingual prehension, dependence on visual cues, and ambush foraging mode, and which feeds mainly on prey avoided by other squamates. Molecular time estimates show that the Triassic and Jurassic (from 250 to 150 Myr) were important times for squamate evolution and diversification. PMID:16286089

  15. De novo sequence assembly and characterisation of a partial transcriptome for an evolutionarily distinct reptile, the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) is a species of extraordinary zoological interest, being the only surviving member of an entire order of reptiles which diverged early in amniote evolution. In addition to their unique phylogenetic placement, many aspects of tuatara biology, including temperature-dependent sex determination, cold adaptation and extreme longevity have the potential to inform studies of genome evolution and development. Despite increasing interest in the tuatara genome, genomic resources for the species are still very limited. We aimed to address this by assembling a transcriptome for tuatara from an early-stage embryo, which will provide a resource for genome annotation, molecular marker development and studies of development and adaptation in tuatara. Results We obtained 30 million paired-end 50 bp reads from an Illumina Genome Analyzer and assembled them with Velvet and Oases using a range of kmers. After removing redundancy and filtering out low quality transcripts, our transcriptome dataset contained 32911 transcripts, with an N50 of 675 and a mean length of 451 bp. Almost 50% (15965) of these transcripts could be annotated by comparison with the NCBI non-redundant (NR) protein database or the chicken, green anole and zebrafish UniGene sets. A scan of candidate genes and repetitive elements revealed genes involved in immune function, sex differentiation and temperature-sensitivity, as well as over 200 microsatellite markers. Conclusions This dataset represents a major increase in genomic resources for the tuatara, increasing the number of annotated gene sequences from just 60 to almost 16,000. This will facilitate future research in sex determination, genome evolution, local adaptation and population genetics of tuatara, as well as inform studies on amniote evolution. PMID:22938396

  16. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes. PMID:26910952

  17. Comparing Methods for Prioritising Protected Areas for Investment: A Case Study Using Madagascar’s Dry Forest Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Charlie J.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Metcalfe, Kristian; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Smith, Robert J.; Davies, Zoe G.

    2015-01-01

    There are insufficient resources available to manage the world’s existing protected area portfolio effectively, so the most important sites should be prioritised in investment decision-making. Sophisticated conservation planning and assessment tools developed to identify locations for new protected areas can provide an evidence base for such prioritisations, yet decision-makers in many countries lack the institutional support and necessary capacity to use the associated software. As such, simple heuristic approaches such as species richness or number of threatened species are generally adopted to inform prioritisation decisions. However, their performance has never been tested. Using the reptile fauna of Madagascar’s dry forests as a case study, we evaluate the performance of four site prioritisation protocols used to rank the conservation value of 22 established and candidate protected areas. We compare the results to a benchmark produced by the widely-used systematic conservation planning software Zonation. The four indices scored sites on the basis of: i) species richness; ii) an index based on species’ Red List status; iii) irreplaceability (a key metric in systematic conservation planning); and, iv) a novel Conservation Value Index (CVI), which incorporates species-level information on endemism, representation in the protected area system, tolerance of habitat degradation and hunting/collection pressure. Rankings produced by the four protocols were positively correlated to the results of Zonation, particularly amongst high-scoring sites, but CVI and Irreplaceability performed better than Species Richness and the Red List Index. Given the technological capacity constraints experienced by decision-makers in the developing world, our findings suggest that heuristic metrics can represent a useful alternative to more sophisticated analyses, especially when they integrate species-specific information related to extinction risk. However, this can require access

  18. Human Infections Attributable to the d-Tartrate-Fermenting Variant of Salmonella enterica Serovar Paratyphi B in Germany Originate in Reptiles and, on Rare Occasions, Poultry

    PubMed Central

    Toboldt, Anne; Tietze, Erhard; Helmuth, Reiner; Fruth, Angelika; Junker, Ernst

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the population structure, incidence, and potential sources of human infection caused by the d-tartrate-fermenting variant of Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B [S. Paratyphi B (dT+)] was investigated. In Germany, the serovar is frequently isolated from broilers. Therefore, a selection of 108 epidemiologically unrelated S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) strains isolated in Germany between 2002 and 2010 especially from humans, poultry/poultry meat, and reptiles was investigated by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Strains isolated from poultry and products thereof were strongly associated with multilocus sequence type ST28 and showed antimicrobial multiresistance profiles. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis XbaI profiles were highly homogeneous, with only a few minor XbaI profile variants. All strains isolated from reptiles, except one, were strongly associated with ST88, another distantly related type. Most of the strains were susceptible to antimicrobial agents, and XbaI profiles were heterogeneous. Strains isolated from humans yielded seven sequence types (STs) clustering in three distantly related lineages. The first lineage, comprising five STs, represented mainly strains belonging to ST43 and ST149. The other two lineages were represented only by one ST each, ST28 and ST88. The relatedness of strains based on the pathogenicity gene repertoire (102 markers tested) was mostly in agreement with the multilocus sequence type. Because ST28 was frequently isolated from poultry but rarely in humans over the 9-year period investigated, overall, this study indicates that in Germany S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) poses a health risk preferentially by contact with reptiles and, to a less extent, by exposure to poultry or poultry meat. PMID:22885742

  19. Human infections attributable to the D-tartrate-fermenting variant of Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B in Germany originate in reptiles and, on rare occasions, poultry.

    PubMed

    Toboldt, Anne; Tietze, Erhard; Helmuth, Reiner; Fruth, Angelika; Junker, Ernst; Malorny, Burkhard

    2012-10-01

    In this study, the population structure, incidence, and potential sources of human infection caused by the d-tartrate-fermenting variant of Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B [S. Paratyphi B (dT+)] was investigated. In Germany, the serovar is frequently isolated from broilers. Therefore, a selection of 108 epidemiologically unrelated S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) strains isolated in Germany between 2002 and 2010 especially from humans, poultry/poultry meat, and reptiles was investigated by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Strains isolated from poultry and products thereof were strongly associated with multilocus sequence type ST28 and showed antimicrobial multiresistance profiles. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis XbaI profiles were highly homogeneous, with only a few minor XbaI profile variants. All strains isolated from reptiles, except one, were strongly associated with ST88, another distantly related type. Most of the strains were susceptible to antimicrobial agents, and XbaI profiles were heterogeneous. Strains isolated from humans yielded seven sequence types (STs) clustering in three distantly related lineages. The first lineage, comprising five STs, represented mainly strains belonging to ST43 and ST149. The other two lineages were represented only by one ST each, ST28 and ST88. The relatedness of strains based on the pathogenicity gene repertoire (102 markers tested) was mostly in agreement with the multilocus sequence type. Because ST28 was frequently isolated from poultry but rarely in humans over the 9-year period investigated, overall, this study indicates that in Germany S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) poses a health risk preferentially by contact with reptiles and, to a less extent, by exposure to poultry or poultry meat. PMID:22885742

  20. Ubiquiter circovirus sequences raise challenges in laboratory diagnosis: the case of honey bee and bee mite, reptiles, and free living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Marton, Szilvia; Ihász, Katalin; Lengyel, György; Farkas, Szilvia L; Dán, Ádám; Paulus, Petra; Bányai, Krisztián; Fehér, Enikő

    2015-03-01

    Circoviruses of pigs and birds are established pathogens, however, the exact role of other, recently described circoviruses and circovirus-like viruses remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was the detection of circoviruses in neglected host species, including honey bees, exotic reptiles and free-living amoebae by widely used broad-spectrum polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays specific for the replication initiation protein coding gene of these viruses. The majority of sequences obtained from honey bees were highly similar to canine and porcine circoviruses, or, were distantly related to dragonfly cycloviruses. Other rep sequences detected in some honey bees, reptiles and amoebae showed similarities to various rep sequences deposited in the GenBank. Back-to-back PCR primers designed for the amplification of whole viral genomes failed to work that suggested the existence of integrated rep-like elements in many samples. Rolling circle amplification and exonuclease treatment confirmed the absence of small circular DNA genomes in the specimens analysed. In case of honey bees Varroa mite DNA contamination might be a source of the identified endogenous rep-like elements. The reptile and amoebae rep-like sequences were nearly identical with each other and with sequences detected in chimpanzee feces raising the possibility that detection of novel or unusual rep-like elements in some host species might originate from the microbial community of the host. Our results indicate that attention is needed when broad-spectrum rep gene specific polymerase chain reaction is chosen for laboratory diagnosis of circovirus infections. PMID:25823454

  1. Influence of amphibian and reptile on the feeding preference, longevity and reproductive capacity of Egyptian Culex (Culex) pipiens Linneaus (Diptera-Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Ebraheem, Mahmoud H; Rashdan, Nagwa A; Fayed, Hamed M; Galal, Fatma H

    2006-04-01

    Using Bufo regularis and ten reptile species as hosts for Culex pipiens under laboratory conditions revealed a great effect on feeding preference as a significant long feeding periods together with a significant reduction in the blood meal ratios were recorded. Female mosquitoes offered the experimental animals showed a short life span with different significant levels. A recognizable reduction in the reproductive fitness of Cx. pipiens females was recorded. Delayed oviposition and low ICI values was obtained. The percentage of egg hatching was not affected by the experimental animals. PMID:16605098

  2. Testing the snake-detection hypothesis: larger early posterior negativity in humans to pictures of snakes than to pictures of other reptiles, spiders and slugs

    PubMed Central

    Van Strien, Jan W.; Franken, Ingmar H. A.; Huijding, Jorg

    2014-01-01

    According to the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell, 2006), fear specifically of snakes may have pushed evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing pre-attentional visual detection of fearful stimuli. A previous study demonstrated that snake pictures, when compared to spiders or bird pictures, draw more early attention as reflected by larger early posterior negativity (EPN). Here we report two studies that further tested the snake detection hypothesis. In Study 1, we tested whether the enlarged EPN is specific for snakes or also generalizes to other reptiles. Twenty-four healthy, non-phobic women watched the random rapid serial presentation of snake, crocodile, and turtle pictures. The EPN was scored as the mean activity at occipital electrodes (PO3, O1, Oz, PO4, O2) in the 225–300 ms time window after picture onset. The EPN was significantly larger for snake pictures than for pictures of the other reptiles. In Study 2, we tested whether disgust plays a role in the modulation of the EPN and whether preferential processing of snakes also can be found in men. 12 men and 12 women watched snake, spider, and slug pictures. Both men and women exhibited the largest EPN amplitudes to snake pictures, intermediate amplitudes to spider pictures and the smallest amplitudes to slug pictures. Disgust ratings were not associated with EPN amplitudes. The results replicate previous findings and suggest that ancestral priorities modulate the early capture of visual attention. PMID:25237303

  3. Amniote phylogenomics: testing evolutionary hypotheses with BAC library scanning and targeted clone analysis of large-scale DNA sequences from reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shedlock, Andrew M; Janes, Daniel E; Edwards, Scott V

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenomics research integrating established principles of systematic biology and taking advantage of the wealth of DNA sequences being generated by genome science holds promise for answering long-standing evolutionary questions with orders of magnitude more primary data than in the past. Although it is unrealistic to expect whole-genome initiatives to proceed rapidly for commercially unimportant species such as reptiles, practical approaches utilizing genomic libraries of large-insert clones pave the way for a phylogenomics of species that are nevertheless essential for testing evolutionary hypotheses within a phylogenetic framework. This chapter reviews the case for adopting genome-enabled approaches to evolutionary studies and outlines a program for using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries or plasmid libraries as a basis for completing "genome scans" of reptiles. We have used BACs to close a critical gap in the genome database for Reptilia, the sister group of mammals, and present the methodological approaches taken to achieve this as a guideline for designing similar comparative studies. In addition, we provide a detailed step-by-step protocol for BAC-library screening and shotgun sequencing of specific clones containing target genes of evolutionary interest. Taken together, the genome scanning and shotgun sequencing techniques offer complementary diagnostic potential and can substantially increase the scale and power of analyses aimed at testing evolutionary hypotheses for nonmodel species. PMID:18629663

  4. Ratios between number of neuroglial cells and number and volume of nerve cells in the spinal ganglia of two species of reptiles and three species of mammals.

    PubMed

    Ledda, M; De Palo, S; Pannese, E

    2004-02-01

    We studied the ratios between number of neuroglial (=satellite) cells and number and volume of neurons with which they are associated in the spinal ganglia of two species of reptiles (lizard and gecko) and three species of mammals (mouse, rat, and rabbit). In all five species, we found that the number of satellite cells associated with a nerve cell body increased with increasing volume of the latter. This result shows that there is a quantitative balance between neuroglia and nerve tissue in spinal ganglia. This balance seems to be maintained by a tight regulation of the number of satellite cells. We also found that the mean volume of nerve cell body corresponding to a satellite cell was lower for small neurons than for large ones. Since satellite cells metabolically support spinal ganglion neurons, the metabolic needs of small neurons are better satisfied than those of large ones. For a nerve cell body of a given size, the number of associated satellite cells did not differ between the lizard and gecko, nor between the mouse, rat, and rabbit. However, this number was significantly smaller in the reptiles than in the mammals. This result could be explained by the lower metabolic rate in the nervous system of poikilotherms than mammals, or could have a phylogenetic significance. These two interpretations are not mutually exclusive. PMID:14729453

  5. Evolution of energy metabolism. Proton permeability of the inner membrane of liver mitochondria is greater in a mammal than in a reptile.

    PubMed

    Brand, M D; Couture, P; Else, P L; Withers, K W; Hulbert, A J

    1991-04-01

    Standard metabolic rate is 7-fold greater in the rat (a typical mammal) than in the bearded dragon, Amphibolurus vitticeps (a reptile with the same body mass and temperature). Rat hepatocytes respire 4-fold faster than do hepatocytes from the lizard. The inner membrane of isolated rat liver mitochondrial has a proton permeability that is 4-5-fold greater than the proton permeability of the lizard liver mitochondrial membrane per mg of mitochondrial protein. The greater permeability of rat mitochondria is not caused by differences in the surface area of the mitochondrial inner membrane, but differences in the fatty acid composition of the mitochondrial phospholipids may be involved in the permeability differences. Greater proton permeability of the mitochondrial inner membrane may contribute to the greater standard metabolic rate of mammals. PMID:1850242

  6. Moving house: long-term dynamics of corticosterone secretion are unaltered in translocated populations of a rare reptile (the tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus)

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Lindsay E.; Cree, Alison; Towns, David R.; Nelson, Nicola J.

    2015-01-01

    Translocations are an important conservation tool used to restore at-risk species to their historical range. Unavoidable procedures during translocations, such as habitat disturbance, capture, handling, processing, captivity, transport and release to a novel environment, have the potential to be stressful for most species. In this study, we examined acute and chronic stress (through the measurement of the glucocorticoid corticosterone) in a rare reptile (the tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus). We found that: (i) the acute corticosterone response remains elevated during the initial translocation process but is not amplified by cumulative stressors; and (ii) the long-term dynamics of corticosterone secretion are similar in translocated and source populations. Taken together, our results show that translocated tuatara are generally resistant to cumulative acute stressors and show no hormonal sign of chronic stress. Translocation efforts in tuatara afford the potential to reduce extinction risk and restore natural ecosystems. PMID:27293699

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  9. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xifeng; Cheng, Gang; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  10. Learning Achievement and Motivation in an Out-of-School Setting—Visiting Amphibians and Reptiles in a Zoo Is More Effective than a Lesson at School

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wünschmann, Stephanie; Wüst-Ackermann, Peter; Randler, Christoph; Vollmer, Christian; Itzek-Greulich, Heike

    2016-04-01

    Interventions in out-of-school settings have been shown in previous studies to be effectively increase students' science knowledge and motivation, with mixed results on whether they are more effective than teaching at school. In this study, we compared an out-of-school setting in a reptile and amphibian zoo (Landau, Germany) with a sequence of classroom teaching and a control group without teaching on the topic. We compared learning at school (School) and out-of-school learning (Reptilium), which were tested in a randomized field setting with a focus on knowledge and motivation. Sixty-five elementary students participated in either the School group, Reptilium group or control group. We measured knowledge on the topics reptiles and amphibians with a newly developed two-factorial test, calibrated with item response theory, before the intervention, immediately afterwards (posttest) and 2 weeks later (follow-up). Motivation was measured immediately after the intervention. Data analyses were performed using SPSS and Mplus. We conclude that the two interventions appeared highly superior to the control group and that the out-of-school setting in the Reptilium was more effective than the school-only program. Concerning motivation, perception of choice was higher in the Reptilium than in the School group. There were gender-by-treatment interaction effects for knowledge in the posttest and follow-up, for perceived competence and for pressure/tension. Concerning knowledge, boys performed better in the School group than girls but this gender gap was not significant in the Reptilium group. Boys perceived themselves as more competent in the School group while girls reported less pressure/tension in the Reptilium group. In conclusion, encountering living animals in a formal zoo learning arrangement is encouraged in primary school since it supports self-determination (free choice), leads to higher achievement and closes gender disparities in achievement.

  11. Exploring the Genetic Basis of Adaptation to High Elevations in Reptiles: A Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Two Toad-Headed Agamas (Genus Phrynocephalus)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weizhao; Qi, Yin; Fu, Jinzhong

    2014-01-01

    High elevation adaptation offers an excellent study system to understand the genetic basis of adaptive evolution. We acquired transcriptome sequences of two closely related lizards, Phrynocephalus przewalskii from low elevations and P. vlangalii from high elevations. Within a phylogenetic framework, we compared their genomic data along with green anole, chicken and Chinese softshell turtle, and identified candidate genes and functional categories that are potentially linked to adaptation to high elevation environments. More than 100 million sequence reads were generated for each species via Illumina sequencing. A de novo assembly produced 70,919 and 62,118 transcripts for P. przewalskii and P. vlangalii, respectively. Based on a well-established reptile phylogeny, we detected 143 positively selected genes (PSGs) along the P. vlangalii lineage from the 7,012 putative orthologs using a branch-site model. Furthermore, ten GO categories and one KEGG pathway that are over-represented by PSGs were recognized. In addition, 58 GO categories were revealed to have elevated evolutionary rates along the P. vlangalii lineage relative to P. przewalskii. These functional analyses further filter out PSGs that are most likely involved in the adaptation process to high elevations. Among them, ADAM17, MD, and HSP90B1 likely contributed to response to hypoxia, and POLK likely contributed to DNA repair. Many other candidate genes involved in gene expression and metabolism were also identified. Genome-wide scan for candidate genes may serve as the first step to explore the genetic basis of high elevation adaptation. Detailed comparative study and functional verification are needed to solidify any conclusions. High elevation adaptation requires coordinated changes in multiple genes that involve various physiological and biochemical pathways; we hope that our genetic studies will provide useful directions for future physiological or molecular studies in reptiles as well as other

  12. The development of the Middle Triassic tectonical controlled Germanic Basin of Central Europe and the palaeoenvironmental related distribution of marine and terrestrial reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    Nine Middle Triassic paleogeographical maps comprising the uppermost Upper Bunter, Lower to Middle Muschelkalk and Upper Muschelkalk to Lower Keuper time frame (Diedrich 2008b) show the marine ingression and regression cycle of the Middle Triassic Germanic Basin (Diedrich 2010c). For bathymetrical and palaeoenvironmental interpretations especially reptiles and their footprints are used. This Germanic Basin as analogon for the Arabian Gulf (Knaust 1997), north of the Tethys, was under marine and finally terrestrial influenced sediments in a time frame (after Kozur and Bachmann 2008) between 247.2 My (Myophoria Fm, Aegean, Lower Anisian) to 237.9 My (Grabfeld Fm, Longobardian, Lower Ladinian). In a duration of 9.3 My the Germanic Basin was filled up mainly with marine carbonates and at the end by siliciclastics influenced by the northern Tethys through the Silesian, Carpathian and later the Burgundian Gates which connected the Germanic Basin to the Northern Tethys. With the marine ingression from the East via the Silesian Gate (Poland) a ten to hundred kilometers extended intertidal flat to sabkha facies belt surrounded first only the central and then the Western Germanic Basin (Winterswijk, Netherlands). Those intertidal zones were used mainly by two different small reptiles as their primary habitat. Hereby they left Millions of the small tom medium sized footprints of the ichnogenera Rhynchosauroides and Procolophonichnium (Diedrich 2005, 2008a). Larger terrestrial and beach and sabkha adapted reptiles were Tanystrophaeus antiquus and unknown archosaurs, which are recorded only by their footprints. At the beginning of the ingression at the uppermost Bunter a shallow marine invertebrate fauna and coastal reptiles appeared in the Germanic Basin which must have originated mainly from the Northern Tethys. Especially all marine reptiles immigrated from the Tethys which is proven not only by assamblaged Tethyan cephalopod Ceratite species (cf. Diedrich 2008a). The

  13. Climate and environment of the earliest West European hominins inferred from amphibian and squamate reptile assemblages: Sima del Elefante Lower Red Unit, Atapuerca, Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Bailon, Salvador; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bennàsar, Maria; Rofes, Juan; López-García, Juan Manuel; Huguet, Rosa; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Bermúdez de Castro, José Maria; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-11-01

    The Sima del Elefante cave, in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), is famous for the fact that level TE9 of its Lower Red Unit recently delivered the oldest hominin remains of Western Europe, identified as Homo antecessor and dated by biostratigraphy and radiometric methods to ca 1.2 Ma. Given the importance of this discovery, every effort is being made to reconstruct the landscapes where these hominins once thrived. The amphibian and squamate reptile assemblage of the Sima del Elefante Lower Red Unit is here studied for the first time. The faunal list comprises at least 17 species (roughly 12,000 bone fossil remains): Salamandra salamandra, Triturus cf. marmoratus, Alytes obstetricans, Pelobates cultripes, Pelodytes punctatus, Bufo bufo, Bufo calamita, Hyla arborea, Rana sp., cf. Pelophylax sp., Lacerta s.l., small-sized indeterminate lacertids, Anguis fragilis, Natrix cf. natrix, Natrix cf. maura, Coronella cf. girondica and Vipera sp. As the amphibians and squamate reptiles do not differ at species level from the extant herpetofauna of the Iberian Peninsula, they can contribute to the reconstruction of the landscape and climate. In this paper, the mutual climatic range and habitat weighting methods are applied to the amphibian and squamate reptile assemblages in order to estimate quantitative data. The results from the squamate and amphibian study indicate that during the hominin presence the mean annual temperature (MAT = 10-13 °C) was always slightly warmer than at present and the mean annual precipitation (MAP = 800-1000 mm) was greater than today in the Burgos area. The landscape had open habitats in the vicinity of the Atapuerca caves throughout the sequence, with wet points in the surrounding area, and a predominance of humid meadows and open woodlands. These results mainly agree with those for large mammals, small mammals and the pollen analysis. The climate and landscape of TE-LRU are very similar to those reconstructed for the TD6 "Aurora Stratum

  14. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D; Oliveros, Carl H; Welton, Luke J; Rock, Ashley; Swab, John; Weerd, Merlijn Van; van Beijnen, Jonah; Jose, Edgar; Rodriguez, Dominic; Jose, Edmund; Diesmos, Arvin C

    2013-01-01

    We provide the first report on the herpetological biodiversity (amphibians and reptiles) of the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range (Cagayan and Isabela provinces), northeast Luzon Island, Philippines. New data from extensive previously unpublished surveys in the Municipalities of Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lasam, Santa Ana, and Baggao (Cagayan Province), as well as fieldwork in the Municipalities of Cabagan, San Mariano, and Palanan (Isabela Province), combined with all available historical museum records, suggest this region is quite diverse. Our new data indicate that at least 101 species are present (29 amphibians, 30 lizards, 35 snakes, two freshwater turtles, three marine turtles, and two crocodilians) and now represented with well-documented records and/or voucher specimens, confirmed in institutional biodiversity repositories. A high percentage of Philippine endemic species constitute the local fauna (approximately 70%). The results of this and other recent studies signify that the herpetological diversity of the northern Philippines is far more diverse than previously imagined. Thirty-eight percent of our recorded species are associated with unresolved taxonomic issues (suspected new species or species complexes in need of taxonomic partitioning). This suggests that despite past and present efforts to comprehensively characterize the fauna, the herpetological biodiversity of the northern Philippines is still substantially underestimated and warranting of further study. PMID:23653519

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. New and already known acanthocephalans from amphibians and reptiles in Vietnam, with keys to species of Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1956 (Echinorhynchidae) and Sphaerechinorhynchus Johnston and Deland, 1929 (Plagiorhynchidae).

    PubMed

    Amin, Omar M; Ha, Ngyuen Van; Heckmann, Richard A

    2008-02-01

    Adults of 2 new species in 2 orders of acanthocephalans obtained from the intestines of terrestrial amphibians and reptiles collected between 1998 and 2004 in Vietnam are described here. Pseudoacanthocephalus nguyenthileae n. sp. (Palaeacnthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) was collected from 5 species of terrestrial amphibians: (1) the common Sunda toad Bufo melanostictus Schneider (Bufonidae); (2) Paa verucospinosa (Bourret); (3) Gunther's Amoy frog Rana guentheri Boulenger; (4) Taipei frog R. taipehensis Denburgh (Ranidae), and (5) the Burmese whipping frog Polypedates mutus (Smith) (Racophoridae); as well as from the Chinese cobra Naja atra Cantor (Reptilia: Elapidae) and house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Dumeril and Bibron (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Sphaerechinorhynchus maximesospinus n. sp. (Plagiorhynchidae: Sphaerechinorhynchinae) was isolated from a king cobra Ophiophagus hannah (cantor) (Reptilia: Elapidae). Cystacanths of Porrorchis houdemeri (Joyeux and Baer, 1935) Schmidt and Kuntz, 1967 (Plagiorhynchidae: Porrorchinae) obtained from the mesenteries of banded krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Reptilia: Elapidae), a paratenic host, are reported for the first time. Keys to the species of Pseudoacanthocephalus and Sphaerechinorhynchus are included. Characteristic features distinguishing the new species from related taxa include: P. nguyenthileae has 15-19 (usually 16-18) proboscis hook rows, each with 5-6 hooks that progressively increase in length and size posteriorly. The largest, intermediate, and smallest proboscis hooks of S. maximesospinus are the middle, anterior, and posterior hooks, respectively; the proboscis and neck are enclosed in a membrane. Morphometric characteristics of P. nguyenthileae show host-related variability. PMID:18372639

  18. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Rafe M.; Siler, Cameron D.; Oliveros, Carl. H; Welton, Luke J.; Rock, Ashley; Swab, John; Weerd, Merlijn Van; van Beijnen, Jonah; Jose, Edgar; Rodriguez, Dominic; Jose, Edmund; Diesmos, Arvin C.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We provide the first report on the herpetological biodiversity (amphibians and reptiles) of the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range (Cagayan and Isabela provinces), northeast Luzon Island, Philippines. New data from extensive previously unpublished surveys in the Municipalities of Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lasam, Santa Ana, and Baggao (Cagayan Province), as well as fieldwork in the Municipalities of Cabagan, San Mariano, and Palanan (Isabela Province), combined with all available historical museum records, suggest this region is quite diverse. Our new data indicate that at least 101 species are present (29 amphibians, 30 lizards, 35 snakes, two freshwater turtles, three marine turtles, and two crocodilians) and now represented with well-documented records and/or voucher specimens, confirmed in institutional biodiversity repositories. A high percentage of Philippine endemic species constitute the local fauna (approximately 70%). The results of this and other recent studies signify that the herpetological diversity of the northern Philippines is far more diverse than previously imagined. Thirty-eight percent of our recorded species are associated with unresolved taxonomic issues (suspected new species or species complexes in need of taxonomic partitioning). This suggests that despite past and present efforts to comprehensively characterize the fauna, the herpetological biodiversity of the northern Philippines is still substantially underestimated and warranting of further study. PMID:23653519

  19. Combining phylogenomic and supermatrix approaches, and a time-calibrated phylogeny for squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) based on 52 genes and 4162 species.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yuchi; Wiens, John J

    2016-01-01

    Two common approaches for estimating phylogenies in species-rich groups are to: (i) sample many loci for few species (e.g. phylogenomic approach), or (ii) sample many species for fewer loci (e.g. supermatrix approach). In theory, these approaches can be combined to simultaneously resolve both higher-level relationships (with many genes) and species-level relationships (with many taxa). However, fundamental questions remain unanswered about this combined approach. First, will higher-level relationships more closely resemble those estimated from many genes or those from many taxa? Second, will branch support increase for higher-level relationships (relative to the estimate from many taxa)? Here, we address these questions in squamate reptiles. We combined two recently published datasets, one based on 44 genes for 161 species, and one based on 12 genes for 4161 species. The likelihood-based tree from the combined matrix (52 genes, 4162 species) shared more higher-level clades with the 44-gene tree (90% vs. 77% shared). Branch support for higher level-relationships was marginally higher than in the 12-gene tree, but lower than in the 44-gene tree. Relationships were apparently not obscured by the abundant missing data (92% overall). We provide a time-calibrated phylogeny based on extensive sampling of genes and taxa as a resource for comparative studies. PMID:26475614

  20. Comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature of tetrapods with special attention to extant limbed amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Abdala, Virginia; Diogo, Rui

    2010-01-01

    The main aim of the present work is to synthesize the information obtained from our dissections of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of the major extant taxa of limbed amphibians and reptiles and from our review of the literature, in order to provide an account of the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of these muscles in the Tetrapoda. The pectoral and forelimb musculature of all these major taxa conform to a general pattern that seems to have been acquired very early in the evolutionary history of tetrapods. Although some muscles are missing in certain taxa, and a clear departure from this general pattern is obviously present in derived groups such as birds, the same overall configuration is easily distinguishable in these taxa. Among the most notable anatomical differences between the groups, one that seems to have relevant evolutionary and functional implications, concerns the distal insertion points of the forearm musculature. In tetrapods, the muscles of the radial and ulnar complexes of the forearm are pleisomorphically mainly inserted onto the radius/ulna or onto the more proximal carpal bones, but in mammals some of these muscles insert more distally onto bones such as the metacarpals. Interestingly, a similar trend towards a more distal insertion of these muscles is also found in some non-mammalian tetrapod taxa, such as some anurans (e.g. Phyllomedusa). This may be correlated with the acquisition of more subtle digital movement abilities in these latter taxa. PMID:20807270

  1. Anatomy of the Enigmatic Reptile Elachistosuchus huenei Janensch, 1949 (Reptilia: Diapsida) from the Upper Triassic of Germany and Its Relevance for the Origin of Sauria

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The holotype and only known specimen of the enigmatic small reptile Elachistosuchus huenei Janensch, 1949 from the Upper Triassic (Norian) Arnstadt Formation of Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) is redescribed using μCT scans of the material. This re-examination revealed new information on the morphology of this taxon, including previously unknown parts of the skeleton such as the palate, braincase, and shoulder girdle. Elachistosuchus is diagnosed especially by the presence of the posterolateral process of the frontal, the extension of the maxillary tooth row to the posterior margin of the orbit, the free posterior process of the jugal, and the notched anterior margin of the interclavicle. Phylogenetic analyses using two recently published character-taxon matrices recovered conflicting results for the phylogenetic position of Elachistosuchus–either as an archosauromorph, as a lepidosauromorph or as a more basal, non-saurian diapsid. These different placements highlight the need of a thorough revision of critical taxa and new character sets used for inferring neodiapsid relationships. PMID:26352985

  2. Diversity of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes, serovars, and antibiotic resistance among Salmonella isolates from wild amphibians and reptiles in the California Central Coast.

    PubMed

    Gorski, Lisa; Jay-Russell, Michele T; Liang, Anita S; Walker, Samarpita; Bengson, Yingjia; Govoni, Jessica; Mandrell, Robert E

    2013-06-01

    A survey of cold-blooded vertebrates and associated surface waters in a produce-growing region on the Central California Coast was done between May and September 2011 to determine the diversity of Salmonella. Samples from 460 amphibians and reptiles and 119 water samples were collected and cultured for Salmonella. Animals sampled were frogs (n=331), lizards (n=59), newts (n=5), salamanders (n=6), snakes (n=39), and toads (n=20). Salmonella was isolated from 37 individual animals, including frogs, lizards, snakes, and toads. Snakes were the most likely to contain Salmonella, with 59% testing positive followed by 15.3% of lizards, 5% of toads, and 1.2% of frogs. Fifteen water samples (12.6%) were positive. Twenty-two different serovars were identified, and the majority of isolates were S. enterica subsp. IIIb, with subsp. I, II, and IIIa also found. The serovar isolated most frequently was S. enterica subsp. IIIb 16:z₁₀:e,n,x,z₁₅, from snakes and frogs in five different locations. S. enterica subsp. I serovar Typhimurium and the monophasic I 6,8:d:- were isolated from water, and subspecies I Duisburg and its variants were found in animals and water. Some samples contained more than one type of Salmonella. Analysis of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes indicated that some strains persisted in animals and water collected from the same location. Sixty-six isolates displayed antibiotic resistance, with 27 isolates resistant to more than one antibiotic, including a subspecies IIIb isolate from snake having resistance to five different antibiotics. Twenty-three isolates were resistant to more than one class of antibiotic, and six isolates were resistant to three classes. While these subspecies of IIIa and IIIb cause fewer instances of human illness, they may serve as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance, determinants in the environment, and be sources of contamination of leafy greens associated with product recalls. PMID:23577627

  3. The Sail-Backed Reptile Ctenosauriscus from the Latest Early Triassic of Germany and the Timing and Biogeography of the Early Archosaur Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Richard J.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Reich, Mike; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Schoch, Rainer R.; Hornung, Jahn J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Archosaurs (birds, crocodilians and their extinct relatives including dinosaurs) dominated Mesozoic continental ecosystems from the Late Triassic onwards, and still form a major component of modern ecosystems (>10,000 species). The earliest diverse archosaur faunal assemblages are known from the Middle Triassic (c. 244 Ma), implying that the archosaur radiation began in the Early Triassic (252.3–247.2 Ma). Understanding of this radiation is currently limited by the poor early fossil record of the group in terms of skeletal remains. Methodology/Principal Findings We redescribe the anatomy and stratigraphic position of the type specimen of Ctenosauriscus koeneni (Huene), a sail-backed reptile from the Early Triassic (late Olenekian) Solling Formation of northern Germany that potentially represents the oldest known archosaur. We critically discuss previous biomechanical work on the ‘sail’ of Ctenosauriscus, which is formed by a series of elongated neural spines. In addition, we describe Ctenosauriscus-like postcranial material from the earliest Middle Triassic (early Anisian) Röt Formation of Waldhaus, southwestern Germany. Finally, we review the spatial and temporal distribution of the earliest archosaur fossils and their implications for understanding the dynamics of the archosaur radiation. Conclusions/Significance Comprehensive numerical phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that both Ctenosauriscus and the Waldhaus taxon are members of a monophyletic grouping of poposauroid archosaurs, Ctenosauriscidae, characterised by greatly elongated neural spines in the posterior cervical to anterior caudal vertebrae. The earliest archosaurs, including Ctenosauriscus, appear in the body fossil record just prior to the Olenekian/Anisian boundary (c. 248 Ma), less than 5 million years after the Permian–Triassic mass extinction. These earliest archosaur assemblages are dominated by ctenosauriscids, which were broadly distributed across northern Pangea and which

  4. Take Care with Pet Reptiles

    MedlinePlus

    ... pets in households with young children. [775 KB] Animals and Health Check out two CDC websites with helpful resources. Gastrointestinal (Enteric) Diseases from Animals : Information about zoonotic outbreaks, prevention messages, and helpful ...

  5. Ovodefensins, an Oviduct-Specific Antimicrobial Gene Family, Have Evolved in Birds and Reptiles to Protect the Egg by Both Sequence and Intra-Six-Cysteine Sequence Motif Spacing.

    PubMed

    Whenham, Natasha; Lu, Tian Chee; Maidin, Maisarah B M; Wilson, Peter W; Bain, Maureen M; Stevenson, M Lynn; Stevens, Mark P; Bedford, Michael R; Dunn, Ian C

    2015-06-01

    Ovodefensins are a novel beta defensin-related family of antimicrobial peptides containing conserved glycine and six cysteine residues. Originally thought to be restricted to the albumen-producing region of the avian oviduct, expression was found in chicken, turkey, duck, and zebra finch in large quantities in many parts of the oviduct, but this varied between species and between gene forms in the same species. Using new search strategies, the ovodefensin family now has 35 members, including reptiles, but no representatives outside birds and reptiles have been found. Analysis of their evolution shows that ovodefensins divide into six groups based on the intra-cysteine amino acid spacing, representing a unique mechanism alongside traditional evolution of sequence. The groups have been used to base a nomenclature for the family. Antimicrobial activity for three ovodefensins from chicken and duck was confirmed against Escherichia coli and a pathogenic E. coli strain as well as a Gram-positive organism, Staphylococcus aureus, for the first time. However, activity varied greatly between peptides, with Gallus gallus OvoDA1 being the most potent, suggesting a link with the different structures. Expression of Gallus gallus OvoDA1 (gallin) in the oviduct was increased by estrogen and progesterone and in the reproductive state. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that ovodefensins evolved to protect the egg, but they are not necessarily restricted to the egg white. Therefore, divergent motif structure and sequence present an interesting area of research for antimicrobial peptide design and understanding protection of the cleidoic egg. PMID:25972010

  6. Eating increases oxidative damage in a reptile.

    PubMed

    Butler, Michael W; Lutz, Thomas J; Fokidis, H Bobby; Stahlschmidt, Zachary R

    2016-07-01

    While eating has substantial benefits in terms of both nutrient and energy acquisition, there are physiological costs associated with digesting and metabolizing a meal. Frequently, these costs have been documented in the context of energy expenditure while other physiological costs have been relatively unexplored. Here, we tested whether the seemingly innocuous act of eating affects either systemic pro-oxidant (reactive oxygen metabolite, ROM) levels or antioxidant capacity of corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) by collecting plasma during absorptive (peak increase in metabolic rate due to digestion of a meal) and non-absorptive (baseline) states. When individuals were digesting a meal, there was a minimal increase in antioxidant capacity relative to baseline (4%), but a substantial increase in ROMs (nearly 155%), even when controlling for circulating nutrient levels. We report an oxidative cost of eating that is much greater than that due to long distance flight or mounting an immune response in other taxa. This result demonstrates the importance of investigating non-energetic costs associated with meal processing, and it begs future work to identify the mechanism(s) driving this increase in ROM levels. Because energetic costs associated with eating are taxonomically widespread, identifying the taxonomic breadth of eating-induced ROM increases may provide insights into the interplay between oxidative damage and life history theory. PMID:27099366

  7. VizieR Online Data Catalog: CALIFA color/metallicity gradients connections (Marino+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, R. A.; Gil de, Paz A.; Sanchez, S. F.; Sanchez-Blazquez, P.; Cardiel, N.; Castillo-Morales, A.; Pascual, S.; Vilchez, J.; Kehrig, C.; Molla, M.; Mendez-Abreu, J.; Catalan-Torrecilla, C.; Florido, E.; Perez, I.; Ruiz-Lara, T.; Ellis, S.; Lopez-Sanchez, A. R.; Gonzalez Delgado, R. M.; de Lorenzo-Caceres, A.; Garcia-Benito, R.; Galbany, L.; Zibetti, S.; Cortijo, C.; Kalinova, V.; Mast, D.; Iglesias-Paramo, J.; Papaderos, P.; Walcher, C. J.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.

    2016-03-01

    We have selected the 350 galaxies observed by the CALIFA survey (Sanchez et al., 2012A&A...538A...8S) at the CAHA 3.5m telescope with Potsdam Multi Aperture Spectrograph (PMAS) in the PPak mode and processed by the CALIFA v1.5 pipeline up to September 2014. The SDSS g' and r' SB and (g'-r') color profiles were derived using the DR10 data products, in particular, we used the swarp mosaicking code (Ahn et al., 2014ApJS..211...17A). We obtain spectroscopic information for ~15130 HII regions (or complexes) from our 324 CALIFA data cubes using HII explorer. (2 data files).

  8. Intercontinental dispersal by a microendemic burrowing reptile (Dibamidae).

    PubMed

    Townsend, Ted M; Leavitt, Dean H; Reeder, Tod W

    2011-09-01

    Intercontinental dispersal via land bridge connections has been important in the biogeographic history of many Holarctic plant and animal groups. Likewise, some groups appear to have accomplished trans-oceanic dispersal via rafting. Dibamid lizards are a clade of poorly known fossorial, essentially limbless species traditionally split into two geographically disjunct genera: Dibamus comprises approximately 20 Southeast Asian species, many of which have very limited geographical distributions, and the monotypic genus Anelytropsis occupies a small area of northeastern Mexico. Although no formal phylogeny of the group exists, a sister-taxon relationship between the two genera has been assumed based on biogeographic considerations. We used DNA sequence data from one mitochondrial and six nuclear protein-coding genes to construct a phylogeny of Dibamidae and to estimate divergence times within the group. Surprisingly, sampled Dibamus species form two deeply divergent, morphologically conserved and geographically concordant clades, one of which is the sister taxon of Anelytropsis papillosus. Our analyses indicate Palaearctic to Nearctic Beringian dispersal in the Late Palaeocene to Eocene. Alternatively, a trans-Pacific rafting scenario would extend the upper limit on dispersal to the Late Cretaceous. Either scenario constitutes a remarkable long-distance dispersal in what would seem an unlikely candidate. PMID:21270029

  9. 50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules-reptiles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 CFR 227.72(e). (vi) The prohibition against taking within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States shall not apply to subsistence taking, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(f). (2... population (see also 50 CFR part 23). (3) Take. Incidental take, that is, take that results from, but is...

  10. 50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules-reptiles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 CFR 227.72(e). (vi) The prohibition against taking within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States shall not apply to subsistence taking, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(f). (2... 50 CFR part 23). (3) Take. Incidental take, that is, take that results from, but is not the...

  11. 50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules-reptiles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 CFR 227.72(e). (vi) The prohibition against taking within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States shall not apply to subsistence taking, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(f). (2... population (see also 50 CFR part 23). (3) Take. Incidental take, that is, take that results from, but is...

  12. 50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules-reptiles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 CFR 227.72(e). (vi) The prohibition against taking within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States shall not apply to subsistence taking, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(f). (2... population (see also 50 CFR part 23). (3) Take. Incidental take, that is, take that results from, but is...

  13. 50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules-reptiles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 CFR 227.72(e). (vi) The prohibition against taking within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States shall not apply to subsistence taking, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(f). (2... 50 CFR part 23). (3) Take. Incidental take, that is, take that results from, but is not the...

  14. Hormonal control of metabolic substrate use by birds and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The differential use of metabolic substrates by birds is not well understood. Therefore, to clarify which substrates are preferentially utilized, studies were conducted on birds with divergent dietary habits and on a close non-avian relative of birds, alligators. Fasting plasma substrate and hormone...

  15. Invasive reptiles and amphibians: global perspectives and local solutions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, R.N.; Kraus, F.

    2010-01-01

    In the annals of invasive species biology, higher taxa such asmammals, plants and insects have received the lion’s shareof research attention, largely because many of these invadershave demonstrated a remarkable ability to degrade ecosys-tems and cause economic harm. Interest in invasive reptilesand amphibians (collectively ‘herpetofauna’, colloquially‘herps’) has historically lagged but is now garnering in-creased scrutiny as a result of their escalating pace ofinvasion. A few herpetofaunal invaders have received con-siderable attention in scientific and popular accounts, in-cluding the brown treesnakeBoiga irregularison Guam,Burmese pythonPython molurusin Florida, Coqu´ıEleutherodactylus coquiin Hawaii and cane toadBufomarinusin Australia. However, relatively few are aware ofmany emerging and potentially injurious herpetofaunalinvaders, such as Nile monitorsVaranus niloticusin Flor-ida, common kingsnakesLampropeltis getulain the CanaryIslands, boa constrictorsBoa constrictoron Aruba andCozumel, or a variety of giant constrictor snakes in PuertoRico. For the vast majority of the most commonlyintroduced species, real or potential impacts to nativeecosystems or human economic interests are poorly under-stood and incompletely explored; major pathways of intro-duction have only recently been elucidated, and effectivemanagement interventions have been limited (Kraus, 2009).

  16. The Origin, Early History and Diversification of Lepidosauromorph Reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Susan E.; Jones, Marc E. H.

    The reptilian group Lepidosauria diversified through the Mesozoic, survived the end-Cretaceous extinction relatively unscathed, and has more than 7,000 living species. Although originally constituted as a "waste-bin" for non-archosaurian diapsids, modern definitions limit Lepidosauria to its two constituent groups, Rhynchocephalia and Squamata, and their most recent common ancestor. To date, the earliest known lepidosaurs are from the Late Triassic (Carnian) of Europe and India, but their derived morphology provides indirect evidence of a longer, unrecorded, history. Rhynchocephalians and squamates probably diverged in the Early-Middle Triassic, and new material from the Early Triassic of Poland sheds some light on their common ancestor. The roots of Lepidosauria may extend into the Palaeozoic, but there are critical gaps in the fossil record.

  17. Eutherian-like reproductive specializations in a viviparous reptile

    SciTech Connect

    Blackburn, D.G.; Vitt, L.J.; Beuchat, C.A.

    1984-08-01

    The viviparous Brazilian scincid lizard Mabuya heathi exhibits a suite of reproductive specializations widely believed to be confined to the eutherian mammals. This skink ovulates the smallest known reptilian egg (similarly ordered 1.0 mm in diameter). Placental transport accounts for >99% of the dry mass of the periparturient fetus, representing a degree of placentotrophy proportionately greater than that reported in any other non-mammalian vertebrate. Placental morphology and the timing of fetal growth implicate the chorioallantoic placenta in maternal-fetal nutrient transfer. The yolk sac placenta regresses prior to any major increase in embryonic dry mass. Precocial gonadal maturation and postponement of reproductive investment until well after ovulation enables females to become pregnant at 3-4 months of age, long before attainment of full adult body size. 34 references, 3 tables.

  18. The evolution of oviparity in squamate reptiles: An adaptationist perspective.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2015-09-01

    Phylogenetically based analyses can suggest directions of evolutionary transitions, based on parsimony, but can never provide unambiguous answers. To clarify the relative frequency of phylogenetic shifts from oviparity to viviparity versus the reverse, we need additional sources of evidence. Adaptationist thinking (i.e., consideration of selective forces) has revealed a great deal about the transition from oviparity to viviparity, but has rarely been employed to consider the reverse transition. An evaluation of costs and benefits identifies major obstacles to the re-evolution of oviparity. For example, even a modest decrease in the degree of embryogenesis completed in utero (i.e., a shift from viviparity back toward "normal" oviparity) requires the mother to find a suitable nest-site (often, a risky endeavor), and a minor decrease in the duration of uterine retention of eggs may not substantially reduce maternal costs (because many of those costs are minimized by maternal behavioral adaptations to pregnancy). In many climates, a small decrease in the duration of uterine retention of eggs would not allow the female to produce a second clutch within the same season; and thus, would not reduce the fecundity disadvantage of viviparity. Life-history theory thus suggests an asymmetry in the fitness consequences of the intermediate stages between oviparity and viviparity. That asymmetry facilitates the "forward" transition (based on thermally driven benefits to offspring viability) but opposes the "reverse" transition (based on lower fitness of heavily burdened females that need to seek nest-sites). These factors should constrain the re-evolution of oviparity to specific conditions (e.g., where abundant nest-sites are available within a female's usual home range, rather than requiring extensive migration). PMID:26036339

  19. Identification and characterization of novel reptile cathelicidins from elapid snakes.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui; Gan, Tong-Xiang; Liu, Xiao-Dong; Jin, Yang; Lee, Wen-Hui; Shen, Ji-Hong; Zhang, Yun

    2008-10-01

    Three cDNA sequences coding for elapid cathelicidins were cloned from constructed venom gland cDNA libraries of Naja atra, Bungarus fasciatus and Ophiophagus hannah. The open reading frames of the cloned elapid cathelicidins were all composed of 576bp and coded for 191 amino acid residue protein precursors. Each of the deduced elapid cathelicidin has a 22 amino acid residue signal peptide, a conserved cathelin domain of 135 amino acid residues and a mature antimicrobial peptide of 34 amino acid residues. Unlike the highly divergent cathelicidins in mammals, the nucleotide and deduced protein sequences of the three cloned elapid cathelicidins were remarkably conserved. All the elapid mature cathelicidins were predicted to be cleaved at Valine157 by elastase. OH-CATH, the deduced mature cathelicidin from king cobra, was chemically synthesized and it showed strong antibacterial activity against various bacteria with minimal inhibitory concentration of 1-20microg/ml in the presence of 1% NaCl. Meanwhile, the synthetic peptide showed no haemolytic activity toward human red blood cells even at a high dose of 200microg/ml. Phylogenetic analysis of cathelicidins from vertebrate suggested that elapid and viperid cathelicidins were grouped together in the tree. Snake cathelicidins were evolutionary closely related to the neutrophilic granule proteins (NGPs) from mouse, rat and rabbit. Snake cathelicidins also showed a close relationship with avian fowlicidins (1-3) and chicken myeloid antimicrobial peptide 27. Elapid cathelicidins might be used as models for the development of novel therapeutic drugs. PMID:18620012

  20. Using Amphibians and Reptiles to Learn the Process of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2005-01-01

    Although every student must take some science courses to graduate, understanding the process of science is important, and some students never seem to really grasp science. The National Science Education Standards stress process as a major component in science instruction. The standards state that scientific inquiry is basic to science education…

  1. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  2. Intercontinental dispersal by a microendemic burrowing reptile (Dibamidae)

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Ted M.; Leavitt, Dean H.; Reeder, Tod W.

    2011-01-01

    Intercontinental dispersal via land bridge connections has been important in the biogeographic history of many Holarctic plant and animal groups. Likewise, some groups appear to have accomplished trans-oceanic dispersal via rafting. Dibamid lizards are a clade of poorly known fossorial, essentially limbless species traditionally split into two geographically disjunct genera: Dibamus comprises approximately 20 Southeast Asian species, many of which have very limited geographical distributions, and the monotypic genus Anelytropsis occupies a small area of northeastern Mexico. Although no formal phylogeny of the group exists, a sister–taxon relationship between the two genera has been assumed based on biogeographic considerations. We used DNA sequence data from one mitochondrial and six nuclear protein-coding genes to construct a phylogeny of Dibamidae and to estimate divergence times within the group. Surprisingly, sampled Dibamus species form two deeply divergent, morphologically conserved and geographically concordant clades, one of which is the sister taxon of Anelytropsis papillosus. Our analyses indicate Palaearctic to Nearctic Beringian dispersal in the Late Palaeocene to Eocene. Alternatively, a trans-Pacific rafting scenario would extend the upper limit on dispersal to the Late Cretaceous. Either scenario constitutes a remarkable long-distance dispersal in what would seem an unlikely candidate. PMID:21270029

  3. Monitoring cryptic amphibians and reptiles in a Florida state park.

    PubMed

    Engeman, Richard M; Meshaka, Walter E; Severson, Robert; Severson, Mary Ann; Kaufman, Greg; Groninger, N Paige; Smith, Henry T

    2016-04-01

    We monitored cryptic herpetofauna at Savannas Preserve State Park, Florida, by combining artificial cover counts with a quantitative paradigm for constructing and calculating population indices. Weekly indices were calculated from two consecutive days of data collection each week for 7 months from mid-winter to mid-summer in three habitats. Seventeen species were observed at least once, and time trends using index values were followed for six species. Among these, abundance and seasonal pattern information were obtained for an exotic species (greenhouse frog) and a species identified by the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals as threatened (Florida scrub lizard). We identified winter as the optimal time in this area to monitor populations for conducting annual assessments. This combined observation and indexing approach could provide managers or researchers with an economical means to quantitatively index population trends for multiple cryptic herpetofauna species simultaneously. Using artificial cover to sample within a population indexing design can be generalized beyond monitoring herpetofauna. Other forms of artificial cover that can be used as observation stations include aquatic artificial substrates, artificial tree cavities, artificial reefs, and other artificial aquatic structures and artificial sea grass units, among many others, and a wide range of taxa are suitable for population monitoring using artificial cover as observation stations in the approach we present, including insects, soil invertebrates, micro and macro aquatic invertebrates, fish, crustaceans, and small mammals. PMID:26739988

  4. A simple method to predict body temperature of small reptiles from environmental temperature.

    PubMed

    Vickers, Mathew; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2016-05-01

    To study behavioral thermoregulation, it is useful to use thermal sensors and physical models to collect environmental temperatures that are used to predict organism body temperature. Many techniques involve expensive or numerous types of sensors (cast copper models, or temperature, humidity, radiation, and wind speed sensors) to collect the microhabitat data necessary to predict body temperatures. Expense and diversity of requisite sensors can limit sampling resolution and accessibility of these methods. We compare body temperature predictions of small lizards from iButtons, DS18B20 sensors, and simple copper models, in both laboratory and natural conditions. Our aim was to develop an inexpensive yet accurate method for body temperature prediction. Either method was applicable given appropriate parameterization of the heat transfer equation used. The simplest and cheapest method was DS18B20 sensors attached to a small recording computer. There was little if any deficit in precision or accuracy compared to other published methods. We show how the heat transfer equation can be parameterized, and it can also be used to predict body temperature from historically collected data, allowing strong comparisons between current and previous environmental temperatures using the most modern techniques. Our simple method uses very cheap sensors and loggers to extensively sample habitat temperature, improving our understanding of microhabitat structure and thermal variability with respect to small ectotherms. While our method was quite precise, we feel any potential loss in accuracy is offset by the increase in sample resolution, important as it is increasingly apparent that, particularly for small ectotherms, habitat thermal heterogeneity is the strongest influence on transient body temperature. PMID:27252829

  5. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... restricted importation may be published from time to time in 50 CFR part 13—Importation of Wildlife or Eggs... of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for disposition as appropriate pursuant to 50 CFR part 17. (2... certification of a qualified fish pathologist in substantially the form as prescribed in 50 CFR 13.7....

  6. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... restricted importation may be published from time to time in 50 CFR part 13—Importation of Wildlife or Eggs... of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for disposition as appropriate pursuant to 50 CFR part 17. (2... certification of a qualified fish pathologist in substantially the form as prescribed in 50 CFR 13.7....

  7. Embodying animals: Body-part compatibility in mammalian, reptile and aves classes.

    PubMed

    Pacione, Sandra M; Welsh, Timothy N

    2015-09-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine how humans code homologous body parts of nonhuman mammal, reptilian, and aves animals with respect to the representation of the human body. To this end, participants completed body-part compatibility tasks in which responses were executed to colored targets that were superimposed over the upper limbs, lower limbs or head of different animals in different postures. In Experiment 1, the images were of meekats and lizards in bipedal and quadrupedal postures. In Experiment 2, the images were of a human, a penguin, and an owl in a bipedal posture with upper limbs stretched out. Overall, the results revealed that the limbs of nonhuman mammals (meerkat and human) were consistently mapped onto the homologous human body parts only when the mammals were in a bipedal posture. Specifically, body-part compatibility effects emerged for the human and the meerkat in a bipedal posture, but not the meerkat in the quadrupedal posture. Further, consistent body-part compatibility effects were not observed for the lizard in the quadrupedal posture or for the lizard, penguin, or owl in a bipedal posture. The pattern of results suggests that the human bipedal body representation may distinguish taxonomical classes and is most highly engaged when viewing homologous body parts of mammalian animals. PMID:26233729

  8. The Origin of the Idea of the Mammal-like Reptile

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aulie, Richard P.

    1975-01-01

    Conclusion of a three-part article in which the author discusses the implications for zoology and paleontology today and summarizes with comments on the "model" aspects of the controversy and its resolution. (BR)

  9. Neural and endocranial anatomy of Triassic phytosaurian reptiles and convergence with fossil and modern crocodylians.

    PubMed

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Butler, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    Phytosaurs are a clade of large, carnivorous pseudosuchian archosaurs from the Late Triassic with a near cosmopolitan distribution. Their superficial resemblance to longirostrine (long-snouted) crocodylians, such as gharials, has often been used in the past to infer ecological and behavioural convergence between the two groups. Although more than thirty species of phytosaur are currently recognised, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of this clade. Here, we describe the endocranial anatomy (including the brain, inner ear, neurovascular structures and sinus systems) of the two non-mystriosuchine phytosaurs Parasuchus angustifrons (="Paleorhinus angustifrons") and Ebrachosuchus neukami from the Late Triassic of Germany based on digital reconstructions. Results show that the endocasts of both taxa are very similar to each other in their rostrocaudally elongate morphology, with long olfactory tracts, weakly demarcated cerebral regions and dorsoventrally short endosseous labyrinths. In addition, several sinuses, including large antorbital sinuses and prominent dural venous sinuses, were reconstructed. Comparisons with the endocranial anatomy of derived phytosaurs indicate that Phytosauria is united by the presence of elongate olfactory tracts and longitudinally arranged brain architecture-characters which are also shared with Crocodyliformes. However, a substantial morphological variability is observed in the cephalic and pontine flexure and the presence of a pineal organ across the different phytosaur species. These results suggest that the endocranial anatomy in Phytosauria generally follows a plesiomorphic pattern, with moderate variation within the clade likely resulting from divergent sensory and behavioural adaptations. PMID:27547557

  10. Neural and endocranial anatomy of Triassic phytosaurian reptiles and convergence with fossil and modern crocodylians

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Phytosaurs are a clade of large, carnivorous pseudosuchian archosaurs from the Late Triassic with a near cosmopolitan distribution. Their superficial resemblance to longirostrine (long-snouted) crocodylians, such as gharials, has often been used in the past to infer ecological and behavioural convergence between the two groups. Although more than thirty species of phytosaur are currently recognised, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of this clade. Here, we describe the endocranial anatomy (including the brain, inner ear, neurovascular structures and sinus systems) of the two non-mystriosuchine phytosaurs Parasuchus angustifrons (=“Paleorhinus angustifrons”) and Ebrachosuchus neukami from the Late Triassic of Germany based on digital reconstructions. Results show that the endocasts of both taxa are very similar to each other in their rostrocaudally elongate morphology, with long olfactory tracts, weakly demarcated cerebral regions and dorsoventrally short endosseous labyrinths. In addition, several sinuses, including large antorbital sinuses and prominent dural venous sinuses, were reconstructed. Comparisons with the endocranial anatomy of derived phytosaurs indicate that Phytosauria is united by the presence of elongate olfactory tracts and longitudinally arranged brain architecture—characters which are also shared with Crocodyliformes. However, a substantial morphological variability is observed in the cephalic and pontine flexure and the presence of a pineal organ across the different phytosaur species. These results suggest that the endocranial anatomy in Phytosauria generally follows a plesiomorphic pattern, with moderate variation within the clade likely resulting from divergent sensory and behavioural adaptations. PMID:27547557

  11. Grooves to tubes: evolution of the venom delivery system in a Late Triassic "reptile".

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jonathan S; Heckert, Andrew B; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2010-12-01

    Venom delivery systems occur in a wide range of extant and fossil vertebrates and are primarily based on oral adaptations. Teeth range from unmodified (Komodo dragons) to highly specialized fangs similar to hypodermic needles (protero- and solenoglyphous snakes). Developmental biologists have documented evidence for an infolding pathway of fang evolution, where the groove folds over to create the more derived condition. However, the oldest known members of venomous clades retain the same condition as their extant relatives, resulting in no fossil evidence for the transition. Based on a comparison of previously known specimens with newly discovered teeth from North Carolina, we describe a new species of the Late Triassic archosauriform Uatchitodon and provide detailed analyses that provide evidence for both venom conduction and document a complete structural series from shallow grooves to fully enclosed tubular canals. While known only from teeth, Uatchitodon is highly diagnostic in possessing compound serrations and for having two venom canals on each tooth in the dentition. Further, although not a snake, Uatchitodon sheds light on the evolutionary trajectory of venom delivery systems in amniotes and provide solid evidence for venom conduction in archosaur-line diapsids. PMID:21060984

  12. Neurogenic radial glial cells in reptile, rodent and human: from mitosis to migration.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Tamily; Noctor, Stephen C; Clinton, Brian K; Honig, Lawrence S; Kriegstein, Arnold R

    2003-06-01

    Radial glial cells play at least two crucial roles in cortical development: neuronal production in the ventricular zone (VZ) and the subsequent guidance of neuronal migration. There is evidence that radial glia-like cells are present not only during development but in the adult mammalian brain as well. In addition, radial glial cells appear to be neurogenic in the central nervous system of a number of vertebrate species. We demonstrate here that most dividing progenitor cells in the embryonic human VZ express radial glial proteins. Furthermore, we provide evidence that radial glial cells maintain a vimentin-positive radial fiber throughout each stage of cell division. Asymmetric inheritance of this fiber may be an important factor in determining how neuronal progeny will migrate into the developing cortical plate. Although radial glial cells have traditionally been characterized by their role in guiding migration, their role as neuronal progenitors may represent their defining characteristic throughout the vertebrate CNS. PMID:12764028

  13. Influence of gully erosion control on amphibian and reptile communities within riparian zones of channelized streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian zones of streams in northern Mississippi have been impacted by agriculture, channelization, channel incision, and gully erosion. Gully erosion is the most severe form of erosion and has resulted in the fragmentation of remnant riparian zones within agricultural watersheds. One widely used c...

  14. Influence of Gully Erosion Control on Amphibian and Reptile Communities within Riparian Zones of Channelized Streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian zones of streams in northwestern Mississippi have been impacted by agriculture, channelization, channel incision, and gully erosion. Riparian gully formation has resulted in the fragmentation of remnant riparian zones within agricultural watersheds. One widely used conservation practice for...

  15. Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) Apache Young and Perkins (Diptera: Psychodidae) feeds on reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phlebotomine sand flies are vectors of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. In the western USA a sand fly, Lutzomyia apache Young and Perkins, was initially associated with epizootics of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), because sand flies were trapped at sites of an outbreak. Additional studies indica...

  16. Pamelaria dolichotrachela, a new prolacertid reptile from the Middle Triassic of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Kasturi

    2003-03-01

    A new genus and species Pamelaria dolichotrachela, belonging to the family Prolacertidae is reported for the first time from the Middle Triassic of India. The material consisting of associated skeletons and isolated bones has been excavated from the red mudstone of Yerrapalli Formation of Pranhita-Godavari Basin, South India. The nature of disposition of bones strongly suggests a catastrophic death and quick burial. The reconstructed skeleton of P. dolichotrachela strongly suggests that it was a quadrupedal sprawler. A detailed description of the new taxon and its comparison with other better known prolacertids of the world reveals a very close resemblance with Prolacerta broomi [Ann. Mag. Nat. History 16 (1935) 197], the type genus and species of the family. A number of characters like a relatively large skeleton; confluent nostril, lower jaw with a prominent coronoid and accessory neural spines in the posteriorcaudals with a sudden shift of neural spine position establish its distinctiveness.

  17. Influence of climate on the presence of colour polymorphism in two montane reptile species.

    PubMed

    Broennimann, Olivier; Ursenbacher, Sylvain; Meyer, Andreas; Golay, Philippe; Monney, Jean-Claude; Schmocker, Hans; Guisan, Antoine; Dubey, Sylvain

    2014-11-01

    The coloration of ectotherms plays an important role in thermoregulation processes. Dark individuals should heat up faster and be able to reach a higher body temperature than light individuals and should therefore have benefits in cool areas. In central Europe, montane local populations of adder (Vipera berus) and asp viper (Vipera aspis) exhibit a varying proportion of melanistic individuals. We tested whether the presence of melanistic V. aspis and V. berus could be explained by climatic conditions. We measured the climatic niche position and breadth of monomorphic (including strictly patterned individuals) and polymorphic local populations, calculated their niche overlap and tested for niche equivalency and similarity. In accordance with expectations, niche overlap between polymorphic local populations of both species is high, and even higher than that of polymorphic versus monomorphic montane local populations of V. aspis, suggesting a predominant role of melanism in determining the niche of ectothermic vertebrates. However, unexpectedly, the niche of polymorphic local populations of both species is narrower than that of monomorphic ones, indicating that colour polymorphism does not always enable the exploitation of a greater variability of resources, at least at the intraspecific level. Overall, our results suggest that melanism might be present only when the thermoregulatory benefit is higher than the cost of predation. PMID:25392313

  18. Modeling population response to anthropogenic threats for a long-lived reptile, the desert tortoise

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods The decline in desert tortoise population densities and abundances since the 1970s has been attributed to numerous threats, leading scientists, land managers, and conservationists to describe the plight of the species as a “death by a thousand cuts.” ...

  19. Habitat alteration increases invasive fire ant abundance to the detriment of amphibians and reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Todd, B.D.; Rothermel, B.B.; Reed, R.N.; Luhring, T.M.; Schlatter, K.; Trenkamp, L.; Gibbons, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Altered habitats have been suggested to facilitate red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonization and dispersal, possibly compounding effects of habitat alteration on native wildlife. In this study, we compared colonization intensity of wood cover boards by S. invicta among four forest management treatments in South Carolina, USA: an unharvested control (>30 years old); a partially thinned stand; a clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; and a clearcut with coarse woody debris removed. Additionally, we compared dehydration rates and survival of recently metamorphosed salamanders (marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, and mole salamanders, A. talpoideum) among treatments. We found that the number of wood cover boards colonized by S. invicta differed significantly among treatments, being lowest in the unharvested forest treatments and increasing with the degree of habitat alteration. Salamanders that were maintained in experimental field enclosures to study water loss were unexpectedly subjected to high levels of S. invicta predation that differed among forest treatments. All known predation by S. invicta was restricted to salamanders in clearcuts. The amount of vegetative ground cover was inversely related to the likelihood of S. invicta predation of salamanders. Our results show that S. invicta abundance increases with habitat disturbance and that this increased abundance has negative consequences for amphibians that remain in altered habitats. Our findings also suggest that the presence of invasive S. invicta may compromise the utility of cover boards and other techniques commonly used in herpetological studies in the Southeast. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... restricted importation may be published from time to time in 50 CFR part 13—Importation of Wildlife or Eggs... of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for disposition as appropriate pursuant to 50 CFR part 17. (2... certification of a qualified fish pathologist in substantially the form as prescribed in 50 CFR 13.7....

  1. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... restricted importation may be published from time to time in 50 CFR part 13—Importation of Wildlife or Eggs... of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for disposition as appropriate pursuant to 50 CFR part 17. (2... certification of a qualified fish pathologist in substantially the form as prescribed in 50 CFR 13.7....

  2. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... restricted importation may be published from time to time in 50 CFR part 13—Importation of Wildlife or Eggs... of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for disposition as appropriate pursuant to 50 CFR part 17. (2... certification of a qualified fish pathologist in substantially the form as prescribed in 50 CFR 13.7....

  3. Extinction of fish-shaped marine reptiles associated with reduced evolutionary rates and global environmental volatility

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Valentin; Bardet, Nathalie; Benson, Roger B. J.; Arkhangelsky, Maxim S.; Friedman, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Despite their profound adaptations to the aquatic realm and their apparent success throughout the Triassic and the Jurassic, ichthyosaurs became extinct roughly 30 million years before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current hypotheses for this early demise involve relatively minor biotic events, but are at odds with recent understanding of the ichthyosaur fossil record. Here, we show that ichthyosaurs maintained high but diminishing richness and disparity throughout the Early Cretaceous. The last ichthyosaurs are characterized by reduced rates of origination and phenotypic evolution and their elevated extinction rates correlate with increased environmental volatility. In addition, we find that ichthyosaurs suffered from a profound Early Cenomanian extinction that reduced their ecological diversity, likely contributing to their final extinction at the end of the Cenomanian. Our results support a growing body of evidence revealing that global environmental change resulted in a major, temporally staggered turnover event that profoundly reorganized marine ecosystems during the Cenomanian. PMID:26953824

  4. Influence of Gully Erosion Control on Amphibian and Reptile Communities Within Riparian Zones of Channelized Streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian zones of streams in northern Mississippi have been impacted by agriculture, channelization, channel incision, and gully erosion. Gully erosion is the most severe form of erosion and has resulted in the fragmentation of remnant riparian zones within agricultural watersheds. One widely used c...

  5. Associations of variable coloration with niche breadth and conservation status among Australian reptiles.

    PubMed

    Forsman, Anders; Aberg, Viktor

    2008-05-01

    We evaluate predictions concerning the evolutionary and ecological consequences of color polymorphisms. Previous endeavors have aimed at identifying conditions that promote the evolution and maintenance within populations of alternative variants. But the polymorphic condition may also influence important population processes. We consider the prediction that populations that consist of alternative "ecomorphs" with coadapted gene complexes will utilize more diverse resources and display higher rates of colonization success, population persistence, and range expansions, while being less vulnerable to range contractions and extinctions, compared with monomorphic populations. We perform pairwise comparative analyses based on information for 323 species of Australian lizards and snakes. We find that species with variable color patterns have larger ranges, utilize a greater diversity of habitat types, and are underrepresented among species currently listed as threatened. These results are consistent with the proposition that the co-occurrence of multiple color variants may promote the ecological success of populations and species, but there are also alternative interpretations. PMID:18543614

  6. Patterns of hypothalamic regionalization in amphibians and reptiles: common traits revealed by a genoarchitectonic approach

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2015-01-01

    Most studies in mammals and birds have demonstrated common patterns of hypothalamic development highlighted by the combination of developmental regulatory genes (genoarchitecture), supporting the notion of the hypothalamus as a component of the secondary prosencephalon, topologically rostral to the diencephalon. In our comparative analysis we have summarized the data on the expression patterns of different transcription factors and neuroactive substances, used as anatomical markers, in the developing hypothalamus of the amphibian Xenopus laevis and the juvenile turtle Pseudemys scripta. This analysis served to highlight the organization of the hypothalamus in the anamniote/amniotic transition. We have identified supraoptoparaventricular and the suprachiasmatic regions (SCs) in the alar part of the hypothalamus, and tuberal and mammillary regions in the basal hypothalamus. Shared features in the two species are: (1) The supraoptoparaventricular region (SPV) is defined by the expression of Otp and the lack of Nkx2.1/Isl1. It is subdivided into rostral, rich in Otp and Nkx2.2, and caudal, only Otp-positive, portions. (2) The suprachiasmatic area contains catecholaminergic cell groups and lacks Otp, and can be further divided into rostral (rich in Nkx2.1 and Nkx2.2) and a caudal (rich in Isl1 and devoid of Nkx2.1) portions. (3) Expression of Nkx2.1 and Isl1 define the tuberal hypothalamus and only the rostral portion expresses Otp. (4) Its caudal boundary is evident by the lack of Isl1 in the adjacent mammillary region, which expresses Nkx2.1 and Otp. Differences in the anamnio-amniote transition were noted since in the turtle, like in other amniotes, the boundary between the alar hypothalamus and the telencephalic preoptic area shows distinct Nkx2.2 and Otp expressions but not in the amphibian (anamniote), and the alar SPV is defined by the expression of Otp/Pax6, whereas in Xenopus only Otp is expressed. PMID:25691860

  7. New material of the enigmatic reptile Khurendukhosaurus (Diapsida: Choristodera) from Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Ryoko; Suzuki, Shigeru; Tsogtbaatar, Khisigjav; Evans, Susan E.

    2009-02-01

    New material of the enigmatic diapsid Khurendukhosaurus is described from the Mongolian type locality, Khuren Dukh, providing additional data on the vertebral column, pelvis, and hind limb. It confirms the choristoderan status of the genus and permits a more detailed phylogenetic analysis that supports a relationship between Khurendukhosaurus and the long-necked Asian Hyphalosauridae. The existence of tall caudal neural spines implies that Khurendukhosaurus was a deep-tailed swimmer. This and the open sacral costocentral sutures suggest a primarily aquatic lifestyle.

  8. Squeezers and leaf-cutters: differential diversification and degeneration of the venom system in toxicoferan reptiles.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Undheim, Eivind A B; Ali, Syed A; Jackson, Timothy N W; Debono, Jordan; Scheib, Holger; Ruder, Tim; Morgenstern, David; Cadwallader, Luke; Whitehead, Darryl; Nabuurs, Rob; van der Weerd, Louise; Vidal, Nicolas; Roelants, Kim; Hendrikx, Iwan; Gonzalez, Sandy Pineda; Koludarov, Ivan; Jones, Alun; King, Glenn F; Antunes, Agostinho; Sunagar, Kartik

    2013-07-01

    Although it has been established that all toxicoferan squamates share a common venomous ancestor, it has remained unclear whether the maxillary and mandibular venom glands are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under shared genetic control. We show that identical transcripts are simultaneously expressed not only in the mandibular and maxillary glands, but also in the enigmatic snake rictal gland. Toxin molecular frameworks recovered in this study were three-finger toxin (3FTx), CRiSP, crotamine (beta-defensin), cobra venom factor, cystatin, epididymal secretory protein, kunitz, L-amino acid oxidase, lectin, renin aspartate protease, veficolin, and vespryn. We also discovered a novel low-molecular weight disulfide bridged peptide class in pythonid snake glands. In the iguanian lizards, the most highly expressed are potentially antimicrobial in nature (crotamine (beta-defensin) and cystatin), with crotamine (beta-defensin) also the most diverse. However, a number of proteins characterized from anguimorph lizards and caenophidian snakes with hemotoxic or neurotoxic activities were recruited in the common toxicoferan ancestor and remain expressed, albeit in low levels, even in the iguanian lizards. In contrast, the henophidian snakes express 3FTx and lectin toxins as the dominant transcripts. Even in the constricting pythonid and boid snakes, where the glands are predominantly mucous-secreting, low-levels of toxin transcripts can be detected. Venom thus appears to play little role in feeding behavior of most iguanian lizards or the powerful constricting snakes, and the low levels of expression argue against a defensive role. However, clearly the incipient or secondarily atrophied venom systems of these taxa may be a source of novel compounds useful in drug design and discovery. PMID:23547263

  9. Liposomes from mammalian liver mitochondria are more polyunsaturated and leakier to protons than those from reptiles.

    PubMed

    Brand, M D; Couture, P; Hulbert, A J

    1994-06-01

    Liposomes were prepared from phospholipids extracted from liver mitochondria of the rat (Rattus norvegicus) and an agamid lizard, the bearded dragon (Amphibolurus vitticeps) and liposome proton conductance was measured at an imposed membrane potential of 160 mV as well as the fatty acid composition of the liposomes. Despite presumed changes in fatty acid composition during liposome preparation, the mammalian liposomes had a significantly lower content of the monounsaturated oleic acid and a significantly greater content of the omega-3 polyunsaturated docosahexaenoic acid. There were significant direct correlations between the liposome arachidonic and docosahexanoic acid content and bilayer proton flux and a significant inverse correlation between liposome oleic acid content and bilayer proton flux. "Apparent valinomycin-catalysed proton flux" was significantly directly correlated with liposome docosahexaenoic acid content and inversely correlated with oleic acid content. It is suggested that the high content of long-chain polyunsaturates in the mammalian mitochondrial membrane is responsible for an increased proton leak across the mitochondrial inner membrane and thus partly responsible for the high metabolic rate in endothermic mammals compared to their ectothermic reptilian predecessors. PMID:8055185

  10. Squeezers and Leaf-cutters: Differential Diversification and Degeneration of the Venom System in Toxicoferan Reptiles*

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Bryan G.; Undheim, Eivind A.B.; Ali, Syed A.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Debono, Jordan; Scheib, Holger; Ruder, Tim; Morgenstern, David; Cadwallader, Luke; Whitehead, Darryl; Nabuurs, Rob; van der Weerd, Louise; Vidal, Nicolas; Roelants, Kim; Hendrikx, Iwan; Gonzalez, Sandy Pineda; Koludarov, Ivan; Jones, Alun; King, Glenn F.; Antunes, Agostinho; Sunagar, Kartik

    2013-01-01

    Although it has been established that all toxicoferan squamates share a common venomous ancestor, it has remained unclear whether the maxillary and mandibular venom glands are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under shared genetic control. We show that identical transcripts are simultaneously expressed not only in the mandibular and maxillary glands, but also in the enigmatic snake rictal gland. Toxin molecular frameworks recovered in this study were three-finger toxin (3FTx), CRiSP, crotamine (beta-defensin), cobra venom factor, cystatin, epididymal secretory protein, kunitz, l-amino acid oxidase, lectin, renin aspartate protease, veficolin, and vespryn. We also discovered a novel low-molecular weight disulfide bridged peptide class in pythonid snake glands. In the iguanian lizards, the most highly expressed are potentially antimicrobial in nature (crotamine (beta-defensin) and cystatin), with crotamine (beta-defensin) also the most diverse. However, a number of proteins characterized from anguimorph lizards and caenophidian snakes with hemotoxic or neurotoxic activities were recruited in the common toxicoferan ancestor and remain expressed, albeit in low levels, even in the iguanian lizards. In contrast, the henophidian snakes express 3FTx and lectin toxins as the dominant transcripts. Even in the constricting pythonid and boid snakes, where the glands are predominantly mucous-secreting, low-levels of toxin transcripts can be detected. Venom thus appears to play little role in feeding behavior of most iguanian lizards or the powerful constricting snakes, and the low levels of expression argue against a defensive role. However, clearly the incipient or secondarily atrophied venom systems of these taxa may be a source of novel compounds useful in drug design and discovery. PMID:23547263

  11. Patterns of hypothalamic regionalization in amphibians and reptiles: common traits revealed by a genoarchitectonic approach.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2015-01-01

    Most studies in mammals and birds have demonstrated common patterns of hypothalamic development highlighted by the combination of developmental regulatory genes (genoarchitecture), supporting the notion of the hypothalamus as a component of the secondary prosencephalon, topologically rostral to the diencephalon. In our comparative analysis we have summarized the data on the expression patterns of different transcription factors and neuroactive substances, used as anatomical markers, in the developing hypothalamus of the amphibian Xenopus laevis and the juvenile turtle Pseudemys scripta. This analysis served to highlight the organization of the hypothalamus in the anamniote/amniotic transition. We have identified supraoptoparaventricular and the suprachiasmatic regions (SCs) in the alar part of the hypothalamus, and tuberal and mammillary regions in the basal hypothalamus. Shared features in the two species are: (1) The supraoptoparaventricular region (SPV) is defined by the expression of Otp and the lack of Nkx2.1/Isl1. It is subdivided into rostral, rich in Otp and Nkx2.2, and caudal, only Otp-positive, portions. (2) The suprachiasmatic area contains catecholaminergic cell groups and lacks Otp, and can be further divided into rostral (rich in Nkx2.1 and Nkx2.2) and a caudal (rich in Isl1 and devoid of Nkx2.1) portions. (3) Expression of Nkx2.1 and Isl1 define the tuberal hypothalamus and only the rostral portion expresses Otp. (4) Its caudal boundary is evident by the lack of Isl1 in the adjacent mammillary region, which expresses Nkx2.1 and Otp. Differences in the anamnio-amniote transition were noted since in the turtle, like in other amniotes, the boundary between the alar hypothalamus and the telencephalic preoptic area shows distinct Nkx2.2 and Otp expressions but not in the amphibian (anamniote), and the alar SPV is defined by the expression of Otp/Pax6, whereas in Xenopus only Otp is expressed. PMID:25691860

  12. Responses of Mammalian Insectivores, Amphibians, and Reptiles to Broad-Scale Manipulation of Coarse Woody Debris

    SciTech Connect

    McCay, T.S.; Forschler, B.T.; Komoroski, M.J.; Ford, W.M.

    2002-03-10

    Sampled shrews at 9.3 ha plots from logs manually removed and control plots in loblolly pine forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which deadwood was removed whereas capture rates of Blarina cavolinensis and Sorex longirostris did not differ between control and removal plots. Cryptotis may have been most sensitive to removal plots due to low population density, hence poor ability to move into areas of low reproduction. (Second Abstract, p. 37)Presentation of evidence that juvenile amphibians including Ambystomatid salamanders may disperse hundreds of meter from their natal wetlands within the weeks to months following metamorphosis. Data indicates Ambystoma trigrinum metamorphs can take at least six months to disperse and en route use non-polar lipid reserves garnished as larvae. Report suggests a land management regime that allows for both juvenile amphibian dispersal and also the consumptive use of the surrounding landscape.

  13. Amphibian and reptile abundance in riparian and upslope areas of five forest types in western Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomez, D.M.; Anthony, R.G.

    1996-01-01

    We compared species composition and relative abundance of herpetofauna between riparian and upslope habitats among 5 forest types (shrub, open sapling-pole, large sawtimber and old-growth conifer forests, and deciduous forests) in Western Oregon. Riparian- and upslope- associated species were identified based on capture frequencies from pitfall trapping. Species richness was similar among forest types but slightly greater in the shrub stands. The abundances of 3 species differed among forest types. Total captures was highest in deciduous forests, intermediate in the mature conifer forests, and lowest in the 2 young coniferous forests. Species richness was similar between stream and upslope habitats; however, captures were higher in riparian than upslope habitat. Tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei), Dunn's salamanders (Plethodon dunni), roughskin newts(Tanicha granulosa), Pacific giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) and red-legged frogs(Rana aurora) were captured more frequently in riparian than upslope habitats. Of these species the red-legged frog and Pacific giant salamander may depend on riparian habitat for at least part of their life requirements, while tailed frogs, Dunn's salamanders and roughskin newts appear to be riparian associated species. In addition, we found Oregon salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzi) were associated with upslope habitats. We suggest riparian management zones should be al least 75-100 m on each side of the stream and that management for upslope/and or old forest associates may be equally as important as for riparian species.

  14. Effects of conservation practices on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles within agricultural streams and wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices have been traditionally used to manage soil and water resources to improve agricultural production, and now include methods to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture on streams and wetlands. These practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watershed...

  15. Contrasting Patterns of Evolutionary Diversification in the Olfactory Repertoires of Reptile and Bird Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Vandewege, Michael W.; Mangum, Sarah F.; Gabaldón, Toni; Castoe, Todd A.; Ray, David A.; Hoffmann, Federico G.

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory receptors (ORs) are membrane proteins that mediate the detection of odorants in the environment, and are the largest vertebrate gene family. Comparative studies of mammalian genomes indicate that OR repertoires vary widely, even between closely related lineages, as a consequence of frequent OR gains and losses. Several studies also suggest that mammalian OR repertoires are influenced by life history traits. Sauropsida is a diverse group of vertebrates group that is the sister group to mammals, and includes birds, testudines, squamates, and crocodilians, and represents a natural system to explore predictions derived from mammalian studies. In this study, we analyzed olfactory receptor (OR) repertoire variation among several representative species and found that the number of intact OR genes in sauropsid genomes analyzed ranged over an order of magnitude, from 108 in the green anole to over 1,000 in turtles. Our results suggest that different sauropsid lineages have highly divergent OR repertoire composition that derive from lineage-specific combinations of gene expansions, losses, and retentions of ancestral OR genes. These differences also suggest that varying degrees of adaption related to life history have shaped the unique OR repertoires observed across sauropsid lineages. PMID:26865070

  16. Ultrastructural differentiation of sperm tail region in Diplometopon zarudnyi (an amphisbaenian reptile)

    PubMed Central

    Al-Dokhi, O.; Mukhtar, Ahmed; Al-Dosary, A.; Al-Sadoon, M.K.

    2015-01-01

    Diplometopon zarudnyi, a worm lizard belongs to amphisbaenia under trogonophidae family. This species exists in limited areas of the Arabian Peninsula and is an oscillating digger found in sub-surface soils. The present study aimed to investigate the sperm tail differentiation in D. zarudnyi. Ten male adults of D. zarudnyi were collected from Riyadh during April–May 2011. To study the sperm tail at the ultrastructural level the testes were fixed in 3% glutaraldehyde, than post fixed in 1% osmium tetaroxide followed by dehydration in ethanol grades; samples were cleared in propylene oxide and embedded in resin. Tail formation begins by the moving of centrioles and mitochondria towards the posterior pole of sperm head. Simultaneously many microtubules of the midpiece axoneme were enclosed by a thick layer of granular material. Mitochondria of midpiece lie alongside the proximal centriole which forms a very short neck region and possess tubular cristae internally and concentric layers of cristae superficially. During this course a fibrous sheath surrounds the axoneme of mid and principal piece. At the end dissolution of longitudinal manchette takes place. The mitochondria then rearrange themselves around the proximal and distal centrioles to form a neck region. Later, the fibrous sheath surrounds the proximal portion of the flagella. This part along with sperm head of D. zarudnyi provides a classical model that could be used in future for evolutionary and phylogenetic purposes of class reptilia. PMID:26155090

  17. Using Multiscale Spatial Models to Assess Potential Surrogate Habitat for an Imperiled Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Fill, Jennifer M.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Bennett, Stephen H.; Mousseau, Timothy A.

    2015-01-01

    In evaluating conservation and management options for species, practitioners might consider surrogate habitats at multiple scales when estimating available habitat or modeling species’ potential distributions based on suitable habitats, especially when native environments are rare. Species’ dependence on surrogates likely increases as optimal habitat is degraded and lost due to anthropogenic landscape change, and thus surrogate habitats may be vital for an imperiled species’ survival in highly modified landscapes. We used spatial habitat models to examine a potential surrogate habitat for an imperiled ambush predator (eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus; EDB) at two scales. The EDB is an apex predator indigenous to imperiled longleaf pine ecosystems (Pinus palustris) of the southeastern United States. Loss of native open-canopy pine savannas and woodlands has been suggested as the principal cause of the species’ extensive decline. We examined EDB habitat selection in the Coastal Plain tidewater region to evaluate the role of marsh as a potential surrogate habitat and to further quantify the species’ habitat requirements at two scales: home range (HR) and within the home range (WHR). We studied EDBs using radiotelemetry and employed an information-theoretic approach and logistic regression to model habitat selection as use vs. availability. We failed to detect a positive association with marsh as a surrogate habitat at the HR scale; rather, EDBs exhibited significantly negative associations with all landscape patches except pine savanna. Within home range selection was characterized by a negative association with forest and a positive association with ground cover, which suggests that EDBs may use surrogate habitats of similar structure, including marsh, within their home ranges. While our HR analysis did not support tidal marsh as a surrogate habitat, marsh may still provide resources for EDBs at smaller scales. PMID:25915926

  18. Extinction of fish-shaped marine reptiles associated with reduced evolutionary rates and global environmental volatility.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Valentin; Bardet, Nathalie; Benson, Roger B J; Arkhangelsky, Maxim S; Friedman, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Despite their profound adaptations to the aquatic realm and their apparent success throughout the Triassic and the Jurassic, ichthyosaurs became extinct roughly 30 million years before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current hypotheses for this early demise involve relatively minor biotic events, but are at odds with recent understanding of the ichthyosaur fossil record. Here, we show that ichthyosaurs maintained high but diminishing richness and disparity throughout the Early Cretaceous. The last ichthyosaurs are characterized by reduced rates of origination and phenotypic evolution and their elevated extinction rates correlate with increased environmental volatility. In addition, we find that ichthyosaurs suffered from a profound Early Cenomanian extinction that reduced their ecological diversity, likely contributing to their final extinction at the end of the Cenomanian. Our results support a growing body of evidence revealing that global environmental change resulted in a major, temporally staggered turnover event that profoundly reorganized marine ecosystems during the Cenomanian. PMID:26953824

  19. Eggshell composition of squamate reptiles: relationship between eggshell permeability and amino acid distribution.

    PubMed

    Sexton, Owen J; Bramble, Judith E; Heisler, I Lorraine; Phillips, Christopher A; Cox, David L

    2005-10-01

    Most snakes and lizards produce eggs with flexible shells that interact with the environment to maintain water balance. Geckos produce rigid eggshells that are independent of an external source of water and can be oviposited in more open, dryer locations. In this study, we analyzed and compared the amino acid composition of 24 lizard species, six snake species, and four outgroups (including avian and reptilian elastin and chicken eggshell). Rigid Gecko eggshells had significantly lower levels of seven of the 17 amino acids evaluated. Multivariate analysis showed that proline was the most important amino acid in distinguishing between these two groups of eggshells, occurring at significantly higher levels in flexible eggshells. High levels of proline have also been observed in the eggshells of other species. Proline and other amino acids are associated with the alleviation of water and salt stress in plants. PMID:16195850

  20. Grooves to tubes: evolution of the venom delivery system in a Late Triassic "reptile"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Heckert, Andrew B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2010-12-01

    Venom delivery systems occur in a wide range of extant and fossil vertebrates and are primarily based on oral adaptations. Teeth range from unmodified (Komodo dragons) to highly specialized fangs similar to hypodermic needles (protero- and solenoglyphous snakes). Developmental biologists have documented evidence for an infolding pathway of fang evolution, where the groove folds over to create the more derived condition. However, the oldest known members of venomous clades retain the same condition as their extant relatives, resulting in no fossil evidence for the transition. Based on a comparison of previously known specimens with newly discovered teeth from North Carolina, we describe a new species of the Late Triassic archosauriform Uatchitodon and provide detailed analyses that provide evidence for both venom conduction and document a complete structural series from shallow grooves to fully enclosed tubular canals. While known only from teeth, Uatchitodon is highly diagnostic in possessing compound serrations and for having two venom canals on each tooth in the dentition. Further, although not a snake, Uatchitodon sheds light on the evolutionary trajectory of venom delivery systems in amniotes and provide solid evidence for venom conduction in archosaur-line diapsids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. A gharial from the Oligocene of Puerto Rico: transoceanic dispersal in the history of a non-marine reptile

    PubMed Central

    Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Brochu, Christopher A; Santos, Hernán

    2007-01-01

    The Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is not found in saltwater, but the geographical distribution of fossil relatives suggests a derivation from ancestors that lived in, or were at least able to withstand, saline conditions. Here, we describe a new Oligocene gharial, Aktiogavialis puertoricensis, from deltaic–coastal deposits of northern Puerto Rico. It is related to a clade of Neogene gharials otherwise restricted to South America. Its geological and geographical settings, along with its phylogenetic relationships, are consistent with two scenarios: (i) that a single trans-Atlantic dispersal event during the Tertiary explains the South American Neogene gharial assemblage and (ii) that stem gharials were coastal animals and their current restriction to freshwater settings is a comparatively recent environmental shift for the group. This discovery highlights the importance of including fossil information in a phylogenetic context when assessing the ecological history of modern organisms. PMID:17341454

  3. Geographical and Temporal Body Size Variation in a Reptile: Roles of Sex, Ecology, Phylogeny and Ecology Structured in Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Aragón, Pedro; Fitze, Patrick S.

    2014-01-01

    Geographical body size variation has long interested evolutionary biologists, and a range of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the observed patterns. It is considered to be more puzzling in ectotherms than in endotherms, and integrative approaches are necessary for testing non-exclusive alternative mechanisms. Using lacertid lizards as a model, we adopted an integrative approach, testing different hypotheses for both sexes while incorporating temporal, spatial, and phylogenetic autocorrelation at the individual level. We used data on the Spanish Sand Racer species group from a field survey to disentangle different sources of body size variation through environmental and individual genetic data, while accounting for temporal and spatial autocorrelation. A variation partitioning method was applied to separate independent and shared components of ecology and phylogeny, and estimated their significance. Then, we fed-back our models by controlling for relevant independent components. The pattern was consistent with the geographical Bergmann's cline and the experimental temperature-size rule: adults were larger at lower temperatures (and/or higher elevations). This result was confirmed with additional multi-year independent data-set derived from the literature. Variation partitioning showed no sex differences in phylogenetic inertia but showed sex differences in the independent component of ecology; primarily due to growth differences. Interestingly, only after controlling for independent components did primary productivity also emerge as an important predictor explaining size variation in both sexes. This study highlights the importance of integrating individual-based genetic information, relevant ecological parameters, and temporal and spatial autocorrelation in sex-specific models to detect potentially important hidden effects. Our individual-based approach devoted to extract and control for independent components was useful to reveal hidden effects linked with alternative non-exclusive hypothesis, such as those of primary productivity. Also, including measurement date allowed disentangling and controlling for short-term temporal autocorrelation reflecting sex-specific growth plasticity. PMID:25090025

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Latitudinal concordance between biogeographic regionalization, community structure, and richness patterns: a study on the reptiles of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Youhua; Srivastava, Diane S.

    2015-02-01

    Latitudinal patterns in species richness may be affected by both continuous variations in macroecological factors as well as discrete change between biogeographic regions. We examined whether latitudinal reptilian richness and community structure in China were best explained by three macroecological patterns (mid-domain effects, Rapoport's rule effects, or environmental correlates) within or across the ranges of biogeographic realms. The results showed that (1) there was a weak mid-domain effect within the Oriental Realm. However, the mid-domain effect was detected neither at the overall regional scale nor in the Palaearctic Realm. (2) Rapoport's rule was only weakly supported for reptilian fauna in China at lower latitudinal areas. (3) Environmental variables were more strongly correlated with species' latitudinal community structure and richness patterns at the scale of biogeographic realms. Based on the faunal similarity of reptilian community across latitudinal bands, we proposed a latitudinal delineation scheme at 34° N for dividing East Asia into Oriental and Palaearctic biogeographic realms. At last, at the functional group level, we also evaluated the relevant ecological patterns for lizard and snake species across different latitudinal bins, showing that the distributions of lizards presented strong mid-domain effects at the latitudinal ranges within the Oriental Realm and over the whole range but did not support Rapoport's rule. In comparison, snake species supported Rapoport's rule at low latitudinal zones but did not present any remarkable mid-domain effects at any spatial extents. In conclusion, biogeographic realms are an appropriate scale for studying macroecological patterns. Reptilian latitudinal richness patterns of China were explained by a combination of environmental factors and geometric constraints, while the latitudinal community structure patterns were greatly affected by environmental gradients. Functional guilds present differentiated macroecological patterns along the latitudinal gradients.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  7. Differences in Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Communities Within Wetlands Created by an Agricultural Water Recycling System in Northwestern Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Establishment of a water recycling system known as the wetland-reservoir subirrigation system (WRSIS) results in the creation of wetlands adjacent to agricultural fields. Each WRSIS consists of one wetland designed to process agricultural chemicals (WRSIS wetlands) and one wetland to store subirriga...

  8. Comparative genomics of Campylobacter fetus from reptiles and mammals reveals divergent evolution in host-associated lineages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies: C. fetus subsp. fetus, C. fetus subsp. venerealis, and C. fetus subsp. testudinum, which display a distinct host association. Both C. fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis are associated with endothermic mammals, primar...

  9. Rapid Evolution of Beta-Keratin Genes Contribute to Phenotypic Differences That Distinguish Turtles and Birds from Other Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang I.; Kong, Lesheng; Ponting, Chris P.; Haerty, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Sequencing of vertebrate genomes permits changes in distinct protein families, including gene gains and losses, to be ascribed to lineage-specific phenotypes. A prominent example of this is the large-scale duplication of beta-keratin genes in the ancestors of birds, which was crucial to the subsequent evolution of their beaks, claws, and feathers. Evidence suggests that the shell of Pseudomys nelsoni contains at least 16 beta-keratins proteins, but it is unknown whether this is a complete set and whether their corresponding genes are orthologous to avian beak, claw, or feather beta-keratin genes. To address these issues and to better understand the evolution of the turtle shell at a molecular level, we surveyed the diversity of beta-keratin genes from the genome assemblies of three turtles, Chrysemys picta, Pelodiscus sinensis, and Chelonia mydas, which together represent over 160 Myr of chelonian evolution. For these three turtles, we found 200 beta-keratins, which indicate that, as for birds, a large expansion of beta-keratin genes in turtles occurred concomitantly with the evolution of a unique phenotype, namely, their plastron and carapace. Phylogenetic reconstruction of beta-keratin gene evolution suggests that separate waves of gene duplication within a single genomic location gave rise to scales, claws, and feathers in birds, and independently the scutes of the shell in turtles. PMID:23576313

  10. Maximum longevities of chemically protected and non-protected fishes, reptiles, and amphibians support evolutionary hypotheses of aging.

    PubMed

    Blanco, M Andres; Sherman, Paul W

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary hypotheses of aging predict that species with low rates of mortality from extrinsic sources, such as predation, should senesce more slowly and have longer maximum life spans than related species with higher rates of extrinsic mortality. We tested this prediction by synthesizing information on maximum body lengths and life spans in captivity of 1193 species of chemically protected (venomous or poisonous) and non-chemically protected fishes, snakes, caudatans (salamanders and newts), and anurans (frogs and toads). In every phylogenetic group maximum longevity was positively correlated with body size and, when size was controlled for statistically, chemically protected species and genera usually had longer maximum life spans than non-protected species. These results reemphasize the importance of life history traits, particularly protection from predation, in the evolution of senescence. PMID:15888334

  11. Novel parvoviruses in reptiles and genome sequence of a lizard parvovirus shed light on Dependoparvovirus genus evolution.

    PubMed

    Pénzes, Judit J; Pham, Hanh T; Benkö, Mária; Tijssen, Peter

    2015-09-01

    Here, we report the detection and partial genome characterization of two novel reptilian parvoviruses derived from a short-tailed pygmy chameleon (Rampholeon brevicaudatus) and a corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) along with the complete genome analysis of the first lizard parvovirus, obtained from four bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). Both homology searches and phylogenetic tree reconstructions demonstrated that all are members of the genus Dependoparvovirus. Even though most dependoparvoviruses replicate efficiently only in co-infections with large DNA viruses, no such agents could be detected in one of the bearded dragon samples, hence the possibility of autonomous replication was explored. The alternative ORF encoding the full assembly activating protein (AAP), typical for the genus, could be obtained from reptilian parvoviruses for the first time, with a structure that appears to be more ancient than that of avian and mammalian parvoviruses. All three viruses were found to harbour short introns as previously observed for snake adeno-associated virus, shorter than that of any non-reptilian dependoparvovirus. According to the phylogenetic calculations based on full non-structural protein (Rep) and AAP sequences, the monophyletic cluster of reptilian parvoviruses seems to be the most basal out of all lineages of genus Dependoparvovirus. The suspected ability for autonomous replication, results of phylogenetic tree reconstruction, intron lengths and the structure of the AAP suggested that a single Squamata origin instead of the earlier assumed diapsid (common avian-reptilian) origin is more likely for the genus Dependoparvovirus of the family Parvoviridae. PMID:26067293

  12. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W. A.; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

  13. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish. PMID:22354475

  14. Geographical and temporal body size variation in a reptile: roles of sex, ecology, phylogeny and ecology structured in phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Aragón, Pedro; Fitze, Patrick S

    2014-01-01

    Geographical body size variation has long interested evolutionary biologists, and a range of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the observed patterns. It is considered to be more puzzling in ectotherms than in endotherms, and integrative approaches are necessary for testing non-exclusive alternative mechanisms. Using lacertid lizards as a model, we adopted an integrative approach, testing different hypotheses for both sexes while incorporating temporal, spatial, and phylogenetic autocorrelation at the individual level. We used data on the Spanish Sand Racer species group from a field survey to disentangle different sources of body size variation through environmental and individual genetic data, while accounting for temporal and spatial autocorrelation. A variation partitioning method was applied to separate independent and shared components of ecology and phylogeny, and estimated their significance. Then, we fed-back our models by controlling for relevant independent components. The pattern was consistent with the geographical Bergmann's cline and the experimental temperature-size rule: adults were larger at lower temperatures (and/or higher elevations). This result was confirmed with additional multi-year independent data-set derived from the literature. Variation partitioning showed no sex differences in phylogenetic inertia but showed sex differences in the independent component of ecology; primarily due to growth differences. Interestingly, only after controlling for independent components did primary productivity also emerge as an important predictor explaining size variation in both sexes. This study highlights the importance of integrating individual-based genetic information, relevant ecological parameters, and temporal and spatial autocorrelation in sex-specific models to detect potentially important hidden effects. Our individual-based approach devoted to extract and control for independent components was useful to reveal hidden effects linked with alternative non-exclusive hypothesis, such as those of primary productivity. Also, including measurement date allowed disentangling and controlling for short-term temporal autocorrelation reflecting sex-specific growth plasticity. PMID:25090025

  15. Impedance-Matching Hearing in Paleozoic Reptiles: Evidence of Advanced Sensory Perception at an Early Stage of Amniote Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Johannes; Tsuji, Linda A.

    2007-01-01

    Background Insights into the onset of evolutionary novelties are key to the understanding of amniote origins and diversification. The possession of an impedance-matching tympanic middle ear is characteristic of all terrestrial vertebrates with a sophisticated hearing sense and an adaptively important feature of many modern terrestrial vertebrates. Whereas tympanic ears seem to have evolved multiple times within tetrapods, especially among crown-group members such as frogs, mammals, squamates, turtles, crocodiles, and birds, the presence of true tympanic ears has never been recorded in a Paleozoic amniote, suggesting they evolved fairly recently in amniote history. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present study, we performed a morphological examination and a phylogenetic analysis of poorly known parareptiles from the Middle Permian of the Mezen River Basin in Russia. We recovered a well-supported clade that is characterized by a unique cheek morphology indicative of a tympanum stretching across large parts of the temporal region to an extent not seen in other amniotes, fossil or extant, and a braincase specialized in showing modifications clearly related to an increase in auditory function, unlike the braincase of any other Paleozoic tetrapod. In addition, we estimated the ratio of the tympanum area relative to the stapedial footplate for the basalmost taxon of the clade, which, at 23∶1, is in close correspondence to that of modern amniotes capable of efficient impedance-matching hearing. Conclusions/Significance Using modern amniotes as analogues, the possession of an impedance-matching middle ear in these parareptiles suggests unique ecological adaptations potentially related to living in dim-light environments. More importantly, our results demonstrate that already at an early stage of amniote diversification, and prior to the Permo-Triassic extinction event, the complexity of terrestrial vertebrate ecosystems had reached a level that proved advanced sensory perception to be of notable adaptive significance. PMID:17849018

  16. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Singarete, Marina E.; Grizante, Mariana B.; Milograna, Sarah R.; Nery, Mariana F.; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  17. 22 CFR 228.03 - Identification of principal geographic code numbers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ...*, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People's Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia*, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain,...

  18. Epoch-based likelihood models reveal no evidence for accelerated evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles in response to cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    King, Benedict; Lee, Michael S Y

    2015-09-01

    A broad scale analysis of the evolution of viviparity across nearly 4,000 species of squamates revealed that origins increase in frequency toward the present, raising the question of whether rates of change have accelerated. We here use simulations to show that the increased frequency is within the range expected given that the number of squamate lineages also increases with time. Novel, epoch-based methods implemented in BEAST (which allow rates of discrete character evolution to vary across time-slices) also give congruent results, with recent epochs having very similar rates to older epochs. Thus, contrary to expectations, there was no accelerated burst of origins of viviparity in response to global cooling during the Cenozoic or glacial cycles during the Plio-Pleistocene. However, if one accepts the conventional view that viviparity is more likely to evolve than to be lost, and also the evidence here that viviparity has evolved with similar regularity throughout the last 200 Ma, then the absence of large, ancient clades of viviparous squamates (analogs to therian mammals) requires explanation. Viviparous squamate lineages might be more prone to extinction than are oviparous lineages, due to their prevalance at high elevations and latitudes and thus greater susceptibility to climate fluctuations. If so, the directional bias in character evolution would be offset by the bias in extinction rates. PMID:25851129

  19. Biochemical characterization of the venom of the coral snake Micrurus tener and comparative biological activities in the mouse and a reptile model.

    PubMed

    Bénard-Valle, Melisa; Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; de Roodt, Adolfo; López-Vera, Estuardo; Alagón, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify the venom components that could play a relevant role during envenomation caused by the coral snake Micrurus tener, through its biochemical characterization as well as the analysis of its effects on a murine model. Furthermore, it aimed to evaluate crude venom, in addition to its components, for possible specificity of action on a natural prey model (Conopsis lineata). The toxicity of the crude venom (delivered subcutaneously) showed a significant difference between the Median Lethal Dose (LD₅₀) in mice (4.4 μg/g) and in Conopsis lineata (12.1 μg/g) that was not observed when comparing the Median Paralyzing Dose (PD₅₀) values (mice = 4.7 μg/g; snakes = 4.1 μg/g). These results are evidence that the choice of study model strongly influences the apparent effects of crude venom. Moreover, based on the observed physical signs in the animal models, it was concluded that the most important physical effect caused by the venom is flaccid paralysis, which facilitates capture and subduing of prey regardless of whether it is alive; death is a logical consequence of the lack of oxygenation. Venom fractionation using a C18 reverse phase column yielded 35 fractions from which 16.6% caused paralysis and/or death to both animal models, 21.9% caused paralysis and/or death only to C. lineata and 1.6% were murine specific. Surprisingly, the diversity of snake-specific fractions did not reflect a difference between the PD₅₀s of the crude venom in mice and snakes, making it impossible to assume some type of specificity for either of the study models. Finally, the great diversity and abundance of fractions with no observable effect in snakes or mice (42.7%) suggested that the observed lethal fractions are not the only relevant toxic fractions within the venom and emphasized the possible relevance of interaction between components to generate the syndrome caused by the venom as a whole. PMID:24161616

  20. Population structure and phylogeography reveal pathways of colonization by a migratory marine reptile (Chelonia mydas) in the central and eastern Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Dutton, Peter H; Jensen, Michael P; Frey, Amy; LaCasella, Erin; Balazs, George H; Zárate, Patricia; Chassin-Noria, Omar; Sarti-Martinez, Adriana Laura; Velez, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Climate, behavior, ecology, and oceanography shape patterns of biodiversity in marine faunas in the absence of obvious geographic barriers. Marine turtles are an example of highly migratory creatures with deep evolutionary lineages and complex life histories that span both terrestrial and marine environments. Previous studies have focused on the deep isolation of evolutionary lineages (>3 mya) through vicariance; however, little attention has been given to the pathways of colonization of the eastern Pacific and the processes that have shaped diversity within the most recent evolutionary time. We sequenced 770 bp of the mtDNA control region to examine the stock structure and phylogeography of 545 green turtles from eight different rookeries in the central and eastern Pacific. We found significant differentiation between the geographically separated nesting populations and identified five distinct stocks (FST = 0.08–0.44, P < 0.005). Central and eastern Pacific Chelonia mydas form a monophyletic group containing 3 subclades, with Hawaii more closely related to the eastern Pacific than western Pacific populations. The split between sampled central/eastern and western Pacific haplotypes was estimated at around 0.34 mya, suggesting that the Pacific region west of Hawaii has been a more formidable barrier to gene flow in C. mydas than the East Pacific Barrier. Our results suggest that the eastern Pacific was colonized from the western Pacific via the Central North Pacific and that the Revillagigedos Islands provided a stepping-stone for radiation of green turtles from the Hawaiian Archipelago to the eastern Pacific. Our results fit with a broader paradigm that has been described for marine biodiversity, where oceanic islands, such as Hawaii and Revillagigedo, rather than being peripheral evolutionary “graveyards”, serve as sources and recipients of diversity and provide a mechanism for further radiation. PMID:25540693

  1. Linking Eco-Energetics and Eco-Hydrology to Select Sites for the Assisted Colonization of Australia’s Rarest Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Nicola; Hipsey, Matthew R.; Arnall, Sophie; McGrath, Gavan; Tareque, Hasnein Bin; Kuchling, Gerald; Vogwill, Ryan; Sivapalan, Murugesu; Porter, Warren P.; Kearney, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    Assisted colonization—the deliberate translocation of species from unsuitable to suitable regions—is a controversial management tool that aims to prevent the extinction of populations that are unable to migrate in response to climate change or to survive in situ. The identification of suitable translocation sites is therefore a pressing issue. Correlative species distribution models, which are based on occurrence data, are of limited use for site selection for species with historically restricted distributions. In contrast, mechanistic species distribution models hold considerable promise in selecting translocation sites. Here we integrate ecoenergetic and hydrological models to assess the longer-term suitability of the current habitat of one of the world’s rarest chelonians, the Critically Endangered Western Swamp Tortoise (Psuedemydura umbrina). Our coupled model allows us to understand the interaction between thermal and hydric constraints on the foraging window of tortoises, based on hydrological projections of its current habitat. The process can then be repeated across a range of future climates to identify regions that would fall within the tortoise’s thermodynamic niche. The predictions indicate that climate change will result in reduced hydroperiods for the tortoises. However, under some climate change scenarios, habitat suitability may remain stable or even improve due to increases in the heat budget. We discuss how our predictions can be integrated with energy budget models that can capture the consequences of these biophysical constraints on growth, reproduction and body condition. PMID:24832649

  2. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT) ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes. PMID:22655747

  3. Population structure and phylogeography reveal pathways of colonization by a migratory marine reptile (Chelonia mydas) in the central and eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Peter H; Jensen, Michael P; Frey, Amy; LaCasella, Erin; Balazs, George H; Zárate, Patricia; Chassin-Noria, Omar; Sarti-Martinez, Adriana Laura; Velez, Elizabeth

    2014-11-01

    Climate, behavior, ecology, and oceanography shape patterns of biodiversity in marine faunas in the absence of obvious geographic barriers. Marine turtles are an example of highly migratory creatures with deep evolutionary lineages and complex life histories that span both terrestrial and marine environments. Previous studies have focused on the deep isolation of evolutionary lineages (>3 mya) through vicariance; however, little attention has been given to the pathways of colonization of the eastern Pacific and the processes that have shaped diversity within the most recent evolutionary time. We sequenced 770 bp of the mtDNA control region to examine the stock structure and phylogeography of 545 green turtles from eight different rookeries in the central and eastern Pacific. We found significant differentiation between the geographically separated nesting populations and identified five distinct stocks (F ST = 0.08-0.44, P < 0.005). Central and eastern Pacific Chelonia mydas form a monophyletic group containing 3 subclades, with Hawaii more closely related to the eastern Pacific than western Pacific populations. The split between sampled central/eastern and western Pacific haplotypes was estimated at around 0.34 mya, suggesting that the Pacific region west of Hawaii has been a more formidable barrier to gene flow in C. mydas than the East Pacific Barrier. Our results suggest that the eastern Pacific was colonized from the western Pacific via the Central North Pacific and that the Revillagigedos Islands provided a stepping-stone for radiation of green turtles from the Hawaiian Archipelago to the eastern Pacific. Our results fit with a broader paradigm that has been described for marine biodiversity, where oceanic islands, such as Hawaii and Revillagigedo, rather than being peripheral evolutionary "graveyards", serve as sources and recipients of diversity and provide a mechanism for further radiation. PMID:25540693

  4. 9 CFR 327.2 - Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of products into the United States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume..., Romania, San Marino, 1 Scotland, Slovakia, 2 Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia....

  5. 9 CFR 327.2 - Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of products into the United States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume..., Romania, San Marino, 1 Scotland, Slovakia, 2 Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia....

  6. 9 CFR 327.2 - Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of products into the United States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ..., see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume..., Romania, San Marino, 1 Scotland, Slovakia, 2 Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia....

  7. 9 CFR 327.2 - Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of products into the United States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ..., see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume..., Romania, San Marino, 1 Scotland, Slovakia, 2 Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia....

  8. Astro Camp Counselors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Barbara Marino (left), Stennis Space Center education technology specialist, shows Astro Camp Counselor Beverly Fitzsimmons a LEGO model during a teambuilding exercise May 29 at SSC's North Gate computer lab as a part of the counselors' `new hire' orientation.

  9. 50 CFR 32.66 - Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... fish. 4. We prohibit the taking of amphibian, reptile, marine mammal, aquatic invertebrate, or any... take of any reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate species for use as bait or for any other purpose. 9....

  10. Pet Turtles Continue to Spread Salmonella

    MedlinePlus

    ... 15 outbreaks in U.S. linked to the illegal reptiles To use the sharing features on this page, ... led by the CDC's Stacey Bosch. "These small reptiles are readily acquired through multiple venues and continue ...

  11. 75 FR 41879 - Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morris County, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-19

    ... listed endangered Indiana bats are known to occur on the refuge. Reptile and amphibian species of..., over 600 plant, 224 bird, 38 mammal, 23 reptile, 38 fish, and 19 amphibian species have been...

  12. Early diagenetic stabilization of trace elements in reptile bone remains as an indicator of Maastrichtian Late Paleocene climatic changes: evidence from the Naran Bulak locality, the Gobi Desert (South Mongolia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samoilov, V. S.; Benjamini, Ch.; Smirnova, E. V.

    2001-08-01

    Maastrichtian dinosaur bone remains from the Naran Bulak locality (the Gobi Desert) with well-preserved bone textural features are enriched in some trace elements, primarily in REE. These features of vertebrate fossils were formed during diagenesis following rapid burial in mudflow sediments, and prior to postfossilization epigenetic changes. Trace elements are mainly concentrated in diagenetic apatite. Their contents in the bones correlate with that in their enclosing sediments for both maxima and minima. Fossil and sediment compositions were established under the influence of paleoclimate. They are correlated with long-term climatic changes with the aridity maximum at the K/T boundary. Climatic changes were recorded via the change of salinity of waters interacting with the buried vertebrate remains.

  13. Efficient harvesting methods for early-stage snake and turtle embryos.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Yoshiyuki; Kuroiwa, Atsushi; Suzuki, Takayuki

    2016-04-01

    Reptile development is an intriguing research target for understating the unique morphogenesis of reptiles as well as the evolution of vertebrates. However, there are numerous difficulties associated with studying development in reptiles. The number of available reptile eggs is usually quite limited. In addition, the reptile embryo is tightly adhered to the eggshell, making it a challenge to isolate reptile embryos intact. Furthermore, there have been few reports describing efficient procedures for isolating intact embryos especially prior to pharyngula stage. Thus, the aim of this review is to present efficient procedures for obtaining early-stage reptilian embryos intact. We first describe the method for isolating early-stage embryos of the Japanese striped snake. This is the first detailed method for obtaining embryos prior to oviposition in oviparous snake species. Second, we describe an efficient strategy for isolating early-stage embryos of the soft-shelled turtle. PMID:27059539

  14. 76 FR 71379 - Florida Power & Light Company, Turkey Point, Units 3 and 4; Draft Environmental Assessment and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-17

    ........... Florida panther..... E Trichechus manatus West Indian manatee. E Reptiles Alligator mississippiensis.. American alligator.. T/SA Caretta caretta loggerhead sea T turtle. Chelonia mydas green sea turtle.......

  15. 77 FR 20059 - License Amendment To Increase the Maximum Reactor Power Level, Florida Power & Light Company...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-03

    ... draft EA and FONSI for the proposed action on November 17, 2011 (76 FR 71379), and established December... manatus West Indian manatee.... E Reptiles Alligator mississippiensis..... American alligator........

  16. 77 FR 74506 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-14

    ... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR... (Hylobates lar) Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) Applicant: Reptile Wrangler LLC, Douglasville,...

  17. 3. Historic American Buildings Survey, John Andre, November 15, 1777, ...

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

    3. Historic American Buildings Survey, John Andre, November 15, 1777, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, See Catalog of Graphic Material #44, PHOTOCOPY OF 'MUD ISLAND WITH THE OPERATIONS FOR REDUCING IT'. - Fort Mifflin, Mud Island, Marine & Penrose Ferry Roads, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA

  18. Concepts & Procedures. [SITE 2002 Section].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarner, Ronald, Ed.; Mullick, Rosemary J., Ed.; Bauder, Deborah Y., Ed.

    This document contains the following full and short papers on concepts and procedures from the SITE (Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education) 2002 conference: "Exploring Minds Network" (Marino C. Alvarez and others); "Learning Communities: A Kaleidoscope of Ecological Designs" (Alain Breuleux and others); "PDA's and Research: A…

  19. 78 FR 86 - In the Matter of:

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-02

    ... Notices, the most recent being that of August 12, 2012 (77 FR 49699, August 16, 2012), has continued the... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security In the Matter of: Henson Chua, 2945 Somerset Place, San Marino, CA...

  20. Literacy and Community. The Twentieth Yearbook: A Peer Reviewed Publication of the College Reading Association, 1998. [Papers from the College Reading Association Conference, 1997].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sturtevant, Elizabeth G., Ed.; Dugan, JoAnn, Ed.; Linder, Patricia, Ed.; Linek, Wayne M., Ed.

    This 20th Yearbook of the College Reading Association reflects the theme of "community" again and again, in diverse ways. First in the yearbook are the Presidential Address by Marino C. Alvarez, "Adolescent Literacy: Are We in Contact?" and the three Keynote Addresses: "My Life in Reading" (J. Chall); "A Social-Constructivist View of Family…

  1. Operación IceBridge: Explorando la Antártida

    NASA Video Gallery

    Operación IceBridge es una misión aérea de la NASA dedicada a estudiar cambios en el hielo marino y terrestre en ambos polos del planeta. En octubre y noviembre de 2012, IceBridge completó su cuart...

  2. Pratt & Whitney Two Dimensional HSR Nozzle Test in the NASA Lewis 9- By 15- Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel: Aerodynamic Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolter, John D.; Jones, Christopher W.

    1999-01-01

    This paper discusses a test that was conducted jointly by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines and NASA Lewis Research Center. The test was conducted in NASA's 9- by 15-Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel (9x15 LSWT). The test setup, methods, and aerodynamic results of this test are discussed. Acoustical results are discussed in a separate paper by J. Bridges and J. Marino.

  3. Act No. 49, Family Law Reform, 16 April 1986.

    PubMed

    1989-01-01

    This Act introduces a new Family Law for San Marino. Among other things, it legalizes divorce. Either spouse may obtain a divorce after 2 years' separation. The Act also provides that the dissolution by one of the parties of a cohabitation arrangement of at least 15 years' duration will produce the same effects as divorce. PMID:12344504

  4. SCREENING MODEL FOR VOLATILE POLLUTANTS IN DUEL POROSITY SOILS: JOURNAL ARTICLE

    EPA Science Inventory

    NRMRL-ADA-00230 Hantush*, M.M., Govindaraju, R.S., and Marino, M.A. Screening Model for Volatile Pollutants in Duel Porosity Soils. Journal of Hydrology 260:58-74 (2000). EPA/600/J-02/172. This paper develops mass fraction models for transport and fate of volatile organic chemi...

  5. Beautiful Science: Worth a Visit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bingham, Frederick M.

    2013-01-01

    For those in the profession of teaching physics who reside in or plan to visit the Los Angeles area, I would highly recommend a trip to the Huntington Library in San Marino, specifically to a permanent exhibit entitled "Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World" in the Dibner Hall of the History of Science. The exhibit contains original…

  6. OPERACIÓN IceBridge: Explorando cambios en el hielo de Groenlandia

    NASA Video Gallery

    Operación IceBridge es una misión aérea de la NASA dedicada a estudiar cambios en la capa de hielo y el hielo marino en ambos polos del planeta. En la primavera de 2012, IceBridge llevó a cabo ...

  7. 78 FR 63978 - Proposed CERCLA Settlements Relating to the Truckers Warehouse Site in Passaic, Passaic County...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-25

    ... AGENCY Proposed CERCLA Settlements Relating to the Truckers Warehouse Site in Passaic, Passaic County...(h)(1) of CERCLA, with (1) RJS Corp.; (2) Your Factory Warehouse, Inc., Douglas Marino and Mark... response costs incurred at or in connection with the Truckers Warehouse Site (``Site''), located in...

  8. 75 FR 26979 - Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, Jones and Jasper Counties, GA

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-13

    ... notice in the Federal Register on April 4, 2008 (73 FR 18552). For more about the refuge and our CCP..., reptiles and amphibians. We would initiate basic inventories for fish species and invertebrates, including..., threatened, and endangered species of invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and bats. The invasive...

  9. Genetic Relationships among Reptilian and Mammalian Campylobacter fetus Strains Determined by Multilocus Sequence Typing ▿

    PubMed Central

    Dingle, Kate E.; Blaser, Martin J.; Tu, Zheng-Chao; Pruckler, Janet; Fitzgerald, Collette; van Bergen, Marcel A. P.; Lawson, Andrew J.; Owen, Robert J.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.

    2010-01-01

    Reptile Campylobacter fetus isolates and closely related strains causing human disease were characterized by multilocus sequence typing. They shared ∼90% nucleotide sequence identity with classical mammalian C. fetus, and there was evidence of recombination among members of these two groups. The reptile group represents a possible separate genomospecies capable of infecting humans. PMID:20053851

  10. First Report of Human Infection with Salmonella enterica Serovar Apapa Resulting from Exposure to a Pet Lizard▿

    PubMed Central

    Cooke, Fiona J.; De Pinna, Elizabeth; Maguire, Clare; Guha, Simantee; Pickard, Derek J.; Farrington, Mark; Threlfall, E. John

    2009-01-01

    We present the first documented human case of Salmonella enterica serovar Apapa infection, isolated concurrently from a hospital inpatient and a pet lizard. The isolates were identical by biochemical profiling and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. This rare serotype is known to be associated with reptiles. The current practice for avoiding reptile-associated infections is reviewed. PMID:19535527

  11. Human Infections with New Subspecies of Campylobacter fetus

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Maarten J.; Blaser, Martin J.; Tauxe, Robert V.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; Fitzgerald, Collette

    2013-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov. is a newly proposed subspecies of C. fetus with markers of reptile origin. We summarize epidemiologic information for 9 humans infected with this bacterium. All cases were in men, most of whom were of Asian origin. Infection might have been related to exposure to Asian foods or reptiles. PMID:24050521

  12. 76 FR 3126 - Final Determination of the Assistant Administrator for Water Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-19

    ... taxa of macroinvertebrates, up to 46 species of amphibians and reptiles, 4 species of crayfish, and 5... be, in turn, substantial effects on fish, amphibian, and bird populations that rely on these... amphibians, reptiles, crayfish, and bird species that depend on downstream waters for food or...

  13. 76 FR 63945 - White River National Wildlife Refuge, AR; Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-14

    ... January 21, 2009 (74 FR 3628). Please see that notice for more about the refuge and its purposes... diverse assemblage of reptile and amphibian species. We would maintain aquatic habitat for a diverse... approach to supporting a diverse assemblage of reptiles and amphibians. Additionally, riverine...

  14. Slime, Scales & Mudpuppy Tails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Dept. of Natural Resources, Springfield. Office of Land Management and Education.

    This booklet describes several different species of amphibians and reptiles. It lists the scientific and common names for the species of amphibians and reptiles and features a series of questions that differentiate one species from the other. Information about identifying characteristics, natural habitats, habits, and reproduction information is…

  15. Encephalitozoon hellem Infection in a Captive Juvenile Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni).

    PubMed

    Scheelings, T F; Slocombe, R F; Crameri, S; Hair, S

    2015-11-01

    Microsporidiosis is reported rarely in reptiles and has never been reported in any species of crocodilian. Microsporidiosis was diagnosed histologically in a juvenile captive freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) that was found suddenly dead in its enclosure. Ultrastructural and molecular testing revealed infection to be due to Encephalitozoon hellem. This is the first report of E. hellem infection in any species of reptile. PMID:26386870

  16. [Jaws of primitive mammals].

    PubMed

    Tsubamoto, Takehisa

    2005-06-01

    Some of main osteological differences between mammals and reptiles are seen in the number of bones that constitute lower jaw and in jaw articulation. A lower jaw of mammals consists of only one bone, while in reptiles it consists of several bones (e.g., four to six in lizards and five in crocodiles). The jaw articulation in mammals is performed by squamosal of the skull and the mandible ( = dentary), while in reptiles it is done by quadrate of the skull and articular of the lower jaw. When mammals first appeared about 200 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era, the jaws of primitive mammals were morphologically intermediate between those of reptiles and typical mammals. Here, I briefly introduce the evolution of lower jaw morphology from the reptilian one to the mammalian one, showing lower jaw features of some mammal-like reptiles and primitive mammals. PMID:15930721

  17. The rate of Salmonella spp. infection in zoo animals at Seoul Grand Park, Korea

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Y. H.; Lee, S. J.; Lim, J. G.; Lee, H. S.; Kim, T. J.; Park, J. H.; Chung, B. H.

    2008-01-01

    Salmonellosis is an important zoonotic disease that affects both people and animals. The incidence of reptile-associated salmonellosis has increased in Western countries due to the increasing popularity of reptiles as pets. In Korea, where reptiles are not popular as pets, many zoos offer programs in which people have contact with animals, including reptiles. So, we determined the rate of Salmonella spp. infection in animals by taking anal swabs from 294 animals at Seoul Grand Park. Salmonella spp. were isolated from 14 of 46 reptiles (30.4%), 1 of 15 birds (6.7%) and 2 of 233 mammals (0.9%). These findings indicate that vigilance is required for determining the presence of zoonotic pathogen infections in zoo animals and contamination of animal facilities to prevent human infection with zoonotic diseases from zoo facilities and animal exhibitions. In addition, prevention of human infection requires proper education about personal hygiene. PMID:18487939

  18. Taxonomic reassessment of Hydralmosaurus as Styxosaurus: new insights on the elasmosaurid neck evolution throughout the Cretaceous

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Two extremely-long necked elasmosaurids, AMNH 1495, holotype of Hydralmosaurus serpentinus, and AMNH 5835, previously referred to H. serpentinus, are here reviewed in detail. Unique features of the cervical vertebrae, which are only present on elasmosaurids from the Western Interior Seaway, are recognized based on these specimens and by comparison with penecontemporaneous taxa with biogeographic affinities. Phylogenetic analysis, bivariate graphic analysis of cervical vertebrae proportions, comparisons of different cervical vertebral types, paleobiogeographic distribution and study of the elasmosaurid axial evolution throughout the Cretaceous are here integrated. As a result, at least two separate lineages within the Elasmosauridae are identified by independently acquired extremely-long necks (over 60 cervical vertebrae). First, a still scarcely known lineage is so far represented by the lower Cenomanian Thalassomedon haningtoni, the Turonian Libonectes morgani and close relatives. A second lineage is here defined as a new clade, the Styxosaurinae, which groups the Campanian genera Terminonatator, Styxosaurus (=‘Hydralmosaurus’), Albertonectes and Elasmosaurus, the two latter forming a derived branch that includes the most extreme amniote necks known to date (more than 70 cervical vertebrae). Phylogenetic analysis supports AMNH 1495 and AMNH 5835 as being closely related to Styxosaurus snowii. Therefore, the species Styxosaurus browni is re-validated, while AMNH 1495 is here referred to Styxosaurus sp. This research also recognizes the ‘Cimoliasauridae’ (nomen dubium) as a paraphyletic group but informative of a plesiomorphic cervical vertebral morphology of elasmosaurids which was persistent throughout the whole Cretaceous and from whom aristonectines, styxosaurines and Thalassomedon and close relatives are derived. The genus Hydralmosaurus is recommended for being abandoned. PMID:27019781

  19. Taxonomic reassessment of Hydralmosaurus as Styxosaurus: new insights on the elasmosaurid neck evolution throughout the Cretaceous.

    PubMed

    Otero, Rodrigo A

    2016-01-01

    Two extremely-long necked elasmosaurids, AMNH 1495, holotype of Hydralmosaurus serpentinus, and AMNH 5835, previously referred to H. serpentinus, are here reviewed in detail. Unique features of the cervical vertebrae, which are only present on elasmosaurids from the Western Interior Seaway, are recognized based on these specimens and by comparison with penecontemporaneous taxa with biogeographic affinities. Phylogenetic analysis, bivariate graphic analysis of cervical vertebrae proportions, comparisons of different cervical vertebral types, paleobiogeographic distribution and study of the elasmosaurid axial evolution throughout the Cretaceous are here integrated. As a result, at least two separate lineages within the Elasmosauridae are identified by independently acquired extremely-long necks (over 60 cervical vertebrae). First, a still scarcely known lineage is so far represented by the lower Cenomanian Thalassomedon haningtoni, the Turonian Libonectes morgani and close relatives. A second lineage is here defined as a new clade, the Styxosaurinae, which groups the Campanian genera Terminonatator, Styxosaurus (='Hydralmosaurus'), Albertonectes and Elasmosaurus, the two latter forming a derived branch that includes the most extreme amniote necks known to date (more than 70 cervical vertebrae). Phylogenetic analysis supports AMNH 1495 and AMNH 5835 as being closely related to Styxosaurus snowii. Therefore, the species Styxosaurus browni is re-validated, while AMNH 1495 is here referred to Styxosaurus sp. This research also recognizes the 'Cimoliasauridae' (nomen dubium) as a paraphyletic group but informative of a plesiomorphic cervical vertebral morphology of elasmosaurids which was persistent throughout the whole Cretaceous and from whom aristonectines, styxosaurines and Thalassomedon and close relatives are derived. The genus Hydralmosaurus is recommended for being abandoned. PMID:27019781

  20. New host records for Amblyomma rotundatum (Acari: Ixodidae) from Grussaí restinga, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Viana, Lúcio André; Winck, Gisele Regina; Almeida-Santos, Marlon; Telles, Felipe Bottona da Silva; Gazêta, Gilberto Salles; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte

    2012-01-01

    Amblyomma rotundatum Koch is a parthenogenetic tick usually associated with reptiles and amphibians. However, relatively few studies on occurrences of ticks in wild reptile populations in Brazil have been produced. The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of ticks associated with reptile species in the Grussaí restinga, in the municipality of São João da Barra, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between December 2010 and January 2011, 131 individuals belonging to nine species of reptiles of the order Squamata were sampled: the lizards Tropidurus torquatus (n = 51), Hemidactylus mabouia (n = 25), Mabuya agilis (n = 30), Mabuya macrorhyncha (n = 6), Cnemidophorus littoralis (n = 5) and Ameiva ameiva (n = 10); and the snakes Philodryas olfersii (n = 2), Oxyrhopus rhombifer (n = 1) and Micrurus corallinus (n = 1). The only tick species found to be associated with any of the reptiles sampled was A. rotundatum. One adult female was detected on one individual of the lizard A. ameiva, one nymph on one individual of the lizard T. torquatus and four nymphs on one individual of the snake P. olfersii. This study is the first record of parasitism of A. rotundatum involving the reptiles T. torquatus and P. olfersii as hosts. Our results suggest that in the Grussaí restinga habitat, A. rotundatum may use different species of reptiles to complete its life cycle. PMID:23070450

  1. 75 FR 67763 - Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Washington and Yamhill Counties, OR

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-03

    ... reduce the incidence and spread of invasive species, especially in a future of climate change? Wapato... mammals; 25 species of reptiles and amphibians; and a wide variety of insects, fish, and plants....

  2. Complete Genome Sequence of Campylobacter iguaniorum Strain 1485ET, Isolated from a Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Kik, Marja; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter iguaniorum has been isolated from reptiles. This Campylobacter species is genetically related to Campylobacter fetus and Campylobacter hyointestinalis. Here we present the first whole-genome sequence for this species. PMID:25146144

  3. Reproductive adverse outcome pathways for chemical inhibitors of steroid synthesis in fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    A key physiological process controlling reproductive success of oviparous vertebrates (fish, amphibian, reptiles, birds) involves production of the egg yolk protein precursor vitellogenin (VTG). VTG production is an estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated process that, in females, is con...

  4. Lyme Disease Transmission

    MedlinePlus

    ... larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After the eggs hatch, the ticks must have a blood meal at every stage to survive. Blacklegged ticks can feed from mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The ticks need to have ...

  5. Germline development in amniotes: A paradigm shift in primordial germ cell specification.

    PubMed

    Bertocchini, Federica; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M

    2016-08-01

    In the field of germline development in amniote vertebrates, primordial germ cell (PGC) specification in birds and reptiles remains controversial. Avians are believed to adopt a predetermination or maternal specification mode of PGC formation, contrary to an inductive mode employed by mammals and, supposedly, reptiles. Here, we revisit and review some key aspects of PGC development that channelled the current subdivision, and challenge the position of birds and reptiles as well as the 'binary' evolutionary model of PGC development in vertebrates. We propose an alternative view on PGC specification where germ plasm plays a role in laying the foundation for the formation of PGC precursors (pPGC), but not necessarily of PGCs. Moreover, inductive mechanisms may be necessary for the transition from pPGCs to PGCs. Within this framework, the implementation of data from birds and reptiles could provide new insights on the evolution of PGC specification in amniotes. PMID:27273724

  6. PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS OF ATRAZINE-INDUCED EFFECTS UPON GONADAL DIFFERENTIATION IN RIVULUS MARMORATUS, A NATURALLY HERMAPHRODITIC FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The commonly used agricultural herbicide atrazine has been recognized as an endocrine disrupting chemical. In amphibians and reptiles, atrazine has been reported to alter sexual differentiation and induce secondary sexual characteristics that have been attributed to enhanced arom...

  7. Contaminant Exposure in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Manuscript is a critical review of the state of the science for quantifying exposures of terrestrial wildlife species to chemical contamination. It describes the unique aspects of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and threatened and endangered species. Fate and transport of ...

  8. 24 CFR 5.306 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is... include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law...

  9. 24 CFR 5.306 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is... include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law...

  10. 24 CFR 5.306 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is... include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law...

  11. 24 CFR 5.306 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is... include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law...

  12. 24 CFR 5.306 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is... include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law...

  13. 18 CFR 4.30 - Applicability and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... in the Federal Register in accordance with 25 CFR 83.6(b), and whose legal rights as a tribe may be..., fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, or other invertebrate, whether or not...

  14. 15 CFR 930.11 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... approved by OCRM either as part of program approval or as a program change under 15 CFR part 923, subpart H..., minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and coastal resources...

  15. 18 CFR 4.30 - Applicability and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... in the Federal Register in accordance with 25 CFR 83.6(b), and whose legal rights as a tribe may be..., fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, or other invertebrate, whether or not...

  16. 18 CFR 4.30 - Applicability and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... in the Federal Register in accordance with 25 CFR 83.6(b), and whose legal rights as a tribe may be..., fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, or other invertebrate, whether or not...

  17. 15 CFR 930.11 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... approved by OCRM either as part of program approval or as a program change under 15 CFR part 923, subpart H..., minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and coastal resources...

  18. 40 CFR 159.153 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... in FIFRA section 2 and in 40 CFR part 152 apply to this part unless superseded by a definition in... requirement are: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, insects,...

  19. 18 CFR 4.30 - Applicability and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... in the Federal Register in accordance with 25 CFR 83.6(b), and whose legal rights as a tribe may be..., fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, or other invertebrate, whether or not...

  20. 18 CFR 4.30 - Applicability and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... in the Federal Register in accordance with 25 CFR 83.6(b), and whose legal rights as a tribe may be..., fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, or other invertebrate, whether or not...

  1. 50 CFR 32.66 - Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., marine mammal, aquatic invertebrate, or any other marine organism from refuge lands or waters. 5. Anglers... accordance with State regulations. 6. We prohibit the take of any reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate...

  2. 15 CFR 930.11 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... approved by OCRM either as part of program approval or as a program change under 15 CFR part 923, subpart H..., minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and coastal resources...

  3. 15 CFR 930.11 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... approved by OCRM either as part of program approval or as a program change under 15 CFR part 923, subpart H..., minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and coastal resources...

  4. 40 CFR 159.153 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... in FIFRA section 2 and in 40 CFR part 152 apply to this part unless superseded by a definition in... requirement are: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, insects,...

  5. 40 CFR 159.153 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... in FIFRA section 2 and in 40 CFR part 152 apply to this part unless superseded by a definition in... requirement are: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, insects,...

  6. 50 CFR 32.66 - Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., aquatic invertebrate, or any other marine organism from refuge lands or waters. 5. Anglers may access the... accordance with State regulations. 6. We prohibit the take of any reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate...

  7. 40 CFR 159.153 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... in FIFRA section 2 and in 40 CFR part 152 apply to this part unless superseded by a definition in... requirement are: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, insects,...

  8. 50 CFR 32.66 - Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., aquatic invertebrate, or any other marine organism from refuge lands or waters. 5. Anglers may access the... regulations. 6. We prohibit the take of any reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate species for use as bait or...

  9. 40 CFR 159.153 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... in FIFRA section 2 and in 40 CFR part 152 apply to this part unless superseded by a definition in... requirement are: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, insects,...

  10. 15 CFR 930.11 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... approved by OCRM either as part of program approval or as a program change under 15 CFR part 923, subpart H..., minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and coastal resources...

  11. OOGENESIS AND OVARIAN HISTOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although folliculogenesis and oogenesis have been observed in numerous reptiles, these phenomena have not been described in detail in a crocodilian. Oogenesis and histological features of the adult ovary of Alligator mississippiensis are described. Using a complex process, the ov...

  12. EFFECTS OF INCUBATION TEMPERATURE AND ESTROGEN EXPOSURE ON AROMATASE ACTIVITY IN THE BRAIN AND GONADS OF EMBRYONIC ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    During embryogenesis, incubation temperature and the hormonal environment influence gonadal differentiation of some reptiles, including all crocodilians. Current evidence suggests that aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens, has a role in sexual differentiatio...

  13. Complete genome sequence of Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum type strain 03-427T

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum has been isolated from reptiles and humans. This Campylobacter subspecies is genetically distinct from other C. fetus subspecies. Here we present the first whole genome sequence for this C. fetus subspecies....

  14. Coevolution in the Galapagos: An Example for the Biology Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biggs, Alton L.

    1990-01-01

    Several examples of coevolution which can be used in biology classes are presented. Discussed are evolutionary processes in general, giant cacti, and reptile and cacti association. The effects of human interference are briefly described. (CW)

  15. Complete genome sequence of Campylobacter iguaniorum strain 1485ET, isolated from a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter iguaniorum has been isolated from reptiles. This Campylobacter species is genetically related to C. fetus and C. hyointestinalis. Here we present the first whole genome sequence for this species....

  16. The large superpredators' teeth from Middle Triassic of Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmik, Dawid; Brachaniec, Tomasz

    2013-09-01

    An unusual large teeth, finding from time to time in marine sediments of Muschelkalk, Silesia, Poland indicate the superpredators occurrence. According to size and morphological features the teeth are similar to archosaurs or giant marine reptiles.

  17. Petroleum and Individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.

    2003-01-01

    A general treatment of petroleum and PAHs including presentations on composition and characteristics, sources, environmental fate, and effects on plants, invertebrates, fish, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals. A revision of the 1995 book chapter of the same title.

  18. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in reptilia

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Daniel E.; Organ, Christopher L.; Stiglec, Rami; O'Meally, Denis; Sarre, Stephen D.; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A. M.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert A.; Rutherford, Kim; Gemmell, Neil; Iverson, John B.; Tamplin, Jeffrey W.; Edwards, Scott V.; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    In reptiles, sex-determining mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and reversibly between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. The gene Dmrt1 directs male determination in chicken (and presumably other birds), and regulates sex differentiation in animals as distantly related as fruit flies, nematodes and humans. Here, we show a consistent molecular difference in Dmrt1 between reptiles with genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. Among 34 non-avian reptiles, a convergently evolved pair of amino acids encoded by sequence within exon 2 near the DM-binding domain of Dmrt1 distinguishes species with either type of sex determination. We suggest that this amino acid shift accompanied the evolution of genotypic sex determination from an ancestral condition of temperature-dependent sex determination at least three times among reptiles, as evident in turtles, birds and squamates. This novel hypothesis describes the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms as turnover events accompanied by one or two small mutations. PMID:25540158

  19. Healthy Pets and People

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pregnant women should avoid adopting or handling stray cats, especially kittens. They particularly should not clean litter ... may be sick. Many pets, such as dogs, cats, reptiles, rodents, and birds, carry germs that can ...

  20. Pets and Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... make me sick? Household pets such as dogs, cats, birds and reptiles can carry diseases or parasites ... might be used as litter boxes by neighborhood cats. Keep your children out of the dirt in ...