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Sample records for ring-tailed lemurs lemur

  1. Cognition in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kittler, Klara; Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Fichtel, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    In order to better understand the evolution of cognitive abilities in primates, information on cognitive traits of the most basal living primates can provide important comparative baseline data. Compared to haplorhine primates, lemurs have relatively smaller brains and reduced abilities to solve problems in the technical and social domain. However, recent studies have suggested that some cognitive abilities of lemurs are qualitatively equal to those of haplorhines. Here, we review studies investigating cognitive abilities in the technical and social domain of ring-tailed lemur cognition. In the physical domain, ring-tailed lemurs exhibit similar qualitative cognitive skills as other lemurs but also haplorhine primates. In the social domain, ring-tailed lemurs appear to be more skilled in visual perspective taking than other lemurs. Compared to other lemurs, they also have highly elaborated communicative skills. Moreover, within-group coalitions have been observed in female ring-tailed lemurs during rare events of female evictions but not in other lemur species. However, in several other aspects of social cognition, such as reconciliation and social learning, ring-tailed lemurs' cognitive abilities are equal to those of other lemurs. Thus, additional systematic comparative studies in physical and social cognition are required for a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of cognitive evolution among primates. PMID:26022306

  2. Color vision in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Blakeslee, B; Jacobs, G H

    1985-01-01

    Behavioral discrimination tests were used to examine spectral sensitivity and color vision in a pair of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Sensitivity tests revealed the presence of a Purkinje shift and a photopic visual system. As measured at increment-threshold, the photopic spectral sensitivity function for the lemur has multiple peaks (at ca. 440-460, 540, and 620 nm). In color vision tests lemurs behave trichromatically in that (a) they show no evidence for a neutral point in the spectral range of 470-510 nm, and (b) they set a unique Rayleigh match (540 nm + 645 nm = 570 nm). Tests of wavelength and colorimetric purity discrimination reveal that although this prosimian has color vision, it is not an acute capacity--thresholds for these color discriminations were consistently much higher for lemurs than for normal human trichromats tested in the same situation. PMID:4084762

  3. Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Drucker, Caroline B; Baghdoyan, Talia; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness of the learning process. In nonhuman animals, conscious awareness is impossible to assess, so we define implicit learning as occurring when animals acquire information beyond what is required for successful task performance. While implicit learning has been documented in some nonhuman species, it has not been explored in prosimian primates. Here we ask whether ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) learn sequential information implicitly. We tested lemurs in a modified version of the serial reaction time task on a touch screen computer. Lemurs were required to respond to any picture within a 2 × 2 grid of pictures immediately after its surrounding border flickered. Over 20 training sessions, both the locations and the identities of the images remained constant and response times gradually decreased. Subsequently, the locations and/or the identities of the images were disrupted. Response times indicated that the lemurs had learned the physical location sequence required in original training but did not learn the identity of the images. Our results reveal that ring-tailed lemurs can implicitly learn spatial sequences, and raise questions about which scenarios and evolutionary pressures give rise to perceptual versus motor-implicit sequence learning. PMID:26615500

  4. Hepatic capillariasis in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martin; Tirado, Marcela; López, Claudia

    2012-06-01

    A female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and her two cubs held in a zoo in Chile exhibited signs of severe hepatic insufficiency. In spite of supportive treatment, the three animals died a few days after the onset of signs. Postmortem examination revealed ascites and fibrotic lesions in the liver of all the individuals. Histologically, the liver of two of them showed a severe parasitic ova infection and lipidosis, the morphologic characteristics of the parasitic ovas were consistent with Capillaria hepatica (syn. Calodium hepatica) eggs. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first clinical case report of hepatic capillariasis in prosimians, and its implications are discussed. PMID:22779256

  5. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-08-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats. PMID:26310465

  6. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-01-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats. PMID:26310465

  7. Numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Merritt, Dustin J; Maclean, Evan L; Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2011-01-01

    We investigated numerical discrimination and numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Two ring-tailed lemurs were trained to respond to two visual arrays, each of which contained between one and four elements, in numerically ascending order. In Experiment 1, lemurs were trained with 36 exemplars of each of the numerosities 1-4 and then showed positive transfer to trial-unique novel exemplars of the values 1-4. In Experiments 2A and 2B, lemurs were tested on their ability to transfer an ascending numerical rule from the values 1-4 to novel values 5-9. Both lemurs successfully ordered the novel values with above chance accuracy. Accuracy was modulated by the ratio between the two numerical values suggesting that lemurs accessed the approximate number system when performing the task. PMID:21713071

  8. Ring-tailed lemurs: a species re-imagined.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Cuozzo, Frank P; O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    For over 50 years, ring-tailed lemurs have been studied continuously in the wild. As one of the most long-studied primate species, the length and breadth of their study is comparable to research on Japanese macaques, baboons and chimpanzees. They are also one of the most broadly observed of all primates, with comprehensive research conducted on their behaviour, biology, ecology, genetics, palaeobiology and life history. However, over the last decade, a new generation of lemur scholars, working in conjunction with researchers who have spent decades studying this species, have greatly enhanced our knowledge of ring-tailed lemurs. In addition, research on this species has expanded beyond traditional gallery forest habitats to now include high altitude, spiny thicket, rocky outcrop and anthropogenically disturbed coastal forest populations. The focus of this special volume is to 're-imagine' the 'flagship species of Madagascar', bringing together three generations of lemur scholars. PMID:26022295

  9. Tamarind tree seed dispersal by ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S; Blumenfeld-Jones, Kathryn; Raharison, Sahoby Marin; Tsaramanana, Donald Raymond; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2011-10-01

    In Madagascar, the gallery forests of the south are among the most endangered. Tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica) dominate these riverine forests and are a keystone food resource for ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). At Berenty Reserve, the presence of tamarind trees is declining, and there is little recruitment of young trees. Because mature tamarinds inhibit growth under their crowns, seeds must be dispersed away from adult trees if tree recruitment is to occur. Ring-tailed lemurs are likely seed dispersers; however, because they spend much of their feeding, siesta, and sleeping time in tamarinds, they may defecate a majority of the tamarind seeds under tamarind trees. To determine whether they disperse tamarind seeds away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns, we observed two troops for 10 days each, noted the locations of feeding and defecation, and collected seeds from feces and fruit for germination. We also collected additional data on tamarind seedling recruitment under natural conditions, in which seedling germination was abundant after extensive rain, including under the canopy. However, seedling survival to 1 year was lower when growing under mature tamarind tree crowns than when growing away from an overhanging crown. Despite low fruit abundance averaging two fruits/m(3) in tamarind crowns, lemurs fed on tamarind fruit for 32% of their feeding samples. Daily path lengths averaged 1,266 m, and lemurs deposited seeds throughout their ranges. Fifty-eight percent of the 417 recorded lemur defecations were on the ground away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns. Tamarind seeds collected from both fruit and feces germinated. Because lemurs deposited viable seeds on the ground away from overhanging mature tamarind tree crowns, we conclude that ring-tailed lemurs provide tamarind tree seed dispersal services. PMID:21629992

  10. Evaluation of modified techniques for immobilization of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-12-01

    Wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) can be anesthetized with Telazol via blow dart, but improved techniques are needed so that each lemur is reliably induced with a single dart. Medetomidine-butorphanol (MB) is a good supplemental protocol to be administered once the lemurs are captured, but other protocols may provide longer periods of sedation and immobility. One possible way of increasing the efficacy of each dart is to increase the time it is retained in the leg. In this investigation, a "double-sleeve" technique was used to try to increase the time of dart retention. This technique used a standard silicone sleeve on the needle, along with a second sleeve at the needle hub. Induction values were compared between lemurs darted with double-sleeve needles and those induced with needles that each had a single silicone sleeve. Once the lemurs were induced, supplementation with MB (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg) was compared with supplementation with ketamine-medetomidine (KM) (10 mg/ kg and 0.04 mg/kg). Twenty-three lemurs were darted with Telazol by using single-sleeve needles, and 24 were darted with double-sleeve needles. The number of darts per lemur and number of escapes were not different between animals darted with a single sleeve compared with a double-sleeve; thus, there were no significant improvements in induction success with the double-sleeve technique. Adequate sedation and muscle relaxation were achieved with both MB and KM; however, lemurs that received MB were more relaxed and needed fewer additional supplements that those that received KM. Single-sleeve dart needles are recommended for Telazol induction of ring-tailed lemurs via blow dart and MB is preferable to KM for supplemental sedation and muscle relaxation. PMID:22204057

  11. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, purring has been described in mostly affiliative contexts. In the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), both males and females purr, but only males were observed purring in agonistic contexts. In order to determine whether male ring-tailed lemurs purr as aggressive displays during intrasexual agonistic encounters, 480 h of focal data were collected on 25 adult males from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from March to July 2010. The male purring rate increased during periods of male-male agonism when compared to times without intrasexual agonism, and the purring rate was positively correlated with male dominance rank. However, the purring rate was not significantly higher during winning agonistic interactions when compared with losing encounters. My results indicate that the male ring-tailed lemur purr is used most frequently as an agonistic vocalization in male-male encounters, in addition to being used less frequently in other social contexts, including during tail-waving at females, resting, scent-marking, feeding and copulation. Dominant males have higher purring rates across social situations, suggesting that the purring rate may be driven by intrinsic male qualities rather than functioning as a meaningful signal in each disparate social context. Male purring in intrasexual agonistic encounters can be added to previously described social contexts for ring-tailed lemur purring. PMID:25139722

  12. Surgical Correction of an Arteriovenous Fistula in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-01-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs. PMID:24672831

  13. Surgical correction of an arteriovenous fistula in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-02-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs. PMID:24672831

  14. RADIOGRAPHIC AND ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ABDOMINAL ANATOMY IN CAPTIVE RING-TAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA).

    PubMed

    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2016-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is primarily distributed in south and southwestern Madagascar. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Various abdominal diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis, intestinal ulcers, cystitis, urinary tract obstruction, and neoplasia (e.g., colonic adenocarcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma), have been reported in this species. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy in captive ring-tailed lemurs to provide guidance for clinical use. Radiography of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder were performed in 13 and 9 healthy captive ring-tailed lemurs, respectively, during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic and ultrasonographic reference ranges for abdominal organs were established and ratios were calculated. The majority (12/13) of animals had seven lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum had mainly (12/13) three segments. Abdominal serosal detail was excellent in all animals, and hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in the majority (11/13) of animals. The spleen was frequently (12/13) seen on the ventrodorsal (VD) view and rarely (3/13) on the right lateral (RL) view. The liver was less prominent and well contained within the ribcage. The pylorus was mostly (11/13) located to the right of the midline. The right and left kidneys were visible on the RL and VD views, with the right kidney positioned more cranial and dorsal to the left kidney. On ultrasonography, the kidneys appeared ovoid on transverse and longitudinal views. The medulla was hypoechoic to the renal cortex. The renal cortex was frequently (8/9) isoechoic and rarely (1/9) hyperechoic to the splenic parenchyma. The liver parenchyma was hypoechoic (5/5) to the renal cortex. Knowledge of the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy of ring-tailed lemurs may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in

  15. Genetic Diversity of the Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in South-Central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Tara A; Gray, Olivia; Gould, Lisa; Burrell, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Madagascar's lemurs, now deemed the most endangered group of mammals, represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains. The endangered Lemur catta is endemic to the southern regions of Madagascar and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. We examined the influence of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic diversity of L. catta across 3 different forest fragments in south-central Madagascar. Our analysis revealed moderate levels of genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation among the sites ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. These data suggest that the L. catta populations within south-central Madagascar have not yet lost significant genetic variation. However, due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species. PMID:26022303

  16. Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Luzón, Mónica; de la Fuente-López, Concepción; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Fernández-Morán, Jesús; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco

    2010-06-01

    Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal cysticercosis due to Taenia crassiceps was diagnosed in a 5-yr-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid, Spain). Under laparoscopic examination, several septated fibrous cystic structures and numerous masses of small transparent vesicles (ca. 3 mm in diameter) were observed subcutaneously and inside the peritoneal cavity. Most of the structures were extirpated but, after 2 days of postsurgical intensive care, the animal died. The loss of body weight of the animal after surgical extirpation (566 g) represented 22% of the total weight (body weight before mass removal, 2582 g). The vesicles were identified under light microscopic examination as cysticerci and by molecular diagnosis as Cysticercus longicollis, the larval form of T. crassiceps. The present report represents the first detection of T. crassiceps in the prosimian genus Lemur. PMID:20597227

  17. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2013-12-01

    Squeals are sharp and forceful short-range vocalizations used as aggressive and submissive agonistic signals by many mammalian species. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a female-dominant strepsirhine primate, has a male-specific squeal call with proposed male-male agonistic functions and male-female courtship functions that have never been empirically tested. The goal of my study is to clarify why ring-tailed lemur males squeal at other males and females by applying the handicap hypothesis to this male-specific vocalization. This hypothesis has rarely been tested in primates, and this study elucidates how the rate of a male-specific call relates to male-male and male-female behavior in a Malagasy strepsirhine. To test whether males squeal towards other males to assert dominance, I predict that male squealing rate is positively correlated with dominance rank. I further predict that male ring-tailed lemurs squeal at other males while engaged in agonistic interactions, and that squealing during an interaction is positively correlated with winning that encounter. To test whether males squeal towards females as a mate attraction signal, I predict that male squealing rate is higher on estrus days, and that estrous females indicate attraction by approaching squealing males. From March to July 2010, 480 hr of focal data were collected on 25 males aged three and older at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. I continuously observed each male for 30 min at a time and recorded all agonistic interactions and squeal vocalizations using 1-0 sampling at 2.5-min intervals. Squealing rate was higher during times of male-male agonism when compared to times without male-male agonism, and males with higher dominance ranks had higher squealing rates. In contrast, the mate attraction hypothesis was not supported. My results suggest that the male squeal is an agonistic signal when used in male-male interaction in ring-tailed lemurs, but does not specifically indicate aggression

  18. Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Nemeth, N M; Blas-Machado, U; Cazzini, P; Oguni, J; Camus, M S; Dockery, K K; Butler, A M

    2013-02-01

    A 16-year-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented with severe cachexia and an abdominal mass. The encapsulated, multilobular mass replaced the right medial lobe of the liver and compressed the adjacent gall bladder. Multiple haemorrhages and necrotic foci were found within the mass. Microscopically, neoplastic cells formed cords of moderately pleomorphic, polygonal cells with mild to moderate anaplasia. Immunohistochemical markers used for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinomas in man were used to characterize the neoplastic cells, which expressed hepatocyte-specific antigen, but not glypican-3 or polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen. Gross, microscopical and immunohistochemical features of the tumour were most consistent with a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. Although this tumour is common among prosimians, to the authors' knowledge this is the first documented case in a ring-tailed lemur. Hepatocellular carcinomas have been associated with hepatitis virus infections and excessive hepatic iron in man; however, no association was established between this tumour and viral infection or hepatic iron storage disease in the present case. PMID:22819017

  19. High faecal glucocorticoid levels predict mortality in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Ethan Pride, R

    2005-01-01

    Glucocorticoid levels are commonly used as measures of stress in wild animal populations, but their relevance to individual fitness in a wild population has not been demonstrated. In this study I followed 93 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve in Madagascar, collecting 1089 faecal samples from individually recognized animals, and recording their survival over a 2 year period. I evaluated faecal glucocorticoid levels as predictors of individual survival to the end of the study. Animals with high glucocorticoid levels had a significantly higher mortality rate. This result suggests that glucocorticoid measures can be useful predictors of individual survival probabilities in wild populations. The ‘stress landscape’ indicated by glucocorticoid patterns may approximate the fitness landscape to which animals adapt. PMID:17148128

  20. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool. PMID:24384029

  1. Field anesthesia of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) using tiletamine-zolazepam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Moresco, Anneke; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-03-01

    Telazol has been commonly used for field anesthesia of wild lemurs, including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Telazol alone provides good induction, but doesn't cause adequate muscle relaxation and sedation for collecting consistent somatic measurements and high-quality dental impressions that are sometimes needed. Variability in induction response has been seen between individuals that have received similar dosages, with young lemurs seeming to need more anesthetic than mature lemurs. This investigation evaluated Telazol induction in young (2.0-4.9 yr) and mature (> or = 5.0 yr) ring-tailed lemurs and compared postinduction supplementation with medetomidine or medetomidine-butorphanol. Forty-eight lemurs were anesthetized with Telazol administered via blow dart; then, 20 min after darting, they were supplemented via hand injection with either medetomidine (0.04 mg/ kg) or medetomidine-butorphanol (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively). The odds ratio for young lemurs to need more than one dart for induction, relative to mature lemurs, was 3.8, even though the initial dose of Telazol received by young lemurs (19 +/- 7 mg/kg) was significantly higher than the initial dose administered to mature lemurs (12 +/- 5 mg/kg). The total Telazol dosage was also significantly different between young lemurs (33 +/- 15 mg/kg) and mature lemurs (18 +/- 9 mg/kg). Both medetomidine and medetomidine-butorphanol provided good muscle relaxation and sedation for all procedures. Physiologic values were similar between the two protocols. Oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry was generally good, although there were a few SaO2 values < 90%. Recoveries were smooth, but long. Time to head up was correlated with total Telazol dosage in mature lemurs. In young lemurs, time to standing was correlated with Telazol induction dosage and time of last Telazol administration. Lemurs that received hand injections of Telazol took longer to recover than those that did not. Further refinements are

  2. Evaluating ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from southwestern Madagascar for a genetic population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jacky, Ibrahim Antho Youssouf; Lawler, Richard R

    2012-01-01

    In light of historical and recent anthropogenic influences on Malagasy primate populations, in this study ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) samples from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP), were evaluated for the genetic signature of a population bottleneck. A total of 45 individuals (20 from BMSR and 25 from TNP) were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Three methods were used to evaluate these populations for evidence of a historical bottleneck: M-ratio, mode-shift, and heterozygosity excess tests. Three mutation models were used for heterozygosity excess tests: the stepwise mutation model (SMM), two-phase model (TPM), and infinite allele model (IAM). M-ratio estimations indicated a potential bottleneck in both populations under some conditions. Although mode-shift tests did not strongly indicate a population bottleneck in the recent historical past when samples from all individuals were included, a female-only analysis indicated a potential bottleneck in TNP. Heterozygosity excess was indicated under two of the three mutation models (IAM and TPM), with TNP showing stronger evidence of heterozygosity excess than BMSR. Taken together, these results suggest that a bottleneck may have occurred among L. catta in southwestern Madagascar in the recent past. Given knowledge of how current major stochastic climatic events and human-induced change can negatively impact extant lemur populations, it is reasonable that comparable events in the historical past could have caused a population bottleneck. This evaluation additionally functions to highlight the continuing environmental and anthropogenic challenges faced by lemurs in southwestern Madagascar. PMID:22052208

  3. Cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at a South Carolina zoo.

    PubMed

    Tuten, Holly C; Miller, Heather C; Ellis, Angela E

    2011-09-01

    In September 2008, two ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), comprising a mother-daughter pair, at the Greenville Zoo, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, were diagnosed with cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) subsequent to sudden death of the adult lemur. On necropsy, a single bot warble was discovered in the subcutis of the axillary region. Histopathology revealed a severe eosinophilic bronchopneumonia. The juvenile lemur was inspected and found to have warbles on three separate dates in late September. One representative bot fly larva was identified as a Cuterebra sp. that normally infests lagomorphs in the southeastern United States. Cuterebrid myiasis is rarely reported in lemurs and has not been previously associated with pneumonia or death in these animals. PMID:22950327

  4. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) exploit information about what others can see but not what they can hear.

    PubMed

    Bray, Joel; Krupenye, Christopher; Hare, Brian

    2014-05-01

    Studies suggest that haplorhine primates are sensitive to what others can see and hear. Using two experimental designs, we tested the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs (N = 16) are also sensitive to the visual and auditory perception of others. In the first task, we used a go/no-go design that required lemurs to exploit only auditory information. In the second task, we used a forced-choice design where lemurs competed against a human who would prevent them from obtaining food if their approaches were detected. Subjects were given the choice of obtaining food silently or noisily when the competitor's back was turned. They were also given the choice to obtain food when the competitor could either see them or not. Here, we replicate the findings of previous studies indicating that ring-tailed lemurs are sensitive to whether they can be seen; however, we found no evidence that subjects are sensitive to whether others can hear them. Our findings suggest that ring-tailed lemurs converge with haplorhine primates only in their sensitivity to the visual information of others. The results emphasize the importance of investigating social cognition across sensory domains in order to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie apparently complex social behavior. These findings also suggest that the social dynamics of haplorhine groups impose greater cognitive demands than lemur groups, despite similarities in total group size. PMID:24218121

  5. Localized toxoplasmosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) causing placentitis, stillbirths, and disseminated fetal infection.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Carles; Mainez, Mireia; Marco, Alberto; Sanchís, Ana M Malabia

    2011-09-01

    Localized, myocardial toxoplasmosis contributed to the death of a female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) 1 week after the delivery of 4 stillborn offspring with disseminated toxoplasmosis; the diagnosis was obtained by histopathology and immunohistochemistry in all 5 lemurs. Varying degrees of placentitis and placental edema with intralesional Toxoplasma gondii immunolabeling were observed in the 3 available placentas. The dam had severe myocarditis, and T. gondii antigen was only detected in the myocardial lesions. Disseminated toxoplasmosis with mild encephalitis was noted in all 4 fetuses, and 2 of the fetuses had mild acute multifocal hepatic necrosis. Fetal death was attributed to placental insufficiency with subsequent hypoxia and amniotic fluid aspiration. PMID:21908372

  6. Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and metals in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Sauther, Michelle L; Rainwater, Katherine A E; Mills, Rachel E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Zhang, Baohong; McDaniel, Les N; Abel, Michael T; Marsland, Eric J; Weber, Martha A; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    Like most of Madagascar's endemic primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) face a number of threats to their survival. Although habitat loss is of greatest concern, other anthropogenic factors including environmental contamination may also affect lemur health and survival. In this study, we examined ring-tailed lemurs from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), southern Madagascar for exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides and metals and examined differences in contaminant concentrations between sexes and among age groups, troops, and habitats. A total of 14 pesticides and 13 metals was detected in lemur blood (24 individuals) and hair (65 individuals) samples, respectively. p,p'-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endrin aldehyde, and endrin were among the most prevalent pesticides detected. Surprisingly, the persistent metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, was not detected. The most commonly detected metals were aluminum, zinc, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and copper, whereas metals considered more hazardous to wildlife (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, vanadium) were not found above detection limits. Overall, concentrations of OC pesticides and metals were low and similar to those considered to be background concentrations in other studies examining the ecotoxicology of wild mammals. Few inter-sex, -age, -troop, and -habitat differences in contaminant concentrations were observed, suggesting a uniform distribution of contaminants within the reserve. Several statistically significant relationships between lemur body size and contaminant concentrations were observed, but owing to the lack of supportive data regarding contaminant exposure in wild primates, the biological significance of these findings remains uncertain. Results of this study document exposure of ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR to multiple OC pesticides and metals and provide essential baseline data for future health and toxicological evaluations of lemurs and other wild primates

  7. Nocturnal ranging by a diurnal primate: are ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) cathemeral?

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2011-07-01

    Cathemerality, an activity pattern comprised of distinct periods of diurnal and nocturnal activity, is a trait found among several of the Malagasy strepsirhines and one species of Aotus. Because occasional anecdotal reports suggest that some diurnal primates can be active at night, I investigated the possibility of nocturnal ranging behavior in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) by using global positioning system (GPS) collars programmed to collect data across a 24-h period. Five individuals in a provisioned, free-ranging L. catta colony on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA, wore GPS collars across 1 week of the mating season. Results revealed that night ranging behavior occurred between the h of 1900 and 0530. An evaluation of the effect of moonlight on nocturnal activity showed that a greater rate of travel occurred during moonlit periods as opposed to periods when the moon had not yet risen. Distance travelled at night decreased across the deployment period, likely because of a decrease in available moonlight over time, as the lemurs were collared during a waning moon. Fewer mating opportunities over time may have also been responsible for the decrease in night ranging, because the number of females in estrus declined across the deployment period. Future research is needed to separate the effects of moonlight and mating activity on night ranging in this species, as well as to evaluate whether L. catta in Madagascar show night ranging similar to L. catta on SCI. These data raise the possibility that L. catta may be cathemeral, with an activity pattern fluctuating between diurnality and cathemerality in accordance with shifts in environmental conditions. PMID:21717291

  8. Dispersal among male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island.

    PubMed

    Parga, J A; Lessnau, R G

    2008-07-01

    Male dispersal patterns were analyzed across a nine-year period in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island (SCI), USA, to evaluate two ultimate explanations for male dispersal: inbreeding avoidance and intrasexual mating competition. As part of this analysis, we also compared patterns of dispersal at this site with data from wild populations. Overall, we found that patterns of male intertroop movement on SCI are similar to the wild with respect to the frequency and seasonality of male transfer. In Madagascar, males move between groups every 3.1-3.5 years [Sussman, International Journal of Primatol 13:395-413, 1992; Koyama et al., Primates 43:291-314, 2002] as compared with every 3.2 years on SCI. The majority of transfers on SCI occurred during the birth season, as occurs at one site in Madagascar, Berenty [Budnitz & Dainis, Lemur biology. New York: Plenum Press, p 219-235, 1975; Jones, Folia Primatologica 40:145-160, 1983]. One difference is that males perform natal transfers 1-2 years earlier on SCI than in the wild, which may be related to food provisioning on SCI. Males never transferred back into their natal troops, which is remarkable given the small number of groups on SCI. Although this pattern of movement can indicate inbreeding avoidance by males, the fact that male troop tenure was in many cases long enough to overlap with the sexual maturation of potential daughters did not support the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis for male secondary dispersal. Instead, the intrasexual competition hypothesis was strongly supported, because males were significantly more likely to transfer into groups having fewer adult males and a more favorable sex ratio than their pretransfer groups. Males therefore appear to be bypassing groups in which they would experience a greater degree of intrasexual mating competition during the breeding season. PMID:18478578

  9. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-06-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The strains showed a peculiar morphology, resembling a small coiled snake, a ring shape, or forming a little 'Y' shape. The isolated strains appeared identical, and LMC 13T was chosen as a representative strain and characterized further. Strain LMC 13T showed an A3β peptidoglycan type, similar to that found in Bifidobacterium longum. The DNA base composition was 57.2 mol% G+C. Almost-complete 16S rRNA, hsp60, rpoB, dnaJ, dnaG, purF, clpC and rpoC gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic relationships were determined. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain LMC 13T showed the highest similarity to B. longum subsp. suis ATCC 27533T (96.65 %) and Bifidobacterium saguini DSM 23967T (96.64 %). Strain LMC 13T was located in an actinobacterial cluster and was more closely related to the genus Bifidobacteriumthan to other genera in the Bifidobacteriaceae. On the basis of these results, strain LMC 13T represents a novel species within the genus Bifidobacterium, for which the name Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LMC 13T ( = DSM 28807T = JCM 30168T). PMID:25736415

  10. Antipredator Vocalization Usage in the Male Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a group-living strepsirrhine primate endemic to Madagascar that faces considerable predation pressure from aerial and terrestrial predators. This species engages in mobbing and vigilance behavior in response to predators, and has referential alarm vocalizations. Because L. catta is female dominant, less is known about the alarm calls of males. We tested 3 hypotheses for male antipredator vocalization behavior on L. catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar: the predator confusion, group maintenance, and predation risk allocation hypotheses. We found support for 2 hypotheses. When a male L. catta made an antipredator call, other group members vocalized in response. Dominant males did not make alarm calls at higher rates than subordinate males. Predators were more abundant on the western side of Parcel 1, but an even greater number of antipredator vocalizations occurred in this area than predator abundance warranted. We show that male L. catta consistently participated in group-level antipredator vocalization usage in high-risk locations. Although female L. catta are known to hold the primary role in group defense, male L. catta are also key participants in group-wide behaviors that may confuse or drive away predators. PMID:26022308

  11. Endocrine correlates of pregnancy in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): implications for the masculinization of daughters.

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M

    2011-04-01

    Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Malagasy primates that are size monomorphic with males, socially dominate males, and exhibit a long, pendulous clitoris, channeled by the urethra. These masculine traits evoke certain attributes of female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and draw attention to the potential role of androgens in lemur sexual differentiation. Here, hormonal correlates of prenatal development were assessed to explore the possibility that maternal androgens may shape the masculine morphological and behavioral features of developing female lemurs. Maternal serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), ∆⁴ androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17,dione), testosterone, and 17β-estradiol were charted throughout the 19 pregnancies of 11 ring-tailed lemurs. As in spotted hyenas, lemur pregnancies were associated with an immediate increase in androgen concentrations (implicating early maternal derivation), followed by continued increases across stages of gestation. Pregnancies that produced singleton males, twin males, or mixed-sex twins were marked by greater androgen and estrogen concentrations than were pregnancies that produced singleton or twin females, especially in the third trimester, implicating the fetal testes in late-term steroid profiles. Concentrations of DHEA-S were mostly below detectable limits, suggesting a minor role for the adrenals in androgen biosynthesis. Androgen concentrations of pregnant lemurs bearing female fetuses, although less than those of pregnant hyenas, exceeded preconception and postpartum values and peaked in the third trimester. Although a maternal (and, on occasion, fraternal) source of androgen may exist for fetal lemurs, further research is required to confirm that these steroids would reach the developing female and contribute to her masculinization. PMID:20932838

  12. Comparison of the efficacy and cardiorespiratory effects of medetomidine-based anesthetic protocols in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Williams, Cathy V; Glenn, Kelly M; Levine, Jay F; Horne, William A

    2003-06-01

    The relative efficacies and cardiorespiratory effects of three injectable anesthetic combinations containing medetomidine were evaluated in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). In addition, the direct effects of medetomidine on heart rate and blood pressure were evaluated in lemurs anesthetized with isoflurane. For injectable anesthesia, captive adult ring-tailed lemurs were anesthetized with medetomidine and ketamine (0.04-0.06 mg/kg, i.m. and 3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively), medetomidine, butorphanol, and ketamine (0.04 mg/kg, i.m., 0.4 mg/kg, i.m., and 3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively), or medetomidine, butorphanol, and midazolam (0.04 mg/kg, i.m., 0.4 mg/kg, i.m., and 0.3 mg/kg, i.m., respectively). For inhalation anesthesia, lemurs were mask-induced and maintained with isoflurane for 30 min before receiving medetomidine (0.04 mg/kg, i.m.). Sedation produced by medetomidine-ketamine was unpredictable and of short duration. Both medetomidine-butorphanol-ketamine (MBK) and medetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam (MBMz) provided adequate anesthesia for routine physical exams; however, the effects of MBMz lasted longer than those of MBK. Heart rates and respiratory rates were within clinically normal ranges for all groups, and lemurs remained normotensive throughout the study. Common side effects such as hypertension and bradycardia associated with the use of alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist combinations in other species were not observed. Likewise, medetomidine administration had no effect on HR in lemurs receiving isoflurane. Lemurs in all groups were well ventilated and remained well oxygenated throughout the procedures, though arterial partial pressure of O2 was lowest in the MBMz group. All three injectable medetomidine combinations were effective in ring-tailed lemurs but only MBK and MBMz provided adequate depth and duration of anesthesia for use as sole regimes. For many clinical procedures in lemurs, MBMz offers advantages over MBK because of its longer duration of

  13. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Starling, Anne P; Charpentier, Marie J E; Fitzpatrick, Courtney; Scordato, Elizabeth S; Drea, Christine M

    2010-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations are reliable, non-invasive indices of physiological stress that provide insight into an animal's energetic and social demands. To better characterize the long-term stressors in adult members of a female-dominant, seasonally breeding species - the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - we first validated fecal samples against serum samples and then examined the relationship between fGC concentrations and seasonal, social, demographic, genetic, and reproductive variables. Between 1999 and 2006, we collected 1386 fecal samples from 32 adult, semi-free-ranging animals of both sexes. In males and non-pregnant, non-lactating females, fGC concentrations were significantly elevated during the breeding season, specifically during periods surrounding known conceptions. Moreover, group composition (e.g., multi-male versus one-male) significantly predicted the fGC concentrations of males and females in all reproductive states. In particular, the social instability introduced by intra-male competition likely created a stressor for all animals. We found no relationship, however, between fGC and the sex, age, or heterozygosity of animals. In reproducing females, fGC concentrations were significantly greater during lactation than during the pre-breeding period. During pregnancy, fGC concentrations were elevated in mid-ranking dams, relative to dominant or subordinate dams, and significantly greater during the third trimester than during the first or second trimesters. Thus, in the absence of nutritional stressors, social dominance was a relatively poor predictor of fGC in this female-dominant species. Instead, the animals were maximally challenged by their social circumstances and reproductive events-males by competition for mating opportunities and females by late-term gestation and lactation. PMID:19804779

  14. Mating season aggression and fecal testosterone levels in male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Cavigelli, S A; Pereira, M E

    2000-05-01

    The challenge hypothesis (J. C. Wingfield, R. E. Hegner, B. G. Ball, and A. M. Duffy, 1990, Am. Nat. 136, 829-846) proposes that in birds, reptiles, and fish, "the frequency or intensity of reproductive aggression as an effect of T[estosterone] is strongest in situations of social instability, such as during the formation of dominance relationships, the establishment of territorial boundaries, or challenges by a conspecific male for a territory or access to mates" (p. 833). To determine the extension of this hypothesis to mammalian species, we tested predictions of the hypothesis in a nonpaternal, seasonal breeding, prosimian primate (ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta). Semi-free-ranging males were studied during periods of social stability (premating period) and instability (mating period). The annual mating season consists of several days during which males fight for access to promiscuous group females as each individually becomes sexually receptive for 1 day. Male rates of aggression were compared to fecal testosterone levels within premating and mating periods. In the premating period male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone level. By contrast, during the mating season testosterone and aggression levels were positively and significantly correlated. However, on days just preceding estrus, male rate of aggression was not significantly correlated with testosterone, but on days of estrus, when aggressive challenges peaked sharply, testosterone and aggression were highly positively correlated. These results suggest that the challenge hypothesis applies to mammals as well as to birds, reptiles, and fish. In addition, elevations in testosterone were tightly circumscribed around days of estrus, suggesting a compromise between costs and benefits of elevated testosterone levels. PMID:10868488

  15. Thoracic Limb Morphology of the Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Evidenced by Gross Osteology and Radiography.

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2015-08-01

    There is limited information available on the morphology of the thoracic limb of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). This study describes the morphology of the thoracic limb of captive ring-tailed lemurs evidenced by gross osteology and radiography as a guide for clinical use. Radiographic findings of 12 captive ring-tailed lemurs are correlated with bone specimens of three adult animals. The clavicle is well developed. The scapula has a large area for the origin of the m. teres major. The coracoid and hamate processes are well developed. The lateral supracondylar crest and medial epicondyle are prominent. The metacarpal bones are widely spread, and the radial tuberosity is prominent. These features indicate the presence of strong flexor muscles and flexibility of thoracic limb joints, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Furthermore, an ovoid ossicle is always seen at the inter-phalangeal joint of the first digit. Areas of increased soft tissue opacity are superimposed over the proximal half of the humerus and distal half of the antebrachium in male animals as a result of the scent gland. Knowledge of the morphology of the thoracic limb of individual species is important for accurate interpretation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases. PMID:25105809

  16. Seasonal feeding ecology of ring-tailed lemurs: a comparison of spiny and gallery forest habitats.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Although Lemur catta persists in many habitat types in southern Madagascar, its ecology has been primarily studied within gallery forests. We compare plant food selection and properties for ring-tailed lemurs in the spiny and gallery forests over the synchronized lactation period (September to March) that includes both the dry and wet seasons. We found no significant habitat-specific differences in the type of plant part consumed per month (i.e. flower, fruit, leaf) or between the intake of soluble carbohydrates. However, the presence and use of Tamarindus indica plants appear to elevate protein and fiber intake in the gallery forest lemurs' diets. Protein is especially important for reproductive females who incur the added metabolic costs associated with lactation; however, fiber can disrupt protein digestion. Future work should continue to investigate how variations of protein and fiber affect ring-tailed lemur dietary choice and nutrient acquisition. PMID:26022298

  17. Occurrence of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in the Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and the Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland.

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Majewska, Anna C; Trzesowska, Ewa; Skrzypczak, Łukasz

    2012-01-01

    Encephalitozoon intestinalis is one of the most common microsporidial species found in humans worldwide but it has rarely been identified in animals. The presence of this pathogen has been detected in a few species of domestic, captive and wild mammals as well as in three species of birds. The aim of the present study was to examine fecal samples obtained from mammals housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland, for the presence of potentially human-infectious microsporidia. A total of 339 fresh fecal samples collected from 75 species of mammals belonging to 27 families and 8 orders were examined for the presence of microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores were identified in 3 out of 339 (0.9%) examined fecal samples. All samples identified as positive by chromotrope 2R and calcofluor white M2R were also positive by the FISH assay. Using multiplex FISH in all 3 fecal samples, only spores of E. intestinalis were identified in 2 out of 14 Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and in one out of 17 Red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). To our knowledge this is the first diagnosis of E. intestinalis in Ring-tailed and Red ruffed lemurs. It should be mentioned that both lemur species are listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although the lemurs were asymptomatically infected, the possibility of widespread infection or death of these animals remains in the event of an elevated stress or a decrease in their immunological functions. PMID:23094336

  18. Host age, social group, and habitat type influence the gut microbiota of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Genevieve; Malone, Matthew; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; White, Bryan; Nelson, Karen E; Stumpf, Rebecca M; Knight, Rob; Leigh, Steven R; Amato, Katherine R

    2016-08-01

    The gut microbiota contributes to host health by maintaining homeostasis, increasing digestive efficiency, and facilitating the development of the immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota can change dramatically within and between individuals of a species as a result of diet, age, or habitat. Therefore, understanding the factors determining gut microbiota diversity and composition can contribute to our knowledge of host ecology as well as to conservation efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing to describe variation in the gut microbiota of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwestern Madagascar. Specifically, we measured the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota in relation to social group, age, sex, tooth wear and loss, and habitat disturbance. While we found no significant variation in the diversity of the ring-tailed lemur gut microbiota in response to any variable tested, the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota was influenced by social group, age, and habitat disturbance. However, effect sizes were small and appear to be driven by the presence or absence of relatively low abundance taxa. These results suggest that habitat disturbance may not impact the lemur gut microbiota as strongly as it impacts the gut microbiota of other primate species, highlighting the importance of distinct host ecological and physiological factors on host-gut microbe relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 78:883-892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27177345

  19. Hand preference on unimanual and bimanual tasks in strepsirrhines: The case of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Regaiolli, Barbara; Spiezio, Caterina; Hopkins, William D

    2016-08-01

    Assessing manual lateralization in non-human primates could be an optimal way to understand the adaptive value of this asymmetry in humans. Though many studies have investigated hand preferences in Old and New World monkeys and apes, fewer studies have considered manual lateralization in strepsirrhines, especially in experimental tasks. This study investigated hand preferences for a unimanual and a bimanual task of 17 captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), housed at Parco Natura Viva (VR), Italy. The effect of age on handedness has been also investigated. The lemurs were tested on a unimanual task, in which subjects were restricted to using one hand to retrieve the food inside an apparatus, and on a bimanual task, in which lemurs had to use one hand to keep the apparatus door open while reaching with the other hand to retrieve the food inside it. At the population-level, our results revealed an asymmetrical hand use distribution, in particular a bias toward a right hand preference for food reaching in both the unimanual and the bimanual tasks. Furthermore, at the individual-level, the bimanual task seems to elicit a greater hand preference than the unimanual task. Results of this study underline the importance of experimental tasks in determining hand preference in strepsirrhines. Furthermore, as bimanual tasks elicited a stronger degree of lateralization, they appear to be more suited to investigate manual laterality. Finally, findings from this study highlight the presence of a right hand preference in ring-tailed lemurs, shedding new light on the evolution of human right handedness. Am. J. Primatol. 78:851-860, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27078687

  20. Osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of healthy ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2014-06-01

    In family Lemuridae, anatomical variations exist. Considering its conservation status (near threatened) and presence of similarities between strepsirrhines and primitive animals, it was thought to be beneficial to describe the gross osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) as a reference for clinical use and species identification. Radiography was performed in 14 captive adult ring-tailed lemurs. The radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from two adult animals. Additionally, computed tomography of the hind limbs was performed in one animal. The pelvic bone has a well-developed caudal ventral iliac spine. The patella has a prominent tuberosity on the cranial surface. The first metatarsal bone and digit 1 are markedly stouter than the other metatarsal bones and digits with medial divergence from the rest of the metatarsal bones and digits. Ossicles were seen in the lateral meniscus, inter-phalangeal joint of digit 1 and in the infrapatellar fat pad. Areas of mineral opacity were seen within the external genitalia, which are believed to be the os penis and os clitoris. Variations exist in the normal osteology and radiographic appearance of the pelvis and hind limb of different animal species. The use of only atlases from domestic cats and dogs for interpretative purposes may be misleading. PMID:23651234

  1. Echinococcus multilocularis infection of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French zoo.

    PubMed

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Nicolier, Alexandra; Boué, Franck

    2013-12-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm responsible in its larval stage for alveolar echinococcosis, a disease which is lethal when left untreated. Multivesiculated parasitic lesions in the liver were diagnosed at necropsy in a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) and in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) which had been in a French zoo for 16months. Molecular analyses confirmed the diagnosis of E. multilocularis obtained by histological analyses. These were the first cases of infection by E. multilocularis reported in lemurs in Europe, and the first case in nutria in European enclosures. Lemurs are confirmed to be particularly sensitive to E. multilocularis with a massive infection. In both cases, the infection appears to have been contracted in the zoo indirectly via environmental contamination by feces from roaming foxes. Due to the large endemic area for E. multilocularis, the increasing prevalence in foxes in France, and an increase in awareness of the disease, other cases of infection in captive animals will probably be recorded in France in the coming years. PMID:23994606

  2. Coprophagy by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in human-disturbed locations adjacent to the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Fish, Krista D; Sauther, Michelle L; Loudon, James E; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-06-01

    Coprophagy occurs in a number of animal species, including nonhuman primates. During the 2003-2004 dry seasons at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, we observed wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) consuming dried fecal matter from three different species. Ring-tailed lemurs consumed human feces on 12 occasions, cattle feces twice, and feral dog feces once. Coprophagy in this population may be a behavioral adaptation that provides animals access to energy and nutrients and may be an important nutritional source for older, and/or dentally impaired individuals during the dry season. PMID:17253614

  3. Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Health Parameters across Two Habitats with Varied Levels of Human Disturbance at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Singleton, Cora L; Norris, Aimee M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community. PMID:26022301

  4. Mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infections in the captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), China.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Zhao, Bo; Yang, Guang-You; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Li-Li; Deng, Jia-Bo; Gu, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Shu-Xian

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Ten (L. catta) from the Chengdu Zoological Garden in China, which were naturally infected with H. nana, were treated with mebendazole (10 mg/kg for 5 days). A posttreatment fecal examination was conducted 10 and 20 days after the start of treatment. All treatments resulted in a decrease in the number of eggs per gram in the posttreatment sample compared with the pretreatment sample. Reduction of mean egg count was 97.6% and 100% on days 10 and 20, respectively. The results indicated that mebendazole has marked efficacy against H. nana infections in L. catta. PMID:22327317

  5. Behavioral responses to tooth loss in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-09-01

    Severe dental wear and tooth loss is often assumed to impede the processing, breakdown, and energetic conversion of food items, thereby negatively impacting individual health, reproduction, and survival. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve demonstrate exceptionally high frequencies of severe dental wear and antemortem tooth loss, yet often survive multiple years with these impairments. To test the hypothesis that these lemurs mitigate tooth loss through behavioral adjustments, we collected 191 h of observational data from 16 focal subjects, eight without tooth loss and eight with between 3% and 44% loss. These data indicate dentally-impaired ring-tailed lemurs show compensatory behaviors consistent with the demands of living in a social group. During early afternoon (12:00-14:30 h) individuals with loss showed trends towards higher frequencies of foraging and grooming, while individuals without loss rested significantly more often. Individuals with >10% loss (n = 7) showed higher frequencies of feeding, foraging, and grooming, and lower frequencies of resting during this period than individuals with <10% loss (n = 9). Individuals with tooth loss maintained relatively higher levels of feeding and foraging throughout the day. These individuals licked tamarind fruit at higher frequencies, likely spending more time softening it before ingestion. These individuals did not demonstrate longer feeding bouts overall, although bouts involving tamarinds were significantly longer. Individuals with marked toothcomb wear engaged in higher rates of certain types of allogrooming, demonstrating that social behaviors are used to compensate for reduced grooming efficiency. These data have implications for interpreting behavioral responses to dental impairment in the fossil record. PMID:19373842

  6. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution. PMID:22539740

  7. Variation in dental wear and tooth loss among known-aged, older ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a comparison between wild and captive individuals.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Lent, Cheryl

    2010-11-01

    Tooth wear is generally an age-related phenomenon, often assumed to occur at similar rates within populations of primates and other mammals, and has been suggested as a correlate of reduced offspring survival among wild lemurs. Few long-term wild studies have combined detailed study of primate behavior and ecology with dental analyses. Here, we present data on dental wear and tooth loss in older (>10 years old) wild and captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Among older ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar (n=6), the percentage of severe dental wear and tooth loss ranges from 6 to 50%. Among these six individuals, the oldest (19 years old) exhibits the second lowest frequency of tooth loss (14%). The majority of captive lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo (n=7) are older than the oldest BMSR lemur, yet display significantly less overall tooth wear for 19 of 36 tooth positions, with only two individuals exhibiting antemortem tooth loss. Among the captive lemurs, only one lemur (a nearly 29 year old male) has lost more than one tooth. This individual is only missing anterior teeth, in contrast to lemurs at BMSR, where the majority of lost teeth are postcanine teeth associated with processing specific fallback foods. Postcanine teeth also show significantly more overall wear at BMSR than in the captive sample. At BMSR, degree of severe wear and tooth loss varies in same aged, older individuals, likely reflecting differences in microhabitat, and thus the availability and use of different foods. This pattern becomes apparent before "old age," as seen in individuals as young as 7 years. Among the four "older" female lemurs at BMSR, severe wear and/or tooth loss do not predict offspring survival. PMID:20872788

  8. Ecological risk aversion and juvenile ring-tailed lemur feeding and foraging.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    The extended primate juvenile period has been linked to interactions between feeding ecology and sociality. However, accumulating field data on juvenile primates suggest variation in the linkages between foraging efficiency, group foraging and social behaviour. In many non-human primates, juvenile ability (strength, coordination and motor skills) does not limit foraging success. If predicted limitations in feeding are not found in juvenile monkeys, it is possible that the gregarious strepsirrhines may show foraging patterns similar to those implicated in the evolution of a life history where long juvenile periods are advantageous. To test these behavioural predictions, I present a mixed longitudinal sample of observations on feeding and foraging behaviour from ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Like several platyrrhine species, close proximity during foraging, low feeding efficiency and low dietary diversity are not typical of ring-tailed lemurs. The lack of ecological trade-offs in these species may indicate stronger common roles of sociality and social complexity in structuring the elongation of the primate juvenile period. PMID:26022305

  9. Assessing flavivirus, lentivirus, and herpesvirus exposure in free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs in southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sondgeroth, Kerry; Blitvich, Brad; Blair, Carol; Terwee, Julie; Junge, Randall; Sauther, Michelle; VandeWoude, Sue

    2007-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is an endangered species found in southwestern Madagascar, and understanding infectious disease susceptibility is an essential step towards the preservation of wild and captive lemur populations. Lemurs are primates that are widely dispersed throughout the island of Madagascar and may serve as hosts or reservoirs for zoonotic infections. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in a population of free-ranging ring-tailed lemur from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Samples were collected from 50 animals during field capture studies in June and July 2004 and assayed for presence of viral antibodies during the 12 mo following collection. Forty-seven of the 50 lemurs sampled had antibodies against WNV detectable by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, 50 of 50 samples had titers against WNV ranging from 80 to > or = 1,280 using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT(90)). Ten lemurs had antibodies against lentiviral antigens as determined by Western blot analysis. None of the lemurs had antibodies against HSV-1 using ELISA. PMID:17347392

  10. Sources of tooth wear variation early in life among known-aged wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Head, Brian R; Sauther, Michelle L; Ungar, Peter S; O'Mara, M Teague

    2014-11-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar display a high frequency of individuals with notable and sometimes extreme tooth wear. Adult lemurs display a range of tooth wear even among individuals of the same age, but we do not know at what age this variation first appears. This study's goal was to determine whether wear variation occurs in younger wild lemurs. Based on the decade-long study of ring-tailed lemur feeding and dental ecology at BMSR, we hypothesized that younger, natal lemurs (under 5 years of age), would display variation in their degree of tooth wear that would correspond to microhabitat differences, given differences in food availability in different troops' home ranges. We also hypothesized that wear would differ between sexes at this young age, given differences in feeding between males and females in this population. Hypotheses were tested using dental topographic analyses using dental impressions collected from known-aged lemurs across 10 years at BMSR. Results illustrate significant differences in wear-related tooth topography (i.e., relief and slope, presented here as "occlusal lift") for microhabitat, sex and troop affiliation among lemurs under 5 years of age in this population. Although, all lemurs in this population consume mechanically challenging tamarind fruit, those in more disturbed habitats eat additional introduced foods, some of which are also mechanically challenging. Thus, dietary variation is the likely cause of variation in tooth wear. The wear variation we show at a young age suggests caution when assigning age based on tooth wear in living and fossil primates. These wear-related tooth shape changes early in life, which reflects sex, habitat variation and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, may potentially impact reproductive fitness later in life. PMID:24953664

  11. Survey and comparison of major intestinal flora in captive and wild ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations.

    PubMed

    Villers, Lynne M; Jang, Spencer S; Lent, Cheryl L; Lewin-Koh, Sock-Cheng; Norosoarinaivo, Jeanne Aimée

    2008-02-01

    A survey to identify the major intestinal species of aerobic bacteria, protozoa and helminths was conducted on captive and wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Samples were collected from 50 captive lemurs at 11 zoological institutions in the United States. In Madagascar, 98 aerobic bacteria samples and 99 parasite samples were collected from eight sites chosen to cover a variety of populations across the species range. Identical collection, preservation and lab techniques were used for captive and wild populations. The predominant types of aerobic bacteria flora were identified via five separate tests. The tests for parasites conducted included flotation, sedimentation and FA/GC. Twenty-seven bacteria unique to either the captive or wild populations were cultured with eight of these being statistically significantly different. Fourteen bacteria common to both populations were cultured, of which six differed significantly. Entamoeba coli was the only parasite common to both the captive and wild populations. Giardia spp., Isospora spp., strongyles-type ova, Entamoeba spp. and Entamoeba polecki were found only in captive samples. Cryptosporidium, Balantidium coli, pinworm-type ova, and two fluke-like ova were seen only in wild samples. In addition, samples were compared for both bacteria and parasites from three unique field sites in Madagascar. In this three-site comparison, six types of bacteria were statistically significantly different. No significant differences regarding parasites were seen. Significant differences were found between the captive and wild populations, whereas fewer differences were found between sites within Madagascar. Although we isolated Campylobacter and Giardia, all animals appeared clinically healthy. PMID:17854057

  12. Fatal infection with Taenia martis metacestodes in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in an Italian zoological garden.

    PubMed

    De Liberato, Claudio; Berrilli, Federica; Meoli, Roberta; Friedrich, Klaus G; Di Cerbo, Pilar; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Eleni, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    A case of fatal infection caused by larval forms of Taenia martis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in the Rome zoological garden is described. The animal, living in a semi-natural pen with other 15 conspecific individuals and being fed with fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt and eggs, was transported to the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Rome for post-mortem examination. The anamnesis included, ten days before the death, apathy, lack of appetite, abdominal distension and diarrhoea. A severe exudative fibrinous-purulent peritonitis with numerous adhesions between the abdominal wall and the bowel loops was detected. After intestine removal, two free and viable, 4 cm long, whitish, leaf-like parasitic forms were pinpointed. Macroscopic examination of the two parasites allowed their identification as larval stages of cestodes, identified via molecular analysis as T. martis metacestodes. This report represents the first record of T. martis infection in the host species and in a zoological garden and for the pathological relevance of the infection. PMID:24928170

  13. Lifespan and Reproductive Senescence in a Free-Ranging Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population at Berenty, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ichino, Shinichiro; Soma, Takayo; Miyamoto, Naomi; Chatani, Kaoru; Sato, Hiroki; Koyama, Naoki; Takahata, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    The lifespan and age-specific fecundity of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) were estimated from a 24-year longitudinal dataset based on individual identification at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. The mean lifespan of females in 10-year (1989-1998) birth cohorts was 4.9 ± 4.9 years (n = 77), and the longest recorded lifespan in the population was 20 years. The mortality rate of adult females increased to ≥20% at 10-11 years old and reached 33-50% at 12-15 years old. Although the birth rate of old females (12-17 years old) was 72.0%, slightly lower than that of prime adult females (4-11 years old), i.e. 80.2%, no significant difference was found between them. Half of the females who reached the age of 12 years gave birth in the last year of their life. The oldest mother to give birth was 17 years old. These results suggest that most females can maintain reproductive performance in their later life and that there is no evidence for a postreproductive lifespan in this species. PMID:26022309

  14. Naturally occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in two prosimian primate species: ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Williams, Cathy V; Van Steenhouse, Jan L; Bradley, Julie M; Hancock, Susan I; Hegarty, Barbara C; Breitschwerdt, Edward B

    2002-12-01

    A naturally occurring infection of Ehrlichia chaffeensis in lemurs is described. DNA of Ehrlichia chaffeensis was identified by polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood from six of eight clinically ill lemurs. Organisms were cultured from the blood of one lemur exhibiting clinical and hematologic abnormalities similar to those of humans infected with E. chaffeensis. PMID:12498671

  15. Relaxed open mouth as a playful signal in wild ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan; Spada, Giulia

    2014-11-01

    Play signals are commonly used by animals to communicate their playful motivation and to limit the risk that rough acts are misunderstood by playmates. The relaxed open mouth is the most common facial expression performed during play in many mammals and represents the ritualized version of the movement anticipating a play bite. The signaling nature of this expression has been proven in many haplorrhine species but never demonstrated in strepsirrhines. Our purpose was assessing whether, also in strepsirrhines, the relaxed open mouth has an actual communicative function. We studied wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), characterized by highly social habits including intense playful interactions. They largely use playful signals, mostly performed with the black and white tail. The signaling function of the tail (tail play) has been widely demonstrated. We analyzed both tail play and the relaxed open mouth to verify how their distribution is affected by different play variables (e.g., play session symmetry, number of play mates, previous use of the same pattern). Indeed, ring-tailed lemurs use the relaxed open mouth as a communicative signal during play. Relaxed open mouth was more frequent during unbalanced interactions showing the highest asymmetry in the patterns performed by the two players (offensive/neutral). Compared to tail play, relaxed open mouth was more frequent during dyadic than polyadic interactions and, as a highly directional signal, it was more frequently replicated by the play mate. Therefore, the relaxed open mouth needs to be performed face-to-face so that signal detection can be optimized. Similar to previous findings in monkeys and apes, the relaxed open mouth in lemurs seems to be a ritualized signal used to engage and, perhaps, sustain playful interaction. PMID:24810169

  16. Mix it and fix it: functions of composite olfactory signals in ring-tailed lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Lydia K.; Grogan, Kathleen E.; Smyth, Kendra N.; Adams, Christine A.; Klager, Skylar A.; Drea, Christine M.

    2016-01-01

    Animals communicating via scent often deposit composite signals that incorporate odorants from multiple sources; however, the function of mixing chemical signals remains understudied. We tested both a ‘multiple-messages’ and a ‘fixative’ hypothesis of composite olfactory signalling, which, respectively, posit that mixing scents functions to increase information content or prolong signal longevity. Our subjects—adult, male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)—have a complex scent-marking repertoire, involving volatile antebrachial (A) secretions, deposited pure or after being mixed with a squalene-rich paste exuded from brachial (B) glands. Using behavioural bioassays, we examined recipient responses to odorants collected from conspecific strangers. We concurrently presented pure A, pure B and mixed A + B secretions, in fresh or decayed conditions. Lemurs preferentially responded to mixed over pure secretions, their interest increasing and shifting over time, from sniffing and countermarking fresh mixtures, to licking and countermarking decayed mixtures. Substituting synthetic squalene (S)—a well-known fixative—for B secretions did not replicate prior results: B secretions, which contain additional chemicals that probably encode salient information, were preferred over pure S. Whereas support for the ‘multiple-messages’ hypothesis underscores the unique contribution from each of an animal's various secretions, support for the ‘fixative’ hypothesis highlights the synergistic benefits of composite signals. PMID:27152222

  17. Mix it and fix it: functions of composite olfactory signals in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Greene, Lydia K; Grogan, Kathleen E; Smyth, Kendra N; Adams, Christine A; Klager, Skylar A; Drea, Christine M

    2016-04-01

    Animals communicating via scent often deposit composite signals that incorporate odorants from multiple sources; however, the function of mixing chemical signals remains understudied. We tested both a 'multiple-messages' and a 'fixative' hypothesis of composite olfactory signalling, which, respectively, posit that mixing scents functions to increase information content or prolong signal longevity. Our subjects-adult, male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)-have a complex scent-marking repertoire, involving volatile antebrachial (A) secretions, deposited pure or after being mixed with a squalene-rich paste exuded from brachial (B) glands. Using behavioural bioassays, we examined recipient responses to odorants collected from conspecific strangers. We concurrently presented pure A, pure B and mixed A + B secretions, in fresh or decayed conditions. Lemurs preferentially responded to mixed over pure secretions, their interest increasing and shifting over time, from sniffing and countermarking fresh mixtures, to licking and countermarking decayed mixtures. Substituting synthetic squalene (S)-a well-known fixative-for B secretions did not replicate prior results: B secretions, which contain additional chemicals that probably encode salient information, were preferred over pure S. Whereas support for the 'multiple-messages' hypothesis underscores the unique contribution from each of an animal's various secretions, support for the 'fixative' hypothesis highlights the synergistic benefits of composite signals. PMID:27152222

  18. Analysis of dentition of a living wild population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sauther, M L; Cuozzo, F P; Sussman, R W

    2001-03-01

    Detailed descriptions of the dentition of many strepsirhine primate taxa are rare, despite their importance in understanding primate evolutionary biology. While several researchers have provided detailed morphological descriptions of ring-tailed lemur dentition (e.g., Schwartz and Tattersall [1985] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 60:1-100; Tattersall and Schwartz [1991] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 69:2-18), there are few studies (e.g., Eaglen [1986] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 71:185-201) that present quantitative data on the dentition of this species. Furthermore, prior analyses were based on museum specimens from various populations and locations. We present here quantitative and morphological data on the dentition of a population of wild Lemur catta from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Measurements were made on dental casts (n = 39) taken from living members of this L. catta population. Our analysis indicates that no significant (P > 0.05) sexual dimorphism exists for the 30 dental measurements collected. These data support the generalizations (e.g., Plavcan and van Schaik [1994] Evol. Anthropol. 2:208-214; Kappeler [1996] J. Evol. Biol. 9:43-65) that little sexual dimorphism in dentition exists among Malagasy strepsirhines. In addition, the overall patterns of metric variation in this sample compare favorably with patterns seen among other primates, e.g., premolar measurements varying more than molars (e.g., Gingerich [1974] J. Paleontol. 48:895-903). However, there is a degree of intraspecific morphological variation indicated, with one of the morphological traits discussed in other studies as being species-specific for L. catta (absence of P(4) metaconids) observed to vary between specimens. Because the patterns of variation seen in this sample are from a known breeding population, the data presented here provide an important reference for interpreting and understanding the fossil record. PMID:11241187

  19. Patterns of Behaviour, Group Structure and Reproductive Status Predict Levels of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Zoo-Housed Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tessa E; McCusker, Cara M; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Elwood, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David's scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs. PMID:26824528

  20. Brown (Eulemur fulvus) and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) use human head orientation as a cue to gaze direction in a food choice task.

    PubMed

    Botting, Jennifer L; Wiper, Mallory L; Anderson, James R

    2011-01-01

    Whilst the ability to follow human gaze has been demonstrated in monkeys and apes, there is little evidence that prosimians share this ability. The current study used a food choice paradigm to assess whether captive brown (Eulemur fulvus) and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) use human gaze direction as a cue when choosing between an attending or non-attending human. Four experiments assessed the use of body, head and eye cues by the lemurs. In experiment 1, the non-attending human stood with her back to a food item; 3 of the 5 lemurs preferentially chose the attending human with an equivalent food item in view. In experiments 2 and 3, which used head angles of 90°, 4 out of 5 lemurs preferentially chose the attending human. In experiment 4, in which the humans differed only by whether their eyes were open or shut, no significant preferences were found. This study provides the first tentative evidence that lemurs are capable of discriminating human gaze direction and can use both body and head direction to do so. PMID:22123170

  1. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals. PMID:22976581

  2. The impact of fallback foods on wild ring-tailed lemur biology: a comparison of intact and anthropogenically disturbed habitats.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-12-01

    Fallback foods are often viewed as central in shaping primate morphology, and influencing adaptive shifts in hominin and other primate evolution. Here we argue that fruit of the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) qualifies as a fallback food of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. Contrary to predictions that fallback foods may select for dental and masticatory morphologies adapted to processing these foods, consumption of tamarind fruit by these lemurs leaves a distinct pattern of dental pathology among ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR. Specifically, the physical and mechanical properties of tamarind fruit likely result in a high frequency of severe tooth wear, and subsequent antemortem tooth loss, in this lemur population. This pattern of dental pathology is amplified among lemurs living in disturbed areas at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from a disproportionate emphasis on challenging tamarind fruit, due to few other fruits being available. This is in part caused by a reduction in ground cover and other plants due to livestock grazing. As such, tamarind trees remain one of the few food resources in many areas. Dental pathologies are also associated with the use of a nonendemic leaf resource Argemone mexicana, an important food during the latter part of the dry season when overall food availability is reduced. Such dental pathologies at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from the use or overemphasis of fallback foods for which they are not biologically adapted, indicate that anthropogenic factors must be considered when examining fallback foods. PMID:19890872

  3. Evidence that displacement activities facilitate behavioural transitions in ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Victoria; Semple, Stuart

    2012-07-01

    Displacement activities are behavioural patterns defined by their apparent irrelevance to an animal's ongoing actions. Despite being identified in diverse taxa, their function remains poorly understood. One hypothesis posits that displacement activities facilitate transitions between different behaviours by mediating changes in animals' motivational state. Under this hypothesis, it is predicted that displacement activities will occur more frequently around changes in behaviour than at other times, and also that rates of displacement activities will be higher before than after such behavioural transitions. We tested these two predictions in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). During focal observations, animals' behavioural state was continuously recorded, as were all occurrences of self-scratching, a common displacement activity in this species. Self-scratching rates were found to be significantly elevated both before and after behavioural transitions. Furthermore, self-scratching rates were significantly higher before behavioural transitions occurred than after. These results, therefore, provide support for the hypothesis that displacement activities facilitate behavioural transitions in L. catta. PMID:22561968

  4. Scent and the single male: ring-tailed lemurs produce honest signals.

    PubMed

    Asa, Cheryl S

    2008-07-01

    In mating systems that involve competing males and choosy females, males are expected to advertise their genetic quality to discriminating females. Most examples have focused on visual or acoustic signals, such as ornamentation or song; yet arguably, olfactory communication may be more important to the majority of vertebrates with the possible exception of birds. Fortunately, attention has begun to shift to the role of odours in mate choice, with most of that attention being directed at the major histocompatibility complex or more recently at the major urinary proteins. The study of male ring-tailed lemurs presented by Charpentier and colleagues in this issue adds a new dimension to investigations of the influence of genes on mate choice via odour production. By comparing genetic heterozygosity to the production of semiochemicals in the scrotal scent gland, they provide a link between genetic composition and scent-marking behaviour as a potential advertisement of male quality. PMID:18564085

  5. Demographic and life-history patterns in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar: a 15-year perspective.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Sussman, R W; Sauther, Michelle L

    2003-02-01

    Over 15 field seasons (1987-2001), we collected census and life-history data on a population of individually identified ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. No significant difference was found in population size over the study period, though a marked decline in the population occurred following a 2-year drought. The population rebounded rapidly after the immediate postdrought period. There was nearly a complete replacement of individuals over the study period. Average group size is 11.5 animals, and adult male to female sex ratio is 0.92. Most females reproduce annually, and the average fecundity rate is 84.3%. The greatest variability in fecundity is found among old females. We suggest that ring-tailed lemur females follow an "income breeding" strategy, i.e., females use maximum resources during reproduction rather than relying on fat stores, as do "capital breeders." Infant mortality to 1 year of age in a nondrought year is 52%, higher than infant mortality in small to medium-sized anthropoids. The oldest known female was 18 years old in 2001. We suggest that 18-20 years may represent the maximum life-span for wild ring-tailed lemurs. Because males regularly emigrate from the population, we have no data regarding male life-span; however, there is some indication that males do not survive as long as females. Group fission has occurred three times: twice from one parent group living in the driest area of the reserve, with the most dispersed food resources. We suggest that the reproductive strategy that has evolved in this species, wherein females reproduce early in life and annually until old age, is a response to the unusual climate and environmental conditions under which Lemur catta has evolved. PMID:12541335

  6. Analyses of feeding lateralization in the small-eared bushbaby (Otolemur garnettii): a comparison with the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Milliken, G W; Stafford, D K; Dodson, D L; Pinger, C D; Ward, J P

    1991-09-01

    Feeding related lateralization was examined in a population of 23 small-eared bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii). The three measures used to determine lateralization were food reaching, holding, and manipulation. Sex and age differences were found, with adult females showing a strong right bias and adult males a left bias. Juvenile males were weakly lateralized and less consistent across measures than adult animals. The use of standard scores to assess lateralization allowed species comparisons to be made. The results of this study were compared with results from a previous study on lateralization in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Species comparisons found sex differences to be a stronger factor in lateralization than species differences. PMID:1935006

  7. The impact of dental impairment on ring-tailed lemur food processing performance.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Ness, Jenifer L

    2012-06-01

    During mastication, foods are reduced into particles suitable for swallowing and digestion. Smaller particles possess a greater surface area per unit of volume on which digestive enzymes and bacteria may work than relatively larger particles, and are thus more readily digested. As dental morphology facilitates the breakdown of diets with specific mechanical properties, extensive dental wear and/or tooth loss may impede an individual's ability to break down and exploit foods. We present data demonstrating a relationship between dental impairment and particle size in 43 fecal samples from 33 ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. All fecal samples were sifted through three sieves of decreasing size (11.2 mm, 4.75 mm, and 1.0 mm). The resulting fraction in each sieve was then weighed and assessed in relation to individual dental impairment status. With increasing wear, the percentage of each sample within the 1.0 mm sieve decreases, whereas that in the 11.2 mm sieve increases with increasing postcanine wear, although these effects are not present when limited to individuals without tooth loss. Individuals with tooth loss also demonstrate larger proportions of fecal material 1.0-4.75 mm in size. Dental impairment results in larger food particles and potentially less efficient utilization of foods. When fecal material was examined by leaf vs. fruit content, individuals with tooth loss demonstrated reduced proportions of fruit in the 1.0 mm and 11.2 mm sieves. These data suggest individuals with tooth loss consume less fruit than those without loss, potentially reflecting a reduced ability to process tamarind fruit, a key fallback resource at BMSR. PMID:22610899

  8. Comparison of the genetic variation of captive ring-tailed lemurs with a wild population in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Sauther, Michelle L; Sussman, Robert W; Gould, Lisa; Cuozzo, Frank P; Fernando, Prithiviraj; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variability among captive and wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) was assessed using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. A 529 bp segment of mtDNA was sequenced and 9 microsatellite loci were genotyped for 286 ring-tailed lemurs. Samples were obtained from the well-studied L. catta population at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve and from captive animals at six institutions worldwide. We found evidence of possible patrilineal contribution but the absence of matrilineal contribution from the Bezà area, and haplotypes not found in Bezà but present in Ambohimahavelona, Andringitra Massif, and other unknown locations, in the sampled captive population, indicating that the founders of the captive population originated from a wide geographic range. Total genetic variation and relatedness in captive L. catta in the six institutions were similar in extent to that of the wild population in Bezà. Based on the diverse origins of the captive population founders our results suggest the erosion of genetic diversity in the captive population. Sampled individuals from the same institution were more closely related to each other than members of a social group in the wild. Individuals housed at different institutions were less closely related than those of different social groups at Bezà, indicating lower genetic exchange between captive institutions than between social groups in a locality in the wild. Our findings underscore the usefulness of genotyping in determining the geographic origin of captive population founders, obtaining pedigree information if paternity is uncertain, and in maximizing preservation of extant genetic diversity in captivity. PMID:26032097

  9. Is wounding aggression in zoo-housed chimpanzees and ring-tailed lemurs related to zoo visitor numbers?

    PubMed

    Hosey, Geoff; Melfi, Vicky; Formella, Isabel; Ward, Samantha J; Tokarski, Marina; Brunger, Dave; Brice, Sara; Hill, Sonya P

    2016-05-01

    Chimpanzees in laboratory colonies experience more wounds on weekdays than on weekends, which has been attributed to the increased number of people present during the week; thus, the presence of more people was interpreted as stressful. If this were also true for primates in zoos, where high human presence is a regular feature, this would clearly be of concern. Here we examine wounding rates in two primate species (chimpanzees Pan troglodytes and ring-tailed lemurs Lemur catta) at three different zoos, to determine whether they correlate with mean number of visitors to the zoo. Wounding data were obtained from a zoo electronic record keeping system (ZIMS™). The pattern of wounds did not correlate with mean gate numbers for those days for either species in any group. We conclude that there is no evidence that high visitor numbers result in increased woundings in these two species when housed in zoos. Zoo Biol. 35:205-209, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26928968

  10. Population ecology of the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, and the white sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi, at Berenty, Madagascar, 1981.

    PubMed

    Howarth, C J; Wilson, J M; Adamson, A P; Wilson, M E; Boase, M J

    1986-01-01

    The diurnal lemurs Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi and Lemur catta at Berenty in southern Madagascar, have been studied for the last 30 years. The August 1981 census indicates that the population size of L. catta remains stable at 150 adults but that P. v. verreauxi troops have become fragmented and scattered and the population is apparently increasing. Eight different vegetation types were classified within the reserve and their influence on the distribution of L. catta and P. v. verreauxi investigated. Behavioural data obtained shows the niche separation between these two, potentially competitive, sympatric lemurs. PMID:3557229

  11. Cathemerality in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the spiny forest of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park: camera trap data and preliminary behavioral observations.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle; Cuozzo, Frank; Yamashita, Nayuta; Jacky Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho; Bender, Richard

    2014-04-01

    Cathemerality consists of discrete periods of activity during both the day and night. Though uncommon within Primates, cathemerality is prevalent in some lemur genera, such as Eulemur, Hapalemur, and Prolemur. Several researchers have also reported nighttime activity in Lemur catta, yet these lemurs are generally considered "strictly diurnal". We used behavioral observations and camera traps to examine cathemerality of L. catta at the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Madagascar. Nighttime activity occurred throughout the study period (September 2010-April 2011), and correlated with warm overnight temperatures but not daytime temperatures. Animals spent 25% of their daytime active behaviors on the ground, but appeared to avoid the ground at night, with only 5% of their time on the ground. Furthermore, at night, animals spent the majority of their active time feeding (53% nighttime, 43% daytime). These findings imply that both thermoregulation and diet play a role in the adaptive significance of cathemerality. Additionally, predator avoidance may have influenced cathemerality here, in that L. catta may limit nighttime activity as a result of predation threat by forest cats (Felis sp.) or fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Further data are needed on cathemeral lemurs generally, but particularly in L. catta if we are to fully understand the evolutionary mechanisms of cathemerality in the Lemuridae. PMID:24165866

  12. Effects of reproductive and social variables on fecal glucocorticoid levels in a sample of adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Ziegler, Toni E; Wittwer, Daniel J

    2005-09-01

    Glucocorticoids, a group of adrenal hormones, are secreted in response to stress. In male primates, variables such as breeding seasonality, dominance hierarchy stability, and aggressive and affiliative interactions can affect glucocorticoid levels. In this study, we examined interindividual differences in mean fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) levels among males in three groups of wild ring-tailed lemurs to better understand the physiological costs of group living for males in a female-dominant species that exhibits strict reproductive seasonality. Fecal and behavioral data samples were collected during one mating and two postmating seasons (2001 and 2003). The mean fGC levels were examined in relation to reproductive season, male rank, number of resident males, intermale and female-male agonism, and affiliative behavior with females. The mean fGC levels were not significantly elevated during mating season compared to the postmating period. During the mating season, male dominance hierarchies broke down and rank effects could not be tested; however, there was no relationship between male rank and fGC levels in the postmating periods. In 2001, males that resided in the group with the fewest males exhibited lower fGC levels during the postmating period. They also affiliated more with females than did males in the other groups. During the mating season of 2003, males engaged in more affiliative behaviors with females compared to the postmating season, but female-male agonism did not differ by season. However, rates of intermale agonism were significantly higher during mating compared to postmating periods, but such heightened agonism did not translate to a higher stress response. Thus, neither male-male competition for mates nor heightened agonism between males during the breeding season affected male fGC levels. Fewer males residing in a group, however, did have some effect on male-female affiliation and male fGC levels outside of the mating period. Males that live in a

  13. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines. PMID:21541932

  14. Evaluation of male inter-troop transfer as a mating strategy among ring-tailed lemurs on St. Catherines Island, USA.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2010-01-01

    One commonly cited function of dispersal is to increase mating opportunities. In this study, I evaluated the hypothesis that male inter-troop transfer is used as a mating strategy in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, on St. Catherines Island (SCI), Ga., USA. I measured male mating success and inter-troop transfer behavior across 5 years in a population consisting of 4 lemur groups on SCI. Data strongly supported dispersal as a successful mating strategy of natal males, because these males did not mate within their natal groups, but always mated in their new groups of entry. For secondary male dispersal (transfers between 2 non-natal groups), data on 2 males collected in breeding seasons immediately prior to and following transfer show that their individual mating success measures increased following a transfer. Data revealed that among non-natal males, high-ranking males on SCI were more likely to transfer between groups than lower-ranking males, which is somewhat contrary to the more common trend among primates of lower-ranking males transferring more frequently. In sum, male primary dispersal appears to function as a mating strategy among male L. catta on SCI, with indications that secondary dispersal may also be successful at increasing male mating success. PMID:20720432

  15. Examining visual measures of coat and body condition in wild ring-tailed lemurs at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2015-01-01

    Coat and body mass status provide a potential noninvasive way to assess primate health status as well as the effects of seasonality, resource use and reproductive state. Coat and body condition were scored visually for 36 wild Lemur catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from July 2012 to March 2013. Coat quality generally increased during the wet season when resource availability increased, in contrast to that observed during the resource-depleted dry season. Alopecia frequency increased from June to December and declined between January and March. Sex differences for coat condition were only observed in January, when males had superior coat scores. Body condition did not vary by month or sex except in February, when males were larger than females. Females that birthed infants were of lower body size than individuals who did not for November and from January to March. Our results indicate visual methods effectively detect variability in coat and body condition related to seasonality and reproductive status. Such methods present a noninvasive means for assessing the impact of seasonal resource availability, stresses of infant care and reproductive state on ring-tailed lemurs, and may be useful for assessing the impacts of these factors on general health status. PMID:26022300

  16. Social inhibitory control in five lemur species.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; MacLean, Evan L; Sandel, Aaron A; Hare, Brian

    2015-07-01

    We tested five lemur species-ring-tailed lemurs, ruffed lemurs, mongoose lemurs, black lemurs, and Coquerel's sifakas-(N = 52) in an experiment that evaluated skills for inhibitory control in a social context. First, two human experimenters presented identical food rewards; the "generous" experimenter allowed the subject to eat from her hand, whereas the "competitive" experimenter always withheld the reward. Lemurs quickly learned to approach the generous experimenter and avoid the competitive one. In the inhibition test phase, we endowed the competitive experimenter with a more valuable food reward but the competitive experimenter continued to withhold food from the subject. Thus, lemurs were required to inhibit approaching the more desirable reward in favor of the lesser but obtainable reward presented by the generous experimenter. In test trials, lemurs' tendency to approach the competitive experimenter increased from the reputation phase, demonstrating sensitivity to the experimental manipulation. However, subjects approached the larger reward less frequently in test trials compared with pretest food-preference trials, evidencing some capacity for inhibitory control in this context. Despite differences in sociality and ecology, the five lemur species did not differ in this ability. Although the study did not uncover species differences, this experimental task may provide a useful measure of social inhibition in broader comparative studies. PMID:25822664

  17. Variation in fecal testosterone levels, inter-male aggression, dominance rank and age during mating and post-mating periods in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Gould, L; Ziegler, T E

    2007-12-01

    In primate species exhibiting seasonal reproduction, patterns of testosterone excretion in adult males are variable: in some species, peaks correlate with female receptivity periods and heightened male-male aggression over access to estrous females, in others, neither heightened aggression nor marked elevations in testosterone have been noted. In this study, we examined mean fecal testosterone ( f T) levels and intermale aggression in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs residing in three groups at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. Results obtained from mating and post-mating season 2003 were compared to test Wingfield et al. [1990. Am Nat 136:829-846] "challenge hypothesis", which predicts a strong positive relationship between male testosterone levels and male-male competition for access to receptive females during breeding season. f T levels and rates of intermale aggression were significantly higher during mating season compared to the post-mating period. Mean f T levels and aggression rates were also higher in the first half of the mating season compared with the second half. Number of males in a group affected rates of intermale agonism, but not mean f T levels. The highest-ranking males in two of the groups exhibited higher mean f T levels than did lower-ranking males, and young males exhibited lower f T levels compared to prime-aged and old males. In the post-mating period, mean male f T levels did not differ between groups, nor were there rank or age effects. Thus, although male testosterone levels rose in relation to mating and heightened male-male aggression, f T levels fell to baseline breeding levels shortly after the early mating period, and to baseline non-breeding levels immediately after mating season had ended, offsetting the high cost of maintaining both high testosterone and high levels of male-male aggression in the early breeding period. PMID:17427976

  18. No evidence for contagious yawning in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; Krupenye, Christopher; MacLean, Evan L; Hare, Brian

    2016-09-01

    Among some haplorhine primates, including humans, relaxed yawns spread contagiously. Such contagious yawning has been linked to social bonds and empathy in some species. However, no studies have investigated contagious yawning in strepsirhines. We conducted an experimental study of contagious yawning in strepsirhines, testing ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs (n = 24) in a paradigm similar to one that has induced contagious yawning in haplorhines. First, in a control experiment, we investigated whether lemurs responded to projected video content in general (experiment 1). We showed them two videos to which we expected differential responses: one featured a terrestrial predator and the other a caretaker holding food. Next, to test for yawn contagion, we showed individual lemurs life-size video projections of groupmates and conspecific strangers yawning, and control footage of the same individuals at rest (experiment 2). Then, to examine whether a group context might enhance or allow for contagion, we exposed subjects to the same videos in a group setting (experiment 3). Lemurs produced alarm vocalizations and moved upward while viewing the predator, but not the caretaker, demonstrating that they do perceive video content meaningfully. However, lemurs did not yawn in response to yawning stimuli when tested alone, or with their groupmates. This study provides preliminary evidence that lemurs do not respond to yawning stimuli similarly to haplorhines, and suggests that this behavior may have evolved or become more exaggerated in haplorhines after the two major primate lineages split. PMID:27075549

  19. Species-Specific Transmission of Novel Picornaviruses in Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Efrem S.; Deem, Sharon L.; Porton, Ingrid J.; Cao, Song

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The roles of host genetics versus exposure and contact frequency in driving cross-species transmission remain the subject of debate. Here, we used a multitaxon lemur collection at the Saint Louis Zoo in the United States as a model to gain insight into viral transmission in a setting of high interspecies contact. Lemurs are a diverse and understudied group of primates that are highly endangered. The speciation of lemurs, which are endemic to the island of Madagascar, occurred in geographic isolation apart from that of continental African primates. Although evidence of endogenized viruses in lemur genomes exists, no exogenous viruses of lemurs have been described to date. Here we identified two novel picornaviruses in fecal specimens of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). We found that the viruses were transmitted in a species-specific manner (lesavirus 1 was detected only in ring-tailed lemurs, while lesavirus 2 was detected only in black-and-white ruffed lemurs). Longitudinal sampling over a 1-year interval demonstrated ongoing infection in the collection. This was supported by evidence of viral clearance in some animals and new infections in previously uninfected animals, including a set of newly born triplets that acquired the infection. While the two virus strains were found to be cocirculating in a mixed-species exhibit of ring-tailed lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and black lemurs, there was no evidence of cross-species transmission. This suggests that despite high-intensity contact, host species barriers can prevent cross-species transmissions of these viruses. IMPORTANCE Up to 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans today are the result of zoonotic transmission. However, a challenge in understanding transmission dynamics has been the limited models of cross-species transmission. Zoos provide a unique opportunity to explore parameters defining viral transmission. We demonstrated that

  20. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, GA, USA.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Jordan, Carly N; Mitchell, Sheila M; Norton, Terry M; Lindsay, David S

    2007-03-15

    In the current study, we determined the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Serum samples were tested from 52 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using an agglutination assay. Three ring-tailed lemurs (5.8%) were positive for T. gondii (titer of 1:50); one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) and one black and white ruffed lemur (25%) were positive for S. neurona (titers of 1:1000); and one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) was positive for E. cuniculi (titer of 1:400). All blue-eyed black lemurs were negative for antibodies to T. gondii, S. neurona, and E. cuniculi. This is the first detection of antibodies to T. gondii in ring-tailed lemurs and antibodies to S. neurona and E. cuniculi in any species of prosimian. PMID:17052854

  1. Evidence for social learning in wild lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Kendal, Rachel L; Custance, Deborah M; Kendal, Jeremy R; Vale, Gillian; Stoinski, Tara S; Rakotomalala, Nirina Lalaina; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2010-08-01

    Interest in social learning has been fueled by claims of culture in wild animals. These remain controversial because alternative explanations to social learning, such as asocial learning or ecological differences, remain difficult to refute. Compared with laboratory-based research, the study of social learning in natural contexts is in its infancy. Here, for the first time, we apply two new statistical methods, option-bias analysis and network-based diffusion analysis, to data from the wild, complemented by standard inferential statistics. Contrary to common thought regarding the cognitive abilities of prosimian primates, our evidence is consistent with social learning within subgroups in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), supporting the theory of directed social learning (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995). We also caution that, as the toolbox for capturing social learning in natural contexts grows, care is required in ensuring that the methods employed are appropriate-in particular, regarding social dynamics among study subjects. Supplemental materials for this article may be downloaded from http://lb.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental. PMID:20628161

  2. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms supporting memory and recall of multiple locations in a complex environment. We find that ruffed lemurs, the most frugivorous species, consistently showed more robust spatial memory than the other species across tasks-especially in comparison with sifakas, the most folivorous species. We discuss these results in terms of the importance of considering both ecological and social factors as complementary explanations for the evolution of primate cognitive skills. PMID:24469310

  3. Feeding outside the forest: the importance of crop raiding and an invasive weed in the diet of gallery forest ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) following a cyclone at the Beza Mahafaly special reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, M; Gould, L

    2009-01-01

    In January 2005, a cyclone hit southern Madagascar, including the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, disrupting the flowering/fruiting cycle of Tamarindus indica, leaving Lemur catta without its major food resource during reproductive periods. We studied two adjacent groups of L. catta during the late gestation period, and both groups ventured outside the reserve to feed. The Red group (RG) fed daily on cultivated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves in a nearby field, and both groups consumed leaves and stems of the invasive terrestrial flowering herb Mexican prickly poppy (Argemone mexicana), growing outside the reserve. The Green group (GG) spent significantly more time feeding than did RG, and more time feeding inside the forest compared to outside. The members of RG spent half of their time feeding in the crops, and nearly half of their diet consisted of easy-to-process sweet potato leaves. Additionally, RG defended and restricted GG's access to the crop territory. Of the two non-forest foods, A. mexicana leaves were higher in protein and most minerals (P, Mg, K and Na, but not Ca) and lower in fiber than sweet potato leaves, but sweet potato leaves were preferred by RG. L. catta is a markedly flexible primate with respect to diet, and switches to fallback foods from outside the forest during periods of low food availability. In the highly seasonal and unpredictable climate of southern Madagascar, such behavioral adaptations are important to the survival of this species. PMID:19776607

  4. Individual recognition through olfactory-auditory matching in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kulahci, Ipek G; Drea, Christine M; Rubenstein, Daniel I; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2014-06-01

    Individual recognition can be facilitated by creating representations of familiar individuals, whereby information from signals in multiple sensory modalities become linked. Many vertebrate species use auditory-visual matching to recognize familiar conspecifics and heterospecifics, but we currently do not know whether representations of familiar individuals incorporate information from other modalities. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are highly visual, but also communicate via scents and vocalizations. To investigate the role of olfactory signals in multisensory recognition, we tested whether lemurs can recognize familiar individuals through matching scents and vocalizations. We presented lemurs with female scents that were paired with the contact call either of the female whose scent was presented or of another familiar female from the same social group. When the scent and the vocalization came from the same individual versus from different individuals, females showed greater interest in the scents, and males showed greater interest in both the scents and the vocalizations, suggesting that lemurs can recognize familiar females via olfactory-auditory matching. Because identity signals in lemur scents and vocalizations are produced by different effectors and often encountered at different times (uncoupled in space and time), this matching suggests lemurs form multisensory representations through a newly recognized sensory integration underlying individual recognition. PMID:24741013

  5. Individual recognition through olfactory–auditory matching in lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Kulahci, Ipek G.; Drea, Christine M.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Ghazanfar, Asif A.

    2014-01-01

    Individual recognition can be facilitated by creating representations of familiar individuals, whereby information from signals in multiple sensory modalities become linked. Many vertebrate species use auditory–visual matching to recognize familiar conspecifics and heterospecifics, but we currently do not know whether representations of familiar individuals incorporate information from other modalities. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are highly visual, but also communicate via scents and vocalizations. To investigate the role of olfactory signals in multisensory recognition, we tested whether lemurs can recognize familiar individuals through matching scents and vocalizations. We presented lemurs with female scents that were paired with the contact call either of the female whose scent was presented or of another familiar female from the same social group. When the scent and the vocalization came from the same individual versus from different individuals, females showed greater interest in the scents, and males showed greater interest in both the scents and the vocalizations, suggesting that lemurs can recognize familiar females via olfactory–auditory matching. Because identity signals in lemur scents and vocalizations are produced by different effectors and often encountered at different times (uncoupled in space and time), this matching suggests lemurs form multisensory representations through a newly recognized sensory integration underlying individual recognition. PMID:24741013

  6. Preventing dental calculus formation in lemurs (Lemur catta, Eulemur fulvus collaris) and baboons (Papio cynocephalus).

    PubMed

    Willis, G P; Kapustin, N; Warrick, J M; Miller, L L; Stookey, G K; Hopkins, D T; Doan, E J; Ross, S R

    1999-09-01

    The prevention of calculus accumulation in exotic animals is a relatively unexplored topic. A 6-mo study in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and collared lemurs (Eulemur fulvus collaris) and two studies in baboons (Papio cynocephalus) (7.5 wks and 6.5 mo) tested the benefits of a primate diet coated with 0.6% sodium hexametaphosphate (HMP) in controlling calculus in these species using a sequential crossover design. The control regimen was an identical, but non-HMP-coated, dry primate chow. At study initiation, the primates were given a thorough dental prophylaxis and provided with the control diet or experimental diet. At the conclusion of the test period, the animals were anesthetized and examined for clinical calculus independently by two examiners. The animals were then given another dental prophylaxis, provided the alternate ration, and the foregoing procedures were repeated. When the animals were provided the HMP-coated diet, significant reductions in calculus formation of 48-62% were observed in the lemurs and the baboons. No clinically significant changes were observed in body weights or in blood chemistry values as a result of ingestion of the HMP-coated regimen. PMID:10572860

  7. Can zoo records help answer behavioral research questions? The case of the left-handed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hosey, Geoff; Hill, Sonya P; Lherbier, Mary L

    2012-01-01

    Most zoos keep comprehensive records, which potentially form a database for use in answering some research questions, such as in veterinary and population management research. They have not, however, been widely used to answer questions about animal behavior and welfare. Here we try to assess the usefulness to behavioral research of two sorts of zoo records (ARKS, the Animal Records Keeping System, and student dissertations held on file) to test the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs with a left limb preference experience more negative social lives. We found that, as predicted, lemurs with a left limb preference (LH) received more aggression and were involved in less grooming than nonleft-preferent lemurs (NLH), though the differences were not statistically significant. Contrary to prediction, LH lemurs had fewer reported woundings than NLH lemurs, but again the difference was not statistically significant. We found that the ARKS reports did not contain sufficient quantified and systematic behavioral data for our purposes, although otherwise they provided an excellent context for interpreting results. The student dissertations were also of limited use, primarily because of the small time frame in which they were carried out. Because of these shortcomings we were unable to distinguish whether our inability to find significant effects was due to biological (perhaps hand preference had no consequences for the lemurs) or data reasons. We suggest that closer liaison between zoo research staff, zoo record keepers and academic supervisors could help to improve the usefulness of zoo records for behavioral research. PMID:21674604

  8. Ecology and conservation of the crowned lemur, Lemur coronatus, at Ankarana, n. Madagascar. With notes on Sanford's lemur, other sympatrics and subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J M; Stewart, P D; Ramangason, G S; Denning, A M; Hutchings, M S

    1989-01-01

    Forests of Ankarana limestone massif in northern Madagascar support one of the largest and least disturbed populations of Crowned Lemurs, Lemur coronatus. This paper reports a preliminary study of the ecology of this species in the Ankarana Special Reserve conducted at the end of the dry season in 1986, with additional information collected a year later. Crowned Lemurs occur in very high densities in the semi-deciduous canopy forest and this probably represents a dry season refuge for the species. They also use more open habitats, including sparsely vegetated limestone and degraded forest. Sanford's Lemur, Lemur fulvus sanfordi, also inhabits the Ankarana forests but is most abundant in degraded habitats. Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs had similar patterns of activity, which included nocturnal travelling and feeding bouts. Crowned Lemurs proved to be unusual among Lemur species in displaying low spatial troop cohesion and a lack of obvious troop hierarchy. Stronglyoides-like enteric helminths infested about one third of Crowned Lemurs but were apparently not causing disease. Crowned Lemurs fall prey to the Fosa, Cryptoprocta ferox, and the young possibly also to the largest raptors. A total of seven living lemur species (including the very rare Propithecus diadema perrieri and Daubentonia madagascariensis) were confirmed at Ankarana by the authors, and three further species have been reported by other observers. In addition to these ten extant lemurs, four subfossil species have been discovered: three of them (Hapalemur simus, Palaeopropithecus and Mesopropithecus) by the authors. The possibility that all 14 lemurs were once sympatric is discussed. For the present, the lemurs of Ankarana are protected from hunting by local taboo. Nevertheless they are under severe threat from habitat destruction, despite Ankarana's Special Reserve status. Given the very restricted distributions of Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs, both must be considered as threatened with extinction

  9. A comparison of salivary pH in sympatric wild lemurs (Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Yamashita, Nayuta; Lawler, Richard R; Brockman, Diane K; Godfrey, Laurie R; Gould, Lisa; Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho Jacky; Lent, Cheryl; Ratsirarson, Joelisoa; Richard, Alison F; Scott, Jessica R; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Weber, Martha A; Willis, George

    2008-04-01

    Chemical deterioration of teeth is common among modern humans, and has been suggested for some extinct primates. Dental erosion caused by acidic foods may also obscure microwear signals of mechanical food properties. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, display frequent severe tooth wear and subsequent tooth loss. In contrast, sympatric Verreaux's sifaka display far less tooth wear and infrequent tooth loss, despite both species regularly consuming acidic tamarind fruit. We investigated the potential impact of dietary acidity on tooth wear, collecting data on salivary pH from both species, as well as salivary pH from ring-tailed lemurs at Tsimanampesotse National Park, Madagascar. We also collected salivary pH data from ring-tailed lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo, none of which had eaten for at least 12 hr before data collection. Mean salivary pH for the BMSR ring-tailed lemurs (8.098, n=41, SD=0.550) was significantly more alkaline than Verreaux's sifaka (7.481, n=26, SD=0.458). The mean salivary pH of BMSR (8.098) and Tsimanampesotse (8.080, n=25, SD=0.746) ring-tailed lemurs did not differ significantly. Salivary pH for the Indianapolis Zoo sample (8.125, n=16, SD=0.289) did not differ significantly from either the BMSR or Tsimanampesotse ring-tailed lemurs, but was significantly more alkaline than the BMSR Verreaux's sifaka sample. Regardless of the time between feeding and collection of pH data (from several minutes to nearly 1 hr), salivary pH for each wild lemur was above the "critical" pH of 5.5, below which enamel demineralization occurs. Thus, the high pH of lemur saliva suggests a strong buffering capacity, indicating the impact of acidic foods on dental wear is short-lived, likely having a limited effect. However, tannins in tamarind fruit may increase friction between teeth, thereby increasing attrition and wear in lemurs. These data also suggest that salivary pH varies between lemur species, corresponding to broad

  10. Captive Conditions of Pet Lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-01-01

    Live extraction of wildlife is a threat to biodiversity and can compromise animal welfare standards. Studies of the captive environments and welfare of pet primates are known, but none has focused on Madagascar. We aimed to expand knowledge about the captive conditions of pet lemurs in Madagascar. We hypothesized that captive lemurs would often be kept in restrictive settings, including small cages, would be fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets and, as a result, would be in bad physical or psychological health. Data were collected via a web-based survey (n = 253 reports) and from the websites and social media pages of 25 hotels. Most lemurs seen by respondents were either kept on a rope/leash/chain or in a cage (67%), though some lemurs were habituated and were not restrained (28%). Most of the time (72%) cages were considered small, and lemurs were rarely kept in captivity together with other lemurs (81% of lemurs were caged alone). Pet lemurs were often fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets, and most (53%) were described as being in bad health. These findings point to a need to undertake outreach to pet lemur owners in Madagascar about the captivity requirements of primates. PMID:27092548

  11. Molecular and serologic evidence of tick-borne Ehrlichiae in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Norton, Terry M; Powell, Malcolm R; Davidson, William R

    2004-12-01

    In recent years, several species of ehrlichiae have been recognized as tick-borne disease agents of veterinary and medical importance. Clinically normal free-ranging or previously free-ranging lemurs, including 46 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) from St. Catherines Island, Georgia, were tested for evidence of exposure to tick-borne ehrlichiae. All 52 adult lemurs were serologically tested for exposure to Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for E. chaffeensis, A. phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia ewingii, and Ehrlichia canis were conducted on blood samples from all 56 lemurs. Blood from all lemurs was inoculated into DH82 cell cultures for E. chaffeensis isolation. Of the adult lemurs, 20 (38.5%) and 16 (30.8%) had antibodies reactive (> or =1:128) for E. chaffeensis and A. phagocytophilum, respectively. Two ring-tailed lemurs were PCR and culture positive for E. chaffeensis. Molecular characterization of the two E. chaffeensis isolates showed that both contained 5-repeat variants of the variable-length PCR target (VLPT) antigen gene and 3-repeat variants of the 120-kDa antigen gene. Sequencing of the VLPT genes revealed a novel amino acid repeat unit (type-9). One lemur infected with E. chaffeensis was slightly hypoproteinemic and had moderately elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. These lemurs from St. Catherines Island have been exposed to or infected with tick-borne ehrlichiae, or both, but showed no clinical disease. PMID:15732591

  12. Interpreting food processing through dietary mechanical properties: a Lemur catta case study.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Knowledge of dietary mechanical properties can be informative about physical consequences to consumers during ingestion and mastication. In this article, we examine how Tamarindus indica fruits can affect dental morphology in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly special reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs in tamarind dominated gallery forests exhibit extreme wear and tooth loss on their postcanine dentition that has been related to processing T. indica fruits. We measured and compared mechanical properties of individual food parts in the diet of ring-tailed lemurs in different seasons in 1999-2000, 2008, and 2010. Fracture toughness, hardness, and modulus of foods were measured with a portable mechanical tester. The ripe fruits of T. indica are indeed the toughest and hardest foods ingested by the lemurs. In addition, they are among the largest foods consumed, require high numbers of ingestive bites to process, and are the most frequently eaten by volume. During controlled cutting tests of the ripe fruit shell, multiple runaway side cracks form alongside the cut. Similarly, the lemurs repeatedly bite the ripe shell during feeding and thereby introduce multiple cracks that eventually fragment the shell. Studies of enamel microstructure (e.g., Lucas et al.: BioEssays 30 (2008) 374-385; Campbell et al., 2011) advance the idea that the thin enamel of ring-tailed lemur teeth is susceptible to substantial micro-cracking that rapidly erodes the teeth. We conclude that micro-cracking from repeated loads, in combination with the mechanical and physical properties of the fruit, is primarily responsible for the observed dental damage. PMID:22610896

  13. Androgen levels and female social dominance in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    von Engelhardt, N; Kappeler, P M; Heistermann, M

    2000-08-01

    Morphological and behavioural traits which improve agonistic power are subject to intrasexual selection and, at the proximate level, are influenced by circulating androgens. Because intrasexual selection in mammals is more intense among males, they typically dominate females. Female social dominance is therefore unexpected and, indeed, rare. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are sexually monomorphic primates in which all adult females dominate all males. The goal of our study was to test the prediction that female dominance in this species is associated with high androgen levels. Using two captive groups, we collected data on agonistic behaviour and non-invasively assessed their androgen concentrations in faeces and saliva by enzyme immunoassay. We found that adult female L. catta do not have higher androgen levels than males. However, during the mating season there was a twofold increase in both the androgen levels and conflict rates among females. This seasonal increase in their androgen levels was probably not due to a general increase in ovarian hormone production because those females showing the strongest signs of follicular development tended to have low androgen concentrations. At the individual level neither the individual aggression rates nor the proportion of same-sexed individuals dominated were correlated with their androgen levels. We conclude that female dominance in ring-tailed lemurs is neither based on physical superiority nor on high androgen levels and that it is equally important to study male subordination and prenatal brain priming effects for a complete understanding of this phenomenon. PMID:11007329

  14. Fatal echinococcosis in three lemurs in the United Kingdom--A case series.

    PubMed

    Denk, Daniela; Boufana, Belgees; Masters, Nicholas J; Stidworthy, Mark F

    2016-03-15

    Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus reside in the small intestine of a number of carnivorous species, predominantly canids. In enzootic areas, hydatidosis caused by taeniid metacestodes can present a significant problem in accidental intermediate hosts, including humans. Whereas the United Kingdom is currently considered free of Echinococcus multilocularis, Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) and Echinococcus equinus are endemic in the UK and have been reported in a variety of captive mammals. The presentation of echinoccocosis in non-human primates widely parallels disease in humans, and public health concerns are related to the four genera, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, Echinococcus vogeli and Echinococcus oligarthrus. In contrast, sporadic outbreaks and individual hydatid disease cases in non-human primates have been associated with several Echinococcus and Taenia species. Here we describe three fatal cases of cystic echinococcosis in two captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and one captive red-ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata rubra) and provide molecular tapeworm characterisation. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this includes the first report of Echinococcus ortleppi in a UK born ring-tailed lemur and provides the first in depth case reports of echinococcosis due to E. equinus in UK born ring-tailed and red ruffed lemurs with detailed clinical and pathological findings. The cestode life cycle and implications for zoo collections are discussed. PMID:26872922

  15. Scent marking as resource defense by female Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S

    2006-06-01

    Because ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are a female-dominant, female-philopatric species in which the females provide the majority of parental care and troop defense, resource defense is a possible function of female lemur scent marking. To test this hypothesis, I conducted three studies. First, I presented captive, individually housed females with a series of samples of female scent, each from a different female, to determine whether they would respond to those samples and discriminate between them. Second, I reanalyzed data from a focal animal study of four females in two adjacent troops in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, to determine female marking rates before, during, and after the mating season, and to clarify the relationship among positions of feeding, intertroop defense, and scent marking. The third study was based on ad libitum observations of the sniffing and marking behavior of a troop in Berenty Reserve during a year when they traveled far out of their home range. The females in study 1 investigated female scent samples but provided no evidence that they discriminated between them. In study 2 the wild females marked throughout the study and did not limit their marking to the mating season. They deposited significantly more of their marks in a zone of confrontation with adjacent troops, where they also did the majority of their feeding, and they increased their rate of marking during agonistic intertroop confrontations. The females determined the positions of their scent marks and deposited the first mark in the majority of countermarking sequences. When the females traveled out of their defended range in study 3, they significantly decreased their rate of marking and increased their rate of sniffing spots but not marking them. All evidence gathered so far supports the hypothesis that one function of female ring-tailed lemur scent marking is to provide intergroup information that is then used to reinforce the border of the defended resource. PMID

  16. Nutrition and behavior of lemurs.

    PubMed

    Junge, Randall E; Williams, Cathy V; Campbell, Jennifer

    2009-05-01

    Attention to nutritional and behavioral factors is important for appropriate care of lemurs in captivity. Although only a few species are commonly held in captivity, differences between them are important. Knowledge of feeding ecology and natural diet guide nutrition guidelines, as well as management and prevention of common nutrition-related disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and iron-storage disease. Behavioral characteristics that influence captive management are related to social organization, reproductive behavior, territoriality, and infant care. Housing animals in appropriate social groupings in adequately complex environments reduces abnormal behaviors, and addition of enrichment activities and operant conditioning encourages normal behaviors. PMID:19341960

  17. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Brenda J; Pedersen, Anja; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-06-01

    Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding to and flanking the human eye-color-associated region in these lemurs, as well as other primates (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, macaque, ring-tailed lemur, mouse lemur). Aligned sequences indicated that this region is strongly conserved in both Eulemur macaco subspecies as well as the other primates (except blue-eyed humans). Therefore, it is unlikely that this regulatory segment plays a major role in eye color differences among lemurs as it does in humans. Although convergent phenotypes can sometimes come about via the same or similar genetic changes occurring independently, this does not seem to be the case here, as we have shown that the genetic basis of blue eyes in lemurs differs from that of humans. PMID:19278018

  18. Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs have been studied intensively in the Parcel 1 gallery forest of Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Here, we report on lemur groups in a mixture of deciduous dry forest and spiny forest just 5 km to the west. Compared to Parcel 1, Parcel 2 (P2) has a lower density of Tamarindus indica, a major dietary plant species for gallery forest lemurs. Recent studies in drier habitats have called into question the association of lemur density and tamarind presence. In order to address this question, we measured forest structure and composition of plant plots between parcels and conducted lemur feeding observations. The trees and shrubs within the parcels did not differ in height or diameter at breast height, but the frequencies of plant species that were common between parcels were significantly different. Numbers of feeding observations on foods common to both parcels did not differ, but their relative rankings within parcels did. Frequencies of food plants corresponded to earlier reports of lemur population densities. However, we found that the ring-tailed lemur diet is a mixture of plants that are eaten in abundance regardless of frequency and those that are locally available. In terms of their reliance on Tamarindus, P2 animals appear intermediate between those in gallery forests and nontamarind sites. PMID:26022299

  19. Behavioral thermoregulation in Lemur catta: The significance of sunning and huddling behaviors.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Elizabeth A; Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George; Sussman, Robert W; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-07-01

    Regulation of body temperature poses significant problems for organisms that inhabit environments with extreme and seasonally fluctuating ambient temperatures. To help alleviate the energetic costs of autonomic responses, these organisms often thermoregulate through behavioral mechanisms. Among primates, lemurs in Madagascar experience uncharacteristically seasonal and unpredictable climates relative to other primate-rich regions. Malagasy primates are physiologically flexible, but different species use different mechanisms to influence their body temperatures. Lemur catta, the ring-tailed lemur, experiences particularly acute diurnal temperature fluctuations in its mostly open-canopy habitat in south and southwest Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs are also atypical among lemurs in that they appear to use both sun basking postures and huddling to maintain body temperature when ambient temperatures are cold. To our knowledge, however, no one has systematically tested whether these behaviors function in thermoregulation. We present evidence that ring-tailed lemurs use these postures as behavioral thermoregulation strategies, and that different environmental variables are associated with the use of each posture. Major predictors of sunning included ambient temperature, time of day, and season. Specifically, L. catta consistently assumed sunning postures early after daybreak when ambient temperatures were <13°C, and ceased sunning around 10:00a.m., after ambient temperatures approached 26°C. Sunning occurred more often during austral winter months. Huddling was associated with time of day, but not with ambient temperature or season. We conclude that L. catta tend to sun, rather than huddle, under cold weather conditions when sunning is possible. However, both sunning and huddling are important behavioral adaptations of L. catta that augment chemical thermoregulation and the absence of a dynamic, insulating pelage. Sunning and huddling help to account for the great

  20. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Russell T; Godfrey, Laurie R; Schwartz, Gary T; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes. PMID:26267241

  1. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hogg, Russell T.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Schwartz, Gary T.; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G.

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes. PMID:26267241

  2. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Hayes, R. Andrew; Nahrung, Helen F.; Goodwin, Thomas E.; Harelimana, Innocent H.; MacDonald, Laura J.; Wright, Patricia C.

    2013-08-01

    Lemurs are the most olfactory-oriented of primates, yet there is still only a basic level of understanding of what their scent marks communicate. We analyzed scent secretions from Milne-Edwards' sifakas ( Propithecus edwardsi) collected in their natural habitat of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We sought to test whether the scent mark could signal genetic relatedness in addition to species, sex, season, and individuality. We not only found correlations ( r 2 = 0.38, P = 0.017) between the total olfactory fingerprint and genetic relatedness but also between relatedness and specific components of the odor, despite the complex environmental signals from differences in diet and behavior in a natural setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an association between genetic relatedness and chemical communication in a wild primate population. Furthermore, we found a variety of compounds that were specific to each sex and each sampling period. This research shows that scent marks could act as a remote signal to avoid inbreeding, optimize mating opportunities, and potentially aid kin selection.

  3. Scratching around mating: factors affecting anxiety in wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Sclafani, Valentina; Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-07-01

    Scratching has been successfully used to detect anxiety, a proxy for stress, in primates, from strepsirrhines to Homo sapiens. Here, we investigated the fluctuation of scratching in Lemur catta during the mating season. In particular we evaluated whether scratching (1) varied according to sex and rank differences, (2) increased in the period of maximum stress (around the mating days), and (3) was reduced by grooming. At Berenty (South Madagascar), we followed two lemur groups (23 adult/subadult individuals) and gathered data on self-scratching, aggression, and grooming. Based on perineal area features, we recognized two periods: low swelling (LS), with no estrus female, and high swelling (HS), when at least one female was in estrus. We predicted that aggressive behaviors and anxiety-related scratching would covary. Indeed, scratching peaked in HS, when aggression was also highest. In agreement with previous literature, this result suggests that conflicts around estrus days may raise anxiety levels in the social group. We expected scratching levels to be highest in males because they aggressively compete for females and are subject to mate choice and repeated attacks by dominant females. Instead, the scratching rates were similar in males and females, probably because the high competition, which involves both sexes, dampened intersexual differences. In contrast to our prediction, scratching was not rank dependent, probably because animal ranking positions changed from LS to HS. Finally, we showed that, in ring-tailed lemurs, as well as in other primates, scratching decreases after reciprocal grooming in both periods. This finding provides the first evidence that grooming could assist in reducing anxiety in strepsirrhines. PMID:22278710

  4. A molecular approach to comparative phylogeography of extant Malagasy lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Thalmann, Urs; Martin, Robert D.

    2003-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar provide an excellent model for exploring evolutionary diversification. This study investigates genetic divergence among most extant lemur taxa in relation to potential geographical boundaries to gene flow. For this purpose, ≈2,400 bp of mitochondrial DNA (part of the COIII gene; ND3, ND4L, and ND4 genes; and five tRNAs) were sequenced in a total of 131 lemurs from 5 families, 12 genera, 25 species, and 18 subspecies to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among them. The comprehensive range of taxa makes this a particularly suitable molecular data set to examine lemur evolution. Those data clearly reveal that the Betsiboka River acts as an isolating barrier between populations of lemurs in north-western Madagascar. The Tsiribihina River similarly serves as a barrier to gene flow between northern and southern populations of lemurs in central western Madagascar, whereas the Mahavavy River does not seem to lead to genetic isolation of lemur populations. Several discrepancies among molecular data, current taxonomy, and geographic distribution along the western coast emerged. Examination of geographical distribution of the taxa concerned in comparison with distribution boundaries of other lemur taxa in that region yielded explanations for these inconsistencies. Eulemur fulvus and Eulemur mongoz are the only lemur taxa that also occur outside Madagascar, on the Comoro Islands. Genetic data show no significant differentiation between Malagasy and Comorian populations of these species, supporting the interpretation that both were introduced only recently to the Comoro Islands. PMID:12719521

  5. Analysis of chromosome conservation in Lemur catta studied by chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes.

    PubMed

    Cardone, Maria Francesca; Ventura, Mario; Tempesta, Sergio; Rocchi, Mariano; Archidiacono, Nicoletta

    2002-12-01

    A panel of human chromosome painting probes and bacterial and P1 artificial chromosome (BAC/PAC) clones were used in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments to investigate the chromosome conservation of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta, LCA) with respect to human. Whole chromosome paints specific for human chromosomes 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, and X were found to identify a single chromosome or an uninterrupted chromosomal region in LCA. A large set of partial chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes were then used to refine the characterization of the rearrangements differentiating the two karyotypes. The results were also used to reconstruct the ancestral Lemuridae karyotype. Lemur catta, indeed, can be used as an outgroup, allowing symplesiomorphic (ancestral) rearrangements to be distinguished from apomorphic (derived) rearrangements in lemurs. Some LCA chromosomes are difficult to distinguish morphologically. The 'anchorage' of most LCA chromosomes to specific probes will contribute to the standardization of the karyotype of this species. PMID:12474064

  6. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas. PMID:27532127

  7. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ballhorn, Daniel J; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas. PMID:27532127

  8. Olfactory demarcation of territorial but not home range boundaries by Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, A S

    1988-01-01

    Over 350 h of observations were collected using focal animal sampling of scent-marking behavior by 2 troops of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the field in Madagascar. Although they did not mark any branch species preferentially, they did have preferred marking sites. Significantly more scent marks were deposited in the area of home range overlap between troops than in the area of exclusive use. However, few marks were deposited at the periphery of the area of overlap. Instead, the majority of the marks were in a narrow band within the area of overlap that coincided with the positions of intertroop confrontations. Female genital marks and male arm marks, as well as the accompanying male shoulder rubs thus appear to demarcate territorial borders. PMID:3240911

  9. Sight or Scent: Lemur Sensory Reliance in Detecting Food Quality Varies with Feeding Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D.; Drea, Christine M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology. PMID:22870229

  10. Sight or scent: lemur sensory reliance in detecting food quality varies with feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D; Drea, Christine M

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology. PMID:22870229

  11. Pathogenic Enterobacteria in Lemurs Associated With Anthropogenic Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    BUBLITZ, DEANNA C.; WRIGHT, PATRICIA C.; RASAMBAINARIVO, FIDISOA T.; ARRIGO-NELSON, SUMMER J.; BODAGER, JONATHAN R.; GILLESPIE, THOMAS R.

    2015-01-01

    As human population density continues to increase exponentially, speeding the reduction and fragmentation of primate habitat, greater human-primate contact is inevitable, making higher rates of pathogen transmission likely. Anthropogenic effects are particularly evident in Madagascar, where a diversity of endemic lemur species are threatened by rapid habitat loss. Despite these risks, knowledge of how anthropogenic activities affect lemur exposure to pathogens is limited. To improve our understanding of this interplay, we non-invasively examined six species of wild lemurs in Ranomafana National Park for enteric bacterial pathogens commonly associated with diarrheal disease in human populations in Madagascar. Patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica and pseudotuberculosis) were compared between lemurs inhabiting intact forest and lemurs inhabiting degraded habitat with frequent exposure to tourism and other human activity. Fecal samples acquired from humans, livestock, and rodents living near the degraded habitat were also screened for these bacteria. Remarkably, only lemurs living in disturbed areas of the park tested positive for these pathogens. Moreover, all of these pathogens were present in the human, livestock, and/or rodent populations. These data suggest that lemurs residing in forests altered or frequented by people, livestock, or peridomestic rodents, are at risk for infection by these diarrhea-causing enterobacteria and other similarly transmitted pathogens. PMID:25328106

  12. Pathogenic enterobacteria in lemurs associated with anthropogenic disturbance.

    PubMed

    Bublitz, DeAnna C; Wright, Patricia C; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Arrigo-Nelson, Summer J; Bodager, Jonathan R; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2015-03-01

    As human population density continues to increase exponentially, speeding the reduction and fragmentation of primate habitat, greater human-primate contact is inevitable, making higher rates of pathogen transmission likely. Anthropogenic effects are particularly evident in Madagascar, where a diversity of endemic lemur species are threatened by rapid habitat loss. Despite these risks, knowledge of how anthropogenic activities affect lemur exposure to pathogens is limited. To improve our understanding of this interplay, we non-invasively examined six species of wild lemurs in Ranomafana National Park for enteric bacterial pathogens commonly associated with diarrheal disease in human populations in Madagascar. Patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica and pseudotuberculosis) were compared between lemurs inhabiting intact forest and lemurs inhabiting degraded habitat with frequent exposure to tourism and other human activity. Fecal samples acquired from humans, livestock, and rodents living near the degraded habitat were also screened for these bacteria. Remarkably, only lemurs living in disturbed areas of the park tested positive for these pathogens. Moreover, all of these pathogens were present in the human, livestock, and/or rodent populations. These data suggest that lemurs residing in forests altered or frequented by people, livestock, or peridomestic rodents, are at risk for infection by these diarrhea-causing enterobacteria and other similarly transmitted pathogens. PMID:25328106

  13. The vomeronasal organ of Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Timothy D; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Durham, Emily L; Bonar, Christopher J; Burrows, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also known as the Jacobson's organ, is a bilateral chemosensory organ found at the base of the nasal cavity specialized for the detection of higher-molecular weight (non-volatile) chemostimuli. It has been linked to pheromone detection. The VNO has been well studied in nocturnal lemurs and lorises, but poorly studied in diurnal/cathemeral species despite the large repertoire of olfactory behaviors noted in species such as Lemur catta. Here, the VNO and associated structures were studied microanatomically in one adult female and one adult male L. catta. Traditional and immunohistochemical procedures demonstrate the VNO epithelium consists of multiple rows of sensory neurons. Immunoreactivity to Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) indicates the VNO is postnatally neurogenic. In volume, the VNO neuroepithelium scales similarly to palatal length compared to nocturnal strepsirrhines. Numerous taste buds present at the oral opening to the nasopalatine duct, with which the VNO communicates, provide an additional (or alternative) explanation for the flehmen behavior that has been observed in this species. The VNO of L. catta is shown to be microanatomically comparable to that of nocturnal strepsirrhines. Like nocturnal strepsirrhines, the VNO of L. catta may be functional in the reception of high-molecular weight secretions. PMID:25220179

  14. Systemic effects of Leucaena leucocephala ingestion on ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Graham; Puschner, Birgit; Affolter, Verena; Stalis, Ilse; Davidson, Autumn; Baker, Tomas; Tahara, John; Jolly, Alison; Ostapak, Susan

    2015-06-01

    Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a leguminous tree that is nutritious forage for domestic livestock when ingested in limited amounts. Unfortunately, leucaena contains mimosine, a plant amino acid, that can be toxic when ingested at higher concentrations. Reported toxic effects include alopecia (fur loss), poor body condition, infertility, low birth weight, thyroid gland dysfunction, and organ toxicity. Originally native to Mexico and Central America, leucaena has been introduced throughout the tropics, including Berenty Reserve, Madagascar where it was planted as supplemental browse for livestock. In Berenty, a seasonal syndrome of alopecia in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) is associated with eating leucaena. Although much is known about the toxic effects of leucaena and mimosine on domestic animals and humans, the systemic effects on wildlife had not been studied. In a comparison of lemurs that include leucaena in their diet and those that do not, we found that animals that ingest leucaena absorb mimosine but that ingestion does not affect body condition, cause kidney or liver toxicity, or affect the intestinal tract. Alopecia is due to mimosine's interference of the hair follicle cycle. Leucaena ingestion is associated with higher serum albumin, α-tocopherol, and thyroxine concentrations, suggesting that leucaena may provide some nutritional benefit and that lemurs can detoxify and convert mimosine to a thyroid stimulating metabolite. The primary conservation consequence of leucaena ingestion at Berenty may be increased infant mortality due to the infants' inability cling to their alopecic mothers. The widespread introduction of leucaena throughout the tropics and its rapid spread in secondary forest conditions mean that many other leaf-eating mammals may be including this tree in their diet. Thus, exposure to leucaena should be considered when wildlife health is being evaluated, and the potential effects on wildlife health should be considered when

  15. Human eccrine hamartoma of the forearm-antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta). A possible phylogenetic relationship?

    PubMed

    Kopera, D; Soyer, H P; Kerl, H

    1994-06-01

    A 31-year-old woman presented with a clinically otherwise unsuspicious area of profuse sweating on her right forearm. Without triggering agents, sweating attacks producing a clear, serous fluid were observed daily. Histopathologic examination of a biopsy specimen showed hyperplastic eccrine glands with pale, stippled cytoplasm characteristic of eccrine hamartoma. No explanation, however, has been given for the fact that several authors observed eccrine hamartomas in the same anatomical location. Adolescent lemurs of the species catta (ringtailed lemur) are equipped with a pair of antebrachial cutaneous glands located on the volar surface of the wrist. They exude a clear secretion enabling them to "brachial branch mark" their territories. Histopathologic findings in the ringtailed lemur's antebrachial organ show characteristics of both apocrine and eccrine glands. In contrast to normal apocrine glands, however, the antebrachial organs of ringtailed lemurs reach the epidermis directly and are not connected to hair follicles. According to the "biogenetic law" of Ernst Haeckel, stating that ontogeny has to be seen as a short and incomplete repetition of phylogeny, a human fetus passes all evolutional stages from a single cell via amphibians and mammals to a human being. Thus, the antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur may be the "phylogenetic explanation" for eccrine hamartomas of the forearm in humans. The histopathologic findings of the antebrachial organ and of eccrine hamartomas are in accordance with this hypothesis. PMID:7943634

  16. Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2016-04-01

    Selection of sleeping sites has consequences for individual fitness. Non-human primates often bias their selection towards arboreal sites, and the lemurs of Madagascar typically rest/sleep in trees, tree holes, and/or constructed nests. Three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses to explain sleeping site selection include protection from predators, avoidance of parasitic vectors, and improved thermoregulation. Here, we examine these hypotheses for the unusual sleeping site selections by the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). Within the Mandena littoral forest of southeast Madagascar, the southern bamboo lemur is known for its ecological flexibility compared to other bamboo lemur species, including a dietary niche expansion to feeding on the ground. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we observed bamboo lemurs from three social groups for 1778.67 h, conducting full-day focal follows on 11 adult individuals (five males, six females). During this period, all three groups were observed to sleep on the ground, with one of these groups also using an abandoned nest of a Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). We collected habitat and temperature data to examine whether selection was influenced by environmental variables. Terrestrial sleeping (N = 17) was observed in all individuals but one adult female, with individuals burrowing under thick vegetation more often during the hot austral summer. While difficult to rigorously test, it is possible that terrestrial sleep sites and/or sleeping in a bird nest may impair visual detection by some aerial and terrestrial predators. Neither of these sites (i.e., terrestrial sleeping or use of a bird nest), however, is likely to minimize exposure to parasites/vectors. Terrestrial sleeping appears to support a thermoregulatory strategy, whereas the use of a bird nest could not be empirically tested. Our observations of unique sleeping site locations used by southern bamboo lemurs further the complexity of their

  17. Interspecific semantic alarm call recognition in the solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This "eavesdropping" was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species' and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  18. Olfactory signals and the MHC: a review and a case study in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Leslie A; Robson, Julie; Waterhouse, John S

    2006-06-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most polymorphic genetic system known in vertebrates. Decades of research demonstrate that it plays a critical role in immune response and disease resistance. It has also been suggested that MHC genes influence social behavior and reproductive phenomena. Studies in laboratory mice and rats report that kin recognition and mate choice are influenced by olfactory cues determined at least in part by an individual's MHC genes. This issue has stimulated intense but controversial research. However, work in this field has only been carried out in rodents and humans. Thus far, no study has directly investigated the relationship between olfactory cues and MHC genotype in nonhuman primates. Furthermore, other genetic loci, including those linked to the MHC, have not been ruled out as the primary influence on odor profiles. To explore the relationship between individual odor profiles and MHC alleles, we are studying ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). These animals are an ideal model species because they are extremely scent-oriented and their behaviors suggest that olfactory signals form an important part of their intra- and intergroup communication systems. Individual odor profiles from tail and scent gland samples were generated for six males using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). MHC genotypes were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The GC-MS analyses demonstrated a difference between profiles obtained from tail and scent gland samples. Although our sample size is relatively small and statistical significance could not be obtained, our analyses suggest a relationship between MHC and concentrations of volatile compounds. While these results are preliminary, they support the need for further studies of the MHC and olfactory signals in lemurs and other primates. PMID:16715507

  19. Female rule in lemurs is ancestral and hormonally mediated.

    PubMed

    Petty, Joseph M A; Drea, Christine M

    2015-01-01

    Female social dominance (FSD) over males is unusual in mammals, yet characterizes most Malagasy lemurs, which represent almost 30% of all primates. Despite its prevalence in this suborder, both the evolutionary trajectory and proximate mechanism of FSD remain unclear. Potentially associated with FSD is a suite of behavioural, physiological and morphological traits in females that implicates (as a putative mechanism) 'masculinization' via androgen exposure; however, relative to conspecific males, female lemurs curiously show little evidence of raised androgen concentrations. By observing mixed-sex pairs of related Eulemur species, we identified two key study groups--one comprised of species expressing FSD and increased female scent marking, the other comprised of species (from a recently evolved clade) showing equal status between the sexes and the more traditional pattern of sexually dimorphic behaviour. Comparing females from these two groups, we show that FSD is associated with more masculine androgen profiles. Based on the widespread prevalence of male-like features in female lemurs and a current phylogeny, we suggest that relaxation of hormonally mediated FSD emerged only recently and that female masculinization may be the ancestral lemur condition, an idea that could revolutionize our understanding of the ancient socioecology and evolution of primate social systems. PMID:25950904

  20. Female rule in lemurs is ancestral and hormonally mediated

    PubMed Central

    Petty, Joseph M. A.; Drea, Christine M.

    2015-01-01

    Female social dominance (FSD) over males is unusual in mammals, yet characterizes most Malagasy lemurs, which represent almost 30% of all primates. Despite its prevalence in this suborder, both the evolutionary trajectory and proximate mechanism of FSD remain unclear. Potentially associated with FSD is a suite of behavioural, physiological and morphological traits in females that implicates (as a putative mechanism) ‘masculinization’ via androgen exposure; however, relative to conspecific males, female lemurs curiously show little evidence of raised androgen concentrations. By observing mixed‐sex pairs of related Eulemur species, we identified two key study groups ‐‐ one comprised of species expressing FSD and increased female scent marking, the other comprised of species (from a recently evolved clade) showing equal status between the sexes and the more traditional pattern of sexually dimorphic behaviour. Comparing females from these two groups, we show that FSD is associated with more masculine androgen profiles. Based on the widespread prevalence of male‐like features in female lemurs and a current phylogeny, we suggest that relaxation of hormonally mediated FSD emerged only recently and that female masculinization may be the ancestral lemur condition, an idea that could revolutionize our understanding of the ancient socioecology and evolution of primate social systems. PMID:25950904

  1. Smelling wrong: hormonal contraception in lemurs alters critical female odour cues.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Boulet, Marylène; Drea, Christine M

    2011-01-01

    Animals, including humans, use olfaction to assess potential social and sexual partners. Although hormones modulate olfactory cues, we know little about whether contraception affects semiochemical signals and, ultimately, mate choice. We examined the effects of a common contraceptive, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), on the olfactory cues of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), and the behavioural response these cues generated in male conspecifics. The genital odorants of contracepted females were dramatically altered, falling well outside the range of normal female variation: MPA decreased the richness and modified the relative abundances of volatile chemicals expressed in labial secretions. Comparisons between treatment groups revealed several indicator compounds that could reliably signal female reproductive status to conspecifics. MPA also changed a female's individual chemical 'signature', while minimizing her chemical distinctiveness relative to other contracepted females. Most remarkably, MPA degraded the chemical patterns that encode honest information about genetic constitution, including individual diversity (heterozygosity) and pairwise relatedness to conspecifics. Lastly, males preferentially investigated the odorants of intact over contracepted females, clearly distinguishing those with immediate reproductive potential. By altering the olfactory cues that signal fertility, individuality, genetic quality and relatedness, contraceptives may disrupt intraspecific interactions in primates, including those relevant to kin recognition and mate choice. PMID:20667870

  2. Diurnality and cone photopigment polymorphism in strepsirrhines: examination of linkage in Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Deegan, Jess F

    2003-09-01

    Trichromatic color vision is routine among catarrhine primates, but occurs only as a variant form of color vision in some individuals in most platyrrhine genera. This arises from a fundamental difference in the organization of X-chromosome cone opsin genes in these two lineages: catarrhines have two opsin genes specifying middle- and long-wavelength-sensitive cone pigments, while platyrrhines have only a single gene. Some female platyrrhine monkeys achieve trichromacy because of a species polymorphism that allows the possibility of different opsin gene alleles on the two X-chromosomes. Recently, a similar opsin gene polymorphism was detected in some diurnal strepsirrhines, while at the same time appearing to be absent in any nocturnal genera. The aim of this study was to assess whether cone pigment polymorphism is inevitably linked to diurnality in strepsirrhines. Cone photopigments were measured in a species usually classified as diurnal, the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), using electroretinogram flicker photometry, a noninvasive electrophysiological procedure. Each of 12 animals studied was found to have the same middle-wavelength cone pigment, with peak sensitivity at about 547 nm. In conjunction with earlier results, this implies that cone pigment polymorphism is unlikely to exist in this species and that, accordingly, such variation is not a consistently predictable feature of vision in diurnal strepsirrhines. PMID:12923905

  3. LEMUR: Large European Module for Solar Ultraviolet Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Vincenzo, Andretta; Auchere, Frederic; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martinez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schuhle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Angstrom and 1270 Angstrom. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution

  4. An Alu-Based Phylogeny of Lemurs (Infraorder: Lemuriformes)

    PubMed Central

    McLain, Adam T.; Meyer, Thomas J.; Faulk, Christopher; Herke, Scott W.; Oldenburg, J. Michael; Bourgeois, Matthew G.; Abshire, Camille F.

    2012-01-01

    Lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55–60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs), to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the exclusion of

  5. An alu-based phylogeny of lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes).

    PubMed

    McLain, Adam T; Meyer, Thomas J; Faulk, Christopher; Herke, Scott W; Oldenburg, J Michael; Bourgeois, Matthew G; Abshire, Camille F; Roos, Christian; Batzer, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    LEMURS (INFRAORDER: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55-60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs), to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the exclusion of

  6. Interspecific Semantic Alarm Call Recognition in the Solitary Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W.

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This “eavesdropping” was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species’ and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  7. (Un-)expected nocturnal activity in "Diurnal" Lemur catta supports cathemerality as one of the key adaptations of the lemurid radiation.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Santini, Luca; Razafindramanana, Josia; Boitani, Luigi; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana

    2013-01-01

    The ability to operate during the day and at night (i.e., cathemerality) is common among mammals but has rarely been identified in primates. Adaptive hypotheses assume that cathemerality represents a stable adaptation in primates, while nonadaptive hypotheses propose that it is the result of an evolutionary disequilibrium arising from human impacts on natural habitats. Madagascar offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of activity patterns as there we find a monophyletic primate radiation that shows nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral patterns. However, when and why cathemeral activity evolved in lemurs is the subject of intense debate. Thus far, this activity pattern has been regularly observed in only three lemurid genera but the actual number of lemur species exhibiting this activity is as yet unknown. Here we show that the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, a species previously considered to be diurnal, can in fact be cathemeral in the wild. In neighboring but distinct forest areas these lemurs exhibited either mainly diurnal or cathemeral activity. We found that, as in other cathemeral lemurs, activity was entrained by photoperiod and masked by nocturnal luminosity. Our results confirm the relationship between transitional eye anatomy and physiology and 24-h activity, thus supporting the adaptive scenario. Also, on the basis of the most recent strepsirrhine phylogenetic reconstruction, using parsimony criterion, our findings suggest pushing back the emergence of cathemerality to stem lemurids. Flexible activity over 24-h could thus have been one of the key adaptations of the early lemurid radiation possibly driven by Madagascar's island ecology. PMID:23180596

  8. Delimiting Species without Nuclear Monophyly in Madagascar's Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Weisrock, David W.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Fiorentino, Isabella; Ralison, José M.; Goodman, Steven M.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Speciation begins when populations become genetically separated through a substantial reduction in gene flow, and it is at this point that a genetically cohesive set of populations attain the sole property of species: the independent evolution of a population-level lineage. The comprehensive delimitation of species within biodiversity hotspots, regardless of their level of divergence, is important for understanding the factors that drive the diversification of biota and for identifying them as targets for conservation. However, delimiting recently diverged species is challenging due to insufficient time for the differential evolution of characters—including morphological differences, reproductive isolation, and gene tree monophyly—that are typically used as evidence for separately evolving lineages. Methodology In this study, we assembled multiple lines of evidence from the analysis of mtDNA and nDNA sequence data for the delimitation of a high diversity of cryptically diverged population-level mouse lemur lineages across the island of Madagascar. Our study uses a multi-faceted approach that applies phylogenetic, population genetic, and genealogical analysis for recognizing lineage diversity and presents the most thoroughly sampled species delimitation of mouse lemur ever performed. Conclusions The resolution of a large number of geographically defined clades in the mtDNA gene tree provides strong initial evidence for recognizing a high diversity of population-level lineages in mouse lemurs. We find additional support for lineage recognition in the striking concordance between mtDNA clades and patterns of nuclear population structure. Lineages identified using these two sources of evidence also exhibit patterns of population divergence according to genealogical exclusivity estimates. Mouse lemur lineage diversity is reflected in both a geographically fine-scaled pattern of population divergence within established and geographically widespread taxa

  9. Optional strategies for reduced metabolism in gray mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, J.; Ganzhorn, J. U.

    2009-06-01

    Among the order of primates, torpor has been described only for the small Malagasy cheirogaleids Microcebus and Cheirogaleus. The nocturnal, gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (approx. 60 g), is capable of entering into and spontaneously arousing from apparently daily torpor during the dry season in response to reduced temperatures and low food and water sources. Mark-recapture studies indicated that this primate species might also hibernate for several weeks, although physiological evidence is lacking. In the present study, we investigated patterns of body temperature in two free-ranging M. murinus during the austral winter using temperature-sensitive data loggers implanted subdermally. One lemur hibernated and remained inactive for 4 weeks. During this time, body temperature followed the ambient temperature passively with a minimum body temperature of 11.5°C, interrupted by irregular arousals to normothermic levels. Under the same conditions, the second individual displayed only short bouts of torpor in the early morning hours but maintained stable normothermic body temperatures throughout its nocturnal activity. Reduction of body temperature was less pronounced in the mouse lemur that utilized short bouts of torpor with a minimum value of 27°C. Despite the small sample size, our findings provide the first physiological confirmation that free-ranging individuals of M. murinus from the humid evergreen littoral rain forest have the option to utilize short torpor bouts or hibernation under the same conditions as two alternative energy-conserving physiological solutions to environmental constraints.

  10. Blood transcriptomes reveal novel parasitic zoonoses circulating in Madagascar's lemurs.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter A; Hayes, Corinne E; Williams, Cathy V; Junge, Randall E; Razafindramanana, Josia; Mass, Vanessa; Rakotondrainibe, Hajanirina; Yoder, Anne D

    2016-01-01

    Zoonotic diseases are a looming threat to global populations, and nearly 75% of emerging infectious diseases can spread among wildlife, domestic animals and humans. A 'One World, One Health' perspective offers us an ideal framework for understanding and potentially mitigating the spread of zoonoses, and the island of Madagascar serves as a natural laboratory for conducting these studies. Rapid habitat degradation and climate change on the island are contributing to more frequent contact among humans, livestock and wildlife, increasing the potential for pathogen spillover events. Given Madagascar's long geographical isolation, coupled with recent and repeated introduction of agricultural and invasive species, it is likely that a number of circulating pathogens remain uncharacterized in lemur populations. Thus, it is imperative that new approaches be implemented for de novo pathogen discovery. To this end, we used non-targeted deep sequencing of blood transcriptomes from two species of critically endangered wild lemurs (Indri indri and Propithecus diadema) to characterize blood-borne pathogens. Our results show several undescribed vector-borne parasites circulating within lemurs, some of which may cause disease in wildlife, livestock and humans. We anticipate that advanced methods for de novo identification of unknown pathogens will have broad utility for characterizing other complex disease transmission systems. PMID:26814226

  11. Evidence of early butchery of giant lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perez, Ventura R; Godfrey, Laurie R; Nowak-Kemp, Malgosia; Burney, David A; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Vasey, Natalia

    2005-12-01

    We report here definitive evidence of butchery, most probably associated with hunting, of giant extinct lemurs by early human settlers in Madagascar. Specimens of Palaeopropithecus ingens and Pachylemur insignis from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Taolambiby and Tsirave, show classic signs of butchering. We compared these to the bones (also from Taolambiby) of butchered Propithecus verreauxi, a lemur still living in the region. The characteristics of the tool-induced extinct-lemur bone alterations (sharp cuts and chop marks near joints, oblique cuts along the shafts, spiral fractures, and percussion striae) suggest skinning, disarticulation, and filleting. Conclusive evidence of megafaunal modification by humans in Madagascar was limited previously to a few hippo and elephant bird bones and one extinct aye-aye tooth. New evidence comes not from archaeological sites, but from specimens collected in the early 1900s, without stratigraphic records, at "subfossil" sites (i.e., sites renowned for their late Pleistocene or Holocene fossils, often lacking human artifacts). Whereas these are hardly the most ideal samples for analysis of this kind, careful scrutiny of the characteristics of the cut marks has allowed us to document butchery beyond any reasonable doubt. One bone with definitive cut marks has been dated to the very earliest part of the human period in Madagascar. Continued, careful research on the bones in subfossil collections is warranted. PMID:16225904

  12. DNA from extinct giant lemurs links archaeolemurids to extant indriids

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Although today 15% of living primates are endemic to Madagascar, their diversity was even greater in the recent past since dozens of extinct species have been recovered from Holocene excavation sites. Among them were the so-called "giant lemurs" some of which weighed up to 160 kg. Although extensively studied, the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant lemurs are still difficult to decipher, mainly due to morphological specializations that reflect ecology more than phylogeny, resulting in rampant homoplasy. Results Ancient DNA recovered from subfossils recently supported a sister relationship between giant "sloth" lemurs and extant indriids and helped to revise the phylogenetic position of Megaladapis edwardsi among lemuriformes, but several taxa – such as the Archaeolemuridae – still await analysis. We therefore used ancient DNA technology to address the phylogenetic status of the two archaeolemurid genera (Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus). Despite poor DNA preservation conditions in subtropical environments, we managed to recover 94- to 539-bp sequences for two mitochondrial genes among 5 subfossil samples. Conclusion This new sequence information provides evidence for the proximity of Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus to extant indriids, in agreement with earlier assessments of their taxonomic status (Primates, Indrioidea) and in contrast to recent suggestions of a closer relationship to the Lemuridae made on the basis of analyses of dental developmental and postcranial characters. These data provide new insights into the evolution of the locomotor apparatus among lemurids and indriids. PMID:18442367

  13. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area. PMID:27010275

  14. Discovery of an island population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus) on Nosy Hara, far northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Jasper, Louise D

    2015-10-01

    The species-level diversity of Madagascar's lemurs has increased hugely over the last two decades, growing from 32 species in 1994 to 102 species in 2014. This growth is primarily due to the application of molecular phylogenetic analyses and the phylogenetic species concept to known populations, and few previously unknown lemur populations have been discovered during this time. We report on a new population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.) from Nosy Hara, a 312-ha island in far northern Madagascar, which constitutes the northernmost distribution record for the genus. The dwarf lemurs appeared to show two characteristics of island populations-insular dwarfism and predator naïveté-that suggest a long isolation, and may thus represent an undescribed taxon. If this is the case, the dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are probably one of the rarest primate taxa on Earth. PMID:26243504

  15. Comparative and population mitogenomic analyses of Madagascar's extinct, giant 'subfossil' lemurs.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Logan; Ratan, Aakrosh; Godfrey, Laurie R; Crowley, Brooke E; Hughes, Cris E; Lei, Runhua; Cui, Yinqiu; Wood, Mindy L; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Andriamialison, Haingoson; McGraw, John J; Tomsho, Lynn P; Schuster, Stephan C; Miller, Webb; Louis, Edward E; Yoder, Anne D; Malhi, Ripan S; Perry, George H

    2015-02-01

    Humans first arrived on Madagascar only a few thousand years ago. Subsequent habitat destruction and hunting activities have had significant impacts on the island's biodiversity, including the extinction of megafauna. For example, we know of 17 recently extinct 'subfossil' lemur species, all of which were substantially larger (body mass ∼11-160 kg) than any living population of the ∼100 extant lemur species (largest body mass ∼6.8 kg). We used ancient DNA and genomic methods to study subfossil lemur extinction biology and update our understanding of extant lemur conservation risk factors by i) reconstructing a comprehensive phylogeny of extinct and extant lemurs, and ii) testing whether low genetic diversity is associated with body size and extinction risk. We recovered complete or near-complete mitochondrial genomes from five subfossil lemur taxa, and generated sequence data from population samples of two extinct and eight extant lemur species. Phylogenetic comparisons resolved prior taxonomic uncertainties and confirmed that the extinct subfossil species did not comprise a single clade. Genetic diversity estimates for the two sampled extinct species were relatively low, suggesting small historical population sizes. Low genetic diversity and small population sizes are both risk factors that would have rendered giant lemurs especially susceptible to extinction. Surprisingly, among the extant lemurs, we did not observe a relationship between body size and genetic diversity. The decoupling of these variables suggests that risk factors other than body size may have as much or more meaning for establishing future lemur conservation priorities. PMID:25523037

  16. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates

    PubMed Central

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination. PMID:26716699

  17. Transitive inference in two lemur species (Eulemur macaco and Eulemur fulvus).

    PubMed

    Tromp, D; Meunier, H; Roeder, J J

    2015-03-01

    When confronted with tasks involving reasoning instead of simple learning through trial and error, lemurs appeared to be less competent than simians. Our study aims to investigate lemurs' capability for transitive inference, a form of deductive reasoning in which the subject deduces logical conclusions from preliminary information. Transitive inference may have an adaptative function, especially in species living in large, complex social groups and is proposed to play a major role in rank estimation and establishment of dominance hierarchies. We proposed to test the capacities of reasoning using transitive inference in two species of lemurs, the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and the black lemur (Eulemur macaco), both living in multimale-multifemale societies. For that purpose, we designed an original setup providing, for the first time in this kind of cognitive task, pictures of conspecifics' faces as stimuli. Subjects were trained to differentiate six photographs of unknown conspecifics named randomly from A to F to establish the order A > B > C > D > E > F and select consistently the highest-ranking photograph in five adjacent pairs AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Then lemurs were presented with the same adjacent pairs and three new and non-adjacent pairs BD, BE, CE. The results showed that all subjects correctly selected the highest-ranking photograph in every non-adjacent pair, reflecting lemurs' capacity for transitive inference. Our results are discussed in the context of the still debated current theories about the mechanisms underlying this specific capacity. PMID:25328141

  18. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

    PubMed

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination. PMID:26716699

  19. The influence of growth patterns on sexual size monomorphism in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Tennenhouse, E M

    2015-09-01

    The lack of sexual size dimorphism among lemurs is puzzling given the high degree of polygyny in this clade. It has been proposed that the unique ecological conditions of Madagascar favour rapid completion of growth, limiting the opportunities for bimaturism and sexual size dimorphism in lemurs. Using recently compiled large data sets on many species across the lemur clade, I examined the prevalence of sexual size monomorphism of body mass among lemurs and tested the hypothesis that limited growth durations constrain sexual size dimorphism. I used segmented regression analyses to accurately model growth in each species. The majority of species analysed exhibited a period of rapid growth followed by a distinct period of slow growth prior to attainment of adult body mass. Whereas the first period of growth was constrained by the need to attain the majority of adult body mass prior to the onset of the infant's first dry season, the subsequent period of slow growth was unconstrained and sufficiently long to promote sexual bimaturism. Sex differences in the duration and rate of growth during this second growth phase appeared to account for the sexual size dimorphism exhibited by three lemur species. Therefore, constraints on growth processes do not limit sexual size dimorphism in lemurs, and other explanations for the prevalence of sexual size monomorphism in this clade should be examined. The importance of considering ontogeny in future investigations of sexual size monomorphism in lemurs is highlighted. PMID:26134876

  20. Analog number representations in mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz): evidence from a search task.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Kerrie P; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2005-10-01

    A wealth of data demonstrating that monkeys and apes represent number have been interpreted as suggesting that sensitivity to number emerged early in primate evolution, if not before. Here we examine the numerical capacities of the mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz), a member of the prosimian suborder of primates that split from the common ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans approximately 47-54 million years ago. Subjects observed as an experimenter sequentially placed grapes into an opaque bucket. On half of the trials the experimenter placed a subset of the grapes into a false bottom such that they were inaccessible to the lemur. The critical question was whether lemurs would spend more time searching the bucket when food should have remained in the bucket, compared to when they had retrieved all of the food. We found that the amount of time lemurs spent searching was indicative of whether grapes should have remained in the bucket, and furthermore that lemur search time reliably differentiated numerosities that differed by a 1:2 ratio, but not those that differed by a 2:3 or 3:4 ratio. Finally, two control conditions determined that lemurs represented the number of food items, and neither the odor of the grapes, nor the amount of grape (e.g., area) in the bucket. These results suggest that mongoose lemurs have numerical representations that are modulated by Weber's Law. PMID:15660208

  1. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses and behavioral estimates of hearing sensitivity in Lemur catta and Nycticebus coucang.

    PubMed

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2010-03-01

    Primates depend on acoustic signals and cues to avoid predators, locate food, and share information. Accordingly, the structure and function of acoustic stimuli have long been emphasized in studies of primate behavioral and cognitive ecology. Yet, few studies have addressed how well primates hear such stimuli; indeed, the auditory thresholds of most primate species are unknown. This empirical void is due in part to the logistic and economic challenges attendant on traditional behavioral testing methods. Technological advances have produced a safe and cost-effective alternative-the auditory brainstem response (ABR) method, which can be utilized in field conditions, on virtually any animal species, and without subject training. Here we used the ABR and four methods of threshold determination to construct audiograms for two strepsirrhine primates: the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). Next, to verify the general efficacy of the ABR method, we compared our results to published behaviorally-derived audiograms. We found that the four ABR threshold detection methods produced similar results, including relatively elevated thresholds but similarly shaped audiograms compared to those derived behaviorally. The ABR and behavioral absolute thresholds were significantly correlated, and the frequencies of best sensitivity and high-frequency limits were comparable. However, at frequencies < or =2 kHz, ABR thresholds were especially elevated, resulting in decreased agreement with behavioral thresholds and, in Lemur, the ABR 10-dB range starting points were more than 2 octaves higher than the behavioral points. Finally, a comparison of ABR- and behaviorally-derived audiograms from various animal taxa demonstrates the widespread efficacy of the ABR for estimating frequency of best sensitivity, but otherwise suggests caution; factors such as stimulus properties and threshold definition affect results. We conclude that the ABR method is a promising

  2. Innovation and behavioral flexibility in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons).

    PubMed

    Huebner, Franziska; Fichtel, Claudia

    2015-05-01

    Innovations and problem-solving abilities can provide animals with important ecological advantages as they allow individuals to deal with novel social and ecological challenges. Innovation is a solution to a novel problem or a novel solution to an old problem, with the latter being especially difficult. Finding a new solution to an old problem requires individuals to inhibit previously applied solutions to invent new strategies and to behave flexibly. We examined the role of experience on cognitive flexibility to innovate and to find new problem-solving solutions with an artificial feeding task in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons). Four groups of lemurs were tested with feeding boxes, each offering three different techniques to extract food, with only one technique being available at a time. After the subjects learned a technique, this solution was no longer successful and subjects had to invent a new technique. For the first transition between task 1 and 2, subjects had to rely on their experience of the previous technique to solve task 2. For the second transition, subjects had to inhibit the previously learned technique to learn the new task 3. Tasks 1 and 2 were solved by most subjects, whereas task 3 was solved by only a few subjects. In this task, besides behavioral flexibility, especially persistence, i.e., constant trying, was important for individual success during innovation. Thus, wild strepsirrhine primates are able to innovate flexibly, suggesting a general ecological relevance of behavioral flexibility and persistence during innovation and problem solving across all primates. PMID:25673157

  3. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs ( Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  4. Better Few than Hungry: Flexible Feeding Ecology of Collared Lemurs Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Giuseppe; Kesch, Kristina; Ndremifidy, Kelard; Schmidt, Stacey L.; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M.; Ganzhorn, Joerg U.

    2011-01-01

    Background Frugivorous primates are known to encounter many problems to cope with habitat degradation, due to the fluctuating spatial and temporal distribution of their food resources. Since lemur communities evolved strategies to deal with periods of food scarcity, these primates are expected to be naturally adapted to fluctuating ecological conditions and to tolerate a certain degree of habitat changes. However, behavioral and ecological strategies adopted by frugivorous lemurs to survive in secondary habitats have been little investigated. Here, we compared the behavioral ecology of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) in a degraded fragment of littoral forest of south-east Madagascar, Mandena, with that of their conspecifics in a more intact habitat, Sainte Luce. Methodology/Principal Findings Lemur groups in Mandena and in Sainte Luce were censused in 2004/2007 and in 2000, respectively. Data were collected via instantaneous sampling on five lemur groups totaling 1,698 observation hours. The Shannon index was used to determine dietary diversity and nutritional analyses were conducted to assess food quality. All feeding trees were identified and measured, and ranging areas determined via the minimum convex polygon. In the degraded area lemurs were able to modify several aspects of their feeding strategies by decreasing group size and by increasing feeding time, ranging areas, and number of feeding trees. The above strategies were apparently able to counteract a clear reduction in both food quality and size of feeding trees. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that collared lemurs in littoral forest fragments modified their behavior to cope with the pressures of fluctuating resource availability. The observed flexibility is likely to be an adaptation to Malagasy rainforests, which are known to undergo periods of fruit scarcity and low productivity. These results should be carefully considered when relocating lemurs or when selecting suitable areas for

  5. Hybridization of mouse lemurs: different patterns under different ecological conditions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Several mechanistic models aim to explain the diversification of the multitude of endemic species on Madagascar. The island's biogeographic history probably offered numerous opportunities for secondary contact and subsequent hybridization. Existing diversification models do not consider a possible role of these processes. One key question for a better understanding of their potential importance is how they are influenced by different environmental settings. Here, we characterized a contact zone between two species of mouse lemurs, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus, in dry spiny bush and mesic gallery forest that border each other sharply without intermediate habitats between them. We performed population genetic analyses based on mtDNA sequences and nine nuclear microsatellites and compared the results to a known hybrid zone of the same species in a nearby wide gradient from dry spiny bush over transitional forest to humid littoral forest. Results In the spiny-gallery system, Microcebus griseorufus is restricted to the spiny bush; Microcebus murinus occurs in gallery forest and locally invades the dryer habitat of its congener. We found evidence for bidirectional introgressive hybridization, which is closely linked to increased spatial overlap within the spiny bush. Within 159 individuals, we observed 18 hybrids with mitochondrial haplotypes of both species. Analyses of simulated microsatellite data indicate that we identified hybrids with great accuracy and that we probably underestimated their true number. We discuss short-term climatic fluctuations as potential trigger for the dynamic of invasion and subsequent hybridization. In the gradient hybrid zone in turn, long-term aridification could have favored unidirectional nuclear introgression from Microcebus griseorufus into M. murinus in transitional forest. Conclusions Madagascar's southeastern transitional zone harbors two very different hybrid zones of mouse lemurs in different environmental

  6. Mechanical food properties and dental topography differentiate three populations of Lemur catta in southwest Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Fitzgerald, Emily; Riemenschneider, Andrea; Ungar, Peter S

    2016-09-01

    Determining the proximate causes of tooth wear remains a major focus of dental study. Here we compare the diets of three ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations and examine how different dietary components may contribute to patterns of wear-related tooth shape. Casts were made from dental impressions collected between 2003 and 2010 from lemurs in the gallery and spiny/mixed forests of the Bezá Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR; Parcels 1 and 2) and the spiny/mixed forests of Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP), Madagascar. Tooth shape variables (occlusal relief and slope, angularity) were analyzed using dental topographic analysis. Focal observations and food mechanical properties (FMPs: toughness, hardness, elastic modulus) were conducted and tested, respectively, during wet and dry seasons from 2008 to 2012. We found that FMPs correlate with patterns of dental topography in these three populations. Specifically, food toughness and elastic modulus correlate with the dental variables, but hardness does not. Average food toughness and elastic modulus, but not hardness, are highest in BMSR Parcel 2, followed by BMSR Parcel 1 and TNP. Occlusal relief and slope, which serve as proxies for tooth wear, show the greatest wear in Parcel 2 and the least in TNP. Angularity is also more pronounced in TNP. Further, dental topographic patterns correspond to reliance on Tamarindus indica (tamarind) fruit. Both BMSR populations consume tamarind at high frequencies in the dry season, but the fruits are rare at TNP and only occasionally consumed. Thus, high seasonal tamarind consumption and its mechanical values help explain the low dental relief and slope among BMSR lemurs. By investigating the ecology of a single widespread species across a variety of habitats, we have been able to link specific components of diet to patterns of dental topography in this species. This provides a context for interpreting wear-related tooth shape changes more generally, illustrating that

  7. Dental use wear in extinct lemurs: evidence of diet and niche differentiation.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Laurie R; Semprebon, Gina M; Jungers, William L; Sutherland, Michael R; Simons, Elwyn L; Solounias, Nikos

    2004-09-01

    A new technique for molar use-wear analysis is applied to samples of all 16 species of extinct lemurs with known dentitions, as well as to a large comparative sample of extant primates. This technique, which relies on the light refractive properties of wear pits and scratches as seen under a standard stereoscopic microscope, has shown itself to be effective in distinguishing the diets of ungulates and extant primates. We draw dietary inferences for each of the 16 extinct lemur species in our database. There is a strong phylogenetic signal, with the Palaeopropithecidae showing use-wear signatures similar to those of the Indriidae; extinct lemurids (Pachylemur spp.) showing striking similarities to extant lemurids (except Hapalemur spp.); and Megaladapis showing similarities to Lepilemur spp. Only the Archaeolemuridae have dietary signatures unlike those of any extant lemurs, with the partial exception of Daubentonia. We conclude that the Archaeolemuridae were hard-object feeders; the Palaeopropithecidae were seed predators, consuming a mixed diet of foliage and fruit to varying degrees; Pachylemur was a fruit-dominated mixed feeder, but not a seed predator; and all Megaladapis were leaf browsers. There is no molar use wear evidence that any of the extinct lemurs relied on terrestrial foods (C4 grasses, tubers, rhizomes). This has possible implications for the role of the disappearance of wooded habitats in the extinction of lemurs. PMID:15337413

  8. Interstitial cell tumor in a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegatus variegatus).

    PubMed

    Neiffer, D L; Klein, E C

    2001-06-01

    A 14.5-yr-old, male black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegatus variegatus) presented for acute enlargement of the left testicle and hemiscrotum. Physical examination also revealed poor pelage quality with short guard hairs, sparse undercoat, and areas of alopecia. Increased aggression was also reported. A unilateral, open orchiectomy was performed, with the left testicle, epidydymis, associated vaginal tunic, and attached spermatic cord removed. Microscopic evaluation was consistent with an interstitial cell tumor, with many morphologic features similar to this neoplasm in people. No overt histopathologic criteria of malignancy were present. Following orchiectomy, gradual improvement in pelage quality was noted and was considered almost normal by 5 mo postoperative. In contrast with the aggressive preoperative behavior, the lemur was extremely submissive for 3 mo following the surgery. Gradual return to normal behavior and social status occurred over the next 2 mo. Multiple follow-up examinations and radiographs revealed no evidence of metastasis, and biopsy of the remaining testicle 4 mo later revealed no evidence of neoplasia. Serial measurements of testosterone and estradiol revealed levels within the range of those for other ruffed lemurs, as were repeated measurements taken of the remaining testicle. At 19 mo postoperative, the lemur had a coat quality considered nearly normal and maintained its historical social position in the lemur group without abnormal aggressive behavior. PMID:12790432

  9. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, Marina B.; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  10. Does nonnutritive tree gouging in a rainforest-dwelling lemur convey resource ownership as does loud calling in a dry forest-dwelling lemur?

    PubMed

    Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Joly-Radko, Marine

    2010-12-01

    Nonhuman primates may defend crucial resources using acoustic or chemical signals. When essential resources are limited, ownership display for a resource may be enhanced. Defending resources may depend on population density and habitat characteristics. Using the Milne Edwards' sportive lemurs (Lepilemur edwardsi) and weasel sportive lemurs (L. mustelinus) as models, we tested whether two cryptic nocturnal lemur species differing in population density and habitat show differences in their vocal and chemical communication for signaling ownership of resources. L. edwardsi inhabits a western dry deciduous forest in a high-density population, whereas L. mustelinus is found in an eastern rainforest in low density. We followed ten L. edwardsi (six males and four females) and nine L. mustelinus (four males and five females) for 215 hr during the early evening (06:00-10:00 p.m.) and the early morning (02:00-05:00 a.m.) and recorded their behavior using focal animal sampling. We found that both species differed in their vocal and chemical communication. L. edwardsi was highly vocal and displayed loud calling in the mornings and evenings while feeding or in the vicinity of resting places. In contrast, L. mustelinus never vocalized during observations, but displayed tree-gouging behavior that was never observed in L. edwardsi. Tree gouging occurred more often during early evening sessions than early morning sessions. Subjects gouged trees after leaving their sleeping hole and before moving around. We suggest that, in weasel sportive lemurs, non-nutritive tree gouging is used as a scent-marking behavior in order to display ownership of sleeping sites. Altogether, our findings provide first empirical evidence on the evolution of different communication systems in two cryptic nocturnal primate species contrasting in habitat quality and population density. Further investigations are needed to provide more insight into the underlying mechanisms. PMID:20623502

  11. Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: Resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar’s lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Weisrock, David W.; Embry, Stephanie L.; Fiorentino, Isabella; Balhoff, James P.; Kappeler, Peter; Wray, Gregory A.; Willard, Huntington F.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2008-01-01

    Lemurs and the other strepsirrhine primates are of great interest to the primate genomics community due to their phylogenetic placement as the sister lineage to all other primates. Previous attempts to resolve the phylogeny of lemurs employed limited mitochondrial or small nuclear data sets, with many relationships poorly supported or entirely unresolved. We used genomic resources to develop 11 novel markers from nine chromosomes, representing ∼9 kb of nuclear sequence data. In combination with previously published nuclear and mitochondrial loci, this yields a data set of more than 16 kb and adds ∼275 kb of DNA sequence to current databases. Our phylogenetic analyses confirm hypotheses of lemuriform monophyly and provide robust resolution of the phylogenetic relationships among the five lemuriform families. We verify that the genus Daubentonia is the sister lineage to all other lemurs. The Cheirogaleidae and Lepilemuridae are sister taxa and together form the sister lineage to the Indriidae; this clade is the sister lineage to the Lemuridae. Divergence time estimates indicate that lemurs are an ancient group, with their initial diversification occurring around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Given the power of this data set to resolve branches in a notoriously problematic area of primate phylogeny, we anticipate that our phylogenomic toolkit will be of value to other studies of primate phylogeny and diversification. Moreover, the methods applied will be broadly applicable to other taxonomic groups where phylogenetic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve. PMID:18245770

  12. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Lemurs Inferred with Recent and Ancient Fossils in the Tree.

    PubMed

    Herrera, James P; Dávalos, Liliana M

    2016-09-01

    Paleontological and neontological systematics seek to answer evolutionary questions with different data sets. Phylogenies inferred for combined extant and extinct taxa provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of life. Primates have an extensive, diverse fossil record and molecular data for living and extinct taxa are rapidly becoming available. We used two models to infer the phylogeny and divergence times for living and fossil primates, the tip-dating (TD) and fossilized birth-death process (FBD). We collected new morphological data, especially on the living and extinct endemic lemurs of Madagascar. We combined the morphological data with published DNA sequences to infer near-complete (88% of lemurs) time-calibrated phylogenies. The results suggest that primates originated around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, slightly earlier than indicated by the fossil record and later than previously inferred from molecular data alone. We infer novel relationships among extinct lemurs, and strong support for relationships that were previously unresolved. Dates inferred with TD were significantly older than those inferred with FBD, most likely related to an assumption of a uniform branching process in the TD compared with a birth-death process assumed in the FBD. This is the first study to combine morphological and DNA sequence data from extinct and extant primates to infer evolutionary relationships and divergence times, and our results shed new light on the tempo of lemur evolution and the efficacy of combined phylogenetic analyses. PMID:27113475

  13. Diurnal resting in brown lemurs in a dry deciduous forest, northwestern Madagascar: implications for seasonal thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki

    2012-07-01

    Decreased activity has been reported in both nocturnal and diurnal primates during the prolonged dry season in western Madagascar, and this has been interpreted as a reaction to the severe environment, with its food scarcity and/or thermal stress. Several day-active lemurs rest more as trees defoliate, although the reason for this is unclear. To understand the mechanism underpinning the diurnal resting of lemurs in seasonal deciduous forests, I observed common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) for one year in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar. In Ankarafantsika, despite high fruit availability during the dry season, brown lemurs are known to engage in diurnal resting. To examine the effects of thermal factors and defoliation on lemur inactivity, I recorded the activity of a troop at 1 min intervals, hourly ambient temperature, daily rainfall, and weather during observations (06:00-18:00). I quantified the amount of leaves biweekly for 680 trees. I tested correlations between percentages of resting time and each factor across hours during the day and across seasons. During the rainy season, resting time did not differ between sunny and cloudy days, and lemurs were active throughout the daytime. At the hourly level during the dry season, lemurs rested exclusively at midday, apparently at peak sunlight intensity rather than at peak ambient temperature. At seasonal level, percentages of total resting time from 08:00 to 16:00 were greater during dry season (81.9%) than during rainy season (62.6%), and percentages increased as ambient temperatures increased. Defoliation was related to seasonal decrease in weekly rainfall, which served as an index of water retained in the forest. Defoliation probably reflected aridification as well as the penetration of sunlight into the forest. Diurnal resting increased as both the amount of leaves and weekly rainfall decreased seasonally. These results suggest that heat stress under dry conditions may promote

  14. Effects of Substrate Size and Orientation on Quadrupedal Gait Kinematics in Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Liza J; Kemp, Addison D; Young, Jesse W

    2016-06-01

    As the smallest living primate, the mouse lemur is a suitable model for reconstructing the locomotor mechanisms by which primate ancestors might have responded to the challenges of an arboreal environment. In this study, we tested the effects of substrate diameter and orientation on quadrupedal gait kinematics in mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Mouse lemurs highly preferred asymmetrical to symmetrical gaits as they moved across a flat board and poles of three diameters (2.5, 1.0, and 0.5 cm), set at horizontal, 30° inclined, and 30° declined orientations. During symmetrical gaits, mouse lemurs used diagonal sequence walking and ambling gaits on the same substrates and at the same duty factors for which some similarly sized nonprimate mammals use lateral sequence gaits, suggesting that reliance on diagonal sequence walking in primates may not be explicitly a response to body size relative to substrate diameter. When using asymmetrical gaits, kinematic adjustments to small diameter and/or nonhorizontal substrates included a preference for transverse gallops over other gaits, the avoidance of whole-body suspensions, increases in limb contact duration, and increases in the time interval between the landing of trailing and leading limbs. All of these adjustments are consistent with increasing locomotor stability by dampening center of mass movements and reducing the forces imparted to the substrate. Like mouse lemurs, small-bodied ancestral primates likely used symmetrical gaits occasionally, but more frequently used asymmetrical gaits that were adjusted in response to challenging substrates. Therefore, asymmetrical gait dynamics should be incorporated into hypotheses addressing early primate locomotor evolution. PMID:27222465

  15. LEMUR: Large European module for solar Ultraviolet Research. European contribution to JAXA's Solar-C mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Andretta, Vincenzo; Auchère, Frédéric; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martínez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schühle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-10-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Å and 1270 Å. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution to the Solar

  16. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-01-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5′ regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species. PMID:26198179

  17. Phylogenetic and functional affinities of Babakotia (primates), a fossil lemur from northern Madagascar.

    PubMed Central

    Jungers, W L; Godfrey, L R; Simons, E L; Chatrath, P S; Rakotosamimanana, B

    1991-01-01

    Recent paleontological expeditions to the Ankarana range of northern Madagascar have recovered the partial remains of four individuals of a newly recognized extinct lemur, Babakotia radofilai. Craniodental and postcranial material serve to identify Babakotia as a member of the palaeopropithecids (also including the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Mesopropithecus). Living indrids form the sister group to this fossil clade. The postcranial anatomy indicates that Babakotia was a medium-sized (approximately 15 kg) indroid whose inferred positional behaviors were primarily slow climbing and hanging. Although it is probable that a leaping component typified the ancestral positional repertoire of all Malagasy lemurs, the mosaic nature of the locomotor skeleton of Babakotia further suggests that vertical climbing and hang-feeding rather than ricochetal leaping were primitive for indrids and palaeopropithecids and that the dramatic saltatory adaptations of the living indrids postdate the divergence of these two lineages. Images PMID:1924371

  18. Shifting ranges and conservation challenges for lemurs in the face of climate change

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L; Yoder, Anne D

    2015-01-01

    Geospatial modeling is one of the most powerful tools available to conservation biologists for estimating current species ranges of Earth's biodiversity. Now, with the advantage of predictive climate models, these methods can be deployed for understanding future impacts on threatened biota. Here, we employ predictive modeling under a conservative estimate of future climate change to examine impacts on the future abundance and geographic distributions of Malagasy lemurs. Using distribution data from the primary literature, we employed ensemble species distribution models and geospatial analyses to predict future changes in species distributions. Current species distribution models (SDMs) were created within the BIOMOD2 framework that capitalizes on ten widely used modeling techniques. Future and current SDMs were then subtracted from each other, and areas of contraction, expansion, and stability were calculated. Model overprediction is a common issue associated Malagasy taxa. Accordingly, we introduce novel methods for incorporating biological data on dispersal potential to better inform the selection of pseudo-absence points. This study predicts that 60% of the 57 species examined will experience a considerable range of reductions in the next seventy years entirely due to future climate change. Of these species, range sizes are predicted to decrease by an average of 59.6%. Nine lemur species (16%) are predicted to expand their ranges, and 13 species (22.8%) distribution sizes were predicted to be stable through time. Species ranges will experience severe shifts, typically contractions, and for the majority of lemur species, geographic distributions will be considerably altered. We identify three areas in dire need of protection, concluding that strategically managed forest corridors must be a key component of lemur and other biodiversity conservation strategies. This recommendation is all the more urgent given that the results presented here do not take into

  19. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor

    PubMed Central

    Tessier, Shannon N.; Katzenback, Barbara A.; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine. PMID:26092185

  20. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Katzenback, Barbara A; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine. PMID:26092185

  1. AMS 14C Dates for Extinct Lemurs from Caves in the Ankarana Massif, Northern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simons, Elwyn L.; Burney, David A.; Chatrath, Prithijit S.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Jungers, William L.; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe

    1995-03-01

    An extensive late Quaternary fauna, including many extinct giant lemurs, has been collected recently in a 110+-km system of caves in the Ankarana Massif of northern Madagascar. AMS 14C dates for the acid-insoluble (collagen/gelatin) fraction of bones of the giant lemur Megaladapis (26,150 ± 400 and 12,760 ± 70 yr B.P.) confirm its presence in the area during the late Pleistocene and provide the first Pleistocene 14 C ages from bones of the extinct megafauna of the island. The first date from bones of the recently described extinct Babakotia radofilai (4400 ± 60 yr B.P.) shows that it was present in northern Madagascar in mid-Holocene times. A comparatively recent age of 1020 ± 50 yr B.P. for the extinct Archaeolemur indicates survival of this genus for at least a millennium after the first direct evidence for humans in Madagascar. This suggests that the island's "extinction window" may have represented a longer time span than would have been expected under the Blitzkrieg model of late Quaternary extinctions. A mid-Holocene age (4560 ± 70 yr B.P.) for a bone sample of the small extant lemur Hapalemur simus indicates that the disappearance of this now-restricted species from the Ankarana occurred after this date. New data from the Ankarana and other sites on the island add to the consensus that major biotic changes occurred on Madagascar in the late Holocene.

  2. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents. PMID:25882681

  3. Modeling the origins of mammalian sociality: moderate evidence for matrilineal signatures in mouse lemur vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Maternal kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity and it requires that kin are distinctive from nonkin. The transition from the ancestral state of asociality to the derived state of complex social groups is thought to have occurred via solitary foraging, in which individuals forage alone, but, unlike the asocial ancestors, maintain dispersed social networks via scent-marks and vocalizations. We hypothesize that matrilineal signatures in vocalizations were an important part of these networks. We used the solitary foraging gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) as a model for ancestral solitary foragers and tested for matrilineal signatures in their calls, thus investigating whether such signatures are already present in solitary foragers and could have facilitated the kin selection thought to have driven the evolution of increased social complexity in mammals. Because agonism can be very costly, selection for matrilineal signatures in agonistic calls should help reduce agonism between unfamiliar matrilineal kin. We conducted this study on a well-studied population of wild mouse lemurs at Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. We determined pairwise relatedness using seven microsatellite loci, matrilineal relatedness by sequencing the mitrochondrial D-loop, and sleeping group associations using radio-telemetry. We recorded agonistic calls during controlled social encounters and conducted a multi-parametric acoustic analysis to determine the spectral and temporal structure of the agonistic calls. We measured 10 calls for each of 16 females from six different matrilineal kin groups. Results Calls were assigned to their matriline at a rate significantly higher than chance (pDFA: correct = 47.1%, chance = 26.7%, p = 0.03). There was a statistical trend for a negative correlation between acoustic distance and relatedness (Mantel Test: g = -1.61, Z = 4.61, r = -0.13, p = 0.058). Conclusions

  4. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, J.; Speakman, J. R.

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature ( T a). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature ( T sk) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest.

  5. Comparing apples and oranges-the influence of food mechanical properties on ingestive bite sizes in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hartstone-Rose, Adam; Parkinson, Jennifer A; Criste, Taylor; Perry, Jonathan M G

    2015-07-01

    Previously we found that Maximum Ingested Bite Size (Vb )-the largest piece of food that an animal will ingest whole without biting first-scales isometrically with body size in 17 species of strepsirrhines at the Duke Lemur Center (DLC). However, because this earlier study focused on only three food types (two with similar mechanical properties), it did not yield results that were easily applied to describing the broad diets of these taxa. Expressing Vb in terms of food mechanical properties allows us to compare data across food types, including foods of wild lemurs, to better understand dietary adaptations in lemurs. To this end, we quantified Vb in five species of lemurs at the DLC representing large and small frugivores and folivores using ten types of food that vary widely in stiffness and toughness to determine how these properties relate to bite sizes. We found that although most species take smaller bites of stiffer foods, this negative relationship was not statistically significant across the whole sample. However, there is a significant relationship between bite size and toughness. All three of the more frugivorous taxa in our sample take significantly smaller bites of tougher foods. However, the two more folivorous lemurs do not. They take small bites for all foods. This suggests that the species most adapted to the consumption of tough foods do not modulate their ingestive sizes to accommodate larger pieces of weak foods. PMID:25727399

  6. Eco-evo-devo of the lemur syndrome: did adaptive behavioral plasticity get canalized in a large primate radiation?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Comprehensive explanations of behavioral adaptations rarely invoke all levels famously admonished by Niko Tinbergen. The role of developmental processes and plasticity, in particular, has often been neglected. In this paper, we combine ecological, physiological and developmental perspectives in developing a hypothesis to account for the evolution of ‘the lemur syndrome’, a combination of reduced sexual dimorphism, even adult sex ratios, female dominance and mild genital masculinization characterizing group-living species in two families of Malagasy primates. Results We review the different components of the lemur syndrome and compare it with similar adaptations reported for other mammals. We find support for the assertion that the lemur syndrome represents a unique set of integrated behavioral, demographic and morphological traits. We combine existing hypotheses about underlying adaptive function and proximate causation by adding a potential developmental mechanism linking maternal stress and filial masculinization, and outline an evolutionary scenario for its canalization. Conclusions We propose a new hypothesis linking ecological, physiological, developmental and evolutionary processes to adumbrate a comprehensive explanation for the evolution of the lemur syndrome, whose assumptions and predictions can guide diverse future research on lemurs. This hypothesis should also encourage students of other behavioral phenomena to consider the potential role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary innovation. PMID:26816515

  7. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature (T (a)). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature (T (sk)) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest. PMID:19229507

  8. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine. PMID:26093281

  9. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-09-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5' regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species. PMID:26198179

  10. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N.; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine. PMID:26093281

  11. Pervasive and ongoing positive selection in the vomeronasal-1 receptor (V1R) repertoire of mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Radespiel, Ute; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-12-01

    Chemosensory genes are frequently the target of positive selection and are often present in large gene families, but little is known about heterogeneity of selection in these cases and its relation to function. Here, we use the vomeronasal-1 receptor (V1R) repertoire of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) as a model system to study patterns of selection of chemosensory genes at several different levels. Mouse lemurs are small nocturnal strepsirrhine primates and have a large (~200 loci) repertoire of V1R loci that are likely important for intraspecific pheromonal communication and interspecific interactions, for example, recognition of predator cues. We investigated signals and patterns of positive selection among the 105 identified full length V1R loci in the gray mouse lemur and within 7 V1R loci amplified across multiple mouse lemur species. Phylogenetic reconstructions of published sequences revealed at least nine monophyletic clusters of V1Rs in gray mouse lemurs that have diversified since the split between lemurs and lorisoid primates. A large majority of clusters evolved under significant positive selection. Similar results were found in V1Rs of closely related greater galagos. Comparison with function of related V1R clusters in mice suggested a potential relationship between receptor function and strength of selection. Interestingly, most codons identified as being under positive selection are located in the extracellular domains of the receptors and hence likely indicate the position of residues involved in ligand binding. Positive selection was also detected within five V1R loci (=71% of analyzed loci) sequenced from 6 to 10 mouse lemur species, indicating ongoing selection within the genus, which may be related to sexual selection and, potentially, speciation processes. Variation in strength of positive selection on V1Rs showed no simple relationship to cluster size. The diversity of V1R loci in mouse lemurs reflects their adaptive evolution and is most

  12. Species concepts, diversity, and evolution in primates: lessons to be learned from mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    Humans primarily rely on vision when categorizing the world. If you just look at the same-sized but strikingly differently colored Neotropical poison-dart frogs such as strawberry frogs (Fig. ), you would be convinced that they must belong to different species. However, this is an excellent example of a polymorphic species, meaning that although these frogs look quite different, mating decisions are made based on their conspicuous and species-specific advertisements calls, which are not primarily linked to specific color pattern. The situation is quite different among nocturnal primates living in dense forest environments, such as the tiny nocturnal Malagasy mouse lemurs. In this case, even geographically isolated, well-accepted species look superficially quite similar and are therefore often termed cryptic species (Fig. ). Some morphs are a bit larger than others or show minor phenotypic differences, but morph-specific differences are difficult to detect in living subjects. This phenomenon explains why, until the end of the last century, species diversity in mouse lemurs was assumed to be low, with only two morphologically distinct species. Over the last two decades, several international working groups, including our own, undertook a massive island-wide sampling effort, including DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of mouse lemurs. These revealed a 10-fold higher species diversity, with 21 currently described species. Are these new species, mostly defined based on the phylogenetic species concept (sensu Cracraft), or independent evolutionary lineages or, perhaps, only artifacts of taxonomic inflation? What is a species? How can we identify primate species? How and why do species emerge during evolution? PMID:24591134

  13. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Campbell, C. Ryan; Blanco, Marina B.; dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.; Goodman, Steven M.; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E.; Larsen, Peter A.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Ralison, José M.; Swofford, David L.; Weisrock, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types. PMID:27432945

  14. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Campbell, C Ryan; Blanco, Marina B; Dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Goodman, Steven M; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E; Larsen, Peter A; Kappeler, Peter M; Rasoloarison, Rodin M; Ralison, José M; Swofford, David L; Weisrock, David W

    2016-07-19

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types. PMID:27432945

  15. Complete mitochondrial genome of the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (Primates, Cheirogaleidae).

    PubMed

    Lecompte, Emilie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Aujard, Fabienne; Holota, Hélène; Murienne, Jérôme

    2016-09-01

    We report the high-coverage complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. The sequencing has been performed on an Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, with a genome skimming strategy. The total length of this mitogenome is 16 963 bp, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 non-coding region (D-loop region). The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage are similar to those reported from other primate's mitochondrial genomes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here will be useful for comparative genomics studies in primates. PMID:27158869

  16. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) within the Masoala National Park, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Christopher J; Junge, Randall E; Louis, Edward E

    2008-03-01

    Complete health assessments were performed on 22 adult red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra), comprising nine males and 13 females, found within the Masoala National Park in northeast Madagascar. Each animal was anesthetized using tiletamine and zolazepam and underwent a thorough physical examination, including measurement of its weight and vital signs; blood collection for hematology, plasma total protein concentration, serum chemistries, fat-soluble vitamins, trace minerals, assessment of iron metabolism, toxoplasmosis serology, viral serologies, and examination for hemoparasites; fecal collection for bacterial culture and parasite examination; and collection of a representative number of any ectoparasites. Comparison of blood values with those of captive lemurs demonstrated a number of significant differences thought to be associated with physiologic state (e.g., reproductive stage and stress), hydration, and diet. There was no evidence of serious infectious diseases, and hemoparasites were not detected. The enteric flora appeared unremarkable; however, results may have been skewed toward more cold-tolerant bacteria. The fecal parasite burden was low. Lemurostrongylus spp. was identified in two of the lemurs, and there were moderate numbers of Laelapidae mites present on approximately one third of the lemurs. This study demonstrated the substantial amount of data that can be collected from free-ranging populations, considered invaluable in the management of captive populations, in reducing the incidence of captivity-related diseases, and in the risk assessment associated with reintroduction programs. PMID:18432099

  17. Regulation of Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur: Transcriptional and Translational Controls and Role of AMPK Signaling.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is one of few primate species that is able to enter daily torpor or prolonged hibernation in response to environmental stresses. With an emerging significance to human health research, lemurs present an optimal model for exploring molecular adaptations that regulate primate hypometabolism. A fundamental challenge is how to effectively regulate energy expensive cellular processes (e.g., transcription and translation) during transitions to/from torpor without disrupting cellular homeostasis. One such regulatory mechanism is reversible posttranslational modification of selected protein targets that offers fine cellular control without the energetic burden. This study investigates the role of phosphorylation and/or acetylation in regulating key factors involved in energy homeostasis (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, signaling pathway), mRNA translation (eukaryotic initiation factor 2α or eIF2α, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E or eIF4E, and initiation factor 4E binding protein or 4EBP), and gene transcription (histone H3) in six tissues of torpid and aroused gray mouse lemurs. Our results indicated selective tissue-specific changes of these regulatory proteins. The relative level of Thr172-phosphorylated AMPKα was significantly elevated in the heart but reduced in brown adipose tissue during daily torpor, as compared to the aroused lemurs, implicating the regulation of AMPK activity during daily torpor in these tissues. Interestingly, the levels of the phosphorylated eIFs were largely unaltered between aroused and torpid animals. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 were examined as a marker for transcriptional regulation. Compared to the aroused lemurs, level of Ser10-phosphorylated histone H3 decreased significantly in white adipose tissue during torpor, suggesting global suppression of gene transcription. However, a significant increase in acetyl-histone H3 in the heart of torpid lemurs indicated a possible

  18. Regulation of Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur: Transcriptional and Translational Controls and Role of AMPK Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N.; Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is one of few primate species that is able to enter daily torpor or prolonged hibernation in response to environmental stresses. With an emerging significance to human health research, lemurs present an optimal model for exploring molecular adaptations that regulate primate hypometabolism. A fundamental challenge is how to effectively regulate energy expensive cellular processes (e.g., transcription and translation) during transitions to/from torpor without disrupting cellular homeostasis. One such regulatory mechanism is reversible posttranslational modification of selected protein targets that offers fine cellular control without the energetic burden. This study investigates the role of phosphorylation and/or acetylation in regulating key factors involved in energy homeostasis (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, signaling pathway), mRNA translation (eukaryotic initiation factor 2α or eIF2α, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E or eIF4E, and initiation factor 4E binding protein or 4EBP), and gene transcription (histone H3) in six tissues of torpid and aroused gray mouse lemurs. Our results indicated selective tissue-specific changes of these regulatory proteins. The relative level of Thr172-phosphorylated AMPKα was significantly elevated in the heart but reduced in brown adipose tissue during daily torpor, as compared to the aroused lemurs, implicating the regulation of AMPK activity during daily torpor in these tissues. Interestingly, the levels of the phosphorylated eIFs were largely unaltered between aroused and torpid animals. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 were examined as a marker for transcriptional regulation. Compared to the aroused lemurs, level of Ser10-phosphorylated histone H3 decreased significantly in white adipose tissue during torpor, suggesting global suppression of gene transcription. However, a significant increase in acetyl-histone H3 in the heart of torpid lemurs indicated a possible

  19. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates.

    PubMed

    Karanth, K Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J; Yoder, Anne D

    2005-04-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  20. Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H.

    2009-10-01

    The spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar is the driest and most unpredictable region of the island. It is characterized by a pronounced seasonality with high fluctuations in ambient temperature, low availability of food, and a lack of water during the cool dry season and, additionally, by changes in environmental conditions between years. One of the few mammalian species that manages to inhabit this challenging habitat is the reddish-gray mouse lemur ( Microcebus griseorufus). The aim of our study was to determine whether this small primate uses continuous hibernation as an energy saving strategy, and if so, to characterize its physiological properties. We measured skin temperature of 16 free-ranging individuals continuously over 3 months during the cool dry season using collar temperature data loggers. Prolonged hibernation was found in three mouse lemurs and was not sex dependent (one male, two females). Skin temperature of hibernating individuals tracked ambient temperature passively with a minimum skin temperature of 6.5°C and fluctuated strongly each day (up to 20°C), depending on the insulation capacity of the hibernacula. Individuals remained in continuous hibernation even at an ambient temperature of 37°C. The animals hibernated continuously during the dry season, and hibernation bouts were only interrupted by short spontaneous arousals. The study emphasizes that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates. It furthermore provides evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species.

  1. A novel feeding behaviour in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons): depletion of spider nests.

    PubMed

    Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Fichtel, Claudia

    2013-10-01

    Reports on behavioural innovations in wild primate populations as well as on their transmission are rare. Here, we report observations suggesting that redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) invent new behaviours in the wild. We observed a novel feeding behaviour in redfronted lemurs in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar. The feeding behaviour consisted of depletion of nests of a social spider species (Stegodyphus sp.). The behaviour was observed in only one out of four study groups, although spider nests were present in the home ranges of all four groups. The behaviour was exhibited in three different years (2009, 2011, 2012) and appears to be re-invented from time to time. Interestingly, in 2011 this behaviour was shown by four individuals and probably spread within the group. This feeding behaviour has only been observed between the middle of June and early August (i.e. the early dry season), and nests were found to be empty later on, suggesting that these nests are available as a food source only seasonally. Our observation contributes a rare case of behavioural innovations in a wild primate population. PMID:23661028

  2. A complex sensory organ in the nose skin of the prosimian primate Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Elofsson, Rolf; Tuminaite, Inga; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2015-06-01

    Most mammals have nose tips covered by glabrous skin, a labronasal area, or rhinarium. The surface of the rhinarium of Lemur catta has a dermatoglyphic pattern consisting of epidermal domes. Below the domes, epidermal pegs dip down into the dermis. In and below the tip of the epidermal peg, a complex sensory organ is found. It consists of an association of innervated Merkel cells, lamellate (Pacini-like) bodies with a central nerve, and a ring of unmyelinated nerve endings in the epidermis. The Merkel cells are situated basally in the epidermis and the lamellated bodies just below the epidermis. The unmyelinated nerve endings related to the organ ascend in a circle straight through the epidermis ending below the corneal layer. From these nerve terminals, horizontal spikes enter the keratinocytes. The three components occur together forming an organ and are innervated from a common nerve plexus. The morphology of the complex sensory organ of the lemur shares most crucial components with Eimer's organs in moles, echidna, and platypus, while some structures are lacking, for example, the specific central pillar of keratinocytes, the cuticular cap, and a central unmyelinated fiber. The presence of the essentials of an Eimer's organ in many mammals suggests that a wider definition is motivated. PMID:25645577

  3. Ancient DNA from giant extinct lemurs confirms single origin of Malagasy primates

    PubMed Central

    Karanth, K. Praveen; Delefosse, Thomas; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe; Parsons, Thomas J.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2005-01-01

    The living Malagasy lemurs constitute a spectacular radiation of >50 species that are believed to have evolved from a common ancestor that colonized Madagascar in the early Tertiary period. Yet, at least 15 additional Malagasy primate species, some of which were relative giants, succumbed to extinction within the past 2,000 years. Their existence in Madagascar is recorded predominantly in its Holocene subfossil record. To rigorously test the hypothesis that all endemic Malagasy primates constitute a monophyletic group and to determine the evolutionary relationships among living and extinct taxa, we have conducted an ancient DNA analysis of subfossil species. A total of nine subfossil individuals from the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis yielded amplifiable DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences derived from these subfossils corroborates the monophyly of endemic Malagasy primates. Our results support the close relationship of sloth lemurs to living indriids, as has been hypothesized on morphological grounds. In contrast, Megaladapis does not show a sister-group relationship with the living genus Lepilemur. Thus, the classification of the latter in the family Megaladapidae is misleading. By correlating the geographic location of subfossil specimens with relative amplification success, we reconfirm the global trend of increased success rates of ancient DNA recovery from nontropical localities. PMID:15784742

  4. Relationships among brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, J; Forstner, M R; Martin, R D

    2000-09-01

    The brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) include seven subspecies, whose evolutionary relationships remain contentious. In particular, it is unclear whether the Malagasy and Comorian E. f. fulvus populations are differentiated at the subspecific level (E. f. mayottensis). Furthermore, it has been suggested that E. f. collaris and E. f. albocollaris are separate species. Analyses of approximately 2400 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from part of the COIII gene, together with complete genes for ND3, ND4L, and ND4 and 5 tRNAs, resolved 34 E. fulvus specimens into six clades: ((albocollaris, collaris) (rufus (rufus (fulvus/mayottensis (albifrons/fulvus/sanfordi))))). Based on the information available and our analyses we conclude that E. f. albocollaris and E. f. collaris do not represent species distinct from E. fulvus and that Comorian brown lemurs do not deserve subspecific rank. No genetic differentiation was detected between E. f. albifrons and E. f. sanfordi; on the other hand, there are obviously two separate lineages of E. f. rufus. PMID:10991794

  5. Testing yawning hypotheses in wild populations of two strepsirrhine species: Propithecus verreauxi and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Zannella, Alessandra; Norscia, Ivan; Stanyon, Roscoe; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-11-01

    Yawning, although easily recognized, is difficult to explain. Traditional explanations stressed physiological mechanisms, but more recently, behavioral processes have received increasing attention. This is the first study to test a range of hypotheses on yawning in wild primate populations. We studied two sympatric strepsirrhine species, Lemur catta, and Propithecus verreauxi, of the Ankoba forest (24.99°S, 46.29°E, Berenty reserve) in southern Madagascar. Sexual dimorphism is lacking in both species. However, their differences in ecological and behavioral characteristics facilitate comparative tests of hypotheses on yawning. Our results show that within each species males and females yawned with similar frequencies supporting the Dimorphism Hypothesis, which predicts that low sexual dimorphism leads to little inter-sexual differences in yawning. In support of the State Changing Hypothesis yawning frequencies was linked to the sleep-wake cycle and punctuated transitions from one behavior to another. Accordingly, yawning frequencies were significantly higher in L. catta than in P. verreauxi, because L. catta has a higher basal level of activity and consequently a higher number of behavioral transitions. In agreement with the Anxiety Hypothesis, yawning increased significantly in the 10 min following predatory attacks or aggression. Our findings provide the first empirical evidence of a direct connection between anxiety and yawning in lemurs. Our results show that yawning in these two strepsirrhines occurs in different contexts, but more research will be necessary to determine if yawns are a single, unitary behavior. PMID:26317594

  6. Coordination of Group Movements in Wild Red-fronted Lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons): Processes and Influence of Ecological and Reproductive Seasonality.

    PubMed

    Pyritz, Lennart W; Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2011-12-01

    Group-living species have to coordinate collective actions to maintain cohesion. In primates, spatial movements represent a meaningful model to study group coordination processes across different socio-ecological contexts. We studied 4 groups of red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) in Kirindy Forest, Madagascar, between 2008 and 2010 across different ecological and reproductive seasons. We collected data on ranging patterns using GPS collars and observational data on different predefined parameters of group movements, including initiation, leadership, followership, overtaking events, termination, and travel distances. Cohesion of these relatively small, egalitarian lemur groups was high year-round, but daily path length and home range size varied considerably between ecological seasons, presumably due to long-distance migrations of some groups at the beginning of the rainy season. Individuals of different age and sex classes successfully initiated group movements. However, stable female leadership prevailed year-round, irrespective of ecological and reproductive season, which might be due to higher or more specific energetic requirements of reproduction. In contrast to lemur species with a more despotic social structure, female red-fronted lemurs did not recruit more followers than males. Adult leaders recruited more followers than subadult ones. Further, recruitment success was higher during the peak of the dry season, when predation risk appeared to be higher. Distances of single group movements did not depend on the initiator's sex and age or on ecological seasons. Our results provide new insights into seasonal variability of coordination processes and the role of social dominance in lemur group movements, thereby contributing to a comparative perspective from a primate radiation that evolved group living independently of anthropoids. PMID:22207771

  7. The influence of visitor interaction on the behavior of captive crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) and implications for welfare.

    PubMed

    Jones, H; McGregor, P K; Farmer, H L A; Baker, K R

    2016-05-01

    Research suggests that zoo visitors can have positive, negative, and neutral impacts on captive primate welfare; however, research investigating the implications of visitor-animal feeding experiences is extremely limited. In the UK, a large proportion of BIAZA zoos that house lemur species offer visitor interaction experiences (16 out of 33). This study investigated the impact on the behavior of a family group of crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) housed at Newquay Zoo, UK of visitors, accompanied by a keeper, entering the enclosure to feed the lemurs. Behavior was observed under four conditions: (i) during visitor feed; (ii) 30 min post-visitor feed; (iii) during a keeper feed; and (iv) 30 min post-keeper feed. Keeper feeds were conducted by keepers only, on the day after visitor feeds. The lemur group spent significantly less time performing aggressive behavior and was also significantly more interactive with keepers during visitor feeds compared with keeper-only feeds. There was no significant difference in behaviors performed immediately after interacting with visitors. Over the study period, there was a tendency for interactions with visitors to increase, and for interactions with keepers during visitor feeds to decrease. After a 28-day interval without visitor interaction, the lemurs' interaction with visitors had returned to the level recorded at the start of the study. In conclusion, visitor interaction did not compromise the welfare of the study subjects in either the short- or long-term, while an increase in visitor interactions over time has interesting implications for the enrichment properties of, or habituation to, unfamiliar humans. Zoo Biol. 35:222-227, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27142724

  8. Molar microwear of subfossil lemurs: improving the resolution of dietary inferences.

    PubMed

    Rafferty, K L; Teaford, M F; Jungers, W L

    2002-11-01

    In this study we use molar microwear analyses to examine the trophic distinctions among various taxa of Malagasy subfossil lemurs. High resolution casts of the teeth of Megaladapis, Archaeolemur, Palaeopropithecus, Babakotia, and Hadropithecus were examined under a scanning electron microscope. Megaladapis was undoubtedly a browsing folivore, but there are significant differences between species of this genus. However, dietary specialists appear to be the exception; for example, Palaeopropithecus and Babakotia probably supplemented their leaf-eating with substantial amounts of seed-predation, much like modern indrids. Hadropithecus was decidedly not like the modern gelada baboon, but probably did feed on hard objects. Evidence from microwear and coprolites suggests that Archaeolemur probably had an eclectic diet that differed regionally and perhaps seasonally. Substantial trophic diversity within Madgascar's primate community was diminished by the late Quaternary extinctions of the large-bodied species (>9 kg). PMID:12457853

  9. Behavioral study in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) using compounds considered sweet by humans.

    PubMed

    Schilling, Alain; Danilova, Vicktoria; Hellekant, Goran

    2004-01-01

    This study presents the results from two-bottle preference (TBP) tests performed on the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small Malagasy primate. We found that of 18 compounds considered sweet by humans, M. murinus preferred only six: D-tryptophan, dulcin, fructose, sucrose, SC45647, and xylitol. The animals neither preferred nor rejected acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, N-4-cyanophenyl-N'-cyanoguanidineacetate (CCGA), cyanosuosan, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, suosan, super-aspartame, N-trifluoroacetyl-L-glutamyl-4-aminophenylcarbonitrile (TGC), and thaumatin. Together with previously recorded taste-nerve responses in M. murinus to acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, and suosan [Hellekant et al., Chem Senses 18:307-320, 1993b], the current results suggest that these compounds either do not taste sweet to M. murinus or they have an aversive taste component. In this work we also relate these findings to phylogeny. PMID:14752812

  10. Colour and odour drive fruit selection and seed dispersal by mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Valenta, Kim; Burke, Ryan J.; Styler, Sarah A.; Jackson, Derek A.; Melin, Amanda D.; Lehman, Shawn M.

    2013-01-01

    Animals and fruiting plants are involved in a complex set of interactions, with animals relying on fruiting trees as food resources, and fruiting trees relying on animals for seed dispersal. This interdependence shapes fruit signals such as colour and odour, to increase fruit detectability, and animal sensory systems, such as colour vision and olfaction to facilitate food identification and selection. Despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-animal interactions for shaping animal sensory adaptations and plant characteristics, the details of the relationship are poorly understood. Here we examine the role of fruit chromaticity, luminance and odour on seed dispersal by mouse lemurs. We show that both fruit colour and odour significantly predict fruit consumption and seed dispersal by Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. Our study is the first to quantify and examine the role of bimodal fruit signals on seed dispersal in light of the sensory abilities of the disperser. PMID:23939534

  11. Evidence of social learning in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Stoinski, T S; Drayton, L A; Price, E E

    2011-06-23

    Although many studies have examined social learning capabilities in apes and monkeys, experiments involving prosimians remain largely absent. We investigated the potential for social learning in black-and-white ruffed lemurs using a two-action foraging task. Eight individuals were divided into two experimental groups and exposed to conspecifics using one of two techniques to access food. Subjects were then given access to the apparatus and their retrieval techniques were recorded and compared. All subjects made their first retrieval using the technique they observed being demonstrated, and there were significant differences between the two groups in their overall response patterns. These results suggest that prosimians are capable of social learning and that additional long-term field studies may reveal the presence of behavioural traditions similar to those found in other primates. PMID:21227976

  12. Brown skin disease: A syndrome of dysecdysis in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur).

    PubMed

    Crawshaw, Graham; Pienkowski, Maria; Lentini, Andrew; Dutton, Christopher; Delnatte, Pauline; Russell, Deanna; Berkvens, Charlene; Barker, Ian; Smith, Dale

    2014-01-01

    The endangered Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne [Bufo] lemur) has been held and bred in zoos for release into protected areas in Puerto Rico since 1982. In 2004, several cases of a novel syndrome of skin changes in toads were noticed at the Toronto Zoo. A total of 21 toads were found to have similar lesions and the condition has been seen in several other groups of toads in subsequent years. Affected toads show an uncharacteristic sheen of dark-brown leathery skin, followed by recurring dysecdysis, reduced appetite, weight loss, and death from secondary causes. Histologically the condition is characterized by epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis, ulceration, and the presence of superficial mats of bacterial and fungal agents. No etiology has been identified and to date toads have not permanently responded to treatment with various pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. PMID:25234808

  13. SUMMER AND WINTER VITAMIN D3 LEVELS IN FOUR LEMUR SPECIES HOUSED AT A BRITISH ZOO, WITH REFERENCE TO UVB LEVELS.

    PubMed

    Killick, Rowena; Saunders, Richard; Redrobe, Sharon P

    2015-09-01

    Serum samples were collected from 18 lemurs of four diurnal/cathemeral species housed with outdoor access at Bristol Zoo Gardens (United Kingdom) to test 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 (25OHD3) levels as part of the veterinary department's preventative health care program. Samples were collected from each lemur in August 2008 (summer) and January 2009 (winter) to examine the effect of season on 25OHD3 levels. The lemurs were fed commercial primate food and a range of fruit and vegetables, and dietary levels of vitamin D3 remained the same throughout the study period. Statistical analysis showed that the lemurs' summer 25OHD3 values (range 26.7 to >150.0 μg/L) were significantly higher than their winter 25OHD3 values (range 11.4-87.1 μg/L). UVB measurements taken during the study period confirmed that UVB levels were significantly higher in summer (mean reading for 1200-1300 GMT time period 153.8 μW/cm2) compared to winter (mean reading for 1200-1300 GMT time period 19.4 μW/cm2). The 25OHD3 levels measured were generally found to be high compared to previously published values from wild (free-ranging) lemurs in Madagascar. The most likely explanation for this was the higher vitamin D3 content of the captive lemurs' diet, as UVB levels at the zoo (latitude 51° north) are substantially lower than those that occur in Madagascar (latitude 12°-26° south). No evidence of vitamin D toxicity or deficiency was found in any of the captive lemurs. The results indicate that vitamin D3 levels in lemurs housed with outdoor access in the United Kingdom and by extension, other regions of similar latitude, vary with seasonal environmental UVB levels, in a similar way to the seasonal variations in vitamin D3 observed in humans living in these regions, but that vitamin D levels in this captive lemur population were adequate compared to wild lemur levels, even in winter. PMID:26352953

  14. Hearing and age-related changes in the gray mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Schopf, Christian; Zimmermann, Elke; Tünsmeyer, Julia; Kästner, Sabine B R; Hubka, Peter; Kral, Andrej

    2014-12-01

    In order to examine auditory thresholds and hearing sensitivity during aging in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), suggested to represent a model for early primate evolution and Alzheimer research, we applied brainstem-evoked response audiometry (BERA), traditionally used for screening hearing sensitivity in human babies. To assess the effect of age, we determined auditory thresholds in two age groups of adult mouse lemurs (young adults, 1-5 years; old adults, ≥7 years) using clicks and tone pips. Auditory thresholds indicated frequency sensitivity from 800 Hz to almost 50 kHz, covering the species tonal communication range with fundamentals from about 8 to 40 kHz. The frequency of best hearing at 7.9 kHz was slightly lower than that and coincided with the dominant frequencies of communication signals of a predator. Aging shifted auditory thresholds in the range between 2 and 50.4 kHz significantly by 12-27 dB. This mild presbyacusis, expressed in a drop of amplitudes of BERA signals, but not discernible in latencies of responses, suggests a metabolic age-related decrease potentially combined with an accompanying degeneration of the cochlear nerve. Our findings on hearing range of this species support the hypothesis that predation was a driving factor for the evolution of hearing in small ancestral primates. Likewise, results provide the empirical basis for future approaches trying to differentiate peripheral from central factors when studying Alzheimer's disease-like pathologies in the aging brain. PMID:25112886

  15. Regional, seasonal and interspecific variation in 15N and 13C in sympatric mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rakotondranary, S. Jacques; Struck, Ulrich; Knoblauch, Christian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2011-11-01

    Madagascar provides some of the rare examples where two or more primate species of the same genus and with seemingly identical niche requirements occur in sympatry. If congeneric primate species co-occur in other parts of the world, they differ in size in a way that is consistent with Hutchinson's rule for coexisting species, or they occupy different ecological niches. In some areas of Madagascar, mouse lemurs do not follow these "rules" and thus seem to violate one of the principles of community ecology. In order to understand the mechanisms that allow coexistence of sympatric congeneric species without obvious niche differentiation, we studied food composition of two identical sized omnivorous mouse lemur species, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus with the help of stable isotope analyses ( δ 15N and δ 13C). The two species are closely related sister species. During the rich season, when food seems abundant, the two species do not differ in their nitrogen isotope composition, indicating that the two species occupy the same trophic level. But they differ in their δ 13C values, indicating that M. griseorufus feeds more on C4 and CAM (Crassulacean-acid-metabolism) plants than M. murinus. During the lean season, M. murinus has lower δ 15N values, indicating that the two species feed at different trophic levels during times of food shortage. Hybrids between the two species showed intermediate food composition. The results reflect subtle differences in foraging or metabolic adaptations that are difficult to quantify by traditional observations but that represent possibilities to allow coexistence of species.

  16. Determinants of Pair-Living in Red-Tailed Sportive Lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus)

    PubMed Central

    Hilgartner, Roland; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M; Zinner, Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    Pair-living and a monogamous mating strategy are rare and theoretically unexpected among mammals. Nevertheless, about 10% of primate species exhibit such a social system, which is difficult to explain in the absence of paternal care. In this study, we investigated the two major hypotheses proposed to explain the evolution of monogamy in mammals, the female defence hypothesis (FDH) and the resource defence hypothesis (RDH), in red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus), a nocturnal primate from Madagascar. We analysed behavioural data from eight male–female pairs collected during a 24-mo field study to illuminate the determinants of pair-living in this species. Male and female L. ruficaudatus were found to live in dispersed pairs, which are characterised by low cohesion and low encounter rates within a common home range. Social interactions between pair partners were mainly agonistic and characterised by a complete absence of affiliative interactions – body contact was only observed during mating. During the short annual mating season, males exhibited elevated levels of aggression towards mates, as well as extensive mate guarding and increased locomotor activity. In addition, males were exclusively responsible for the maintenance of proximity between pair partners during this period, and they defended their territories against neighbouring males but not against females. Together, these results point towards the importance of female defence in explaining pair-living in L. ruficaudatus. We discuss the spatial and temporal distribution of receptive females in relation to the female defence strategies of males and suggest possible costs that prevent male red-tailed sportive lemurs from defending more than one female. PMID:23144523

  17. A Genome Sequence Resource for the Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a Nocturnal Lemur from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E.; Pritchard, Jonathan K.; Mason, Christopher E.; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ∼3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ∼2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ∼10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage—a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests. PMID:22155688

  18. A genome sequence resource for the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Mason, Christopher E; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ~3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ~2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ~10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage-a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests. PMID:22155688

  19. New developments in the behavioral ecology and conservation of ruffed lemurs (Varecia).

    PubMed

    Vasey, Natalie

    2005-05-01

    The papers in this issue were presented at a symposium during the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in June 2002. This symposium brought together many of the scientists who have contributed to our knowledge of ruffed lemur ecology, behavior, and conservation in the past decade. One objective was to share and compare key findings about ruffed lemurs (Varecia) resulting from long-term field studies at various sites in Madagascar. A second objective was to cross-fertilize work being done in the wild with that being done in captivity, with the aim of advancing a common conservation mission for this critically endangered genus. Varecia is a prime candidate for synthetic assessments such as these because it has now been studied in both the northern and southern reaches of its geographic range, and has also been the focus of a captive-to-wild reinforcement project. The papers in this issue contribute to 1) the establishment of reference ranges for a suite of physiological parameters in healthy wild Varecia populations; 2) environmental enrichment aimed at preserving species-typical behaviors in captivity; 3) an understanding of how forest structure, floristic composition, and fruiting phenology in areas with differing disturbance histories correlate with the natural occurrence and abundance of Varecia; 4) primary knowledge concerning dominance relations between the sexes and group leadership in wild Varecia; and 5) primary knowledge concerning how wild Varecia, with their unusual reproductive pattern and heavy reliance on fruit, modulate their activity budgets seasonally and in tandem with reproductive stages. PMID:15898070

  20. Root sepsis associated with insect-dwelling Sebaldella termitidis in a lesser dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius).

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Tobias; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Kämpfer, Peter; Schauerte, Nicole; Geiger, Christina

    2015-12-01

    Sebaldella termitidis is a rare fastidious microorganism of the Leptotrichiaceae family. A variety of closely related species are associated with severe and even life-threatening disease in humans and animals, such as Streptobacillus moniliformis, the etiological organism of rat-bite fever as well as members of Leptotrichia spp. and Sneathia sanguinegens, which have been reported from cases of septicaemia. In contrast, since its description some 50 years ago, S. ermitidis has so far never been reported as a vertebrate pathogen, nor has it been found aside from its natural termite host. A lesser dwarf lemur was presented with unilateral facial inflammation originating from rotten maxillary teeth and septic root abscess. Surgical intervention and root extraction significantly improved the clinical cause in that a pus-filled cavity underneath the right eye could be drained, sampled and flushed. Bacteria displaying substantial characteristics of S. termitidis were cultured from the sampled pus. Morphological features observed included strictly anaerobic regular Gram-negative rods. Significant shared biochemical properties included negative reactions for cytochrome oxidase, catalase, urease, nitrate reduction and indole production. Furthermore, 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed 99.9 % sequence homology to the S. termitidis type strain NCTC 11300(T), from which it, nevertheless, differed with respect to rep and rep- and RAPD-PCR profiles. An affiliation of the lemur isolate described in this study with the type strain of S. termitidis as well as a clear discrimination from other members of the Leptotrichiaceae could also be confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of flight mass spectrometry and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy. This is the first evidence for clinical disease caused by S. termitidis in a vertebrate species indicating a broader host spectrum of this rarely encountered microorganism. PMID:26377576

  1. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David’s scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  2. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment. PMID:26297109

  3. Resource seasonality and reproduction predict fission-fusion dynamics in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Baden, Andrea L; Webster, Timothy H; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-02-01

    Ruffed lemurs (genus Varecia) are often described as having a flexible social organization, such that both cohesive (low fission-fusion dynamics) and fluid (high fission-fusion dynamics) grouping patterns have been observed. In ruffed lemur communities with high fission-fusion dynamics, group members vary in their temporal and spatial dispersion throughout a communally defended territory. These patterns have been likened to those observed in several haplorrhine species that exhibit the most fluid types of fission-fusion social organization (e.g., Pan and Ateles). To substantiate and further refine these claims, we describe the fission-fusion dynamics of a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) community at Mangevo, an undisturbed primary rainforest site in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We collected instantaneous group scan samples from August 2007-December 2008 (4,044 observation hours) to study and characterize patterns of subgroup size, composition, cohesion, and social association. In 16 consecutive months, we never found all members of the community together. In fact, individuals spent nearly half of their time alone. Subgroups were small, cohesive, and typically of mixed-sex composition. Mixed-sex subgroups were significantly larger, less cohesive, and more common than either male-only or female-only subgroups. Subgroup dynamics were related to shifts in climate, phenology of preferred fruit species, and female reproductive state. On average, association indices were low. Males and females were equally gregarious; however, adult male-male associations were significantly weaker than any other association type. Results presented herein document striking differences in fission-fusion dynamics between black-and-white ruffed lemurs and haplorrhines, while also demonstrating many broad-scale similarities to haplorrhine taxa that possess the most fluid fission-fusion societies. PMID:26606154

  4. Characterization of blood biochemical markers during aging in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus): impact of gender and season

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Hematologic and biochemical data are needed to characterize the health status of animal populations over time to determine the habitat quality and captivity conditions. Blood components and the chemical entities that they transport change predominantly with sex and age. The aim of this study was to utilize blood chemistry monitoring to establish the reference levels in a small prosimian primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). Method In the captive colony, mouse lemurs may live 10–12 years, and three age groups for both males and females were studied: young (1–3 years), middle-aged (4–5 years) and old (6–10 years). Blood biochemical markers were measured using the VetScan Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile. Because many life history traits of this primate are highly dependent on the photoperiod (body mass and reproduction), the effect of season was also assessed. Results The main effect of age was observed in blood markers of renal functions such as creatinine, which was higher among females. Additionally, blood urea nitrogen significantly increased with age and is potentially linked to chronic renal insufficiency, which has been described in captive mouse lemurs. The results demonstrated significant effects related to season, especially in blood protein levels and glucose rates; these effects were observed regardless of gender or age and were likely due to seasonal variations in food intake, which is very marked in this species. Conclusion These results were highly similar with those obtained in other primate species and can serve as references for future research of the Grey Mouse Lemur. PMID:23131178

  5. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  6. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Eppley, Timothy M.; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N.; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  7. Nocturnal activity in the cathemeral red-fronted lemur (Eulemur fulvus rufus), with observations during a lunar eclipse.

    PubMed

    Donati, G; Lunardini, A; Kappeler, P M; Borgognini Tarli, S M

    2001-02-01

    Several ecological and physiological factors have been suggested to structure circadian activity in cathemeral primates, i.e., those that are regularly active both day and night, but their relative importance remains controversial. We studied the nocturnal activity of a group of cathemeral redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Kirindy Forest in Western Madagascar to examine its relationship with one environmental factor, ambient light levels, in detail. To this end, nightly travel distances and moon luminosity were determined between March and June 1996. During this transitional period between the wet and dry seasons these red-fronted lemurs were regularly active at night, and traveled significantly larger distances during full-moon nights compared to new-moon nights. The importance of ambient luminosity for nocturnal activity was highlighted by observations during a total lunar eclipse (i.e., during a full-moon night), which caused abrupt cessation of the animal's activity. Our results support the hypothesis that nocturnal activity of these cathemeral lemurs is regulated also by changes in ambient light levels. PMID:11170168

  8. Touchscreen-Based Cognitive Tasks Reveal Age-Related Impairment in a Primate Aging Model, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research. PMID:25299046

  9. Discovery of Sympatric Dwarf Lemur Species in the High-Altitude Rain Forest of Tsinjoarivo, Eastern Madagascar: Implications for Biogeography and Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Marina B.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Rakotondratsima, Mamihasimbola; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina; Samonds, Karen E.; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Irwin, Mitchell T.

    2009-01-01

    The number of species within the Malagasy lemur genus Cheirogaleus is currently under debate. Museum collections are spotty, and field work, supplemented by morphometric and genetic analysis, is essential for documenting geographic distributions, ecological characteristics and species boundaries. We report here field evidence for 2 dwarf lemur species at Tsinjoarivo, an eastern-central high-altitude rain forest: one, from a forest fragment, displaying coat and dental characteristics similar to C. sibreei (previously described only from museum specimens) and the other, from the continuous forest, resembling individuals of Cheirogaleus found today at Ranomafana National Park, further to the south. This study represents the first confirmation of a living population of grey-fawn, C.-sibreei-like, dwarf lemurs in Madagascar. PMID:19023214

  10. Need for speed: Sexual maturation precedes social maturation in gray mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Sarah; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2015-10-01

    The life history of mammals underlies a fast-slow continuum, ranging from "slow" species with large body size, delayed sexual maturation, low fertility, and long lifespan, to "fast" species showing the opposite traits. Primates fall into the "slow" category, considering their relatively low offspring numbers and delayed juvenile development. However, social and sexual maturation processes do not necessarily have to be completed simultaneously. The comparison of the timeframes for sexual and social maturation is largely lacking for primates, with the prominent exception of humans. Here, we compare both maturation processes in a basal primate, the gray mouse lemur, which ranges in many aspects at the fast end of the slow-fast life history continuum among primates. We compared the patterns and frequencies of various social and solitary behaviors in young adults (YA, 12-13 months old) and older individuals (A, ≥2 years) of both sexes outside estrus. Observations were conducted during mix-sexed dyadic encounter experiments under controlled captive conditions (eight dyads per age class). Results indicate that although all young adults were sexually mature, social maturation was not yet completed in all behavioral domains: Age-dependent differences were found in the number of playing dyads, female marking behavior, female aggression, and social tolerance. Thus, this study provides a first indication that social maturation lags behind sexual maturation in an ancestral nocturnal primate model, indicating that these two developmental schemes may have been decoupled early and throughout the primate lineage. PMID:26119105

  11. The hidden matrilineal structure of a solitary lemur: implications for primate social evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Kappeler, Peter M; Wimmer, Barbara; Zinner, Dietmar; Tautz, Diethard

    2002-01-01

    Kin selection affects many aspects of social behaviour, especially in gregarious animals in which relatives are permanently associated. In most group-living primates with complex social behaviour, females are philopatric and organized into matrilines. Models of primate social evolution assume that females in solitary primates are also organized into matrilines. We examined the genetic structure and the mating system of a population of Coquerel's dwarf lemur (Mirza coquereli), a solitary primate from Madagascar, to test this assumption. Our genetic and behavioural analyses revealed that this population of solitary individuals is indeed structured into matrilines, even though this pattern was not predicted by behavioural data. Specifically, females sharing a mitochondrial DNA haplotype were significantly clustered in space and the average genetic and geographical distances among them were negatively correlated. Not all females were philopatric, but there is no evidence for the successful settlement of dispersing females. Although not all adult males dispersed from their natal range, they were not significantly clustered in space and all of them roamed widely in search of oestrous females. As a result, paternity was widely spread among males and mixed paternities existed, indicating that scramble competition polygyny is the mating system of this species. Our data therefore revealed facultative dispersal in both sexes with a strong bias towards female philopatry in this primitive primate. We further conclude that complex kinship structures also exist in non-gregarious species, where their consequences for social behaviour are not obvious. PMID:12350262

  12. Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2, a novel target in prostate cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Shah, Kalpit; Bradbury, Neil A

    2015-06-10

    Progression from early forms of prostate cancer to castration-resistant disease is associated with an increase in signal transduction activity. The majority of castration-resistance cancers persist in the expression of the androgen receptor (AR), as well as androgen-dependent genes. The AR is regulated not only by it associated steroid hormone, but also by manifold regulatory and signaling molecules, including several kinases. We undertook evaluation of the role of Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2 (LMTK2) in modulating AR activity, as several Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have shown a marked association of LMTK2 activity with the development of prostate cancer. We confirm that not only is LMTK2 mRNA reduced in prostate cancer tissue, but also LMTK2 protein levels are markedly diminished. Knockdown of LMTK2 protein in prostate cell lines greatly increased the transcription of androgen-responsive genes. In addition, LMTK2 knockdown led to an increase in prostate cancer stem cell populations in LNCaP cells, indicative of increased tumorogenicity. Using multiple approaches, we also demonstrate that LMTK2 interacts with the AR, thus putting LMTK2 as a component of a signaling complex modulating AR activity. Our finding that LMTK2 is a negative regulator of AR activity defines a novel cellular pathway for activation of AR-responsive genes in castrate resistant-prostate cancer. Moreover, pharmacologic manipulation of LMTK2 activity will provide a novel therapeutic target for more effective treatments for patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer. PMID:26008968

  13. Eulemur, me lemur: the evolution of scent-signal complexity in a primate clade.

    PubMed

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Sacha, Caitlin R; Dubay, George R; Drea, Christine M

    2012-07-01

    Signal complexity has been linked to social complexity in vocal, but not chemical, communication. To address this gap, we examined the chemical complexity of male and female glandular secretions in eight species of Eulemur. In this diverse clade of macrosmatic primates, species differ by social or mating system and dominance structure. We applied principal component and linear discriminate analyses to data obtained by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Beyond the significant effects on chemical signals of gland type, sex, season and species, we found effects of social variables and phylogeny. Notably, female odours were more chemically complex in multimale-multifemale species than pair-bonded species, whereas male odours were more chemically complex in codominant species than female-dominant species. Also, the traditional sexual dimorphism, whereby male signal complexity exceeds that of females, was present in codominant species, but reversed in female-dominant species. Lastly, a positive relationship between the species' pairwise chemical distances and their pairwise phylogenetic distances supported a gradual, but relatively fast mode of signal evolution. We suggest that the comparative method can be a powerful tool in olfactory research, revealing species differences relevant to the understanding of current signal utility and evolutionary processes. In particular, social complexity in lemurs may have selected for olfactory complexity. PMID:22641829

  14. Deficits of psychomotor and mnesic functions across aging in mouse lemur primates

    PubMed Central

    Languille, Solène; Liévin-Bazin, Agatha; Picq, Jean-Luc; Louis, Caroline; Dix, Sophie; De Barry, Jean; Blin, Olivier; Richardson, Jill; Bordet, Régis; Schenker, Esther; Djelti, Fathia; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-01-01

    Owing to a similar cerebral neuro-anatomy, non-human primates are viewed as the most valid models for understanding cognitive deficits. This study evaluated psychomotor and mnesic functions of 41 young to old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Psychomotor capacities and anxiety-related behaviors decreased abruptly from middle to late adulthood. However, mnesic functions were not affected in the same way with increasing age. While results of the spontaneous alternation task point to a progressive and widespread age-related decline of spatial working memory, both spatial reference and novel object recognition (NOR) memory tasks did not reveal any tendency due to large inter-individual variability in the middle-aged and old animals. Indeed, some of the aged animals performed as well as younger ones, whereas some others had bad performances in the Barnes maze and in the object recognition test. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that declarative-like memory was strongly impaired only in 7 out of 25 middle-aged/old animals. These results suggest that this analysis allows to distinguish elder populations of good and bad performers in this non-human primate model and to closely compare this to human aging. PMID:25620921

  15. True lemurs…true species - species delimitation using multiple data sources in the brown lemur complex

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Species are the fundamental units in evolutionary biology. However, defining them as evolutionary independent lineages requires integration of several independent sources of information in order to develop robust hypotheses for taxonomic classification. Here, we exemplarily propose an integrative framework for species delimitation in the “brown lemur complex” (BLC) of Madagascar, which consists of seven allopatric populations of the genus Eulemur (Primates: Lemuridae), which were sampled extensively across northern, eastern and western Madagascar to collect fecal samples for DNA extraction as well as recordings of vocalizations. Our data base was extended by including museum specimens with reliable identification and locality information for skull shape and pelage color analysis. Results Between-group analyses of principal components revealed significant heterogeneity in skull shape, pelage color variation and loud calls across all seven populations. Furthermore, post-hoc statistical tests between pairs of populations revealed considerable discordance among different data sets for different dyads. Despite a high degree of incomplete lineage sorting among nuclear loci, significant exclusive ancestry was found for all populations, except for E. cinereiceps, based on one mitochondrial and three nuclear genetic loci. Conclusions Using several independent lines of evidence, our results confirm the species status of the members of the BLC under the general lineage concept of species. More generally, the present analyses demonstrate the importance and value of integrating different kinds of data in delimiting recently evolved radiations. PMID:24159931

  16. Daily rhythms of core temperature and locomotor activity indicate different adaptive strategies to cold exposure in adult and aged mouse lemurs acclimated to a summer-like photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zizzari, Philippe; Epelbaum, Jacques; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-07-01

    Daily variations in core temperature (Tc) within the normothermic range imply thermoregulatory processes that are essential for optimal function and survival. Higher susceptibility towards cold exposure in older animals suggests that these processes are disturbed with age. In the mouse lemur, a long-day breeder, we tested whether aging affected circadian rhythmicity of Tc, locomotor activity (LA), and energy balance under long-day conditions when exposed to cold. Adult (N = 7) and aged (N = 5) mouse lemurs acclimated to LD14/10 were exposed to 10-day periods at 25 and 12 degrees C. Tc and LA rhythms were recorded by telemetry, and caloric intake (CI), body mass changes, and plasma IGF-1 were measured. During exposure to 25 degrees C, both adult and aged mouse lemurs exhibited strong daily variations in Tc. Aged animals exhibited lower levels of nocturnal LA and nocturnal and diurnal Tc levels in comparison to adults. Body mass and IGF-1 levels remained unchanged with aging. Under cold exposure, torpor bout occurrence was never observed whatever the age category. Adult and aged mouse lemurs maintained their Tc in the normothermic range and a positive energy balance. All animals exhibited increase in CI and decrease in IGF-1 in response to cold. The decrease in IGF-1 was delayed in aged mouse lemurs compared to adults. Moreover, both adult and aged animals responded to cold exposure by increasing their diurnal LA compared to those under Ta = 25 degrees C. However, aged animals exhibited a strong decrease in nocturnal LA and Tc, whereas cold effects were only slight in adults. The temporal organization and amplitude of the daily phase of low Tc were particularly well preserved under cold exposure in both age groups. Sexually active mouse lemurs exposed to cold thus seemed to prevent torpor exhibition and temporal disorganization of daily rhythms of Tc, even during aging. However, although energy balance was not impaired with age in mouse lemurs after cold exposure

  17. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial retrieval but not spatial learning in the non-human primate grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Anisur; Languille, Solène; Lamberty, Yves; Babiloni, Claudio; Perret, Martine; Bordet, Regis; Blin, Olivier J; Jacob, Tom; Auffret, Alexandra; Schenker, Esther; Richardson, Jill; Pifferi, Fabien; Aujard, Fabienne

    2013-01-01

    A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD) impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging. PMID:23717620

  18. Shades of gray mouse lemurs: Ontogeny of female dominance and dominance-related behaviors in a nocturnal primate.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Sarah; Koberstein-Schwarz, Maren; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2015-11-01

    The ontogeny and establishment of dominance relationships in young individuals have been investigated in various group-living, diurnal primates but respective information is almost entirely lacking for nocturnal, non-gregarious species. As in many other mammals male primates often represent the dominant sex, but the opposite phenomenon (female dominance) is particularly frequent in lemurs, although almost nothing is known about its development. Therefore, we investigated the development of intersexual dominance in parallel to age-related changes in other relevant behaviors in the gray mouse lemur, a solitary forager with female dominance. In particular, the temporal trajectories of social play, marking behavior, social tolerance, and agonistic behaviors were characterized in captive dyads of three different age categories (ACs), among juveniles (ACI: 4-5 months, N = 6), adolescents (ACII: 8-9 months, N = 8) and young adults (ACIII: 12-13 months, N = 8). Data were collected during a series of three encounter experiments between one male and one female per dyad and age category (total observation time: 49.5 hr). Play behavior was observed in all age classes, although the number of playing dyads decreased with increasing age. A significant age-dependent increase in marking behavior was found in females, especially in substrate rubbing and urine washing, but not in males. Although conflict rates did not differ significantly between ACs, females started to win more conflicts from ACII onwards, and social tolerance decreased partly with increasing age. Clear dominance relationships were not observed in ACI and first indications of dominant females were found in ACII with an increasing number in ACIII. This study provides first information about the ontogeny of female dominance in a nocturnal primate and shows that this behavior develops relatively late during ontogeny. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for significant changes in the social lives

  19. Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hotaling, Scott; Foley, Mary E; Lawrence, Nicolette M; Bocanegra, Jose; Blanco, Marina B; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Kappeler, Peter M; Barrett, Meredith A; Yoder, Anne D; Weisrock, David W

    2016-05-01

    Implementation of the coalescent model in a Bayesian framework is an emerging strength in genetically based species delimitation studies. By providing an objective measure of species diagnosis, these methods represent a quantitative enhancement to the analysis of multilocus data, and complement more traditional methods based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics. Recognized as two species 20 years ago, mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) now comprise more than 20 species, largely diagnosed from mtDNA sequence data. With each new species description, enthusiasm has been tempered with scientific scepticism. Here, we present a statistically justified and unbiased Bayesian approach towards mouse lemur species delimitation. We perform validation tests using multilocus sequence data and two methodologies: (i) reverse-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling to assess the likelihood of different models defined a priori by a guide tree, and (ii) a Bayes factor delimitation test that compares different species-tree models without a guide tree. We assess the sensitivity of these methods using randomized individual assignments, which has been used in bpp studies, but not with Bayes factor delimitation tests. Our results validate previously diagnosed taxa, as well as new species hypotheses, resulting in support for three new mouse lemur species. As the challenge of multiple researchers using differing criteria to describe diversity is not unique to Microcebus, the methods used here have significant potential for clarifying diversity in other taxonomic groups. We echo previous studies in advocating that multiple lines of evidence, including use of the coalescent model, should be trusted to delimit new species. PMID:26946180

  20. Functional promiscuity in a mammalian chemosensory system: extensive expression of vomeronasal receptors in the main olfactory epithelium of mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Dempewolf, Silke; Zimmermann, Elke; Mundy, Nicholas I.; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is functional in most terrestrial mammals, though progressively reduced in the primate lineage, and is used for intraspecific communication and predator recognition. Vomeronasal receptor (VR) genes comprise two families of chemosensory genes (V1R and V2R) that have been considered to be specific for the VNO. However, recently a large number of VRs were reported to be expressed in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) of mice, but there is little knowledge of the expression of these genes outside of rodents. To explore the function of VR genes in mammalian evolution, we analyzed and compared the expression of 64 V1R and 2 V2R genes in the VNO and the MOE of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), the primate with the largest known VR repertoire. We furthermore compared expression patterns in adults of both sexes and seasons, and in an infant. A large proportion (83–97%) of the VR loci was expressed in the VNO of all individuals. The repertoire in the infant was as rich as in adults, indicating reliance on olfactory communication from early postnatal development onwards. In concordance with mice, we also detected extensive expression of VRs in the MOE, with proportions of expressed loci in individuals ranging from 29 to 45%. TRPC2, which encodes a channel protein crucial for signal transduction via VRs, was co-expressed in the MOE in all individuals indicating likely functionality of expressed VR genes in the MOE. In summary, the large VR repertoire in mouse lemurs seems to be highly functional. Given the differences in the neural pathways of MOE and VNO signals, which project to higher cortical brain centers or the limbic system, respectively, this raises the intriguing possibility that the evolution of MOE-expression of VRs enabled mouse lemurs to adaptively diversify the processing of VR-encoded olfactory information. PMID:25309343

  1. Functional promiscuity in a mammalian chemosensory system: extensive expression of vomeronasal receptors in the main olfactory epithelium of mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Dempewolf, Silke; Zimmermann, Elke; Mundy, Nicholas I; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is functional in most terrestrial mammals, though progressively reduced in the primate lineage, and is used for intraspecific communication and predator recognition. Vomeronasal receptor (VR) genes comprise two families of chemosensory genes (V1R and V2R) that have been considered to be specific for the VNO. However, recently a large number of VRs were reported to be expressed in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) of mice, but there is little knowledge of the expression of these genes outside of rodents. To explore the function of VR genes in mammalian evolution, we analyzed and compared the expression of 64 V1R and 2 V2R genes in the VNO and the MOE of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), the primate with the largest known VR repertoire. We furthermore compared expression patterns in adults of both sexes and seasons, and in an infant. A large proportion (83-97%) of the VR loci was expressed in the VNO of all individuals. The repertoire in the infant was as rich as in adults, indicating reliance on olfactory communication from early postnatal development onwards. In concordance with mice, we also detected extensive expression of VRs in the MOE, with proportions of expressed loci in individuals ranging from 29 to 45%. TRPC2, which encodes a channel protein crucial for signal transduction via VRs, was co-expressed in the MOE in all individuals indicating likely functionality of expressed VR genes in the MOE. In summary, the large VR repertoire in mouse lemurs seems to be highly functional. Given the differences in the neural pathways of MOE and VNO signals, which project to higher cortical brain centers or the limbic system, respectively, this raises the intriguing possibility that the evolution of MOE-expression of VRs enabled mouse lemurs to adaptively diversify the processing of VR-encoded olfactory information. PMID:25309343

  2. Effects of Resveratrol on Daily Rhythms of Locomotor Activity and Body Temperature in Young and Aged Grey Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Dal-Pan, Alexandre; Languille, Solène; Aujard, Fabienne

    2013-01-01

    In several species, resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound, activates sirtuin proteins implicated in the regulation of energy balance and biological clock processes. To demonstrate the effect of resveratrol on clock function in an aged primate, young and aged mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) were studied over a 4-week dietary supplementation with resveratrol. Spontaneous locomotor activity and daily variations in body temperature were continuously recorded. Reduction in locomotor activity onset and changes in body temperature rhythm in resveratrol-supplemented aged animals suggest an improved synchronisation on the light-dark cycle. Resveratrol could be a good candidate to restore the circadian rhythms in the elderly. PMID:23983895

  3. Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination of Breeding Pools Utilized by the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, Peltophryne lemur

    PubMed Central

    Gjeltema, Jenessa; Stoskopf, Michael; Shea, Damian; De Voe, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    Habitat preservation and management may play an important role in the conservation of the Puerto Rican crested toad, Peltophryne lemur, due to this species' small geographic range and declining native wild population. Bioavailable water concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminants within breeding pools at 3 sites were established using Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A more diverse population of PAH analytes were found in higher concentrations at the breeding site that allowed direct vehicular access, but calculated risk quotients indicated low risk to toad reproduction associated with the current PAH analyte levels. PMID:23762634

  4. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  5. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals’ identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  6. The ranging behavior of Lemur catta in the region of Cap Sainte-Marie, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Large home ranges and extreme flexibility in ranging behaviors characterize most subarid dwelling haplorhines. However, the most comparable extant strepsirhine, Lemur catta, is characterized as having small home ranges with consistent boundaries. Since ranging studies on this species have been limited to gallery forest habitat, the author's goal is to identify ecological factors that affect range use of L. catta in one of the most resource-limited environments of its distribution. To conduct this study, ranging and behavioral data were collected on two nonoverlapping groups through all-day follows in the semidesert scrub environment of Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM), Madagascar. Data were collected from August 2007 through July 2008. Home range areas and day range lengths were generated using ArcGIS(®) 9.3. Other variables measured were habitat composition, diet richness, daily activity, and microclimate. Home range areas of CSM L. catta were very large relative to those of gallery forest L. catta, and there was great monthly variation. In contrast, day range lengths at CSM were either smaller than or approximated the size of comparative gallery forest groups. Temperature, sunning, and diet richness were associated with day range length for one but not for both groups and appear to be related to energy management needs. Based on these findings, the author suggests that L. catta is capable of extensive behavioral and ranging flexibility in the extremes of its environment. However, physiological constraints impose limitations that can interfere with its ability to adapt to even seemingly minor variations in microclimate and habitat structure within the same site. PMID:23180618

  7. 76 FR 61733 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-05

    ... generic tiger), Hylobatidae, Tapiridae, Gruidae, Crocodylidae. Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), Parma wallaby (Macropus parma), Somali wild ass...

  8. 76 FR 66954 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-28

    ...). radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). Red-crowned crane (Grus japonica). ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). black lemur (Eulemur macaco). brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus). black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia... tortoise (Chelonoids nigra). radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiate). ring-tailed lemur (Lemur...

  9. Patterns of Dental Macrowear in Subfossil Lemur catta from Ankilitelo Cave, Madagascar: Indications of Ecology and Habitat Use over Time.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    The Ankilitelo cave site, Madagascar, contains a large collection of extant and recently extinct subfossil lemurs including the extant taxa Lemur catta and Eulemur rufifrons, which today are rarely found in sympatry. Dates for this assemblage range from 300 to 13,000 BP, though known dates for extinct primate specimens range between ∼500 and ∼600 BP. Data from Ankilitelo L. catta and E. rufifrons were compared to assess tooth wear in sympatric, related forms. Wear was scored using an ordinal scale from 0 to 5. For P4, M1 and M2, E. rufifrons displays significantly more wear than L. catta. Ankilitelo represents one of the most southerly samples of E. rufifrons, and wear data suggest that in the recent (i.e. Holocene) past, their diet near the edges of their geographic range included mechanically challenging foods. In contrast, sympatric L. catta was using foods in this transitional humid-dry forest with succulent woodlands that were not significantly impacted by recent human actions, and for which they were dentally adapted. Results also suggest that this non-gallery forest habitat may be the 'adaptive home' of L. catta, given the lack of notable tooth wear when compared to populations currently living in tamarind-dominated riverine gallery forests. PMID:26022310

  10. Life history profiles for 27 strepsirrhine primate taxa generated using captive data from the Duke Lemur Center

    PubMed Central

    Zehr, Sarah M; Roach, Richard G; Haring, David; Taylor, Julie; Cameron, Freda H; Yoder, Anne D

    2014-01-01

    Since its establishment in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) has accumulated detailed records for nearly 4,200 individuals from over 40 strepsirrhine primate taxa—the lemurs, lorises, and galagos. Here we present verified data for 3,627 individuals of 27 taxa in the form of a life history table containing summarized species values for variables relating to ancestry, reproduction, longevity, and body mass, as well as the two raw data files containing direct and calculated variables from which this summary table is built. Large sample sizes, longitudinal data that in many cases span an animal’s entire life, exact dates of events, and large numbers of individuals from closely related yet biologically diverse primate taxa make these datasets unique. This single source for verified raw data and systematically compiled species values, particularly in combination with the availability of associated biological samples and the current live colony for research, will support future studies from an enormous spectrum of disciplines. PMID:25977776

  11. Nocturnal light environments influence color vision and signatures of selection on the OPN1SW opsin gene in nocturnal lemurs.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Louis, Edward E; Bolnick, Deborah A

    2013-06-01

    Although loss of short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) cones and dichromatic color vision in mammals has traditionally been linked to a nocturnal lifestyle, recent studies have identified variation in selective pressure for the maintenance of the OPN1SW opsin gene (and thus, potentially dichromacy) among nocturnal mammalian lineages. These studies hypothesize that purifying selection to retain SWS cones may be associated with a selective advantage for nocturnal color vision under certain ecological conditions. In this study, we explore the effect of nocturnal light environment on OPN1SW opsin gene evolution in a diverse sample of nocturnal lemurs (106 individuals, 19 species, and 5 genera). Using both phylogenetic and population genetic approaches, we test whether species from closed canopy rainforests, which are impoverished in short-wavelength light, have experienced relaxed selection compared with species from open canopy forests. We identify clear signatures of differential selection on OPN1SW by habitat type. Our results suggest that open canopy species generally experience strong purifying selection to maintain SWS cones. In contrast, closed canopy species experience weaker purifying selection or a relaxation of selection on OPN1SW. We also found evidence of nonfunctional OPN1SW genes in all Phaner species and in Cheirogaleus medius, implying at least three independent losses of SWS cones in cheirogaleids. Our results suggest that the evolution of color vision in nocturnal lemurs has been influenced by nocturnal light environment. PMID:23519316

  12. LEMUR (Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research): a VUV imaging spectrograph for the JAXA Solar-C Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korendyke, Clarence M.; Teriaca, Luca; Doschek, George A.; Harra, Louise K.; Schühle, Udo H.; Shimizu, Toshifumi

    2011-10-01

    LEMUR is a VUV imaging spectrograph with 0.28" resolution. Incident solar radiation is imaged onto the spectrograph slit by a single mirror telescope consisting of a 30-cm steerable f/12 off-axis paraboloid mirror. The spectrograph slit is imaged and dispersed by a highly corrected grating that focuses the solar spectrum over the detectors. The mirror is coated with a suitable multilayer with B4C top-coating providing a reflectance peak around 18.5 nm besides the usual B4C range above 500Å. The grating is formed by two halves, one optimized for performances around 185Å and the other above 500Å. Three intensified CCD cameras will record spectra above 50 nm while a large format CCD array with an aluminum filter will be used around 185Å.

  13. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K; Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P<0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P<0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P<0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies. PMID:26092183

  14. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K.; Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N.; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P < 0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu–Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P < 0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P < 0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies. PMID:26092183

  15. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Anisur; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C.; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8–12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7–9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8–12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1–4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2–4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8–12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  16. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs.

    PubMed

    Infarinato, Francesco; Rahman, Anisur; Del Percio, Claudio; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7-9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8-12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1-4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2-4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8-12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  17. MHC class II variation in a rare and ecological specialist mouse lemur reveals lower allelic richness and contrasting selection patterns compared to a generalist and widespread sympatric congener.

    PubMed

    Pechouskova, Eva; Dammhahn, Melanie; Brameier, Markus; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M; Huchard, Elise

    2015-04-01

    The polymorphism of immunogenes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is thought to influence the functional plasticity of immune responses and, consequently, the fitness of populations facing heterogeneous pathogenic pressures. Here, we evaluated MHC variation (allelic richness and divergence) and patterns of selection acting on the two highly polymorphic MHC class II loci (DRB and DQB) in the endangered primate Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae). Using 454 pyrosequencing, we examined MHC variation in a total of 100 individuals sampled over 9 years in Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar, and compared our findings with data obtained previously for its sympatric congener, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). These species exhibit a contrasting ecology and demography that were expected to affect MHC variation and molecular signatures of selection. We found a lower allelic richness concordant with its low population density, but a similar level of allelic divergence and signals of historical selection in the rare feeding specialist M. berthae compared to the widespread generalist M. murinus. These findings suggest that demographic factors may exert a stronger influence than pathogen-driven selection on current levels of allelic richness in M. berthae. Despite a high sequence similarity between the two congeners, contrasting selection patterns detected at DQB suggest its potential functional divergence. This study represents a first step toward unravelling factors influencing the adaptive divergence of MHC genes between closely related but ecologically differentiated sympatric lemurs and opens new questions regarding potential functional discrepancy that would explain contrasting selection patterns detected at DQB. PMID:25687337

  18. Biomedical evaluation of two sympatric lemur species (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni and Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Tsiombokibo Classified Forest, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Junge, Randall E; Louis, Edward E

    2005-12-01

    Complete medical examinations were performed on 20 wild Decken's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni) and 20 wild red-fronted brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus rufus) from western Madagascar. Each animal received a complete physical examination, and weight, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded and ectoparasites collected. Blood samples were collected for complete blood cell count, differential white blood cell count, hemoparasite examination, serum biochemical profile, fat-soluble vitamin analysis, trace mineral analysis, and toxoplasmosis and viral serology. Fecal samples were collected for bacterial culture and endoparasite examination. Significant differences exist between the species for serum chemistry values for creatine phosphokinase, glucose, total protein, albumin, globulin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphorus, potassium, and chloride; for fat-soluble vitamins 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, retinol, retinyl palmitate, gamma-tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol, and lutein + zeaxanthin; and serum copper. Parasites detected include Lemurostrongylus spp., Lemuricola spp., Trichurus spp., and ectoparasites Haemaphysalis lemuris, Psoroptes, and mites identified to the family Laelapidae. Enteric bacterial flora included Escherichia coli, Citrobacter ssp., Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus, Klebsiella ozaenae, Acinetobacter lwofii, and Enterobacter amnigenus. PMID:17312713

  19. ESTIMATED COMPOSITION OF DIETS FED TO CAPTIVE BLACK-AND-WHITE RUFFED LEMURS (VARECIA VARIEGATA) AT 33 U.S. ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS.

    PubMed

    Donadeo, Brett C; Kerr, Katherine R; Morris, Cheryl L; Swanson, Kelly S

    2016-03-01

    Data on captive diets for black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) are limited. Information on food items used, inclusion amounts, and the chemical composition of diets is needed to improve the management of nutrition-related health problems seen in captive lemurs (e.g., obesity) that have not been reported in their wild counterparts. To determine the ingredient and nutrient composition of diets for captive V. variegata, U.S. zoological institutions were surveyed. Chemical composition of reported diets was estimated using Nutritionist Pro™ (Axxya Systems, Stafford, Texas 77477, USA), and these values were compared numerically to wild lemur diets from the literature. Institutions included from six to greater than 30 different ingredients in their diets, including fruits (0.0-84.1%), vegetables (7.5-70.0%), greens (1.0-28.5%), and commercially available feeds (1.5-68.6%). Nutrient concentrations of captive diets ranged as follows: dry matter (DM), 14.5-67.6%; organic matter, 93.1-97.2% DM basis (DMB); crude protein, 7.9-23.9% DMB; fat, 2.0-6.5% DMB; total dietary fiber, 10.1-28.1% DMB; and N-free extract, 38.9-74.4% DMB. Captive diets had lower fat and total dietary fiber and higher protein and N-free extract compared to wild fruit items from Madagascar. Reducing the amount of fruit in captive diets for V. variegata would be expected to decrease digestible carbohydrate content and increase fiber content of these diets, which has implications for the prevalence of obesity in captive animals. PMID:27010276

  20. Dietary palmitate and linoleate oxidations, oxidative stress, and DNA damage differ according to season in mouse lemurs exposed to a chronic food deprivation.

    PubMed

    Giroud, Sylvain; Perret, Martine; Gilbert, Caroline; Zahariev, Alexandre; Goudable, Joëlle; Le Maho, Yvon; Oudart, Hugues; Momken, Iman; Aujard, Fabienne; Blanc, Stéphane

    2009-10-01

    This study investigated the extent to which the increase in torpor expression in the grey mouse lemur, due to graded food restriction, is modulated by a trade-off between a whole body sparing of polyunsaturated dietary fatty acids and the related oxidative stress generated during daily torpor. We measured changes in torpor frequency, total energy expenditure (TEE), linoleate (polyunsaturated fatty acid) and palmitate (saturated fatty acid) oxidation, hexanoyl-lysine (HEL; the product of linoleate peroxidation), and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG; a marker of DNA damage). Animals under summer-acclimated long days (LD) or winter-acclimated short days (SD) were exposed to a 40% (LD40 and SD40) and 80% (LD80 and SD80) 35-day calorie restriction (CR). During CR, all groups reduced their body mass, but LD80 animals reached survival-threatened levels at day 22 and were then excluded from the CR trial. Only SD mouse lemurs increased their torpor frequency with CR and displayed a decrease in their TEE adjusted for fat-free mass. After CR, SD40 mouse lemurs shifted the dietary fatty acid oxidation toward palmitate and spared linoleate. Such a shift was not observed in LD animals and during severe CR, during which oxidation of both dietary fatty acids was increased. Concomitantly, HEL increased in both LD40 and SD80 groups, whereas DNA damage was only seen in SD80 food-restricted animals. HEL correlated positively with linoleate oxidation confirming in vivo the substrate/product relationship demonstrated in vitro, and negatively with TEE adjusted for fat-free mass, suggesting higher oxidative stress associated with increased torpor expression. This suggests a seasonal-dependant, cost-benefit trade-off between maximizing torpor propensity and minimizing oxidative stress that is associated with a shift toward sparing of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids that is dependent upon the expression of a winter phenotype. PMID:19625694

  1. The Grey Mouse Lemur Uses Season-Dependent Fat or Protein Sparing Strategies to Face Chronic Food Restriction

    PubMed Central

    Giroud, Sylvain; Perret, Martine; Stein, Peter; Goudable, Joëlle; Aujard, Fabienne; Gilbert, Caroline; Robin, Jean Patrice; Le Maho, Yvon; Zahariev, Alexandre

    2010-01-01

    During moderate calorie restriction (CR) the heterotherm Microcebus murinus is able to maintain a stable energy balance whatever the season, even if only wintering animals enter into torpor. To understand its energy saving strategies to respond to food shortages, we assessed protein and energy metabolisms associated with wintering torpor expression or summering torpor avoidance. We investigated body composition, whole body protein turnover, and daily energy expenditure (DEE), during a graded (40 and 80%) 35-day CR in short-days (winter; SD40 and SD80, respectively) and long-days (summer; LD40 and LD80, respectively) acclimated animals. LD40 animals showed no change in fat mass (FM) but a 12% fat free mass (FFM) reduction. Protein balance being positive after CR, the FFM loss was early and rapid. The 25% DEE reduction, in LD40 group was mainly explained by FFM changes. LD80 animals showed a steady body mass loss and were excluded from the CR trial at day 22, reaching a survival-threatened body mass. No data were available for this group. SD40 animals significantly decreased their FM level by 21%, but maintained FFM. Protein sparing was achieved through a 35 and 39% decrease in protein synthesis and catabolism (protein turnover), respectively, overall maintaining nitrogen balance. The 21% reduction in energy requirement was explained by the 30% nitrogen flux drop but also by torpor as DEE FFM-adjusted remained 13% lower compared to ad-libitum. SD80 animals were unable to maintain energy and nitrogen balances, losing both FM and FFM. Thus summering mouse lemurs equilibrate energy balance by a rapid loss of active metabolic mass without using torpor, whereas wintering animals spare protein and energy through increased torpor expression. Both strategies have direct fitness implication: 1) to maintain activities at a lower body size during the mating season and 2) to preserve an optimal wintering muscle mass and function. PMID:20098678

  2. Primate Torpor: Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused) versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs), MAPK kinase (MEK), and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected downstream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently during torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor. PMID:26093282

  3. Primate Torpor: Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N.; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused) versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs), MAPK kinase (MEK), and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected downstream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently during torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor. PMID:26093282

  4. Long-chain n-3 PUFAs from fish oil enhance resting state brain glucose utilization and reduce anxiety in an adult nonhuman primate, the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Pifferi, Fabien; Dorieux, Olène; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Croteau, Etienne; Masson, Marie; Guillermier, Martine; Van Camp, Nadja; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Cunnane, Stephen; Dhenain, Marc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-08-01

    Decreased brain content of DHA, the most abundant long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) in the brain, is accompanied by severe neurosensorial impairments linked to impaired neurotransmission and impaired brain glucose utilization. In the present study, we hypothesized that increasing n-3 LCPUFA intake at an early age may help to prevent or correct the glucose hypometabolism observed during aging and age-related cognitive decline. The effects of 12 months' supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA on brain glucose utilization assessed by positron emission tomography was tested in young adult mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Cognitive function was tested in parallel in the same animals. Lemurs supplemented with n-3 LCPUFA had higher brain glucose uptake and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose compared with controls in all brain regions. The n-3 LCPUFA-supplemented animals also had higher exploratory activity in an open-field task and lower evidence of anxiety in the Barnes maze. Our results demonstrate for the first time in a nonhuman primate that n-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases brain glucose uptake and metabolism and concomitantly reduces anxiety. PMID:26063461

  5. Baylisascaris procyonis larva migrans in two white-headed lemurs (Eulemur albifrons) in Spain and response to treatment derived from a human pediatric protocol.

    PubMed

    Jimenez Martinez, Maria-Angeles; Valderrabano Cano, Esther; Rois, Jose L

    2015-06-15

    Baylisascaris procyonis is a well-known ascaridoid nematode that causes larva migrans in humans and many other animal species. The North American raccoon (Procyon lotor) is the definitive host, which has been successfully introduced in the past decades to other geographical regions around the world. Two white-headed lemurs (Eulemuralbifrons) from a Zoological Park in Lugo, Spain, developed severe neurological signs within a brief period after being transferred from exhibit and placed in close contact with three captive raccoons from the same zoo. One lemur was euthanized due to the severity of disease progression and histopathology revealed granulomatous inflammation and ascaridoid larvae in kidneys, lung, spleen and brain. Larvae were identified as B. procyonis larvae by real time PCR. In light of the results, the cage mate with similar neurological signs was put on an albendazole treatment regimen adapted from a human pediatric protocol. The aggressive anthelmintic treatment likely contributed to the arrest of clinical signs and recovery of some motor skills. Importantly, Baylisascaris procyonis infection might occur in wild raccoon populations in Spain. PMID:25936436

  6. Phylogeographic analysis of the true lemurs (genus Eulemur) underlines the role of river catchments for the evolution of micro-endemism in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Due to its remarkable species diversity and micro-endemism, Madagascar has recently been suggested to serve as a biogeographic model region. However, hypothesis-based tests of various diversification mechanisms that have been proposed for the evolution of the island’s micro-endemic lineages are still limited. Here, we test the fit of several diversification hypotheses with new data on the broadly distributed genus Eulemur using coalescent-based phylogeographic analyses. Results Time-calibrated species tree analyses and population genetic clustering resolved the previously polytomic species relationships among eulemurs. The most recent common ancestor of eulemurs was estimated to have lived about 4.45 million years ago (mya). Divergence date estimates furthermore suggested a very recent diversification among the members of the “brown lemur complex”, i.e. former subspecies of E. fulvus, during the Pleistocene (0.33-1.43 mya). Phylogeographic model comparisons of past migration rates showed significant levels of gene flow between lineages of neighboring river catchments as well as between eastern and western populations of the redfronted lemur (E. rufifrons). Conclusions Together, our results are concordant with the centers of endemism hypothesis (Wilmé et al. 2006, Science 312:1063–1065), highlight the importance of river catchments for the evolution of Madagascar’s micro-endemic biota, and they underline the usefulness of testing diversification mechanisms using coalescent-based phylogeographic methods. PMID:24228694

  7. Long-chain n-3 PUFAs from fish oil enhance resting state brain glucose utilization and reduce anxiety in an adult nonhuman primate, the grey mouse lemur

    PubMed Central

    Pifferi, Fabien; Dorieux, Olène; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Croteau, Etienne; Masson, Marie; Guillermier, Martine; Van Camp, Nadja; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Cunnane, Stephen; Dhenain, Marc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-01-01

    Decreased brain content of DHA, the most abundant long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) in the brain, is accompanied by severe neurosensorial impairments linked to impaired neurotransmission and impaired brain glucose utilization. In the present study, we hypothesized that increasing n-3 LCPUFA intake at an early age may help to prevent or correct the glucose hypometabolism observed during aging and age-related cognitive decline. The effects of 12 months’ supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA on brain glucose utilization assessed by positron emission tomography was tested in young adult mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Cognitive function was tested in parallel in the same animals. Lemurs supplemented with n-3 LCPUFA had higher brain glucose uptake and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose compared with controls in all brain regions. The n-3 LCPUFA-supplemented animals also had higher exploratory activity in an open-field task and lower evidence of anxiety in the Barnes maze.jlr Our results demonstrate for the first time in a nonhuman primate that n-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases brain glucose uptake and metabolism and concomitantly reduces anxiety. PMID:26063461

  8. Structural characterization of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhine primates: greater galago, aye-aye, Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur.

    PubMed

    Taufik, Epi; Fukuda, Kenji; Senda, Akitsugu; Saito, Tadao; Williams, Cathy; Tilden, Chris; Eisert, Regina; Oftedal, Olav; Urashima, Tadasu

    2012-04-01

    The structures of milk oligosaccharides were characterized for four strepsirrhine primates to examine the extent to which they resemble milk oligosaccharides in other primates. Neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were isolated from milk of the greater galago (Galagidae: Otolemur crassicaudatus), aye-aye (Daubentoniidae: Daubentonia madagascariensis), Coquerel's sifaka (Indriidae: Propithecus coquereli) and mongoose lemur (Lemuridae: Eulemur mongoz), and their chemical structures were characterized by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. The oligosaccharide patterns observed among strepsirrhines did not appear to correlate to phylogeny, sociality or pattern of infant care. Both type I and type II neutral oligosaccharides were found in the milk of the aye-aye, but type II predominate over type I. Only type II oligosaccharides were identified in other strepsirrhine milks. α3'-GL (isoglobotriose, Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milks of Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur, which is the first report of this oligosaccharide in the milk of any primate species. 2'-FL (Fuc(α1-2)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milk of an aye-aye with an ill infant. Oligosaccharides containing the Lewis x epitope were found in aye-aye and mongoose lemur milk. Among acidic oligosaccharides, 3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all studied species, whereas 6'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (6'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all species except greater galago. Greater galago milk also contained 3'-N-glycolylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NGc, Neu5Gc(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc). The finding of a variety of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhines, as previously reported for haplorhines, suggests that such constituents are ancient rather than derived features, and are as characteristic of primate lactation is the classic disaccharide, lactose. PMID:22311613

  9. 76 FR 54480 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-01

    ... gorilla), white- cheeked gibbon (Hylobates leucogenys), Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), bonobo (Pan paniscus), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and Sumatran orangutan...

  10. Lumbar vertebral morphology of flying, gliding, and suspensory mammals: implications for the locomotor behavior of the subfossil lemurs Palaeopropithecus and Babakotia.

    PubMed

    Granatosky, Michael C; Miller, Charlotte E; Boyer, Doug M; Schmitt, Daniel

    2014-10-01

    Lumbar vertebral morphology has been used as an indicator of locomotor behavior in living and fossil mammals. Rigidity within the lumbar region is thought to be important for increasing overall axial rigidity during various forms of locomotion, including bridging between supports, inverted quadrupedalism, gliding, and flying. However, distinguishing between those behaviors using bony features has been challenging. This study used osteological characters of the lumbar vertebrae to attempt to develop fine-grade functional distinctions among different mammalian species in order to make more complete inferences about how the axial skeleton affects locomotor behavior in extant mammals. These same lumbar characters were measured in two extinct species for which locomotor behaviors are well known, the sloth lemurs (Palaeopropithecus and Babakotia radofilai), in order to further evaluate their locomotor behaviors. Results from a principal components analysis of seven measurements, determined to be functionally significant from previous studies, demonstrate that inverted quadrupeds in the sample are characterized by dorsoventrally short and cranio-caudally expanded spinous processes, dorsally oriented transverse processes, and mediolaterally short and dorsoventrally high vertebral bodies compared with mammals that are relatively pronograde, vertical clingers, or gliders. Antipronograde mammals, dermopterans, and chiropterans also exhibit these traits, but not to the same extent as the inverted quadrupeds. In accordance with previous studies, our data show that the sloth lemur B. radofilai groups closely with antipronograde mammals like lorises, while Palaeopropithecus groups with extant sloths. These findings suggest that Palaeopropithecus was engaged in inverted quadrupedalism at a high frequency, while B. radofilai may have engaged in a more diverse array of locomotor and positional behaviors. The osteological features used here reflect differences in lumbar mobility

  11. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR) was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT) of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle, WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory controls operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α) and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4). In the skeletal muscle, the protein expression of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies highlight the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor. PMID:26092184

  12. Anatomy is important, but need not be destiny: novel uses of the thumb in aye-ayes compared to other lemurs.

    PubMed

    Pellis, Sergio M; Pellis, Vivien C

    2012-06-01

    Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascerensis) have highly specialized hands with long digits, especially the thin middle one (D3), which is used for extracting food, such as beetle larvae, under bark. Due to the elongation of their fingers, including the thumb, it is presumed that aye-ayes have a rather limited capacity for delicate manipulation of objects. However, studies have reported independent movement of digits D3 and D4, and one report noted a seemingly independent thumb (D1) movement in holding food. Sixteen captive adult aye-ayes were videotaped feeding on a diverse range of foods so as to document how the thumb is used during food holding. To determine if the patterns observed were unique to aye-ayes, 24 individuals from 9 other species of lemurs were also videotaped. Two patterns of thumb use idiosyncratic to aye-ayes and one other lemur, the sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi), were identified: (1) when holding a food item in one hand, the thumb was used to secure the food, with the other digits playing a secondary role; (2) when holding a food item with both hands, the thumbs once again took a predominant role in securing the food. In the majority of these cases, whether held by one or two thumbs, the thumbs curled around the item, but some descriptive evidence is provided that suggests that aye-ayes exaggerate the role of the thumbs by shifting the hold to the outer edge. The novel uses of the thumbs in aye-ayes demonstrate that brain mechanisms can sometimes override the behavioral (or motor) limitations imposed by the morphology of the body. PMID:21924295

  13. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Tessier, Shannon N.; Zhang, Jing; Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR) was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT) of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle, WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory controls operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α) and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4). In the skeletal muscle, the protein expression of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies highlight the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor. PMID:26092184

  14. Evaluating capture stress in wild gray mouse lemurs via repeated fecal sampling: method validation and the influence of prior experience and handling protocols on stress responses.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Kraus, Cornelia

    2014-01-01

    Reliable measurements of physiological stress are increasingly needed for eco-physiological research and for species conservation or management. Stress can be estimated by quantifying plasma glucocorticoid levels, but when this is not feasible, glucocorticoid metabolites are often measured from feces (FGCM). However, evidence is accumulating on the sensitivity of FGCM measurements to various nuisance factors. Careful species- and context-specific validations are therefore necessary to confirm the biological relevance and specificity of the method. The goals of this study were to: (1) establish and validate sampling methods and an enzymeimmunoassay to measure FGCM in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus); (2) explore causes of variability in the FGCM measurements, and; (3) assess the consequences of capturing and handling for free-living individuals by quantifying their stress responses via repeated fecal sampling within capture sessions. We further assessed the influence of different handling protocols and the animals' previous capture experience on the magnitude of the physiological response. Our validations identified the group-specific measurement of 11ß-hydroxyetiocholanolone as the most suitable assay for monitoring adrenocortical activity. The sample water content and the animal's age were found to significantly influence baseline FGCM-levels. Most captured animals exhibited a post-capture FGCM-elevation but its magnitude was not related to the handling protocol or capture experience. We found no evidence for long-term consequences of routine capturing on the animals' stress physiology. Hence the described methods can be employed to measure physiological stress in mouse lemurs in an effective and relatively non-invasive way. PMID:24212051

  15. 77 FR 38652 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-28

    ... period. Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  16. 77 FR 44264 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-27

    .... Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), Ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), Lar gibbon (Hylobates lar... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26,...

  17. 77 FR 41198 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-12

    ... Equidae Species: Lemur catta (ring-tailed lemur) Varecia variegata (black and white ruffed lemur) Acinonyx... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26,...

  18. 78 FR 53473 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-29

    ... captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), black lemur (Eulemur macaco... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  19. Effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial memory of the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    Languille, Solène; Aujard, Fabienne; Pifferi, Fabien

    2012-12-01

    The data are inconsistent about the ability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to prevent age-associated cognitive decline. Indeed, most clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids against cognitive decline, and methodological issues are still under debate. In contrast to human studies, experiments performed in adult rodents clearly indicate that omega-3 fatty acids supplement can improve behavioural and cognitive functions. The inconsistent observations between human and rodent studies highlight the importance of the use of non-human primate models. The aim of the present study was to address the impact of omega-3 fatty acids (given in the form of dietary fish oil) on exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial reference memory in the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate. Aged animals fed fish oil exhibited decreased exploratory activity, as manifested by an increase in the latency to move and a reduced distance travelled in an open-field. The fish oil-supplemented animals exhibited no change in the anxiety level, but they were more reactive to go into the dark arms of a light/dark plus-maze. In addition, we found that fish oil supplementation did not significantly improve the spatial memory performance in the Barnes maze task. This study demonstrated for the first time that a fish oil diet initiated late in life specifically modifies the exploratory behaviour without improving the spatial memory of aged non-human primates. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be effective when started early in life but less effective when started at later ages. PMID:22921374

  20. The effect of supplementation with vitamin A on serum and liver concentrations in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur) and its lack of impact on brown skin disease.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Christopher; Lentini, Andrew; Berkvens, Charlene; Crawshaw, Graham

    2014-01-01

    "Brown skin disease" (BSD) is a clinical syndrome of dysecdysis, chronic weight loss and death, previously reported in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur). Although vitamin A deficiency has been suggested, its cause remains unknown and multiple treatments have failed to prevent or reverse the condition. This study compared the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation, administered in different forms and by different routes, in 48 captive born Puerto Rican crested toads fed from metamorphosis on gut-loaded, dusted, commercially raised crickets. Forty-five toads started to show clinical signs of BSD at 9 months of age; all toads were treated orally with an oil-based vitamin A formulation twice weekly for 2 months but continued to deteriorate. Two treatment groups were then compared: Animals in one group (n=19) received 2 IU injectable vitamin A (Aquasol-A) per gram bodyweight subcutaneously twice weekly for 3 months with no change in diet. Toads in the other group (n=22) received a single oral dose of vitamins A, D3 , and E, and were fed on earthworms and crickets gut-loaded with produce and a finely-ground alfalfa-based pellet, dusted with the same vitamin/mineral supplement. All affected animals developed severe BSD equally and died during, or were euthanized at the end of, the treatment regimen, with no clinical improvement. Animals supplemented with Aquasol-A had significantly higher liver vitamin A concentrations compared with the other treatment group, whereas serum retinol concentrations showed no significant difference. Vitamin A supplementation does not appear a successful treatment once BSD symptoms have developed. PMID:25183002

  1. 78 FR 54479 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-04

    ... applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), black... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  2. 76 FR 34095 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-10

    ... permit to import biological samples from ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), collected in the wild in... the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Duke Lemur Center, Duke University, Durham, NC; PRT-43685A The applicant requests a permit to import biological samples from mouse lemur species...

  3. 78 FR 12777 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-25

    ... captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), lar gibbon (Hylobates... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  4. 78 FR 112 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-02

    ... export biological samples derived from captive-bred specimens of Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) to...-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) to Bermuda for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  5. 78 FR 7447 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-01

    ... to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) Cottontop tamarin... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  6. 77 FR 3493 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-24

    ... a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26,...

  7. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity. PMID:24757163

  8. 77 FR 34059 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-08

    ... tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) cottontop tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) Japanese macaque... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74...

  9. Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Rover: LEMUR II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, B.; Aghazarian, H.; Cheng, Y.; Garrett, M.; Hutsberger, T.; Magnone, L.; Okon, A.; Robinson, M.

    2002-01-01

    The assembly inspection, and maintenance requirements of permanent installations in space demand robotic agents that provide a high level of operational flexibility relative to the mass and volume of the robotic system.

  10. 77 FR 68809 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-16

    ... conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white... Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR... turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and...

  11. Unique spectrum of activity of prosimian TRIM5alpha against exogenous and endogenous retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Rahm, Nadia; Yap, Melvyn; Snoeck, Joke; Zoete, Vincent; Muñoz, Miguel; Radespiel, Ute; Zimmermann, Elke; Michielin, Olivier; Stoye, Jonathan P; Ciuffi, Angela; Telenti, Amalio

    2011-05-01

    Lentiviruses, the genus of retrovirus that includes HIV-1, rarely endogenize. Some lemurs uniquely possess an endogenous lentivirus called PSIV ("prosimian immunodeficiency virus"). Thus, lemurs provide the opportunity to study the activity of host defense factors, such as TRIM5α, in the setting of germ line invasion. We characterized the activities of TRIM5α proteins from two distant lemurs against exogenous retroviruses and a chimeric PSIV. TRIM5α from gray mouse lemur, which carries PSIV in its genome, exhibited the narrowest restriction activity. One allelic variant of gray mouse lemur TRIM5α restricted only N-tropic murine leukemia virus (N-MLV), while a second variant restricted N-MLV and, uniquely, B-tropic MLV (B-MLV); both variants poorly blocked PSIV. In contrast, TRIM5α from ring-tailed lemur, which does not contain PSIV in its genome, revealed one of the broadest antiviral activities reported to date against lentiviruses, including PSIV. Investigation into the antiviral specificity of ring-tailed lemur TRIM5α demonstrated a major contribution of a 32-amino-acid expansion in variable region 2 (v2) of the B30.2/SPRY domain to the breadth of restriction. Data on lemur TRIM5α and the prediction of ancestral simian sequences hint at an evolutionary scenario where antiretroviral specificity is prominently defined by the lineage-specific expansion of the variable loops of B30.2/SPRY. PMID:21345948

  12. Timing the origin of human malarias: the lemur puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Timing the origin of human malarias has been a focus of great interest. Previous studies on the mitochondrial genome concluded that Plasmodium in primates, including those parasitic to humans, radiated relatively recently during a process where host switches were common. Those investigations, however, assumed constant rate of evolution and tightly bound (fixed) calibration points based on host fossils or host distribution. We investigate the effect of such assumptions using different molecular dating methods. We include parasites from Lemuroidea since their distribution provides an external validation to time estimates allowing us to disregard scenarios that cannot explain their introduction in Madagascar. Results We reject the assumption that the Plasmodium mitochondrial genome, as a unit or each gene separately, evolves at a constant rate. Our analyses show that Lemuroidea parasites are a monophyletic group that shares a common ancestor with all Catarrhini malarias except those related to P. falciparum. However, we found no evidence that this group of parasites branched with their hosts early in the evolution of primates. We applied relaxed clock methods and different calibrations points to explore the origin of primate malarias including those found in African apes. We showed that previous studies likely underestimated the origin of malarial parasites in primates. Conclusions The use of fossils from the host as absolute calibration and the assumption of a strict clock likely underestimate time when performing molecular dating analyses on malarial parasites. Indeed, by exploring different calibration points, we found that the time for the radiation of primate parasites may have taken place in the Eocene, a time consistent with the radiation of African anthropoids. The radiation of the four human parasite lineages was part of such events. The time frame estimated in this investigation, together with our phylogenetic analyses, made plausible a scenario where gorillas and humans acquired malaria from a Pan lineage. PMID:21992100

  13. Morphometry, Morphology and Ultrastructure of Ring-tailed Coati Sperm (Nasua nasua Linnaeus, 1766).

    PubMed

    Silva, H V R; Magalhães, F F; Ribeiro, L R; Souza, A L P; Freitas, C I A; de Oliveira, M F; Silva, A R; Silva, L D M

    2015-12-01

    The ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua) is a procyonid whose population is in sharp decline. Therefore, studies are needed to better understand the reproduction of this animal. For this reason, this study aimed to evaluate the morphology, morphometry and sperm ultrastructure of ring-tailed coati sperm. Four captive adult males were used for this study. Slides stained with Bengal Rose were used for the morphometric and morphologic analyses. The length and width of the head were measured, as well as the length of the midpiece and tail and the total length of the sperm. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used for the ultrastructural analyses. The most obvious morphological abnormalities observed were coiled tails (6.1 ± 8.7%) and the lack of acrosomes (5.4 ± 4.4%). Regarding the morphometry, the measurements of the head (length × width), midpiece (length) and tail (length) were (mean ± SD) 6.2 ± 0.4 × 8.1 ± 0.6 μm, 14.1 ± 0.5 and 63.9 ± 4.1 μm, respectively, and the total length of the sperm was 86.1 ± 4.3 μm. Through electron microscopy, the presence of electron-lucent points in the nucleus and the presence of approximately 55 mitochondrial spirals in the midpiece were identified. The data obtained in this study provide detailed information on the sperm characteristics of coatis and may inform future research on germplasm conservation, both for this species and other threatened procyonids. PMID:26446691

  14. Making progress in genetic kin recognition among vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Jane L; Beynon, Robert J

    2010-01-01

    A recent study in BMC Evolutionary Biology has shown that genetically similar individual ring-tailed lemurs are also more similar in their scent composition, suggesting a possible mechanism of kin recognition. Theoretical and experimental studies reveal challenges ahead in achieving a true systems-level understanding of this process and its outcomes. PMID:20236486

  15. Kinship Shapes Affiliative Social Networks but Not Aggression in Ring-Tailed Coatis

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Ben T.; Stanton, Margaret A.; Maldonado, Jesus E.

    2012-01-01

    Animal groups typically contain individuals with varying degrees of genetic relatedness, and this variation in kinship has a major influence on patterns of aggression and affiliative behaviors. This link between kinship and social behavior underlies socioecological models which have been developed to explain how and why different types of animal societies evolve. We tested if kinship and age-sex class homophily in two groups of ring-tailed coatis (Nasua nasua) predicted the network structure of three different social behaviors: 1) association, 2) grooming, and 3) aggression. Each group was studied during two consecutive years, resulting in four group-years available for analysis (total of 65 individuals). Association patterns were heavily influenced by agonistic interactions which typically occurred during feeding competition. Grooming networks were shaped by mother-offspring bonds, female-female social relationships, and a strong social attraction to adult males. Mother-offspring pairs were more likely to associate and groom each other, but relatedness had no effect on patterns of aggressive behavior. Additionally, kinship had little to no effect on coalitionary support during agonistic interactions. Adult females commonly came to the aid of juveniles during fights with other group members, but females often supported juveniles who were not their offspring (57% of coalitionary interactions). These patterns did not conform to predictions from socioecological models. PMID:22624010

  16. Enumeration of Objects and Substances in Non-Human Primates: Experiments with Brown Lemurs ("Eulemur Fulvus")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahajan, Neha; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Blanco, Marissa; Santos, Laurie R.

    2009-01-01

    Both human infants and adult non-human primates share the capacity to track small numbers of objects across time and occlusion. The question now facing developmental and comparative psychologists is whether similar mechanisms give rise to this capacity across the two populations. Here, we explore whether non-human primates' object tracking…

  17. Smelling right: the scent of male lemurs advertises genetic quality and relatedness.

    PubMed

    Charpentier, Marie J E; Boulet, Marylène; Drea, Christine M

    2008-07-01

    Sexual selection theory predicts that competitors or potential mates signal their quality or relatedness to conspecifics. Researchers have focused on visual or auditory modes of signal transmission; however, the importance of olfactory indicators is gaining recognition. Using a primate model and a new integrative analytical approach, we provide the first evidence relating male olfactory cues to individual genome-wide heterozygosity and to the genetic distance between individuals. The relationships between male semiochemical profiles and genetic characteristics are apparent only during the highly competitive and stressful breeding season. As heterozygosity accurately predicts health and survivorship in this population, we identify scrotal olfactory cues as honest indicators of male quality, with relevance possibly to both sexes. Beyond showing that semiochemicals could underlie kin recognition and nepotism, we provide a putative olfactory mechanism to guide male-male competition and female mate choice. PMID:18565115

  18. Molecular phylogeny of the lemur family cheirogaleidae (primates) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, J; Martin, R D; Ehresmann, P; Zimmermann, E; Forstner, M R

    2001-04-01

    Cheirogaleidae currently comprises five genera whose relationships remain contentious. The taxonomic status and phylogenetic position of both Mirza coquereli and Allocebus trichotis are still unclear. The taxonomic status of the recently discovered Microcebus ravelobensis (a sympatric sibling species of Microcebus murinus) and its phylogenetic position also require further examination. A approximately 2.4-kb mitochondrial DNA sequence including part of the COIII gene, complete ND3, ND4L, and ND4 genes, and 5 tRNAs was used to clarify relationships among cheirogaleids. Mirza and Microcebus form a clade representing the sister group of Allocebus, with a clade containing Cheirogaleus major and Cheirogaleus medius diverging first. M. ravelobensis and Microcebus rufus form a subclade within Microcebus, with M. murinus as its sister group. The molecular data support the generic status of Mirza coquereli and species-level divergence of M. ravelobensis. Furthermore, "M. rufus" may well represent more than one species. PMID:11286490

  19. Cutting corners: the dynamics of turning behaviors in two primate species.

    PubMed

    Demes, Brigitte; Carlson, Kristian J; Franz, Theresa M

    2006-03-01

    In an attempt to characterize more fully the variation in substrate reaction forces in the locomotor repertoire of primates, we recorded the forces involved in directional changes for two species. These are the first records of turning forces for vertebrate quadrupeds, much less primates. Three ring-tailed lemurs and two patas monkeys performed turns of approximately 30 degrees as they crossed a force platform. The ring-tailed lemurs also turned on a horizontal branch-like support with a segment attached to the force transducer. Mediolateral forces of up to 40% body weight were recorded. These are considerably higher than during linear locomotion. Pivot limbs in ground turns and turns on the branch differed in the lemurs, suggesting that substrate influences turning strategies. Limbs encountered both medial and lateral reaction forces, and as a result, they may be exposed to variable bending regimes in the frontal plane. The stereotypy in bending regimes suggested by in vivo bone strain studies, therefore, may characterize linear locomotion only. The lemurs showed hindlimb dominance in turns, both in terms of frequency used as well as force magnitude (hindlimb steering). Hindlimb dominance in weight support characterizes both species (and primates in general), but it is more pronounced in the lemurs. In the patas monkeys, forces were more evenly distributed among the two pairs of limbs. The mediolateral turning forces therefore seem to track the amount of weight to be shifted sideways. Overall variance in mediolateral forces was greater in the arboreal and versatile lemurs than in the terrestrial and cursorial patas monkeys. PMID:16481581

  20. Genetically engineered Mengo virus vaccination of multiple captive wildlife species.

    PubMed

    Backues, K A; Hill, M; Palmenberg, A C; Miller, C; Soike, K F; Aguilar, R

    1999-04-01

    Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), has caused the deaths of many species of animals in zoological parks and research institutions. The Audubon Park Zoo, (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) attempted vaccination of several species with a killed EMCV vaccine with mixed results. This paper reports an attempt at vaccination against EMCV using a genetically engineered, live attenuated Mengo virus (vMC0) at the Audubon Park Zoo and Miami Metro Zoo, (Miami, Florida, USA) from December 1996 to June 1997. Several species of animals were vaccinated with vMC0, which is serologically indistinguishable from the field strain of EMCV. Serum samples were taken at the time of vaccination and again 21 days later, then submitted for serum neutralization titers against EMCV. The vaccinate species included red capped mangebey (Cercocebus torquatus), colobus (Colobus guereza), angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), ruffed lemur (Lemur variegatus ruber and Lemur variegatus variegatus), back lemur (Lemur macaco), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), diana guenon (Cercopithicus diana), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), talapoin monkey (Cercopithecus talapoin), Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), guanaco (Lama glama guanicoe), black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Vietnamese potbellied pig (Sus scrofa), babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), collard peccary (Tayass tajacu), and African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The vaccine response was variable, with high virus neutralizing antibody titer responses in some primate species and mixed to poor responses for other species. No ill effects were seen with vaccination. PMID:10231768

  1. Evolution of an intronic microsatellite polymorphism in Toll-like receptor 2 among primates.

    PubMed

    Yim, Jae-Joon; Adams, Amelia A; Kim, Ju Han; Holland, Steven M

    2006-09-01

    Nonhuman primates express varying responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: New World monkeys appear to be resistant to tuberculosis (TB) while Old World monkeys seem to be particularly susceptible. The aim of this study was to elucidate the presence of the regulatory guanine-thymine (GT) repeat polymorphisms in intron 2 of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) associated with the development of TB in humans and to determine any variations in these microsatellite polymorphisms in primates. We sequenced the region encompassing the regulatory GT repeat microsatellites in intron 2 of TLR2 in 12 different nonhuman primates using polymerase chain reaction amplification, TA cloning, and automatic sequencing. The nonhuman primates included for this study were as follows: chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), bonobo (Pan paniscus), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Celebes ape (Macaca nigra), rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina), patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), Woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha), tamarin (Saguinus labiatus), and ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Nucleotide sequences encompassing the regulatory GT repeat region are similar across species and are completely conserved in great apes. However, Old World monkeys lack GT repeats altogether, while New World monkeys and ring-tailed lemurs have much more complex structures around the position of the repeats. In conclusion, the genetic structures encompassing the regulatory GT repeats in intron 2 of human TLR2 are similar among nonhuman primates. The sequence is most conserved in New World monkeys and less in Old World monkeys. PMID:16912902

  2. Density of muscle spindles in prosimian shoulder muscles reflects locomotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Higurashi, Yasuo; Taniguchi, Yuki; Kumakura, Hiroo

    2006-01-01

    We examined the correlation between the density of muscle spindles in shoulder muscles and the locomotor mode in three species of prosimian primates: the slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), Garnett's galago (Otolemur garnettii), and the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The shoulder muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major, teres minor, and subscapularis) were embedded in celloidin and cut into transverse serial thin sections (40 microm); then, every tenth section was stained using the Azan staining technique. The relative muscle weights and the density of the muscle spindles were determined. The slow loris muscles were heavier and had sparser muscle spindles, as compared to Garnett's galago. These features suggest that the shoulder muscles of the slow loris are more adapted to generating propulsive force and stabilizing the shoulder joint during locomotion and play a less controlling role in forelimb movements. In contrast, Garnett's galago possessed smaller shoulder muscles with denser spindles that are suitable for the control of more rapid locomotor movements. The mean relative weight and the mean spindle density in the shoulder muscles of the ring-tailed lemur were between those of the other primates, suggesting that the spindle density is not simply a consequence of taxonomic status. PMID:17361082

  3. Evolution of the primate cytochrome c oxidase subunit II gene.

    PubMed

    Adkins, R M; Honeycutt, R L

    1994-03-01

    We examined the nucleotide and amino acid sequence variation of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII) gene from 25 primates (4 hominoids, 8 Old World monkeys, 2 New World monkeys, 2 tarsiers, 7 lemuriforms, 2 lorisiforms). Marginal support was found for three phylogenetic conclusions: (1) sister-group relationship between tarsiers and a monkey/ape clade, (2) placement of the aye-aye (Daubentonia) sister to all other strepsirhine primates, and (3) rejection of a sister-group relationship of dwarf lemurs (i.e., Cheirogaleus) with lorisiform primates. Stronger support was found for a sister-group relationship between the ring-tail lemur (Lemur catta) and the gentle lemurs (Hapalemur). In congruence with previous studies on COII, we found that the monkeys and apes have undergone a nearly two-fold increase in the rate of amino acid replacement relative to other primates. Although functionally important amino acids are generally conserved among all primates, the acceleration in amino acid replacements in higher primates is associated with increased variation in the amino terminal end of the protein. Additionally, the replacement of two carboxyl-bearing residues (glutamate and aspartate) at positions 114 and 115 may provide a partial explanation for the poor enzyme kinetics in cross-reactions between the cytochromes c and cytochrome c oxidases of higher primates and other mammals. PMID:8006990

  4. Social Complexity Predicts Transitive Reasoning in Prosimian Primates.

    PubMed

    Maclean, Evan L; Merritt, Dustin J; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2008-08-01

    Transitive Inference is a form of deductive reasoning that has been suggested as one cognitive mechanism by which animals could learn the many relationships within their group's dominance hierarchy. This process thus bears relevance to the social intelligence hypothesis which posits evolutionary links between various forms of social and nonsocial cognition. Recent evidence corroborates the link between social complexity and transitive inference and indicates that highly social animals may show superior transitive reasoning even in nonsocial contexts. We examined the relationship between social complexity and transitive inference in two species of prosimians, a group of primates that diverged from the common ancestor of monkeys, apes, and humans over 50 million years ago. In Experiment 1, highly social ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, outperformed the less social mongoose lemurs, Eulemur mongoz, in tests of transitive inference and showed more robust representations of the underlying ordinal relationships between the stimuli. In Experiment 2, after training under a correction procedure that emphasized the underlying linear dimension of the series, both species showed similar transitive inference. This finding suggests that the two lemur species differ not in their fundamental ability to make transitive inferences, but rather in their predisposition to mentally organize information along a common underlying dimension. Together, these results support the hypothesis that social complexity is an important selective pressure for the evolution of cognitive abilities relevant to transitive reasoning. PMID:19649139

  5. Characterization and phylogenetic relationship of prosimian MHC class I genes.

    PubMed

    Flügge, Perris; Zimmermann, Elke; Hughes, Austin L; Günther, Eberhard; Walter, Lutz

    2002-12-01

    MHC class I cDNA sequences from the most divergent primate group of extant primates compared to human, the suborder Strepsirrhini (prosimians), are described. The sequences are derived from the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), which are members of the malagasy Lemuriformes, as well as from the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a prosimian from East Asia. The M. murinus sequences have been analyzed in detail. Analysis of the expression level, G/C content, and synonymous vs. nonsynonymous substitution rates in the peptide-binding region codons suggests that these cDNA clones represent classical class I (class Ia) genes. According to Southern blot analysis, the genome of the gray mouse lemur might contain about 10 class I genes. In gene tree analysis, the strepsirrhine class Ia genes described here cluster significantly separately from the known class I genes of Catarrhini (humans, apes, Old World monkeys) and Platyrrhini (New World monkeys) species, suggesting that the class I loci of Simiiformes arose by gene duplications which occurred after the divergence of prosimians. PMID:12486535

  6. Organization of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic nuclei in three strepsirrhine primates: Galago demidoff, Perodicticus potto and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Kaswera-Kyamakya, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Bertelsen, Mads F; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2015-12-01

    The nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems in the brains of three species of strepsirrhine primates is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of simian primates, megachiropterans and other mammalian species. The brains were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The nuclei identified were identical among the strepsirrhine species investigated and identical to previous reports in simian primates. Moreover, a general similarity to other mammals was found, but specific differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. The central feature of interest was the structure of the locus coeruleus complex in the primates, where a central compactly packed core (A6c) of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons was surrounded by a shell of less densely packed (A6d) tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons. This combination of compact and diffuse divisions of the locus coeruleus complex is only found in primates and megachiropterans of all the mammalian species studied to date. This neural character, along with variances in a range of other neural characters, supports the phylogenetic grouping of primates with megachiropterans as a sister group. PMID:26562782

  7. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species.

    PubMed

    Springer, Andrea; Fichtel, Claudia; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H; Kappeler, Peter M

    2015-12-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites. PMID:26767166

  8. PhyloMarker—A Tool for Mining Phylogenetic Markers Through Genome Comparison: Application of the Mouse Lemur (Genus Microcebus) Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Runhua; Rowley, Thaine W.; Zhu, Lifeng; Bailey, Carolyn A.; Engberg, Shannon E.; Wood, Mindy L.; Christman, Mary C.; Perry, George H.; Louis, Edward E.; Lu, Guoqing

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogeny is a fundamental tool to understanding the evolution of all life forms. One common issue faced by molecular phylogeny is the lack of sufficient molecular markers. Here, we present PhyloMarker, a phylogenomic tool designed to find nuclear gene markers for the inference of phylogeny through multiple genome comparison. Around 800 candidate markers were identified by PhyloMarker through comparison of partial genomes of Microcebus and Otolemur. In experimental tests of 20 randomly selected markers, nine markers were successfully amplified by PCR and directly sequenced in all 17 nominal Microcebus species. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequence data obtained for 17 taxa and nine markers confirmed the distinct lineage inferred from previous mtDNA data. PhyloMarker has also been used by other projects including the herons (Ardeidae, Aves) phylogeny and the Wood mice (Muridae, Mammalia) phylogeny. All source code and sample data are made available at http://bioinfo-srv1.awh.unomaha.edu/phylomarker/.

  9. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species☆

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Andrea; Fichtel, Claudia; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites. PMID:26767166

  10. Modification of a Limbed Robot to Favor Climbing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okon, Avi; Kennedy, Brett; Garrett, Michael; Magnone, Lee

    2006-01-01

    The figure shows the LEMUR IIb, which is a modified version of the LEMUR II the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR). Except as described below, the LEMUR IIb hardware is mostly the same as that of the LEMUR II. The IIb and II versions differ in their kinematic configurations and characteristics associated with their kinematic configurations. The differences are such that relative to the LEMUR II, the LEMUR IIb is simpler and is better suited to climbing on inclined surfaces. The first-generation LEMUR, now denoted the LEMUR I, was described in Six-Legged Experimental Robot (NPO-20897), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2001), page 58. The LEMUR II was described in Second-Generation Six-Limbed Experimental Robot (NPO-35140) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 55. To recapitulate: the LEMUR I and LEMUR II were six-legged or sixlimbed robots for demonstrating robotic capabilities for assembly, maintenance, and inspection. They were designed to be capable of walking autonomously along a truss structure toward a mechanical assembly at a prescribed location. They were equipped with stereoscopic video cameras and image-data-processing circuitry for navigation and mechanical operations. They were also equipped with wireless modems, through which they could be commanded remotely. Upon arrival at a mechanical assembly, the LEMUR I would perform simple mechanical operations by use of one or both of its front legs (or in the case of the LEMUR II, any of its limbs could be used to perform mechanical operations). Either LEMUR could also transmit images to a host computer. The differences between the LEMUR IIb and the LEMUR II are the following: Whereas the LEMUR II had six limbs, the LEMUR IIb has four limbs. This change has reduced both the complexity and mass of the legs and of the overall robot. Whereas each limb of the LEMUR II had four degrees of freedom (DOFs), each limb of the LEMUR IIb has three DOFs

  11. Structural Analysis of a Repetitive Protein Sequence Motif in Strepsirrhine Primate Amelogenin

    PubMed Central

    Bromley, Keith M.; Hacia, Joseph G.; Bromage, Timothy G.; Snead, Malcolm L.; Moradian-Oldak, Janet; Paine, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Strepsirrhines are members of a primate suborder that has a distinctive set of features associated with the development of the dentition. Amelogenin (AMEL), the better known of the enamel matrix proteins, forms 90% of the secreted organic matrix during amelogenesis. Although AMEL has been sequenced in numerous mammalian lineages, the only reported strepsirrhine AMEL sequences are those of the ring-tailed lemur and galago, which contain a set of additional proline-rich tandem repeats absent in all other primates species analyzed to date, but present in some non-primate mammals. Here, we first determined that these repeats are present in AMEL from three additional lemur species and thus are likely to be widespread throughout this group. To evaluate the functional relevance of these repeats in strepsirrhines, we engineered a mutated murine amelogenin sequence containing a similar proline-rich sequence to that of Lemur catta. In the monomeric form, the MQP insertions had no influence on the secondary structure or refolding properties, whereas in the assembled form, the insertions increased the hydrodynamic radii. We speculate that increased AMEL nanosphere size may influence enamel formation in strepsirrhine primates. PMID:21437261

  12. Baby on board: olfactory cues indicate pregnancy and fetal sex in a non-human primate

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Drea, Christine M.

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory cues play an integral, albeit underappreciated, role in mediating vertebrate social and reproductive behaviour. These cues fluctuate with the signaller's hormonal condition, coincident with and informative about relevant aspects of its reproductive state, such as pubertal onset, change in season and, in females, timing of ovulation. Although pregnancy dramatically alters a female's endocrine profiles, which can be further influenced by fetal sex, the relationship between gestation and olfactory cues is poorly understood. We therefore examined the effects of pregnancy and fetal sex on volatile genital secretions in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a strepsirrhine primate possessing complex olfactory mechanisms of reproductive signalling. While pregnant, dams altered and dampened their expression of volatile chemicals, with compound richness being particularly reduced in dams bearing sons. These changes were comparable in magnitude with other, published chemical differences among lemurs that are salient to conspecifics. Such olfactory ‘signatures’ of pregnancy may help guide social interactions, potentially promoting mother–infant recognition, reducing intragroup conflict or counteracting behavioural mechanisms of paternity confusion; cues that also advertise fetal sex may additionally facilitate differential sex allocation. PMID:25716086

  13. Baby on board: olfactory cues indicate pregnancy and fetal sex in a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Drea, Christine M

    2015-02-01

    Olfactory cues play an integral, albeit underappreciated, role in mediating vertebrate social and reproductive behaviour. These cues fluctuate with the signaller's hormonal condition, coincident with and informative about relevant aspects of its reproductive state, such as pubertal onset, change in season and, in females, timing of ovulation. Although pregnancy dramatically alters a female's endocrine profiles, which can be further influenced by fetal sex, the relationship between gestation and olfactory cues is poorly understood. We therefore examined the effects of pregnancy and fetal sex on volatile genital secretions in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a strepsirrhine primate possessing complex olfactory mechanisms of reproductive signalling. While pregnant, dams altered and dampened their expression of volatile chemicals, with compound richness being particularly reduced in dams bearing sons. These changes were comparable in magnitude with other, published chemical differences among lemurs that are salient to conspecifics. Such olfactory 'signatures' of pregnancy may help guide social interactions, potentially promoting mother-infant recognition, reducing intragroup conflict or counteracting behavioural mechanisms of paternity confusion; cues that also advertise fetal sex may additionally facilitate differential sex allocation. PMID:25716086

  14. Structural analysis of a repetitive protein sequence motif in strepsirrhine primate amelogenin.

    PubMed

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani; Bromley, Keith M; Hacia, Joseph G; Bromage, Timothy G; Snead, Malcolm L; Moradian-Oldak, Janet; Paine, Michael L

    2011-01-01

    Strepsirrhines are members of a primate suborder that has a distinctive set of features associated with the development of the dentition. Amelogenin (AMEL), the better known of the enamel matrix proteins, forms 90% of the secreted organic matrix during amelogenesis. Although AMEL has been sequenced in numerous mammalian lineages, the only reported strepsirrhine AMEL sequences are those of the ring-tailed lemur and galago, which contain a set of additional proline-rich tandem repeats absent in all other primates species analyzed to date, but present in some non-primate mammals. Here, we first determined that these repeats are present in AMEL from three additional lemur species and thus are likely to be widespread throughout this group. To evaluate the functional relevance of these repeats in strepsirrhines, we engineered a mutated murine amelogenin sequence containing a similar proline-rich sequence to that of Lemur catta. In the monomeric form, the MQP insertions had no influence on the secondary structure or refolding properties, whereas in the assembled form, the insertions increased the hydrodynamic radii. We speculate that increased AMEL nanosphere size may influence enamel formation in strepsirrhine primates. PMID:21437261

  15. The estimated mechanical advantage of the prosimian ankle joint musculature, and implications for locomotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Goto, Ryosuke; Kumakura, Hiroo

    2013-05-01

    In this study we compared the power arm lengths and mechanical advantages attributed to 12 lower leg muscles across three prosimian species. The origins and insertions of the lower leg muscles in Garnett's galago, the ring-tailed lemur, and the slow loris were quantified and correlated with positional behaviour. The ankle joint of the galago has a speed-oriented mechanical system, in contrast to that of the slow loris, which exhibits more power-oriented mechanics. The lemur ankle joint exhibited intermediate power arm lengths and an intermediate mechanical advantage relative to the other primates. This result suggests that the mechanical differences in the ankle between the galago and the lemur, taxa that exhibit similar locomotory repertoires, reflect a difference in the kinematics and kinetics of leaping (i.e. generalised vs. specialised leapers). In contrast to leaping primates, lorises have developed a more power-oriented mechanical system as a foot adaptation for positional behaviours such as bridging or cantilevering in their arboreal habitat. PMID:23489408

  16. Host range of poliovirus is restricted to simians because of a rapid sequence change of the poliovirus receptor gene during evolution.

    PubMed

    Ida-Hosonuma, M; Sasaki, Y; Toyoda, H; Nomoto, A; Gotoh, O; Yonekawa, H; Koike, S

    2003-01-01

    The host range of most poliovirus (PV) strains is restricted to simians. This host range specificity is believed to be determined by the interaction between PV and its receptor molecule. To elucidate the molecular basis of this species-specific infection of PV, we cloned orthologs of the PV receptor (PVR) gene ( pvr) as well as those of PV receptor-related genes 1 and 2 ( prr1 and prr2) from various mammalian species. These three genes are widely present in mammalian genomes including those of non-susceptible species. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of PVR orthologs revealed that the NH(2)-terminal immunoglobulin-like domain (domain 1), which is the virus binding site in the human PVR, is highly variable among species, whereas that of PRR1 is highly conserved. Domain 1 of the PVR orthologs for the ring-tailed lemur and rabbit, which are not susceptible to PV, show only 51 and 61% amino acid sequence identity to that of human PVR, respectively. Chimeric PVR proteins that have the domain 1 of the ring-tailed lemur and rabbit PVRs failed to serve as receptors for PV. These results suggest that rapid changes in the domain 1 sequence during mammalian evolution determined the host range restriction of PV. PMID:12536294

  17. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  18. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  19. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  20. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  1. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  2. Use of monitors in Pascal on the Lemur: a tutorial on the barrier, self-scheduling FOR-loop, and askfor monitors

    SciTech Connect

    Clausing, J.A.; Hagstrom, R.T.; Lusk, E.L.; Overbeek, R.A.

    1984-07-01

    A set of macro libraries has been developed that allows programmers to write portable Pascal code for multiprocessors. This document presents, in tutorial form, the macros used to implement three common synchronization patterns: self-scheduling FOR-loops, barrier synchronization, and the askfor monitor.

  3. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii in zoo animals in selected zoos in the midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    de Camps, Silvia; Dubey, J P; Saville, W J A

    2008-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infections in zoo animals are of interest because many captive animals die of clinical toxoplasmosis and because of the potential risk of exposure of children and elderly to T. gondii oocysts excreted by cats in the zoos. Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild zoo felids, highly susceptible zoo species, and feral cats from 8 zoos of the midwestern United States was determined by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii exposure. Among wild felids, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 6 (27.3%) of 22 cheetahs (Acynonyx jubatus jubatus), 2 of 4 African lynx (Caracal caracal), 1 of 7 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), 1 of 5 Pallas cats (Otocolobus manul), 12 (54.5%) of 22 African lions (Panthera leo), 1 of 1 jaguar (Panthera onca), 1 of 1 Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 of 1 Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), 5 (27.8%) of 18 Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), 1 of 4 fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), 3 of 6 pumas (Puma concolor), 2 of 2 Texas pumas (Puma concolor stanleyana), and 5 (35.7%) of 14 snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Antibodies were found in 10 of 34 feral domestic cats (Felis domesticus) trapped in 3 zoos. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any of the 78 fecal samples from wild and domestic cats. Among the macropods, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii), 1 of 1 western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), 1 of 2 wallaroos (Macropus robustus), 6 of 8 Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), 21 (61.8%) of 34 red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), and 1 of 1 dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii). Among prosimians, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), 1 of 21 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 2 of 9 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra), and 2 of 4 black- and white-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Among the avian species tested, 2 of 3 bald

  4. Victims of Infanticide and Conspecific Bite Wounding in a Female-Dominant Primate: A Long-Term Study

    PubMed Central

    Charpentier, Marie J. E.; Drea, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies – those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral ‘masculinization’ accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is critical to

  5. Victims of infanticide and conspecific bite wounding in a female-dominant primate: a long-term study.

    PubMed

    Charpentier, Marie J E; Drea, Christine M

    2013-01-01

    The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies - those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral 'masculinization' accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is critical to evaluating

  6. Testing the oxidative stress hypothesis of aging in primate fibroblasts: is there a correlation between species longevity and cellular ROS production?

    PubMed

    Csiszar, Anna; Podlutsky, Andrej; Podlutskaya, Natalia; Sonntag, William E; Merlin, Steven Z; Philipp, Eva E R; Doyle, Kristian; Davila, Antonio; Recchia, Fabio A; Ballabh, Praveen; Pinto, John T; Ungvari, Zoltan

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to test predictions of the oxidative stress theory of aging assessing reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress resistance in cultured fibroblasts from 13 primate species ranging in body size from 0.25 to 120 kg and in longevity from 20 to 90 years. We assessed both basal and stress-induced reactive oxygen species production in fibroblasts from five great apes (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan), four Old World monkeys (baboon, rhesus and crested black macaques, and patas monkey), three New World monkeys (common marmoset, red-bellied tamarin, and woolly monkey), and one lemur (ring-tailed lemur). Measurements of cellular MitoSox fluorescence, an indicator of mitochondrial superoxide (O2(·-)) generation, showed an inverse correlation between longevity and steady state or metabolic stress-induced mitochondrial O2(·-) production, but this correlation was lost when the effects of body mass were removed, and the data were analyzed using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Fibroblasts from longer-lived primate species also exhibited superior resistance to H(2)O(2)-induced apoptotic cell death than cells from shorter-living primates. After correction for body mass and lack of phylogenetic independence, this correlation, although still discernible, fell short of significance by regression analysis. Thus, increased longevity in this sample of primates is not causally associated with low cellular reactive oxygen species generation, but further studies are warranted to test the association between increased cellular resistance to oxidative stressor and primate longevity. PMID:22219516

  7. Seasonal variation in the testicular volume of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) in captivity.

    PubMed

    de B Vaz Guimarães, Marcelo A; Alvarenga de Oliveira, Cláudio; Campanarut Barnabe, Renato

    2003-01-01

    The study of the reproductive strategy developed by different species in order to adapt to their environmental conditions and their meaning in an evolutionary perspective is essential for understanding the mechanisms involved in the process of reproduction. Non-human primates are very interesting models for this purpose. Some species show a typical seasonal reproductive pattern, such as rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) [Sade, 1964; Conaway and Sade, 1965] and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) [Zuckerman, 1953], while others, such as gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) [Puschmann, 1975], show relative independence of the environment. Neotropical primates display many different breeding strategies. Female capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), for instance, having reached puberty, have fertile cycles year-round [Hamlett, 1939; Nagle and Denari, 1983]. Interestingly, there are reports of a clear peak of births in free-living [Hamlett, 1939] and captive colonies [Welker et al., 1983] in the dry season, i.e. May-June in the southern hemisphere. Some authors suggest that a seasonal variation in spermatogenesis could explain the birth peak [Freese and Oppenheimer, 1981]. The aim of this study was to investigate this theory, measuring seasonal variation in total testicular volume in a captive group of male capuchin monkeys and assessing its temporal correlation with the birth season as an indirect indication of variation in male fertility. PMID:12606852

  8. Encephalomyocarditis virus infections in an Australian zoo.

    PubMed

    Reddacliff, L A; Kirkland, P D; Hartley, W J; Reece, R L

    1997-06-01

    Fatal encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) infections in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), three mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), a pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), and two Goodfellows tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) occurred at Taronga Zoo. This is the first description of EMCV in a zoological collection outside of the United States. Regardless of species, the most common clinical presentation was sudden death. The gross pathologic changes were diffuse or focal pallor of the myocardium with occasional marked pulmonary congestion. Necrotizing nonsuppurative myocarditis was consistently present. EMCV was isolated from only one of 54 feral rodents examined. No antibodies to EMCV were detected with a serum neutralization test in 79 stored sera from a wide variety of zoo mammals. Titers of 1:16, 1:16, and 1:4 were recorded for a spider monkey (Aeteles geoffroyi), a lion (Panthera leo), and an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), respectively. Of seven mandrills tested in 1988, six had measurable virus titers. Later testing indicated that these titers did not persist, and one mandrill with a titer > 1:128 in 1988 subsequently succumbed to EMCV infection in 1991. PMID:9279403

  9. Antigenic properties of human and animal bloodstains studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using various antisera against specific plasma proteins.

    PubMed

    Tsutsumi, H; Htay, H H; Sato, K; Katsumata, Y

    1987-01-01

    Antigenic properties of bloodstains of human and non-human primates as well as other animal bloodstains were investigated by the inhibition ELISA using commercially available anti-human albumin (Alb), alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2-M), fibrinogen, transferrin, and immunoglobulin G. In general, chimpanzee bloodstains showed strong cross-reactions with these antisera, and the extent of the cross-reactions of other animal bloodstains decreased largely with the phylogenic order, i.e., agile gibbon (ape), Old World monkeys (Japanese monkey and hamadryas baboon), New World monkeys (night monkey and tufted capuchin monkey), prosimians (grand galago and ring-tailed lemur) and other animals (rat, cattle, swine, goat, dog, cat, and chicken). Among these antisera, anti-human alpha 2-M showed the weakest cross-reaction with chimpanzee bloodstains, and anti-human Alb showed next. PMID:2448970

  10. Decoding an olfactory mechanism of kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in a primate

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Like other vertebrates, primates recognize their relatives, primarily to minimize inbreeding, but also to facilitate nepotism. Although associative, social learning is typically credited for discrimination of familiar kin, discrimination of unfamiliar kin remains unexplained. As sex-biased dispersal in long-lived species cannot consistently prevent encounters between unfamiliar kin, inbreeding remains a threat and mechanisms to avoid it beg explanation. Using a molecular approach that combined analyses of biochemical and microsatellite markers in 17 female and 19 male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), we describe odor-gene covariance to establish the feasibility of olfactory-mediated kin recognition. Results Despite derivation from different genital glands, labial and scrotal secretions shared about 170 of their respective 338 and 203 semiochemicals. In addition, these semiochemicals encoded information about genetic relatedness within and between the sexes. Although the sexes showed opposite seasonal patterns in signal complexity, the odor profiles of related individuals (whether same-sex or mixed-sex dyads) converged most strongly in the competitive breeding season. Thus, a strong, mutual olfactory signal of genetic relatedness appeared specifically when such information would be crucial for preventing inbreeding. That weaker signals of genetic relatedness might exist year round could provide a mechanism to explain nepotism between unfamiliar kin. Conclusion We suggest that signal convergence between the sexes may reflect strong selective pressures on kin recognition, whereas signal convergence within the sexes may arise as its by-product or function independently to prevent competition between unfamiliar relatives. The link between an individual's genome and its olfactory signals could be mediated by biosynthetic pathways producing polymorphic semiochemicals or by carrier proteins modifying the individual bouquet of olfactory cues. In conclusion, we

  11. Testing the Oxidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging in Primate Fibroblasts: Is There a Correlation Between Species Longevity and Cellular ROS Production?

    PubMed Central

    Csiszar, Anna; Podlutsky, Andrej; Podlutskaya, Natalia; Sonntag, William E.; Merlin, Steven Z.; Philipp, Eva E. R.; Doyle, Kristian; Davila, Antonio; Recchia, Fabio A.; Ballabh, Praveen; Pinto, John T.

    2012-01-01

    The present study was conducted to test predictions of the oxidative stress theory of aging assessing reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress resistance in cultured fibroblasts from 13 primate species ranging in body size from 0.25 to 120 kg and in longevity from 20 to 90 years. We assessed both basal and stress-induced reactive oxygen species production in fibroblasts from five great apes (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan), four Old World monkeys (baboon, rhesus and crested black macaques, and patas monkey), three New World monkeys (common marmoset, red-bellied tamarin, and woolly monkey), and one lemur (ring-tailed lemur). Measurements of cellular MitoSox fluorescence, an indicator of mitochondrial superoxide (O2·−) generation, showed an inverse correlation between longevity and steady state or metabolic stress–induced mitochondrial O2·− production, but this correlation was lost when the effects of body mass were removed, and the data were analyzed using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Fibroblasts from longer-lived primate species also exhibited superior resistance to H2O2-induced apoptotic cell death than cells from shorter-living primates. After correction for body mass and lack of phylogenetic independence, this correlation, although still discernible, fell short of significance by regression analysis. Thus, increased longevity in this sample of primates is not causally associated with low cellular reactive oxygen species generation, but further studies are warranted to test the association between increased cellular resistance to oxidative stressor and primate longevity. PMID:22219516

  12. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography scanning of primate copulatory plugs.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Maga, Murat; Overdorff, Deborah J

    2006-04-01

    In this study, high-resolution computed tomography X-ray scanning was used to scan ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) copulatory plugs. This method produced accurate measures of plug volume and surface area, but was not useful for visualizing plug internal structure. Copulatory plug size was of interest because it may relate to male fertilization success. Copulatory plugs form from coagulated ejaculate, and are routinely displaced in this species by the penis of a subsequent mate during copulation (Parga [2003] Int. J. Primatol. 24:889-899). Because one potential function of these plugs may be to preclude or delay other males' successful insemination of females, we tested the hypothesis that larger plugs are more difficult for subsequent males to displace. Plugs were collected opportunistically upon displacement during data collection on L. catta mating behavior on St. Catherines Island, Georgia (USA) during two subsequent breeding seasons. Copulatory plugs exhibited a wide range of volumes: 1,758-5,013.6 mm3 (n = 9). Intraindividual differences in plug volume were sometimes greater than interindividual differences. Contrary to predictions, larger plugs were not more time-consuming for males to displace via penile intromission during copulation. Nor were plugs with longer vaginal residence times notably smaller than plugs with shorter residence times, as might be expected if plugs disintegrate while releasing sperm (Asdell [1946] Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction; Ithaca: Comstock). We found a significant inverse correlation between number of copulatory mounts leading to ejaculation and copulatory plug volume. This may indicate that if males are sufficiently sexually aroused to reach ejaculation in fewer mounts, they tend to produce ejaculates of greater volume. PMID:16345065

  13. Mapping the social network: tracking lice in a wild primate (Microcebus rufus) population to infer social contacts and vector potential

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Studies of host-parasite interactions have the potential to provide insights into the ecology of both organisms involved. We monitored the movement of sucking lice (Lemurpediculus verruculosus), parasites that require direct host-host contact to be transferred, in their host population of wild mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). These lemurs live in the rainforests of Madagascar, are small (40 g), arboreal, nocturnal, solitary foraging primates for which data on population-wide interactions are difficult to obtain. We developed a simple, cost effective method exploiting the intimate relationship between louse and lemur, whereby individual lice were marked, without removal from their host, with an individualized code, and tracked throughout the lemur population. We then tested the hypotheses that 1) the frequency of louse transfers, and thus interactions, would decrease with increasing distance between paired individual lemurs; 2) due to host polygynandry, social interactions and hence louse transfers would increase during the onset of the breeding season; and 3) individual mouse lemurs would vary in their contributions to the spread of lice. Results We show that louse transfers involved 43.75% of the studied lemur population, exclusively males. Louse transfers peaked during the breeding season, perhaps due to increased social interactions between lemurs. Although trap-based individual lemur ranging patterns are restricted, louse transfer rate does not correlate with the distance between lemur trapping locales, indicating wider host ranging behavior and a greater risk of rapid population-wide pathogen transmission than predicted by standard trapping data alone. Furthermore, relatively few lemur individuals contributed disproportionately to the rapid spread of lice throughout the population. Conclusions Using a simple method, we were able to visualize exchanges of lice in a population of cryptic wild primates. This method not only provided insight into the

  14. 77 FR 298 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-04

    ... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009... condor (Vultur gryphus), Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), black and white ruffed lemur...

  15. 42 CFR 71.53 - Nonhuman primates.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such species..., marmosets, tamarin, lemurs, and lorises. (b) General prohibition. No person or organization may import...

  16. 78 FR 50083 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-16

    ... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009... (Saguinus oedipus), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), and red-ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra)--to enhance...

  17. 42 CFR 71.53 - Nonhuman primates.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such species..., marmosets, tamarin, lemurs, and lorises. (b) General prohibition. No person or organization may import...

  18. 42 CFR 71.53 - Nonhuman primates.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such species..., marmosets, tamarin, lemurs, and lorises. (b) General prohibition. No person or organization may import...

  19. THE subfossil occurrence and paleoecological significance of small mammals at ankilitelo cave, southwestern Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muldoon, K.M.; De Blieux, D. D.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Small mammals are rarely reported from subfossil sites in Madagascar despite their importance for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, especially as it relates to recent ecological changes on the island. We describe the uniquely rich subfossil small mammal fauna from Ankilitelo Cave, southwestern Madagascar. The Ankilitelo fauna is dated to the late Holocene (???500 years ago), documenting the youngest appearances of the extinct giant lemur taxa Palaeopropithecus, Megaladapis, and Archaeolemur, in association with abundant remains of small vertebrates, including bats, tenrecs, carnivorans, rodents, and primates. The Ankilitelo fauna is composed of 34 mammalian species, making it one of the most diverse Holocene assemblages in Madagascar. The fauna comprises the 1 st report of the short-tailed shrew tenrec (Microgale brevicaudata) and the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) in southwestern Madagascar. Further, Ankilitelo documents the presence of southwestern species that are rare or that have greatly restricted ranges today, such as Nasolo's shrew tenrec (M. nasoloi), Grandidier's mongoose (Galidictis grandidieri), the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata), and the giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). A simple cause for the unusual small mammal occurrences at Ankilitelo is not obvious. Synergistic interactions between climate change, recent fragmentation and human-initiated degradation of forested habitats, and community-level processes, such as predation, most likely explain the disjunct distributions of the small mammals documented at Ankilitelo. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  20. Extinction and ecological retreat in a community of primates

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, Brooke E.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Guilderson, Thomas P.; Zermeño, Paula; Koch, Paul L.; Dominy, Nathaniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar represent a prodigious adaptive radiation. At least 17 species ranging from 11 to 160 kg have become extinct during the past 2000 years. The effect of this loss on contemporary lemurs is unknown. The concept of competitive release favours the expansion of living species into vacant niches. Alternatively, factors that triggered the extinction of some species could have also reduced community-wide niche breadth. Here, we use radiocarbon and stable isotope data to examine temporal shifts in the niches of extant lemur species following the extinction of eight large-bodied species. We focus on southwestern Madagascar and report profound isotopic shifts, both from the time when now-extinct lemurs abounded and from the time immediately following their decline to the present. Unexpectedly, the past environments exploited by lemurs were drier than the protected (albeit often degraded) riparian habitats assumed to be ideal for lemurs today. Neither competitive release nor niche contraction can explain these observed trends. We develop an alternative hypothesis: ecological retreat, which suggests that factors surrounding extinction may force surviving species into marginal or previously unfilled niches. PMID:22628463

  1. Highly Variable Streptococcus oralis Strains Are Common among Viridans Streptococci Isolated from Primates.

    PubMed

    Denapaite, Dalia; Rieger, Martin; Köndgen, Sophie; Brückner, Reinhold; Ochigava, Irma; Kappeler, Peter; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Leendertz, Fabian; Hakenbeck, Regine

    2016-01-01

    Viridans streptococci were obtained from primates (great apes, rhesus monkeys, and ring-tailed lemurs) held in captivity, as well as from free-living animals (chimpanzees and lemurs) for whom contact with humans is highly restricted. Isolates represented a variety of viridans streptococci, including unknown species. Streptococcus oralis was frequently isolated from samples from great apes. Genotypic methods revealed that most of the strains clustered on separate lineages outside the main cluster of human S. oralis strains. This suggests that S. oralis is part of the commensal flora in higher primates and evolved prior to humans. Many genes described as virulence factors in Streptococcus pneumoniae were present also in other viridans streptococcal genomes. Unlike in S. pneumoniae, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) gene clusters were common among viridans streptococci, and many S. oralis strains were type PI-2 (pilus islet 2) variants. S. oralis displayed a remarkable diversity of genes involved in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan (penicillin-binding proteins and MurMN) and choline-containing teichoic acid. The small noncoding cia-dependent small RNAs (csRNAs) controlled by the response regulator CiaR might contribute to the genomic diversity, since we observed novel genomic islands between duplicated csRNAs, variably present in some isolates. All S. oralis genomes contained a β-N-acetyl-hexosaminidase gene absent in S. pneumoniae, which in contrast frequently harbors the neuraminidases NanB/C, which are absent in S. oralis. The identification of S. oralis-specific genes will help us to understand their adaptation to diverse habitats. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus pneumoniae is a rare example of a human-pathogenic bacterium among viridans streptococci, which consist of commensal symbionts, such as the close relatives Streptococcus mitis and S. oralis. We have shown that S. oralis can frequently

  2. Highly Variable Streptococcus oralis Strains Are Common among Viridans Streptococci Isolated from Primates

    PubMed Central

    Denapaite, Dalia; Rieger, Martin; Köndgen, Sophie; Brückner, Reinhold; Ochigava, Irma; Kappeler, Peter; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Leendertz, Fabian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viridans streptococci were obtained from primates (great apes, rhesus monkeys, and ring-tailed lemurs) held in captivity, as well as from free-living animals (chimpanzees and lemurs) for whom contact with humans is highly restricted. Isolates represented a variety of viridans streptococci, including unknown species. Streptococcus oralis was frequently isolated from samples from great apes. Genotypic methods revealed that most of the strains clustered on separate lineages outside the main cluster of human S. oralis strains. This suggests that S. oralis is part of the commensal flora in higher primates and evolved prior to humans. Many genes described as virulence factors in Streptococcus pneumoniae were present also in other viridans streptococcal genomes. Unlike in S. pneumoniae, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)–CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) gene clusters were common among viridans streptococci, and many S. oralis strains were type PI-2 (pilus islet 2) variants. S. oralis displayed a remarkable diversity of genes involved in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan (penicillin-binding proteins and MurMN) and choline-containing teichoic acid. The small noncoding cia-dependent small RNAs (csRNAs) controlled by the response regulator CiaR might contribute to the genomic diversity, since we observed novel genomic islands between duplicated csRNAs, variably present in some isolates. All S. oralis genomes contained a β-N-acetyl-hexosaminidase gene absent in S. pneumoniae, which in contrast frequently harbors the neuraminidases NanB/C, which are absent in S. oralis. The identification of S. oralis-specific genes will help us to understand their adaptation to diverse habitats. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus pneumoniae is a rare example of a human-pathogenic bacterium among viridans streptococci, which consist of commensal symbionts, such as the close relatives Streptococcus mitis and S. oralis. We have shown that S. oralis can

  3. Seasonal variation in the abundance and distribution of ticks that parasitize Microcebus griseorufus at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Idalia A; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2015-12-01

    At Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) are parasitized by multiple species of haemaphysaline ticks. At present we know little about the role ticks play in wild lemur populations and how they can alter interspecies relationships within communities or impact host fitness. In order to better understand these dynamics at BMSR, we examined parasite-host interactions as well as the ecology of mouse lemurs and their infesting ticks, Haemaphysalis lemuris and H. sp. cf. simplex. We show that season, host sex, and habitat influence the relative abundance of ticks on mouse lemurs. Specifically, infestations occur only during the dry season (May-October), are higher in males, and are higher at the study site with the most ground cover and with greater density of large-bodied hosts. Microcebus likely experience decreased susceptibility to tick infestations during the wet season because at that time they rarely if ever descend to the ground. Similarly, male mouse lemurs have higher infestation rates than females because of the greater time they spend traveling and foraging on the ground. During the dry season, Microcebus likely serve as hosts for the tenrec tick, H. sp. cf. simplex, when tenrecs hibernate. In turn, during the wet season when mouse lemurs rarely descend to the ground, other small mammals at the reserve may serve as maintenance hosts for populations of immature ticks. The synchronous development of larvae and nymphs could present high risk for vector-borne disease in Microcebus. This study also provides a preliminary description of the ecology and life cycle of the most common lemur tick, H. lemuris. PMID:26767168

  4. Seasonal variation in the abundance and distribution of ticks that parasitize Microcebus griseorufus at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Idalia A.; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R.

    2015-01-01

    At Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) are parasitized by multiple species of haemaphysaline ticks. At present we know little about the role ticks play in wild lemur populations and how they can alter interspecies relationships within communities or impact host fitness. In order to better understand these dynamics at BMSR, we examined parasite-host interactions as well as the ecology of mouse lemurs and their infesting ticks, Haemaphysalis lemuris and H. sp. cf. simplex. We show that season, host sex, and habitat influence the relative abundance of ticks on mouse lemurs. Specifically, infestations occur only during the dry season (May–October), are higher in males, and are higher at the study site with the most ground cover and with greater density of large-bodied hosts. Microcebus likely experience decreased susceptibility to tick infestations during the wet season because at that time they rarely if ever descend to the ground. Similarly, male mouse lemurs have higher infestation rates than females because of the greater time they spend traveling and foraging on the ground. During the dry season, Microcebus likely serve as hosts for the tenrec tick, H. sp. cf. simplex, when tenrecs hibernate. In turn, during the wet season when mouse lemurs rarely descend to the ground, other small mammals at the reserve may serve as maintenance hosts for populations of immature ticks. The synchronous development of larvae and nymphs could present high risk for vector-borne disease in Microcebus. This study also provides a preliminary description of the ecology and life cycle of the most common lemur tick, H. lemuris. PMID:26767168

  5. Second-Generation Six-Limbed Experimental Robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Brett; Okon, Avi; Aghazarian, Hrand; Robinson, Matthew; Garrett, Michael; Magnone, Lee

    2004-01-01

    The figure shows the LEMUR II - the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR), which was described in "Six-Legged Experimental Robot" (NPO-20897), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2001), page 58. The LEMUR II incorporates a number of improvements, including new features, that extend its capabilities beyond those of its predecessor, which is now denoted the LEMUR I. To recapitulate: the LEMUR I was a six-limbed robot for demonstrating robotic capabilities for assembly, maintenance, and inspection. The LEMUR I was designed to be capable of walking autonomously along a truss structure toward a mechanical assembly at a prescribed location and to perform other operations. The LEMUR I was equipped with stereoscopic video cameras and image-data-processing circuitry for navigation and mechanical operations. It was also equipped with a wireless modem, through which it could be commanded remotely. Upon arrival at a mechanical assembly, the LEMUR I would perform simple mechanical operations with one or both of its front limbs. It could also transmit images to a host computer. Each of the six limbs of the LEMUR I was operated independently. Each of the four rear limbs had three degrees of freedom (DOFs), while each of the front two limbs had four DOFs. The front two limbs were designed to hold, operate, and/or be integrated with tools. The LEMUR I included an onboard computer equipped with an assortment of digital control circuits, digital input/output circuits, analog-to-digital converters for input, and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters for output. Feedback from optical encoders in the limb actuators was utilized for closed-loop microcomputer control of the positions and velocities of the actuators. The LEMUR II incorporates the following improvements over the LEMUR I: a) The drive trains for the joints of the LEMUR II are more sophisticated, providing greater torque and accuracy. b) The six limbs are arranged symmetrically about

  6. [Animal reservoirs of human virulent microsporidian species].

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna

    2009-01-01

    . It was demonstrated that the new hosts of E. hellem are the following bird species: mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), greyleg goose (Anser anser), mute swan (Cygnus olor), black-necked swan (Cygnus melancoryphus), black swan (Cygnus atratus), coscoroba swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), black-crowned crane (Balearica pavonina), nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) and carrion crow (Corvus cornix). In addition, E. hellem was found for the first time in birds from the Anseriformes and Gruiformes orders. Whereas E. intestinalis was disclosed for the first time in the domestic goose (Anser anser f. domestica), red ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata rubra) and the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), while the black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) and the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons negrinus) were first found to carry E. bieneusi. The mammal species that were found to carry E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis are included in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The results of the present study are significant from an epidemiological point of view. The wild, livestock and zoo animals that were found to carry microsporidia live in different conditions, and thus their role as animal reservoirs for these dangerous pathogens varies. Waterfowl birds may be the main source of contamination of surface waters with E. hellem spores and the protection of surface waters is virtually impossible. Moreover, isolates of E. hellem from mute swans have SSU rRNA sequences identical to E. hellem genotype reported 10 years ago in HIV-positive patient in USA (GenBank Accession no. L19070). This result indicate that E. hellem from mute swans can be a potential source of infection for humans. The contamination of the human environment with microsporidian spores infectious to humans is also facilitated by farm and synanthropic birds, because E. hellem and E. intestinalis were found in farms pigeons, domestic goose and the carrion crow. These birds can also be the source

  7. Hibernation in the tropics: lessons from a primate.

    PubMed

    Dausmann, Kathrin H; Glos, Julian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Heldmaier, Gerhard

    2005-04-01

    The Malagasy primate Cheirogaleus medius hibernates in tree holes for 7 months, although ambient temperatures during hibernation rise above 30 degrees C in their natural environment. In a field study we show that during hibernation the body temperature of most lemurs fluctuates between about 10 degrees C and 30 degrees C, closely tracking the diurnal fluctuations of ambient temperature passively. These lemurs do not interrupt hibernation by spontaneous arousals, previously thought to be obligatory for all mammalian hibernators. However, some lemurs hibernate in large trees, which provide better thermal insulation. Their body temperature fluctuates only little around 25 degrees C, but they show regular arousals, as known from temperate and arctic hibernators. The results from this study demonstrate that maximum body temperature is a key factor necessitating the occurrence of arousals. Furthermore, we show that hibernation is not necessarily coupled to low body temperature and, therefore, low body temperature should no longer be included in the definition of hibernation. PMID:15682314

  8. Influence of abiotic factors on cathemeral activity: the case of Eulemur fulvus collaris in the littoral forest of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M

    2006-01-01

    The role environmental factors play in influencing circadian rhythms in natural habitats is still poorly described in primates, especially for those taxa with an activity cycle extended over the 24-hour cycle. In this paper, we elucidate the importance of abiotic factors in entraining the activity of cathemeral primates, focussing on results from a long-term study of Eulemur fulvus collaris (collared brown lemur) in south-eastern Malagasy littoral forest. Two groups of lemurs were followed for 60 whole-day and 59 whole-night observation periods over 14 months. Diurnal and nocturnal observations were equally distributed among moon phases and seasons. Temperature and humidity were recorded hourly by automatic data loggers. The littoral forest has a climatic environment where rainfall and humidity are uncorrelated with temperature and photoperiod. Diurnal and nocturnal activity varied seasonally, with the former increasing significantly with extended day length and the latter increasing significantly with shortened day length. Dusk seemed to act as a primary zeitgeber for these lemurs, coordinating the onset of evening activity throughout the entire year. Lunar phase and the nocturnal luminosity index correlated positively with the duration of nocturnal activity and negatively with the length of diurnal activity. Temperature was positively associated with diurnal activity but did not seem to influence lemur rhythms at night. Finally, lemur nocturnal activity significantly decreased when levels of humidity and rainfall were high. Cathemeral biorhythm is triggered by zeitgebers and influenced by masking factors. The activity of collared brown lemurs appears to be seasonally influenced by photoperiod and directly modulated by nocturnal ambient luminosity. These results are discussed by comparing data from other cathemeral species living in various climatic situations. PMID:16415580

  9. Population- and Individual-Level Dynamics of the Intestinal Microbiota of a Small Primate

    PubMed Central

    Laakkonen, Juha; Jernvall, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Longitudinal sampling for intestinal microbiota in wild animals is difficult, leading to a lack of information on bacterial dynamics occurring in nature. We studied how the composition of microbiota communities changed temporally in free-ranging small primates, rufous mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). We marked and recaptured mouse lemurs during their mating season in Ranomafana National Park in southeastern mountainous rainforests of Madagascar for 2 years and determined the fecal microbiota compositions of these mouse lemurs with MiSeq sequencing. We collected 160 fecal samples from 71 animals and had two or more samples from 39 individuals. We found small, but statistically significant, effects of site and age on microbiota richness and diversity and effects of sex, year, and site on microbiota composition, while the within-year temporal trends were less clear. Within-host microbiota showed pervasive variation in intestinal bacterial community composition, especially during the second study year. We hypothesize that the biological properties of mouse lemurs, including their small body size and fast metabolism, may contribute to the temporal intraindividual-level variation, something that should be testable with more-extensive sampling regimes. IMPORTANCE While microbiome research has blossomed in recent years, there is a lack of longitudinal studies on microbiome dynamics on free-ranging hosts. To fill this gap, we followed mouse lemurs, which are small heterothermic primates, for 2 years. Most studied animals have shown microbiota to be stable over the life span of host individuals, but some previous research also found ample within-host variation in microbiota composition. Our study used a larger sample size than previous studies and a study setting well suited to track within-host variation in free-ranging mammals. Despite the overall microbiota stability at the population level, the microbiota of individual mouse lemurs can show large-scale changes

  10. 77 FR 74507 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-14

    ..., 77 FR 17494; March 26, September 14, 2012. UC Davis Stable Isotope 2012. Facility. 63801A Global Viral Forecasting 77 FR 24510; April 24, September 12, 2012. Initiative. 2012. 65708A Duke Lemur Center......... 77 FR 30547; May 23, 2012. September 12, 2012. 66809A University of Cincinnati.. 77 FR 34059; June...

  11. 76 FR 77006 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-09

    ... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government'' (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009... conduct certain activities with endangered species (76 FR 66954). We made an error by omitting one animal... applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Duke Lemur Center, Durham, NC; PRT-56737A The applicant...

  12. 75 FR 41233 - Issuance of Permits

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-15

    ... Lemur Conservation 75 FR 62586; November April 12, 2010 Foundation. 30, 2009. 231677 Terrance David... Permit number Applicant Federal Register notice Permit issuance date 00568A Bryce Carlson/Emory 75 FR 22162; April 27, June 24, 2010 University. 2010. 02299A John Turner 75 FR 27814; May 18, June 30,...

  13. 78 FR 34120 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-06

    ... & Botanical 77 FR 61627; October 10, November 16, 2012. Garden. 2012. 679042 Duke Lemur Center......... 77 FR.... 77 FR 44264; July 27, 2012 October 22, 2012. 724896 Species Survival Fund..... 77 FR 44264; July 27, 2012 October 22, 2012. 73893A A.C. Ranch 77 FR 46514; August 3, September 27, 2012. 2012. 75535A...

  14. Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, Andre

    This book is written for children 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume introduces the primate family, their physiology, and habits. Topics described include: (1) kinds of monkeys, including lemur, chimpanzee, gorilla, squirrel monkey, and marmoset; (2) behaviors when…

  15. Implications of lemuriform extinctions for the Malagasy flora.

    PubMed

    Federman, Sarah; Dornburg, Alex; Daly, Douglas C; Downie, Alexander; Perry, George H; Yoder, Anne D; Sargis, Eric J; Richard, Alison F; Donoghue, Michael J; Baden, Andrea L

    2016-05-01

    Madagascar's lemurs display a diverse array of feeding strategies with complex relationships to seed dispersal mechanisms in Malagasy plants. Although these relationships have been explored previously on a case-by-case basis, we present here the first comprehensive analysis of lemuriform feeding, to our knowledge, and its hypothesized effects on seed dispersal and the long-term survival of Malagasy plant lineages. We used a molecular phylogenetic framework to examine the mode and tempo of diet evolution, and to quantify the associated morphological space occupied by Madagascar's lemurs, both extinct and extant. Using statistical models and morphometric analyses, we demonstrate that the extinction of large-bodied lemurs resulted in a significant reduction in functional morphological space associated with seed dispersal ability. These reductions carry potentially far-reaching consequences for Malagasy ecosystems, and we highlight large-seeded Malagasy plants that appear to be without extant animal dispersers. We also identify living lemurs that are endangered yet occupy unique and essential dispersal niches defined by our morphometric analyses. PMID:27071108

  16. The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) found in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, J U; Rabesoa, J

    1986-01-01

    In the course of a study on the ecology of nocturnal lemurs several aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) were seen in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar near Perinet. These observations of the aye-aye in a forest of higher altitude suggest a still much wider distribution of this species than previously thought. PMID:3804102

  17. Ancient single origin for Malagasy primates.

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, A D; Cartmill, M; Ruvolo, M; Smith, K; Vilgalys, R

    1996-01-01

    We report new evidence that bears decisively on a long-standing controversy in primate systematics. DNA sequence data for the complete cytochrome b gene, combined with an expanded morphological data set, confirm the results of a previous study and again indicate that all extant Malagasy lemurs originated from a single common ancestor. These results, as well as those from other genetic studies, call for a revision of primate classifications in which the dwarf and mouse lemurs are placed within the Afro-Asian lorisiforms. The phylogenetic results, in agreement with paleocontinental data, indicate an African origin for the common ancestor of lemurs and lorises (the Strepsirrhini). The molecular data further suggest the surprising conclusion that lemurs began evolving independently by the early Eocene at the latest. This indicates that the Malagasy primate lineage is more ancient than generally thought and places the split between the two strepsirrhine lineages well before the appearance of known Eocene fossil primates. We conclude that primate origins were marked by rapid speciation and diversification sometime before the late Paleocene. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8643538

  18. Patterns of Gut Bacterial Colonization in Three Primate Species

    PubMed Central

    McKenney, Erin A.; Rodrigo, Allen; Yoder, Anne D.

    2015-01-01

    Host fitness is impacted by trillions of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that facilitate development and are inextricably tied to life history. During development, microbial colonization primes the gut metabolism and physiology, thereby setting the stage for adult nutrition and health. However, the ecological rules governing microbial succession are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the relationship between host lineage, captive diet, and life stage and gut microbiota characteristics in three primate species (infraorder, Lemuriformes). Fecal samples were collected from captive lemur mothers and their infants, from birth to weaning. Microbial DNA was extracted and the v4 region of 16S rDNA was sequenced on the Illumina platform using protocols from the Earth Microbiome Project. Here, we show that colonization proceeds along different successional trajectories in developing infants from species with differing dietary regimes and ecological profiles: frugivorous (fruit-eating) Varecia variegata, generalist Lemur catta, and folivorous (leaf-eating) Propithecus coquereli. Our analyses reveal community membership and succession patterns consistent with previous studies of human infants, suggesting that lemurs may serve as a useful model of microbial ecology in the primate gut. Each lemur species exhibits distinct species-specific bacterial diversity signatures correlating to life stages and life history traits, implying that gut microbial community assembly primes developing infants at species-specific rates for their respective adult feeding strategies. PMID:25970595

  19. Primate disease and breeding rates.

    PubMed

    Chamove, A; Cameron, G; Nash, V

    1979-10-01

    33 species were compared for 12 disease categories over 3 years of laboratory housing. There were low correlations between popularity, birth, death, and illness rates. Highest rates were: birth, Macaca nemestrina; illness, Pongo pygmaeus; death, Cercopithecus aethiops. Lowest rates were: birth, Lemur catta; illness, Sanguinus mystax; death, Galago crassicaudatus. Galago crassicaudatus and Macaca fasicularus had low disease and high birth rates. PMID:119108

  20. Habitat Degradation and Seasonality Affect Physiological Stress Levels of Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Balestri, Michela; Barresi, Marta; Campera, Marco; Serra, Valentina; Ramanamanjato, Jean Baptiste; Heistermann, Michael; Donati, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The littoral forest on sandy soil is among the most threatened habitats in Madagascar and, as such, it represents a hot-spot within a conservation hot-spot. Assessing the health of the resident lemur fauna is not only critical for the long-term viability of these populations, but also necessary for the future re-habilitation of this unique habitat. Since the Endangered collared brown lemur, Eulemur collaris, is the largest seed disperser of the Malagasy south-eastern littoral forest its survival in this habitat is crucial. In this study we compared fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels, a measure of physiological stress and potential early indicator of population health, between groups of collared brown lemurs living in a degraded forest fragment and groups occurring in a more preserved area. For this, we analysed 279 fecal samples collected year-round from 4 groups of collared brown lemurs using a validated 11-oxoetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay and tested if fGCM levels were influenced by reproductive stages, phenological seasons, sex, and habitat degradation. The lemurs living in the degraded forest had significantly higher fGCM levels than those living in the more preserved area. In particular, the highest fGCM levels were found during the mating season in all animals and in females during gestation in the degraded forest. Since mating and gestation are both occurring during the lean season in the littoral forest, these results likely reflect a combination of ecological and reproductive pressures. Our findings provide a clear indication that habitat degradation has additive effects to the challenges found in the natural habitat. Since increased stress hormone output may have long-term negative effects on population health and reproduction, our data emphasize the need for and may add to the development of effective conservation plans for the species. PMID:25229944

  1. Moderate evidence for a Lombard effect in a phylogenetically basal primate

    PubMed Central

    Schopf, Christian; Schmidt, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    When exposed to enhanced background noise, humans avoid signal masking by increasing the amplitude of the voice, a phenomenon termed the Lombard effect. This auditory feedback-mediated voice control has also been found in monkeys, bats, cetaceans, fish and some frogs and birds. We studied the Lombard effect for the first time in a phylogenetically basal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. When background noise was increased, mouse lemurs were able to raise the amplitude of the voice, comparable to monkeys, but they did not show this effect consistently across context/individuals. The Lombard effect, even if representing a generic vocal communication system property of mammals, may thus be affected by more complex mechanisms. The present findings emphasize an effect of context, and individual, and the need for further standardized approaches to disentangle the multiple system properties of mammalian vocal communication, important for understanding the evolution of the unique human faculty of speech and language. PMID:27602292

  2. Moderate evidence for a Lombard effect in a phylogenetically basal primate.

    PubMed

    Schopf, Christian; Schmidt, Sabine; Zimmermann, Elke

    2016-01-01

    When exposed to enhanced background noise, humans avoid signal masking by increasing the amplitude of the voice, a phenomenon termed the Lombard effect. This auditory feedback-mediated voice control has also been found in monkeys, bats, cetaceans, fish and some frogs and birds. We studied the Lombard effect for the first time in a phylogenetically basal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. When background noise was increased, mouse lemurs were able to raise the amplitude of the voice, comparable to monkeys, but they did not show this effect consistently across context/individuals. The Lombard effect, even if representing a generic vocal communication system property of mammals, may thus be affected by more complex mechanisms. The present findings emphasize an effect of context, and individual, and the need for further standardized approaches to disentangle the multiple system properties of mammalian vocal communication, important for understanding the evolution of the unique human faculty of speech and language. PMID:27602292

  3. The effects of age on glutathione synthesis enzymes in lenses of Old World simians and prosimians.

    PubMed

    Rathbun, W B; Holleschau, A M

    1992-07-01

    The activities of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase and glutathione synthetase, the two enzymes required for glutathione synthesis, were determined as a function of age in lenses of three species of Old World higher primates: orangutan, pigtail monkey and olive baboon. These were compared to enzyme activities in lenses of two prosimians: mouse lemur and galago. gamma-Glutamylcysteine synthetase activity decreased as a function of age in all three Old World simians. The rate of decrease was greatest in the juvenile lenses. In contrast, the enzyme activity increased continuously with age in the galago lens. In the mouse lemur the enzyme activity increased per lens, but was constant when expressed as specific activity or as units per gram of lens. The loss of enzyme activity with age was limited to Old World higher primates apparently representing genetic change. Glutathione synthetase activity decreased logarithmically with age in the lenses of all five species. PMID:1355706

  4. Noninvasive telemetric gaze tracking in freely-moving socially-housed prosimian primates

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Stephen V.; Platt, Michael L.

    2006-01-01

    Behavioral and neurophysiological studies strongly suggest that visual orienting reflects the integration of sensory, motor, and motivational variables with behavioral goals. Relatively little is known, however, regarding the goals that govern visual orienting of animals in their natural environments. Field observations suggest that most nonhuman primates orient to features of their natural environments whose salience is dictated by the visual demands of foraging, locomotion and social interaction. This hypothesis is difficult to test quantitatively, however, in part because accurate gaze-tracking technology has not been employed in field studies. We here report the implementation of a new, telemetric, infrared-video gaze-tracker (ISCAN) to measure visual orienting in freely-moving, socially-housed prosimian primates (Lemur catta). Two male lemurs tolerated the system at approximately ¼ body weight, permitting successful measurements of gaze behavior during spontaneous locomotion through both terrestrial and arboreal landscapes, and in both social and asocial environments. PMID:16431130

  5. Considering the Influence of Nonadaptive Evolution on Primate Color Vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Rachel L; Bradley, Brenda J

    2016-01-01

    Color vision in primates is variable across species, and it represents a rare trait in which the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation are fairly well-understood. Research on primate color vision has largely focused on adaptive explanations for observed variation, but it remains unclear why some species have trichromatic or polymorphic color vision while others are red-green color blind. Lemurs, in particular, are highly variable. While some species are polymorphic, many closely-related species are strictly dichromatic. We provide the first characterization of color vision in a wild population of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar) with a sample size (87 individuals; NX chromosomes = 134) large enough to detect even rare variants (0.95 probability of detection at ≥ 3% frequency). By sequencing exon 5 of the X-linked opsin gene we identified opsin spectral sensitivity based on known diagnostic sites and found this population to be dichromatic and monomorphic for a long wavelength allele. Apparent fixation of this long allele is in contrast to previously published accounts of Eulemur species, which exhibit either polymorphic color vision or only the medium wavelength opsin. This unexpected result may represent loss of color vision variation, which could occur through selective processes and/or genetic drift (e.g., genetic bottleneck). To indirectly assess the latter scenario, we genotyped 55 adult red-bellied lemurs at seven variable microsatellite loci and used heterozygosity excess and M-ratio tests to assess if this population may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck. Results of heterozygosity excess but not M-ratio tests suggest a bottleneck might have occurred in this red-bellied lemur population. Therefore, while selection may also play a role, the unique color vision observed in this population might have been influenced by a recent genetic bottleneck. These results emphasize the need to

  6. Considering the Influence of Nonadaptive Evolution on Primate Color Vision

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Rachel L.; Bradley, Brenda J.

    2016-01-01

    Color vision in primates is variable across species, and it represents a rare trait in which the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation are fairly well-understood. Research on primate color vision has largely focused on adaptive explanations for observed variation, but it remains unclear why some species have trichromatic or polymorphic color vision while others are red-green color blind. Lemurs, in particular, are highly variable. While some species are polymorphic, many closely-related species are strictly dichromatic. We provide the first characterization of color vision in a wild population of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar) with a sample size (87 individuals; NX chromosomes = 134) large enough to detect even rare variants (0.95 probability of detection at ≥ 3% frequency). By sequencing exon 5 of the X-linked opsin gene we identified opsin spectral sensitivity based on known diagnostic sites and found this population to be dichromatic and monomorphic for a long wavelength allele. Apparent fixation of this long allele is in contrast to previously published accounts of Eulemur species, which exhibit either polymorphic color vision or only the medium wavelength opsin. This unexpected result may represent loss of color vision variation, which could occur through selective processes and/or genetic drift (e.g., genetic bottleneck). To indirectly assess the latter scenario, we genotyped 55 adult red-bellied lemurs at seven variable microsatellite loci and used heterozygosity excess and M-ratio tests to assess if this population may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck. Results of heterozygosity excess but not M-ratio tests suggest a bottleneck might have occurred in this red-bellied lemur population. Therefore, while selection may also play a role, the unique color vision observed in this population might have been influenced by a recent genetic bottleneck. These results emphasize the need to

  7. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Muldoon, Kathleen M.; Goodman, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic distribution of species is the typical metric for identifying priority areas for conservation. Since most biodiversity remains poorly studied, a subset of charismatic species, such as primates, often stand as surrogates for total biodiversity. A central question is therefore, how effectively do primates predict the pooled species richness of other mammalian taxa? We used lemurs as indicator species to predict total non-primate mammal community richness in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar. We combine environmental and species occurrence data to ascertain the extent to which primate diversity can predict (1) non-primate mammal α-diversity (species richness), (2) non-primate complementarity, and (3) non-primate β-diversity (species turnover). Our results indicate that primates are effective predictors of non-primate mammal community diversity in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar after controlling for habitat. When individual orders of mammals are considered, lemurs effectively predict the species richness of carnivorans and rodents (but not afrosoricids), complementarity of rodents (but not carnivorans or afrosoricids), and all individual components of β-diversity. We conclude that lemurs effectively predict total non-primate community richness. However, surrogate species alone cannot achieve complete representation of biodiversity. PMID:26334525

  8. Dead or alive? Viability of chytrid zoospores shed from live amphibian hosts.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Chelsea; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Tunstall, Tate S; Muletz, Carly R; Zamudio, Kelly R; Lips, Karen R

    2016-05-26

    Pathogens vary in virulence and rates of transmission because of many differences in the host, the pathogen, and their environment. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), affects amphibian hosts differently, causing extinction and population declines in some species but having limited effects on others. Phenotypic differences in zoospore production rates among Bd lineages likely contribute to some of the variation observed among host responses, although no studies have quantified the viability of zoospores shed from live animals. We compared host survivorship, infection intensity, shedding rates, and zoospore viability between 2 species of endangered tropical frogs, Hylomantis lemur and Atelopus zeteki, when exposed to a highly virulent lineage of Bd (JEL 423). We applied a dye to zoospores 30 to 60 min following animal soaks, to estimate shedding rate and proportion of live zoospores shed by different species. The average infection intensity for A. zeteki was nearly 17 times higher (31,455 ± 10,103 zoospore genomic equivalents [ZGEs]) than that of H. lemur (1832 ± 1086 ZGEs), and A. zeteki died earlier than H. lemur. The proportion of viable zoospores was ~80% in both species throughout the experiment, although A. zeteki produced many more zoospores, suggesting it may play a disproportionate role in spreading disease in communities where it occurs, because the large number of viable zoospores they produce might increase infection in other species where they are reintroduced. PMID:27225201

  9. Amyloid beta immunization worsens iron deposits in the choroid plexus and cerebral microbleeds.

    PubMed

    Joseph-Mathurin, Nelly; Dorieux, Olène; Trouche, Stéphanie G; Boutajangout, Allal; Kraska, Audrey; Fontès, Pascaline; Verdier, Jean-Michel; Sigurdsson, Einar M; Mestre-Francés, Nadine; Dhenain, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) immunotherapy provides potential benefits in Alzheimer's disease patients. Nevertheless, strategies based on Aβ1-42 peptide induced encephalomyelitis and possible microhemorrhages. These outcomes were not expected from studies performed in rodents. It is critical to determine if other animal models better predict side effects of immunotherapies. Mouse lemur primates can develop amyloidosis with aging. Here we used old lemurs to study immunotherapy based on Aβ1-42 or Aβ-derivative (K6Aβ1-30). We followed anti-Aβ40 immunoglobulin G and M responses and Aβ levels in plasma. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging and histology were used to evaluate amyloidosis, neuroinflammation, vasogenic edema, microhemorrhages, and brain iron deposits. The animals responded mainly to the Aβ1-42 immunogen. This treatment induced immune response and increased Aβ levels in plasma and also microhemorrhages and iron deposits in the choroid plexus. A complementary study of untreated lemurs showed iron accumulation in the choroid plexus with normal aging. Worsening of iron accumulation is thus a potential side effect of Aβ-immunization at prodromal stages of Alzheimer's disease, and should be monitored in clinical trials. PMID:23796662

  10. Aβ immunization worsens iron deposits in the choroid plexus and cerebral microbleeds

    PubMed Central

    Joseph-Mathurin, Nelly; Dorieux, Olène; Trouche, Stéphanie G.; Boutajangout, Allal; Kraska, Audrey; Fontès, Pascaline; Verdier, Jean-Michel; Sigurdsson, Einar M.; Mestre-Francés, Nadine; Dhenain, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Anti-Aβ immunotherapy provides potential benefits in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Nevertheless, strategies based on Aβ1-42 peptide induced encephalomyelitis and possible microhemorrhages. These outcomes were not expected from studies performed in rodents. It is critical to determine if other animal models better predict side effects of immunotherapies. Mouse lemur primates can develop amyloidosis with aging. Here we used old lemurs to study immunotherapy based on Aβ1-42 or Aβ-derivative (K6Aβ1-30). We followed anti-Aβ40 IgG and IgM responses as well as Aβ levels in plasma. In-vivo magnetic resonance imaging and histology were used to evaluate amyloidosis, neuroinflammation, vasogenic edema, microhemorrhages, and brain iron deposits. The animals responded mainly to the Aβ1-42 immunogen. This treatment induced immune response and increased Aβ levels in plasma but also microhemorrhages and iron deposits in the choroid plexus. A complementary study of untreated lemurs showed iron accumulation in the choroid plexus with normal aging. Worsening of iron accumulation is thus a potential side effect of Aβ-immunization at prodromal stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and should be monitored in clinical trials. PMID:23796662

  11. Conservation education in Madagascar: three case studies in the biologically diverse island-continent.

    PubMed

    Dolins, Francine L; Jolly, Alison; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Feistner, Anna T C; Ravoavy, Florent

    2010-05-01

    Few Malagasy children and adults are aware of the rare and unique fauna and flora indigenous to their island-continent, including flagship lemur species. Even the Malagasy ancestral proverbs never mentioned lemurs, but these same proverbs talked about the now extinct hippopotamus. Madagascar's geography, history, and economic constraints contribute to severe biodiversity loss. Deforestation on Madagascar is reported to be over 100,000 ha/year, with only 10-15% of the island retaining natural forest [Green & Sussman, 1990]. Educating children, teacher-training, and community projects about environmental and conservation efforts to protect the remaining natural habitats of endangered lemur species provide a basis for long-term changes in attitudes and practices. Case studies of three conservation education projects located in different geographical regions of Madagascar, Centre ValBio, Madagacar Wildlife Conservation Alaotra Comic Book Project, and The Ako Book Project, are presented together with their ongoing stages of development, assessment, and outcomes. We argue that while nongovernmental organizational efforts are and will be very important, the Ministry of Education urgently needs to incorporate biodiversity education in the curriculum at all levels, from primary school to university. PMID:20039330

  12. Distribution and Abundance of the World's Smallest Primate, Microcebus berthae, in Central Western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schäffler, Livia; Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of most recently discovered or described lemur species remains poorly known, but many appear to have small geographical ranges, making them vulnerable to extinction. Research can contribute to future conservation actions on behalf of these species by providing accurate information on local distribution and abundance. The distribution of the world's smallest primate, the endangered Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), is limited to the Menabe Central region of western Madagascar. This species was discovered in the 1990s, but many fundamental aspects of its ecology remain unknown. The aims of our study were therefore to determine the actual distribution of Microcebus berthae across the forests of this region, to estimate population density, and to examine the species' response to anthropogenic activities. We established 35 1-km line transects across Menabe Central, on which we surveyed mouse lemurs by distance sampling and live trapping. Microcebus berthae does not occur in all remaining forests of this small region and its population density is highly heterogeneous, both across its geographic range and locally. Within its area of occupancy, the population of Microcebus berthae not only was distributed according to spatial heterogeneities of the habitat, but also responded to anthropogenic disturbances and varied seasonally. Our results indicate that Microcebus berthae is susceptible to habitat degradation and avoids human environments spatially. As none of the forest remnants in which the species still occurs were officially protected until recently, immediate conservation actions should focus on effectively protecting Kirindy and Ambadira forests. PMID:24719496

  13. Morphometric Analysis of Cranial Shape in Fossil and Recent Euprimates

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, C. Verity; Goswami, Anjali

    2012-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of morphology allows for identification of subtle evolutionary patterns or convergences in anatomy that can aid ecological reconstructions of extinct taxa. This study explores diversity and convergence in cranial morphology across living and fossil primates using geometric morphometrics. 33 3D landmarks were gathered from 34 genera of euprimates (382 specimens), including the Eocene adapiforms Adapis and Leptadapis and Quaternary lemurs Archaeolemur, Palaeopropithecus, and Megaladapis. Landmark data was treated with Procrustes superimposition to remove all nonshape differences and then subjected to principal components analysis and linear discriminant function analysis. Haplorhines and strepsirrhines were well separated in morphospace along the major components of variation, largely reflecting differences in relative skull length and width and facial depth. Most adapiforms fell within or close to strepsirrhine space, while Quaternary lemurs deviated from extant strepsirrhines, either exploring new regions of morphospace or converging on haplorhines. Fossil taxa significantly increased the area of morphospace occupied by strepsirrhines. However, recent haplorhines showed significantly greater cranial disparity than strepsirrhines, even with the inclusion of the unusual Quaternary lemurs, demonstrating that differences in primate cranial disparity are likely real and not simply an artefact of recent megafaunal extinctions. PMID:22611497

  14. The Convergent Evolution of Blue Iris Pigmentation in Primates Took Distinct Molecular Paths

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Zhang, Sidi; Hayakawa, Sachiko; Imai, Hiroo; Przeworski, Molly

    2013-01-01

    How many distinct molecular paths lead to the same phenotype? One approach to this question has been to examine the genetic basis of convergent traits, which likely evolved repeatedly under a shared selective pressure. We investigated the convergent phenotype of blue iris pigmentation, which has arisen independently in four primate lineages: humans, blue-eyed black lemurs, Japanese macaques, and spider monkeys. Characterizing the phenotype across these species, we found that the variation within the blue-eyed subsets of each species occupies strongly overlapping regions of CIE L*a*b* color space. Yet whereas Japanese macaques and humans display continuous variation, the phenotypes of blue-eyed black lemurs and their sister species (whose irises are brown) occupy more clustered subspaces. Variation in an enhancer of OCA2 is primarily responsible for the phenotypic difference between humans with blue and brown irises. In the orthologous region, we found no variant that distinguishes the two lemur species or associates with quantitative phenotypic variation in Japanese macaques. Given the high similarity between the blue iris phenotypes in these species and that in humans, this finding implies that evolution has used different molecular paths to reach the same end. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:398–407, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23640739

  15. Does body posture influence hand preference in an ancestral primate model?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The origin of human handedness and its evolution in primates is presently under debate. Current hypotheses suggest that body posture (postural origin hypothesis and bipedalism hypothesis) have an important impact on the evolution of handedness in primates. To gain insight into the origin of manual lateralization in primates, we studied gray mouse lemurs, suggested to represent the most ancestral primate condition. First, we investigated hand preference in a simple food grasping task to explore the importance of hand usage in a natural foraging situation. Second, we explored the influence of body posture by applying a forced food grasping task with varying postural demands (sit, biped, cling, triped). Results The tested mouse lemur population did not prefer to use their hands alone to grasp for food items. Instead, they preferred to pick them up using a mouth-hand combination or the mouth alone. If mouth usage was inhibited, they showed an individual but no population level handedness for all four postural forced food grasping tasks. Additionally, we found no influence of body posture on hand preference in gray mouse lemurs. Conclusion Our results do not support the current theories of primate handedness. Rather, they propose that ecological adaptation indicated by postural habit and body size of a given species has an important impact on hand preference in primates. Our findings suggest that small-bodied, quadrupedal primates, adapted to the fine branch niche of dense forests, prefer mouth retrieval of food and are less manually lateralized than large-bodied species which consume food in a more upright, and less stable body posture. PMID:21356048

  16. The locomotion of Babakotia radofilai inferred from epiphyseal and diaphyseal morphology of the humerus and femur.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Damiano; Ruff, Christopher B; Capobianco, Alessio; Rafferty, Katherine L; Habib, Michael B; Patel, Biren A

    2016-09-01

    Palaeopropithecids, or "sloth lemurs," are a diverse clade of large-bodied Malagasy subfossil primates characterized by their inferred suspensory positional behavior. The most recently discovered genus of the palaeopropithecids is Babakotia, and it has been described as more arboreal than Mesopropithecus, but less than Palaeopropithecus. In this article, the within-bone and between-bones articular and cross-sectional diaphyseal proportions of the humerus and femur of Babakotia were compared to extant lemurs, Mesopropithecus and Palaeopropithecus in order to further understand its arboreal adaptations. Additionally, a sample of apes and sloths (Choloepus and Bradypus) are included as functional outgroups composed of suspensory adapted primates and non-primates. Results show that Babakotia and Mesopropithecus both have high humeral/femoral shaft strength proportions, similar to extant great apes and sloths and indicative of forelimb suspensory behavior, with Babakotia more extreme in this regard. All three subfossil taxa have relatively large femoral heads, also associated with suspension in modern taxa. However, Babakotia and Mesopropithecus (but not Palaeopropithecus) have relatively small femoral head surface area to shaft strength proportions suggesting that hind-limb positioning in these taxa during climbing and other behaviors was different than in extant great apes, involving less mobility. Knee and humeral articular dimensions relative to shaft strengths are small in Babakotia and Mesopropithecus, similar to those found in modern sloths and divergent from those in extant great apes and lemurs, suggesting more sloth-like use of these joints during locomotion. Mesopropithecus and Babakotia are more similar to Choloepus in humerofemoral head and length proportions while Palaeopropithecus is more similar to Bradypus. These results provide further evidence of the suspensory adaptations of Babakotia and further highlight similarities to both extant suspensory

  17. Testing Bergmann's rule and the resource seasonality hypothesis in Malagasy primates using GIS-based climate data.

    PubMed

    Kamilar, Jason M; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Lehman, Shawn M; Herrera, James P

    2012-03-01

    We tested four major hypotheses on the ecological aspects of body mass variation in extant Malagasy strepsirrhines: thermoregulation, resource seasonality/scarcity, resource quality, and primary productivity. These biogeographic hypotheses focus on the ecological aspects of body mass variation, largely ignoring the role of phylogeny for explaining body mass variation within lineages. We tested the independent effects of climate and resource-related variables on variation in body mass among Malagasy primates using recently developed comparative methods that account for phylogenetic history and spatial autocorrelation. We extracted data on lemur body mass and climate variables for a total of 43 species from 39 sites. Climatic data were obtained from the WorldClim database, which is based on climate data from weather stations compiled around the world. Using generalized linear models that incorporate parameters to account for phylogenetic and spatial autocorrelation, we found that diet and climate variables were weak predictors of lemur body mass. Moreover, there was a strong phylogenetic effect relative to the effects of space on lemur body mass in all models. Thus, we failed to find support for any of the four hypotheses on patterns of geography and body mass in extant strepsirrhines. Our results indicate that body mass has been conserved since early in the evolutionary history of each genus, while species diversified into different environmental niches. Our findings are in contrast to some previous studies that have suggested resource and climate related effects on body mass, though these studies have examined this question at different taxonomic and/or geographic scales. PMID:22271559

  18. Comparative RNA sequencing reveals substantial genetic variation in endangered primates

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Melsted, Páll; Marioni, John C.; Wang, Ying; Bainer, Russell; Pickrell, Joseph K.; Michelini, Katelyn; Zehr, Sarah; Yoder, Anne D.; Stephens, Matthew; Pritchard, Jonathan K.; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    Comparative genomic studies in primates have yielded important insights into the evolutionary forces that shape genetic diversity and revealed the likely genetic basis for certain species-specific adaptations. To date, however, these studies have focused on only a small number of species. For the majority of nonhuman primates, including some of the most critically endangered, genome-level data are not yet available. In this study, we have taken the first steps toward addressing this gap by sequencing RNA from the livers of multiple individuals from each of 16 mammalian species, including humans and 11 nonhuman primates. Of the nonhuman primate species, five are lemurs and two are lorisoids, for which little or no genomic data were previously available. To analyze these data, we developed a method for de novo assembly and alignment of orthologous gene sequences across species. We assembled an average of 5721 gene sequences per species and characterized diversity and divergence of both gene sequences and gene expression levels. We identified patterns of variation that are consistent with the action of positive or directional selection, including an 18-fold enrichment of peroxisomal genes among genes whose regulation likely evolved under directional selection in the ancestral primate lineage. Importantly, we found no relationship between genetic diversity and endangered status, with the two most endangered species in our study, the black and white ruffed lemur and the Coquerel's sifaka, having the highest genetic diversity among all primates. Our observations imply that many endangered lemur populations still harbor considerable genetic variation. Timely efforts to conserve these species alongside their habitats have, therefore, strong potential to achieve long-term success. PMID:22207615

  19. Species-level view of population structure and gene flow for a critically endangered primate (Varecia variegata)

    PubMed Central

    Baden, Andrea L; Holmes, Sheila M; Johnson, Steig E; Engberg, Shannon E; Louis, Edward E; Bradley, Brenda J

    2014-01-01

    Lemurs are among the world's most threatened mammals. The critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), in particular, has recently experienced rapid population declines due to habitat loss, ecological sensitivities to habitat degradation, and extensive human hunting pressure. Despite this, a recent study indicates that ruffed lemurs retain among the highest levels of genetic diversity for primates. Identifying how this diversity is apportioned and whether gene flow is maintained among remnant populations will help to diagnose and target conservation priorities. We sampled 209 individuals from 19 sites throughout the remaining V. variegata range. We used 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci and ∼550 bp of mtDNA sequence data to evaluate genetic structure and population dynamics, including dispersal patterns and recent population declines. Bayesian cluster analyses identified two distinct genetic clusters, which optimally partitioned data into populations occurring on either side of the Mangoro River. Localities north of the Mangoro were characterized by greater genetic diversity, greater gene flow (lower genetic differentiation) and higher mtDNA haplotype and nucleotide diversity than those in the south. Despite this, genetic differentiation across all sites was high, as indicated by high average FST (0.247) and ΦST (0.544), and followed a pattern of isolation-by-distance. We use these results to suggest future conservation strategies that include an effort to maintain genetic diversity in the north and restore connectivity in the south. We also note the discordance between patterns of genetic differentiation and current subspecies taxonomy, and encourage a re-evaluation of conservation management units moving forward. PMID:25077019

  20. Effects of Isometric Scaling on Vertical Jumping Performance

    PubMed Central

    Bobbert, Maarten F.

    2013-01-01

    Jump height, defined as vertical displacement in the airborne phase, depends on vertical takeoff velocity. For centuries, researchers have speculated on how jump height is affected by body size and many have adhered to what has come to be known as Borelli’s law, which states that jump height does not depend on body size per se. The underlying assumption is that the amount of work produced per kg body mass during the push-off is independent of size. However, if a big body is isometrically downscaled to a small body, the latter requires higher joint angular velocities to achieve a given takeoff velocity and work production will be more impaired by the force-velocity relationship of muscle. In the present study, the effects of pure isometric scaling on vertical jumping performance were investigated using a biologically realistic model of the human musculoskeletal system. The input of the model, muscle stimulation over time, was optimized using jump height as criterion. It was found that when the human model was miniaturized to the size of a mouse lemur, with a mass of about one-thousandth that of a human, jump height dropped from 40 cm to only 6 cm, mainly because of the force-velocity relationship. In reality, mouse lemurs achieve jump heights of about 33 cm. By implication, the unfavourable effects of the small body size of mouse lemurs on jumping performance must be counteracted by favourable effects of morphological and physiological adaptations. The same holds true for other small jumping animals. The simulations for the first time expose and explain the sheer magnitude of the isolated effects of isometric downscaling on jumping performance, to be counteracted by morphological and physiological adaptations. PMID:23936494

  1. Impaired control of body cooling during heterothermia represents the major energetic constraint in an aging non-human primate exposed to cold.

    PubMed

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stephane; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-01-01

    Daily heterothermia is used by small mammals for energy and water savings, and seems to be preferentially exhibited during winter rather than during summer. This feature induces a trade-off between the energy saved during daily heterothermia and the energy cost of arousal, which can impact energy balance and survival under harsh environmental conditions. Especially, aging may significantly affect such trade off during cold-induced energy stress, but direct evidences are still lacking. We hypothesized that aging could alter the energetics of daily heterothermia, and that the effects could differ according to season. In the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a non-human primate species which exhibits daily heterothermia, we investigated the effects of exposures to 25 and 12 degrees C on body composition, energy balance, patterns of heterothermia and water turnover in adult (N = 8) and aged animals (N = 7) acclimated to winter-like or summer-like photoperiods. Acclimation to summer prevented animals from deep heterothermia, even during aging. During winter, adult animals at 12 degrees C and aged animals at 25 degrees C exhibited low levels of energy expenditure with minor modulations of heterothermia. The major effects of cold were observed during winter, and were particularly pronounced in aged mouse lemurs which exhibited deep heterothermia phases. Body composition was not significantly affected by age and could not explain the age-related differences in heterothermia patterns. However, aging was associated with increased levels of energy expenditure during cold exposure, in concomitance with impaired energy balance. Interestingly, increased energy expenditure and depth of heterothermia phases were strongly correlated. In conclusion, it appeared that the exhibition of shallow heterothermia allowed energy savings during winter in adult animals only. Aged animals exhibited deep heterothermia and increased levels of energy expenditure, impairing energy balance

  2. A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Burney, David A; Burney, Lida Pigott; Godfrey, Laurie R; Jungers, William L; Goodman, Steven M; Wright, Henry T; Jull, A J Timothy

    2004-01-01

    A database has been assembled with 278 age determinations for Madagascar. Materials 14C dated include pretreated sediments and plant macrofossils from cores and excavations throughout the island, and bones, teeth, or eggshells of most of the extinct megafaunal taxa, including the giant lemurs, hippopotami, and ratites. Additional measurements come from uranium-series dates on speleothems and thermoluminescence dating of pottery. Changes documented include late Pleistocene climatic events and, in the late Holocene, the apparently human-caused transformation of the environment. Multiple lines of evidence point to the earliest human presence at ca. 2300 14C yr BP (350 cal yr BC). A decline in megafauna, inferred from a drastic decrease in spores of the coprophilous fungus Sporormiella spp. in sediments at 1720+/-40 14C yr BP (230-410 cal yr AD), is followed by large increases in charcoal particles in sediment cores, beginning in the SW part of the island, and spreading to other coasts and the interior over the next millennium. The record of human occupation is initially sparse, but shows large human populations throughout the island by the beginning of the Second Millennium AD. Dating of the "subfossil" megafauna, including pygmy hippos, elephant birds, giant tortoises, and large lemurs, demonstrates that most if not all the extinct taxa were still present on the island when humans arrived. Many taxa overlapped chronologically with humans for a millennium or more. The extinct lemurs Hadropithecus stenognathus, Pachylemur insignis, Mesopropithecus pithecoides, and Daubentonia robusta, and the elephant birds Aepyornis spp. and Mullerornis spp., were still present near the end of the First Millennium AD. Palaeopropithecus ingens, Megaladapis edwardsi, and Archaeolemur sp. (cf. edwardsi) may have survived until the middle of the Second Millennium A.D. One specimen of Hippopotamus of unknown provenance dates to the period of European colonization. PMID:15288523

  3. Change in photoperiodic cycle affects life span in a prosimian primate (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Perret, M

    1997-04-01

    The lesser mouse lemur, a small prosimian primate, exhibits seasonal rhythms strictly controlled by photoperiodic variations. Exposure to day lengths shorter than 12 h results in complete sexual rest, fattening, lethargy, and reduced behavioral activities; whereas exposure to day lengths greater than 12 h induces sexual activity, an increase in behavioral activities, and high hormonal levels. The objective of this study was to test whether long-term acceleration of seasonal rhythms may affect survival and longevity of this primate. In captivity, acceleration of seasonal rhythms was obtained by exposing the animals to an accelerated photoperiodic regimen consisting of 5 months of long photoperiod followed by 3 months of short photoperiod. The age-specific survival rate in animals exposed from birth to accelerated photoperiodic conditions (n = 89) was compared to the age-specific survival rate of animals maintained under a natural photoperiod (n = 68). Independent of sexes, the mean life span (45.5 +/- 2.1 months) and maximal survival (79.3 +/- 3.3 months) were significantly (p < .01) shortened in mouse lemurs exposed to the accelerated photoperiodic cycle compared to those in animals living under annual photoperiod (63.2 +/- 2.5 and 98 +/- 3.9 months for mean life span and maximal survival, respectively). This reduction of about 30% of life span was not accompanied by a desynchronization of biological rhythms under photoperiodic control and was not related to an increase in reproduction or in duration of time spent in active conditions. However, when the number of seasonal cycles experienced by 1 individual is considered rather than chronological age, the mean life span was 5 seasonal cycles and maximum survival reached 9-10 cycles, independent of sex or of photoperiodic regimen. These results suggest that in mouse lemurs, as in other seasonal mammals, longevity may depend on the expression of a fixed number of seasonal cycles rather than on a fixed biological age

  4. Comparative aspects of trophoblast development and placentation.

    PubMed

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C

    2004-07-01

    Based on the number of tissues separating maternal from fetal blood, placentas are classified as epitheliochorial, endotheliochorial or hemochorial. We review the occurrence of these placental types in the various orders of eutherian mammals within the framework of the four superorders identified by the techniques of molecular phylogenetics. The superorder Afrotheria diversified in ancient Africa and its living representatives include elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvark, elephant shrews and tenrecs. Xenarthra, comprising armadillos, anteaters and sloths, diversified in South America. All placentas examined from members of these two oldest superorders are either endotheliochorial or hemochorial. The superorder Euarchontoglires includes two sister groups, Glires and Euarchonta. The former comprises rodents and lagomorphs, which typically have hemochorial placentas. The most primitive members of Euarchonta, the tree shrews, have endotheliochorial placentation. Flying lemurs and all higher primates have hemochorial placentas. However, the lemurs and lorises are exceptional among primates in having epitheliochorial placentation. Laurasiatheria, the last superorder to arise, includes several orders with epitheliochorial placentation. These comprise whales, camels, pigs, ruminants, horses and pangolins. In contrast, nearly all carnivores have endotheliochorial placentation, whilst bats have endotheliochorial or hemochorial placentas. Also included in Laurasiatheria are a number of insectivores that have many conserved morphological characters; none of these has epitheliochorial placentation. Consideration of placental type in relation to the findings of molecular phylogenetics suggests that the likely path of evolution in Afrotheria was from endotheliochorial to hemochorial placentation. This is also a likely scenario for Xenarthra and the bats. We argue that a definitive epitheliochorial placenta is a secondary specialization and that it evolved twice, once in the

  5. Reproductive Resilience to Food Shortage in a Small Heterothermic Primate

    PubMed Central

    Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  6. New hand bones of Hadropithecus stenognathus: implications for the paleobiology of the Archaeolemuridae.

    PubMed

    Lemelin, Pierre; Hamrick, Mark W; Richmond, Brian G; Godfrey, Laurie R; Jungers, William L; Burney, David A

    2008-03-01

    A partial, associated skeleton of Hadropithecus stenognathus (AHA-I) was discovered in 2003 at Andrahomana Cave in southeastern Madagascar. Among the postcranial elements found were the first hand bones (right scaphoid, right hamate, left first metacarpal, and right and left fifth metacarpals) attributed to this rare subfossil lemur. These hand bones were compared to those of extant strepsirrhines and catarrhines in order to infer the positional adaptations of Hadropithecus, and they were compared to those of Archaeolemur in order to assess variation in hand morphology among archaeolemurids. The scaphoid tubercle does not project palmarly as in suspensory and climbing taxa, and the hamate has no hook at all (just a small tubercle), which also points to a poorly developed carpal tunnel. There is a distinctive, radioulnarly directed "spiral" facet for articulation with the triquetrum that is most similar in orientation to that of more terrestrial primates (i.e., Lemur catta, Papio, and Gorilla). The first metacarpal is very reduced and represents only 48% of the length of metacarpal V, as in Archaeolemur, which suggests that pollical grasping of arboreal supports was not important. Compared to Archaeolemur, the shaft of metacarpal V is gracile, and the head has no dorsal ridge and lacks characteristics functionally associated with digitigrade, extended metacarpophalangeal joint postures. Proximally, the articular facet for the hamate is oriented more dorsally. Thus, the carpometacarpal joint V appears to have a distinctive hyperextended set, which has no analog among living or extinct primates. The carpals of Hadropithecus are diagnostic of a pronograde, arboreal and terrestrial (although not digitigrade) locomotor repertoire that typifies Lemur catta and some Old World monkeys. No clinging, suspensory, or climbing specializations that characterize indriids or lorises can be found in the hand of this subfossil lemur. The hand of Hadropithecus likely had similar

  7. Pollination of Ravenala madagascariensis and Parkia madagascariensis by Eulemur macaco in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Birkinshaw; Colquhoun

    1998-10-01

    Primates are known to be important in dispersal of seeds of tropical rainforest trees, but their role in pollination is very poorly documented. Although the 'traveller's palm' Ravenala madagascariensis is widespread, only a single well-documented report exists for its pollination by Malagasy prosimians. Black lemurs, Eulemur macaco, exploit nectaries of Parkia as well as Ravenala systematically at the massifs of Ambato and Lokobe, and almost certainly contribute substantially to their pollination, confirming a proposal first made by Sussman and Raven [Science 1978;200: 731-736]. PMID:9751827

  8. Primates, computation, and the path to language. Reply to comments on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arbib, Michael A.

    2016-03-01

    The target article [6], henceforth TA, had as its main title Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology. This unpacks into three claims: Comparative Primatology: If one wishes to understand the behavior of any one primate species (whether monkey, ape or human - TA did not discuss, e.g., lemurs but that study could well be of interest), one will gain new insight by comparing behaviors across species, sharpening one's analysis of one class of behaviors by analyzing similarities and differences between two or more species.

  9. Preliminary observations on hand preference for tapping, digit-feeding and food-holding in captive aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    PubMed

    Feistner, A T; Price, E C; Milliken, G W

    1994-01-01

    Aye-ayes possess highly adapted hands, using their specialized third digits to investigate potential food sources by tapping and the third or fourth digits to transfer food to the mouth. Observations were conducted on 11 captive aye-ayes (10 wild-caught; 1 captive-bred) following presentation of food or novel objects, and hand use for holding, tapping and digit-feeding was scored. Eight of the individuals showed significant hand preferences for one or more of the 3 measures, although there was no consistent pattern. These preliminary results are compared to those from other lemur species. PMID:7721199

  10. Non-invasive blood sampling from primates using laboratory-bred blood-sucking bugs (Dipetalogaster maximus; Reduviidae, Heteroptera).

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Ruth; Voigt, Christian C

    2006-10-01

    Primates are easily stressed by the conventional veterinary blood sampling routine and consequently, measured blood parameters may be biased. In this study, we tested blood-sucking bugs (Dipetalogaster maximus) on one lemur and two ape species (Microcebus murinus, Pongo abelii, Pan paniscus) as an alternative, non-invasive technique for bleeding primates. Within time periods of between 6 and 62 min we obtained blood volumes of 0.01-2.4 ml in 11 out of 12 trials from all three species. Therefore, we conclude that these bugs represent a new, gentle and effective tool for bleeding captive primates without stress. PMID:16741605

  11. Curb Mounting, Vertical Mobility, and Inverted Mobility on Rough Surfaces Using Microspine-Enabled Robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron

    2012-01-01

    Three robots that extend microspine technology to enable advanced mobility are presented. First, the Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP) and the ReconRobotics Scout platform use a new rotary configuration of microspines to provide improved soldier-portable reconnaissance by moving rapidly over curbs and obstacles, transitioning from horizontal to vertical surfaces, climbing rough walls and surviving impacts. Next, the four-legged LEMUR robot uses new configurations of opposed microspines to anchor to both manmade and natural rough surfaces. Using these anchors as feet enables mobility in unstructured environments, from urban disaster areas to deserts and caves.

  12. Gait kinetics of above- and below-branch quadrupedal locomotion in lemurid primates.

    PubMed

    Granatosky, Michael C; Tripp, Cameron H; Schmitt, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    For primates and other mammals moving on relatively thin branches, the ability to effectively adopt both above- and below-branch locomotion is seen as critical for successful arboreal locomotion, and has been considered an important step prior to the evolution of specialized suspensory locomotion within our Order. Yet, little information exists on the ways in which limb mechanics change when animals shift from above- to below-branch quadrupedal locomotion. This study tested the hypothesis that vertical force magnitude and distribution do not vary between locomotor modes, but that the propulsive and braking roles of the forelimb change when animals shift from above- to below-branch quadrupedal locomotion. We collected kinetic data on two lemur species (Varecia variegata and Lemur catta) walking above and below an instrumented arboreal runway. Values for peak vertical, braking and propulsive forces as well as horizontal impulses were collected for each limb. When walking below branch, both species demonstrated a significant shift in limb kinetics compared with above-branch movement. The forelimb became both the primary weight-bearing limb and propulsive organ, while the hindlimb reduced its weight-bearing role and became the primary braking limb. This shift in force distribution represents a shift toward mechanics associated with bimanual suspensory locomotion, a locomotor mode unusual to primates and central to human evolution. The ability to make this change is not accompanied by significant anatomical changes, and thus likely represents an underlying mechanical flexibility present in most primates. PMID:26739686

  13. Assessing the impacts of nonrandom seed dispersal by multiple frugivore partners on plant recruitment.

    PubMed

    Razafindratsima, Onja H; Dunham, Amy E

    2015-01-01

    Directed dispersal is defined as enhanced dispersal of seeds into suitable microhabitats, resulting in higher recruitment than if seeds were dispersed randomly. While this constitutes one of the main explanations for the adaptive value of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal, the generality of this advantage has received little study, particularly when multiple dispersers are involved. We used probability recruitment models of a long-lived rainforest tree in Madagascar to compare recruitment success under dispersal by multiple frugivores, no dispersal, and random dispersal. Models were parameterized using a three-year recruitment experiment and observational data of dispersal events by three frugivorous lemur species that commonly disperse its seeds. Frugivore-mediated seed dispersal was nonrandom with respect to canopy cover and increased modeled per-seed sapling recruitment fourfold compared to no dispersal. Seeds dispersed by one frugivore, Eulemur rubriventer, had higher modeled recruitment probability than seeds dispersed randomly. However, as a group, our models suggest that seeds dispersed by lemurs would have lower recruitment than if dispersal were random. Results demonstrate the importance of evaluating the contribution of multiple frugivores to plant recruitment for understanding plant population dynamics and the ecological and evolutionary significance of seed dispersal. PMID:26236886

  14. Body mass loss correlates with cognitive performance in primates under acute caloric restriction conditions.

    PubMed

    Villain, N; Picq, J-L; Aujard, F; Pifferi, F

    2016-05-15

    Brain functions are known to consume high levels of energy, thus, the integrity of cognitive performance can be drastically impacted by acute caloric restriction. In this study, we tested the impact of a 40% caloric restriction on the cognitive abilities of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Twenty-three male mouse lemurs were divided into two groups: 13 control animals (CTL) that were fed with 105kJ/day and 10calorie restricted (CR) animals that received 40% less food (63kJ/day) than the CTL animals. The animals were fed according to their group for 19days. Before treatment, we assessed baseline associative learning capacities, resting metabolic rates and locomotor performance of both animal groups. After treatment, we tested the same functions as well as long-term memory. Our results showed that CR animals had lower learning performance following caloric restriction. The effects of caloric restriction on memory recall varied and depended on the metabolism of the individual animal. Body mass loss was linked to memory test performance in the CR group, and lower performance was observed in individuals losing the most weight. While CR was observed to negatively impact learning, locomotor capacities were preserved in CR animals, and there were higher resting metabolic rates in the CR group. Our data reinforce the strong link between energy allocation and brain function, and suggest that in the context of food shortage, learning capacities could be a limiting parameter in the adaptation to a changing environment. PMID:26952885

  15. Next space solar observatory SOLAR-C: mission instruments and science objectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsukawa, Y.; Watanabe, T.; Hara, H.; Ichimoto, K.; Kubo, M.; Kusano, K.; Sakao, T.; Shimizu, T.; Suematsu, Y.; Tsuneta, S.

    2012-12-01

    SOLAR-C, the fourth space solar mission in Japan, is under study with a launch target of fiscal year 2018. A key concept of the mission is to view the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona as one system coupled by magnetic fields along with resolving the size scale of fundamental physical processes connecting these atmospheric layers. It is especially important to study magnetic structure in the chromosphere as an interface layer between the photosphere and the corona. The SOLAR-C satellite is equipped with three telescopes, the Solar UV-Visible-IR Telescope (SUVIT), the EUV/FUV High Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope (EUVS/LEMUR), and the X-ray Imaging Telescope (XIT). Observations with SUVIT of photospheric and chromospheric magnetic fields make it possible to infer three dimensional magnetic structure extending from the photosphere to the chromosphere and corona.This helps to identify magnetic structures causing magnetic reconnection, and clarify how waves are propagated, reflected, and dissipated. Phenomena indicative of or byproducts of magnetic reconnection, such as flows and shocks, are to be captured by SUVIT and by spectroscopic observations using EUVS/LEMUR, while XIT observes rapid changes in temperature distribution of plasma heated by shock waves.

  16. First experimental evidence for female mate choice in a nocturnal primate.

    PubMed

    Craul, Mathias; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2004-10-01

    Female mate choice can be hypothesised in most nocturnal primates, since females show a higher investment in their offspring than males. The aim of this experimental study was to investigate if female grey mouse lemurs perform mate choice and whether age, relatedness (to the male), or male advertisement call activity systematically influence their decisions. A two-way mate choice design was developed in which females could choose between two males. Mate choice was deduced from the time spent in proximity to the males and from mating behaviour. During oestrus 12 of 17 females participated actively in the experiment and all of them showed either a significant spatial (n = 11) or behavioural (n = 1) preference for one male. In four cases copulations were observed. The influence of age on female mate choice was not statistically significant. In the cases with copulations, however, females mostly preferred the older male. This might indicate a preference for older age as an indicator of experience, fitness, and/or status. The influence of relatedness on female mate choice could not be definitely clarified. However, results imply a mechanism of kin recognition on the basis of familiarity. In the majority of choices, females preferred the male with higher trill call activity. Since trill call activity correlates with the relative dominance status of males, these results suggest an importance of the male dominance status for female mate choice in grey mouse lemurs. Altogether our findings indicate that females use a complex of different cues to choose their mates. PMID:15241637

  17. Interlimb coordination, gait, and neural control of quadrupedalism in chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, L J; Anapol, F C; Jungers, W L

    1997-02-01

    Interlimb coordination is directly relevant to the understanding of the neural control of locomotion, but few studies addressing this topic for nonhuman primates are available, and no data exist for any hominoid other than humans. As a follow-up to Jungers and Anapol's ([1985] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 67:89-97) analysis on a lemur and talapoin monkey, we describe here the patterns of interlimb coordination in two chimpanzees as revealed by electromyography. Like the lemur and talapoin monkey, ipsilateral limb coupling in chimpanzees is characterized by variability about preferred modes within individual gaits. During symmetrical gaits, limb coupling patterns in the chimpanzee are also influenced by kinematic differences in hindlimb placement ("overstriding"). These observations reflect the neurological constraints placed on locomotion but also emphasize the overall flexibility of locomotor neural mechanisms. Interlimb coordination patterns are also species-specific, exhibiting significant differences among primate taxa and between primates and cats. Interspecific differences may be suggestive of phylogenetic divergence in the basic mechanisms for neural control of locomotion, but do not preclude morphological explanations for observed differences in interlimb coordination across species. PMID:9066899

  18. The role of piloerection in primate thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Chaplin, George; Jablonski, Nina G; Sussman, Robert W; Kelley, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    The insulating properties of the primate integument are influenced by many factors, including piloerection, which raises the hair and insulates the body by creating motionless air near the skin's surface. The involuntary muscles that control piloerection, the musculi arrectores pilorum (MAP), are mostly absent except on the tail in most strepsirhines, and are entirely absent in tarsiers and some lorisids. The absence of piloerection and the reduced effectiveness of pilary insulation in preventing heat loss affected the evolution of behavior and metabolic thermoregulation in these animals. In lemurs, this situation contributed to the use of positional and social behaviors such as sunning and huddling that help maintain thermal homeostasis during day-night and seasonal temperature cycles. It also contributed in many lemurs and lorises to the evolution of a wide variety of activity patterns and energy-conserving metabolic patterns such as cathemerality, daily torpor, and hibernation. The absence of functional MAP in strepsirhines and tarsiers implies the absence of effective piloerection in early primates, and the reacquisition of whole-body MAP in ancestral anthropoids prior to the separation of platyrrhine and catarrhine lineages. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel. PMID:24192984

  19. Comparative analysis of the primate X-inactivation center region and reconstruction of the ancestral primate XIST locus

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Sheedy, Christina B.; Merrett, Stephanie L.; Diallo, Abdoulaye Banire; Swofford, David L.; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program; Green, Eric D.; Willard, Huntington F.

    2011-01-01

    Here we provide a detailed comparative analysis across the candidate X-Inactivation Center (XIC) region and the XIST locus in the genomes of six primates and three mammalian outgroup species. Since lemurs and other strepsirrhine primates represent the sister lineage to all other primates, this analysis focuses on lemurs to reconstruct the ancestral primate sequences and to gain insight into the evolution of this region and the genes within it. This comparative evolutionary genomics approach reveals significant expansion in genomic size across the XIC region in higher primates, with minimal size alterations across the XIST locus itself. Reconstructed primate ancestral XIC sequences show that the most dramatic changes during the past 80 million years occurred between the ancestral primate and the lineage leading to Old World monkeys. In contrast, the XIST locus compared between human and the primate ancestor does not indicate any dramatic changes to exons or XIST-specific repeats; rather, evolution of this locus reflects small incremental changes in overall sequence identity and short repeat insertions. While this comparative analysis reinforces that the region around XIST has been subject to significant genomic change, even among primates, our data suggest that evolution of the XIST sequences themselves represents only small lineage-specific changes across the past 80 million years. PMID:21518738

  20. Evidence from opsin genes rejects nocturnality in ancestral primates

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ying; Yoder, Anne D.; Yamashita, Nayuta; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2005-01-01

    It is firmly believed that ancestral primates were nocturnal, with nocturnality having been maintained in most prosimian lineages. Under this traditional view, the opsin genes in all nocturnal prosimians should have undergone similar degrees of functional relaxation and accumulated similar extents of deleterious mutations. This expectation is rejected by the short-wavelength (S) opsin gene sequences from 14 representative prosimians. We found severe defects of the S opsin gene only in lorisiforms, but no defect in five nocturnal and two diurnal lemur species and only minor defects in two tarsiers and two nocturnal lemurs. Further, the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous rate ratio of the S opsin gene is highest in the lorisiforms and varies among the other prosimian branches, indicating different time periods of functional relaxation among lineages. These observations suggest that the ancestral primates were diurnal or cathemeral and that nocturnality has evolved several times in the prosimians, first in the lorisiforms but much later in other lineages. This view is further supported by the distribution pattern of the middle-wavelength (M) and long-wavelength (L) opsin genes among prosimians. PMID:16192351

  1. Evidence for nonseasonal reproduction in wild aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    PubMed

    Sterling, E J

    1994-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar typically exhibit a strictly seasonal pattern of breeding, with a limited number of successive estrous cycles occurring at a particular time of the year, which varies from species to species. Previous reports indicated that aye-ayes also exhibit such a strictly seasonal polyestrous pattern. Data from the author's 2-year field study of aye-ayes on the island of Nosy Mangabe, combined with information from recently initiated captive breeding programs, now indicate that this species in fact shows an extended breeding season or even year-round breeding. Actual mating or signs of estrus were observed in the field throughout a 5-month period (October-February). Further, data from captured pregnant females and young offspring indicate that births take place during the period from February to September. Apart from aye-ayes, extended breeding periods have been reported for wild Eulemur coronatus and for captive Eulemur fulvus and Mirza coquereli. Analysis of information on seasonal variation in food availability for aye-ayes and other lemurs provides no clear evidence that the degree of seasonality of breeding is directly dependent on ecological factors. PMID:7721208

  2. Light Pollution Modifies the Expression of Daily Rhythms and Behavior Patterns in a Nocturnal Primate

    PubMed Central

    Le Tallec, Thomas; Perret, Martine; Théry, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Among anthropogenic pressures, light pollution altering light/dark cycles and changing the nocturnal component of the environment constitutes a threat for biodiversity. Light pollution is widely spread across the world and continuously growing. However, despite the efforts realized to describe and understand the effects of artificial lighting on fauna, few studies have documented its consequences on biological rhythms, behavioral and physiological functions in nocturnal mammals. To determine the impacts of light pollution on nocturnal mammals an experimental study was conducted on a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. Male mouse lemurs (N = 8) were exposed 14 nights to moonlight treatment and then exposed 14 nights to light pollution treatment. For both treatments, chronobiological parameters related to locomotor activity and core temperature were recorded using telemetric transmitters. In addition, at the end of each treatment, the 14th night, nocturnal and feeding behaviors were explored using an infrared camera. Finally, throughout the study, body mass and daily caloric food intake were recorded. For the first time in a nocturnal primate, light pollution was demonstrated to modify daily rhythms of locomotor activity and core temperature especially through phase delays and increases in core temperature. Moreover, nocturnal activity and feeding behaviors patterns were modified negatively. This study suggests that light pollution induces daily desynchronization of biological rhythms and could lead to seasonal desynchronization with potential deleterious consequences for animals in terms of adaptation and anticipation of environmental changes. PMID:24236115

  3. Sex-specific asymmetries in communication sound perception are not related to hand preference in an early primate

    PubMed Central

    Scheumann, Marina; Zimmermann, Elke

    2008-01-01

    Background Left hemispheric dominance of language processing and handedness, previously thought to be unique to humans, is currently under debate. To gain an insight into the origin of lateralization in primates, we have studied gray mouse lemurs, suggested to represent the most ancestral primate condition. We explored potential functional asymmetries on the behavioral level by applying a combined handedness and auditory perception task. For testing handedness, we used a forced food-grasping task. For testing auditory perception, we adapted the head turn paradigm, originally established for exploring hemispheric specializations in conspecific sound processing in Old World monkeys, and exposed 38 subjects to control sounds and conspecific communication sounds of positive and negative emotional valence. Results The tested mouse lemur population did not show an asymmetry in hand preference or in orientation towards conspecific communication sounds. However, males, but not females, exhibited a significant right ear-left hemisphere bias when exposed to conspecific communication sounds of negative emotional valence. Orientation asymmetries were not related to hand preference. Conclusion Our results provide the first evidence for sex-specific asymmetries for conspecific communication sound perception in non-human primates. Furthermore, they suggest that hemispheric dominance for communication sound processing evolved before handedness and independently from each other. PMID:18199316

  4. Phylogenetic, ecological, and allometric correlates of cranial shape in Malagasy lemuriforms.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L; Perry, Jonathan M G; Rohlf, F James; Jungers, William L

    2014-05-01

    Adaptive radiations provide important insights into many aspects of evolution, including the relationship between ecology and morphological diversification as well as between ecology and speciation. Many such radiations include divergence along a dietary axis, although other ecological variables may also drive diversification, including differences in diel activity patterns. This study examines the role of two key ecological variables, diet and activity patterns, in shaping the radiation of a diverse clade of primates, the Malagasy lemurs. When phylogeny was ignored, activity pattern and several dietary variables predicted a significant proportion of cranial shape variation. However, when phylogeny was taken into account, only typical diet accounted for a significant proportion of shape variation. One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that this radiation was characterized by a relatively small number of dietary shifts (and possibly changes in body size) that occurred in conjunction with the divergence of major clades. This pattern may be difficult to detect with the phylogenetic comparative methods used here, but may characterize not just lemurs but other mammals. PMID:24451053

  5. Gene Expression Profiling in the Hibernating Primate, Cheirogaleus Medius.

    PubMed

    Faherty, Sheena L; Villanueva-Cañas, José Luis; Klopfer, Peter H; Albà, M Mar; Yoder, Anne D

    2016-01-01

    Hibernation is a complex physiological response that some mammalian species employ to evade energetic demands. Previous work in mammalian hibernators suggests that hibernation is activated not by a set of genes unique to hibernators, but by differential expression of genes that are present in all mammals. This question of universal genetic mechanisms requires further investigation and can only be tested through additional investigations of phylogenetically dispersed species. To explore this question, we use RNA-Seq to investigate gene expression dynamics as they relate to the varying physiological states experienced throughout the year in a group of primate hibernators-Madagascar's dwarf lemurs (genus Cheirogaleus). In a novel experimental approach, we use longitudinal sampling of biological tissues as a method for capturing gene expression profiles from the same individuals throughout their annual hibernation cycle. We identify 90 candidate genes that have variable expression patterns when comparing two active states (Active 1 and Active 2) with a torpor state. These include genes that are involved in metabolic pathways, feeding behavior, and circadian rhythms, as might be expected to correlate with seasonal physiological state changes. The identified genes appear to be critical for maintaining the health of an animal that undergoes prolonged periods of metabolic depression concurrent with the hibernation phenotype. By focusing on these differentially expressed genes in dwarf lemurs, we compare gene expression patterns in previously studied mammalian hibernators. Additionally, by employing evolutionary rate analysis, we find that hibernation-related genes do not evolve under positive selection in hibernating species relative to nonhibernators. PMID:27412611

  6. Teeth, Sex, and Testosterone: Aging in the World's Smallest Primate

    PubMed Central

    Zohdy, Sarah; Gerber, Brian D.; Tecot, Stacey; Blanco, Marina B.; Winchester, Julia M.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) are an exciting new primate model for understanding human aging and disease. In captivity, Microcebus murinus develops human-like ailments of old age after five years (e.g., neurodegeneration analogous to Alzheimer's disease) but can live beyond 12 years. It is believed that wild Microcebus follow a similar pattern of senescence observed in captive animals, but that predation limits their lifespan to four years, thus preventing observance of these diseases in the wild. Testing whether this assumption is true is informative about both Microcebus natural history and environmental influences on senescence, leading to interpretation of findings for models of human aging. Additionally, the study of Microcebus longevity provides an opportunity to better understand mechanisms of sex-biased longevity. Longevity is often shorter in males of species with high male-male competition, such as Microcebus, but mouse lemurs are sexually monomorphic, suggesting similar lifespans. We collected individual-based observations of wild brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) from 2003–2010 to investigate sex-differences in survival and longevity. Fecal testosterone was measured as a potential mechanism of sex-based differences in survival. We used a combination of high-resolution tooth wear techniques, mark-recapture, and hormone enzyme immunoassays. We found no dental or physical signs of senescence in M. rufus as old as eight years (N = 189, ages 1–8, mean = 2.59±1.63 SE), three years older than captive, senescent congeners (M. murinus). Unlike other polygynandrous vertebrates, we found no sex difference in age-dependent survival, nor sex or age differences in testosterone levels. While elevated male testosterone levels have been implicated in shorter lifespans in several species, this is one of the first studies to show equivalent testosterone levels accompanying equivalent lifespans. Future research on captive aged individuals can determine

  7. Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree

    PubMed Central

    Arnason, Ulfur; Adegoke, Joseph A.; Bodin, Kristina; Born, Erik W.; Esa, Yuzine B.; Gullberg, Anette; Nilsson, Maria; Short, Roger V.; Xu, Xiufeng; Janke, Axel

    2002-01-01

    The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla (“insectivores”) split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals). PMID:12034869

  8. Local Perspectives on Environmental Insecurity and Its Influence on Illegal Biodiversity Exploitation.

    PubMed

    Gore, Meredith L; Lute, Michelle L; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H; Rajaonson, Andry

    2016-01-01

    Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar's Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people's perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention. PMID:27082106

  9. Dietary choices by four captive slender lorises (Loris tardigradus) when presented with various insect life stages.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Jonathan B; Glander, Kenneth E

    2011-01-01

    The slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is a rare, nocturnal prosimian found only in the tropical rainforest of southern India and Sri Lanka. Little is known about their diet, though it is assumed that insects comprise a majority of their wild diet. Based on this assumption, captive lorises are offered a variety of insects or insect life stages; the species of insect or the life stage is often determined by what is easiest to buy or rear. Captive lorises at the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) were offered the opportunity to choose which life stage of mealworms (Tenebrio molito), superworms (Zophobus morio), or waxworms (Galleria mellonella) they preferred. The DLC captive lorises did not select the largest life stages of any insect offered. They preferred the larvae stage to the adult stage in all three insect species, and males and females had different insect species and life stage preferences. PMID:20872876

  10. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Gonzales, Lauren A.; Benefit, Brenda R.; McCrossin, Monte L.; Spoor, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopithecoid pattern of gyrification, indicating that cerebral complexity preceded encephalization in cercopithecoids. Since larger ECVs, expanded frontal lobes, and reduced olfactory bulbs are already present in the 17- to 18-Myr-old ape Proconsul these features evolved independently in hominoids (apes) and cercopithecoids and much earlier in the former. Moreover, the order of encephalization and brain reorganization was apparently different in hominoids and cercopithecoids, showing that brain size and cerebral organization evolve independently. PMID:26138795

  11. Comparing aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) presence and distribution between degraded and non-degraded forest within Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Farris, Zach J; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Sefczek, Timothy; Wright, Patricia C

    2011-01-01

    The aye-aye is considered the most widely distributed lemur in Madagascar; however, the effect of forest quality on aye-aye abundance is unknown. We compared aye-aye presence across degraded and non-degraded forest at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We used secondary signs (feeding sites, high activity sites) as indirect cues of aye-aye presence and Canarium trees as an indicator of resource availability. All 3 measured variables indicated higher aye-aye abundance within non-degraded forest; however, the differences across forest type were not significant. Both degraded and non-degraded forests showed a positive correlation between feeding sites and high activity sites. We found that Canarium, an important aye-aye food source, was rare and had limited dispersal, particularly across degraded forest. This preliminary study provides baseline data for aye-aye activity and resource utilization across degraded and non-degraded forests. PMID:21822021

  12. Receiver bias and the acoustic ecology of aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

    PubMed Central

    Ramsier, Marissa A.; Dominy, Nathaniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The aye-aye is a rare lemur from Madagascar that uses its highly specialized middle digit for percussive foraging. This acoustic behavior, also termed tap-scanning, produces dominant frequencies between 6 and 15 kHz. An enhanced auditory sensitivity to these frequencies raises the possibility that the acoustic and auditory specializations of aye-ayes have imposed constraints on the evolution of their vocal signals, especially their primary long-distance vocalization, the screech. Here we explore this concept, termed receiver bias, and suggest that the dominant frequency of the screech call (~2.7 kHz) represents an evolutionary compromise between the opposing adaptive advantages of long-distance sound propagation and enhanced detection by conspecific receivers. PMID:23739157

  13. Characterization and evolution of major histocompatibility complex class II genes in the aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis.

    PubMed

    Go, Yasuhiro; Rakotoarisoa, Gilbert; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Shima, Taizo; Koyama, Naoki; Randrianjafy, Albert; Mora, Roger; Hirai, Hirohisa

    2005-04-01

    Major histocompatibility complex genes (Mhc-DQB and Mhc-DRB) were sequenced in seven aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariecsis), which is an endemic and endangered species in Madagascar. An aye-aye from a north-eastern population showed genetic relatedness to individuals of a north-western population and had a somewhat different repertoire from another north-eastern individual. These observations suggest that the extent of genetic variation in Mhc genes is not excessively small in the aye-aye in spite of recent rapid destruction of their habitat by human activities. In light of Mhc gene evolution, trans-species and allelic polymorphisms can be estimated to have been retained for more than 50 Ma (million years) based on the time scale of lemur evolution. PMID:15322927

  14. Receiver bias and the acoustic ecology of aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    PubMed

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2012-11-01

    The aye-aye is a rare lemur from Madagascar that uses its highly specialized middle digit for percussive foraging. This acoustic behavior, also termed tap-scanning, produces dominant frequencies between 6 and 15 kHz. An enhanced auditory sensitivity to these frequencies raises the possibility that the acoustic and auditory specializations of aye-ayes have imposed constraints on the evolution of their vocal signals, especially their primary long-distance vocalization, the screech. Here we explore this concept, termed receiver bias, and suggest that the dominant frequency of the screech call (~2.7 kHz) represents an evolutionary compromise between the opposing adaptive advantages of long-distance sound propagation and enhanced detection by conspecific receivers. PMID:23739157

  15. Preliminary study of the sexual behaviour of three aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in captivity.

    PubMed

    Winn, R M

    1994-01-01

    This paper deals with the process of mating among captive aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Data on sexual behaviour of 3 wild-caught aye-ayes were collected over a period of 3 years (1986-1989). The group of 2 adult females and a young male was housed at the Vincennes Zoo, Paris. The seasonal poly-oestrous sexual cycle was found to be marked by four clear phases of the females' vulval tumescence and coincided with sexual interest shown by both sexes. The external genitalia of the females are described, as are marking behaviour and sexual behaviour patterns before, during and after copulation. The behaviour and sexual cycles of these 2 females were compared with records from other lemurs. PMID:7721211

  16. Demonstrations of Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; King, Jonathan P.; Thatte, Nitish

    2012-01-01

    The video presents microspine-based anchors be ing developed for gripping rocks on the surfaces of comets and asteroids, or for use on cliff faces and lava tubes on Mars. Two types of anchor prototypes are shown on supporting forces in all directions away from the rock; >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A compliant robotic ankle with two active degrees of freedom interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for future climbing trials. Finally, a rotary percussive drill is shown coring into rock regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, inverted drilling was performed creating 20mm diameter boreholes 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples while retaining 12 mm diameter rock cores in 3-6 pieces.

  17. Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree.

    PubMed

    Arnason, Ulfur; Adegoke, Joseph A; Bodin, Kristina; Born, Erik W; Esa, Yuzine B; Gullberg, Anette; Nilsson, Maria; Short, Roger V; Xu, Xiufeng; Janke, Axel

    2002-06-11

    The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla ("insectivores") split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals). PMID:12034869

  18. First evidence for functional vomeronasal 2 receptor genes in primates.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Mundy, Nicholas I; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2013-02-23

    Two classes of vomeronasal receptor genes, V1R and V2R, occur in vertebrates. Whereas, V1R loci are found in a wide variety of mammals, including primates, intact V2R genes have thus far only been described in rodents and marsupials. In primates, the V2R repertoire has been considered degenerate. Here, we identify for the first time two intact V2R loci in a strepsirrhine primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), and demonstrate their expression in the vomeronasal organ. Putatively functional orthologues are present in two other strepsirrhines, whereas, both loci are pseudogenes in a range of anthropoid species. The functional significance of the loci is unknown, but positive selection on one of them is consistent with an adaptive role in pheromone detection. Finally, conservation of V2R loci in strepsirrhines is notable, given their high diversity and role in MUP and MHC detection in rodents. PMID:23269843

  19. Are tropical small mammals physiologically vulnerable to Arrhenius effects and climate change?

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, Barry G; Canale, Cindy; Levesque, Danielle; Fluch, Gerhard; Reháková-Petrů, Milada; Ruf, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    There is some urgency in the necessity to incorporate physiological data into mechanistic, trait-based, demographic climate change models. Physiological responses at the individual level provide the mechanistic link between environmental changes and individual performances and hence population dynamics. Here we consider the causal relationship between ambient temperature (Ta) and metabolic rate (MR), namely, the Arrhenius effect, which is directly affected by global warming through increases in average global air temperatures and the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. We measured and collated data for several small, free-ranging tropical arboreal mammals and evaluated their vulnerability to Arrhenius effects and putative heat stress associated with climate change. Skin temperatures (Tskin) were obtained from free-ranging tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) on Bohol Island, Philippines. Core body temperature (Tb) was obtained from the greater hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus) and the gray brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) from Ankarafantsika, Madagascar. Tskin for another mouse lemur, Microcebus griseorufus, was obtained from the literature. All four species showed evidence of hyperthermia during the daytime rest phase in the form of either Tskin or Tb that was higher than the normothermic Tb during the nighttime active phase. Potentially, tropical arboreal mammals with the lowest MRs and Tb, such as tarsiers, are the most vulnerable to sustained heat stress because their Tb is already close to Ta. Climate change may involve increases in MRs due to Arrhenius effects, especially during the rest phase or during torpor and hibernation. The most likely outcome of increased Arrhenius effects with climate change will be an increase in energy expenditure at the expense of other critical functions such as reproduction or growth and will thus affect fitness. However, we propose that these hypothetical Arrhenius costs can be, and in some

  20. Shallow hypothermia depends on the level of fatty acid unsaturation in adipose and liver tissues in a tropical heterothermic primate.

    PubMed

    Vuarin, Pauline; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Aujard, Fabienne; Perret, Martine; Pifferi, Fabien

    2014-07-01

    Optimal levels of unsaturated fatty acids have positive impacts on the use of prolonged bouts of hypothermia in mammalian hibernators, which generally have to face low winter ambient temperatures. Unsaturated fatty acids can maintain the fluidity of fat and membrane phospholipids at low body temperatures. However, less attention has been paid to their role in the regulation of shallow hypothermia, and in tropical species, which may be challenged more by seasonal energetic and/or water shortages than by low temperatures. The present study assessed the relationship between the fatty acids content of white adipose and liver tissues and the expression of shallow hypothermia in a tropical heterothermic primate, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). The adipose tissue is the main tissue for fat storage and the liver is involved in lipid metabolism, so both tissues were expected to influence hypothermia dependence on fatty acids. As mouse lemurs largely avoid deep hypothermia (i.e. torpor) use under standard captive conditions, the expression of hypothermia was triggered by food-restricting experimental animals. Hypothermia depth increased with time, with a stronger increase for individuals that exhibited higher contents of unsaturated fatty acids suggesting that they were more flexible in their use of hypothermia. However these same animals delayed the use of long hypothermia bouts relative to individuals with a higher level of saturated fatty acids. This study evidences for the first time that body fatty acids unsaturation levels influence the regulation of body temperature not only in cold-exposed hibernators but also in tropical, facultative heterotherms. PMID:24956961

  1. Infant transport and mother-infant contact from 1 to 26 weeks postnatal in Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) in northwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ross, Abigail C; Lehman, Shawn M

    2016-06-01

    Lactating females face energetic constraints absent in conspecifics and must compensate for higher energy requirements. Infant transport is the most energetically costly mammalian activity after lactation. Nonetheless, infant transport and mother-infant contact are seldom measured. The extreme seasonality characteristic of Madagascar coupled with lactation costs and infant transport is a trifold energetic challenge encountered by lemur mothers. We hypothesized that Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) mothers spend more time caring for infants during the early/earlier-mid lactation period, coinciding with the resource depletive austral winter, relative to later-mid/late lactation. We tested this hypothesis by measuring infant carrier identity, transport position, and frequency of mother-infant contact for 678 focal hours over two consecutive birth seasons from 1 to 26 weeks postnatal (N = 10 infants, N = 10 mothers, N = 19 adult males, N = 8 adult females) in Ankarafantsika National Park (ANP), Madagascar. Quantifying P. coquereli postnatal care strategies demonstrates how a species with a "slow" life history lives in an energetically challenging environment, thereby providing data on maternal energetic responses and infant development in an endangered strepsirrhine. Mothers were the primary infant transporters. Adult males and non-lactating females participated in infant transport, but for significantly less time. Infants spent significantly more time in the ventral transport position than dorsally or independently. Infants were still transported 26% of the time at 6.5 months postnatal. Infants initiated and broke bodily contact with mothers more frequently than mothers initiated and broke contact with infants. Infants were dependent on their mothers for longer durations than suggested by previous studies and carried dorsally until later ages than in other comparably sized wild lemurs. Am. J. Primatol. 78:646-658, 2016. © 2016 Wiley

  2. Comparison of the genetic diversity of wild and captive groups of Microcebus murinus using the random amplified polymorphic DNA method.

    PubMed

    Neveu, H; Hafen, T; Zimmermann, E; Rumpler, Y

    1998-01-01

    Continued survival of most animal species depends on population management and active protection. It is generally agreed that, in order to avoid extinction of endangered species, ex situ and in situ conservation must be developed in tandem. However, even though many recommendations have been put forward to promote the survival of captive populations, some rapidly become extinct due to loss of genetic diversity (drift effect). Genetic markers, such as random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, can be applied to rapid testing of many individuals. They also permit analysis of very small amounts of DNA, when small species such as mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are to be tested. Using RAPD markers, we compare genetic diversity in four captive groups of Microcebus murinus to that in a sample of 70 wild mouse lemurs. Following the principles of Mendelian inheritance, each amplified fragment of DNA may be considered as a 'locus' (or an amplifying site). The series of bands amplified by a particular primer in any individual is referred to as the individual's 'profile'. We tested 5 primers, or, in the above terms, we studied 98 different 'loci'. Results showed that the captive groups had lost genetic information with respect to the wild sample. Among the four captive groups, the loss of genetic diversity varied according to their number of founders and/or the management of their captive reproduction. Our study of polymorphism permitted us to establish tools for the genetic management of captive breeding, and for the determination of paternity which frequently give better results than behavioural studies; and simulation of introductions or departures of individuals in one very monomorphic group permitted estimation of future increases in its genetic diversity. PMID:9595690

  3. Why "monogamy" isn't good enough.

    PubMed

    Tecot, Stacey R; Singletary, Britt; Eadie, Elizabeth

    2016-03-01

    Rare in mammals but more common in primates, there remains a considerable controversy concerning whether primate species traditionally described as monogamous actually express this highly specialized breeding pattern. Unfortunately the definition of "monogamy" varies greatly, inhibiting our understanding of this trait and two related traits with which monogamy is often conflated: pair-living and pair-bonding. Strepsirrhine primates are useful models to study factors that select for pair-living, pair-bonding, and monogamy because this taxon exhibits high incidences of each trait, in addition to species that exhibit behaviors that reflect combinations of these traits. Several hypotheses have been articulated to help explain the evolution of "monogamy," but again, these hypotheses often conflate pair-living, pair-bonding, and/or monogamy. In this review, we (1) propose clear, discrete, and logical definitions for each trait; (2) review variation in strepsirrhines with respect to these three traits; (3) clarify which of these traits can be explained by existing hypotheses; and (4) provide an example of the applicability of the Resource Defense Hypothesis (RDH) to understand two of these traits, pair-living and pair-bonding, in the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Available data support the RDH for pair-living in red-bellied lemurs. They live in stable family groups with one adult pair. Both sexes actively codefend territories that overlap little with other pairs' territories. Agonism is extremely rare within groups and intergroup and interspecific agonism varies with food availability. Available data also support the RDH for pair-bonding. Pair-bonds are cohesive year-round. Pairs coordinate behaviors to defend territories with auditory and olfactory signals. Cohesion increases with food abundance and both sexes reinforce bonds. We indicate where additional data will help to more rigorously test the RDH for each trait and encourage others to test alternative

  4. Aye-aye population genomic analyses highlight an important center of endemism in northern Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Louis, Edward E.; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Burhans, Richard C.; Lei, Runhua; Johnson, Steig E.; Schuster, Stephan C.; Miller, Webb

    2013-01-01

    We performed a population genomics study of the aye-aye, a highly specialized nocturnal lemur from Madagascar. Aye-ayes have low population densities and extensive range requirements that could make this flagship species particularly susceptible to extinction. Therefore, knowledge of genetic diversity and differentiation among aye-aye populations is critical for conservation planning. Such information may also advance our general understanding of Malagasy biogeography, as aye-ayes have the largest species distribution of any lemur. We generated and analyzed whole-genome sequence data for 12 aye-ayes from three regions of Madagascar (North, West, and East). We found that the North population is genetically distinct, with strong differentiation from other aye-ayes over relatively short geographic distances. For comparison, the average FST value between the North and East aye-aye populations—separated by only 248 km—is over 2.1-times greater than that observed between human Africans and Europeans. This finding is consistent with prior watershed- and climate-based hypotheses of a center of endemism in northern Madagascar. Taken together, these results suggest a strong and long-term biogeographical barrier to gene flow. Thus, the specific attention that should be directed toward preserving large, contiguous aye-aye habitats in northern Madagascar may also benefit the conservation of other distinct taxonomic units. To help facilitate future ecological- and conservation-motivated population genomic analyses by noncomputational biologists, the analytical toolkit used in this study is available on the Galaxy Web site. PMID:23530231

  5. Aye-aye population genomic analyses highlight an important center of endemism in northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Louis, Edward E; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Burhans, Richard C; Lei, Runhua; Johnson, Steig E; Schuster, Stephan C; Miller, Webb

    2013-04-01

    We performed a population genomics study of the aye-aye, a highly specialized nocturnal lemur from Madagascar. Aye-ayes have low population densities and extensive range requirements that could make this flagship species particularly susceptible to extinction. Therefore, knowledge of genetic diversity and differentiation among aye-aye populations is critical for conservation planning. Such information may also advance our general understanding of Malagasy biogeography, as aye-ayes have the largest species distribution of any lemur. We generated and analyzed whole-genome sequence data for 12 aye-ayes from three regions of Madagascar (North, West, and East). We found that the North population is genetically distinct, with strong differentiation from other aye-ayes over relatively short geographic distances. For comparison, the average FST value between the North and East aye-aye populations--separated by only 248 km--is over 2.1-times greater than that observed between human Africans and Europeans. This finding is consistent with prior watershed- and climate-based hypotheses of a center of endemism in northern Madagascar. Taken together, these results suggest a strong and long-term biogeographical barrier to gene flow. Thus, the specific attention that should be directed toward preserving large, contiguous aye-aye habitats in northern Madagascar may also benefit the conservation of other distinct taxonomic units. To help facilitate future ecological- and conservation-motivated population genomic analyses by noncomputational biologists, the analytical toolkit used in this study is available on the Galaxy Web site. PMID:23530231

  6. Evidence on primate phylogeny from epsilon-globin gene sequences and flanking regions.

    PubMed

    Porter, C A; Sampaio, I; Schneider, H; Schneider, M P; Czelusniak, J; Goodman, M

    1995-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among various primate groups were examined based on sequences of epsilon-globin genes. epsilon-globin genes were sequenced from five species of strepsirhine primates. These sequences were aligned and compared with other known primate epsilon-globin sequences, including data from two additional strepsirhine species, one species of tarsier, 19 species of New World monkeys (representing all extant genera), and five species of catarrhines. In addition, a 2-kb segment upstream of the epsilon-globin gene was sequenced in two of the five strepsirhines examined. This upstream sequence was aligned with five other species of primates for which data are available in this segment. Domestic rabbit and goat were used as outgroups. This analysis supports the monophyly of order Primates but does not support the traditional prosimian grouping of tarsiers, lorisoids, and lemuroids; rather it supports the sister grouping of tarsiers and anthropoids into Haplorhini and the sister grouping of lorisoids and lemuroids into Strepsirhini. The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) appear to be most closely related to each other, forming a clade with the lemuroids, and are probably not closely related to the lorisoids, as suggested by some morphological studies. Analysis of the epsilon-globin data supports the hypothesis that the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) shares a sister-group relationship with other Malagasy strepsirhines (all being classified as lemuroids). Relationships among ceboids agree with findings from a previous epsilon-globin study in which fewer outgroup taxa were employed. Rates of molecular evolution were higher in lorisoids than in lemuroids. PMID:7714911

  7. Comparison of bacterial culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Runge, Martin; Eisenberg, Tobias; Braune, Silke; Müller, Wolfgang; Otto, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Detection of the zoonotic pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica (EF tularensis) in wild animals with culture techniques as well as polymerase chain reaction were compared and discussed on the basis of the investigation of 60 animals. The samples originated from 55 European brown hares (Lepus europaeus), two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and one each from a wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a European beaver (Castor fiber), and a lemur (Lemur catta). When comparing the growth of 28 F. tularensis isolates on the cysteine blood agar and the modified Martin-Lewis-agar used in this study, cultivation was successful for 26 isolates on both media, but for two isolates only on the cysteine blood agar. Out of 43 carcasses 19 tested positive in bacteriological culture and PCR. Two culture positive samples of tonsils originating from foxes could not be confirmed by PCR, although PCR was positive in 22 samples that missed growth of F. tularensis. Comparative studies on cultural detection of E. tularensis were performed on samples of 16 hares from lung, spleen, liver and gut and in one case with a peritoneal swab. In at least one of these localizations cultivation of the pathogen was successful. Detection rate was reduced to 94% (15 of 16 hares) considering only the results of the cultures of the lungs and spleens. For a sensitive and rapid detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, the PCR is a suitable method thereby avoiding hazardous multiplying of the pathogen. However, cultivation of F. tularensis is often a prerequisite for further studies on antibiotic resistance patterns of the pathogen, molecular epidemiological and pathological analyses of tularaemia. PMID:23901583

  8. Phylogenetic relationships among Lemuridae (Primates): evidence from mtDNA.

    PubMed

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Forstner, Michael R J; Martin, Robert D

    2002-10-01

    The family Lemuridae includes four genera: Eulemur, Hapalemur, Lemur,Varecia. Taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships between L. catta, Eulemur and Hapalemur, and of Varecia to these other lemurids, continue to be hotly debated. Nodal relationships among the five Eulemur species also remain contentious. A mitochondrial DNA sequence dataset from the ND 3, ND 4 L, ND 4 genes and five tRNAs (Gly, Arg, His, Ser, Leu) was generated to try to clarify phylogenetic relationships w ithin the Lemuridae. Samples (n=39) from all ten lemurid species were collected and analysed. Three Daubentonia madagascariensis were included as outgroup taxa. The approximately 2400 bp sequences were analysed using maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods. The results support monophyly of Eulemur, a basal divergence of Varecia, and a sister-group relationship for Lemur/Hapalemur. Based on tree topology, bootstrap values, and pairwise distance comparisons, we conclude thatVarecia and Eulemur both represent distinct genera separate from L. catta. H. griseus andH. aureus form a clade with strong support, but the sequence data do not permit robust resolution of the trichotomy involving H. simus, H. aureus/H. griseus and L. catta. Within Eulemur there is strong support for a clade containing E. fulvus, E. mongoz and E. rubriventer. However, analyses failed to clearly resolve relationships among those three species or with the more distantly related E. coronatus and E. macaco. Our sequencing data support the current subspecific status of E.m. macaco and E.m. flavifrons, and that of V.v. variegata and V.v. rubra. However, tree topology and relatively large genetic distances among individual V.v. variegata indicate that there may be more phylogenetic structure within this taxon than is indicated by current taxonomy. PMID:12393004

  9. Gene Expression Profiling in the Hibernating Primate, Cheirogaleus Medius

    PubMed Central

    Faherty, Sheena L.; Villanueva-Cañas, José Luis; Klopfer, Peter H.; Albà, M. Mar; Yoder, Anne D.

    2016-01-01

    Hibernation is a complex physiological response that some mammalian species employ to evade energetic demands. Previous work in mammalian hibernators suggests that hibernation is activated not by a set of genes unique to hibernators, but by differential expression of genes that are present in all mammals. This question of universal genetic mechanisms requires further investigation and can only be tested through additional investigations of phylogenetically dispersed species. To explore this question, we use RNA-Seq to investigate gene expression dynamics as they relate to the varying physiological states experienced throughout the year in a group of primate hibernators—Madagascar’s dwarf lemurs (genus Cheirogaleus). In a novel experimental approach, we use longitudinal sampling of biological tissues as a method for capturing gene expression profiles from the same individuals throughout their annual hibernation cycle. We identify 90 candidate genes that have variable expression patterns when comparing two active states (Active 1 and Active 2) with a torpor state. These include genes that are involved in metabolic pathways, feeding behavior, and circadian rhythms, as might be expected to correlate with seasonal physiological state changes. The identified genes appear to be critical for maintaining the health of an animal that undergoes prolonged periods of metabolic depression concurrent with the hibernation phenotype. By focusing on these differentially expressed genes in dwarf lemurs, we compare gene expression patterns in previously studied mammalian hibernators. Additionally, by employing evolutionary rate analysis, we find that hibernation-related genes do not evolve under positive selection in hibernating species relative to nonhibernators. PMID:27412611

  10. Growth and the development of sexual size dimorphism in lorises and galagos.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague; Gordon, Adam D; Catlett, Kierstin K; Terranova, Carl J; Schwartz, Gary T

    2012-01-01

    Three fundamental ontogenetic pathways lead to the development of size differences between males and females. Males and females may grow at the same rate for different durations (bimaturism), grow for the same duration at different rates, or grow at a mix of rate and duration differences. While patterns of growth and the development of adult body size are well established for many haplorhines, the extent to which rate and duration differences affect strepsirrhine growth trajectories remains unclear. Here, we present iterative piecewise regression models that describe the ontogeny of adult body mass for males and females of five lorisoid species (i.e., lorises and galagos) from the Duke Lemur Center. We test the hypotheses that, like most haplorhines, sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a result of bimaturism, and males and females of monomorphic species grow at the same rate for a similar duration. We confirm that the galagos in this sample (Galago moholi and Otolemur garnettii) show significant SSD that is achieved through bimaturism. Unlike monomorphic lemurids, the lorises in this sample show a diversity of ontogenetic patterns. Loris tardigradus does follow a lemur-like trajectory to monomorphism but Nycticebuscoucang and Nycticebus pygmaeus achieve larger adult female body sizes through a mixture of rate and duration differences. We show that contrary to previous assumptions, there are patterns of both similarity and difference in growth trajectories of comparably sized lorises and galagos. Furthermore, when ontogenetic profiles of lorisoid and lemurid growth are compared, it is evident that lorisoids grow faster for a shorter period of time. PMID:21989860

  11. Fibre type composition in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of primates: implications for the evolution of orthogrady in hominoids

    PubMed Central

    Neufuss, J; Hesse, B; Thorpe, S K S; Vereecke, E E; D'Aout, K; Fischer, M S; Schilling, N

    2014-01-01

    The axial musculoskeletal system is important for the static and dynamic control of the body during both locomotor and non-locomotor behaviour. As a consequence, major evolutionary changes in the positional habits of a species are reflected by morpho-functional adaptations of the axial system. Because of the remarkable phenotypic plasticity of muscle tissue, a close relationship exists between muscle morphology and function. One way to explore major evolutionary transitions in muscle function is therefore by comparative analysis of fibre type composition. In this study, the three-dimensional distribution of slow and fast muscle fibres was analysed in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of two lemuriform (mouse lemur, brown lemur) and four hominoid primate species (white-handed gibbon, orangutan, bonobo, chimpanzee) in order to develop a plausible scenario for the evolution of the contractile properties of the axial muscles in hominoids and to discern possible changes in muscle physiology that were associated with the evolution of orthogrady. Similar to all previously studied quadrupedal mammals, the lemuriform primates in this study exhibited a morpho-functional dichotomy between deep slow contracting local stabilizer muscles and superficial fast contracting global mobilizers and stabilizers and thus retained the fibre distribution pattern typical for quadrupedal non-primates. In contrast, the hominoid primates showed no regionalization of the fibre types, similar to previous observations in Homo. We suggest that this homogeneous fibre composition is associated with the high functional versatility of the axial musculature that was brought about by the evolution of orthograde behaviours and reflects the broad range of mechanical demands acting on the trunk in orthograde hominoids. Because orthogrady is a derived character of euhominoids, the uniform fibre type distribution is hypothesized to coincide with the evolution of orthograde behaviours. PMID:24433382

  12. Evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting. A survey of its subcellular distribution in the livers of various representatives of the classes Mammalia, Aves and Amphibia.

    PubMed

    Danpure, C J; Fryer, P; Jennings, P R; Allsop, J; Griffiths, S; Cunningham, A

    1994-08-01

    As part of a wider study on the molecular evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) intracellular compartmentalization, we have determined the subcellular distribution of immunoreactive AGT1, using postembedding protein A-gold immunoelectron microscopy, in the livers of various members of the classes Mammalia, Aves, and Amphibia. As far as organellar distribution is concerned, three categories could be distinguished. In members of the first category (type I), all, or nearly all, of the immunoreactive AGT1 was concentrated within the peroxisomes. In the second category (type II), AGT1 was found more evenly distributed in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. In the third category (type III), AGT1 was localized mainly within the mitochondria with much lower, but widely variable, amounts in the peroxisomes. Type I animals include the human, two great apes (gorilla, orangutan), two Old World monkeys (anubis baboon, Japanese macaque), a New World monkey (white-faced Saki monkey), a lago, morph (European rabbit), a bat (Seba's short-tailed fruit bat), two caviomorph rodents (guinea pig, orange-rumped agouti), and two Australian marsupials (koala, Bennett's wallaby). Type II animals include two New World monkeys (common marmoset, cotton-top tamarin), three prosimians (brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, pygmy slow loris), five rodents (a hybrid crested porcupine, Colombian ground squirrel, laboratory rat, laboratory mouse, golden hamster), an American marsupial (grey short-tailed opossum), and a bird (raven). Type III animals include the large tree shrew, three insectivores (common Eurasian mole, European hedgehog, house shrew), four carnivores (domestic cat, ocelot, domestic dog, polecat ferret), and an amphibian (common frog). In addition to these categories, some animals (e.g. guinea pig, common frog) possessed significant amounts of cytosolic AGT1. Whereas the subcellular distribution of AGT1 in some orders (e.g. Insectivora and Carnivora) did not appear

  13. Multi-step motion planning: Application to free-climbing robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bretl, Timothy Wolfe

    distribution. Validation with real hardware was done with a four-limbed, free-climbing robot called LEMUR (developed by the Mechanical and Robotic Technologies Group at NASA-JPL). Using the multi-step planner presented in this dissertation, LEMUR free-climbed an indoor, near-vertical surface with artificial rock features. It did so with limited control and sensing, demonstrating that planning is absolutely critical.

  14. Anchoring the Clade: Primate-Wide Comparative Analysis Supports the Relationship between Juvenile Interest in Infants and Adult Patterns of Infant Care.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Stephanie L

    2015-01-01

    Female-biased juvenile interest in infants is common in primates. Proposed hypotheses to explain juvenile infant interest are that it helps immature individuals learn to parent, is a by-product of selection on adult infant care behavior, is kin-selected cooperative rearing, or is a form of harassment. If juvenile infant interest is associated with adult infant care, either functionally or as a by-product, sex-biased patterns of juvenile infant interest and adult infant care should show correlated evolution; if juvenile infant interest functions as cooperative rearing or harassment, they should not. Comparisons of nested bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo models of independent and dependent evolution of juvenile infant interest and adult infant care indicate strong support for coevolution of juvenile infant interest and adult infant care. Expanding comparative analysis to include available data from lemurs strengthens this support, suggesting that the function of juvenile infant interest does not differ between strepsirrhines and haplorhines. As such, strepsirrhine taxa currently maintained in captivity will be particularly useful in future work aiming to test between the learning to parent and by-product hypotheses for juvenile infant interest. PMID:26022307

  15. Contrasting genetic diversity and population structure among three sympatric Madagascan shorebirds: parallels with rarity, endemism, and dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Eberhart-Phillips, Luke J; Hoffman, Joseph I; Brede, Edward G; Zefania, Sama; Kamrad, Martina J; Székely, Tamás; Bruford, Michael W

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the relative contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to population structure and genetic diversity is a central goal of conservation and evolutionary genetics. One way to achieve this is through comparative population genetic analysis of sympatric sister taxa, which allows evaluation of intrinsic factors such as population demography and life history while controlling for phylogenetic relatedness and geography. We used ten conserved microsatellites to explore the population structure and genetic diversity of three sympatric and closely related plover species in southwestern Madagascar: Kittlitz's plover (Charadrius pecuarius), white-fronted plover (C. marginatus), and Madagascar plover (C. thoracicus). Bayesian clustering revealed strong population structure in the rare and endemic Madagascar plover, intermediate population structure in the white-fronted plover, and no detectable population structure in the geographically widespread Kittlitz's plover. In contrast, allelic richness and heterozygosity were highest for the Kittlitz's plover, intermediate for the white-fronted plover and lowest for the Madagascar plover. No evidence was found in support of the “watershed mechanism” proposed to facilitate vicariant divergence of Madagascan lemurs and reptiles, which we attribute to the vagility of birds. However, we found a significant pattern of genetic isolation by distance among populations of the Madagascar plover, but not for the other two species. These findings suggest that interspecific variation in rarity, endemism, and dispersal propensity may influence genetic structure and diversity, even in highly vagile species. PMID:25798218

  16. Contrasting genetic diversity and population structure among three sympatric Madagascan shorebirds: parallels with rarity, endemism, and dispersal.

    PubMed

    Eberhart-Phillips, Luke J; Hoffman, Joseph I; Brede, Edward G; Zefania, Sama; Kamrad, Martina J; Székely, Tamás; Bruford, Michael W

    2015-03-01

    Understanding the relative contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to population structure and genetic diversity is a central goal of conservation and evolutionary genetics. One way to achieve this is through comparative population genetic analysis of sympatric sister taxa, which allows evaluation of intrinsic factors such as population demography and life history while controlling for phylogenetic relatedness and geography. We used ten conserved microsatellites to explore the population structure and genetic diversity of three sympatric and closely related plover species in southwestern Madagascar: Kittlitz's plover (Charadrius pecuarius), white-fronted plover (C. marginatus), and Madagascar plover (C. thoracicus). Bayesian clustering revealed strong population structure in the rare and endemic Madagascar plover, intermediate population structure in the white-fronted plover, and no detectable population structure in the geographically widespread Kittlitz's plover. In contrast, allelic richness and heterozygosity were highest for the Kittlitz's plover, intermediate for the white-fronted plover and lowest for the Madagascar plover. No evidence was found in support of the "watershed mechanism" proposed to facilitate vicariant divergence of Madagascan lemurs and reptiles, which we attribute to the vagility of birds. However, we found a significant pattern of genetic isolation by distance among populations of the Madagascar plover, but not for the other two species. These findings suggest that interspecific variation in rarity, endemism, and dispersal propensity may influence genetic structure and diversity, even in highly vagile species. PMID:25798218

  17. Gripping Mechanisms for Microgravity and Extreme Terrain and Vertical Climbing Micro Ground Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKenzie, Clifford; Parness, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    Asteroids and comets may provide insight into the origins of our solar system and the precursors to life on our planet. Near Earth objects offer an accessible target of opportunity, but are small and lack the gravity necessary for conventional wheeled travel. Therefore, it is necessary to develop alternative methods for maneuvering in these environments. This project researched and developed a method for gripping rock surfaces. Work has been completed on the design and prototyping of several possible hooked gripping mechanisms. Future work includes quantitative testing, downselection to a final design, and attachment to the robotic platform, Lemur IIb. A second project focuses on the development of a 100g, crash-proof robot capable of climbing vertical surfaces using a novel silicone adhesive. Capable of carrying video/audio payloads the robot may serve as a surveillance tool for the Department of Defense or as a method of pre-flight spacecraft inspections. A specialized track was developed to provide the specific loading conditions necessary for proper engagement of the adhesive. Both of these projects rely heavily on the shape deposition manufacturing process, being researched at JPL, and 3D printing.

  18. ERISdb: a database of plant splice sites and splicing signals.

    PubMed

    Szcześniak, Michał Wojciech; Kabza, Michał; Pokrzywa, Rafał; Gudyś, Adam; Makałowska, Izabela

    2013-02-01

    Splicing is one of the major contributors to observed spatiotemporal diversification of transcripts and proteins in metazoans. There are numerous factors that affect the process, but splice sites themselves along with the adjacent splicing signals are critical here. Unfortunately, there is still little known about splicing in plants and, consequently, further research in some fields of plant molecular biology will encounter difficulties. Keeping this in mind, we performed a large-scale analysis of splice sites in eight plant species, using novel algorithms and tools developed by us. The analyses included identification of orthologous splice sites, polypyrimidine tracts and branch sites. Additionally we identified putative intronic and exonic cis-regulatory motifs, U12 introns as well as splice sites in 45 microRNA genes in five plant species. We also provide experimental evidence for plant splice sites in the form of expressed sequence tag and RNA-Seq data. All the data are stored in a novel database called ERISdb and are freely available at http://lemur.amu.edu.pl/share/ERISdb/. PMID:23299413

  19. The role of invasive trophoblast in implantation and placentation of primates.

    PubMed

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2015-03-01

    We here review the evolution of invasive placentation in primates towards the deep penetration of the endometrium and its arteries in hominoids. The strepsirrhine primates (lemurs and lorises) have non-invasive, epitheliochorial placentation, although this is thought to be derived from a more invasive type. In haplorhine primates, there is differentiation of trophoblast at the blastocyst stage into syncytial and cellular trophoblast. Implantation involves syncytiotrophoblast that first removes the uterine epithelium then consolidates at the basal lamina before continuing into the stroma. In later stages of pregnancy, especially in Old World monkeys and apes, cytotrophoblast plays a greater role in the invasive process. Columns of trophoblast cells advance to the base of the implantation site where they spread out to form a cytotrophoblastic shell. In addition, cytotrophoblasts advance into the lumen of the spiral arteries. They are responsible for remodelling these vessels to form wide, low-resistance conduits. In human and great apes, there is additional invasion of the endometrium and its vessels by trophoblasts originating from the base of the anchoring villi. Deep trophoblast invasion that extends remodelling of the spiral arteries to segments in the inner myometrium evolved in the common ancestor of gorilla, chimp and human. PMID:25602074

  20. Opposite effects of male and female helpers on social tolerance and proactive prosociality in callitrichid family groups.

    PubMed

    Burkart, Judith M

    2015-01-01

    Across a broad variety of primate species (including lemurs, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes), proactive prosociality and social tolerance are linked to allomaternal care, reaching the highest levels in the cooperatively breeding callitrichid monkeys and humans. However, considerable variation exists within callitrichids, and the aim of this study was to identify factors that explain this variation. Male and female callitrichids pursue different reproductive strategies, leading males to play a more prominent role in allomothering. We thus hypothesised that prosociality and tolerance may be affected by group composition and sex differences. We analysed social tolerance and proactive prosociality data in 49 common marmosets and found that the number of female helpers in a group was negatively correlated with group-level prosociality and tolerance. At the individual level, rearing experience or age enhanced prosociality in male, but not in female helpers. These findings are consistent with the more ambivalent role of female helpers in infant rearing. Adding data from 5 cotton-top and 5 lion tamarins strengthened this pattern. The same factor which explains variation in prosociality and tolerance across primate species, i.e. allomaternal care, is therefore also linked to variation within common marmosets, and presumably callitrichid monkeys in general. PMID:25881136

  1. 'Emerging' mycobacteria in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Helden, P D; Parsons, S D C; Gey van Pittius, N C

    2009-12-01

    Disease can be caused by various species of the genus Mycobacterium. A number of reports, both published and unpublished, of rarely reported mycobacteria have surfaced in South Africa in the last few years. Some unusual hosts have also been involved, causing concern in some quarters.These include reports on Mycobacterium goodii in a spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), M. xenopi in a ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), M. intracellulare in wild-caught chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), the 'dassie bacillus' in free ranging rock hyrax (dassies; Procavia capensis) the 'oryx bacillus' from free-ranging buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and M. tuberculosis in suricates (Suricata suricatta), a domestic dog and in baboons. In this article it has been attempted to put these in context and show how improved surveillance and technologies have allowed mycobacteria to be identified to species level more easily. Most of the unusual mycobacterial species have most likely been present in the region for many years and have probably caused disease episodes before, but have been misdiagnosed. Each case must be evaluated carefully with respect to the animal species involved, the environment in which the host is found and the mycobacterial species, and operational decisions made accordingly. PMID:20458859

  2. The Nutritional Geometry of Resource Scarcity: Effects of Lean Seasons and Habitat Disturbance on Nutrient Intakes and Balancing in Wild Sifakas.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Mitchell T; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Raubenheimer, David R; Chapman, Colin A; Rothman, Jessica M

    2015-01-01

    Animals experience spatial and temporal variation in food and nutrient supply, which may cause deviations from optimal nutrient intakes in both absolute amounts (meeting nutrient requirements) and proportions (nutrient balancing). Recent research has used the geometric framework for nutrition to obtain an improved understanding of how animals respond to these nutritional constraints, among them free-ranging primates including spider monkeys and gorillas. We used this framework to examine macronutrient intakes and nutrient balancing in sifakas (Propithecus diadema) at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar, in order to quantify how these vary across seasons and across habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. Groups in intact habitat experience lean season decreases in frugivory, amounts of food ingested, and nutrient intakes, yet preserve remarkably constant proportions of dietary macronutrients, with the proportional contribution of protein to the diet being highly consistent. Sifakas in disturbed habitat resemble intact forest groups in the relative contribution of dietary macronutrients, but experience less seasonality: all groups' diets converge in the lean season, but disturbed forest groups largely fail to experience abundant season improvements in food intake or nutritional outcomes. These results suggest that: (1) lemurs experience seasonality by maintaining nutrient balance at the expense of calories ingested, which contrasts with earlier studies of spider monkeys and gorillas, (2) abundant season foods should be the target of habitat management, even though mortality might be concentrated in the lean season, and (3) primates' within-group competitive landscapes, which contribute to variation in social organization, may vary in complex ways across habitats and seasons. PMID:26061401

  3. LMTK3 escapes tumour suppressor miRNAs via sequestration of DDX5.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Jimmy; Favicchio, Rosy; Karimian, Negin; Mehrabi, Maryam; Harding, Victoria; Castellano, Leandro; Stebbing, Justin; Giamas, Georgios

    2016-03-01

    Lemur tyrosine kinase-3 (LMTK3) plays an important role in cancer progression and is associated with breast, lung, gastric and colorectal cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous non-coding RNAs that typically repress target genes at post-transcriptional level and have an important role in tumorigenesis. By performing a miRNA expression profile, we identified a subset of miRNAs modulated by LMTK3. We show that LMTK3 induces miR-34a, miR-196-a2 and miR-182 levels by interacting with DEAD-box RNA helicase p68 (DDX5). LMTK3 binds via DDX5 to the pri-miRNA of these three mature miRNAs, thereby sequestrating them from further processing. Ectopic expression of miR-34a and miR-182 in LMTK3-overexpressing cell lines (MCF7-LMTK3 and MDA-MB-231-LMTK3) inhibits breast cancer proliferation, invasion and migration. Interestingly, miR-34a and miR-182 directly bind to the 3'UTR of LMTK3 mRNA and consequently inhibit both its stability and translation, acting as tumour suppressor-like miRNAs. In aggregate, we show that LMTK3 is involved in miRNA biogenesis through modulation of the Microprocessor complex, inducing miRNAs that target LMTK3 itself. PMID:26739063

  4. Generic delimitations, biogeography and evolution in the tribe Coleeae (Bignoniaceae), endemic to Madagascar and the smaller islands of the western Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Callmander, Martin W; Phillipson, Peter B; Plunkett, Gregory M; Edwards, Molly B; Buerki, Sven

    2016-03-01

    This study presents the most complete generic phylogenetic framework to date for the tribe Coleeae (Bignoniaceae), which is endemic to Madagascar and the other smaller islands in the western part of the Indian Ocean. The study is based on plastid and nuclear DNA regions and includes 47 species representing the five currently recognized genera (including all the species occurring in the western Indian Ocean region). Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses supported (i) the monophyly of the tribe, (ii) the monophyly of Phylloctenium, Phyllarthron and Rhodocolea and (iii) the paraphyly of Colea due to the inclusion of species of Ophiocolea. The latter genus was also recovered paraphyletic due to the inclusion of two species of Colea (C. decora and C. labatii). The taxonomic implications of the mutual paraphyly of these two genera are discussed in light of morphological evidence, and it is concluded that the two genera should be merged, and the necessary new nomenclatural combinations are provided. The phylogenetic framework shows Phylloctenium, which is endemic to Madagascar and restricted to dry ecosystems, as basal and sister to the rest of the tribe, suggesting Madagascar to be the centre of origin of this clade. The remaining genera are diversified mostly in humid ecosystems, with evidence of multiple dispersals to the neighboring islands, including at least two to the Comoros, one to Mauritius and one to the Seychelles. Finally, we hypothesize that the ecological success of this tribe might have been triggered by a shift of fruit-dispersal mode from wind to lemur. PMID:26712485

  5. Activities and operations of the Advanced Computing Research Facility, July-October 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Pieper, G.W.

    1986-01-01

    Research activities and operations of the Advanced Computing Research Facility (ACRF) at Argonne National Laboratory are discussed for the period from July 1986 through October 1986. The facility is currently supported by the Department of Energy, and is operated by the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne. Over the past four-month period, a new commercial multiprocessor, the Intel iPSC-VX/d4 hypercube was installed. In addition, four other commercial multiprocessors continue to be available for research - an Encore Multimax, a Sequent Balance 21000, an Alliant FX/8, and an Intel iPSC/d5 - as well as a locally designed multiprocessor, the Lemur. These machines are being actively used by scientists at Argonne and throughout the nation in a wide variety of projects concerning computer systems with parallel and vector architectures. A variety of classes, workshops, and seminars have been sponsored to train researchers on computing techniques for the advanced computer systems at the Advanced Computing Research Facility. For example, courses were offered on writing programs for parallel computer systems and hosted the first annual Alliant users group meeting. A Sequent users group meeting and a two-day workshop on performance evaluation of parallel computers and programs are being organized.

  6. CAMPOUT: a control architecture for multirobot planetary outposts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirjanian, Paolo; Huntsberger, Terrance L.; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Aghazarian, Hrand; Das, Hari; Joshi, Sanjay S.; Schenker, Paul S.

    2000-10-01

    A manned Mars habitat will require a significant amount of infrastructure that can be deployed using robotic precursor missions. This infrastructure deployment will probably include the use of multiple, heterogeneous, mobile robotic platforms. Delays due to the long communication path to Mars limit the amount of teleoperation that is possible. A control architecture called CAMPOUT (Control Architecture for Multirobot Planetary Outposts) is currently under development at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA. It is a three layer behavior-based system that incorporates the low level control routines currently used on the JPL SRR/FIDO/LEMUR rovers. The middle behavior layer uses either the BISMARC (Biologically Inspired System for Map- based Autonomous Rover Control) or MOBC (Multi-Objective Behavior Control) action selection mechanisms. CAMPOUT includes the necessary group behaviors and communication mechanisms for coordinated/cooperative control of heterogeneous robotic platforms. We report the results of some ongoing work at the jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA on the transport phase of a photovoltaic (PV) tent deployment mission.

  7. Complete mitochondrial genome of the golden-crowned sifaka, Propithecus tattersalli (Primates: Indriidae).

    PubMed

    Gao, Juan; An, Di; Liu, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Yan; Dai, Rui-Ting

    2016-07-01

    The golden-crowned sifaka, Propithecus tattersalli, is a critically endangered social lemur species that inhabits the restricted and highly fragmented semi-evergreen forests. In this study, we determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of this species for the first time. The results shows that this mtDNA genome is 17 099 bp in size, and comprises 22 transfer RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and one control region (D-loop). The overall base composition in descending order is A (32.91%), C (27.07%), T (27.04%), and G (12.98%), so the percentage of A and T (59.95%) is slightly higher than that of G and C. The gene order and the composition of P. tattersalli mitochondrial genome are exactly similar to those of most other vertebrates. All the genes are encoded on the heavy strand with the exception of NADH dehydrogenase subunit six (ND6) and eight tRNA genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the P. tattersalli exhibits most close relationship with P. coquereli. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence presented here will be useful for further phylogenetic analysis and conservation genetic studies in P. tattersalli. PMID:26162055

  8. Local Perspectives on Environmental Insecurity and Its Influence on Illegal Biodiversity Exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Gore, Meredith L.; Lute, Michelle L.; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H.; Rajaonson, Andry

    2016-01-01

    Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar’s Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people’s perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention. PMID:27082106

  9. Matching based on biological categories in Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and a Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Following a series of experiments in which six orangutans and one gorilla discriminated photographs of different animal species in a two-choice touch screen procedure, Vonk & MacDonald (2002) and Vonk & MacDonald (2004) concluded that orangutans, but not the gorilla, seemed to learn intermediate level category discriminations, such as primates versus non-primates, more rapidly than they learned concrete level discriminations, such as orangutans versus humans. In the current experiments, four of the same orangutans and the gorilla were presented with delayed matching-to-sample tasks in which they were rewarded for matching photos of different members of the same primate species; golden lion tamarins, Japanese macaques, and proboscis monkeys, or family; gibbons, lemurs (Experiment 1), and subsequently for matching photos of different species within the following classes: birds, reptiles, insects, mammals, and fish (Experiment 2). Members of both Great Ape species were rapidly able to match the photos at levels above chance. Orangutans matched images from both category levels spontaneously whereas the gorilla showed effects of learning to match intermediate level categories. The results show that biological knowledge is not necessary to form natural categories at both concrete and intermediate levels. PMID:24058886

  10. Stable carbon isotope values document how a Late Holocene expansion in grasslands impacted vertebrates in northwestern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, B. E.; Samonds, K.

    2012-12-01

    Madagascar is home to some of the world's most distinctive plants and animals. Unfortunately, forest loss and habitat degradation has had a dramatic impact on both floral and faunal communities. Here we use carbon isotope values in radiocarbon-dated bones to examine how the vertebrate community at Anjohibe Cave, northwestern Madagascar, responded to a Late Holocene increase in C4 grass abundance. Our data demonstrate that major changes in the vegetation and animal community are recent phenomena at Anjohibe. Extinct lemurs and hippopotamuses were present until ca. 1500 years ago. These taxa relied exclusively on C3 resources. Locally extirpated fauna were present until 300 years ago. The majority of these species also relied on C3 resources. Their presence strongly suggests that the region surrounding the cave was more wooded than it is now, possibly as recently as 300 years ago. All introduced individuals are modern. Rats (Rattus sp.), shrews (Suncus murinus), and the giant frog Hoplobatrachus cf. tigrinus, have remarkably high carbon isotope values, implicating substantial ingestion of C4 foods. It is possible that grass abundance has increased dramatically in the past 100 years. Alternatively, opportunistically granivorous rats and shrews may selectively consume seeds from C4 grasses. In agreement with previous studies, stable isotope data reveal details of vegetation and faunal turnover in Northwestern Madagascar. Grasses have increased, forest dwelling species have vanished, and introduced taxa are exploiting a novel niche.

  11. Hibernation in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus): multiday torpor in primates is not restricted to Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ruf, Thomas; Streicher, Ulrike; Stalder, Gabrielle L.; Nadler, Tilo; Walzer, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation and short daily torpor are states of energy conservation with reduced metabolism and body temperature. Both hibernation, also called multiday torpor, and daily torpor are common among mammals and occur in at least 11 orders. Within the primates, there is a peculiar situation, because to date torpor has been almost exclusively reported for Malagasy lemurs. The single exception is the African lesser bushbaby, which is capable of daily torpor, but uses it only under extremely adverse conditions. For true hibernation, the geographical restriction was absolute. No primate outside of Madagascar was previously known to hibernate. Since hibernation is commonly viewed as an ancient, plesiomorphic trait, theoretically this could mean that hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in all other primates in mainland Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, we hypothesized that a good candidate species for the use of hibernation, outside of Madagascar should be the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a small primate inhabiting tropical forests. Here, we show that pygmy slow lorises exposed to natural climatic conditions in northern Vietnam during winter indeed undergo torpor lasting up to 63 h, that is, hibernation. Thus, hibernation has been retained in at least one primate outside of Madagascar. PMID:26633602

  12. Paternal kin recognition in the high frequency / ultrasonic range in a solitary foraging mammal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity. Recognition of paternal kin using vocalizations occurs in taxa with cohesive, complex social groups. This is the first investigation of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitary foraging mammal, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a frequent model for ancestral primates. We analyzed the high frequency/ultrasonic male advertisement (courtship) call and alarm call. Results Multi-parametric analyses of the calls’ acoustic parameters and discriminant function analyses showed that advertisement calls, but not alarm calls, contain patrilineal signatures. Playback experiments controlling for familiarity showed that females paid more attention to advertisement calls from unrelated males than from their fathers. Reactions to alarm calls from unrelated males and fathers did not differ. Conclusions 1) Findings provide the first evidence of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitarily foraging mammal. 2) High predation, small body size, and dispersed social systems may select for acoustic paternal kin recognition in the high frequency/ultrasonic ranges, thus limiting risks of inbreeding and eavesdropping by predators or conspecific competitors. 3) Paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in mammals is not dependent upon a large brain and high social complexity, but may already have been an integral part of the dispersed social networks from which more complex, kin-based sociality emerged. PMID:23198727

  13. Myosin VI and its interacting protein LMTK2 regulate tubule formation and transport to the endocytic recycling compartment

    PubMed Central

    Chibalina, Margarita V.; Seaman, Matthew N.J.; Miller, Christopher C.; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2009-01-01

    Summary Myosin VI is an actin-based retrograde motor protein, which plays a crucial role in both endocytic and secretory membrane trafficking pathways. Myosin VI’s targeting to and function in these intracellular pathways is mediated by a number of specific binding partners. In this paper we have identified a new myosin VI binding partner, Lemur tyrosine kinase 2 (LMTK2), which is the first transmembrane protein and kinase that directly binds to myosin VI. LMTK2 binds to the WWY site in the C-terminal myosin VI tail, the same site as the endocytic adaptor protein Dab2. When either myosin VI or LMTK2 is depleted by siRNA, the transferrin receptor (TfR) is trapped in swollen endosomes and tubule formation in the endocytic recycling pathway is dramatically reduced, showing that both proteins are required for the transport of cargo such as the TfR from early endosomes to the endocytic recycling compartment. PMID:18029400

  14. Synaptosomal lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme composition is shifted toward aerobic forms in primate brain evolution.

    PubMed

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I; Sherwood, Chet C

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e. tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in synaptosomal fractions from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoform LDH-B among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e. lorises and lemurs), while in the total homogenate of the neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, with an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B/LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in the ratio of LDH-B/LDH-A was correlated with species-typical brain mass but not the encephalization quotient. A significant LDH-B increase in the subneuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is a differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement. PMID:24686273

  15. SYNAPTOSOMAL LACTATE DEHYDROGENASE ISOENZYME COMPOSITION IS SHIFTED TOWARD AEROBIC FORMS IN PRIMATE BRAIN EVOLUTION

    PubMed Central

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M.; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e., tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in the synaptosomal fraction from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoforms, LDHB, among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e., lorises and lemurs), while in total homogenate of neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in the LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, displaying an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B to LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in LDH-B to LDH-A ratio was correlated with species typical brain mass, but not encephalization quotient. A significant LDHB increase in the sub-neuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement. PMID:24686273

  16. Similarities in Leptospira Serogroup and Species Distribution in Animals and Humans in the Indian Ocean Island of Mayotte

    PubMed Central

    Desvars, Amélie; Naze, Florence; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Cardinale, Eric; Picardeau, Mathieu; Michault, Alain; Bourhy, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Our objective was to identify local animal reservoirs of leptospirosis to explain the unusual features of Leptospira strains recently described among patients on the island of Mayotte. By means of a microscopic agglutination test using local clinical isolates, we found that 11.2% of black rats were seropositive to Leptospira, whereas 10.2% of flying foxes, 2% of lemurs, 93.1% of domestic dogs, and 87.5% of stray dogs were seropositive. As observed in humans, Mini was the main serogroup circulating in animals, whereas serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was absent. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we also showed that 29.8% of rats carried leptospires in their kidneys. The sequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences of Leptospira found in black rat kidneys identified four genomospecies (Leptospira borgpetersenii, Leptospira interrogans, Leptospira kirschneri, and L. borgpetersenii group B), which established black rats as the major source of leptospirosis transmission to humans. The origins of such a genetic diversity in Leptospira strains are discussed. PMID:22764304

  17. Hibernation in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus): multiday torpor in primates is not restricted to Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ruf, Thomas; Streicher, Ulrike; Stalder, Gabrielle L; Nadler, Tilo; Walzer, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation and short daily torpor are states of energy conservation with reduced metabolism and body temperature. Both hibernation, also called multiday torpor, and daily torpor are common among mammals and occur in at least 11 orders. Within the primates, there is a peculiar situation, because to date torpor has been almost exclusively reported for Malagasy lemurs. The single exception is the African lesser bushbaby, which is capable of daily torpor, but uses it only under extremely adverse conditions. For true hibernation, the geographical restriction was absolute. No primate outside of Madagascar was previously known to hibernate. Since hibernation is commonly viewed as an ancient, plesiomorphic trait, theoretically this could mean that hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in all other primates in mainland Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, we hypothesized that a good candidate species for the use of hibernation, outside of Madagascar should be the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a small primate inhabiting tropical forests. Here, we show that pygmy slow lorises exposed to natural climatic conditions in northern Vietnam during winter indeed undergo torpor lasting up to 63 h, that is, hibernation. Thus, hibernation has been retained in at least one primate outside of Madagascar. PMID:26633602

  18. Comparative genomics reveals functional transcriptional control sequences in the Prop1 gene

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Robert D.; Davis, Shannon W.; Cho, MinChul; Esposito, Constance; Lyons, Robert H.; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Rubin, Edward M.; Rhodes, Simon J.; Raetzman, Lori T.; Smith, Timothy P. L.

    2007-01-01

    Mutations in PROP1 are a common genetic cause of multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD). We used a comparative genomics approach to predict the transcriptional regulatory domains of Prop1 and tested them in cell culture and mice. A BAC transgene containing Prop1 completely rescues the Prop1 mutant phenotype, demonstrating that the regulatory elements necessary for proper PROP1 transcription are contained within the BAC. We generated DNA sequences from the PROP1 genes in lemur, pig, and five different primate species. Comparison of these with available human and mouse PROP1 sequences identified three putative regulatory sequences that are highly conserved. These are located in the PROP1 promoter proximal region, within the first intron of PROP1, and downstream of PROP1. Each of the conserved elements elicited orientation-specific enhancer activity in the context of the Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase minimal promoter in both heterologous and pituitary-derived cells lines. The intronic element is sufficient to confer dorsal expansion of the pituitary expression domain of a transgene, suggesting that this element is important for the normal spatial expression of endogenous Prop1 during pituitary development. This study illustrates the usefulness of a comparative genomics approach in the identification of regulatory elements that may be the site of mutations responsible for some cases of MPHD. PMID:17557180

  19. Surveillance and management of Echinococcus multilocularis in a wildlife park.

    PubMed

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Hormaz, Vanessa; Boucher, Jean-Marc; Guenon, Amandine; Montange, Damien; Grenouillet, Frédéric; Boue, Franck

    2016-06-01

    The fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis, a severe zoonotic disease that may be fatal if untreated. A broad spectrum of mammalian species may be accidentally infected even in captivity. In April 2011, liver lesions due to E. multilocularis were observed during the necropsy of a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French wildlife park, leading to initiation of a study to survey the parasite's presence in the park. A comparable environmental contamination with fox's feces infected by E. multilocularis was reported inside (17.8%) and outside (20.6%) the park. E. multilocularis worms were found in the intestines of three of the five roaming foxes shot in the park. Coprological analyses of potential definitive hosts in captivity (fox, lynx, wildcat, genet, wolf, bear and raccoon) revealed infection in one Eurasian wolf. Voles trapped inside the park also had a high prevalence of 5.3%. After diagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis in a Lemur catta during necropsy, four other cases in L. catta were detected by a combination of ultrasound and serology. These animals were treated twice daily with albendazole. The systematic massive metacestode development and numerous protoscoleces in L. catta confirmed their particular sensitivity to E. multilocularis infection. The autochthonous origin of the infection in all the captive animals infected was genetically confirmed by EmsB microsatellite analysis. Preventive measures were implemented to avoid the presence of roaming foxes, contact with potential definitive hosts and contaminated food sources for potential intermediate hosts. PMID:26780546

  20. The role of invasive trophoblast in implantation and placentation of primates

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Anthony M.; Enders, Allen C.; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We here review the evolution of invasive placentation in primates towards the deep penetration of the endometrium and its arteries in hominoids. The strepsirrhine primates (lemurs and lorises) have non-invasive, epitheliochorial placentation, although this is thought to be derived from a more invasive type. In haplorhine primates, there is differentiation of trophoblast at the blastocyst stage into syncytial and cellular trophoblast. Implantation involves syncytiotrophoblast that first removes the uterine epithelium then consolidates at the basal lamina before continuing into the stroma. In later stages of pregnancy, especially in Old World monkeys and apes, cytotrophoblast plays a greater role in the invasive process. Columns of trophoblast cells advance to the base of the implantation site where they spread out to form a cytotrophoblastic shell. In addition, cytotrophoblasts advance into the lumen of the spiral arteries. They are responsible for remodelling these vessels to form wide, low-resistance conduits. In human and great apes, there is additional invasion of the endometrium and its vessels by trophoblasts originating from the base of the anchoring villi. Deep trophoblast invasion that extends remodelling of the spiral arteries to segments in the inner myometrium evolved in the common ancestor of gorilla, chimp and human. PMID:25602074

  1. Brief Communication: Seasonality of diet composition is related to brain size in New World Monkeys.

    PubMed

    van Woerden, Janneke T; van Schaik, Carel P; Isler, Karin

    2014-08-01

    New World monkeys exhibit a more pronounced variability in encephalization than other primate taxa. In this comparative study, we tested two current hypotheses on brain size evolution, the Expensive Brain hypothesis and the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis, in a sample of 21 platyrrhine species. A high degree of habitat seasonality may impose an energetic constraint on brain size evolution if it leads to a high variation in caloric intake over time, as predicted by the Expensive Brain Hypothesis. However, simultaneously it may also provide the opportunity to reap the fitness benefits of increased cognitive abilities, which enable the exploitation of high-quality food resources even during periods of scarcity, as predicted by the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis. By examining the effects of both habitat seasonality and the variation in monthly diet composition across species, we found support for both hypotheses, confirming previous results for catarrhine primates and lemurs. These findings are in accordance with an energetic and ecological view of brain size evolution. PMID:24888896

  2. Organization and Molecular Evolution of CENP-A–Associated Satellite DNA Families in a Basal Primate Genome

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hye-Ran; Hayden, Karen E.; Willard, Huntington F.

    2011-01-01

    Centromeric regions in many complex eukaryotic species contain highly repetitive satellite DNAs. Despite the diversity of centromeric DNA sequences among species, the functional centromeres in all species studied to date are marked by CENP-A, a centromere-specific histone H3 variant. Although it is well established that families of multimeric higher-order alpha satellite are conserved at the centromeres of human and great ape chromosomes and that diverged monomeric alpha satellite is found in old and new world monkey genomes, little is known about the organization, function, and evolution of centromeric sequences in more distant primates, including lemurs. Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a basal primate and is located at a key position in the evolutionary tree to study centromeric satellite transitions in primate genomes. Using the approach of chromatin immunoprecipitation with antibodies directed to CENP-A, we have identified two satellite families, Daubentonia madagascariensis Aye-Aye 1 (DMA1) and Daubentonia madagascariensis Aye-Aye 2 (DMA2), related to each other but unrelated in sequence to alpha satellite or any other previously described primate or mammalian satellite DNA families. Here, we describe the initial genomic and phylogenetic organization of DMA1 and DMA2 and present evidence of higher-order repeats in Aye-Aye centromeric domains, providing an opportunity to study the emergence of chromosome-specific modes of satellite DNA evolution in primate genomes. PMID:21828373

  3. Chromosomal localization of 18S rDNA and telomere sequence in the aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis.

    PubMed

    Rakotoarisoa, G; Hirai, Y; Go, Y; Kawamoto, Y; Shima, T; Koyama, N; Randrianjafy, A; Mora, R; Hirai, H

    2000-10-01

    Chromosomal localization of 18S rDNA and telomere sequence was attempted on the chromosomes of the aye-aye (2n = 30) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and primed in situ labeling (PRINS), respectively. The rDNA was localized at the tip or whole of the short arm of acrocentric chromosomes 13 and 14 in all spreads observed. However, post-FISH silver-nitrate (Ag) staining showed that transcriptional activity of the rRNA genes was variable, particularly in chromosome 14, which was most frequently negative in one homologue carrying the smaller copy number of rDNA. This observation supports, at the molecular cytogenetic level, previous data concerning the relationship between the copy number of rDNA and its trancriptional activity. On the other hand, telomere sequence was localized only at the telomeric region of all chromosomes, the so-called telomere-only pattern, a characteristic similar to that of the greater bushbaby. These data may provide information on the chromosomal evolution of the lemur, because locations of rDNA and telomere sequences frequently offer important clues in reconstruction of karyotype differentiation. PMID:11245223

  4. Field observations of aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ancrenaz, M; Lackman-Ancrenaz, I; Mundy, N

    1994-01-01

    Data are presented from a field study of aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in an area of degraded secondary forest in northeast Madagascar. Animals were followed by radiotelemetry for 3 months during the cool dry season, when productivity of the forest is at a minimum. Population density was variable. Male home ranges were larger and overlapped the range of at least 1 female. Male ranges also overlapped, and areas of overlap could be occupied by 2 animals simultaneously. Most of the parties were solitary, but aggregations were observed at feeding sites. All activity was observed during darkness, and aye-ayes were always found to nest singly during the daytime. These patterns conform to those described for other nocturnal solitary prosimians. The aye-ayes showed versatility in their locomotor patterns, enabling them to use all types of supports and forest levels. Dietary diversity was high, although a preference for flower nectar was noted. These results suggest that, despite their anatomical specializations, aye-ayes are able to exploit a wide range of resources within recently degraded forest. This ability seems to allow aye-ayes to remain active throughout the year, unlike certain other nocturnal lemurs which become torpid during the dry season. PMID:7721206

  5. Anatomy of the hand and arm in Daubentonia madagascariensis : a functional and phylogenetic outlook.

    PubMed

    Soligo, Christophe

    2005-01-01

    The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is easily the most enigmatic of living primates. It sports a unique combination of derived characters, including continuously growing incisors, functional claws, the largest hand of any primate and a highly modified middle finger. The specialised middle finger is no longer used in locomotion and serves as a probe-like instrument for investigating, locating and extracting xylophagous (wood-boring) larvae as well as other food items. Its phalanges can be moved both at great speed and independently of each other. The present study reports on dissections of the forelimbs of two individuals of D. madagascariensis and one specimen each of Lemur catta and Cercopithecus cephus. Derived characters of the forelimb musculature in Daubentonia are interpreted within the context of its distinct locomotor and foraging adaptations. The primary adaptations underlying speed and mobility in the third manual digit of Daubentonia are found in the intrinsic hand musculature and notably in the arrangement of the dorsal aponeurosis. Implications for the interpretation of suggested convergences between the aye-aye, the diprotodont marsupial Dactylopsila palpator and the early Tertiary apatemyid genus Heterohyus are discussed. PMID:16230860

  6. Molecular evolutionary characterization of a V1R subfamily unique to strepsirrhine primates.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Chan, Lauren M; dos Reis, Mario; Larsen, Peter A; Campbell, C Ryan; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Barrett, Meredith; Roos, Christian; Kappeler, Peter; Bielawski, Joseph; Yang, Ziheng

    2014-01-01

    Vomeronasal receptor genes have frequently been invoked as integral to the establishment and maintenance of species boundaries among mammals due to the elaborate one-to-one correspondence between semiochemical signals and neuronal sensory inputs. Here, we report the most extensive sample of vomeronasal receptor class 1 (V1R) sequences ever generated for a diverse yet phylogenetically coherent group of mammals, the tooth-combed primates (suborder Strepsirrhini). Phylogenetic analysis confirms our intensive sampling from a single V1R subfamily, apparently unique to the strepsirrhine primates. We designate this subfamily as V1Rstrep. The subfamily retains extensive repertoires of gene copies that descend from an ancestral gene duplication that appears to have occurred prior to the diversification of all lemuriform primates excluding the basal genus Daubentonia (the aye-aye). We refer to the descendent clades as V1Rstrep-α and V1Rstrep-β. Comparison of the two clades reveals different amino acid compositions corresponding to the predicted ligand-binding site and thus potentially to altered functional profiles between the two. In agreement with previous studies of the mouse lemur (genus, Microcebus), the majority of V1Rstrep gene copies appear to be intact and under strong positive selection, particularly within transmembrane regions. Finally, despite the surprisingly high number of gene copies identified in this study, it is nonetheless probable that V1R diversity remains underestimated in these nonmodel primates and that complete characterization will be limited until high-coverage assembled genomes are available. PMID:24398377

  7. Molecular Evolutionary Characterization of a V1R Subfamily Unique to Strepsirrhine Primates

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Chan, Lauren M.; dos Reis, Mario; Larsen, Peter A.; Campbell, C. Ryan; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Barrett, Meredith; Roos, Christian; Kappeler, Peter; Bielawski, Joseph; Yang, Ziheng

    2014-01-01

    Vomeronasal receptor genes have frequently been invoked as integral to the establishment and maintenance of species boundaries among mammals due to the elaborate one-to-one correspondence between semiochemical signals and neuronal sensory inputs. Here, we report the most extensive sample of vomeronasal receptor class 1 (V1R) sequences ever generated for a diverse yet phylogenetically coherent group of mammals, the tooth-combed primates (suborder Strepsirrhini). Phylogenetic analysis confirms our intensive sampling from a single V1R subfamily, apparently unique to the strepsirrhine primates. We designate this subfamily as V1Rstrep. The subfamily retains extensive repertoires of gene copies that descend from an ancestral gene duplication that appears to have occurred prior to the diversification of all lemuriform primates excluding the basal genus Daubentonia (the aye-aye). We refer to the descendent clades as V1Rstrep-α and V1Rstrep-β. Comparison of the two clades reveals different amino acid compositions corresponding to the predicted ligand-binding site and thus potentially to altered functional profiles between the two. In agreement with previous studies of the mouse lemur (genus, Microcebus), the majority of V1Rstrep gene copies appear to be intact and under strong positive selection, particularly within transmembrane regions. Finally, despite the surprisingly high number of gene copies identified in this study, it is nonetheless probable that V1R diversity remains underestimated in these nonmodel primates and that complete characterization will be limited until high-coverage assembled genomes are available. PMID:24398377

  8. The Nutritional Geometry of Resource Scarcity: Effects of Lean Seasons and Habitat Disturbance on Nutrient Intakes and Balancing in Wild Sifakas

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Mitchell T.; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Raubenheimer, David R.; Chapman, Colin A.; Rothman, Jessica M.

    2015-01-01

    Animals experience spatial and temporal variation in food and nutrient supply, which may cause deviations from optimal nutrient intakes in both absolute amounts (meeting nutrient requirements) and proportions (nutrient balancing). Recent research has used the geometric framework for nutrition to obtain an improved understanding of how animals respond to these nutritional constraints, among them free-ranging primates including spider monkeys and gorillas. We used this framework to examine macronutrient intakes and nutrient balancing in sifakas (Propithecus diadema) at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar, in order to quantify how these vary across seasons and across habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. Groups in intact habitat experience lean season decreases in frugivory, amounts of food ingested, and nutrient intakes, yet preserve remarkably constant proportions of dietary macronutrients, with the proportional contribution of protein to the diet being highly consistent. Sifakas in disturbed habitat resemble intact forest groups in the relative contribution of dietary macronutrients, but experience less seasonality: all groups’ diets converge in the lean season, but disturbed forest groups largely fail to experience abundant season improvements in food intake or nutritional outcomes. These results suggest that: (1) lemurs experience seasonality by maintaining nutrient balance at the expense of calories ingested, which contrasts with earlier studies of spider monkeys and gorillas, (2) abundant season foods should be the target of habitat management, even though mortality might be concentrated in the lean season, and (3) primates’ within-group competitive landscapes, which contribute to variation in social organization, may vary in complex ways across habitats and seasons. PMID:26061401

  9. Incorporating ecology and social system into formal hypotheses to guide field studies of color vision in primates.

    PubMed

    Bunce, John A

    2015-05-01

    The X-linked gene polymorphism responsible for the variable color vision of most Neotropical monkeys and some lemurs is thought to be maintained by balancing selection, such that trichromats have an advantage over dichromats for some ecologically important task(s). However, evidence for such an advantage in wild primate populations is equivocal. The purpose of this study is to refine a hypothesis for a trichromat advantage by tailoring it to the ecology of territorial primates with female natal dispersal, such that dispersing trichromatic females have a foraging and, by extension, survival advantage over dichromats. I then examine the most practical way to test this hypothesis using field data. Indirect evidence in support of the hypothesis may take the form of differences in genotype frequencies among life stages and differences in disperser food item encounter rates. A deterministic evolutionary matrix population model and a stochastic model of food patch encounter rates are constructed to investigate the magnitude of such differences and the likelihood of statistical detection using field data. Results suggest that, although the sampling effort required to detect the hypothesized genotype frequency differences is impractical, a field study of reasonable scope may be able to detect differences in disperser foraging rates. This study demonstrates the utility of incorporating socioecological details into formal hypotheses during the planning stages of field studies of primate color vision. PMID:25690845

  10. The kinase LMTK3 promotes invasion in breast cancer through GRB2-mediated induction of integrin β₁.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yichen; Zhang, Hua; Lit, Lei C; Grothey, Arnhild; Athanasiadou, Maria; Kiritsi, Marianna; Lombardo, Ylenia; Frampton, Adam E; Green, Andrew R; Ellis, Ian O; Ali, Simak; Lenz, Heinz-Josef; Thanou, Maya; Stebbing, Justin; Giamas, Georgios

    2014-06-17

    Lemur tyrosine kinase 3 (LMTK3) is associated with cell proliferation and endocrine resistance in breast cancer. We found that, in cultured breast cancer cell lines, LMTK3 promotes the development of a metastatic phenotype by inducing the expression of genes encoding integrin subunits. Invasive behavior in various breast cancer cell lines positively correlated with the abundance of LMTK3. Overexpression of LMTK3 in a breast cancer cell line with low endogenous LMTK3 abundance promoted actin cytoskeleton remodeling, focal adhesion formation, and adhesion to collagen and fibronectin in culture. Using SILAC (stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture) proteomic analysis, we found that LMTK3 increased the abundance of integrin subunits α5 and β1, encoded by ITGA5 and ITGB1. This effect depended on the CDC42 Rho family guanosine triphosphatase, which was in turn activated by the interaction between LMTK3 and growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (GRB2), an adaptor protein that mediates receptor tyrosine kinase-induced activation of RAS and downstream signaling. Knockdown of GRB2 suppressed LMTK3-induced CDC42 activation, blocked ITGA5 and ITGB1 expression promoted by the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF), and reduced invasive activity. Furthermore, abundance of LMTK3 positively correlated with that of the integrin β1 subunit in breast cancer patient's tumors. Our findings suggest a role for LMTK3 in promoting integrin activity during breast cancer progression and metastasis. PMID:24939894

  11. When to initiate torpor use? Food availability times the transition to winter phenotype in a tropical heterotherm.

    PubMed

    Vuarin, Pauline; Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2015-09-01

    Timing of winter phenotype expression determines individual chances of survival until the next reproductive season. Environmental cues triggering this seasonal phenotypic transition have rarely been investigated, although they play a central role in the compensation of climatic fluctuations via plastic phenotypic adjustments. Initiation of winter daily torpor use-a widespread energy-saving phenotype-could be primarily timed according to anticipatory seasonal cues (anticipatory cues hypothesis), or flexibly fine-tuned according to actual energy availability (food shortage hypothesis). We conducted a food supplementation experiment on wild heterothermic primates (grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus) at the transition to the food-limited dry season, i.e. the austral winter. As expected under the food shortage hypothesis, food-supplemented individuals postponed the seasonal transition to normal torpor use by 1-2 month(s), spent four times less torpid, and exhibited minimal skin temperature 6 °C higher than control animals. This study provides the first in situ experimental evidence that food availability, rather than abiotic cues, times the launching of torpor use. Fine-tuning of the timing of seasonal phenotypic transitions according to actual food shortage should provide heterotherms with a flexible adaptive mechanism to survive unexpected environmental fluctuations. PMID:25953115

  12. Senescence or selective disappearance? Age trajectories of body mass in wild and captive populations of a small-bodied primate.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Dammhahn, Melanie; Aujard, Fabienne; Eberle, Manfred; Hardy, Isabelle; Kappeler, Peter M; Perret, Martine; Schliehe-Diecks, Susanne; Kraus, Cornelia

    2014-09-22

    Classic theories of ageing consider extrinsic mortality (EM) a major factor in shaping longevity and ageing, yet most studies of functional ageing focus on species with low EM. This bias may cause overestimation of the influence of senescent declines in performance over condition-dependent mortality on demographic processes across taxa. To simultaneously investigate the roles of functional senescence (FS) and intrinsic, extrinsic and condition-dependent mortality in a species with a high predation risk in nature, we compared age trajectories of body mass (BM) in wild and captive grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) using longitudinal data (853 individuals followed through adulthood). We found evidence of non-random mortality in both settings. In captivity, the oldest animals showed senescence in their ability to regain lost BM, whereas no evidence of FS was found in the wild. Overall, captive animals lived longer, but a reversed sex bias in lifespan was observed between wild and captive populations. We suggest that even moderately condition-dependent EM may lead to negligible FS in the wild. While high EM may act to reduce the average lifespan, this evolutionary process may be counteracted by the increased fitness of the long-lived, high-quality individuals. PMID:25100693

  13. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W.; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-01-01

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar. PMID:25561675

  14. Morphological Study of the Supracondylar Process of the Humerus and Its Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    C., Shivaleela; B.S., Suresh; G.V., Kumar; S., Lakshmiprabha

    2014-01-01

    Background: The supracondylar process of the humerus, which is also called the supra-epitrochlear, epicondylar, epicondylic process or a supratrochlear spur, is a hook-like, bony spine of variable size that may project distally from the anteromedial surface of the humerus. It represents the embryologic vestigial remnant of climbing animals and seen in many reptiles, most marsupials, cats, lemurs and American monkeys. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and forty dried humeri were studied from department of Anatomy, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India. The bones were examined for supracondylar process. On finding, the dimensions were recorded and photographed. Results: Out of 240 dried humeri examined we found only 1 humerus of the left side with an osseous spine on the anteromedial surface. The incidence calculated in this study was 0.41%. Conclusion: The supracondylar process is frequently misjudged as a pathological condition of the bone rather than as a normal anatomical variation. Though, this process has been of more interest to anatomists and anthropologists because of a possible link to the origins and relations of the human races than to clinicians, many of whom are not aware of its occasional presence. It is usually clinically silent, but may become symptomatic by presenting as a mass or can be associated with symptoms of median nerve compression and claudication of the brachial artery. PMID:24596708

  15. Iron storage disorders in captive wild mammals: the comparative evidence.

    PubMed

    Clauss, Marcus; Paglia, Donald E

    2012-09-01

    Excessive burden of iron, or iron storage disease (ISD), has been reported in a large variety of captive mammal species, including browsing rhinoceroses; tapirs; fruit bats; lemurs; marmosets and some other primates; sugar gliders; hyraxes; some rodents and lagomorphs; dolphins; and some carnivores; including procyonids and pinnipeds. This report collates the comparative evidence for species' susceptibility, recognizing that the data for mammal species are limited. Differences reported in the occurrence of ISD between facilities, or within facilities over periods that span management changes, have been reported in individual cases but are underused in ISD research. Given the species composition, the hypothesis that evolutionary adaptations to the iron content and availability in the natural diet determine a species' susceptibility to ISD (in the face of deviating iron content and availability in diets offered in captivity) seems plausible in many cases. But exceptions, and additional species putatively susceptible based on this rationale, should be investigated. Whereas screening for ISD should be routine in zoo animal necropsy, screening of live individuals may be implemented for valuable species, to decide on therapeutic measures such as chelator application or phlebotomy. Whatever the reasons for ISD susceptibility, reducing dietary iron levels to maintenance requirements of the species in question seems to be a logical, preventive measure. PMID:23156701

  16. Tissue-specific transcriptome sequencing analysis expands the non-human primate reference transcriptome resource (NHPRTR)

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Xinxia; Thierry-Mieg, Jean; Thierry-Mieg, Danielle; Nishida, Andrew; Pipes, Lenore; Bozinoski, Marjan; Thomas, Matthew J.; Kelly, Sara; Weiss, Jeffrey M.; Raveendran, Muthuswamy; Muzny, Donna; Gibbs, Richard A.; Rogers, Jeffrey; Schroth, Gary P.; Katze, Michael G.; Mason, Christopher E.

    2015-01-01

    The non-human primate reference transcriptome resource (NHPRTR, available online at http://nhprtr.org/) aims to generate comprehensive RNA-seq data from a wide variety of non-human primates (NHPs), from lemurs to hominids. In the 2012 Phase I of the NHPRTR project, 19 billion fragments or 3.8 terabases of transcriptome sequences were collected from pools of ∼20 tissues in 15 species and subspecies. Here we describe a major expansion of NHPRTR by adding 10.1 billion fragments of tissue-specific RNA-seq data. For this effort, we selected 11 of the original 15 NHP species and subspecies and constructed total RNA libraries for the same ∼15 tissues in each. The sequence quality is such that 88% of the reads align to human reference sequences, allowing us to compute the full list of expression abundance across all tissues for each species, using the reads mapped to human genes. This update also includes improved transcript annotations derived from RNA-seq data for rhesus and cynomolgus macaques, two of the most commonly used NHP models and additional RNA-seq data compiled from related projects. Together, these comprehensive reference transcriptomes from multiple primates serve as a valuable community resource for genome annotation, gene dynamics and comparative functional analysis. PMID:25392405

  17. Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; Thatte, Nitish; King, Jonathan P.

    2012-01-01

    To grip rocks on the surfaces of asteroids and comets, and to grip the cliff faces and lava tubes of Mars, a 250 mm diameter omni-directional anchor is presented that utilizes a hierarchical array of claws with suspension flexures, called microspines, to create fast, strong attachment. Prototypes have been demonstrated on vesicular basalt and a'a lava rock supporting forces in all directions away from the rock. Each anchor can support >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A two-actuator selectively- compliant ankle interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for climbing trials. A rotary percussive drill was also integrated into the anchor, demonstrating self-contained rock coring regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, 20mm diameter boreholes were drilled 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples, retaining a 12 mm diameter rock core in 3-6 pieces while in an inverted configuration, literally drilling into the ceiling.

  18. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  19. Causes of mortality in anuran amphibians from an ex situ survival assurance colony in Panama.

    PubMed

    Pessier, Allan P; Baitchman, Eric J; Crump, Paul; Wilson, Brad; Griffith, Edgardo; Ross, Heidi

    2014-01-01

    The success of ex situ survival assurance populations as tools for amphibian conservation depends on the health and reproductive success of founder populations. Necropsy examination and histopathology of animals that die in assurance populations are useful for the identification of population-limiting disease problems and can help to direct applied research efforts in areas such as amphibian husbandry and nutrition. This study reviewed postmortem findings in 167 frogs from 13 species that died in a large Panamanian rescue and survival assurance population between 2006 and 2011. Common problems identified in long-term captive animals, especially in Atelopus species, were epithelial squamous metaplasia suggestive of vitamin A deficiency and a polycystic nephropathy resembling lesions seen in laboratory animals with electrolyte imbalances. Metabolic bone disease was a significant contributor to morbidity in captive-bred juvenile frogs of Gastrotheca cornuta, Hemiphractus fasciatus, and Hylomantis lemur. Findings common to multiple species included poor overall nutritional condition that was sometimes attributable to maladaptation to captive husbandry and epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis possibly reflecting environmental skin irritation. Infectious diseases and endoparasitism were most common in recently captured animals and included chytridiomycosis and Rhabdias sp. lungworms. Applied research efforts to improve sustainability of survival assurance populations should focus on elucidating optimal husbandry practices for diverse species, improving methods for nutritional supplementation of cultured insects and examination of the role of water composition in disease development. PMID:25255888

  20. Torpor during reproduction in mammals and birds: dealing with an energetic conundrum.

    PubMed

    McAllan, B M; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-09-01

    Torpor and reproduction in mammals and birds are widely viewed as mutually exclusive processes because of opposing energetic and hormonal demands. However, the reported number of heterothermic species that express torpor during reproduction is ever increasing, to some extent because of recent work on free-ranging animals. We summarize current knowledge about those heterothermic mammals that do not express torpor during reproduction and, in contrast, examine those heterothermic birds and mammals that do use torpor during reproduction. Incompatibility between torpor and reproduction occurs mainly in high-latitude sciurid and cricetid rodents, which live in strongly seasonal, but predictably productive habitats in summer. In contrast, torpor during incubation, brooding, pregnancy, or lactation occurs in nightjars, hummingbirds, echidnas, several marsupials, tenrecs, hedgehogs, bats, carnivores, mouse lemurs, and dormice. Animals that enter torpor during reproduction often are found in unpredictable habitats, in which seasonal availability of food can be cut short by changes in weather, or are species that reproduce fully or partially during winter. Moreover, animals that use torpor during the reproductive period have relatively low reproductive costs, are largely insectivorous, carnivorous, or nectarivorous, and thus rely on food that can be unpredictable or strongly seasonal. These species with relatively unpredictable food supplies must gain an advantage by using torpor during reproduction because the main cost is an extension of the reproductive period; the benefit is increased survival of parent and offspring, and thus fitness. PMID:24973362

  1. Mitogenomic analyses of eutherian relationships.

    PubMed

    Arnason, U; Janke, A

    2002-01-01

    Reasonably correct phylogenies are fundamental to the testing of evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we present phylogenetic findings based on analyses of 67 complete mammalian mitochondrial (mt) genomes. The analyses, irrespective of whether they were performed at the amino acid (aa) level or on nucleotides (nt) of first and second codon positions, placed Erinaceomorpha (hedgehogs and their kin) as the sister group of remaining eutherians. Thus, the analyses separated Erinaceomorpha from other traditional lipotyphlans (e.g., tenrecs, moles, and shrews), making traditional Lipotyphla polyphyletic. Both the aa and nt data sets identified the two order-rich eutherian clades, the Cetferungulata (comprising Pholidota, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Cetacea) and the African clade (Tenrecomorpha, Macroscelidea, Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, and Sirenia). The study corroborated recent findings that have identified a sister-group relationship between Anthropoidea and Dermoptera (flying lemurs), thereby making our own order, Primates, a paraphyletic assembly. Molecular estimates using paleontologically well-established calibration points, placed the origin of most eutherian orders in Cretaceous times, 70-100 million years before present (MYBP). The same estimates place all primate divergences much earlier than traditionally believed. For example, the divergence between Homo and Pan is estimated to have taken place approximately 10 MYBP, a dating consistent with recent findings in primate paleontology. PMID:12438776

  2. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in body weight among prosimian primates.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, P M

    1991-01-01

    Many primatologists believe that there is no sexual dimorphism in body size in prosimian primates. Because this belief is based upon data that came from only a few species and were largely flawed in some aspect of sample quality, I re-examined the extent of sexual dimorphism in body weight, using weights of 791 adult prosimians from 34 taxa recorded over the last 17 years at the Duke University Primate Center. There was no significant sex difference in body weight in 17 species, but males were significantly larger in Nycticebus pygmaeus, Tarsius syrichta, Galago moholi, Galagoides demidovii, Otolemur crassicaudatus and Otolemur garnettii. Moreover, females were significantly larger in Microcebus murinus. Thus, the general lack of sexual dimorphism could be confirmed, notably for lemurs, but prosimians as a group show more variability in sexual size dimorphism than was previously thought. After including previously published data obtained in the wild from 8 additional species, I found significant heterogeneity in the degree of sexual dimorphism at the family level, but only the Indridae and Galagidae were significantly different from each other. Among the prosimian infraorders, the Lorisiformes were significantly more dimorphic than the Lemuriformes. Differences in dimorphism between higher taxonomic groups are discussed in the context of prosimian evolution, concluding that phylogenetic inertia cannot provide a causal explanation for the evolution of sexual dimorphism. The relative monomorphism of most prosimians may be related to allometric constraints and, especially in the Lemuriformes, to selective forces affecting male and female behavioral strategies. PMID:1794769

  3. Torpor use during gestation and lactation in a primate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canale, Cindy I.; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-02-01

    Torpor is an energy-saving mechanism that allows endotherms to overcome energetic challenges. Torpor should be avoided during reproduction because of potential incompatibility with offspring growth. To test if torpor can be used during gestation and lactation to compensate for food shortage, we exposed reproductive female grey mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus), a heterothermic primate, to different levels of food availability. Torpor use was characterised by daily skin temperature profiles, and its energetic outcome was assessed from changes in body mass. Food shortage triggered torpor during the end of the gestation period ( n = 1), ranging from shallow in response to 40% food restriction to deep daily torpor in response to 80% restriction. During the early period of lactation, females fed ad libitum ( n = 2) or exposed to a 40% restriction ( n = 4) remained normothermic; but 80% food restricted females ( n = 5) gave priority to energy saving, increasing the frequency and depth of torpor bouts. The use of torpor was insufficient to compensate for 80% energetic shortage during lactation resulting in loss of mass from the mother and delayed growth in the pups. This study provides the first evidence that a heterothermic primate can use torpor to compensate for food shortages even during reproduction. This physiological flexibility likely evolved as a response to climate-driven fluctuations in food availability in Madagascar.

  4. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving “living fossils”

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a “living model” of an ancestral primate, and have long been called “living fossils”. Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  5. Design of a Robotic Ankle Joint for a Microspine-Based Robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thatte, Nitish

    2011-01-01

    Successful robotic exploration of near-Earth asteroids necessitates a method of securely anchoring to the surface of these bodies without gravitational assistance. Microspine grip- per arrays that can grasp rock faces are a potential solution to this problem. A key component of a future microspine-based rover will be the ankle used to attach each microspine gripper to the robot. The ankle's purpose is twofold: 1) to allow the gripper to conform to the rock so a higher percentage of microspines attach to the surface, and 2) to neutralize torques that may dislodge the grippers from the wall. Parts were developed using computer aided design and manufactured using a variety of methods including selective laser sintering, CNC milling, and traditional manual machining techniques. Upon completion of the final prototype, the gripper and ankle system was tested to demonstrate robotic engagement and disengagement of the gripper and to determine load bearing ability. The immediate application of this project is to out t the Lemur IIb robot so it can climb and hang from rock walls.

  6. The importance of taboos and social norms to conservation in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Jones, Julia P G; Andriamarovololona, Mijasoa M; Hockley, Neal

    2008-08-01

    Informal institutions governing the use of wild species are present in many societies. A system of prohibitions known as fady is central to Malagasy culture. We examined whether fady that relate to the use of natural resources in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar play an important conservation role. Prohibitions ranged from strict taboos in which a species or area was forbidden by the ancestors to social norms that concerned acceptable behavior when harvesting wild species. Strict taboos offered real protection to threatened species, such as the lemur Propithecus edwardsi and the carnivore Cryptoprocta ferox. Taboos also reduced pressure on some economically important endemic species by preventing their sale or limiting the harvest season. Despite their value for conservation, the taboos did not appear to originate from attempts to sustainably manage resources. Nevertheless, social norms, in which the sanction was social disapproval rather than supernatural retribution, encouraged sustainable harvesting practices for tenrecs (Tenrec ecudatus) and pandans (Pandanus spp.). Unfortunately, the social norms concerning methods of harvesting pandans appeared to be breaking down in villages surrounding Ranomafana National Park, and we suggest that the imposition of external conservation rules is weakening traditional management. Informal institutions are important to conservation because they suggest ways of improving cultural understanding and conservation communication. Food taboos influence societal preferences, which affect the wider demand for a species. Most important, where capacity to enforce external conservation rules is limited, informal institutions may provide the only effective regulations. Informal institutions should receive greater attention from conservation biologists so that local people's conservation roles can be acknowledged fairly and so that potential synergies with conservation objectives can be realized. PMID:18616743

  7. Mandibular growth and function in Archaeolemur.

    PubMed

    Ravosa, M J; Simons, E L

    1994-09-01

    Ontogenetic changes in the morphology of the mandibular symphysis are described in Archaeolemur so as to infer the functional significance of symphyseal fusion in this subfossil Malagasy lemur. The first regions of the symphysis to show a more complex morphology were the lower and anterior borders of the joint and, to a lesser extent, the lingual borders of the superior and inferior transverse tori. During growth, these regions became increasingly rugose and encroached upon a centrally located, smooth, "oval" region, which may have been a principal pathway for neurovascular structures communicating with the unfused joint. In subadults, the symphysis was completely fused except for the lingual surface of the inferior transverse torus, where a patent suture and potential space were present between dentaries. Thus, in Archaeolemur there was an age- and size-related pattern of increased symphyseal ossification or fusion that was complete by adulthood. The morphology of the interlocking bony processes and the sequence of ossification in the symphysis suggest that increased dorsoventral shear stress during mastication was the most likely determinant of symphyseal fusion in Archaeolemur. The allometric pattern of greater symphyseal fusion may be linked to the presence of relatively greater dorsoventral shear in adults due to an increased recruitment of balancing-side jaw-muscle force. There is little indication that the symphysis of juvenile Archaeolemur was buttressed to resist forces associated with "wishboning" during mastication or vertical bending during incision. Our observations, as well as those of others, suggest that symphyseal fusion in primates occurs initially as a response to increased dorsoventral shear during mastication. Therefore, wishboning stress might only become a major determinant of symphyseal form and function in those taxa that develop a fused symphysis to counter increased dorsoventral shear. PMID:7998602

  8. Occurrence and genetic characterization of Giardia duodenalis from captive nonhuman primates by multi-locus