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Genetic variation in samples of the endemic Crocidura sicula living in Sicily and in two surrounding small islands, Marettimo and Ustica, was analysed by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA fingerprinting (RAPD) and compared to morphometrics and external phenotypes. Molecular variation in the random sample of 99 DNA fragments of the Ustica shrews, showing.a melanic fur and a size?shape variation in skull
Members of the Cryptotis goldmani group of small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae) represent a clade within the genus that is characterized by modifications of the forelimb that include broadened forefeet, elongated and broadened foreclaws, and massive humeri with enlarged processes. These modifications are consistent with greater adaptation to their semifossorial habits than other members of the genus. The species in this group occur discontinuously in temperate highlands from southern Tamaulipas, Mexico, to Honduras. In Guatemala, there are three species: the relatively widespread Cryptotis goodwini and two species (Cryptotis lacertosus, Cryptotis mam) endemic to highland forests in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes of western Guatemala. Ongoing studies focusing on the relationships of variation in cranial and postcranial skeletal morphology have revealed a fourth species from remnant cloud forest in the Sierra de Yalijux, central Guatemala. In this paper, I describe this new species and characterize its morphology relative to other species in the C. goldmani group and to other species of Cryptotis in Guatemala. In addition, I summarize available details of its habitat and ecology.
Descriptions, illustrations and differential diagnoses for two new species of Neoskrjabinolepis Spassky, 1947, i.e. N. (Neoskrjabinolepis) fertilis n. sp. and N. (Neoskrjabinolepidoides) hobergi n. sp., are given. Neoskrjabinolepis (Neoskrjabinolepis) fertilis was found in the shrew Sorex tundrensis Merriam on the Seward Peninsula (Alaska, USA) and from the mouth of the Anadyr River (Chukotka, Russia), and N. (Neoskrjabinolepidoides) hobergi was found in Sorex tundrensis on the Seward Peninsula (Alaska, USA). Neoskrjabinolepis fertilis n. sp. is characterised by having: rostellar hooks 38-42 ?m long and provided with a small epiphyseal thickening of the handle; a long cirrus (85-100 ?m), consisting of a basal region with claw-shaped spines and a parabasal region with small, thin needle-shaped spines; a cirrus-sac extending well into the median field; and 55-70 eggs per gravid uterus. Neoskrjabinolepis (Neoskrjabinolepidoides) hobergi n. sp. is characterised by having: rostellar hooks 63-65 ?m long and provided with a large epiphyseal thickening of the handle; a short cirrus (45-50 ?m), consisting of a basal region with small claw-shaped spines and a parabasal region with thin, needle-shaped spines; cirrus-sac reaching slightly into the median field; and 36-45 eggs per gravid uterus. PMID:23065302
We used mitochondrial cyt b sequences to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Crocidura russula ( sensu lato ) populations across the Strait of Gibraltar, western Europe, Maghreb, and the Mediterranean and Atlantic islands. This revealed very low genetic divergence between European and Moroccan populations. The application of a molecular clock previously calibrated for shrews suggested that the separation of European
JEAN-FRANÇOIS COSSON; RAINER HUTTERER; ROLAND LIBOIS; MAURIZIO SARÀ; PETER VOGEL
While encamped for the winter of 1819?1820 at Engineer Cantonment along the Missouri River in present-day eastern Nebraska, members of Major Stephen Harriman Long?s Expedition to the Rocky Mountains collected a number of animals that were previously unknown. Among the mammals were two soricids that were subsequently described by Thomas Say as Sorex brevicaudus (Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda) and Sorex parvus (Least Shrew, Cryptotis parvus). The holotypes of these species were deposited and placed on public exhibit in the Philadelphia Museum, the predominant North American systematic collection of the early nineteenth century. Like most private museums of that era, the Philadelphia Museum eventually went out of business, and its collections were dispersed and, for the most part, lost. Fortunately, Titian R. Peale made a detailed field sketch of the two specimens soon after their capture and subsequently executed a watercolor based on that sketch. In addition, an engraving of the holotypes was published in the decade following the discovery of the two species. Illustrations of holotypes are taxonomically useful when they depict diagnostic characters of species. They take on added taxonomic significance in the absence of the holotypes. In the cases of Sorex brevicaudus and Sorex parvus, pictures provide strong confirmation of the taxonomic identities of these two species, as well as recording the early history of the specimens.
The broad-clawed shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae: Cryptotis) encompass a clade of 5 species—Cryptotis alticolus (Merriam), C. goldmani (Merriam), C. goodwini Jackson, C. griseoventris Jackson, and C. peregrinus (Merriam)—that is known collectively as the Cryptotis goldmani group and is characterized by broadened forefeet, elongated and broadened fore claws, and broadened humeri. These shrews are distributed in highland regions from central Mexico to Honduras. Two broad-clawed shrews, C. goodwini and C. griseoventris, occur in southern Mexico and Guatemala and are presumed sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger size of C. goodwini. In an investigation of variation within and between these 2 species, I studied characteristics of the postcranial skeleton. Statistical analyses of a variety of character suites indicate that the forelimb morphology in this group exhibits less intraspecific variation and greater interspecific variation than cranio-mandibular morphology, although most skull characters support groupings based on forelimb characters. Together, these characters define 4 distinct groups among the specimens examined. C. griseoventris is restricted to the northern highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, and C. goodwini occurs in the southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala. Herein, I describe 2 new species of broad-clawed shrews from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Guatemala.
Previous morphological and cytological analyses have suggested that the arctic shrew (Sorex arcticus )a s currently recognized may be two distinct species. Specifically, those studies demonstrated considerable differentiation between the putative subspecies S. a. maritimensis and one or both of the other two subspecies, S. a. arcticus and S. a. laricorum. Phylogenetic analysis of 546 base pairs of cytochrome b
Swimming and diving abilities of two syntopic species of water shrews, Neomys anomalus and Neomys fodiens, were tested in aquaria using video recordings taken from three views (lateral distant, lateral close and dorsal). The frequency\\u000a and total duration of diving, as well as the mean duration of diving and floating bouts, were significantly higher in N. fodiens than in N.
The common shrewSorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 is subject to intense chromosomal polymorphism. About 65 chromosome races are presently known. One of these\\u000a chromosome races (the Valais race) is karyologically, morphologically, biochemically, and genetically clearly distinct from\\u000a all other chromosome races of the species. Recent studies of hybrid zones between the Valais race and other chromosome races\\u000a in the Swiss and
Harald Brünner; Nicolas Lugon-Moulin; François Balloux; Luca Fumagalli; Jacques Hausser
The scientific name Sorex niger Ord, 1815 (Mammalia, Soricidae) was originally applied to a North American species that George Ord called the “Black Shrew.” The origin of the name “Black Shrew,” however, was obscure, and Samuel Rhoads subsequently wrote that the species represented by this name could not be determined. The names Sorex niger Ord and Black Shrew have since been mostly forgotten. Two of Ord's contemporaries, however, noted that Ord's use of these names probably alluded to Benjamin Smith Barton's Black Shrew, whose discovery near Philadelphia was announced by Barton in 1806. Examination of two unpublished illustrations of the Black Shrew made by Barton indicates that the animal depicted is Blarina brevicauda (Say, 1822). Had the connection between Ord's and Barton's names been made more clearly, one of the most common mammals in eastern North America would bear a different scientific name today. This connection also would have affected the validity of Sorex niger Horsfield, 1851. While Sorex niger Ord remains a nomen nudum, the animal it referenced can now be identified.
In South Bohemia, Czech Republic, 178 shrews, including 98 common shrews, Sorex araneus L., 70 pygmy shrews, Sorex minutus L., and 10 lesser white-toothed shrews, Crocidura suaveolens (Pallas), were examined for Soricimyxum fegati Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 infections, using squash preparations of unfixed tissues, histological sections and molecular methods. The infection was found in 51 (52%) S. araneus, 14 (20%) S. minutus and 1 (10%) C. suaveolens. The records of the latter two species extend host range of S. fegati. Lesions associated with S. fegati infections in the liver, the organ of specific localisation of the parasite, were found to be induced by proliferative stages migrating toward lumina of bile ducts. In other organs of these three host species, xenoma-like formations (XLFs) were found that severely injured blood vessels. XLFs contained presporogonic stages of S. fegati, whose species identity was evidenced using molecular methods. PMID:22263306
Although ecotoxicological data on heavy metals are abundant, information on other potentially toxic elements with attributed deficiency and\\/or toxic disturbances is scarce. Here we quantify zinc, copper, iron, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, strontium, barium, and boron in bones of greater white-toothed shrews, Crocidura russula, inhabiting two protected Mediterranean coastal sites: the Ebro Delta, a wetland impacted by human activities, and the
Herein, we report evidence of an envenomation apparatus (EA) in two different species of extinct “giant” shrews, Beremendia and an indeterminate soricine (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae), documented by very well preserved fossil specimens recovered from two Early Pleistocene cave deposits of the Sierra de Atapuerca in Burgos, Spain. The two soricine taxa from Atapuerca have evolved specialized teeth as EAs, which differ from those of recently reported mammals of the Paleocene age, being more similar to the ones described in the modern Solenodon. This discovery reveals the first instance of shrews possessing what appears to be an EA, an evolutionary adaptation that, in these species, was probably related to an increase in body mass and hunting of a larger-sized prey. The Atapuerca specimens would have a highly specialized EA, one of the very few reported for an extinct or living mammal of any time. In addition to the presence of a gutter-like groove along the medial side of the crown of the lower incisors, these two species also present stout jaws and a modified mandibular symphysis with a conspicuous cavity, which in life would likely contain large amounts of connective tissue. The strong mandible architecture of these large shrews would be, in this way, reinforced by a more immovable symphysis, increasing the bite force exerted over a potential prey. This adaptation, together with the grooved incisors, would ensure a rapid and efficient transmission of the poisonous saliva to paralyze relatively large-sized prey.
We measured the enzymes of glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, beta-oxidation and electron transport in the heart, liver and skeletal muscle of the Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda. Additionally, we measured the amount of myoglobin in skeletal and heart muscle as well as the concentration of glutathione in heart. The picture that emerges is of an aerobically well-endowed animal with constrained anaerobic capacity as indicated by small activities of glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase. Lipid metabolism and amino acid transamination, as well as gluconeogenesis, are predominant in processing carbon resources and probably reflect the large contribution lipid and protein make to the diet of this carnivore. The citrate synthase activity is the largest of any reported value for vertebrate heart (250 U/g). The additional, very active cytochrome c oxidase activity (220 U/g) and large myoglobin concentrations (8 mg/g) in heart are clearly the underpinnings of the rapid metabolic rates reported for small insectivores. The potential for generation of reactive oxygen species must be great since the total glutathione concentration (165 mumol/g) is 300-fold greater in shrew hearts than in hearts of rats. PMID:15914053
The uses of toxic substances in the animal kingdom are usually explained as adaptations to reach bigger prey—venom, or to defend from the attack of predators—poison. This is a quite simplistic explanation of the reality, which offers other, less evident, uses for the possession of these compounds. In the present work, we analyze the characters of BeremendiaKormos, 1934, an extinct
Marc Furió; Jordi Agustí; Alexander Mouskhelishvili; Óscar Sanisidro; Andrés Santos-Cubedo
The round-eared sengis or elephant-shrews (genus Macroscelides) exhibit striking pelage variation throughout their ranges. Over ten taxonomic names have been proposed to describe this variation, but currently only two taxa are recognized (M. proboscideus proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus). Here, we review the taxonomic history of Macroscelides, and we use data on the geographic distribution, morphology, and mitochondrial DNA sequence to evaluate the current taxonomy. Our data support only two taxa that correspond to the currently recognized subspecies M. p. proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus. Mitochondrial haplotypes of these two taxa are reciprocally monophyletic with over 13% uncorrected sequence divergence between them. PCA analysis of 14 morphological characters (mostly cranial) grouped the two taxa into non-overlapping clusters, and body mass alone is a relatively reliable distinguishing character throughout much of Macroscelides range. Although fieldworkers were unable to find sympatric populations, the two taxa were found within 50 km of each other, and genetic analysis showed no evidence of gene flow. Based upon corroborating genetic data, morphological data, near sympatry with no evidence of gene flow, and differences in habitat use, we elevate these two forms to full species.
Dumbacher, John P.; Rathbun, Galen B.; Smit, Hanneline A.; Eiseb, Seth J.
Soil bacteria play important roles as litter decomposers in most terrestrial ecosystems and microbial activity is affected by activities of soil invertebrates. In soil ecosystems of forests in Hokkaido, the long-clawed shrew is an important predator whose preying on soil invertebrates may indirectly affect soil bacterial communities. To estimate indirect top-down effects of shrews on the soil bacterial community, field experiments were conducted using enclosures in which shrews were introduced and removed, and changes in bacterial community composition, species richness, diversity, and evenness were observed using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Abiotic environmental conditions (ambient temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture content and soil pH) were also considered. Bacterial community structure was significantly affected by soil moisture content and soil temperature. The significant causes of the change in bacterial species richness, diversity, and evenness varied among experimental treatments; however, soil moisture tended to have significantly negative effects on these indices in all cases. In the present study, effects of shrews on the bacterial community were not detected. PMID:21576873
A small series of shrews collected in Guatemala and registered in the British Museum between 1843 and 1907 includes parts of type series for three species: Corsira tropicalis Gray (1843), Sorex micrurus Tomes (1862), and Blarina tropicalis Merriam (1895). These three names are now considered equivalent, but my recent review of the specimens comprising the series indicates that they include three distinct species: Cryptotis merriami Choate (1970), Cryptotis oreoryctes Woodman (2011), and Cryptotis tropicalis (Merriam 1895). I review the taxonomic history of these specimens, provide current identifications tied directly to museum register numbers, describe how to distinguish the three species, and provide revised synonymies for these species.
Despite the important role of shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) in the functioning of ecosystems, as predators and prey, the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on this guild of mammals are still unclear. We studied the distribution of 5 species (the greater white toothed shrew Crocidura leucodon; the lesser white toothed shrew Crocidura suaveolens; the pigmy shrew Sorex minutus; the Appennine shrew Sorex samniticus and the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus) in a fragmented landscape in central Italy. Shrews were trapped with pitfall traps made from plastic water bottles, the number of traps increased with patch size. A total of 170 individuals, of 5 species of shrews were captured. Shrews were widely distributed in our study area, however patch occupancy was determined mainly by vegetation and geometrical characteristics of the patches. Our data supports the hypotheses that patterns of habitat selection and the dynamics of seasonal abundance (habitat and temporal partitioning between similarly sized species) reduce competitive pressure, thus allowing coexistence of shrews in relatively species-rich assemblages, for such small amounts of habitat. The most important outcome of our results is the crucial role played by vegetation structure in determining distribution patterns. These results strongly suggest that measurements of the vegetation structure of habitat patches should always be included as explanatory variables when studying the distribution of shrews in fragmented landscapes.
Created by Dr. Werner Haberl of Vienna, Austria, this site contains The Shrew Conference Hall, ShrewTalk (an e-mail newsletter/digest), a photo gallery and a skull and skeleton collection, among other features. From the ShrewTalk page, users can access a hyperlink to "The Shrew Conference Hall" which contains the photo gallery of shrews, their tracks, their enemies, and an email list of shrew researchers. The site is devoted to the biology of this often overlooked creature and its small mammal relatives.
Until recently, the single known exception to the rodent-hantavirus association was Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a long-unclassified virus isolated from the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus). Robust gene amplification techniques have now uncovered several genetically distinct hantaviruses from shrews in widely separated geographic regions. Here, we report the characterization of a newly identified hantavirus, designated Imjin virus (MJNV), isolated from the lung tissues of Ussuri white-toothed shrews of the species Crocidura lasiura (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae, subfamily Crocidurinae) captured near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea during 2004 and 2005. Seasonal trapping revealed the highest prevalence of MJNV infection during the autumn, with evidence of infected shrews' clustering in distinct foci. Also, marked male predominance among anti-MJNV immunoglobulin G antibody-positive Ussuri shrews was found, whereas the male-to-female ratio among seronegative Ussuri shrews was near 1. Plaque reduction neutralization tests showed no cross neutralization for MJNV and rodent-borne hantaviruses but one-way cross neutralization for MJNV and TPMV. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences for the different MJNV genomic segments revealed nearly the same calculated distances from hantaviruses harbored by rodents in the subfamilies Murinae, Arvicolinae, Neotominae, and Sigmodontinae. Phylogenetic analyses of full-length S, M, and L segment sequences demonstrated that MJNV shared a common ancestry with TPMV and remained in a distinct out-group, suggesting early evolutionary divergence. Studies are in progress to determine if MJNV is pathogenic for humans.
Song, Jin-Won; Kang, Hae Ji; Gu, Se Hun; Moon, Sung Sil; Bennett, Shannon N.; Song, Ki-Joon; Baek, Luck Ju; Kim, Heung-Chul; O'Guinn, Monica L.; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A.; Yanagihara, Richard
The genus name Musaraneus often is attributed to Brisson (1762), however, most of Brisson's names are unavailable. Pomel (1848) subsequently made the name Musaraneus available, but did not designate a type species. The 18 species that Pomel listed under Musaraneus currently are distributed among five modern genera, two of which (Cryptotis Pomel, 1848 and Diplomesodon Brandt, 1852) are predated by Musaraneus. Because Cryptotis and Diplomesodon potentially could be considered junior synonyms of Musaraneus, I propose Sorex leucodon Hermann, 1780 (= Crocidura leucodon) as the type species for Musaraneus, thereby establishing Musaraneus as a junior synonym of Crocidura Wagler, 1832.
Many ecotoxicological studies have addressed the effects of contaminant exposure at various levels of biological organization. However, little information exists on the effects of toxicants on wildlife populations. Here we examined exposure of populations of the greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula (Soricomorpha, Soricidae) occupying two protected Mediterranean sites (a polluted area, the Ebro Delta, and a control site, Garraf Massif). Bioaccumulation of selected elements (Pb, Hg, Cd, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Cr, Mo, Sr, Ba, and B), a body condition index (BCI) and fluctuating asymmetry (FA) were used to assess the chronic exposure to environmental pollution. BCI was correlated neither to metal concentrations nor to FA, suggesting that this fitness measure only reflects environmental disturbances at a local level. However, shrews from the polluted area showed higher concentrations of metals and metalloids (Pb, Hg, B, and Sr) and greater shape FA than specimens from the reference area. A correlation between FA was found for both first and second principal component vectors suggesting that developmental instability increases as a result of exposure to multiple pollutants. Our results corroborate the suitability of C. russula as a bioindicator of environmental quality and show that FA is an appropriate index to examine impact of developmental stressors in populations inhabiting disturbed areas. PMID:23800592
Sánchez-Chardi, Alejandro; García-Pando, Marián; López-Fuster, María José
The six species and three subspecies in the genus Chimarrogale (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) are commonly referred to as Asiatic water shrews. The Chimarrogale are the most widely distributed group of Nectogaline shrews, extending throughout the Oriental region and Japan. Because of the limited numbers of specimens available for study, the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographical history of this genus have not been comprehensively discussed. We used mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences to estimate phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among four Chimarrogale species, including all three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica. We also conducted a species delimitation analysis and tested two alternative migration scenarios in Asia through species distribution modeling and a reconstruction of the ancestral distribution. Here, we present the first proposed hypothesis regarding the Asiatic water shrew phylogeny and reveal ten putative species within the four recognized species. Distinct phylogenetic statuses of Chimarrogale phaeura, Chimarrogale platycephala, and Chimarrogale styani were confirmed. Chimarrogale himalayica was strongly supported as paraphyletic. We suggest that three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica should be reconsidered as distinct species. However, these suggestions must be considered with caution because only a single locus of a mtDNA gene was used. Four additional putative species, possibly distributed in central southwestern China and Taiwan, are currently undescribed; therefore, comprehensive morphological analyses are warranted to test their taxonomic statuses. The estimated molecular divergence times indicated that rapid speciation occurred during the early Pliocene, and current distribution patterns may have been affected by global cooling during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Reconstruction of the ancestral distribution and species distribution modeling for Asiatic water shrews revealed a low-latitude migration route over which ancestral Chimarrogale migrated from Europe via Central Asia to their current distribution. Our results demonstrated that Asiatic water shrews could have evolved throughout the low-latitude migration route from Europe to East and Southeast Asia.
The six species and three subspecies in the genus Chimarrogale (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) are commonly referred to as Asiatic water shrews. The Chimarrogale are the most widely distributed group of Nectogaline shrews, extending throughout the Oriental region and Japan. Because of the limited numbers of specimens available for study, the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographical history of this genus have not been comprehensively discussed. We used mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences to estimate phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among four Chimarrogale species, including all three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica. We also conducted a species delimitation analysis and tested two alternative migration scenarios in Asia through species distribution modeling and a reconstruction of the ancestral distribution. Here, we present the first proposed hypothesis regarding the Asiatic water shrew phylogeny and reveal ten putative species within the four recognized species. Distinct phylogenetic statuses of Chimarrogale phaeura, Chimarrogale platycephala, and Chimarrogale styani were confirmed. Chimarrogale himalayica was strongly supported as paraphyletic. We suggest that three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica should be reconsidered as distinct species. However, these suggestions must be considered with caution because only a single locus of a mtDNA gene was used. Four additional putative species, possibly distributed in central southwestern China and Taiwan, are currently undescribed; therefore, comprehensive morphological analyses are warranted to test their taxonomic statuses. The estimated molecular divergence times indicated that rapid speciation occurred during the early Pliocene, and current distribution patterns may have been affected by global cooling during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Reconstruction of the ancestral distribution and species distribution modeling for Asiatic water shrews revealed a low-latitude migration route over which ancestral Chimarrogale migrated from Europe via Central Asia to their current distribution. Our results demonstrated that Asiatic water shrews could have evolved throughout the low-latitude migration route from Europe to East and Southeast Asia. PMID:24124605
The external morphology of the papillae linguales (papillae filiformes, papillae fungiformes and papillae vallatae) and their connective tissue cores (CTCs) of the greater Japanese shrew-mole (Urotrichus talpoides) were analysed by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Papillae filiformes were distributed over the dorsal surface of the apex linguae, and on the rostral and caudal regions of the corpus linguae but were less numerous in the mid-region. They were absent from the radix linguae. A pair of oval papillae vallatae was situated at the border between the corpus linguae and the radix linguae. Papillae foliatae were absent. The epithelial surface of each papilla filiformis consisted of a circular concavity, a ring-like wall and either a single thumb-like process or 2–3 slender pointed processes, depending on their location. The morphology of the CTCs of the papillae filiformes also varied regionally. The papillae linguales of the Japanese shrew-mole were morphologically similar to those of other Talpidae and Soricidae, including the common shrew, particularly with respect to the papillae filiformes in the mid- and caudal regions of the corpus linguae.
Blarina brevicauda is distributed across the northeastern region of North America, in areas previously covered by Pleistocene glaciers. Previous molecular systematic study of the species in the genus Blarina suggested the presence of two distinct eastern and western phylogroups within B. brevicauda , in agreement with traditionally recognized semi-species. To expand the previous work, a collection of 76 individuals from
Mesoamerica is the geographic region between northern México and southern Panamá. This region shows specific cultural and biological features, both presently and in the past. The proboscideans (Mammalia, Proboscidea) that inhabited the region in a time range from middle Miocene to late Pleistocene are outlined. Three families (Elephantidae, Gomphotheriidae, and Mammutidae) and six genera currently are known from the region.
Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales; Oscar J. Polaco; César Laurito; Eileen Johnson; María Teresa Alberdi; Ana Lucía Valerio Zamora
Considering the extreme complexity of the turbulence problem in general and the unattainability of first-principles analytical solutions in particular, it is not surprising that controlling a turbulent flow remains a challenging task, mired in empiricism and unfulfilled promises and aspirations. Brute force suppression, or taming, of turbulence via active control strategies is always possible, but the penalty for doing so often exceeds any potential savings. The artifice is to achieve a desired effect with minimum energy expenditure. Spurred by the recent developments in chaos control, microfabrication and neural networks, efficient reactive control of turbulent flows, where the control input is optimally adjusted based on feedforward or feedback measurements, is now in the realm of the possible for future practical devices. But regardless of how the problem is approached, combating turbulence is always as arduous as the taming of the shrew. The former task will be emphasized during the oral presentation, but for this abstract we reflect on a short verse from the latter. From William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Curtis (Petruchio's servant, in charge of his country house): Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported? Grumio (Petruchio's personal lackey): She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But thou know'st winter tames man, woman, and beast; for it hath tamed my old master, and my new mistress, and myself, fellow Curtis.
Three species of Nepenthes pitcher plants from Borneo engage in a mutualistic interaction with mountain tree shrews, the basis of which is the exchange of nutritional resources. The plants produce modified “toilet pitchers” that produce copious amounts of exudates, the latter serving as a food source for tree shrews. The exudates are only accessible to the tree shrews when they position their hindquarters over the pitcher orifice. Tree shrews mark valuable resources with feces and regularly defecate into the pitchers when they visit them to feed. Feces represent a valuable source of nitrogen for these Nepenthes species, but there are many facets of the mutualism that are yet to be investigated. These include, but are not limited to, seasonal variation in exudate production rates by the plants, behavioral ecology of visiting tree shrews and the mechanism by which the plants signal to tree shrews that their pitchers represent a food source. Further research into this extraordinary animal-plant interaction is required to gain a better understanding of the benefits to the participating species.
Shrews (Sorex cinereus) collected at a historic mine in Nova Scotia, Canada, had approximately twice the arsenic body burden and 100 times greater daily intake of arsenic compared with shrews from a nearby uncontaminated background site. Shrews store arsenic as inorganic and simple methylated arsenicals. Much of the arsenic associated with their primary food source, i.e., small invertebrates, may be soil adsorbed to their exoskeletons. A physiologically based extraction test estimated that 47 ± 2% of invertebrate arsenic is bioaccessible in the shrew gastrointestinal tract. Overall, shrews appear to be efficient at processing and excreting inorganic arsenic. PMID:21986782
Recently, it was found that not only rodents but also shrews are reservoir hosts of hantaviruses. In Central Europe, only Seewis virus, associated with the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus), has been recognized until now. In the present report, tissue samples from shrews belonging to Crocidurinae and Soricinae subfamilies, trapped in Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia, were screened for the presence of novel hantaviruses. Three new hantavirus partial L-segment sequences were obtained from pygmy shrews (Sorex minutus) trapped in Czech Republic and Germany. Complete nucleocapsid protein- and glycoprotein precursor-coding S- and M-segment sequences were then determined for the newly recognized hantavirus strains, CZ/Beskydy/412/2010/Sm, CZ/Drahany/420/2010/Sm, and DE/Dürrbach/1912/2009/Sm. Phylogenetic analyses showed that they represent strains of Asikkala virus (ASIV), a novel hantavirus also found in pygmy shrews from Finland. Our study reveals a broad geographic distribution of ASIV across Europe and indicates pygmy shrew as the primary reservoir host. Future studies will have to determine the pathogenic relevance of ASIV. PMID:23602837
Investigations into the cause of mortality and other important findings at necropsy were made into two families of small mammals at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (SNZP; USA). Necropsy reports from 1976 through 2008 were reviewed for all elephant shrews in family Macroscelididae (n = 118) and all tree shrews in family Tupaiidae (n = 90) that lived for greater than 30 days at the SNZP. Causes of mortality were classified by body system and etiology to identify prevalent diseases and trends across demographics for each family. In elephant shrews, gastrointestinal disease (n = 18) and respiratory disease (n = 22) were important causes of mortality with an increased prevalence of pneumonia in adult males. Trauma was a common cause of mortality in tree shrews (n = 22). Cryptococcosis was an important cause of mortality in both families (n = 8 elephant shrews; n = 13 tree shrews). Bacterial infections, often systemic at time of mortality, were also common (n = 16 elephant shrews; n = 17 tree shrews). Arteriosclerosis was a common comorbid pathology noted at necropsy in certain populations, seen only in Elephantulus rufescens in the family Macroscelididae (n = 22) and in only males in the family Tupaiidae (n = 11). Gongylonemiasis was seen commonly in tree shrews (n = 15), as a comorbid finding, or in 5 cases directly leading to mortality. Awareness of the prevalence of these diseases can help guide prevention and intervention strategies. PMID:23805548
We review data on the chromosomal variation in the common shrewSorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 in the context of recent molecular findings. The article considers all aspects of chromosomal variation in\\u000a this species: within-population polymorphism, karyotypic races, hybrid zones between karyotypic races, chromosomal evolution,\\u000a and speciation. The recent molecular data provide vital information on different evolutionary processes such as inbreeding,\\u000a genetic
Jan M. Wójcik; Miros?aw Ratkiewicz; Jeremy B. Searle
Rates of O 2 consumption and CO 2 production, telemetered body temperature ( T b) and activity level were recorded from adult and subadult water shrews ( Sorex palustris) over an air temperature ( T a) range of 3–32°C. Digesta passage rate trials were conducted before metabolic testing to estimate the minimum fasting time required for water shrews to achieve
1.1. VO2 (ml min?1) in winter-, summer- and spring-acclimatized Pygmy shrews, Sorex minutus, varied significantly with season, gender and ambient temperature. Body mass varied significantly with season and was lightest in winter-acclimatized shrews.2.2. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was lowest in winter shrews (0.619 ± 0.131 ml min?1). In spring-acclimatized shrews RMR was significantly higher in females (0.750 ± 0.120 ml
Purpose. To determine the efficacy of the Mi-selective muscarinic antagonist, pirenzepine, in preventing experimentally induced myopia in a mammalian model, the tree shrew. Methods. Tree shrews were monocularly deprived (MD) using translucent goggles or negative lenses for a period of 12 days. In two of the MD groups, tree shrews received daily subconjuncti- val administration of either pirenzepine (17.7 fimol;
A nursing female short-tailed shrew adopted a nestling house mouse. The mouse was observed in the nest with the female and her litter of shrews three days after it was introduced into the aluminum box containing the shrews, but it was found dead in the nest four days later.
The Late Quaternary was a time of rapid climatic oscillations and drastic environmental changes. In general, species can respond to such changes by behavioral accommodation, distributional shifts, ecophenotypic modifications (nongenetic), evolution (genetic) or ultimately face local extinction. How those responses manifested in the past is essential for properly predicting future ones especially as the current warm phase is further intensified by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Here, we use ancient DNA (aDNA) and morphological features in combination with ecological niche modeling (ENM) to investigate genetic and nongenetic responses of Central European Palearctic shrews to past climatic change. We show that a giant form of shrew, previously described as an extinct Pleistocene Sorex species, represents a large ecomorph of the common shrew (Sorex araneus), which was replaced by populations from a different gene-pool and with different morphology after the Pleistocene Holocene transition. We also report the presence of the cold-adapted tundra shrew (S. tundrensis) in Central Europe. This species is currently restricted to Siberia and was hitherto unknown as an element of the Pleistocene fauna of Europe. Finally, we show that there is no clear correlation between climatic oscillations within the last 50 000 years and body size in shrews and conclude that a special nonanalogous situation with regard to biodiversity and food supply in the Late Glacial may have caused the observed large body size. PMID:23505017
Prost, Stefan; Klietmann, Johannes; van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Guralnick, Robert P; Waltari, Eric; Vrieling, Klaas; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Rabeder, Gernot; Hofreiter, Michael; Sommer, Robert S
Background Guided by decades-old reports of hantaviral antigens in the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in European Russia, we employed RT-PCR to analyze lung tissues of soricine shrews, captured in Boginia, Huta D?utowska and Kurowice in central Poland during September 2010, 2011 and 2012. Findings In addition to Seewis virus (SWSV), which had been previously found in Eurasian common shrews elsewhere in Europe, a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Boginia virus (BOGV), was detected in Eurasian water shrews captured in each of the three villages. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that BOGV formed a separate lineage distantly related to SWSV. Conclusions Although the pathogenic potential of BOGV and other recently identified shrew-borne hantaviruses is still unknown, clinicians should be vigilant for unusual febrile diseases and clinical syndromes occurring among individuals reporting exposures to shrews.
The striatum is a major component of the basal ganglia and is associated with motor and cognitive functions. Striatal pathologies have been linked to several disorders, including Huntington’s, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia. For the study of these striatal pathologies different animal models have been used, including rodents and non-human primates. Rodents lack on morphological complexity (for example, the lack of well defined caudate and putamen nuclei), which makes it difficult to translate data to the human paradigm. Primates, and especially higher primates, are the closest model to humans, but there are ever-increasing restrictions to the use of these animals for research. In our search for a non-primate animal model with a striatum that anatomically (and perhaps functionally) can resemble that of humans, we turned our attention to the tree shrew. Evolutionary genetic studies have provided strong data supporting that the tree shrews (Scadentia) are one of the closest groups to primates, although their brain anatomy has only been studied in detail for specific brain areas. Morphologically, the tree shrew striatum resembles the primate striatum with the presence of an internal capsule separating the caudate and putamen, but little is known about its neurochemical composition. Here we analyzed the expression of calcium-binding proteins, the presence and distribution of the striosome and matrix compartments (by the use of calbindin, tyrosine hydroxylase, and acetylcholinesterase immunohistochemistry), and the GABAergic system by immunohistochemistry against glutamic acid decarboxylase and Golgi impregnation. In summary, our results show that when compared to primates, the tree shrew dorsal striatum presents striking similarities in the distribution of most of the markers studied, while presenting some marked divergences when compared to the rodent striatum.
Rice, Matthew W.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Perez-Costas, Emma
Refinetti, R. Body temperature and behavior of tree shrews and flying squirrels in a thermal gradient. Physiol Behav 63(4) 517–520, 1998. The daily rhythms of body temperature, temperature selection, and locomotor activity of tree shrews and flying squirrels were studied in a thermal gradient. In accordance with previous observations in other mammalian species, the rhythm of temperature selection was found
Rates of O2 consumption and CO2 production, telemetered body temperature (Tb) and activity level were recorded from adult and subadult water shrews (Sorex palustris) over an air temperature (Ta) range of 3- 32? C. Digesta passage rate trials were conducted before metabolic testing to estimate the minimum fasting time required for water shrews to achieve a postabsorptive state. Of the
Summary 1. It was recently shown that body size of Palearctic shrews decreases with increasing latitude, thus contradicting Bergmann's rule, and this trend was explained by food shortage during the cold northern winter. In Alaska, global warming has resulted in milder winters that may improve food supply. In this study we tested the hypothesis that body size of Alaskan shrews
Anatomical parameter values in tree shrews are major biological characteristic indicators in laboratory animals. Body size, bones and mammilla, organ weights, coefficient intestinal canal and other anatomical data were measured and analyzed in laboratory domesticated tree shrews (7 to 9 months of age). Measurement of 31 anatomical parameters showed that body height, width of the right ear, ileum and colon had significant differences between males and females (P<0.05). Highly significant differences were also found in body slanting length, chest depth, torso length, left and right forelimb length, right hind limb length, left and right ear length, left ear width, keel bone length, left and right tibia length, duodenum and jejunum (P<0.01). With body length as the dependent variable, and tail length, torso length, right and left forelimb length, and left and right hind limb length as independent variables for stepwise regression analysis, the regression equation for body length = 13.90 + tail length × 0.16. The results of 37 organs weights between female and male tree shrews showed very significant differences (P<0.01) for weight of heart, lungs, spleen, left and right kidney, bladder, left and right hippocampus, left submandibular gland, and left and right thyroid gland, as well as significant (P<0.05) differences in the small intestine, right submandibular gland, and left adrenal gland. The coefficient of heart, lung, stomach, bladder, small and large intestine, brain, right hippocampus, and left adrenal gland showed highly significant differences (P<0.01), while differences in the right kidney, left hippocampus, left submandibular gland, right adrenal gland, and left and right thyroid gland were significant (P<0.05). With animal weight as the dependent variable and indicators of heart, lung, liver, spleen, left and right kidney and brain as independent variables for stepwise regression analysis, the regression equation showed that weight = 62.73 + left kidney × 79.21 + heart × 24.09. Female and male laboratory domesticated tree shrews showed certain influences in body size, organ weight and coefficient, and intestinal canal regarding anatomical parameters. This experiment provides basic data for studies on laboratory tree shrews and animal models. PMID:23572364
The Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne (MPFT) found a new species of Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Kollé fossiliferous sector, northern Chad. After Orycteropus abundulafus [Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20 (1) (2000) 205–209; Lehmann, T., Vignaud, P., Likius A., Brunet M., in press. A new Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Mio-Pliocene of Northern Chad. Zool. J. Linnean Soc.], this specimen is the
Thomas Lehmann; Patrick Vignaud; Hassane Taïsso Mackaye; Michel Brunet
American water shrews (Sorex palustris) are aggressive predators that feed on a variety of terrestrial and aquatic prey. They often forage at night, diving into streams and ponds in search of food. We investigated how shrews locate submerged prey using high-speed videography, infrared lighting, and stimuli designed to mimic prey. Shrews attacked brief water movements, indicating motion is an important cue used to detect active or escaping prey. They also bit, retrieved, and attempted to eat model fish made of silicone in preference to other silicone objects showing that tactile cues are important in the absence of movement. In addition, water shrews preferentially sniffed model prey fish and crickets underwater by exhaling and reinhaling air through the nostrils, suggesting olfaction plays an important role in aquatic foraging. The possibility of echolocation, sonar, or electroreception was investigated by testing for ultrasonic and audible calls above and below water and by presenting electric fields to foraging shrews. We found no evidence for these abilities. We conclude that water shrews detect motion, shape, and smell to find prey underwater. The short latency of attacks to water movements suggests shrews may use a flush-pursuit strategy to capture some prey.
Catania, Kenneth C.; Hare, James F.; Campbell, Kevin L.
Although the importance of rodents as reservoirs for a number of tick-borne infections is well established, comparatively little is known about the potential role of shrews, despite them occupying similar habitats. To address this, blood and tick samples were collected from common shrews (Sorex araneus) and field voles (Microtus agrestis), a known reservoir of various tick-borne infections, from sites located within a plantation forest in northern England over a 2-year period. Of 647 blood samples collected from shrews, 121 (18.7%) showed evidence of infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and 196 (30.3%) with Babesia microti. By comparison, of 1505 blood samples from field voles, 96 (6.4%) were positive for A. phagocytophilum and 458 (30.4%) for Ba. microti. Both species were infested with the ticks Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes trianguliceps, although they had different burdens: on average, shrews carried almost six times as many I. trianguliceps larvae, more than twice as many I. ricinus larvae, and over twice as many nymphs (both tick species combined). The finding that the nymphs collected from shrews were almost exclusively I. trianguliceps highlights that this species is the key vector of these infections in this small mammal community. These findings suggest that common shrews are a reservoir of tick-borne infections and that the role of shrews in the ecology and epidemiology of tick-borne infections elsewhere needs to be comprehensively investigated. PMID:21453011
Bown, Kevin J; Lambin, Xavier; Telford, Gill; Heyder-Bruckner, Diane; Ogden, Nicholas H; Birtles, Richard J
The Shrew Gymnure Neotetracus sinensis belongs to family Erinaceidae, and distributes in China, Myanmar, and northern Vietnam. In this study, the whole mitochondrial genome of N. sinensis was first sequenced and characterized. The genome is 16,982 bases in length. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods were used to construct phylogenetic trees based on 12 concatenated protein-coding genes on the heavy strand. Phylogenetic analyses further confirm the subfamily Galericinae diverged prior to the subfamily Erinaceinae, support the species N. sinensis was in distinct genus Neotetracus rather than Hylomys, and N. sinensis diverged later than Echinosorex gymnura. PMID:23206249
The emetic responses induced by staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), SEB, SEC2, SED, SEE, SEG, SEH, and SEI in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) were investigated. SEA, SEE, and SEI showed higher emetic activity in the house musk shrew than the other SEs. SEB, SEC2, SED, SEG, and SEH also induced emetic responses in this animal model but relatively high doses were required. The house musk shrew appears to be a valuable model for studying the mechanisms of emetic reactions caused by SEs. PMID:12496213
The characteristics of daily torpor were measured in the round-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Macroscelidea) in response to ambient temperature and food deprivation. Elephant shrews are an ancient mammal order within\\u000a a superordinal African clade including hyraxes, elephants, dugongs and the aardvark. M. proboscideus only employed torpor when deprived of food; torpor did not occur under an ad libitum diet
Recent molecular evidence of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews, captured in widely separated geographical regions, corroborates decades-old reports of hantavirus antigens in shrew tissues. Apart from challenging the conventional view that rodents are the principal reservoir hosts, the recently identified soricid-borne hantaviruses raise the possibility that other soricomorphs, notably talpids, similarly harbor hantaviruses. In analyzing RNA extracts from lung tissues of the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides), captured in Japan between February and April 2008, a hantavirus genome, designated Asama virus (ASAV), was detected by RT-PCR. Pairwise alignment and comparison of the S-, M-, and L-segment nucleotide and amino acid sequences indicated that ASAV was genetically more similar to hantaviruses harbored by shrews than by rodents. However, the predicted secondary structure of the ASAV nucleocapsid protein was similar to that of rodent- and shrew-borne hantaviruses, exhibiting the same coiled-coil helix at the amino terminus. Phylogenetic analyses, using the maximum-likelihood method and other algorithms, consistently placed ASAV with recently identified soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses, suggesting a possible host-switching event in the distant past. The discovery of a mole-borne hantavirus enlarges our concepts about the complex evolutionary history of hantaviruses.
Arai, Satoru; Ohdachi, Satoshi D.; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Kang, Hae Ji; Mocz, Gabor; Arikawa, Jiro; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Yanagihara, Richard
Adult neurogenesis in mammals is typically observed in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and the subventricular zone. We investigated adult neurogenesis in the brain of a giant otter shrew (Potamogale velox), a semi-aquatic, central African rainforest mammal of the family Tenrecidae that belongs to the superorder Afrotheria. We examined neurogenesis immunohistochemically, using the endogenous marker doublecortin (DCX), which stains neuronal precursor cells and immature neurons. Our results revealed densely packed DCX-positive cells in the entire extent of the subventricular zone from where cells migrated along the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb. In the olfactory bulb, DCX-expressing cells were primarily present in the granular cell layer with radially orientated dendrites and in the glomerular layer representing periglomerular cells. In the hippocampus, DCX-positive cells were identified in the subgranular and granular layers of the dentate gyrus and strongly labelled DCX-positive processes, presumably dendrites and axons of the newly generated granular cells, were observed in the CA3 regions. In addition, DCX immunoreactive cells were present in the olfactory tubercle, the piriform cortex and the endopiriform nucleus. While DCX-positive fibres have been previously observed in the anterior commissure of the hedgehog and mole, we were able to demonstrate the presence of DCX-positive cells presumably migrating across the anterior commissure. Taken together, the giant otter shrew reveals patterns of neurogenesis similar to that seen in other mammals; however, the appearance of possible neuronal precursor cells in the anterior commissure is a novel observation. PMID:23485806
Patzke, N; Kaswera, C; Gilissen, E; Ihunwo, A O; Manger, P R
The effect of feeding immature Karoo paralysis ticks (Ixodes rubicundus) on the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of their principal natural host, the rock elephant shrew (Elephantulus myurus), was investigated under laboratory conditions. The elephant shrews were artificially infested with numbers of ticks simulating\\u000a natural burdens. The RMR of the elephant shrews was quantified by measuring the oxygen consumption in an
Background Studies of wild animals responding to their native parasites are essential if we are to understand how the immune system functions in the natural environment. While immune defence may bring increased survival, this may come at a resource cost to other physiological traits, including reproduction. Here, we tested the hypothesis that wild common shrews (Sorex araneus), which produce large numbers of offspring during the one breeding season of their short life span, forgo investment in immunity and immune system maintenance, as increased longevity is unlikely to bring further opportunities for mating. In particular, we predicted that adult shrews, with shorter expected lifespans, would not respond as effectively as young animals to infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined haemolymphatic tissues from wild-caught common shrews using light and transmission electron microscopy, applied in conjunction with immunohistology. We compared composition and function of these tissues in shrews of different ages, and the extent and type of inflammatory reactions observed in response to natural parasitic infections. All ages seemed able to mount systemic, specific immune responses, but adult shrews showed some signs of lymphatic tissue exhaustion: lymphatic follicles in adults (n?=?21) were both smaller than those in sub-adults (n?=?18; Wald?=?11.1, p<0.05) and exhibited greater levels of depletion (Wald?=?13.3, p<0.05). Conclusions/Significance Contrary to our expectations, shrews respond effectively to their natural parasites, and show little indication of immunosenescence as adults. The pancreas of Aselli, a unique lymphoid organ, may aid in providing efficient immune responses through the storage of large numbers of plasma cells. This may allow older animals to react effectively to previously encountered parasites, but infection by novel agents, and eventual depletion of plasma cell reserves, could both still be factors in the near-synchronous mortality of adult shrews observed shortly after breeding.
Bray, Daniel P.; Bennett, Malcolm; Stockley, Paula; Hurst, Jane L.; Kipar, Anja
Interferons (IFNs) represent proteins with antiviral activities that are secreted from cells in response to a variety of stimuli. In addition to antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic host-defense functions they are now also recognized as crucial regulators of cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and death as well as activators of specialized cell functions particularly in the immune system and play important roles in infectious and inflammatory diseases, autoimmunity and cancer. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) were found to be susceptible to several human viruses and therefore are widely regarded as good models for analyzing mechanism of human diseases. In this report, we have forecasted the interferon family members of tree shrew from its genome mainly using the methods like Blast (whole genome shotgun sequence) and gene prediction. Our data show that tree shrew interferon system includes: type I IFN: ? (five subtypes), ?, ?, ?, epsilon, ?; type II IFN: ?; type III IFN: ?1, ?2/3. Furthermore, the predicted structures of ? and ? have similar character with those of other mammals. However, there are some differences in cysteine position and N-glycosylation numbers between human and Tree shrew IFNs. These results provide fundamental basis for further molecular cloning and function analysis of tree shrew IFNs in future. PMID:22345011
Recent expeditions to the Fayum Depression, Egypt, have made possible the discovery of mandibles and a maxilla of a new genus and species of late Eocene elephant-shrew as well as initial evidence of the upper dentition of the early Oligocene taxon Metoldobotes. These fossils demonstrate that macroscelideans underwent a significant radiation in the Early Tertiary of Africa. Two new subfamilies are recognized and described. These Tertiary macroscelideans are the most primitive elephant-shrews known and indicate that previous hypotheses of a close phylogenetic relationship between macroscelideans and either lagomorphs, erinaceotans, or tree-shrews are unlikely. Rather, the dental anatomy of the Fayum macroscelideans provides evidence for a derivation of the order from within the Condylarthra. Images
This study investigated how male tree shrews (Tupaia belangen) performed in a searching task while in their home cages and assessed whether different food distributions affected their performance. The animals were faced with a holeboard containing 9 food sources arranged in a 3 x 3 matrix or in 3 clusters, each containing 3 sources. Animals tended to start and end the trials from preferred locations, thereafter solving the task by strategically organizing the reward collection according to a minimum-distance principle. In the cluster configuration, they visited the sources hierarchically. Food distribution did not affect the performance. Comparison with data from mice and capuchin monkeys revealed that tree shrews and capuchins solved the task in a similar strategic way, whereas mice did not. These findings attract particular attention because of the phylogenetic position of tree shrews, which are regarded as closely related to primates. PMID:11824897
A cladistic investigation of the phylogenetic relationships among 21 extinct and extant genera of sloths (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Tardigrada) was performed on the basis of characteristics of the bony anatomy of the auditory region. This study was undertaken in order to evaluate specific hypotheses of relationship within the group. Questions of particular interest include the relationship among the three traditional family
Topography of the medullar cone in nutria (Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782 - Rodentia: Mammalia). Aiming to investigate the topography of the medullar cone, ten adult nutria (Myocastor coypus), eight male and two female, were previously fixed in 10% aqueous formalin solution, maintained in similar solution and dissected. After the dissection the following data were noted: a) the medullar cone apex
Gilberto Valente Machado; Josy Alvarenga Cal; Arlei José Birck
The phylogenetic relationships between recent Elephantidae (Proboscidea, Mammalia), that is to say extant elephants (Asian and African) and extinct woolly mammoth, have remained unclear to date. The prevailing morphological scheme (mammoth grouped with Asian elephant) is either supported or questioned by the molecular results. Recently, the monophyly of woolly mammoths on mitochondrial grounds has been demonstrated (Thomas et al., 2000),
Re Egis Debruyne; Ve Eronique Barriel; Pascal Tassy
The distribution, morphological features, and postnatal development of parvalbumin (PV) immunoreactive neurons in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) of the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus, were studied to report for the first time on PV positive bulbar interneurons in the order Insectivora. In adult animals, PV neurons are distributed in the glomerular layer (GL), the external plexiform layer (EPL), the
Sachiko Kakuta; Satoko Oda; Masaaki Takayanagi; Kiyoshi Kishi
We trapped shrews at six 9.3 ha plots from which logs 210 cm diameter (coarse woody debris; CWD) had been manually removed and six control plots in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests of the southeastern coastal plain, USA. Trapping was conducted seasonally between antumn 1997 and summer 2001. Capture rates of Cryptotis'parvu were lower at plots from which CWD
The role of the endocannabinoid system in vomiting has been previously studied using several animal species. These investigations have clearly demonstrated an anti-emetic role for the eCB, anandamide, in these animal models; however, research concerning the role of 2-arhachidonoylglycerol (2AG) has been less clear. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of exogenous 2AG administration in the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus. In Experiment 1, shrews were injected with vehicle or 2AG (1, 2, 5, 10mg/kg) 15min prior to behavioral testing in which the frequency of vomiting episodes was observed. In Experiment 2, shrews were pre-treated with 2AG (2, 5mg/kg) prior to being administered the emetic drug, lithium chloride (LiCl). It was found that 2AG alone did not induce emesis, but interfered with vomiting in response to LiCl administration. The anti-emetic effects of 2AG in Suncus murinus do not appear to be mediated by CB1 receptors, as concomitant pretreatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist, SR141716, did not reverse the suppressive effects of 2AG. These results confirm that manipulations that increase levels of 2AG exert anti-emetic effects in the house musk shrew. PMID:23958470
A cascade of morphological, ecological, demographical and behavioural changes operates within island communities compared to mainland. We tested whether metabolic rates change on islands. Using a closed circuit respirometer, we investigated resting metabolic rate (RMR) of three species of Crocidurinae shrews: Suncus etruscus, Crocidura russula, and C. suaveolens. For the latter, we compared energy expenditure of mainland and island populations.
Elodie Magnanou; Roger Fons; Jacques Blondel; Serge Morand
Although the isolation of leptospirae from the musk shrew Suncus has not previously been reported, the agent was recovered with no great difficulty from two Suncus murinus in Taiwan and from two Suncus luzoniensis in the Philippines. The Taiwan isolates w...
W. D. Kundin E. R. Carlos C. C. Tsai G. A. Kueczynski
We review data on the chromosomal variation in the common shrew Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 in the context of recent molecular findings. The article considers all aspects of chromosomal variation in this species: within-population polymorphism, karyotypic races, hybrid zones between karyotypic races, chromosomal evolution, and speciation. The recent molecular data provide vital information on different evolutionary processes such as inbreeding,
As soon as they encounter the scent marks made by the urine of fertile male conspecifics, tree shrews of both sexes cover the scent marks with their own sternal-gland secretion by “chinning.” The urine of other species, female conspecifics, or castrated male conspecifics does not elicit this behavior; that is, overmarking with sternal-gland secretion is a reaction to a specific
Tree shrews of both sexes exhibit marking behavior (“chinning”) in response to scent marks made by the urine of fertile male conspecifics. To isolate the effective odor components, the urine was fractionated by liquid-liquid extraction and TLC, and the fractions were tested by bioassay. The results show that chinning is elicited by several lipophilic urine fractions, which are more effective
Despite the recent discovery of genetically divergent hantaviruses in shrews of multiple species in widely separated geographic regions, data are unavailable about the genetic diversity and phylogeography of Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a hantavirus originally isolated from an Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) captured in southern India more than four decades ago. To bridge this knowledge gap, the S, M, and L segments of hantavirus RNA were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from archival lung tissues of Asian house shrews captured in Nepal from January to September 1996. Pair-wise alignment and comparison revealed approximately 80% nucleotide and > 94% amino acid sequence similarity to prototype TPMV. Phylogenetic analyses, generated by maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed geographic-specific clustering of TPMV, similar to that observed for rodent- and soricid-borne hantaviruses. These findings confirm that the Asian house shrew is the natural reservoir of TPMV and suggest a long-standing virus–host relationship.
Kang, Hae Ji; Kosoy, Michael Y.; Shrestha, Sanjaya K.; Shrestha, Mrigendra P.; Pavlin, Julie A.; Gibbons, Robert V.; Yanagihara, Richard
Background Laboratory conditions nullify the extrinsic factors that determine the wild expected lifespan and release the intrinsic or potential lifespan. Thus, wild animals reared in a laboratory often show an increased lifespan, and consequently an increased senescence phase. Senescence is associated with a broad suite of physiological changes, including a decreased responsiveness of the circadian system. The time-keeping hormone melatonin, an important chemical player in this system, is suspected to have an anti-aging role. The Greater White-toothed shrew Crocidura russula is an ideal study model to address questions related to aging and associated changes in biological functions: its lifespan is short and is substantially increased in captivity; daily and seasonal rhythms, while very marked the first year of life, are dramatically altered during the senescence process which starts during the second year. Here we report on an investigation of the effects of melatonin administration on locomotor activity of aging shrews. Methodology/Principal Findings 1) The diel fluctuations of melatonin levels in young, adult and aging shrews were quantified in the pineal gland and plasma. In both, a marked diel rhythm (low diurnal concentration; high nocturnal concentration) was present in young animals but then decreased in adults, and, as a result of a loss in the nocturnal production, was absent in old animals. 2) Daily locomotor activity rhythm was monitored in pre-senescent animals that had received either a subcutaneous melatonin implant, an empty implant or no implant at all. In non-implanted and sham-implanted shrews, the rhythm was well marked in adults. A marked degradation in both period and amplitude, however, started after the age of 14–16 months. This pattern was considerably delayed in melatonin-implanted shrews who maintained the daily rhythm for significantly longer. Conclusions This is the first long term study (>500 days observation of the same individuals) that investigates the effects of continuous melatonin delivery. As such, it sheds new light on the putative anti-aging role of melatonin by demonstrating that continuous melatonin administration delays the onset of senescence. In addition, the shrew appears to be a promising mammalian model for elucidating the precise relationships between melatonin and aging.
Magnanou, Elodie; Attia, Joel; Fons, Roger; Boeuf, Gilles; Falcon, Jack
Adrenal gland binding sites for atrial natriuretic peptide-(99-126) (ANP) were quantitated in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) by incubation of adrenal sections with (3-(/sup 125/I)-iodotyrosyl28) atrial natriuretic peptide-(99-126), followed by autoradiography with computerized microdensitometry. In the adrenal glands, there are three types of ANP binding sites. One is located in the zona glomerulosa (BMax 84 +/- 6 fmol/mg protein; Kd 122 +/- 9 pM); the second in the zona fasciculata and reticularis (BMax 29 +/- 2 fmol/mg protein; Kd 153 +/- 6 pM) and the third in the adrenal medulla (BMax 179 +/- 1 fmol/mg protein; Kd 70 +/- 2 pM). Besides the influence of ANP on the regulation of adrenocortical mineralcorticoid and glucocorticoid secretion our findings raise the possibility for a local site of action of atrial natriuretic peptide in the regulation of adrenomedullary catecholamines in the tree shrew, primates and man.
The present study investigated whether kisspeptin–G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) signaling plays a role in mediating mating-induced ovulation in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus), a reflex ovulator. For this purpose, we cloned suncus Kiss1 and Gpr54 cDNA from the hypothalamus and found that suncus kisspeptin (sKp) consists of 29 amino acid residues (sKp-29). Injection of exogenous sKp-29 mimicked the mating stimulus to induce follicular maturation and ovulation. Administration of several kisspeptins and GPR54 agonists also induced presumed ovulation in a dose-dependent manner, and Gpr54 mRNA was distributed in the hypothalamus, showing that kisspeptins induce ovulation through binding to GPR54. The sKp-29–induced ovulation was blocked completely by pretreatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist, suggesting that kisspeptin activates GnRH neurons to induce ovulation in the musk shrew. In addition, in situ hybridization revealed that Kiss1-expressing cells are located in the medial preoptic area (POA) and arcuate nucleus in the musk shrew hypothalamus. The number of Kiss1-expressing cells in the POA or arcuate nucleus was up-regulated or down-regulated by estradiol, suggesting that kisspeptin neurons in these regions were the targets of the estrogen feedback action. Finally, mating stimulus largely induced c-Fos expression in Kiss1-positive cells in the POA, indicating that the mating stimulus activates POA kisspeptin neurons to induce ovulation. Taken together, these results indicate that kisspeptin–GPR54 signaling plays a role in the induction of ovulation in the musk shrew, a reflex ovulator, as it does in spontaneous ovulators.
The microangioarchitecture of the thalamus and metathalamus in common tree shrew (Tupaia glis) was studied using vascular corrosion cast\\/stereomicroscope and SEM technique. The arterial supply of the thalamus and metathalamus\\u000a was found to originate from perforating branches of the posterior communicating artery, the posterior cerebral artery, the\\u000a middle cerebral artery, and the anterior choroidal artery. These perforating arteries gave rise
In Rangoon and vicinity Suncus murinus comprises almost 20% of the small mammal population with almost equal load of mesostigmatid mites compared to murine rodents. Suncus murinus was infected by four species of laelapids, out of which L. myonyssognathus seems to infest more on urban S. murinus. The infestation of the free living Androlaelaps or Hypoaspis species is higher on the rural shrews while the Cheyletus species is higher on the urban than the rural S. murinus. PMID:6452696
The local-global map hypothesis states that locally organized response properties--such as orientation preference--result from visuotopically organized local maps of non-retinotopic response properties. In the tree shrew, the lateral extent of horizontal patchy connections is as much as 80-100% of V1 and is consistent with the length summation property. We argue that neural signals can be transmitted across the entire extent
David M. Alexander; Paul D. Bourke; Phil Sheridan; Otto Konstandatos; James J. Wright
Two common strategies for successful foraging are learning to associate specific sensory cues with patches of prey ("associative learning") and using set decision-making rules to systematically scan for prey ("algorithmic search"). We investigated whether an animal's life history affects which of these two foraging strategies it is likely to use. Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri) have slow life-history traits and we predicted they would be more likely to use associative learning. Common shrews (Sorex araneus) have fast life-history traits and we predicted that they would rely more heavily on routine-based search. Apart from their marked differences in life-history traits, these two mammals are similar in body size, brain weight, habitat, and diet. We assessed foraging strategy, associative learning ability, and retention time with a four-arm maze; one arm contained a food reward and was marked with four sensory stimuli. Bats and shrews differed significantly in their foraging strategies. Most bats learned to associate the sensory stimuli with the reward and remembered this association over time. Most shrews searched the maze using consistent decision-making rules, but did not learn or remember the association. We discuss these results in terms of life-history traits and other key differences between these species. Our results suggest a link between an animal's life-history strategy and its use of associative learning. PMID:22391618
Page, Rachel A; von Merten, Sophie; Siemers, Björn M
The fine structure of the pineal gland and the pineal innervation in the tree shrew were studied by electron microscopy and glyoxylic acid-induced fluorescence microscopy respectively. The parenchymal cells consist of pinealocytes, glial cells and pigment-containing cells. The pinealocytes are characterized by the presence of granular vesicles, synaptic ribbons, electron-dense bodies and small profiles of rER with dilated cisternae. Glial cells contain light cytoplasmic bodies, lipofuscin granules, bundles of microfilaments, and elongate profiles of rER with flattened cisternae which are often stacked together with light cytoplasmic bodies; the pigment-containing cells are unique in possessing giant pigment granules in the cytoplasm. The pinealocyte/glial cell/pigment cell in tree shrew pineals may be the same cell line of parenchymal cells at different ontogenetic stages. Pigment-containing cells contain pigment granules as a prominent cytoplasmic inclusion, suggesting they are senscent in secretory function. Both pinealocytes and glial cells contain structures suggesting secretory function such as well-developed Golgi complex and granular vesicles. The antigonadotrophic substances may be stored in granular vesicles. The present ultrastructural study supports the conclusion that tree shrew pineal organ is an endocrine gland which is heavily innervated by adrenergic nerves and possibly by cholinergic nerves. PMID:7077316
Nepenthes pitcher plants are typically carnivorous, producing pitchers with varying combinations of epicuticular wax crystals, viscoelastic fluids and slippery peristomes to trap arthropod prey, especially ants. However, ant densities are low in tropical montane habitats, thereby limiting the potential benefits of the carnivorous syndrome. Nepenthes lowii, a montane species from Borneo, produces two types of pitchers that differ greatly in form and function. Pitchers produced by immature plants conform to the ‘typical’ Nepenthes pattern, catching arthropod prey. However, pitchers produced by mature N. lowii plants lack the features associated with carnivory and are instead visited by tree shrews, which defaecate into them after feeding on exudates that accumulate on the pitcher lid. We tested the hypothesis that tree shrew faeces represent a significant nitrogen (N) source for N. lowii, finding that it accounts for between 57 and 100 per cent of foliar N in mature N. lowii plants. Thus, N. lowii employs a diversified N sequestration strategy, gaining access to a N source that is not available to sympatric congeners. The interaction between N. lowii and tree shrews appears to be a mutualism based on the exchange of food sources that are scarce in their montane habitat.
Clarke, Charles M.; Bauer, Ulrike; Lee, Ch'ien C.; Tuen, Andrew A.; Rembold, Katja; Moran, Jonathan A.
The diphyodont tooth replacement in mammals is characterized by a single replacement of a deciduous dentition by a permanent dentition. Despite its significance in mammalian biology and paleontology, little is known about the developmental mechanisms regulating the diphyodont replacement. Because the mouse never replaces its teeth, this study used the house shrew, Suncus murinus, as a model to investigate the control of the diphyodont replacement of a deciduous dentition by successions and additions of permanent teeth. Using morphological and gene expression analyses of serial sections, we have demonstrated the development of the upper dentition of the house shrew. In this species, the deciduous tooth germs are formed but soon become vestigial, whereas the successional and accessional (molar) germs are subsequently formed and developed. There are distinct Shh expression domains in the deciduous, successional, and accessional tooth germs, and those of the latter two germs are identified from the appearance of their primary enamel knots. The developmental sequence of tooth germs in the house shrew indicates that two adjacent primary enamel knots of the successional and accessional germs do not develop simultaneously, but with a constant time lag. We suggest that this mode of tooth succession and accession can be explained by a sequential inhibitory cascade model in which the timing of initiation and the spacing of tooth development are determined by the inhibition from the primary enamel knots of developmentally preceding adjacent tooth germs. PMID:20303065
There is a long-standing debate as to how Ireland attained its present fauna; we help to inform this debate with a molecular study of one species. A 1110 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was sequenced in 74 specimens of the pygmy shrew, Sorex minutus, collected from throughout its western Palaearctic range. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed several well-supported lineages. Most of the 65 haplotypes belonged to a northern lineage, which ranged from Britain in the west to Lake Baikal in the east. The other lineages were largely limited to Iberia, Italy and the Balkans. One exception, however, was a lineage found in both Ireland and Andorra. This affinity, and the large difference between the mitochondrial sequences of Irish and British individuals, suggest that pygmy shrews did not colonize Ireland via a land connection from Britain, as has been previously supposed, but instead were introduced by boat from southwest continental Europe. All the Irish pygmy shrews analysed were identical or very similar in cytochrome b sequence, suggesting an extreme founding event.
Mascheretti, Silvia; Rogatcheva, Margarita B; Gunduz, Islam; Fredga, Karl; Searle, Jeremy B
Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection continues to be an escalating global health problem. Feasible and effective animal models for HBV infection are the prerequisite for developing novel therapies for this disease. The tree shrew (Tupaia) is a small animal species evolutionary closely related to humans, and thus is permissive to certain human viral pathogens. Whether tree shrews could be chronically infected with HBV in vivo has been controversial for decades. Most published research has been reported on adult tree shrews, and only small numbers of HBV infected newborn tree shrews had been observed over short time periods. We investigated susceptibility of newborn tree shrews to experimental HBV infection as well as viral clearance over a protracted time period. Results Forty-six newborn tree shrews were inoculated with the sera from HBV-infected patients or tree shrews. Serum and liver samples of the inoculated animals were periodically collected and analyzed using fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Southern blot, and immunohistochemistry. Six tree shrews were confirmed and four were suspected as chronically HBV-infected for more than 48 (up to 228) weeks after inoculation, including three that had been inoculated with serum from a confirmed HBV-infected tree shrew. Conclusions Outbred neonatal tree shrews can be long-term chronically infected with HBV at a frequency comparable to humans. The model resembles human disease where also a smaller proportion of infected individuals develop chronic HBV related disease. This model might enable genetic and immunologic investigations which would allow determination of underlying molecular causes favoring susceptibility for chronic HBV infection and disease establishment vs. viral clearance.
Pterygodermatites (Mesopectines) nycticebi (Mönnig, 1920) (Nematoda: Spirurida: Rictulariidae) is redescribed based on immature and mature adults collected from the stomach and small intestine at autopsy of a slow loris, Nycticebus coucang (Boddaert, 1785) (Mammalia: Primates), in a zoological garden in Japan. It is first demonstrated that male possesses a minute telamon and a left lateral pore in the preanal part
McCay, T.S., and M.J. Komoroski. 2004. Demographic responses of shrews to removal of coarse woody debris in a managed pine forest. For. Ecol., and Mgt. 189:387-395. We trapped shrews at six 9.3 ha plots from which logs ý 10 cm diameter (coarse woody debris; CWD) had been manually removed and six control plots inmanaged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests of the southeastern coastal plain, USA. Trapping was conducted seasonally between autumn 1997 and summer 2001. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which CWD was removed than at control plots (P ¡ 0ý011) and declined at all plots over the study period (P ¡ 0ý001). Capture rates of Blarina carolinensis (P ¡ 0ý129) and Sorex longirostris (P ¡ 0ý432) did not differ between removal and control plots, but declined over the study period (P ¡ 0ý001). Age distributions of B. carolinensis differed between removal and control plots (P ¡ 0ý048) with a smaller proportion of individuals in young age categories at removal plots. Sensitivity of Cryptotis to the removal of CWD may have been due to its sociality or low population density at the study area. A reduction in the abundance of young B. carolinensis after removal of CWD may reflect reduced reproduction and immigration of older individuals from outside the plot. Effect of removal of CWD on populations of these shrews was relatively weak compared to strong seasonal and multi-year variation in abundance. However, weak treatment effects may have been partly due to low ambient levels of CWD at control plots.
Visually guided movement is possible in the absence of conscious visual perception, a phenomenon referred to as “blindsight.” Similarly, fearful images can elicit emotional responses in the absence of their conscious perception. Both capabilities are thought to be mediated by pathways from the retina through the superior colliculus (SC) and pulvinar nucleus. To define potential pathways that underlie behavioral responses to unperceived visual stimuli, we examined the projections from the pulvinar nucleus to the striatum and amygdala in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri), a species considered to be a prototypical primate. The tree shrew brain has a large pulvinar nucleus that contains two SC-recipient subdivisions; the dorsal (Pd) and central (Pc) pulvinar both receive topographic (“specific”) projections from SC, and Pd receives an additional non-topographic (“diffuse”) projection from SC (Chomsung et al., 2008). Anterograde and retrograde tract tracing revealed that both Pd and Pc project to the caudate and putamen, and Pd, but not Pc, additionally projects to the lateral amygdala. Using immunocytochemical staining for substance P (SP) and parvalbumin (PV) to reveal the patch/matrix organization of tree shrew striatum, we found that SP-rich/PV-poor patches interlock with a PV-rich/SP-poor matrix. Confocal microscopy revealed that tracer-labeled pulvino-striatal terminals preferentially innervate the matrix. Electron microscopy revealed that the postsynaptic targets of tracer-labeled pulvino-striatal and pulvino-amygdala terminals are spines, demonstrating that the pulvinar nucleus projects to the spiny output cells of the striatum matrix and the lateral amygdala, potentially relaying: (1) topographic visual information from SC to striatum to aid in guiding precise movements, and (2) non-topographic visual information from SC to the amygdala alerting the animal to potentially dangerous visual images.
Day-Brown, Jonathan D.; Wei, Haiyang; Chomsung, Ranida D.; Petry, Heywood M.; Bickford, Martha E.
The tree shrew may be an important experimental animal for disease models in humans. The effects of some extenders and momamines on sperm cryopreservation will provide helpful data for experimentation of strains and conservation of genetic resources in tree shrews. Epididymal sperm were surgically harvested from male tree shrews captured around Kunming, China and sperm motility, acrosome integrity and fertility were assessed during cryopreservation. In Experiment 1 eight extenders (TTE, TCG, TCF, TTG, BWW, BTS, DM, and SR) supplemented with 0.4 mol/L DMSO were used to dilute the sperm: only TTE, DM and SR showed no differences in motility and acrosome integrity compared to fresh controls after equilibration. After freezing and thawing, sperm in any extender showed lower motility than fresh control and sperm in DM showed higher motility than other groups. However, BWW produced the lowest motility. For acrosome integrity, TTE and DM showed higher than BWW, BTS and SR after equilibration. The parameter in DM was higher than other groups (except TTE) after thawing. In Experiment 2 four penetrating cryoprotectant agents (CPA) [dimethyl-formamide (DF), formamide (F), dimethylacetamide (DA), and acetamide (A)] at 0.2 mol/L, 0.4 mol/L, 0.8 mol/L, and 1.2 mol/L, respectively were added to the DM extender. Motility showed no difference among CPA groups and non-CPA group (control) after equilibration, but all thawed sperm showed lower values in motility and acrosome integrity than pre-freezing groups. However, sperm in 0.8 mol/L DF and 0.4 mol/L DMSO showed higher values in both parameters than that in other CPA groups (P>0.05). In Experiment 3 the fertilization rate of oocytes inseminated with 0.4mol/L DMSO (50%) were higher than that with 0.8mol/L DF (16%). In conclusion, non-ion extenders supplemented with egg yolk may be better for sperm cryopreservation in tree shrews and cryoprotectant effects of monoamines agents should be further studied in this species. PMID:22345004
These studies were designed to determine whether adult neu- rogenesis occurs in the dentate gyrus of the tree shrew, an animal phylogenetically between insectivores and primates, and to explore the possibility that this process is regulated by stressful experiences and NMDA receptor activation. We per- formed immunohistochemistry for cell-specific markers and the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a marker of DNA
Elizabeth Gould; Bruce S. McEwen; Patima Tanapat; Liisa A. M. Galea; Eberhard Fuchs
We describe the sequences of six primer pairs for the PCR amplification of nuclear microsatellite markers in the tree shrews, Tupaia glis and T. belangeri. Multilocus genotyping based on non-destructive DNA sampling of live-trapped animals reveals high allelic variability (A) and heterozygosity (He) at these loci. Such characteristics make these genetic markers ideal for linkage mapping and comparative genomics, and
Sukamol Srikwan; Kristina Hufford; Lori Eggert; David S Woodruff
As part of the multidisciplinary National Fire and Fire Surrogate study, we used drift fences with pitfall traps from May to September 2003 and 2004 to determine how three fuel reduction techniques affected shrews in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Ground-dwelling macroarthropods also were collected from a subset of pitfall traps to assess relative prey availability among the
Cathryn H. Greenberg; Stanlee Miller; Thomas A. Waldrop
Objective: The ischemic brain damage is always accompanied by the significant accumulation of glutamate and calcium ions (Ca2+). Our objectives were to observe the effects of glutamate and Ca2+ overloading in tree shrew's hippocampal microenvironment on mitochondrial stress resulting in cytochrome C release and caspase apoptotic gene activation, and to explore the possible mechanism of Cyclosporin A (CsA) inhibiting mitochondrial
In the Rhine-delta, accumulation of microcontaminants in floodplain foodwebs has received little attention in comparison with aquatic communities. To investigate organochlorine and metal concentrations in a terrestrial foodchain, samples of soil, earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and shrew (Crocidura russula, Sorex araneus) livers and kidneys were taken from two moderately to heavily polluted floodplains.
A. J. Hendriks; W.-C. Ma; J. J. Brouns; E. M. Ruiter-Dijkman; R. Gast
Variations in environmental factors instigate significant changes in the physiology and behavior of animals, necessary for their survival. The present study investigated the hypothesis that ambient temperature is a cue capable of inducing changes in body mass, energy intake, and thermogenic capacity. Moreover, the current study determined the potential role of leptin in regulating adaptive thermogenesis in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri). The tree shrew was chosen as the experimental animal as they inhabit a wide area of Asia and must acclimatize to the cold. Animals were subjected to either 5° C over 28 days to simulate cold acclimation, or maintained under the original climate of room temperature. At 28 days cold-acclimatized shrews had increased body mass by 9.41 g compared to controls. The increase in body mass was found primarily to be due to growth of the digestive organs, combined with significantly increased food intake. Under cold acclimation, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression in brown adipose tissue (BAT) was significantly elevated, while serum leptin concentration was significantly depressed below control levels. Serum leptin concentration was negatively correlated with body mass, energy intake, and thermogenic capacity during cold acclimation. In summary, these findings indicate that tree shrews adjust energy intake, thermogenic capacity, and body reserves in response to the cold, and further suggest that circulating leptin may act as a key signaling protein to regulate these adaptations. PMID:21842263
Two pathways from the superior colliculus (SC) to the tree shrew pulvinar nucleus have been described, one in which the axons terminate in dense (or specific) patches and one in which the axon arbors are more diffusely organized (Luppino et al.  J. Comp. Neurol. 273:67– 86). As predicted by Lyon et al. ( J. Comp. Neurol. 467:593– 606), we found that anterograde labeling of the diffuse tectopulvinar pathway terminated in the acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-rich dorsal pulvinar (Pd), whereas the specific pathway terminated in the AChE-poor central pulvinar (Pc). Injections of retrograde tracers in Pd labeled non-?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic wide-field vertical cells located in the lower stratum griseum superficiale and stratum opticum of the medial SC, whereas injections in Pc labeled similar cells in more lateral regions. At the ultrastructural level, we found that tectopulvinar terminals in both Pd and Pc contact primarily non-GABAergic dendrites. When present, however, synaptic contacts on GABAergic profiles were observed more frequently in Pc (31% of all contacts) compared with Pd (16%). Terminals stained for the type 2 vesicular glutamate transporter, a potential marker of tectopulvinar terminals, also contacted more GABAergic profiles in Pc (19%) compared with Pd (4%). These results provide strong evidence for the division of the tree shrew pulvinar into two distinct tectorecipient zones. The potential functions of these pathways are discussed. J. Comp. Neurol. 510:24 – 46, 2008.
CHOMSUNG, RANIDA D.; PETRY, HEYWOOD M.; BICKFORD, MARTHA E.
The blood supply to the cranial venae cavae on both sides and to the heart was studied macroscopically in 40 adult laboratory shrews (Suncus murinus) of both sexes injected either with Neoprene latex into the abdominal aorta (25 animals) or with Mercox into the left ventricle (15 animals). The 1st branch of the left subclavian artery in 23 animals of the 1st group ramified caudal to the aortic arch and descended between the aorta and the trachea to supply mainly the large left cranial vena cava that lay on the dorsal surface of the left atrium, while a branch that arose between the 1st and 2nd intercostal arteries on the right in 25 animals supplied the right cranial vena cava caudally after giving rise to a branch to the oesophagus. In 2 animals the artery to the left vena cava arose directly from the thoracic aorta at the level of the 4th intercostal artery and then followed the course described above. From these considerations, these vessels in the laboratory shrew would correspond to the accessory coronary arteries of Halpern (1957) in the rat. In the 15 animals of the 2nd group, the left coronary artery was distributed to the atrium and the ventricle on left side and to the upper half of the interventricular septum, the artery on the right supplied the atrium and the ventricle on right side, the interatrial septum and lower half of the interventricular septum. Images Figs 1,2 Fig. 3 Fig. 5 Fig. 6
Apolipoprotein AV (apoAV) modulates plasma triglyceride levels, which is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. ApoAV is also involved in atherosclerosis lesion formation. In order to systematically evaluate the apolipoprotein-related gene profile in tree shrew, a model for its insusceptibility to atherosclerosis, we performed apoAV cloning and characterization. The full-length cDNA of apoAV was identified using SMART-RACE. ApoAV cDNA sequence revealed two transcripts, 1,948 and 1,397 base pairs, due to alternative polyadenylation. These two transcripts share the same open reading frame (ORF), which encodes a 369-amino acid protein with high identity to human apoAV (75 %), including a 23-amino acid N-terminal signal peptide. ApoAV is expressed exclusively in the liver. Mature apoAV was expressed in E. coli BL21(DE3) and purified by Ni-chelated resin. Lipoprotein lipase activity was significantly stimulated by this recombinant protein. The full-length ORF of apoAV was cloned into pDsRed-monomer-N1 vector with a red fluorescent protein tag and was primarily localized in cytoplasm of hepG2 cells. The successful cloning, expression and localization of apoAV in tree shrew has laid down the foundation for further investigation on its structure and functions. PMID:23681550
To assess the risk from heavy metal accumulation to insectivorous species exposed to different pollutants, shrews [Sorex araneus (Linnaeus 1758) and Sorex minutus (Linnaeus 1766)] were collected in the Olkuski Ore Region (OOR; a Zn and Cd smelter area), Legnicko-G?ogowski Copper Mine Region (LGCR; a copper ore-mining area), and Bia?owieza Forest (BF; a control area). A few sites were chosen in each region and a total of 57 animals were collected from them. The liver and kidneys were dissected from the animals, dried, and digested in a 4:1 mixture of HNO3 (nitric acid) and HClO4 (perchloric acid). Cadmium, lead, zinc, copper, and iron were determined in the samples by flame or flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. The interactions between toxic and essential metals were calculated for each tissue. The data showed that accumulation of metals by insectivores is high; shrews accumulated much higher amounts of cadmium and lead than bank voles, studied by other researchers, from the same areas. The expected high tissue accumulation of copper at LGCR and zinc at OOR was not seen, but the levels of both elements were higher in the tissues of shrews from OOR than from LGCR. The lowest copper concentrations were in the tissues of shrews from BF. The highest cadmium and lead concentrations were found in the tissues of shrews from OOR. Some significant correlations were found between the tissue concentrations of xenobiotic and essential metals (e.g., between cadmium and zinc and between lead and iron). PMID:16091604
Swiergosz-Kowalewska, R; Gramatyka, M; Reczy?ski, W
In the Rhine-delta, accumulation of microcontaminants in floodplain foodwebs has received little attention in comparison with aquatic communities. To investigate organochlorine and metal concentrations in a terrestrial foodchain, samples of soil, earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and shrew (Crocidura russula, Sorex araneus) livers and kidneys were taken from two moderately to heavily polluted floodplains. Chlorobiphenyl residues in earthworm fat were 0.10 to 3.5 times the concentrations in soil organic matter, whereas ratios for other organochlorines varied between 0.87 and 8.8. These ratios are one order of magnitude lower than expected from laboratory experiments with earthworms, and laboratory and field studies on aquatic invertebrates. Bioconcentration ratios for heavy metals are in accordance with literature values for other locations, confirming the high potential for cadmium accumulation in Lumbricidae. Concentrations of organochlorines in shrew liver lipids were 1.0 to 13 times the residues in earthworm fat. These values are higher than lipid-corrected biomagnification ratios for laboratory rodents, but equal to those measured for benthivorous birds in the Rhine-delta. On a dry weight basis, kidney-earthworm ratios for cadmium were about one order of magnitude lower than previously reported values for insectivores. Soil concentrations of many compounds in both floodplains did not meet Dutch quality standards. Yet, hexachlorobenzene, chlorobiphenyl 153 (PCB153), gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, sigma DDT, and dieldrin residues in earthworms and shrews did not exceed diet levels expected to be safe for endothermic species. An exception was noted for cadmium in worms and shrew kidneys. Heavy metal pollution in soil was close to levels that are critical to earthworms in laboratory studies. Cadmium concentrations in shrew kidneys were below levels suggested to be safe for Sorex araneus, but above those that were critical to the rat. PMID:7794009
Hendriks, A J; Ma, W C; Brouns, J J; de Ruiter-Dijkman, E M; Gast, R
Cyclic population dynamics of small mammals are not restricted to the boreal and arctic zones of Eurasia and North America, but long-term data series from lower latitudes are still less common. We demonstrated here the presence of periodic oscillations in small mammal populations in eastern Poland using 22-year (1986-2007) trapping data from marginal meadow and river valley grasslands located in the extensive temperate woodland of Bia?owie?a Primeval Forest. The two most common species inhabiting meadows and river valleys, root vole Microtus oeconomus and common shrew Sorex araneus, exhibited synchronous periodic changes, characterised by a 3-year time lag as indicated by an autocorrelation function. Moreover, the cycles of these two species were synchronous within both habitats. Population dynamics of the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius was not cyclic. However, this species regularly reached maximum density 1 year before the synchronized peak of root voles and common shrews, which may suggest the existence of interspecific competition. Dynamics of all three species was dominated by direct density-dependent process, whereas delayed density dependent feedback was significant only in the root vole and common shrew. Climatic factors acting in winter and spring (affecting mainly survival and initial reproduction rates) were more important than those acting in summer and autumn and affected significantly only the common shrew. High temperatures in winter and spring had positive effects on autumn-to-autumn changes in abundance of this species, whereas deep snow in combination with high rainfall in spring negatively affected population increase rates in common shrew. PMID:22707756
Zub, K; J?drzejewska, B; J?drzejewski, W; Barto?, K A
The musk shrew (Suncus murinus) is a small mammalian species belonging to Insectivora. It is widely distributed in Asia. To\\u000a identify the genetic relationship among wild musk shrew populations and examine its migration route, we investigated the populations\\u000a of Cambodia and Bhutan by using mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and compared them with\\u000a other Asian populations previously described.
Recently, Imjin virus (MJNV), a genetically distinct hantavirus, was isolated from lung tissues of the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura) captured near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea. To clarify the genetic diversity of MJNV, partial M- and L-segment sequences were amplified from lung tissues of 12 of 37 (32.4%) anti-MJNV IgG antibody-positive Ussuri white-toothed shrews captured between
Se Hun Gu; Hae Ji Kang; Luck Ju Baek; Ji Yun Noh; Heung-Chul Kim; Terry A Klein; Richard Yanagihara; Jin-Won Song
The neuropeptide Y (NPY) system has been largely studied in relation to affective disorders, in particular for its role in the mechanisms regulating the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression and in the stress-related behaviours. Although NPY has been previously investigated in a variety of animal models of mood disorders, the receptor subtype mainly involved in the modulation of the stress response has not been identified. In the present study, the chronic psychosocial stress based on the resident-intruder protocol-an ethologically relevant paradigm known to induce behavioural and endocrine modifications which mimic depression-like symptoms-was used. Two different species were investigated: rat and tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri); the latter is regarded as an intermediate between insectivores and primates and it was chosen in this study for its pronounced territoriality. In these animals, the regulation of NPY and of Y(1), Y(2) and Y(5) receptors mRNA expression was evaluated after chronic stress and chronic antidepressant treatment by in situ hybridization in selected brain regions known to be involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. The animals were exposed to psychosocial stress for 35 days and concomitant daily fluoxetine treatment (10 mg/kg for rats and 15 mg/kg for tree shrews) after the first week of stress. The results confirmed a major role for hippocampal and hypothalamic NPY system in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Although there were no evident differences between rat and tree shrew in the NPY system distribution, an opposite effect of chronic psychosocial stress was observed in the two species. Moreover, chronic antidepressant treatment was able to counteract the effects of stress and restored basal expression levels, suggesting the utility of these paradigms as preclinical models of stress-induced depression. Overall, although evident species differences were found in response to chronic psychosocial stress, the present study suggests a role for NPY receptors in the stress response and in the action of antidepressant drugs, providing further support for an involvement of this neuropeptidergic system in the pathophysiology of depression and anxiety. PMID:19846047
Constructing a life story is a need shared by all humans to give their lives meaning and coherence. This article explores some of the narrative devices that batterers use to achieve a sense of coherence when telling their stories and justifying their violent behavior. A central theme that emerged from these stories centered on the men's perception of their wives as the embodiment of their own emotions and inner world. Two narrative strategies were identified in this context: (a) The construction of a "couple narrative" that focused on an idealized marital relationship rather than "allowing" the wife her story and (b) constructing a story around the theme of "she's not the same woman I married," which portrays the wife as "a shrew" and the violence as an attempt to discipline her. The stories of 18 batterers were used for this analysis, and two narratives were used to illustrate these strategies. PMID:18802212
A total of 1,618 ticks [420 individual (adults) and pooled (larvae and nymphs) samples], 369 rodents (Apodemus agrarius, Rattus norvegicus, Tscherskia triton, Mus musculus, and Myodes regulus), and 34 shrews (Crocidura lasiura) that were collected in northern Gyeonggi-do near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Korea during 2004-2005, were assayed by PCR for selected zoonotic pathogens. From a total of 420 individual and pooled tick DNA samples, Anaplasma (A.) phagocytophilum (16), A. platys (16), Ehrlichia (E.) chaffeensis (63), Borrelia burgdorferi (16), and Rickettsia spp. (198) were detected using species-specific PCR assays. Out of 403 spleens from rodents and shrews, A. phagocytophilum (20), A. platys (34), E. chaffeensis (127), and Bartonella spp. (24) were detected with species-specific PCR assays. These results suggest that fevers of unknown causes in humans and animals in Korea should be evaluated for infections by these vector-borne microbial pathogens.
Yu, Do-Hyeon; Shringi, Smriti; Klein, Terry A.; Kim, Heung-Chul; Chong, Sung-Tae; Lee, In-Yong; Foley, Janet
We hybridized human chromosome paints on metaphases of the pygmy tree shrew (Tupaia minor, Scandentia). The lack of the ancestral mammalian 4/8 association in both Primates and Scandentia was long considered a cytogenetic landmark that phylogenetically linked these mammalian orders. However, our results show that the association 4/8 is present in Tupaia along with not previously reported associations for 1/18 and 7/10. Altogether there are 11 syntenic associations of human chromosome segments in the pygmy tree shrew karyotype: 1/18, 2/21, 3/21, 4/8, 7/10, 7/16, 11/20, 12/22 (twice), 14/15 and 16/19. Our data remove any cytogenetic evidence that Scandentia has a preferential phylogenetic relationship with Primates. PMID:22488112
Dumas, F; Houck, M L; Bigoni, F; Perelman, P; Romanenko, S A; Stanyon, R
A total of 1,618 ticks (420 individual (adults) and pooled (larvae and nymphs) samples), 369 rodents (Apodemus agrarius, Rattus norvegicus, Tscherskia triton, Mus musculus, and Myodes regulus ), and 34 shrews (Crocidura lasiura) that were collected in northern Gyeonggi-do near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Korea during 2004-2005, were assayed by PCR for selected zoonotic pathogens. From a total of
Joon-Seok Chae; Do-Hyeon Yu; Smriti Shringi; Terry A. Klein; Heung-Chul Kim; Sung-Tae Chong; In-Yong Lee; Janet Foley
A selection gradient was recently suggested as one possible cause for a clinal distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes along an altitudinal transect in the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula (Ehinger et al . 2002). One mtDNA haplotype (H1) rare in lowland, became widespread when approaching the altitudinal margin of the distribution. As H1 differs from the main lowland haplotype
PIERRE FONTANILLAS; ALINE DÉPRAZ; MAUD S. GIORGI; NICOLAS PERRIN
These studies were designed to determine whether adult neurogenesis occurs in the dentate gyrus of the tree shrew, an animal phylogenetically between insectivores and primates, and to explore the possibility that this process is regulated by stressful experiences and NMDA receptor activation. We performed immunohistochemistry for cell-specific markers and the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a marker of DNA synthesis that labels proliferating cells and their progeny, on the brains of adult tree shrews subjected to psychosocial stress or NMDA receptor antagonist treatment. Cells that incorporated BrdU in the dentate gyrus of adult tree shrews were primarily located in the subgranular zone, had morphological characteristics of granule neuron precursors, and appeared to divide within 24 hr after BrdU injection. Three weeks after BrdU injection, BrdU-labeled cells had neuronal morphology, expressed the neuronal marker neuron specific enolase, and were incorporated into the granule cell layer. Vimentin-immunoreactive radial glia were observed in the dentate gyrus with cell bodies in the subgranular zone and processes extending into the granule cell layer. Exposure to acute psychosocial stress resulted in a rapid decrease in the number of BrdU-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus. In contrast, blockade of NMDA receptors, with the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, resulted in an increase in the number of BrdU-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus. These results indicate that adult neurogenesis occurs in the tree shrew dentate gyrus and is regulated by a stressful experience and NMDA receptor activation. Furthermore, we suggest that these characteristics may be common to most mammalian species. PMID:9065509
Gould, E; McEwen, B S; Tanapat, P; Galea, L A; Fuchs, E
In theory, competition among species in a shared habitat results in niche separation. In the case of small recondite mammals such as shrews, little is known about their autecologies, leaving open questions regarding the degree to which closely related species co-occur and how or whether ecological niches are partitioned. The extent to which species are able to coexist may depend on the degree to which they exploit different features of their habitat, which may in turn influence our ability to recognize them as species. We explored these issues in a biodiversity hotspot, by surveying shrew (genus Crocidura) diversity on the Indonesian island of Java. We sequenced portions of nine unlinked genes in 100-117 specimens of Javan shrews and incorporated homologous data from most known Crocidura species from other parts of island South-East Asia. Current taxonomy recognizes four Crocidura species on Java, including two endemics. However, our phylogenetic, population genetic and species delimitation analyses identify five species on the island, and all are endemic to Java. While the individual ranges of these species may not overlap in their entirety, we found up to four species living syntopically and all five species co-occurring on one mountain. Differences in species' body size, use of above ground-level habitats by one species and habitat partitioning along ecological gradients may have facilitated species diversification and coexistence. PMID:24010862
Esselstyn, Jacob A; Maharadatunkamsi; Achmadi, Anang S; Siler, Cameron D; Evans, Ben J
Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that ambient temperature is a cue to induce adjustments in body mass, energy intake and thermogenic capacity, associated with changes in serum leptin levels in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri). We found that tree shrews increased basal metabolic rate (BMR), energy intake and subsequently showed a significant decrease in body mass after being returned to warm ambient temperature. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) content in brown adipose tissue (BAT) increased during cold acclimation and reversed after rewarming. The trend of energy intake increased during cold acclimation and decreased after rewarming; the trend of energy intake during cold acclimation was contrary to the trend of energy intake during rewarming. Further, serum leptin levels were negatively correlated with body mass. Together, these data supported our hypothesis that ambient temperature was a cue to induce changes in body mass and metabolic capacity. Serum leptin, as a starvation signal in the cold and satiety signal in rewarming, was involved in the processes of thermogenesis and body mass regulation in tree shrews. PMID:22580291
The lingual gingival and the alveolar mucosa of mandible of the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) were stained by methylene blue vital staining or osmic acid staining, and mounted as whole thickness preparations. The sensory innervation and the distribution of sensory receptors were investigated with a light microscope. The nerve fibers supplying these regions derive from the sublingual nerve, which ascend in the mucosa as they branch out. Sensory receptors found in the present study are of four kinds; free nerve endings, bush-like nerve endings, Merkel cell-neurite complexes and encapsulated corpuscles. The Merkel cell-neurite complexes were scarce and localized in the upper margin of gingival mucosa. The bush-like nerve endings were distributed preferentially in the alveolar mucosa, in which their maximum density was 9-23 per mm2. Among the organized receptors, the encapsulated corpuscles appeared most frequently throughout the mucosal area investigated, and their maximum density amounted to 27-56 per mm2 in the gingival mucosa. These corpuscles were relatively small and poorly differentiated. Although the bush-like nerve endings and the encapsulated corpuscles were fewer in the third molar region, there was no obvious regional difference in their distribution densities from the premolar region to the second molar region. PMID:2435019
A new species Soricinia sawadai sp. n. parasitizing shrews of Sakhalin Island (Sores unguiculatus and S. caecutiens) is described. The new species differs from other species of the genus Soricinia Spassky et Spasskaja, 1954 in having specific armament and size of the cirrus. Soricinia sawadai sp. n. differs from S. aurita (Irzhavsky et al., 2005) in having half size of the ovary (0.076-0.08 x 0.03-0.038 versus 0.135-0.14 x 0.037-0.04) and the cirrus bursa extending into the aporal fraction of the middle part of segment. The new species differs from S. quarta (Karpenko, 1983) in having half size of the cirrus (0.025-0.026 versus 0.05-0.055) and half number of hexacants in uterine segments (20-22 versus 40-45). The new species differs from S. infirma (Zarnowski, 1955) in having other cirrus armament, larger number of segments and lesser number of hexacants. The species Insectivorolepis macracetobulosa Sawada et Koyasu, 1991 parasitizing Sorex unguiculatus on Hokkaido Island is synonymized with Soricinia quarta. The species Insectivorolepis macracetobulosa sensu Sawada et Harada, 1993 parasitizing Sorex shinto shinto on Honshu Island is described as a separate species Soricinia haradai sp. n. PMID:20795487
We examined the synaptic organization of reciprocal connections between the temporal cortex and the dorsal (Pd) and central (Pc) subdivisions of the tree shrew pulvinar nucleus, regions innervated by the medial and lateral superior colliculus, respectively. Both Pd and Pc subdivisions project topographically to 2 separate regions of the temporal cortex; small injections of anterograde tracers placed in either Pd or Pc labeled 2 foci of terminals in the temporal cortex. Pulvinocortical pathways innervated layers I–IV, with beaded axons oriented perpendicular to the cortical surface, where they synapsed with spines that did not contain gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), likely located on the apical dendrites of pyramidal cells. Projections from the temporal cortex to the Pd and Pc originate from layer VI cells, and form small terminals that contact small caliber non-GABAergic dendrites. These results suggest that cortical terminals are located distal to tectopulvinar terminals on the dendritic arbors of Pd and Pc projection cells, which subsequently contact pyramidal cells in the temporal cortex. This circuitry could provide a mechanism for the pulvinar nucleus to activate subcortical visuomotor circuits and modulate the activity of other visual cortical areas. The potential relation to primate tecto-pulvino-cortical pathways is discussed.
Chomsung, Ranida D.; Wei, Haiyang; Day-Brown, Jonathan D.; Petry, Heywood M.
This article describes major studies performed by the Chernobyl Center's International Radioecology Laboratory (Slavutich, Ukraine) on radioecology of murine rodents and shrews inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The article addresses the long-term (1986-2005) and seasonal dynamics of radioactive contamination of animals and reviews interspecies differences in radionuclide accumulations and factors affecting the radionuclide accumulations. It is shown that bioavailability of radionuclides in the "soil-to-plant" chain and a trophic specialization of animals play key roles in determining their actual contamination levels. The total absorbed dose rates in small mammals significantly reduced during the years following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. In 1986, the absorbed dose rate reached 1.3-6.0 Gy h(-1) in the central areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (the "Red Forest"). In 1988 and 1990, the total absorbed dose rates were 1.3 and 0.42 Gy h(-1), respectively. In 1995, 2000, and 2005, according to the present study, the total absorbed dose rates rarely exceeded 0.00023, 0.00018, and 0.00015 Gy h(-1), respectively. Contributions of individual radiation sources into the total absorbed dose are described. PMID:21878767
Gaschak, Sergey P; Maklyuk, Yulia A; Maksimenko, Andrey M; Bondarkov, Mikhail D; Jannik, G Timothy; Farfán, Eduardo B
In Tupaia belangeri and Galago senegalensis, microelectrode recordings immediately after ablation of the representation of the forelimb in the midportion of the first somatosensory area, S-I, revealed that all parts of the second somatosensory area, S-II, remained highly responsive to cutaneous stimuli. In this way, prosimian primates, close relatives of simian primates, and tree shrews differ markedly from monkeys in which S-II is deactivated by comparable ablations, and resemble such mammals as cats and rabbits in which S-II also remains highly responsive following ablations in S-I. Thus, it appears that the generalized mammalian condition is that S-I and S-II are independently activated via parallel thalamocortical pathways. A dependence of S-II on serial connections from the thalamus to the S-I region and then to S-II apparently evolved with the advent of anthropoid primates, and may be present only in monkeys and perhaps other higher primates. PMID:1753020
Garraghty, P E; Florence, S L; Tenhula, W N; Kaas, J H
How do proteins evolve novel functions? To address this question, we are studying the evolution of a mammalian toxin, the serine protease BLTX , from the salivary glands of the North American shrew Blarina brevicauda. Here, we examine the molecular changes responsible for promoting BLTX toxicity. First, we show that regulatory loops surrounding the BLTX active site have evolved adaptively via acquisition of small insertions and subsequent accelerated sequence evolution. Second, these mutations introduce a novel chemical environment into the catalytic cleft of BLTX. Third, molecular-dynamic simulations show that the observed changes create a novel chemical and physical topology consistent with increased enzyme catalysis. Finally, we show that a toxic serine protease from the Mexican beaded lizard (GTX)  has evolved convergently through almost identical functional changes. Together, these results suggest that the evolution of toxicity might be predictable-arising via adaptive structural modification of analogous labile regulatory loops of an ancestral serine protease-and thus might aid in the identification of other toxic proteins. PMID:19879144
Aminetzach, Yael T; Srouji, John R; Kong, Chung Yin; Hoekstra, Hopi E
Pterygodermaties (Mesopectines) nycticebi (Mönnig, 1920) (Nematoda: Spirurida: Rictulariidae) is redescribed based on immature and mature adults collected from the stomach and small intestine at autopsy of a slow loris, Nycticebus coucang (Boddaert, 1785) (Mammalia: Primates), in a zoological garden in Japan. It is first demonstrated that male possesses a minute telamon and a left lateral pore in the preanal part of body. The cause of death of the slow loris is strongly surmised to be related to the nematode infection, which was apparently acquired under captivity in the zoological garden. PMID:14560972
The pulvinar nucleus of the tree shrew receives both topographic (specific) and nontopographic (diffuse) projections from superior colliculus (SC), which form distinct synaptic arrangements. We characterized the physiological properties of these synapses and describe two distinct types of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) that correlate with structural properties of the specific and diffuse terminals. Synapses formed by specific terminals were found to be significantly longer than those formed by diffuse terminals. Stimulation of these two terminal types elicited two types of EPSPs that differed in their latency and threshold amplitudes. In addition, in response to repetitive stimulation (0.5–20 Hz) one type of EPSP displayed frequency-dependent depression whereas the amplitudes of the second type of EPSP were not changed by repetitive stimulation of up to 20Hz. To relate these features to vesicle release, we compared the synapsin content of terminals in the pulvinar nucleus and the dorsal lateral geniculate (dLGN) by combining immunohistochemical staining for synapsin I or II with staining for the type 1 or type 2 vesicular glutamate transporters (markers for corticothalamic and tectothalamic/retinogeniculate terminals, respectively). We found that retinogeniculate terminals do not contain either synapsin I or synapsin II, corticothalamic terminals in the dLGN and pulvinar contain synapsin I, but not synapsin II, whereas tectopulvinar terminals contain both synapsin I and synapsin II. Finally, both types of EPSPs showed a graded increase in amplitude with increasing stimulation intensity, suggesting convergence; this was confirmed using a combination of anterograde tract tracing and immunocytochemisty. We suggest that the convergent synaptic arrangements, as well as the unique synapsin content of tectopulvinar terminals, allow them to relay a dynamic range of visual signals from the SC.
Wei, Haiyang; Masterson, Sean P.; Petry, Heywood M.; Bickford, Martha E.
In altogether seven tree shrews, Tupaia belangeri, the anterograde projections of the motorcortical tongue area were investigated as part of a larger comparative study. Identification of the tongue area was carried out by electrical brain stimulation. Three different tracers were used: biotin-conjugated dextranamine (BDA), Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) and 3H-leucine. Intracortical projections were found to the motor cortex around the injection site, the premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, the homologues of the primate frontoparietal operculum and insula, the anterior cingulate and agrannular retrosplenial cortex, the somatosensory and bordering inferior parietal cortex as well as to the perirhinal cortex. Except the very weak projections into the retrosplenial, posterior parietal and perirhinal region which were ipsilateral, all other projections were bilateral. Subcortically, there was a projection into the ventral putamen, rostrodorsal claustrum and, very sparsely, into the caudate nucleus. In the thalamus, terminal labeling was found in the nuclei reticularis, anteroventralis, anteromedialis, ventralis lateralis, ventralis posterior medialis, ventralis posterior inferior, medialis dorsalis, in the intralaminar nuclei paracentralis, centralis lateralis, centrum medianum and parafascicularis, in the midline thalamus and in the nuclei posterior and pulvinaris. Further diencephalic projections, however all of them wak, could be traced into the zona incerta, dorsolateral subthalamus, dorsomedial, lateral and supraoptic hypothalamus. In the midbrain, labeling was found in the deep layers of the lateral superior colliculus, in the bordering reticular formation and, very sparsely, in the periaqueductal grey. In the lower brain-stem, fibres ended in the griseum pontis, dorsolateral reticular formation, principal and spinal trigeminal nucleus and, sparsely, in the lateral parabrachial region, solitary tract nucleus, inferior olive and magnocellular reticular formation. No terminals were found in the hypoglossal nucleus. The projection system revealed with PHA-L was less extensive than that demonstrated with BDA and 3H-leucine, both of which were similar. PMID:9350512
The tupaia herpesvirus (THV) was isolated from spontaneously degenerating tissue cultures of malignant lymphoma, lung, and spleen cell cultures of tree shrews (Tupaia spp.). The determination of the complete nucleotide sequence of the THV strain 2 genome resulted in a 195,857-bp-long, linear DNA molecule with a G+C content of 66.5%. The terminal regions of the THV genome and the loci of conserved viral genes were found to be G+C richer. Furthermore, no large repetitive DNA sequences could be identified. This is in agreement with the previous classification of THV as the prototype species of herpesvirus genome group F. The search for potential coding regions resulted in the identification of 158 open reading frames (ORFs) regularly distributed on both DNA strands. Seventy-six out of the 158 ORFs code for proteins that are significantly homologous to known herpesvirus proteins. The highest homologies found were to primate and rodent cytomegaloviruses. Biological properties, protein homologies, the arrangement of conserved viral genes, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that THV is a member of the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae. The evolutionary lineages of THV and the cytomegaloviruses seem to have branched off from a common ancestor. In addition, it was found that the arrangements of conserved genes of THV and murine cytomegalovirus strain Smith, both of which are not able to form genomic isomers, are colinear with two different human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strain AD169 genomic isomers that differ from each other in the orientation of the long unique region. The biological properties and the high degree of relatedness of THV to the mammalian cytomegaloviruses allow the consideration of THV as a model system for investigation of HCMV pathogenicity.
Spetex-1, which has been isolated by differential display and rat cDNA library screening as a haploid spermatid-specific gene, encodes a protein with two coiled-coil motifs that locates at both the segmented column in the connecting piece and outer dense fibers-affiliated satellite fibrils in rat sperm flagella. Orthologs of Spetex-1 are identified in many animal species, including human, chimpanzee, macaque, cow, dog, African clawed frog, green spotted puffer, and zebrafish. In this study, we used RT-PCR in combination with 5' and 3' RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA End) technique to isolate Spetex-1 ortholog of the musk shrew (Suneus murinus), which yielded a full-length Suncus Spetex-1 gene containing an open reading frame of 1,908 base pairs encoding a protein of 636 amino acids with the predicted molecular mass of 72,348 Da. Suncus Spetex-1 has two coiled-coil motifs at 118-184 and 242-276 amino acid residues, which is a characteristic shared by mammalian Spetex-1 proteins. To examine the subcellular localization of Spetex-1 in Suncus spermatozoa, we produced the anti-Suncus Spetex-1 antibody and carried out immunocytochemistry. In spite of that the primary structure of Suncus Spetex-1 is basically similar to that of rat and mouse Spetex-1, confocal laser scanning microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that Spetex-1 was restricted to the segmented column and capitulum in the connecting piece of Suncus spermatozoa and was not detected in other parts of flagella, suggesting a diversity of Spetex-1 localization in mammalian spermatozoa. PMID:21627455
BACKGROUND: Tree shrew and beijing duck are regarded as animal models resistant to atherosclerosis (AS). This study was carried out to discover the potential mechanism. METHODS: Blood samples were collected from healthy men and male animals. Plasma lipid profile and activities of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) were measured, compared and analyzed in human, tree
The lateral geniculate body (LGN) was morphometrically examined and com- pared in representatives of four mammalian orders (Insectivora, Rodentia, Lago- morpha, and Carnivora). In each studied species, the lateral geniculate body was divided into two distinct parts: the dorsal nucleus (LGNd) and the ventral nucleus (LGNv). The lateral geniculate body of the common shrew and the bank vole are very
J. Najdzion; B. Wasilewska; K. Bogus-Nowakowska; M. Równiak; S. Szteyn; A. Robak
An earlier study revealed the strong phylogeographical structure of the lesser white- toothed shrew ( Crocidura suaveolens group) within the northern Palaearctic. Here, we aim to reconstruct the colonization history of Mediterranean islands and to clarify the biogeography and phylogeographical relationships of the poorly documented Middle East region with the northern Palaearctic. We performed analyses on 998-bp-long haplotypes of the
S. DUBEY; J. F. COSSON; E. MAGNANOU; V. VOHRALÍK; P. BENDA; D. FRYNTA; R. HUTTERER; V. VOGEL; P. VOGEL
The lack of a small animal model with an emetic reflex in which the relationship between conditioned food aversion and emesis could be investigated prompted a study of the insectivore, Suncus murinus (the house musk shrew). A novel food (either tuna or chicken cat food) was paired (C+) with a single exposure to either nicotine (4 mg\\/kg sc), motion (1
The principal psychoactive component of marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (?9-THC), suppresses nausea and vomiting in cancer patients caused by chemotherapeutics such as cisplatin. Cisplatin induces vomiting via a number of emetic stimuli, including dopamine. Currently, there is controversy as to whether ?9-THC can prevent emesis produced by dopaminergic agonists such as apomorphine. The present investigation utilizes the least shrew to evaluate the
We examined normal emmetropization and the refractive responses to binocular plus or minus lenses in young (late infantile) and juvenile tree shrews. In addition, recovery from lens-induced myopia was compared with the response to a similar amount of myopia produced with plus lenses in age-matched juvenile animals. Normal emmetropization was examined with daily noncycloplegic autorefractor measures from 11 days after
Vomiting is a common side effect of cancer chemotherapy and many drug treatments and diseases. In animal studies, the measurement of vomiting usually requires direct observation, which is time consuming and often lacks temporal precision. Musk shrews have been used to study the neurobiology of emesis and have a rapid emetic episode (~1 s for a sequence of retching and expulsion). The aims of the current study were to develop a method to automatically detect and characterize emetic episodes induced by the cancer chemotherapy agent cisplatin. The body contour in each video frame was tracked and normalized to a parameterized shape basis. The tracked shape was projected to a feature space that maximizes the shape variations in the consecutive frames during retching. The resulting one dimensional projection was sufficient to detect most emetic episodes in the acute (peak at 2 h) and delayed (peak at 54 h) phases after cisplatin treatment. Emetic episodes were relatively invariant in the number of retches (~6.2), duration (~1.2 s), inter-retch interval (~198 ms), and amplitude during the 72 h after cisplatin treatment. This approach should open a new vista into emesis research to permit tracking and analysis of emesis in small animal models and facilitate the development of new antiemetic therapies. These results also yield a better understanding of the brain’s central pattern generator for emesis and indicate that the retching response in the musk shrew (at ~5.4 Hz) is the fastest ever recorded in a free-moving animal.
Huang, Dong; Meyers, Kelly; Henry, Severine; De la Torre, Fernando; Horn, Charles C.
The principal psychoactive component of marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), suppresses nausea and vomiting in cancer patients caused by chemotherapeutics such as cisplatin. Cisplatin induces vomiting via a number of emetic stimuli, including dopamine. Currently, there is controversy as to whether Delta9-THC can prevent emesis produced by dopaminergic agonists such as apomorphine. The present investigation utilizes the least shrew to evaluate the antiemetic potential and the cannabinoid receptor by which Delta9-THC may prevent emesis produced by four dopamine receptor agonists with differing selectivity for D2 and D3 receptors, i.e., a nonselective dopamine receptor agonist (apomorphine), a D2-preferring receptor agonist (quinpirole), and two D3-preferring receptor agonists (quinelorane and 7-OH DPAT). In addition, relative to its antiemetic doses, the motor suppressive doses of Delta9-THC in dopamine D2/D3-receptor-agonist-treated shrews were also evaluated. Thus, different groups of shrews were injected with either vehicle (V) or varying doses of Delta9-THC [0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)] 10 min prior to administration of a 2 mg/kg dose of one of the four cited D2/D3 agonists. Immediately after the last injection, the frequency of vomiting for each shrew was recorded for the next 30 min. To investigate which cannabinoid receptor is involved in the antiemetic action of Delta9-THC, various doses of the CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A [0, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg, subcutaneous (s.c.)] were administered to shrews 10 min prior to an injection of a fully effective antiemetic dose of Delta9-THC (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Ten minutes later, each treated shrew was administered with a 2 mg/kg dose of apomorphine. The emesis frequency was recorded for the next 30 min. For locomotor studies, different groups of shrews received either vehicle or various doses of Delta9-THC (0, 5, 10, 20, or 30 mg/kg) 10 min prior to an injection of vehicle or a 2 mg/kg dose of one of the four D2/D3 receptor agonists. The triad of motor behaviors (spontaneous locomotor activity, total duration of movement, and rearing frequency) were recorded for the next 30 min by a computerized video tracking system. Delta9-THC dose-dependently attenuated the frequency of emesis as well as fully protecting shrews from vomiting produced by each one of the four cited dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonists with ID50s ranging from 1 to 4 mg/kg. SR 141716A reversed the antiemetic activity of Delta9-THC against apomorphine-induced emesis. Delta9-THC also differentially suppressed the triad of motor activities in dopamine D2/D3-receptor-agonist-treated shrews with ID50s ranging from 7 to 21 mg/kg. The results suggest that Delta9-THC prevents emesis via cannabinoid CB1 receptors in a potent and dose-dependent manner in D2/D3-receptor-agonist-treated shrews at doses well below those which cause significant motor depression. PMID:15652378
Purpose To examine the ability of hyperopic defocus, minimal defocus, and myopic defocus to compete against a myopiagenic ?5-D lens in juvenile tree shrew eyes. Methods Juvenile tree shrews (n ? 5 per group), on a 14-hour lights-on/10-hour lights-off schedule, wore a monocular ?5-D lens (a myopiagenic stimulus) over the right eye in their home cages for more than 23 hours per day for 11 days. For 45 minutes each day, the animals were restrained so that all visual stimuli were >1 m away. While viewing distance was controlled, the ?5-D lens was removed and another lens was substituted with one of the following spherical powers: ?5 D, ?3 D (hyperopic defocus); plano (minimal defocus); or +3, +4, +5, +6, or +10 D (myopic defocus). Daily noncycloplegic autorefractor measures were made on most animals. After 11 days of treatment, cycloplegic refractive state and axial component dimensions were measured. Results Eyes with the substituted ?5- or ?3-D-lens developed significant myopia (mean ± SEM, ?4.7 ± 0.3 and ?3.1 ± 0.1 D, respectively) and appropriate vitreous chamber elongation. All animals with the substituted plano lens (minimal defocus) during the 45-minute period showed no axial elongation or myopia (the plano lens competed effectively against the ?5-D lens). Variable results were found among animals that wore a plus lens (myopic defocus). In 11 of 20 eyes, a +3-, +4-, or +5-D lens competed effectively against the ?5-D lens (treated eye <1.5 D myopic relative to its fellow control eye). In the other eyes (9/20) myopic defocus was ineffective in blocking compensation; the treated eye became more than 2.5 D myopic relative to the control eye. The +6- and +10-D substituted lenses were ineffective in blocking compensation in all cases. Conclusions When viewing distance was limited to objects >1 m away, viewing through a plano lens for 45 minutes (minimal defocus) consistently prevented the development of axial elongation and myopia in response to a myopiagenic ?5-D lens. Myopic defocus prevented compensation in some but not all animals. Thus, myopic defocus is encoded by at least some tree shrew retinas as being different from hyperopic defocus, and myopic defocus can sometimes counteract the myopiagenic effect of the ?5-D lens (hyperopic defocus). However, it appears that minimal defocus is a more consistent, strong antidote to a myopiagenic stimulus in this mammal closely related to primates.
Norton, Thomas T.; Siegwart, John T.; Amedo, Angela O.
Haitian species of the extinct ground sloth genus Neocnus (Mammalia: Pilosa: Megalonychidae) have previously been hypothesized to have a much reduced jugal bone and a correspondingly reduced masseter musculature but a paucity of specimens has prevented further investigation of this hypothesis. Recent discovery of jugal bones belonging to Haitian specimens of Neocnus within the University of Florida Museum collections enables the element to be more accurately described. The discovery also makes it possible to explore mastication in these sloths. Osteological characters related to feeding were examined, along with comparative estimations of bite force with the extant tree sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus, and their known dietary habits as a means to infer aspects of the paleodiet of Neocnus. There is a significant difference in moment arm calculations for m. masseter between predicted and actual jugals, but the overall significance for bite force is lost and hampered by small sample size. Neocnus demonstrates a variety of characters that are similar to those of Bradypus and not to Choloepus, which is a close phylogenetic relative. The masticatory musculature of Neocnus enabled a chewing cycle emphasizing a grinding combination of mesiodistal and linguobuccal movements of the molariform dentition. The orientations of m. masseter and m. temporalis are estimated to produce relatively high bite force ratios that imply a masticatory system with stronger versus faster components. Because of the similarity of bite forces and jaw mechanics to those of Bradypus, in addition to a number of osteological adaptations indicative of herbivorous grazers (elevated mandibular condyle, large and complex masseter, and robust angular process), the Haitian forms of Neocnus are considered to have been selective feeders with a folivorous diet. PMID:21638306
The traditional views regarding the mamma- lian order Insectivora are that the group descended from a single common ancestor and that it is comprised of the following families: Soricidae (shrews), Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Solenodonti- dae (solenodons), Talpidae (moles), Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures), and Chrysochloridae (golden moles). Here we present a molecular analysis that includes representatives of all six families of insectivores,
MICHAEL J. STANHOPE; V ICTOR G. WADDELL; O LE MADSEN; W ILFRIED DE JONG; S. B LAIR; GREGORY C. CLEVENi; MARK S. SPRINGER
The traditional views regarding the mammalian order Insectivora are that the group descended from a single common ancestor and that it is comprised of the following families: Soricidae (shrews), Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Solenodontidae (solenodons), Talpidae (moles), Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures), and Chrysochloridae (golden moles). Here we present a molecular analysis that includes representatives of all six families of insectivores, as well
Michael J. Stanhope; Victor G. Waddell; Ole Madsen; Wilfried de Jong; S. Blair Hedges; Gregory C. Cleven; Diana Kao; Mark S. Springer
1. Contractions to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and histamine of longitudinal muscle from the isolated ileum of the tree shrew (Tupaia), guinea-pig and rat were investigated by constructing dose-response curves and studying the effects of various antagonists. 2 In the Tupaia and rat ileum the contraction to 5-HT was reduced by methysergide but not affected by tetrodotoxin (TTX), morphine, hexamethonium (C6) or atropine. The response of guinea-pig ileum to 5-HT was not significantly inhibited by methysergide or C6, but was blocked by TTX, morphine and atropine. 3 Histamine-induced contraction of Tupaia and guinea-pig ileum was antagonized by diphenhydramine but not by TTX, morphine, C6 or atropine. Histamine was almost without effect on the rat ileum.
A selection gradient was recently suggested as one possible cause for a clinal distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes along an altitudinal transect in the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula (Ehinger et al. 2002). One mtDNA haplotype (H1) rare in lowland, became widespread when approaching the altitudinal margin of the distribution. As H1 differs from the main lowland haplotype by several nonsynonymous mutations (including on ATP6), and as mitochondria play a crucial role in metabolism and thermogenesis, distribution patterns might stem from differences in the thermogenic capacity of different mtDNA haplotypes. In order to test this hypothesis, we measured the nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) associated with different mtDNA haplotypes. Sixty-two shrews, half of which had the H1 haplotype, were acclimated in November at semioutdoor conditions and measured for NST throughout winter. Our results showed the crucial role of NST for winter survival in C. russula. The individuals that survived winter displayed a higher significant increase in NST during acclimation, associated with a significant gain in body mass, presumably from brown fat accumulation. The NST capacity (ratio of NST to basal metabolic rate) was exceptionally high for such a small species. NST was significantly affected by a gender x haplotype interaction after winter-acclimation: females bearing the H1 haplotype displayed a better thermogenesis at the onset of the breeding season, while the reverse was true for males. Altogether, our results suggest a sexually antagonistic cyto-nuclear selection on thermogenesis. PMID:15660955
Fontanillas, Pierre; Dépraz, Aline; Giorgi, Maud S; Perrin, Nicolas
Observations of dental microwear are used to analyse the correlation between changes in molar tooth crown morphology and the direction of masticatory movement during the evolution of Myodonta (Rodentia, Mammalia). The studied sample includes 36 specimens representing both superfamilies of Myodonta (Muroidea and Dipodoidea) spanning 16 dipodoid and 9 muroid species. Microscopic scratches on occlusal surfaces resulting from contact between opposite teeth during mastication are analysed. Using these features, we determine the direction of masticatory movements. Microwear patterns display diverse orientations among Dipodoidea: oblique in Sicistinae, Euchoreutinae and Zapodinae, propalinal in Dipodinae and intermediary in Allactaginae. Similarly, Muroidea exhibit the following orientations: oblique in Cricetinae and propalinal in Arvicolinae, Cricetomyinae, Gerbillinae and Murinae. These various chewing types illustrate different evolutionary grades within the superfamilies. Acquisition of the antero-posterior masticatory movement in Dipodoidea is related to flattening of the molar occlusal surface. However, in some muroid subfamilies, this direction of mastication is associated with low-crowned and cuspidate molars (Cricetomyinae, Murinae).
We here describe the endocranial cast of the Eocene archaic ungulate Hyopsodus lepidus AMNH 143783 (Bridgerian, North America) reconstructed from X-ray computed microtomography data. This represents the first complete cranial endocast known for Hyopsodontinae. The Hyopsodus endocast is compared to other known “condylarthran” endocasts, i. e. those of Pleuraspidotherium (Pleuraspidotheriidae), Arctocyon (Arctocyonidae), Meniscotherium (Meniscotheriidae), Phenacodus (Phenacodontidae), as well as to basal perissodactyls (Hyracotherium) and artiodactyls (Cebochoerus, Homacodon). Hyopsodus presents one of the highest encephalization quotients of archaic ungulates and shows an “advanced version” of the basal ungulate brain pattern, with a mosaic of archaic characters such as large olfactory bulbs, weak ventral expansion of the neopallium, and absence of neopallium fissuration, as well as more specialized ones such as the relative reduction of the cerebellum compared to cerebrum or the enlargement of the inferior colliculus. As in other archaic ungulates, Hyopsodus midbrain exposure is important, but it exhibits a dorsally protruding largely developed inferior colliculus, a feature unique among “Condylarthra”. A potential correlation between the development of the inferior colliculus in Hyopsodus and the use of terrestrial echolocation as observed in extant tenrecs and shrews is discussed. The detailed analysis of the overall morphology of the postcranial skeleton of Hyopsodus indicates a nimble, fast moving animal that likely lived in burrows. This would be compatible with terrestrial echolocation used by the animal to investigate subterranean habitat and/or to minimize predation during nocturnal exploration of the environment.
We here describe the endocranial cast of the Eocene archaic ungulate Hyopsodus lepidus AMNH 143783 (Bridgerian, North America) reconstructed from X-ray computed microtomography data. This represents the first complete cranial endocast known for Hyopsodontinae. The Hyopsodus endocast is compared to other known "condylarthran" endocasts, i. e. those of Pleuraspidotherium (Pleuraspidotheriidae), Arctocyon (Arctocyonidae), Meniscotherium (Meniscotheriidae), Phenacodus (Phenacodontidae), as well as to basal perissodactyls (Hyracotherium) and artiodactyls (Cebochoerus, Homacodon). Hyopsodus presents one of the highest encephalization quotients of archaic ungulates and shows an "advanced version" of the basal ungulate brain pattern, with a mosaic of archaic characters such as large olfactory bulbs, weak ventral expansion of the neopallium, and absence of neopallium fissuration, as well as more specialized ones such as the relative reduction of the cerebellum compared to cerebrum or the enlargement of the inferior colliculus. As in other archaic ungulates, Hyopsodus midbrain exposure is important, but it exhibits a dorsally protruding largely developed inferior colliculus, a feature unique among "Condylarthra". A potential correlation between the development of the inferior colliculus in Hyopsodus and the use of terrestrial echolocation as observed in extant tenrecs and shrews is discussed. The detailed analysis of the overall morphology of the postcranial skeleton of Hyopsodus indicates a nimble, fast moving animal that likely lived in burrows. This would be compatible with terrestrial echolocation used by the animal to investigate subterranean habitat and/or to minimize predation during nocturnal exploration of the environment. PMID:22347998
Summary Unique rod-shaped secretory granules were observed among oval or spherical secretory granules in GH cells of the anterior pituitary gland of musk shrew using the protein A-gold procedure combined with electron microscopy. The rod-shaped and spherical secretory granules were both immunoreactive by the immuno-gold method using antiserum to sheep GH. The rod-shaped secretory granules, which seem to be formed
The cleavage patterns of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by 17 restriction endonucleases were compared between eight lines of musk shrews derived from different wild-caught stocks. Enzymatic digestion byBamHI,PvuII,XbaI, andXhoI showed a cleavage pattern common to all lines that were from five Japanese islands (Nag, Ize, OKI, TKU, and Tr), Bangladesh (BAN), Sri Lanka (SRI), and Java (Bog), and every line lacked
Combination of different dispersal modes may itself, without external obstacles, lead to the appearance of subdivided populations\\u000a and maintain the existence of independent population systems. The common shrew, a mammal convenient for studying different\\u000a levels of intraspecific differentiation, was the object of the study. Empirical data have been used for simulation taking\\u000a into account the change of dispersal modes in
Muscle fiber type composition of intrinsic shoulder muscles was examined in tree shrews, cotton-top tamarins, and squirrel monkeys with respect to their shoulder kinematics and forelimb loading during locomotion. Enzyme- and immunohistochemical techniques were applied to differentiate muscle fiber types on serial cross-sections of the shoulder. In the majority of the shoulder muscles, the proportions of fatigue resistant slow-twitch fibers
Entrainment of neural activity to luminance impulses during the refresh of cathode ray tube monitor displays has been observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) of humans and macaque monkeys. This entrainment is of interest because it tends to temporally align and thus synchronize neural responses at the millisecond timescale. Here we show that, in tree shrew V1, both spiking and local field potential activity are also entrained at cathode ray tube refresh rates of 120, 90, and 60 Hz, with weakest but still significant entrainment even at 120 Hz, and strongest entrainment occurring in cortical input layer IV. For both luminance increments ("white" stimuli) and decrements ("black" stimuli), refresh rate had a strong impact on the temporal dynamics of the neural response for subsequent luminance impulses. Whereas there was rapid, strong attenuation of spikes and local field potential to prolonged visual stimuli composed of luminance impulses presented at 120 Hz, attenuation was nearly absent at 60-Hz refresh rate. In addition, neural onset latencies were shortest at 120 Hz and substantially increased, by ?15 ms, at 60 Hz. In terms of neural response amplitude, black responses dominated white responses at all three refresh rates. However, black/white differences were much larger at 60 Hz than at higher refresh rates, suggesting a mechanism that is sensitive to stimulus timing. Taken together, our findings reveal many similarities between V1 of macaque and tree shrew, while underscoring a greater temporal sensitivity of the tree shrew visual system. PMID:21849615
Veit, Julia; Bhattacharyya, Anwesha; Kretz, Robert; Rainer, Gregor
Cross-species painting (fluorescence in situ hybridization) with 23 (human Homo sapiens (HSA)) chromosome-specific painting probes (HSA 1-22 and the X) was used to delimit regions of homology on the chromosomes of the golden mole (Chrysochloris asiaticus) and elephant-shrew (Elephantulus rupestris). A cladistic interpretation of our data provides evidence of two unique associations, HSA 1/19p and 5/21/3, that support Afrotheria. The recognition of HSA 5/3/21 expands on the 3/21 synteny originally designated as an ancestral state for all eutherians. We have identified one adjacent segment combination (HSA2/8p/4) that is supportive of Afroinsectiphillia (aardvark, golden mole, elephant-shrew). Two segmental combinations (HSA 10q/17 and HSA 3/20) unite the aardvark and elephant-shrews as sister taxa. The finding that segmental syntenies in evolutionarily distant taxa can improve phylogenetic resolution suggests that they may be useful for testing sequence-based phylogenies of the early eutherian mammals. They may even suggest clades that sequence trees are not recovering with any consistency and thus encourage the search for additional rare genomic changes among afrotheres.
Robinson, T J; Fu, B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F
Xenobiotic cannabinoid CB1/CB2-receptor agonists appear to possess broad-spectrum antiemetic activity since they prevent vomiting produced by a variety of emetic stimuli including the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin, serotonin 5-HT3-receptor agonists, dopamine D2/D3-receptor agonists and morphine, via the stimulation of CB1-receptors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether structurally diverse cannabinoids [?9-THC, (delta -9- tetrahydrocannabinol); (?8-THC, delta -8-etrahydrocannabinol); WIN55,212-2, (R (+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)), methyl] pyrolol [1, 2, 3 – de] – 1, 4 benzoxazinyl] – (1-naphthalenyl) methenone mesylate); and CP55,940, ((-) - 3- [2-hydroxy-4- (1,1 - dimethylheptyl] - 4 – [3 – hydroxypropyl] cyclohexan –1 – ol)), can prevent radiation-induced emesis. Exposure to total body radiation (0, 5, 7.5 and 10 Gy) caused robust emesis in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in a dose-dependent manner (ED50= 5.99 (5.77 – 6.23) Gy) and all animals vomited at the highest tested dose of radiation. In addition, the radiation exposure reduced locomotor behaviors to a significant but mild degree in a non-dose-dependent fashion up to one hour posttreatment. Radiation-induced emesis (10 Gy) was blocked in a dose-dependent manner by the CB1/CB2– receptor agonists with the following ID50potency order: CP55,940 (0.11 (0.09 - 0.12) mg/kg) > WIN55, 212,2 (3.65 (3.15 – 4.23) mg/kg) = ?8-THC (4.36 (3.05 – 6.22) mg/kg) > ? 9-THC (6.76 (5.22 – 8.75) mg/kg). Although the greater antiemetic potency and efficacy of ?8-THC relative to its isomer ?9-THC is unusual as the latter cannabinoid possesses higher affinity and potency for cannabinoid receptors in functional assays, the current data support the results of a clinical study in children suggestive of complete protection from emesis by ?8-THC. This effect has not been clinically observed for ?9-THC in cancer patients receiving chemo- or radiation-therapy.Cannabinoids prevented the induced emesis via the stimulation of cannabinoid CB1- receptors because the CB1(SR141716A) – and not the CB2(SR144528) –receptor antagonist reversed both the observed reduction in emesis frequency and shrew emesis protection afforded by either ?9-THC or CP55,940 against radiation-induced emesis. These findings further suggest that the least shrew can be utilized as a versatile and inexpensive small animal model to rapidly screen the efficacy of investigational antiemetics for the prevention of radiation-induced emesis.
Darmani, Nissar A.; Janoyan, Jano J.; Crim, Jennifer; Ramirez, Juan
We report on the seasonal metabolic adjustments of a small-sized member of the phylogenetically ancient Afrotheria, the Western rock elephant shrew (Elephantulus rupestris). We recorded body temperature (T (b)) patterns and compared the capacity for adrenergically induced nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) in E. rupestris captured in the wild in summer and winter. Noradrenaline (NA) treatment (0.4-0.5 mg/kg, s.c.) induced a pronounced elevation in oxygen consumption compared to controls (saline), and the increase in oxygen consumption following injection of NA was 1.8-fold higher in winter compared to summer. This suggests that the smaller members of Afrotheria possess functional brown adipose tissue, which changes in thermogenic capacity depending on the season. Torpor was recorded in both seasons, but in winter the incidence of torpor was higher (n = 205 out of 448 observations) and minimal T (b) during torpor was lower (T (b)min: 11.9°C) than in summer (n = 24 out of 674 observations; T (b)min: 26°C). In addition to cold, high air humidity emerged as a likely predictor for torpor entry. Overall, E. rupestris showed a high degree of thermoregulatory plasticity, which was mainly reflected in a variable timing of torpor entry and arousal. We conclude that E. rupestris exhibits seasonal metabolic adjustments comparable to what has been long known for many Holarctic rodents. PMID:22349624
The topographical organization of cerebellar cortical efferents of the posterior lobe vermis was studied in a prosimian primate (Galago senegalensis) and the tree shrew (Tupaia glis). Two patterns emerge; one which shows longitudinal zones of the entire vermis and a second which shows that induvidual lobules within the overall longitudinal pattern terminate in specific areas of the ipsilateral medial cerebellar nucleus (NM) and vestibular complix. The posterior lobe vermis consists of a narrow midline portion which projects bilaterally into the NM and a paramidline zone which projects only into the ipsilateral NM. These two zones are probably comparable to, and subdivisions of, Zone A of Voogd ('69). The lateral vermal zone projects primarily into the ipsilateral vestibular complex and/or interposed nuclei and appears to correspond to Zone B of Voogd ('69). Within this overall pattern individual lobules project into specific portions of the NM. From rostral to caudal (lobules VI to IX) terminal fields in the NM shift from dorsal and dorsomedial to ventral and ventrolatera. This is the inverse of the pattern of termination seen in the vestibular complex from lesions of the same lobules where from rostral to caudal (VI to IX) there are overlapping terminal fields from lateral to medial. With the exception of the narrow midline zone cerebellar corticonuclear projections of the posterior lobe vermis are ipsilateral. There is a more complex and more precise relationship between the posterior lobe vermis, NM and vestibular complex than previously suggested. PMID:808563
Cisplatin chemotherapy frequently causes severe vomiting in two temporally-separated clusters of bouts dubbed the acute and delayed phases. Cannabinoids can inhibit the acute phase, albeit through a poorly understood mechanism. We examined the substrates of cannabinoid-mediated inhibition of both emetic phases via immunolabeling for serotonin, Substance P, cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2), and the neuronal activation marker Fos in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva). Shrews were injected with cisplatin (10 mg/kg ip), and one of vehicle, ?9-THC, or both ?9-THC and the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (2 mg/kg ip), and monitored for vomiting. ?9-THC-pretreatment caused concurrent decreases in the number of shrews expressing vomiting and Fos-immunoreactivity (Fos-IR), effects which were blocked by SR141716A-pretreatment. Acute phase vomiting induced Fos-IR in the solitary tract nucleus (NTS), dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMNX), and area postrema (AP), whereas in the delayed phase Fos-IR was not induced in the AP at all, and was induced at lower levels in the other nuclei when compared to the acute phase. CB1 receptor-IR in the NTS was dense, punctate labeling indicative of presynaptic elements, which surrounded Fos-expressing NTS neurons. CB2 receptor-IR was not found in neuronal elements, but in vascular-appearing structures. All areas correlated with serotonin- and Substance P-IR. These results support published acute phase data in other species, and are the first describing Fos-IR following delayed phase emesis. The data suggest overlapping but separate mechanisms are invoked for each phase, which are sensitive to antiemetic effects of ?9-THC mediated by CB1 receptors.
Muscle fiber type composition of intrinsic shoulder muscles was examined in tree shrews, cotton-top tamarins, and squirrel monkeys with respect to their shoulder kinematics and forelimb loading during locomotion. Enzyme- and immunohistochemical techniques were applied to differentiate muscle fiber types on serial cross-sections of the shoulder. In the majority of the shoulder muscles, the proportions of fatigue resistant slow-twitch fibers (SO) and fatigable fast-twitch fibers (FG) were inversely related to each other, whereas the percentage of intermediate FOG-fibers varied independently. A segregation of fatigue resistant SO-fibers into deep muscle regions is indicative of differential activation of histochemically distinct muscle regions in which deep regions stabilize the joint against gravitational loading. In all three species, this antigravity function was demonstrated for both the supraspinatus and the cranial subscapularis muscle, which prevent passive joint flexion during the support phase of the limb. The infraspinatus muscle showed a high content of SO-fibers in the primate species but not in the tree shrew, which demonstrates the "new" role of the infraspinatus muscle in joint stabilization related to the higher degree of humeral protraction in primates. In the tree shrew and the cotton-top tamarin, a greater proportion of the body weight is carried on the forelimb, but the squirrel monkey exhibits a weight shift to the hind limbs. The lower amount of forelimb loading is reflected by an overall lower proportion of fatigue resistant muscle fibers in the shoulder muscles of the squirrel monkey. Several muscles such as the deltoid no longer function as joint stabilizers and allow the humerus to move beyond the scapular plane. These differences among species demonstrate the high plasticity of the internal muscle architecture and physiology which is suggested to be the underlying reason for different muscle activity patterns in homologous muscles. Implications for the evolution of new locomotor modes in primates are discussed. PMID:17289114
Type III IFNs (IFN-?s) constitute a new subfamily with antiviral activities by signaling through a unique receptor complex composed of IFN-?s receptor 1 (IFN?R1) and interleukin-10 receptor 2 (IL10R2). As tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) have shown susceptiblility to several human viruses, they are a potentially important model for analyzing viral infection. However, little is known about their IFN-?s system. We used the tree shrew genome to retrieve IFN-?s and their receptor contig sequences by BLASTN and BLASTZ algorithms, and GenScan was used to scan transcripts from the putative contig sequences. RT-PCR and bioinformatic methods were then used to clone and characterize the IFN-?s system. Due to its highest identity with human IFN-?3, we opted to define one intact IFN-? gene, tsIFN-?3, as well as its two receptor subunits, tsIFN?R1 and tsIL10R2. Additionally, our results showed that tsIFN-?3 contained many features conserved in IFN-?3 genes from other mammals, including conserved signal peptide cleavage and glycosylation sites, and several residues responsible for binding to the type III IFNR. We also found six transcript variants in the receptors: three in tsIFN?R1, wherein different extracellular regions exist in three transmembrane proteins, resulting in different affinities with IFN-?s; and three more variants in tsIL10R2, encoding one transmembrane and two soluble proteins. Based on tissue distribution in the liver, heart, brain, lung, intestine, kidney, spleen, and stomach, we found that IFN-?s receptor complex was expressed in a variety of organs although the expression level differed markedly between them. As the first study to find transcript variants in IL-10R2, our study offers novel insights that may have important implications for the role of IFN-?s in tree shrews' susceptibility with a variety of human viruses, bolstering the arguments for using tree shrews as an animal model in the study of human viral infections. PMID:23555878
Self-produced seismic vibrations have been found for some subterranean rodents but have not been reported for any Insectivora species, although seismic sensitivity has been confirmed for blind sand-dwelling chrysochlorid golden moles. Studying the vocal behaviour of captive piebald shrews, Diplomesodon pulchellum, we documented vibrations, apparently generated by the whole-body wall muscles, from 11 (5 male, 6 female) of 19 animals, placed singly on a drum membrane. The airborne waves of the vibratory drumming were digitally recorded and then analysed spectrographically. The mean frequency of vibration was 160.5 Hz. This frequency matched the periodicity of the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation (159.4 Hz) found in loud screech calls of the same subjects. The body vibration was not related to thermoregulation, hunger-related depletion of energy resources or fear, as it was produced by well-fed, calm animals, at warm ambient temperatures. We hypothesize that in the solitary, nocturnal, digging desert piebald shrew, body vibrations may be used for seismic exploration of substrate density, to avoid energy-costly digging of packed sand for burrowing and foraging. At the same time, the piercing quality of screech calls due to the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation, matching the periodicity of body vibration, may be important for agonistic communication in this species. PMID:22837458
Volodin, Ilya A; Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V; Chebotareva, Anastasia L
Although the Sahara is a major geographical feature of the African continent, its role in the diversification of animal species is not well understood. We present here a molecular phylogeny for members of the endemic African mammalian order Macroscelidea (elephant shrews) with molecular-clock calculations; this molecular phylogeny provides convincing evidence that the genus Elephantulus is diphyletic. Elephantulus rozeti, the only elephant shrew species that resides north of the Sahara, is the sister group of a species from a different genus (Petrodromus tetradactylus), which resides just south of the Sahara. The split between these taxa coincided with major Miocene climatic events, which triggered the cooling and aridification of midlatitude continental regions, and a shift in the Sahara from a tropical to an arid environment. Thus, the North African distribution of E. rozeti is not the result of dispersion from an eastern species of the genus, but instead the result of a vicariant event involving the formation of the Sahara. The splitting events involved with most Elephantulus species in our analysis appear to coincide with these climatic events. This coincidence suggests that the environmental consequences associated with this period played an important role in the radiation of this order of mammals. The strongly supported phylogeny provides compelling evidence for a complex history of mosaic evolution, including pronounced bradytelic morphological evolution in some lineages, accelerated morphological evolution in others, and a remarkably slow rate of evolution of the male reproductive structure.
Douady , Christophe J.; Catzeflis, Francois; Raman, Jaishree; Springer , Mark S.; Stanhope , Michael J.
Commensal rats and shrews were trapped from 47 fresh food markets in Bangkok during the two study periods in the same markets: 21st June to 28th December 1999 and 1st March to 31st May 2000. Trapping was performed using wire live traps on three consecutive nights in each period. The trapped animals were identified for taxonomic species and flea infestation. Fleas were collected, identified and counted. Four species of rodents: Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus, Rattus exulans and Mus musculus, and one species of shrew: Suncus murinus were trapped in comparable numbers during the two study periods. Among the 1177 animals trapped, 84.3 per cent were R. norvegicus. Regarding sex prevalence, a higher number of female animals were trapped compared to males. Almost all the fleas collected were Xenopsylla cheopis, and there were very few Ctenocephalidesfelis-felis. Flea index based on the number of X. cheopis was 0.65 for all over Bangkok. Based on the geographical area of Bangkok, the inner area had the highest rodent population and the highest flea index of 0.86. Therefore, the inner region should be the priority for sanitation improvement. PMID:14649963
Substance P (SP) is thought to play a cardinal role in emesis via the activation of central tachykinin NK1 receptors during the delayed phase of vomiting produced by chemotherapeutics. Although the existing supportive evidence is significant, due to lack of an appropriate animal model, the evidence is indirect. As yet, no study has confirmed that emesis produced by SP or a selective NK1 receptor agonist is sensitive to brain penetrating antagonists of either NK1, NK2, or NK3 receptors. The goals of this investigation were to demonstrate: 1) whether intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of either SP, a brain penetrating (GR73632) or non-penetrating (e.g. SarMet – SP) NK1 receptor agonist, an NK2 receptor agonist (GR64349), or an NK3 receptor agonist (Pro7-NKB), would induce vomiting and/or scratching in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in a dose-dependent manner; and whether these effects are sensitive to the above selective receptor antagonists; 2) whether an exogenous emetic dose of SP (50 mg/kg, i.p.) can penetrate into the shrew brain stem and frontal cortex; 3) whether GR73632 (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced activation of NK1 receptors increases Fos-measured neuronal activity in the neurons of both brain stem emetic nuclei and the enteric nervous system of the gut; and 4) whether selective ablation of peripheral NK1 receptors can affect emesis produced by GR73632. The results clearly demonstrated that while SP produced vomiting only, GR73632 caused both emesis and scratching behavior dose-dependently in shrews, and these effects were sensitive to NK1-, but not NK2- or NK3-receptor antagonists. Neither the selective, non-penetrating NK1 receptor agonists, nor the selective NK2- or NK3-receptor agonists, caused a significant dose-dependent behavioral effect. An emetic dose of SP selectively and rapidly penetrated the brain stem but not the frontal cortex. Systemic GR73632 increased Fos expression in the enteric nerve plexi, the medial subnucleus of nucleus tractus solitarius, and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, but not the area postrema. Ablation of peripheral NK1 receptors attenuated the ability of GR73632 to induce a maximal frequency of emesis and shifted its percent animals vomiting dose-response curve to the right. The NK1-ablated shrews exhibited scratching behavior after systemic GR73632-injection. These results, for the first time, affirm a cardinal role for central NK1 receptors in SP-induced vomiting, and a facilitatory role for gastrointestinal NK1 receptors. In addition, these data support the validation of the least shrew as a specific and rapid behavioral animal model to screen concomitantly both the CNS penetration and the antiemetic potential of tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonists.
Darmani, Nissar A.; Wang, Yaozhi; Abad, Joseph; Ray, Andrew P.; Thrush, Gerald R.; Ramirez, Juan
Neoskrjabinolepis (Neoskrjabinolepidoides) nuda n. sp. is described from the shrews Sorex unguiculatus (type-host), S. gracillimus, S. isodon and S. caecutiens on Sakhalin Island, Russia. The new species is characterised by: rostellar hooks 40-44 microm long and provided with small epiphyseal thickening of the handle; a long (95-100 microm) cirrus consisting of basal region with claw-shaped spines, a parabasal region with thin needle-shaped spines and an unarmed distal region; a cirrus-sac extending well into the median field; and 15-22 eggs per gravid uterus. A review of the species of Neoskrjabinolepis Spasskii, 1947 is presented. Currently, this genus includes nine species and is divided in two subgenera on the basis of strobilar development, which is gradual in the subgenus Neoskrjabinolepis (four species) and serial in the subgenus Neoskrjabinolepidoides Kornienko, Gulyaev & Mel'nikova, 2006 (five species). An amended generic diagnosis and an identification key to Neoskrjabinolepis spp. are presented. PMID:18427960
Kornienko, Svetlana A; Gulyaev, Vladimir D; Mel'nikova, Yulia A; Georgiev, Boyko B
Purpose To increase our understanding of the mechanisms that remodel the sclera during the development of lens-induced myopia, when the sclera responds to putative “go” signals of retinal origin, and during recovery from lens-induced myopia, when the sclera responds to retinally-derived “stop” signals. Methods Seven groups of tree shrews were used to examine mRNA levels during minus lens compensation and recovery. Starting 24 days after eye opening (days of visual experience [VE]) lens compensation animals wore a monocular –5D lens for 1, 4, or 11 days. Recovery animals wore the –5D lens for 11 days, which was then removed for 1 or 4 days. Normal animals were examined at 24 and 38 days of VE. All groups contained 8 animals. Scleral mRNA levels were examined in the treated and contralateral control eyes with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for 27 genes divided into four categories: 1) signaling molecules, 2) matricellular proteins, 3) metalloproteinases (MPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), and 4) cell adhesion and other proteins. Four groups (n=5 per group) were used to examine protein levels. One group wore a –5D lens for 4 days. A second group recovered for 4 days after 11 days of ?5D lens treatment. Two groups were used to examine age-matched normal protein levels at 28 and 39 days of VE. The levels of six scleral proteins that showed differential mRNA expression were examined with quantitative western blots. Results Nineteen of the genes showed differential (treated eye versus control eye) expression of mRNA levels in at least one group of animals. Which genes showed differential expression differed after 1 and 4 days of compensation and after 1 or 4 days of recovery. The mRNA level for one gene, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 1 (ADAMTS1), was upregulated in the treated eyes after 1 day of compensation. After 4 days, transforming growth factor beta receptor 3 (TGFBR3), transforming growth factor-beta-induced protein ig-h3 (TGFBI), and matrix metalloproteinase 14 (MMP14) mRNA levels were upregulated. Downregulated were mRNA levels for transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFB1), transforming growth factor beta-2 (TGFB2), thrombospondin 1 (THBS1), tenascin (TNC), osteonectin (SPARC), osteopontin (SPP1), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 3 (TIMP3), and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 5 (ADAMTS5). After 11 days of lens wear, there was no differential expression. During recovery, after 1 day, treated-eye mRNA downregulation was found for TGFB2, TGFBR1, TGFBR2, TGFBR3, SPARC, ADAMTS1, ADAMTS5, syndecan 4 (SDC4), and collagen type VI, alpha 1 (COL6A1). After 4 days, TGFB1, TGFB2, TGFB3, THBS2, and TIMP3 mRNA levels were upregulated in the recovering eye. Significant downregulation, relative to normal eyes, was found in both the control and treated eyes for most genes after 1 day of compensation; a similar decrease was found, compared to lens-compensated eyes, after one day of recovery. Protein levels for THBS1 showed positive correlation with the differential mRNA levels and TGFBR3 showed a negative correlation. No differential protein expression was found for TGFB2, TGFBI, MMP14, and TIMP3. Conclusions The different patterns of differential mRNA expression during minus lens compensation (hyperopia) and recovery (myopia) show that scleral fibroblasts distinguish between “go” and “stop” conditions. There is evidence of binocular global downregulation of genes at the start of both lens wear and recovery. As additional information accumulates about changes in gene expression that occur during compensation and recovery the “signature” of differential changes may help us to understand in more detail how the sclera responds in “go” and “stop” conditions.
Numerous non-mammalian vertebrates have evolved lethal venoms to aid either in securing prey or as protection from predators, but modern mammals that use venoms in these ways are rare, including only the duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus), the Caribbean Solenodon, and a few shrews (Soricidae) (Order Insectivora). Here we report evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals, documented by well-preserved
Scant information is available regarding the effects of cisplatin on the expression profile of tachykinin NK(1) receptors and downstream signaling during cisplatin-induced emesis. Cisplatin causes peak early- and delayed-phase emesis in the least shrew at 1-2 and 33 h post-injection. To investigate the expression profile of NK(1) receptor during both emetic phases, we cloned the cDNA corresponding to a ~700 base pairs of mRNA flanked by two stretches of nucleotides conserved among different species and demonstrated that the shrew NK(1) receptor nucleotide sequence shares ~90% sequence identity with the human NK(1) receptor. Of the 12 time-points tested, significant increases in expression levels of NK(1) receptor mRNA in the shrew brainstem occurred at 2 and 28 h post-cisplatin injection, whereas intestinal NK(1) receptor mRNA was increased at 28 h. Shrew brainstem and intestinal substance P mRNA levels also tended to increase during the two phases. Furthermore, expression levels of NK(1) receptor protein were significantly increased in the brainstem at 2, 8, and 33 h post-cisplatin. No change in brainstem 5-HT(3) receptor protein expression was observed. The temporal enhancements in NK(1) receptor protein expression were mirrored by significant increases in the phosphorylation status of the brainstem ERK1/2 at 2, 8, and 33 h post-cisplatin. Phosphorylation of PKA significantly increased at 33rd and 40th hour. Our results indicate associations between cisplatin's peak immediate- and delayed-phase vomiting frequency with increased: (1) expression levels of NK(1) receptor mRNA and its protein level, and (2) downstream NK(1) receptor-mediated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and PKA signaling. PMID:23001014
The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students' ideas about cell size. The probe is designed to find out if students think that animal cell size is related to the overall size of an animal.
A small ganglion, named the peri-trigeminal ganglion (PTG), was found in the ventromedial border of the rostral half of the trigeminal ganglion (TG) in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus). In frontal sections, the PTG was semicircular or elliptical in shape. Most of the neurons constituting this ganglion were round in shape and much smaller than those of the TG. The retrograde fluorescent tracer fluoro-gold was injected into various regions of the face in order to investigate innervation by the PTG neurons. When the tracer was injected subcutaneously around the external acoustic meatus and around the circumference of the orbit, a number of labeled neurons were seen not only in the TG but also in the PTG. After applying the tracer to the lacrimal gland (LG) and the harderian gland (HG), numerous labeled neurons were detected only in the PTG. A few labeled neurons were found in the PTG after injection into the palatoglossal arch. Immunohistochemically, most of the neurons constituting the PTG were positive for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) antiserum. And a moderate number of somatostatin (SOM)-immunoreactive neurons and a small number of leucine-enkephalin (L-ENK)-immunoreactive neurons were detected. Numerous substance P-immunoreactive nerve fibers and varicosities were found in the PTG, and fewer L-ENK-, SOM- and VIP-immunoreactive fibers were observed. The present results suggest that the PTG is an autonomic ganglion that resembles in part the pterygopalatine ganglion in other species, and mainly innervates the HG and LG. PMID:10480019
Palaeobiogeographic reconstructions are underpinned by phylogenies, divergence times and ancestral area reconstructions, which together yield ancestral area chronograms that provide a basis for proposing and testing hypotheses of dispersal and vicariance. Methods for area coding include multi-state coding with a single character, binary coding with multiple characters and string coding. Ancestral reconstruction methods are divided into parsimony versus Bayesian/likelihood approaches. We compared nine methods for reconstructing ancestral areas for placental mammals. Ambiguous reconstructions were a problem for all methods. Important differences resulted from coding areas based on the geographical ranges of extant species versus the geographical provenance of the oldest fossil for each lineage. Africa and South America were reconstructed as the ancestral areas for Afrotheria and Xenarthra, respectively. Most methods reconstructed Eurasia as the ancestral area for Boreoeutheria, Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatheria. The coincidence of molecular dates for the separation of Afrotheria and Xenarthra at approximately 100 Ma with the plate tectonic sundering of Africa and South America hints at the importance of vicariance in the early history of Placentalia. Dispersal has also been important including the origins of Madagascar's endemic mammal fauna. Further studies will benefit from increased taxon sampling and the application of new ancestral area reconstruction methods. PMID:21807730
Springer, Mark S; Meredith, Robert W; Janecka, Jan E; Murphy, William J
Palaeobiogeographic reconstructions are underpinned by phylogenies, divergence times and ancestral area reconstructions, which together yield ancestral area chronograms that provide a basis for proposing and testing hypotheses of dispersal and vicariance. Methods for area coding include multi-state coding with a single character, binary coding with multiple characters and string coding. Ancestral reconstruction methods are divided into parsimony versus Bayesian/likelihood approaches. We compared nine methods for reconstructing ancestral areas for placental mammals. Ambiguous reconstructions were a problem for all methods. Important differences resulted from coding areas based on the geographical ranges of extant species versus the geographical provenance of the oldest fossil for each lineage. Africa and South America were reconstructed as the ancestral areas for Afrotheria and Xenarthra, respectively. Most methods reconstructed Eurasia as the ancestral area for Boreoeutheria, Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatheria. The coincidence of molecular dates for the separation of Afrotheria and Xenarthra at approximately 100 Ma with the plate tectonic sundering of Africa and South America hints at the importance of vicariance in the early history of Placentalia. Dispersal has also been important including the origins of Madagascar's endemic mammal fauna. Further studies will benefit from increased taxon sampling and the application of new ancestral area reconstruction methods.
Springer, Mark S.; Meredith, Robert W.; Janecka, Jan E.; Murphy, William J.
Background The discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews (Order Soricomorpha, Family Soricidae) from widely separated geographic regions challenges the hypothesis that rodents (Order Rodentia, Family Muridae and Cricetidae) are the primordial reservoir hosts of hantaviruses and also predicts that other soricomorphs harbor hantaviruses. Recently, novel hantavirus genomes have been detected in moles of the Family Talpidae, including the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides) and American shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii). We present new insights into the evolutionary history of hantaviruses gained from a highly divergent hantavirus, designated Nova virus (NVAV), identified in the European common mole (Talpa europaea) captured in Hungary. Methodology/Principal Findings Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the full-length S- and L-genomic segments indicated moderately low sequence similarity of 54–65% and 46–63% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively, between NVAV and representative rodent- and soricid-borne hantaviruses. Despite the high degree of sequence divergence, the predicted secondary structure of the NVAV nucleocapsid protein exhibited the characteristic coiled-coil domains at the amino-terminal end, and the L-segment motifs, typically found in hantaviruses, were well conserved. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that NVAV formed a distinct clade that was evolutionarily distant from all other hantaviruses. Conclusions Newly identified hantaviruses harbored by shrews and moles support long-standing virus-host relationships and suggest that ancestral soricomorphs, rather than rodents, may have been the early or original mammalian hosts.
Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N.; Sumibcay, Laarni; Arai, Satoru; Hope, Andrew G.; Mocz, Gabor; Song, Jin-Won; Cook, Joseph A.; Yanagihara, Richard
The entotympanic is a neomorphic component of the bulla tympanica of placental mammals. Ontogenetically, its rostral component seems to be derived from the tubal cartilage, whereas its caudal component is normally connected with the sheath of the tympanohyal; the present study indicates additional sources of the caudal entotympanic. The entotympanics develop in late fetal or early postnatal life as cartilaginous structures, but in most taxa they ossifiy endochondrally as "os bullae". This skeletal element is absent only in a few placental orders, among them the Artiodactyla. Because it is present in their sister taxa within the Scrotifera, it is likely to be reduced secondarily in the even-toed mammals. The study of histological serial sections of late fetal stages of several artiodactyl species shows that vestigial cartilaginous homologues of the entotympanics are invariably present, contrary to statements in the literature. In a few perinatal stages even secondary ossifications or calcifications of the entotympanic cartilages can be observed. The tubal cartilage of artiodactyls also continues into an anterior tegmen tympani (new term) that forms the floor of the fossa muscularis major. PMID:23625465
The discovery of siRNAs as the mediators of RNA interference has led to an increasing interest in their therapeutic applications. Chemical modifications are introduced into siRNAs to optimize the potency, the stability and the pharmacokinetic properties in vivo. Here, we synthesize and test the effects of RNA-3’-PNA chimeras on siRNA functioning and stability. We demonstrate that the chemical modifications are compatible with the siRNA machinery, because all the PNA-modified siRNAs can efficiently mediate specific gene silencing in mammalian cells. Furthermore, we find that the modification on the sense strand of siRNA results in an increased persistence of the activity, whereas modification on both strands results in enhanced nuclease resistance in serum.
Potenza, Nicoletta; Moggio, Loredana; Milano, Giovanna; Salvatore, Vincenzo; Di Blasio, Benedetto; Russo, Aniello; Messere, Anna
Authoritative anatomical references depict domestic dogs and cats as having a malleus with a short rostral (anterior) process that is connected via a ligament to the ectotympanic of the auditory bulla. Similar mallei have been reported for representatives of each of the 15 extant families of Carnivora, the placental order containing dogs and cats. This morphology is in contrast to a malleus with a long rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic that is considered to be primitive for mammals. Our reexamination of extant carnivorans found representatives from 12 families that possess an elongate rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic. Consequently, the malleus also is a component of the bulla. In a subset of our carnivoran sample, we confirmed that the elongate rostral process on the ectotympanic is continuous with the rest of the malleus through a thin osseous lamina. This morphology is reconstructed as primitive for Carnivora. Prior inaccurate descriptions of the taxa in our sample having mallei continuous with the bulla were based on damaged mallei. In addition to coupling to the ectotympanic, the rostral process of the malleus was found to have a hook-like process that fits in a facet on the skull base in representatives from seven families (felids, nandiniids, viverrids, canids, ursids, procyonids, and mustelids); its occurrence in the remaining families could not be ascertained. This feature is named herein the mallear hook and is likewise reconstructed to be primitive for Carnivora. We also investigated mallei in one additional placental order reported to have mallei not connected to the ectotympanic, Pholidota (pangolins), the extant sister group of Carnivora. We found pholidotans to also have anchored mallei with long rostral processes, but lacking mallear hooks. In light of our results, other mammals previously reported to have short rostral processes should be reexamined.
The karyotypes of Hipposideros speroris, H. pomona, H. lankadiva, H. ceneraceus, H. ater and H. fulvus were analysed using conventional and banding technqiues. All six species exhibited the same 2n (32) and FN (60). The genus is remarkable for its apparent karyotypic stability. These species have only biarmed autosomes, one of which is a submetacentric marker chromosome with an achromatic gap. G-banded autosomes showed that most have remained conservative in the course of evolution of the species. Structural changes seemed to have occurred more frequently in the sex elements of the karyotypes rather than in the autosomes, and non-Robertsonian changes had an appreciable role to play in karyotypic evolution. This trend is probably dictated by the maximization of the biarmed condition which reflects the formation of stabilised linkage groups from the inception of the genus. It is proposed that the ancestral lineage of the genus Hipposideros was derived from a Rhinolophoid ancester whose karyotype was akin to Rhinolophus luctus. PMID:8375193
From comparisons between bat wing structures and aerofoils and high-lift devices with known aerodynamic data, from the aeronautical literature, deductions are made regarding the function of some bat wing structures. Special arrangements in the hand wing add to rigidity and reduce the demands for powerful muscles and thick digits, thereby reducing the mass of the wing.1.The anterior part of the
The Bering Land Bridge has served as a major corridor of interchange between the northern continents for many organisms. We investigated the phylogeny of all extant species of Martes (except for Martes gwatkinsi from India) to infer evolutionary relationships and characterize the extent of trans-Beringian movements. Analyses of complete sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and partial sequences of
Four incompletely preserved caudal vertebrae lacking the neural arches of two fossil sirenian individuals of Halitherium schinzii (Oligocene) from the Rhine area in Germany and northern Belgium reveal osteological alterations. The caudal vertebrae possess a transverse process with growth retardation. This asymmetry indicates that the affected transverse processes are less developed than their counterparts and, consequently, deviate from the norm. Computed tomography (CT) scans reveal osteosclerotic patterns, a morphological feature that characterizes sea cows and supports the nonpathological state of the vertebrae. Additionally, no indications of vertebral fractures or any other occurrences due to external factors are present. This is the oldest documentation of such an anomaly in any sirenian and is interpreted here as hypoplasia, the underdevelopment of an organ or parts of it that might cause a functional deficiency. PMID:21538937
Pika species generally fall into two ecotypes, meadow-dwelling (burrowing) or talus-dwelling, a classification that distinguishes a suite of different ecological, behavioral, and life history traits. Despite these differences, little morphological variation has previously been documented to distinguish among ecotypes. The aim of this study was to test whether postcranial features related to burrowing are present in meadow-dwelling species and whether talus-dwelling species exhibit postcranial modifications related to frequent leaping between rocks. To test this, the scapula, humerus, ulna, radius, innominate, femur, tibia, and calcaneus of 15 species were studied and measured. Twenty-three measurements were taken on 199 skeletons, and 19 indices were constructed from these measurements. Indices were compared between the two ecotypes using Student's t-test. Comparisons among ecotypes, species, and subgenera were made using one-way ANOVA with the Tukey honest significant difference post hoc test. Multivariate results were generated using principal components analyses. Thirteen forelimb and hind limb indices proved significant in distinguishing the meadow-dwelling, talus-dwelling, and intermediate forms. A number of these indices are associated with burrowing or leaping in other mammals, providing some support for the hypothesis that postcranial modifications in pika are related to locomotor differences. This evidence of morphological responses to ecological specialization will be useful for reconstructing the paleobiology of extinct taxa, assessing the behavioral variability of extant species, and improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of pikas. PMID:23381921
Several large suid cranial remains attributed to Microstonyx major are part of a new Hipparion Fauna collection from the Hezheng area, Northern China. The new material confirms the presence of Microstonyx in the late Miocene of the area. The Chinese form belongs to a small-sized eastern population with reduced premolar row and clear sexual bimodality. Statistical comparison shows that Microstonyx
Liping Liu; Dimitris S. Kostopoulos; Mikael Fortelius
In mammals, the corpus striatum receives prominent projections from the neocortex and from the intralaminar nuclei of the dorsal thalamus. The present study provides evidence based on anterograde degeneration and axonal transport that the corpus striatum also receives input from two nonintralaminar thalamic nuclei, the pulvinar and the medial geniculate body. Each of these nuclei projects to a separate region of the corpus striatum. Moreover, the same regions of the corpus striatum that receive projections from the pulvinar and medial geniculate body also receive projections from the cortical targets of these nuclei. PMID:6096412
Background Flying lemurs or Colugos (order Dermoptera) represent an ancient mammalian lineage that contains only two extant species. Although molecular evidence strongly supports that the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Primates form a superordinal clade called Supraprimates (or Euarchontoglires), the phylogenetic placement of Dermoptera within Supraprimates remains ambiguous. Results To search for cytogenetic signatures that could help to clarify the evolutionary affinities within this superordinal group, we have established a genome-wide comparative map between human and the Malayan flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus) by reciprocal chromosome painting using both human and G. variegatus chromosome-specific probes. The 22 human autosomal paints and the X chromosome paint defined 44 homologous segments in the G. variegatus genome. A putative inversion on GVA 11 was revealed by the hybridization patterns of human chromosome probes 16 and 19. Fifteen associations of human chromosome segments (HSA) were detected in the G. variegatus genome: HSA1/3, 1/10, 2/21, 3/21, 4/8, 4/18, 7/15, 7/16, 7/19, 10/16, 12/22 (twice), 14/15, 16/19 (twice). Reverse painting of G. variegatus chromosome-specific paints onto human chromosomes confirmed the above results, and defined the origin of the homologous human chromosomal segments in these associations. In total, G. variegatus paints revealed 49 homologous chromosomal segments in the HSA genome. Conclusion Comparative analysis of our map with published maps from representative species of other placental orders, including Scandentia, Primates, Lagomorpha and Rodentia, suggests a signature rearrangement (HSA2q/21 association) that links Scandentia and Dermoptera to one sister clade. Our results thus provide new evidence for the hypothesis that Scandentia and Dermoptera have a closer phylogenetic relationship to each other than either of them has to Primates.
Nie, Wenhui; Fu, Beiyuan; O'Brien, Patricia CM; Wang, Jinhuan; Su, Weiting; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Volobouev, Vitaly; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang
Albendazole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic of the benzimidazole group which has been tested in several rodents and domestic animals. Albendazole has been used effectively to treat trematodes in sheep, cattle, dogs, and cats. The use of this anthelmintic in exotic small mammals has not been reported to the authors' knowledge.
There is a striking consistency in the total number of heart beats accrued over a lifetime across a range of animal species despite vast differences in size. Moreover, an inverse relationship is observed between heart rate and lifespan, leading to speculation that elevated heart rate could significantly affect longevity. It is the aim of this review to analyze heart rate as a contributing factor in defining the functional lifespan of the transplanted human heart, which may unavoidably determine the longevity of the recipient. Sinus tachycardia occurs as a result of sympathetic/parasympathetic denervation, an unavoidable consequence of transplantation. The effect of elevated heart rate in this cohort has been scarcely reported. We highlight herein multitudinous mechanisms whereby elevated heart rate accelerates the deterioration in cardiac function and arterial elasticity due to injury and stress accumulation. Additionally, we propose a significant role for heart rate in confounding the alloimmune response. Tachycardia exacerbates injurious episodes of myocardial ischemia and significantly increases the production of reactive oxygen species via increased metabolism. These factors promote immune infiltration and activation, contributing to acute and chronic rejection. Further research is required to assess the potential therapeutic benefits of heart rate reduction. PMID:23104250
Critchley, William R; Yonan, Nizar; Shaw, Steven M; Fildes, James E
Metabolomics is a powerful new technology that allows the assessment of global low-molecular-weight metabolites in a biological system and which shows great potential in biomarker discovery. Analysis of the key metabolites in body fluids has become an important part of improving the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of diseases. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major leading cause of liver disease worldwide and a serious burden on public health. However, the lack of a small-animal model has hampered the analysis of HCV pathogenesis. We hypothesize that an animal model (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) of HCV would produce a unique characterization of metabolic phenotypes. Ultra-performance liquid-chromatography/electrospray ionization-SYNAPT-high-definition mass spectrometry (UPLC/ESI-SYNAPT-HDMS) coupled with pattern recognition methods and system analysis was carried out to obtain comprehensive metabolomics profiling and pathways of large biological data sets. Taurine, hypotaurine, ether lipid, glycerophospholipid, arachidonic acid, tryptophan, and primary bile acid metabolism pathways were acutely perturbed, and 38 differential metabolites were identified. More important, five metabolite markers were selected via the "significance analysis for microarrays" method as the most discriminant and interesting biomarkers that were effective for the diagnosis of HCV. Network construction has led to the integration of metabolites associated with the multiple perturbation pathways. Integrated network analysis of the key metabolites yields highly related signaling pathways associated with the differentially expressed proteins, which suggests that the creation of new treatment paradigms targeting and activating these networks in their entirety, rather than single proteins, might be necessary for controlling and treating HCV efficiently. PMID:23264353
The evolution of endothermy is thought to have been facilitated by the advent of endothermic energy sources such as brown\\u000a adipose tissue (BAT), the principal site of non-shivering thermogenesis (NST). In marsupials, heat is primarily produced through\\u000a shivering and NST in skeletal muscle because BAT is either absent or appears to be non-functional. The most basal group of\\u000a the eutherian
In the brain and other tissues, estrogens are produced by aromatization of androgens. Biochemical data suggest that aromatase enzyme is regulated by the androgen receptor (AR). Neurons that contain either AR or aromatase (AROM) enzyme reside in many of the same brain regions. In this report, we examined the codistribution of AR- and AROM-enzyme-immunoreactive (-ir) neurons in several regions of
Interactions of overwintered females with conspecifics (> or = 5 days) on familiar territories were studied experimentally. In interactions of the resident females with unfamiliar overwintered females (28 experiments), there were no differences related to the reproductive status of both parties. Between the behavior of the residents and aliens, there were no significant differences, except the refusals of contacts--and aliens had more of it. Identification and affiliative behavior and the presence of ritualized aggression was noted. There was little direct aggression. Females were sharply aggressive toward the overwintered males (23 experiments) regardless of their reproductive status. Males tried to avoid contacts. Identification and affiliative behavior were rare. Toward yearlings (25 experiments), females that participated in reproduction were aggressive (direct aggression prevailed) and singles (9 experiments) were not. PMID:22988759
Reproduction is the most energetically costly process that most female mammals ever undergo. When nutritional re- sources are scarce, and there is a high probability that fe- males will be unable to cope with this energetic challenge, reproductive processes are inhibited. This process is highly conserved and likely adaptive and reversible when nutri- tional resources become available. Although the nutritional
Presents information about insectivores, including definitions and characteristics of shrews, moles, hedgehogs, and tenrecs. Contains descriptions of the teaching activities "Little Starnose" and "You and a Shrew." A reproducible worksheet is provided for use in "You and a Shrew." (TW)
Callistoe vincei nov. gen., nov. sp. is a new South American carnivorous marsupial (Proborhyaenidae, Borhyaenoidea) from Salta Province (Argentina). It is preliminarily described and its phylogenetic relationships with other borhyaenoids are analyzed. The holotype is a complete skull with almost complete postcranial skeleton (missing the pelvis and the tail). It is from the Lumbrera Formation (Early Eocene of northwestern Argentina).
María Judith Babot; Jaime E Powell; Christian de Muizon
Resolving the phylogeny of treeshrews (Order Scandentia) has historically proven difficult, in large part because of access to specimens and samples from critical taxa. We used "antique" DNA methods with non-destructive sampling of museum specimens to complete taxon sampling for the 20 currently recognized treeshrew species and to estimate their phylogeny and divergence times. Most divergence among extant species is estimated to have taken place within the past 20 million years, with deeper divergences between the two families (Ptilocercidae and Tupaiidae) and between Dendrogale and all other genera within Tupaiidae. All but one of the divergences between currently recognized species had occurred by 4Mya, suggesting that Miocene tectonics, volcanism, and geographic instability drove treeshrew diversification. These geologic processes may be associated with an increase in net diversification rate in the early Miocene. Most evolutionary relationships appear consistent with island-hopping or landbridge colonization between contiguous geographic areas, although there are exceptions in which extinction may play an important part. The single recent divergence is between Tupaia palawanensis and Tupaia moellendorffi, both endemic to the Philippines, and may be due to Pleistocene sea level fluctuations and post-landbridge isolation in allopatry. We provide a time-calibrated phylogenetic framework for answering evolutionary questions about treeshrews and about evolutionary patterns and processes in Euarchonta. We also propose subsuming the monotypic genus Urogale, a Philippine endemic, into Tupaia, thereby reducing the number of extant treeshrew genera from five to four. PMID:21565274
Roberts, Trina E; Lanier, Hayley C; Sargis, Eric J; Olson, Link E
We studied the potential contribution of frugivorous bats to the reestablishment of vegetational diversity in a restored area. We analysed the diets of the bat species and the differences between them in the consumption of fruits of autochtonous and allochthonous species. Planted (autochtonous) species were the basis of diets, especially Solanum mauritianum and Cecropia pachystachya, whereas for allochthonous species we found that Piperaceae to be of particular importance. Carollia perspicillata was the main seed disperser for allochthonous species, and potentially the most important bat in the promotion of vegetation diversity in the study area. Our results suggest that frugivorous bats are especially important in the reestablishment of vegetation in disturbed areas, and that restorarion efforts should focus on the planting of different zoochorous species that would guarantee a high year-round fruit production, thereby facilitating natural plant reestablishment by frugivorous bats in regenerating areas.
Silveira, Maurício; Trevelin, Leonardo; Port-Carvalho, Marcio; Godoi, Simone; Mandetta, Elizabeth Neuenhaus; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo P.
The literature supports the hypothesis that the pelvic excavation is the bottom of the abdominal cavity, which is covered by the peritoneal serous membrane in order to promote visceral dynamics. We studied the peritoneum in eight specimens of Xenarthra (Euphractus sexcinctus, Myrmecophaga tridactyla and Tamandua tetradactyla). The animals were fixed in formaldehyde (10%). For description and analyzes of the pelvic peritoneum, dissection and photo documentation were performed. We saw that the parietal serous membrane reflected, involving the pelvic viscera. The urorectal septum is the floor of the higher pelvis as a serosa reflection between the bladder and the rectum. The bladder and gonads are completely peritonized in adult armadillo. In anteaters and young armadillos, the testicles are in a position analogous to the uterus, joined by the conjunctive septum at the midline and along with the bladder, they partially project to the higher and lower pelvis. In Myrmecophagidae, vesicogenital, rectogenital and sacrorectal recesses were observed. In Dasypodidae, the recesses are similar to those of other recent vertebrates. PMID:23317367
A striking difference between xenarthrans and other mammals is the complete loss of tooth enamel in all members but the earliest armadillos. However, sloth and armadillo teeth show structured wear facets, which in all other mammals are formed by tooth enamel. How is that possible? Here, I report about an analysis of fossil and recent xenarthran dental hard tissue microstructure. It shows that osteodentine is not exclusive to fossil Cingulata, but also occurs in some recent taxa. Furthermore, I found profound modifications of orthodentine architecture in comparison to other mammals. Remarkable features are (a) a larger proportion of the highly mineralized, collagen-free peritubular dentine, and (b) a modified architecture of the odontoblastic process with frequent interconnections between the extensions and unusually intensive branching of the extensions forming a complex meshwork, penetrating the intertubular dentine matrix. The orthodentine microstructural build-up is unique in Folivora and Cingulata. PMID:21456028
Fossil teeth and bones of aardvarks are relatively common at Langebaanweg, an Early Pliocene site in western Cape Province, South Africa. The remains are compatible in size and most details of morphology to extant Orycteropus afer, and are the earliest fossils attributed to this species. Other Late Miocene to Early Pliocene localities in Africa have yielded smaller species of aardvarks,
Very little is known about the distinct reproductive biology of armadillos. Very few studies have investigated armadillo spermatogenesis, with data available only for Euphractus sexcinctus and Dasypus novemcinctus. In the present study, we analysed male germ cell differentiation in the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus throughout the year, describing a cycle of the seminiferous epithelium made of eight different stages. Evaluation of the testis/body mass ratio, analysis of the architecture of the seminiferous epithelium and the frequency of defective seminiferous tubules allowed identification of a temporal interruption of spermatogenesis during the period between mid-May to July (mid-end autumn) in correlation with very low testosterone levels. Overall, these results suggest that spermatogenesis is seasonal in C. villosus. PMID:22951275
Luaces, Juan P; Rossi, Luis F; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Redi, Carlo A; Solari, Alberto J; Merani, Maria S; Garagna, Silvia
Pampatheres are extinct, large-bodied cingulates, which share morphological characters with both armadillos and glyptodonts but are considered to be more closely related to the latter. The osteoderm histology of six pampathere taxa was examined and compared to the histology of other cingulate osteoderms. This study investigates the development and functional adaptation of pampathere osteoderms as well as the phylogenetic relationships of the Pampatheriidae within the Cingulata. We found that pampathere osteoderms share a uniform histological organization based on a basic diploe-like structure. After initial stages of intramembranous growth, metaplastic ossification, that is, the direct incorporation and mineralization of pre-existing protein fibers, plays an important role in osteoderm development and provides information on various kinds of soft tissue otherwise not preserved. The latest stages of osteoderm growth are dominated by periosteal bone formation especially in the superficial cortex. Movable band osteoderms show regular arrangements of incorporated fibers that may increase the resistance of particularly weak areas against strain. The histological composition of pampathere osteoderms is plesiomorphic in its basic structure but shows a number of derived features. A unique array of Sharpey's fibers that are incorporated into the bone matrix at sutured osteoderm margins is interpreted as a synapomorphy of pampatheres. The arrangement of dermal fibers in the deep and superficial cortexes supports the close relationship between pampatheres and glyptodonts. PMID:22045687
Wolf, Dominik; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Sander, P Martin
A new sub-complete specimen of fossil Tubulidentata has been found by the ‘Mission paléoanthropologique franco-tchadienne’ (MPFT) in Chad. After O. abundulafus Lehmann et al., 2005 from Kossom Bougoudi, O. djourabensis Lehmann et al., 2004 from Kollé, it is the first described aardvark from the fossiliferous sector Toros-Menalla. This specimen belongs to O. abundulafus. This discovery extends the stratigraphic range of that species, enables
Thomas Lehmann; Patrick Vignaud; Andossa Likius; Hassane Taïsso Mackaye; Michel Brunet
The purpose of this study was to determine the higher-level phylogenetic relationships among Carnivora, using a conditional data combination (CDC) approach to analyzing multiple data sets. New nucleotide sequences (851 base pairs from intron I of the transthyretin gene) among 22 representatives of the 11 families of Carnivora were generated and analyzed in concert with, and comparison to, other mitochondrial and morphological character data. Conditional data combination analyses of the four independent data sets (transthyretin intron I, cytochrome b, partial 12S rRNA, and morphology) indicate that the phylogenetic results derived from each generally agree, with two exceptions. The first exception, signal heterogeneity in comparisons involving transthyretin and morphology, provides an example where phylogenetic conclusions drawn from total evidence analyses may differ from conclusions drawn from CDC analyses. The second exception demonstrates that while a CDC method may reject the null hypothesis of homogeneity for a particular partition, including that partition in combined analyses, may nevertheless provide an overall increase in phylogenetic signal, in terms of nodal support for most associations, without altering the topology derived from the combined homogeneous data partitions. Phylogenetic reconstruction among the feliform families supports a sister-group relationship between the hyaenas (Hyaenidae) and mongooses (Herpestidae) and places the African palm civet (Nandinia) as basal to all other living Feliformia. Among the caniform families, CDC analyses strongly support the previously enigmatic red panda (Ailurus) as a monotypic lineage that is sister to Musteloidea sensu stricto (mustelids plus procyonids), in addition to pinniped monophyly and a sister-group relationship between the walrus and sea lions. PMID:9667990
The purpose of this study was to determine the higher-level phylogenetic relationships among Carnivora, using a conditional data combination (CDC) approach to analyzing multiple data sets. New nucleotide sequences (851 base pairs from intron I of the transthyretin gene) among 22 representatives of the 11 families of Carnivora were generated and analyzed in concert with, and comparison to, other mitochondrial
The discovery of the Pliocene red panda (Parailurus) in the West Transbaikal area, as well as Asian raccoons in North Eurasia and North America, indicates that forested areas\\u000a with bamboo bushes were wide-spread in the Holarctic during the Neogene. During the Late Pliocene, due to a gradual cooling\\u000a of the climate, altiplanation, and other factors, their habitat started disintegrating, and
One way to build larger, more comprehensive phylogenies is to combine the vast amount of phylogenetic information already available. We review the two main strategies for accomplishing this (combining raw data versus combining trees), but employ a relatively new variant of the latter: supertree construction. The utility of one supertree technique, matrix representation using parsimony analysis (MRP), is demonstrated by
OLAF R. P. BININDA-EMONDS; JOHN L. GITTLEMAN; ANDY PURVIS
An isolated upper fourth premolar (P4) of the extinct red panda Parailurus was recovered from the Pliocene (3–4 Ma) Ushigakubi Formation near Tochio, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. This is the first report of Parailurus from Asia, a genus previously known from Europe and northwestern North America. The Tochio P4 is about 50 percent larger than that of the extant Ailurus fulgens,
The discovery of the Pliocene red panda ( Parailurus) in the West Transbaikal area, as well as Asian raccoons in North Eurasia and North America, indicates that forested areas with bamboo bushes were wide-spread in the Holarctic during the Neogene. During the Late Pliocene, due to a gradual cooling of the climate, altiplanation, and other factors, their habitat started disintegrating, and red pandas began dying out, surviving only in China.
One way to build larger, more comprehensive phylogenies is to combine the vast amount of phylogenetic information already available. We review the two main strategies for accomplishing this (combining raw data versus combining trees), but employ a relatively new variant of the latter: supertree construction. The utility of one supertree technique, matrix representation using parsimony analysis (MRP), is demonstrated by deriving a complete phylogeny for all 271 extant species of the Carnivora from 177 literature sources. Beyond providing a 'consensus' estimate of carnivore phylogeny, the tree also indicates taxa for which the relationships remain controversial (e.g. the red panda; within canids, felids, and hyaenids) or have not been studied in any great detail (e.g. herpestids, viverrids, and intrageneric relationships in the procyonids). Times of divergence throughout the tree were also estimated from 74 literature sources based on both fossil and molecular data. We use the phylogeny to show that some lineages within the Mustelinae and Canidae contain significantly more species than expected for their age, illustrating the tree's utility for studies of macroevolution. It will also provide a useful foundation for comparative and conservational studies involving the carnivores. PMID:10396181
A new small to medium-sized hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon lothagamensis is described from the late Miocene of northern Kenya. The material was recovered from Lothagam, a site southwest of Lake Turkana. This narrow-muzzled hippopotamus differs from other Hexaprotodon species in terms of its small size and shallow symphysis. The six incisors are arranged in a straight line across the front of the
Ceratogaulus, a member of the extinct fossorial rodent clade Mylagaulidae, is the only known rodent with horns and the smallest known horned mammal. The function of the large, dorsally projecting nasal horns on this burrowing animal has been the subject of wide speculation among palaeontologists; suggested uses range from sexual combat to burrowing. Mammals have evolved adaptations for digging repeatedly; horns and other cranial appendages have also evolved numerous times. These two adaptations co-occur in mammals extremely rarely: only two fossil genera (Ceratogaulus and the xenarthran Peltephilus) and no extant mammals are both horned and fossorial. Tracing the evolution of fossoriality in aplodontoid rodents (the larger clade to which Ceratogaulus belongs) reveals that Ceratogaulus descended from ancestors who dug by head-lifting. Whereas this suggests an obvious explanation for the horns of this rodent, evidence from functional morphology, anatomy, phylogeny and geologic context indicates that the horns in Ceratogaulus were used for defence, rather than digging, and evolved to offset increased predation costs associated with spending more time foraging above ground as body size increased.
The order Rodentia includes nearly half of all living mammalian species. Phylogenetic relationships among 22 species of rodents were investigated by use of a 1.2-kb region from exon 1 of the single-copy nuclear gene IRBP. IRBP has been extensively used for study of interordinal phylogeny in mammals, which allowed inclusion of 50 outgroup species, representing every eutherian order plus seven marsupials. Several clades were strongly supported, regardless of analytical method or inclusion/exclusion of data. These include a monophyletic Muroidea, with a clade including Spalax and Rhizomys as the first divergence; a clade uniting Zapus with Dipus, but excluding Sicista; a monophyletic Myodonta (Muroidea plus Dipodidae); and a clade including Aplodontidae as sister to Sciuridae. One bipartition, separating Hystricognathi and Geomyoidea from the remaining rodents, is strongly supported in all analyses that include third-position sites but almost completely absent from analyses that exclude third-position sites. A combination of nonstationary nucleotide composition and branch length effects may be causing all methods examined (including those using the LogDet distance) to support an incorrect conclusion when third-position sites are analyzed together with first- and second-position sites. PMID:11341810
Bat wing morphology is considered in relation to flight performance and flight behaviour to clarify the functional basis for eco-morphological correlations in flying animals. Bivariate correlations are presented between wing dimensions and body mass for a range of bat families and feeding classes, and principal-components analysis is used to measure overall size, wing size and wing shape. The principal components
A partial skull and lower jaw with associated postcranial skeleton of Didymoconus berkeyi Matthew and Granger, 1924 was recently collected from the late Oligocene of Lanzhou Basin, Gansu Province, China. Besides being the first discovery of this genus in the Lanzhou Basin, the new material of Didymoconus represents the most complete individual of this species. The new specimen is paleomagnetically
Xiaoming Wang; William Downs; Junyi Xie; Guangpu Xie
In NW Romania at P?gaia (Bihor district), some teeth (complete or fragments) assigned to Mammut praetypicum have been recently unearthed. These fossils are additional to the older findings form the same locality mentioned by Schlesinger at the beginning of the 20 th
The Quaternary fossil record of Águas de Araxá (Q AA) is represented mainly by an accumulation of skeletal elements of several sizes, which are assigned to a population of Stegomastodon waringi. We analyzed 97 molars according to the ear stages of Simpson and Paula-Couto (1957), and developed a morphometric ear index. The population structure (proportion of immature, subadult, adult, mature adult and senile adult individuals) was identified, and these five age classes were compared to those of extant elephant populations and defined with social implications. The analysis made possible to establish that the population is largely composed of adults: 14.89% are immature individuals, 23.04% subadults, 27.65% adults, 17.21% mature adults and another 17.21% senile adults. Based on population structure, we do not discard the possibility that the fossil population was stable or in recovery, and/or was experiencing a high-predation period on younger individuals. The number of individuals composing the past population studied here could suggest that the occupied environment was open due to comparisons to populations of extant elephants. We consider this population as an aggregation of family units, which suggests a time of low environmental humidity. Based on literature and our findings, their extinction appears to be regional and probably related to a catastrophic event. PMID:21152772
Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Winck, Gisele R
We used mitochondrial DNA control region sequences to examine phylogeography and population differentiation of the endangered Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis . We observe lack of molecular differentiation among localities and we find weak association between geographical and genetic distances. However, nested clade analysis supports restricted gene flow and\\/or dispersal with some long-distance dispersal. Although this species has a history of
ANDRÉA MARTINS C ANTANHEDE; IZENI PIRES F ARIAS; TOMAS HRBEK; STELLA MARIS L AZZARINI
A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the non-occurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians.
Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles
A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the non-occurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians.
Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles
A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the non-occurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians. PMID:21181109
Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles
Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n = 56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n = 48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n = 20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. ?? 2007 The Royal Society.
Pardini, A. T.; O'Brien, P. C. M.; Fu, B.; Bonde, R. K.; Elder, F. F. B.; Ferguson-Smith, M. A.; Yang, F.; Robinson, T. J.
The present study reports the C-band patterns of chromosomes of Myocastor coypus from Turkey. The karyotype of M. coypus is comprised of (2n) 42 chromosomes, the number of chromosomal arms (FN) was 83 and the number of autosomal arms (FNa) was 80. The X chromosome was a medium-sized metacentric and the Y chromosome was acrocentric and the smallest in the set. Two metacentric chromosomes have secondary constrictions. Most autosomes in this species were centromeric C-positive and some autosomes had telomeric C-bands. The X chromosome has centromeric heterochromatin, while the Y chromosome appeared to be entirely heterochromatic. PMID:19459458
The present study compares the forefoot and hindfoot musculature of five representative species of Cavioidea rodents. In all species, the musculature of both forefeet and hindfeet have the same array regardless of the absence of digit I in the manus of Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and Cavia porcellus. Our results suggest a tendency in these species towards a three-digit system, with a functional loss of digit V and a predominance of digit III in their forefeet. In the same way, the muscular reduction of digit I in the other rodents analyzed indicates a four-digit system with predominance of digit II in Myoprocta acouchy and Dasyprocta leporina and of digit V in Agouti paca. There seems to be an association between the muscular arrangement and functional axis of the foot, raising the general question why this axis runs between the third and forth digit, or along the third digit. PMID:17008077
Rocha-Barbosa, Oscar; Loguercio, Mariana F C; Renous, Sabine; Gasc, Jean-Pierre
Nematodes studied herein and identified as Parabronema pecariae were collected in 1936 in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Pará and in 1940 in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. This species was proposed, with basis on female specimens that had been described earlier as Parabronema sp. Although the presence of males of P. pecariae was previously reported in Brazil, their description was not provided. The present paper deals with the first complete morphometric data on male specimens of P. pecariae recovered from peccaries (Pecari tajacu and Tayassu pecari). PMID:11080772
Vicente, J J; Muniz-Pereira, L C; Noronha, D; Pinto, R M
Distribution of nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) in karyotypes was studied in 10 species of wood mice, including Apodemus flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. uralensis (=A. microps), A. fulvipectus (=A. falzfeini), A. ponticus, A. hyrcanicus, A. mystacinus, A. agrarius, A. peninsulae, and A. speciosus. Peculiarities of NOR location in karyotypes can be used in interspecific diagnostics of wood mice. Intraspecific polymorphism of A. sylvaticus, A. agrarius, and A. peninsulae in terms of the number of NORs and their localization in chromosomes can serve as evidence for karyological differentiation in certain populations of these species. The minimum number of active NORs in mice of the genus Apodemus is two to four. Two A. flavicollis wood mice with karyotypes containing one small acrocentric B-chromosome (2n = 49) were identified among animals captured in Estonia. In A. peninsulae, B-chromosomes were found among animals captured in the following regions: the vicinity of Kyzyl (one mouse with 17 microchromosomes, 2n = 65); the vicinity of Birakan (two mice with one metacentric chromosome each, 2n = 49); and in the Ussuri Nature Reserve (one mouse with five B-chromosomes, including three metacentric and two dotlike chromosomes; 2n = 53). In the latter animal, the presence of NORs on two metacentric B-chromosomes was revealed; this is the first case of identification of active NORs on extra chromosomes of mammals. 29 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.
Boeskorov, G.G. [Yakutia Institute of Biology, Yakutsk (Russian Federation); Kartavtseva, I.V. [Biological Soil Institute, Vladivostok (Russian Federation); Zagorodnyuk, I.V. [Shmal`gausen Institute of Zoology, Kiev (Ukraine); Belyanin, A.N. [Saratov State Univ. (Russian Federation); Lyapunova, E.A. [Kol`tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Moscow (Russian Federation)
Morphological adaptations may indicate increased specialization (narrowing of ecolog- ical niche) or expansion of the suite of lifestyles available to an organism (increasing niche breadth). Hypsodonty in mammals generally has been interpreted as a specialization into a grazing niche from a browsing niche. Here I examine the feeding strategy of the extinct hypsodont camel Hem- iauchenia through an analysis of
Growth in length and weight of a large sample of crabeater seals Lobodon carcinophagus collected over the period 1967-78 is reported. Growth in dorsal standard length of 1146 seals (490 males, 656 females) from 0.5 to 20 years of age was similar to the pattern seen in other phocid seals. Length was plotted against age and Gompertz curves fitted to
Abstract.-Four genera,and,ten species of Viverravidae,are known,in faunas representing,the Torrejonian,and,Tiffanian land-mammal,ages in the Bighorn and Clark's Fork basins, Wyoming. These are, in order of appearance: Simpsonictis tenuis (Simpson), S. pegus (n. sp.), Brjlanictis tnicrolestes (Simpson), and Protictis hajxdenianus Cope from the Torrejonian; Raphictis gausion (n. gen. and sp.), Protictisparalus Holtzman, and P. agastor (n. sp.) from($#$#$#CommaToBeDetIntjlrictis. Most Paleocene,viverravids,are represented,by dental remains.
A new assemblage of Cingulata (Xenarthra) from the late Pleistocene of northwestern Venezuela is reported. The fauna includes Dasypus sabanicola, Propraopus sulcatus, and Pampatherium humboldtii, all three of which are reported for the first time from the Venezuelan Pleistocene. Glyptodon clavipes is also reported. A systematic problem with the species of Propraopus is reported, with a suggestion for the probable
Ascanio D. Rincón; Richard S. White; H. Gregory Mcdonald
Morpho-physiological specialization related to foraging can act as constraints on behaviour and ecological patterns of abundance\\u000a and distribution. We tested this prediction in two species (weeping or screaming hairy armadillos Chaetophractus vellerosus Gray, 1865 and mulitas Dasypus hybridus Desmarest, 1804) that represent the two subfamilies of armadillos (Dasypodidae, Xenarthra): Euphractinae and Dasypodinae.\\u000a The first subfamily possesses a well-developed masticatory apparatus
Summary \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a 1. \\u000a \\u000a Fifteen body measurements have been made on 67 Dairy Shorthorn and 105 Ayrshire adult cows. Means and standard deviations\\u000a are given, and the differences between the breeds detailed. The measurements have been intercorrelated and factor analysed,\\u000a each breed separately.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a 2. \\u000a \\u000a All correlations are positive, and a bipolar type of analysis yields in each instance a general size factor
Species distribution modelling has been a powerful tool to explore the potential distribution of parasites in wildlife, being the basis of studies on biogeography. Vexillata spp. are intestinal nematodes found in several species of mammalian hosts, such as rodents (Geomyoidea) and hares (Leporidae) in the Nearctic and northern Neotropical regions. In the present study, we modelled the potential distribution of Vexillata spp. and their hosts, using exclusively species from the Geomyidae and Heteromyidae families, in order to identify their distributional patterns. Bioclimatic and topographic variables were used to identify and predict suitable habitats for Vexillata and its hosts. Using these models, we identified that temperature seasonality is a significant environmental factor that influences the distribution of the parasite genus and its host. In particular, the geographical distribution is estimated to be larger than that predicted for its hosts. This suggests that the nematode has the potential to extend its geographical range and also its spectrum of host species. Increasing sample size and geographical coverage will contribute to recommendations for conservation of this host-parasite system. PMID:23046734
Martínez-Salazar, E A; Escalante, T; Linaje, M; Falcón-Ordaz, J
Rapoport effect predicts that species geographic range sizes will increase toward higher latitudes, probably reflecting adaptations to extreme climatic conditions that increase species tolerance. Recently, studies about spatial patterns in species richness and geographic range size may be associated with the geometry of species' ranges. In this context, null models can be used to search for the causal mechanisms associated with these patterns. In this paper, we analyzed Rapoport effect using a null model to evaluate how phylogenetic structure and geometric constraints simultaneously affect latitudinal extents of 40 species of South American terrestrial Carnivora. The latitudinal extents of Carnivora tended to decrease toward Southern latitudes, in the opposite direction expected under a simple Rapoport effect, but in accordance to geometric expectations of position of midpoints in the continent. Using 5000 simulations, it was possible to show that the null regression coefficients of latitudinal extents against midpoints are positively biased, reflecting the geometric constraints in the latitudinal extents. The results were equivalent in phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic analyses. The observed regression coefficient was significantly smaller (line is less inclined) than expected by chance alone, demonstrating that the geometric constraints in the latitudinal extents exist even after controlling for phylogenetic structure in data using eigenvector regressions. This suggests that the "spirit" of Rapoport effect (sensu Lyons & Willig, 1997) could be maintained, i.e., that latitudinal extents in Southern region of the continent are relatively larger than those in Northern regions, even after controlling for phylogenetic effects. PMID:12530179
The complete 12S rRNA gene has been sequenced in 4 Ungulata (hoofed eutherians) and 1 marsupial and compared to 38 available mammalian sequences in order to investigate the molecular evolution of the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA molecule. Ungulata were represented by one artiodactyl (the collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu, suborder Suiformes), two perissodactyls (the Grevy's zebra, Equus grevyi, suborder Hippomorpha; the white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum, suborder Ceratomorpha), and one hyracoid (the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis). The fifth species was a marsupial, the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Several transition/transversion biases characterized the pattern of changes between mammalian 12S rRNA molecules. A bias toward transitions was found among 12S rRNA sequences of Ungulata, illustrating the general bias exhibited by ribosomal and protein-encoding genes of the mitochondrial genome. The derivation of a mammalian 12S rRNA secondary structure model from the comparison of 43 eutherian and marsupial sequences evidenced a pronounced bias against transversions in stems. Moreover, transversional compensatory changes were rare events within double-stranded regions of the ribosomal RNA. Evolutionary characteristics of the 12S rRNA were compared with those of the nuclear 18S and 28S rRNAs. From a phylogenetic point of view, transitions, transversions and indels in stems as well as transversional and indels events in loops gave congruent results for comparisons within orders. Some compensatory changes in double-stranded regions and some indels in single-stranded regions also constituted diagnostic events. The 12S rRNA molecule confirmed the monophyly of infraorder Pecora and order Cetacea and demonstrated the monophyly of the suborder Ruminantia was not supported and the branching pattern between Cetacea and the artiodacytyl suborders Ruminantia and Suiformes was not established. The monophyly of the order Perissodactyla was evidenced, but the relationships between Artiodactyla, Cetacea, and Perissodactyla remained unresolved. Nevertheless, we found no support for a Perissodactyla + Hyracoidea clade, neither with distance approach, nor with parsimony reconstruction. The 12S rRNA was useful to solve intraordinal relationships among Ungulata, but it seemed to harbor too few informative positions to decipher the bushlike radiation of some Ungulata orders, an event which has most probably occurred in a short span of time between 55 and 70 MYA. PMID:7490777
Three Santacrucian borhyaenoids, Cladosictis patagonica, Pseudonotictis pusillus and Sipalocyon gracilis, are analyzed from a functional-adaptive perspective. Five extant placentals and one marsupial model are also examined in order to interpret the locomotor adaptations of these fossils. Pseudonotictis pusillus is the smallest of the Santacrucian borhyaenoids and is known from fragmentary remains; from its small size, dental specializations and elbow anatomy,
Karyotypes and chromosomal data are presented for eight bat species representing two families (Rhinolophidae and Vespertilionidae) from Hainan Island, China. The species investigated were Rhinolophus lepidus (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. pusillus (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. affinis (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. sinicus (2n = 36, FN = 60), Myotis horsfieldi (2n = 44, FN = 52), Pipistrellus abramus (2n = 26, FN = 44), Miniopterus australis (2n = 46, FN = 50) and M. schreibersii (2n = 46, FN = 50). The karyotype of Rhinolophus lepidus is reported for the first time.
The Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Natterer 1883) is endemic to the Amazon Basin and is currently considered a vulnerable species. In order to establish normality ranges of urinary parameters to help monitor the health of this species in captivity, chemical urinalyses were performed on twelve males and nine females of various age groups. Urine was collected once a month for twelve months in the tanks just after being drained, by placing stainless steel containers under the genital slit of females and applying abdominal massages to males in order to stimulate urination. Quantitative data of glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid and amylase levels were obtained using colorimetric spectrophotometry. Dip strips were also useful for routine analyses, despite only providing qualitative results. Normal range to glucose levels, regardless of sex or age class, was 3.0 to 3.6 mgxdL-1, coinciding with qualitative values of glucose measured by dip strips. Statistical differences observed in some parameter levels suggest that some urine parameters analysed must take into consideration the sex and the age class of the animal studied, being these differences less remarkable in creatinine and amylase levels. To this last one, statistical difference was detected only in the calve's urine (7.0 to 11.5 mgxdL-1) compared to other age classes samples (4.1 to 5.3 mgxdL-1). The results presented here may be used as comparative data in future research on urinalysis in related species. PMID:20730348
Pantoja, T M A; Da Rosas, F C W; Dos Silva, V M F; Santos, A M F
We report the oldest known record of Lagomorpha, based on distinctive, small ankle bones (calcaneus and talus) from Early Eocene deposits (Middle Ypresian equivalent, ca 53?Myr ago) of Gujarat, west-central India. The fossils predate the oldest previously known crown lagomorphs by several million years and extend the record of lagomorphs on the Indian subcontinent by 35?Myr. The bones show a mosaic of derived cursorial adaptations found in gracile Leporidae (rabbits and hares) and primitive traits characteristic of extant Ochotonidae (pikas) and more robust leporids. Together with gracile and robust calcanei from the Middle Eocene of Shanghuang, China, also reported here, the Indian fossils suggest that diversification within crown Lagomorpha and possibly divergence of the family Leporidae were already underway in the Early Eocene.
Detailed karyotype descriptions of 20 Pipistrellus-like bat species belonging to the family Vespertilionidae are presented. For the first time, chromosomal complements of four species, i.e. Pipistrellus stenopterus (2n=32), P. javanicus (2n=34), Hypsugo eisentrauti (2n=42) and H. crassulus (2n=30) are reported. A Pipistrellus kuhlii-like species from Madagascar represents a separate species distinguished from the European Pipistrellus kuhlii (2n=44) by a diploid
M. Volleth; G. Bronner; M. C. Göpfert; K.-G. Heller; O. von Helversen; H.-S. Yong
All known nasal horns of the Pleistocene Palearctic woolly rhinoceros, Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumb.), are laterally flattened and transversely banded. A nasal horn discovered in the Museum of Paleontology, University of Helsinki, Finland, is described and figured. The old literature on woolly rhino horns is reviewed and the relevant plates from Brandt (1849) are reproduced. The differences between nasal and frontal
DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were obtained from a museum specimen of the presumed extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and were compared with homologous sequences from 13 representatives of the Australian marsupial family Dasyuridae. The relationship of the thylacine to dasyurids has been suggested by previous anatomical and molecular studies, but its position within the dasyuroid radiation has not been addressed with genetic data. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences reported here suggests that the thylacine is a sister group to Dasyuridae and lends support to the hypothesis that Thylacinus represents an ancient Australian marsupial lineage. Relationships with Dasyuridae support the results of other recent molecular studies, particularly in showing the affinities of endemic New Guinean subfamilies with larger Australian clades. PMID:1361058
Krajewski, C; Driskell, A C; Baverstock, P R; Braun, M J
Lycopsis longirostris, a middle Miocene Colombian borhyaenoid, is compared functionally with early Miocene borhyaenoids from Patagonia and the Tasmanian thylacine Thylacinus cynocephalus, the largest Recent marsupial carnivore. The postcranium of Lycopsis shows a mosaic of features. Although several features characterizing the long bones are consistent with a primarily terrestrial mode of life (e.g., a straight ulna and tibia, a semi-digitigrade
DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were obtained from a museum specimen of the presumed extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and were compared with homologous sequences from 13 representatives of the Australian marsupial family Dasyuridae. The relationship of the thylacine to dasyurids has been suggested by previous anatomical and molecular studies, but its position within the dasyuroid radiation has
Carey Krajewski; Amy C. Driskell; Peter R. Baverstock; Michael J. Braun
A reappraisal of the zoogeography and systematics of Asian colobines demonstrates marked discontinuities in their distribution. The Borean proboscis monkey is separated by Sumatra from its sole congener on the Mentawai Islands.Pygathrixspecies have a discontinuous distribution at the range limit of the Asian Colobinae. The existence in the Himalayas of some disjunct relatives of the south Indian fauna, has obscured
When it comes to mouse evo-devo, the fourth premolar-first molar (P4-M1) dental complex becomes a source of longstanding controversies among paleontologists and biologists. Muroidea possess only molar teeth but with additional mesial cusps on their M1. Developmental studies tend to demonstrate that the formation of such mesial cusps could result from the integration of a P4 germ into M1 during odontogenesis. Conversely, most Dipodoidea conserve their fourth upper premolars and those that lost these teeth can also bear additional mesial cusps on their first upper molars. The aim of this study is to assess this developmental model in both Muroidea and Dipodoidea by documenting the morphological evolution of the P4-M1 complex across 50?Ma. Fourteen extinct and extant species, including abnormal and mutant specimens were investigated. We found that, even if their dental evolutionary pathways strongly differ, Dipodoidea and Muroidea retain common developmental characteristics because some of them can present similar dental morphological trends. It also appears that the acquisition of a mesial cusp on M1 is independent from the loss of P4 in both superfamilies. Actually, the progressive decrease of the inhibitory effect of P4, consequent to its regression, could allow the M1 to lengthen and mesial cusps to grow in Muroidea. Apart from these developmental explanations, patternings of the mesial part of first molars are also deeply constrained by morpho-functional requirements. As there is no obvious evidence of such mechanisms in Dipodoidea given their more variable dental morphologies, further developmental investigations are needed. PMID:21740509
Background Although variation provides the raw material for natural selection and evolution, few empirical data exist about the factors controlling morphological variation. Because developmental constraints on variation are expected to act by influencing trait correlations, studies of modularity offer promising approaches that quantify and summarize patterns of trait relationships. Modules, highly-correlated and semi-autonomous sets of traits, are observed at many levels of biological organization, from genes to colonies. The evolutionary significance of modularity is considerable, with potential effects including constraining the variation of individual traits, circumventing pleiotropy and canalization, and facilitating the transformation of functional structures. Despite these important consequences, there has been little empirical study of how modularity influences morphological evolution on a macroevolutionary scale. Here, we conduct the first morphometric analysis of modularity and disparity in two clades of placental mammals, Primates and Carnivora, and test if trait integration within modules constrains or facilitates morphological evolution. Principal Findings We used both randomization methods and direct comparisons of landmark variance to compare disparity in the six cranial modules identified in previous studies. The cranial base, a highly-integrated module, showed significantly low disparity in Primates and low landmark variance in both Primates and Carnivora. The vault, zygomatic-pterygoid and orbit modules, characterized by low trait integration, displayed significantly high disparity within Carnivora. 14 of 24 results from analyses of disparity show no significant relationship between module integration and morphological disparity. Of the ten significant or marginally significant results, eight support the hypothesis that integration within modules constrains morphological evolution in the placental skull. Only the molar module, a highly-integrated and functionally important module, showed significantly high disparity in Carnivora, in support of the facilitation hypothesis. Conclusions This analysis of within-module disparity suggested that strong integration of traits had little influence on morphological evolution over large time scales. However, where significant results were found, the primary effect of strong integration of traits was to constrain morphological variation. Thus, within Primates and Carnivora, there was some support for the hypothesis that integration of traits within cranial modules limits morphological evolution, presumably by limiting the variation of individual traits.
Four species of rodents (two heteromyids and two cricetids) and one lagomorph are identified from the late Tertiary Sevier River Formation of Utah. The heteromyids include a new genus and species of heteromyine, Metaliomys sevierensis, which is intermediate in morphology between the Clarendonian and early Hemphillian Diprionomys Kellogg and the extant genera Liomys and Heteromys. A single specimen is referred to Diprionomys sp., cf. D. minimus (Kellogg). The cricetid Paronychomys lemredfieldi Jacobs is known from the Hemphillian of Arizona. The second cricetid is referred to a new genus Basirepomys. Peromyscus pliocenicus Wilson from the Hemphillian of California is designated as the type species of the new genus, to which the new species B. robertsi from Utah is referred. Basirepomys is viewed as intermediate between Peromyscus and the basal neotomyine Repomys May from the late Hemphillian and Blancan. The only lagomorph in the fauna is Hypolagus vetus (Kellogg). Four of the taxa recognized from the Sevier River Formation (Diprionomys, Paronychomys lemredfieldi, Basirepomys, and Hypolagus vetus) are elsewhere known from the Hemphillian of North America. However, it is not possible at this time to determine whether the fauna is early or late Hemphillian. ?? 2010 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
The trophic radiation of new world phyllostomid bats has often been cited as an example of an explosive adaptive radiation. However, among Old World bats a similar radiation into diverse feeding niches such as frugivory, carnivory, insectivory and nectarivory has occurred. Previous analyses of cranial shape in dietary specialists have indicated general trends in cranial shape that seemed to be
Victor Van Cakenberghe; Anthony Herrel; Luis F. Aguirre
New insights for the systematic and evolution of the wild sheep are provided by molecular phylogenies inferred from Maximum parsimony, Bayesian, Maximum likelihood, and Neighbor-Joining methods. The phylogeny of the wild sheep was based on cytochrome b sequences of 290 samples representative of most of the sub-species described in the genus Ovis. The result was confirmed by a combined tree based on cytochrome b and nuclear sequences for 79 Ovis samples representative of the robust clades established with mitochondrial data. Urial and mouflon, which are either considered as a single or two separate species, form two monophyletic groups (O. orientalis and O. vignei). Their hybrids appear in one or the other group, independently from their geographic origin. The European mouflon O. musimon is clearly in the O. orientalis clade. The others species, O. dalli, O. canadensis, O. nivicola, and O. ammon are monophyletic. The results support an Asiatic origin of the genus Ovis, followed by a migration to North America through North-Eastern Asia and the Bering Strait and a diversification of the genus in Eurasia less than 3 million years ago. Our results show that the evolution of the genus Ovis is a striking example of successive speciation events occurring along the migration routes propagating from the ancestral area. PMID:19897045
This study analyzed 76 species of Carnivora using a concatenated sequence of 6243 bp from six genes (nuclear TR-i-I, TBG, and IRBP; mitochondrial ND2, CYTB, and 12S rRNA), representing the most comprehensive sampling yet undertaken for reconstructing the phylogeny of this clade. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods were remarkably congruent in topologies observed and in nodal support measures. We recovered all of the higher level carnivoran clades that had been robustly supported in previous analyses (by analyses of morphological and molecular data), including the monophyly of Caniformia, Feliformia, Arctoidea, Pinnipedia, Musteloidea, Procyonidae + Mustelidae sensu stricto, and a clade of (Hyaenidae + (Herpestidae + Malagasy carnivorans)). All of the traditional "families," with the exception of Viverridae and Mustelidae, were robustly supported as monophyletic groups. We further have determined the relative positions of the major lineages within the Caniformia, which previous studies could not resolve, including the first robust support for the phylogenetic position of marine carnivorans (Pinnipedia) within the Arctoidea (as the sister-group to musteloids [sensu lato], with ursids as their sister group). Within the pinnipeds, Odobenidae (walrus) was more closely allied with otariids (sea lions/fur seals) than with phocids ("true" seals). In addition, we recovered a monophyletic clade of skunks and stink badgers (Mephitidae) and resolved the topology of musteloid interrelationships as: Ailurus (Mephitidae (Procyonidae, Mustelidae [sensu stricto])). This pattern of interrelationships of living caniforms suggests a novel inference that large body size may have been the primitive condition for Arctoidea, with secondary size reduction evolving later in some musteloids. Within Mustelidae, Bayesian analyses are unambiguous in supporting otter monophyly (Lutrinae), and in both MP and Bayesian analyses Martes is paraphyletic with respect to Gulo and Eira, as has been observed in some previous molecular studies. Within Feliformia, we have confirmed that Nandinia is the outgroup to all other extant feliforms, and that the Malagasy Carnivora are a monophyletic clade closely allied with the mongooses (Herpestidae [sensu stricto]). Although the monophyly of each of the three major feliform clades (Viverridae sensu stricto, Felidae, and the clade of Hyaenidae + (Herpestidae + Malagasy carnivorans)) is robust in all of our analyses, the relative phylogenetic positions of these three lineages is not resolvable at present. Our analyses document the monophyly of the "social mongooses," strengthening evidence for a single origin of eusociality within the Herpestidae. For a single caniform node, the position of pinnipeds relative to Ursidae and Musteloidea, parsimony analyses of data for the entire Carnivora did not replicate the robust support observed for both parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the caniform ingroup alone. More detailed analyses and these results demonstrate that outgroup choice can have a considerable effect on the strength of support for a particular topology. Therefore, the use of exemplar taxa as proxies for entire clades with diverse evolutionary histories should be approached with caution. The Bayesian analysis likelihood functions generally were better able to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships (increased resolution and more robust support for various nodes) than parsimony analyses when incompletely sampled taxa were included. Bayesian analyses were not immune, however, to the effects of missing data; lower resolution and support in those analyses likely arise from non-overlap of gene sequence data among less well-sampled taxa. These issues are a concern for similar studies, in which different gene sequences are concatenated in an effort to increase resolving power. PMID:16012099
Flynn, John J; Finarelli, John A; Zehr, Sarah; Hsu, Johnny; Nedbal, Michael A
Extant species of Muridae occupy a wide array of habitats and have diverse dietary habits. Consequently, their dental microwear patterns represent a potential clue to better understand the paleoecology of their extinct relatives, which are abundant in many Old World Neogene localities. In this study, dental microwear is investigated for specimens of 17 extant species of murine and deomyine rodents in order to test the reliability of this method and infer dietary preferences on the fossil species Saïdomys afarensis. This extinct form comes from a mid-Pliocene site (AL 327) located at the Hadar Formation (Ethiopia) known to have delivered many hominid specimens of Australopithecus afarensis. A significant correlation between microwear patterns and diet is detected. Thus, grass, fruit, and insect eaters display, respectively, high amounts of fine scratches, wide scratches, and large pits. Moreover, some aspects of the paleoecology of S. afarensis, including feeding habits, could be assessed in regard to its dental microwear pattern. Indeed, it probably had feeding habits similar to that of living grass eaters. These results concur with the presence of open to woodland areas covered by an herbaceous vegetal layer, including monocotyledons, in the vicinity of this mid-Pliocene locality.
Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4-4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6-0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European-C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus. PMID:23671605
Horá?ek, Ivan; Knitlová, Markéta; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, László; Nadachowski, Adam
Squirrels include several independent lineages of dwarf forms distributed into two ecological groups: the dwarf tree and flying squirrels. The mandible of dwarf tree squirrels share a highly reduced coronoid process and a condylar process drawn backwards. Dwarf flying squirrels on the other hand, have an elongated coronoid process and a well-differentiated condylar process. To interpret such a difference, Elliptic Fourier Transform was used to evaluate how mandible shape varies with dwarfism in sciurids. The results obtained show that this clear-cut difference cannot be explained by a simple allometric relationship in relation with size decrease. We concluded that the retention of anteriorly positioned eye sockets, in relation with distance estimation, allowed the conservation of a well-differentiated coronoid process in all flying species, despite the trend towards its reduction observed among sciurids as their size decreases.
Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques
The fossil record of the first genera of each family of South American Hystricognathi rodents is reviewed. On this basis the main events for the radiation of the infraorder on this continent are recognized. Two main events can be identified: the first occurs probably during the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, and the second at the Middle-Late Miocene boundary.
Guiomar Vucetich, Marìa; Verzi, Diego H.; Hartenberger, Jean-Louis
Today and in the Tertiary, the geographical distribution of castorids is limited throughout all of the northern continents. Fossils of the Castoridae genus Steneofiber are abundant in many localities of Eurasia from the late Oligocene to Pliocene period. Recently, Steneofiber fossils were discovered in two localities of northern Thailand, Mae Moh and Chiang Muan coal mines, in layers of late middle Miocene age. These discoveries represent the first records of castorids from Southeast Asia and correspond to their southernmost known range. The focus of this study is to describe this new Thai species of Steneofiber and to define its wear stages from the molar occlusal surfaces by using micro-CT scan analysis. The CT scan technique permits the analysis of the virtual occlusal surface changes from wear, allowing easier comparison to related species of Steneofiber cheek teeth without destroying the teeth. The new species, Steneofiber siamensis n. sp., can be distinguished from the other species of Steneofiber by several distinct characters, longer mesostriid on p4, presence of premesostria and metastria on P4, which are smaller than most of the other known species. The occurrence of this new castorid also supports a subtropical to tropical paleoclimate for these two localities of northern Thailand.
Reviewing the ancestor-descendant relationships of first genera representatives of 52 fossil and extant families of rodents allow the building of a phylogenetic tree of Rodentia. The shaping of this tree suggests the distribution of these families in six suborders and six infraorders.
The tribe Myonycterini comprises five fruit bat species of the family Pteropodidae, which are endemic to tropical Africa. Previous studies have produced conflicting results about their interspecific relationships. Here, we performed a comparative phylogeographic analysis based on 148 complete cytochrome b gene sequences from the three species distributed in West Africa and Central Africa (Myonycteris torquata, Lissonycteris angolensis and Megaloglossus woermanni). In addition, we investigated phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Myonycterini, using a matrix including 29 terminal taxa and 7235 nucleotide characters, corresponding to an alignment of two mitochondrial genes and seven nuclear introns. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the genus Megaloglossus belongs to the tribe Myonycterini. Further, the genus Rousettus is paraphyletic, with R. lanosus, sometimes placed in the genus Stenonycteris, being the sister-group of the tribes Myonycterini and Epomophorini. Our phylogeographic results showed that populations of Myonycteris torquata and Megaloglossus woermanni from the Upper Guinea Forest are highly divergent from those of the Congo Basin Forest. Based on our molecular data, we recommended several taxonomic changes. First, Stenonycteris should be recognized as a separate genus from Rousettus and composed of S. lanosus. This genus should be elevated to a new tribe, Stenonycterini, within the subfamily Epomophorinae. This result shows that the evolution of lingual echolocation was more complicated than previously accepted. Second, the genus Lissonycteris is synonymised with Myonycteris. Third, the populations from West Africa formerly included in Myonycteris torquata and Megaloglossus woermanni are now placed in two distinct species, respectively, Myonycteris leptodon and Megaloglossus azagnyi sp. nov. Our molecular dating estimates show that the three phases of taxonomic diversification detected within the tribe Myonycterini can be related to three distinct decreases in tree cover vegetation, at 6.5-6, 2.7-2.5, and 1.8-1.6Ma. Our results suggest that the high nucleotide distance between Ebolavirus Côte d'Ivoire and Ebolavirus Zaire can be correlated with the Plio/Pleistocene divergence between their putative reservoir host species, i.e., Myonycteris leptodon and Myonycteris torquata, respectively. PMID:23063885
Background Bats of the family Phyllostomidae show a unique diversity in feeding specializations. This taxon includes species that are highly specialized on insects, blood, small vertebrates, fruits or nectar, and pollen. Feeding specialization is accompanied by morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations. Several attempts were made to resolve the phylogenetic relationships within this family in order to reconstruct the evolutionary transitions accompanied by nutritional specialization. Nevertheless, the evolution of nectarivory remained equivocal. Results Phylogenetic reconstructions, based on a concatenated nuclear-and mitochondrial data set, revealed a paraphyletic relationship of nectarivorous phyllostomid bats. Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the nectarivorous genera Lonchophylla and Lionycteris are closer related to mainly frugivorous phyllostomids of the subfamilies Rhinophyllinae, Stenodermatinae, Carolliinae, and the insectivorous Glyphonycterinae rather than to nectarivorous bats of the Glossophaginae. This suggests an independent origin of morphological adaptations to a nectarivorous lifestyle within Lonchophyllinae and Glossophaginae. Molecular clock analysis revealed a relatively short time frame of about ten million years for the divergence of subfamilies. Conclusions Our study provides strong support for diphyly of nectarivorous phyllostomids. This is remarkable, since their morphological adaptations to nutrition, like elongated rostrums and tongues, reduced teeth and the ability to use hovering flight while ingestion, closely resemble each other. However, more precise examinations of their tongues (e.g. type and structure of papillae and muscular innervation) revealed levels of difference in line with an independent evolution of nectarivory in these bats.
The phylogenetic relationships of notoungulates, an extinct group of predominantly South American herbivores, remain poorly resolved with respect to both other placental mammals and among one another. Most previous phylogenetic analyses of notoungulates have not included characters of the internal cranium, not least because few such features, including the bony labyrinth, have been described for members of the group. Here we describe the inner ears of the notoungulates Altitypotherium chucalensis (Mesotheriidae), Pachyrukhos moyani (Hegetotheriidae) and Cochilius sp. (Interatheriidae) based on reconstructions of bony labyrinths obtained from computed tomography imagery. Comparisons of the bony labyrinths of these taxa with the basally diverging notoungulate Notostylops murinus (Notostylopidae), an isolated petrosal from Itaboraí, Brazil, referred to Notoungulata, and six therian outgroups, yielded an inner ear character matrix of 25 potentially phylogenetically informative characters, 14 of them novel to this study. Two equivocally optimized character states potentially support a pairing of Mesotheriidae and Hegetotheriidae, whereas four others may be diagnostic of Notoungulata. Three additional characters are potentially informative for diagnosing more inclusive clades: one for crown Placentalia; another for a clade containing Kulbeckia, Zalambdalestes, and Placentalia; and a third for Eutheria (crown Placentalia plus stem taxa). Several other characters are apomorphic for at least one notoungulate in our study and are of potential interest for broader taxonomic sampling within Notoungulata to clarify currently enigmatic interrelationships. Measures of the semicircular canals were used to infer agility (e.g. capable of quick movements vs. lethargic movements) of these taxa. Agility scores calculated from these data generally corroborate interpretations based on postcranial remains of these or closely related species. We provide estimates of the low-frequency hearing limits in notoungulates based on the ratio of radii of the apical and basal turns of the cochlea. These limits range from 15?Hz in Notostylops to 149?Hz in Pachyrukhos, values comparable to the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) when hearing in air, respectively. PMID:24102069
Macrini, Thomas E; Flynn, John J; Ni, Xijun; Croft, Darin A; Wyss, André R
Highly detailed microscopic preparation of both newly discovered and previously undescribed nimravine crania from the White River Group of North America reveals hitherto unreported morphological features of the basi-cranium and auditory region, particularly the composition of the auditory bulla and form of the petrosal. The monophyly of Dinictis, Hoplophoneus, and Nimravus is supported by a remarkably uniform configuration of the
R. M. Joeckel; Stéphane Peigné; Robert M. Hunt; Robert I. Skolnick
The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls.
The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165
Great progress has been made toward resolving the evolutionary relationships among extant mammals, yet there are still areas of disagreement. The relationships among ferungulates that have high quality draft genome sequences available (i.e. dog, cow, horse) are unresolved, and thus we examined their phylogeny using currently known mammalian 1:1 orthologs. This dataset consists of 40 million base pairs from 2705 protein-coding genes. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of the combined and individual gene phylogenies strongly support a sister grouping of cow and horse to the exclusion of dog although topology tests could not rule out a horse and dog sister group relationship.
Hou, Zhuo-cheng; Romero, Roberto; Wildman, Derek E.
The structural and functional organization and the spatio-temporal interrelations of three sympatric vole species (Microtus oeconomus, Clethrionomys, rutilus, and C. rufocanus) were analyzed on territories different in the type of their functional significance to the animals (survival stations, zones of temporary dispersal, and transit zones). The study was conducted in the environs of the Iremel massif (54 degrees 31'25" N 58 degrees 50'18" E) in 1979-1981, in four 1 ha marking-areas in four different altitudinal zones. It is shown that the abundance and demographic structure is different for each species pair in each area, whereas their dynamics in synchronous. The overlap of niches in two Clethrionomys species is small and cannot cause their competition for food. The distribution of voles within the areas is usually independent, but has some peculiarities depending on the type of territory usage by the animals. Preferred microterritories that help species to avoid competition are revealed for each species to occur in different areas. These are cases of spatial separation, not of ecological isolation of sympatric species. Spatial and temporal division of environmental resources is controlled by mechanisms that have developed in the process of the community's evolution. PMID:18257290
Opossums and pitvipers are sympatric throughout most of the New World, but trophic relationships between these speciose clades have only recently attracted the attention of researchers. Although it is now known that some venom-resistant opossums prey on pitvipers, a review of the literature on diets shows that some Neotropical pitvipers prey on opossums. Interestingly, some pitviper species prey on opossums known or suspected to be venom resistant. If venom resistance and venom potency are coevolved traits, then these observations suggest that alternative outcomes may result in role-switching between victims and exploiters. Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research. PMID:23402839
We studied the geographic variation of skulls of Lycalopex culpaeus using qualitative and quantative analyses. The sampling area covered Chile, from its northern portion, to Tierra del Fuego and the neighbouring Hoste Island, as well as part of Argentina. Five subespecies are currently recognized from this large area. We found two morphotypes that are segregated geographically. Both groups mostly differ by morphometric attributes, followed by qualitative features. Specimens from northern Chile (Tarapacá and Antofagasta) have small skulls, short rostrum, a liriform sagital zone, and lack the interparietal crest. The second group is formed by specimens from north-western and central Argentina, central-south Chile, Patagonia, and the austral islands of Tierra del Fuego and Hoste. This group presents a strong sagital crest, large rostrum, and a large skull. Our results agree with observed patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation. We propose to retain the name L. c. andinus for the populations of northern Chile and to synonymize L. c. magellanicus, L. c. lycoides, and L. c. smithersi under L. c. culpaeus. PMID:19637719
Guzmán, Jonathan A; D'Elía, Guillermo; Ortiz, Juan Carlos
In the present study, the genetic polymorphism of the Chionomys genus was examined based on the sequencing of the mitochondrial cytb gene and two nuclear exons, including CHR exon 10 and BRCA1 exon 11. The distinct subdivision of the genus of snow voles into five lineages, including Ch. nivalis, Ch. gud, Ch. roberti, and Ch. aff. nivalis from Turkey, as well as Ch. aff. gud from Turkey, was demonstrated. The branching order in the trees constructed based on the data for different genes was ambiguous, which was probably the consequence of recent and rapid radiation of the major lineages from a common ancestor. However, the data of the mitochondrial and nuclear gene analyses definitely indicated that the genetic and taxonomic diversity of the Chionomys genus was higher than it was expected before. The genetic divergence of some populations was so deep that they probably deserved the statuses of independent species. Despite that the range of the European snow vole Ch. nivalis is larger and more fragmented than the Gudaur vole Ch, gud, the latter species with its relatively small range, which is limited to the Caucasian and Pontic Mountains, was characterized by a similarly expressed phylogenetic structure. At the same time, Robert's vole Ch. roberti was less structured genetically than the first two species. The data obtained supported the Near Eastern, rather than the European origin of the Chionomys genus. PMID:24159807
Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4–4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6–0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European – C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus.
Horacek, Ivan; Knitlova, Marketa; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, Laszlo; Nadachowski, Adam
Denial of Service attacks are presenting an increasing threat to the global inter-networking infrastructure. While TCP's congestion control algorithm is highly robust to diverse network conditions, its implicit assumption of end-system cooperation results in a well-known vulnerability to attack by high-rate non-responsive flows. In this paper, we investigate a class of low-rate denial of service attacks which, unlike high-rate attacks,
Summary The resting heartbeat frequency of all the studied wild small mammals (body mass 3-20 g) was lower than that predicted by the allometric equation for a typical mammal. The heart rate of the laboratory mouse was a little higher than the expected value. The ventricular mass of the small wild mammals was higher than predicted for their size, but
Many vertebrates have more than one molecular form of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) present in brain. In all cases documented to date, GnRH neurons located in the forebrain are critical players in the brain–pituitary–gonadal feedback axis although the details of how steroids regulate GnRH remain elusive. The function of the second form, usually produced in cells in the midbrain, is not
Multiannual variation is one of several types of species morphological variability, one that is directly related to ecophenotypic\\u000a and evolutionary responses to changing environments. The morphology of small mammal populations can change quickly because\\u000a generation length is short, usually one year, and individual lifespans are often only a year or two. We studied the response\\u000a of skull and mandible morphology
After the extermination of tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India in 2004, three tigers were re-introduced in Sariska during 2008–2009. The present study examined the prey selection and dietary overlap between leopard and tiger after re-introduction of tiger in the study area. Scat analysis revealed the presence of nine prey species in leopard scat (n?=?90 scats) and five prey
K. Mondal; S. Gupta; S. Bhattacharjee; Q. Qureshi; K. Sankar
The systematics of the genus Capra remain controversial in spite of studies conducted using morphology, mtDNA, and allozymes. Here, we assess the evolutionary history of Capra (i) using phylogenetic analysis of two nuclear genes located on the Y-chromosome and (ii) previously published and new cytochrome b sequences. For the Y-chromosome phylogeny, we sequenced segments from the amelogenin (AMELY) and zinc
Nathalie Pidancier; Steve Jordan; Gordon Luikart; Pierre Taberlet
Thirty-seven antigenic determinants were identified in the albumins, the immunoglobulin µ- and IgG(Fc) chains, and the C3 proteins of 51 carnivoran (sub)species from 31 genera, and in 12 noncarnivoran mammals. In addition to 19 determinants plesiomorphic for Carnivora as an order, 18 synapomorphic epitopes of carnivoran families revealed nine phylogenetic reaction groups: (1) canids, (2) ursids, (3) the racoon, (4)
Arnd Schreiber; Klaus Eulenberger; Klausdieter Bauer
A two year study of dung beetles and ants acting on scats of two species of opossum (Didelphis spp.) was carried out. Scats were left in the field in order to detect post-dispersal agents. A portion of each scat (30 %) was examined for seeds in the laboratory. Beetles were recovered from burrows (51% of 84 faecal samples left in the field) where they either buried scats of opossums or were attracted, together with ants, to pitfalls (N = 10) baited with opossum scats. Dung beetles were the main post-dispersal agents of seeds found in scats of opossums, rolling the scats away or burying then on the site of deposition. They buried faeces at 4 to 15 cm in depth (N = 22 tunnels). The main dung beetles identified (medium to large size) were Eurysternus (28.7 % in pitfalls) and Dichotomius (13.7 %), Coprophanaeus (seen only directly on faeces), besides small-bodied beetles (< 10 mm; 57.6 %). The ant Acromirmex sp. transported some seeds from scats. This species was present in 25.5 % of all Formicidae samples (pitfall). These post-dispersal agents contribute to avert scat seed predators such as rodents, and to accelerate seed bank formation. PMID:18457158
Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; Monteiro-Filho, Emygdio L A
Some Trypanosoma and Leishmania species are multi-host parasites whose distribution overlaps in several parts of the Brazilian Amazon basin. Despite being a common trait among wild mammals, mixed infections and their consequences for the host's health and parasite transmission are still a poorly known phenomenon. Here we describe a triple mixed infection - Trypanosoma cruzi, T. rangeli and Leishmania infantum - in a bone marrow sample from an anteater Tamandua tetradactyla captured in a house backyard from the endemic Abaetetuba municipality in the Amazon basin. T. cruzi was also isolated from blood samples. The mini-exon multiplex PCR characterization detected the infection by T. rangeli and T. cruzi (TcI genotype), while L. infantum infection was confirmed by an ITS-PCR followed by amplicon sequencing. This is the first description of T. rangeli isolation from bone marrow and the first report of L. infantum infection in xenarthrans. The implications of this finding are discussed considering the influence of mixed infections in the role of this mammal species as a putative reservoir host of these 3 trypanosomatid species. PMID:23253893
De Araújo, Vitor Antônio L; Boité, Mariana C; Cupolillo, Elisa; Jansen, Ana Maria; Roque, André Luiz R
The Anchitheriinae are an extinct subfamily of Equidae that first appeared in North America near the base of the Miocene. Anchitheriinae are found in subtropical to warm temperate habitats and were long considered to be adapted to eating browse. In Europe the genus Anchithe- rium first occurred in the MN3 mammal zone and became extinct in MN9. The assemblage from
In contrast to the paranasal sinuses of Old World monkeys and hominoids, little information is available about the paranasal sinuses of New World monkeys. Because this information is crucial in order to draw further conclusions about the evolution and biological role of skull pneumatization, this study investigates the morphology of the paranasal sinuses in adult black-and-gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Volumes of the paranasal sinuses were calculated using computer software (SURFdriver or Allegro) from serial coronal CT scans of 20 skulls of both sexes. Skull pneumatization in A. caraya is more complex than in other higher primates. In both sexes, the maxillary sinus (MS) is the only pneumatic cavity and enlarges regularly into neighboring bones such as the frontal bone and the basisphenoid. The resulting pansinus is often partitioned by several vertical septa. As in most external cranial dimensions, mean MS volume of A. caraya (male 4.08 cm(3); female 2.00 cm(3)) shows significant sexual dimorphism. Reduced major axis regression analysis between MS volume and different cranial dimensions for A. caraya (and for available data from other platyrrhines) suggests a distinct association for this group, with Alouatta having one of the largest pneumatic cavities. The combination of this unusual expansion of the MS of Alouatta and the occurrence of distinct septa within the sinus may be a consequence of the distinct skull architecture of Alouatta. PMID:15599931
Koppe, Thomas; Moormann, Tobias; Wallner, Claus-Peter; Röhrer-Ertl, Olav
The cheek teeth of Ectoganus and Stylinodon, the most derived genera of Taeniodonta following recent phylogenies, show various morphological and microstructural characteristics that are unusual for herbivores of their size. Their continuously growing premolars and molars have blunt occlusal surfaces without shearing facets and enamel is restricted to the lingual and buccal sides of the teeth. The anterior and posterior
Wighart Von Koenigswald; Daniela C. Kalthoff; Gina M. Semprebon
Phylogeographic patterns were used to assess intraspecific diversification of American martens ( Martes americana ). Within martens, two morphological groups ( americana and caurina ) have been recognized, though the level of distinction between them has been debated. We examined mitochondrial cytochrome b gene haplotypes from 680 martens to explore the colonization history of the Pacific Northwest and found two
KAREN D. S TONE; R ODNEY W. F LYNN; JOSEPH A. C OOK
Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis’ isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores’ literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be bioaccumulator of T. cruzi DTU’s, seem to take place at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.
Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, Andre Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourao, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria
A new microphallid species of Maritrema is described from the native southern river otter, Lontra provocax (Thomas). A naturally infected otter was found dead in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina. Ovigerous adult worms were recovered from the anterior portion of the intestine. Specimens of Maritrema huillini n. sp. have an unarmed genital pore and glabrous cirrus. They can be distinguished from all other species in the genus by having a long intestinal ceca extending up to three-quarters of the testes length to the level of the posterior border of the testes and a metraterm composed of a proximal sphincter, a non-muscular sac, and a distal muscular portion. This microphallid is the first species recovered from a South American eutherian host and the first digenean recorded for L. provocax. PMID:22540416
Flores, Verónica R; Brugni, Norma L; Pozzi, Carla M
Background Although it has proven to be an important foundation for investigations of carnivoran ecology, biology and evolution, the complete species-level supertree for Carnivora of Bininda-Emonds et al. is showing its age. Additional, largely molecular sequence data are now available for many species and the advancement of computer technology means that many of the limitations of the original analysis can now be avoided. We therefore sought to provide an updated estimate of the phylogenetic relationships within all extant Carnivora, again using supertree analysis to be able to analyze as much of the global phylogenetic database for the group as possible. Results In total, 188 source trees were combined, representing 114 trees from the literature together with 74 newly constructed gene trees derived from nearly 45,000 bp of sequence data from GenBank. The greater availability of sequence data means that the new supertree is almost completely resolved and also better reflects current phylogenetic opinion (for example, supporting a monophyletic Mephitidae, Eupleridae and Prionodontidae; placing Nandinia binotata as sister to the remaining Feliformia). Following an initial rapid radiation, diversification rate analyses indicate a downturn in the net speciation rate within the past three million years as well as a possible increase some 18.0 million years ago; numerous diversification rate shifts within the order were also identified. Conclusions Together, the two carnivore supertrees remain the only complete phylogenetic estimates for all extant species and the new supertree, like the old one, will form a key tool in helping us to further understand the biology of this charismatic group of carnivores.
Most natural forests have been converted for human use, restricting biological life to small forest fragments. Many animals, including some species of bats are disappearing and the list of these species grows every day. It seems that the destruction of the habitat is one of its major causes. This study aimed to analyze how this community of bats was made up in environments with different sizes and quality of habitat. Data from studies conducted in the region of Londrina, Parana, Brazil, from 1982 to 2000 were used. Originally, this area was covered by a semi deciduous forest, especially Aspidosperma polyneuron (Apocynaceae), Ficus insipida (Moraceae), Euterpe edulis (Arecaceae), Croton floribundus (Euforbiaceae), and currently, only small remnants of the original vegetation still exist. The results showed a decline in the number of species caught in smaller areas compared to the largest remnant. In about 18 years of sampling, 42 species of bats were found in the region, representing 67% of the species that occur in Paraná and 24.4% in Brazil. There were two species of Noctilionidae; 21 of Phyllostoma; 11 Vespertilionidae and eight Molossidae. Eight of these were captured only in the largest fragment, Mata dos Godoy State Park (680 ha). Ten species had a low capture rate in the smaller areas with less than three individuals. Of the total sampled, 14 species were found in human buildings, and were able to tolerate modified environments, foraging and even using them as shelter. As the size of the forest area increases, there is a greater variety of ecological opportunities and their physical conditions become more stable, i.e., conditions favorable for growth and survival of a greater number of species. Forest fragmentation limits and creates subpopulations, preserving only long-lived K-strategist animals for some time, where the supporting capacity of the environment is a limiting factor. The reduction of habitats, species and genetic diversity resulting from human activities are endangering the future adaptability in natural ecosystems, which promotes the disappearance of low adaptive potential species. PMID:22990822
Reis, N R; Gallo, P H; Peracchi, A L; Lima, L P; Fregonezi, M N
Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren). Surprisingly, these fossils come from the Eocene of Jamaica, while stem Hyracoidea and Proboscidea--the putative sister-groups to Sirenia--are recorded in Africa as early as the Late Paleocene. So far, the historical biogeography of early Sirenia has remained obscure given this paradox between phylogeny and fossil record. Here we use X-ray microtomography to investigate a newly discovered sirenian petrosal from the Eocene of Tunisia. This fossil represents the oldest occurrence of sirenians in Africa. The morphology of this petrosal is more primitive than the Jamaican prorastomids' one, which emphasizes the basal position of this new African taxon within the Sirenia clade. This discovery testifies to the great antiquity of Sirenia in Africa, and therefore supports their African origin. While isotopic analyses previously suggested sirenians had adapted directly to the marine environment, new paleoenvironmental evidence suggests that basal-most sea cows were likely restricted to fresh waters. PMID:23342128
Sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (1140bp) and nuclear Rag 2 (1148bp) genes were used to assess the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan bat genus Myotis, based on a worldwide sampling of over 88 named species plus 7 species with uncertain nomenclature. Phylogenetic reconstructions of this comprehensive taxon sampling show that most radiation of species occurred independently within each biogeographic region. Our molecular study supports an early divergence of species from the New World, where all Nearctic and Neotropical species plus a lineage from the Palaearctic constitute a monophyletic clade, sister to the remaining Old World taxa. The major Old World clade includes all remaining Eurasian taxa, most Oriental species, one Oceanian, and all Ethiopian species. Another lineage, including M. latirostris from Taiwan, appears at the base of these two major biogeographic clades and, because it bears nyctalodont molars, could be considered as a distinct genus. However, this molar configuration is also found in crown-group species, indicating that these dental characters are variable in the genus Myotis and may confound interpretation of the fossil record. Molecular datings suggest an origin of all recent Myotis in the early Miocene (about 21MYA with 95% highest posterior density interval 23-20MYA). This period was characterized by a global climatic cooling that reduced the availability of tropical habitats and favoured the development of more temperate vegetation. This sharp climatic change might have triggered the evolution of Myotis in the Northern continents, because Myotis ancestors seem to have been well adapted and successful in such temperate habitats. Ancestral area reconstructions based on the molecular phylogeny suggest that the eastern portion of the Asian continent was an important center of origin for the early diversification of all Myotis lineages, and involved relatively few subsequent transcontinental range expansions. PMID:23988307
Ruedi, Manuel; Stadelmann, Benoît; Gager, Yann; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Francis, Charles M; Lin, Liang-Kong; Guillén-Servent, Antonio; Cibois, Alice
A new species of Hyaenidae, Hyaenictitherium minimum, is described in the carnivore fauna of the Late Miocene layers of Toros-Menalla (Chad). Its size is similar to that of a jackal and it had probably a similar ecological niche. It is found in several fossil-bearing localities of this area. The genus Hyaenictitherium is known from the early Late Miocene in Eurasia
Louis de Bonis; Stéphane Peigné; Andossa Likius; Hassane Taïsso Mackaye; Patrick Vignaud; Michel Brunet
celíaca (70%), ou em tronco comum com esta (30%); b) os ramos diretos da artéria mesentérica cranial são as artérias pancreaticoduodenal caudal (100%), cólica média (100%), duodenojejunal (90%), pancre- ática (10%), hepática (10%), cólica direita (100%), jejunais (100%), ileocólica (100%) e ileal (100%). A artéria mesentérica caudal surge da face ventral da aorta abdominal, imediatamente cranial à emergência das artérias
Gilberto Valente Machado; Pedro Renato Gonçalves; Adelvino Parizzi
Many freshwater invertebrates rely on vectors for their passive dispersal. A wide array of vectors has already been investigated,\\u000a but dispersal mediated by aquatic mammals remains largely unknown. Since nutria (Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782) live in a variety of aquatic habitats and frequently move around between these water bodies, they have the\\u000a opportunity to transport hitch-hiking aquatic invertebrates along with
Aline Waterkeyn; Olivier Pineau; Patrick Grillas; Luc Brendonck
A new genus and species of aplodontid rodent, Proansomys dureensis, from the late Oligocene of the northern Junggar Basin of China is described. The new genus is referred to as Ansomyinae because the ectoloph on the upper cheek teeth, although not fully crested, has attained the same characteristic bucket-handle-shaped configuration as other members of the subfamily. It represents the earliest record of the subfamily yet discovered in Asia and is more plesiomorphic than species of the genus Ansomys in having a partly crested ectoloph, a lower degree of lophodonty, and less complex tooth basins (lacking accessory lophules). Proansomys has transitional features between Prosciurus and Ansomys, suggesting that the Ansomyinae derived from a group of aplodontids related to Prosciurus, as did other advanced aplodontid rodents. This provides new light on the paleobiogeography of the Ansomyinae.
Bi, Shundong; Meng, Jin; McLean, Sarah; Wu, Wenyu; Ni, Xijun; Ye, Jie
Background. Despite the rising interest in homeotic genes, little has been known about the course and pattern of evolution of homeotic traits across the mammalian radiation. An array of emerging and diversifying homeotic gradients revealed by this study appear to generate new body plans and drive evolution at a large scale. Methodology\\/Principal Findings. This study identifies and evaluates a set
Incisors with continuous growth are characteristic of rodents, and microfossil layers contain many of these incisors. For several extant families of rodents, the allometric relationships between the size of the upper incisor and the skull-length, the body-size and the body-mass were quantified, in order to estimate the body-size of fossil rodents. Therefore, the fossil incisors can be helpful for studying the composition and the structure of the communities of fossil rodents. This method was applied to a fossil rodent community from Algeria.
The preliminary analysis of a new continental vertebrate locality from the basal part of the Bugti Member (Baluchistan) focuses on the Cricetidae. From dental remains, two new species are described here, and related to genera Pseudocricetodon and Atavocricetodon, well known in the Early Oligocène from Europe. Compared to the European and Chinese Late Eocene specimen, their evolutionary stage suggests the Bugti locality to be Early Oligocène in age. These species are the first but also the oldest Paleogene record of the family on the Indian subcontinent and represent the originating ancestor group of the European cricetids.
Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren). Surprisingly, these fossils come from the Eocene of Jamaica, while stem Hyracoidea and Proboscidea - the putative sister-groups to Sirenia - are recorded in Africa as early as the Late Paleocene. So far, the historical biogeography of early Sirenia has remained obscure given this paradox between phylogeny and fossil record. Here we use X-ray microtomography to investigate a newly discovered sirenian petrosal from the Eocene of Tunisia. This fossil represents the oldest occurrence of sirenians in Africa. The morphology of this petrosal is more primitive than the Jamaican prorastomids’ one, which emphasizes the basal position of this new African taxon within the Sirenia clade. This discovery testifies to the great antiquity of Sirenia in Africa, and therefore supports their African origin. While isotopic analyses previously suggested sirenians had adapted directly to the marine environment, new paleoenvironmental evidence suggests that basal-most sea cows were likely restricted to fresh waters.
Fourteen species of bats are reported for the first time from Guyana (Saccopteryx gymnura, Micronycteris brachyotis, M. homezi, Lichonycteris obscura, Anoura latidens, Vampyressa pusilla, Vampyrodes caraccioli, Eptesicus chiriquinus, Cynomops paranus, Molossops neglectus, Molossus sp., Molossus coibensis, Molossus sinaloae, and Promops centralis) bringing the known bat diversity for the country to 121 species. Information including measurements, reproductive data, distribution, and taxonomy
The so-called Hundsheim rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis , was a very common faunal element of the Early to early Middle Pleistocene period in the western Palaearctic. In this study, individuals from two different central European populations of the Hundsheim rhinoceros were analysed in order to determine whether their local dietary signals could reflect differing food availability between the two populations, and whether such information could provide a better understanding of the ecological role of S. hundsheimensis within corresponding faunal assemblages, and of its principal subsistence strategy in the western Palaearctic. The mesowear traits observed in the studied S. hundsheimensis populations have been interpreted as representing biome-specific signals, indicating grassland vegetation at the site of Süßenborn, and dense to open forests at Voigtstedt (both localities in Germany). The analyses performed on the fossil rhino material demonstrate the most pronounced dietary variability ever established for a single herbivorous ungulate species by mesowear studies. This variability ranges from an attrition dominated grazing regime, to a one of predominantly browsing, and characterises S. hundsheimensis as the most ecologically tolerant rhinoceros of the Palaearctic Plio-Pleistocene. Although such dietary flexibility proved an effective enough subsistence strategy over a period of 600-900 ka (1.4/1.2-0.6/0.5 Myr) in the western Palaearctic, the situation changed dramatically after 0.6 Myr BP, when the new species of rhinoceroses, Stephanorhinus hemitoechus and Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis , appeared and started to compete for both the grass and the browse. For the generalist S. hundsheimensis , this bilateral interference was detrimental to its success in all of its habitats. The successful competition of specialised forms of rhinoceroses, which might have originated as a result of the development of 100 ka periodicity in the global climatic record, is proposed as the main reason for the extinction of S. hundsheimensis during the early Middle Pleistocene.
BACKGROUND: The Rhinopomatidae, traditionally considered to be one of the most ancient chiropteran clades, remains one of the least known groups of Rhinolophoidea. No relevant fossil record is available for this family. Whereas there have been extensive radiations in related families Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae, there are only a few species in the Rhinopomatidae and their phylogenetic relationship and status are
We present the first descriptive comparison of the skull, mandible and jaw muscles of the recently recovered Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus. The gross anatomy of five specimens captured in Laos and internal architecture of the jaw musculature were studied using dissections. The following muscles are described: temporal, masseter, pterygoids, digastric, mylohyoid, geniohyoid and transverse mandibular. The description of the masticatory apparatus of L. aenigmamus offers a rare opportunity to assess the order of establishment of the morphological characters during the evolution of Ctenohystrica. Striking convergences have occurred during the evolution of Diatomyidae and L. aenigmamus presents a unique combination of myological features that corresponds to a mixture of sciurognathous and hystricognathous characters. If L. aenigmamus is a sciurognathous rodent, we have to assume that it independently acquired a pars reflexa of the superficial masseter. We show for the first time that the development of this pars reflexa has occurred several times during the evolution of Ctenohystrica and can no longer be considered a synapomorphic feature of ‘Hystricognathi’. These results bring new insights into the evolution of hystricognathy and have profound implications for the interpretation of the fossil record of early hystricognath rodents.
The Paleogene lagomorph record in Europe is based exclusively on dental remains—with the exception of an undetermined skeleton\\u000a from the Late Oligocene oil shale locality of Rott, Germany (Paleogene Mammal Unit MP 30). The specimen described here was\\u000a excavated from the Late Oligocene oil shales of the Enspel locality in the Westerwald, Germany. These crater lake deposits\\u000a have an 40Ar\\/39Ar
We compared the utility of five nuclear gene segments amplified with type I sequence-tagged site (STS) primers versus the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene in resolving phylogenetic relationships within the Mustelidae, a large and ecomorphologically diverse family of mammalian carnivores. Maximum parsimony and likelihood analyses of separate and combined data sets were used to address questions regarding the levels of homoplasy, incongruence, and information content within and among loci. All loci showed limited resolution in the separate analyses because of either a low amount of informative variation (nuclear genes) or high levels of homoplasy (cyt b). Individually or combined, the nuclear gene sequences had less homoplasy, retained more signal, and were more decisive, even though cyt b contained more potentially informative variation than all the nuclear sequences combined. We obtained a well-resolved and supported phylogeny when the nuclear sequences were combined. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of the total combined data (nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences) were able to better accommodate the high levels of homoplasy in the cyt b data than was an equally weighted maximum parsimony analysis. Furthermore, partition Bremer support analyses of the total combined tree showed that the relative support of the nuclear and mitochondrial genes differed according to whether or not the homoplasy in the cyt b gene was downweighted. Although the cyt b gene contributed phylogenetic signal for most major groupings, the nuclear gene sequences were more effective in reconstructing the deeper nodes of the combined tree in the equally weighted parsimony analysis, as judged by the variable-length bootstrap method. The total combined data supported the monophyly of the Lutrinae (otters), whereas the Melinae (badgers) and Mustelinae (weasels, martens) were both paraphyletic. The American badger, Taxidea taxus (Taxidiinae), was the most basal taxon. Because hundreds of type I STS primer sets spanning the complete genomes of the human and mouse have been published and thus represent many independently segregating loci, the potential utility of these markers for molecular systematics of mammals and other groups is enormous. PMID:14530127
We compared the utility of five nuclear gene segments amplified with type I sequence-tagged site (STS) primers versus the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene in resolving phylogenetic relationships within the Mustelidae, a large and ecomorphologically diverse family of mammalian carnivores. Maximum parsimony and likelihood analyses of separate and combined data sets were used to address questions regarding the
The orientation of elk and other mammals studied in fields with visual and instrumental tracing has obviously hierarchical organization. Animals usually choose general direction headed for distant markers and then select short-distance landmarks. Movements of animals to distant and close landmarks is characterized by almost constant or regularly changing angles between main direction and movement vector. Fragments of trajectories represent left-side or right-side spirals with decreasing or increasing curvature according to the main direction. Three types of spirals differed by average values of initial angles are considered. Orientation to distant landmarks or along direction of movement possesses discrete reaction on the given landmarks and has some characters of iteration process. Special rhythms of activity (rhythms of orientation changing) participate in regulation of changing of movement directions and orientation reactions. They take part in formation of sinusoid, spiral and other trajectories. Rhythmic regulation involves great statistical variability of parameters (lengths, angles, time periods between consecutive orientations) that can be adaptive meaning. Lengths of orientation vectors and trajectory fragments are similar to some linear elements of landscape. Angular parameters of orientation are more variable. The main ones are similar to the angular parameters of Earth rotation. It looks, that orientation parameters evolved under the influence of Sun-Earth compass in inertial field of Earth rotation. PMID:12298181
The toxodont megaherbivores Toxodon and Mixotoxodon were endemic to South and Central America during the late Quaternary. Isotopic signatures of 47 toxodont teeth were analyzed to reconstruct diet and ancient habitat. Tooth enamel carbon isotope data from six regions of South and Central America indicate significant differences in toxodont diet and local vegetation during the late Quaternary. Toxodonts ranged ecologically
Expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes including cytochrome P450 (CYP) and flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) in various tissues of Suncus murinus (Suncus) were examined. Northern blot analysis showed that mRNAs hybridizable with cDNAs for rat CYP1A2, human CYP2A6, rat CYP2B1, human CYP2C8, human CYP2D6, rat CYP2E1, human CYP3A4 and rat CYP4A1 were expressed in various tissues from Suncus. The mRNA level of CYP2A in the Suncus lung was very high. Furthermore, it was found that the level of CYP2A mRNA in the Suncus lung was higher compared to the Suncus liver. The expression level of mRNA hybridizable with cDNA for human CYP3A4 was very low. The presence of CYP3A gene in Suncus was proven by the induction of the CYP with dexamethasone. Very low expression levels of mRNAs hybridizable with cDNAs for rat FMO1, rat FMO2, rat FMO3 and rat FMO5 were also seen in Suncus liver. No apparent hybridization band appeared when human FMO4 cDNA was used as a probe. The hepatic expression of mRNAs hybridizable with cDNAs for UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1*6, aryl sulfotransferase, glutathione S-transferase 1, carboxyesterase and microsomal epoxide hydrolase in the Suncus were observed. These results indicate that the Suncus is a unique animal species in that mRNAs for CYP3A and FMO are expressed at very low levels. PMID:11048672
Mushiroda, T; Yokoi, T; Itoh, K; Nunoya, K; Nakagawa, T; Kubota, M; Takahara, E; Nagata, O; Kato, H; Kamataki, T
Historically impacted by anthropogenic activities, the nature reserve of Doñana (SW Spain) was affected by an unprecedented spillage of mud and acidic water from the Aznalcóllar pyrite mine in April 1998. Although several studies have addressed the influence of this spill on soils, water, and biota, there is little information on mammals, especially carnivorous species. We measured the concentrations of
Alejandro Sánchez-Chardi; Ciro Alberto Oliveira Ribeiro; Jacint Nadal
Cortical pyramidal cells, while having a characteristic morphology, show marked phenotypic variation in primates. Differences have been reported in their size, branching structure and spine density between cortical areas. In particular, there is a systematic increase in the complexity of the structure of pyramidal cells with anterior progression through occipito-temporal cortical visual areas. These differences reflect area-specific specializations in cortical
Guy N. Elston; Alejandra Elston; Vivien Casagrande; Jon H. Kaas
Rationale Substance P and its preferred receptor, the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R), have been proposed as possible targets for new antidepressant therapies, although results of a recently completed phase\\u000a III trial failed to demonstrate that the NK1R antagonist MK-869 is more effective than placebo in the treatment of depression.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a Methods In the present study, we compared the effects of the NK1R antagonist
Marieke G. C. van der Hart; Gabriel de Biurrun; Boldizsár Czéh; Nadia M. J. Rupniak; Johan A. den Boer; Eberhard Fuchs
According to recent immunocytochemical studies of anterior pituitary cells, it is obvious that the “one cell-one hormone” theory must be modified. Many pituitary morphologists have demonstrated that there are some cells that contain two hormones. In this study, we demonstrate by means of immuno-electronmicroscopy the co-existence of gonadotrophins (FSH and LH) and thyrotrophin (TSH) in the same anterior pituitary cells
Background Bartonella elizabethae has been reported as a causative agent of human illnesses and strains of this bacterium are commonly isolated from commensal small mammals in Asia. Methods Since the zoonotic potential of a pathogen is often related to its host switching ability, we explored the capacity of a B. elizabethae strain to host switch by subcutaneously inoculating groups of Swiss Webster, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 mice with the bacteria at a range of doses. Results A low number of mice in each of the three groups showed susceptibility to infection at high doses (105 and 106 bacteria), and developed bacteremias of 6–8 weeks duration. Conclusion The capacity of this B. elizabethae strain to switch hosts can have important public health consequences for humans in areas of Asia where many small mammal populations have high bartonellae infection prevalences and live as commensals with humans.
As currently recognized, the mammalian order Lipotyphla contains six extant families: Chrysochloridae, Erinaceidae, Solenodontidae, Soricidae, Talpidae, and Tenrecidae. Although most mammalogists have accepted this taxon, the morphological support for Lipotyphla is relatively weak, and recent phylogenetic studies using molecular data have concluded that it is not monophyletic. Instead, these molecular studies place chrysochlorids and tenrecids in the proposed clade Afrotheria,
A new species of the lesser panda, Parailurus baikalicus sp. nov., from the Pliocene of Transbaikalia is described. In contrast to the European taxa P. anglicus and P. hungaricus, it retains a primitive occlusal pattern of M1-M2, with a concave buccal outline, small mesostyle on M1, and undeveloped styles on M2. At the same time, the Transbaikalian panda is more
Tooth microwear was analyzed for a large sample of wild-shot barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) from the Kaminuriak population of eastern Canada. This sample was compared to the microwear of specimens from three Pleistocene\\u000a localities in North America (Alaska) and western Europe (Caune de l’Arago in France and Salzgitter in Germany). The results\\u000a show that the extant samples from eastern
This study reports implications of different tooth marks left by carnivorous mammals on long bones of Haplomastodon waringi from the Quaternary of Águas de Araxá, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Analyses of gnawing damage by ursids, felids, and canids have shown that these groups produce pits on bone surfaces when the gnawing is superficial, and punctures more often when the prey is
Victor Hugo Dominato; Dimila Mothé; Rafael Costa da Silva; Leonardo dos Santos Avilla
A natural endocranial cast which represents a complete brain of a specimen of Hapalops indifferens is described. Comparing this cast to brains of actual Tardigrada, it shows a telencephalic morphology and a pattern of neocortical sulci that resemble more the brain of Bradypus rather than that of Choloepus. The neocortical sulci homologate the lateral or corono-lateral, suprasylvian and pseudosylvian sulci. Taking into account the studies of cortical maps in Bradypus and the notable similitude of the pattern of neocortical sulci between Bradypus and H. indifferens, the possible representation of the primary sensitive and motor somatic areas, secondary sensitive somatic area, visual and auditory areas are inferred. As in Bradypus, the primary sensitive and motor somatotopic organizations would be overlapped and would not be mirror images; they would show a predominance of the area of the forelimb. The relative brain size of H. indifferens is similar or higher than that of sloths of the genus Bradypus. The close resemblance between Bradypus and Hapalops, with respect to its brain morphology and relative brain size. is congruent with the current hypothesis of the phylogenetic relations between fossil and recent Tardigrada. PMID:3655331
The origins of the distinct sloth lineages are not well documented. The Deseadan SALMA site of Salla-Luribay presents four Tardigrada and constitutes one of the two oldest sloth assemblages. The peculiar glypto-sloth Pseudoglyptodon sallaensis is found together with two orophodontoid taxa and a Megalonychidae. The study of the P. sallaensis remains confirms that is effectively a sloth with various glyptodontoid
Background Taeniodonta is a clade of Late Cretaceous – Paleogene mammals remarkable for their relatively extreme cranial, dental, and postcranial adaptations and notable for being among the first mammals to achieve relatively large size following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Previous workers have hypothesized that taeniodonts can be divided into two clades: Conoryctidae, a group of small-bodied taeniodonts with supposedly “generalized” postcranial skeletons, and Stylinodontidae, a group of large-bodied, robust animals with massive forelimbs and claws adapted for scratch-digging. However, many taeniodont taxa are poorly known and few are represented by postcranial material, leaving many details about their anatomy, biology, and evolution ambiguous. Methodology/Principal Findings In this paper, we describe three new specimens of the rare taxon Wortmaniaotariidens from the early Paleocene (Puercan) of New Mexico. Among these specimens is one that includes remarkably complete cranial and dental material, including associated upper and lower teeth, and another that consists of partial forelimbs. These specimens allow for an updated anatomical description of this unusual taxon, supply new data for phylogenetic analyses, and enable a more constrained discussion of taeniodont biology and functional morphology. Conclusions/Significance The new specimen of Wortmania that includes associated upper and lower teeth indicates that previous interpretations of the upper dentition of this taxon were not accurate and the taxon Robertschochiasullivani is a junior synonym of W. otariidens. New specimens that include partial forelimbs indicate that Wortmania is very similar to later, large-bodied taeniodonts, with marked and distinctive adaptations for scratch-digging. Comparisons with other taeniodont taxa that include postcranial material suggest that all taeniodonts may have had scratch-digging adaptations. A phylogenetic analysis shows that Schowalteria and Onychodectes are basal taeniodonts, Stylinodontidae (including Wortmania) is monophyletic, and a monophyletic Conoryctidae (but not including Onychodectes) is only recovered when certain characters are ordered.
Recent morphological and molecular studies led to the recognition of two extant species of clouded leopards; Neofelis nebulosa from mainland southeast Asia and Neofelis diardi from the Sunda Islands of Borneo and Sumatra, including the Batu Islands. In addition to these new species-level distinctions, preliminary molecular data suggested a genetic substructure that separates Bornean and Sumatran clouded leopards, indicating the possibility of two subspecies of N. diardi. This suggestion was based on an analysis of only three Sumatran and seven Bornean individuals. Accordingly, in this study we re-evaluated this proposed subspecies differentiation using additional molecular (mainly historical) samples of eight Bornean and 13 Sumatran clouded leopards; a craniometric analysis of 28 specimens; and examination of pelage morphology of 20 museum specimens and of photographs of 12 wild camera-trapped animals. Molecular (mtDNA and microsatellite loci), craniomandibular and dental analyses strongly support the differentiation of Bornean and Sumatran clouded leopards, but pelage characteristics fail to separate them completely, most probably owing to small sample sizes, but it may also reflect habitat similarities between the two islands and their recent divergence. However, some provisional discriminating pelage characters are presented that need further testing. According to our estimates both populations diverged from each other during the Middle to Late Pleistocene (between 400 and 120 kyr). We present a discussion on the evolutionary history of Neofelis diardi sspp. on the Sunda Shelf, a revised taxonomy for the Sunda clouded leopard, N. diardi, and formally describe the Bornean subspecies, Neofelis diardi borneensis, including the designation of a holotype (BM.220.127.116.11 from Baram, Sarawak) in accordance with the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. PMID:21074625
Wilting, Andreas; Christiansen, Per; Kitchener, Andrew C; Kemp, Yvonne J M; Ambu, Laurentius; Fickel, Jörns
Background Lyme disease is a widespread cosmopolitan zoonosis caused by species belonging to the genus Borrelia. It is transmitted from animal reservoir hosts to humans through hard - ticks of genus Ixodes which are vectors of the disease. Case presentation Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection was identified in a marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna, and two European minks, Mustela lutreola, from Romania, by PCR. RFLP revealed the presence of a single genospecies, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. Conclusions This is the first report of the Lyme disease spirochetes in the two mentioned hosts.
Level TD6 of the Trinchera Dolina Section in the railway cutting of the Sierre de Atapuerca (Trinchera del Ferrocarril) has yielded a rich small mammal assemblage (26 species) in association with fossil human remains of Homo antecessor. The arvicolids of TD6 are identified as: Mimomys savini, Microtus seseae, Stenocranius gregaloides, Terricola arvalidens, Iberomys huescarensis, Allophaiomys chalinei, and Pliomys episcopalis. The rodent association also includes large rodents (i.e., Castor fiber, Marmota sp., and Hystrix refossa) and the small Allocricetus sp., Eliomys helleri, Micromys minutus, and Apodemus aff. flavicollis. The small vertebrate remains also include Insectivora (Beremendia fissidens, Sorex sp, Neomys sp., Crocidura sp., Galemys sp., Talpa sp., Erinaceus sp.), Chiroptera (Miniopterus schreibersii, Myotis sp., Rhinolophus sp.), and Lagomorpha (Oryctolagus sp., Lepus sp.), as well as lizards, birds and amphibians. The H. antecessor remains are derived from a 15 cm thick layer at the top of TD6 (TD6-T36-43), where A. chalinei, H. refossa and Marmota sp. do not occur. The paleomagnetic Matuyama/Brunhes boundary is found in the overlying level TD7 of the Gran Dolina Section. On the basis of the arvicolids, TD6 can be referred to the Biharian biochron. The Matuyama/Brunhes boundary is fixed in the late Biharian (Microtus-Mimomys rodent Superzone). The species M. savini (without M. pusillus), as well as the evolutionary stage of Microtus s.l., are characteristic of the Late Biharian. The evolutionary level of the species M. savini, T. arvalidens, S. gregaloides indicates that TD6 is older than West Runton (type Cromerian). In the Trinchera Dolina Section we are able to calibrate, for the first time, the evolutionary level of important biochronological markers with magnetostratigraphy. We propose that a radiation of Microtus s.l., along with the first appearance of primitive S. gregaloides, T. arvalidens and Iberomys, took place just before the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. These species can be considered as characteristic elements of early Pleistocene faunas. PMID:10496992
The cold adapted larger mammal faunas of Pleistocene Eurasia (the so-called Mammuthus–Coelodonta faunas) were mainly composed of autochthonous Palaearctic elements. Whereas the history of the immigration and evolution of European woolly mammoths has been exhaustively studied, comparable investigations for woolly rhinoceroses are lacking. Referring to the remains of European and Asian Coelodonta in general and the first skull to be
Th is study aims to characterize the feeding habits of the fi rst European colobines, Mesopithecus (late Miocene), through the analysis of its molar microwear pat- tern. Fifty-seven adult individuals of Mesopithecus (from Greece and Bulgaria) are compared to 162 wild-shot specimens representing nine modern species of African and Asian cercopithecids. Th rough the combination of a principal component analysis
Gildas MERCERON; George D. KOUFOS; Xavier VALENTIN
Hose's leaf monkey Presbytis hosei is endemic to Borneo and occurs only in tall forest. In recent decades Borneo has lost a large part of its forest cover, mostly in low-lying coastal regions. Large intact tracts of forest remain in the interior, but these are by and large inhabited by tribes that subsist in part by hunting. The combined effects
Boltimys broomi gen. nov., sp. nov., a Muridae of uncertain affinity in the Early Pliocene of South Africa. Boltimys broomi gen. nov., sp. nov. is reported from the Early Pliocene fauna of Waypoint 160, a fossiliferous locality in the area of Bolt's Farm (Province of Gauteng) near Krugersdorp in South Africa. The occlusal surface of the jugal teeth is characterized by a basin-shaped aspect due to the coalescence of the cusps which make the lobes of the molars. An accessory inner cusp is present on the first and second upper molars. A faint longitudinal crest is present only in the first lower molar. The new rodent is tentatively referred to the subfamily Myocricetodontinae.
Several new fossil remains of Felidae from the late Miocene (Turolian age, MN 13, local zone M2) locality of Las Casiones (near the village of Villalba Baja, Teruel, Spain) are studied in the present paper. This felid community includes the machairodontines Amphimachairodus giganteus, Paramachaerodus orientalis, and Metailurus major, and the felines Pristifelis attica and a small, undetermined species, previously unknown
Manuel J. Salesa; María Dolores Pesquero; Gema Siliceo; Mauricio Antón; Luis Alcalá; Jorge Morales
The growth of cells of ventral sebaceous gland of Rhombomys opimus was studied in diffusion chambers. The surface properties of these cells and intercellular contacts have been examined in the scanning electron microscope. After 10 to 12 days of cultivation the cells formed aggregates showing a recognizable histological pattern (the ventral sebaceous gland). The pituitary and ovarian gland explants had a significant effect on the differentiation and mitotic activity of epithelial cells of the ventral sebaceous gland. Apparently it is the cell surface itself that alters during the active processes of secretion and differentiation. PMID:7148261
The Miocene of the Great Plains of North America has long been recognized as an interval of major ecological reorganization. To reconstruct the dietary response of the proboscidean Gomphotherium to Miocene ecosystem change in the Great Plains, we analyzed the carbon isotope composition of 185 serial samples of tusk enamel from 17 individuals and bulk samples of posterior molars from
Recent morphological and molecular studies led to the recognition of two extant species of clouded leopards; Neofelis nebulosa from mainland southeast Asia and Neofelis diardi from the Sunda Islands of Borneo and Sumatra, including the Batu Islands. In addition to these new species-level distinctions, preliminary molecular data suggested a genetic substructure that separates Bornean and Sumatran clouded leopards, indicating the
Andreas Wilting; Per Christiansen; Andrew C. Kitchener; Yvonne J. M. Kemp; Laurentius Ambu; Jörns Fickel
We have made a multivariate morphometric study of the fossils ofMegantereonfrom the Apollonia-1 site at the Mygdonia Basin (Macedonia, Greece), using discriminant functions. Results obtained indicate that these specimens belong to the African speciesMegantereon whiteiBroom, which is also found in the Lower Pleistocene of Dmanisi (East Georgia, Caucasus) and Orce (Southern Spain). Morphofunctional studies ofM. whiteisuggest that this saber-toothed felid
Capturing small carnivores is often necessary for obtaining key ecological data. We compared the efficiency of box and leg-hold traps, using live and dead bait, to capture six carnivore species (Herpailurus yagouaroundi (E. Geoffroyi, 1803), Leopardus tigrinus (Schreber, 1775), Nasua nasua (Linnaeus, 1766), Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766), Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758), and Galictis cuja (Molina, 1782)). The use of leg-hold traps significantly increased the capture rate of carnivores (5.77%) and non-target species (non-carnivores, 11.54%). Dead bait significantly attracted more non-carnivores than carnivores and live bait was more efficient for capturing carnivores (2.56%) than non-carnivores (0.77%). Both box and leg-hold traps caused some minor injuries (swelling and claw loss). We provide recommendations for the ethical use of these trap and bait types. PMID:18457140
Michalski, Fernanda; Crawshaw, Peter G; Oliveira, Tadeu G de; Fabián, Marta E
The gomphothere assemblage from the Pleistocene of Águas de Araxá (Minas Gerais State, Brazil) is composed of several isolated teeth, cranial and postcranial fragments assigned to a single population of Notiomastodon platensis. The age profile suggests decline of the population, due to the large amount of senile and mature adult individuals. The mortality event probably occurred during a long period
Lidiane Asevedo; Gisele R. Winck; Dimila Mothé; Leonardo S. Avilla
Winter-active small mammals residing in seasonal environments employ many different behavioral, anatomical and physiological\\u000a mechanisms to cope with cold. Herein we review research on survival mechanisms in cold employed by small mammals with emphasis\\u000a on the families Soricidae, Muridae and Sciuridae. The focus of this review is on research delineating the role of seasonal\\u000a changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR),
Rationale The interaction between two non-psychotropic cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), which have been reported\\u000a to act as a 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT1A) agonist and antagonist, respectively, was evaluated.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a Objective To evaluate the potential of CBG to reverse the anti-nausea, anti-emetic effects of CBD.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a Materials and methods In experiment 1, rats were pre-treated with CBG (0.0, 1, 5, and 10 mg\\/kg, ip), 15 min prior
Erin M. Rock; Jennifer M. Goodwin; Cheryl L. Limebeer; Aviva Breuer; Roger G. Pertwee; Raphael Mechoulam; Linda A. Parker
Consumers distrust beef or products that could contain beef because of the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and vCJD (variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease) cases during recent years. Cows could be fed with meat and bone meal-containing food. To regain consumer confidence methods are needed that allow the detection of smallest amounts of beef in the most different kind of products. Polymerase
Taphozous melanopogon meianopogon is a unique emballonurid microchiropteran which exhibits a 100% dextral dominance of the female genital tract. Folliculogenesis occurs in the contralateral ovaries, but it is only in the right ovary that a single Graafian follicle attains maturity and ovulates.The product of fertilization is implanted in the dextral uterine cornu. Seven types of follicles were identified.in the right
Thirty-seven antigenic determinants were identified in the albumins, the immunoglobulin micro- and IgG(Fc) chains, and the C3 proteins of 51 carnivoran (sub)species from 31 genera, and in 12 noncarnivoran mammals. In addition to 19 determinants plesiomorphic for Carnivora as an order, 18 synapomorphic epitopes of carnivoran families revealed nine phylogenetic reaction groups: (1) canids, (2) ursids, (3) the racoon, (4) the Weddell seal, (5) the lesser panda, (6) the harbour seal, (7) mustelids, (8) viverrids and hyaenas, and (9) felids. These data identify Canoidea (Canidae, Ursidae, Phocidae, Procyonidae, Ailuridae, Mustelidae) and Feloidea (Viverridae, Hyaenidae, Felidae) as two fundamentally differentiated lineages of Carnivora, and confirm the inclusion of seals among the former. The Ursidae are the sister group of the Canidae. The antigenic determinants in the studied proteins do not subdivide the Canidae, Ursidae and Felidae into immunologically differentiated lineages. PMID:9813413
To reexamine taxonomic status of endemic Mogera wogura coreana from Korea, we first obtained partial 12S rRNA sequences (893 bp) and complete cytochrome b gene sequences (1140 bp) of this subspecies, and these sequences and partial cytochrome b sequences (402 bp) were compared to the corresponding haplotypes of M. wogura from East Asia, obtained from GenBank. The one of three
Hung Sun Koh; Kyung Hee Jang; Eui Dong Han; Jae Eun Jo; Seon Ki Jeong; Eui Jeong Ham; Jong Hyek Lee; Kwang Seon Kim; Seong Teek In; Gu Hee Kweon
We investigated infection of rodents and shrews by Leptospira spp. in two localities of Cambodia (Veal Renh, Kaev Seima) and in four types of habitat (forests, non-flooded lands, lowland rain-fed paddy fields, houses) during the wet and the dry seasons. Habitat preference was common, and rodent and shrew species were found only in houses or in rain-fed paddy fields or in forests. Among 649 small mammals trapped belonging to 12 rodent species and 1 shrew species, 71 of 642 animals tested were carriers of Leptospira according to the 16S ribosomal RNA marker used. Rodent infection was higher in low-slope locations, corresponding to rain-fed paddy fields, especially in the rainy season and in Kaev Seima. Rodents (Rattus exulans) and shrews (Suncus murinus) inhabiting households showed significantly low levels of infections, whereas rodents living in and near to forests (shrubby wasteland, orchards) showed high levels of infection.
This report presents toxicological benchmarks for assessment of effects of 55 chemicals on six representative mammalian wildlife species (short-tailed shrew, white-footed mouse, cottontail ink, red fox, and whitetail deer) and eight avian wildlife species...
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse) and Cryptotis parva (least shrew) possess desirable attributes for biomonitoring contamination of terrestrial ecoystems, but few studies have examined the potential use of these species for monitoring exposure to genotoxic contaminants. Th...
A hybrid zone between the Novosibirsk and Tomsk chromosome races of the common shrewSorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 was found near Novosibirsk city (West Siberia, Russia) in an area unimpeded by geographic barriers. In this\\u000a zone, the shrews of both races and their hybrids were trapped and karyotyped and 22 features of their cranial and postcranial\\u000a skeleton were measured. Canonical discriminant
Andrei V. Polyakov; Sergei S. Onischenko; Vadim B. Ilyashenko; Jeremy B. Searle; Pavel M. Borodin
Implications of the discovery of the oldest known proboscidean (Mammalia; Proboscidea) in the late Paleocene of Morocco, Phosphatherium escuilliei, are examined here in an overview of the paleobiogeographical framework of the African mammals. P. escuilliei evidences again the role of Africa in the radiation of modern orders of mammals and the early age of this radiation, which may be related
We report the first known cases of predation by centipedes, Scolopendra gigantea (Chi- lopoda, Scolopendromorpha, Scolopendridae), on three species of bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera), Mor- moops megalophylla and Pteronotus davyi (Mor- moopidae), and Leptonycteris curasoae (Phyllo- stomidae). Our observations were made in Cueva del Guano, a limestone cave in Paraguaná Peninsula, Venezuela, that harbors important colonies of five bat species. These
JESÚS MOLINARI; ELIÉCER E. GUTIÉRREZ; A. DE ASCENÇÃO; JAFET M. NAS; ALEXIS ARENDS
Plasma membranes were isolated from the livers of various animal species representing the four vertebrate classes: Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia. These liver plasma membranes displayed comparable levels of purity as judged by marker enzyme analysis. The activities of the two marker enzymes, 5'-nucleotidase and ?-glutamyltranspeptidase displayed striking, and quite different, species-dependent differences, with no apparent relationship to phylogeny. a1
After the carried out examination of different animals belonging to four phyla, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, and Chordata, the blastocysts were detected within three phyla, Annelida, Arthropoda, and Chordata. Within the phylum Annelida the blastocysts were found in Hirudinea, within the phylum Arthropoda--in Insecta, within the phylum Chordata--in Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia. PMID:9702803
A study of the characteristics of population morphology in the class Mammalia is studied in association of many sciences in the study of evolution. Every fact about the variability of different systems of organs and the structure of mammals has been colle...
Body Mass in Cercopithecidae (Primates, Mammalia): Estimation and Scaling in Extinct and Extant Taxa By Eric Delson, Carl J. Terranova, William L. Jungers, Eric J. Sargis, Nina G. Jablonski, and Paul C. Dechow (2000). Anthropological Papers, Number 83. New York: American Museum of Natural History. 159 pp. $16.50 (paperback). ISSN 0065-9452.
Androlaelaps marmosops, a new species of laelapid mite, is described from the pelage of the mouse opossum, Marmosops incanus (Lund, 1840) (Mammalia: Didelphidae), in two areas of Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro State. Measurements and illustrations are included for females only. PMID:12071326
The Glyptodontidae (Mammalia, Xenarthra) are one of the most common paleofaunistic elements in the South American megafauna. In this context, of the six genera most frequently recorded in the South American Pleistocene (Glyptodon, Neosclerocalyptus, Hoplophorus, Neuryurus, Panochthus and Doedicurus), at least four (Hoplophorus, Neuryurus, Panochthus and Doedicurus) present structures in their caudal armor that could have had defensive\\/offensive functions, in
The Viverridae (Mammalia, Carnivora), one of the least studied groups of carnivorans, include two subfamilies of Asian palm civets: Hemigalinae and Paradoxurinae. The relationships between and within these two subfamilies have never been thoroughly tested using an extensive molecular sample set. In this study, we gathered sequences of four genes (two mitochondrial: Cytochrome b and ND2 and two nuclear: ?-fibrinogen
Marie-Lilith Patou; Régis Debruyne; Andrew P. Jennings; Akbar Zubaid; Jeffrine Japning Rovie-Ryan; Géraldine Veron
RECENT speculations on the loss and retention of the ability to synthesise L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) during evolution of animals have been based on few data, often for limited numbers of species1. Published reports for the Mammalia deal mostly with domesticated and laboratory species, and there is little information on ascorbate biosynthesis in wild populations. The status of knowledge on
Four genera and one indeterminate genus (total eight species) of fossil rhinoceroses (Mammalia; Perissodactyla; Rhinocerotidae) are recognized from the Neogene of central Myanmar. In the early Miocene, most area of central Myanmar were under the shallow marine condition, and no rhinocerotid remain has been documented yet. During the middle to late Miocene, the rhinocerotid remains are commonly found and are
This study focuses on the petrosal and bony structures of the inner ear of a fossil squalodontoid whale (Odontoceti, Mammalia) from the Chandler Bridge Formation (late Oligocene) of South Carolina. High frequency hearing in toothed whales (odontocetes) has been attributed to specialized bony structures and their associated membranes in the inner ear cochlea. Whales also have very peculiar vestibule and
The extent of the horizontal visual field was determined behaviourally in 4 pigmented and 5 albino ferrets (Mustela putorius furo, Carnivora, Mammalia) using perimetry. During binocular vision, all pigmented and three albino ferrets responded equally well to stimuli presented anywhere along the horizontal perimeter in the central 180° of the visual field. The remaining two albinos had a visual field
We assessed the value of short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) as a possible biomonitor for polychlorinated biphenyl pollution through measurement of the induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 and associated enzyme activities. First, we checked the inducibility of four monooxygenases (benzyloxyresorufin-O-dealkylase [BROD], ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase [EROD], methoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase [MROD], and pentoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase [PROD]) by measuring the activity of these enzymes in hepatic microsomes prepared from shrews injected with $-naphthoflavone ($NF) or phenobarbital (PB), typical inducers of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and CYP2B enzyme families, respectively. Enzyme activity was induced in shrews that received $NF but not in shrews that received PB; PROD was not induced by either exposure. Later, shrews were exposed to a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Aroclor 1242:1254, in 1:2 ratio) at 0.6, 9.6, and 150 ppm in food, for 31 d. Induction in these shrews was measured by specific enzyme activity (BROD, EROD, and MROD) in hepatic microsomes, by western blotting of solubilized microsomes against antibodies to CYP1A or CYP2B, and by duration of sodium pentobarbital-induced sleep. These three CYP enzymes were induced in shrews by PCBs at similar levels of exposure as in cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus). Neither sleep time nor the amount of CYP2B family protein were affected by PCB exposure. Blarina brevicauda can be a useful biomonitor of PCBs that induce CYP1A, especially in habitats where they are the abundant small mammal.
Pathogenic viruses can harm acutely the life and health of laboratory tree shrews acutely; however, few papers exist regarding natural pathogenic virus infection in this species. Six fecal samples obtained from dead tree shrews were collected. The fecal supernatant infected Vero cell line resulted in cytopathic effects (CPE) after 72 h. The CPE included granulating, shrinking, rounding, seining and falling off. Electron microscopy showed the isolation was spherical, double-layered capsid, and about 75 nm in diameter. The purified isolation genome was 10 segments in a typical 3:3:4 arrangements, as shown by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The isolation was confirmed by RT-PCR assays targeting the conserved region of the L1 gene, sequence analysis and reconstruction of a phylogenetic tree. The isolation was a Tupaia Orthoreovirus (TRV), belonging to Mammalian Orthoreovirus (MRV). The obtained strain had the closest phylogenetic relationship to the MRV strain T3/Bat/Germany/342/08. As a zoonotic virus, the novel TRV strain was first isolated from wild tree shrews, which is significant for promoting tree shrew standardization and providing scientific data for preventing zoonotic tree shrew-to-human transmission. PMID:23572361
MS Thesis. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. 153 pp. Although use of coarse woody debris (CWD) by herpetofauna and shrew species has been well documented in the Pacific Northwest and southern Appalachian Mountain regions of the United States, little information exists regarding the importance of CWD to herpetofaunal and shrew assemblages in pine forests of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Furthermore, few manipulative studies have assessed response to increased CWD volume. The primary objective of my study was to assess the response of herpetofauna and shrews to CWD manipulations in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands of the South Carolina Coastal Plain physiographic region as part of an interdisciplinary study undertaken to better understand the ecological role of CWD in southeastern pine forests.
The authors studied the relationship between the level of course woody debris in experimental plots of mature loblolly pine and the richness and abundance of shrews, reptiles and amphibians. Comparisons were made between plots in which all down and standing debris were removed and plots that were not treated. Removal of woody debris resulted in a week treatment effect. The capture of southeastern shrews declined through the period perhaps due to drought. The least common shrew demonstrated the strongest effects from removal.In sampling 37 species of amphibians were observed. The Carolina anole and the red salamander were captured more frequently on removal plots. No difference were found between removal and controls with regard to reptiles.
Transitional forms of the recent classes of vertebrates are only known in paleontology. The well described examples are:Eusthenopteron foordi (Crossopterygii),Ichthyostega andAcanthostega (Labyrinthodontia) between Osteichthyes and Amphibia,Seymouria baylorensis (Amphibiosauria) between Amphibia and Reptilia,Archaeopteryx lithographica (Archaeornithes) between Reptilia and Aves, and the mammal-like reptiles Pelycosauria, Therapsida and Cynodontia between Reptilia and Mammalia. The description of their phylogenetical heterochronies in terms of peramorphosis
A major unsolved problem in mammalian evolution is the origin of Allotheria, including Multituberculata and Haramiyida. Multituberculates are the most diverse and best known Mesozoic era mammals and ecologically resemble rodents, but haramiyids are known mainly from isolated teeth, hampering our search for their phylogenetic relationships. Here we report a new haramiyid from the Jurassic period of China, which is, to our knowledge the largest reported so far. It has a novel dentition, a mandible resembling advanced multituberculates and postcranial features adapted for arboreal life. Our phylogenetic analysis places Haramiyida within crown Mammalia, suggesting the origin of crown Mammalia in the Late Triassic period and diversification in the Jurassic, which contrasts other estimated divergence times of crown Mammalia. The new haramiyid reveals additional mammalian features of the group, helps to identify other haramiyids represented by isolated teeth, and shows again that, regardless of various phylogenetic scenarios, a complex pattern of evolution involving many convergences and/or reversals existed in Mesozoic mammals. PMID:23925244
Zheng, Xiaoting; Bi, Shundong; Wang, Xiaoli; Meng, Jin
Abstract Insects use various types of behaviour, chemical defences, mimetic, aposematic or cryptic appearances as anti-predatory strategies. Among insects, carabid beetles of the genus Brachinus are distasteful prey because they discharge an irritating “cloud” of quinones when threatened. These beetles live in aggregations and adopt warning (conspicuous pattern) colours and chemicals to create a template that is easily learnt by predators. Another carabid beetle, Anchomenus dorsalis, mimics the colours and cuticular profile of Brachinus and is usually found in Brachinus aggregations. In this paper we report results from laboratory observations on feeding choice of the following natural predators - Crocidura leucodon (Insectivora: Soricidae), Ocypus olens (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) and Podarcis sicula (Reptilia: Lacertidae) - on carabid beetle species. Comparing the number of attacks of predators towards aposematic and non-aposematic prey, there was a statistically significant preference towards non-aposematic prey.
Insects use various types of behaviour, chemical defences, mimetic, aposematic or cryptic appearances as anti-predatory strategies. Among insects, carabid beetles of the genus Brachinus are distasteful prey because they discharge an irritating "cloud" of quinones when threatened. These beetles live in aggregations and adopt warning (conspicuous pattern) colours and chemicals to create a template that is easily learnt by predators. Another carabid beetle, Anchomenus dorsalis, mimics the colours and cuticular profile of Brachinus and is usually found in Brachinus aggregations. In this paper we report results from laboratory observations on feeding choice of the following natural predators - Crocidura leucodon (Insectivora: Soricidae), Ocypus olens (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) and Podarcis sicula (Reptilia: Lacertidae) - on carabid beetle species. Comparing the number of attacks of predators towards aposematic and non-aposematic prey, there was a statistically significant preference towards non-aposematic prey. PMID:21738410
Voles and shrews are key species in northern forest ecosystems. Thus, it is important to quantify to what extent new forestry practices such as planting of non-native tree species impact these small mammals. In northern Norway stands of coastal subarctic birch forests have increasingly been converted to non-native spruce stands during the last century. This leads to changes in the
Åshild Ø. Pedersen; Nigel G. Yoccoz; Rolf A. Ims; Therese Sigurdsen
|Intended for teachers of gifted students in grades 4-12, the curriculum uses six of Shakespeare's comedies ("The Taming of the Shrew,""The Tempest,""Twelfth Night,""The Comedy of Errors,""As You Like It," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream") as materials for nurturing intellectual and artistic experiences, social awareness, leadership training…
Recent comprehensive studies of DNA sequences support the monophyly of Afrotheria, comprising elephants, sirenians (dugongs and manatees), hyraxes, tenrecs, golden moles, aardvarks, and elephant shrews, as well as that of Paenungulata, comprising elephants, sirenians, and hyraxes. However, phylogenetic relationships among paenungulates, as well as among nonpaenungulates, have remained ambiguous. Here we applied an extensive retroposon analysis to these problems to
Hidenori Nishihara; Yoko Satta; Masato Nikaido; J. G. M. Thewissen; Michael J. Stanhope; Norihiro Okada
Afrotheria, one of four mammalian superorders, comprises elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvark, elephant shrews, tenrecs and golden moles. Their placentas either form an equatorial band or are discoid in shape. The interhemal region, separating fetal and maternal blood, is endotheliochorial in elephants, aardvark and possibly the sea cows, but hemochorial in the remaining orders. There is a secondary epitheliochorial placenta
A. M Carter; A. C Enders; H Künzle; D Oduor-Okelo; P Vogel
Afrotheria is a newly recognized taxon comprising elephants, hyraxes, sea cows, aardvarks, golden moles, tenrecs, and elephant shrews, each of which originated in Africa. Although some members of this taxon were once classified into distantly related groups, recent molecular studies have demonstrated their close relationships. It was suggested that this group emerged as a result of physical isolation of the
We studied the chromosomes of an Afrotherian species, the short-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus with traditional banding techniques and mapped the homology to human chromosomes by in-situ hybridization of human chromosome paints. Here we present for the first time the karyotype of this species, including banding patterns. The chromosome painting allowed us to test various hypotheses of the ancestral Eutherian
Marta Svartman; Gary Stone; John E. Page; Roscoe Stanyon
The order Lipotyphla has generally been viewed as a difficult group to classify. For example, recent morphologically based analyses only weakly support the lipotyphla while molecular evidence renders it polyphyletic, placing the golden moles and tenrecs in the superorder known as Afrotheria. Afrotheria is an hypothesized order that contains elephants, sirenians, hyraxes, aardvarks, elephant shrews, tenrecs, and golden moles. Within
Surveys television cartoons for preschoolers to analyze how they present the female gender. Finds that infant, shrew, eccentric, mother, frump, vamp, and twin role models dominate; argues that these stereotypes limit children's imagination of other possibilities. Notes that the repertoire of female characters seems to have become more…
Using small mammals as bioindicators, the bioavailable status and ecotoxicity of lead was investigated in an acidic sandy soil environment polluted with metallic lead pellets from shotgun ammunition. Average concentrations of lead in kidney, liver and bone tissue of wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), and shrews (Sorex araneus) were strongly elevated, compared to tissue levels of conspecifics
The production of new hippocampal neurons in adulthood has been well documented in rodents. Recent studies have extended these findings to other mammalian species, such as tree shrews and marmoset monkeys. However, hippocampal neurogenesis has not been demonstrated in adult Old World primates. To investigate this possibility, we injected 11 adult Old World monkeys of different ages (5-23 years) with
Elizabeth Gould; Alison J. Reeves; Mazyar Fallah; Patima Tanapat; Charles G. Gross; Eberhard Fuchs
Synapse-associated proteins are the scaffold for the selective aggregation of ion channels at synapses; they provide the link to cytoskeletal elements and possibly are involved with the regulation of synaptic efficacy by electrical activity. The local- ization of the postsynaptic density protein PSD-95 was studied in different mammalian retinae (rat, monkey, and tree shrew) by using immunocytochemical methods. Immunofluorescence for
Peter Koulen; Erica L. Fletcher; Sarah E. Craven; David S. Bredt; Heinz Wassle
A better understanding of interactions between biota and contaminants in floodplains is needed as it is uncertain whether ecological rehabilitation of floodplains is possible at the current contaminant levels. This study investigates where and when contacts between small mammals (voles, mice, shrews and moles) and heavy metal contaminants take place. The impact of bioturbation on the fate of heavy metals,
This article discusses the use of biological monitors to assess the biological consequences of toxicants in the environment, such as bioavailability, synergism, and bioaccumulation through the food web. Among the organisms discussed are fly larvae, worms, bees, shellfish, fishes, birds (starlings, owls, hawks, songbirds) and mammals (rabbits, field mice, shrews).
Wild animals not normally exposed to antimicrobial agents can acquire antimicrobial agent-resistant bacteria through contact with humans and domestic animals and through the environment. In this study we assessed the frequency of antimicrobial resistance in generic Escherichia coli isolates from wild small mammals (mice, voles, and shrews) and the effect of their habitat (farm or natural area) on antimicrobial resistance.
Gosia K. Kozak; Patrick Boerlin; Nicol Janecko; Richard J. Reid-Smith; Claire Jardine
Between September 1975 and May 1976, 210 rats, mice and shrews were collected from Ancol, a district of the northern-most part of the city of Jakarta situated along Jakarta Bay. Five chiggers species, Leptotrombidium (Leptotrombidium) arenicola, L. (L.) d...
J. R. Hadi E. E. Stafford R. J. Brown D. T. Dennis
Arboreal primates have distinctive intrinsic hand proportions compared with many other mammals. Within Euarchonta, platyrrhines and strepsirrhines have longer manual proximal phalanges relative to metacarpal length than colugos and terrestrial tree shrews. This trait is part of a complex of features allowing primates to grasp small-diameter arboreal substrates. In addition to many living and Eocene primates, relative elongation of proximal
E. Christopher Kirk; Pierre Lemelin; Mark W. Hamrick; Doug M. Boyer; Jonathan I. Bloch
Mesozoic mammals are commonly portrayed as shrew- or rat-sized animals that were mainly insectivorous, probably nocturnal and lived in the shadow of dinosaurs. The largest known Mesozoic mammal represented by substantially complete remains is Repenomamus robustus, a triconodont mammal from the Lower Cretaceous of Liaoning, China. An adult individual of R. robustus was the size of a Virginia opossum. Here
Hybridization in situ was used to identify the chromosomes that carry rDNA in representative lower primates, including the baboons, Papio cynocephalus and Papio hamadryas; the colobus monkey, Colobus polykomos; the tree shrew, Tupaia glis; the lemur, Lemur †ulvis; the saki, Pithecia pithecia; the marmoset, Saguinus nigricollis, and the spider monkey, Ateles geoffroyi. The marker chromosome, common to the Cercopithecines studied
A. S. Henderson; D. W. Warburton; S. M. Megraw-Ripley; K. C. Atwood
This study investigated mammalian involvement in an outbreak of bubonic plague in Mbulu District, northern Tanzania, in March 2007. Plague is a rodent-borne zoo- notic disease that spreads to humans through fleas infected with Yersinia pestis. Live trapping of rodents and shrews was conducted in fallow and crop fields, peri- domestic areas, houses and the neighboring forest reserve. Serum was
Rhodes H. Makundi; Loth S. Mulungu; Abdul Katakweba; Thomas J. Mbise; Georgies Mgode
|"O! this learning, what a thing it is." -W. Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew." The aim of this action research was to find out if active grammar involvement amongst students might lead to better results. My approach was to activate my students during grammar instruction by using cooperative learning: that is a form of learning in which…
The superorder Archonta has been hypothesized to include primates, tree shrews, bats, and flying lemurs as descendants of a common ancestor. More recently, a diphyletic origin for bats has been proposed. To evaluate these hypotheses, the nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene was determined from a bushbaby (Galago senegalensis), flying lemur (Cynocephalus variegatus), tree shrew (Tupaia glis), spear-nosed bat (Phyllostomus hastatus), rousette bat (Rousettus leschenaulti), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and was compared with published sequences of a human, cow, and mouse. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences give evidence that primates, tree shrews, and flying lemurs have a recent common ancestor but that bats are genealogically distant. The monophyletic origin of bats is supported. Contrary to interpretations based on morphological data, tree shrews are shown to be no more closely affiliated with primates than are flying lemurs. Analyses of the cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene give marginally more support to a Dermoptera-Scandentia clade than to a Dermoptera-Primates clade. PMID:1658802
The "Introduction to Shakespeare" course in the Quinmester Program involves the careful study of the tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" and the comedy "The Taming of the Shrew," emphasizing language, development of character and theme. The course also includes the study of biographical data relevant to the evolution of Shakespeare's literary genius, and…
Background Here we provide the most comprehensive study to date on the cranial ossification sequence in Lipotyphla, the group which includes shrews, moles and hedgehogs. This unique group, which encapsulates diverse ecological modes, such as terrestrial, subterranean, and aquatic lifestyles, is used to examine the evolutionary lability of cranial osteogenesis and to investigate the modularity of development. Results An acceleration of developmental timing of the vomeronasal complex has occurred in the common ancestor of moles. However, ossification of the nasal bone has shifted late in the more terrestrial shrew mole. Among the lipotyphlans, sequence heterochrony shows no significant association with modules derived from developmental origins (that is, neural crest cells vs. mesoderm derived parts) or with those derived from ossification modes (that is, dermal vs. endochondral ossification). Conclusions The drastic acceleration of vomeronasal development in moles is most likely coupled with the increased importance of the rostrum for digging and its use as a specialized tactile surface, both fossorial adaptations. The late development of the nasal in shrew moles, a condition also displayed by hedgehogs and shrews, is suggested to be the result of an ecological reversal to terrestrial lifestyle and reduced functional importance of the rostrum. As an overall pattern in lipotyphlans, our results reject the hypothesis that ossification sequence heterochrony occurs in modular fashion when considering the developmental patterns of the skull. We suggest that shifts in the cranial ossification sequence are not evolutionarily constrained by developmental origins or mode of ossification.
Annual seed consumption by a small mammal community in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa, was calculated using population, biomass and dietary estimates and published estimates of field metabolic rate. The community comprised a macroscelid elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus, and two rodents Gerbillurus paeba and Desmodillus auricularis. Only G. paeba consumed seed during the study, and then in low amounts (annual
...is most likely the world's longest snake...rabbits, tree shrews, porcupines, and many species...any snake in the world. In their native...as the snake gets older and larger. The...heaviest snakes in the world, ranging up to 200...that was 5 years old in 1976 and...
Purpose. We demonstrated that eyes of young animals of various species (chick, tree shrew, marmoset, and rhesus macaque) can shorten in the axial dimension in response to myopic defocus. Methods. Chicks wore positive or negative lenses over one eye for 3 days. Tree shrews were measured during recovery from induced myopia after 5 days of monocular deprivation for 1 to 9 days. Marmosets were measured during recovery from induced myopia after monocular deprivation, or wearing negative lenses over one or both eyes, or from wearing positive lenses over one or both eyes. Rhesus macaques were measured after recovery from induced myopia after monocular deprivation, or wearing negative lenses over one or both eyes. Axial length was measured with ultrasound biometry in all species. Results. Tree shrew eyes showed a strong trend to shorten axially to compensate for myopic defocus. Of 34 eyes that recovered from deprivation-induced myopia for various durations, 30 eyes (88%) shortened, whereas only 7 fellow eyes shortened. In chicks, eyes wearing positive lenses reduced their rate of ocular elongation by two-thirds, including 38.5% of eyes in which the axial length became shorter than before. Evidence of axial shortening in rhesus macaque (40%) and marmoset (6%) eyes also occurred when exposed to myopic defocus, although much less frequently than that in eyes of tree shrews. The axial shortening was caused mostly by the reduction in vitreous chamber depth. Conclusions. Eyes of chick, tree shrew, marmoset, and rhesus macaque can shorten axially when presented with myopic defocus, whether the myopic defocus is created by wearing positive lenses, or is the result of axial elongation of the eye produced by prior negative lens wear or deprivation. This eye shortening facilitates compensation for the imposed myopia. Implications for human myopia control are significant.
Background Reproductive proteins are central to the continuation of all mammalian species. The evolution of these proteins has been greatly influenced by environmental pressures induced by pathogens, rival sperm, sexual selection and sexual conflict. Positive selection has been demonstrated in many of these proteins with particular focus on primate lineages. However, the mammalia are a diverse group in terms of mating habits, population sizes and germ line generation times. We have examined the selective pressures at work on a number of novel reproductive proteins across a wide variety of mammalia. Results We show that selective pressures on reproductive proteins are highly varied. Of the 10 genes analyzed in detail, all contain signatures of positive selection either across specific sites or in specific lineages or a combination of both. Our analysis of SP56 and Col1a1 are entirely novel and the results show positively selected sites present in each gene. Our findings for the Col1a1 gene are suggestive of a link between positive selection and severe disease type. We find evidence in our dataset to suggest that interacting proteins are evolving in symphony: most likely to maintain interacting functionality. Conclusion Our in silico analyses show positively selected sites are occurring near catalytically important regions suggesting selective pressure to maximize efficient fertilization. In those cases where a mechanism of protein function is not fully understood, the sites presented here represent ideal candidates for mutational study. This work has highlighted the widespread rate heterogeneity in mutational rates across the mammalia and specifically has shown that the evolution of reproductive proteins is highly varied depending on the species and interacting partners. We have shown that positive selection and disease are closely linked in the Col1a1 gene.
The present essay completes the determination of the species of vertebrata obtained by the geographical survey under your charge in the Eocene formation of New Mexico during the field-season of 1874. The descriptions which have already appeared in your [George M. Wheeler] report to the Chief of Engineers, as published in the annual report of the latter for 1874, are not now repeated. The total number of mammalia is forty-seven species, of which the present report introduces twenty-four for the first time.
Abstract -The majority of studies investigating the importance of coarse woody debris (CWD) to forest- floor vertebrates have taken place in the Pacific Northwest and southern Appalachian Mountains, while comparative studies in the southeastern Coastal Plain are lacking. My study was a continuation of a long-term project investigating the importance of CWD as a habitat component for shrew and herpetofaunal communities within managed pine stands in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Results suggest that addition of CWD can increase abundance of southeastern and southern short-tailed shrews. However, downed wood does not appear to be a critical habitat component for amphibians and reptiles. Rising petroleum costs and advances in wood utilization technology have resulted in an emerging biofuels market with potential to decrease CWD volumes left in forests following timber harvests. Therefore, forest managers must understand the value of CWD as an ecosystem component to maintain economically productive forests while conserving biological diversity.
The length of diastole in mammals varies between approx 1 s (elephant) and 38 ms (shrew) which makes oxygen supply in high speed cardiac pumps in very small mammals precarious. High capillary density and high blood P50 are reported in mammals with high frequency cardiac cycle. Both are probably insufficient when cardiac frequency is exceedingly high (shrew: 1000 min-1). High respiratory efficiency due to large relative mitochondrial volume per cell (greater than 50%) seems to be preferential solution to maintain sufficient O2-gradient. Similar strategy, i.e. high relative cardiac mitochondrial volume was reported in analogous situation in ice-fish (Chaenocephalus aceratus) where O2 cardiac cell supply is difficult due to the absence of hemoglobin and cardiac myoglobin. PMID:6146429
Data on mammals were compiled from published studies of common barn-owl (Tyto alba) pellets. Mammalian composition of pellet samples was analyzed within geographic regions in regard to year, mean annual precipitation, latitude, and number of individual mammals in the sample. Percentages of individuals in pellets that were shrews increased whereas the percentages of rodents decreased with greater mean annual precipitation, especially in northern and western areas of North America. From the 1920s through 1980s, in northern and eastern areas the percentage of species that was shrews decreased, and in northern and central areas the percentage of individuals that was murid rats and mice increased. Human alterations of habitats during these seven decades are postulated to have caused changes in available small mammals, leading to changes in the barn-owl diet.
Molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest an emerging phylogeny for the extant Placentalia (eutherian) that radically departs\\u000a from morphologically based constructions of the past. Placental mammals are partitioned into four supraordinal clades: Afrotheria,\\u000a Xenarthra, Laurasiatheria, and Euarchontoglires. Afrotheria form an endemic African clade that includes elephant shrews, golden\\u000a moles, tenrecs, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephants, dugongs, and manatees. Datamining databases of genome size (GS)
Carlo Alberto Redi; Silvia Garagna; Maurizio Zuccotti; Ernesto Capanna
Pneumocystis carinii was found to be present in the lungs of twenty-three zoo animals in the Netherlands. The following species were represented: red kangaroo, common tree shrew, Senegal-Galago, Demidoff's-Galago, brown howler monkey, woolly monkey, long-haired spider monkey, white-eared marmoset, chimpanzee, three-toed sloth, palm squirrel, red panda, fennec fox, tree hyrax and large-toothed hyrax. PMID:1079994
Summary Pneumocystis carinii was found to be present in the lungs of twenty-three zoo animals in the Netherlands. The following species were represented: red kangaroo, common tree shrew, Senegal-Galago, Demidoff's-Galago, brown howler monkey, woolly monkey, long-haired spider monkey, white-eared marmoset, chimpanzee, three-toed sloth, palm squirrel, red panda, fennec fox, tree hyrax and large-toothed hyrax.
Fletcher's The Tamer Tamed offers a witty and intricate response to Petruccio's wife-taming strategies in The Taming of the Shrew. I argue that this response engages centrally with questions about the soul–body relationship at stake in gender struggle – both as Shakespeare stages that struggle and as Fletcher re-imagines it. Katherine's failed insistence on her “spirit to resist” in The
We tested the prey-base hypothesis to determine whether selection of red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) midden sites (cone caches) by American martens (Martes americana) for resting and denning could be attributed to greater abundance of small-mammal prey. Five years of livetrapping at 180 sampling stations in 2 drainages showed that small mammals, particularly red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) and shrews (Sorex spp.),
Hantaviruses are negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses that infect many species of rodents, shrews, moles and bats. Infection in these reservoir hosts is almost asymptomatic, but some rodent-borne hantaviruses also infect humans, causing either haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) or hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). In this Review, we discuss the basic molecular properties and cell biology of hantaviruses and offer an overview of virus-induced pathology, in particular vascular leakage and immunopathology. PMID:24020072
This report presents toxicological benchmarks for assessment of effects of 55 chemicals on six representative mammalian wildlife species (short-tailed shrew, white-footed mouse, cottontail ink, red fox, and whitetail deer) and eight avian wildlife species (American robin, woodcock, wild turkey, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, barred owl, Cooper`s hawk, and redtailed hawk) (scientific names are presented in Appendix C). These species
Background Recent results in birds, marsupials, rodents and nonhuman primates suggest that phylogeny and ecological factors such as body size, diet and postural habit of a species influence limb usage and the direction and strength of limb laterality. To examine to which extent these findings can be generalised to small-bodied rooting quadrupedal mammals, we studied trees shrews (Tupaia belangeri). Methodology/Principal Findings We established a behavioural test battery for examining paw usage comparable to small-bodied primates and tested 36 Tupaia belangeri. We studied paw usage in a natural foraging situation (simple food grasping task) and measured the influence of varying postural demands (triped, biped, cling, sit) on paw preferences by applying a forced-food grasping task similar to other small-bodied primates. Our findings suggest that rooting tree shrews prefer mouth over paw usage to catch food in a natural foraging situation. Moreover, we demonstrated that despite differences in postural demand, tree shrews show a strong and consistent individual paw preference for grasping across different tasks, but no paw preference at a population level. Conclusions/Significance Tree shrews showed less paw usage than small-bodied quadrupedal and arboreal primates, but the same paw preference. Our results confirm that individual paw preferences remain constant irrespective of postural demand in some small-bodied quadrupedal non primate and primate mammals which do not require fine motoric control for manipulating food items. Our findings suggest that the lack of paw/hand preference for grasping food at a population level is a universal pattern among those species and that the influence of postural demand on manual lateralisation in quadrupeds may have evolved in large-bodied species specialised in fine manipulations of food items.
The ontogenetic allometry of long bone proportions is poorly understood in Mammalia. It has previously been suggested that during mammalian ontogeny long bone proportions grow more slender (positive allometry; length ? circumference(>1.0) ), although this conclusion was based upon data from a few small-bodied taxa. It remains unknown how ontogenetic long bone allometry varies across Mammalia in terms of both taxonomy and body size. We collected long bone length and circumference data for ontogenetic samples of 22 species of mammals spanning six major clades and three orders of magnitude in body mass. Using reduced major axis bivariate regressions to compare bone length to circumference, we found that isometry and positive allometry are the most widespread patterns of growth across mammals. Negative allometry (i.e., bones growing more robust during ontogeny) occurs in mammals but is largely restricted to cetartiodactyls. Using regression slope as a proxy for long bone allometry, we compared long bone allometry to life history and organismal traits. Neonatal body mass, adult body mass, and growth rate have a negative relationship with long bone allometry. At an adult mass of roughly 15-20 kg, long bone growth shifts from positive allometry to mainly isometry and negative allometry. There were no significant relationships between ontogenetic long bone allometry and either cursoriality or basal metabolic rate. PMID:22806827
Acid phosphatases (AcPs) are known to provide phosphate to tissues that have high energy requirements, especially during development, growth and maturation. During spermatogenesis AcP activity is manifested in heterophagous lysosomes of Sertoli cells. This phagocytic function appears to be hormone-independent. We examined the expression pattern of AcP during the reproductive period of four species belonging to different vertebrate groups: Tilapia rendalli (Teleostei, Cichlidae), Dendropsophus minutus (Amphibia, Anura), Meriones unguiculatus (Mammalia, Rodentia), and Oryctolagus cuniculus (Mammalia, Lagomorpha). To demonstrate AcP activity, cryosections were processed for enzyme histochemistry by a modification of the method of Gömöri. AcP activity was similar in the testes of these four species. Testes of T. rendalli, D. minutus and M. unguiculatus showed an intense reaction in the Sertoli cell region. AcP activity was detected in the testes of D. minutus and O. cuniculus in seminiferous epithelium regions, where cells are found in more advanced stages of development. The seminiferous epithelium of all four species exhibited AcP activity, mainly in the cytoplasm of either Sertoli cells or germ cells. These findings reinforce the importance of AcP activity during the spermatogenesis process in vertebrates. PMID:20391346
Peruquetti, R L; Taboga, S R; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V
The present study describes the organisation of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and serotonergic neurons in the brains of the giant otter shrew, the Hottentot golden mole and the four-toed sengi, and the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) system in the giant otter shrew and four-toed sengi. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible differences in the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to previous studies on other Afrotherian species and mammalian species in general. Brains of the golden mole, sengi and giant otter shrew were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against cholineacetyl-transferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The majority of nuclei revealed in the current study were similar among the species investigated, to other Afrotherian species, and to mammals generally, but certain differences in the nuclear complement highlighted phylogenetic interrelationships. The golden mole was observed to have cholinergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, olfactory bulb and amygdala. The four-toed sengi had cholinergic neurons in both colliculi and in the cochlear nucleus, but lacked the catecholaminergic A15d group in the hypothalamus. In both the golden mole and the four-toed sengi, the locus coeruleus (A6d group) was made up of few neurons. The golden mole also exhibited an unusual foreshortening of the brain, such that a major (mesencephalic?) flexure in the brainstem was evident. PMID:23517750
Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Kaswera, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Bennett, Nigel C; Manger, Paul R
We investigated the presence of both Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in 250 brain tissue samples from 9 species of feral rodents and insectivores caught on 10 organic farms in the Netherlands in 2004. Collected samples were conserved in 4% paraformaldehyde solution and analysed by real-time PCR. For N. caninum, 31 samples originating from 6 species tested positive (12.4%): common shrews (33.3%), wood mice (17.6%), harvest mice (16.7%), house mice (15.4%), white-toothed shrews (10.8%) and common voles (4.2%). For T. gondii, the overall contamination level was 4%, and only three species were found to be positive: house mice (9.0%), common voles (4.2%) and white-toothed shrews (2.0%). Most N. caninum infected samples (27/31; 87%) were found on farms where dogs were present. Due to the observation that rodents and insectivores can contract both parasites, they might function as indicator species for the parasitic load on farms. PMID:21958437
Meerburg, B G; De Craeye, S; Dierick, K; Kijlstra, A
A comparative study of seasonal-age dynamics of brain size in six small mammal species, Clethrionomys glareolus, C. rutilus, Microtus oeconomus, M. gregalis (Rodentia); Sorex araneus, S. minutis (Insectivora) has been carried out. The analysis of seasonal changes in brain weight confirms the existence of autumn-winter regression of brain weight, which takes place at the organism level. The regression is less pronounced in voles than in shrews. The decrease in brain weight both in voles and in shrews is accompanied by the decrease in height (capacity) of brain capsule of cranium. In spring the brain weight increase and reaches its maximal specific values in wintered voles in summer. In wintered shrews the brain weight never reaches the value, inherent in young animals before winter regression. The analysis of the data obtained and published data on variability of craniometric features allowed to conclude that seasonal changes in brain size, accompanied by the changes in capacity of cranium capsule might be considered as a general pattern for a large group of palearctic and nonarctic species of small mammals. PMID:2800709
Exon structure is relatively well conserved among orthologs in several large clades of species (e.g. Mammalia, Diptera, Lepidoptera) across evolutionary distances of up to 80 million years. Thus, it should be straightforward to predict the exon structures in novel species based upon the known exon structures of species that have had their genomes sequenced and well assembled. Being able to predict the exon boundaries in the genes of novel species is important given the quickly growing numbers of transcriptome sequencing projects. CEPiNS is a new pipeline for mining exon boundaries of predicted gene sets from model species and then using this information to identify the exon boundaries in a novel species through codon based alignment. The pipeline uses the freeware SPIDEY, an exon boundary prediction tool, and BLAST (BLASTN, BLASTP, TBLASTX), both of which are part of NCBI's toolkit. CEPiNS provides an important tool to analyze the transcriptome of novel species. PMID:23519394
Two mammalian hairs have been found in association with an empty puparium in a ˜100-million-year-old amber (Early Cretaceous) from France. Although hair is known to be an ancestral, ubiquitous feature in the crown Mammalia, the structure of Mesozoic hair has never been described. In contrast to fur and hair of some Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals preserved as carbonized filaments, the exceptional preservation of the fossils described here allows for the study of the cuticular structure. Results show the oldest direct evidence of hair with a modern scale pattern. This discovery implies that the morphology of hair cuticula may have remained unchanged throughout most of mammalian evolution. The association of these hairs with a possible fly puparium provides paleoecological information and indicates peculiar taphonomic conditions.
This article describes the first fossils recorded in the Hernandarias Formation (Pleistocene) in Entre Ríos province (eastern Argentina). They are represented by three teeth assigned to the caviomorph rodents (Rodentia, Mammalia) Aenigmys diamantensis gen. et sp. nov. and Eumysops. To establish the phylogenetic affinities of the two most enigmatic teeth, their enamel microstructure was studied. Aenigmys diamantensis is considered the most primitive taxon of a clade formed by Dinomyidae Neoepiblemidae Heptaxodontidae. Evidence of the close relationships among these families also is presented herein. The new fossils reinforce previous hypotheses about the survival of primitive Brazilian taxa after their extinction in the Pampas and Patagonia of southern South America. They also show that the diversity of caviomorph rodents during the Quaternary was greater than supposed and that an important Quaternary extinction, not previously detected, affected several lineages. With the available evidence, it is not possible to determine if these rodents indicate a warm pulse or a particular biogeographic situation in Entre Ríos.
Vucetich, María G.; Vieytes, Emma C.; Verzi, Diego H.; Noriega, Jorge I.; Tonni, Eduardo P.
Many hypotheses have been postulated regarding the early evolution of the mammalian brain. Here, x-ray tomography of the Early Jurassic mammaliaforms Morganucodon and Hadrocodium sheds light on this history. We found that relative brain size expanded to mammalian levels, with enlarged olfactory bulbs, neocortex, olfactory (pyriform) cortex, and cerebellum, in two evolutionary pulses. The initial pulse was probably driven by increased resolution in olfaction and improvements in tactile sensitivity (from body hair) and neuromuscular coordination. A second pulse of olfactory enhancement then enlarged the brain to mammalian levels. The origin of crown Mammalia saw a third pulse of olfactory enhancement, with ossified ethmoid turbinals supporting an expansive olfactory epithelium in the nasal cavity, allowing full expression of a huge odorant receptor genome. PMID:21596988
Topography and structure of the musculus stylohyoideus (MSH) have been studied in 78 species of Mammalia from 12 orders. The muscle in question has specific peculiarities not only in its position and fixation, but also in a great variability of its structure. The MSH is not revealed in Philander opossum, Lagostrophus fasciatus, guinea pig, Meriones eversmanni, Rhombomys opimus, Nyctereutes procyonoides, Thos aureus, Mastelidae. Various pathways of development and different functional loading define existence of several modifications of the MSH: a) the medial part of the muscle develops (Didelphys, Rodentia, Insectivora, Proboscidea, Dama dama, Capreolus capreolus; b) the lateral part of the musculus develops (Lagomorpha, Canis lupus, Ursidae, Felidae, Pinnipedia, Cavicornia); c) both parts of the musculus develop, determining position of the m. digastricus between these two parts (Alces alces, Pseudaxis sica, Cervus elaphus, Macaca rhesus, Erythrocebus patas, Perissodastyla). PMID:3408352
The Integrating Network Objects with Hierarchies (INOH) database is a highly structured, manually curated database of signal transduction pathways including Mammalia, Xenopus laevis, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and canonical. Since most pathway knowledge resides in scientific articles, the database focuses on curating and encoding textual knowledge into a machine-processable form. We use a hierarchical pathway representation model with a compound graph, and every pathway component in the INOH database is annotated by a set of uniquely developed ontologies. Finally, we developed the Similarity Search using the combination of a compound graph and hierarchical ontologies. The INOH database is to be a good resource for many users who want to analyze a large protein network. INOH ontologies and 73 signal transduction and 29 metabolic pathway diagrams (including over 6155 interactions and 3395 protein entities) are freely available in INOH XML and BioPAX formats. Database URL: http://www.inoh.org/
The prevalence and diversity of tick-borne zoonotic bacteria (Borrelia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Coxiella burnetii, and spotted fever group rickettsiae) infecting 253 small mammals captured in the Basque Country (Spain) were assessed using PCR and reverse line blot hybridization. Trapping sites were selected around sheep farms (study 1, 2000 to 2002) and recreational parks (study 2, 2003 to 2005). The majority of the studied mammals (162) were wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), but six other different species were also analyzed: yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), shrews (Crocidura russula and Sorex coronatus), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), domestic mice (Mus domesticus), and moles (Talpa europaea). The results showed an infection rate ranging from 10.7% to 68.8%, depending on the small mammal species. One C. russula shrew and one A. sylvaticus mouse gave positive reactions for A. phagocytophilum, and C. burnetii was detected in two domestic mice and one A. sylvaticus mouse in a farm. The DNA of Borrelia spp. was detected in 67 animals (26.5%), most of them presenting positive hybridization with the probe for Borrelia sp. strain R57, the new Borrelia species previously detected in small mammals in our region. Furthermore, a second PCR and reverse line blot hybridization specific for B. burgdorferi sensu lato revealed the presence of Borrelia afzelii in 6.3% of C. glareolus voles and 14.3% of S. coronatus shrews. All small mammals were negative for spotted fever group rickettsiae. These results highlight the relevance of small mammals as reservoirs of some zoonotic bacteria.
Barandika, J. F.; Hurtado, A.; Garcia-Esteban, C.; Gil, H.; Escudero, R.; Barral, M.; Jado, I.; Juste, R. A.; Anda, P.; Garcia-Perez, A. L.
The soil of several floodplain areas along large European rivers shows increased levels of heavy metals as a relict from past sedimentation of contaminants. These levels may pose risks of accumulation in food webs and toxicologic effects on flora and fauna. However, for floodplains, data on heavy-metal concentrations in vertebrates are scarce. Moreover, these environments are characterised by periodical flooding cycles influencing ecologic processes and patterns. To investigate whether the suggested differences in accumulation risks for insectivores and carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores are reflected in the actual heavy-metal concentrations in the species, we measured the current levels of Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd in 199 specimens of 7 small mammal species (voles, mice, and shrews) and in their habitats in a diffusely polluted floodplain. The highest metal concentrations were found in the insectivorous and carnivorous shrew, Sorex araneus. Significant differences between the other shrew species, Crocidura russula, and the vole and mouse species was only found for Cd. The Cu concentration in Clethrionomys glareolus, however, was significantly higher than in several other vole and mouse species. To explain the metal concentrations found in the specimens, we related them to environmental variables at the trapping locations and to certain characteristics of the mammals. Variables taken into account were soil total and CaCl2-extractable metal concentrations at the trapping locations; whether locations were flooded or nonflooded; the trapping season; and the life stage; sex; and fresh weight of the specimens. Correlations between body and soil concentrations and location or specimen characteristics were weak. Therefore; we assumed that exposure of small mammals to heavy-metal contamination in floodplains is significantly influenced by exposure time, which is age related, as well as by dispersal and changes in foraging and feeding patterns under influence of periodic flooding.
Leuven, R. S. E. W.; van der Velde, G.; Jungheim, G.; Koelemij, E. I.; de Vries, F. T.; Eijsackers, H. J. P.; Smits, A. J. M.
A number of predators depend heavily on tactile cues for pursuing and capturing prey. Here I describe and discuss the whiskers of carnivorous grasshopper mice and shrews, the sensory rays of the star-nosed mole, and the tactile appendages of the tentacled snake. These diverse sensors are accompanied by remarkable corresponding specializations in the central nervous system. But understanding their function and the significance of the central nervous system correlates requires the careful documentation of behavior inherent to a neuroethological approach. PMID:22209039
The Synchrotron radiation X-ray Fluorescence analysis (SRXRF) was used for estimation of “geochemical selection” of elements by small mammals, which belong to different trophic groups and inhabit polluted and background areas (the Middle Ural). The concentrations of K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Br, Rb, Sr, Y, Cd, Pb in the diet and into hepar of a herbivorous (bank vole) and carnivorous (Laxmann's shrew) small mammals were compared. Herbivores play a particular role in chemical elements translocation between trophic levels, limiting element transition to consumers of the consequent levels. Whereas, insectivores concentrate most elements in their tissues under the same conditions.
Bezel, V. S.; Koutzenogii, K. P.; Mukhacheva, S. V.; Chankina, O. V.; Savchenko, T. I.
We examined blood smears of 173 rodents and 33 shrews captured at 4 sites in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, northern Alaska, in summer 2002. Trypanosoma spp. were detected in the plasma of 5 Microtus oeconomus, 4 Microtus miurus, and 1 Lemmus trimucronatus. The trypomastigote morphology from different individuals of M. oeconomus caught at the same site and of M. miurus from different sites varied significantly. The 4 DNA sequences obtained from the blood smear positive samples contained 2 different haplotypes very similar to each other and to that of Trypanosoma microti. Of possible vectors of blood parasites, the flea Amalaraeus dissimilis was collected from M. miurus. PMID:15856904
Laakkonen, Juha; Smith, Andrew; Hildebrandt, Kyndall; Niemimaa, Jukka; Henttonen, Heikki
We analyzed a comprehensive data set of ossification sequences including seven marsupial, 13 placental and seven sauropsid species. Data are provided for the first time for two major mammalian clades, Chiroptera and Soricidae, and for two rodent species; the published sequences of three species were improved with additional sampling. The relative timing of the onset of ossification in 17 cranial elements was recorded, resulting in 136 event pairs, which were treated as characters for each species. Half of these characters are constant across all taxa, 30% are variable but phylogenetically uninformative, and 19% potentially deliver diagnostic features for clades of two or more taxa. Using the conservative estimate of heterochronic changes provided by the program Parsimov, only a few heterochronies were found to diagnose mammals, marsupials, or placentals. A later onset of ossification of the pterygoid with respect to six other cranial bones characterizes therian mammals. This result may relate to the relatively small size of this bone in this clade. One change in relative onset of ossification is hypothesized as a potential human autapomorphy in the context of the sampling made: the earlier onset of the ossification of the periotic with respect to the lacrimal and to three basicranial bones. Using the standard error of scaled ranks across all species as a measure of each element's lability in developmental timing, we found that ossification of early, middle, and late events are similarly labile, with basicranial traits the most labile in timing of onset of ossification. Despite marsupials and placental mammals diverging at least 130 Ma, few heterochronic shifts in cranial ossification diagnose these clades. PMID:18803770
Comprehensive analyses of long-term (1977–2003) small-mammal abundance data from western Finland showed that populations of Microtus voles (field voles M. agrestis and sibling voles M. rossiaemeridionalis) voles, bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) and common shrews (Sorex araneus) fluctuated synchronously in 3 year population cycles. Time-series analyses indicated that interspecific synchrony is influenced strongly by density-dependent processes. Synchrony among Microtus and bank voles appeared additionally to be influenced by density-independent processes. To test whether interspecific synchronization through density-dependent processes is caused by predation, we experimentally reduced the densities of the main predators of small mammals in four large agricultural areas, and compared small mammal abundances in these to those in four control areas (2.5–3 km2) through a 3 year small-mammal population cycle. Predator reduction increased densities of the main prey species, Microtus voles, in all phases of the population cycle, while bank voles, the most important alternative prey of predators, responded positively only in the low and the increase phase. Manipulation also increased the autumn densities of water voles (Arvicola terrestris) in the increase phase of the cycle. No treatment effects were detected for common shrews or mice. Our results are in accordance with the alternative prey hypothesis, by which predators successively reduce the densities of both main and alternative prey species after the peak phase of small-mammal population cycles, thus inducing a synchronous low phase.
Small amounts of tritiated leucine were injected into the olfactory bulb or anterior olfactory cortex of softshell turtles, wood ducks, and tree shrews in order to compare quantitatively the laminar distribution of olfactory bulb, association, and commissural projections to olfactory cortex. In all three species, a similar colaminar distribution of olfactory and association projections was found: the olfactory projections are restricted to the superficial cortical layer Ia, while the association projections are distributed into the deeper cortical layers Ib, II, and III. Differences among these three species were found in the origin and distribution of commissural projections. Whereas in tree shrews these fibers originate from third-order neurons and project into the deeper layers of the contralateral cortex (with the homolateral olfactory bulb projections), in softshell turtles and wood ducks, they originate from second-order neurons and project into the superficial layer of the contralateral cortex (with the homolateral olfactory bulb projections). These results, in conjunction with those obtained previously in other species, indicate that the basic tangential organization of mammalian olfactory cortex is retained, albeit with some modification, from a remote, reptilian ancestor. PMID:6535631
Developmental plasticity is thought to reconcile the constraining role of natural selection in maintaining local adaptation with evolutionary diversification under novel conditions, but empirical documentations are rare. In vertebrates, growth and development of bones is partially guided by contractions of attached musculature and such muscle activity changes progressively through embryonic development from sporadic motility to direct functional effects. In species with short generation times, delayed skull maturation extends the guiding effects of muscle activity on formation of foraging morphology into adulthood, providing an opportunity to directly examine the links between plasticity of bone development, ecological adaptations, and evolutionary diversification in foraging morphology. In this case, the morphological consequences of inputs due to local functional requirements should be evident in adaptive divergence across taxa. Here we provide evidence that epigenetic regulation of bone growth in Soricid shrews may enable both development of local adaptations and evolutionary divergence in mandibular morphology. We contrast the effects of muscle stimulation on early- vs. late-maturing components of, foraging apparatus to show that the morphology of late-maturing components is more affected by functional requirements than are early-ossifying traits. Further, the divergence in foraging morphology across shrew species occurs along the directions delineated by inductive effects of muscle loading and bite force on bone formation in late-maturing but not early-maturing mandible components within species. These results support the hypothesis that developmental plasticity can link maintenance of local adaptations with evolutionary diversification in morphology. PMID:20700888
Small mammals are important predators of gypsy moths ( Lymantria dispar L.), which are major defoliators of deciduous forests in the northeastern United States. Abundance and habitat relationships of small mammals were studied during summers 1984 and 1985 on forested sites at Moshannon and Rothrock state forests in two physiographic regions of Pennsylvania (Allegheny High Plateaus Province and Valley and Ridge Province, respectively) that varied in potential susceptibility to defoliation. The white-footed mouse ( Peromyscus leucopus), which is a major vertebrate predator of gypsy moths, was the most common small mammal on all sites. Of the four common species, northern short-tailed shrews ( Blarina brevicauda), southern red-backed voles ( Clethrionomys gapperi), and white-footed mice were more abundant at Moshannon compared to Rothrock State Forest, but masked shrews ( Sorex cinereus) were more abundant at Rothrock. Elevation was a major factor affecting abundance and distribution of small mammals. Because of the greater abundance of small mammals and more suitable physiographic features at Moshannon compared to Rothrock State Forest, small mammals may be more effective as predators on gypsy moths in the Allegheny High Plateaus than the Valley and Ridge Province of Pennsylvania.
Comprehensive analyses of long-term (1977-2003) small-mammal abundance data from western Finland showed that populations of Microtus voles (field voles M. agrestis and sibling voles M. rossiaemeridionalis) voles, bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) and common shrews (Sorex araneus) fluctuated synchronously in 3 year population cycles. Time-series analyses indicated that interspecific synchrony is influenced strongly by density-dependent processes. Synchrony among Microtus and bank voles appeared additionally to be influenced by density-independent processes. To test whether interspecific synchronization through density-dependent processes is caused by predation, we experimentally reduced the densities of the main predators of small mammals in four large agricultural areas, and compared small mammal abundances in these to those in four control areas (2.5-3 km(2)) through a 3 year small-mammal population cycle. Predator reduction increased densities of the main prey species, Microtus voles, in all phases of the population cycle, while bank voles, the most important alternative prey of predators, responded positively only in the low and the increase phase. Manipulation also increased the autumn densities of water voles (Arvicola terrestris) in the increase phase of the cycle. No treatment effects were detected for common shrews or mice. Our results are in accordance with the alternative prey hypothesis, by which predators successively reduce the densities of both main and alternative prey species after the peak phase of small-mammal population cycles, thus inducing a synchronous low phase. PMID:15695211
Cell membranes may fold up into three-dimensional nanoperiodic cubic structures in biological systems. Similar geometries are well studied in other disciplines such as mathematics, physics and polymer chemistry. The fundamental function of cubic membranes in biological systems has not been uncovered yet; however, their appearance in specialized cell types indicates a role as structural templates or perhaps direct physical entities with specialized biophysical properties. The mitochondria located at the inner segment of the retinal cones of tree shrew (Tupaia glis and Tupaia belangeri) contain unique patterns of concentric cristae with a highly ordered membrane arrangement in three dimensions similar to the photonic nanostructures observed in butterfly wing scales. Using a direct template matching method, we show that the inner mitochondrial membrane folds into multi-layered (8 to 12 layers) gyroid cubic membrane arrangements in the photoreceptor cells. Three-dimensional simulation data demonstrate that such multi-layer gyroid membrane arrangements in the retinal cones of a tree shrew's eye can potentially function as: (i) multi-focal lens; (ii) angle-independent interference filters to block UV light; and (iii) a waveguide photonic crystal. These theoretical results highlight for the first time the significance of multi-layer cubic membrane arrangements to achieve near-quasi-photonic crystal properties through the simple and reversible biological process of continuous membrane folding.
Background Talpid moles show many specializations in their adult skeleton linked to fossoriality, including enlarged hands when compared to the feet. Heterochrony in developmental mechanisms is hypothesized to account for morphological evolution in skeletal elements. Methods The temporal and spatial distribution of SOX9 expression, which is an early marker of chondrification, is analyzed in autopods of the fossorial Iberian mole Talpa occidentalis, as well as in shrew (Cryptotis parva) and mouse (Mus musculus) for comparison. Results and discussion SOX9 expression is advanced in the forelimb compared to the hind limb in the talpid mole. In contrast, in the shrew and the mouse, which do not show fossorial specializations in their autopods, it is synchronous. We provide evidence that transcriptional heterochrony affects the development of talpid autopods, an example of developmental penetrance. We discuss our data in the light of earlier reported pattern heterochrony and later morphological variation in talpid limbs. Conclusion Transcriptional heterochrony in SOX9 expression is found in talpid autopods, which is likely to account for pattern heterochrony in chondral limb development as well as size variation in adult fore- and hind limbs.
Hantaviruses are among the most important zoonotic pathogens of humans and the subject of heightened global attention. Despite the importance of hantaviruses for public health, there is no consensus on their evolutionary history and especially the frequency of virus-host co-divergence versus cross-species virus transmission. Documenting the extent of hantavirus biodiversity, and particularly their range of mammalian hosts, is critical to resolving this issue. Here, we describe four novel hantaviruses (Huangpi virus, Lianghe virus, Longquan virus, and Yakeshi virus) sampled from bats and shrews in China, and which are distinct from other known hantaviruses. Huangpi virus was found in Pipistrellus abramus, Lianghe virus in Anourosorex squamipes, Longquan virus in Rhinolophus affinis, Rhinolophus sinicus, and Rhinolophus monoceros, and Yakeshi virus in Sorex isodon, respectively. A phylogenetic analysis of the available diversity of hantaviruses reveals the existence of four phylogroups that infect a range of mammalian hosts, as well as the occurrence of ancient reassortment events between the phylogroups. Notably, the phylogenetic histories of the viruses are not always congruent with those of their hosts, suggesting that cross-species transmission has played a major role during hantavirus evolution and at all taxonomic levels, although we also noted some evidence for virus-host co-divergence. Our phylogenetic analysis also suggests that hantaviruses might have first appeared in Chiroptera (bats) or Soricomorpha (moles and shrews), before emerging in rodent species. Overall, these data indicate that bats are likely to be important natural reservoir hosts of hantaviruses.
The populations of fiber types in hindlimb muscles of the tree shrew (Tupaia glis), lesser bushbaby (Galago senegalensis), and the slow loris (Nycticebus coucang) were described and an attempt was made to correlate populations of fiber types and locomotor patterns. Muscle fibers were assigned to one of the following groups: fast-twitch glycolytic (FG), fast-twitch oxidative-glycolytic (FOG), and slow-twitch oxidase (SO). Histochemical techniques for the demonstration of alkaline- and acid-stable ATPase, succinic dehydrogenase, and mitochondrial alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase were used in the classification of muscle fibers. Results indicated that the FG fiber type is the predominant fiber type in muscles used for jumping, the FOG fiber type is predominant in muscles used for running, and the SO fiber type occurs in high percentages in postural muscles. The SO fiber was also the most common fiber in muscles of the slow loris-a species that exhibits a slow, deliberate, sustained locomotor pattern. Intramuscular regional variations in populations were seen in some larger muscles of the tree shrew, but not in the lesser bushbaby and slow loris. Our results did not support the contentions of others that analogous muscles in different species have similar populations of fiber types. PMID:6791489
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.
Muldoon, K. M.; De Blieux, D. D.; Simons, E. L.; Chatrath, P. S.
Background Much of the current research in the growing field of evolutionary development concerns relating developmental pathways to large-scale patterns of morphological evolution, with developmental constraints on variation, and hence diversity, a field of particular interest. Tooth morphology offers an excellent model system for such ‘evo-devo’ studies, because teeth are well preserved in the fossil record, and are commonly used in phylogenetic analyses and as ecological proxies. Moreover, tooth development is relatively well studied, and has provided several testable hypotheses of developmental influences on macroevolutionary patterns. The recently-described Inhibitory Cascade (IC) Model provides just such a hypothesis for mammalian lower molar evolution. Derived from experimental data, the IC Model suggests that a balance between mesenchymal activators and molar-derived inhibitors determines the size of the immediately posterior molar, predicting firstly that molars either decrease in size along the tooth row, or increase in size, or are all of equal size, and secondly that the second lower molar should occupy one third of lower molar area. Here, we tested the IC Model in a large selection of taxa from diverse extant and fossil mammalian groups, ranging from the Middle Jurassic (~176 to 161 Ma) to the Recent. Results Results show that most taxa (~65%) fell within the predicted areas of the Inhibitory Cascade Model. However, members of several extinct groups fell into the regions where m2 was largest, or rarely, smallest, including the majority of the polyphyletic “condylarths”. Most Mesozoic mammals fell near the centre of the space with equality of size in all three molars. The distribution of taxa was significantly clustered by diet and by phylogenetic group. Conclusions Overall, the IC Model was supported as a plesiomorphic developmental system for Mammalia, suggesting that mammal tooth size has been subjected to this developmental constraint at least since the divergence of australosphenidans and boreosphenidans approximately 180 Ma. Although exceptions exist, including many ‘condylarths’, these are most likely to be secondarily derived states, rather than alternative ancestral developmental models for Mammalia.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE To evaluate the role of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2AG) in the regulation of nausea and vomiting using animal models of vomiting and of nausea-like behaviour (conditioned gaping). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Vomiting was assessed in shrews (Suncus murinus), pretreated with JZL184, a selective monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor which elevates endogenous 2AG levels, 1 h before administering the emetogenic compound, LiCl. Regulation of nausea-like behaviour in rats by exogenous 2AG or its metabolite arachidonic acid (AA) was assessed, using the conditioned gaping model. The role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition in suppression of vomiting or nausea-like behaviour was assessed. KEY RESULTS JZL184 dose-dependently suppressed vomiting in shrews, an effect prevented by pretreatment with the CB1 receptor inverse agonist/antagonist, AM251. In shrew brain tissue, JZL184 inhibited MAGL activity in vivo. In rats, 2AG suppressed LiCl-induced conditioned gaping but this effect was not prevented by AM251 or the CB2 receptor antagonist, AM630. Instead, the COX inhibitor, indomethacin, prevented suppression of conditioned gaping by 2AG or AA. However, when rats were pretreated with a high dose of JZL184 (40 mg·kg?1), suppression of gaping by 2AG was partially reversed by AM251. Suppression of conditioned gaping was not due to interference with learning because the same dose of 2AG did not modify the strength of conditioned freezing to a shock-paired tone. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Our results suggest that manipulations that elevate 2AG may have anti-emetic or anti-nausea potential. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7
Sticht, Martin A; Long, Jonathan Z; Rock, Erin M; Limebeer, Cheryl L; Mechoulam, Raphael; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Parker, Linda A
Morphology of neurons and afferent axons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the tree shrew (Tupaia glis) was studied using Golgi-Kopsch impregnated and Nissl stained material. Staining of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) could inform about the distribution of this enzyme in the tree shrew's dLGN. The results can be summarized as follows: 1. Two classes of neurons can be identified: class-I-neurons and class-II-neurons. Class-I-neurons correspond to geniculo-cortical relay neurons (GCR-neurons) and class-II-neurons correspond to local interneurons (I-neurons). 2. Class-I-neurons differ in their morphology depending on their laminar position. Tufted neurons with clusters of grape-like appendages in their branching zones resembling X-cells in the cat's dLGN are localized in the external laminae 5 and 4. In the superficial lamina 6 the dendrite domains of GCR-neurons are flattened and elongated. Dendrites seem not to penetrate laminar borders. The cells in layer 3 have the smallest soma and radiate dendrites. There is some evidence that GCR-neurons in this lamina represent W-cells (Carey et al., 1979). GCR-neurons in laminae 2 and 1 (innermost laminae) have the biggest somata. Their dendritic branching patterns make it difficult to classify the cells into tufted or radiate. Branching zones are rather smooth. These cells seem to be good candidates for Y-cells. 3. I-neurons could be identified in all laminae. Their dendrites preferentially take a dorso-ventral course. Only axon initial segments of these neurons were visible in Golgi preparations. 4. GCR-neurons and I-neurons could also be identified in Nissl preparations. The ratio GCR-neurons: I-neurons is about 10:1, i.e. 10% of all neurons are I-neurons. 5. In Golgi preparations some types of axons were impregnated. Type-1-axons resemble cortical afferents of other mammalian species. Type-2-axons (2a, 2b, 2c) do not leave single laminae in our material. Considering branching characteristics of their terminal zones, this finding could be a reference for their retinal origin. 6. Laminae 5, 4, 2, and 1 have a remarkable higher content of AChe than the laminae 6 and 3. The low level of ACHE in lamina 3 of the tree shrew's dLGN corresponds to the less activity of ACHE in the laminae 4 and 5 of Galago senegalensis (Fitzpatrick and Diamond, 1979), which like lamina 3 in Tupaia's dLGN project to layer I of the visual cortex (Carey et al., 1979). PMID:7240727
The theory of humors, which was the prevalent theory of affect in Shakespeare's day, was used to explain both states (moods, emotions) and traits (personalities). This article reports humoral scores appropriate to the major characters of Shakespeare's comedies. The Dictionary of Affect in Language was used to score all words (N = 180,243) spoken by 105 major characters in 13 comedies in terms of their emotional undertones. These were translated into humoral scores. Translation was possible because emotional undertones, humor, and personality (e.g., Eysenck's model) are defined by various axes in the same two-dimensional space. Humoral scores differed for different types of characters, e.g., Shakespeare's lovers used more Sanguine language and his clowns more Melancholy language than other characters. A study of Kate and Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew demonstrated state-like changes in humor for characters as the play unfolded. PMID:20712171
Relationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter-gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history. PMID:22160702
Background Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a neoplastic proliferation of epithelial cells undergoing squamous differentiation and represents a diagnostic challenge in nonhuman primates (NHP), especially in baboons with perineal SCC. Methods Fourteen SCC (13 baboons, 1 spider monkey) were identified over a 20-year period. A literature search identified 86 additional published cases of spontaneous NHP SCC. Results SCC was most commonly reported in macaques, baboons, marmosets, and squirrel monkeys. Metastasis occurred in 23%, of NHP. The most frequently reported primary locations were the oral cavity, integument, esophagus, and cervix-uterus. Perineal SCC occurred mainly in baboons. All reported SCC in marmosets occurred in the head. Nasal cavity SCC was only reported in male marmosets. All reported pulmonary SCC occurred in males, mostly in tree shrews. Conclusions SCC is a common neoplasm in NHP and exhibits species differences. NHPs may provide a useful SCC animal model.
Haddad, Jamie L.; Dick, Edward J.; Guardado-Mendoza, Rodolfo; Hubbard, Gene B.
The specific features of distribution of Neotrombicula (N) monticola Schluger et Davidov, 1967 on small mammals were studied in the Tien Shan montains (Kirghiz ridge). N. (N ) monticola was found to occur in all the places under study. Nine species of mammals (pigmy white-toothed shrew, dwarf hamster, tamarisk gerbil, Turkestan rat, long-tailed mouse, Tien Shan, Kirghiz, and silver voles, and wood mouse) were established to be feeders of larvae of the ticks. N. (N) monticola larvae were detected in three topographic zones and seven portions of the body of vertebral hosts. The inner auricle is the major site of tick attachment to the host. Preference of N. (N) monticola in selecting the host is likely to be based on the morphophysiological features of partners. PMID:17912838
The nomenclature of three genera in the family Haemogregarinidae (Haemogregarina, Karyolysus, and Hepatozoon) has been reviewed and the following new names are introduced to replace homonyms or for previously unnamed species: haemogregarina carlosi n. nom., in the erythrocytes of the lizard Lacerta ocellata; Haemogregarina tincae n. nom., in the stomach and intestine of the tench Tinca tinca; Hepatozoon insectivorae n. sp., in the leucocytes of the shrews Sorex araneus and Crocidura leucodon; Hepatozoon krampitzi n. sp., in the leucocytes of the vole Microtus oeconomus; Hepatozoon peromysci n. sp., in the leucocytes of the deermice Peromyscus boylii and P. truei gilberti; and Hepatozoon pallida (Pessoa et al., 1971) n. comb., in the erythrocytes of the snake Thamnodynastes pallidus nattereri. PMID:6757414
Venoms contain highly complex mixtures that typically include hundreds of different components and have evolved independently in a diverse range of animals including platypuses, shrews, snakes, lizards, fishes, echinoderms, spiders, wasps, centipedes, sea snails, cephalopods, jellyfish and sea anemones. Many venom genes evolved through gene duplication. Gene duplication occurs in all domains of life and provides the raw substrate from which novel function arise. In this review, we focus on the role that gene duplication has played in the origin and diversification of venom genes. We outline the selective advantages of venom gene duplicates and the role that selection has played in the retention of these duplicates. We use toxin gene intermediates to help trace the evolution of toxin innovation. We also focus on other genomic processes, such as exon and domain duplications, in venom evolution. Finally, we conclude by focusing on the use of high throughput sequencing technology in understanding venom evolution. PMID:22285376
Maps representing the preference of neurons for the location and orientation of a stimulus on the visual field are a hallmark of primary visual cortex. It is not yet known how these maps develop and what function they play in visual processing. One hypothesis postulates that orientation maps are initially seeded by the spatial interference of ON- and OFF-center retinal receptive field mosaics. Here we show that such a mechanism predicts a link between the layout of orientation preferences around singularities of different signs and the cardinal axes of the retinotopic map. Moreover, we confirm the predicted relationship holds in tree shrew primary visual cortex. These findings provide additional support for the notion that spatially structured input from the retina may provide a blueprint for the early development of cortical maps and receptive fields. More broadly, it raises the possibility that spatially structured input from the periphery may shape the organization of primary sensory cortex of other modalities as well.
We raised antibodies against 3 oligopeptide segments of human dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (hDBH) corresponding to the N-terminal (hDBH-N), the intermediate (hDBH-I), and the C-terminal (hDBH-C) amino acid sequences (residues 26-43, 452-468, and 582-598), respectively. We characterized the antibodies in terms of specificity by means of Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Anti-hDBH-N antiserum recognized DBH in the brain (noradrenergic neurons in the pons and medulla oblongata) and adrenal medulla, not only of human but also of mouse, rat and house shrew. In contrast, anti-hDBH-C antiserum recognized only human DBH. These observations suggest that the antibody raised against the hDBH-C terminal peptide may specifically recognize only human DBH. PMID:2293101
Wild indigenous small mammals including 83 rodents (bandicoot and black rats, and house mice) and a shrew captured from multiple sites in Vellore, south India, were tested for serological and molecular evidence of hantavirus infection. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using Hantaan virus (HTNV) antigen indicated hantavirus-reactive antibodies in 16 (19.3%) of 83 rodents (bandicoot and black rats). Western blot (WB) using Thailand virus (THAIV) antigen confirmed hantavirus-reactive antibodies in nine of the 16 HTNV IFA-positive rodents. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of lung and kidney tissue of captured mammals resulted in the detection of partial S segment sequence in a bandicoot rat. This study complements our earlier reports on hantavirus epidemiology in south India and documents first laboratory evidence for rodent-associated hantaviruses in south India. PMID:22856552
Chandy, S; Ulrich, R G; Schlegel, M; Petraityte, R; Sasnauskas, K; Prakash, D J; Balraj, V; Abraham, P; Sridharan, G
Hantaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia. In Europe both the amplitude and the magnitude of outbreaks of HFRS have increased. The mechanisms that drive the incidences are complex and multi-factorial and only partially due to increased awareness and improved diagnostic tools. Risk determinants include reservoir ecology, virus ecology and anthropogenic factors. The dogma of one specific rodent species as primordial reservoir for a specific hantavirus is increasingly challenged. New hantaviruses have been discovered in shrews, moles and bats and increasing evidence points at host-switching events and co-circulation in multiple, sympatric reservoir species, challenging the strict rodent-virus co-evolution theory. Changing landscape attributes and climatic parameters determine fluctuations in hantavirus epidemiology, for instance through increased food availability, prolonged virus survival and decreased biodiversity. PMID:23384818
In this article, we develop an admixture F model (AFM) for the estimation of population-level coancestry coefficients from neutral molecular markers. In contrast to the previously published F model, the AFM enables disentangling small population size and lack of migration as causes of genetic differentiation behind a given level of FST. We develop a Bayesian estimation scheme for fitting the AFM to multiallelic data acquired from a number of local populations. We demonstrate the performance of the AFM, using simulated data sets and real data on ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) and common shrews (Sorex araneus). The results show that the parameterization of the AFM conveys more information about the evolutionary history than a simple summary parameter such as FST. The methods are implemented in the R package RAFM.
This report presents toxicological benchmarks for assessment of effects of 55 chemicals on six representative mammalian wildlife species (short-tailed shrew, white-footed mouse, cottontail ink, red fox, and whitetail deer) and eight avian wildlife species (American robin, woodcock, wild turkey, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, barred owl, Cooper`s hawk, and redtailed hawk) (scientific names are presented in Appendix C). These species were chosen because they are widely distributed and provide a representative range of body sizes and diets. The chemicals are some of those that occur at United States Department of Energy (DOE) waste sites. The benchmarks presented in this report are values believed to be nonhazardous for the listed wildlife species.
Observations on the distribution of Centrorhynchus aluconis (Acanthocephala) and 6 other species of helminths in the definitive host Strix aluco, in tawny owl, are presented. Infected owls were collected from 16 sites ranging from Tarbet, Strathclyde, Scotland, to Ewhurst, Surrey, in the south of England. In addition, unidentified cyclophyllidean cestodes were found in the alimentary tract of the tawny owls. Centrorhynchus aluconis was the most prevalent helminth found and had the highest intensity. It appears that C. aluconis is widely distributed in the tawny owls of Great Britain. Porrocaecum spirale (Nematoda) was the second most prevalent species of helminth. This species and C. aluconis are believed to be dependent on shrews (Sorex araneus and Sorex minutus) for their transmission to owls. PMID:8277390
The orientation map is a hallmark of primary visual cortex in higher mammals. It is not yet known how orientation maps develop, what function they play in visual processing and why some species lack them. Here we advance the notion that quasi-periodic orientation maps are established by moiré interference of regularly spaced ON and OFF-center retinal ganglion cell mosaics. A key prediction of the theory is that the centers of iso-orientation domains must be arranged in a hexagonal lattice on the cortical surface. Here we show that such pattern is observed in individuals of four different species: monkey, cat, tree shrew and ferret. The proposed mechanism explains how orientation maps can develop without requiring precise patterns of spontaneous activity or molecular guidance. Further, it offers a possible account for the emergence of orientation tuning in single neurons despite the absence of orderly orientation maps in rodents species.
Three species of Hilmylepis Skryabin & Matevosyan, 1942 are redescribed: H. nagatyi (Hilmy, 1936) from shrews Crocidura foxi, C. theresae, C. giffardi and C. occidentalis in the Ivory Coast; H. raillieti (Joyeux & Baer, 1950) on the basis of syntypes from C. russula in France; and H. prokopici Genov, 1970 from C. leucodon and C. suaveolens in Bulgaria. The holotype of H. shar