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Sample records for shrews mammalia soricidae

  1. Functional skeletal morphology and its implications for locomotory behavior among three genera of myosoricine shrews (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Woodman, Neal; Stabile, Frank A

    2015-05-01

    Myosoricinae is a small clade of shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) that is currently restricted to the African continent. Individual species have limited distributions that are often associated with higher elevations. Although the majority of species in the subfamily are considered ambulatory in their locomotory behavior, species of the myosoricine genus Surdisorex are known to be semifossorial. To better characterize variation in locomotory behaviors among myosoricines, we calculated 32 morphological indices from skeletal measurements from nine species representing all three genera that comprise the subfamily (i.e., Congosorex, Myosorex, Surdisorex) and compared them to indices calculated for two species with well-documented locomotory behaviors: the ambulatory talpid Uropsilus soricipes and the semifossorial talpid Neurotrichus gibbsii. We summarized the 22 most complete morphological variables by 1) calculating a mean percentile rank for each species and 2) using the first principal component from principal component analysis of the indices. The two methods yielded similar results and indicate grades of adaptations reflecting a range of potential locomotory behaviors from ambulatory to semifossorial that exceeds the range represented by the two talpids. Morphological variation reflecting grades of increased semifossoriality among myosoricine shrews is similar in many respects to that seen for soricines, but some features are unique to the Myosoricinae. PMID:25678028

  2. Functional skeletal morphology and its implications for locomotory behavior among three genera of myosoricine shrews (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stabile, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Myosoricinae is a small clade of shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) that is currently restricted to the African continent. Individual species have limited distributions that are often associated with higher elevations. Although the majority of species in the subfamily are considered ambulatory in their locomotory behavior, species of the myosoricine genus Surdisorex are known to be semifossorial. To better characterize variation in locomotory behaviors among myosoricines, we calculated 32 morphological indices from skeletal measurements from nine species representing all three genera that comprise the subfamily (i.e., Congosorex, Myosorex, Surdisorex) and compared them to indices calculated for two species with well-documented locomotory behaviors: the ambulatory talpid Uropsilus soricipes and the semifossorial talpid Neurotrichus gibbsii. We summarized the 22 most complete morphological variables by 1) calculating a mean percentile rank for each species and 2) using the first principal component from principal component analysis of the indices. The two methods yielded similar results and indicate grades of adaptations reflecting a range of potential locomotory behaviors from ambulatory to semifossorial that exceeds the range represented by the two talpids. Morphological variation reflecting grades of increased semifossoriality among myosoricine shrews is similar in many respects to that seen for soricines, but some features are unique to the Myosoricinae.

  3. Can they dig it? Functional morphology and semifossoriality among small-eared shrews, genus Cryptotis (Mammalia, Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Gaffney, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Small-eared shrews (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis), exhibit modifications of the forelimb skeleton that have been interpreted as adaptations for semifossoriality. Most species inhabit remote regions, however, and their locomotory and foraging behaviors remain mostly speculative. To better understand the morphological modifications in the absence of direct observations, we quantified variation in these species by measuring 151 individuals representing 18 species and populations of Cryptotis and two species of moles (Talpidae) for comparison. From our measurements, we calculated 22 indices, most of which have been used previously to characterize substrate use among rodents and other taxa. We analyzed the indices using 1) average percentile ranks, 2) principal components analysis, and 3) cluster analysis. From these analyses, we determined that three basic modes of substrate adaptation are present within Cryptotis: 1) a primarily terrestrial mode, with species that are capable of burrowing, but lack adaptations to increase digging efficiency, 2) a semifossorial mode, with species whose forelimbs bones show strong muscle attachment areas and increased mechanical advantage, and 3) an intermediate mode. In addition to identifying new morphological characters and contributing to our understanding of the functional morphology of soricids, these analyses provide additional insight into the ecology of the species of interest.

  4. Skeletal morphology of the forefoot in shrews (Mammalia: Soricidae) of the genus Cryptotis, as revealed by digital x-rays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Morgan, J.P.J.

    2005-01-01

    Variation in the forefoot skeleton of small-eared shrews (family Soricidae, genus Cryptotis) has been previously documented, but the paucity of available skeletons for most taxa makes assessment of the degrees of intraspecific and interspecific variation difficult. We used a digital X-ray system to extract images of the forefoot skeleton from 101 dried skins of eight taxa (seven species, including two subspecies of one species) of these shrews. Lengths and widths of each of the four bones of digit III were measured directly from the digital images, and we used these data to quantify variation within and among taxa. Analysis of the images and measurements showed that interspecific variation exceeds intraspecific variation. In fact, most taxa could be distinguished in multivariate and some bivariate plots. Our quantitative data helped us define a number of specific forefoot characters that we subsequently used to hypothesize evolutionary relationships among the taxa using the exhaustive search option in PAUP, a computer program for phylogenetic analysis. The resulting trees generally concur with previously published evolutionary hypotheses for small-eared shrews. Cryptotis meridensis, a taxon not previously examined in recent phylogenies, is rooted at the base of the branch leading to the C. mexicana group of species. The position of this species suggests that the mostly South American C. thomasi group shares an early ancestor with the C. mexicana group.

  5. At the foot of the shrew: manus morphology distinguishes closely-related Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis griseoventris (Mammalia: Soricidae) in Central America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stephens, Ryan B.

    2010-01-01

    Small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Soricidae) of the New World genus Cryptotis are distributed from eastern North America to the northern Andes of South America. One well-defined clade in this genus is the Central American Cryptotis mexicana group, whose members are set off from other species in the genus by their variably broader fore feet and more elongate and broadened fore claws. Two species in the C. mexicana group, Cryptotis goodwini Jackson and Cryptotis griseoventris Jackson, inhabit highlands in Guatemala and southern Mexico and are presumed to be sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger body size of C. goodwini. To better characterize these species and confirm the identification of recently-collected specimens, we obtained digital X-ray images of the manus from large series of dried skins of both species. Measurements of the metacarpals and phalanges successfully separated most specimens of C. goodwini and C. griseoventris. These measurements also show that the fore feet of C. griseoventris from Chiapas, Mexico, are morphologically distinct from those of members of the species inhabiting Guatemala. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses indicate that fore foot characters are more conservative within species of the C. mexicana group than are cranio-mandibular characters. Patterns of evolution of fore foot characters that superficially appear to be linear gradations are actually more complex, illustrating individual evolutionary trajectories.

  6. Patterns of morphological variation amongst semifossorial shrews in the highlands of Guatemala, with the description of a new species (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. A new species of small-eared shrew from Colombia and Venezuela (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae: Genus Cryptotis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2002-01-01

    Populations of small-eared shrews inhabiting the northern Cordillera Oriental of Colombia and adjoining Venezuelan highlands in the vicinity of Paramo de Tama have been referred alternatively to Cryptotis thomssi or Cryptotis meridensis. Morphological and morphometrical study of this population indicates that it belongs to neither taxon, but represents a distinct, previously unrecognized species. I describe this new species as Cryptotis tamensis and redescribe C. meridensis. Recognition of the population at Paramo de Tama as a separate taxon calls into question the identities of populations of shrews currently represented only by single specimens from Cerro Pintado in the Sierra de Perija, Colombia, and near El Junquito in the coastal highlands of Venezuela.

  8. A new small-eared shrew of the Cryptotis nigrescens-group from Colombia (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2003-01-01

    Cryptotis colombiana Woodman & Timm, 1993 previously was known from few specimens from two isolated regions in the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. Recent collecting in the northern Cordillera Central and review of older collections from the central Cordillera Oriental in the vicinity of Bogota yielded additional specimens that permit reevaluation of the two geographic populations of these small-eared shrews. Morphological and morphometrical studies indicate that the population inhabiting the Cordillera Oriental represents a distinct, previously unrecognized species that I describe herein as Cryptotis brachyonyx. Study of 54 specimens of shrews from the Cordillera Oriental in systematic collections in North America, South America, and Europe yielded only four specimens of the new species, all collected before 1926. The paucity of modern specimens suggests that C. brachyonyx may be extremely restricted in distribution, or possibly extinct.

  9. Fossil shrews from Honduras and their significance for late glacial evolution in body size (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Croft, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Our study of mammalian remains excavated in the 1940s from McGrew Cave, north of Copan, Honduras, yielded an assemblage of 29 taxa that probably accumulated predominantly as the result of predation by owls. Among the taxa present are three species of small-eared shrews, genus Cryptotis. One species, Cryptotis merriami, is relatively rare among the fossil remains. The other two shrews, Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis orophila, are abundant and exhibit morpho metrical variation distinguishing them from modern populations. Fossils of C. goodwini are distinctly and consistently smaller than modern members of the species. To quantify the size differences, we derived common measures of body size for fossil C. goodwini using regression models based on modern samples of shrews in the Cryptotis mexicana-group. Estimated mean length of head and body for the fossil sample is 72-79 mm, and estimated mean mass is 7.6-9.6 g. These numbers indicate that the fossil sample averaged 6-14% smaller in head and body length and 39-52% less in mass than the modern sample and that increases of 6-17% in head and body length and 65-108% in mass occurred to achieve the mean body size of the modern sample. Conservative estimates of fresh (wet) food intake based on mass indicate that such a size increase would require a 37-58% increase in daily food consumption. In contrast to C. goodwini, fossil C. orophila from the cave is not different in mean body size from modern samples. The fossil sample does, however, show slightly greater variation in size than is currently present throughout the modern geographical distribution of the taxon. Moreover, variation in some other dental and mandibular characters is more constrained, exhibiting a more direct relationship to overall size. Our study of these species indicates that North American shrews have not all been static in size through time, as suggested by some previous work with fossil soricids. Lack of stratigraphic control within the site and our

  10. Distributional records of shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae) from Northern Central America with the first record of Sorex from Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Matson, John O.; McCarthy, Timothy J.; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Bulmer, Walter; Ordonez-Garza, Nicte

    2012-01-01

    Short term surveys for small mammals in Guatemala and Honduras during 1992–2009 provided important new records for 12 taxa of shrews from 24 localities. These locality records expand the known geographic distributions for five species and for the genus Sorex Linnaeus, 1758: the geographic range of Cryptotis goodwini Jackson, 1933, now includes the Sierra de las Minas, Guatemala, and several isolated highlands in western Honduras; the known distribution of Cryptotis mayensis (Merriam, 1901) is increased with the first definite modern record for this shrew from Guatemala; Cryptotis merriami Choate, 1970, is now known to occur in the Sierra de las Minas and the Sierra del Merendon, Guatemala, as well as the isolated Sierra de Omoa and Montana de La Muralla in Honduras, and its documented elevational range (600–1720 m) is expanded; records of Sorex veraepacis Alston, 1877, expand the known distribution of this species to include the Sierra de Yalijux, Guatemala; and discovery of Sorex salvini Merriam, 1897, at Celaque, Honduras (1825–3110 m), represents a considerable extension of the geographic range of the species, and it is the first record of the genus Sorex from Honduras. In addition, the first record of potential syntopy among C. goodwini, C merriami, and Cryptotis orophilus (J.A. Allen, 1895), is reported at an elevation of 1430 m in the Sierra de Celaque, Honduras. Information associated with these records contributes substantially to knowledge of habitat use, elevational distributions, reproductive patterns, diet, and parasites of the species encountered. General patterns include the first evidence that Neotropical species of soricids have smaller litters than their temperate congeners.

  11. The complete mitogenome of Chinese Mole Shrew, Anourosorex squamipes (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Qun; Wang, Qiong; Chen, Guiying; Fu, Changkun; Chen, Shunde

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese Mole Shrew, Anourosorex squamipes belongs to the family Soricidae, and widely distributes in central and southern China, northern and south Burma, east India, northern Vietnam and Thailand. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Anourosorex squamipes was determined. The mitogenome is 17,121 base pairs in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and 1 control region, with base composition of 34.0% A, 31.3% T, 22.0% C, and 12.7% G. The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage did not differ significantly from those of other shrews. The study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of Chinese Mole Shrew Anourosorex squamipes. PMID:24708118

  12. The complete mitogenome of Asian House Shrews, Suncus murinus (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Shunde; Wei, Haixue; Peng, Hongyuan; Yong, Bin

    2016-01-01

    The Asian House Shrew, Suncus murinus belongs to the family Soricidae, and widely distributes in East, Southeast and South Asia, Southwest Island in the Pacific Ocean and East Africa. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Suncus murinus was determined. The mitogenome is 17,240 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and a control region, with a base composition of 33.0% A, 32.7% T, 21.2% C and 13.1% G. The present study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of S. murinus, and may facilitate further investigation of the molecular evolution of Soricidae. PMID:24976048

  13. A new species of Cryptotis (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) from the Sierra de Perijá, Venezuelan-Colombian Andes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quiroga-Carmona, Marcial; Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    The Sierra de Perijá is the northern extension of the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes and includes part of the border between Colombia and Venezuela. The population of small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae, Cryptotis) inhabiting the Sierra de Perijá previously was known from only a single skull from an individual collected in Colombia in 1989. This specimen had been referred to alternatively as C. thomasi and C. meridensis, but more precise definition of the known Colombian and Venezuelan species of Cryptotis has since excluded the Sierra de Perijá population from any named species. The recent collection of a specimen from the Venezuelan slope of Sierra de Perijá, prompted us to re-evaluate the taxonomic status of this population and determine its relationship with other Andean shrews. Our examination of the available specimens revealed that they possess a unique suite of morphological and morphometrical characters, and we describe the Sierra de Perijá population as a new species in the South American C. thomasi species group. Recognition of this new species adds to our knowledge of this genus in South America and to the biodiversity of the Sierra de Perijá.

  14. This shrew is a jumping mouse (Mammalia, Dipodidae): Sorex dichrurus Rafinesque 1833 is a synonym of Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann 1780)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2012-01-01

    Constantine S. Rafinesque described Sorex dichrurus as a shrew in 1833, based on a specimen he found in a proprietary museum near Niagara Falls on the New York/Ontario border. The name subsequently has been ignored by the scientific community. By describing this specimen as a shrew and ascribing it to the genus Sorex, Rafinesque clearly indicated that his species should be considered a member of the taxonomic family now recognized as the Soricidae (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla). Yet, the description of the animal, and its comparison to ‘‘Gerbillus,’’ clearly identify it as a dipodid rodent, specifically Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann, 1780); S. dichrurus should be treated as a junior subjective synonym of that taxon. Based on its type locality of Goat Island, New York, this name is also a junior synonym of the subspecies Z. hudsonius canadensis (Davies, 1798).

  15. The complete mitogenome of Stripe-Backed Shrew, Sorex cylindricauda (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Shunde; Tu, Feiyun; Zhang, Xiuyue; Li, Wei; Chen, Guiying; Zong, Hao; Wang, Qiong

    2015-06-01

    The Stripe-Backed Shrew, Sorex cylindricauda belongs to the family Soricidae, and distributes in northwestern Yunnan, central Sichuan, southern Gansu and Shaanxi. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of S. cylindricauda was determined. The mitogenome is 17,191 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 control region, with a base composition of 33.2% A, 30.2% T, 23.8% C and 12.8% G. The study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of Stripe-Backed Shrew Sorex cylindricauda. PMID:24409903

  16. The complete mitogenome of Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Fu, Changkun; Wei, Haixue; Zong, Hao; Chen, Guiying; Wang, Qiong; Yong, Bin; Chen, Shunde

    2016-05-01

    The Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus belongs to the family Soricidae, and is widely distributed in northern South Asia, central and southern China and present in parts of northern Southeast Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Episoriculus caudatus was determined. The mitogenome was 17,129 base pairs in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and 1 control region, with a base composition of 33.1% A, 29.2% T, 24.7% C, and 13.0% G. The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage did not differ significantly from those of other shrews. The study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus. PMID:25259449

  17. The Stephen H. Long Expedition (1819?1820), Titian R. Peale?s field illustrations, and the lost holotypes of the North American shrews Sorex brevicaudus Say and Sorex parvus Say (Mammalia: Soricidae) from the Philadelphia Museum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  18. Identification and distribution of the Olympic Shrew (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), Sorex rohweriRausch et al., 2007 in Oregon and Washington, based on USNM specimens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Fisher, Robert D.

    2016-01-01

    Review of specimens of long-tailed shrews (Mammalia, Soricidae, Sorex) from the northwestern United States in the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), Washington, DC, has revealed the presence of the Olympic Shrew, Sorex rohweri Rausch et al., 2007, in the Coastal Range west of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This determination nearly doubles the documented distribution for this species and increases the species diversity of soricids in Oregon to eleven. Sorex rohweri is relatively uncommon, but it occurs in a variety of forest successional stages and even clear cuts, as long as there is nearby forest and trees are allowed to regenerate. All USNM specimens from Washington formerly identified as S. cinereus streatori Merriam, 1895 are instead referable to the Olympic Shrew. The distribution of S. c. streatori is thereby restricted to the Pacific coasts of British Columbia north of the lower Frasier River and south central Alaska. Our study highlights the importance of taking and preserving high-quality voucher specimens in a collection where they are readily available for re-study.

  19. Two new species of shrews (Soricidae) from the western highlands of Guatemala

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2010-01-01

    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.

  20. Molecular phylogeny of short-tailed shrews, Blarina (Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2002-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the three described species of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina) were inferred based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of 16S rRNA (506 bp) and cytochrome b (1137 bp) from 38 specimens representing B. brevicauda, B. hylophaga, and B. carolinensis, from across their range in North America. Phylogenetic analyses of both data sets combined followed tests showing lack of incongruence between these fragments. Analysis of substitution patterns indicated saturation of transitions at third codon positions in cytochrome b when Blarina sequences were compared to those of Sorex and Cryptotis, used as outgroups. Maximum-likelihood and weighted parsimony supported the monophyly of the genus and placed B. hylophaga as its basal branch, sister to B. brevicauda + B. carolinensis. Phylogeographic analysis revealed a significant partition between eastern and western populations of B. carolinensis and B. brevicauda, on either side of the Mississippi basin. These results are discussed in relation to cytogenetic, morphological, and fossil data. PMID:11820838

  1. Fine structure of the submandibular salivary gland of the venomous short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda Say (Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Carson, K A; Rose, R K

    1993-01-01

    Adult male short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda, (Insectivora: Soricidae) were trapped in Virginia and Pennsylvania, anesthetized, and perfused via the left ventricle of the heart with fixative. The submandibular glands were dissected free and prepared for transmission electron microscopy. The lobular, compound tubuloacinar glands had secretory endpieces consisting of seromucous acini and serous tubules connected to intercalated ducts, granular ducts, striated ducts, and excretory ducts. The general cytology of the submandibular gland of Blarina shared morphological characters with individuals in several other mammalian orders and yet differed in many ways from another Insectivore, the European hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus. PMID:8398545

  2. Molecular Phylogeny Supports Repeated Adaptation to Burrowing within Small-Eared Shrews Genus of Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae)

    PubMed Central

    He, Kai; Woodman, Neal; Boaglio, Sean; Roberts, Mariel; Supekar, Sunjana; Maldonado, Jesús E.

    2015-01-01

    Small-eared shrews of the New World genus Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) comprise at least 42 species that traditionally have been partitioned among four or more species groups based on morphological characters. The Cryptotis mexicana species group is of particular interest, because its member species inhibit a subtly graded series of forelimb adaptations that appear to correspond to locomotory behaviors that range from more ambulatory to more fossorial. Unfortunately, the evolutionary relationships both among species in the C. mexicana group and among the species groups remain unclear. To better understand the phylogeny of this group of shrews, we sequenced two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes. To help interpret the pattern and direction of morphological changes, we also generated a matrix of morphological characters focused on the evolutionarily plastic humerus. We found significant discordant between the resulting molecular and morphological trees, suggesting considerable convergence in the evolution of the humerus. Our results indicate that adaptations for increased burrowing ability evolved repeatedly within the genus Cryptotis. PMID:26489020

  3. Molecular Phylogeny Supports Repeated Adaptation to Burrowing within Small-Eared Shrews Genus of Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae).

    PubMed

    He, Kai; Woodman, Neal; Boaglio, Sean; Roberts, Mariel; Supekar, Sunjana; Maldonado, Jesús E

    2015-01-01

    Small-eared shrews of the New World genus Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) comprise at least 42 species that traditionally have been partitioned among four or more species groups based on morphological characters. The Cryptotis mexicana species group is of particular interest, because its member species inhibit a subtly graded series of forelimb adaptations that appear to correspond to locomotory behaviors that range from more ambulatory to more fossorial. Unfortunately, the evolutionary relationships both among species in the C. mexicana group and among the species groups remain unclear. To better understand the phylogeny of this group of shrews, we sequenced two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes. To help interpret the pattern and direction of morphological changes, we also generated a matrix of morphological characters focused on the evolutionarily plastic humerus. We found significant discordant between the resulting molecular and morphological trees, suggesting considerable convergence in the evolution of the humerus. Our results indicate that adaptations for increased burrowing ability evolved repeatedly within the genus Cryptotis. PMID:26489020

  4. The complete mitogenome of Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew Blarinella quadraticauda (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiong; Fu, Changkun; Chen, Shunde; Yong, Bin; Chen, Guiying; Zong, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew, Blarinella quadraticauda, is an endemic shrew to China, and is only distributed in Sichuan. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of B. quadraticauda was determined. The mitogenome is 17,014 base pairs in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 control region, with a base composition of 33.3 % A, 31.8% T, 22.3% C and 12.6% G. This study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of the Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew, B. quadraticauda. PMID:24660918

  5. Persistence and diversification of the Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Family Soricidae), in response to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, A.G.; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, V.B.; Goropashnaya, A.V.; Talbot, S.L.; Cook, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental processes govern demography, species movements, community turnover and diversification and yet in many respects these dynamics are still poorly understood at high latitudes. We investigate the combined effects of climate change and geography through time for a widespread Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis. We include a comprehensive suite of closely related outgroup taxa and three independent loci to explore phylogeographic structure and historical demography. We then explore the implications of these findings for other members of boreal communities. The tundra shrew and its sister species, the Tien Shan shrew (Sorex asper), exhibit strong geographic population structure across Siberia and into Beringia illustrating local centres of endemism that correspond to Late Pleistocene refugia. Ecological niche predictions for both current and historical distributions indicate a model of persistence through time despite dramatic climate change. Species tree estimation under a coalescent process suggests that isolation between populations has been maintained across timeframes deeper than the periodicity of Pleistocene glacial cycling. That some species such as the tundra shrew have a history of persistence largely independent of changing climate, whereas other boreal species shifted their ranges in response to climate change, highlights the dynamic processes of community assembly at high latitudes. ?? 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Persistence and diversification of the Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Family Soricidae), in response to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, V.B.; Goropashnaya, A.V.; Talbot, Sandra; Cook, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental processes govern demography, species movements, community turnover and diversification and yet in many respects these dynamics are still poorly understood at high latitudes. We investigate the combined effects of climate change and geography through time for a widespread Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis. We include a comprehensive suite of closely related outgroup taxa and three independent loci to explore phylogeographic structure and historical demography. We then explore the implications of these findings for other members of boreal communities. The tundra shrew and its sister species, the Tien Shan shrew (Sorex asper), exhibit strong geographic population structure across Siberia and into Beringia illustrating local centres of endemism that correspond to Late Pleistocene refugia. Ecological niche predictions for both current and historical distributions indicate a model of persistence through time despite dramatic climate change. Species tree estimation under a coalescent process suggests that isolation between populations has been maintained across timeframes deeper than the periodicity of Pleistocene glacial cycling. That some species such as the tundra shrew have a history of persistence largely independent of changing climate, whereas other boreal species shifted their ranges in response to climate change, highlights the dynamic processes of community assembly at high latitudes.

  7. Persistence and diversification of the Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Family Soricidae), in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Hope, Andrew G; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Talbot, Sandra L; Cook, Joseph A

    2011-10-01

    Environmental processes govern demography, species movements, community turnover and diversification and yet in many respects these dynamics are still poorly understood at high latitudes. We investigate the combined effects of climate change and geography through time for a widespread Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis. We include a comprehensive suite of closely related outgroup taxa and three independent loci to explore phylogeographic structure and historical demography. We then explore the implications of these findings for other members of boreal communities. The tundra shrew and its sister species, the Tien Shan shrew (Sorex asper), exhibit strong geographic population structure across Siberia and into Beringia illustrating local centres of endemism that correspond to Late Pleistocene refugia. Ecological niche predictions for both current and historical distributions indicate a model of persistence through time despite dramatic climate change. Species tree estimation under a coalescent process suggests that isolation between populations has been maintained across timeframes deeper than the periodicity of Pleistocene glacial cycling. That some species such as the tundra shrew have a history of persistence largely independent of changing climate, whereas other boreal species shifted their ranges in response to climate change, highlights the dynamic processes of community assembly at high latitudes. PMID:21919986

  8. Review of the fur-mite genus Soricilichus Fain, 1970 (Acariformes: Chirodiscidae)-symbionts of the African shrews of the subfamily Crocidurinae (Soricomorpha: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Bochkov, Andre V; Mbalitini, Sylvestre G; Verheyen, Erik

    2016-01-01

    The fur-mite genus Soricilichus Fain, 1970 (3 species) (Acariformes: Chirodiscidae) represented by permanent symbionts of the African shrews of the subfamily Crocidurinae (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) is revised. The external morphology of these species was investigated with light and scanning electron microscopy. Based on the type specimens and newly obtained samples, 2 recognized species, S. scutisorex Fain, 1970 from Scutisorex somereni Thomas and S. kivuensis Fain, 1981 from Crocidura sp.-both are from DR of Congo-are redescribed. A new species S. sylvisorex sp. nov. found on shrews of the genera Sylvisorex (S. granti Thomas (type host), S. lunaris Thomas, S. vulcanorum Hutterer and Verheyen) and Crocidura (C. denti Dollman, C. cf. niobe, Crocidura sp.), collected in the DR Congo is also described. An amended generic diagnosis, including description of female immature stages, and a key to species are provided. PMID:27395921

  9. A new species of small-eared shrew (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Cryptotis) from the Lacandona rain forest, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guevara, Lázaro; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; León-Paniagua, Livia; Woodman, Neal

    2014-01-01

    The diversity and distribution of mammals in the American tropics remain incompletely known. We describe a new species of small-eared shrew (Soricidae, Cryptotis) from the Lacandona rain forest, Chiapas, southern Mexico. The new species is distinguished from other species of Cryptotis on the basis of a unique combination of pelage coloration, size, dental, cranial, postcranial, and external characters, and genetic distances. It appears most closely related to species in the Cryptotis nigrescens species group, which occurs from southern Mexico to montane regions of Colombia. This discovery is particularly remarkable because the new species is from a low-elevation habitat (approximately 90 m), whereas most shrews in the region are restricted to higher elevations, typically > 1,000 m. The only known locality for the new shrew is in one of the last areas in southern Mexico where relatively undisturbed tropical vegetation is still found. The type locality is protected by the Mexican government as part of the Yaxchilán Archaeological Site on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

  10. The identity of the enigmatic "Black Shrew" (Sorex niger Ord, 1815)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. [Contribution to the cytotaxonomy of shrews (Mammalia, Insectivora) from West Africa].

    PubMed

    Meylan, A; Vogel, P

    1982-01-01

    Chromosomes analysis of 28 shrews belonging to the genus Crocidura from West Africa allowed the detection of five new karyotypes: C. wimmeri (2n = 50, NF = 84), C. cf. gracilipes (56/86), C. cf. nimbae (46/68), and C. cf. planiceps (44/72). Among the individuals identified morphologically as C. poensis (52/70) a distinct species was recognized on the basis of its chromosome complement, C. nigeriae (50/76). The karyotype of C. occidentalis was confirmed with the study of another subspecies, C. occidentalis manni (50/66). An identical chromosome set characterizes C. odorata giffardi and provides evidence for its relationship with C. occidentalis. PMID:7151493

  12. [Involvement of the common shrew, Sorex araneus (Insectivora, Soricidae), in circulation of the tick-borne encephalitis virus in south-western Siberia].

    PubMed

    Bakhvalova, V N; Morozova, O V; Dobrotvorskiĭ, A K; Panov, V V; Matveeva, V A; Popova, R V; Korobova, S A

    2001-01-01

    We presented the data on the abundance of immature instars of the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus Schuize on the common shrews Sorex araneus L. in natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis in the south of Western Siberia. Basing on the results of virological and serological studies we demonstrated a low effectiveness of this host species as a donor of disease agent strains, which are predominant in the territory under study, for ticks feeding on shrews. The analysis of samples taken from the young shrews in winter and spring using reverse RNA transcription with polymerase chain reaction and ELISA revealed occurRence of subvirion components of the tick-borne encephalitis (RNA and capsid protein E) ether in brain, liver or spleen in 90 percent of shrews (n = 42). Neither hemagglutination antigen nor infectious virus have been detected. We discussed a possible epizootic role of the maintenance of non-infectious tick-borne encephalitis virus in overwintering animals. PMID:11871252

  13. Crocidurobia faini n. sp. (Acariformes: Myobiidae), a new mite species parasitising shrews of the genus Crocidura Wagler (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) in DR Congo.

    PubMed

    Bochkov, Andre V; Mbalitini, Sylvestre G; Verheyen, Erik

    2016-06-01

    A new species Crocidurobia faini n. sp. (Acariformes: Myobiidae) recorded on Crocidura denti Dollman (type-host) (Soricomorpha: Soricidae), Crocidura cf. niobe Thomas, Crocidura cf. littoralis Heller, and Crocidura sp. from DR Congo is described. This new species differs in both sexes from all other species of the subgenus Crocidurobia Jameson, 1970 by short setae c2, more than three times shorter than setae se. Females of the new species differ from those of the close species Crocidurobia toroensis Dusbabek, 1983 by setal bases e2 situated slightly anterior to the level of setal bases e1; males of the new species differ by the genital shield bearing five pairs of setae situated anterior to the level of setal bases d1. PMID:27221002

  14. Coccidian parasites (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from insectivores. III. Seven new species in shrews (Soricidae: Soricinae) from Canada, Japan, and the United States.

    PubMed

    Hertel, L A; Duszynski, D W

    1987-02-01

    Since May 1979, 458 shrews (Blarina sp. and Sorex spp.) representing 20 species collected in Canada, Japan, and the United States were examined for coccidia; 110 (24%) had oocysts in their feces, including 8 of 21 (38%) B. brevicauda from Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont; 2 of 7 (29%) S. caecutiens from Hokkaido and Honshu; 14 of 63 (22%) S. cinereus from Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Manitoba, and Ontario; 3 of 7 (43%) S. fontinalis from Pennsylvania; 11 of 16 (69%) S. fumeus from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Ontario; 1 of 4 (25%) S. haydeni from Minnesota; 6 of 8 (75%) S. longirostris from Florida and Virginia; 1 of 2 (50%) S. ornatus from California; 5 of 12 (42%) S. pacificus from California and Oregon; 13 of 41 (32%) S. palustris from California, Colorado, and New Mexico; 1 of 2 (50%) S. tenellus from California; 11 of 105 (10%) S. trowbridgii from California, Oregon, and Washington; 10 of 48 (21%) S. unguiculatus from Hokkaido; and 24 of 112 (21%) S. vagrans from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The following coccidians were identified from infected shrews: Eimeria brevicauda n. sp. from B. brevicauda; Eimeria fumeus n. sp. from S. fumeus, S. pacificus, S. unguiculatus, and S. vagrans; Eimeria inyoni n. sp. from S. tenellus; Eimeria palustris n. sp. from S. cinereus, S. fontinalis, S. fumeus, S. haydeni, S. longirostris, S. ornatus, S. pacificus, S. palustris, S. tenellus, S. trowbridgii, and S. vagrans; Eimeria vagrantis n. sp. from S. fumeus, S. trowbridgii, and S. vagrans; Isospora brevicauda n. sp. from B. brevicauda; and Isospora palustris n. sp. from S. pacificus, S. palustris, S. trowbridgii, S. unguiculatus, and S. vagrans. The world literature on coccidian parasites of shrews (16 eimerians and 3 isosporans exclusive of the 7 new species described here) is reviewed. PMID:3572649

  15. Maximal enzyme activities, and myoglobin and glutathione concentrations in heart, liver and skeletal muscle of the Northern Short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda; Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Stewart, J M; Woods, A K; Blakely, J A

    2005-07-01

    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

  16. [Genetic Structure of the Common Shrew Sorex araneus L. 1758 (Mammalia, Lipotyphla) in Continuous and Fragmented Areas].

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, O O; Borisova, Yu M; Stakheev, V V; Balakirev, A E; Krivonogov, D M; Orlov, V N

    2015-06-01

    In this work the genetic variability of the common shrew populations Sorex araneus L. in Eastern Europe was studied via sequencing of the mitochondrial gene cyt b. A total of 82 sequences of the mitochondrial gene cyt b with a length of 953 basepairs were analyzed, including five chromosome races in a continuous area of the species in forest zone and two races in fragmented area in the steppe zone. Phylogeographic subdivision of the common shrew was not expressed, and there was no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances in continuous areas. We did not acquire convincing evidence of the influence of narrow hybrid zones between chromosome races on the flow of neutral alleles. A significant p-distance (0.69 ± 0.27%) of geographically close populations of the chromosome race Neroosa indicates the formation of the karyotype of this race in the Pliocene or Pleistocene. In our work, the phylogeographic structure was determined more by species area fragmentation than by its karyotypic features. PMID:26310034

  17. Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Round-Eared Sengis or Elephant-Shrews, Genus Macroscelides (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Macroscelidea)

    PubMed Central

    Dumbacher, John P.; Rathbun, Galen B.; Smit, Hanneline A.; Eiseb, Seth J.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22479325

  18. Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, S.A.; Sage, G.K.; Fowler, M.; Hope, A.G.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, S.L.

    2013-01-01

    We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop 21 novel microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew (Sorex ugyunak), which were polymorphic among individuals from northern Alaska. The loci displayed moderate allelic diversity (averaging 6.81 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 70 %). Two loci deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) due to heterozygote deficiency. While the population did not deviate from HWE overall, it showed significant linkage disequilibrium suggesting this population is not in mutation-drift equilibrium. Nineteen of 21 loci were polymorphic in masked shrews (S. cinereus) from interior Alaska and exhibited linkage equilibrium and HWE overall. All loci yielded sufficient variability for use in population studies.

  19. Nomenclatural notes and identification of small-eared shrews (Mammalia: genus Cryptotis) from Cobán, Guatemala, in The Natural History Museum, London

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2011-01-01

    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.

  20. Muscle Aging and Oxidative Stress in Wild-Caught Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Hindle, Allyson G.; Lawler, John M.; Campbell, Kevin L.; Horning, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Red-toothed shrews (Soricidae, subfamily Soricinae) are an intriguing model system to examine the free radical theory of aging in wild mammals, given their short (<18 month) lifespan and high mass-specific metabolic rates. As muscle performance underlies both foraging ability and predator avoidance, any age-related decline should be detrimental to fitness and survival. Muscle samples of water shrews (Sorex palustris) and sympatrically distributed short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were therefore assessed for oxidative stress markers, protective antioxidant enzymes and apoptosis. Activity levels of catalase and glutathione peroxidase increased with age in both species. Similarly, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase isoform content was elevated significantly in older animals of both species (increases of 60% in the water shrew, 25% in the short-tailed shrew). Only one oxidative stress marker (lipid peroxidation) was age-elevated; the others were stable or declined (4-hydroxynonenal adducts and dihydroethidium oxidation). Glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly higher in the short-tailed shrew, while catalase activity was 2× higher in water shrews. Oxidative stress indicators were on average higher in short-tailed shrews. Apoptosis occurred in <1% of myocytes examined, and did not increase with age. Within the constraints of the sample size we found evidence of protection against elevated oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews. PMID:20109576

  1. Muscle aging and oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews.

    PubMed

    Hindle, Allyson G; Lawler, John M; Campbell, Kevin L; Horning, Markus

    2010-04-01

    Red-toothed shrews (Soricidae, subfamily Soricinae) are an intriguing model system to examine the free-radical theory of aging in wild mammals, given their short (<18months) lifespan and high mass-specific metabolic rates. As muscle performance underlies both foraging ability and predator avoidance, any age-related decline should be detrimental to fitness and survival. Muscle samples of water shrews (Sorex palustris) and sympatrically distributed short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were therefore assessed for oxidative stress markers, protective antioxidant enzymes and apoptosis. Activity levels of catalase and glutathione peroxidase increased with age in both species. Similarly, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase isoform content was elevated significantly in older animals of both species (increases of 60% in the water shrew, 25% in the short-tailed shrew). Only one oxidative stress marker (lipid peroxidation) was age-elevated; the others were stable or declined (4-hydroxynonenal adducts and dihydroethidium oxidation). Glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly higher in the short-tailed shrew, while catalase activity was 2x higher in water shrews. Oxidative stress indicators were on average higher in short-tailed shrews. Apoptosis occurred in <1% of myocytes examined, and did not increase with age. Within the constraints of the sample size we found evidence of protection against elevated oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews. PMID:20109576

  2. Distribution and coexistence of shrews in patchy landscapes: A field test of multiple hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortelliti, Alessio; Boitani, Luigi

    2009-11-01

    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.

  3. Life cycle of Renylaima capensis, a brachylaimid trematode of shrews and slugs in South Africa: two-host and three-host transmission modalities suggested by epizootiology and DNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The life cycle of the brachylaimid trematode species Renylaima capensis, infecting the urinary system of the shrew Myosorex varius (Mammalia: Soricidae: Crocidosoricinae) in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, South Africa, has been elucidated by a study of its larval stages, epizootiological data in local snails and mammals during a 34-year period, and its verification with mtDNA sequencing. Methods Parasites obtained from dissected animals were mounted in microscope slides for the parasitological study and measured according to standardized methods. The mitochondrial DNA cox1 gene was sequenced by the dideoxy chain-termination method. Results The slugs Ariostralis nebulosa and Ariopelta capensis (Gastropoda: Arionidae) act as specific first and second intermediate hosts, respectively. Branched sporocysts massively develop in A. nebulosa. Intrasporocystic mature cercariae show differentiated gonads, male terminal duct, ventral genital pore, and usually no tail, opposite to Brachylaimidae in which mature cercariae show a germinal primordium and small tail. Unencysted metacercariae, usually brevicaudate, infect the kidney of A. capensis and differ from mature cercariae by only a slightly greater size. The final microhabitats are the kidneys and ureters of the shrews, kidney pelvis and calyces in light infections and also kidney medulla and cortex in heavy infections. Sporocysts, cercariae, metacercariae and adults proved to belong to R. capensis by analysis of a 437-bp-long cox1 fragment, which was identical except for three mutations in metacercariae, of which only one silent. Epizootiological studies showed usual sporocyst infection in A. nebulosa and very rare metacercarial infection in A. capensis, which does not agree with high prevalences and intensities in the shrews. Conclusions The presence of monotesticular adult forms and larval prevalences and intensities observed suggest that R. capensis may use two transmission strategies, a two-host life

  4. Variation in the myosoricine hand skeleton and its implications for locomotory behavior (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stabile, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Substrate use and locomotory behavior of mammals are typically reflected in external characteristics of the forefeet, such as the relative proportions of the digits and claws. Although skeletal anatomy of the forefeet can be more informative than external characters, skeletons remain rare in systematic collections. This is particularly true for the Myosoricinae (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), a small clade of African shrews that includes both ambulatory forest shrews (Myosorex) and semifossorial mole shrews (Surdisorex). Most species in this subfamily have restricted distributions, and their behavior and ecology are mostly unstudied. To better understand the potential range of locomotory behavior among myosoricines, we used digital x-rays to image and facilitate measuring the forefoot skeletons of 9 species. As a gauge of potential variation, we compared them with the ambulatory talpid Uropsilus (Talpidae) and the semifossorial talpid Neurotrichus. The hand morphologies of myosoricines show a graded range of potential substrate use between ambulatory and semifossorial. Some of these shrews exhibit adaptations for increased burrowing efficiency that are similar to those seen in talpids and other mammals, such as longer, broader distal phalanges and claws and shorter, wider metacarpals and proximal and middle phalanges. They also, however, have characteristics that are distinct from talpids, such as maintenance of forefoot asymmetry and an increased emphasis of ray III.

  5. A synopsis of records of myxozoan parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) from shrews, with additional data on Soricimyxum fegati from common shrew Sorex araneus in Hungary and pygmy shrew Sorex minutus in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Szekely, Csaba; Atkinson, Stephen D; Molnar, Kalman; Egyed, Laszlo; Gubanyi, Andras; Cech, Gabor

    2016-01-01

    Myxozoans (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) are almost exclusively endoparasites of aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates, with the notable exception being two species of Soricimyxum Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 described from terrestrial shrews (Soricidae) in central Europe. Myxospores of the two parasites are morphologically indistinguishable, but have SSU rDNA sequences that differ by about 4%. Herein, we report additional molecular and histology data from Soricimyxum fegati Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 from common shrew (Sorex araneus Linnaeus) from Hungary, and add a new geographic record for S. fegati in pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus Linnaeus) from Slovakia. A limited survey of shrews from the northern United States, Blarina brevicauda Say and Sorex sp. from New York, and Sorex spp. from Oregon, did not discover any infections, which is in stark contrast to the relatively high infection rates (up to 66%) in European shrew populations. We also provide a summary and discussion of literature records of species of Soricimyxum and a host survey. Given the lack of distinguishing morphological or morphometric characters between Soricimyxum spp., and the overlap in vertebrate hosts and geographic ranges, unambiguous identification of these closely related shrew parasites can presently only be achieved through sequence comparison of one or more variable SSU rDNA regions. PMID:27312127

  6. Leptospira spp. in rodents and shrews in Germany.

    PubMed

    Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Hammerl, Jens Andre; Schmidt, Sabrina; Ulrich, Rainer G; Pfeffer, Martin; Woll, Dietlinde; Scholz, Holger C; Thomas, Astrid; Nöckler, Karsten

    2014-08-01

    Leptospirosis is an acute, febrile disease occurring in humans and animals worldwide. Leptospira spp. are usually transmitted through direct or indirect contact with the urine of infected reservoir animals. Among wildlife species, rodents act as the most important reservoir for both human and animal infection. To gain a better understanding of the occurrence and distribution of pathogenic leptospires in rodent and shrew populations in Germany, kidney specimens of 2973 animals from 11 of the 16 federal states were examined by PCR. Rodent species captured included five murine species (family Muridae), six vole species (family Cricetidae) and six shrew species (family Soricidae). The most abundantly trapped animals were representatives of the rodent species Apodemus flavicollis, Clethrionomys glareolus and Microtus agrestis. Leptospiral DNA was amplified in 10% of all animals originating from eight of the 11 federal states. The highest carrier rate was found in Microtus spp. (13%), followed by Apodemus spp. (11%) and Clethrionomys spp. (6%). The most common Leptospira genomospecies determined by duplex PCR was L. kirschneri, followed by L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii; all identified by single locus sequence typing (SLST). Representatives of the shrew species were also carriers of Leptospira spp. In 20% of Crocidura spp. and 6% of the Sorex spp. leptospiral DNA was detected. Here, only the pathogenic genomospecies L. kirschneri was identified. PMID:25062275

  7. Dietary heavy metal uptake by the least shrew, Cryptotis parva

    SciTech Connect

    Brueske, C.C.; Barrett, G.W. )

    1991-12-01

    Heavy metals from sewage sludge have been reported to concentrate in producers, in primary consumers, and in detritivores. Little research, however, has focused on the uptake of heavy metals from sewage sludge by secondary consumers. The Family Soricidae represents an ideal mammalian taxonomic group to investigate rates of heavy metal transfer between primary and secondary consumers. The least shrew (Cryptotis parva) was used to evaluate the accumulation of heavy metals while maintained on a diet of earthworms collected from long-term sludge-treated old-field communities. This secondary consumer is distributed widely through the eastern United States and its natural diet includes earthworms which makes it a potentially good indicator of heavy metal transfer in areas treated with municipal sludge.

  8. Evidence for gene flow in parasitic nematodes between two host species of shrews.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2003-10-01

    We describe the genetic structure of populations of the intestinal nematode Longistriata caudabullata (Trichostrongyloidea: Heligmosomidae), a common parasite of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina, Insectivora: Soricidae). Parasites and hosts were collected from a transect across a contact zone between two species of hosts, Blarina brevicauda and B. hylophaga, in central North America. An 800-base pairs (bp) fragment of the ND4 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene was sequenced for 28 worms and a 783-bp fragment of the mtDNA control region was analysed for 16 shrews. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences revealed reciprocal monophyly for the shrew species, concordant with morphological diagnosis, and supported the idea that the transect cuts through a secondary contact zone between well-differentiated B. brevicauda and B. hylophaga. In contrast to this pattern, the parasitic nematode mtDNA phylogeny was not subdivided according to host affiliation. Genealogical discordance between parasite and host phylogenies suggests extensive gene flow among parasites across the host species boundary. PMID:12969487

  9. Designation of the type species of Musaraneus Pomel, 1848 (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  10. A Mitochondrial Phylogeny and Biogeographical Scenario for Asiatic Water Shrews of the Genus Chimarrogale: Implications for Taxonomy and Low-Latitude Migration Routes

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shou-Li; Jiang, Xue-Long; Li, Zhen-Ji; He, Kai; Harada, Masashi; Oshida, Tatsuo; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2013-01-01

    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

  11. Comparative Morphology of the Papillae Linguales and their Connective Tissue Cores in the Tongue of the Greater Japanese Shrew-mole, Urotrichus talpoides

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimura, K; Shindo, J; Kageyama, I

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22571539

  12. Genomic Characterization of Yogue, Kasokero, Issyk-Kul, Keterah, Gossas, and Thiafora Viruses: Nairoviruses Naturally Infecting Bats, Shrews, and Ticks.

    PubMed

    Walker, Peter J; Widen, Steven G; Firth, Cadhla; Blasdell, Kim R; Wood, Thomas G; Travassos da Rosa, Amelia P A; Guzman, Hilda; Tesh, Robert B; Vasilakis, Nikos

    2015-11-01

    The genus Nairovirus of arthropod-borne bunyaviruses includes the important emerging human pathogen, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), as well as Nairobi sheep disease virus and many other poorly described viruses isolated from mammals, birds, and ticks. Here, we report genome sequence analysis of six nairoviruses: Thiafora virus (TFAV) that was isolated from a shrew in Senegal; Yogue (YOGV), Kasokero (KKOV), and Gossas (GOSV) viruses isolated from bats in Senegal and Uganda; Issyk-Kul virus (IKV) isolated from bats in Kyrgyzstan; and Keterah virus (KTRV) isolated from ticks infesting a bat in Malaysia. The S, M, and L genome segments of each virus were found to encode proteins corresponding to the nucleoprotein, polyglycoprotein, and polymerase protein of CCHFV. However, as observed in Leopards Hill virus (LPHV) and Erve virus (ERVV), polyglycoproteins encoded in the M segment lack sequences encoding the double-membrane-spanning CCHFV NSm protein. Amino acid sequence identities, complement-fixation tests, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses cluster into three groups comprising KKOV, YOGV, and LPHV from bats of the suborder Yingochiroptera; KTRV, IKV, and GOSV from bats of the suborder Yangochiroptera; and TFAV and ERVV from shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae). This reflects clade-specific host and vector associations that extend across the genus. PMID:26324724

  13. The Taming of the Shrew

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gad-El-Hak, M.

    1996-11-01

    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.

  14. Phylogeography of the Northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda (Insectivora: Soricidae): past fragmentation and postglacial recolonization.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2003-06-01

    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 14 localities collected throughout the range of B. brevicauda was used to assess the mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b genealogy for this species. Minimum evolution, maximum parsimony, analysis of molecular variance and nested clade analysis each supported the same conclusions of two well-differentiated and monophyletic east-west groups, separated by the Mississippi River. Denser sampling in areas immediately East of the Mississippi basin revealed further subdivision within the eastern phylogroup into an East-Central and an Appalachian clade. The western phylogroup differed from the eastern phylogroup by 2.5% mean absolute DNA sequence difference. About 65% of the genetic variance among samples was explained by the east-west subdivision alone. High haplotype diversities, low nucleotide diversities and unimodal mismatch distributions within subclades suggest recent expansion or diversification within each group. No phylogeographic structure was found within the western phylogroup, but genetic structure because of restricted gene flow and isolation by distance was inferred for the eastern group. The present distribution of B. brevicauda is best explained by past fragmentation and range expansion events during and following the Pleistocene glacial cycles. PMID:12755873

  15. The neurobiology of Etruscan shrew active touch

    PubMed Central

    Brecht, Michael; Naumann, Robert; Anjum, Farzana; Wolfe, Jason; Munz, Martin; Mende, Carolin; Roth-Alpermann, Claudia

    2011-01-01

    The Etruscan shrew, Suncus etruscus, is not only the smallest terrestrial mammal, but also one of the fastest and most tactile hunters described to date. The shrew's skeletal muscle consists entirely of fast-twitch types and lacks slow fibres. Etruscan shrews detect, overwhelm, and kill insect prey in large numbers in darkness. The cricket prey is exquisitely mechanosensitive and fast-moving, and is as big as the shrew itself. Experiments with prey replica show that shape cues are both necessary and sufficient for evoking attacks. Shrew attacks are whisker guided by motion- and size-invariant Gestalt-like prey representations. Shrews often attack their prey prior to any signs of evasive manoeuvres. Shrews whisk at frequencies of approximately 14 Hz and can react with latencies as short as 25–30 ms to prey movement. The speed of attacks suggests that shrews identify and classify prey with a single touch. Large parts of the shrew's brain respond to vibrissal touch, which is represented in at least four cortical areas comprising collectively about a third of the cortical volume. Etruscan shrews can enter a torpid state and reduce their body temperature; we observed that cortical response latencies become two to three times longer when body temperature drops from 36°C to 24°C, suggesting that endothermy contributes to the animal's high-speed sensorimotor performance. We argue that small size, high-speed behaviour and extreme dependence on touch are not coincidental, but reflect an evolutionary strategy, in which the metabolic costs of small body size are outweighed by the advantages of being a short-range high-speed touch and kill predator. PMID:21969684

  16. Recombinogenic Telomeres in Diploid Sorex granarius (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla) Fibroblast Cells

    PubMed Central

    Draskovic, I.; Minina, J. M.; Karamysheva, T. V.; Novo, C. L.; Liu, W.-Y.; Porreca, R. M.; Gibaud, A.; Zvereva, M. E.; Skvortsov, D. A.; Rubtsov, N. B.

    2014-01-01

    The telomere structure in the Iberian shrew Sorex granarius is characterized by unique, striking features, with short arms of acrocentric chromosomes carrying extremely long telomeres (up to 300 kb) with interspersed ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat blocks. In this work, we investigated the telomere physiology of S. granarius fibroblast cells and found that telomere repeats are transcribed on both strands and that there is no telomere-dependent senescence mechanism. Although telomerase activity is detectable throughout cell culture and appears to act on both short and long telomeres, we also discovered that signatures of a recombinogenic activity are omnipresent, including telomere-sister chromatid exchanges, formation of alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT)-associated PML-like bodies, production of telomere circles, and a high frequency of telomeres carrying marks of a DNA damage response. Our results suggest that recombination participates in the maintenance of the very long telomeres in normal S. granarius fibroblasts. We discuss the possible interplay between the interspersed telomere and rDNA repeats in the stabilization of the very long telomeres in this organism. PMID:24842907

  17. Basal physiological parameters in domesticated tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis).

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Xu, Xin-Li; Ding, Ze-Yang; Mao, Rong-Rong; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Lü, Long-Bao; Wang, Li-Ping; Wang, Shuang; Zhang, Chen; Xu, Lin; Yang, Yue-Xiong

    2013-04-01

    Establishing non-human primate models of human diseases is an efficient way to narrow the large gap between basic studies and translational medicine. Multifold advantages such as simplicity of breeding, low cost of feeding and facility of operating make the tree shrew an ideal non-human primate model proxy. Additional features like vulnerability to stress and spontaneous diabetic characteristics also indicate that the tree shrew could be a potential new animal model of human diseases. However, basal physiological indexes of tree shrew, especially those related to human disease, have not been systematically reported. Accordingly, we established important basal physiological indexes of domesticated tree shrews including several factors: (1) body weight, (2) core body temperature and rhythm, (3) diet metabolism, (4) locomotor rhythm, (5) electroencephalogram, (6) glycometabolism and (7) serum and urinary hormone level and urinary cortisol rhythm. We compared the physiological parameters of domesticated tree shrew with that of rats and macaques. Results showed that (a) the core body temperature of the tree shrew was 39.59±0.05 ℃, which was higher than that of rats and macaques; (b) Compared with wild tree shrews, with two activity peaks, domesticated tree shrews had only one activity peak from 17:30 to 19:30; (c) Compared with rats, tree shrews had poor carbohydrate metabolism ability; and (d) Urinary cortisol rhythm indicated there were two peaks at 8:00 and 17:00 in domesticated tree shrews, which matched activity peaks in wild tree shrews. These results provided basal physiological indexes for domesticated tree shrews and laid an important foundation for diabetes and stress-related disease models established on tree shrews. PMID:23572369

  18. Lung parasites of shrews from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Laakkonen, J; Haukisalmi, V; Merritt, J F

    1997-04-01

    We examined lung parasites of three species of soricids, Sorex cinereus (n = 58), Sorex fumeus (n = 23) and Blarina brevicauda (n = 45) collected from Pennsylvania (USA), from 1990 to 1995. Yeast-like cells of Hisfoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum were found in lung sections stained with Grocott's modification of Gomori's methenamine silver, periodic acid-Schiff, Giemsa, and hematoxylin-eosin in two (3%) S. cinereus, eight (35%) S. fumeus and two (4%) B. brevicauda. The number of spores of H. capsulatum in the lungs was low and no inflammatory reaction was evident. The infection was not disseminated to other organs. This is the first report of H. capsulatum infection in any species of shrews of the genus Sorex and the prevalence in S. fumeus was remarkably high compared to those reported for other wild mammals. A nematode, possibly Angiostrongylus michiganensis, was found in the lungs of one S. fumeus on necropsy and in a stained lung section of one S. cinereus. In both cases the host was also infected with the fungus. Pneumocystis carinii, which is the most common lung parasite in Sorex araneus (the numerically dominant Eurasian species of shrew), was not found in any of the North American species of shrew examined in this study. PMID:9131560

  19. Distinct Lineages of Bufavirus in Wild Shrews and Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Michihito; Orba, Yasuko; Anindita, Paulina D; Ishii, Akihiro; Ueno, Keisuke; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Ito, Kimihito; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2015-07-01

    Viral metagenomic analysis identified a new parvovirus genome in the intestinal contents of wild shrews in Zambia. Related viruses were detected in spleen tissues from wild shrews and nonhuman primates. Phylogenetic analyses showed that these viruses are related to human bufaviruses, highlighting the presence and genetic diversity of bufaviruses in wildlife. PMID:26079728

  20. Hantavirus in northern short-tailed shrew, United States.

    PubMed

    Arai, Satoru; Song, Jin-Won; Sumibcay, Laarni; Bennett, Shannon N; Nerurkar, Vivek R; Parmenter, Cheryl; Cook, Joseph A; Yates, Terry L; Yanagihara, Richard

    2007-09-01

    Phylogenetic analyses, based on partial medium- and large-segment sequences, support an ancient evolutionary origin of a genetically distinct hantavirus detected by reverse transcription-PCR in tissues of northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) captured in Minnesota in August 1998. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of hantaviruses harbored by shrews in the Americas. PMID:18252128

  1. Genetic variants of Cao Bang hantavirus in the Chinese mole shrew (Anourosorex squamipes) and Taiwanese mole shrew (Anourosorex yamashinai).

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Arai, Satoru; Yu, Hon-Tsen; Lim, Burton K; Kang, Hae Ji; Yanagihara, Richard

    2016-06-01

    To determine the genetic diversity and geographic distribution of Cao Bang virus (CBNV) and to ascertain the existence of CBNV-related hantaviruses, natural history collections of archival tissues from Chinese mole shrews (Anourosorex squamipes) and Taiwanese mole shrews (Anourosorex yamashinai), captured in Guizho Province, People's Republic of China, and in Nantou County, Taiwan, in 2006 and 1989, respectively, were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by RT-PCR. Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the S-, M- and L-segment sequences indicated CBNV in two of five Chinese mole shrews and a previously unrecognized hantavirus, named Xinyi virus (XYIV), in seven of 15 Taiwanese mole shrews. XYIV was closely related to CBNV in Vietnam and China, as well as to Lianghe virus (LHEV), recently reported as a distinct hantavirus species in Chinese mole shrews from Yunnan Province in China. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that XYIV shared a common ancestry with CBNV and LHEV, in keeping with the evolutionary relationship between Anourosorex mole shrews. Until such time that tissue culture isolates of CBNV, LHEV and XYIV can be fully analyzed, XYIV and LHEV should be regarded as genetic variants, or genotypes, of CBNV. PMID:26921799

  2. Adoption of a nestling house mouse by a female short-tailed shrew

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Johnson, D.A.

    1969-01-01

    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.

  3. The formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Shujiang; Wang, Cong; Guo, Chengbing; Huang, Xu; Wang, Liecheng; Zhang, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Fear is an emotion that is well-studied due to its importance for animal survival. Experimental animals, such as rats and mice, have been widely used to model fear. However, higher animals such as nonhuman primates have rarely been used to study fear due to ethical issues and high costs. Tree shrews are small mammals that are closely related to primates; they have been used to model human-related psychosocial conditions such as stress and alcohol tolerance. Here, we describe an experimental paradigm to study the formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews. We designed an experimental apparatus of a light/dark box with a voltage foot shock. We found that tree shrews preferred staying in the dark box in the daytime without stimulation and showed avoidance to voltage shocks applied to the footplate in a voltage-dependent manner. Foot shocks applied to the dark box for 5 days (10 min per day) effectively reversed the light–dark preference of the tree shrews, and this memory lasted for more than 50 days without any sign of memory decay (extinction) in the absence of further stimulation. However, this fear memory was reversed with 4 days of reverse training by applying the same stimulus to the light box. When reducing the stimulus intensity during the training period, a memory extinction and subsequently reinstatement effects were observed. Thus, our results describe an efficient method of monitoring fear memory formation and extinction in tree shrews. PMID:26283941

  4. Circadian rhythms in the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda.

    PubMed

    Antipas, A J; Madison, D M; Ferraro, J S

    1990-08-01

    Circadian rhythms of wheel running and feeding were measured in the short-tailed shrew. Shrews were strongly nocturnal, and their activity rhythms entrained to both long-day (LD 16:8) and short-day (LD 6:18) photocycles. Under conditions of continuous light (LL) or darkness (DD), the activity rhythms free-ran with average periodicities of 25.1 hours and 24.1 hours, respectively. In LL the level of activity was depressed, and in some cases wheel running was completely inhibited. No significant sex differences were observed in the period or amplitude of the monitored circadian rhythms. All shrews fed throughout the day and night; however, unlike in previous reports, ultradian periods of feeding behavior were not found. The results are related to Aschoff's four observations for the effect of light on activity rhythms in nocturnal rodents. PMID:2255728

  5. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Tsoleridis, Theocharis; Onianwa, Okechukwu; Horncastle, Emma; Dayman, Emma; Zhu, Miaoran; Danjittrong, Taechasit; Wachtl, Marta; Behnke, Jerzy M.; Chapman, Sarah; Strong, Victoria; Dobbs, Phillipa; Ball, Jonathan K.; Tarlinton, Rachael E.; McClure, C. Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses. PMID:27102167

  6. Bioenergetics and thermal physiology of American water shrews (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Gusztak, R W; Macarthur, R A; Campbell, K L

    2005-02-01

    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 degrees 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 228 metabolic trials conducted on 15 water shrews, 146 (64%) were discarded because the criteria for inactivity were not met. Abdominal T(b) of S. palustris was independent of T(a) and averaged 38.64 +/- 0.07 degrees C. The thermoneutral zone extended from 21.2 degrees C to at least 32 degrees C. Our estimate of the basal metabolic rate for resting, postabsorptive water shrews (96.88 +/- 2.93 J g(-1) h(-1) or 4.84 +/- 0.14 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) was three times the mass-predicted value, while their minimum thermal conductance in air (0.282 +/- 0.013 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) concurred with allometric predictions. The mean digesta throughput time of water shrews fed mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) or ground meat was 50-55 min. The digestibility coefficients for metabolizable energy (ME) of water shrews fed stickleback minnows (Culaea inconstans) and dragonfly nymphs (Anax spp. and Libellula spp.) were 85.4 +/- 1.3% and 82.8 +/- 1.1%, respectively. The average metabolic rate (AMR) calculated from the gas exchange of six water shrews at 19-22 degrees C (208.0 +/- 17.0 J g(-1) h(-1)) was nearly identical to the estimate of energy intake (202.9 +/- 12.9 J g(-1) h(-1)) measured for these same animals during digestibility trials (20 degrees C). Based on 24-h activity trials and our derived ME coefficients, the minimum daily energy requirement of an adult (14.4 g) water shrew at T(a) = 20 degrees C is 54.0 kJ, or the energetic equivalent of 14.7 stickleback minnows. PMID:15592850

  7. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews.

    PubMed

    Tsoleridis, Theocharis; Onianwa, Okechukwu; Horncastle, Emma; Dayman, Emma; Zhu, Miaoran; Danjittrong, Taechasit; Wachtl, Marta; Behnke, Jerzy M; Chapman, Sarah; Strong, Victoria; Dobbs, Phillipa; Ball, Jonathan K; Tarlinton, Rachael E; McClure, C Patrick

    2016-03-01

    Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses. PMID:27102167

  8. Microparasite assemblages of conspecific shrew populations in Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    The microparasite component communities of 2 species of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, were investigated for the first time in 2 isolated and 3 continuous landscapes in southern California. With microscopical examination, a total of 6 parasite species was found in N. crawfordi and 8 species in S. ornatus. The highest number (5) of parasite species was detected in the lungs. The corrected estimate of parasite species richness did not significantly correlate with the host abundance in either shrew species. Altitude, and also latitude in N. crawfordi, appeared to be significantly positively associated with the parasite species richness, but this could be due to a false association because of the rare occurrence of some of the parasites or the small altitude range (or both). No other landscape variable analyzed (location, size of the study site, disturbance) was significantly associated with the parasite species richness of the shrews. The parasite assemblages of the 2 shrew species were similar despite the fact that N. crawfordi has a lower metabolic rate than S. ornatus.

  9. Cortical organization in shrews: evidence from five species.

    PubMed

    Catania, K C; Lyon, D C; Mock, O B; Kaas, J H

    1999-07-19

    Cortical organization was examined in five shrew species. In three species, Blarina brevicauda, Cryptotis parva, and Sorex palustris, microelectrode recordings were made in cortex to determine the organization of sensory areas. Cortical recordings were then related to flattened sections of cortex processed for cytochrome oxidase or myelin to reveal architectural borders. An additional two species (Sorex cinereus and Sorex longirostris) with visible cortical subdivisions based on histology alone were analyzed without electrophysiological mapping. A single basic plan of cortical organization was found in shrews, consisting of a few clearly defined sensory areas located caudally in cortex. Two somatosensory areas contained complete representations of the contralateral body, corresponding to primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). A small primary visual cortex (V1) was located closely adjacent to S1, whereas auditory cortex (A1) was located in extreme caudolateral cortex, partially encircled by S2. Areas did not overlap and had sharp, histochemically apparent and electrophysiologically defined borders. The adjacency of these areas suggests a complete absence of intervening higher level or association areas. Based on a previous study of corticospinal connections, a presumptive primary motor cortex (M1) was identified directly rostral to S1. Apparently, in shrews, the solution to having extremely little neocortex is to have only a few small cortical subdivisions. However, the small areas remain discrete, well organized, and functional. This cortical organization in shrews is likely a derived condition, because a wide range of extant mammals have a greater number of cortical subdivisions. PMID:10397395

  10. The humerus of Cryptotis colombiana and its bearing on the species? phylogenetic relationships (Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Cuartas-Calle, C.A.; Delgado-V., C.A.

    2003-01-01

    The Colombian small-eared shrew, Cryptotis colombiana Woodman and Timm, was described from the Colombian Andes in 1993. Its original allocation to the Cryptotis nigrescens-group recently was questioned based on several cranial characters the species appeared to share with some members of the Cryptotis thomasi-group. We review characteristics of the C. nigrescens- and C. thomasi-groups, and we describe the humerus of C. colombiana and the humerus and manus of Cryptotis medellinia. The morphology of the humerus joins the suite of characters that supports the hypotheses that C. colombiana is not a member of the C. thomasi-group and that all remaining South American species form a cohesive, definable set that is probably monophyletic.

  11. Short-tailed shrews as reservoirs of the agents of Lyme disease and human babesiosis.

    PubMed

    Telford, S R; Mather, T N; Adler, G H; Spielman, A

    1990-10-01

    To determine whether short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) serve as reservoir hosts for the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and the agent of human babesiosis (Babesia microti), we examined nymphal ticks that had fed as larvae on shrews collected from 3 enzootic sites in coastal Massachusetts for evidence of infection by either or both of these agents. Xenodiagnosis indicated that 11 of 14 shrews were infected by B. burgdorferi. One of 3 piroplasm-infected shrews also infected ticks with B. microti. In a site where the piroplasm is endemic, 11 of 17 shrews showed patent parasitemias by thin blood smears. Of these, 4 had parasitemias exceeding 40%. Few immature ticks infested shrews, however, suggesting that B. brevicauda, although abundant in some endemic sites and serving as a competent reservoir, would contribute minimally to the population of infected nymphs. PMID:2213411

  12. Short-tailed shrews: Toxicity and residue relationships of DDT, dieldrin, and endrin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.

    1978-01-01

    Experiments involving dietary toxicity and residue relationships of DDT, dieldrin, and endrin were conducted with short-tailed shrews. Dietary concentrations of DDT dissolved in vegetable oils were usually more toxic than diets containing comparable amounts of powdered DDT. Younger shrews, particularly females, were more tolerant of powdered DDT than older animals; yet, there were no conspicuous age differences in toxicity of DDT dissolved in oils. In comparison to other mammals, short-tailed shrews are not unusually sensitive to DDT, dieldrin, or endrin on the basis of two-week feeding tests. The influence of age and sex on toxicity of DDT, endrin, and dieldrin was sometimes more important than body weight. Of those shrews of the same age and sex that were fed the same dietary dosage, heavier shrews were more tolerant than lighter individuals; and, heavier shrews tended to lose a greater percentage of body weight before death. There was a range of 15 to 105 DDT equivalents in brains of shrews dying on dietary dosages of DDT. Six shrews fed a high level of DDT seemed to have unusual metabolite capabilities and died with apparent lethal levels of DDD in their brains. Levels of dieldrin in brains of shrews that died on a dietary dosage of dieldrin ranged from 3.7 to 12.6 ppm. In the rates of gain and loss experiments where shrews were given diets containing 400 ppm DDT or 50 ppm dieldrin up to 17 days, high residues were noted in tissues of shrews after two weeks on a contaminated diet and a few died at that time. After shrews were placed on clean food, it was determined that >50% of the dieldrin residues in carcass and brain were lost in 50% of residues of DDT and metabolites in brains after 2 weeks on clean food; males lost nearly 50% of residues in carcasses after two weeks on clean food compared with a loss of only 11% in females.

  13. Reactivation of HSV-1 following explant of tree shrew brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Lihong; Li, Zhuoran; Li, Xin; Wang, Erlin; Lang, Fengchao; Xia, Yujie; Fraser, Nigel W; Gao, Feng; Zhou, Jumin

    2016-06-01

    Herpes Simplex Virus type I (HSV-1) latently infects peripheral nervous system (PNS) sensory neurons, and its reactivation leads to recurring cold sores. The reactivated HSV-1 can travel retrograde from the PNS into the central nervous system (CNS) and is known to be causative of Herpes Simplex viral encephalitis. HSV-1 infection in the PNS is well documented, but little is known on the fate of HSV-1 once it enters the CNS. In the murine model, HSV-1 genome persists in the CNS once infected through an ocular route. To gain more details of HSV-1 infection in the CNS, we characterized HSV-1 infection of the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) brain following ocular inoculation. Here, we report that HSV-1 enters the tree shrew brain following ocular inoculation and HSV-1 transcripts, ICP0, ICP4, and LAT can be detected at 5 days post-infection (p.i.), peaking at 10 days p.i. After 2 weeks, ICP4 and ICP0 transcripts are reduced to a basal level, but the LAT intron region continues to be expressed. Live virus could be recovered from the olfactory bulb and brain stem tissue. Viral proteins could be detected using anti-HSV-1 antibodies and anti-ICP4 antibody, during the acute stage but not beyond. In situ hybridization could detect LAT during acute infection in most brain regions and in olfactory bulb and brain stem tissue well beyond the acute stage. Using a homogenate from these tissues' post-acute infection, we did not recover live HSV-1 virus, supporting a latent infection, but using a modified explant cocultivation technique, we were able to recover reactivated virus from these tissues, suggesting that the HSV-1 virus latently infects the tree shrew CNS. Compared to mouse, the CNS acute infection of the tree shrew is delayed and the olfactory bulb contains most latent virus. During the acute stage, a portion of the infected tree shrews exhibit symptoms similar to human viral encephalitis. These findings, together with the fact that tree shrews are closely

  14. Neurochemical Characterization of the Tree Shrew Dorsal Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Matthew W.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Perez-Costas, Emma

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21887131

  15. [A depression model of social defeat etiology using tree shrews].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Lv, Long-Bao; Xu, Lin; Yang, Yue-Xiong

    2012-02-01

    Depression is a common neuropsychiatric disorder, marked by depressed mood for at least two weeks. The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the number one leading cause of disease and injury burden by 2030. Clinical treatment faces at least three serious obstacles. First, the disease mechanism is not fully understood and thus there are no effective ways to predict and prevent depression and no biological method of diagnosis. Second, available antidepressants are based on monoamine mechanisms that commonly have a long delay of action and possibly cause a higher risk of suicide. Third, no other antidepressant mechanisms are available, with fast action and few side effects. Unfortunately, several decades of research based on rodent models of depression have not been successful in resolving these problems, at least partially due to the huge differences in brain function between rodents and people. Tree shrews are the closest sister to primates, and brain functions in these species are closer to those of humans. In this review, we discuss a tree shrew model of depression with social defeat etiology and aspects of construct, face and predicted validity of an animal model. Although a tree shrew model of depression has long been ignored and not fully established, its similarities to those aspects of depression in humans may open a new avenue to address this human condition. PMID:22345016

  16. Brain Mass and Cranial Nerve Size in Shrews and Moles

    PubMed Central

    Leitch, Duncan B.; Sarko, Diana K.; Catania, Kenneth C.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between body size, brain size, and fibers in selected cranial nerves in shrews and moles. Species include tiny masked shrews (S. cinereus) weighing only a few grams and much larger mole species weighing up to 90 grams. It also includes closely related species with very different sensory specializations – such as the star-nosed mole and the common, eastern mole. We found that moles and shrews have tiny optic nerves with fiber counts not correlated with body or brain size. Auditory nerves were similarly small but increased in fiber number with increasing brain and body size. Trigeminal nerve number was by far the largest and also increased with increasing brain and body size. The star-nosed mole was an outlier, with more than twice the number of trigeminal nerve fibers than any other species. Despite this hypertrophied cranial nerve, star-nosed mole brains were not larger than predicted from body size, suggesting that magnification of their somatosensory systems does not result in greater overall CNS size. PMID:25174995

  17. Affect intensity in voice recognized by tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri).

    PubMed

    Schehka, Simone; Zimmermann, Elke

    2012-06-01

    Shared acoustic cues in speech, music, and nonverbal emotional expressions were postulated to code for emotion quality and intensity favoring the hypothesis of a prehuman origin of affective prosody in human emotional communication. To explore this hypothesis, we examined in playback experiments using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm whether a solitary foraging, highly vocal mammal, the tree shrew, is able to discriminate two behaviorally defined states of affect intensity (low vs. high) from the voice of conspecifics. Playback experiments with communication calls of two different types (chatter call and scream call) given in the state of low affect intensity revealed that habituated tree shrews dishabituated to one call type (the chatter call) and showed a tendency to do so for the other one (the scream call), both given in the state of high affect intensity. Findings suggest that listeners perceive the acoustic variation linked to defined states of affect intensity as different within the same call type. Our findings in tree shrews provide first evidence that acoustically conveyed affect intensity is biologically relevant without any other sensory cue, even for solitary foragers. Thus, the perception of affect intensity in voice conveyed in stressful contexts represents a shared trait of mammals, independent of the complexity of social systems. Findings support the hypothesis that affective prosody in human emotional communication has deep-reaching phylogenetic roots, deriving from precursors already present and relevant in the vocal communication system of early mammals. PMID:22309729

  18. Social organization in Eulipotyphla: evidence for a social shrew.

    PubMed

    Valomy, M; Hayes, L D; Schradin, C

    2015-11-01

    Shrews and their close relatives (order Eulipotyphla) are typically considered to be solitary. This impacts our understanding of mammalian social evolution: (i) the ancestor of mammals is believed to have been shrew-like, and even though Eulipotyphla are not more basal than other mammalian orders, this might have been one reason why the first mammals have been assumed to be solitary-living; (ii) Eulipotyphla are the third largest mammalian order, with hundreds of species entering comparative analyses. We review primary field studies reporting the social organization of Eulipotyphla, doing a literature research on 445 species. Primary literature was only available for 16 of the 445 species. We found 56% of the studied species to be social (38% were living in pairs), which is in sharp contrast to the 0.5 and 8% reported in other databases. We conclude that the available information indicates that shrews are more sociable than generally believed. An interesting alternative hypothesis is that the mammalian ancestor might have been pair-living. To understand the social evolution of mammals, comparative studies must be based on reliable and specific information, and more species of all orders must be studied in the field. PMID:26559515

  19. Targeting of Transmembrane Protein Shrew-1 to Adherens Junctions Is Controlled by Cytoplasmic Sorting Motifs

    PubMed Central

    Jakob, Viktor; Schreiner, Alexander; Tikkanen, Ritva

    2006-01-01

    We recently identified transmembrane protein shrew-1 and showed that it is able to target to adherens junctions in polarized epithelial cells. This suggested shrew-1 possesses specific basolateral sorting motifs, which we analyzed by mutational analysis. Systematic mutation of amino acids in putative sorting signals in the cytoplasmic domain of shrew-1 revealed three tyrosines and a dileucine motif necessary for basolateral sorting. Substitution of these amino acids leads to apical localization of shrew-1. By applying tannic acid to either the apical or basolateral part of polarized epithelial cells, thereby blocking vesicle fusion with the plasma membrane, we obtained evidence that the apically localized mutants were primarily targeted to the basolateral membrane and were then redistributed to the apical domain. Further support for a postendocytic sorting mechanism of shrew-1 was obtained by demonstrating that μ1B, a subunit of the epithelial cell-specific adaptor complex AP-1B, interacts with shrew-1. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for a scenario where shrew-1 is primarily delivered to the basolateral membrane by a so far unknown mechanism. Once there, adaptor protein complex AP-1B is involved in retaining shrew-1 at the basolateral membrane by postendocytic sorting mechanisms. PMID:16707570

  20. Prevalence of SFTSV among Asian House Shrews and Rodents, China, January–August 2013

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jian-Wei; Wen, Hong-Ling; Fang, Li-Zhu; Zhang, Zhen-Tang; He, Shu-Ting; Xue, Zai-Feng; Ma, Dong-Qiang; Zhang, Xiao-Shuang; Wang, Tao; Yu, Hao; Zhang, Yan

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the role of small mammals as hosts of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), we tested serum samples from rodents and shrews in China, collected in 2013. SFTSV antibodies and RNA were detected, suggesting that rodents and shrews might be hosts for SFTSV. PMID:25418111

  1. Intestinal disaccharidases in the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus: occurrence of sucrase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Yokota, K; Oda, S; Takesue, S; Takesue, Y

    1992-11-01

    1. Disaccharidase activities of the small-intestinal brush border membrane were studied in six laboratory lines of the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus. 2. Sucrase activity was detected in all shrews of one line, but not in any shrew of three lines. In the other two lines it was found in some shrews, but not in the others. 3. Maltase, isomaltase, trehalase and lactase activities were found in all shrews of all the lines examined. 4. Sucrase was normally associated with isomaltase to form an enzyme complex. 5. Detergent-solubilized isomaltase, whether associated with sucrase or not, was inhibited by antibodies against rabbit sucrase-isomaltase to almost the same extent as the rabbit one, suggesting that isomaltase is not affected by a mutation(s) in sucrase. PMID:1458837

  2. CXC Chemokine CXCL12 and Its Receptor CXCR4 in Tree Shrews (Tupaia belangeri): Structure, Expression and Function

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Shengke; Zhang, Lichao; Wang, Wenxue; Jiang, Zongmin; Yu, Min; Cui, Qinghua; Li, Meizhang

    2014-01-01

    Chemokines are small secreted proteins functionally involved in the immune system's regulation of lymphocyte migration across numerous mammalian species. Given its growing popularity in immunological models, we investigated the structure and function of chemokine CXCL12 protein in tree shrews. We found that CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 in tree shrew had structural similarities to their homologous human proteins. Phylogenetic analysis supports the view that tree shrew is evolutionarily-close to the primates. Our results also showed that the human recombinant CXCL12 protein directly enhanced the migration of tree shrew's lymphocytes in vitro, while AMD3100 enhanced the mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) from bone marrow into peripheral blood in tree shrew in vivo. Collectively, these findings suggested that chemokines in tree shrews may play the same or similar roles as those in humans, and that the tree shrew is a viable animal model for studying human immunological diseases. PMID:24858548

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Shrew Gymnure, Neotetracus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Tu, Feiyun; Yan, Chaochao; Zhang, Xiuyue; Yue, Bisong; Zeng, Tao

    2013-06-01

    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

  4. Ticks of four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Horak, Ivan G; Welman, Shaun; Hallam, Stacey L; Lutermann, Heike; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi

    2011-01-01

    Several studies on ticks infesting small mammals, including elephant shrews, have been conducted in South Africa; however, these studies have included only a single four-toed elephant shrew and no hedgehogs. This study thus aimed to identify and quantify the ixodid ticks infesting four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs. Four-toed elephant shrews (Petrodromus tetradactylus) were trapped in dense shrub undergrowth in a nature reserve in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. They were separately housed, first in cages and later in glass terraria fitted with wire-mesh bases to allow detached ticks to fall through for collection. Southern African hedgehogs (Atelerix frontalis) were hand caught on a farm in the eastern region of the Northern Cape Province and all visible ticks were collected by means of tweezers while the animals were anaesthetised. The ticks from each animal were preserved separately in 70% ethanol for later identification and counting. The immature stages of five ixodid tick species were collected from the elephant shrews, of which Rhipicephalus muehlensi was the most common. It has not been recorded previously on any species of elephant shrew. Three ixodid tick species were collected from the hedgehogs. Large numbers of adult Haemaphysalis colesbergensis, which has not been encountered previously on hedgehogs, were collected from these animals. Four-toed elephant shrews are good hosts of the larvae and nymphs of R. muehlensi, and Southern African hedgehogs are good hosts of adult H. colesbergensis. PMID:23327207

  5. Water shrews detect movement, shape, and smell to find prey underwater.

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C; Hare, James F; Campbell, Kevin L

    2008-01-15

    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. PMID:18184804

  6. Water shrews detect movement, shape, and smell to find prey underwater

    PubMed Central

    Catania, Kenneth C.; Hare, James F.; Campbell, Kevin L.

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18184804

  7. On the origin, homologies and evolution of primate facial muscles, with a particular focus on hominoids and a suggested unifying nomenclature for the facial muscles of the Mammalia

    PubMed Central

    Diogo, R; Wood, B A; Aziz, M A; Burrows, A

    2009-01-01

    The mammalian facial muscles are a subgroup of hyoid muscles (i.e. muscles innervated by cranial nerve VII). They are usually attached to freely movable skin and are responsible for facial expressions. In this study we provide an account of the origin, homologies and evolution of the primate facial muscles, based on dissections of various primate and non-primate taxa and a review of the literature. We provide data not previously reported, including photographs showing in detail the facial muscles of primates such as gibbons and orangutans. We show that the facial muscles usually present in strepsirhines are basically the same muscles that are present in non-primate mammals such as tree-shrews. The exceptions are that strepsirhines often have a muscle that is usually not differentiated in tree-shrews, the depressor supercilii, and lack two muscles that are usually differentiated in these mammals, the zygomatico-orbicularis and sphincter colli superficialis. Monkeys such as macaques usually lack two muscles that are often present in strepsirhines, the sphincter colli profundus and mandibulo-auricularis, but have some muscles that are usually absent as distinct structures in non-anthropoid primates, e.g. the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, levator labii superioris, nasalis, depressor septi nasi, depressor anguli oris and depressor labii inferioris. In turn, macaques typically lack a risorius, auricularis anterior and temporoparietalis, which are found in hominoids such as humans, but have muscles that are usually not differentiated in members of some hominoid taxa, e.g. the platysma cervicale (usually not differentiated in orangutans, panins and humans) and auricularis posterior (usually not differentiated in orangutans). Based on our observations, comparisons and review of the literature, we propose a unifying, coherent nomenclature for the facial muscles of the Mammalia as a whole and provide a list of more than 300 synonyms that have been used in the

  8. The annular hematoma of the shrew yolk-sac placenta.

    PubMed

    King, B F; Enders, A C; Wimsatt, W A

    1978-05-01

    The annular hematoma of the shrew, Blarina brevicauda, is a specialized portion of the yolk-sac wall. In this study, we have examined the fine structure of the different cellular components of the anular hematoma. Small pieces of the gestation sacs from seven pregnant shrews were fixed in glutaraldehyde and osmium tetroxide and processed for transmission electron microscopy. In the area of the trophoblastic curtain, the maternal capillary endothelial cells were hypertrophied and syncytial trophoblast surrounded the capillaries. Cellular trophoblast covered part of the luminal surface of the curtain region, whereas masses of apparently degenerating syncytium were present on other areas of the surface. Maternal erythrocytes, released into the uterine lumen from the curtain region, were phagocytized and degraded by the columnar cells of the trophoblastic annulus. No evidence of iron or pigment accumulation was evident in the parietal endodermal cells underlying the annular trophoblast. Parietal endodermal cells were characterized by cuboidal shape, widely dilated intercellular spaces, and cytoplasm containing granular endoplasmic reticulum. Endodermal cells of the visceral yolk-sac accumulated large numbers of electron-dense granules as well as glycogen in their cytoplasm. Hemopoietic areas and vitelline capillaries were found subjacent to the visceral endoderm. The various portions of the yolk-sac wall of Blarina appear to perform complementary functions which are probably important in maternal-fetal iron transfer. PMID:677046

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens).

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhitao; Zhao, Wenge; Liu, Peng; Li, Shulan; Xu, Chunzhu

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) was determined using long PCR. The genome was 17,260 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 control region. The overall base composition of the heavy strand is A (33.0%), C (23.2%), T (30.9%) and G (12.9%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which is most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of Eurasian water shrew. Mitochondrial genomes analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees. Neomys elegans, Soriculus fumidus, and N. fodiens formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100%) in all examinations. This clade with the Anourosorex squamipes as the sister taxon to Sorex. PMID:26006281

  10. Ticks and fleas of shrews in Appalachian Georgia and North Carolina.

    PubMed

    McCay, T S; Durden, L A

    1996-08-01

    Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) were recovered from 8 smoky shrews, Sorex fumeus Miller, and 9 northern short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda (Say), trapped at elevations of 720-1,310 m in Macon and Jackson counties in western North Carolina and Union County in northern Georgia from April 1994 to August 1995. The ticks Ixodes angustus Neumann and Ixodes woodi Bishopp, and the flea Corrodopsylla curvata (Rothschild), were recovered from smoky shrews. The same 2 tick species, in addition to the fleas, Ctenophthalmus pseudagyrtes Baker and Doratopsylla blarinae Fox, were recovered from northern short-tailed shrews. New state records for I. angustus from Georgia and I. woodi from North Carolina are established. PMID:8691385

  11. New infectious spirochete isolated from short-tailed shrews and white-footed mice.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J F; Johnson, R C; Magnarelli, L A; Hyde, F W; Andreadis, T G

    1987-08-01

    A spirochete with two periplasmic flagella was isolated from the blood or tissues of spleens and kidneys from short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in Connecticut and Minnesota. After inoculation, the shrew-mouse spirochete infected Swiss mice and Syrian hamsters. This spirochete is morphologically and serologically distinct from the species of Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, and Spirochaeta examined. PMID:3305565

  12. Genetic Diversity of Artybash Virus in the Laxmann's Shrew (Sorex caecutiens).

    PubMed

    Arai, Satoru; Kang, Hae Ji; Gu, Se Hun; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Cook, Joseph A; Yashina, Liudmila N; Tanaka-Taya, Keiko; Abramov, Sergey A; Morikawa, Shigeru; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Oishi, Kazunori; Yanagihara, Richard

    2016-07-01

    Although based on very limited M and L segment sequences, Artybash virus (ARTV) was proposed previously as a unique hantavirus harbored by the Laxmann's shrew (Sorex caecutiens). To verify this conjecture, lung tissues from 68 Laxmann's shrews, captured during 2006 to 2014 in eastern Siberia, Russia, and Hokkaido, Japan, were analyzed for ARTV RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). ARTV RNA was detected in six Laxmann's shrews. Pairwise alignment and comparison of partial- and full-length S, M, and L segment sequences from these Laxmann's shrews, as well as phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods indicated that ARTV was distinct from other soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses and representative hantaviruses harbored by rodents, moles, and bats. Taxonomic identity of the ARTV-infected Laxmann's shrews was confirmed by full-length cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis. Our data indicate that the hantavirus previously known as Amga virus (MGAV) represents genetic variants of ARTV. Thus, the previously proposed designation of ARTV/MGAV should be replaced by ARTV. PMID:27172519

  13. Structural and functional characterization of enamel pigmentation in shrews.

    PubMed

    Dumont, M; Tütken, T; Kostka, A; Duarte, M J; Borodin, S

    2014-04-01

    Pigmented tooth enamel occurs in several vertebrate clades, ranging from mammals to fish. Although an iron compound is associated with this orange to red colored pigmentation, its chemical and structural organization within the enamel is unknown. To determine the nature of the iron compound, we investigated heavily pigmented teeth of the northern short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda using combined characterization techniques such as scanning and transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. We found that the pigmentation of the enamel with an iron content of around 8wt% results from a close to amorphous magnetite phase deposited around the nm-sized enamel crystals. Furthermore, the influence of the pigmentation on the enamel hardness was determined by nanoindentation measurements. Finally, the biomechanical function and biological context are discussed in light of the obtained results. PMID:24556576

  14. Occipital roof development in the Japanese musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed Central

    Niida, S; Okada, N; Wakisaka, H; Miyata, K; Maeda, N

    1994-01-01

    The occipital squama of the Japanese musk shrew, Suncus murinus, consists only of membrane bone which arises from the periosteal bony band of the supraoccipital cartilage. No cartilaginous tectum posterius, generally forming the dorsal border to the foramen magnum, was found in the developing chondrocranium. Also additional intramembranous ossification centres were occasionally observed, and could be interpreted as being the primordium of the interparietal bone. These observations indicate that the membrane bone is homologous not with the interparietal bone but with the tectum posterius, i.e. the membranous supraoccipital bone. This is an instance of interchangeability between cartilage and membrane bone in a mammal. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:7961150

  15. Thermoregulatory correlates of nausea in rats and musk shrews

    PubMed Central

    Ngampramuan, Sukonthar; Cerri, Matteo; Vecchio, Flavia Del; Corrigan, Joshua J.; Kamphee, Amornrat; Dragic, Alexander S.; Rudd, John A.; Romanovsky, Andrej A.; Nalivaiko, Eugene

    2014-01-01

    Nausea is a prominent symptom and major cause of complaint for patients receiving anticancer chemo- or radiation therapy. The arsenal of anti-nausea drugs is limited, and their efficacy is questionable. Currently, the development of new compounds with anti-nausea activity is hampered by the lack of physiological correlates of nausea. Physiological correlates are needed because common laboratory rodents lack the vomiting reflex. Furthermore, nausea does not always lead to vomiting. Here, we report the results of studies conducted in four research centers to investigate whether nausea is associated with any specific thermoregulatory symptoms. Two species were studied: the laboratory rat, which has no vomiting reflex, and the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus), which does have a vomiting reflex. In rats, motion sickness was induced by rotating them in their individual cages in the horizontal plane (0.75 Hz, 40 min) and confirmed by reduced food consumption at the onset of dark (active) phase. In 100% of rats tested at three centers, post-rotational sickness was associated with marked (~1.5°C) hypothermia, which was associated with a short-lasting tail-skin vasodilation (skin temperature increased by ~4°C). Pretreatment with ondansetron, a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, which is used to treat nausea in patients in chemo- or radiation therapy, attenuated hypothermia by ~30%. In shrews, motion sickness was induced by a cyclical back-and-forth motion (4 cm, 1 Hz, 15 min) and confirmed by the presence of retching and vomiting. In this model, sickness was also accompanied by marked hypothermia (~2°C). Like in rats, the hypothermic response was preceded by transient tail-skin vasodilation. In conclusion, motion sickness is accompanied by hypothermia that involves both autonomic and thermoeffector mechanisms: tail-skin vasodilation and possibly reduction of the interscapular brown adipose tissue activity. These thermoregulatory symptoms may serve as physiological

  16. Thermoregulatory correlates of nausea in rats and musk shrews.

    PubMed

    Ngampramuan, Sukonthar; Cerri, Matteo; Del Vecchio, Flavia; Corrigan, Joshua J; Kamphee, Amornrat; Dragic, Alexander S; Rudd, John A; Romanovsky, Andrej A; Nalivaiko, Eugene

    2014-03-30

    Nausea is a prominent symptom and major cause of complaint for patients receiving anticancer chemo- or radiation therapy. The arsenal of anti-nausea drugs is limited, and their efficacy is questionable. Currently, the development of new compounds with anti-nausea activity is hampered by the lack of physiological correlates of nausea. Physiological correlates are needed because common laboratory rodents lack the vomiting reflex. Furthermore, nausea does not always lead to vomiting. Here, we report the results of studies conducted in four research centers to investigate whether nausea is associated with any specific thermoregulatory symptoms. Two species were studied: the laboratory rat, which has no vomiting reflex, and the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus), which does have a vomiting reflex. In rats, motion sickness was induced by rotating them in their individual cages in the horizontal plane (0.75 Hz, 40 min) and confirmed by reduced food consumption at the onset of dark (active) phase. In 100% of rats tested at three centers, post-rotational sickness was associated with marked (~1.5°C) hypothermia, which was associated with a short-lasting tail-skin vasodilation (skin temperature increased by ~4°C). Pretreatment with ondansetron, a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, which is used to treat nausea in patients in chemo- or radiation therapy, attenuated hypothermia by ~30%. In shrews, motion sickness was induced by a cyclical back-and-forth motion (4 cm, 1 Hz, 15 min) and confirmed by the presence of retching and vomiting. In this model, sickness was also accompanied by marked hypothermia (~2°C). Like in rats, the hypothermic response was preceded by transient tail-skin vasodilation. In conclusion, motion sickness is accompanied by hypothermia that involves both autonomic and thermoeffector mechanisms: tail-skin vasodilation and possibly reduction of the interscapular brown adipose tissue activity. These thermoregulatory symptoms may serve as physiological

  17. Composition and Function of Haemolymphatic Tissues in the European Common Shrew

    PubMed Central

    Bray, Daniel P.; Bennett, Malcolm; Stockley, Paula; Hurst, Jane L.; Kipar, Anja

    2008-01-01

    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

  18. Physical and Cognitive Performance of the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) on a Calcium-Restricted Diet.

    PubMed

    Czajka, Jessica L; McCay, Timothy S; Garneau, Danielle E

    2012-09-01

    Geological substrates and air pollution affect the availability of calcium to mammals in many habitats, including the Adirondack Mountain Region (Adirondacks) of the United States. Mammalian insectivores, such as shrews, may be particularly restricted in environments with low calcium. We examined the consequences of calcium restriction on the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in the laboratory. We maintained one group of shrews (5 F, 5 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration comparable to beetle larvae collected in the Adirondacks (1.1 ± 0.3 mg/g) and another group (5 F, 3 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration almost 20 times higher (19.5 ± 5.1 mg/g). Animals were given no access to mineral sources of calcium, such as snail shell or bone. We measured running speed and performance in a complex maze over 10 weeks. Shrews on the high-calcium diet made fewer errors in the maze than shrews on the low-calcium diet (F1,14 = 12.8, p < 0.01). Females made fewer errors than males (F1,14 = 10.6, p < 0.01). Running speeds did not markedly vary between diet groups or sexes, though there was a trend toward faster running by shrews on the high calcium diet (p = 0.087). Shrews in calcium-poor habitats with low availability of mineral sources of calcium may have greater difficulty with cognitive tasks such as navigation and recovery of food hoards. PMID:25379219

  19. Physical and Cognitive Performance of the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) on a Calcium-Restricted Diet

    PubMed Central

    Czajka, Jessica L.; McCay, Timothy S.; Garneau, Danielle E.

    2012-01-01

    Geological substrates and air pollution affect the availability of calcium to mammals in many habitats, including the Adirondack Mountain Region (Adirondacks) of the United States. Mammalian insectivores, such as shrews, may be particularly restricted in environments with low calcium. We examined the consequences of calcium restriction on the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in the laboratory. We maintained one group of shrews (5 F, 5 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration comparable to beetle larvae collected in the Adirondacks (1.1 ± 0.3 mg/g) and another group (5 F, 3 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration almost 20 times higher (19.5 ± 5.1 mg/g). Animals were given no access to mineral sources of calcium, such as snail shell or bone. We measured running speed and performance in a complex maze over 10 weeks. Shrews on the high-calcium diet made fewer errors in the maze than shrews on the low-calcium diet (F1,14 = 12.8, p < 0.01). Females made fewer errors than males (F1,14 = 10.6, p < 0.01). Running speeds did not markedly vary between diet groups or sexes, though there was a trend toward faster running by shrews on the high calcium diet (p = 0.087). Shrews in calcium-poor habitats with low availability of mineral sources of calcium may have greater difficulty with cognitive tasks such as navigation and recovery of food hoards. PMID:25379219

  20. Shedding of Infectious Borna Disease Virus-1 in Living Bicolored White-Toothed Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Nobach, Daniel; Bourg, Manon; Herzog, Sibylle; Lange-Herbst, Hildburg; Encarnação, Jorge A.; Eickmann, Markus; Herden, Christiane

    2015-01-01

    Background Many RNA viruses arise from animal reservoirs, namely bats, rodents and insectivores but mechanisms of virus maintenance and transmission still need to be addressed. The bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon) has recently been identified as reservoir of the neurotropic Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1). Principal Findings Six out of eleven wild living bicoloured white-toothed shrews were trapped and revealed to be naturally infected with BoDV-1. All shrews were monitored in captivity in a long-term study over a time period up to 600 days that differed between the individual shrews. Interestingly, all six animals showed an asymptomatic course of infection despite virus shedding via various routes indicating a highly adapted host-pathogen interaction. Infectious virus and viral RNA were demonstrated in saliva, urine, skin swabs, lacrimal fluid and faeces, both during the first 8 weeks of the investigation period and for long time shedding after more than 250 days in captivity. Conclusions The various ways of shedding ensure successful virus maintenance in the reservoir population but also transmission to accidental hosts such as horses and sheep. Naturally BoDV-1-infected living shrews serve as excellent tool to unravel host and pathogen factors responsible for persistent viral co-existence in reservoir species while maintaining their physiological integrity despite high viral load in many organ systems. PMID:26313904

  1. Attempted isolation of Blastomyces dermatitidis from native shrews in northern Wisconsin, USA.

    PubMed

    Baumgardner, Dennis J; Summerbell, Richard; Krajden, Sigmund; Alexopoulou, Iakovina; Agrawal, Bobby; Bergeson, Mitch; Fuksa, Milan; Bemis, Christina; Baumgardner, Mark A

    2005-08-01

    The precise ecological niche of Blastomyces dermatitidis is unknown. The related dimorphic fungus, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, has been isolated from South American ground-dwelling insectivorous armadillos. We attempted to isolate Blastomyces from shrews, North American ground-dwelling insectivores that have been shown to harbor Histoplasma capsulatum in endemic areas. Forty-seven masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 13 northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were collected in endemic areas of northern Wisconsin and Michigan using pitfall traps. Specimens were collected between 1998 and summer 2002, stored frozen, then necropsied. Cultures of nasopharynx, lungs, liver, spleen and large and small bowel were placed on yeast extract phosphate agar with one or two drops of ammonium hydroxide. Cultures for Blastomyces were negative from all 60 shrews and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and three southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi), which were trapped inadvertently. Histological examination of 36 of these specimens revealed no Blastomyces yeast forms. Northern Wisconsin shrews do not appear to be carriers of B. dermatitidis. PMID:16178369

  2. Detection of novel adenoviruses in fecal specimens from rodents and shrews in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xue-Yan; Qiu, Min; Ke, Xue-Mei; Guan, Wei-Jie; Li, Jin-Ming; Huo, Shu-Ting; Chen, Shao-Wei; Zhong, Xue-Shan; Zhou, Wen; Xiong, Yi-Quan; Ge, Jing; Chen, Qing

    2016-06-01

    The prevalence and phylogenetic characteristics of AdVs in rodents and shrews in China are still unknown. To explore the epidemiological characteristics of rodent and shrew AdVs in southern China, 255 fecal samples derived from four rodent species and 90 from shrews were collected in Xiamen and Guangzhou city of southern China. Amplification of a 314-324-bp fragment from the DNA polymerase gene of AdVs was attempted by using a nested PCR. Twenty-nine (11.4 %) specimens from rodents and one (1.1 %) specimen from shrews were tested positive for AdVs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that nine samples from Rattus norvegicus in Guangzhou city between 2012 and 2013 might be the genuine AdV of R. norvegicus. The same putative AdV sequences were derived from samples of different host species from different/same places. A novel adenovirus was detected in Suncus murinus Linnaeus (SML/14GDGZ72) for the first time. Our findings provide new data on the prevalence and diversity of AdVs in rodents and shrews. PMID:26980673

  3. Factors influencing the variation in capture rates of shrews in southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We examined the temporal variation in capture rates of shrews Notiosorex crawfordi (Coues, 1877) and Sorex ornatus (Merriam, 1895) in 20 sites representing fragmented and continuous habitats in southern California, USA. In N. crawfordi, the temporal variation was significantly correlated with the mean capture rates. Of the 6 landscape variables analyzed (size of the landscape, size of the sample area, altitude, edge, longitude and latitude), sample area was positively correlated with variation in capture rates of N. crawfordi. In S. ornatus, longitude was negatively correlated with variation in capture rates. Analysis of the effect of precipitation on the short- and long-term capture rates at 2 of the sites showed no correlation between rainfall and capture rates of shrews even though peak number of shrews at both sites were reached during the year of highest amount of rainfall. A key problem confounding capture rates of shrews in southern California is the low overall abundance of both shrew species in all habitats and seasons.

  4. Incidence of dental lesions in musk shrews (Suncus murinus) and their association with sex, age, body weight and diet.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Emily S; Grunden, Beverly K; Crocker, Conan; Boivin, Gregory P

    2013-10-22

    Both wild and laboratory strains of the musk shrew (Suncus murinus) have a high incidence of periodontitis. The authors completed necropsy examinations in 51 shrews to identify dental lesions including tooth loss, mobility and fractures. Dental lesions were identified in significantly more females than males, and older animals were more likely to have lesions present. Shrews with one or more dental lesions weighed significantly less than those without lesions present. Dietary supplementation with mealworms did not significantly affect the incidence of dental lesions or the body weight of male or female shrews. The authors recommend routine body weight measurement as a simple, noninvasive method of detecting shrews with an increased likelihood of having dental lesions. PMID:24150169

  5. E-cadherin Surface Levels in Epithelial Growth Factor-stimulated Cells Depend on Adherens Junction Protein Shrew-1

    PubMed Central

    Gross, Julia Christina; Schreiner, Alexander; Engels, Knut

    2009-01-01

    Gain- and loss-of-function studies indicate that the adherens junction protein shrew-1 acts as a novel modulator of E-cadherin internalization induced by epithelial growth factor (EGF) or E-cadherin function-blocking antibody during epithelial cell dynamics. Knocking down shrew-1 in MCF-7 carcinoma cells preserves E-cadherin surface levels upon EGF stimulation. Overexpression of shrew-1 leads to preformation of an E-cadherin/EGF receptor (EGFR) HER2/src-kinase/shrew-1 signaling complex and accelerated E-cadherin internalization. Shrew-1 is not sufficient to stimulate E-cadherin internalization, but facilitates the actions of EGFR and thus may promote malignant progression in breast cancer cells with constitutive EGFR stimulation by reducing surface E-cadherin expression. PMID:19515834

  6. Experimental infection of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) with Coxsackie virus A16

    PubMed Central

    LI, Jian-Ping; LIAO, Yun; ZHANG, Ying; WANG, Jing-Jing; WANG, Li-Chun; FENG, Kai; LI, Qi-Han; LIU, Long-Ding

    2014-01-01

    Coxsackie virus A16 (CA16) is commonly recognized as one of the main human pathogens of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD). The clinical manifestations of HFMD include vesicles of hand, foot and mouth in young children and severe inflammatory CNS lesions. In this study, experimentally CA16 infected tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) were used to investigate CA16 pathogenesis. The results showed that both the body temperature and the percentages of blood neutrophilic granulocytes / monocytes of CA16 infected tree shrews increased at 4-7 days post infection. Dynamic distributions of CA16 in different tissues and stools were found at different infection stages. Moreover, the pathological changes in CNS and other organs were also observed. These findings indicate that tree shrews can be used as a viable animal model to study CA16 infection. PMID:25465084

  7. High shrew diversity on Alaska's Seward Peninsula: Community assembly and environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.

    2012-01-01

    In September 2010, 6 species of shrews (genus: Sorex) were collected at a single locality on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. Such high sympatric diversity within a single mammalian genus is seldom realized. This phenomenon at high latitudes highlights complex Arctic community dynamics that reflect significant turnover through time as a consequence of environmental change. Each of these shrew species occupies a broad geographic distribution collectively spanning the entire Holarctic, although the study site lies within Eastern Beringia, near the periphery of all individual ranges. A review of published genetic evidence reflects a depauperate shrew community within ice-free Beringia through the last glaciation, and recent assembly of current diversity during the Holocene.

  8. Early embryonic development and transplantation in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    YAN, Lan-Zhen; SUN, Bin; LYU, Long-Bao; MA, Yu-Hua; CHEN, Jia-Qi; LIN, Qing; ZHENG, Ping; ZHAO, Xu-Dong

    2016-01-01

    As a novel experimental animal model, tree shrews have received increasing attention in recent years. Despite this, little is known in regards to the time phases of their embryonic development. In this study, surveillance systems were used to record the behavior and timing of copulations; embryos at different post-copulation stages were collected and cultured in vitro; and the developmental characteristics of both early-stage and in vitro cultured embryos were determined. A total of 163 females were collected following effective copulation, and 150 were used in either unilateral or bilateral oviduct embryo collections, with 307 embryos from 111 females obtained (conception rate=74%). Among them, 237 embryos were collected from 78 females, bilaterally, i.e., the average embryo number per female was 3.04; 172 fertilized eggs collected from 55 females, bilaterally, were cultured for 24-108 h in vitro for developmental observations; finally, 65 embryos from 23 bilateral cases and 70 embryos from 33 unilateral cases were used in embryo transplantation. PMID:27469257

  9. Muscle senescence in short-lived wild mammals, the soricine shrews Blarina brevicauda and Sorex palustris.

    PubMed

    Hindle, Allyson G; Lawler, John M; Campbell, Kevin L; Horning, Markus

    2009-06-01

    Red-toothed (soricine) shrews are consummate predators exhibiting the highest energy turnovers and shortest life spans (ca. 18 months) of any mammal, yet virtually nothing is known regarding their physiological aging. We assessed the emerging pattern of skeletal muscle senescence (contractile/connective tissue components) in sympatric species, the semi-aquatic water shrew (WS), Sorex palustris, and the terrestrial short-tailed shrew (STS), Blarina brevicauda, to determine if muscle aging occurs in wild, short-lived mammals (H(0): shrews do not survive to an age where senescence occurs), and if so, whether these alterations are species-specific. Gracilis muscles were collected from first-year (n=17) and second-year (n=17) field-caught shrews. Consistent with typical mammalian aging, collagen content (% area) increased with age in both species (S. palustris: approximately 50%; B. brevicauda: approximately 60%). Muscle was dominated by stiffer Type I collagen, and the ratio of collagen Type I:Type III more than doubled with age. The area ratio of muscle:collagen decreased with age in both species, but was considerably lower in adult STS, suggesting species-specificity of senescence. Extracellular space was age-elevated in B. brevicauda, but was preserved in S. palustris ( approximately 50 vs. 10% elevation). Though juvenile interspecific comparisons revealed no significance, adult WS myocytes had 68% larger cross-sectional area and occurred at 28% lower fibers/area than those of adult STS. We demonstrate that age-related muscle senescence does occur in wild-caught, short-lived mammals, and we therefore reject this classic aging theory tenet. Our findings moreover illustrate that differential age adjustments in contractile/connective tissue components of muscle occur in the two species of wild-caught shrews. PMID:19296507

  10. Ultrastructural localization of tyrosine hydroxylase in tree shrew nucleus accumbens core and shell

    PubMed Central

    McCollum, Lesley A.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.

    2014-01-01

    Many behavioral, physiological, and anatomical studies utilize animal models to investigate human striatal pathologies. Although commonly used, rodent striatum may not present the optimal animal model for certain studies due to a lesser morphological complexity than that of non-human primates, which are increasingly restricted in research. As an alternative, the tree shrew could provide a beneficial animal model for studies of the striatum. The gross morphology of the tree shrew striatum resembles that of primates, with separation of the caudate and putamen by the internal capsule. The neurochemical anatomy of the ventral striatum, specifically the nucleus accumbens, has never been examined. This major region of the limbic system plays a role in normal physiological functioning and is also an area of interest for human striatal disorders. The current study uses immunohistochemistry of calbindin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) to determine the ultrastructural organization of the nucleus accumbens core and shell of the tree shrew (Tupaia glis belangeri). Stereology was used to quantify the ultrastructural localization of TH, which displays weaker immunoreactivity in the core and denser immunoreactivity in the shell. In both regions, synapses with TH-immunoreactive axon terminals were primarily symmetric and showed no preference for targeting dendrites versus dendritic spines. The results were compared to previous ultrastructural studies of TH and dopamine in rat and monkey nucleus accumbens. Tree shrew and monkey show no preference for the postsynaptic target in the shell, in contrast to rats which show a preference for synapsing with dendrites. Tree shrews have a ratio of asymmetric to symmetric synapses formed by TH-immunoreactive terminals that is intermediate between rats and monkey. The findings from this study support the tree shrew as an alternative model for studies of human striatal pathologies. PMID:24769226

  11. New records of Merriam’s Shrew (Sorex merriami) from western North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    M. J.Shaughnessy Jr.; Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    Despite having a broad geographic distribution, Merriam's Shrew (Sorex merriami Dobson 1890) is known from a relatively few, widely-scattered localities. In North Dakota, the species was known from only a single poorly-preserved specimen collected in 1913 near Medora. We recently collected two new specimens of Merriam's Shrew from Billings and McKenzie counties in the western quarter of the state. These specimens confirm the presence of S. merriami in North Dakota and better define the northeastern edge of the species' distribution.

  12. Molecular evolution of Azagny virus, a newfound hantavirus harbored by the West African pygmy shrew (Crocidura obscurior) in Côte d'Ivoire

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Tanganya virus (TGNV), the only shrew-associated hantavirus reported to date from sub-Saharan Africa, is harbored by the Therese's shrew (Crocidura theresae), and is phylogenetically distinct from Thottapalayam virus (TPMV) in the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) and Imjin virus (MJNV) in the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura). The existence of myriad soricid-borne hantaviruses in Eurasia and North America would predict the presence of additional hantaviruses in sub-Saharan Africa, where multiple shrew lineages have evolved and diversified. Methods Lung tissues, collected in RNAlater®, from 39 Buettikofer's shrews (Crocidura buettikoferi), 5 Jouvenet's shrews (Crocidura jouvenetae), 9 West African pygmy shrews (Crocidura obscurior) and 21 African giant shrews (Crocidura olivieri) captured in Côte d'Ivoire during 2009, were systematically examined for hantavirus RNA by RT-PCR. Results A genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Azagny virus (AZGV), was detected in the West African pygmy shrew. Phylogenetic analysis of the S, M and L segments, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, under the GTR+I+Γ model of evolution, showed that AZGV shared a common ancestry with TGNV and was more closely related to hantaviruses harbored by soricine shrews than to TPMV and MJNV. That is, AZGV in the West African pygmy shrew, like TGNV in the Therese's shrew, did not form a monophyletic group with TPMV and MJNV, which were deeply divergent and basal to other rodent- and soricomorph-borne hantaviruses. Ancestral distributions of each hantavirus lineage, reconstructed using Mesquite 2.74, suggested that the common ancestor of all hantaviruses was most likely of Eurasian, not African, origin. Conclusions Genome-wide analysis of many more hantaviruses from sub-Saharan Africa are required to better understand how the biogeographic origin and radiation of African shrews might have contributed to, or have resulted from, the evolution of hantaviruses

  13. [Cloning of full-length coding sequence of tree shrew CD4 and prediction of its molecular characteristics].

    PubMed

    Tian, Wei-Wei; Gao, Yue-Dong; Guo, Yan; Huang, Jing-Fei; Xiao, Chang; Li, Zuo-Sheng; Zhang, Hua-Tang

    2012-02-01

    The tree shrews, as an ideal animal model receiving extensive attentions to human disease research, demands essential research tools, in particular cellular markers and monoclonal antibodies for immunological studies. In this paper, a 1 365 bp of the full-length CD4 cDNA encoding sequence was cloned from total RNA in peripheral blood of tree shrews, the sequence completes two unknown fragment gaps of tree shrews predicted CD4 cDNA in the GenBank database, and its molecular characteristics were analyzed compared with other mammals by using biology software such as Clustal W2.0 and so forth. The results showed that the extracellular and intracellular domains of tree shrews CD4 amino acid sequence are conserved. The tree shrews CD4 amino acid sequence showed a close genetic relationship with Homo sapiens and Macaca mulatta. Most regions of the tree shrews CD4 molecule surface showed positive charges as humans. However, compared with CD4 extracellular domain D1 of human, CD4 D1 surface of tree shrews showed more negative charges, and more two N-glycosylation sites, which may affect antibody binding. This study provides a theoretical basis for the preparation and functional studies of CD4 monoclonal antibody. PMID:22345010

  14. Short-lived mammals (shrew, mouse) have a less robust metal-responsive transcription factor than humans and bats.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Katharina; Steiner, Kurt; Petrov, Boyan; Georgiev, Oleg; Schaffner, Walter

    2016-06-01

    Non-essential "heavy" metals such as cadmium tend to accumulate in an organism and thus are a particular threat for long-lived animals. Here we show that two unrelated, short-lived groups of mammals (rodents and shrews, separated by 100 Mio years of evolution) each have independently acquired mutations in their metal-responsive transcription factor (MTF-1) in a domain relevant for robust transcriptional induction by zinc and cadmium. While key amino acids are mutated in rodents, in shrews an entire exon is skipped. Rodents and especially shrews are unique regarding the alterations of this region. To investigate the biological relevance of these alterations, MTF-1s from the common shrew (Sorex araneus), the mouse, humans and a bat (Myotis blythii), were tested by cotransfection with a reporter gene into cells lacking MTF-1. Whereas shrews only live for 1.5-2.5 years, bats, although living on a very similar insect diet, have a lifespan of several decades. We find that bat MTF-1 is similarly metal-responsive as its human counterpart, while shrew MTF-1 is less responsive, similar to mouse MTF-1. We propose that in comparison to most other mammals, the short-lived shrews and rodents can afford a "lower-quality" system for heavy metal homeostasis and detoxification. PMID:27067444

  15. Evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting. A survey of its subcellular distribution in the livers of various representatives of the classes Mammalia, Aves and Amphibia.

    PubMed

    Danpure, C J; Fryer, P; Jennings, P R; Allsop, J; Griffiths, S; Cunningham, A

    1994-08-01

    As part of a wider study on the molecular evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) intracellular compartmentalization, we have determined the subcellular distribution of immunoreactive AGT1, using postembedding protein A-gold immunoelectron microscopy, in the livers of various members of the classes Mammalia, Aves, and Amphibia. As far as organellar distribution is concerned, three categories could be distinguished. In members of the first category (type I), all, or nearly all, of the immunoreactive AGT1 was concentrated within the peroxisomes. In the second category (type II), AGT1 was found more evenly distributed in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. In the third category (type III), AGT1 was localized mainly within the mitochondria with much lower, but widely variable, amounts in the peroxisomes. Type I animals include the human, two great apes (gorilla, orangutan), two Old World monkeys (anubis baboon, Japanese macaque), a New World monkey (white-faced Saki monkey), a lago, morph (European rabbit), a bat (Seba's short-tailed fruit bat), two caviomorph rodents (guinea pig, orange-rumped agouti), and two Australian marsupials (koala, Bennett's wallaby). Type II animals include two New World monkeys (common marmoset, cotton-top tamarin), three prosimians (brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, pygmy slow loris), five rodents (a hybrid crested porcupine, Colombian ground squirrel, laboratory rat, laboratory mouse, golden hamster), an American marsupial (grey short-tailed opossum), and a bird (raven). Type III animals include the large tree shrew, three insectivores (common Eurasian mole, European hedgehog, house shrew), four carnivores (domestic cat, ocelot, domestic dog, polecat ferret), and an amphibian (common frog). In addition to these categories, some animals (e.g. guinea pig, common frog) possessed significant amounts of cytosolic AGT1. Whereas the subcellular distribution of AGT1 in some orders (e.g. Insectivora and Carnivora) did not appear

  16. The Bicolored White-Toothed Shrew Crocidura leucodon (HERMANN 1780) Is an Indigenous Host of Mammalian Borna Disease Virus

    PubMed Central

    Dürrwald, Ralf; Kolodziejek, Jolanta; Weissenböck, Herbert; Nowotny, Norbert

    2014-01-01

    Borna disease (BD) is a sporadic neurologic disease of horses and sheep caused by mammalian Borna disease virus (BDV). Its unique epidemiological features include: limited occurrence in certain endemic regions of central Europe, yearly varying disease peaks, and a seasonal pattern with higher disease frequencies in spring and a disease nadir in autumn. It is most probably not directly transmitted between horses and sheep. All these features led to the assumption that an indigenous virus reservoir of BDV other than horses and sheep may exist. The search for such a reservoir had been unsuccessful until a few years ago five BDV-infected shrews were found in a BD-endemic area in Switzerland. So far, these data lacked further confirmation. We therefore initiated a study in shrews in endemic areas of Germany. Within five years 107 shrews of five different species were collected. BDV infections were identified in 14 individuals of the species bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon, HERMANN 1780), all originating from BD-endemic territories. Immunohistological analysis showed widespread distribution of BDV antigen both in the nervous system and in epithelial and mesenchymal tissues without pathological alterations. Large amounts of virus, demonstrated by presence of viral antigen in epithelial cells of the oral cavity and in keratinocytes of the skin, may be a source of infection for natural and spill-over hosts. Genetic analyses reflected a close relationship of the BDV sequences obtained from the shrews with the regional BDV cluster. At one location a high percentage of BDV-positive shrews was identified in four consecutive years, which points towards a self-sustaining infection cycle in bicolored white-toothed shrews. Analyses of behavioral and population features of this shrew species revealed that the bicolored white-toothed shrew may indeed play an important role as an indigenous host of BDV. PMID:24699636

  17. Isolation and characterization of a novel arenavirus harbored by Rodents and Shrews in Zhejiang province, China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Kun; Lin, Xian-Dan; Wang, Wen; Shi, Mang; Guo, Wen-Ping; Zhang, Xiao-He; Xing, Jian-Guang; and others

    2015-02-15

    To determine the biodiversity of arenaviruses in China, we captured and screened rodents and shrews in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, a locality where hemorrhagic fever diseases are endemic in humans. Accordingly, arenaviruses were detected in 42 of 351 rodents from eight species, and in 12 of 272 Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus), by RT-PCR targeting the L segment. From these, a single arenavirus was successfully isolated in cell culture. The virion particles exhibited a typical arenavirus morphology under transmission electron microscopy. Comparison of the S and L segment sequences revealed high levels of nucleotide (>32.2% and >39.6%) and amino acid (>28.8% and >43.8%) sequence differences from known arenaviruses, suggesting that it represents a novel arenavirus, which we designated Wenzhou virus (WENV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all WENV strains harbored by both rodents and Asian house shrews formed a distinct lineage most closely related to Old World arenaviruses. - Highlights: • A novel arenavirus (Wenzhou virus) was identified in Zhejiang province, China. • The virus is highly circulating in five species of rats and one species of shrews • More efforts are needed to infer whether it is pathogenic to humans or not.

  18. Chronic clomipramine treatment reverses core symptom of depression in subordinate tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Chai, Anping; Zhou, Qixin; Lv, Longbao; Wang, Liping; Yang, Yuexiong; Xu, Lin

    2013-01-01

    Chronic stress is the major cause of clinical depression. The behavioral signs of depression, including anhedonia, learning and memory deficits, and sleep disruption, result from the damaging effects of stress hormones on specific neural pathways. The Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) is an aggressive non-human primate with a hierarchical social structure that has become a well-established model of the behavioral, endocrine, and neurobiological changes associated with stress-induced depression. The tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine treats many of the core symptoms of depression in humans. To further test the validity of the tree shrew model of depression, we examined the effects of clomipramine on depression-like behaviors and physiological stress responses induced by social defeat in subordinate tree shrews. Social defeat led to weight loss, anhedonia (as measured by sucrose preference), unstable fluctuations in locomotor activity, sustained urinary cortisol elevation, irregular cortisol rhythms, and deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Clomipramine ameliorated anhedonia and irregular locomotor activity, and partially rescued the irregular cortisol rhythm. In contrast, weight loss increased, cortisol levels were even higher, and in vitro LTP was still impaired in the clomipramine treatment group. These results demonstrate the unique advantage of the tree shrew social defeat model of depression. PMID:24312510

  19. Ultrastructure of the stomach of the small short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda c.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C J; Keith, J C

    1985-07-01

    The normal gastric ultrastructure has been characterized for the small short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda c., which is a primitive eutherian and one of the smallest living mammals with extraordinarily high metabolic rate. In general the cell types present and cytologic character of gastric mucosal, submucosal, and muscularis cells were similar to that reported for other more advanced small mammalian species. Chief cells, endocrine cells, and lamina proprial elements were morphologically identical to their counterpart in rats, ferrets and other small carnivores. Distinctive cytologic features in this species of shrew included the scanty monolayer or small number of mucous granules in the simple columnar surface epithelial cells of the mucosa, and the thin elongated shape of their microvilli. Dense bodies were absent in the parietal cell mitochondria of the shrew, though usually abundant in other mammalian parietal cells. Our data indicate few morphologic specializations in the shrew stomach which can be correlated with their high rate of food assimilation and metabolic demands, though future studies of mucosal biochemistry and lower gut morphology may reveal such adaptations. PMID:4020920

  20. Olfactory mucosa ultrastructure in the short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda and Blarina carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Byrum, L J; Carson, K A; Rose, R K

    2001-12-01

    The olfactory mucosae of the northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, and the southern short-tailed shrew, Blarina carolinensis, were examined by light and electron microscopy. A well-developed olfactory epithelium was observed that included all of the cells necessary to provide for a sensitive olfactory system, suggesting that olfaction plays a major role in the behavior of these animals. There were no significant differences between the olfactory mucosae of these two species. The general features of the olfactory epithelium in these shrews were similar to those reported for several other macrosmatic mammals. A new type of supporting cell, called the light supporting cell, was observed in these shrews. The light supporting cell cytoplasm exhibited very little staining by light microscopy and had low electron density by transmission electron microscopy compared to that of the more common dark supporting cell. The light supporting cell had a convex apical surface with microvilli and lacked the large amounts of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) typical of the apical cytoplasm of the dark supporting cell. In the lamina propria of the mucosa, the Bowman's glands consisted of two cell types, one with electron-lucent, alcian blue-positive granules, and the other with electron-dense PAS-positive granules. The cell with electron-lucent granules contained large amounts of SER and small clumps of rough ER. The cells with electron-dense granules had large amounts of RER and little SER. PMID:12221510

  1. Phenotypic flexibility in the energetic strategy of the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Flávio G; Tapisso, Joaquim T; Monarca, Rita I; Cerveira, Ana M; Mathias, Maria L

    2016-02-01

    The balance between energetic acquisition and expenditure depends on the amount of energy allocated to biological functions such as thermoregulation, growth, reproduction and behavior. Ambient temperature has a profound effect on this balance, with species inhabiting colder climates often needing to invest more energy in thermoregulation to maintain body temperature. This leads to local behavioral and physiological adaptations that increase energetic efficiency. In this study, we investigated the role of activity, behavior and thermogenic capacity in the ability of the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula, to cope with seasonal changes. Individuals were captured in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a Mediterranean region, and separated into three experimental groups: a control group, acclimated to a 12L:12D photoperiod and temperature of 18-20°C; a winter group, acclimatized to natural winter fluctuations of light and temperature; and a summer group, acclimatized to natural summer fluctuations of light and temperature. No differences were found in resting metabolic rate and nonshivering thermogenesis between the three groups. However, winter shrews significantly reduced their activity, particularly at night, compared to the control and summer groups. Differences in torpor use were also found between groups, with winter shrews entering torpor more frequently and during shorter periods of time than summer and control shrews. Our results indicate C. russula from Sintra relies on the flexibility of energy saving mechanisms, namely daily activity level and torpor use, to cope with seasonal changes in a Mediterranean climate, rather than mechanisms involving body heat production. PMID:26857972

  2. The neurobiology and behavior of the American water shrew (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C

    2013-06-01

    American water shrews (Sorex palustris) are aggressive predators that dive into streams and ponds to find prey at night. They do not use eyesight for capturing fish or for discriminating shapes. Instead they make use of vibrissae to detect and attack water movements generated by active prey and to detect the form of stationary prey. Tactile investigations are supplemented with underwater sniffing. This remarkable behavior consists of exhalation of air bubbles that spread onto objects and are then re-inhaled. Recordings for ultrasound both above and below water provide no evidence for echolocation or sonar, and presentation of electric fields and anatomical investigations provide no evidence for electroreception. Counts of myelinated fibers show by far the largest volume of sensory information comes from the trigeminal nerve compared to optic and cochlear nerves. This is in turn reflected in the organization of the water shrew's neocortex, which contains two large somatosensory areas and much smaller visual and auditory areas. The shrew's small brain with few cortical areas may allow exceptional speed in processing sensory information and producing motor output. Water shrews can accurately attack the source of a water disturbance in only 50 ms, perhaps outpacing any other mammalian predator. PMID:23397460

  3. Water balance and kidney function in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva).

    PubMed

    Goldstein, David L; Newland, Stacy

    2004-09-01

    We assessed renal function in least shrews (Cryptotis parva, body mass 4.7 g) within the context of overall water balance. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of shrews with unlimited food and water was 2.4 ml/h, about 60% of the rate predicted from body mass. Of this, about 3% (0.075 ml/h) was excreted as urine with an osmolality of 1944 mmol/kg, 5.5 times plasma osmolality. Shrews had a total water turnover (5 ml/day) two to three times higher than expected from allometry for a small mammal of this size. Water influx was partitioned among preformed water from food (65%), drinking (16%), and metabolic water (20%). Water efflux was divided among urine flow (35%), fecal water loss (estimated as 23%), and evaporation (by difference, 42%). Least shrews had a high water turnover rate and relatively high urine flow rate (UFR); this likely reflects a combination of factors, including high metabolism, active lifestyle, and wet diet. PMID:15471683

  4. Nerve growth factor promotes in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells from tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Liu-lin; Chen, Zhi-wei; Wang, Ting-hua

    2016-01-01

    Neural stem cells promote neuronal regeneration and repair of brain tissue after injury, but have limited resources and proliferative ability in vivo. We hypothesized that nerve growth factor would promote in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells derived from the tree shrews, a primate-like mammal that has been proposed as an alternative to primates in biomedical translational research. We cultured neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews at embryonic day 38, and added nerve growth factor (100 μg/L) to the culture medium. Neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews cultured without nerve growth factor were used as controls. After 3 days, fluorescence microscopy after DAPI and nestin staining revealed that the number of neurospheres and DAPI/nestin-positive cells was markedly greater in the nerve growth factor-treated cells than in control cells. These findings demonstrate that nerve growth factor promotes the proliferation of neural stem cells derived from tree shrews. PMID:27212919

  5. High activity of the stress promoter contributes to susceptibility to stress in the tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hui; Sun, Yun-Jun; Lv, Yan-Hong; Ni, Rong-Jun; Shu, Yu-Mian; Feng, Xiu-Yu; Wang, Yu; Shan, Qing-Hong; Zu, Ya-Nan; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-01-01

    Stress is increasingly present in everyday life in our fast-paced society and involved in the pathogenesis of many psychiatric diseases. Corticotrophin-releasing-hormone (CRH) plays a pivotal role in regulating the stress responses. The tree shrews are highly vulnerable to stress which makes them the promising animal models for studying stress responses. However, the mechanisms underlying their high stress-susceptibility remained unknown. Here we confirmed that cortisol was the dominate corticosteroid in tree shrew and was significantly increased after acute stress. Our study showed that the function of tree shrew CRH - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was nearly identical to human that contributed little to their hyper-responsiveness to stress. Using CRH transcriptional regulation analysis we discovered a peculiar active glucocorticoid receptor response element (aGRE) site within the tree shrew CRH promoter, which continued to recruit co-activators including SRC-1 (steroid receptor co-activator-1) to promote CRH transcription under basal or forskolin/dexamethasone treatment conditions. Basal CRH mRNA increased when the aGRE was knocked into the CRH promoter in human HeLa cells using CAS9/CRISPR. The aGRE functioned critically to form the "Stress promoter" that contributed to the higher CRH expression and susceptibility to stress. These findings implicated novel molecular bases of the stress-related diseases in specific populations. PMID:27125313

  6. "The Taming of the Shrew." A Play Packet To Accompany "Elementary, My Dear Shakespeare."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engen, Barbara; Campbell, Joy

    Intended for use by elementary school teachers as a supplement to the book, "Elementary, My Dear Shakespeare," or for use by itself to produce one Shakespeare play, this play packet contains ready-to-reproduce materials for the production of "The Taming of the Shrew." Materials include: staging suggestions for scenery, props, lighting, and…

  7. Nerve growth factor promotes in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells from tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Liu-Lin; Chen, Zhi-Wei; Wang, Ting-Hua

    2016-04-01

    Neural stem cells promote neuronal regeneration and repair of brain tissue after injury, but have limited resources and proliferative ability in vivo. We hypothesized that nerve growth factor would promote in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells derived from the tree shrews, a primate-like mammal that has been proposed as an alternative to primates in biomedical translational research. We cultured neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews at embryonic day 38, and added nerve growth factor (100 μg/L) to the culture medium. Neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews cultured without nerve growth factor were used as controls. After 3 days, fluorescence microscopy after DAPI and nestin staining revealed that the number of neurospheres and DAPI/nestin-positive cells was markedly greater in the nerve growth factor-treated cells than in control cells. These findings demonstrate that nerve growth factor promotes the proliferation of neural stem cells derived from tree shrews. PMID:27212919

  8. Multilocus phylogeography and systematic revision of North American water shrews (genus: Sorex)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Panter, Nicholas; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Nagorsen, David W.

    2014-01-01

    North American water shrews, which have traditionally included Sorex alaskanus, S. bendirii, and S. palustris, are widely distributed through Nearctic boreal forests and adapted for life in semiaquatic environments. Molecular mitochondrial signatures for these species have recorded an evolutionary history with variable levels of regional divergence, suggesting a strong role of Quaternary environmental change in speciation processes. We expanded molecular analyses, including more-comprehensive rangewide sampling of specimens representing North American water shrew taxa, except S. alaskanus, and sequencing of 4 independent loci from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. We investigated relative divergence of insular populations along the North Pacific Coast, and newly recognized diversity from southwestern montane locations, potentially representing refugial isolates. Congruent independent genealogies, lack of definitive evidence for contemporary gene flow, and high support from coalescent species trees indicated differentiation of 4 major geographic lineages over multiple glacial cycles of the late Quaternary, similar to a growing number of boreal taxa. Limited divergence of insular populations suggested colonization following the last glacial. Characterization of southwestern montane diversity will require further sampling but divergence over multiple loci is indicative of a relictual sky-island fauna. We have reviewed and revised North American water shrew taxonomy including the recognition of 3 species within what was previously known as S. palustris. The possibility of gene flow between most distantly related North American water shrew lineages coupled with unresolved early diversification of this group and other sibling species reflects a complex but potentially productive system for investigating speciation processes.

  9. High activity of the stress promoter contributes to susceptibility to stress in the tree shrew

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Hui; Sun, Yun-Jun; Lv, Yan-Hong; Ni, Rong-Jun; Shu, Yu-Mian; Feng, Xiu-Yu; Wang, Yu; Shan, Qing-Hong; Zu, Ya-Nan; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-01-01

    Stress is increasingly present in everyday life in our fast-paced society and involved in the pathogenesis of many psychiatric diseases. Corticotrophin-releasing-hormone (CRH) plays a pivotal role in regulating the stress responses. The tree shrews are highly vulnerable to stress which makes them the promising animal models for studying stress responses. However, the mechanisms underlying their high stress-susceptibility remained unknown. Here we confirmed that cortisol was the dominate corticosteroid in tree shrew and was significantly increased after acute stress. Our study showed that the function of tree shrew CRH - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was nearly identical to human that contributed little to their hyper-responsiveness to stress. Using CRH transcriptional regulation analysis we discovered a peculiar active glucocorticoid receptor response element (aGRE) site within the tree shrew CRH promoter, which continued to recruit co-activators including SRC-1 (steroid receptor co-activator-1) to promote CRH transcription under basal or forskolin/dexamethasone treatment conditions. Basal CRH mRNA increased when the aGRE was knocked into the CRH promoter in human HeLa cells using CAS9/CRISPR. The aGRE functioned critically to form the “Stress promoter” that contributed to the higher CRH expression and susceptibility to stress. These findings implicated novel molecular bases of the stress-related diseases in specific populations. PMID:27125313

  10. Generation and characterization of a breast carcinoma model by PyMT overexpression in mammary epithelial cells of tree shrew, an animal close to primates in evolution.

    PubMed

    Ge, Guang-Zhe; Xia, Hou-Jun; He, Bao-Li; Zhang, Hai-Lin; Liu, Wen-Jing; Shao, Ming; Wang, Chun-Yan; Xiao, Ji; Ge, Fei; Li, Fu-Bing; Li, Yi; Chen, Ceshi

    2016-02-01

    The tree shrew is becoming an attractive experimental animal model for human breast cancer owing to a closer relationship to primates/humans than rodents. Tree shrews are superior to classical primates because tree shrew are easier to manipulate, maintain and propagate. It is required to establish a high-efficiency tree shrew breast cancer model for etiological research and drug assessment. Our previous studies suggest that 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) induce breast tumors in tree shrews with a low frequency (<50%) and long latency (∼ 7-month), making these methods less than ideal. We induced mammary tumors in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) by injection of lentivirus expressing the PyMT oncogene into mammary ducts of 22 animals. Most tree shrews developed mammary tumors with a latency of about three weeks, and by 7 weeks all injected tree shrews had developed mammary tumors. Among these, papillary carcinoma is the predominant tumor type. One case showed lymph node and lung metastasis. Interestingly, the expression levels of phosphorylated AKT, ERK and STAT3 were elevated in 41-68% of PyMT-induced mammary tumors, but not all tumors. Finally, we observed that the growth of PyMT-induced tree shrew mammary tumors was significantly inhibited by Cisplatin and Epidoxorubicin. PyMT-induced tree shrew mammary tumor model may be suitable for further breast cancer research and drug development, due to its high efficiency and short latency. PMID:26296387

  11. Tree shrew as a new animal model for the study of lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    YE, LIANHUA; HE, MENG; HUANG, YUNCHAO; ZHAO, GUANGQIANG; LEI, YUJIE; ZHOU, YONGCHUN; CHEN, XIAOBO

    2016-01-01

    Animal models play a key role in identifying treatments for various types of cancer, including lung cancer. The aim of the present study was to develop a new animal model for lung cancer induction using tree shrews from the Yunnan region in China. Tree shrews are suitable for a full simulation of human disease because their structure, function and metabolism are adequately close to human. This animal may offer a new experimental animal model to be used in the study of lung cancer. In the present study, 80 healthy tree shrews were distributed in experimental and control groups. Animals in the experimental group received different concentrations of iodized oil suspension of 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and diethylnitrosamine (DEN) while animals in the control groups received saline or lipiodol solvent via endotracheal instillation. In the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th weeks the body weights of the animals were measured and chest X-ray examinations were conducted. Pathological studies on the lung tissues were also performed and the pathological changes occurring in bronchial epithelium in all the groups were examined. Animals in the experimental group gradually lost their body weight. For tree shrews in the blank control and solvent control groups the survival rates were 100 and 80%, respectively while the survival rate for the experimental group was 0%. Results from the chest X-ray conducted on animals in the blank control and solvent control groups revealed no obvious abnormalities while in the experimental group high-density shadow spots within the perfusion sites were observed. Pathological studies performed on these high-density areas confirmed changes in the bronchial epithelium. In the experimental groups we also detected bronchial epithelial atypical hyperplasia, and apparent changes in carcinoma in situ. In conclusion, lung cancer was successfully induced in tree shrews by a one-time endotracheal introduction of iodized oil suspension of 3-MC and DEN. PMID

  12. The crouching of the shrew: Mechanical consequences of limb posture in small mammals

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Corinne J.; Hermanson, John W.

    2016-01-01

    An important trend in the early evolution of mammals was the shift from a sprawling stance, whereby the legs are held in a more abducted position, to a parasagittal one, in which the legs extend more downward. After that transition, many mammals shifted from a crouching stance to a more upright one. It is hypothesized that one consequence of these transitions was a decrease in the total mechanical power required for locomotion, because side-to-side accelerations of the body have become smaller, and thus less costly with changes in limb orientation. To test this hypothesis we compared the kinetics of locomotion in two mammals of body size close to those of early mammals (< 40 g), both with parasagittally oriented limbs: a crouching shrew (Blarina brevicauda; 5 animals, 17 trials) and a more upright vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus; 4 animals, 22 trials). As predicted, voles used less mechanical power per unit body mass to perform steady locomotion than shrews did (P = 0.03). However, while lateral forces were indeed smaller in voles (15.6 ± 2.0% body weight) than in shrews (26.4 ± 10.9%; P = 0.046), the power used to move the body from side-to-side was negligible, making up less than 5% of total power in both shrews and voles. The most power consumed for both species was that used to accelerate the body in the direction of travel, and this was much larger for shrews than for voles (P = 0.01). We conclude that side-to-side accelerations are negligible for small mammals–whether crouching or more upright–compared to their sprawling ancestors, and that a more upright posture further decreases the cost of locomotion compared to crouching by helping to maintain the body’s momentum in the direction of travel. PMID:27413633

  13. The crouching of the shrew: Mechanical consequences of limb posture in small mammals.

    PubMed

    Riskin, Daniel K; Kendall, Corinne J; Hermanson, John W

    2016-01-01

    An important trend in the early evolution of mammals was the shift from a sprawling stance, whereby the legs are held in a more abducted position, to a parasagittal one, in which the legs extend more downward. After that transition, many mammals shifted from a crouching stance to a more upright one. It is hypothesized that one consequence of these transitions was a decrease in the total mechanical power required for locomotion, because side-to-side accelerations of the body have become smaller, and thus less costly with changes in limb orientation. To test this hypothesis we compared the kinetics of locomotion in two mammals of body size close to those of early mammals (< 40 g), both with parasagittally oriented limbs: a crouching shrew (Blarina brevicauda; 5 animals, 17 trials) and a more upright vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus; 4 animals, 22 trials). As predicted, voles used less mechanical power per unit body mass to perform steady locomotion than shrews did (P = 0.03). However, while lateral forces were indeed smaller in voles (15.6 ± 2.0% body weight) than in shrews (26.4 ± 10.9%; P = 0.046), the power used to move the body from side-to-side was negligible, making up less than 5% of total power in both shrews and voles. The most power consumed for both species was that used to accelerate the body in the direction of travel, and this was much larger for shrews than for voles (P = 0.01). We conclude that side-to-side accelerations are negligible for small mammals-whether crouching or more upright-compared to their sprawling ancestors, and that a more upright posture further decreases the cost of locomotion compared to crouching by helping to maintain the body's momentum in the direction of travel. PMID:27413633

  14. Genetic Diversity of Thottapalayam Virus, a Hantavirus Harbored by the Asian House Shrew (Suncus murinus) in Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae Ji; Kosoy, Michael Y.; Shrestha, Sanjaya K.; Shrestha, Mrigendra P.; Pavlin, Julie A.; Gibbons, Robert V.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21896819

  15. Molecular Detection and Phylogenetic Characteristics of Herpesviruses in Rectal Swab Samples from Rodents and Shrews in Southern China.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xue-Yan; Qiu, Min; Ke, Xue-Mei; Zhou, Wen; Guan, Wei-Jie; Chen, Shao-Wei; Li, Jin-Ming; Huo, Shu-Ting; Chen, Hui-Fang; Jiang, Li-Na; Zhong, Xue-Shan; Xiong, Yi-Quan; Ma, Shu-Juan; Ge, Jing; Chen, Qing

    2016-07-01

    Herpesviruses (HVs) can cause asymptomatic, benign, or fatal infections in a variety of animal species. However, the prevalence and phylogenetic characteristics of HVs in rodents and shrews in China are poorly understood. We thus performed a molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of rat and shrew HVs in southern China between 2012 and 2014. Seventeen (6.7%) of 255 rectal swab specimens from rats and six (6.7%) of 90 rectal swab specimens from shrews tested positive for HVs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that rodent and shrew HVs detected in this study were species specific, clustering in the Betaherpesvirinae and Gammaherpesvirinae clade. Novel Macavirus was detected in Rattus norvegicus (RN/13YX52/24 and RN/14HC50) and gammaherpesviruses in Suncus murinus (SM/14BY7/16/20/97/99/106).These findings have contributed to our understanding of the taxonomy, phylogeny, and biology of HVs. PMID:27171015

  16. Isolation and identification of symbiotic bacteria from the skin, mouth, and rectum of wild and captive tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    LI, Gui; LAI, Ren; DUAN, Gang; LIU, Long-Bao; ZHANG, Zhi-Ye; LIU, Huang; XIANG, Xun

    2014-01-01

    Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts’ health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts. PMID:25465085

  17. Isolation and identification of symbiotic bacteria from the skin, mouth, and rectum of wild and captive tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui; Lai, Ren; Duan, Gang; Lyu, Long-Bao; Zhang, Zhi-Ye; Liu, Huang; Xiang, Xun

    2014-11-18

    Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts' health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts. PMID:25465085

  18. Vocal development during postnatal growth and ear morphology in a shrew that generates seismic vibrations, Diplomesodon pulchellum.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Volodin, Ilya A; Mason, Matthew J; Frey, Roland; Fritsch, Guido; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V

    2015-09-01

    The ability of adult and subadult piebald shrews (Diplomesodon pulchellum) to produce 160Hz seismic waves is potentially reflected in their vocal ontogeny and ear morphology. In this study, the ontogeny of call variables and body traits was examined in 11 litters of piebald shrews, in two-day intervals from birth to 22 days (subadult), and ear structure was investigated in two specimens using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Across ages, the call fundamental frequency (f0) was stable in squeaks and clicks and increased steadily in screeches, representing an unusual, non-descending ontogenetic pathway of f0. The rate of the deep sinusoidal modulation (pulse rate) of screeches increased from 75Hz at 3-4 days to 138Hz at 21-22 days, probably relating to ontogenetic changes in contraction rates of the same muscles which are responsible for generating seismic vibrations. The ear reconstructions revealed that the morphologies of the middle and inner ears of the piebald shrew are very similar to those of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens), which are not known to produce seismic signals. These results suggest that piebald shrews use a mechanism other than hearing for perceiving seismic vibrations. PMID:26112702

  19. Monochoroterpes, a replacement name for Monophyllus Kluge, 2012 (Insecta: Ephemeroptera), nec Monophyllus Leach, 1821 (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Kluge, Nikita J; Jacobus, Luke M

    2015-01-01

    The genus group name Monophyllus Kluge, 2012 was established to include a single species of the mayfly family Leptophlebiidae (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) from Hainan Island, China, Choroterpes (Monophyllus) monophyllus Kluge, 2012. Unfortunately, this name is preoccupied by Monophyllus Leach, 1821, a genus of Phyllostomidae bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Antilles (type species: M. redmani Leach, 1821: 76). Therefore, we propose a replacement name for the mayfly genus group as follows. PMID:25947682

  20. Binding sites of atrial natriuretic peptide in tree shrew adrenal gland

    SciTech Connect

    Fuchs, E.; Shigematsu, K.; Saavedra, J.M.

    1986-09-01

    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.

  1. Divergent ancestral lineages of newfound hantaviruses harbored by phylogenetically related crocidurine shrew species in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Satoru; Gu, Se Hun; Baek, Luck Ju; Tabara, Kenji; Bennett, Shannon; Oh, Hong-Shik; Takada, Nobuhiro; Kang, Hae Ji; Tanaka-Taya, Keiko; Morikawa, Shigeru; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2012-01-01

    Spurred by the recent isolation of a novel hantavirus, named Imjin virus (MJNV), from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), targeted trapping was conducted for the phylogenetically related Asian lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura shantungensis). Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the S, M and L segments of a newfound hantavirus, designated Jeju virus (JJUV), indicated remarkably low nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity with MJNV. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed divergent ancestral lineages for JJUV and MJNV, despite the close phylogenetic relationship of their reservoir soricid hosts. Also, no evidence of host switching was apparent in tanglegrams, generated by TreeMap 2.0β. PMID:22230701

  2. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Wu, Hualin; Wu, Shengyang; Zhang, Zhongwen; Wang, Bo; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) was determined using long PCR. The genome was 17,444 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 transfer RNA genes, 1 origin of L strand replication and 1 control region. The overall base composition of the heavy strand is A (32.9%), C (24.8%), T (29.0%), and G (13.3%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which is most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of tundra shrew. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees. The three Sorex species formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations. PMID:25812054

  3. Gross anatomical study of the sympathetic cardiac nerves in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Ai; Tanaka, Shigenori; Miyamoto, Kensaku; Yi, Shuang-Qin; Nakatani, Toshio

    2007-05-01

    The sympathetic cardiac nerves originating from the cervical and upper thoracic sympathetic ganglia in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) were examined using macroscopic and whole-mount immunohistochemical methods. Based on the results, the nerves were macroscopically classified into the following three groups: nerves innervating the cervical sympathetic ganglia mainly to the arterial porta of the heart; nerves supplying the stellate and thoracic sympathetic ganglia at the level of T2-T5 or T6 for both the arterial and venous portae of the heart; and nerves innervating the thoracic sympathetic ganglia at the level of T4-T9 to the esophagus and lung and then the heart via the blood vessels within the mediastinal pleura. These findings in the house musk shrew suggest a possible primitive morphological pattern of the cervical and thoracic sympathetic nervous system that may be related to those in other mammals, including humans. PMID:17393537

  4. High density lipoproteins and prevention of experimental atherosclerosis with special reference to tree shrews.

    PubMed

    She, M P; Xia, R Y; Ran, B F; Wong, Z L

    1990-01-01

    According to data obtained from epidemiological and experimental survey, serum HDL level is known to be correlated conversely with the incidence of atherosclerosis. Experimental data collected in this article explained part of its mechanism, which is described in four parts as follows: 1. The result of 3 successive experiments on experimental atherosclerosis in tree shrews (total of 96 animals available including 40 as the controls) showed that the serum HDL level had been kept persistantly to 69-88% of the total serum lipoproteins even after a high cholesterol intake for 32 weeks. The incidence of atheromatous lesions developed was only 0-9%, but the incidence of gall stone was very high, 48-84% by gross examination by the end of these experiments. 2. HDL are also capable of (1) promotion of monocyte migration activity; (2) enhancement of cholesterol clearance rate of aortic smooth muscle cells originally isolated from either rabbits or tree shrews; (3) inhibition of 20% of LDL degradation but with no inhibitory effect obtained on Ac-LDL degradation in the endothelial cells; (4) presence of specific binding sites for apo E free HDL on the surface of aortic smooth muscle cells from either rabbits or tree shrews which recognizes apo A1 as a ligand. 3. Data from 2 successive experiments in rabbits showed that HDL lipoproteins (mainly apo A1) possess an inhibitory effect on the development of atheromatous plaques, but not a very strong one. 4. The colesterol clearance effect of smooth muscle cells was markedly enhanced by apo A1/phospholipid liposomes (the apo A1 used was isolated from either rabbit's or tree shrew's serum) in vitro. PMID:2123379

  5. Two bacterial infection models in tree shrew for evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Sheng-An; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2012-02-01

    Animal models are essential for the development of new anti-infectious drugs. Although some bacterial infection models have been established in rodents, small primate models are rare. Here, we report on two bacterial infection models established in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis). A burnt skin infection model was induced by dropping 5×10(6) CFU of Staphylococcus aureus on the surface of a wound after a third degree burn. This dose of S. aureus caused persistent infection for 7 days and obvious inflammatory response was observed 4 days after inoculation. A Dacron graft infection model, 2×10(6) CFU of Pseudomonas aeruginosa also caused persistent infection for 6 days, with large amounts of pus observed 3 days after inoculation. These models were used to evaluate the efficacy of levofloxacin (LEV) and cefoperazone (CPZ), which reduced the viable bacteria in skin to 4log10 and 5log10 CFU/100 mg tissue, respectively. The number of bacteria in graft was significantly reduced by 4log10 CFU/mL treatment compared to the untreated group (P<0.05). These results suggest that two bacterial infection models were successfully established in tree shrew using P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. In addition, tree shrew was susceptible to P. aeruginosa and S. aureus, thus making it an ideal bacterial infection animal model for the evaluation of new antimicrobials. PMID:22345001

  6. How did pygmy shrews colonize Ireland? Clues from a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Mascheretti, Silvia; Rogatcheva, Margarita B; Gündüz, Islam; Fredga, Karl; Searle, Jeremy B

    2003-01-01

    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. PMID:12908980

  7. Cardiac ultrastructure and electrocardiogram of the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C J; Keith, J C

    1993-10-01

    The smaller species of shrews have been of considerable interest to scientists because of their high rate of metabolism, structure-functional and behavioral adaptations to support their energy demands. The present data are the first detailed cardiac ultrastructural findings and electrocardiographic (ECG) data of adult and immature small short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda. The heart is morphologically elongated and heart rates in excess of 900 b/min were observed, but ECG components and pattern are non-distinctive for this species. Ultrastructurally, the sarcomeres, tubular and sarcotubular systems and Purkinje cells resemble closely those observed in larger, less active mammals. Several distinctive features resembling those seen in some other shrews or hummingbirds exist, including reduced quantities of myocyte glycogen, irregularly shaped and tightly packed mitochondria, increased neural and vascular elements in the myocardium, and small size and unusual dispersion of atrial specific granules. These morphologic findings suggest that the remarkable physiologic performance of the heart of Blarina brevicauda is supported by a combination of macroscopic, histologic and cellular adaptations. PMID:8269404

  8. Pulmonary appendix of the short-tailed shrew (Blarina): a unique immunologic organ.

    PubMed

    Parke, Wesley Wilkin

    2002-03-01

    The right bronchus of the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, terminates in a nonrespiratory pulmonary appendix (PA) containing two bronchial extensions. The experimentally demonstrated ability of these structures to collect and peristaltically expel aspirated material was initially assumed to be a sufficient reason for their developmental persistence, but as bronchus associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) became a subject of immunologic interest in other species, a possible immunologic role for the concentrations of BALT observed in the shrew PA were investigated. As the BALT of the PA contained many well-differentiated plasma cells and numerous particle-containing macrophages, 6-mu paraffin sections were treated with an immunoperoxidase avidin-biotin preparation that chromogenically identified alpha chains of IgA in many of the PA plasma cells and their associated luminal secretions. Also, vascular injections revealed that the PA had a complex relationship with anastomotic sinusoids connecting the bronchial and pulmonary circulation systems, and scanning electron microscopy showed that the luminal epithelial surfaces of the PA were virtually identical to the scattered BALT aggregates in the bronchi of other animals. It thus appeared that these unique structures in the shrew are morphologically and topographically suited to receive aspirated antigens that induce secretory IgA production, while possibly providing other humoral and cellular immunologic products to the general circulation. PMID:11870601

  9. Tree shrew lavatories: a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Charles M; Bauer, Ulrike; Lee, Ch'ien C; Tuen, Andrew A; Rembold, Katja; Moran, Jonathan A

    2009-10-23

    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. PMID:19515656

  10. Tree shrew lavatories: a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Charles M.; Bauer, Ulrike; Lee, Ch'ien C.; Tuen, Andrew A.; Rembold, Katja; Moran, Jonathan A.

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19515656

  11. Acoustic features to arousal and identity in disturbance calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri).

    PubMed

    Schehka, Simone; Zimmermann, Elke

    2009-11-01

    Across mammalian species, comparable morphological and physiological constraints in the production of airborne vocalisations are suggested to lead to commonalities in the vocal conveyance of acoustic features to specific attributes of callers, such as arousal and individual identity. To explore this hypothesis we examined intra- and interindividual acoustic variation in chatter calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri). The calls were induced experimentally by a disturbance paradigm and related to two defined arousal states of a subject. The arousal state of an animal was primarily operationalised by the habituation of the subject to a new environment and additionally determined by behavioural indicators of stress in tree shrews (tail-position and piloerection). We investigated whether the arousal state and indexical features of the caller, namely individual identity and sex, are conveyed acoustically. Frame-by-frame videographic and multiparametric sound analyses revealed that arousal and identity, but not sex of a caller reliably predicted spectral-temporal variation in sound structure. Furthermore, there was no effect of age or body weight on individual-specific acoustic features. Similar results in another call type of tree shrews and comparable findings in other mammalian lineages provide evidence that comparable physiological and morphological constraints in the production of airborne vocalisations across mammals lead to commonalities in acoustic features conveying arousal and identity, respectively. PMID:19445967

  12. Daily metabolic patterns of short-tailed shrews (Blarina) in three natural seasonal temperature regimes

    SciTech Connect

    Randolph, J.C.

    1980-01-01

    An automatic, continuous-flow gas analysis system was used to determine daily metabolic patterns of individual short-tailed shrews (Blarina) in three natural seasonal temperature regimes in eastern Tennessee. Average daily metabolic rates (ADMR) were lowest in the summer (0.426 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/), approximately doubled under winter conditions (0.810 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/) but were the highest under fall conditions (1.110 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/) possibly due to incomplete acclimatization of the shrews. The shape of the daily metabolic pattern for Blarina does not change seasonally; however, summer metabolic rates are the least variable and are lower than most values previously reported in the literature. Polynomial multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relative influence of body mass, ambient temperature, and time of day on metabolic rates; only ambient temperature was significant in predicting metabolic rates of this shrew. Average daily metabolic rates of Blarina observed under summer and winter conditions further substantiate the general predictive equations of metabolic rates formulated for small mammals by French et al. (1976). Comparisons of metabolic patterns of Blarina with those of Peromyscus leucopus observed under nearly identical conditions indicate similar rates with strong seasonal influences.

  13. [Some physiological and biochemical indicators of underyearling Laxman's shrews (Sorex cecutiens Laxmann) and even-toothed shrews (Sorex isodon Turov) under conditions of different population densities].

    PubMed

    Kiselev, S V; Lazutkin, A N; Yamborko, A V

    2013-01-01

    Based on the results of a study conducted in 2006-2010 in the Buyunda River basin (a feeder of the Kolyma River), the influence of the population density of common shrews (Sorex) on some of the physiological and biochemical parameters (glycogen and lipids in the liver, the relative weight of the spleen, the white and brown adipose tissue cellularity of bone and brain tissue) was investigated. The content of energy reserve substances was correlated with the number of animals (fat deposits had a negative correlation; the glycogen content in the liver had a direct correlation). For the rest of the physiological-biochemical parameters, no significant correlation with the population density was detected, although for the content of brown fat and cellularity of bone marrow tissue in Sorex isodon, as well as the relative weight of the spleen in both species of shrews, a trend was observed. We suggest that the identified physiological changes indicate irregular feeding of animals in years with higher population densities. PMID:24459854

  14. Establishment of the Tree Shrew as an Alcohol-Induced Fatty Liver Model for the Study of Alcoholic Liver Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Huijie; Jia, Kun; He, Jun; Shi, Changzheng; Fang, Meixia; Song, Linliang; Zhang, Pu; Zhao, Yue; Fu, Jiangnan; Li, Shoujun

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver diseases (ALDs) is not clear. As a result, there is no effective treatment for ALDs. One limitation is the lack of a suitable animal model for use in studying ALDs. The tree shrew is a lower primate animal, characterized by a high-alcohol diet. This work aimed to establish a fatty liver model using tree shrews and to assess the animals’ suitability for the study of ALDs. Tree shrews were treated with alcohol solutions (10% and 20%) for two weeks. Hemophysiology, blood alcohol concentrations (BACs), oxidative stress factors, alcohol metabolic enzymes and hepatic pathology were checked and assayed with an automatic biochemical analyzer, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blot, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and oil red O staining, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Compared with the normal group, the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were significantly enhanced in alcohol-treated tree shrews. However, the activity of reduced glutathione hormone (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) declined. Notable changes in alcohol dehydrogenase(ADH1), aldehyde dehydrogenase(ALDH2), CYP2E1, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) and nuclear factor erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2) were observed. HE and oil red O staining showed that hepatocyte swelling, hydropic degeneration, and adipohepatic syndrome occurred in the tree shrews. Alcohol can induce fatty liver-like pathological changes and result in alterations in liver function, oxidative stress factors, alcohol metabolism enzymes and Nrf2. Therefore, the established fatty liver model of tree shrews induced by alcohol should be a promising tool for the study of ALDs. PMID:26030870

  15. Localization of dopamine receptors in the tree shrew brain using [3H]-SCH23390 and [125I]-epidepride.

    PubMed

    Mijnster, M J; Isovich, E; Flügge, G; Fuchs, E

    1999-09-11

    The tree shrew is a mammalian species, which is phylogenetically related to insectivores and primates. The aim of the present study was to investigate the distribution of dopamine receptor D1- and D2-like binding sites in the brain of this non-rodent, non-primate mammal. Using in vitro autoradiography and employing the radioligands [3H]-SCH23390 and [125I]-epidepride, dopamine receptors were mapped and quantified. Significant findings with regard to the D1-like binding pattern include the presence of a "patchy" binding in the striatum. In the cortex, D1-like binding sites were observed in both the superficial and the deep layers. In the hippocampal formation, D1-like binding sites were seen primarily in the CAI region and not in the dentate gyrus. These characteristics of the D1 pattern in the tree shrew brain are shared by cat and monkey and human brain, but not by rodent brain. Significant findings with regard to the D2-like binding pattern include the presence of D2-like binding in the claustrum. In addition, the striatum demonstrated "patchy" D2-like binding. These characteristics of the D2 pattern in the tree shrew brain are shared by cat and monkey and human brain, but not by rodent brain. On the other hand, the significant densities of D2-like binding sites in the glomerular layer of the tree shrew olfactory bulb is a finding that discriminates tree shrews from higher evolutionary species who lack such binding. Overall, the evidence coincides with the view that tree shrews are phylogenetically related to primates. PMID:10546993

  16. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection of Tree Shrews Differs from That of Mice in the Severity of Acute Infection and Viral Transcription in the Peripheral Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lihong; Li, Zhuoran; Wang, Erlin; Yang, Rui; Xiao, Yu; Han, Hongbo; Lang, Fengchao; Li, Xin; Xia, Yujie; Gao, Feng; Li, Qihan; Fraser, Nigel W.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Studies of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections of humans are limited by the use of rodent models such as mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) are small mammals indigenous to southwest Asia. At behavioral, anatomical, genomic, and evolutionary levels, tree shrews are much closer to primates than rodents are, and tree shrews are susceptible to HSV infection. Thus, we have studied herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection in the tree shrew trigeminal ganglion (TG) following ocular inoculation. In situ hybridization, PCR, and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses confirm that HSV-1 latently infects neurons of the TG. When explant cocultivation of trigeminal ganglia was performed, the virus was recovered after 5 days of cocultivation with high efficiency. Swabbing the corneas of latently infected tree shrews revealed that tree shrews shed virus spontaneously at low frequencies. However, tree shrews differ significantly from mice in the expression of key HSV-1 genes, including ICP0, ICP4, and latency-associated transcript (LAT). In acutely infected tree shrew TGs, no level of ICP4 was observed, suggesting the absence of infection or a very weak, acute infection compared to that of the mouse. Immunofluorescence staining with ICP4 monoclonal antibody, and immunohistochemistry detection by HSV-1 polyclonal antibodies, showed a lack of viral proteins in tree shrew TGs during both acute and latent phases of infection. Cultivation of supernatant from homogenized, acutely infected TGs with RS1 cells also exhibited an absence of infectious HSV-1 from tree shrew TGs. We conclude that the tree shrew has an undetectable, or a much weaker, acute infection in the TGs. Interestingly, compared to mice, tree shrew TGs express high levels of ICP0 transcript in addition to LAT during latency. However, the ICP0 transcript remained nuclear, and no ICP0 protein could be seen during the course of mouse and tree shrew TG

  17. The complete mitochondrial genome of the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata, Mammalia, Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dan; Xu, Liwen; Bu, Hongliang; Wang, Di; Xu, Chongren; Wang, Rongjiang

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata, Mammalia, Carnivora) is a circular molecule of 16 710 bp in length, containing 22 transfer RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and a control region. The features of the mitochondrial genome of the masked palm civet are similar to the other mammals. The phylogenetic analysis shows that all species from the family Viverridae cluster together, in which P. larvata exhibits the closest relationship with Genetta servalina. PMID:26403137

  18. Demographic responses of shrews to removal of coarse woody debris in a managed pine forest.

    SciTech Connect

    McCay, Timothy, S.; Komoroski, Mark, J.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  19. Effect of PAHs on MFO induction in common shrews (Crocidura russula)

    SciTech Connect

    Bosveld, A.T.C.; Bie, P. de; Weggemans, J.; Murk, A.

    1995-12-31

    PAHs are widespread environmental contaminants. Despite the relatively high turnover rates for enzymatic breakdown, PAHs have been detected in tissues from species at various trophic levels. As a consequence they have the potential to be passed on to the higher levels of the foodchain. As a model for the primary carnivores in the terrestrial foodchain the common shrew (Crocidura russula) is studied in the laboratories. The authors investigated the effect of exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) on cytochrome P450 isoenzymes in relation to the effect of a known strong inducer of the MFO system i.e. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The compounds were dissolved in oil and mixed with food. Shrews were exposed for a period of one week to BaP at concentrations equivalent to 10 or 100 mg/kg bodyweight per day (n = 3 for each dose group) and to TCDD at a concentration equivalent to 10 {micro}g/kg per day (n = 5). Controls received a diet with only the carier (oil) added. At termination of the experiment, hepatic CYP1A1 associated EROD activity was induced 20% in both the low and high dosed BaP group. In the TCDD exposed shrews EROD was induced up to 776% compared to the controls. Related MFO activities, including PROD, BROD, MROD and site specific testosterone hydroxylation are under investigation and the results will be presented. The relevance of MFO induction by PAHs and the use of these parameters as biomarkers for PAH exposure will be discussed.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Gracile shrew mole, Uropsilus gracilis (Soricomorpha: Talpidae).

    PubMed

    Tu, Feiyun; Fan, Zhenxin; Chen, Shunde; Yin, Yonghua; Li, Peng; Zhang, Xiuyue; Liu, Shaoying; Yue, Bisong

    2012-10-01

    The Gracile shrew mole (Uropsilus gracilis) belongs to the family Talpidae, which distributes in southwestern China, extending to northern Myanmar. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of U. gracilis was sequenced. It was determined to be of 16,533 bases. The nucleotide sequence data of 12 heavy-strand protein-coding genes of U. gracilis and other 12 insectivores were used for phylogenetic analysis. Phylogenetic trees were constructed by using Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods, which showed that U. gracilis was clustered together with U. soricipes, and Urotrichus should be prior to Galemys. PMID:22920311

  1. Body temperature and behavior of tree shrews and flying squirrels in a thermal gradient.

    PubMed

    Refinetti, R

    1998-02-15

    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 to be 180 degrees out of phase with the body temperature rhythm in both species. Comparison of the amplitude of the body temperature rhythm in the presence and absence of the ambient temperature gradient indicated that behavioral temperature selection reduces the amplitude of the body temperature rhythm. This provides support for the hypothesis that the homeostatic control of body temperature opposes-rather than facilitates-the circadian oscillation in body temperature. PMID:9523893

  2. Resting-Associated Vocalization Emitted by Captive Asian House Shrews (Suncus murinus): Acoustic Structure and Variability in an Unusual Mammalian Vocalization

    PubMed Central

    Schneiderová, Irena; Zouhar, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Shrews have rich vocal repertoires that include vocalizations within the human audible frequency range and ultrasonic vocalizations. Here, we recorded and analyzed in detail the acoustic structure of a vocalization with unclear functional significance that was spontaneously produced by 15 adult, captive Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus) while they were lying motionless and resting in their nests. This vocalization was usually emitted repeatedly in a long series with regular intervals. It showed some structural variability; however, the shrews most frequently emitted a tonal, low-frequency vocalization with minimal frequency modulation and a low, non-vocal click that was clearly noticeable at its beginning. There was no effect of sex, but the acoustic structure of the analyzed vocalizations differed significantly between individual shrews. The encoded individuality was low, but it cannot be excluded that this individuality would allow discrimination of family members, i.e., a male and female with their young, collectively resting in a common nest. The question remains whether the Asian house shrews indeed perceive the presence of their mates, parents or young resting in a common nest via the resting-associated vocalization and whether they use it to discriminate among their family members. Additional studies are needed to explain the possible functional significance of resting-associated vocalizations emitted by captive Asian house shrews. Our study highlights that the acoustic communication of shrews is a relatively understudied topic, particularly considering that they are highly vocal mammals. PMID:25390304

  3. Inference Based on Transitive Relation in Tree Shrews ("Tupaia belangeri") and Rats ("Rattus norvegicus") on a Spatial Discrimination Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takahashi, Makoto; Ushitani, Tomokazu; Fujita, Kazuo

    2008-01-01

    Six tree shrews and 8 rats were tested for their ability to infer transitively in a spatial discrimination task. The apparatus was a semicircular radial-arm maze with 8 arms labeled A through H. In Experiment 1, the animals were first trained in sequence on 4 discriminations to enter 1 of the paired adjacent arms, AB, BC, CD, and DE, with right…

  4. Trap geometry in three giant montane pitcher plant species from Borneo is a function of tree shrew body size.

    PubMed

    Chin, Lijin; Moran, Jonathan A; Clarke, Charles

    2010-04-01

    *Three Bornean pitcher plant species, Nepenthes lowii, N. rajah and N. macrophylla, produce modified pitchers that 'capture' tree shrew faeces for nutritional benefit. Tree shrews (Tupaia montana) feed on exudates produced by glands on the inner surfaces of the pitcher lids and defecate into the pitchers. *Here, we tested the hypothesis that pitcher geometry in these species is related to tree shrew body size by comparing the pitcher characteristics with those of five other 'typical' (arthropod-trapping) Nepenthes species. *We found that only pitchers with large orifices and lids that are concave, elongated and oriented approximately at right angles to the orifice capture faeces. The distance from the tree shrews' food source (that is, the lid nectar glands) to the front of the pitcher orifice precisely matches the head plus body length of T. montana in the faeces-trapping species, and is a function of orifice size and the angle of lid reflexion. *Substantial changes to nutrient acquisition strategies in carnivorous plants may occur through simple modifications to trap geometry. This extraordinary plant-animal interaction adds to a growing body of evidence that Nepenthes represents a candidate model for adaptive radiation with regard to nitrogen sequestration strategies. PMID:20100203

  5. Identification and characterization of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis).

    PubMed

    Yu, Dandan; Wu, Yong; Xu, Ling; Fan, Yu; Peng, Li; Xu, Min; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2016-07-01

    In mammals, the toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a major role in initiating innate immune responses against pathogens. Comparison of the TLRs in different mammals may help in understanding the TLR-mediated responses and developing of animal models and efficient therapeutic measures for infectious diseases. The Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), a small mammal with a close relationship to primates, is a viable experimental animal for studying viral and bacterial infections. In this study, we characterized the TLRs genes (tTLRs) in the Chinese tree shrew and identified 13 putative TLRs, which are orthologs of mammalian TLR1-TLR9 and TLR11-TLR13, and TLR10 was a pseudogene in tree shrew. Positive selection analyses using the Maximum likelihood (ML) method showed that tTLR8 and tTLR9 were under positive selection, which might be associated with the adaptation to the pathogen challenge. The mRNA expression levels of tTLRs presented an overall low and tissue-specific pattern, and were significantly upregulated upon Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. tTLR4 and tTLR9 underwent alternative splicing, which leads to different transcripts. Phylogenetic analysis and TLR structure prediction indicated that tTLRs were evolutionarily conserved, which might reflect an ancient mechanism and structure in the innate immune response system. Taken together, TLRs had both conserved and unique features in the Chinese tree shrew. PMID:26923770

  6. Plasma pharmacokinetics and tissue and brain distribution of cisplatin in musk shrews

    PubMed Central

    Eiseman, Julie L.; Beumer, Jan H.; Rigatti, Lora H.; Strychor, Sandra; Meyers, Kelly; Dienel, Samuel; Horn, Charles C.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Cisplatin induces nausea and emesis, even with antiemetic supportive care. To assess platinum exposure, which could activate nausea and emesis, we quantitated platinum in the brain and various organs, and hindbrain and spinal cord substance P, a key neuropeptide for the neuronal signaling of nausea and emesis. Methods Musk shrews, a model species for nausea and emesis research, were dosed intraperitoneally with 20 mg/kg cisplatin and euthanized at up to 72 h after injection. Concentrations of platinum were quantitated in plasma ultrafiltrate, plasma, lung, kidney, combined forebrain and midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. Hindbrains and spinal cords were analyzed for substance P by immunohistochemistry after injection of 20 or 30 mg/kg. Results Plasma ultrafilterable platinum concentrations decreased rapidly till 60 min after dosing and then more slowly by 24 h. The concentrations of total platinum in both the fore- and midbrain and the hindbrain were similar at all time points and were at least 20-fold lower than plasma total platinum concentrations. There were no significant changes in substance P immunoreactivity after cisplatin dosing. Histology revealed damage to the renal cortex by 72 h after injection of cisplatin. Conclusions This is the first study to examine platinum concentrations in musk shrews after administration of cisplatin, and delineate substance P immunohistochemical staining in the hindbrain and spinal cord of this species. The platinum concentrations detected in the brain could potentially contribute to the neurological side effects of cisplatin, such as nausea and emesis. PMID:25398697

  7. Angioarchitecture of the coeliac sympathetic ganglion complex in the common tree shrew (Tupaia glis)

    PubMed Central

    PROMWIKORN, WARAPORN; THONGPILA, SAKPORN; PRADIDARCHEEP, WISUIT; MINGSAKUL, THAWORN; CHUNHABUNDIT, PANJIT; SOMANA, REON

    1998-01-01

    The angioarchitecture of the coeliac sympathetic ganglion complex (CGC) of the common tree shrew (Tupaia glis) was studied by the vascular corrosion cast technique in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy. The CGC of the tree shrew was found to be a highly vascularised organ. It normally received arterial blood supply from branches of the inferior phrenic, superior suprarenal and inferior suprarenal arteries and of the abdominal aorta. In some animals, its blood supply was also derived from branches of the middle suprarenal arteries, coeliac artery, superior mesenteric artery and lumbar arteries. These arteries penetrated the ganglion at variable points and in slightly different patterns. They gave off peripheral branches to form a subcapsular capillary plexus while their main trunks traversed deeply into the inner part before branching into the densely packed intraganglionic capillary networks. The capillaries merged to form venules before draining into collecting veins at the peripheral region of the ganglion complex. Finally, the veins coursed to the dorsal aspect of the ganglion to drain into the renal and inferior phrenic veins and the inferior vena cava. The capillaries on the coeliac ganglion complex do not possess fenestrations. PMID:9877296

  8. Vampire bat, shrew, and bear: comparative physiology and chronic renal failure.

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael A

    2002-06-01

    In the typical mammal, energy flux, protein metabolism, and renal excretory processes constitute a set of closely linked and quantitatively matched functions. However, this matching has limits, and these limits become apparent when animals adapt to unusual circumstances. The vampire bat and shrew have an extremely high protein intake, and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is not commensurate with the large urea load to be excreted. The vampire bat is chronically azotemic (blood urea concentration 27-57 mmol/l); yet there is no information as to how this animal has adjusted to such an azotemic internal environment. A high protein intake should also lead to chronic glomerular hyperfiltration; yet neither animal appears to develop progressive renal failure. The American black bear, on the other hand, has adapted to a prolonged period without intake or urine output. Despite continued amino acid catabolism with urea production, this mammal is able to completely salvage and reutilize urea nitrogen for protein synthesis, although the signals that initiate this metabolic adaptation are not known. The vampire bat, shrew, and bear are natural models adapted to circumstances analogous to chronic renal failure. Unraveling these adaptations could lead to new interventions for the prevention/treatment of chronic renal failure. PMID:12010738

  9. Demography of short-tailed shrew populations living on polychlorinated biphenyl-contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Boonstra, Rudy; Bowman, Lanna

    2003-06-01

    In ecological risk assessment, a key necessity is to understand how contaminants known to have negative impact on laboratory mammals affect the population demography of mammals living in their natural environment. We examined the demography of six local populations of the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) living in eastern deciduous forest palustrine habitat along the Housatonic River (MA, USA) on soils contaminated with a range of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations (1.5-38.3 ppm). The objective of the study was to assess whether PCBs adversely affect the population demography of these small mammals living in their natural environment. Blarina were selected for study because they would be expected to readily bioaccumulate PCBs from the soil. Populations were intensively live trapped on 1-ha grids from spring to autumn 2001. There was no relationship between any demographic parameter and PCB soil concentrations. Densities were high (usually exceeding 20/ha, and on two grids exceeded 60/ha in summer); survival was good (typically 60-75% per 30 d); and sex ratio, reproduction rates, growth rates, and body mass were within the ranges reported in the literature. Thus, these shrew populations showed no detectable impact on their population demography from living on PCB-contaminated sites. PMID:12785599

  10. Ultrastructure of geniculocortical synaptic connections in the tree shrew striate cortex.

    PubMed

    Familtsev, Dmitry; Quiggins, Ranida; Masterson, Sean P; Dang, Wenhao; Slusarczyk, Arkadiusz S; Petry, Heywood M; Bickford, Martha E

    2016-04-15

    To determine whether thalamocortical synaptic circuits differ across cortical areas, we examined the ultrastructure of geniculocortical terminals in the tree shrew striate cortex to compare directly the characteristics of these terminals with those of pulvinocortical terminals (examined previously in the temporal cortex of the same species; Chomsung et al. [] Cereb Cortex 20:997-1011). Tree shrews are considered to represent a prototype of early prosimian primates but are unique in that sublaminae of striate cortex layer IV respond preferentially to light onset (IVa) or offset (IVb). We examined geniculocortical inputs to these two sublayers labeled by tracer or virus injections or an antibody against the type 2 vesicular glutamate antibody (vGLUT2). We found that layer IV geniculocortical terminals, as well as their postsynaptic targets, were significantly larger than pulvinocortical terminals and their postsynaptic targets. In addition, we found that 9-10% of geniculocortical terminals in each sublamina contacted GABAergic interneurons, whereas pulvinocortical terminals were not found to contact any interneurons. Moreover, we found that the majority of geniculocortical terminals in both IVa and IVb contained dendritic protrusions, whereas pulvinocortical terminals do not contain these structures. Finally, we found that synaptopodin, a protein uniquely associated with the spine apparatus, and telencephalin (TLCN, or intercellular adhesion molecule type 5), a protein associated with maturation of dendritic spines, are largely excluded from geniculocortical recipient layers of the striate cortex. Together our results suggest major differences in the synaptic organization of thalamocortical pathways in striate and extrastriate areas. PMID:26399201

  11. Size evolution in Goodwin?s small-eared shrew, Cryptotis goodwini

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2005-01-01

    Fossils of Cryptotis goodwini from Honduras indicate that body sizes of modern individuals average at least 18% larger than among members of the late Pleistocene population of this species. Palynological and other paleoenvironmental studies provide evidence that the Neotropical montane environments that these shrews inhabit were cooler and drier in the late Pleistocene than at present and supported communities of plants without modern analog. Therefore, the most likely cause of this change in size ultimately was related to climatic change at the end of the Pleistocene?but to what specific factors did the species respond? I examined the possibilities that this species changed in size: to accommodate a change in temperature regime; to escape from predators; as a response to a change in intensity of interspecific competition; to take advantage of a newly abundant food resource. Based on evidence from studies of modern communities of shrews and niche partitioning, I hypothesized that size evolution in C. goodwini was directly related to changes in the community of soil and soil-surface invertebrates upon which the species depends, specifically an increase in the availability of earthworms (Annelida).

  12. A Comparative Analysis of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina of Mice, Tree Shrews, and Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Elkrief, Laurent; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in various parts of the central nervous system, including the retina. The localization of the key eCB receptors, particularly CB1R and CB2R, has been recently reported in rodent and primate retinas with striking interspecies differences. Little is known about the distribution of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these eCBs. We therefore examined the expression and localization of the main components of the eCB system in the retina of mice, tree shrews, and monkeys. We found that CB1R and FAAH distributions are well-preserved among these species. However, expression of NAPE-PLD is circumscribed to the photoreceptor layer only in monkeys. In contrast, CB2R expression is variable across these species; in mice, CB2R is found in retinal neurons but not in glial cells; in tree shrews, CB2R is expressed in Müller cell processes of the outer retina and in retinal neurons of the inner retina; in monkeys, CB2R is restricted to Müller cells. Finally, the expression patterns of MAGL and DAGLα are differently expressed across species. Overall, these results provide evidence that the eCB system is differently expressed in the retina of these mammals and suggest a distinctive role of eCBs in visual processing. PMID:26977322

  13. Conditioned Flavor Preference and the US Postexposure Effect in the House Musk Shrew (Suncus Murinus)

    PubMed Central

    Sawa, Kosuke; Ishii, Kiyoshi

    2012-01-01

    The house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) is the only species of mammalian insectivore that can be domesticated and used as a laboratory animal, and is an interesting subject in terms of evolutionary and comparative aspects. The present study on the learning faculties of shrews examines the possibility of acquiring a conditioned flavor preference and the effects of US postexposure. Subjects were allowed to a drink sucrose solution with flavor A and tap water with flavor B during training. Two extinction tests were administered after every four conditioning trials, and a significant preference for flavor A was observed. After each test, the animals were divided into two groups. Subjects in Group US were presented with a sucrose solution without flavor, while those in Group Water were given tap water. After these trials, all subjects received choice tests where they were presented with water containing the two flavors. The preference ratio was lower in Group US than in Group Water, suggesting a postexposure effect. The findings were discussed in terms of habituation to the US. PMID:22811673

  14. Parvalbumin immunoreactive neurons in the main olfactory bulb of the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Kakuta, S; Oda, S; Takayanagi, M; Kishi, K

    1998-01-01

    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 internal plexiform layer (IPL) and the granule cell layer (GCL) of the MOB. These neurons were identified as a subpopulation of periglomerular cells and perinidal cells [Alonso et al., 1995] in the GL and at the GL-EPL border, respectively, and as bipolar and multipolar neurons in the EPL and four types of the interneurons (horizontal cells, Cajal cells, Golgi cells, and bitufted cells) in the layers deeper than the mitral cell layer. During development of PV neurons, neurons exhibiting extremely faint PV immunoreactivity first appeared in the GCL at postnatal day 14 and increased markedly in number and intensity of their PV immunoreactivity from postnatal days 14 to 28. At postnatal day 21, PV neurons were identified as periglomerular cells in the GL, perinidal cells at the GL-EPL border, and morphologically unidentifiable neurons in the EPL, IPL and GCL. At postnatal day 28, PV neurons exhibited a nearly adult pattern with respect to distribution and structural features. The present results strongly suggest that a wide variety of PV positive neurons in the MOB of the house musk shrew may develop postnatally. PMID:9807013

  15. A Comparative Analysis of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina of Mice, Tree Shrews, and Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Elkrief, Laurent; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in various parts of the central nervous system, including the retina. The localization of the key eCB receptors, particularly CB1R and CB2R, has been recently reported in rodent and primate retinas with striking interspecies differences. Little is known about the distribution of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these eCBs. We therefore examined the expression and localization of the main components of the eCB system in the retina of mice, tree shrews, and monkeys. We found that CB1R and FAAH distributions are well-preserved among these species. However, expression of NAPE-PLD is circumscribed to the photoreceptor layer only in monkeys. In contrast, CB2R expression is variable across these species; in mice, CB2R is found in retinal neurons but not in glial cells; in tree shrews, CB2R is expressed in Müller cell processes of the outer retina and in retinal neurons of the inner retina; in monkeys, CB2R is restricted to Müller cells. Finally, the expression patterns of MAGL and DAGLα are differently expressed across species. Overall, these results provide evidence that the eCB system is differently expressed in the retina of these mammals and suggest a distinctive role of eCBs in visual processing. PMID:26977322

  16. [Cellular aspects of aging in the pineal gland of the shrew, Crocidura russula].

    PubMed

    Dekar-Madoui, Aicha; Besseau, Laurence; Magnanou, Elodie; Fons, Roger; Ouali, Saliha; Bendjelloul, Mounira; Falcon, Jack

    2012-01-01

    The Greater White-toothed shrew Crocidura russula is short-lived species and the phase of senescence is greatly elongated in captivity. The loss of rhythmicity of biological functions that accompanies its aging is also well documented. C. russula is thus an excellent model to test the effects of aging on biological clocks. Melatonin is a key hormone in the synchronization of behaviors, metabolisms and physiological regulations with environmental factors. In the present work we want to know if the loss of rhythmicity and the reduced melatonin levels registered by the second year of life in this species could be associated to modified ultrastructural features of the pineal parenchyma, site of melatonin synthesis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of young (1-4 months) and old (25-28 months) shrew's pineals show that in older individuals, the parenchyma undergoes alterations affecting mainly nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum cisternae, with increased numbers of dense bodies and the formation of many concretions as well as a depletion of secretory products. These changes suggest a process of slowing pinealocytes metabolism which could explain the gradual reduction of melatonin levels registered during aging in C. russula. PMID:22226159

  17. Colonization of Ireland: revisiting ‘the pygmy shrew syndrome' using mitochondrial, Y chromosomal and microsatellite markers

    PubMed Central

    McDevitt, A D; Vega, R; Rambau, R V; Yannic, G; Herman, J S; Hayden, T J; Searle, J B

    2011-01-01

    There is great uncertainty about how Ireland attained its current fauna and flora. Long-distance human-mediated colonization from southwestern Europe has been seen as a possible way that Ireland obtained many of its species; however, Britain has (surprisingly) been neglected as a source area for Ireland. The pygmy shrew has long been considered an illustrative model species, such that the uncertainty of the Irish colonization process has been dubbed ‘the pygmy shrew syndrome'. Here, we used new genetic data consisting of 218 cytochrome (cyt) b sequences, 153 control region sequences, 17 Y-intron sequences and 335 microsatellite multilocus genotypes to distinguish between four possible hypotheses for the colonization of the British Isles, formulated in the context of previously published data. Cyt b sequences from western Europe were basal to those found in Ireland, but also to those found in the periphery of Britain and several offshore islands. Although the central cyt b haplotype in Ireland was found in northern Spain, we argue that it most likely occurred in Britain also, from where the pygmy shrew colonized Ireland as a human introduction during the Holocene. Y-intron and microsatellite data are consistent with this hypothesis, and the biological traits and distributional data of pygmy shrews argue against long-distance colonization from Spain. The compact starburst of the Irish cyt b expansion and the low genetic diversity across all markers strongly suggests a recent colonization. This detailed molecular study of the pygmy shrew provides a new perspective on an old colonization question. PMID:21673740

  18. Whole-brain mapping of afferent projections to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Ni, Rong-Jun; Luo, Peng-Hao; Shu, Yu-Mian; Chen, Ju-Tao; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-10-01

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) plays an important role in integrating and relaying input information to other brain regions in response to stress. The cytoarchitecture of the BST in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) has been comprehensively described in our previous publications. However, the inputs to the BST have not been described in previous reports. The aim of the present study was to investigate the sources of afferent projections to the BST throughout the brain of tree shrews using the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG). The present results provide the first detailed whole-brain mapping of BST-projecting neurons in the tree shrew brain. The BST was densely innervated by the prefrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, ventral subiculum, amygdala, ventral tegmental area, and parabrachial nucleus. Moreover, moderate projections to the BST originated from the medial preoptic area, supramammillary nucleus, paraventricular thalamic nucleus, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. Afferent projections to the BST are identified in the ventral pallidum, nucleus of the diagonal band, ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus, posterior complex of the thalamus, interfascicular nucleus, retrorubral field, rhabdoid nucleus, intermediate reticular nucleus, and parvicellular reticular nucleus. In addition, the different densities of BST-projecting neurons in various regions were analyzed in the tree shrew brains. In summary, whole-brain mapping of direct inputs to the BST is delineated in tree shrews. These brain circuits are implicated in the regulation of numerous physiological and behavioral processes including stress, reward, food intake, and arousal. PMID:27436534

  19. Modelling and monitoring organochlorine and heavy metal accumulation in soils, earthworms, and shrews in Rhine-delta floodplains.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, A J; Ma, W C; Brouns, J J; de Ruiter-Dijkman, E M; Gast, R

    1995-07-01

    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

  20. Cortical connections of striate and extrastriate visual areas in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Lyon, D C; Jain, N; Kaas, J H

    1998-11-01

    The ipsilateral and contralateral cortical connections of visual cortex of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) were investigated by placing restricted injections of fluorochrome tracers, wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase, or biotinylated dextran amine into area 17 (V1), area 18 (V2), or the adjoining temporal dorsal area (TD). As previously reported, V1 was characterized by a widespread, patchy pattern of intrinsic connections; ipsilateral connections with V2, TD, and to a lesser extent, other areas of the temporal cortex; and contralateral connections with V1, V2, and TD. A surface-view of the myelin pattern in V1 revealed a patchwork of light and dark module-like regions. The ipsilateral connections with V2 and TD were roughly topographic, whereas heterotopic locations in V1 were callosally connected. Injections in V2 labeled as much as one third of V2 in a patchy pattern, and portions of ipsilateral V1 and TD in roughly topographic patterns. In addition, connections with several other visual areas in the temporal lobe were revealed. Contralaterally, most of the label was in V2, with some in V1 and TD. Injections in TD demonstrated connections within the region, and with adjoining portions of the temporal cortex, V2, and V1. There were sparse connections with an oval of densely myelinated cortex, which we have termed the temporal inferior area (TI). Callosal connections were concentrated in TD, but also included V2. The results provide further evidence for modular organizations within V1 and V2, and reveal for the first time the complete patterns of cortical connections of V2 and TD. The results are consistent with the proposal that at least three visual areas, the temporal anterior area, TA, the temporal dorsal area, TD, and the temporal posterior area, TP, exist along the rostrolateral border of V2 in tree shrews; suggest visual involvement of at least three other areas, the temporal inferior area, TI, the temporal anterior lateral area, and the temporal

  1. Dental and Mandibular Morphologies of Arboroharamiya (Haramiyida, Mammalia): A Comparison with Other Haramiyidans and Megaconus and Implications for Mammalian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Jin; Bi, Shundong; Wang, Yuanqing; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli

    2014-01-01

    Background Two recent studies published in the same issue of Nature reached conflicting conclusions regarding the phylogeny of early mammals: One places the clade containing haramiyidans and multituberculates within the Mammalia and the other separates haramiyidans from multituberculates and places the former outside of the Mammalia. These two contrasting results require that the minimally oldest divergence time of the Mammalia was within the Late Triassic or the Middle Jurassic, respectively. Morphological descriptions of the species named in the two papers were brief, and no comparisons between the newly named species were possible. Principal Findings Here we present a detailed description of the dentary bone, teeth, occlusal and wear patterns of the haramiyidan Arboroharamiya and compare it with other haramiyidans and Megaconus. Using this new information, we suggest that tooth identifications and orientations of several previously described haramiyidan species are incorrect, and that previous interpretations of haramiyidan occlusal pattern are problematic. We propose that the published upper tooth orientation of Megaconus was problematic and question the number of upper molars, the length of dentition and mandible, and presence of the mandibular middle ear in Megaconus. Conclusions The additional morphological descriptions and comparisons presented here further support the view that Arboroharamiya, as a derived haramiyidan, shows similarity to multituberculates in tooth and mandible morphologies. Our comparison also suggests that Megaconus lacks many diagnostic features for the family Eleutherodontidae and that its close affinity with multituberculates cannot be ruled out. The detailed morphological data demonstrate that haramiyidans are more similar to multituberculates than to any other mammaliaforms. PMID:25494181

  2. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2001-01-01

    1. Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California. 2. Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0.52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study. Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0.2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites. 3. The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4-5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus. 4. Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi. 5. At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus. 6. Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites

  3. The taming of the shrew: batterers' constructions of their wives' narratives.

    PubMed

    Borochowitz, Dalit Yassour

    2008-10-01

    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

  4. Domestication of the Watase's shrew, Crocidura horsfieldi watasei, for a laboratory animal.

    PubMed

    Hattori, S; Noboru, Y; Yamanouchi, K

    1986-04-01

    The Watase's shrew (Crocidura horsfieldi watasei), which is the native in the Nansei Islands in Japan, was entrapped, kept and mated in laboratory with the object of domestication. For the trapping of the animals hand-made traps were utilized, whereas pit-fall and Sherman trap were unsuitable. Keeping was easy in any types of cages which have no hole; through the holes the animals being able to escape. The animals were fed live insect or dry pelleted diet. Breeding was made by monogamous pair-mating, hand-mating or harem-mating method in the wooden cage. A total of 19 litters including 47 young were obtained from 5 monogamous pairs thus far. The litter size was 2.5 and the gestation period was estimated about 30 days. PMID:3735728

  5. Mammals of South America, Volume 1, Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2007-01-01

    The vast terrain between Panama and Tierra del Fuego contains some of the world?s richest mammalian fauna, but until now it has lacked a comprehensive systematic reference to the identification, distribution, and taxonomy of its mammals. The first such book of its kind and the inaugural volume in a three-part series, Mammals of South America both summarizes existing information and encourages further research of the mammals indigenous to the region. Containing identification keys and brief descriptions of each order, family, and genus, the first volume of Mammals of South America covers marsupials, shrews, armadillos, sloths, anteaters, and bats. Species accounts include taxonomic descriptions, synonymies, keys to identification, distributions with maps and a gazetteer of marginal localities, lists of recognized subspecies, brief summaries of natural history information, and discussions of issues related to taxonomic interpretations. Highly anticipated and much needed, this book will be a landmark contribution to mammalogy, zoology, tropical biology, and conservation biology.

  6. Solar Radiation during Rewarming from Torpor in Elephant Shrews: Supplementation or Substitution of Endogenous Heat Production?

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Michelle L.; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C.; McKechnie, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  7. Characterization of the Complete Genome of the Tupaia (Tree Shrew) Adenovirus

    PubMed Central

    Schöndorf, Eva; Bahr, Udo; Handermann, Michaela; Darai, Gholamreza

    2003-01-01

    The members of the family Adenoviridae are widely spread among vertebrate host species and normally cause acute but innocuous infections. Special attention is focused on adenoviruses because of their ability to transform host cells, their possible application in vector technology, and their phylogeny. The primary structure of the genome of Tupaia adenovirus (TAV), which infects Tupaia spp. (tree shrew) was determined. Tree shrews are taxonomically assumed to be at the base of the phylogenetic tree of mammals and are frequently used as laboratory animals in neurological and behavior research. The TAV genome is 33,501 bp in length with a G+C content of 49.96% and has 166-bp inverted terminal repeats. Analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence resulted in the identification of 109 open reading frames (ORFs) with a coding capacity of at least 40 amino acid residues. Thirty-eight of them are predicted to encode viral proteins based on the presence of transcription and translation signals and sequence and positional conservation. Thirty viral ORFs were found to show significant similarities to known adenoviral genes, arranged into discrete early and late genome regions as they are known from mastadenoviruses. Analysis of the nucleotide content of the TAV genome revealed a significant CG dinucleotide depletion at the genome ends that suggests methylation of these genomic regions during the viral life cycle. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral gene products, including penton and hexon proteins, viral protease, terminal protein, protein VIII, DNA polymerase, protein IVa2, and 100,000-molecular-weight protein, revealed that the evolutionary lineage of TAV forms a separate branch within the phylogenetic tree of the Mastadenovirus genus. PMID:12634391

  8. Gene expression analysis in the hippocampal formation of tree shrews chronically treated with cortisol.

    PubMed

    Alfonso, Julieta; Agüero, Fernán; Sanchez, Daniel O; Flugge, Gabriele; Fuchs, Eberhard; Frasch, Alberto C C; Pollevick, Guido D

    2004-12-01

    Adrenal corticosteroids influence the function of the hippocampus, the brain structure in which the highest expression of glucocorticoid receptors is found. Chronic high levels of cortisol elicited by stress or through exogenous administration can cause irreversible damage and cognitive deficits. In this study, we searched for genes expressed in the hippocampal formation after chronic cortisol treatment in male tree shrews. Animals were treated orally with cortisol for 28 days. At the end of the experiments, we generated two subtractive hippocampal hybridization libraries from which we sequenced 2,246 expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) potentially regulated by cortisol. To validate this approach further, we selected some of the candidate clones to measure mRNA expression levels in hippocampus using real-time PCR. We found that 66% of the sequences tested (10 of 15) were differentially represented between cortisol-treated and control animals. The complete set of clones was subjected to a bioinformatic analysis, which allowed classification of the ESTs into four different main categories: 1) known proteins or genes (approximately 28%), 2) ESTs previously published in the database (approximately 16%), 3) novel ESTs matching only the reference human or mouse genome (approximately 5%), and 4) sequences that do not match any public database (50%). Interestingly, the last category was the most abundant. Hybridization assays revealed that several of these clones are indeed expressed in hippocampal tissue from tree shrew, human, and/or rat. Therefore, we discovered an extensive inventory of new molecular targets in the hippocampus that serves as a reference for hippocampal transcriptional responses under various conditions. Finally, a detailed analysis of the genomic localization in human and mouse genomes revealed a survey of putative novel splicing variants for several genes of the nervous system. PMID:15505804

  9. Blood supply to the cranial venae cavae and the heart in the laboratory shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed Central

    Isomura, G

    1993-01-01

    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 PMID:8300430

  10. Solar radiation during rewarming from torpor in elephant shrews: supplementation or substitution of endogenous heat production?

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle L; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  11. Changing Material Properties of the Tree Shrew Sclera During Minus Lens Compensation and Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Grytz, Rafael; Siegwart, John T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To estimate two collagen-specific material properties (crimp angle and elastic modulus of collagen fibrils) of the remodeling tree shrew sclera during monocular −5 diopter (D) lens wear and recovery. Methods. Tensile tests were performed on scleral strips obtained from juvenile tree shrews exposed to three different visual conditions: normal, monocular −5 D lens wear to induce myopia, and recovery. Collagen fibrils are crimped in the unloaded sclera and uncrimp as the tissue stiffens under load. Inverse numerical analyses were performed to estimate the (unloaded) crimp angle and elastic modulus of collagen fibrils using a microstructure-based constitutive model. Results. Compared with the control eye, the crimp angle was significantly higher in the treated eye after 2 days and remained significantly higher until 21 days of lens wear (P < 0.05). The difference between the crimp angle of the treated and control eye rapidly vanished during recovery in concert with the changes in axial elongation rate. A rapid and extensive increase in the elastic modulus was seen in both eyes after starting and stopping the lens wear. Conclusions. The estimated change in the crimp of scleral collagen fibrils is temporally associated with the change in axial elongation rate during myopia development and recovery. This finding suggests that axial elongation may be controlled by a remodeling mechanism that modulates the collagen fibril crimp. The observed binocular changes in scleral stiffness are not temporally associated with the axial elongation rate, indicating that scleral stiffening may not be causally related to myopia. PMID:25736788

  12. [Structure and seasonal dynamics of an ectoparasite community on the common shrew (Sorex araneus) in the Il'men'-Volkhov lowland].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S; Bochkov, A V; Vashchenok, V S; Tret'iakov, K A

    2003-01-01

    Species composition, seasonal dynamics, and a load of ectoparasites per individual and population of the common shrew Sorex araneus have been examined in coniferous and mixed forests of the Ilmen'-Volkhov lowland (a neighbourhood of Oskuy village, Chudovo district, Novgorod Province) during the period 1999-2003. Trapping of mammals was carried monthly, with exception of few accidental gaps. The Gero traps were used for catching micromammalian hosts. The lines of trap were checked 2 times a day, places of lines changed each 3-5 day. Total number of micromammalians collected during the period of study is 3215, including 1115 specimens of the common shrew S. araneus and 246 ones of the pigmy shrew S. minutus. Parasite fauna on the common shrew included 23 ectoparasite species: fleas--12, ixodid ticks--2, gamasid mites--7, and myobiid mites--2 species. Among recorded species, 9 fleas species and some gamasid species are accidental parasites. These accidental ectoparasite species are common to the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus in the territory investigated. Species composition, occurrence and abundance indices of parasites changed during the year. In total, about 55% shrew specimens are infected with ectoparasites. The infracommunity of ectoparasites on the common shrew usually consists of 6 species or less. Mean number of all ectoparasite individuals per one host specimens varies from 4 to 83. The greatest number of parasites (50 and 83) was recorded on the shrews, which carried 5 and 4 parasites species, respectively. Biodiversity of parasite species in the ectoparasite community on the common shrew and the load of parasites per one host specimen are lower than those in the bank vole. In forest biotopes explored, the most part of temporary ectoparasite species found on the common shrew was also recorded on other small mammals, which could have contacts with this host. It is possible to conclude that among the parasite supracommunity in the explored ecosystem, the

  13. Delineation of vagal emetic pathways: intragastric copper sulfate-induced emesis and viral tract tracing in musk shrews.

    PubMed

    Horn, Charles C; Meyers, Kelly; Lim, Audrey; Dye, Matthew; Pak, Diana; Rinaman, Linda; Yates, Bill J

    2014-03-01

    Signals from the vestibular system, area postrema, and forebrain elicit nausea and vomiting, but gastrointestinal (GI) vagal afferent input arguably plays the most prominent role in defense against food poisoning. It is difficult to determine the contribution of GI vagal afferent input on emesis because various agents (e.g., chemotherapy) often act on multiple sensory pathways. Intragastric copper sulfate (CuSO4) potentially provides a specific vagal emetic stimulus, but its actions are not well defined in musk shrews (Suncus murinus), a primary small animal model used to study emesis. The aims of the current study were 1) to investigate the effects of subdiaphragmatic vagotomy on CuSO4-induced emesis and 2) to conduct preliminary transneuronal tracing of the GI-brain pathways in musk shrews. Vagotomy failed to inhibit the number of emetic episodes produced by optimal emetic doses of CuSO4 (60 and 120 mg/kg ig), but the effects of lower doses were dependent on an intact vagus (20 and 40 mg/kg). Vagotomy also failed to affect emesis produced by motion (1 Hz, 10 min) or nicotine administration (5 mg/kg sc). Anterograde transport of the H129 strain of herpes simplex virus-1 from the ventral stomach wall identified the following brain regions as receiving inputs from vagal afferents: the nucleus of the solitary tract, area postrema, and lateral parabrachial nucleus. These data indicate that the contribution of vagal pathways to intragastric CuSO4-induced emesis is dose dependent in musk shrews. Furthermore, the current neural tracing data suggest brain stem anatomical circuits that are activated by GI signaling in the musk shrew. PMID:24430885

  14. Expression of muscarinic receptor subtypes in tree shrew ocular tissues and their regulation during the development of myopia

    PubMed Central

    Jobling, A.I.; Truong, H.T.; Cottriall, C.L.; Gentle, A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Muscarinic receptors are known to regulate several important physiologic processes in the eye. Antagonists to these receptors such as atropine and pirenzepine are effective at stopping the excessive ocular growth that results in myopia. However, their site of action is unknown. This study details ocular muscarinic subtype expression within a well documented model of eye growth and investigates their expression during early stages of myopia induction. Methods Total RNA was isolated from tree shrew corneal, iris/ciliary body, retinal, choroidal, and scleral tissue samples and was reverse transcribed. Using tree shrew-specific primers to the five muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes (CHRM1-CHRM5), products were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and their identity confirmed using automated sequencing. The expression of the receptor proteins (M1-M5) were also explored in the retina, choroid, and sclera using immunohistochemistry. Myopia was induced in the tree shrew for one or five days using monocular deprivation of pattern vision, and the expression of the receptor subtypes was assessed in the retina, choroid, and sclera using real-time PCR. Results All five muscarinic receptor subtypes were expressed in the iris/ciliary body, retina, choroid, and sclera while gene products corresponding to CHRM1, CHRM3, CHRM4, and CHRM5 were present in the corneal samples. The gene expression data were confirmed by immunohistochemistry with the M1-M5 proteins detected in the retina, choroid, and sclera. After one or five days of myopia development, muscarinic receptor gene expression remained unaltered in the retinal, choroidal, and scleral tissue samples. Conclusions This study provides a comprehensive profile of muscarinic receptor gene and protein expression in tree shrew ocular tissues with all receptor subtypes found in tissues implicated in the control of eye growth. Despite the efficacy of muscarinic antagonists at inhibiting myopia development, the

  15. Phylogeography of wild musk shrew (Suncus murinus) populations in Asia based on blood protein/enzyme variation.

    PubMed

    Kurachi, Megumi; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Tsubota, Yuji; Chau, Ba-Loc; Dang, Vu-Binh; Dorji, Tashi; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Nyunt, Maung Maung; Maeda, Yoshizane; Chhum-Phith, Loan; Namikawa, Takao; Yamagata, Takahiro

    2007-08-01

    The musk shrew (Suncus murinus) is an insectivore species that inhabits tropical and subtropical Asia widely. To clarify the genetic relationship among wild musk shrew populations, we examined the electrophoretic variants of biparentally inherited genetic markers at 10 loci coding for eight blood proteins/enzymes in a total of 639 animals and compared the results obtained from the mitochondrial DNA data. The principal-component analysis performed using the allele frequency data revealed that the 17 populations could be divided into two major groups, a South Asian group and a Southeast Asian group that includes several island populations bound by Myanmar. The degrees of genetic divergence among populations were higher within the Southeast Asian group than within the South Asian group. This finding was incongruent with the mtDNA diversity. Analysis conducted at the individual level showed that a shrew from the central region in Myanmar that carries a South Asian type of mtDNA showed the electrophoretic variants specific to the Southeast Asian group, suggesting that this region is a contact zone between the two major groups. PMID:17551826

  16. Energy metabolism, thermogenesis and body mass regulation in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) during subsequent cold and warm acclimation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Zhang, Hao; Zhu, Wanlong; Li, Xingsheng; Wang, Zhengkun

    2012-08-01

    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

  17. Depression-like behaviors in tree shrews and comparison of the effects of treatment with fluoxetine and carbetocin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiaolu; Shen, Fang; Li, Chunlu; Li, Yonghui; Wang, Xuewei

    2016-06-01

    Tree shrews, a species phylogenetically close to primates, are regarded as a suitable and naturalistic animal model for depression studies. However, psychological symptoms that are essential for depression diagnosis and treatment, such as helplessness and social withdrawal, have not been studied in this model. Therefore, in this study, we first investigated learned helplessness, social interaction and sucrose preference induced by two chronic stress paradigms: uncontrollable foot shocks (1-week foot shocks) and multiple unpredictable stimuli (1-week foot shocks and 3-week unpredictable stressors) in tree shrews. Our results showed that uncontrollable foot shocks could only induce learned helplessness in animals; whereas animals treated with multiple unpredictable stimuli exhibited more depression-like behaviors including social withdrawal, anhedonia and learned helplessness. These findings suggested that multiple unpredictable stimuli could effectively induce various depression-like behaviors in tree shrews. More importantly, we compared the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine and carbetocin, a long-acting oxytocin analog, on specific depression-like behaviors. Our present data displayed that, compared with fluoxetine, carbetocin was also effective in reversing learned helplessness, elevating sucrose preference and improving social interaction behaviors in depression-like animals. Therefore, carbetocin might be a potential antidepressant with applications in humans. PMID:26987370

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

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

  19. The Challenges of Resolving a Rapid, Recent Radiation: Empirical and Simulated Phylogenomics of Philippine Shrews.

    PubMed

    Giarla, Thomas C; Esselstyn, Jacob A

    2015-09-01

    Phylogenetic relationships in recent, rapid radiations can be difficult to resolve due to incomplete lineage sorting and reliance on genetic markers that evolve slowly relative to the rate of speciation. By incorporating hundreds to thousands of unlinked loci, phylogenomic analyses have the potential to mitigate these difficulties. Here, we attempt to resolve phylogenetic relationships among eight shrew species (genus Crocidura) from the Philippines, a phylogenetic problem that has proven intractable with small (< 10 loci) data sets. We sequenced hundreds of ultraconserved elements and whole mitochondrial genomes in these species and estimated phylogenies using concatenation, summary coalescent, and hierarchical coalescent methods. The concatenated approach recovered a maximally supported and fully resolved tree. In contrast, the coalescent-based approaches produced similar topologies, but each had several poorly supported nodes. Using simulations, we demonstrate that the concatenated tree could be positively misleading. Our simulations also show that the tree shape we tend to infer, which involves a series of short internal branches, is difficult to resolve, even if substitution models are known and multiple individuals per species are sampled. As such, the low support we obtained for backbone relationships in our coalescent-based inferences reflects a real and appropriate lack of certainty. Our results illuminate the challenges of estimating a bifurcating tree in a rapid and recent radiation, providing a rare empirical example of a nearly simultaneous series of speciation events in a terrestrial animal lineage as it spreads across an oceanic archipelago. PMID:25979143

  20. Regulation of longitudinal esophageal motility in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Shiina, Takahiko; Naitou, Kiyotada; Nakamori, Hiroyuki; Sakai, Hiroki; Shimizu, Yasutake

    2015-05-01

    Suncus murinus (house musk shrew; suncus) is a species of insectivore that has an ability to vomit. Although longitudinal movement of the esophagus would be related to the emetic response, regulatory mechanisms for the suncus esophageal motility are unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to clarify components that regulate esophageal motility in the suncus. An isolated segment of the suncus esophagus was placed in an organ bath, and longitudinal mechanical responses were recorded using a force transducer. Electrical stimulation of the vagus trunk evoked a biphasic contractile response. The first phase of the contractile response was blocked by α-bungarotoxin, a blocker of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on striated muscle cells, whereas the second one was blocked by atropine, a blocker of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors on smooth muscle cells. Next, we investigated whether mast cells are involved in motor functions of the suncus esophagus. Application of a mast cell stimulator, compound 48/80, elicited contractile responses, which was resistant to tetrodotoxin. Exogenous application of serotonin and histamine induced contractile responses. The mast cell activation-mediated contraction was abolished by double desensitization by serotonin and histamine and pre-treatment with indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor. The findings show that cholinergic and non-cholinergic transmitters induce longitudinal contraction in the suncus esophagus, which might contribute to esophageal shortening during emesis. Cholinergic transmitters are derived from vagal efferents, and non-cholinergic transmitters, which are thought to be serotonin, histamine and prostaglandins, are released from mast cells. PMID:25694232

  1. Radiation ecology issues associated with murine rodents and shrews in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

    PubMed

    Gaschak, Sergey P; Maklyuk, Yulia A; Maksimenko, Andrey M; Bondarkov, Mikhail D; Jannik, G Timothy; Farfán, Eduardo B

    2011-10-01

    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

  2. Affinities of `hyopsodontids' to elephant shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zack, Shawn P.; Penkrot, Tonya A.; Bloch, Jonathan I.; Rose, Kenneth D.

    2005-03-01

    Macroscelideans (elephant shrews or sengis) are small-bodied (25-540g), cursorial (running) and saltatorial (jumping), insectivorous and omnivorous placental mammals represented by at least 15 extant African species classified in four genera. Macroscelidea is one of several morphologically diverse but predominantly African placental orders classified in the superorder Afrotheria by molecular phylogeneticists. The distribution of modern afrotheres, in combination with a basal position for Afrotheria within Placentalia and molecular divergence-time estimates, has been used to link placental diversification with the mid-Cretaceous separation of South America and Africa. Morphological phylogenetic analyses do not support Afrotheria and the fossil record favours a northern origin of Placentalia. Here we describe fossil postcrania that provide evidence for a close relationship between North American Palaeocene-Eocene apheliscine `hyopsodontid' `condylarths' (early ungulates or hoofed mammals) and extant Macroscelidea. Apheliscine postcranial morphology is consistent with a relationship to other ungulate-like afrotheres (Hyracoidea, Proboscidea) but does not provide support for a monophyletic Afrotheria. As the oldest record of an afrothere clade, identification of macroscelidean relatives in the North American Palaeocene argues against an African origin for Afrotheria, weakening support for linking placental diversification to the break-up of Gondwana.

  3. A climate for speciation: rapid spatial diversification within the Sorex cinereus complex of shrews

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Speer, Kelly A.; Demboski, John R.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

    2012-01-01

    The cyclic climate regime of the late Quaternary caused dramatic environmental change at high latitudes. Although these events may have been brief in periodicity from an evolutionary standpoint, multiple episodes of allopatry and divergence have been implicated in rapid radiations of a number of organisms. Shrews of the Sorex cinereus complex have long challenged taxonomists due to similar morphology and parapatric geographic ranges. Here, multi-locus phylogenetic and demographic assessments using a coalescent framework were combined to investigate spatiotemporal evolution of 13 nominal species with a widespread distribution throughout North America and across Beringia into Siberia. For these species, we first test a hypothesis of recent differentiation in response to Pleistocene climate versus more ancient divergence that would coincide with pre-Pleistocene perturbations. We then investigate the processes driving diversification over multiple continents. Our genetic analyses highlight novel diversity within these morphologically conserved mammals and clarify relationships between geographic distribution and evolutionary history. Demography within and among species indicates both regional stability and rapid expansion. Ancestral ecological differentiation coincident with early cladogenesis within the complex enabled alternating and repeated episodes of allopatry and expansion where successive glacial and interglacial phases each promoted divergence. The Sorex cinereus complex constitutes a valuable model for future comparative assessments of evolution in response to cyclic environmental change.

  4. Convergent evolution of novel protein function in shrew and lizard venom.

    PubMed

    Aminetzach, Yael T; Srouji, John R; Kong, Chung Yin; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2009-12-01

    How do proteins evolve novel functions? To address this question, we are studying the evolution of a mammalian toxin, the serine protease BLTX [1], 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) [2] 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

  5. RADIATION ECOLOGY ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH MURINE RODENTS AND SHREWS IN THE CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Farfan, E.; Jannik, T.

    2011-10-01

    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 hr{sup -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 hr{sup -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 hr{sup -1}, respectively. Contributions of individual radiation sources into the total absorbed dose are described.

  6. Affinities of 'hyopsodontids' to elephant shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria.

    PubMed

    Zack, Shawn P; Penkrot, Tonya A; Bloch, Jonathan I; Rose, Kenneth D

    2005-03-24

    Macroscelideans (elephant shrews or sengis) are small-bodied (25-540 g), cursorial (running) and saltatorial (jumping), insectivorous and omnivorous placental mammals represented by at least 15 extant African species classified in four genera. Macroscelidea is one of several morphologically diverse but predominantly African placental orders classified in the superorder Afrotheria by molecular phylogeneticists. The distribution of modern afrotheres, in combination with a basal position for Afrotheria within Placentalia and molecular divergence-time estimates, has been used to link placental diversification with the mid-Cretaceous separation of South America and Africa. Morphological phylogenetic analyses do not support Afrotheria and the fossil record favours a northern origin of Placentalia. Here we describe fossil postcrania that provide evidence for a close relationship between North American Palaeocene-Eocene apheliscine 'hyopsodontid' 'condylarths' (early ungulates or hoofed mammals) and extant Macroscelidea. Apheliscine postcranial morphology is consistent with a relationship to other ungulate-like afrotheres (Hyracoidea, Proboscidea) but does not provide support for a monophyletic Afrotheria. As the oldest record of an afrothere clade, identification of macroscelidean relatives in the North American Palaeocene argues against an African origin for Afrotheria, weakening support for linking placental diversification to the break-up of Gondwana. PMID:15791254

  7. Shrews, rats, and a polecat in "the pardoner’s tale": Chapter 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feinstein, Sandy; Woodman, Neal

    2012-01-01

    While historically existing animals and literary animal characters inform allegorical and metaphorical characterization in The Canterbury Tales, figurative usage does not erase recognition of the material animal. "The Pardoner's Tale," for one, challenges the terms of conventional animal metaphors by refocusing attention on common animals as common animals and common human creatures as something worse than vermin. Most attention has been paid to the larger animals-goat, hare, and horse-that constitute the physical portrait of Chaucer's Pardoner in the "General Prologue" and in the prologue to his tale.! Like these animals, rats and a polecat, together with rhetorical shrews, appear in this tale as well as in other literature, including bestiaries and natural histories. Equally to the purpose, these animals could be physically observed as constituents of both urban and rural landscapes in fourteenth-century England.2 In the Middle Ages, animals were part of the environment as well as part of the culture: they lived inside as well as outside the city gates, priory walls, and even domestic spaces; a rat in the street or the garden might not be any less welcome or uncommon than encountering someone's horses and goats nibbling vegetation or blocking a passage. Not being out of the ordinary, though, such animals could (and can) be overlooked or dismissed as com­mon, too familiar to register. This chapter reveals why readers and listeners should pay close attention to the things they think they know and what they hear about what they think they know.

  8. Phylogeny of the Procyonidae (Mammalia: Carnivora): molecules, morphology and the Great American Interchange.

    PubMed

    Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Gompper, Matthew E; Eizirik, Eduardo; Ho, Cheuk-Chung; Linden, Leif; Maldonado, Jesus E; Wayne, Robert K

    2007-06-01

    The Procyonidae (Mammalia: Carnivora) have played a central role in resolving the controversial systematics of the giant and red pandas, but phylogenetic relationships of species within the family itself have received much less attention. Cladistic analyses of morphological characters conducted during the last two decades have resulted in topologies that group ecologically and morphologically similar taxa together. Specifically, the highly arboreal and frugivorous kinkajou (Potos flavus) and olingos (Bassaricyon) define one clade, whereas the more terrestrial and omnivorous coatis (Nasua), raccoons (Procyon), and ringtails (Bassariscus) define another clade, with the similar-sized Nasua and Procyon joined as sister taxa in this latter group. These relationships, however, have not been tested with molecular sequence data. We examined procyonid phylogenetics based on combined data from nine nuclear and two mitochondrial gene segments totaling 6534bp. We were able to fully resolve relationships within the family with strongly supported and congruent results from maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, minimum evolution, and Bayesian analyses. We identified three distinct lineages within the family: a (Nasua, Bassaricyon) clade, a (Bassariscus, Procyon) clade, and a Potos lineage, the last of which is sister to the other two clades. These findings, which are in strong disagreement with prior fossil and morphology-based assessments of procyonid relationships, reemphasize the morphological and ecological flexibility of these taxa. In particular, morphological similarities between unrelated genera possibly reflect convergence associated with similar lifestyles and diets rather than ancestry. Furthermore, incongruence between the molecular supermatrix and a morphological character matrix comprised mostly of dental characters [Baskin, J.A., 2004. Bassariscus and Probassariscus (Mammalia, Carnivora, Procyonidae) from the early Barstovian (Middle Miocene). J. Vert. Paleo. 24

  9. Species of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in shrews from Alaska, U.S.A., and northeastern Siberia, Russia, with description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Lynch, A J; Duszynski, D W

    2008-08-01

    Fecal samples (n = 636) from 10 species of shrews collected in Alaska (n = 540) and northeastern Siberia (n = 96) were examined for the presence of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae). Five distinct oocyst morphotypes were observed. Three types were consistent with oocysts of previously recognized coccidia species from other shrew hosts. These were Eimeria inyoni, E. vagrantis, and Isospora brevicauda, originally described from the inyo shrew (Sorex tenellus), dusky shrew (S. monticolus), and northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda), respectively. We found 5 new host records for E. inyoni, 3 for E. vagrantis, and 3 for I. brevicauda. The 2 additional oocyst morphotypes, both from the tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis), are putative new species. Sporulated oocysts of Eimeria beringiacea n. sp. are subspheroidal, 17.7 x 15.6 microm (14-24 x 13-20 microm) with a length (L)/width (W) ratio of 1.1 (1.0-1.4); these lack a micropyle (M), an oocyst residuum (OR), and a polar granule (PG). Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 10.3 x 6.1 microm (7-14 x 4-8 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.7 (1.3-2.3) and have a Stieda body (SB), Substieda body (SSB), and sporocyst residuum (SR). Oocysts of Eimeria tundraensis n. sp. are spheroidal to subspheroidal, 24.8 x 23.5 microm (23-26 x 22-25 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.1 (1.0-1.2); these lack a M and OR, but a single PG is present. Sporocysts are elongate ellipsoidal, 15.4 x 8.3 microm (13-17 x 7-9 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.9 (1.4-2.1) and have a SB, SSB, and SR. PMID:18576829

  10. Invading and Expanding: Range Dynamics and Ecological Consequences of the Greater White-Toothed Shrew (Crocidura russula) Invasion in Ireland

    PubMed Central

    McDevitt, Allan D.; Montgomery, W. Ian; Tosh, David G.; Lusby, John; Reid, Neil; White, Thomas A.; McDevitt, C. Damien; O'Halloran, John; Searle, Jeremy B.; Yearsley, Jon M.

    2014-01-01

    Establishing how invasive species impact upon pre-existing species is a fundamental question in ecology and conservation biology. The greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is an invasive species in Ireland that was first recorded in 2007 and which, according to initial data, may be limiting the abundance/distribution of the pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus), previously Ireland's only shrew species. Because of these concerns, we undertook an intensive live-trapping survey (and used other data from live-trapping, sightings and bird of prey pellets/nest inspections collected between 2006 and 2013) to model the distribution and expansion of C. russula in Ireland and its impacts on Ireland's small mammal community. The main distribution range of C. russula was found to be approximately 7,600 km2 in 2013, with established outlier populations suggesting that the species is dispersing with human assistance within the island. The species is expanding rapidly for a small mammal, with a radial expansion rate of 5.5 km/yr overall (2008–2013), and independent estimates from live-trapping in 2012–2013 showing rates of 2.4–14.1 km/yr, 0.5–7.1 km/yr and 0–5.6 km/yr depending on the landscape features present. S. minutus is negatively associated with C. russula. S. minutus is completely absent at sites where C. russula is established and is only present at sites at the edge of and beyond the invasion range of C. russula. The speed of this invasion and the homogenous nature of the Irish landscape may mean that S. minutus has not had sufficient time to adapt to the sudden appearance of C. russula. This may mean the continued decline/disappearance of S. minutus as C. russula spreads throughout the island. PMID:24955824

  11. Structure of the ovaries of the Nimba otter shrew, Micropotamogale lamottei, and the Madagascar hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi.

    PubMed

    Enders, A C; Carter, A M; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2005-01-01

    The otter shrews are members of the subfamily Potamogalinae within the family Tenrecidae. No description of the ovaries of any member of this subfamily has been published previously. The lesser hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi, is a member of the subfamily Tenrecinae of the same family and, although its ovaries have not been described, other members of this subfamily have been shown to have ovaries with non-antral follicles. Examination of these two species illustrated that non-antral follicles were characteristic of the ovaries of both species, as was clefting and lobulation of the ovaries. Juvenile otter shrews range from those with only small follicles in the cortex to those with 300- to 400-microm follicles similar to those seen in non-pregnant and pregnant adults. As in other species, most of the growth of the oocyte occurred when follicles had one to two layers of granulosa cells. When larger follicles became atretic in the Nimba otter shrew, hypertrophy of the theca interna produced nodules of glandular interstitial tissue. In the tenrec, the hypertrophying theca interna cells in most large follicles appeared to undergo degeneration. Both species had some follicular fluid in the intercellular spaces between the more peripheral granulosa cells. It is suggested that this fluid could aid in separation of the cumulus from the remaining granulosa at ovulation. The protruding follicles in lobules and absence of a tunica albuginea might also facilitate ovulation of non-antral follicles. Ovaries with a thin-absent tunica albuginea and follicles with small-absent antra are widespread within both the Eulipotyphla and in the Afrosoricida, suggesting that such features may represent a primitive condition in ovarian development. Lobulated and deeply crypted ovaries are found in both groups but are not as common in the Eulipotyphla making inclusion of this feature as primitive more speculative. PMID:16046864

  12. New Aspidoderidae species parasite of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae): a light and scanning electron microscopy approach.

    PubMed

    Chagas-Moutinho, V A; Sant'anna, V; Oliveira-Menezes, A; De Souza, W

    2014-02-01

    Nematodes of the family Aspidoderidae (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, are widely distributed in the Americas. The family Aspidoderidae includes the subfamilies Aspidoderinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, and Lauroiinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1951. These two subfamilies are delineated by the presence or absence of cephalic cordons at the anterior region. The nematodes in the subfamily Aspidoderinae, which includes the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are represented by nematodes with anterior cephalic cordons at the anterior end. The nematodes of the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are found in the cecum and large intestine of mammals of the orders Edentata, Marsupialia and Rodentia. Species within this genus have many morphological similarities. The use of scanning electron microscopy allows the specific characterization of the species within this genus. In the present work, we describe a new species of Aspidodera parasite of the large intestine of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae) Wied-Neuwied, 1826, collected from Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro. The combination of light and scanning electron microscopy allowed us a detailed analysis of this nematode. PMID:24129095

  13. Purkinje-like cells in the cochlear nucleus of the Common Tree Shrew (Tupaia glis) identified by calbindin immunohistochemistry.

    PubMed

    Spatz, W B

    2003-09-01

    The dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) of Tree Shrews (Tupaia glis; n=2) was examined by calbindin (CB) immunohistochemistry for the presence of Purkinje-like cells (PLCs), detected previously in only four different mammals. We found up to eight CB-immunoreactive PLCs in the left and right DCN, and a few axons, likely of PLC origin, that appeared to leave the DCN. These findings suggest that PLCs may have a wider distribution through mammalian species, and may represent more than just misrouted cells. PMID:12914985

  14. Immunolocalization of spetex-1 at the connecting piece in spermatozoa of the musk shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Takane; Iwamoto, Shizuka; Murayama, Emi; Kurio, Hitoshi; Inai, Tetsuichiro; Oda, Senichi; Iida, Hiroshi

    2011-06-01

    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

  15. Prevalence of rabies virus and Hantaan virus infections in commensal rodents and shrews trapped in Bangkok.

    PubMed

    Kantakamalakul, Wannee; Siritantikorn, Sontana; Thongcharoen, Prasert; Singchai, Chantra; Puthavathana, Pilaipan

    2003-11-01

    Five hundred rodents and shrews (Rattus norvegicus: 458, Rattus rattus: 28, Rattus exulans: 5, Mus musculus: 4 and Suncus murine: 5) trapped from the fresh food markets around Bangkok area were investigated for rabies virus and Hantaan virus infections. No rabies viral antigens in the animals' brains were detected by direct immunofluorescence. On the other hand, antibodies to Hantaan virus were demonstrated in the sera of 7 (1.53%) R. norvegicus caught in various markets using a particle agglutination technique. Further determination of the viral genome in rat lung tissue was performed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and nested PCR, 3 (0.66%) out of 7 were positive. HindIII and HifI restriction enzyme analyses showed the pattern of the Hantaan virus genome in 2 samples and that of the Seoul virus genome in the other. The results of the present study suggest that rodents from Bangkok's fresh food markets did not carry rabies. Thus, getting rid of rabies in dogs or cats in the Bangkok area may be easier than anticipated because there are no sources of asymptomatic reservoirs. This may result in the low incidence of rabies patients observed in Bangkok. On the contrary, the presence of antibodies and the Hantaan virus genome and Seoul virus genome in R. norvegicus will definitely provide evidence for physicians to be aware of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and other clinical settings of Hantaan/Seoul virus disease in patients with a history of having contact with rats or their excreta. PMID:14696782

  16. Comparative morphology and morphometry of the nasal fossae of four species of North American shrews (Soricinae).

    PubMed

    Larochelle, R; Baron, G

    1989-11-01

    The present study compares the morphology of the nasal conchae and the relative development (i.e., surface area and neurosensory cell number) of the olfactory epithelium between four species of shrews occupying different ecotopes (Blarina brevicauda, Sorex cinereus, S. fumeus, S. palustris). The number of olfactory cells was corrected for split cell error. Data were analyzed by using size indices based on the allometric method. The convoluted shape of the maxilloturbinal in Blarina, with large respiratory epithelial surface area, could not be related with certainty to the subterranean ecotope. From the comparison between Soricinae and Crocidurinae, one major difference concerned the shape and attachment of ectoturbinal 3. Differences in the relative development of the olfactory organ are discussed with regard to differences in the use of chemical signals. The semi-fossorial B. brevicauda, with the more developed olfactory organ, is reported to possess more scent-glands and to manifest active scent-marking behaviors and fecal deposits associated with territoriality. The two terrestrial species, S. cinereus and S. fumeus, have olfactory epithelia showing an intermediate development. Published accounts of fewer scent-glands and a lack of active scent-marking behavior indicate a lesser use of olfactory communication in these two species where mutual avoidance seems the rule. Indication of an even more reduced use of olfactory signals in social interactions by the semiaquatic S. palustris is suggested by its least-developed olfactory epithelium. The comparison between Soricinae and Crocidurinae supports a relationship between the development of the olfactory organ and the relative use of olfactory communication known to occur in social interactions. PMID:2618929

  17. Phenotypic Variation across Chromosomal Hybrid Zones of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) Indicates Reduced Gene Flow

    PubMed Central

    Polly, P. David; Polyakov, Andrei V.; Ilyashenko, Vadim B.; Onischenko, Sergei S.; White, Thomas A.; Shchipanov, Nikolay A.; Bulatova, Nina S.; Pavlova, Svetlana V.; Borodin, Pavel M.; Searle, Jeremy B.

    2013-01-01

    Sorex araneus, the Common shrew, is a species with more than 70 karyotypic races, many of which form parapatric hybrid zones, making it a model for studying chromosomal speciation. Hybrids between races have reduced fitness, but microsatellite markers have demonstrated considerable gene flow between them, calling into question whether the chromosomal barriers actually do contribute to genetic divergence. We studied phenotypic clines across two hybrid zones with especially complex heterozygotes. Hybrids between the Novosibirsk and Tomsk races produce chains of nine and three chromosomes at meiosis, and hybrids between the Moscow and Seliger races produce chains of eleven. Our goal was to determine whether phenotypes show evidence of reduced gene flow at hybrid zones. We used maximum likelihood to fit tanh cline models to geometric shape data and found that phenotypic clines in skulls and mandibles across these zones had similar centers and widths as chromosomal clines. The amount of phenotypic differentiation across the zones is greater than expected if it were dissipating due to unrestricted gene flow given the amount of time since contact, but it is less than expected to have accumulated from drift during allopatric separation in glacial refugia. Only if heritability is very low, Ne very high, and the time spent in allopatry very short, will the differences we observe be large enough to match the expectation of drift. Our results therefore suggest that phenotypic differentiation has been lost through gene flow since post-glacial secondary contact, but not as quickly as would be expected if there was free gene flow across the hybrid zones. The chromosomal tension zones are confirmed to be partial barriers that prevent differentiated races from becoming phenotypically homogenous. PMID:23874420

  18. Behavioral Patterns Associated with Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis: A Potential Signature for Nausea in Musk Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Charles C.; Henry, Séverine; Meyers, Kelly; Magnusson, Magnus S.

    2011-01-01

    Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in patients with many diseases, including cancer and its treatments. Although the neurological basis of vomiting is reasonably well known, an understanding of the physiology of nausea is lacking. The primary barrier to mechanistic research on the nausea system is the lack of an animal model. Indeed investigating the effects of anti-nausea drugs in pre-clinical models is difficult because the primary readout is often emesis. It is known that animals show a behavioral profile of sickness, associated with reduced feeding and movement, and possibly these general measures are signs of nausea. Studies attempting to relate the occurrence of additional behaviors to emesis have produced mixed results. Here we applied a statistical method, temporal pattern (t-pattern) analysis, to determine patterns of behavior associated with emesis. Musk shrews were injected with the chemotherapy agent cisplatin (a gold standard in emesis research) to induce acute (<24 h) and delayed (>24 h) emesis. Emesis and other behaviors were coded and tracked from video files. T-pattern analysis revealed hundreds of non-random patterns of behavior associated with emesis, including sniffing, changes in body contraction, and locomotion. There was little evidence that locomotion was inhibited by the occurrence of emesis. Eating, drinking, and other larger body movements including rearing, grooming, and body rotation, were significantly less common in emesis-related behavioral patterns in real versus randomized data. These results lend preliminary evidence for the expression of emesis-related behavioral patterns, including reduced ingestive behavior, grooming, and exploratory behaviors. In summary, this statistical approach to behavioral analysis in a pre-clinical emesis research model could be used to assess the more global effects and limitations of drugs used to control nausea and its potential correlates, including reduced feeding and activity levels. PMID

  19. Overview of the Cestode fauna of European shrews of the genus Sorex with an exploration of historical processes in post-glacial Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cestode fauna in shrews of the genus Sorex from the European region consists of seventeen species. Twelve cestode species have broad Palearctic distributions, three belong to the Western-Asian–European faunistic complex, and only two are endemic to the European zone. Postglacial expansion into ...

  20. Cholesterol induces lipoprotein lipase expression in a tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Linqiang; Zhang, Zhiguo; Li, Yunhai; Liao, Shasha; Wu, Xiaoyun; Chang, Qing; Liang, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Animal models are indispensible to investigate the pathogenesis and treatments of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). Altered cholesterol metabolism has been implicated into the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Here, using high fat, cholesterol and cholate diet (HFHC), we generated a novel tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of NAFLD, which displayed dyslipidemia with increased levels of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), but decreased level of triglycerides (TG). Liver histopathology and genes expression indicated that HFHC diet successfully induced liver steatosis to inflammation and fibrosis progressively within 10 weeks. Moreover, HFHC induced the transcriptional expression of lipoprotein lipase (lpl) in the liver, but repressed the expression of LDL receptor, and the endogenous synthesis pathway and excretion of cholesterol. Notably, Poloxamer 407 (P-407) inhibition of LPL improved the severity of steatosis and reduced inflammation. These results illustrated that LPL plays an important role in cholesterol metabolism in NAFLD, and the tree shrew may be a valuable animal model for further research into NAFLD. PMID:26522240

  1. The FAAH inhibitor URB-597 interferes with cisplatin- and nicotine-induced vomiting in the Suncus murinus (house musk shrew)

    PubMed Central

    Parker, LA; Limebeer, CL; Rock, EM; Litt, DL; Kwiatkowska, M.; Piomelli, D.

    2013-01-01

    Considerable evidence implicates the endocannabinoid system as a neuromodulator of nausea and vomiting. The action of anandamide (AEA) can be prolonged by inhibiting its degradation, through the use of URB597 (URB), a Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme inhibitor. Here we present evidence that the FAAH inhibitor, URB, interferes with cisplatin- and nicotine -induced vomiting in the Suncus murinus. In Experiment 1, shrews were injected with URB (0.9 mg/kg) or vehicle 120 min prior to the behavioral testing. They received a second injection of AEA (5 mg/kg) or vehicle 15 min prior to being injected with cisplatin (20 mg/kg) or saline and the number of vomiting episodes were counted for 60 min. In Experiment 2, shrews were injected with vehicle or URB (0.9 mg/kg) 120 min prior to receiving an injection of nicotine (5 mg/kg) or saline and the number of vomiting episodes were counted for 15 min. Experiment 3 evaluated the potential of the CB1 antagonist, SR141716, to reverse the effect of URB on nicotine-induced vomiting. URB attenuated vomiting produced by cisplatin and nicotine and the combination of URB+AEA suppressed vomiting produced by cisplatin. The effect of URB on nicotine-induced vomiting was reversed by SR141716. These data suggest that the EC system plays a tonic role in the regulation of toxin-induced vomiting. PMID:19239915

  2. Identification of Specialists and Abundance-Occupancy Relationships among Intestinal Bacteria of Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii.

    PubMed

    Green, Hyatt C; Fisher, Jenny C; McLellan, Sandra L; Sogin, Mitchell L; Shanks, Orin C

    2015-01-01

    The coalescence of next-generation DNA sequencing methods, ecological perspectives, and bioinformatics analysis tools is rapidly advancing our understanding of the evolution and function of vertebrate-associated bacterial communities. Delineation of host-microbe associations has applied benefits ranging from clinical treatments to protecting our natural waters. Microbial communities follow some broad-scale patterns observed for macroorganisms, but it remains unclear how the specialization of intestinal vertebrate-associated communities to a particular host environment influences broad-scale patterns in microbial abundance and distribution. We analyzed the V6 region of 16S rRNA genes amplified from 106 fecal samples spanning Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish). We investigated the interspecific abundance-occupancy relationship, where widespread taxa tend to be more abundant than narrowly distributed taxa, among operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within and among host species. In a separate analysis, we identified specialist OTUs that were highly abundant in a single host and rare in all other hosts by using a multinomial model without excluding undersampled OTUs a priori. We show that intestinal microbes in humans and other vertebrates display abundance-occupancy relationships, but because intestinal host-associated communities have undergone intense specialization, this trend is violated by a disproportionately large number of specialist taxa. Although it is difficult to distinguish the effects of dispersal limitations, host selection, historical contingency, and stochastic processes on community assembly, results suggest that intestinal bacteria can be shared among diverse hosts in ways that resemble the distribution of "free-living" bacteria in the extraintestinal environment. PMID:26712546

  3. Feeding mechanics and dietary implications in the fossil sloth Neocnus (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Megalonychidae) from Haiti.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    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

  4. Identification of Specialists and Abundance-Occupancy Relationships among Intestinal Bacteria of Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Jenny C.; McLellan, Sandra L.; Sogin, Mitchell L.; Shanks, Orin C.

    2015-01-01

    The coalescence of next-generation DNA sequencing methods, ecological perspectives, and bioinformatics analysis tools is rapidly advancing our understanding of the evolution and function of vertebrate-associated bacterial communities. Delineation of host-microbe associations has applied benefits ranging from clinical treatments to protecting our natural waters. Microbial communities follow some broad-scale patterns observed for macroorganisms, but it remains unclear how the specialization of intestinal vertebrate-associated communities to a particular host environment influences broad-scale patterns in microbial abundance and distribution. We analyzed the V6 region of 16S rRNA genes amplified from 106 fecal samples spanning Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish). We investigated the interspecific abundance-occupancy relationship, where widespread taxa tend to be more abundant than narrowly distributed taxa, among operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within and among host species. In a separate analysis, we identified specialist OTUs that were highly abundant in a single host and rare in all other hosts by using a multinomial model without excluding undersampled OTUs a priori. We show that intestinal microbes in humans and other vertebrates display abundance-occupancy relationships, but because intestinal host-associated communities have undergone intense specialization, this trend is violated by a disproportionately large number of specialist taxa. Although it is difficult to distinguish the effects of dispersal limitations, host selection, historical contingency, and stochastic processes on community assembly, results suggest that intestinal bacteria can be shared among diverse hosts in ways that resemble the distribution of “free-living” bacteria in the extraintestinal environment. PMID:26712546

  5. Further description of Aspidodera raillieti (Nematoda: Aspidoderidae) from Didelphis marsupialis (Mammalia: Didelphidae) by light and scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Chagas-Moutinho, V A; Oliveira-Menezes, A; Cárdenas, M Q; Lanfredi, R M

    2007-10-01

    Nematodes of the family Aspidoderidae (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) Freitas 1956 are widely distributed from Americas. The species of the genus Aspidodera Railliet and Henry 1912 are parasites of mammals of the orders Edentata, Marsupialia, and Rodentia. In the present work, Aspidodera raillieti (L. Travassos, Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 5(3):271-318, 1913), collected from the large intestine of Didelphis marsupialis (Mammalia: Didelphidae) from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, is redescribed. The association of light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) allowed a detailed analysis of the morphology and ultrastructure of this nematode. Some taxonomic features, such as cephalic region, topography of the cuticle, sucker, spicules, posterior end of males, localization of vulva, the anus, and posterior end of females were observed. Important structures such as amphid, details of cephalic region, phasmid, and number and localization of caudal papillae are documented by SEM, for the first time adding characters to identify this species. Colombia is a new geographical record for A. raillieti. PMID:17622560

  6. Dental microwear in relation to changes in the direction of mastication during the evolution of Myodonta (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charles, Cyril; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Michaux, Jacques; Viriot, Laurent

    2007-01-01

    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).

  7. The mole's thumb -- evolution of the hand skeleton in talpids (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R; Menke, Peter R

    2005-01-01

    Osteological specimens representing 15 out of the 16 currently recognized talpid genera were examined and scored for seven discrete morphological characters of the hand. The phylogenetic distribution of these characters was studied in the context of alternative hypotheses of talpid relationships, using three species of shrews and a hedgehog as outgroups. All talpids show a similar number and arrangement of carpal bones. The most obvious differences concern the presence of additional sesamoid bones, the relative size of the os falciforme when present, and the degree of fusion of the scaphoid and lunate in the proximal carpal row. Marked differences in the relative length and proportions of the metacarpals also exist. The development of the carpals in Talpa europaea was studied through examination of histological sections of the hand of an embryo and a neonate. Whereas carpal anatomy in the neonate mirrors the arrangement and proportions of the adult, in the embryo the scaphoid and lunate are still separate, there are no signs of the os falciforme, and the size proportions of metacarpals to carpals are obviously different to those of the adult. A prehallux or tibial sesamoid, serial homologue to the os falciforme or prepollex (a radial sesamoid), does not have an obvious functional role, and its presence might be the result of a common epigenetic control in the hand and the foot resulting in a non-adaptive structure in the latter. PMID:16351950

  8. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Pfaff, Cathrin; Martin, Thomas; Ruf, Irina

    2015-06-22

    The semicircular canals (SCs) of the inner ear detect angular acceleration and are located in the bony labyrinth of the petrosal bone. Based on high-resolution computed tomography, we created a size-independent database of the bony labyrinth of 50 mammalian species especially rodents of the squirrel-related clade comprising taxa with fossorial, arboreal and gliding adaptations. Our sampling also includes gliding marsupials, actively flying bats, the arboreal tree shrew and subterranean species. The morphometric anatomy of the SCs was correlated to the locomotion mode. Even if the phylogenetic signal cannot entirely be excluded, the main significance for functional morphological studies has been found in the diameter of the SCs, whereas the radius of curvature is of minor interest. Additionally, we found clear differences in the bias angle of the canals between subterranean and gliding taxa, but also between sciurids and glirids. The sensitivity of the inner ear correlates with the locomotion mode, with a higher sensitivity of the SCs in fossorial species than in flying taxa. We conclude that the inner ear of flying and gliding mammals is less sensitive due to the large information flow into this sense organ during locomotion. PMID:26019162

  9. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Pfaff, Cathrin; Martin, Thomas; Ruf, Irina

    2015-01-01

    The semicircular canals (SCs) of the inner ear detect angular acceleration and are located in the bony labyrinth of the petrosal bone. Based on high-resolution computed tomography, we created a size-independent database of the bony labyrinth of 50 mammalian species especially rodents of the squirrel-related clade comprising taxa with fossorial, arboreal and gliding adaptations. Our sampling also includes gliding marsupials, actively flying bats, the arboreal tree shrew and subterranean species. The morphometric anatomy of the SCs was correlated to the locomotion mode. Even if the phylogenetic signal cannot entirely be excluded, the main significance for functional morphological studies has been found in the diameter of the SCs, whereas the radius of curvature is of minor interest. Additionally, we found clear differences in the bias angle of the canals between subterranean and gliding taxa, but also between sciurids and glirids. The sensitivity of the inner ear correlates with the locomotion mode, with a higher sensitivity of the SCs in fossorial species than in flying taxa. We conclude that the inner ear of flying and gliding mammals is less sensitive due to the large information flow into this sense organ during locomotion. PMID:26019162

  10. Digital Cranial Endocast of Hyopsodus (Mammalia, “Condylarthra”): A Case of Paleogene Terrestrial Echolocation?

    PubMed Central

    Orliac, Maeva J.; Argot, Christine; Gilissen, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. Interglacial refugia preserved high genetic diversity of the Chinese mole shrew in the mountains of southwest China.

    PubMed

    He, K; Hu, N-Q; Chen, X; Li, J-T; Jiang, X-L

    2016-01-01

    The mountains of southwest China (MSC) harbor extremely high species diversity; however, the mechanism behind this diversity is unknown. We investigated to what degree the topography and climate change shaped the genetic diversity and diversification in these mountains, and we also sought to identify the locations of microrefugia areas in these mountains. For these purposes, we sampled extensively to estimate the intraspecific phylogenetic pattern of the Chinese mole shrew (Anourosorex squamipes) in southwest China throughout its range of distribution. Two mitochondrial genes, namely, cytochrome b (CYT B) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2), from 383 archived specimens from 43 localities were determined for phylogeographic and demographic analyses. We used the continuous-diffusion phylogeographic model, extensive Bayesian skyline plot species distribution modeling (SDM) and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) to explore the changes in population size and distribution through time of the species. Two phylogenetic clades were identified, and significantly higher genetic diversity was preserved in the southern subregion of the mountains. The results of the SDM, continuous-diffusion phylogeographic model, extensive Bayesian skyline plot and ABC analyses were congruent and supported that the Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG) was an unfavorable period for the mole shrews because of a high degree of seasonality; A. squamipes survived in isolated interglacial refugia mainly located in the southern subregion during the LIG and rapidly expanded during the last glacial period. These results furnished the first evidence for major Pleistocene interglacial refugia and a latitudinal effect in southwest China, and the results shedding light on the higher level of species richness in the southern subregion. PMID:26286667

  12. Anandamide transport inhibition by ARN272 attenuates nausea-induced behaviour in rats, and vomiting in shrews (Suncus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, L D; Limebeer, C L; Rock, E M; Bottegoni, G; Piomelli, D; Parker, L A

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose To understand how anandamide transport inhibition impacts the regulation of nausea and vomiting and the receptor level mechanism of action involved. In light of recent characterization of an anandamide transporter, fatty acid amide hydrolase-1-like anandamide transporter, to provide behavioural support for anandamide cellular reuptake as a facilitated transport process. Experimental Approach The systemic administration of the anandamide transport inhibitor ARN272 ([(4-(5-(4-hydroxy-phenyl)-3,4-diaza-bicyclo[4.4.0]deca-1(6),2,4,7,9-pentaen-2-ylamino)-phenyl)-phenylamino-methanone]) was used to evaluate the prevention of LiCl-induced nausea-induced behaviour (conditioned gaping) in rats, and LiCl-induced emesis in shrews (Suncus murinus). The mechanism of how prolonging anandamide availability acts to regulate nausea in rats was explored by the antagonism of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors with the systemic co-administration of SR141716. Key Results The systemic administration of ARN272 produced a dose-dependent suppression of nausea-induced conditioned gaping in rats, and produced a dose-dependent reduction of vomiting in shrews. The systemic co-administration of SR141716 with ARN272 (at 3.0 mg·kg−1) in rats produced a complete reversal of ARN272-suppressed gaping at 1.0 mg·kg−1. SR141716 alone did not differ from the vehicle solution. Conclusions and Implications These results suggest that anandamide transport inhibition by the compound ARN272 tonically activates CB1 receptors and as such produces a type of indirect agonism to regulate toxin-induced nausea and vomiting. The results also provide behavioural evidence in support of a facilitated transport mechanism used in the cellular reuptake of anandamide. PMID:23991698

  13. The effect of intravitreal injection of vehicle solutions on form deprivation myopia in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Ward, Alexander H; Siegwart, John T; Frost, Michael R; Norton, Thomas T

    2016-04-01

    lntravitreal injection of substances dissolved in a vehicle solution is a common tool used to assess retinal function. We examined the effect of injection procedures (three groups) and vehicle solutions (four groups) on the development of form deprivation myopia (FDM) in juvenile tree shrews, mammals closely related to primates, starting at 24 days of visual experience (about 45 days of age). In seven groups (n = 7 per group), the myopia produced by monocular form deprivation (FD) was measured daily for 12 days during an 11-day treatment period. The FD eye was randomly selected; the contralateral eye served as an untreated control. The refractive state of both eyes was measured daily, starting just before FD began (day 1); axial component dimensions were measured on day 1 and after eleven days of treatment (day 12). Procedure groups: the myopia (treated eye - control eye refraction) in the FD group was the reference. The sham group only underwent brief daily anesthesia and opening of the conjunctiva to expose the sclera. The puncture group, in addition, had a pipette inserted daily into the vitreous. In four vehicle groups, 5 μL of vehicle was injected daily. The NaCl group received 0.85% NaCl. In the NaCl + ascorbic acid group, 1 mg/mL of ascorbic acid was added. The water group received sterile water. The water + ascorbic acid group received water with ascorbic acid (1 mg/mL). We found that the procedures associated with intravitreal injections (anesthesia, opening of the conjunctiva, and puncture of the sclera) did not significantly affect the development of FDM. However, injecting 5 μL of any of the four vehicle solutions slowed the development of FDM. NaCl had a small effect; myopia development in the last 6 days (-0.15 ± 0.08 D/day) was significantly less than in the FD group (-0.55 ± 0.06 D/day). NaCl + Ascorbic acid further slowed the development of FDM on several treatment days. H2O (-0.09 ± 0.05 D/day) and H2O + ascorbic acid

  14. Brevinema andersonii gen. nov., sp. nov., an infectious spirochete isolated from the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Defosse, D L; Johnson, R C; Paster, B J; Dewhirst, F E; Fraser, G J

    1995-01-01

    A spirochete which infects short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) has been shown previously to be ultrastructurally and serologically distinct from other spirochetes. Two of the original isolates from Connecticut and Minnesota and 16 new isolates obtained from shrews captured in Minnesota were characterized phenotypically and genetically in this study. A comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA sequences of two shrew isolates and one mouse isolate and the 16S rRNA sequences of 16 other spirochetes and Escherichia coli revealed that these organisms exhibited low levels of similarity (range of similarity values, 73.9 to 77.8%; average level of similarity, 74.7%). The shrew and mouse isolates which we examined formed a deeply branching subgroup that was clearly distinct from the other genera of spirochetes examined. These and other results indicated that the new spirochetes represent a unique taxon in the order Spirochaetales. Accordingly, we propose that they should be classified as members of a new genus, Brevinema. The three strains of Brevinema which we examined had 16S rRNA sequences that were nearly identical. We also compared these isolates by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, fatty acid and enzyme analyses, restriction endonuclease analysis, and Southern hybridization and found that the levels of genetic and phenotypic homogeneity among the strains were very high. We concluded that the isolates which we examined were members of a single species, for which we propose the name Brevinema andersonii. The type strain of Brevinema andersonii is CT11616 (= ATCC 43811).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7857811

  15. Population structure of wild musk shrews (Suncus murinus) in Asia based on mitochondrial DNA variation, with research in Cambodia and Bhutan.

    PubMed

    Kurachi, Megumi; Chau, Ba-Loc; Dang, Vu-Binh; Dorji, Tashi; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Nyunt, Maung Maung; Maeda, Yoshizane; Chhum-Phith, Loan; Namikawa, Takao; Yamagata, Takahiro

    2007-04-01

    The musk shrew (Suncus murinus) is a small mammalian species belonging to Insectivora. It is widely distributed in Asia. To identify the genetic relationship among wild musk shrew populations and examine its migration route, we investigated the populations of Cambodia and Bhutan by using mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and compared them with other Asian populations previously described. Four haplotypes were detected in Cambodia and eight in Bhutan. A total of 53 haplotypes were detected in Asia and were classified largely into two groups, the Continental and Island types, based on a minimum spanning network. From the distribution of mtDNA types in wild musk shrews, three major population groups are identified in Asia: South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Malay. It is suggested that the Malay population group was a mix of South and Southeast Asian population groups and that this was a contact area of the two groups. In addition, other contact areas between the South and Southeast Asian groups exist in Myanmar, but unlike the Malay, the Myanmar area was the border of these groups. PMID:17318375

  16. Transcriptome Profiles Using Next-Generation Sequencing Reveal Liver Changes in the Early Stage of Diabetes in Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haibo; Zhang, Zhiguo; Chang, Qing; Liao, Shasha; Zhang, Linqiang; Li, Yunhai; Wu, Dongdong

    2016-01-01

    Determining the liver changes during the early stages of diabetes is critical to understand the nature of the disease and development of novel treatments for it. Advances in the use of animal models and next-generation sequencing technologies offer a powerful tool in connection between liver changes and the diabetes. Here, we created a tree shrew diabetes model akin to type 1 diabetes by using streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Using RNA-seq, we compiled liver transcriptome profiles to determine the differentially expressed genes and to explore the role of hyperglycemia in liver changes. Our results, respectively, identified 14,060 and 14,335 genes in healthy tree shrews and those with diabetes, with 70 genes differentially expressed between the two groups. Gene orthology and KEGG annotation revealed that several of the main biological processes of these genes were related to translational processes, steroid metabolic processes, oxidative stress, inflammation, and hypertension, all of which are highly associated with diabetes and its complications. These results collectively suggest that STZ induces hyperglycemia in tree shrew and that hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress led to high expression of aldose reductase, inflammation, and even cell death in liver tissues during the early stage of diabetes. PMID:27069931

  17. Transcriptome Profiles Using Next-Generation Sequencing Reveal Liver Changes in the Early Stage of Diabetes in Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis).

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaoyun; Xu, Haibo; Zhang, Zhiguo; Chang, Qing; Liao, Shasha; Zhang, Linqiang; Li, Yunhai; Wu, Dongdong; Liang, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Determining the liver changes during the early stages of diabetes is critical to understand the nature of the disease and development of novel treatments for it. Advances in the use of animal models and next-generation sequencing technologies offer a powerful tool in connection between liver changes and the diabetes. Here, we created a tree shrew diabetes model akin to type 1 diabetes by using streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Using RNA-seq, we compiled liver transcriptome profiles to determine the differentially expressed genes and to explore the role of hyperglycemia in liver changes. Our results, respectively, identified 14,060 and 14,335 genes in healthy tree shrews and those with diabetes, with 70 genes differentially expressed between the two groups. Gene orthology and KEGG annotation revealed that several of the main biological processes of these genes were related to translational processes, steroid metabolic processes, oxidative stress, inflammation, and hypertension, all of which are highly associated with diabetes and its complications. These results collectively suggest that STZ induces hyperglycemia in tree shrew and that hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress led to high expression of aldose reductase, inflammation, and even cell death in liver tissues during the early stage of diabetes. PMID:27069931

  18. Molecular evidence for the monophyly of tenrecidae (mammalia) and the timing of the colonization of Madagascar by Malagasy Tenrecs.

    PubMed

    Douady, Christophe J; Catzeflis, Francois; Kao, Diana J; Springer, Mark S; Stanhope, Michael J

    2002-03-01

    Tenrecs are a diverse family of insectivores, with an Afro-Malagasian biogeographic distribution. Three subfamilies (Geogalinae, Oryzorictinae, Tenrecinae) are restricted to Madagascar and one subfamily, the otter shrews (Potamogalinae), occurs on the mainland. Morphological studies have generated conflicting hypotheses according to which both tenrecids and Malagassy tenrecs are either monophyletic or paraphyletic. Competing hypotheses have different implications for the biogeographic history of Tenrecidae. At present, there are no molecular studies that address these hypotheses. The present study provides sequences of a nuclear protein-coding gene (vWF) and the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, tRNA valine, and 16S rRNA genes from a potamogaline (Micropotamogale). New sequences of these genes are also reported for the tenrecine, Tenrec ecaudatus. The 12S sequences from these taxa were combined with data already available for this locus from two other tenrecids (Echinops telfairi, subfamily Tenrecinae and Oryzorictes talpoides, subfamily Oryzorictinae). Phylogenetic analyses provided strong bootstrap support for the monophyly of Tenrecidae and Malagasy tenrecs. The majority of statistical tests rejected morphological claims for both a Tenrecinae--Chrysochloridae clade and an Oryzorictinae--Potamogalinae clade. Molecular clock estimates suggest a split of otter shrews and Malagasy tenrecs at approximately 53 MYA. We estimate that the ancestor of Malagasy tenrecs dispersed to Madagascar subsequent to this split but prior to about 37 MYA. PMID:11884160

  19. Dasypodidae Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera): Proposed emendation of spelling to Dasypodaidae, so removing the homonymy with Dasypodidae Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, B.A.; Michener, C.D.; Gardner, A.L.

    1998-01-01

    The family-group name DASYPODIDAE Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera) is a junior homonym Of DASYPODIDAE Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra). It is proposed that the homonymy between the two names, which relate to short-tongued bees and armadillos respectively, should be removed by emending the stem of the generic name Dasypoda Latreille, 1802, on which the insect familygroup name is based, to give DASYPODAIDAE, while leaving the mammalian name (based on Dasypus Linnaeus, 1758) unchanged. Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758, the type species of Dasypus, has a wide distribution in the southern United States, Central and South America. The genus Dasypoda ranges throughout most of the Palearctic region.

  20. Multilocus phylogeny and cryptic diversity in Asian shrew-like moles (Uropsilus, Talpidae): implications for taxonomy and conservation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The genus Uropsilus comprises a group of terrestrial, montane mammals endemic to the Hengduan and adjacent mountains. These animals are the most primitive living talpids. The taxonomy has been primarily based on cursory morphological comparisons and the evolutionary affinities are little known. To provide insight into the systematics of this group, we estimated the first multi-locus phylogeny and conducted species delimitation, including taxon sampling throughout their distribution range. Results We obtained two mitochondrial genes (~1, 985 bp) and eight nuclear genes (~4, 345 bp) from 56 specimens. Ten distinct evolutionary lineages were recovered from the three recognized species, eight of which were recognized as species/putative species. Five of these putative species were found to be masquerading as the gracile shrew mole. The divergence time estimation results indicated that climate change since the last Miocene and the uplift of the Himalayas may have resulted in the diversification and speciation of Uropsilus. Conclusions The cryptic diversity found in this study indicated that the number of species is strongly underestimated under the current taxonomy. Two synonyms of gracilis (atronates and nivatus) should be given full species status, and the taxonomic status of another three potential species should be evaluated using extensive taxon sampling, comprehensive morphological, and morphometric approaches. Consequently, the conservation status of Uropsilus spp. should also be re-evaluated, as most of the species/potential species have very limited distribution. PMID:24161152

  1. Blarina toxin, a mammalian lethal venom from the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda: Isolation and characterization.

    PubMed

    Kita, Masaki; Nakamura, Yasuo; Okumura, Yuushi; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Oba, Yuichi; Yoshikuni, Michiyasu; Kido, Hiroshi; Uemura, Daisuke

    2004-05-18

    Venomous mammals are rare, and their venoms have not been characterized. We have purified and characterized the blarina toxin (BLTX), a lethal mammalian venom with a tissue kallikrein-like activity from the submaxillary and sublingual glands of the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda. Mice administered BLTX i.p. developed irregular respiration, paralysis, and convulsions before dying. Based on the amino acid sequence of purified protein, we cloned the BLTX cDNA. It consists of a prosequence and an active form of 253 aa with a typical catalytic triad of serine proteases, with a high identity with tissue kallikreins. BLTX is an N-linked microheterogeneous glycoprotein with a unique insertion of 10 residues, L(106)TFFYKTFLG(115). BLTX converted kininogens to kinins, which may be one of the toxic pathogens, and had dilatory effects on the blood vessel walls. The acute toxicity and proteolytic activity of BLTX were strongly inhibited by aprotinin, a kallikrein inhibitor, suggesting that its toxicity is due to a kallikrein-like activity of the venom. PMID:15136743

  2. Lethal disease in infant and juvenile Syrian hamsters experimentally infected with Imjin virus, a newfound crocidurine shrew-borne hantavirus.

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Kim, Young-Sik; Baek, Luck Ju; Kurata, Takeshi; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2015-12-01

    To gain insights into the pathogenicity of Imjin virus (MJNV), a newfound hantavirus isolated from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), groups of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) of varying ages (<1, 5, 10, 14, 21, 35 and 56 days) were inoculated by the intraperitoneal route with 1000 pfu of MJNV strains 04-55 and 05-11. MJNV-infected Syrian hamsters, aged 21 days or less, exhibited reduced activity, weight loss, respiratory distress, hind-limb paralysis and seizures. Death ensued 1 to 6 days after onset of clinical disease. MJNV RNA was detected in brain and other major organs by RT-PCR and real time-PCR. Histopathological examination showed alveolar hemorrhage, interstitial pneumonia and severe pulmonary congestion; focal hepatic necrosis and portal inflammation; and acute meningoencephalitis. By immunohistochemistry, MJNV antigen was detected in pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells and glial cells. Older hamsters (35 and 56 days of age) developed subclinical infection without histopathological changes. Future studies are warranted to determine the pathophysiologic bases for the differential age susceptibility of Syrian hamsters to lethal MJNV disease. PMID:26371066

  3. Addiction: From Context-Induced Hedonia to Appetite, Based on Transition of Micro-behaviors in Morphine Abstinent Tree Shrews.

    PubMed

    Duan, Ying; Shen, Fang; Gu, Tingting; Sui, Nan

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction is viewed as a maladaptive memory induced by contextual cues even in the abstinent state. However, the variations of hedonia and appetite induced by the context during the abstinence have been neglected. To distinguish the representative behaviors between hedonia and appetite, micro-behaviors in abstinent animal such as psycho-activity and drug seeking behaviors were observed in morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). To confirm the different effects of reward between drug and natural reward, a palatable food CPP paradigm was compared in current work. After a 10-day training in CPP with morphine or food, the preference was tested on day 1, 14, 28, and the changes of micro-behaviors were analyzed further. Our data showed that tree shrews treated with morphine performed more jumps on day 1 and more visits to saline paired side on day 28, which indicated a featured behavioral transition from psycho-activity to seeking behavior during drug abstinence. Meanwhile, food-conditioned animals only displayed obvious seeking behaviors in the three tests. The results suggest that the variations of micro-behaviors could imply such a transition from hedonic response to appetitive behaviors during morphine abstinence, which provided a potential behavioral basis for further neural mechanism studies. PMID:27375516

  4. Addiction: From Context-Induced Hedonia to Appetite, Based on Transition of Micro-behaviors in Morphine Abstinent Tree Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Ying; Shen, Fang; Gu, Tingting; Sui, Nan

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction is viewed as a maladaptive memory induced by contextual cues even in the abstinent state. However, the variations of hedonia and appetite induced by the context during the abstinence have been neglected. To distinguish the representative behaviors between hedonia and appetite, micro-behaviors in abstinent animal such as psycho-activity and drug seeking behaviors were observed in morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). To confirm the different effects of reward between drug and natural reward, a palatable food CPP paradigm was compared in current work. After a 10-day training in CPP with morphine or food, the preference was tested on day 1, 14, 28, and the changes of micro-behaviors were analyzed further. Our data showed that tree shrews treated with morphine performed more jumps on day 1 and more visits to saline paired side on day 28, which indicated a featured behavioral transition from psycho-activity to seeking behavior during drug abstinence. Meanwhile, food-conditioned animals only displayed obvious seeking behaviors in the three tests. The results suggest that the variations of micro-behaviors could imply such a transition from hedonic response to appetitive behaviors during morphine abstinence, which provided a potential behavioral basis for further neural mechanism studies. PMID:27375516

  5. The morphological and histological characters of the male external genitalia of the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa-Miyado, Mami; Ogi, Hidenao; Ogino, Yukiko; Katoh, Hironori; Suzuki, Kentaro; Uemura, Masanori; Kitoh, Junzoh; Oda, Sen-Ichi; Yamada, Gen

    2005-04-01

    External genitalia are the reproductive organs necessary for efficient copulation and internal fertilization in various mammalian species. Their morphogeneses display significant morphological and developmental differences among species. The house musk shrew, Suncus murinus (hereafter described as suncus) is a species of the order Insectivora, which has been considered as primitive and one of the earliest eutheria phylogenetically. Comparative anatomical analyses of phylogenetically different mammals will contribute to the better understanding of morphological diversity of external genitalia. This study performed various anatomical and histological analyses concerning the organization of the external genitalia of male suncus. It was shown that the external genitalia of suncus possessed a muscular structure, which we proposed as musculus ischiocavernosus dorsalis of suncus. The musculus ischiocavernosus dorsalis is originated from the inner surface of the tuber ischiadicum and was allocated adjacent to the corpus cavernosum penis. In addition, a pair of alpha-smooth muscle actin positive muscles was located bilaterally to the urethra. This unique morphology of the external genitalia of suncus males may provide a unique model system to investigate genital morphogenesis. PMID:15846055

  6. A mongoose remain (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments, Myanmar and its significance in evolutionary history of Asian herpestids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egi, Naoko; Thaung-Htike; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Maung-Maung; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Ogino, Shintaro; Takai, Masanaru

    2011-11-01

    A tooth of a mongoose (Mammalia: Carnivora: Herpestidae) was discovered from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments in central Myanmar. The age of the fauna is not older than the mid-Pliocene. It is identified as a right first upper molar of a small species of Urva (formally included in the genus Herpestes) based on its size and shape. The present specimen is the first carnivoran from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments and is the first record of mongooses in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene of Asia. It confirms that mongooses had already dispersed into Southeast Asia by the late Pliocene, being consistent with the previous molecular phylogenetic analyses. The fossil may belong to one of the extant species, but an assignment to a specific species is difficult due to the fragmentary nature of the specimen and the small interspecific differences in dental shape among the Asian mongooses. The size of the tooth suggests that the Irrawaddy specimen is within or close to the clade of Urva auropunctata + javanica + edwardsii, and this taxonomic assignment agrees with the geographical distribution.

  7. Dental microwear in relation to changes in the direction of mastication during the evolution of Myodonta (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Charles, Cyril; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Michaux, Jacques; Viriot, Laurent

    2007-01-01

    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). PMID:17016685

  8. Thalamic Burst Firing Propensity: a Comparison of the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate and Pulvinar Nuclei in the Tree Shrew

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Haiyang; Bonjean, Maxime; Petry, Heywood M.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Bickford, Martha E.

    2011-01-01

    Relay neurons in dorsal thalamic nuclei can fire high frequency bursts of action potentials that ride the crest of voltage-dependent transient (T-type) calcium currents (low threshold spike; LTS). To explore potential nucleus-specific burst features, we compared the membrane properties of dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and pulvinar nucleus relay neurons using in vitro whole cell recording in juvenile and adult tree shrew (Tupaia) tissue slices. We injected current ramps of variable slope into neurons that were sufficiently hyperpolarized to de-inactivate T-type calcium channels. In a small percentage of juvenile pulvinar and dLGN neurons, an LTS could not be evoked. In the remaining juvenile neurons, and in all adult dLGN neurons, a single LTS could be evoked by current ramps. However, in the adult pulvinar, current ramps evoked multiple LTSs in over 70% of recorded neurons. Using immunohistochemistry, western blot techniques, unbiased stereology, confocal and electron microscopy, we found that pulvinar neurons expressed more T-type calcium channels (Cav 3.2) and more small conductance potassium channels (SK2) than dLGN neurons and that the pulvinar nucleus contained a higher glia-to-neuron ratio than the dLGN. Hodgkin-Huxley type compartmental models revealed that the distinct firing modes could be replicated by manipulating T-type calcium and SK2 channel density, distribution, and kinetics. The intrinsic properties of pulvinar neurons that promote burst firing in the adult may be relevant to the treatment of conditions that involve the adult onset of aberrant thalamocortical interactions. PMID:22114295

  9. Ecological risk assessment for mink and short-tailed shrew exposed to PCBs, dioxins, and furans in the Housatonic River area.

    PubMed

    Moore, Dwayne R J; Breton, Roger L; DeLong, Tod R; Ferson, Scott; Lortie, John P; MacDonald, Drew B; McGrath, Richard; Pawlisz, Andrzej; Svirsky, Susan C; Teed, R Scott; Thompson, Ryan P; Whitfield Aslund, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    A probabilistic risk assessment was conducted to characterize risks to a representative piscivorous mammal (mink, Mustela vison) and a representative carnivorous mammal (short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda) exposed to PCBs, dioxins, and furans in the Housatonic River area downstream of the General Electric (GE) facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Contaminant exposure was estimated using a probabilistic total daily intake model and parameterized using life history information of each species and concentrations of PCBs, dioxins, and furans in prey collected in the Housatonic River study area. The effects assessment preferentially relied on dose-response curves but defaulted to benchmarks or other estimates of effect when there were insufficient toxicity data. The risk characterization used a weight of evidence approach. Up to 3 lines of evidence were used to estimate risks to the selected mammal species: 1) probabilistic exposure and effects modeling, 2) field surveys, and 3) species-specific feeding or field studies. The weight of evidence assessment indicated a high risk for mink and an intermediate risk for short-tailed shrew. PMID:25976918

  10. Purification and characterisation of blarinasin, a new tissue kallikrein-like protease from the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda: comparative studies with blarina toxin.

    PubMed

    Kita, Masaki; Okumura, Yuushi; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Oba, Yuichi; Yoshikuni, Michiyasu; Nakamura, Yasuo; Kido, Hiroshi; Uemura, Daisuke

    2005-02-01

    A new tissue kallikrein-like protease, blarinasin, has been purified from the salivary glands of the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda. Blarinasin is a 32-kDa N-glycosylated protease with isoelectric values ranging between 5.3 and 5.7, and an optimum pH of 8.5 for enzyme activity. The cloned blarinasin cDNA coded for a pre-pro-sequence and a mature peptide of 252 amino acids with a catalytic triad typical for serine proteases and 43.7-54.0% identity to other mammalian tissue kallikreins. Blarinasin preferentially hydrolysed Pro-Phe-Arg-4-methylcoumaryl-7-amide (MCA) and N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-Val-Leu-Lys-MCA, and preferentially converted human high-molecular-weight kininogen (HK) to bradykinin. The activity of blarinasin was prominently inhibited by aprotinin (K(i) =3.4 nM). A similar kallikrein-like protease, the lethal venom blarina toxin, has previously been purified from the salivary glands of the shrew Blarina and shows 67.9% identity to blarinasin. However, blarinasin was not toxic in mice. Blarinasin is a very abundant kallikrein-like protease and represents 70-75% of kallikrein-like enzymes in the salivary gland of B. brevicauda. PMID:15843162

  11. Genetic diversity of Imjin virus in the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura) in the Republic of Korea, 2004-2010

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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 2004 and 2010. A 531-nucleotide region of the M segment (coordinates 2,255 to 2,785) revealed that the 12 MJNV strains differed by 0-12.2% and 0-2.3% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. A similar degree of nucleotide (0.2-11.9%) and amino acid (0-3.8%) difference was found in a 632-nucleotide length of the L segment (coordinates 962 to 1,593) of nine MJNV strains. Phylogenetic analyses, based on the partial M and L segments of MJNV strains generated by the neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods, showed geographic-specific clustering, akin to the phylogeography of rodent-borne hantaviruses. PMID:21303516

  12. Inference in a social context: A comparative study of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri), hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), and rats (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Makoto; Ueno, Yoshikazu; Fujita, Kazuo

    2015-11-01

    Four species (capuchin monkeys, tree shrews, rats, and hamsters) performed an inference task situated in a social context. In Experiment 1, capuchin monkeys first explored food sites under 1 of 2 conditions: In 1 condition, food was refilled after it was eaten (replenished condition), whereas it was not refilled (depleted condition) in the other condition. Two food sites were presented for each condition. In the test phase, a subject watched a conspecific demonstrator visit 1 of the food sites in either the replenished or depleted condition. A screen placed in front of the sites prevented the subject from seeing the demonstrator actually eat the food. When the demonstrator was removed, the subject explored the cage. Three of 4 monkeys tended to go to the unvisited sites in the depleted condition, but tended to go to the visited site in the replenished condition. This suggests that they inferred that there was no food because the demonstrator had eaten it. In Experiment 2, using the same procedure, 2 nongroup-living species (tree shrews and hamsters) were indifferent to demonstrator behavior and visited sites only randomly, and group-living rats showed a strong tendency to follow demonstrators, irrespective of the type of food site. These tendencies were unchanged when olfactory information was added in Experiment 3 and when motivation to compete increased in Experiment 4. These results suggest that only capuchin monkeys have the ability to solve an inference task when cued by social information. PMID:26460855

  13. Measuring airborne components of seismic body vibrations in a Middle-Asian sand-dwelling Insectivora species, the piebald shrew (Diplomesodon pulchellum).

    PubMed

    Volodin, Ilya A; Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V; Chebotareva, Anastasia L

    2012-08-15

    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

  14. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia

    PubMed Central

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-01-01

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n=38), Aves (n=8) and Reptilia (n=8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large ‘unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild. PMID:25343515

  15. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia.

    PubMed

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-04-01

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n = 38), Aves (n = 8) and Reptilia (n = 8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large 'unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild. PMID:25343515

  16. Retinal and choroidal TGF-beta in the tree shrew model of myopia: isoform expression, activation and effects on function.

    PubMed

    Jobling, Andrew Ian; Wan, Ran; Gentle, Alex; Bui, Bang Viet; McBrien, Neville Anthony

    2009-03-01

    A visually evoked signalling cascade, which begins in the retina, transverses the choroid, and mediates scleral remodelling, is considered to control eye growth. The ubiquitous cytokine TGF-beta has been associated with alterations in ocular growth, where alterations in scleral TGF-beta isoforms mediate the scleral remodelling that results in myopia. However, while the TGF-beta isoforms have been implicated in the scleral change during myopia development, it is unclear whether alterations in retinal and choroidal isoforms constitute part of the retinoscleral cascade. This study characterised the retinal and choroidal TGF-beta isoform profiles and TGF-beta2 activation during different stages of myopia development, as induced by form deprivation, in a mammalian model of eye growth. Using quantitative real-time PCR, the mRNA for all three mammalian isoforms of TGF-beta was detected in tree shrew retina and choroid. Distinct tissue-specific isoform profiles were observed for the retina (TGF-beta1:TGF-beta2:TGF-beta3=20:2085:1) and choroid (TGF-beta1:TGF-beta2:TGF-beta3=16:23:1), which remained constant over the development period under investigation. The active and latent pools of retinal TGF-beta2 were quantified using ELISA with the majority (>94%) of total TGF-beta2 found in the latent form. Unlike previous scleral data showing early and continuous decreases in TGF-beta isoform expression during myopia development, the levels of the three isoforms remained within normal ranges for retinal (TGF-beta1, -14 to +14%; TGF-beta2, -2 to +20%; TGF-beta3, -10 to +26%) and choroidal (TGF-beta1, -19 to +21%; TGF-beta2, -26 to +8%; TGF-beta3, -11 to +28%) tissues during myopia development (induction times of 3h, 7h, 11h, 24h, and 5 days). A 40% decrease in retinal TGF-beta2 activation was observed after 5 days of myopia development, however, there was no functional correlate of altered TGF-beta2 activity, as assessed by the retinal ERG response. Overall, these data highlight

  17. A new amphicyonid (Mammalia, Carnivora, Amphicyonidae) from the late middle Miocene of northern Thailand and a review of the amphicyonine record in Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peigné, Stéphane; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Yamee, Chotima; Tian, Pannipa; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques

    2006-04-01

    Recent field research conducted in the middle Miocene basin of Mae Moh, northern Thailand, allow discovering dental remains of a new amphicyonid (Mammalia, Carnivora, Amphicyonidae). A thorough comparison with all known Asian and non-Asian Miocene genera of Amphicyonidae supports the assignment of these specimens to a new amphicyonine, Maemohcyon potisati gen. et sp. nov. We propose the first review of the fossil record of the Amphicyoninae and we discuss the possible geographic origin and phylogenetic relationships of this new taxon. It appears that Maemohcyon does not have close relationships with contemporary ( Amphicyon, Pseudocyon, Ischyrocyon, Pliocyon) or earlier ( Ictiocyon, Pseudarctos, Cynelos, Ysengrinia) genera. We suggest that the Maemohcyon lineage probably arrived much earlier than 13 Ma (age of Mae Moh fauna) and evolved in this insulated region until the late middle Miocene.

  18. Brain Volume of the Newly-Discovered Species Rhynchocyon udzungwensis (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Macroscelidea): Implications for Encephalization in Sengis

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Jason A.; Turner, Gregory H.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Rovero, Francesco; Grossman, Ari

    2013-01-01

    The Gray-faced Sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis) is a newly-discovered species of sengi (elephant-shrew) and is the largest known extant representative of the order Macroscelidea. The discovery of R. udzungwensis provides an opportunity to investigate the scaling relationship between brain size and body size within Macroscelidea, and to compare this allometry among insectivorous species of Afrotheria and other eutherian insectivores. We performed a spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on a preserved adult specimen of R. udzungwensis using a 7-Tesla high-field MR imaging system. The brain was manually segmented and its volume was compiled into a dataset containing previously-published allometric data on 56 other species of insectivore-grade mammals including representatives of Afrotheria, Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha. Results of log-linear regression indicate that R. udzungwensis exhibits a brain size that is consistent with the allometric trend described by other members of its order. Inter-specific comparisons indicate that macroscelideans as a group have relatively large brains when compared with similarly-sized terrestrial mammals that also share a similar diet. This high degree of encephalization within sengis remains robust whether sengis are compared with closely-related insectivorous afrotheres, or with more-distantly-related insectivorous laurasiatheres. PMID:23516530

  19. Binocular Lens Treatment in Tree Shrews: Effect of Age and Comparison of Plus Lens Wear with Recovery from Minus Lens-induced Myopia

    PubMed Central

    Siegwart, John T.; Norton, Thomas T.

    2010-01-01

    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 natural eye-opening (days of visual experience [VE]) when the eyes were in the infantile, rapid growth phase and their refractions were substantially hyperopic, to 35 days of VE when the eyes had entered the juvenile, slower growth phase and the refractions were near emmetropia. Starting at 11 days of VE, two groups of young tree shrews wore binocular +4 D lenses (n = 6) or −5 D lenses (n = 5). Starting at 24 days of VE, four groups of juvenile tree shrews (n = 5 each) wore binocular +3 D, +5 D, −3 D, or −5 D lenses. Non-cycloplegic measures of refractive state were made frequently while the animals wore the assigned lenses. The refractive response of the juvenile plus-lens wearing animals was compared with the refractive recovery of an age-matched group of animals (n=5) that were myopic after wearing a −5 D lens from 11 to 24 days of VE. In normal tree shrews, refractions (corrected for the small eye artifact) declined rapidly from (mean ± SEM) 6.6 ± 0.6 D of hyperopia at 11 VE to 1.4 ± 0.2 D at 24 VE and 0.8 ± 0.4 D at 35 VE. Plus 4 D lens treatment applied at 11 days of VE initially corrected or over-corrected the young animals’ hyperopia and produced a compensatory response in most animals; the eyes became nearly emmetropic while wearing the +4 D lenses. In contrast, plus-lens treatment starting at 24 days of VE initially made the juvenile eyes myopic (over-correction) and, on average, was less effective. The response ranged from no change in refractive state (eye continued to experience myopia) to full compensation (emmetropic with

  20. Synergy between cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid, and Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol in the regulation of emesis in the Suncus murinus (house musk shrew).

    PubMed

    Rock, Erin M; Parker, Linda A

    2015-06-01

    Smoked marijuana contains over 100 different cannabinoids, including the psychoactive compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC, CBD, and its acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), have all been shown to have antiemetic properties in the Suncus murinus (S. murinus; house musk shrew). Here we show that when subthreshold antiemetic doses of CBD (2.5 mg/kg ip) or CBDA (0.05 mg/kg ip) are combined with a subthreshold antiemetic dose of THC (1 mg/kg ip) in the S. murinus, both lithium-chloride-induced vomiting and abdominal retching are dramatically suppressed. These results suggest that combined effects of these compounds may lead to better control of vomiting with fewer side effects. PMID:26030435

  1. These studies were conducted to assess the effects of lead toxicity on exploratory behavior and running. Effects of lead on exploratory behavior and running speed in the shrew, Blarina brevicauda (Insectivora).

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Farmer, C

    2003-10-01

    These studies were conducted to assess the effects of lead toxicity on exploratory behavior and running speed in the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda. Shrews from the experimental group received 25 mg/kg/day of lead acetate in their drinking water for a period of 90 days. Control subjects received sodium acetate. Exploratory behavior was determined using a computerized activity chamber where movements of test subjects broke infrared beams projected onto the floor of the apparatus. Time spent (sec) in exploration was recorded over eight 6-min intervals. Running speed (km/hr) was measured in a microprocessor-controlled rectangular racetrack fitted with photocell timers. With respect to time spent in exploration, there were significant differences between lead-exposed (20.5-23.9 sec per 6-min testing session) and control subjects (6.8-8.1 sec) after the sixth testing interval in the activity chamber. With respect to maximal running speed, control subjects ran significantly faster (mean: 14.8 km/hr) than their lead-exposed counterparts (5.83 km/hr). Lead-exposed animals exhibited hyperactivity and increased random locomotor movements. They would frequently bump into the walls and their movements were more random. Controls typically ran along the racetrack in a straight line. These results represent the first data for the effects of lead exposure on exploratory behavior and running speed for shrews. PMID:15248655

  2. Spatiotemporal Profile of Voltage-Sensitive Dye Responses in the Visual Cortex of Tree Shrews Evoked by Electric Microstimulation of the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate and Pulvinar Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Sébastien; Petry, Heywood M.; Bickford, Martha E.; Casanova, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) receives its main thalamic drive from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) through synaptic contacts terminating primarily in cortical layer IV. In contrast, the projections from the pulvinar nucleus to the cortex are less clearly defined. The pulvinar projects predominantly to layer I in V1, and layer IV in extrastriate areas. These projection patterns suggest that the pulvinar nucleus most strongly influences (drives) activity in cortical areas beyond V1. Should this hypothesis be true, one would expect the spatiotemporal responses evoked by pulvinar activation to be different in V1 and extrastriate areas, reflecting the different connectivity patterns. We investigated this issue by analyzing the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical visual areas' activity following thalamic electrical microstimulation in tree shrews, using optical imaging and voltage-sensitive dyes. As expected, electrical stimulation of the dLGN induced fast and local responses in V1, as well as in extrastriate and contralateral cortical areas. In contrast, electrical stimulation of the pulvinar induced fast and local responses in extrastriate areas, followed by weak and diffuse activation in V1 and contralateral cortical areas. This study highlights spatiotemporal cortical activation characteristics induced by stimulation of first (dLGN) and high-order (pulvinar) thalamic nuclei. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The pulvinar nucleus represents the main extrageniculate thalamic visual structure in higher-order mammals, but its exact role remains enigmatic. The pulvinar receive prominent inputs from virtually all visual cortical areas. Cortico-thalamo-cortical pathways through the pulvinar nuclei may then provide a complementary route for corticocortical information flow. One step toward the understanding of the role of transthalamic corticocortical pathways is to determine the nature of the signals transmitted between the cortex and the thalamus. By performing, for

  3. Biomic Specialization and Speciation Rates in Ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): A Test of the Resource-Use Hypothesis at the Global Scale

    PubMed Central

    Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Morales, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    The resource-use hypothesis proposed by E.S. Vrba predicts that specialist species have higher speciation and extinction rates than generalists because they are more susceptible to environmental changes and vicariance. In this work, we test some of the predictions derived from this hypothesis on the 197 extant and recently extinct species of Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia) using the biomic specialization index (BSI) of each species, which is based on its distribution within different biomes. We ran 10000 Monte Carlo simulations of our data in order to get a null distribution of BSI values against which to contrast the observed data. Additionally, we drew on a supertree of the ruminants and a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (QuaSSE) for testing whether the degree of biomic specialization affects speciation rates in ruminant lineages. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the resource-use hypothesis, which foretells a higher speciation rate of lineages restricted to a single biome (BSI = 1) and higher frequency of specialist species in biomes that underwent high degree of contraction and fragmentation during climatic cycles. Bovids and deer present differential specialization across biomes; cervids show higher specialization in biomes with a marked hydric seasonality (tropical deciduous woodlands and schlerophyllous woodlands), while bovids present higher specialization in a greater variety of biomes. This might be the result of divergent physiological constraints as well as a different biogeographic and evolutionary history. PMID:22174888

  4. The testis of greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula in Southern European populations: a case of adaptive lack of seasonal involution?

    PubMed

    Massoud, Diaa; Barrionuevo, Francisco J; Ortega, Esperanza; Burgos, Miguel; Jiménez, Rafael

    2014-07-01

    Males of all seasonal breeding mammals undergo circannual periods of testis involution resulting in almost complete ablation of the germinative epithelium. We performed a morphometric, histological, hormonal, and gene-expression study of the testes from winter and summer males of the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula, in populations of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula. Unexpectedly, we found no significant differences between the two study groups. Surprisingly, female data confirmed a non-breeding period in the summer, evidencing that males retain full testis function even when most females are not receptive. This situation, which has not been described before, does not occur in northern populations of the same species where, in addition, the reproductive cycle is inverted with respect to those in the south, as the non-breeding period occurs in winter instead in summer. Considering that the non-reproductive period shortens at lower latitude locations, we hypothesize that in southern populations the non-breeding period is short enough to make testis regression inefficient in terms of energy savings, because: (1) testes of C. russula are very small, a condition derived from their monogamy that implies low investment in spermatogenesis; and (2) the spermatogenic cycle of this species is slow and long. The inverted seasonal breeding cycle and the lack of seasonal testis regression described here are new adaptive processes that deserve further research, and provide evidence that the genetic and hormonal mechanisms controlling reproduction timing in mammals are more plastic and versatile than initially suspected. PMID:24895181

  5. The proximal gastric corpus is the most responsive site of motilin-induced contractions in the stomach of the Asian house shrew.

    PubMed

    Dudani, Amrita; Aizawa, Sayaka; Zhi, Gong; Tanaka, Toru; Jogahara, Takamichi; Sakata, Ichiro; Sakai, Takafumi

    2016-07-01

    The migrating motor complex (MMC) is responsible for emptying the stomach during the interdigestive period, in preparation for the next meal. It is known that gastric phase III of MMC starts from the proximal stomach and propagates the contraction downwards. We hypothesized that a certain region of the stomach must be more responsive to motilin than others, and that motilin-induced strong gastric contractions propagate from that site. Stomachs of the Suncus or Asian house shrew, a small insectivorous mammal, were dissected and the fundus, proximal corpus, distal corpus, and antrum were examined to study the effect of motilin using an organ bath experiment. Motilin-induced contractions differed in different parts of the stomach. Only the proximal corpus induced gastric contraction even at motilin 10(-10) M, and strong contraction was induced by motilin 10(-9) M in all parts of the stomach. The GPR38 mRNA expression was also higher in the proximal corpus than in the other sections, and the lowest expression was observed in the antrum. GPR38 mRNA expression varied with low expression in the mucosal layer and high expression in the muscle layer. Additionally, motilin-induced contractions in each dissected part of the stomach were inhibited by tetrodotoxin and atropine pretreatment. These results suggest that motilin reactivity is not consistent throughout the stomach, and an area of the proximal corpus including the cardia is the most sensitive to motilin. PMID:27062028

  6. L-type calcium channels contribute to 5-HT3-receptor-evoked CaMKIIα and ERK activation and induction of emesis in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva).

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Tarun E; Zhong, Weixia; Chebolu, Seetha; Wilson, Sean M; Darmani, Nissar A

    2015-05-15

    Activation of serotonergic 5-HT3 receptors by its selective agonist 2-methyl serotonin (2-Me-5-HT) induces vomiting, which is sensitive to selective antagonists of both 5-HT3 receptors (palonosetron) and L-type calcium channels (LTCC) (amlodipine or nifedipine). Previously we demonstrated that 5-HT3 receptor activation also causes increases in a palonosetron-sensitive manner in: i) intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, ii) attachment of calmodulin (CaM) to 5-HT3 receptor, and iii) phosphorylation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Here, we investigate the role of the short-acting LTCC blocker nifedipine on 2-Me-5-HT-evoked intracellular Ca(2+) increase and on downstream intracellular emetic signaling, which have been shown to be coupled with 2-Me-5-HT׳s emetic effects in the least shrew. Using the cell-permeant Ca(2+) indicator fluo-4 AM, here we present evidence for the contribution of Ca(2+) influx through LTCCs (sensitive to nifedipine) in 2-Me-5-HT (1µM) -evoked rise in cytosolic Ca(2+) levels in least shrew brainstem slices. Nifedipine pretreatment (10mg/kg, s.c.) also suppressed 2-Me-5-HT-evoked interaction of 5-HT3 receptors with CaM as well as phosphorylation of CaMKIIα and ERK1/2 in the least shrew brainstem, and 5-HT3 receptors -CaM colocalization in jejunum of the small intestine. In vitro exposure of isolated enterochromaffin cells of the small intestine to 2-Me-5-HT (1µM) caused CaMKIIα phosphorylation, which was also abrogated by nifedipine pretreatment (0.1µM). In addition, pretreatment with the CaMKII inhibitor KN62 (10mg/kg, i.p.) suppressed emesis and also the activation of CaMKIIα, and ERK in brainstem caused by 2-Me-5-HT (5mg/kg, i.p.). This study provides further mechanistic explanation for our published findings that nifedipine can dose-dependently protect shrews from 2-Me-5-HT-induced vomiting. PMID:25748600

  7. Mossy cells and different subpopulations of pyramidal neurons are immunoreactive for cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in the hippocampal formation of non-human primates and tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri).

    PubMed

    Abrahám, H; Czéh, B; Fuchs, E; Seress, L

    2005-01-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide mRNA was discovered in the rat striatum following cocaine and amphetamine administration. Since both psychostimulants elicit memory-related effects, localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in the hippocampal formation may have functional importance. Previous studies demonstrated different cellular localizations of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in humans and in rodents. Mossy cells were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-positive in the human dentate gyrus, whereas granule cells contained this peptide in the rat. In the present study, the localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide was examined using immunohistochemistry in the hippocampal formation of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) and in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). In these species principal neurons of the hippocampal formation were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive. In both monkeys and tree shrews, mossy cells of the hilus were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-positive whereas granule cells of the dentate gyrus were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-negative. The dense cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive axonal plexus of the associational pathway outlined the inner one-third of the dentate molecular layer. In the hippocampus of the tree shrew and marmoset monkey, a subset of CA3 pyramidal cells were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive. In the marmoset monkey, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript labeling was found only in layer V pyramidal cells of the entorhinal cortex, while in the rhesus monkey, pyramidal cells of layers II and III were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunopositive. Our results show that cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript positive neurons in the dentate

  8. Taxonomic uncertainty and the loss of biodiversity on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, Mark D B; Meek, Paul D; Johnson, Rebecca N

    2014-04-01

    The taxonomic uniqueness of island populations is often uncertain which hinders effective prioritization for conservation. The Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura attenuata trichura) is the only member of the highly speciose eutherian family Soricidae recorded from Australia. It is currently classified as a subspecies of the Asian gray or long-tailed shrew (C. attenuata), although it was originally described as a subspecies of the southeast Asian white-toothed shrew (C. fuliginosa). The Christmas Island shrew is currently listed as endangered and has not been recorded in the wild since 1984-1985, when 2 specimens were collected after an 80-year absence. We aimed to obtain DNA sequence data for cytochrome b (cytb) from Christmas Island shrew museum specimens to determine their taxonomic affinities and to confirm the identity of the 1980s specimens. The Cytb sequences from 5, 1898 specimens and a 1985 specimen were identical. In addition, the Christmas Island shrew cytb sequence was divergent at the species level from all available Crocidura cytb sequences. Rather than a population of a widespread species, current evidence suggests the Christmas Island shrew is a critically endangered endemic species, C. trichura, and a high priority for conservation. As the decisions typically required to save declining species can be delayed or deferred if the taxonomic status of the population in question is uncertain, it is hoped that the history of the Christmas Island shrew will encourage the clarification of taxonomy to be seen as an important first step in initiating informed and effective conservation action. PMID:24283832

  9. The Effect of Age on Compensation for a Negative Lens and Recovery from Lens-induced Myopia in Tree Shrews (Tupaia glis belangeri)

    PubMed Central

    Norton, Thomas T.; Amedo, Angela O.; Siegwart, John T.

    2010-01-01

    We examined in tree shrews the effect of age on the development of, and recovery from, myopia induced with a negative lens. Starting at 11, 16, 24, 35 or 48 days after natural eye-opening (days of visual experience [VE]), juvenile tree shrews (n = 5 per group) wore a monocular −5 D lens for 11 days. A long-term lens-wear group (n=6) began treatment at 16 days of VE and wore the lens for 30 days. A young adult group (n = 5) began to wear a −5 D lens between 93 and 107 days of VE (mean ± SD, 100 ± 6 days of VE) and wore the lens for 29 to 54 days (mean ± SD, 41.8 ± 9.8 days). The recovery phase in all groups was started by discontinuing −5 D lens wear. Contralateral control eyes in the three youngest groups were compared with a group of age-matched normal eyes and showed a small (<1 D), transient myopic shift. The amount of myopia that developed during lens wear was measured as the difference between the treated and control eye refractions. After 11 days of lens wear, the induced myopia was similar for the four younger groups (near full compensation: 11 day, −5.1 ± 0.4 D; 16 day, −4.7 ± 0.3 D, 24 day, −4.9 ± 0.4 D; 35 day, −4.0 ± 0.02) and slightly less in the oldest juvenile group (48 day, −3.3 ± 0.5 D). The young adult animals developed −4.8 ± 0.3 D of myopia after a longer lens-wear period. The rate of compensation (D/day) was high in the 4 youngest groups and decreased in the 48-day and young adult groups. The refractions of the long-term lens-wear juvenile group remained stable after compensating for the −5 D lens. During recovery, all animals in the youngest group recovered fully (< 1 D residual myopia) within seven days. Examples of both rapid (< 10 days) and slow recovery (> 12 days) occurred in all age groups except the youngest. Every animal showed more rapid recovery (higher recovery slope) in the first 4 days than afterward. One animal showed extremely slow recovery. Based on the time-course of myopia development observed in

  10. Neural coding of image structure and contrast polarity of Cartesian, hyperbolic, and polar gratings in the primary and secondary visual cortex of the tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Poirot, Jordan; De Luna, Paolo; Rainer, Gregor

    2016-04-01

    We comprehensively characterize spiking and visual evoked potential (VEP) activity in tree shrew V1 and V2 using Cartesian, hyperbolic, and polar gratings. Neural selectivity to structure of Cartesian gratings was higher than other grating classes in both visual areas. From V1 to V2, structure selectivity of spiking activity increased, whereas corresponding VEP values tended to decrease, suggesting that single-neuron coding of Cartesian grating attributes improved while the cortical columnar organization of these neurons became less precise from V1 to V2. We observed that neurons in V2 generally exhibited similar selectivity for polar and Cartesian gratings, suggesting that structure of polar-like stimuli might be encoded as early as in V2. This hypothesis is supported by the preference shift from V1 to V2 toward polar gratings of higher spatial frequency, consistent with the notion that V2 neurons encode visual scene borders and contours. Neural sensitivity to modulations of polarity of hyperbolic gratings was highest among all grating classes and closely related to the visual receptive field (RF) organization of ON- and OFF-dominated subregions. We show that spatial RF reconstructions depend strongly on grating class, suggesting that intracortical contributions to RF structure are strongest for Cartesian and polar gratings. Hyperbolic gratings tend to recruit least cortical elaboration such that the RF maps are similar to those generated by sparse noise, which most closely approximate feedforward inputs. Our findings complement previous literature in primates, rodents, and carnivores and highlight novel aspects of shape representation and coding occurring in mammalian early visual cortex. PMID:26843607

  11. Injection of Aβ1-40 into hippocampus induced cognitive lesion associated with neuronal apoptosis and multiple gene expressions in the tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Lin, Na; Xiong, Liu-Lin; Zhang, Rong-Ping; Zheng, Hong; Wang, Lei; Qian, Zhong-Yi; Zhang, Piao; Chen, Zhi-Wei; Gao, Fa-Bao; Wang, Ting-Hua

    2016-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) can incur significant health care costs to the patient, their families, and society; furthermore, effective treatments are limited, as the mechanisms of AD are not fully understood. This study utilized twelve adult male tree shrews (TS), which were randomly divided into PBS and amyloidbetapeptide1-40 (Aβ1-40) groups. AD model was established via an intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of Aβ1-40 after being incubated for 4 days at 37 °C. Behavioral, pathophysiological and molecular changes were evaluated by hippocampal-dependent tasks, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), silver staining, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining, TUNEL assay and gene sequencing, respectively. At 4 weeks post-injection, as compared with the PBS group, in Aβ1-40 injected animals: cognitive impairments happened, and the hippocampus had atrophied indicated by MRI findings; meanwhile, HE staining showed the cells of the CA3 and DG were significantly thinner and smaller. The average number of cells in the DG, but not the CA3, was also significantly reduced; furthermore, silver staining revealed neurotic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the hippocampi; TUNEL assay showed many cells exhibited apoptosis, which was associated with downregulated BCL-2/BCL-XL-associated death promoter (Bad), inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP), Cytochrome c (CytC) and upregulated tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1); lastly, gene sequencing reported a total of 924 mobilized genes, among which 13 of the downregulated and 19 of the upregulated genes were common to the AD pathway. The present study not only established AD models in TS, but also reported on the underlying mechanism involved in neuronal apoptosis associated with multiple gene expression. PMID:26897171

  12. Une nouvelle espèce d'hyracoïde du genre Bunohyrax (Mammalia) de l'Éocène de Bir El Ater (Algérie).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Coiffait, Brigitte; Coiffait, Philippe-Emmanuel; Mahboubi, Mohamed; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques

    2000-07-01

    A new species of Bunohyrax, B. matsumotoi n. sp. (Hyracoidea, Mammalia) from the Bir El Ater locality (Algeria) is described and compared with the two known species from the Oligocene of the Fayum (Egypt). This new hyracoid is documented by fragmentary remains, but the characters are significant enough to establish a new species, particularly because of its extremely small size. B. matsumotoi appears to be more primitive than the Egyptian Bunohyrax. The Algerian species, together with geological and palaeontological data, argues for a late Middle to Late Eocene age for the Bir El Ater site, rather than an Oligocene age, equivalent to the upper sequence of the Fayum, as suggested by Rasmussen et al. [17].

  13. High levels of antimicrobial resistance among escherichia coli isolates from livestock farms and synanthropic rats and shrews in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Nhung, N T; Cuong, N V; Campbell, J; Hoa, N T; Bryant, J E; Truc, V N T; Kiet, B T; Jombart, T; Trung, N V; Hien, V B; Thwaites, G; Baker, S; Carrique-Mas, J

    2015-02-01

    In Mekong Delta farms (Vietnam), antimicrobials are extensively used, but limited data are available on levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Escherichia coli isolates. We performed a structured survey of AMR in E. coli isolates (n = 434) from 90 pig, chicken, and duck farms. The results were compared with AMR among E. coli isolates (n = 234) from 66 small wild animals (rats and shrews) trapped on farms and in forests and rice fields. The isolates were susceptibility tested against eight antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from farmed animals were resistant to a median of 4 (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 6) antimicrobials versus 1 (IQR, 1 to 2) among wild mammal isolates (P < 0.001). The prevalences of AMR among farmed species isolates (versus wild animals) were as follows: tetracycline, 84.7% (versus 25.6%); ampicillin, 78.9% (versus 85.9%); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 52.1% (versus 18.8%); chloramphenicol, 39.9% (versus 22.5%); amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, 36.6% (versus 34.5%); and ciprofloxacin, 24.9% (versus 7.3%). The prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) (resistance against three or more antimicrobial classes) among pig isolates was 86.7% compared to 66.9 to 72.7% among poultry isolates. After adjusting for host species, MDR was ∼8 times greater among isolates from wild mammals trapped on farms than among those trapped in forests/rice fields (P < 0.001). Isolates were assigned to unique profiles representing their combinations of susceptibility results. Multivariable analysis of variance indicated that AMR profiles from wild mammals trapped on farms and those from domestic animals were more alike (R(2) range, 0.14 to 0.30) than E. coli isolates from domestic animals and mammals trapped in the wild (R(2) range, 0.25 to 0.45). The results strongly suggest that AMR on farms is a key driver of environmental AMR in the Mekong Delta. PMID:25398864

  14. High Levels of Antimicrobial Resistance among Escherichia coli Isolates from Livestock Farms and Synanthropic Rats and Shrews in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Nhung, N. T.; Cuong, N. V.; Campbell, J.; Hoa, N. T.; Bryant, J. E.; Truc, V. N. T.; Kiet, B. T.; Jombart, T.; Trung, N. V.; Hien, V. B.; Thwaites, G.; Baker, S.

    2014-01-01

    In Mekong Delta farms (Vietnam), antimicrobials are extensively used, but limited data are available on levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Escherichia coli isolates. We performed a structured survey of AMR in E. coli isolates (n = 434) from 90 pig, chicken, and duck farms. The results were compared with AMR among E. coli isolates (n = 234) from 66 small wild animals (rats and shrews) trapped on farms and in forests and rice fields. The isolates were susceptibility tested against eight antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from farmed animals were resistant to a median of 4 (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 6) antimicrobials versus 1 (IQR, 1 to 2) among wild mammal isolates (P < 0.001). The prevalences of AMR among farmed species isolates (versus wild animals) were as follows: tetracycline, 84.7% (versus 25.6%); ampicillin, 78.9% (versus 85.9%); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 52.1% (versus 18.8%); chloramphenicol, 39.9% (versus 22.5%); amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, 36.6% (versus 34.5%); and ciprofloxacin, 24.9% (versus 7.3%). The prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) (resistance against three or more antimicrobial classes) among pig isolates was 86.7% compared to 66.9 to 72.7% among poultry isolates. After adjusting for host species, MDR was ∼8 times greater among isolates from wild mammals trapped on farms than among those trapped in forests/rice fields (P < 0.001). Isolates were assigned to unique profiles representing their combinations of susceptibility results. Multivariable analysis of variance indicated that AMR profiles from wild mammals trapped on farms and those from domestic animals were more alike (R2 range, 0.14 to 0.30) than E. coli isolates from domestic animals and mammals trapped in the wild (R2 range, 0.25 to 0.45). The results strongly suggest that AMR on farms is a key driver of environmental AMR in the Mekong Delta. PMID:25398864

  15. Profile of Antiemetic Activity of Netupitant Alone or in Combination with Palonosetron and Dexamethasone in Ferrets and Suncus murinus (House Musk Shrew)

    PubMed Central

    Rudd, John A.; Ngan, Man P.; Lu, Zengbing; Higgins, Guy A.; Giuliano, Claudio; Lovati, Emanuela; Pietra, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Chemotherapy-induced acute and delayed emesis involves the activation of multiple pathways, with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) playing a major role in the initial response. Substance P tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonists can reduce emesis induced by disparate emetic challenges and therefore have a clinical utility as broad inhibitory anti-emetic drugs. In the present studies, we investigate the broad inhibitory anti-emetic profile of a relatively new NK1 receptor antagonist, netupitant, alone or in combination with the long acting 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, palonosetron, for a potential to reduce emesis in ferrets and shrews. Materials and Methods: Ferrets were pretreated with netupitant and/or palonosetron, and then administered apomorphine (0.125 mg/kg, s.c.), morphine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.), ipecacuanha (1.2 mg/kg, p.o.), copper sulfate (100 mg/kg, intragastric), or cisplatin (5–10 mg/kg, i.p.); in other studies netupitant was administered to Suncus murinus before motion (4 cm horizontal displacement, 2 Hz for 10 min). Results: Netupitant (3 mg/kg, p.o.) abolished apomorphine-, morphine-, ipecacuanha- and copper sulfate-induced emesis. Lower doses of netupitant (0.03–0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) dose-dependently reduced cisplatin (10 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced emesis in an acute (8 h) model, and motion-induced emesis in S. murinus. In a ferret cisplatin (5 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced acute and delayed emesis model, netupitant administered once at 3 mg/kg, p.o., abolished the first 24 h response and reduced the 24–72 h response by 94.6%; the reduction was markedly superior to the effect of a three times per day administration of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, i.p.). A single administration of netupitant (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus palonosetron (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) combined with dexamethasone (1 mg/kg, i.p., once per day), also significantly antagonized cisplatin-induced acute and delayed emesis and was comparable with a once-daily regimen of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus

  16. Thapsigargin-induced activation of Ca(2+)-CaMKII-ERK in brainstem contributes to substance P release and induction of emesis in the least shrew.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Weixia; Chebolu, Seetha; Darmani, Nissar A

    2016-04-01

    Cytoplasmic calcium (Ca(2+)) mobilization has been proposed to be an important factor in the induction of emesis. The selective sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) inhibitor thapsigargin, is known to deplete intracellular Ca(2+) stores, which consequently evokes extracellular Ca(2+) entry through cell membrane-associated channels, accompanied by a prominent rise in cytosolic Ca(2+). A pro-drug form of thapsigargin is currently under clinical trial as a targeted cancer chemotherapeutic. We envisioned that the intracellular effects of thapsigargin could cause emesis and planned to investigate its mechanisms of emetic action. Indeed, thapsigargin did induce vomiting in the least shrew in a dose-dependent and bell-shaped manner, with maximal efficacy (100%) at 0.5 mg/kg (i.p.). Thapsigargin (0.5 mg/kg) also caused increases in c-Fos immunoreactivity in the brainstem emetic nuclei including the area postrema (AP), nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMNX), as well as enhancement of substance P (SP) immunoreactivity in DMNX. In addition, thapsigargin (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) led to vomit-associated and time-dependent increases in phosphorylation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in the brainstem. We then explored the suppressive potential of diverse chemicals against thapsigargin-evoked emesis including antagonists of: i) neurokinin-1 receptors (netupitant), ii) the type 3 serotonin receptors (palonosetron), iii) store-operated Ca(2+) entry (YM-58483), iv) L-type Ca(2+) channels (nifedipine), and v) SER Ca(2+)-release channels inositol trisphosphate (IP3Rs) (2-APB)-, and ryanodine (RyRs) (dantrolene)-receptors. In addition, the antiemetic potential of inhibitors of CaMKII (KN93) and ERK1/2 (PD98059) were investigated. All tested antagonists/blockers attenuated emetic parameters to varying degrees except palonosetron, however a combination of non

  17. Lipotyphla limb myology comparison.

    PubMed

    Neveu, Pauline; Gasc, Jean-Pierre

    2002-05-01

    Fore- and hindlimb muscles were dissected in four species of Lipotyphla: the western European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (Erinaceidae, Erinaceinae); the moonrat Echinosorex gymnura (Erinaceidae, Hylomyinae or Galericinae); the tailless tenrec Tenrec ecaudatus (Tenrecidae, Tenrecinae); and the common European white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula (Soricidae, Soricinae). This work completely reviews the limb musculature of these walking mammals. Twelve myological characters were evaluated in order to disclose phylogenetic relationships. The cladogram obtained supported previous ones based on cranial and dental characters. This study shows that myological characters are valuable in phylogenetic analyses. PMID:11921044

  18. The historical biogeography of Mammalia

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Mark S.; Meredith, Robert W.; Janecka, Jan E.; Murphy, William J.

    2011-01-01

    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

  19. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Sorex araneus.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tianhong; Dang, Xiao; An, Mei; Chen, Lingyun; Zhang, Jianguo

    2016-09-01

    The Sorex araneus (common shrew), a member of the Soricidae family, is the most common shrew throughout Northern Europe. The region includes Great Britain, but excludes Ireland. Herein, we first publish the complete mitochondrial genome of S. araneus. The mitogenome is 16 887 bp in length, which contains 24 tRNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes and a control region. The overall GC content is 38.28%, which is lower than AT. To verify the accuracy and utility of new determined mitogenome sequences, a species phylogenetic tree is constructed based on the complete mitogenomes of the species and other 10 close species. The current data provide important resources for the research of S. araneus mitochondrial evolution and the species identification. PMID:26328473

  20. Photoreceptor types and distributions in the retinae of insectivores.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2000-01-01

    The retinae of insectivores have been rarely studied, and their photoreceptor arrangements and expression patterns of visual pigments are largely unknown. We have determined the presence and distribution of cones in three species of shrews (common shrew Sorex araneus, greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, dark forest shrew Crocidura poensis; Soricidae) and in the lesser hedgehog tenrec Echinops telfairi (Tenrecidae). Special cone types were identified and quantified in flattened whole retinae by antisera/antibodies recognizing the middle-to-long-wavelength-sensitive (M/L-)cone opsin and the short-wavelength-sensitive (S-)cone opsin, respectively. A combination of immunocytochemistry with conventional histology was used to assess rod densities and cone/rod ratios. In all four species the rods dominate at densities of about 230,000-260,000/mm2. M/L- and S-cones are present, comprising between 2% of the photoreceptors in the nocturnal Echinops telfairi and 13% in Sorex araneus that has equal diurnal and nocturnal activity phases. This suggests dichromatic color vision like in many other mammals. A striking feature in all four species are dramatically higher S-cone proportions in ventral than in dorsal retina (0.5% vs. 2.5-12% in Sorex, 5-15% vs. 30-45% in Crocidura poensis, 3-12% vs. 20-50% in Crocidura russula, 10-30% vs. 40-70% in Echinops). The functional and comparative aspects of these structural findings are discussed. PMID:11193110

  1. Evolutionary Insights from a Genetically Divergent Hantavirus Harbored by the European Common Mole (Talpa europaea)

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N.; Sumibcay, Laarni; Arai, Satoru; Hope, Andrew G.; Mocz, Gabor; Song, Jin-Won; Cook, Joseph A.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19582155

  2. Blood parasites of shrews from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Laakkonen, J; Haukisalmi, V; Merritt, J F

    1998-12-01

    We examined 30 Sorex cinereus, 5 Sorex fumeus, and 21 Blarina brevicauda collected from Pennsylvania in 1995 for blood parasites. Trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma sp. were visible in 13% of the S. cinereus. Ten percent of S. cinereus, 20% of S. fumeus, and 14% of B. brevicauda were infected with Bartonella sp. (or spp.). In S. cinereus, we detected no concurrent Trypanosoma and Bartonella infections. PMID:9920338

  3. Automating analog design: Taming the shrew

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, A.

    1990-01-01

    The pace of progress in the design of integrated circuits continues to amaze observers inside and outside of the industry. Three decades ago, a 50 transistor chip was a technological wonder. Fifteen year later, a 5000 transistor device would 'wow' the crowds. Today, 50,000 transistor chips will earn a 'not too bad' assessment, but it takes 500,000 to really leave an impression. In 1975 a typical ASIC device had 1000 transistors, took one year to first samples (and two years to production) and sold for about 5 cents per transistor. Today's 50,000 transistor gate array takes about 4 months from spec to silicon, works the first time, and sells for about 0.02 cents per transistor. Fifteen years ago, the single most laborious and error prone step in IC design was the physical layout. Today, most IC's never see the hand of a layout designer: and automatic place and route tool converts the engineer's computer captured schematic to a complete physical design using a gate array or a library of standard cells also created by software rather than by designers. CAD has also been a generous benefactor to the digital design process. The architect of today's digital systems creates the design using an RTL or other high level simulator. Then the designer pushes a button to invoke the logic synthesizer-optimizer tool. A fault analyzer checks the result for testability and suggests where scan based cells will improve test coverage. One obstinate holdout amidst this parade of progress is the automation of analog design and its reduction to semi-custom techniques. This paper investigates the application of CAD techniques to analog design.

  4. Nuclear organisation of some immunohistochemically identifiable neural systems in five species of insectivore-Crocidura cyanea, Crocidura olivieri, Sylvisorex ollula, Paraechinus aethiopicus and Atelerix frontalis.

    PubMed

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Bennett, Nigel C; Consolate, Kaswera-Kyamakya; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Mohammed, Osama B; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2016-03-01

    The organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and serotonergic neurons in the brains of five species of insectivores and the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) system in four insectivore species is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of other mammalian species. Brains of insectivores were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The majority of nuclei were similar among the species investigated and to mammals in general, but certain differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. In the cholinergic system, the three shrew species lacked parabigeminal and Edinger-Westphal nuclei. In addition, the appearance of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus in all insectivores revealed a mediodorsal arch. All three of these features are the same as those present in microchiropterans. The catecholaminergic system of the three shrew species lacked the A4 and A15d nuclei, as well as having an incipient A9v nucleus, again features found in microchiropteran brains. The serotonergic and orexinergic systems of the insectivores are similar to those seen across most eutherian mammals. The analysis of similarities and differences across mammalian species indicates a potential phylogenetic relationship between the Soricidae (shrews) and the microchiropterans. PMID:26724499

  5. Arthritis in a glyptodont (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Fernando Henrique de Souza; Porpino, Kleberson de Oliveira; Fragoso, Ana Bernadete Lima; Oliveira, Edison Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Arthritic lesions have been frequently diagnosed in the fossil record, with spondyloarthropathy (a type of erosive and pan-mammalian arthritis) being one of the most common types described to date for mammals, though not restricted to this group. Here, we identify spondyloarthropathy in fossil bones from the late Pleistocene in Brazil assignable to a large glyptodont individual. Bone erosions in the peripheral joints (viz., the ulna, radius, left femur and tibiae-fibulae) associated with osteosclerosis allow the diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy. The presence of osteophytes in seven bones of the forelimbs (viz., the ulna and radius) and hind limbs (viz., the tibiae-fibulae, left femur and patellae) and a subchondral cyst in one element (viz., the left femur) indicate secondary osteoarthritis. A calcified deposition on the articular surface of the left patella indicates the presence of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, which, like the observed osteoarthritic alterations, likely represents a complication of spondyloarthropathy. This is the first report of spondyloarthropathy for xenarthrans. PMID:24551126

  6. Arthritis in a Glyptodont (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata)

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Fernando Henrique de Souza; Porpino, Kleberson de Oliveira; Fragoso, Ana Bernadete Lima; Oliveira, Edison Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Arthritic lesions have been frequently diagnosed in the fossil record, with spondyloarthropathy (a type of erosive and pan-mammalian arthritis) being one of the most common types described to date for mammals, though not restricted to this group. Here, we identify spondyloarthropathy in fossil bones from the late Pleistocene in Brazil assignable to a large glyptodont individual. Bone erosions in the peripheral joints (viz., the ulna, radius, left femur and tibiae-fibulae) associated with osteosclerosis allow the diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy. The presence of osteophytes in seven bones of the forelimbs (viz., the ulna and radius) and hind limbs (viz., the tibiae-fibulae, left femur and patellae) and a subchondral cyst in one element (viz., the left femur) indicate secondary osteoarthritis. A calcified deposition on the articular surface of the left patella indicates the presence of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, which, like the observed osteoarthritic alterations, likely represents a complication of spondyloarthropathy. This is the first report of spondyloarthropathy for xenarthrans. PMID:24551126

  7. SHORT REPORT

    PubMed Central

    Gu, S. H.; Dormion, J.; Hugot, J.-P.; Yanagihara, R.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Recent discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews and moles (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae and Talpidae) has challenged the conventional view that rodents serve as the principal reservoir hosts. Nova virus (NVAV), previously identified in archival liver tissue of a single European mole (Talpa europaea) from Hungary, represents one of the most highly divergent hantaviruses identified to date. To ascertain the spatial distribution and genetic diversity of NVAV, we employed RT–PCR to analyse lungs from 94 moles, captured in two locations in France, during October 2012 to March 2013. NVAV was detected in more than 60% of moles at each location, suggesting efficient enzootic virus transmission and confirming that this mole species serves as the reservoir host. Although the pathogenic potential of NVAV is unknown, the widespread geographical distribution of the European mole might pose a hantavirus exposure risk for humans. PMID:24044372

  8. First evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals.

    PubMed

    Fox, Richard C; Scott, Craig S

    2005-06-23

    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 specimens recovered from late Palaeocene rocks in Alberta, Canada. Although classified within Eutheria, these mammals are phylogenetically remote from modern Insectivora and have evolved specialized teeth as salivary venom delivery systems (VDSs) that differ markedly from one another and from those of Solenodon and shrews. Our discoveries therefore show that mammals have been much more flexible in the evolution of VDSs than previously believed, contradicting currently held notions that modern insectivorans are representative of the supposedly limited role of salivary venoms in mammalian history. Evidently, small predatory eutherians have paralleled colubroid snakes in evolving salivary venoms and their delivery systems several times independently. PMID:15973406

  9. Re-Teaching Shakespeare (II): The Shrew Oppressed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Michael

    1990-01-01

    Describes a "Shakespeare Coursework Unit" in which Shakespearean and other literary works of the Tudor era were analyzed for evidence of the gender biases prevalent in that period. Notes that by the end of the course, students accepted the assertion that textual analysis is never truly completed. (SG)

  10. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphisvirginiana, 15 Didelphismarsupialis, and 5 Philanderopossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaimadidelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopaliascoronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchusmicrocephalus and the nematodes Cruziatentaculata, Gnathostomaturgidum, and Turgidaturgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  11. A Reexamination of the Carnivora Malleus (Mammalia, Placentalia)

    PubMed Central

    Wible, John R.; Spaulding, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23209753

  12. A reexamination of the Carnivora malleus (Mammalia, Placentalia).

    PubMed

    Wible, John R; Spaulding, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23209753

  13. Characterization of paneth cells in alpacas (Vicugna pacos, Mammalia, Camelidae).

    PubMed

    Vásquez, María; Lira, Boris; Rodríguez, José; Falcón, Néstor; Ocampo, Jorge; Nishida, Fabián; Barbeito, Claudio; Zanuzzi, Carolina

    2016-08-01

    Paneth cells are secretory epithelial cells of the innate immune system of the intestine of several mammals, including alpacas. Little is known about the latter; thus, in the present study we described the morphology and histochemical characteristics of Paneth cells in healthy fetuses, and young and adult alpacas. For this purpose, samples of duodenum, jejunum and ileum were taken from 6 fetuses at different days of pregnancy (between days 221-330), 66 offsprings (between 0 and 45-days-old) and 5 adult alpacas (>2-years-old). Samples were fixed in 10% buffered formalin and processed for histological and morphometrical analysis using HE and Masson Trichomićs technique. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify Paneth cells using anti-lysozyme antibody. In addition, the lectinhistochemichal binding-pattern of Paneth celĺs granules was evaluated. Lyzozyme was immunohistochemically detected in the granules of Paneth cells from day 283 of pregnancy in all the small intestinal sections of the studied fetuses. In newborn alpacas Paneth cells were initially found in the duodenum, but the following days (days 18-21 after birth) they were also found in the ileum. Their size gradually increased after birth, but then no significant differences were found. In adult alpacas the number was lower than offsprings. We suggest that Paneth cells early differentiate in the small intestine of alpacas, and the increase in their number during the first two weeks of life strongly support their possible involvement in the intestinal defensive functions against the enteric diseases that occur during the lactancy stage. PMID:27233914

  14. Breaking constraint: axial patterning in Trichechus (Mammalia: Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Wayrynen, Kaisa L; Lin, Iris W

    2014-01-01

    Meristic variation is often limited in serially homologous systems with high internal differentiation and high developmental modularity. The mammalian neck, an extreme example, has a fixed (at seven) count of diversely specialized segments. Imposition of the mammalian cervical constraint has been tentatively linked to the origin of the diaphragm, which is muscularized by cells that migrate from cervical somites during development. With six cervical vertebrae, the genus Trichechus (manatee) has apparently broken this constraint, although the mechanism of constraint escape is unknown. Hypotheses for the developmental origin of Trichechus cervical morphology include cervical rib 7 repatterning, a primaxial/abaxial patterning shift, and local homeosis at the cervical/thoracic boundary. We tested predictions of these hypotheses by documenting vertebral morphology, axial ossification patterns, regionalization of the postcranial skeleton, and the relationship of thoracic ribs to sternal subunits in a large data set of fetal and adult Trichechus and Dugong specimens. These observations forced rejection of all three hypotheses. We propose alternatively that a global slowing of the rate of somitogenesis reduced somite count and disrupted alignment of Hox-generated anatomical markers relative to somite (and vertebral) boundaries throughout the Trichechus column. This hypothesis is consistent with observations of the full range of traditional cervical morphologies in the six cervical vertebrae, conserved postcranial proportions, and column-wide reduction in count relative to its sister taxon, Dugong. It also suggests that the origin of the mammalian cervical constraint lies in patterning, not in count, and that Trichechus and the tree sloths have broken the constraint using different developmental mechanisms. PMID:25339599

  15. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Abstract From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphis virginiana, 15 Didelphis marsupialis, and 5 Philander opossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaima didelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopalias coronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchus microcephalus and the nematodes Cruzia tentaculata, Gnathostoma turgidum, and Turgida turgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  16. Convergence vs. Specialization in the ear region of moles (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Crumpton, Nick; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Asher, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    We investigated if and how the inner ear region undergoes similar adaptations in small, fossorial, insectivoran-grade mammals, and found a variety of inner ear phenotypes. In our sample, afrotherian moles (Chrysochloridae) and the marsupial Notoryctes differ from most other burrowing mammals in their relatively short radii of semicircular canal curvature; chrysochlorids and fossorial talpids share a relatively long interampullar width. Chrysochlorids are unique in showing a highly coiled cochlea with nearly four turns. Extensive cochlear coiling may reflect their greater ecological dependence on low frequency auditory cues compared to talpids, tenrecids, and the marsupial Notoryctes. Correspondingly, the lack of such extensive coiling in the inner ear of other fossorial species may indicate a greater reliance on other senses to enable their fossorial lifestyle, such as tactile sensation from vibrissae and Eimer's organs. The reliance of chrysochlorids on sound is evident in the high degree of coiling and in the diversity of its mallear types, and may help explain the lack of any semiaquatic members of that group. The simplest mallear types among chrysochlorids are not present in the basal-most members of that clade, but all extant chrysochlorids investigated to date exhibit extensive cochlear coiling. The chrysochlorid ear region thus exhibits mosaic evolution; our data suggest that extensive coiling evolved in chrysochlorids prior to and independently of diversification in middle ear ossicle size and shape. PMID:25858660

  17. Generic names of northern and southern fur seals (Mammalia: Otariidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, A.L.; Robbins, C.B.

    1998-01-01

    We have resolved a nomenclatural problem discovered during research on the northern fur seal that concerns the correct generic name for this taxon and for fur seals of the Southern Hemisphere. The unfortunate practice by some 19th century authors to use names in their Latinized form, but to date them from their first appearance as French common names led to the use of Arctocephalus for southern fur seals when the name correctly applies to the northern fur seal, known today as Callorhinus ursinus. However, Arctocephalus and Callorhinus are antedated by Otoes G. Fischer, 1817, which is the earliest available generic for the fur seal of the northern Pacific. The earliest available generic name for southern fur seals is Halarctus Gill, 1866. To avoid the confusion that would result from replacing the currently used generic names with those required by strict adherence to the Principle of Priority, we have petitioned the International Commission on Zoological nomenclature to preserve Arctocephalus and Callorhinus for the southern and northern fur seals, respectively.

  18. Ticks infesting bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Eriksson, Alan; Santos, Carolina Ferreira; Fischer, Erich; de Almeida, Juliana Cardoso; Luz, Hermes R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-05-01

    Ticks associated with bats have been poorly documented in the Neotropical Zoogeographical Region. In this study, a total of 1028 bats were sampled for tick infestations in the southern portion of the Brazilian Pantanal. A total of 368 ticks, morphologically identified as Ornithodoros hasei (n = 364) and O. mimon (n = 4), were collected from the following bat species: Artibeus planirostris, Platyrrhinus lineatus, Phyllostomus hastatus, Mimon crenulatum and Noctilio albiventris. Morphological identification of O. hasei was confirmed by molecular analysis. Regarding the most abundant bat species, only 40 (6.2 %) out of 650 A. planirostris were infested by O. hasei, with a mean intensity of 7.2 ticks per infested bat, or a mean abundance of 0.44 ticks per sampled bat. Noteworthy, one single P. hastatus was infested by 55 O. hasei larvae, in contrast to the 2.5-7.2 range of mean intensity values for the whole study. As a complement to the present study, a total of 8 museum bat specimens (6 Noctilio albiventris and 2 N. leporinus), collected in the northern region of Pantanal, were examined for tick infestations. These bats contained 176 ticks, which were all morphologically identified as O. hasei larvae. Mean intensity of infestation was 22, with a range of 1-46 ticks per infested bat. Our results suggest that A. planirostris might play an important role in the natural life cycle of O. hasei in the Pantanal. PMID:26912332

  19. Comparison of mitochondrial genome sequences of pangolins (Mammalia, Pholidota).

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen

    2015-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome was sequenced for three species of pangolins, Manis javanica, Phataginus tricuspis, and Smutsia temminckii, and comparisons were made with two other species, Manis pentadactyla and Phataginus tetradactyla. The genome of Manidae contains the 37 genes found in a typical mammalian genome, and the structure of the control region is highly conserved among species. In Manis, the overall base composition differs from that found in African genera. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of the genera Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia, as well as the basal division between Maninae and Smutsiinae. Comparisons with GenBank sequences reveal that the reference genomes of M. pentadactyla and P. tetradactyla (accession numbers NC_016008 and NC_004027) were sequenced from misidentified taxa, and that a new species of tree pangolin should be described in Gabon. PMID:25746396

  20. Morphology and environment in some fossil Hominoids and Pedetids (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Senut, Brigitte

    2016-04-01

    Linking the environment to functional anatomy is not an easy exercise, especially when dealing with fossils, which are often fragmentary and represent animals that are extinct. A holistic approach permits us to fill the gaps in reconstructing the evolutionary patterns in fossil groups. Identifying the environment where animals lived can help to interpret some anatomical structures and, vice versa, the functional morphological pattern can help to refine some fossil environments. Two examples focusing on locomotor behaviours in fossil mammals are considered in this paper: the hominoids and the origins of hominid bipedalism and the springing adaptations in fossil rodents (Pedetidae) in connection with different habitats. In the first case, the limits of the chimp-based models and the necessity to take into account detailed environmental reconstructions will be addressed. The famous 'savannah hypothesis' is no longer tenable because the palaeontological data support a more vegetated environment for the origins of bipedal hominids. Data from the environment will be considered. The earliest putative hominid fossils which preserve skeletal remains of the locomotor apparatus show mixed adaptations to terrestrial bipedalism and arboreal activities. The second example focuses on the variation in springing adaptations in Pedetidae in the Lower Miocene of East Africa and Southern Africa. In the East, the sites where Pedetidae were preserved were mainly forested, whereas in the South the region was more open and drier, with extensive grassy patches. In the first case, pedetids were robust and heavy jumpers, whereas in the South they were smaller, their skeleton more gracile and their springing was lighter. During the desertification of the southern part of Africa, the large pedetid species became extinct, but a smaller species developed. In the case of primates, as in the case of rodents, the skeletal morphology was adapted to its environment. PMID:26712383

  1. Vertebral anomaly in fossil sea cows (Mammalia, Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Voss, Manja; Asbach, Patrick; Hilger, André

    2011-06-01

    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

  2. Ecological correlates to cranial morphology in Leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha)

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma; Bumacod, Nicholas; Wedel, Mathew J.

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian order Lagomorpha has been the subject of many morphometric studies aimed at understanding the relationship between form and function as it relates to locomotion, primarily in postcranial morphology. The leporid cranial skeleton, however, may also reveal information about their ecology, particularly locomotion and vision. Here we investigate the relationship between cranial shape and the degree of facial tilt with locomotion (cursoriality, saltation, and burrowing) within crown leporids. Our results suggest that facial tilt is more pronounced in cursors and saltators compared to generalists, and that increasing facial tilt may be driven by a need for expanded visual fields. Our phylogenetically informed analyses indicate that burrowing behavior, facial tilt, and locomotor behavior do not predict cranial shape. However, we find that variables such as bullae size, size of the splenius capitus fossa, and overall rostral dimensions are important components for understanding the cranial variation in leporids. PMID:25802812

  3. Shared Ancestry between a Newfound Mole-Borne Hantavirus and Hantaviruses Harbored by Cricetid Rodents ▿†

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N.; Hope, Andrew G.; Cook, Joseph A.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae) and moles (family Talpidae) contests the conventional view that rodents (order Rodentia, families Muridae and Cricetidae) are the principal reservoir hosts and suggests that the evolutionary history of hantaviruses is far more complex than previously hypothesized. We now report on Rockport virus (RKPV), a hantavirus identified in archival tissues of the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) collected in Rockport, TX, in 1986. Pairwise comparison of the full-length S, M, and L genomic segments indicated moderately low sequence similarity between RKPV and other soricomorph-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that RKPV shared a most recent common ancestor with cricetid-rodent-borne hantaviruses. Distributed widely across the eastern United States, the fossorial eastern mole is sympatric and syntopic with cricetid rodents known to harbor hantaviruses, raising the possibility of host-switching events in the distant past. Our findings warrant more-detailed investigations on the dynamics of spillover and cross-species transmission of present-day hantaviruses within communities of rodents and moles. PMID:21632770

  4. The Fleas of Endemic and Introduced Small Mammals in Central Highland Forests of Madagascar: Faunistics, Species Diversity, and Absence of Host Specificity.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Steven M; Randrenjarison Andriniaina, H Rico; Soarimalala, Voahangy; Beaucournu, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    Data are presented on the flea species of the genera Paractenopsyllus (Ceratophyllidae, Leptopsyllinae) and Synopsyllus (Pulicidae, Xenopsyllinae) obtained from small mammals during two 2014 seasonal surveys at a montane humid forest site (Ambohitantely) in the Central Highlands of Madagascar. The mammal groups included the endemic family Tenrecidae (tenrecs) and subfamily Nesomyinae (rodents) and two introduced families Muridae (rodents) and Soricidae (shrews); no fleas were recovered from the latter family. The surveys were conducted at the end of the wet and dry seasons with 288 individual small mammals captured, including 12 endemic and four introduced species. These animals yielded 344 fleas, representing nine species endemic to Madagascar; no introduced species was collected. Some seasonal variation was found in the number of trapped small mammals, but no marked difference was found in species richness. For flea species represented by sufficient samples, no parasite-host specificity was found, and there is evidence for considerable lateral exchange in the local flea fauna between species of tenrecs and the two rodent families (endemic and introduced). The implications of these results are discussed with regards to small mammal species richness and community structure, as well as a possible mechanism for the maintenance of sylvatic cycles of bubonic plague in the montane forests of Madagascar. PMID:26336252

  5. Long-term effects of precommercial thinning on small mammals in northern Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Homyack, J.A.; Harrison, D.J.; Krohn, W.B.

    2005-01-01

    Precommercial thinning (PCT) is being practiced increasingly throughout the Acadian forest of eastern North America to meet silvicultural objectives; however, effects of this practice on wildlife, both immediately and several years post-treatment are not well understood. Forest dependent small mammals have ecological roles as prey for numerous avian and mammalian predators, dispersers of seeds, fruit, and spores, and contribute to nutrient cycling. Researchers in the northwestern USA have suggested that thinning of young, regenerating clearcuts may increase the abundance and diversity of some forest-dependent small mammals by increasing rates of forest development and enhancing the ecological representation of mid-successional stands across managed landscapes. We examined the effects of PCT within conifer-dominated forest stands 1-, 6-, 11-, and 16-years post-treatment, on abundances of mice, voles, and shrews, and on within-stand structure in the commercially managed, Acadian forests of northern Maine. We live-trapped small mammals on 24 herbicide-treated clearcuts treated with PCT and on 13 similar, unthinned stands during summers of 2000 and 2001. Thinning of mid-successional conifer stands resulted in increased abundances, (red-backed voles, Clethrionomys gapperi, P = 0.008; masked shrews, Sorex cinereus, P < 0.001) or had no detectable effect on (deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, P = 0.544; short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda, P = 0.517) the 4 most common species of Muridae and Soricidae in northern Maine. In general, abundance of deer mice responded more positively to increasing development class and to the number of years since thinning than other species of small mammals. Several within-stand habitat characteristics associated with stand maturity, such as larger stem diameters and a partially open canopy, occurred in thinned stands. Thus, PCT may accelerate the development of habitat attributes typical of mid-successional conifer stands in intensively

  6. Fine structure of the parotid gland in tree shrew (Tupaia glis).

    PubMed

    Suzuki, S; Mifune, H; Nishida, T; Obara, T; Kamimura, R; Sakamoto, H; Mohammad Abdul, A; Nishinakagawa, H

    1995-10-01

    The parotid glands of Tupaia glis were examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. The acinar cells were seromucous in nature, and contained many acidophilic granules with strong affinity for periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and weak affinity for alcian blue (AB). These granules consisted of a fine granular matrix of moderate density in which a denser corpuscles or semilunar materials were present. Intercalated duct cells had a few fine vesicles, vacuoles and very few dense granules in the apical region. In occasional epithelial cells, acidophilic, PAS-positive and AB-negative bodies with moderate density were observed in the supranuclear region. The striated ducts consisted of columnar light and dark cells containing round or small ovoid granules of moderate density and did not show the granular duct as seen in the parotid glands of kobe mole and tenrec which are placed in the order insectivora. PMID:8575539

  7. The use of albendazole for the treatment of trematodiasis in two tree shrews (Tupala glis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beehler, B.A.; Tuggle, B.N.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  8. Scleral gene expression during recovery from myopia compared with expression during myopia development in tree shrew

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Lin; Frost, Michael R.; Siegwart, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose During postnatal refractive development, the sclera receives retinally generated signals that regulate its biochemical properties. Hyperopic refractive error causes the retina to produce “GO” signals that, through the direct emmetropization pathway, cause scleral remodeling that increases the axial elongation rate of the eye, reducing the hyperopia. Myopia causes the retina to generate “STOP” signals that produce scleral remodeling, slowing the axial elongation rate and reducing the myopia. Our aim was to compare the pattern of gene expression produced in the sclera by the STOP signals with the GO gene expression signature we described previously. Methods The GO gene expression signature was produced by monocular –5 diopter (D) lens wear for 2 days (ML-2) or 4 days (ML-4); an additional “STAY” condition was examined after eyes had fully compensated for a –5 D lens after 11 days of lens wear (ML-11). After 11 days of −5 D lens wear had produced full refractive compensation, gene expression in the STOP condition was examined during recovery (without the lens) for 2 days (REC-2) or 4 days (REC-4). The untreated contralateral eyes served as a control in all groups. Two age-matched normal groups provided a comparison with the treated groups. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to measure mRNA levels for 55 candidate genes. Results The STAY group compensated fully for the lens (treated eye versus control eye, –5.1±0.2 D). Wearing the lens, the hyperopic signal for elongation had dissipated (–0.3±0.3 D). In the STOP groups, the refraction in the recovering eyes became less myopic relative to the control eyes (REC-2, +1.3±0.3 D; REC-4, +2.6±0.4 D). In the STAY group, three genes showed significant downregulation. However, many genes that were significantly altered in GO showed smaller, nonsignificant, expression differences in the same direction in STAY, suggesting the gene expression signature in STAY is a greatly weakened form of the GO signature. In the STOP groups, a different gene expression pattern was observed, characterized by mostly upregulation with larger fold differences after 4 days than after 2 days of recovery. Eleven of the 55 genes examined showed significant bidirectional GO/STOP regulation in the ML-2 and REC-2 groups, and 13 genes showed bidirectional regulation in the ML-4 and REC-4 groups. Eight of these genes (NPR3, CAPNS1, NGEF, TGFB1, CTGF, NOV, TIMP1, and HS6ST1) were bidirectionally regulated at both time points in the GO and STOP conditions. An additional 15 genes showed significant regulation in either GO or STOP conditions but not in both. Conclusions Many genes are involved in scleral remodeling and the control of axial length. The STOP (recovery) gene expression signature in the sclera involves some of the same genes, bidirectionally regulated, as the GO signature. However, other genes, regulated in GO, are not differentially regulated in STOP, and others show differential regulation only in STOP. PMID:25540576

  9. TOXICITY EVALUATION OF 1,3,5-TRINITROBENZENE (TNB) IN SHREWS (CRYPTOTIS PARVA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    TNB has been detected as an environmental contaminant of soil and water at certain Army installations and production waste disposal sites. At present there are no toxicity data on TNB in small wild mammals that might be used for ecological risk assessment. Therefore, a 14-day to...

  10. The Hand of Cercopithecoides williamsi (Mammalia, Primates): Earliest Evidence for Thumb Reduction among Colobine Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Stephen R.; Gilbert, Christopher C.; Pugh, Kelsey D.; Guthrie, Emily H.; Delson, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Thumb reduction is among the most important features distinguishing the African and Asian colobines from each other and from other Old World monkeys. In this study we demonstrate that the partial skeleton KNM-ER 4420 from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dated to 1.9 Ma and assigned to the Plio-Pleistocene colobine species Cercopithecoides williamsi, shows marked reduction of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals. Thus, KNM-ER 4420 is the first documented occurrence of cercopithecid pollical reduction in the fossil record. In the size of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals, C. williamsi is similar to extant African colobines, but different from cercopithecines, extant Asian colobines and the Late Miocene colobines Microcolobus and Mesopithecus. This feature clearly links the genus Cercopithecoides with the extant African colobine clade and makes it the first definitive African colobine in the fossil record. The postcranial adaptations to terrestriality in Cercopithecoides are most likely secondary, while ancestral colobinans (and colobines) were arboreal. Finally, the absence of any evidence for pollical reduction in Mesopithecus implies either independent thumb reduction in African and Asian colobines or multiple colobine dispersal events out of Africa. Based on the available evidence, we consider the first scenario more likely. PMID:25993410

  11. First Castorid (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the Middle Miocene of Southeast Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suraprasit, Kantapon; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Martin, Thomas; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques

    2011-04-01

    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.

  12. On the relationship between enamel band complexity and occlusal surface area in Equids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla).

    PubMed

    Famoso, Nicholas A; Davis, Edward Byrd

    2016-01-01

    Enamel patterns on the occlusal surfaces of equid teeth are asserted to have tribal-level differences. The most notable example compares the Equini and Hipparionini, where Equini have higher crowned teeth with less enamel-band complexity and less total occlusal enamel than Hipparionini. Whereas previous work has successfully quantified differences in enamel band shape by dividing the length of enamel band by the square root of the occlusal surface area (Occlusal Enamel Index, OEI), it was clear that OEI only partially removes the effect of body size. Because enamel band length scales allometrically, body size still has an influence on OEI, with larger individuals having relatively longer enamel bands than smaller individuals. Fractal dimensionality (D) can be scaled to any level, so we have used it to quantify occlusal enamel complexity in a way that allows us to get at an accurate representation of the relationship between complexity and body size. To test the hypothesis of tribal-level complexity differences between Equini and Hipparionini, we digitally traced a sample of 98 teeth, one tooth per individual; 31 Hipparionini and 67 Equini. We restricted our sampling to the P3-M2 to reduce the effect of tooth position. After calculating the D of these teeth with the fractal box method which uses the number of boxes of various sizes to calculate the D of a line, we performed a t-test on the individual values of D for each specimen, comparing the means between the two tribes, and a phylogenetically informed generalized least squares regression (PGLS) for each tribe with occlusal surface area as the independent variable and D as the dependent variable. The slopes of both PGLS analyses were compared using a t-test to determine if the same linear relationship existed between the two tribes. The t-test between tribes was significant (p < 0.0001), suggesting different D populations for each lineage. The PGLS for Hipparionini was a positive but not significant (p = 0.4912) relationship between D and occlusal surface area, but the relationship for Equini was significantly negative (p = 0.0177). λ was 0 for both tests, indicating no important phylogenetic signal is present in the relationship between these two characters, thus the PGLS collapses down to a non-phylogenetic generalized least squares (GLS) model. The t-test comparing the slopes of the regressions was not significant, indicating that the two lineages could have the same relationship between D and occlusal surface area. Our results suggest that the two tribes have the same negative relationship between D and occlusal surface area but the Hipparionini are offset to higher values than the Equini. This offset reflects the divergence between the two lineages since their last common ancestor and may have constrained their ability to respond to environmental change over the Neogene, leading to the differential survival of the Equini. PMID:27441119

  13. Molecular phylogeny of the carnivora (mammalia): assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships.

    PubMed

    Flynn, John J; Finarelli, John A; Zehr, Sarah; Hsu, Johnny; Nedbal, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    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

  14. Rodents and lagomorphs (Mammalia) from the Hemphillian (late Miocene) of Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korth, W.W.; De Blieux, D. D.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  15. Molecular evidence for a recent demographic expansion in the puma (Puma concolor) (Mammalia, Felidae)

    PubMed Central

    Matte, Eunice M.; Castilho, Camila S.; Miotto, Renata A.; Sana, Denis A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; de Freitas, Thales R. O.; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    The puma is an iconic predator that ranges throughout the Americas, occupying diverse habitats. Previous phylogeographic analyses have revealed that it exhibits moderate levels of genetic structure across its range, with few of the classically recognized subspecies being supported as distinct demographic units. Moreover, most of the species’ molecular diversity was found to be in South America. To further investigate the phylogeographic structure and demographic history of pumas we analyzed mtDNA sequences from 186 individuals sampled throughout their range, with emphasis on South America. Our objectives were to refine the phylogeographic assessment within South America and to investigate the demographic history of pumas using a coalescent approach. Our results extend previous phylogeographic findings, reassessing the delimitation of historical population units in South America and demonstrating that this species experienced a considerable demographic expansion in the Holocene, ca. 8,000 years ago. Our analyses indicate that this expansion occurred in South America, prior to the hypothesized re-colonization of North America, which was therefore inferred to be even more recent. The estimated demographic history supports the interpretation that pumas suffered a severe demographic decline in the Late Pleistocene throughout their distribution, followed by population expansion and re-colonization of the range, initiating from South America. PMID:24385863

  16. Evolutionary histories of highly repeated DNA families among the Artiodactyla (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Modi, W S; Gallagher, D S; Womack, J E

    1996-03-01

    Six highly repeated DNA families were analyzed using Southern blotting and fluorescence in situ hybridization in a comparative study of 46 species of artiodactyls belonging to seven of the eight extant taxonomic families. Two of the repeats, the dispersed bovine-Pst family and the localized 1.715 component, were found to have the broadest taxonomic distributions, being present in all pecoran ruminants (Giraffidae, Cervidae, Antilocapridae, and Bovidae), indicating that these repeats may be 25-40 million years old. Different 1.715 restriction patterns were observed in different taxonomic families, indicating that independent concerted evolution events have homogenized different motifs in different lineages. The other four satellite arrays were restricted to the Bovini and sometimes to the related Boselaphini and Tragelaphini. Results reveal that among the two compound satellites studied, the two components of the 1.711a originated simultaneously, whereas the two components of the 1.711b originated at two different historical times, perhaps as many as 15 million years apart. Systematic conclusions support the monophyly of the infraorder Pecora, the monophyly of the subfamily Bovinae (containing the Boselaphini, Bovini, and Tragelaphini), an inability to resolve any interrelationships among the other tribes of bovids, paraphyly of the genus Bos with respect to Bison, and a lack of molecular variation among two morphologically and ecologically distinct subspecies of African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer cafer and S. c. nanus). Cytogenetically, a reduction in diploid chromosome numbers through centric fusion in derived karyotypes is accompanied by a loss of centromeric satellite DNA. The nilgai karyotype contains an apparent dicentric chromosome as evidenced by the sites of 1.715 hybridization. Telomeric sequences have been translocated to the centromeres without concomitant chromosomal rearrangement in Thompson's gazelle. PMID:8661995

  17. Dental microwear patterns of extant and extinct Muridae (Rodentia, Mammalia): ecological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Merceron, Gildas; Viriot, Laurent

    2009-04-01

    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.

  18. The evolution of orbit orientation and encephalization in the Carnivora (Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Finarelli, John A; Goswami, Anjali

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary change in encephalization within and across mammalian clades is well-studied, yet relatively few comparative analyses attempt to quantify the impact of evolutionary change in relative brain size on cranial morphology. Because of the proximity of the braincase to the orbits, and the inter-relationships among ecology, sensory systems and neuroanatomy, a relationship has been hypothesized between orbit orientation and encephalization for mammals. Here, we tested this hypothesis in 68 fossil and living species of the mammalian order Carnivora, comparing orbit orientation angles (convergence and frontation) to skull length and encephalization. No significant correlations were observed between skull length and orbit orientation when all taxa were analysed. Significant correlations were observed between encephalization and orbit orientation; however, these were restricted to the families Felidae and Canidae. Encephalization is positively correlated with frontation in both families and negatively correlated with convergence in canids. These results indicate that no universal relationship exists between encephalization and orbit orientation for Carnivora. Braincase expansion impacts orbit orientation in specific carnivoran clades, the nature of which is idiosyncratic to the clade itself. PMID:19438762

  19. On the Indian crested porcupine, Hystrix indica (Kerr, 1792) in Turkey (Mammalia: Rodentia).

    PubMed

    Arslan, Atilla

    2008-01-15

    This study presents some data about ecological, biological and taxonomical characteristics of Hystrix indica (Kerr, 1792) from Turkey. For this purpose characteristics of burrow, skull, tooth and measurements of external and cranial characters of two female H. indica from Turkey were investigated. It was concluded that our specimens are between the Middle East and Indian sub-region specimens in terms of morphometrical. It was also determined that there were roots in stomach contents of specimens. PMID:18817213

  20. Morphology and function of the hyoid apparatus of fossil xenarthrans (mammalia).

    PubMed

    Pérez, Leandro M; Toledo, Néstor; De Iuliis, Gerardo; Bargo, M Susana; Vizcaíno, Sergio F

    2010-09-01

    The analysis of the hyoid apparatus of fossil xenarthrans provides insight on the form of the tongue and its function in food intake and intraoral processing. The hyoid apparatus of xenarthrans is notable for fusion among its elements. The presence of a V-bone, a complex consisting of fused basihyal and thyrohyal bones, is a consistent and probably synapomorphic feature of xenarthrans. Fusion of other elements is variable in fossil xenarthrans. Most fossil sloths retain independent elements, as in living dasypodids and mammals generally. Among nothrotheriids, the elements are slender and their articular surfaces indicate considerable mobility, and the relatively long and horizontal orientation of the geniohyoid muscle suggests considerable tongue protrusion. Among mylodontines, such as Paramylodon and Glossotherium, the elements indicate relatively mobile articulations, except between the stylo- and epihyals. The relatively posterior placement of the apparatus and the length and alignment of the geniohyoid muscle indicate considerable capacity for tongue protrusion. Scelidotherium, however, had rigidly articulated stylohyal and epihyal, and the apparatus lies farther anteriorly, which together with the elongated, steeply inclined mandibular symphysis, indicates a relatively shorter geniohyoid muscle and thus more limited capacity for tongue protrusion. A similar situation is indicated for Megatherium, casting doubt on the classical reconstruction of this sloth as having a long prehensile tongue. Among cingulates Prozaedyus resembles living dasypodids, indicating considerable tongue protrusion important in food acquisition and intake. More extensive fusion of hyoid elements occurs in the cingulates Glyptodon and Proeutatus, in which the stylohyal and epihyal at least, are fused into a single element termed the sigmohyal. The presence of this element supports recent proposals of a sister-group relationship between glyptodonts and eutatines. The rigidity of the apparatus suggests limited tongue protrusion, but the tongue, in glyptodonts at least, was a powerful structure important for intraoral manipulation of food. PMID:20730924

  1. Microstructure of dental hard tissues in fossil and recent xenarthrans (Mammalia: Folivora and Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Kalthoff, Daniela C

    2011-06-01

    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

  2. Digital dissection of the masticatory muscles of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber (Mammalia, Rodentia)

    PubMed Central

    Faulkes, Chris G.

    2014-01-01

    The naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber, of the family Bathyergidae is a subterranean rodent that feeds on underground roots and tubers and digs extensive tunnel systems with its incisors. It is a highly unusual mammal with regard to its social structure, longevity, pain insensitivity and cancer resistance, all of which have made it the subject of a great deal of research in recent years. Yet, much of the basic anatomy of this species remains undocumented. In this paper, we describe the morphology of the jaw-closing musculature of the naked mole-rat, as revealed by contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography. This technique uses an iodine stain to enable the imaging of soft tissues with microCT. The iodine-enhanced scans were used to create 3D reconstructions of the naked mole-rat masticatory muscles from which muscle masses were calculated. The jaw-closing musculature of Heterocephalus glaber is relatively very large compared to other rodents and is dominated by the superficial masseter, the deep masseter and the temporalis. The temporalis in particular is large for a rodent, covering the entirety of the braincase and much of the rear part of the orbit. The morphology of the masseter complex described here differs from two other published descriptions of bathyergid masticatory muscles, but is more similar to the arrangement seen in other rodent families. The zygomaticomandibularis (ZM) muscle does not protrude through the infraorbital foramen on to the rostrum and thus the naked mole-rat should be considered protrogomorphous rather than hystricomorphous, and the morphology is consistent with secondarily lost hystricomorphy as has been previously suggested for Bathyergidae. Overall, the morphology of the masticatory musculature indicates a species with a high bite force and a wide gape–both important adaptations for a life dominated by digging with the incisors. PMID:25024917

  3. Identification of specialists and abundance-occupancy relationships among intestinal bacteria of Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coalescence of next generation DNA sequencing methods, ecological perspectives, and bioinformatics analysis tools is rapidly advancing our understanding of the evolution and function of vertebrate-associated bacterial communities. Delineating host-microbial associations has a...

  4. New fauna of archaeocete whales (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Bartonian middle Eocene of southern Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gingerich, Philip D.; Zouhri, Samir

    2015-11-01

    Six genera and species of archaic whales are present in a new fauna from the Aridal Formation at Gueran in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Morocco. Three of the archaeocete species represent semiaquatic Protocetidae and three species are fully aquatic Basilosauridae. Protocetids are characteristic of Lutetian lower middle Eocene strata, and basilosaurids are characteristic of Priabonian late Eocene beds. Similar representation of both families is restricted to intervening Bartonian strata and indicative of a late middle Eocene age. Archaeocetes from Gueran include (1) a small protocetid represented by a partial humerus, teeth, and vertebrae; (2) a middle-sized protocetid represented by a partial innominate and proximal femur; (3) the very large protocetid Pappocetus lugardi represented by teeth, a partial innominate, and two partial femora; (4) a new species of the small basilosaurid Chrysocetus represented by a dentary, teeth, humeri, and many vertebrae; (5) a new species of the larger basilosaurid Platyosphys (resurrected as a distinct genus) represented by a partial braincase, tympanic bulla, and many vertebrae; and (6) the large basilosaurid Eocetus schweinfurthi represented by teeth, a tympanic bulla, and lumbar vertebrae. The Gueran locality is important geologically because it constrains the age of a part of the Aridal Formation, and biologically because it includes a diversity of archaic whales represented by partial skeletons with vertebrae in sequence and by forelimb and hind limb remains. With further collecting, Gueran archaeocete skeletons promise to clarify the important evolutionary transition from foot-powered swimming in Protocetidae to the tail-powered swimming of Basilosauridae and all later Cetacea.

  5. Histological patterns of the intestinal attachment of Corynosoma australe (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) in Arctocephalus australis (Mammalia: Pinnipedia).

    PubMed

    Silva, Renato Z; Pereira, Joaber; Cousin, João Carlos B

    2014-12-01

    The mucosal attachment pattern of Corynosoma australe in the intestines of Arctocephalus australis is described. Normal and abnormal tissue were sampled from 32 hosts to be submitted to histological routine protocol to embedding in paraffin and permanent mounting in balsam. Corynosoma australe shows three different degrees of body depth intestinal attachment (BDINA-1-3). BDINA-1: it is exclusive of the small intestine and the parasite attaches on the villi; BDINA-2: parasite affects the Lieberkühn crypts in several depth levels and, BDINA-3: the parasite reaches the submucosa. These attachment patterns alter the mucosa by degeneration and dysfunction due to necrosis of mucosal structure, great quantities of cellular debris and significant reduction of the mucosal thickness. Other aspects are crater-like concave holes (CLCHs) as sites where C. australe could be attached-detached several times according to adult migratory processes within luminal intestine space. The submucosa shows edema probably due to the local mucosal alterations resulting in homeostatic break. There is no severe inflammatory response by host but BDINA-1 to BDINA-3 and CLCH could represent foci to secondary opportunistic infections and significant areas of malabsorption in severally infected hosts contributing to increase clinical signs of preexistent pathologies. PMID:25320494

  6. Osteoderm histology of the Pampatheriidae (Cingulata, Xenarthra, Mammalia): Implications for systematics, osteoderm growth, and biomechanical adaptation.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Dominik; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Sander, P Martin

    2012-04-01

    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

  7. Pelvic peritoneum in male armadillo and anteater (Xenarthra, Mammalia): a comparative survey.

    PubMed

    Rezende, Lorenna Cardoso; Ferreira, Jussara Rocha

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. Spermatogenesis is seasonal in the large hairy armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus (Dasypodidae, Xenarthra, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan P; Rossi, Luis F; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Redi, Carlo A; Solari, Alberto J; Merani, Maria S; Garagna, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. A new Early Oligocene peradectine marsupial (Mammalia)from the Burqin region of Xinjiang, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Xijun; Meng, Jin; Wu, Wenyu; Ye, Jie

    2007-03-01

    Tertiary marsupial records are very scarce in Asia. A new peradectine marsupial, Junggaroperadectes burqinensis gen. et sp. nov., is reported from the Early Oligocene Keziletuogayi Formation in the Burqin region, Xinjiang, China. This new species is based on a single right upper M2. The tooth possesses a straight centrocrista, a characteristic of peradectines. Its main cusps lean buccally, with the paracone being smaller and lower than the metacone. The conules and stylar cusps are weakly developed. These characters distinguish J. burqinensis from Euro-American Tertiary peradectines, but they also imply a close phylogenetic relationship to Siamoperadectes and Sinoperadectes, two Asian Early Miocene peradectines.

  10. Phenotypic Convergence in Genetically Distinct Lineages of a Rhinolophus Species Complex (Mammalia, Chiroptera)

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, David S.; Babiker, Hassan; Bastian, Anna; Kearney, Teresa; van Eeden, Rowen; Bishop, Jacqueline M.

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypes of distantly related species may converge through adaptation to similar habitats and/or because they share biological constraints that limit the phenotypic variants produced. A common theme in bats is the sympatric occurrence of cryptic species that are convergent in morphology but divergent in echolocation frequency, suggesting that echolocation may facilitate niche partitioning, reducing competition. If so, allopatric populations freed from competition, could converge in both morphology and echolocation provided they occupy similar niches or share biological constraints. We investigated the evolutionary history of a widely distributed African horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus darlingi, in the context of phenotypic convergence. We used phylogenetic inference to identify and date lineage divergence together with phenotypic comparisons and ecological niche modelling to identify morphological and geographical correlates of those lineages. Our results indicate that R. darlingi is paraphyletic, the eastern and western parts of its distribution forming two distinct non-sister lineages that diverged ~9.7 Mya. We retain R. darlingi for the eastern lineage and argue that the western lineage, currently the sub-species R. d. damarensis, should be elevated to full species status. R. damarensis comprises two lineages that diverged ~5 Mya. Our findings concur with patterns of divergence of other co-distributed taxa which are associated with increased regional aridification between 7-5 Mya suggesting possible vicariant evolution. The morphology and echolocation calls of R. darlingi and R. damarensis are convergent despite occupying different biomes. This suggests that adaptation to similar habitats is not responsible for the convergence. Furthermore, R. darlingi forms part of a clade comprising species that are bigger and echolocate at lower frequencies than R. darlingi, suggesting that biological constraints are unlikely to have influenced the convergence. Instead, the striking similarity in morphology and sensory biology are probably the result of neutral evolutionary processes, resulting in the independent evolution of similar phenotypes. PMID:24312666

  11. Mandible shape and dwarfism in squirrels (Mammalia, Rodentia): interaction of allometry and adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques

    2009-06-01

    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.

  12. Behavioral responses of three armadillo species (Mammalia: Xenarthra) to an environmental enrichment program in Villavicencio, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Cortés Duarte, Alexandra; Trujillo, Fernando; Superina, Mariella

    2016-07-01

    Enrichment is a powerful tool to improve the welfare of animals under human care. Stress-related health and behavioral problems, as well as reproductive failure, are frequent in armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Dasypodidae) under human care, which hinders the development of successful ex situ conservation programs. Nevertheless, scientific studies on the effect of enrichment programs on armadillos are virtually non-existent. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of an enrichment program on the behavior of armadillos under human care. The behavior of 12 individuals of three species (Dasypus novemcinctus, D. sabanicola, and Cabassous unicinctus) maintained at Finca El Turpial, Villavicencio, Colombia, was recorded using scan sampling during three daily time blocks of 2 hr each before (4 weeks) and after (4 weeks) implementing an enrichment program. Enrichment did not stimulate the armadillos to change or extend their activity period. In general, activity levels were low during the entire study, and virtually no activity was recorded in the morning in any species, neither without nor with enrichment. The latter did, however, improve welfare by reducing abnormal and increasing natural foraging behaviors. All species were attracted by artificial termite mounds. Dasypus spp. showed special interest in cardboard boxes with food, while Cabassous was mainly attracted to hollow plastic balls filled with food. Our results suggest that separate enrichment programs need to be developed for different armadillo species, and that they should be applied during the time of day at which they are most active. Zoo Biol. 35:304-312, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27272640

  13. Presence of antibodies against Leptospira serovars in Chaetophractus villosus (Mammalia, Dasypodidae), La Pampa province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Brihuega, Bibiana; Fort, Marcelo; Delgado, Fernando; Bedotti, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of antibodies against 21 Leptospira reactive serovars in Chaetophractus villosus in La Pampa province, Argentina, using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pathologic changes compatible with leptospirosis and in situ detection of the agent by immunohistochemistry were studied in 24 and 3 individuals respectively. Only 35/150 (23.3%) serum samples had antibodies against Leptospira sp. Six percent of the samples reacted with serovar Canicola, 4.7% with serovar Castellonis, 1.3% with serovar Icterohemorrhagieae and 0.7% with serovar Hardjo. Sixteen (10.6%) serum samples agglutinated with Castellonis-Icterohemorrhagiae and Canicola-Castellonis serovars, both with 4.7%, and Canicola-Hardjo and Castellonis-Canicola-Icterohemorrhagiae both with 0.6%. Fourteen animals had variable degrees of lesions, which were more severe in animals with higher serological titers (3200), and Leptospira sp. was detected in 3 animals by immunohistochemistry. These results represent the first record of the presence of Leptospira in C. villosus in La Pampa. PMID:25754485

  14. Comparative Morphology of Premolar Foramen in Lagomorphs (Mammalia: Glires) and Its Functional and Phylogenetic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Fostowicz-Frelik, Łucja; Meng, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Lagomorphs (a group that consists of pikas, hares, rabbits and allies) are notable for their conservative morphology retained for most of their over 50 million years evolutionary history. On the other hand, their remarkable morphological uniformity partly stems from a considerable number of homoplasies in cranial and dental structures that hamper phylogenetic analyses. The premolar foramen, an opening in the palate of lagomorphs, has been characterized as an important synapomorphy of one clade, Ochotonidae (pikas). Within Lagomorpha, however, its phylogenetic distribution is much wider, the foramen being present not only in all ochotonids but also in leporids and stem taxa; its morphology and incidence also varies considerably across the order, even intraspecifically. In this study, we provide a broad survey of the taxonomic distribution of the premolar foramen in extant and fossil Lagomorpha and describe in detail the morphological variation of this character within the group. Micro-computed tomography was used to examine the hard palate and infraorbital groove morphology in Poelagus (Leporidae) and Ochotona. Scans revealed the course and contacts of the canal behind the premolar foramen and structural differences between the two crown clades. We propose that the premolar foramen has evolved independently in several lineages of Lagomorpha, and we discuss development and function of this foramen in the lagomorph skull. This study shows the importance of comprehensive studies on phylogenetically informative non-dental characters in Lagomorpha. PMID:24278178

  15. A new rabbit species (Sylvilagus, Mammalia: Leporidae) from the lowlands of Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Durant, P; Guevara, M A

    2001-03-01

    A new species of Venezuelan rabbit of the genus Sylvilagus from Fundo Millano (08 degrees 46'N and 69 degrees 56'W) and Chorrosco Bajo (08 degrees 05'N and 69 degrees 18'W), between 190 and 120 masl, state of Barinas, is described based on: 1. Body and skull measurements. 2. Coloration patterns of the pelage. 3. Arrangement and length of the color hair bands of dorsal, lateral, ventral nuchal, and gular patches. Body and cranial measurements, and some color patterns of the new species, Sylvilagus varynaensis, were compared with those of the closest relative groups such as S. brasiliensis (from Venezuela and Brazil), S. b. meridensis from the Venezuelan paramos, and three of the most representative groups of S. floridanus (S. f. continentis, S. f. orinoci, and S. f. valenciae). Most of the values recorded for these parameters were significantly higher for the new species (P < 0.005; Student "t" test). Cluster and principal components analysis of the data recorded for cranial characteristics indicated that S. varynaensis is the largest and darkest of the known Venezuelan rabbits, with a broader elongated skull and a different arrangement of the color hair bands. PMID:11795167

  16. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-12-01

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado. PMID:25590705

  17. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-11-28

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado. PMID:25424041

  18. Morphometric study of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in procyonid (mammalia: carnivora) endocasts.

    PubMed

    Ahrens, Heather E

    2014-12-01

    Endocasts provide a proxy for brain morphology but are rarely incorporated in phylogenetic analyses despite the potential for new suites of characters. The phylogeny of Procyonidae, a carnivoran family with relatively limited taxonomic diversity, is not well resolved because morphological and molecular data yield conflicting topologies. The presence of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in the endocasts of procyonids will be determined using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Endocasts of seven ingroup species and four outgroup species were digitally rendered and 21 landmarks were collected from the endocast surface. Two phylogenetic hypotheses of Procyonidae will be examined using methods testing for phylogenetic signal in morphometric data. In analyses of all taxa, there is significant phylogenetic signal in brain shape for both the morphological and molecular topologies. However, the analyses of ingroup taxa recover a significant phylogenetic signal for the morphological topology only. These results indicate support for the molecular outgroup topology, but not the ingroup topology given the brain shape data. Further examination of brain shape using principal components analysis and wireframe comparisons suggests procyonids possess more developed areas of the brain associated with motor control, spatial perception, and balance relative to the basal musteloid condition. Within Procyonidae, similar patterns of variation are present, and may be associated with increased arboreality in certain taxa. Thus, brain shape derived from endocasts may be used to test for phylogenetic signal and preliminary analyses suggest an association with behavior and ecology. PMID:25066912

  19. Molecular systematics and phylogeography of the tribe Myonycterini (Mammalia, Pteropodidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear markers.

    PubMed

    Nesi, Nicolas; Kadjo, Blaise; Pourrut, Xavier; Leroy, Eric; Pongombo Shongo, Célestin; Cruaud, Corinne; Hassanin, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Observations on fur development in echidna (Monotremata, Mammalia) indicate that spines precede hairs in ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Rogers, George

    2015-04-01

    In the primitive mammal echidna, the initial 2-3 generations of skin appendages produced from birth forms spines and only later true hairs appear. Microscopy on preserved museum specimens reveals that the morphogenesis of spines and hairs is similar but that a larger dermal papilla is formed in spines. The growing shaft comprises a medulla surrounded by a cortex and by an external cuticle. A thick inner root sheath made of cornified cells surrounds the growing shaft inside the spine canal that eventually exits with a pointed tip. Hairs develop later with the same modality of spines but have a smaller papilla and give rise to a fur coat among spines. Therefore the integument of developing echidnas initially produces spines from large dermal papillae but the reduction in size of the papillae later determines the formation of hairs. Although the morphogenesis of spines and hairs can represent a case of specialization in this species, the primitive mammalian characteristics of echidnas has also inspired new speculations on the evolution of the mammalian hair from mammalian-like reptiles with a spiny coat. The resemblance in the morphogenesis between spines and hairs has suggested some hypothesis on hair evolution, in particular that hairs might be derived from the reduction of protective large spines present in ancient mammalian-like reptiles possibly derived from the reduction of pre-existing pointed scales. The hypothesis suggests that spines became reduced and internalized in the skin forming hairs. PMID:25367156

  1. A late-surviving apatemyid (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the latest Oligocene of Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Gary S.

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Apatemyidae, Sinclairella simplicidens, is based on four isolated teeth that were screenwashed from fissure fillings at the late Oligocene Buda locality, Alachua County, Florida. Compared to its only congener Sinclairella dakotensis, the new species is characterized by upper molars with more simplified crowns, with the near absence of labial shelves and stylar cusps except for a strong parastyle on M1, loss of paracrista and paraconule on M2 (paraconule retained but weak on M1), lack of anterior cingulum on M1–M3, straighter centrocristae, smaller hypocone on M1 and M2, larger hypocone on M3, distal edge of M2 continuous from hypocone to postmetacrista supporting a large posterior basin, and with different tooth proportions in which M2 is the smallest rather than the largest molar in the toothrow. The relatively rare and poorly-known family Apatemyidae has a long temporal range in North America from the late Paleocene (early Tiffanian) to early Oligocene (early Arikareean). The new species from Florida significantly extends this temporal range by roughly 5 Ma to the end of the Paleogene near the Oligocene-Miocene boundary (from early Arikareean, Ar1, to late Arikareean, Ar3), and greatly extends the geographic range of the family into eastern North America some 10° of latitude farther south and 20° of longitude farther east (about 2,200 km farther southeast) than previously known. This late occurrence probably represents a retreat of this subtropically adapted family into the Gulf Coastal Plain subtropical province at the end of the Paleogene and perhaps the end of the apatemyid lineage in North America. PMID:26713254

  2. Cope's rule and the evolution of body size in Pinnipedimorpha (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Cope's rule describes the evolutionary trend for animal lineages to increase in body size over time. In this study, we tested the validity of Cope's rule for a marine mammal clade, the Pinnipedimorpha, which includes the extinct Desmatophocidae, and extant Phocidae (earless seals), Otariidae (fur seals and sea lions), and Odobenidae (walruses). We tested for the presence of Cope's rule by compiling a large dataset of body size data for extant and fossil pinnipeds and then examined how body size evolved through time. We found that there was a positive relationship between geologic age and body size. However, this trend is the result of differences between early assemblages of small-bodied pinnipeds (Oligocene to early Miocene) and later assemblages (middle Miocene to Pliocene) for which species exhibited greater size diversity. No significant differences were found between the number of increases or decreases in body size within Pinnipedimorpha or within specific pinniped clades. This suggests that the pinniped body size increase was driven by passive diversification into vacant niche space, with the common ancestor of Pinnipedimorpha occurring near the minimum adult body size possible for a marine mammal. Based upon the above results, the evolutionary history of pinnipeds does not follow Cope's rule. PMID:25355195

  3. Functional implications of variation in tooth spacing and crown size in pinnipedimorpha (mammalia: carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T

    2015-05-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) show variation in tooth morphology that relates to ecology. However, crown size and spacing are two aspects of morphology that have not been quantified in prior studies. We measured these characters for nearly all extant pinnipeds and three fossil taxa and then determined the principal sources of variation in tooth size and spacing using principal components (PCAs) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). PCA and HCA showed that species sorted into three groups: taxa with small crowns and large diastemata, taxa with large crowns and small diastemata, and taxa that fell between these two extremes. We then performed discriminant function analysis (DFA) to determine if tooth morphology correlated with foraging strategy or diet. DFA results indicated weak correlation with diet, and stronger correlation with prey capture strategies. Tooth size and spacing were most strongly correlated with the importance of teeth in prey acquisition, with tooth size decreasing and tooth spacing increasing as teeth become less necessary in capturing food items. Taxa which relied on teeth for filtering prey from the water column or processing larger or tougher food items generally had larger crowns and smaller tooth spacing then taxa which swallowed prey whole. We found the fossil taxa Desmatophoca and Enaliarctos were most similar in tooth morphology to extant otariids, suggesting that both taxa were generalist feeders. This study established the relationship between tooth size and feeding behavior, and provides a new tool to explore the paleoecology of fossil pinnipeds and other aquatic tetrapods. PMID:25367223

  4. [Nucleolus organizer regions and B-chromosomes of field mice (Mammalia, Rodentia, Apodemus)].

    PubMed

    Boeskorov, G G; Kartavtseva, I V; Zagorodniuk, I V; Belianin, A N; Liapunova, E A

    1995-02-01

    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 = 65). 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. PMID:7721059

  5. Nucleolus organizer regions and B-chromosomes of wood mice (mammalia, rodentia, Apodemus)

    SciTech Connect

    Boeskorov, G.G.; Kartavtseva, I.V.; Zagorodnyuk, I.V.; Belyanin, A.N.; Lyapunova, E.A.

    1995-02-01

    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.

  6. [Water and energy metabolism in representatives of the genus Martes and Mustela (Mammalia: Mustelidae)].

    PubMed

    Meshcherskiĭ, I G; Rozhnov, V V; Naĭdenko, S V

    2003-01-01

    The quantities of consumed food and water, quantity and moisture content of faeces, as well as quantity and concentration of excreted urine were determined in representatives of Martes--marten (M. martes) and sable (M. zibellina)--as well as in polecat (Mustela putorius). Under the same cage conditions and free access to food, all three species had similar energy value of the daily diet. However, the level of drinking water consumption and the ratio between the quantities of arriving water and energy was reliably higher in both Martes species than in polecat. In addition, both marten and sable featured a much higher rate of evaporation loss in the overall water balance and, consequently, a higher quantity of heat dissipated with evaporation as compared to polecat. Comparison of the obtained and previous data (Sokolov et al., 1995; Rozhnov, 1991) allowed us to propose that the mentioned differences can be specific for representatives of Martes and Mustela genera irrespective of ecological specialization of particular species. PMID:12942756

  7. The taxonomic status of the Yucatan brown brocket, Mazama pandora (Mammalia: Cervidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medellin, R.A.; Gardner, A.L.; Aranda, J.M.

    1998-01-01

    The Yucatan brown brocket deer, described as Mazama pandora, is now treated as a subspecies of either the common brown brocket, Mazama gouazoubira, or of the red brocket, M. americana. Analysis of brocket deer from Mexico and Central and South America, reveals that the Yucatan brown brocket is sympatric with the red brocket in Mexico and, while similar to M. gouazoubira, warrents recognition as a separate species.

  8. Desmodus rotundus (Mammalia: Chiroptera) on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Costa, L M; Esbérard, C E L

    2011-08-01

    Since the 1990s, attacks by hematophagous bats on humans and domestic animals have been reported both on the continent and on the islands on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state. The density of vampire bats was investigated based on percentage of captures during control of Desmodus rotundus samplings and during bat diversity research. In the present work, 203 individuals of D. rotundus were captured from 1993 to 2009, which corresponds to 11.88% of all bat captures carried out for species control in local villages and 1.58% of all captures in faunistic inventories. The density of D. rotundus is high even on the recently occupied islands where domestic animals have been introduced. It is probable that this species dispersed from the continent to the islands due to the introduction of domestic animals. PMID:21881799

  9. First isolation and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii from bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Cabral, A D; Gama, A R; Sodré, M M; Savani, E S M M; Galvão-Dias, M A; Jordão, L R; Maeda, M M; Yai, L E O; Gennari, S M; Pena, H F J

    2013-03-31

    There are currently no reports on the isolation and molecular examination of Toxoplasma gondii from bats. Here, we report the isolation and genotypic characterisation of two T. gondii isolates from bats. A total of 369 bats from different municipalities in São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, were captured and euthanised, and collected tissues (heart and pectoral muscle) were processed for each bat or in pools of two or three bats and bioassayed in mice (a total of 283 bioassays). Eleven PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) markers were used to genotype positive samples: SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2 and alt. SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, L358, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, CS3 and Apico. The parasite was isolated from two bats from São Paulo city: an insectivorous bat, the velvety free-tailed bat Molossus molossus, and a hematophagous bat, the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus. Isolates were designated TgBatBr1 and TgBatBr2, respectively. The genotype of the isolate from M. molossus (TgBatBr1) has been previously described in an isolate from a capybara from São Paulo state, and the genotype from the D. rotundus isolate (TgBatBr2) has already been identified in isolates from cats, chickens, capybaras, sheep, a rodent and a common rabbit from different Brazilian states, suggesting that this may be a common T. gondii lineage circulating in some Brazilian regions. Isolation of T. gondii from a hematophagous species is striking. This study reveals that bats can share the same isolates that are found in domesticated and wild terrestrial animals. This is the first report of the isolation and genotyping of T. gondii in chiropterans. PMID:23200751

  10. Sexual dimorphism of the internal mandibular chamber in Fayum Pliohyracidae (Mammalia)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    de Blieux, D.D.; Baumrind, M.R.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.; Meyer, G.E.; Attia, Y.S.

    2006-01-01

    An internal mandibular fenestra and chamber are found in many fossil hyracoids. The internal mandibular fenestra is located on the lingual surface of the mandibular corpus and opens into a chamber within the mandible. The mandibular chamber is maximally developed in late Eocene Thyrohyrax meyeri and early Oligocene Thyrohyrax domorictus from the Fayum Province of Egypt. The function of this chamber is unknown as it is not found in extant hyraxes, nor is it known to occur in any other mammal. In Thyrohyrax, this feature appears to be sexually dimorphic because it is confined to roughly one half of the specimens that otherwise cannot be separated by dental characteristics or measurements. It has been suggested that the chamber is found in females based on the presumed distribution of this character in other fossil hyracoids. Fossils from Fayum Quarry L-41, preserving the sexually dimorphic anterior dentition, show that, in Thyrohyrax meyeri and Thyrohyrax domorictus, the internal mandibular chamber is found in males. In Thyrohyrax litholagus, an internal mandibular fenestra and inflated mandibular chamber occurs in males whereas females show the variable presence of an internal mandibular fossa or fenestra but lack an expanded chamber. Other genera show differing patterns of sexual variation in which some Fayum hyracoids have an internal mandibular fenestra in both sexes but with the greatest development of the mandibular chamber occurring in males. We review functions proposed for the internal mandibular chamber and suggest that it housed a laryngeal air sac that may have had a vocal function by acting as a resonating chamber. ?? 2006 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  11. Comparative study of notoungulate (Placentalia, Mammalia) bony labyrinths and new phylogenetically informative inner ear characters

    PubMed Central

    Macrini, Thomas E; Flynn, John J; Ni, Xijun; Croft, Darin A; Wyss, André R

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Systematics and Evolution of the Miocene Three-Horned Palaeomerycid Ruminants (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla)

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Israel M.; Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Ríos, María; Quiralte, Victoria; Morales, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Palaeomerycids were strange three-horned Eurasian Miocene ruminants known through fossils from Spain to China. We here study their systematics, offering the first cladistic phylogeny of the best-known species of the group, and also reassess their phylogenetic position among ruminants, which is currently disputed. The beautifully preserved remains of a new palaeomerycid from middle Miocene deposits of Spain, Xenokeryx amidalae gen. et sp. nov., helps us to better understand palaeomerycid anatomy, especially that of the nuchal region in the skull, significantly improving our current knowledge on these enigmatic ruminants. Our results show two main lineages of palaeomerycids, one containing the genus Ampelomeryx diagnosed by a characteristic type of cranium / cranial appendages and some dental derived traits, and another one that clusters those forms more closely related to Triceromeryx than to Ampelomeryx, characterized by a more derived dentition and a set of apomorphic cranial features. Xenokeryx branches as a basal offshoot of this clade. Also, we find that Eurasian palaeomerycids are not closely related to North American dromomerycids, thus rejecting the currently more accepted view of palaeomerycids as the Eurasian part of the dromomerycid lineage. Instead of this, palaeomerycids are nested with the African Miocene pecoran Propalaeoryx and with giraffoids. On the other hand, dromomerycids are closely related to cervids. We define a clade Giraffomorpha that includes palaeomerycids and giraffids, and propose an emended diagnosis of the Palaeomerycidae based on cranial and postcranial characters, including several features of the cranium not described so far. We also define the Palaeomerycidae as the least inclusive clade of pecorans containing Triceromeryx and Ampelomeryx. Finally, we reassess the taxonomy of several palaeomerycid taxa. PMID:26630174

  13. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile. PMID:23644784

  14. Biology and impacts of Pacific island invasive species 9. Capra hircus, the feral goat, (Mammalia: Bovidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chynoweth, Mark W.; Litton, Creighton M.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Hess, Steve A.; Cordell, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Domestic goats, Capra hircus, were intentionally introduced to numerous oceanic islands beginning in the sixteenth century. The remarkable ability of C. hircus to survive in a variety of conditions has enabled this animal to become feral and impact native ecosystems on islands throughout the world. Direct ecological impacts include consumption and trampling of native plants, leading to plant community modification and transformation of ecosystem structure. While the negative impacts of feral goats are well-known and effective management strategies have been developed to control this invasive species, large populations persist on many islands. This review summarizes the impacts of feral goats on Pacific island ecosystems, and the management strategies available to control this invasive species.

  15. A new middle eocene whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hulbert, R.C., Jr.; Petkewich, R.M.; Bishop, G.A.; Bukry, D.; Aleshire, D.P.

    1998-01-01

    A shallow-marine fossil biota was recovered from the Blue Bluff unit (formerly part of the McBean Formation) in the Upper Coastal Plain of eastern Georgia. Biochronologically significant mollusks (e.g., Turritella nasuta, Cubitostrea sellaeformis, Pteropsella lapidosa) and calcareous nannoplankton (e.g., Chiasmolithus solitus, Reticulofenestra umbilica, Cribocentrum reticulatum) indicate a latest Lutetian-earliest Bartonian age, or about 40 to 41 Ma. Georgiacetus vogtlensis new genus and species is described from a well-preserved, partial skeleton. Georgiacetus is the oldest known whale with a true pterygoid sinus fossa in its basicranium and a pelvis that did not articulate directly with the sacral vertebrae, two features whose acquisitions were important steps toward adaptation to a fully marine existence. The posterior four cheek teeth of G. vogtlensis form a series of carnassial-like shearing blades. These teeth also bear small, blunt accessory cusps, which are regarded as being homologous with the larger, sharper accessory cusps of basilosaurid cheek teeth.

  16. Frugivory by phyllostomid bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in a restored area in Southeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silveira, Maurício; Trevelin, Leonardo; Port-Carvalho, Marcio; Godoi, Simone; Mandetta, Elizabeth Neuenhaus; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo P.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  17. Mandible shape and dwarfism in squirrels (Mammalia, Rodentia): interaction of allometry and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques

    2009-06-01

    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. PMID:19288073

  18. Phylogeographic patterns and evolution of the mitochondrial DNA control region in two neotropical cats (Mammalia, felidae).

    PubMed

    Eizirik, E; Bonatto, S L; Johnson, W E; Crawshaw, P G; Vié, J C; Brousset, D M; O'Brien, S J; Salzano, F M

    1998-11-01

    The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and margay (L. wiedii) are sister-species of Neotropical cats which evolved from a lineage that migrated into South America during the formation of the Panamanian land bridge 3-5 million years ago. Patterns of population genetic divergence of each species were studied by phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences in individuals sampled across the distribution of these taxa. Abundant genetic diversity and remarkably concordant phylogeographic partitions for both species were observed, identifying parallel geographic regions which likely reflect historical faunal barriers. Inferred aspects of phylogeography, population genetic structure, and demographic history were used to formulate conservation recommendations for these species. In addition, observed patterns of sequence variation provided insight into the molecular evolution of the mtDNA control region in closely related felids. PMID:9797412

  19. Revision of the Wind River faunas, early Eocene of central Wyoming. X - Bunophorus (Mammalia, Artiodactyla)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stucky, Richard K.; Krishtalka, Leonard

    1990-01-01

    Research on the holotypes and large collections of the species of Wasatchia and Bunophorus is reviewed. It is concluded that Bunophorus is a senior synonym of Wasatchia and includes six valid species, namely, B. etsagicus, B. grangeri, B. pattersoni, B. macropternus, B. sinclairi, and B. robustus. B. sinclairi includes two penecontemporaneous geographic variants: B.s. sinclairi from the Wind River, Piceance and Green River basins, and B.s. robinsoni, n. ssp., from the Huerfano Basin.

  20. A time-calibrated species-level phylogeny of bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Agnarsson, Ingi; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos M.; Flores-Saldana, Nadia Paola; May-Collado, Laura J.

    2011-01-01

    Despite their obvious utility, detailed species-level phylogenies are lacking for many groups, including several major mammalian lineages such as bats. Here we provide a cytochrome b genealogy of over 50% of bat species (648 terminal taxa). Based on prior analyzes of related mammal groups, cytb emerges as a particularly reliable phylogenetic marker, and given that our results are broadly congruent with prior knowledge, the phylogeny should be a useful tool for comparative analyzes. Nevertheless, we stress that a single-gene analysis of such a large and old group cannot be interpreted as more than a crude estimate of the bat species tree. Analysis of the full dataset supports the traditional division of bats into macro- and microchiroptera, but not the recently proposed division into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera. However, our results only weakly reject the former and strongly support the latter group, and furthermore, a time calibrated analysis of a pruned dataset where most included taxa have the entire 1140bp cytb sequence finds monophyletic Yinpterochiroptera. Most bat families and many higher level groups are supported, however, relationships among families are in general weakly supported, as are many of the deeper nodes of the tree. The exceptions are in most cases apparently due to the misplacement of species with little available data, while in a few cases the results suggest putative problems with current classification, such as the non-monophyly of Mormoopidae. We provide this phylogenetic hypothesis, and an analysis of divergence times, as tools for evolutionary and ecological studies that will be useful until more inclusive studies using multiple loci become available. PMID:21327164

  1. Comparative molecular phylogeny and evolution of sex chromosome DNA sequences in the family Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Tsubouchi, Ayako; Fukui, Daisuke; Ueda, Miya; Tada, Kazumi; Toyoshima, Shouji; Takami, Kazutoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Uraguchi, Kohji; Raichev, Evgeniy; Kaneko, Yayoi; Tsunoda, Hiroshi; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2012-03-01

    To investigate the molecular phylogeny and evolution of the family Canidae, nucleotide sequences of the zinc-finger-protein gene on the Y chromosome (ZFY, 924-1146 bp) and its homologous gene on the X chromosome (ZFX, 834-839 bp) for twelve canid species were determined. The phylogenetic relationships among species reconstructed by the paternal ZFY sequences closely agreed with those by mtDNA and autosomal DNA trees in previous reports, and strongly supported the phylogenetic affinity between the wolf-like canids clade and the South American canids clade. However, the branching order of some species differed between phylogenies of ZFY and ZFX genes: Cuon alpinus and Canis mesomelas were included in the wolf-like canid clades in the ZFY tree, whereas both species were clustered in a group of Chrysocyon brachyurus and Speothos venaticus in the ZFX tree. The topology difference between ZFY and ZFX trees may have resulted from the two-times higher substitution rate of the former than the latter, which was clarified in the present study. In addition, two types of transposable element sequence (SINE-I and SINE-II) were found to occur in the ZFY final intron of the twelve canid species examined. Because the SINE-I sequences were shared by all the species, they may have been inserted into the ZFY of the common ancestor before species radiation in Canidae. By contract, SINE-II found in only Canis aureus could have been inserted into ZFY independently after the speciation. The molecular diversity of SINE sequences of Canidae reflects evolutionary history of the species radiation. PMID:22379982

  2. Cranial functional morphology of fossil dogs and adaptation for durophagy in Borophagus and Epicyon (Carnivora, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Wang, Xiaoming

    2010-11-01

    Morphological specialization is a complex interplay of adaptation and constraint, as similarly specialized features often evolve convergently in unrelated species, indicating that there are universally adaptive aspects to these morphologies. The evolutionary history of carnivores offers outstanding examples of convergent specialization. Among larger predators, borophagine canids were highly abundant during the tertiary of North America and are regarded as the ecological vicars of Afro-Eurasian hyenas. Borophaginae is an extinct group of 60+ species, the largest forms evolving robust skulls with prominently domed foreheads, short snouts, and hypertrophied fourth premolars. These specializations have been speculated to enhance bone cracking. To test the extent that the skulls of derived borophagines were adapted for producing large bite forces and withstanding the mechanical stresses associated with bone cracking relative to their nonrobust sister clades, we manipulated muscle forces in models of six canid skulls and analyzed their mechanical response using 3D finite element analysis. Performance measures of bite force production efficiency and deformation minimization showed that skulls of derived borophagines Borophagus secundus and Epicyon haydeni are particularly strong in the frontal region; maximum stresses are lower and more evenly distributed over the skull than in other canids. Frontal strength is potentially coupled with a temporalis-driven bite to minimize cranial stress during biting in the two derived genera, as tensile stress incurred by contracting temporalis muscles is dissipated rostro-ventrally across the forehead and face. Comparison of estimated masticatory muscle cross section areas suggests that the temporalis-masseter ratio is not strongly associated with morphological adaptations for bone cracking in Borophagus and Epicyon; larger body size may explain relatively larger temporalis muscles in the latter. When compared with previous studies, the overall cranial mechanics of the derived borophagines is more similar to bone-cracking hyaenids and percrocutids than to their canid relatives, indicating convergence in both morphological form and functional capability. PMID:20799339

  3. Pliocene Carnivora (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraads, Denis; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Bobe, René; Reed, Denné

    2015-07-01

    We report here on further study of the Carnivora collected by the Dikika Research Project at Dikika, in the Hadar Formation south of the type locality since 2000. The Canidae and the otter Enhydriodon have been described elsewhere, so we focus here on the other Mustelidae and on the Felidae and Hyaenidae. All Hyaenidae are referred to Crocuta, but differences in size and tooth proportions suggest two species that might belong to distinct lineages. An associated set of upper and lower teeth is made the type of a new species of Lutra that must be close to the divergence of Lutra palaeindica, Lutra lutra, and Hydrictis maculicollis. Sample size is still small, but the Dikika assemblage differs from others of similar age in the abundance of hyenas relative to felids.

  4. [Bats (Chiroptera: Mammalia) from Yurubí National Park, Venezuela: taxonomic list and community study].

    PubMed

    Delgado-Jaramillo, Mariana; Machado, Marjorie; García, Franger J; Ochoa, José

    2011-12-01

    Bats represent a key component in the dynamics of many terrestrial ecosystems, and one of the groups of mammals with the highest levels of diversification in the Neotropics. Here we describe the results of a study of the bat fauna from Yurubí National Park (mountain area in Northern Venezuela), that includes a taxonomic list and the characterization of some community attributes in forested areas. Data was collected from zoological collections and diversified sampling methods from February to July of 2009 in an altitudinal gradient (100-1 500m), with three principal ecological units: semideciduous, evergreen and cloud forests. We recorded 64 species grouped in five families (63% of the bats known from La Cordillera de la Costa), of which Phyllostomidae was the dominant taxa (42 species; 66% of total), followed by Vespertilionidae, Molossidae, Emballonuridae and Mormoopidae. The community with the highest taxonomic diversification was found in the lowest elevation range, while the lowest number of species was found at the highest range. Eleven trophic guilds were identified; the insectivorous guild was the richest, whereas the frugivorous was the most abundant. Our results allow us to indicate these forest ecosystems have an appropriate conservation status, taking into account the presence of a relatively high proportion of species from the subfamily Phyllostominae, as well as the presence of other species with conservation priorities. All these aspects, and the fact that this represents a reservoir of the biological diversity of the forest ecosystems of La Cordillera de la Costa, make this protected area of an essential conservation value, in a highly endangered bioregion by neighboring socio-economic growth. PMID:22208091

  5. Bat diversity of Ilha da Marambaia, Southern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (Chiroptera, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Lourenço, E C; Costa, L M; Silva, R M; Esbérard, C E L

    2010-08-01

    Few sites have been well sampled for bats, and samplings in islands are even scarcer. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were: (1) to list the bat species of Ilha da Marambaia; (2) to compare richness, abundance and biomass of bat guilds found there; (3) to analyse abundance patterns of bat species; and (4) to compare richness, abundance and composition of the bat fauna among different kinds of environment. To capture bats we used mist nets set in five different environments, totalising 3559.2 net-hours, during 37 nights between October 2006 and August 2008. A total of 1,133 captures were accomplished, comprising 34 species from five families. The most abundant species was Molossus molossus. Frugivorous bats exhibited higher richness, abundance and biomass if compared to other guilds. Most species (N = 22) exhibited abundances between 1 to 10% of all captures. Sixteen species were restricted to just one of the environments sampled. The high richness may be attributed to sampling carried out in several environments, and to the capture of insectivorous species over water bodies. PMID:20730337

  6. DNA Profiling of B Chromosomes from the Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Tanić, Nikola; Dedović, Nasta; Vujos̆ević, Mladen; Dimitrijević, Bogomir

    2000-01-01

    Using AP-PCR-based DNA profiling we examined some structural features of B chromosomes from yellow-necked mice Apodemus flavicollis. Mice harboring one, two, or three or lacking B chromosomes were examined. Chromosomal structure was scanned for variant bands by using a series of arbitrary primers and from these, informative bands were selected. The selection criteria used were the ability to differentiate between individuals of the species, to detect markers common for both A and B chromosomes, and, importantly, to differentiate between A- and B-chromosome sets. In addition to primers, profiling conditions were found to be critical for meeting the selection criteria. Primers and analysis conditions that demonstrated structural characteristics unique to the B-chromosome set are described. These characteristics included variant bands as qualitative parameters and altered electrophoretic band intensities as quantitative distinctions estimated by integration of densitometric profiles of electrophoretograms. B chromosome-specific molecular markers are easy to detect by AP-PCR-based DNA profiling in the presence of a full set of A chromosomes. Models for the origin of yellow-necked mouse B chromosomes are discussed in the context of presented data. PMID:10645950

  7. Red pandas (Mammalia, Carnivora: Parailurus) in the biomes of North Eurasia and North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matishov, G. G.; Kalmykov, N. P.

    2011-05-01

    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.

  8. Phylogeography, population history and conservation genetics of jaguars (Panthera onca, Mammalia, Felidae).

    PubMed

    Eizirik, E; Kim, J H; Menotti-Raymond, M; Crawshaw, P G; O'Brien, S J; Johnson, W E

    2001-01-01

    The jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest felid in the American Continent, is currently threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and human persecution. We have investigated the genetic diversity, population structure and demographic history of jaguars across their geographical range by analysing 715 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and 29 microsatellite loci in approximately 40 individuals sampled from Mexico to southern Brazil. Jaguars display low to moderate levels of mtDNA diversity and medium to high levels of microsatellite size variation, and show evidence of a recent demographic expansion. We estimate that extant jaguar mtDNA lineages arose 280 000-510 000 years ago (95% CI 137 000-830 000 years ago), a younger date than suggested by available fossil data. No strong geographical structure was observed, in contrast to previously proposed subspecific partitions. However, major geographical barriers such as the Amazon river and the Darien straits between northern South America and Central America appear to have restricted historical gene flow in this species, producing measurable genetic differentiation. Jaguars could be divided into four incompletely isolated phylogeographic groups, and further sampling may reveal a finer pattern of subdivision or isolation by distance on a regional level. Operational conservation units for this species can be defined on a biome or ecosystem scale, but should take into account the historical barriers to dispersal identified here. Conservation strategies for jaguars should aim to maintain high levels of gene flow over broad geographical areas, possibly through active management of disconnected populations on a regional scale. PMID:11251788

  9. On the relationship between enamel band complexity and occlusal surface area in Equids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla)

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Edward Byrd

    2016-01-01

    Enamel patterns on the occlusal surfaces of equid teeth are asserted to have tribal-level differences. The most notable example compares the Equini and Hipparionini, where Equini have higher crowned teeth with less enamel-band complexity and less total occlusal enamel than Hipparionini. Whereas previous work has successfully quantified differences in enamel band shape by dividing the length of enamel band by the square root of the occlusal surface area (Occlusal Enamel Index, OEI), it was clear that OEI only partially removes the effect of body size. Because enamel band length scales allometrically, body size still has an influence on OEI, with larger individuals having relatively longer enamel bands than smaller individuals. Fractal dimensionality (D) can be scaled to any level, so we have used it to quantify occlusal enamel complexity in a way that allows us to get at an accurate representation of the relationship between complexity and body size. To test the hypothesis of tribal-level complexity differences between Equini and Hipparionini, we digitally traced a sample of 98 teeth, one tooth per individual; 31 Hipparionini and 67 Equini. We restricted our sampling to the P3-M2 to reduce the effect of tooth position. After calculating the D of these teeth with the fractal box method which uses the number of boxes of various sizes to calculate the D of a line, we performed a t-test on the individual values of D for each specimen, comparing the means between the two tribes, and a phylogenetically informed generalized least squares regression (PGLS) for each tribe with occlusal surface area as the independent variable and D as the dependent variable. The slopes of both PGLS analyses were compared using a t-test to determine if the same linear relationship existed between the two tribes. The t-test between tribes was significant (p < 0.0001), suggesting different D populations for each lineage. The PGLS for Hipparionini was a positive but not significant (p = 0.4912) relationship between D and occlusal surface area, but the relationship for Equini was significantly negative (p = 0.0177). λ was 0 for both tests, indicating no important phylogenetic signal is present in the relationship between these two characters, thus the PGLS collapses down to a non-phylogenetic generalized least squares (GLS) model. The t-test comparing the slopes of the regressions was not significant, indicating that the two lineages could have the same relationship between D and occlusal surface area. Our results suggest that the two tribes have the same negative relationship between D and occlusal surface area but the Hipparionini are offset to higher values than the Equini. This offset reflects the divergence between the two lineages since their last common ancestor and may have constrained their ability to respond to environmental change over the Neogene, leading to the differential survival of the Equini. PMID:27441119

  10. Taxonomic and systematic revisions to the North American Nimravidae (Mammalia, Carnivora)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The Nimravidae is a family of extinct carnivores commonly referred to as “false saber-tooth cats.” Since their initial discovery, they have prompted difficulty in taxonomic assignments and number of valid species. Past revisions have only examined a handful of genera, while recent advances in cladistic and morphometric analyses have granted us additional avenues to answering questions regarding our understanding of valid nimravid taxa and their phylogenetic relationships. To resolve issues of specific validity, the phylogenetic species concept (PSC) was utilized to maintain consistency in diagnosing valid species, while simultaneously employing character and linear morphometric analyses for confirming the validity of taxa. Determined valid species and taxonomically informative characters were then employed in two differential cladistic analyses to create competing hypotheses of interspecific relationships. The results suggest the validity of twelve species and six monophyletic genera. The first in depth reviews of Pogonodon and Dinictis returned two valid species (P. platycopis, P. davisi) for the former, while only one for the latter (D. felina). The taxonomic validity of Nanosmilus is upheld. Two main clades with substantial support were returned for all cladistic analyses, the Hoplophoneini and Nimravini, with ambiguous positions relative to these main clades for the European taxa: Eofelis, Dinailurictis bonali, and Quercylurus major; and the North American taxa Dinictis and Pogonodon. Eusmilus is determined to represent a non-valid genus for North American taxa, suggesting non-validity for Old World nimravid species as well. Finally, Hoplophoneus mentalis is found to be a junior synonym of Hoplophoneus primaevus, while the validity of Hoplophoneus oharrai is reinstated. PMID:26893959

  11. Molecular evidence for a recent demographic expansion in the puma (Puma concolor) (Mammalia, Felidae).

    PubMed

    Matte, Eunice M; Castilho, Camila S; Miotto, Renata A; Sana, Denis A; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; de Freitas, Thales R O; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2013-12-01

    The puma is an iconic predator that ranges throughout the Americas, occupying diverse habitats. Previous phylogeographic analyses have revealed that it exhibits moderate levels of genetic structure across its range, with few of the classically recognized subspecies being supported as distinct demographic units. Moreover, most of the species' molecular diversity was found to be in South America. To further investigate the phylogeographic structure and demographic history of pumas we analyzed mtDNA sequences from 186 individuals sampled throughout their range, with emphasis on South America. Our objectives were to refine the phylogeographic assessment within South America and to investigate the demographic history of pumas using a coalescent approach. Our results extend previous phylogeographic findings, reassessing the delimitation of historical population units in South America and demonstrating that this species experienced a considerable demographic expansion in the Holocene, ca. 8,000 years ago. Our analyses indicate that this expansion occurred in South America, prior to the hypothesized re-colonization of North America, which was therefore inferred to be even more recent. The estimated demographic history supports the interpretation that pumas suffered a severe demographic decline in the Late Pleistocene throughout their distribution, followed by population expansion and re-colonization of the range, initiating from South America. PMID:24385863

  12. New species of Agriotherium (Mammalia, Carnivora) from the late Miocene to early Pliocene of central Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogino, Shintaro; Egi, Naoko; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Thaung-Htike; Takai, Masanaru

    2011-08-01

    Here we describe a new species of giant short-faced fossil bears, Agriotheriummyanmarensis sp. nov. (Ursidae, Carnivora), from the latest Miocene to early Pliocene Irrawaddy sediments in the Chaingzauk area, central Myanmar. A. myanmarensis has a short mandible and a deep premasseteric fossa, both of which are the typical feature of Agriotherium. There are two specimens discovered so far: in the type specimen the inferior border of the mandibular corpus is rectilinearly-shaped, the m1 talonid is rather reduced, m1 metaconid larger than the entoconid-entoconulid ridge, the diastema between canine and p4 is very short, and the postcanine teeth are so reduced that existing cheek teeth are very crowded. Agriotherium had been widely distributed from the late Miocene through Pleistocene in Europe, East Asia (China), North America, and South Africa, but no fossil record has been reported from Southeast Asia. Except its extreme short snout, A. myanmarensis is most similar to that of the European form, Agriotheriuminsigne, rather than to the Asian species from Siwalik or China, such as Agriotheriumpalaeindicus, Agriotheriumsivalensis, and Agriotheriuminexpetans, suggesting the phylogenetic closeness to the European rather than to the South/East Asian forms.

  13. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: Support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  14. Evolution of nectarivory in phyllostomid bats (Phyllostomidae Gray, 1825, Chiroptera: Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20525339

  15. The Endemic Insular and Peninsular Species Chaetodipus spinatus (Mammalia, Heteromyidae) Breaks Patterns for Baja California

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul; Murphy, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula is the second longest, most geographically isolated peninsula on Earth. Its physiography and the presence of many surrounding islands has facilitated studies of the underlying patterns and drivers of genetic structuring for a wide spectrum of organisms. Chaetodipus spinatus is endemic to the region and occurs on 12 associated islands, including 10 in the Gulf of California and two in the Pacific Ocean. This distribution makes it a model species for evaluating natural historical barriers. We test hypotheses associated with the relationship between the range of the species, patterns in other species, and its relationship to Pleistocene-Holocene climatic changes. We analyzed sequence data from mtDNA genes encoding cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COI) and III (COIII) in 26 populations including all 12 islands. The matrilineal genealogy, statistical parsimony network and Bayesian skyline plot indicated an origin of C. spinatus in the southern part of the peninsula. Our analyses detected several differences from the common pattern of peninsular animals: no mid-peninsula break exists, Isla Carmen hosts the most divergent population, the population on an ancient southern Midriff island does not differ from peninsular populations, and a mtDNA peninsular discordance occurs near Loreto. PMID:25542029

  16. A structural intermediate between triisodontids and mesonychians (Mammalia, Acreodi) from the earliest Eocene of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles

    2011-02-01

    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

  17. A structural intermediate between triisodontids and mesonychians (Mammalia, Acreodi) from the earliest Eocene of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles

    2011-02-01

    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.

  18. Urinary parameters of Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia, Sirenia): reference values for the Amazonian Manatee.

    PubMed

    Pantoja, T M A; Da Rosas, F C W; Dos Silva, V M F; Santos, A M F

    2010-08-01

    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

  19. A late-surviving apatemyid (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the latest Oligocene of Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Czaplewski, Nicholas J; Morgan, Gary S

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Apatemyidae, Sinclairella simplicidens, is based on four isolated teeth that were screenwashed from fissure fillings at the late Oligocene Buda locality, Alachua County, Florida. Compared to its only congener Sinclairella dakotensis, the new species is characterized by upper molars with more simplified crowns, with the near absence of labial shelves and stylar cusps except for a strong parastyle on M1, loss of paracrista and paraconule on M2 (paraconule retained but weak on M1), lack of anterior cingulum on M1-M3, straighter centrocristae, smaller hypocone on M1 and M2, larger hypocone on M3, distal edge of M2 continuous from hypocone to postmetacrista supporting a large posterior basin, and with different tooth proportions in which M2 is the smallest rather than the largest molar in the toothrow. The relatively rare and poorly-known family Apatemyidae has a long temporal range in North America from the late Paleocene (early Tiffanian) to early Oligocene (early Arikareean). The new species from Florida significantly extends this temporal range by roughly 5 Ma to the end of the Paleogene near the Oligocene-Miocene boundary (from early Arikareean, Ar1, to late Arikareean, Ar3), and greatly extends the geographic range of the family into eastern North America some 10° of latitude farther south and 20° of longitude farther east (about 2,200 km farther southeast) than previously known. This late occurrence probably represents a retreat of this subtropically adapted family into the Gulf Coastal Plain subtropical province at the end of the Paleogene and perhaps the end of the apatemyid lineage in North America. PMID:26713254

  20. Osteoderm morphology and development in the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; Hall, Brian K

    2006-11-01

    Among modern mammals, armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata) are the only group that possesses osteoderms, bony inclusions within the integument. Along the body, osteoderms are organized into five discrete assemblages: the head, pectoral, banded, pelvic, and tail shields. The pectoral, banded, and pelvic shields articulate to form the carapace. We examined osteoderm skeletogenesis in the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus using serial and whole-mount histochemistry. Compared with the rest of the skeleton, osteoderms have a delayed onset of development. Skeletogenesis begins as condensations of osteoblasts secreting osteoid, localized within the papillary layer of the dermis. Osteoderm formation is asynchronous both within each shield and across the body. The first osteoderms to mineralize are situated within the pectoral shield of the carapace, followed by elements within the banded, head, pelvic, and tail shields. In general, within each shield ossification begins craniomedially and proceeds caudally and laterally, except over the head, where the earliest elements form over the frontal and parietal bones. The absence of cartilage precursors indicates that osteoderms are dermal elements, possibly related to the all-encompassing vertebrate dermal skeleton (exoskeleton). The mode of development of D. novemcinctus osteoderms is unlike that described for squamate osteoderms, which arise via bone metaplasia, and instead is comparable with intramembranously derived elements of the skull. PMID:17051548

  1. Late Cenozoic History of the Genus Micromys (Mammalia, Rodentia) in Central Europe

    PubMed Central

    Horáček, Ivan; Knitlová, Markéta; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, László; Nadachowski, Adam

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. The mammary glands of the Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia: Sirenia): morphological characteristics and microscopic anatomy.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Fernanda Rosa; da Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira; Barcellos, José Fernando Marques

    2014-08-01

    The mammaries from carcasses of two female Amazonian manatees were examined. Trichechus inunguis possesses two axillary mammaries beneath the pectoral fins, one on each side of the body. Each papilla mammae has a small hole on its apex--the ostium papillare. The mammaries are covered by a stratified squamous keratinized epithelium. The epithelium of the mammary ducts became thinner more deeply in the tissue and varied from stratified to simple cuboidal. There was no evidence of glandular activity or secretion into the ducts of the mammary glands. PMID:24920139

  3. A tubulidentate suiform lineage (Tayassuidae, Mammalia) from the Early Miocene of Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin; Morales, Jorge

    1998-08-01

    Small suiform artiodactyls from Moheda, Loranca and Corcolés, Spain, possess tubulidentate microstructure in their cheek tooth roots. The oldest specimens from Moheda (MN 2a) have a few scattered tubules near the apices of the molar roots, those from Loranca (MN 2b) have numerous tubules of various diameters in contact with each other, but oriented at various angles, while specimens from Corcolés (MN 4) are completely tubulidentate with well developed, sub-parallel tubules of sub-equal diameter running the entire length of the roots. The same series of fossils shows that with the passage of geological time the roots of this tayassuid lineage became more hypsorhizic and fusion of the roots increased, while the crowns of the teeth became simpler and thinner enamelled. Selection in this lineage was therefore focused upon increasing the longevity and wear resistance of the roots, while the role of the crowns of the teeth in mastication was de-emphasised. It is hypothesised that, as in Tubulidentata and Edentata, this suiform lineage was ingesting food items which contained significant quantities of adhérant earth. Whether the diet also contained ants and termites is not known.

  4. Phylogeny and divergence of the pinnipeds (Carnivora: Mammalia) assessed using a multigene dataset

    PubMed Central

    Higdon, Jeff W; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf RP; Beck, Robin MD; Ferguson, Steven H

    2007-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic comparative methods are often improved by complete phylogenies with meaningful branch lengths (e.g., divergence dates). This study presents a dated molecular supertree for all 34 world pinniped species derived from a weighted matrix representation with parsimony (MRP) supertree analysis of 50 gene trees, each determined under a maximum likelihood (ML) framework. Divergence times were determined by mapping the same sequence data (plus two additional genes) on to the supertree topology and calibrating the ML branch lengths against a range of fossil calibrations. We assessed the sensitivity of our supertree topology in two ways: 1) a second supertree with all mtDNA genes combined into a single source tree, and 2) likelihood-based supermatrix analyses. Divergence dates were also calculated using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock with rate autocorrelation to test the sensitivity of our supertree results further. Results The resulting phylogenies all agreed broadly with recent molecular studies, in particular supporting the monophyly of Phocidae, Otariidae, and the two phocid subfamilies, as well as an Odobenidae + Otariidae sister relationship; areas of disagreement were limited to four more poorly supported regions. Neither the supertree nor supermatrix analyses supported the monophyly of the two traditional otariid subfamilies, supporting suggestions for the need for taxonomic revision in this group. Phocid relationships were similar to other recent studies and deeper branches were generally well-resolved. Halichoerus grypus was nested within a paraphyletic Pusa, although relationships within Phocina tend to be poorly supported. Divergence date estimates for the supertree were in good agreement with other studies and the available fossil record; however, the Bayesian relaxed molecular clock divergence date estimates were significantly older. Conclusion Our results join other recent studies and highlight the need for a re-evaluation of pinniped taxonomy, especially as regards the subfamilial classification of otariids and the generic nomenclature of Phocina. Even with the recent publication of new sequence data, the available genetic sequence information for several species, particularly those in Arctocephalus, remains very limited, especially for nuclear markers. However, resolution of parts of the tree will probably remain difficult, even with additional data, due to apparent rapid radiations. Our study addresses the lack of a recent pinniped phylogeny that includes all species and robust divergence dates for all nodes, and will therefore prove indispensable to comparative and macroevolutionary studies of this group of carnivores. PMID:17996107

  5. Identification of Bacterial Specialists in Hosts belonging to Aves, Mammalia, and Pisces

    EPA Science Inventory

    Only a portion of bacteria found in animal guts are able to establish specific associations within animal hosts. Taxa that have formed these specialized relationships may have played a prominent role in host evolution and may also contribute significantly to current host physiolo...

  6. Demodex phylloides (Acari, Demodecidae) as a specific parasite of Sus scrofa (Mammalia, Artiodactyla).

    PubMed

    Fryderyk, S; Izdebska, J N

    2001-01-01

    Within 1994-2000, sections of skin collected from eleven areas on the body of 650 wild boars and 85 pigs living in the northern Poland and in the Great Poland were examined. The D. phylloides infestation in the wild boar was observed to be very heavy (prevalence 32%, mean intensity 74 ind.). In contrast, the domestic pig turned out to be free of the parasite. The wild boar D. phylloides infestations are symptomless. The parasite is relatively rare in the domestic pig, although the high animal density typical of farm stocks should aid in its spreading. Compared to that in the wild boar, the pigs affected show associated skin symptoms. Where demodicosis did occur, most often the entire population was suffering of the condition. Most probably, the wild boar is the original host of D. phylloides. The hair follicle mite in question is very frequent in the wild boar, but produces symptomless infestations. The parasite occurs more seldom in the domestic pig, but--in contrast--the infestations are much more violent. PMID:16886429

  7. The endemic insular and peninsular species Chaetodipus spinatus (Mammalia, Heteromyidae) breaks patterns for Baja California.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul; Murphy, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula is the second longest, most geographically isolated peninsula on Earth. Its physiography and the presence of many surrounding islands has facilitated studies of the underlying patterns and drivers of genetic structuring for a wide spectrum of organisms. Chaetodipus spinatus is endemic to the region and occurs on 12 associated islands, including 10 in the Gulf of California and two in the Pacific Ocean. This distribution makes it a model species for evaluating natural historical barriers. We test hypotheses associated with the relationship between the range of the species, patterns in other species, and its relationship to Pleistocene-Holocene climatic changes. We analyzed sequence data from mtDNA genes encoding cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COI) and III (COIII) in 26 populations including all 12 islands. The matrilineal genealogy, statistical parsimony network and Bayesian skyline plot indicated an origin of C. spinatus in the southern part of the peninsula. Our analyses detected several differences from the common pattern of peninsular animals: no mid-peninsula break exists, Isla Carmen hosts the most divergent population, the population on an ancient southern Midriff island does not differ from peninsular populations, and a mtDNA peninsular discordance occurs near Loreto. PMID:25542029

  8. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    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

    2007-05-22

    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. PMID:17374594

  9. Bone Inner Structure Suggests Increasing Aquatic Adaptations in Desmostylia (Mammalia, Afrotheria)

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Shoji; Houssaye, Alexandra; Nakajima, Yasuhisa; Chiba, Kentaro; Ando, Tatsuro; Sawamura, Hiroshi; Inuzuka, Norihisa; Kaneko, Naotomo; Osaki, Tomohiro

    2013-01-01

    Background The paleoecology of desmostylians has been discussed controversially with a general consensus that desmostylians were aquatic or semi-aquatic to some extent. Bone microanatomy can be used as a powerful tool to infer habitat preference of extinct animals. However, bone microanatomical studies of desmostylians are extremely scarce. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the histology and microanatomy of several desmostylians using thin-sections and CT scans of ribs, humeri, femora and vertebrae. Comparisons with extant mammals allowed us to better understand the mode of life and evolutionary history of these taxa. Desmostylian ribs and long bones generally lack a medullary cavity. This trait has been interpreted as an aquatic adaptation among amniotes. Behemotops and Paleoparadoxia show osteosclerosis (i.e. increase in bone compactness), and Ashoroa pachyosteosclerosis (i.e. combined increase in bone volume and compactness). Conversely, Desmostylus differs from these desmostylians in displaying an osteoporotic-like pattern. Conclusions/Significance In living taxa, bone mass increase provides hydrostatic buoyancy and body trim control suitable for poorly efficient swimmers, while wholly spongy bones are associated with hydrodynamic buoyancy control in active swimmers. Our study suggests that all desmostylians had achieved an essentially, if not exclusively, aquatic lifestyle. Behemotops, Paleoparadoxia and Ashoroa are interpreted as shallow water swimmers, either hovering slowly at a preferred depth, or walking on the bottom, and Desmostylus as a more active swimmer with a peculiar habitat and feeding strategy within Desmostylia. Therefore, desmostylians are, with cetaceans, the second mammal group showing a shift from bone mass increase to a spongy inner organization of bones in their evolutionary history. PMID:23565143

  10. Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in native and reforested areas in Rancho Alegre, Paraná, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Patricia Helena; dos Reis, Nelio Roberto; Andrade, Fabio Rodrigo; de Almeida, Inaê Guion

    2010-12-01

    Abstract: Generally, natural environments have been transformed into small forest remnants, with the consequent habitat loss and species extinction. The North Paraná State is not an exception, since only 2 to 4% of the original ecosystem occurs in small fragments of Stational Semidecidual Forest. We studied the species richness and abundance of bats in two forest fragments from the Fazenda Congonhas, in Rancho Alegre city, Parana State, Brazil. Four samplings were undertaken in a legally protected native area (107.8 ha) and in a reforested area (11.8 ha) between April 2007 and March 2008. Samplings began at nightfall and lasted six hours,during two consecutive nights in each location. The individuals were captured using eight mist nets, with the same capture effort in both environments. A total of 397 individuals, 14 species and 10 genera were captured in the native area; while in the reforested area, 105 individuals, six species and four genera. Artibeus lituratus was the most common species in both fragments (n = 328, 65.3%), followed by Artibeus fimbriatus (n = 44, 8.8%) and Artibeus jamaicensis (n = 30, 6.0%). Other species including Platyrrhinus lineatus, Carollia perspicillata, Sturnira lilium, Chrotopterus aurintus, Desmodus rotundus, Michronycteris megalotis, Phyllostomus hastatus, Phyllostomus discolor, Myoti levis, Myotis nigricans and Lasiurus blossevillii, accounted for 19.9% of the captures. The native area presented higher values of species richness (S = 14) and diversity (H' = 1.4802) in comparison to the reforested area (S = 6, H '= 0.57015). The t-test evidenced a significant difference between diversity among the sites (t = 7.1075). Chao 1 index indicated that the sampling effort recorded approximately 78% from the total species richness for the native area and 75% for the reforested area. Therefore, the preservation of the forest fragment is essential since it provides habitat for a diverse community of bats. Forest management and reforestation actions may prevent drastic changes in the microclimate of neighboring areas within the forest fragment, and could allow the occupation of available niches in the area, by opportunistic and generalist species. PMID:21246993

  11. Evolution and taxonomy of the wild species of the genus Ovis (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Bovidae).

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Hamid Reza; Naderi, Saeid; Chintauan-Marquier, Ioana Cristina; Taberlet, Pierre; Virk, Amjad Tahir; Naghash, Hamid Reza; Rioux, Delphine; Kaboli, Mohammad; Pompanon, François

    2010-02-01

    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

  12. A reassessment of the taxonomic status of Paraglyptodon Castellanos, 1932 (Mammalia, Cingulata, Glyptodontia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Laura E.; Fernicola, Juan C.; Taglioretti, Matias; Toledo, Nestor

    2016-03-01

    Castellanos described and published about new genera of glyptodonts, according to a phylogenetic scheme mainly based on the evolution of the external surface of the dorsal carapace. Among these new genera, Castellanos proposed Paraglyptodon as the predecessor of Glyptodon, and included within Paraglyptodon all known species of Glyptodontinae recovered from "horizontes pre-Ensenadenses", and within Glyptodon all known species from "Horizontes pampeanos", restricting the latter to the Quaternary. All the species that belong to Paraglyptodon, that is Paraglyptodon chapalmalensis, Paraglyptodon uquiensis, Paraglyptodon dubius, and Paraglyptodon paranensis were established based on one, two or few osteoderms, mostly from the dorsal carapace. Regarding P. paranensis and P. dubius, Oliva and collaborators consider the first as a nomen vanum, representing an indeterminate Glyptodontinae, and the second as a synonym of P. chapalmalensis. Upon re-examination of the holotypes of P. chapalmalensis and P. uquiensis together with their comparison with other well-known specimens of glyptodonts, mainly with Glyptodon (of both juvenile and adult stages), we found the same ornamentation in different sections of the dorsal carapaces, particularly in P. chapalmalensis and in juvenile stages of Glyptodon spp. We could not identify features that would allow us to make a distinction between the holotype of P. uquiensis and Glyptodon spp. Therefore, we consider that a new taxon guide for naming the Upper Chapadmalalan biozone is necessary. The biostratigraphic range of Glyptodon could possibly be extended to the late Pliocene. However, new records and studies are needed to verify the existence of this taxon in the Chapadmalalan Stage/Age in its type locality.

  13. The Insect Eaters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    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)

  14. Effects of different land cover, habitat fragmentation, and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2001-01-01

    Eggs or empty shells of the American woodcockwere collected from 10 states in 1971and shell thickness (mean of clutch means) was compared with that of eggs collected from 16 states during the years 1859-1939. The 1971 shells (n = 91) from hatched eggs or those containing fully developed embryos were about i0 percent thinner (P<0.001) than both unembryonated shells (n = 26) from the same year and the 1859-1939 shells (n = 169) from essentially unembryonated eggs. The difference is attributed to the transfer of calcium from the shells to the embryos and not to environmental pollutants.

  15. Differential activity of drugs to induce emesis and pica behavior in Suncus murinus (house musk shrew) and rats.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kouichi; Ngan, Man P; Takeda, Noriaki; Yamatodani, Atsushi; Rudd, John A

    2004-10-30

    We have previously reported that emetic stimuli induce kaolin ingestion behavior (pica behavior) in rats and mice (i.e., species that do not have the emetic reflex) and that the behavior may be analogous to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea and emesis. We hypothesized that pica behavior may also occur in species capable of vomiting and that it may serve as an additional index of discomfort relevant to antiemetic drug development. The present experiments were conduced using Suncus murinus and rats and kaolin consumption was measured at 24 h after the administration of nicotine (1.25-5 mg/kg, s.c.), copper sulfate (10-120 mg/kg, p.o.), lithium chloride (50-200 mg/kg, i.p.) and cisplatin (1-30 mg/kg, i.p.). In S. murinus, all treatments, excepting lithium chloride, were emetic but none induce kaolin consumption. Conversely, all treatments induced kaolin consumption in rats without inducing emesis. The results indicate that pica behavior is not likely to be useful to assess gastrointestinal discomfort in S. murinus. PMID:15501502

  16. Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2016-01-01

    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ∼29–24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene. PMID:27602287

  17. Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Alexandra T; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2016-01-01

    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ∼29-24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene. PMID:27602287

  18. The Role of Grunt Calls in the Social Dominance Hierarchy of the White-Lipped Peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae)

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Selene S. C.; Caselli, Christini B.; Costa, Thaise S. O.; Moura, Leiliany N.; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio L. G.

    2016-01-01

    Grunt-like calls are present in the vocal repertoire of many group-living mammals and seem to facilitate social interactions between lower and higher-ranking members. The white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) lives in stable hierarchical mixed-sex groups and like non-human primates, usually emits grunt-like calls following aggressive interactions, mainly during feeding contexts. We investigated the possible functions of peccaries’ grunt-like calls and their relationship to the individuals’ social rank, identity, and sexual dimorphism. We observed that low-ranking individuals emitted grunt-like calls more often than high-ranking ones, and that the alpha male never emitted this vocalization. Moreover, the mean minimum frequency of grunt-like calls decreased as the peccary’s rank increased. The findings revealed differences among individual grunts, but the low accuracy of cross-validation (16%) suggests that individual recognition in peccaries may be less important than an honest signal of individual social status. In addition, the absence of differences in the acoustic parameters of grunt-like calls between males and females points to the lack of sexual dimorphism in this species. We verified that after hearing grunt calls, dominant opponents were more likely to cease attacking a victim, or at least delay the continuation of conflict, probably decreasing the severity of agonistic interactions. Our findings are particularly important to improve the current understanding of the role of grunt-like calls in herd-living mammals with linear dominant hierarchies, and strongly suggest that they are involved in the maintenance of herd social stability and cohesion. PMID:27409797

  19. Chewing through the Miocene: an examination of the feeding musculature in the ground sloth Hapalops from South America (Mammalia: Pilosa)

    PubMed Central

    Naples, Virginia L.; McAfee, Robert K.

    2014-01-01

    Hapalops, a smaller-sized and early sloth of the Megatheroidea, appeared in the middle Miocene Santa Cruz formation of Argentina. This genus is part of the group from which later, larger megatheroids arose, i.e., Nothrotheriops and Megatherium. Many cranial characters support this idea; however Hapalops is not merely a smaller antecedent of the later forms. Specifically, Hapalops retains short anterior caniniform teeth, and a temporomandibular joint elevated above the cheek tooth row; a combination distinct among sloths. An elevated temporomandibular joint occurs in Bradypus, a tree sloth with anterior chisel-shaped teeth instead of caniniforms, and the tree sloth Choloepus, which is aligned with the megalonychids, has anterior caniniforms. Hapalops has an elongated zygomatic ascending process that is reminiscent of that in Bradypus; however, the Bradypus skull is extremely foreshortened while that of Hapalops is elongated, as in nothrotheres, but not deepened as in megatheres. Previous work identified many sloth cranial character complexes, and functional limitations on skull feature combinations. The unique Hapalops character patterns indicate a selective feeder with a mediolaterally oriented grinding stroke during mastication. PMID:25075299

  20. Revision of the Wind River faunas, early Eocene of central Wyoming. IX - The oldest known hystricomorphous rodent (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dawson, Mary R.; Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.

    1990-01-01

    The rostral portion of the skull of a new genus and species of rodent, Armintomys tullbergi, from the earliest middle Eocene of the Wind River Basin (Wyoming) provides the geologically oldest known record of the hystricomorphous zygomasseteric structure. Armintomys also preserves the oldest known occurrence of incisor enamel that is transitional from pauciserial to uniserial. Other dental characters include: anteriorly grooved incisor, small premolars, and relatively primitive sciuravidlike molars. Analysis of this unique combination of characters implies that Armintomys is the oldest known myomorph rodent and the only known representative of a new family. Armintomyidae, which is referred, with question, to the myomorph superfamily Dipodoidea. Armintomys is more primitive, especially in premolar retention and structure, than the Bridgerian zapodid Elymys from Nevada, but adds to evidence from the latter for an early origin and radiation of dipodoid rodents.

  1. Cranial and mandibular shape variation in the genus Carollia (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Colombia: biogeographic patterns and morphological modularity.

    PubMed

    López-Aguirre, Camilo; Pérez-Torres, Jairo; Wilson, Laura A B

    2015-01-01

    Neotropical bats of the genus Carollia are widely studied due to their abundance, distribution and relevance for ecosystems. However, the ecomorphological boundaries of these species are poorly differentiated, and consequently correspondence between their geographic distribution, ecological plasticity and morphological variation remains unclear. In this study, patterns of cranial and mandibular morphological variation were assessed for Carollia brevicauda, C. castanea and C. perspicillata from Colombia. Using geometric morphometrics, morphological variation was examined with respect to: differences in intraspecific variation, morphological modularity and integration, and biogeographic patterns. Patterns of intraspecific variation were different for each species in both cranial and mandibular morphology, with functional differences apparent according to diet. Cranial modularity varied between species whereas mandibular modularity did not. High cranial and mandibular correlation reflects Cranium-Mandible integration as a functional unit. Similarity between the biogeographic patterns in C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata indicates that the Andes do not act as a barrier but rather as an independent region, isolating the morphology of Andean populations of larger-bodied species. The biogeographic pattern for C. castanea was not associated with the physiography of the Andes, suggesting that large body size does not benefit C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata in maintaining homogeneous morphologies among populations. PMID:26413433

  2. A Systematic Study on Tooth Enamel Microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla (Multituberculate, Mammalia) - Implications for Multituberculate Biology and Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Fangyuan; Wang, Yuanqing; Meng, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Tooth enamel microstructure is a reliable and widely used indicator of dietary interpretations and data for phylogenetic reconstruction, if all levels of variability are investigated. It is usually difficult to have a thorough examination at all levels of enamel structures for any mammals, especially for the early mammals, which are commonly represented by sparse specimens. Because of the random preservation of specimens, enamel microstructures from different teeth in various species are often compared. There are few examples that convincingly show intraspecific variation of tooth enamel microstructure in full dentition of a species, including multituberculates. Here we present a systematic survey of tooth enamel microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla, a taeniolabidoid multituberculate from the Late Paleocene Nomogen Formation, Inner Mongolia. We examined enamel structures at all hierarchical levels. The samples are treated differently in section orientations and acid preparation and examined using different imaging methods. The results show that, except for preparation artifacts, the crystallites, enamel types, Schmelzmuster and dentition types of Lambdopsalis are relatively consistent in all permanent teeth, but the prism type, including the prism shape, size and density, may vary in different portions of a single tooth or among different teeth of an individual animal. The most common Schmelzmuster of the permanent teeth in Lambdopsalis is a combination of radial enamel in the inner and middle layers, aprismatic enamel in the outer layer, and irregular decussations in tooth crown area with great curvature. The prism seam is another comparably stable characteristic that may be a useful feature for multituberculate taxonomy. The systematic documentation of enamel structures in Lambdopsalis may be generalized for the enamel microstructure study, and thus for taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction, of multituberculates and even informative for the enamel study of other early mammals. PMID:26020958

  3. Didelphidae marsupials (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia) from the late Pleistocene deposit of the Gruta dos Moura Cave, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nova, Patricia Villa; Avilla, Leonardo S; Oliveira, Édison V

    2015-03-01

    The present study acknowledges the diversity of fossil marsupials from the Gruta dos Moura cave, as well as environmental and climatic aspects during the Quaternary. The results show that this is the largest diversity of Pleistocene marsupials recorded in a single cave: Didelphis albiventris, D. aurita, Gracilinanus agilis, G. microtarsus, Marmosa murina, Monodelphis brevicaudata, M. domestica and Sairadelphys tocantinensis. Furthermore, the described specimens are also part of the only fossil assemblage unequivocally referable to the late Pleistocene. Paleontological studies suggest an intimate association with dry and open environments with high abundance of water sources. Since most of the identified taxa are characteristic of open forests and gallery forests, this could represent the actual environment around the Gruta dos Moura cave. Recent studies identified sympatric occurrences between species from open and dry environments and species from humid forests that were identified among our material and are characteristic of humid regions. Therefore, these species could inhabit gallery forests and capons, or even ecotones, inside a dry and open environment. Moreover, the extinction of Sairadelphys could also indicate that the climatic and environmental conditions changed or that the past environment was more heterogeneous than the current environment of the region. PMID:25806985

  4. New data on recently described rodent species Paulina's Limestone Rat Saxatilomys paulinae Musser, Smith, Robinson & Lunde, 2005 (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nghia Xuan; Ngo, Tuong Xuan; Nguyen, Duy Dinh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Paulina's Limestone Rat Saxatilomys paulinae Musser et al., 2005 was first discovered by Musser et al. (2005) based on specimens from the Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA) in Khammouane Province in central Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR). This tower karst landscape is part of the Central Indochina Limestone massif, which extends eastward into north-central Vietnam in Quang Binh and Quang Tri Provinces. New information In April 2014, we conducted a rodent survey and collected four (4) whole specimens of Saxatilomys paulinae in Quang Binh province. This is the first record of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam. External and craniodental characteristics of all specimens clearly exhibit the characters of Saxatilomys paulinae as described in Musser et al. (2005)​. The rats are of medium size (HB: 160.3 ± 2.03 mm, T: 192.3 ± 6.69 mm) with some specific morpological characteristics. The external and craniodental measurement of the specimens from Vietnam tend to be larger than those of specimens from Lao. However, this needs to be verified by more studies in future. The habitat of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam is characterized by complicated terrain comprising low karst towers (around 400 m) with steep slopes covered under limestone humid evergreen forest. The forest has been affected by selected timber logging in the past, but still has a complex 4-layer structure. The population of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam is threatened by rodent trapping/snaring and habitat disturbance. More status surveys should be conducted to assess the species distributional range and its population status for undertaking relevant conservation measures. PMID:26023285

  5. Island history affects faunal composition: the treeshrews (Mammalia: Scandentia: Tupaiidae) from the Mentawai and Batu Islands, Indonesia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargis, Eric J.; Woodman, Neal; Morningstar, Natalie C.; Reese, Aspen T.; Olson, Link E.

    2014-01-01

    The Mentawai and Batu Island groups off the west coast of Sumatra have a complicated geological and biogeographical history. The Batu Islands have shared a connection with the Sumatran ‘mainland’ during periods of lowered sea level, whereas the Mentawai Islands, despite being a similar distance from Sumatra, have remained isolated from Sumatra, and probably from the Batu Islands as well. These contrasting historical relationships to Sumatra have influenced the compositions of the respective mammalian faunas of these island groups. Treeshrews (Scandentia, Tupaiidae) from these islands have, at various times in their history, been recognized as geographically circumscribed populations of a broadly distributed Tupaia glis, subspecies, or distinct species. We used multivariate analyses of measurements from the skull and hands to compare the island populations from Siberut (Mentawai Islands) and Tanahbala (Batu Islands) with the geographically adjacent species from the southern Mentawai Islands (T. chrysogaster) and Sumatra (T. ferruginea). Results from both the skull and manus of the Siberut population show that it is most similar to T. chrysogaster, whereas the Tanahbala population is more similar to T. ferruginea, confirming predictions based on island history. These results are further corroborated by mammae counts. Based on these lines of evidence, we include the Siberut population in T. chrysogaster and the Tanahbala population in T. ferruginea. Our conclusions expand the known distributions of both the Mentawai and Sumatran species. The larger geographical range of the endangered T. chrysogaster has conservation implications for this Mentawai endemic, so populations and habitat should be re-evaluated on each of the islands it inhabits. However, until such a re-evaluation is conducted, we recommend that the IUCN Red List status of this species be changed from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Data Deficient’.

  6. First Asian record of Panthera (Leo) fossilis (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) in the Early Pleistocene of Western Siberia, Russia.

    PubMed

    Sotnikova, Marina V; Foronova, Irina V

    2014-08-01

    A lion-like pantherine felid is described as Panthera (Leo) fossilis from the late Early Pleistocene sediments of the Kuznetsk Basin (Western Siberia, Russia). The find of P. fossilis first recorded in Asia considerably extends the current notion of the eastward expansion of the most ancient lions. The Siberian lion is geologically the oldest form and is dimensionally among the largest members of the group of fossil lions on the Eurasian continent. Although known by mandibular remains only, it is readily distinguished from Panthera (Leo) spelaea by a heavy built mandibular corpus with rectangular profile in the cheek teeth area, a deep, well-outlined and narrow anterior section of the masseteric fossa, and a large p4 supported by a big unreduced anterior root. The Siberian lion shares these features with the European Middle Pleistocene P. fossilis and the American Late Pleistocene P. (Leo) atrox, which suggests their close relationship. P. atrox originated from P. fossilis and was isolated in North America south of the Late Pleistocene ice sheets. This explains why the American lion has retained more primitive features than the coeval Eurasian cave lion P. (L.) spelaea. PMID:24382145

  7. The sweet spot of a biological hammer: the centre of percussion of glyptodont (Mammalia: Xenarthra) tail clubs

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, R. Ernesto; Jones, Washington W.; Rinderknecht, Andrés

    2009-01-01

    The importance of the centre of percussion (CP) of some hand-held sporting equipment (such as tennis rackets and baseball bats) for athletic performance is well known. In order to avoid injuries it is important that powerful blows are located close to the CP. Several species of glyptodont (giant armoured mammals) had tail clubs that can be modelled as rigid beams (like baseball bats) and it is generally assumed that these were useful for agonistic behaviour. However, the variation in tail club morphology among known genera suggests that a biomechanical and functional analysis of these structures could be useful. Here, we outline a novel method to determine the CP of the glyptodont tail clubs. We find that the largest species had the CP very close to the possible location of horny spikes. This is consistent with the inference that they were adapted to delivering powerful blows at that point. Our new analysis reinforces the case for agonistic use of tail clubs in several glyptodont species. PMID:19710060

  8. Case 3018. Cervus gouazoubira Fischer, 1814 (currently Mazama gouazoubira; Mammalia, Artiodactyla): proposed conservation as the correct original spelling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, A.L.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this application is to conserve the spelling of the specific name of Cervus gouazoubira Fischer, 1814 for the brown brocket deer of South America (family Cervidae). This spelling, rather than the original gouazoubira, has been in virtually universal usage for almost 50 years.

  9. Homeotic Evolution in the Mammalia: Diversification of Therian Axial Seriation and the Morphogenetic Basis of Human Origins

    PubMed Central

    Filler, Aaron G.

    2007-01-01

    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 of homeotic gradients across 250 extant and fossil mammalian species and their antecedents over a period of 220 million years. These traits are generally expressed as co-linear gradients along the body axis rather than as distinct segmental identities. Relative position or occurrence sequence vary independently and are subject to polarity reversal and mirroring. Five major gradient modification sets are identified: (1)–quantitative changes of primary segmental identity pattern that appeared at the origin of the tetrapods ; (2)–frame shift relation of costal and vertebral identity which diversifies from the time of amniote origins; (3)–duplication, mirroring, splitting and diversification of the neomorphic laminar process first commencing at the dawn of mammals; (4)–emergence of homologically variable lumbar lateral processes upon commencement of the radiation of therian mammals and ; (5)–inflexions and transpositions of the relative position of the horizontal septum of the body and the neuraxis at the emergence of various orders of therian mammals. Convergent functional changes under homeotic control include laminar articular engagement with septo-neural transposition and ventrally arrayed lumbar transverse process support systems. Conclusion/Significance Clusters of homeotic transformations mark the emergence point of mammals in the Triassic and the radiation of therians in the Cretaceous. A cluster of homeotic changes in the Miocene hominoid Morotopithecus that are still seen in humans supports establishment of a new “hominiform” clade and suggests a homeotic origin for the human upright body plan. PMID:17925867

  10. Evidence for two karyotypic variants of the lesser horseshoe bat ( Rhinolophus hipposideros , Chiroptera, Mammalia) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Volleth, M; Biedermann, M; Schorcht, W; Heller, K-G

    2013-01-01

    Three different diploid chromosome numbers (2n = 54, 56 and 58) have been reported in the lesser horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus hipposideros. Asia Minor and the Middle East are inhabited by R. hipposideros specimens with 58 chromosomes. In Europe, specimens with 56 chromosomes have been recorded from several localities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and Greece. Up to now, specimens with 54 chromosomes have been reported only from Spain and possibly from Switzerland. With the record of 54 chromosomes in specimens from Germany presented here, the distributional area of this variant is expanded into Central Europe. According to the cytogenetic data presently available, we presume that the European R. hipposideros population is divided into a western form (from Spain to Germany) with a 2n = 54 karyotype and an eastern form (from the Czech Republic to Greece) with a 2n = 56 karyotype. This study presents banded karyotypes for the 2n = 54 and 2n = 56 variants for the first time. In addition, chromosomal arm homology to the vespertilionid bat species Myotis myotis revealed by chromosome painting is reported. Whether the variants could represent separate species is also discussed. PMID:23635426

  11. Updating the evolutionary history of Carnivora (Mammalia): a new species-level supertree complete with divergence time estimates

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22369503

  12. Ancestral state reconstruction of body size in the Caniformia (Carnivora, Mammalia): the effects of incorporating data from the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Finarelli, John A; Flynn, John J

    2006-04-01

    A recent molecular phylogeny of the mammalian order Carnivora implied large body size as the ancestral condition for the caniform subclade Arctoidea using the distribution of species mean body sizes among living taxa. "Extant taxa-only" approaches such as these discount character state observations for fossil members of living clades and completely ignore data from extinct lineages. To more rigorously reconstruct body sizes of ancestral forms within the Caniformia, body size and first appearance data were collected for 149 extant and 367 extinct taxa. Body sizes were reconstructed for four ancestral nodes using weighted squared-change parsimony on log-transformed body mass data. Reconstructions based on extant taxa alone favored large body sizes (on the order of 10 to 50 kg) for the last common ancestors of both the Caniformia and Arctoidea. In contrast, reconstructions incorporating fossil data support small body sizes (< 5 kg) for the ancestors of those clades. When the temporal information associated with fossil data was discarded, body size reconstructions became ambiguous, demonstrating that incorporating both character state and temporal information from fossil taxa unambiguously supports a small ancestral body size, thereby falsifying hypotheses derived from extant taxa alone. Body size reconstructions for Caniformia, Arctoidea, and Musteloidea were not sensitive to potential errors introduced by uncertainty in the position of extinct lineages relative to the molecular topology, or to missing body size data for extinct members of an entire major clade (the aquatic Pinnipedia). Incorporating character state observations and temporal information from the fossil record into hypothesis testing has a significant impact on the ability to reconstruct ancestral characters and constrains the range of potential hypotheses of character evolution. Fossil data here provide the evidence to reliably document trends of both increasing and decreasing body size in several caniform clades. More generally, including fossils in such analyses incorporates evidence of directional trends, thereby yielding more reliable ancestral character state reconstructions. PMID:16611601

  13. Molecular assessment of the phylogeny and biogeography of a recently diversified endemic group of South American canids (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae)

    PubMed Central

    Tchaicka, Ligia; de Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena; Bager, Alex; Vidal, Stela Luengos; Lucherini, Mauro; Iriarte, Agustín; Novaro, Andres; Geffen, Eli; Garcez, Fabricio Silva; Johnson, Warren E.; Wayne, Robert K.; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract To investigate the evolution and biogeography of an endemic group of South American foxes, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences for 118 individuals belonging to all six extant species of the genus Lycalopex. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses supported the inference that this genus has undergone a very recent and rapid radiation, stemming from a common ancestor that lived ca. 1 million years ago. The Brazilian endemic L. vetulus was supported as the most basal species in this genus, whereas the most internal group is comprised by the recently diverged (ca. 350,000 years ago) Andean/Patagonian species L. griseus and L. culpaeus. We discuss the inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the context of the current geographic distributions of these species, and the likely effects of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biogeography of this group. Furthermore, a remarkable finding was the identification of multiple individuals classified as L. gymnocercus bearing mtDNA haplotypes clearly belonging to L. griseus, sampled in regions where the latter is not known to occur. At a minimum, this result implies the need to clarify the present-day geographic distribution of each of these fox species, while it may also indicate an ongoing hybridization process between them. Future testing of this hypothesis with in-depth analyses of these populations is thus a priority for understanding the history, evolutionary dynamics and present-day composition of this endemic Neotropical genus. PMID:27560989

  14. Comparison of climate space and phylogeny of Marmota (Mammalia: Rodentia) indicates a connection between evolutionary history and climate preference.

    PubMed

    Davis, Edward Byrd

    2005-03-01

    Palaeobiologists have investigated the evolutionary responses to extinct organisms to climate change, and have also used extinct organisms to reconstruct palaeoclimates. There is evidence of a disconnection between climate change and evolution that suggest that organism may not be accurate paleoclimate indicators. Here, marmots (Marmota sp.) are used as a case study to examine whether similarity of climate preferences is correlated with evolutionary relatedness of species. This study tests for a relationship between phylogenetic distance and 'climate distance' of species with a clade. There should be a significant congruence between maximus likelihood distance and standardized Euclidian distance between climates if daughter species tend to say in environments similar to parent species. Marmots make a good test case because there are many extant species, their phylogenetics are well established and individual survival is linked to climatic factors. A Mantel test indicates a significant correlation between climate and phylogenetic distance matrices, but this relationship explains only a small fraction of the variance (regression R(2) = 0.114). These results that (i) closely related species of marmots tend to stay in similar environments; (ii) marmots may be more susceptible than may mammals to global climate change; and (iii) because of the considerable noise in this system, the correlation cannot be used for detailed palaeoclimate reconstruction. PMID:15799948

  15. A comparative ultrastructural study of the parotid gland acinar cells of nine wild ruminant species (mammalia, artiodactyla).

    PubMed

    Stolte, M; Ito, S

    1996-01-01

    The ultrastructural similarities and differences of the parotid gland acinar cells of nine wild ruminants (roe deer, nyala, tahr, Eld's deer, red deer, Pere David's deer, European mouflon, African buffalo, sable antelope) representing three feeding types i.e. concentrate selectors (CS), grass and roughage eaters (GR) and intermediate feeders (IM) were compared. The parotid acinar cells of the CS contained more granular endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi-complexes and secretory granules than those of the GR. The acinar cells of the latter were characterized by numerous mitochondria, folded plasma membranes and intercellular secretory canaliculi. The ultrastructure of the secretory granules varied in different species but their morphology was not related to feeding type. An unusual feature of the parotid acinar cells of all feeding types was the evidence of an apocrine-like mode of secretion. A typical morphological change of some parotid acinar cells was the compression of the nucleus by large vacuoles. No distinctive differences were found in the ultrastructure of the parotid gland of wild and captive ruminants. PMID:9090994

  16. Chewing through the Miocene: an examination of the feeding musculature in the ground sloth Hapalops from South America (Mammalia: Pilosa).

    PubMed

    Naples, Virginia L; McAfee, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    Hapalops, a smaller-sized and early sloth of the Megatheroidea, appeared in the middle Miocene Santa Cruz formation of Argentina. This genus is part of the group from which later, larger megatheroids arose, i.e., Nothrotheriops and Megatherium. Many cranial characters support this idea; however Hapalops is not merely a smaller antecedent of the later forms. Specifically, Hapalops retains short anterior caniniform teeth, and a temporomandibular joint elevated above the cheek tooth row; a combination distinct among sloths. An elevated temporomandibular joint occurs in Bradypus, a tree sloth with anterior chisel-shaped teeth instead of caniniforms, and the tree sloth Choloepus, which is aligned with the megalonychids, has anterior caniniforms. Hapalops has an elongated zygomatic ascending process that is reminiscent of that in Bradypus; however, the Bradypus skull is extremely foreshortened while that of Hapalops is elongated, as in nothrotheres, but not deepened as in megatheres. Previous work identified many sloth cranial character complexes, and functional limitations on skull feature combinations. The unique Hapalops character patterns indicate a selective feeder with a mediolaterally oriented grinding stroke during mastication. PMID:25075299

  17. Masticatory muscle architecture in the Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus (Mammalia, Rodentia): new insights into the evolution of hystricognathy

    PubMed Central

    Hautier, Lionel; Saksiri, Soonchan

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19694873

  18. Cranial and mandibular shape variation in the genus Carollia (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Colombia: biogeographic patterns and morphological modularity

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Torres, Jairo; Wilson, Laura A. B.

    2015-01-01

    Neotropical bats of the genus Carollia are widely studied due to their abundance, distribution and relevance for ecosystems. However, the ecomorphological boundaries of these species are poorly differentiated, and consequently correspondence between their geographic distribution, ecological plasticity and morphological variation remains unclear. In this study, patterns of cranial and mandibular morphological variation were assessed for Carollia brevicauda, C. castanea and C. perspicillata from Colombia. Using geometric morphometrics, morphological variation was examined with respect to: differences in intraspecific variation, morphological modularity and integration, and biogeographic patterns. Patterns of intraspecific variation were different for each species in both cranial and mandibular morphology, with functional differences apparent according to diet. Cranial modularity varied between species whereas mandibular modularity did not. High cranial and mandibular correlation reflects Cranium-Mandible integration as a functional unit. Similarity between the biogeographic patterns in C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata indicates that the Andes do not act as a barrier but rather as an independent region, isolating the morphology of Andean populations of larger-bodied species. The biogeographic pattern for C. castanea was not associated with the physiography of the Andes, suggesting that large body size does not benefit C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata in maintaining homogeneous morphologies among populations. PMID:26413433

  19. Mitochondrial DNA and karyotypic data confirm the presence of Mus indutus and Mus minutoides (Mammalia, Rodentia, Muridae, Nannomys) in Botswana

    PubMed Central

    McDonough, Molly M.; Sotero-Caio, Cibele G.; Ferguson, Adam W.; Lewis, Patrick J.; Tswiio, Matlhogonolo; Thies, Monte L.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We use a combination of cytochrome b sequence data and karyological evidence to confirm the presence of Mus indutus and Mus minutoides in Botswana. Our data include sampling from five localities from across the country, including one site in northwestern Botswana where both species were captured in syntopy. Additionally, we find evidence for two mitochondrial lineages of M. minutoides in northwestern Botswana that differ by 5% in sequence variation. Also, we report that M. minutoides in Botswana have the 2n=34 karyotype with the presence of a (X.1) sex-autosome translocation. PMID:24363588

  20. A New Late Miocene Odobenid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Hokkaido, Japan Suggests Rapid Diversification of Basal Miocene Odobenids

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is specialized and only extant member of the family Odobenidae. They were much more diversified in the past, and at least 16 genera and 20 species of fossil walruses have been known. Although their diversity increased in the late Miocene and Pliocene (around 8–2 Million years ago), older records are poorly known. A new genus and species of archaic odobenid, Archaeodobenus akamatsui, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene (ca. 10.0–9.5 Ma) top of the Ichibangawa Formation, Hokkaido, northern Japan, suggests rapid diversification of basal Miocene walruses. Archaeodobenus akamatsui is the contemporaneous Pseudotaria muramotoi from the same formation, but they are distinguishable from each other in size and shape of the occipital condyle, foramen magnum and mastoid process of the cranium, and other postcranial features. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, A. akamatsui might have split from P. muramotoi at the late Miocene in the western North Pacific. This rapid diversification of the archaic odobenids occurred with a combination of marine regression and transgression, which provided geological isolation among the common ancestors of extinct odobenids. PMID:26244784

  1. Regarding the real diversity of Glyptodontidae (Mammalia, Xenarthra) in the late Pliocene (Chapadmalalan Age/Stage) of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Zurita, Alfredo E; Taglioretti, Matías; DE Los Reyes, Martín; Cuadrelli, Francisco; Poire, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    A large diversity of Glyptodontidae has been proposed as characterizing the Chapadmalalan Age (Pliocene). Most of these taxa were recognized on the basis of partial dorsal carapaces and/or caudal tubes, whereas the main diagnostic characteristic is a particular morphology of the exposed surface of the osteoderms. From a biostratigraphic point of view some species are biostratigraphically important. The Upper Chapadmalalan is based on the Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis biozone. Both the re-evaluation of the type and referred materials and new significant findings from the Chapadmalal and El Polvorín Formations indicate that the diversity of Pliocene Glyptodontidae is more limited than previously supposed. The particular morphology of the exposed surface of the osteoderms that characterizes some of the species actually corresponds to a taphonomic alteration, which results in a non-real ornamentation pattern. Thus, the Glyptodontinae P. chapadmalensis must be replaced as a fossil guide because neither this species nor the species included in the genera Urotherium, Trachycalyptus and Lomaphorus are well characterized. Taking into account the diversity of Glyptodontidae for this lapse, the Glyptodontinae are very scarce (a situation that contrasts with its records in the Pleistocene), whereas Eosclerocalyptus, "Plohophorini" (Plohophorus) and Doedicurinae (cf. Eleutherocercus antiquus) are among the most recorded taxa. PMID:27276376

  2. A Peculiar New Pampatheriidae (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Cingulata) from the Pleistocene of Argentina and Comments on Pampatheriidae Diversity.

    PubMed

    Góis, Flávio; González Ruiz, Laureano Raúl; Scillato-Yané, Gustavo Juan; Soibelzon, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Pampatheriidae are a group of cingulates native to South American that are known from the middle Miocene to the lower Holocene. Two genera have been recognized between the lower Pleistocene and the lower Holocene: Pampatherium Gervais and Ameghino (Ensenadan, Bonaerian and Lujanian, lower Pleistocene-lower Holocene) and Holmesina Simpson (Blancan, Irvingtonian, upper Pliocene-lower Holocene). They have been mainly differentiated by their osteoderm morphology and cranio-dental characters. These taxa had a wide latitudinal distribution, extending from the southern part of South America (Península Valdés, Argentina) to North America (Florida, USA). In this contribution, we describe a new genus and species of Pampatheriidae for the lower and middle Pleistocene of Buenos Aires Province and for the upper Pleistocene of Santa Fe Province (Argentina).The new taxon is represented by disarticulated osteoderms, one skull element, two thoracic vertebrae and a right femur and patella. It has extremely complex osteoderm ornamentations and particular morphological characters of the cranial element and femur that are not found in any other species of the family. This new taxon, recorded in the lower-middle Pleistocene (Ensenadan Stage/Age) and in the upper Pleistocene-early Holocene (Lujanian Stage/Age), is incorporated to the Pleistocene mammal assemblage of South America. Finally, the Pampatheriidae diversity is greater during the Lujanian Stage/Age than the Ensenadan Stage/Age. PMID:26083486

  3. Evolution of chromosomal variation in cottontails, genus Sylvilagus (Mammalia: Lagomorpha): S. aquaticus, S. floridanus, and S. transitionalis.

    PubMed

    Robinson, T J; Elder, F F; Chapman, J A

    1983-01-01

    The banding patterns of mitotic chromosome from three cottontail species, Sylvilagus aquaticus (2n = 38), S. floridanus (2n = 42), and S. transitionalis (2n = 46), are presented and compared with those of the proposed leporid ancestral karyotype, the latter being reflected in a species of hare, Lepus saxatilis (2n = 48). The differences in the diploid numbers of the cottontail species are primarily due to the fixation of Robertsonian fusions which have occurred during the evolution of their respective genomes. Of the eight fusion products identified, seven were species specific, while one, which is thought to reflect their more recent common ancestory, is shared by both S. aquaticus and S. floridanus. Other karyotypic differences include interspecific variation in the amount and distribution of constitutive heterochromatin, as well as the presence of two autosomal pairs in S. transitionalis which do not have apparent banding homologies either with the chromosomes of other cottontails or with those of the Lepus genome. The tendency for certain chromosomes in the ancestral karyotype to show a predisposition to undergo fusion events within the Leporidae is discussed. PMID:6861527

  4. Evolutionary and Biological Implications of Dental Mesial Drift in Rodents: The Case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view. PMID:23185576

  5. Mammals from 'down under': a multi-gene species-level phylogeny of marsupial mammals (Mammalia, Metatheria).

    PubMed

    May-Collado, Laura J; Kilpatrick, C William; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Marsupials or metatherians are a group of mammals that are distinct in giving birth to young at early stages of development and in having a prolonged investment in lactation. The group consists of nearly 350 extant species, including kangaroos, koala, possums, and their relatives. Marsupials are an old lineage thought to have diverged from early therian mammals some 160 million years ago in the Jurassic, and have a remarkable evolutionary and biogeographical history, with extant species restricted to the Americas, mostly South America, and to Australasia. Although the group has been the subject of decades of phylogenetic research, the marsupial tree of life remains controversial, with most studies focusing on only a fraction of the species diversity within the infraclass. Here we present the first Methaterian species-level phylogeny to include 80% of the extant marsupial species and five nuclear and five mitochondrial markers obtained from Genbank and a recently published retroposon matrix. Our primary goal is to provide a summary phylogeny that will serve as a tool for comparative research. We evaluate the extent to which the phylogeny recovers current phylogenetic knowledge based on the recovery of "benchmark clades" from prior studies-unambiguously supported key clades and undisputed traditional taxonomic groups. The Bayesian phylogenetic analyses recovered nearly all benchmark clades but failed to find support for the suborder Phalagiformes. The most significant difference with previous published topologies is the support for Australidelphia as a group containing Microbiotheriidae, nested within American marsupials. However, a likelihood ratio test shows that alternative topologies with monophyletic Australidelphia and Ameridelphia are not significantly different than the preferred tree. Although further data are needed to solidify understanding of Methateria phylogeny, the new phylogenetic hypothesis provided here offers a well resolved and detailed tool for comparative analyses, covering the majority of the known species richness of the group. PMID:25755933

  6. A Peculiar New Pampatheriidae (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Cingulata) from the Pleistocene of Argentina and Comments on Pampatheriidae Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Scillato-Yané, Gustavo Juan; Soibelzon, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Pampatheriidae are a group of cingulates native to South American that are known from the middle Miocene to the lower Holocene. Two genera have been recognized between the lower Pleistocene and the lower Holocene: Pampatherium Gervais and Ameghino (Ensenadan, Bonaerian and Lujanian, lower Pleistocene–lower Holocene) and Holmesina Simpson (Blancan, Irvingtonian, upper Pliocene–lower Holocene). They have been mainly differentiated by their osteoderm morphology and cranio-dental characters. These taxa had a wide latitudinal distribution, extending from the southern part of South America (Península Valdés, Argentina) to North America (Florida, USA). In this contribution, we describe a new genus and species of Pampatheriidae for the lower and middle Pleistocene of Buenos Aires Province and for the upper Pleistocene of Santa Fe Province (Argentina).The new taxon is represented by disarticulated osteoderms, one skull element, two thoracic vertebrae and a right femur and patella. It has extremely complex osteoderm ornamentations and particular morphological characters of the cranial element and femur that are not found in any other species of the family. This new taxon, recorded in the lower–middle Pleistocene (Ensenadan Stage/Age) and in the upper Pleistocene–early Holocene (Lujanian Stage/Age), is incorporated to the Pleistocene mammal assemblage of South America. Finally, the Pampatheriidae diversity is greater during the Lujanian Stage/Age than the Ensenadan Stage/Age. PMID:26083486

  7. A new species of nectar-feeding bat, genus Lonchophylla, from western Colombia and western Ecuador (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2007-01-01

    The twelve recognized species of nectar-feeding bats of the genus Lonchophylla occur in low- and middle-elevation, humid, Neotropical forests. Morphological and morphometrical analyses of specimens formerly lumped with Lonchophylla mordax O. Thomas (1903) support recognition of Lonchophylla concava Goldman (1914) as a separate species and reveal a third species from the western Pacific lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador that I describe herein as Lonchophylla jornicata. This new species is morphologically similar to Lonchophylla concava but is distinctively larger than that species. Tests for sexual dimorphism within these and other species of Lonchophyllini suggest a tendency for females to have slightly longer, narrower skulls, higher coronoid processes of the mandible, and longer forearms than males.

  8. Reconsidering the taxonomy of the Black-Faced Uacaris, Cacajao melanocephalus group (Mammalia: Pitheciidae), from the northern Amazon Basin.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Stephen F; Guedes, Patrícia G; Figueiredo-Ready, Wilsea M B; Barnett, Adrian A

    2014-01-01

    The black-faced uacaris are a poorly known group of platyrrhine monkeys from the Rio Negro basin in northwestern Amazonia. Originally described as two distinct species-Cacajao melanocephalus (Humboldt 1812) and Cacajao ouakary (Spix 1823)-from opposite banks of the Negro, they were treated as a single species until the end of the twentieth century, when molecular studies reconfirmed their status as true species. One of these studies not only nominated a third (northern) species, Cacajao ayresi Boubli et al. 2008, but also identified C. ouakary as a junior synonym of C. melanocephalus, resulting in the introduction of a new nomen, Cacajao hosomi Boubli et al. 2008. In the present study, additional evidence on morphological and zoogeographic variables is analyzed, which indicates that C. ouakary should be reinstated, and supports the nomination of a neotype of C. melanocephalus. The molecular and zoogeographic data on the species status of the ayresi form are also re-assessed, leading to the conclusion that, on the basis of the evidence available at the present time, this form should be considered a subspecies of C. melanocephalus. A new taxonomic arrangement is proposed, which recognizes two species, C. ouakary and C. melanocephalus, the latter with two subspecies, C. m. melanocephalus and C. m. ayresi. PMID:25283664

  9. A New Late Miocene Odobenid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Hokkaido, Japan Suggests Rapid Diversification of Basal Miocene Odobenids.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is specialized and only extant member of the family Odobenidae. They were much more diversified in the past, and at least 16 genera and 20 species of fossil walruses have been known. Although their diversity increased in the late Miocene and Pliocene (around 8-2 Million years ago), older records are poorly known. A new genus and species of archaic odobenid, Archaeodobenus akamatsui, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene (ca. 10.0-9.5 Ma) top of the Ichibangawa Formation, Hokkaido, northern Japan, suggests rapid diversification of basal Miocene walruses. Archaeodobenus akamatsui is the contemporaneous Pseudotaria muramotoi from the same formation, but they are distinguishable from each other in size and shape of the occipital condyle, foramen magnum and mastoid process of the cranium, and other postcranial features. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, A. akamatsui might have split from P. muramotoi at the late Miocene in the western North Pacific. This rapid diversification of the archaic odobenids occurred with a combination of marine regression and transgression, which provided geological isolation among the common ancestors of extinct odobenids. PMID:26244784

  10. Molecular assessment of the phylogeny and biogeography of a recently diversified endemic group of South American canids (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae).

    PubMed

    Tchaicka, Ligia; Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena de; Bager, Alex; Vidal, Stela Luengos; Lucherini, Mauro; Iriarte, Agustín; Novaro, Andres; Geffen, Eli; Garcez, Fabricio Silva; Johnson, Warren E; Wayne, Robert K; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the evolution and biogeography of an endemic group of South American foxes, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences for 118 individuals belonging to all six extant species of the genus Lycalopex. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses supported the inference that this genus has undergone a very recent and rapid radiation, stemming from a common ancestor that lived ca. 1 million years ago. The Brazilian endemic L. vetulus was supported as the most basal species in this genus, whereas the most internal group is comprised by the recently diverged (ca. 350,000 years ago) Andean/Patagonian species L. griseus and L. culpaeus. We discuss the inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the context of the current geographic distributions of these species, and the likely effects of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biogeography of this group. Furthermore, a remarkable finding was the identification of multiple individuals classified as L. gymnocercus bearing mtDNA haplotypes clearly belonging to L. griseus, sampled in regions where the latter is not known to occur. At a minimum, this result implies the need to clarify the present-day geographic distribution of each of these fox species, while it may also indicate an ongoing hybridization process between them. Future testing of this hypothesis with in-depth analyses of these populations is thus a priority for understanding the history, evolutionary dynamics and present-day composition of this endemic Neotropical genus. PMID:27560989

  11. Prey foraging behavior, seasonality and time-budgets in black lion tamarins, Leontopithecus chrysopygus (Mikan 1823) (Mammalia, Callitrichidae).

    PubMed

    Keuroghlian, A; Passos, F C

    2001-08-01

    Foraging behavior, seasonality and time-budgets in the Black Lion Tamarin (L. chrysopygus) was observed in the Caetetus Ecological Station, South-eastern Brazil, during 83 days between November 1988 to October 1990. For the full dry season we found that animal prey represented 11.2% of the black lion tamarin diet, while during the wet season they represented 1.9%. Foraging behavior made up 19.8% of their total activity in the dry season and only 12.8% in the wet season. These results point out that animal prey are relatively more important during the dry season, due to reduced availability of other resources, e.g. fruits, and that a greater foraging effort is required when a larger proportion of the diet is animal prey. PMID:11706573

  12. [Vector systems and rhythms in movements and orientation of elk (Alces alces L.) and other wild animals (Mammalia)].

    PubMed

    Zaĭtsev, V A

    2002-01-01

    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

  13. Molecular assessment of the phylogeny and biogeography of a recently diversified endemic group of South American canids (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae).

    PubMed

    Tchaicka, Ligia; Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena de; Bager, Alex; Vidal, Stela Luengos; Lucherini, Mauro; Iriarte, Agustín; Novaro, Andres; Geffen, Eli; Garcez, Fabricio Silva; Johnson, Warren E; Wayne, Robert K; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2016-07-25

    To investigate the evolution and biogeography of an endemic group of South American foxes, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences for 118 individuals belonging to all six extant species of the genus Lycalopex. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses supported the inference that this genus has undergone a very recent and rapid radiation, stemming from a common ancestor that lived ca. 1 million years ago. The Brazilian endemic L. vetulus was supported as the most basal species in this genus, whereas the most internal group is comprised by the recently diverged (ca. 350,000 years ago) Andean/Patagonian species L. griseus and L. culpaeus. We discuss the inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the context of the current geographic distributions of these species, and the likely effects of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biogeography of this group. Furthermore, a remarkable finding was the identification of multiple individuals classified as L. gymnocercus bearing mtDNA haplotypes clearly belonging to L. griseus, sampled in regions where the latter is not known to occur. At a minimum, this result implies the need to clarify the present-day geographic distribution of each of these fox species, while it may also indicate an ongoing hybridization process between them. Future testing of this hypothesis with in-depth analyses of these populations is thus a priority for understanding the history, evolutionary dynamics and present-day composition of this endemic Neotropical genus. PMID:27459260

  14. Cranial Remain from Tunisia Provides New Clues for the Origin and Evolution of Sirenia (Mammalia, Afrotheria) in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, Julien; Adnet, Sylvain; El Mabrouk, Essid; Khayati, Hayet; Ben Haj Ali, Mustapha; Marivaux, Laurent; Merzeraud, Gilles; Merigeaud, Samuel; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Tabuce, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. The northernmost record of Catagonus stenocephalus (Lund in Reinhardt, 1880) (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla) and its palaeoenvironmental and palaeobiogeographical significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avilla, Leonardo S.; Müller, Lisiane; Gasparini, German M.; Soibelzon, Leopoldo; Absolon, Bruno; Pêgo, Frederico Bonissoni; Silva, Rafael C.; Kinoshita, Angela; Graciano Figueiredo, Ana Maria; Baffa, Oswaldo

    2013-03-01

    During fieldwork carried out in January 2009 at Aurora do Tocantins (Tocantins State, northern Brazil), we recovered a fragmentary right maxilla (UNIRIO-PM 1006) of Catagonus stenocephalus from a sedimentary deposit of presumed late Pleistocene age in a karstic cave. This paper aims to: (1) provide the first record of C. stenocephalus in the northern region of Brazil (and consequently, also the northernmost one); (2) update the geographic distribution of C. stenocephalus; (3) present a date for the specimen; and (4) discuss the palaeoenvironmental and palaeobiogeographical implications of the finding. The species C. stenocephalus (Lund) is known from the Bonaerian (middle Pleistocene) and Lujanian (late Pleistocene to earliest Holocene) ages in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Bolivia. The new record presented here extends the geographical distribution of C. stenocephalus more than 1000 km north from the former northernmost record (caves of Lagoa Santa region). Peccaries of the genus Catagonus have several morphological features associated with cursorial habits in relatively open and dry environments. The new distributional range of C. stenocephalus is coincident with the Chacoan subregion, characterized by dry climates and open areas. As the studied material comes from the top of the carbonate layer, this may suggest that the deposition of the C. stenocephalus remains described here is synchronous with the onset of a wetter climate phase. This argument is also in accordance with the datation results, around 20 ky BP, just after the last glacial maximum. This increasingly wet climate, which may also be related to the climatic changes that occurred during the late Pleistocene/early Holocene, could be a factor in the extinction of C. stenocephalus in South America.

  16. Nuclear DNA phylogeny of the squirrels (Mammalia: Rodentia) and the evolution of arboreality from c-myc and RAG1.

    PubMed

    Steppan, Scott J; Storz, Brian L; Hoffmann, Robert S

    2004-03-01

    Although the family Sciuridae is large and well known, phylogenetic analyses are scarce. We report on a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the family. Two nuclear genes (c-myc and RAG1) comprising approximately 4500 bp of data (most in exons) are applied for the first time to rodent phylogenetics. Parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian analyses of the separate gene regions and combined data reveal five major lineages and refute the conventional elevation of the flying squirrels (Pteromyinae) to subfamily status. Instead, flying squirrels are derived from one of the tree squirrel lineages. C-myc indels corroborate the sequence-based topologies. The common ancestor of extant squirrels appears to have been arboreal, confirming the fossil evidence. The results also reveal an unexpected clade of mostly terrestrial squirrels with African and Holarctic centers of diversity. We present a revised classification of squirrels. Our results demonstrate the phylogenetic utility of relatively slowly evolving nuclear exonic data even for relatively recent clades. PMID:15012949

  17. Rediscovery of Biswamoyopterus (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae: Pteromyini) in Asia, with the description of a new species from Lao PDR.

    PubMed

    Sanamxay, Daosavanh; Douangboubpha, Bounsavane; Bumrungsri, Sara; Xayavong, Sysouphanh; Xayaphet, Vilakhan; Satasook, Chutamas; Bates, Paul J J

    2013-01-01

    A new species of the flying squirrel genus Biswamoyopterus is described from Lao PDR. It is based on a single specimen collected from a local food market at Ban Thongnami, Pak Kading District, Bolikhamxai Province. The new taxon shows close affinities to Biswamoyopterus biswasi, which is only known from the holotype collected in 1981, 1250 km from the current locality, in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. However, it differs substantially in pelage colour, most particularly on the ventral surfaces of the body, patagia, tail membrane, and tail. The single specimen was found in an area of central Lao PDR, which is characterised by its extensive limestone karst formations and which is home to other rare endemic rodents, including the Khanyou (Laonastes aenigmamus) nd the Lao limestone rat (Saxatilomyspaulinae). PMID:26473234

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Neotropical Wild Carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): At the Top of the T. cruzi Transmission Chain

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourão, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23861767

  19. New records of mites (Acari: Spinturnicidae) associated with bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera) in two Brazilian biomes: Pantanal and Caatinga.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Juliana Cardoso; Martins, Mayara Almeida; Guedes, Patrícia Gonçalves; Peracchi, Adriano Lucio; Serra-Freire, Nicolau Maues

    2016-01-01

    A first survey of mite species that ectoparasitize bats in the states of Ceará and Mato Grosso was conducted. The specimens of bats and their mites were collected in areas of the Caatinga and Pantanal biomes. A total of 450 spinturnicids representing two genera and ten species was collected from 15 bat species in the Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony Serra das Almas, Ceará State, Northeast Brazil and 138 spinturnicids represented by two genera and four species were found in seven bats species collected in Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony Sesc Pantanal, Mato Grosso State, Central-Western Brazil. The occurrence of Cameronieta genus and the species Mesoperiglischrus natali as well as four new associations (Periglischrus iheringi - Chiroderma vizottoi; P. micronycteridis - Micronycteris sanborni; P. paracutisternus - Trachops cirrhosus; Spinturnix americanus - Myotis riparius) are registered for the first time in Brazil. PMID:26982558

  20. Molecules, morphometrics and new fossils provide an integrated view of the evolutionary history of Rhinopomatidae (Mammalia: Chiroptera)

    PubMed Central

    Hulva, Pavel; Horáček, Ivan; Benda, Petr

    2007-01-01

    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 not fully understood. Results Here we present (a) a phylogenetic analysis based on a partial cytochrome b sequence, (b) new fossils from the Upper Miocene site Elaiochoria 2 (Chalkidiki, Greece), which represents the first appearance datum of the family based on the fossil record, and (c) discussion of the phylogeographic patterns in both molecular and morphological traits. We found deep divergences in the Rhinopoma hardwickii lineage, suggesting that the allopatric populations in (i) Iran and (ii) North Africa and the Middle East should have separate species status. The latter species (R. cystops) exhibits a shallow pattern of isolation by distance (separating the Middle East and the African populations) that contrasts with the pattern of geographic variation in the morphometrical traits. A deep genetic gap was also found in Rhinopoma muscatellum (Iran vs. Yemen). We found only minute genetic distance between R. microphyllum from the Levant and India, which fails to support the sub/species distinctness of the Indian form (R. microphyllum kinneari). Conclusion The mtDNA survey provided phylogenetic tree of the family Rhinopomatidae for the first time and revealed an unexpected diversification of the group both within R. hardwickii and R. muscatellum morphospecies. The paleobiogeographic scenario compiled in respect to molecular clock data suggests that the family originated in the region south of the Eocene Western Tethyan seaway or in India, and extended its range during the Early Miocene. The fossil record suggests a Miocene spread into the Mediterranean region, followed by a post-Miocene retreat. Morphological analysis compared with genetic data indicates considerable phenotypic plasticity in this group. PMID:17868440

  1. Early Eocene rodents (Mammalia) from the Subathu Formation of type area (Himachal Pradesh), NW sub-Himalaya, India: Palaeobiogeographic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Smita; Kumar, Kishor

    2015-08-01

    Based on isolated upper cheek teeth, two new early Eocene rodents (Subathumys solanorius gen. et sp. nov. and Subathumys globulus gen. et sp. nov.) and three others (Birbalomys cf. sondaari, Birbalomys sp., cf. Chapattimys sp.) are recorded from the lower-middle part of the Subathu Formation of the type area in Himachal Pradesh, northwestern sub-Himalaya (India). The new rodents exhibit morphological features most similar to the unified ctenodactyloid family Chapattimyidae (including Yuomyidae), which is also represented in the assemblage from the upper part (middle Eocene) of the Subathu Formation. The associated lower cheek teeth are provisionally described as three indeterminate chapattimyid taxa. The new Subathu rodents are somewhat younger than the previously documented early Eocene assemblages from the Indian subcontinent, and are chronologically intermediate between the early Eocene ailuravines from Gujarat in the western peninsular India and the middle Eocene chapattimyids from northwestern India and Pakistan. They suggest that chapattimyids originated in the sub-Himalayan region during the Ypresian, which is earlier than previously believed. The absence of ailuravines in this as well as younger rodent assemblages from the subcontinent seems to suggest that ailuravines (Ischyromyidae), within a relatively short time after their appearance in the peninsular India in the early Eocene, may have been replaced by the indigenous chapattimyids. The co-occurrence in the early Eocene Subathu assemblage of three or more chapattimyids indicates their early radiation and dominance during the early and middle Eocene. This record of rodents opens the possibility of recovery of other small mammal remains in older levels of the Subathu Formation, which will be important for understanding linkage with early Eocene faunas from peninsular India, Europe and North America.

  2. Taxonomic status and paleoecology of Rusingoryx atopocranion (Mammalia, Artiodactyla), an extinct Pleistocene bovid from Rusinga Island, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faith, J. Tyler; Choiniere, Jonah N.; Tryon, Christian A.; Peppe, Daniel J.; Fox, David L.

    2011-05-01

    Rusingoryx atopocranion is a poorly known extinct alcelaphine bovid, documented in Pleistocene deposits associated with Middle Stone Age artifacts on Rusinga Island, Kenya. Following its initial description, Rusingoryx was subsumed into Megalotragus, which includes the extinct giant wildebeests, on the basis of its cranial architecture. Renewed investigations of the Pleistocene deposits on Rusinga Island recovered a large sample of Rusingoryx specimens that provide new taxonomic and paleoecological insight. This study (1) reviews the morphological and phylogenetic evidence concerning the taxonomic status of Rusingoryx and (2) evaluates its paleoecology and dietary habits . The morphology and phylogenetic data indicate that Rusingoryx is distinct from Megalotragus; they likely shared a common ancestor in the late Pliocene. Ecomorphology and mesowear analysis point to a specialized grazing adaptation, and its association with arid-adapted ungulates suggests a preference for arid grasslands. The confirmation of Rusingoryx as a valid taxonomic entity, together with the presence of other extinct taxa (including Megalotragus) on Rusinga Island, suggests an increasingly complex pattern of ungulate biogeography and extinctions in the late Quaternary of East Africa. Rusingoryx appears to have been part of an arid-adapted faunal community that potentially persisted in East Africa until the onset of the Holocene.

  3. The clavicles of Smilodon fatalis and Panthera atrox (Mammalia: Felidae) from Rancho La Brea, Los Angeles, California.

    PubMed

    Hartstone-Rose, Adam; Long, Ryan C; Farrell, Aisling B; Shaw, Christopher A

    2012-09-01

    The Rancho La Brea collections at the George C. Page Museum in Los Angeles, California, contain the largest single inventory of Smilodon fatalis remains representing virtually every bone in the skeleton. Eighteen clavicles of two distinctive shapes have been recovered from historical and recent excavations at Rancho La Brea. In this study, we identify these specimens to species through comparison of their morphology and morphological variability with clavicles found in modern felids. This study includes a reevaluation of clavicles that have been previously assigned to S. fatalis, which are more likely to be those of Panthera atrox, and the description of pantherine cat clavicles. A previously undescribed sample of clavicles not only includes some of the same pantherine morph but also 10 specimens, herein assigned to S. fatalis, which are morphologically distinctive and significantly smaller than the previously described specimens. In addition, we report unexpected variations between clavicles of Panthera leo and P. tigris: the clavicles of P. leo closely resemble those of the large Rancho La Brea clavicle morph-which presumably belongs to P. atrox-thus supporting a P. leo/P. atrox clade. We report distinctive morphology of the clavicles of Acinonyx jubatus. Possible functional and phylogenic significance of felid clavicles is suggested. PMID:22592918

  4. The highly specialized vocal tract of the male Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa Pallas, 1777 – Mammalia, Bovidae)

    PubMed Central

    Frey, R; Gebler, A

    2003-01-01

    The entire head and neck of a wild adult male Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) was dissected with special reference to its enlarged larynx. Two additional adult male specimens taken from the wild were analysed by computer tomography. The sternomandibularis, omohyoideus, thyrohyoideus and hyoepiglotticus muscles are particularly enlarged and improve laryngeal suspension and stabilization. The epiglottis is exceptionally large. A permanent laryngeal descent is associated with the evolution of an unpaired palatinal pharyngeal pouch. A certain momentary descent seems to occur during vocalization. The high lateral walls of the thyroid cartilage are ventrally connected by a broad keel. The large thyroarytenoid muscle is divided into two portions: a rostral ventricularis and a caudal vocalis muscle. A paired lateral laryngeal ventricle projects between these two muscles. The massive vocal fold is large and lacks any rostrally directed flexible structures. It is supported by a large cymbal-like fibroelastic pad. Vocal tract length was measured in the course of dissection and in computer tomographic images. Two representative spectrograms, one of an adult male and one of a juvenile, recorded in the natural habitat of the Mongolian gazelle are presented. In the spectrograms, the centre frequency of the lowest band is about 500 Hz in the adult male and about 790 Hz in the juvenile. The low pitch of the adult male's call is ascribed to the evolutionary mass increase and elongation of the vocal folds. In the habitat of P. gutturosa a call with a low pitch and, thus, with an almost homogeneous directivity around the head of the vocalizing animal may be optimally suited for multidirectional advertisement calls during the rut. The signal range of an adult male's call in its natural habitat can therefore be expected to be larger than the high-pitched call of a juvenile. PMID:14635800

  5. Cranial remain from Tunisia provides new clues for the origin and evolution of Sirenia (Mammalia, Afrotheria) in Africa.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Julien; Adnet, Sylvain; El Mabrouk, Essid; Khayati, Hayet; Ben Haj Ali, Mustapha; Marivaux, Laurent; Merzeraud, Gilles; Merigeaud, Samuel; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Tabuce, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    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

  6. A Systematic Study on Tooth Enamel Microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla (Multituberculate, Mammalia)--Implications for Multituberculate Biology and Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Mao, Fangyuan; Wang, Yuanqing; Meng, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Tooth enamel microstructure is a reliable and widely used indicator of dietary interpretations and data for phylogenetic reconstruction, if all levels of variability are investigated. It is usually difficult to have a thorough examination at all levels of enamel structures for any mammals, especially for the early mammals, which are commonly represented by sparse specimens. Because of the random preservation of specimens, enamel microstructures from different teeth in various species are often compared. There are few examples that convincingly show intraspecific variation of tooth enamel microstructure in full dentition of a species, including multituberculates. Here we present a systematic survey of tooth enamel microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla, a taeniolabidoid multituberculate from the Late Paleocene Nomogen Formation, Inner Mongolia. We examined enamel structures at all hierarchical levels. The samples are treated differently in section orientations and acid preparation and examined using different imaging methods. The results show that, except for preparation artifacts, the crystallites, enamel types, Schmelzmuster and dentition types of Lambdopsalis are relatively consistent in all permanent teeth, but the prism type, including the prism shape, size and density, may vary in different portions of a single tooth or among different teeth of an individual animal. The most common Schmelzmuster of the permanent teeth in Lambdopsalis is a combination of radial enamel in the inner and middle layers, aprismatic enamel in the outer layer, and irregular decussations in tooth crown area with great curvature. The prism seam is another comparably stable characteristic that may be a useful feature for multituberculate taxonomy. The systematic documentation of enamel structures in Lambdopsalis may be generalized for the enamel microstructure study, and thus for taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction, of multituberculates and even informative for the enamel study of other early mammals. PMID:26020958

  7. Generalism as a subsistence strategy: advantages and limitations of the highly flexible feeding traits of Pleistocene Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich; Kaiser, Thomas M.

    2011-08-01

    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.

  8. Shippingport, Kentucky, is the type locality for the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque, 1818) (Mammalia: Rodentia: Cricetidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    The white-footed mouse, Musculus leucopus Rafinesque, 1818 (= Peromyscus leucopus), is a common small mammal that is widespread in the eastern and central United States. Its abundance in many habitats renders it ecologically important, and its status as a reservoir for hantavirus and Lyme disease gives the species medical and economic significance. The recognition of two cytotypes and up to 17 morphological subspecies of P. leucopus indicates considerable variation in the species, and to understand this variation, it is important that the nominate subspecies be adequately defined so as to act as a standard for comparison. Relevant to this standard for the white-footed mouse is its type locality, which has generally been accepted to be either the vague "pine barrens of Kentucky" or the mouth of the Ohio River. Newly assembled information regarding the life and travels of Constantine S. Rafinesque, the North American naturalist who described P. leucopus, establishes that Rafinesque observed this species in July 1818 while visiting Shippingport, Kentucky, which is now within the city limits of Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Shippingport is therefore the actual type locality for this species.

  9. New data on the distribution and taxonomy of fossil Soergel's ox (Soergelia sp., Bovidae, Artiodactyla, Mammalia) in Yakutia.

    PubMed

    Boeskorov, G G

    2016-07-01

    Novel findings of fossil remains of the extinct artiodactyl Soergel's ox, as well as some findings that were not analyzed previously, are presented in the article. Soergelia remains are extremely rare; therefore, the species range of these animals remains uncharacterized by now and the taxonomic positions of some findings are not clear. Analysis of the new material extends the knowledge on the species range and the limits of morphological variation of the Soergel's ox and allowed a more precise assessment of the taxonomic position of the findings from Yakutia. PMID:27595828

  10. Sensitivity of populations of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in relation to human development in northern Paraná, southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reis, N R; Gallo, P H; Peracchi, A L; Lima, L P; Fregonezi, M N

    2012-08-01

    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

  11. Occurrence of the Indian genus Hemibos (Bovini, Bovidae, Mammalia) at the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido; Palombo, Maria Rita

    2004-05-01

    The morphology of the horn-core structure and section shape of the Bos galerianus type specimen, as well as the general anatomy of the frontal and occipital areas of the skull, suggest that the skull is better attributed to the Indian genus Hemibos. This finding contributes to our understanding of faunal dispersal patterns into Europe at the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition.

  12. The Adaptive Significance of Enamel Loss in the Mandibular Incisors of Cercopithecine Primates (Mammalia: Cercopithecidae): A Finite Element Modelling Study

    PubMed Central

    Kupczik, Kornelius; Lev-Tov Chattah, Netta

    2014-01-01

    In several primate groups enamel is reduced or absent from the lingual (tongue) side of the mandibular incisor crowns akin to other placental and marsupial mammalian groups such as rodents, lagomorphs and wombats. Here we investigate the presumed adaptation of crowns with unilateral enamel to the incision of tough foods in cercopithecines, an Old World monkey subfamily, using a simulation approach. We developed and validated a finite element model of the lower central incisor of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) with labial enamel only to compute three-dimensional displacements and maximum principal stresses on the crown subjected to compressive loads varying in orientation. Moreover, we developed a model of a macaque incisor with enamel present on both labial and lingual aspects, thus resembling the ancestral condition found in the sister taxon, the leaf-eating colobines. The results showed that, concomitant with experimental results, the cercopithecine crown with unilateral enamel bends predominantly towards the inside of the mouth, while displacements decreased when both labial and lingual enamel are present. Importantly, the cercopithecine incisor crown experienced lower maximum principal stress on the lingual side compared to the incisor with enamel on the lingual and labial aspects under non-axial loads directed either towards the inside or outside of the mouth. These findings suggest that cercopithecine mandibular incisors are adapted to a wide range of ingestive behaviours compared to colobines. We conclude that the evolutionary loss of lingual enamel in cercopithecines has conferred a safeguard against crown failure under a loading regime assumed for the ingestion (peeling, scraping) of tough-skinned fruits. PMID:24831704

  13. Mammals from ‘down under’: a multi-gene species-level phylogeny of marsupial mammals (Mammalia, Metatheria)

    PubMed Central

    Kilpatrick, C. William; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Marsupials or metatherians are a group of mammals that are distinct in giving birth to young at early stages of development and in having a prolonged investment in lactation. The group consists of nearly 350 extant species, including kangaroos, koala, possums, and their relatives. Marsupials are an old lineage thought to have diverged from early therian mammals some 160 million years ago in the Jurassic, and have a remarkable evolutionary and biogeographical history, with extant species restricted to the Americas, mostly South America, and to Australasia. Although the group has been the subject of decades of phylogenetic research, the marsupial tree of life remains controversial, with most studies focusing on only a fraction of the species diversity within the infraclass. Here we present the first Methaterian species-level phylogeny to include 80% of the extant marsupial species and five nuclear and five mitochondrial markers obtained from Genbank and a recently published retroposon matrix. Our primary goal is to provide a summary phylogeny that will serve as a tool for comparative research. We evaluate the extent to which the phylogeny recovers current phylogenetic knowledge based on the recovery of “benchmark clades” from prior studies—unambiguously supported key clades and undisputed traditional taxonomic groups. The Bayesian phylogenetic analyses recovered nearly all benchmark clades but failed to find support for the suborder Phalagiformes. The most significant difference with previous published topologies is the support for Australidelphia as a group containing Microbiotheriidae, nested within American marsupials. However, a likelihood ratio test shows that alternative topologies with monophyletic Australidelphia and Ameridelphia are not significantly different than the preferred tree. Although further data are needed to solidify understanding of Methateria phylogeny, the new phylogenetic hypothesis provided here offers a well resolved and detailed tool for comparative analyses, covering the majority of the known species richness of the group. PMID:25755933

  14. Placental diversity in malagasy tenrecs: placentation in shrew tenrecs (Microgale spp.), the mole-like rice tenrec (Oryzorictes hova) and the web-footed tenrec (Limnogale mergulus).

    PubMed

    Enders, A C; Blankenship, T N; Goodman, S M; Soarimalala, V; Carter, A M

    2007-07-01

    Placentation in tenrecs of the subfamily Oryzorictinae, family Tenrecidae, has not been described previously. The structure of the placenta of this group and especially of the genus Microgale was investigated to determine its similarity or dissimilarity to previously described placentas of the tenrec subfamilies Potamogalinae and Tenrecinae. Fifteen specimens of the genus Microgale ranging from an early yolk sac stage to near term were available for study. Placentation in Microgale was found to be different from other tenrecids in that there is an early simple lateral rather than central haemophagous region. In addition, a more villous portion of the placental disk forms before the formation of a more compact labyrinth. Although the definitive placenta is cellular haemomonochorial, it lacks the spongy zone found in the Tenrecinae. Neither does it resemble the endotheliochorial condition found in the Potamogalinae. Of the two genera of the subfamily Oryzorictinae represented by single specimens, the placenta of Limnogale resembled that of the Microgale but Oryzorictes had several differences including a lobulated placental disk. It is concluded that there is more variation in placentation both within the subfamily Oryzorictinae and within the family Tenrecidae than would ordinarily be expected. PMID:17113148

  15. [The role of hybrid zones in speciation: a case study on chromosome races of the house mouse Mus domesticus and common shrew Sorex araneus].

    PubMed

    Lavrenchenko, L A; Bulatova, N Sh

    2015-01-01

    Although diverse complexes of chromosome races are of rather rare occurrence in mammals, that does not reduce its importance to insignificant phenomenon not worthy of studying as some unique case without direct analogy. Moreover, these complexes present virtually ideal models for estimation of the impact of hybridization on the process of microevolution. The chromosome races are characterized by almost zero level of genetic differentiation and well-defined distinctions, usually induced by chromosome rearrangements only. The presented review shows the valuable contribution of the studies on Sorex araneus and Mus domesticus chromosome Robertsonian systems into our understanding of varied impacts of hybridization on the speciation process. Particularly, it promotes better understanding of such evolutionary phenomena as "reinforcement" of reproductive isolation in secondary contact zones between divergent populations, speciation without geographic separation ("divergence with gene flow"), and "zonal raciation". PMID:26353396

  16. A New Basal Caniform (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Middle Eocene of North America and Remarks on the Phylogeny of Early Carnivorans

    PubMed Central

    Tomiya, Susumu

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite a long history of research, the phylogenetic origin and initial diversification of the mammalian crown-group Carnivora remain elusive. Well-preserved fossil materials of basal carnivorans are essential for resolving these issues, and for constraining the timing of the carnivoran origin, which constitutes an important time-calibration point in mammalian phylogenetics. Methodology/Principal Findings A new carnivoramorphan from the middle Eocene of southern California, Lycophocyon hutchisoni, is described. The new taxon exhibits stages of dental and basicranial evolution that are intermediate between earlier carnivoramorphans and the earliest representatives of canoid carnivorans. The evolutionary affinity of the new taxon was determined by a cladistic analysis of previously-published and newly-acquired morphological data for 30 Paleogene carnivoramorphans. The most-parsimonious trees identified L. hutchisoni as a basal caniform carnivoran, and placed (1) Tapocyon robustus, Quercygale angustidens, “Miacis” sylvestris, “M.” uintensis, and “M.” gracilis inside or outside the Carnivora, (2) nimravids within the Feliformia, and (3) the amphicyonid Daphoenus outside the crown-group Canoidea. Parsimony reconstructions of ancestral character states suggest that loss of the upper third molars and development of well-ossified entotympanics that are firmly fused to the basicranium (neither condition is observed in L. hutchisoni) are not associated with the origin of the Carnivora as traditionally thought, but instead occurred independently in the Caniformia and the Feliformia. A discriminant analysis of the estimated body weight and dental ecomorphology predicted a mesocarnivorous diet for L. hutchisoni, and the postcranial morphology suggests a scansorial habit. Conclusions/Significance Lycophocyon hutchisoni illuminates the morphological evolution of early caniforms leading to the origin of crown-group canoids. Considerable uncertainty remains with respect to the phylogenetic origin of the Carnivora. The minimum date of caniform-feliform divergence is provisionally suggested to be either 47 million years ago or 38 million years ago, depending on the position of “Miacis” sylvestris within or outside the Carnivora, respectively. PMID:21935380

  17. Cranial Morphology of the Late Oligocene Patagonian Notohippid Rhynchippus equinus Ameghino, 1897 (Mammalia, Notoungulata) with Emphases in Basicranial and Auditory Region.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Gastón; Dozo, María Teresa; Gelfo, Javier N; Marani, Hernán

    2016-01-01

    "Notohippidae" is a probably paraphyletic family of medium sized notoungulates with complete dentition and early tendency to hypsodonty. They have been recorded from early Eocene to early Miocene, being particularly diverse by the late Oligocene. Although Rhynchippus equinus Ameghino is one of the most frequent notohippids in the fossil record, there are scarce data about cranial osteology other than the classical descriptions which date back to the early last century. In this context, we describe the exceptionally preserved specimen MPEF PV 695 (based on CT scanning technique and 3D reconstruction) with the aim of improving our knowledge of the species, especially regarding auditory region (petrosal, tympanic and surrounding elements), sphenoidal and occipital complexes. Besides a modular description of the whole skull, osteological correlates identified on the basicranium are used to infer some soft-tissue elements, especially those associated with vessels that supply the head, mainly intracranially. One of the most informative elements was the petrosal bone, whose general morphology matches that expected for a toxodont. The endocranial surface, together with the surrounding parietal, basisphenoid, occipital, and squamosal, enabled us to propose the location and communication of main venous sinuses of the lateral head wall (temporal, inferior and sigmoid sinuses), whereas the tympanic aspect and the identification of a posterior carotid artery canal provided strong evidence in support of an intratympanic course of the internal carotid artery, a controversial issue among notoungulates. Regarding the arrangement of tympanic and paratympanic spaces, the preservation of the specimen allowed us to appreciate the three connected spaces that constitute a heavily pneumatized middle ear; the epitympanic sinus, the tympanic cavity itself, and the ventral expansion of the tympanic cavity through the notably inflated bullae. We hope this study stimulates further inquires and provides potentially informative data for future research involving other representatives of the order. PMID:27232883

  18. A New Machairodont from the Palmetto Fauna (Early Pliocene) of Florida, with Comments on the Origin of the Smilodontini (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae)

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Steven C.; Hulbert, Richard C.

    2013-01-01

    South-central Florida’s latest Hemphillian Palmetto Fauna includes two machairodontine felids, the lion-sized Machairodus coloradensis and a smaller, jaguar-sized species, initially referred to Megantereon hesperus based on a single, relatively incomplete mandible. This made the latter the oldest record of Megantereon, suggesting a New World origin of the genus. Subsequent workers variously accepted or rejected this identification and biogeographic scenario. Fortunately, new material, which preserves previously unknown characters, is now known for the smaller taxon. The most parsimonious results of a phylogenetic analysis using 37 cranio-mandibular characters from 13 taxa place it in the Smilodontini, like the original study; however, as the sister-taxon to Megantereon and Smilodon. Accordingly, we formally describe Rhizosmilodon fiteae gen. et sp. nov. Rhizosmilodon, Megantereon, and Smilodon ( =  Smilodontini) share synapomorphies relative to their sister-taxon Machairodontini: serrations smaller and restricted to canines; offset of P3 with P4 and p4 with m1; complete verticalization of mandibular symphysis; m1 shortened and robust with widest point anterior to notch; and extreme posterior “lean” to p3/p4. Rhizosmilodon has small anterior and posterior accessory cusps on p4, a relatively large lower canine, and small, non-procumbent lower incisors; all more primitive states than in Megantereon and Smilodon. The former also differs from Megantereon and Smilodon gracilis by having a very small mandibular flange. Rhizosmilodon is the oldest known member of the Smilodontini, suggesting that the tribe originated in North America. Two more derived, similar-sized species evolved in parallel during the Blancan, Megantereon hesperus and Smilodon gracilis. The former is rarer, known only from the north-central and northwestern US, and presumably dispersed into the Old World. The latter is known from the eastern and southern US, and dispersed into South America. PMID:23516394

  19. Coccidial dispersion across New World marsupials: Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Caroline Spitz; Berto, Bruno Pereira; do Bomfim Lopes, Bruno; Cordeiro, Matheus Dias; da Fonseca, Adivaldo Henrique; Filho, Walter Leira Teixeira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2014-09-01

    Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 is a primitive coccidian parasite reported from the New World marsupials Didelphis marsupialis (Linnaeus) and Marmosa demerarae (Thomas). The current work describes K. tejerai from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) in Southeastern Brazil, evidencing the coccidial dispersion across opossums of the same family. The sporocysts recovered from urine samples were ellipsoidal, 20.4 × 12.7 µm, with sporocyst residuum composed of scattered spherules and c.13 sporozoites per sporocyst, with refractile bodies and nucleus. Macrogametes, microgametes, sporonts, sporoblasts/sporocysts were identified within parasitophorous vacuoles of epithelial cells located near the renal corticomedullary junction. Didelphis marsupialis should not have transmitted K. tejerai to D. aurita because they are not sympatric; however M. demerarae is sympatric with D. marsupialis and D. aurita. Therefore, D. aurita becomes the third host species for K. tejerai in South America. PMID:25079818

  20. Anatomy, feeding ecology, and ontogeny of a transitional baleen whale: a new genus and species of Eomysticetidae (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The Eocene history of cetacean evolution is now represented by the expansive fossil record of archaeocetes elucidating major morphofunctional shifts relating to the land to sea transition, but the change from archaeocetes to modern cetaceans is poorly established. New fossil material of the recently recognized family Eomysticetidae from the upper Oligocene Otekaike Limestone includes a new genus and species, Waharoa ruwhenua, represented by skulls and partial skeletons of an adult, juvenile, and a smaller juvenile. Ontogenetic status is confirmed by osteohistology of ribs. Waharoa ruwhenua is characterized by an elongate and narrow rostrum which retains vestigial alveoli and alveolar grooves. Palatal foramina and sulci are present only on the posterior half of the palate. The nasals are elongate, and the bony nares are positioned far anteriorly. Enormous temporal fossae are present adjacent to an elongate and narrow intertemporal region with a sharp sagittal crest. The earbones are characterized by retaining inner and outer posterior pedicles, lacking fused posterior processes, and retaining a separate accessory ossicle. Phylogenetic analysis supports inclusion of Waharoa ruwhenua within a monophyletic Eomysticetidae as the earliest diverging clade of toothless mysticetes. This eomysticetid clade also included Eomysticetus whitmorei, Micromysticetus rothauseni, Tohoraata raekohao, Tokarahia kauaeroa, Tokarahia lophocephalus, and Yamatocetus canaliculatus. Detailed study of ontogenetic change demonstrates postnatal elaboration of the sagittal and nuchal crests, elongation of the intertemporal region, inflation of the zygomatic processes, and an extreme proportional increase in rostral length. Tympanic bullae are nearly full sized during early postnatal ontogeny indicating precocial development of auditory structures, but do increase slightly in size. Positive allometry of the rostrum suggests an ontogenetic change in feeding ecology, from neonatal suckling to a more specialized adult feeding behaviour. Possible absence of baleen anteriorly, a delicate temporomandibular joint with probable synovial capsule, non-laterally deflected coronoid process, and anteroposteriorly expanded palate suggests skim feeding as likely mode of adult feeding for zooplankton. Isotopic data in concert with preservation of young juveniles suggests the continental shelf of Zealandia was an important calving ground for latitudinally migrating Oligocene baleen whales. PMID:26380800

  1. A new machairodont from the Palmetto Fauna (early Pliocene) of Florida, with comments on the origin of the Smilodontini (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae).

    PubMed

    Wallace, Steven C; Hulbert, Richard C

    2013-01-01

    South-central Florida's latest Hemphillian Palmetto Fauna includes two machairodontine felids, the lion-sized Machairodus coloradensis and a smaller, jaguar-sized species, initially referred to Megantereon hesperus based on a single, relatively incomplete mandible. This made the latter the oldest record of Megantereon, suggesting a New World origin of the genus. Subsequent workers variously accepted or rejected this identification and biogeographic scenario. Fortunately, new material, which preserves previously unknown characters, is now known for the smaller taxon. The most parsimonious results of a phylogenetic analysis using 37 cranio-mandibular characters from 13 taxa place it in the Smilodontini, like the original study; however, as the sister-taxon to Megantereon and Smilodon. Accordingly, we formally describe Rhizosmilodon fiteae gen. et sp. nov. Rhizosmilodon, Megantereon, and Smilodon ( = Smilodontini) share synapomorphies relative to their sister-taxon Machairodontini: serrations smaller and restricted to canines; offset of P3 with P4 and p4 with m1; complete verticalization of mandibular symphysis; m1 shortened and robust with widest point anterior to notch; and extreme posterior "lean" to p3/p4. Rhizosmilodon has small anterior and posterior accessory cusps on p4, a relatively large lower canine, and small, non-procumbent lower incisors; all more primitive states than in Megantereon and Smilodon. The former also differs from Megantereon and Smilodon gracilis by having a very small mandibular flange. Rhizosmilodon is the oldest known member of the Smilodontini, suggesting that the tribe originated in North America. Two more derived, similar-sized species evolved in parallel during the Blancan, Megantereon hesperus and Smilodon gracilis. The former is rarer, known only from the north-central and northwestern US, and presumably dispersed into the Old World. The latter is known from the eastern and southern US, and dispersed into South America. PMID:23516394

  2. Morphological, morphometric and genetic variation among cryptic and sympatric species of southeastern South American three-striped opossums (Monodelphis: Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Duda, Rafaela; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-01-01

    Monodelphis is the most diverse genus of the family Didelphidae, whose systematics and taxonomy have not yet been well established. Two of the included species, Monodelphis americana and M. iheringi, are difficult to distinguish because both present three dorsal black stripes. Furthermore, they show intra- and interspecific variation related to body size and pelage coloration. Because this variation is not well understood, there are problems in correctly identifying these species, which remain poorly collected and thus rare in zoological collections. This study evaluated the morphological and genetic variations in a sample of striped opossums from a single location in southeastern Brazil to understand if the morphological variation observed in individuals from the same location was indicative of the existence of more than one taxon. The comparative analyses of a series from this single locality with museum specimens of other locations revealed variations in the skin and skull qualitative characters that were related to age and sex. Morphological comparisons led to the identification of two morphogroups, which were corroborated by molecular data; the analysis of cytochrome b sequences indicated the existence of two clades, with an average divergence of 14%. Thus, the results support the existence of two taxa in the sample, defined as M. americana and M. iheringi. We confirmed the sympatry of these two species in a location in southeastern Brazil, presented morphological diagnostic characters to distinguish the two species, provided novel phylogenetic information on the group, and also demonstrated the existence of important intra- and interspecific morphological variations related to sexual dimorphism and ontogeny in the group. These results significantly contribute to information on the systematics of the genus. PMID:25947450

  3. Anatomy, feeding ecology, and ontogeny of a transitional baleen whale: a new genus and species of Eomysticetidae (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Boessenecker, Robert W; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The Eocene history of cetacean evolution is now represented by the expansive fossil record of archaeocetes elucidating major morphofunctional shifts relating to the land to sea transition, but the change from archaeocetes to modern cetaceans is poorly established. New fossil material of the recently recognized family Eomysticetidae from the upper Oligocene Otekaike Limestone includes a new genus and species, Waharoa ruwhenua, represented by skulls and partial skeletons of an adult, juvenile, and a smaller juvenile. Ontogenetic status is confirmed by osteohistology of ribs. Waharoa ruwhenua is characterized by an elongate and narrow rostrum which retains vestigial alveoli and alveolar grooves. Palatal foramina and sulci are present only on the posterior half of the palate. The nasals are elongate, and the bony nares are positioned far anteriorly. Enormous temporal fossae are present adjacent to an elongate and narrow intertemporal region with a sharp sagittal crest. The earbones are characterized by retaining inner and outer posterior pedicles, lacking fused posterior processes, and retaining a separate accessory ossicle. Phylogenetic analysis supports inclusion of Waharoa ruwhenua within a monophyletic Eomysticetidae as the earliest diverging clade of toothless mysticetes. This eomysticetid clade also included Eomysticetus whitmorei, Micromysticetus rothauseni, Tohoraata raekohao, Tokarahia kauaeroa, Tokarahia lophocephalus, and Yamatocetus canaliculatus. Detailed study of ontogenetic change demonstrates postnatal elaboration of the sagittal and nuchal crests, elongation of the intertemporal region, inflation of the zygomatic processes, and an extreme proportional increase in rostral length. Tympanic bullae are nearly full sized during early postnatal ontogeny indicating precocial development of auditory structures, but do increase slightly in size. Positive allometry of the rostrum suggests an ontogenetic change in feeding ecology, from neonatal suckling to a more specialized adult feeding behaviour. Possible absence of baleen anteriorly, a delicate temporomandibular joint with probable synovial capsule, non-laterally deflected coronoid process, and anteroposteriorly expanded palate suggests skim feeding as likely mode of adult feeding for zooplankton. Isotopic data in concert with preservation of young juveniles suggests the continental shelf of Zealandia was an important calving ground for latitudinally migrating Oligocene baleen whales. PMID:26380800

  4. Exploration of the taxonomy of some Pleistocene Cervini (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cervidae) from Java and Sumatra (Indonesia): a geometric- and linear morphometric approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruwier, Ben; de Vos, John; Kovarovic, Kris

    2015-07-01

    Third molars of extant- and fossil Southeast Asian deer were metrically compared using a linear- and geometric morphometric approach and discussed in relation to known taxonomic information from the literature. Our analysis suggests the presence of medium sized deer of the genus Axis and large sized taxa of the genus Cervus s. l. in Java. Axis lydekkeri and Axis javanicus are considered valid taxa, with A. lydekkeri probably related to the subgenus Hyelaphus. The large deer, such as Cervus kendengensis, Cervus stehlini and Cervus problematicus are most likely of the subgenus Rusa, the former two closely related to extant Cervus timorensis. The Sumatran fossils are members of the subgenus Rusa, but not necessarily conspecific with extant Cervus (Rusa) unicolor.

  5. Wing Membrane Biopsies for Bat Cytogenetics: Finding of 2n = 54 in Irish Rhinolophushipposideros (Rhinolophidae, Chiroptera, Mammalia) Supports Two Geographically Separated Chromosomal Variants in Europe.

    PubMed

    Kacprzyk, Joanna; Teeling, Emma C; Kelleher, Conor; Volleth, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    In Europe, 2 different diploid chromosome numbers, 2n = 54 and 2n = 56, have been described in the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophushipposideros). The eastern form with 2n = 56 extends from the Czech Republic to Greece. To date, specimens with 54 chromosomes have been reported only from Spain and Germany. This study expands the distributional area of the western variant to Ireland. Strikingly, this distribution of European chromosomal variants is in contrast to the available molecular data that indicate little genetic differentiation of R. hipposideros populations spanning Northwestern to Central Europe. Further, we have developed an optimized protocol for establishing fibroblast cell cultures, suitable for karyotype analyses, from 3-mm wing membrane biopsies. This is a useful technique for cytogenetic studies of endangered bat species, as this non-lethal sampling method imposes only minimum stress to the animal without lasting adverse effects and is routinely used to sample tissue probes for molecular genetic studies in bats. PMID:27333200

  6. The fossil Bovidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) from Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel: Out of Africa during the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido; Rabinovich, Rivka

    2011-04-01

    We report the study of the collection of fossil bovid specimens from the Early-Middle Pleistocene Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov. This locality, situated in the Levantine Corridor (the bottleneck that connects Africa and Eurasia) is a key site to explain the faunal and human dispersals out of Africa during the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary around 0.8Ma. Two species of bovine (Bos sp., and Bovini gen. et sp. indet. cf. Bison sp.), one antelope (Gazella sp. cf. G. Gazella), and another indeterminate Bovidae gen. et sp. indet., have been recorded. The largest species, Bos sp., is an African immigrant related to the species from the Eritrean site of Buia, Bos buiaensis, which evolved from the buffalo of Olduvai Pelorovis oldowayensis, and colonized the Eurasian continent in parallel with the dispersal of the Acheulian culture into the northern continent. Numerous important species first recorded in several localities of Early-Middle Pleistocene transition from Eurasia are included in this dispersal out of Africa, including the megaherbivore, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, and the carnivores Crocuta crocuta, and later, Panthera leo and Panthera pardus. This faunal turnover is coincident with the change to colder climates that dominated the Middle Pleistocene. PMID:21392634

  7. Bat flies (Diptera: Streblidae, Nycteribiidae) parasitic on bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) at Parque Estadual da Cantareira, São Paulo, Brazil: parasitism rates and host-parasite associations.

    PubMed

    Bertola, Patrícia Beloto; Aires, Caroline Cotrim; Favorito, Sandra Elisa; Graciolli, Gustavo; Amaku, Marcos; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo

    2005-02-01

    A total of 443 bat flies belonging to the families Nycteribiidae and Strelidae, were collected on 22 species of bats (Molossidae, Phyllostomidae, and Vespertilionidae) from Parque Estadual da Cantareira (São Paulo, Brazil), between January, 2000 and January, 2001. Eighteen new occurrences of bat flies were recorded on Anoura geoffroyi (Anastrebla caudiferae), Glossophaga soricina (A. caudiferae), Sturnira lilium (Trichobius phyllostomae, T. furmani, and Paraeuctenodes similis), Artibeus lituratus (A. caudiferae), A. fimbriatus (Megistopoda proxima), A. obscurus (Metelasmus pseudopterus), Myotis nigricans (M. proxima, M. aranea, Paratrichobius longicrus), M. ruber (Anatrichobius passosi, Joblingia sp.), M. levis (A. passosi), M. albescens (A. passosi, Basilia andersoni), and Histiotus velatus (M. aranea). Seven new occurrences were recorded for the state of São Paulo, increasing the range for T. tiptoni, T. furmani, M. proxima, Aspidoptera falcata, A. caudiferae, A. modestini and B. andersoni. The relationships between parasitism and host sex, reproductive stage, age hyperparasitism by fungi are discussed. PMID:15867959

  8. [Polymorphism of the mtDNA control region in wild reindeer Rangifer tarandus (Mammalia: Artiodactyla) from the European part of Russia].

    PubMed

    Baranova, A I; Kholodova, M V; Davydov, A V; Rozhkov, Iu I

    2012-09-01

    Genetic diversity ofwild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) inhabiting the European part of Russia, including Komi Republic, Arkhangelsk oblast, Murmansk oblast, and the Republic of Karelia was characterized using sequence polymorphism of the mtDNA control region. Despite of currently low population number of wild reindeer, they were characterized by a high level of genetic diversity (pi = 0.018; H= 0.872 to 0.914). Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between European reindeer and wild reindeer of Siberia. In reindeer from Murmansk oblast a haplotype in common with the wild reindeer form Southwestern Norway was described. The reindeer sample examined contained no haplotypes earlier described for the reindeer of Central Norway. It is suggested that in recent past wild reindeer from the European north of Russia formed one population with the reindeer from the north of the Asian part of Eurasia. PMID:23113338

  9. Bone-Breaking Bite Force of Basilosaurus isis (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Late Eocene of Egypt Estimated by Finite Element Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Snively, Eric; Fahlke, Julia M.; Welsh, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Bite marks suggest that the late Eocence archaeocete whale Basilosaurus isis (Birket Qarun Formation, Egypt) fed upon juveniles of the contemporary basilosaurid Dorudon atrox. Finite element analysis (FEA) of a nearly complete adult cranium of B. isis enables estimates of its bite force and tests the animal’s capabilities for crushing bone. Two loadcases reflect different biting scenarios: 1) an intitial closing phase, with all adductors active and a full condylar reaction force; and 2) a shearing phase, with the posterior temporalis active and minimized condylar force. The latter is considered probable when the jaws were nearly closed because the preserved jaws do not articulate as the molariform teeth come into occulusion. Reaction forces with all muscles active indicate that B. isis maintained relatively greater bite force anteriorly than seen in large crocodilians, and exerted a maximum bite force of at least 16,400 N at its upper P3. Under the shearing scenario with minimized condylar forces, tooth reaction forces could exceed 20,000 N despite lower magnitudes of muscle force. These bite forces at the teeth are consistent with bone indentations on Dorudon crania, reatract-and-shear hypotheses of Basilosaurus bite function, and seizure of prey by anterior teeth as proposed for other archaeocetes. The whale’s bite forces match those estimated for pliosaurus when skull lengths are equalized, suggesting similar tradeoffs of bite function and hydrodynamics. Reaction forces in B. isis were lower than maxima estimated for large crocodylians and carnivorous dinosaurs. However, comparison of force estimates from FEA and regression data indicate that B. isis exerted the largest bite forces yet estimated for any mammal, and greater force than expected from its skull width. Cephalic feeding biomechanics of Basilosaurus isis are thus consistent with habitual predation. PMID:25714832

  10. A New Large Hyainailourine from the Bartonian of Europe and Its Bearings on the Evolution and Ecology of Massive Hyaenodonts (Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Solé, Floréal; Amson, Eli; Borths, Matthew; Vidalenc, Dominique; Morlo, Michael; Bastl, Katharina

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new large-sized species of hypercarnivorous hyainailourine–Kerberos langebadreae gen. & sp. nov.–from the Bartonian (MP16) locality of Montespieu (Tarn, France). These specimens consist of a skull, two hemimandibles and several hind limb elements (fibula, astragalus, calcaneum, metatarsals, and phalanges). Size estimates suggest K. langebadreae may have weighed up to 140 kg, revealing this species as the largest carnivorous mammal in Europe at that time. Besides its very large size, K. langebadreae possesses an interesting combination of primitive and derived features. The distinctive skull morphology of K. langebadreae reflects a powerful bite force. The postcranial elements, which are rarely associated with hyainailourine specimens, indicate an animal capable of a plantigrade stance and adapted for terrestrial locomotion. We performed the first phylogenetic analysis of hyainailourines to determine the systematic position of K. langebadreae and to understand the evolution of the group that includes other massive carnivores. The analysis demonstrates that Hemipsalodon, a North American taxon, is a hyainailourine and is closely related to European Paroxyaena. Based on this analysis we hypothesize the biogeographic history of the Hyainailourinae. The group appeared in Africa with a first migration to Europe during the Bartonian that likely included the ancestors of Kerberos, Paroxyaena and Hemipsalodon, which further dispersed into North America at this time. We propose that the hyainailourines dispersed into Europe also during the Priabonian. These migrants have no ecological equivalent in Europe during these intervals and likely did not conflict with the endemic hyaenodont proviverrines. The discovery of K. langebadreae shows that large body size appears early in the evolution of hyainailourines. Surprisingly, the late Miocene Hyainailouros shares a more recent common ancestor with small-bodied hyainailourines (below 15 kg). Finally, our study supports a close relationship between the Hyainailourinae and Apterodontinae and we propose the new clade: Hyainailouridae. PMID:26398622

  11. Convergence analysis of a finite element skull model of Herpestes javanicus (Carnivora, Mammalia): implications for robust comparative inferences of biomechanical function.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Flynn, John J

    2015-01-21

    Predictions of skull biomechanical capability based on virtual models constitute a valuable data source for testing hypotheses about craniodental form and feeding behavior. Such comparative analyses also inform dietary reconstruction in extinct species. 3D modeling using Finite Element (FE) methods is a common technique applied to the comparative analysis of craniodental function in extinct and extant vertebrates. However, taxonomically diverse skull models in the literature often are not directly comparable to each other, in part because of distinctions in how boundary conditions are defined, but also because of substantial differences in the number of FEs composing the models. In this study, we test whether a conventional convergence test is adequate in identifying the minimum number of FEs needed to achieve internally stable results for a single species. We constructed a series of skull models of Herpestes javanicus, and simulated unilateral biting across the dentition; the models differed in the number of FEs, degrees of freedom at the joint and bite point constraints, and type of tetrahedral FEs used. We found that convergence patterns differed across constraint types, FE quantities, and bite position simulated. Four-noded tetrahedral (tet-4) FE models with relaxed constraints produced the most stable measurements compared to over-constrained tet-4 models and to relaxed tet-10 models. In absence of an optimal FE quantity from convergence testing, we propose a broadly applicable sub-sampling protocol, whereby average measurement values across multiple models per specimen are used for among-species comparisons. A regime of sampling three low FE quantity models produced the closest estimates of mean measurement values relative to larger model sets, being within the 95% bootstrap estimated confidence intervals. Future studies should focus on identifying sources of variation associated with other FE modeling protocols, so that they can be accounted for before biomechanical attributes from these simulations are used to infer form-function linkage. PMID:25445190

  12. The Dasypodidae (Mammalia, Xenarthra) from the Urso Fóssil Cave (Quaternary), Parque Nacional de Ubajara, State of Ceará, Brazil: paleoecological and taxonomic aspects.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Paulo V; Ribeiro, Ana Maria; Oliveira, Edison V; Viana, Maria Somália S

    2014-03-01

    This paper deals with xenarthrans osteoderms assigned to Dasypus aff. D. novemcinctus, Euphractus sexcinctus and Cabassous sp. The material was collected in subsurface, from 0.10 to 0.60 m in the Urso Fóssil Cave, Parque Nacional de Ubajara, State of Ceará, northeastern Brazil. The ages of sediment samples from levels 4 and 5 (depths of 0.40 and 0.50 m) were determined by thermoluminescence technique, and indicated ages of 8,000 and 8,200 years BP for each layer respectively. The presence in these layers of early Holocene xenarthrans taxa can contribute to the understanding of the biotic evolution of the northwest region of Ceará during the last 10,000 years. Two of the three identified taxa still occur in the region: Dasypus novemcinctus and Euphractus sexcinctus. The Dasypodidae fauna here reported includes animals with generalist feeding habits and current wide geographical distribution. It is suggested, therefore, that the climatic and environmental conditions in the early Holocene were very similar the actual ones, and that the absence of Cabassous may be conditioned to other factors, such as anthropogenic action and loss of habitat by fragmentation of the vegetation. PMID:24519005

  13. New ruminants (Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Kanapoi, Kenya, and a revision of previous collections, with a note on the Suidae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraads, Denis; Bobe, René; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2013-09-01

    We describe here new ruminant material and revise previous collections from the Pliocene site of Kanapoi in northwestern Kenya, at c. 4 Ma., leading to substantial changes in the identifications and faunal list. Tragelaphins are the most common bovids; reduncins are quite rare if present; hippotragins are probably represented by a form previously unknown from Kenya; the alcelaphin Damalacra is represented by a new species; and an antilopin is possibly related to Dytikodorcas. We remove the suid Notochoerus cf. euilus from the list. Similarities with the South African site of Langebaanweg are more distant than previously implied, but the Kanapoi ruminant fauna bears no close relationship with other eastern African Pliocene assemblages.

  14. Characters and phylogenetic relationships of nectar-feeding bats, with descriptions of new Lonchophylla from western South America (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae: Lonchophyllini)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Timm, R.M.

    2006-01-01

    The Neotropical Lonchophyllini (Chiropter: Phyllostomidae) currently comprise four genera and thirteen species of nectar-feeding bats. These species often are separated into larger-bodied (eight species) and smaller-bodied (five species) forms to aid in identification. Our morphological and morphometrical analyses of the smaller Lonchophyllini revealed the existence of two distinctive, previously undescribed species of bats of the genus Lonchophylla from western South America. We describe a new form from Amazonian Peru as Lonchophylla pattoni and one from western Colombia as Lonchophylla cadenai. Phyllogenetic analysis of the Lonchophyllini based primarily on morphological characters indicates that these two new species are closely related to Lonchophylla thomasi.

  15. Albicetus oxymycterus, a New Generic Name and Redescription of a Basal Physeteroid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Miocene of California, and the Evolution of Body Size in Sperm Whales.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Alexandra T; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2015-01-01

    Living sperm whales are represented by only three species (Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps and Kogia sima), but their fossil record provides evidence of an ecologically diverse array of different forms, including morphologies and body sizes without analog among living physeteroids. Here we provide a redescription of Ontocetus oxymycterus, a large but incomplete fossil sperm whale specimen from the middle Miocene Monterey Formation of California, described by Remington Kellogg in 1925. The type specimen consists of a partial rostrum, both mandibles, an isolated upper rostrum fragment, and incomplete tooth fragments. Although incomplete, these remains exhibit characteristics that, when combined, set it apart morphologically from all other known physeteroids (e.g., a closed mesorostral groove, and the retention of enameled tooth crowns). Kellogg originally placed this species in the genus Ontocetus, a enigmatic tooth taxon reported from the 19th century, based on similarities between the type specimen Ontocetus emmonsi and the conspicuously large lower dentition of Ontocetus oxymycterus. However, the type of the genus Ontocetus is now known to represent a walrus tusk (belonging to fossil Odobenidae) instead of a cetacean tooth. Thus, we assign this species to the new genus Albicetus, creating the new combination of Albicetus oxymycterus, gen. nov. We provide new morphological observations of the type specimen, including a 3D model. We also calculate a total length of approximately 6 m in life, using cranial proxies of body size for physeteroids. Lastly, a phylogenetic analysis of Albicetus oxymycterus with other fossil and living Physeteroidea resolves its position as a stem physeteroid, implying that large body size and robust dentition in physeteroids evolved multiple times and in distantly related lineages. PMID:26651027

  16. Albicetus oxymycterus, a New Generic Name and Redescription of a Basal Physeteroid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Miocene of California, and the Evolution of Body Size in Sperm Whales

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Living sperm whales are represented by only three species (Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps and Kogia sima), but their fossil record provides evidence of an ecologically diverse array of different forms, including morphologies and body sizes without analog among living physeteroids. Here we provide a redescription of Ontocetus oxymycterus, a large but incomplete fossil sperm whale specimen from the middle Miocene Monterey Formation of California, described by Remington Kellogg in 1925. The type specimen consists of a partial rostrum, both mandibles, an isolated upper rostrum fragment, and incomplete tooth fragments. Although incomplete, these remains exhibit characteristics that, when combined, set it apart morphologically from all other known physeteroids (e.g., a closed mesorostral groove, and the retention of enameled tooth crowns). Kellogg originally placed this species in the genus Ontocetus, a enigmatic tooth taxon reported from the 19th century, based on similarities between the type specimen Ontocetus emmonsi and the conspicuously large lower dentition of Ontocetus oxymycterus. However, the type of the genus Ontocetus is now known to represent a walrus tusk (belonging to fossil Odobenidae) instead of a cetacean tooth. Thus, we assign this species to the new genus Albicetus, creating the new combination of Albicetus oxymycterus, gen. nov. We provide new morphological observations of the type specimen, including a 3D model. We also calculate a total length of approximately 6 m in life, using cranial proxies of body size for physeteroids. Lastly, a phylogenetic analysis of Albicetus oxymycterus with other fossil and living Physeteroidea resolves its position as a stem physeteroid, implying that large body size and robust dentition in physeteroids evolved multiple times and in distantly related lineages. PMID:26651027

  17. Isthminia panamensis, a new fossil inioid (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Chagres Formation of Panama and the evolution of ‘river dolphins’ in the Americas

    PubMed Central

    Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Gutstein, Carolina S.; Little, Holly; Vigil, Dioselina; O’Dea, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to dominant mode of ecological transition in the evolution of marine mammals, different lineages of toothed whales (Odontoceti) have repeatedly invaded freshwater ecosystems during the Cenozoic era. The so-called ‘river dolphins’ are now recognized as independent lineages that converged on similar morphological specializations (e.g., longirostry). In South America, the two endemic ‘river dolphin’ lineages form a clade (Inioidea), with closely related fossil inioids from marine rock units in the South Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil inioid, Isthminia panamensis, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene of Panama. The type and only known specimen consists of a partial skull, mandibles, isolated teeth, a right scapula, and carpal elements recovered from the Piña Facies of the Chagres Formation, along the Caribbean coast of Panama. Sedimentological and associated fauna from the Piña Facies point to fully marine conditions with high planktonic productivity about 6.1–5.8 million years ago (Messinian), pre-dating the final closure of the Isthmus of Panama. Along with ecomorphological data, we propose that Isthminia was primarily a marine inhabitant, similar to modern oceanic delphinoids. Phylogenetic analysis of fossil and living inioids, including new codings for Ischyrorhynchus, an enigmatic taxon from the late Miocene of Argentina, places Isthminia as the sister taxon to Inia, in a broader clade that includes Ischyrorhynchus and Meherrinia, a North American fossil inioid. This phylogenetic hypothesis complicates the possible scenarios for the freshwater invasion of the Amazon River system by stem relatives of Inia, but it remains consistent with a broader marine ancestry for Inioidea. Based on the fossil record of this group, along with Isthminia, we propose that a marine ancestor of Inia invaded Amazonia during late Miocene eustatic sea-level highs. PMID:26355720

  18. Phylogenetic relationships among Japanese species of the family Sciuridae (Mammalia, Rodentia), inferred from nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA genes.

    PubMed

    Oshida, T; Masuda, R; Yoshida, M C

    1996-08-01

    In order to investigate phylogenetic relationships of the family Sciuridae living in Japan, we sequenced partial regions (379 bases) of mitochondrial 12S rRNA genes in six species of Japanese and other Asian squirrels. Phylogenetic trees constructed by sequence data indicated that two genera of flying squirrels (Petaurista and Pteromys) were clustered in a group distinct from non-flying squirrels, suggesting a possible monophyletic relationships of these flying squirrels. The evolutionary distance between the Japanese squirrel (Sciurus lis) from Honshu island and the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) from Hokkaido island was comparable to intraspecific distances of the remaining species examined. PMID:8940915

  19. Observations and larval descriptions of fleas (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae, Ctenophthalmidae, Ishnopsyllidae) of the southern flying squirrel, little brown bat, and Brazilian free-tailed bat (Mammalia: Rodentia, Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Elbel, Robert E; Bossard, Robert L

    2007-11-01

    Larvae of the four fleas infesting nests of the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans colans (L.) [Conorhinopsylla stanfordi Stewart, Epitedia faceta (Rothschild), Opisodasys pseudarctomys (Baker), and Orchopeas howardi (Baker)], and of the bat fleas Myodopsylla insignis (Rothschild) and Sternopsylla distincta texana (C. Fox), associated with the bats Myotis lcifuigus (Le Conte) and Tadarida brasiliensis (I. Geof. St. Hilaire), respectively, are described. C. stanfordi has the second posterior-row seta on abdominal segments 1-5 at most one fourth the length of the first and third setae, but it is unique among the Leptopsyllini with five short setae in abdominal segment 9 anterior row. E. faceta has the straight line of anterior-row setae 2-5 on abdominal segment 1, which is diagnostic for Phalacropsyllini. O. howardi and O. pseudarctomys have three anterior-row setae on the anal comb, three ventrolateral setae on the anal segment (abdominal segment 10), and a narrow mandible with five or more teeth as other Ceratopyllinae, but O. pseudarctomys is distinguishable from O. howardi because the first setae on the posterior row of the head is long (greater than one half the length of the third posterior-row setae), the ventral setae on abdominal segment 7 are different sizes, and the third anterior-row setae on abdominal segment 8 does not extend past the spiracle posterior to it. Bat flea larvae have six posterior-row setae on abdominal segments 1-9 with the anal comb anterior row with two or more setae; M. insignis has eight mandible teeth and S. distincta texana three to four. PMID:18047188

  20. Evolutionary plasticity in coccidia - striking morphological similarity of unrelated coccidia (apicomplexa) from related hosts: Eimeria spp. from African and Asian Pangolins (Mammalia: Pholidota).

    PubMed

    Jirků, Miloslav; Kvičerová, Jana; Modrý, David; Hypša, Václav

    2013-07-01

    Two morphologically similar, but phylogenetically unrelated Eimeria species from ancient mammals, African Tree Pangolin Phataginus tricuspis and Sunda Pangolin Manis javanica (Pholidota: Manidae), from two distant biogeographic realms (Afrotropical and Oriental), are characterized and compared morphologically and molecularly. Phylogenetic analyses produced an unstable topology. However, while precise position of the two Eimeria species from pangolins could not be firmly established due to the lack of related taxa, it is evident that they are not closely related and do not fall into any of the so far recognized eimerian lineages. Moreover, an eimerian found in P. tricuspis is described as a new species Eimeria nkaka n. sp., based on morphology of oocysts, endogenous developmental stages and sequence data. PMID:23837921

  1. Cranial Morphology of the Late Oligocene Patagonian Notohippid Rhynchippus equinus Ameghino, 1897 (Mammalia, Notoungulata) with Emphases in Basicranial and Auditory Region

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Gastón; Dozo, María Teresa; Gelfo, Javier N.; Marani, Hernán

    2016-01-01

    “Notohippidae” is a probably paraphyletic family of medium sized notoungulates with complete dentition and early tendency to hypsodonty. They have been recorded from early Eocene to early Miocene, being particularly diverse by the late Oligocene. Although Rhynchippus equinus Ameghino is one of the most frequent notohippids in the fossil record, there are scarce data about cranial osteology other than the classical descriptions which date back to the early last century. In this context, we describe the exceptionally preserved specimen MPEF PV 695 (based on CT scanning technique and 3