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Sample records for 13-lined ground squirrel

  1. The hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel as a model organism for potential cold storage of platelets

    PubMed Central

    Richters, Karl E.; Melin, Travis E.; Liu, Zhi-jian; Hordyk, Peter J.; Benrud, Ryan R.; Geiser, Lauren R.; Cash, Steve E.; Simon Shelley, C.; Howard, David R.; Ereth, Mark H.; Sola-Visner, Martha C.

    2012-01-01

    Hibernating mammals have developed many physiological adaptations to extreme environments. During hibernation, 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) must suppress hemostasis to survive prolonged body temperatures of 4–8°C and 3–5 heartbeats per minute without forming lethal clots. Upon arousal in the spring, these ground squirrels must be able to quickly restore normal clotting activity to avoid bleeding. Here we show that ground squirrel platelets stored in vivo at 4–8°C were released back into the blood within 2 h of arousal in the spring with a body temperature of 37°C but were not rapidly cleared from circulation. These released platelets were capable of forming stable clots and remained in circulation for at least 2 days before newly synthesized platelets were detected. Transfusion of autologous platelets stored at 4°C or 37°C showed the same clearance rates in ground squirrels, whereas rat platelets stored in the cold had a 140-fold increase in clearance rate. Our results demonstrate that ground squirrel platelets appear to be resistant to the platelet cold storage lesions observed in other mammals, allowing prolonged storage in cold stasis and preventing rapid clearance upon spring arousal. Elucidating these adaptations could lead to the development of methods to store human platelets in the cold, extending their shelf life. PMID:22492817

  2. Hibernation induces immune changes in the lung of 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus).

    PubMed

    Bohr, Matthew; Brooks, Abigail R; Kurtz, Courtney C

    2014-12-01

    During hibernation, significant changes occur in the systemic and intestinal immune populations. We found that the lungs of hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) also undergo shifts in immune phenotype. Within the population of mononuclear cells, the percentage of T cells increases and the percentage of CD11b/c(+) cells decreases in hibernators. E-selectin, which promotes endothelial attachment, increases during arousal from torpor. Levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 in the lung are lower during hibernation while levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α remain constant. Expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins is also decreased in torpid hibernators. Our data point to a unique immune phenotype in the lung of hibernating ground squirrels in which certain immunosuppressive proteins are downregulated while some potentially inflammatory proteins are maintained or amplified. This indicates that the lung houses an immune population that can potentially respond to antigenic challenge during hibernation. PMID:25046152

  3. Anti-lymphoproliferative activity of alpha-2-macroglobulin in the plasma of hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels and woodchucks.

    PubMed

    Sieckmann, Donna G; Jaffe, Howard; Golech, Susanne; Cai, DeCheng; Hallenbeck, John M; McCarron, Richard M

    2014-09-15

    Plasma from hibernating (HIB) woodchucks (Marmota monax) or 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) suppressed (3)H-thymidine uptake in mouse spleen cell cultures stimulated with Concanavalin A (ConA); plasma from non-hibernating animals were only slightly inhibitory. Maximum inhibition occurred when HIB plasma was added to the cultures prior to ConA. After HPLC size exclusion chromatography of the HIB ground squirrel plasma, a single fraction (fraction-14) demonstrated inhibitory activity. Assay of fraction-14 from 8 HIB squirrels showed inhibition ranging from 13 to 95%; inhibition was correlated to the time the squirrels were exposed to cold prior to hibernation. Western blot analysis showed the factor to be a large molecular weight protein (>300 kDa), and mass spectrometry identified sequences that were 100% homologous with alpha-2-macroglobulin from humans and other species. These findings indicate a hibernation-related protein that may be responsible for immune system down regulation. PMID:25113962

  4. Adaptations to hibernation in lung surfactant composition of 13-lined ground squirrels influence surfactant lipid phase segregation properties.

    PubMed

    Suri, Lakshmi N M; Cruz, Antonio; Veldhuizen, Ruud A W; Staples, James F; Possmayer, Fred; Orgeig, Sandra; Perez-Gil, Jesus

    2013-08-01

    Pulmonary surfactant lines the entire alveolar surface, serving primarily to reduce the surface tension at the air-liquid interface. Surfactant films adsorb as a monolayer interspersed with multilayers with surfactant lipids segregating into different phases or domains. Temperature variation, which influences lipid physical properties, affects both the lipid phase segregation and the surface activity of surfactants. In hibernating animals, such as 13-lined ground squirrels, which vary their body temperature, surfactant must be functional over a wide range of temperatures. We hypothesised that surfactant from the 13-lined ground squirrel, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, would undergo appropriate lipid structural re-arrangements at air-water interfaces to generate phase separation, sufficient to attain the low surface tensions required to remain stable at both low and high body temperatures. Here, we examined pressure-area isotherms at 10, 25 and 37°C and found that surfactant films from both hibernating and summer-active squirrels reached their highest surface pressure on the Wilhelmy-Langmuir balance at 10°C. Epifluorescence microscopy demonstrated that films of hibernating squirrel surfactant display different lipid micro-domain organisation characteristics than surfactant from summer-active squirrels. These differences were also reflected at the nanoscale as determined by atomic force microscopy. Such re-arrangement of lipid domains in the relatively more fluid surfactant films of hibernating squirrels may contribute to overcoming collapse pressures and support low surface tension during the normal breathing cycle at low body temperatures. PMID:23506681

  5. Response of the JAK-STAT pathway to mammalian hibernation in 13-lined ground squirrel striated muscle.

    PubMed

    Logan, Samantha M; Tessier, Shannon N; Tye, Joann; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-03-01

    Over the course of the torpor-arousal cycle, hibernators must make behavioral, physiological, and molecular rearrangements in order to keep a very low metabolic rate and retain organ viability. 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) remain immobile during hibernation, and although the mechanisms of skeletal muscle survival are largely unknown, studies have shown minimal muscle loss in hibernating organisms. Additionally, the ground squirrel heart undergoes cold-stress, reversible cardiac hypertrophy, and ischemia-reperfusion without experiencing fatal impairment. This study examines the role of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling pathway in the regulation of cell stress in cardiac and skeletal muscles, comparing euthermic and hibernating ground squirrels. Immunoblots showed a fivefold decrease in JAK3 expression during torpor in skeletal muscle, along with increases in STAT3 and 5 phosphorylation and suppressors of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS1) protein levels. Immunoblots also showed coordinated increases in STAT1, 3 and 5 phosphorylation and STAT1 inhibitor protein expression in cardiac muscle during torpor. PCR analysis revealed that the activation of these pro-survival signaling cascades did not result in coordinate changes in downstream genes such as anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family gene expression. Overall, these results indicate activation of the JAK-STAT pathway in both cardiac and skeletal muscles, suggesting a response to cellular stress during hibernation. PMID:26885984

  6. Von Willebrand factor is reversibly decreased during torpor in 13-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Scott; Sell, Shawn; Nelson, Luke; Hawes, Jennifer; Benrud, Jacob A; Kohlnhofer, Bridget M; Burmeister, Bradley R; Flood, Veronica H

    2016-01-01

    During torpor in a hibernating mammal, decreased blood flow increases the risk of blood clots such as deep vein thrombi (DVT). In other animal models platelets, neutrophils, monocytes and von Willebrand factor (VWF) have been found in DVT. Previous research has shown that hibernating mammals decrease their levels of platelets and clotting factors VIII (FVIII) and IX (FIX), increasing both bleeding time and activated partial thromboplastin time. In this study, FVIII, FIX and VWF activities and mRNA levels were measured in torpid and non-hibernating ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus). Here, we show that VWF high molecular weight multimers, collagen-binding activity, lung mRNA and promoter activity decrease during torpor. The VWF multimers reappear in plasma within 2 h of arousal in the spring. Similarly, FIX activity and liver mRNA both dropped threefold during torpor. In contrast, FVIII liver mRNA levels increased twofold while its activity dropped threefold, consistent with a post-transcriptional decrease in FVIII stability in the plasma due to decreased VWF levels. Finally, both neutrophils and monocytes are decreased eightfold during torpor which could slow the formation of DVT. In addition to providing insight in how blood clotting can be regulated to allow mammals to survive in extreme environments, hibernating ground squirrels provide an interesting model for studying. PMID:26481634

  7. Cytoskeletal Regulation Dominates Temperature-Sensitive Proteomic Changes of Hibernation in Forebrain of 13-Lined Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Hindle, Allyson G.; Martin, Sandra L.

    2013-01-01

    13-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, are obligate hibernators that transition annually between summer homeothermy and winter heterothermy – wherein they exploit episodic torpor bouts. Despite cerebral ischemia during torpor and rapid reperfusion during arousal, hibernator brains resist damage and the animals emerge neurologically intact each spring. We hypothesized that protein changes in the brain underlie winter neuroprotection. To identify candidate proteins, we applied a sensitive 2D gel electrophoresis method to quantify protein differences among forebrain extracts prepared from ground squirrels in two summer, four winter and fall transition states. Proteins that differed among groups were identified using LC-MS/MS. Only 84 protein spots varied significantly among the defined states of hibernation. Protein changes in the forebrain proteome fell largely into two reciprocal patterns with a strong body temperature dependence. The importance of body temperature was tested in animals from the fall; these fall animals use torpor sporadically with body temperatures mirroring ambient temperatures between 4 and 21°C as they navigate the transition between summer homeothermy and winter heterothermy. Unlike cold-torpid fall ground squirrels, warm-torpid individuals strongly resembled the homeotherms, indicating that the changes observed in torpid hibernators are defined by body temperature, not torpor per se. Metabolic enzymes were largely unchanged despite varied metabolic activity across annual and torpor-arousal cycles. Instead, the majority of the observed changes were cytoskeletal proteins and their regulators. While cytoskeletal structural proteins tended to differ seasonally, i.e., between summer homeothermy and winter heterothermy, their regulatory proteins were more strongly affected by body temperature. Changes in the abundance of various isoforms of the microtubule assembly and disassembly regulatory proteins dihydropyrimidinase

  8. Transcriptional Activation of p53 during Cold Induced Torpor in the 13-Lined Ground Squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus

    PubMed Central

    Hefler, Joshua; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor p53 is located at the centre of multiple pathways relating the cellular response to stress. Commonly known as a tumor suppressor, it is responsible for initiating diverse actions to protect the integrity of the genome, ranging from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis. This study investigated the regulation of p53 protein in hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus during multiple stages of the torpor-arousal cycle. Transcript and protein levels of p53 were both elevated in the skeletal muscle during early and late torpor stages of the hibernation cycle. Nuclear localization of p53 was also increased during late torpor, and this is associated with an increase in its DNA binding activity and expression of p53 transcriptional targets p21CIP, gadd45α, and 14-3-3σ. The increase in p53 transcriptional activity appears to be independent of its phosphorylation at Ser-15, Ser-46, and Ser-392, consistent with an absence of checkpoint kinase activation during torpor. Sequence analysis revealed unique amino acid substitutions in the ground squirrel p53 protein, which may contribute to an increase in protein stability compared to nonhibernators. Overall, the study results provided evidences for a potential role of p53 in the protection of the skeletal muscle during torpor. PMID:26843984

  9. Transcriptional Activation of p53 during Cold Induced Torpor in the 13-Lined Ground Squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Hefler, Joshua; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor p53 is located at the centre of multiple pathways relating the cellular response to stress. Commonly known as a tumor suppressor, it is responsible for initiating diverse actions to protect the integrity of the genome, ranging from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis. This study investigated the regulation of p53 protein in hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus during multiple stages of the torpor-arousal cycle. Transcript and protein levels of p53 were both elevated in the skeletal muscle during early and late torpor stages of the hibernation cycle. Nuclear localization of p53 was also increased during late torpor, and this is associated with an increase in its DNA binding activity and expression of p53 transcriptional targets p21CIP, gadd45α, and 14-3-3σ. The increase in p53 transcriptional activity appears to be independent of its phosphorylation at Ser-15, Ser-46, and Ser-392, consistent with an absence of checkpoint kinase activation during torpor. Sequence analysis revealed unique amino acid substitutions in the ground squirrel p53 protein, which may contribute to an increase in protein stability compared to nonhibernators. Overall, the study results provided evidences for a potential role of p53 in the protection of the skeletal muscle during torpor. PMID:26843984

  10. Metabolic changes associated with the long winter fast dominate the liver proteome in 13-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Hindle, Allyson G; Grabek, Katharine R; Epperson, L Elaine; Karimpour-Fard, Anis; Martin, Sandra L

    2014-05-15

    Small-bodied hibernators partition the year between active homeothermy and hibernating heterothermy accompanied by fasting. To define molecular events underlying hibernation that are both dependent and independent of fasting, we analyzed the liver proteome among two active and four hibernation states in 13-lined ground squirrels. We also examined fall animals transitioning between fed homeothermy and fasting heterothermy. Significantly enriched pathways differing between activity and hibernation were biased toward metabolic enzymes, concordant with the fuel shifts accompanying fasting physiology. Although metabolic reprogramming to support fasting dominated these data, arousing (rewarming) animals had the most distinct proteome among the hibernation states. Instead of a dominant metabolic enzyme signature, torpor-arousal cycles featured differences in plasma proteins and intracellular membrane traffic and its regulation. Phosphorylated NSFL1C, a membrane regulator, exhibited this torpor-arousal cycle pattern; its role in autophagosome formation may promote utilization of local substrates upon metabolic reactivation in arousal. Fall animals transitioning to hibernation lagged in their proteomic adjustment, indicating that the liver is more responsive than preparatory to the metabolic reprogramming of hibernation. Specifically, torpor use had little impact on the fall liver proteome, consistent with a dominant role of nutritional status. In contrast to our prediction of reprogramming the transition between activity and hibernation by gene expression and then within-hibernation transitions by posttranslational modification (PTM), we found extremely limited evidence of reversible PTMs within torpor-arousal cycles. Rather, acetylation contributed to seasonal differences, being highest in winter (specifically in torpor), consistent with fasting physiology and decreased abundance of the mitochondrial deacetylase, SIRT3. PMID:24642758

  11. Intracellular antioxidant enzymes are not globally upregulated during hibernation in the major oxidative tissues of the 13-lined ground squirrel Spermophilus tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Page, Melissa M; Peters, Craig W; Staples, James F; Stuart, Jeffrey A

    2009-01-01

    Hibernating mammals exhibit oxidative stress resistance in brain, liver and other tissues. In many animals, cellular oxidative stress resistance is associated with enhanced expression of intracellular antioxidant enzymes. Intracellular antioxidant capacity may be upregulated during hibernation to protect against oxidative damage associated with the ischemia-reperfusion that occurs during transitions between torpor and arousal. We tested the hypothesis that the 13-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), upregulates intracellular antioxidant enzymes in major oxidative tissues during hibernation. The two major intracellular isoforms of superoxide dismutase (MnSOD and CuZnSOD), which catalyze the first step in superoxide detoxification, were quantified in heart, brain and liver tissue using immunodetection and an in-gel activity assay. However, no differences in SOD protein expression or activity were found between active and hibernating squirrels. Measurements of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, which catalyze hydrogen peroxide removal, were not broadly upregulated during hibernation. The activity of catalase, which catalyzes an alternative hydrogen peroxide detoxification pathway, was higher in heart and brain of torpid squirrels, but lower in liver. Taken together, these data do not support the hypothesis that hibernation is associated with enhanced oxidative stress resistance due to an upregulation of intracellular antioxidant enzymes in the major oxidative tissues. PMID:18948223

  12. Analysis of microRNA expression during the torpor-arousal cycle of a mammalian hibernator, the 13-lined ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K; Luu, Bryan E; Szereszewski, Kama E; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-06-01

    Hibernation is a highly regulated stress response that is utilized by some mammals to survive harsh winter conditions and involves a complex metabolic reprogramming at the cellular level to maintain tissue protections at low temperature. In this study, we profiled the expression of 117 conserved microRNAs in the heart, muscle, and liver of the 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) across four stages of the torpor-arousal cycle (euthermia, early torpor, late torpor, and interbout arousal) by real-time PCR. We found significant differential regulation of numerous microRNAs that were both tissue specific and torpor stage specific. Among the most significant regulated microRNAs was miR-208b, a positive regulator of muscle development that was found to be upregulated by fivefold in the heart during late torpor (13-fold during arousal), while decreased by 3.7-fold in the skeletal muscle, implicating a potential regulatory role in the development of cardiac hypertrophy and skeletal muscle atrophy in the ground squirrels during torpor. In addition, the insulin resistance marker miR-181a was upregulated by 5.7-fold in the liver during early torpor, which supports previous suggestions of hyperinsulinemia in hibernators during the early stages of the hibernation cycle. Although microRNA expression profiles were largely unique between the three tissues, GO annotation analysis revealed that the putative targets of upregulated microRNAs tend to enrich toward suppression of progrowth-related processes in all three tissues. These findings implicate microRNAs in the regulation of both tissue-specific processes and general suppression of cell growth during hibernation. PMID:27084747

  13. Hibernation alters the diversity and composition of mucosa-associated bacteria while enhancing antimicrobial defence in the gut of 13-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Dill-McFarland, Kimberly A; Neil, Katie L; Zeng, Austin; Sprenger, Ryan J; Kurtz, Courtney C; Suen, Garret; Carey, Hannah V

    2014-09-01

    The gut microbiota plays important roles in animal nutrition and health. This relationship is particularly dynamic in hibernating mammals where fasting drives the gut community to rely on host-derived nutrients instead of exogenous substrates. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing and caecal tissue protein analysis to investigate the effects of hibernation on the mucosa-associated bacterial microbiota and host responses in 13-lined ground squirrels. The mucosal microbiota was less diverse in winter hibernators than in actively feeding spring and summer squirrels. UniFrac analysis revealed distinct summer and late winter microbiota clusters, while spring and early winter clusters overlapped slightly, consistent with their transitional structures. Communities in all seasons were dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, with lesser contributions from Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Tenericutes and Actinobacteria. Hibernators had lower relative abundances of Firmicutes, which include genera that prefer plant polysaccharides, and higher abundances of Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia, some of which can survive solely on host-derived mucins. A core mucosal assemblage of nine operational taxonomic units shared among all individuals was identified with an average total sequence abundance of 60.2%. This core community, together with moderate shifts in specific taxa, indicates that the mucosal microbiota remains relatively stable over the annual cycle yet responds to substrate changes while potentially serving as a pool for 'seeding' the microbiota once exogenous substrates return in spring. Relative to summer, hibernation reduced caecal crypt length and increased MUC2 expression in early winter and spring. Hibernation also decreased caecal TLR4 and increased TLR5 expression, suggesting a protective response that minimizes inflammation. PMID:25130694

  14. North American tree squirrels and ground squirrels with overlapping ranges host different Cryptosporidium species and genotypes.

    PubMed

    Stenger, Brianna L S; Clark, Mark E; Kváč, Martin; Khan, Eakalak; Giddings, Catherine W; Prediger, Jitka; McEvoy, John M

    2015-12-01

    Wildlife-associated Cryptosporidium are an emerging cause of cryptosporidiosis in humans. The present study was undertaken to determine the extent to which North American tree squirrels and ground squirrels host zoonotic Cryptosporidium species and genotypes. Fragments of the Cryptosporidium 18S rRNA and actin genes were amplified and sequenced from fecal samples obtained from three tree squirrel and three ground squirrel species. In tree squirrels, Cryptosporidium was identified in 40.5% (17/42) of American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), 40.4% (55/136) of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and 28.6% (2/7) of fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). Human-pathogenic Cryptosporidium ubiquitum and Cryptosporidium skunk genotype were the most prevalent species/genotypes in tree squirrels. Because tree squirrels live in close proximity to humans and are frequently infected with potentially zoonotic Cryptosporidium species/genotypes, they may be a significant reservoir of infection in humans. In ground squirrels, Cryptosporidium was detected in 70.2% (33/47) of 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), 35.1% (27/77) of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), and the only golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) that was sampled. Cryptosporidium rubeyi and ground squirrel genotypes I, II, and III were identified in isolates from these ground squirrel species. In contrast to the Cryptosporidium infecting tree squirrels, these species/genotypes appear to be specific for ground squirrels and are not associated with human disease. PMID:26437239

  15. Noninvasive imaging of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel photoreceptor mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K.; Merriman, Dana K.; Dubra, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    Ground squirrels are an increasingly important model for studying visual processing, retinal circuitry, and cone photoreceptor function. Here, we demonstrate that the photoreceptor mosaic can be longitudinally imaged noninvasively in the 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) using confocal and nonconfocal split-detection adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopy using 790 nm light. Photoreceptor density, spacing, and Voronoi analysis are consistent with that of the human cone mosaic. The high imaging success rate and consistent image quality in this study reinforce the ground squirrel as a practical model to aid drug discovery and testing through longitudinal imaging on the cellular scale. PMID:26923645

  16. Noninvasive imaging of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel photoreceptor mosaic.

    PubMed

    Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N; Langlo, Christopher S; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K; Merriman, Dana K; Dubra, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    Ground squirrels are an increasingly important model for studying visual processing, retinal circuitry, and cone photoreceptor function. Here, we demonstrate that the photoreceptor mosaic can be longitudinally imaged noninvasively in the 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) using confocal and nonconfocal split-detection adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopy using 790 nm light. Photoreceptor density, spacing, and Voronoi analysis are consistent with that of the human cone mosaic. The high imaging success rate and consistent image quality in this study reinforce the ground squirrel as a practical model to aid drug discovery and testing through longitudinal imaging on the cellular scale. PMID:26923645

  17. Ascorbate and glutathione regulation in hibernating ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Drew, K L; Osborne, P G; Frerichs, K U; Hu, Y; Koren, R E; Hallenbeck, J M; Rice, M E

    1999-12-18

    Ground squirrels withstand up to 90% reductions in cerebral blood flow during hibernation as well as rapid reperfusion upon periodic arousals from torpor. Metabolic suppression likely plays a primary adaptive role which allows hibernating species to tolerate such phenomena. However, several other aspects of hibernation physiology are also consistent with tolerance to dramatic fluctuations in cerebral blood flow, suggesting that multiple neuroprotective adaptations may work in concert during hibernation. The purpose of the present work was to study the dynamics of the low molecular weight antioxidants, ascorbate and glutathione (GSH), during hibernation. Alterations in concentrations of ascorbate during hibernation and arousal in two species of hibernating ground squirrels suggest that it could play a protective role during hibernation or arousal. Samples were collected during the hibernation season from arctic ground squirrels (AGS; Spermophilus parryii) and 13-lined ground squirrels (TLS; S. tridecemlineatus) during prolonged torpor and in squirrels that did not hibernate or had not been hibernating for several weeks. We determined antioxidant levels in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and in frontal cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Plasma ascorbate concentrations increased dramatically (3-4-fold) in both species during hibernation and rapidly returned to prehibernation levels upon arousal. By contrast, plasma GSH concentrations fell slightly or remained stable during hibernation. Ascorbate levels in the CSF doubled in hibernating AGS (not determined in TLS), while brain ascorbate content fell slightly (10-15%) in both species. Substantial increases in plasma and CSF ascorbate concentrations suggest that this antioxidant could play a protective role during hibernation and reperfusion upon arousal from hibernation. PMID:10642822

  18. Eye model for the ground squirrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sussman, Dafna; Chou, B. Ralph; Lakshminarayanan, Vasudevan

    2011-11-01

    This paper presents an anatomically-correct eye model for the ground squirrel, a diurnal, highly-developed mammal with high visual acuity. This model can assist in understanding the relationship between ocular structural development and its corresponding function. The eye model is constructed based on anatomical measurements of thicknesses and indices of refraction of the various ocular media. The model then derives the gradient index distribution of the crystalline lens using a ray tracing method with a Monte Carlo optimization. Results indicate a diffraction-limited ocular behaviour, implying the visual acuity of the ground squirrel is more likely to be limited by photoreceptor density and diffraction effects, than by ocular geometry.

  19. Hepatocellular carcinoma in ground squirrels persistently infected with ground squirrel hepatitis virus.

    PubMed Central

    Marion, P L; Van Davelaar, M J; Knight, S S; Salazar, F H; Garcia, G; Popper, H; Robinson, W S

    1986-01-01

    Although persistent infection with hepatitis B virus and woodchuck hepatitis virus has been associated with development of hepatocellular carcinoma in the host, little has been known of such an association with ground squirrel hepatitis virus (GSHV), which is closely related to the woodchuck virus. Colonies of GSHV-infected and -uninfected Beechey ground squirrels were observed for tumors for a period of 5 years. Tumors developed in seven squirrels after a minimum of 2.4 years of observation per animal; each of the seven animals was over 4 years old when the tumor was detected. The predominant type of tumor was hepatocellular carcinoma, which appeared in 2 of 28 GSHV-bearing animals studied and in 1 of 23 squirrels with antibody to the virus. No hepatocellular carcinoma appeared in 24 GSHV marker-free squirrels. Integrated GSHV DNA was found in the hepatocellular carcinoma tissue of the one carrier animal examined, paralleling the frequent findings of integrated hepatitis B and woodchuck hepatitis viral DNA in human and woodchuck hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the incidence of liver carcinoma reported here in carrier ground squirrels is neither as great as that in carrier woodchucks nor statistically different from the incidence in noncarrier squirrels, the data presented suggest that persistent infection with GSHV may also be associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Images PMID:3012572

  20. Arctic Ground Squirrels Limit Bone Loss during the Prolonged Physical Inactivity Associated with Hibernation.

    PubMed

    Wojda, Samantha J; Gridley, Richard A; McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Drummer, Thomas D; Hess, Ann; Kohl, Franziska; Barnes, Brian M; Donahue, Seth W

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged disuse (e.g., physical inactivity) typically results in increased bone porosity, decreased mineral density, and decreased bone strength, leading to increased fracture risk in many mammals. However, bears, marmots, and two species of ground squirrels have been shown to preserve macrostructural bone properties and bone strength during long seasons of hibernation while they remain mostly inactive. Some small hibernators (e.g., 13-lined ground squirrels) show microstructural bone loss (i.e., osteocytic osteolysis) during hibernation, which is not seen in larger hibernators (e.g., bears and marmots). Arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) are intermediate in size between 13-lined ground squirrels and marmots and are perhaps the most extreme rodent hibernator, hibernating for up to 8 mo annually with body temperatures below freezing. The goal of this study was to quantify the effects of hibernation and inactivity on cortical and trabecular bone properties in arctic ground squirrels. Cortical bone geometrical properties (i.e., thickness, cross-sectional area, and moment of inertia) at the midshaft of the femur were not different in animals sampled over the hibernation and active seasons. Femoral ultimate stress tended to be lower in hibernators than in summer animals, but toughness was not affected by hibernation. The area of osteocyte lacunae was not different between active and hibernating animals. There was an increase in osteocytic lacunar porosity in the hibernation group due to increased lacunar density. Trabecular bone volume fraction in the proximal tibia was unexpectedly greater in the hibernation group than in the active group. This study shows that, similar to other hibernators, arctic ground squirrels are able to preserve many bone properties during hibernation despite being physically inactive for up to 8 mo. PMID:27082526

  1. Sciurid phylogeny and the paraphyly of Holarctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus).

    PubMed

    Herron, Matthew D; Castoe, Todd A; Parkinson, Christopher L

    2004-06-01

    The squirrel family, Sciuridae, is one of the largest and most widely dispersed families of mammals. In spite of the wide distribution and conspicuousness of this group, phylogenetic relationships remain poorly understood. We used DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 114 species in 21 genera to infer phylogenetic relationships among sciurids based on maximum parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic methods. Although we evaluated more complex alternative models of nucleotide substitution to reconstruct Bayesian phylogenies, none provided a better fit to the data than the GTR+G+I model. We used the reconstructed phylogenies to evaluate the current taxonomy of the Sciuridae. At essentially all levels of relationships, we found the phylogeny of squirrels to be in substantial conflict with the current taxonomy. At the highest level, the flying squirrels do not represent a basal divergence, and the current division of Sciuridae into two subfamilies is therefore not phylogenetically informative. At the tribal level, the Neotropical pygmy squirrel, Sciurillus, represents a basal divergence and is not closely related to the other members of the tribe Sciurini. At the genus level, the sciurine genus Sciurus is paraphyletic with respect to the dwarf squirrels (Microsciurus), and the Holarctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus) are paraphyletic with respect to antelope squirrels (Ammospermophilus), prairie dogs (Cynomys), and marmots (Marmota). Finally, several species of chipmunks and Holarctic ground squirrels do not appear monophyletic, indicating a need for reevaluation of alpha taxonomy. PMID:15120398

  2. A new hepadnavirus endemic in arctic ground squirrels in Alaska.

    PubMed Central

    Testut, P; Renard, C A; Terradillos, O; Vitvitski-Trepo, L; Tekaia, F; Degott, C; Blake, J; Boyer, B; Buendia, M A

    1996-01-01

    We present evidence for a novel member of the hepadnavirus family that is endemic in wild arctic ground squirrels (Spermophylus parryi kennicotti) in Alaska. This virus, designated arctic squirrel hepatitis virus (ASHV), was initially detected in the livers of animals bearing large hepatic nodules by nucleic acid hybridization with hepadnavirus probes and in plasma by cross-reactivity with antibodies to hepadnavirus surface and core antigens. The complete nucleotide sequence of the 3,302-bp-long ASHV genome was determined and compared with those of ground squirrel hepatitis virus (GSHV) and woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV); all sequences were organized into four open reading frames, designated pre-C/C, pre-S/S, pol, and X. Despite roughly equivalent variability among the three rodent hepadnaviruses (around 16% base and 19% amino acid exchanges), ASHV appeared to be more closely related to GSHV than to WHV in phylogenetic analysis. Accordingly, preliminary studies of the pathology of ASHV infection suggested that ASHV may be a less efficient oncogenic agent than WHV. About one-third of aged animals maintained in captivity, including virus-infected as well as uninfected squirrels, developed large liver nodules, consisting of hepatocellular adenomas or carcinomas or nonmalignant lesions characterized by drastic microvesicular steatosis. ASHV-infected arctic ground squirrels may serve as a new model with which to analyze the contribution of hepadnavirus- and host-specific determinants to liver pathology and tumorigenesis. PMID:8676441

  3. Populations and habitat relationships of Piute ground squirrels in southwest Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, Karen; Yensen, Eric; Kochert, Michael N.; Gage, K.

    2006-01-01

    Piute ground squirrels (Spermophilus mollis idahoensis) are normally above ground from late January until late June or early July in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho. In 2002 they were rarely seen above ground after early May. Because of the ecological importance of ground squirrels for nesting raptors and other species, we sought to determine the reasons for their early disappearance. We sampled 12 sites from January 2003 through March 2003 to determine if a population crash had occurred in 2002. Tests indicated that Piute ground squirrels had not been exposed to plague within the past year. The presence of yearlings in the population indicated that squirrels reproduced in 2002 and that at least some yearlings survived the winter. Both yearling and adult squirrels appeared to be reproducing at or above normal rates in 2003. The most plausible explanation for the early disappearance of Piute ground squirrels in 2002 is that squirrels entered seasonal torpor early in response to a late spring drought. In addition, the breeding chronology of squirrels may have shifted during the past 2 decades in response to climate change and/or habitat alteration. Shrub habitats provide a more favorable and stable environment for squirrels than grass habitats. Squirrel abundance was higher on live-trapping grids with sagebrush than on grids dominated by grass, and squirrel masses were higher at sites dominated by shrubs and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda). Densities in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) were within the ranges reported for earlier years, but densities in grass were lower than previously reported. Low densities at grassland sites in 2003 support other findings that drought affects squirrels in altered grass communities more than those in native shrub habitats. Long-term shifts in ground squirrel breeding chronology may have implications for raptors that depend on them for food.

  4. Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus): Social reward as a natural phenotype.

    PubMed

    Lahvis, Garet P; Panksepp, Jules B; Kennedy, Bruce C; Wilson, Clarinda R; Merriman, Dana K

    2015-08-01

    Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter, and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter being 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day (PD) 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play and these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by PD 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play; affiliative interactions declined with summer's progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned PDs 40-50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion, social cooperation, and altruism in the wild. PMID:26147706

  5. Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus: Social reward as a natural phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Lahvis, Garet P.; Panksepp, Jules B.; Kennedy, Bruce C.; Wilson, Clarinda R.; Merriman, Dana K.

    2015-01-01

    Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter 2nd and 3rd generation descendents of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play; these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by postnatal day 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play, affiliative interactions declined with summer’s progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned postnatal days 40–50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion and social cooperation in the wild. PMID:26147706

  6. Regulation of Akt during torpor in the hibernating ground squirrel, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus

    PubMed Central

    McMullen, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) is capable of entering into extended periods of torpor during winter hibernation. The state of torpor represents a hypometabolic shift wherein the rate of oxygen consuming processes are strongly repressed in an effort to maintain cellular homeostasis as the availability of food energy becomes limited. We are interested in studying hibernation/torpor because of the robust state of tolerance to constrained oxygen delivery, oligemia, and hypothermia achieved by the tissues of hibernating mammals. The role of the serine/threonine kinase Akt (also known as PKB) has been examined in torpor in previous studies. However, this is the first study that examines the level of Akt phosphorylation in the liver during the two transition phases of the hibernation cycle: entrance into torpor, and the subsequent arousal from torpor. Our results indicate that Akt is activated in the squirrel liver by phosphorylation of two key residues (Thr308 and Ser473) during entrance into torpor and arousal from torpor. Moreover, we observed increased phosphorylation of key substrates of Akt during the two transition stages of torpor. Finally, this study reports the novel finding that PRAS40, a component of the TORC1 multi-protein complex and a potentially important modulator of metabolism, is regulated during torpor. PMID:20352231

  7. Fitness implications of seasonal climate variation in Columbian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Dobson, F Stephen; Lane, Jeffrey E; Low, Matthew; Murie, Jan O

    2016-08-01

    The influence of climate change on the fitness of wild populations is often studied in the context of the spring onset of the reproductive season. This focus is relevant for climate influences on reproductive success, but neglects other fitness-relevant periods (e.g., autumn preparation for overwintering). We examined variation in climate variables (temperature, rainfall, snowfall, and snowpack) across the full annual cycle of Columbian ground squirrels (Urocitellus columbianus) for 21 years. We investigated seasonal climate variables that were associated with fitness variables, climate variables that exhibited directional changes across the study period, and finally observed declines in fitness (-0.03 units/year; total decline = 37%) that were associated with directional changes in climate variables. Annual fitness of adult female ground squirrels was positively associated with spring temperature (r = 0.69) and early summer rainfall (r = 0.56) and negatively associated with spring snow conditions (r = -0.44 to -0.66). Across the 21 years, spring snowmelt has become significantly delayed (r = 0.48) and summer rainfall became significantly reduced (r = -0.53). Using a standardized partial regression model, we found that directional changes in the timing of spring snowmelt and early summer rainfall (i.e., progressively drier summers) had moderate influences on annual fitness, with the latter statistically significant (ρ = -0.314 and 0.437, respectively). The summer period corresponds to prehibernation fattening of young and adult ground squirrels. Had we focused on a single point in time (viz. the onset of the breeding season), we would have underestimated the influences of climate change on our population. Rather, we obtained a comprehensive understanding of the influences of climate change on individual fitness by investigating the full lifecycle. PMID:27547341

  8. Donning your enemy's cloak: ground squirrels exploit rattlesnake scent to reduce predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Clucas, Barbara; Owings, Donald H; Rowe, Matthew P

    2008-01-01

    Ground squirrels (Spermophilus spp.) have evolved a battery of defences against the rattlesnakes (Crotalus spp.) that have preyed on them for millions of years. The distinctive behavioural reactions by these squirrels to rattlesnakes have recently been shown to include self-application of rattlesnake scent—squirrels apply scent by vigorously licking their fur after chewing on shed rattlesnake skins. Here, we present evidence that this behaviour is a novel antipredator defence founded on exploitation of a foreign scent. We tested three functional hypotheses for snake scent application—antipredator, conspecific deterrence and ectoparasite defence—by examining reactions to rattlesnake scent by rattlesnakes, ground squirrels and ectoparasites (fleas). Rattlesnakes were more attracted to ground squirrel scent than to ground squirrel scent mixed with rattlesnake scent or rattlesnake scent alone. However, ground squirrel behaviour and flea host choice were not affected by rattlesnake scent. Thus, ground squirrels can reduce the risk of rattlesnake predation by applying rattlesnake scent to their bodies, potentially as a form of olfactory camouflage. Opportunistic exploitation of heterospecific scents may be widespread; many species self-apply foreign odours, but few such cases have been demonstrated to serve in antipredator defence. PMID:18198147

  9. Early Wisconsinan (MIS 4) Arctic ground squirrel middens and a squirrel-eye-view of the mammoth-steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zazula, Grant D.; Froese, Duane G.; Elias, Scott A.; Kuzmina, Svetlana; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2011-08-01

    Fossil arctic ground squirrel ( Spermophilus parryii) middens were recovered from ice-rich loess sediments in association with Sheep Creek-Klondike and Dominion Creek tephras (ca 80 ka) exposed in west-central Yukon. These middens provide plant and insect macrofossil evidence for a steppe-tundra ecosystem during the Early Wisconsinan (MIS 4) glacial interval. Midden plant and insect macrofossil data are compared with those previously published for Late Wisconsinan middens dating to ˜25-29 14C ka BP (MIS 3/2) from the region. Although multivariate statistical comparisons suggest differences between the relative abundances of plant macrofossils, the co-occurrence of steppe-tundra plants and insects (e.g., Elymus trachycaulus, Kobresia myosuroides, Artemisia frigida, Phlox hoodii, Connatichela artemisiae) provides evidence for successive reestablishment of the zonal steppe-tundra habitats during cold stages of the Late Pleistocene. Arctic ground squirrels were well adapted to the cold, arid climates, steppe-tundra vegetation and well-drained loessal soils that characterize cold stages of Late Pleistocene Beringia. These glacial conditions enabled arctic ground squirrel populations to expand their range to the interior regions of Alaska and Yukon, including the Klondike, where they are absent today. Arctic ground squirrels have endured numerous Quaternary climate oscillations by retracting populations to disjunct "interglacial refugia" during warm interglacial periods (e.g., south-facing steppe slopes, well-drained arctic and alpine tundra areas) and expanding their distribution across the mammoth-steppe biome during cold, arid glacial intervals.

  10. Influence of habitat on behavior of Towndsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharpe, Peter B.; Van Horne, Beatrice

    1998-01-01

    Trade-offs between foraging and predator avoidance may affect an animal's survival and reproduction. These trade-offs may be influenced by differences in vegetative cover, especially if foraging profitability and predation risk differ among habitats. We examined above-ground activity of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) in four habitats in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho to determine if behavior of ground squirrels varied among habitats, and we assessed factors that might affect perceived predation risk (i. e. predator detectability, predation pressure, population density). The proportion of time spent in vigilance by ground squirrels in winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) and mosaic habitats of winterfat-sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) was more than twice that of ground squirrels in burned and unburned sagebrush habitats. We found no evidence for the 'many-eyes' hypothesis as an explanation for differences in vigilance among habitats. Instead, environmental heterogeneity, especially vegetation structure, likely influenced activity budgets of ground squirrels. Differences in vigilance may have been caused by differences in predator detectability and refuge availability, because ground squirrels in the winterfat and mosaic habitats also spent more time in upright vigilant postures than ground squirrels in burned-sagebrush or sagebrush habitats. Such postures may enhance predator detection in low-growing winterfat.

  11. Ground squirrels use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation

    PubMed Central

    Rundus, Aaron S.; Owings, Donald H.; Joshi, Sanjay S.; Chinn, Erin; Giannini, Nicolas

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of communicative signals involves a major hurdle; signals need to effectively stimulate the sensory systems of their targets. Therefore, sensory specializations of target animals are important sources of selection on signal structure. Here we report the discovery of an animal signal that uses a previously unknown communicative modality, infrared radiation or “radiant heat,” which capitalizes on the infrared sensory capabilities of the signal's target. California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) add an infrared component to their snake-directed tail-flagging signals when confronting infrared-sensitive rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus), but tail flag without augmenting infrared emission when confronting infrared-insensitive gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus). Experimental playbacks with a biorobotic squirrel model reveal this signal's communicative function. When the infrared component was added to the tail flagging display of the robotic models, rattlesnakes exhibited a greater shift from predatory to defensive behavior than during control trials in which tail flagging included no infrared component. These findings provide exceptionally strong support for the hypothesis that the sensory systems of signal targets should, in general, channel the evolution of signal structure. Furthermore, the discovery of previously undescribed signaling modalities such as infrared radiation should encourage us to overcome our own human-centered sensory biases and more fully examine the form and diversity of signals in the repertoires of many animal species. PMID:17704254

  12. Adenocarcinoma of the Dorsal Glands in 2 European Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus citellus)

    PubMed Central

    Carminato, Antonio; Nassuato, Chiara; Vascellari, Marta; Bozzato, Elisa; Mutinelli, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Olfactory communication is an important aspect of the biology of ground squirrels; accordingly, some of their integumentary glands are associated with scent-marking behavior. Although reports of neoplasms in ground squirrels are limited, the literature on tumors in this family of rodents is extensive, with hepatocellular carcinomas in woodchucks and fibromas in squirrels being the 2 most common neoplasms. Apocrine gland tumors occur frequently in domestic animals such as cats and dogs but to our knowledge have not previously been reported in squirrels. Here we describe 2 cases of adenocarcinoma of the dorsal glands in privately owned European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus). The skin nodules were characterized histologically by proliferation of epithelial cells, which were arranged in a tubuloacinar pattern with neoplastic emboli within the blood vessels. Adenocarcinoma of the dorsal glands was diagnosed in light of the anatomic localization, immunohistochemistry results, and histochemistry findings. PMID:23043780

  13. Karyotypic evolution of the family Sciuridae: inferences from the genome organizations of ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Li, T; Wang, J; Su, W; Nie, W; Yang, F

    2006-01-01

    Cross-species chromosome painting has made a great contribution to our understanding of the evolution of karyotypes and genome organizations of mammals. Several recent papers of comparative painting between tree and flying squirrels have shed some light on the evolution of the family Sciuridae and the order Rodentia. In the present study we have extended the comparative painting to the Himalayan marmot (Marmotahimalayana) and the African ground squirrel (Xerus cf. erythropus), i.e. representative species from another important squirrel group--the ground squirrels--, and have established genome-wide comparative chromosome maps between human, eastern gray squirrel, and these two ground squirrels. The results show that 1) the squirrels so far studied all have conserved karyotypes that resemble the ancestral karyotype of the order Rodentia; 2) the African ground squirrels could have retained the ancestral karyotype of the family Sciuridae. Furthermore, we have mapped the evolutionary rearrangements onto a molecular-based consensus phylogenetic tree of the family Sciuridae. PMID:16484783

  14. Ground-squirrel mounds and related patterned ground along the San Andreas Fault in Central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Robert E.

    1991-01-01

    Extensive areas of mound topography and related patterned ground, apparently derived from the mounds of the California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi beecheyi), are in central California.  The relation of patterned ground to the San Andreas fault west of Bakersfield may provide insight into the timing of deformation along the fault as well as the history of ground squirrels.  Mound topography appears to have evolved through several stages from scattered mounds currently being constructed on newly deposited alluvial surfaces, to saturation of areas by mounds, followed by coalescence, elongation and lineation of the mounds.  Elongation, coalescence and modification of the mounds has been primarily by wind, but to a lesser extent by drainage and solifluction.  A time frame including ages of 4,000, 10,500, 29,000, and 73,000 years BP is derived by relating the patterns to slip on the San Andreas fault.  Further relating of the patterns to faulting, tilting, and warping may illuminate details of the rates and history of deformation.  Similarly, relating the patterns to the history of ground squirrel activity may help answer such problems as rates of dispersal and limits on population density.

  15. Seasonal change in irradiance: a zeitgeber for circannual rhythms in ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Davis, D E

    1991-01-01

    1. Zeitgebers for circannual rhythms have been elusive. Demonstration that an external factor is a zeitgeber requires proof of a phase-shift that endures for several years. 2. The California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) is an ideal subject. Many features of behavior have circannual rhythms of which change in mass is the easiest to measure. The squirrels thrive in captivity for up to 10 years. The squirrels were kept in individual cages in an air conditioned room, fed lab chow ad lib, and weighed twice a month. They were exposed to a 6-month phase shift of (a) length of day (b) seasonal change in temperature, (c) both, (d) seasonal cycle of irradiance. 3. The squirrels maintained circannual rhythms for up to 9 years. Entrainment was evident only by squirrels exposed to seasonal change in irradiance. PMID:1673890

  16. Ca2+ cycling in heart cells from ground squirrels: adaptive strategies for intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Chen; Wei, Ling; Zhang, Guang-Qin; Bai, Zai-Ling; Hu, Ying-Ying; Zhou, Peng; Bai, Shu-Hua; Chai, Zhen; Lakatta, Edward G; Hao, Xue-Mei; Wang, Shi-Qiang

    2011-01-01

    Heart tissues from hibernating mammals, such as ground squirrels, are able to endure hypothermia, hypoxia and other extreme insulting factors that are fatal for human and nonhibernating mammals. This study was designed to understand adaptive mechanisms involved in intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis in cardiomyocytes from the mammalian hibernator, ground squirrel, compared to rat. Electrophysiological and confocal imaging experiments showed that the voltage-dependence of L-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca)) was shifted to higher potentials in ventricular myocytes from ground squirrels vs. rats. The elevated threshold of I(Ca) did not compromise the Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release, because a higher depolarization rate and a longer duration of action potential compensated the voltage shift of I(Ca). Both the caffeine-sensitive and caffeine-resistant components of cytosolic Ca(2+) removal were more rapid in ground squirrels. Ca(2+) sparks in ground squirrels exhibited larger amplitude/size and much lower frequency than in rats. Due to the high I(Ca) threshold, low SR Ca(2+) leak and rapid cytosolic Ca(2+) clearance, heart cells from ground squirrels exhibited better capability in maintaining intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis than those from rats and other nonhibernating mammals. These findings not only reveal adaptive mechanisms of hibernation, but also provide novel strategies against Ca(2+) overload-related heart diseases. PMID:21935466

  17. [Phylogeny of genus Spermophilus and position of Alashan ground squirrel (Spermophilus alashanicus, Buchner, 1888) on phylogenetic tree of Paleartic short-tailed ground squirrels].

    PubMed

    Kapustina, S Yu; Brandler, O V; Adiya, Ya

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships within a group of Paleartic short tailed ground squirrels (Spermophilus), recently defined as genus, are not sufficiently clear and need a critical revision. Interspecies hybridization, found in Eurasian Spermophilus, can affect the results of reconstruction of molecular phylogeny. Alashan ground squirrel position on the phylogenetic tree needs clarification. We analyzed eight nucleotide sequences of cytb gene of S. alashanicus and 127 sequences of other Spermophilus species form GenBank. S.alashanicus and S. dauricus close phylogenetic relationship, and their affinity to ancestral forms of the group are revealed. Monophyly of Colobotis subgenus was confirmed. Paraphyly of eastern and western forms of S. relictus was shown. PMID:26107897

  18. Home range, social behavior, and dominance relationships in the African unstriped ground squirrel, Xerus rutilus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J.

    1976-01-01

    A field study of home range, social behavior, and dominance relationships in the African unstriped ground squirrel, Xerus rutilus, was conducted in semi-arid bushland near Kibwezi, Kenya. Ground squirrels lived alone or in small groups in isolated burrow systems and had broadly overlapping home ranges. They were neither territorial or colonial. Home ranges were estimated by visual observation of marked animals and those of males were considerably larger (mean=7.01 hectares (ha); n=4) than those of females (mean=1.37 ha; n-6). A continuum of agonistic behavior ranging from threat to combat is described, although actual combat was rarely observed. Sexual behavior includes a stereotypical tail display by adult males. Dominance relationships, based on 542 observed encounters between marked individuals, include a consistent male dominance over females and a fairly constant linear hierarchy among all individuals with shared home ranges. Similarities in the behavior of African ground squirrels and tree squirrels (Sciurus) are discussed.

  19. Will Arctic ground squirrels impede or accelerate climate-induced vegetation changes to the Arctic tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J.; Flower, C. E.; Brown, J.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Whelan, C.

    2014-12-01

    Considerable attention has been given to the climate feedbacks associated with predicted vegetation shifts in the Arctic tundra in response to global environmental change. However, little is known regarding the extent to which consumers can facilitate or respond to shrub expansion. Arctic ground squirrels, the largest and most northern ground squirrel, are abundant and widespread throughout the North American tundra. Their broad diet of seeds, flowers, herbage, bird's eggs and meat speaks to the need to breed, feed, and fatten in a span of some 12-16 weeks that separate their 8-9 month bouts of hibernation with the potential consequence to impact ecosystem dynamics. Therefore Arctic ground squirrels are a good candidate to evaluate whether consumers are mere responders (bottom-up effects) or drivers (top-down) of the observed and predicted vegetation changes. As a start towards this question, we measured the foraging intensity (giving-up densities) of Arctic ground squirrels in experimental food patches within which the squirrels experience diminishing returns as they seek the raisins and peanuts that we provided at the Toolik Lake field station in northern Alaska. If the squirrels show their highest feeding intensity in the shrubs, they may impede vegetation shifts by slowing the establishment and expansion of shrubs in the tundra. Conversely, if they show their lowest feeding intensity within shrub dominated areas, they may accelerate vegetation shifts. We found neither. Feeding intensity varied most among transects and times of day, and least along a tundra-to-shrub vegetation gradient. This suggests that the impacts of squirrels will be heterogeneous - in places responders and in others drivers. We should not be surprised then to see patches of accelerated and impeded vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem. Some of these patterns may be predictable from the foraging behavior of Arctic ground squirrels.

  20. Use of burrow entrances to indicate densities of Townsend's ground squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Horne, Beatrice; Schooley, R.L.; Knick, Steven T.; Olson, G.S.; Burnham, K.P.

    1997-01-01

    Counts of burrow entrances have been positively correlated with densities of semi-fossorial rodents and used as an index of densities. We evaluated their effectiveness in indexing densities of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (SRBOPNCA), Idaho, by comparing burrow entrance densities to densities of ground squirrels estimated from livetrapping in 2 consecutive years over which squirrel populations declined by >75%. We did not detect a consistent relation between burrow entrance counts and ground squirrel density estimates within or among habitat types. Scatter plots indicated that burrow entrances had little predictive power at intermediate densities. Burrow entrance counts did not reflect the magnitude of a between-year density decline. Repeated counts of entrances late in the squirrels' active season varied in a manner that would be difficult to use for calibration of transects sampled only once during this period. Annual persistence of burrow entrances varied between habitats. Trained observers were inconsistent in assigning active-inactive status to entrances. We recommend that burrow entrance counts not be used as measures or indices of ground squirrel densities in shrubsteppe habitats, and that the method be verified thoroughly before being used in other habitats.

  1. Ectoparasites and fitness of female Columbian ground squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Raveh, Shirley; Neuhaus, Peter; Dobson, F. Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Parasites play an important role in the evolution of host traits via natural selection, coevolution and sexually selected ornaments used in mate choice. These evolutionary scenarios assume fitness costs for hosts. To test this assumption, we conducted an ectoparasite removal experiment in free-living Columbian ground squirrels (Urocittelus columbianus) in four populations over three years. Adult females were randomly chosen to be either experimentally treated with anti-parasite treatments (spot-on solution and flea powder, N = 61) or a sham treatment (control, N = 44). We expected that experimental females would show better body condition, increased reproductive success and enhanced survival. Contrary to our expectations, body mass was not significantly different between treatments at mating, birth of litter or weaning of young. Further, neither number nor size of young at weaning differed significantly between the two treatments. Survival to the next spring for adult females and juveniles was not significantly different between experimental and control treatments. Finally, annual fitness was not affected by the treatments. We concluded that females and their offspring were able compensate for the presence of ectoparasites, suggesting little or no fitness costs of parasites for females in the different colonies and during the years of our experiments. PMID:25870399

  2. Alternative reproductive tactics in male Cape ground squirrels Xerus inauris.

    PubMed

    Scantlebury, M; Waterman, J M; Bennett, N C

    2008-06-01

    In some animal societies, males vary in the strategies and tactics that they use for reproduction. Explanations for the evolution of alternative tactics have usually focussed on extrinsic factors such as social status, the environment or population density and have rarely examined proximate differences between individuals. Anecdotal evidence suggests that two alternative reproductive tactics occur in cooperatively breeding male Cape ground squirrels. Here we show that there is strong empirical support for physiological and behavioural differences to uphold this claim. 'Dispersed' males have higher resting metabolic rates and a heightened pituitary activity, compared with philopatric 'natal' males that have higher circulating cortisol levels. Dispersed males also spend more time moving and less time feeding than natal males. Additionally, lone males spend a greater proportion of their time vigilant and less of their time foraging than those that were in groups. The choice of whether to stay natal or become a disperser may depend on a number of factors such as age, natal group kin structure and reproductive suppression, and the likelihood of successful reproduction whilst remaining natal. Measuring proximate factors, such as behavioural and endocrine function, may provide valuable insights into mechanisms that underlie the evolution of alternative reproductive tactics. PMID:18325548

  3. Ectoparasites and fitness of female Columbian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Raveh, Shirley; Neuhaus, Peter; Dobson, F Stephen

    2015-05-26

    Parasites play an important role in the evolution of host traits via natural selection, coevolution and sexually selected ornaments used in mate choice. These evolutionary scenarios assume fitness costs for hosts. To test this assumption, we conducted an ectoparasite removal experiment in free-living Columbian ground squirrels (Urocittelus columbianus) in four populations over three years. Adult females were randomly chosen to be either experimentally treated with anti-parasite treatments (spot-on solution and flea powder, N = 61) or a sham treatment (control, N = 44). We expected that experimental females would show better body condition, increased reproductive success and enhanced survival. Contrary to our expectations, body mass was not significantly different between treatments at mating, birth of litter or weaning of young. Further, neither number nor size of young at weaning differed significantly between the two treatments. Survival to the next spring for adult females and juveniles was not significantly different between experimental and control treatments. Finally, annual fitness was not affected by the treatments. We concluded that females and their offspring were able compensate for the presence of ectoparasites, suggesting little or no fitness costs of parasites for females in the different colonies and during the years of our experiments. PMID:25870399

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome of Daurian ground squirrel, Spermophilus dauricus.

    PubMed

    Jin, Guang-Yao; Huang, Hai-Jiao; Zhang, Ming-Hai

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Daurian ground squirrel, Spermophilus dauricus, is determined and described for the first time in this study. The genome was a total of 16 512 bp in length and had a base composition of A (32.08%), G (12.53%), C (24.35%), and T (31.04%), indicating that the percentage of A + T (63.12%) is higher than G + C (36.88%). Similar to those reported from other animal mitochondrial genomes, it possessed a typically conserved structure, including 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 control region (D-loop). Most of these genes were found to locate on the H-strand except for the ND6 gene and 8 tRNA genes. The phylogenetic analysis showed Spermophilus dauricus formed the sister group to the Pteromyini tribe. This mitochondrial genome sequence would supply useful genetic resources to uncover Sciuridae family evolution. PMID:26328762

  5. Regulation of glucokinase activity in liver of hibernating ground squirrel Spermophilus undulatus.

    PubMed

    Khu, L Ya; Storey, K B; Rubtsov, A M; Goncharova, N Yu

    2014-07-01

    The kinetic properties of glucokinase (GLK) from the liver of active and hibernating ground squirrels Spermophilus undulatus have been studied. Entrance of ground squirrels into hibernation from their active state is accompanied by a sharp decrease in blood glucose (Glc) level (from 14 to 2.9 mM) and with a significant (7-fold) decrease of GLK activity in the liver cytoplasm. Preparations of native GLK practically devoid of other molecular forms of hexokinase were obtained from the liver of active and hibernating ground squirrels. The dependence of GLK activity upon Glc concentration for the enzyme from active ground squirrel liver showed a pronounced sigmoid character (Hill coefficient, h=1.70 and S0.5=6.23 mM; the experiments were conducted at 25°C in the presence of enzyme stabilizers, K+ and DTT). The same dependence of enzyme activity on Glc concentration was found for GLK from rat liver. However, on decreasing the temperature to 2°C (simulation of hibernation conditions), this dependency became almost hyperbolic (h=1.16) and GLK affinity for substrate was reduced (S0.5=23 mM). These parameters for hibernating ground squirrels (body temperature 5°C) at 25°C were found to be practically equal to the corresponding values obtained for GLK from the liver of active animals (h=1.60, S0.5=9.0 mM, respectively); at 2°C sigmoid character was less expressed and affinity for Glc was drastically decreased (h=1.20, S0.5=45 mM). The calculations of GLK activity in the liver of hibernating ground squirrels based on enzyme kinetic characteristics and seasonal changes in blood Glc concentrations have shown that GLK activity in the liver of hibernating ground squirrels is decreased about 5500-fold. PMID:25108335

  6. Natural Infection of the Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus spp.) with Echinococcus granulosus in China

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yu Rong; Liu, Tianxi; Bai, Xueli; Boufana, Belgees; Craig, Philip S.; Nakao, Minoru; Ito, Akira; Zhang, Jan Zhong; Giraudoux, Patrick; McManus, Donald P.

    2009-01-01

    Background Echinococcus granulosus is usually transmitted between canid definitive hosts and ungulate intermediate hosts. Methodology/Principal Findings Lesions found in the livers of ground squirrels, Spermophilus dauricus/alashanicus, trapped in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, an area in China co-endemic for both E. granulosus and E. multilocularis, were subjected to molecular genotyping for Echinococcus spp. DNA. One of the lesions was shown to be caused by E. granulosus and subsequently by histology to contain viable protoscoleces. Conclusions/Significance This is the first report of a natural infection of the ground squirrel with E. granulosus. This does not provide definitive proof of a cycle involving ground squirrels and dogs or foxes, but it is clear that there is active E. granulosus transmission occurring in this area, despite a recent past decline in the dog population in southern Ningxia. PMID:19771151

  7. Individual acoustic variation in Belding's ground squirrel alarm chirps in the High Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCowan, Brenda; Hooper, Stacie L.

    2002-03-01

    The acoustic structure of calls within call types can vary as function of individual identity, sex, and social group membership and is important in kin and social group recognition. Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) produce alarm chirps that function in predator avoidance but little is known about the acoustic variability of these alarm chirps. The purpose of this preliminary study was to analyze the acoustic structure of alarm chirps with respect to individual differences (e.g., signature information) from eight Belding's ground squirrels from four different lakes in the High Sierra Nevada. Results demonstrate that alarm chirps are individually distinctive, and that acoustic similarity among individuals may correspond to genetic similarity and thus dispersal patterns in this species. These data suggest, on a preliminary basis, that the acoustic structure of calls might be used as a bioacoustic tool for tracking individuals, dispersal, and other population dynamics in Belding's ground squirrels, and perhaps other vocal species.

  8. [Seasonal peculiarities of the ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus) and Wistar rats circadian activity].

    PubMed

    Semenova, T P; Spiridonova, L A; Zakharova, N M

    2014-09-01

    The seasonal peculiarities of the circadian activity of hibernator, Yakutian long tail ground squirrels (S. undulatus) (n = 35) and non hibernator, Wistar rats (n = 35), were studied. The locomotor activity was registered in each subject individually during 5-17 days by means of "Animex" in the different periods of annual cycle. It was shown that ground squirrels were animals with daily type of activity. On the contrary, the Wistar rats demonstrated nocturne type of locomotors activity. The active period in rats was longer than in ground squirrels. It included not only at night, but morning time in spring, and daytime--in summer. The circadian differences between hibernators and non-hibernators were kept during all annual cycle at night time, but in daytime--only in spring and summer time. PMID:25697015

  9. [Seasonal changes in mechanical resistance of erythrocytes of the long-tailed ground squirrel (Citellus undulatus)].

    PubMed

    Gulevsky, A K; Shchenyavsky, I I

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal changes of relative blood reticulocyte counts, free plasma hemoglobin and mechanical erythrocyte resistance were studied in the long-tailed ground squirrel (Citellus undulatus), under different functional conditions (winter hibernation, forced arousal in winter, and summer activity). A significant increase in reticulocyte counts in the ground squirrel blood was observed in April and October, indicating enhancement of erythropoeisis. This conclusion is also confirmed by a significant increase in free plasma hemoglobin at these periods. It has been also shown that erythrocytes of hibernating and forcibly awaken winter ground squirrels have a significantly lower mechanical resistance in comparison with those of active summer animals. The obtained data indicate that during the periods preceding the onset of winter hibernation and transition to summer activity there occurs a seasonal replacement of the erythrocyte pool by a pool more adapted to performance of functions in the novel functional state of the animal-hibernator. PMID:25786319

  10. Age differences in arousal and vigilance in California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi).

    PubMed

    Hanson, M T; Coss, R G

    2001-11-01

    Newly emerged pup, juvenile, and adult California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi douglasii) were videorecorded at a seminatural field site in northern California. Video data revealed age differences in the budgeting of ground squirrel behavior, habitat use, and physiological arousal as indicated by morphometric analyses of tail piloerection. Adults and juveniles devoted their time to foraging in the open at feeding stations while displaying low to moderate levels of arousal, respectively. Pups remained vigilant on the fringe of covered habitats while displaying comparatively higher levels of arousal. Higher pup arousal may facilitate memory formation during early stages of development. PMID:11745313

  11. Phospholipids of liver cell nuclei during hibernation of Yakutian ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Lakhina, A A; Markevich, L N; Zakharova, N M; Afanasyev, V N; Kolomiytseva, I K; Fesenko, E E

    2016-07-01

    In hibernating Yakutian ground squirrels S. undulatus, the content of total phospholipids in the nuclei of liver increased by 40% compared to that in animals in summer. In torpid state, the amount of sphingomyelin increased almost 8 times; phosphatidylserine, 7 times; and cardiolipin, 4 times. In active "winter" ground squirrels, the amount of sphingomyelin, phosphatidylserine, and cardiolipin decreased compared to the hibernating individuals but remained high compared to the "summer" ones. The torpor state did not affect the amount of lysophosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinositol. PMID:27599501

  12. Opposing Activity Changes in AMP Deaminase and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in the Hibernating Ground Squirrel

    PubMed Central

    Cicerchi, Christina; Garcia, Gabriela E.; Roncal-Jimenez, Carlos A.; Trostel, Jessica; Jain, Swati; Mant, Colin T.; Rivard, Christopher J.; Ishimoto, Takuji; Shimada, Michiko; Sanchez-Lozada, Laura Gabriela; Nakagawa, Takahiko; Jani, Alkesh; Stenvinkel, Peter; Martin, Sandra L.; Johnson, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Hibernating animals develop fatty liver when active in summertime and undergo a switch to a fat oxidation state in the winter. We hypothesized that this switch might be determined by AMP and the dominance of opposing effects: metabolism through AMP deaminase (AMPD2) (summer) and activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (winter). Liver samples were obtained from 13-lined ground squirrels at different times during the year, including summer and multiples stages of winter hibernation, and fat synthesis and β-fatty acid oxidation were evaluated. Changes in fat metabolism were correlated with changes in AMPD2 activity and intrahepatic uric acid (downstream product of AMPD2), as well as changes in AMPK and intrahepatic β-hydroxybutyrate (a marker of fat oxidation). Hepatic fat accumulation occurred during the summer with relatively increased enzymes associated with fat synthesis (FAS, ACL and ACC) and decreased enoyl CoA hydratase (ECH1) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), rate limiting enzymes of fat oxidation. In summer, AMPD2 activity and intrahepatic uric acid levels were high and hepatic AMPK activity was low. In contrast, the active phosphorylated form of AMPK and β-hydroxybutyrate both increased during winter hibernation. Therefore, changes in AMPD2 and AMPK activity were paralleled with changes in fat synthesis and fat oxidation rates during the summer-winter cycle. These data illuminate the opposing forces of metabolism of AMP by AMPD2 and its availability to activate AMPK as a switch that governs fat metabolism in the liver of hibernating ground squirrel. PMID:25856396

  13. Opposing activity changes in AMP deaminase and AMP-activated protein kinase in the hibernating ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Lanaspa, Miguel A; Epperson, L Elaine; Li, Nanxing; Cicerchi, Christina; Garcia, Gabriela E; Roncal-Jimenez, Carlos A; Trostel, Jessica; Jain, Swati; Mant, Colin T; Rivard, Christopher J; Ishimoto, Takuji; Shimada, Michiko; Sanchez-Lozada, Laura Gabriela; Nakagawa, Takahiko; Jani, Alkesh; Stenvinkel, Peter; Martin, Sandra L; Johnson, Richard J

    2015-01-01

    Hibernating animals develop fatty liver when active in summertime and undergo a switch to a fat oxidation state in the winter. We hypothesized that this switch might be determined by AMP and the dominance of opposing effects: metabolism through AMP deaminase (AMPD2) (summer) and activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (winter). Liver samples were obtained from 13-lined ground squirrels at different times during the year, including summer and multiples stages of winter hibernation, and fat synthesis and β-fatty acid oxidation were evaluated. Changes in fat metabolism were correlated with changes in AMPD2 activity and intrahepatic uric acid (downstream product of AMPD2), as well as changes in AMPK and intrahepatic β-hydroxybutyrate (a marker of fat oxidation). Hepatic fat accumulation occurred during the summer with relatively increased enzymes associated with fat synthesis (FAS, ACL and ACC) and decreased enoyl CoA hydratase (ECH1) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), rate limiting enzymes of fat oxidation. In summer, AMPD2 activity and intrahepatic uric acid levels were high and hepatic AMPK activity was low. In contrast, the active phosphorylated form of AMPK and β-hydroxybutyrate both increased during winter hibernation. Therefore, changes in AMPD2 and AMPK activity were paralleled with changes in fat synthesis and fat oxidation rates during the summer-winter cycle. These data illuminate the opposing forces of metabolism of AMP by AMPD2 and its availability to activate AMPK as a switch that governs fat metabolism in the liver of hibernating ground squirrel. PMID:25856396

  14. Behavioural correlates of urbanisation in the Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Tarryn; Rymer, Tasmin; Pillay, Neville

    2012-11-01

    Urbanisation critically threatens biodiversity because of habitat destruction and novel selection pressures. Some animals can respond to these challenges by modifying their behaviour, particularly anti-predator behaviour, allowing them to persist in heavily transformed urban areas. We investigated whether the anti-predator behaviour of the Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris differed in three localities that differed in their level of urbanisation. According to the habituation hypothesis, we predicted that ground squirrels in urban areas would: (a) be less vigilant and forage more; (b) trade-off flight/vigilance in favour of foraging; and (c) have shorter flight initiation distances (FID) when approached by a human observer. Observations were made in winter and summer at each locality. As expected, ground squirrels in urbanised areas were less vigilant and had shorter FIDs but did not trade-off between foraging and vigilance. In contrast, a population in a non-urbanised locality showed greater levels of vigilance, FID and traded-off vigilance and foraging. A population in a peri-urban locality showed mixed responses. Our results indicate that Cape ground squirrels reduce their anti-predator behaviour in urban areas and demonstrate a flexible behavioural response to urbanisation.

  15. Behavioural correlates of urbanisation in the Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Tarryn; Rymer, Tasmin; Pillay, Neville

    2012-11-01

    Urbanisation critically threatens biodiversity because of habitat destruction and novel selection pressures. Some animals can respond to these challenges by modifying their behaviour, particularly anti-predator behaviour, allowing them to persist in heavily transformed urban areas. We investigated whether the anti-predator behaviour of the Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris differed in three localities that differed in their level of urbanisation. According to the habituation hypothesis, we predicted that ground squirrels in urban areas would: (a) be less vigilant and forage more; (b) trade-off flight/vigilance in favour of foraging; and (c) have shorter flight initiation distances (FID) when approached by a human observer. Observations were made in winter and summer at each locality. As expected, ground squirrels in urbanised areas were less vigilant and had shorter FIDs but did not trade-off between foraging and vigilance. In contrast, a population in a non-urbanised locality showed greater levels of vigilance, FID and traded-off vigilance and foraging. A population in a peri-urban locality showed mixed responses. Our results indicate that Cape ground squirrels reduce their anti-predator behaviour in urban areas and demonstrate a flexible behavioural response to urbanisation. PMID:23052820

  16. Implications of hybridization, NUMTs, and overlooked diversity for DNA Barcoding of Eurasian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Ermakov, Oleg A; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L; Titov, Sergey V; Brandler, Oleg V; Ivanova, Natalia V; Borisenko, Alex V

    2015-01-01

    The utility of DNA Barcoding for species identification and discovery has catalyzed a concerted effort to build the global reference library; however, many animal groups of economical or conservational importance remain poorly represented. This study aims to contribute DNA barcode records for all ground squirrel species (Xerinae, Sciuridae, Rodentia) inhabiting Eurasia and to test efficiency of this approach for species discrimination. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene sequences were obtained for 97 individuals representing 16 ground squirrel species of which 12 were correctly identified. Taxonomic allocation of some specimens within four species was complicated by geographically restricted mtDNA introgression. Exclusion of individuals with introgressed mtDNA allowed reaching a 91.6% identification success rate. Significant COI divergence (3.5-4.4%) was observed within the most widespread ground squirrel species (Spermophilus erythrogenys, S. pygmaeus, S. suslicus, Urocitellus undulatus), suggesting the presence of cryptic species. A single putative NUMT (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogene) sequence was recovered during molecular analysis; mitochondrial COI from this sample was amplified following re-extraction of DNA. Our data show high discrimination ability of 100 bp COI fragments for Eurasian ground squirrels (84.3%) with no incorrect assessments, underscoring the potential utility of the existing reference librariy for the development of diagnostic 'mini-barcodes'. PMID:25617768

  17. Experimental Infection of Richardson's Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) with Attenuated and Virulent Strains of Brucella abortus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exposure of non-target species to wildlife vaccines is an important concern when evaluating a candidate vaccine for use in the field. A previous investigation of the safety of Brucella abortus strain RB51 (sRB51) in various non-target species suggested that Richardson’s ground squirrels (Spermophil...

  18. Molecular epidemiology of Bartonella species isolated from ground squirrels and other rodents in northern California.

    PubMed

    Ziedins, A C; Chomel, B B; Kasten, R W; Kjemtrup, A M; Chang, C-C

    2016-07-01

    Bartonella spp. are endemic in wild rodents in many parts of the world. A study conducted in two northern California counties (Sonoma and Yolo) sampling California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) and four other rodent species (Peromyscus maniculatus, P. boylii, P. truei and Neotoma fuscipes) led to the isolation of small Gram-negative bacilli which were identified as Bartonella spp. based on colony morphology, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and partial gene sequencing. Overall, Bartonella spp. were isolated from the blood of 71% (32/45) of the ground squirrels and one third (22/66) of the other rodents. PCR-RFLP analysis of the gltA and 16S rRNA genes yielded seven unique profiles, four for the ground squirrels and three for the other rodents. Isolates from each PCR-RFLP profiles were submitted for partial sequencing. Ground squirrel isolates were most closely related to B. washoensis, whereas the other rodent isolates were closest to B. vinsonii subsp. vinsonii and B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis. Two of these three species or subspecies are known zoonotic agents. PMID:27245290

  19. Implications of Hybridization, NUMTs, and Overlooked Diversity for DNA Barcoding of Eurasian Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Ermakov, Oleg A.; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L.; Titov, Sergey V.; Brandler, Oleg V.; Ivanova, Natalia V.; Borisenko, Alex V.

    2015-01-01

    The utility of DNA Barcoding for species identification and discovery has catalyzed a concerted effort to build the global reference library; however, many animal groups of economical or conservational importance remain poorly represented. This study aims to contribute DNA barcode records for all ground squirrel species (Xerinae, Sciuridae, Rodentia) inhabiting Eurasia and to test efficiency of this approach for species discrimination. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene sequences were obtained for 97 individuals representing 16 ground squirrel species of which 12 were correctly identified. Taxonomic allocation of some specimens within four species was complicated by geographically restricted mtDNA introgression. Exclusion of individuals with introgressed mtDNA allowed reaching a 91.6% identification success rate. Significant COI divergence (3.5–4.4%) was observed within the most widespread ground squirrel species (Spermophilus erythrogenys, S. pygmaeus, S. suslicus, Urocitellus undulatus), suggesting the presence of cryptic species. A single putative NUMT (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogene) sequence was recovered during molecular analysis; mitochondrial COI from this sample was amplified following re-extraction of DNA. Our data show high discrimination ability of 100 bp COI fragments for Eurasian ground squirrels (84.3%) with no incorrect assessments, underscoring the potential utility of the existing reference librariy for the development of diagnostic ‘mini-barcodes’. PMID:25617768

  20. Managing anabolic steroids in pre-hibernating Arctic ground squirrels: obtaining their benefits and avoiding their costs.

    PubMed

    Boonstra, Rudy; Mo, Kaiguo; Monks, Douglas Ashley

    2014-11-01

    Androgens have benefits, such as promoting muscle growth, but also significant costs, including suppression of immune function. In many species, these trade-offs in androgen action are reflected in regulated androgen production, which is typically highest only in reproductive males. However, all non-reproductive Arctic ground squirrels, irrespective of age and sex, have high levels of androgens prior to hibernating at sub-zero temperatures. Androgens appear to be required to make muscle in summer, which, together with lipid, is then catabolized during overwinter. By contrast, most hibernating mammals catabolize only lipid. We tested the hypothesis that androgen action is selectively enhanced in Arctic ground squirrel muscle because of an upregulation of androgen receptors (ARs). Using Western blot analysis, we found that Arctic ground squirrels have AR in skeletal muscle more than four times that of Columbian ground squirrels, a related southern species that overwinters at approximately 0°C and has low pre-hibernation androgen levels. By contrast, AR in lymph nodes was equivalent in both species. Brain AR was also modestly but significantly increased in Arctic ground squirrel relative to Columbian ground squirrel. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that tissue-specific AR regulation prior to hibernation provides a mechanism whereby Arctic ground squirrels obtain the life-history benefits and mitigate the costs associated with high androgen production. PMID:25376801

  1. Seasonal Patterns of Body Temperature Daily Rhythms in Group-Living Cape Ground Squirrels Xerus inauris

    PubMed Central

    Scantlebury, Michael; Danek-Gontard, Marine; Bateman, Philip W.; Bennett, Nigel C.; Manjerovic, Mary-Beth; Joubert, Kenneth E.; Waterman, Jane M.

    2012-01-01

    Organisms respond to cyclical environmental conditions by entraining their endogenous biological rhythms. Such physiological responses are expected to be substantial for species inhabiting arid environments which incur large variations in daily and seasonal ambient temperature (Ta). We measured core body temperature (Tb) daily rhythms of Cape ground squirrels Xerus inauris inhabiting an area of Kalahari grassland for six months from the Austral winter through to the summer. Squirrels inhabited two different areas: an exposed flood plain and a nearby wooded, shady area, and occurred in different social group sizes, defined by the number of individuals that shared a sleeping burrow. Of a suite of environmental variables measured, maximal daily Ta provided the greatest explanatory power for mean Tb whereas sunrise had greatest power for Tb acrophase. There were significant changes in mean Tb and Tb acrophase over time with mean Tb increasing and Tb acrophase becoming earlier as the season progressed. Squirrels also emerged from their burrows earlier and returned to them later over the measurement period. Greater increases in Tb, sometimes in excess of 5°C, were noted during the first hour post emergence, after which Tb remained relatively constant. This is consistent with observations that squirrels entered their burrows during the day to ‘offload’ heat. In addition, greater Tb amplitude values were noted in individuals inhabiting the flood plain compared with the woodland suggesting that squirrels dealt with increased environmental variability by attempting to reduce their Ta-Tb gradient. Finally, there were significant effects of age and group size on Tb with a lower and less variable Tb in younger individuals and those from larger group sizes. These data indicate that Cape ground squirrels have a labile Tb which is sensitive to a number of abiotic and biotic factors and which enables them to be active in a harsh and variable environment. PMID:22558324

  2. Responses of three prairie ground squirrel species, Spermophilus franklinii, S. richardsonii, and S. tridecemlineatus, to duck eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Sovada, M.A.; Greenwood, R.J.

    1987-01-01

    Franklin's Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii) preyed on eggs in 29 of 30 tests in which they were exposed to two Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) or two Blue-winged Teal (A. discors) eggs and their discovery of eggs was confirmed. No Richardson's (S. richardsonii) or Thirteen-lined (S. tridecemlineatus) ground squirrels preyed on eggs in 104 and 54 similar tests, respectively. Franklin's Ground Squirrels exposed to clutches of six duck eggs placed in simulated nests preyed on all such clutches. Predation on simulated nests began soon after eggs were discovered, but predation of all eggs often took more than one day to complete.

  3. Temperature adaptation of active sodium-potassium transport and of passive permeability in erythrocytes of ground squirrels.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimzey, S. L.; Willis, J. S.

    1971-01-01

    Unidirectional active and passive fluxes of K-42 and Na-24 were measured in red blood cells of ground squirrels (hibernators) and guinea pigs (nonhibernators). As the temperature was lowered, ?active' (ouabain-sensitive) K influx and Na efflux were more considerably diminished in guinea pig cells than in those of ground squirrels. The fraction of total K influx which is ouabain-sensitive in red blood cells of ground squirrels was virtually constant at all temperatures, whereas it decreased abruptly in guinea pig cells as temperature was lowered.

  4. Regulation of gene expression by NFAT transcription factors in hibernating ground squirrels is dependent on the cellular environment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yichi; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-09-01

    Calcineurin is a calmodulin-stimulated phosphatase that regulates the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) c1-4 through dephosphorylation. We believe that this mechanism plays various roles in the remodeling and maintenance of Ictidomys tridecemlineatus skeletal muscle. During hibernation, bouts of torpor and arousal take place, and squirrels do not lose muscle mass despite being inactive. Protein expression of Ca(2+) signaling proteins were studied using immunoblotting. A DNA-protein interaction ELISA technique was created to test the binding of NFATs in the nucleus to DNA probes containing the NFAT response element under environmental conditions reflective of those during hibernation. Calcineurin protein levels increased by 3.08-fold during torpor (compared to euthermic control), whereas calpain1 levels also rose by 3.66-fold during torpor. Calmodulin levels were elevated upon entering torpor. NFATc4 binding to DNA showed a 1.4-fold increase during torpor, and we found that this binding was further enhanced when 600 nM of Ca(2+) was supplemented. We also found that decreasing the temperature of ELISAs resulted in progressive decreases in the binding of NFATs c1, c3, and c4 to DNA. In summary, calmodulin and calpain1 appear to activate calcineurin and NFATc4 during torpor. NFAT binding to target promoters is affected by intranuclear [Ca(2+)] and environmental temperatures. Therefore, Ca(2+) signaling and temperature changes play key roles in regulation of the NFAT-calcineurin pathway in skeletal muscle of hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels over the torpor-arousal cycle, and they may contribute to the avoidance of disuse-induced muscle atrophy that occurs naturally in these animals. PMID:27344571

  5. Consequences of artic ground squirrels on soil carbon loss from Siberian tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golden, N. A.; Natali, S.; Zimov, N.

    2014-12-01

    A large pool of organic carbon (C) has been accumulating in the Arctic for thousands of years. Much of this C has been frozen in permafrost and unavailable for microbial decomposition. As the climate warms and permafrost thaws, the fate of this large C pool will be driven not only by climatic conditions, but also by ecosystem changes brought about by arctic animal populations. In this project we studied arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii), which are widely-distributed throughout the Arctic. These social mammals create subterranean burrows that mix soil layers, increase aeration, alter soil moisture and temperature, and redistribute soil nutrients, all of which may impact microbial decomposition. We examined the effects of arctic ground squirrel activity on soil C mineralization in dry heath tundra underlain by continuous permafrost in the Kolyma River watershed in northeast Siberia, Russia. Vegetation cover was greatly reduced on the ground squirrel burrows (80% of ground un-vegetated), compared to undisturbed sites (35% of ground un-vegetated). Soils from ground squirrel burrows were also significantly dryer and warmer. To examine effects of ground squirrel activity on microbial respiration, we conducted an 8-day incubation of soil fromburrows and from adjacent undisturbed tundra. In addition, we assessed the impact of nutrient addition by including treatments with low and high levels of nitrogen addition. Microbial respiration (per gram soil) was three-fold higher in incubated soils from the undisturbed sites compared to soils collected from the burrows. The lower rates of respiration from the disturbed soils may have been a result of lower carbon quality or low soil moisture. High nitrogen addition significantly increased respiration in the undisturbed soils, but not in the disturbed burrow soils, which suggests that microbial respiration in the burrow soils was not primarily limited by nitrogen. These results demonstrate the importance of wildlife

  6. HEAVY METAL, ORGANOCHLORINE PESTICIDE AND POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYL CONTAMINATION IN ARCTIC GROUND SQUIRRELS (SPERMOPHILUS PARRYI) IN NORTHERN ALASKA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Heavy metal and organochlorine (OC)concentrations, including organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs), were determined in arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryi) from three sites in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska in 1991-93. Heavy metals ...

  7. [Specific molecular and morphological changes in cardiomyocytes of hibernating ground squirrels in different periods of annual cycle].

    PubMed

    Karaduleva, E V; Santalova, I M; Zakharova, N M

    2014-01-01

    Structural and molecular changes in cardiomyocytes of hibernating ground squirrels in different periods of the annual cycle were analyzed by means of electron microscopy and polymerase chain reaction. Morphological analysis showed an increase in relative area of sarcoplasmic reticulum in cardiac muscle of ground squirrels preparing to torpor compared to active summer animals. The size of sarcoplasmic reticulum in cardiomyocytes of torpid animals was reliably less than in any other condition of ground squirrels in the annual cycle. The results of molecular analysis showed the decrease in sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase gene (SERCA2a) expression .at all stages of hibernation process and also in periods of autumn activity compared to control mRNA level in active summer animals. The revealed season changes in structure of sarcoplasmic reticulum and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase gene expression are discussed in regard to adaptation of ground squirrels to hibernation. PMID:25730975

  8. Global and local spatial landmarks: their role during foraging by Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus).

    PubMed

    Vlasak, Anna N

    2006-01-01

    Locating food and refuge is essential for an animal's survival. However, little is known how mammals navigate under natural conditions and cope with given environmental constraints. In a series of six experiments, I investigated landmark-based navigation in free-ranging Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus). Squirrels were trained individually to find a baited platform within an array of nine identical platforms and artificial landmarks set up on their territories. After animals learned the location of the food platform in the array, the position of the latter with respect to local artificial, local natural, and global landmarks was manipulated, and the animal's ability to find the food platform was tested. When only positions of local artificial landmarks were changed, squirrels located food with high accuracy. When the location of the array relative to global landmarks was altered, food-finding accuracy decreased but remained significant. In the absence of known global landmarks, the presence of a familiar route and natural local landmarks resulted in significant but not highly accurate performance. Squirrels likely relied on multiple types of cues when orienting towards a food platform. Local landmarks were used only as a secondary mechanism of navigation, and were not attended to when a familiar route and known global landmarks were present. This study provided insights into landmark use by a wild mammal in a natural situation, and it demonstrated that an array of platforms can be employed to investigate landmark-based navigation under such conditions. PMID:16163480

  9. Evidence for a single class of somatostatin receptors in ground squirrel cerebral cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Krantic, S.; Petrovic, V.M.; Quirion, R.; Kordon, C.

    1989-01-01

    In the present study we characterized high-affinity somatostatin (SRIF) binding sites (Kd = 2.06 +/- 0.32 nM and Bmax = 295 +/- 28 fmol/mg protein) in cerebral cortex membrane preparations of European ground squirrel using /sup 125/I-(Tyr0-D-Trp8)-SRIF14 as a radioligand. The inhibition of radioligand specific binding by SRIF14, as well as by its agonists (SRIF28, Tyr0-D-Trp8-SRIF14, SMS 201 995) was complete and monophasic, thus revealing a single population of somatostatinergic binding sites. Radioautographic analysis of /sup 125/I-(Tyr0-D-Trp8)-SRIF14 labeled brain sections confirmed the results of our biochemical study. The homogeneity of SRIF binding sites in the ground squirrel neocortex was not dependent on the animal's life-cycle phase.

  10. Cardiovascular function in large to small hibernators: bears to ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T

    2015-04-01

    Mammalian hibernation has intrigued scientists due to extreme variations in normal seasonal physiological homeostasis. Numerous species manifest a hibernation phenotype although the characteristics of the hypometabolic state can be quite different. Ground squirrels (e.g., Sciuridae) are often considered the prototypical hibernator as individuals in this genus transition from an active, euthermic state (37 °C) to a nonresponsive hibernating state where torpid body temperature commonly falls to 3-5 °C. However, the hibernating state is not continuous as periodic warming and arousals occur. In contrast, the larger hibernators of genus Ursus are less hypothermic (body temperatures decline from approximately 37°-33 °C), are more reactive, and cyclical arousals do not occur. Both species dramatically reduce cardiac output during hibernation from the active state (bears ~75 % reduction in bears and ~97 % reduction in ground squirrels), and both species demonstrate hypokinetic atrial chamber activity. However, there are several important differences in cardiac function between the two groups during hibernation. Left ventricular diastolic filling volumes and stroke volumes do not differ in bears between seasons, but increased diastolic and stroke volumes during hibernation are important contributors to cardiac output in ground squirrels. Decreased cardiac muscle mass and increased ventricular stiffness have been found in bears, whereas ground squirrels have increased cardiac muscle mass and decreased ventricular stiffness during hibernation. Molecular pathways of cardiac muscle plasticity reveal differences between the species in the modification of sarcomeric proteins such as titin and α myosin heavy chain during hibernation. The differences in hibernation character are likely to account for the alternative cardiac phenotypes and functional strategies manifested by the two species. Molecular investigation coupled with better knowledge of seasonal physiological

  11. Cryptosporidium rubeyi n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in multiple Spermophilus ground squirrel species.

    PubMed

    Li, Xunde; Pereira, Maria das Graças Cabral; Larsen, Royce; Xiao, Chengling; Phillips, Ralph; Striby, Karl; McCowan, Brenda; Atwill, Edward R

    2015-12-01

    Previously we reported the unique Cryptosporidium sp. "c" genotype (e.g., Sbey03c, Sbey05c, Sbld05c, Sltl05c) from three species of Spermophilus ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi, Spermophilus beldingi, Spermophilus lateralis) located throughout California, USA. This follow-up work characterizes the morphology and animal infectivity of this novel genotype as the final step in proposing it as a new species of Cryptosporidium. Analysis of sequences of 18S rRNA, actin, and HSP70 genes of additional Cryptosporidium isolates from recently sampled California ground squirrels (S. beecheyi) confirms the presence of the unique Sbey-c genotype in S. beecheyi. Phylogenetic and BLAST analysis indicates that the c-genotype in Spermophilus ground squirrels is distinct from Cryptosporidium species/genotypes from other host species currently available in GenBank. We propose to name this c-genotype found in Spermophilus ground squirrels as Cryptosporidium rubeyi n. sp. The mean size of C. rubeyi n. sp. oocysts is 4.67 (4.4-5.0) μm × 4.34 (4.0-5.0) μm, with a length/width index of 1.08 (n = 220). Oocysts of C. rubeyi n. sp. are not infectious to neonatal BALB/c mice and Holstein calves. GenBank accession numbers for C. rubeyi n. sp. are DQ295012, AY462233, and KM010224 for the 18S rRNA gene, KM010227 for the actin gene, and KM010229 for the HSP70 gene. PMID:26543805

  12. Cryptosporidium rubeyi n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in multiple Spermophilus ground squirrel species

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xunde; Pereira, Maria das Graças Cabral; Larsen, Royce; Xiao, Chengling; Phillips, Ralph; Striby, Karl; McCowan, Brenda; Atwill, Edward R.

    2015-01-01

    Previously we reported the unique Cryptosporidium sp. “c” genotype (e.g., Sbey03c, Sbey05c, Sbld05c, Sltl05c) from three species of Spermophilus ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi, Spermophilus beldingi, Spermophilus lateralis) located throughout California, USA. This follow-up work characterizes the morphology and animal infectivity of this novel genotype as the final step in proposing it as a new species of Cryptosporidium. Analysis of sequences of 18S rRNA, actin, and HSP70 genes of additional Cryptosporidium isolates from recently sampled California ground squirrels (S. beecheyi) confirms the presence of the unique Sbey-c genotype in S. beecheyi. Phylogenetic and BLAST analysis indicates that the c-genotype in Spermophilus ground squirrels is distinct from Cryptosporidium species/genotypes from other host species currently available in GenBank. We propose to name this c-genotype found in Spermophilus ground squirrels as Cryptosporidium rubeyi n. sp. The mean size of C. rubeyi n. sp. oocysts is 4.67 (4.4–5.0) μm × 4.34 (4.0–5.0) μm, with a length/width index of 1.08 (n = 220). Oocysts of C. rubeyi n. sp. are not infectious to neonatal BALB/c mice and Holstein calves. GenBank accession numbers for C. rubeyi n. sp. are DQ295012, AY462233, and KM010224 for the 18S rRNA gene, KM010227 for the actin gene, and KM010229 for the HSP70 gene. PMID:26543805

  13. Experimental infection of Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) with attenuated and virulent strains of Brucella abortus.

    PubMed

    Nol, Pauline; Olsen, Steven C; Rhyan, Jack C

    2009-01-01

    A previous investigation of the safety of Brucella abortus strain RB51 (sRB51) in various nontarget species suggested that Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) may develop persistent infections when orally inoculated with the vaccine. In the present study, sRB51, B. abortus strain 19 (s19), and virulent B. abortus strain 9941 (s9941) were administered orally to Richardson's ground squirrels to further characterize B. abortus infection in this species. Six groups of nongravid ground squirrels were orally inoculated with 6 x 10(8) colony forming units (cfu) sRB51 (n = 10), 2.5 x 10(4) cfu s19 (n = 10), 2.5 x 10(7) cfu s19 (n = 6), 1.3 x 10(6) cfu s9941 (n = 5), 2.1 x 10(8) cfu s9941 (n = 5), or vaccine diluent (control; n = 4). One of five animals in the lower-dose s19 group and two of three animals in the higher-dose s19 group showed persistence of bacteria in various tissues at 14 wk postinoculation (PI). At 18 wk PI, one of five animals in the sRB51 group and one of five animals in the high-dose s9941 group were culture positive. Although we did detect some persistence of B. abortus strains at 18 wk, we found no evidence of pathology caused by B. abortus strains in nonpregnant Richardson's ground squirrels based on clinical signs, gross lesions, and microscopic lesions. PMID:19204348

  14. The cloned genome of ground squirrel hepatitis virus is infectious in the animal.

    PubMed Central

    Seeger, C; Ganem, D; Varmus, H E

    1984-01-01

    The lack of an in vitro infectivity assay for hepatitis B viruses has impeded the analysis of their genetic organization. To examine the feasibility of generating mutant and recombinant viruses after manipulation of cloned viral DNA in vitro, we have tested the infectivity of the cloned genome of ground squirrel hepatitis virus (GSHV) in virus-free Beechey ground squirrels. We demonstrate that cloned GSHV DNA is infectious when injected directly into the liver in the form of trimeric, head-to-tail recombinant clones and recircularized monomeric molecules but not when injected into the portal vein. Infections established in all four recipients of intrahepatic injections of cloned GSHV DNA exhibited the characteristics observed after administration of virus: GSHV surface antigen and viral DNA appeared in the serum 14-22 weeks after inoculation, and both circular and heterogeneous protein-linked forms of viral DNA were found in liver biopsy samples. Furthermore, virus present in the sera of these animals can be transmitted to other ground squirrels. These findings imply that any function of virion proteins in the initiation of infection by hepatitis B viruses can be bypassed with the use of cloned viral DNA and that this animal model is suitable for testing mutant genomes. Images PMID:6091114

  15. Rapid divergence and gene flow at high latitudes shape the history of Holarctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus).

    PubMed

    McLean, Bryan S; Jackson, Donavan J; Cook, Joseph A

    2016-09-01

    Across the animal tree of life, the prevalence and evolutionary role(s) of hybridization remain incompletely understood. Rapidly radiating clades can serve as important systems for investigating these issues; however, such groups are often characterized by additional, widespread sources of gene tree discordance (e.g., incomplete lineage sorting). In this paper, we employed a multilocus dataset, Bayesian gene tree inference, and multiple species tree reconstruction methods to infer phylogeny of Holarctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus). We tested phylogenetic hypotheses based on previous morphological, cytological and single-locus datasets, and began to parse the causes of pervasive gene tree discordance that was observed. There is widespread incomplete lineage sorting in Urocitellus, consistent with rapid diversification embedded within the larger radiation of marmotine ground squirrels. We also recovered strong support for 2 instances of mitonuclear discord due to ancient hybridization among members of the high-latitude parryii-richardsonii-elegans clade. These results add to a growing number of documented hybridization events in ground squirrels, suggesting their radiation is a fertile system for understanding the interplay of diversification and hybridization in animal evolution. PMID:27261251

  16. Kin effects on energy allocation in group-living ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Viblanc, Vincent A; Saraux, Claire; Murie, Jan O; Dobson, F Stephen

    2016-09-01

    The social environment has potent effects on individual phenotype and fitness in group-living species. We asked whether the presence of kin might act on energy allocation, a central aspect of life-history variation. Using a 22-year data set on reproductive and somatic allocations in Columbian ground squirrels (Urocitellus columbianus), we tested the effects of co-breeding and non-breeding kin on the fitness and energy allocation balance between reproduction and personal body condition of individual females. Greater numbers of co-breeding kin had a positive effect on the number of offspring weaned, through the mechanism of altering energy allocation patterns. On average, females with higher numbers of co-breeding kin did not increase energy income but biased energy allocation towards reproduction. Co-breeding female kin ground squirrels maintain close nest burrows, likely providing a social buffer against territorial invasions from non-kin ground squirrels. Lower aggressiveness, lower risks of infanticide from female kin and greater protection of territorial boundaries may allow individual females to derive net fitness benefits via their energy allocation strategies. We demonstrated the importance of kin effects on a fundamental life-history trade-off. PMID:27263469

  17. Delayed effect of pinealectomy on hibernation of the golden-mantled ground squirrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ralph, C. L.; Harlow, H. J.; Phillips, J. A.

    1982-12-01

    Pinealectomy or radical sham pinealectomy were performed on adult golden-mantled ground squirrels, Spermophilus (=Citellus) lateralis, approximately 1 month prior to the date of normal winter emergence. The first hibernatory period and subsequent active season were not different in either of the operated groups from intact animals. However, although the initiation of the second hibernatory period was not affected in the pinealectomized animals, this group failed to show the progressive increase in the length of heterothermic bouts that is characteristic of normal hibernation. Also, terminal arousal occurred approximately 6 weeks earlier in the second year after pinealectomy. Male squirrels showed a corresponding time compression in their annual gonadal cycle, as was assessed by testicular state. These results suggest that the pineal gland of the golden-mantled ground squirrel is involved in the expression of the annual hibernatory cycle. In the absence of the pineal gland the adult of this species is unable to sustain the normal depth and duration of hibernation in the second over-wintering period following pinealectomy. We have carried out additional experiments with young, laboratory-born S. lateralis and with field-caught, adult S. richardsonii. The results of these studies also are described in this paper.

  18. Leptin regulates energy intake but fails to facilitate hibernation in fattening Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus).

    PubMed

    Xing, Xin; Tang, Gang-Bin; Sun, Ming-Yue; Yu, Chao; Song, Shi-Yi; Liu, Xin-Yu; Yang, Ming; Wang, De-Hua

    2016-04-01

    Body fat storage before hibernation affects the timing of immergence in Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus). Leptin is an adipose signal and plays vital role in energy homeostasis mainly by action in brain. To test the hypothesis that leptin plays a role in facilitating the process of hibernation, squirrels were administrated with recombinant murine leptin (1μg/day) through intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection for 12 days during fattening. From day 7 to 12, animals were moved into a cold room (5±1°C) with constant darkness which functioned as hibernaculum. Energy intake, body mass and core body temperature (Tb) were continuously monitored throughout the course of experiment. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured under both warm and cold conditions. At the end of leptin administration, we measured the serum concentration of hormones related to energy regulation, mRNA expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) levels in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Our results showed that during leptin administration, the cumulative food intake and increase of body mass were suppressed while Tb and RMR were unaltered. The proportion of torpid squirrels was not different between two groups. At the end of leptin administration, the expressions of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and agouti gene-related protein were suppressed. There were no differences in UCP1 mRNA expression or protein content in BAT between groups. Our data suggest that leptin can affect energy intake via hypothalamic neuropeptides, but is not involved in the initiation of hibernation in fattening Daurian ground squirrels. PMID:27033037

  19. Ground squirrel tail-flag displays alter both predatory strike and ambush site selection behaviours of rattlesnakes.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Matthew A; Clark, Rulon W

    2012-09-22

    Many species approach, inspect and signal towards their predators. These behaviours are often interpreted as predator-deterrent signals--honest signals that indicate to a predator that continued hunting is likely to be futile. However, many of these putative predator-deterrent signals are given when no predator is present, and it remains unclear if and why such signals deter predators. We examined the effects of one such signal, the tail-flag display of California ground squirrels, which is frequently given both during and outside direct encounters with northern Pacific rattlesnakes. We video-recorded and quantified the ambush foraging responses of rattlesnakes to tail-flagging displays from ground squirrels. We found that tail-flagging deterred snakes from striking squirrels, most likely by advertising squirrel vigilance (i.e. readiness to dodge a snake strike). We also found that tail-flagging by adult squirrels increased the likelihood that snakes would leave their ambush site, apparently by elevating the vigilance of nearby squirrels which reduces the profitability of the ambush site. Our results provide some of the first empirical evidence of the mechanisms by which a prey display, although frequently given in the absence of a predator, may still deter predators during encounters. PMID:22787023

  20. Metabolic effects of cold storage on livers from euthermic and hibernating Columbian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Churchill, T A; Simpkin, S; Wang, L C; Green, C J; Williams, S R; Busza, A L; Fuller, B J

    1996-02-01

    The current study was undertaken to investigate energy metabolism during hypoxia in the cold in livers from euthermic and hibernating Columbian ground squirrels. We hypothesized that the hibernating Columbian ground squirrel would be able to maintain liver energetics for a considerably longer time than euthermic animals. Particular reference was made to the function of glycolysis, which is the only mechanism for energy production under hypothermic ischemia. The transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism was apparent in both euthermic and hibernating animals as lactate levels rose within 1-3 h; total lactate accumulation was 2.5 micromol/g in both groups. In euthermic squirrels, liver ATP and ADP decreased considerably over the first 3-h storage; values dropped by 55% and 34%, respectively. Conversely, as the drain on high energy phosphate pools progressed, there was an increase in low energy adenylate, AMP. Between 10 and 24 h of storage, increases in AMP accounted for approximately 25-30% of total ATP + ADP decrease. The remainder of the drop in adenylates was accounted for by considerable decreases in total adenylate (TA) contents; by 24 h TA contents had decreased by 2.0 micromol/g. Livers from hibernating squirrels exhibited similar patterns of adenylate change and were not significantly higher than their euthermic counterparts. With respect to regulatory control of glycolysis, livers from euthermic squirrels exhibited no regulatory control at phosphofructokinase (PFK) or pyruvate kinase (PK). Livers from hibernating animals, however, showed an activation at PFK by 10 h of cold storage; levels of hexose phosphates, glucose-6-phosphate + fructose 6-phosphate (G6P + F6P), dropped and fructose 1, 6-biphosphate (F1,6P2), increased. Changes in metabolite levels (phosphoenolpyruvate and pyruvate) associated with another key suspect regulatory enzyme, PK, indicated no role in regulatory control of glycolysis during the 24-h period. The apparent increase in PFK

  1. Melatonin receptor signaling contributes to neuroprotection upon arousal from torpor in thirteen-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Christine; Ballinger, Mallory A; Andrews, Matthew T

    2015-11-15

    The brain of mammalian hibernators is naturally protected. Hibernating ground squirrels undergo rapid and extreme changes in body temperature and brain perfusion as they cycle between lengthy torpor bouts and brief periods of euthermia called interbout arousals (IBAs). Arousal from torpor to IBA occurs rapidly, but there is no evidence of brain injury accompanying this extreme physiological transition. Production of the hormone melatonin accompanies arousal, suggesting that it plays a protective role at this time. Here, we investigated mechanisms of melatonin receptor-mediated protection in the brain of the hibernating ground squirrel. We administered the competitive melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole (30 mg/kg ip) to ground squirrels at the predicted end of a torpor bout, triggering an arousal. We found that luzindole-treated animals exhibited caspase-3 activity two times higher than vehicle-treated animals in the hypothalamus at midarousal (P = 0.01), suggesting that melatonin receptor signaling is important for protection in this brain region. We also found a 30% decline in succinate-fueled mitochondrial respiration in luzindole-treated animals compared with vehicle-treated animals (P = 0.019), suggesting that melatonin receptor signaling is important for optimal mitochondrial function during arousal from torpor. The mitochondrial effects of luzindole treatment were seen only during the hibernation season, indicating that this effect is specifically important for arousal from torpor. These data provide evidence for the protective role of melatonin receptor signaling during the extreme physiological transition that occurs when a hibernating mammal arouses from torpor and provide further evidence for regional and seasonal changes in the hibernator brain. PMID:26354846

  2. Fungal remains in Pleistocene ground squirrel dung from Yukon Territory, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirozynski, Kris A.; Carter, Adrian; Day, Richard G.

    1984-11-01

    Fungi in dung of the Arctic ground squirrel ( Spermophilus parryii) collected near Dominion Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada, have a radiocarbon age of 12,200 ± 100 yr B.P. Most of the fungal remains are assignable to modern taxa, and most of these are either widespread saprobes or nonspecific coprophiles. However, specimens identified as Chaetomium simile and Thecaphora deformans represent fungi that may be more characteristic of rodent dung than that of other animals, inviting consideration of dung fungi as a potential source of paleontological data.

  3. You can hide but you can’t run: apparent competition, predator responses and the decline of Arctic ground squirrels in boreal forests of the southwest Yukon

    PubMed Central

    Gillis, Elizabeth A.; Boonstra, Rudy; Krebs, Charles J.

    2016-01-01

    Throughout much of North America’s boreal forest, the cyclical fluctuations of snowshoe hare populations (Lepus americanus) may cause other herbivores to become entrained in similar cycles. Alternating apparent competition via prey switching followed by positive indirect effects are the mechanisms behind this interaction. Our purpose is to document a change in the role of indirect interactions between sympatric populations of hares and arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii plesius), and to emphasize the influence of predation for controlling ground squirrel numbers. We used mark-recapture to estimate the population densities of both species over a 25-year period that covered two snowshoe hare cycles. We analysed the strength of association between snowshoe hare and ground squirrel numbers, and the changes to the seasonal and annual population growth rates of ground squirrels over time. A hyperbolic curve best describes the per capita rate of increase of ground squirrels relative to their population size, with a single stable equilibrium and a lower critical threshold below which populations drift to extinction. The crossing of this unstable boundary resulted in the subsequent uncoupling of ground squirrel and hare populations following the decline phase of their cycles in 1998. The implications are that this sustained Type II predator response led to the local extinction of ground squirrels. When few individuals are left in a colony, arctic ground squirrels may also have exhibited an Allee effect caused by the disruption of social signalling of approaching predators.

  4. Antipredator vigilance of juvenile and adult thirteen-lined ground squirrels and the role of nutritional need.

    PubMed

    Arenz; Leger

    2000-03-01

    Juvenile thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus, are less vigilant (i.e. they spend less time visually scanning the environment) than adults. To determine whether nutritional need was a potential cause of this difference, we supplemented two groups of free-ranging juveniles during the predispersal stage, while juveniles were still near and around the natal burrows. The high-energy food group (HEF: 11 squirrels) received peanut butter and oats while the low-energy food group (LEF: seven squirrels) received lettuce. Adults (14 squirrels) were also supplemented, but due to their greater home range sizes, it was not feasible to classify them as either HEF or LEF. To evaluate the effect of supplementation on antipredator vigilance, the behavioural act of visually scanning for predators, we videotaped individuals while they were foraging above ground during 5-min observation periods. Each squirrel was observed and weighed during three time periods over 23 days. From the videotape, we extracted measures of time spent vigilant, locomoting and foraging. All three categories of squirrels gained mass over the study period, but the HEF juveniles rapidly exceeded that of the LEF juveniles. Early in the study, LEF and HEF juveniles did not significantly differ in either body mass or time budgets, and, initially, both juvenile groups were similar to adults in the amount of time devoted to vigilance. Later in the study, the behaviour of HEF juveniles closely resembled that of adults (increased time devoted to vigilance and decreased time devoted to foraging), while LEF juveniles decreased vigilance and increased their foraging time. This study indicates that for thirteen-lined ground squirrels the lower vigilance of juveniles is due, at least in part, to the greater nutritional needs of young animals with consequent increases in foraging, which is largely incompatible with vigilance. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID

  5. Metabolic rate and prehibernation fattening in free-living arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Sheriff, Michael J; Fridinger, Robert W; Tøien, Øivind; Barnes, Brian M; Buck, C Loren

    2013-01-01

    Hibernating mammals become sequestered and cease foraging during prolonged seasonal periods of reduced or unpredictable food availability and instead rely on cached food and/or endogenous reserves of fat and protein accumulated during the previous active season. The gain in weight is due to increased food consumption, but it also has been hypothesized that hibernators maximize rates of fattening by decreasing costs of maintenance before weight gain, reflected in reduced resting metabolic rate (RMR). We recorded repeated measures of total body, lean, and fat mass in individual adult male and female arctic ground squirrels across their active season and found that squirrels increased body mass by 42% (males) and 62% (females). This gain was achieved through a 17% increase in lean mass and a 7-8-fold increase in fat mass; however, mass gain was not linear and patterns differed between sexes. Contrary to our hypothesis, decreases in RMR were not associated with rapid mass gain. We found RMR of males increased (whole-animal RMR or lean-mass-specific RMR) or remained constant (mass-specific RMR) for most of the active season and decreased only after the majority of mass had been gained. In females, although RMR (whole-animal, mass-specific, and lean-mass RMR) generally decreased across the active season, the greatest decrease occurred late in the active season after the majority of mass had been gained. In conclusion, arctic ground squirrels do not trade off metabolism to facilitate rates of weight gain before hibernation, but they do use energy sparing strategies before hibernation that help maintain peak mass. PMID:23995482

  6. Acoustic analysis of the alarm call of the Anatolian ground squirrel Spermophilus xanthoprymnus: a description and comparison with alarm calls of the Taurus S. taurensis and European S. citellus ground squirrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneiderová, Irena; Policht, Richard

    2012-01-01

    The Anatolian ground squirrel Spermophilus xanthoprymnus like other ground-dwelling sciurids, emits alarm calls in the presence of predators. In this study, we provide a description of the acoustic structure of alarm call of this species and compare it to those of two closely related species, the Taurus ground squirrel Spermophilus taurensis and the European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus. The alarm call of S. xanthoprymnus is a tonal sound mostly consisting of two different elements—the first element has low frequency modulation while the second element is highly frequency modulated. A similar basic structure can be found in the alarm calls of some other old world ground squirrel species of the genus Spermophilus, including S. taurensis and S. citellus. Despite this similarity, we found that these three species can be clearly distinguished on the basis of their alarm calls. Differences in the acoustic structure of S. xanthoprymnus and S. taurensis calls are especially remarkable, as these two species were considered to be conspecific until 2007. S. xanthoprymnus and S. taurensis were also demonstrated to have closer acoustic similarity, which is in contrast to results based on molecular data indicating that S. taurensis is most closely related to S. citellus.

  7. Antioxidant defense in hibernation: cloning and expression of peroxiredoxins from hibernating ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Morin, Pier; Storey, Kenneth B

    2007-05-01

    Mammalian hibernation is characterized by prolonged torpor bouts interspersed by brief arousal periods. Adequate antioxidant defenses are needed both to sustain cell viability over weeks of deep torpor and to defend against high rates of oxyradical formation associated with massive oxygen-based thermogenesis during arousal. The present study shows that up-regulation of peroxiredoxins contributes to antioxidant defense during torpor in thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus. Expression levels of three isozymes of the 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (Prdx) family were quantified by Western blotting, the results showing 4.0- and 12.9-fold increases in Prdx1 protein in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and heart, respectively, during hibernation compared with euthermia. Comparable increases in Prdx2 were 2.4- and 3.7-fold whereas Prdx3 rose by 3.1-fold in heart of torpid animals. Total 2-Cys peroxiredoxin enzymatic activity also rose during hibernation by 1.5-fold in heart and 3.5-fold in BAT. Furthermore, RT-PCR showed that prdx2 mRNA levels increased by 1.7- and 3.7-fold in BAT and heart, respectively, during hibernation. A partial nucleotide sequence of prdx2 from ground squirrels was obtained by PCR amplification, the deduced amino acid sequence showing 96-97% identity with Prdx2 from other mammals. Some unique amino acid substitutions were identified that might contribute to stabilizing Prdx2 conformation at the near 0 degrees C body temperatures during torpor. PMID:17362873

  8. Kin selection in Columbian ground squirrels: direct and indirect fitness benefits.

    PubMed

    Dobson, F Stephen; Viblanc, Vincent A; Arnaud, Coline M; Murie, Jan O

    2012-02-01

    Empirical and theoretical studies have supported kin selection by demonstrating nepotism or modelling its conditions and consequences. As an alternative, we previously found that female Columbian ground squirrels had greater direct fitness when more close kin were present. Extending those results, we used population matrix methods to calculate minimum estimates of individual fitness, estimated direct and indirect components of fitness, estimated inclusive fitness by adding the direct fitness (stripped of estimated influences of the social environment) and indirect fitness components together, and finally looked for inclusive fitness benefits of associations with close kin who seem to be 'genial neighbours'. We examined the estimated fitness of a sample of 35 females for which complete lifetimes were known for themselves, their mothers and their littermate sisters. Six of these females had no cosurviving adult close kin, and their direct fitness was significantly lower than 29 females with such kin (λ = 0.66 vs. λ = 1.23). The net fitness benefit of the presence of close kin was thus 0.57. The estimated indirect component of fitness through benefits to the direct fitness of close kin was 0.43. Thus, estimated inclusive fitness for females with cosurviving close kin (λ = 1.09) was significantly greater than that for females without surviving close kin (viz., λ = 0.66). The presence of closely related and philopatric female kin appeared to result in considerable fitness benefits for female ground squirrels, perhaps through the behavioural mechanisms of lowered aggression and other forms of behavioural cooperation. PMID:21883578

  9. A validation of extraction methods for noninvasive sampling of glucocorticoids in free-living ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Mateo, Jill M; Cavigelli, Sonia A

    2005-01-01

    Fecal hormone assays provide a powerful tool for noninvasive monitoring of endocrine status in wild animals. In this study we validated a protocol for extracting and measuring glucocorticoids in free-living and captive Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi). We first compared two commonly used extraction protocols to determine which performed better with commercially available antibodies. We next verified the preferred extraction method by correlating circulating and fecal glucocorticoid measures from a group of individuals over time. For this comparison, we used both a cortisol and a corticosterone antibody to determine which had greater affinity to the fecal metabolites. Cortisol was the primary circulating glucocorticoid, but both hormones were present in well above detectable concentrations in the blood, which does not occur in other sciurids. In addition, the cortisol antibody showed greater binding with the fecal extracts than did the corticosterone antibody. Finally, we used adrenocorticotropic hormone and dexamethasone challenges to demonstrate that changes in adrenal functioning are reflected in changing fecal corticoid levels. These results suggest that our extraction protocol provides a fast, reliable assay of stress hormones in free-living ground squirrels without the confounding influence of short-term rises in glucocorticoid concentrations caused by handling and restraint stress and that it can facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies of stress in wild species. PMID:16228945

  10. Seasonal variation in daily activity patterns of free-ranging European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus).

    PubMed

    Everts, Lammina G; Strijkstra, Arjen M; Hut, Roelof A; Hoffmann, Ilse E; Millesi, Eva

    2004-01-01

    Daily aboveground activity of European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus) in their natural habitat was recorded with a visual scanning procedure during the active seasons of 1992 and 1993. Activity patterns were analyzed with respect to time of year and to the animal's reproductive state. Aboveground activity started on average 3.9 h (SD 0.6 h, n = 37 days) after civil twilight at dawn and ended on average 3.2 h (SD 0.9 h, n = 37 days) before civil twilight at dusk. Between onset and offset of activity, 54% was spent aboveground, of which 73% was spent foraging. Activity patterns were influenced by photoperiod, rainfall, and by reproductive state. During mating, reproductively active males started activity earlier than females and reproductively inactive males. For females, time spent foraging was high during lactation. The midpoint of daily activity was at 12:16 h (SD 0.37 h, n = 37 days). Activity patterns of European ground squirrels thus appear robustly positioned in the middle of the photoperiod. PMID:15129824

  11. Caching in the presence of competitors: Are Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris) sensitive to audience attentiveness?

    PubMed

    Samson, Jamie; Manser, Marta B

    2016-01-01

    When social animals cache food close to their burrow, the potential for an audience member to observe the event is significantly increased. As a consequence, in order to reduce theft it may be advantageous for animals to be sensitive to certain audience cues, such as whether they are attentive or not to the cache event. In this study, observations were made on three groups of Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris) in their natural habitat when they cached provisioned food items. When individuals cached within 10 m of conspecifics, we recorded the attentiveness (i.e. whether any audience members were orientated towards the cacher, had direct line of site and were not engaged in other activities) and identity of audience members. Overall, there was a preference to cache when audience members were inattentive rather than attentive. Additionally, we found rank effects related to cache avoidance whereby high-ranked individuals showed less avoidance to cache when audience members were attentive compared to medium- and low-ranked individuals. We suggest this audience sensitivity may have evolved in response to the difference in competitive ability amongst the ranks in how successful individuals are at winning foraging competitions. This study demonstrates that Cape ground squirrels have the ability to not only monitor the presence or absence of conspecifics but also discriminate individuals on the basis of their attentive state. PMID:26242609

  12. Absolute, not relative brain size correlates with sociality in ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Matějů, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Pavelková, Zuzana; Pavelková Řičánková, Věra; Vohralík, Vladimír; Němec, Pavel

    2016-03-30

    The social brain hypothesis (SBH) contends that cognitive demands associated with living in cohesive social groups favour the evolution of large brains. Although the correlation between relative brain size and sociality reported in various groups of birds and mammals provides broad empirical support for this hypothesis, it has never been tested in rodents, the largest mammalian order. Here, we test the predictions of the SBH in the ground squirrels from the tribe Marmotini. These rodents exhibit levels of sociality ranging from solitary and single-family female kin groups to egalitarian polygynous harems but feature similar ecologies and life-history traits. We found little support for the association between increase in sociality and increase in relative brain size. Thus, sociality does not drive the evolution of encephalization in this group of rodents, a finding inconsistent with the SBH. However, body mass and absolute brain size increase with sociality. These findings suggest that increased social complexity in the ground squirrels goes hand in hand with larger body mass and brain size, which are tightly coupled to each other. PMID:27009231

  13. Multilocus analyses indicate a mosaic distribution of hybrid populations in ground squirrels (genus Ictidomys)

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Cody W; Anwarali Khan, Faisal Ali; Stangl, Frederick B; Baker, Robert J; Bradley, Robert D

    2013-01-01

    DNA sequence data from mitochondrial cytochrome-b (Cytb) and Y-linked structural maintenance of chromosomes (SmcY) genes were combined with 478 nuclear loci obtained from amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) to assess the extent of hybridization and genetic spatial structure of populations in two hybridizing species of ground squirrel (Ictidomys parvidens and Ictidomys tridecemlineatus). Based on AFLP analyses of 134 individuals from 28 populations, 10 populations were identified that possessed hybrid individuals. Overall estimates of FST values revealed strong support for population structure in the Cytb data set; however, analyses of the SmcY gene and the AFLP data indicated ongoing gene flow between species. Pairwise FST comparisons of populations were not significant for the SmcY gene; although they were significant for the Cytb gene, indicating that these populations were structured and that gene flow was minimal. Therefore, gene flow between I. parvidens and I. tridecemlineatus appeared to be restricted to populations that exhibited hybridization. In addition, the fragmented nature of the geographic landscape suggested limited gene flow between populations. As a result, the distributional pattern of interspersed parental and hybrid populations were compatible with a mosaic hybrid zone model. Because ground squirrels display female philopatry and male-biased dispersal, the ecology of these species is compatible with this hypothesis. PMID:24340186

  14. The influence of changing seasonality and snow cover on arctic ground squirrel phenology.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, B.; Sheriff, M.; Kenagy, J.; Buck, L.; Team Squirrel

    2011-12-01

    A warming climate in the Arctic may have asymmetrical effects on seasonality, depending on the timing and extent of snow cover. Warm autumns that delay the onset of persistent snow cover will lengthen growing seasons of some plants and, combined with continuing access to fallen seeds, berries, and leaves, extend feeding opportunities for ground foragers. Warming in spring should advance when the ground becomes snow free and the onset of plant productivity, leading overall to a longer growing season. However, if winter and spring precipitation increase, as is predicted in climate models, the amount and seasonal extent of snow pack will increase, which will delay melt and lead to delayed springs. Either of these scenarios may develop regionally, depending on local weather, snow, and wind. Since 1996, we have been investigating the timing of annual events in natural populations of arctic ground squirrels, Urocitellus parryii, living at two nearby sites (Toolik and Atigun, 68o38'N) in arctic Alaska that greatly differ in timing and duration of snow cover. Since arctic ground squirrels are highly dependent on snow free ground for foraging, we predicted that these environmental differences will have had major impacts on life histories and timing of annual events on the local populations. Precision in dates of the beginning and end of hibernation, use of heterothermy, and birth of young were determined by temperature-sensitive data loggers implanted into juvenile and adult animals of both sexes. Weather stations, snow cameras, and transects for plant phenology are in place at both locations, although record lengths differ. While across the past 15 years annual timing of hibernation and breeding has not shown significant trends at either site, the two populations have differed consistently in hibernation timing and length of active season, and they show a 13 day difference in average timing of reproduction. These results reveal a substantial flexibility of timing of the

  15. Late Pleistocene paleoecology of arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests from Interior Alaska's mammoth steppe ecosystem, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Barnes, Brian M.; Zazula, Grant D.; Beaudoin, Alwynne B.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2011-11-01

    Botanical analyses of fossil and modern arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests have been used to reconstruct the past vegetation from some parts of Beringia, but such archives are understudied in Alaska. Five modern and four fossil samples from arctic ground squirrel caches and nests provide information on late Pleistocene vegetation in Eastern Beringia. Modern arctic ground squirrel caches from Alaska's arctic tundra were dominated by willow and grass leaves and grass seeds and bearberries, which were widespread in the local vegetation as confirmed by vegetation surveys. Late Pleistocene caches from Interior Alaska were primarily composed of steppe and dry tundra graminoid and herb seeds. Graminoid cuticle analysis of fossil leaves identified Calamagrostis canadensis, Koeleria sp. and Carex albonigra as being common in the fossil samples. Stable carbon isotopes analysis of these graminoid specimens indicated that plants using the C 3 photosynthetic pathways were present and functioning with medium to high water-use efficiency. Fossil plant taxa and environments from ground squirrel caches in Alaska are similar to other macrofossil assemblages from the Yukon Territory, which supports the existence of a widespread mammoth steppe ecosystem type in Eastern Beringia that persisted throughout much of the late Pleistocene.

  16. Effects of season and host physiological state on the diversity, density, and activity of the arctic ground squirrel cecal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Timothy J; Duddleston, Khrystyne N; Buck, C Loren

    2014-09-01

    We examined the seasonal changes of the cecal microbiota of captive arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) by measuring microbial diversity and composition, total bacterial density and viability, and short-chain fatty acid concentrations at four sample periods (summer, torpor, interbout arousal, and posthibernation). Abundance of Firmicutes was lower, whereas abundances of Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Proteobacteria were higher during torpor and interbout arousal than in summer. Bacterial densities and percentages of live bacteria were significantly higher in summer than during torpor and interbout arousal. Likewise, total short-chain fatty acid concentrations were significantly greater during summer than during torpor and interbout arousal. Concentrations of individual short-chain fatty acids varied across sample periods, with butyrate concentrations higher and acetate concentrations lower during summer than at all other sample periods. Characteristics of the gut community posthibernation were more similar to those during torpor and interbout arousal than to those during summer. However, higher abundances of the genera Bacteroides and Akkermansia occurred during posthibernation than during interbout arousal and torpor. Collectively, our results clearly demonstrate that seasonal changes in physiology associated with hibernation and activity affect the gut microbial community in the arctic ground squirrel. Importantly, similarities between the gut microbiota of arctic ground squirrels and thirteen-lined ground squirrels suggest the potential for a core microbiota during hibernation. PMID:25002417

  17. Seasonal changes in the activity of antioxidative defense in the kidneys of the euthermic ground squirrel (Citellus citellus).

    PubMed

    Buzadzić, B; Blagojević, D; Korać, B; Saicić, Z S; Spasić, M B; Petrović, V M

    1998-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the activity of the antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (EC 1.15.1.1; SOD), catalase (EC 1.11.1.6; CAT), glutathione peroxidase (EC 1.11.1.9; GSH-Px), glutathione-S-transferase (EC 2.5.1.18; GST), glutathione reductase (EC 1.6.4.2; GR) and the low molecular mass antioxidants: ascorbic acid (ASA) and vitamin E (vit E) in the kidney of ground squirrels during circannual changes. Keeping the ground squirrel at the temperature of thermic neutrality (30 degrees C) provides a stable euthermic state during the whole year and thus any change is due to the circannual rhythm. The highest specific activity of all examined antioxidative defense enzymes in the kidney was found in the spring, when ground squirrels are seasonally the most active. In the summer, lower specific activity of GSH-Px as well as of SOD and CAT were noted and, when expressed per g wet mass, only a decrease in GSH-Px activity was recorded. In the kidney of ground squirrels kept at 30 degrees C, the lowest specific activity of all examined enzymes was found during the winter and, when expressed per g wet mass, only the SOD activity was lower than in the spring and summer. Higher amounts of vitamins C and E were found in the ground squirrel kidneys in the summer. The results obtained in this work demonstrate that circannual regulation of metabolic activity, which is inherent to seasonal hibernators, is also expressed at the level of antioxidative defense in the kidneys. PMID:9726801

  18. Demography of a population collapse: the Northern Idaho ground squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherman, P.W.; Runge, M.C.

    2002-01-01

    We studied the demography of a population of Northern Idaho ground squirrels (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus) in Adams Co., Idaho. The population was completely censused yearly from 1987 to 1999, during which time it declined from 272 to 10 animals. The finite population growth rate, based on a Leslie matrix model of average life-history parameters, was only 0.72 (i.e., significantly <1.0). Growth rate was more sensitive to proportional changes in juvenile female survival than to any other single life-history parameter. Comparisons with self-sustaining populations of closely related ground squirrel species revealed that juvenile survival and breeding rates of yearling females were anomalously low. We believe that the ultimate cause of the population's collapse was inadequacy of food resources, particularly seeds, due to drying of the habitat and changes in plant species composition, likely the result of fire suppression and grazing. No 'rescue' by immigration occurred, probably because S. b. brunneus seldom disperse long distances and fire suppression has allowed conifers to encroach on inhabited meadows, shrinking them and closing dispersal routes. The proximate cause of the population's collapse was mortality of older breeding females, which reduced the mean age of breeders. Younger females had lower average pregnancy rates and litter sizes. To place our results in context we developed a new, general classification of anthropogenic population declines, based on whether they are caused by changes in the means of the life-history parameters (blatant disturbances), their variances (inappropriate variations), or the correlations among them (evolutionary traps). Many S. b. brunneus populations have disappeared in recent years, apparently due to blatant disturbances, especially loss of habitat and changes in food-plant composition, resulting in inadequate prehibernation nutrition and starvation overwinter. In addition, our study population may have been caught in an

  19. The effects of hibernation and forced disuse (neurectomy) on bone properties in arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Bogren, Lori K; Johnston, Erin L; Barati, Zeinab; Martin, Paula A; Wojda, Samantha J; Van Tets, Ian G; LeBlanc, Adrian D; Donahue, Seth W; Drew, Kelly L

    2016-05-01

    Bone loss is a well-known medical consequence of disuse such as in long-term space flight. Immobilization in many animals mimics the effects of space flight on bone mineral density. Decreases in metabolism are also thought to contribute to a loss of skeletal mass. Hibernating mammals provide a natural model of disuse and metabolic suppression. Hibernating ground squirrels have been shown to maintain bone strength despite long periods of disuse and decreased metabolism during torpor. This study examined if the lack of bone loss during torpor was a result of the decrease in metabolic rate during torpor or an evolutionary change in these animals affording protection against disuse. We delineated changes in bone density during natural disuse (torpor) and forced disuse (sciatic neurectomy) in the hind limbs of the arctic ground squirrel (AGS) over an entire year. We hypothesized that the animals would be resistant to bone loss due to immobilization and disuse during the winter hibernation season when metabolism is depressed but not the summer active season. This hypothesis was not supported. The animals maintained bone density (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and most bone structural and mechanical properties in both seasons. This was observed in both natural and forced disuse, regardless of the known metabolic rate increase during the summer. However, trabecular bone volume fraction (microcomputed tomography) in the distal femur was lower in neurectomized AGS at the study endpoint. These results demonstrate a need to better understand the relationship between skeletal load (use) and bone density that may lead to therapeutics or strategies to maintain bone density in disuse conditions. PMID:27225624

  20. Spatial and Temporal Activation of Brain Regions in Hibernation: c-fos Expression during the Hibernation Bout in Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel

    PubMed Central

    BRATINCSÁK, ANDRÁS; McMULLEN, DAVID; MIYAKE, SHINICHI; TÓTH, ZSUZSANNA E.; HALLENBECK, JOHN M.; PALKOVITS, MIKLÓS

    2009-01-01

    Hibernation results in dramatic changes in body temperature and metabolism; however, the central nervous system remains active during deep torpor. By cloning c-fos cDNA from the 13-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) and using squirrel c-fos mRNA probe for in situ hybridization histochemistry, we systematically analyzed and identified specific brain regions that were activated during six different phases of the hibernation bout. During entrance into torpor, we detected activation of the ventrolateral subdivision of the medial preoptic area (‘thermoregulatory center’), and the reticular thalamic nucleus, which is known to inhibit the somatomotor cortex. During torpor, c-fos expression in the cortex was suppressed while the reticular thalamic nucleus remained uniformly active. Throughout torpor the suprachiasmatic nucleus (‘biological clock’) showed increasing activity, likely participating in phase-change regulation of the hibernation bout. Interestingly, during torpor very strong c-fos activation was seen in the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus and in tanycytes at the third ventricle, both peaking near the beginning of arousal. In arousal, activity of the suprachiasmatic and reticular thalamic nuclei and choroid epithelial cells diminished, while ependymal cells in the lateral and fourth ventricles showed stronger activity. Increasing body temperature during arousal was driven by the activation of neurons in the medial part of the preoptic area. In interbout awake animals, we demonstrated the activation of hypothalamic neurons located in the arcuate nucleus and the dorsolateral hypothalamus, areas involved in food intake. Our observations indicate that the hibernation bout is closely regulated and orchestrated by specific regions of the central nervous system. PMID:17912746

  1. Expression Profiling and Structural Characterization of MicroRNAs in Adipose Tissues of Hibernating Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K.; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are important in regulating metabolic stress. In this study, we determined the expression and structural characteristics of 20 miRNAs in brown (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) during torpor in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Using a modified stem-loop technique, we found that during torpor, expression of six miRNAs including let-7a, let-7b, miR-107, miR-150, miR-222 and miR-31 was significantly downregulated in WAT (P < 0.05), which was 16%–54% of euthermic non-torpid control squirrels, whereas expression of three miRNAs including miR-143, miR-200a and miR-519d was found to be upregulated by 1.32–2.34-fold. Similarly, expression of more miRNAs was downregulated in BAT during torpor. We detected reduced expression of 6 miRNAs including miR-103a, miR-107, miR-125b, miR-21, miR-221 and miR-31 (48%–70% of control), while only expression of miR-138 was significantly upregulated (2.91 ± 0.8-fold of the control, P < 0.05). Interestingly, miRNAs found to be downregulated in WAT during torpor were similar to those dysregulated in obese humans for increased adipogenesis, whereas miRNAs with altered expression in BAT during torpor were linked to mitochondrial β-oxidation. miRPath target prediction analysis showed that miRNAs downregulated in both WAT and BAT were associated with the regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, while the miRNAs upregulated in WAT were linked to transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling. Compared to mouse sequences, no unique nucleotide substitutions within the stem-loop region were discovered for the associated pre-miRNAs for the miRNAs used in this study, suggesting no structure-influenced changes in pre-miRNA processing efficiency in the squirrel. As well, the expression of miRNA processing enzyme Dicer remained unchanged in both tissues during torpor. Overall, our findings suggest that changes of miRNA expression in adipose tissues may be linked

  2. Expression profiling and structural characterization of microRNAs in adipose tissues of hibernating ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K; Storey, Kenneth B

    2014-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are important in regulating metabolic stress. In this study, we determined the expression and structural characteristics of 20 miRNAs in brown (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) during torpor in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Using a modified stem-loop technique, we found that during torpor, expression of six miRNAs including let-7a, let-7b, miR-107, miR-150, miR-222 and miR-31 was significantly downregulated in WAT (P<0.05), which was 16%-54% of euthermic non-torpid control squirrels, whereas expression of three miRNAs including miR-143, miR-200a and miR-519d was found to be upregulated by 1.32-2.34-fold. Similarly, expression of more miRNAs was downregulated in BAT during torpor. We detected reduced expression of 6 miRNAs including miR-103a, miR-107, miR-125b, miR-21, miR-221 and miR-31 (48%-70% of control), while only expression of miR-138 was significantly upregulated (2.91±0.8-fold of the control, P<0.05). Interestingly, miRNAs found to be downregulated in WAT during torpor were similar to those dysregulated in obese humans for increased adipogenesis, whereas miRNAs with altered expression in BAT during torpor were linked to mitochondrial β-oxidation. miRPath target prediction analysis showed that miRNAs downregulated in both WAT and BAT were associated with the regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, while the miRNAs upregulated in WAT were linked to transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling. Compared to mouse sequences, no unique nucleotide substitutions within the stem-loop region were discovered for the associated pre-miRNAs for the miRNAs used in this study, suggesting no structure-influenced changes in pre-miRNA processing efficiency in the squirrel. As well, the expression of miRNA processing enzyme Dicer remained unchanged in both tissues during torpor. Overall, our findings suggest that changes of miRNA expression in adipose tissues may be linked to distinct

  3. Changes in calpains and calpastatin in the soleus muscle of Daurian ground squirrels during hibernation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chen-Xi; He, Yue; Gao, Yun-Fang; Wang, Hui-Ping; Goswami, Nandu

    2014-10-01

    We investigated changes in muscle mass, calpains, calpastatin and Z-disk ultrastructure in the soleus muscle (SOL) of Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus) after hibernation or hindlimb suspension to determine possible mechanisms by which muscle atrophy is prevented in hibernators. Squirrels (n=30) were divided into five groups: no hibernation group (PRE, n=6); hindlimb suspension group (HLS, n=6); two month hibernation group (HIB, n=6); two day group after 90±12 days of hibernation (POST, n=6); and forced exercise group (one time forced, moderate-intensity treadmill exercise) after arousal (FE, n=6). Activity and protein expression of calpains were determined by casein zymography and western blotting, and Z-disk ultrastructure was observed by transmission electron microscopy. The following results were found. Lower body mass and higher SOL muscle mass (mg) to total body mass (g) ratio were observed in HIB and POST; calpain-1 activity increased significantly by 176% (P=0.034) in HLS compared to the PRE group; no significant changes were observed in calpain-2 activity. Protein expression of calpain-1 and calpain-2 increased by 83% (P=0.041) and 208% (P=0.029) in HLS compared to the PRE group, respectively; calpastatin expression increased significantly by 180% (P<0.001) and 153% (P=0.007) in HIB and POST, respectively; the myofilaments were well-organized, and the width of the sarcomere and the Z-disk both appeared visually similar among the pre-hibernation, hibernating and post-hibernation animals. Inhibition of calpain activity and consequently calpain-mediated protein degradation by highly elevated calpastatin protein expression levels may be an important mechanism for preventing muscle protein loss during hibernation and ensuring that Z-lines remained ultrastructurally intact. PMID:24937257

  4. Seasonal variations of DNA synthesis in intestinal epithelial cells of hibernating animals--I. DNA synthesis in intestinal epithelial cells of ground squirrel (Citellus undulatus) during deep hibernation.

    PubMed

    Kruman, I I; Kolaeva, S G; Iljasova, E N; Zubrikhina, G N; Khachko, V N; Petrova, A S

    1986-01-01

    The conditions for obtaining crypt cells from ground squirrel small intestine were chosen which allow flow-through cytofluorometric analysis of the DNA synthesis of this tissue. DNA synthesis was found to be greatly reduced in the intestinal crypt cells of ground squirrel during deep hibernation in torpid animals, in animals during spontaneous arousals and in animals prevented from hibernation. The conclusion is made about endogenous control of the DNA synthesis in the cells of true hibernators. PMID:3943302

  5. Environmental effects of solar-thermal power systems. Systematic status of the Mojave ground squirrel, Spermophilus mohavensis (subgenus Xerospermophilus)

    SciTech Connect

    Hafner, D.J.; Yates, T.L.

    1982-06-01

    The Mojave ground squirrel, Spermophilus mohavensis, is listed as a rare species by The California Fish and Game Commission. Its well-being has emerged as an environmental concern associated with deployment of solar thermal power systems in western parts of the Motave Desert. The more common round-tailed ground squirrel, Spermophilus tereticaudus, also occurs in the Mojave Desert, and this species closely resembles S. mohavensis. The systematic status of the sibling species was investigated using allozymic and chromosomal data. Karyotypically, the two species differ in diploid number while they share a level of genic similarity reported for other mammalian semispecies. Hybridization was detected only at a single disturbed site, while allelic introgression was confined to an estimated 60 km reach. The two taxa are retained as full biological species.

  6. Environmental effects of solar-thermal-power systems. Systematic status of the Mojave ground squirrel, Spermophilus mohavensis (subgenus Xerospermophilus)

    SciTech Connect

    Hafner, D.J.; Yates, T.L.

    1982-06-01

    The Mojave ground squirrel, Spermophilus mohavensis, is listed as a rare species by the California Fish and Game Commission. Its well-being has emerged as an environmental concern associated with deployment of solar thermal power systems in western parts of the Mojave Desert. The more common round-tailed ground squirrel, Spermophilus tereticaudus, also occurs in the Mojave Desert, and this species closely resembles S. mohavensis. In some areas it may be extremely difficult, on the basis of external characters, to identify the species present. The systematic status of the sibling species Spermophilus mohavensis and S. tereticaudus (subgenus Xerosphermophilus) was investigated throughout the range of the subgenus, based on allozymic and chromosomal data. Hybridization of the two species was detected only at a single disturbed site, while allelic introgression was confined to an estimated 60 km reach of the Mojave River wash. In the absence of an analysis of a zone of natural sympatry, the two taxa are retained as full biological species. The population of ground squirrels just east of Solar One, the 10 MWe pilot solar thermal power plant, is composed of individuals referable to S. tereticaudus based on both allozymic and chromosomal criteria.

  7. Fire and ice: genetic structure of the Uinta ground squirrel (Spermophilus armatus) across the Yellowstone hotspot.

    PubMed

    Van Tuinen, Marcel; O'Keefe, Kim; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2008-04-01

    The range of the Uinta ground squirrel, Spermophilus armatus, is centred over one of the most tectonically active regions today, the Yellowstone hotspot. We document the role of Quaternary tectonic and climatic history on the genetic structure of this species by screening museum and extant individuals throughout its range. Phylogeographic, divergence time, and demographic analyses of partial mitochondrial cytochrome b and control region DNA sequences yield insight into the cadence of evolution across three spatiotemporal scales: (i) a relatively deep intraspecific divergence of S. armatus into three lineages coincident with the last major volcanic eruption in the region and maintained by the Snake River Plain; (ii) demographic expansion in two lineages corresponding to the time of last deglaciation of the region; and (iii) a recent (< 50 years) local extinction of the third lineage coincident with climatic change and conversion of habitat for agricultural purposes in eastern Idaho. Beyond these inferences, our study highlights the unique value of museum material to phylogeography, and shows that small mammal recolonization of previously glaciated montane 'islands' differs from northward postglacial expansion observed in areas previously covered by continental ice sheets. Montane 'islands' may harbour high genetic diversity because of admixture and recurrent expansion/extinction. PMID:18284571

  8. Ascorbate dynamics and oxygen consumption during arousal from hibernation in Arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Tøien Ø; Drew, K L; Chao, M L; Rice, M E

    2001-08-01

    During hibernation in Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii), O(2) consumption and plasma leukocyte counts decrease by >90%, whereas plasma concentrations of the antioxidant ascorbate increase fourfold. During rewarming, O(2) consumption increases profoundly and plasma ascorbate and leukocyte counts return to normal. Here we investigated the dynamic interrelationships among these changes. Plasma ascorbate and uric acid (urate) concentrations were determined by HPLC from blood samples collected at approximately 15-min intervals via arterial catheter; leukocyte count and hematocrit were also determined. Body temperature, O(2) consumption, and electromyographic activity were recorded continuously. Ascorbate, urate, and glutathione contents in body and brain samples were determined during hibernation and after arousal. During rewarming, the maximum rate of plasma ascorbate decrease occurred at the time of peak O(2) consumption and peak plasma urate production. The ascorbate decrease did not correlate with mouth or abdominal temperature; uptake into leukocytes could account for only a small percentage. By contrast, liver and spleen ascorbate levels increased significantly after arousal, which could more than account for ascorbate clearance from plasma. Brain ascorbate levels remained constant. These data suggest that elevated concentrations of ascorbate [(Asc)] in plasma [(Asc)(p)] provide an antioxidant source that is redistributed to tissues during the metabolic stress that accompanies arousal. PMID:11448862

  9. Information asymmetries among males: implications for fertilization success in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

    PubMed Central

    Schwagmeyer, P L; Parker, G A; Mock, D W

    1998-01-01

    The classical view of mammalian mating competition focuses on combat and threat. By contrast, field studies have revealed that male mating success in some species is more strongly determined by mate location ability than by physical dominance. In thirteen-lined ground squirrels, competition in locating oestrous females is exacerbated by sperm competition that favours the first male to mate with a female. We used a female-removal experiment to identify the distinguishing characteristics of males that were the first at finding and mating with females. Each focal female was observed the day before she entered oestrus; the identities of males that made contact with her and the locations of their interactions were recorded. The following morning the females were temporarily removed, and we monitored male search behaviour in their absence. Males that arrived first were those that had spent more time with the female the previous day relative to their rivals. Time invested the day before, in turn, was highly correlated with male search persistence and familiarity with the female's likely whereabouts. These results demonstrate that differential fertilization success can arise from information asymmetries among males: the advantaged individuals are those that have greater a priori knowledge of the reproductive state and spatial locations of prospective mates than rivals. PMID:9802243

  10. Hibernation and circannual rhythms of food consumption in marmots and ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Davis, D E

    1976-12-01

    In order to understand better the evolution and adaptive value of hibernation, ecological aspects and experimental studies of closely related hibernators, the Marmotini, are examined. The central hypothesis is that annual changes in the environment integrate three or, perhaps, four physiological processes: torpor, reporduction, consumption of food, and metabolism. Reproduction occurs promptly after emergence from hibernation. For most species, the breeding season is very short. Although the experimental data are rather meager, no variation in external factors has consistently altered the season of reproduction. Consumption of food and change in weight increases until July or September and then decreases. The large members of the Marmotini store their energy as fat, but small species store their energy as seeds and nuts. Experiments to test the hypothesis that some aspect of the supply, such as fat content, might vary seasonally have produced negative results. Complex experiments on the length of the photoperiod on woodchucks and several species of ground squirrels failed to alter the annual cycle of consumption of food. Animals kept in constant conditions showed a cycle of about 11 months, but woodchucks sent tto Australia changed their cycle in two years to match the seasons of the southern hemisphere. Experiments with temperature and torpor and castration did not alter the annual did not alter the rhythm... PMID:799318

  11. Distribution of NMDA receptor subunit NR1 in Arctic ground squirrel central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huiwen W.; Christian, Sherri L.; Castillo, Marina R.; Bult-Ito, Abel; Drew, Kelly L.

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation is a natural model of neuroprotection and adult synaptic plasticity. NMDA receptors (NMDAR), which play key roles in excitotoxicity and synaptic plasticity, have not been characterized in a hibernating species. Tolerance to excitotoxicity and cognitive enhancement in Arctic ground squirrels (AGS, Spermophilus parryii) suggests that NMDAR expression may decrease in hibernation and increase upon arousal. NMDAR consist of at least one NMDAR1 (NR1) subunit, which is required for receptor function. Localization of NR1 reflects localization of the majority, if not all, NMDAR complexes. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to characterize the distribution of NR1 subunits in AGS central nervous system using immunohistochemistry. In addition, we compare NR1 expression in hippocampus of hibernating AGS (hAGS) and inter-bout euthermic AGS (ibeAGS) and assess changes in cell somata size using NR1 stained sections in three hippocampal sub-regions (CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus). For the first time, we report that immunoreactivity of anti-NR1 is widely distributed throughout the central nervous system in AGS and is similar to other species. No differences exist in the expression and distribution of NR1 in hAGS and ibeAGS. However, we report a significant decrease in size of hippocampal CA1 and dentate gyrus NR1-expressing neuronal somata during hibernation torpor. PMID:17097266

  12. Sleep during arousal episodes as a function of prior torpor duration in hibernating European ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Strijkstra, A M; Daan, S

    1997-03-01

    EEG's were recorded in hibernating European ground squirrels during euthermic arousal episodes at an ambient temperature of 5.5 degrees C. Spontaneous torpor bouts ranged from 6 to 15 days, body temperature during torpor was 7.5 degrees C. The torpor duration prior to EEG measurements was experimentally manipulated: the animals were induced to arouse by gentle handling after torpor of less then 1 day (n = 3), 1-2 days (n = 6), 3-4 days (n = 9) and 5-12 days (n = 9). The animals slept 71.5% of euthermic time, of which 61.4% NREM and 10.2% REM sleep. NREM percentage was slightly positively and REM percentage negatively correlated with prior torpor duration (TD). Spectral analysis showed changes in EEG activity during the euthermic phase in the slow wave frequency range (1-4 Hz) and in higher frequencies. Prior TD specifically affected the slow waves. Slow wave activity decreased exponentially during the euthermic phase. The initial slow wave activity showed a systematic increase with prior TD, which could be described by an exponentially saturating function, albeit with a relatively small time constant compared with spontaneous torpor duration. It is concluded that sleep during arousal episodes following torpor at an ambient temperature of 5.5 degrees C is affected both in structure and intensity by prior TD. The results are consistent with the proposition that torpor inhibits the restorative function of sleep. PMID:9125697

  13. A shortage of males causes female reproductive failure in yellow ground squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Vasilieva, Nina; Tchabovsky, Andrey

    2015-01-01

    Sexual conflict theory suggests that female breeding success is strongly influenced by individual life history and environmental conditions and is much less affected by mate availability. Female mating failure due to a shortage of males remains poorly studied and understood. We present data on the effects of male availability on female breeding success in a wild colony of yellow ground squirrels (Spermophilus fulvus). A female’s probability of breeding increased with the local density of males and was higher with higher male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) but was independent of local female density, female age, and body condition, which are factors commonly assumed to influence female reproduction. The positive effect of male availability (as measured by OSR) on female breeding success was consistent across the years, and we conclude that male limitation contributes to female mating failure. This pattern, which is not commonly recorded in species with conventional sex roles, can be explained by a combination of sociodemographic and life history traits (sex differences in age of maturation, female-skewed adult sex ratio and seasonally varying OSR, solitary living at low population density, and low mobility of females combined with mate-searching tactics of males) that are not confined to S. fulvus. Our findings indicate that the role of female mating failure (due to a shortage of males) in shaping mammalian life history may be underestimated. PMID:26601284

  14. Slow intestinal transit: a motor disorder contributing to cholesterol gallstone formation in the ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Xu, Q W; Scott, R B; Tan, D T; Shaffer, E A

    1996-06-01

    Impaired gallbladder motility is an established factor in cholesterol gallstone formation. We assessed whether altered small intestinal smooth muscle contractility with slow transit might potentiate gallstone formation by further impeding enterohepatic cycling of bile acids. Ground squirrels were fed a 1% or a trace (controls) cholesterol diet. Small intestinal transit was evaluated from 51Cr distribution in conscious, fasted animals 20 minutes after infusion into the proximal jejunum. Small intestinal and gallbladder smooth muscle contractility was determined in vitro. Biliary lipid secretion was measured from the cannulated common duct and the bile salt pool size calculated by isotope dilution. Gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) assessed bile salt profile. In animals on the 1% cholesterol diet, aboral transit was significantly delayed, the maximal contractile response to bethanechol was markedly increased (P <.05) with no change in median effective concentration in either circular or longitudinal muscle strips from both the jejunum and ileum, and the gallbladder contractile responses to bethanechol and cholecystokinin (CCK) were decreased. Cholesterol saturation index and the fraction of deoxycholic acid in the pool doubled, whereas the total bile salt pool size remained unchanged in cholesterol-fed animals. In this model, a high-cholesterol diet is associated with altered small intestinal smooth muscle contractility and prolonged small intestinal transit, in addition to diminished gallbladder contractility. The resulting sluggish enterohepatic cycling of bile salts, associated with expanded deoxycholate pool, contributes to cholesterol gallstone formation. PMID:8675191

  15. A shortage of males causes female reproductive failure in yellow ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Vasilieva, Nina; Tchabovsky, Andrey

    2015-10-01

    Sexual conflict theory suggests that female breeding success is strongly influenced by individual life history and environmental conditions and is much less affected by mate availability. Female mating failure due to a shortage of males remains poorly studied and understood. We present data on the effects of male availability on female breeding success in a wild colony of yellow ground squirrels (Spermophilus fulvus). A female's probability of breeding increased with the local density of males and was higher with higher male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) but was independent of local female density, female age, and body condition, which are factors commonly assumed to influence female reproduction. The positive effect of male availability (as measured by OSR) on female breeding success was consistent across the years, and we conclude that male limitation contributes to female mating failure. This pattern, which is not commonly recorded in species with conventional sex roles, can be explained by a combination of sociodemographic and life history traits (sex differences in age of maturation, female-skewed adult sex ratio and seasonally varying OSR, solitary living at low population density, and low mobility of females combined with mate-searching tactics of males) that are not confined to S. fulvus. Our findings indicate that the role of female mating failure (due to a shortage of males) in shaping mammalian life history may be underestimated. PMID:26601284

  16. Effects of hibernation on bone marrow transcriptome in thirteen-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Scott T; Sell, Shawn S; Fahrenkrog, Molly; Wilkinson, Kory; Howard, David R; Bergen, Hannah; Cruz, Estefania; Cash, Steve E; Andrews, Matthew T; Hampton, Marshall

    2016-07-01

    Mammalian hibernators adapt to prolonged periods of immobility, hypometabolism, hypothermia, and oxidative stress, each capable of reducing bone marrow activity. In this study bone marrow transcriptomes were compared among thirteen-lined ground squirrels collected in July, winter torpor, and winter interbout arousal (IBA). The results were consistent with a suppression of acquired immune responses, and a shift to innate immune responses during hibernation through higher complement expression. Consistent with the increase in adipocytes found in bone marrow of hibernators, expression of genes associated with white adipose tissue are higher during hibernation. Genes that should strengthen the bone by increasing extracellular matrix were higher during hibernation, especially the collagen genes. Finally, expression of heat shock proteins were lower, and cold-response genes were higher, during hibernation. No differential expression of hematopoietic genes involved in erythrocyte or megakaryocyte production was observed. This global view of the changes in the bone marrow transcriptome over both short term (torpor vs. IBA) and long term (torpor vs. July) hypothermia can explain several observations made about circulating blood cells and the structure and strength of the bone during hibernation. PMID:27207617

  17. (14C)2-deoxyglucose uptake in ground squirrel brain during hibernation

    SciTech Connect

    Kilduff, T.S.; Sharp, F.R.; Heller, H.C.

    1982-02-01

    Autoradiographic patterns of (14C)2-deoxyglucose uptake are described throughout the brains of hibernating and euthermic ground squirrels. Autoradiographs of the brains of hibernating animals are generally homogeneous in comparison to euthermic animals; hence, the relative 2-deoxyglucose uptake (R2DGU) of gray to white matter for the majority of the 85 neural structures examined decreases during hibernation. Two categories of structures are identified as potentially important in hibernation: (1) structures that have the highest R2DGU during hibernation (cochlear nucleus, paratrigeminal nucleus, and superior colliculus) and (2) structures that undergo the least reduction in R2DGU in the transition from euthermia to hibernation (suprachiasmatic nucleus and lateral septal nucleus). The percentage of reduction in R2DGU that a structure undergoes in the transition from euthermia to hibernation is proportional to the R2DGU of that structure during euthermia. The suprachiasmatic, paratrigeminal, and cochlear nuclei undergo less of a reduction than would be predicted from this relationship and may be particularly important during hibernation. Sensory nuclei that receive primary afferent projections are among the structures with the highest R2DGU during hibernation. These metabolically active structures may be responsible for the sensitivity of the hibernator to environmental stimuli.

  18. Intranasal exposure of the Richardson's ground squirrel to Western equine encephalomyelitis virus.

    PubMed Central

    Leung, M K; McLintock, J; Iversen, J

    1978-01-01

    Adult Richardson's ground squirrels were infected with western equine encephalomyelitis virus by intranasal instillation. Mortality followed the instillation of a minimum threshold of 4.7 logs of virus while infection was produced by a dosage of 2.3 logs. The incubation period was from four to seven days, being preceded by a viremic phase. Signs were depression, ataxia and paralysis of the limbs. Highest titres of virus were recovered from the brain and histopathological changes involving the central nervous system included meningitis, vasculitis, perivascular cuffing, gliosis, neuronophagia and neuronal degeneration. The virus was also found in a variety of extraneural tissues. Lesions in extraneural tissues included necrosis of brown fat and an apparent increase in number of Kupffer's cells in the liver. The lymphoid tissue was involved indicating a possible source for viremia. The duration and magnitude of viremia were ample enough to provide virus source for arthropods. The potential for transmission of the virus independent of arthropods was discussed in view of the pathogenesis demonstrated in the experimental infections. PMID:667706

  19. Effects of aversive stimuli on learning and memory in Arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Zhao, H; Bucci, D J; Weltzin, M; Drew, K L

    2004-05-01

    The present study was designed to assess effects of aversive stimuli on learning and memory in wild-caught Arctic ground squirrels (AGS, Spermophilus parryii) using an active avoidance learning paradigm. Results indicate that animals trained with low-value aversive stimuli (air puffs and lights) retained the task better than animals trained with high-value aversive stimuli (air puffs, lights, and foot shock). Poor retention could not be explained by learning impairment, fear-induced freezing behavior or the effects of massed versus spaced training trials. Wild-caught AGS readily hibernate under laboratory conditions and provide a model of pronounced adult synaptic plasticity associated with emergence from hibernation. Characterization of learning and retention using active avoidance as well as other learning paradigms is a first step towards developing behavioral paradigms to assess cognitive function in this wild-trapped species. The present study shows that captive AGS are sensitive to aversive stimuli, argues for a direct effect on retention and suggests that high baseline levels of stress in a captive population may influence behavioral measures. The results further suggest that future studies of the effects of hibernation on learning and retention of active avoidance tasks employ low-level aversive stimuli. PMID:15084438

  20. Seasonal changes in enzymes of lipogenesis and triacylglycerol synthesis in the golden-mantled ground squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis).

    PubMed

    Wang, P; Walter, R D; Bhat, B G; Florant, G L; Coleman, R A

    1997-10-01

    In order to determine whether critical enzyme activities of glycerolipid synthesis change seasonally in the golden-mantled ground squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis), we collected summer and winter samples of liver, brown adipose tissue (BAT), and white adipose tissue (WAT). Compared with fatty acid synthase activity during hibernation, summer activities were 2.5- to 8-fold higher in adipose tissue and liver. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) activity was 2.6-fold higher in WAT during the summer, consistent with increased seasonal triacylglycerol storage, but the activity did not change in liver or BAT, suggesting that in these tissues, triacylglycerol synthesis is equally active in summer and winter. Lack of change in acyl-CoA synthetase in liver and BAT may reflect high synthetic rates for acyl-CoAs that are destined in the summer for glycerolipid synthesis and in the winter for beta-oxidation. Monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT) activity increased significantly in both liver and WAT during the summer but decreased in BAT. Although the changes were consistent with active year-round triacylglycerol synthesis, the higher summer MGAT activity observed in the squirrel liver and WAT suggest that MGATs function may not be limited to conserving essential fatty acids during physiological states of lipolysis. Seasonal changes observed in the ground squirrel were similar to those previously reported in the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris), confirming that important adjustments occur in energy metabolism necessitated by long seasonal hibernation. PMID:9440219

  1. Differential expression of miRNAs with metabolic implications in hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Lang-Ouellette, Daneck; Morin, Pier

    2014-09-01

    Mammalian hibernators undergo significant physiological and biochemical changes when confronted with cold temperatures. Metabolic depression and translational repression are two examples of the various processes impacted during a torpor bout. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), non-coding transcripts that bind to mRNAs, are known regulators of mRNA translation and a growing number of these molecules have been found to be differentially expressed during hibernation. We hypothesized that a group of six miRNAs, with targets involved in various metabolic cascades, is modulated in selected tissues of the hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. Expression levels of these miRNAs were assessed in the liver, heart, and skeletal muscle ground squirrel tissues using qRT-PCR. miR-29a, miR-152, miR-195, miR-223, and miR-486 were shown to be up-regulated in the hibernating liver, while miR-378 was shown to be down-regulated in hibernating skeletal muscle tissue samples. Interestingly, fatty acid synthase (FAS), an enzyme involved in fatty acid biosynthesis and a miR-195 target, was shown to be down-regulated in hibernating squirrel liver. This data add to the growing signature of differentially expressed miRNAs during hibernation and puts the light on the potential regulation of fatty acid homeostasis by a miRNA in torpid animals. PMID:24874111

  2. How mothers influence the development of litter-mate preferences in Belding's ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Holmes; Mateo

    1998-06-01

    We performed three experiments to examine the role of mothers in the development of litter-mate preferences in captive juvenile Belding's ground squirrels, Spermophilus beldingi. First, when observed in the absence of mothers, juveniles did not play preferentially with litter-mates, which suggests that mothers somehow influence the ontogeny of litter-mate preferences. Second, when mothers were present but unable to intervene in social interactions, juveniles displayed litter-mate preferences, which suggests that mothers do not influence their offsprings' social development by directly intervening in social interactions. In another group, mothers were removed daily, a few hours before nocturnal immergence, and returned the following morning. Juveniles in this group did not display litter-mate preferences and at night they occupied burrows with many more non-litter-mates than litter-mates. These results suggest that associating with non-litter-mates can compromise the development of litter-mate preferences, and implies that mothers indirectly influence social development by affecting the identities of sleeping partners. Third, newly emergent juveniles that interacted only with litter-mates for 3 days in the absence of mothers subsequently preferred litter-mates over non-litter-mates as play partners. This result demonstrates that once litter-mate preferences are instilled, due in part to social experiences during juveniles' initial days above-ground, the preferences are expressed even in the absence of mothers. Collectively, the results demonstrate that the presence of S. beldingi mothers is important to juvenile social development, but that mothers do not actively direct the ontogeny of their offsprings' social relationships. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9642000

  3. Normalization of aortic function during arousal episodes in the hibernating ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Henning, Robert H; Deelman, Leo E; Hut, Roelof A; Van der Zee, Eddy A; Buikema, Hendrik; Nelemans, S Adriaan; Lip, Harm; De Zeeuw, Dick; Daan, Serge; Epema, Anne H

    2002-03-15

    Hypothermia is commonly used to restrict organ damage during preservation of tissue, but does not offer complete protection. Organ damage after reperfusion/rewarming is amongst others caused by an impairment of vascular properties, particularly endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. We hypothesized that hibernating small animals, which frequently cycle through periods of deep cooling (torpor) and full rewarming (arousal), employ specific mechanisms to preserve vascular function after cooling and reperfusion. Therefore we measured contraction of aortic tissue of hibernating European ground squirrels after 24 h and 7 days of torpor, arousal (1.5 h) and in non-hibernating animals. To assess the role of nitric oxide (NO), experiments were performed in the absence and presence of the NO-synthesis inhibitor, L-NMMA (10(-4) M). Maximum contraction to phenylephrine and angiotensin II was doubled in 7-days torpid animals without a shift in EC50, compared to the other 3 groups. Maximum contraction to KCl was doubled in 7-days torpid animals compared to the arousal group and non-hibernating animals. Relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitrite in phenylephrine precontracted rings did not differ between groups. In the presence of L-NMMA, the maximum of concentration-response curves for all three vasoconstrictors was increased by about 30% in the arousal group, but unaffected in other groups. L-NMMA completely inhibited ACh-induced relaxation in 24-h torpid animals and non-hibernating animals, but only partially in 7-days torpid animals and in the arousal group. From this we conclude that vascular adaptation proceeds during torpor. Further, increased contractility of aortic tissue during long torpor returns to normal within 1.5 hours of arousal, which is associated with an increased basal NO synthesis. In addition, involvement of NO in agonist-mediated relaxation differs between the various stages of hibernation.Thus, hibernating animals have effectively developed

  4. Developmental and geographic variation in stress hormones in wild Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi).

    PubMed

    Mateo, Jill M

    2006-12-01

    Extensive research has been conducted on the role of glucocorticoids in regulating growth, mobilizing energy, responding to stressors and modulating learning and memory. However, little is known about the production of corticoids during early development in free-living animals, particularly during sensitive periods of acquisition of important behaviors. In a four-year study of Belding's ground squirrels, Spermophilus beldingi, a non-invasive assay of glucocorticoids was used to quantify age and population differences among juveniles from three California locations. Fecal-cortisol metabolites are elevated during a short period when juveniles first emerge aboveground from their natal burrows at about 4 weeks of age. This period of cortisol elevation coincides with when young are learning survival behaviors such as anti-predator responses and foraging strategies. Population differences in juvenile cortisol levels, which may reflect local variation in habitat quality and predator environments, were not evident until 2 weeks after emergence. Elevated cortisol at the age of emergence was also observed in juveniles born and reared in captivity without exposure to typical stressors that occur around the age of emergence. These results indicate that corticoids are regulated during early development, and the possible functions of age-related corticoid levels are discussed, including mobilization of glucose for natal emergence and later facilitation of growth and energy storage during the short summer before hibernation. In some species, elevated corticoids can also facilitate learning and memory, and current work is exploring whether the higher cortisol observed in all three S. beldingi populations just after emergence function to promote rapid acquisition of survival behaviors. PMID:16890229

  5. Developmental and geographic variation in stress hormones in wild Belding’s ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi)

    PubMed Central

    Mateo, Jill M.

    2010-01-01

    Extensive research has been conducted on the role of glucocorticoids in regulating growth, mobilizing energy, responding to stressors and modulating learning and memory. However, little is known about the production of corticoids during early development in free-living animals, particularly during sensitive periods of acquisition of important behaviors. In a four-year study of Belding’s ground squirrels, Spermophilus beldingi, a non-invasive assay of glucocorticoids was used to quantify age and population differences among juveniles from three California locations. Fecal–cortisol metabolites are elevated during a short period when juveniles first emerge aboveground from their natal burrows at about 4 weeks of age. This period of cortisol elevation coincides with when young are learning survival behaviors such as anti-predator responses and foraging strategies. Population differences in juvenile cortisol levels, which may reflect local variation in habitat quality and predator environments, were not evident until 2 weeks after emergence. Elevated cortisol at the age of emergence was also observed in juveniles born and reared in captivity without exposure to typical stressors that occur around the age of emergence. These results indicate that corticoids are regulated during early development, and the possible functions of age-related corticoid levels are discussed, including mobilization of glucose for natal emergence and later facilitation of growth and energy storage during the short summer before hibernation. In some species, elevated corticoids can also facilitate learning and memory, and current work is exploring whether the higher cortisol observed in all three S. beldingi populations just after emergence function to promote rapid acquisition of survival behaviors. PMID:16890229

  6. Characterization of adipocyte stress response pathways during hibernation in thirteen-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Rouble, Andrew N; Tessier, Shannon N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2014-08-01

    To avoid the harsh conditions of winter climates, hibernating mammals undergo a systematic depression of physiological function by reducing their metabolic rate. During this process, hibernators are exposed to significant stresses (e.g., low body temperature, ischemia-reperfusion) that must be dealt with appropriately to avoid irreversible tissue damage. Consequently, we investigated the contribution of stress-responsive antioxidant enzymes, heat shock proteins, signal transduction pathways (e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinases, MAPK), and transcription factors for their role in conferring tolerance to stress in the hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus). Using a combination of multiplex protein panels and traditional immunoblotting procedures, we have focused on these stress factors in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) over cycles of torpor-arousal since they provide the means for heat production as a result of non-shivering thermogenesis and the mobilization of critical energy reserves, respectively. We show the differential and tissue-specific regulation of stress factors including a unified upregulation of the antioxidant enzyme Thioredoxin 1 in both tissues, an upregulation of superoxide dismutase (SOD1 and SOD2) in WAT, and an increase in heat shock proteins during the transitory periods of the torpor-arousal cycle (HSP90α in BAT and HSP60 in WAT). Additionally, an upregulation of the active form of ERK1/2 and p38 in BAT and select transcription factors (e.g., CREB-1 and ELK-1) in both tissues were identified. These data provide us with greater insight into the molecular mechanisms responsible for this animal's natural stress tolerance and outline molecular signatures which define stress resistance. PMID:24777704

  7. Ecological and hormonal correlates of antipredator behavior in adult Belding’s ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships provide an excellent opportunity to study coevolved adaptations. Decades of theoretical and empirical research have illuminated the various behavioral adaptations exhibited by prey animals to avoid detection and capture, and recent work has begun to characterize physiological adaptations, such as immune reactions, metabolic changes, and hormonal responses to predators or their cues. A 2-year study quantified the activity budgets and antipredator responses of adult Belding’s ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) living in three different California habitats and likely experiencing different predation pressures. At one of these sites, which is visually closed and predators and escape burrows are difficult to see, animals responding to alarm calls remain alert longer and show more exaggerated responses than adults living in two populations that likely experience less intense predation pressure. They also spend more time alert and less time foraging than adults at the other two sites. A 4-year study using noninvasive fecal sampling of cortisol metabolites revealed that S. beldingi living in the closed site also have lower corticoid levels than adults at the other two sites. The lower corticoids likely reflect that predation risk at this closed site is predictable, and might allow animals to mount large acute cortisol responses, facilitating escape from predators and enhanced vigilance while also promoting glucose storage for the approaching hibernation. Collectively, these data demonstrate that local environments and perceived predation risk influence not only foraging, vigilance, and antipredator behaviors, but adrenal functioning as well, which may be especially important for obligate hibernators that face competing demands on glucose storage and mobilization. PMID:20336174

  8. Energetic costs of parasitism in the Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris

    PubMed Central

    Scantlebury, M; Waterman, J.M; Hillegass, M; Speakman, J.R; Bennett, N.C

    2007-01-01

    Parasites have been suggested to influence many aspects of host behaviour. Some of these effects may be mediated via their impact on host energy budgets. This impact may include effects on both energy intake and absorption as well as components of expenditure, including resting metabolic rate (RMR) and activity (e.g. grooming). Despite their potential importance, the energy costs of parasitism have seldom been directly quantified in a field setting. Here we pharmacologically treated female Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris) with anti-parasite drugs and measured the change in body composition, the daily energy expenditure (DEE) using doubly labelled water, the RMR by respirometry and the proportions of time spent looking for food, feeding, moving and grooming. Post-treatment animals gained an average 19 g of fat or approximately 25 kJ d−1. DEE averaged 382 kJ d−1 prior to and 375 kJ d−1 post treatment (p>0.05). RMR averaged 174 kJ d−1 prior to and 217 kJ d−1 post treatment (p<0.009). Post-treatment animals spent less time looking for food and grooming, but more time on feeding. A primary impact of infection by parasites could be suppression of feeding behaviour and, hence, total available energy resources. The significant elevation of RMR after treatment was unexpected. One explanation might be that parasites produce metabolic by-products that suppress RMR. Overall, these findings suggest that impacts of parasites on host energy budgets are complex and are not easily explained by simple effects such as stimulation of a costly immune response. There is currently no broadly generalizable framework available for predicting the energetic consequences of parasitic infection. PMID:17613450

  9. [Oxidative modification of proteins and antioxidative blood activity of ground squirrels during induced awakening from winter sleep].

    PubMed

    Astaeva, M D; Klichkhanov, N K

    2009-01-01

    The intensity of oxidative modification of plasma proteins and activity of the antioxidative system of the blood of the ground squirrels during awakening from winter sleep is studied. During waking of animals, processes of oxidative modification of proteins in the blood plasma intensify. While the body temperature rises, the antioxidative activity of hydrophylic components of the blood plasma grows essentially, and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase too. Activity of erythrocyte catalase at all stages of waking is definitely higher than in the control. The received results evidence that the high activity of various links of antioxidative blood protection provides stability to oxidative stress during waking of animals from deep sleep. PMID:20143625

  10. [A comparative analysis of restoration of electroencephalographic and protein-synthesizing activities in neocortex and hippocampus in hibernating (ground squirrels) and nonhibernating (rats) animals during exit from hypothermia].

    PubMed

    Ignat'ev, D A; Gordon, R Ia; Vorob'ev, V V; Rogachevskiĭ, V V

    2005-01-01

    A similarity in the sequence of restoration of the EEG spectrum between ground squirrels arousing from torpor and rats passing out of artificial hypothermia (17-18 degrees C) was shown. First of all, the low-frequency part of the EEG spectrum was restored. As animals warmed up, their breathing became hurried, cold shivering appeared, and the theta- and alpha-rhythms increased. During the exit from hypothermia, the activity of the protein-synthesizing system in both rats and ground squirrels was almost entirely restored when the animal body temperature achieved 21-22 degrees C. In ground squirrel, the rate of protein synthesis in the neocortex was lower than in hippocampus CA1 and CA3 areas, whereas in rats, on the contrary, it was higher in the neocortex in comparison with the CA3 area. PMID:15759514

  11. Temporal Dynamics of the Cecal Gut Microbiota of Juvenile Arctic Ground Squirrels: a Strong Litter Effect across the First Active Season

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Timothy J.; Buck, C. Loren

    2014-01-01

    Arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) are active for a scant 3 to 5 months of the year. During the active season, adult squirrels compete for mates, reproduce, and fatten in preparation for hibernation, while juvenile squirrels, weaned in early July, must grow and acquire sufficient fat to survive their first hibernation season. During hibernation, the gut microbial community is altered in diversity, abundance, and activity. To date, no studies have examined the gut microbiota of hibernators across the truncated active season. We characterized trends in diversity (454 pyrosequencing), density (flow cytometry), viability (flow cytometry), and metabolism (short-chain fatty acid analysis) of the gut microbial community of juvenile arctic ground squirrels across their first active season at weaning and at 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks postweaning. At 8 weeks postweaning, the mean bacterial density was significantly higher than that at weaning, and the mean percentage of live bacteria was significantly higher than that at either weaning or 4 weeks postweaning. No significant differences in microbial diversity, total short-chain fatty acid concentrations, or molar proportions of individual short-chain fatty acids were observed among sample periods. The level of variability in gut microbial diversity among squirrels was high across the active season but was most similar among littermates, except at weaning, indicating strong maternal or genetic influences across development. Our results indicate that genetic or maternal influences exert profound effects on the gut microbial community of juvenile arctic ground squirrels. We did not find a correlation between host adiposity and gut microbial diversity during prehibernation fattening, likely due to a high level of variability among squirrels. PMID:24795380

  12. Temporal dynamics of the cecal gut microbiota of juvenile arctic ground squirrels: a strong litter effect across the first active season.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Timothy J; Buck, C Loren; Duddleston, Khrystyne N

    2014-07-01

    Arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) are active for a scant 3 to 5 months of the year. During the active season, adult squirrels compete for mates, reproduce, and fatten in preparation for hibernation, while juvenile squirrels, weaned in early July, must grow and acquire sufficient fat to survive their first hibernation season. During hibernation, the gut microbial community is altered in diversity, abundance, and activity. To date, no studies have examined the gut microbiota of hibernators across the truncated active season. We characterized trends in diversity (454 pyrosequencing), density (flow cytometry), viability (flow cytometry), and metabolism (short-chain fatty acid analysis) of the gut microbial community of juvenile arctic ground squirrels across their first active season at weaning and at 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks postweaning. At 8 weeks postweaning, the mean bacterial density was significantly higher than that at weaning, and the mean percentage of live bacteria was significantly higher than that at either weaning or 4 weeks postweaning. No significant differences in microbial diversity, total short-chain fatty acid concentrations, or molar proportions of individual short-chain fatty acids were observed among sample periods. The level of variability in gut microbial diversity among squirrels was high across the active season but was most similar among littermates, except at weaning, indicating strong maternal or genetic influences across development. Our results indicate that genetic or maternal influences exert profound effects on the gut microbial community of juvenile arctic ground squirrels. We did not find a correlation between host adiposity and gut microbial diversity during prehibernation fattening, likely due to a high level of variability among squirrels. PMID:24795380

  13. Arctic ground squirrel neuronal progenitor cells resist oxygen and glucose deprivation-induced death

    PubMed Central

    Drew, Kelly L; Wells, Matthew; McGee, Rebecca; Ross, Austin P; Kelleher-Andersson, Judith

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the influence of ischemia/reperfusion on arctic ground squirrel (AGS) neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs), we subjected these cultured cells to oxygen and glucose deprivation. METHODS: AGS NPCs were expanded and differentiated into NPCs and as an ischemia vulnerable control, commercially available human NPCs (hNPCs) were seeded from thawed NPCs. NPCs, identified by expression of TUJ1 were seen at 14-21 d in vitro (DIV). Cultures were exposed to control conditions, hypoxia, oxygen and glucose deprivation or glucose deprivation alone or following return to normal conditions to model reperfusion. Cell viability and death were assessed from loss of ATP as well as from measures of alamarBlue® and lactate dehydrogenase in the media and from counts of TUJ1 positive cells using immunocytochemistry. Dividing cells were identified by expression of Ki67 and phenotyped by double labeling with GFAP, MAP2ab or TUJ1. RESULTS: We report that when cultured in NeuraLife™, AGS cells remain viable out to 21 DIV, continue to express TUJ1 and begin to express MAP2ab. Viability of hNPCs assessed by fluorescence alamarBlue (arbitrary units) depends on both glucose and oxygen availability [viability of hNPCs after 24 h oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) with return of oxygen and glucose decreased from 48151 ± 4551 in control cultures to 43481 ± 2413 after OGD, P < 0.05]. By contrast, when AGS NPCs are exposed to the same OGD with reperfusion at 14 DIV, cell viability assessed by alamarBlue increased from 165305 ± 11719 in control cultures to 196054 ± 13977 after OGD. Likewise AGS NPCs recovered ATP (92766 ± 6089 in control and 92907 ± 4290 after modeled reperfusion; arbitrary luminescence units), and doubled in the ratio of TUJ1 expressing neurons to total dividing cells (0.11 ± 0.04 in control cultures vs 0.22 ± 0.2 after modeled reperfusion, P < 0.05). Maintaining AGS NPCs for a longer time in culture lowered resistance to injury, however, did not impair

  14. Seasonal changes in the antioxidative defense in ground squirrels (Citellus citellus): possible role of GSH-Px.

    PubMed

    Blagojević, D; Buzadzić, B; Korać, B; Saicić, Z S; Radojicić, R; Spasić, M B; Petrović, V M

    1998-01-01

    As seasonal hibernators, ground squirrels decrease their body temperature to 7 degrees C and hibernate during the winter. Maintenance at 30 degrees C prevents seasonal changes of body temperature and animals remain euthermic and active. We measured selenium (Se)-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), as well as the activity of other antioxidative components such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and the amount of low-molecular-weight antioxidants glutathione (GSH), ascorbic acid (AsA), and vitamin E (vit E) in spring, summer, and winter in ground squirrels continuously kept at a temperature of 30 degrees C. We examined liver and interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) as thermogenic tissues, as well as the brain and the kidneys. During the winter, we found a decrease in enzymatic activity and an increase in the level of low molecular antioxidants in all tissues. Correlation analysis revealed a similarity in the composition of antioxidative defense (AD) among the tissues examined. The results obtained clearly demonstrated numerous correlative expressions of antioxidative components in this experimental model, especially of GSH-Px, suggesting the complexity of the system responsible for the maintenance of physiological homeostasis. PMID:9726797

  15. Inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by an endogenous bornavirus-like element in the ground squirrel genome.

    PubMed

    Fujino, Kan; Horie, Masayuki; Honda, Tomoyuki; Merriman, Dana K; Tomonaga, Keizo

    2014-09-01

    Animal genomes contain endogenous viral sequences, such as endogenous retroviruses and retrotransposons. Recently, we and others discovered that nonretroviral viruses also have been endogenized in many vertebrate genomes. Bornaviruses belong to the Mononegavirales and have left endogenous fragments, called "endogenous bornavirus-like elements" (EBLs), in the genomes of many mammals. The striking features of EBLs are that they contain relatively long ORFs which have high sequence homology to the extant bornavirus proteins. Furthermore, some EBLs derived from bornavirus nucleoprotein (EBLNs) have been shown to be transcribed as mRNA and probably are translated into proteins. These features lead us to speculate that EBLs may function as cellular coopted genes. An EBLN element in the genome of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), itEBLN, encodes an ORF with 77% amino acid sequence identity to the current bornavirus nucleoprotein. In this study, we cloned itEBLN from the ground squirrel genome and investigated its involvement in Borna disease virus (BDV) replication. Interestingly, itEBLN, but not a human EBLN, colocalized with the viral factory in the nucleus and appeared to affect BDV polymerase activity by being incorporated into the viral ribonucleoprotein. Our data show that, as do certain endogenous retroviruses, itEBLN potentially may inhibit infection by related exogenous viruses in vivo. PMID:25157155

  16. Up-regulation of Long Non-coding RNA TUG1 in Hibernating Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels.

    PubMed

    Frigault, Jacques J; Lang-Ouellette, Daneck; Morin, Pier

    2016-04-01

    Mammalian hibernation is associated with multiple physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes that allow animals to endure colder temperatures. We hypothesize that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), a group of non-coding transcripts with diverse functions, are differentially expressed during hibernation. In this study, expression levels of lncRNAsH19 and TUG1 were assessed via qRT-PCR in liver, heart, and skeletal muscle tissues of the hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus). TUG1 transcript levels were significantly elevated 1.94-fold in skeletal muscle of hibernating animals when compared with euthermic animals. Furthermore, transcript levels of HSF2 also increased 2.44-fold in the skeletal muscle in hibernating animals. HSF2 encodes a transcription factor that can be negatively regulated by TUG1 levels and that influences heat shock protein expression. Thus, these observations support the differential expression of the TUG1-HSF2 axis during hibernation. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence for differential expression of lncRNAs in torpid ground squirrels, adding lncRNAs as another group of transcripts modulated in this mammalian species during hibernation. PMID:27132145

  17. The relative roles of the parasol-like tail and burrow shuttling in thermoregulation of free-ranging Cape ground squirrels, Xerus inauris.

    PubMed

    Fick, Linda G; Kucio, Tomasz A; Fuller, Andrea; Matthee, André; Mitchell, Duncan

    2009-03-01

    As small arid-zone mammals, Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris) are unusual in being diurnally active. It is postulated that they remain active during the day by using their parasol-like tails to shade their bodies whilst foraging. However, no studies have continuously measured body temperature to determine the effect of using the tail as a parasol, relative to other thermoregulatory behaviours, such as burrow retreat. We caught four free-ranging Cape ground squirrels (673+/-36 g) and surgically implanted miniature temperature-sensitive data loggers into their abdomens, to record body temperature every 5 min to an accuracy of 0.04 degrees C, before they were released back into their home range and observed for two weeks. Mean daily peak black globe temperature was 41 degrees C, and daily peak body temperature reached 40 degrees C. Ground squirrels raised their tails significantly more often at globe temperatures above 30 degrees C, but raising the tail did not decrease body temperature, nor prevent body temperature rising. Ground squirrels retreated to burrows, at 18 degrees C, significantly more often at high body temperatures and body temperature dropped 1-2 degrees C before re-emergence. We believe that the tail was raised to provide thermal comfort during high solar radiation exposure, and that burrow retreat was employed to dissipate a heat load and remain active diurnally. PMID:19041951

  18. Differences in alarm calls of juvenile and adult European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus): Findings on permanently marked animals from a semi-natural enclosure.

    PubMed

    Schneiderov, Irena; Schnitzerov, Petra; Uhlikov, Jitka; Brandl, Pavel; Zouhar, Jan; Matejů, Jan

    2015-11-01

    The European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) emits alarm calls that warn conspecifics of potential danger. Although it has been observed that inexperienced juveniles of this species emit alarm calls that sound similar to those of adults, studies focusing on juvenile alarm calls are lacking. We analyzed the acoustic structure of alarm calls emitted by six permanently marked European ground squirrels living in a semi-natural enclosure when they were juveniles and after 1 year as adults. We found that the acoustic structure of the juvenile alarm calls was significantly different from those of adults and that the alarm calls underwent nearly the same changes in all studied individuals. All juveniles emitted alarm calls consisting of one element with almost constant frequency, but their alarm calls included a second frequency-modulated element after their first hibernation as adults. Our data show that the duration of the first element is significantly shorter in adults than in juveniles. Additionally, the frequency of the first element is significantly higher in adults than in juveniles. Similar to previous findings in other Palearctic ground squirrel species, our data are inconsistent with the assumption that juvenile mammals emit vocalizations with higher fundamental frequencies than adults. However, our results do not support the previously suggested hypothesis that juvenile ground squirrels conceal information regarding their age in their alarm calls because we found significant differences in alarm calls of juveniles and adults. PMID:26152313

  19. [Possible reasons for the variability of the inotropic insulin effect in papillary muscles of ground squirrel myocardium].

    PubMed

    Nakipova, O V; Chumaeva, L A; Andreeva, L A; Anufriev, A I; Kukushkin, N I

    2012-01-01

    The effects of insulin (0.1-50 nM) on isometric twitch force (0.1 to 1.0 Hz; 30 +/- 1 degree C; 1.8 mM Ca(2+)) were studied in right ventricular papillary muscles from active ground squirrels of different seasons (summer, n = 14; autumn, n = 16 and winter interbout, n = 16) in control conditions and after one-hour pretreatment of PM with 2 mkM nifedipine (an L-type Ca(2+)-channel inhibitor) and 1.0 mM orthovanadate (a tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor). In active animals of different seasonal periods insulin causes both positive and negative inotropic effects. At low frequencies (0.1-0.5 Hz), insulin of low concentrations (0.1-1.0 nM) induces a transient (within the first 20 min after application) positive effect (about 15-25%). Application of high hormone concentration (10 nM) in a low range of stimulation frequencies causes a biphasic effect (a small initial positive inotropic effect followed by a marked negative one). At frequencies above 0.5-Hz stimulation, insulin of 10 nM concentration causes presumably a negative inotropic effect. It was proposed that ICaL is possibly involved in the insulin-induced negative inotropy in ground squirrels hearts. Alteration of protein phosphorylation in tyrosine residues is known to be a major link in the mechanism of insulin action. We performed a study on orthovanadate action (a known inhibitor of tyrosine phosphatase) on the inotropic insulin effect. In the group of summer animals the pretreatment of papillary muscles with orthovanadate (100 mkM) does not change the negative inotropic effect of insulin in a low range of stimulation frequencies but almost completely removes this effect at stimulation frequencies above 0.3 Hz (n = 4). Nifedipine (1-1.5 hr pretreatment), a blocker of L-type calcium channel, reduces the inhibitory effect of insulin in autumn and winter animals, and on the contrary intensifies it in summer animals. This fact indicates that different mechanisms must be involved in insulin actions in animals of

  20. How will the greening of the Arctic affect an important prey species and disturbance agent? Vegetation effects on arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, H C; Chipperfield, J D; Roland, C; Svenning, J-C

    2015-07-01

    Increases in terrestrial primary productivity across the Arctic and northern alpine ecosystems are leading to altered vegetation composition and stature. Changes in vegetation stature may affect predator-prey interactions via changes in the prey's ability to detect predators, changes in predation pressure, predator identity and predator foraging strategy. Changes in productivity and vegetation composition may also affect herbivores via effects on forage availability and quality. We investigated if height-dependent effects of forage and non-forage vegetation determine burrowing extent and activity of arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). We collected data on burrow networks and activity of arctic ground squirrels across long-term vegetation monitoring sites in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The implications of height-specific cover of potential forage and non-forage vegetation on burrowing behaviour and habitat suitability for arctic ground squirrels were investigated using hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Increased cover of forbs was associated with more burrows and burrow systems, and higher activity of systems, for all forb heights. No other potential forage functional group was related to burrow distribution and activity. In contrast, height-dependent negative effects of non-forage vegetation were observed, with cover over 50-cm height negatively affecting the number of burrows, systems and system activity. Our results demonstrate that increases in vegetation productivity have dual, potentially counteracting effects on arctic ground squirrels via changes in forage and vegetation stature. Importantly, increases in tall-growing woody vegetation (shrubs and trees) have clear negative effects, whereas increases in forb should benefit arctic ground squirrels. PMID:25666700

  1. Stability of acoustic individuality in the alarm calls of wild yellow ground squirrels Spermophilus fulvus and contrasting calls from trapped and free-ranging callers.

    PubMed

    Matrosova, Vera A; Volodin, Ilya A; Volodina, Elena V; Vasilieva, Nina A

    2010-08-01

    The questions of individuality and stability of cues to identity in vocal signals are of considerable importance from theoretical and conservation perspectives. While individuality in alarm calls has been reported for many sciurids, it is not well-documented that the vocal identity encoded in the alarm calls is stable between different encounters with predators. Previous studies of two obligate hibernating rodents, speckled ground squirrels Spermophilus suslicus, and yellow ground squirrels Spermophilus fulvus demonstrated that, after hibernation, most individuals could not be identified reliably by their alarm calls. Moreover, in most speckled ground squirrels, individual patterns of alarm calls changed progressively over as little as 2 weeks. However, these previous data have been obtained using the collection of alarm calls from trapped animals. Here, we examined ten free-ranging dye-marked yellow ground squirrels to determine whether their alarm calls retain the cues to individuality between two encounters of surrogate predators (humans), separated on average by 3 days. Discriminant function analysis showed that the alarm calls of individual yellow ground squirrels were very similar within a recording session, providing very high individual distinctiveness. However, in six of the ten animals, the alarm calls were unstable between recording sessions. Also, we examined ten dye-marked individuals for consistency of acoustic characteristics of their alarm calls between the encounters of humans, differing in techniques of call collection, from free-ranging vs trapped animals. We found differences only in two variables, both related to sound degradation in the environment. Data are discussed in relation to hypotheses explaining the adaptive utility of acoustic individuality in alarm calls. PMID:20559613

  2. A refined technique for sciatic denervation in a golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) model of disuse atrophy.

    PubMed

    Sarukhanov, Valeri; Van Andel, Roger; Treat, Michael D; Utz, Jenifer C; van Breukelen, Frank

    2014-06-01

    Disuse atrophy of both muscle and bone can occur rapidly during periods of inactivity. In several rodent models developed for the study of disuse atrophy, immobilization is induced by prolonged cage restraint, hind limb unloading, tenotomy, sciatic nerve block or sciatic denervation. In less tractable species such as wild-caught hibernating rodents, the sciatic denervation model is superior in terms of both animal welfare and applicability to the characteristics of natural cases of disuse atrophy. The authors describe a refined surgical approach to sciatic denervation in golden-mantled ground squirrels (Callospermophilus lateralis), a hibernating species, that improves animal welfare and reduces the incidence of post-operative complications such as autotomy. PMID:24845006

  3. Elevated arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) gene expression in medial habenular and suprachiasmatic nuclei of hibernating ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Yu, Erik Z; Hallenbeck, John M; Cai, Decheng; McCarron, Richard M

    2002-06-15

    Hibernation, an adaptive response for energy conservation in mammals, involves a variety of physiological changes. Melatonin is linked with the regulation of core body temperature and intervenes in generating circadian cycles; its role in seasonal (circannual) rhythms of hibernation is explored here. Melatonin is primarily produced in the pineal gland. Since arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) is the rate-limiting enzyme for synthesizing melatonin, AA-NAT gene expression was investigated to assess the possible role of melatonin in hibernation. The findings presented here utilized combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry methodologies to evaluate the AA-NAT mRNA expression in brains of both hibernating and non-hibernating ground squirrels. Brains were examined for the expression of AA-NAT mRNA using a oligonucleotide AA-NAT probe; antibody against neurofilament-70 (NF-70) was used as a neuronal marker. All hibernating animals expressed significantly (P<0.01) elevated levels of AA-NAT mRNA in both the epithalamic medial habenular nuclei (MHb) area and the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which is also known as the master biologic clock. These findings represent the first demonstration of the expression of mRNA encoding for AA-NAT in the extra-pineal (i.e. SCN and MHb) sites of thirteen-lined ground squirrels and indicate that the habenular nucleus may be an important supplementary location for melatonin biosynthesis. The data presented here indicate that AA-NAT gene is one of the few specific genes up-regulated during hibernation and suggest that elevation of its expression in SCN and MHb may play an essential role in the generation and maintenance of hibernation. PMID:12191489

  4. Metabolic hormone FGF21 is induced in ground squirrels during hibernation but its overexpression is not sufficient to cause torpor.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Bethany T; Ding, Xunshan; Boney-Montoya, Jamie; Gerard, Robert D; Kliewer, Steven A; Andrews, Matthew T

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation is a natural adaptation that allows certain mammals to survive physiological extremes that are lethal to humans. Near freezing body temperatures, heart rates of 3-10 beats per minute, absence of food consumption, and depressed metabolism are characteristic of hibernation torpor bouts that are periodically interrupted by brief interbout arousals (IBAs). The molecular basis of torpor induction is unknown, however starved mice overexpressing the metabolic hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) promote fat utilization, reduce body temperature, and readily enter torpor-all hallmarks of mammalian hibernation. In this study we cloned FGF21 from the naturally hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) and found that levels of FGF21 mRNA in liver and FGF21 protein in serum are elevated during hibernation torpor bouts and significantly elevated during IBAs compared to summer active animals. The effects of artificially elevating circulating FGF21 concentrations 50 to 100-fold via adenoviral-mediated overexpression were examined at three different times of the year. This is the first time that a transgenic approach has been used in a natural hibernator to examine mechanistic aspects of hibernation. Surgically implanted transmitters measured various metrics of the hibernation phenotype over a 7-day period including changes in motor activity, heart rate and core body temperature. In April fed-state animals, FGF21 overexpression decreased blood insulin and free fatty acid concentrations, effects similar to those seen in obese mice. However, elevated FGF21 concentrations did not cause torpor in these fed-state animals nor did they cause torpor or affect metabolic parameters in fasted-state animals in March/April, August or October. We conclude that FGF21 is strongly regulated during torpor and IBA but that its overexpression is not sufficient to cause torpor in naturally hibernating ground squirrels. PMID:23301087

  5. Metabolic Hormone FGF21 Is Induced in Ground Squirrels during Hibernation but Its Overexpression Is Not Sufficient to Cause Torpor

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Bethany T.; Ding, Xunshan; Boney-Montoya, Jamie; Gerard, Robert D.; Kliewer, Steven A.; Andrews, Matthew T.

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation is a natural adaptation that allows certain mammals to survive physiological extremes that are lethal to humans. Near freezing body temperatures, heart rates of 3–10 beats per minute, absence of food consumption, and depressed metabolism are characteristic of hibernation torpor bouts that are periodically interrupted by brief interbout arousals (IBAs). The molecular basis of torpor induction is unknown, however starved mice overexpressing the metabolic hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) promote fat utilization, reduce body temperature, and readily enter torpor–all hallmarks of mammalian hibernation. In this study we cloned FGF21 from the naturally hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) and found that levels of FGF21 mRNA in liver and FGF21 protein in serum are elevated during hibernation torpor bouts and significantly elevated during IBAs compared to summer active animals. The effects of artificially elevating circulating FGF21 concentrations 50 to 100-fold via adenoviral-mediated overexpression were examined at three different times of the year. This is the first time that a transgenic approach has been used in a natural hibernator to examine mechanistic aspects of hibernation. Surgically implanted transmitters measured various metrics of the hibernation phenotype over a 7-day period including changes in motor activity, heart rate and core body temperature. In April fed-state animals, FGF21 overexpression decreased blood insulin and free fatty acid concentrations, effects similar to those seen in obese mice. However, elevated FGF21 concentrations did not cause torpor in these fed-state animals nor did they cause torpor or affect metabolic parameters in fasted-state animals in March/April, August or October. We conclude that FGF21 is strongly regulated during torpor and IBA but that its overexpression is not sufficient to cause torpor in naturally hibernating ground squirrels. PMID:23301087

  6. [Influence of ionizing radiation on the condition of the protein-synthesizing system in ground squirrel brain neurons at different functional states].

    PubMed

    Gordon, R Ia; Ignat'ev, D A; Mel'nikova, E V; Rogachevskaĭ, V V; Kraev, I V; Khutsian, S S

    2006-01-01

    It was shown by fluorescent and electron microscopy that the physiological state of ground squirrels subjected to ionizing radiation at different phases of the torpor-normothermia cycle plays a determining role in the alteration of the conditions of the protein-synthesizing system in neurons of hippocampus fields CA1 and CA3 and sensomotor area of the brain. In ground squirrels irradiated under normothermia, the neurons were less radioresistant and restored slower compared with torpor animal cells, the distinctions being most expressed in CA1 field neurons. The effect of irradiation was minimum during the entrance into torpor and maximum during arousal. It was supposed that the inhibition of protein synthesis in the latter case occurred at the elongation stage when heavy polyribosomes were formed in neuron cytoplasm. PMID:16637340

  7. Seasonal changes of androgen receptor, estrogen receptors and aromatase expression in the medial preoptic area of the wild male ground squirrels (Citellus dauricus Brandt).

    PubMed

    Zhang, F; Wang, J; Jiao, Y; Zhang, L; Zhang, H; Sheng, X; Han, Y; Yuan, Z; Weng, Q

    2016-01-01

    The wild ground squirrel is a typical seasonal breeder. In this study, using RT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry, we investigated the mRNA and protein expressions of androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptors α and β (ERα and ERβ) and aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of hypothalamus of the wild male ground squirrel during the breeding season (April), the non-breeding season (June) and pre-hibernation (September). AR, ERα, ERβ and P450arom protein/mRNA were present in the MPOA of all seasons detected. The immunostaining of AR and ERα showed no significant changes in different periods, whereas ERβ and P450arom had higher immunoreactivities during the breeding season and pre-hibernation when compared to those of the non-breeding season. Consistently, both the protein and mRNA levels of P450arom and ERβ were higher in the MPOA of pre-hibernation and the breeding season than in the non-breeding season, whereas no significant difference amongst the three periods was observed for AR and ERα levels. These findings suggested that the MPOA of hypothalamus may be a direct target of androgen and estrogen. Androgen may play important regulatory roles through its receptor and/or the aromatized estrogen in the MPOA of hypothalamus of the wild male ground squirrels. PMID:27349316

  8. State-dependent variation in the inhibitory effect of (D-Ala sup 2 , D-Leu sup 5 )-enkephalin on hippocampal serotonin release in ground squirrels

    SciTech Connect

    Kramarova, L.I.; Lee, T.F.; Cui, Y.; Wang, L.C.H. )

    1990-01-01

    Accumulated evidence has suggested that increased endogenous opioid activities may facilitate the onset of hibernation either directly or possibly through modulation of other neurotransmitter systems. The seasonal change of (D-Ala{sup 2}, D-Leu{sup 5})-enkephalin (DADLE), a {delta} receptor agonist, in modulating K{sup +}-induced ({sup 3}H)-5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) release from the hippocampal and hypothalamic slices of euthermic and hibernating Richardsons' ground squirrels was therefore investigated. DADLE had no effect on 5-HT release in the hypothalamic slices but elicited a dose-related inhibition on ({sup 3}H)-5-HT release from the hippocampal slices of the euthermic ground squirrel. The inhibitory effect of DADLE was completely reversed by naloxone, but not by tetrodotoxin. In contrast, DADLE failed to alter the K{sup +}-induced 5-HT release from the hippocampal slices of the hibernating ground squirrel. This state-dependent reduction in responsiveness to an opioid is consistent with the hypothesis that enhanced endogenous opioid activity in the hibernating phase could lead to down regulation of the opioid receptors and minimize its inhibition on hippocampal serotonergic activity. A high 5-HT activity would inhibit midbrain reticular activating system indirectly through non-serotonergic fibers, which in turn facilitate the onset or maintenance of hibernation.

  9. Seasonal Changes of Androgen Receptor, Estrogen Receptors and Aromatase Expression in the Medial Preoptic Area of the Wild Male Ground Squirrels (Citellus Dauricus Brandt)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, F.; Wang, J.; Jiao, Y.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, H.; Sheng, X.; Han, Y.; Yuan, Z.; Weng, Q.

    2016-01-01

    The wild ground squirrel is a typical seasonal breeder. In this study, using RT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry, we investigated the mRNA and protein expressions of androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptors a and β (ERα and ERβ) and aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of hypothalamus of the wild male ground squirrel during the breeding season (April), the non-breeding season (June) and pre-hibernation (September). AR, ERα, ERβ and P450arom protein/mRNA were present in the MPOA of all seasons detected. The immunostaining of AR and ERα showed no significant changes in different periods, whereas ERβ and P450arom had higher immunoreactivities during the breeding season and pre-hibernation when compared to those of the non-breeding season. Consistently, both the protein and mRNA levels of P450arom and ERβ were higher in the MPOA of pre-hibernation and the breeding season than in the non-breeding season, whereas no significant difference amongst the three periods was observed for AR and ERα levels. These findings suggested that the MPOA of hypothalamus may be a direct target of androgen and estrogen. Androgen may play important regulatory roles through its receptor and/or the aromatized estrogen in the MPOA of hypothalamus of the wild male ground squirrels. PMID:27349316

  10. Seasonal variation in the antioxidant defense system of the brain of the ground squirrel (Citellus citellus) and response to low temperature compared with rat.

    PubMed

    Buzadzić, B; Blagojević, D; Korać, B; Saicić, Z S; Spasić, M B; Petrović, V M

    1997-06-01

    Seasonal variation in the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (EC 1.15.1.1.; SOD), catalase (EC 1.11.1.6; CAT), glutathione peroxidase (EC 1.11.1.9; GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (EC 1.6.4.2; GR), glutathione-S-transferase (EC 2.5.1.18; GST) and low-molecular-weight antioxidants: ascorbic acid (AsA), vitamin E (VIT E) and glutathione (CSH+GSSG) were examined in the brain of the ground squirrels (Citellus citellus) maintained at 30 degrees C during the whole year. The highest activity (per mg protein) of antioxidant defense (AD) enzymes was found in the spring and was much lower in the summer. A further decrease in activity of CAT, GSH-Px and GST was observed in the winter. The highest levels of AsA and glutathione were recorded in winter in comparison with spring and summer. AD system in the brain of the ground squirrel and rates (maintained at thermoneutrality) exposed to low temperature (4 degrees C) for 3, 6 or 24 hr during the summer was studied as well. Summer was chosen as a period of stable euthermia for ground squirrels and in thermoregulation similar to rats. Consumption of free fatty acid and glucose during the acute exposure to low temperature was found to be species specific. In the ground squirrel, an increase in the specific activities of SOD, after 3, 6 and 24 hr, CAT after 3 and 6 hr and GR after 6 hr of exposure to low temperature was detected. When activities were expressed in U/g wet mass, an increase of SOD after 3, 6 and 24 hr (P < 0.02, P < 0.02, P < 0.005) and CAT and GSH-Px 3 hr (P < 0.01) upon exposure to low temperature was observed. In the rats, no changes in the specific activities of these enzymes after exposure to low temperature were recorded and only an increase in GST activity (U/g wet mass) after 6 hr exposure was registered. Low-molecular-weight AD components in both animal species were unchanged upon short-term exposure to low temperature. The species-specific differences in brain AD between the rats and the

  11. Changing seasonality and phenological responses of free-living male arctic ground squirrels: the importance of sex

    PubMed Central

    Sheriff, Michael J.; Richter, Melanie M.; Buck, C. Loren; Barnes, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have addressed the effects of climate change on species as a whole; however, few have examined the possibility of sex-specific differences. To understand better the impact that changing patterns of snow-cover have on an important resident Arctic mammal, we investigated the long-term (13 years) phenology of hibernating male arctic ground squirrels living at two nearby sites in northern Alaska that experience significantly different snow-cover regimes. Previously, we demonstrated that snow-cover influences the timing of phenological events in females. Our results here suggest that the end of heterothermy in males is influenced by soil temperature and an endogenous circannual clock, but timing of male emergence from hibernation is influenced by the timing of female emergence. Males at both sites, Atigun and Toolik, end heterothermy on the same date in spring, but remain in their burrows while undergoing reproductive maturation. However, at Atigun, where snowmelt and female emergence occur relatively early, males emerge 8 days earlier than those at Toolik, maintaining a 12-day period between male and female emergence found at each site, but reducing the pre-emergence euthermic period that is critical for reproductive maturation. This sensitivity in timing of male emergence to female emergence will need to be matched by phase shifts in the circannual clock and responsiveness to environmental factors that time the end of heterothermy, if synchrony in reproductive readiness between the sexes is to be preserved in a rapidly changing climate. PMID:23836786

  12. [Cyclic structural changes in endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus in the hippocampal neurons of ground squirrels during hibernation].

    PubMed

    Bocharova, L S; Gordon, R Ia; Rogachevskiĭ, V V; Ignat'ev, D A; Khutsian, S S

    2011-01-01

    Repetitive remodeling and renewal of the cytoplasmic structures realizing synthesis of proteins accompanies the cycling of ground squirrels between torpor and arousal states during hibernation season. Earlier we have shown partial loss of ribosomes and nucleolus inactivation in CA3 hippocampal pyramidal neurons in each bout of torpor with rapid and full recovery after warming up. Here we describe reversible structural changes in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi complex (G) in these neurons. Transformation of ER from mainly cysternal to tubular form and from mainly granular to smooth type occurs at every entrance in torpor, while the opposite change occurs at arousal. Torpor state is also associated with G fragmentation and loss of its flattened cisternae. Appearance in torpor of the autophagosomal vacuoles containing fragments of membrane structures and ribosomes is a sign of their partial destruction. Granular ER restoration, perhaps through assembly from the multilamellar membrane structures, whorls or bags, begins as early as in the middle of the torpor bout, while G flattened cisternae reappear only at warming. ER and G completely restore their structure 2-3 hours after the provoked arousal. Thus, hibernation represents and example of nerve cell structural adaptation to alterations in functional and metabolic activity through both active destruction and renewal of ribosomes, ER, and G. Perhaps, it is the incomplete ER autophagosomal degradation at torpor provides its rapid renewal at arousal by reassembly from the preserved fragments. PMID:21598689

  13. Genetic structure of desert ground squirrels over a 20-degree-latitude transect from Oregon through the Baja California peninsula.

    PubMed

    Whorley, Joshua R; Alvarez-Castañeda, S Ticul; Kenagy, G J

    2004-09-01

    The genetic structure of populations over a wide geographical area should reflect the demographic and evolutionary processes that have shaped a species across its range. We examined the population genetic structure of antelope ground squirrels (Ammospermophilus leucurus) across the complex of North American deserts from the Great Basin of Oregon to the cape region of the Baja California peninsula. We sampled 73 individuals from 13 major localities over this 2500-km transect, from 43 to 22 degrees north. Our molecular phylogeographical analysis of 555 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and 510 bp of the control region revealed great genetic uniformity in a single clade that extends from Oregon to central Baja California. A second distinct clade occupies the southern half of the peninsula. The minimal geographical structure of the northern clade, its low haplotype diversity and the distribution of pairwise differences between haplotypes suggest a rapid northward expansion of the population that must have followed a northward desert habitat shift associated with the most recent Quaternary climate warming and glacial retreat. The higher haplotype diversity within the southern clade and distribution of pairwise differences between haplotypes suggest that the southern clade has a longer, more stable history associated with a southern peninsular refugium. This system, as observed, reflects both historical and contemporary ecological and evolutionary responses to physical environmental gradients within genetically homogeneous populations. PMID:15315683

  14. The expression of leptin, hypothalamic neuropeptides and UCP1 before, during and after fattening in the Daurian ground squirrel (Spermophilus dauricus).

    PubMed

    Xing, Xin; Yang, Ming; Wang, De-Hua

    2015-06-01

    The Daurian ground squirrel (Spermophilus dauricus) accumulates large amounts of body fat during pre-hibernation fattening. Leptin, an adipose-derived hormone, plays important roles in energy balance and thermogenesis. We predicted that body fat accumulation would lead to the elevation of leptin concentration while its effect on satiety would be suppressed in hypothalamus during fattening. In addition, the uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) would increase and correlated positively with leptin concentration before hibernation. Here, we measured serum leptin concentration and leptin mRNA in white adipose tissue (WAT), hypothalamic neuropeptides involved in energy regulation and UCP1 in BAT before, during and after fattening in squirrels. The fat mass gradually increased during fattening but serum leptin increased mainly in the late phase of fattening, which was consistent with leptin mRNA expression in WAT. During fattening, the mRNA of hypothalamic leptin receptor was up-regulated and correlated positively with serum leptin. Orexigenic neuropeptide Y mRNA increased by 67%; however agouti-related peptide remained unchanged before hibernation. There was no significant change in anorexigenic neuropeptide mRNA. No change in suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 and protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B was detected. UCP1 mRNA expression and protein content in BAT increased significantly after fattening. These changes were independent of environmental conditions and serum leptin concentration. Our results suggest that the dissociation of leptin production and adiposity during fattening may facilitate fat accumulation. No evidence of suppressed leptin signal was found in fattening squirrels. The UCP1 recruitment in post-fattening squirrels could occur without winter-like acclimation and increased leptin. PMID:25711781

  15. The impact of cold acclimation and hibernation on antioxidant defenses in the ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus): an update.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Milica; Stancic, Ana; Otasevic, Vesna; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Korac, Aleksandra; Markelic, Milica; Velickovic, Ksenija; Golic, Igor; Buzadzic, Biljana; Storey, Kenneth B; Korac, Bato

    2013-12-01

    Any alteration in oxidative metabolism is coupled with a corresponding response by an antioxidant defense (AD) in appropriate subcellular compartments. Seasonal hibernators pass through circannual metabolic adaptations that allow them to either maintain euthermy (cold acclimation) or enter winter torpor with body temperature falling to low values. The present study aimed to investigate the corresponding pattern of AD enzyme protein expressions associated with these strategies in the main tissues involved in whole animal energy homeostasis: brown and white adipose tissues (BAT and WAT, respectively), liver, and skeletal muscle. European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus) were exposed to low temperature (4 ± 1 °C) and then divided into two groups: (1) animals fell into torpor (hibernating group) and (2) animals stayed active and euthermic for 1, 3, 7, 12, or 21 days (cold-exposed group). We examined the effects of cold acclimation and hibernation on the tissue-dependent protein expression of four enzymes which catalyze the two-step detoxification of superoxide to water: superoxide dismutase 1 and 2 (SOD 1 and 2), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). The results showed that hibernation induced an increase of AD enzyme protein expressions in BAT and skeletal muscle. However, AD enzyme contents in liver were largely unaffected during torpor. Under these conditions, different WAT depots responded by elevating the amounts of specific enzymes, as follows: SOD 1 in retroperitoneal WAT, GSH-Px in gonadal WAT, and CAT in subcutaneous WAT. Similar perturbations of AD enzymes contents were seen in all tissues during cold acclimation, often in a time-dependent manner. It can be concluded that BAT and muscle AD capacity undergo the most dramatic changes during both cold acclimation and hibernation, while liver is relatively unaffected by either condition. Additionally, this study provides a basis for further metabolic study that will illuminate the causes

  16. Effects of storage treatment on fecal steroid hormone concentrations of a rodent, the Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris).

    PubMed

    Pettitt, B A; Wheaton, C J; Waterman, J M

    2007-01-01

    Fecal steroid analysis is an increasingly common non-invasive technique used in both captive and field studies to measure an animal's approximate hormonal levels and corresponding physiological state. Fecal collection in the field necessitates storage and transportation methods that will prevent the degradation of hormonal metabolites by fecal bacteria. To determine the most stable and therefore preferred method of storage, 48 fecal samples were collected from six captive female Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris). Each sample was randomly divided into three sub-samples to be processed for storage through freezing, drying, or preservation in ethanol. Frozen samples were stored at -20 degrees C, dried-treated samples were desiccated in a conventional oven at 40 degrees C for 4 h, and alcohol-treated samples were preserved in 3 ml of 95% ethanol. Samples were stored for 330 days followed by enzyme immunoassay analysis (EIA) to determine their progestogen and estrone conjugate (E(1)C) concentrations. Validations were performed to establish that the progestogen and E(1)C assays accurately measure fecal progestogen and estrone conjugate concentrations and were sensitive enough to detect biologically meaningful differences in these steroid metabolite concentrations in female X. inauris. Validation results showed a significant difference in progestogen concentrations of gravid females compared to sub-adults and non-gravid females. There was also a significant difference in estrone conjugates between sub-adult and adult females. Duration of storage time did not affect progestogen or estrone metabolite concentrations after being frozen for 3 months. Storage treatment results showed no significant difference between frozen and dried samples, but a significant difference was found between frozen and ethanol samples in both progestogen and estrone conjugate concentrations demonstrating that drying feces provides a reliable method for long-term preservation of fecal steroid

  17. Habituation of Arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) to handling and movement during torpor to prevent artificial arousal.

    PubMed

    Christian, Sherri L; Rasley, Brian T; Roe, Tanna; Moore, Jeanette T; Harris, Michael B; Drew, Kelly L

    2014-01-01

    Hibernation is a unique physiological adaptation characterized by periods of torpor that consist of repeated, reversible, and dramatic reductions of body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow. External and internal triggers can induce arousal from torpor in the hibernator. Studies of hibernating animals often require that animals be handled or moved prior to sampling or euthanasia but this movement can induce changes in the hibernation status of the animal. In fact, it has been demonstrated that movement of animals while they are hibernating is sufficient to induce an artificial arousal, which can detrimentally alter experimental findings obtained from animals assumed to be torpid. Therefore, we assessed a method to induce habituation of torpid hibernators to handling and movement to reduce inadvertent arousals. A platform rocker was used to mimic motion experienced during transfer of an animal and changes in respiratory rate (RR) were used to assess responsiveness of torpid Arctic ground squirrels (AGS, Urocitellus parryii). We found that movement alone did not induce a change in RR, however, exposure to handling induced an increase in RR in almost all AGS. This change in RR was markedly reduced with increased exposures, and all AGS exhibited a change in RR ≤ 1 by the end of the study. AGS habituated faster mid-season compared to early in the season, which mirrors other assessments of seasonal variation of torpor depth. However, AGS regained responsiveness when they were not exposed to daily handling. While AGS continued to undergo natural arousals during the study, occurrence of a full arousal was neither necessary for becoming habituated nor detrimental to the time required for habituation. These data suggest that even when torpid, AGS are able to undergo mechanosensory habituation, one of the simplest forms of learning, and provides a reliable way to reduce the sensitivity of torpid animals to handling. PMID:24847278

  18. The size of non-hippocampal brain regions varies by season and sex in Richardson's ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Keeley, R J; Burger, D K; Saucier, D M; Iwaniuk, A N

    2015-03-19

    Sex- and season-specific modulation of hippocampal size and function is observed across multiple species, including rodents. Other non-hippocampal-dependent behaviors exhibit season and sex differences, and whether the associated brain regions exhibit similar variation with sex and season remains to be fully characterized. As such, we examined the brains of wild-caught Richardson's ground squirrels (RGS; Urocitellus richardsonii) for seasonal (breeding, non-breeding) and sex differences in the volumes of specific brain areas, including: total brain volume, corpus callosum (CC), anterior commissure (AC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), total neocortex (NC), entorhinal cortex (EC), and superior colliculus (SC). Analyses of variance and covariance revealed significant interactions between season and sex for almost all areas studied, primarily resulting from females captured during the breeding season exhibiting larger volumes than females captured during the non-breeding season. This was observed for volumes of the AC, mPFC, NC, EC, and SC. Where simple main effects of season were observed for males (the NC and the SC), the volume advantage favoured males captured during the NBr season. Only two simple main effects of sex were observed: males captured in the non-breeding season had significantly larger total brain volume than females captured in the non-breeding season, and females captured during the breeding season had larger volumes of the mPFC and EC than males captured in the breeding season. These results indicate that females have more pronounced seasonal differences in brain and brain region sizes. The extent to which seasonal differences in brain region volumes vary with behaviour is unclear, but our data do suggest that seasonal plasticity is not limited to the hippocampus and that RGS is a useful mammalian species for understanding seasonal plasticity in an ecologically relevant context. PMID:25595988

  19. Arctic ground squirrels of the mammoth-steppe: paleoecology of Late Pleistocene middens (˜24 000 29 450 14C yr BP), Yukon Territory, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zazula, Grant D.; Froese, Duane G.; Elias, Scott A.; Kuzmina, Svetlana; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2007-04-01

    This paper presents paleoecological analyses of 48 fossil arctic ground squirrel ( Spermophilus parryii) middens (nests and caches) recovered from ice-rich loess sediments in the Klondike region of west-central Yukon Territory. AMS radiocarbon dates and stratigraphic association of middens with Dawson tephra (˜25 300 14C yr BP), indicate these paleoecological data reflect the onset of glacial conditions of early Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and terminal MIS 3 (˜24 000-29 450 14C yr BP). Plant macrofossils include at least 60 plant taxa, including diverse graminoids ( Poa, Elymus trachycaulus, Kobresia myosuroides), steppe forbs ( Penstemon gormanii, Anemone patens var. multifida, Plantago cf. canescens), tundra forbs ( Draba spp., Bistorta vivipara), dwarf shrubs ( Salix cf. arctica, S. cf. polaris), sage ( Artemisia frigida) and rare trees ( Picea mariana). Many of these taxa identified in the middens represent the first recorded fossils for these plants in Eastern Beringia and add to our knowledge of the floristic composition of Pleistocene vegetation and biogeography in this region. Fossil beetles include typical members of the Eastern Beringian steppe-tundra fauna ( Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Connatichela artemisiae) and others suggesting predominantly dry, open habitats. Cache forage selection is suggested by some plant taxa which were particularly frequent and abundant in the middens ( Bistorta vivipara, Kobresia myosuroides, Ranunculus spp., Potentilla, Erysimum cf. cheiranthoides, Poa, Carex and Draba). Factors such as proximity of vegetation to burrows and abundance of fruits and seeds per plant were probably important in cache selection. Glacial conditions enabled arctic ground squirrels to form widespread and dense populations in regions such as the Klondike in which they are rare or absent at present. This fossil midden record supports previous hypotheses that suggest arctic ground squirrels evolved in and are well-adapted to the open, steppe

  20. Assessment of the stress response in Columbian ground squirrels: laboratory and field validation of an enzyme immunoassay for fecal cortisol metabolites.

    PubMed

    Bosson, Curtis O; Palme, Rupert; Boonstra, Rudy

    2009-01-01

    Stress responses play a critical role in the ecology and demography of wild animals, and the analysis of fecal hormone metabolites is a powerful noninvasive method to assess the role of stress. We characterized the metabolites of injected radiolabeled cortisol in the urine and feces of Columbian ground squirrels and validated an enzyme immunoassay for measuring fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) with a 5 alpha-3beta,11 beta-diol structure by stimulation and suppression of adrenocortical activity and by evaluation of the circadian pattern of FCM excretion. In addition, we also evaluated the impact of capture, handling, and acclimation to the laboratory on FCM. Cortisol is highly metabolized, with virtually none being excreted, and of the radiolabeled cortisol injected, 31% was recovered in urine and 6.5% in feces. The lag time between cortisol injection and its appearance in urine and feces was 4.5 +/- 0.82 (SE) h and 7.0 +/- 0.53 (SE) h, respectively. FCM levels varied over the day, reflecting circadian variation in endogenous cortisol. Dexamethasone decreased FCM levels by 33%, and ACTH increased them by 255%. Trapping and housing initially increased FCM levels and decreased body mass, but these reversed within 3-7 d, indicating acclimation. Finally, FCM levels were modestly repeatable over time (r=0.57) in wild, live trapped, nonbreeding animals, indicating that FCMs provide a measure of the squirrel's stress-axis state. This assay provides a robust noninvasive assessment of the stress response of the Columbian ground squirrel and will facilitate an integration of its life history and physiology. PMID:19335228

  1. Circannual rhythm in body temperature, torpor, and sensitivity to A₁ adenosine receptor agonist in arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Olson, Jasmine M; Jinka, Tulasi R; Larson, Lindy K; Danielson, Jeffrey J; Moore, Jeanette T; Carpluck, Joanna; Drew, Kelly L

    2013-06-01

    A₁ adenosine receptor (A₁AR) activation within the central nervous system induces torpor, but in obligate hibernators such as the arctic ground squirrel (AGS; Urocitellus parryii), A₁AR stimulation induces torpor only during the hibernation season, suggesting a seasonal increase in sensitivity to A₁AR signaling. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between body temperature (Tb) and sensitivity to an adenosine A1 receptor agonist in AGS. We tested the hypothesis that increased sensitivity in A₁AR signaling would lead to lower Tb in euthermic animals during the hibernation season when compared with the summer season. We further predicted that if a decrease in euthermic Tb reflects increased sensitivity to A₁AR activation, then it should likewise predict spontaneous torpor. We used subcutaneous IPTT-300 transponders to monitor Tb in AGS housed under constant ambient conditions (12:12 L:D, 18 °C) for up to 16 months. These animals displayed an obvious rhythm in euthermic Tb that cycled with a period of approximately 8 months. Synchrony in the Tb rhythm within the group was lost after several months of constant L:D conditions; however, individual rhythms in Tb continued to show clear sine wave-like waxing and waning. AGS displayed spontaneous torpor only during troughs in euthermic Tb. To assess sensitivity to A₁AR activation, AGS were administered the A₁AR agonist N(6)-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA, 0.1 mg/kg, ip), and subcutaneous Tb was monitored. AGS administered CHA during a seasonal minimum in euthermic Tb showed a greater drug-induced decrease in Tb (1.6 ± 0.3 °C) than did AGS administered CHA during a peak in euthermic Tb (0.4 ± 0.3 °C). These results provide evidence for a circannual rhythm in Tb that is associated with increased sensitivity to A₁AR signaling and correlates with the onset of torpor. PMID:23735499

  2. Circannual Rhythm in Body Temperature, Torpor, and Sensitivity to A1 Adenosine Receptor Agonist in Arctic Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Jasmine M.; Jinka, Tulasi R.; Larson, Lindy K.; Danielson, Jeffrey J.; Moore, Jeanette T.; Carpluck, JoAnna; Drew, Kelly L.

    2013-01-01

    A1 adenosine receptor (A1AR) activation within the central nervous system induces torpor, but in obligate hibernators such as the arctic ground squirrel (AGS; Urocitellus parryii), A1AR stimulation induces torpor only during the hibernation season, suggesting a seasonal increase in sensitivity to A1AR signaling. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between body temperature (Tb) and sensitivity to an adenosine A1 receptor agonist in AGS. We tested the hypothesis that increased sensitivity in A1AR signaling would lead to lower Tb in euthermic animals during the hibernation season when compared with the summer season. We further predicted that if a decrease in euthermic Tb reflects increased sensitivity to A1AR activation, then it should likewise predict spontaneous torpor. We used subcutaneous IPTT-300 transponders to monitor Tb in AGS housed under constant ambient conditions (12:12 L:D, 18 °C) for up to 16 months. These animals displayed an obvious rhythm in euthermic Tb that cycled with a period of approximately 8 months. Synchrony in the Tb rhythm within the group was lost after several months of constant L:D conditions; however, individual rhythms in Tb continued to show clear sine wave–like waxing and waning. AGS displayed spontaneous torpor only during troughs in euthermic Tb. To assess sensitivity to A1AR activation, AGS were administered the A1AR agonist N6-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA, 0.1 mg/kg, ip), and subcutaneous Tb was monitored. AGS administered CHA during a seasonal minimum in euthermic Tb showed a greater drug-induced decrease in Tb (1.6 ± 0.3 °C) than did AGS administered CHA during a peak in euthermic Tb (0.4 ± 0.3 °C). These results provide evidence for a circannual rhythm in Tb that is associated with increased sensitivity to A1AR signaling and correlates with the onset of torpor. PMID:23735499

  3. Resistance to Systemic Inflammation and Multi Organ Damage after Global Ischemia/Reperfusion in the Arctic Ground Squirrel

    PubMed Central

    Bogren, Lori K.; Olson, Jasmine M.; Carpluk, JoAnna; Moore, Jeanette M.; Drew, Kelly L.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Cardiac arrest (CA) and hemorrhagic shock (HS) are two clinically relevant situations where the body undergoes global ischemia as blood pressure drops below the threshold necessary for adequate organ perfusion. Resistance to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a characteristic of hibernating mammals. The present study sought to determine if arctic ground squirrels (AGS) are protected from systemic inflammation and multi organ damage after CA- or HS-induced global I/R and if, for HS, this protection is dependent upon their hibernation season. Methods For CA, rats and summer euthermic AGS (AGS-EU) were asphyxiated for 8 min, inducing CA. For HS, rats, AGS-EU, and winter interbout arousal AGS (AGS-IBA) were subject to HS by withdrawing blood to a mean arterial pressure of 35 mmHg and maintaining that pressure for 20 min before reperfusion with Ringers. For both I/R models, body temperature (Tb) was kept at 36.5–37.5°C. After reperfusion, animals were monitored for seven days (CA) or 3 hrs (HS) then tissues and blood were collected for histopathology, clinical chemistries, and cytokine level analysis (HS only). For the HS studies, additional groups of rats and AGS were monitored for three days after HS to access survival and physiological impairment. Results Rats had increased serum markers of liver damage one hour after CA while AGS did not. For HS, AGS survived 72 hours after I/R whereas rats did not survive overnight. Additionally, only rats displayed an inflammatory response after HS. AGS maintained a positive base excess, whereas the base excess in rats was negative during and after hemorrhage. Conclusions Regardless of season, AGS are resistant to organ damage, systemic inflammation, and multi organ damage after systemic I/R and this resistance is not dependent on their ability to become decrease Tb during insult but may stem from an altered acid/base and metabolic response during I/R. PMID:24728042

  4. Seasonal changes in expression of nerve growth factor and its receptors TrkA and p75 in the ovary of wild ground squirrel (Citellus dauricus Brandt)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF) and its receptors tyrosine kinase A (TrkA) and p75 in the ovaries of the wild ground squirrels during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. In the breeding period, NGF, TrkA and p75 were immunolocalized in granulosa cells, thecal cells, interstitial cells and luteal cells whereas in the nonbreeding period, both of them were detected only in granulosa cells, thecal cells and interstitial cells. Stronger immunostaining of NGF, TrkA and p75 were observed in granulosa cells, thecal cells and interstitial cells in the breeding season compared to the nonbreeding season. Corresponding for the immunohistochemical results, immunoreactivities of NGF and its two receptors were greater in the ovaries of the breeding season then decreased to a relatively low level in the nonbreeding season. The mean mRNA levels of NGF, TrkA and p75 were significantly higher in the breeding season than in the nonbreeding season. In addition, plasma gonadotropins, estradiol-17β and progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in the breeding season than in the nonbreeding season, suggesting that the expression patterns of NGF, and TrkA and p75 were correlated with changes in plasma gonadotropins, estradiol-17β and progesterone concentrations. These results indicated that NGF and its receptors, TrkA and p75 may be involved in the regulation of seasonal changes in the ovarian functions of the wild ground squirrel. PMID:24405743

  5. Testicular expression of NGF, TrkA and p75 during seasonal spermatogenesis of the wild ground squirrel (Citellus dauricus Brandt).

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Wang, Y; Zhang, J; Wang, L; Li, Q; Sheng, X; Han, Y; Yuan, Z; Weng, Q

    2015-01-01

    The nerve growth factor (NGF) not only has an essential effect on the nervous system, but also plays an important role in a variety of non-neuronal systems, such as the reproductive system. The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal changes in expression of NGF and its receptors (TrkA and p75) in testes of the wild ground squirrel during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Immunolocalization for NGF was detected mainly in Leydig cells and Sertoli cells in testes of the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. The immunoreactivity of TrkA was highest in the elongated spermatids, whereas p75 in spermatogonia and spermatocytes in testes of the breeding season. In the nonbreeding season testes, TrkA showed positive immunostainings in Leydig cells, spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes, while p75 showed positive signals in spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes. Consistent with the immunohistochemical results, the mean mRNA and protein level of NGF and TrkA were higher in the testes of the breeding season, and then decreased to a relatively low level in the nonbreeding season. In addition, the concentration of plasma gonadotropins and testosterone were assayed by radioimmunoassay (RIA), and the results showed a significant seasonal change between the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. To conclude, these results of this study provide the first evidence on the potential involvement of NGF and its receptor, TrkA and p75 in the seasonal spermatogenesis and testicular function change of the wild ground squirrel. PMID:26428886

  6. The effects of season and sex on dentate gyrus size and neurogenesis in a wild rodent, Richardson's ground squirrel (Urocitellus richardsonii).

    PubMed

    Burger, D K; Gulbrandsen, T; Saucier, D M; Iwaniuk, A N

    2014-07-11

    Sex and reproductive status affect hippocampal neurogenesis and dentate gyrus (DG) size in rodents. Relatively few studies, however, address these two effects simultaneously and even fewer studies address this issue in wild populations. Here, we examined seasonal and sex differences in neurogenesis and DG size in a wild, polygynous and social rodent, Richardson's ground squirrel (Uriocitellus richardsonii). Based on the behavioral ecology of this species, we predicted that both neurogenesis and DG size would be sexually dimorphic and the degree of dimorphism would be greatest in the breeding season. Using unbiased stereology and doublecortin (DCX) immunohistochemistry, we found that brain volume, DG size and number of DCX cells varied significantly between breeding and non-breeding seasons, but only brain volume and the number of DCX labeled cells differed between the sexes. Both sex and seasonal differences likely reflect circulating hormone levels, but the extent to which these differences relate to space use in this species is unclear. Based on the degree of seasonal differences in neurogenesis and the DG, we suggest that ground squirrels could be considered model species in which to examine hippocampal plasticity in an ecologically valid context. PMID:24813432

  7. Seasonal changes in expression of nerve growth factor and its receptors TrkA and p75 in the ovary of wild ground squirrel (Citellus dauricus Brandt).

    PubMed

    Li, Ben; Sheng, Xia; Bao, Lihong; Huang, Shiyang; Li, Qinglin; Liu, Yuning; Han, Yingying; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Weng, Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF) and its receptors tyrosine kinase A (TrkA) and p75 in the ovaries of the wild ground squirrels during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. In the breeding period, NGF, TrkA and p75 were immunolocalized in granulosa cells, thecal cells, interstitial cells and luteal cells whereas in the nonbreeding period, both of them were detected only in granulosa cells, thecal cells and interstitial cells. Stronger immunostaining of NGF, TrkA and p75 were observed in granulosa cells, thecal cells and interstitial cells in the breeding season compared to the nonbreeding season. Corresponding for the immunohistochemical results, immunoreactivities of NGF and its two receptors were greater in the ovaries of the breeding season then decreased to a relatively low level in the nonbreeding season. The mean mRNA levels of NGF, TrkA and p75 were significantly higher in the breeding season than in the nonbreeding season. In addition, plasma gonadotropins, estradiol-17β and progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in the breeding season than in the nonbreeding season, suggesting that the expression patterns of NGF, and TrkA and p75 were correlated with changes in plasma gonadotropins, estradiol-17β and progesterone concentrations. These results indicated that NGF and its receptors, TrkA and p75 may be involved in the regulation of seasonal changes in the ovarian functions of the wild ground squirrel. PMID:24405743

  8. Scaling of the mandible in squirrels.

    PubMed

    Velhagen, W A; Roth, V L

    1997-05-01

    We compared the shape of the mandible among New World tree squirrels and selected outgroup taxa using linear measurements and areas defined by the median axis and conventional anatomical landmarks. We modified the median axis technique to define novel measurements, which proved complementary to those obtained from conventional landmarks. Allometric analyses showed that the scaling of the mandible among the New World tree squirrels is generally isometric (as has been observed in other groups of mammals), but diverges from isometry in a tendency in smaller animals for the masseteric ridge to be displaced anteriorly, the condylar process and posterior portion of the ascending ramus to be relatively elongated, and the coronoid process to be shortened. Allometric analyses also revealed the ways and extent that outgrowth taxa deviated from the scaling pattern observed for the New World tree squirrels. A flying squirrel (subfamily Pteromyinae), a moderate-sized callosciurine squirrel, and three species of pygmy tree squirrels from Asia and Africa show mandibular proportions very similar to those predicted for New World tree squirrels of corresponding size. Ground squirrels (tribe Marmotini) and successively more distant relatives such as Aplodontia, two myomorph rodents, and a rabbit show greater differences from the New World tree squirrels in their mandibular proportions. Combining the use of median-axis and conventional measurements makes it possible to examine changing relationships between locations of anatomically homologous landmarks and the geometry of the form. PMID:9097464

  9. Comparative myology of the forelimb of squirrels (Sciuridae).

    PubMed

    Thorington, R W; Darrow, K; Betts, A D

    1997-11-01

    The musculature of the shoulder, arm, and forearm was studied in 19 genera of squirrels, representing the Pteromyinae (flying squirrels) and all 7 tribes of the Sciurinae (tree and ground squirrels). The objective was to locate derived anatomical features of functional or phylogenetic significance and to determine how much morphological variation underlies the diverse locomotor behavior of squirrels, which includes terrestrial and arboreal bounding, climbing, digging, and gliding. The fossil evidence suggests that arboreality is primitive for squirrels, and in fact tree squirrels appear to represent the primitive sciurid morphology. Ground squirrels are less uniform and exhibit a few derived features, including a clavobrachialis muscle not seen in other squirrels. Pygmy tree squirrels, which have evolved independently in three tribes, exhibit convergence of forelimb anatomy, including the loss or reduction of several muscles in the shoulder and forearm. The forelimb anatomy of flying squirrels is the most derived and differs from that of tree squirrels in details of shoulder, arm, and forearm musculature. Some of these muscular differences among squirrels have phylogenetic significance, being shared by closely related genera, but none has significance above the tribal level. Many of the differences suggest a variety of changes in function that are amenable to further study. PMID:9360319

  10. Climate-induced changes in autumn impact spring breeding phenology and reproductive fitness in arctic ground squirrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheriff, M. J.; Buck, L.; Barnes, B. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rapid climate change and shifts in seasonality can threaten the reproductive success of organisms and have negative consequences for species' range and even persistence. Focus on unidirectional effects of earlier springs and onset of reproduction do not consider effects warming may also have on autumn conditions. Shifts in the timing and duration of autumn conditions may influence spring breeding since earlier autumns may constrain offspring's winter preparation, forcing animals to breed earlier in the spring, while prolonged autumns may extend the time offspring have for winter preparation; this effect may alleviating the necessity of breeding early in spring and ultimately increase reproductive fitness. In the Arctic, warming and change in seasonality is occurring at unprecedented rates that are two to three times that of the global average. Further, rates are accelerating from about 0.15-0.17°C per decade (1961-1990) to about 0.3-0.4°C per decade. Unlike in temperate regions, arctic warming has had and is predicted to continue having major heterogeneous effects on the extent of seasonal snow cover. Future scenarios involve deeper and prolonged spring snow cover due to increased winter precipitation and frequency of spring snowstorms in some areas and reduced snow depth and earlier snowmelt with increased warming, wind, and winter precipitation falling as rain in other areas. Under both scenarios autumn is expected to become later in the year, potentially prolonging the snow free season. Snow cover is extremely important for many arctic animals controlling microclimates, defining the beginning and length of the growing season, affecting plant productivity, and allowing access to food resources. Using long-term data from two nearby populations of free-living arctic ground squirrels (AGS) that includes fine-scale information on timing of hibernation and reproduction, we found that seasonal differences in snow cover significantly influenced AGS breeding phenology

  11. The rattling sound of rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis) as a communicative resource for ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) and burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia).

    PubMed

    Owings, Donald H; Rowe, Matthew P; Rundus, Aaron S

    2002-06-01

    Animal communication involves very dynamic processes that can generate new uses and functions for established communicative activities. In this article, the authors describe how an aposematic signal, the rattling sound of rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), has been exploited by 2 ecological associates of rattlesnakes: (a) California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) use incidental acoustic cues in rattling sounds to assess the danger posed by the rattling snake, and (b) burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) defend themselves against mammalian predators by mimicking the sound of rattling. The remarkable similarity between the burrowing owl's defensive hiss and the rattlesnake's rattling reflects both exaptation and adaptation. Such exploitation of the rattling sound has favored alternations in both the structure and the deployment of rattling by rattlesnakes. PMID:12083617

  12. Increase in cardiac myosin heavy-chain (MyHC) alpha protein isoform in hibernating ground squirrels, with echocardiographic visualization of ventricular wall hypertrophy and prolonged contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, O. Lynne; Rourke, Bryan C.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Deep hibernators such as golden-mantled ground squirrels (Callospermophilus lateralis) have multiple challenges to cardiac function during low temperature torpor and subsequent arousals. As heart rates fall from over 300 beats min−1 to less than 10, chamber dilation and reduced cardiac output could lead to congestive myopathy. We performed echocardiography on a cohort of individuals prior to and after several months of hibernation. The left ventricular chamber exhibited eccentric and concentric hypertrophy during hibernation and thus calculated ventricular mass was ~30% greater. Ventricular ejection fraction was mildly reduced during hibernation but stroke volumes were greater due to the eccentric hypertrophy and dramatically increased diastolic filling volumes. Globally, the systolic phase in hibernation was ~9.5 times longer, and the diastolic phase was 28× longer. Left atrial ejection generally was not observed during hibernation. Atrial ejection returned weakly during early arousal. Strain echocardiography assessed the velocity and total movement distance of contraction and relaxation for regional ventricular segments in active and early arousal states. Myocardial systolic strain during early arousal was significantly greater than the active state, indicating greater total contractile movement. This mirrored the increased ventricular ejection fraction noted with early arousal. However, strain rates were slower during early arousal than during the active period, particularly systolic strain, which was 33% of active, compared with the rate of diastolic strain, which was 67% of active. As heart rate rose during the arousal period, myocardial velocities and strain rates also increased; this was matched closely by cardiac output. Curiously, though heart rates were only 26% of active heart rates during early arousal, the cardiac output was nearly 40% of the active state, suggesting an efficient pumping system. We further analyzed proportions of cardiac

  13. Testicular Expression of NGF, TrkA and p75 During Seasonal Spermatogenesis of the Wild Ground Squirrel (Citellus Dauricus Brandt)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, H.; Wang, Y.; Zhan, J.; Wang, L.; Li, Q.; Sheng, X.; Han, Y.; Yuan, Z.; Weng, Q.

    2015-01-01

    The nerve growth factor (NGF) not only has an essential effect on the nervous system, but also plays an important role in a variety of non-neuronal systems, such as the reproductive system. The aim of this study was to compare the quality and quantity in expression of NGF and its receptors (TrkA and p75) in testes of the wild ground squirrel during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Immunolocalization for NGF was detected mainly in Leydig cells and Sertoli cells in testes of the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. The immunoreactivity of TrkA was highest in the elongated spermatids, whereas p75 in spermatogonia and spermatocytes in testes of the breeding season. In the nonbreeding season testes, TrkA showed positive immunostainings in Leydig cells, spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes, while p75 showed positive signals in spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes. Consistent with the immunohistochemical results, the mean mRNA and protein level of NGF and TrkA were higher in the testes of the breeding season than in non-breeding season, and then decreased to a relatively low level in the nonbreeding season. In addition, the concentration of plasma gonadotropins and testosterone were assayed by radioimmunoassay (RIA), and the results showed a significant difference between the breeding and nonbreeding seasons with higher concentrations in breeding season. In conclusion, these results of this study provide the first evidence on the potential involvement of NGF and its receptor, TrkA and p75 in the seasonal spermatogenesis and testicular function change of the wild ground squirrel. PMID:26428886

  14. Turn down genes for WAT? Activation of anti-apoptosis pathways protects white adipose tissue in metabolically depressed thirteen-lined ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Logan, Samantha M; Luu, Bryan E; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-05-01

    During hibernation, the metabolic rate of thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) can drop to <5 % of normal resting rate at 37 °C, core body temperature can decrease to as low as 1-5 °C, and heart rate can fall from 350-400 to 5-10 bpm. Energy saved by hibernating allows squirrels to survive the winter when food is scarce, and living off lipid reserves in white adipose tissue (WAT) is crucial. While hibernating, some energy must be used to cope with conditions that would normally be damaging for mammals (e.g., low core body temperatures, ischemia) and could induce cell death via apoptosis. Cell survival is largely dependent on the relative amounts and activities of pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. The present study analyzed how anti-apoptotic proteins respond to protect WAT cells during hibernation. Relative levels of several anti-apoptotic proteins were quantified in WAT via immunoblotting over six time points of the torpor-arousal cycle. These included anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-l, as well as caspase inhibitors x-IAP and c-IAP. Changes in the relative protein levels and/or phosphorylation levels were also observed for various regulators of apoptosis (p-JAKs, p-STATs, SOCS, and PIAS). Mcl-1 and x-IAP protein levels increased whereas Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, and c-IAP protein/phosphorylation levels decreased signifying important roles for certain Bcl-2 family members in cell survival over the torpor-arousal cycle. Importantly, the relative phosphorylation of selected STAT proteins increased, suggesting a mechanism for Bcl-2 family activation. These results suggest that an increase in WAT cytoprotective mechanisms supports survival efforts during hibernation. PMID:27032768

  15. Skin tumors on squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; Reilly, J.R.

    1955-01-01

    Skin tumors having the gross appearance of previously reported fibromas are reported on gray squirrels from N. Y., Md., Va., N. C., and W. Va. and from a fox squirrel from W. Va. and a porcupine from Pa.

  16. Three new species of fleas belonging to the genus Macrostylophora from the three-striped ground squirrel, Lariscus insignis, in Java.

    PubMed

    Durden, L A; Beaucournu, J-C

    2014-12-01

    Three new species of fleas belonging to the genus Macrostylophora (Siphonaptera, Ceratophyllidae) are described from the three-striped ground squirrel, Lariscus insignis, from Tjibodas, West Java (Jawa Barat), Indonesia at an elevation of 1500 m. Macrostylophora larisci sp. n. is described from three male specimens, Macrostylophora debilitata sp. n. is described from one male and Macrostylophora wilsoni sp. n. is described from one female. Non-genital morphological characters of the female specimen, including ctenidial spine shapes and lengths, show that it is not the corresponding female for either M. larisci sp. n. or M. debilitata sp. n. It is unusual for three different species of congeneric fleas to parasitize the same host species in the same geographical location. These three new species represent the first known records of Macrostylophora from Java and they could be enzootic vectors between rodents of flea-borne zoonotic pathogens such as Rickettsia typhi and Yersinia pestis, both of which are established on Java. A list is provided of the 43 known species and 12 subspecies of Macrostylophora together with their known geographical distributions and hosts. A map depicting the distributions of known Indonesian (and Bornean) species of Macrostylophora is also included. PMID:24810381

  17. Remarkable preservation of Ca(2+) homeostasis and inhibition of apoptosis contribute to anti-muscle atrophy effect in hibernating Daurian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Fu, Weiwei; Hu, Huanxin; Dang, Kai; Chang, Hui; Du, Bei; Wu, Xue; Gao, Yunfang

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms that hibernators deviated from muscle atrophy during prolonged hibernating inactivity remain elusive. This study tested the hypothesis that the maintenance of intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis and inhibition of apoptosis would be responsible for preventing muscle atrophy in hibernating Daurian ground squirrels. The results showed that intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis was maintained in soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) in hibernation and post-hibernation, while cytosolic Ca(2+) was overloaded in gastrocnemius (GAS) in hibernation with a recovery in post-hibernation. The Ca(2+) overload was also observed in interbout arousals in all three type muscles. Besides, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was unchanged in transcriptional level among pre-hibernation, hibernation and interbout arousals, and reduced to a minimum in post-hibernation. Furthermore, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in protein level was reduced in hibernation but recovered in interbout arousals. Although cytochrome C was increased in GAS and EDL in post-hibernation, no apoptosis was observed by TUNEL assay. These findings suggested that the intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis in hibernation might be regulated by the cytosolic Ca(2+) overload during interbout arousals, which were likely responsible for preventing muscle atrophy via inhibition of apoptosis. Moreover, the muscle-specificity indicated that the different mechanisms against disuse-induced atrophy might be involved in different muscles in hibernation. PMID:27256167

  18. Remarkable preservation of Ca2+ homeostasis and inhibition of apoptosis contribute to anti-muscle atrophy effect in hibernating Daurian ground squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Weiwei; Hu, Huanxin; Dang, Kai; Chang, Hui; Du, Bei; Wu, Xue; Gao, Yunfang

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms that hibernators deviated from muscle atrophy during prolonged hibernating inactivity remain elusive. This study tested the hypothesis that the maintenance of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and inhibition of apoptosis would be responsible for preventing muscle atrophy in hibernating Daurian ground squirrels. The results showed that intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis was maintained in soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) in hibernation and post-hibernation, while cytosolic Ca2+ was overloaded in gastrocnemius (GAS) in hibernation with a recovery in post-hibernation. The Ca2+ overload was also observed in interbout arousals in all three type muscles. Besides, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was unchanged in transcriptional level among pre-hibernation, hibernation and interbout arousals, and reduced to a minimum in post-hibernation. Furthermore, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in protein level was reduced in hibernation but recovered in interbout arousals. Although cytochrome C was increased in GAS and EDL in post-hibernation, no apoptosis was observed by TUNEL assay. These findings suggested that the intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis in hibernation might be regulated by the cytosolic Ca2+ overload during interbout arousals, which were likely responsible for preventing muscle atrophy via inhibition of apoptosis. Moreover, the muscle-specificity indicated that the different mechanisms against disuse-induced atrophy might be involved in different muscles in hibernation. PMID:27256167

  19. The effects of hibernation on the contractile and biochemical properties of skeletal muscles in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    James, Rob S; Staples, James F; Brown, Jason C L; Tessier, Shannon N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2013-07-15

    Hibernation is a crucial strategy of winter survival used by many mammals. During hibernation, thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, cycle through a series of torpor bouts, each lasting more than a week, during which the animals are largely immobile. Previous hibernation studies have demonstrated that such natural models of skeletal muscle disuse cause limited or no change in either skeletal muscle size or contractile performance. However, work loop analysis of skeletal muscle, which provides a realistic assessment of in vivo power output, has not previously been undertaken in mammals that undergo prolonged torpor during hibernation. In the present study, our aim was to assess the effects of 3 months of hibernation on contractile performance (using the work loop technique) and several biochemical properties that may affect performance. There was no significant difference in soleus muscle power output-cycle frequency curves between winter (torpid) and summer (active) animals. Total antioxidant capacity of gastrocnemius muscle was 156% higher in torpid than in summer animals, suggesting one potential mechanism for maintenance of acute muscle performance. Soleus muscle fatigue resistance was significantly lower in torpid than in summer animals. Gastrocnemius muscle glycogen content was unchanged. However, state 3 and state 4 mitochondrial respiration rates were significantly suppressed, by 59% and 44%, respectively, in mixed hindlimb skeletal muscle from torpid animals compared with summer controls. These findings in hindlimb skeletal muscles suggest that, although maximal contractile power output is maintained in torpor, there is both suppression of ATP production capacity and reduced fatigue resistance. PMID:23531815

  20. Energy regulation in context: Free-living female arctic ground squirrels modulate the relationship between thyroid hormones and activity among life history stages.

    PubMed

    Wilsterman, Kathryn; Buck, C Loren; Barnes, Brian M; Williams, Cory T

    2015-09-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs), key regulators of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, are likely modulators of energy allocation within and among animal life history stages. Despite their role in modulating metabolism, few studies have investigated whether THs vary among life history stages in free-living animals or if they exhibit stage-specific relationships to total energy expenditure and activity levels. We measured plasma total triiodothyronine (tT3) and thyroxine (tT4) at four, discrete life history stages of female arctic ground squirrels from two different populations in northern Alaska to test whether plasma THs correlate with life history stage-specific changes in metabolic rate and energy demand. We also tested whether THs explained individual variation in aboveground activity levels within life history stages. T3 peaked during lactation and was lowest during pre-hibernation fattening, consistent with known changes in basal metabolism and core body temperature. In contrast, T4 was elevated shortly after terminating hibernation but remained low and stable across other life-history stages in the active season. THs were consistently higher in the population that spent more time above-ground but the relationship between THs and activity varied among life history stages. T3 was positively correlated with activity only during lactation (r(2)=0.50) whereas T4 was positively correlated with activity immediately following lactation (r(2)=0.48) and during fattening (r(2)=0.53). Our results support the hypothesis that THs are an important modulator of basal metabolism but also suggest that the relationship between THs and activity varies among life history stages. PMID:26416501

  1. Seasonal expression of androgen receptor, aromatase, and estrogen receptor alpha and beta in the testis of the wild ground squirrel (Citellus dauricus Brandt).

    PubMed

    Li, Q; Zhang, F; Zhang, S; Sheng, X; Han, X; Weng, Q; Yuan, Z

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal expression of androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptors α and β (ERα and ERβ) and aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) mRNA and protein by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry in the wild ground squirrel (WGS) testes. Histologically, all types of spermatogenic cells including mature spermatozoa were identified in the breeding season (April), while spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes were observed in the nonbreeding season (June), and spermatogonia, primary spermatocytes and secondary spermatocytes were found in pre-hibernation (September). AR was present in Leydig cells, peritubular myoid cells and Sertoli cells in the breeding season and pre-hibernation with more intense staining in the breeding season, whereas AR was only found in Leydig cells in the nonbreeding season; P450arom was expressed in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells and germ cells during the breeding season, whereas P450arom was found in Leydig cells and Sertoli cells during pre-hibernation, but P450arom was not present in the nonbreeding season; stronger immunohistochemical signal for ERα was present in Sertoli cells and Leydig cells during the breeding season; ERβ was only expressed in Leydig cells of the breeding season. Consistent with the immunohistochemical results, the mean mRNA level of AR, P450arom, ERα and ERβ were higher in the testes of the breeding season when compared to pre-hibernation and the nonbreeding season. These results suggested that the seasonal changes in spermatogenesis and testicular recrudescence and regression process in WGSs might be correlated with expression levels of AR, P450arom and ERs, and that estrogen and androgen may play an important autocrine/paracrine role to regulate seasonal testicular function. PMID:25820559

  2. The regulation of troponins I, C and ANP by GATA4 and Nkx2-5 in heart of hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Luu, Bryan E; Tessier, Shannon N; Duford, Dianna L; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation is an adaptive strategy used by various mammals to survive the winter under situations of low ambient temperatures and limited or no food availability. The heart of hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) has the remarkable ability to descend to low, near 0°C temperatures without falling into cardiac arrest. We hypothesized that the transcription factors GATA4 and Nkx2-5 may play a role in cardioprotection by facilitating the expression of key downstream targets such as troponin I, troponin C, and ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide). This study measured relative changes in transcript levels, protein levels, protein post-translational modifications, and transcription factor binding over six stages: euthermic control (EC), entrance into torpor (EN), early torpor (ET), late torpor (LT), early arousal (EA), and interbout arousal (IA). We found differential regulation of GATA4 whereby transcript/protein expression, post-translational modification (phosphorylation of serine 261), and DNA binding were enhanced during the transitory phases (entrance and arousal) of hibernation. Activation of GATA4 was paired with increases in cardiac troponin I, troponin C and ANP protein levels during entrance, while increases in p-GATA4 DNA binding during early arousal was paired with decreases in troponin I and no changes in troponin C and ANP protein levels. Unlike its binding partner, the relative mRNA/protein expression and DNA binding of Nkx2-5 did not change during hibernation. This suggests that either Nkx2-5 does not play a substantial role or other regulatory mechanisms not presently studied (e.g. posttranslational modifications) are important during hibernation. The data suggest a significant role for GATA4-mediated gene transcription in the differential regulation of genes which aid cardiac-specific challenges associated with torpor-arousal. PMID:25679215

  3. Expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and downstream muscle-specific proteins in ground squirrel skeletal and heart muscle during hibernation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yichi; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-01-01

    The thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) undergoes remarkable adaptive changes during hibernation. Interestingly, skeletal muscle remodelling occurs during the torpor-arousal cycle of hibernation to prevent net muscle loss despite inactivity. Reversible cardiomyocyte hypertrophy occurs in cardiac muscle, allowing the heart to preserve cardiac output during hibernation, while avoiding chronic maladaptive hypertrophy post-hibernation. We propose that calcium signalling proteins [calcineurin (Cn), calmodulin (CaM), and calpain], the nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) family of transcription factors, and the NFAT targets myoferlin and myomaker contribute significantly to adaptations taking place in skeletal and cardiac muscle during hibernation. Protein-level analyses were performed over several conditions: euthermic room temperature (ER), euthermic cold room (EC), entrance into (EN), early (ET), and late torpor (LT) time points, in addition to early (EA), interbout (IA), and late arousal (LA) time points using immunoblotting and DNA-protein interaction (DPI) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs). In skeletal and cardiac muscle, NFATc2 protein levels were elevated during torpor. NFATc4 increased throughout the torpor-arousal cycle in both tissues, and NFATc1 showed this trend in cardiac muscle only. NFATc3 showed an elevation in DNA-binding activity but not expression during torpor. Myoferlin protein levels dramatically increased during torpor in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. Myomaker levels also increased significantly in cardiac muscle during torpor. Cardiac Cn levels remained stable, whereas CaM and calpain decreased throughout the torpor-arousal cycle. Activation and/or upregulation of NFATc2, c3, myoferlin, and myomaker at torpor could be part of a stress-response mechanism to preserve skeletal muscle mass, whereas CaM and calpain appear to initiate the rapid reversal of cardiac hypertrophy during arousal through

  4. Dynamic changes in global and gene-specific DNA methylation during hibernation in adult thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, Sebastian; Mak, Timothy; Liu, Sara; Storey, Kenneth B; Szyf, Moshe

    2015-06-01

    Hibernating mammals conserve energy in the winter by undergoing prolonged bouts of torpor, interspersed with brief arousals back to euthermia. These bouts are accompanied by a suite of reversible physiological and biochemical changes; however, much remains to be discovered about the molecular mechanisms involved. Given the seasonal nature of hibernation, it stands to reason that underlying plastic epigenetic mechanisms should exist. One such form of epigenomic regulation involves the reversible modification of cytosine bases in DNA by methylation. DNA methylation is well known to be a mechanism that confers upon DNA its cellular identity during differentiation in response to innate developmental cues. However, it has recently been hypothesized that DNA methylation also acts as a mechanism for adapting genome function to changing external environmental and experiential signals over different time scales, including during adulthood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that DNA methylation is altered during hibernation in adult wild animals. This study evaluated global changes in DNA methylation in response to hibernation in the liver and skeletal muscle of thirteen-lined ground squirrels along with changes in expression of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1/3B) and methyl binding domain proteins (MBDs). A reduction in global DNA methylation occurred in muscle during torpor phases whereas significant changes in DNMTs and MBDs were seen in both tissues. We also report dynamic changes in DNA methylation in the promoter of the myocyte enhancer factor 2C (mef2c) gene, a candidate regulator of metabolism in skeletal muscle. Taken together, these data show that genomic DNA methylation is dynamic across torpor-arousal bouts during winter hibernation, consistent with a role for this regulatory mechanism in contributing to the hibernation phenotype. PMID:25908059

  5. Characterization of the SIRT family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases in the context of a mammalian model of hibernation, the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

    PubMed

    Rouble, Andrew N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-10-01

    Hibernating mammals employ strong metabolic rate depression to survive the winter, thereby avoiding the high energy costs of maintaining a euthermic lifestyle in the face of low seasonal temperatures and limited food resources. Characteristics of this natural torpor include a significant reduction in body temperature, a shift to a lipid-based metabolism, global suppression of ATP-expensive activities, and the upregulation of selected genes that mediate biochemical reorganization and cytoprotection. Sirtuin (SIRT) proteins, an evolutionarily conserved family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases, have been shown to play important roles in the post-translational regulation of many metabolic and cytoprotective processes, suggesting a potential function for these enzymes in the control of hibernation. To assess this possibility, protein levels of the seven mammalian SIRTs (SIRT1, SIRT2, SIRT3, SIRT4, SIRT5, SIRT6 and SIRT7), total SIRT activity, and the acetylation status of two downstream SIRT targets (SOD2K68 and NF-κB p65K310) were measured in skeletal muscle, liver, brown adipose and white adipose tissues of the hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) over the course of the torpor-arousal cycle. The analysis revealed tissue-specific responses of different SIRTs at various points throughout hibernation, including a potentially interesting correlation between increased levels of SIRT3 protein, heightened total SIRT activity, and decreased acetylation of SIRT3 downstream target SOD2K68 in skeletal muscle during late torpor. These results provide evidence to suggest a possible role for the SIRT family of protein deacetylases in the regulation of the metabolic and cellular protective pathways that mediate the process of mammalian hibernation. PMID:26277038

  6. Coping with pregnancy after 9months in the dark: Post-hibernation buffering of high maternal stress in arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Phoebe D; Boonstra, Rudy

    2016-06-01

    Pregnancy and lactation are key times in the life of female mammals when energetic resources must be brought to bear to produce and nurture offspring. Changes in glucocorticoid (GC) levels are central to this objective, due to their roles in modulating development and physiology and in mediating energetic tradeoffs. We examined GC changes over reproduction in a species living in a harsh seasonal environment: the arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii). Females become pregnant immediately after emerging from a ∼9month hibernation, and then must begin this pregnancy during an additional month of freezing temperatures and limited food availability. We measured plasma levels of total cortisol, corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), and free cortisol in unstressed females at three stages: not-visibly pregnant, visibly pregnant, and lactating. Total cortisol levels were similar in all stages, but CBG levels increased 4-fold from the not-visibly pregnant stage to visibly pregnant and lactating stage. As a result, the free cortisol fraction declined from 51% of total cortisol when females were not-visibly pregnant to only 5% when they were visibly pregnant (remaining low and stable throughout pregnancy) and 10% when they were lactating. This pattern is markedly different from that seen in other mammals, where 10% or less of GCs are free and these tend to increase during gestation. We postulate that the high free cortisol just prior to visible pregnancy is a seasonal adaptation relating either to the pronounced physiological changes the female must undergo after emerging from hibernation and immediately getting pregnant, or to the mobilization of body reserves for energy to permit pregnancy, or both. Thereafter, high CBG levels may shield the developing offspring from the negative effects of cortisol overexposure. PMID:26555380

  7. The Regulation of Troponins I, C and ANP by GATA4 and Nkx2-5 in Heart of Hibernating Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Bryan E.; Tessier, Shannon N.; Duford, Dianna L; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation is an adaptive strategy used by various mammals to survive the winter under situations of low ambient temperatures and limited or no food availability. The heart of hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) has the remarkable ability to descend to low, near 0°C temperatures without falling into cardiac arrest. We hypothesized that the transcription factors GATA4 and Nkx2-5 may play a role in cardioprotection by facilitating the expression of key downstream targets such as troponin I, troponin C, and ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide). This study measured relative changes in transcript levels, protein levels, protein post-translational modifications, and transcription factor binding over six stages: euthermic control (EC), entrance into torpor (EN), early torpor (ET), late torpor (LT), early arousal (EA), and interbout arousal (IA). We found differential regulation of GATA4 whereby transcript/protein expression, post-translational modification (phosphorylation of serine 261), and DNA binding were enhanced during the transitory phases (entrance and arousal) of hibernation. Activation of GATA4 was paired with increases in cardiac troponin I, troponin C and ANP protein levels during entrance, while increases in p-GATA4 DNA binding during early arousal was paired with decreases in troponin I and no changes in troponin C and ANP protein levels. Unlike its binding partner, the relative mRNA/protein expression and DNA binding of Nkx2-5 did not change during hibernation. This suggests that either Nkx2-5 does not play a substantial role or other regulatory mechanisms not presently studied (e.g. posttranslational modifications) are important during hibernation. The data suggest a significant role for GATA4-mediated gene transcription in the differential regulation of genes which aid cardiac-specific challenges associated with torpor-arousal. PMID:25679215

  8. Phylogeny, biogeography and systematic revision of plain long-nosed squirrels (genus Dremomys, Nannosciurinae).

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Melissa T R; Helgen, Kristofer M; Maldonado, Jesus E; Rockwood, Larry L; Tsuchiya, Mirian T N; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2016-01-01

    The plain long-nosed squirrels, genus Dremomys, are high elevation species in East and Southeast Asia. Here we present a complete molecular phylogeny for the genus based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences. Concatenated mitochondrial and nuclear gene trees were constructed to determine the tree topology, and date the tree. All speciation events within the plain-long nosed squirrels (genus Dremomys) were ancient (dated to the Pliocene or Miocene), and averaged older than many speciation events in the related Sunda squirrels, genus Sundasciurus. Within the plain long-nosed squirrels, the most recent interspecific split occurred 2.9 million years ago, older than some splits within Sunda squirrels, which dated to the Pleistocene. Our results demonstrate that the plain long-nosed squirrels are not monophyletic. The single species with a distinct distribution, the Bornean mountain ground squirrel (Dremomys everetti), which is endemic to the high mountains of Borneo, is nested within the Sunda squirrels with high support. This species diverged from its sister taxa in the Sunda squirrels 6.62 million years ago, and other plain long-nosed squirrels over 11 million years ago. Our analyses of morphological traits in these related genera support the re-classification of the Bornean mountain ground squirrel, Dremomys everetti, to the genus Sundasciurus, which changes its name to Sundasciurus everetti. Past inclusion in the plain long-nosed squirrels (Dremomys) reflects convergent evolution between these high elevation species. PMID:26524259

  9. Control of food handling by cutaneous receptor input in squirrels.

    PubMed

    Brenowitz, G L

    1980-01-01

    In a complementary neuroanatomical study by Brenowitz in 1980, it was shown that tree squirrels (Sciurus niger) have a higher relative density of mechanoreceptors in their glabrous forepaw skin than do ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus). The main purpose of this sudy was to test the prediction that tree squirrels would depend upon somatic sensory (cutaneous) input from their forepaws to a greater extent than would ground squirrels in food handling behavior. In addition, a series of more general questions about the sensory control of food handling was examined. First, using different sized food items, it was shown that food handling (rate of manipulation) is subject to sensory control, in general. Secondly, comparision of sham-operated groups with groups receiving median nerve (innervating the palmar surface) lesions showed that cutaneous input from the volar surface of the forepaw contributes to the sensory control in both species of squirrels. Thirdly, comparison of lesion effects in the two species showed that, as predicted, tree squirrels depend upon cutaneous input from their volar forepaw to a greater extent than do ground squirrels. Fourthly, by reanalyzing the above data it was shown that there is continued sensory feedback from food items rather than only an initial evaluation of them. PMID:7437901

  10. A squirrel searches for food at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    An Eastern gray squirrel pauses in its daily search for food in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with Kennedy Space Center. The Eastern gray squirrel is found in wooded, suburban, and urban areas statewide. It nests in tree hollows or leaf nests in treetops. It forages during the day, mainly early morning and late afternoon, both on the ground and in trees, living on a diet of acorns, nuts, fruits, berries, insects, and bird eggs. Food plants include cypress, buckeyes, elms, grapes, tulip trees, mulberries, and tupelo. It breeds in late winter or early spring and again in late spring or summer, bearing two to six young. The eastern gray squirrel chatters when disturbed. The 92,000-acre wildlife refuge is a habitat for more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles.

  11. Evaluation of squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae) as ecologically significant hosts for Anaplasma phagocytophilum in California.

    PubMed

    Nieto, Nathan C; Foley, Janet E

    2008-07-01

    Granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, is a potentially fatal, emerging rickettsial disease of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sciurids from multiple areas of northern California were infested with ticks or exposed to or infected with A. phagocytophilum using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and indirect-fluorescent antibody (IFA) serology. Sciurids of nine different tree- and ground-dwelling species were assessed: arboreal squirrels (western and eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus griseus and S. carolinensis, and Douglas squirrels, Tamiasciurus douglasii) but not northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) had greater evidence of exposure and current infection than did semiarboreal or ground dwelling sciurids (California ground squirrels, Spermophilus beecheyi, and chipmunks, Tamias spp.). Western gray squirrels had the most extensive exposure (70.7% seroprevalence and 12.1% PCR prevalence). Positive squirrels were identified in all regions where squirrels were collected. A logistic regression identified being a western gray squirrel (OR = 20.5, P = 2.95 X 10(-8)) and from the north coastal region of California (OR = 9.052, P = 1.41 X 10(-6)) as having the highest risk of exposure to A. phagocytophilum. Five of nine sciurid species had evidence of infestation with Ixodes pacificus or I. spinipalpis that could vector A. phagocytophilum. Extensive exposure from multiple areas suggests sciurids may be important in the maintenance of GA in California and indicates that studies of reservoir competence of these species are warranted. PMID:18714881

  12. Squirrel Foraging Preferences: Gone Nuts?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darling, Randi A.

    2007-01-01

    This field exercise examines the feeding preferences of Gray Squirrels ("Sciurus carolinensis"). Students present squirrels with a variety of food types in a cafeteria-style arrangement in order to test hypotheses about foraging preferences. This exercise, which is appropriate for introductory biology, ecology, and animal behavior classes, is…

  13. Geohydrology, water quality, and preliminary simulations of ground-water flow of the alluvial aquifer in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek basin, El Paso County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckles, D.R.; Watts, K.R.

    1988-01-01

    The upper Black Squirrel Creek basin in eastern El Paso County, Colorado, is underlain by an alluvial aquifer and four bedrock aquifers. Groundwater pumpage from the alluvial aquifer has increased since the mid-1950's, and water level declines have been substantial; the bedrock aquifers virtually are undeveloped. Groundwater pumpage for domestic, stock, agricultural, and municipal uses have exceeded recharge for the past 25 years. The present extent of the effect of pumpage on the alluvial aquifer was evaluated, and a groundwater flow model was used to simulate the future effect of continued pumpage on the aquifer. Measured water level declines from 1974 through 1984 were as much as 30 ft in an area north of Ellicott, Colorado. On the basis of the simulations, water level declines from October 1984 to April 1999 north of Ellicott might be as much as 20 to 30 ft and as much as 1 to 10 ft in most of the aquifer. The groundwater flow models provided a means of evaluating the importance of groundwater evapotranspiration at various stages of aquifer development. Simulated groundwater evapotranspiration was about 43% of the outflow from the aquifer during predevelopment stages but was less than 3% of the outflow from the aquifer during late-development stages. Analyses of 36 groundwater samples collected during 1984 indicated that concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen generally were large. Samples from 5 of the 36 wells had concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen that exceeded drinking water standards. Water from the alluvial aquifer generally is of suitable quality for most uses. (USGS)

  14. Squirrels--A Teaching Resource in Your Schoolyard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaHart, David E.

    1991-01-01

    This lesson plan demonstrates how to use common animals in your backyard or school grounds to study basic ecological principles with students. An example study uses squirrels for observational study. Includes background information, references, suggested equipment, activities, and observation techniques. (MCO)

  15. Stable atrogin-1 (Fbxo32) and MuRF1 (Trim63) gene expression is involved in the protective mechanism in soleus muscle of hibernating Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus)

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Kai; Li, Ya-Zhao; Gong, Ling-Chen; Xue, Wei; Wang, Hui-Ping; Goswami, Nandu; Gao, Yun-Fang

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding the mechanisms that protect against or limit muscle atrophy in hibernators during prolonged inactivity has important implications for its treatment. We examined whether external factors influence the pathways regulating protein synthesis and degradation, leading to muscle atrophy prevention in Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus). We investigated the effects of 14-day hindlimb-unloading (HU) in different seasons and two-month hibernation on the soleus (SOL) muscle wet mass, muscle-to-body mass ratio, fiber cross sectional area (CSA), fiber distribution and muscle ultrastructure. We also measured changes in the protein expression and activation states of Akt, mTOR and FoxO1 and the mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1. Compared with the control groups, autumn and winter HU significantly lowered SOL muscle wet mass and muscle-to-body mass ratio, decreased type I and II fiber CSA and induced ultrastructural anomalies. However, these measured indices were unchanged between Pre-hibernation and Hibernation groups. Furthermore, phosphorylation levels of Akt and mTOR significantly decreased, while the phosphorylation level of FoxO1 and mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 increased after HU. During hibernation, the phosphorylation levels of Akt and mTOR significantly decreased, but the phosphorylation level of FoxO1 and mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 remained unchanged. Overall, our findings suggest that disuse and seasonality may not be sufficient to initiate the innate protective mechanism that prevents SOL atrophy during prolonged periods of hibernation inactivity. The stable expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 may facilitate to prevent SOL atrophy via controlling ubiquitination of muscle proteins during hibernation. PMID:26740574

  16. Stable atrogin-1 (Fbxo32) and MuRF1 (Trim63) gene expression is involved in the protective mechanism in soleus muscle of hibernating Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus).

    PubMed

    Dang, Kai; Li, Ya-Zhao; Gong, Ling-Chen; Xue, Wei; Wang, Hui-Ping; Goswami, Nandu; Gao, Yun-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that protect against or limit muscle atrophy in hibernators during prolonged inactivity has important implications for its treatment. We examined whether external factors influence the pathways regulating protein synthesis and degradation, leading to muscle atrophy prevention in Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus). We investigated the effects of 14-day hindlimb-unloading (HU) in different seasons and two-month hibernation on the soleus (SOL) muscle wet mass, muscle-to-body mass ratio, fiber cross sectional area (CSA), fiber distribution and muscle ultrastructure. We also measured changes in the protein expression and activation states of Akt, mTOR and FoxO1 and the mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1. Compared with the control groups, autumn and winter HU significantly lowered SOL muscle wet mass and muscle-to-body mass ratio, decreased type I and II fiber CSA and induced ultrastructural anomalies. However, these measured indices were unchanged between Pre-hibernation and Hibernation groups. Furthermore, phosphorylation levels of Akt and mTOR significantly decreased, while the phosphorylation level of FoxO1 and mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 increased after HU. During hibernation, the phosphorylation levels of Akt and mTOR significantly decreased, but the phosphorylation level of FoxO1 and mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 remained unchanged. Overall, our findings suggest that disuse and seasonality may not be sufficient to initiate the innate protective mechanism that prevents SOL atrophy during prolonged periods of hibernation inactivity. The stable expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 may facilitate to prevent SOL atrophy via controlling ubiquitination of muscle proteins during hibernation. PMID:26740574

  17. Daily Activity and Nest Occupation Patterns of Fox Squirrels (Sciurus niger) throughout the Year.

    PubMed

    Wassmer, Thomas; Refinetti, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    The authors investigated the general activity and nest occupation patterns of fox squirrels in a natural setting using temperature-sensitive data loggers that measure activity as changes in the microenvironment of the animal. Data were obtained from 25 distinct preparations, upon 14 unique squirrels, totaling 1385 recording days. The animals were clearly diurnal, with a predominantly unimodal activity pattern, although individual squirrels occasionally exhibited bimodal patterns, particularly in the spring and summer. Even during the short days of winter (9 hours of light), the squirrels typically left the nest after dawn and returned before dusk, spending only about 7 hours out of the nest each day. Although the duration of the daily active phase did not change with the seasons, the squirrels exited the nest earlier in the day when the days became longer in the summer and exited the nest later in the day when the days became shorter in the winter, thus tracking dawn along the seasons. During the few hours spent outside the nest each day, fox squirrels seemed to spend most of the time sitting or lying. These findings suggest that fox squirrels may have adopted a slow life history strategy that involves long periods of rest on trees and short periods of ground activity each day. PMID:26963918

  18. Daily Activity and Nest Occupation Patterns of Fox Squirrels (Sciurus niger) throughout the Year

    PubMed Central

    Wassmer, Thomas; Refinetti, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    The authors investigated the general activity and nest occupation patterns of fox squirrels in a natural setting using temperature-sensitive data loggers that measure activity as changes in the microenvironment of the animal. Data were obtained from 25 distinct preparations, upon 14 unique squirrels, totaling 1385 recording days. The animals were clearly diurnal, with a predominantly unimodal activity pattern, although individual squirrels occasionally exhibited bimodal patterns, particularly in the spring and summer. Even during the short days of winter (9 hours of light), the squirrels typically left the nest after dawn and returned before dusk, spending only about 7 hours out of the nest each day. Although the duration of the daily active phase did not change with the seasons, the squirrels exited the nest earlier in the day when the days became longer in the summer and exited the nest later in the day when the days became shorter in the winter, thus tracking dawn along the seasons. During the few hours spent outside the nest each day, fox squirrels seemed to spend most of the time sitting or lying. These findings suggest that fox squirrels may have adopted a slow life history strategy that involves long periods of rest on trees and short periods of ground activity each day. PMID:26963918

  19. Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) kuseli sp. n. (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida) in Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans).

    PubMed

    Sato, H; Al-Adhami, B H; Une, Y; Kamiya, H

    2007-07-01

    All trypanosome species classified in the subgenus Herpetosoma in sciurid hosts have been recorded from ground and tree squirrels to date, but not from any flying squirrels. We describe in this paper a novel trypanosome species, Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) kuseli sp. n., from Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans) imported from China, and compare it with T. (H.) otospermophili in Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) and Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus) from the USA. Due to a short free flagellum, the new species appeared stumpy compared with T. otospermophili (length of free flagellum 7.0 +/- 0.8 microm, total length 32.1 +/- 0.8 microm, n = 13 and length of free flagellum 15.5 +/- 1.6 microm, total length 35.9 +/- 1.0 microm, n = 13, respectively). Another conspicuous morphological feature of the new species was an anteriorly positioned kinetoplast, found approximately at the midpoint between the nucleus and the posterior end. These characters have not been recorded from any squirrel Herpetosoma trypanosome species. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the small and large subunit rRNA genes indicated that T. kuseli sp. n. was more homologous to T. otospermophili than murid Herpetosoma species, such as T. grosi, T. lewisi, T. musculi, T. microti and T. evotomys. PMID:17334786

  20. European red squirrel population dynamics driven by squirrelpox at a gray squirrel invasion interface

    PubMed Central

    Chantrey, Julian; Dale, Timothy D; Read, Jonathan M; White, Steve; Whitfield, Fiona; Jones, David; McInnes, Colin J; Begon, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Infectious disease introduced by non-native species is increasingly cited as a facilitator of native population declines, but direct evidence may be lacking due to inadequate population and disease prevalence data surrounding an outbreak. Previous indirect evidence and theoretical models support squirrelpox virus (SQPV) as being potentially involved in the decline of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) following the introduction of the non-native gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) to the United Kingdom. The red squirrel is a major UK conservation concern and understanding its continuing decline is important for any attempt to mitigate the decline. The red squirrel–gray squirrel system is also exemplary of the interplay between infectious disease (apparent competition) and direct competition in driving the replacement of a native by an invasive species. Time series data from Merseyside are presented on squirrel abundance and squirrelpox disease (SQPx) incidence, to determine the effect of the pathogen and the non-native species on the native red squirrel populations. Analysis indicates that SQPx in red squirrels has a significant negative impact on squirrel densities and their population growth rate (PGR). There is little evidence for a direct gray squirrel impact; only gray squirrel presence (but not density) proved to influence red squirrel density, but not red squirrel PGR. The dynamics of red SQPx cases are largely determined by previous red SQPx cases, although previous infection of local gray squirrels also feature, and thus, SQPV-infected gray squirrels are identified as potentially initiating outbreaks of SQPx in red squirrels. Retrospective serology indicates that approximately 8% of red squirrels exposed to SQPV may survive infection during an epidemic. This study further highlights the UK red squirrel – gray squirrel system as a classic example of a native species population decline strongly facilitated by infectious disease introduced by a non

  1. Ultrasonic Vocalizations Emitted by Flying Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Murrant, Meghan N.; Bowman, Jeff; Garroway, Colin J.; Prinzen, Brian; Mayberry, Heather; Faure, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology. PMID:24009728

  2. Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Murrant, Meghan N; Bowman, Jeff; Garroway, Colin J; Prinzen, Brian; Mayberry, Heather; Faure, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology. PMID:24009728

  3. Space use and foraging movements in the American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).

    PubMed

    Benhamou, S

    1996-09-01

    This study deals with the movements of two American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in their home ranges from late spring to early autumn in a deciduous-coniferous forest in Québec. During 70 six-hour tracking sessions, the type of behaviour exhibited at any place, and its terrestrial or arboreal occurrence, were recorded. Spatio-temporal structure of the squirrels' home ranges were analysed in relation to vegetation type and food availability. Although American red squirrels are known to be mainly adapted to coniferous forests, they also exploit deciduous areas when these areas become productive. Half of the squirrels' activity time was devoted to feeding or to searching for food, and a third was devoted to moving about. Movements were performed mainly on the ground, with a rate of about 0.5 km per activity hour, and appeared to be mainly organized around the locations of food caches and food-providing sites. PMID:24897435

  4. The Autopsy of Squirrel Doe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dick, Timothy T.; Watson, Jason

    2005-01-01

    Introductory biology laboratory experiences frequently rely on preserved chordates for anatomical study. Unfortunately, these preserved organisms rarely reflect the appearance of a living creature. Since community colleges are generally prohibited the use of live chordates, this paper describes the autopsy of a "road kill" squirrel to facilitate…

  5. Endemic Viruses of Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Donna L; McClure, Gloria B; Ruiz, Julio C; Abee, Christian R; Vanchiere, John A

    2015-01-01

    Nonhuman primates are the experimental animals of choice for the study of many human diseases. As such, it is important to understand that endemic viruses of primates can potentially affect the design, methods, and results of biomedical studies designed to model human disease. Here we review the viruses known to be endemic in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.). The pathogenic potential of these viruses in squirrel monkeys that undergo experimental manipulation remains largely unexplored but may have implications regarding the use of squirrel monkeys in biomedical research. PMID:26141448

  6. The occurrence of hepatozoon in the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; Price, D.L.

    1955-01-01

    Hepatozoon sciuri (Coles, 1914) is reported from gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Blood smears stained with Giemsa's stain revealed a parasitemia in 16 to 71% of the squirrels examined. A technique for laking the red cells and concentrating the white cells in blood samples demonstrated this protozoon to be present in every squirrel so tested.

  7. Jaw muscles of New World squirrels.

    PubMed

    Ball, S S; Roth, V L

    1995-06-01

    The jaw, suprahyoid, and extrinsic tongue muscles are described for eight species of New World squirrels, spanning more than an order of magnitude in body mass. Anatomical differences are discussed in the light of body size, natural history, and phylogeny. The relative sizes of different muscles, their orientations, and the shapes and positions of their areas of attachment vary but show few trends in relation to body size. The anatomical differences are likewise not readily explained by the mechanical requirements of the animals' diets, which are similar. The most marked anatomical differences occur in Sciurillus (the pygmy tree squirrel), as well as those genera--Glaucomys (the flying squirrel) and Tamias (the chipmunk)--that are taxonomically most distinct from the tree squirrels. Sciurillus is noteworthy for its unusually small temporalis and an anterior deep masseter that is oriented to assist in retraction of the jaw. Tamias has a more vertically oriented temporalis and greater inclination in the anterior masseter muscles than the other squirrels, features that may be associated with its large diastema and relatively posteriorly situated cheek teeth, which in turn may relate to its having cheek pouches. Our results form a valuable database of information to be used in further studies of functional morphology and phylogeny. PMID:7541086

  8. Ethanol drinking in socially housed squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Mandillo, S; Titchen, K; Miczek, K A

    1998-07-01

    This study proposes a method to assess voluntary alcohol drinking in socially living squirrel monkeys. Group-housed squirrel monkeys were induced to drink a sucrose solution and subsequently an ethanol/sucrose solution in an experimental chamber attached to the home colony room, allowing the daily intake to be monitored for each individual without disrupting the social context. Sucrose concentration (0.03-0.6 M, corresponding to 1-20%) and ethanol concentration (0-4%) were gradually increased in tap water and in a 0.6 M (ca. 20%) sucrose solution during daily 30-min and 10-min sessions, respectively. Blood ethanol levels ranged from 10-50 mg/dl and remained below intoxication level. These experiments demonstrate that it is feasible to arrange conditions under which individual socially housed squirrel monkeys voluntarily drink a sweetened ethanol solution. PMID:10065925

  9. Coevolution of venom function and venom resistance in a rattlesnake predator and its squirrel prey.

    PubMed

    Holding, Matthew L; Biardi, James E; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-04-27

    Measuring local adaptation can provide insights into how coevolution occurs between predators and prey. Specifically, theory predicts that local adaptation in functionally matched traits of predators and prey will not be detected when coevolution is governed by escalating arms races, whereas it will be present when coevolution occurs through an alternate mechanism of phenotype matching. Here, we analyse local adaptation in venom activity and prey resistance across 12 populations of Northern Pacific rattlesnakes and California ground squirrels, an interaction that has often been described as an arms race. Assays of venom function and squirrel resistance show substantial geographical variation (influenced by site elevation) in both venom metalloproteinase activity and resistance factor effectiveness. We demonstrate local adaptation in the effectiveness of rattlesnake venom to overcoming present squirrel resistance, suggesting that phenotype matching plays a role in the coevolution of these molecular traits. Further, the predator was the locally adapted antagonist in this interaction, arguing that rattlesnakes are evolutionarily ahead of their squirrel prey. Phenotype matching needs to be considered as an important mechanism influencing coevolution between venomous animals and resistant prey. PMID:27122552

  10. Flying squirrels and their ectoparasites: disseminators of epidemic typhus.

    PubMed

    McDade, J E

    1987-03-01

    Information gathered during the past decade indicates that the eastern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, is a zoonotic reservoir of Rickettsia prowazekii - causative agent of louse-borne (epidemic) typhus. The sporadic cases o f typhus that have occurred in the USA in association with flying squirrels provide evidence that flying squirrels can transmit R. prowazekii infection to humons. Strains of R. prowazekii, isolated from flying squirrels multiply readily in human body lice, but flying squirrel lice, although readily infected, are very host specific and tend not to bite humans. It may be that the infection is spread to humans in infective ectoporasite faeces aerosolized when the flying squirrels groom themselves. As Joseph McDade emphasizes in this article, current concepts of typhus epidemiology and control must be re-evaluated to take into account this zoonotic aspect. PMID:15462918

  11. Hoarding patterns in the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

    SciTech Connect

    Clemmer, S.M.

    1984-05-01

    Southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, were individually offered two size classes of pecans in a 1:1 ratio to establish preference. All but one squirrel preferred small pecans. As relative abundance of preferred food diminished to 0.10, squirrels switched preference. Absolute abundance of either food did not affect caching levels. A difficulty-of-retrieval experiment did not result in switching of preference. No effect of sex on hoarding was exhibited. There was an inverse correlation between individual storing effort and caching levels of the same squirrels tested as pairs, with individual non-storers showing increases in numbers of pecans stored. Animals that were active storers as individuals showed decreases when paired. Total number stored did not decrease significantly when squirrels were offered previously marked pecans. When offered own-marked and other-marked pecans, squirrels did not discriminate. 43 references, 3 figures, 6 tables.

  12. On the replacement of the red squirrel in Britain: a phytotoxic explanation.

    PubMed

    Kenward, R E; Holm, J L

    1993-03-22

    Diffusion modelling has shown that conservative demographic traits combined with feeding competition could explain red squirrel replacement by grey squirrels. We used field data from seven separate red and grey squirrel populations, in oak-hazel woods and Scots pines, to reject the hypothesis that red squirrel density and breeding is intrinsically poorer than that of grey squirrels. In oak-hazel woods, grey squirrel foraging, density and productivity were related to oak and acorn abundance. In contrast, red squirrels foraged where hazels were abundant; their relatively low density and breeding success were related to the abundance of hazel nuts. Red squirrels failed to exploit good acorn crops, although acorns were more abundant than hazels, but in Scots pines had densities and breeding success as high as grey squirrels in deciduous woods. Captive grey squirrels thrived on a diet of acorns, but red squirrels had a comparative digestive efficiency of only 59%, apparently because they were much less able than grey squirrels to neutralize acorn polyphenols. A model with simple competition for the autumn hazel crop, which was eaten by grey squirrels before the acorn crop, shows that red squirrels are unlikely to persist with grey squirrels in woods with more than 14% oak canopy. With oaks in most British deciduous woods giving grey squirrels a food refuge which red squirrels fail to exploit, replacement of red squirrels can be explained by feeding competition alone, exacerbated by the post-war decline in coppiced hazel. PMID:8097326

  13. Red squirrel habitat mapping using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flaherty, Silvia Susana

    This study investigated the relationship between squirrel feeding activity and structural characteristics of Scots pine forests. Field data were collected from two study areas: Abernethy and Aberfoyle Forests. Canopy closure, diameter at breast height, height and number of trees were measured in 56 plots. Abundance of squirrel feeding signs was used as an index of habitat use. A GLM was used to model the response of cones stripped by squirrels in relation to the field collected structural variables. Results show that forest structural characteristics are significant predictors of feeding sign presence, with canopy closure, number of trees and tree height explaining 43% of the variation in stripped cones. The GLM was also implemented using LiDAR data to assess at wider scales the number of cones stripped by squirrels. . The use of remote sensing -in particular Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) - enables cost efficient assessments of forest structure at large scales and can be used to retrieve the three variables explored in this study; canopy cover, tree height and number of trees, that relate to red squirrel feeding behaviour. Correlation between field-predicted and LiDAR-predicted number of stripped cones was performed to assess LiDAR-based model performance. LiDAR data acquired at Aberfoyle and Abernethy Forests had different characteristics (in particular pulse density), which influences the accuracy of LiDAR derived metrics. Therefore correlations between field predicted and LiDAR predicted number of cones (LSC) were assessed for each study area separately. Strong correlations (rs=0.59 for Abernethy and 0.54 for Aberfoyle) suggest that LiDAR-based model performed relatively well over the study areas. The LiDAR-based model was not expected to provide absolute numbers of cones stripped by squirrels but a relative measure of habitat use. This can be interpreted as different levels of habitat suitability for red squirrels. LiDAR-based GLM maps were classified

  14. Leptospirosis in Squirrels Imported from United States to Japan

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Yoshihiro; Une, Yumi; Takeuchi, Takahiro; Tsukagoshi, Keiko; Koizumi, Nobuo; Kawabata, Hiroki; Ohta, Shuji; Yoshikawa, Yasuhiro

    2006-01-01

    We diagnosed leptospirosis in 2 patients exposed to southern flying squirrels imported from the United States to Japan. Patients worked with exotic animals in their company. Leptospira isolates from 1 patient and 5 of 10 squirrels at the company were genetically and serologically identical and were identified as Leptospira kirschneri. PMID:16836840

  15. Leptospirosis in squirrels imported from United States to Japan.

    PubMed

    Masuzawa, Toshiyuki; Okamoto, Yoshihiro; Une, Yumi; Takeuchi, Takahiro; Tsukagoshi, Keiko; Koizumi, Nobuo; Kawabata, Hiroki; Ohta, Shuji; Yoshikawa, Yasuhiro

    2006-07-01

    We diagnosed leptospirosis in 2 patients exposed to southern flying squirrels imported from the United States to Japan. Patients worked with exotic animals in their company. Leptospira isolates from 1 patient and 5 of 10 squirrels at the company were genetically and serologically identical and were identified as Leptospira kirschneri. PMID:16836840

  16. Comparative studies of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) and titi monkeys (Callicebus) in travel tasks.

    PubMed

    Fragaszy, D M

    1980-01-01

    Squirrel and titi monkeys were observed in a series of experiments in which the subjects' task was to move to a distant goal along above-ground pathways. The pathways were entirely visible to the subjects in all experiments. However, visual cues along the pathways (in Experiment I) and physical and spatial properties of the pathways (in Experiments II and III) were varied systematically in order to determine what effect features had upon selection of travel paths for monkeys of each species. Marked performance differences between the species were evident in these experiments, including differences in latency to move past the choice point, proportion of trials in which the shortest route was chosen first, and changes over test sessions in frequency of initial choice of the shortest route. In particular, titis tended to move past the choice point more slowly than squirrel monkeys; to pay more attention to distant properties of the pathways prior to making a decision, especially after experience in the test setting; and to prefer habitual pathways when these were available, whereas squirrel monkeys preferred novel routes when these were available. The relative "optimality" of decision making in these tasks in relation to species-typical modes of traveling and foraging in natural habitats is discussed. An alternative view of decision making, in which optimality is not assumed to be the only decision-making strategy, is suggested as an appropriate vehicle for further investigation into the sources of short-term variability in choice behavior. PMID:7223106

  17. Metabolism of lithocholic and chenodeoxycholic acids in the squirrel monkey

    SciTech Connect

    Suzuki, H.; Hamada, M.; Kato, F.

    1985-09-01

    Metabolism of lithocholic acid (LCA) and chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) was studied in the squirrel monkey to clarify the mechanism of the lack of toxicity of CDCA in this animal. Radioactive LCA was administered to squirrel monkeys with biliary fistula. Most radioactivity was excreted in the bile in the form of unsulfated lithocholyltaurine. The squirrel monkey thus differs from humans and chimpanzees, which efficiently sulfate LCA, and is similar to the rhesus monkey and baboon in that LCA is poorly sulfated. When labeled CDCA was orally administered to squirrel monkeys, less than 20% of the dosed radioactivity was recovered as LCA and its further metabolites in feces over 3 days, indicating that bacterial metabolism of CDCA into LCA is strikingly less than in other animals and in humans. It therefore appears that LCA, known as a hepatotoxic secondary bile acid, is not accumulated in the squirrel monkey, not because of its rapid turnover through sulfation, but because of the low order of its production.

  18. Anatomy of the squirrel wrist: bones, ligaments, and muscles.

    PubMed

    Thorington, R W; Darrow, K

    2000-11-01

    Anatomical differences among squirrels are usually most evident in the comparison of flying squirrels and nongliding squirrels. This is true of wrist anatomy, probably reflecting the specializations of flying squirrels for the extension of the wing tip and control of it during gliding. In the proximal row of carpals of most squirrels, the pisiform articulates only with the triquetrum, but in flying squirrels there is also a prominent articulation between the pisiform and the scapholunate, providing a more stable base for the styliform cartilage, which supports the wing tip. In the proximal wrist joint, between these carpals and the radius and ulna, differences in curvature of articular surfaces and in the location of ligaments also correlate with differences in degree and kind of movement occurring at this joint, principally reflecting the extreme dorsal flexion and radial deviation of the wrist in flying squirrels when gliding. The distal wrist joint, between the proximal and distal rows of carpals, also shows most variation among flying squirrels, principally in the articulations of the centrale with the other carpal bones, probably causing the distal row of carpal bones to function more like a single unit in some animals. There is little variation in wrist musculature, suggesting only minor evolutionary modification since the tribal radiation of squirrels, probably in the early Oligocene. Variation in the carpal bones, particularly the articulation of the pisiform with the triquetrum and the scapholunate, suggests a different suprageneric grouping of flying squirrels than previously proposed by McKenna (1962) and Mein (1970). J. Morphol. 246:85-102, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:11074577

  19. Flexibility of cue use in the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger).

    PubMed

    Waisman, Anna S; Jacobs, Lucia F

    2008-10-01

    Recent work on captive flying squirrels has demonstrated a novel degree of flexibility in the use of different orientation cues. In the present study, we examine to what extent this flexibility is present in a free-ranging population of another tree squirrel species, the fox squirrel. We trained squirrels to a rewarded location within a square array of four feeders and then tested them on transformations of the array that either pitted two cue types against one cue type, the majority tests, or all cue types against each other, the forced-hierarchy test. In Experiment 1, squirrels reoriented to the two-cue-type location in all majority tests and to the location indicated by the visual features of the feeders in the forced-hierarchy test. This preference for visual features runs contrary to previous studies that report the use of spatial cues over visual features in food-storing species. In Experiments 2-5 we tested squirrels with different trial orders (Experiments 2 and 3), a different apparatus (Experiment 4) and at different times of the year (Experiment 5) to determine why these squirrels had chosen to orient using visual features in the first experiment. Like captive flying squirrels, free-ranging fox squirrels showed a large degree of flexibility in their use of cues. Furthermore, their cue use appeared to be sensitive both to changes in the test apparatus and the season in which we tested. Altogether our results suggest that the study of free-ranging animals over a variety of conditions is necessary for understanding spatial cognition. PMID:18350324

  20. Renal response to seven days of lower body positive pressure in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Churchill, Susanne; Pollock, David M.; Natale, Mary Ellen; Moore-Ede, Martin C.

    1987-01-01

    As a ground-based model for weightlessness, the response of the chair-trained squirrel monkey to lower body positive pressure (LBPP) was evaluated in a length of study similar to a typical Space Shuttle mission (7 days). Results were compared to time control experiments that included chair-sitting without exposure to LBPP. Chronic exposure to LBPP results in an acute diuretic and natriuretic response independent of changes in plasma aldosterone concentrations and produces a chronic reduction in fluid volume lasting the duration in the stimulus.

  1. Squirrel Monkey Requirements for Chronic Acceleration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, Charles A.

    1996-01-01

    This study examined: (1) the ability of a small non-human primate to tolerate chronic centrifugation on a centrifuge with a radius of 0.9 m, and (2) the influence of centrifuge radius on the response of primates to hyperdynamic fields. Eight adult male squirrel monkeys were exposed to 1.5 g via centrifugation at two different radii (0.9 m and 3.0 m). Body temperature, activity, feeding and drinking were monitored. These primates did tolerate and adapt to 1.5G via centrifugation on either radius centrifuge. The results show, however, that centrifuge radius does have an effect on the responses of the primate to the hyperdynamic environment. Adaptation to the hyperdynamic environment occurred more quickly on the larger centrifuge. This study demonstrates that a small, non-human primate model, such as the squirrel monkey, could be used on a 0.9 m radius centrifuge such as is being considered by the NASA Space Station Program.

  2. How Habitat Features Shape Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi) Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Bruck, Jason N.; Mateo, Jill M.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether Urocitellus beldingi from areas rich in beacons perform differently in a task of spatial memory compared with animals from beacon-thin areas. To assess the role of environmental experience in spatial memory, wild-born animals with several days of experience in the field were compared with animals born in a lab and with no experience in their original habitat. Over 2 summers subjects captured from beacon-dense and beacon-thin areas were tested in a radial maze interspersed with beacons, using number of trials to criterion as a measure of spatial memory. To evaluate the effect of landmark navigation, in year 2 juveniles were prevented from seeing outside the maze area. In both years animals from beacon-dense populations reached criterion faster than animals from beacon-thin populations, and a weak rearing effect was present in 1 year. Despite sex differences in adult spatial skills, no differences were found between males and females in the maze. This demonstrates variation in the navigation strategies of young U. beldingi, and highlights the need to evaluate spatial preferences as a function of population or ecology in addition to species and sex. PMID:20476817

  3. 2. Light tower, view west towards Squirrel Island, south and ...

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

    2. Light tower, view west towards Squirrel Island, south and east sides - Ram Island Light Station, Ram Island, south of Ocean Point & just north of Fisherman Island, marking south side of Fisherman Island Passage, Ocean Point, Lincoln County, ME

  4. Energetic costs of the winter arboreal microclimate: The gray squirrel in a tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byman, D.; Hay, D. B.; Bakken, G. S.

    1988-06-01

    Heated taxidermic mounts of the gray squirrel were used to analyze the thermal environment of a small arboreal endotherm. Changes in the standard operative temperature ( T es) calculated from the temperatures of heated and unheated mounts agreed well with the power consumption ( M-E) of mounts on the ground and on the wind-ward side of a 48-cm diameter tree trunk. As wind speed ( u) rose and sky solar radiation ( Q r) decreased, the windward side of the tree trunk became an increasingly more stressful thermal environment than the leeward side of the trunk or the ground, producing M-E differences of more than 30%. Although the M-E of a ground mount and a limb mount 4 m in the air are dependent on Q ras well as u, the ratio of the two value of M-E is independent of Q r, poorly predicted by u and well predicted by u 1/2.

  5. Electrofriction method of manufacturing squirrel cage rotors

    DOEpatents

    Hsu, John S.

    2005-04-12

    A method of making a squirrel cage rotor of copper material for use in AC or DC motors, includes forming a core with longitudinal slots, inserting bars of conductive material in the slots, with ends extending out of opposite ends of the core, and joining the end rings to the bars, wherein the conductive material of either the end rings or the bars is copper. Various methods of joining the end rings to the bars are disclosed including electrofriction welding, current pulse welding and brazing, transient liquid phase joining and casting. Pressure is also applied to the end rings to improve contact and reduce areas of small or uneven contact between the bar ends and the end rings. Rotors made with such methods are also disclosed.

  6. Whitebark pine, grizzly bears, and red squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Kendall, K.C.; Reinhart, D.P.

    2001-01-01

    Appropriately enough, much of this book is devoted to discussing management challenges and techniques. However, the impetus for action—the desire to save whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis)—necessarily arises from the extent to which we cherish it for its beauty and its connections with other things that we value. Whitebark pine is at the hub of a fascinating web of relationships. It is the stuff of great stories (cf. Quammen 1994). One of the more interesting of these stories pertains to the dependence of certain grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) populations on its seeds, and the role that red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) play as an agent of transfer between tree and bear.

  7. Survey for zoonotic rickettsial pathogens in northern flying squirrels, Glaucomys sabrinus, in California.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet E; Nieto, Nathan C; Clueit, S Bernadette; Foley, Patrick; Nicholson, William N; Brown, Richard N

    2007-10-01

    Epidemic typhus, caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, is maintained in a southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) sylvatic cycle in the southeastern United States. The northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) has not been previously associated with R. prowazekii transmission. A second rickettsial pathogen, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, infects dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and tree squirrels in northern California. Because northern flying squirrels or their ectoparasites have not been tested for these rickettsial pathogens, serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to test 24 northern flying squirrels for R. prowazekii and A. phagocytophilum infection or antibodies. Although there was no evidence of exposure to R. prowazekii, we provide molecular evidence of A. phagocytophilum infection in one flying squirrel; two flying squirrels also were seropositive for this pathogen. Fleas and ticks removed from the squirrels included Ceratophyllus ciliatus mononis, Opisodasys vesperalis, Ixodes hearlei, Ixodes pacificus, and Dermacentor paramapertus. PMID:17984264

  8. Responses of squirrel monkeys to their experimentally modified mobbing calls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichtel, Claudia; Hammerschmidt, Kurt

    2003-05-01

    Previous acoustic analyses suggested emotion-correlated changes in the acoustic structure of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) vocalizations. Specifically, calls given in aversive contexts were characterized by an upward shift in frequencies, often accompanied by an increase in amplitude. In order to test whether changes in frequencies or amplitude are indeed relevant for conspecific listeners, playback experiments were conducted in which either frequencies or amplitude of mobbing calls were modified. Latency and first orienting response were measured in playback experiments with six adult squirrel monkeys. After broadcasting yaps with increased frequencies or amplitude, squirrel monkeys showed a longer orienting response towards the speaker than after the corresponding control stimuli. Furthermore, after broadcasting yaps with decreased frequencies or amplitude, squirrel monkeys showed a shorter orienting response towards the speaker than after the corresponding manipulated calls with higher frequencies or amplitude. These results suggest that changes in frequencies or amplitude were perceived by squirrel monkeys, indicating that the relationship between call structure and the underlying affective state of the caller agreed with the listener's assessment of the calls. However, a simultaneous increase in frequencies and amplitude did not lead to an enhanced response, compared to each single parameter. Thus, from the receiver's perspective, both call parameters may mutually replace each other.

  9. Microwaves modify thermoregulatory behavior in squirrel monkey

    SciTech Connect

    Adair, E.R.; Adams, B.W.

    1980-01-01

    Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) trained to regulate environmental temperature (Ta) behaviorally were exposed in the far field of a horn antenna to ten-minute periods of 2,450 MHz CW microwaves. Incident power density ranged from 1 to 22 mW/cm2. The corresponding specific absorption rate (SAR), derived from temperature increments in saline-filled styrofoam models, ranged from 0.15 to 3.25 W/kg. Controls included exposure to infrared radiation equivalent incident energy and no radiation exposure. Normal thermo-regulatory behavior produces tight control over environmental and body temperatures; most monkeys select a Ta of 34-36 degrees C. Ten-minute exposures to 2,450 MHz CW microwaves at an incident power density of 6-8 mW/cm2 stimulated all animals to select a lower Ta. This threshold energy represents a whole-body SAR of 1.1 W/kg, about 20% of the resting metabolic rate of the monkey. Thermoregulatory behavior was highly efficient, and skin and rectal temperatures remained stable, even at 22 mW/cm2 where the preferred Ta was lowered by as much as 4 degrees C. No comparable reduction in selected Ta below control levels occurred during exposure to infrared radiation of equal incident power density.

  10. Environmental synchronizers of squirrel monkey circadian rhythms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sulzman, F. M.; Fuller, C. A.; Moore-Ede, M. C.

    1977-01-01

    Various temporal signals in the environment were tested to determine if they could synchronize the circadian timing system of the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). The influence of cycles of light and dark, eating and fasting, water availability and deprivation, warm and cool temperature, sound and quiet, and social interaction and isolation on the drinking and activity rhythms of unrestrained monkeys was examined. In the absence of other time cues, 24-hr cycles of each of these potential synchronizers were applied for up to 3 wk, and the periods of the monkey's circadian rhythms were examined. Only light-dark cycles and cycles of food availability were shown to be entraining agents, since they were effective in determining the period and phase of the rhythmic variables. In the presence of each of the other environmental cycles, the monkey's circadian rhythms exhibited free-running periods which were significantly different from 24 hr with all possible phase relationships between the rhythms and the environmental cycles being examined.

  11. Gunshot Wound Contamination with Squirrel Tissue: Wound Care Considerations

    PubMed Central

    Maerz, Porter W.; Falgiani, Tricia B.; Hoelle, Robyn M.

    2014-01-01

    While report of animal bites contaminating wounds is reported commonly, direct wound contamination with squirrel flesh has never been reported in the literature. The patient suffered an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound that drove squirrel flesh and buck shot deep within his right buttock. This case outlines his hospital course and wound treatment. The patient was treated with ten days of broad spectrum antibiotics, extensive debridement of the wound in the operating room, and further treatment of the wound with a vacuum dressing system. While squirrel tissue and buckshot had to be removed from the wound on day six of the hospital stay, the patient remained afebrile without signs or symptoms of systemic illness. PMID:24851187

  12. Equivalence Between Squirrel Cage and Sheet Rotor Induction Motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwivedi, Ankita; Singh, S. K.; Srivastava, R. K.

    2015-03-01

    Due to topological changes in dual stator induction motor and high cost of its fabrication, it is convenient to replace the squirrel cage rotor with a composite sheet rotor. For an experimental machine, the inner and outer stator stampings are normally available whereas the procurement of rotor stampings is quite cumbersome and is not always cost effective. In this paper, the equivalence between sheet/solid rotor induction motor and squirrel cage induction motor has been investigated using layer theory of electrical machines, so as to enable one to utilize sheet/solid rotor in dual port experimental machines.

  13. Equivalence Between Squirrel Cage and Sheet Rotor Induction Motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwivedi, Ankita; Singh, S. K.; Srivastava, R. K.

    2016-06-01

    Due to topological changes in dual stator induction motor and high cost of its fabrication, it is convenient to replace the squirrel cage rotor with a composite sheet rotor. For an experimental machine, the inner and outer stator stampings are normally available whereas the procurement of rotor stampings is quite cumbersome and is not always cost effective. In this paper, the equivalence between sheet/solid rotor induction motor and squirrel cage induction motor has been investigated using layer theory of electrical machines, so as to enable one to utilize sheet/solid rotor in dual port experimental machines.

  14. EVALUATION OF NEONATE SQUIRREL MONKEYS RECEIVING TRITIATED WATER THROUGHOUT GESTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effect of receiving tritiated water (HTO) throughout gestation on the developing primate was assessed by administering HTO to adult female squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) as the only source of drinking water beginning with the day of insemination and continuing throughout...

  15. Fire, red squirrels, whitebark pine, and Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Podruzny, Shannon; Reinhart, D.P.; Mattson, David J.

    1999-01-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) habitats are important to Yellowstone grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) as refugia and sources of food. Ecological relationships between whitebark pine, red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), and grizzly bear use of pine seeds on Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, were examined during 1984-86. Following large-scale fires in 1988, we repeated the study in 1995-97 to examine the effects of fire on availability of whitebark pine seed in red squirrel middens and on bear use of middens. Half of the total length of the original line transects burned. We found no red squirrel middens in burned areas. Post-fire linear-abundance (no./km) of active squirrel middens that were pooled from burned and unburned areas decreased 27% compared to pre-fire abundance, but increased in unburned portions of some habitat types. Mean size of active middens decreased 54% post-fire. Use of pine seeds by bears (linear abundance of excavated middens) in pooled burned and unburned habitats decreased by 64%, likely due to the combined effects of reduced midden availability and smaller midden size. We discourage any further large-scale losses of seed producing trees from management-prescribed fires or timber harvesting until the effects of fire on ecological relationships in the whitebark pine zone are better understood.

  16. Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity of Eurasian Red Squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) from Denmark.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Corrie L; Vilstrup, Julia T; Fernández, Ruth; Marchi, Nina; Håkansson, Bo; Krog, Mogens; Asferg, Tommy; Baagøe, Hans; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    Melanistic Eurasian red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris are commonly found on the Danish island of Funen. They are thought to represent native Danish squirrel types and are presently under threat from admixture with introduced red squirrels. In response, a conservation program was started in 2009 that involves the translocation of melanistic squirrels from Funen to the squirrel-free island of Langeland. Using mitochondrial DNA of 101 historical and modern samples from throughout Denmark, we assess for the first time population structure and mitochondrial genetic diversity of Danish squirrels compared to its larger pan-Eurasian distribution. We find that Danish squirrels have low levels of genetic diversity, especially melanistic individuals. Bayesian skyline reconstructions show that Danish squirrels have most probably experienced a severe bottleneck within the last 200 years. Also, fine-scale genetic structure was found between squirrels from the regions of Funen, Zealand and Jutland, which mimics the insular geography of Denmark. Additional nuclear DNA analyses will be required to determine the precise admixture levels between original Danish and introduced squirrels and to locate unmixed candidate populations for specific conservation efforts. PMID:26519513

  17. Effects of Parasitism and Morphology on Squirrelpox Virus Seroprevalence in Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)

    PubMed Central

    McGowan, Natasha E.; Marks, Nikki J.; McInnes, Colin J.; Deane, David; Maule, Aaron G.; Scantlebury, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species have been cited as major causes of population extinctions in several animal and plant classes worldwide. The North American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) has a major detrimental effect on native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) populations across Britain and Ireland, in part because it can be a reservoir host for the deadly squirrelpox virus (SQPV). Whilst various researchers have investigated the epizootiology of SQPV disease in grey squirrels and have modelled the consequent effects on red squirrel populations, less work has examined morphological and physiological characteristics that might make individual grey squirrels more susceptible to contracting SQPV. The current study investigated the putative relationships between morphology, parasitism, and SQPV exposure in grey squirrels. We found geographical, sex, and morphological differences in SQPV seroprevalence. In particular, larger animals, those with wide zygomatic arch widths (ZAW), males with large testes, and individuals with concurrent nematode and/or coccidial infections had an increased seroprevalence of SQPV. In addition, males with larger spleens, particularly those with narrow ZAW, were more likely to be exposed to SQPV. Overall these results show that there is variation in SQPV seroprevalence in grey squirrels and that, consequently, certain individual, or populations of, grey squirrels might be more responsible for transmitting SQPV to native red squirrel populations. PMID:24416155

  18. Seasonal use of red-cockaded woodpecker cavities by southern flying squirrels.

    SciTech Connect

    Loeb, Susan C.; Ruth, Deanna L.

    2004-12-31

    Loeb, Susan C., and Deanna L. Ruth. 2004. Seasonal use of red-cockaded woodpecker cavities by southern flying squirrels. In: Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 8. Cavities, Cavity Trees, and Cavity Communities. Pp 501-502. Abstract: Southern flying squirrels can significantly impact red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success (Laves and Loeb 1999). Thus exclusion or removal of flying squirrels from red-cockaded woodpecker cavities and clusters may be warranted in small woodpecker populations (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2003). However, development of effective and efficient protocols for southern flying squirrel control requires an understanding of the seasonal dynamics of southern flying squirrel cavity use. Most studies of southern flying squirrel use of red-cockaded woodpecker cavities have been conducted during spring (e.g., Harlow and Lennartz 1983, Rudolph et al. 1990a, Loeb 1993) and no studies have examined the effects of long term flying squirrel control on subsequent cavity use. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) whether flying squirrel use of red-cockaded woodpecker cavities varies with season or cavity type, and (2) the long term effect of continuous squirrel removal.

  19. Spontaneous Cholelithiasis in a Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

    PubMed Central

    Lieberman, Mia T.; Wachtman, Lynn M.; Marini, Robert P.; Bakthavatchalu, Vasu; Fox, James G.

    2016-01-01

    A mature female squirrel monkey was noted during routine semiannual examinations to have moderate progressive weight loss. Serum chemistry panels revealed marked increases in hepatic enzyme, bilirubin, and bile salt concentrations and hypoalbuminemia. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed echogenic, shadowing debris in the gallbladder, consistent with cholelithiasis. At necropsy, marked thickening and distension of the gallbladder, cystic duct, and common bile duct was noted, and more than 50 irregularly shaped, black gallstones were removed from the biliary tract. Gallbladder tissue, bile, and gallstones cultured positive for Escherichia coli and Proteus spp., suggesting a brown-pigment gallstone type secondary to a bacterial nidus. Histopathology revealed severe chronic–active diffuse cholecystitis and severe chronic-active hepatic degeneration and necrosis with severe cholestasis. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of spontaneous choleilthiasis in a squirrel monkey. PMID:26884412

  20. Motion Sickness-Induced Food Aversions in the Squirrel Monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roy, M. Aaron; Brizzee, Kenneth R.

    1979-01-01

    Conditioned aversions to colored, flavored water were established in Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) by following consumption with 90 min of simultaneous rotational and vertical stimulation. The experimental group (N= 13) drank significantly less of the green, almond-flavored test solution than did the control group (N=14) during three post-treatment preference testing days. Individual differences were noted in that two experimental monkeys readily drank the test solution after rotational stimulation. Only two of the experimental monkeys showed emesis during rotation, yet 10 monkeys in this group developed an aversion. These results suggest that: (1) motion sickness can be readily induced in Squirrel monkeys with simultaneous rotational and vertical stimulation, and (2) that conditioned food aversions are achieved in the absence of emesis in this species.

  1. Habitat exploration and use in dispersing juvenile flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Selonen, Vesa; Hanski, Ilpo K

    2006-11-01

    1. Variation in behaviours involved in habitat selection is important for several evolutionary and ecological processes. For example, habitat use during dispersal may differ from breeding habitat use, and for dispersers the scale of habitat familiarity is determined by exploratory behaviour. We studied habitat use and exploration of 56 radio-collared juvenile flying squirrels Pteromys volans L. within natal home range and during dispersal, and compared habitat use between juveniles and 37 adults within breeding home range. 2. Before dispersal, young flying squirrels actively moved around the natal site. Surprisingly, long-distance dispersers explored less than short-distance dispersers, but philopatric individuals explored similar distances as dispersers. Females explored less than males, although females are the more dispersive sex in flying squirrels. 3. For most of the individuals the settlement area was unfamiliar due to long dispersal distance. Consequently, direction and distance of exploration were not very strong predictors of settlement location. However, individuals familiar with the settlement area concentrated exploration to that area. Exploration did not correlate with short-term survival. 4. Dispersers preferred breeding habitat while dispersing, but were found more often in matrix habitat than juveniles within natal, or adults within breeding, home ranges. 5. We conclude that familiarity does not determine settlement as much as, for example, availability of the habitat for flying squirrels. Based on our results, it also seems clear that data on adult habitat use are not enough to predict habitat use of dispersing individuals. In addition, our results support the recent view that short- and long-distance dispersers may need to be analysed separately in ecological and evolutionary analyses. PMID:17032376

  2. Perception of chasing in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed

    Atsumi, Takeshi; Nagasaka, Yasuo

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the intentions of others is crucial in developing positive social relationships. Comparative human and non-human animal studies have addressed the phylogenetic origin of this ability. However, few studies have explored the importance of motion information in distinguishing others' intentions and goals in non-human primates. This study addressed whether squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) are able to perceive a goal-directed motion pattern-specifically, chasing-represented by two geometric objects. In Experiment 1, we trained squirrel monkeys to discriminate a "Chasing" sequence from a "Random" sequence. We then confirmed that this discrimination transferred to new stimuli ("Chasing" and "Random") in a probe test. To determine whether the monkeys used similarities of trajectory to discriminate chasing from random motion, we also presented a non-chasing "Clone" sequence in which the trajectories of the two figures were identical. Three of six monkeys were able to discriminate "Chasing" from the other sequences. In Experiment 2, we confirmed humans' recognition of chasing with the stimuli from Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, the three monkeys for which discrimination did not transfer to the new stimuli in Experiment 1 were trained to discriminate between "Chasing" and "Clone" sequences. At testing, all three monkeys had learned to discriminate chasing, and two transferred their learning to new stimuli. Our results suggest that squirrel monkeys use goal-directed motion patterns, rather than simply similarity of trajectory, to discriminate chasing. Further investigation is necessary to identify the motion characteristics that contribute to this discrimination. PMID:26156787

  3. Fitness consequences of hoarding behaviour in the Eurasian red squirrel.

    PubMed

    Wauters, L A; Suhonen, J; Dhondt, A A

    1995-12-22

    Hoarding increases food availability during periods of scarcity, and therefore should enhance fitness. Although short-term advantages of hoarding have been described for birds, effects over an animal's lifetime have not yet been documented. Here, we report that in the red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, individuals which recovered many cached tree seeds increased their body mass and were more likely to survive the spring breeding season than those that recovered fewer seeds. There was no significant effect of the time spent recovering cached food on the probability for females to produce a spring litter. In the long-term, hoarding behaviour was related to fitness in two ways; (i) squirrels spending more time recovering hoards survived longer; and (ii) females with a high recovery activity tended to wean more young in their lifetime than those that spent less time recovering hoards. Our data indicate that in red squirrels, food hoarding is an adaptive foraging strategy to preserve temporarily abundant food resources for future periods of hardship, and that individuals that hoard and recovery many tree seeds are more likely to survive and reproduce. PMID:8587886

  4. Architectonic subdivisions of neocortex in the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H.

    2010-01-01

    Squirrels are highly visual mammals with an expanded cortical visual system and a number of well-differentiated architectonic fields. In order to describe and delimit cortical fields, subdivisions of cortex were reconstructed from serial brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, or horizontal planes. Architectonic characteristics of cortical areas were visualized after brain sections were processed with immunohistochemical and histochemical procedures for revealing parvalbumin, calbindin, neurofilament protein, vesicle glutamate transporter 2, limbic-associated membrane protein, synaptic zinc, cytochrome oxidase, myelin or Nissl substance. In general, these different procedures revealed similar boundaries between areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were being detected. The results allowed a more precise demarcation of previously identified areas as well as the identification of areas that had not been previously described. Primary sensory cortical areas characterized by sparse zinc staining of layer 4, as thalamocortical terminations lack zinc, as well as by layer 4 terminations rich in parvalbumin and vesicle glutamate transporter 2. Primary areas also expressed higher levels of cytochrome oxidase and myelin. Primary motor cortex was associated with large SMI-32 labeled pyramidal cells in layers 3 and 5. Our proposed organization of cortex in grey squirrels includes both similarities and differences to the proposed of cortex in other rodents such as mice and rats. The presence of a number of well-differentiated cortical areas in squirrels may serve as a guide to the identification of homologous fields in other rodents, as well as a useful guide in further studies of cortical organization and function. PMID:18780299

  5. The Thatcher illusion in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed

    Nakata, Ryuzaburo; Osada, Yoshihisa

    2012-07-01

    Like humans, Old World monkeys are known to use configural face processing to distinguish among individuals. The ability to recognize an individual through the perception of subtle differences in the configuration of facial features plays an important role in social cognition. To test this ability in New World monkeys, this study examined whether squirrel monkeys experience the Thatcher illusion, a measure of face processing ability in which changes in facial features are difficult to detect in an inverted face. In the experiment, the monkeys were required to distinguish between a target face and each of the three kinds of distracter faces whose features were altered to be different from those of the target. For each of the pairs of target and distracter faces, four rotation-based combinations of upright and inverted face presentations were used. The results revealed that when both faces were inverted and the eyes of the distracter face were altered by rotating them at an angle of 180° from those of the target face, the monkeys' discrimination learning was obstructed to a greater extent than it was under the other conditions. Thus, these results suggest that the squirrel monkey does experience the Thatcher illusion. Furthermore, it seems reasonable to assume that squirrel monkeys can utilize information about facial configurations in individual recognition and that this facial configuration information could be useful in their social communications. PMID:22411620

  6. Eye-head coordination during optokinetic stimulation in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kubo, T.; Igarashi, M.; Jensen, D. W.; Homick, J. L.

    1981-01-01

    Head and eye movements in the yaw plane were recorded during and after optokinetic stimulation in squirrel monkeys. 1) Phasic or tonic head deviations to the side of the ocular quick phase occurred in 94% of total recordings (n = 50) during the perstimulus period, and in 75% of recordings (n = 49) during the poststimulus period. Magnitude of mean head deviation was significantly different between perstimulus and poststimulus periods. 2) Head nystagmus associated with eye nystagmus was consistently observed in seven of nine squirrel monkeys during optokinetic stimulation. Squirrel monkeys are thereby less prone to display head nystagmus than either guinea pigs, pigeons or chickens. 3) Slow phase speeds of coupled head and eye nystagmus were subjected to statistical analysis. A highly significant negative correlation was found between slow phase head and eye speeds. The correlation coefficient was - 0.81 at 60 degrees / sec stimulus (n = 119) and -0.72 at 100 degrees / sec stimulus (n = 131). The gaze speed, calculated by summing the head and eye speeds, was 59.1 plus or minus 6.8 / sec at 60 degrees / sec and 92.2 plus or minus 11.4 at 100 degrees / sec stimulus. There was no significant difference between the gaze speed in a free head condition and the eye speed when the head was fixed.

  7. Red Squirrel Middens Influence Abundance but Not Diversity of Other Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Posthumus, Erin E.; Koprowski, John L.; Steidl, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Some animals modify the environment in ways that can influence the resources available to other species. Because red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) create large piles of conifer-cone debris (middens) in which they store cones, squirrels concentrate resources that might affect biodiversity locally. To determine whether other animals are attracted to midden sites beyond their affinity for the same resources that attract red squirrels, we assessed associations between middens, mammals, and birds at population and community levels. We surveyed 75 middens where residency rates of red squirrels varied during the previous five years; sampling along this residency gradient permitted us to evaluate the influence of resources at middens beyond the influence of a resident squirrel. At each location, we quantified vegetation, landscape structure, abundance of conifer cones, and midden structure, and used capture–recapture, distance sampling, and remote cameras to quantify presence, abundance, and species richness of mammals and birds. Red squirrels and the resources they concentrated at middens influenced mammals and birds at the population scale and to a lesser extent at the community scale. At middens with higher residency rates of red squirrels, richness of medium and large mammals increased markedly and species richness of birds increased slightly. After accounting for local forest characteristics, however, only species richness of medium-to-large mammals was associated with a red squirrel being resident during surveys. In areas where red squirrels were resident during surveys or in areas with greater amounts of resources concentrated by red squirrels, abundances of two of four small mammal species and two of four bird species increased. We conclude that the presence of this ecosystem modifier and the resources it concentrates influence abundance of some mammals and birds, which may have implications for maintaining biodiversity across the wide geographic range

  8. Red squirrel middens influence abundance but not diversity of other vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Posthumus, Erin E; Koprowski, John L; Steidl, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    Some animals modify the environment in ways that can influence the resources available to other species. Because red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) create large piles of conifer-cone debris (middens) in which they store cones, squirrels concentrate resources that might affect biodiversity locally. To determine whether other animals are attracted to midden sites beyond their affinity for the same resources that attract red squirrels, we assessed associations between middens, mammals, and birds at population and community levels. We surveyed 75 middens where residency rates of red squirrels varied during the previous five years; sampling along this residency gradient permitted us to evaluate the influence of resources at middens beyond the influence of a resident squirrel. At each location, we quantified vegetation, landscape structure, abundance of conifer cones, and midden structure, and used capture-recapture, distance sampling, and remote cameras to quantify presence, abundance, and species richness of mammals and birds. Red squirrels and the resources they concentrated at middens influenced mammals and birds at the population scale and to a lesser extent at the community scale. At middens with higher residency rates of red squirrels, richness of medium and large mammals increased markedly and species richness of birds increased slightly. After accounting for local forest characteristics, however, only species richness of medium-to-large mammals was associated with a red squirrel being resident during surveys. In areas where red squirrels were resident during surveys or in areas with greater amounts of resources concentrated by red squirrels, abundances of two of four small mammal species and two of four bird species increased. We conclude that the presence of this ecosystem modifier and the resources it concentrates influence abundance of some mammals and birds, which may have implications for maintaining biodiversity across the wide geographic range

  9. Evolution of genome organizations of squirrels (Sciuridae) revealed by cross-species chromosome painting.

    PubMed

    Li, Tangliang; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Biltueva, Larisa; Fu, Beiyuan; Wang, Jinhuan; Nie, Wenhui; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Yang, Fengtang

    2004-01-01

    With complete sets of chromosome-specific painting probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of human and grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), the whole genome homologies between human and representatives of tree squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis, Callosciurus erythraeus), flying squirrels (Petaurista albiventer) and chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus) have been defined by cross-species chromosome painting. The results show that, unlike the highly rearranged karyotypes of mouse and rat, the karyotypes of squirrels are highly conserved. Two methods have been used to reconstruct the genome phylogeny of squirrels with the laboratory rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as the out-group: (1) phylogenetic analysis by parsimony using chromosomal characters identified by comparative cytogenetic approaches; (2) mapping the genome rearrangements onto recently published sequence-based molecular trees. Our chromosome painting results, in combination with molecular data, show that flying squirrels are phylogenetically close to New World tree squirrels. Chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons place chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus ), with a derived karyotype, outside the clade comprising tree and flying squirrels. The superorder Glires (orde Rodentia + order Lagomorpha) is firmly supported by two conserved syntenic associations between human chromosomes 1 and 10p homologues, and between 9 and 11 homologues. PMID:15241012

  10. Woodland fragmentation affects space use of Eurasian red squirrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbeylen, Goedele; Wauters, Lucas A.; De Bruyn, Luc; Matthysen, Erik

    2009-01-01

    When habitats become fragmented, variation in patch size and quality are expected to impose changes on the spacing pattern and social organization of animal populations. General theory predicts different possible responses including shrinking home ranges (fission response), increasing range overlap (fusion) and incorporation of multiple patches in the home range (expansion response) as fragmentation increases. We studied space use and social organization in a metapopulation of red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) in 15 woodland fragments differing in size and tree species composition. Home ranges and core areas of males were larger than females, and fragmentation had different and complex effects on the spacing pattern of both sexes. In food-supplemented patches, high densities led to increased intra-sexual overlap. In linear-shaped patches, squirrels used smaller home ranges and core areas and had lower male-male and male-female overlap levels, independent of patch quality or size. Home range and core area size of males increased with patch size, and male core areas overlapped extensively those of other males and females. Hence males seemed to show a fission response only in some patches. In contrast, home range and core area size of females was not related with patch size, but decreased with habitat quality, supporting predictions of a fusion response and intra-sexual defense of food-based core areas. Hence, where patch size and shape strongly affected space use of male red squirrels, social organization of females was only affected in small, food-supplemented patches, suggesting that the basic spatio-social organization of adult females is very resistant to fragmentation.

  11. Electric shock produced drinking in the squirrel monkey.

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, R R; Emley, G S

    1977-01-01

    Squirrel monkeys were periodically exposed to brief electric tail shocks in a test environment containing a rubber hose, response lever, and a water spout. Shock delivery produced preshock lever pressing and postshock hose biting. Additionally, all subjects displayed licking responses following postshock biting-attack episodes. Further experiments showed that licking was: (1) influenced by hours of water deprivation; (2) drinking behavior; (3) the direct result of shock delivery; and (4) developed spontaneously in naive subjects with or without opportunities for hose biting or lever pressing. Removing the opportunity to attack increased postshock drinking. A noxious environmental stimulus that causes aggression can also produce drinking. PMID:409801

  12. The squirrel monkey as a candidate for space flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brizzee, K. R.; Ordy, J. M.; Kaack, B.

    1977-01-01

    Because of its size and other unique diurnal-primate characteristics, the squirrel monkey is used in: (1) actual bioflight missions, (2) in laboratory tests designed to clarify the risks to man during launch and recovery as well as in hazardous spaceflight environments; and (3) in the acquisition of data on unknown risks encountered in long duration space exploration. Pertinent data concerning samiri sciureus as described in published and unpublished reports are summarized. Topics include: taxonomy, ethology, life history, sensory-learning-motor capabilities in primate perspective, anatomy and physiology (including homeostatic adaptation to stress), susceptibility to environmental hazards, reproduction, care and clinical management, and previous use in aerospace biomedical research.

  13. MOUNT GRAHAM: Report Finds Squirrels Survived 3 Telescopes.

    PubMed

    Muro, M

    2000-07-14

    In 1988 Congress allowed construction of three telescopes on Mount Graham, a desert "sky island" northeast of here, prompting the U.S. Forest Service to order a long-range study to monitor the population of an endangered subspecies of red squirrel that lives here. The results are now in. But the findings--that the work to date has had "no significant effect" on the rare rodents--have done little to resolve a debate that is expected to heat up again next year when the University of Arizona seeks permission to build four more telescopes. PMID:17750396

  14. Effects of tannins on digestion and detoxification activity in gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

    PubMed

    Chung-MacCoubrey, A L; Hagerman, A E; Kirkpatrick, R L

    1997-01-01

    Acorn tannins may affect food preferences and foraging strategies of squirrels through effects on acorn palatability and digestibility and squirrel physiology. Captive eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were fed 100% red oak (Quercus rubra) or white oak (Quercus alba) acorn diets to determine effects on intake, digestion, and detoxification activity. Red oak acorns had higher phenol and tannin levels, which may explain the lower dry matter intakes and apparent protein digestibilities and the higher glucuronidation activities observed in squirrels. Although the white oak acorn diet had lower apparent protein digestibilities than the reference diet, it did not suppress dry matter intake for a prolonged period or stimulate glucuronidation. Negative physiological effects of a 100% red oak acorn diet suggest gray squirrels may require other foods to dilute tannin intake and provide additional nutrients. To distinguish the roles of different tannin types in the observed effects of acorn diets on squirrels, squirrels were fed rat chow containing no tannins, 4% or 8% tannic acid (hydrolyzable tannin), or 3% or 6% quebracho (condensed tannin). Apparent protein digestibilities were reduced by tannic acid and quebracho diets. Only the 8% tannic acid diet tended to increase glucuronidation. Specific effects of tannins may largely depend on tannin type, composition, and source and on other nutritional and physiological factors. PMID:9231400

  15. Behavioural responses of Eastern grey squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, to cues of risk while foraging.

    PubMed

    Jayne, Kimberley; Lea, Stephen E G; Leaver, Lisa A

    2015-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that Eastern grey squirrels modify their behaviour while foraging to offset risks of social and predatory costs, but none have simultaneously compared whether such modifications are performed at a cost to foraging. The present study directly compares how grey squirrels respond to cues of these risks while foraging. We simulated social risk and predatory risk using acoustic playbacks of stimuli that grey squirrels might be exposed to at a foraging patch: calls of conspecifics, heterospecifics (competitor and non-competitor) and predators. We found that grey squirrels responded to predator, heterospecific competitor and conspecific playbacks by altering their foraging and vigilance behaviours. Foraging was most disrupted by increased vigilance when we played calls of predators. Squirrels' response to calls of heterospecific competitors did not differ from their response to conspecific calls, and they resumed foraging more quickly after both compared to predator calls: whereas they showed little response to calls of non-competitor heterospecifics and a white noise control. We conclude that squirrels respond differentially to calls made by conspecifics, heterospecific competitors and predators, with the most pronounced response being to calls of predators. We suggest that squirrels may view conspecific and corvid vocalisations as cues of potential conflict while foraging, necessitating increased vigilance. PMID:25957953

  16. Relative roles of grey squirrels, supplementary feeding, and habitat in shaping urban bird assemblages.

    PubMed

    Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J; Evans, Karl L

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding. PMID:25338062

  17. Macroparasite fauna of alien grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): composition, variability and implications for native species.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover) and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback). We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris). Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6%) and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%), red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0%) and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%). All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur. PMID:24505348

  18. Relative Roles of Grey Squirrels, Supplementary Feeding, and Habitat in Shaping Urban Bird Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J.; Evans, Karl L.

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds’ nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding. PMID:25338062

  19. Macroparasite Fauna of Alien Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): Composition, Variability and Implications for Native Species

    PubMed Central

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G.; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover) and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback). We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris). Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6%) and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%), red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0%) and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%). All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur. PMID:24505348

  20. Natal habitat-biased dispersal in the Siberian flying squirrel.

    PubMed

    Selonen, Vesa; Hanski, Ilpo K; Desrochers, André

    2007-08-22

    Theoretically, dispersers should target the habitat where prospects for fitness will be highest. Aiming for a habitat similar to the natal area (natal habitat-biased dispersal) has been hypothesized as a probable rule of thumb for dispersers, but has received very little empirical support to date. We investigated similarities between natal and post-dispersal settlement sites with radio-collared Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans L.). Juveniles born in small patches and raised in nests close to patch edge settled in small patches and used nests close to edges after dispersal. In addition, post-dispersal use of dreys (versus cavities) was similar to that observed in natal sites. However, the quality of settlement habitat was unrelated to the quality of the natal site, which suggests that natal experience on average-quality habitats may not lead to ecological traps for flying squirrels. This study provides evidence that habitat selection at the landscape scale is influenced by habitat of natal area. PMID:17567559

  1. Uterine Leiomyoma in a Guyanese Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus sciureus)

    PubMed Central

    Long, C Tyler; Luong, Richard H; McKeon, Gabriel P; Albertelli, Megan A

    2010-01-01

    An adult female squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) presented with a 3.0 × 2.5 cm firm mass palpable within the caudal abdomen. Differentiation of the organs or structures involved with the mass could not be achieved with radiography or ultrasonography. Exploratory laparotomy revealed a mass within the lumen of the uterus; the mass was removed by partial hysterectomy. On gross examination, the mass was a focally extensive, unencapsulated, firm, solitary tumor. Histologic examination revealed that the mass was composed of interlacing bundles of smooth muscle cells with little fibrous stroma. The cells were elongated with poorly delineated borders and cigar-shaped nuclei, each containing a single, small nucleolus. Fewer than 1 mitosis per 20 high-power (magnification, × 400) fields were present. These gross and histologic findings supported a diagnosis of uterine leiomyoma. Although leiomyomas are the most common tumor of the reproductive tract in nonhuman primates, to our knowledge the current lesion is the first uterine leiomyoma reported to occur in a squirrel monkey. PMID:20353700

  2. Strongyloides robustus and the northern sympatric populations of northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Pauli, Jonathan N; Dubay, Shelli A; Anderson, Eric M; Taft, Stephen J

    2004-07-01

    Within North America, northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (Glaucomys volans) flying squirrels occupy distinct ranges with limited overlap. Sympatry in northern latitudes coincides with northern hardwood vegetation from Minnesota to New England. Strongyloides robustus is an intestinal parasite that infects both species but appears to be deleterious only to northern flying squirrels. As a result, S. robustus could be a critical determinant of flying squirrel population characteristics in at least some areas of sympatry. However, cold weather could potentially limit the distribution of S. robustus in northern climates. Therefore, we assessed fecal samples from both flying squirrel species to determine the presence of the nematode in Wisconsin. Strongyloides robustus was found in 12 flying squirrel scat samples and infected 52% of southern flying squirrels and 11% of northern flying squirrels. Prevalence of S. robustus infection for northern flying squirrels was substantially lower than previously reported from more southern regions. This is the northernmost documentation of S. robustus in flying squirrels and the first documentation of S. robustus parasitizing flying squirrels in Wisconsin. PMID:15465730

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Quadrupedal locomotor performance in two species of arboreal squirrels: predicting energy savings of gliding.

    PubMed

    Flaherty, Elizabeth A; Ben-David, Merav; Smith, Winston P

    2010-10-01

    Gliding allows mammals to exploit canopy habitats of old-growth forests possibly as a means to save energy. To assess costs of quadrupedal locomotion for a gliding arboreal mammal, we used open-flow respirometry and a variable-speed treadmill to measure oxygen consumption and to calculate cost of transport, excess exercise oxygen consumption, and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption for nine northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) and four fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). Our results indicate that oxygen consumption during exercise by flying squirrels was 1.26-1.65 times higher than predicted based on body mass, and exponentially increased with velocity (from 0.84 ± 0.03 ml O(2) kg(-1) s(-1) at 0.40 m s(-1) to 1.55 ± 0.03 ml O(2) kg(-1) s(-1) at 0.67 m s(-1)). Also, cost of transport in flying squirrels increased with velocity, although excess exercise oxygen consumption and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption did not. In contrast, oxygen consumption during exercise for fox squirrels was similar to predicted, varying from 0.51 (±0.02) ml O(2) kg(-1) s(-1) at 0.63 m s(-1) to 0.54 (±0.03) ml O(2) kg(-1) s(-1) at 1.25 m s(-1). In addition, the cost of transport for fox squirrels decreased with velocity, while excess exercise oxygen consumption and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption did not. Collectively, these observations suggest that unlike fox squirrels, flying squirrels are poorly adapted to prolonged bouts of quadrupedal locomotion. The evolution of skeletal adaptations to climbing, leaping, and landing and the development of a gliding membrane likely has increased the cost of quadrupedal locomotion by >50% while resulting in energy savings during gliding and reduction in travel time between foraging patches. PMID:20361193

  6. Green foliage losses from ponderosa pines induced by Abert squirrels and snowstorms: A comparison. [Sciurus aberti; Pinus pondersosa

    SciTech Connect

    Allred, W.S.; Gaud, W.S. )

    1993-01-01

    Abert squirrels (Sciurus aberti) are obligate herbivores on ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). The inner bark of pine shoots is considered one of the predominant food resources obtained by foraging squirrels. As squirrels forage for this resource they induce green needle losses from chosen feed trees. Amounts of induced green needle losses appear to vary according to the availability of alternative foods and squirrel population densities. Weather also induces green needle losses to ponderosa pines. Results of this study indicate that, at least in some years, heavy snowstorms can induce greater amounts of green needle losses than squirrels. Squirrel herbivory was not indicated as a factor in any tree mortality. However, losses due to snowstorms are more severe since they may cause the actual depletion of trees in the forest because of the tree mortality they inflict.

  7. 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

  8. Status and habitat relationships of northern flying squirrels on Mount Desert Island, Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connell, A.F.; Servello, F.; Higgins, J.; Halteman, W.

    2001-01-01

    Northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels occur in Maine, but there is uncertainty about range overlap in southcentral Maine where the southern flying squirrel reaches its geographic range limit. We surveyed flying squirrels on Mount Desert Island (MDI), located along the central Maine coast, to update the current status and distribution of these species. We captured only northern flying squirrels, and populations (> 2 individuals) were located in two conifer stands and one mixed conifer-hardwood stand. All three stands were located in relatively older forests, outside a large area burned in a 1947 fire. Tree diameters were similar between trap stations with and without captures, under-story density was low overall, and there was a trend of higher seedling density at capture locations. Low understory density may allow squirrels more effective gliding movements between trees, which may enhance predator avoidance. Although the southern flying squirrel was reported from MDI numerous times during the 20th century, no voucher specimens exist, and species identification and localities have been poorly documented. Future surveys on MDI should consider collection of voucher specimens to validate subsequent survey efforts and effectively document changes in local biodiversity.

  9. Inaccessibility of reinforcement increases persistence and signaling behavior in the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger).

    PubMed

    Delgado, Mikel M; Jacobs, Lucia F

    2016-05-01

    Under natural conditions, wild animals encounter situations where previously rewarded actions do not lead to reinforcement. In the laboratory, a surprising omission of reinforcement induces behavioral and emotional responses described as frustration. Frustration can lead to aggressive behaviors and to the persistence of noneffective responses, but it may also lead to new behavioral responses to a problem, a potential adaptation. We assessed the responses to inaccessible reinforcement in free-ranging fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). We trained squirrels to open a box to obtain food reinforcement, a piece of walnut. After 9 training trials, squirrels were tested in 1 of 4 conditions: a control condition with the expected reward, an alternative reinforcement (a piece of dried corn), an empty box, or a locked box. We measured the presence of signals suggesting arousal (e.g., tail flags and tail twitches) and found that squirrels performed fewer of these behaviors in the control condition and increased certain behaviors (tail flags, biting box) in the locked box condition, compared to other experimental conditions. When faced with nonreinforcement, that is, frustration, squirrels increased the number of interactions with the apparatus and spent more time interacting with the apparatus. This study of frustration responses in a free-ranging animal extends the conclusions of captive studies to the field and demonstrates that fox squirrels show short-term negatively valenced responses to the inaccessibility, omission, and change of reinforcement. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078081

  10. Regulation and distribution of squirrel monkey chorionic gonadotropin and secretogranin II in the pituitary

    PubMed Central

    Vasauskas, Audrey A.; Hubler, Tina R.; Mahanic, Christina; Gibson, Susan; Kahn, Andrea G.; Scammell, Jonathan G.

    2011-01-01

    Secretogranin II (SgII) is a member of the granin family of proteins found in neuroendocrine and endocrine cells. The expression and storage of SgII in the pituitary gland of Old World primates and rodents have been linked with those of luteinizing hormone (LH). However, New World primates including squirrel monkeys do not express LH in the pituitary gland, but rather CG is expressed. If CG takes on the luteotropic role of LH in New World primates, SgII may be associated with the expression and storage of CG in the pituitary gland. The goal of this study was to evaluate the regulation and distribution of CG and SgII in the squirrel monkey. A DNA fragment containing approximately 750 bp of squirrel monkey SgII promoter was isolated from genomic DNA and found to contain a cyclic AMP response element that is also present in the human SgII promoter and important for GnRH responsiveness. The squirrel monkey and human SgII promoters were similarly activated by GnRH in luciferase reporter gene assays in LβT2 cells. Double immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated close association of SgII and CG in gonadotrophs of squirrel monkey pituitary gland. These results suggest that CG and SgII have a similar intercellular distribution and are coregulated in squirrel monkey pituitary gland. PMID:21095191

  11. Monitoring interactions between red-cockaded woodpeckers and southern flying squirrels.

    SciTech Connect

    Risch, Thomas S.; Loeb, Susan C.

    2004-12-31

    Risch, Thomas S., and Susan C. Loeb. 2004. Monitoring interactions between red-cockaded woodpeckers and southern flying squirrels. In: Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 8. Cavities, Cavity Trees, and Cavity Communities. Pp 504-505. Abstract: Although several studies have suggested that southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) may have a significant negative impact on red-cockades woodpeckers (Picoides borealsi) (Loeb and Hooper 1997, Laves and Loeb 1999), the nature of the interactions between the species remains unclear. Particularly lacking are data that address if southern flying squirrels directly usurp red-cockaded woodpecker s from cavities, or simply occupy cavities previously abandoned by red-cockaded woodpeckers. Ridley et al. (1997) observed the displacement of a red-cockaded woodpecker by a southern flying squirrel that was released after being captured. Observations of nocturnal displacements of red-cockaded woodpeckers by flying squirrels, however, are lacking. Due to the difficulty of observing interspecific interactions, determining the mechanisims by which flying squirrels impact red-cockaded woodpeckers is problematic.

  12. Movements of northern flying squirrels in different-aged forest stands of western Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, K.J.; Anthony, R.G.

    1999-01-01

    In western Oregon, northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) are the primary prey species for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), an old-growth associated species. To assess differences between old-growth and second-growth habitat, we livetrapped and radiotagged 39 northern flying squirrels to estimate their home range sizes and describe movements in 2 old-growth and 2 second-growth conifer forest stands in the Cascade Mountains of central Oregon. Sampling periods were summer and fall of 1991-92. Home range sizes averaged 4.9 ha and did not differ (P > 0.30) between the 2 stand types. Male northern flying squirrels had larger (P ??? 0.03) mean home ranges (5.9 ?? 0.8 ha; ?? ?? SE; n = 20) than females (3.9 ?? 0.4 ha; n = 19). Northern flying squirrel movement distances between successive, noncorrelated telemetry locations averaged 71 m (n = 1,090). No correlation was found between distances moved and stand type or sex. Northern flying squirrel's home range sizes, movements, and densities were similar between the 2 stand types. We suggest abundance and movements of northern flying squirrels are not influencing the preferential selection of oldgrowth forests by northern spotted owls.

  13. Genetic variation in natural and translocated populations of the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lance, S.L.; Maldonado, J.E.; Bocetti, C.I.; Pattee, O.H.; Ballou, J.D.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2003-01-01

    The Delmarva fox squirrel, Sciurus niger cinereus, is a federally listed endangered subspecies whose range has been reduced by 90%. In an attempt to increase both population size and range, translocation sites were established beginning in the 1960's by moving squirrels from the natural range to sites outside the current range. Although translocations have served as the primary component of the DFS recovery program, there has been very little post-release examination of the genetics of the translocation sites. In this study, we developed ten microsatellite loci, screened the three polymorphic loci, and sequenced a 330 bp fragment of the mitochondrial control region in order to assess levels of genetic variation in natural and translocated regions of Delmarva fox squirrels and to compare them to Southeastern fox squirrels (S. n. niger). Although we found low levels of microsatellite polymorphism, there were no differences in heterozygosity between natural and translocated regions, or between Delmarva and Southeastern fox squirrels. We found high levels of polymorphism in the mitochondrial control region. Our patterns of haplotype diversity suggest incomplete lineage sorting of the two subspecies. In general, our data suggest that the current levels of genetic variation in the translocated sites are representative of those found in the natural population, and we encourage the continued use of translocations as a major component of Delmarva fox squirrel recovery.

  14. Early adaptation to altered gravitational environments in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, C. A.

    1985-01-01

    The feeding behavior of two squirrel monkeys flown in Spacelab 3 is compared to that of six monkeys exposed to 1.5 G through centrifugation. The monkeys in the centrifugation study were housed unrestrained in cages, maintained at 25 C + or - 1 C, exposed to a 12:12 light/dark cycle, and had unrestrained access to food and water. The Spacelab monkeys were maintained at 26 C, exposed to a 12:12 light/dark cycle and had unlimited food and water. It is observed that the centrifuge rats displayed a change in feeding behavior for 4 days prior to resuming a normal pattern; one Spacelab monkey exhibited a 6 day depression before recover to control levels, and the feeding pattern of the second monkey was not influenced by the environment. It is noted that the effect of an altered dynamic environment is variable on the feeding behavior of individual monkeys.

  15. Motion sickness elicited by passive rotation in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daunton, Nancy G.; Fox, Robert A.

    1991-01-01

    Current theory and recent evidence suggest that motion sickness occurs under conditions of sensory input in which the normal motor programs for producing eye, head, and body movements are not functionally effective, i.e. under conditions in which there are difficulties in maintaining posture and controlling eye movements. Conditions involving conflicting or inconsistent visual-vestibular (VV) stimulation should thus result in greater sickness rates since the existing motor programs do not produce effective control of eye-head-body movements under such conditions. It is felt that the relationship of postural control to motion sickness is an important one and one often overlooked. The results are reported which showed that when postural requirements were minimized by fully restraining squirrel monkeys during hypogravity parabolic flight, no animals became motion sick, but over 80 percent of the same 11 animals became sick if they were unrestrained and maintained control of their posture.

  16. Diffusion dynamics of socially learned foraging techniques in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Claidière, Nicolas; Messer, Emily J E; Hoppitt, William; Whiten, Andrew

    2013-07-01

    Social network analyses and experimental studies of social learning have each become important domains of animal behavior research in recent years yet have remained largely separate. Here we bring them together, providing the first demonstration of how social networks may shape the diffusion of socially learned foraging techniques. One technique for opening an artificial fruit was seeded in the dominant male of a group of squirrel monkeys and an alternative technique in the dominant male of a second group. We show that the two techniques spread preferentially in the groups in which they were initially seeded and that this process was influenced by monkeys' association patterns. Eigenvector centrality predicted both the speed with which an individual would first succeed in opening the artificial fruit and the probability that they would acquire the cultural variant seeded in their group. These findings demonstrate a positive role of social networks in determining how a new foraging technique diffuses through a population. PMID:23810529

  17. Olfactory communication among Costa Rican squirrel monkeys: a field study.

    PubMed

    Boinski, S

    1992-01-01

    Behaviors with a possible role in olfactory communication among troop members were investigated as part of a field study on the reproductive and foraging ecology of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedi) in Costa Rica. All age classes engaged in the olfaction-related behaviors. Apart from olfactory investigation of female genitals by males during the mating season, no other potential olfaction-related behavior (urine wash, branch investigation, rump, chest, back rub and sneeze) exceeded 1% of mean behavioral samples. Assessment of reproduction condition appears to be the primary function of such olfactory investigation of the female genital region. The primary function of urine washing is suggested to be the general communication of reproductive status, possibly facilitating reproductive synchrony. Sneezing, rump, back and chest rubbing do not appear to deposit substances active in olfactory communication. PMID:1306175

  18. Epidemic typhus in the United States associated with flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Duma, R J; Sonenshine, D E; Bozeman, F M; Veazey, J M; Elisberg, B L; Chadwick, D P; Stocks, N I; McGill, T M; Miller, G B; MacCormack, J N

    1981-06-12

    Between July 1977 and January 1980, seven cases of sporadic, nonepidemic "epidemic" typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii) were discovered in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. The reservoir seemed to be the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans), an animal indigenous to the eastern United States; however, the vector or mode of acquisition was not evident. Diagnosis was established principally through complement fixation, indirect immunofluorescence, and toxin neutralization tests. Patients' ages were 11 to 81 years. Most were white women. Six had abrupt onset of illness. Headaches, fever, myalgias, and exanthems were among the presenting complaints. The disease seemed milder than classic louse-born epidemic typhus, but in some instances, it was life-threatening. All patients responded to tetracycline or chloramphenicol. This entity probably is more common than reported, is difficult to recognize, and is produced by an organism seemingly identical to that producing louse-born epidemic typhus. PMID:6785459

  19. The potential role of strongyloides robustus on parasite-mediated competition between two species of flying squirrels (Glaucomys).

    PubMed

    Krichbaum, Kristle; Mahan, Carolyn G; Steele, Michael A; Turner, Gregory; Hudson, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    There is growing evidence that populations of the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) are declining in the eastern United States, perhaps due to competition with the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans). Potential causes include parasite-mediated or apparent competition from the shared intestinal nematode, Strongyloides robustus, which has been shown to detrimentally affect the northern flying squirrel but not the southern flying squirrel. To investigate this hypothesis, we conducted a preliminary study on the parasite community of both flying squirrel species from sites in Pennsylvania where the two species occur sympatrically and where G. sabrinus is now considered endangered at the state level. We compared these parasite communities with those from northern flying squirrels from northern New York where the southern flying squirrel is absent. We found eight species of gastrointestinal parasites (Pterygodermatites peromysci, Lemuricola sciuri, Syphacia thompsoni, Syphacia spp., Capillaria spp., Citellinema bifurcatum, Strogyloides robustus, and an unidentifiable cestode species) in both species of flying squirrels examined for our study. The parasite-mediated competition hypothesis was partially supported. For example, in Pennsylvania, S. robustus was overdispersed in southern flying squirrels, such that a small proportion of the hosts carried a large proportion of the worm population. In addition, we found S. robustus to be present in northern flying squirrels when the species were sympatric, but not where southern flying squirrels were absent in New York. However, there was no association between S. robustus and the body condition of flying squirrels. We detected a potential parasite community interaction, as S. robustus abundance was positively associated with P. peromysci. PMID:20090036

  20. Demography of northern flying squirrels informs ecosystem management of western interior forests.

    PubMed

    Lehmkuhl, John F; Kistler, Keith D; Begley, James S; Boulanger, John

    2006-04-01

    We studied northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) demography in the eastern Washington Cascade Range to test hypotheses about regional and local abundance patterns and to inform managers of the possible effects of fire and fuels management on flying squirrels. We quantified habitat characteristics and squirrel density, population trends, and demography in three typical forest cover types over a four-year period. We had 2034 captures of flying squirrels over 41 000 trap nights from 1997 through 2000 and marked 879 squirrels for mark-recapture population analysis. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest appeared to be poorer habitat for flying squirrels than young or mature mixed-conifer forest. About 35% fewer individuals were captured in open pine forest than in dry mixed-conifer Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and grand fir (Abies grandis) forests. Home ranges were 85% larger in pine forest (4.6 ha) than in mixed-conifer forests (2.5 ha). Similarly, population density (Huggins estimator) in ponderosa pine forest was half (1.1 squirrels/ha) that of mixed-conifer forest (2.2 squirrels/ha). Tree canopy cover was the single best correlate of squirrel density (r = 0.77), with an apparent threshold of 55% canopy cover separating stands with low- from high-density populations. Pradel estimates of annual recruitment were lower in open pine (0.28) than in young (0.35) and mature (0.37) forest. High recruitment was most strongly associated with high understory plant species richness and truffle biomass. Annual survival rates ranged from 45% to 59% and did not vary among cover types. Survival was most strongly associated with understory species richness and forage lichen biomass. Maximum snow depth had a strong negative effect on survival. Rate of per capita increase showed a density-dependent response. Thinning and prescribed burning in ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests to restore stable fire regimes and forest structure might reduce flying squirrel

  1. The squirrel as a rodent model of the human visual system.

    PubMed

    Van Hooser, Stephen D; Nelson, Sacha B

    2006-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, studies of receptive fields in the early mammalian visual system have identified many classes of response properties in brain areas such as retina, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), and primary visual cortex (V1). Recently, there has been significant interest in understanding the cellular and network mechanisms that underlie these visual responses and their functional architecture. Small mammals like rodents offer many advantages for such studies, because they are appropriate for a wide variety of experimental techniques. However, the traditional rodent models, mice and rats, do not rely heavily on vision and have small visual brain areas. Squirrels are highly visual rodents that may be excellent model preparations for understanding mechanisms of function and disease in the human visual system. They use vision for navigating in their environment, predator avoidance, and foraging for food. Visual brain areas such as LGN, V1, superior colliculus, and pulvinar are particularly large and well elaborated in the squirrel, and the squirrel has several extrastriate cortical areas lateral to V1. Unlike many mammals, most squirrel species are diurnal with cone-dominated retinas, similar to the primate fovea, and have excellent dichromatic color vision that is mediated by green and blue cones. Owing to their larger size, squirrels are physiologically more robust than mice and rats under anesthesia, and some hibernating species are particularly tolerant of hypoxia that occurs during procedures such as brain slicing. Finally, many basic anatomical and physiological properties in the early visual system of squirrel have now been described, permitting investigations of cellular mechanisms. In this article, we review four decades of anatomical, behavioral, and physiological studies in squirrel and make comparisons with other species. PMID:17020632

  2. Differential estimates of southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) population structure based on capture method

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laves, K.S.; Loeb, S.C.

    2006-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that population estimates derived from trapping small mammals are accurate and unbiased or that estimates derived from different capture methods are comparable. We captured southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) using two methods to study their effect on red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) reproductive success. Southern flying squirrels were captured at and removed from 30 red-cockaded woodpecker cluster sites during March to July 1994 and 1995 using Sherman traps placed in a grid encompassing a red-cockaded woodpecker nest tree and by hand from red-cockaded woodpecker cavities. Totals of 195 (1994) and 190 (1995) red-cockaded woodpecker cavities were examined at least three times each year. Trappability of southern flying squirrels in Sherman traps was significantly greater in 1995 (1.18%; 22,384 trap nights) than in 1994 (0.42%; 20,384 trap nights), and capture rate of southern flying squirrels in cavities was significantly greater in 1994 (22.7%; 502 cavity inspections) than in 1995 (10.8%; 555 cavity inspections). However, more southern flying squirrels were captured per cavity inspection than per Sherman trap night in both years. Male southern flying squirrels were more likely to be captured from cavities than in Sherman traps in 1994, but not in 1995. Both male and female juveniles were more likely to be captured in cavities than in traps in both years. In 1994 males in reproductive condition were more likely to be captured in cavities than in traps and in 1995 we captured significantly more reproductive females in cavities than in traps. Our data suggest that population estimates based solely on one trapping method may not represent true population size or structure of southern flying squirrels.

  3. Differential Estimates of Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) Population Structure Based on Capture Method.

    SciTech Connect

    Laves, Kevin S.; Loeb, Susan C.

    2006-01-01

    ABSTRACT.—It is commonly assumed that population estimates derived from trapping small mammals are accurate and unbiased or that estimates derived from different capture methods are comparable. We captured southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) using two methods to study their effect on red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) reproductive success. Southern flying squirrels were captured at and removed from 30 red-cockaded woodpecker cluster sites during March to July 1994 and 1995 using Sherman traps placed in a grid encompassing a red-cockaded woodpecker nest tree and by hand from red-cockaded woodpecker cavities. Totals of 195 (1994) and 190 (1995) red-cockaded woodpecker cavities were examined at least three times each year. Trappability of southern flying squirrels in Sherman traps was significantly greater in 1995 (1.18%; 22,384 trap nights) than in 1994 (0.42%; 20,384 trap nights), and capture rate of southern flying squirrels in cavities was significantly greater in 1994 (22.7%; 502 cavity inspections) than in 1995 (10.8%; 555 cavity inspections). However, more southern flying squirrels were captured per cavity inspection than per Sherman trap night in both years. Male southern flying squirrels were more likely to be captured from cavities than in Sherman traps in 1994, but not in 1995. Both male and female juveniles were more likely to be captured in cavities than in traps in both years. In 1994 males in reproductive condition were more likely to be captured in cavities than in traps and in 1995 we captured significantly more reproductive females in cavities than in traps. Our data suggest that population estimates based solely on one trapping method may not represent true population size or structure of southern flying squirrels.

  4. Experimental infection of ectoparasitic arthropods with Rickettsia prowazekii (GvF-16 strain) and transmission to flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Bozeman, F M; Sonenshine, D E; Williams, M S; Chadwick, D P; Lauer, D M; Elisberg, B L

    1981-01-01

    Epizootiologic studies conducted during the past few years showed the existence of widespread natural infection of the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, with epidemic typhus rickettsiae, Rickettsia prowazekii. The ecological findings strongly implicated transmission of the etiologic agent by an arthropod vector. Studies were conducted under controlled laboratory conditions to determine whether ectoparasites naturally associated with flying squirrels (squirrel fleas, lice, mites and ticks) were capable of acquiring, maintaining and transmitting the infection. Also studied were the cat flea, oriental rat flea and the human body louse. Flying squirrels inoculated with the GvF-16 strain of R. prowazekii circulated rickettsiae in their blood for 2-3 weeks, thus providing ample opportunity for arthropods feeding on them to become infected. The results with Dermacentor variabilis ticks indicated that the rickettsiae did not consistently survive in this insect and were not passed to the eggs of adult females that had been infected subcuticularly. Mites became infected by feeding on infectious blood but failed to sustain the infection. Also, mites fed on an infected flying squirrel did not transmit the infection to a normal squirrel. Squirrel, cat, and oriental rat fleas readily became infected by feeding on a rickettsemic host or on infectious blood through membranes, but failed to transmit the infection to susceptible flying squirrels. In the studies with flying squirrel lice, however, transmission of epidemic typhus from infected to uninfected flying squirrels was demonstrated. Infection of the human body louse with the GvF-16 flying squirrel strain of R. prowazekii was similar to that previously observed with classical human strains, viz., multiplication of the rickettsiae and excretion in the feces. PMID:6782900

  5. Susceptibility of the squirrel monkey to different motion conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Robert A.; Daunton, Nancy G.; Coleman, J.

    1991-01-01

    The exact stimulus eliciting vomiting in animal studies of motion sickness is difficult to specify because the vestibular stimulation produced by many motion conditions is confounded by voluntary movements with animals. This is an important problem because experiments with animal models of motion sickness can provide useful information about antimotion sickness drugs or the role of neural mechanisms, only when animals are exposed to the same motion stimuli in each experimental session. A series of tests were conducted to determine the susceptibility of 15 adult squirrel monkeys to motion sickness in freely moving and restrained test conditions. Canal stimulation was varied by exposing the monkey in freely moving conditions to varying degrees of angular velocity (60, 90, 120, 150 deg/sec), and in restrained conditions to one angular velocity (150 deg/sec) and to cross-coupling effects of whole-body roll movements during rotation. Otolith stimulation was investigated by using sinusoidal vertical linear acceleration during free movement conditions, and off-vertical rotation and earth-horizontal (BBQ) rotation while restrained. The percentage of freely moving animal vomiting during vertical axis rotation was 27, 93, 86, and 92 for the angular velocities of 60, 90, 120, and 150 deg/sec respectively. None of the monkeys vomited during vertical axis rotation or cross-coupled rotation when restrained. Otolith stimulation appears to be a less provocative stimulus for the squirrel monkey as the percentage of animals vomiting were 13, 0, and 7 for the conditions of free movement during oscillation, restraint during off-vertical, and BBQ rotation respectively. Motion sickness to the point of vomiting occurred regularly only in conditions where self-motion was possible. Such effects could occur because voluntary movement during motion augments vestibular effects by producing self-inflicted cross-coupling, but the failure to elicit vomiting with experimenter-coupling cross

  6. Eavesdropping squirrels reduce their future value of food under the perceived presence of cache robbers.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Kenneth A; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2008-03-01

    Caching behavior frequently occurs within a social context that may include heterospecific cache pilferers. All else equal, the value of cacheable food should decline as the probability of cache recovering declines. We manipulated gray squirrels' (Sciurus carolinensis) estimate of the probability of cache recovery using experimental playbacks of the vocalizations of a potential cache robber, the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata). We used giving-up densities (GUDs) to quantify relative changes in squirrels' valuation of cacheable and noncacheable foods. We collected GUDs during playback experiments to test whether squirrels (1) eavesdrop on vocalizations to detect jay presence, (2) devalue cacheable food in the (perceived) presence of jays (i.e., perceive jays as cache pilferers), and (3) are sensitive to distant effects (i.e., lower devaluation of cacheable food at sites far from the perceived location of jays). Consistent with our predictions, squirrels decreased the value of cacheable hazelnuts by two nuts, on average, during jay playbacks, but only at foraging stations near the jay playback sites. We conclude that through eavesdropping, squirrels assess site-specific risks of cache pilfering and alter their caching behavior to reduce the likelihood of pilferage. Evidence suggests that tree seed consumers in eastern deciduous forests exist within a complex communication network. PMID:18220481

  7. Flying squirrel-associated Rickettsia prowazekii (epidemic typhus rickettsiae) characterized by a specific DNA fragment produced by restriction endonuclease digestion.

    PubMed

    Regnery, R L; Fu, Z Y; Spruill, C L

    1986-01-01

    The DNA from flying squirrel-associated Rickettsia prowazekii was characterized by using a specific DNA fragment produced by digestion with the enzyme BamHI. The DNA fragment was cloned into a plasmid vector and used to readily distinguish between available human- and flying squirrel-associated R. prowazekii DNAs derived from crude cytoplasmic extracts. PMID:3009528

  8. Mapping and Monitoring Delmarva Fox Squirrel Habitat Using an Airborne LiDAR Profiler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Ross; Ratnaswamy, Mary; Keller, Cherry

    2004-01-01

    Twenty five hundred thirty nine kilometers of airborne laser profiling and videography data were acquired over the state of Delaware during the summer of 2000. The laser ranging measurements and video from approximately one-half of that data set (1304 km) were analyzed to identify and locate forested sites that might potentially support populations of Delmarva fox squirrel (DFS, Sciurus niger cinereus). The DFS is an endangered species previously endemic to tall, dense, mature forests with open understories on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The airborne LiDAR employed in this study can measure forest canopy height and canopy closure, but cannot measure or infer understory canopy conditions. Hence the LiDAR must be viewed as a tool to map potential, not actual, habitat. Fifty-three potentially suitable DFS sites were identified in the 1304 km of flight transect data. Each of the 53 sites met the following criteria according to the LiDAR and video record: (1 ) at least 120m of contiguous forest; (2) an average canopy height greater than 20m; (3) an average canopy closure of >80%; and (4) no roofs, impervious surface (e.g., asphalt, concrete), and/or open water anywhere along the 120m length of the laser segment. Thirty-two of the 53 sites were visited on the ground and measurements taken for a DFS habitat suitability model. Seventy eight percent of the sites (25 of 32) were judged by the model to be suited to supporting a DFS population. Twenty-eight of the 32 sites visited in the field were in forest cover types (hardwood, mixed wood, conifer, wetlands) according to a land cover GIS map. Of these, 23 (82%) were suited to support DFS. The remaining 4 sites were located in nonforest cover types - agricultural or residential areas. Two of the four, or 50% were suited to the DFS. All of the LiDAR flight data, 2539 km, were analyzed to

  9. Maternal effects and the response to selection in red squirrels.

    PubMed Central

    McAdam, Andrew G.; Boutin, Stan

    2004-01-01

    Mothers often provide much of the early environment for their offspring. These maternal effects are predicted to result in unusual evolutionary dynamics in offspring traits if they are themselves heritable, but these important predictions have not previously, to our knowledge, been tested in the wild. Here, we quantified the responses of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) to documented episodes of natural selection and found support for both of the fundamental predictions of models that describe maternal effect evolution. First, changes in juvenile growth rates across one generation of selection were five times greater than predicted by heritability (h2) alone, but were consistent with the additional contribution of maternal genetic effects. Second, responses to selection were influenced not only by the strength of selection in the current generation, but also by selection in the previous generation, indicating the presence of evolutionary momentum. These results were in agreement with predictions of a simple model including litter size as the only maternal effect, and provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical evidence for the importance of maternal effects to evolutionary dynamics in a natural population. PMID:15002774

  10. Habitat use by squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedi) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Boinski, S

    1987-01-01

    This paper analyses movement patterns, habitat preferences, activity schedules, and dispersion of troop members in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedi) in relation to seasonal changes in food abundance in a Costa Rican tropical wet forest. Secondary forest was the preferred habitat and use of primary forest and late successional forest was limited primarily to seasons when food availability was low. Range area differed between seasons, varying from 79 to 110 ha, and totaling 176 ha over 11 months. The number of hectares used, hourly rate of group movement, and proportion of time spent foraging each season were all negatively related to relative food abundance. There was a tendency to spend less time in foraging activities in the middle of the day and to spend more time exclusively in travel at dawn and dusk. In all seasons dispersion was least when the troop was travelling and it was generally greatest during seasons of low food abundance. Measures of the allocation of time by the troop to food-related activities and the extent of troop dispersion each season were consistent with estimates based on behavior sampling of individuals. PMID:3504420

  11. Frustrative nonreward and pituitary-adrenal activity in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Lyons, D M; Fong, K D; Schrieken, N; Levine, S

    2000-12-01

    Little is known about frustration-induced changes in stress physiology in humans and nonhuman primates. Here we assess in two experiments with squirrel monkeys plasma levels of pituitary-adrenal stress hormones in conditions designed to provoke frustrative nonreward. In the first experiment 18 prepubertal monkeys were trained to feed from one of eight sites, and then tested without food at any of the sites. These monkeys responded with significant increases in cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). In the second experiment 18 adult monkeys were trained to feed from one of eight sites, and then tested after food was moved to a different foraging site. Nine monkeys found food at the relocated site, discontinued foraging at the previously baited site, and responded with decreases in cortisol. The other nine monkeys failed to find the relocated site, initially increased their visits to the previously baited site, and responded with elevations in cortisol and ACTH. In keeping with comparable findings in rats, our observations indicate that frustrative nonreward elicits ACTH-stimulated secretion of cortisol in primates. PMID:11239675

  12. Evaluation of neonatal squirrel monkeys receiving tritiated water throughout gestation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, D.C.L.; Krebs, J.S.; Sasmore, D.P.; Mitoma, C.

    1980-09-01

    Pregnant squirrel monkeys received tritiated water (HTO) in the drinking water throughout gestation at levels ranging from 16 to 1000 times the permissible level for human consumption (0.003 ..mu..Ci/ml), resulting in mean body water HTO levels ranging from 0.05 to 3.1 ..mu..Ci/ml. There were no discernible effects of HTO administration on the newborn progeny in terms of body weight, body dimensions, selected organ weights (brain, heart, adrenal, kidney, liver, spleen), hematologic patterns, and histology of selected organs and tissues (adrenal, kidney, liver, lung, brain, pancreas, jejunum, pituitary, spleen, testes, thymus, skin) other than ovaries. The number of primary oocytes in female progeny decreased markedly with increasing levels of HTO in maternal drinking water. Quantitative analysis of neonate ovaries, testes, brain tissue, and retinal tissue is in progress. No effects of HTO administration on maternal body weight, gestation time, or maintenance of pregnancy to full term were observed. Body weights of HTO-treated inseminated females that did not deliver were less than control weights, but the lack of dose dependence implies that this effect may have been associated with a stimulus characteristic of the HTO administration rather than with irradiation.

  13. Larva migrans in squirrel monkeys experimentally infected with Baylisascaris potosis.

    PubMed

    Tokiwa, Toshihiro; Tsugo, Kosuke; Nakamura, Shohei; Taira, Kensuke; Une, Yumi

    2015-10-01

    Roundworms of the genus Baylisascaris are natural parasites primarily of wild carnivores, and they can occasionally cause infection in humans and animals. Infection results in visceral larva migrans and/or neural larva migrans, which can be severe or fatal in some animals. Recently, Baylisascaris nematodes isolated from kinkajous (Potos flavus) and previously referred to as Baylisascaris procyonis were renamed as Baylisascaris potosis; however, data regarding the pathogenicity of B. potosis towards animals and humans are lacking. In the present study, we experimentally infected squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) with B. potosis to determine the suitability of the monkey as a primate model. We used embryonated eggs of B. potosis at two different doses (10,000 eggs and 100,000 eggs) and examined the animals at 30 days post-infection. Histopathological examination showed the presence of B. potosis larvae and infiltration of inflammatory cells around a central B. potosis larvae in the brain, intestines, and liver. Nevertheless, the monkeys showed no clinical signs associated with infection. Parasitological examination revealed the presence of B. potosis larvae in the intestines, liver, lung, muscles, brain, kidney, and diaphragm. Our findings extend the range of species that are susceptible to B. potosis and provide evidence for the zoonotic potential of larva migrans in high dose infections. PMID:25796550

  14. Endogenous thermoregulatory rhythms of squirrel monkeys in thermoneutrality and cold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, E. L.; Fuller, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    Whole body heat production (HP) and heat loss (HL) were examined to determine if the free-running circadian rhythm in body temperature (Tb) results from coordinated changes in HP and HL rhythms in thermoneutrality (27 degrees C) as well as mild cold (17 degrees C). Squirrel monkey metabolism (n = 6) was monitored by both indirect and direct calorimetry, with telemetered measurement of Tb and activity. Feeding was also measured. Rhythms of HP, HL, and conductance were tightly coupled with the circadian Tb rhythm at both ambient temperatures (TA). At 17 degrees C, increased HP compensated for higher HL at all phases of the Tb rhythm, resulting in only minor changes to Tb. Parallel compensatory changes of HP and HL were seen at all rhythm phases at both TA. Similar time courses of Tb, HP, and HL in their respective rhythms and the relative stability of Tb during both active and rest periods suggest action of the circadian timing system on Tb set point.

  15. [Feeding habits of the squirrel Sciurus variegatoides (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Monge, Javier; Hilje, Luko

    2006-06-01

    Food items consumed by the squirrel Sciurus variegatoides atrirufus were determined in an agricultural setting in the Nicoya Peninsula (9 degrees 47' N, 84 degrees 56' W), Costa Rica, where two life zones (Premontane Moist Forest Basal Belt Transition, and Tropical Dry Forest) predominate. By analyzing the gut contents of 120 squirrels, from February 1987 through January 1988, it was determined that coconut (Cocos nucifera), indian almond (Terminalia catappa) and flamboyant (Delonix regia) were the most common dietary items. There were differences in food consumption according to age: adults preferred coconut, whereas young individuals preferred almond. This finding can be explained in terms of fruit characteristics, as well as tree architecture and accessibility for squirrels; almendro trees provide higher protection and a more accessible food resource, so that it was better used by young individuals. PMID:18494334

  16. Cluster of sylvatic epidemic typhus cases associated with flying squirrels, 2004-2006.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Alice S; Swerdlow, David L; Dato, Virginia M; Anderson, Alicia D; Moodie, Claire E; Marriott, Chandra; Amman, Brian; Hennessey, Morgan; Fox, Perry; Green, Douglas B; Pegg, Eric; Nicholson, William L; Eremeeva, Marina E; Dasch, Gregory A

    2009-07-01

    In February 2006, a diagnosis of sylvatic epidemic typhus in a counselor at a wilderness camp in Pennsylvania prompted a retrospective investigation. From January 2004 through January 2006, 3 more cases were identified. All had been counselors at the camp and had experienced febrile illness with myalgia, chills, and sweats; 2 had been hospitalized. All patients had slept in the same cabin and reported having seen and heard flying squirrels inside the wall adjacent to their bed. Serum from each patient had evidence of infection with Rickettsia prowazekii. Analysis of blood and tissue from 14 southern flying squirrels trapped in the woodlands around the cabin indicated that 71% were infected with R. prowazekii. Education and control measures to exclude flying squirrels from housing are essential to reduce the likelihood of sylvatic epidemic typhus. PMID:19624912

  17. Parasite Removal Improves Reproductive Success of Female North American Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Jesse E. H.; Neuhaus, Peter; Kutz, Susan J.; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.

    2013-01-01

    In order to evaluate potential reproductive costs associated with parasitism, we experimentally removed ectoparasites from reproductive female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Body mass and overwinter survival of mothers, days to juvenile emergence, juvenile survival from birth to emergence, and body mass of juveniles at emergence were all compared to those of untreated (control) animals. Ectoparasite removal did not affect the body mass of mothers throughout the lactation period and overwinter survival of mothers did not differ between treatments and controls. Likewise, there was no effect of treatment on the number of days to juvenile emergence. However, treated mothers raised offspring that were significantly heavier (11%) than controls at emergence. Juveniles from treated mothers were also 24% more likely to survive from birth to emergence. Our results indicate that ectoparasites impose costs on the reproductive success of female red squirrels and that ectoparasites have the potential to influence red squirrel life-histories and population dynamics. PMID:23409041

  18. Cluster of Sylvatic Epidemic Typhus Cases Associated with Flying Squirrels, 2004–2006

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Alice S.; Swerdlow, David L.; Dato, Virginia M.; Anderson, Alicia D.; Moodie, Claire E.; Marriott, Chandra; Amman, Brian; Hennessey, Morgan; Fox, Perry; Green, Douglas B.; Pegg, Eric; Nicholson, William L.; Eremeeva, Marina E.

    2009-01-01

    In February 2006, a diagnosis of sylvatic epidemic typhus in a counselor at a wilderness camp in Pennsylvania prompted a retrospective investigation. From January 2004 through January 2006, 3 more cases were identified. All had been counselors at the camp and had experienced febrile illness with myalgia, chills, and sweats; 2 had been hospitalized. All patients had slept in the same cabin and reported having seen and heard flying squirrels inside the wall adjacent to their bed. Serum from each patient had evidence of infection with Rickettsia prowazekii. Analysis of blood and tissue from 14 southern flying squirrels trapped in the woodlands around the cabin indicated that 71% were infected with R. prowazekii. Education and control measures to exclude flying squirrels from housing are essential to reduce the likelihood of sylvatic epidemic typhus. PMID:19624912

  19. A brain MRI atlas of the common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yurui; Schilling, Kurt G.; Khare, Shweta P.; Panda, Swetasudha; Choe, Ann S.; Stepniewska, Iwona; Li, Xia; Ding, Zhoahua; Anderson, Adam; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-03-01

    The common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus, is a New World monkey with functional and microstructural organization of central nervous system similar to that of humans. It is one of the most commonly used South American primates in biomedical research. Unlike its Old World macaque cousins, no digital atlases have described the organization of the squirrel monkey brain. Here, we present a multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlas constructed from the brain of an adult female squirrel monkey. In vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging and low resolution diffusion tensor imaging. Ex vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging and high resolution diffusion tensor imaging. Cortical regions were manually annotated on the co-registered volumes based on published histological sections.

  20. Immediate or lagged responses of a red squirrel population to pulsed resources.

    PubMed

    Selonen, Vesa; Varjonen, Rauno; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2015-02-01

    According to producer-consumer models, consumers should follow pulsed resources with a time lag. This view has been challenged by studies demonstrating that individuals may anticipate future resource pulses by increasing reproduction just before the pulse. We studied population fluctuations and reproduction in European red squirrels, Sciurus vulgaris, in relation to seed masting of the main food resource (the Norway spruce) in boreal coniferous forests between 1979 and 2013. Red squirrels are pre-dispersal seed predators, and previous studies have shown that they can anticipate the coming seed mast. We did not find any indication that anticipation of masting (year t ) increased red squirrel reproduction in the preceding spring to early summer. Instead, the reproductive output of the squirrels was highest in the spring following the mast, indicating that the population had to be at its largest size in the autumn after the mast (year(t+1)), when lots of subadults were around. However, we surmised, based on snow tracks and squirrel nest data, that the population crashed during the following winter (year(t+1)). These data reflected the adult population during winter, which peaked at the same time as the resource pulse. We can therefore conclude that the time lag between the resource pulse and the attainment of the peak number of squirrels was less than one year, and that the resource crash affected more juveniles and subadults than adults. The population increase overlapped with the occurrence of masting, but there was also a lagged response, supporting the classical view of producer-consumer models. PMID:25413865

  1. The Narrow Niche hypothesis: gray squirrels shed new light on primate origins.

    PubMed

    Orkin, Joseph D; Pontzer, Herman

    2011-04-01

    Current hypotheses for primate origins propose that nails and primate-like grasping hands and feet were important early adaptations for feeding in fine branches. Comparative research in this area has focused on instances of convergence in extant animals, showing that species with primate-like morphology feed predominantly from terminal branches. Little has been done to test whether animals without primate-like morphology engage in similar behavior. We tested the fine-branch niche hypothesis for primate origins by observing branch use in Eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, a species lacking primate grasping adaptations that has been understudied in the context of primate origins. We hypothesized that because gray squirrels lack primate-like grasping adaptations, they would avoid feeding and foraging in terminal branches. Instantaneous focal animal sampling was used to examine the locomotor and postural behaviors used while feeding and foraging. Our results demonstrate habitual and effective usage of terminal branches by gray squirrels while feeding and foraging, primarily on tree seeds (e.g., oak, maple, and elm). Discriminant function analysis indicates that gray squirrels feed and forage like primates, unlike some other tree squirrel species. Given the absence of primate-like features in gray squirrels, we suggest that although selection for fine-branch foraging may be a necessary condition for primate origins, it is not sufficient. We propose an alternative model of primate origins. The Narrow Niche hypothesis suggests that the primate morphological suite evolved not only from selection pressure for fine branch use, but also from a lack of engagement in other activities. PMID:21404237

  2. Macroparasite community of the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris): poor species richness and diversity.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Pisanu, Benoît; Ferrari, Nicola; Basset, Franck; Tillon, Laurent; Wauters, Lucas A; Martinoli, Adriano; Saino, Nicola; Chapuis, Jean-Louis

    2013-10-01

    The Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only naturally occurring tree squirrel throughout its range. We aim at improving current knowledge on its macroparasite fauna, expecting that it will have a poor parasite diversity because in species that have no sympatric congeners parasite richness should be lower than in hosts sharing their range with several closely related species, where host-switching events and lateral transmission are promoted. We examined gastro-intestinal helminth and ectoparasite communities (excluding mites) of, respectively, 147 and 311 red squirrel roadkills collected in four biogeographic regions in Italy and France. As expected, the macroparasite fauna was poor: we found five species of nematodes and some unidentified cestodes, three fleas, two sucking lice and two hard ticks. The helminth community was dominated by a single species, the oxyurid Trypanoxyuris (Rodentoxyuris) sciuri (prevalence, 87%; mean abundance, 373 ± 65 worms/host). Its abundance varied among seasons and biogeographic regions and increased with body mass in male hosts while decreased in females. The most prevalent ectoparasites were the flea Ceratophyllus (Monopsyllus) sciurorum (28%), whose presence was affected by season, and the generalist tick Ixodes (Ixodes) ricinus that was found only in France (34%). All the other helminths and arthropod species were rare, with prevalence below 10%. However, the first record of Strongyloides robustus, a common nematode of North American Eastern grey squirrels (S. carolinensis), in two red squirrels living in areas where this alien species co-inhabits, deserves further attention, since low parasite richness could result in native red squirrels being particularly vulnerable to parasite spillover. PMID:23873618

  3. Cone selection by Eurasian red squirrels in mixed conifer forests in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molinari, A.; Wauters, L. A.; Airoldi, G.; Cerinotti, F.; Martinoli, A.; Tosi, G.

    2006-07-01

    Tree squirrels are arboreal granivores that harvest and consume tree seeds both prior to and after seed-dispersal. Inter- and intraspecific patterns of seed predation suggest that squirrels may exert strong selective pressure on cone morphology and patterns of cone production, and suggest coevolutionary interactions between squirrels and conifers. In some pine species (genus Pinus), mutualistic relationships have evolved between cone (seed) traits and seed-dispersal behaviour by birds and rodents. In other species, feeding by seed predators has selected for cone traits that decrease intensity of seed consumption. In mixed conifer forests, red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) feed intensively in some (target) trees but avoid others (nontarget trees). Here we explore defensive cone traits and seed traits correlated with tree selection for conifer species with different seed-dispersal strategies. No selection for cone traits existed in Pinus cembra, which has large wingless seeds, dispersed by birds and rodents. In Picea abies, the most favoured species, target trees had cones with more seeds per cone than nontarget trees, and number of seeds increased with cone length. Cone selection was most pronounced in Pinus sylvestris, where target trees had bigger cones with more seeds and higher total seed mass than nontarget trees. However, ratio of seed mass on cone mass did not differ among target and nontarget trees, suggesting that bigger cones also had more protective tissue, probably increasing difficulties for seed predators to gain access to seeds. Our results suggest that cone and seed traits of P. cembra facilitate seed consumption by squirrels, but that defensive cone traits of small-seeded conifers, in combination with annual differences in seed production (masting), might be the result of coevolution with seed-eating squirrels.

  4. Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene sequence variation and melanism in the gray (Sciurus carolinensis), fox (Sciurus niger), and red (Sciurus vulgaris) squirrel.

    PubMed

    McRobie, Helen R; King, Linda M; Fanutti, Cristina; Coussons, Peter J; Moncrief, Nancy D; Thomas, Alison P M

    2014-01-01

    Sequence variations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene are associated with melanism in many different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), found in the British Isles, was introduced from North America in the late 19th century. Melanism in the British gray squirrel is associated with a 24-bp deletion in the MC1R. To investigate the origin of this mutation, we sequenced the MC1R of 95 individuals including 44 melanic gray squirrels from both the British Isles and North America. Melanic gray squirrels of both populations had the same 24-bp deletion associated with melanism. Given the significant deletion associated with melanism in the gray squirrel, we sequenced the MC1R of both wild-type and melanic fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) (9 individuals) and red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) (39 individuals). Unlike the gray squirrel, no association between sequence variation in the MC1R and melanism was found in these 2 species. We conclude that the melanic gray squirrel found in the British Isles originated from one or more introductions of melanic gray squirrels from North America. We also conclude that variations in the MC1R are not associated with melanism in the fox and red squirrels. PMID:24534267

  5. SEM study on the dorsal lingual surface of the flying squirrel, Petaurista leucogenys.

    PubMed

    Emura, S; Tamada, A; Hayakawa, D; Chen, H; Jamali, M; Taguchi, H; Shoumura, S

    1999-09-01

    The dorsal lingual surface of the flying squirrel was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Filiform (FI), fungiform (FU), foliate (FO) and vallate papillae (VA) were observed. The FI were distributed over the entire dorsal surface of the tongue. In the region of the VA, the FI appeared as giant cones. The FU were present as rounded bodies scattered over the dorsal surface of the tongue. They were relatively scarce and appear to be concentrated around the edges of the tongue. The FO were observed on the posterolateral regions of the tongue. The flying squirrel showed the triangular arrangement of the three VA, with the apex of the triangle directed posteriorly. PMID:10560016

  6. Spatial organization of northern flying squirrels, Glaucomys sabrinus: Territoriality in females?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, J.R.; Vuren, D.H.V.; Kelt, D.A.; Johnson, M.L.

    2011-01-01

    We determined home-range overlap among northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) to assess their spatial organization. We found extensive home-range overlap among females, and though this overlap could reflect social behavior, we found no evidence of attraction among females, with only one instance of den sharing. Instead, our results suggest that females share foraging areas but may be territorial in portions of the home range, especially around den trees and during young-rearing. Home-range overlap could also result from, the extrinsic effect of forest fragmentation due to timber harvest, which might impede dispersal and force squirrels to cluster on remaining fragments of suitable habitat.

  7. Influence of thinning of Douglas-fir forests on population parameters and diet of northern flying squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomez, D.M.; Anthony, R.G.; Hayes, J.P.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the effects of thinning young (35- to 45-yr-old) Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests on density, survival, body mass, movements, and diets of northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) in the northern coast range of Oregon. We used a repeated measures, randomized block design with 3 treatments (control, moderate thinning, and heavy thinning) and 4 replicates to study diets and population characteristics from 1994-1997. Densities of flying squirrels were variable in space and time, but they were positively correlated to biomass and frequency of fungal sporocarps, suggesting they were responding to food resources rather than forest structure. Fungal sporocarps comprised a major portion of the squirrel's diet, and other vegetative material made up the remainder of the diet. Several fungal genera including Gautieria, Geopora, Hymenogaster, Hysterangium, Melanogaster, and Rhizopogon were found more frequently in diets than on the trapping grids and therefore appeared to be selected by the squirrels. Flying squirrel movements were negatively correlated with the frequency of occurrence of fungal sporocarps at trap stations, suggesting that squirrels traveled greater distances to find fungal sporocarps where these food items were more sparsely distributed. We hypothesized that flying squirrel densities would be relatively low in these young, structurally simple forests; however, densities on some of the grids were >1.5 squirrels/ha, which was comparable to densities described for the species in late-successional forests. Our results indicated that commercial thinning did not have measurable short-term effects on density, survival, or body mass of flying squirrels.

  8. Causes of mortality and pathological lesions observed post-mortem in red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in Great Britain

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The red squirrel population in Great Britain has declined dramatically in recent decades, principally due to squirrelpox. Concern exists that red squirrels may become extinct nationally and, as there has been limited research in to diseases other than squirrelpox, this study aimed to identify additional causes of mortality. Results Post-mortem examinations on 163 red squirrels found dead on Isle of Wight (IoW) England, in Scotland and at other locations in Great Britain showed that 41.7% (n = 68) were killed by road traffic and 9.2% (n = 15) by predators, principally domestic cats and dogs. The overall male/female ratio was 1.08/1. Fleas were recorded on 34.9% of IoW squirrels and on 43.8% of Scottish squirrels but sucking lice and ixodid ticks were only seen on Scottish squirrels. Bacterial infections were significant, particularly in association with respiratory disease (n = 16); two squirrels died of Bordetella bronchiseptica bronchopneumonia. Cases of fatal exudative dermatitis (n = 5) associated with a lukM-positive clone of Staphylococcus aureus occurred only on the IoW. Toxoplasmosis (n = 12) was also confined to IoW where it was responsible for almost one tenth (9.5%) of all deaths. Hepatozoonosis was common, especially in IoW squirrels, but was not considered a primary cause of mortality. Hepatic capillariasis affected four IoW squirrels and one from Scotland. Fungal infections included oral candidiasis, adiaspiromycosis and pulmonary phaeohyphomycosis. Neoplastic conditions diagnosed were: pulmonary carcinoma, gastric spindle cell tumour, renal papillary adenoma and trichoepithelioma. Epidermal hyperplasia of unknown aetiology was seen in squirrels showing crusty lesions of the ear pinnae on IoW (n = 3) and Brownsea Island (n = 1), associated in two cases with cutaneous wart-like growths. Miscellaneous diagnoses included chylothorax, electrocution, intussusception, suspected cholecalciferol rodenticide poisoning and

  9. EFFECT OF NONIONIZING RADIATION ON THE PURKINJE CELLS OF THE UVULA IN SQUIRREL MONKEY CEREBELLUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pregnant squirrel monkeys were exposed to 2450-MHz (CW) microwaves at an equivalent power density of 10 mW/sq. cm. for three hours daily in a cavity-cage module. The exposure began when pregnancy was determined by a hormonal method, and continued through the offspring's first 9.5...

  10. Echocardiographic and Electrocardiographic Characteristics of Male and Female Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Huss, Monika K; Ikeno, Fumiaki; Buckmaster, Christine L; Albertelli, Megan A

    2015-01-01

    Cardiomyopathy is a leading cause of mortality in aging squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.). However, data regarding echocardiographic measures obtained from clinically healthy nonsedated squirrel monkeys have not been published, and few electrocardiographic data are available. Here we obtained echocardiographs without sedation and electrocardiographs with minimal sedation from 63 clinically healthy squirrel monkeys that ranged from 3 to 20 y in age. 2D and M-mode echocardiography were performed on nonsedated monkeys to determine the left ventricular internal diameters at systole and diastole and the ejection fraction. Electrocardiography was performed under sedation with ketamine (15 mg/kg). Parameters evaluated included heart rate; P-wave duration; lengths of the PR, QRS, and QT intervals; R-wave amplitude, and P-wave amplitude. Initial physical examination, electrocardiography, and echocardiography indicated normal cardiac function for all monkeys. The objectives of this study were to provide reference values for nonsedated echocardiography and ketamine-sedated electrocardiography of clinically normal squirrel monkeys and to determine correlates of age and sex in these values. PMID:25651087

  11. The genetic basis of melanism in the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).

    PubMed

    McRobie, Helen; Thomas, Alison; Kelly, Jo

    2009-01-01

    The black squirrel is a melanic variant of the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). We found 3 coat color variants in the gray squirrel: the wild-type gray, a jet-black, and a brown-black phenotype. These 3 morphs are due to varying distributions of eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigment in hairs. The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) plays a central role in regulating eumelanin and phaeomelanin production. We sequenced the MC1R gene for all 3 coat color phenotypes and found a 24 base-pair deletion. The gray phenotype was homozygous for the wild-type allele E(+), the jet-black phenotype was homozygous for the MC1R-Delta24 allele E(B), and the brown-black phenotype was heterozygous for the E(+) and E(B) alleles. We conclude that melanism in gray squirrels is associated with the MC1R-Delta24 E(B) allele at amino acid positions 87-94 and that this allele is incompletely dominant to the wild-type allele. We predict that the MC1R-Delta24 E(B) allele encodes a constitutively active or hyperactive receptor. PMID:19643815

  12. Social Behavior in Interacting Squirrel Monkeys with Differential Nutritional and Environmental Histories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chappell, Patricia F.

    This paper reports an observational study of the effects of handling on the social behavior of squirrel monkeys who received a protein deficient diet. After birth, experimental animals received a low-protein diet for a 6-week period. A subgroup of these animals were handled between 3 and 12 weeks of age. All of the animals interacted (in four…

  13. Responses of squirrel monkeys to seasonal changes in food availability in an eastern Amazonian forest.

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita I

    2007-02-01

    Tropical forests are characterized by marked temporal and spatial variation in productivity, and many primates face foraging problems associated with seasonal shifts in fruit availability. In this study, I examined seasonal changes in diet and foraging behaviors of two groups of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus), studied for 12 months in Eastern Brazilian Amazonia, an area characterized by seasonal rainfall. Squirrel monkeys were primarily insectivorous (79% of feeding and foraging time), with fruit consumption highest during the rainy season. Although monkeys fed from 68 plant species, fruit of Attalea maripa palms accounted for 28% of annual fruit-feeding records. Dietary shifts in the dry season were correlated with a decline in ripe A. maripa fruits. Despite pronounced seasonal variation in rainfall and fruit abundance, foraging efficiency, travel time, and distance traveled remained stable between seasons. Instead, squirrel monkeys at this Eastern Amazonian site primarily dealt with the seasonal decline in fruit by showing dietary flexibility. Consumption of insects, flowers, and exudates increased during the dry season. In particular, their foraging behavior at this time strongly resembled that of tamarins (Saguinus sp.) and consisted of heavy use of seed-pod exudates and specialized foraging on large-bodied orthopterans near the forest floor. Comparisons with squirrel monkeys at other locations indicate that, across their geographic range, Saimiri use a variety of behavioral tactics during reduced periods of fruit availability. PMID:17154390

  14. Artificial turf foraging boards as environmental enrichment for pair-housed female squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Fekete, J M; Norcross, J L; Newman, J D

    2000-03-01

    We investigated the use of artificial turf foraging boards to determine if providing captive squirrel monkeys an opportunity for semi-natural foraging behavior would 1) alter the monkeys' time budget to better approximate that seen in wild populations, 2) reduce the stereotypic, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior occasionally seen in captive squirrel monkeys, and 3) provide sustained enrichment. Five groups of pair-housed female squirrel monkeys were videotaped the week prior to, the week following, and for 2 weeks during the enrichment phase, when treat-enhanced boards were provided for 2 h daily. During the first 30 min of daily enrichment, inactivity declined 35.3%, locomotion increased 3.8%, and board-related behaviors occupied 36.3% of the activity budget; these changes were not evident after 1.5 h. Stereotypic behavior (pacing, headswinging, tailchewing) and aggression were not altered by the foraging opportunity. The foraging board retained the interest of the subjects across 2 weeks in the same daily pattern. Use of the foraging board altered the squirrel monkeys' time budget to become more like activity patterns seen in wild populations. PMID:11487235

  15. THREE-DIMENSIONAL FINITE-DIFFERENCE THERMOREGULATORY MODEL OF A SQUIRREL MONKEY

    EPA Science Inventory

    A three-dimensional thermoregulatory model of a squirrel monkey, whose shape is approximated by 742 rectangular blocks of varying sizes, has been developed. The inhomogeneous model has four layers: a core, a composite layer of muscle and fat, skin, and fur. The model simulates th...

  16. Evaluation of third-party reciprocity by squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and the question of mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Anderson, James R; Bucher, Benoit; Kuroshima, Hika; Fujita, Kazuo

    2016-07-01

    Social evaluation during third-party interactions emerges early in human ontogeny, and it has been shown in adult capuchin monkeys who witness violations of reciprocity in object exchanges: Monkeys were less inclined to accept food from humans who refused to reciprocate with another human. A recent study reporting similar evidence in marmoset monkeys raised the possibility that such evaluations might be based on species' inherent cooperativeness. We tested a species not renowned for cooperativeness-squirrel monkeys-using the procedure used with marmosets and found a similar result. This finding rules out any crucial role for cooperative tendencies in monkeys' responses to unfair exchanges. We then tested squirrel monkeys using procedures more similar to those used in the original study with capuchins. Squirrel monkeys again accepted food less frequently from non-reciprocators, but unlike capuchins, they also strongly preferred reciprocators. We conclude that neither squirrel monkeys nor marmoset monkeys engaged in emotional bookkeeping of the type that probably underlies social evaluation in capuchin monkeys; instead, they employed one or more simple behavioral rules. Further comparative studies are required to clarify the mechanisms underlying social evaluation processes across species. PMID:27021433

  17. Isolation and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurea) insulin and glucagon.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, J H; Eng, J; Yalow, R S

    1990-01-01

    It was reported two decades ago that insulin was not detectable in the glucose-stimulated state in Saimiri sciurea, the New World squirrel monkey, by a radioimmunoassay system developed with guinea pig anti-pork insulin antibody and labeled pork insulin. With the same system, reasonable levels were observed in rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. This suggested that New World monkeys, like the New World hystricomorph rodents such as the guinea pig and the coypu, might have insulins whose sequences differ markedly from those of Old World mammals. In this report we describe the purification and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey insulin and glucagon. We demonstrate that the substitutions at B29, B27, A2, A4, and A17 of squirrel monkey insulin are identical with those previously found in another New World primate, the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). The immunologic cross-reactivity of this insulin in our immunoassay system is only a few percent of that of human insulin. Squirrel monkey glucagon is identical with the usual glucagon found in Old World mammals, which predicts that the glucagons of other New World monkeys would not differ from the usual Old World mammalian glucagon. It appears that the peptides of the New World monkeys have diverged less from those of the Old World mammals than have those of the New World hystricomorph rodents. The striking improvements in peptide purification and sequencing have the potential for adding new information concerning the evolutionary divergence of species. PMID:2263627

  18. Acorn Caching in Tree Squirrels: Teaching Hypothesis Testing in the Park

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEuen, Amy B.; Steele, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    We developed an exercise for a university-level ecology class that teaches hypothesis testing by examining acorn preferences and caching behavior of tree squirrels (Sciurus spp.). This exercise is easily modified to teach concepts of behavioral ecology for earlier grades, particularly high school, and provides students with a theoretical basis for…

  19. A Skull Might Lie: Modeling Ancestral Ranges and Diet from Genes and Shape of Tree Squirrels.

    PubMed

    Pečnerová, Patrícia; Moravec, Jiří C; Martínková, Natália

    2015-11-01

    Tropical forests of Central and South America represent hotspots of biological diversity. Tree squirrels of the tribe Sciurini are an excellent model system for the study of tropical biodiversity as these squirrels disperse exceptional distances, and after colonizing the tropics of the Central and South America, they have diversified rapidly. Here, we compare signals from DNA sequences with morphological signals using pictures of skulls and computational simulations. Phylogenetic analyses reveal step-wise geographic divergence across the Northern Hemisphere. In Central and South America, tree squirrels form two separate clades, which split from a common ancestor. Simulations of ancestral distributions show western Amazonia as the epicenter of speciation in South America. This finding suggests that wet tropical forests on the foothills of Andes possibly served as refugia of squirrel diversification during Pleistocene climatic oscillations. Comparison of phylogeny and morphology reveals one major discrepancy: Microsciurus species are a single clade morphologically but are polyphyletic genetically. Modeling of morphology-diet relationships shows that the only group of species with a direct link between skull shape and diet are the bark-gleaning insectivorous species of Microsciurus. This finding suggests that the current designation of Microsciurus as a genus is based on convergent ecologically driven changes in morphology. PMID:26254670

  20. Melatonin blocks dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression in a seasonally breeding rodent Indian palm squirrel, Funambulus pennanti.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Chandana; Rai, Seema; Singh, Rajesh

    2004-06-01

    In vivo effect of dexamethasone and melatonin on immunomodulation has been investigated by studying the lymphocyte proliferation to the mitogen Con A from various lymphoid tissues including bone marrow cells of a seasonally breeding rodent adult male F. pennanti during reproductively inactive phase (October to December). During this phase, animal faces the maximum challenges of the nature (hypothermic stress, scarcity of food and shelter). Dexamethasone treatment (60 microg/day/squirrel) for 60 consecutive days significantly decreased the thymus and spleen activity. The lymphoid tissues mass, total leukocyte, lymphocyte count of peripheral blood, bone marrow and T-cell mediated immune function was also significantly suppressed following the dexamethasone treatment but treatment of melatonin (25 microg/squirrel/day) along with dexamethasone significantly restored the suppressed immune status in squirrels. Further, histological study of the thymus showed profound changes in the cellularity with a depletion of thymocytes in the cortex region of thymic lobules and increased in connective tissues and spindle cells. Melatonin treatment alone increased thymocytes density in thymic cortex, clearly suggesting that melatonin counteracted the experimentally induced immune stress by dexamethasone. Therefore, in nature during reproductively inactive phase of the squirrel a high level of melatonin was noted, that is required to combat nature's stress, which might have increased the internal level of corticoids. PMID:15219786

  1. Excavation of red squirrel middens by grizzly bears in the whitebark pine zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Reinhart, D.P.

    1997-01-01

    7. Grizzly bears would benefit from the minimization of roads and other human facilities in the whitebark pine zone and from increases in the availability of whitebark pine seeds, potentially achieved by increasing the numbers of cone-producing whitebark pine trees, especially in lower elevations of the whitebark pine zone where red squirrels are more abundant.

  2. Western gray squirrel (Rodentia: Sciuridae): a primary reservoir host of Borrelia burgdorferi in Californian oak woodlands?

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert S; Mun, Jeomhee; Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars

    2005-05-01

    In California, dense woodlands have been recognized as important biotopes where humans are exposed to the nymphal stage of the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, the primary vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), in the far-western United States. To identify the principal reservoir host(s) of this spirochete, and of closely related spirochetes in the B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California, approximately 50 species of birds and mammals, including wood rats and kangaroo rats, were evaluated as potential hosts for vector ticks and borreliae in 2002 and 2003. Although polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing analyses revealed that many vertebrate species had been exposed to one or more members of the B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetal complex, only the western gray squirrel, Sciurus griseus, fulfilled the major criteria for a reservoir host of B. burgdorferi s.s. Ear-punch biopsies from eight of 10 squirrels collected from five separate woodlands were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi s.s., 47% of I. pacificus larvae (n = 64) and 31% of nymphs (n = 49) removed from squirrels contained B. burgdorferi s.l., and the engorgement status of I. pacificus larvae was associated positively with acquisition of spirochetes. Overall, 83 and 100% of the amplicons sequenced from PCR-positive I. pacificus larvae and nymphs, respectively, were identified as B. burgdorferi s.s, Among the five remaining positive I. pacificus larvae, three contained B. bissettii and two had uncharacterized B. burgdorferi s.l. Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. was detected in one of five larvae and zero of two nymphs of the Pacific Coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, that likewise had been removed from squirrels. The rickettsial agent of human anaplasmosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, was detected in the blood or ear biopsies of two squirrels and in one (1.6%) of 64 I. pacificus larvae and

  3. Phenotype and Age Differences in Blood Gas Characteristics, Electrolytes, Hemoglobin, Plasma Glucose and Cortisol in Female Squirrel Monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brizzee, K. R.; Ordy, J. M.; Dunlap, W. P.; Kendrick, R.; Wengenack, T. M.

    1988-01-01

    Due to its small size, lower cost, tractable nature, successful breeding in captivity and its status near the middle of the primate phylogenetic scale, the squirrel monkey has become an attractive primate model for basic and biomedical research. Although the squirrel monkey now is being used more extensively in many laboratories with diverse interests, only fragmentary reports have been published regarding basic physiological characteristics, or baseline blood reference values of different phenotypes, particularly blood gases, hematology and serum chemical constituents. It is becoming recognized increasingly that these baseline blood reference values are important not only in the care and maintenance of the squirrel monkey, but are critical for assessing normal physiological status, as well as the effects of various experimental treatments. The purpose of this study was to compare differences in blood gases, electrolytes, hematology, blood glucose and cortisol among young and old Bolivian (Roman type) and Colombian (Gothic type) phenotypes of the squirrel monkey.

  4. [Squirrel monkey--an ideal primate (correction of prmate) model of space physiology].

    PubMed

    Matsunami, K

    1997-06-01

    Investigation of the vestibulo-ocular system of the squirrel monkey was reviewed in consideration of space motion sickness (SMS), or which is recently more often termed as space adaptation syndrome (SAS). Since the first launching of the space satellite, Sputnik [correction of Sputonik] in October 1957, many experiments were carried out in biological and medical fields. A various kind of creatures were used as experimental models from protozoa to human beings. Rats and monkeys are most favorite animals, particularly the non-human primate seems to be the one, because of its phylogenetic relatives akin to the human beings. Chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, pig tailed-monkeys, red-faced monkeys and squirrel monkeys have been used mostly in American space experiments. Russian used rhesus monkeys. Among these, however, the squirrel monkey has an advantage of the small size of the body, ranging from 600- l000g in adult. This small size as a primate is very advantageous in experiments conducted in a narrow room of the space satellite or shuttle because of its space-saving. The squirrel monkey has another advantage to rear easily as is demonstrated to keep it as a pet. Accordingly, this petit animal provides us a good animal model in biological and medical experiments in space craft. The size of the brain of the squirrel monkey is extraordinary large relative to the body size, which is even superior to that of the human beings. This is partly owed to enlargement of the occipito-temporal cortices, which are forced to well develop for processing a huge amount of audio-visual information indispensable to the arboreal habitant to survive in tropical forest. The vestibular system of the squirrel monkey seems to be the most superior as well, when judged from it relative size of the vestibular nuclear complex. Balancing on swinging twigs or jumping from tree to tree developed the capability of this equilibrium system. Fernandez, Goldberg and his collaborators used the squirrel monkey

  5. No safety in the trees: Local and species-level adaptation of an arboreal squirrel to the venom of sympatric rattlesnakes.

    PubMed

    Pomento, Abby M; Perry, Blair W; Denton, Robert D; Gibbs, H Lisle; Holding, Matthew L

    2016-08-01

    Within some species, squirrels respond to variable selection from venomous snake predators by showing population-level variation in resistance, while between species, some rattlesnakes possess venom that is more effective at overcoming venom resistance in different species of squirrels. A functional evaluation of resistance variation to venom within and between species of squirrels and snakes can link resistance variation to its evolutionary causes across these different evolutionary scales. To do this, we compared the effectiveness of squirrel sera in inhibiting rattlesnake (Crotalus spp.) venom metalloproteinase activity between populations and between species to test for a response to local variation in selection from a single rattlesnake predator and for specialization of two resistant squirrel species to each of their distinct sympatric snake predators. We found that Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) venom inhibition by Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) is higher at a site where the rattlesnakes are present, which suggests selection may maintain venom resistance in populations separated by short distances. Next, we performed a reciprocal cross of venoms and sera from two rattlesnake and two squirrel species. This showed that squirrel resistance is lower when tested against venom from allopatric compared to sympatric rattlesnake species, demonstrating that squirrel inhibitors are specialized to sympatric venom and suggesting a tradeoff in terms of specialization to the venom of a specific species of rattlesnake predator. This pattern can be explained if inhibitors must recognize venom proteins and resistance evolution tracks venom evolution. PMID:27158112

  6. Capture of syncytin-Mar1, a fusogenic endogenous retroviral envelope gene involved in placentation in the Rodentia squirrel-related clade.

    PubMed

    Redelsperger, François; Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Tennant, Bud C; Catzeflis, François; Mulot, Baptiste; Heidmann, Odile; Heidmann, Thierry; Dupressoir, Anne

    2014-07-01

    Syncytin genes are fusogenic envelope protein (env) genes of retroviral origin that have been captured for a function in placentation. Within rodents, two such genes have previously been identified in the mouse-related clade, allowing a demonstration of their essential role via knockout mice. Here, we searched for similar genes in a second major clade of the Rodentia order, the squirrel-related clade, taking advantage of the complete sequencing of the ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus genome. In silico search for env genes with full coding capacity identified several candidate genes with one displaying placenta-specific expression, as revealed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of a large panel of tissues. This gene belongs to a degenerate endogenous retroviral element, with recognizable hallmarks of an integrated provirus. Cloning of the gene in an expression vector for ex vivo cell-cell fusion and pseudotype assays demonstrated fusogenicity on a large panel of mammalian cells. In situ hybridization on placenta sections showed specific expression in domains where trophoblast cells fuse into a syncytiotrophoblast at the fetomaternal interface, consistent with a role in syncytium formation. Finally, we show that the gene is conserved among the tribe Marmotini, thus dating its capture back to about at least 25 million years ago, with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of fusogenic activity. This gene that we named syncytin-Mar1 is distinct from all seven Syncytin genes identified to date in eutherian mammals and is likely to be a major effector of placentation in its related clade. Importance: Syncytin genes are fusogenic envelope genes of retroviral origin, ancestrally captured for a function in placentation. Within rodents, two such genes had been previously identified in the mouse-related clade. Here, in the squirrel-related rodent clade, we identified the envelope gene of an endogenous retrovirus with all the features of a

  7. Capture of syncytin-Mar1, a Fusogenic Endogenous Retroviral Envelope Gene Involved in Placentation in the Rodentia Squirrel-Related Clade

    PubMed Central

    Redelsperger, François; Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Tennant, Bud C.; Catzeflis, François; Mulot, Baptiste; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Syncytin genes are fusogenic envelope protein (env) genes of retroviral origin that have been captured for a function in placentation. Within rodents, two such genes have previously been identified in the mouse-related clade, allowing a demonstration of their essential role via knockout mice. Here, we searched for similar genes in a second major clade of the Rodentia order, the squirrel-related clade, taking advantage of the complete sequencing of the ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus genome. In silico search for env genes with full coding capacity identified several candidate genes with one displaying placenta-specific expression, as revealed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of a large panel of tissues. This gene belongs to a degenerate endogenous retroviral element, with recognizable hallmarks of an integrated provirus. Cloning of the gene in an expression vector for ex vivo cell-cell fusion and pseudotype assays demonstrated fusogenicity on a large panel of mammalian cells. In situ hybridization on placenta sections showed specific expression in domains where trophoblast cells fuse into a syncytiotrophoblast at the fetomaternal interface, consistent with a role in syncytium formation. Finally, we show that the gene is conserved among the tribe Marmotini, thus dating its capture back to about at least 25 million years ago, with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of fusogenic activity. This gene that we named syncytin-Mar1 is distinct from all seven Syncytin genes identified to date in eutherian mammals and is likely to be a major effector of placentation in its related clade. IMPORTANCE Syncytin genes are fusogenic envelope genes of retroviral origin, ancestrally captured for a function in placentation. Within rodents, two such genes had been previously identified in the mouse-related clade. Here, in the squirrel-related rodent clade, we identified the envelope gene of an endogenous retrovirus with all the

  8. First report of Polyplax sp. in a Persian squirrel (Scuirus anomalus) in Tabriz, Northwest of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shirazi, Shahrokh; Bahadori, Farhad; Mostafaei, Tayebeh-Sadat; Ronaghi, Hooman

    2013-01-01

    The Persian squirrel (Scuirus anomalus) has a long furry tail, which is longer than half of the body, and lives in the Zagros forest. It is distributed in the west and northeast of Asia. In the summer 2011 a Persian squirrel with signs of hair loss and itch in head and tail was referred to the veterinary clinic. There were arthropods in the lesion in the first survey. Many of these parasites were collected and were sent to Parasitology Laboratory of Science and Research University in Tehran. Samples were processed and were identified according to lices diagnostic keys using a light microscope. Lice that were sent to the national parasitology museum were identified as Polyplax sp. too. PMID:24412876

  9. First case of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in a zoo-housed flying squirrel (Pteromys volans orii).

    PubMed

    Oikawa, Eri; Shimura, Ryoji; Nishimura, Maki; Furuoka, Hidefumi

    2013-01-01

    A 33 month-old male flying squirrel kept in a zoo developed progressive dyspnea and died. Macroscopically, the liver and lung were enlarged with numerous nodular vesicles. Histologically, these organs were replaced by numerous collapsed vesicles demarcated by fibrous tissues. The cysts lined by a cellular, germinal layer contained numerous brood capsules with abundant production of well-developed protoscolices. Protoscolices were about 80-100 μm in diameter, and had hooks being visible as refractive structures. This zoo locates in the east of Hokkaido where is an endemic area of Echinococcus multilocularis infection. From epidemiology and pathological findings, this animal was diagnosed as E.multilocularis infection. This report describes the pathology of the first case of E. multilocularis infection in a flying squirrel. PMID:23257604

  10. Sylvatic typhus associated with flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in New York State, United States.

    PubMed

    Prusinski, Melissa A; White, Jennifer L; Wong, Susan J; Conlon, Maureen A; Egan, Christina; Kelly-Cirino, Cassandra D; Laniewicz, Brian R; Backenson, P Bryon; Nicholson, William L; Eremeeva, Marina E; Karpathy, Sandor E; Dasch, Gregory A; White, Dennis J

    2014-04-01

    Sylvatic typhus is an infrequent, potentially life-threatening emerging zoonotic disease. In January of 2009, the New York State Department of Health was notified of a familial cluster of two suspected cases. Due to the paucity of typhus cases in New York, epidemiologic and environmental investigations were conducted to establish rickettsial etiology and determine potential sources of infection. Patients presented with symptoms consistent with typhus, and serologic testing of each patient confirmed infection with typhus group rickettsiae. Serologic analysis of blood obtained from southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) captured from the attic crawlspace above an enclosed front porch of the cases' residence indicated evidence of infection with Rickettsia prowazekii, with 100% seroprevalence (n=11). Both patients reported spending significant time on the porch and hearing animal activity above the ceiling prior to onset of illness, implicating these flying squirrels as the likely source of infection. PMID:24689928

  11. Adjustments in metabolic heat production by squirrel monkeys exposed to microwaves

    SciTech Connect

    Adair, E.R.; Adams, B.W.

    1982-04-01

    The basic fact that microwave exposure can lower metabolic heat production has been previously demonstrated for the mouse by Ho and Edwards (1977) and for the rat by Phillips et al. (1975). The general conclusion drawn from both studies was that the metabolic reduction produced by microwave exposure was dose dependent. The present study extends the investigation into the effects of microwave exposure on metabolic heat production to a primate, the squirrel monkey. When squirrel monkeys are restrained in cool environments, body temperature is regulated by an increase in metabolic heat production. The results of the current study demonstrate that either brief or prolonged whole-body exposure to a microwave field will cause a reduction of this elevated heat production by an amount directly related to the microwave energy absorbed.

  12. Theoretical analysis of a YBCO squirrel-cage type induction motor based on an equivalent circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morita, G.; Nakamura, T.; Muta, I.

    2006-06-01

    A HTS induction motor, with a HTS squirrel-cage rotor, is analysed using an electrical equivalent circuit. The squirrel-cage winding in the rotor consists of rotor bars and end rings, and both are considered to be made of YBCO film conductors. A wide range of electric field versus current density in YBCO film is formulated based on the Weibull function, and analysed as a non-linear resistance in the equivalent circuit. It is shown that starting and accelerating torques of the HTS induction motor are improved drastically compared to those of a conventional induction motor. Furthermore, large synchronous torque can also be realized by trapping the magnetic flux in the rotor circuit because of the persistent current mode.

  13. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Pallas's squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus (Rodentia: Sciuridae).

    PubMed

    Hu, Lanlin; Peng, Rui; Zou, Fangdong

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Pallas's squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus) from Sichuan Province was sequenced and characterized in detail. It was 16,550 bp in length and composed of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs and 1 control region. The mitochondrial genome of C. erythraeus presented in this report will be useful for species identification, genetic variability and clarifying the controversial taxonomic status of genus Callosciurus. PMID:25319295

  14. Vestibular-visual conflict in pitch and yaw planes in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Igarashi, Makoto; Kulecz, Walter B.; Kobayashi, Kazutoyo; Isago, Hidemitsu

    1986-01-01

    Direction conflicting vestibular and visual (optokinetic) stimuli either in the pitch or yaw plane were given to squirrel monkey subjects. The conflict sickness symptom score in the pitch plane was significantly higher than that in the yaw plane for the initial exposure session (p less than 0.01). A significant score difference was also encountered when the exposure sessions were repeated (p less than 0.05).

  15. Mapping and monitoring Mount Graham red squirrel habitat with Lidar and Landsat imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.

    2014-01-01

    The Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) is an endemic subspecies located in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeast Arizona. Living in a conifer forest on a sky-island surrounded by desert, the Mount Graham red squirrel is one of the rarest mammals in North America. Over the last two decades, drought, insect infestations, and fire destroyed much of its habitat. A federal recovery team is working on a plan to recover the squirrel and detailed information is necessary on its habitat requirements and population dynamics. Toward that goal I developed and compared three probabilistic models of Mount Graham red squirrel habitat with a geographic information system and logistic regression. Each model contained the same topographic variables (slope, aspect, elevation), but the Landsat model contained a greenness variable (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) extracted from Landsat, the Lidar model contained three forest-inventory variables extracted from lidar, while the Hybrid model contained Landsat and lidar variables. The Hybrid model produced the best habitat classification accuracy, followed by the Landsat and Lidar models, respectively. Landsat-derived forest greenness was the best predictor of habitat, followed by topographic (elevation, slope, aspect) and lidar (tree height, canopy bulk density, and live basal area) variables, respectively. The Landsat model's probabilities were significantly correlated with all 12 lidar variables, indicating its utility for habitat mapping. While the Hybrid model produced the best classification results, only the Landsat model was suitable for creating a habitat time series or habitat–population function between 1986 and 2013. The techniques I highlight should prove valuable in the development of Landsat- or lidar-based habitat models range wide.

  16. Thalamic connections of architectonic subdivisions of temporal cortex in grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinenesis)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Gharbawie, Omar A.; Luethke, Lynn E.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2008-01-01

    The temporal cortex of grey squirrels contains three architectonically distinct regions. One of these regions, the temporal anterior (Ta) region has been identified in previous physiological and anatomical studies as containing several areas that are largely auditory in function. Consistent with this evidence, Ta has architectonic features that are internally somewhat variable, but overall sensory in nature. In contrast, the caudally adjoining temporal intermediate region (Ti) has architectonic features that suggest higher order and possibly multisensory processing. Finally, the most caudal region, composed of previously defined temporal medial (Tm) and temporal posterior (Tp) fields, again has more of the appearance of sensory cortex. To better understand their functional roles, we injected anatomical tracers into these regions to reveal their thalamic connections. As expected, the dorsal portion of Ta, containing two primary or primary-like auditory areas, received inputs from the ventral and magnocellular divisions of the auditory medial geniculate complex, MGv and MGm. The most caudal region, Tm plus Tp, received inputs from the large visual pulvinar of squirrels, possibly accounting for the sensory architectonic characteristics of this region. However, Tp additionally receives inputs from the magnocellular (MGm) and dorsal (MGd) divisions of the medial geniculate complex, implicating Tp in bisensory processing. Finally, the middle region, Ti, had auditory inputs from MGd and MGm, but not from the visual pulvinar, providing evidence that Ti has higher-order auditory functions. The results indicate that the architectonically distinct regions of temporal cortex of squirrels are also functionally distinct. Understanding how temporal cortex is functionally organized in squirrels can guide interpretations of temporal cortex organization in other rodents where architectonic subdivisions are not as obvious. PMID:18666125

  17. An Experimental Test of Competition among Mice, Chipmunks, and Squirrels in Deciduous Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Brunner, Jesse L.; Duerr, Shannon; Keesing, Felicia; Killilea, Mary; Vuong, Holly; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2013-01-01

    Mixed hardwood forests of the northeast United States support a guild of granivorous/omnivorous rodents including gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). These species coincide geographically, co-occur locally, and consume similar food resources. Despite their idiosyncratic responses to landscape and patch variables, patch occupancy models suggest that competition may influence their respective distributions and abundances, and accordingly their influence on the rest of the forest community. Experimental studies, however, are wanting. We present the result of a large-scale experiment in which we removed white-footed mice or gray squirrels from small, isolated forest fragments in Dutchess County, New York, and added these mammals to other fragments in order to alter the abundance of these two species. We then used mark–recapture analyses to quantify the population-level and individual-level effects on resident mice, squirrels, and chipmunks. Overall, we found little evidence of competition. There were essentially no within-season numerical responses to changes in the abundance of putative competitors. Moreover, while individual-level responses (apparent survival and capture probability) did vary with competitor densities in some models, these effects were often better explained by site-specific parameters and were restricted to few of the 19 sites we studied. With only weak or nonexistent competition among these three common rodent species, we expect their patterns of habitat occupancy and population dynamics to be largely independent of one another. PMID:23824654

  18. Olfactory discrimination ability for aliphatic esters in squirrel monkeys and humans.

    PubMed

    Laska, M; Freyer, D

    1997-08-01

    Using a behavioral paradigm designed to simulate olfactory-guided foraging, the ability of five squirrel monkeys to distinguish iso-amyl acetate from n- and iso-forms of other acetic esters (ethyl acetate to decyl acetate) and from other esters carrying the iso-amyl group (iso-amyl propionate to iso-amyl capronate) was investigated. We found (i) that all five animals were clearly able to discriminate between all odor pairs tested; (ii) a significant negative correlation between discrimination performance and structural similarity of odorants in terms of differences in carbon chain length of both the aliphatic alcohol group and the aliphatic acid group of the esters; and (iii) that iso- and n-amyl acetate were perceived as qualitatively similar despite different steric conformation. Using a triple-forced choice procedure, 20 human subjects were tested on the same tasks in parallel and showed a very similar pattern of discrimination performance compared with the squirrel monkeys. Thus, the results of this study provide evidence of well-developed olfactory discrimination ability in squirrel monkeys for aliphatic esters and support the assumption that human and non-human primates may share common principles of odor quality perception. PMID:9279468

  19. Ectoparasites and gastrointestinal helminths of southern flying squirrels in southeast Georgia.

    PubMed

    Pung, O J; Durden, L A; Patrick, M J; Conyers, T; Mitchell, L R

    2000-10-01

    Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) from southeastern Georgia were examined for ectoparasites and gastrointestinal helminths. Ten species of ectoparasites were recovered, including 3 species of sucking lice (Hoplopleura trispinosa, Microphthirus uncinatus, and Neohaematopinus sciuropteri), 1 species of flea (Orchopeas howardi), 2 species of ticks (Amblyomma maculatum and Ixodes scapularis), 3 species of mesostigmatid mites (Androlaelaps casalis, A. fahrenholzi, and Haemogamasus ambulans), and 1 species of chigger (Leptotrombidium peromysci). Only the sucking lice and fleas were common on this host. M. uncinatus is reported for the first time from eastern North America. The 2 most commonly collected ectoparasites, N. sciuropteri (prevalence = 63%) and O. howardi (prevalence = 47%), have previously been shown to be vectors of the rickettsial zoonotic agent that causes sporadic epidemic typhus. Also, 3 nematodes (Citellinema bifurcatum, Strongyloides robusius, and Syphacia thompsoni), 1 unidentified cestode, and 1 acanthocephalan (Moniliformis clarki) were found in flying squirrel gastrointestinal tracts. With the exception of S. thompsoni, which was common and relatively abundant in the cecum (prevalence = 94%, intensity = 51+/-12), both the prevalence and intensity of helminth parasites were low. The nematode S. thompsoni and the acanthocephalan M. clarki are new state records for tree squirrels in Georgia. PMID:11128479

  20. Glide performance and aerodynamics of non-equilibrium glides in northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus).

    PubMed

    Bahlman, Joseph W; Swartz, Sharon M; Riskin, Daniel K; Breuer, Kenneth S

    2013-03-01

    Gliding is an efficient form of travel found in every major group of terrestrial vertebrates. Gliding is often modelled in equilibrium, where aerodynamic forces exactly balance body weight resulting in constant velocity. Although the equilibrium model is relevant for long-distance gliding, such as soaring by birds, it may not be realistic for shorter distances between trees. To understand the aerodynamics of inter-tree gliding, we used direct observation and mathematical modelling. We used videography (60-125 fps) to track and reconstruct the three-dimensional trajectories of northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) in nature. From their trajectories, we calculated velocities, aerodynamic forces and force coefficients. We determined that flying squirrels do not glide at equilibrium, and instead demonstrate continuously changing velocities, forces and force coefficients, and generate more lift than needed to balance body weight. We compared observed glide performance with mathematical simulations that use constant force coefficients, a characteristic of equilibrium glides. Simulations with varying force coefficients, such as those of live squirrels, demonstrated better whole-glide performance compared with the theoretical equilibrium state. Using results from both the observed glides and the simulation, we describe the mechanics and execution of inter-tree glides, and then discuss how gliding behaviour may relate to the evolution of flapping flight. PMID:23256188

  1. Isolation and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurea) insulin and glucagon

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Jinghua ); Eng, J.; Yalow, R.S. City Univ. of New York, NY )

    1990-12-01

    It was reported two decades ago that insulin was not detectable in the glucose-stimulated state in Saimiri sciurea, the New World squirrel monkey, by a radioimmunoassay system developed with guinea pig anti-pork insulin antibody and labeled park insulin. With the same system, reasonable levels were observed in rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. This suggested that New World monkeys, like the New World hystricomorph rodents such as the guinea pig and the coypu, might have insulins whose sequences differ markedly from those of Old World mammals. In this report the authors describe the purification and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey insulin and glucagon. They demonstrate that the substitutions at B29, B27, A2, A4, and A17 of squirrel monkey insulin are identical with those previously found in another New World primate, the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). The immunologic cross-reactivity of this insulin in their immunoassay system is only a few percent of that of human insulin. It appears that the peptides of the New World monkeys have diverged less from those of the Old World mammals than have those of the New World hystricomorph rodents. The striking improvements in peptide purification and sequencing have the potential for adding new information concerning the evolutionary divergence of species.

  2. Conservatism and Adaptability during Squirrel Radiation: What Is Mandible Shape Telling Us?

    PubMed Central

    Casanovas-Vilar, Isaac; van Dam, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Both functional adaptation and phylogeny shape the morphology of taxa within clades. Herein we explore these two factors in an integrated way by analyzing shape and size variation in the mandible of extant squirrels using landmark-based geometric morphometrics in combination with a comparative phylogenetic analysis. Dietary specialization and locomotion were found to be reliable predictors of mandible shape, with the prediction by locomotion probably reflecting the underlying diet. In addition a weak but significant allometric effect could be demonstrated. Our results found a strong phylogenetic signal in the family as a whole as well as in the main clades, which is in agreement with the general notion of squirrels being a conservative group. This fact does not preclude functional explanations for mandible shape, but rather indicates that ancient adaptations kept a prominent role, with most genera having diverged little from their ancestral clade morphologies. Nevertheless, certain groups have evolved conspicuous adaptations that allow them to specialize on unique dietary resources. Such adaptations mostly occurred in the Callosciurinae and probably reflect their radiation into the numerous ecological niches of the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeastern Asia. Our dietary reconstruction for the oldest known fossil squirrels (Eocene, 36 million years ago) show a specialization on nuts and seeds, implying that the development from protrogomorphous to sciuromorphous skulls was not necessarily related to a change in diet. PMID:23593456

  3. Glide performance and aerodynamics of non-equilibrium glides in northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus)

    PubMed Central

    Bahlman, Joseph W.; Swartz, Sharon M.; Riskin, Daniel K.; Breuer, Kenneth S.

    2013-01-01

    Gliding is an efficient form of travel found in every major group of terrestrial vertebrates. Gliding is often modelled in equilibrium, where aerodynamic forces exactly balance body weight resulting in constant velocity. Although the equilibrium model is relevant for long-distance gliding, such as soaring by birds, it may not be realistic for shorter distances between trees. To understand the aerodynamics of inter-tree gliding, we used direct observation and mathematical modelling. We used videography (60–125 fps) to track and reconstruct the three-dimensional trajectories of northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) in nature. From their trajectories, we calculated velocities, aerodynamic forces and force coefficients. We determined that flying squirrels do not glide at equilibrium, and instead demonstrate continuously changing velocities, forces and force coefficients, and generate more lift than needed to balance body weight. We compared observed glide performance with mathematical simulations that use constant force coefficients, a characteristic of equilibrium glides. Simulations with varying force coefficients, such as those of live squirrels, demonstrated better whole-glide performance compared with the theoretical equilibrium state. Using results from both the observed glides and the simulation, we describe the mechanics and execution of inter-tree glides, and then discuss how gliding behaviour may relate to the evolution of flapping flight. PMID:23256188

  4. Conditioned taste aversion and motion sickness in cats and squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Robert A.; Corcoran, Meryl Lee; Brizzee, Kenneth R.

    1991-01-01

    The relationship between vomiting and conditioned taste aversion was studied in intact cats and squirrel monkeys and in cats and squirrel monkeys in which the area postrema was ablated by thermal cautery. In cats conditioned 7-12 months after ablation of the area postrema, three successive treatments with xylazine failed to produce either vomiting or conditioned taste aversion to a novel fluid. Intact cats, however, vomited and formed a conditioned aversion. In squirrel monkeys conditioned 6 months after ablation of the area postrema, three treatments with lithium chloride failed to produce conditioned taste aversion. Intact monkeys did condition with these treatments. Neither intact nor ablated monkeys vomited or evidenced other signs of illness when injected with lithium chloride. When the same ablated cats and monkeys were exposed to a form of motion that produced vomiting prior to surgery, conditioned taste aversion can be produced after ablation of the area postrema. The utility of conditioned taste aversion as a measure of subemetic motion sickness is discussed by examining agreement and disagreement between identifications of motion sickness by conditioned taste aversion and vomiting. It is suggested that a convincing demonstration of the utility of conditioned taste aversion as a measure of nausea requires the identification of physiological correlates of nausea, and caution should be exercised when attempting to interpret conditioned taste aversion as a measure of nausea.

  5. A Viable Population of the European Red Squirrel in an Urban Park

    PubMed Central

    Rézouki, Célia; Dozières, Anne; Le Cœur, Christie; Thibault, Sophie; Pisanu, Benoît; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Baudry, Emmanuelle

    2014-01-01

    Whether urban parks can maintain viable and self-sustaining populations over the long term is questionable. In highly urbanized landscapes, urban parks could play a role in biodiversity conservation by providing habitat and resources to native species. However, populations inhabiting urban parks are usually small and isolated, leading to increased demographic stochasticity and genetic drift, with expected negative consequences on their viability. Here, we investigated a European red squirrel population located in an urban park close to Paris, France (Parc de Sceaux; 184 ha) to assess its viability. Using mitochondrial D-loop sequences and 13 microsatellite loci, we showed that the population presented high levels of genetic variation and no evidence of inbreeding. The size of the population was estimated at 100–120 individuals based on the comparison of two census techniques, Distance Sampling and Capture-Mark-Recapture. The estimated heterozygosity level and population size were integrated in a Population Viability Analysis to project the likelihood of the population's persistence over time. Results indicate that the red squirrel population of this urban park can be viable on the long term (i.e. 20 years) for a range of realistic demographic parameters (juvenile survival at least >40%) and immigration rates (at least one immigration event every two years). This study highlights that urban parks can be potential suitable refuges for the red squirrel, a locally threatened species across western European countries, provided that ecological corridors are maintained. PMID:25126848

  6. Take-off and landing forces and the evolution of controlled gliding in northern flying squirrels Glaucomys sabrinus.

    PubMed

    Paskins, Keith E; Bowyer, Adrian; Megill, William M; Scheibe, John S

    2007-04-01

    Flying squirrels are well known for their ability to glide between trees at the top of a forest canopy. We present experimental performance and behavioural evidence that flight in flying squirrels may have evolved out of a need to control landing forces. Northern flying squirrels were filmed jumping from a horizontal branch to a much larger vertical pole. These were both slightly compliant (less than 1.9 mm N(-1)), and instrumented using strain gauges so that forces could be measured. Take-off and landing forces were both positively correlated with horizontal range between 0.5 and 2.5 m (r=0.355 and r=0.811, respectively, P<0.05), but not significantly different to each other at each range tested. Take-off forces ranged from 1 to 10 bodyweights, and landing forces were between 3 and 10 bodyweights. Glide angles increased rapidly with horizontal range, approaching 45 degrees at 3 m, above which they gradually decreased, suggesting that northern flying squirrels are optimised for long distance travel. We show that northern flying squirrels initiate full gliding posture at ranges of less than 1 m, without landing any higher than an equivalent ballistic projectile. However, this gliding posture enables them to pitch upwards, potentially stalling the wing, and spreads the landing reaction force over all four extended limbs. At steeper approach angles of close to 45 degrees , flying squirrels were unable to pitch up sufficiently and landed forelimbs first, consequently sustaining higher impact forces. We investigate four hypotheses to explain the origin of flight in these animals and conclude that the need to reduce landing impact forces was most likely to have stimulated the development of aerial control in flying squirrels. PMID:17401124

  7. The evolution of urgency-based and functionally referential alarm calls in ground-dwelling species.

    PubMed

    Furrer, Roman D; Manser, Marta B

    2009-03-01

    A major evolutionary force driving functionally referential alarm calls is the need for different strategies to escape various predator types in complex structured habitats. In contrast, a single escape strategy appears to be sufficient in less-structured open habitats, and under such conditions urgency-dependent alarm calls may be favored. Nevertheless, some species, such as meerkats (Suricata suricatta), have evolved functionally referential alarm calls despite living in open areas, using only bolt-holes for retreat. To understand the evolution of different alarm call systems, we investigated the calls of sympatric Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris) and compared their antipredator and foraging behavior with that of meerkats. Cape ground squirrels emitted urgency-dependent alarm calls and responded to playbacks depending on urgency, not predator type. Vigilance behavior and habitat use differed between the two species. Meerkats roam widely to find prey and for efficient foraging depend on coordinated predator vigilance and escape behavior. As herbivores with smaller territories, Cape ground squirrels depend less on coordinated antipredator behavior, and urgency-dependent alarm calls encode all essential information. We conclude that habitat complexity does not explain the evolution of functionally referential alarm calls in all species, and other constraints, such as the need to coordinate group movements to maintain foraging efficiency, could be more relevant. PMID:19199527

  8. The relationship between 3-D kinematics and gliding performance in the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Kristin L

    2006-02-01

    Gliding is the simplest form of flight, yet relatively little is known about its mechanics in animals. The goal of this study was to describe the body position and performance of a gliding mammal and to identify correlates between kinematics and aerodynamic performance. To do this, I used a pair of high-speed digital cameras to record a portion of the middle of glides by southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans. The squirrels launched from a height of 4 m and landed on a vertical pole. Reflective markers were applied to anatomical landmarks and the 3-D coordinates of these points were computed to describe the kinematics of the glides. From these data I estimated the lift and drag generated during the glide, and correlated these variables with gliding performance as measured by glide angle, glide speed and stability. In the majority of the glide sequences the squirrels accelerated in the downward direction and accelerated horizontally forward as they moved through the calibrated volume in the middle of the glide trajectory, rather than exhibiting a steady glide in which the body weight is balanced by the resultant aerodynamic force. Compared to human engineered airfoils, the angles of attack used by the squirrels were unexpectedly high, ranging from 35.4 degrees to 53.5 degrees , far above the angle of attack at which an aircraft wing would typically stall. As expected based on aerodynamic theory, there was a negative correlation between angle of attack and lift coefficient, indicating that the wings are stalled, and a positive correlation between angle of attack and drag coefficient. Also as expected, there was a negative correlation between lift-to-drag ratio and angle of attack, as increasing angle of attack produced both less lift and more drag. Within glides, there was a strong correlation between nose-down pitching rotations and limb movements that tended to increase the angle of attack of the wing membrane, suggesting that the animals actively control

  9. Predation on giant flying squirrels (Petaurista philippensis) by black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor jingdongensis) at Mt. Wuliang, Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Peng-Fei; Jiang, Xue-Long

    2009-01-01

    Predation on vertebrates is infrequent in gibbons. In a 14-month field study of the central Yunnan black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor jingdongensis) at Mt. Wuliang, Yunnan, China, we observed gibbons attacking, killing and eating giant flying squirrels (Petaurista philippensis). During 845 h of observation on one study group, the gibbons attacked giant flying squirrels 11 times, and succeeded in 4 cases. Although all members of the group attempted to attack the squirrels, all four successful attacks were made by the same adult female. The victims were infants in three cases and a juvenile or sub-adult in one case. Black crested gibbons also attacked adult giant flying squirrels by grabbing their long tails and throwing them from the canopy, but they failed to catch or kill the prey in three cases observed. Passive meat sharing occurred in three out of four successful cases. Besides hunting giant flying squirrels, the black crested gibbons also ate eggs or chicks in two birds' nests and one lizard. PMID:19015936

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian flying squirrel Pteromys volans (Sciuromorpha, Sciuridae) and revision of rodent phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Shi Hyun; Kwak, Min Jung; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2013-02-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian flying squirrel Pteromys volans (Rodentia, Sciuromorpha, Sciuridae) was sequenced and characterized in detail. The entire mitochondrial genome of P. volans consisted of 16,513 bp and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and two non-coding regions. Its gene arrangement pattern was consistent with the mammalian ground pattern. The overall base composition and AT contents were similar to those of other rodent mitochondrial genomes. The light-strand origin generally identified between tRNA ( Asn ) and tRNA ( Cys ) consisted of a secondary structure with an 11-bp stem and an 11-bp loop. The large control region was constructed of three characteristic domains, ETAS, CD, and CSB without any repeat sequences. Each domain contained ETAS1, subsequences A, B, and C, and CSB1, respectively. In order to examine phylogenetic contentious issues of the monophyly of rodents and phylogenetic relationships among five rodent suborders, here, phylogenetic analyses based on nucleotide sequence data of the 35 rodent and 3 lagomorph mitochondrial genomes were performed using the Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood method. The result strongly supported the rodent monophyly with high node confidence values (BP 100 % in ML and BPP 1.00 in BI) and also monophylies of four rodent suborders (BP 85-100 % in ML and BPP 1.00 in BI), except for Anomalumorpha in which only one species was examined here. Also, phylogenetic relationships among the five rodent suborders were suggested and discussed in detail. PMID:23114915

  11. Yersiniosis caused by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in captive toucans (Ramphastidae) and a Japanese squirrel (Sciurus lis) in zoological gardens in Japan

    PubMed Central

    NAKAMURA, Shin-ichi; HAYASHIDANI, Hideki; SOTOHIRA, Yukari; UNE, Yumi

    2015-01-01

    Two captive Keel-billed toucans and a Chestnut-mandibled toucan in another zoological garden died suddenly without any pre-existing symptoms, and three months later, a Japanese squirrel died of diarrhea. All these animals showed necrotic enteritis and multifocal necrosis in the liver and spleen with Gram negative bacilli. The bacilli showed strong positive immunolabeling for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O4 in the Keel-billed toucans, Y. pseudotuberculosis O2 in the Chestnut-mandibled toucan and Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 in the Japanese squirrel, while Y. pseudotuberculosis 4b, 2b and 1b were respectively isolated from the lesions. To our knowledge, this might be the first reported case of fatal yersiniosis in a Japanese squirrel in the world as well as in toucans in Japan. PMID:26346565

  12. Distribution of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in Naturally and Experimentally Infected Western Gray Squirrels (Sciurus griseus)

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Kelly; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Lane, Robert S.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The dynamics of Borrelia burgdorferi infections within its natural hosts are poorly understood. We necropsied four wild-caught western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) that were acquired during a previous study that evaluated the reservoir competence of this rodent for the Lyme disease spirochete. One animal was infected experimentally, whereas the others were infected in the wild before capture. To investigate dissemination of B. burgdorferi and concurrent histopathologic lesions in different tissues, blood specimens, synovial and cerebrospinal fluid, ear-punch biopsies, and diverse tissue samples from skin and various organs were taken and examined by culture, polymerase chain reaction, and histology. Borrelia-positive cultures were obtained from three of the squirrels, that is, from skin biopsies (7 of 20 samples), ear-punch biopsies (2 of 8), and one (1 of 5) lymph node. Sequencing of amplicons confirmed B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) infection in 9 of 10 culture-positive samples and in DNA extracted from all 10 positive cultures. The experimentally infected squirrel yielded most of the positive samples. In contrast, bodily fluids, all other organ specimens from these animals, and all samples from one naturally infected squirrel were negative for Borrelia for both assays. None of the necropsied squirrels exhibited specific clinical signs associated with B. burgdorferi. Similarly, necropsy and histological examination of tissues indicated the presence of underlying infectious processes, none of which could be ascribed conclusively to B. burgdorferi infection. Based on these results, obtained from a small number of animals investigated at a single time point, we suggest that B. burgdorferi s.s. infection in S. griseus may result in rather localized dissemination of spirochetes, and that mild or nonclinical disease might be more common after several months of infection duration. Since spirochetes could be detected in squirrels 7–21 months

  13. Thinning of young Douglas-fir forests decreases density of northern flying squirrels in the Oregon Cascades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manning, Tom; Hagar, Joan C.; McComb, Brenda C.

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale commercial thinning of young forests in the Pacific Northwest is currently promoted on public lands to accelerate the development of late-seral forest structure for the benefit of wildlife species such as northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and their prey, including the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus). Attempts to measure the impact of commercial thinning on northern flying squirrels have mostly addressed short-term effects (2–5 years post-thinning) and the few published studies of longer-term results have been contradictory. We measured densities of northern flying squirrels 11–13 years after thinning of young (55–65 years) Douglas-fir forest stands in the Cascade Range of Oregon, as part of the Young Stand Thinning & Diversity Study. The study includes four replicate blocks, each consisting of an unthinned control stand and one stand each of the following thinning treatments: Heavy Thin; Light Thin; and Light Thin with Gaps. Thinning decreased density of northern flying squirrels, and squirrel densities were significantly lower in heavily thinned stands than in more lightly thinned stands. Regression analysis revealed a strong positive relationship of flying squirrel density with density of large (>30 cm diameter) standing dead trees and a negative relationship with percent cover of low understory shrubs. Maintaining sufficient area and connectivity of dense, closed canopy forest is recommended as a strategy to assure that long-term goals of promoting late-seral structure do not conflict with short-term habitat requirements of this important species.

  14. Effect of macular ablation on frequency and latency of motion-induced emesis in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brizzee, Kenneth R.; Igarashi, Makoto

    1986-01-01

    Three previously motion-emetic sensitive squirrel monkeys were rendered refractory to a standard motion-emetic regimen by a two-stage utriculosacculectomy procedure which preserved the cristae ampullares of semicircular canals. Three nonoperated control squirrel monkeys tested on the same motion-emetic regimen time schedule as the operated animals remained motion-emetic sensitive with regard to incidence, frequency, and latency of motion-induced emetic responses. Following a sham surgical procedure (stapedectomy) performed on two of the latter animals and one additional new animal, the emetic incidence decreased from 100 to 89 percent, but the frequency and latency were not altered significantly.

  15. Integrating histology and MRI in the first digital brain of common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Peizhen; Parvathaneni, Prasanna; Schilling, Kurt G.; Gao, Yurui; Janve, Vaibhav; Anderson, Adam; Landman, Bennett A.

    2015-01-01

    This effort is a continuation of development of a digital brain atlas of the common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus, a New World monkey with functional and microstructural organization of central nervous system similar to that of humans. Here, we present the integration of histology with multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlas constructed from the brain of an adult female squirrel monkey. The central concept of this work is to use block face photography to establish an intermediate common space in coordinate system which preserves the high resolution in-plane resolution of histology while enabling 3-D correspondence with MRI. In vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging (300 µm isotropic) and low resolution diffusion tensor imaging (600 um isotropic). Ex vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging and high resolution diffusion tensor imaging (both 300 µm isotropic). Cortical regions were manually annotated on the co-registered volumes based on published histological sections in-plane. We describe mapping of histology and MRI based data of the common squirrel monkey and construction of a viewing tool that enable online viewing of these datasets. The previously descried atlas MRI is used for its deformation to provide accurate conformation to the MRI, thus adding information at the histological level to the MRI volume. This paper presents the mapping of single 2D image slice in block face as a proof of concept and this can be extended to map the atlas space in 3D coordinate system as part of the future work and can be loaded to an XNAT system for further use. PMID:25914510

  16. Investigation of anti-motion sickness drugs in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheung, B. S.; Money, K. E.; Kohl, R. L.; Kinter, L. B.

    1992-01-01

    Early attempts to develop an animal model for anti-motion sickness drugs, using dogs and cats; were unsuccessful. Dogs did not show a beneficial effect of scopolamine (probably the best single anti-motion sickness drug for humans thus far) and the findings in cats were not definitive. The authors have developed an animal model using the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) of the Bolivian phenotype. Unrestrained monkeys in a small lucite cage were tested in an apparatus that induces motion sickness by combining vertical oscillation and horizontal rotation in a visually unrestricted laboratory environment. Signs of motion sickness were scored using a rating scale. Ten susceptible monkeys (weighing 800-1000 g) were given a total of five tests each, to establish the baseline susceptibility level. Based on the anticholinergic activity of scopolamine, the sensitivity of squirrel monkey to scopolamine was investigated, and the appropriate dose of scopolamine for this species was determined. Then various anti-motion sickness preparations were administered in subsequent tests: 100 ug scopolamine per monkey; 140 ug dexedrine; 50 ug scopolamine plus 70 ug dexedrine; 100 ug scopolamine plus 140 ug dexedrine; 3 mg promethazine; 3 mg promethazine plus 3 mg ephedrine. All these preparations were significantly effective in preventing motion sickness in the monkeys. Ephedrine, by itself, which is marginally effective in humans, was ineffective in the monkeys at the doses tried (0.3-6.0 mg). The squirrel monkey appears to be a good animal model for antimotion sickness drugs. Peripherally acting antihistamines such as astemizole and terfenadine were found to be ineffective, whereas flunarizine, and an arginine vasopressin V1 antagonist, showed significant activity in preventing motion sickness.

  17. Social organization of a stable natal group of captive Guyanese squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus).

    PubMed

    Bashaw, Meredith J; McIntyre, Chelsea; Salenetri, Nicole D

    2011-10-01

    Socioecological models suggest competition for food, foraging efficiency, predation, infanticide risk, and the costs of dispersal regulate primate social structure and organization. Wild populations of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.) appear to conform to the predictions of the predation/competition socioecological model (Sterck et al. in Behav Ecol Sociobiol 41:291-309, 1997) and the dispersal/foraging efficiency model (Isbell in Kinship and behavior in primates. Oxford University, New York, pp 71-108, 2004). However, squirrel monkeys in captivity are reported to maintain patterns of social behavior observed in their wild conspecifics despite different food distribution, predation risk, and dispersal options. This behavioral similarity suggests squirrel monkeys' social behavior has limited flexibility to respond to environmental changes. In this study, we experimentally evaluated the flexibility of social behavior within a captive group of S. sciureus. First, we determined whether dominance and affiliative relationships observed under normal laboratory conditions (with abundant, widely distributed, food; no dispersal option; and no predators) better matched published reports of relationships among wild conspecifics or the predictions of the predation/competition model. Second, we made preferred food items defensible to determine whether dominance interactions would become more frequent and linear, as predicted by the model. The model correctly predicted rates of dominance behavior in both conditions and a linear hierarchy in the defensible food condition but did not predict the consistent affiliative relationships and linear dominance hierarchy observed in normal lab conditions. Although hierarchies were linear and male dominant, manipulating food distribution changed the dominant individual within each sex. Our findings suggest interaction rates adapt more rapidly than social structure to environmental changes in Saimiri and recommend caution in interpreting tests

  18. Time-course of CSF histamine in the wake-consolidated squirrel monkey

    PubMed Central

    Zeitzer, Jamie M.; Kodama, Tohru; Buckmaster, Christine L.; Honda, Yoshiko; Lyons, David M.; Nishino, Seiji; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Central nervous system (CNS) histamine is low in individuals with narcolepsy, a disease characterized by severe fragmentation of both sleep and wake. We have developed a primate model, the squirrel monkey, with which we can examine the role of the CNS in the wake-consolidation process as these primates are day-active, have consolidated wake and sleep, and have cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that is readily accessible. Using this model and three distinct protocols, we herein report on the role of CNS histamine in the wake consolidation process. CSF histamine has a robust daily rhythm, with a mean of 24.9 ± 3.29 pg·mL−1, amplitude of 31.7 ± 6.46 pg·mL−1 and a peak at 17:49 ± 70.3 min (lights on 07:00–19:00). These levels are not significantly affected by increases (up to 161±40.4% of baseline) or decreases (up to 17.2±2.50% of baseline) in locomotion. In direct contrast to the effects of sleep deprivation in non-wake consolidating mammals, in whom CSF histamine increases, pharmacologically-induced sleep (γ-hydroxybutyrate) and wake (modafinil) have no direct effects on CSF histamine concentrations. These data indicate that the time-course of histamine in CSF in the wake-consolidated squirrel monkey is robust against variation in activity and sleep and wake promoting pharmacological compounds, and may indicate that histamine physiology plays a role in wake-consolidation such as present in the squirrel monkey and humans. PMID:21910776

  19. Integrating histology and MRI in the first digital brain of common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Peizhen; Parvathaneni, Prasanna; Schilling, Kurt G.; Gao, Yurui; Janve, Vaibhav; Anderson, Adam; Landman, Bennett A.

    2015-03-01

    This effort is a continuation of development of a digital brain atlas of the common squirrel monkey, Saimiri sciureus, a New World monkey with functional and microstructural organization of central nervous system similar to that of humans. Here, we present the integration of histology with multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlas constructed from the brain of an adult female squirrel monkey. The central concept of this work is to use block face photography to establish an intermediate common space in coordinate system which preserves the high resolution in-plane resolution of histology while enabling 3-D correspondence with MRI. In vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging (300 μm isotropic) and low resolution diffusion tensor imaging (600 um isotropic). Ex vivo MRI acquisitions include high resolution T2 structural imaging and high resolution diffusion tensor imaging (both 300 μm isotropic). Cortical regions were manually annotated on the co-registered volumes based on published histological sections in-plane. We describe mapping of histology and MRI based data of the common squirrel monkey and construction of a viewing tool that enable online viewing of these datasets. The previously descried atlas MRI is used for its deformation to provide accurate conformation to the MRI, thus adding information at the histological level to the MRI volume. This paper presents the mapping of single 2D image slice in block face as a proof of concept and this can be extended to map the atlas space in 3D coordinate system as part of the future work and can be loaded to an XNAT system for further use.

  20. Kinematics of turning maneuvers in the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Kristin L; Brim-Deforest, Whitney

    2008-06-01

    The ability to change direction is essential to any animal that moves around in a complex, 3D environment. In this study we present the first 3D description of body positions during gliding turns in a mammalian gliding specialist, the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans. In addition, we used these kinematic data to estimate the aerodynamic forces generated by the animals and rotational velocities and accelerations of the body while turning. These results were compared with similar measurements of flying squirrels during straight glides. The two individuals used in this study differed significantly in limb position asymmetries between the two sides of their bodies and also were significantly different in measures of turning performance. The individual with better performance used limb positions consistent with a primarily lift-based turning mechanism (banked turn), whereas the individual with poorer performance used limb positions consistent with a primarily drag-based turning mechanism (crabbed turn). Both individuals employed limb movements continuously through the gliding turn, but these movements did not have any consistent relationships with body rotations or lateral acceleration. As compared with straight glides, squirrels used significantly higher angles of attack and had lower lift-to-drag ratios, but did not differ in glide angle. Contrary to the typical view of maneuvering during gliding as a simple, static form of locomotion, the results presented here indicate that mammalian gliding is a complex behavior comprising the interplay of many components of limb position and wing shape that affect the balance of forces that control the turn. PMID:18409187

  1. A novel method for capturing and monitoring a small neotropical primate, the squirrel monkey (Saimiri collinsi).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita I; Castro, Paulo H G; Monteiro, Frederico O B; Ruivo, Luana P; de Sousa e Silva Júnior, José

    2015-03-01

    Squirrel monkeys (genus Saimiri) are agile, arboreal primates that are seldom captured in the wild due to their small body size (<1 kg) and large, non-cohesive social groups (40-50 individuals). However, long-term studies on these primates often require captures and permanent identification of individuals, in order to monitor their behavior and health. Here we report on a novel trapping method successfully used to capture Saimiri collinsi, in Eastern Amazonia, Brazil. Our objective was to capture as many individuals as possible from one social group of approximately 50 individuals, ranging over 150 ha of terra firme forest. Captures occurred in November and December 2013. We habituated animals to feed on a large platform located in a 123.5 m(2) area enclosed by a green net (3 m high). Multiple individuals could freely enter and exit the area via four ropes affixed from surrounding trees to the platform. Once individuals were feeding inside the netted area on selected trapping days, the ropes were dropped remotely, eliminating their escape routes. We successfully trapped 21 different individuals of the social group (14 adults and 7 immatures) with this method. We conclude that this is a conceptually simple, effective method for trapping squirrel monkeys in most habitats, and possibly other small arboreal primates that live in large social groups. The present method was more effective than previous methods utilized to capture squirrel monkeys in the field, and has the advantages of: allowing for safe capture of several individuals simultaneously; enabling re-captures; releasing of animals as a group at the site of capture; use of soft netting which facilitates safe capture of the monkeys. PMID:25231238

  2. Living on the edge: Space use of Eurasian red squirrels in marginal high-elevation habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Preatoni, Damiano; Tosi, Guido; Martinoli, Adriano

    2010-11-01

    In marginal habitats located at the edge of a species' range, environmental conditions are frequently extreme and individuals may be subject to different selective pressures compared to central populations. These so-called edge or marginal populations tend to have lower densities and reproductive rates than populations located in more suitable habitats, but little is known about local adaptations in spacing behavior. We studied space use and social organization in a population of Eurasian red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) in a high-elevation marginal habitat of dwarf mountain pine ( Pinus mugo) and compared it with spacing patterns in high-quality Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forest at lower-elevation. Home ranges and core areas were larger in the marginal habitat. In both habitats, males used larger home ranges than females, but sex differences in core area size were significant only in the edge population. Patterns of core area overlap were similar in both habitats with intra-sexual territoriality among adult females and higher degrees of inter-sexual overlap, typical for the species throughout its range. However, low densities in the edge population resulted in higher female by males overlap in spring-summer, suggesting males increased home ranges and core areas during mating season to augment access to estrus females. Thus, in the marginal habitat, with low food abundance and low population densities, linked with extreme winter conditions, squirrels, especially males, used large home ranges. Finally, squirrels responded more strongly to variation in food availability (inverse relation between home range size and seed abundance), and even to fluctuations in density (inverse relation between core area size and density of animals of the same sex), in the marginal than in the high-quality habitat, suggesting high behavioral plasticity to respond to the ecological constraints in marginal habitats.

  3. An Additional Motor-Related Field in the Lateral Frontal Cortex of Squirrel Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Duric, Vanja; Barbay, Scott; Frost, Shawn B.; Stylianou, Antonis; Nudo, Randolph J.

    2008-01-01

    Our earlier efforts to document the cortical connections of the ventral premotor cortex (PMv) revealed dense connections with a field rostral and lateral to PMv, an area we called the frontal rostral field (FR). Here, we present data collected in FR using electrophysiological and anatomical methods. Results show that FR contains an isolated motor representation of the forelimb that can be differentiated from PMv based on current thresholds and latencies to evoke electromyographic activity using intracortical microstimulation techniques. In addition, FR has a different pattern of cortical connections compared with PMv. Together, these data support that FR is an additional, previously undescribed motor-related area in squirrel monkeys. PMID:18424778

  4. Effect of physical exercise prelabyrinthectomy on locomotor balance compensation in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Igarashi, M.; Ohashi, K.; Yoshihara, T.; MacDonald, S.

    1989-01-01

    This study examines the effectiveness of physical exercise, during a prepathology state, on locomotor balance compensation after subsequent unilateral labyrinthectomy in squirrel monkeys. An experimental group underwent 3 hr. of daily running exercise on a treadmill for 3 mo. prior to the surgery, whereas a control group was not exercised. Postoperatively, the locomotor balance function of both groups was tested for 3 mo. There was no significant difference in gait deviation counts in the acute phase of compensation. However, in the chronic compensation maintenance phase, the number of gait deviation counts was fewer in the exercise group, which showed significantly better performance stability.

  5. Influence of exposure to a prolonged hyperdynamic field on body temperature in the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, C. A.

    1985-01-01

    The effect of gravitational loading on the regulation of body temperature is examined. Five adult male squirrel monkeys were exposed to a 2-G environment twice for 48 hours, once beginning in the middle of their light cycle and the second time in the middle of their dark cycle. It is observed that a reduction in body temperature occurs during the light cycle phase and at night there is an insignificant change in body temperature. The rhythmic characteristics of the light and dark cycles are analyzed. The data reveal that the body temperature in animals at 2 G is influenced more during the active phase of the animals 24-hour cycle.

  6. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Rat-like and Squirrel-like Rodents.

    PubMed

    Mancinelli, Elisabetta; Capello, Vittorio

    2016-09-01

    The order Rodentia comprises more than 2000 species divided into 3 groups based on anatomic and functional differences of the masseter muscle. Myomorph and sciuromorph species have elodont incisors and anelodont cheek teeth, unlike hystrichomorph species which have full anelodont dentition. Diseases of incisors and cheek teeth of rat-like and squirrel-like rodents result in a wide variety of symptoms and clinical signs. Appropriate diagnostic testing and imaging techniques are required to obtain a definitive diagnosis, formulate a prognosis, and develop a treatment plan. A thorough review of elodontoma, odontoma, and pseudo-odontoma is provided, including treatment of pseudo-odontomas in prairie dogs. PMID:27497210

  7. A detailed analysis of the erythropoietic control system in the human, squirrel, monkey, rat and mouse

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nordheim, A. W.

    1985-01-01

    The erythropoiesis modeling performed in support of the Body Fluid and Blood Volume Regulation tasks is described. The mathematical formulation of the species independent model, the solutions to the steady state and dynamic versions of the model, and the individual species specific models for the human, squirrel monkey, rat and mouse are outlined. A detailed sensitivity analysis of the species independent model response to parameter changes and how those responses change from species to species is presented. The species to species response to a series of simulated stresses directly related to blood volume regulation during space flight is analyzed.

  8. Stress and the microbiome: linking glucocorticoids to bacterial community dynamics in wild red squirrels.

    PubMed

    Stothart, Mason R; Bobbie, Colleen B; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I; Boonstra, Rudy; Palme, Rupert; Mykytczuk, Nadia C S; Newman, Amy E M

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial diversity within animals is emerging as an essential component of health, but it is unknown how stress may influence the microbiome. We quantify a proximate link between the oral microbiome and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity using faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) in wild red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Not only was bacterial diversity lower at higher levels of FGM, but also between capture periods a change in bacterial relative abundance was related to an increase in FGM. These linkages between the HPA axis and microbiome communities represent a powerful capacity for stress to have multi-dimensional effects on health. PMID:26740566

  9. 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

  10. Intrinsic circannual rhythm controls protein dynamics in a hibernator to support rapid heat production

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Sandra L

    2014-01-01

    A proteomics screen of brown adipose tissue in 13-lined ground squirrels reveals protein changes underlying the extreme recruitment and activity cycles characteristic of this organ in small eutherian hibernators. Protein changes precede changes in physiology, indicating endogenous timing rather than ambient temperature controls the annual recruitment-atrophy cycle in this obligate hibernator.

  11. Coinfection of western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) and other sciurid rodents with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in California.

    PubMed

    Nieto, Nathan C; Leonhard, Sarah; Foley, Janet E; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Overlapping geographic distributions of tick-borne disease agents utilizing the same tick vectors are common, and coinfection of humans, domestic animals, wildlife, and ticks with both Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been frequently reported. This study was undertaken in order to evaluate the prevalence of both B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (hereinafter referred to as B. burgdorferi) and A. phagocytophilum in several species of sciurid rodents from northern California, USA. Rodents were either collected dead as road-kills or live-trapped in four state parks from 13 counties. Thirty-seven western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus), nine nonnative eastern gray squirrels (S. carolinensis) and an eastern fox squirrel (S. niger), four Douglas squirrels (Tamiasciurus douglasii), and two northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology for evidence of coinfection. Of the 14 individual S. griseus that were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi, two (14%) also were PCR-positive for A. phagocytophilum and 11 (79%) had serologic evidence of A. phagocytophilum exposure. Two of the four Douglas squirrels were PCR positive for B. burgdorferi and seropositive to A. phagocytophilum. Evidence of coinfection with these zoonotic pathogens in western gray squirrels suggests that both bacteria may be maintained in a similar transmission cycle involving this sciurid and the western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus, the primary bridging vector to humans in the far-western US. PMID:20090047

  12. An Invasive Mammal (the Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) Commonly Hosts Diverse and Atypical Genotypes of the Zoonotic Pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato

    PubMed Central

    Magierecka, Agnieszka; Gilbert, Lucy; Edoff, Alissa; Brereton, Amelia; Kilbride, Elizabeth; Denwood, Matt; Birtles, Richard; Biek, Roman

    2015-01-01

    Invasive vertebrate species can act as hosts for endemic pathogens and may alter pathogen community composition and dynamics. For the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, recent work shows invasive rodent species can be of high epidemiological importance and may support host-specific strains. This study examined the role of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) (n = 679), an invasive species in the United Kingdom, as B. burgdorferi sensu lato hosts. We found that gray squirrels were frequently infested with Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the United Kingdom, and 11.9% were infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato. All four genospecies that occur in the United Kingdom were detected in gray squirrels, and unexpectedly, the bird-associated genospecies Borrelia garinii was most common. The second most frequent infection was with Borrelia afzelii. Genotyping of B. garinii and B. afzelii produced no evidence for strains associated with gray squirrels. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) identified tick infestation and date of capture as significant factors associated with B. burgdorferi sensu lato infection in gray squirrels, with infection elevated in early summer in squirrels infested with ticks. Invasive gray squirrels appear to become infected with locally circulating strains of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, and further studies are required to determine their role in community disease dynamics. Our findings highlight the fact that the role of introduced host species in B. burgdorferi sensu lato epidemiology can be highly variable and thus difficult to predict. PMID:25888168

  13. Discriminating parts from the whole: determinants of odor mixture perception in squirrel monkeys, Saimiri sciureus.

    PubMed

    Laska, M; Hudson, R

    1993-08-01

    In a task designed to simulate olfactory-guided foraging, the ability of squirrel monkeys to discriminate an artificial 12-component odorant from 3-, 6-, 9- or 11-component submixtures was investigated. A combination of factors was found to contribute to the animals' performance: 1. Discriminability generally decreased as the number of components in the submixture increased. 2. Submixtures did not contribute equally to mixture perception, and one component in particular (cineole) disproportionately influenced stimulus discriminability. 3. Interactive effects between submixtures resulted in marked deviations from the general pattern of discriminability. 4. Changes in the relative concentration of submixtures could also influence discriminability. 5. Finally, individual differences in responsiveness to particular stimuli were apparent. These findings demonstrate that the interaction between components in odor mixtures can be complex and that seemingly small changes in composition can strongly affect perception and thus potential signal function. It is therefore suggested that in future investigations of squirrel monkey semiochemistry, the method of systematically varying submixtures may be particularly useful in defining the contribution of components to a signal. PMID:8410741

  14. Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Singly- and Group-Housed Squirrel Monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spring, Sarah E.; Clifford, James O.; Tomko, David L.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Nonhuman primates display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors. Captivity changes these behaviors, and disrupts normal social hierarchies. In captivity, animals may exhibit stereotypical behaviors which are thought to indicate decreased psychological well-being (PWB). If an animal's behaviors can be made to approach those seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal it is assumed that PWB is adequate. Environmental enrichment (EE) devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act's requirement that the PWB of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether various EE devices improve the PWB of captive squirrel monkeys. The present study used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several EE devices in reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed singly or in groups. Results showed that the EE devices used did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  15. Vestibular afferent responses to linear accelerations in the alert squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somps, Christopher J.; Schor, Robert H.; Tomko, David L.

    1994-01-01

    The spontaneous activity of 40 otolith afferents and 44 canal afferents was recorded in 4 alert, intact squirrel monkeys. Polarization vectors and response properties of otolith afferents were determined during static re-orientations relative to gravity and during Earth-horizontal, sinusoidal, linear oscillations. Canal afferents were tested for sensitivity to linear accelerations. For regular otolith afferents, a significant correlation between upright discharge rate and sensitivity to dynamic acceleration in the horizontal plane was observed. This correlation was not present in irregular units. The sensitivity of otolith afferents to both static tilts and dynamic linear acceleration was much greater in irregularly discharging units than in regularly discharging units. The spontaneous activity and static and dynamic response properties of regularly discharging otolith afferents were similar to those reported in barbiturate-anesthetized squirrel monkeys. Irregular afferents also had similar dynamic response properties when compared to anesthetized monkeys. However, this sample of irregular afferents in alert animals had higher resting discharge rates and greater sensitivity to static tilts. The majority of otolith polarization vectors were oriented near the horizontal in the plane of the utricular maculae; however, directions of maximum sensitivity were different during dynamic and static testing. Canal afferents were not sensitive to static tilts or linear oscillations of the head.

  16. Purification and properties of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) corticosteroid binding globulins

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhn, R.W.; Weber, C.V.; Siiteri, P.K.

    1988-04-05

    Corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), a serum glycoprotein which binds glucocorticoids and progestins with high affinity, is widely distributed throughout the animal world. Although its charge and size characteristics have largely been conserved across species, the authors found the behavior of CBG in squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) serum during fractionation by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or Sephadex chromatography was consistent with a molecule about twice the size of that found in most species. To more fully understand the basis for this difference, they purified the protein by sequential affinity and DEAE-Sepharose chromatographies. The final product was obtained in greater than 60% yield and was found to migrate as a single homogeneous band when examined by electrophoresis. The steroid binding specificity of the purified protein was identical with that of the protein in the starting serum. In contrast to the single protein band observed following electrophoresis under normal conditions, separations in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) resolved the pure protein into two bands: one at 54,000 daltons and one at 57,000 daltons. Unlike other species, squirrel monkey CBG exists as a dimer in its native state. Antibodies were generated against the purified material and tested for cross-reactivity against the sera from other species by both radioimmunodiffusion and radioimmunoassay techniques. Only serum from titi monkeys was observed to cross-react when examined by radioimmunoassay. Taken together, the results suggest that New World monkey CBG's are distinct from those of other species in both size and immunologic characteristics.

  17. Recovery of the vomiting reflex following area postrema ablation in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elfar, S.; Brizzee, Kenneth R.; Fox, Robert A.; Corcoran, Meryl Lee; Daunton, Nancy G.; Coleman, J.

    1991-01-01

    The role of the area postrema (AP) in motion-induced emesis was re-assessed recently in several different species. In a few of these studies, the role of the AP in motion-induced conditioned taste aversion (CTA) was also addressed. The purpose was to extend this comparative study to the squirrel monkey, to evaluate further the role of AP in vomiting, and to investigate the dynamics of the recovery process. The AP was ablated bilaterally in 7 motion-susceptible squirrel monkeys which previously had been characterized in terms of their responses to various motion sickness-inducing stimuli. After recovery from surgery all animals were tested at 30-day intervals for a period of 11 months to determine the effects of AP ablations on susceptibility to the same sickness-inducing conditions. In addition, the effectiveness of motion in preducing CTA was evaluated. All pre-ablation motion tests involved stimulation for 30 min., while post-lesion tests were 60 min., in duration. All animals showed significant increases in latencies to vomiting after AP ablations. However, the latencies tended to decrease with time after ablation. All but one animal vomited on at least one of the 10 motion tests occurring after ablation of AP. In addition, CTA was produced by motion used in the conditioning sessions. These results suggest that structures other than AP, and processes other that those mediated through AP, may play an important role in motion-induced emesis.

  18. Flexible use of spatial cues in the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans).

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Sasha E B; Lea, Stephen E G; Jacobs, Lucia F

    2007-04-01

    Insects, birds, and mammals have been shown capable of encoding spatial information in memory using multiple strategies or frames of reference simultaneously. These strategies include orientation to a goal-specific cue or beacon, to the position of the goal in an array of local landmarks, or to its position in the array of distant landmarks, also known as the global frame of reference. From previous experiments, it appears that birds and mammals that scatter hoard rely primarily on a global frame of reference, but this generalization depends on evidence from only a few species. Here we examined spatial memory in a previously unstudied scatter hoarder, the southern flying squirrel. We dissociated the relative weighting of three potential spatial strategies (beacon, global, or relative array strategy) with three probe tests: transposition of beacon and the rotation or the expansion of the array. The squirrels' choices were consistent with a spatial averaging strategy, where they chose the location dictated by at least two of the three strategies, rather than using a single preferred frame of reference. This adaptive and flexible heuristic has not been previously described in animal orientation studies, yet it may be a common solution to the universal problem of encoding and recalling spatial locations in an ephemeral physical landscape. PMID:17265151

  19. Innervation of propatagial musculature in a flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans (Rodentia, Sciuridae).

    PubMed

    Chickering, J G; Sokoloff, A J

    1996-01-01

    The propatagium of gliding and flying mammals is of both functional and phylogenetic interest. The innervation of the propatagial muscle, platysma II, was studied with the axonal tracer wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) in a flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans. Injections of WGA-HRP into the proximal third of platysma II labeled motoneurons in the lateral part of the medial subdivision of the ipsilateral facial nucleus and in the ipsilateral ventral horn of the brachial enlargement. Injections into distal regions of platysma II labeled motoneurons in the ipsilateral ventral horn of spinal segments C5-C8 but not in the facial nucleus. Injections along the whole length of the muscle labeled afferent axons in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of spinal segments C4-T1. These results demonstrate a mixed facial and spinal motor innervation of propatagial musculature in the flying squirrel and indicate that this pattern of mixed innervation is more widespread among flying and gliding mammals than previously reported. Mixed facial and cervical propatagial innervation, independently derived in different flying and gliding mammals, may represent a common solution in the design of the propatagium. These findings complicate the use of propatagial muscle innervation patterns for the establishment of phylogenetic relationships among flying and gliding mammals. PMID:8834780

  20. Relationships of diversity, disparity, and their evolutionary rates in squirrels (Sciuridae).

    PubMed

    Zelditch, Miriam L; Li, Jingchun; Tran, Lucy A P; Swiderski, Donald L

    2015-05-01

    Several theories predict that rapidly diversifying clades will also rapidly diverge phenotypically; yet, there are also reasons for suspecting that diversification and divergence might not be correlated. In the widely distributed squirrel clade (Sciuridae), we test for correlations between per lineage speciation rates, species richness, disparity, and a time-invariant measure of disparity that allows for comparing rates when evolutionary modes differ, as they do in squirrels. We find that species richness and speciation rates are not correlated with clade age or with each other. Disparity appears to be positively correlated with clade age because young, rapidly diversifying Nearctic grassland clades are strongly pulled to a single stable optimum but older, slowly diversifying Paleotropical forest clades contain lineages that diverge along multiple ecological and morphological lines. That contrast is likely due to both the environments they inhabit and their phylogenetic community structure. Our results argue against a shared explanation for diversity and disparity in favor of geographically mediated modes of speciation and ecologically mediated modes of phenotypic evolution. PMID:25787014

  1. Effects of restricted feeding schedules on circadian organization in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boulos, Z.; Frim, D. M.; Dewey, L. K.; Moore-Ede, M. C.

    1989-01-01

    Free running circadian rhythms of motor activity, food-motivated lever-pressing, and either drinking (N = 7) or body temperature (N = 3) were recorded from 10 squirrel monkeys maintained in constant illumination with unlimited access to food. Food availability was then restricted to a single unsignaled 3-hour interval each day. The feeding schedule failed to entrain the activity rhythms of 8 monkeys, which continued to free-run. Drinking was almost completely synchronized by the schedule, while body temperature showed a feeding-induced rise superimposed on a free-running rhythm. Nonreinforced lever-pressing showed both a free-running component and a 24-hour component that anticipated the time of feeding. At the termination of the schedule, all recorded variables showed free-running rhythms, but in 3 animals the initial phase of the postschedule rhythms was advanced by several hours, suggesting relative coordination. Of the remaining 2 animals, one exhibited stable entrainment of all 3 recorded rhythms, while the other appeared to entrain temporarily to the feeding schedule. These results indicate that restricted feeding schedules are only a weak zeitgeber for the circadian pacemaker generating free-running rhythms in the squirrel monkey. Such schedules, however, may entrain a separate circadian system responsible for the timing of food-anticipatory changes in behavior and physiology.

  2. Community ecology and disease risk: lizards, squirrels, and the Lyme disease spirochete in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are often maintained in complex transmission cycles involving multiple vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. In the state of California, U.S.A., the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, is transmitted between vertebrate hosts by the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. Several mammalian species serve as reservoir hosts of the spirochete, but levels of tick infestation, reservoir competence, and Borrelia-infection prevalence vary widely among such hosts. Here, we model the host (lizards, Peromyscus mice, Californian meadow voles, dusky-footed wood rats, and western gray squirrels), vector, and pathogen community of oak woodlands in northwestern California to determine the relative importance of different tick hosts. Observed infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.8-5.3%, and our host-community model estimated an infection prevalence of 1.6-2.2%. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was the only source of infected nymphs. Lizards, which are refractory to Borrelia infection, are important in feeding subadult ticks but reduce disease risk (nymphal infection prevalence). Species identity is therefore critical in understanding and determining the local disease ecology. PMID:20380218

  3. Impact of Striped-Squirrel Nectar-Robbing Behaviour on Gender Fitness in Alpinia roxburghii Sweet (Zingiberaceae).

    PubMed

    Deng, Xiaobao; Mohandass, Dharmalingam; Katabuchi, Masatoshi; Hughes, Alice C; Roubik, David W

    2015-01-01

    Nectar-robbing has the potential to strongly affect male and female reproductive fitness of plants. One example of nectar theft is that shown by striped-squirrels (Tamiops swinhoei) on a number of ginger species, including Alpinia roxburghii and A. kwangsiensis (Zingiberaceae). In this study, we used a fluorescent dye as a pollen analogue, and measured fruit and seed output, to test the effect of squirrel nectar-robbing on A. roxburghii reproductive fitness. Pollen transfer between robbed and unrobbed flowers was assessed by comparing 60 randomly established plots containing robbed and unrobbed flowers. The frequency of squirrel robbing visits and broken styles were recorded from a number of flowers for five consecutive days. Two bee species (Bombus eximius and Apis cerana), were the primary pollinators, and their visitation frequency was recorded for six consecutive days. The results showed that fluorescent powder from unrobbed flowers was dispersed further, and to a greater number of flowers than that placed on robbed flowers. Additionally, robbing flowers caused significant damage to reproductive organs, resulting in lower fruit and seed sets in robbed than in unrobbed flowers and influencing both male and female fitness. The frequency of the primary pollinator visits (B. eximius) was significantly higher for unrobbed plants than for robbed plants. The present study clearly shows the negative impact of squirrel robbing on A. roxburghii male reproductive fitness and neutral impact on female reproductive fitness. PMID:26689684

  4. Which senses play a role in nonhuman primate food selection? A comparison between squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys.

    PubMed

    Laska, Matthias; Freist, Pamela; Krause, Stephanie

    2007-03-01

    In order to optimize foraging efficiency and avoid toxicosis, animals must be able to detect, discriminate, and learn about the predictive signals of potential food. Primates are typically regarded as animals that rely mainly on their highly developed visual systems, and little is known about the role that the other senses may play in food selection. It was therefore the aim of the present study to assess which senses are involved in the evaluation of food by two species of New World primates: the squirrel monkey and the spider monkey. To this end, six animals per species were repeatedly presented with both familiar and novel food items, and their behavior was videotaped and analyzed. To obtain a further indication of the relative importance of visual and chemosensory cues, the animals were also presented with familiar food items that were experimentally modified in color, odor, or both color and odor. The results demonstrate that squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys use olfactory, gustatory, and tactile cues in addition to visual information to evaluate novel food, whereas they mainly inspect familiar food items visually prior to consumption. Our findings also show that in both species the use of nonvisual cues decreased rapidly with repeated presentations of novel food, suggesting a fast multimodal learning process. Further, the two species clearly differ in their relative use of nonvisual cues when evaluating novel or modified food, with spider monkeys relying more on olfactory cues than squirrel monkeys, and squirrel monkeys relying more on tactile cues compared to spider monkeys. PMID:17146790

  5. Impact of Striped-Squirrel Nectar-Robbing Behaviour on Gender Fitness in Alpinia roxburghii Sweet (Zingiberaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Xiaobao; Mohandass, Dharmalingam; Katabuchi, Masatoshi; Hughes, Alice C.; Roubik, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Nectar-robbing has the potential to strongly affect male and female reproductive fitness of plants. One example of nectar theft is that shown by striped-squirrels (Tamiops swinhoei) on a number of ginger species, including Alpinia roxburghii and A. kwangsiensis (Zingiberaceae). In this study, we used a fluorescent dye as a pollen analogue, and measured fruit and seed output, to test the effect of squirrel nectar-robbing on A. roxburghii reproductive fitness. Pollen transfer between robbed and unrobbed flowers was assessed by comparing 60 randomly established plots containing robbed and unrobbed flowers. The frequency of squirrel robbing visits and broken styles were recorded from a number of flowers for five consecutive days. Two bee species (Bombus eximius and Apis cerana), were the primary pollinators, and their visitation frequency was recorded for six consecutive days. The results showed that fluorescent powder from unrobbed flowers was dispersed further, and to a greater number of flowers than that placed on robbed flowers. Additionally, robbing flowers caused significant damage to reproductive organs, resulting in lower fruit and seed sets in robbed than in unrobbed flowers and influencing both male and female fitness. The frequency of the primary pollinator visits (B. eximius) was significantly higher for unrobbed plants than for robbed plants. The present study clearly shows the negative impact of squirrel robbing on A. roxburghii male reproductive fitness and neutral impact on female reproductive fitness. PMID:26689684

  6. Effect of environmental enrichment devices on behaviors of single- and group-housed squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spring, S. E.; Clifford, J. O.; Tomko, D. L.

    1997-01-01

    Squirrel monkeys display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors over a broad area. Captivity limits these behaviors and consequently may disrupt normal social organizations. In captivity, squirrel monkeys may exhibit stereotypical behaviors that are believed to indicate decreased psychologic well-being. When a monkey's behavior can be made to approach that seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal, it is assumed that psychologic well-being is adequate. Environmental enrichment devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act requirement that psychologic well-being of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the study reported here was to examine whether various environmental enrichment devices improve the psychologic well-being of captive squirrel monkeys. In the study, we used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several environmental enrichment devices for reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed alone or in groups. Analysis of our results revealed that the environmental enrichment devices did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  7. Beach almond (Terminalia catappa, Combretaceae) seed production and predation by scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides).

    PubMed

    Henn, Jonathan J; McCoy, Michael B; Vaughan, Christopher S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of ecological impacts of exotic beach almond (Terminalia catappa) in the central Pacific of Costa Rica are little known, but studies have found this species to be a potentially important food source for endangered scarlet macaws (Ara macao). In this study, reproductive phenology and seed predation by variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) and scarlet macaws were measured during March and April 2011 on beaches of central Pacific coastal Costa Rica. Seed productivity and predation levels were quantified on a weekly basis for 111 beach almond trees to assess the importance of beach almond as a food source for scarlet macaws and the extent of resource partitioning between seed predators. Seed production of the trees was great (about 194 272 seeds) and approximately 67% of seeds were predated by seed predators. Macaws consumed an estimated 49% of seeds while squirrels consumed 18%. Additionally, evidence of resource partitioning between squirrels and macaws was found. Scarlet macaws preferred to feed on the northern side and edge of the canopy while squirrels preferred to feed on the southern and inside parts of the canopy. Both species ate most seeds on the ocean side of the tree. Despite the status of this tree as an exotic species, the beach almond appears to be an important resource for scarlet macaw population recovery. The resource produced by this tree should be taken into account as reforestation efforts continue in Costa Rica. PMID:25412525

  8. Genome Sequencing of Four Strains of Rickettsia prowazekii, the Causative Agent of Epidemic Typhus, Including One Flying Squirrel Isolate.

    PubMed

    Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Ge, Hong; Butani, Amy; Osborne, Brian; Verratti, Kathleen; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Nagarajan, Niranjan; Pop, Mihai; Read, Timothy D; Richards, Allen L

    2013-01-01

    Rickettsia prowazekii is a notable intracellular pathogen, the agent of epidemic typhus, and a potential biothreat agent. We present here whole-genome sequence data for four strains of R. prowazekii, including one from a flying squirrel. PMID:23814035

  9. Brill-Zinsser disease in a patient following infection with sylvatic epidemic typhus associated with flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    McQuiston, Jennifer H; Knights, Edwin B; Demartino, Peter J; Paparello, Scott F; Nicholson, William L; Singleton, Joseph; Brown, Catherine M; Massung, Robert F; Urbanowski, Joseph C

    2010-09-15

    Recrudescent Rickettsia prowazekii infection, also known as Brill-Zinsser disease, can manifest decades after untreated primary infection but is rare in contemporary settings. We report the first known case of Brill-Zinsser disease in a patient originally infected with a zoonotic strain of R. prowazekii acquired from flying squirrels. PMID:20687836

  10. Effects of GABA[subscript A] Modulators on the Repeated Acquisition of Response Sequences in Squirrel Monkeys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Una C.; Winsauer, Peter J.; Stevenson, Michael W.; Moerschbaecher, Joseph M.

    2004-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of positive and negative GABA[subscript A] modulators under three different baselines of repeated acquisition in squirrel monkeys in which the monkeys acquired a three-response sequence on three keys under a second-order fixed-ratio (FR) schedule of food reinforcement. In two of these baselines, the…

  11. Reduced interference by gray squirrels with 4-poster deer treatment bait stations by using timed-release bait

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann), feed on corn bait dispensed by ‘4-poster’ tick control devices, they rub against paint rollers impregnated with acaricide. Gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, also feed on the corn bait in the feeding troughs of ‘4-posters,’ but in ...

  12. Ground Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eastman, Randy

    2000-01-01

    The contents include: 1) Integrated Space Transportation; 2) Fourth Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Research; 3) Ground Operations; 4) Ground Operations Technologies; 5) Sensors; and 6) Umbilicals. This paper is presented in viewgraph form.

  13. Pathologic findings in Western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) from a notoedric mange epidemic in the San Bernardino Mountains, California.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Nicole; Swift, Pam; Villepique, Jeffrey T; Clifford, Deana L; Nyaoke, Akinyi; De la Mora, Alfonso; Moore, Janet; Foley, Janet

    2013-12-01

    Notoedric mange, caused by the contagious, burrowing mite Notoedres centrifera, has been associated with several large-scale population declines of western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) and has been a significant obstacle to population recovery in Washington State where the species is listed as threatened. In 2009, residents and wildlife rehabilitators in the isolated San Bernardino Mountains of southern California reported a dramatic die-off of western gray squirrels, in what had been a previously dense and robust population. Individuals were observed suffering from abnormal neurologic behaviors (ataxia and obtundation) and severe skin disease. Full necropsy of five squirrels from the epidemic showed that all had moderate to severe infestation with mange mites and severe dermatitis characterized by hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, intralesional mites, intracorneal pustules and superficial bacteria. Mites from affected squirrels were evaluated by light and electron microscopy and identified as N. centrifera based on morphologic criteria. Additionally, the internal transcribed spacer-2 region of the mite was cloned, sequenced and accessioned in GenBank. The cause for the abnormal neurologic behavior was not confirmed on post-mortem examination. However, we hypothesize that mange can cause incoordination and obtundation as a result of malnutrition and dehydration, and intense pruritis may induce abnormal or erratic behavior that could be mistaken for neurologic signs. While we have characterized the severe impact this disease can have on individual animals, more work is needed to understand the impact on squirrel populations, particularly in view of the anecdotal reports of dramatic population declines that may take decades to recover. PMID:24533345

  14. Pathologic findings in Western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) from a notoedric mange epidemic in the San Bernardino Mountains, California☆

    PubMed Central

    Stephenson, Nicole; Swift, Pam; Villepique, Jeffrey T.; Clifford, Deana L.; Nyaoke, Akinyi; De la Mora, Alfonso; Moore, Janet; Foley, Janet

    2013-01-01

    Notoedric mange, caused by the contagious, burrowing mite Notoedres centrifera, has been associated with several large-scale population declines of western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) and has been a significant obstacle to population recovery in Washington State where the species is listed as threatened. In 2009, residents and wildlife rehabilitators in the isolated San Bernardino Mountains of southern California reported a dramatic die-off of western gray squirrels, in what had been a previously dense and robust population. Individuals were observed suffering from abnormal neurologic behaviors (ataxia and obtundation) and severe skin disease. Full necropsy of five squirrels from the epidemic showed that all had moderate to severe infestation with mange mites and severe dermatitis characterized by hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, intralesional mites, intracorneal pustules and superficial bacteria. Mites from affected squirrels were evaluated by light and electron microscopy and identified as N. centrifera based on morphologic criteria. Additionally, the internal transcribed spacer-2 region of the mite was cloned, sequenced and accessioned in GenBank. The cause for the abnormal neurologic behavior was not confirmed on post-mortem examination. However, we hypothesize that mange can cause incoordination and obtundation as a result of malnutrition and dehydration, and intense pruritis may induce abnormal or erratic behavior that could be mistaken for neurologic signs. While we have characterized the severe impact this disease can have on individual animals, more work is needed to understand the impact on squirrel populations, particularly in view of the anecdotal reports of dramatic population declines that may take decades to recover. PMID:24533345

  15. Segregating the Effects of Seed Traits and Common Ancestry of Hardwood Trees on Eastern Gray Squirrel Foraging Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Sundaram, Mekala; Willoughby, Janna R.; Lichti, Nathanael I.; Steele, Michael A.; Swihart, Robert K.

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specific seed traits in scatter-hoarded tree species often has been attributed to granivore foraging behavior. However, the degree to which foraging investments and seed traits correlate with phylogenetic relationships among trees remains unexplored. We presented seeds of 23 different hardwood tree species (families Betulaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae) to eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and measured the time and distance travelled by squirrels that consumed or cached each seed. We estimated 11 physical and chemical seed traits for each species, and the phylogenetic relationships between the 23 hardwood trees. Variance partitioning revealed that considerable variation in foraging investment was attributable to seed traits alone (27–73%), and combined effects of seed traits and phylogeny of hardwood trees (5–55%). A phylogenetic PCA (pPCA) on seed traits and tree phylogeny resulted in 2 “global” axes of traits that were phylogenetically autocorrelated at the family and genus level and a third “local” axis in which traits were not phylogenetically autocorrelated. Collectively, these axes explained 30–76% of the variation in squirrel foraging investments. The first global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seed species with thin shells, low lipid and high carbohydrate content, was negatively related to time to consume and cache seeds and travel distance to cache. The second global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seeds with high protein, low tannin and low dormancy levels, was an important predictor of consumption time only. The local pPCA axis primarily reflected kernel mass. Although it explained only 12% of the variation in trait space and was not autocorrelated among phylogenetic clades, the local axis was related to all four squirrel foraging investments. Squirrel foraging behaviors are influenced by a combination of phylogenetically conserved and more evolutionarily labile seed traits that is

  16. "Anxiolytic" and "anxiogenic" benzodiazepines and beta-carbolines: effects on aggressive and social behavior in rats and squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Weerts, E M; Tornatzky, W; Miczek, K A

    1993-01-01

    Ethopharmacological studies on the behavior of socially housed rats and squirrel monkeys were conducted to explore the role of the benzodiazepine GABAA-coupled ionophore receptor complex in aggressive and social interactions. Benzodiazepine receptor (BZR) antagonists, ZK 93426 (1-10 mg/kg) and flumazenil (3-10 mg/kg), the partial agonist, ZK 91296 (1-10 mg/kg) and the partial inverse agonists Ro 15-4513 (0.3-10 mg/kg), were administered to (1) squirrel monkeys prior to 1 h focal observations within established social groups or to (2) resident male rats before confrontations with a naive male intruder in their home cage for 5 min. Aggression was modified in a similar manner in both species, although squirrel monkeys were more sensitive to BZR challenges. Specifically, resident male rats showed dose dependent reductions in attack bites directed at intruder males that were significant at the highest dose of ZK 93426 (10 mg/kg). In squirrel monkeys, ZK 93426 (3 and 10 mg/kg) reduced aggressive grasps, threats and displays, as well as reducing the duration of being the target of aggression from untreated group members (1-10 mg/kg). The BZR partial agonist, ZK 91296 and the antagonist, flumazenil produced few effects on social behavior, low and high intensity aggression and motor activity in both species. Flumazenil (10-30 mg/kg) and ZK 91296 (10 mg/kg), but not ZK 93426, produced significant increases in foraging and feeding behaviors in squirrel monkeys. The hyperphagic effects of ZK 91296 and flumazenil, that are typical of BZR agonists compounds, were not observed in rats.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7870916

  17. Segregating the Effects of Seed Traits and Common Ancestry of Hardwood Trees on Eastern Gray Squirrel Foraging Decisions.

    PubMed

    Sundaram, Mekala; Willoughby, Janna R; Lichti, Nathanael I; Steele, Michael A; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specific seed traits in scatter-hoarded tree species often has been attributed to granivore foraging behavior. However, the degree to which foraging investments and seed traits correlate with phylogenetic relationships among trees remains unexplored. We presented seeds of 23 different hardwood tree species (families Betulaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae) to eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and measured the time and distance travelled by squirrels that consumed or cached each seed. We estimated 11 physical and chemical seed traits for each species, and the phylogenetic relationships between the 23 hardwood trees. Variance partitioning revealed that considerable variation in foraging investment was attributable to seed traits alone (27-73%), and combined effects of seed traits and phylogeny of hardwood trees (5-55%). A phylogenetic PCA (pPCA) on seed traits and tree phylogeny resulted in 2 "global" axes of traits that were phylogenetically autocorrelated at the family and genus level and a third "local" axis in which traits were not phylogenetically autocorrelated. Collectively, these axes explained 30-76% of the variation in squirrel foraging investments. The first global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seed species with thin shells, low lipid and high carbohydrate content, was negatively related to time to consume and cache seeds and travel distance to cache. The second global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seeds with high protein, low tannin and low dormancy levels, was an important predictor of consumption time only. The local pPCA axis primarily reflected kernel mass. Although it explained only 12% of the variation in trait space and was not autocorrelated among phylogenetic clades, the local axis was related to all four squirrel foraging investments. Squirrel foraging behaviors are influenced by a combination of phylogenetically conserved and more evolutionarily labile seed traits that is consistent with a weak

  18. Predation of a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) by an Amazon tree boa (Corallus hortulanus): even small boids may be a potential threat to small-bodied platyrrhines.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco Antônio; Ferrari, Stephen Francis; Lima, Janaina Reis Ferreira; da Silva, Claudia Regina; Lima, Jucivaldo Dias

    2016-07-01

    Predation has been suggested to play a major role in the evolution of primate ecology, although reports of predation events are very rare. Mammalian carnivores, raptors, and snakes are known predators of Neotropical primates, and most reported attacks by snakes are attributed to Boa constrictor (terrestrial boas). Here, we document the predation of a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) by an Amazon tree boa (Corallus hortulanus), the first record of the predation of a platyrrhine primate by this boid. The event was recorded during a nocturnal herpetological survey in the Piratuba Lake Biological Reserve, in the north-eastern Brazilian Amazon. The snake was encountered at 20:00 hours on the ground next to a stream, at the final stage of ingesting the monkey. The C. hortulanus specimen was 1620 mm in length (SVL) and weighed 650 g, while the S. sciureus was a young adult female weighing 600 g, 92 % of the body mass of the snake and the largest prey item known to have been ingested by a C. hortulanus. The evidence indicates that the predation event occurred at the end of the afternoon or early evening, and that, while capable of capturing an agile monkey like Saimiri, C. hortulanus may be limited to capturing small platyrrhines such as callitrichines. PMID:27165689

  19. Response to primary infection with Herpesvirus saimiri in immunosuppressed juvenile and newborn squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed Central

    Martin, L N; Allen, W P

    1975-01-01

    Immunosuppression of juvenile squirrel monkeys with combined azathioprine, prednisolone, and antilymphocyte globulin resulted in decreased antibody responses to viral antigens after primary infection with Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS). The virus was repeatedly isolated from the oropharynx of immunosuppressed monkeys but not from untreated infected controls. Thus immune factors are important in inhibiting shedding of HVS from the oropharynx. HVS could be isolated from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of infected control monkeys but not from the lymphocytes of immunosuppressed monkeys. Immunosuppressed monkeys also had decreased percentages of lymphocytes capable of forming rosettes with sheep erythrocytes. These results indicate that the immunosuppressive agents had inhibitory effects on lymphocytes (presumably thymus derived) capable of being latently infected with HVS. Antibody responses in newborn monkeys infected with HVS were delayed compared with juvenile monkeys. Treatment of newborn monkeys with antilymphocyte globulin had no suppressive effect on antibody responses to HVS. PMID:170204

  20. Revision of widespread red squirrels (genus: Tamiasciurus) highlights the complexity of speciation within North American forests.

    PubMed

    Hope, Andrew G; Malaney, Jason L; Bell, Kayce C; Salazar-Miralles, Fernando; Chavez, Andreas S; Barber, Brian R; Cook, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    Integration of molecular methods, ecological modeling, and statistical hypothesis testing are increasing our understanding of differentiation within species and phylogenetic relationships among species by revealing environmental connections to evolutionary processes. Within mammals, novel diversity is being discovered and characterized as more complete geographic sampling is coupled with newer multi-disciplinary approaches. North American red squirrels exemplify a forest obligate genus whose species are monitored as indicators of forest ecosystem condition, yet phylogenetic relationships reflecting evolutionary history within this genus remain tentative. Through testing of competing systematic and niche-based divergence hypotheses, we recognize three species, Tamiasciurus douglasii, T. hudsonicus, and T. fremonti. Our data provide evidence of regional differences in evolutionary dynamics and continental gradients of complexity that are important both for future management and for investigating multiple pathways that can lead to the formation of new species. PMID:27083861

  1. An Insightful Steady-State Performance of a Squirrel Cage Induction Generator Enhanced with STATCOM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojo, Olorunfemi; Khayamy, Mehdy; Bule, Mehari

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents the regulation of the terminal voltage and reactive power of a grid-connected squirrel cage induction generator. A shunt connected voltage source inverter (VSI) with a capacitor in the DC side operating as a Static Compensator (STATCOM) and a shunt capacitor are used for regulating the generator terminal voltage and limit the reactive power demand from the grid. Simulation results for steady-state operation for a wide variation of speed in the super-synchronous region are presented as well as the dynamic stability of the system. Closed-form steady-state characteristics equations for the system are used to determine key variables and to demonstrate how the operation of the system depends on various parameters. This characteristics curve which contains all of the equations of the system provides the all in one insightful view to the inherent characteristics of the system and the effect of the parameter variation on the terminal voltage plane.

  2. Diet of a free-ranging group of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) in eastern Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Lima, Eldianne M; Ferrari, Stephen F

    2003-01-01

    The feeding behaviour of free-ranging Saimiri sciureus was monitored over a 6-month period in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. Behavioural data were collected in scan samples (7-9 days per month), and fruit and arthropod availability were recorded monthly. A total of 3,546 feeding records were collected, divided between reproductive plant parts (55.1%) and arthropods (44.9%). The majority of identified prey were orthopterans and lepidopterans, and 10 of the 23 plant species exploited were Leguminosae and Sapotaceae. The diet varied progressively between August (20.0% plant, 80.0% animal) and January (79.7% plant, 20.3% animal). This shift accompanied an increase in the number of fruiting trees and evidence of declining arthropod availability. This included a marked reduction in foraging success and increasing consumption of immature prey. Overall, the data indicate that Amazonian squirrel monkeys may be relatively frugivorous during periods when prey is scarce. PMID:12826734

  3. Antiviral effects of human fibroblast interferon from Escherichia coli against encephalomyocarditis virus infection of squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Weck, P K; Harkins, R N; Stebbing, N

    1983-02-01

    Recombinant DNA methodology has allowed the production of human fibroblast interferon (IFN-beta) from Escherichia coli and this material, in highly purified form, has been shown to reduce viraemia and mortality in encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus-infected squirrel monkeys. These effects are dose related: six treatments over 4 days at 10(6) U/kg and 3 x 10(3) U/kg have comparable efficacy, whereas treatments at 10(3) U/kg are ineffective. The recombinant DNA-derived IFN-beta appears to be as effective as natural fibroblast cell-derived IFN-beta and both materials are effective by the intramuscular or intravenous routes. Thus, even though previous studies have shown that low circulating concentrations of IFN-beta are observed after intramuscular injections, the present data indicate that this slow release from the muscle can still confer protection. PMID:6300291

  4. Temperature and behavioral responses of squirrel monkeys to 2Gz acceleration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, C. A.; Tremor, J.; Connolly, J. P.; Williams, B. A.

    1982-01-01

    This study examines the responses of squirrel monkeys to acute +2Gz exposure. Body temperature responses of loosely restrained animals were recorded via a thermistor in the colon. Behavioral responses were recorded by video monitoring. After baseline recording at 1G, monkeys were exposed to 2G for 60 min. The body temperature started to fall within 10 min of the onset of centrifugation and declined an average of 1.4 C in 60 min. This is in contrast to a stable body temperature during the control period. Further, after a few minutes at 2G, the animals became drowsy and appeared to fall asleep. During the control period, however, they were alert and continually shifting their gaze about the cage. Thus, primates are susceptible to hypergravic fields in the +Gz orientation. The depression in primate body temperature was consistent and significant. Further, the observed drowsiness in this study has significant ramifications regarding alertness and performance in man.

  5. SPONTANEOUS LIPOPROTEIN GLOMERULOPATHY-LIKE NEPHROPATHY IN A SQUIRREL (SCIURUS VULGARIS).

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Ryosuke; Chambers, James K; Yoshida, Keiko; Nakamura, Takashi; Yasuno, Kyohei; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Kamiie, Junichi; Shirota, Kinji

    2016-06-01

    Lipoprotein glomerulopathy (LPG) is a rare human glomerular disease caused by abnormal lipid metabolism. Naturally occurring LPG has not been reported in animals. We describe the histopathological characterization of spontaneous LPG-like nephropathy in a captive squirrel ( Sciurus vulgaris ). Macroscopically, swollen glomeruli were distinctively identified as fine white granules in the renal cortex. Histologically, most glomeruli were markedly enlarged with distended capillaries containing faintly eosinophilic and amorphous materials. The amorphous material was negative using the periodic acid-Schiff reaction, periodic acid-methenamine silver stain, or Masson's trichrome stain. Sudan III staining revealed lipid in the materials, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the material additionally contained apolipoprotein E. Electron microscopy showed numerous lipid granules and vacuoles of various sizes in the capillary lumina associated with foot process effacement of podocytes. These pathological characteristics bear some resemblance to those of human LPG. PMID:27468047

  6. Behavioral and physiological responses of mother and infant squirrel monkeys to fearful stimuli.

    PubMed

    Wiener, S G; Levine, S

    1992-03-01

    The behavioral and adrenocortical responses of feral squirrel monkey mothers and their laboratory-born infants were measured following exposure to a live snake and to a flying predator model (hawk). The dyads were either socially or individually housed. The different stimuli were presented above the home cage for 1 hr; behaviors were observed during this period. Blood samples were obtained at the end of the test session and assayed for cortisol. The results indicated that individually housed dyads markedly increased their time spent in contact and their avoidance of the stimuli, and showed increased levels of cortisol when exposed to the snake or hawk model. Socially reared monkeys responded only to the snake. Thus, the presence of social partners ameliorated the response to the hawk model. The marked increase in contact during the presentation of the fear-eliciting stimuli may be partly responsible for the infants' response. PMID:1577203

  7. Neotropical primate nursery in a squirrel monkey breeding unit in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Meireles, B C S; Goldschmidt, B; Resende, F C; Lopes, C A A; Nascimento, L W F

    2016-02-01

    Saimiri (squirrel monkey) is a neotropical primate of the Simian genus that has been bred in captivity for the development of research into human and animal health. They have been widely used in studies in ophthalmology, toxicology, pharmacology, psychiatry, neuroscience, vaccines and drug tests (such as malaria and measles agents), as well as effects on interactive behavior and cognition of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in man. The main concern of non-human primate (NHP) research centers is focused on the establishment of self-sustaining breeding colonies providing good quality research animals. Maternal rejection, dystocia and pneumonia are the main causes of newborn deaths in these species. Therefore, in order to ensure the survival of these valuable animals, the Laboratory Animals Breeding Center of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (CECAL)/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has developed a protocol for the nursery rearing of these infants. PMID:25653170

  8. A Novel Touch-Sensitive Apparatus for Behavioral Studies in Unrestrained Squirrel Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Kangas, Brian D.; Bergman, Jack

    2012-01-01

    Despite the increasing sophistication and affordability of touch-sensitive technology, its use in the behavioral sciences has been limited. The present paper describes the design and empirical validation of a novel touch-sensitive operant conditioning chamber for use with unrestrained squirrel monkeys. In addition, results from a variant of a commonly employed animal model of learning, the repeated acquisition task, demonstrated the effectiveness of this chamber in programming an assay of complex behavior. Finally, results from a study with Δ9-tetrahyrdrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, showed that its effects in this novel touchscreen chamber were consistent with its dose-related effects on learning using more conventional approaches. Overall, these studies indicate the touchscreen apparatus provides effective means for programming complex behavioral tasks to assess the effects of pharmacological agents on cognitive function. PMID:22790109

  9. Effect of cadmium chloride on thyroid activity of the female Indian palm squirrel, Funambulus pennanti (Wroughton)

    SciTech Connect

    Shrivastava, V.K.; Sathyanesan, A.G.

    1988-02-01

    In humans, exposure to Cadmium (Cd) occurs primarily through inhalation and ingestion. Acute Cd inhalation results in pulmonary edema and respiratory tract irritation; while chronic inhalation causes fibrotic and emphysematous changes in lung tissue as well as damage of renal proximal tubules. Several workers have reviewed the toxic effects of Cd on mammals, including man. In laboratory animals Cd produced kidney damage, testicular necrosis and atrophy, brain hemorrhage, hypertension, liver damage and reduced growth. It also induced changes in the adrenal and thyroid gland in the rat. In this study, squirrels, Funambulus pennanti, were administered a single dose of CdCl/sub 2/ intraperitoneally, and their thyroid structure and radioiodine I/sup 131/ uptake were assessed.

  10. Behavioural and autonomic induction of prostaglandin E-1 fever in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed Central

    Crawshaw, L I; Stitt, J T

    1975-01-01

    1. Prostaglandins E1 (PGE1) was injected into the preoptic/anterior hypothalamic (PO/AH) area of the squirrel monkey. 2. Increases in rectal temperature (Tre) produced by PGE1 injections of 20 ng to 500 ng were dose-dependent. 3. When ambient temperature (Ta) was below the thermoneutral zone, increases in Tre were produced entirely by increases in metabolic rate. With Ta at the upper end of the thermoneutral zone, increases in Tre were produced by vasoconstriction in addition to lesser increases in metabolic rate. 4. During sessions of behavioural temperature regulation, PGE1 injections were followed by the selection of a higher Ta, increased skin temperature and subsequent increases in Tre. 5. PGE1 injections produce dose-dependent increases in Tre which are similar regardless of ambient temperature or whether behavioural or autonomic means are utilized to raise the heat content of the body. PMID:804544

  11. High prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in the European red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in France.

    PubMed

    Pisanu, Benoît; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Dozières, Anne; Basset, Franck; Poux, Valérie; Vourc'h, Gwenaël

    2014-02-01

    The European red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) has long been suspected to be a reservoir host of the agents of Lyme borreliosis, in particular B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). However, very few data support this hypothesis. Hereafter, we investigated the infections with B. burgdorferi genospecies in road-killed red squirrels collected across France. We also characterized the diversity of hard tick species collected from a subsample of hosts. DNA of B. burgdorferi genospecies were detected and identified from PCR products in ear biopsies using reverse line blot hybridization. Variation in prevalence was investigated accord-ing to biogeographic areas (Mediterranean, Atlantic, Continental, and Alpine), season, sex, relative age, and body mass from 273 squirrels collected 2003–2010. Among the 746 identified tick specimens, no adult was observed, 63% were nymphs, and 37% were larvae all belonging to the species Ixodes ricinus except one nymph identified as I. trianguliceps. Overall, no squirrels of Mediterranean origin and no unweaned juveniles were found infested by hard ticks. Only season explained variation in I. ricinus abundance on squirrels, with more ticks present in spring to summer than in autumn to winter. Squirrels of Mediterranean origin (n = 20) were not found infected with B. burgdorferi sensu-lato (s.l.), which is almost certainly related to the low occurrence of I. ricinus in this region. Based on individuals analyzed in the other regions of France, 11.5% (n = 26) unweaned young harboured B. burgdorferi s.l., which indicates that infection occurred already in the nest. In adults (n = 227), the prevalence of infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. was 27.3%, with 18.9% B. burgdorferi s.s., 11.9% B. afzelii, and 3.5% B. garinii. The season and the body mass, sex, and geographic origin of adults had no effect on the frequency of infection. Infection prevalence of S. vulgaris is among the highest found in rodents in Europe, particularly for B. burgdorferi s

  12. Increasing length of wakefulness and modulation of hypocretin-1 in the wake-consolidated squirrel monkey.

    PubMed

    Zeitzer, Jamie M; Buckmaster, Christine L; Lyons, David M; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2007-10-01

    The neuropeptides hypocretins (orexins), the loss of which results in the sleep disorder narcolepsy, are hypothesized to be involved in the consolidation of wakefulness and have been proposed to be part of the circadian-driven alertness signal. To elucidate the role of hypocretins in the consolidation of human wakefulness we examined the effect of wake extension on hypocretin-1 in squirrel monkeys, primates that consolidate wakefulness during the daytime as do humans. Wake was extended up to 7 h with hypocretin-1, cortisol, ghrelin, leptin, locomotion, and feeding, all being assayed. Hypocretin-1 (P < 0.01), cortisol (P < 0.001), and locomotion (P < 0.005) all increased with sleep deprivation, while ghrelin (P = 0.79) and leptin (P = 1.00) did not change with sleep deprivation. Using cross-correlation and multivariate modeling of these potential covariates along with homeostatic pressure (a measure of time awake/asleep), we found that time of day and homeostatic pressure together explained 44% of the variance in the hypocretin-1 data (P < 0.001), while cortisol did not significantly contribute to the overall hypocretin-1 variance. Locomotion during the daytime, but not during the nighttime, helped explain < 5% of the hypocretin-1 variance (P < 0.05). These data are consistent with earlier evidence indicating that in the squirrel monkey hypocretin-1 is mainly regulated by circadian inputs and homeostatic sleep pressure. Concomitants of wakefulness that affect hypocretin-1 in polyphasic species, such as locomotion, food intake, and food deprivation, likely have a more minor role in monophasic species, such as humans. PMID:17686881

  13. Testicular biometry and semen characteristics in captive and wild squirrel monkey species (Saimiri sp.).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, K G; Santos, R R; Leão, D L; Queiroz, H L; Paim, F P; Vianez-Júnior, J L S G; Domingues, S F S

    2016-08-01

    Differential phenotypic characteristics for taxonomic diagnosis purposes are well determined in the genus Saimiri (squirrel monkey). However, data on its reproductive characteristics are lacking. Our aim was to determine testicular biometry and correlate with seminal analysis in captive (Saimiri collinsi) and free living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis, and Saimiri macrodon) squirrel monkeys. Testicular length, width, height, circumference, and volume were measured. Testicular biometry showed no differences between right and left testicles within the same species, as well as among species. Semen collected by electroejaculation was constituted of a liquid and coagulated fraction, or only one of them. No significant difference was observed between mean volumes of liquid (49.2 ± 68.9 μL: S. collinsi; 28.3 ± 59.8 μL: S. vanzolinii; 5 ± 7.1 μL: S. cassiquiarensis; and 0 μL: S. macrodon) and coagulated (65.4 ± 142.1 μL: S. collinsi; 125.8 ± 142.5 μL: S. vanzolinii; 175 ± 176.8 μL: S. cassiquiarensis; and 500 μL: S. macrodon) fractions within species or when each fraction was compared among the studied species. No correlation between testicular volume and seminal volume was observed when liquid (R = 0.31, S. collinsi; R = -0.69, S. vanzolinii) and coagulated (R = 0.32, S. collinsi; R = -0.37, S. vanzolinii) fractions were evaluated. No sufficient data were obtained for the other two species. Seminal quality was similar among species, and the most common defect was coiled tail. The method of electroejaculation yielded satisfactory results on these species, under field conditions. PMID:27063055

  14. Finite element modelling of squirrel, guinea pig and rat skulls: using geometric morphometrics to assess sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Cox, P G; Fagan, M J; Rayfield, E J; Jeffery, N

    2011-01-01

    Rodents are defined by a uniquely specialized dentition and a highly complex arrangement of jaw-closing muscles. Finite element analysis (FEA) is an ideal technique to investigate the biomechanical implications of these specializations, but it is essential to understand fully the degree of influence of the different input parameters of the FE model to have confidence in the model's predictions. This study evaluates the sensitivity of FE models of rodent crania to elastic properties of the materials, loading direction, and the location and orientation of the models’ constraints. Three FE models were constructed of squirrel, guinea pig and rat skulls. Each was loaded to simulate biting on the incisors, and the first and the third molars, with the angle of the incisal bite varied over a range of 45°. The Young's moduli of the bone and teeth components were varied between limits defined by findings from our own and previously published tests of material properties. Geometric morphometrics (GMM) was used to analyse the resulting skull deformations. Bone stiffness was found to have the strongest influence on the results in all three rodents, followed by bite position, and then bite angle and muscle orientation. Tooth material properties were shown to have little effect on the deformation of the skull. The effect of bite position varied between species, with the mesiodistal position of the biting tooth being most important in squirrels and guinea pigs, whereas bilateral vs. unilateral biting had the greatest influence in rats. A GMM analysis of isolated incisor deformations showed that, for all rodents, bite angle is the most important parameter, followed by elastic properties of the tooth. The results here elucidate which input parameters are most important when defining the FE models, but also provide interesting glimpses of the biomechanical differences between the three skulls, which will be fully explored in future publications. PMID:21974720

  15. Expression of NF-κB and downstream antioxidant genes in skeletal muscle of hibernating ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus.

    PubMed

    Allan, Marcus E; Storey, Kenneth B

    2012-03-01

    Many small mammals survive the winter by hibernating, entering long periods of cold torpor that are interspersed with brief periods of arousal back to euthermia. This cycling is accompanied by wide changes in oxygen consumption, perfusion of tissues and ATP turnover, and the arousal period in particular is challenging because of oxidative stress associated with the huge increase in oxygen consumption needed to support thermogenesis by brown adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Well-developed antioxidant defences are needed. The present study analyses responses of the redox-sensitive transcription factor, NF-κB, in skeletal muscle over six points on the torpor-arousal cycle to gain insight into its regulation and role during hibernation. Immunoblotting was used to analyse NF-κB p50 and p65 subunit levels, nuclear versus cytoplasmic localization and DNA-binding activity as well as levels and phosphorylation state of the IκBα inhibitor and the kinase IKK that phosphorylates IκBα to trigger its dissociation from NF-κB. The data were generally consistent with an activation of NF-κB during the entrance into torpor with responses including an auto-up-regulation of p50 subunits seen during early torpor and elevated IκBα protein during arousal. Protein levels of two downstream antioxidant targets showed differential regulation, Mn-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) rising during early torpor versus heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) increasing during early arousal. The mRNA transcript levels of p50, p65, HO-1 and MnSOD also showed differential expression over the torpor-arousal cycle. The results suggest that antioxidant defences are up-regulated at specific phases of the torpor-arousal cycle and that NF-κB mediates such protective responses. PMID:22086848

  16. sup 14 C-2-deoxyglucose uptake in the ground squirrel brain during entrance to and arousal from hibernation

    SciTech Connect

    Kilduff, T.S.; Miller, J.D.; Radeke, C.M.; Sharp, F.R.; Heller, H.C. )

    1990-07-01

    Neuronal activity underlying various phases of the mammalian hibernation cycle was investigated using the {sup 14}C-2-deoxyglucose (2DG) method. Relative 2DG uptake (R2DGU) values were computed for 96 brain regions across 7 phases of the hibernation cycle: euthermia, 3 body temperature (Tb) intervals during entrance into hibernation, stable deep hibernation, and 2 Tb intervals during arousal from hibernation. Multivariate statistical techniques were employed to identify objectively groups of brain regions whose R2DGU values showed a similar pattern across all phases of hibernation. Factor analysis revealed that most of the variability in R2DGU values for the 96 brain regions across the entire cycle could be accounted for by 3 principal factors. These factors could accurately discriminate the various phases of hibernation on the basis of the R2DGU values alone. Three hypothalamic and 3 cortical regions were identified as possibly mediating the entrance into hibernation because they underwent a change in R2DGU early in entrance into hibernation and loaded strongly on one of the principal factors. Another 4 hypothalamic regions were similarly identified as possibly causally involved in the arousal from hibernation. These results, coupled with characteristic changes in ordinal rank of the 96 brain regions in each phase of hibernation, support the concept that mammalian hibernation is an active, integrated orchestration of neurophysiological events rather than a state entered through a passive process.

  17. Hypothalamic gene expression underlying pre-hibernation satiety.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, C; Hampton, M; Andrews, M T

    2015-03-01

    Prior to hibernation, 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) enter a hypophagic period where food consumption drops by an average of 55% in 3 weeks. This occurs naturally, while the ground squirrels are in constant environmental conditions and have free access to food. Importantly, this transition occurs before exposure to hibernation conditions (5°C and constant darkness), so the ground squirrels are still maintaining a moderate level of activity. In this study, we used the Illumina HiSeq 2000 system to sequence the hypothalamic transcriptomes of ground squirrels before and after the autumn feeding transition to examine the genes underlying this extreme change in feeding behavior. The hypothalamus was chosen because it is known to play a role in the control and regulation of food intake and satiety. Overall, our analysis identified 143 genes that are significantly differentially expressed between the two groups. Specifically, we found five genes associated with feeding behavior and obesity (VGF, TRH, LEPR, ADIPOR2, IRS2) that are all upregulated during the hypophagic period, after the feeding transition has occurred. We also found that serum leptin significantly increases in the hypophagic group. Several of the genes associated with the natural autumnal feeding decline in 13-lined ground squirrels show parallels to signaling pathways known to be disrupted in human metabolic diseases, like obesity and diabetes. In addition, many other genes were identified that could be important for the control of food consumption in other animals, including humans. PMID:25640202

  18. Postural effects on manual reaching laterality in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Roney, L S; King, J E

    1993-12-01

    Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) made unimanual food reaches from either a horizontal, quadrupedal posture or a vertical, clinging posture. No population-level handedness occurred in either species. However, in both species, directional lateral preferences weakly expressed for reaching from the stable quadrupedal posture were intensified in the vertical cling posture. This phenomenon, which we designate as soft handedness, may have been an evolutionary precursor to population-level handedness. Right or left turning by the squirrel monkeys before reaching closely predicted use of the right or left hand. However, the magnitude of the association decreased in the more highly lateralized vertical cling condition. This result suggests that as lateral hand preference increases, hand use may become increasingly independent of constraints from prior behavioral and environmental influences. PMID:8112050

  19. A new species of Breinlia (Breinlia) (nematoda: Filarioidea) from the South Indian flying squirrel Petaurista philippensis (Elliot).

    PubMed

    Chowattukunnel, J T; Esslinger, J H

    1979-06-01

    Breinlia (Breinlia) petauristi sp. n. from the abdominal cavity of the flying squirrel, Petaurista philippensis (Elliot), from Kerala, India, is described. Of the 15 recognized species of the subgenus, B. petauristi most closely resembles B. trichosuri in the body size, length of spicules, and number of caudal papillae. The detailed structure of the spicules is, however, markedly different in the 2 worms. This is the third species of Breinlia to be reported from a host other than an Australian marsupial. PMID:480065

  20. Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Lymphocytes from Different Age Groups of Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis)

    PubMed Central

    Nehete, Pramod N.; Hanley, Patrick W.; Nehete, Bharti P.; Yang, Guojun; Ruiz, Julio C.; Williams, Lawrence; Abee, Christian R.; Sastry, K. Jagannadha

    2013-01-01

    Due to many physiological and genetic characteristic similarities to humans, squirrel monkeys provide an ideal animal model specifically for studying malaria, and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease). While squirrel monkeys three years and older are generally considered adult subjects suitable for use in medical research studies, little is known about the functional properties of lymphocytes in relation to the age of these animals, which could significantly impact the quality and quantity of innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we investigated differences in the phenotype and function of lymphocytes subsets of young (3–4 years), adult (8–10 years) and aged (16–19 years) squirrel monkeys. In general, animals in all three age groups exhibited comparable numbers of different lymphocyte subsets except for CD20+ B cells that were significantly lower in aged relative to young animals and T cells subsets expressing both CD4 and CD8 (double positive) were significantly higher in aged relative to young animals. With increasing age, phenotypic differences in central and effector memory T cells subsets were observed, that were more pronounced for the CD8+ T cells. Despite equal proportions of CD3+ T cells among the three age groups, responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to T cell mitogens PHA and Con A showed lower IFN-γ producing cells in the aged group than that in the young group. Furthermore, aged animals showed significantly higher plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-12. These findings suggest that while the squirrel monkeys in general share phenotypic and functional similarities of lymphocyte subsets with humans in relation to age, specific differences exist in immune function of lymphocytes between young and old animals that could potentially impact experimental outcomes for which the measurement of immunologic endpoints are critical. PMID:24282512

  1. Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predicting changes in species distributions under a changing climate is becoming widespread with the use of species distribution models (SDMs). The resulting predictions of future potential habitat can be cast in light of planned land use changes, such as urban expansion and energy development to identify areas with potential conflict. However, SDMs rarely incorporate an understanding of dispersal capacity, and therefore assume unlimited dispersal in potential range shifts under uncertain climate futures. We use SDMs to predict future distributions of the Mojave ground squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis Merriam, and incorporate partial dispersal models informed by field data on juvenile dispersal to assess projected impact of climate change and energy development on future distributions of X. mohavensis. Our models predict loss of extant habitat, but also concurrent gains of new habitat under two scenarios of future climate change. Under the B1 emissions scenario- a storyline describing a convergent world with emphasis on curbing greenhouse gas emissions- our models predicted losses of up to 64% of extant habitat by 2080, while under the increased greenhouse gas emissions of the A2 scenario, we suggest losses of 56%. New potential habitat may become available to X. mohavensis, thereby offsetting as much as 6330 km2 (50%) of the current habitat lost. Habitat lost due to planned energy development was marginal compared to habitat lost from changing climates, but disproportionately affected current habitat. Future areas of overlap in potential habitat between the two climate change scenarios are identified and discussed in context of proposed energy development.

  2. Cocaine self-administration under variable-dose schedules in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Panlilio, Leigh V; Thorndike, Eric B; Schindler, Charles W

    2006-06-01

    Squirrel monkeys self-administered cocaine under a variable-dose schedule, with the dose varied from injection to injection. As in earlier studies with rats, post-injection pauses varied as a monotonic function of dose, allowing a cocaine dose-effect curve to be obtained during each session. These curves were shifted by pretreatment with dopamine antagonists, demonstrating that this procedure may provide an efficient means of evaluating treatments that affect drug self-administration. However, drug intake eventually became "dysregulated" after extensive training (100-300 sessions), with relatively short pauses following all doses. Dose-sensitivity was restored by adding a 60-s timeout period after each injection, suggesting that dysregulation occurred because the monkeys developed a tendency to self-administer another injection before the previous injection had been adequately distributed. Finally, when the response requirement under the variable-dose schedule was increased from 1 to 10, both the post-injection pause and the rate of responding following the pause ("run rates") were found to vary with dose. The dose-dependency of run rates suggests that post-injection pauses reflect not only motivational factors, such as satiety, but also the direct effects of cocaine on leverpressing. PMID:16814853

  3. Auditory sensitivity and equal loudness in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed Central

    Green, S

    1975-01-01

    The effects of the type of reinforcer on auditory sensitivity and equal-loudness data were determined in the squirrel monkey. The monkeys, restrained and provided with earphones, were conditioned to depress and hold a bar down in the presence of a stimulus light and then to terminate the holding response after onset of a tone. In Experiment 1, the specified behavior sequence postponed electric shock; in Experiment 2, a food reinforcer was dependent on bar release during the tone. The shape of the auditory sensitivity function and the acuity level at each frequency were the same for the two procedures. The audible frequency range extended from below 0.125 kHz (lowest frequency used) to 46 kHz. Sensitivity was maximum at 8 kHz. Latency of bar release following tone onset served as the basic data for constructing a family of equal-loudness contours. The type of reinforcer appeared not to be a determinant of either the shape of individual loudness contours or the pattern of family of equal-loudness functions. At the lower sound-pressure levels, the equal-loudness contours closely paralleled the threshold curves. At more-intense levels, the contours tended to flatten and depend less on frequency. Images Fig. 1. PMID:804532

  4. Characterization of human proteins that bind the repeated sequences in the squirrel monkey retrovirus enhancer.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, S; Watanabe, T; Ohmatsu, M; Oda, T

    1995-12-01

    We have recently identified two different human DNA-binding proteins, SMBP1 (35 kDa) and SMBP2 (17 kDa), that specifically interact with the direct repeats of the enhancer sequence in the squirrel monkey retrovirus long terminal repeat. Herein, we report several biochemical properties of the human DNA-binding proteins. SMBP1 and 2 recognized an overlapped sequence of the 5' region of the repeat which contains a palindrome of CCAATGG. Both proteins required divalent cations such as Mg2+ and Ca2+ for their specific DNA binding at the optimum concentration of 1 mM. SMBP2 is a thermostable protein that binds tightly to the DNA sequence even by treatment at 80 degrees C for 15 min. The SMBP2-DNA complex was also stable in the presence of 300 mM NaCl. The resistance of SMBP2 to heat and salt treatment is a prominent character distinguishable from SMBP1 and other known transcriptional factors. SMBP1 and 2 can be easily separated by heparin-agarose chromatography. These DNA-binding proteins were found to be present in nuclear extracts from several human cell lines including T cell, B cell, and epithelial cell. PMID:8747092

  5. Post-weaning parental care increases fitness but is not heritable in North American red squirrels.

    PubMed

    Lane, J E; McAdam, A G; Charmantier, A; Humphries, M M; Coltman, D W; Fletcher, Q; Gorrell, J C; Boutin, S

    2015-06-01

    Most empirical attempts to explain the evolution of parental care have focused on its costs and benefits (i.e. fitness consequences). In contrast, few investigations have been made of the other necessary prerequisite for evolutionary change, inheritance. Here, we examine the fitness consequences and heritability (h(2)) of a post-weaning parental care behaviour (territory bequeathal) in a wild population of North American red squirrels. Each year, a subset (average across all years = 19%) of reproductive females bequeathed their territory to a dependent offspring. Bequeathing females experienced higher annual reproductive success and did not suffer a survival cost to themselves relative to those females retaining their territory. Bequeathing females thus realized higher relative annual fitness [ω = 1.18 ± 0.03 (SE)] than nonbequeathing females [ω = 0.96 ± 0.02 (SE)]. Additive genetic influences on bequeathal behaviour, however, were not significantly different from 0 (h(2) = 1.9 × 10(-3); 95% highest posterior density interval = 3.04 × 10(-8) to 0.37) and, in fact, bequeathal behaviour was not significantly repeatable (R = 2.0 × 10(-3); 95% HPD interval = 0-0.27). In contrast, directional environmental influences were apparent. Females were more likely to bequeath in years following low food abundance and when food availability in the upcoming autumn was high. Despite an evident fitness benefit, a lack of heritable genetic variance will constrain evolution of this trait. PMID:25847376

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions. PMID:26994833

  9. Feeding demand conditions and plasma cortisol in socially-housed squirrel monkey mother-infant dyads.

    PubMed

    Champoux, M; Hwang, L; Lang, O; Levine, S

    2001-07-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that experimentally altering the accessibility and availability of food can have profound impact on behavior and adrenocortical activity in nonhuman primate species. In this study, groups of mother-infant squirrel monkey dyads were housed in either high demand (HFD: 120% normal daily food intake provided), low demand (LFD: 600% normal daily food intake provided) or variable demand (VFD: alternating two-week blocks of low demand and high demand) conditions for 12 weeks. During the 12-week experimental foraging phase, animals in the HFD group exhibited prolonged and consistent cortisol elevations. The cortisol levels in the VFD group reflected the ambient demand condition, with higher levels exhibited during the high demand phases of the study, and lower values when the low demand condition was in effect. Overall, mothers were more affected by the experimental manipulation than were infants. The experimental condition did not affect the infants' response to a 24-h separation from their mothers. A suppression of cortisol levels, particularly in the HFD group, was observed upon resumption of ad-libitum feeding. PMID:11337131

  10. Light masking of circadian rhythms of heat production, heat loss, and body temperature in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, E. L.; Fuller, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    Whole body heat production (HP) and heat loss (HL) were examined to determine their relative contributions to light masking of the circadian rhythm in body temperature (Tb). Squirrel monkey metabolism (n = 6) was monitored by both indirect and direct calorimetry, with telemetered measurement of body temperature and activity. Feeding was also measured. Responses to an entraining light-dark (LD) cycle (LD 12:12) and a masking LD cycle (LD 2:2) were compared. HP and HL contributed to both the daily rhythm and the masking changes in Tb. All variables showed phase-dependent masking responses. Masking transients at L or D transitions were generally greater during subjective day; however, L masking resulted in sustained elevation of Tb, HP, and HL during subjective night. Parallel, apparently compensatory, changes of HL and HP suggest action by both the circadian timing system and light masking on Tb set point. Furthermore, transient HL increases during subjective night suggest that gain change may supplement set point regulation of Tb.

  11. Low-density lipoprotein transport in blood vessel walls of squirrel monkeys

    SciTech Connect

    Tompkins, R.G.; Yarmush, M.L.; Schnitzer, J.J.; Colton, C.K.; Smith, K.A.; Stemerman, M.B. )

    1989-08-01

    Transmural accumulations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) were examined in the blood vessel walls of four squirrel monkeys. Vascular wall concentrations of LDL were measured using quantitative autoradiography after {sup 125}I-labeled LDL circulation for 30 min. Profiles of relative tissue concentration from different sections in the same region were similar to each other, and there was little animal-to-animal variation. Concentrations were highest near the luminal endothelium, lower near the medial-adventitial border, and lowest within the media. Profiles from different regions fell into three groups: (1) aortic samples had steep intimal concentration gradients and near-zero media concentrations; (2) the iliac, femoral, popliteal, and common carotid arteries had higher intimal concentrations than group 1 but had similar concentrations deep within the media; and (3) the cerebral and coronary arteries, inferior vena cava, and pulmonary artery had intimal concentrations that were similar to group 2, but the concentrations deep within the media were greater than either groups 1 or 2. Arterial bifurcation profiles from the inner wall and the outer walls were similar to each other and to profiles from the upstream and downstream areas. Out of 280 total sites examined, 15 examples of profiles with substantially increased concentrations near the luminal endothelium were found scattered throughout the cardiovascular system, demonstrating that there are focal regions throughout the cardiovascular system which have greatly increased {sup 125}I-LDL transendothelial permeability.

  12. Neuronal Control of Mammalian Vocalization, with Special Reference to the Squirrel Monkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jürgens, Uwe

    Squirrel monkey vocalization can be considered as a suitable model for the study in humans of the neurobiological basis of nonverbal emotional vocal utterances, such as laughing, crying, and groaning. Evaluation of electrical and chemical brain stimulation data, lesioning studies, single-neurone recordings, and neuroanatomical tracing work leads to the following conclusions: The periaqueductal gray and laterally bordering tegmentum of the midbrain represent a crucial area for the production of vocalization. This area collects the various vocalization-triggering stimuli, such as auditory, visual, and somatosensory input from diverse sensory-processing structures, motivation-controlling input from some limbic structures, and volitional impulses from the anterior cingulate cortex. Destruction of this area causes mutism. It is still under dispute whether the periaqueductal region harbors the vocal pattern generator or merely couples vocalization-triggering information to motor-coordinating structures further downward in the brainstem. The periaqueductal region is connected with the phonatory motoneuron pools indirectly via one or several interneurons. The nucleus retroambiguus represents a crucial relay station for the laryngeal and expiratory component of vocalization. The articulatory component reaches the orofacial motoneuron pools via the parvocellular reticular formation. Essential proprioceptive feedback from the larynx and lungs enter the vocal-controlling network via the solitary tract nucleus.

  13. Sleep-wake responses of squirrel monkeys exposed to hyperdynamic environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, C. A.

    1983-01-01

    This study examines the sleep responses of primates to acute 3 Gz environments. To investigate this question, loosely-restrained squirrel monkeys were exposed to 70 minutes of 3 Gz during the day. The animals' behavioral state was polygraphically monitored (EEG, EMG, EOG) along with video and deep body temperature. During the control period, animals exhibited slow wave sleep (SWS) napping behavior. SWS occurred during approximately 20 percent of the control period. Body temperature was maintained at 38.7 C. At 3 Gz, SWS was inhibited for 5 minutes, after which SWS occurred at levels 50 percent lower than in the control period. During the post-centrifugation period, SWS was elevated above the control (50 percent) and hyperdynamic (100 percent) levels. Body temperature was depressed 1.5 C when the animals were at 3 Gz. Thus, hyperdynamic environments are capable of modifying primate sleep behavior, at least as a result of acute exposure. Further, the increased arousal in the hyperdynamic environment is correlated with a lower body temperature. This negative correlation differs from the normal positive correlation of arousal and body temperature.

  14. Behavioral and neurochemical effects of amphetamine analogs that release monoamines in the squirrel monkey.

    PubMed

    Kimmel, Heather L; Manvich, Daniel F; Blough, Bruce E; Negus, S Stevens; Howell, Leonard L

    2009-12-01

    To date, there are no effective pharmacotherapies for treating psychostimulant abuse. Previous preclinical and clinical studies have shown that continuous treatment with the monoamine releaser amphetamine reduces cocaine self-administration, but amphetamine selectively targets the dopamine system and is reinforcing. In the present study, we examined the consequences of administration of amphetamine and three structurally related analogs that vary in their potencies for releasing dopamine and serotonin on behavioral-stimulant effects and nucleus accumbens dopamine levels in squirrel monkeys. Amphetamine and PAL-353, which have relatively high selectivity for releasing dopamine vs. serotonin, increased accumbens dopamine levels and induced stimulant effects on behavior maintained by a fixed-interval schedule of reinforcement. PAL-313, which has a relatively low selectivity for releasing dopamine vs. serotonin, increased dopamine levels, but did not induce behavioral-stimulant effects. PAL-287, which is relatively nonselective in releasing dopamine and serotonin, did not increase dopamine levels or induce behavioral-stimulant effects. These results demonstrate that increasing serotonergic activity attenuates dopamine release and dopamine-mediated behavioral effects of monoamine releasers. In addition, these results support further investigation of PAL-313 and similar compounds as a potential medication for treating psychostimulant abuse. PMID:19766133

  15. `Should We Kill the Grey Squirrels?' A Study Exploring Students' Justifications and Decision-Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evagorou, Maria; Jimenez-Aleixandre, Maria Pilar; Osborne, Jonathan

    2012-02-01

    A problem that is still unexplored in the field of socioscientific issues (SSI) and that was explored in this study is how different students decide upon a SSI they are discussing, how their justifications change during the instruction and how they use (or not) the evidence from the learning environment to support their justifications. For the purposes of this study, two classes (12-13-year-old students) with diverse characteristics were selected from two different schools in the UK. Class A students, considered high achievers come from a white-British background. Class B students considered average achievers come from an Asian British background. The students engaged in discussions regarding a SSI (Should we kill the grey squirrel to save the red?), supported by an online learning environment. Students' written arguments, classroom discussions, and classroom observations were collected and analysed. The findings suggest that even though the two classes engaged with the same learning environment, the decisions and justifications provided by the pairs in the two classes were quite distinct. The students used the evidence from the learning environment in ways which supported their decision, and tended to ignore evidence if these contradicted their decision. Furthermore, students' justifications support the hypothesis that their decision was based on whether they identified with the actors of the issue. Implications for research include exploring how students identify with the actors of a SSI to enable us to support them overcoming their personal narratives and becoming critical evaluators of scientific knowledge.

  16. Ground Zero.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozada, Marlene

    1998-01-01

    Many public school districts have adopted a policy of zero tolerance toward drug use, weapon possession, and sexual harassment on school grounds. Although a study by the National Center for Education Statistics reported no evidence that zero tolerance policies have lowered school crime rates, prominent education groups favor them. (JOW)

  17. Effect of photoperiod in the regulation of the annual testicular cycle of a subtropical mammal, the Indian palm squirrel, Funambulus pennanti.

    PubMed

    Singh, A B; Chaturvedi, C M

    1995-03-01

    In seasonally breeding subtropical mammal, the Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus pennanti), reproductive recrudescence is initiated before the winter solstice followed by sexually active condition which extends until the end of summer season. Onset of seasonal regression coincides with the annual decrease in daily photoperiod and the increased level of relative humidity resulting from the arrival of monsoon at this latitude. To test the photoperiodic responses, three groups of squirrels were exposed to natural day length (NDL), long day length (LD 15:9), and short day length (LD 6:18) over a period of one year beginning from March. Squirrels of all these groups were exposed to similar ambient temperature and humidity conditions. Initially, the rate of testicular development was similar in control and long day squirrels attaining peak values in May (0.67 cm3) and June (0.7 cm3) respectively. Thereafter, while the gonads of controls regressed, the latter maintained a plateau. On the other hand, the gonads of short day squirrels regressed sharply until June (0.21 cm3) followed by spontaneous recrudescence and finally a plateau (0.55 cm3). These results indicate that initially squirrels are photosensitive (as long days are gonadostimulatory and short days are inhibitory) in the first half of summer season but eventually become refractory to the inhibitory effect of short days. Obviously, an acyclic condition is developed under constant long as well short day conditions maintaining the neuroendocrine-gonadal-axis in a continuously active state. We suggest that in nature although gonadal growth of this species does not synchronize with the increase in daily photoperiod, it is partially regulated by an interplay of annual photocycle and humidity conditions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7605602

  18. Effects of pharmacologic dopamine β-hydroxylase inhibition on cocaine-induced reinstatement and dopamine neurochemistry in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Debra A; Kimmel, Heather L; Manvich, Daniel F; Schmidt, Karl T; Weinshenker, David; Howell, Leonard L

    2014-07-01

    Disulfiram has shown promise as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence in clinical settings, although it has many targets, and the behavioral and molecular mechanisms underlying its efficacy are unclear. One of many biochemical actions of disulfiram is inhibition of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), the enzyme that converts dopamine (DA) to norepinephrine (NE) in noradrenergic neurons. Thus, disulfiram simultaneously reduces NE and elevates DA tissue levels in the brain. In rats, both disulfiram and the selective DBH inhibitor nepicastat block cocaine-primed reinstatement, a paradigm which is thought to model some aspects of drug relapse. This is consistent with some clinical results and supports the use of DBH inhibitors for the treatment of cocaine dependence. The present study was conducted to confirm and extend these results in nonhuman primates. Squirrel monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine were pretreated with disulfiram or nepicastat prior to cocaine-induced reinstatement sessions. Neither DBH inhibitor altered cocaine-induced reinstatement. Unexpectedly, nepicastat administered alone induced a modest reinstatement effect in squirrel monkeys, but not in rats. To investigate the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the behavioral results, the effects of DBH inhibition on extracellular DA were analyzed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) using in vivo microdialysis in squirrel monkeys. Both DBH inhibitors attenuated cocaine-induced DA overflow in the NAc. Hence, the attenuation of cocaine-induced changes in accumbal DA neurochemistry was not associated with altered cocaine-seeking behavior. Overall, the reported behavioral effects of DBH inhibition in rodent models of relapse did not extend to nonhuman primates under the conditions used in the current studies. PMID:24817036

  19. Role of otolith endorgans in the genesis of vestibular-visual conflict sickness (pitch) in the squirrel monkey (First report)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Igarashi, Makoto; Himi, Tetsuo; Kulecz, Walter B.; Kobayashi, Kazutoyo

    1987-01-01

    The effects of ablation of the macula utriculi and macula sacculi on vestibular-visual conflict emesis in squirrel monkeys are investigated. An optokinetic drum and a turntable were used for the direction conflict experiment. A significant difference between the preoperative condition and postunilateral and postbilateral utriculo-sacculectomy conditions is observed. It is detected that after unilateral sacculectomy the conflict sickness decreases and no emesis occurs; however, 4.5 months after sacculectomy, the animals regain their conflict sickness. The data reveal that macular afferents are important in the genesis of sensory conflict emesis and two submodalities may be needed to cause conflict sickness onset.

  20. The direct connections of the C2 dorsal ganglion in the brain stem of the squirrel monkey: a preliminary investigation *

    PubMed Central

    Fitz-Ritson, Don E.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to observe the possible anatomical connections of C2 dorsal root with brain stem nuclei. Labelled amino acids (leucine, glycine, proline), were injected into the dorsal root of C2 of a squirrel monkey. The animal was allowed to survive for 20 hrs. and after, sections of the spinal cord and brain stem were subjected to autoradiographic methods. Direct connections were observed in Lamina II, VII, VIII of the spinal cord; the hypoglossal nucleus, medial vestibular nucleus, lateral cuneatus nucleus and lateral parvocellular reticular formation. Possible anatomical and physiological correlates are explored in relation to the importance of the upper cervical area and its control mechanisms.

  1. Predators, energetics and fitness drive neonatal reproductive failure in red squirrels.

    PubMed

    Studd, Emily K; Boutin, Stan; McAdam, Andrew G; Krebs, Charles J; Humphries, Murray M

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal reproductive failure should occur when energetic costs of parental investment outweigh fitness benefits. However, little is known about the drivers of neonatal reproductive failure in free-ranging species experiencing continuous natural variation in predator abundance and in the energetic and fitness costs and benefits associated with parental investment. Long-term comprehensive studies are required to better understand how biotic, abiotic and life-history conditions interact to drive occurrences of reproductive failure in the wild. Using 24 years (1987-2011) of reproductive data from a northern boreal population of North American red squirrels in south-western Yukon, we examined the effects of predator abundance, energetics (resource availability, ambient temperature and litter size) and fitness benefits (probability of overwinter juvenile survival and maternal age) on occurrences of neonatal reproductive failure (494/2670 reproductive attempts; 18·5%). Neonatal reproductive failure was driven by a combination of predator abundance, and the energetic and fitness costs and benefits of parental investment. The abundance of mustelids and maternal age was positively related to the occurrence of neonatal reproductive failure. High energy costs associated with a combination of low resource availability and cold ambient temperatures or large litters, corresponded to increased occurrences of neonatal reproductive failure. However, the strength of these relationships was influenced by variation in juvenile overwinter survival (i.e. fitness benefits). We provide evidence that predation pressure is an important driver of neonatal reproductive failure. In addition, we found a trade-off occurs between resource-dependent energetic and fitness costs and benefits of raising the current litter to independence. PMID:25132293

  2. Polyspecific associations between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and other primates in eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Tatyana; Ferrari, Stephen F; Lopes, Maria Aparecida

    2011-11-01

    One of the most common types of polyspecific association observed in Neotropical primate communities is that between squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) and capuchins (Cebus). The present study focused on association patterns in two Saimiri sciureus groups in eastern Brazilian Amazonia, between March and October, 2009. The associations were analyzed in terms of the species involved, the degree of association, and niche breadth and overlap. The study involved two S. sciureus groups (B4 and GI) on the right and left bank of the Tocantins River, respectively, within the area of the Tucuruí reservoir in southeastern Pará. Relations between species were classified as associations (individuals within 50 m and moving in the same direction), and encounters (individuals within 50 m and no coordinated movement). Group B4 was in association with Cebus apella during 100% of monitoring, and with Chiropotes satanas in 20.2%. By contrast, Group GI associated with Cebus 54.8% of the time, and with Chiropotes utahickae 2.5%. Encounters with Alouatta belzebul and Saguinus niger were recorded at both sites, with Aotus azarae and Dasyprocta prymnolopha at B4, and with Callicebus moloch, Dasyproct aleporina, Mazama gouazoubira, and Nasua nasua at GI. Overall, Saimiri had a broader niche than Cebus in terms of vertical spacing and diet, but not for substrate use. This pattern did not appear to be affected by association. While group GI spent significantly (P < 0.05) more time in association with Cebus during the wet season, group B4 associated with Chiropotes more during the dry season. Despite the higher association rates, niche overlap was greater for all variables at B4. This may reflect differences in the ranging and foraging patterns at the two sites, and the varying potential benefits of association for Saimiri. PMID:21809365

  3. Effects of southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans on red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laves, K.S.; Loeb, S.C.

    1999-01-01

    Anecdotal data gathered from many populations suggest that southern flying squirrel (SFS, Glaucomys volans) use of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker's (RCW, Picoides borealis) nest and roost cavities may negatively affect RCW populations. We conducted a controlled experiment to determine the effects of SFSs on RCW reproductive success. During the 1994 and 1995 breeding seasons, SFSs were removed from 30 RCW clusters and 32 clusters served as controls. SFSs were the most frequently encountered occupants of RCW cavities and used 20-33% of RCW cavities in control and treatment clusters over both years. Treatment groups produced significantly more successful nests (??? 1 fledgling) than control groups in 1994. In 1995 however, there was no difference in the number of successful nests. In both years, RCW groups nesting in treatment clusters produced significantly more fledglings than groups in control clusters in each of four experimental areas, averaging approximately 0.7 additional fledglings per nesting group. Loss of entire clutches or broods, possibly as a result of predation or abandonment, was a major factor limiting reproduction in control groups in 1994. In contrast, differences in partial brood loss appeared to be the cause of differential fledging success in 1995 Usurpation of RCW roost cavities by SFSs may have placed greater energetic demands on RCWs for cavity defence or thermoregulation, thus reducing energy available for reproduction. Our results show that SFS use of RCW cavities during the breeding season has a significant impact on RCWs and that management of RCW populations should include activities that either minimize SFS populations in RCW clusters or limit access of SFSs to RCW cavities.

  4. Differential adaptation of the linear and nonlinear components of the horizontal vestibuloocular reflex in squirrel monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clendaniel, Richard A.; Lasker, David M.; Minor, Lloyd B.; Shelhamer, M. J. (Principal Investigator)

    2002-01-01

    Previous work in squirrel monkeys has demonstrated the presence of linear and nonlinear components to the horizontal vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) evoked by high-acceleration rotations. The nonlinear component is seen as a rise in gain with increasing velocity of rotation at frequencies more than 2 Hz (a velocity-dependent gain enhancement). We have shown that there are greater changes in the nonlinear than linear component of the response after spectacle-induced adaptation. The present study was conducted to determine if the two components of the response share a common adaptive process. The gain of the VOR, in the dark, to sinusoidal stimuli at 4 Hz (peak velocities: 20-150 degrees /s) and 10 Hz (peak velocities: 20 and 100 degrees /s) was measured pre- and postadaptation. Adaptation was induced over 4 h with x0.45 minimizing spectacles. Sum-of-sines stimuli were used to induce adaptation, and the parameters of the stimuli were adjusted to invoke only the linear or both linear and nonlinear components of the response. Preadaptation, there was a velocity-dependent gain enhancement at 4 and 10 Hz. In postadaptation with the paradigms that only recruited the linear component, there was a decrease in gain and a persistent velocity-dependent gain enhancement (indicating adaptation of only the linear component). After adaptation with the paradigm designed to recruit both the linear and nonlinear components, there was a decrease in gain and no velocity-dependent gain enhancement (indicating adaptation of both components). There were comparable changes in the response to steps of acceleration. We interpret these results to indicate that separate processes drive the adaptation of the linear and nonlinear components of the response.

  5. Modeling the vestibulo-ocular reflex of the squirrel monkey during eccentric rotation and roll tilt.

    PubMed

    Merfeld, D M

    1995-01-01

    Model simulations of the squirrel monkey vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) are presented for two motion paradigms: constant velocity eccentric rotation and roll tilt about a naso-occipital axis. The model represents the implementation of three hypotheses: the "internal model" hypothesis, the "gravito-inertial force (GIF) resolution" hypothesis, and the "compensatory VOR" hypothesis. The internal model hypothesis is based on the idea that the nervous system knows the dynamics of the sensory systems and implements this knowledge as an internal dynamic model. The GIF resolution hypothesis is based on the idea that the nervous system knows that gravity minus linear acceleration equals GIF and implements this knowledge by resolving the otolith measurement of GIF into central estimates of gravity and linear acceleration, such that the central estimate of gravity minus the central estimate of acceleration equals the otolith measurement of GIF. The compensatory VOR hypothesis is based on the idea that the VOR compensates for the central estimates of angular velocity and linear velocity, which sum in a near-linear manner. During constant velocity eccentric rotation, the model correctly predicts that: (1) the peak horizontal response is greater while "facing-motion" than with "back-to-motion"; (2) the axis of eye rotation shifts toward alignment with GIF; and (3) a continuous vertical response, slow phase downward, exists prior to deceleration. The model also correctly predicts that a torsional response during the roll rotation is the only velocity response observed during roll rotations about a naso-occipital axis. The success of this model in predicting the observed experimental responses suggests that the model captures the essence of the complex sensory interactions engendered by eccentric rotation and roll tilt. PMID:8542968

  6. Modeling the vestibulo-ocular reflex of the squirrel monkey during eccentric rotation and roll tilt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merfeld, D. M.; Paloski, W. H. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    Model simulations of the squirrel monkey vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) are presented for two motion paradigms: constant velocity eccentric rotation and roll tilt about a naso-occipital axis. The model represents the implementation of three hypotheses: the "internal model" hypothesis, the "gravito-inertial force (GIF) resolution" hypothesis, and the "compensatory VOR" hypothesis. The internal model hypothesis is based on the idea that the nervous system knows the dynamics of the sensory systems and implements this knowledge as an internal dynamic model. The GIF resolution hypothesis is based on the idea that the nervous system knows that gravity minus linear acceleration equals GIF and implements this knowledge by resolving the otolith measurement of GIF into central estimates of gravity and linear acceleration, such that the central estimate of gravity minus the central estimate of acceleration equals the otolith measurement of GIF. The compensatory VOR hypothesis is based on the idea that the VOR compensates for the central estimates of angular velocity and linear velocity, which sum in a near-linear manner. During constant velocity eccentric rotation, the model correctly predicts that: (1) the peak horizontal response is greater while "facing-motion" than with "back-to-motion"; (2) the axis of eye rotation shifts toward alignment with GIF; and (3) a continuous vertical response, slow phase downward, exists prior to deceleration. The model also correctly predicts that a torsional response during the roll rotation is the only velocity response observed during roll rotations about a naso-occipital axis. The success of this model in predicting the observed experimental responses suggests that the model captures the essence of the complex sensory interactions engendered by eccentric rotation and roll tilt.

  7. Density of muscle spindles in the jaw muscles of the Japanese flying squirrel and the guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Odagiri, N; Kubota, K; Shibanai, S

    1993-06-01

    The number of muscle spindles and their distribution pattern in the jaw muscles were examined in serial sections of the heads of the Japanese flying squirrel and the guinea pig, and were compared with each other. The Japanese flying squirrel had 127 to 177 spindles, the length of which ranged from 140 microns to 1400 microns; 74 to 99 in the masseter, 39 to 47 in the temporalis, 11 to 28 in the zygomaticomandibularis, zero to one in the maxillomandibularis and two to three in the medial pterygoid muscles. The guinea pig had 322 to 346 spindles, the length of which ranged from 140 microns to 2800 microns; 116 to 125 in the masseter, 15 to 16 in the temporalis, 98 to 107 in the zygomaticomandibularis, 89 to 94 in the maxillomandibularis, and three to five in the medial pterygoid muscles. The lateral pterygoid, mylohyoid and anterior digastric muscles were devoid of spindles, as was the case in the other rodent species examined. PMID:8338226

  8. Predictive habitat models derived from nest-box occupancy for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in the southern Appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, W. Mark; Evans, A.M.; Odom, Richard H.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kelly, C.A.; Abaid, Nicole; Diggins, Corinne A.; Newcomb, Doug

    2016-01-01

    In the southern Appalachians, artificial nest-boxes are used to survey for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (CNFS; Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus), a disjunct subspecies associated with high elevation (>1385 m) forests. Using environmental parameters diagnostic of squirrel habitat, we created 35 a priori occupancy models in the program PRESENCE for boxes surveyed in western North Carolina, 1996-2011. Our best approximating model showed CNFS denning associated with sheltered landforms and montane conifers, primarily red spruce Picea rubens. As sheltering decreased, decreasing distance to conifers was important. Area with a high probability (>0.5) of occupancy was distributed over 18662 ha of habitat, mostly across 10 mountain ranges. Because nest-box surveys underrepresented areas >1750 m and CNFS forage in conifers, we combined areas of high occupancy with conifer GIS coverages to create an additional distribution model of likely habitat. Regionally, above 1385 m, we determined that 31795 ha could be occupied by CNFS. Known occupied patches ranged from

  9. Big Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicennia) ecology and habitat use in a cypress dome swamp-pine forest mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Kellam, John O.; Jansen, Deborah K.; Johnson, Annette T.; Arwood, Ralph W.; Merrick, Melissa J.; Koprowski, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Forested wetlands are in decline, as are many species that are obligate residents. Big Cypress fox squirrels (BCFS; Sciurus niger avicennia) are a threatened endemic to wet pine and cypress forests in southwestern Florida. The region is characterized by development resulting in habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and hydrological change that influence the quality of these wet forests. Through radiotelemetry and field observations, we examined the ecology and habitat use of BCFS in a natural cypress dome-pine forest mosaic. BCFS selected cypress domes for food and nests throughout the year. Cypress dome habitats were the only habitat type to be used more than available; however, the availability of nearby pine forest was also important. Home ranges were large relative to other tree squirrels, with male home ranges exceeding female ranges. Males overlapped more females than males, while sharing similar food preferences and use patterns with females, suggesting that the sexual dimorphism in home range size is related to mate searching. Roads and oil extraction pads were used less frequently than expected and were incorporated into home ranges less than randomly generated features. The importance of cypress domes within the wet forests and grasslands of Big Cypress National Preserve demonstrates the value of maintaining this delicate mosaic. PMID:26989265

  10. Very low levels of direct additive genetic variance in fitness and fitness components in a red squirrel population

    PubMed Central

    McFarlane, S Eryn; Gorrell, Jamieson C; Coltman, David W; Humphries, Murray M; Boutin, Stan; McAdam, Andrew G

    2014-01-01

    A trait must genetically correlate with fitness in order to evolve in response to natural selection, but theory suggests that strong directional selection should erode additive genetic variance in fitness and limit future evolutionary potential. Balancing selection has been proposed as a mechanism that could maintain genetic variance if fitness components trade off with one another and has been invoked to account for empirical observations of higher levels of additive genetic variance in fitness components than would be expected from mutation–selection balance. Here, we used a long-term study of an individually marked population of North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) to look for evidence of (1) additive genetic variance in lifetime reproductive success and (2) fitness trade-offs between fitness components, such as male and female fitness or fitness in high- and low-resource environments. “Animal model” analyses of a multigenerational pedigree revealed modest maternal effects on fitness, but very low levels of additive genetic variance in lifetime reproductive success overall as well as fitness measures within each sex and environment. It therefore appears that there are very low levels of direct genetic variance in fitness and fitness components in red squirrels to facilitate contemporary adaptation in this population. PMID:24963372

  11. Patterns of ectoparasitism in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus): Sex-biases, seasonality, age, and effects on male body condition

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Jesse E.H.; Neuhaus, Peter; Kutz, Susan J.; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.

    2015-01-01

    Within many species, males are often more heavily parasitised than females. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, including immunocompetence handicaps, sexual size dimorphism and behavioural differences. Here we set out to test the latter two hypotheses and make inferences about the former by assessing patterns of ectoparasitism across various life-history stages in a population of North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). We also conducted an ectoparasite removal experiment to investigate the effects of ectoparasites on male body condition. We found that males were more intensely parasitized than females, but only during the mating period. There was no difference in ectoparasite intensity between male and female juveniles at birth or at emergence, suggesting that ectoparasites do not exploit male red squirrels for longer-range natal dispersal. Male red squirrels in our population were slightly heavier than females, however we did not find any evidence that this dimorphism drives male-biased ectoparasitism. Finally, we could not detect an effect of ectoparasite removal on male body mass. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that ectoparasites exploit their male hosts for transmission and that male red squirrels are important for the transmission dynamics of ectoparasites in this population; however, the mechanisms (i.e., immunocompetence, testosterone) are not known. PMID:26236631

  12. Changes in the impact and control of an invasive alien: the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Great Britain, as determined from regional surveys.

    PubMed

    Mayle, Brenda A; Broome, Alice C

    2013-03-01

    The grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, was introduced into sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from the United States and Canada between 1876 and 1929. Soon after its introduction there were reports of damage to trees by seasonal bark stripping activity. Surveys in state and private forests since 1954 have monitored their distribution and impacts. Two surveys also gathered information on control efforts used to minimise damage. Grey squirrel population range has expanded significantly in Britain over the last 50 years and continues to do so. Survey results show high variability between years in damage recorded, consistent with the understanding that damage is triggered by high numbers of juveniles entering the population following a good breeding season. Results also show high variability between tree species in levels of damage recorded, but that thin-barked tree species are most at risk of damage from grey squirrels. Further, results show that the economic cost of damage can be high and that control measures will be ineffective if not appropriately targeted. The findings support suggestions that grey squirrels in mainland Europe should be eradicated to prevent future population expansion and any accompanying impacts on commercial timber crops. PMID:23417829

  13. Late winter and early spring home range and habitat use of the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in western North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, W. Mark; Kelly, Christine A.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Odom, Richard H.; Newcomb, Douglas; Gilley, L. Michelle; Diggins, Corinne A.

    2014-01-01

    The Carolina northern flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus is an endangered subspecies that is restricted to high elevation forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Owing to rugged terrain and nocturnal habits, the subspecies’ natural history, home range characteristics and habitat preferences are poorly known. We radio-tracked 3 female and 2 male Carolina northern flying squirrels during late winter through spring 2012 in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, USA. Tracked squirrels used 13 yellow birch Betula alleghaniensis and 9 red spruce Picea rubens as diurnal dens. Ten of the yellow birch dens were in cavities, whereas the remainders were dreys. Conversely, 8 of the red spruce dens were dreys and one was in a cavity. Mean (±SE) female 95 and 50% adaptive kernel home ranges were 6.50 ± 2.19 and 0.93 ± 0.33 ha, respectively, whereas the corresponding values for males were 12.6 ± 0.9 and 1.45 ± 0.1 ha, respectively. Squirrels used red spruce stands with canopies >20 m more than expected based on availability at the landscape and home range scales. Results should be interpreted cautiously because of small sample sizes and seasonal observations; however, they provide evidence that although northern hardwoods such as yellow birch are an important den habitat component, mature red spruce-dominated habitats with complex structure provide foraging habitats and are also den habitat. Our findings support efforts to improve the structural condition of extant red spruce forests and/or increase red spruce acreage to potentially benefit Carolina northern flying squirrels.

  14. Evaluation of Immunocontraception as a Publicly Acceptable Form of Vertebrate Pest Species Control: The Introduced Grey Squirrel in Britain as an Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, Julian J. F.; Lurz, Peter W. W.; Shirley, Mark D. F.; Rushton, Steve P.

    2002-09-01

    We sent out a targeted questionnaire to organizations and private individuals across the UK that have expressed an interest in squirrel management and conservation. Respondents were asked to evaluate shooting, trapping, poisoning and immunocontraception (IMC), according to their perceived efficacy, cost efficiency, and whether they were considered to be humane. The majority of both professionals and enthusiasts indicated support for grey squirrel control to help conserve red squirrels and to reduce economic damage to timber crops. Respondents' comparative evaluations of current forms of control showed that trapping is the most acceptable method. When IMC is compared with the other methods, it was considered to be more humane and acceptable. In contrast, poisoning was seen as humane or acceptable by the fewest respondents. Furthermore, poisoning elicited the greatest difference in opinion between the professional and enthusiast groups. This difference (34%) may be interpreted partly as concern over the type of death that results from poisoning and partly as due to the possibility of poisoning nontarget species. Our findings indicate a need for more public information regarding secondary poisoning hazards to other species and their predators. Interest and concern about squirrel control correlated with the overlap between contemporary areas of distribution of the two species. It is these areas where consultation and education programs about control methods should be targeted. This research indicates that there would be support for grey squirrel control using IMC from both lay and professional interest groups. It demonstrates the existence of a sound basis for constructive dialog that can lead to the design and implementation of acceptable and efficient control strategies.

  15. Seminal characteristics and cryopreservation of sperm from the squirrel monkey, Saimiri collinsi.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, K G; Leão, D L; Almeida, D V C; Santos, R R; Domingues, S F S

    2015-09-15

    The Neotropical nonhuman primate squirrel monkey (Saimiri sp.) is one of the most commonly used species in research in several areas of knowledge. However, little progress has been reported in respect to techniques for preservation of their gametes. Thus, the main objectives of this study were (1) to describe testicular and seminal aspects of a new species, Saimiri collinsi, (2) to preserve semen of this species by cooling or freezing using ACP-118 (powdered coconut water), and (3) to test two glycerol (GLY) concentrations (1.5% or 3%) for semen freezing in the presence of ACP-118. The experimental group started with 14 captive males, but only 11 were suitable to collect ejaculates containing sperm. After anesthesia, both testes were evaluated: length, width, height, and testicular circumference. Semen was collected by electroejaculation and evaluated, followed by dilution, cooling, and freezing. Seminal parameters and sperm motility, vigor, plasma membrane integrity, and normal morphology were evaluated after each step; functionality was also checked in fresh and frozen-thawed sperm. Sperm motility, plasma membrane integrity, and normal sperm in cooled semen (n = 11) were 44.1 ± 34.0, 63.1 ± 15.6, and 73.8 ± 19.8, respectively, with vigor ranging of 2 to 3. Sperm motility, plasma membrane integrity, normal and functional sperm in frozen semen (n = 5) were 0.6 ± 1.3 (1.5% and 3% GLY); 4.4 ± 4.9 (1.5% GLY) and 6.6 ± 7.2 (3% GLY); 86.8 ± 3.0 (1.5% GLY) and 88.8 ± 5.1 (3% GLY); 13.3 ± 11.9 (1.5% GLY) and 14.3 ± 13.5 (3% GLY), respectively, and vigor 0 for both 1.5% and 3% GLY. No significant difference between GLY concentrations was observed. We concluded that electroejaculation was efficient for semen collection of S collinsi and tested the cooling protocol that allowed to recover a satisfactory percentage (63%) of membrane intact sperm. However, the freezing protocol was not appropriate to sperm preservation. PMID:26047706

  16. Physiological identification of morphologically distinct afferent classes innervating the cristae ampullares of the squirrel monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lysakowski, A.; Minor, L. B.; Fernandez, C.; Goldberg, J. M.

    1995-01-01

    1. Semicircular-canal afferents in the squirrel monkey were characterized by their resting discharge, discharge regularity, sensitivity to galvanic currents delivered to the ear (beta *), the gain (g2Hz), and phase lead (phi 2Hz) of their response to 2-Hz sinusoidal head rotations, and their antidromic conduction velocity. Discharge regularity was measured by a normalized coefficient of variation (CV*); the higher the CV*, the more irregular the discharge. g2Hz and phi 2Hz were expressed relative to angular head velocity. 2. These physiological measures were used in an attempt to discern the discharge properties of the three morphological classes of afferents innervating the crista. Presumed bouton (B) fibers were identified as slowly conducting afferents. Presumed calyx (C) fibers were recognized by their irregular discharge and low rotational gains. The remaining fibers were considered to be dimorphic (D) units. Single letters (B, C, and D) are used to emphasize that the classification is based on circumstantial evidence and may be wrong for individual fibers. Of the 125 identified fibers, 13 (10%) were B units, 36 (29%) were C units, and 76 (61%) were D units. 3. B units were regularly discharging D units ranged from regularly to irregularly discharging. C units were the most irregularly discharging afferents encountered. The mean resting discharge for the entire sample was 74 spikes/s. Resting rates were similar for regularly discharging B and D units and higher than those for irregularly discharging C and D units. 4. Except for their lower conduction velocities, the discharge properties of B units are indistinguishable from those of regularly discharging D units. Many of the discharge properties of B and D units vary with discharge regularity. There is a strong, positive relation when beta *, g2Hz, or phi 2Hz is plotted against CV*. For beta * or phi 2Hz, C units conform to the relation for B and D units. In contrast, values of g2Hz for C units are three to

  17. Torsional Eye Movements Evoked by Unilateral Labyrinthine Galvanic Polarizations in the Squirrel Monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minor, Lloyd B.; Tomko, David L.; Paige, Gary D.

    1995-01-01

    longer periods of current administration. This adaptation is manifested as a perstimulus return toward resting discharge and poststimulus after-response in the opposite direction (Goldberg et al., 1984; Minor and Goldberg, l991). Cathodal currents (with respect to the perilymphatic space of the vestibule) are excitatory whereas anodal currents are inhibitory. Horizontal eye movements evoked by unilateral galvanic polarizations administered through chronically implanted labyrinthine stimulating electrodes have been studied in alert squirrel monkeys (Minor and Goldberg, 1991). We sought to extend this analysis by recording three-dimensional eye movements during galvanic stimulation. As predicted based upon roughly equal stimulation of ampullary nerves innervating the vertical canals, a substantial torsional component to the nystagmus is noted. The trajectory of torsional slow phases and nystagmus profile after the polarization provide insight into the central mechanisms that influence these responses.

  18. Horizontal vestibuloocular reflex evoked by high-acceleration rotations in the squirrel monkey. I. Normal responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minor, L. B.; Lasker, D. M.; Backous, D. D.; Hullar, T. E.; Shelhamer, M. J. (Principal Investigator)

    1999-01-01

    The horizontal angular vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) evoked by high-frequency, high-acceleration rotations was studied in five squirrel monkeys with intact vestibular function. The VOR evoked by steps of acceleration in darkness (3,000 degrees /s(2) reaching a velocity of 150 degrees /s) began after a latency of 7.3 +/- 1.5 ms (mean +/- SD). Gain of the reflex during the acceleration was 14.2 +/- 5.2% greater than that measured once the plateau head velocity had been reached. A polynomial regression was used to analyze the trajectory of the responses to steps of acceleration. A better representation of the data was obtained from a polynomial that included a cubic term in contrast to an exclusively linear fit. For sinusoidal rotations of 0.5-15 Hz with a peak velocity of 20 degrees /s, the VOR gain measured 0.83 +/- 0.06 and did not vary across frequencies or animals. The phase of these responses was close to compensatory except at 15 Hz where a lag of 5.0 +/- 0.9 degrees was noted. The VOR gain did not vary with head velocity at 0.5 Hz but increased with velocity for rotations at frequencies of >/=4 Hz (0. 85 +/- 0.04 at 4 Hz, 20 degrees /s; 1.01 +/- 0.05 at 100 degrees /s, P < 0.0001). No responses to these rotations were noted in two animals that had undergone bilateral labyrinthectomy indicating that inertia of the eye had a negligible effect for these stimuli. We developed a mathematical model of VOR dynamics to account for these findings. The inputs to the reflex come from linear and nonlinear pathways. The linear pathway is responsible for the constant gain across frequencies at peak head velocity of 20 degrees /s and also for the phase lag at higher frequencies being less than that expected based on the reflex delay. The frequency- and velocity-dependent nonlinearity in VOR gain is accounted for by the dynamics of the nonlinear pathway. A transfer function that increases the gain of this pathway with frequency and a term related to the third power of head

  19. The vestibulo-ocular reflex of the squirrel monkey during eccentric rotation and roll tilt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merfeld, D. M.; Young, L. R.

    1995-01-01

    The vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) are determined not only by angular acceleration, but also by the presence of gravity and linear acceleration. This phenomenon was studied by measuring three-dimensional nystagmic eye movements, with implanted search coils, in six male squirrel monkeys during eccentric rotation. Monkeys were rotated in the dark at a constant velocity of 200 degrees/s (centrally or 79 cm off axis) with the axis of rotation always aligned with gravity and the spinal axis of the upright monkeys. The monkey's orientation (facing-motion or back-to-motion) had a dramatic influence on the VOR. These experiments show that: (a) the axis of eye rotation always shifted toward alignment with gravito-inertial force; (b) the peak value of horizontal slow phase eye velocity was greater with the monkey facing-motion than with back-to-motion; and (c) the time constant of horizontal eye movement decay was smaller with the monkey facing-motion than with back-to-motion. All of these findings were statistically significant and consistent across monkeys. In another set of tests, the same monkeys were rapidly tilted about their naso-occipital (roll) axis. Tilted orientations of 45 degrees and 90 degrees were maintained for 1 min. Other than a compensatory angular VOR during the angular rotation, no consistent eye velocity response was observed during or following the tilt for any of the six monkeys. The absence of any eye movement response following tilt weighs against the possibility that translational linear VOR responses are due to simple high-pass filtering of the otolith signals. The VOR response during eccentric rotation was divided into the more familiar angular VOR and linear VOR components. The angular component is known to depend upon semicircular canal dynamics and central influences. The linear component of the response decays rapidly with a mean duration of only 6.6 s, while the axis of eye rotation rapidly aligns (< 10 s) with gravito-inertial force. These

  20. Antagonism of Metabotropic Glutamate 1 Receptors Attenuates Behavioral Effects of Cocaine and Methamphetamine in Squirrel Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Platt, Donna M.; Spealman, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Within the group I family of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), substantial evidence points to a role for mGluR5 mechanisms in cocaine's abuse-related behavioral effects, but less is understood about the contribution of mGluR1, which also belongs to the group I mGluR family. The selective mGluR1 antagonist JNJ16259685 [(3,4-dihydro-2H-pyrano-[2,3-b]quinolin-7-yl)-(cis-4-methoxycyclohexyl)-methanone] was used to investigate the role of mGluR1 in the behavioral effects of cocaine and methamphetamine. In drug discrimination experiments, squirrel monkeys were trained to discriminate cocaine from saline by using a two-lever, food-reinforced operant procedure. JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg) pretreatments significantly attenuated cocaine's discriminative stimulus effects and the cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine. In monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine or methamphetamine under a second-order schedule of intravenous drug injection, JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg) significantly reduced drug-reinforced responding, resulting in a downward displacement of dose-response functions. In reinstatement studies, intravenous priming with cocaine accompanied by restoration of a cocaine-paired stimulus reinstated extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior, which was significantly attenuated by JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg). Finally, in experiments involving food rather than drug self-administration, cocaine and methamphetamine increased the rate of responding, and the rate-increasing effects of both psychostimulants were significantly attenuated by JNJ16259685 (0.3 mg/kg). At the doses tested, JNJ16259685 did not significantly suppress food-reinforced behavior (drug discrimination or fixed-interval schedule of food delivery), but did significantly reduce species-typical locomotor activity in observational studies. To the extent that the psychostimulant-antagonist effects of JNJ16259685 are independent of motor function suppression, further research is warranted to

  1. Antagonism of metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors attenuates behavioral effects of cocaine and methamphetamine in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Achat-Mendes, Cindy; Platt, Donna M; Spealman, Roger D

    2012-10-01

    Within the group I family of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), substantial evidence points to a role for mGluR5 mechanisms in cocaine's abuse-related behavioral effects, but less is understood about the contribution of mGluR1, which also belongs to the group I mGluR family. The selective mGluR1 antagonist JNJ16259685 [(3,4-dihydro-2H-pyrano-[2,3-b]quinolin-7-yl)-(cis-4-methoxycyclohexyl)-methanone] was used to investigate the role of mGluR1 in the behavioral effects of cocaine and methamphetamine. In drug discrimination experiments, squirrel monkeys were trained to discriminate cocaine from saline by using a two-lever, food-reinforced operant procedure. JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg) pretreatments significantly attenuated cocaine's discriminative stimulus effects and the cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine. In monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine or methamphetamine under a second-order schedule of intravenous drug injection, JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg) significantly reduced drug-reinforced responding, resulting in a downward displacement of dose-response functions. In reinstatement studies, intravenous priming with cocaine accompanied by restoration of a cocaine-paired stimulus reinstated extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior, which was significantly attenuated by JNJ16259685 (0.56 mg/kg). Finally, in experiments involving food rather than drug self-administration, cocaine and methamphetamine increased the rate of responding, and the rate-increasing effects of both psychostimulants were significantly attenuated by JNJ16259685 (0.3 mg/kg). At the doses tested, JNJ16259685 did not significantly suppress food-reinforced behavior (drug discrimination or fixed-interval schedule of food delivery), but did significantly reduce species-typical locomotor activity in observational studies. To the extent that the psychostimulant-antagonist effects of JNJ16259685 are independent of motor function suppression, further research is warranted to

  2. [Hypothermia induced alteration of refractoriness in the ventricular myocardium of ground souirrel Citellus undulatus].

    PubMed

    Kuz'min, V S; Abramov, A A; Egorov, Iu V; Rozenshtraukh, L V

    2014-12-01

    Bioelectrical activity and refractoriness in ventricular myocardium of the hibernator--ground squirrel Citellus undulatus were investigated during hypothermia. Experiments were performed with use of isolated, perfused preparations of papillary muscle from right ventricular. Preparations were obtained from hibernating (HS), summer active (SAS) squirrels and from rats. Bioelectrical activity was registered using the standard microelectrode technique at 37-17 degrees C. Action potentials duration (APD), refractoriness duration (RD) and the velocity of the action potential wave front (dV/dt) were estimated. Hypothermia induced APD and RD prolongation were demonstrated in all groups of experimental animals. However, normalized RD was significantly longer in the HS group during hypothermia than in SAS and rats. Ratio of RD to APD in HS group exceeds unity at 17 degrees C, which allows to suggest so called "postrepolarization refractoriness" during hypothermia. Also, HS reveal more prominent preservation of dV/dt during hypothermia than SAS and rat. Significant prolongation of RD and maintenance of normal excitation conduction during hypothermia probably plays essential role in hibernators resistivity to cold induced arrhythmias. PMID:25936179

  3. Numerity of a socially housed hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) and a socially housed squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed

    Smith, Brian R; Piel, Alexander K; Candland, Douglas K

    2003-06-01

    To extend a study conducted by E. M. Brannon and H. S. Terrace (1998, 2000), the authors trained 1 hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) and 1 squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) to respond to stimuli representing the numerosities 1-4 in ascending order. When tested with novel stimuli of the same numerosities, both subjects' performance appeared to be based on the numerical attributes of stimuli. Subjects were then tested on their ability to order pairs of numerosities derived from the values 1-9. Both subjects successfully ordered pairs that included the untrained numerosities 5-9 regardless of the total surface area of numerosities. Accuracy and latency of responding also showed numerical distance and magnitude effects. Numerosity was a salient cue to both subjects, suggesting that these 2 families of primates perceive ordinal relations. The outcome shows that cognitive studies of this type can be effectively conducted with socially housed animals. PMID:12856792

  4. Artificial-recharge tests in Upper Black Squirrel Creek basin, Jimmy Camp Valley, and Fountain Valley, El Paso County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emmons, P.J.

    1977-01-01

    Artificial-recharge tests were conducted in the alluvium in upper Black Squirrel Creek basin, the alluvium in Jimmy Camp Valley, and in the alluvium overlying the Widefield aquifer which is located in an ancestral channel in Fountain Valley, Colo. Nine artificial-recharge pits with areas of approximately 9,200 square feet each were excavated in the unsaturated zones above the three aquifers. Each artificial-recharge site was instrumented to measure inflow, stage fluctuations, and water-table fluctuations. Artificial-recharge tests of approximately 10 days ' duration were conducted at each of the nine artificial-recharge sites and one extended test of approximately 30 days ' duration was conducted in each of the three study areas. Periphyton growth, present in most of the artificial-recharge ponds, was insufficient to cause noticeable decline in the rate of infiltration. (Woodard-USGS)

  5. Phylogeography of the Russian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans): implication of refugia theory in arboreal small mammal of Eurasia.

    PubMed

    Oshida, Tatsuo; Abramov, Alexei; Yanagawa, Hisashi; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2005-04-01

    A phylogeographical study of the Russian (Siberian) flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) was carried out using the complete mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene sequences with special reference to the refugia theory for the arboreal traits of this species. We examined 31 specimens from 24 localities, resulting in 28 haplotypes. One breeding specimen with a unique haplotype from Hokkaido, Japan was included in the phylogenetic analysis. There were three mtDNA lineages: Hokkaido, Far Eastern, and northern Eurasia. Divergence data among lineages demonstrated that the Hokkaido group separated from the other groups during the Holsteinian interglacial. The phylogeographical pattern of P. volans is different from that previously reported for terrestrial rodents associated with treeless habitats. Unlike grasslands, forests decreased during glaciation and moved southward because of the cold and arid environmental conditions. The glacial refugia of P. volans would have been associated with forest dynamics in the Pleistocene. PMID:15773945

  6. Comparative Morphology and Histology of the Nasal Fossa in Four Mammals: Gray Squirrel, Bobcat, Coyote, and White-Tailed Deer.

    PubMed

    Yee, Karen K; Craven, Brent A; Wysocki, Charles J; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2016-07-01

    Although the anatomy of the nasal fossa is broadly similar among terrestrial mammals, differences are evident in the intricacies of nasal turbinal architecture, which varies from simple scroll-like to complex branching forms, and in the extent of nonsensory and olfactory epithelium covering the turbinals. In this study, detailed morphological and immunohistochemical examinations and quantitative measurements of the turbinals and epithelial lining of the nasal fossa were conducted in an array of species that include the gray squirrel, bobcat, coyote, and white-tailed deer. Results show that much more of the nose is lined with olfactory epithelium in the smallest species (gray squirrel) than in the larger species. In two species with similar body masses, bobcat and coyote, the foreshortened felid snout influences turbinal size and results in a decrease of olfactory epithelium on the ethmoturbinals relative to the longer canine snout. Ethmoturbinal surface area exceeds that of the maxilloturbinals in all four sampled animals, except the white-tailed deer, in which the two are similar in size. Combining our results with published data from a broader array of mammalian noses, it is apparent that olfactory epithelial surface area is influenced by body mass, but is also affected by aspects of life history, such as diet and habitat, as well as skull morphology, itself a product of multiple compromises between various functions, such as feeding, vision, and cognition. The results of this study warrant further examination of other mammalian noses to broaden our evolutionary understanding of nasal fossa anatomy. Anat Rec, 299:840-852, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27090617

  7. Emergence of Cryptosporidium hominis Monkey Genotype II and Novel Subtype Family Ik in the Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus) in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ziyao; Zhong, Zhijun; Shen, Liuhong; Cao, Suizhong; Yu, Xingming; Hu, Yanchuan; Chen, Weigang; Peng, Gangneng

    2015-01-01

    A single Cryptosporidium isolate from a squirrel monkey with no clinical symptoms was obtained from a zoo in Ya’an city, China, and was genotyped by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing of the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA), 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein, and actin genes. This multilocus genetic characterization determined that the isolate was Cryptosporidium hominis, but carried 2, 10, and 6 nucleotide differences in the SSU rRNA, HSP70, and actin loci, respectively, which is comparable to the variations at these loci between C. hominis and the previously reported monkey genotype (2, 3, and 3 nucleotide differences). Phylogenetic studies, based on neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods, showed that the isolate identified in the current study had a distinctly discordant taxonomic status, distinct from known C. hominis and also from the monkey genotype, with respect to the three loci. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the SSU rRNA gene obtained from this study were similar to those of known C. hominis but clearly differentiated from the monkey genotype. Further subtyping was performed by sequence analysis of the gene encoding the 60-kDa glycoprotein (gp60). Maximum homology of only 88.3% to C. hominis subtype IdA10G4 was observed for the current isolate, and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that this particular isolate belonged to a novel C. hominis subtype family, IkA7G4. This study is the first to report C. hominis infection in the squirrel monkey and, based on the observed genetic characteristics, confirms a new C. hominis genotype, monkey genotype II. Thus, these results provide novel insights into genotypic variation in C. hominis. PMID:26509708

  8. Behavioral and neurophysiological effects of delayed training following a small ischemic infarct in primary motor cortex of squirrel monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Plautz, Erik J.; Friel, Kathleen M.; Frost, Shawn B.; Dancause, Numa; Stowe, Ann M.; Nudo, Randolph J.

    2009-01-01

    A focal injury within the cerebral cortex results in functional reorganization within the spared cortex through time-dependent metabolic and physiological reactions. Physiological changes are also associated with specific post-injury behavioral experiences. Knowing how these factors interact can be beneficial in planning rehabilitative intervention after a stroke. The purpose of this study was to assess the functional impact of delaying the rehabilitative behavioral experience upon movement representations within the primary motor cortex (M1) in an established nonhuman primate, ischemic infarct model. Five adult squirrel monkeys were trained on a motor-skill task prior to and 1 month after an experimental ischemic infarct was induced in M1. Movement representations of the hand were derived within M1 using standard electrophysiological procedures prior to the infarct and again one and two months after the infarct. The results of this study show that even though recovery of motor skills was similar to that of a previous study in squirrel monkeys after early training, unlike early training, delayed training did not result in maintenance of the spared hand representation within the M1 peri-infarct hand area. Instead, delaying training resulted in a large decrease in spared hand representation during the spontaneous recovery period that persisted following the delayed training. In addition, delayed training resulted in an increase of simultaneously evoked movements that are typically independent. These results indicate that post-injury behavioral experience, such as motor skill training, may modulate peri-infarct cortical plasticity in different ways in the acute versus chronic stages following stroke. PMID:16273404

  9. Fecal cortisol metabolite levels in free-ranging North American red squirrels: Assay validation and the effects of reproductive condition.

    PubMed

    Dantzer, Ben; McAdam, Andrew G; Palme, Rupert; Fletcher, Quinn E; Boutin, Stan; Humphries, Murray M; Boonstra, Rudy

    2010-06-01

    Patterns in stress hormone (glucocorticoid: GC) levels and their relationship to reproductive condition in natural populations are rarely investigated. In this study, we (1) validate an enzyme-immunoassay to measure fecal cortisol metabolite (FCM) levels in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), and (2) examine relationships between FCM levels and reproductive condition in a free-ranging red squirrel population. Injected radiolabeled cortisol was entirely metabolized and excreted in both the urine (mean+/-SE; 70.3+/-0.02%) and feces (29.7+/-0.02%), with a lag time to peak excretion in the feces of 10.9+/-2.3h. Our antibody reacted with several cortisol metabolites, and an adrenocorticotropic injection significantly increased FCM levels above baseline levels at 8h post-injection. Relative to baseline levels, manipulation by handling also tended to increase FCM levels at 8h post-manipulation, but this difference was not significant. FCM levels did not differ significantly between samples frozen immediately and 5h after collection. Reproductive condition significantly affected FCM levels in free-ranging females (pregnant>lactating>post-lactating>non-breeding) but not males (scrotal testes vs. abdominal testes). Among females with known parturition dates, FCM levels increased during gestation, peaked at parturition, and declined during lactation. The difference between pregnant and lactating females was therefore dependent upon when the fecal samples were obtained during these periods, suggesting caution in categorizing reproductive stages. This study demonstrates the utility of fecal hormone metabolite assays to document patterns of glucocorticoid levels in free-ranging animals. PMID:20346362

  10. Activity budget, diet, and use of space by two groups of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) in eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Tatyana; Ferrari, Stephen F; Lopes, Maria Aparecida

    2013-07-01

    Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.) are widely distributed in the Amazon basin. This study describes the ecological and behavioral patterns of two social groups of S. sciureus in forests adjacent to the Tucuruí hydroelectric reservoir in eastern Amazonia, including range size, activity budgets, and composition of the diet. The groups were monitored at Base 4 (group B4) and Germoplasma Island (group GI). Quantitative behavioral data were collected using instantaneous scan sampling to record behavior, substrate use, and height. Home ranges were delimited using a GPS to determine group position after each 50 m of movement. Home ranges were 75.0 ha for group B4 (39 members) and 77.5 ha for group GI (32 members). The use of vertical strata was well defined, with a marked preference for the middle and lower levels of the canopy. The activity budgets of both groups were typical of those of other squirrel monkeys and were dominated by foraging (B4 = 48.7 %; GI = 49.6 %), moving (both groups 28.9 %), and feeding (B4 = 14.6 %; GI = 12.4 %). Resting was rare (B4 = 3.5 %; GI = 2.6 %) and less common than social behavior (B4 = 4.3 %; GI = 6.4 %). The diet of both groups was dominated by plant material (B4 = 70.7 % of feeding records; GI = 71.4 %), which is in contrast with the more insectivorous diets recorded for Saimiri at other sites. Group GI spent more time foraging during the dry season, whereas group B4 spent more time in the rainy season when the consumption of fruit increased (significantly, in the case of group GI). The less insectivorous diet of these groups may be due to a number of factors, including the unique habitat configuration at the site and reduced hydrological stress due to the proximity of the reservoir. PMID:23546826

  11. Weak orientation and direction selectivity in lateral geniculate nucleus representing central vision in the gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

    PubMed Central

    Zaltsman, Julia B.; Heimel, J. Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Classic studies of lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and visual cortex (V1) in carnivores and primates have found that a majority of neurons in LGN exhibit a center-surround organization, while V1 neurons exhibit strong orientation selectivity and, in many species, direction selectivity. Recent work in the mouse and the monke