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Sample records for african clawed toad

  1. Fertilization and development of eggs of the South African clawed toad, Xenopus laevis, on sounding rockets in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubbels, Geertje A.; Berendsen, Willem; Kerkvliet, Sonja; Narraway, Jenny

    Egg rotation and centrifugation experiments strongly suggest a role for gravity in the determination of the spatial structure of amphibian embryos. Decisive experiments can only be made in Space. Eggs of Xenopus laevis, the South African clawed toad, were the first vertebrate eggs which were successfully fertilized on Sounding Rockets in Space. Unfixed, newly fertilized eggs survived reentry, and a reasonable number showed a seemingly normal gastrulation but died between gastrulation and neurulation. Only a few reached the larval stage, but these developed abnormally. In the future, we inted to test whether this abnormal morphogenesis is due to reentry perturbations, or due to a real microgravity effect, through perturbation of the reinitiation of meiosis and other processes, or started by later sperm penetration.

  2. Embryotoxic effects of environmental chemicals: tests with the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis)

    SciTech Connect

    Dumpert, K.

    1987-06-01

    In the course of the investigations reported below, it was shown that p-chloroaniline has a lethal effect on the embryos of Xenopus laevis at a concentration of 100 ppm and is development inhibiting (teratogenic) at concentrations of 1 and 10 ppm, respectively. In the case of aniline, a significant development-inhibiting effect was observed at a concentration as low as 1 ppm. A toxic effect was caused by concentrations between 30 and 40 ppm during embryogenesis and by concentrations above 40 ppm during larval development. A very conspicuous finding was an inhibiting effect of 20 to 40 ppm aniline on pigmentation during embryogenesis and of a concentration as low as 1 ppm on the body size of the young toads. In the case of potassium dichromate, it was possible to barely detect a weak development-inhibiting effect during embryogenesis but no development-retarding effect during larval development. Toxic effects of potassium dichromate occurred during embryogenesis at concentrations of 5 and 7.5 ppm and during the larval development at concentrations above 10 ppm. Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid at a concentration of 50 ppm was found to have such a strong embryolethal effect that 80% of the eggs showed no cell division at all and the remaining 20% developed to only the bicellular stage. A teratogenic effect of this substance was not observed. Phenol, too, was found to be toxic at a concentration of 50 ppm; in contrast to sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, however, it did not show any lethal effect on the embryos but it did on the tadpoles, mainly in the first stages of larval development. Lower concentrations of phenol (5 and 10 ppm) had a nonsignificant inhibiting effect on the growth of the larvae. A teratogenic effect of phenol was not detected.

  3. Evolution of advertisement calls in African clawed frogs

    PubMed Central

    Tobias, Martha L.; Evans, Ben J.; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary For most frogs, advertisement calls are essential for reproductive success, conveying information on species identity, male quality, sexual state and location. While the evolutionary divergence of call characters has been examined in a number of species, the relative impacts of genetic drift or natural and sexual selection remain unclear. Insights into the evolutionary trajectory of vocal signals can be gained by examining how advertisement calls vary in a phylogenetic context. Evolution by genetic drift would be supported if more closely related species express more similar songs. Conversely, a poor correlation between evolutionary history and song expression would suggest evolution shaped by natural or sexual selection. Here, we measure seven song characters in 20 described and two undescribed species of African clawed frogs (genera Xenopus and Silurana) and four populations of X. laevis. We identify three call types — click, burst and trill — that can be distinguished by click number, call rate and intensity modulation. A fourth type is biphasic, consisting of two of the above. Call types vary in complexity from the simplest, a click, to the most complex, a biphasic call. Maximum parsimony analysis of variation in call type suggests that the ancestral type was of intermediate complexity. Each call type evolved independently more than once and call type is typically not shared by closely related species. These results indicate that call type is homoplasious and has low phylogenetic signal. We conclude that the evolution of call type is not due to genetic drift, but is under selective pressure. PMID:24723737

  4. The identity of the South African toad Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia, Anura)

    PubMed Central

    Dubois, Alain

    2016-01-01

    The toad species Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 was erected for a single specimen from South Africa which has never been properly studied and allocated to a known species. A morphometrical and morphological analysis of this specimen and its comparison with 75 toad specimens referred to five South African toad species allowed to allocate this specimen to the species currently known as Amietophrynus rangeri. In consequence, the nomen Sclerophrys must replace Amietophrynus as the valid nomen of the genus, and capensis as the valid nomen of the species. This work stresses the usefulness of natural history collections for solving taxonomic and nomenclatural problems. PMID:26788431

  5. Parasites of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in southern California, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuperman, Boris I.; Matey, Victoria E.; Fisher, Richard N.; Ervin, Edward L.; Warburton, Manna L.; Bakhireva, Ludmila; Lehman, Cynthia A.

    2004-01-01

    A total of 230 feral African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis, from 3 localities in southern California were examined for parasites. The following species were found: 3 species of Protozoa, Nyctotherussp., Balantidium xenopodis, Protoopalina xenopodus; 2 species of Monogenea, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Gyrdicotylus gallieni; 1 species of Digenea, Clinostomum sp. (as metacercariae); 1 species of Cestoda, Cephalochlamys namaquensis; 2 species of Nematoda, Contracaecum sp. (as larvae), Eustrongylides sp. (as larvae); and 1 species of Acanthocephala, Acanthocephalus sp. (as cystacanth). Of these, the protozoans P. xenopodus and B. xenopodis, both monogeneans, and the cestode have an African origin. Contracaecum sp., Eustrongylides sp., and Acanthocephalus sp. have not been previously reported from X. laevis.

  6. Inverse Effects on Growth and Development Rates by Means of Endocrine Disruptors in African Clawed Frog Tadpoles ("Xenopus Laevis")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackney, Zachary Carl

    2007-01-01

    Previous work on fish, frogs, and salamanders, showed the ability for estrogen (EE2) and anthropogenic endocrine disruptors to skew sex ratios and cause hermaphrodism. This study addressed the effects of estrogens on growth and development rates of African clawed frog tadpoles ("Xenopus laevis") during their gender determination stages. The…

  7. Identification and expression of an atypical isoform of metallothionein in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Scudiero, Rosaria; Tussellino, Margherita; Carotenuto, Rosa

    2015-05-01

    Exploiting the annotation of the western clawed frog Silurana tropicalis genome, we identified a new metallothionein (MT) gene, exhibiting all the features to be considered an active gene, but with an atypical coding region, showing only 17 cysteine residues instead of the canonical 20 cysteines of vertebrate metallothioneins and two anomalous cysteine triplets. However, the presence of a gene in the genome does not ensure its effective expression. By using conventional and Real-Time PCR analyses, we demonstrated that this atypical MT is constitutively expressed throughout the life cycle of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis; moreover, this gene is highly expressed in the adult liver, the major site of MT expression and synthesis in vertebrates. To our knowledge, the X. laevis MT described in this paper is the first sequence of a vertebrate MT showing only 17 cysteine residues, arranged in two Cys-Cys-Cys motifs. Phylogenetic analyses also demonstrated that the atypical X. laevis MT merges in the anuran clade, but is the most derived sequence among tetrapods MTs. Finally, Tajima's Relative Rate Test suggested a different evolutionary rate between the canonical X. laevis MT and this novel isoform.

  8. Isolation of Chlamydia psittaci from naturally infected African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed Central

    Wilcke, B W; Newcomer, C E; Anver, M R; Simmons, J L; Nace, G W

    1983-01-01

    An inclusion-forming agent was isolated from the livers of commercially raised African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) involved in an epizootic of high morbidity and mortality. Original isolation was made in McCoy cells. This agent was identified as Chlamydia psittaci based on the formation of typical intracytoplasmic inclusions which developed within 48 h, were not stained by iodine, and were resistant to sulfadiazine. The isolate from one particular frog (designated as strain 178) was further studied and found to be lethal for 7-day-old embryonated chicken eggs after intra-yolk sac inoculation. This strain was demonstrated not to be pathogenic for mice when inoculated intraperitoneally. The cell culture isolate of C. psittaci was transmitted to uninfected X. laevis, causing disease and death. Images PMID:6347897

  9. The morphology and attachment of Protopolystoma xenopodis (Monogenea: Polystomatidae) infecting the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Theunissen, Maxine; Tiedt, Louwrens; Du Preez, Louis H.

    2014-01-01

    The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Anura: Pipidae) is host to more than 25 parasite genera encompassing most of the parasitic invertebrate groups. Protopolystoma xenopodis Price, 1943 (Monogenea: Polystomatidae) is one of two monogeneans infecting X. laevis. This study focussed on the external morphology of different developmental stages using scanning electron microscopy, histology and light microscopy. Eggs are released continuously and are washed out when the frog urinates. After successful development, an active swimming oncomiracidium leaves the egg capsule and locates a potential post-metamorphic clawed frog. The oncomiracidium migrates to the kidney where it attaches and starts to feed on blood. The parasite then migrates to the urinary bladder where it reaches maturity. Eggs are fusiform, about 300 μm long, with a smooth surface and are operculated. Oncomiracidia are elongated and cylindrical in shape, with an oval posterior cup-shaped haptor that bears a total of 20 sclerites; 16 marginal hooklets used for attachment to the kidney of the host and two pairs of hamulus primordia. Cilia from the 64 ciliated cells enable the oncomiracidium to swim for up to 24 h when the cilia subsequently curl up, become non-functional and are shed from the body. The tegument between the ciliated cells bears a series of sensory papillae. The body of the mature parasite is elongated and pyriform and possesses an opisthaptor armed with three pairs of suckers and two pairs of falciform hooks to ensure a firm grip on the flexible internal surface of the urinary bladder. PMID:24823278

  10. Unequal contribution of native South African phylogeographic lineages to the invasion of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Courant, Julien; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Rödder, Dennis; Measey, G. John; Backeljau, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Due to both deliberate and accidental introductions, invasive African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) populations have become established worldwide. In this study, we investigate the geographic origins of invasive X. laevis populations in France and Portugal using the phylogeographic structure of X. laevis in its native South African range. In total, 80 individuals from the whole area known to be invaded in France and Portugal were analysed for two mitochondrial and three nuclear genes, allowing a comparison with 185 specimens from the native range. Our results show that native phylogeographic lineages have contributed differently to invasive European X. laevis populations. In Portugal, genetic and historical data suggest a single colonization event involving a small number of individuals from the south-western Cape region in South Africa. In contrast, French invasive X. laevis encompass two distinct native phylogeographic lineages, i.e., one from the south-western Cape region and one from the northern regions of South Africa. The French X. laevis population is the first example of a X. laevis invasion involving multiple lineages. Moreover, the lack of population structure based on nuclear DNA suggests a potential role for admixture within the invasive French population. PMID:26855879

  11. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Measey, John

    2016-01-01

    African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as 'purely aquatic' but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseriand X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data. PMID:27688972

  12. Effects of sublethal concentrations of atrazine and nitrate on metamorphosis of the African clawed frog.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Karen Brown; Spence, Karla M

    2003-03-01

    Tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to sublethal concentrations of atrazine (0, 40, and 320 microg/L) and nitrate (0, 37, and 292 mg/L) from feeding stage to metamorphosis. A 3 x 3 factorial design was used to identify both single and interactive effects. At metamorphosis, tadpole weight, snout-vent length (SVL), and hematocrit were determined. Mean mortality was greater in tanks receiving 320 microg/L atrazine; nitrate had no effect on mortality. Significant differences for all mean traits at metamorphosis occurred among atrazine treatments; higher atrazine exposure increased time to metamorphosis and decreased weight, SVL, and hematocrit. Nitrate treatments were not significantly different. Significant interaction tests between atrazine and nitrate occurred for weight and SVL at metamorphosis; the specific type of interaction varied among treatments. Assuming an additive mixture model, at low atrazine (40 microg/L), the addition of 37 mg/L nitrate produced SVL values less than expected (a synergistic effect) while the addition of 292 mg/L nitrate yielded SVL values greater than expected (an antagonistic effect). A similar response was noted for tadpoles in the 320-microg/L atrazine treatments. These results indicate that environmentally realistic concentrations of atrazine exert a negative impact on amphibian metamorphosis. Also, this study suggests that mixtures of agricultural chemicals, even if sublethal, may exert negative and not necessarily consistent mixture effects.

  13. Effects of depleted uranium on survival, growth, and metamorphosis in the african clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, S.E.; Caldwell, C.A.; Gonzales, G.; Gould, W.R.; Arimoto, R.

    2005-01-01

    Embryos (stage 8-47, Nieuwkoop and Faber) of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were subjected to water-borne depleted uranium (DU) concentrations that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/Lusing an acute 96-h frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). In a chronic 64-d assay, X. laevis (from embryo through metamorphosis; stages 8-66) were subjected to concentrations of DU that ranged from 6.2 to 54.3 mg/L Our results indicate DU is a non teratogenic metal. No effects on mortality, malformations, or growth were observed in the 96-h FETAX with concentrations of DU that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/L From stage 8 to stage 47, X. laevis tadpoles do not actively feed and the gills are not well developed. Thus, uptake of DU was reduced despite exposure to elevated concentrations. The 64-d assay resulted in no concentration response for either mortality or malformations; however, a delay in metamorphosis was observed in tadpoles subjected to elevated DU concentrations (from 13.1 to 54.3 mg/L) compared to tadpoles in both the well-water control and reference. The delay in metamorphosis was likely due to increasing body burden of DU that ranged from 0.98 to 2.82 mg/kg. Copyright?? Taylor & Francis Inc.

  14. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as ‘purely aquatic’ but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseriand X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data. PMID:27688972

  15. Sex differences and endocrine regulation of auditory-evoked, neural responses in African clawed frogs (Xenopus).

    PubMed

    Hall, Ian C; Woolley, Sarah M N; Kwong-Brown, Ursula; Kelley, Darcy B

    2016-01-01

    Mating depends on the accurate detection of signals that convey species identity and reproductive state. In African clawed frogs, Xenopus, this information is conveyed by vocal signals that differ in temporal patterns and spectral features between sexes and across species. We characterized spectral sensitivity using auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs), commonly known as the auditory brainstem response, in males and females of four Xenopus species. In female X. amieti, X. petersii, and X. laevis, peripheral auditory sensitivity to their species own dyad-two, species-specific dominant frequencies in the male advertisement call-is enhanced relative to males. Males were most sensitive to lower frequencies including those in the male-directed release calls. Frequency sensitivity was influenced by endocrine state; ovariectomized females had male-like auditory tuning while dihydrotestosterone-treated, ovariectomized females maintained female-like tuning. Thus, adult, female Xenopus demonstrate an endocrine-dependent sensitivity to the spectral features of conspecific male advertisement calls that could facilitate mating. Xenopus AEPs resemble those of other species in stimulus and level dependence, and in sensitivity to anesthetic (MS222). AEPs were correlated with body size and sex within some species. A frequency following response, probably encoded by the amphibian papilla, might facilitate dyad source localization via interaural time differences. PMID:26572136

  16. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as ‘purely aquatic’ but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseriand X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data.

  17. Temperature-independent energy expenditure in early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Yatsuhisa; Ode, Koji L.

    2014-08-01

    The thermal dissipation of activated eggs and embryos undergoing development from cleavage to the tailbud stage of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis was measured as a function of incubation time at temperatures ranging from T = 288.2 K to 295.2 K, using a high-precision isothermal calorimeter. A23187-mediated activation of mature eggs induced stable periodic thermal oscillations lasting for 8-34 h. The frequency agreed well with the cell cycle frequency of initial cleavages at the identical temperature. In the developing embryo, energy metabolism switches from embryonic to adult features during gastrulation. The thermal dissipation after gastrulation fit well with a single modified Avrami equation, which has been used for modeling crystal-growth. Both the oscillation frequency of the activated egg and the growth rate of the embryo strongly depend on temperature with the same apparent activation energy of approximately 87 kJ mole-1. This result suggests that early development proceeds as a single biological time, attributable to a single metabolic rate. A temperature-independent growth curve was derived by scaling the thermogram to the biological time, indicating that the amount of energy expenditure during each developmental stage is constant over the optimal temperature range.

  18. Impacts of Climate Change on the Global Invasion Potential of the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Ihlow, Flora; Courant, Julien; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Measey, G. John; Lillo, Francesco; De Villiers, F. André; Vogt, Solveig; De Busschere, Charlotte; Backeljau, Thierry; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    By altering or eliminating delicate ecological relationships, non-indigenous species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, as well as a driver of environmental change. Global climate change affects ecosystems and ecological communities, leading to changes in the phenology, geographic ranges, or population abundance of several species. Thus, predicting the impacts of global climate change on the current and future distribution of invasive species is an important subject in macroecological studies. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), native to South Africa, possesses a strong invasion potential and populations have become established in numerous countries across four continents. The global invasion potential of X. laevis was assessed using correlative species distribution models (SDMs). SDMs were computed based on a comprehensive set of occurrence records covering South Africa, North America, South America and Europe and a set of nine environmental predictors. Models were built using both a maximum entropy model and an ensemble approach integrating eight algorithms. The future occurrence probabilities for X. laevis were subsequently computed using bioclimatic variables for 2070 following four different IPCC scenarios. Despite minor differences between the statistical approaches, both SDMs predict the future potential distribution of X. laevis, on a global scale, to decrease across all climate change scenarios. On a continental scale, both SDMs predict decreasing potential distributions in the species’ native range in South Africa, as well as in the invaded areas in North and South America, and in Australia where the species has not been introduced. In contrast, both SDMs predict the potential range size to expand in Europe. Our results suggest that all probability classes will be equally affected by climate change. New regional conditions may promote new invasions or the spread of established invasive populations, especially in France and Great

  19. Host-defense peptides in skin secretions of African clawed frogs (Xenopodinae, Pipidae).

    PubMed

    Conlon, J Michael; Mechkarska, Milena; King, Jay D

    2012-05-01

    African clawed frogs of the Xenopodinae (Xenopus+Silurana) constitute a well-defined system in which to study the evolutionary trajectory of duplicated genes and are a source of antimicrobial peptides with therapeutic potential. Allopolyploidization events within the Xenopodinae have given rise to tetraploid, octoploid, and dodecaploid species. The primary structures and distributions of host-defense peptides from the tetraploid frogs Xenopus borealis, Xenopus clivii, Xenopus laevis, Xenopus muelleri, "X. muelleri West", and Xenopus petersii may be compared with those from the octoploid frogs Xenopus amieti and X. andrei. Similarly, components in skin secretions from the diploid frog Silurana tropicalis may be compared with those from the tetraploid frog Silurana paratropicalis. All Xenopus antimicrobial peptides may be classified in the magainin, peptide glycine-leucine-amide (PGLa), caerulein-precursor fragment (CPF), and xenopsin-precursor fragment (XPF) families. However, the numbers of paralogs from the octoploid frogs were not significantly greater than the corresponding numbers from the tetraploid frogs. Magainins were not identified in skin secretions of Silurana frogs and the multiplicity of the PGLa, CPF, and XPF peptides from S. paratropicalis was not greater than that of S. tropicalis. The data indicate, therefore, that nonfunctionalization (gene silencing) has been the most common fate of antimicrobial peptide genes following polyploidization. While some duplicated gene products retain high antimicrobial potency (subfunctionalization), the very low activity of others suggests that they may be evolving towards a new biological role (neofunctionalization). CPF-AM1 and PGLa-AM1 from X. amieti show potential for development into anti-infective agents for use against antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria. PMID:22036891

  20. Impacts of Climate Change on the Global Invasion Potential of the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Ihlow, Flora; Courant, Julien; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Measey, G John; Lillo, Francesco; De Villiers, F André; Vogt, Solveig; De Busschere, Charlotte; Backeljau, Thierry; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    By altering or eliminating delicate ecological relationships, non-indigenous species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, as well as a driver of environmental change. Global climate change affects ecosystems and ecological communities, leading to changes in the phenology, geographic ranges, or population abundance of several species. Thus, predicting the impacts of global climate change on the current and future distribution of invasive species is an important subject in macroecological studies. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), native to South Africa, possesses a strong invasion potential and populations have become established in numerous countries across four continents. The global invasion potential of X. laevis was assessed using correlative species distribution models (SDMs). SDMs were computed based on a comprehensive set of occurrence records covering South Africa, North America, South America and Europe and a set of nine environmental predictors. Models were built using both a maximum entropy model and an ensemble approach integrating eight algorithms. The future occurrence probabilities for X. laevis were subsequently computed using bioclimatic variables for 2070 following four different IPCC scenarios. Despite minor differences between the statistical approaches, both SDMs predict the future potential distribution of X. laevis, on a global scale, to decrease across all climate change scenarios. On a continental scale, both SDMs predict decreasing potential distributions in the species' native range in South Africa, as well as in the invaded areas in North and South America, and in Australia where the species has not been introduced. In contrast, both SDMs predict the potential range size to expand in Europe. Our results suggest that all probability classes will be equally affected by climate change. New regional conditions may promote new invasions or the spread of established invasive populations, especially in France and Great Britain

  1. Comparative toxicity of ammonium and nitrate compounds to Pacific treefrog and African clawed frog tadpoles

    SciTech Connect

    Schuytema, G.S.; Nebeker, A.V.

    1999-10-01

    The effects of ammonium nitrate, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, and sodium nitrate on survival and growth of Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla [Baird and Girard]) and African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis [Daudin]) tadpoles were determined in static-renewal tests. The 10-d ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate LC50s for P. regilla were 55.2 and 89.7 mg/L NH{sub 4}-N, respectively. The 10-d LC50s for X. laevis for the three ammonium compounds ranged from 45 to 64 mg/L NH{sub 4}-N. The 10-d sodium nitrate LC50s were 266.2 mg/L NO{sub 3}-N for P. regilla and 1,236.2 mg/L NO{sub 3}-N for X. laevis. The lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of ammonium compound based on reduced length or weight was 24.6 mg/L NH{sub 4}-N for P. regilla and 99.5 mg/L NH{sub 4}-N for X. laevis. The lowest sodium nitrate LOAELs based on reduced length or weight were {lt}30.1 mg/L NO{sub 3}-N for P. regilla and 126.3 mg/L NO{sub 3}-N for X. laevis. Calculated un-ionized NH{sub 3} comprised 0.3 to 1.0% of measured NH{sub 4}-N concentrations. Potential harm to amphibians could occur if sensitive life stages were impacted by NH{sub 4}-N and NO{sub 3}-N in agricultural runoff or drainage for a sufficiently long period.

  2. Impacts of Climate Change on the Global Invasion Potential of the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Ihlow, Flora; Courant, Julien; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Rebelo, Rui; Measey, G John; Lillo, Francesco; De Villiers, F André; Vogt, Solveig; De Busschere, Charlotte; Backeljau, Thierry; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    By altering or eliminating delicate ecological relationships, non-indigenous species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, as well as a driver of environmental change. Global climate change affects ecosystems and ecological communities, leading to changes in the phenology, geographic ranges, or population abundance of several species. Thus, predicting the impacts of global climate change on the current and future distribution of invasive species is an important subject in macroecological studies. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), native to South Africa, possesses a strong invasion potential and populations have become established in numerous countries across four continents. The global invasion potential of X. laevis was assessed using correlative species distribution models (SDMs). SDMs were computed based on a comprehensive set of occurrence records covering South Africa, North America, South America and Europe and a set of nine environmental predictors. Models were built using both a maximum entropy model and an ensemble approach integrating eight algorithms. The future occurrence probabilities for X. laevis were subsequently computed using bioclimatic variables for 2070 following four different IPCC scenarios. Despite minor differences between the statistical approaches, both SDMs predict the future potential distribution of X. laevis, on a global scale, to decrease across all climate change scenarios. On a continental scale, both SDMs predict decreasing potential distributions in the species' native range in South Africa, as well as in the invaded areas in North and South America, and in Australia where the species has not been introduced. In contrast, both SDMs predict the potential range size to expand in Europe. Our results suggest that all probability classes will be equally affected by climate change. New regional conditions may promote new invasions or the spread of established invasive populations, especially in France and Great Britain.

  3. Reproduction, larval growth, and reproductive development in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) exposed to atrazine.

    PubMed

    Du Preez, Louis H; Kunene, Nisile; Everson, Gideon J; Carr, James A; Giesy, John P; Gross, Timothy S; Hosmer, Alan J; Kendall, Ronald J; Smith, Ernest E; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen J

    2008-03-01

    Reproductive success and development of F2 offspring from F1 adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) exposed to atrazine throughout larval development and as sexually mature adults was examined. Larval X. laevis were exposed to one of four nominal concentrations of atrazine (0, 1, 10, 25 microg atrazine/l) beginning 96 hr after fertilization and continuing through two years post-metamorphosis. Clutch size and survival of offspring were used as measurement endpoints to gauge reproductive success of the F1 frogs. Larval survivorship and time to metamorphosis were used to gauge developmental success of the F2 offspring from atrazine-exposed frogs. Testes in F1 and F2 frogs were examined for incidence of anomalies, such as testicular ovarian follicles, and sex ratios in F2 offspring were investigated to determine if exposure to atrazine caused trans-generational effects (effects on F2 individuals due to exposure of F1 individuals). There were no effects of any of the studied concentrations of atrazine on clutch size of F1 frogs. There were also no effects on hatching success or time to metamorphosis. Sex ratios did not differ between F2 offspring among treatments. There was no evidence to suggest a transgenerational effect of atrazine on spawning success or reproductive development of X. laevis. This is consistent with the presence of robust populations of X. laevis in areas where they are exposed to atrazine that has been used for several decades for weed control in production of corn. Our observations also are consistent with the results of most other studies of frogs where no effects were found to be associated with exposure to atrazine. Our data do not support the hypothesis that atrazine significantly affects reproductive fitness and development of frogs.

  4. Identification of a novel dehydration responsive gene, drp10, from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Biggar, Yulia; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-07-01

    During periods of environmental stress a number of different anuran species employ adaptive strategies to promote survival. Our study found that in response to dehydration (i.e., loss of total body water content), the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) increased the expression of a novel gene (drp10) that encodes a structural homolog of the freeze-responsive FR10 protein found in wood frogs. Similar to FR10, the DRP10 protein was found to also contain a highly conserved N-terminal cleavable signal peptide. Furthermore, DRP10 was found to have high structural homology to the available crystal structures of type A and E apolipoproteins in Homo sapiens, and a type IV LS-12 anti-freeze protein in the longhorn sculpin, Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosis. In response to dehydration, the transcript expression of drp10 was found to increase 1.52 ± 0.16-fold and 1.97 ± 0.11-fold in response to medium (15%) and high (30%) dehydration stresses in the liver tissue of X. laevis, respectively, while drp10 expression increased 2.12 ± 0.12-fold and 1.46 ± 0.16-fold in kidney tissue. Although the molecular function of both dehydration-responsive DRP10 and the freeze-responsive FR10 have just begun to be elucidated, it is likely that both are frog-specific proteins that likely share a similar purpose during water-related stresses. PMID:25866033

  5. Evaluation of Presurgical Skin Preparation Agents in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Philips, Blythe H; Crim, Marcus J; Hankenson, F Claire; Steffen, Earl K; Klein, Peter S; Brice, Angela K; Carty, Anthony J

    2015-01-01

    Despite the routine collection of oocytes from African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) for use in research, few studies have evaluated methods for preparing their skin for surgery. We evaluated 3 skin preparatory agents by examining their antibacterial efficacy and the gross and microscopic appearance of Xenopus skin after exposure. Frogs (n = 14) were sedated and treated (contact time, 10 min) with 0.9% sterile NaCl on one-half of the ventrum and with 0.5% povidone–iodine or 0.75% chlorhexidine on the other half. Bacterial cultures were obtained before and after skin treatment; bacteria were identified by mass spectrometry. To assess inflammation and degenerative changes, the incision sites were photographed and biopsied at 0, 1, and 7 d after surgery. We isolated at least 22 genera of bacteria from the skin of our frog population (mean ± SE, 5.21 ± 0.82 genera per frog). Iodine (2.00 ± 0.44 genera) and chlorhexidine (0.29 ± 0.76 genera) both had greater antimicrobial activity than did saline. Skin erythema did not correlate with treatment group. Histologic evidence of epidermal degeneration and necrosis was greater on days 1 and 7 after chlorhexidine treatment than after iodine or saline. In addition, frogs treated with chlorhexidine had a higher incidence of clinical illness associated with the exposure site. In summary, although chlorhexidine has adequate antimicrobial activity against organisms on X. laevis skin, it leads to skin damage and subsequent clinical complications. We therefore do not recommend chlorhexidine as a preoperative preparation agent in Xenopus. PMID:26632790

  6. Growth and fatbody cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, M.J.; Fritts, T.H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varied widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  7. Growth and fat-body cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, Michael J.; Fritts, Thomas H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varies widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  8. COMPARATIVE TOXICITY OF DIURON ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF PACIFIC TREEFROG, BULLFROG, RED-LEGGED FROG, AND AFRICAN CLAWED FROG EMBRYOS AND TADPOLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of the herbicide diuron on survival and growth of Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla),bullfrog(Rana catesbeiana), red-legged frog(Rana aurora),and African clawed frog(Xenopus laevis)embryos and tadpoles were determined in static-renewal tests. P.regilla and X.laevis...

  9. Diseases of frogs and toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.

    2005-01-01

    This chapter presents information on infectious diseases of free-living frogs and toads that have completed metamorphosis. The diseases discussed in this chapter pertain principally to sub-adult and adult frogs and toads that are at least 60-90 days removed from completion of metamorphosis. The main emphasis of this chapter is the diseases found in amphibians of Canada and the United States. Diseases of recent metamorphs, larvae and amphibian eggs are presented in the chapters Diseases of Amphibian Eggs and Embryos and Diseases of Tadpoles. The smallest disease agents (viruses and bacteria) are presented first, followed by fungi, protozoa, helminths and ectoparasites. Diseases presented in this chapter are Ranaviral (iridovirus) infection Lucke frog herpesvirus (kidney cancer) Frog erythrocytic virus West Nile virus Red-leg disease (bacterial septicemia) Salmonellosis Chytrid fungal infection Basidiobolus fungi Dermosporidiosis Ichthyophoniasis Dermocystidium & Dermomycoides Myxozoa Ribeiroia flukes and Amphibian malformations Clinostomum metacercaria Aspects of each disease are presented to assist the biologist with recognition of diseases in the field. Hence, the major emphases for identification of diseases are the epizootiological aspects (host species, life stage, casualty numbers, etc) and gross findings ('lesions'). Descriptions of the microscopical, ultrastructural and cultural characteristics of each infectious agent were considered beyond the scope of this text. Detailed cultural and microscopical features of these disease agents are available in other reviews (Taylor et al., 2001; Green, 2001). Some diseases, while common in captive and zoo amphibians, are exceptionally rare in free-living frogs and toads, and therefore are omitted from this review. Among the diseases not presented are infections by chlamydia and mycobacteria, which occur principally in captive colonies of African clawed frogs (Xenopus, Hymenochirus, et al.) and northern leopard frogs

  10. Effect of water hardness on oocyte quality and embryo development in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Earl W; Sanders, George E

    2004-04-01

    Husbandry and health of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, greatly influences the quality of oocytes produced. One factor affecting oocyte quality is the water conditions in which females are maintained. Dechlorination and adequate salt concentration are known to affect oocytes, but water hardness has not been considered an important factor in Xenopus husbandry by the research community. We found that, when females were kept in soft water or water with marine salts alone, even when it was cooled to 17 to 18 degrees C, the quality of oocytes decreased; only 20 to 25% of resulting embryos developed to tailbud stages. Survival and normal development of embryos increased significantly within one month of addition to the laboratory housing water of salts that mimic conditions in African Rift Valley lakes. These salts greatly increased water hardness; development of embryos to tailbud stages remained high (50 to 70% on average) for more than a year after their addition to the water housing females. Water from South African ponds where X. laevis are collected, and from wells used by the major suppliers of X. laevis, also was moderately to very hard. Our results suggest that X. laevis is naturally adapted to hard water, and indicate that increasing general hardness during laboratory housing is more important for oocyte quality and embryo development than is increasing carbonate hardness (alkalinity) in the water used to house females.

  11. Ca2+-recruitment in tachykinin-induced contractions of gut smooth muscle from African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Agot; Holmgren, Susanne

    2003-04-01

    Changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration control many essential cellular functions like the contraction of smooth muscle cells. The aim of this study was to investigate if the tachykinin substance P (SP) engages external Ca(2+)-sources, internal Ca(2+)-sources, or both in the contraction of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). Strip preparations made of either longitudinal smooth muscle of proximal intestine or circular smooth muscle of cardiac stomach were mounted in organ baths and the tension was recorded via force transducers. Ca(2+)-free Ringer's solution containing the Ca(2+) chelating agent EGTA (2mM) abolished all spontaneous contractions. Exposure to SP in Ca(2+)-free solution decreased the response. Preparations were also treated with the Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin (10 microM) during 30 min. Thapsigargin reduced the effect of SP on intestinal longitudinal smooth muscle in rainbow trout and on stomach circular smooth muscle in the African clawed frog and to a less extent in the intestinal longitudinal smooth muscle. The results show that external Ca(2+) is of great importance, but is not the only source of Ca(2+) recruitment in SP-activation of gastrointestinal smooth muscle in rainbow trout and the African clawed frog. PMID:12679095

  12. Urotensin II upregulates migration and cytokine gene expression in leukocytes of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, Shiori; Nakamachi, Tomoya; Uchiyama, Minoru; Matsuda, Kouhei; Konno, Norifumi

    2015-05-15

    Urotensin II (UII) exhibits diverse physiological actions including vasoconstriction, locomotor activity, osmoregulation, and immune response via the UII receptor (UTR) in mammals. However, in amphibians the function of the UII-UTR system remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the potential immune function of UII using leukocytes isolated from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Stimulation of male frogs with lipopolysaccharide increased mRNA expression of UII and UTR in leukocytes, suggesting that inflammatory stimuli induce activation of the UII-UTR system. Migration assays showed that both UII and UII-related peptide enhanced migration of leukocytes in a dose-dependent manner, and that UII effect was inhibited by the UTR antagonist urantide. Inhibition of Rho kinase with Y-27632 abolished UII-induced migration, suggesting that it depends on the activation of RhoA/Rho kinase. Treatment of isolated leukocytes with UII increased the expression of several cytokine genes including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and macrophage migration inhibitory factor, and the effects were abolished by urantide. These results suggest that in amphibian leukocytes the UII-UTR system is involved in the activation of leukocyte migration and cytokine gene expression in response to inflammatory stimuli.

  13. Effects of low dose endosulfan exposure on brain neurotransmitter levels in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Preud'homme, Valérie; Milla, Sylvain; Gillardin, Virginie; De Pauw, Edwin; Denoël, Mathieu; Kestemont, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Understanding the impact of pesticides in amphibians is of growing concern to assess the causes of their decline. Among pesticides, endosulfan belongs to one of the potential sources of danger because of its wide use and known effects, particularly neurotoxic, on a variety of organisms. However, the effect of endosulfan was not yet evaluated on amphibians at levels encompassing simultaneously brain neurotransmitters and behavioural endpoints. In this context, tadpoles of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis were submitted to four treatments during 27 d: one control, one ethanol control, and two low environmental concentrations of endosulfan (0.1 and 1 μg L(-1)). Endosulfan induced a significant increase of brain serotonin level at both concentrations and a significant increase of brain dopamine and GABA levels at the lower exposure but acetylcholinesterase activity was not modified by the treatment. The gene coding for the GABA transporter 1 was up-regulated in endosulfan contaminated tadpoles while the expression of other genes coding for the neurotransmitter receptors or for the enzymes involved in their metabolic pathways was not significantly modified by endosulfan exposure. Endosulfan also affected foraging, and locomotion in links with the results of the physiological assays, but no effects were seen on growth. These results show that low environmental concentrations of endosulfan can induce adverse responses in X. laevis tadpoles. At a broader perspective, this suggests that more research using and linking multiple markers should be used to understand the complex mode of action of pollutants.

  14. The impact of the goitrogen 6-propylthiouracil (PTU) on West-African clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) exposed during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Gunnar; Norrgren, Leif

    2007-04-20

    This study investigated the suitability of using tadpoles of the West-African clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) for studying adverse effects on the thyroid hormone system after chemical exposure. Tadpoles were exposed to the thyroxine synthesis inhibitor 6-propylthiouracil (PTU) at concentrations between 2-75mg/L during 14 days. After 5 and 14 days of exposure the developmental stage, hind limb length, body length and weight were measured. Moreover, histological measurements of the thyroid glands were performed after 14 days of exposure. These measurements included maximum thyroid cross-section area, follicular area and epithelial cell height. Tadpoles in the 75mg/L treatment were less developed and had shorter hind limb length than the control group after 14 days of exposure. No effects were recorded on these parameters at lower PTU concentrations. The histological measurements revealed clear dose-response relationships in both follicular cross-section area and epithelial cell height, with lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) recorded at 2 and 5mg/L, respectively. This study shows that X. tropicalis is a suitable species for detection of thyroid disrupting chemicals. Further, histopathological measurements of thyroid glands are more sensitive parameters compared with apical endpoints when studying adverse effects on thyroid hormone system caused by PTU exposure in X. tropicalis.

  15. Inhibition of gonadotropin-induced oviposition and ovarian steroidogenesis in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) by the pesticide methoxychlor.

    PubMed

    Pickford, Daniel B; Morris, Ian D

    2003-02-12

    Concern over the role of environmental toxicants in amphibian population declines has highlighted the need to develop more comprehensive ecotoxicological test methods for this at-risk group. With continued interest in environmental endocrine disrupters (EDs), and the paucity of data pertaining to endocrine disrupting effects in amphibia, such tests should incorporate reproductive and endocrine endpoints. We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to the pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) on reproductive and endocrine function in adult female African clawed frogs, (Xenopus laevis). Frogs were exposed to MXC (0.5-500 microg/l) in tank water throughout a cycle of oogenesis stimulated by exogenous gonadotropins. Gonadotropin-induced oviposition was delayed, and reduced numbers of unfertilizable eggs of increased size were oviposited by frogs exposed to 500 microg/l MXC. Reduced egg output was mirrored by increased gonado-somatic index in MXC-treated frogs. Post-oviposition, plasma sex steroid profiles were altered in MXC-exposed frogs as estradiol/progesterone and estradiol/testosterone ratios were elevated. Ex vivo synthesis of progesterone by ovarian explants was significantly reduced for frogs exposed to MXC> or = 0.5 microg/l. Additionally, plasma vitellogenin concentrations were significantly depressed in frogs exposed to 500 microg/l MXC. These data indicate that reproductive and endocrine dysfunction can occur in adult amphibia exposed to high concentrations of an environmental toxin with endocrine disrupting activity. Such effects may be indicative of the potential for adverse effects on amphibian wildlife exposed to environmental EDs.

  16. Endocrine effects of 2,2{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    SciTech Connect

    Diana, S.; Hansen, L.; Foley, G.; Beasley, V.

    1995-12-31

    Ortho-substituted polychlorinated biphenyls are known to exhibit estrogenic activity and, in some cases, to enhance excretion of tetraiodothyronine (T4), resulting in hypothyroxinemia in mammals. Since thyroxine activity is essential for amphibian metamorphosis, and amphibian sex determination can be altered or reversed by exposure to exogenous estrogens or androgens, the effects of exposure of larvae of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) to 2,2{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl (CB 47) were investigated. Eggs and larvae of X. laevis were exposed to nominal concentrations of CB 47 of 0.05 or 0.25 ppm (1 ppm was found to result in 100% mortality) throughout the period of larval development, and effects on rates of metamorphosis and body growth and on gonad morphology were determined. Stage of metamorphosis, body length and body weight did not differ between treatment and control groups, following exposure to these sub-lethal concentrations, at any time during larval development. Effects of exposure on gonad morphology will be discussed. The failure of CB 47 to delay or prevent metamorphosis under these conditions may be due to poor responsiveness of hepatic UDP-glucuronyl transferases to induction, or novel systems of thyroxine and/or PCB transport, metabolism and excretion in larval amphibians.

  17. The colloidal thyroxine (T4) ring as a novel biomarker of perchlorate exposure in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hu, F.; Sharma, Bibek; Mukhi, S.; Patino, R.; Carr, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if changes in colloidal thyroxine (T4) immunoreactivity can be used as a biomarker of perchlorate exposure in amphibian thyroid tissue. Larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to 0, 1, 8, 93, and 1131 ??g perchlorate/l for 38 and 69 days to cover the normal period of larval development and metamorphosis. The results of this study confirmed the presence of an immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring in thyroid follicles of X. laevis and demonstrated that the intensity of this ring is reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by perchlorate exposure. The smallest effective concentration of perchlorate capable of significantly reducing colloidal T4 ring intensity was 8 ??g perchlorate/l. The intensity of the immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring is a more sensitive biomarker of perchlorate exposure than changes in hind limb length, forelimb emergence, tail resorption, thyrocyte hypertrophy, or colloid depletion. We conclude that the colloidal T4 ring can be used as a sensitive biomarker of perchlorate-induced thyroid disruption in amphibians. ?? Copyright 2006 Oxford University Press.

  18. Immune defenses against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungus linked to global amphibian declines, in the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Jeremy P; Reinert, Laura K; Harper, Laura K; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2010-09-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a chytrid fungus that causes the lethal skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. It is regarded as an emerging infectious disease affecting diverse amphibian populations in many parts of the world. Because there are few model amphibian species for immunological studies, little is known about immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis. We show here that the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a suitable model for investigating immunity to this pathogen. After an experimental exposure, a mild infection developed over 20 to 30 days and declined by 45 days postexposure. Either purified antimicrobial peptides or mixtures of peptides in the skin mucus inhibited B. dendrobatidis growth in vitro. Skin peptide secretion was maximally induced by injection of norepinephrine, and this treatment resulted in sustained skin peptide depletion and increased susceptibility to infection. Sublethal X-irradiation of frogs decreased leukocyte numbers in the spleen and resulted in greater susceptibility to infection. Immunization against B. dendrobatidis induced elevated pathogen-specific IgM and IgY serum antibodies. Mucus secretions from X. laevis previously exposed to B. dendrobatidis contained significant amounts of IgM, IgY, and IgX antibodies that bind to B. dendrobatidis. These data strongly suggest that both innate and adaptive immune defenses are involved in the resistance of X. laevis to lethal B. dendrobatidis infections.

  19. TOAD Editor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bingle, Bradford D.; Shea, Anne L.; Hofler, Alicia S.

    1993-01-01

    Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) computer program (LAR-13755), implements format designed to facilitate transfer of data across communication networks and dissimilar host computer systems. Any data file conforming to TOAD format standard called TOAD file. TOAD Editor is interactive software tool for manipulating contents of TOAD files. Commonly used to extract filtered subsets of data for visualization of results of computation. Also offers such user-oriented features as on-line help, clear English error messages, startup file, macroinstructions defined by user, command history, user variables, UNDO features, and full complement of mathematical statistical, and conversion functions. Companion program, TOAD Gateway (LAR-14484), converts data files from variety of other file formats to that of TOAD. TOAD Editor written in FORTRAN 77.

  20. Plasma sex steroid concentrations and gonadal aromatase activities in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) from South Africa.

    PubMed

    Hecker, Markus; Giesy, John P; Jones, Paul D; Jooste, Alarik M; Carr, James A; Solomon, Keith R; Smith, Ernest E; Van der Kraak, Glen; Kendall, Ronald J; Du Preez, Louis

    2004-08-01

    Adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were collected from a corn-growing region (CGR) and a non-corn-growing region (NCGR) with different exposure profiles for atrazine and related triazines. Physical, chemical, and biological parameters from the catchment areas were also measured. Frogs were surveyed for possible effects of exposure to triazine herbicides on plasma testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) titers, gonadal aromatase activity, and gonad growth (GSI). Concentrations of both T and E2 varied among locations and were correlated to some accessory factors, such as pH, several ions, and metals. Greatest median plasma T concentrations (males: 19 ng/ml; females: 16 ng/ml) occurred in frogs inhabiting NCGR as compared to those from the CGR (males: 4 ng/ml; females: 1 ng/ml). Median E2 concentrations were also greater in frogs collected from the NCGR (males: 3 ng/ml; females: 28 ng/ml) than those in frogs from the CGR (males: 2 ng/ml; females: 5 ng/ml). Because some exposure to agricultural chemicals at both regions occurred, as did simultaneous exposures to multiple chemicals, a regression analysis was employed. Negative correlations were observed between plasma T concentrations and concentrations of atrazine, deisopropylatrazine, deethylatrazine, and tertbuthylazine in females and between T and diaminochlorotriazine in males. Estradiol in females exhibited a significant negative correlation with atrazine and deethylatrazine. No correlations were observed between gonadal aromatase activity or GSI and any of the agricultural chemicals measured. Median aromatase activities in ovaries varied among sampling sites ranging from 7 to >3000 times greater than those in males when measurable. Testicular aromatase activity was below the detection limit of the assay in male frogs at most of the sites. Although exposure to agricultural inputs did not affect aromatase activities, effects of atrazine or coapplied pesticides on sex steroid homeostasis cannot be excluded at

  1. TOAD Gateway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bingel, Bradford D.

    1994-01-01

    TOAD Gateway is interactive software tool for converting data files to and from variety of file formats. Currently reads and writes following file formats: TOAD; Standard Interface File (SIF); Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories (POST) input; Comma Separated Value and Tab Separated Value, common in PC and Macintosh spreadsheet and database packages; and general free format. Additional modules for accommodating other formats easily developed and installed. Companion program, TOAD Editor (LAR-14423), manipulates contents of TOAD files and extracts selected subsets of data. TOAD Gateway written in FORTRAN 77.

  2. Cloning of proopiomelanocortin from the brain of the african lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and the brain of the western spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicatus.

    PubMed

    Lee, J; Lecaude, S; Danielson, P; Sollars, C; Alrubaian, J; Propper, C R; Lihrmann, I; Vaudry, H; Dores, R M

    1999-07-01

    A degenerate primer, specific for the opioid core sequence YGGFM, was used to clone and sequence proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cDNAs from the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and from the brain of the western spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicatus. In addition, the opioid-specific primer was used to clone and sequence a 3'RACE product corresponding to a portion of the open reading frame of S. multiplicatus proenkephalin. For both species, cDNA was made from a single brain and a degenerate opioid-specific primer provided a reliable probe for detecting opioid-related cDNAs. The African lungfish POMC cDNA was 1,168 nucleotides in length, and contained regions that are similar to tetrapod POMCs and fish POMCs. The African lungfish POMC encodes a tetrapod-like gamma-MSH sequence that is flanked by sets of paired basic amino acid proteolytic cleavage sites. The gamma-MSH region in ray-finned fish POMCs either has degenerate cleavage sites or is totally absent in some species. However, the African lungfish gamma-MSH sequence does contain a deletion which has not been observed in tetrapod gamma-MSH sequences. The beta-endorphin region of lungfish POMC has the di-amino acid sequence tryptophan-aspartic acid in the N-terminal region and an additional glutamic acid residue in the C-terminal region of beta-endorphin - features found in fish beta-endorphin, but not tetrapod beta-endorphins. The western spadefoot toad POMC was 1,186 nucleotides in length, and exhibited an organizational scheme typical for tetrapod POMCs. However, the toad POMC did lack a paired basic amino acid proteolytic cleavage site N-terminal to the beta-MSH sequence. Thus, like rat POMC, it is doubtful that beta-MSH is an end product in either the toad brain or intermediate pituitary. At the amino acid level, the toad POMC had 76% sequence identity with Xenopus laevis POMC and 68% sequence identity with Rana ribidunda POMC. The use of these POMC sequences to assess phylogenetic relationships

  3. Devil's claw

    MedlinePlus

    ... your health provider.Medications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)Devil's claw might increase stomach acid. ... that are used to decrease stomach acid, called proton pump inhibitors. Some medications that decrease stomach acid ...

  4. No ecological opportunity signal on a continental scale? Diversification and life-history evolution of African true toads (Anura: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Liedtke, H Christoph; Müller, Hendrik; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Menegon, Michele; Gonwouo, LeGrand Nono; Barej, Michael F; Gvoždík, Václav; Schmitz, Andreas; Channing, Alan; Nagel, Peter; Loader, Simon P

    2016-08-01

    The niche-filling process predicted by the "ecological opportunity" (EO) model is an often-invoked mechanism for generating exceptional diversity in island colonizers. Whether the same process governs lineage accumulation and trait disparity during continental colonization events is less clear. Here, we test this prediction by investigating the rate dynamics and trait evolution of one of Africa's most widespread amphibian colonizers, the true toads (Bufonidae). By reconstructing the most complete molecular phylogeny of African Bufonidae to date, we find that the diversification of lineages in Africa best conforms to a constant rate model throughout time and across subclades, with little support for EO. Evolutionary rates of life-history traits have similarly been constant over time. However, an analysis of generalists and specialists showed a shift toward higher speciation rates associated with habitat specialization. The overall lack of EO signal can be interpreted in a number of ways and we propose several explanations. Firstly, methodological issues might preclude the detection of EO. Secondly, colonizers might not experience true EO conditions and due to the size, ecological heterogeneity and age of landmasses, the diversification processes might be more complex. Thirdly, lower speciation rates of habitat generalists may have affected overall proliferation of lineages. PMID:27312525

  5. Devil's claw root: ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding?

    PubMed

    2013-12-01

    Harpagophytum procumbens, or devil's claw, is an African plant whose root is used to relieve minor joint symptoms. Several cases of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with the use of devil's claw root have been reported. A systematic review of the adverse effects of devil's claw root in about 20 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials showed mainly gastrointestinal effects: gastralgia and dyspepsia. In practice, devil's claw root exposes patients to the risk of sometimes serious upper gastrointestinal disorders, yet has no established efficacy beyond a placebo effect. It is best avoided. PMID:24600731

  6. Post-Messinian evolutionary relationships across the Sicilian channel: Mitochondrial and nuclear markers link a new green toad from Sicily to African relatives

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Little attention has been paid to the consequences of the last landbridge between Africa and Sicily on Mediterranean biogeography. Previous paleontological and scarce molecular data suggest possible faunal exchange later than the well-documented landbridge in the Messinian (5.3 My); however, a possible African origin of recent terrestrial Sicilian fauna has not been thoroughly tested with molecular methods. To gain insight into the phylogeography of the region, we examine two mitochondrial and two nuclear markers (one is a newly adapted intron marker) in green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) across that sea barrier, the Strait of Sicily. Results Extensive sampling throughout the western Mediterranean and North Africa revealed a deep sister relationship between Sicilian (Bufo siculus n.sp.) and African green toads (B. boulengeri) on the mitochondrial and nuclear level. Divergence times estimated under a Bayesian-coalescence framework (mtDNA control region and 16S rRNA) range from the Middle Pliocene (3.6 My) to Pleistocene (0.16 My) with an average (1.83 to 2.0 My) around the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, suggesting possible land connections younger than the Messinian (5.3 My). We describe green toads from Sicily and some surrounding islands as a new endemic species (Bufo siculus). Bufo balearicus occurs on some western Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Mallorca, and Menorca) and the Apennine Peninsula, and is well differentiated on the mitochondrial and nuclear level from B. siculus as well as from B. viridis (Laurenti), whose haplotype group reaches northeastern Italy, north of the Po River. Detection of Calabrian B. balearicus haplotypes in northeastern Sicily suggests recent invasion. Our data agree with paleogeographic and fossil data, which suggest long Plio-Pleistocene isolation of Sicily and episodic Pleistocene faunal exchange across the Strait of Messina. It remains unknown whether both species (B. balearicus, B. siculus) occur in

  7. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Evans, Ben J; Carter, Timothy F; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B; McLaughlin, Patrick J; Pauwels, Olivier S G; Portik, Daniel M; Stanley, Edward L; Tinsley, Richard C; Tobias, Martha L; Blackburn, David C

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups). PMID:26672747

  8. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Ben J.; Carter, Timothy F.; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B.; McLaughlin, Patrick J.; Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Portik, Daniel M.; Stanley, Edward L.; Tinsley, Richard C.; Tobias, Martha L.; Blackburn, David C.

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups). PMID:26672747

  9. Population structure of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) in maize-growing areas with atrazine application versus non-maize-growing areas in South Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Du Preez, L.H.; Solomon, K.R.; Carr, J.A.; Giesy, J.P.; Gross, T.S.; Kendall, R.J.; Smith, E.E.; Van Der Kraak, G. L.; Weldon, C.

    2005-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine has been suggested to cause gonadal deformities in frogs and could possibly impact on reproduction. Since the early 1960s, atrazine has been used in large amounts in maize production areas of South Africa. These areas overlap with populations of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) that has a wide distribution in southern Africa and is found in most water-bodies including those where atrazine residues are detected. The aim of this study was to compare various attributes of individual- and population-level responses of X. laevis from maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Xenopus laevis were studied in three reference and five maize-growing sites. Sex ratio, snout-vent length, body-mass and age profiles were found to be similar for populations in maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Our mark-recapture data indicated that all sites had robust populations. There were no significant relationships between exposure to atrazine and any of the parameters investigated in populations of X. laevis.

  10. Effects of atrazine on CYP19 gene expression and aromatase activity in testes and on plasma sex steroid concentrations of male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Hecker, Markus; Park, June-Woo; Murphy, Margaret B; Jones, Paul D; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen; Carr, James A; Smith, Ernest E; du Preez, Louis; Kendall, Ronald J; Giesy, John P

    2005-08-01

    Some investigators have suggested that the triazine herbicide atrazine can cause demasculinization of male amphibians via upregulation of the enzyme aromatase. Male adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to three nominal concentrations of atrazine (1, 25, or 250 microg atrazine/l) for 36 days, and testicular aromatase activity and CYP19 gene expression, as well as concentrations of the plasma sex steroids testosterone (T) and 17beta-estradiol (E2), and gonad size (GSI) were measured. There were no effects on any of the parameters measured, with the exception of plasma T concentrations. Plasma T concentrations in X. laevis exposed to the greatest concentration of atrazine were significantly less (p = 0.034) than those in untreated frogs. Both CYP19 gene expression and aromatase activities were low regardless of treatment, and neither parameter correlated with the other. We conclude that aromatase enzyme activity and gene expression were at basal levels in X. laevis from all treatments, and that the tested concentrations of atrazine did not interfere with steroidogenesis through an aromatase-mediated mechanism of action.

  11. Studies on the GH/SL gene family: cloning of African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) growth hormone and somatolactin and toad (Bufo marinus) growth hormone.

    PubMed

    May, D; Alrubaian, J; Patel, S; Dores, R M; Rand-Weaver, M

    1999-01-01

    The lungfishes (lobe-finned fish) occupy a unique position in vertebrate phylogeny, being regarded as the closest extant relatives to the tetrapods. The putative pituitary hormone somatolactin (SL) has hitherto been found only in teleost fishes, and the presence of this protein in tetrapods or lobe-finned fishes has not been ascertained. It was therefore of interest to determine the structure of SL in the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens), as this information would be useful for designing probes to facilitate the detection of SL genes in amphibians and other tetrapods. The structural relationships between SL, growth hormone (GH), and prolactin (PRL) strongly suggest that these proteins evolved from a common ancestor. To obtain a more complete picture of the evolution of these hormones in lungfish, African lungfish GH has been cloned and sequenced. The cDNA sequence of a toad (Bufo marinus) GH was determined to facilitate maximum parsimony analysis of GH sequences. Cladistic analysis confirmed that lungfish and amphibian GH sequences form a clade distinct from the GH sequences of ray-finned fishes. A distance matrix analysis of SL sequences indicated that lungfish SL had the lowest primary sequence identity with goldfish SL (47%) and the highest with flounder SL (66%). The detection of SL in a lungfish indicates that the gene duplication within the SL/GH/PRL family, which gave rise to SL, must have occurred in a common ancestor of the ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) and the lungfishes (Sarcopterygii) and tetrapods.

  12. Lobster claw deformity.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Ashish; Agrawal, Rahul; Singh, Rajat; Agrawal, Romi; Agrawal, Seema

    2014-01-01

    Endogenous erythroid colony (EEC) syndrome comprise of three cardinal features, i.e. ectrodactyly, ectodermal dysplasia and cleft lip. EEC itself has three different forms. Ectrodactyly (absence of one or more digits) can be present with clefting in the proximal portion of hand or foot known as split hand foot malformation (SHFM) or lobster claw deformity. SHFM can be of four types depending upon the different responsible chromosomal loci. SHFM-4 can be present as pure limb malformation (non-syndromic form). In this article, describes a rare case report of lobster claw deformity patient.

  13. Lobster claw deformity.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Ashish; Agrawal, Rahul; Singh, Rajat; Agrawal, Romi; Agrawal, Seema

    2014-01-01

    Endogenous erythroid colony (EEC) syndrome comprise of three cardinal features, i.e. ectrodactyly, ectodermal dysplasia and cleft lip. EEC itself has three different forms. Ectrodactyly (absence of one or more digits) can be present with clefting in the proximal portion of hand or foot known as split hand foot malformation (SHFM) or lobster claw deformity. SHFM can be of four types depending upon the different responsible chromosomal loci. SHFM-4 can be present as pure limb malformation (non-syndromic form). In this article, describes a rare case report of lobster claw deformity patient. PMID:24992861

  14. The Power of the Claw

    PubMed Central

    Rothschild, Bruce M.; Bryant, Bill; Hubbard, Christopher; Tuxhorn, Kent; Kilgore, Ginny Penn; Martin, Larry; Naples, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Scratches on bones have routinely been attributed to tooth marks (a predominantly untested speculation), ignoring the effects of claws, perhaps because of the general assumption that claws are too soft to damage bone. However, some pathologies appears to be more compatible with claw rather than tooth impacts. Therefore, it is critical to determine if the claws of any animal are capable of scratching into the surface of any bone – a test and proof of concept. A tiger enrichment program was used to document actual bone damage unequivocally caused by claws, by assuring that the tiger had access to bones only by using its paws (claws). The spectrum of mechanisms causing bone damage was expanded by evidentiary analysis of claw-induced pathology. While static studies suggested that nails/claws could not disrupt bone, specific tiger enrichment activities documented that bones were susceptible to damage from the kinetic energy effect of the striking claw. This documents an expanded differential consideration for scratch marks on bone and evidences the power of the claw. PMID:24023906

  15. Acute toxic effects of the herbicide formulation and the active ingredient used in cycloxydim-tolerant maize cultivation on embryos and larvae of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Norman; Lötters, Stefan; Veith, Michael; Viertel, Bruno

    2015-04-01

    Most genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops are still awaiting approval in Europe. There is, however, a recent trend for the cultivation of cycloxydim-tolerant maize hybrids for use in maize production. We studied the acute toxic effects of the complementary herbicide Focus(®) Ultra and its active ingredient cycloxydim on embryos and early-stage larvae of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). The results indicate that the herbicide formulation is significantly more toxic than the active ingredient alone. Therefore, it is suggested that the added substances either solely or in a synergistic action with the active ingredient are responsible for adverse effects. The formulation was found to be moderately toxic to embryos but highly toxic to early larvae. Based on calculated teratogenic indices, both cycloxydim and Focus(®) Ultra seem to be non-teratogenic and also the minimum Focus(®) Ultra concentration to inhibit growth in embryos and larvae was close to the LC50 values. The data suggest that tests with the rainbow trout are not in all cases appropriate to assess the risk in aquatically developing anurans. This is demonstrated by 96-h LC50 values, which are for rainbow trout more than 50- to 20-fold higher than for early X. laevis larvae. However, based on worst-case predicted environmental concentrations for surface waters, there is apparently a large safety margin in field use of Focus(®) Ultra if buffer strips between the farm land and the amphibian habitats are regarded. PMID:25634323

  16. The Genome of the Western Clawed Frog Xenopus tropicalis

    SciTech Connect

    Hellsten, Uffe; Harland, Richard M.; Gilchrist, Michael J.; Hendrix, David; Jurka, Jerzy; Kapitonov, Vladimir; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Shu, Shengqiang; Taher, Leila; Blitz, Ira L.; Blumberg, Bruce; Dichmann, Darwin S.; Dubchak, Inna; Amaya, Enrique; Detter, John C.; Fletcher, Russell; Gerhard, Daniela S.; Goodstein, David; Graves, Tina; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Grimwood, Jane; Kawashima, Takeshi; Lindquist, Erika; Lucas, Susan M.; Mead, Paul E.; Mitros, Therese; Ogino, Hajime; Ohta, Yuko; Poliakov, Alexander V.; Pollet, Nicolas; Robert, Jacques; Salamov, Asaf; Sater, Amy K.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Terry, Astrid; Vize, Peter D.; Warren, Wesley C.; Wells, Dan; Wills, Andrea; Wilson, Richard K.; Zimmerman, Lyle B.; Zorn, Aaron M.; Grainger, Robert; Grammer, Timothy; Khokha, Mustafa K.; Richardson, Paul M.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2009-10-01

    The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes over 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1,700 human disease genes. Over a million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like other tetrapods, the genome contains gene deserts enriched for conserved non-coding elements. The genome exhibits remarkable shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.

  17. The Genome of the Western Clawed Frog Xenopus tropicalis

    PubMed Central

    Hellsten, Uffe; Harland, Richard M.; Gilchrist, Michael J.; Hendrix, David; Jurka, Jerzy; Kapitonov, Vladimir; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Shu, Shengqiang; Taher, Leila; Blitz, Ira L.; Blumberg, Bruce; Dichmann, Darwin S.; Dubchak, Inna; Amaya, Enrique; Detter, John C.; Fletcher, Russell; Gerhard, Daniela S.; Goodstein, David; Graves, Tina; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Grimwood, Jane; Kawashima, Takeshi; Lindquist, Erika; Lucas, Susan M.; Mead, Paul E.; Mitros, Therese; Ogino, Hajime; Ohta, Yuko; Poliakov, Alexander V.; Pollet, Nicolas; Robert, Jacques; Salamov, Asaf; Sater, Amy K.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Terry, Astrid; Vize, Peter D.; Warren, Wesley C.; Wells, Dan; Wills, Andrea; Wilson, Richard K.; Zimmerman, Lyle B.; Zorn, Aaron M.; Grainger, Robert; Grammer, Timothy; Khokha, Mustafa K.; Richardson, Paul M.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2010-01-01

    The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes over 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1,700 human disease genes. Over a million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like other tetrapods, the genome contains gene deserts enriched for conserved non-coding elements. The genome exhibits remarkable shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage. PMID:20431018

  18. What's the Difference between Frogs and Toads?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Herrick

    2004-01-01

    The difference between frogs and toads can be determined scientifically but is based in the historic use of the terms frog and toad. These are Old English words for the common frog, "Rana temporaria," and the common toad, "Bufo bufo," both inhabitants of the British Isles. In the process of describing a new anuran species, scientists refer to it…

  19. Isolation breeds naivety: island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Mun, Hee-chang; Conigrave, Arthur D; Bray, Alessandra; Osterkamp, Jens; Halling, Petter; Madsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian-African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α(1) subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian-African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian-African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian-African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity.

  20. Analgesic Effects of Toad Cake and Toad-cake-containing Herbal Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Eiji; Shimizu, Yasuharu; Masui, Ryo; Usui, Tomomi; Sudoh, Keiichi

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: This study was conducted to clarify the analgesic effect of toad cake and toad-cake-containing herbal drugs. Methods: We counted the writhing response of mice after the intraperitoneal administration of acetic acid as a nociceptive pain model and the withdrawal response after the plantar surface stimulation of the hind paw induced by partial sciatic nerve ligation of the mice as a neuropathic pain model to investigate the analgesic effect of toad cake and toad-cake-containing herbal drugs. A co-treatment study with serotonin biosynthesis inhibitory drug 4-chloro- DL-phenylalanine methyl ester hydrochloride (PCPA), the catecholamine biosynthesis inhibitory drug α-methyl- DL-tyrosine methyl ester hydrochloride (AMPT) or the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone hydrochloride was also conducted. Results: Analgesic effects in a mouse model of nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain were shown by oral administration of toad cake and toad-cake-containing herbal drugs. The effects of toad cake and toad-cake-containing herbal drugs disappeared upon co-treatment with PCPA, but not with AMPT or naloxone in the nociceptive pain model; the analgesic effect of toad-cake-containing herbal drugs also disappeared upon co-treatment with PCPA in the neuropathic pain model. Conclusion: Toad cake and toad-cake-containing herbal drugs have potential for the treatments of nociceptive pain and of neuropathic pain, such as post-herpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, diabetic neuralgia, and postoperative or posttraumatic pain, by activation of the central serotonin nervous system. PMID:25780693

  1. Dinosaur killer claws or climbing crampons?

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Phillip L; Payne, David; Pennicott, John; Barrett, Paul M; Ennos, Roland A

    2005-01-01

    Dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs possess a strongly recurved, hypertrophied and hyperextensible ungual claw on pedal digit II. This feature is usually suggested to have functioned as a device for disembowelling herbivorous dinosaurs during predation. However, modelling of dromaeosaurid hindlimb function using a robotic model and comparison of pedal ungual morphology with extant analogue taxa both indicate that this distinctive claw did not function as a slashing weapon, but may have acted as an aid to prey capture. PMID:17148340

  2. Shock characterization of toad pins

    SciTech Connect

    Weirick, L.J.; Navarro, M.J.

    1996-05-01

    The purpose of this program was to characterize Time Of Arrival Detectors (TOAD) pins response to shock loading with respect to risetime, amplitude, repeatability and consistency. TOAD pins were subjected to impacts of 35 to 420 kilobars amplitude and approximately 1 ms pulse width to investigate the timing spread of four pins and the voltage output profile of the individual pins. Sets of pins were also aged at 45{degree}, 60{degree} and 80{degree}C for approximately nine weeks before shock testing at 315 kilobars impact stress. Four sets of pins were heated to 50.2{degree}C (125{degree}F) for approximately two hours and then impacted at either 50 or 315 kilobars. Also, four sets of pins were aged at 60{degree}C for nine weeks and then heated to 50.2{degree}C before shock testing at 50 and 315 kilobars impact stress, respectively. Particle velocity measurements at the contact point between the stainless steel targets and TOAD pins were made using a Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (VISAR) to monitor both the amplitude and profile of the shock waves. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  3. Shock characterization of TOAD pins

    SciTech Connect

    Weirick, L.J.; Navarro, N.J.

    1995-08-01

    The purpose of this program was to characterize Time Of Arrival Detectors (TOAD) pins response to shock loading with respect to risetime, amplitude, repeatability and consistency. TOAD pins were subjected to impacts of 35 to 420 kilobars amplitude and approximately 1 ms pulse width to investigate the timing spread of four pins and the voltage output profile of the individual pins. Sets of pins were also aged at 45{degrees}, 60{degrees}, and 80{degrees}C for approximately nine weeks before shock testing at 315 kilobars impact stress. Four sets of pins were heated to 50.2{degrees}C (125{degrees}F) for approximately two hours and then impacted at either 50 or 315 kilobars. Also, four sets of pins were aged at 60{degrees}C for nine weeks and then heated to 50.2{degrees}C before shock testing at 50 and 315 kilobars impact stress, respectively. Particle velocity measurements at the contact point between the stainless steel targets and TOAD pins were made using a Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (VISAR) to monitor both the amplitude and profile of the shock waves.

  4. Development of claw traits and claw lesions in dairy cows kept on different floor systems.

    PubMed

    Somers, J G C J; Schouten, W G P; Frankena, K; Noordhuizen-Stassen, E N; Metz, J H M

    2005-01-01

    Several claw shape measurements, horn hardness, and horn growth and wear were recorded monthly at 12 dairy farms to investigate the effect of floor type and changes in these traits over time. Herds were either housed on a slatted floor (SL), solid concrete floor (SC), grooved floor (GR), or on a straw yard (SY). Twenty cows per farm were selected and stratified by parity. Information on claw traits was recorded on right lateral hind claws between October 2002 and May 2003. In addition, lesion development of interdigital dermatitis and heel erosion (IDHE) and digital dermatitis (DD) was studied in both rear feet. No differences in claw traits were detected among groups on different floor types, with the exception of claw angle. Claw angles were smallest in cows on SY. Claws of cows on SC were steeper than those on SL and GR. The study provided no evidence that floor-related differences in claw lesions were related to differences in horn growth, wear, and resulting claw shape. Lesions of IDHE developed gradually over time and did not differ among flooring types. Cows in SY had the smallest lesion scores for DD, whereas cows on SL had significantly less DD than cows on SC and GR. Incidence of DD fluctuated over time. Development of different stages of DD was monitored in-depth. Both early and healed stages were rather changeable and often turned into other disease stages. Classical ulcerative lesions (stage M2) persisted for a long time, with 20% of the initially unaffected claws having active lesions of DD within 5 mo. The M2 lesions generally did not cure effectively after claw trimming, and frequent use of footbaths resulted in a poor prognosis for recovery.

  5. Vortex formation with a snapping shrimp claw.

    PubMed

    Hess, David; Brücker, Christoph; Hegner, Franziska; Balmert, Alexander; Bleckmann, Horst

    2013-01-01

    Snapping shrimp use one oversized claw to generate a cavitating high speed water jet for hunting, defence and communication. This work is an experimental investigation about the jet generation. Snapping shrimp (Alpheus-bellulus) were investigated by using an enlarged transparent model reproducing the closure of the snapper claw. Flow inside the model was studied using both High-Speed Particle Image Velocimetry (HS-PIV) and flow visualization. During claw closure a channel-like cavity was formed between the plunger and the socket featuring a nozzle-type contour at the orifice. Closing the mechanism led to the formation of a leading vortex ring with a dimensionless formation number of approximate ΔT*≈4. This indicates that the claw might work at maximum efficiency, i.e. maximum vortex strength was achieved by a minimum of fluid volume ejected. The subsequent vortex cavitation with the formation of an axial reentrant jet is a reasonable explanation for the large penetration depth of the water jet. That snapping shrimp can reach with their claw-induced flow. Within such a cavitation process, an axial reentrant jet is generated in the hollow cylindrical core of the cavitated vortex that pushes the front further downstream and whose length can exceed the initial jet penetration depth by several times. PMID:24244273

  6. Causes of mortality of the Wyoming toad.

    PubMed

    Taylor, S K; Williams, E S; Thorne, E T; Mills, K W; Withers, D I; Pier, A C

    1999-01-01

    Wyoming toads (Bufo baxteri) that died from January 1989 to June 1996 were submitted to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (Laramie, Wyoming, USA) for postmortem evaluation. These consisted of 108 free-ranging toads and 170 animals from six captive populations. Ninety-seven (90%) of 108 free-ranging toad carcasses were submitted during September and October. From 1989 to 1992, 27 (77%) of 35 mortalities in the captive populations occurred in October, November, and December. From 1993 to 1996, mortality in captive toads occurred without a seasonal pattern and coincided with changes in hibernation protocols that no longer mimicked natural cycles. Cause of mortality was determined in 147 (53%) of the 278 cases. Mycotic dermatitis with secondary bacterial septicemia was the most frequent diagnosis in 104 (71%) of 147 toads. Basidiobolus ranarum was found by microscopic examination of skin sections in 100 (96%) of 104 of these mortalities. This fungus was isolated from 30 (56%) of 54 free-ranging and 24 (48%) of 50 captive toads. This research documents the causes of mortality for both free-ranging and captive endangered Wyoming toads over a 7 yr period. PMID:10073345

  7. Visual optics in toads (Bufo americanus).

    PubMed

    Mathis, U; Schaeffel, F; Howland, H C

    1988-06-01

    Aspects of visual optics were investigated in the American toad (Bufo americanus). The development of the refractive state of the eye during metamorphosis was followed with IR photoretinoscopy. Frozen sections documented the changes in optical parameters before and after metamorphosis. There is a difference in light sensitivity between juvenile and adult toads. Binocular accommodation in adult toads was observed. 1. IR photoretinoscopic measurements showed that the refractive state of the eye changed very rapidly during metamorphosis, about 10 D/h while the animal entered the terrestrial habitat. 2. Frozen sections showed that the almost spherical lens in a tadpole eye had flattened in a just metamorphosed toad's eye while at the same time the distance of the lens to the retina had decreased. However, the morphological measurements were not sufficiently sensitive to record the relatively small changes in ocular dimensions that were responsible for the rapid changes in refractive state during metamorphosis. 3. Schematic eyes, with homogeneous and non homogeneous lenses, were constructed for tadpoles, juvenile toads, and adult toads. 4. Nonparaxial raytracing studies in schematic eyes suggested that the lenses of animals of the three developmental stages tadpole, juvenile toad, and adult are not homogeneous but have a refractive index gradient. The raytracing studies indicated that the refractive index gradient is different for the different developmental stages, being highest in the tadpole lens. 5. The observations of toads during feeding behavior at different light levels showed an increased light sensitivity in the adult nocturnal toads in contrast to the juvenile animals, which are diurnal. The increased light sensitivity could partly be explained with an increase in aperture and an increase in red rod outer segments. To fully explain the higher light sensitivity in adult toads, changes in neuronal parameters had to be assumed. 6. Retinoscopic measurements of

  8. Aspects of the reproductive ecology and behavior of the tepui toads, genus Oreophrynella (Anura: Bufonidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDiarmid, R.W.; Gorzula, S.

    1989-01-01

    We report direct development for toads of the bufonid genus Oreophrynella, endemic to the tepuis of the Guayanan Highlands. Tepui toads place few (9-13), large (-3 mm diameter) eggs in a single or communal terrestrial nest. One communal nest found on Kukenan-tepui contained 102 toads (70 males, 30 females, 2 hatchlings) and 321 eggs in clumps of 8-35. All viable clutches from Kukenan were attended by an adult. One clutch of 13 eggs from Ilu-tepui was without an attendant adult. Calls of Kukenan males consist of 9-16 partially pulsed notes given at a rate of 5-7 notes per second. Calls and notes were modulated and increased or decreased in frequency; dominant frequencies of the calls ranged between 2650-3650 Hz. Tepui toads are diurnal, rock dwellers with a slow, deliberate walking gait. An unusual balling and tumbling behavior and bright colored venter may be associated with predator avoidance in some populations. Remarkable parallels in reproductive ecology and behavior between Oreophynella and montane populations of the African bufonid Nectophrynoides are noted.

  9. Mucormycotic dermatitis in captive adult Wyoming toads.

    PubMed

    Taylor, S K; Williams, E S; Pier, A C; Mills, K W; Bock, M D

    1999-01-01

    During late May 1995, 50 adult captive endangered Wyoming toads (Bufo baxteri) were brought out of hibernation. Approximately 3 to 10 days after hibernation emergence, all toads were hormonally induced to breed, and paired. Each pair was placed in their own breeding tank. Four toads developed clinical signs of disease which included lethargy and multiple (4 to 12) small (2 mm) raised hyperemic nodules with white fuzzy caps on the ventral skin. The condition progressively worsened until death occurred, within 3 to 6 days. Mycotic dermatitis caused by Mucor sp. was diagnosed in the four toads through histology and isolation of the organism. This is the first case report of a Mucor sp. causing a fatal dermatitis in an amphibian without significant inflammatory response and without systemic involvement. PMID:10073348

  10. Experimental exposure of Canadian toads to Basidiobolus ranarum.

    PubMed

    Taylor, S K; Williams, E S; Mills, K W

    1999-01-01

    Experimental transmission of the fungus Basidiobolus ranarum was induced in two treatment groups of Canadian toads (Bufo hemiophrys) and caused a fatal mycotic dermatitis. Seven of 10 (70%) toads that had their ventral skin mildly abraded and exposed to B. ranarum developed hyperemia, and sloughing of their ventral skin and died. Toads with abraded ventral skin or exposure to infected skin also were affected statistically at a higher rate than those with abraded skin and exposure to pure cultures of B. ranarum inoculated into their water source. Of toads showing clinical disease, B. ranarum was identified by both impression smears and histology in all cases, but not from toads that appeared clinically healthy. The organism was cultured from 5 of 7 (71%) toads with clinical disease but not from any toad that appeared clinically healthy (n = 28). This study documents methods of experimental transmission of B. ranarum, an organism responsible for causing a mycotic dermatitis that is fatal to toads. PMID:10073346

  11. Association of claw disorders with claw horn colour in norwegian red cattle - a cross-sectional study of 2607 cows from 112 herds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Claw disorders cause problems in dairy cattle all over the world. Nutrition, feeding, environment, claw trimming routines, hormonal changes related to calving and genetics are among the factors which influence the pathogenesis. The colour of the claw horn (pigmentation) has been suggested to play a role. The aim of this study was to investigate if there were any associations between the colour of the sole horn and claw disorders detected at claw trimming. Altogether, 2607 cows on 112 farms were claw trimmed once and the colour (dark, mixed or light) of the right lateral hind claw and hind claw disorders were recorded by 13 trained claw trimmers. The data were analysed using logistic regression models with logit link function, binomial distribution and herd and claw trimmer as repeated effects, with herd nested within claw trimmer. Haemorrhages of the sole (HS) and white line (HWL) were more frequently found in light than in dark claws (OR = 2.61 and 2.34, respectively). Both HS (OR = 1.43) and corkscrewed claws (OR = 1.84) were slightly more prevalent among cows which had claws with mixed colour versus dark claws. There were no significant associations of other claw disorders with claw horn colour. PMID:22085414

  12. Curvature facilitates prey fixation in predatory insect claws.

    PubMed

    Petie, Ronald; Muller, Mees

    2007-02-21

    Insects show a large variety in prey capture strategies, with a correspondingly large diversity in predatory adaptations. We studied a specific type of predatory claws, these can for example be found in praying mantis species. The claw is closeable over its entire length and the prey is fixed between the femur (upper arm) and the tibia (lower arm) of the insect leg. The morphology of these predatory claws is diverse. Some species have straight claws covered with spines, while other species have smooth, curved claws. We have studied the mechanics of this femur-tibia type of predatory insect claws, by making a physical model, eventually trying to explain why in some insect species the claws are curved instead of straight. The main results are (1) when comparing curved claws to straight claws, curvature leads to a strong reduction of forces driving the prey away from the pivoting point, thereby reducing the need for friction generating structures. (2) In the curved claw model a position exists where the resulting force on the prey is exactly zero. This is because the normal forces on the femur and tibia are opposed, and in line. At this position the prey is perfectly clamped and not driven out of the claw. This feature does not exist in straight claws. (3) In the curved claw, the prey cannot be placed at a position further than a certain maximum distance from the pivoting point. Near this maximum position, the resulting force on the prey reaches high values because moment arms are near zero. (4) Between the zero position and the maximum position the resulting force is directed toward the pivoting point, which stabilizes prey fixation. PMID:17056069

  13. Concrete floor-bovine claw contact pressures related to floor roughness and deformation of the claw.

    PubMed

    Franck, A; De Belie, N

    2006-08-01

    The intention of this research was to study the impact of concrete floor surface roughness on a bovine claw model and to assess the deformation of the bovine claw model under load. The pressure distribution between the floor and the claw is the key method in this research. Monitoring foot-to-ground pressure distributions may provide insight into the relation between high local pressures and foot lesions. Concrete floor samples were made with 5 different finishing methods. Their roughness was determined by measuring the heights of the "peaks and the valleys" of the surface with a high-precision laser beam. The smoothest surface was the sample finished with a metal float (surface roughness R(a) = 0.062 mm) and the roughest surface occurred with the heavily sandblasted sample (surface roughness R(a) = 0.488 mm). The roughness of the concrete floor samples was related to the mean and peak contact pressures that can occur in a laboratory test bench between floor and bovine claw. It was found that the claw itself has approximately 2 times more effect on these contact pressures than the surface roughness. Peak pressures found were high enough (up to 111 MPa) to cause damage to the bovine claw sole horn. The strains occurring in the horn wall were measured and related to the floor-finishing method and the load. Strain gauge measurements indicated that it is difficult to predict what kind of deformation of the claw wall will occur at a certain location. Different strains will occur for different floor-finishing methods. The corresponding stresses in the horn wall did not exceed the yield stress (14 and 11 MPa for dorsal and abaxial wall horn, respectively).

  14. Cane toads on cowpats: commercial livestock production facilitates toad invasion in tropical australia.

    PubMed

    González-Bernal, Edna; Greenlees, Matthew; Brown, Gregory P; Shine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Habitat disturbance and the spread of invasive organisms are major threats to biodiversity, but the interactions between these two factors remain poorly understood in many systems. Grazing activities may facilitate the spread of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) through tropical Australia by providing year-round access to otherwise-seasonal resources. We quantified the cane toad's use of cowpats (feces piles) in the field, and conducted experimental trials to assess the potential role of cowpats as sources of prey, water, and warmth for toads. Our field surveys show that cane toads are found on or near cowpats more often than expected by chance. Field-enclosure experiments show that cowpats facilitate toad feeding by providing access to dung beetles. Cowpats also offer moist surfaces that can reduce dehydration rates of toads and are warmer than other nearby substrates. Livestock grazing is the primary form of land use over vast areas of Australia, and pastoral activities may have contributed substantially to the cane toad's successful invasion of that continent. PMID:23145158

  15. Calcium spikes in toad rods.

    PubMed Central

    Fain, G L; Gerschenfeld, H M; Quandt, F N

    1980-01-01

    1. When the retina of the toad, Bufo marinus, was superfused with 6-12 mM-tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), intracellular recordings from rods showed large, depolarizing regenerative potentials. For brief exposures to TEA, these potentials occurred during the recovery phase of the light responses; whereas, during longer exposures, they were spontaneous in darkness but suppressed during illumination. Similar regenerative potentials were observed during perfusion with 3-10 mM-4-aminopyridine and 1-2 mM-BaCl2. 2. The amplitude of the regenerative potentials depended upon the extracellular Ca concentration ([Ca2+]o). Lowering [Ca2+]o decreased their amplitude and in zero [Ca2+]o they were reversibly abolished. Increasing [Ca2+]o by 1.5-2 times produced a small hyperpolarization of membrane potential and a large augmentation in regenerative response amplitude. However, larger increases in [Ca2+]o produced large membrane hyperpolarizations and reversibly suppressed the regenerative responses. 3. High concentrations of Sr2+ in TEA also enhanced regenerative activity but did not affect the rod resting membrane potential. The amplitude of regenerative potentials increased continuously with increasing [Sr2+]o, and in 28 mM-Sr2+ the rods generated 60-70 mV action potentials, even in the absence of extracellular Na+. 4. The regenerative potentials were blocked by 25 microM-Cd2+, 50-100 microM-Co2+, 5mM-Mg2+, and 100 microM-D-600. They were unaffected by 2 microM-TTX or 2-5 mM-Na aspartate. 5. In Ringer containing 12 mM-TEA, large anode break responses could be recorded from rods at the termination of inward current pulses. These anode break responses were also suppressed by Co2+ and unaffected by TTX or Na aspartate. 6. We conclude that the membrane of toad rods contains a conductance normally selective for Ca2+, which is activated by depolarization. In normal Ringer, the inward current through this conductance produces little effect, since it is balanced by a large outward

  16. Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) file format description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bingel, Bradford; Hammond, Dana

    1987-01-01

    Described is a format for writing ASCII data on a file to facilitate its transfer from one computer system to another. The TOAD format conforms to all ANSI FORTRAN 77 standards. There are two advantages in using the TOAD format. First, TOAD files are of the preferred type and record length to make them easy to edit, read from and write on magnetic tape, or transfer across communications networks. Secondly, application programs, using the TOAD format to write computational results, are more portable and the answer files easier to postprocess. TOAD utility software is listed in an appendix.

  17. Morphological and functional diversity in therizinosaur claws and the implications for theropod claw evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Therizinosaurs are a group of herbivorous theropod dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia, best known for their iconically large and elongate manual claws. However, among Therizinosauria, ungual morphology is highly variable, reflecting a general trend found in derived theropod dinosaurs (Maniraptoriformes). A combined approach of shape analysis to characterize changes in manual ungual morphology across theropods and finite-element analysis to assess the biomechanical properties of different ungual shapes in therizinosaurs reveals a functional diversity related to ungual morphology. While some therizinosaur taxa used their claws in a generalist fashion, other taxa were functionally adapted to use the claws as grasping hooks during foraging. Results further indicate that maniraptoriform dinosaurs deviated from the plesiomorphic theropod ungual morphology resulting in increased functional diversity. This trend parallels modifications of the cranial skeleton in derived theropods in response to dietary adaptation, suggesting that dietary diversification was a major driver for morphological and functional disparity in theropod evolution. PMID:24807260

  18. Angel of human health: current research updates in toad medicine.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qian; Zhou, Xuanxuan; Zhang, Meng; Bi, Linlin; Miao, Shan; Cao, Wei; Xie, Yanhua; Sun, Jiyuan; Tang, Haifeng; Li, Ying; Miao, Qing; Wang, Siwang

    2015-01-01

    There are currently 34 genera and 410 species of toads in the world. The medicinal parts of toads mainly include their venom, skin, and clothing. The toad's venom and skin possess the same chemical components, mainly the toad venom lactone class, and their pharmacological effects primarily include the maintenance of strong heart, antitumor, antivirus, anti-infection, and analgesic effects. So far, the produces from the medicinal raw materials of the toad are widely used clinically around the world, especially in China, Japan, and South Korea. About 50 varieties of medicines are used in the clinical treatment of various complicated diseases in China, such as "Liushen pills" which was popular in the whole world. Toads are mainly used in treating malignant tumors (e.g., liver cancer, gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, among others), and some major diseases such as hepatitis B. Despite the therapeutic effects of toad-derived medicines on human health, there is insufficient research and development of toad-derived medicines by leading drug companies. In order to harness the beneficial effects of the resources of the toad species, it is the responsibility of global pharmaceutical researchers to develop and generate economically feasible toad-derived therapeutic products, while promoting maximum protection to the resources of the toad species.

  19. Invasion and the evolution of speed in toads.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Benjamin L; Brown, Gregory P; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2006-02-16

    Cane toads (Bufo marinus) are large anurans (weighing up to 2 kg) that were introduced to Australia 70 years ago to control insect pests in sugar-cane fields. But the result has been disastrous because the toads are toxic and highly invasive. Here we show that the annual rate of progress of the toad invasion front has increased about fivefold since the toads first arrived; we find that toads with longer legs can not only move faster and are the first to arrive in new areas, but also that those at the front have longer legs than toads in older (long-established) populations. The disaster looks set to turn into an ecological nightmare because of the negative effects invasive species can have on native ecosystems; over many generations, rates of invasion will be accelerated owing to rapid adaptive change in the invader, with continual 'spatial selection' at the expanding front favouring traits that increase the toads' dispersal.

  20. Claw asymmetry in lobsters: case study in developmental neuroethology.

    PubMed

    Govind, C K

    1992-12-01

    An enduring debate in the study of development is the relative contribution of genetic and epigenetic factors in the genesis of an organism, that is, the nature vs. nurture debate. The behavior of the paired claws in the lobster offers promising material for pursuing this debate because of the way they develop. The paired claws and their closer muscles are initially symmetrical; both are slender in appearance and have a mixture of fast and slow fibers in their closer muscles. During a critical period of development, they become determined into a major (crusher) and minor (cutter) claw and during subsequent development acquire their final form and behavior: The crusher becomes a stout, molar-toothed claw capable of closing only slowly because its closer muscle has 100% slow fibers while the cutter becomes a slender, incisor-toothed claw capable of closing rapidly because its closer muscle has 90% fast fibers. Our initial hypothesis was that the more active claw became the crusher and its less active counterpart the cutter. Presumably, nerve activity would influence muscle transformation, which in turn would influence the exoskeleton to which they attach and hence claw morphology. Curtailing nerve activity to the claw prevented crusher development, while reflex activation of a claw promoted its development; both results support the notion that nerve activity directly regulates claw form and function. This is not, however, the case, for when both claws were reflexly exercised neither formed a crusher, signifying rather that bilateral differences in predominantly mechanoreceptive input to the paired claws somehow lateralized the claw ganglion [central nervous system (CNS)] into a crusher and cutter side. The side experiencing the greater activity becomes the crusher side while the contralateral side becomes the cutter and is also inhibited from ever becoming a crusher. This initial lateralization in the CNS is expressed, via as yet unknown pathways, at the periphery in

  1. Claw asymmetry in lobsters: case study in developmental neuroethology.

    PubMed

    Govind, C K

    1992-12-01

    An enduring debate in the study of development is the relative contribution of genetic and epigenetic factors in the genesis of an organism, that is, the nature vs. nurture debate. The behavior of the paired claws in the lobster offers promising material for pursuing this debate because of the way they develop. The paired claws and their closer muscles are initially symmetrical; both are slender in appearance and have a mixture of fast and slow fibers in their closer muscles. During a critical period of development, they become determined into a major (crusher) and minor (cutter) claw and during subsequent development acquire their final form and behavior: The crusher becomes a stout, molar-toothed claw capable of closing only slowly because its closer muscle has 100% slow fibers while the cutter becomes a slender, incisor-toothed claw capable of closing rapidly because its closer muscle has 90% fast fibers. Our initial hypothesis was that the more active claw became the crusher and its less active counterpart the cutter. Presumably, nerve activity would influence muscle transformation, which in turn would influence the exoskeleton to which they attach and hence claw morphology. Curtailing nerve activity to the claw prevented crusher development, while reflex activation of a claw promoted its development; both results support the notion that nerve activity directly regulates claw form and function. This is not, however, the case, for when both claws were reflexly exercised neither formed a crusher, signifying rather that bilateral differences in predominantly mechanoreceptive input to the paired claws somehow lateralized the claw ganglion [central nervous system (CNS)] into a crusher and cutter side. The side experiencing the greater activity becomes the crusher side while the contralateral side becomes the cutter and is also inhibited from ever becoming a crusher. This initial lateralization in the CNS is expressed, via as yet unknown pathways, at the periphery in

  2. Collagenoma in an African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Jessica M; Philips, Blythe H; Carty, Anthony J; Klein, Peter S; Brice, Angela K

    2016-01-01

    A 3-y-old female Xenopus laevis was reported for a gray mass on the abdomen. The frog was used for egg collection and was otherwise experimentally naïve. On physical exam, the frog was bright and active and had a firm, gray, lobulated mass (1.5 cm × 0.5 cm × 0.5 cm) in the cutaneous tissue of the left lateral abdomen. An excisional biopsy was performed under anesthesia, and the entire mass was removed and processed for histopathology. Microscopically, the dermis was greatly expanded by connective tissue with a marked decrease in the number of glands, and occasional degenerative glands were present. When stained with Masson trichrome, the excessive connective tissue stained blue, indicating that it was composed of collagen. With Verhoeff–van Gieson staining, the connective tissue stained bright red with an absence of black-staining material, demonstrating the presence of collagen and ruling out elastic fibers. In light of the morphology of the mass and the results of the special stains, the mass was diagnosed as a collagenoma. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of a collagenoma in X. laevis. PMID:26884406

  3. Angel of human health: current research updates in toad medicine

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Qian; Zhou, Xuanxuan; Zhang, Meng; Bi, Linlin; Miao, Shan; Cao, Wei; Xie, Yanhua; Sun, Jiyuan; Tang, Haifeng; Li, Ying; Miao, Qing; Wang, Siwang

    2015-01-01

    There are currently 34 genera and 410 species of toads in the world. The medicinal parts of toads mainly include their venom, skin, and clothing. The toad’s venom and skin possess the same chemical components, mainly the toad venom lactone class, and their pharmacological effects primarily include the maintenance of strong heart, antitumor, antivirus, anti-infection, and analgesic effects. So far, the produces from the medicinal raw materials of the toad are widely used clinically around the world, especially in China, Japan, and South Korea. About 50 varieties of medicines are used in the clinical treatment of various complicated diseases in China, such as “Liushen pills” which was popular in the whole world. Toads are mainly used in treating malignant tumors (e.g., liver cancer, gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, among others), and some major diseases such as hepatitis B. Despite the therapeutic effects of toad-derived medicines on human health, there is insufficient research and development of toad-derived medicines by leading drug companies. In order to harness the beneficial effects of the resources of the toad species, it is the responsibility of global pharmaceutical researchers to develop and generate economically feasible toad-derived therapeutic products, while promoting maximum protection to the resources of the toad species. PMID:25755824

  4. A simple formula for predicting claw volume of cattle.

    PubMed

    Scott, T D; Naylor, J M; Greenough, P R

    1999-11-01

    The object of this study was to develop a simple method for accurately calculating the volume of bovine claws under field conditions. The digits of 30 slaughterhouse beef cattle were examined and the following four linear measurements taken from each pair of claws: (1) the length of the dorsal surface of the claw (Toe); (2) the length of the coronary band (CorBand); (3) the length of the bearing surface (Base); and (4) the height of the claw at the abaxial groove (AbaxGr). Measurements of claw volume using a simple hydrometer were highly repeatable (r(2)= 0.999) and could be calculated from linear measurements using the formula:Claw Volume (cm(3)) = (17.192 x Base) + (7.467 x AbaxGr) + 45.270 x (CorBand) - 798.5This formula was found to be accurate (r(2)= 0.88) when compared to volume data derived from a hydrometer displacement procedure. The front claws occupied 54% of the total volume compared to 46% for the hind claws.

  5. A simple formula for predicting claw volume of cattle.

    PubMed

    Scott, T D; Naylor, J M; Greenough, P R

    1999-11-01

    The object of this study was to develop a simple method for accurately calculating the volume of bovine claws under field conditions. The digits of 30 slaughterhouse beef cattle were examined and the following four linear measurements taken from each pair of claws: (1) the length of the dorsal surface of the claw (Toe); (2) the length of the coronary band (CorBand); (3) the length of the bearing surface (Base); and (4) the height of the claw at the abaxial groove (AbaxGr). Measurements of claw volume using a simple hydrometer were highly repeatable (r(2)= 0.999) and could be calculated from linear measurements using the formula:Claw Volume (cm(3)) = (17.192 x Base) + (7.467 x AbaxGr) + 45.270 x (CorBand) - 798.5This formula was found to be accurate (r(2)= 0.88) when compared to volume data derived from a hydrometer displacement procedure. The front claws occupied 54% of the total volume compared to 46% for the hind claws. PMID:10558838

  6. Reported Experiences Enhance Favourable Attitudes toward Toads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomazic, Iztok

    2011-01-01

    There are many factors that influence the formation of attitudes, one of the most crucial ones being education. Positive attitudes toward animals can be effectively accomplished principally by enabling students to directly experience organisms and their environments. The following study presents the development of a Toad Attitude Questionnaire…

  7. [Biomechanical aspects of the claw-floor interaction in dairy cattle: implications for locomotion and claw disorders].

    PubMed

    van der Tol, P P J

    2004-07-01

    The prevalence of claw disorders is still high among cows housed on concrete floors. Concrete floors affect the locomotion of cattle, their natural behavior. Although many factors affect the development of claw disorders and locomotor problems, biomechanical aspects have hardly been analysed. In this thesis, mechanical (over)loading of the claw and its significance for claw disorders and lameness are discussed. The mechanical characteristics a floor needs to provide in order to enable unrestrained locomotory behavior. This biomechanical approach, which is a relatively new approach in cattle locomotion, has provided new insights. Despite preventive trimming, the weakest parts of the claw capsule are loaded relatively the most. Concrete floors provide too little friction to enable unrestricted cattle locomotion.

  8. Effects of malathion on disease susceptibility in Woodhouse's toads.

    PubMed

    Taylor, S K; Williams, E S; Mills, K W

    1999-07-01

    Adult male Woodhouse's toads (Bufo woodhousi) developed clinical disease, hepatomegaly, and died at a higher rate when externally exposed once to either a high or low sublethal dose (0.011 or 0.0011 mg malathion/g toad) of field grade malathion and challenged with a sublethal dose of Aeromonas hydrophila injected intraperintoneally (1.1 x 10(4) bacteria/g toad) when compared to toads not exposed to malathion but challenged with A. hydrophila (P < 0.007). Toads exposed to malathion (high or low dose) and challenged with A. hyydrophila had clinical disease, hepatomegaly, and died at a higher rate [9 (90%) of 10] than toads exposed to malathion alone (P < 0.002). Toads exposed to the high and low doses of malathion had a 22% and 17% decrease in brain cholinesterase levels, respectively, when they were compared to nonmalathion exposed toads (P < 0.025, P < 0.006). It appears that field grade malathion applied externally to adult Woodhouse's toads may cause increased disease susceptibility when challenged with a potentially pathogenic bacteria. PMID:10479088

  9. Demography of common toads after local extirpation of co-occurring midwife toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bosch, Jaime; Fernandez-Beaskoetxea, S; Scherer, R.; Amburgey, Staci; Muths, Erin L.

    2014-01-01

    Estimating demographic parameters like survival or recruitment provides insight into the state and trajectory of populations, but understanding the contexts influencing those parameters, including both biotic and abiotic factors, is particularly important for management and conservation. At a high elevation national park in Central Spain, common toads (Bufo bufo) are apparently taking advantage of the near-extirpation of the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), as colonization into new breeding ponds is evident. Within this scenario, we expected demographic parameters of common toad populations tobe affected favorably by the putative release from competition. However, we found the population growth rate was negative in 4 of 5 years at the long-standing population; survival probability at the long-standing population and newly-colonised breeding ponds was lower than reported for other toads living at high elevations and the probability of recruitment was inadequate to compensate for the survival rate in maintaining a positive trajectory for either of the breeding ponds. We assessed weather covariates and disease for their contribution to the context that may be limiting the common toad’s successful use of the niche vacated by the midwife toad.

  10. Biomechanics and control of landing in toads.

    PubMed

    Gillis, Gary; Ekstrom, Laura; Azizi, Emanuel

    2014-12-01

    Anything that jumps must land, but unlike during jumping when muscles produce energy to accelerate the body into the air, controlled landing requires muscles to dissipate energy and decelerate the body. Among anurans, toads (genus Bufo) exhibit highly coordinated landing behaviors, using their forelimbs to stabilize the body after touch-down as they lower their hindlimbs to the ground. Moreover, toads land frequently, as they cover distances by stringing together long series of relatively short hops. We have been using toads as a model to understand the biomechanics and motor control strategies of coordinated landing. Our results show that toads prepare for landing differently depending on how far they hop. For example, the forelimbs are extended farther prior to impact after long hops than after short ones. Such kinematic alterations are mirrored by predictable modulation of the recruitment intensity of forelimb muscles before impact, such that longer hops lead to higher levels of pre-landing recruitment of muscles. These differences in kinematics and muscular activity help to control the most flexed configuration of the elbow that is achieved after impact, which in turn constrains the extent to which muscles involved in dissipating energy are stretched. Indeed, a combination of in vivo and in vitro experiments has shown that the elbow-extending anconeus muscle, which is stretched during landing as the elbow flexes, rarely reaches lengths longer than those on the plateau of the muscle's length-tension curve (where damage becomes more likely). We have also been studying how movements of the hindlimbs after take-off help to stabilize animals during landing. In particular, the immediate and rapid flexion of a toad's knees after take-off leads to a repositioning of the animal's center of mass (COM) that better aligns it with ground-reaction forces (GRFs) at impact and reduces torques that would destabilize the animal. Finally, recent work on sensory feedback involved

  11. Estimation of temporary emigration in male toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Scherer, R. D.; Corn, P.S.; Lambert, B.A.

    2006-01-01

    Male boreal toads (Bufo boreas) are thought to return to the breeding site every year but, if absent in a particular year, will be more likely to return the following year. Using Pollock's robust design we estimated temporary emigration (the probability a male toad is absent from a breeding site in a given year) at three locations in Colorado, USA: two in Rocky Mountain National Park and one in Chaffee County. We present data that suggest that not all male toads return to the breeding site every year. Our analyses indicate that temporary emigration varies by site and time (for example, from 1992 to 1998, the probability of temporary emigration ranged from 10% to 29% and from 3% to 95% at Lost Lake and Kettle Tarn, respectively). Although the results provide weak evidence that males are more likely to return after a year's hiatus, a general pattern of state-dependent temporary emigration was not supported. We also hypothesized relationships between temporary emigration and a number of weather variables. While some competitive models included weather covariates, imprecise and variable estimates of the effects of these covariates precluded fully defining their impact on temporary emigration. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Multiple paternity in a viviparous toad with internal fertilisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandberger-Loua, Laura; Feldhaar, Heike; Jehle, Robert; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2016-08-01

    Anurans are renowned for a high diversity of reproductive modes, but less than 1 % of species exhibit internal fertilisation followed by viviparity. In the live-bearing West African Nimba toad ( Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis), females produce yolk-poor eggs and internally nourish their young after fertilisation. Birth of fully developed juveniles takes place after 9 months. In the present study, we used genetic markers (eight microsatellite loci) to assign the paternity of litters of 12 females comprising on average 9.7 juveniles. In 9 out of 12 families (75 %), a single sire was sufficient; in three families (25 %), more than one sire was necessary to explain the observed genotypes in each family. These findings are backed up with field observations of male resource defence (underground cavities in which mating takes place) as well as coercive mating attempts, suggesting that the observed moderate level of multiple paternity in a species without distinct sperm storage organs is governed by a balance of female mate choice and male reproductive strategies.

  13. Multiple paternity in a viviparous toad with internal fertilisation.

    PubMed

    Sandberger-Loua, Laura; Feldhaar, Heike; Jehle, Robert; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2016-08-01

    Anurans are renowned for a high diversity of reproductive modes, but less than 1 % of species exhibit internal fertilisation followed by viviparity. In the live-bearing West African Nimba toad (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis), females produce yolk-poor eggs and internally nourish their young after fertilisation. Birth of fully developed juveniles takes place after 9 months. In the present study, we used genetic markers (eight microsatellite loci) to assign the paternity of litters of 12 females comprising on average 9.7 juveniles. In 9 out of 12 families (75 %), a single sire was sufficient; in three families (25 %), more than one sire was necessary to explain the observed genotypes in each family. These findings are backed up with field observations of male resource defence (underground cavities in which mating takes place) as well as coercive mating attempts, suggesting that the observed moderate level of multiple paternity in a species without distinct sperm storage organs is governed by a balance of female mate choice and male reproductive strategies. PMID:27262290

  14. Multiple paternity in a viviparous toad with internal fertilisation.

    PubMed

    Sandberger-Loua, Laura; Feldhaar, Heike; Jehle, Robert; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2016-08-01

    Anurans are renowned for a high diversity of reproductive modes, but less than 1 % of species exhibit internal fertilisation followed by viviparity. In the live-bearing West African Nimba toad (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis), females produce yolk-poor eggs and internally nourish their young after fertilisation. Birth of fully developed juveniles takes place after 9 months. In the present study, we used genetic markers (eight microsatellite loci) to assign the paternity of litters of 12 females comprising on average 9.7 juveniles. In 9 out of 12 families (75 %), a single sire was sufficient; in three families (25 %), more than one sire was necessary to explain the observed genotypes in each family. These findings are backed up with field observations of male resource defence (underground cavities in which mating takes place) as well as coercive mating attempts, suggesting that the observed moderate level of multiple paternity in a species without distinct sperm storage organs is governed by a balance of female mate choice and male reproductive strategies.

  15. Toads on Lava: Spatial Ecology and Habitat Use of Invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Ward-Fear, Georgia; Greenlees, Matthew J; Shine, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Most ecological research on cane toads (Rhinella marina) has focused on invasive populations in Australia, ignoring other areas where toads have been introduced. We radio-tracked and spool-tracked 40 toads, from four populations on the island of Hawai'i. Toads moved extensively at night (mean 116 m, from spool-tracking) but returned to the same or a nearby retreat-site each day (from radio-tracking, mean distance between successive retreat sites 11 m; 0 m for 70% of records). Males followed straighter paths during nocturnal movements than did females. Because moist sites are scarce on the highly porous lava substrate, Hawai'ian toads depend on anthropogenic disturbance for shelter (e.g. beneath buildings), foraging (e.g. suburban lawns, golf courses) and breeding (artificial ponds). Foraging sites are further concentrated by a scarcity of flying insects (negating artificial lights as prey-attractors). Habitat use of toads shifted with time (at night, toads selected areas with less bare ground, canopy, understory and leaf-litter), and differed between sexes (females foraged in areas of bare ground with dense understory vegetation). Cane toads in Hawai'i thrive in scattered moist patches within a severely arid matrix, despite a scarcity of flying insects, testifying to the species' ability to exploit anthropogenic disturbance. PMID:27027738

  16. Toads on Lava: Spatial Ecology and Habitat Use of Invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) in Hawai’i

    PubMed Central

    Ward-Fear, Georgia; Greenlees, Matthew J.; Shine, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Most ecological research on cane toads (Rhinella marina) has focused on invasive populations in Australia, ignoring other areas where toads have been introduced. We radio-tracked and spool-tracked 40 toads, from four populations on the island of Hawai’i. Toads moved extensively at night (mean 116 m, from spool-tracking) but returned to the same or a nearby retreat-site each day (from radio-tracking, mean distance between successive retreat sites 11 m; 0 m for 70% of records). Males followed straighter paths during nocturnal movements than did females. Because moist sites are scarce on the highly porous lava substrate, Hawai’ian toads depend on anthropogenic disturbance for shelter (e.g. beneath buildings), foraging (e.g. suburban lawns, golf courses) and breeding (artificial ponds). Foraging sites are further concentrated by a scarcity of flying insects (negating artificial lights as prey-attractors). Habitat use of toads shifted with time (at night, toads selected areas with less bare ground, canopy, understory and leaf-litter), and differed between sexes (females foraged in areas of bare ground with dense understory vegetation). Cane toads in Hawai’i thrive in scattered moist patches within a severely arid matrix, despite a scarcity of flying insects, testifying to the species’ ability to exploit anthropogenic disturbance. PMID:27027738

  17. Orientation of the toad, Bufo japonicus, toward the breeding pond.

    PubMed

    Ishii, S; Kubokawa, K; Kikuchi, M; Nishio, H

    1995-08-01

    A variety of orientation cues has been suggested for the migration to the breeding site in adult amphibians. We categorized the cues into the following 3 groups: 1) cues from the breeding pond such as male calling and pond odors, 2) celestial cues such as the sun light and the magnetic field of the earth and 3) cues from the area or route of the migration which compose a local map such as a visual and olfactory maps. To determine which of these is used by the toad, Bufo japonicus, we designed and conducted a displacement experiment in which migrating toads from one direction were transported to the ground in the opposite side of the pond. The displaced toads were completely disoriented and moved to random directions. We conclude that the toad uses a local map to orient to the breeding pond and cues from celestial bodies and the pond are not used. We also found that adult toads tracked the same route on both trips from and to the pond. This suggests that the local map was memorized by newly metamorphosed toads at their first terrestrial trip from the pond. The next step of our study was to determine what sense is used to receive the cue. We found blind toads, whose upper and lower eye-lids were stitched together, could reach the pond at a similar rate with the sham-operated and intact toads. However, anosmic toads, whose olfactory mucosa were damaged by the treatment with a 5% silver nitrate solution, rarely reached the pond.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Claw length recommendations for dairy cow foot trimming

    PubMed Central

    Archer, S. C.; Newsome, R.; Dibble, H.; Sturrock, C. J.; Chagunda, M. G. G.; Mason, C. S.; Huxley, J. N.

    2015-01-01

    The aim was to describe variation in length of the dorsal hoof wall in contact with the dermis for cows on a single farm, and hence, derive minimum appropriate claw lengths for routine foot trimming. The hind feet of 68 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were collected post mortem, and the internal structures were visualised using x-ray µCT. The internal distance from the proximal limit of the wall horn to the distal tip of the dermis was measured from cross-sectional sagittal images. A constant was added to allow for a minimum sole thickness of 5 mm and an average wall thickness of 8 mm. Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics and two-level linear regression models with claw nested within cow. Based on 219 claws, the recommended dorsal wall length from the proximal limit of hoof horn was up to 90 mm for 96 per cent of claws, and the median value was 83 mm. Dorsal wall length increased by 1 mm per year of age, yet 85 per cent of the null model variance remained unexplained. Overtrimming can have severe consequences; the authors propose that the minimum recommended claw length stated in training materials for all Holstein-Friesian cows should be increased to 90 mm. PMID:26220848

  19. Claw length recommendations for dairy cow foot trimming.

    PubMed

    Archer, S C; Newsome, R; Dibble, H; Sturrock, C J; Chagunda, M G G; Mason, C S; Huxley, J N

    2015-09-01

    The aim was to describe variation in length of the dorsal hoof wall in contact with the dermis for cows on a single farm, and hence, derive minimum appropriate claw lengths for routine foot trimming. The hind feet of 68 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were collected post mortem, and the internal structures were visualised using x-ray µCT. The internal distance from the proximal limit of the wall horn to the distal tip of the dermis was measured from cross-sectional sagittal images. A constant was added to allow for a minimum sole thickness of 5 mm and an average wall thickness of 8 mm. Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics and two-level linear regression models with claw nested within cow. Based on 219 claws, the recommended dorsal wall length from the proximal limit of hoof horn was up to 90 mm for 96 per cent of claws, and the median value was 83 mm. Dorsal wall length increased by 1 mm per year of age, yet 85 per cent of the null model variance remained unexplained. Overtrimming can have severe consequences; the authors propose that the minimum recommended claw length stated in training materials for all Holstein-Friesian cows should be increased to 90 mm. PMID:26220848

  20. Evolution of mitochondrial relationships and biogeography of Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) with insights in their genomic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Stöck, Matthias; Moritz, Craig; Hickerson, Michael; Frynta, Daniel; Dujsebayeva, Tatjana; Eremchenko, Valery; Macey, J Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Wake, David B

    2006-12-01

    Taxa involving three bisexually reproducing ploidy levels make green toads a unique amphibian system. We put a cytogenetic dataset from Central Asia in a molecular framework and apply phylogenetic and demographic methods to data from the entire Palearctic range. We study the mitochondrial relationships of diploids to infer their phylogeography and the maternal ancestry of polyploids. Control regions (and tRNAs between ND1 and ND2 in representatives) characterize a deeply branched assemblage of twelve haplotype groups, diverged since the Lower Miocene. Polyploidy has evolved several times: Central Asian tetraploids (B. oblongus, B. pewzowi) have at least two maternal origins. Intriguingly, the mitochondrial ancestor of morphologically distinctive, sexually reproducing triploid taxa (B. pseudoraddei) from Karakoram and Hindukush represents a different lineage. We report another potential case of bisexual triploid toads (B. zugmayeri). Identical d-loops in diploids and tetraploids from Iran and Turkmenistan, which differ in morphology, karyotypes and calls, suggest multiple origins and retained polymorphism and/or hybridization. A similar system involves diploids, triploids and tetraploids from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan where green toads exemplify vertebrate genomic plasticity. A new form from Sicily and its African sister species (B. boulengeri) allow internal calibration and divergence time estimates for major clades. The subgroup may have originated in Eurasia rather than Africa since the earliest diverged lineages (B. latastii, B. surdus) and earliest fossils occur in Asia. We delineate ranges, contact and hybrid zones. Phylogeography, including one of the first non-avian datasets from Central Asian high mountains, reflects Quaternary climate and glaciation.

  1. A novel fast optical switch based on two cascaded Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexers (TOAD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bing; Baby, Varghese; Tong, Wilson; Xu, Lei; Friedman, Michelle; Runser, Robert J.; Glesk, Ivan; Prucnal, Paul R.

    2002-01-01

    A novel optical switch based on cascading two terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexers (TOAD) is presented. By utilizing the sharp edge of the asymmetric TOAD switching window profile, two TOAD switching windows are overlapped to produce a narrower aggregate switching window, not limited by the pulse propagation time in the SOA of the TOAD. Simulations of the cascaded TOAD switching window show relatively constant window amplitude for different window sizes. Experimental results on cascading two TOADs, each with a switching window of 8ps, but with the SOA on opposite sides of the fiber loop, show a minimum switching window of 2.7ps.

  2. Specific Characteristics of Injuries Inflicted by Claw Hammer.

    PubMed

    Buchaillet, Céline; Gaudin, Arnaud; Rougé-Maillart, Clotilde; Jousset, Nathalie

    2016-09-01

    Claw hammers have the specific characteristic of having two distinct ends: one a flat head of variable form, the other bifurcated. So the use of this tool as a blunt instrument will cause varying injuries. The authors present two clinical cases of assault with a claw hammer. Examinations revealed two types of wound. A first injury composed of integumentary lacerations and underlying bone injuries in terms of "shape" suggested the use of a blunt instrument. A second injury made up of damage showing two parallel wounds or two wounds located one in the extension of the other suggested the use of an object with a bifurcated end. The combination of both types of injury should alert examiners to the possibility of the use of a claw hammer in causing the injuries in order to help direct investigators in their investigations and in the search for the weapon used. PMID:27356305

  3. Effect of different flooring systems on claw conformation of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Telezhenko, E; Bergsten, C; Magnusson, M; Nilsson, C

    2009-06-01

    The effect of different flooring surfaces in walking and standing areas on claw conformation, claw horn growth, and wear was studied in 2 experiments during 2 consecutive housing seasons in a research dairy herd of 170 cows. In experiment 1, the flooring systems tested were solid rubber mats, mastic asphalt with and without rubber-matted feed-stalls, and aged concrete slats. In experiment 2, slatted concrete flooring was compared with slatted rubber flooring. The cows were introduced to the respective flooring systems in early lactation and their claws were trimmed before the exposure period. Toe length, toe angle, sole concavity, and claw width, as well as claw growth and wear rates were recorded for lateral and medial claws of the left hind limb. Claw asymmetry calculations were based on these claw measurements and on differences in sole protrusion between lateral and medial soles. Asphalt floors caused shorter toe length and steeper toe angle. They also increased wear on rear claws (5.30 +/- 0.31 and 5.95 +/- 0.33 mm/mo for lateral and medial claw, respectively; LSM +/- SE) and horn growth rate (5.12 +/- 0.36 and 5.83 +/- 0.31 mm/mo of lateral and medial claws, respectively). Rubber mats instead of asphalt in walking areas reduced wear (1.36 +/- 0.19 and 2.02 +/- 0.20 mm/mo for lateral and medial claw, respectively) and claw growth (3.83 +/- 0.23 and 3.94 +/- 0.17 mm/mo for lateral and medial claw, respectively). Rubber-matted feed-stalls together with asphalt walkways decreased claw wear (3.29 +/- 0.31 and 4.10 +/- 0.32 mm/mo for lateral and medial claw, respectively). The concavity of claw soles was reduced on asphalt, especially in the lateral rear claws. Rubber matting in feed-stalls prevented loss of sole concavity compared with asphalt. Claw asymmetry did not differ between flooring systems. While different access to abrasive flooring affected claw conformation, there was no evidence that flooring system influenced the disproportion between lateral and

  4. Effects of an invasive plant on population dynamics in toads.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Daniel A; Green, David M

    2013-10-01

    When populations decline in response to unfavorable environmental change, the dynamics of their population growth shift. In populations that normally exhibit high levels of variation in recruitment and abundance, as do many amphibians, declines may be difficult to identify from natural fluctuations in abundance. However, the onset of declines may be evident from changes in population growth rate in sufficiently long time series of population data. With data from 23 years of study of a population of Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus [ = Bufo] fowleri) at Long Point, Ontario (1989-2011), we sought to identify such a shift in dynamics. We tested for trends in abundance to detect a change point in population dynamics and then tested among competing population models to identify associated intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The most informative models of population growth included terms for toad abundance and the extent of an invasive marsh plant, the common reed (Phragmites australis), throughout the toads' marshland breeding areas. Our results showed density-dependent growth in the toad population from 1989 through 2002. After 2002, however, we found progressive population decline in the toads associated with the spread of common reeds and consequent loss of toad breeding habitat. This resulted in reduced recruitment and population growth despite the lack of significant loss of adult habitat. Our results underscore the value of using long-term time series to identify shifts in population dynamics coincident with the advent of population decline.

  5. Bufo canorus Camp 1916, Yosemite Toad.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davidson, Carlos; Fellers, Gary M.; Lannoo, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Yosemite toads (Bufo canorus) are endemic to the Sierra Nevada, California, from Ebbetts Pass, Alpine County to the Spanish Mountain area, Fresno County (Karlstrom 1962, 1973; Stebbins 1966; unpublished Sierra National Forest survey data, 1995, 2002). Sites occur from 1,950–3,444 m elevation, with the majority of sites between 2,590–3,048 m (Karlstrom, 1962). Jennings and Hayes (1994a) estimate that populations have disappeared from 50% of historically reported sites, although the overall range of the species may have only contracted in the far north and in western Fresno County. Disappearances have been concentrated at lower elevation sites on the western edge of the range, with greater persistence at higher elevation sites (Davidson et al., 2002).

  6. Genetic parameters for claw health and feet and leg conformation traits in Finnish Ayrshire cows.

    PubMed

    Häggman, J; Juga, J; Sillanpää, M J; Thompson, R

    2013-04-01

    Genetic parameters for different claw disorders, overall claw health and feet and leg conformation traits were estimated for Finnish Ayrshire cows. The merged data set with records of claw health and feet and leg conformation traits consisted of 105,000 observations from 52,598 Finnish Ayrshire cows between 2000 and 2010. The binary claw health data and the linearly scored conformation data were analysed using an animal model and restricted maximum likelihood method by applying the statistical package ASReml. Binomial logistic models with mixed effects were used to estimate genetic parameters for sole haemorrhages, chronic laminitis, white-line separation, sole ulcer, interdigital dermatitis, heel horn erosion, digital dermatitis, corkscrew claw and overall claw health. Estimated heritabilities for different claw disorders using a binomial logistic model ranged from 0.01 to 0.20. Estimated heritability for overall claw health using a binomial logistic model was 0.08. Estimated heritabilities for feet and leg conformation traits ranged from 0.07 to 0.39. The genetic correlations between claw health and feet and leg conformation traits ranged from -0.40 to 0.42. All phenotypic correlations were close to zero. The moderate genetic correlation, together with higher heritability of feet and leg conformation traits, showed that RLSV (rear leg side view) is a useful indicator trait to be used together with claw trimming information to increase the accuracy of breeding values for claw health in genetic evaluation.

  7. Accumulation and depuration of trace metals in Southern Toads, Bufo Terrestris, exposed to coal combustion waste

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.; Hassan, S.; Mendonca, M.

    2009-02-15

    Accumulation and depuration of metals by an organism are underrepresented in the literature. We collected southern toads (Bufo terrestris) from coal by-product (ash)-contaminated and uncontaminated sites to examine metal concentrations over time. Toads were placed in four exposure regimes, then sacrificed periodically over a 5-month period, and whole-body metal levels were measured. Toads exposed to ash accumulated significant concentrations of metals. Metal concentrations changed throughout the experiment, and profiles of accumulation and depuration differed depending on the metal and exposure regime. Ash-exposed toads exhibited elevated levels of 11 of 18 metals measured. Increases ranged from 47.5% for Pb to more than 5000% for As. Eight of 18 metals did not change in control toads, while 10 of 18 metals decreased in toads removed from ash, ranging from -25% for Co to -96% for Tl. Seven metals that decreased in toads removed from ash did not change in control toads.

  8. Factors limiting the recovery of boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carey, C.; Corn, P.S.; Jones, M.S.; Livo, L.J.; Muths, E.; Loeffler, C.W.; Lannoo, M.

    2005-01-01

    Boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas) are widely distributed over much of the mountainous western United States. Populations in the Southern Rocky Mountains suffered extensive declines in the late 1970s through early 1980s (Carey, 1993). At the time, these mass mortalities were thought to be associated with a bacterial infection (Carey, 1993). Although the few populations that survived the mass die-offs were not systematically monitored until at least 1993, no mass mortalities had been observed until 1996 when die-offs were observed. A mycotic skin infection associated with a chytrid fungus is now causing mortality of toads in at least two of the populations (M.S. Jones and D.E. Green, unpublished data; Muths et al., 2003). Boreal toads are now absent throughout large areas of their former distribution in Colorado and southern Wyoming and may be extinct in New Mexico (Corn et al., 1989; Carey, 1993; Stuart and Painter, 1994). These toads are classified as “endangered” by Colorado and New Mexico and are designated as a protected non-game species in Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has categorized the Southern Rocky Mountain populations for federal listing and is currently reviewing their designation as a “warranted but precluded” species for possible listing in the next few years. For the management of boreal toads and their habitats, a Boreal Toad Recovery Team was formed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1995 as part of a collaborative effort with federal agencies within the United States’ departments of the Interior and Agriculture and with agencies in two adjoining states. To date, conservation agreements have been signed by eight state and federal agencies and by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Although boreal toads were considered common throughout their range in Colorado, no comprehensive surveys of the numbers and sizes of their populations were conducted prior to mass die-offs in the 1970s. Surveys completed in the late 1980s to

  9. Do invasive cane toads affect the parasite burdens of native Australian frogs?☆

    PubMed Central

    Lettoof, Damian C.; Greenlees, Matthew J.; Stockwell, Michelle; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    One of the most devastating impacts of an invasive species is the introduction of novel parasites or diseases to native fauna. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia contain several types of parasites, raising concern that the toads may increase rates of parasitism in local anuran species. We sampled cane toads and sympatric native frogs (Limnodynastes peronii, Litoria latopalmata, and Litoria nasuta) at the southern invasion front of cane toads in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW). We dissected and swabbed these anurans to score the presence and abundance of nematodes (Rhabdias lungworms, and gastric encysting nematodes), myxozoans, and chytrid fungus. To determine if cane toad invasion influences rates of parasitism in native frogs, we compared the prevalence and intensity of parasites in frogs from areas with toads, to frogs from areas without toads. Contrary to the situation on the (rapidly-expanding) tropical invasion front, cane toads on the slowly-expanding southern front were heavily infected with rhabditoid lungworms. Toads also contained gastric-encysting nematodes, and one toad was infected by chytrid fungus, but we did not find myxozoans in any toads. All parasite groups were recorded in native frogs, but were less common in areas invaded by toads than in nearby yet to be invaded areas. Contrary to our predictions, toad invasion was associated with a reduced parasite burden in native frogs. Thus, cane toads do not appear to transfer novel parasites to native frog populations, or act as a reservoir for native parasites to ‘spill-back’ into native frogs. Instead, cane toads may reduce frog-parasite numbers by taking up native parasites that are then killed by the toad’s immune defences. PMID:24533330

  10. TOAD: a numerical model for the 4MOST instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, Roland; Haynes, Dionne M.; Bellido-Tirado, Olga; Xu, Wenli; Haynes, Roger

    2014-08-01

    TOAD, the "Top Of the Atmosphere to Detector" simulator, is a primary engineering tool that accompanies the development of the 4MOST instrument. The ultimate goal is to provide a detailed, end-to-end performance model of 4MOST by providing the detector image for an artificial target field with less then 5% error. TOAD will be able to create a realistic output for any reasonable input. The input can be anything, from point sources through extended sources, calibration lamps or stray-light, entering the system at virtually any point in a optical path. During the development of the 4MOST facility, the TOAD simulator will give invaluable insight into the interaction of various parts of the instrument and the impact of engineering design decisions on the system performance.

  11. Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of toad retina.

    PubMed Central

    Apte, D V; Koutalos, Y; McFarlane, D K; Dawson, M J; Ebrey, T G

    1989-01-01

    Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) spectra were obtained from living toad retinae and toad retinal extracts at 4 degrees C. Several phosphorus metabolites--nucleoside di- and triphosphates (NTP), phosphocreatine, phosphodiesters, inorganic phosphate, and phosphomonoesters--were identified from the spectra of whole retinae. The intracellular pH was determined to be 7.27 +/- 0.06 at 4 degrees C and the intracellular MgNTP/NTP ratio was at least 0.77. These results are consistent with those reported by other techniques, and they show that 31P-NMR spectroscopy can be used for noninvasively and quantitatively studying the metabolism of living toad retinae, and for monitoring its changes over time. PMID:2506940

  12. Isolated Epithelial Cells of the Toad Bladder

    PubMed Central

    Gatzy, J. T.; Berndt, W. O.

    1968-01-01

    Epithelial cells of the toad bladder were disaggregated with EDTA, trypsin, hyaluronidase, or collagenase and were then scraped free of the underlying connective tissue. In most experiments EDTA was complexed with a divalent cation before the tissue was scraped. QOO2, sucrose and inulin spaces, and electrolytes of the isolated cells were measured. Cells disaggregated by collagenase or hyaluronidase consumed O2 at a rate of 4 µl hr-1 dry wt-1. QOO2 was increased 50% by ADH (100 U/liter) or by cyclic 3',5'-AMP (10 mM/liter). Na+-free Ringer's depressed the QOO2 by 40%. The QOO2 of cells prepared by trypsin treatment or by two EDTA methods was depressed by Na+-free Ringer's but was stimulated relatively little by ADH. Two other EDTA protocols produced cells that did not respond to Na+ lack or ADH. The intracellular Na+ and K+ concentrations of collagenase-disaggregated cells were 32 and 117 mEq/kg cell H2O, respectively. Cation concentrations of hyaluronidase cells were similar, but cells that did not respond to ADH had higher intracellular Na+ concentrations. Cells unresponsive to ADH and Na+ lack had high sucrose spaces and low transcellular membrane gradients of Na+, K+, and Cl-. The results suggest that trypsin and EDTA disaggregation damage the active Na+ transport system of the isolated cell. Certain EDTA techniques may also produce a general increase in permeability. Collagenase and hyaluronidase cells appear to function normally. PMID:4300150

  13. Diet composition of the invasive cane toad (Chaunus marinus) on Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, R.N.; Bakkegard, K.A.; Desy, G.E.; Plentovich, S.M.

    2007-01-01

    The cane or marine toad (Chaunus marinus, formerly Bufo marinus) was introduced to the Northern Mariana Islands starting in the 1930s. The effects of this exotic predator on native vertebrates (especially lizards) are largely unknown. We analysed the stomach contents of 336 cane toads collected from the island of Rota, with the goal of estimating the level of toad predation on native vertebrates. Beetles, ants, millipedes, and grasshoppers/crickets comprised the majority of prey classes consumed by toads. The introduced Brahminy blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops braminus; N = 6) and conspecific cane toads (N = 4) were the vertebrates most commonly found in toad stomachs. Skinks (Emoia; N = 2) were the only native vertebrates represented in our sample. The small numbers of nocturnal terrestrial vertebrates native to Rota likely translates to relatively low rates of predation by cane toads on native vertebrates.

  14. Sexual conflict and the function of genitalic claws in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Kwan, Lucia; Cheng, Yun Yun; Rodd, F Helen; Rowe, Locke

    2013-10-23

    Poeciliid fish, freshwater fish with internal fertilization, are known for the diversity of structures on the male intromittent organ, the gonopodium. Prominent among these, in some species, is a pair of claws at its tip. We conducted a manipulative study of these claws in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata, to determine if these aid in transferring sperm to resistant females. We compared the sperm transfer rates of clawed versus surgically declawed males attempting to mate with either receptive or unreceptive (i.e. resistant) females. Our analyses demonstrate that the gonopodial claws function to increase sperm transfer to unreceptive females during uncooperative matings but not during receptive matings. Up to threefold more sperm were transferred to unreceptive females by clawed than declawed males. These data suggest that the claw is a sexually antagonistic trait, functioning to aid in transferring sperm to resistant females, and implicate sexual conflict as a selective force in the diversification of the gonopodium in the Poeciliidae.

  15. Sexual conflict and the function of genitalic claws in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Kwan, Lucia; Cheng, Yun Yun; Rodd, F Helen; Rowe, Locke

    2013-10-23

    Poeciliid fish, freshwater fish with internal fertilization, are known for the diversity of structures on the male intromittent organ, the gonopodium. Prominent among these, in some species, is a pair of claws at its tip. We conducted a manipulative study of these claws in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata, to determine if these aid in transferring sperm to resistant females. We compared the sperm transfer rates of clawed versus surgically declawed males attempting to mate with either receptive or unreceptive (i.e. resistant) females. Our analyses demonstrate that the gonopodial claws function to increase sperm transfer to unreceptive females during uncooperative matings but not during receptive matings. Up to threefold more sperm were transferred to unreceptive females by clawed than declawed males. These data suggest that the claw is a sexually antagonistic trait, functioning to aid in transferring sperm to resistant females, and implicate sexual conflict as a selective force in the diversification of the gonopodium in the Poeciliidae. PMID:23883572

  16. Use of stable isotopes to investigate keratin deposition in the claw tips of ducks.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, John B; Cutting, Kyle A; Warren, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotopes derived from the claws of birds could be used to determine the migratory origins of birds if the time periods represented in excised sections of claws were known. We investigated new keratin growth in the claws of adult female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) by estimating the equilibration rates of stable isotopes (δ (13)C, δ (15)N, and δ (2)H) from the breeding grounds into 1 mm claw tips. We sampled birds on their breeding ground through time and found that it took approximately 3-3.5 months for isotope values in most claw tips to equilibrate to isotope values that reflected those present in the environment on their breeding grounds. Results from this study suggest that isotopes equilibrate slowly into claw tips of Lesser Scaup, suggesting isotopes could potentially be used to determine the wintering grounds of birds. We suggest using controlled feeding experiments or longitudinal field investigations to understand claw growth and isotopic equilibration in claw tips. Such information would be valuable in ascertaining whether claw tips can be used in future studies to identify the migratory origins of birds.

  17. Axially aligned organic fibers and amorphous calcium phosphate form the claws of a terrestrial isopod (Crustacea).

    PubMed

    Vittori, Miloš; Srot, Vesna; Žagar, Kristina; Bussmann, Birgit; van Aken, Peter A; Čeh, Miran; Štrus, Jasna

    2016-08-01

    Skeletal elements that are exposed to heavy mechanical loads may provide important insights into the evolutionary solutions to mechanical challenges. We analyzed the microscopic architecture of dactylus claws in the woodlice Porcellio scaber and correlated these observations with analyses of the claws' mineral composition with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and selected area electron diffraction (SAED). Extraordinarily, amorphous calcium phosphate is the predominant mineral in the claw endocuticle. Unlike the strongly calcified exocuticle of the dactylus base, the claw exocuticle is devoid of mineral and is highly brominated. The architecture of the dactylus claw cuticle is drastically different from that of other parts of the exoskeleton. In contrast to the quasi-isotropic structure with chitin-protein fibers oriented in multiple directions, characteristic of the arthropod exoskeleton, the chitin-protein fibers and mineral components in the endocuticle of P. scaber claws are exclusively axially oriented. Taken together, these characteristics suggest that the claw cuticle is highly structurally anisotropic and fracture resistant and can be explained as adaptations to predominant axial loading of the thin, elongated claws. The nanoscale architecture of the isopod claw may inspire technological solutions in the design of durable machine elements subjected to heavy loading and wear.

  18. Axially aligned organic fibers and amorphous calcium phosphate form the claws of a terrestrial isopod (Crustacea).

    PubMed

    Vittori, Miloš; Srot, Vesna; Žagar, Kristina; Bussmann, Birgit; van Aken, Peter A; Čeh, Miran; Štrus, Jasna

    2016-08-01

    Skeletal elements that are exposed to heavy mechanical loads may provide important insights into the evolutionary solutions to mechanical challenges. We analyzed the microscopic architecture of dactylus claws in the woodlice Porcellio scaber and correlated these observations with analyses of the claws' mineral composition with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and selected area electron diffraction (SAED). Extraordinarily, amorphous calcium phosphate is the predominant mineral in the claw endocuticle. Unlike the strongly calcified exocuticle of the dactylus base, the claw exocuticle is devoid of mineral and is highly brominated. The architecture of the dactylus claw cuticle is drastically different from that of other parts of the exoskeleton. In contrast to the quasi-isotropic structure with chitin-protein fibers oriented in multiple directions, characteristic of the arthropod exoskeleton, the chitin-protein fibers and mineral components in the endocuticle of P. scaber claws are exclusively axially oriented. Taken together, these characteristics suggest that the claw cuticle is highly structurally anisotropic and fracture resistant and can be explained as adaptations to predominant axial loading of the thin, elongated claws. The nanoscale architecture of the isopod claw may inspire technological solutions in the design of durable machine elements subjected to heavy loading and wear. PMID:27320700

  19. Use of Stable Isotopes to Investigate Keratin Deposition in the Claw Tips of Ducks

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, John B.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Warren, Jeffrey M.

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotopes derived from the claws of birds could be used to determine the migratory origins of birds if the time periods represented in excised sections of claws were known. We investigated new keratin growth in the claws of adult female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) by estimating the equilibration rates of stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N, and δ2H) from the breeding grounds into 1 mm claw tips. We sampled birds on their breeding ground through time and found that it took approximately 3–3.5 months for isotope values in most claw tips to equilibrate to isotope values that reflected those present in the environment on their breeding grounds. Results from this study suggest that isotopes equilibrate slowly into claw tips of Lesser Scaup, suggesting isotopes could potentially be used to determine the wintering grounds of birds. We suggest using controlled feeding experiments or longitudinal field investigations to understand claw growth and isotopic equilibration in claw tips. Such information would be valuable in ascertaining whether claw tips can be used in future studies to identify the migratory origins of birds. PMID:24282563

  20. High-speed cinematographic evaluation of claw-ground contact pattern of lactating cows.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Tanja; Weishaupt, Michael A; Meyer, Sven W; Waldern, Nina; Peinen, Katja von; Nuss, Karl

    2009-08-01

    To evaluate the manner in which a cow's claws make contact with the ground at the walk, the gait, and in particular the claw-ground contact pattern, were studied in 12 healthy, lactating dairy cows, using high-speed cinematography (500frames/s) while the animals were walking on a treadmill. The results showed that the limbs were advanced around the contralateral limbs in a sigmoid curve. The feet contacted the ground with the foot axis and the tips of the claws rotated slightly outwards. In all cows the lateral claws contacted the ground before the medial claws in the hindlimbs, and in 10/12 cows in the forelimbs. The heel of the lateral claws was the region of initial contact with the ground in the hindlimbs of all cows and in the forelimbs in 9/12 cows. Lateral 'heel first' contact in the fore and hindlimbs appeared to be the normal gait pattern in these animals. Compared with a previous study of heifers, lactating cows had a larger step width in the hindlimbs and a smaller step width in the forelimbs. These ground contact patterns offer an explanation for the predisposition to claw disorders of the lateral claw of the hindlimb. The results of this study reinforce the suggestion that soft floor surfaces should be provided for cattle to prevent mechanical injury to the claws. PMID:18424198

  1. Population admixture and high larval viability among urban toads

    PubMed Central

    Hase, Kazuko; Nikoh, Naruo; Shimada, Masakazu

    2013-01-01

    In terms of evolutionary biology, a population admixture of more than two distinct lineages may lead to strengthened genetic variation through hybridization. However, a population admixture arising from artificial secondary contact poses significant problems in conservation biology. In urban Tokyo, a population admixture has emerged from two lineages of Japanese common toad: native Bufo japonicus formosus and nonnative B. japonicus japonicus, of which the latter was introduced in the early 20th century. To evaluate the degree of genetic disturbance in the admixed population of these two subspecies, we analyzed genotypes of toads distributed within and outside Tokyo by assessing mtDNA and seven microsatellite loci. We found that the introduced B. japonicus japonicus genotype dominates six local populations in the Tokyo admixture zone and was clearly derived from past introgressive hybridization between the two subspecies. These observations were supported by morphological assessments. Furthermore, the average larval survival rate in Tokyo was significantly higher than that outside Tokyo, suggesting that the temporary contribution of introduced toads occurred through introgression. The fitness of toads in urban Tokyo may thus be increasing with the assistance of nonnative individuals. PMID:23789077

  2. Behavior of toads, Bufo bufo, in a dynamic environment.

    PubMed

    Lychakov, D V

    2009-01-01

    Susceptibility to motion sickness was tested by exposing free moving toads to rotation of a stimulator modeled after an amusement park Ferris Wheel. The stimulator provided a gentle stimulation of frequency 0.25 Hz and centrifugal acceleration 0.143 g during 120 min or more without external visual cues. No emetic or prodromal behavioral response was elicited during or after rotation. During rotation the amount of motor activity in most toads increased evidently. The most active toads attempted to climb out of the test chamber. It was inferred that experimental rotation was rather a stressful stimulus which initiated an escape response. In addition, during rotation the number of eye retractions and urination incidences increased, but appetite after rotation was inhibited. During rotation the motionless toads performed small regular head movements with period equal to rotation period of stimulator. These oscillations were probably vestibular (otolith) reaction to oscillating acceleration. The proposed resonance hypothesis gives a general idea of why lower vertebrates are immune to motion sickness.

  3. Author! Author! Creator of Frog and Toad: Arnold Lobel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodie, Carolyn S.

    2005-01-01

    This article presents a brief biography of author Arnold Lobel, perhaps best known for giving the world Frog and Toad. Arnold Lobel was born in Los Angeles, California, on May 22, 1933, and was raised by his grandparents in New York. He loved checking out books from the library when he was a little boy and sharing with his classmates the stories…

  4. Determinants of Instrumental Extinction in Terrestrial Toads ("Bufo arenarum")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muzio, Ruben N.; Ruetti, Eliana; Papini, Mauricio R.

    2006-01-01

    Previous research in a water-reinforced instrumental training situation with toads ("Bufo arenarum") has shown that performance in both acquisition and extinction is poorer after partial, rather than continuous reinforcement training. In Experiment 1, the performance of a group receiving 24 trials on a 50% partial reinforcement schedule was poorer…

  5. WEAKLY SYNCHRYRONIZED SUBPOPULATION DYNAMICS IN WISCONSIN FROGS AND TOADS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial synchrony in population dynamics is a topic of increasing interest in basic and applied ecology. We used data from 18 years of frog and toad calling surveys conducted throughout Wisconsin to determine the level of intraspecific synchrony among survey sites, and the relat...

  6. DIET OF THE SOUTHERN TOAD FROM THE SOUTHERN EVERGLADES

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the diet of a February-May sample of the southern toad (Bufo Terrestris) from the Everglades National Park. Above the familial level, 13 taxa were consumed, but ants (Hymenoptera) and beetles (Coleoptera) were consumed most by, and in the greatest number of s...

  7. An introduced pentastomid parasite (Raillietiella frenata) infects native cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Panama.

    PubMed

    Kelehear, Crystal; Saltonstall, Kristin; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-04-01

    The pentastomid parasite, Raillietiella frenata, is native to Asia where it infects the Asian House gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. This gecko has been widely introduced and recently R. frenata was found in introduced populations of cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia, indicating a host-switch from introduced geckos to toads. Here we report non-native adult R. frenata infecting the lungs of native cane toads in Panama. Eight of 64 toads were infected (median = 2.5, range = 1-80 pentastomids/toad) and pentastomid prevalence was positively associated with the number of buildings at a site, though further sampling is needed to confirm this pattern. We postulate that this pattern is likely due to a host shift of this parasite from an urban-associated introduced gecko. This is the first record of this parasite infecting cane toads in their native range, and the first instance of this parasite occurring in Central America. PMID:25394910

  8. Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) gateway: Version 1.0 user's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bingel, Bradford D.

    1991-01-01

    The Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) Gateway, release 1.0 is described. This is a software tool for converting tabular data from one format into another via the TOAD format. This initial release of the Gateway allows free data interchange among the following file formats: TOAD; Standard Interface File (SIF); Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories (POST) input; Comma Separated Value (TSV); and a general free-form file format. As required, additional formats can be accommodated quickly and easily.

  9. Effects of claw autotomy on green crab (Carcinus maenas) feeding rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tummon Flynn, Paula S.; Mellish, Cassandra L.; Pickering, Tyler R.; Quijón, Pedro A.

    2015-09-01

    The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is a voracious non-indigenous predator and a threat to Atlantic Canada's shellfish industry. Its foraging ability, however, may be affected by the occurrence of injuries such as the loss of a cheliped (claw). Given that green crab claws are differentiated into a major crusher and a minor cutter, we argue that autotomy (the reflexive loss of a limb) affects feeding rates, and that this effect depends on which particular claw is lost. We examined the incidence of injuries in two green crab populations of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence during July-October, 2012. Then we experimentally assessed the influence of the loss of each type of claw upon crab feeding rates over two size-classes of American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria). Field injury surveys showed that 12.4% of the green crabs collected were missing a claw (the cutter and/or crusher claw). Injury rates increased linearly with crab size, and were found to vary with location. Laboratory experiments showed that, compared to intact crabs, the loss of the crusher claw reduced oyster mortality rates by ~ 93-100%. The loss of the crusher also reduced feeding on small soft-shell clams but only temporarily. The loss of the cutter claw had little impact on green crab feeding rates on oysters and soft-shell clams of either size. Combined, these results suggest that the loss of a claw has an effect on the ability of green crabs to consume commercially important species but this effect depends on which claw is lost and which prey is targeted. It follows that injury rates should be taken into consideration when monitoring and forecasting the potential impacts of green crab populations, particularly on oyster beds.

  10. The induction of neoplastic lesions by aflatoxin-B1 in the Egyptian toad (Bufo regularis).

    PubMed

    el-Mofty, M M; Sakr, S A

    1988-01-01

    The carcinogenic activity of aflatoxin-B1, the metabolic product of the mold Aspergillus flavus (a commonly occurring contaminant of groundnuts and other foodstuffs), was tested using the Egyptian toad (Bufo regularis). Injecting the toads with aflatoxin-B1 at a dose level of 0.01 mg/50 g body wt in 1 ml corn oil once a week for 15 weeks induced hepatocellular carcinomas in 19% of the experimental toads. Four toads developed tumors in the kidney due to metastases from the primary hepatocellular carcinomas.

  11. 77 FR 6815 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit To Salvage Houston Toads Affected by a Wildfire...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-09

    ..., after the September 4 through October 10, 2011, fire may be delayed or the endangered Houston toad (Bufo... they can be returned to the wild; or transported to the Houston toad captive breeding or...

  12. Hallucigenia's onychophoran-like claws and the case for Tactopoda.

    PubMed

    Smith, Martin R; Ortega-Hernández, Javier

    2014-10-16

    The Palaeozoic form-taxon Lobopodia encompasses a diverse range of soft-bodied 'legged worms' known from exceptional fossil deposits. Although lobopodians occupy a deep phylogenetic position within Panarthropoda, a shortage of derived characters obscures their evolutionary relationships with extant phyla (Onychophora, Tardigrada and Euarthropoda). Here we describe a complex feature in the terminal claws of the mid-Cambrian lobopodian Hallucigenia sparsa--their construction from a stack of constituent elements--and demonstrate that equivalent elements make up the jaws and claws of extant Onychophora. A cladistic analysis, informed by developmental data on panarthropod head segmentation, indicates that the stacked sclerite components in these two taxa are homologous-resolving hallucigeniid lobopodians as stem-group onychophorans. The results indicate a sister-group relationship between Tardigrada and Euarthropoda, adding palaeontological support to the neurological and musculoskeletal evidence uniting these disparate clades. These findings elucidate the evolutionary transformations that gave rise to the panarthropod phyla, and expound the lobopodian-like morphology of the ancestral panarthropod.

  13. Outcomes of Sutureless Iris-Claw Lens Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Nowomiejska, Katarzyna; Moneta-Wielgoś, Joanna; Jünemann, Anselm G. M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the indications, refraction, and visual and safety outcomes of iris-claw intraocular lens implanted retropupillary with sutureless technique during primary or secondary operation. Methods. Retrospective study of case series. The Haigis formula was used to calculate intraocular lens power. In all cases the wound was closed without suturing. Results. The study comprised 47 eyes. The mean follow-up time was 15.9 months (SD 12.2). The mean preoperative CDVA was 0.25 (SD 0.21). The final mean CDVA was 0.46 (SD 0.27). No hypotony or need for wound suturing was observed postoperatively. Mean postoperative refractive error was −0.27 Dsph (−3.87 Dsph to +2.85 Dsph; median 0.0, SD 1.28). The mean postoperative astigmatism was −1.82 Dcyl (min −0.25, max −5.5; median −1.25, SD 1.07). Postoperative complications were observed in 10 eyes. The most common complication was ovalization of the iris, which was observed in 8 eyes. The mean operation time was 35.9 min (min 11 min, max 79 min; median 34, SD 15.4). Conclusion. Retropupilary iris-claw intraocular lens (IOL) implantation with sutureless wound closing is an easy and fast method, ensuring good refractive outcome and a low risk of complication. The Haigis formula proved to be predictable in postoperative refraction.

  14. Outcomes of Sutureless Iris-Claw Lens Implantation.

    PubMed

    Choragiewicz, Tomasz; Rejdak, Robert; Grzybowski, Andrzej; Nowomiejska, Katarzyna; Moneta-Wielgoś, Joanna; Ozimek, Małgorzata; Jünemann, Anselm G M

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the indications, refraction, and visual and safety outcomes of iris-claw intraocular lens implanted retropupillary with sutureless technique during primary or secondary operation. Methods. Retrospective study of case series. The Haigis formula was used to calculate intraocular lens power. In all cases the wound was closed without suturing. Results. The study comprised 47 eyes. The mean follow-up time was 15.9 months (SD 12.2). The mean preoperative CDVA was 0.25 (SD 0.21). The final mean CDVA was 0.46 (SD 0.27). No hypotony or need for wound suturing was observed postoperatively. Mean postoperative refractive error was -0.27 Dsph (-3.87 Dsph to +2.85 Dsph; median 0.0, SD 1.28). The mean postoperative astigmatism was -1.82 Dcyl (min -0.25, max -5.5; median -1.25, SD 1.07). Postoperative complications were observed in 10 eyes. The most common complication was ovalization of the iris, which was observed in 8 eyes. The mean operation time was 35.9 min (min 11 min, max 79 min; median 34, SD 15.4). Conclusion. Retropupilary iris-claw intraocular lens (IOL) implantation with sutureless wound closing is an easy and fast method, ensuring good refractive outcome and a low risk of complication. The Haigis formula proved to be predictable in postoperative refraction. PMID:27642519

  15. Outcomes of Sutureless Iris-Claw Lens Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Nowomiejska, Katarzyna; Moneta-Wielgoś, Joanna; Jünemann, Anselm G. M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the indications, refraction, and visual and safety outcomes of iris-claw intraocular lens implanted retropupillary with sutureless technique during primary or secondary operation. Methods. Retrospective study of case series. The Haigis formula was used to calculate intraocular lens power. In all cases the wound was closed without suturing. Results. The study comprised 47 eyes. The mean follow-up time was 15.9 months (SD 12.2). The mean preoperative CDVA was 0.25 (SD 0.21). The final mean CDVA was 0.46 (SD 0.27). No hypotony or need for wound suturing was observed postoperatively. Mean postoperative refractive error was −0.27 Dsph (−3.87 Dsph to +2.85 Dsph; median 0.0, SD 1.28). The mean postoperative astigmatism was −1.82 Dcyl (min −0.25, max −5.5; median −1.25, SD 1.07). Postoperative complications were observed in 10 eyes. The most common complication was ovalization of the iris, which was observed in 8 eyes. The mean operation time was 35.9 min (min 11 min, max 79 min; median 34, SD 15.4). Conclusion. Retropupilary iris-claw intraocular lens (IOL) implantation with sutureless wound closing is an easy and fast method, ensuring good refractive outcome and a low risk of complication. The Haigis formula proved to be predictable in postoperative refraction. PMID:27642519

  16. Hallucigenia's onychophoran-like claws and the case for Tactopoda.

    PubMed

    Smith, Martin R; Ortega-Hernández, Javier

    2014-10-16

    The Palaeozoic form-taxon Lobopodia encompasses a diverse range of soft-bodied 'legged worms' known from exceptional fossil deposits. Although lobopodians occupy a deep phylogenetic position within Panarthropoda, a shortage of derived characters obscures their evolutionary relationships with extant phyla (Onychophora, Tardigrada and Euarthropoda). Here we describe a complex feature in the terminal claws of the mid-Cambrian lobopodian Hallucigenia sparsa--their construction from a stack of constituent elements--and demonstrate that equivalent elements make up the jaws and claws of extant Onychophora. A cladistic analysis, informed by developmental data on panarthropod head segmentation, indicates that the stacked sclerite components in these two taxa are homologous-resolving hallucigeniid lobopodians as stem-group onychophorans. The results indicate a sister-group relationship between Tardigrada and Euarthropoda, adding palaeontological support to the neurological and musculoskeletal evidence uniting these disparate clades. These findings elucidate the evolutionary transformations that gave rise to the panarthropod phyla, and expound the lobopodian-like morphology of the ancestral panarthropod. PMID:25132546

  17. Laminitis-like changes in the claws of feedlot cattle

    PubMed Central

    Greenough, Paul R.; Vermunt, Jos J.; McKinnon, John J.; Fathy, Fowzy A.; Berg, Philip A.; Cohen, Roger D.H.

    1990-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to observe and quantitate changes in the claws of two groups of feedlot cattle (calves and backgrounded yearlings) fed diets that varied in energy (73.5 or 78.5% TDN) and crude protein (11, 13, 15, 16, 17, or 19%) content. At slaughter, the thickness of sole horn and the prevalence of toe and heel hemorrhages were greater in calves than in yearlings (p<0.02). Feeding the high-energy ration increased the prevalence of toe and heel hemorrhages in calves (p<0.02) and heel hemorrhages in yearlings (p<0.02). In yearlings, rotation of the distal phalanx and ridging of the dorsal wall of the claw were the most prominent pathological features. Osteopathy of the apex of the distal phalanx occurred more frequently in calves than in yearlings (p<0.01). This study suggests that intensive feeding of beef cattle before they reach 14 months of age has a deleterious effect on digital health. ImagesFigure 1.Figure 2.Figure 3.Figure 4.Figure 5.Figure 6.Figure 7. PMID:17423536

  18. Travelling waves for the cane toads equation with bounded traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouin, Emeric; Calvez, Vincent

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we study propagation in a non-local reaction-diffusion-mutation model describing the invasion of cane toads in Australia (Phillips et al 2006 Nature 439 803). The population of toads is structured by a space variable and a phenotypical trait and the space diffusivity depends on the trait. We use a Schauder topological degree argument for the construction of some travelling wave solutions of the model. The speed c* of the wave is obtained after solving a suitable spectral problem in the trait variable. An eigenvector arising from this eigenvalue problem gives the flavour of the profile at the edge of the front. The major difficulty is to obtain uniform L∞ bounds despite the combination of non-local terms and a heterogeneous diffusivity.

  19. Isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane use in cane toads (Rhinella marina)

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Kaleigh E.; Strahl-Heldreth, Danielle; Clark-Price, Stuart C.

    2016-01-01

    Anaesthetic chamber concentrations of isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane that resulted in loss of righting reflex within 15 minutes in 50 per cent of toads (Rhinella marina) exposed (ED50-LRR<15MIN) were identified. The median and range ED50-LRR<15MIN was 1.4 (0.9–1.4) per cent for isoflurane, 1.75 (1.1–1.9) per cent for sevoflurane and 4.4 (4.3–5.5) per cent for desflurane. Subsequently, toads were exposed to 1.5 times the ED50-LRR<15MIN and times to loss and return of righting reflex were identified. All toads for all anaesthetics lost righting reflex. The median and range loss of righting reflex was 4:00 (3:00–5:30) minutes for isoflurane, 4:45 (3:30–7:00) minutes for sevoflurane, and 4:15 (4:00–5:30) minutes for desflurane and was not different between anaesthetics. Time to return of righting reflex was 175 (123–211) minutes for isoflurane, 192 (116–383) minutes for sevoflurane and 74 (52–220) minutes for desflurane. Time to return of righting reflex was significantly shorter for desflurane compared with isoflurane or sevoflurane. The use of isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane can be used to provide immobilisation to cane toads and potentially other anurans. Induction times are likely similar when using an anaesthetic chamber to provide anaesthesia. However recovery time may take twice as long when utilising isoflurane or sevoflurane over desflurane. PMID:27651914

  20. Isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane use in cane toads (Rhinella marina)

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Kaleigh E.; Strahl-Heldreth, Danielle; Clark-Price, Stuart C.

    2016-01-01

    Anaesthetic chamber concentrations of isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane that resulted in loss of righting reflex within 15 minutes in 50 per cent of toads (Rhinella marina) exposed (ED50-LRR<15MIN) were identified. The median and range ED50-LRR<15MIN was 1.4 (0.9–1.4) per cent for isoflurane, 1.75 (1.1–1.9) per cent for sevoflurane and 4.4 (4.3–5.5) per cent for desflurane. Subsequently, toads were exposed to 1.5 times the ED50-LRR<15MIN and times to loss and return of righting reflex were identified. All toads for all anaesthetics lost righting reflex. The median and range loss of righting reflex was 4:00 (3:00–5:30) minutes for isoflurane, 4:45 (3:30–7:00) minutes for sevoflurane, and 4:15 (4:00–5:30) minutes for desflurane and was not different between anaesthetics. Time to return of righting reflex was 175 (123–211) minutes for isoflurane, 192 (116–383) minutes for sevoflurane and 74 (52–220) minutes for desflurane. Time to return of righting reflex was significantly shorter for desflurane compared with isoflurane or sevoflurane. The use of isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane can be used to provide immobilisation to cane toads and potentially other anurans. Induction times are likely similar when using an anaesthetic chamber to provide anaesthesia. However recovery time may take twice as long when utilising isoflurane or sevoflurane over desflurane.

  1. Isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane use in cane toads (Rhinella marina).

    PubMed

    Morrison, Kaleigh E; Strahl-Heldreth, Danielle; Clark-Price, Stuart C

    2016-01-01

    Anaesthetic chamber concentrations of isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane that resulted in loss of righting reflex within 15 minutes in 50 per cent of toads (Rhinella marina) exposed (ED50-LRR<15MIN) were identified. The median and range ED50-LRR<15MIN was 1.4 (0.9-1.4) per cent for isoflurane, 1.75 (1.1-1.9) per cent for sevoflurane and 4.4 (4.3-5.5) per cent for desflurane. Subsequently, toads were exposed to 1.5 times the ED50-LRR<15MIN and times to loss and return of righting reflex were identified. All toads for all anaesthetics lost righting reflex. The median and range loss of righting reflex was 4:00 (3:00-5:30) minutes for isoflurane, 4:45 (3:30-7:00) minutes for sevoflurane, and 4:15 (4:00-5:30) minutes for desflurane and was not different between anaesthetics. Time to return of righting reflex was 175 (123-211) minutes for isoflurane, 192 (116-383) minutes for sevoflurane and 74 (52-220) minutes for desflurane. Time to return of righting reflex was significantly shorter for desflurane compared with isoflurane or sevoflurane. The use of isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane can be used to provide immobilisation to cane toads and potentially other anurans. Induction times are likely similar when using an anaesthetic chamber to provide anaesthesia. However recovery time may take twice as long when utilising isoflurane or sevoflurane over desflurane. PMID:27651914

  2. Habitat use and movement of the endangered Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus californicus) in coastal southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitrovich, M.J.; Gallegos, E.A.; Lyren, L.M.; Lovich, R.E.; Fisher, R.N.

    2011-01-01

    Information on the habitat use and movement patterns of Arroyo Toads (Anaxyrus californicus) is limited. The temporal and spatial characteristics of terrestrial habitat use, especially as it relates to upland use in coastal areas of the species' range, are poorly understood. We present analyses of radiotelemetry data from 40 individual adult toads tracked at a single site in coastal southern California from March through November of 2004. We quantify adult Arroyo Toad habitat use and movements and interpret results in the context of their life history. We show concentrated activity by both male and female toads along stream terraces during and after breeding, and, although our fall sample size is low, the continued presence of adult toads in the floodplain through the late fall. Adult toads used open sandy flats with sparse vegetation. Home-range size and movement frequency varied as a function of body mass. Observed spatial patterns of movement and habitat use both during and outside of the breeding period as well as available climatological data suggest that overwintering of toads in floodplain habitats of near-coastal areas of southern California may be more common than previously considered. If adult toads are not migrating out of the floodplain at the close of the breeding season but instead overwinter on stream terraces in near-coastal areas, then current management practices that assume toad absence from floodplain habitats may be leaving adult toads over-wintering on stream terraces vulnerable to human disturbance during a time of year when Arroyo Toad mortality is potentially highest. ?? 2011 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  3. Habitat use and movement of the endangered Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus californicus) in coastal southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallegos, Elizabeth; Lyren, Lisa M.; Lovich, Robert E.; Mitrovich, Milan J.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    Information on the habitat use and movement patterns of Arroyo Toads (Anaxyrus californicus) is limited. The temporal and spatial characteristics of terrestrial habitat use, especially as it relates to upland use in coastal areas of the species' range, are poorly understood. We present analyses of radiotelemetry data from 40 individual adult toads tracked at a single site in coastal southern California from March through November of 2004. We quantify adult Arroyo Toad habitat use and movements and interpret results in the context of their life history. We show concentrated activity by both male and female toads along stream terraces during and after breeding, and, although our fall sample size is low, the continued presence of adult toads in the floodplain through the late fall. Adult toads used open sandy flats with sparse vegetation. Home-range size and movement frequency varied as a function of body mass. Observed spatial patterns of movement and habitat use both during and outside of the breeding period as well as available climatological data suggest that overwintering of toads in floodplain habitats of near-coastal areas of southern California may be more common than previously considered. If adult toads are not migrating out of the floodplain at the close of the breeding season but instead overwinter on stream terraces in near-coastal areas, then current management practices that assume toad absence from floodplain habitats may be leaving adult toads over-wintering on stream terraces vulnerable to human disturbance during a time of year when Arroyo Toad mortality is potentially highest.

  4. Unique fatality due to claw injuries in a tiger attack: a case report.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Hrishikesh; Dixit, Pradeep; Dhawane, Shailendra; Meshram, Satin; Shrigiriwar, Manish; Dingre, Niraj

    2014-11-01

    This paper describes a unique case of a fatal tiger attack in the wild. In the present case, a tiger fatally mauled a 34-year-old female with its claws, instead of the usual mechanism of killing by the bite injury to the neck. The autopsy revealed multiple fatal and non-fatal injuries caused by the tiger claws. The characteristic injuries due to the tooth impacts were absent as the teeth of the offending tiger were either fallen or non-functional. To the best of our knowledge, probably this rare case would be the first reported human fatality due to the tiger claw injuries in the world. The purpose of the present article is to highlight the fatal injuries due to the tiger claws, as the claw-induced fatal injuries in a tiger attack are not reported in the medico-legal literature. Moreover, this report would be an illustrative one for differentiation between the fatal injuries due to the claws and tooth impacts in a tiger attack. Furthermore, the present report establishes the importance of the tiger claws as a source of fatal injuries in a tiger attack.

  5. Unique fatality due to claw injuries in a tiger attack: a case report.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Hrishikesh; Dixit, Pradeep; Dhawane, Shailendra; Meshram, Satin; Shrigiriwar, Manish; Dingre, Niraj

    2014-11-01

    This paper describes a unique case of a fatal tiger attack in the wild. In the present case, a tiger fatally mauled a 34-year-old female with its claws, instead of the usual mechanism of killing by the bite injury to the neck. The autopsy revealed multiple fatal and non-fatal injuries caused by the tiger claws. The characteristic injuries due to the tooth impacts were absent as the teeth of the offending tiger were either fallen or non-functional. To the best of our knowledge, probably this rare case would be the first reported human fatality due to the tiger claw injuries in the world. The purpose of the present article is to highlight the fatal injuries due to the tiger claws, as the claw-induced fatal injuries in a tiger attack are not reported in the medico-legal literature. Moreover, this report would be an illustrative one for differentiation between the fatal injuries due to the claws and tooth impacts in a tiger attack. Furthermore, the present report establishes the importance of the tiger claws as a source of fatal injuries in a tiger attack. PMID:25082732

  6. Biomechanics of dromaeosaurid dinosaur claws: application of X-ray microtomography, nanoindentation, and finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Manning, Phillip L; Margetts, Lee; Johnson, Mark R; Withers, Philip J; Sellers, William I; Falkingham, Peter L; Mummery, Paul M; Barrett, Paul M; Raymont, David R

    2009-09-01

    Dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs, such as Velociraptor, possess strongly recurved, hypertrophied and hyperextensible ungual claws on the pes (digit II) and manus. The morphology of these unguals has been linked to the capture and despatching of prey. However, the mechanical properties or, more importantly, the mechanical potential of these structures have not been explored. Generation of a 3D finite element (FE) stress/strain contour map of a Velociraptor manual ungual has allowed us to evaluate quantitatively the mechanical behavior of a dromaeosaurid claw for the first time. An X-ray microtomography scan allowed construction of an accurate 3D FE mesh. Analogue material from an extant avian theropod, the pedal digit and claw of an eagle owl (Bubo bubo), was analyzed to provide input data for the Velociraptor claw FE model (FEM). The resultant FEM confirms that dromaeosaurid claws were well-adapted for climbing as they would have been resistant to forces acting in a single (longitudinal) plane, in this case due to gravity. However, the strength of the unguals was limited with respect to forces acting tangential to the long-axis of the claw. The tip of the claw functioned as the puncturing and gripping element of the structure, whereas the expanded proximal portion transferred the load stress through the trabeculae and cortical bone. Enhanced climbing abilities of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs supports a scansorial phase in the evolution of flight.

  7. Biomechanics of dromaeosaurid dinosaur claws: application of X-ray microtomography, nanoindentation, and finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Manning, Phillip L; Margetts, Lee; Johnson, Mark R; Withers, Philip J; Sellers, William I; Falkingham, Peter L; Mummery, Paul M; Barrett, Paul M; Raymont, David R

    2009-09-01

    Dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs, such as Velociraptor, possess strongly recurved, hypertrophied and hyperextensible ungual claws on the pes (digit II) and manus. The morphology of these unguals has been linked to the capture and despatching of prey. However, the mechanical properties or, more importantly, the mechanical potential of these structures have not been explored. Generation of a 3D finite element (FE) stress/strain contour map of a Velociraptor manual ungual has allowed us to evaluate quantitatively the mechanical behavior of a dromaeosaurid claw for the first time. An X-ray microtomography scan allowed construction of an accurate 3D FE mesh. Analogue material from an extant avian theropod, the pedal digit and claw of an eagle owl (Bubo bubo), was analyzed to provide input data for the Velociraptor claw FE model (FEM). The resultant FEM confirms that dromaeosaurid claws were well-adapted for climbing as they would have been resistant to forces acting in a single (longitudinal) plane, in this case due to gravity. However, the strength of the unguals was limited with respect to forces acting tangential to the long-axis of the claw. The tip of the claw functioned as the puncturing and gripping element of the structure, whereas the expanded proximal portion transferred the load stress through the trabeculae and cortical bone. Enhanced climbing abilities of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs supports a scansorial phase in the evolution of flight. PMID:19711472

  8. Visual discrimination learning in the fire-bellied toad Bombina orientalis.

    PubMed

    Jenkin, Sarah E M; Laberge, Frédéric

    2010-11-01

    This study explored the visual discrimination learning ability of fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis). Two groups of toads were trained in a simultaneous visual discrimination task involving video footage of either black crickets on a white background (black-cricket toads) or white crickets on a black background (white-cricket toads). Fifteen widely spaced acquisition trials were followed by 12 reversal trials. Successful learning was observed by decreased incorrect snapping and reduced latency to snap at the correct stimulus (S+) during acquisition; however, white-cricket toads executed significantly more incorrect snaps than did black-cricket toads. Both groups of toads could master the reversal task as measured by latency to snap at S+, but not as measured by the proportion of incorrect snaps. Despite the stronger potency of the black-cricket stimulus, the results showed that toads can learn a simultaneous discrimination task and a reversal of its contingency. This elaborate form of learning appears to be conserved among vertebrates.

  9. Effects of dieldrin treatment on physiological and biochemical aspects of the toad embryonic development

    SciTech Connect

    Gauna, L.; Caballero de Castro, A.; Chifflet de Llamas, M.; Pechen de D'Angelo, A.M. )

    1991-04-01

    Dieldrin is a cylclodiene insecticide highly persistent in nature due to its chemical stability. The exposure of toad embryos to Dieldrin induces hyperactivity in the swimming larvae and inhibition of cholinesterases. However, the inhibition of these enzymes during early development is not life threatening. The present report provides a physiological and biochemical study of the noxious effect of Dieldrin on the toad embryonic development.

  10. Did Paul Kammerer discover epigenetic inheritance? A modern look at the controversial midwife toad experiments.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Alexander O

    2009-11-15

    The controversy surrounding the alleged Lamarckian fraud of Paul Kammerer's midwife toad experiments has intrigued generations of biologists. A re-examination of his descriptions of hybrid crosses of treated and nontreated toads reveals parent-of-origin effects like those documented in epigenetic inheritance. Modification of the extracellular matrix of the egg as described by Kammerer provides a plausible cause for altered gene methylation patterns. Traits such as altered egg and adult body size in Kammerer's "treated" toads are inherited epigenetically in other tetrapods. A preliminary model involving the environmental silencing of a maternally inherited allele can be attempted to explain the midwife toad experiments. Given available molecular tools and our current understanding of epigenetics, new experimentation with the midwife toad is strongly encouraged.

  11. Predation by Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) on Western toads (Bufo boreas) in Oregon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Hayes, M.P.

    2002-01-01

    Toads of the genus Bufo co-occur with true frogs (family Ranidae) throughout their North American ranges. Yet, Bufo are rarely reported as prey for ranid frogs, perhaps due to dermal toxins that afford them protection from some predators. We report field observations from four different localities demonstrating that Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) readily consume juvenile western toads (Bufo boreas) at breeding sites in Oregon. Unpalatability thought to deter predators of selected taxa and feeding mode may not protect juvenile stages of western toads from adult Oregon spotted frogs. Activity of juvenile western toads can elicit ambush behavior by Oregon spotted frog adults. Our review of published literature suggests that regular consumption of toadlets sets Oregon spotted frogs apart from most North American ranid frogs. Importance of the trophic context of juvenile western toads as a seasonally important resource to Oregon spotted frogs needs critical investigation.

  12. Metabolic measures of male southern toads (Bufo terrestris) exposed to coal combustion waste

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.K.; Appel, A.G.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2006-03-15

    Southern toads (Bufo terrestris) are found in coal fly ash collection basins associated with coal-burning electrical power plants. These basins contain large amounts of trace metals and organisms found in these basins are known to accumulate large quantities of metals. Studies on a variety of organisms exposed to trace metals found that they experience a significant increase in standard metabolic rate. We experimentally exposed southern toads to metal-contaminated sediment and food and measured changes in standard and exercise metabolic rates as well as changes in body, liver and muscle mass, blood glucose, and corticosterone. We found that toads exposed to trace metal contamination gained significantly less mass (18.3%) than control toads (31.3%) when food was limited and experienced significantly decreased RQ after exercise. However, contaminated toads did not experience changes in standard or exercise metabolic rates, plasma glucose levels, and hepatic or muscle percentage indices whether food was limited or not.

  13. An active ingredient of Cat's Claw water extracts identification and efficacy of quinic acid.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Yezhou; Akesson, Christina; Holmgren, Kristin; Bryngelsson, Carl; Giamapa, Vincent; Pero, Ronald W

    2005-01-15

    Historic medicinal practice has defined Cat's Claw, also known as Una de Gato or Uncaria tomentosa, as an effective treatment for several health disorders including chronic inflammation, gastrointestinal dysfunction such as ulcers, tumors and infections. The efficacy of Cat's Claw was originally believed, as early as the 1960s, to be due to the presence of oxindole alkaloids. However, more recently water-soluble Cat's Claw extracts were shown not to contain significant amounts of alkaloids (<0.05%), and yet still were shown to be very efficacious. Here we characterize the active ingredients of a water-soluble Cat's Claw extract called C-Med-100 as inhibiting cell growth without cell death thus providing enhanced opportunities for DNA repair, and the consequences thereof, such as immune stimulation, anti-inflammation and cancer prevention. The active ingredients were chemically defined as quinic acid esters and could also be shown to be bioactive in vivo as quinic acid. PMID:15619581

  14. Apodemes associated with limbs support serial homology of claws and jaws in Onychophora (velvet worms).

    PubMed

    de Sena Oliveira, Ivo; Mayer, Georg

    2013-10-01

    Although the onychophoran jaw blades are believed to be derivatives of foot claws, serial homology of these structures has not been demonstrated. To shed light on the evolutionary origin of the onychophoran jaws, we searched for morphological landmarks and compared the internal and external anatomy of jaws and distal leg portions in representatives of the two major onychophoran subgroups, the Peripatidae and Peripatopsidae. Our data revealed hitherto unknown structures associated with the onychophoran limbs, such as a soft diastemal membrane separating the anterior and posterior portions of the inner jaw blade (present only in Peripatidae), apodemes associated with feet, an eversible dorsal sac at the basis of each foot claw, and a specific arrangement of musculature associated with the sclerotised claws, jaws and their apodemes. Specific correspondences in structure and position of apodemes support serial homology of claws and jaws, suggesting that the onychophoran jaw evolved from the distal portion rather than the entire limb in the last common ancestor of Onychophora.

  15. Influence of grazing management on claw disorders in Swedish freestall dairies with mandatory grazing.

    PubMed

    Bergsten, C; Carlsson, J; Jansson Mörk, M

    2015-09-01

    Our hypothesis was that grazing time, the number of days (duration) and number of hours per day, affected claw health. From Swedish freestall herds that fulfilled our criteria of claw-trimming routines, 201 herds were randomly selected for a telephone interview regarding grazing management. Herd data were retrieved from the Swedish Official Milk Recording Scheme. Claw disorders to be analyzed were recorded at maintenance claw trimming before and after the grazing period and included mild and severe dermatitis, severe heel-horn erosion, and sole ulcer (including severe sole hemorrhage). Any remark included one or more of these recorded disorders. The odds for having a recorded claw disorder at the autumn trimming in relation to grazing management, as well as to herd- and cow-related parameters, was tested using multilevel logistic regression models. The final statistical analysis included 17,600 cows in 174 herds, which were distributed from the south to the north of Sweden with decreasing length of mandatory grazing period because of climate. Grazing duration was statistically associated with the risk of sole ulcer, but it was not linear. However, grazing duration was not statistically associated with the odds for any remark, dermatitis, or heel-horn erosion. The odds for dermatitis were lower with access to pasture for 24 h compared with either day or night access. Otherwise, the number of hours that the animals had access to grazing per day was not significantly associated with any of the other analyzed claw disorders. Higher pasture stocking density (number of cow hours per day per hectare) was associated with a higher odds for dermatitis and sole ulcer. For all recorded claw disorders, the highest odds for having a disorder after the grazing period were consistently when the cow had the same claw disorder before the release to pasture. The positive effects of grazing on claw health were less than expected, and the previous known effects of breed, days in milk

  16. Influence of grazing management on claw disorders in Swedish freestall dairies with mandatory grazing.

    PubMed

    Bergsten, C; Carlsson, J; Jansson Mörk, M

    2015-09-01

    Our hypothesis was that grazing time, the number of days (duration) and number of hours per day, affected claw health. From Swedish freestall herds that fulfilled our criteria of claw-trimming routines, 201 herds were randomly selected for a telephone interview regarding grazing management. Herd data were retrieved from the Swedish Official Milk Recording Scheme. Claw disorders to be analyzed were recorded at maintenance claw trimming before and after the grazing period and included mild and severe dermatitis, severe heel-horn erosion, and sole ulcer (including severe sole hemorrhage). Any remark included one or more of these recorded disorders. The odds for having a recorded claw disorder at the autumn trimming in relation to grazing management, as well as to herd- and cow-related parameters, was tested using multilevel logistic regression models. The final statistical analysis included 17,600 cows in 174 herds, which were distributed from the south to the north of Sweden with decreasing length of mandatory grazing period because of climate. Grazing duration was statistically associated with the risk of sole ulcer, but it was not linear. However, grazing duration was not statistically associated with the odds for any remark, dermatitis, or heel-horn erosion. The odds for dermatitis were lower with access to pasture for 24 h compared with either day or night access. Otherwise, the number of hours that the animals had access to grazing per day was not significantly associated with any of the other analyzed claw disorders. Higher pasture stocking density (number of cow hours per day per hectare) was associated with a higher odds for dermatitis and sole ulcer. For all recorded claw disorders, the highest odds for having a disorder after the grazing period were consistently when the cow had the same claw disorder before the release to pasture. The positive effects of grazing on claw health were less than expected, and the previous known effects of breed, days in milk

  17. Death of a South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) after the ingestion of toads--evaluation of toad poisoning by toxicological analysis.

    PubMed

    Toennes, Stefan W; Peters, Martin; Osmann, Christine; Pogoda, Werner; Mebs, Dietrich

    2015-01-01

    Animals in zoological gardens are at risk of severe and even lethal poisoning when they accidentally ingest toads. Here we report the case of an eleven month old male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) which was found dead in its outdoor enclosure in the zoo of Dortmund, Germany. Autopsy revealed the presence of two adult, partly digested common toads (Bufo bufo) in the stomach. Toxicological analysis of the stomach content using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF MS) proved the presence of bufadienolides, the major cardiotoxic components of toad poisons. Using electrochemical luminescens immunoassay (ECLIA) compounds equivalent to digitoxin were detected in the blood sample confirming the absorption of toad poison components from the intestines into the circulation potentially leading to cardiac failure. In zoological gardens special precautions are necessary to protect non-native animals from encountering toads and the risk of poisoning, particularly in early spring, the spawning period of the toads. PMID:26054232

  18. Death of a South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) after the ingestion of toads--evaluation of toad poisoning by toxicological analysis.

    PubMed

    Toennes, Stefan W; Peters, Martin; Osmann, Christine; Pogoda, Werner; Mebs, Dietrich

    2015-01-01

    Animals in zoological gardens are at risk of severe and even lethal poisoning when they accidentally ingest toads. Here we report the case of an eleven month old male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) which was found dead in its outdoor enclosure in the zoo of Dortmund, Germany. Autopsy revealed the presence of two adult, partly digested common toads (Bufo bufo) in the stomach. Toxicological analysis of the stomach content using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF MS) proved the presence of bufadienolides, the major cardiotoxic components of toad poisons. Using electrochemical luminescens immunoassay (ECLIA) compounds equivalent to digitoxin were detected in the blood sample confirming the absorption of toad poison components from the intestines into the circulation potentially leading to cardiac failure. In zoological gardens special precautions are necessary to protect non-native animals from encountering toads and the risk of poisoning, particularly in early spring, the spawning period of the toads.

  19. Adrenocortical function in cane toads from different environments.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sandra E; Sernia, Conrad; Bradley, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The adrenocortical function of cane toads (Rhinella marina) exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as captured from different environments, was assessed by challenging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It was found that restriction stress as well as cannulation increased plasma corticosterone (B) levels for up to 12h. A single dose of dexamethasone (DEX 2mg/kg) significantly reduced B levels demonstrating its potential for use in the evaluation of the HPA axis in amphibia. We also demonstrate that 0.05 IU/g BW (im) of synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) significantly increased plasma B levels in cane toads. Changes in size area of the cortical cells were positively associated with total levels of B after ACTH administration. We also found differences in adrenal activity between populations. This was assessed by a DEX-ACTH test. The animals captured from the field and maintained in captivity for one year at the animal house (AH) present the highest levels of total and free B after ACTH administration. We also found that animals from the front line of dispersion in Western Australia (WA) present the weakest adrenal response to a DEX-ACTH test. The animals categorized as long established in Queensland Australia (QL), and native in Mexico (MX), do not shown a marked difference in the HPA activity. Finally we found that in response to ACTH administration, females reach significantly higher levels of plasma B than males. For the first time the adrenocortical response in cane toads exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as from different populations was assessed systematically. PMID:26877241

  20. All-optical pseudorandom bit sequences generator based on TOADs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhenchao; Wang, Zhi; Wu, Chongqing; Wang, Fu; Li, Qiang

    2016-03-01

    A scheme for all-optical pseudorandom bit sequences (PRBS) generator is demonstrated with optical logic gate 'XNOR' and all-optical wavelength converter based on cascaded Tera-Hertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer (TOADs). Its feasibility is verified by generation of return-to-zero on-off keying (RZ-OOK) 263-1 PRBS at the speed of 1 Gb/s with 10% duty radio. The high randomness of ultra-long cycle PRBS is validated by successfully passing the standard benchmark test.

  1. Sensitivity of toad tadpoles, Bufo melanostictus (Schneider), to heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Khangarot, B.S.; Ray, P.K.

    1987-03-01

    Amphibian larval stages have several qualities which make them as a useful indicator of harmful levels of pollutants in bioassay tests. Amphibian tadpoles show a variety of sublethal responses such as changes in growth, development rates, pigmentation and expression of morphological deformities in a lesser time of exposure to the environmental pollutants. The objective of the work reported in this paper was to determine the acute toxicity of cadmium, copper, chromium, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc to the tadpoles of toad Bufo melanostictus (Schneider), which is commonly available and breed in aquatic habitats exhibiting a wide range of temperature and varying water quality.

  2. Gait pattern of heifers before and after claw trimming: a high-speed cinematographic study on a treadmill.

    PubMed

    Meyer, S W; Weishaupt, M A; Nuss, K A

    2007-02-01

    The manner in which the claws contacted the ground at the walk was evaluated in 18 healthy heifers. The animals were filmed before and after claw trimming while walking on a treadmill using high-speed cinematography (500 frames/s). For each limb, 4 consecutive steps were recorded from a side and a frontal plane. The objectives of the study were to evaluate 1) the order of claw contact with the treadmill surface, 2) the initial claw contact area, and 3) the effect of trimming on claw contact patterns. The heifers placed their front feet on the ground in a plane sagittal to the shoulders, whereas the hind feet were advanced more toward the median plane. Before trimming, the lateral claws contacted the ground before the medial in 83% of front and 100% of hind limbs. Trimming changed the percentage to 92% in the front and to 97% in the hind limbs. The percentage with which the heel of the lateral claws became the region of initial contact with the ground increased from 47 to 64% in the front feet and from 50 to 78% in the hind feet. In the medial claws of the forelimbs, claw trimming shifted the region of initial contact from the toe to the abaxial wall and heel. In the hind limbs, the main region of initial contact of the medial claws became the abaxial wall. Weight bearing by the medial claw became visibly apparent only during the midstance, propulsion, and push-off phases. "Heel first" contact of the lateral claws in the front and hind limbs may be the normal gait pattern in cattle. On hard surfaces, this pattern may lead to overload and predispose to disease, especially in the hind limbs. PMID:17235142

  3. Experimental repatriation of boreal toad (Bufo boreas) eggs, metamorphs, and adults in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Johnson, T.L.; Corn, P.S.

    2001-01-01

    The boreal toad (Bufo boreas) is an endangered species in Colorado and is considered a candidate species for federal listing by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Boreal toads are absent from many areas of suitable habitat in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado presumably due to a combination of causes. We moved boreal toads from existing populations and from captive rearing facilities to habitat which was historically, but is not currently, occupied by toads to experimentally examine methods of repatriation for this species. Repatriation is defined as the release of individuals into areas currently of historically occupied by that species (Dodd and Seigel, 1991). This effort was in response to one of the criteria for delisting the boreal toad in Colorado stated in the conservation plan and agreement for the management and recovery of the Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad (Loeffler, 1998:16); a??a?|there must be at least 2 viable breeding populations of boreal toads in each of at least 9 of 11 mountain ranges of its historic distribution.a?? Without moving eggs from established wild populations, or from captivity to historical localities, it is doubtful whether the recovery team will attain this ambitions goal.

  4. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads.

    PubMed

    Pilliod, David S; Muths, Erin; Scherer, Rick D; Bartelt, Paul E; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hossack, Blake R; Lambert, Brad A; McCaffery, Rebecca; Gaughan, Christopher

    2010-10-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect of the presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]; the agent of chytridiomycosis) on survival probability and population growth rate. Toads that were infected with Bd had lower average annual survival probability than uninfected individuals at sites where Bd was detected, which suggests chytridiomycosis may reduce survival by 31-42% in wild boreal toads. Toads that were negative for Bd at infected sites had survival probabilities comparable to toads at the uninfected site. Evidence that environmental covariates (particularly cold temperatures during the breeding season) influenced toad survival was weak. The number of individuals in diseased populations declined by 5-7%/year over the 6 years of the study, whereas the uninfected population had comparatively stable population growth. Our data suggest that the presence of Bd in these toad populations is not causing rapid population declines. Rather, chytridiomycosis appears to be functioning as a low-level, chronic disease whereby some infected individuals survive but the overall population effects are still negative. Our results show that some amphibian populations may be coexisting with Bd and highlight the importance of quantitative assessments of survival in diseased animal populations. PMID:20412086

  5. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads.

    PubMed

    Pilliod, David S; Muths, Erin; Scherer, Rick D; Bartelt, Paul E; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hossack, Blake R; Lambert, Brad A; McCaffery, Rebecca; Gaughan, Christopher

    2010-10-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect of the presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]; the agent of chytridiomycosis) on survival probability and population growth rate. Toads that were infected with Bd had lower average annual survival probability than uninfected individuals at sites where Bd was detected, which suggests chytridiomycosis may reduce survival by 31-42% in wild boreal toads. Toads that were negative for Bd at infected sites had survival probabilities comparable to toads at the uninfected site. Evidence that environmental covariates (particularly cold temperatures during the breeding season) influenced toad survival was weak. The number of individuals in diseased populations declined by 5-7%/year over the 6 years of the study, whereas the uninfected population had comparatively stable population growth. Our data suggest that the presence of Bd in these toad populations is not causing rapid population declines. Rather, chytridiomycosis appears to be functioning as a low-level, chronic disease whereby some infected individuals survive but the overall population effects are still negative. Our results show that some amphibian populations may be coexisting with Bd and highlight the importance of quantitative assessments of survival in diseased animal populations.

  6. The effect of concrete floor roughness on bovine claws using finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Franck, A; Verhegghe, B; De Belie, N

    2008-01-01

    The interaction between bovine claws and a concrete floor with defined roughness and friction coefficients is described using a finite element model. The model was built by using x-ray tomography scanner images of an unloaded fore and hind bovine claw. These images were used to reproduce the geometry of the claw horn capsule, which was used to create a finite element model. Young's moduli of 382, 261, and 13.6 MPa were attributed to the dorsal wall horn, abaxial and axial wall horn, and bulb horn, respectively. Poisson's ratio was set at 0.38. The horn was considered an isotropic elastic material. The model was completed by introducing a rigid support that simulated a concrete floor. The floor was moved to establish contact with the claw and was loaded with a force of 2 or 6 kN. The top border area of the horn capsule was fixed, but angular rotations were allowed. With this model, the effect of varying floor roughness and claw-floor friction on contact pressures and von Mises stresses in the claw horn could be evaluated. This was demonstrated by simulating the contact between the claw models and a smooth and rough floor with a center-line roughness value R(a) of 0 or 0.175 mm, respectively, either without friction or with a static coefficient of friction of 0.75 and a dynamic coefficient of friction of 0.65. Contact pressures ranged from 2.14 to 27.55 MPa. The roughness of the floor was the main determinant in subsequent contact pressures. Maximum von Mises stresses were registered in the claw sole and were mostly between 5.04 and 16.44 MPa, but could be higher in specific situations. The variables claw (fore or hind) and floor (smooth or rough) had significant effects on the contact pressures; in addition, the floor resulted in significantly different von Mises stresses in the claw horn. The variable friction (frictionless or with friction) had a significant effect on the von Mises stresses. The load did not result in significantly different contact pressures and

  7. Winter hibernation and UCHL1-p34cdc2 association in toad oocyte maturation competence.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Zhichao; Yao, Yuwei; Shi, Yan; Gu, Zheng; Sun, Zhaogui; Tso, Jiake

    2013-01-01

    Currently, it is believed that toad oocyte maturation is dependent on the physiological conditions of winter hibernation. Previous antibody-blocking experiments have demonstrated that toad ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (tUCHL1) is necessary for germinal vesicle breakdown during toad oocyte maturation. In this paper, we first supply evidence that tUCHL1 is highly evolutionarily conserved. Then, we exclude protein availability and ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase enzyme activity as factors in the response of oocytes to winter hibernation. In the context of MPF (maturation promoting factor) controlling oocyte maturation and to further understand the role of UCHL1 in oocyte maturation, we performed adsorption and co-immunoprecipitation experiments using toad oocyte protein extracts and determined that tUCHL1 is associated with MPF in toad oocytes. Recombinant tUCHL1 absorbed p34(cdc2), a component of MPF, in obviously larger quantities from mature oocytes than from immature oocytes, and p13(suc1) was isolated from tUCHL1 with a dependence on the ATP regeneration system, suggesting that still other functions may be involved in their association that require phosphorylation. In oocytes from hibernation-interrupted toads, the p34(cdc2) protein level was significantly lower than in oocytes from toads in artificial hibernation, providing an explanation for the different quantities isolated by recombinant tUCHL1 pull-down and, more importantly, identifying a mechanism involved in the toad oocyte's dependence on a low environmental temperature during winter hibernation. Therefore, in toads, tUCHL1 binds p34(cdc2) and plays a role in oocyte maturation. However, neither tUCHL1 nor cyclin B1 respond to low temperatures to facilitate oocyte maturation competence during winter hibernation.

  8. Cane toads lack physiological enhancements for dispersal at the invasive front in Northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Tracy, Christopher R; Christian, Keith A; Baldwin, John; Phillips, Ben L

    2012-01-15

    Many invasive species have evolved behavioural and morphological characteristics that facilitate their dispersal into new areas, but it is unclear how selection on this level of the phenotype filters through to the underlying physiology. Cane toads have been dispersing westward across northern tropical Australia for more than 70 years. Previous studies of cane toads at the invasive front have identified several behavioural, morphological and locomotory characteristics that have evolved to facilitate dispersal of toads. We assessed a range of physiological characteristics associated with locomotory abilities in toads from the long-established, east coast of Australia, from the invasive front, and from a site in between these locations. We measured time to exhaustion and respiratory gases of toads exercising on a treadmill, time to recovery from exhaustion, blood properties (lactate, haematocrit, haemoglobin, red blood cell count, blood cell volume), and muscle properties associated with locomotion (activities of the enzymes citrate synthase and lactate dehydrogenase, and pH buffering capacity). None of the measured physiological parameters supported the hypothesis that toads from the invasive front possess physiological adaptations that facilitate dispersal compared to toads from areas colonised in the past. The strongest difference among the three groups of toads, time to exhaustion, showed exactly the opposite trend; toads from the long-established populations in the east coast had the longest time to exhaustion. Successful colonisers can employ many characteristics to facilitate their dispersal, so the extent to which behaviour, morphology and physiology co-evolve remains an interesting question. However, in the present case at least, behavioural adaptations do not appear to have altered the organism's underlying physiology.

  9. [Influence of floor surface and access to pasture on claw characteristics in dairy cows kept in cubicle housing systems].

    PubMed

    Haufe, H C; Friedli, K; Gygax, L; Wechsler, B

    2014-04-01

    This study aimed at investigating the effect of the floor type used in the walking area of cubicle housing systems and of access to pasture on claw dimensions and claw shape in dairy cows. Data were collected on 36 farms, 12 farms each fitted with mastic asphalt, slatted concrete or solid rubber flooring. With each floor type, cows on half of the farms had access to pasture in summer. The farms were visited three times at intervals of about 6 months and data were collected from 10 cows during each visit. Net growth of the claw horn was highest on rubber flooring and lowest on mastic asphalt. On all floor types, claw angles were larger after the winter period and smaller after the summer period. With regard to claw shape, floor type had an effect on the occurrence of flat, concave and overgrown claw soles. In conclusion, none of the investigated floor types was clearly superior to the others with regard to claw dimensions and claw shape, and access to pasture during summer (median 4 h per day) had only little influence on the investigated claw characteristics.

  10. Pioneer identification of fake tiger claws using morphometric and DNA-based analysis in wildlife forensics in India.

    PubMed

    Vipin; Sharma, Vinita; Sharma, Chandra Prakash; Kumar, Ved Prakash; Goyal, Surendra Prakash

    2016-09-01

    The illegal trade in wildlife is a serious threat to the existence of wild animals throughout the world. The short supply and high demand for wildlife articles have caused an influx of many different forms of fake wildlife articles into this trade. The task of identifying the materials used in making such articles poses challenges in wildlife forensics as different approaches are required for species identification. Claws constitute 3.8% of the illegal animal parts (n=2899) received at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for species identification. We describe the identification of seized suspected tiger claws (n=18) using a combined approach of morphometric and DNA-based analysis. The differential keratin density, determined using X-ray radiographs, indicated that none of the 18 claws were of any large cat but were fake. We determined three claw measurements, viz. ac (from the external coronary dermo-epidermal interface to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn), bc (from the claw tip to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn) and the ratio bc/ac, for all the seized (n=18), tiger (n=23) and leopard (n=49) claws. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. A scatter plot generated using canonical discriminant function analysis revealed that of the 18 seized claws, 14 claws formed a cluster separate from the clusters of the tiger and leopard claws, whereas the remaining four claws were within the leopard cluster. Because a discrepancy was observed between the X-ray images and the measurements of these four claws, one of the claw that clustered with the leopard claws was chosen randomly and DNA analysis carried out using the cyt b (137bp) and 16S rRNA (410bp) genes. A BLAST search and comparison with the reference database at WII indicated that the keratin material of the claw was derived from Bos taurus (cattle). This is a pioneering discovery, and

  11. Pioneer identification of fake tiger claws using morphometric and DNA-based analysis in wildlife forensics in India.

    PubMed

    Vipin; Sharma, Vinita; Sharma, Chandra Prakash; Kumar, Ved Prakash; Goyal, Surendra Prakash

    2016-09-01

    The illegal trade in wildlife is a serious threat to the existence of wild animals throughout the world. The short supply and high demand for wildlife articles have caused an influx of many different forms of fake wildlife articles into this trade. The task of identifying the materials used in making such articles poses challenges in wildlife forensics as different approaches are required for species identification. Claws constitute 3.8% of the illegal animal parts (n=2899) received at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for species identification. We describe the identification of seized suspected tiger claws (n=18) using a combined approach of morphometric and DNA-based analysis. The differential keratin density, determined using X-ray radiographs, indicated that none of the 18 claws were of any large cat but were fake. We determined three claw measurements, viz. ac (from the external coronary dermo-epidermal interface to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn), bc (from the claw tip to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn) and the ratio bc/ac, for all the seized (n=18), tiger (n=23) and leopard (n=49) claws. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. A scatter plot generated using canonical discriminant function analysis revealed that of the 18 seized claws, 14 claws formed a cluster separate from the clusters of the tiger and leopard claws, whereas the remaining four claws were within the leopard cluster. Because a discrepancy was observed between the X-ray images and the measurements of these four claws, one of the claw that clustered with the leopard claws was chosen randomly and DNA analysis carried out using the cyt b (137bp) and 16S rRNA (410bp) genes. A BLAST search and comparison with the reference database at WII indicated that the keratin material of the claw was derived from Bos taurus (cattle). This is a pioneering discovery, and

  12. Pedal Claw Curvature in Birds, Lizards and Mesozoic Dinosaurs – Complicated Categories and Compensating for Mass-Specific and Phylogenetic Control

    PubMed Central

    Birn-Jeffery, Aleksandra V.; Miller, Charlotte E.; Naish, Darren; Rayfield, Emily J.; Hone, David W. E.

    2012-01-01

    Pedal claw geometry can be used to predict behaviour in extant tetrapods and has frequently been used as an indicator of lifestyle and ecology in Mesozoic birds and other fossil reptiles, sometimes without acknowledgement of the caveat that data from other aspects of morphology and proportions also need to be considered. Variation in styles of measurement (both inner and outer claw curvature angles) has made it difficult to compare results across studies, as have over-simplified ecological categories. We sought to increase sample size in a new analysis devised to test claw geometry against ecological niche. We found that taxa from different behavioural categories overlapped extensively in claw geometry. Whilst most taxa plotted as predicted, some fossil taxa were recovered in unexpected positions. Inner and outer claw curvatures were statistically correlated, and both correlated with relative claw robusticity (mid-point claw height). We corrected for mass and phylogeny, as both likely influence claw morphology. We conclude that there is no strong mass-specific effect on claw curvature; furthermore, correlations between claw geometry and behaviour are consistent across disparate clades. By using independent contrasts to correct for phylogeny, we found little significant relationship between claw geometry and behaviour. ‘Ground-dweller’ claws are less curved and relatively dorsoventrally deep relative to those of other behavioural categories; beyond this it is difficult to assign an explicit category to a claw based purely on geometry. PMID:23227184

  13. Sexual differences in the post-breeding movements and habitats selected by Western toads (Bufo boreas) in southeastern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Peterson, Charles R.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    We used radio-telemetry to study the movements and habitat use of Western toads (Bufo boreas) in the Targhee National Forest in southeastern Idaho. Eighteen toads (10 male and 8 female) that bred in a seasonally flooded pond, were fitted with radio-transmitters, tracked, and their movements mapped and analyzed with global positioning and geographic information systems. We also analyzed their patterns of habitat selection at micro- and macro-scales by comparing sites used by toads with randomly selected sites. After breeding, two male and six female toads left the breeding pond and used terrestrial habitats extensively. Male and female toads showed different patterns of movement and habitat use, although all toads seemed to behave in ways that reduced loss of body water (e.g., such as traveling on nights of high humidity). Male toads traveled shorter distances from the pond than females (581 ± 98 m and 1105 ± 272 m, respectively). Female toads used terrestrial habitats extensively and were selective of cover types (e.g., shrub) that provided greater protection from dehydration. Female toads also preferred certain habitat edges and open forests over forests with closed canopies or clearcuts. Information from this study can assist land managers in establishing protective buffers and managing forests for the protection of toad populations.

  14. Portrait of a small population of boreal toads (anaxyrus boreas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Scherer, R. D.

    2011-01-01

    Much attention has been given to the conservation of small populations, those that are small because of decline, and those that are naturally small. Small populations are of particular interest because ecological theory suggests that they are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of environmental, demographic, and genetic stochasticity as well as natural and human-induced catastrophes. However, testing theory and developing applicable conservation measures for small populations is hampered by sparse data. This lack of information is frequently driven by computational issues with small data sets that can be confounded by the impacts of stressors. We present estimates of demographic parameters from a small population of Boreal Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) that has been surveyed since 2001 by using capturerecapture methods. Estimates of annual adult survival probability are high relative to other Boreal Toad populations, whereas estimates of recruitment rate are low. Despite using simple models, clear patterns emerged from the analyses, suggesting that population size is constrained by low recruitment of adults and is declining slowly. These patterns provide insights that are useful in developing management directions for this small population, and this study serves as an example of the potential for small populations to yield robust and useful information despite sample size constraints. ?? 2011 The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  15. Portrait of a small population of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin; Scherer, Rick D.

    2011-01-01

    Much attention has been given to the conservation of small populations, those that are small because of decline, and those that are naturally small. Small populations are of particular interest because ecological theory suggests that they are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of environmental, demographic, and genetic stochasticity as well as natural and human-induced catastrophes. However, testing theory and developing applicable conservation measures for small populations is hampered by sparse data. This lack of information is frequently driven by computational issues with small data sets that can be confounded by the impacts of stressors. We present estimates of demographic parameters from a small population of Boreal Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) that has been surveyed since 2001 by using capture-recapture methods. Estimates of annual adult survival probability are high relative to other Boreal Toad populations, whereas estimates of recruitment rate are low. Despite using simple models, clear patterns emerged from the analyses, suggesting that population size is constrained by low recruitment of adults and is declining slowly. These patterns provide insights that are useful in developing management directions for this small population, and this study serves as an example of the potential for small populations to yield robust and useful information despite sample size constraints.

  16. Sensory feedback and coordinating asymmetrical landing in toads.

    PubMed

    Cox, S M; Gillis, Gary B

    2016-06-01

    Coordinated landing requires anticipating the timing and magnitude of impact, which in turn requires sensory input. To better understand how cane toads, well known for coordinated landing, prioritize visual versus vestibular feedback during hopping, we recorded forelimb joint angle patterns and electromyographic data from five animals hopping under two conditions that were designed to force animals to land with one forelimb well before the other. In one condition, landing asymmetry was due to mid-air rolling, created by an unstable takeoff surface. In this condition, visual, vestibular and proprioceptive information could be used to predict asymmetric landing. In the other, animals took off normally, but landed asymmetrically because of a sloped landing surface. In this condition, sensory feedback provided conflicting information, and only visual feedback could appropriately predict the asymmetrical landing. During the roll treatment, when all sensory feedback could be used to predict an asymmetrical landing, pre-landing forelimb muscle activity and movement began earlier in the limb that landed first. However, no such asymmetries in forelimb preparation were apparent during hops onto sloped landings when only visual information could be used to predict landing asymmetry. These data suggest that toads prioritize vestibular or proprioceptive information over visual feedback to coordinate landing. PMID:27247440

  17. The antiepileptic drug phenytoin affects sodium transport in toad epithelium.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Mennickent, Sigrid; Norris, Beryl; Cárdenas, Hernan

    2006-01-01

    The effects of phenytoin on isolated Pleurodema thaul toad skin were investigated. Low (micromolar) concentrations of the antiepileptic agent applied to the outside surface of the toad epithelium increased the electrical parameters (short-circuit current and potential difference) by over 40%, reflecting stimulation of Na(+) transport, whereas higher (millimolar concentrations, outside and inside surface) decreased both electric parameters, the effect being greater at the inside surface (40% and 80% decrease, respectively). The amiloride test showed that the stimulatory effect was accompanied by an increase and the inhibitory effect by a decrease in the sodium electromotive force (ENa). It is concluded that the drug interaction with membrane lipid bilayers might result in a distortion of the lipid-protein interface contributing to disturbance of Na(+) epithelial channel activity. After applying the Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase blocker ouabain and replacing the Na(+) ions in the outer Ringer's solution by choline, it was concluded that both active and passive transport are involved in sodium absorption, although active transport predominates. PMID:16314149

  18. Pre-landing wrist muscle activity in hopping toads.

    PubMed

    Ekstrom, Laura J; Gillis, Gary B

    2015-08-01

    Coordinated landing requires preparation. Muscles in the limbs important for decelerating the body should be activated prior to impact so that joints may be stiffened and limbs stabilized during landing. Moreover, because landings vary in impact force and timing, muscle recruitment patterns should be modulated accordingly. In toads, which land using their forelimbs, previous work has demonstrated such modulation in muscles acting at the elbow, but not at the shoulder. In this study, we used electromyography and high-speed video to test the hypothesis that antagonistic muscles acting at the wrists of toads are activated in advance of impact, and that these activation patterns are tuned to the timing and force of impact. We recorded from two wrist extensors: extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) and extensor digitorum communis longus (EDCL), and two wrist flexors: flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) and palmaris longus (PL). Each muscle was recorded in 4-5 animals (≥15 hops per animal). In all muscles, activation intensity was consistently greatest shortly before impact, suggesting the importance of these muscles during landing. Pre-landing recruitment intensity regularly increased with aerial phase duration (i.e. hop distance) in all muscles except PL. In addition, onset timing in both wrist flexors was also modulated with hop distance, with later onset times being associated with longer hops. Thus, activation patterns in major flexors and extensors of the wrist are tuned to hop distance with respect to recruitment intensity, onset timing or both.

  19. Sensory feedback and coordinating asymmetrical landing in toads.

    PubMed

    Cox, S M; Gillis, Gary B

    2016-06-01

    Coordinated landing requires anticipating the timing and magnitude of impact, which in turn requires sensory input. To better understand how cane toads, well known for coordinated landing, prioritize visual versus vestibular feedback during hopping, we recorded forelimb joint angle patterns and electromyographic data from five animals hopping under two conditions that were designed to force animals to land with one forelimb well before the other. In one condition, landing asymmetry was due to mid-air rolling, created by an unstable takeoff surface. In this condition, visual, vestibular and proprioceptive information could be used to predict asymmetric landing. In the other, animals took off normally, but landed asymmetrically because of a sloped landing surface. In this condition, sensory feedback provided conflicting information, and only visual feedback could appropriately predict the asymmetrical landing. During the roll treatment, when all sensory feedback could be used to predict an asymmetrical landing, pre-landing forelimb muscle activity and movement began earlier in the limb that landed first. However, no such asymmetries in forelimb preparation were apparent during hops onto sloped landings when only visual information could be used to predict landing asymmetry. These data suggest that toads prioritize vestibular or proprioceptive information over visual feedback to coordinate landing.

  20. Chronic exposures to monomethyl phthalate in Western clawed frogs.

    PubMed

    Mathieu-Denoncourt, Justine; de Solla, Shane R; Langlois, Valerie S

    2015-08-01

    Polymer flexibility and elasticity is enhanced by plasticizers. However, plasticizers are often not covalently bound to plastics and thus can leach from products into the environment. Much research effort has focused on their effects in mammalian species, but data on aquatic species are scarce. In this study, Western clawed frog (Silurana tropicalis) embryos were exposed to 1.3, 12.3, and 128.7mg/L monomethyl phthalate (MMP) until the juvenile stage (11weeks) and to 1.3mg/L MMP until the adult stage (51weeks). MMP decreased survival, hastened metamorphosis, and biased the sex ratio toward males (2M:1F) at the juvenile stage without altering the expression of a subset of thyroid hormone-, sex steroid-, cellular stress- or transcription regulation-related genes in the juvenile frog livers. At the adult stage, exposure to MMP did not have significant adverse health effects, except that females had larger interocular distance and the expression of the heat shock protein 70 was decreased by 60% in the adult liver. In conclusion, this study shows that MMP is unlikely to threaten amphibian populations as only concentrations four orders of magnitude higher than the reported environmental concentrations altered the animal physiology. This is the first complete investigation of the effects of phthalates in a frog species, encompassing the entire life cycle of the organisms.

  1. Diagnosis of Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium species, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Hill, William A; Newman, Shelley J; Craig, Linden; Carter, Christopher; Czarra, Jane; Brown, J Paige

    2010-01-01

    Here we describe diagnosis of concurrent infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium spp., and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a wild female Xenopus laevis captured in Chile and transported to the United States. After approximately 130 d in the laboratory, the frog was presented for dysecdysis and obtundation. After euthanasia, tissues were submitted for histopathologic evaluation and PCR analysis for B. dendrobatidis and Ranavirus. Clinically significant gross lesions included cutaneous ulcerations on the lip, right forelimb, and ventral chest. Microscopic findings included regionally extensive splenic necrosis, diffuse pneumonia, and fibrinous coelomitis all containing intralesional bacteria. PCR analysis yielded positive results for B. dendrobatidis only. Bacterial culture of the ulcerated skin and liver yielded A. hydrophila. Infection with Contracaecum spp. was diagnosed as an incidental finding. To our knowledge, this case is the first report of simultaneous infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium spp., and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a laboratory-maintained X. laevis captured from the wild. PMID:20353698

  2. Effect of titanium dioxide nanomaterials and ultraviolet light coexposure on African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junling; Wages, Mike; Cox, Stephen B; Maul, Jonathan D; Li, Yujia; Barnes, Melanie; Hope-Weeks, Louisa; Cobb, George P

    2012-01-01

    Titanium dioxide nanomaterials (nano-TiO(2) ) exhibit stronger photochemical oxidation/reduction capacity compared with their bulk counterparts, but the effectiveness of nano-TiO(2) interaction with ultraviolet (UV) light strongly depends on particle size. In this study, the dependence of nano-TiO(2) toxicity on particle size and interaction with UV light were investigated. Toxicity tests with Xenopus laevis included eight concentrations of nano-TiO(2) in the presence of either white light or UVA (315-400 nm). We quantified viability and growth of Xenopus laevis. Results showed that, regardless of UV light exposure, increasing TiO(2) concentration decreased X. laevis survival (p < 0.05). Coexposure to 5-nm TiO(2) and UVA caused near-significant decreases in X. laevis survival (p = 0.08). Coexposure to 10-nm TiO(2) and UVA significantly decreased X. laevis survival (p = 0.005). However, coexposure to 32-nm TiO(2) and UVA had no statistical effect on X. laevis survival (p = 0.8). For all three particle sizes, whether alone or with UV light, the nano-TiO(2) concentrations significantly affected growth of tadpoles as determined by total body length, snout-vent length, and developmental stage. High-concentration TiO(2) solutions suppressed tadpole body length and delayed developmental stages. Further research to explore reasons for the growth and mortality in tadpoles is still underway in our laboratory. Given the widespread application of nano-TiO(2) , our results may be useful in the management of nano-TiO(2) released from industrial, municipal, and nonpoint sources. PMID:22012895

  3. Metamorphic remodeling of the olfactory organ of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Katarina; Kuttler, Josua; Hassenklöver, Thomas; Manzini, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    The amphibian olfactory system undergoes massive remodeling during metamorphosis. The transition from aquatic olfaction in larvae to semiaquatic or airborne olfaction in adults requires anatomical, cellular, and molecular modifications. These changes are particularly pronounced in Pipidae, whose adults have secondarily adapted to an aquatic life style. In the fully aquatic larvae of Xenopus laevis, the main olfactory epithelium specialized for sensing water-borne odorous substances lines the principal olfactory cavity (PC), whereas a separate olfactory epithelium lies in the vomeronasal organ (VNO). During metamorphosis, the epithelium of the PC is rearranged into the adult "air nose," whereas a new olfactory epithelium, the adult "water nose," forms in the emerging middle cavity (MC). Here we performed a stage-by-stage investigation of the anatomical changes of the Xenopus olfactory organ during metamorphosis. We quantified cell death in all olfactory epithelia and found massive cell death in the PC and the VNO, suggesting that the majority of larval sensory neurons is replaced during metamorphosis in both sensory epithelia. The moderate cell death in the MC shows that during the formation of this epithelium some cells are sorted out. Our results show that during MC formation some supporting cells, but not sensory neurons, are relocated from the PC to the MC and that they are eventually eliminated during metamorphosis. Together our findings illustrate the structural and cellular changes of the Xenopus olfactory organ during metamorphosis.

  4. Epistylididae ectoparasites in a colony of African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Pritchett, Kathleen R; Sanders, George E

    2007-03-01

    This report describes the discovery and treatment of a multiagent infection in a captive colony of adult, female Xenopus laevis. Animals were determined to be infected with Saprolegnia sp, a relatively common fungal parasite in laboratory-housed frogs, and a less common ectoparasite, Epistylis sp, that had been described only once before in frogs. We discuss the diagnosis, pathology, and treatment of Epistylis and the importance of water-quality monitoring and husbandry in the care of these research animals.

  5. Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Tyrone B.; Khoury, Vicky; Narayan, Anne; Nazir, Mariam; Park, Andrew; Brown, Travis; Adame, Lillian; Chan, Elton; Buchholz, Daniel; Stueve, Theresa; Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2010-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine is one of the most commonly applied pesticides in the world. As a result, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water. Atrazine is also a potent endocrine disruptor that is active at low, ecologically relevant concentrations. Previous studies showed that atrazine adversely affects amphibian larval development. The present study demonstrates the reproductive consequences of atrazine exposure in adult amphibians. Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults. Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. Atrazine-exposed males suffered from depressed testosterone, decreased breeding gland size, demasculinized/feminized laryngeal development, suppressed mating behavior, reduced spermatogenesis, and decreased fertility. These data are consistent with effects of atrazine observed in other vertebrate classes. The present findings exemplify the role that atrazine and other endocrine-disrupting pesticides likely play in global amphibian declines. PMID:20194757

  6. The Pharmacokinetics of Enrofloxacin in Adult African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis)

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Antwain M; Papich, Mark G; Felt, Stephen A; Long, Charles T; McKeon, Gabriel P; Bond, Emmitt S; Torreilles, Stéphanie L; Luong, Richard H; Green, Sherril L

    2010-01-01

    Pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, was determined in adult female Xenopus laevis after single-dose administration (10 mg/kg) by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. Frogs were evaluated at various time points until 8 h after injection. Plasma was analyzed for antibiotic concentration levels by HPLC. We computed pharmacokinetic parameters by using noncompartmental analysis of the pooled concentrations (naive pooled samples). After intramuscular administration of enrofloxacin, the half-life was 5.32 h, concentration maximum was 10.85 µg/mL, distribution volume was 841.96 mL/kg, and area under the time–concentration curve was 57.59 µg×h/mL; after subcutaneous administration these parameters were 4.08 h, 9.76 µg/mL, 915.85 mL/kg, and 47.42 µg×h/mL, respectively. According to plasma pharmacokinetics, Xenopus seem to metabolize enrofloxacin in a manner similar to mammals: low levels of the enrofloxacin metabolite, ciprofloxacin, were detected in the frogs’ habitat water and plasma. At necropsy, there were no gross or histologic signs of toxicity after single-dose administration; toxicity was not evaluated for repeated dosing. The plasma concentrations reached levels considered effective against common aquatic pathogens and suggest that a single, once-daily dose would be a reasonable regimen to consider when treating sick frogs. The treatment of sick frogs should be based on specific microbiologic identification of the pathogen and on antibiotic susceptibility testing. PMID:21205443

  7. Metabolic cost of osmoregulation in a hypertonic environment in the invasive African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Peña-Villalobos, Isaac; Narváez, Cristóbal; Sabat, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Studies of aquatic invertebrates reveal that salinity affects feeding and growth rates, reproduction, survival, and diversity. Little is known, however, about how salinity impacts the energy budget of vertebrates and amphibians in particular. The few studies focused on this topic in vertebrates suggest that the ingestion of salts and the resulting osmoregulatory activity is energetically expensive. We analyzed the effect of saline acclimation on standard metabolic rates (SMR) and the activities of metabolic enzymes of internal organs and osmoregulatory variables (plasma osmolality and urea plasma level) in females of Xenopus laevis by means of acclimating individuals to an isosmotic (235 mOsm NaCl; ISO group) and hyper-osmotic (340 mOsm NaCl; HYP group) environment for 40 days. After acclimation, we found that total and mass-specific SMR was approximately 80% higher in the HYP group than those found in the ISO group. These changes were accompanied by higher citrate synthase activities in liver and heart in the HYP group than in the ISO group. Furthermore, we found a significant and positive correlation between metabolic rates and plasma urea, and citrate synthase activity in liver and heart. These results support the notion that the cost of osmoregulation is probably common in most animal species and suggest the existence of a functional association between metabolic rates and the adjustments in osmoregulatory physiology, such as blood distribution and urea synthesis. PMID:27334694

  8. Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Hayes, Tyrone B; Khoury, Vicky; Narayan, Anne; Nazir, Mariam; Park, Andrew; Brown, Travis; Adame, Lillian; Chan, Elton; Buchholz, Daniel; Stueve, Theresa; Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2010-03-01

    The herbicide atrazine is one of the most commonly applied pesticides in the world. As a result, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water. Atrazine is also a potent endocrine disruptor that is active at low, ecologically relevant concentrations. Previous studies showed that atrazine adversely affects amphibian larval development. The present study demonstrates the reproductive consequences of atrazine exposure in adult amphibians. Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults. Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. Atrazine-exposed males suffered from depressed testosterone, decreased breeding gland size, demasculinized/feminized laryngeal development, suppressed mating behavior, reduced spermatogenesis, and decreased fertility. These data are consistent with effects of atrazine observed in other vertebrate classes. The present findings exemplify the role that atrazine and other endocrine-disrupting pesticides likely play in global amphibian declines. PMID:20194757

  9. Does atrazine affect larval development and sexual differentiation of South African clawed frogs?

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka; Urbatzka, Ralph; Springer, Tim; Krueger, Hank; Wolf, Jeffrey; Holden, Larry; Hosmer, Alan

    2009-04-01

    The potential impact of atrazine (ATZ) on gonadal malformations in larval Xenopus laevis has been controversially discussed, and a hypothesis has been generated that ATZ might induce the estrogen-synthesizing enzyme aromatase, leading to feminization or demasculinization. Recently, extensive long-term studies clearly indicate that no adverse effect of ATZ on larval development and sexual differentiation could be found. Therefore, to determine potential transient impacts of ATZ on sexual differentiation processes, short-term exposures were conducted using tadpoles treated for 4 days with ATZ at 25 microg/L. The expression levels of the key players for sexual differentiation in amphibians were determined in the brain, assessing aromatase, 5alpha-reductase type 1 (S1) and type 2 (S2), and the gonadotropins luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, and in the gonads, measuring aromatase, S1, and S2, by means of quantitative RT-PCR. No significant changes in any of these parameters have been found, implicating, in accordance with recent long-term exposures, that no aromatase induction by ATZ could be observed, and it seems likely that no further endocrine mechanism of ATZ affecting sexual differentiation in X. laevis exists.

  10. Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Hayes, Tyrone B; Khoury, Vicky; Narayan, Anne; Nazir, Mariam; Park, Andrew; Brown, Travis; Adame, Lillian; Chan, Elton; Buchholz, Daniel; Stueve, Theresa; Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2010-03-01

    The herbicide atrazine is one of the most commonly applied pesticides in the world. As a result, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water. Atrazine is also a potent endocrine disruptor that is active at low, ecologically relevant concentrations. Previous studies showed that atrazine adversely affects amphibian larval development. The present study demonstrates the reproductive consequences of atrazine exposure in adult amphibians. Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults. Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. Atrazine-exposed males suffered from depressed testosterone, decreased breeding gland size, demasculinized/feminized laryngeal development, suppressed mating behavior, reduced spermatogenesis, and decreased fertility. These data are consistent with effects of atrazine observed in other vertebrate classes. The present findings exemplify the role that atrazine and other endocrine-disrupting pesticides likely play in global amphibian declines.

  11. Metabolic cost of osmoregulation in a hypertonic environment in the invasive African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Peña-Villalobos, Isaac; Narváez, Cristóbal

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Studies of aquatic invertebrates reveal that salinity affects feeding and growth rates, reproduction, survival, and diversity. Little is known, however, about how salinity impacts the energy budget of vertebrates and amphibians in particular. The few studies focused on this topic in vertebrates suggest that the ingestion of salts and the resulting osmoregulatory activity is energetically expensive. We analyzed the effect of saline acclimation on standard metabolic rates (SMR) and the activities of metabolic enzymes of internal organs and osmoregulatory variables (plasma osmolality and urea plasma level) in females of Xenopus laevis by means of acclimating individuals to an isosmotic (235 mOsm NaCl; ISO group) and hyper-osmotic (340 mOsm NaCl; HYP group) environment for 40 days. After acclimation, we found that total and mass-specific SMR was approximately 80% higher in the HYP group than those found in the ISO group. These changes were accompanied by higher citrate synthase activities in liver and heart in the HYP group than in the ISO group. Furthermore, we found a significant and positive correlation between metabolic rates and plasma urea, and citrate synthase activity in liver and heart. These results support the notion that the cost of osmoregulation is probably common in most animal species and suggest the existence of a functional association between metabolic rates and the adjustments in osmoregulatory physiology, such as blood distribution and urea synthesis. PMID:27334694

  12. Mortality and morbidity in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) associated with construction noise and vibrations.

    PubMed

    Felt, Stephen A; Cowan, Andrea M; Luong, Richard; Green, Sherril L

    2012-03-01

    In Spring 2008, 175 adult female Xenopus laevis were exposed to construction-related vibrations that caused overt water rippling in the frog tanks. The 3 affected tanks were custom-built static, 300-gal 'pond-style' tanks that sat on the floor of the housing room. The water in the tank developed visible ripples as a result of the vibrations transmitted through the floor during jack-hammering in an adjacent room that was approximately 10 ftaway. All frogs in the tanks displayed buoyancy problems, excessive air gulping, and skin sloughing; ultimately 7 frogs died. In addition, these 7 animals were bloated, and 5 of these 7 had regurgitated and everted their stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity, resulting in airway obstruction and death. Gross pathologic findings included regurgitation and eversion of the stomach of the distal portion of the esophagus into the oral cavity, obstruction of the airway, and lung overinflation. No significant histologic lesions were observed. Construction vibrations transmitted through the water appeared to have disrupted the mechanoreceptive function of the lateral line system, resulting in overstimulation of the noxious feeding response, regurgitation, and eversion of the stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity and subsequent suffocation due to airway obstruction. After immediate cessation of the jack-hammering and relocation of the remaining frogs, no additional morbidities or mortalities occurred. PMID:22776127

  13. Leptin (ob gene) of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Crespi, Erica J.; Denver, Robert J.

    2006-01-01

    Leptin, the protein product of the obese (ob) gene, is a type-I cytokine hormone secreted by fat that is integral to food intake regulation and influences almost every physiological system in juvenile and adult mammals. Since the identification of leptin in the mouse in 1994, biologists have searched for orthologous genes in other species with limited success. In this article, we report the identification and functional characterization of leptin and leptin receptor (LR) in Xenopus. Despite low amino acid sequence similarity to mammalian leptins (≈35%) the frog protein has a nearly identical predicted tertiary structure and can activate the frog and mouse LRs in vitro. We showed that recombinant frog leptin (rxLeptin) is a potent anorexigen in frogs, as it is in mammals, but this response does not develop until midprometamorphosis. However, during early prometamorphosis, exogenous rxLeptin induced growth and development of the hind limb, where LR mRNA is expressed. The rxLeptin also stimulated cell proliferation in cultured hind limbs from early prometamorphic tadpoles, as measured by [3H]thymidine uptake. These findings are evidence that leptin can influence limb growth and differentiation during early development. Furthermore, the isolation and characterization of leptin and its receptor in a nonamniote provides an essential foundation for elucidating the structural and functional evolution of this important hormone. PMID:16782821

  14. Mortality and morbidity in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) associated with construction noise and vibrations.

    PubMed

    Felt, Stephen A; Cowan, Andrea M; Luong, Richard; Green, Sherril L

    2012-03-01

    In Spring 2008, 175 adult female Xenopus laevis were exposed to construction-related vibrations that caused overt water rippling in the frog tanks. The 3 affected tanks were custom-built static, 300-gal 'pond-style' tanks that sat on the floor of the housing room. The water in the tank developed visible ripples as a result of the vibrations transmitted through the floor during jack-hammering in an adjacent room that was approximately 10 ftaway. All frogs in the tanks displayed buoyancy problems, excessive air gulping, and skin sloughing; ultimately 7 frogs died. In addition, these 7 animals were bloated, and 5 of these 7 had regurgitated and everted their stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity, resulting in airway obstruction and death. Gross pathologic findings included regurgitation and eversion of the stomach of the distal portion of the esophagus into the oral cavity, obstruction of the airway, and lung overinflation. No significant histologic lesions were observed. Construction vibrations transmitted through the water appeared to have disrupted the mechanoreceptive function of the lateral line system, resulting in overstimulation of the noxious feeding response, regurgitation, and eversion of the stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity and subsequent suffocation due to airway obstruction. After immediate cessation of the jack-hammering and relocation of the remaining frogs, no additional morbidities or mortalities occurred.

  15. Vitellogenin induction by xenobiotic estrogens in the red-eared turtle and African clawed frog.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, B D; Palmer, S K

    1995-01-01

    Many environmental pollutants have estrogenic activity in animals. Xenobiotic estrogens include many pesticides and industrial chemicals that biocumulate. The impact of these common pollutants on the reproductive success of wildlife may be considerable, particularly in threatened or endangered species. This research examined the use of plasma vitellogenin in males as a biomarker for estrogenic xenobiotics in reptiles and amphibians. Adult male turtles (Trachemys scripta) and frogs (Xenopus laevis) were given ip injections of estradiol-17 beta (E2), diethylstilbestrol (DES), or o,p'-DDT (1-chloro-2-[2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl)benzene) daily for 7 days, and plasma was collected on day 14. The estrogenic activity of each compound was determined by measuring the induction of plasma vitellogenin. Vitellogenin was identified by precipitation, electrophoresis, Western blot, and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA). In both species, estradiol and DES treatments induced the most vitellogenin, whereas DDT treatments induced smaller amounts of vitellogenin in a dose-dependent fashion. These data indicate that induction of plasma vitellogenin in males may be a useful biomarker of xenobiotic estrogen activity in wild populations of reptiles and amphibians. Images Figure 1. Figure 3. PMID:7556019

  16. Molecular characterization of MHC class II in the Australian invasive cane toad reveals multiple splice variants.

    PubMed

    Lillie, Mette; Cui, Jian; Shine, Richard; Belov, Katherine

    2016-07-01

    The cane toad has gained notoriety for its invasion across the Australian landscape, with significant impacts on the native Australian fauna. The invasion has accelerated over time, with invading cane toads adapted for highly dispersive traits. This, however, has come at the cost of the immune system, with lower investment in some immune functions. To investigate the cane toad's immunogenetics, we characterized four major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIA and three MHC class IIB loci. Preliminary observations suggest very low allelic diversity at all loci. We also observed various splice isoforms. One isoform seen at one class IIA and two class IIB loci was missing exon 2, which is essential to peptide binding and presentation. The other isoform, observed at a class IIA locus, is likely to be a soluble MHC product. These results may suggest a significant role of alternative splicing of MHC loci in the Australian cane toad. PMID:27233954

  17. Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) editor version 1.0 user's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bingel, Bradford D.; Shea, Anne L.; Hofler, Alicia S.

    1991-01-01

    The Transferable Output ASCII Data (TOAD) editor is an interactive software tool for manipulating the contents of TOAD files. The TOAD editor is specifically designed to work with tabular data. Selected subsets of data may be displayed to the user's screen, sorted, exchanged, duplicated, removed, replaced, inserted, or transferred to and from external files. It also offers a number of useful features including on-line help, macros, a command history, an 'undo' option, variables, and a full compliment of mathematical functions and conversion factors. Written in ANSI FORTRAN 77 and completely self-contained, the TOAD editor is very portable and has already been installed on SUN, SGI/IRIS, and CONVEX hosts.

  18. Population and habitat viability assessment for the Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri): Final workshop report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2001-01-01

    The Wyoming toad was listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act on January 17, 1984, with a recovery plan approved in 1991. Currently the total population of the Wyoming toad includes approximately 200 animals in the captive breeding program and as few as 62 toads surviving at reintroduction sites in the Laramie Basin based upon fall 2000 survey data (after releases of more than 10,000 toads and tadpoles since 1995). Necessary conservation measures include improving reproduction and survival in the captive breeding program, improving survival at reintroduction sites, developing techniques to control the effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus, and eliminating threats and further habitat degradation in the wild.

  19. All-optical multibit address recognition at 20 Gb/s based on TOAD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yumei; Wu, Jian; Lin, Jintong

    2005-04-01

    All-optical multibit address recognition at 20 Gb/s is demonstrated based on a special AND logic of terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD). The semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) used in the TOAD is biased at transparency status to accelerate the gain recovery. This is the highest bit rate that multibit address recognition is demonstrated with SOA-based interferometer. The experimental results show low pattern dependency. With this method, address recognition can be performed without separating address and payload beforehand.

  20. Temperature, hydric environment, and prior pathogen exposure alter the experimental severity of chytridiomycosis in boreal toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Peter J.; St-Hilaire, Sophie; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Prevalence of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), implicated in amphibian population declines worldwide, is associated with habitat moisture and temperature, but few studies have varied these factors and measured the response to infection in amphibian hosts. We evaluated how varying humidity, contact with water, and temperature affected the manifestation of chytridiomycosis in boreal toads Anaxyrus (Bufo) boreas boreas and how prior exposure to Bd affects the likelihood of survival after re-exposure, such as may occur seasonally in long-lived species. Humidity did not affect survival or the degree of Bd infection, but a longer time in contact with water increased the likelihood of mortality. After exposure to ~106 Bd zoospores, all toads in continuous contact with water died within 30 d. Moreover, Bd-exposed toads that were disease-free after 64 d under dry conditions, developed lethal chytridiomycosis within 70 d of transfer to wet conditions. Toads in unheated aquaria (mean = 15°C) survived less than 48 d, while those in moderately heated aquaria (mean = 18°C) survived 115 d post-exposure and exhibited behavioral fever, selecting warmer sites across a temperature gradient. We also found benefits of prior Bd infection: previously exposed toads survived 3 times longer than Bd-naïve toads after re-exposure to 106 zoospores (89 vs. 30 d), but only when dry microenvironments were available. This study illustrates how the outcome of Bd infection in boreal toads is environmentally dependent: when continuously wet, high reinfection rates may overwhelm defenses, but periodic drying, moderate warming, and previous infection may allow infected toads to extend their survival.

  1. Temperature dependence of catecholamine depletion by reserpine in the heat of the toad (Bufo marinus)

    PubMed Central

    Chang, P.; Rand, M. J.

    1971-01-01

    1. The catecholamines in toad ventricle were adrenaline (90%) and noradrenaline (10%); there was no dopamine. 2. Phenoxybenzamine and tyramine stimulated the isolated heart and reduced the catecholamine content. 3. Reserpine treatment of toads kept at 20° C did not affect the adrenaline but reduced the noradrenaline content of the ventricle. 4. At 37° C, reserpine caused depletion of both adrenaline and noradrenaline, and the stimulant actions of phenoxybenzamine and tyramine were lost. PMID:4104653

  2. Urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to capture and captivity in the cane toad (Rhinella marina).

    PubMed

    Narayan, Edward J; Cockrem, John F; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2011-09-01

    Urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to capture have recently been shown for the first time in amphibians, and in the present study urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to capture and to confinement in captivity were measured in adult cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Queensland, Australia. An adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge was used to provide a biological validation for urinary corticosterone metabolite concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Urinary corticosterone metabolite increased 1-2 days after ACTH but not saline injection and then returned to initial values, indicating that the RIA could detect changes in corticosterone secretion in toads. Urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to short-term capture and restraint in plastic bags were first apparent 2h after capture of wild toads. Toads held communally in captivity for 5 days had elevated urinary corticosterone metabolite concentrations. Mean corticosterone concentrations declined significantly after a further 7 days in individual housing chambers. There was no sex difference in urinary corticosterone metabolite responses of toads to ACTH challenge, short-term capture or captivity. The relative amount of variation in the mean corticosterone responses was quantified by calculating coefficients of variation (CV) for each mean corticosterone response. Mean corticosterone at 0 min was more variable for captive toads than wild toads. Furthermore, initial corticosterone concentrations (0 min) were more variable than concentrations during the ACTH challenge, short-term capture and captivity. There was little change in the amount of variation of mean corticosterone levels between male and female toads with increasing time in captivity (12-29 days). This study has shown individual corticosterone responses of amphibians for the first-time, and has provided a novel method for quantifying the relative amount of variation in amphibian corticosterone responses.

  3. Morphological correlates of the grooming claw in distal phalanges of platyrrhines and other primates: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Maiolino, Stephanie; Boyer, Doug M; Rosenberger, Alfred

    2011-12-01

    Grooming claws are present on the second pedal digits of strepsirhines and on the second and third pedal digits of tarsiers. However, their presence in New World monkeys is often overlooked. As such, the absence of a grooming claw is generally considered an anthropoid synapomorphy. This study utilizes a quantitative multivariate analysis to define grooming claw morphology and document its presence in platyrrhine monkeys. Our results show that owl monkeys possess grooming claws similar to those of strepsirhines, while titi monkeys possess grooming claw-like morphology. Therefore, we conclude that anthropoids are not clearly united by the absence of a grooming claw. Furthermore, due to their presence in three major primate clades, we infer that it is likely that a grooming claw was present on the second pedal digit of the ancestor of living primates. Therefore, we advise the reassessment of fossil adapids in light of the anatomical correlates described here. This should increase resolution on the homology and polarity of grooming claw morphology, and, therefore, will help provide a sharper picture of primate evolution.

  4. Terahertz-optical-asymmetric-demultiplexer (TOAD)-based arithmetic units for ultra-fast optical information processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherri, Abdallah K.

    2010-04-01

    In this paper, designs of ultra-fast all-optical based Terahertz-optical-asymmetric-demultiplexer (TOAD)-based devices are reported. Using TOAD switches, adders/subtracters units are demonstrated. The high speed is achieved due to the use of the nonlinear optical materials and the nonbinary modified signed-digit (MSD) number representation. The proposed all-optical circuits are compared in terms of numbers TOAD switches, optical amplifiers and wavelength converters.

  5. Origin and genome evolution of polyploid green toads in Central Asia: evidence from microsatellite markers

    PubMed Central

    Betto-Colliard, C; Sermier, R; Litvinchuk, S; Perrin, N; Stöck, M

    2015-01-01

    Polyploidization, which is expected to trigger major genomic reorganizations, occurs much less commonly in animals than in plants, possibly because of constraints imposed by sex-determination systems. We investigated the origins and consequences of allopolyploidization in Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) from Central Asia, with three ploidy levels and different modes of genome transmission (sexual versus clonal), to (i) establish a topology for the reticulate phylogeny in a species-rich radiation involving several closely related lineages and (ii) explore processes of genomic reorganization that may follow polyploidization. Sibship analyses based on 30 cross-amplifying microsatellite markers substantiated the maternal origins and revealed the paternal origins and relationships of subgenomes in allopolyploids. Analyses of the synteny of linkage groups identified three markers affected by translocation events, which occurred only within the paternally inherited subgenomes of allopolyploid toads and exclusively affected the linkage group that determines sex in several diploid species of the green toad radiation. Recombination rates did not differ between diploid and polyploid toad species, and were overall much reduced in males, independent of linkage group and ploidy levels. Clonally transmitted subgenomes in allotriploid toads provided support for strong genetic drift, presumably resulting from recombination arrest. The Palearctic green toad radiation seems to offer unique opportunities to investigate the consequences of polyploidization and clonal transmission on the dynamics of genomes in vertebrates. PMID:25370211

  6. Biotic Resistance to an Alien Amphibian: Larval Competition between Japanese Frogs and Invasive Cane Toads.

    PubMed

    Haramura, Takashi; Takeuchi, Hirohiko; Crossland, Michael R; Shine, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Understanding negative effects of native species on introduced taxa may suggest novel ways to control the invasive species by enhancing such effects. Previous studies have reported that the larvae of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) are suppressed by competition with the larvae of native anurans in Australia, but not in North America. We conducted laboratory trials to measure the effect of exposure to the larvae of Japanese frogs (Microhyla ornata, Fejervarya sakishimensis, Rhacophorus owstoni) on rates of survival, growth and development of cane toad tadpoles in Ishigaki Island, in southern Japan. Survival rates were not affected by native species, but competition with Dicroglossids and Rhacophorids (but not Microhylids) strongly reduced rates of growth and development in the tadpoles of cane toads. Dicroglossid tadpoles also reduced the body condition to toad tadpoles in addition to effects on SVL and mass. Encouraging populations of native frogs in toad-invaded areas of Japan thus may help to reduce the numbers of invasive cane toads. PMID:27253973

  7. Toad heart utilizes exclusively slow skeletal muscle troponin T: an evolutionary adaptation with potential functional benefits.

    PubMed

    Feng, Han-Zhong; Chen, Xuequn; Hossain, M Moazzem; Jin, Jian-Ping

    2012-08-24

    The three isoforms of vertebrate troponin T (TnT) are normally expressed in a muscle type-specific manner. Here we report an exception that the cardiac muscle of toad (Bufo) expresses exclusively slow skeletal muscle TnT (ssTnT) together with cardiac forms of troponin I and myosin as determined using immunoblotting, cDNA cloning, and/or LC-MS/MS. Using RT-PCR and 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends on toad cardiac mRNA, we cloned full-length cDNAs encoding two alternatively spliced variants of ssTnT. Expression of the cloned cDNAs in Escherichia coli confirmed that the toad cardiac muscle expresses solely ssTnT, predominantly the low molecular weight variant with the exon 5-encoded NH(2)-terminal segment spliced out. Functional studies were performed in ex vivo working toad hearts and compared with the frog (Rana) hearts. The results showed that toad hearts had higher contractile and relaxation velocities and were able to work against a significantly higher afterload than that of frog hearts. Therefore, the unique evolutionary adaptation of utilizing exclusively ssTnT in toad cardiac muscle corresponded to a fitness value from improving systolic function of the heart. The data demonstrated a physiological importance of the functional diversity of TnT isoforms. The structure-function relationship of TnT may be explored for the development of new treatment of heart failure.

  8. Biotic Resistance to an Alien Amphibian: Larval Competition between Japanese Frogs and Invasive Cane Toads

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Understanding negative effects of native species on introduced taxa may suggest novel ways to control the invasive species by enhancing such effects. Previous studies have reported that the larvae of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) are suppressed by competition with the larvae of native anurans in Australia, but not in North America. We conducted laboratory trials to measure the effect of exposure to the larvae of Japanese frogs (Microhyla ornata, Fejervarya sakishimensis, Rhacophorus owstoni) on rates of survival, growth and development of cane toad tadpoles in Ishigaki Island, in southern Japan. Survival rates were not affected by native species, but competition with Dicroglossids and Rhacophorids (but not Microhylids) strongly reduced rates of growth and development in the tadpoles of cane toads. Dicroglossid tadpoles also reduced the body condition to toad tadpoles in addition to effects on SVL and mass. Encouraging populations of native frogs in toad-invaded areas of Japan thus may help to reduce the numbers of invasive cane toads. PMID:27253973

  9. Toad heart utilizes exclusively slow skeletal muscle troponin T: an evolutionary adaptation with potential functional benefits.

    PubMed

    Feng, Han-Zhong; Chen, Xuequn; Hossain, M Moazzem; Jin, Jian-Ping

    2012-08-24

    The three isoforms of vertebrate troponin T (TnT) are normally expressed in a muscle type-specific manner. Here we report an exception that the cardiac muscle of toad (Bufo) expresses exclusively slow skeletal muscle TnT (ssTnT) together with cardiac forms of troponin I and myosin as determined using immunoblotting, cDNA cloning, and/or LC-MS/MS. Using RT-PCR and 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends on toad cardiac mRNA, we cloned full-length cDNAs encoding two alternatively spliced variants of ssTnT. Expression of the cloned cDNAs in Escherichia coli confirmed that the toad cardiac muscle expresses solely ssTnT, predominantly the low molecular weight variant with the exon 5-encoded NH(2)-terminal segment spliced out. Functional studies were performed in ex vivo working toad hearts and compared with the frog (Rana) hearts. The results showed that toad hearts had higher contractile and relaxation velocities and were able to work against a significantly higher afterload than that of frog hearts. Therefore, the unique evolutionary adaptation of utilizing exclusively ssTnT in toad cardiac muscle corresponded to a fitness value from improving systolic function of the heart. The data demonstrated a physiological importance of the functional diversity of TnT isoforms. The structure-function relationship of TnT may be explored for the development of new treatment of heart failure. PMID:22778265

  10. Locomotion Disorders and Skin and Claw Lesions in Gestating Sows Housed in Dynamic versus Static Groups

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Emilie-Julie; Maes, Dominiek; van Riet, Miriam M. J.; Millet, Sam; Ampe, Bart; Janssens, Geert P. J.; Tuyttens, Frank A. M.

    2016-01-01

    Lameness and lesions to the skin and claws of sows in group housing are commonly occurring indicators of reduced welfare. Typically, these problems are more common in group housing than in individual housing systems. Group management type (dynamic versus static) and stage of gestation influence the behavior of the animals, which in turn influences the occurrence of these problems. The present study compared prevalence, incidence and mean scores of lameness and skin and claw lesions in static versus dynamic group housed sows at different stages of gestation during three consecutive reproductive cycles. A total of 10 Belgian sow herds were monitored; 5 in which dynamic groups and 5 in which static groups were utilized. All sows were visually assessed for lameness and skin lesions three times per cycle and the claws of the hind limbs were assessed once per cycle. Lameness and claw lesions were assessed using visual analogue scales. Static groups, in comparison with dynamic groups, demonstrated lower lameness scores (P<0.05) and decreased skin lesion prevalence (24.9 vs. 47.3%, P<0.05) at the end of gestation. There was no difference between treatment group regarding claw lesion prevalence with 75.5% of sows demonstrating claw lesions regardless of group management. Prevalences of lameness (22.4 vs. 8.9%, P<0.05) and skin lesions (46.6 vs. 4.4%, P<0.05) were highest during the group-housed phase compared to the individually housed phases. Although the prevalence of lameness and skin lesions did not differ three days after grouping versus at the end of the group-housing phase, their incidence peaked during the first three days after moving from the insemination stalls to the group. In conclusion, the first three days after grouping was the most risky period for lameness incidence, but there was no significant difference between static or dynamic group management. PMID:27680675

  11. Comparison of claw health and milk yield in dairy cows on elastic or concrete flooring.

    PubMed

    Kremer, P V; Nueske, S; Scholz, A M; Foerster, M

    2007-10-01

    This article reports on the effects of elastic (rubber) flooring compared with concrete flooring on claw health and milk yield in dairy cows. Milk yield and activity data of 53 complete lactations from 49 cows were recorded by an automatic milking system in the University of Munich Livestock Center dairy herd. Cows were kept in a loose housing system on concrete-slatted or rubber-matted slatted flooring. Claws were trimmed and measured linearly in combination with claw lesion diagnosis 3 times during one lactation period (including the transition phase). An automatic milking system recorded milk yield and activity. The net horn growth of the claws increased on elastic flooring. Therefore, correct and frequent claw trimming is at least as important for claw health in dairy herds kept on rubber flooring as for those on concrete-slatted flooring. Cows housed on rubber had an increased incidence of sole ulcers. Sole hemorrhages (except for hemorrhages associated with sole ulcers) occurred less frequently on rubber than on concrete. Results concerning digital dermatitis were difficult to assess, because manual manure scraping on rubber required sprinkling the flooring twice daily, which additionally moistened the digital skin of the cows. This might explain the greater incidence of digital dermatitis on elastic flooring. The incidence of clinically lame cows did not differ between flooring types. Cows showed greater activity on rubber, most likely caused by the more comfortable walking surface compared with the concrete-slatted flooring. The greater activity may indicate better overall health of high-yielding dairy cows on rubber flooring. Milk yield, however, did not differ between flooring types.

  12. Prevalence of claw disorders in Dutch dairy cows exposed to several floor systems.

    PubMed

    Somers, J G C J; Frankena, K; Noordhuizen-Stassen, E N; Metz, J H M

    2003-06-01

    Claw health was examined in an observational study on Dutch dairy farms with either a slatted floor (SL), slatted floor with manure scraper (SL-SCR), solid concrete floor (SCF), a straw yard (SY), or a zero-grazing feeding system (ZG). Hooves of cows' hind legs were examined for the presence and severity of claw disorders during hoof trimming events at the end of the pasture (P-study) and housing period (H-study). The number of cows in each study was 3078 (49 herds) and 3190 (47 herds), respectively. Due to a different hoof trimming strategy, data collected during both observation periods in SY herds (638 cows; 16 herds) were combined. Cows in straw yards (SY) had by far the lowest numbers of claw disorders. Over 80% of cows exposed to concrete flooring had at least one claw disorder at the time of observation, whereas on SY surfaces, this percentage was between 55 and 60. Cows on SL-SCR were less frequently affected by interdigital dermatitis/heel erosion (IDHE) and digital dermatitis (DD) than cows on SL (reference floor system). Little difference in claw health was found between SF and SL. The ZG cows were at higher risk (OR > 2) for most claw disorders in the P-study, whereas in the H-study, ZG cows showed less IDHE, sole hemorrhage, and sole ulcer. All herds on concrete flooring (SL, SL-SCR, SCF, ZG) were infected by DD, resulting in an average cow level prevalence of 30%. This indicates that the level of DD infection has increased considerably over the last 10 yr in The Netherlands.

  13. Evidence for a Grooming Claw in a North American Adapiform Primate: Implications for Anthropoid Origins

    PubMed Central

    Maiolino, Stephanie; Boyer, Doug M.; Bloch, Jonathan I.; Gilbert, Christopher C.; Groenke, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Among fossil primates, the Eocene adapiforms have been suggested as the closest relatives of living anthropoids (monkeys, apes, and humans). Central to this argument is the form of the second pedal digit. Extant strepsirrhines and tarsiers possess a grooming claw on this digit, while most anthropoids have a nail. While controversial, the possible presence of a nail in certain European adapiforms has been considered evidence for anthropoid affinities. Skeletons preserved well enough to test this idea have been lacking for North American adapiforms. Here, we document and quantitatively analyze, for the first time, a dentally associated skeleton of Notharctus tenebrosus from the early Eocene of Wyoming that preserves the complete bones of digit II in semi-articulation. Utilizing twelve shape variables, we compare the distal phalanges of Notharctus tenebrosus to those of extant primates that bear nails (n = 21), tegulae (n = 4), and grooming claws (n = 10), and those of non-primates that bear claws (n = 7). Quantitative analyses demonstrate that Notharctus tenebrosus possessed a grooming claw with a surprisingly well-developed apical tuft on its second pedal digit. The presence of a wide apical tuft on the pedal digit II of Notharctus tenebrosus may reflect intermediate morphology between a typical grooming claw and a nail, which is consistent with the recent hypothesis that loss of a grooming claw occurred in a clade containing adapiforms (e.g. Darwinius masillae) and anthropoids. However, a cladistic analysis including newly documented morphologies and thorough representation of characters acknowledged to have states constituting strepsirrhine, haplorhine, and anthropoid synapomorphies groups Notharctus tenebrosus and Darwinius masillae with extant strepsirrhines rather than haplorhines suggesting that the form of pedal digit II reflects substantial homoplasy during the course of early primate evolution. PMID:22253707

  14. Evidence for a grooming claw in a North American adapiform primate: implications for anthropoid origins.

    PubMed

    Maiolino, Stephanie; Boyer, Doug M; Bloch, Jonathan I; Gilbert, Christopher C; Groenke, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Among fossil primates, the Eocene adapiforms have been suggested as the closest relatives of living anthropoids (monkeys, apes, and humans). Central to this argument is the form of the second pedal digit. Extant strepsirrhines and tarsiers possess a grooming claw on this digit, while most anthropoids have a nail. While controversial, the possible presence of a nail in certain European adapiforms has been considered evidence for anthropoid affinities. Skeletons preserved well enough to test this idea have been lacking for North American adapiforms. Here, we document and quantitatively analyze, for the first time, a dentally associated skeleton of Notharctus tenebrosus from the early Eocene of Wyoming that preserves the complete bones of digit II in semi-articulation. Utilizing twelve shape variables, we compare the distal phalanges of Notharctus tenebrosus to those of extant primates that bear nails (n = 21), tegulae (n = 4), and grooming claws (n = 10), and those of non-primates that bear claws (n = 7). Quantitative analyses demonstrate that Notharctus tenebrosus possessed a grooming claw with a surprisingly well-developed apical tuft on its second pedal digit. The presence of a wide apical tuft on the pedal digit II of Notharctus tenebrosus may reflect intermediate morphology between a typical grooming claw and a nail, which is consistent with the recent hypothesis that loss of a grooming claw occurred in a clade containing adapiforms (e.g. Darwinius masillae) and anthropoids. However, a cladistic analysis including newly documented morphologies and thorough representation of characters acknowledged to have states constituting strepsirrhine, haplorhine, and anthropoid synapomorphies groups Notharctus tenebrosus and Darwinius masillae with extant strepsirrhines rather than haplorhines suggesting that the form of pedal digit II reflects substantial homoplasy during the course of early primate evolution.

  15. Dynamic sexual dichromatism in an explosively breeding Neotropical toad

    PubMed Central

    Doucet, Stéphanie M.; Mennill, Daniel J.

    2010-01-01

    Sexual selection often promotes the evolution of elaborate colour signals in males, but the importance of sexually selected colour signals remains poorly studied in amphibians. We used reflectance spectrometry to document pronounced sexual dichromatism and dramatic colour change in Bufo luetkenii, a toad that breeds in large aggregations at the onset of the rainy season in Costa Rica. Our observations suggest that males fade rapidly from a vibrant lemon yellow to a dull brown once they have paired with a female. We demonstrate this by showing that males are much brighter than females and that unpaired males are more colourful than males in amplexus. We also show that coloration fades rapidly when males are briefly held captive. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to document such dynamic change in male coloration and sexual dichromatism in anurans. PMID:19793736

  16. Influence of demography and environment on persistence in toad populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, Brad A.; Schorr, Robert A.; Schneider, Scott C.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Effective conservation of rare species requires an understanding of how potential threats affect population dynamics. Unfortunately, information about population demographics prior to threats (i.e., baseline data) is lacking for many species. Perturbations, caused by climate change, disease, or other stressors can lead to population declines and heightened conservation concerns. Boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) have undergone rangewide declines due mostly to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), with only a few sizable populations remaining in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, that are disease-free. Despite the apparent region-wide occurrence of Bd, our focal populations in central Colorado were disease free over a 14-year capture-mark-recapture study until the recent discovery of Bd at one of the sites. We used recapture data and the Pradel reverse-time model to assess the influence of environmental and site-specific conditions on survival and recruitment. We then forecast changes in the toad populations with 2 growth models; one using an average lambda value to initiate the projection, and one using the most recent value to capture potential effects of the incursion of disease into the system. Adult survival was consistently high at the 3 sites, whereas recruitment was more variable and markedly low at 1 site. We found that active season moisture, active season length, and breeding shallows were important factors in estimating recruitment. Population growth models indicated a slight increase at 1 site but decreasing trends at the 2 other sites, possibly influenced by low recruitment. Insight into declining species management can be gained from information on survival and recruitment and how site-specific environmental factors influence these demographic parameters. Our data are particularly useful because they provide baseline data on demographics in populations before a disease outbreak and enhance our ability to detect changes

  17. Cardiorespiratory effects of forced activity and digestion in toads.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Johnnie Bremholm; Wang, Tobias

    2003-01-01

    Digestion and physical activity are associated with large and sometimes opposite changes in several physiological parameters. Gastric acid secretion during digestion causes increased levels of plasma bicarbonate ([HCO-3](pl)), whereas activity leads to a metabolic acidosis with increased lactate and decrease in plasma bicarbonate. Here we describe the combined effects of feeding and activity in the toad Bufo marinus to investigate whether the increased bicarbonate buffering capacity during digestion (the so-called alkaline tide) protects the acid-base disturbance during activity and enhances the subsequent recovery. In addition, we describe the changes in arterial oxygen levels and plasma ion composition, as well as rates of gas exchange, heart rates, and blood pressures. Toads were equipped with catheters in the femoral artery and divided into four experimental regimes: control, digestion, forced activity, and forced activity during the postprandial period (N=6 in each). Digestion induced a significant metabolic alkalosis with increased [HCO-3](pl) that was completely balanced by a respiratory acidosis; that is, increased arterial Pco(2) (P(a)co(2)), so that arterial pH (pH(a)) did not change. Forced activity led to a substantial reduction in pH(a) by 0.43 units, an increase in plasma lactate concentration by 12.5 mmol L(-1), and a reduction in [HCO-3](pl) of similar magnitude. While digesting animals had higher P(a)co(2) and [HCO-3](pl) at rest, the magnitude and duration of the changes in arterial acid-base parameters were similar to those of fasting animals, although the reduction in pH(a) was somewhat lower (0.32 units). In conclusion, while recovery from the acidosis following exercise did not seem to be affected by digestion, the alkaline tide did slightly dampen the reduction in pH(a) during activity.

  18. Detection of single photons by toad and mouse rods.

    PubMed

    Reingruber, Jürgen; Pahlberg, Johan; Woodruff, Michael L; Sampath, Alapakkam P; Fain, Gordon L; Holcman, David

    2013-11-26

    Amphibian and mammalian rods can both detect single photons of light even though they differ greatly in physical dimensions, mammalian rods being much smaller in diameter than amphibian rods. To understand the changes in physiology and biochemistry required by such large differences in outer segment geometry, we developed a computational approach, taking into account the spatial organization of the outer segment divided into compartments, together with molecular dynamics simulations of the signaling cascade. We generated simulations of the single-photon response together with intrinsic background fluctuations in toad and mouse rods. Combining this computational approach with electrophysiological data from mouse rods, we determined key biochemical parameters. On average around one phosphodiesterase (PDE) molecule is spontaneously active per mouse compartment, similar to the value for toad, which is unexpected due to the much smaller diameter in mouse. A larger number of spontaneously active PDEs decreases dark noise, thereby improving detection of single photons; it also increases cGMP turnover, which accelerates the decay of the light response. These constraints explain the higher PDE density in mammalian compared with amphibian rods that compensates for the much smaller diameter of mammalian disks. We further find that the rate of cGMP hydrolysis by light-activated PDE is diffusion limited, which is not the case for spontaneously activated PDE. As a consequence, in the small outer segment of a mouse rod only a few activated PDEs are sufficient to generate a signal that overcomes noise, which permits a shorter lifetime of activated rhodopsin and greater temporal resolution.

  19. Anterior Chamber Iris Claw Lens for the Treatment of Aphakia in a Patient with Megalocornea

    PubMed Central

    Saffra, Norman; Rakhamimov, Aleksandr; Masini, Robert; Rosenthal, Kenneth J.

    2015-01-01

    Megalocornea in isolation is a rare congenital enlargement of the cornea greater than 13 mm in diameter. Patients with megalocornea are prone to cataract formation, crystalline lens subluxation, zonular deficiencies and dislocation of the posterior chamber intraocular lens (PCIOL) within the capsular bag. A 55-year-old male with megalocornea in isolation developed subluxation of the capsular bag and PCIOL. The PCIOL and capsular bag were explanted, and the patient was subsequently implanted with an anterior chamber iris claw lens. An anterior chamber iris claw lens is an effective option for the correction of aphakia in patients with megalocornea. PMID:26120314

  20. Effect of different flooring systems on weight and pressure distribution on claws of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Telezhenko, E; Bergsten, C; Magnusson, M; Ventorp, M; Nilsson, C

    2008-05-01

    Weight and pressure distribution on the claw were studied in Swedish Holsteins housed in different flooring systems. A total of 127 cows housed in different sections of the experimental barn were used. Each section had different flooring in the walking and standing areas. There were rubber mats or abrasive mastic asphalt flooring on the alleys or a low-abrasive slatted concrete floor. Some sections had feed-stalls equipped with rubber mats; other sections did not. The vertical ground reaction force, contact area, and average contact pressure were determined on the left hind foot using the I-Scan system and analyzed with the F-scan system. These determinations were made in each of the following 3 zones of the claw: bulb, wall, and sole. Most of the weight on claws exposed to concrete floors was carried by the bulb (37.4 +/- 3.5 and 18.3 +/- 2.9% of weight exerted on the foot in the lateral and medial claw, respectively) and the wall zone (20.0 +/- 2.6 and 13.4 +/- 2.4% on lateral and medial claw, respectively). The weight and pressure distribution in cows kept on sections with rubber covered alleys but passing daily over the asphalt floor on their way to the milking parlor did not differ in any zones, except for lateral bulbs, compared with those exposed to slatted concrete alone. Still, the weight bearing of the sole zone in cows kept on rubber mats without access to asphalt was less than that of cows kept on concrete slatted floors (5.1 +/- 0.7 vs. 12.7 +/- 1.1% and 1.1 +/- 0.5 vs. 8.7 +/- 0.7% in lateral and medial claws, respectively). In cows kept on asphalt flooring without feed-stalls, most weight was exerted to the sole zone (36.2 +/- 2.9 and 22.2 +/- 1.8% in lateral and medial claws, respectively). Feed-stalls in combination with asphalt flooring yielded a decreased total contact area (30.1 +/- 1.2 cm(2)) compared with asphalt floors without feed-stalls (35.7 +/- 1.2 cm(2)). The largest total contact area was obtained on the asphalt floor without feed

  1. Magnetic orientation of the Common Toad: establishing an arena approach for adult anurans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Magnetic orientation is a taxonomically widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom, but has been little studied in anuran amphibians. We collected Common Toads (Bufo bufo) during their migration towards their spawning pond and tested them shortly after displacement for possible magnetic orientation in arena experiments. Animals were tested in two different set-ups, in the geomagnetic field and in a reversed magnetic field. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study testing orientation of adult anurans with a controlled magnetic field of a known strength and alignment. Results After displacement, toads oriented themselves unimodally under the geomagnetic field, following their former migration direction (d-axis). When the magnetic field was reversed, the distribution of bearings changed from a unimodal to a bimodal pattern, but still along the d-axis. The clustering of bearings was only significant after the toads reached the outer circle, 60.5 cm from their starting point. At a virtual inner circle (diameter 39 cm) and at the start of the experiment, orientation of toads did not show any significant pattern. Conclusions The experimental set-up used in our study is suitable to test orientation behaviour of the Common Toad. We speculate that toads had not enough time to relocate their position on an internal map. Hence, they followed their former migration direction. Bimodality in orientation when exposed to the reversed magnetic field could be the result of a cue conflict, between magnetic and possibly celestial cues. For maintaining their migration direction toads use, at least partly, the geomagnetic field as a reference system. PMID:21418651

  2. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, D.S.; Muths, E.; Scherer, R. D.; Bartelt, P.E.; Corn, P.S.; Hossack, B.R.; Lambert, B.A.; Mccaffery, R.; Gaughan, C.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect of the presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]; the agent of chytridiomycosis) on survival probability and population growth rate. Toads that were infected with Bd had lower average annual survival probability than uninfected individuals at sites where Bd was detected, which suggests chytridiomycosis may reduce survival by 31-42% in wild boreal toads. Toads that were negative for Bd at infected sites had survival probabilities comparable to toads at the uninfected site. Evidence that environmental covariates (particularly cold temperatures during the breeding season) influenced toad survival was weak. The number of individuals in diseased populations declined by 5-7%/year over the 6 years of the study, whereas the uninfected population had comparatively stable population growth. Our data suggest that the presence of Bd in these toad populations is not causing rapid population declines. Rather, chytridiomycosis appears to be functioning as a low-level, chronic disease whereby some infected individuals survive but the overall population effects are still negative. Our results show that some amphibian populations may be coexisting with Bd and highlight the importance of quantitative assessments of survival in diseased animal populations. Journal compilation. ?? 2010 Society for Conservation Biology. No claim to original US government works.

  3. Target of Opportunity Observations of TOADS: Finding the Dust in Super-Outburst Ejecta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoard, Donald; Ciardi, David; Howell, Steve

    2008-03-01

    Tremendous Outburst Amplitude Dwarf novae (TOADs) consist of a white dwarf primary star and an extremely low mass main sequence or brown dwarf-like secondary star. The latter fills its Roche lobe and transfers matter to the white dwarf through the inner Lagrange point into an accretion disk. TOADs undergo non-thermonuclear (i.e., disk instability) super-outbursts on timescales of decades. During the decline from super-outburst peak they display a characteristic dip in light curves at visible wavelengths, reminiscent of what is observed in slow classical (i.e., thermonuclear runaway) novae. In classical novae, the visible light dip is attributed to the formation of dust in the nova ejecta but, until now, the cause of the dip in TOAD light curves has remained unclear. In 2004, a previously unknown TOAD was discovered as it went into super-outburst, and our team was granted a Spitzer DDT program with which we have detected the likely formation of dust in the outburst ejecta. We now propose a Target of Opportunity program with Spitzer to observe an additional super-outbursting TOAD, in order to address the following questions: 1) Do all TOADs produce dust during their outbursts?; 2) What is the timescale for dust formation and dissipation?; 3) How much dust is produced during a super-outburst?; and 4) How does the dust production scale with the outburst amplitude? Spitzer is uniquely capable of detecting and characterizing the dust formed in the ejecta during super-outbursts and fundamentally changing the understanding of TOADs, their super-outbursts, and their contribution to the recycling of the interstellar medium.

  4. Cloning the sterol carrier protein 2 genes of Japanese toad (Bufo japonicus formosus) and Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) and its tissue expression analysis.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yu-Cheng; Zhuge, Hui; Zhang, Shan-Shan; Zhang, Shu-Fang; Yang, Xian-Yu

    2014-09-01

    In this study, to clarify the bioactive polypeptides included in the skins and secretions of Bufo, we screened the Japanese toad (Bufo japonicus formosus) skin cDNA liary by colony polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and obtained a transcript of 1 075 bp consisting of 1 37 bp 5' untranslated region (UTR), 515 bp 3' UTR and a 423 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polypeptide of 140 amino acid residues (GenBank accession number: KF359945). Homolog analysis showed a 70%-96% homology with sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) present in other animals, which is implicated in lipid metabolism of other organisms. The gene SCP-2 of Chinese toad (B. gargarizans) was cloned from a first strand cDNA of Bufo skin (GenBank accession number: KF381341) via PCR, whose encoding polypeptide has only one amino acid difference from that of Japanese toad. Tissue distribution analysis showed that SCP-2 expressed in all organs tested, though in the liver and spleen it manifested lower expression than in other organs. These findings might indicate SCP-2 being one of the active ingredients in toad skin. These findings may in turn have implications for further drug development from traditional Chinese medicine sources.

  5. Cloning the sterol carrier protein 2 genes of Japanese toad (Bufo japonicus formosus) and Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) and its tissue expression analysis.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yu-Cheng; Zhuge, Hui; Zhang, Shan-Shan; Zhang, Shu-Fang; Yang, Xian-Yu

    2014-09-01

    In this study, to clarify the bioactive polypeptides included in the skins and secretions of Bufo, we screened the Japanese toad (Bufo japonicus formosus) skin cDNA liary by colony polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and obtained a transcript of 1 075 bp consisting of 1 37 bp 5' untranslated region (UTR), 515 bp 3' UTR and a 423 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polypeptide of 140 amino acid residues (GenBank accession number: KF359945). Homolog analysis showed a 70%-96% homology with sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) present in other animals, which is implicated in lipid metabolism of other organisms. The gene SCP-2 of Chinese toad (B. gargarizans) was cloned from a first strand cDNA of Bufo skin (GenBank accession number: KF381341) via PCR, whose encoding polypeptide has only one amino acid difference from that of Japanese toad. Tissue distribution analysis showed that SCP-2 expressed in all organs tested, though in the liver and spleen it manifested lower expression than in other organs. These findings might indicate SCP-2 being one of the active ingredients in toad skin. These findings may in turn have implications for further drug development from traditional Chinese medicine sources. PMID:25297079

  6. CORONETTE KERATINOCYTE COLONY FORMATION IS SUPPORTED BY EPIDERMAL-DERMAL CELL INTERACTIONS IN THE BOVINE CLAW

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Delineating factors that orchestrate keratinocyte growth and differentiation in the claw is pivotal to understanding the quality of hoof horn production in health and disease. The specific objectives of this investigation were to establish an in vitro culture system for bovine coronette keratinocyt...

  7. Apodemes associated with limbs support serial homology of claws and jaws in Onychophora (velvet worms).

    PubMed

    de Sena Oliveira, Ivo; Mayer, Georg

    2013-10-01

    Although the onychophoran jaw blades are believed to be derivatives of foot claws, serial homology of these structures has not been demonstrated. To shed light on the evolutionary origin of the onychophoran jaws, we searched for morphological landmarks and compared the internal and external anatomy of jaws and distal leg portions in representatives of the two major onychophoran subgroups, the Peripatidae and Peripatopsidae. Our data revealed hitherto unknown structures associated with the onychophoran limbs, such as a soft diastemal membrane separating the anterior and posterior portions of the inner jaw blade (present only in Peripatidae), apodemes associated with feet, an eversible dorsal sac at the basis of each foot claw, and a specific arrangement of musculature associated with the sclerotised claws, jaws and their apodemes. Specific correspondences in structure and position of apodemes support serial homology of claws and jaws, suggesting that the onychophoran jaw evolved from the distal portion rather than the entire limb in the last common ancestor of Onychophora. PMID:23922297

  8. Serum haptoglobin concentrations in dairy cattle with lameness due to claw disorders.

    PubMed

    Smith, Billy I; Kauffold, Johannes; Sherman, Lisa

    2010-11-01

    In cattle, elevated blood serum concentrations of haptoglobin, an acute phase protein, have been demonstrated in association with several diseases, but not with lameness. Serum haptoglobin was measured in 60 Holstein dairy cattle diagnosed with lameness due to four claw disorders, pododermatitis septica (PS; n=41), pododermatitis circumscripta (PC; n=8), interdigital necrobacillosis (IN; n=7), papillomatous digital dermatitis (PDD; n=4). Haptoglobin was measured on day 1 (0-3 days after lameness was observed but before treatment) and on days 3 and 5. A total of 10 healthy cows served as controls (haptoglobin values <1.0 mg/dL). Each of the claw disorders was associated with elevated haptoglobin on day 1 (PS, PC, IN and PDD: 65.9%, 37.5%, 71.4% and 25.0%, respectively). Trimming and antibiotic treatment led to a reduction in the number of PS and IN cows with increased haptoglobin concentrations, respectively (P<0.05), but trimming did not lead to any reduction in cows with PC. The study showed that lameness due to claw disorders can be associated with a systemic acute phase response and elevated serum haptoglobin in dairy cattle. Based on the course of haptoglobin, treatments seemed effective for all claw disorders except for PC.

  9. Effect of rubber flooring on claw health in lactating dairy cows housed in free-stall barns.

    PubMed

    Vanegas, J; Overton, M; Berry, S L; Sischo, W M

    2006-11-01

    Multiparous dairy cows between 10 to 30 d in milk (DIM) were enrolled in a clinical trial to evaluate the effects of rubber flooring on the development of claw lesions, locomotion scores, clinical lameness, and rates of hoof growth and wear. Two groups of cows were housed in identical free-stall facilities, except that 1 pen (rubber, n = 84) had rubber alley mats covering the entire concrete floor of the pen, whereas cows in the second pen were exposed to concrete flooring (concrete, n = 82) without rubber alley mats. All cows were evaluated 3 times between 10 and 30, 74 and 94, and 110 and 130 DIM for 1) the presence of claw lesions on their rear feet, 2) the occurrence of clinical lameness based on a locomotion score, and 3) rates of claw growth and wear as observed on the dorsal wall of the right lateral claw. No differences between flooring groups at the time of enrollment were detected for lactation number, mean DIM at first examination, body condition score, and proportion of cows with claw lesions at the first examination. Odds of developing claw lesions between examinations were not different for cows exposed to the rubber surface compared with those exposed to concrete. Cows on concrete, however, had greater odds of developing or exacerbating existing heel erosion than cows on rubber flooring. Regardless of the flooring surface, the lateral claw was more likely to develop lesions than the medial claw. Odds of becoming lame by the third examination and the proportion of cows requiring therapeutic hoof trimming because of lameness were greater for concrete-exposed cows than those on rubber. Cows on rubber flooring had decreased claw growth and wear between the first and last examination compared with cows on concrete. Regardless of flooring surface, second-lactation cows had greater wear rates than those in third or greater parities. Results of our study suggest that a soft flooring surface, such as interlocking rubber, is beneficial for hoof health.

  10. Effect of rubber flooring on group-housed sows' gait and claw and skin lesions.

    PubMed

    Bos, E-J; van Riet, M M J; Maes, D; Millet, S; Ampe, B; Janssens, G P J; Tuyttens, F A M

    2016-05-01

    This study evaluated the influence of floor type on sow welfare in terms of lameness, claw lesions, and skin lesions. In a 2 × 3 factorial design, we have investigated the effect of rubber coverings on concrete floors and the effect of 3 levels of dietary zinc supplementation on locomotion and claw and skin lesions in group-housed sows. Six groups of 21 ± 4 hybrid sows were monitored during 3 successive reproductive cycles. The sows were group housed from d 28 after insemination (d 0) until 1 wk before expected farrowing date (d 108) in pens with either exposed concrete floors or concrete floors covered with rubber in part of the lying area and the fully slatted area. During each reproductive cycle, locomotion and skin lesions were assessed 4 times (d 28, 50, 108, and 140) and claw lesions were assessed twice (d 50 and 140). Results are given as least squares means ± SE. Locomotion and claw scores were given in millimeters, on analog scales of 150 and 160 mm, respectively. Here, we report on the effect of floor type, which did not interact with dietary zinc concentration ( > 0.10 for all variables). At move to group (d 28) and mid gestation (d 50), no differences between floor treatments were seen in locomotion ( > 0.10). At the end of gestation (d 108), sows housed on rubber flooring scored 9.9 ± 4.1 mm better on gait ( < 0.001). Regarding claw disorders, both parameters "heel overgrowth and erosion" (difference of 4.6 ± 1.8 mm; = 0.01) and "heel-sole crack" (difference of 3.1 ± 1.5 mm; = 0.04) scores were better for sows on rubber flooring at mid gestation (d 50). However, sows on rubber flooring scored worse for "vertical cracks in the wall horn" (difference of 3.4 ± 1.7 mm; = 0.04). At the end of lactation (d 140), both "white line" (difference of 2.9 ± 1 mm; = 0.02) and "claw length" (difference of 4.7 ± 1.4 mm; < 0.001) had better scores on rubber flooring. No differences for skin lesions were observed between floor treatments. The improved scores

  11. 76 FR 70479 - Draft Environmental Assessment and Safe Harbor Agreement for the Houston Toad Within Nine Texas...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-14

    ... to have a net conservation benefit to the Houston toad within the nine Texas counties to be covered... Within Nine Texas Counties AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability... authorize incidental take of the endangered Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis) as a result of...

  12. Chronic exposure to coal fly ash causes minimal changes in corticosterone and testosterone concentrations in male southern toads Bufo terrestris

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.K.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2006-08-15

    More than 50% of the electricity in the United States is produced by coal-burning power plants. The byproduct of coal-burning plants is coal fly ash, which contains increased concentrations of trace metals and is disposed of in collection basins. Southern toads (Bufo terrestris) frequently use these basins for reproduction. Male toads were collected in spring 2001 and 2002 from an ash basin and a reference site and divided into four groups: toads collected at the control site and maintained on (1) control substrate and food or (2) ash and contaminated food and toads collected at the ash site and maintained in (3) control or (4) ash conditions. Blood was collected periodically during 5 months to determine testosterone and corticosterone concentrations. Reference to ash toads exhibited a significant, transient increase in corticosterone at 4 weeks, but neither corticosterone nor testosterone continued to increase beyond this time. In contrast, toads caught and maintained on ash did not exhibit increased corticosterone. Testosterone in these toads appeared to be unrelated to ash exposure. This unexpected lack of a corticosterone response and no effect on testosterone suggests that toads chronically exposed to trace metals can acclimate to a polluted environment, but they may still experience subtle long-term consequences.

  13. Can we control the invasive cane toad using chemicals that have evolved under intraspecific competition?

    PubMed

    Clarke, Gregory S; Crossland, Michael R; Shine, Richard

    2016-03-01

    Many invasive species experience intense intraspecific competition, because they are abundant in anthropogenically disturbed habitats where few native species persist. Species-specific competitive mechanisms that evolve in this context may offer novel, highly targeted means to control invasive taxa. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate the feasibility of this method of control, based on waterborne cues that are produced by tadpoles of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) to suppress the development of conspecific embryos. Our trials examined the nature and species-specificity of the effect, the robustness of the cue to freezing and storage, and the amounts required to suppress toad embryos. Our results were encouraging. The cue appears to be chemical rather than a biological organism, and may well be species-specific; the four species of native anurans that we tested were not influenced by toad larval cues. The cue retains its effectiveness after being frozen, but not after being dried, or after 7 d in water. It is effective at very low concentrations (the amount produced by three tadpoles within 750 L of water). Overall, the cane toad's suppressor pheromone may offer an effective new way to control invasive toads. PMID:27209788

  14. Seasonal and daily plasma corticosterone rhythms in American toads, Bufo americanus

    SciTech Connect

    Pancak, M.K.; Taylor, D.H.

    1983-06-01

    Concentrations of corticosterone were measured in the plasma of American toads, Bufo americanus, on a seasonal basis using a radioimmunoassay technique. Two populations of toads, maintained under different light conditions, were monitored to observe the effects of photoperiod on the seasonal rhythm of plasma corticosterone. Under a natural photoperiod toads demonstrated a rhythm consisting of a spring peak and a fall peak in corticosterone concentration. Toads maintained under a 12L:12D photoperiod all year round demonstrated a similar rhythm with peaks in the spring and fall. This suggests that an endogenous (circannual) rhythm of corticosterone may be playing an important role in the seasonal change of overt behavior and physiology of Bufo americanus. A daily rhythm of corticosterone was also detected in toads when blood samples were taken every 4 hr. When compared to a previously published circadian rhythm study of locomotor activity, the surge in corticosterone concentration for the day occurred at 1730 just prior to the peak in locomotor activity.

  15. Predicting the unpredictable; evidence of pre-seismic anticipatory behaviour in the common toad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, Rachel A.; Halliday, T.

    2010-08-01

    The widespread belief that animals can anticipate earthquakes (EQs) is poorly supported by evidence, most of which consists of anecdotal post hoc recollections and relates to a very short period immediately before such events. In this study, a population of reproductively active common toads Bufo bufo were monitored over a period of 29 days, before, during and after the EQ (on day 10) at L'Aquila, Italy, in April 2009. Although our study site is 74 km from L'Aquila, toads showed a dramatic change in behaviour 5 days before the EQ, abandoning spawning and not resuming normal behaviour until some days after the event. It is unclear what environmental stimuli the toads were responding to so far in advance of the EQ, but reduced toad activity coincides with pre-seismic perturbations in the ionosphere, detected by very low frequency (VLF) radio sounding. We compare the response of toads to the EQ with the reported responses to seismic activity of several other species.

  16. Can we control the invasive cane toad using chemicals that have evolved under intraspecific competition?

    PubMed

    Clarke, Gregory S; Crossland, Michael R; Shine, Richard

    2016-03-01

    Many invasive species experience intense intraspecific competition, because they are abundant in anthropogenically disturbed habitats where few native species persist. Species-specific competitive mechanisms that evolve in this context may offer novel, highly targeted means to control invasive taxa. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate the feasibility of this method of control, based on waterborne cues that are produced by tadpoles of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) to suppress the development of conspecific embryos. Our trials examined the nature and species-specificity of the effect, the robustness of the cue to freezing and storage, and the amounts required to suppress toad embryos. Our results were encouraging. The cue appears to be chemical rather than a biological organism, and may well be species-specific; the four species of native anurans that we tested were not influenced by toad larval cues. The cue retains its effectiveness after being frozen, but not after being dried, or after 7 d in water. It is effective at very low concentrations (the amount produced by three tadpoles within 750 L of water). Overall, the cane toad's suppressor pheromone may offer an effective new way to control invasive toads.

  17. Inadequate thickness of the weight-bearing surface of claws in ruminants.

    PubMed

    Shakespeare, A S

    2009-12-01

    The term 'thin soles' refers to the suboptimal thickness of the weight-bearing surface of claws in ruminants. These palmar/plantar surfaces of the claws support the weight of the animal and consist of the distal wall horn, the sole proper, the heel and the minute white line area. The sole should normally only bear weight on uneven or undulating surfaces. A decrease in the thickness of the weight-bearing claw surface will decrease the protective function of this structure and may alter the proportion of weight-bearing by each section with possible detrimental effects on hoof function. Horn tissue readily absorbs water and becomes softer which can lead to increased wear rates. Growth rates normally match wear rates but, unlike the latter, time is needed for the growth rate response to adapt to changes in wear rate. Concrete surfaces can be abrasive and dairy cows that spend their lactation cycle on these floors should be let out to pasture in the dry period so that their claws can recoup lost horn. Frictional coefficient is a measure of the'slipperiness' of hooves on various surfaces. Newly laid or fresh concrete is not only abrasive but the thin surface suspension of calcium hydroxide that forms has a very alkaline pH which causes keratin degradation and is mostly responsible for the excessive claw wear that occurs. Four case studies are used to illustrate the importance of the distal wall horn, the dangers of over-trimming and the effects of disease and concrete on horn growth and wear rates.

  18. Toad skin extract cinobufatini inhibits migration of human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells into a model stromal tissue.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Munehiro; Mori, Shuya; Kamoshida, Yo; Kawaguchi, Shota; Fujita-Yamaguchi, Yoko; Gao, Bo; Tang, Wei

    2015-08-01

    Toad skin extract cinobufatini study has been focused on anticancer activity, especially apoptosis-inducing activity by bufosteroids. The present study examined effect of the toad skin extract on cancer cell migration into model stromal tissues. Human breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231 was incubated in the presence or absence of toad skin extract on a surface of reconstituted type I collagen gel as a model stromal tissue allowing the cells to migrate into the gel. Frozen sections were microscopically observed after azan staining. Data showed a decrease of cell number in a microscopic field and shortening of cell migration into the model stromal tissue in a dose dependent manner. This suggests that toad skin extract may possess migration-preventing activity in addition to cell toxicity such as apoptosis-inducing activity. The multifaceted effects including apoptosis-inducing and cancer cell migration-preventing activities would improve usefulness of toad skin extract cinobufatini as an anticancer medicine.

  19. Thermal ecology of the post-metamorphic Andean toad (Rhinella spinulosa) at elevation in the monte desert, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Sanabria, Eduardo A; Rodríguez, César Y; Vergara, Cristina; Ontivero, Emanuel; Banchig, Mariana; Navas, Ana L; Herrera-Morata, Mario A; Quiroga, Lorena B

    2015-08-01

    Rhinella spinulosa is an anuran toad species distributed latitudinal and altitudinal (1200-5000m) from Peru to Argentina, inhabiting mountain valleys in the Andes. Considering the broad range of habitats where they live, it is important to understand the thermal physiological mechanisms, thermal tolerances and physiological adaptations for surviving in rigorous environments. We investigated the thermal parameters (field body temperature, selected body temperature, locomotor performance in field and laboratory conditions, and thermal extremes) during diurnal activity for a population of juvenile, post-metamorphosed toads (Rhinella spinulosa) from the Monte Desert of San Juan, Argentina. Post-metamorphic toads are active from approximately 1100-1900 (in contrast to nocturnal adult toads). Our findings show that these toads have a wide thermal tolerance range, ranging from a critical thermal maximum of 36.9°C to crystallization temperatures below 0°C. During their active period, toads always showed suboptimal thermal conditions for locomotion. Despite the suboptimal condition for the locomotion, diurnal activity is likely to confer thermal advantages, allowing them to search for food and increase digestion and growth rates. We also found that the toads are capable of super-cooling, which prevents mortality from freezing when the environmental temperatures drop below 0°C. The environmental temperatures are below zero at night, when toads are inactive and take refuge under rocks. In summary, this toad population demonstrates high thermal plasticity, as shown by a relatively high level of activity sustained over a wide range of ambient temperature (~35°C). These thermal adaptations allow this species of juvenile toads to inhabit a wide range of altitudes and latitudes.

  20. Mapping the Relative Probability of Common Toad Occurrence in Terrestrial Lowland Farm Habitat in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    Salazar, Rosie D.; Montgomery, Robert A.; Thresher, Sarah E.; Macdonald, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The common toad (Bufo bufo) is of increasing conservation concern in the United Kingdom (UK) due to dramatic population declines occurring in the past century. Many of these population declines coincided with reductions in both terrestrial and aquatic habitat availability and quality and have been primarily attributed to the effect of agricultural land conversion (of natural and semi-natural habitats to arable and pasture fields) and pond drainage. However, there is little evidence available to link habitat availability with common toad population declines, especially when examined at a broad landscape scale. Assessing such patterns of population declines at the landscape scale, for instance, require an understanding of how this species uses terrestrial habitat. Methods We intensively studied the terrestrial resource selection of a large population of common toads in Oxfordshire, England, UK. Adult common toads were fitted with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags to allow detection in the terrestrial environment using a portable PIT antenna once toads left the pond and before going into hibernation (April/May-October 2012 and 2013). We developed a population-level resource selection function (RSF) to assess the relative probability of toad occurrence in the terrestrial environment by collecting location data for 90 recaptured toads. Results The predicted relative probability of toad occurrence for this population was greatest in wooded habitat near to water bodies; relative probability of occurrence declined dramatically > 50 m from these habitats. Toads also tended to select habitat near to their breeding pond and toad occurrence was negatively related to urban environments. PMID:26841108

  1. Characterisation of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I in the Australian Cane Toad, Rhinella marina

    PubMed Central

    Lillie, Mette; Shine, Richard; Belov, Katherine

    2014-01-01

    The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I is a highly variable gene family that encodes cell-surface receptors vital for recognition of intracellular pathogens and initiation of immune responses. The MHC class I has yet to be characterised in bufonid toads (Order: Anura; Suborder: Neobatrachia; Family: Bufonidae), a large and diverse family of anurans. Here we describe the characterisation of a classical MHC class I gene in the Australian cane toad, Rhinella marina. From 25 individuals sampled from the Australian population, we found only 3 alleles at this classical class I locus. We also found large number of class I alpha 1 alleles, implying an expansion of class I loci in this species. The low classical class I genetic diversity is likely the result of repeated bottleneck events, which arose as a result of the cane toad's complex history of introductions as a biocontrol agent and its subsequent invasion across Australia. PMID:25093458

  2. Optimizing the performance of TOAD by changing the wavelength and power of control pulse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Liangsheng; Zuo, Peng; Wu, Jian; Lin, Jintong

    2003-09-01

    The performance of terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD) has been studied by modelling the semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) in which the intraband effects had been taken into account. Numerical results are coincident with the experiment results. We interpret why there are three peaks in the switching window, which has never been reported before. In addition, we put forward the definition of the flatness of the switching window of TOAD for the first time By analysing the different phase of clockwise and counter clockwise signal pulse changed by SOA, appropriate peak power of control pulseand wavelength of signal and control pulse have been calculated in order to obtain large output power and flat switching window of TOAD.

  3. 20Gbit/s all-optical logic OR in terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yumei; Wu, Jian; Lin, Jintong

    2005-01-01

    A scheme for all-optical logic OR based on transparent teraherz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (transparent-TOAD) is proposed in this paper. In the transparent-TOAD, the SOA is biased at transparency and the gain recovery time determined by the intraband effect has the value of only a few picoseconds. Numerical analysis shows that the switching window of the transparent-TOAD is only about 0.54ps and the potential for ultrahigh speed all-optical logic processing is shown. Numerical demonstration is performed for 4-bit and 16-bit logic OR at 20Gbit/s. The results coincide with the OR truth table, showing high extinction ratio and no pattern dependency. Detailed analysis is carried out on the performance of the logic OR scheme.

  4. The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine affects sodium transport in toad epithelium.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Mennickent, Sigrid; Norris, Beryl; Cardenas, Hernán

    2006-09-01

    The present work investigates the effects of the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) on sodium transport in the isolated skin of the toad Pleurodema thaul. A submaximal concentration of the drug (0.2 mM) applied to the outer surface of the epithelium increased the electrical parameters short-circuit current (Isc) and potential difference (PD) by over 28%, whereas only a higher concentration (1 mM) induced over a 45% decrease in these parameters when applied to the inner surface. The amiloride test showed that the outer surface stimulatory effect was accompanied by an increase and the inner surface inhibitory effect by a decrease in the sodium electromotive force (ENa). Exploration of these effects of CBZ on the outer surface showed that 0.2 mM increased net Na+ (22Na) influx by 20% and 0.6 mM CBZ decreased Na+ mucosa-serosa flux by 19%, a result in agreement with the finding that higher concentrations of CBZ applied to the inner surface not only decreased ENa but also sodium conductance (GNa). PMID:16542818

  5. Species limits in the Andean toad genus Osornophryne (Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Páez-Moscoso, Diego J; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2012-12-01

    As Darwin observed, the differentiation among varieties, subspecies, and species seems, often times, arbitrary. Nowadays, however, novel tools provide the possibility of testing hypotheses of species. Using the Andean toad genus Osornophryne, we address the following questions: (1) How many species are within the genus? (2) Are morphological and molecular traits congruent when delimiting species? (3) Which morphological traits are the most divergent among species? We use recently developed methods for testing species boundaries and relationships using a multilocus data set consisting of two mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S; 1647bp aligned matrix), one exon (RAG-1; 923 aligned matrix), and one intron (RPL3Int5; 1410bp aligned matrix). As another line of evidence for species delimitation, we integrated analyses of 12 morphometric variables and 10 discrete traits commonly used in amphibian systematics. The molecular and morphological approaches support the validity of most of the described species in Osornophryne. We find, however, contradictory lines of evidence regarding the status of O. angel. Within O. guacamayo, we found a genetically divergent population that, we argue, represents a new species. We consider that O. bufoniformis represents a species complex that deserves further study. We highlight the importance of incorporating morphological data when delimiting species, especially for lineages that have a recent origin and have not achieved reciprocal monophyly in molecular phylogenies. Finally, the most divergent morphological traits among Osornophryne species are associated with locomotion (finger, toes and limbs) and feeding (head), suggesting an association between morphology and the ecological habits of the species.

  6. Vortex Formation and Foraging in Polyphenic Spadefoot Toad Tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Bazazi, Sepideh; Pfennig, Karin S; Handegard, Nils Olav; Couzin, Iain D

    2012-06-01

    Animal aggregations are widespread in nature and can exhibit complex emergent properties not found at an individual level. We investigate one such example here, collective vortex formation by congeneric spadefoot toad tadpoles: Spea bombifrons and S. multiplicata. Tadpoles of these species develop into either an omnivorous or a carnivorous (cannibalistic) morph depending on diet. Previous studies show S. multiplicata are more likely to develop into omnivores and feed on suspended organic matter in the water body. The omnivorous morph is frequently social, forming aggregates that move and forage together, and form vortices in which they adopt a distinctive slowly-rotating circular formation. This behaviour has been speculated to act as a means to agitate the substratum in ponds and thus could be a collective foraging strategy. Here we perform a quantitative investigation of the behaviour of tadpoles within aggregates. We found that only S. multiplicata groups exhibited vortex formation, suggesting that social interactions differ between species. The probability of collectively forming a vortex, in response to introduced food particles, increased for higher tadpole densities and when tadpoles were hungry. Individuals inside a vortex moved faster and exhibited higher (by approximately 27%) tailbeat frequencies than those outside the vortex, thus incurring a personal energetic cost. The resulting environmental modification, however, suggests vortex behaviour may be an adaptation to actively create, and exploit, a resource patch within the environment.

  7. High repetition rate optical switch using an electroabsorption modulator in TOAD configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Li; Yang, Yanfu; Lou, Caiyun; Gao, Yizhi

    2007-07-01

    A novel optical switch featured with high repetition rate, short switching window width, and high contrast ratio is proposed and demonstrated for the first time by placing an electroabsorption modulator (EAM) in a terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD) configuration. The feasibility and main characteristics of the switch are investigated by numerical simulations and experiments. With this EAM-based TOAD, an error-free return-to-zero signal wavelength conversion with 0.62 dB power penalty at 20 Gbit/s is demonstrated.

  8. Biomechanics and histology of bovine claw suspensory tissue in early acute laminitis.

    PubMed

    Danscher, A M; Toelboell, T H; Wattle, O

    2010-01-01

    Weakening of the suspensory tissue supporting the pedal bone is the central issue in the theory of acute bovine laminitis, but this aspect has never been tested. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of laminitis on the suspensory tissue. The hypothesis was that clinical and histological signs of acute laminitis are associated with decreased strength of the suspensory tissue of the bovine claw. Nonpregnant dairy heifers (n=10) received oral oligofructose overload (17 g/kg of body weight) and were killed 24 (n=4) and 72h (n=6) after overload. Control heifers (n=6) received tap water and were killed at 72 or 96h. Clinical, orthopedic, and histological examinations were carried out to confirm the occurrence of laminitis. After euthanasia, 2 adjacent tissue samples including the horn wall, lamellar layer, dermis, and pedal bone were cut from the dorso-abaxial aspect of each claw. Tissue samples were kept on ice until mounted on a mechanical testing frame, fixed by horn and bone, and loaded to failure. A stress displacement curve was generated and measurements of physiological support (force needed to displace 1mm beyond first resistance) and maximal support (force needed to break the tissue) were recorded. Heifers treated with oligofructose developed clinical signs consistent with ruminal and systemic acidosis after treatment as well as acute laminitis, characterized by weight shifting (35% of observations vs. 6% in controls), moderate lameness (100 vs. 17%, score of 3 out of 5 at 72h), and reaction to hoof testing (30 and 50% at 48 and 72h, respectively, vs. 0% in controls). Histological examination of claws from heifers killed 72h after overload showed changes consistent with acute laminitis, including stretched lamellae, wider basal cells with low chromatin density, and a thick, wavy, and blurry appearance of the basement membrane. Biomechanical results showed no effect of oligofructose overload on physiological support of the suspensory tissue

  9. Effects of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide on physical and biochemical properties of the claw horn of Holstein cows

    PubMed Central

    Higuchi, Hidetoshi; Kurumado, Hisatoshi; Mori, Maya; Degawa, Aiko; Fujisawa, Hideyo; Kuwano, Atsutoshi; Nagahata, Hajime

    2009-01-01

    The effects of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide on the physical and biochemical properties of the claw horn of Holstein cows were evaluated. Significant (P < 0.05, 0.01) decreases in hardness and elasticity were found in claw horns soaked in ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) solutions compared with those that were soaked in water for 12, 24, and 48 h. Water absorption rate, as a indicator of permeability barrier function, increased significantly (P < 0.05) over time during the soaking period and was found to be dependent on the concentrations of NH3 and H2S in the solutions. The contents of ceramide, the main lipid component for the permeability barrier system of the stratum corneum, were significantly decreased in claw horns soaked in NH3 and H2S solutions compared with the values before soaking. Quantities of eluted protein released from claw horns treated with NH3 and H2S solutions were approximately 20 times and 30 to 40 times greater than those released from claw horns treated with water alone. Interestingly, the quantities of cytokeratin 10, the main cytoskeletal protein of the stratum corneum, eluted from claw horns treated with NH3 and H2S solutions were markedly greater than the quantity released from horns soaked in water. Our results suggest that abnormal changes in the physical property of claw horn caused by NH3 and H2S treatment are due to disruption of the biochemical property of the claw horn induced by these chemical agents derived from slurry. PMID:19337390

  10. Claw health and prevalence of lameness in cows from compost bedded and cubicle freestall dairy barns in Austria.

    PubMed

    Burgstaller, J; Raith, J; Kuchling, S; Mandl, V; Hund, A; Kofler, J

    2016-10-01

    Claw health and lameness data from five dairies with compost bedded barns (n = 201 data sets) were evaluated and compared with data from five dairy herds housed in freestall cubicle barns (n = 297 data sets). They were matched for having the same cow numbers, flooring type and similar milk yield. The prevalence of lameness, claw lesions and their severity grades were analysed. Two claw health indicators, the cow claw score (CCS) and the farm claw score (FCS), were calculated using a computerised claw trimming database programme; there was no significant difference in overall lameness prevalence in cows from five compost bedded barns (18.7%) compared to cows from five freestall cubicle herds (14.9%). A cumulative link mixed model (CLMM) did not show significant differences in locomotion between different types of bedding material, flooring system, breed, visit number, observer and time since last trimming, but locomotion was significantly influenced by CCS. Another CLMM tested the impact of parameters mentioned on CCS and showed significant influence of flooring type, visit number and cattle breed. Statistically significant differences in the prevalence of claw disorders between compost bedded and freestall cubicle barns were found for white line disease (WLD; 20.4% and 46.6%, respectively), heel horn erosion (HHE; 26.9% and 59.9%, respectively), concave dorsal wall as a result of chronic laminitis (6.5% and 15.9%, respectively) and for interdigital hyperplasia (0.2% and 3.1%, respectively). The results of this study indicate that compost dairy barns are a good alternative to common cubicle housing systems in terms of lameness, claw health and animal welfare. PMID:27687931

  11. The synergy between the insect-inspired claws and adhesive pads increases the attachment ability on various rough surfaces.

    PubMed

    Song, Yi; Dai, Zhendong; Wang, Zhouyi; Ji, Aihong; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2016-01-01

    To attach reliably on various inclined rough surfaces, many insects have evolved both claws and adhesive pads on their feet. However, the interaction between these organs still remains unclear. Here we designed an artificial attachment device, which mimics the structure and function of claws and adhesive pads, and tested it on stiff spheres of different dimensions. The results show that the attachment forces of claws decrease with an increase of the sphere radius. The forces may become very strong, when the sphere radius is smaller or comparable to the claw radius, because of the frictional self-lock. On the other hand, adhesive pads generate considerable adhesion on large sphere diameter due to large contact areas. The synergy effect between the claws and adhesive pads leads to much stronger attachment forces, if compared to the action of claw or adhesive pads independently (or even to the sum of both). The results carried out by our insect-inspired artificial attachment device clearly demonstrate why biological evolution employed two attachment organs working in concert. The results may greatly inspire the robot design, to obtain reliable attachment forces on various substrates. PMID:27198650

  12. The synergy between the insect-inspired claws and adhesive pads increases the attachment ability on various rough surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yi; Dai, Zhendong; Wang, Zhouyi; Ji, Aihong; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2016-01-01

    To attach reliably on various inclined rough surfaces, many insects have evolved both claws and adhesive pads on their feet. However, the interaction between these organs still remains unclear. Here we designed an artificial attachment device, which mimics the structure and function of claws and adhesive pads, and tested it on stiff spheres of different dimensions. The results show that the attachment forces of claws decrease with an increase of the sphere radius. The forces may become very strong, when the sphere radius is smaller or comparable to the claw radius, because of the frictional self-lock. On the other hand, adhesive pads generate considerable adhesion on large sphere diameter due to large contact areas. The synergy effect between the claws and adhesive pads leads to much stronger attachment forces, if compared to the action of claw or adhesive pads independently (or even to the sum of both). The results carried out by our insect-inspired artificial attachment device clearly demonstrate why biological evolution employed two attachment organs working in concert. The results may greatly inspire the robot design, to obtain reliable attachment forces on various substrates. PMID:27198650

  13. Role of calcium-dependent proteinase in molt-induced claw muscle atrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Mykles, D.L.; Skinner, D.M.

    1984-01-01

    The claw closer muscle of the Bermuda land crab Gecarcinus lateralis undergoes a sequential atrophy and restoration during each intermolt cycle. Muscle protein decreases 40% during proecdysis and is restored following ecdysis. Amino acid incorporation into protein of postecdysial muscle is five times greater than that in anecdysial muscle. Since the rates of protein synthesis in anecdysial and proecdysial muscle are the same it appears that proecdysial muscle atrophy is caused primarily by an increase in protein degradation. A calcium-dependent proteinase (CDP) active at neutral pH has been implicated in the nonlysosomal hydrolysis of myofibrillar proteins. We have examined the role of a CDP in atrophy of the claw closer muscle. The many similarities between crustacean and vertebrate CDPs have established this crustacean system as a simple and convenient model for the role of Ca/sup 2 +/-dependent proteolysis in myofibrillar protein turnover and its manifestation in the structure of the sarcomere. 16 references, 8 figures. (ACR)

  14. Behaviour of the Pleistocene marsupial lion deduced from claw marks in a southwestern Australian cave

    PubMed Central

    Arman, Samuel D.; Prideaux, Gavin J.

    2016-01-01

    The marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, was the largest-ever marsupial carnivore, and is one of the most iconic extinct Australian vertebrates. With a highly-specialised dentition, powerful forelimbs and a robust build, its overall morphology is not approached by any other mammal. However, despite >150 years of attention, fundamental aspects of its biology remain unresolved. Here we analyse an assemblage of claw marks preserved on surfaces in a cave and deduce that they were generated by marsupial lions. The distribution and skewed size range of claw marks within the cave elucidate two key aspects of marsupial lion biology: they were excellent climbers and reared young in caves. Scrutiny of >10,000 co-located Pleistocene bones reveals few if any marsupial lion tooth marks, which dovetails with the morphology-based interpretation of the species as a flesh specialist. PMID:26876952

  15. Behaviour of the Pleistocene marsupial lion deduced from claw marks in a southwestern Australian cave.

    PubMed

    Arman, Samuel D; Prideaux, Gavin J

    2016-02-15

    The marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, was the largest-ever marsupial carnivore, and is one of the most iconic extinct Australian vertebrates. With a highly-specialised dentition, powerful forelimbs and a robust build, its overall morphology is not approached by any other mammal. However, despite >150 years of attention, fundamental aspects of its biology remain unresolved. Here we analyse an assemblage of claw marks preserved on surfaces in a cave and deduce that they were generated by marsupial lions. The distribution and skewed size range of claw marks within the cave elucidate two key aspects of marsupial lion biology: they were excellent climbers and reared young in caves. Scrutiny of >10,000 co-located Pleistocene bones reveals few if any marsupial lion tooth marks, which dovetails with the morphology-based interpretation of the species as a flesh specialist.

  16. Behaviour of the Pleistocene marsupial lion deduced from claw marks in a southwestern Australian cave.

    PubMed

    Arman, Samuel D; Prideaux, Gavin J

    2016-01-01

    The marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, was the largest-ever marsupial carnivore, and is one of the most iconic extinct Australian vertebrates. With a highly-specialised dentition, powerful forelimbs and a robust build, its overall morphology is not approached by any other mammal. However, despite >150 years of attention, fundamental aspects of its biology remain unresolved. Here we analyse an assemblage of claw marks preserved on surfaces in a cave and deduce that they were generated by marsupial lions. The distribution and skewed size range of claw marks within the cave elucidate two key aspects of marsupial lion biology: they were excellent climbers and reared young in caves. Scrutiny of >10,000 co-located Pleistocene bones reveals few if any marsupial lion tooth marks, which dovetails with the morphology-based interpretation of the species as a flesh specialist. PMID:26876952

  17. Short communication: Pilot study on hormonal, metabolic, and behavioral stress response to treatment of claw horn lesions in acutely lame dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Janßen, S; Wunderlich, C; Heppelmann, M; Palme, R; Starke, A; Kehler, W; Steiner, A; Rizk, A; Meyer, U; Daenicke, S; Rehage, J

    2016-09-01

    Short-term effects of therapeutic claw trimming in acutely lame cows (n=21) with nonadvanced claw horn lesions on the endocrine, metabolic, and behavioral stress responses were investigated in comparison to regular claw trimming in nonlame control cows (n=21). Controls were matched to lame cows by parity and stage of lactation. Lame cows suffering from typical sole ulcers or white line disease were blinded and randomly assigned to 2 treatments, receiving 15 min before interventions either ketoprofen (n=11; 3mg/kg of BW intramuscularly; Romefen, Merial, Lyon, France) or placebo (n=10; saline in equivalent amount and route of administration). All cows underwent functional claw trimming in lateral recumbency on a surgical tipping table, and claw horn lesions in lame cows were conventionally treated (removal of loose horn, block on opposing claw, bandaging of affected claw). Blood samples collected 15 min before, at the end, and 24h after claw trimming were analyzed for concentrations of cortisol, fatty acids, lactate, and glucose, and fecal samples (collected before treatment and after 24 h) for cortisol metabolites. Behavioral stress responses during functional and therapeutic claw trimming were recorded. Concentrations of blood cortisol, fatty acids, glucose, and fecal cortisol metabolites were higher in lame than in nonlame cows after treatment. During claw treatment, more leg movements were recorded for lame cows than nonlame cows. Pre-emptive administration of ketoprofen had no obvious effects on stress responses to therapeutic claw trimming. Treatments of claw horn lesions caused a significant stress and pain reaction in acutely lame cows, demonstrating the necessity of adequate pain management protocols for such interventions. PMID:27344388

  18. Time-dependent aldosterone metabolism in toad urinary bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Brem, A.S.; Pacholski, M.; Morris, D.J.

    1988-04-01

    Aldosterone (Aldo) metabolism was examined in the toad bladder. Bladders were incubated with (/sup 3/H)aldosterone (10(-7) M) for 5 h, 1 h, or 10 min. Tissues were analyzed for metabolites using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). In separate experiments, Na+ transport was assessed by the short-circuit current (SCC) technique. Following a 5-h tissue incubation, about 25% of the (/sup 3/H)-aldosterone was converted into metabolites including a polar monosulfate metabolite, 20 beta-dihydroaldo (20 beta-DHAldo), small quantities of 5 beta-reduced products, and a variety of 5 alpha-reduced Aldo products including 5 alpha-DHAldo, 3 alpha,5 alpha-tetrahydroaldo (3 alpha,5 alpha-THAldo), and 3 beta,5 alpha-THAldo. Tissues metabolized approximately 10% of the labeled hormone into the same compounds by 1 h. Measurable quantities of these metabolites were also synthesized by bladders exposed to Aldo for only 10 min and then incubated in buffer for an additional 50 min without Aldo. Bladders pretreated with the spironolactone, K+-canrenoate (3.5 X 10(-4) M), and stimulated with Aldo (10(-7) M) generated a peak SCC 44 +/- 6% of that observed in matched pairs stimulated with Aldo (P less than 0.001; n = 6). K+-canrenoate also markedly diminished (/sup 3/H)aldosterone metabolism at both 5 and 1 h. Thus, metabolic transformation of Aldo begins prior to hormone-induced increases in Na+ transport. Both the generation of certain metabolites (e.g., 5 alpha-reductase pathway products) and the increase in Na+ transport can be selectively inhibited by K+-canrenoate.

  19. Reversible worsening of Parkinson disease motor symptoms after oral intake of Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw).

    PubMed

    Cosentino, Carlos; Torres, Luis

    2008-01-01

    Uncaria tomentosa (UT), also known as cat's claw, isa Peruvian Rubiaceae species widely used in traditional medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health problems. There is no report about the use, safety, and efficacy of UT in neurological disorders. We describe reversible worsening of motor signs in a patient with Parkinson disease after oral intake of UT, and some possible explanations are discussed.

  20. ManyClaw: Implementation and Comparison of Intra-Node Parallelism of Clawpack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrel, A. R.; Mandli, K. T.

    2012-12-01

    Computational methods for geophysical phenomena have in the past seen tremendous increases in ability due to increased hardware capability and advances in the computational methods being used. In the past two decades these avenues for increasing computational power have become intertwined as the most advanced computational methods must be written specifically for the hardware it will run on. This has become a growing concern for many scientists as the effort needed to produce efficient codes on the state-of-the-art machines has become increasingly difficult. Next generation computer architectures will include an order of magnitude more intra-node parallelism. In this context, we have created ManyClaw, a project intended to explore the exploitation of intra-node parallelism in hyperbolic PDE solvers from the Clawpack software package. Clawpack uses a finite volume wave-propagation approach to solving linear and non-linear hyperbolic conservation and balance laws. The basic computational units of Clawpack include the Riemann solver, limiters, and the cell update. The goal of ManyClaw then is to implement each of these components in a number of different ways exploring the best way to exploit as much intra-node parallelism as possible. One result of this effort is that a number of design decisions in ManyClaw differ significantly from Clawpack. Although this was not unexpected, insuring compatibility with the original code through PyClaw, a Python version of Clawpack, has also been undertaken. In this presentation we will focus on a discussion of the scalability of various threading approaches in each of the basic computational units described above. We implemented a number of different Riemann problems with different levels of arithmetic intensity via vectorized Fortran, OpenMP, TBB, and ISPC. The code was factored to allow any threading model to call any of the Riemann problems, limiters, and update routines. Results from Intel MIC and NVidia GPU implementations

  1. Ultrastructure of the renal juxtaglomerular complex and peripolar cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and toad (Bufo marinus).

    PubMed

    Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B

    1980-05-01

    Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and smaller in the toad. In contrast, granulated juxtaglomerular arteriolar myoephithelial cells were much more readily found and larger in the toad than in the axolotl. No consistent differences were noted in juxtaglomerular cells or their granules in response to changes in environmental chloride concentration.

  2. Retropupillary Fixation of Iris-Claw Intraocular Lens for Aphakic Eyes in Children

    PubMed Central

    Brandner, Martina; Thaler-Saliba, Sarah; Plainer, Sophie; Vidic, Bertram; El-Shabrawi, Yosuf; Ardjomand, Navid

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To report outcome, complications and safety of retropupillary fixated iris-claw intraocular lenses in a pediatric population. Design Retrospective study. Patients and Methods Ten consecutive pediatric patients (15 eyes) underwent placement of retropupillary fixated iris-claw intraocular lenses between October 2007 and July 2013 at the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University Graz and General Hospital Klagenfurt, Austria. Postoperative visual acuity and complications were analyzed. Results Median final best-corrected visual acuity improved by 0.12 logMAR from preoperative baseline. Mean postoperative spherical equivalent was -0.05 ± 1.76 D. No serious complications were observed intra- or postoperatively during the entire follow-up period of up to 40 months. One patient experienced a haptic disenclavation with IOL subluxation immediately after a car accident. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that iris-claw intraocular lens implantation behind the iris is safe in children with lack of capsular support and yields excellent visual outcome with low complication rate. PMID:26110864

  3. Prenatal Diagnosis of EEC Syndrome with "Lobster Claw" Anomaly by 3D Ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Rios, Livia T; Araujo Júnior, Edward; Caetano, Ana C R; Nardozza, Luciano M; Moron, Antonio F; Martins, Marília G

    2012-01-01

    THE EEC SYNDROME IS A GENETIC ANOMALY CHARACTERIZED BY THE TRIAD: ectodermal dysplasia (development of anomalies of the structures derived from the embryonic ectodermal layer), ectrodactyly (extremities, hands and feet malformations) and cleft lip and/or palate; these malformations can be seen together or in isolation. The prenatal diagnosis can be made by two-dimensional ultrasonography (2DUS) that identifies the facial and/or limb anomalies, most characteristic being the "lobster-claw" hands. The three-dimensional ultrasonography (3DUS) provides a better analysis of the malformations than the 2DUS. A 25-year-old primigravida, had her first transvaginal ultrasonography that showed an unique fetus with crow-rump length of 47 mm with poorly defined hands and feet,. She was suspected of having sporadic form of EEC syndrome. The 2DUS performed at 19 weeks confirmed the EEC syndrome, showing a fetus with lobster-claw hands (absence of the 2(nd) and 3(rd) fingers), left foot with the absence of the 3rd toe and the right foot with syndactyly, and presence of cleft lip/palate. The 3DUS defined the anomalies much better than 2DUS including the lobster-claw hands.

  4. A novel claw pole memory machine for wide-speed-range applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jian, Linni; Gong, Yu; Wei, Jin; Shi, Yujun; Shao, Ziyun; Ching, T. W.

    2015-05-01

    Memory machines with both high-power-density and wide-speed-range are becoming very attractive most recently. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel type of memory machine, namely, claw pole memory machine. It engages an axially magnetized AlNiCo PM ring on the claw pole rotor to build the main magnetic flux in air-gap which is responsible for the electromechanical energy conversion. A magnetizing coil is equipped to online regulate the magnetization level of the permanent magnet ring, so as to achieve wide-speed-range operation. The operating principle is analyzed. The Preisach hysteresis model is combined with 3D finite element method to conduct performance assessment of the proposed claw pole memory machine. Calculation results demonstrate that the air-gap flux density can be readily adjusted by injecting DC pulse into the magnetizing coil, and the speed-range of the proposed machine can be extended as wide as six times of its base speed.

  5. Population traits of the burrowing toad Rhinella fernandezae (Gallardo, 1957) (Anura, Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Sanchez, L C; Busch, M

    2008-02-01

    Size distribution, sex ratio and use of burrows of the burrowing toad Rhinella fernandezae were studied in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Two sites separated by approximately 300 m were studied: one was a road next to a swamp, and the other a garden of a country house located further from the swamp. We identified toad burrows, and individuals were sexed, measured and given an individual mark. Burrows were examined in subsequent months after the first sampling to assess the presence of toads. We found significant differences in the size distribution between areas, being the proportion of juveniles greater at the site next to the swamp where the reproduction of the species was observed. This result may suggest that the site located near to the swamp functions as a source habitat of individuals that migrate to the other site, where recruitment would be very scarce. Sex proportion of adults did not differ from 1:1 in neither the total population nor in each site, suggesting that there was not differential mortality by sex. Some toads changed burrows throughout the study period, but there were not differences in the frequency of change between adults and juveniles. PMID:18470388

  6. Developmental plasticity mirrors differences among taxa in spadefoot toads linking plasticity and diversity

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Buchholz, Daniel R.

    2006-01-01

    Developmental plasticity is found in most organisms, but its role in evolution remains controversial. Environmentally induced phenotypic differences may be translated into adaptive divergence among lineages experiencing different environmental conditions through genetic accommodation. To examine this evolutionary mechanism, we studied the relationship between plasticity in larval development, postmetamorphic morphology, and morphological diversity in spadefoot toads, a group of closely related species that are highly divergent in the larval period and body shape and are distributed throughout temperate areas of both the New and the Old World. Previous studies showed that accelerated metamorphosis is adaptive for desert-dwelling spadefoot toads. We show that even under common garden conditions, spadefoot toad species show divergent reaction norms for the larval period. In addition, experimentally induced changes in the larval period caused correlated morphological changes in postmetamorphic individuals such that long larval periods resulted in relatively longer hindlimbs and snouts. A comparative analysis of morphological variation across spadefoot toad species also revealed a positive correlation between the larval period and limb and snout lengths, mirroring the effects of within-species plasticity at a higher taxonomic level. Indeed, after ≈110 Ma of independent evolution, differences in the larval period explain 57% of the variance in relative limb length and 33% of snout length across species. Thus, morphological diversity across these species appears to have evolved as a correlated response to selection for a reduced larval period in desert-dwelling species, possibly diverging from ancestral plasticity through genetic accommodation. PMID:17135355

  7. POPULATION STRUCTURE OF THE RED-SPOTTED TOAD, BUFO PUNCTATUS, IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the spatial scale at which genetic structure of Bufo punctatus within the Mojave

    Desert is organized by sequencing a portion of mitochondrial DNA control region for 831 toads

    collected from 43 sites around Las Vegas, Nevada. We grouped these collecti...

  8. Sensitivity, range and temperature dependence of hearing in the grass frog and fire-bellied toad.

    PubMed

    Walkowiak, W

    1980-12-01

    Multi-unit recordings from the torus semicircularis of the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina L.) and the grass frog (Rana t. temporaria L.) were used to obtain threshold vs. frequency curves for these anurans. The effect of body temperature on these audiograms was tested over a range of 10-28° C for the toad and 5-20° C for the frog. The range of frequencies audible to the fire-bellied toad at a body temperature of 21° C extends to 2400-3000 Hz. Threshold is relatively low in three regions: 300-450 Hz, 700-900 Hz and 1200-1700 Hz. The auditory system is most sensitive in the low frequency region. The audiograms of both species depend greatly on temperature. As temperature is increased sensitivity is enhanced, particularly at low and intermediate frequencies. Grass frogs are maximally sensitive at temperatures as low as 15° C, whereas the auditory threshold of fire-bellied toads continue to fall as the temperature is raised from 16° C to 22° C. Hearing evidently is adapted to different temperature ranges in the two species, and these correspond to the temperatures at which the animals engage in mating behavior.

  9. Effect of parathyroid hormone on transport by toad and turtle bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A.

    1987-01-01

    The authors recently demonstrated that parathyroid hormone (PTH) inhibited both vasopressin- and cyclic AMP-stimulated water transport in the toad bladder. This was associated with an increase in calcium uptake by isolated epithelial cells. They postulated that PTH exerts its action on H/sub 2/O transport by directly stimulating calcium uptake. The current study was designed to compare the effects of PTH and the calcium ionophore, A23187, on H/sub 2/O and Na transport and H..mu.. secretion in toad and turtle bladders. In toad bladder, PTH and A23187 decreased arginine vasopressin (AVP)-stimulated H/sub 2/O flow and short-circuit current (SCC) after 60 min serosal incubation. In turtle bladder A23187 decreased SCC to 79.3 +/- 3.6% of base line (P < 0.05), and significantly decreased RSCC as well. PTH had no effect on SCC or H/sup +/ secretion in turtle bladders. Both PTH and A23187 increased /sup 45/Ca uptake in toad bladder epithelial cells; only A23187 increased /sup 45/Ca uptake in the turtle bladder. The different action of PTH in these two membranes, compared with that of the calcium ionophore, illustrates the selectivity of PTH on membrane transport. PTH increases calcium uptake and decreases transport only in a hormone-sensitive epithelium, whereas the ionophore works in virtually all living membranes. The mode of action of these two agents to increase calcium uptake is, therefore likely different.

  10. 75 FR 37358 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the Arroyo Toad

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-29

    ... FR 52612), including the changes to and considerations regarding proposed revised critical habitat in... critical habitat designation (74 FR 52612)). (16) Whether the conservation needs of the arroyo toad can be... regarding current practices and any regulatory changes that likely may occur if we designate...

  11. Passive and active defense in toads: the parotoid macroglands in Rhinella marina and Rhaebo guttatus.

    PubMed

    Mailho-Fontana, Pedro L; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Toledo, Luís F; Verdade, Vanessa K; Sciani, Juliana M; Barbaro, Katia C; Pimenta, Daniel C; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Jared, Carlos

    2014-02-01

    Amphibians have many skin poison glands used in passive defense, in which the aggressor causes its own poisoning when biting prey. In some amphibians the skin glands accumulate in certain regions forming macroglands, such as the parotoids of toads. We have discovered that the toad Rhaebo guttatus is able to squirt jets of poison towards the aggressor, contradicting the typical amphibian defense. We studied the R. guttatus chemical defense, comparing it with Rhinella marina, a sympatric species showing typical toad passive defense. We found that only in R. guttatus the parotoid is adhered to the scapula and do not have a calcified dermal layer. In addition, in this species, the plugs obstructing the glandular ducts are more fragile when compared to R. marina. As a consequence, the manual pressure necessary to extract the poison from the parotoid is twice as high in R. marina when compared to that used in R. guttatus. Compared to R. marina, the poison of R. guttatus is less lethal, induces edema and provokes nociception four times more intense. We concluded that the ability of R. guttatus to voluntary squirt poison is directly related to its stereotyped defensive behavior, together with the peculiar morphological characteristics of its parotoids. Since R. guttatus poison is practically not lethal, it is possibly directed to predators' learning, causing disturbing effects such as pain and edema. The unique mechanism of defense of R. guttatus may mistakenly justify the popular myth that toads, in general, squirt poison into people's eyes. PMID:24130001

  12. Cardiovascular responses to hypoxia and anaemia in the toad Bufo marinus.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Johnnie B; Hedrick, Michael S; Wang, Tobias

    2003-03-01

    Amphibians exhibit cardiorespiratory responses to hypoxia and, although several oxygen-sensitive chemoreceptor sites have been identified, the specific oxygen stimulus that triggers these responses remains controversial. This study investigates whether the cardiovascular response to oxygen shortage correlates with decreased oxygen partial pressure of arterial blood (Pa(O(2))) or reduced oxygen concentration ([O(2)]) in toads. Toads, equipped with blood flow probes and an arterial catheter, were exposed to graded hypoxia [fraction of oxygen in the inspired air (FI(O(2)))=0.21, 0.15, 0.10, 0.07 and 0.05] before and after reductions in arterial [O(2)] by isovolemic anaemia that reduced haematocrit by approximately 50%. Toads responded to hypoxia by increasing heart rate (fH) and pulmocutaneous blood flow (Q(pc)) and reducing the net cardiac right-to-left-shunt. When arterial [O(2)] was reduced by anaemia, the toads exhibited a similar cardiovascular response to that observed in hypoxia. While arterial CO(2) partial pressure (Pa(CO(2))) decreased significantly during hypoxia, indicative of increased alveolar ventilation, anaemia did not alter Pa(CO(2))). This suggests that reductions in [O(2)] mediate cardiovascular adjustments, while ventilatory responses are caused by reduced Pa(O(2)).

  13. Diagnostic histological findings in Yosemite toads (Bufo canorus) from die-off in the 1970s

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Sherman, C.K.

    2001-01-01

    Twelve adult and 25 larval Yosemite toad (Bufo canorus) specimens from the eastern Sierra Nevada of California were examined histologically for evidence of infectious, toxicological, and degenerative diseases. The preserved toads were selected from 21 that had been salvaged or collected during a die-off in 1976-1979 that immediately preceded a population decline. Causes of death of four toads were determined histologically; clinical signs and field observations suggested causes of death of three more. Four toads died of infectious diseases, including chytridiomycosis of the skin (N = 1), bacillary septicemia (N = 2), and combined chytridiomycosis and bacterial septicemia (N = 1). Infections by a funguslike organism (Dermosporidium penneri), renal myxozoa (Leptotheca ohlmacheri), larval Rhabdias, various gastrointestinal nematodes, urinary bladder flukes, and lung flukes were detected in five specimens. No evidence of degenerative diseases, virus infections, or intoxications was found. The variety of lethal diseases and our inability to determine the causes of death of five specimens suggests that one or more histologically undetectable diseases or intoxications may have also contributed to the deaths and population decline.

  14. HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY THE TOADS (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED, DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late...

  15. Etomidate anaesthesia by immersion in oriental fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis).

    PubMed

    d'Ovidio, D; Spadavecchia, C; Angeli, G; Adami, C

    2015-10-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and the safety of etomidate anaesthesia by immersion technique in Bombina orientalis. The study comprised two phases. The first phase was carried out to identify the etomidate concentration capable of producing anaesthetic induction, as well as surgical anaesthesia, in the toads. The second phase was aimed at testing that concentration in eight additional animals. Etomidate administered via immersion at a concentration of 37.5 mg/L produced effective anaesthesia in oriental fire-bellied toads. The average duration of surgical anaesthesia was 20 min. All the toads enrolled in the study survived the anaesthesia and long-term complications did not occur. However, undesired side-effects, namely itching, myoclonus and prolonged recovery, were noticed during the perianaesthetic period. The authors concluded that etomidate anaesthesia by immersion, at a concentration of 37.5 mg/L, is suitable in oriental fire-bellied toads and produces anaesthesia of a depth and duration that is sufficient to allow the completion of various experimental procedures, without resulting in lethal complications. However, the occurrence of undesired side-effects opens a debate on the safety of this anaesthetic technique, and imposes the need for further investigation prior to proposing the latter for routine laboratory practice.

  16. Tetrodotoxin and its analogues in extracts from the toad Atelopus oxyrhynchus (family: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Yotsu-Yamashita, M; Mebs, D; Yasumoto, T

    1992-11-01

    Tetrodotoxin and its analogues, 4-epitetrodotoxin and 4,9-anhydrotetrodotoxin, were detected in the toad Atelopus oxyrhynchus by HPLC analysis. The toxin and its analogues were still present in a specimen which lived 3.5 years in captivity. PMID:1336632

  17. Helpful invaders: Can cane toads reduce the parasite burdens of native frogs?

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Felicity B.L.; Brown, Gregory P.; Shilton, Catherine; Shine, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Many invading species have brought devastating parasites and diseases to their new homes, thereby imperiling native taxa. Potentially, though, invaders might have the opposite effect. If they take up parasites that otherwise would infect native taxa, but those parasites fail to develop in the invader, the introduced species might reduce parasite burdens of the native fauna. Similarly, earlier exposure to the other taxon's parasites might ‘prime’ an anuran's immune system such that it is then able to reject subsequent infection by its own parasite species. Field surveys suggest that lungworm counts in native Australian frogs decrease after the arrival of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina), and laboratory studies confirm that native lungworm larvae enter, but do not survive in, the toads. In laboratory trials, we confirmed that the presence of anurans (either frogs or toads) in an experimental arena reduced uptake rates of lungworm larvae by anurans that were later added to the same arena. However, experimental exposure to lungworms from native frogs did not enhance a toad's ability to reject subsequent infection by its own lungworm species. PMID:26236630

  18. DIET OF THE SOUTHERN TOAD (BUFO TERRESTRIS) FROM THE SOUTHERN EVERGLADES

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the diet of a February-May sample of the southern toad (Bufo terrestris) from the Everglades National Park. Above the familial level, 13 taxa were consumed, but ants (Hymenoptera) and beetles (Coleoptera) were consumed most by, and in the greatest number of sto...

  19. Thermal biology of the toad Rhinella schneideri in a seminatural environment in southeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Noronha-de-Souza, Carolina R; Bovo, Rafael P; Gargaglioni, Luciane H; Andrade, Denis V; Bícego, Kênia C

    2015-01-01

    The toad, Rhinella schneideri, is a large-bodied anuran amphibian with a broad distribution over South America. R. schneideri is known to be active at night during the warm/rainy months and goes into estivation during the dry/cold months; however, there is no data on the range of body temperatures (Tb) experienced by this toad in the field, and how environmental factors, thermoregulatory behaviors or activity influence them. By using implantable temperature dataloggers, we provide an examination of Tb variation during an entire year under a seminatural setting (emulating its natural habitat) monitored with thermosensors. We also used data on preferred Tb, allowing us to express the effectiveness of thermoregulation quantitatively. Paralleling its cycle of activity, R. schneideri exhibited differences in its daily and seasonal profile of Tb variation. During the active season, toads spent daytime hours in shelters and, therefore, did not explore microhabitats with higher thermal quality, such as open areas in the sun. At nighttime, the thermal suitability of microhabitats shifted as exposed microhabitats experienced greater temperature drops than the more insulated shelter. As toads became active at night, they were driven to the more exposed areas and, as a result, thermoregulatory effectiveness decreased. Our results, therefore, indicate that, during the active season, a compromise between thermoregulation and nocturnal activity may be at play. During the estivation period, R. schneideri spent the entire day cycle inside the shelter. As toads did not engage in nocturnal activity in those areas with low thermal quality, the overall effectiveness of thermoregulation was, indeed, elevated. In conclusion, we showed that daily and seasonal variation in Tb of an anuran species is highly associated with their respective pattern of activity and may involve important physiological and ecological compromises. PMID:27227075

  20. Thermal biology of the toad Rhinella schneideri in a seminatural environment in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Noronha-de-Souza, Carolina R; Bovo, Rafael P; Gargaglioni, Luciane H; Andrade, Denis V; Bícego, Kênia C

    2015-01-01

    The toad, Rhinella schneideri, is a large-bodied anuran amphibian with a broad distribution over South America. R. schneideri is known to be active at night during the warm/rainy months and goes into estivation during the dry/cold months; however, there is no data on the range of body temperatures (Tb) experienced by this toad in the field, and how environmental factors, thermoregulatory behaviors or activity influence them. By using implantable temperature dataloggers, we provide an examination of Tb variation during an entire year under a seminatural setting (emulating its natural habitat) monitored with thermosensors. We also used data on preferred Tb, allowing us to express the effectiveness of thermoregulation quantitatively. Paralleling its cycle of activity, R. schneideri exhibited differences in its daily and seasonal profile of Tb variation. During the active season, toads spent daytime hours in shelters and, therefore, did not explore microhabitats with higher thermal quality, such as open areas in the sun. At nighttime, the thermal suitability of microhabitats shifted as exposed microhabitats experienced greater temperature drops than the more insulated shelter. As toads became active at night, they were driven to the more exposed areas and, as a result, thermoregulatory effectiveness decreased. Our results, therefore, indicate that, during the active season, a compromise between thermoregulation and nocturnal activity may be at play. During the estivation period, R. schneideri spent the entire day cycle inside the shelter. As toads did not engage in nocturnal activity in those areas with low thermal quality, the overall effectiveness of thermoregulation was, indeed, elevated. In conclusion, we showed that daily and seasonal variation in Tb of an anuran species is highly associated with their respective pattern of activity and may involve important physiological and ecological compromises. PMID:27227075

  1. Correction of locality records for the endangered arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus) from the desert region of southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ervin, Edward L.; Beaman, Kent R.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    The recovery strategy for an endangered species requires accurate knowledge of its distribution and geographic range. Although the best available information is used when developing a recovery plan, uncertainty often remains in regard to a species actual geographic extent. The arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus) occurs almost exclusively in coastal drainages, from Monterey County, California, south into northwestern Baja California, Mexico. Through field reconnaissance and the study of preserved museum specimens we determined that the four reported populations of the arroyo toad from the Sonoran Desert region of Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial counties, California are in error. Two additional sites in the Sonoran Desert are discussed regarding the possibility that the arroyo toad occurs there. We recommend the continued scrutiny of arroyo toad records to maintain a high level of accuracy of its distribution and geographic extent.

  2. The functionality of female reciprocal calls in the Iberian midwife toad (Alytes cisternasii): female-female acoustic competition?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosch, Jaime

    2002-11-01

    Female midwife toads (genus Alytes) emit highly variable reciprocal calls of unclear function prior to and during courtship. In some species, female-female competition, expressed as physical fighting, has been reported. Males of Majorcan midwife toads (Alytes muletensis) show phonotactic response to female calls, and females of Iberian midwife toads (Alytes cisternasii) respond differently according to the male call characteristics. In this study, I test the hypothesis of female-female acoustic competition as an additional function of female reciprocal calls. Playback tests indicate that female calls are not clearly involved in female acoustic competition in the Iberian midwife toad, therefore female calls could be directed at males rather than towards competitive females.

  3. Low doses of urethane effectively inhibit spinal seizures evoked by sudden cooling of toad isolated spinal cord

    SciTech Connect

    Pina-crespo, J.C.; Dalo, N.L. )

    1992-01-01

    The effect of low doses of urethane on three phases of spinal seizures evoked by sudden cooling (SSSC) of toad isolated spinal cord was studied. In control toads, SSSC began with a latency of 91[plus minus]3 sec exhibiting brief tremors, followed by clonic muscle contractions and finally reaching a tonic contraction. The latency of onset of seizures was significantly enhanced. The tonic phase was markedly abolished in toads pretreated intralymphaticaly with 0.15 g/kg of urethane. Tremors were the only phase observed in 55% of toads that received doses of 0.2 g/kg, and a total blockage of seizures was seen after doses of 0.25 g/kg of urethane in 50% of the preparations. A possible depressant effect of urethane on transmission mediated by excitatory amino acids is suggested.

  4. All-optical cross-bar network architecture using TOAD based interferometric switch and designing of reconfigurable logic unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattopadhyay, Tanay

    2011-12-01

    The design of all-optical 2 × 2 Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer (TOAD) based interferometric switch is proposed and described in this manuscript. Numerical simulation has been done to achieve the performance of the switch. Using this 2 × 2 TOAD based switch, cross-bar network architecture is designed. A reconfigurable logic unit is also proposed in this manuscript, which can perform 16-Boolean logical operations.

  5. Detailed spectroscopic study of the role of Br and Sr in coloured parts of the Callinectes sapidus crab claw.

    PubMed

    Katsikini, M

    2016-07-01

    The exoskeleton of crustaceans consists mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals and in many cases exhibits vivid colouration due to the presence of proteins rich in carotenoid chromophores. The exposure of aquatic animals in sea water results often in the incorporation of trace elements in their exoskeleton. The bonding configuration of Br and Sr trace elements in regions with different staining (white, orange and blue) of the exoskeleton of the Callinectes sapidus in crab claw are systematically investigated by a number of complementary spectroscopic techniques, including X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS), X-ray fluorescence, Raman and visible light reflectivity spectroscopies. It is found that Sr substitutes for Ca and the Sr/Ca ratio is constant along the claw. In the orange region that includes the claw fingers, CaCO3 adopts a calcite-like structure, whereas in the blue and white regions, located in the palm of the claw, an aragonite-like structure dominates. On the other hand, Br, present only in the blue and orange stained parts of the claw, is bound to phenyl and/or phenol rings of amino acid residues, most probably to phenylalanine and/or tyrosine, of the chromophore protein. PMID:27183904

  6. Parallelization of GeoClaw code for modeling geophysical flows with adaptive mesh refinement on many-core systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, S.; Yuen, D.A.; Zhu, A.; Song, S.; George, D.L.

    2011-01-01

    We parallelized the GeoClaw code on one-level grid using OpenMP in March, 2011 to meet the urgent need of simulating tsunami waves at near-shore from Tohoku 2011 and achieved over 75% of the potential speed-up on an eight core Dell Precision T7500 workstation [1]. After submitting that work to SC11 - the International Conference for High Performance Computing, we obtained an unreleased OpenMP version of GeoClaw from David George, who developed the GeoClaw code as part of his PH.D thesis. In this paper, we will show the complementary characteristics of the two approaches used in parallelizing GeoClaw and the speed-up obtained by combining the advantage of each of the two individual approaches with adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), demonstrating the capabilities of running GeoClaw efficiently on many-core systems. We will also show a novel simulation of the Tohoku 2011 Tsunami waves inundating the Sendai airport and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants, over which the finest grid distance of 20 meters is achieved through a 4-level AMR. This simulation yields quite good predictions about the wave-heights and travel time of the tsunami waves. ?? 2011 IEEE.

  7. Developmental stages of the climbing gecko Tarentola annularis with special reference to the claws, pad lamellae, and subdigital setae.

    PubMed

    Khannoon, Eraqi R

    2015-07-01

    Studying the in ovo mode of development of squamates has the advantage of allowing easy access to embryos without surgically compromising gravid females. Despite the non-ophidian squamates being a very diverse lineage of reptiles, embryonic tables for individuals of this group are very few. Here, I present the first in ovo embryonic table for a basal multi-scansored, pad-bearing gecko, Tarentola annularis. In this gecko, only the III and IV digits bear claws. Eleven embryonic stages are described based on chronological development of morphological characteristics. In contrast to other previously studied geckos, this species exhibits a longer incubation period. Comparison with other squamates, embryonic development of T. annularis is an indicative of a conserved developmental strategy. Interestingly, the clawless digits of this gecko do exhibit claws during the first half of embryonic development. Thus, regression of claws in these digits could be an advantage of studying this particular taxon, as it raises the question, to be answered in future study, of which mechanisms could be responsible for such claw regression. Before hatching, the outer periderm layer sloughs revealing the functional setae. The present study provides not only a model for pentadactyl limbs and digit development, but also an example of a unique developmental phenomenon, as represented by claw regression.

  8. Detailed spectroscopic study of the role of Br and Sr in coloured parts of the Callinectes sapidus crab claw.

    PubMed

    Katsikini, M

    2016-07-01

    The exoskeleton of crustaceans consists mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals and in many cases exhibits vivid colouration due to the presence of proteins rich in carotenoid chromophores. The exposure of aquatic animals in sea water results often in the incorporation of trace elements in their exoskeleton. The bonding configuration of Br and Sr trace elements in regions with different staining (white, orange and blue) of the exoskeleton of the Callinectes sapidus in crab claw are systematically investigated by a number of complementary spectroscopic techniques, including X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS), X-ray fluorescence, Raman and visible light reflectivity spectroscopies. It is found that Sr substitutes for Ca and the Sr/Ca ratio is constant along the claw. In the orange region that includes the claw fingers, CaCO3 adopts a calcite-like structure, whereas in the blue and white regions, located in the palm of the claw, an aragonite-like structure dominates. On the other hand, Br, present only in the blue and orange stained parts of the claw, is bound to phenyl and/or phenol rings of amino acid residues, most probably to phenylalanine and/or tyrosine, of the chromophore protein.

  9. Constructing an Invasion Machine: The Rapid Evolution of a Dispersal-Enhancing Phenotype During the Cane Toad Invasion of Australia

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, C. M.; McCurry, M. R.; Lundgren, P.; McHenry, C. R.; Shine, R.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions can induce rapid evolutionary change. As cane toads (Rhinella marina) have spread across tropical Australia over an 80-year period, their rate of invasion has increased from around 15 to 60 km per annum. Toads at the invasion front disperse much faster and further than conspecifics from range-core areas, and their offspring inherit that rapid dispersal rate. We investigated morphological changes that have accompanied this dramatic acceleration, by conducting three-dimensional morphometric analyses of toads from both range-core and invasion-front populations. Morphology of heads, limbs, pectoral girdles and pelvic girdles differed significantly between toads from the two areas, ranging from 0.5% to 16.5% difference in mean bone dimensions between populations, with invasion-front toads exhibiting wider forelimbs, narrower hindlimbs and more compact skulls. Those changes plausibly reflect an increased reliance on bounding (multiple short hops in quick succession) rather than separate large leaps. Within an 80-year period, invasive cane toads have converted the basic anuran body plan – which evolved for occasional large leaps to evade predators – into a morphotype better-suited to sustained long-distance travel. PMID:27658247

  10. Use of local visual cues for spatial orientation in terrestrial toads (Rhinella arenarum): The role of distance to a goal.

    PubMed

    Daneri, M Florencia; Casanave, Emma B; Muzio, Rubén N

    2015-08-01

    The use of environmental visual cues for navigation is an ability present in many groups of animals. The effect of spatial proximity between a visual cue and a goal on reorientation in an environment has been studied in several vertebrate groups, but never previously in amphibians. In this study, we tested the use of local visual cues (beacons) to orient in an open field in the terrestrial toad (Rhinella arenarum). Experiment 1 showed that toads could orient in space using 2 cues located near the rewarded container. Experiment 2 used only 1 cue placed at different distances to the goal and revealed that learning speed was affected by the proximity to the goal (the closer the cue was to the goal, the faster toads learned its location). Experiment 3 showed that the position of a cue results in a different predictive value. Toads preferred cues located closer to the goal more than those located farther away as a reference for orientation. Present results revealed, for the first time, that (a) toads can learn to orient in an open space using visual cues, and that (b) the effect of spatial proximity between a cue and a goal, a learning phenomenon previously observed in other groups of animals such as mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates, also affects orientation in amphibians. Thus, our results suggest that toads are able to employ spatial strategies that closely parallel those described in other vertebrate groups, supporting an early evolutionary origin for these spatial orientation skills.

  11. Behavioral responses to immune-system activation in an anuran (the cane toad, Bufo marinus): field and laboratory studies.

    PubMed

    Llewellyn, D; Brown, G P; Thompson, M B; Shine, R

    2011-01-01

    The challenges posed by parasites and pathogens evoke behavioral as well as physiological responses. Such behavioral responses are poorly understood for most ectothermic species, including anuran amphibians. We quantified effects of simulated infection (via injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) on feeding, activity, and thermoregulation of cane toads Bufo marinus within their invasive range in tropical Australia. LPS injection reduced feeding rates in laboratory trials. For toads in outdoor enclosures, LPS injection reduced activity and shifted body temperature profiles. Although previous research has attributed such thermal shifts to behavioral fever (elevated body temperatures may help fight infection), our laboratory studies suggest instead that LPS-injected toads stopped moving. In a thermal gradient, LPS-injected toads thus stayed close to whichever end of the gradient (hot or cold) they were first introduced; the introduction site (rather than behavioral thermoregulation) thus determined body temperature regimes. Shifts in thermal profiles of LPS-injected toads in outdoor enclosures also were a secondary consequence of inactivity. Thus, the primary behavioral effects of an immune response in cane toads are reduced rates of activity and feeding. Thermoregulatory modifications also occur but only as a secondary consequence of inactivity. PMID:21128787

  12. Age, Segment, and Horn Disease Affect Expression of Cytokines, Growth Factors and Receptors in the Epidermis and Dermis of the Bovine Claw

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The aim of this study was to examine changes in amounts of RNA expression for growth factors, cytokines and receptors in epidermal-dermal tissues of the bovine claw relative to host age, claw region and disease state of the horn. Epidermal-dermal tissues were collected from the coronette, wall, sole...

  13. Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, Cathryn, H.; Tanner, George, W.

    2005-12-01

    ABSTRACT: We used data from 10 years of continuous, concurrent monitoring of oak toads at eight isolated, ephemeral ponds in Florida longleaf pine-wiregrass uplands to address: (1) did weather variables affect movement patterns of oak toads?; (2) did pond hydrology and the condition of surrounding uplands affect pond selection by adults or juvenile recruitment?; (3) were population trends evident?; and (4) did a classical metapopulation model best represent their population ecology? Of 4076 oak toads captured, 92.2% were adults. Substantial (n _ 30 exiting juveniles) recruitment occurred only three times (once each at three ponds during two years). Males outnumbered females (average for all years 2.3:1). Most captures occurred during May–September. Adult captures during June–August increased with heavier rainfall but were not influenced by the durations of preceding dry periods. Movement patterns of metamorphs suggested that oak toads emigrated when moisture conditions become favorable. Pond use by adults was correlated with maximum change in pond depth (May–September). Juvenile recruitment was negatively correlated with minimum pond depth and the number of weeks since a pond was last dry, and positively correlated with the maximum number of weeks a pond held water continuously. The number of breeding adults and juvenile recruitment were highest at ponds within the hardwood-invaded upland matrix. The direction of most immigrations and emigrations was nonrandom, but movement occurred from all directions, and the mean direction of pond entry and exit did not always correspond. A total of 21.1% of individuals was recaptured; 13.3% of first captures were recaptured during the same year, and 7.7% during a subsequent year. Only 1.9% of captured oak toads moved among ponds, mostly within a distance of 132 m. We did not detect adult population trends over the 10- yr studied. Presence or absence at ponds in any given year was a poor indicator of overall use. We saw

  14. Osmotic properties of the sealed tubular system of toad and rat skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Launikonis, Bradley S; Stephenson, D George

    2004-03-01

    A method was developed that allows conversion of changes in maximum Ca(2+)-dependent fluorescence of a fixed amount of fluo-3 into volume changes of the fluo-3-containing solution. This method was then applied to investigate by confocal microscopy the osmotic properties of the sealed tubular (t-) system of toad and rat mechanically skinned fibers in which a certain amount of fluo-3 was trapped. When the osmolality of the myoplasmic environment was altered by simple dilution or addition of sucrose within the range 190-638 mosmol kg(-1), the sealed t-system of toad fibers behaved almost like an ideal osmometer, changing its volume inverse proportionally to osmolality. However, increasing the osmolality above 638 to 2,550 mosmol kg(-1) caused hardly any change in t-system volume. In myoplasmic solutions made hypotonic to 128 mosmol kg(-1), a loss of Ca(2+) from the sealed t-system of toad fibers occurred, presumably through either stretch-activated cationic channels or store-operated Ca(2+) channels. In contrast to the behavior of the t-system in toad fibers, the volume of the sealed t-system of rat fibers changed little (by <20%) when the osmolality of the myoplasmic environment changed between 210 and 2,800 mosmol kg(-1). Results were also validated with calcein. Clear differences between rat and toad fibers were also found with respect to the t-system permeability for glycerol. Thus, glycerol equilibrated across the rat t-system within seconds to minutes, but was not equilibrated across the t-system of toad fibers even after 20 min. These results have broad implications for understanding osmotic properties of the t-system and reversible vacuolation in muscle fibers. Furthermore, we observed for the first time in mammalian fibers an orderly lateral shift of the t-system networks whereby t-tubule networks to the left of the Z-line crossover to become t-tubule networks to the right of the Z-line in the adjacent sarcomere (and vice versa). This orderly rearrangement

  15. Effects of flooring and restricted freestall access on behavior and claw health of dairy heifers.

    PubMed

    Ouweltjes, W; van der Werf, J T N; Frankena, K; van Leeuwen, J L

    2011-02-01

    Claw health, locomotion, feed intake, milk yield, body weight, activity, and lying and standing behavior of dairy heifers were monitored in a single dairy herd during the first 3 mo after calving. During the first 8 wk after calving, 2 treatments were applied: restricted freestall access by closing the stalls between 2300 h and 0500 h (yes or no) and alley flooring (concrete or rubber topped slatted floors). Apart from treatments, housing was identical. The animals were kept in small groups (n=4 to 6) in adjacent barn pens. Thereafter, the animals were kept in 1 group in a freestall section with concrete slatted floor and unrestricted access to the stalls for 5 wk. All animals were fed the same partial mixed ration. We hypothesized that (1) hard flooring causes high mechanical load of the claws and (2) restricted freestall access causes prolonged standing bouts and reinforced effects of hard flooring on claws. The heifers had only minor claw lesions before first calving, and the prevalence and severity of sole hemorrhages increased during the first 3 mo after calving (from 0.24 ± 0.08 to 1.18 ± 0.14 and from 0.04 ± 0.01 to 0.24 ± 0.02, respectively), particularly in the outer hind claws. Animals kept on rubber alley flooring had lower average hemorrhage scores in wk 9 (0.13 ± 0.03 vs. 0.21 ± 0.03) and wk 14 (0.20 ± 0.03 vs. 0.27 ± 0.03) after calving, had a slower feed intake (3.05 ± 0.14 vs. 3.46 ± 0.14 g/s) and spent more time feeding (7.3 ± 0.3 vs. 6.6 ± 0.3 min/h) than animals kept on hard concrete alley floors. Restricted freestall access resulted in fewer standing bouts per day (14.4 ± 1.0 vs. 17.9 ± 1.0) and more strides per hour (99.8 ± 5.4 vs. 87.2 ± 5.4) without changing overall standing time (15.0 ± 0.3 vs. 14.7 ± 0.3 h/d) and did not affect the occurrence of sole hemorrhages. The animals with no overnight freestall access spent more time standing (55.9 ± 0.9 vs. 35.8 ± 0.9 min/h) and feeding (7.8 ± 0.3 vs. 4.3 ± 0.3 min/h) between

  16. Devil's-claw (Proboscidea louisianica), essential oil and its components : Potential allelochemical agents on cotton and wheat.

    PubMed

    Riffle, M S; Waller, G R; Murray, D S; Sgaramello, R P

    1990-06-01

    The potential allelopathic activity of devil's-claw [Proboscidea louisianica (Mill.) Thellung] essential oil and a few of the compounds it contains on the elongation of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) radicles was studied using a Petri dish bioassay. Essential oil was collected by steam distillation using an all-glass-Teflon assembly. Ether extracts of the steam distillates from fresh devil's-claw were inhibitory to cotton and wheat radicle elongation. The following six components of devil's-claw essential oil identified by CGC-MS-DS were inhibitory to cotton and/or wheat at a concentration of 1 mM: vanillin, piperitenone, δ-cadinene,p-cymen-9-ol, α-bisabolol, and phenethyl alcohol.

  17. Development of a superconducting claw-pole linear test-rig

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radyjowski, Patryk; Keysan, Ozan; Burchell, Joseph; Mueller, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Superconducting generators can help to reduce the cost of energy for large offshore wind turbines, where the size and mass of the generator have a direct effect on the installation cost. However, existing superconducting generators are not as reliable as the alternative technologies. In this paper, a linear test prototype for a novel superconducting claw-pole topology, which has a stationary superconducting coil that eliminates the cryocooler coupler will be presented. The issues related to mechanical, electromagnetic and thermal aspects of the prototype will be presented.

  18. Influence of Soft or Hard Floors before and after First Calving on Dairy Heifer Locomotion, Claw and Leg Health

    PubMed Central

    Bergsten, Christer; Telezhenko, Evgenij; Ventorp, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Simple Summary In this study the effect of different flooring systems on locomotion, claw conformation, loading, claw- and leg disorders was assessed in heifers from one year before to one year after calving. After calving, heifers kept on alleys covered with rubber flooring were found to develop less lameness, fewer claw disorders of the sole horn and fewer leg lesions than those kept on concrete alleys. Recruitment heifers reared on soft deep straw bedding had fewer sole horn lesions and more overgrown claws before calving, but were more prone to severe sole horn lesions after calving, than those reared in cubicles with hard concrete floors. Abstract Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; p < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; p < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; p < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; p < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs. PMID:26479380

  19. Indolizidine 239Q and Quinolizidine 275I. Major alkaloids in two Argentinian bufonid toads (Melanophryniscus)

    PubMed Central

    Daly, John W.; Garraffo, H. Martin; Spande, Thomas F.; Yeh, Herman J. C.; Peltzer, Paola M.; Cacivio, Pedro; Baldo, J. Diego; Faivovich, Julián

    2008-01-01

    Alkaloid profiles in skin of poison frogs/toads (Dendrobatidae, Mantellidae, Bufonidae, and Myobatrachidae) are highly dependent on diet and hence on the nature of habitat. Extracts of the two species of toads (Melanophryniscus klappenbachi and M. cupreuscapularis) from similar habitats in the Corrientes/Chaco Provinces of Argentina have similar profiles of alkaloids, which differ considerably from profiles from other Melanophryniscus species from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Structures of two major alkaloids 239Q (1) and 275I (2) were determined by mass, FTIR, and NMR spectral analysis as 5Z,9Z-3-(1-hydroxybutyl)-5-propylindolizidine and 6Z,10E-4,6-di(pent-4-enyl) quinolizidine, respectively. A third alkaloid, 249F (3), is postulated to be a homopumiliotoxin with an unprecedented conjugated exocyclic diene moiety. PMID:18848574

  20. Indolizidine 239Q and quinolizidine 275I. Major alkaloids in two Argentinian bufonid toads (Melanophryniscus).

    PubMed

    Daly, John W; Garraffo, H Martin; Spande, Thomas F; Yeh, Herman J C; Peltzer, Paola M; Cacivio, Pedro M; Baldo, J Diego; Faivovich, Julián

    2008-12-15

    Alkaloid profiles in skin of poison frogs/toads (Dendrobatidae, Mantellidae, Bufonidae, and Myobatrachidae) are highly dependent on diet and hence on the nature of habitat. Extracts of the two species of toads (Melanophryniscus klappenbachi and Melanophryniscus cupreuscapularis) from similar habitats in the Corrientes/Chaco Provinces of Argentina have similar profiles of alkaloids, which differ considerably in profiles from other Melanophryniscus species from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Structures of two major alkaloids 239Q (1) and 275I (2) were determined by mass, FTIR, and NMR spectral analysis as 5Z,9Z-3-(1-hydroxybutyl)-5-propylindolizidine and 6Z,10E-4,6-di(pent-4-enyl) quinolizidine, respectively. A third alkaloid, 249F (3), is postulated to be a homopumiliotoxin with an unprecedented conjugated exocyclic diene moiety. PMID:18848574

  1. Effects of Cr(3+) ions on electrophysiological parameters of isolated skin of toad Pleurodema thaul.

    PubMed

    Jofre, Luis Guzman; Castro Cepeda, Ricardo I

    2016-01-01

    In view of the toxicity of chromium (Cr(3+)) ions, it was explored the damaging effects that this ion could induce in cell membranes. The measurement of the effects induced by Cr(3+) ions on electrophysiological parameters of short-circuit current and on the potential difference were investigated using the outer side (mucosal) and the inner side (serosal) of toad Pleurodema thaul skin. The results showed a decreased on electrophysiological parameters when it were administered concentrations of 33, 100 and 200 μM of Cr(3+), the results also suggest that the administration of Cr(3+) inhibits the ion transport in toad skin by the interaction of Cr(3+) with lipid bilayers or protein constituents of membrane, and not by an inhibition of the active transport of ions across Na(+) channels. PMID:27429927

  2. Action of steroids on H+ and NH+4 excretion in the toad urinary bladder.

    PubMed

    Frazier, L W; Zachariah, N Y

    1979-09-14

    This study was done to determine if steroid compounds will stimulate the urinary bladder of the toad to increase its capacity to acidify the urine and excrete NH+4. Aldosterone, 17 beta-estradiol, dexamethasone, pregnenolone, and cholesterol were tested on the bladder. All compounds tested were found to stimulate the rate of acidification by the bladder, above that of a paired control hemibladder. In contrast, only the steroids aldosterone and 17 beta-estradiol were found to stimulate NH+4 excretion in the bladder. Cycloheximide was found to block the action of aldosterone on the NH+4 excretion, but did not have a significant effect on the stimulation of acidification by aldosterone. We conclude that steroids stimulate H+ and NH+4 excretion in the toad urinary bladder. In addition, the NH+4 excretory system seems to be more specific to this effect than is the H+ excretory system. PMID:113550

  3. All-optical pseudorandom binary sequence generator with TOAD-based D flip-flops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoiros, K. E.; Das, M. K.; Gayen, D. K.; Maity, H. K.; Chattopadhyay, T.; Roy, J. N.

    2011-09-01

    An all-optical pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS) generator is designed using serially interconnected discrete Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer (TOAD)-based D flip-flops in a configuration exactly like the standard electronic setup. The performance of the circuit is evaluated through numerical simulation, which confirms its feasibility in terms of the choice of the critical parameters. The proposed scheme has been theoretically demonstrated for a 3-bit and 7-bit degree PRBS but can be extended to higher order by means of additional TOAD-based D flip-flops. Thus it can constitute an efficient solution for implementing all-optically a PRBS in an affordable, controllable and realistic manner.

  4. Effects of Cr3+ ions on electrophysiological parameters of isolated skin of toad Pleurodema thaul

    PubMed Central

    Jofre, Luis Guzman; Castro Cepeda, Ricardo I.

    2016-01-01

    In view of the toxicity of chromium (Cr3+) ions, it was explored the damaging effects that this ion could induce in cell membranes. The measurement of the effects induced by Cr3+ ions on electrophysiological parameters of short-circuit current and on the potential difference were investigated using the outer side (mucosal) and the inner side (serosal) of toad Pleurodema thaul skin. The results showed a decreased on electrophysiological parameters when it were administered concentrations of 33, 100 and 200 μM of Cr3+, the results also suggest that the administration of Cr3+ inhibits the ion transport in toad skin by the interaction of Cr3+ with lipid bilayers or protein constituents of membrane, and not by an inhibition of the active transport of ions across Na+ channels. PMID:27429927

  5. Integrating Multiple Distribution Models to Guide Conservation Efforts of an Endangered Toad

    PubMed Central

    Treglia, Michael L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitzgerald, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models are used for numerous purposes such as predicting changes in species’ ranges and identifying biodiversity hotspots. Although implications of distribution models for conservation are often implicit, few studies use these tools explicitly to inform conservation efforts. Herein, we illustrate how multiple distribution models developed using distinct sets of environmental variables can be integrated to aid in identification sites for use in conservation. We focus on the endangered arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), which relies on open, sandy streams and surrounding floodplains in southern California, USA, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Declines of the species are largely attributed to habitat degradation associated with vegetation encroachment, invasive predators, and altered hydrologic regimes. We had three main goals: 1) develop a model of potential habitat for arroyo toads, based on long-term environmental variables and all available locality data; 2) develop a model of the species’ current habitat by incorporating recent remotely-sensed variables and only using recent locality data; and 3) integrate results of both models to identify sites that may be employed in conservation efforts. We used a machine learning technique, Random Forests, to develop the models, focused on riparian zones in southern California. We identified 14.37% and 10.50% of our study area as potential and current habitat for the arroyo toad, respectively. Generally, inclusion of remotely-sensed variables reduced modeled suitability of sites, thus many areas modeled as potential habitat were not modeled as current habitat. We propose such sites could be made suitable for arroyo toads through active management, increasing current habitat by up to 67.02%. Our general approach can be employed to guide conservation efforts of virtually any species with sufficient data necessary to develop appropriate distribution models. PMID:26125634

  6. Integrating multiple distribution models to guide conservation efforts of an endangered toad

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Treglia, Michael L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitzgerald, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models are used for numerous purposes such as predicting changes in species’ ranges and identifying biodiversity hotspots. Although implications of distribution models for conservation are often implicit, few studies use these tools explicitly to inform conservation efforts. Herein, we illustrate how multiple distribution models developed using distinct sets of environmental variables can be integrated to aid in identification sites for use in conservation. We focus on the endangered arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), which relies on open, sandy streams and surrounding floodplains in southern California, USA, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Declines of the species are largely attributed to habitat degradation associated with vegetation encroachment, invasive predators, and altered hydrologic regimes. We had three main goals: 1) develop a model of potential habitat for arroyo toads, based on long-term environmental variables and all available locality data; 2) develop a model of the species’ current habitat by incorporating recent remotely-sensed variables and only using recent locality data; and 3) integrate results of both models to identify sites that may be employed in conservation efforts. We used a machine learning technique, Random Forests, to develop the models, focused on riparian zones in southern California. We identified 14.37% and 10.50% of our study area as potential and current habitat for the arroyo toad, respectively. Generally, inclusion of remotely-sensed variables reduced modeled suitability of sites, thus many areas modeled as potential habitat were not modeled as current habitat. We propose such sites could be made suitable for arroyo toads through active management, increasing current habitat by up to 67.02%. Our general approach can be employed to guide conservation efforts of virtually any species with sufficient data necessary to develop appropriate distribution models.

  7. Effects of weather on survival in populations of boreal toads in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scherer, R. D.; Muths, E.; Lambert, B.A.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the relationships between animal population demography and the abiotic and biotic elements of the environments in which they live is a central objective in population ecology. For example, correlations between weather variables and the probability of survival in populations of temperate zone amphibians may be broadly applicable to several species if such correlations can be validated for multiple situations. This study focuses on the probability of survival and evaluates hypotheses based on six weather variables in three populations of Boreal Toads (Bufo boreas) from central Colorado over eight years. In addition to suggesting a relationship between some weather variables and survival probability in Boreal Toad populations, this study uses robust methods and highlights the need for demographic estimates that are precise and have minimal bias. Capture-recapture methods were used to collect the data, and the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model in program MARK was used for analysis. The top models included minimum daily winter air temperature, and the sum of the model weights for these models was 0.956. Weaker support was found for the importance of snow depth and the amount of environmental moisture in winter in modeling survival probability. Minimum daily winter air temperature was positively correlated with the probability of survival in Boreal Toads at other sites in Colorado and has been identified as an important covariate in studies in other parts of the world. If air temperatures are an important component of survival for Boreal Toads or other amphibians, changes in climate may have profound impacts on populations. Copyright 2008 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  8. All-Optical Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer (toad) Based Binary Comparator:. a Proposal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattopadhyay, Tanay

    Comparator determines whether a number is greater than, equals to or less than another number. It plays a significant role in fast central processing unit in all-optical scheme. In all-optical scheme here 1-bit binary comparator is proposed and described by Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer (TOAD) based interferometric switch. Simulation result by Mathcad-7 is also given. Cascading technique of building up the n-bit binary comparator with this 1-bit comparator block is also proposed here.

  9. Integrating Multiple Distribution Models to Guide Conservation Efforts of an Endangered Toad.

    PubMed

    Treglia, Michael L; Fisher, Robert N; Fitzgerald, Lee A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models are used for numerous purposes such as predicting changes in species' ranges and identifying biodiversity hotspots. Although implications of distribution models for conservation are often implicit, few studies use these tools explicitly to inform conservation efforts. Herein, we illustrate how multiple distribution models developed using distinct sets of environmental variables can be integrated to aid in identification sites for use in conservation. We focus on the endangered arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), which relies on open, sandy streams and surrounding floodplains in southern California, USA, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Declines of the species are largely attributed to habitat degradation associated with vegetation encroachment, invasive predators, and altered hydrologic regimes. We had three main goals: 1) develop a model of potential habitat for arroyo toads, based on long-term environmental variables and all available locality data; 2) develop a model of the species' current habitat by incorporating recent remotely-sensed variables and only using recent locality data; and 3) integrate results of both models to identify sites that may be employed in conservation efforts. We used a machine learning technique, Random Forests, to develop the models, focused on riparian zones in southern California. We identified 14.37% and 10.50% of our study area as potential and current habitat for the arroyo toad, respectively. Generally, inclusion of remotely-sensed variables reduced modeled suitability of sites, thus many areas modeled as potential habitat were not modeled as current habitat. We propose such sites could be made suitable for arroyo toads through active management, increasing current habitat by up to 67.02%. Our general approach can be employed to guide conservation efforts of virtually any species with sufficient data necessary to develop appropriate distribution models.

  10. Integrating Multiple Distribution Models to Guide Conservation Efforts of an Endangered Toad.

    PubMed

    Treglia, Michael L; Fisher, Robert N; Fitzgerald, Lee A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models are used for numerous purposes such as predicting changes in species' ranges and identifying biodiversity hotspots. Although implications of distribution models for conservation are often implicit, few studies use these tools explicitly to inform conservation efforts. Herein, we illustrate how multiple distribution models developed using distinct sets of environmental variables can be integrated to aid in identification sites for use in conservation. We focus on the endangered arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), which relies on open, sandy streams and surrounding floodplains in southern California, USA, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Declines of the species are largely attributed to habitat degradation associated with vegetation encroachment, invasive predators, and altered hydrologic regimes. We had three main goals: 1) develop a model of potential habitat for arroyo toads, based on long-term environmental variables and all available locality data; 2) develop a model of the species' current habitat by incorporating recent remotely-sensed variables and only using recent locality data; and 3) integrate results of both models to identify sites that may be employed in conservation efforts. We used a machine learning technique, Random Forests, to develop the models, focused on riparian zones in southern California. We identified 14.37% and 10.50% of our study area as potential and current habitat for the arroyo toad, respectively. Generally, inclusion of remotely-sensed variables reduced modeled suitability of sites, thus many areas modeled as potential habitat were not modeled as current habitat. We propose such sites could be made suitable for arroyo toads through active management, increasing current habitat by up to 67.02%. Our general approach can be employed to guide conservation efforts of virtually any species with sufficient data necessary to develop appropriate distribution models. PMID:26125634

  11. Storage and recovery of elastic potential energy powers ballistic prey capture in toads.

    PubMed

    Lappin, A Kristopher; Monroy, Jenna A; Pilarski, Jason Q; Zepnewski, Eric D; Pierotti, David J; Nishikawa, Kiisa C

    2006-07-01

    Ballistic tongue projection in toads is a remarkably fast and powerful movement. The goals of this study were to: (1) quantify in vivo power output and activity of the depressor mandibulae muscles that are responsible for ballistic mouth opening, which powers tongue projection; (2) quantify the elastic properties of the depressor mandibulae muscles and their series connective tissues using in situ muscle stimulation and force-lever studies; and (3) develop and test an elastic recoil model, based on the observed elastic properties of the depressor mandibulae muscles and series connective tissues, that accounts for displacement, velocity, acceleration and power output during ballistic mouth opening in toads. The results demonstrate that the depressor mandibulae muscles of toads are active for up to 250 ms prior to mouth opening. During this time, strains of up to 21.4% muscle resting length (ML) develop in the muscles and series connective tissues. At maximum isometric force, series connective tissues develop strains up to 14% ML, and the muscle itself develops strains up to 17.5% ML. When the mouth opens rapidly, the peak instantaneous power output of the depressor mandibulae muscles and series connective tissues can reach 9600 W kg(-1). The results suggest that: (1) elastic recoil of muscle itself can contribute significantly to the power of ballistic movements; (2) strain in series elastic elements of the depressor mandibulae muscle is too large to be borne entirely by the cross bridges and the actin-myosin filament lattice; and (3) central nervous control of ballistic tongue projection in toads likely requires the specification of relatively few parameters.

  12. First report on toxins in the Panamanian toads Atelopus limosus, A. glyphus and A. certus.

    PubMed

    Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari; Tateki, Eiko

    2010-01-01

    Major toxins from skin extracts of 18 specimens of six Atelopus toad species collected in Panama were analyzed. Chiriquitoxin was identified using (1)H NMR in A. limosus and A. glyphus for the first time. Zetekitoxin in A. zeteki and tetrodotoxin in A. varius, A. chiriquiensis and A. zeteki were identified again. Furthermore, A. certus was suggested to contain a water-soluble toxin other than tetrodotoxin. PMID:19596024

  13. Progesterone improves the number and quality of hormone induced Fowler toad (Bufo fowleri) oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Robert K; Li, Hong; Seratt, Jessica; Kouba, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    Combinations of progesterone, lutenizing hormone releasing hormone analogue (LHRHa), human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), and the dopamine-2 (DA2) receptor antagonist 1-[1-[4,4-bis(4-Fluorophenyl)butyl]-4-piperidinyl]-1,3-dihydro-2H-benzimidazol-2-one (Pimozide; Orap) were tested for improvement of spawning rates, oocyte numbers, fertilization and neurulation rates of the Fowler toad (Bufo fowleri). Only treatments combined with progesterone produced large numbers of oocytes. The best treatment on oocyte numbers, neurulation rates, and the number of neurulas was with 5 mg progesterone, 20 mic.g LHRHa, and 0.25 mg Pimozide. Progesterone (5 mg) with 60 mic.g LHRHa gave high spawning rates, oocyte numbers, and fertilization rates but neurulation rates were low. Progesterone alone in high repeated doses did not result in ovulation. High doses of LHRHa (60 mic.g) with hCG, progesterone, and Pimozide gave the greatest number of toads spawning, however, they resulted in low oocyte numbers, fertilization and neurulation rates. A low dose of LHRHa (4 mic.g) with hCG, or hCG alone as a second administration, and progesterone with Pimozide produced few good quality oocytes. Toads were given normal ovulatory doses of hormones 24 or 48 hrs after their initial dose, but these resulted in low oocyte numbers followed by poor fertilization. Overall, these results suggest that progesterone with a dose between 20 mic.g and 60 mic.g of LHRHa may be optimal for the induction of ovulation in these toads. Moreover, Pimozide can supplement low doses of LHRHa but not replace it. PMID:16451718

  14. Vasculature of the parotoid glands of four species of toads (bufonidae: bufo).

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Deborah A; Savitzky, Alan H

    2004-05-01

    The parotoid glands of toads (Bufonidae) consist of large aggregations of granular glands located between the otic region of the skull and the scapular region. To determine the circulatory pattern of these glands, we perfused the vascular systems of Bufo alvarius, B. marinus, B. terrestris, and B. valliceps with either India ink or Microfil, a fine latex. The perfused glands were studied by gross dissection, microscopic examination, and histology. The vascular patterns of the parotoid glands were compared to the arrangement of vessels in the dorsal skin of Rana sphenocephala (Ranidae), a frog that lacks parotoid glands. The parotoid glands of the four species of toads are supplied with blood by the lateral and dorsal cutaneous arteries and are drained by one or more branches of the internal jugular vein. The dorsal cutaneous artery supplies most of the blood to the parotoid glands in B. terrestris and B. valliceps. In B. alvarius and B. marinus, both the lateral and dorsal cutaneous arteries serve major roles in the blood supply of the glands. These patterns of blood flow have not been described previously for parotoid glands and conflict with earlier accounts for B. alvarius and B. marinus. The arteries and veins associated with the parotoid glands of toads are present in R. sphenocephala, but are arranged differently. In R. sphenocephala, the lateral cutaneous artery supplies the dorsal and lateral skin posterior to the shoulder region, whereas the dorsal cutaneous artery supplies the skin of the shoulder region. In toads, both the lateral and dorsal cutaneous arteries supply the skin of the shoulder region and ramify into subcutaneous capillaries that surround the secretory units of the parotoid glands. Extensive vasculature presumably is important for delivering cholesterol and other precursor molecules to the parotoid glands, where those compounds are converted into toxins.

  15. The novel antidote Bezoar Bovis prevents the cardiotoxicity of Toad (Bufo bufo gargarizans Canto) Venom in mice.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hongyue; Zhou, Jing; Jiang, Jiejun; Duan, Jinao; Xu, Huiqin; Tang, Yuping; Lv, Gaohong; Zhang, Junfeng; Zhan, Zhen; Ding, Anwei

    2012-07-01

    Toad Venom, called chansu (CS) in China, is an anti-inflammatory drug used in small doses for the treatment of various types of inflammation in China. Its use is hampered by the cardiotoxicity of bufadienolides derived from Toad Venom. Bezoar Bovis is another frequently used drug in Toad Venom preparations for the treatment of inflammatory or cardiovascular diseases in Asia. We explored whether Bezoar Bovis could protect against CS-induced acute toxicity in mice. Toxicity was assessed by the general features of poisoning, electrocardiography (ECG), and levels of creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and calcium ions (Ca(2+)) in cardiac tissues. Toad Venom (90 mg/kg) caused opisthotonus, ventricular arrhythmias, and increases in cardiac levels of Ca(2+), CK and LDH. Pretreatment with Bezoar Bovis (120, 240 and 480 mg/kg) significantly reduced the prevalence of opisthotonus and mortality, and prevented cardiotoxicity in CS-treated mice as evidenced by decreases in the scores of arrhythmias and cardiac levels of CK, LDH and Ca(2+). Furthermore, the bilirubin, and taurine derived from Bezoar Bovis offered marked protection against the arrhythmias induced by CS or bufalin in vivo and in vitro. An anti-inflammatory study showed that Bezoar Bovis did not compromise the anti-inflammatory activity of Toad Venom on concanavalin-A (ConA)-stimulated proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These results suggested that Bezoar Bovis elicited protective and anti-arrhythmic effects against Toad Venom intoxication in mice, and is a novel antidote in combination with Toad Venom therapy.

  16. Effects of Multiple Routes of Cadmium Exposure on the Hibernation Success of the American Toad (Bufo americanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James, S.M.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2004-01-01

    The effects of multiple routes of cadmium exposure on juvenile American toads (Bufo americanus) were evaluated using environmentally relevant concentrations. During or after exposure, toads were individually hibernated for 172 days at approximately 4??C. The following experiments were conducted: (1) dermal exposure (hibernation in soil contaminated with up to 120 ??g Cd/ g (dry weight)); (2) injection exposure (single injection with cadmium to achieve a maximum whole-body nominal concentration of 3 ??g Cd/g (wet weight) 12 days before hibernation in uncontaminated soil); and, (3) oral exposure (feeding with mealworms containing ???16 ??g Cd/g (dry weight) for 50 days before hibernation in uncontaminated soil)., We hypothesized that sublethal levels of cadmium would become lethal during hibernation because of combined chemical and cold stress. No prehibernation mortality occurred in the injection and oral exposure studies. There was a significant treatment effect on whole-body cadmium concentration in toads orally or dermally exposed and on percent of cadmium retention in toads orally exposed. There was also a trend of increased time-to-burrowing and more toads partially buried with greater cadmium concentration in the dermal study, which indicated avoidance. In all 3 experiments, no significant differences were found among cadmium treatments in hibernation survival, percent of mass loss, or locomotor performance. However, toads fed mealworms averaging 4.7 ??g Cd/g (dry weight) had only 56% survival compared with 100% survival for controls. Although our results suggest that environmentally relevant levels of cadmium do not pose a great risk to American toads, factors such as soil type or prey species may increase cadmium bioavailability, and other amphibian species may be more sensitive to cadmium than B. americanus.

  17. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  18. Using spatiotemporal models and distance sampling to map the space use and abundance of newly metamorphosed Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chelgren, Nathan D.; Samora, Barbara; Adams, Michael J.; McCreary, Brome

    2011-01-01

    High variability in abundance, cryptic coloration, and small body size of newly metamorphosed anurans have limited demographic studies of this life-history stage. We used line-transect distance sampling and Bayesian methods to estimate the abundance and spatial distribution of newly metamorphosed Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) in terrestrial habitat surrounding a montane lake in central Washington, USA. We completed 154 line-transect surveys from the commencement of metamorphosis (15 September 2009) to the date of first snow accumulation in fall (1 October 2009), and located 543 newly metamorphosed toads. After accounting for variable detection probability associated with the extent of barren habitats, estimates of total surface abundance ranged from a posterior median of 3,880 (95% credible intervals from 2,235 to 12,600) in the first week of sampling to 12,150 (5,543 to 51,670) during the second week of sampling. Numbers of newly metamorphosed toads dropped quickly with increasing distance from the lakeshore in a pattern that differed over the three weeks of the study and contradicted our original hypotheses. Though we hypothesized that the spatial distribution of toads would initially be concentrated near the lake shore and then spread outward from the lake over time, we observed the opposite. Ninety-five percent of individuals occurred within 20, 16, and 15 m of shore during weeks one, two, and three respectively, probably reflecting continued emergence of newly metamorphosed toads from the lake and mortality or burrow use of dispersed individuals. Numbers of toads were highest near the inlet stream of the lake. Distance sampling may provide a useful method for estimating the surface abundance of newly metamorphosed toads and relating their space use to landscape variables despite uncertain and variable probability of detection. We discuss means of improving the precision of estimates of total abundance.

  19. Antiplasmodial and Cytotoxic Activities of Toad Venoms from Southern Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Banfi, Felipe Finger; Guedes, Karla de Sena; Andrighetti, Carla Regina; Aguiar, Ana Carolina; Debiasi, Bryan Wender; Noronha, Janaina da Costa; Rodrigues, Domingos de Jesus; Júnior, Gerardo Magela Vieira; Sanchez, Bruno Antonio Marinho

    2016-08-01

    The drug-resistance of malaria parasites is the main problem in the disease control. The huge Brazilian biodiversity promotes the search for new compounds, where the animal kingdom is proving to be a promising source of bioactive compounds. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the antiplasmodial and cytotoxic activity of the compounds obtained from the toad venoms of Brazilian Amazon. Toad venoms were collected from the secretion of Rhinella marina and Rhaebo guttatus in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The powder was extracted at room temperature, yielding 2 extracts (RG and RM) and a substance ('1') identified as a bufadienolide, named telocinobufagin. Growth inhibition, intraerythrocytic development, and parasite morphology were evaluated in culture by microscopic observations of Giemsa-stained thin blood films. Cytotoxicity was determined against HepG2 and BGM cells by MTT and neutral red assays. The 2 extracts and the pure substance ('1') tested were active against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain, demonstrating lower IC50 values. In cytotoxic tests, the 2 extracts and substance '1' showed pronounced lethal effects on chloroquine-resistant P. faciparum strain and low cytotoxic effect, highlighting toad parotoid gland secretions as a promising source of novel lead antiplasmodial compounds. PMID:27658592

  20. Goal orientation by geometric and feature cues: spatial learning in the terrestrial toad Rhinella arenarum.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, María Inés; Bingman, Verner Peter; Muzio, Rubén N

    2015-01-01

    Although of crucial importance in vertebrate evolution, amphibians are rarely considered in studies of comparative cognition. Using water as reward, we studied whether the terrestrial toad, Rhinella arenarum, is also capable of encoding geometric and feature information to navigate to a goal location. Experimental toads, partially dehydrated, were trained in either a white rectangular box (Geometry-only, Experiment 1) or in the same box with a removable colored panel (Geometry-Feature, Experiment 2) covering one wall. Four water containers were used, but only one (Geometry-Feature), or two in geometrically equivalent corners (Geometry-only), had water accessible to the trained animals. After learning to successfully locate the water reward, probe trials were carried out by changing the shape of the arena or the location of the feature cue. Probe tests revealed that, under the experimental conditions used, toads can use both geometry and feature to locate a goal location, but geometry is more potent as a navigational cue. The results generally agree with findings from other vertebrates and support the idea that at the behavioral-level geometric orientation is a conserved feature shared by all vertebrates.

  1. Population Genetic Structure and Species Status of Asiatic Toads (Bufo gargarizans) in Western China.

    PubMed

    Wen, Guannan; Yang, Weizhao; Fu, Jinzhong

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the population genetic structure of Asiatic toads (Bufo gargarizans) from the mountains of western China to determine their species status, using genotypic data of ten microsatellite DNA loci and DNA sequences from one mitochondrial gene. A total of 197 samples from eight sites were examined, which cover a large range of elevations (559-3457 m), as well as all three traditionally defined species (or subspecies). AMOVA did not reveal any particularly large among-groups structure, whether the sites were grouped by drainage, elevation, region, or species (subspecies). Individual assignment tests placed all samples into two genetic clusters, which largely corresponded to their geographic locations. An isolation-by-distance pattern was also detected when an outlier population (site 3) was excluded. Furthermore, a mitochondrial gene tree revealed deep divergence among haplotypes, sometimes within the same site. The clade patterns were partially associated with geographic distribution but had no resemblance to the traditional 2- or 3-species classification. Overall, these toad populations harbor a large amount of genetic diversity and have very high population differentiation, but taken together the evidence suggests that all populations belong to a single species. Our results are consistent with most previous molecular studies, and we recommend using Bufo gargarizans to represent all Asiatic toad populations from western China without subspecies division.

  2. Antiplasmodial and Cytotoxic Activities of Toad Venoms from Southern Amazon, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Banfi, Felipe Finger; Guedes, Karla de Sena; Andrighetti, Carla Regina; Aguiar, Ana Carolina; Debiasi, Bryan Wender; Noronha, Janaina da Costa; Rodrigues, Domingos de Jesus; Júnior, Gerardo Magela Vieira; Sanchez, Bruno Antonio Marinho

    2016-01-01

    The drug-resistance of malaria parasites is the main problem in the disease control. The huge Brazilian biodiversity promotes the search for new compounds, where the animal kingdom is proving to be a promising source of bioactive compounds. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the antiplasmodial and cytotoxic activity of the compounds obtained from the toad venoms of Brazilian Amazon. Toad venoms were collected from the secretion of Rhinella marina and Rhaebo guttatus in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The powder was extracted at room temperature, yielding 2 extracts (RG and RM) and a substance (‘1’) identified as a bufadienolide, named telocinobufagin. Growth inhibition, intraerythrocytic development, and parasite morphology were evaluated in culture by microscopic observations of Giemsa-stained thin blood films. Cytotoxicity was determined against HepG2 and BGM cells by MTT and neutral red assays. The 2 extracts and the pure substance (‘1’) tested were active against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain, demonstrating lower IC50 values. In cytotoxic tests, the 2 extracts and substance ‘1’ showed pronounced lethal effects on chloroquine-resistant P. faciparum strain and low cytotoxic effect, highlighting toad parotoid gland secretions as a promising source of novel lead antiplasmodial compounds. PMID:27658592

  3. Invasive species as drivers of evolutionary change: cane toads in tropical Australia

    PubMed Central

    Shine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    The arrival of an invasive species can have wide-ranging ecological impacts on native taxa, inducing rapid evolutionary responses in ways that either reduce the invader's impact or exploit the novel opportunity that it provides. The invasion process itself can cause substantial evolutionary shifts in traits that influence the invader's dispersal rate (via both adaptive and non-adaptive mechanisms) and its ability to establish new populations. I briefly review the nature of evolutionary changes likely to be set in train by a biological invasion, with special emphasis on recent results from my own research group on the invasion of cane toads (Rhinella marina) through tropical Australia. The toads’ invasion has caused evolutionary changes both in the toads and in native taxa. Many of those changes are adaptive, but others may result from non-adaptive evolutionary processes: for example, the evolved acceleration in toad dispersal rates may be due to spatial sorting of dispersal-enhancing genes, rather than fitness advantages to faster-dispersing individuals. Managers need to incorporate evolutionary dynamics into their conservation planning, because biological invasions can affect both the rates and the trajectories of evolutionary change. PMID:25568034

  4. A sleep inducing factor from common Indian toad (Bufo melanostictus, Schneider) skin extract.

    PubMed

    Das, M; Mallick, B N; Dasgupta, S C; Gomes, A

    2000-09-01

    Bufo melanostictus (common Indian toad) acquire different bioactive substances in their skin during their life-time in wide ecological habitat. Earlier investigation from this laboratory revealed that toad (B. melanostictus) skin extract (TSE) posses different bioactive compounds of different diversity (Das, M., Auddy, B. and Gomes, A., 1996. Pharmacological study of the toad skin extract on experimental animals. Indian J. Pharmacol. 28, 72-76). Among these sleep induction and sleep potentiation indicated the possibility of sleep inducing factor(s) in TSE. One such sleep inducing factor (SIF) was isolated and purified by neutral alumina column chromatography followed by HPLC. Spectroscopy (UV, IR, FAB-MASS) study indicated that the sleep inducing factor was a 880 Dalton conjugated aromatic compound with a hydroxyl and carbonyl functional group. Biological study showed that SIF produced no lethality in male albino mice upto the dose of 8 mg/kg, i.v. Cyproheptadine antagonised SIF induced contraction of isolated smooth muscle indicating histamine/serotonin receptor mediated action of SIF. EEG studies showed that SIF increased sleep and decreased awakening condition of freely moving rats. Biochemical studies showed that SIF produced significant alteration of brain biogenic amine levels, monoamine oxidase (MAO) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TH) activity. This may be the reason of SIF induced sleep, although the SIF induced sleep mechanism needs further detail investigation. PMID:10736480

  5. Juvenile western toads, Bufo boreas, avoid chemical cues of snakes fed juvenile, but not larval, conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Belden; Wildy; Hatch; Blaustein

    2000-04-01

    Previous investigations have demonstrated the importance of predator diet in chemically mediated antipredator behaviour. However, there are few data on responses to life-stage-specific predator diets, which could be important for animals like amphibians that undergo metamorphosis and must respond to different suites of predators at different life-history stages. In laboratory choice tests, we investigated the chemically mediated avoidance response of juvenile western toads, Bufo boreas, to four different chemical stimuli: (1) live conspecific juveniles; (2) live earthworms; (3) snakes fed juvenile conspecifics; and (4) snakes fed larval conspecifics (tadpoles). Juvenile toads avoided chemical cues from snakes that had eaten juvenile conspecifics, but did not respond to the other three stimuli, including chemical cues from snakes fed larval conspecifics. In addition, the response to cues from snakes fed juveniles differed significantly from that of snakes fed larvae. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the importance of diet in predator avoidance of juvenile anurans and the ability of juvenile toads to distinguish between chemical cues from predators that have consumed larval versus juvenile conspecifics. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10792942

  6. Phospholipid transfer activities in toad oocytes and developing embryos. [Bufo arenarum

    SciTech Connect

    Rusinol, A.; Salomon, R.A.; Bloj, B.

    1987-01-01

    The role of lipid transfer proteins during plasma membrane biogenesis was explored. Developing amphibia embryos were used because during their growth an active plasma membrane biosynthesis occurs together with negligible mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum proliferation. Sonicated vesicles, containing /sup 14/C-labeled phospholipids and /sup 3/H-labeled triolein, as donor particles and cross-linked erythrocyte ghosts as acceptor particles were used to measure phospholipid transfer activities in unfertilized oocytes and in developing embryos of the toad Bufo arenarum. Phosphatidylcholine transfer activity in pH 5.1 supernatant of unfertilized oocytes was 8-fold higher than the activity found in female toad liver supernatant, but dropped steadily after fertilization. After 20 hr of development, at the stage of late blastula, the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity had dropped 4-fold. Unfertilized oocyte supernatant exhibited phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activity also, but at the late blastula stage the former had dropped 18-fold and the latter was no longer detectable under our assay conditions. Our results show that fertilization does not trigger a phospholipid transport process catalyzed by lipid transfer proteins. Moreover, they imply that 75% of the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity and more than 95% of the phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activities present in pH 5.1 supernatants of unfertilized oocytes may not be essential for toad embryo development. Our findings do not rule out, however, that a phosphatidylcholine-specific lipid transfer protein could be required for embryo early growth.

  7. Antiplasmodial and Cytotoxic Activities of Toad Venoms from Southern Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Banfi, Felipe Finger; Guedes, Karla de Sena; Andrighetti, Carla Regina; Aguiar, Ana Carolina; Debiasi, Bryan Wender; Noronha, Janaina da Costa; Rodrigues, Domingos de Jesus; Júnior, Gerardo Magela Vieira; Sanchez, Bruno Antonio Marinho

    2016-08-01

    The drug-resistance of malaria parasites is the main problem in the disease control. The huge Brazilian biodiversity promotes the search for new compounds, where the animal kingdom is proving to be a promising source of bioactive compounds. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the antiplasmodial and cytotoxic activity of the compounds obtained from the toad venoms of Brazilian Amazon. Toad venoms were collected from the secretion of Rhinella marina and Rhaebo guttatus in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The powder was extracted at room temperature, yielding 2 extracts (RG and RM) and a substance ('1') identified as a bufadienolide, named telocinobufagin. Growth inhibition, intraerythrocytic development, and parasite morphology were evaluated in culture by microscopic observations of Giemsa-stained thin blood films. Cytotoxicity was determined against HepG2 and BGM cells by MTT and neutral red assays. The 2 extracts and the pure substance ('1') tested were active against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain, demonstrating lower IC50 values. In cytotoxic tests, the 2 extracts and substance '1' showed pronounced lethal effects on chloroquine-resistant P. faciparum strain and low cytotoxic effect, highlighting toad parotoid gland secretions as a promising source of novel lead antiplasmodial compounds.

  8. [Influence of the Concentration of Dissolved Oxygen on Embryonic Development of the Common Toad (Bufo bufo)].

    PubMed

    Dmitrieva, E V

    2015-01-01

    Several series of experiments investigating the influence of dissolved oxygen concentrations on the growth rates and mortality in the embryogenesis of the common toad Bufo bufo were carried out. The experiments showed that, when the eggs develop singly, the lack of oxygen does not lead to an increase in mortality by the time of hatching and results only in a change in the dynamics of mortality: mortality occurs at an earlier stage of development than in the conditions of normal access to oxygen. Taking into account the combined effect of the density of eggs and the dissolved oxygen concentration, we increase the accuracy of analysis of the experimental results and improve the interpretation of the results. In the conditions of different initial density of eggs, the impact of the concentration of dissolved oxygen on mortality and rates of development of the common toad embryos is manifested in different ways. At high density, only a small percentage of embryos survives by the time of hatching, and the embryos are significantly behind in their development compared with the individuals that developed in normal oxygen conditions. The lack of oxygen dissolved in the water slows down the development of embryos of the common toad.

  9. Purification of PRL receptors from toad kidney: Comparisons with rabbit mammary PRL receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Dunand, M.; Kraehenbuhl, J.P.; Rossier, B.C.; Aubert, M.L. Univ. of Lausanne School of Medicine )

    1988-03-01

    The binding characteristics of the prolactin (PRL) receptors present in toad (Bufo marinus) kidneys were investigated and compared to those of PRL receptors present in rabbit mammary glands. The molecular characteristics of the Triton X-100 solubilized renal and mammary PRL receptors were assessed by gel filtration and by migration analysis on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) after affinity labeling of the binding sites with {sup 125}I-human growth hormone. Similar results were obtained for both receptors. Partial purification of the toad PRL receptor could be achieved by affinity chromatography. The molecular weight of this purified receptor could be determined by analysis of SDS-PAGE. With the use of a polyclonal antiserum raised against a purified preparation of rabbit mammary PRL receptor, one or several antigenic epitope(s) could be identified on the core of the toad renal PRL receptor. In conclusion, although the structure and the biological role(s) of PRL have substantially changed during evolution, the receptor for this hormone has retained many of its structural features as could be assessed between an amphibian and a mammalian species on functionally different target tissues.

  10. Efficacy of fenbendazole and levamisole treatments in captive Houston toads (Bufo [Anaxyrus] houstonensis).

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Catherine M; Johnson, Cassidy B; Howard, Lauren L; Crump, Paul

    2014-09-01

    Effective disease monitoring and prevention is critical to the success of captive amphibian care. Nematodes, including the genera Rhabdias and Strongyloides, are known to contribute to mortality in captive amphibians and have been identified in the Houston Zoo's endangered Houston toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] houstonensis) captive assurance colony. Five years of fecal data for the toad colony were compiled and analyzed in order to investigate the efficacy of two anthelminthic medications, fenbendazole (FBZ) and levamisole (LMS), which were used to control nematode infections. Both FBZ (dusted onto food items) and topical LMS (6.5 to 13.5 mg/kg) significantly reduced the number of nematode eggs, larvae, and adults observed by fecal parasitologic examination. There were no significant differences between treatments, and egg reappearance periods were difficult to compare as a result of low sample size. No adverse effects from either anthelminthic treatment were observed. Both topical LMS and oral FBZ appear to be safe and efficacious treatments for the reduction of the internal nematode burden in captive Houston toads.

  11. Behavioral response and kinetics of terrestrial atrazine exposure in American toads (bufo americanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Storrs, Mendez S.I.; Tillitt, D.E.; Rittenhouse, T.A.G.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2009-01-01

    Amphibians in terrestrial environments obtain water through a highly vascularized pelvic patch of skin. Chemicals can also be exchanged across this patch. Atrazine (ATZ), a widespread herbicide, continues to be a concern among amphibian ecologists based on potential exposure and toxicity. Few studies have examined its impact on the terrestrial juvenile or adult stages of toads. In the current study, we asked the following questions: (1) Will juvenile American toads (Bufo americanus) avoid soils contaminated with ATZ? (2) Can they absorb ATZ across the pelvic patch? (3) If so, how is it distributed among the organs and eventually eliminated? We conducted a behavioral choice test between control soil and soil dosed with ecologically relevant concentrations of ATZ. In addition, we examined the uptake, distribution, and elimination of water dosed with 14C-labeled ATZ. Our data demonstrate that toads do not avoid ATZ-laden soils. ATZ crossed the pelvic patch rapidly and reached an apparent equilibrium within 5 h. The majority of the radiolabeled ATZ ended up in the intestines, whereas the greatest concentrations were observed in the gall bladder. Thus, exposure of adult life stages of amphibians through direct uptake of ATZ from soils and runoff water should be considered in risk evaluations. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  12. Goal orientation by geometric and feature cues: spatial learning in the terrestrial toad Rhinella arenarum.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, María Inés; Bingman, Verner Peter; Muzio, Rubén N

    2015-01-01

    Although of crucial importance in vertebrate evolution, amphibians are rarely considered in studies of comparative cognition. Using water as reward, we studied whether the terrestrial toad, Rhinella arenarum, is also capable of encoding geometric and feature information to navigate to a goal location. Experimental toads, partially dehydrated, were trained in either a white rectangular box (Geometry-only, Experiment 1) or in the same box with a removable colored panel (Geometry-Feature, Experiment 2) covering one wall. Four water containers were used, but only one (Geometry-Feature), or two in geometrically equivalent corners (Geometry-only), had water accessible to the trained animals. After learning to successfully locate the water reward, probe trials were carried out by changing the shape of the arena or the location of the feature cue. Probe tests revealed that, under the experimental conditions used, toads can use both geometry and feature to locate a goal location, but geometry is more potent as a navigational cue. The results generally agree with findings from other vertebrates and support the idea that at the behavioral-level geometric orientation is a conserved feature shared by all vertebrates. PMID:25283747

  13. Temperature effects on baroreflex control of heart rate in the toad, Rhinella schneideri.

    PubMed

    Zena, Lucas A; Gargaglioni, Luciane H; Bícego, Kênia C

    2015-01-01

    For an adequate blood supply to support metabolic demands, vertebrates regulate blood pressure to maintain sufficient perfusion to avoid ischemia and other tissue damage like edema. Using a pharmacological approach (phenylephrine and sodium nitroprusside) we investigated baroreflex sensitivity at 15, 25, and 30°C in toads Rhinella schneideri. Baroreflex sensitivity presented a high thermal dependence (Q10=1.9-4.1), and the HR-baroreflex curve was shifted up and to the right as temperature increased from 15 to 30°C. Baroreflex variables, namely, HR range, gain50 (maximal gain) and normalized gain50 increased 206, 235, and 160% from 15 to 30°C, respectively. The cardiac limb of the baroreflex response to pharmacological treatments was significantly blunted after full autonomic blockade. In addition, there was a clear baroreflex-HR response mainly to hypotension at all three temperatures tested. These findings indicate that toads present temperature dependence for cardiac limb of the barostatic response and the cardiac baroreflex response in R. schneideri is primarily hypotensive rather than hypertensive as well as crocodilians and mammals. Thus, the cardiac baroreflex compensation to changes in arterial pressure might present different patterns among amphibian species, since the previously reported bradycardic compensation to hypertension in some anurans was not observed in the toad used in the present study.

  14. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  15. "African Connection."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adelman, Cathy; And Others

    This interdisciplinary unit provides students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade an opportunity to understand diversity through a study of Africa as a diverse continent. The project is designed to provide all elementary students with cultural enrichment by exposing them to African music, art, storytelling, and movement. This project can…

  16. The commercial harvest of devil's claw (Harpagophytum spp.) in southern Africa: the devil's in the details.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kristine M; Cole, David

    2005-09-14

    Devil's claw is the common name for two species in the genus Harpagophytum. Their root extracts contain the iridoid glycoside, harpagoside, which has been found to be effective in the treatment of degenerative rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, kidney inflammation, and heart disease. Most of the world's supply comes from Namibia, with lesser amounts from South Africa and Botswana. In 2002, the peak year of export, 1018 tonnes of dried tubers were exported from southern Africa, representing the harvest of millions of plants. In 2001, sales in Germany were estimated at 30 M euros, accounting for 74% of the prescriptions for rheumatism. Harvest has improved income levels in marginalized communities but it has also raised questions of sustainability. In 2000, recommendations were made to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to add devil's claw to Appendix II. In 2004, the proposal was formally withdrawn due to the efforts of the range states to address sustainability issues. Replacing wild collection with cultivation has generated a debate on the positive and negative effects on harvester income and rural farmers. Successful cultivation efforts have involved micropropagation techniques and growing the plant without water or fertilizers. The governments of the main range states are working with local communities to develop policies and regulations to protect the species and to determine a sustainable harvest. PMID:16112533

  17. Tooth, hair and claw: comparing epithelial stem cell niches of ectodermal appendages.

    PubMed

    Naveau, Adrien; Seidel, Kerstin; Klein, Ophir D

    2014-07-15

    The vertebrate ectoderm gives rise to organs that produce mineralized or keratinized substances, including teeth, hair, and claws. Most of these ectodermal derivatives grow continuously throughout the animal׳s life and have active pools of adult stem cells that generate all the necessary cell types. These organs provide powerful systems for understanding the mechanisms that enable stem cells to regenerate or renew ectodermally derived tissues, and remarkable progress in our understanding of these systems has been made in recent years using mouse models. We briefly compare what is known about stem cells and their niches in incisors, hair follicles, and claws, and we examine expression of Gli1 as a potential example of a shared stem cell marker. We summarize some of the features, structures, and functions of the stem cell niches in these ectodermal derivatives; definition of the basic elements of the stem cell niches in these organs will provide guiding principles for identification and characterization of the niche in similar systems.

  18. Antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities of different preparations from Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw).

    PubMed

    Caon, Thiago; Kaiser, Samuel; Feltrin, Clarissa; de Carvalho, Annelise; Sincero, Thaís Cristine Marques; Ortega, George González; Simões, Cláudia Maria Oliveira

    2014-04-01

    Uncaria tomentosa have been used to treat viral diseases such as herpes due to multiple pharmacological effects, but its therapeutic efficacy against this virus have not been reported yet. Thus, in vitro antiherpetic activity of hydroethanolic extract from barks, purified fractions of quinovic acid glycosides and oxindole alkaloids was evaluated by plaque reduction assay, including mechanistic studies (virucidal, attachment and penetration action). Once exposure to physical agents might lead to reactivation of the herpetic infection, antimutagenic effect (pre-, simultaneous and post-treatment protocols) was also evaluated by Comet assay. The antiherpetic activity from the samples under investigation seemed to be associated with the presence of polyphenols or their synergistic effect with oxindole alkaloids or quinovic acid glycosides, once both purified fractions did not present activity when evaluated alone. Inhibition of viral attachment in the host cells was the main mechanism of antiviral activity. Although both purified fractions displayed the lowest antimutagenic activity in pre and simultaneous treatment, they provided a similar effect to that of cat's claw hydroethanolic extract in post-treatment. Given that purified fractions may result in a reduced antiherpetic activity, the use of cat's claw hydroethanolic extract from barks should be prioritized in order to obtain a synergistic effect.

  19. Preliminary evidence for color stimuli discrimination in the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea).

    PubMed

    Svoke, Joseph T; Snyder, Rebecca J; Elgart, Jenny Brink

    2014-06-01

    Color discrimination ability can be determined through anatomy or perceptual ability. In this study we tested perceptual ability. Three Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), one male and two females, were trained via operant conditioning to discriminate stimuli within a training task. If they passed criteria for this task, they were tested on as many as six delayed matching-to-sample experimental tasks. These experimental tasks involved comparing varying saturations of the colors blue, green, and red against varying shades of gray, as well as against each other. The male reached criterion on five of the experimental tasks, indicating an ability to discriminate the stimuli. One female participated in only two tasks and did not achieve the criteria as set. The second female did not pass the training task, and thus was not experimentally tested. This study overall showed some early evidence that Asian small-clawed otters may have the ability to learn to discriminate different stimuli on the basis of color cues. Sensory studies conducted on two other otter species and the results of this study indicate that color vision may be a common trait across Lutrinae species. PMID:24788089

  20. Tooth, hair and claw: comparing epithelial stem cell niches of ectodermal appendages

    PubMed Central

    Naveau, Adrien; Seidel, Kerstin; Klein, Ophir D.

    2014-01-01

    The vertebrate ectoderm gives rise to organs that produce mineralized or keratinized substances, including teeth, hair, and claws. Most of these ectodermal derivatives grow continuously throughout the animal’s life and have active pools of adult stem cells that generate all the necessary cell types. These organs provide powerful systems for understanding the mechanisms that enable stem cells to regenerate or renew ectodermally derived tissues, and remarkable progress in our understanding of these systems has been made in recent years using mouse models. We briefly compare what is known about stem cells and their niches in incisors, hair follicles, and claws, and we examine expression of Gli1 as a potential example of a shared stem cell marker. We summarize some of the features, structures, and functions of the stem cell niches in these ectodermal derivatives; definition of the basic elements of the stem cell niches in these organs will provide guiding principles for identification and characterization of the niche in similar systems. PMID:24530577

  1. Iris-claw intraocular lens implantation: Anterior chamber versus retropupillary implantation

    PubMed Central

    Helvacı, Sezer; Demirdüzen, Selahaddin; Öksüz, Hüseyin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the outcomes of anterior chamber and retropupillary implantation of iris-claw Artisan intraocular lenses (IOL). Design: Prospective, randomized, single-blinded study. Patients and Methods: Forty eyes of forty aphakic patients were enrolled. Patients were randomized into two groups. Each group includes twenty patients. Group 1 received anterior chamber Artisan IOL implantation. Group 2 received retropupillary Artisan IOL implantation. Preoperative and postoperative corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), and all complications were noted and compared at 6 months follow-up. Results: Each two groups obtained a significant improvement in CDVA (P < 0.05). Four patients in Group 1 and five patients in Group 2 had significant but nonpermanent increase at IOP values. There were one and two pupillary irregularity in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively. In one patient, a shallow and inferior located retinal detachment were encountered in anterior chamber group. Conclusions: The results were not significantly different between the two fixation techniques for iris-claw lens. The surgery procedure is dependent to surgeon experience and eye's conditions. PMID:26953023

  2. The influence of the environment on dairy cow behavior, claw health and herd lameness dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cook, Nigel B; Nordlund, Kenneth V

    2009-03-01

    Free stall housing increases the exposure of dairy cows' claws to concrete walk-ways and to manure between periods of rest, and generally shows the highest rate of lameness compared with other dairy management systems. However, there is great variation within a system, and the rate of new cases of lameness can be reduced to very low levels provided time spent resting per day is maximized through good stall design, access to stalls through stocking density control and comfortable transition cow facilities, limiting the time spent milking, provision of adequate heat abatement, and good leg hygiene. Sand bedded stalls are useful as they also permit lame cows to maintain adequate daily rest. Rubberized alley flooring surfaces benefit the cow by reducing claw wear and trauma compared to concrete, making them ideal for parlor holding areas and long transfer lanes and walk ways. However, caution is required when using rubber floors in pens with uncomfortable stalls due to apparent adverse effects on cow time budgets, which may in turn have a detrimental effect on lameness.

  3. Expression patterns of Wnt genes in the venom claws of centipedes.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Luke; Arthur, Wallace

    2013-01-01

    The venom claws of centipedes, also known as forcipules, represent an evolutionary novelty that must have arisen in the centipede stem species, as they are not found in any other myriapods. The developmental-genetic changes that are involved in the origin of novelties are of considerable interest. It has previously been shown that centipede forcipules have a unique Hox code. However, this is a combinatorial code: no single Hox gene has a forcipule-specific expression. Here, we focus on Wnt genes. Two genes of this family show forcipule-specific expression in the "model centipede" Strigamia maritima: Wnt7 and Wnt11. For Wnt7, this forcipular expression zone seems to be a new one, which has arisen in evolution subsequently to other expression zones of the same gene. However, for Wnt11, the forcipule-specific expression probably arose by reduction of a more general pattern that originally included most or all of the limbs of an ancestral myriapod. Thus the developmental-genetic basis of the evolutionary change that turned the first pair of walking legs into venom claws is complex, involving different types of change in expression pattern. This sort of complexity is likely to be the case regarding evolutionary changes in morphology in general. Whether the origins of those features that can be considered as novelties are different in terms of their developmental-genetic basis from more routine evolutionary changes remains an open question. PMID:24074281

  4. Claw Lesions Causing Clinical Lameness in Lactating Holstein Frisian Crossbred Cows

    PubMed Central

    Zahid, Umar Nazir; Randhawa, Swaran Singh; Hussain, Syed Ashaq; Randhawa, Sarnarinder Singh; Dua, Kirti

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify claw lesions causing clinical lameness in lactating Holstein Frisian (HF) crossbred cows in dairy cattle. Seventy dairy farmers were interviewed at the monthly meetings of Progressive Dairy Farmers Association of Ludhiana, Punjab, India. Ten dairy farms were randomly selected as per probability proportional to size and a total of 450 lactating HF crossbred cows were taken into the study. All the lactating cows were scored for locomotion and rear leg view index. Trimming was done in all the clinically lame animals (animals with locomotion scores 2 and 3) and equal number of animals selected randomly from those with locomotion scores 0 and 1. Various claw lesions were evaluated in both the groups. There was a significant relationship between locomotion score and rear leg view index to identify lameness. Sole ulcers and white line fissures were the lesions responsible for clinical lameness. Other lesions did not cause clinical lameness but increased the asymmetry in lactating HF crossbred cows. Both locomotion score and rear leg view index could be reliably used to identify clinical lameness in lactating cattle. PMID:25133012

  5. Preliminary evidence for color stimuli discrimination in the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea).

    PubMed

    Svoke, Joseph T; Snyder, Rebecca J; Elgart, Jenny Brink

    2014-06-01

    Color discrimination ability can be determined through anatomy or perceptual ability. In this study we tested perceptual ability. Three Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), one male and two females, were trained via operant conditioning to discriminate stimuli within a training task. If they passed criteria for this task, they were tested on as many as six delayed matching-to-sample experimental tasks. These experimental tasks involved comparing varying saturations of the colors blue, green, and red against varying shades of gray, as well as against each other. The male reached criterion on five of the experimental tasks, indicating an ability to discriminate the stimuli. One female participated in only two tasks and did not achieve the criteria as set. The second female did not pass the training task, and thus was not experimentally tested. This study overall showed some early evidence that Asian small-clawed otters may have the ability to learn to discriminate different stimuli on the basis of color cues. Sensory studies conducted on two other otter species and the results of this study indicate that color vision may be a common trait across Lutrinae species.

  6. Testing for cattle allergy: modified diagnostic cutoff levels improve sensitivity in symptomatic claw trimmers

    PubMed Central

    Dik, Natalja; Hallier, Ernst; Zuberbier, Torsten; Bergmann, Karl-Christian

    2010-01-01

    Background The diagnosis of cattle-related sensitization is complicated by the variability and complexity of cattle allergen extracts. Objective To evaluate a modified diagnostic procedure leading to more accurate results especially in the early phase of sensitization. Methods We tested 27 claw trimmers with and 65 without cattle-related symptoms using two commercially available cattle allergen extracts. We also used a self-prepared cattle allergen mix designed to represent the full spectrum of cattle allergens from a typical agricultural workplace. Results More than 50% of symptomatic claw trimmers showed negative test results with commercial extracts and a sensitization cutoff point of 0.35 kU/l. In contrast, with the self-prepared cattle allergen mix, positive results were observed for almost all of them. Evaluating the results of the commercial test kits at different cutoff levels, we found an ideal cutoff point to improve the sensitivity at 0.2 kU/l. Conclusion Additional tests with self-made cattle hair extracts can help to bridge the diagnostic gap seen in patients showing cattle-related symptoms, but negative results in commercially available tests. For early-stage sensitization screening, we propose to lower the cutoff level indicating sensitization to 0.2 kU/l. PMID:20658147

  7. Effects of age, weight, hormones, and hibernation on breeding success in boreal toads (Bufo boreas boreas).

    PubMed

    Roth, T L; Szymanski, D C; Keyster, E D

    2010-03-01

    The goals of this study were to test the effects of exogenous hormones and hibernation on breeding behavior and gamete release by boreal toads (Bufo boreas boreas). Each year, a subset of 77 toads was hibernated and then paired with hibernated or nonhibernated mates and treated with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue (LHRHa), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or left untreated. Amplexus and egg and sperm production were recorded. At 1 yr of age, only 19% of pairs exhibited amplexus, and no sperm or eggs were produced. At 2 and 3 yr of age, most male toads treated with LHRHa exhibited amplexus (56.9% and 100%, respectively). Among 2-yr-old males, amplexus was more prevalent (P<0.05) in those that were hibernated than in those that were nonhibernated (54.0% and 33.3%, respectively), but most males in each group (93.3% and 75%, respectively) produced sperm in response to LHRHa treatment. Only one 2-yr-old and two 3-yr-old females produced eggs. At 4 yr of age, eight females produced eggs, but two died from egg retention. More nonhibernated than hibernated females developed eggs (7 of 10 vs. 1 of 10, P<0.05). Mean (+/-SD) weight of female toads producing eggs (58.9 +/- 11.9g) was greater (P<0.05) than that of nonproducing females (43.6 +/- 7.0g). Similarly, four of seven nonhibernated females (58.8+/-8.3g) produced eggs at 5 yr of age. All eggs were produced by females treated once with LHRHa. Number of eggs per female varied (141 to 3307), and development to tadpoles was low (0 to 36.5%), although tadpoles did become toadlets. In conclusion, male and female boreal toads matured at 2 and 4 yr of age, respectively, and heavier females were more likely to produce eggs. To enhance breeding success, males should be hibernated and treated with LHRHa. In contrast, female productivity was enhanced by improving their body condition instead of subjecting them to hibernation prior to LHRHa treatment.

  8. Photonic time-division multiplexing (OTDM) using ultrashort picosecond pulses in a terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melo, A. M.; Lima, J. L. S.; de Oliveira, R. S.; Sombra, A. S. B.

    2002-05-01

    The performance of a terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD) operating with an ordinary fiber and with a DDF and DIF (dispersion decreasing and increasing fiber) configurations, for three lengths of fiber ( ξ=π/2,2π and 5π) and using soliton and quasi-soliton laser profiles for the control pulse, was studied. The numerical simulations show that the increase of the fiber length leads to the decrease of the power for the first and second demultiplexed pulses and leads to a broadening of these pulses, with the exception of the TOAD operating with the DDF fiber. For the TOAD operating with a basic telecommunication fiber one see that the increase of the power of the control power lead to a strong compression of the demultiplexed pulse. Operating the TOAD using a DDF fiber one can say that the control power necessary to demultiplex the signal pulse is always lower compared with the TOAD with the normal telecommunication fiber. This is a strong suggestion that the use of the DDF fiber will allow the use of less control power. Our simulations considering the TOAD operating with a DDF and DIF with a linear profile conclude that it is possible to operate the TOAD with lower control power using a DDF fiber setup. For this device the demultiplexed pulses will present a compression on time duration and will be insensitive to the time profile of the control pulse. We also did simulations with the TOAD operating with DDF in four different profiles: hyperbolic, exponential, linear and Gaussian. For all the profiles the increase of the length of the fiber also decreases the pump power of the three first peaks for the soliton and quasi-soliton regimes. The first critical power is always lower for the quasi-soliton regime compared to the soliton regime for all profiles under consideration and all lengths of the TOAD under consideration. It was also observed that for all the profiles and lengths of fiber one has pulse compression for the switched pulse. For the ξ=2

  9. The straight and narrow path: the evolution of straight-line dispersal at a cane toad invasion front.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gregory P; Phillips, Benjamin L; Shine, Richard

    2014-11-22

    At the edge of a biological invasion, evolutionary processes (spatial sorting, natural selection) often drive increases in dispersal. Although numerous traits influence an individual's displacement (e.g. speed, stamina), one of the most important is path straightness. A straight (i.e. highly correlated) path strongly enhances overall dispersal rate relative to time and energetic cost. Thus, we predict that, if path straightness has a genetic basis, organisms in the invasion vanguard will exhibit straighter paths than those following behind. Our studies on invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in tropical Australia clearly support this prediction. Radio-tracking of field-collected toads at a single site showed that path straightness steadily decreased over the first 10 years post-invasion. Consistent with an evolved (genetic) basis to that behavioural shift, path straightness of toads reared under common garden conditions varied according to the location of their parents' origin. Offspring produced by toads from the invasion vanguard followed straighter paths than did those produced by parents from long-established populations. At the individual level, offspring exhibited similar path straightness to their parents. The dramatic acceleration of the cane toad invasion through tropical Australia has been driven, in part, by the evolution of a behavioural tendency towards dispersing in a straight line.

  10. Total On-line Access Data System (TOADS): Phase II Final Report for the Period August 2002 - August 2004

    SciTech Connect

    Yuracko, K. L.; Parang, M.; Landguth, D. C.; Coleman, R.

    2004-09-13

    TOADS (Total On-line Access Data System) is a new generation of real-time monitoring and information management system developed to support unattended environmental monitoring and long-term stewardship of U.S. Department of Energy facilities and sites. TOADS enables project managers, regulators, and stakeholders to view environmental monitoring information in realtime over the Internet. Deployment of TOADS at government facilities and sites will reduce the cost of monitoring while increasing confidence and trust in cleanup and long term stewardship activities. TOADS: Reliably interfaces with and acquires data from a wide variety of external databases, remote systems, and sensors such as contaminant monitors, area monitors, atmospheric condition monitors, visual surveillance systems, intrusion devices, motion detectors, fire/heat detection devices, and gas/vapor detectors; Provides notification and triggers alarms as appropriate; Performs QA/QC on data inputs and logs the status of instruments/devices; Provides a fully functional data management system capable of storing, analyzing, and reporting on data; Provides an easy-to-use Internet-based user interface that provides visualization of the site, data, and events; and Enables the community to monitor local environmental conditions in real time. During this Phase II STTR project, TOADS has been developed and successfully deployed for unattended facility, environmental, and radiological monitoring at a Department of Energy facility.

  11. Activity patterns and fine-scale resource partitioning in the gregarious Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis in captivity.

    PubMed

    Rija, Alfan A; Goboro, Ezekiel M; Mwamende, Kuruthumu A; Said, Abubakari; Kohi, Edward M; Hassan, Shombe N

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of species threatened with extinction is important for conservation planning and for solving problems facing species in captivity and the wild. We examined diurnal activity budgets and habitat use of the extinct in the wild Kihansi spray toad to provide insights into ongoing conservation initiatives for this species. Observations on eight target behaviors were made each morning and evening for 14 days, in two subpopulations at Kihansi and University of Dar es Salaam captive breeding centers. There were significantly more bouts of resting than calling, amplexing, hunting, walking, climbing, or feeding. There was no difference in mean time spent in each activity between the two subpopulations. The use of habitat was variable between age classes, subpopulations and sampling time. Young toads spent significantly more time resting at the top of vegetation and on walls while adults rested more on logs. Further, adults foraged more on the walls and vegetation in the morning and on the ground in the evening. Contrastingly, young toads foraged more on the ground in the morning and switched to elevated patches during evening. The similarity of the toads' behavior suggests that important biological traits are still maintained in captivity and retained across toad generations. Furthermore, temporal and spatial variations in the use of habitat structures between age groups suggest fine-scale resource partitioning to reduce competition in this gregarious species. These results highlight the importance of maintaining diverse habitat structures in captivity and are useful for planning species reintroduction and future restocking programs. PMID:25182839

  12. Living up to its name? The effect of salinity on development, growth, and phenotype of the "marine" toad (Rhinella marina).

    PubMed

    Wijethunga, Uditha; Greenlees, Matthew; Shine, Richard

    2016-02-01

    The highly permeable integument of amphibians renders them vulnerable to chemical characteristics of their environment, especially during the aquatic larval stage. As the cane toad (Rhinella marina, Bufonidae) invades southwards along the east coast of Australia, it is encountering waterbodies with highly variable conditions of temperature, pH, and salinity. Understanding the tolerance of toads to these conditions can clarify the likely further spread of the invader, as well as the adaptability of the species to novel environmental challenges. We measured salinity in waterbodies in the field and conducted laboratory trials to investigate the impacts of salinity on toad viability. Eggs and tadpoles from the southern invasion front tolerated the most saline conditions we found in potential spawning ponds during surveys [equivalent to 1200 ppm (3.5 % the salinity of seawater)]. Indeed, high-salinity treatments increased tadpole body sizes, accelerated metamorphosis, and improved locomotor ability of metamorphs (but did not affect metamorph morphology). At very low salinity [40 ppm (0.1 % seawater)], eggs hatched but larvae did not develop past Gosner stage 37. Our study shows that the egg and larval life stages of cane toads can tolerate wide variation in the salinity of natal ponds and that this aspect of waterbody chemistry is likely to facilitate rather than constrain continued southward expansion of the toad invasion front in eastern Australia.

  13. Distribution and pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in boreal toads from the grand teton area of western wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, P.J.; St-Hilaire, S.; Bruer, S.; Corn, P.S.; Peterson, C.R.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Bd has been implicated in recent declines of boreal toads, Bufo boreas boreas, in Colorado but populations of boreal toads in western Wyoming have high prevalence of Bd without suffering catastrophic mortality. In a field and laboratory study, we investigated the prevalence of Bd in boreal toads from the Grand Teton ecosystem (GRTE) in Wyoming and tested the pathogenicity of Bd to these toads in several environments. The pathogen was present in breeding adults at all 10 sites sampled, with a mean prevalence of 67%. In an experiment with juvenile toadlets housed individually in wet environments, 106 zoospores of Bd isolated from GRTE caused lethal disease in all Wyoming and Colorado animals within 35 days. Survival time was longer in toadlets from Wyoming than Colorado and in toadlets spending more time in dry sites. In a second trial involving Colorado toadlets exposed to 35% fewer Bd zoospores, infection peaked and subsided over 68 days with no lethal chytridiomycosis in any treatment. However, compared with drier aquaria with dry refuges, Bd infection intensity was 41% higher in more humid aquaria and 81% higher without dry refuges available. Our findings suggest that although widely infected in nature, Wyoming toads may escape chytridiomycosis due to a slight advantage in innate resistance or because their native habitat hinders Bd growth or provides more opportunities to reduce pathogen loads behaviorally than in Colorado. ?? 2009 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  14. Activity patterns and fine-scale resource partitioning in the gregarious Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis in captivity.

    PubMed

    Rija, Alfan A; Goboro, Ezekiel M; Mwamende, Kuruthumu A; Said, Abubakari; Kohi, Edward M; Hassan, Shombe N

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of species threatened with extinction is important for conservation planning and for solving problems facing species in captivity and the wild. We examined diurnal activity budgets and habitat use of the extinct in the wild Kihansi spray toad to provide insights into ongoing conservation initiatives for this species. Observations on eight target behaviors were made each morning and evening for 14 days, in two subpopulations at Kihansi and University of Dar es Salaam captive breeding centers. There were significantly more bouts of resting than calling, amplexing, hunting, walking, climbing, or feeding. There was no difference in mean time spent in each activity between the two subpopulations. The use of habitat was variable between age classes, subpopulations and sampling time. Young toads spent significantly more time resting at the top of vegetation and on walls while adults rested more on logs. Further, adults foraged more on the walls and vegetation in the morning and on the ground in the evening. Contrastingly, young toads foraged more on the ground in the morning and switched to elevated patches during evening. The similarity of the toads' behavior suggests that important biological traits are still maintained in captivity and retained across toad generations. Furthermore, temporal and spatial variations in the use of habitat structures between age groups suggest fine-scale resource partitioning to reduce competition in this gregarious species. These results highlight the importance of maintaining diverse habitat structures in captivity and are useful for planning species reintroduction and future restocking programs.

  15. A review of the efficacy and safety of devil's claw for pain associated with degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, rheumatoid, and osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Denner, Sallie Stoltz

    2007-01-01

    Harpagophytum procumbens, known as devil's claw, has been used traditionally for the treatment of pain, fevers, and dyspepsia. Recently, it has become popular for the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Studies have yet to establish a clear mechanism of action; however, current research is focusing on pro-inflammatory mediators as well as on potential antioxidant characteristics. PMID:17627199

  16. Iris reconstruction combined with iris-claw intraocular lens implantation for the management of iris-lens injured patients

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shufang; Wang, Mingling; Xiao, Tianlin; Zhao, Zhenquan

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To study the efficiency and safety of iris reconstruction combined with iris-claw intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in the patients with iris-lens injuries. Settings and Design: Retrospective, noncomparable consecutive case series study. Materials and Methods: Eleven patients (11 eyes) following iris-lens injuries underwent iris reconstructions combined with iris-claw IOL implantations. Clinical data, such as cause and time of injury, visual acuity (VA), iris and lens injuries, surgical intervention, follow-up period, corneal endothelial cell count, and optical coherence tomography, were collected. Results: Uncorrected VA (UCVA) in all injured eyes before combined surgery was equal to or <20/1000. Within a 1.1–4.2-year follow-up period, a significant increase, equal to or better than 20/66, in UCVA was observed in six (55%) cases, and in best-corrected VA (BCVA) was observed in nine (82%) cases. Postoperative BCVA was 20/40 or better in seven cases (64%). After combined surgery, the iris returned to its natural round shape or smaller pupil, and the iris-claw IOLs in the 11 eyes were well-positioned on the anterior surface of reconstructed iris. No complications occurred in those patients. Conclusions: Iris reconstruction combined with iris-claw IOL implantation is a safe and efficient procedure for an eye with iris-lens injury in the absence of capsular support. PMID:27146932

  17. Influence of Soft or Hard Floors before and after First Calving on Dairy Heifer Locomotion, Claw and Leg Health.

    PubMed

    Bergsten, Christer; Telezhenko, Evgenij; Ventorp, Michael

    2015-08-06

    Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; P < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; P < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; P < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; P < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs.

  18. Influence of Soft or Hard Floors before and after First Calving on Dairy Heifer Locomotion, Claw and Leg Health.

    PubMed

    Bergsten, Christer; Telezhenko, Evgenij; Ventorp, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; P < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; P < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; P < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; P < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs. PMID:26479380

  19. Ontogeny of hypoxic modulation of cardiac performance and its allometry in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Pan, T-C Francis; Burggren, Warren W

    2013-01-01

    The ontogeny of cardiac hypoxic responses, and how such responses may be modified by rearing environment, are poorly understood in amphibians. In this study, cardiac performance was investigated in Xenopus laevis from 2 to 25 days post-fertilization (dpf). Larvae were reared under either normoxia or moderate hypoxia (PO₂ = 110 mmHg), and each population was assessed in both normoxia and acute hypoxia. Heart rate (f(H)) of normoxic-reared larvae exhibited an early increase from 77 ± 1 beats min⁻¹ at 2 dpf to 153 ± 1 beats min⁻¹ at 4 dpf, followed by gradual decreases to 123 ± 3 beats min⁻¹ at 25 dpf. Stroke volume (SV), 6 ± 1 nl, and cardiac output (CO), 0.8 ± 0.1 μl min⁻¹, at 5 dpf both increased by more than 40-fold to 25 dpf with rapid larval growth (~30-fold increase in body mass). When exposed to acute hypoxia, normoxic-reared larvae increased f(H) and CO between 5 and 25 dpf. Increased SV in acute hypoxia, produced by increased end-diastolic volume (EDV), only occurred before 10 dpf. Hypoxic-reared larvae showed decreased acute hypoxic responses of EDV, SV and CO at 7 and 10 dpf. Over the period of 2-25 dpf, cardiac scaling with mass showed scaling coefficients of -0.04 (f(H)), 1.23 (SV) and 1.19 (CO), contrary to the cardiac scaling relationships described in birds and mammals. In addition, f(H) scaling in hypoxic-reared larvae was altered to a shallower slope of -0.01. Collectively, these results indicate that acute cardiac hypoxic responses develop before 5 dpf. Chronic hypoxia at a moderate level can not only modulate this cardiac reflex, but also changes cardiac scaling relationship with mass.

  20. Toxicity of nitromusks in early lifestages of South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Chou, Y J; Dietrich, D R

    1999-12-20

    Musk xylene (MX), musk ketone (MK) and musk moskene (MM) are synthetic nitro-containing fragrances. Due to their inherent lipophilicity and environmental persistence, they are frequently detected in environmental samples and especially in aquatic ecosystems. Despite this, the current environmental toxicity database of nitromusks is limited. Although nitromusks have been shown to accumulate in aquatic organisms, little is known about their potential developmental effects in the respective aquatic species. To investigate the developmental toxicity of these compounds to amphibians and fish, early lifestages of xenopus (Xenopus laevis) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed to three nitromusks for 96 h to examine the developmental effects of these compounds in the two species. Nitromusk body concentration measurements were carried out in parallel for correlation with potential developmental effects. No increased mortality, malformation or growth inhibition was observed in either species following 96-h exposure to 400 microg/l MX, MK and MM. However, an approximately 20% reduced viability was observed in xenopus larvae when exposed to 400 microg/l MX, MK and MM for 11 days. Xenopus and zebrafish exposed to 10, 153, 871 and 1637 microg/l 14C-MX for 96 h resulted in whole-body concentrations of 0.7 +/- 0.1, 11.1 +/- 1.1, 38.7 +/- 1.9 and 76.3 +/- 18.3 microg/g, and 4.3 +/- 0.6, 73.3 +/- 11.8, 440.0 +/- 72.7 and 664.0 +/- 47.7 microg/g wet body weight, respectively. Exposure of xenopus larvae to 400 microg/l MX, MK and MM for 11 days, resulted in whole body concentrations (extrapolated from gas chromatographic determinations) of 4700 +/- 5000, 1300 + 300 and 4600 + 4800 microg/g wet weight for MX, MK and MM, respectively. The latter toxicity results, in conjunction with the fact that the concentrations used for the above experiments were between 400- and 10000-fold higher than those detected in the environment, suggest that environmental concentrations of nitromusks are not hazardous for early lifestages of fish and amphibians.

  1. Effects of cadmium on growth, metamorphosis and gonadal sex differentiation in tadpoles of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Bibek; Patino, Reynaldo

    2009-01-01

    Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed to cadmium (Cd) at 0, 1, 8. 85 or 860 mu g L(-1) in FETAX medium from 0 to 86 d postfertilization. Premetamorphic tadpoles were sampled on day 3 1; pre and prometamorphic tadpoles on day 49; and frogs (NF stage 66) between days 50 and 86. Survival, snout-vent length (SVL), tail length, total length, hindlimb length (HLL), initiation of metamorphic climax, size at and completion of metamorphosis, and gonadal condition and sex ratio (assessed histologically) were determined. Survival was unaffected by Cd until day 49, but increased mortality was observed after day 49 at 860 mu g Cd L(-1). On day 31, when tadpoles were in early premetamorphosis, inhibitory effects on tadpole growth were observed only at 860 mu g Cd L(-1). On day 49, when most tadpoles where in late premetamorphosis/early prometamorphosis, reductions in SVL, HLL and total length were observed at 8 and 860 but not 85 mu g L(-1), thus creating a U-shaped size distribution at 0-85 mu g Cd L(-1). However, this U-shaped size pattern was not evident in postmetamorphic individuals. In fact, frog size at completion of metamorphosis was slightly smaller at 85 mu g Cd L(-1) relative to control animals. These observations confirmed a recent report of a Cd concentration-dependent bimodal growth pattern in late-premetamorphic Xenopus tadpoles, but also showed that growth responses to varying Cd concentrations change with development. The fraction of animals initiating or completing metamorphosis during days 50-86 was reduced in a Cd concentration-dependent manner. Testicular histology and population sex ratios were unaffected by Cd suggesting that, unlike mammals, Cd is not strongly estrogenic in Xenopus tadpoles.

  2. Effects of cadmium on growth, metamorphosis and gonadal sex differentiation in tadpoles of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Bibek; Patino, R.

    2009-01-01

    Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed to cadmium (Cd) at 0, 1, 8, 85 or 860 ??g L-1 in FETAX medium from 0 to 86 d postfertilization. Premetamorphic tadpoles were sampled on day 31; pre and prometamorphic tadpoles on day 49; and frogs (NF stage 66) between days 50 and 86. Survival, snout-vent length (SVL), tail length, total length, hindlimb length (HLL), initiation of metamorphic climax, size at and completion of metamorphosis, and gonadal condition and sex ratio (assessed histologically) were determined. Survival was unaffected by Cd until day 49, but increased mortality was observed after day 49 at 860 ??g Cd L-1. On day 31, when tadpoles were in early premetamorphosis, inhibitory effects on tadpole growth were observed only at 860 ??g Cd L-1. On day 49, when most tadpoles where in late premetamorphosis/early prometamorphosis, reductions in SVL, HLL and total length were observed at 8 and 860 but not 85 ??g L-1, thus creating a U-shaped size distribution at 0-85 ??g Cd L-1. However, this U-shaped size pattern was not evident in postmetamorphic individuals. In fact, frog size at completion of metamorphosis was slightly smaller at 85 ??g Cd L-1relative to control animals. These observations confirmed a recent report of a Cd concentration-dependent bimodal growth pattern in late-premetamorphic Xenopus tadpoles, but also showed that growth responses to varying Cd concentrations change with development. The fraction of animals initiating or completing metamorphosis during days 50-86 was reduced in a Cd concentration-dependent manner. Testicular histology and population sex ratios were unaffected by Cd suggesting that, unlike mammals, Cd is not strongly estrogenic in Xenopus tadpoles. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Protein Expression Profiling in the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis Tadpoles Exposed to the Polychlorinated Biphenyl Mixture Aroclor 1254S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Gillardin, Virginie; Silvestre, Frédéric; Dieu, Marc; Delaive, Edouard; Raes, Martine; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Kestemont, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to environmental pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is now taken into account to partly explain the worldwide decline of amphibians. PCBs induce deleterious effects on developing amphibians including deformities and delays in metamorphosis. However, the molecular mechanisms by which they express their toxicity during the development of tadpoles are still largely unknown. A proteomics analysis was performed on developing Xenopus laevis tadpoles exposed from 2 to 5 days postfertilization to either 0.1 or 1 ppm Aroclor 1254, a PCB mixture. Two-dimensional DIGE with a minimal labeling method coupled to nanoflow liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to detect and identify proteins differentially expressed under PCBs conditions. Results showed that 59 spots from the 0.1 ppm Aroclor 1254 condition and 57 spots from the 1 ppm Aroclor 1254 condition displayed a significant increase or decrease of abundance compared with the control. In total, 28 proteins were identified. The results suggest that PCBs induce mechanisms against oxidative stress (peroxiredoxins 1 and 2), adaptative changes in the energetic metabolism (enolase 1, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase muscle and brain types), and the implication of the unfolded protein response system (glucose-regulated protein, 58 kDa). They also affect, at least at the highest concentration tested, the synthesis of proteins involved in normal cytogenesis (α-tropomyosin, myosin heavy chain, and α-actin). For the first time, proteins such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1, CArG binding factor-A, prolyl 4-hydroxylase β, and nuclear matrix protein 200 were also shown to be up-regulated by PCBs in developing amphibians. These data argue that protein expression reorganization should be taken into account while estimating the toxicological hazard of wild amphibian populations exposed to PCBs. PMID:19011258

  4. Quality evaluation of traditional Chinese drug toad venom from different origins through a simultaneous determination of bufogenins and indole alkaloids by HPLC.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ping; Cui, Zheng; Liu, Yashu; Wang, Dong; Liu, Na; Yoshikawa, Masayuki

    2005-12-01

    A simple and efficient HPLC method has been developed to evaluate the quality of traditional Chinese medicine toad venoms. The major bioactive ingredients, including 10 bufogenins and 4 indole alkaloids in the drug, were separated and quantified on a phenyl-hexyl column with a UV detector. A total of 27 toad venom samples from two species, Bufo bufo gargarizans CANTOR and Bufo melanostictus SCHNEIDER, from the different drug production regions of China, were analyzed. The chromatograms showed significant differences with respect to the samples from different origins. These toad venom samples can be distinctly classified into 4 groups by cluster analysis using the contents of the 14 main constituents, including toad venom samples from B. bufo gargarizans from north China, median China and south China, and samples from B. melanostictus from south China. Toad venom samples from B. bufo gargarizans from median China were considered to be of the highest quality. PMID:16327195

  5. Plasma osmolality, urine composition and tissue water content of the toad Bufo viridis Laur. in nature and under controlled laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Katz, U; Pagi, D; Hayat, S; Degani, G

    1986-01-01

    The compositions of plasma and urine were studied in toads (Bufo viridis) which were collected from three locations in Israel, and compared with toads which were kept under constant laboratory conditions for nearly 2 years. Plasma osmolality was rather constant (over 310 mOsm kg-1 H2O) during the whole year in the active toads. Urea was the most variable osmolyte in the plasma, and accounted for the higher osmolality in southern population. Urine osmolality fluctuated in a circannual fashion both in freshly captured and in the toads under constant laboratory conditions. Water content of the tissues was constant throughout the year, independent of the plasma osmolality. It is concluded that high plasma urea concentration and the excretory system (kidneys and the urinary bladder) are important in sustaining constant plasma osmolality in active toads. Both mechanisms change annually and form the basis for the high terrestriality of this species. PMID:2879673

  6. The Acid Test: pH Tolerance of the Eggs and Larvae of the Invasive Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) in Southeastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Wijethunga, Uditha; Greenlees, Matthew; Shine, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Invasive cane toads are colonizing southeastern Australia via a narrow coastal strip sandwiched between unsuitable areas (Pacific Ocean to the east, mountains to the west). Many of the available spawning sites exhibit abiotic conditions (e.g., temperature, salinity, and pH) more extreme than those encountered elsewhere in the toad's native or already invaded range. Will that challenge impede toad expansion? To answer that question, we measured pH in 35 ponds in northeastern New South Wales and 8 ponds in the Sydney region, in both areas where toads occur (and breed) and adjacent areas where toads are likely to invade, and conducted laboratory experiments to quantify effects of pH on the survival and development of toad eggs and larvae. Our field surveys revealed wide variation in pH (3.9-9.8) among natural water bodies. In the laboratory, the hatching success of eggs was increased at low pH (down to pH 4), whereas the survival, growth, and developmental rates of tadpoles were enhanced by higher pH levels. We found that pH influenced metamorph size and shape (relative head width, relative leg length) but not locomotor performance. The broad tolerance range of these early life-history stages suggests that pH conditions in ponds will not significantly slow the toad's expansion southward. Indeed, toads may benefit from transiently low pH conditions, and habitat where pH in wetlands is consistently low (such as coastal heath) may enhance rather than reduce toad reproductive success. A broad physiological tolerance during embryonic and larval life has contributed significantly to the cane toad's success as a widespread colonizer.

  7. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  8. Analysis of behavioral changes in dairy cows associated with claw horn lesions.

    PubMed

    Nechanitzky, K; Starke, A; Vidondo, B; Müller, H; Reckardt, M; Friedli, K; Steiner, A

    2016-04-01

    Detecting lame cows is important in improving animal welfare. Automated tools are potentially useful to enable identification and monitoring of lame cows. The goals of this study were to evaluate the suitability of various physiological and behavioral parameters to automatically detect lameness in dairy cows housed in a cubicle barn. Lame cows suffering from a claw horn lesion (sole ulcer or white line disease) of one claw of the same hind limb (n=32; group L) and 10 nonlame healthy cows (group C) were included in this study. Lying and standing behavior at night by tridimensional accelerometers, weight distribution between hind limbs by the 4-scale weighing platform, feeding behavior at night by the nose band sensor, and heart activity by the Polar device (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland) were assessed. Either the entire data set or parts of the data collected over a 48-h period were used for statistical analysis, depending upon the parameter in question. The standing time at night over 12 h and the limb weight ratio (LWR) were significantly higher in group C as compared with group L, whereas the lying time at night over 12 h, the mean limb difference (△weight), and the standard deviation (SD) of the weight applied on the limb taking less weight were significantly lower in group C as compared with group L. No significant difference was noted between the groups for the parameters of heart activity and feeding behavior at night. The locomotion score of cows in group L was positively correlated with the lying time and △weight, whereas it was negatively correlated with LWR and SD. The highest sensitivity (0.97) for lameness detection was found for the parameter SD [specificity of 0.80 and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84]. The highest specificity (0.90) for lameness detection was present for Δweight (sensitivity=0.78; AUC=0.88) and LWR (sensitivity=0.81; AUC=0.87). The model considering the data of SD together with lying time at night was the best

  9. Analysis of behavioral changes in dairy cows associated with claw horn lesions.

    PubMed

    Nechanitzky, K; Starke, A; Vidondo, B; Müller, H; Reckardt, M; Friedli, K; Steiner, A

    2016-04-01

    Detecting lame cows is important in improving animal welfare. Automated tools are potentially useful to enable identification and monitoring of lame cows. The goals of this study were to evaluate the suitability of various physiological and behavioral parameters to automatically detect lameness in dairy cows housed in a cubicle barn. Lame cows suffering from a claw horn lesion (sole ulcer or white line disease) of one claw of the same hind limb (n=32; group L) and 10 nonlame healthy cows (group C) were included in this study. Lying and standing behavior at night by tridimensional accelerometers, weight distribution between hind limbs by the 4-scale weighing platform, feeding behavior at night by the nose band sensor, and heart activity by the Polar device (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland) were assessed. Either the entire data set or parts of the data collected over a 48-h period were used for statistical analysis, depending upon the parameter in question. The standing time at night over 12 h and the limb weight ratio (LWR) were significantly higher in group C as compared with group L, whereas the lying time at night over 12 h, the mean limb difference (△weight), and the standard deviation (SD) of the weight applied on the limb taking less weight were significantly lower in group C as compared with group L. No significant difference was noted between the groups for the parameters of heart activity and feeding behavior at night. The locomotion score of cows in group L was positively correlated with the lying time and △weight, whereas it was negatively correlated with LWR and SD. The highest sensitivity (0.97) for lameness detection was found for the parameter SD [specificity of 0.80 and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84]. The highest specificity (0.90) for lameness detection was present for Δweight (sensitivity=0.78; AUC=0.88) and LWR (sensitivity=0.81; AUC=0.87). The model considering the data of SD together with lying time at night was the best

  10. Cat's Claw

    MedlinePlus

    63054 ... https://nccih.nih.gov/health/catclaw ... us ... 63054 ... https://nccih.nih.gov/health/catclaw ... Herbal Medicine ... Herbal Medicine/Specifics ... us ... 63054 ... https://nccih.nih.gov/ ...

  11. Physiology of invasion: cane toads are constrained by thermal effects on physiological mechanisms that support locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2011-05-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that constrain the invasiveness of introduced animals is essential for managing invasions and for predicting their limits. In most vertebrate species, the capacity for invasion relies upon the physiological systems that support locomotion, and oxygen transport and metabolism may become limiting as environmental temperatures increase as predicted by the oxygen limitation hypothesis. Here we test the oxygen limitation hypothesis and propose the alternative hypothesis that within-individual plasticity will compensate for thermal variation. We show that during exercise in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina) oxygen transport by the cardiovascular system was maximised in warm-acclimated toads at high (30°C) temperatures, and that oxygen content of arterial blood was not affected by temperature. Resting oxygen consumption remained stable across a 10°C temperature range (20-30°C) when toads were allowed to acclimate, so that there was no increase in resting oxygen demand that could lead to a decrease in aerobic scope at high temperatures. Additionally, temperature acclimation had no effect on arterial-venous differences in oxygen partial pressures. Toads relied more on glycolytic ATP production at low temperatures to support locomotor activity. Mitochondrial capacities (citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase activities) were greatest at warmer temperatures. Interestingly, the metabolic cost of exercise increased at low temperatures. In contradiction to predictions by the oxygen limitation hypothesis, aerobic performance was not limited by high temperatures. On the contrary, the relatively slow advance of cane toads to cooler climates can be explained by the constraints of low temperatures on the physiological systems supporting locomotion. It is likely that human-induced global warming will facilitate invasions of environments that are currently too cool to support cane toads.

  12. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions.

  13. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions. PMID:27061175

  14. Acute Thermal Stressor Increases Glucocorticoid Response but Minimizes Testosterone and Locomotor Performance in the Cane Toad (Rhinella marina)

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, Edward J.; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming is a global problem and acute thermal stressor in particular could be considered as a major stressor for wildlife. Cane toads (Rhinella marina) have expanded their range into warmer regions of Australia and they provide a suitable model species to study the sub-lethal impacts of thermal stressor on the endocrine physiology of amphibians. Presently, there is no information to show that exposure to an acute thermal stressor could initiate a physiological stress (glucocorticoid) response and secondly, the possible effects on reproductive hormones and performance. Answering these questions is important for understanding the impacts of extreme temperature on amphibians. In this study, we experimented on cane toads from Queensland, Australia by acclimating them to mildly warm temperature (25°C) and then exposing to acute temperature treatments of 30°, 35° or 40°C (hypothetical acute thermal stressors). We measured acute changes in the stress hormone corticosterone and the reproductive hormone testosterone using standard capture and handling protocol and quantified the metabolites of both hormones non-invasively using urinary enzyme-immunoassays. Furthermore, we measured performance trait (i.e. righting response score) in the control acclimated and the three treatment groups. Corticosterone stress responses increased in all toads during exposure to an acute thermal stressor. Furthermore, exposure to a thermal stressor also decreased testosterone levels in all toads. The duration of the righting response (seconds) was longer for toads that were exposed to 40°C than to 30°, 35° or 25°C. The increased corticosterone stress response with increased intensity of the acute thermal stressor suggests that the toads perceived this treatment as a stressor. Furthermore, the results also highlight a potential trade-off with performance and reproductive hormones. Ultimately, exposure acute thermal stressors due to climatic variability could impact amphibians at

  15. Bovine tuberculosis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea) in the Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunkyoung; Kim, Jae-Myung; Jang, Yunho; Lee, Kyunghyun; Baek, Kanghyun; Lee, Boram; Kim, Ha-Young; Lee, Myoung-Heon; Ryoo, Soyoon; Bae, You-Chan; Choi, Eun-Jin; So, ByungJae

    2015-09-01

    Bovine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis has a wide range of hosts including cattle and humans, but its incidence in otters is very rare. Our report describes a case of bovine tuberculosis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea). A deceased female otter ~2-3 years of age that was raised in an aquarium was submitted to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (Anyang, Republic of Korea) for autopsy in June 2013. Following gross pathological examination, many white nodules were observed in the lungs and mesentery. The nodules showed central necrosis infiltrated with lymphocytes and macrophages and surrounded by fibrous tissue. Acid-fast bacteria were detected in the necrotic foci, but no fungi were observed. Molecular analysis led to the detection of M. bovis, which is identified in otters in some European countries such as Spain and France.

  16. The GeoClaw software for depth-averaged flows with adaptive refinement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, M.J.; George, D.L.; LeVeque, R.J.; Mandli, K.T.

    2011-01-01

    Many geophysical flow or wave propagation problems can be modeled with two-dimensional depth-averaged equations, of which the shallow water equations are the simplest example. We describe the GeoClaw software that has been designed to solve problems of this nature, consisting of open source Fortran programs together with Python tools for the user interface and flow visualization. This software uses high-resolution shock-capturing finite volume methods on logically rectangular grids, including latitude-longitude grids on the sphere. Dry states are handled automatically to model inundation. The code incorporates adaptive mesh refinement to allow the efficient solution of large-scale geophysical problems. Examples are given illustrating its use for modeling tsunamis and dam-break flooding problems. Documentation and download information is available at www.clawpack.org/geoclaw. ?? 2011.

  17. A Study on High Thermal Conductive Insulation for Claw Teeth Motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshitake, Yuichiro; Obata, Koji; Enomoto, Yuji; Okabe, Yoshiaki

    To increase the power density of motors in a wide range of fields from home appliance to power industry, we proposed two new high thermal conductive insulation systems for the motors. They were a glass cross insulation system and a resin coated insulation system without forced cooling devices such as a cooling fan. Their thermal and insulation characteristics were measured and analyzed, and optimum thermal conductive structures for claw teeth motors were discussed through robust design and thermal network analysis. Experiment on prototype motors with the highest thermal conductive epoxy resin (5 W/mK) and the proposed systems, revealed that the temperature rise of motor coils was decreased; their temperature reached 73 % of that of the motor coils with standard insulation and normal resin (0.6 W/mK). Furthermore, partial discharge inception voltage (PDIV) and breakdown voltage (BDV) were measured, and we verified that resin coated insulation motors could withstand as high a voltage as normal insulation motors.

  18. Social partner discrimination based on sounds and scents in Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus).

    PubMed

    Lemasson, A; Mikus, M-A; Blois-Heulin, C; Lodé, T

    2013-03-01

    Ability to discriminate familiar conspecifics is an essential competence in any group-living species, ensuring socio-spatial cohesion, but in many animals, such as mustelids, the relative importance of the different communicative modalities for discrimination is poorly understood. In otters, there is evidence of intra-specific variation in physical appearance and in feces chemical profile, but the potential for acoustic identity coding as well as for identity decoding in visual, acoustic and olfactive domains remains unexplored. We investigated the acoustic structure of contact calls in five captive groups of small-clawed otters and found that it is possible to reliably assign one particular call to a given adult male caller. Females discriminated between familiar and unfamiliar adult males based on their sound (playback) and smell (feces) but not based on their picture, suggesting abilities to memorize and use acoustic and olfactive signatures in their daily social life.

  19. Bovine tuberculosis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea) in the Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunkyoung; Kim, Jae-Myung; Jang, Yunho; Lee, Kyunghyun; Baek, Kanghyun; Lee, Boram; Kim, Ha-Young; Lee, Myoung-Heon; Ryoo, Soyoon; Bae, You-Chan; Choi, Eun-Jin; So, ByungJae

    2015-09-01

    Bovine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis has a wide range of hosts including cattle and humans, but its incidence in otters is very rare. Our report describes a case of bovine tuberculosis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea). A deceased female otter ~2-3 years of age that was raised in an aquarium was submitted to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (Anyang, Republic of Korea) for autopsy in June 2013. Following gross pathological examination, many white nodules were observed in the lungs and mesentery. The nodules showed central necrosis infiltrated with lymphocytes and macrophages and surrounded by fibrous tissue. Acid-fast bacteria were detected in the necrotic foci, but no fungi were observed. Molecular analysis led to the detection of M. bovis, which is identified in otters in some European countries such as Spain and France. PMID:26289719

  20. Splenic marginal zone lymphoma in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea).

    PubMed

    Stedman, Nancy L; Mills, Zachary V

    2014-09-01

    Severe splenomegaly was found during routine examination of a clinically normal 7-yr-old male Asian small clawed otter. The spleen and three enlarged splenic lymph nodes were immediately removed. The spleen weighed 310 g (approximately 8% of body weight). The spleen and resected lymph nodes were diffusely infiltrated by coalescing sheets of neoplastic lymphocytes that occasionally surrounded remnants of preexisting lymphoid follicles. Immunohistochemical confirmation of B lymphocyte origin and microscopic pattern were consistent with primary splenic marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) with metastasis to the splenic lymph nodes. The otter received no additional treatment and survived for 16 mo following splenectomy. Necropsy confirmed metastasis to multiple abdominal and extra-abdominal lymph nodes, liver, and kidney, and renal failure related to glomerulosclerosis. The prolonged survival in this otter is typical for MZL, an indolent form of B-cell lymphosarcoma that spreads slowly to the abdominal and extra-abdominal lymph nodes. PMID:25314852

  1. Social partner discrimination based on sounds and scents in Asian small-clawed otters ( Aonyx cinereus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemasson, A.; Mikus, M.-A.; Blois-Heulin, C.; Lodé, T.

    2013-03-01

    Ability to discriminate familiar conspecifics is an essential competence in any group-living species, ensuring socio-spatial cohesion, but in many animals, such as mustelids, the relative importance of the different communicative modalities for discrimination is poorly understood. In otters, there is evidence of intra-specific variation in physical appearance and in feces chemical profile, but the potential for acoustic identity coding as well as for identity decoding in visual, acoustic and olfactive domains remains unexplored. We investigated the acoustic structure of contact calls in five captive groups of small-clawed otters and found that it is possible to reliably assign one particular call to a given adult male caller. Females discriminated between familiar and unfamiliar adult males based on their sound (playback) and smell (feces) but not based on their picture, suggesting abilities to memorize and use acoustic and olfactive signatures in their daily social life.

  2. Evaluation of inorganic elements in cat's claw teas using ICP OES and GF AAS.

    PubMed

    Pereira, João B; Dantas, Kelly G F

    2016-04-01

    The determination of Ba, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, Pb, and Zn by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES), and Se by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF AAS), has been carried out in dry matter and teas from 11 samples of the cat's claw plant. The accuracy and precision values were verified against GBW 07604 (Poplar leaves) certified reference material and by the recovery test. Results showed a high content of Ca in the medicinal plant studied, followed by Mg and P. The values obtained showed that the elements studied have different concentrations depending on the method of tea preparation. The highest levels were observed in Ca and Mg, and the lowest for Se and Pb, by both infusion and decoction. Teas prepared from this plant were found to be at safe levels for human consumption, and may be suitable as sources of these elements in the human diet. PMID:26593498

  3. Geology and mammalian paleontology of the Horned Toad Hills, Mojave Desert, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    May, S.R.; Woodburne, M.O.; Lindsay, E.H.; Albright, L.B.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A.; Wan, E.; Wahl, D.B.

    2011-01-01

    The Horned Toad Formation includes five lithostratigraphic members that record alluvial fan, fluvial, lake margin, and lacustrine deposition within a relatively small basin just south of the active Garlock fault during the late Miocene to early Pliocene. These sediments experienced northwest-southeast contractional deformation during the Pliocene-Pleistocene associated with basement-involved reverse faults. Member Two of the Horned Toad Formation has yielded 24 taxa of fossil mammals, referred to as the Warren Local Fauna, including Cryptotis sp., cf. Scapanus, Hypolagus vetus, Hypolagus edensis,? Spermophilus sp., Prothomomys warrenensis n. gen., n. sp., Perognathus sp., Repomys gustelyi, Postcopemys valensis, Peromyscus sp. A, Peromyscus sp. B, Jacobsomys dailyi n. sp., Borophagus cf. B. secundus, cf. Agriotherium, Machairodus sp. cf. M. coloradensis, Rhynchotherium sp. cf. R. edensis, Pliomastodon vexillarius, Dinohippus edensis, Teleoceras sp. cf. T. fossiger, cf. Prosthennops, Megatylopus sp. cf. M. matthewi, Hemiauchenia vera, Camelidae gen. et. sp. indet., and the antilocaprid cf. Sphenophalos. The majority of fossil localities are confined to a 20 m thick stratigraphic interval within a reversed polarity magnetozone. The fauna demonstrates affinity with other late Hemphillian faunas from California, Nevada, Nebraska, Texas, and Mexico. The Lawlor Tuff, dated elsewhere in California at 4.83 ?? 0.04 Ma and geochemically identified in the Horned Toad Formation, overlies most of the fossil mammal localities. Magnetic polarity data are correlated with Chrons 3n.3r, 3n.3n, and 3n.2r, suggesting an age of approximately 5.0 - 4.6 Ma. These constraints indicate an age for the late Hemphillian Warren Local Fauna of 4.85 - 5.0 Ma. ?? Society of Vertebrate Paleontology November 2011.

  4. Two novel antimicrobial peptides from skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hong-Ling; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Xuan; Kong, Yi

    2016-04-01

    Amphibian skin contains rich bioactive peptides. Especially, a large amount of antimicrobial peptides have been identified from amphibian skin secretions. Antimicrobial peptides display potent cytolytic activities against a range of pathogenic bacteria and fungi and play important defense roles. No antimicrobial peptides have been reported from toads belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. In this work, two novel antimicrobial peptides (Megin 1 and Megin 2) were purified and characterized from the skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor (Pelobatidae, Anura, Amphibia). Megin 1 had an amino acid sequence of FLKGCWTKWYSLKPKCPF-NH2, which was composed of 18 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge and an amidated C-terminus. Megin 2 had an amino acid sequence of FFVLKFLLKWAGKVGLEHLACKFKNWC, which was composed of 27 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge. Both Megin 1 and Megin 2 showed potential antimicrobial abilities against bacteria and fungi. The MICs of Megin 1 against Escherichia coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Candida albicans were 25, 3, 6.25, 3, and 50 μg·mL(-1), respectively. The corresponding MICs for Megin 2 were 6.25, 1.5, 12.5, 1.5, and 12.5 μg·mL(-1), respectively. They also exerted strong hemolytic activity against human and rabbit red cells. The results suggested that megin peptides in the toad skin of M. minor displayed toxic effects on both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. This was the first report of antimicrobial peptides from amphibians belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. PMID:27114317

  5. Assessment of Virally Vectored Autoimmunity as a Biocontrol Strategy for Cane Toads

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Anthony J.; Venables, Daryl; Voysey, Rhonda D.; Boyle, Donna G.; Shanmuganathan, Thayalini; Hardy, Christopher M.; Siddon, Nicole A.; Hyatt, Alex D.

    2011-01-01

    Background The cane toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus, is one of the most notorious vertebrate pests introduced into Australia over the last 200 years and, so far, efforts to identify a naturally occurring B. marinus-specific pathogen for use as a biological control agent have been unsuccessful. We explored an alternative approach that entailed genetically modifying a pathogen with broad host specificity so that it no longer caused disease, but carried a gene to disrupt the cane toad life cycle in a species specific manner. Methodology/Principal Findings The adult beta globin gene was selected as the model gene for proof of concept of autoimmunity as a biocontrol method for cane toads. A previous report showed injection of bullfrog tadpoles with adult beta globin resulted in an alteration in the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs as well as reduced survival. In B. marinus we established for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin exists. The effect of injecting B. marinus tadpoles with purified recombinant adult globin protein was then assessed using behavioural (swim speed in tadpoles and jump length in metamorphs), developmental (time to metamorphosis, weight and length at various developmental stages, protein profile of adult globin) and genetic (adult globin mRNA levels) measures. However, we were unable to detect any differences between treated and control animals. Further, globin delivery using Bohle iridovirus, an Australian ranavirus isolate belonging to the Iridovirus family, did not reduce the survival of metamorphs or alter the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs. Conclusions/Significance While we were able to show for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin does occur in B. marinus, we were not able to induce autoimmunity and disrupt metamorphosis. The short development time of B. marinus tadpoles may preclude this approach. PMID:21283623

  6. Habitat suitability of patch types: A case study of the Yosemite toad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Christina T.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2011-06-01

    Understanding patch variability is crucial in understanding the spatial population structure of wildlife species, especially for rare or threatened species. We used a well-tested maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) to map the Yosemite toad ( Anaxyrus (= Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Twenty-six environmental variables were included in the model representing climate, topography, land cover type, and disturbance factors (e.g., distances to agricultural lands, fire perimeters, and timber harvest areas) throughout the historic range of the toad. We then took a novel approach to the study of spatially structured populations by applying the species-environmental matching model separately for 49 consistently occupied sites of the Yosemite toad compared to 27 intermittently occupied sites. We found that the distribution of the entire population was highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.03 SD), and associated with low slopes, specific vegetation types (wet meadow, alpine-dwarf shrub, montane chaparral, red fir, and subalpine conifer), and warm temperatures. The consistently occupied sites were also associated with these same factors, and they were also highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.05 SD). However, the intermittently occupied sites were associated with distance to fire perimeter, a slightly different response to vegetation types, distance to timber harvests, and a much broader set of aspect classes (AUC = 0.90±0.11 SD). We conclude that many studies of species distributions may benefit by modeling spatially structured populations separately. Modeling and monitoring consistently-occupied sites may provide a realistic snapshot of current species-environment relationships, important climatic and topographic patterns associated with species persistence patterns, and an understanding of the plasticity of the species to respond to varying climate regimes across its range. Meanwhile, modeling and monitoring of widely dispersing

  7. Ranking landscape development scenarios affecting natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) population dynamics in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Franz, Kamila W; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios.

  8. Ranking Landscape Development Scenarios Affecting Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita) Population Dynamics in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Kamila W.; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios. PMID:23734223

  9. Detection of antidiabetic activity by crude paratoid gland secretions from common Indian toad (bufomelano stictus)

    PubMed Central

    Neerati, Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Background: Amphibians have provided a remarkable array of biological active compounds, which are secreted from socalled granular skin glands which serve to protect the amphibians from predators due to its noxious effects on buccal tissue and at least in the case of some peptides, to protect from bacterial (or) protozoan infections. Given the respiratory and antimicrobial functions of amphibian skin, it is likely that some of the novel molecules found in amphibian granular gland secretions might be of use in the treatment of skin and respiratory infections. Secretions from common Indian toad (Bufo melanostictus) a member of Bufonidae family has the history of medicinal use however the anti-diabetic activity is not reported. The present study is aimed to determine whether paratoid gland extract have any influence on the diabetes and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of glimepiride (GLM) in normal and diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: An aqueous and methanolic extracts of paratoid glandular secretions were prepared, air dried and used to determine the antidiabetic activity in rats. The blood sampling was done at preset time intervals between 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 h, using heparinized capillaries. The blood glucose levels are estimated by glucose oxidase-peroxidase method, and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography is used to determine the pharmacokinetic parameters of GLM using glibenclamide as an internal standard. Results: Both the aqueous and methanolic extracts produced better glycemic control in diabetic rats, and methanolic extract is better than the aqueous extract. Serum concentrations of GLM increased at 2nd h, and the percentage glucose reduction is maximal at the 4th h with both aqueous and methanolic extracts of paratoid secretions of common Indian toad. Conclusions: Paratoid gland secretions of the common Indian toad is antidiabetic, in addition it has beneficial effects in combination with GLM. Further, it requires the

  10. Habitat suitability of patch types: a case study of the Yosemite toad

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liang, Christina T.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding patch variability is crucial in understanding the spatial population structure of wildlife species, especially for rare or threatened species. We used a well-tested maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) to map the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus (= Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Twenty-six environmental variables were included in the model representing climate, topography, land cover type, and disturbance factors (e.g., distances to agricultural lands, fire perimeters, and timber harvest areas) throughout the historic range of the toad. We then took a novel approach to the study of spatially structured populations by applying the species-environmental matching model separately for 49 consistently occupied sites of the Yosemite toad compared to 27 intermittently occupied sites. We found that the distribution of the entire population was highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.03 SD), and associated with low slopes, specific vegetation types (wet meadow, alpine-dwarf shrub, montane chaparral, red fir, and subalpine conifer), and warm temperatures. The consistently occupied sites were also associated with these same factors, and they were also highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.05 SD). However, the intermittently occupied sites were associated with distance to fire perimeter, a slightly different response to vegetation types, distance to timber harvests, and a much broader set of aspect classes (AUC = 0.90±0.11 SD). We conclude that many studies of species distributions may benefit by modeling spatially structured populations separately. Modeling and monitoring consistently-occupied sites may provide a realistic snapshot of current species-environment relationships, important climatic and topographic patterns associated with species persistence patterns, and an understanding of the plasticity of the species to respond to varying climate regimes across its range. Meanwhile, modeling and monitoring of widely dispersing

  11. Locomotion and claw disorders in Norwegian dairy cows housed in freestalls with slatted concrete, solid concrete, or solid rubber flooring in the alleys.

    PubMed

    Fjeldaas, T; Sogstad, A M; Osterås, O

    2011-03-01

    This study was part of a cross-sectional project on freestall housing, and the aim was to compare locomotion and claw disorders in freestall dairy cattle herds with slatted concrete, solid concrete, or solid rubber flooring in the alleys. The final population for studying claw disorders consisted of 66 dairy herds with 2,709 dry or lactating cows, whereas the population for studying locomotion consisted of 54 herds with 2,216 cows. All herds used Norwegian Red as the main breed. The herds were visited by 15 trained claw trimmers one time during the period from the beginning of February to summer let-out onto pasture in 2008. The trimmers assessed locomotion scores (LocS) of all cows before trimming. At trimming, claw disorders were diagnosed and recorded in the Norwegian Claw Health Card. Estimates describing locomotion and claw disorders in the hind feet were identified by use of multivariable models fit with LocS and each claw disorder as dependent variables, respectively. Herd nested within claw trimmer was included in the model as random effects. The odds ratio (OR) of having LocS >2 and LocS >3 was 1.9 and 2.1, respectively, on slatted concrete compared with solid concrete. Fewer cases of dermatitis were found on slatted than solid concrete (OR=0.70) and a tendency was observed for fewer heel horn erosions on slatted concrete than solid rubber (OR=0.47). Hemorrhages of the white line and sole were more prevalent in herds housed on slatted and solid concrete than in those housed on solid rubber (OR=2.6 and OR=2.1, respectively). White line fissures were also more prevalent in herds housed on slatted and solid concrete than in those housed on solid rubber (OR=2.1 and OR=2.0, respectively). Double soles were more prevalent on solid concrete than solid rubber (OR=4.4). However, sole ulcers were less prevalent in herds with slatted and solid concrete than solid rubber (OR=0.39 and OR=0.53, respectively). Fewer corkscrewed claws were found on slatted concrete than

  12. A hormone priming regimen and hibernation affect oviposition in the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas).

    PubMed

    Calatayud, N E; Langhorne, C J; Mullen, A C; Williams, C L; Smith, T; Bullock, L; Kouba, A J; Willard, S T

    2015-09-01

    Declines of the southern Rocky Mountain population of boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) have led to the establishment of a captive assurance population and reintroduction program, in an attempt to preserve and propagate this geographically isolated population. One of the unique adaptations of this species is its ability to survive in cold environments by undergoing long periods of hibernation. In captivity, hibernation can be avoided altogether, decreasing morbidity caused by compromised immune systems. However, it is not entirely clear how essential hibernation is to reproductive success. In this study, the effects of hibernation versus nonhibernation, and exogenous hormones on oviposition, were examined in boreal toad females in the absence of males. In the summers of 2011 and 2012, 20 females housed at Mississippi State University were treated with a double priming dose of hCG and various ovulatory doses of hCG and LH-releasing hormone analog but denied hibernation. Exogenous hormones, in the absence of hibernation, could not induce oviposition over two breeding seasons (2011-2012). In contrast, during the summer of 2012 and 2013, 17 of 22 females (77%) housed at the Native Aquatic Species Restoration Facility (Alamosa, CO, USA) oviposited after they were treated with two priming doses of hCG (3.7 IU/g each) and a single ovulation dose of hCG (13.5 IU/g) and LH-releasing hormone analog (0.4 μg/g) after hibernation. There was a significant difference in oviposition between females that were hibernated and received hormones (2012, P < 0.05 and 2013, P < 0.01) compared to hibernated control females. In 2013, 12 of 16 remaining Mississippi State University females from the same group used in 2011 and 2012 were hibernated for 1, 3, and 6 months, respectively and then treated with the same hormone regimen administered to females at the Native Aquatic Species Restoration Facility. Together, hibernation and hormone treatments significantly increased

  13. [Cardiotropic activity of total bufadienolides from the poison of Central Asian toad Bufo viridis].

    PubMed

    Usanova, I V; Khushbaktova, Z A; Syrov, V N; Azizov, D E; Mirzaakhmedov, Sh Ia; Soliev, A B; Tashmukhamedov, M S; Salikhov, Sh I

    2002-01-01

    The sum of bufadienolides (bacagin) isolated from the poison of Bufo viridis toad occurring in Central Asia produces a selective strophanthin-K-like action upon the heart function, increasing myocardial contractility, retarding cardiac rhythm, and positively influencing the parameters of myocardial metabolism. The mechanism of realization of the positive ionotropic effect of bacagin is probably related to the ability of increasing the basal level of cytosol calcium at the expense of inhibiting the activity of Na+/K(+)-ATPase and, to some extent, Ca(2+)-ATPase in endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:12449070

  14. Influence of floor surface and access to pasture on claw health in dairy cows kept in cubicle housing systems.

    PubMed

    Haufe, Helge Christiane; Gygax, Lorenz; Wechsler, Beat; Stauffacher, Markus; Friedli, Katharina

    2012-06-01

    In this study, the effects on the claw health of dairy cows of three different floor types and access to pasture were investigated on 35 farms. The farms were fitted with a given floor type in the indoor walking area of a cubicle housing system: a solid rubber, mastic asphalt or slatted concrete floor. Because we chose farms on which the given floor type was in good condition, the data presented show what can be achieved on these types of floors under ideal circumstances. Cows on half of the farms per floor type had access to pasture during the grazing period. Each farm was visited three times at approx. 6-month intervals at the end of the winter indoor-housing period and at the end of the summer period, i.e. after the period with access to pasture on half of the farms. During each visit, the claw health of the same 10 cows per farm was assessed on the occasion of routine claw trimming. The proportion of cows with haemorrhages increased from mastic asphalt to rubber and slatted concrete floors. A lower proportion of cows kept on mastic asphalt was affected by white-line fissures and needed intermittent claw-trimming, an indicator for lameness. Cows housed in cubicle systems with slatted concrete floors were at the lowest risk of having heel-horn erosions. Access to pasture was associated with a lower incidence of slight white-line fissures and dermatitis digitalis. A higher proportion of cows with sole haemorrhages and sole ulcers were found on all floor types at the end of the summer period than at the end of the winter indoor-housing period. Floor type did not influence the presence of sole ulcers and deep white-line fissures. In conclusion, the effect of floor type on claw health was slight, and none of the investigated floor types was clearly superior to the others. Access to pasture was not effective in reducing the presence of most types of claw lesions associated with the floor type used in the indoor walking area.

  15. Ultrasonographic and macroscopic comparison of the thickness of the capsule, corium, and soft tissues in bovine claws: an in vitro study

    PubMed Central

    Cecen, Goksen; Intas, Deniz Seyrek; Celimli, Nureddin; Caliskan, Gulsum Ulke

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to compare thickness of the capsule, corium, and soft tissues measured ultrasonographically and macroscopically in selected regions of bovine claws. A hundred and twenty claws (n = 120) of 15 healthy Holstein bovines were obtained. After cleaning the claws, ultrasonographic measurement of the capsule, corium, and soft tissues was performed while submerging the claws in a water bath. Macroscopic measurements were taken after cutting of the claws axially. These values were compared statistically. According to the macroscopic measurements, the mean thickness ± standard deviation (SD) of the capsule for dorsal wall and sole was 6.2 ± 0.1 and 9.5 ± 0.4 mm, respectively. The thickness of the corium and soft tissues for dorsal wall and sole was 4.5 ± 0.1 and 5.3 ± 0.1 mm, respectively. Ultrasonographically, the mean thickness ± SD of the capsule for dorsal wall and sole was 4.7 ± 0.1 and 7.8 ± 0.3 mm, respectively. The thickness of the corium and soft tissues for dorsal wall and sole was 4.3 ± 0.1 and 5.9 ± 0.2 mm, respectively. Findings demonstrated that ultrasonography can be reliably to measure of the thickness of the hoof capsule, corium, and soft tissue in bovine claw. PMID:25269721

  16. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  17. Therapy with African Families.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwadiora, Emeka

    1996-01-01

    Informs helping professionals about the unique history and challenges of African families to guide them toward providing ethnically sensitive psychological services to African immigrant families in need. African families undergo great stress when faced with the alienation of being Black and African in a Euro-American culture. (SLD)

  18. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  19. Integrated all-optical logic and arithmetic operations with the help of a TOAD-based interferometer device--alternative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nath Roy, Jitendra; Gayen, Dilip Kumar

    2007-08-01

    Interferometric devices have drawn a great interest in all-optical signal processing for their high-speed photonic activity. The nonlinear optical loop mirror provides a major support to optical switching based all-optical logic and algebraic operations. The gate based on the terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD) has added new momentum in this field. Optical tree architecture (OTA) plays a significant role in the optical interconnecting network. We have tried to exploit the advantages of both OTA- and TOAD-based switches. We have proposed a TOAD-based tree architecture, a new and alternative scheme, for integrated all-optical logic and arithmetic operations.

  20. Inhibitory effects of devil's claw (secondary root of Harpagophytum procumbens) extract and harpagoside on cytokine production in mouse macrophages.

    PubMed

    Inaba, Kazunori; Murata, Kazuya; Naruto, Shunsuke; Matsuda, Hideaki

    2010-04-01

    Successive oral administration (50 mg/kg) of a 50% ethanolic extract (HP-ext) of devil's claw, the secondary root of Harpagophytum procumbens, showed a significant anti-inflammatory effect in the rat adjuvant-induced chronic arthritis model. HP-ext dose-dependently suppressed the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of inflammatory cytokines [interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)] in mouse macrophage cells (RAW 264.7). Harpagoside, a major iridoid glycoside present in devil's claw, was found to be one of the active agents in HP-ext and inhibited the production of IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha by RAW 264.7. PMID:20177800

  1. Granulocytes of the red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus can endocytose beads, E. coli and WSSV, but in different ways.

    PubMed

    Duan, Hu; Jin, Songjun; Zhang, Yan; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2014-10-01

    The hemocytes of the red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus are classified by morphologic observation into the following types: hyalinocytes (H), semi-granulocytes (SG) and granulocytes (G). Density gradient centrifugation with Percoll was developed to separate these three subpopulations of hemocytes. Beads, Escherichia coli, and FITC labeling WSSV were used to investigate the characteristics of granulocytes by using scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, and laser scan confocal microscope. Results showed that granulocytes could phagocytose beads and E. coli by endocytic pathways. WSSV could rely on caveolae-mediated endocytosis to mainly enter into granulocytes. These results could elucidate the mechanism of the innate immunity function of granulocytes, and it also showed the mechanism by which WSSV invaded granulocytes in the red claw crayfish.

  2. Clinical canine parvovirus type 2C infection in a group of Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea).

    PubMed

    Gjeltema, Jenessa; Murphy, Hayley; Rivera, Sam

    2015-03-01

    Despite the occurrence of clinical disease in a wide range of carnivore hosts, only vague accounts of clinical canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) in any otter species have been reported in the literature. Over the course of 25 days, nine Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) presented for evaluation of inappetence, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. A diagnosis of canine parvovirus type 2c was made based on electron microscopy, polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing of group fecal samples. Supportive care was provided based on individual clinical assessment and included subcutaneous crystalline fluid therapy, antiemetics, antibiotics, appetite stimulants, and a neuraminidase inhibitor. Five of the nine otters exhibited moderate to severe disease requiring treatment, and one case was fatal despite supportive efforts. In light of this case report, CPV-2 should be recognized as a potential cause of gastrointestinal disease in Asian small-clawed otters.

  3. EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCK WAVE LITHOTRIPSY AND ENDOSCOPIC URETERAL STENT PLACEMENT IN AN ASIAN SMALL-CLAWED OTTER (AONYX CINEREA) WITH NEPHROLITHIASIS.

    PubMed

    Wojick, Kimberlee B; Berent, Allyson C; Weisse, Chick W; Gamble, Kathryn C

    2015-06-01

    Urolithiasis is a significant disease concern in Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), with over 60% of captive animals affected. Bilateral ureteral stent placement, using endoscopic and fluoroscopic guidance, and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) were performed as salvage procedures in a 13-yr-old intact female Asian small-clawed otter following a 7-yr history of nephrolithiasis and progressive renal insufficiency. Following the procedure, radiographs revealed a slight shifting of urolith position, although a decrease in urolith mass was not observed. As a result of declining quality of life related to severe osteoarthritis, the otter was euthanized 5 wk after the procedure. While this treatment approach was unsuccessful in this case, the technique was clinically feasible, so ESWL and ureteral stent placement may remain a consideration for other individuals of this species presented earlier in the course of this disease. PMID:26056891

  4. Clinical canine parvovirus type 2C infection in a group of Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea).

    PubMed

    Gjeltema, Jenessa; Murphy, Hayley; Rivera, Sam

    2015-03-01

    Despite the occurrence of clinical disease in a wide range of carnivore hosts, only vague accounts of clinical canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) in any otter species have been reported in the literature. Over the course of 25 days, nine Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) presented for evaluation of inappetence, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. A diagnosis of canine parvovirus type 2c was made based on electron microscopy, polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing of group fecal samples. Supportive care was provided based on individual clinical assessment and included subcutaneous crystalline fluid therapy, antiemetics, antibiotics, appetite stimulants, and a neuraminidase inhibitor. Five of the nine otters exhibited moderate to severe disease requiring treatment, and one case was fatal despite supportive efforts. In light of this case report, CPV-2 should be recognized as a potential cause of gastrointestinal disease in Asian small-clawed otters. PMID:25831584

  5. Nephrectomy in an Asian small-clawed otter (Amblonyx cinereus) with pyelonephritis and hydronephrosis secondary to ureteral obstruction.

    PubMed

    Higbie, Christine T; Carpenter, James W; Armbrust, Laura J; Klocke, Emily; Almes, Kelli

    2014-09-01

    A 10-yr-old, captive, intact male Asian small-clawed otter (Amblonyx cinereus) with a history of bilateral nephrolithiasis was presented for acute-onset lethargy and inappetance of 5 days duration. On physical examination, the otter was about 8% dehydrated and a palpable fluid wave was present in the abdomen. An abdominal ultrasound revealed hydronephrosis of the left kidney and a hyperechoic structure present within the lumen of the left ureter, causing an obstruction. A urinalysis revealed struvite crystalluria, bacteriuria, and an elevated pH. Following 4 days of antibiotic therapy, a left ureteronephrectomy was performed. Upon opening the kidney to retrieve calculi, a large amount of purulent material was noted within the renal pelvis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first documented case of a nephrectomy in an Asian small-clawed otter. Nephrectomy should be considered as a viable option for treatment of ureteral obstruction, hydronephrosis, or severe pyelonephritis. PMID:25314845

  6. Post-breeding habitat use by adult Boreal Toads (Bufo boreas) after wildfire in Glacier National Park, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guscio, C.G.; Hossack, B.R.; Eby, L.A.; Corn, P.S.

    2008-01-01

    Effects of wildfire on amphibians are complex, and some species may benefit from the severe disturbance of stand-replacing fire. Boreal Toads (Bufo boreas boreas) in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA increased in occurrence after fires in 2001 and 2003. We used radio telemetry to track adult B. boreas in a mosaic of terrestrial habitats with different burn severities to better understand factors related to the post-fire pulse in breeding activity. Toads used severely burned habitats more than expected and partially burned habitats less than expected. No toads were relocated in unburned habitat, but little of the study area was unburned and the expected number of observations in unburned habitat was < 3. High vagility of B. boreas and preference for open habitats may predispose this species to exploit recently disturbed landscapes. The long-term consequences of fire suppression likely have had different effects in different parts of the range of B. boreas. More information is needed, particularly in the northern Rocky Mountains, where toads are more likely to occupy habitats that have diverged from historic fire return intervals. Copyright ?? 2008. C. Gregory Guscio. All rights reserved.

  7. A burrowing frog from the late Paleocene of Mongolia uncovers a deep history of spadefoot toads (Pelobatoidea) in East Asia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianye; Bever, Gaberiel S.; Yi, Hong-Yu; Norell, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    Fossils are indispensible in understanding the evolutionary origins of the modern fauna. Crown-group spadefoot toads (Anura: Pelobatoidea) are the best-known fossorial frog clade to inhabit arid environments, with species utilizing a characteristic bony spade on their foot for burrowing. Endemic to the Northern Hemisphere, they are distributed across the Holarctic except East Asia. Here we report a rare fossil of a crown-group spadefoot toad from the late Paleocene of Mongolia. The phylogenetic analysis using both morphological and molecular information recovered this Asian fossil inside the modern North American pelobatoid clade Scaphiopodidae. The presence of a spade and the phylogenetic position of the new fossil frog strongly support its burrowing behavior. The late Paleocene age and other information suggestive of a mild climate cast doubt on the conventional assertion that burrowing evolved as an adaptation to aridity in spadefoot toads. Temporally and geographically, the new fossil provides the earliest record of Scaphiopodidae worldwide, and the only member of the group in Asia. Quantitative biogeographic analysis suggests that Scaphiopodidae, despite originating in North America, dispersed into East Asia via Beringia in the Early Cenozoic. The absence of spadefoot toads in East Asia today is a result of extinction. PMID:26750105

  8. Diet of southern toads (Bufo terrestris) in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands subject to coarse woody debris manipulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Moseley, Kurtis R.; Steven B. Castleberry; James L. Hanula; Mark Ford.

    2005-04-01

    ABSTRACT In the southeastern United States, coarse woody debris (CWD) typically harbors high densities of invertebrates. However, its importance as a foraging substrate for southeastern amphibians is relatively unknown. We examined effects of CWD manipulations on diet composition of southern toads (Bufo terrestris) in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Twelve 9.3-ha plots were assigned one of the following treatments: removal- all CWD _10 cm in diameter and _60 cm long removed; downed- five-fold increase in volume of down CWD; and unmanipulated control stands. We collected southern toads _4 cm snout-vent length (SVL) during 14 d sampling periods in June and October 2002, June 2003 and during a 28 d sampling period in April 2003. We collected 80, 36 and 35 southern toads in control, downed and removal treatments, respectively. We found no difference in relative abundance or frequency of invertebrate groups consumed among treatments (P.0.05). Average body weight (g), SVL (cm) and stomach content weight (g wet) of individuals also were similar among treatments (P . 0.05). The role of CWD as a foraging substrate for southern toads in loblolly pine stands of the southeastern Coastal Plain may be negligible, at least in the early stages of decay.

  9. Modification of a prey catching response and the development of behavioral persistence in the fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis).

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Zachary J; Ikura, Juntaro; Laberge, Frédéric

    2013-11-01

    The present report investigated how fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis) modified their response in a prey catching task in which the attribution of food reward was contingent on snapping toward a visual stimulus of moving prey displayed on a computer screen. Two experiments investigated modification of the snapping response, with different intervals between the opportunity to snap at the visual stimulus and reward administration. The snapping response of unpaired controls was decreased compared with the conditioned toads when hour or day intervals were used, but intervals of 5 min produced only minimal change in snapping. The determinants of extinction of the response toward the visual stimulus were then investigated in 3 experiments. The results of the first experiment suggested that increased resistance to extinction depended mostly on the number of training trials, not on partial reinforcement or the magnitude of reinforcement during training. This was confirmed in a second experiment showing that overtraining resulted in resistance to extinction, and that the pairing of the reward with a response toward the stimulus was necessary for that effect, as opposed to pairing reward solely with the experimental context. The last experiment showed that the time elapsed between training trials also influenced extinction, but only in toads that received few training trials. Overall, the results suggest that toads learning about a prey stimulus progress from an early flexible phase, when an action can be modified by its consequences, to an acquired habit characterized by an increasingly inflexible and automatic response.

  10. A burrowing frog from the late Paleocene of Mongolia uncovers a deep history of spadefoot toads (Pelobatoidea) in East Asia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jianye; Bever, Gaberiel S; Yi, Hong-Yu; Norell, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Fossils are indispensible in understanding the evolutionary origins of the modern fauna. Crown-group spadefoot toads (Anura: Pelobatoidea) are the best-known fossorial frog clade to inhabit arid environments, with species utilizing a characteristic bony spade on their foot for burrowing. Endemic to the Northern Hemisphere, they are distributed across the Holarctic except East Asia. Here we report a rare fossil of a crown-group spadefoot toad from the late Paleocene of Mongolia. The phylogenetic analysis using both morphological and molecular information recovered this Asian fossil inside the modern North American pelobatoid clade Scaphiopodidae. The presence of a spade and the phylogenetic position of the new fossil frog strongly support its burrowing behavior. The late Paleocene age and other information suggestive of a mild climate cast doubt on the conventional assertion that burrowing evolved as an adaptation to aridity in spadefoot toads. Temporally and geographically, the new fossil provides the earliest record of Scaphiopodidae worldwide, and the only member of the group in Asia. Quantitative biogeographic analysis suggests that Scaphiopodidae, despite originating in North America, dispersed into East Asia via Beringia in the Early Cenozoic. The absence of spadefoot toads in East Asia today is a result of extinction. PMID:26750105

  11. Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.K.; Fontes, C.; Breuner, C.W.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2007-05-15

    Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is a plasma protein that binds corticosterone and may regulate access of hormone to tissues. The role of CBG during a stress response is not clear. In this study, southern toads, Bufo terrestris, were exposed to a chronic pollutant (coal-combustion-waste), to determine changes in CBG and free corticosterone levels. Since toads exposed to chronic pollutants in previous studies did not exhibit the predicted changes in metabolic rate and mass, but did experience a significant elevation in total corticosterone, we hypothesized that CBG would likewise increase and thus, mitigate the effects of a chronic (i.e. 2 months) pollutant stressor. To conduct this study, we first characterized the properties of CBG in southern toads. After characterization, we monitored the changes in CBG, total corticosterone, and free corticosterone in male toads that were exposed to either coal-combustion-waste or control conditions. CBG increased in all groups throughout the experiment. Total corticosterone, on the other hand, was only significantly elevated at four weeks of exposure to coal-combustion-waste. The increase in CBG did not parallel the increase in total corticosterone; as a result, free corticosterone levels were not buffered by CBG, but showed a peak at four weeks similar to total corticosterone. This finding indicates that, in this species, CBG may not provide a protective mechanism during long-term pollution exposure.

  12. HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY THE RED-SPOTTED TOAD (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED, DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory


    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo panctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the la...

  13. LOCAL SCALE FACTORS DETERMINE HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY RED-SPOTTED TOADS IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late P...

  14. METAPOPULATION PROCESSES OR INFINITE DISPERSAL?: HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY TOADS (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NAUTRALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late P...

  15. METAPOPULATION PROCESSES OF INFINITE DISPERSAL: HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY TOADS (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late P...

  16. METAPOPULATION PROCESSES OF INFINITE DISPERSAL?: HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY TOADS (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late P...

  17. METAPOPULATION PROCESSES OR INFINITE DISPERSAL?: HABITAT PATCH OCCUPANCY BY TOADS (BUFO PUNCTATUS) IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are often thought to have a metapopulation structure, which may render them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. The red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) in the southwestern USA and Mexico commonly inhabits wetlands that have become much smaller and fewer since the late P...

  18. Variation of thermal parameters in two different color morphs of a diurnal poison toad, Melanophryniscus rubriventris (Anura: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Sanabria, Eduardo A; Vaira, Marcos; Quiroga, Lorena B; Akmentins, Mauricio S; Pereyra, Laura C

    2014-04-01

    We study the variation in thermal parameters in two contrasting populations Yungas Redbelly Toads (Melanophryniscus rubriventris) with different discrete color phenotypes comparing field body temperatures, critical thermal maximum and heating rates. We found significant differences in field body temperatures of the different morphs. Temperatures were higher in toads with a high extent of dorsal melanization. No variation was registered in operative temperatures between the study locations at the moment of capture and processing. Critical thermal maximum of toads was positively related with the extent of dorsal melanization. Furthermore, we founded significant differences in heating rates between morphs, where individuals with a high extent of dorsal melanization showed greater heating rates than toads with lower dorsal melanization. The color pattern-thermal parameter relationship observed may influence the activity patterns and body size of individuals. Body temperature is a modulator of physiological and behavioral functions in amphibians, influencing daily and seasonal activity, locomotor performance, digestion rate and growth rate. It is possible that some growth constraints may arise due to the relationship of color pattern-metabolism allowing different morphs to attain similar sizes at different locations instead of body-size clines.

  19. Alfaxalone-butorphanol versus alfaxalone-morphine combination for immersion anaesthesia in oriental fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis).

    PubMed

    Adami, Chiara; d'Ovidio, Dario; Casoni, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    Oriental fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis) are small semi-aquatic anuran species popular as both pets and laboratory animals. Although they are commonly anaesthetized to undergo clinical and experimental procedures, very little is known about their anaesthetic management. The aims of this prospective, randomized, cross-over experimental trial were to establish effective butorphanol and morphine concentrations to be added to alfaxalone for immersion anaesthesia (pilot study), and to compare the anaesthetic and antinociceptive effects of the two drug mixtures (alfaxalone-butorphanol and alfaxalone-morphine), in Bombina orientalis toads. For the actual trial, the toads were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: AB and AM, with seven animals in each group, which received alfaxalone-butorphanol and alfaxalone-morphine combinations, respectively, at the concentrations established during the pilot study. Heart rate, respiratory rate, von Frey filament threshold and response to nociceptive withdrawal (NWR), righting and myotactic reflexes were measured at 5 min intervals until return of righting reflex was observed. The investigator who carried out all the measurements was blinded to the treatment. Any undesired effect or complication was noted and recorded. The two treatments were found to be comparable in terms of onset and duration of anaesthesia, and occurrence of undesired effects. However, group AM resulted in lower NWR scores and higher von Frey filament thresholds than group AB. It is concluded that, at the investigated concentrations and in combination with alfaxalone by immersion, morphine provides better antinociception than butorphanol in oriental fire-bellied toads.

  20. Genetic attributes of midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) populations do not correlate with degree of species decline

    PubMed Central

    Tobler, Ursina; Garner, Trenton W J; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity is crucial for long-term population persistence. Population loss and subsequent reduction in migration rate among the most important processes that are expected to lead to a reduction in genetic diversity and an increase in genetic differentiation. While the theory behind this is well-developed, empirical evidence from wild populations is inconsistent. Using microsatellite markers, we compared the genetic structure of populations of an amphibian species, the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), in four Swiss regions where the species has suffered variable levels of subpopulation extirpation. We also quantified the effects of several geographic factors on genetic structure and used a model selection approach to ascertain which of the variables were important for explaining genetic variation. Although subpopulation pairwise FST-values were highly significant even over small geographic scales, neither any of the geographic variables nor loss of subpopulations were important factors for predicting spatial genetic structure. The absence of a signature of subpopulation loss on genetic differentiation may suggest that midwife toad subpopulations function as relatively independent units. PMID:24101974

  1. The complex evolutionary history of the tympanic middle ear in frogs and toads (Anura)

    PubMed Central

    Pereyra, Martín O.; Womack, Molly C.; Barrionuevo, J. Sebastián; Blotto, Boris L.; Baldo, Diego; Targino, Mariane; Ospina-Sarria, Jhon Jairo; Guayasamin, Juan M.; Coloma, Luis A.; Hoke, Kim L.; Grant, Taran; Faivovich, Julián

    2016-01-01

    Most anurans possess a tympanic middle ear (TME) that transmits sound waves to the inner ear; however, numerous species lack some or all TME components. To understand the evolution of these structures, we undertook a comprehensive assessment of their occurrence across anurans and performed ancestral character state reconstructions. Our analysis indicates that the TME was completely lost at least 38 independent times in Anura. The inferred evolutionary history of the TME is exceptionally complex in true toads (Bufonidae), where it was lost in the most recent common ancestor, preceding a radiation of >150 earless species. Following that initial loss, independent regains of some or all TME structures were inferred within two minor clades and in a radiation of >400 species. The reappearance of the TME in the latter clade was followed by at least 10 losses of the entire TME. The many losses and gains of the TME in anurans is unparalleled among tetrapods. Our results show that anurans, and especially bufonid toads, are an excellent model to study the behavioural correlates of earlessness, extratympanic sound pathways, and the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie the morphogenesis of TME structures. PMID:27677839

  2. Hopping isn't always about the legs: forelimb muscle activity patterns during toad locomotion.

    PubMed

    Akella, Trupti; Gillis, Gary B

    2011-01-01

    Although toads are not known for their jumping ability, they are excellent at landing, using their forelimbs to stabilize and decelerate the body as they transition between hops. Forelimb muscles must play important roles during this landing behavior, but to date our understanding of forelimb muscle function during jumping in anurans, particularly after takeoff, is quite limited. Here, we use simultaneous high-speed video and electromyography to characterize the timing and intensity of electrical activity patterns of six muscles that act at the shoulder or elbow joints in the cane toad, Bufo marinus. In particular, we aim to address the importance of these muscles with respect to various potential roles during hopping (e.g. contributing to propulsion during takeoff, resisting impact forces during landing). Five of the six recorded muscles exhibited their highest average intensities during the aerial phase of the hop, with the most intense activity present near forelimb touchdown. In contrast, no muscles exhibited high levels of activity in the initial phase of takeoff. We interpret these data to indicate that the forelimb muscles studied here are likely unimportant in augmenting force production during takeoff, but are critical for both mid-air forelimb positioning and resisting the forces associated with impact. The onset timing of elbow extensors seems to occur at a nearly fixed interval before impact, regardless of hop length, suggesting that these muscles are particularly tuned to resisting impact.

  3. Differences and similarities among parotoid macrogland secretions in South American toads: a preliminary biochemical delineation.

    PubMed

    Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Angeli, Cláudia Blanes; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are known by cutaneous glands, spread over the skin, containing toxins (proteins, peptides, biogenic amines, steroidal bufadienolides, and alkaloids) used as chemical defense against predators and microbial infection. Toads are characterized by the presence of parotoid macroglands. The common toads have lately been divided into two genera: Bufo (Europe, Asia, and Africa) and Rhinella (South America). Basal Rhaebo genus is exclusively of Central America and Amazon region. Although Rhinella and Rhaebo are related, species may share differences due to the diversity of environments that they live in. In this work, we have performed a biochemical characterization of the components of the poison of eight Rhinella species and one Rhaebo by means of RP-HPLC with either UV or MS detection and by SDS-PAGE, in order to verify whether phylogenetic and biological differences, such as habitat, diet, and defensive strategies, between them may also be reflected in poison composition. Although some components were common among the secretions, we were able to identify exclusive molecules to some species. The fact that closely related animals living in different habitats secrete different molecules into the skin is an indication that biological features, and not only evolution, seem to directly influence the skin secretion composition. PMID:23737734

  4. Axial gradients of rhodopsin in light-exposed retinal rods of the toad

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    Exposure of an intact vertebrate eye to light bleaches the rhodopsin in the photoreceptor outer segments in spatially nonuniform patterns. Some axial bleaching patterns produced in toad rods were determined using microspectrophotometric techniques. More rhodopsin was bleached at the base of the outer segment than at the distal tip. The shape of the bleaching gradient varied with the extent of bleach and with the spectral content of the illuminant. Monochromatic light at the lambda max of the rhodopsin gave rise to the steepest bleaching gradients and induced the greatest changes in the form of the gradient with increasing extent of bleach. These results were consistent with a mathematical model for pigment bleaching in an unstirred sample. The model did not fit bleaching patterns resulting from special lighting conditions that promoted the photoregeneration of rhodopsin from the intermediates of bleaching. Prolonged light adaptation of toads could also produce axial rhodopsin gradients that were not fit by the bleaching model. Under certain conditions the axial gradient of rhodopsin in a rod outer segment reversed with time in the light: the rhodopsin content became highest at the base. This result could be explained by an interaction between the pattern of bleaching and the intracellular topography of regeneration. PMID:2126801

  5. Telencephalic neural activation following passive avoidance learning in a terrestrial toad.

    PubMed

    Puddington, Martín M; Daneri, M Florencia; Papini, Mauricio R; Muzio, Rubén N

    2016-12-15

    The present study explores passive avoidance learning and its neural basis in toads (Rhinella arenarum). In Experiment 1, two groups of toads learned to move from a lighted compartment into a dark compartment. After responding, animals in the experimental condition were exposed to an 800-mM strongly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to weight loss. Control animals received exposure to a 300-mM slightly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to neither weight gain nor loss. After 10 daily acquisition trials, animals in the experimental group showed significantly longer latency to enter the dark compartment. Additionally, 10 daily trials in which both groups received the 300-mM NaCl solution after responding eliminated this group effect. Thus, experimental animals showed gradual acquisition and extinction of a passive avoidance respond. Experiment 2 replicated the gradual acquisition effect, but, after the last trial, animals were sacrificed and neural activation was assessed in five brain regions using AgNOR staining for nucleoli-an index of brain activity. Higher activation in the experimental animals, relative to controls, was observed in the amygdala and striatum. Group differences in two other regions, lateral pallium and septum, were borderline, but nonsignificant, whereas group differences in the medial pallium were nonsignificant. These preliminary results suggest that a striatal-amygdala activation could be a key component of the brain circuit controlling passive avoidance learning in amphibians. The results are discussed in relation to the results of analogous experiments with other vertebrates.

  6. Studies on transplantation immunity of the yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata.

    PubMed

    Góralik, E; Labuz, D; Józkowicz, A; Płytycz, B

    1994-01-01

    Adults and tadpoles of the yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata reacted in a typically chronic manner to skin allografts and to xenografts from closely related fire-bellied toads B. bombina but they rejected quickly skin xenografts from evolutionary distant anuran species (Bufo and Rana). Adult individuals reacted to allografts slowly not only in the laboratory where their mating was ceased and the weight of lymphoid organs significantly diminished but also in the outdoor enclosure where they bred successfully. Breeding activity in captivity can be induced at any season by Biogonadyl injections. However, any hormonal manipulation (gonadectomy or Biogonadyl treatment) performed during winter/spring on animals housed in the laboratory for several months did not influence their transplantation immunity and the weights of thymuses and spleens. These results lead to conclusion that chronic allograft rejection was not a laboratory artifact caused by a hormonal imbalance but rather reflected a weak donor-host genetic disparity connected with the low MHC polymorphism of Bombina species.

  7. Larger body size at metamorphosis enhances survival, growth and performance of young cane toads (Rhinella marina).

    PubMed

    Cabrera-Guzmán, Elisa; Crossland, Michael R; Brown, Gregory P; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Body size at metamorphosis is a key trait in species (such as many anurans) with biphasic life-histories. Experimental studies have shown that metamorph size is highly plastic, depending upon larval density and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, food supply, water quality, chemical cues from conspecifics, predators and competitors). To test the hypothesis that this developmental plasticity is adaptive, or to determine if inducing plasticity can be used to control an invasive species, we need to know whether or not a metamorphosing anuran's body size influences its subsequent viability. For logistical reasons, there are few data on this topic under field conditions. We studied cane toads (Rhinella marina) within their invasive Australian range. Metamorph body size is highly plastic in this species, and our laboratory studies showed that larger metamorphs had better locomotor performance (both on land and in the water), and were more adept at catching and consuming prey. In mark-recapture trials in outdoor enclosures, larger body size enhanced metamorph survival and growth rate under some seasonal conditions. Larger metamorphs maintained their size advantage over smaller siblings for at least a month. Our data support the critical but rarely-tested assumption that all else being equal, larger body size at metamorphosis is likely to enhance an individual's long term viability. Thus, manipulations to reduce body size at metamorphosis in cane toads may help to reduce the ecological impact of this invasive species.

  8. Fluoride inhibition of the hydro-osmotic response of the toad urinary bladder to antidiuretic hormone.

    PubMed

    Yorio, T; Sinclair, R; Henry, S

    1981-11-01

    The hydro-osmotic response of the toad bladder to antidiuretic hormone and cyclic AMP was inhibited by the methoxyflurane metabolite, fluoride. The osmotic transfer of water in the absence of hormone was unaffected by fluoride as was the hydroosmotic response due to hypertonicity of the serosal bathing media. Osmotic water movements across N-ethylmaleimide-"fixed" vasopressin or cyclic AMP-stimulated bladders were likewise unchanged by fluoride, suggesting that fluoride is exerting an action subsequent to the endogenous formation of cyclic AMP but before the final effector mechanism. Fluoride increased intracellular cyclic AMP concentrations even in the presence of added hormone. Fluoride suppressed calmodulin activity and prevented its activation of phosphodiesterase. Fluoride had no effect on oxygen consumption of toad urinary bladder cells but reduced lactate formation and anerobic metabolism. This decrease in the glycolytic energy source did not contribute to the inhibition of the hormonal response since 2-deoxyglucose was without effect on hormonal mediated osmotic-water flow. It is postulated that the fluoride-induced polyuria after methoxyflurane anesthesia may be due in part to the ability of fluoride to interfere with calcium and calmodulin-initiated processes (other than phosphodiesterase activity) that may occur in the stimulus-reabsorption coupling response of antidiuretic hormone.

  9. Effects of AlCl3 on toad skin, human erythrocytes, and model cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Ungerer, B; Villena, F; Norris, B; Cárdenas, H; Zatta, P

    2001-05-15

    Aluminum, a very abundant metal, could play a toxic role in several pathological processes, including neurodegeneration. Although the effects of Al(III) on biological membranes have been extensively described, direct information concerning the molecular basis of its biological activity is rather scanty. To examine aluminum challenges on cell membranes, various concentrations of AlCl3 in aqueous solutions were incubated with human erythrocytes, isolated toad skin, and molecular models of biomembranes. The latter consisted of multilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine, representing phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane. These specimens were studied by scanning electron microscopy, electrophysiological measurements, and x-ray diffraction. The results indicate that Al(III) in the concentration range of 10-100 microM induced the following structural and functional effects: (i) change in the normal discoid shape of human erythrocytes to echinocytes due to the accumulation of Al(III) ions in the outer moiety of the red cell membrane; (ii) perturbation of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, and to a lesser extent of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine bilayers, and (iii) decrease in the short-circuit current and in the potential difference of the isolated toad skin, effects that are in accordance with a time-dependent modulation of ion transport in response to changes in the molecular structure of the lipid bilayer. PMID:11470316

  10. Dibucaine-induced modification of sodium transport in toad skin and of model membrane structures.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Schneider, C; Villena, F; Norris, B; Cárdenas, H; Cuevas, F; Sotomayor, C P

    2001-01-01

    The interaction of the local anesthetic dibucaine with the isolated toad skin and membrane models is described. The latter consisted of human erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM), large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and phospholipid multilayers built-up of DMPC and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), representative of phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. Results indicate a significant decrease in the potential difference (PD) and in the short-circuit current (Isc) after the application of dibucaine in toad skin, which may be interpreted as reflecting inhibition of the active transport of ions. This finding might be explained on the basis of the results obtained from fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction studies on membrane models. In fact, dibucaine induced structural perturbations in IUM, DMPC LUV and phospholipid multilayers. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that dibucaine induced erythrocyte stomatocytosis. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis an echinocytic type of shape change would have been expected given the preferential interaction of dibucaine with DMPC. Although it is still premature to define the molecular mechanism of action of dibucaine, the experimental results confirm the important role played by the phospholipid bilayers in the association of the anesthetic with cell membranes. PMID:11531098

  11. Mechanisms of nitric oxide-mediated, neurogenic vasodilation in mesenteric resistance arteries of toad Bufo marinus.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Brett L; Donald, John A

    2010-03-01

    This study determined the role of nitric oxide (NO) in neurogenic vasodilation in mesenteric resistance arteries of the toad Bufo marinus. NO synthase (NOS) was anatomically demonstrated in perivascular nerves, but not in the endothelium. ACh and nicotine caused TTX-sensitive neurogenic vasodilation of mesenteric arteries. The ACh-induced vasodilation was endothelium-independent and was mediated by the NO/soluble guanylyl cyclase signaling pathway, inasmuch as the vasodilation was blocked by the soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one and the NOS inhibitors N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine. Furthermore, the ACh-induced vasodilation was significantly decreased by the more selective neural NOS inhibitor N(5)-(1-imino-3-butenyl)-l-ornithine. The nicotine-induced vasodilation was endothelium-independent and mediated by NO and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), inasmuch as pretreatment of mesenteric arteries with a combination of N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine and the CGRP receptor antagonist CGRP-(8-37) blocked the vasodilation. Clotrimazole significantly decreased the ACh-induced response, providing evidence that a component of the NO vasodilation involved Ca(2+)-activated K(+) or voltage-gated K(+) channels. These data show that NO control of mesenteric resistance arteries of toad is provided by nitrergic nerves, rather than the endothelium, and implicate NO as a potentially important regulator of gut blood flow and peripheral blood pressure. PMID:20071617

  12. Functional assessment of toad parotoid macroglands: a study based on poison replacement after mechanical compression.

    PubMed

    Jared, Simone G S; Jared, Carlos; Egami, Mizue I; Mailho-Fontana, Pedro L; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Antoniazzi, Marta M

    2014-09-01

    Toads have a pair of parotoid macroglands behind the eyes that secrete poison used in passive defence against predators. These macroglands are composed of juxtaposed alveoli, each one bearing a syncytial gland, all connected to the exterior by ducts. When the parotoids are bitten, the poison is expelled on the predator oral mucosa in the form of jets, causing several pharmacological actions. After poison release, the empty secretory syncytia immediately collapse in the interior of their respective alveoli and gradually start refilling. After parotoid manual compression, simulating a predator's bite, we studied, by means of morphological methods, the replacement of the poison inside the alveoli. The results showed that after compression, a considerable number of alveoli remained intact. In the alveoli that were effectively affected the recovery occurs in different levels, from total to punctual and often restrict to some areas of the syncytia. The severely affected alveoli seem not recover their original functional state. The fact that only a part of the parotoid alveoli is compressed during an attack seems to be crucial for toad survival, since the amphibian, after being bitten by a predator, do not lose all its poison stock, remaining protected in case of new attacks. PMID:24911375

  13. Larger Body Size at Metamorphosis Enhances Survival, Growth and Performance of Young Cane Toads (Rhinella marina)

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera-Guzmán, Elisa; Crossland, Michael R.; Brown, Gregory P.; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Body size at metamorphosis is a key trait in species (such as many anurans) with biphasic life-histories. Experimental studies have shown that metamorph size is highly plastic, depending upon larval density and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, food supply, water quality, chemical cues from conspecifics, predators and competitors). To test the hypothesis that this developmental plasticity is adaptive, or to determine if inducing plasticity can be used to control an invasive species, we need to know whether or not a metamorphosing anuran’s body size influences its subsequent viability. For logistical reasons, there are few data on this topic under field conditions. We studied cane toads (Rhinella marina) within their invasive Australian range. Metamorph body size is highly plastic in this species, and our laboratory studies showed that larger metamorphs had better locomotor performance (both on land and in the water), and were more adept at catching and consuming prey. In mark-recapture trials in outdoor enclosures, larger body size enhanced metamorph survival and growth rate under some seasonal conditions. Larger metamorphs maintained their size advantage over smaller siblings for at least a month. Our data support the critical but rarely-tested assumption that all else being equal, larger body size at metamorphosis is likely to enhance an individual’s long term viability. Thus, manipulations to reduce body size at metamorphosis in cane toads may help to reduce the ecological impact of this invasive species. PMID:23922930

  14. 10Gbit/s all-optical NRZ to RZ conversion based on TOAD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yumei; Yin, Lina; Zhou, Yunfeng; Liu, Guoming; Wu, Jian; Lin, Jintong

    2006-01-01

    Future network will include wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and optical time division multiplexing (OTDM) technologies. All-optical format conversion between their respective preferable data formats, non-return-to-zero (NRZ) and return-to-zero (RZ), may become an important technology. In this paper, 10Gbit/s all-optical NRZ-to-RZ conversion is demonstrated based on terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD) using clock all-optically recovered from the NRZ signal for the first time. The clock component is enhanced in an SOA and the pseudo-return-to-zero (PRZ) signal is filtered. The PRZ signal is input into an injection mode-locked fiber ring laser for clock recovery. The recovered clock and the NRZ signal are input into TOAD as pump signal and probe signal, respectively, and format conversion is performed. The quality of the converted RZ signal is determined by that of the recovered clock and the NRZ signal, whereas hardly influenced by gain recovery time of the SOA. In the experimental demonstration, the obtained RZ signal has an extinction ratio of 8.7dB and low pattern dependency. After conversion, the spectrum broadens obviously and shows multimode structure with spectrum interval of 0.08nm, which matches with the bit rate 10Gbit/s. Furthermore, this format conversion method has some tolerance on the pattern dependency of the clock signal.

  15. Ba2+-inhibitable /sup 86/Rb+ fluxes across membranes of vesicles from toad urinary bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Garty, H.; Civan, M.M.

    1987-01-01

    /sup 86/Rb+ fluxes have been measured in suspensions of vesicles prepared from the epithelium of toad urinary bladder. A readily measurable barium-sensitive, ouabain-insensitive component has been identified; the concentration of external Ba2+ required for half-maximal inhibition was 0.6 mM. The effects of externally added cations on /sup 86/Rb+ influx and efflux have established that this pathway is conductive, with a selectivity for K+, Rb+ and Cs+ over Na+ and Li+. The Rb+ uptake is inversely dependent on external pH, but not significantly affected by internal Ca2+ or external amiloride, quinine, quinidine or lidocaine. It is likely, albeit not yet certain, that the conductive Rb+ pathway is incorporated in basolateral vesicles oriented right-side-out. It is also not yet clear whether this pathway comprises the principle basolateral K+ channel in vivo, and that its properties have been unchanged during the preparative procedures. Subject to these caveats, the data suggest that the inhibition by quinidine of Na+ transport across toad bladder does not arise primarily from membrane depolarization produced by a direct blockage of the basolateral channels. It now seems more likely that the quinidine-induced elevation of intracellular Ca2+ activity directly blocks apical Na+ entry.

  16. Interactive effects of ethanol and silver on sodium transport across toad skin

    SciTech Connect

    Gerencser, G.A.; Loo, S.Y.; Cornette, K.M.

    1984-05-01

    Both ethanol and silver ions have been shown to affect ion transport across various epithelia. This investigation was principally undertaken to further define mechanisms of silver ions and ethanol, and their possible interactions, on sodium transport across toad skin. Isolated toad skin, mounted between identical oxygenated amphibian bicarbonate Ringer solutions, maintained stable transepithelial potential differences (serosa positive) and short-circuit currents for several hours at 25/sup 0/C. It was observed that (1) ethanol inhibited the active transcellular component of sodium absorption and this effect was reversible; (2) inhibition of sodium transport by ethanol was directly proportional to the applied concentration; (3) pretreatment with silver ions prevented any ethanol effects; and (4) pretreatment with ethanol prevented any silver ion effects. It was concluded from these results that ethanol induced its inhibitory effects on membrane phospholipids thereby perturbing the function of a sulfhydryl ligant, while silver ion or silver chloride complex binding to this ligand would maintain its function in sodium transport despite the presence of ethanol.

  17. Identification and detection of the isolated sinus venosus from the Asian toad.

    PubMed

    Deng, Xin; Guan, Chao; Wang, Yang; Zhang, Bing; Li, Sen; Sun, Guiyuan; Hao, Liying; Li, Gensong

    2013-12-01

    The pacemaker activity of mammalian sinoatrial node (SAN) of the heart plays a fundamental role in the integration of vital functions. Studying factors such as drugs that influence pacemaker activity of SAN has its significance. In this study, we isolated sinus venosus, SAN from toads (Bufo gargarizans), and analysed its electronic signal, histological characteristics and the influence of acetylcholine (ACh) and ivabradine on its pacemaker activity using PowerLab® and Chart® 5.0 software. We found that when isolated sinus venosus was treated with ACh, its histological distribution was disorganized and inter-beat (RR) interval was also broadened. The high frequency normalized unit (HFnu) and Poincaré plot of heart rate variability (HRV) of the isolated sinus venosus was also altered upon ACh treatment in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner. When treated with ivabradine, these parameters of HRV such as square root of the mean of the squared differences between adjacent NN intervals (RMSSD) and HFnu were in the upward tendency, but low frequency normalized unit and low frequency/high frequency were in the opposite tendency. Taken together, we have developed a new model for studying the influences of drugs on autorhythmicity using isolated sinus venosus of the toad. With this model, we showed that ACh and ivabradine may affect the pacemaker activity by stimulating muscarinic receptor or inhibiting If current, respectively.

  18. Functional assessment of toad parotoid macroglands: a study based on poison replacement after mechanical compression.

    PubMed

    Jared, Simone G S; Jared, Carlos; Egami, Mizue I; Mailho-Fontana, Pedro L; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Antoniazzi, Marta M

    2014-09-01

    Toads have a pair of parotoid macroglands behind the eyes that secrete poison used in passive defence against predators. These macroglands are composed of juxtaposed alveoli, each one bearing a syncytial gland, all connected to the exterior by ducts. When the parotoids are bitten, the poison is expelled on the predator oral mucosa in the form of jets, causing several pharmacological actions. After poison release, the empty secretory syncytia immediately collapse in the interior of their respective alveoli and gradually start refilling. After parotoid manual compression, simulating a predator's bite, we studied, by means of morphological methods, the replacement of the poison inside the alveoli. The results showed that after compression, a considerable number of alveoli remained intact. In the alveoli that were effectively affected the recovery occurs in different levels, from total to punctual and often restrict to some areas of the syncytia. The severely affected alveoli seem not recover their original functional state. The fact that only a part of the parotoid alveoli is compressed during an attack seems to be crucial for toad survival, since the amphibian, after being bitten by a predator, do not lose all its poison stock, remaining protected in case of new attacks.

  19. An evaluation of weather and disease as causes of decline in two populations of boreal toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scherer, R. D.; Muths, E.; Noon, B.R.; Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

    Two populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas) experienced drastic declines in abundance in the late 1990s. Evidence supported the hypothesis of disease (the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) as the cause of these declines, but other hypotheses had not been evaluated. We used an 11-year capture-recapture data set to evaluate weather and disease as causes of these declines. We developed sets of mathematical models that reflected hypothesized relationships between several weather variables and annual survival rates of adult males in these populations. In addition, models that reflected the possibility that the declines were caused by an introduced fungus were developed. All models were fit to the data and were evaluated using a model selection criterion (QAICc). Our analysis provided strong support for the hypothesis of an introduced fungus and little support for the hypothesis that weather conditions caused the declines. Our results also suggest a strong, negative 'marking effect' on survival rates of boreal toads. Model-averaged estimates of survival rate are presented.

  20. ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF ABSORPTION OF TRACER MATERIALS BY TOAD URINARY BLADDER EPITHELIUM.

    PubMed

    CHOI, J K

    1965-05-01

    The absorption of Thorotrast and saccharated iron oxide by the epithelium of the toad urinary bladder was studied by electron microscopy. Whether the toads were hydrated, dehydrated, or given Pitressin, no significant differences in transport of colloidal particles by epithelial cells were observed. This implies that these physiological factors had little effect on the transport of the tracer particles. Tracer particles were encountered in three types of epithelial cells which line the bladder lumen, but most frequently in the mitochondria-rich cells. Tracer materials were incorporated into the cytoplasm of epithelial cells after being adsorbed to the coating layer covering the luminal surface of the cells. In the intermediate stage (1 to 3 hours after introducing tracer) particles were present in small vesicles, tubules, and multivesicular bodies. In the later stages (up to 65 hours), the particles were more commonly seen to be densely packed within large membrane-bounded bodies which were often found near the Golgi region. These large bodies probably were formed by the fusion of small vesicles. Irrespective of the stages of absorption, no particles were found in the intercellular spaces or in the submucosa. Particles apparently did not penetrate the intercellular spaces of the epithelium beyond the level of the tight junction.

  1. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, M; Okuhama, N N; Zhang, X J; Condezo, L A; Lao, J; Angeles', F M; Musah, R A; Bobrowski, P; Miller, M J S

    2002-05-01

    Cat's claw is an herbal medicine from the Amazon that is used widely to treat inflammatory disorders. The purpose of this study was to characterize the antioxidative and antiinflammatory properties of cat's claw, Uncaria tomentosa (UT) and Uncaria guianensis (UG). Alkaloids and flavanols were determined using reversed-phase HPLC; scavenging of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrilhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl radicals, and lipid peroxidation by spectrophotometry; and TNFalpha production by ELISA. Anti-inflammatory activity was assessed in vitro by inhibition of TNFalpha and nitrite production from RAW 264.7 cells exposed to LPS (50 ng/ml) and in vivo using the indomethacin-induced gastritis model. Apoptosis was assessed using the TUNEL technique and TNFalpha mRNA by in situ RT-PCR. In each of the antioxidant assays tested, UG was more potent than UT (P < 0.01). The total oxindole and pentacyclic alkaloid content of UT was 35-fold > UG. The IC50 value for inhibition of TNFalpha production was significantly (P < 0.01) higher for UT (14.1 ng/ml) vs UG (9.5 ng/ml), yet at concentrations that were considerable lower than that required for antioxidant activity. Non-alkaloid HPLC fractions from UT decreased LPS-induced TNFalpha and nitrite production in RAW 264.7 cells (P < 0.01) at a concentration range comparable to the parent botanical. Oral pretreatment for 3 d with UT protected against indomethacin-induced gastritis, and prevented TNFalpha mRNA expression and apoptosis. These results indicate that while both species of cat's claw provide effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, U. guianensis is more potent. In conclusion, the presence of oxindole or pentacyclic alkaloids did not influence the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cat's claw.

  2. Evolution of vertebrate transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 channels: opposite temperature sensitivity between mammals and western clawed frogs.

    PubMed

    Saito, Shigeru; Fukuta, Naomi; Shingai, Ryuzo; Tominaga, Makoto

    2011-04-01

    Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels serve as temperature receptors in a wide variety of animals and must have played crucial roles in thermal adaptation. The TRP vanilloid (TRPV) subfamily contains several temperature receptors with different temperature sensitivities. The TRPV3 channel is known to be highly expressed in skin, where it is activated by warm temperatures and serves as a sensor to detect ambient temperatures near the body temperature of homeothermic animals such as mammals. Here we performed comprehensive comparative analyses of the TRPV subfamily in order to understand the evolutionary process; we identified novel TRPV genes and also characterized the evolutionary flexibility of TRPV3 during vertebrate evolution. We cloned the TRPV3 channel from the western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis to understand the functional evolution of the TRPV3 channel. The amino acid sequences of the N- and C-terminal regions of the TRPV3 channel were highly diversified from those of other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV3 channels, although central portions were well conserved. In a heterologous expression system, several mammalian TRPV3 agonists did not activate the TRPV3 channel of the western clawed frog. Moreover, the frog TRPV3 channel did not respond to heat stimuli, instead it was activated by cold temperatures. Temperature thresholds for activation were about 16 °C, slightly below the lower temperature limit for the western clawed frog. Given that the TRPV3 channel is expressed in skin, its likely role is to detect noxious cold temperatures. Thus, the western clawed frog and mammals acquired opposite temperature sensitivity of the TRPV3 channel in order to detect environmental temperatures suitable for their respective species, indicating that temperature receptors can dynamically change properties to adapt to different thermal environments during evolution.

  3. Isotomidae (Collembola) of Buryat Republic. III. The genera Vertagopus and Agrenia, with a note on 'Claw index'.

    PubMed

    Potapov, Mikhail; Gulgenova, Ayuna; Babykina, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Two genera are revised based on material from Buryatia (Russia, East Siberia). Vertagopus ceratus sp. nov. and V. asiaticus sp. nov. are described of which the former species is strictly alpine and is defined by pale colouration, the presence of chaetae on the anterior side of the ventral tube, and abundant sensillar chaetotaxy. V. asiaticus sp. nov. is widely distributed in Asia and is unusual due to only 9 chaetae in apical whorl on tibiotarsi. A key to species of Vertagopus Börner, recorded in the republic is given, and notes on morphology, distribution, and ecology are provided. In the genus Agrenia Börner, a form similar with A. bidenticulata was recorded in mountainous areas. Buryatian populations considerably differ from the diagnosis of the typical arctic A.bidenticulata (Tullberg) by a much longer claw. A conception of A. bidenticulata sensu lato complex is temporarily proposed basing on available materials from Palearctic, including High Arctic, sub-Arctic and South Siberian mountains. The complex consists of several local forms which are different in Claw index and associated Tibiotarsus/Claw ratio, while the dependence of the two indexes on the latitude is shown. PMID:27394328

  4. DNA barcode based wildlife forensics for resolving the origin of claw samples using a novel primer cocktail.

    PubMed

    Khedkar, Gulab D; Abhayankar, Shil Bapurao; Nalage, Dinesh; Ahmed, Shaikh Nadeem; Khedkar, Chandraprakash D

    2014-12-10

    Abstract Excessive wildlife hunting for commercial purposes can have negative impacts on biodiversity and may result in species extinction. To ensure compliance with legal statutes, forensic identification approaches relying on molecular markers may be used to identify the species of origin of animal material from hairs, claw, blood, bone, or meat. Using this approach, DNA sequences from the COI "barcoding" gene have been used to identify material from a number of domesticated animal species. However, many wild species of carnivores still present great challenges in generating COI barcodes using standard "universal" primer pairs. In the work presented here, the mitochondrial COI gene was successfully amplified using a novel primer cocktail, and the products were sequenced to determine the species of twenty one unknown samples of claw material collected as part of forensic wildlife case investigations. Sixteen of the unknown samples were recognized to have originated from either Panthera leo or P. pardus individuals. The remaining five samples could be identified only to the family level due to the absence of reference animal sequences. This is the first report on the use of COI sequences for the identification of P. pardus and P. leo from claw samples as part of forensic investigations in India. The study also highlights the need for adequate reference material to aid in the resolution of suspected cases of illegal wildlife harvesting.

  5. Assigning king eiders to wintering regions in the Bering Sea using stable isotopes of feathers and claws

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oppel, S.; Powell, A.N.

    2008-01-01

    Identification of wintering regions for birds sampled during the breeding season is crucial to understanding how events outside the breeding season may affect populations. We assigned king eiders captured on breeding grounds in northern Alaska to 3 broad geographic wintering regions in the Bering Sea using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes obtained from head feathers. Using a discriminant function analysis of feathers obtained from birds tracked with satellite transmitters, we estimated that 88 % of feathers were assigned to the region in which they were grown. We then assigned 84 birds of unknown origin to wintering regions based on their head feather isotope ratios, and tested the utility of claws for geographic assignment. Based on the feather results, we estimated that similar proportions of birds in our study area use each of the 3 wintering regions in the Bering Sea. These results are in close agreement with estimates from satellite telemetry and show the usefulness of stable isotope signatures of feathers in assigning marine birds to geographic regions. The use of claws is currently limited by incomplete understanding of claw growth rates. Data presented here will allow managers of eiders, other marine birds, and marine mammals to assign animals to regions in the Bering Sea based on stable isotope signatures of body tissues. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  6. Proteasomal activities in the claw muscle tissue of European lobster, Homarus gammarus, during larval development.

    PubMed

    Götze, Sandra; Saborowski, Reinhard

    2011-10-01

    Decapod crustaceans grow discontinuously and gain size through complex molt processes. The molt comprises the loss of the old cuticle and, moreover, substantial reduction and re-organization of muscles and connective tissues. In adult lobsters, the muscle tissue of the massive claws undergoes significant atrophy of 40-75% before ecdysis. The degradation of this tissue is facilitated by calcium-dependent proteases and by the proteasome, an intra-cellular proteolytic multi-enzyme complex. In contrast to the adults, the involvement of the proteasome during the larval development is yet not validated. Therefore, we developed micro-methods to measure the 20S and the 26S proteasomal activities within mg- and sub-mg-quantities of the larval claw tissue of the European lobster, Homarus gammarus. Within the three larval stages (Z1-3) we distinguished between sub-stages of freshly molted/hatched (post-molt), inter-molt, and ready to molt (pre-molt) larvae. Juveniles were analyzed in the post-molt and in the inter-molt stage. The trypsin-like, the chymotrypsin-like, and the peptidyl-glutamyl peptide hydrolase activity (PGPH) of the 20S proteasome increased distinctly from freshly hatched larvae to pre-molt Z1. During the Z2 stage, the activities were highest in the post-molt animals, decreased in the inter-molt animals and increased again in the pre-molt animals. A similar but less distinct trend was evident in the Z3 stages. In the juveniles, the proteasomal activities decreased toward the lowest values. A similar pattern was present for the chymotrypsin-like activity of the 26S proteasome. The results show that the proteasome plays a significant role during the larval development of lobsters. This is not only reflected by the elevated activities, but also by the continuous change of the trypsin/chymotrypsin-ratio which may indicate a shift in the subunit composition of the proteasome and, thus, a biochemical adjustment to better cope with elevated protein turnover rates

  7. Further studies on osmotic resistance of nucleated erythrocytes: observations with pigeon, peafowl, lizard and toad erythrocytes during changes in temperature and pH.

    PubMed

    Oyewale, J O

    1994-02-01

    The osmotic resistance of pigeon, peafowl, lizard and toad erythrocytes at different temperatures and pH was studied. Erythrocytes from female pigeons showed greater osmotic resistance than those from males, but no sex difference appeared with erythrocytes from peafowls. Pigeon erythrocytes were more resistant and the red blood cell, packed cell volume and haemoglobin values were higher than those in peafowls. Although no significant differences appeared in their haematological values, erythrocytes from the lizard were more resistant than erythrocytes from the toad. At higher temperature, the osmotic resistance of pigeon, lizard and toad erythrocytes increased, while that of peafowl erythrocytes decreased. The resistance of toad erythrocytes decreased in acidic and alkaline solutions, but that of peafowl erythrocytes increased in both solutions. However, with pigeon and lizard erythrocytes, the resistance was unaltered in alkaline solution and decreased in acidic solution.

  8. Further studies on osmotic resistance of nucleated erythrocytes: observations with pigeon, peafowl, lizard and toad erythrocytes during changes in temperature and pH.

    PubMed

    Oyewale, J O

    1994-02-01

    The osmotic resistance of pigeon, peafowl, lizard and toad erythrocytes at different temperatures and pH was studied. Erythrocytes from female pigeons showed greater osmotic resistance than those from males, but no sex difference appeared with erythrocytes from peafowls. Pigeon erythrocytes were more resistant and the red blood cell, packed cell volume and haemoglobin values were higher than those in peafowls. Although no significant differences appeared in their haematological values, erythrocytes from the lizard were more resistant than erythrocytes from the toad. At higher temperature, the osmotic resistance of pigeon, lizard and toad erythrocytes increased, while that of peafowl erythrocytes decreased. The resistance of toad erythrocytes decreased in acidic and alkaline solutions, but that of peafowl erythrocytes increased in both solutions. However, with pigeon and lizard erythrocytes, the resistance was unaltered in alkaline solution and decreased in acidic solution. PMID:8085400

  9. The effects of drought on population structure, activity, and orientation of toads Bufo quercicus and B. terrestris at a temporary pond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.

    1994-01-01

    From 1985 through 1990, I monitored the populations of two species of toads, Bufo quercicus and B. terrestris, at a temporary pond in the xeric uplands of north-central Florida. A drift fence with pitfall traps completely encircled the pond basin; the fence was monitored 5 days per week throughout the year. The 5-year study coincided with a severe regional drought that resulted in generally short hydroperiods at unpredictable times of the year. More than 800 toads were captured. Successful metamorphosis never occurred at the pond although toads continued to visit it throughout the study. The sex ratio was male biased in B. quercicus but not in B. terrestris, although significant variation was observed from one year to the next. Likewise, the size-class structure and length-weight patterns varied among species, sexes, and years. Although fewer toads entered the pond basin as the study progressed, toads may have gone elsewhere to breed or they may have remained in refugia. Thus, decreased capture does not necessarily indicate that a drought-related population decline occurred. Drought may have disrupted normal arrival patterns and length of stay within the pond basin. Drought also could be responsible for variation in annual size-class structure of captured toads. The uncertainty of the hydroperiod both spatially and temporally in adjacent breeding sites, the ability of toads to move long distances with the potential for migration between breeding sites, and the lack of specificity in the choice of breeding sites (i.e. permanent versus different types of temporary wetlands) may lead to the formation of metapopulations in the xeric upland habitats of north-central Florida. Long-term monitoring under a variety of climatic conditions is needed to assess the effects of drought and other types of environmental stresses on toad populations.

  10. Technical note: Effects of frozen storage on the mechanical properties of the suspensory tissue in the bovine claw.

    PubMed

    Boettcher, H S; Knudsen, J C; Andersen, P H; Danscher, A M

    2014-05-01

    It is proposed that a softening of the suspensory tissue in the claw is involved in the development of lameness and claw lesions in cattle. A relatively small amount of research has been carried out to verify this theory. Research in this area would be simplified if mechanical testing of the suspensory tissue could be performed on frozen and stored specimens. The current study tested whether freezing of the specimens changes the suspensory tissues' mechanical properties. Limbs from 3 freshly slaughtered Danish Holstein dairy cows and 6 nonpregnant Angus heifers, without clinical signs of lameness, were allocated to 1 of 2 treatments (frozen or nonfrozen) in such a way that each cow was represented in each treatment group with a frozen limb and a corresponding nonfrozen limb (i.e., frozen left front, fresh right front, and so on). The frozen limbs were kept at -18°C for a week before processing and the nonfrozen limbs were processed within 2h of slaughter. Two samples measuring 8 × 8 mm were cut from the abaxial side of each claw in such a way that the sample included the horn of the abaxial wall, pedal bone, and the interposed corium. The samples were kept on ice until being mounted in a large deformation rheometer with an extension testing frame, fixed by the horn and the pedal bone, and loaded to failure. During deformation force and displacement data were recorded, from which corresponding stress and strain were calculated. Young's modulus (a measure of tissue elasticity or stiffness) and a measure of physiological support (PS; force needed to displace the sample 1mm) were calculated from the data. The response variables, Young's modulus and PS, were analyzed separately by a mixed model. The explanatory variables were treatment (frozen or nonfrozen), limb (front or back), claw (medial or lateral), position of the sample (dorsal or palmar-plantar), and group (Angus or Holstein). Interactions between group and treatment and between limb, claw, and sample

  11. Alteration of Neutrophil Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Extracts of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum).

    PubMed

    Muzila, Mbaki; Rumpunen, Kimmo; Wright, Helen; Roberts, Helen; Grant, Melissa; Nybom, Hilde; Sehic, Jasna; Ekholm, Anders; Widén, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Harpagophytum, Devil's Claw, is a genus of tuberiferous xerophytic plants native to southern Africa. Some of the taxa are appreciated for their medicinal effects and have been traditionally used to relieve symptoms of inflammation. The objectives of this pilot study were to investigate the antioxidant capacity and the content of total phenols, verbascoside, isoverbascoside, and selected iridoids, as well as to investigate the capacity of various Harpagophytum taxa in suppressing respiratory burst in terms of reactive oxygen species produced by human neutrophils challenged with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), opsonised Staphylococcus aureus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Harpagophytum plants were classified into different taxa according to morphology, and DNA analysis was used to confirm the classification. A putative new variety of H. procumbens showed the highest degree of antioxidative capacity. Using PMA, three Harpagophytum taxa showed anti-inflammatory effects with regard to the PBS control. A putative hybrid between H. procumbens and H. zeyheri in contrast showed proinflammatory effect on the response of neutrophils to F. nucleatum in comparison with treatment with vehicle control. Harpagophytum taxa were biochemically very variable and the response in suppressing respiratory burst differed. Further studies with larger number of subjects are needed to corroborate anti-inflammatory effects of different taxa of Harpagophytum.

  12. Temperature dependence of locomotor performance in the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis.

    PubMed

    Herrel, Anthony; Bonneaud, Camille

    2012-07-15

    Amphibians are ideal taxa with which to investigate the effects of climate change on physiology, dispersal capacity and distributional ranges as their physiological performance and fitness is highly dependent on temperature. Moreover, amphibians are among the most endangered vertebrate taxa. Here we use the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, as a model system to explore effects of temperature on locomotor performance. Our analyses show that locomotion is thermally sensitive, as illustrated by significant effects of temperature on terrestrial exertion capacity (time until exhaustion) and aquatic burst speed (maximal burst swimming velocity and maximal burst swimming acceleration capacity). Exertion performance measures had relatively lower temperature optima and narrower performance breadth ranges than measures of burst speed. The narrow 80% performance breadths confirm predictions that animals from stable environments should display high thermal sensitivity and, combined with the divergent temperature optima for exertion capacity and burst speed, underscore the vulnerability of tropical species such as X. tropicalis to even relatively small temperature changes. The temperature sensitivity of locomotor performance traits in X. tropicalis suggests that tropical ectotherms may be impacted by predicted changes in climate.

  13. The evolution of centipede venom claws - open questions and possible answers.

    PubMed

    Haug, Joachim T; Haug, Carolin; Schweigert, Günter; Sombke, Andy

    2014-01-01

    The maxilliped venom claw is an intriguing structure in centipedes. We address open questions concerning this structure. The maxillipeds of fossil centipedes from the Carboniferous (about 300 million years old) have been described, but not been depicted previously. Re-investigation demonstrates that they resemble their modern counterparts. A Jurassic geophilomorph centipede (about 150 million years old) was originally described as possessing a rather leg-like maxilliped. Our re-investigation shows that the maxilliped is, in fact, highly specialized as in modern Geophilomorpha. A scenario for the evolution of the centipede maxilliped is presented. It supports one of the two supposed hypotheses of centipede phylogeny, the Pleurostigmophora hypothesis. Although this hypothesis appears now well established, many aspects of character evolution resulting from this phylogeny remain to be told in detail. One such aspect is the special joint of the maxilliped in some species of Cryptops. Cryptops is an in-group of Scolopendromorpha, but its maxilliped joint can resemble that of Lithobiomorpha or even possess a mixture of characters between the both. Detailed investigation of fossils, larger sample sizes of extant species, and developmental data will be necessary to allow further improvements of the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of centipedes.

  14. Identification of proteins interacting with lactate dehydrogenase in claw muscle of the porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes

    PubMed Central

    Cayenne, Andrea P.; Gabert, Beverly; Stillman, Jonathon H.

    2011-01-01

    Biochemical adaptation of enzymes involves conservation of activity, stability and affinity across a wide range of intracellular and environmental conditions. Enzyme adaptation by alteration of primary structure is well known, but the roles of protein-protein interactions in enzyme adaptation are less well understood. Interspecific differences in thermal stability of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in porcelain crabs (genus Petrolisthes) are related to intrinsic differences among LDH molecules and by interactions with other stabilizing proteins. Here, we identified proteins that interact with LDH in porcelain crab claw muscle tissue using co-immunoprecipitation, and showed LDH exists in high molecular weight complexes using size exclusion chromatography and Western blot analyses. Co-immunoprecipitated proteins were separated using 2D SDS PAGE and analyzed by LC/ESI using peptide MS/MS. Peptide MS/MS ions were compared to an EST database for Petrolisthes cinctipes to identify proteins. Identified proteins included cytoskeletal elements, glycolytic enzymes, a phosphagen kinase, and the respiratory protein hemocyanin. Our results support the hypothesis that LDH interacts with glycolytic enzymes in a metabolon structured by cytoskeletal elements that may also include the enzyme for transfer of the adenylate charge in glycolytically produced ATP. Those interactions may play specific roles in biochemical adaptation of glycolytic enzymes. PMID:21968246

  15. Vocal classification of vocalizations of a pair of Asian small-clawed otters to determine stress.

    PubMed

    Scheifele, Peter M; Johnson, Michael T; Fry, Michelle; Hamel, Benjamin; Laclede, Kathryn

    2015-07-01

    Asian Small-Clawed Otters (Aonyx cinerea) are a small, protected but threatened species living in freshwater. They are gregarious and live in monogamous pairs for their lifetimes, communicating via scent and acoustic vocalizations. This study utilized a hidden Markov model (HMM) to classify stress versus non-stress calls from a sibling pair under professional care. Vocalizations were expertly annotated by keepers into seven contextual categories. Four of these-aggression, separation anxiety, pain, and prefeeding-were identified as stressful contexts, and three of them-feeding, training, and play-were identified as non-stressful contexts. The vocalizations were segmented, manually categorized into broad vocal type call types, and analyzed to determine signal to noise ratios. From this information, vocalizations from the most common contextual categories were used to implement HMM-based automatic classification experiments, which included individual identification, stress vs non-stress, and individual context classification. Results indicate that both individual identity and stress vs non-stress were distinguishable, with accuracies above 90%, but that individual contexts within the stress category were not easily separable.

  16. Population structure and genetic analysis of narrow-clawed crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) populations in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Akhan, Suleyman; Bektas, Yusuf; Berber, Selcuk; Kalayci, Gokhan

    2014-10-01

    The genetic differentiation among Turkish populations of the narrow-clawed crayfish was investigated using a partial sequence of cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (585 bp) of 183 specimens from 17 different crayfish populations. Median joining network and all phylogenetic analyses disclosed a strong haplotype structure with three prominent clades diverged by a range between 20 and 50 mutations and substantial inter-group pairwise sequence divergence (5.19-6.95 %), suggesting the presence of three distinct clades within the Anatolian populations of Astacus leptodactylus. The divergence times among the three clades of Turkish A. leptodactylus are estimated to be 4.96-3.70 Mya using a molecular clock of 1.4 % sequence divergence per million years, pointing to a lower Pliocene separation. The high level of genetic variability (H d = 95.8 %, π = 4.17 %) and numerous private haplotypes suggest the presence of refugial populations in Anatolia unaffected by Pleistocene habitat restrictions. The pattern of genetic variation among Turkish A. leptodactylus populations, therefore, suggests that the unrevealed intraspecific genetic structure is independent of geographic tendency and congruent with the previously reported geographic distribution and number of subspecies (A. l. leptodactylus and A. l. salinus) of A. leptodactylus.

  17. Origin and diversification of the clawed lobster genus Metanephrops (Crustacea: Decapoda: Nephropidae).

    PubMed

    Chan, Tin-Yam; Ho, Ka Chai; Li, Chi Pang; Chu, Ka Hou

    2009-03-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of all 17 extant species of the clawed lobster genus Metanephrops based on mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase I, and nuclear histone H3 gene sequences supports the morphological groupings of two of the traditional groups of the genus (the binghami and japonicus groups) but refutes monophyly of the other two groups (the arafurensis and thomsoni groups). The results in general support a recent morphology-based cladistic analysis of this genus except that this study suggests M. neptunus to be a basal rather than a derived species as indicated in the morphological analysis. This species is genetically diverse over its geographical range. Moreover, the two color forms of M. thomsoni are genetically distinct, most likely representing different species. The molecular phylogeny and current distribution pattern of the extant species, together with the fossil record, suggest that the genus originated in the Antarctica in the Cretaceous, followed by diversification and dispersal along the continental shelf of different continents as a result of the vicariant events associated with the breakup of the Southern Temperate Gondwana since Late Cretaceous.

  18. Alteration of Neutrophil Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Extracts of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum).

    PubMed

    Muzila, Mbaki; Rumpunen, Kimmo; Wright, Helen; Roberts, Helen; Grant, Melissa; Nybom, Hilde; Sehic, Jasna; Ekholm, Anders; Widén, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Harpagophytum, Devil's Claw, is a genus of tuberiferous xerophytic plants native to southern Africa. Some of the taxa are appreciated for their medicinal effects and have been traditionally used to relieve symptoms of inflammation. The objectives of this pilot study were to investigate the antioxidant capacity and the content of total phenols, verbascoside, isoverbascoside, and selected iridoids, as well as to investigate the capacity of various Harpagophytum taxa in suppressing respiratory burst in terms of reactive oxygen species produced by human neutrophils challenged with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), opsonised Staphylococcus aureus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Harpagophytum plants were classified into different taxa according to morphology, and DNA analysis was used to confirm the classification. A putative new variety of H. procumbens showed the highest degree of antioxidative capacity. Using PMA, three Harpagophytum taxa showed anti-inflammatory effects with regard to the PBS control. A putative hybrid between H. procumbens and H. zeyheri in contrast showed proinflammatory effect on the response of neutrophils to F. nucleatum in comparison with treatment with vehicle control. Harpagophytum taxa were biochemically very variable and the response in suppressing respiratory burst differed. Further studies with larger number of subjects are needed to corroborate anti-inflammatory effects of different taxa of Harpagophytum. PMID:27429708

  19. The evolution of centipede venom claws - open questions and possible answers.

    PubMed

    Haug, Joachim T; Haug, Carolin; Schweigert, Günter; Sombke, Andy

    2014-01-01

    The maxilliped venom claw is an intriguing structure in centipedes. We address open questions concerning this structure. The maxillipeds of fossil centipedes from the Carboniferous (about 300 million years old) have been described, but not been depicted previously. Re-investigation demonstrates that they resemble their modern counterparts. A Jurassic geophilomorph centipede (about 150 million years old) was originally described as possessing a rather leg-like maxilliped. Our re-investigation shows that the maxilliped is, in fact, highly specialized as in modern Geophilomorpha. A scenario for the evolution of the centipede maxilliped is presented. It supports one of the two supposed hypotheses of centipede phylogeny, the Pleurostigmophora hypothesis. Although this hypothesis appears now well established, many aspects of character evolution resulting from this phylogeny remain to be told in detail. One such aspect is the special joint of the maxilliped in some species of Cryptops. Cryptops is an in-group of Scolopendromorpha, but its maxilliped joint can resemble that of Lithobiomorpha or even possess a mixture of characters between the both. Detailed investigation of fossils, larger sample sizes of extant species, and developmental data will be necessary to allow further improvements of the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of centipedes. PMID:24211515

  20. Goal saliency boosts infants' action prediction for human manual actions, but not for mechanical claws.

    PubMed

    Adam, Maurits; Reitenbach, Ivanina; Papenmeier, Frank; Gredebäck, Gustaf; Elsner, Claudia; Elsner, Birgit

    2016-08-01

    Previous research indicates that infants' prediction of the goals of observed actions is influenced by own experience with the type of agent performing the action (i.e., human hand vs. non-human agent) as well as by action-relevant features of goal objects (e.g., object size). The present study investigated the combined effects of these factors on 12-month-olds' action prediction. Infants' (N=49) goal-directed gaze shifts were recorded as they observed 14 trials in which either a human hand or a mechanical claw reached for a small goal area (low-saliency goal) or a large goal area (high-saliency goal). Only infants who had observed the human hand reaching for a high-saliency goal fixated the goal object ahead of time, and they rapidly learned to predict the action goal across trials. By contrast, infants in all other conditions did not track the observed action in a predictive manner, and their gaze shifts to the action goal did not change systematically across trials. Thus, high-saliency goals seem to boost infants' predictive gaze shifts during the observation of human manual actions, but not of actions performed by a mechanical device. This supports the assumption that infants' action predictions are based on interactive effects of action-relevant object features (e.g., size) and own action experience. PMID:27267784

  1. Aspartic cathepsin D endopeptidase contributes to extracellular digestion in clawed lobsters Homarus americanus and Homarus gammarus.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Liliana; Muhlia-Almazan, Adriana; Saborowski, Reinhard; García-Carreño, Fernando

    2010-11-01

    Acid digestive proteinases were studied in the gastric fluids of two species of clawed lobster (Homarus americanus and Homarus gammarus). An active protein was identified in both species as aspartic proteinase by specific inhibition with pepstatin A. It was confirmed as cathepsin D by mass mapping, N-terminal, and full-length cDNA sequencing. Both lobster species transcribed two cathepsin D mRNAs: cathepsin D1 and cathepsin D2. Cathepsin D1 mRNA was detected only in the midgut gland, suggesting its function as a digestive enzyme. Cathepsin D2 mRNA was found in the midgut gland, gonads, and muscle. The deduced amino acid sequence of cathepsin D1 and cathepsin D2 possesses two catalytic DTG active-site motifs, the hallmark of aspartic proteinases. The putatively active cathepsin D1 has a molecular mass of 36.4 kDa and a calculated pI of 4.14 and possesses three potential glycosylation sites. The sequences showed highest similarities with cathepsin D from insects but also with another crustacean cathepsin D. Cathepsin D1 transcripts were quantified during a starvation period using real-time qPCR. In H. americanus, 15 days of starvation did not cause significant changes, but subsequent feeding caused a 2.5-fold increase. In H. gammarus, starvation caused a 40% reduction in cathepsin D1 mRNA, and no effect was observed with subsequent feeding. PMID:20169386

  2. Recovery of chronically lame dairy cows following treatment for claw horn lesions: a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, H. J.; Remnant, J. G.; Bollard, N. J.; Burrows, A.; Whay, H. R.; Bell, N. J.; Mason, C.; Huxley, J. N.

    2016-01-01

    A positively controlled, randomised controlled trial (RCT) was undertaken to test recovery of cows with claw horn lesions resulting in lameness of greater than two weeks duration. Cows on seven commercial farms were mobility scored fortnightly and selected by lameness severity and chronicity. Study cows all received a therapeutic trim then random allocation of: no further treatment (trim only (TRM)), plastic shoe (TS) or plastic shoe and NSAID (TSN). Recovery was assessed by mobility score at 42 (±4) days post treatment by an observer blind to treatment group. Multivariable analysis showed no significant effect of treatment with an almost identical, low response rate to treatment across all groups (Percentage non-lame at outcome: TRM – 15 per cent, TS – 15 per cent, TSN – 16 per cent). When compared with results of a similar RCT on acutely lame cows, where response rates to treatment were substantially higher, it can be concluded that any delay in treatment is likely to reduce the rate of recovery, suggesting early identification and treatment is key. Thirty-eight per cent of animals treated in this study were lame on the contralateral limb at outcome suggesting that both hindlimbs should be examined and a preventive or if necessary a therapeutic foot trim performed when lameness is identified particularly if the duration of lameness is unknown. PMID:26811441

  3. Vocal classification of vocalizations of a pair of Asian small-clawed otters to determine stress.

    PubMed

    Scheifele, Peter M; Johnson, Michael T; Fry, Michelle; Hamel, Benjamin; Laclede, Kathryn

    2015-07-01

    Asian Small-Clawed Otters (Aonyx cinerea) are a small, protected but threatened species living in freshwater. They are gregarious and live in monogamous pairs for their lifetimes, communicating via scent and acoustic vocalizations. This study utilized a hidden Markov model (HMM) to classify stress versus non-stress calls from a sibling pair under professional care. Vocalizations were expertly annotated by keepers into seven contextual categories. Four of these-aggression, separation anxiety, pain, and prefeeding-were identified as stressful contexts, and three of them-feeding, training, and play-were identified as non-stressful contexts. The vocalizations were segmented, manually categorized into broad vocal type call types, and analyzed to determine signal to noise ratios. From this information, vocalizations from the most common contextual categories were used to implement HMM-based automatic classification experiments, which included individual identification, stress vs non-stress, and individual context classification. Results indicate that both individual identity and stress vs non-stress were distinguishable, with accuracies above 90%, but that individual contexts within the stress category were not easily separable. PMID:26233050

  4. Ancestry Influences the Fate of Duplicated Genes Millions of Years After Polyploidization of Clawed Frogs (Xenopus)

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Ben J.

    2007-01-01

    Allopolyploid species form through the fusion of two differentiated genomes and, in the earliest stages of their evolution, essentially all genes in the nucleus are duplicated. Because unique mutations occur in each ancestor prior to allopolyploidization, duplicate genes in these species potentially are not interchangeable, and this could influence their genetic fates. This study explores evolution and expression of a simple duplicated complex—a heterodimer between RAG1 and RAG2 proteins in clawed frogs (Xenopus). Results demonstrate that copies of RAG1 degenerated in different polyploid species in a phylogenetically biased fashion, predominately in only one lineage of closely related paralogs. Surprisingly, as a result of an early deletion of one RAG2 paralog, it appears that in many species RAG1/RAG2 heterodimers are composed of proteins that were encoded by unlinked paralogs. If the tetraploid ancestor of extant species of Xenopus arose through allopolyploidization and if recombination between paralogs was rare, then the genes that encode functional RAG1 and RAG2 proteins in many polyploid species were each ultimately inherited from different diploid progenitors. These observations are consistent with the notion that ancestry can influence the fate of duplicate genes millions of years after duplication, and they uncover a dimension of natural selection in allopolyploid genomes that is distinct from other genetic phenomena associated with polyploidization or segmental duplication. PMID:17435227

  5. Alteration of Neutrophil Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Extracts of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum)

    PubMed Central

    Muzila, Mbaki; Wright, Helen; Roberts, Helen; Grant, Melissa; Nybom, Hilde; Sehic, Jasna; Ekholm, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Harpagophytum, Devil's Claw, is a genus of tuberiferous xerophytic plants native to southern Africa. Some of the taxa are appreciated for their medicinal effects and have been traditionally used to relieve symptoms of inflammation. The objectives of this pilot study were to investigate the antioxidant capacity and the content of total phenols, verbascoside, isoverbascoside, and selected iridoids, as well as to investigate the capacity of various Harpagophytum taxa in suppressing respiratory burst in terms of reactive oxygen species produced by human neutrophils challenged with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), opsonised Staphylococcus aureus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Harpagophytum plants were classified into different taxa according to morphology, and DNA analysis was used to confirm the classification. A putative new variety of H. procumbens showed the highest degree of antioxidative capacity. Using PMA, three Harpagophytum taxa showed anti-inflammatory effects with regard to the PBS control. A putative hybrid between H. procumbens and H. zeyheri in contrast showed proinflammatory effect on the response of neutrophils to F. nucleatum in comparison with treatment with vehicle control. Harpagophytum taxa were biochemically very variable and the response in suppressing respiratory burst differed. Further studies with larger number of subjects are needed to corroborate anti-inflammatory effects of different taxa of Harpagophytum. PMID:27429708

  6. Goal saliency boosts infants' action prediction for human manual actions, but not for mechanical claws.

    PubMed

    Adam, Maurits; Reitenbach, Ivanina; Papenmeier, Frank; Gredebäck, Gustaf; Elsner, Claudia; Elsner, Birgit

    2016-08-01

    Previous research indicates that infants' prediction of the goals of observed actions is influenced by own experience with the type of agent performing the action (i.e., human hand vs. non-human agent) as well as by action-relevant features of goal objects (e.g., object size). The present study investigated the combined effects of these factors on 12-month-olds' action prediction. Infants' (N=49) goal-directed gaze shifts were recorded as they observed 14 trials in which either a human hand or a mechanical claw reached for a small goal area (low-saliency goal) or a large goal area (high-saliency goal). Only infants who had observed the human hand reaching for a high-saliency goal fixated the goal object ahead of time, and they rapidly learned to predict the action goal across trials. By contrast, infants in all other conditions did not track the observed action in a predictive manner, and their gaze shifts to the action goal did not change systematically across trials. Thus, high-saliency goals seem to boost infants' predictive gaze shifts during the observation of human manual actions, but not of actions performed by a mechanical device. This supports the assumption that infants' action predictions are based on interactive effects of action-relevant object features (e.g., size) and own action experience.

  7. Insights into the molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the white-clawed crayfish (Decapoda, Astacidae).

    PubMed

    Jelić, Mišel; Klobučar, Göran I V; Grandjean, Frédéric; Puillandre, Nicolas; Franjević, Damjan; Futo, Momir; Amouret, Julien; Maguire, Ivana

    2016-10-01

    In this study, the evolutionary history of the white-clawed crayfish (WCC) was evaluated using large-scale datasets comprising >1350 specimens from the entire distribution range. Using species delimitation methods on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences, we propose four primary species hypotheses for WCC. Sequences for several nuclear regions were screened but none showed significant variation within WCC. This result favours a single secondary species hypothesis and indicates the existence of a mito-nuclear discordance in WCC. Therefore, mtDNA groups were considered only as genetic units that carry information about ancient divergences within WCC and not as taxonomic units. The reconstruction of ancestral ranges and divergence time estimates were used to link the current genetic structure with paleogeographic processes. These results showed that the emergence of mtDNA groups in WCC could be related to the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the climate cooling during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and (paleo)shifting of the Adriatic Sea coastline in the Padanovenezian Plain. The most recent common ancestor of the mtDNA groups most likely originated from Dalmatia (eastern Adriatic coast) as indicated by the reconstruction of ancestral ranges. This ecoregion, along with the Gulf of Venice Drainages, harbours a high genetic diversity and should be emphasised as an area of the highest conservation priority. PMID:27404041

  8. The Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey: Update and 1984-97 trends [abstract

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mossman, M.J.; Hartman, L.; Sauer, J.; Hay, R.; Dhuey, B.

    1998-01-01

    The Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey (WFTS) is a volunteer-based, roadside auditory count that began in 1981. It's protocols were recently modified for continent-wide use by the North American Amphibian Monitoring Plan (NAAMP). In 1997 we initiated a study to compare data collected by the WFTS and NAAMP protocols, in order to guide WFTS transition from its current methodology to one more compatible with NAAMP, without losing the use of data collected since 1981. In this paper we present results from the first year of this study, along with results from analyses of WFTS data, including distributional maps, 1984-97 population trends, phenological information, and progress on a new web page.

  9. Quantification of percutaneous absorption of metronidazole and levamisole in the fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis).

    PubMed

    Mombarg, M; Claessen, H; Lambrechts, L; Zwart, P

    1992-12-01

    Spot-on application has proved to be an effective way to reach therapeutic doses of metronidazole and levamisole in fire-bellied toads. The percutaneous absorption of metronidazole and levamisole was quantified, using an aqueous solution of 1.008 mg/ml of metronidazole and an aqueous solution of 3.767 mg/ml of levamisole. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis of the percutaneous absorption revealed that of the amount applied, 75% of metronidazole and 90% of levamisole was absorbed. This resulted during 3 days of application in dosages of 23 mg/kg BW of metronidazole and 94 mg/kg BW of levamisole. Of the absorbed substances, 48% of metronidazole and 9% of levamisole were excreted in urine and faeces as unmetabolised substances.

  10. Rapid differentiation of sexual signals in invasive toads: call variation among populations.

    PubMed

    Yasumiba, Kiyomi; Duffy, Richard L; Parsons, Scott A; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Advertisement calls tend to differ among populations, based on morphological and environmental factors, or simply geographic distance, in many taxa. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) were introduced to Australia in 1935 and their distribution has expanded at increasing rates over time. Rapid evolution occurred in morphological and behavioural characters that accelerate dispersal, but the effects of rapid expansion on sexual signals have not been examined. We collected advertisement calls from four populations of different ages since invasion, and analysed the geographic differentiation of seven call parameters. Our comparisons indicate that the calls of R. marina differ among Australian populations. The signal variation was not simply clinal with respect to population age, climate, or morphological differentiation. We suggest that selection on signalling among populations has been idiosyncratic and may reflect local female preferences or adaptation to environmental factors that are not clinal such as energy availability. PMID:27328666

  11. Rapid differentiation of sexual signals in invasive toads: call variation among populations

    PubMed Central

    Yasumiba, Kiyomi; Duffy, Richard L.; Parsons, Scott A.; Alford, Ross A.; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Advertisement calls tend to differ among populations, based on morphological and environmental factors, or simply geographic distance, in many taxa. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) were introduced to Australia in 1935 and their distribution has expanded at increasing rates over time. Rapid evolution occurred in morphological and behavioural characters that accelerate dispersal, but the effects of rapid expansion on sexual signals have not been examined. We collected advertisement calls from four populations of different ages since invasion, and analysed the geographic differentiation of seven call parameters. Our comparisons indicate that the calls of R. marina differ among Australian populations. The signal variation was not simply clinal with respect to population age, climate, or morphological differentiation. We suggest that selection on signalling among populations has been idiosyncratic and may reflect local female preferences or adaptation to environmental factors that are not clinal such as energy availability. PMID:27328666

  12. The genome sequence of the emerging common midwife toad virus identifies an evolutionary intermediate within ranaviruses.

    PubMed

    Mavian, Carla; López-Bueno, Alberto; Balseiro, Ana; Casais, Rosa; Alcamí, Antonio; Alejo, Alí

    2012-04-01

    Worldwide amphibian population declines have been ascribed to global warming, increasing pollution levels, and other factors directly related to human activities. These factors may additionally be favoring the emergence of novel pathogens. In this report, we have determined the complete genome sequence of the emerging common midwife toad ranavirus (CMTV), which has caused fatal disease in several amphibian species across Europe. Phylogenetic and gene content analyses of the first complete genomic sequence from a ranavirus isolated in Europe show that CMTV is an amphibian-like ranavirus (ALRV). However, the CMTV genome structure is novel and represents an intermediate evolutionary stage between the two previously described ALRV groups. We find that CMTV clusters with several other ranaviruses isolated from different hosts and locations which might also be included in this novel ranavirus group. This work sheds light on the phylogenetic relationships within this complex group of emerging, disease-causing viruses.

  13. All-optical repetition rate multiplication of pseudorandom bit sequences based on cascaded TOADs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhenchao; Wang, Zhi; Wu, Chongqing; Wang, Fu; Li, Qiang

    2016-03-01

    A scheme for all-optical repetition rate multiplication of pseudorandom bit sequences (PRBS) is demonstrated with all-optical wavelength conversion and optical logic gate 'OR' based on cascaded Tera-Hertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexers (TOADs). Its feasibility is verified by multiplication experiments from 500 Mb/s to 4 Gb/s for 23-1 PRBS and from 1 Gb/s to 4 Gb/s for 27-1 PRBS. This scheme can be employed for rate multiplication for much longer cycle PRBS at much higher bit rate over 40 Gb/s when the time-delay, the loss and the dispersion of the optical delay line are all precisely managed. The upper limit of bit rate will be restricted by the recovery time of semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) finally.

  14. The Sri Lankan torrent toads (Bufonidae: Adenominae: Adenomus): species boundaries assessed using multiple criteria.

    PubMed

    Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Senevirathne, Gayani; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Jayawardena, Beneeta; Bandara, Champika; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Pethiyagoda, Rohan

    2015-01-19

    The bufonid genus Adenomus, an endemic of the montane and lowland rainforests of central and south-western Sri Lanka, has been considered to comprise of three species, viz. A. kelaartii, A. dasi and A. kandianus, the last of which has been recently highlighted as "the world's rarest toad". We conducted a survey across the known range of Adenomus and used multiple criteria to delineate species boundaries within the genus. These include: a molecular phylogeny based on a 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragment; an examination of the external morphology of adults and larvae, and the skeletal morphology of adults; a bioacoustic analysis; and ecological niche modelling. We show that Adenomus is monophyletic and that it comprises only two species: A. kelaartii and A. kandianus, with A. dasi being a junior synonym of the latter. For the two valid species of Adenomus, we provide detailed osteological descriptions; clarify the distribution patterns; and provide genetic data to facilitate their scientific conservation management. 

  15. Community structure of helminth parasites of the "Cururu" toad, Rhinella icterica (Anura: Bufonidae) from southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Viviane Gularte Tavares; Amato, Suzana B; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2013-03-01

    Sixty specimens of the "cururu" toad, Rhinella icterica (Spix 1824) (Bufonidae), were collected in Campo Belo do Sul, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, between May 2009 and January 2011, and were examined for the presence of helminth parasites. Nine species of adult helminths were found: Catadiscus cohni, Rudolphitrema rudolphii, Cylindrotaenia sp., Rhabdias fuelleborni, Strongyloides sp., Cosmocerca rara, Cosmocerca brasiliensis, Aplectana elenae, and Oxyascaris sp., in addition to an unidentified adult nematode species. Females of cosmocercid nematodes, proteocephalan plerocercoid, and acanthocephalan cystacanth were found but not identified for lack absolute of taxonomic characters. The sex of the anurans had no influence on prevalence, abundance, and richness of helminth species. Length and body mass of hosts did not influence the prevalence and richness of helminths, while the abundance of R. fuelleborni was significantly correlated with both parameters.

  16. Support for Spitzer observations of tremendous outburst amplitude dwarf novae (TOADs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Templeton, Matthew R.

    2008-05-01

    Dr. Steve Howell (NOAO) requests monitoring of a subset of the known and suspected tremendous outburst amplitude dwarf novae (TOADs) in support of Spitzer Space Telescope observations of these objects. The campaign will run from May 16, 2008, through May 2009. Once an object has been verified in superoutburst, Spitzer observations will be scheduled within 2-4 weeks of maximum, and will be repeated twice -- 4-6 weeks and 6-10 weeks later. Observers are asked to provide nightly monitoring of these stars, and to begin intensive observations if and when any of them go into outburst to determine whether the star is in superoutburst. We note that several of these objects -- notably the WZ Sge stars WZ Sge, GW Lib, and V455 And -- are not expected to superoutburst during the next year, but observations are still encouraged in case they exhibit unexpected behavior. Observations should be submitted to the AAVSO International Database.

  17. The Genome Sequence of the Emerging Common Midwife Toad Virus Identifies an Evolutionary Intermediate within Ranaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Mavian, Carla; López-Bueno, Alberto; Balseiro, Ana; Casais, Rosa; Alcamí, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide amphibian population declines have been ascribed to global warming, increasing pollution levels, and other factors directly related to human activities. These factors may additionally be favoring the emergence of novel pathogens. In this report, we have determined the complete genome sequence of the emerging common midwife toad ranavirus (CMTV), which has caused fatal disease in several amphibian species across Europe. Phylogenetic and gene content analyses of the first complete genomic sequence from a ranavirus isolated in Europe show that CMTV is an amphibian-like ranavirus (ALRV). However, the CMTV genome structure is novel and represents an intermediate evolutionary stage between the two previously described ALRV groups. We find that CMTV clusters with several other ranaviruses isolated from different hosts and locations which might also be included in this novel ranavirus group. This work sheds light on the phylogenetic relationships within this complex group of emerging, disease-causing viruses. PMID:22301140

  18. Evolution of rapid development in spadefoot toads is unrelated to arid environments.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Cen; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Wiens, John J

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which species' life histories evolve to match climatic conditions is a critical question in evolutionary biology and ecology and as human activities rapidly modify global climate. GIS-based climatic data offer new opportunities to rigorously test this question. Superficially, the spadefoot toads of North America (Scaphiopodidae) seem to offer a classic example of adaptive life-history evolution: some species occur in extremely dry deserts and have evolved the shortest aquatic larval periods known among anurans. However, the relationships between the climatic conditions where spadefoots occur and the relevant life-history traits have not been explicitly tested. Here, we analyzed these relationships using GIS-based climatic data, published life-history data, and a time-calibrated phylogeny for pelobatoid frogs. Surprisingly, we find no significant relationships between life-history variables and precipitation or aridity levels where these species occur. Instead, rapid development in pelobatoids is strongly related to their small genome sizes and to phylogeny.

  19. Tropical cloud forest climate variability and the demise of the Monteverde golden toad.

    PubMed

    Anchukaitis, Kevin J; Evans, Michael N

    2010-03-16

    Widespread amphibian extinctions in the mountains of the American tropics have been blamed on the interaction of anthropogenic climate change and a lethal pathogen. However, limited meteorological records make it difficult to conclude whether current climate conditions at these sites are actually exceptional in the context of natural variability. We use stable oxygen isotope measurements from trees without annual rings to reconstruct a century of hydroclimatology in the Monteverde Cloud Forest of Costa Rica. High-resolution measurements reveal coherent isotope cycles that provide annual chronological control and paleoclimate information. Climate variability is dominated by interannual variance in dry season moisture associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation events. There is no evidence of a trend associated with global warming. Rather, the extinction of the Monteverde golden toad (Bufo periglenes) appears to have coincided with an exceptionally dry interval caused by the 1986-1987 El Niño event. PMID:20194772

  20. Ionophoretically applied acetylcholine and vagal stimulation in the arrested sinus venosus of the toad, Bufo marinus.

    PubMed Central

    Bramich, N J; Brock, J A; Edwards, F R; Hirst, G D

    1994-01-01

    1. The effects of acetylcholine (ACh), applied by ionophoresis, on the isolated arrested sinus venosus of the toad, Bufo marinus, were examined. 2. At each position where ACh was applied across the surface of sinus venosus preparations, a hyperpolarization was produced. These responses were abolished by hyoscine, indicating that muscarinic cholinoceptors are widely distributed over the surface of these muscle cells. 3. Vagal stimulation produced hyperpolarizations which were mimicked, to some extent, by ionophoretically applied ACh. 4. The responses to ionophoretically applied ACh were abolished by adding barium ions to the perfusion fluid, whereas responses to vagal stimulation persisted. 5. The responses to ionophoretically applied ACh were consistently slower than those to vagal stimulation. It is argued that the pathways activated by neural and applied ACh have different kinetics of activation. PMID:7965847

  1. Presynaptic neuromuscular action of a methanolic extract from the venom of Rhinella schneideri toad

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Rhinella schneideri, previously known as Bufo paracnemis, is a common toad in many regions of Brazil. Its venom exerts important cardiovascular effects on humans and other animals. Although this toad venom has been the subject of intense investigations, little is known about its neuromuscular activity. Methods The neurotoxicity of a methanolic extract of R. schneideri venom was tested on mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations mounted for conventional twitch tension recording – in response to indirect stimulation – and for electrophysiological measurements. Results Venom extract (50 μg/mL) increased the muscle twitch tension in PND preparations but did not significantly alter the resting membrane potential values. Electrophysiological evaluations showed that the extract (50 μg/mL) significantly augmented the frequency of miniature end-plate potential (from 38 ± 3.5 to 88 ± 15 after 60 minutes; n = 5; p < 0.05) and quantal content (from 128 ± 13 to 272 ± 34 after five minutes; n = 5; p < 0.05). Pretreatment with ouabain (1 μg/mL) for five minutes prevented the increase in quantal content (117 ± 18 and 154 ± 33 after five and 60 minutes, respectively). Conclusion These results indicate that the methanolic extract of R. schneideri venom acts primarily presynaptically to enhance neurotransmitter release in mouse phrenic-diaphragm preparations. PMID:25024696

  2. Bm-TFF2, a toad trefoil factor, promotes cell migration, survival and wound healing

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yong; Yu, Guoyu; Xiang, Yang; Wu, Jianbo; Jiang, Ping; Lee, Wenhui; Zhang, Yun

    2010-07-30

    Research highlights: {yields} Bm-TFF2 binds to epithelial cells and induces cell migration and wound healing. {yields} Bm-TFF2 suppresses cell apoptosis. {yields} Bm-TFF2 has no effect on cell proliferation. -- Abstract: Toad skin is naked and continually confronted by various injurious factors. Constant skin renewal and repairs occur frequently. However, the mechanisms of the renewal and repair have not clearly elucidated. In our previous work, a trefoil factor (TFF), Bm-TFF2, has been purified from the Bombina maxima skin and characterized as a platelet agonist. The mRNA of TFFs in toad skin was up-regulated greatly during the metamorphosis, indicating a pivotal role of TFFs in amphibian skin. Here, we presented the effects of Bm-TFF2 on the cell migration, apoptosis and proliferation. Bm-TFF2 bound to epithelial cells and showed strong cell motility activity. At the concentrations of 1-100 nM, Bm-TFF2-induced migration of human epithelial AGS and HT-29 cells, and rat intestinal epithelial IEC-6 cell lines. The in vitro wound healing assay also verified the activity of Bm-TFF2. Bm-TFF2 could also inhibit cell apoptosis induced by ceramide and sodium butyrate. The cell migration-promoting activity was abolished by MEK1 inhibitors, U0126 and PD98059, suggesting that ERK1/2 activation is crucial for Bm-TFF2 to stimulate cell migration. Taken together, Bm-TFF2 promoted wound healing by stimulating cell migration via MAPK pathway and preventing cell apoptosis. The potent biological activity of Bm-TFF2 makes it a useful molecular tool for further studies of structure-function relationship of the related human TFFs.

  3. Multi-level effects of low dose rate ionizing radiation on southern toad, Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris

    DOE PAGES

    Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E.; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P.; Hinton, Thomas G.; Amendola, Roberto

    2015-04-30

    Despite their potential vulnerability to contaminants from exposure at multiple life stages, amphibians are one of the least studied groups of vertebrates in ecotoxicology, and research on radiation effects in amphibians is scarce. We used multiple endpoints to assess the radiosensitivity of the southern toad (Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris) during its pre-terrestrial stages of development –embryonic, larval, and metamorphic. Toads were exposed, from several hours after oviposition through metamorphosis (up to 77 days later), to four low dose rates of ¹³⁷Cs at 0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d⁻¹, resulting in total doses up to 15.8 Gy. Radiation treatments did notmore » affect hatching success of embryos, larval survival, or the length of the larval period. The individual family variation in hatching success of embryos was larger than the radiation response. In contrast, newly metamorphosed individuals from the higher dose-rate treatments had higher mass and mass/length body indices, a measure which may relate to higher post-metamorphic survival. The increased mass and index at higher dose rates may indicate that the chronic, low dose rate radiation exposures triggered secondary responses. Additionally, the increases in growth were linked to a decrease in DNA damage (as measured by the Comet Assay) in red blood cells at a dose rate of 21mGy d⁻¹ and a total dose of 1.1 Gy. In conclusion, the complex effects of low dose rates of ionizing radiation may trigger growth and cellular repair mechanisms in amphibian larvae.« less

  4. Phenotypic divergence of the common toad (Bufo bufo) along an altitudinal gradient: evidence for local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Luquet, E; Léna, J-P; Miaud, C; Plénet, S

    2015-01-01

    Variation in the environment can induce different patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation among populations. Both neutral processes and selection can influence phenotypic differentiation. Altitudinal phenotypic variation is of particular interest in disentangling the interplay between neutral processes and selection in the dynamics of local adaptation processes but remains little explored. We conducted a common garden experiment to study the phenotypic divergence in larval life-history traits among nine populations of the common toad (Bufo bufo) along an altitudinal gradient in France. We further used correlation among population pairwise estimates of quantitative trait (QST) and neutral genetic divergence (FST from neutral microsatellite markers), as well as altitudinal difference, to estimate the relative role of divergent selection and neutral genetic processes in phenotypic divergence. We provided evidence for a neutral genetic differentiation resulting from both isolation by distance and difference in altitude. We found evidence for phenotypic divergence along the altitudinal gradient (faster development, lower growth rate and smaller metamorphic size). The correlation between pairwise QSTs-FSTs and altitude differences suggested that this phenotypic differentiation was most likely driven by altitude-mediated selection rather than by neutral genetic processes. Moreover, we found different divergence patterns for larval traits, suggesting that different selective agents may act on these traits and/or selection on one trait may constrain the evolution on another through genetic correlation. Our study highlighted the need to design more integrative studies on the common toad to unravel the underlying processes of phenotypic divergence and its selective agents in the context of environmental clines.

  5. Isolation of radio-iodinated apical and basal-lateral plasma membranes of toad bladder epithelium.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, H J; Edelman, I S

    1979-04-01

    The apical and basal-lateral plasma membranes of toad bladder epithelium were radio-iodinated with the glucose-glucose oxidase-lactoperoxidase system. The covalently bound radio iodine was used as a marker during subcellular fractionation and membrane isolation. Homogenization conditions that ensured rupture of more than 80% of the cells without substantial nuclear damage were defined by Normarski optics. The nuclei were separated by differential centrifugation and the apical and basal-lateral components were resolved by differential and sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The apical components yielded two radioactive bands that were identified as glycocalyx and plasma membrane labeled with 125I. The basal-lateral components yielded a hetero-disperse pattern made up of at least 3 radioactive bands, but the bulk of the activity of ouabain-sensitive ATPase comigrated with only one of these bands. The mitochondia, identified by assays for cytochrome oxidase and NADH cytochrome c reductase activities, were separated from the radio-iodine labeled by centrifugation in sucrose density gradients under isokinetic conditions. The labeled glycocalyx and the slowly migrating components of basal-lateral labeling were separated from the radio-iodinated membranes by centrifugation at 100,000 x g x 1 hr after removal of the mitochrondria by the isokinetic method. The labeled membranes were then subjected to ultracentrifugation in sucrose density gradients under isopycnic conditions; the basal-lateral membranes containing ouabain-sensitive ATP-ase were well resolved from the apical membranes by this method. These results provide a relatively rapid method of attaining partial purification of the apical and basal-lateral plasma membranes of toad bladder epithelium. PMID:222911

  6. Landscape associations of frog and toad species in Iowa and Wisconsin, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Sauer, J.R.; Olsen, D.A.; Mossman, M.J.; Hemesath, L.M.; Lannoo, M.J.; Kaiser, Hinrich; Casper, Gary S.; Bernstein, Neil P.

    2000-01-01

    Landscape habitat associations of frogs and toads in Iowa and Wisconsin were tested to determine whether they support or refute previous general habitat classifications. We examined which Midwestern species shared similar habitats to see if these associations were consistent across large geographic areas (states). Rana sylvatica (wood frog), Hyla versicolor (eastern gray treefrog), Pseudacris crucifer (spring peeper), and Acris crepitans (cricket frog) were identified as forest species, P. triseriata (chorus frog), H. chrysoscelis (Cope's gray treefrog), R. pipiens (leopard frog), and Bufo americanus (American toad) as grassland species, and R. catesbeiana (bullfrog), R. clamitans (green frog), R. palustris (pickerel frog), and R. septentrionalis (mink frog) as lake or stream species. The best candidates to serve as bioindicators of habitat quality were the forest species R. sylvatica, H. versicolor, and P. crucifer, the grassland species R. pipiens and P. triseriata, and a cold water wetland species, R. palustris. Declines of P. crucifer, R. pipiens, and R. palustris populations in one or both states may reflect changes in habitat quality. Habitat and community associations of some species differed between states, indicating that these relationships may change across the range of a species. Acris crepitans may have shifted its habitat affinities from open habitats, recorded historically, to the more forested habitat associations we recorded. We suggest contaminants deserve more investigation regarding the abrupt and widespread declines of this species. Interspersion of different habitat types was positively associated with several species. A larger number of wetland patches may increase breeding opportunities and increase the probability of at least one site being suitable. We noted consistently negative associations between anuran species and urban development. Given the current trend of urban growth and increasing density of the human population, declines of

  7. Effects of cadmium on Na+ transport in the isolated skin of the toad Pleurodema thaul.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Norris, B; Cárdenas, H

    2005-12-01

    Cadmium ions applied to either (outer or inner) surface of the isolated toad skin dose-dependently increased the short-circuit current (SCC), the potential difference (V) and the active sodium conductance (G(Na)) in the concentration range 0.07-0.50mM. Maximal stimulatory effect was over 30% with an EC(50) of about 0.1mM. The effect of the highest concentration used (0.75mM) decreased considerably, and when it was applied to the inner surface (10 experiments), induced between 30% and 40% inhibition of the electric parameters in four experiments. Pretreatment with amiloride inverted the stimulatory effect of externally applied Cd(2+), suggesting competitive action on the apical Na(+) channel. The effect of noradrenaline (NA) was increased after outer application of Cd(2+) and decreased after inner application of the metal: the latter effect might be due to cadmium inhibition of the activity of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase. On the other hand, pretreatment with amiloride was followed by partial although transient reversal of its effects by serosal Cd(2+), which might be explained by action of cadmium on cytoplasmic lysine residues concerned with Na(+) channel gating. The amiloride test showed that the increment of the electric parameters was due principally to stimulation of the driving potential for Na(+) (V-E(Na(+))) and that inhibition was accompanied by a reduction in the V-E(Na(+)) and by a significant decrease in skin resistance indicating possible disruption of membrane or cell integrity. These data are in favor of the possibility that externally applied Cd(2+) activates toad skin ion transport, partly by increasing apical sodium conductance and also by stimulating the V-E(Na(+)), and that internally applied Cd(2+), with easier access to membrane and cellular constituents, may inhibit the sodium pump. PMID:16266750

  8. Telencephalic neural activation following passive avoidance learning in a terrestrial toad.

    PubMed

    Puddington, Martín M; Daneri, M Florencia; Papini, Mauricio R; Muzio, Rubén N

    2016-12-15

    The present study explores passive avoidance learning and its neural basis in toads (Rhinella arenarum). In Experiment 1, two groups of toads learned to move from a lighted compartment into a dark compartment. After responding, animals in the experimental condition were exposed to an 800-mM strongly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to weight loss. Control animals received exposure to a 300-mM slightly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to neither weight gain nor loss. After 10 daily acquisition trials, animals in the experimental group showed significantly longer latency to enter the dark compartment. Additionally, 10 daily trials in which both groups received the 300-mM NaCl solution after responding eliminated this group effect. Thus, experimental animals showed gradual acquisition and extinction of a passive avoidance respond. Experiment 2 replicated the gradual acquisition effect, but, after the last trial, animals were sacrificed and neural activation was assessed in five brain regions using AgNOR staining for nucleoli-an index of brain activity. Higher activation in the experimental animals, relative to controls, was observed in the amygdala and striatum. Group differences in two other regions, lateral pallium and septum, were borderline, but nonsignificant, whereas group differences in the medial pallium were nonsignificant. These preliminary results suggest that a striatal-amygdala activation could be a key component of the brain circuit controlling passive avoidance learning in amphibians. The results are discussed in relation to the results of analogous experiments with other vertebrates. PMID:27498147

  9. Multi-Level Effects of Low Dose Rate Ionizing Radiation on Southern Toad, Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris.

    PubMed

    Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P; Hinton, Thomas G

    2015-01-01

    Despite their potential vulnerability to contaminants from exposure at multiple life stages, amphibians are one of the least studied groups of vertebrates in ecotoxicology, and research on radiation effects in amphibians is scarce. We used multiple endpoints to assess the radiosensitivity of the southern toad (Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris) during its pre-terrestrial stages of development -embryonic, larval, and metamorphic. Toads were exposed, from several hours after oviposition through metamorphosis (up to 77 days later), to four low dose rates of 137Cs at 0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d-1, resulting in total doses up to 15.8 Gy. Radiation treatments did not affect hatching success of embryos, larval survival, or the length of the larval period. The individual family variation in hatching success of embryos was larger than the radiation response. In contrast, newly metamorphosed individuals from the higher dose-rate treatments had higher mass and mass/length body indices, a measure which may relate to higher post-metamorphic survival. The increased mass and index at higher dose rates may indicate that the chronic, low dose rate radiation exposures triggered secondary responses. Additionally, the increases in growth were linked to a decrease in DNA damage (as measured by the Comet Assay) in red blood cells at a dose rate of 21 mGy d-1 and a total dose of 1.1 Gy. In conclusion, the complex effects of low dose rates of ionizing radiation may trigger growth and cellular repair mechanisms in amphibian larvae.

  10. Covalent labeling of hydrosmotic toad bladder receptors with an antagonist of vasotocin

    SciTech Connect

    Eggena, P.; Buku, A.; Ma, C.L.; Somoza, L.I.; Wyssbrod, H.R.; Schwartz, I.L.; Glass, J.D.

    1987-06-01

    A photoreactive analogue of vasotocin, (1-desamino,4-lysine(azidobenzoyl),8-arginine)vasotocin (4-N3-AVT), has been examined in the isolated toad urinary bladder for biological activity and binding to hormonal receptors. Although 4-N3-AVT induced only a small increase in bladder permeability to water, it behaved as a potent inhibitor of hydrosmotic action of (8-arginine)vasotocin (AVT) and (8-arginine)vasopressin (AVP). The inhibitory action of 4-N3-AVT was readily reversed on removal of the analogue from the serosal bathing solution. On the other hand, when bladders were exposed to 4-N3-AVT in the presence of long wavelength UV light (365 nm), the inhibition by 4-N3-AVT was not reversed on washout of the analogue. The dose of vasopressin required for a half-maximal response (ED50 value) was increased from 5 X 10(-9) to 1.3 X 10(-7) M in bladders photolabeled with 4-N3-AVT and the maximal response capacity of the tissue (intrinsic activity) was reduced to 79% of nonphotolabeled controls. A crude membrane preparation derived from bladders photolabeled with 4-N3-AVT contained 72 fmol of specific binding sites for tritium-labeled vasopressin per milligram protein, whereas nonphotolabeled controls had 136 fmol of specific binding sites per milligram protein. These observations suggest that 4-N3-AVT forms a covalent bond with hydrosmotic receptors in the presence of UV light. This is the first antagonistic photoaffinity analogue observed in the toad bladder and it may serve as a useful tool for analyzing the cellular mechanism of action of antidiuretic hormone.

  11. Multi-Level Effects of Low Dose Rate Ionizing Radiation on Southern Toad, Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E.; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P.; Hinton, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite their potential vulnerability to contaminants from exposure at multiple life stages, amphibians are one of the least studied groups of vertebrates in ecotoxicology, and research on radiation effects in amphibians is scarce. We used multiple endpoints to assess the radiosensitivity of the southern toad (Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris) during its pre-terrestrial stages of development –embryonic, larval, and metamorphic. Toads were exposed, from several hours after oviposition through metamorphosis (up to 77 days later), to four low dose rates of 137Cs at 0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d-1, resulting in total doses up to 15.8 Gy. Radiation treatments did not affect hatching success of embryos, larval survival, or the length of the larval period. The individual family variation in hatching success of embryos was larger than the radiation response. In contrast, newly metamorphosed individuals from the higher dose-rate treatments had higher mass and mass/length body indices, a measure which may relate to higher post-metamorphic survival. The increased mass and index at higher dose rates may indicate that the chronic, low dose rate radiation exposures triggered secondary responses. Additionally, the increases in growth were linked to a decrease in DNA damage (as measured by the Comet Assay) in red blood cells at a dose rate of 21 mGy d-1 and a total dose of 1.1 Gy. In conclusion, the complex effects of low dose rates of ionizing radiation may trigger growth and cellular repair mechanisms in amphibian larvae. PMID:25927361

  12. Isolation of a Bohle-like iridovirus from boreal toads housed within a cosmopolitan aquarium collection.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Kwang; Jones, Megan E B; Jancovich, James K; Burchell, Jennifer; Schrenzel, Mark D; Reavill, Drury R; Imai, Denise M; Urban, Abby; Kirkendall, Maryanne; Woods, Leslie W; Chinchar, V Gregory; Pessier, Allan P

    2014-09-30

    A captive 'survival assurance' population of 56 endangered boreal toads Anaxyrus boreas boreas, housed within a cosmopolitan collection of amphibians originating from Southeast Asia and other locations, experienced high mortality (91%) in April to July 2010. Histological examination demonstrated lesions consistent with ranaviral disease, including multicentric necrosis of skin, kidney, liver, spleen, and hematopoietic tissue, vasculitis, and myriad basophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies. Initial confirmation of ranavirus infection was made by Taqman real-time PCR analysis of a portion of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene and detection of iridovirus-like particles by transmission electron microscopy. Preliminary DNA sequence analysis of the MCP, DNA polymerase, and neurofilament protein (NFP) genes demonstrated highest identity with Bohle iridovirus (BIV). A virus, tentatively designated zoo ranavirus (ZRV), was subsequently isolated, and viral protein profiles, restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and next generation DNA sequencing were performed. Comparison of a concatenated set of 4 ZRV genes, for which BIV sequence data are available, with sequence data from representative ranaviruses confirmed that ZRV was most similar to BIV. This is the first report of a BIV-like agent outside of Australia. However, it is not clear whether ZRV is a novel North American variant of BIV or whether it was acquired by exposure to amphibians co-inhabiting the same facility and originating from different geographic locations. Lastly, several surviving toads remained PCR-positive 10 wk after the conclusion of the outbreak. This finding has implications for the management of amphibians destined for use in reintroduction programs, as their release may inadvertently lead to viral dissemination.

  13. Density regulation in toad populations (Epidalea calamita, Bufotes viridis) by differential winter survival of juveniles.

    PubMed

    Sinsch, Ulrich; Schäfer, Alena M

    2016-01-01

    The size of amphibian populations varies considerably between years, so that systematic trends in dynamics are difficult to detect. Informed conservation management of presumably declining populations requires the identification of the most sensitive life stage. In temperate-zone anurans there is growing evidence that juveniles hibernating for the first time suffer from substantial winter losses. In two syntopic toads (Epidalea calamita, Bufotes viridis) we monitored survival of such juveniles during four consecutive winters in the natural habitat and in four temperature treatments (3°, 5 °C, 10°/15 °C or 20 °C, natural light-dark cycle) in temperature-controlled chambers during winter. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that (1) winter mortality of juvenile toads which hibernate for the first time in their life is an important component of population dynamics, and that (2) mortality rates differed between the two species. Parameters quantified were size-dependent winter mortality and body condition of pre- and post-hibernating juveniles. Field data provided evidence for the important role of winter mortality of first-hibernators in population dynamics. Choice of hibernacula differed in E. calamita between small and medium-sized individuals and also between the two species suggesting distinct mortality risks. The inability of small E. calamita to reach frost-proof hibernacula by burrowing, and the exposure of small B. viridis to predators are the most probable causes of size-assortative winter mortality. In conclusion, E. calamita juveniles may benefit from rising average winter temperatures in the future by decreased risk of freezing to death, whereas predator-caused winter mortality of B. viridis juveniles will also depend on the effects of climate warming on predator phenology.

  14. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

  15. Linguistic Imperialism: African Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillipson, Robert

    1996-01-01

    Responds to an article on aspects of African language policy and discusses the following issues: multilingualism and monolingualism, proposed changes in language policy from the Organization for African Unity and South African initiatives, the language of literature, bilingual education, and whose interests English-language teaching is serving.…

  16. Outbreak of common midwife toad virus in alpine newts (Mesotriton alpestris cyreni) and common midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) in northern Spain: a comparative pathological study of an emerging ranavirus.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; Dalton, Kevin P; del Cerro, Ana; Márquez, Isabel; Parra, Francisco; Prieto, José M; Casais, R

    2010-11-01

    This report describes the isolation and characterisation of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV) from juvenile alpine newts (Mesotriton alpestris cyreni) and common midwife toad (CMT) tadpoles (Alytes obstetricans) in the Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain in August 2008. A comparative pathological and immunohistochemical study was carried out using anti-CMTV polyclonal serum. In the kidneys, glomeruli had the most severe histological lesions in CMT tadpoles, while both glomeruli and renal tubular epithelial cells exhibited foci of necrosis in juvenile alpine newts. Viral antigens were detected by immunohistochemical labelling mainly in the kidneys of CMT tadpoles and in ganglia of juvenile alpine newts. This is the first report of ranavirus infection in the alpine newt, the second known species to be affected by CMTV in the past 2 years.

  17. Toxicological aspects of the South American herbs cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii) : a critical synopsis.

    PubMed

    Valerio, Luis G; Gonzales, Gustavo F

    2005-01-01

    Recent exceptional growth in human exposure to natural products known to originate from traditional medicine has lead to a resurgence of scientific interest in their biological effects. As a strategy for improvement of the assessment of their pharmacological and toxicological profile, scientific evidence-based approaches are being employed to appropriately evaluate composition, quality, potential medicinal activity and safety of these natural products. Using this approach, we comprehensively reviewed existing scientific evidence for known composition, medicinal uses (past and present), and documented biological effects with emphasis on clinical pharmacology and toxicology of two commonly used medicinal plants from South America with substantial human exposure from historical and current global use: Uncaria tomentosa (common name: cat's claw, and Spanish: uña de gato), and Lepidium meyenii (common name: maca). Despite the geographic sourcing from remote regions of the tropical Amazon and high altitude Andean mountains, cat's claw and maca are widely available commercially in industrialised countries. Analytical characterisations of their active constituents have identified a variety of classes of compounds of toxicological, pharmacological and even nutritional interest including oxindole and indole alkaloids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, sterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbolines and other compounds. The oxindole alkaloids from the root bark of cat's claw are thought to invoke its most widely sought-after medicinal effects as a herbal remedy against inflammation. We find the scientific evidence supporting this claim is not conclusive and although there exists a base of information addressing this medicinal use, it is limited in scope with some evidence accumulated from in vitro studies towards understanding possible mechanisms of action by specific oxindole alkaloids through inhibition of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. Although controlled clinical

  18. Toxicological aspects of the South American herbs cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii) : a critical synopsis.

    PubMed

    Valerio, Luis G; Gonzales, Gustavo F

    2005-01-01

    Recent exceptional growth in human exposure to natural products known to originate from traditional medicine has lead to a resurgence of scientific interest in their biological effects. As a strategy for improvement of the assessment of their pharmacological and toxicological profile, scientific evidence-based approaches are being employed to appropriately evaluate composition, quality, potential medicinal activity and safety of these natural products. Using this approach, we comprehensively reviewed existing scientific evidence for known composition, medicinal uses (past and present), and documented biological effects with emphasis on clinical pharmacology and toxicology of two commonly used medicinal plants from South America with substantial human exposure from historical and current global use: Uncaria tomentosa (common name: cat's claw, and Spanish: uña de gato), and Lepidium meyenii (common name: maca). Despite the geographic sourcing from remote regions of the tropical Amazon and high altitude Andean mountains, cat's claw and maca are widely available commercially in industrialised countries. Analytical characterisations of their active constituents have identified a variety of classes of compounds of toxicological, pharmacological and even nutritional interest including oxindole and indole alkaloids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, sterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbolines and other compounds. The oxindole alkaloids from the root bark of cat's claw are thought to invoke its most widely sought-after medicinal effects as a herbal remedy against inflammation. We find the scientific evidence supporting this claim is not conclusive and although there exists a base of information addressing this medicinal use, it is limited in scope with some evidence accumulated from in vitro studies towards understanding possible mechanisms of action by specific oxindole alkaloids through inhibition of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. Although controlled clinical

  19. Tracking animal movement by comparing trace element signatures in claws to spatial variability of elements in soils.

    PubMed

    Ethier, Danielle M; Kyle, Christopher J; Nocera, Joseph J

    2014-01-15

    Biogeochemical markers in ecology have provided a useful means for indicating geographic origin and movement patterns of species on various temporal and spatial scales. We used trace element analysis to resolve spatial and habitat-specific environmental gradients in elemental distributions that could be used to infer geographic origin and habitat association in a model terrestrial carnivore: American badger (Taxidea taxus jacksoni). To accomplish this, we generated element base-maps using spatial principal component analysis, and assessed habitat-specific signatures using multivariate statistics from soil element concentrations in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Using canonical correlation analysis (CCA) we also test whether element variability in the claw keratin of a terrestrial carnivore could be explained by the chemical variability in the soils of the local environment. Results demonstrated that trace element s