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Sample records for african grey parrots

  1. Magnesium therapy in a hypocalcemic African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Kirchgessner, Megan S; Tully, Thomas N; Nevarez, Javier; Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, David; Acierno, Mark J

    2012-03-01

    Hypocalcemic-induced seizure activity is a clinical entity that is commonly diagnosed in neurologic African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Plasma calcium levels are typically less than 6.0 mg/dL at the time of seizure activity, and although the underlying cause of the hypocalcemia has not yet been determined, many theories have been proposed. An African grey parrot that had been fed a seed diet for 8 years was presented with hypocalcemia and seizures and exhibited precipitously declining plasma calcium levels, despite aggressive calcium and vitamin A, D, and E supplementation for 4 days. Baseline magnesium levels in this parrot were determined to be 1.9 mg/dL; therefore, magnesium sulfate was administered at a dose of 20 mg/kg IM once. Twenty-four hours after supplementation, the plasma magnesium level was 3.3 mg/dL, and no further seizure activity was observed. We believe that a primary dietary magnesium deficiency may have been present in this African grey parrot, similar to a syndrome in leghorn chicks, which is frequently characterized by progressive hypocalcemia that is unable to be corrected by calcium supplementation alone.

  2. Characterization of atherosclerosis by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.).

    PubMed

    Fricke, Cornelia; Schmidt, Volker; Cramer, Kerstin; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Dorrestein, Gerry M

    2009-09-01

    The aim of the study was to characterize atherosclerotic changes in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.) by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. Samples of the aorta ascendens and trunci brachiocephalici from 62 African grey parrots and 35 Amazon parrots were stained by hematoxylin and eosin and Elastica van Gieson for grading of atherosclerosis in these birds. Four different stages were differentiated. The incidence of atherosclerosis in the examined parrots was 91.9% in African grey parrots and 91.4% in Amazon parrots. To evaluate the pathogenesis in birds, immunohistochemical methods were performed to demonstrate lymphocytes, macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and chondroitin sulfate. According to the missing lymphocytes and macrophages and the absence of invasion and proliferation of smooth muscle cells in each atherosclerotic stage, "response-to-injury hypothesis" seems inapplicable in parrots. Additionally, we found alterations of vitally important organs (heart, lungs) significantly correlated with atherosclerosis of the aorta ascendens.

  3. Cooperative problem solving in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Péron, F; Rat-Fischer, L; Lalot, M; Nagle, L; Bovet, D

    2011-07-01

    One of the main characteristics of human societies is the extensive degree of cooperation among individuals. Cooperation is an elaborate phenomenon, also found in non-human primates during laboratory studies and field observations of animal hunting behaviour, among other things. Some authors suggest that the pressures assumed to have favoured the emergence of social intelligence in primates are similar to those that may have permitted the emergence of complex cognitive abilities in some bird species such as corvids and psittacids. In the wild, parrots show cooperative behaviours such as bi-parental care and mobbing. In this study, we tested cooperative problem solving in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Our birds were tested using several experimental setups to explore the different levels of behavioural organisation between participants, differing in temporal and spatial complexity. In our experiments, African grey parrots were able to act simultaneously but mostly failed during the delay task, maybe because of a lack of inhibitory motor response. Confronted with the possibility to adapt their behaviour to the presence or absence of a partner, they showed that they were able to coordinate their actions. They also collaborated, acting complementarily in order to solve tasks, but they were not able to place themselves in the partner's role.

  4. Comparative Cytogenetics of the Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Seibold-Torres, Cassandra; Owens, Elaine; Chowdhary, Renuka; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Tizard, Ian; Raudsepp, Terje

    2015-01-01

    The Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus, PER) is an endemic species of Central Africa, valued for its intelligence and listed as vulnerable due to poaching and habitat destruction. Improved knowledge about the P. erithacus genome is needed to address key biological questions and conservation of this species. The P. erithacus genome was studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetic approaches including Zoo-FISH. P. erithacus has a 'typical' parrot karyotype with 2n = 62-64 and 8 pairs of macrochromosomes. A distinct feature was a sharp macro-microchromosome boundary. Telomeric sequences were present at all chromosome ends and interstitially in PER2q, the latter coinciding with a C-band. NORs mapped to 4 pairs of microchromosomes which is in contrast to a single NOR in ancestral type avian karyotypes. Zoo-FISH with chicken macrochromosomes GGA1-9 and Z revealed patterns of conserved synteny similar to many other avian groups, though neighboring synteny combinations of GGA6/7, 8/9, and 1/4 were distinctive only to parrots. Overall, P. erithacus shared more Zoo-FISH patterns with neotropical macaws than Australian species such as cockatiel and budgerigar. The observations suggest that Psittaciformes karyotypes have undergone more extensive evolutionary rearrangements compared to the majority of other avian genomes.

  5. Comparative Cytogenetics of the Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Seibold-Torres, Cassandra; Owens, Elaine; Chowdhary, Renuka; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Tizard, Ian; Raudsepp, Terje

    2015-01-01

    The Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus, PER) is an endemic species of Central Africa, valued for its intelligence and listed as vulnerable due to poaching and habitat destruction. Improved knowledge about the P. erithacus genome is needed to address key biological questions and conservation of this species. The P. erithacus genome was studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetic approaches including Zoo-FISH. P. erithacus has a 'typical' parrot karyotype with 2n = 62-64 and 8 pairs of macrochromosomes. A distinct feature was a sharp macro-microchromosome boundary. Telomeric sequences were present at all chromosome ends and interstitially in PER2q, the latter coinciding with a C-band. NORs mapped to 4 pairs of microchromosomes which is in contrast to a single NOR in ancestral type avian karyotypes. Zoo-FISH with chicken macrochromosomes GGA1-9 and Z revealed patterns of conserved synteny similar to many other avian groups, though neighboring synteny combinations of GGA6/7, 8/9, and 1/4 were distinctive only to parrots. Overall, P. erithacus shared more Zoo-FISH patterns with neotropical macaws than Australian species such as cockatiel and budgerigar. The observations suggest that Psittaciformes karyotypes have undergone more extensive evolutionary rearrangements compared to the majority of other avian genomes. PMID:26894300

  6. Lexicon size and its relation to foot preference in the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Snyder, P J; Harris, L J

    1997-06-01

    To study footedness in parrots, an international survey of parrot owners was conducted. Responses were obtained from 524 individuals, including 70 owners of African Grey parrots (all animals > or = 10 months old). All respondents were given a 10-item questionnaire and a standard method for testing foot preference in their pets, and they were asked to count the number of separate words in their pets' lexicons of human speech sounds. Right-footed African Greys (N = 36) had significantly larger lexicons than left-footed African Greys (N = 34; P = 0.01). This difference could not be accounted for by group differences in training efforts or socialization/housing with conspecifics. A non-significant trend in the same direction was found in a comparison sample of Amazon parrots, although these genera are less adept than African Greys at learning human speech sounds. Other investigators have provided convincing evidence of lateralization, in the avian brain, for the analysis and memory of differing types of stimuli. In addition, there appears to be preferential left hypserstriatal activation for long-term memory consolidation. Our results suggest a relationship between lateral asymmetry for motor preference and asymmetric CNS mediation of a 'higher cognitive' function (i.e. the categorization and long-term mnestic processing of human speech sound.

  7. Social context influences the vocalizations of a home-raised African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Colbert-White, Erin N; Covington, Michael A; Fragaszy, Dorothy M

    2011-05-01

    Home-raised African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) exhibit strong social bonding with their human companions. We examined how 1 parrot's vocal production (speech and nonword sounds) changed with social context with respect to descriptive measures of the vocalizations and their thematic content. We videotaped the parrot in 4 social conditions: subject home alone, subject and owner in the same room, owner in a separate room within hearing range, and owner and experimenter conversing in the same room as the parrot but ignoring her. Linguistic analysis revealed the parrot's repertoire consisted of 278 "units" ranging in length from 1 to 8 words or sounds. Rate of vocalization and vocabulary richness (i.e., the number of different units used) differed significantly, and many vocalizations were context-specific. For example, when her owner was in the room and willing to reciprocate communication, the parrot was more likely to use units that, in English, would be considered solicitations for vocal interaction (e.g., "Cosmo wanna talk"). When she and her owner were in separate rooms, the subject was significantly more likely to use units that referenced her spatial location and that of her owner (e.g., "Where are you"), suggesting she uses specific units as an adaptation of the wild parrot contact call. These results challenge the notion that parrots only imitate speech and raise interesting questions regarding the role of social interaction in learning and communicative competence in an avian species.

  8. Referential Mapping: A Technique for Attaching Functional Significance to the Innovative Utterances of an African Grey Parrot (Psittascus Erithacus).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    1990-01-01

    Spontaneous combinations and phonological variations of the vocalizations of an African Grey parrot were treated as if they were intentional requests or comments. The success of these "referential mapping" procedures in attaching functional significance to the parrot's vocalizations may have implications for intervention programs for humans with…

  9. The discrimination of discrete and continuous amounts in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Aïn, Syrina Al; Giret, Nicolas; Grand, Marion; Kreutzer, Michel; Bovet, Dalila

    2009-01-01

    A wealth of research in infants and animals demonstrates discrimination of quantities, in some cases nonverbal numerical perception, and even elementary calculation capacities. We investigated the ability of three African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) to select the largest amount of food between two sets, either discrete food items (experiment 1) or as volume of a food substance (experiment 2). The two amounts were presented simultaneously and were visible at the time of choice. Parrots were tested several times for all possible combinations between 1 and 5 seeds or 0.2 and 1 ml of food substance. In both conditions, subjects performed above chance for almost all combinations. Accuracy was negatively correlated with the ratio, that is performance improved with greater differences between amounts. Therefore, these results with both individual items and volume discrimination suggest that parrots use an analogue of magnitude, rather than object-file mechanisms to quantify items and substances.

  10. Congestive heart failure in 6 African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus).

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, C; Soto, S; Garner, M M; Montesinos, A; Ardiaca, M

    2011-05-01

    Six African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus) were diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure based on gross and microscopic findings. Ages ranged from 15 days to 8 years, and 5 of 6 parrots were either neonates or juveniles at the time of diagnosis. Two neonates and 2 juveniles came from the same breeding aviary; the 2 juveniles were born to the same breeding pair. The 2 other parrots were kept as pets. Clinical signs included distention of the coelomic cavity (4 of 6), rales (3 of 6), weakness (4 of 6), bradyarrhythmia (1 of 6), growth retardation (1 of 6), crop stasis (1 of 6), and regurgitation (1 of 6). Three parrots were euthanized and 3 died. Gross findings included cardiomegaly due to biventricular, right-, or left-sided cardiomyopathy (6 of 6); coelomic effusion (6 of 6); whitish or yellow foci in the liver (6 of 6); atrophy of the liver (particularly, the left lobe; 5 of 6); reddened or grey lungs (5 of 6); subcutaneous edema (2 of 6); hydropericardium (1 of 6); and bilateral thyroid gland enlargement (1 of 6). Relevant microscopic findings included passive hepatic congestion (6 of 6) and pulmonary congestion (2 of 6), lymphocytic thyroiditis (2 of 6), and diffuse thyroid follicular hyperplasia (2 of 6). Microscopically, the heart was unremarkable (2 of 6) or had mild lymphocytic myocarditis (2 of 6), mild multifocal cytoplasmic vacuolation of cardiomyocytes (2 of 6), mild lymphocytic myocardial (Purkinje cell) ganglioneuritis (1 of 6), and mild multifocal interstitial fibrosis and nuclear hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes (1 of 6). One parrot had concurrent proventricular dilatation disease (systemic ganglioneuritis). The cause of cardiomyopathy in these parrots was not determined.

  11. Reference intervals of plasma calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium for African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Fernanda M; Gaunt, Stephen D; Kearney, Michael T; Rich, Gregory A; Tully, Thomas N

    2009-12-01

    Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) are important elements for body homeostasis in several diseases associated with imbalances in the plasma concentration of these ions. This is the first published report of reference intervals for Mg in association with Ca and P levels for psittacine species. One milliliter of blood was collected from 26 Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) and 24 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). The plasma concentrations of Ca, P, and Mg were determined for each sample. Statistical analyses were performed including all data (analysis 1) and after exclusion of the subjects with Ca > or = 14.00 mg/dl (3.5 mmol) (analysis 2). The data from analysis 1 have a narrower interval than that observed in analysis 2. Following the normality test (Shapiro-Wilk, alpha = 0.05), the univariate and mean procedures were run. For the reference intervals, the lower and upper values were used, after elimination of the outliers calculated by Blom scores from the ranked variables. The analysis 1 references for the Hispaniolans were Ca = 8.80-10.40 mg/dl (2.20-2.60 mmol/L), P = 1.80-4.40 mg/dl (0.58-1.42 mmol/L), Mg = 1.80-3.10 mg/dl (0.74-1.27 mmol/L), and Ca:P ratio = 2.62-5.39; for the African greys analysis 1 references were Ca = 8.20-20.20 mg/dl (2.05-5.05 mmol/L), P = 2.50-5.90 mg/dl (0.81-1.91 mmol/L), Mg = 2.10-3.40 mg/dl (0.82-1.4 mmol/L), and Ca:P ratio = 1.81-3.77. The analysis 2 references for the Hispaniolans were Ca = 8.80-10.30 mg/dl (2.20-2.58 mmol/L), P = 1.80-3.80 mg/dl (0.58-1.23 mmol/L), Mg = 1.90-3.00 mg/dl (0.82-1.07 mmol/L), Ca:P ratio = 2.62-5.39; for the African greys analysis 2 references were Ca = 1.07 mmol/L), Ca:P ratio = 1.67-3.50. The results of this study are important for evaluating Mg concentrations in relation to the Ca and P parameters in psittacines. This information will be particularly helpful for veterinarians evaluating the hypocalcemic syndrome in African grey parrots and other disease processes

  12. Spontaneous categorization of vocal imitations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Giret, Nicolas; Péron, Franck; Nagle, Laurent; Kreutzer, Michel; Bovet, Dalila

    2009-11-01

    The ability to categorize elements of the environment is a fundamental aspect of information processing. Many experiments demonstrate the ability of birds and non-human primates to classify items according to their perceptual similarities. Few data are available regarding spontaneous classification of items according to a non-perceptual account in non-human animals. Here, we report unexpected results obtained with African grey parrots learning the referential use of French labels. Parrots did not learn the correct labels but they spontaneously produced more labels corresponding to food when a food item was presented to them and more labels corresponding to an object when shown an object item, although they were never rewarded for doing so. These results demonstrate a form of spontaneous categorization by using vocal imitation of the human language. PMID:19591908

  13. Spontaneous categorization of vocal imitations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Giret, Nicolas; Péron, Franck; Nagle, Laurent; Kreutzer, Michel; Bovet, Dalila

    2009-11-01

    The ability to categorize elements of the environment is a fundamental aspect of information processing. Many experiments demonstrate the ability of birds and non-human primates to classify items according to their perceptual similarities. Few data are available regarding spontaneous classification of items according to a non-perceptual account in non-human animals. Here, we report unexpected results obtained with African grey parrots learning the referential use of French labels. Parrots did not learn the correct labels but they spontaneously produced more labels corresponding to food when a food item was presented to them and more labels corresponding to an object when shown an object item, although they were never rewarded for doing so. These results demonstrate a form of spontaneous categorization by using vocal imitation of the human language.

  14. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Aydinonat, Denise; Penn, Dustin J; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Hoelzl, Franz; Knauer, Felix; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26) and pair-housed (n = 19) captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (p<0.001), and socially isolated parrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001) - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  15. Malignant Melanoma of the Syrinx and Liver in an African Grey Parrot ( Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Shrader, Trenton C; Carpenter, James W; Cino-Ozuna, Ada Giselle; Andrews, Gordon A

    2016-06-01

    A 20-year-old, female African grey parrot ( Psittacus erithacus erithacus) was examined because of ataxia and weakness. Radiographs were unremarkable, and results of a complete blood cell count revealed leukocytosis and heterophilia. Because of poor response to therapy with meloxicam, doxycycline, and enrofloxacin; deteriorating condition; and poor prognosis, the parrot was euthanatized. Postmortem examination revealed 2 dark red nodules in the liver. No grossly visible mass was observed in the syrinx. Histologic examination of the liver and syrinx revealed similar foci of round, oval, and polygonal cells exhibiting severe pleomorphism, with poorly demarcated cytoplasmic borders and moderate amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm containing brown to black granules (melanin). The mitotic index was 15. The presence of melanin pigment is consistent with a diagnosis of melanoma at both sites. The multifocal distribution and intravascular invasion indicate metastasis; however, the site of origin was unknown. To our knowledge, this is the first recorded case of melanoma in an avian syrinx.

  16. Malignant Melanoma of the Syrinx and Liver in an African Grey Parrot ( Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Shrader, Trenton C; Carpenter, James W; Cino-Ozuna, Ada Giselle; Andrews, Gordon A

    2016-06-01

    A 20-year-old, female African grey parrot ( Psittacus erithacus erithacus) was examined because of ataxia and weakness. Radiographs were unremarkable, and results of a complete blood cell count revealed leukocytosis and heterophilia. Because of poor response to therapy with meloxicam, doxycycline, and enrofloxacin; deteriorating condition; and poor prognosis, the parrot was euthanatized. Postmortem examination revealed 2 dark red nodules in the liver. No grossly visible mass was observed in the syrinx. Histologic examination of the liver and syrinx revealed similar foci of round, oval, and polygonal cells exhibiting severe pleomorphism, with poorly demarcated cytoplasmic borders and moderate amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm containing brown to black granules (melanin). The mitotic index was 15. The presence of melanin pigment is consistent with a diagnosis of melanoma at both sites. The multifocal distribution and intravascular invasion indicate metastasis; however, the site of origin was unknown. To our knowledge, this is the first recorded case of melanoma in an avian syrinx. PMID:27315385

  17. Chlamydophila psittaci genotype E/B transmission from African grey parrots to humans.

    PubMed

    Harkinezhad, Taher; Verminnen, Kristel; Van Droogenbroeck, Caroline; Vanrompay, Daisy

    2007-08-01

    Thirty-six birds from a parrot relief and breeding centre, as well as the manager, were examined for the presence of Chlamydophila psittaci. In the relief unit, 5 of 20 African grey parrots showed depression, ruffled feathers, loss of weight and mild dyspnoea. The birds received no antibiotic treatment. Birds of the breeding unit, 14 blue and gold macaws and 2 green-winged macaws, were healthy. They received doxycycline at the start of each breeding season. The manager complained of shortness of breath but took no medication. Using a nested PCR enzyme immunoassay (EIA), Cp. psittaci was detected in the faeces of all five sick birds, as well as in a nasal and pharyngeal swab from the manager. The veterinarian and her assistant became infected while sampling the parrots, as pharyngeal and nasal swabs from both were positive by nested PCR/EIA after visiting the parrot relief and breeding centre, but they showed no clinical signs of infection. Bacteria could be isolated from three of five nested PCR/EIA-positive birds, the manager and the veterinarian, but not from the veterinary assistant. Using an ompA genotype-specific real-time PCR, Cp. psittaci genotype E/B was identified as the transmitted strain. All breeding birds tested negative for Cp. psittaci. This is believed to be the first report on Cp. psittaci genotype E/B transmission from parrots to humans. In contradiction to genotype A strains, which are thought to be highly virulent to both birds and men, the currently described genotype E/B strain apparently caused no severe clinical symptoms in either parrots or humans.

  18. Postnatal development of lateralized motor preference in the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Snyder, P J; Bonner, J A

    2001-01-01

    The parrot appears to provide a potentially unique animal model of handedness in humans, but few (if any) observational studies of early postnatal development of postural/motor asymmetries have been published. We studied three African Grey hatchlings, raised without human physical contact, for the first 5 months of life. All three animals failed to show consistent postural and/or motor asymmetries until the end of the 4 postnatal week. These results appear to be comparable to data from prior studies with human infants. Delayed development of lateral motor and/or postural preferences may represent an evolutionarily adaptive strategy for altricial animals.

  19. Plasma osmolality reference values in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), and red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Acierno, Mark; Mitchell, Mark; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Bryant, Heather; Tully, Thomas N

    2011-06-01

    Birds are routinely presented to veterinarians for dehydration. Success with these cases ultimately depends on providing replacement fluids and re-establishing fluid homeostasis. Few studies have been done to determine reference ranges for plasma osmolality in birds. The goals of this study were to determine reference values for plasma osmolality in 3 species of parrots and to provide recommendations on fluid selection for replacement therapy in these species. Blood samples were collected from 21 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), 21 Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), and 9 red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys), and were placed into lithium heparin containers. Plasma osmolality was measured in duplicate with a freezing point depression osmometer. Summary statistics were computed from the average values. Reference ranges, calculated by using the robust method, were 288-324, 308-345, and 223-369 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. The mean +/- SD values were 306 +/- 7, 327 +/- 7, and 304 +/- 18 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. Comparisons with osmolality values in mammals and values previously reported for psittacine bird species suggest that plasma osmolality is slightly higher in parrots than in mammals, species-specific differences exist, and differences between reported values occur. Overall, fluids with an osmolarity close to 300-320 mOsm/L, such as Normosol-R, Plasmalyte-R, Plasmalyte-A, and NaCl 0.9%, can be recommended in parrots for fluid replacement therapy when isotonic fluids are required. PMID:21877445

  20. Plasma osmolality reference values in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), and red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Acierno, Mark; Mitchell, Mark; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Bryant, Heather; Tully, Thomas N

    2011-06-01

    Birds are routinely presented to veterinarians for dehydration. Success with these cases ultimately depends on providing replacement fluids and re-establishing fluid homeostasis. Few studies have been done to determine reference ranges for plasma osmolality in birds. The goals of this study were to determine reference values for plasma osmolality in 3 species of parrots and to provide recommendations on fluid selection for replacement therapy in these species. Blood samples were collected from 21 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), 21 Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), and 9 red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys), and were placed into lithium heparin containers. Plasma osmolality was measured in duplicate with a freezing point depression osmometer. Summary statistics were computed from the average values. Reference ranges, calculated by using the robust method, were 288-324, 308-345, and 223-369 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. The mean +/- SD values were 306 +/- 7, 327 +/- 7, and 304 +/- 18 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. Comparisons with osmolality values in mammals and values previously reported for psittacine bird species suggest that plasma osmolality is slightly higher in parrots than in mammals, species-specific differences exist, and differences between reported values occur. Overall, fluids with an osmolarity close to 300-320 mOsm/L, such as Normosol-R, Plasmalyte-R, Plasmalyte-A, and NaCl 0.9%, can be recommended in parrots for fluid replacement therapy when isotonic fluids are required.

  1. African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) use inference by exclusion to find hidden food.

    PubMed

    Mikolasch, Sandra; Kotrschal, Kurt; Schloegl, Christian

    2011-12-23

    Exclusion allows the detection of hidden food when confronted with the choice between an empty and a potentially baited food location. However, exclusion may be based on avoidance of the empty location without drawing inferences about the presence of the food in the baited location. So far, such inferences have been demonstrated in the great apes only: after seeing an experimenter eating one of two food types, which both had been hidden previously in two boxes, the apes were able to choose the box that still contained the other food type. African grey parrots are capable of exclusion, and we here assessed if they are capable of inference by exclusion. In our task, two different but equally preferred food items were hidden in full view of the birds under two opaque cups. Then, an experimenter secretly removed one food type and showed it to the bird. Similarly to the apes, one out of seven parrots significantly preferred the baited cup; control conditions rule out that its choice was based on associative learning or the use of olfactory cues. Thus, we conclude that-like the apes-some grey parrots are able to infer the location of a hidden food reward.

  2. Referential learning of French and Czech labels in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus): different methods yield contrasting results.

    PubMed

    Giret, Nicolas; Péron, Franck; Lindová, Jitka; Tichotová, Lenka; Nagle, Laurent; Kreutzer, Michel; Tymr, Frantisek; Bovet, Dalila

    2010-10-01

    Some African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), the most famous being Pepperberg's parrot Alex, are able to imitate human speech and produce labels referentially. In this study, the aim was to teach ten African grey parrots from two laboratories to label items. Training three parrots from the first laboratory for several months with the Model/Rival method, developed by Pepperberg, in which two humans interact in front of the subject to demonstrate the use of a label, led to disappointing results. Similarly, seven parrots from the second laboratory, having been trained with several variants of Model/Rival attained little success. After the informal observation of the efficiency of other methods (i.e. learning to imitate labels either spontaneously or with specific learning methods and use of these labels referentially), four different teaching methods were tested with two birds: the Model/Rival; Repetition/Association which consisted of repeating a label and presenting the item only when the parrot produced the label; Intuitive in which the experimenter handled an item and repeated its name in front of the subject; Diffusion in which labels with either variable or flat intonation were played back daily to parrots. One bird learned three labels, one of which was used referentially, with the Repetition/Association method. He learned one label non-referentially with the Model/Rival but no labels were acquired using the other methods. The second bird did not learn any labels. This study demonstrates that different methods can be efficient to teach labels referentially and it suggests that rearing conditions and interindividual variability are important features when assessing learning ability of African grey parrots.

  3. An association between feather damaging behavior and corticosterone metabolite excretion in captive African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

    PubMed Central

    De Marco, Michele; Nucera, Daniele M.; Gasco, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Background African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are kept as pets and are frequently hand-reared. It has been observed that hand-reared African grey parrots may develop behavioral disorders such as feather damaging behavior (FDB). It is well known that chronic stress is involved in behavioral disorders in captive parrots. The main glucocorticoid in birds is corticosterone; its quantification provides information about adrenocortical activity and is considered to be a reliable indicator of stress levels in birds. We analyzed the differences in the excretion of corticosterone metabolites (CM) in the droppings of African grey parrots characterized by: 1. different rearing histories (parent rearing vs. hand rearing); and 2. the presence or absence of FDB in hand-reared parrots. Methods A total of 82 African grey parrots that were kept in captivity were considered. According to breeding methods, three groups of birds were defined: 1. The parent-reared (PR) parrots included birds kept in pairs (n = 30 pairs) with a conspecific partner of the opposite sex. All of these birds were healthy and never showed FDB signs; 2. The healthy hand-reared parrots (H-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and did not display any sign of FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females); 3. The FDB hand-reared parrot (FDB-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and displayed FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females). Droppings were collected in the morning over three alternating days in autumn 2014 and spring 2015. The CM were determined using a multi-species corticosterone enzyme immunoassay kit. Split-plot repeated-measure ANOVA was used to examine any differences using group, season and group × season as the main factors. Results Different quantities of CM in droppings were found for the three groups. The mean CM value was 587 ng/g in the PR parrots, 494 ng/g in the H-HR parrots and 1,744 ng/g in the FDB-HR parrots, irrespective of the season

  4. An association between feather damaging behavior and corticosterone metabolite excretion in captive African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

    PubMed Central

    De Marco, Michele; Nucera, Daniele M.; Gasco, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Background African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are kept as pets and are frequently hand-reared. It has been observed that hand-reared African grey parrots may develop behavioral disorders such as feather damaging behavior (FDB). It is well known that chronic stress is involved in behavioral disorders in captive parrots. The main glucocorticoid in birds is corticosterone; its quantification provides information about adrenocortical activity and is considered to be a reliable indicator of stress levels in birds. We analyzed the differences in the excretion of corticosterone metabolites (CM) in the droppings of African grey parrots characterized by: 1. different rearing histories (parent rearing vs. hand rearing); and 2. the presence or absence of FDB in hand-reared parrots. Methods A total of 82 African grey parrots that were kept in captivity were considered. According to breeding methods, three groups of birds were defined: 1. The parent-reared (PR) parrots included birds kept in pairs (n = 30 pairs) with a conspecific partner of the opposite sex. All of these birds were healthy and never showed FDB signs; 2. The healthy hand-reared parrots (H-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and did not display any sign of FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females); 3. The FDB hand-reared parrot (FDB-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and displayed FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females). Droppings were collected in the morning over three alternating days in autumn 2014 and spring 2015. The CM were determined using a multi-species corticosterone enzyme immunoassay kit. Split-plot repeated-measure ANOVA was used to examine any differences using group, season and group × season as the main factors. Results Different quantities of CM in droppings were found for the three groups. The mean CM value was 587 ng/g in the PR parrots, 494 ng/g in the H-HR parrots and 1,744 ng/g in the FDB-HR parrots, irrespective of the season

  5. Immunohistochemical Study of Aquaporins in an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) With Hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Blasco, Ester; Martorell, Jaime; De la Fuente, Cristian; Pumarola, Martí

    2014-12-01

    A 5-month-old African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was examined after 3 weeks of weakness, ataxia, mental depression, and seizures. Results of a complete blood cell count and plasma biochemical analysis were unremarkable. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a severe bilateral hydrocephalus. The bird failed to improve with supportive care, and the owner requested euthanasia. Necropsy findings were severe bilateral hydrocephalus with no evidence of cerebrospinal fluid obstruction. Histologic examination of the brain revealed microspongiosis, edema, gliosis, and neuronal chromatolysis of surrounding periventricular tissue. Aquaporins (AQP) and astrocytes were examined to elucidate the participation of these water channel proteins and glial cells in the pathophysiology and resolution of hydrocephalus. Results showed AQP4 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were overexpressed, especially near the ventricles, but expression of AQP1 was decreased. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of AQP immunolabeling in hydrocephalus in avain species.

  6. High field strength (4.7T) magnetic resonance imaging of hydrocephalus in an African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Fleming, Gregory J; Lester, Nola V; Stevenson, Rhoda; Silver, Xeve S

    2003-01-01

    Hydrocephalus was diagnosed in a juvenile African Grey parrot by high-field strength (4.7-Tesla) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Excellent anatomic detail was achieved, and there was severe dilation of all ventricles. Relative obstruction was localized to the level of or beyond the outflow of the fourth ventricle. There have been several reports of hydrocephalus diagnosed postmortem in psittacines (i.e., hook-billed parrots), however, this is the first report of an antemortem diagnosis in a psittacine using high-field strength MRI.

  7. Solitary Sound Play during Acquisition of English Vocalizations by an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus): Possible Parallels with Children's Monologue Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pepperberg, Irene M.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Examines one component of an African Grey parrot's monologue behavior, private speech, while he was being taught new vocalizations. The data are discussed in terms of the possible functions of monologues during the parrot's acquisition of novel vocalizations. (85 references) (GLR)

  8. Variations in an African Grey parrot's speech patterns following ignored and denied requests.

    PubMed

    Colbert-White, Erin N; Hall, Hannah C; Fragaszy, Dorothy M

    2016-05-01

    Communicative competence is one measure of an individual's ability to navigate conversations with social partners. The current study explored the possibility of basic communicative competence in a non-mammal speaker, a speech-using African Grey parrot. Spontaneous conversations between one Grey named Cosmo and her caregiver were recorded, from which three corpora (i.e., bodies of text) of Cosmo's vocalizations were developed: (1) Baseline: Vocalizations containing no requests, (2) Ignored Requests: Vocalizations immediately following Cosmo's caregiver ignoring Cosmo's requests, and (3) Denied Requests: Vocalizations immediately following Cosmo's caregiver denying Cosmo's requests. The distributions of social (e.g., "I love you," kiss sounds) and nonsocial (e.g., answering machine beeps, "That's squirrel") vocalizations, as well as speech and nonword vocalizations, were statistically different across the three corpora. Additionally, qualitative analysis of the datasets indicated Cosmo was persistent in repeating vocalizations when denied and ignored, and interrupted her caregiver more often when requests were denied compared to ignored. Neither repetition nor interruption occurred during the Baseline conversations. The data indicate that despite the outcome being the same (i.e., request was unmet), Cosmo treated an ignored request differently than a denied request, modifying her vocalizations in accord with the specific context. Such modification is evidence of basic communicative competence. PMID:26700613

  9. How do African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) perform on a delay of gratification task?

    PubMed

    Vick, Sarah-Jane; Bovet, Dalila; Anderson, James R

    2010-03-01

    Humans and other animals often find it difficult to choose a delayed reward over an immediate one, even when the delay leads to increased pay-offs. Using a visible incremental reward procedure, we tested the ability of three grey parrots to maintain delay of gratification for an increasingly valuable food pay-off. Up to five sunflower seeds were placed within the parrot's reach, one at a time, at a rate of one seed per second. When the parrot took a seed the trial was ended and the birds consumed the accumulated seeds. Parrots were first tested in daily sessions of ten trials and then with single daily trials. For multiple trial sessions, all three parrots showed some limited improvement across 30 sessions. For single trial sessions, only one parrot showed any increase in seed acquisition across trials. This parrot was also able to consistently obtain two or more seeds per trial (across both multiple and single trial conditions) but was unable to able to wait 5 s to obtain the maximum number of seeds. This parrot was also tested on a slower rate of seed presentation, and this significantly reduced her mean seed acquisition in both multiple and single trial conditions, suggesting that both value of reward available and delay duration impact upon self-control. Further manipulation of both the visibility and proximity of seeds during delay maintenance had little impact upon tolerance of delays for both parrots tested in this condition. This task demanded not just a choice of delayed reward but the maintenance of delayed gratification and was clearly difficult for the parrots to learn; additional training or alternative paradigms are required to better understand the capacity for self-control in this and other species.

  10. Higher-order semantic structures in an African Grey parrot's vocalizations: evidence from the hyperspace analog to language (HAL) model.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Allison B; Colbert-White, Erin N; Burgess, Curt

    2013-09-01

    Previous research has described the significant role that social interaction plays in both the acquisition and use of speech by parrots. The current study analyzed the speech of one home-raised African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) across three different social contexts: owner interacting with parrot in the same room, owner and parrot interacting out of view in adjacent rooms, and parrot home alone. The purpose was to determine the extent to which the subject's speech reflected an understanding of the contextual substitutability (e.g., the word street can be substituted in context for the word road) of the vocalizations that comprised the units in her repertoire (i.e., global co-occurrence of repertoire units; Burgess in Behav Res Methods Instrum Comput 30:188-198, 1998; Lund and Burgess in Behav Res Methods Instrum Comput 28:203-208, 1996). This was accomplished via the human language model hyperspace analog to language (HAL). HAL is contextually driven and bootstraps language "rules" from input without human intervention. Because HAL does not require human tutelage, it provided an objective measure to empirically examine the parrot's vocalizations. Results indicated that the subject's vocalization patterns did contain global co-occurrence. The presence of this quality in this nonhuman's speech may be strongly indicative of higher-order cognitive skills.

  11. Pharmacokinetics of Amitriptyline HCl and Its Metabolites in Healthy African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and Cockatoos (Cacatua Species).

    PubMed

    Visser, Marike; Ragsdale, Michelle M; Boothe, Dawn M

    2015-12-01

    Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is used clinically to treat feather-destructive behavior in psittacine birds at a recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg PO q12-24h, which has been extrapolated from human medicine and based on anecdotal reports. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the individual and population pharmacokinetic parameters of amitriptyline after a single oral dose at 1.5 mg/kg, 4.5 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in healthy African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus , n = 3) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, n = 3). Three birds received an initial 1.5 mg/kg oral dose, and blood samples were collected for 24 hours at fixed time intervals. Serum concentrations of amitriptyline and its metabolites were determined by polarized immunofluorescence. After determining the initial parameters and a 14-day washout period, 2 African grey parrots and 1 cockatoo received a single oral dose at 4.5 mg/kg, and 3 cockatoos and 1 African grey parrot received a single oral dose at 9 mg/kg. Concentrations reached the minimum therapeutic range reported in people (60 ng/mL) in 4 of 10 birds (4.5 and 9.0 mg/kg). Concentrations were within the toxic range in 1 African grey parrot (9 mg/kg), with regurgitation, ataxia, and dullness noted. Serum concentrations were nondetectable in 3 birds (1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg) and detectable but below the human therapeutic range in 3 birds (1.5 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg). Drug concentrations were continuing to increase at the end of the study (24 hours) in 1 bird. Elimination half-life varied from 1.6 to 91.2 hours. Population pharmacokinetics indicated significantly varied absorption, and elimination constants varied between species. Although amitriptyline appeared to be tolerated in most birds, disposition varies markedly among and within species, between the 2 genera, and within individual birds. The current recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg q12h in psittacine birds appears insufficient to achieve serum concentrations within the human therapeutic range

  12. Pharmacokinetics of Amitriptyline HCl and Its Metabolites in Healthy African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and Cockatoos (Cacatua Species).

    PubMed

    Visser, Marike; Ragsdale, Michelle M; Boothe, Dawn M

    2015-12-01

    Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is used clinically to treat feather-destructive behavior in psittacine birds at a recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg PO q12-24h, which has been extrapolated from human medicine and based on anecdotal reports. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the individual and population pharmacokinetic parameters of amitriptyline after a single oral dose at 1.5 mg/kg, 4.5 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in healthy African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus , n = 3) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, n = 3). Three birds received an initial 1.5 mg/kg oral dose, and blood samples were collected for 24 hours at fixed time intervals. Serum concentrations of amitriptyline and its metabolites were determined by polarized immunofluorescence. After determining the initial parameters and a 14-day washout period, 2 African grey parrots and 1 cockatoo received a single oral dose at 4.5 mg/kg, and 3 cockatoos and 1 African grey parrot received a single oral dose at 9 mg/kg. Concentrations reached the minimum therapeutic range reported in people (60 ng/mL) in 4 of 10 birds (4.5 and 9.0 mg/kg). Concentrations were within the toxic range in 1 African grey parrot (9 mg/kg), with regurgitation, ataxia, and dullness noted. Serum concentrations were nondetectable in 3 birds (1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg) and detectable but below the human therapeutic range in 3 birds (1.5 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg). Drug concentrations were continuing to increase at the end of the study (24 hours) in 1 bird. Elimination half-life varied from 1.6 to 91.2 hours. Population pharmacokinetics indicated significantly varied absorption, and elimination constants varied between species. Although amitriptyline appeared to be tolerated in most birds, disposition varies markedly among and within species, between the 2 genera, and within individual birds. The current recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg q12h in psittacine birds appears insufficient to achieve serum concentrations within the human therapeutic range

  13. Do African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) know what a human experimenter does and does not see?

    PubMed

    Péron, F; Chardard, C; Nagle, L; Bovet, D

    2011-06-01

    Perspective-taking is a cognitive ability that can be useful to access information during social interactions. This ability is extensively exploited in humans, and some evidence of it has been found in other mammals and some bird species. Perspective-taking requires individuals to be sensitive to the attentional state of others. In this experiment, three hand-reared grey parrots were tested on their ability to adapt their behaviours according to the perception of a human handler. Two different screens placed on a table separating the human side from the parrot's side were used: one transparent and one opaque. In the Control condition food was put behind each screen, whereas in the Test condition 'forbidden' objects (attractive for the bird but normally not accessible) were placed behind each screen. Birds were expected to choose at random between the two screens in the Control condition but to prefer the opaque one in the Test condition in order to avoid being scolded and chased away. In the Control condition, birds chose at random, whereas the older parrot chose the opaque screen significantly more in the Test condition. The latency for the decision was longer in the Test condition compared to Control, and when choosing the Transparent screen compared to the Opaque.

  14. Comprehension of “absence” by an African Grey parrot: Learning with respect to questions of same/different

    PubMed Central

    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    1988-01-01

    An African Grey parrot, Alex, learned to report on the absence or presence of similarity and difference between two objects. Alex was shown pairs of objects that were (a) totally dissimilar, (b) identical, or (c) similar or different with respect to one of three attributes (color, shape, or material). In the first two cases, he responded to the respective queries of “What's same?” or “What's different?” with the vocalization “none,” and in the third case he responded with the appropriate category label (“color,” “shape,” or “mah-mah” [matter]). His accuracy was 80.9% to 83.9% for pairs of familiar objects not used in training and 72.5% to 78.4% for pairs whose colors, shapes, and materials were unfamiliar. The data provide evidence that this parrot's abilities are comparable to those of mammals that have been trained to report on the presence or absence of objects or features of objects. PMID:16812572

  15. Bacteria Isolated From the Skin of Congo African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ), Budgerigars ( Melopsittacus undulatus ), and Cockatiels ( Nymphicus hollandicus ).

    PubMed

    Lamb, Stephanie; Sobczynski, Alicia; Starks, Darius; Sitinas, Nicholas

    2014-12-01

    Little is known about the normal bacterial flora of the skin of birds. To identify the bacterial organisms that reside on the integument of companion psittacine birds in a normal physiologic state, skin cultures were taken from 75 psittacine birds comprising 25 Congo African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ), 25 budgerigars ( Melopsittacus undulatus ), and 25 cockatiels ( Nymphicus hollandicus ). All birds were adults and in good health with no underlying identifiable diseases, had not been on antibiotics in the preceding 2 months or longer, and had no skin or feather abnormalities. Cultures were taken from the axillary region and incubated on bovine blood agar plates. Positive cultures were identified for 52 out of 75 birds, and a total of 89 bacterial colonies grew. The most frequently identified bacterial organisms belonged to the genus Staphylococcus followed by Corynebacterium. Several other genera of bacteria were also isolated. Of the 89 bacterial colonies, 25 were identified to the species level and 50 to the genus level, and 14 were identified as either a nonfermenter or coliform. PMID:25843464

  16. The influence of local enhancement on choice performances in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

    PubMed

    Mikolasch, Sandra; Kotrschal, Kurt; Schloegl, Christian

    2012-11-01

    Being attentive to the behavior of others may be advantageous to gain important information, for example, on the location of food. Often, this is achieved through simple local enhancement. However, this is not always beneficial, as it may override cognitive abilities, with negative consequences. Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and ravens have already succeeded in exclusion tasks, but carrion crows do so only when controlling for local enhancement, and jackdaws (Corvus monedula) fail entirely. Presently, we tested whether jackdaws would still be influenced by local enhancement in a simple choice-task. We compared their performance with those of Grey parrots. Since these birds did not respond to enhancement in the exclusion task, we expected them also to be less susceptible to enhancement here. In our tasks, two pieces of food were visibly hidden under two cups. Then one cup was lifted, the reward was shown to the bird and was either laid back underneath the cup or was removed. Alternatively, both manipulations were combined with the first reward being shown to the bird and the second one being removed or vice versa. Surprisingly, both species had a preference for the last handled cup, irrespective of whether it contained food or not. However, if the birds had to wait for 10 seconds after the presentation, the jackdaws performed better than the Grey parrots. Additionally, the delay improved the performance of both species in conditions in which the reward was removed last and deteriorated their performance in conditions in which the item was shown last.

  17. [First detection of psittacid herpesvirus 2 in Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) associated with pharyngeal papillomas and cloacal inflammation in Germany].

    PubMed

    Legler, Marko; Kothe, Ruth; Wohlsein, Peter; Hewicker-Trautwein, Marion; Kummerfeld, Norbert; Rautenschlein, Silke

    2014-01-01

    Congo African Grey Parrots (GP; Psittacus erithacus erithacus) from four different avicultures, presented in the Clinic for Exotic Pets, Reptiles and Birds, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, showed choanal papillomas or hyperemia of the cloacal mucosa. Histologically, the mucosal choanal proliferations were diagnosed as exophytic papillomas and a mild hyperplasia of the cloacal mucosa with lympho-histiocytic inflammation with no visible inclusion bodies was found. Herpesvirus genome was detected by nested PCR in pooled choanal and cloacal swabs from clinically diseased parrots and healthy contact animals. Sequencing of parts of the herpesvirus DNA-polymerase gene indicated 98-100% homology of the detected herpesviruses with the Psittacid Herpesvirus 2 (PsHV-2). In one aviculture with cloacal inflammation papillomavirus-DNA was concurrently found to a PsHV-2 infection. In addition to the four avicultures with clinical symptoms 25 more flocks of grey parrots, in total 57 Congo-GP and 13 Timneh-GP, were examined for a herpesvirus infection. A total of six out of 29 studied parrot avicultures were tested positive for PsHV-2. The detection of this virus also in flocks of GP, which were bred in Europe, shows the establishment of this infection in the GP population in captivity. As indicated in the literature as well as in our study PsHV-2 could be only detected in Congo-GP, independently if they were kept either alone or in mixed avicultures with amazon and macaw species. These findings suggest that PsHV-2 is adapted to this Psittacus species.

  18. Effects of Meloxicam on Hematologic and Plasma Biochemical Analyte Values and Results of Histologic Examination of Kidney Biopsy Specimens of African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Montesinos, Andres; Ardiaca, Maria; Juan-Sallés, Carles; Tesouro, Miguel A

    2015-03-01

    In this study we evaluated the effects of meloxicam administered at 0.5 mg/kg IM q12h for 14 days on hematologic and plasma biochemical values and on kidney tissue in 11 healthy African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Before treatment with meloxicam, blood samples were collected and renal biopsy samples were obtained from the cranial portion of the left kidney from each of the birds. On day 14 of treatment, a second blood sample and biopsy from the middle portion of the left kidney were obtained from each bird. All birds remained clinically normal throughout the study period. No significant differences were found between hematologic and plasma biochemical values before and after 14 days of treatment with meloxicam, except for a slight increase in median beta globulin and corresponding total globulin concentrations, and a slight decrease in median phosphorus concentration. Renal lesions were absent in 9 of 10 representative posttreatment biopsy samples. On the basis of these results, meloxicam administered at the dosage used in this study protocol does not appear to cause renal disease in African grey parrots.

  19. Abstract concept formation in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) on the basis of a low number of cues.

    PubMed

    Suková, Karolína; Uchytilová, Michaela; Lindová, Jitka

    2013-06-01

    The formation of the concept of sameness is considered as a crucial cognitive ability which allows for other high cognitive functions in some species, e.g. humans. It is often operationalized as transfer of the matching rule to new stimuli in a matching-to-sample task. Animal species show great differences regarding the number of stimuli needed in training to be able to perform a full transfer to new stimuli. Not only apes appear to master this task, but also corvids among the birds were shown to reach a full transfer using only few stimuli. Using colour, shape and number stimuli in a matching-to-sample design, we tested four grey parrots for their ability to judge identity. Only a limited set of 8 stimulus cards were used in training. Pairs of "same" number stimuli were visually different thus allowing to be matched according to number of elements only. All four parrots successfully transferred to testing phases including testing with completely new stimuli and their performance did not drop with new stimuli. Including number stimuli invalidated some interpretations based on visual non-abstract processes and give evidence for formation of the concept of sameness.

  20. Referential use of American English speech by an African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus): phonological output reflects cognitive capacities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    1997-05-01

    A grey parrot, Alex, comprehends and uses English labels to label objects, colors, shapes, and materials. He combines labels to identify proficiently, request, and refuse > 100 different objects. He categorizes objects with respect to color, shape or material, understands concepts of same/different, bigger/smaller, absence of information, and uses the phrases 'come here', 'I want X' and 'Wanna go Y' where X and Y are object or location labels. He distinguishes quantities to 6, including collections of novel objects, heterogeneous sets, sets involving random arrays; he labels the number of items uniquely defined by the combination of one color and one object category. Given a 7-member collection, he can provide information about the specific instance of one category of an item uniquely defined by the conjunction of two other categories, e.g., 'What object is color-A and shape-B' These results show that Alex, unlike nonhuman primates, both produces and comprehends phonological distinctions. Simple labeling has been replicated with additional subjects. The problem of mutual interest, therefore, is determining the mechanisms that a nonhuman, nonprimate, nonmammal uses to make these distinctions. Imaging systems have unlocked the secrets of the human vocal tract; we now need to examine nonhumans.

  1. Grey parrots use inferential reasoning based on acoustic cues alone.

    PubMed

    Schloegl, Christian; Schmidt, Judith; Boeckle, Markus; Weiß, Brigitte M; Kotrschal, Kurt

    2012-10-22

    Our ability to make logical inferences is considered as one of the cornerstones of human intelligence, fuelling investigations of reasoning abilities in non-human animals. Yet, the evidence to date is equivocal, with apes as the prime candidates to possess these skills. For instance, in a two-choice task, apes can identify the location of hidden food if it is indicated by a rattling noise caused by the shaking of a baited container. More importantly, they also use the absence of noise during the shaking of the empty container to infer that this container is not baited. However, since the inaugural report of apes solving this task, to the best of our knowledge, no comparable evidence could be found in any other tested species such as monkeys and dogs. Here, we report the first successful and instantaneous solution of the shaking task through logical inference by a non-ape species, the African grey parrot. Surprisingly, the performance of the birds was sensitive to the shaking movement: they were successful with containers shaken horizontally, but not with vertical shaking resembling parrot head-bobbing. Thus, grey parrots seem to possess ape-like cross-modal reasoning skills, but their reliance on these abilities is influenced by low-level interferences.

  2. Grey parrots use inferential reasoning based on acoustic cues alone

    PubMed Central

    Schloegl, Christian; Schmidt, Judith; Boeckle, Markus; Weiß, Brigitte M.; Kotrschal, Kurt

    2012-01-01

    Our ability to make logical inferences is considered as one of the cornerstones of human intelligence, fuelling investigations of reasoning abilities in non-human animals. Yet, the evidence to date is equivocal, with apes as the prime candidates to possess these skills. For instance, in a two-choice task, apes can identify the location of hidden food if it is indicated by a rattling noise caused by the shaking of a baited container. More importantly, they also use the absence of noise during the shaking of the empty container to infer that this container is not baited. However, since the inaugural report of apes solving this task, to the best of our knowledge, no comparable evidence could be found in any other tested species such as monkeys and dogs. Here, we report the first successful and instantaneous solution of the shaking task through logical inference by a non-ape species, the African grey parrot. Surprisingly, the performance of the birds was sensitive to the shaking movement: they were successful with containers shaken horizontally, but not with vertical shaking resembling parrot head-bobbing. Thus, grey parrots seem to possess ape-like cross-modal reasoning skills, but their reliance on these abilities is influenced by low-level interferences. PMID:22874753

  3. Reasoning by inference: further studies on exclusion in grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Koepke, Adrienne; Livingston, Paige; Girard, Monique; Hartsfield, Leigh Ann

    2013-08-01

    Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) abilities for visual inferential reasoning by exclusion were tested in two experiments. The first replicated the Grey parrot study of Mikolasch, Kotrschal, and Schloegl (2011, African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) use inference by exclusion to find hidden food. Biology Letters, 7, 875-877), which in turn replicated that of Premack and Premck (1994, Levels of causal understanding in chimpanzees and children. Cognition, 50, 347-362) with apes, to learn if our subjects could succeed on this task. Here parrots watched an experimenter hide two equally desirable foods under two separate opaque cups, surreptitiously remove and then, in view of the birds, pocket/eat one of the foods, leaving birds to find the still baited cup. The experiment contained controls for various alternative explanations for the birds' behavior, but birds might still have avoided a cup from which something had been removed rather than specifically tracking the eaten food. Thus, in the second experiment, some trials were run with one food slightly more preferred than the other, during which two items of each type were hidden and only one of the items were removed from one cup. Sessions also included Experiment 1-type trials to see if birds tracked when and when not to use exclusion. Thus, birds would be rewarded for attending closely to all the experimental aspects needed to infer how to receive their preferred treat. Three of four birds succeeded fully.

  4. Molecular analysis and associated pathology of beak and feather disease virus isolated in Italy from young Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) with an "atypical peracute form" of the disease.

    PubMed

    Robino, Patrizia; Grego, Elena; Rossi, Giacomo; Bert, Elena; Tramuta, Clara; Stella, Maria Cristina; Bertoni, Pierfrancesco; Nebbia, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    This study is the first report on the genetic and pathogenic characterization of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) occurring in Italy. Twenty BFDV strains isolated in Italy from juvenile Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) were investigated. Seventeen strains showed an "atypical peracute form" (aPF) of the disease, and three a chronic form (CF). The birds with aPF had been weaned, were independent as far as food and protection were concerned and apparently were without lesions. The gene coding for the putative coat protein was amplified in all isolates while the BFDV genome was sequenced completely in 10 samples, eight of them belonging to aPF affected birds and two from CF of the disease. All full genomes clustered into the J strain of BFDV, where two new subtypes were identified. Recombination analyses showed evidence of genetic exchanges in two BFDV genomes. In addition, a correlation between viral isolate and origin of the breeding material was shown, while an association between the genetic features of the virus and the clinical form was not observed. Histologically, apoptosis was detected frequently in aPF samples and sporadically in CF samples. Interestingly, BFDV antigens were detected in the nuclei and cytoplasm of such apoptotic cells. The data presented here support the hypothesis that, in the absence of a defined BFDV genetic variant accountable for a specific clinical form of psittacine beak and feather disease, differences in the apoptotic rate between aPF and CF are strictly host related.

  5. Robust representation of shape in a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Nakayama, Ken

    2016-08-01

    A Grey parrot, Griffin (Psittacus erithacus), previously taught English labels for various colors and shapes with respect to three-dimensional (3D) stimuli, was tested on his ability to transfer to very different two-dimensional (2D) images consisting of modal and amodal completion stimuli. For modal completion (aka subjective contours), Kanizsa figures were constructed using black 'pac-men' to form regular polygons on colored paper. For amodal completion, portions of variously colored regular 2D polygons were occluded by black circles or other black figures. For each task, Griffin provided a vocal English shape label for five possible shapes designated by their vertices (one, two, three, four, six). His accuracy was high for both amodal completed figures, including probe stimuli (28/38 correct) and modally completed figures (29/38 correct), with chance=0.20. The modally completed case (i.e., Kanizsa subjective figures) is of particular importance as there are no shared image parts between training and testing stimuli. We draw several conclusions from these results. First, a surface level completion process is fully operative insofar as Griffin was able to correctly identify shapes that differed considerably from training images. Second, because parrots can generalize from shapes of real objects to drawings where original image contours were clearly absent, the data provide a compelling example of shape invariance, indicating that visual shapes are processed far beyond that of their image description. Third, parrots with a repertoire of multiple vocal responses can be rigorously tested for visual competencies, an option as yet to be tried in other experimental animals.

  6. Robust representation of shape in a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Nakayama, Ken

    2016-08-01

    A Grey parrot, Griffin (Psittacus erithacus), previously taught English labels for various colors and shapes with respect to three-dimensional (3D) stimuli, was tested on his ability to transfer to very different two-dimensional (2D) images consisting of modal and amodal completion stimuli. For modal completion (aka subjective contours), Kanizsa figures were constructed using black 'pac-men' to form regular polygons on colored paper. For amodal completion, portions of variously colored regular 2D polygons were occluded by black circles or other black figures. For each task, Griffin provided a vocal English shape label for five possible shapes designated by their vertices (one, two, three, four, six). His accuracy was high for both amodal completed figures, including probe stimuli (28/38 correct) and modally completed figures (29/38 correct), with chance=0.20. The modally completed case (i.e., Kanizsa subjective figures) is of particular importance as there are no shared image parts between training and testing stimuli. We draw several conclusions from these results. First, a surface level completion process is fully operative insofar as Griffin was able to correctly identify shapes that differed considerably from training images. Second, because parrots can generalize from shapes of real objects to drawings where original image contours were clearly absent, the data provide a compelling example of shape invariance, indicating that visual shapes are processed far beyond that of their image description. Third, parrots with a repertoire of multiple vocal responses can be rigorously tested for visual competencies, an option as yet to be tried in other experimental animals. PMID:27206312

  7. Vocal Learning in Grey Parrots: A Brief Review of Perception, Production, and Cross-Species Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    2010-01-01

    This chapter briefly reviews what is known-and what remains to be understood--about Grey parrot vocal learning. I review Greys' physical capacities--issues of auditory perception and production--then discuss how these capacities are used in vocal learning and can be recruited for referential communication with humans. I discuss cross-species…

  8. Parrot "Understands" Zero

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of College Science Teaching, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The walnut sized brain of the African grey parrot may actually be capable of comprehending abstract mathematical concepts. The bird seems to understand a numerical concept akin to zero--an abstract notion that humans don't typically understand until they are three or four years old. Alex, the 28-year-old parrot who lives in a Brandeis University…

  9. Vocal learning in Grey parrots: A brief review of perception, production, and cross-species comparisons.

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M

    2010-10-01

    This chapter briefly reviews what is known-and what remains to be understood-about Grey parrot vocal learning. I review Greys' physical capacities-issues of auditory perception and production-then discuss how these capacities are used in vocal learning and can be recruited for referential communication with humans. I discuss cross-species comparisons where applicable and conclude with a description of recent research that integrates issues of reference, production and perception.

  10. Grey Parrot Number Acquisition: The Inference of Cardinal Value from Ordinal Position on the Numeral List

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pepperberg, Irene M.; Carey, Susan

    2012-01-01

    A Grey parrot ("Psittacus erithacus") had previously been taught to use English count words ("one" through "sih" [six]) to label sets of one to six individual items (Pepperberg, 1994). He had also been taught to use the same count words to label the Arabic numerals 1 through 6. Without training, he inferred the relationship between the Arabic…

  11. In search of king Solomon's ring: cognitive and communicative studies of Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M

    2002-01-01

    During the past 24 years, I have used a modeling technique (M/R procedure) to train Grey parrots to use an allospecific code (English speech) referentially; I then use the code to test their cognitive abilities. The oldest bird, Alex, labels more than 50 different objects, 7 colors, 5 shapes, quantities to 6, 3 categories (color, shape, material) and uses 'no', 'come here', wanna go X' and 'want Y' (X and Y are appropriate location or item labels). He combines labels to identify, request, comment upon or refuse more than 100 items and to alter his environment. He processes queries to judge category, relative size, quantity, presence or absence of similarity/difference in attributes, and show label comprehension. He semantically separates labeling from requesting. He thus exhibits capacities once presumed limited to humans or nonhuman primates. Studies on this and other Greys show that parrots given training that lacks some aspect of input present in M/R protocols (reference, functionality, social interaction) fail to acquire referential English speech. Examining how input affects the extent to which parrots acquire an allospecific code may elucidate mechanisms of other forms of exceptional learning: learning unlikely in the normal course of development but that can occur under certain conditions.

  12. Emergence of Linguistic Communication: Studies on Grey Parrots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    Most studies on the evolution of communication systems concentrate on the primate lineage, ignoring the concept of parallel lines of evolution. Although phylogenetically remote from humans, some birds—particularly Grey parrots—share many cognitive and communicative abilities with humans. On certain tasks, they demonstrate processing abilities comparable to 5-6 year-old humans; they learn very simple vocal syntactic patterns and referential elements of human communication, but only through social interaction and in a manner that proceeds in ways similar to those of humans. Given this knowledge of vocal learning in birds, of the effects of social interaction on such learning, and of birds' complex cognitive abilities, we should not ignore the avian line if we wish to determine the evolutionary pressures that purportedly affected the evolution of complex communication systems—particularly vocal systems—and develop theories and models that can be tested.

  13. Processing of the Müller-Lyer illusion by a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Vicinay, Jennifer; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Alex, a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) who identifies the bigger or smaller of two objects by reporting its color or matter using a vocal English label and who states "none" if they do not differ in size, was presented with two-dimensional Müller-Lyer figures (Brentano form) in which the central lines were of contrasting colors. His responses to "What color bigger/ smaller?" demonstrated that he saw the standard length illusion in the Müller-Lyer figures in 32 of 50 tests where human observers would also see the illusion and reported the reverse direction only twice. He did not report the illusion when (a) arrows on the shafts were perpendicular to the shafts or closely approached perpendicularity, (b) shafts were 6 times thicker than the arrows, or (c) after being tested with multiple exposures conditions that also lessen or eliminate the illusion for human observers. These data suggest that parrot and human visual systems process the Müller-Lyer figure in analogous ways despite a 175-fold difference in the respective sizes of their brain volumes. The similarity in results also indicates that parrots with vocal abilities like Alex's can be reliably tested on visual illusions with paradigms similar to those used on human subjects.

  14. Delayed gratification: A grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) will wait for a better reward.

    PubMed

    Koepke, Adrienne E; Gray, Suzanne L; Pepperberg, Irene M

    2015-11-01

    Delay of gratification, the ability to forgo an immediate reward to gain either better quality or quantity, has been used as a metric for temporal discounting, self-control, and the ability to plan for the future in both humans (particularly children) and nonhumans. The task involved can be parsed in several ways, such that the subjects can be required to wait, not only for a better or a larger reward, but also such that the rewards can either be in view or hidden during the delay interval. We have demonstrated that a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) trained in the use of English speech could respond to the label "wait" for up to 15 min, in a task that has many similarities to those used with young children, to receive a better quality reward, whether or not the better quality reward or the experimenter was in view.

  15. Management of Severe Frostbite in a Grey-Headed Parrot (Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus).

    PubMed

    Martel-Arquette, Anna; Mans, Christoph; Sladky, Kurt

    2016-03-01

    An approximately 5-year-old female grey-headed parrot (Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus) was evaluated after exposure to outdoor temperatures below -20°C (-4°F) for approximately 22 hours. Severe frostbite affecting multiple digits, as well as dehydration and a depressed attitude, were diagnosed. Treatment included oral antibiotics, antifungals, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), pentoxifylline, and topical aloe vera. Surgical amputation of the affected toes was not performed. Mild to moderate pododermatitis over the intertarsal joints developed because of a shift in weight bearing after the loss of most digits. Within 5 months after initial presentation, all frost-damaged toes had self-amputated, and the bird was able to function independently with no limitations in mobility. PMID:27088743

  16. Human-Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) reciprocity: a follow-up study.

    PubMed

    Péron, Franck; Thornburg, Luke; Thornberg, Luke; Gross, Brya; Gray, Suzanne; Pepperberg, Irene M

    2014-07-01

    In a previous study (Péron et al. in Anim Cogn, doi: 10.1007/s10071-012.05640 , 2012), Grey parrots, working in dyads, took turns choosing one of four differently coloured cups with differing outcomes: empty (null, non-rewarding), selfish (keeping reward for oneself), share (sharing a divisible reward), or giving (donating reward to other). When the dyads involved three humans with different specific intentions (selfish, giving, or copying the bird's behaviour), birds' responses only tended towards consistency with human behaviour. Our dominant bird was willing to share a reward with a human who was willing to give up her reward, was selfish with the selfish human, and tended towards sharing with the copycat human; our subordinate bird tended slightly towards increased sharing with the generous human and selfishness with the selfish human, but did not clearly mirror the behaviour of the copycat. We theorized that the birds' inability to understand the copycat condition fully-that they could potentially maximize reward by choosing to share-was a consequence of their viewing the copycat's behaviour as erratic compared with the consistently selfish or giving humans and thus not realizing that they were indeed being mirrored. We suggested that copycat trials subsequently be performed as a separate experiment, without being contrasted with trials in which humans acted consistently, in order to determine if results might have differed. We have now performed that experiment, and shown that at least one Grey parrot--our dominant--responded in a manner suggesting that he deduced the appropriate contingencies.

  17. CT-assisted versus silicone rubber cast morphometry of the lower respiratory tract in healthy amazons (genus Amazona) and grey parrots (genus Psittacus).

    PubMed

    Krautwald-Junghanns, M E; Valerius, K P; Duncker, H R; Sohn, H G

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the normal respiratory tract of grey parrots and amazons by using two different methods. The lower respiratory tract of five amazons and four grey parrots, all healthy, were investigated applying computerised tomography (CT). Volumes and densities of the body, the body cavities, the normal lungs, and the airsacs in the living animals were defined as reference values of healthy birds to give a basis for future CT-diagnosis of respiratory diseases and their precise locations in parrots. In a parallel study, the lung and air sac volumes of six amazons and two grey parrots were measured using silicone rubber casts produced after the method described by H.-R. Duncker. Values for identical respiratory structures gained by these different methods were compared. PMID:9769067

  18. A study of sharing and reciprocity in grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Péron, Franck; John, Maria; Sapowicz, Stephanie; Bovet, Dalila; Pepperberg, Irene M

    2013-03-01

    Demonstrations of nonhuman ability to share resources and reciprocate such sharing seem contingent upon the experimental paradigm used (note Horner et al. in PNAS 108:13847-13851, 2011). Here, such behaviour in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) was tested in two experiments, both designed to avoid possible issues involving apparatus complexity, visible reward options, and physical competition and/or limited communication between subjects. In both studies, two birds, working in dyads, took turns in choosing one of four different coloured cups with differing outcomes: empty (null, nonrewarding), selfish (keeping reward for oneself), share (sharing a divisible reward), or giving (donating reward to other). In Experiment 1, each bird alternated choices with a conspecific; in Experiment 2, each bird alternated with the three humans with different specific intentions (selfish, giving, or copying bird's behaviour). In both experiments, birds could learn to cooperatively reward a partner at little cost to themselves-by sharing-and potentially maximize overall reward by reciprocating such sharing. Experiment 1 results differed depending upon which bird began a session: Only our dominant bird, as follower, was willing to share. In Experiment 2, birds' responses tended towards consistency with human behaviour. Our dominant bird was willing to share a reward with a human who was willing to give up her reward, was selfish with the selfish human, and tended towards sharing with the copycat human; our subordinate bird tended slightly towards increased sharing with the generous human and selfishness with the selfish human, but did not change behaviour with the copycat.

  19. A Behavioral Look at the Training of Alex: A Review of Pepperberg's "The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hesse, Bruce E.; Potter, Bill

    2004-01-01

    "The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots" by Irene Pepperberg is reviewed from a behavior analytic orientation. The results of the majority of her experiments are discussed in terms drawn from the general literature of behavior analysis and Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior. We conclude that she has provided…

  20. Tissue distribution of psittacid herpesviruses in latently infected parrots, repeated sampling of latently infected parrots and prevalence of latency in parrots submitted for necropsy.

    PubMed

    Tomaszewski, Elizabeth K; Wigle, William; Phalen, David N

    2006-11-01

    Psittacid herpesvirus-1 (PsHV-1) is the cause of an acute fatal disease in parrots and is implicated as the cause of papillomatous lesions of the digestive tract. Not all infections cause disease and some parrots are infected asymptomatically. Latently infected parrots are potential sources for virus dissemination. Tissues from parrots that died spontaneously with a history of coming from flocks where a PsHV-1 outbreak had occurred were examined for PsHV-1 DNA. Fourteen of 16 parrots examined were infected with at least 1 variant of PsHV-1; of these 13 (93%) had viral DNA in either or both the oral and cloacal mucosa, suggesting that most latently infected parrots could be detected by sampling these sites. Nine of 9 parrots shown to be infected 5 years prior to this study were positive again on repeat sampling and were infected with the same virus genotype. Opportunistic sampling of parrots submitted for diagnostic necropsy indicated that the prevalence of PsHV-1 in parrots in the sampled population was approximately 9.3%. PsHV-1 genotypes 1, 2, and 3 were found in these birds, but genotype 4 was not. Six necropsy specimens were found to be infected with two PsHV-1 genotypes and it was concluded that infection with one serotype did not protect against infection with another. Psittacid herpesvirus 2 (PsHV-2) was identified in 4 African grey parrots and a blue and gold macaw. Prior to this study PsHV-2 had only been found in African grey parrots.

  1. Use of experimenter-given cues by African gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    PubMed

    Giret, Nicolas; Miklósi, Adam; Kreutzer, Michel; Bovet, Dalila

    2009-01-01

    One advantage of living in a social group is the opportunity to use information provided by other individuals. Social information can be based on cues provided by a conspecific or even by a heterospecific individual (e.g., gaze direction, vocalizations, pointing gestures). Although the use of human gaze and gestures has been extensively studied in primates, and is increasingly studied in other mammals, there is no documentation of birds using these cues in a cooperative context. In this study, we tested the ability of three African gray parrots to use different human cues (pointing and/or gazing) in an object-choice task. We found that one subject spontaneously used the most salient pointing gesture (looking and steady pointing with hand at about 20 cm from the baited box). The two others were also able to use this cue after 15 trials. None of the parrots spontaneously used the steady gaze cues (combined head and eye orientation), but one learned to do so effectively after only 15 trials when the distance between the head and the baited box was about 1 m. However, none of the parrots were able to use the momentary pointing nor the distal pointing and gazing cues. These results are discussed in terms of sensitivity to joint attention as a prerequisite to understand pointing gestures as it is to the referential use of labels.

  2. A behavioral look at the training of Alex: A review of Pepperberg's the Alex studies: Cognitive and communicative abilities of grey parrots

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Bruce E.; Potter, Bill

    2004-01-01

    The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots by Irene Pepperberg is reviewed from a behavior analytic orientation. The results of the majority of her experiments are discussed in terms drawn from the general literature of behavior analysis and Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior. We conclude that she has provided evidence of the complex control of vocal behavior that illustrates a functional verbal repertoire of tacts and mands. This book suggests several areas for future research on the methods needed to establish verbal repertoires in species other than humans. PMID:22477296

  3. Pharmacokinetics of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus): influence of pharmaceutical formulation and length of dosing.

    PubMed

    van Zeeland, Y R A; Schoemaker, N J; Haritova, A; Smit, J W; van Maarseveen, E M; Lumeij, J T; Fink-Gremmels, J

    2013-02-01

    Paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may be beneficial in the treatment of behavioural disorders in pet birds. The lack of pharmacokinetic data and clinical trials currently limits the use of this drug in clinical avian practice. This paper evaluates the pharmacokinetic properties and potential side effects of single and repeated dosing of paroxetine in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Paroxetine pharmacokinetics were studied after single i.v. and single oral dosing, and after repeated oral administration during 1 month. Plasma paroxetine concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. No undesirable side effects were observed during the study. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a quick distribution and rapid elimination after i.v. administration. Oral administration of paroxetine HCl dissolved in water resulted in a relatively slow absorption (T(max)=5.9±2.6 h) and a low bioavailability (31±15%). Repeated administration resulted in higher rate of absorption, most likely due to a saturation of the cytochrome P450-mediated first-pass metabolism. This study shows that oral administration of paroxetine HCl (4 mg/kg twice daily) in parrots results in plasma concentrations within the therapeutic range recommended for the treatment of depressions in humans. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of this dosage regimen in parrots with behavioural disorders.

  4. Can grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) succeed on a "complex" foraging task failed by nonhuman primates (Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii, Sapajus apella) but solved by wrasse fish (Labroides dimidiatus)?

    PubMed

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Hartsfield, Leigh Ann

    2014-08-01

    Linking specific cognitive abilities of nonhuman species on a laboratory task to their evolutionary history-ecological niche can be a fruitful exercise in comparative psychology. Crucial issues, however, are the choice of task, the specific conditions of the task, and possibly the subjects' understanding or interpretation of the task. Salwiczek et al. (2012) compared cleaner wrasse fish (Labroides dimidaitus) to several nonhuman primate species (capuchins, Sapajus paella; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes; orangutans, Pongo abelii) on a task purportedly related to the ecological demands of the fish, but not necessarily of the nonhuman primates; fish succeeded whereas almost all of the nonhuman primates that were tested failed. We replicated the two-choice paradigm of the task with three Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), whose ecology, evolutionary history, and cortical capacity are arguably more like those of nonhuman primates than fish. Greys succeeded at levels more like fish than all the nonhuman primates, suggesting possible alternative explanations for their success. Fish and nonhuman primate subjects also experienced a reversal of the initial conditions to test for generalization: Greys were similarly tested; they performed more like fish and capuchins (who now succeeded) than the apes (who continued to fail).

  5. Unrewarded Object Combinations in Captive Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Auersperg, Alice Marie Isabel; Oswald, Natalie; Domanegg, Markus; Gajdon, Gyula Koppany; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    In primates, complex object combinations during play are often regarded as precursors of functional behavior. Here we investigate combinatory behaviors during unrewarded object manipulation in seven parrot species, including kea, African grey parrots and Goffin cockatoos, three species previously used as model species for technical problem solving. We further examine a habitually tool using species, the black palm cockatoo. Moreover, we incorporate three neotropical species, the yellow- and the black-billed Amazon and the burrowing parakeet. Paralleling previous studies on primates and corvids, free object-object combinations and complex object-substrate combinations such as inserting objects into tubes/holes or stacking rings onto poles prevailed in the species previously linked to advanced physical cognition and tool use. In addition, free object-object combinations were intrinsically structured in Goffin cockatoos and in kea. PMID:25984564

  6. Avihepadnavirus diversity in parrots is comparable to that found amongst all other avian species.

    PubMed

    Piasecki, Tomasz; Harkins, Gordon W; Chrząstek, Klaudia; Julian, Laurel; Martin, Darren P; Varsani, Arvind

    2013-04-10

    Avihepadnaviruses have previously been isolated from various species of duck, goose, stork, heron and crane. Recently the first parrot avihepadnavirus was isolated from a Ring-necked Parakeet in Poland. In this study, 41 psittacine liver samples archived in Poland over the last nine years were tested for presence of Parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV). We cloned and sequenced PHBV isolates from 18 birds including a Crimson Rosella, an African grey parrot and sixteen Ring-necked Parakeets. PHBV isolates display a degree of diversity (>78% genome wide pairwise identity) that is comparable to that found amongst all other avihepadnaviruses (>79% genome wide pairwise identity). The PHBV viruses can be subdivided into seven genetically distinct groups (tentatively named A-G) of which the two isolated of PHBV-G are the most divergent sharing ∼79% genome wide pairwise identity with all their PHBVs. All PHBV isolates display classical avihepadnavirus genome architecture.

  7. [Representation of the nerves of the wing of psittacines (Amazon, gray parrot} using a digital photographic technique].

    PubMed

    Hummel, G; Wenisch, S; Hörter-Schmidt, U

    2000-08-01

    In four blue-fronted Amazon and five African grey parrots, the nerves innervating the muscles of the wings were carefully dissected and described. The preparation steps were recorded with a digital camera. This technique has now advanced so far that the image quality is almost the same as that of a normal camera. The pictures are stored in a computer. They can be enhanced and published via the Internet.

  8. Parrot Math.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Thomas C.

    1999-01-01

    Parrot math (memorization) seeks to control children through external rewards and punishments, rather than harness their intelligence and curiosity. Recent standardized test results document parrot math's failure. Activities-based approaches, supported by a constructivist philosophy (involving classifying, inferring, generalizing, and…

  9. Depression: the 'invisible grey fog' influencing the midlife health of African Canadian women.

    PubMed

    Etowa, Josephine; Keddy, Barbara; Egbeyemi, Julius; Eghan, Felicia

    2007-06-01

    Depression is a topic that is often avoided in discussions among Black women for a myriad of reasons. The purpose of this study was to investigate the midlife health of Black women living in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. This paper will present one of the key findings of this research; midlife depression. It will examine the factors associated with depression among mid-life African Canadian women and how these women deal with depression. A triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods guided by the principles of participatory action research (PAR) was used in the study. Data collection methods included 50 in-depth interviews of mid-life African Canadian women aged 40-65, focus groups, and workshops as well as the CES-D structured instrument. Purposive sampling method was the primary recruitment strategy and 113 people participated in the study. Although the women rarely openly discussed depression, they described depression as emotional feelings that range from "feeling blue" to being clinically depressed. Women viewed midlife depression as the consequence of a complex set of circumstances and stressors that they face. At midlife, Black women frequently recognize the importance of greater self-care and the need to pay more attention to their health, but they are reluctant to do so because they have to be "strong" in order to deal with their daily experiences of racism. Racism, among other things, leads to accumulated stress and undermines Black women's ability to cope and make healthy life choices. This signifies the implications of these research findings for clinical practice.

  10. Grey analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cable, G.D.

    1996-12-01

    Grey logic is not another name for fuzzy logic. Grey logic--also called grey analysis or grey system theory--is a new technology, a group of techniques for system analysis and modeling. Like fuzzy logic, grey logic is useful in situations with incomplete and uncertain information. Grey analysis is particularly applicable in instances with very limited data and in cases with little system knowledge or understanding. In this paper, a summary of the basic concepts of grey analysis is provided, with descriptions of its application to several classes of problems. Calculations methods are provided for grey relation analysis, and for modeling and prediction using grey methods.

  11. How parrots talk: insights based on CT scans, image processing, and mathematical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, Dianne K.; Pepperberg, Irene M.; Story, Brad H.; Hoffman, Eric A.

    1997-05-01

    Little is known about mechanisms of speech production in parrots. Recently, however, techniques for correlating vocal tract shape with vowel production in humans have become more sophisticated and we have adapted these techniques for use with parrots. We scanned two grey parrot heads with intact vocal tracts. One specimen, 'Oldbird' was fixed with its beak propped open; the second 'Youngbird' was fixed with its beak closed. Using VIDA software, we (1) established that differences in tongue and larynx positioning resulted from opening or closing the beak; and (2) obtained lengths and area functions for the trachea, glottis, pharynx, mouth, and choana for both specimens and esophageal length and area functions for the first specimen. We entered lengths and area functions into a 1D wave propagation model to determine the natural formant frequencies associated with an open versus closed beak. We also determined how manipulating lengths and area functions could affect formant frequency and relative intensity. Finally, by comparing observed grey parrot vowel formant, we predict how the parrot uses its vocal tract to produce speech.

  12. Vocal communication of wild parrots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradbury, Jack

    2001-05-01

    Field studies of four sympatric parrot species in Costa Rica are revealing several possible functions for the well-known ability of parrots to mimic new sounds throughout life. Despite earlier suggestions that this might facilitate exchanges of environmental information, all data so far suggest that vocal mimicry in the wild is associated with mediation of the fission/fusion of groups of parrots and/or of conflicts between mated pairs. Recent results using array recording and interactive playback will be summarized, and several technical problems created by the mechanisms of parrot vocal signal production discussed. [Research supported by NSF Grant IBN-022927 and by continued encouragement and logistics provided by the staff of the Area Conservacion Guanacaste (Costa Rica).

  13. Carotenoid pigments and the selectivity of psittacofulvin-based coloration systems in parrots.

    PubMed

    McGraw, K J; Nogare, M C

    2004-07-01

    Carotenoid pigments are commonly used as colorants of feathers and bare parts by birds. However, parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes) use a novel class of plumage pigments (called psittacofulvins) that, like carotenoids, are lipid-soluble and red, orange, or yellow in color. To begin to understand how and why parrots use these pigments and not carotenoids in their feathers, we must first describe the distribution of these two types of pigments in the diet, tissues, and fluids of these birds. Here, we studied the carotenoid content of blood in five species of parrots with red in their plumage to see if they show the physiological ability to accumulate carotenoids in the body. Although Scarlet (Ara macao) and Greenwing Macaws (Ara chloroptera) and Eclectus (Eclectus roratus), African Gray (Psittacus erithacus) and Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) Parrots all use psittacofulvins to color their feathers red, we found that they also circulated high concentrations of both dietary (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (anhydrolutein, dehydrolutein) carotenoids through blood at the time of feather growth, at levels comparable to those found in many other carotenoid-colored birds. These results suggest that parrots have the potential to use carotenoids for plumage pigmentation, but preferentially avoid depositing them in feathers, which is likely under the control of the maturing feather follicle. As there is no evidence of psittacofulvins in parrot blood at the tune of feather growth, we presume that these pigments are locally synthesized by growing feathers within the follicular tissue.

  14. Reproductive management of captive parrots.

    PubMed

    Millam, J R

    1999-01-01

    Studies of the behavior of Amazon parrots throughout a reproductive trial indicate that activities such as food gathering, which may occupy large fractions of the activity budget of wild parrots, occupy little time in captivity. This may be one factor contributing to the large percentage of time during which Amazon parrots are generally inactive in typical captive conditions. The extent of inactivity in captive Amazons creates an open time niche wherein enrichment devices might play a role in improving their well being. Studies of the reproductive endocrinology and the behavior of parrots suggest that hand rearing may impair adult fertility and nest box use. Hand rearing may also cause adult Cockatiels to lay eggs on cage floors rather than in nest boxes. However, the use of nest boxes with oversized nest entrances can be very effective in alleviating chronic floor laying in Cockatiels. Another egg-laying problem in Cockatiels, unwanted egg laying, can be prevented by the use of long-acting formulations of the superactive GnRH agonist, leuprolide acetate, which presumably [figure: see text] acts in birds, as in mammals, by down-regulating pituitary GnRH receptors. Manipulations to limit the increases in prolactin normally seen during incubation in poultry can significantly increase egg production. As clutch size in Cockatiels may also be limited by rising prolactin levels, such manipulations may be effective in stimulating egg production in parrots. An alternative approach for increasing flock egg production is to place foster eggs in nests of Cockatiel pairs that are slow to lay. This technique stimulates males to increase their nest-oriented behavior and, subsequently, may stimulate egg laying in some females that might not otherwise have laid eggs. The parental phases of reproduction in Amazon parrots are often a time of heightened aggressiveness towards humans, but low levels of serum testosterone in males during that time suggest that this particular

  15. Nest poaching in Neotropical parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, T.F.; Toft, C.A.; Enkerlin-Hoeflich, E.; Gonzalez-Elizondo, J.; Albornoz, M.; Rodriguez-Ferraro, A.; Rojas-Suarez, F.; Sanz, V.; Trujillo, A.; Beissinger, S.R.; Berovides A., V.; Galvez A., X.; Brice, A.T.; Joyner, K.; Eberhard, J.; Gilardi, J.; Koenig, S.E.; Stoleson, S.; Martuscelli, P.; Meyers, J.M.; Renton, K.; Rodriguez, A.M.; Sosa-Asanza, A.C.; Vilella, F.J.; Wiley, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    Although the poaching of nestlings for the pet trade is thought to contribute to the decline of many species of parrots, its effects have been poorly demonstrated. We calculated rates of mortality due to nest poaching in 23 studies of Neotropical parrots, representing 4024 nesting attempts in 21 species and 14 countries. We also examined how poaching rates vary with geographic region, presence of active protection programs, conservation status and economic value of a species, and passage of the U.S. Wild Bird Conservation Act. The average poaching rate across all studies was 30% of all nests observed. Thirteen studies reported poaching rates of >20%, and four reported rates of >70%. Only six studies documented no nest poaching. Of these, four were conducted on islands in the Caribbean region, which had significantly lower poaching rates than the mainland Neotropics. The other two studies that showed no poaching were conducted on the two species with the lowest economic value in our sample (U.S. retail price). In four studies that allowed direct comparison between poaching at sites with active nest protection versus that at unprotected sites, poaching rates were significantly lower at protected sites, suggesting that active protection efforts can be effective in reducing nest poaching. In those studies conducted both before and after the passage of the U.S. Wild Bird Conservation Act, poaching rates were found to be significantly lower following its enactment than in the period before. This result supports the hypothesis that the legal and illegal parrot trades are positively related, rather than inversely related as has been suggested by avicultural interests. Overall, our study indicates that poaching of parrot nestlings for economic gain is a widespread and biologically significant source of nest mortality in Neotropical parrots.

  16. Avian papillomaviruses: the parrot Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus (PePV) genome has a unique organization of the early protein region and is phylogenetically related to the chaffinch papillomavirus

    PubMed Central

    Tachezy, Ruth; Rector, Annabel; Havelkova, Marta; Wollants, Elke; Fiten, Pierre; Opdenakker, Ghislain; Jenson, A Bennett; Sundberg, John P; Van Ranst, Marc

    2002-01-01

    Background An avian papillomavirus genome has been cloned from a cutaneous exophytic papilloma from an African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). The nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic position of the Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus (PePV) were determined. This PePV sequence represents the first complete avian papillomavirus genome defined. Results The PePV genome (7304 basepairs) differs from other papillomaviruses, in that it has a unique organization of the early protein region lacking classical E6 and E7 open reading frames. Phylogenetic comparison of the PePV sequence with partial E1 and L1 sequences of the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) papillomavirus (FPV) reveals that these two avian papillomaviruses form a monophyletic cluster with a common branch that originates near the unresolved center of the papillomavirus evolutionary tree. Conclusions The PePV genome has a unique layout of the early protein region which represents a novel prototypic genomic organization for avian papillomaviruses. The close relationship between PePV and FPV, and between their Psittaciformes and Passeriformes hosts, supports the hypothesis that papillomaviruses have co-evolved and speciated together with their host species throughout evolution. PMID:12110158

  17. Parrots Eat Nutritious Foods despite Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Gilardi, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Generalist herbivores are challenged not only by the low nitrogen and high indigestibility of their plant foods, but also by physical and chemical defenses of plants. This study investigated the foods of wild parrots in the Peruvian Amazon and asked whether these foods contain dietary components that are limiting for generalist herbivores (protein, lipids, minerals) and in what quantity; whether parrots chose foods based on nutrient content; and whether parrots avoid plants that are chemically defended. Methodology/Principal Findings We made 224 field observations of free-ranging parrots of 17 species in 8 genera foraging on 102 species of trees in an undisturbed tropical rainforest, in two dry seasons (July-August 1992–1993) and one wet season (January-February1994). We performed laboratory analyses of parts of plants eaten and not eaten by parrots and brine shrimp assays of toxicity as a proxy for vertebrates. Parrots ate seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves, bark, and insect larvae, but up to 70% of their diet comprised seeds of many species of tropical trees, in various stages of ripeness. Plant parts eaten by parrots were rich in protein, lipid, and essential minerals, as well as potentially toxic chemicals. Seeds were higher than other plant materials in protein and lipid and lower in fiber. Large macaws of three species ate foods higher in protein and lipids and lower in fiber compared to plant parts available but not eaten. Macaws ate foods that were lower in phenolic compounds than foods they avoided. Nevertheless, foods eaten by macaws contained measurable levels of toxicity. Macaws did not appear to make dietary selections based on mineral content. Conclusions/Significance Parrots represent a remarkable example of a generalist herbivore that consumes seeds destructively despite plant chemical defenses. With the ability to eat toxic foods, rainforest-dwelling parrots exploited a diversity of nutritious foods, even in the dry season when food was

  18. 35. GREY IRON TUMBLERS, IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY ROTATE ...

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

    35. GREY IRON TUMBLERS, IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY ROTATE CASTINGS WITH SHOT TO REMOVE AND SURFACE OXIDES AND REMAINING EXCESS METALS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  19. Core and Shell Song Systems Unique to the Parrot Brain.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Walløe, Solveig; Nedergaard, Signe; Fridel, Emma E; Dabelsteen, Torben; Pakkenberg, Bente; Bertelsen, Mads F; Dorrestein, Gerry M; Brauth, Steven E; Durand, Sarah E; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-01-01

    The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences in the vocal systems of parrots relative to other vocal learners, we used specialized constitutive gene expression, singing-driven gene expression, and neural connectivity tracing experiments to further characterize the song system of budgerigars and/or other parrots. We found that the parrot brain uniquely contains a song system within a song system. The parrot "core" song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the "shell" song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living species at a basal divergence with all other parrots, implying that parrots evolved vocal learning systems at least 29 million years ago. Relative size differences in the core and shell regions occur among species, which we suggest could be related to species differences in vocal and cognitive abilities.

  20. Geographical variation of St. Lucia Parrot flight vocalizations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kleeman, Patrick M.; Gilardi, James D.

    2005-01-01

    Parrots are vocal learners and many species of parrots are capable of learning new calls, even as adults. This capability gives parrots the potential to develop communication systems that can vary dramatically over space. St. Lucia Parrot (Amazona versicolor) flight vocalizations were examined for geographic variation between four different sites on the island of St. Lucia. Spectrographic cross-correlation analysis of a commonly used flight vocalization, the p-chow call, demonstrated quantitative differences between sites. Additionally, the similarity of p-chows decreased as the distance between sites increased. Flight call repertoires also differed among sites; parrots at the Des Bottes and Quilesse sites each used one flight call unique to those sites, while parrots at the Barre de L'Isle site used a flight call that Quilesse parrots gave only while perched. It is unclear whether the vocal variation changed clinally with distance, or whether there were discrete dialect boundaries as in a congener, the Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata, Wright 1996). The geographical scale over which the St. Lucia Parrot's vocal variation occurred was dramatically smaller than that of the Yellow-naped Parrot. Similar patterns of fine-scale vocal variation may be more widespread among other parrot species in the Caribbean than previously documented.

  1. Core and Shell Song Systems Unique to the Parrot Brain

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Walløe, Solveig; Nedergaard, Signe; Fridel, Emma E.; Dabelsteen, Torben; Pakkenberg, Bente; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Brauth, Steven E.; Durand, Sarah E.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences in the vocal systems of parrots relative to other vocal learners, we used specialized constitutive gene expression, singing-driven gene expression, and neural connectivity tracing experiments to further characterize the song system of budgerigars and/or other parrots. We found that the parrot brain uniquely contains a song system within a song system. The parrot “core” song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the “shell” song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living species at a basal divergence with all other parrots, implying that parrots evolved vocal learning systems at least 29 million years ago. Relative size differences in the core and shell regions occur among species, which we suggest could be related to species differences in vocal and cognitive abilities. PMID:26107173

  2. Hematology of the Red-capped parrot (Pionopsitta pileata) and Vinaceous Amazon parrot (Amazona vinacea) in captivity.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Elizabeth Moreira dos Santos; Lange, Rogério Ribas; Ribas, Janaciara Moreira; Daciuk, Bárbara Maria; Montiani-Ferreira, Fabiano; Paulillo, Antonio Carlos

    2009-03-01

    Preliminary reference intervals for hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for nine adult Red-capped parrots (Pionopsitta pileata) (six males and three females) and six Vinaceous Amazon parrots (Amazona vinacea) (two adult males, two adult females, one juvenile, and one nonsexed) from the Curitiba Zoo, Paraná, Brazil. For both Red-capped parrots and Vinaceous Amazon parrots, adult males had higher red blood cell counts than adult females. Regarding white blood cell distribution, differences due to gender were also found for both species of parrots.

  3. DNA Barcoding Identifies Illegal Parrot Trade.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Priscila F M; Oliveira-Marques, Adriana R; Matsumoto, Tania E; Miyaki, Cristina Y

    2015-01-01

    Illegal trade threatens the survival of many wild species, and molecular forensics can shed light on various questions raised during the investigation of cases of illegal trade. Among these questions is the identity of the species involved. Here we report a case of a man who was caught in a Brazilian airport trying to travel with 58 avian eggs. He claimed they were quail eggs, but authorities suspected they were from parrots. The embryos never hatched and it was not possible to identify them based on morphology. As 29% of parrot species are endangered, the identity of the species involved was important to establish a stronger criminal case. Thus, we identified the embryos' species based on the analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene [COI] and 16S ribosomal DNA). Embryonic COI sequences were compared with those deposited in BOLD (The Barcode of Life Data System) while their 16S sequences were compared with GenBank sequences. Clustering analysis based on neighbor-joining was also performed using parrot COI and 16S sequences deposited in BOLD and GenBank. The results, based on both genes, indicated that 57 embryos were parrots (Alipiopsitta xanthops, Ara ararauna, and the [Amazona aestiva/A. ochrocephala] complex), and 1 was an owl. This kind of data can help criminal investigations and to design species-specific anti-poaching strategies, and demonstrate how DNA sequence analysis in the identification of bird species is a powerful conservation tool.

  4. DNA Barcoding Identifies Illegal Parrot Trade.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Priscila F M; Oliveira-Marques, Adriana R; Matsumoto, Tania E; Miyaki, Cristina Y

    2015-01-01

    Illegal trade threatens the survival of many wild species, and molecular forensics can shed light on various questions raised during the investigation of cases of illegal trade. Among these questions is the identity of the species involved. Here we report a case of a man who was caught in a Brazilian airport trying to travel with 58 avian eggs. He claimed they were quail eggs, but authorities suspected they were from parrots. The embryos never hatched and it was not possible to identify them based on morphology. As 29% of parrot species are endangered, the identity of the species involved was important to establish a stronger criminal case. Thus, we identified the embryos' species based on the analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene [COI] and 16S ribosomal DNA). Embryonic COI sequences were compared with those deposited in BOLD (The Barcode of Life Data System) while their 16S sequences were compared with GenBank sequences. Clustering analysis based on neighbor-joining was also performed using parrot COI and 16S sequences deposited in BOLD and GenBank. The results, based on both genes, indicated that 57 embryos were parrots (Alipiopsitta xanthops, Ara ararauna, and the [Amazona aestiva/A. ochrocephala] complex), and 1 was an owl. This kind of data can help criminal investigations and to design species-specific anti-poaching strategies, and demonstrate how DNA sequence analysis in the identification of bird species is a powerful conservation tool. PMID:26245790

  5. Behavior of Puerto Rican parrots during failed nesting attempts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, K.A.; Wilson, M.H.; Field, R.

    1997-01-01

    We compared patterns of nesting behavior of four pairs of Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) that experienced failed nesting attempts to behavior of four pairs of parrots that experienced no substantial nest problems and successfully fledged young without management intervention. Only changes in female parrots' behavior were clearly associated with nest failure. During incubation, decreases in nest attendance, increases in duration of recesses, and increases in frequency of nest entries by female parrots were associated with imminent abandonment of nests. During early chick rearing, similar behavior was associated with the loss of broods. Low nest attendance and long recesses by female parrots during incubation were also associated with successful hatching of eggs followed by death of young several days later. The behavior patterns and changes in Puerto Rican Parrot nesting behavior described in this paper may alert biologists to nest problems that might be mitigated by management intervention.

  6. Granulomatous encephalomyelitis and intestinal ganglionitis in a spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona albifrons) infected with Mycobacterium genavense.

    PubMed

    Gomez, G; Saggese, M D; Weeks, B R; Hoppes, S M; Porter, B F

    2011-01-01

    An approximately 30-year-old male spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona albifrons) was presented with a 2-week history of ataxia, head shaking, weight loss and seizures. Gross findings on necropsy examination included atrophy of the musculature, ruffled feathers and minimal epicardial and abdominal fat. Microscopically, there were perivascular cuffs of macrophages with fewer lymphocytes in the grey and white matter of the brain and spinal cord. These lesions were accompanied by gliosis and mild vacuolation of the white matter. In the small intestine, up to 70% of the intestinal ganglia were effaced by infiltrates of macrophages and fewer lymphocytes. The intestinal lamina propria contained multiple inflammatory aggregates of a similar nature. Ziehl-Neelsen staining revealed the presence of numerous bacilli within the cytoplasm of macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS) and enteric ganglia. Amplification of the DNAJ gene confirmed a mycobacterial infection and subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a species-specific primer confirmed the aetiology as Mycobacterium genavense. Infection of the CNS with Mycobacterium spp. is uncommon and has not been previously reported in a parrot. This case is unusual in that the organism exhibited tropism for neural tissue.

  7. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine

    PubMed Central

    Tella, José L.; Dénes, Francisco V.; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P.; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  8. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-08-22

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved.

  9. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  10. The evolutionary diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-oceanic dispersal events and local radiations.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Manuel; Seehausen, Ole; Güntert, Marcel; Hertwig, Stefan T

    2010-03-01

    Vicariance is thought to have played a major role in the evolution of modern parrots. However, as the relationships especially of the African taxa remained mostly unresolved, it has been difficult to draw firm conclusions about the roles of dispersal and vicariance. Our analyses using the broadest taxon sampling of old world parrots ever based on 3219bp of three nuclear genes revealed well-resolved and congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. Agapornis of Africa and Madagascar was found to be the sister group to Loriculus of Australasia and Indo-Malayasia and together they clustered with the Australasian Loriinae, Cyclopsittacini and Melopsittacus. Poicephalus and Psittacus from mainland Africa formed the sister group of the Neotropical Arini and Coracopsis from Madagascar and adjacent islands may be the closest relative of Psittrichas from New Guinea. These biogeographic relationships are best explained by independent colonization of the African continent via trans-oceanic dispersal from Australasia and Antarctica in the Paleogene following what may have been vicariance events in the late Cretaceous and/or early Paleogene. Our data support a taxon pulse model for the diversification of parrots whereby trans-oceanic dispersal played a more important role than previously thought and was the prerequisite for range expansion into new continents.

  11. Gestural communication in a new world parrot.

    PubMed

    Moura, Leiliany N; Silva, Maria L; Garotti, Marilice M F; Rodrigues, Angélica L F; Santos, Adrine C; Ribeiro, Ivete F

    2014-06-01

    Male birds can use visual signals to provide information about their sexual status, via bright coloration, sophisticated sexual displays and elaborate tail and head crests. The majority of forest bird species use vocal communication as their main strategy to show their physiological status during breeding season. It is also used to keep contact between individuals in the same group, in agonistic contexts, and by chicks begging for food. We registered, for the very first time, gestural communication acting in the context of biparental care for the Orange-winged Amazon, Amazona amazonica. This parrot presents at least nine different sounds uttered in contexts of alarm, agonistic, foraging, contact flight and others. This finding suggests that despite being a vocal species, this parrot can perform gestural communication related to parental care. The gestures exhibited by this species represent a strategy for survival, a clever way to protect the nest, reducing the risk of attracting the attention of predators.

  12. Laterality enhances cognition in Australian parrots.

    PubMed

    Magat, Maria; Brown, Culum

    2009-12-01

    Cerebral lateralization refers to the division of information processing in either hemisphere of the brain and is a ubiquitous trait among vertebrates and invertebrates. Given its widespread occurrence, it is likely that cerebral lateralization confers a fitness advantage. It has been hypothesized that this advantage takes the form of enhanced cognitive function, potentially via a dual processing mechanism whereby each hemisphere can be used to process specific types of information without contralateral interference. Here, we examined the influence of lateralization on problem solving by Australian parrots. The first task, a pebble-seed discrimination test, was designed for small parrot species that feed predominately on small seeds, which do not require any significant manipulation with the foot prior to ingestion. The second task, a string-pull problem, was designed for larger bodied species that regularly use their feet to manipulate food objects. In both cases, strongly lateralized individuals (those showing significant foot and eye biases) outperformed less strongly lateralized individuals, and this relationship was substantially stronger in the more demanding task. These results suggest that cerebral lateralization is a ubiquitous trait among Australian parrots and conveys a significant foraging advantage. Our results provide strong support for the enhanced cognitive function hypothesis.

  13. Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation.

    PubMed

    Burtt, Edward H; Schroeder, Max R; Smith, Lauren A; Sroka, Jenna E; McGraw, Kevin J

    2011-04-23

    The brilliant red, orange and yellow colours of parrot feathers are the product of psittacofulvins, which are synthetic pigments known only from parrots. Recent evidence suggests that some pigments in bird feathers function not just as colour generators, but also preserve plumage integrity by increasing the resistance of feather keratin to bacterial degradation. We exposed a variety of colourful parrot feathers to feather-degrading Bacillus licheniformis and found that feathers with red psittacofulvins degraded at about the same rate as those with melanin and more slowly than white feathers, which lack pigments. Blue feathers, in which colour is based on the microstructural arrangement of keratin, air and melanin granules, and green feathers, which combine structural blue with yellow psittacofulvins, degraded at a rate similar to that of red and black feathers. These differences in resistance to bacterial degradation of differently coloured feathers suggest that colour patterns within the Psittaciformes may have evolved to resist bacterial degradation, in addition to their role in communication and camouflage.

  14. Genetic variability in three Amazon parrot species.

    PubMed

    Lopes, I F; Del Lama, M A; Del Lama, S N

    2007-12-01

    Parrots of the genus Amazona are among the most threatened species of the Order Pscittaciformes. This work describes allozyme polymorphisms in three Amazon parrot species--the Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva), the Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica), and the Festive Amazon (Amazona festiva) -, and provides useful data for the evaluation of their genetic variability. We electrophoretically analyzed blood samples from 68 wild-caught individuals, maintained in captivity in three Brazilian zoos. Eight of the ten studied enzyme loci exhibited polymorphism. Glucosephosphate isomerase (Gpi) proved to be a diagnostic locus for the identification of these Amazon species. The expected average heterozygosity of the Blue-fronted Amazon (0.060) differed significantly from the expected heterozygosities of the Orange-winged Amazon and the Festive Amazon (0.040 and 0.039, respectively). This result was discussed as a consequence of hybridization between two geographic A. aestiva subspecies, and alternatively as a particular trait of this species. Genetic variability of the Blue-fronted Amazon compared to birds in general is not low on a species-wide level, despite the fact that this parrot is one of the most illegally traded species. Allozyme analysis proved to be an useful tool in monitoring the genetic variation within the genus Amazona and can be applied in the management program of other threatened species of this genus.

  15. Cholangiocarcinoma in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona estiva).

    PubMed

    Elangbam, C S; Panciera, R J

    1988-01-01

    A case of cholangiocarcinoma in a 3-year-old blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona estiva) is reported. Neoplastic tissue was limited to the liver, where it infiltrated and replaced much of the hepatic parenchyma. The only other reported cases of cholangiocarcinoma in an Amazon parrot (Amazona xanthops) also occurred in a bird in its fourth year of age.

  16. Lipid Panel Reference Intervals for Amazon Parrots (Amazona species).

    PubMed

    Ravich, Michelle; Cray, Carolyn; Hess, Laurie; Arheart, Kristopher L

    2014-09-01

    The lipoprotein panel is a useful diagnostic tool that allows clinicians to evaluate blood lipoprotein fractions. It is a standard diagnostic test in human medicine but is poorly understood in avian medicine. Amazon parrots (Amazona species) are popular pets that frequently lead a sedentary lifestyle and are customarily fed high-fat diets. Similar to people with comparable diets and lifestyles, Amazon parrots are prone to obesity and atherosclerosis. In human medicine, these conditions are typically correlated with abnormalities in the lipoprotein panel. To establish reference intervals for the lipoprotein panel in Amazon parrots, plasma samples from 31 captive Amazon parrots were analyzed for concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). The data were also grouped according to sex, diet, body condition score, and age. Aside from HDL levels, which were significantly different between male and female parrots, no intergroup differences were found for any of the lipoprotein fractions.

  17. Ribavirin Inhibits Parrot Bornavirus 4 Replication in Cell Culture

    PubMed Central

    Musser, Jeffrey M. B.; Heatley, J. Jill; Koinis, Anastasia V.; Suchodolski, Paulette F.; Guo, Jianhua; Escandon, Paulina; Tizard, Ian R.

    2015-01-01

    Parrot bornavirus 4 is an etiological agent of proventricular dilatation disease, a fatal neurologic and gastrointestinal disease of psittacines and other birds. We tested the ability of ribavirin, an antiviral nucleoside analog with antiviral activity against a range of RNA and DNA viruses, to inhibit parrot bornavirus 4 replication in duck embryonic fibroblast cells. Two analytical methods that evaluate different products of viral replication, indirect immunocytochemistry for viral specific nucleoprotein and qRT-PCR for viral specific phosphoprotein gene mRNA, were used. Ribavirin at concentrations between 2.5 and 25 μg/mL inhibited parrot bornavirus 4 replication, decreasing viral mRNA and viral protein load, in infected duck embryonic fibroblast cells. The addition of guanosine diminished the antiviral activity of ribavirin suggesting that one possible mechanism of action against parrot bornavirus 4 may likely be through inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibition. This study demonstrates parrot bornavirus 4 susceptibility to ribavirin in cell culture. PMID:26222794

  18. Ribavirin Inhibits Parrot Bornavirus 4 Replication in Cell Culture.

    PubMed

    Musser, Jeffrey M B; Heatley, J Jill; Koinis, Anastasia V; Suchodolski, Paulette F; Guo, Jianhua; Escandon, Paulina; Tizard, Ian R

    2015-01-01

    Parrot bornavirus 4 is an etiological agent of proventricular dilatation disease, a fatal neurologic and gastrointestinal disease of psittacines and other birds. We tested the ability of ribavirin, an antiviral nucleoside analog with antiviral activity against a range of RNA and DNA viruses, to inhibit parrot bornavirus 4 replication in duck embryonic fibroblast cells. Two analytical methods that evaluate different products of viral replication, indirect immunocytochemistry for viral specific nucleoprotein and qRT-PCR for viral specific phosphoprotein gene mRNA, were used. Ribavirin at concentrations between 2.5 and 25 μg/mL inhibited parrot bornavirus 4 replication, decreasing viral mRNA and viral protein load, in infected duck embryonic fibroblast cells. The addition of guanosine diminished the antiviral activity of ribavirin suggesting that one possible mechanism of action against parrot bornavirus 4 may likely be through inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibition. This study demonstrates parrot bornavirus 4 susceptibility to ribavirin in cell culture.

  19. Grey swan tropical cyclones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ning; Emanuel, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    We define `grey swan’ tropical cyclones as high-impact storms that would not be predicted based on history but may be foreseeable using physical knowledge together with historical data. Here we apply a climatological-hydrodynamic method to estimate grey swan tropical cyclone storm surge threat for three highly vulnerable coastal regions. We identify a potentially large risk in the Persian Gulf, where tropical cyclones have never been recorded, and larger-than-expected threats in Cairns, Australia, and Tampa, Florida. Grey swan tropical cyclones striking Tampa, Cairns and Dubai can generate storm surges of about 6 m, 5.7 m and 4 m, respectively, with estimated annual exceedance probabilities of about 1/10,000. With climate change, these probabilities can increase significantly over the twenty-first century (to 1/3,100-1/1,100 in the middle and 1/2,500-1/700 towards the end of the century for Tampa). Worse grey swan tropical cyclones, inducing surges exceeding 11 m in Tampa and 7 m in Dubai, are also revealed with non-negligible probabilities, especially towards the end of the century.

  20. Grey water biodegradability.

    PubMed

    Ghunmi, Lina Abu; Zeeman, Grietje; Fayyad, Manar; van Lier, Jules B

    2011-02-01

    Knowing the biodegradability characteristics of grey water constituents is imperative for a proper design and operation of a biological treatment system of grey water. This study characterizes the different COD fractions of dormitory grey water and investigates the effect of applying different conditions in the biodegradation test. The maximum aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability and conversion rate for the different COD fractions is determined. The results show that, on average, dormitory grey water COD fractions are 28% suspended, 32% colloidal and 40% dissolved. The studied factors incubation time, inoculum addition and temperature are influencing the determined biodegradability. The maximum biodegradability and biodegradation rate differ between different COD fractions, viz. COD(ss), COD(col) and COD(diss). The dissolved COD fraction is characterised by the lowest degradation rate, both for anaerobic and aerobic conditions. The maximum biodegradability for aerobic and anaerobic conditions is 86 and 70% respectively, whereas the first order conversion rate constant, k₂₀, is 0.119 and 0.005 day⁻¹, respectively. The anaerobic and aerobic conversion rates in relation to temperature can be described by the Arrhenius relation, with temperature coefficients of 1.069 and 1.099, respectively.

  1. The allometry of parrot BMR: seasonal data for the Greater Vasa Parrot, Coracopsis vasa, from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, Barry G; Perrin, Mike R; Brown, Mark

    2011-12-01

    In this study we examined the allometry of basal metabolic rate (BMR) of 31 parrot species. Unlike previous reports, we show that parrots per se do not display BMRs that are any different to other captive-raised birds of their body size. An ordinary least squares regression fitted the data best and body mass explained 95% of the variation in BMR. There was no phylogenetic signal in the BMR data. We also provide new data for the Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa) of Madagascar. We tested the hypotheses that C. vasa may, because of its insular existence, display conservative energetic traits (low BMR, use of adaptive heterothermy) similar to those observed in several Malagasy mammals. However, this was not the case. C. vasa had a higher BMR than other parrots, especially during summer, when BMR was up-regulated by 50.5% and was 95.7% higher than predicted from an ordinary least squares (OLS) allometry of parrots (BMR = 0.042M (b) (0.649) , BMR in Watts, M (b) in grammes). Compared with BMR data for 94 captive-raised bird species, the winter and summer BMRs were, respectively, 45.5 and 117.8% higher than predicted by a phylogenetic generalised least squares (PGLS) allometry (BMR = 0.030M (b) (0.687) , BMR in Watts, M (b) in grammes). The summer up-regulation of BMR is the highest recorded for a bird of any size to date. We suggest that the costs of a high summer BMR may be met by the unusual cooperative breeding system of C. vasa in which groups of males feed the female and share paternity. The potential breeding benefits of a high summer BMR are unknown.

  2. Testing for salmonella spp. In released parrots, wild parrots, and domestic fowl in lowland peru.

    PubMed

    Butron, Oscar; Brightsmith, Donald J

    2010-07-01

    Wild animal populations face threats from pathogens from both intentionally released captive animals and domestic animals that accompany human settlements. From December 2004 through August 2005, we studied free living macaws and parrots in the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon and semicaptive domestic fowl in human settlements adjacent to the reserve. In 1992-1993, large macaws (Aras spp.) that were serologically positive for Salmonella Pullorum were released into this reserve, which hosts dense populations of free-living parrots and macaws. We collected cloacal swabs from 64 birds and cultured for Salmonella spp. via standard laboratory methods. All 35 psittacines tested were culture negative for Salmonella spp., while 31% of 29 domestic fowl were culture positive. Our findings suggest that the domestic fowl that accompany human settlement in this region carry and shed Salmonella spp. that could threaten wild bird populations in and around the reserve.

  3. Parrots as key multilinkers in ecosystem structure and functioning.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Rojas, Abraham; Dénes, Francisco V; Tella, José L

    2015-09-01

    Mutually enhancing organisms can become reciprocal determinants of their distribution, abundance, and demography and thus influence ecosystem structure and dynamics. In addition to the prevailing view of parrots (Psittaciformes) as plant antagonists, we assessed whether they can act as plant mutualists in the dry tropical forest of the Bolivian inter-Andean valleys, an ecosystem particularly poor in vertebrate frugivores other than parrots (nine species). We hypothesised that if interactions between parrots and their food plants evolved as primarily or facultatively mutualistic, selection should have acted to maximize the strength of their interactions by increasing the amount and variety of resources and services involved in particular pairwise and community-wide interaction contexts. Food plants showed different growth habits across a wide phylogenetic spectrum, implying that parrots behave as super-generalists exploiting resources differing in phenology, type, biomass, and rewards from a high diversity of plants (113 species from 38 families). Through their feeding activities, parrots provided multiple services acting as genetic linkers, seed facilitators for secondary dispersers, and plant protectors, and therefore can be considered key mutualists with a pervasive impact on plant assemblages. The number of complementary and redundant mutualistic functions provided by parrots to each plant species was positively related to the number of different kinds of food extracted from them. These mutually enhancing interactions were reflected in species-level properties (e.g., biomass or dominance) of both partners, as a likely consequence of the temporal convergence of eco-(co)evolutionary dynamics shaping the ongoing structure and organization of the ecosystem. A full assessment of the, thus far largely overlooked, parrot-plant mutualisms and other ecological linkages could change the current perception of the role of parrots in the structure, organization, and

  4. Parrots as key multilinkers in ecosystem structure and functioning.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Rojas, Abraham; Dénes, Francisco V; Tella, José L

    2015-09-01

    Mutually enhancing organisms can become reciprocal determinants of their distribution, abundance, and demography and thus influence ecosystem structure and dynamics. In addition to the prevailing view of parrots (Psittaciformes) as plant antagonists, we assessed whether they can act as plant mutualists in the dry tropical forest of the Bolivian inter-Andean valleys, an ecosystem particularly poor in vertebrate frugivores other than parrots (nine species). We hypothesised that if interactions between parrots and their food plants evolved as primarily or facultatively mutualistic, selection should have acted to maximize the strength of their interactions by increasing the amount and variety of resources and services involved in particular pairwise and community-wide interaction contexts. Food plants showed different growth habits across a wide phylogenetic spectrum, implying that parrots behave as super-generalists exploiting resources differing in phenology, type, biomass, and rewards from a high diversity of plants (113 species from 38 families). Through their feeding activities, parrots provided multiple services acting as genetic linkers, seed facilitators for secondary dispersers, and plant protectors, and therefore can be considered key mutualists with a pervasive impact on plant assemblages. The number of complementary and redundant mutualistic functions provided by parrots to each plant species was positively related to the number of different kinds of food extracted from them. These mutually enhancing interactions were reflected in species-level properties (e.g., biomass or dominance) of both partners, as a likely consequence of the temporal convergence of eco-(co)evolutionary dynamics shaping the ongoing structure and organization of the ecosystem. A full assessment of the, thus far largely overlooked, parrot-plant mutualisms and other ecological linkages could change the current perception of the role of parrots in the structure, organization, and

  5. Home range and movements of juvenile Puerto Rican parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindsey, G.D.; Arendt, W.J.; Kalina, J.; Pendleton, G.W.

    1991-01-01

    We studied home range and movements of 15 radio-marked, juvenile Puerto Rican parrots (Amazona vittata) fledging from wild nests during summer and fall, 1985-87. When juvenile parrots remained in the nest valley, home ranges during 1986 (.hivin.x = 32 .+-. 10 [SE] ha, n = 4) were larger (P = 0.0079) than during 1987 (.hivin.x = 13 .+-. 6 ha, n = 5). After radio-marked parrots integrated into adult flocks, home ranges during 1986 (.hivin.x = 1,075 .+-. 135 ha, n = 3) were similar (P = 0.10) to 1987 (.hivin.x = 416 .+-. 62 ha, n = 2). Juvenile parrots restricted their movements to nest valleys an average of 58 .+-. 29 days following fledging. After joining adult flocks, juvenile parrots routinely flew between the east and west slopes of the Luquillo Mountains but did not exhibit a seaonal pattern of movement. We recommend that captive-raised, juvenile parrots used in release programs be .gtoreq. 5 months old to ensure they are mature enough to integrate into wild flocks.

  6. Successful nesting behavior of Puerto Rican parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, K.A.; Field, R.; Wilson, M.H.

    1995-01-01

    We analyzed nesting behavior of five pairs of the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) during eight successful nesting attempts. Each stage of the nesting cycle (egg laying, incubation, early chick rearing, and late chick rearing) was characterized by distinct trends or levels of behavior. During egg laying, female attentiveness to tile nest increased, and male attentiveness decreased. Throughout incubation and the first several days of early chick rearing, females were highly attentive to their nests, whereas males rarely entered the nest cavities. Female attentiveness then began to decline. Male attentiveness to the nest was sporadic until chicks were 10-12 days old. when all males began to enter their nests at least once each day. During late chick rearing, both male and female attentiveness were erratic and highly variable. Biologists may be able to use these results to identify nest problems and the need for management intervention when patterns of nest attentiveness deviate from the limits described in this study..

  7. The genome sequence of parrot bornavirus 5.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jianhua; Tizard, Ian

    2015-12-01

    Although several new avian bornaviruses have recently been described, information on their evolution, virulence, and sequence are often limited. Here we report the complete genome sequence of parrot bornavirus 5 (PaBV-5) isolated from a case of proventricular dilatation disease in a Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus). The complete genome consists of 8842 nucleotides with distinct 5' and 3' end sequences. This virus shares nucleotide sequence identities of 69-74 % with other bornaviruses in the genomic regions excluding the 5' and 3' terminal sequences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the genomic regions demonstrated this new isolate is an isolated branch within the clade that includes the aquatic bird bornaviruses and the passerine bornaviruses. Based on phylogenetic analyses and its low nucleotide sequence identities with other bornavirus, we support the proposal that PaBV-5 be assigned to a new bornavirus species:- Psittaciform 2 bornavirus.

  8. The genome sequence of parrot bornavirus 5.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jianhua; Tizard, Ian

    2015-12-01

    Although several new avian bornaviruses have recently been described, information on their evolution, virulence, and sequence are often limited. Here we report the complete genome sequence of parrot bornavirus 5 (PaBV-5) isolated from a case of proventricular dilatation disease in a Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus). The complete genome consists of 8842 nucleotides with distinct 5' and 3' end sequences. This virus shares nucleotide sequence identities of 69-74 % with other bornaviruses in the genomic regions excluding the 5' and 3' terminal sequences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the genomic regions demonstrated this new isolate is an isolated branch within the clade that includes the aquatic bird bornaviruses and the passerine bornaviruses. Based on phylogenetic analyses and its low nucleotide sequence identities with other bornavirus, we support the proposal that PaBV-5 be assigned to a new bornavirus species:- Psittaciform 2 bornavirus. PMID:26403158

  9. Distribution of unique red feather pigments in parrots

    PubMed Central

    McGraw, Kevin J; Nogare, Mary C

    2005-01-01

    In many birds, red, orange and yellow feathers are coloured by carotenoid pigments, but parrots are an exception. For over a century, biochemists have known that parrots use an unusual set of pigments to produce their rainbow of plumage colours, but their biochemical identity has remained elusive until recently. Here, we use high-performance liquid chromatography to survey the pigments present in the red feathers of 44 species of parrots representing each of the three psittaciform families. We found that all species used the same suite of five polyenal lipochromes (or psittacofulvins) to colour their plumage red, indicating that this unique system of pigmentation is remarkably conserved evolutionarily in parrots. Species with redder feathers had higher concentrations of psittacofulvins in their plumage, but neither feather colouration nor historical relatedness predicted the ratios in which the different pigments appeared. These polyenes were absent from blood at the time when birds were replacing their colourful feathers, suggesting that parrots do not acquire red plumage pigments from the diet, but instead manufacture them endogenously at growing feathers. PMID:17148123

  10. Ecology and evolution of the enigmatic eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus).

    PubMed

    Heinsohn, Robert

    2008-06-01

    Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) exhibit a form of reversed sexual dichromatism (plumage coloration) not found in other birds. The females are a striking vermilion and blue, whereas the males are shiny green. Here, I summarize the major findings of a 10-year research program conducted on a wild population of eclectus parrots on Cape York Peninsula, Australia, aimed primarily at understanding the ecologic and evolutionary forces behind their unique coloration. Unlike most other parrots, eclectus parrots breed polyandrously (where multiple males mate with 1 female) and polygynandrously (where both sexes have multiple sexual partners). Their mating system appears to be driven by a shortage of nest hollows. Females with good nest sites are rare, and this forces males to share females. The red plumage of females acts as a signal of nest hollow ownership, whereas the green of males allows them to be camouflaged while foraging to feed the females and chicks. Eclectus parrots can also control the sex of their offspring, although the reasons for this are not yet clear.

  11. Seasonal thermoregulation in the burrowing parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus).

    PubMed

    Zungu, Manqoba M; Brown, Mark; Downs, Colleen T

    2013-01-01

    Birds exposed to seasonal environments are faced with the problem of maintaining thermogenic homoeostasis. Previous studies have established that birds native to the Holarctic increase their Resting Metabolic Rate at different ambient temperatures (RMRTa) and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) in winter as an adaptation to cold temperature since winters are more severe, while their non-Holarctic counterparts generally decrease their winter BMR as an energy saving mechanism during unproductive and dry winter months. In this study, we examined seasonal thermoregulation in the burrowing parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus), a colonial psittacine native to the Patagonian region of Argentina, a region with an unpredictable environment. We found significantly higher mass specific RMRTa and BMR in summer than in winter. Both summer and winter BMR of the species fell within the predicted 95% confident interval for a parrot of its size. Body mass was significantly higher in winter than in summer. The burrowing parrot had broad thermo-neutral zones in winter and summer. The circadian rhythm of core body temperature (Tb) of burrowing parrots was not affected by season, showing that this species regulated its Tb irrespective of season. These results suggest that the burrowing parrots' seasonal thermoregulatory responses represent that of energy conservation which is important in an unpredictable environment.

  12. Vertical transmission of learned signatures in a wild parrot

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Karl S.; Delgado, Soraya; Cortopassi, Kathryn A.; Beissinger, Steven R.; Bradbury, Jack W.

    2012-01-01

    Learned birdsong is a widely used animal model for understanding the acquisition of human speech. Male songbirds often learn songs from adult males during sensitive periods early in life, and sing to attract mates and defend territories. In presumably all of the 350+ parrot species, individuals of both sexes commonly learn vocal signals throughout life to satisfy a wide variety of social functions. Despite intriguing parallels with humans, there have been no experimental studies demonstrating learned vocal production in wild parrots. We studied contact call learning in video-rigged nests of a well-known marked population of green-rumped parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) in Venezuela. Both sexes of naive nestlings developed individually unique contact calls in the nest, and we demonstrate experimentally that signature attributes are learned from both primary care-givers. This represents the first experimental evidence for the mechanisms underlying the transmission of a socially acquired trait in a wild parrot population. PMID:21752824

  13. A colored leg banding technique for Amazona parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyers, J.M.

    1995-01-01

    A technique for individual identification of Amazona was developed using plastic leg bands. Bands were made from 5- and 7-mm-wide strips of laminated PVC coiled 2.5 times with an inside diameter 4-5 mm gt the maximum diameter of the parrot's leg. Seventeen parrots were captured in Puerto Rico, marked with individual plastic leg bands, and observed for 204-658 d with only one lost or damaged plastic band. Plastic leg bands did not cause injury to or calluses on parrots' legs. The plastic material used for making leg bands was available in 18 colors in 1994, which would allow unique marking of 306 individuals using one plastic leg band on each leg.

  14. Vertical transmission of learned signatures in a wild parrot.

    PubMed

    Berg, Karl S; Delgado, Soraya; Cortopassi, Kathryn A; Beissinger, Steven R; Bradbury, Jack W

    2012-02-01

    Learned birdsong is a widely used animal model for understanding the acquisition of human speech. Male songbirds often learn songs from adult males during sensitive periods early in life, and sing to attract mates and defend territories. In presumably all of the 350+ parrot species, individuals of both sexes commonly learn vocal signals throughout life to satisfy a wide variety of social functions. Despite intriguing parallels with humans, there have been no experimental studies demonstrating learned vocal production in wild parrots. We studied contact call learning in video-rigged nests of a well-known marked population of green-rumped parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) in Venezuela. Both sexes of naive nestlings developed individually unique contact calls in the nest, and we demonstrate experimentally that signature attributes are learned from both primary care-givers. This represents the first experimental evidence for the mechanisms underlying the transmission of a socially acquired trait in a wild parrot population.

  15. Osteoma in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    Cardoso, João Felipe Rito; Levy, Marcelo Guilherme Bezerra; Liparisi, Flavia; Romão, Mario Antonio Pinto

    2013-09-01

    Osteoma is an uncommon bone formation documented in avian species and other animals. A blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) with clinical respiratory symptoms was examined because of a hard mass present on the left nostril. Radiographs suggested a bone tumor, and the mass was surgically excised. Histopathologic examination revealed features of an osteoma. To our knowledge, this is the first description of an osteoma in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot. Osteoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis in birds with respiratory distress and swelling of the nostril.

  16. Survival and causes of mortality in juvenile Puerto Rican parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindsey, G.D.; Arendt, W.J.; Kalina, J.

    1994-01-01

    Fifteen juvenile Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) from wild nests in 1985, 1986 and 1987 were radio monitored an average of 110 +- 15.9 (SE) d (range 4-209 d) post-fledgling. Minimum survival was 67% (n = 3) in 1985, 100% (n = 4) in 1986 and 43% (n = 7) in 1987. Most mortality (three of five deaths) occurred during the first 35 d following fledgling. A major cause of mortality was predation by raptors. This research shows that additional studies are needed to define mortality causes to juvenile and adult free-flying Puerto Rican Parrots and to develop management guidelines to increase survival.

  17. Cerebral lateralization determines hand preferences in Australian parrots.

    PubMed

    Brown, Culum; Magat, Maria

    2011-08-23

    Individual preference for the use of one limb over the other to explore the environment or manipulate objects is common trait among vertebrates. Here, we explore the hypothesis that limb preference is determined by the engagement of a particular cerebral hemisphere to analyse certain stimuli. We recorded the eye and foot preferences of 322 individuals from 16 species of Australian parrots while investigating potential food items. Across all species, eye preferences explained 99 per cent of the variation in foot use in Australian parrots. The vast majority of species showed significant relationships between eye and foot preferences at the population level.

  18. Seroprevalence and genotype of Chlamydia in pet parrots in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, N-Z; Zhang, X-X; Zhou, D-H; Huang, S-Y; Tian, W-P; Yang, Y-C; Zhao, Q; Zhu, X-Q

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds in China, and can harbour Chlamydia which has significance for human and animal health. We investigated, by indirect haemagglutination assay, the seroprevalence of Chlamydia infection in four species of parrots, namely budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) that were collected from Weifang and Beijing cities, North China and explored the association between potential risk factors and chlamydial seropositivity. We further determined the genotype of Chlamydia in 21 fresh faecal samples based on the ompA sequence by reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 311 parrots examined, 35·37% (95% confidence interval 30·06-40·68) were seropositive, and species, gender, age, season and geographical location were identified as risk factors. Two PCR-positive samples represented Chlamydia psittaci genotype A. The occurrence of C. psittaci genotype A in the droppings of two pet parrots in China suggests potential environmental contamination with Chlamydiaceae and may raise a public health concern. PMID:24588856

  19. Seroprevalence and genotype of Chlamydia in pet parrots in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, N-Z; Zhang, X-X; Zhou, D-H; Huang, S-Y; Tian, W-P; Yang, Y-C; Zhao, Q; Zhu, X-Q

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds in China, and can harbour Chlamydia which has significance for human and animal health. We investigated, by indirect haemagglutination assay, the seroprevalence of Chlamydia infection in four species of parrots, namely budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) that were collected from Weifang and Beijing cities, North China and explored the association between potential risk factors and chlamydial seropositivity. We further determined the genotype of Chlamydia in 21 fresh faecal samples based on the ompA sequence by reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 311 parrots examined, 35·37% (95% confidence interval 30·06-40·68) were seropositive, and species, gender, age, season and geographical location were identified as risk factors. Two PCR-positive samples represented Chlamydia psittaci genotype A. The occurrence of C. psittaci genotype A in the droppings of two pet parrots in China suggests potential environmental contamination with Chlamydiaceae and may raise a public health concern.

  20. Vision, touch and object manipulation in Senegal parrots Poicephalus senegalus.

    PubMed

    Demery, Zoe P; Chappell, Jackie; Martin, Graham R

    2011-12-22

    Parrots are exceptional among birds for their high levels of exploratory behaviour and manipulatory abilities. It has been argued that foraging method is the prime determinant of a bird's visual field configuration. However, here we argue that the topography of visual fields in parrots is related to their playful dexterity, unique anatomy and particularly the tactile information that is gained through their bill tip organ during object manipulation. We measured the visual fields of Senegal parrots Poicephalus senegalus using the ophthalmoscopic reflex technique and also report some preliminary observations on the bill tip organ in this species. We found that the visual fields of Senegal parrots are unlike those described hitherto in any other bird species, with both a relatively broad frontal binocular field and a near comprehensive field of view around the head. The behavioural implications are discussed and we consider how extractive foraging and object exploration, mediated in part by tactile cues from the bill, has led to the absence of visual coverage of the region below the bill in favour of more comprehensive visual coverage above the head.

  1. 101. Historic American Buildings Survey BALUSTER SCREEN WITH PARROT FINIALS, ...

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

    101. Historic American Buildings Survey BALUSTER SCREEN WITH PARROT FINIALS, COVERED WAY TO SECRETARY'S COTTAGE PHOTOCOPY OF PLATE FROM IRVIN L. SCOTT, 'MARALAGO', THE AMERICAN ARCHITECT (JUNE 20, 1928), P. 811 - Mar-a-Lago, 1100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, FL

  2. Psittacid herpesviruses associated with mucosal papillomas in neotropical parrots.

    PubMed

    Styles, Darrel K; Tomaszewski, Elizabeth K; Jaeger, Laurie A; Phalen, David N

    2004-07-20

    Mucosal papillomas are relatively common lesions in several species of captive neotropical parrots. They cause considerable morbidity and in some cases, result in mortality. Previous efforts to identify papillomavirus DNA and proteins in these lesions have been largely unsuccessful. In contrast, increasing evidence suggests that mucosal papillomas may contain psittacid herpesviruses (PsHVs). In this study, 41 papillomas from 30 neotropical parrots were examined by PCR with PsHV-specific primers. All 41 papillomas were found to contain PsHV DNA. This 100% prevalence of PsHV infection in the papilloma population was found to be significantly higher than PsHV infection prevalence observed in other surveys of captive parrots. PsHV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, but not 4 were found in these lesions. Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus DNA and finch papillomavirus DNA were not found in the papillomas. A papilloma from a hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) was found to contain cells that had immunoreactivity to antiserum made to the common antigenic region of human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 major capsid protein. However, four other mucosal papillomas were negative for this immunoreactivity, and negative control tissues from a parrot embryo showed a similar staining pattern to that seen in the cloaca papilloma of the hyacinth macaw, strongly suggesting that the staining seen in hyacinth macaw papilloma was nonspecific. Based on these findings, it was concluded that specific genotypes of PsHV play a direct role in the development of mucosal papillomas of neotropical parrots and there is no evidence to suggest the concurrent presence of a papillomavirus in these lesions.

  3. Retinal ganglion cell topography and spatial resolution of two parrot species: budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrot (Neopsephotus bourkii).

    PubMed

    Mitkus, Mindaugas; Chaib, Sandra; Lind, Olle; Kelber, Almut

    2014-05-01

    Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) isodensity maps indicate important regions in an animal's visual field. These maps can also be combined with measures of focal length to estimate the theoretical visual acuity. Here we present the RGC isodensity maps and anatomical spatial resolving power in three budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and two Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii). Because RGCs were stacked in several layers, we modified the Nissl staining procedure to assess the cell number in the whole-mounted and cross-sectioned tissue of the same retinal specimen. The retinal topography showed surprising variation; however, both parrot species had an area centralis without discernable fovea. Budgerigars also had a putative area nasalis never reported in birds before. The peak RGC density was 22,300-34,200 cells/mm(2) in budgerigars and 18,100-38,000 cells/mm(2) in Bourke's parrots. The maximum visual acuity based on RGCs and focal length was 6.9 cyc/deg in budgerigars and 9.2 cyc/deg in Bourke's parrots. These results are lower than earlier behavioural estimates. Our findings illustrate that retinal topography is not a very fixed trait and that theoretical visual acuity estimations based on RGC density can be lower than the behavioural performance of the bird. PMID:24677162

  4. Retinal ganglion cell topography and spatial resolution of two parrot species: budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrot (Neopsephotus bourkii).

    PubMed

    Mitkus, Mindaugas; Chaib, Sandra; Lind, Olle; Kelber, Almut

    2014-05-01

    Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) isodensity maps indicate important regions in an animal's visual field. These maps can also be combined with measures of focal length to estimate the theoretical visual acuity. Here we present the RGC isodensity maps and anatomical spatial resolving power in three budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and two Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii). Because RGCs were stacked in several layers, we modified the Nissl staining procedure to assess the cell number in the whole-mounted and cross-sectioned tissue of the same retinal specimen. The retinal topography showed surprising variation; however, both parrot species had an area centralis without discernable fovea. Budgerigars also had a putative area nasalis never reported in birds before. The peak RGC density was 22,300-34,200 cells/mm(2) in budgerigars and 18,100-38,000 cells/mm(2) in Bourke's parrots. The maximum visual acuity based on RGCs and focal length was 6.9 cyc/deg in budgerigars and 9.2 cyc/deg in Bourke's parrots. These results are lower than earlier behavioural estimates. Our findings illustrate that retinal topography is not a very fixed trait and that theoretical visual acuity estimations based on RGC density can be lower than the behavioural performance of the bird.

  5. Rearrangement and evolution of mitochondrial genomes in parrots.

    PubMed

    Eberhard, Jessica R; Wright, Timothy F

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genome rearrangements that result in control region duplication have been described for a variety of birds, but the mechanisms leading to their appearance and maintenance remain unclear, and their effect on sequence evolution has not been explored. A recent survey of mitochondrial genomes in the Psittaciformes (parrots) found that control region duplications have arisen independently at least six times across the order. We analyzed complete mitochondrial genome sequences from 20 parrot species, including representatives of each lineage with control region duplications, to document the gene order changes and to examine effects of genome rearrangements on patterns of sequence evolution. The gene order previously reported for Amazona parrots was found for four of the six independently derived genome rearrangements, and a previously undescribed gene order was found in Prioniturus luconensis, representing a fifth clade with rearranged genomes; the gene order resulting from the remaining rearrangement event could not be confirmed. In all rearranged genomes, two copies of the control region are present and are very similar at the sequence level, while duplicates of the other genes involved in the rearrangement show signs of degeneration or have been lost altogether. We compared rates of sequence evolution in genomes with and without control region duplications and did not find a consistent acceleration or deceleration associated with the duplications. This could be due to the fact that most of the genome rearrangement events in parrots are ancient, and additionally, to an effect of body size on evolutionary rate that we found for mitochondrial but not nuclear sequences. Base composition analyses found that relative to other birds, parrots have unusually strong compositional asymmetry (AT- and GC-skew) in their coding sequences, especially at fourfold degenerate sites. Furthermore, we found higher AT skew in species with control region duplications. One

  6. Experimental diet-induced atherosclerosis in Quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, H; Nevarez, J G; Wakamatsu, N; Clubb, S; Cray, C; Tully, T N

    2013-11-01

    Spontaneous atherosclerosis is common in psittaciformes, and clinical signs associated with flow-limiting stenosis are encountered in pet birds. Nevertheless, a psittacine model of atherosclerosis has not been developed for research investigations. Sixteen captive-bred Quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) were used in this study. While 4 control birds were fed a maintenance diet, 12 other birds were fed an atherogenic diet composed of 1% cholesterol controlling for a calorie-to-protein ratio for periods ranging from 2 to 8 months. The birds were euthanized at the end of their respective food trial period. Histopathology, transmission electron microscopy, and cholesterol measurement were performed on the ascending aorta and brachiocephalic and pulmonary arteries. Plasma lipoproteins, cholesterol, and triglycerides were also measured on a monthly basis. Significant atherosclerotic lesions were induced within 2 months and advanced atherosclerotic lesions within 4 to 6 months. The advanced lesions were histologically similar to naturally occurring lesions identified in the same parrot species with a lipid core and a fibrous cap. Ultrastructurally, there were extracellular lipid, foam cell, and endothelial changes. Arterial cholesterol content increased linearly over time. Plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) significantly increased over time by an average of 5- and 15-fold, respectively, with a shift from high-density lipoprotein to LDL as the main plasma lipoprotein. Quaker parrots also exhibited high plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein activity that increased, although not significantly, over time. This experiment demonstrates that in Quaker parrots fed 1% cholesterol, advanced atherosclerosis can be induced relatively quickly, and lesions resemble those found in other avian models and humans.

  7. Evaluation of a novel feather scoring system for monitoring feather damaging behaviour in parrots.

    PubMed

    van Zeeland, Yvonne R A; Bergers, Madeleine J; van der Valk, Lisette; Schoemaker, Nico J; Lumeij, Johannes T

    2013-05-01

    Feather damaging behaviour is common in captive psittacine birds and there is a need for reliable methods to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic and preventive interventions. This study compared the inter- and intra-observer reliabilities of a novel feather scoring system with an existing system to assess the plumage of grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Regions of the body were photographed separately at 1 week intervals and shown at random to 35 examiners (avian veterinarians and veterinary students), who used the two scoring systems to assess plumage. Since the quality of the photographs was insufficient to allow accurate assessment of the individual flight and tail feathers, the novel scoring system was only evaluated for its reliability regarding covert and down feathers. Inter- and intra-observer reliabilities were determined using the intra-class correlation coefficient. Bland-Altman analysis was performed to determine absolute reliabilities for both systems. Correlation coefficients were 0.90 and 0.95 for intra-observer reliability and 0.83 and 0.89 for inter-observer reliability for the existing and novel feather scoring systems, respectively. When using the novel system, a change in plumage condition of ≥10% was needed to ensure that the change reflected a real difference in 95% of cases, while a change of ≥15% was needed for the existing system. Since it may take from 4 weeks (covert or down feathers) to over 1 year (flight or tail feathers) for feathers to regrow, sufficient time should be allowed to elapse between two scoring sessions to reliably evaluate the efficacy of preventive or therapeutic interventions for feather damaging behaviour.

  8. Vocal-tract filtering by lingual articulation in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Nelson, Brian S; Suthers, Roderick A

    2004-09-01

    Human speech and bird vocalization are complex communicative behaviors with notable similarities in development and underlying mechanisms. However, there is an important difference between humans and birds in the way vocal complexity is generally produced. Human speech originates from independent modulatory actions of a sound source, e.g., the vibrating vocal folds, and an acoustic filter, formed by the resonances of the vocal tract (formants). Modulation in bird vocalization, in contrast, is thought to originate predominantly from the sound source, whereas the role of the resonance filter is only subsidiary in emphasizing the complex time-frequency patterns of the source (e.g., but see ). However, it has been suggested that, analogous to human speech production, tongue movements observed in parrot vocalizations modulate formant characteristics independently from the vocal source. As yet, direct evidence of such a causal relationship is lacking. In five Monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus, we replaced the vocal source, the syrinx, with a small speaker that generated a broad-band sound, and we measured the effects of tongue placement on the sound emitted from the beak. The results show that tongue movements cause significant frequency changes in two formants and cause amplitude changes in all four formants present between 0.5 and 10 kHz. We suggest that lingual articulation may thus in part explain the well-known ability of parrots to mimic human speech, and, even more intriguingly, may also underlie a speech-like formant system in natural parrot vocalizations.

  9. Multifragment alleles in DNA fingerprints of the parrot, Amazona ventralis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brock, M.K.; White, B.N.

    1991-01-01

    Human DNA probes that identify variable numbers of tandem repeat loci are being used to generate DNA fingerprints in many animal and plant species. In most species the majority of the sc rable autoradiographic bands of the DNA fingerprint represent alleles from numerous unlinked loci. This study was initiated to use DNA fingerprints to determine the amount of band-sharing among captive Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) with known genetic relationships. This would form the data base to examine DNA fingerprints of the closely related and endangered Puerto Rican parrot (A. vittata) and to estimate the degree of inbreeding in the relic population. We found by segregation analysis of the bands scored in the DNA fingerprints of the Hispaniolan parrots that there may be as few as two to five loci identified by the human 33.15 probe. Furthermore, at one locus we identified seven alleles, one of which is represented by as many as 19 cosegregating bands. It is unknown how common multiband alleles might be in natural populations, and their existence will cause problems in the assessment of relatedness by band-sharing analysis. We believe, therefore, that a pedigree analysis should be included in all DNA fingerprinting studies, where possible, in order to estimate the number of loci identified by a minisatellite DNA probe and to examine the nature of their alleles.

  10. G. F. Parrot and the theory of unconscious inferences.

    PubMed

    Allik, Jüri; Konstabel, Kenn

    2005-01-01

    In 1839, Georg Friedrich Parrot (1767-1852) published a short note about a peculiar visual phenomenon--the diminishing of the size of external objects situated at a relatively small distance from the window of a fast-moving train. For the explanation of this illusion, Parrot proposed a concept of unconscious inferences, a very rapid syllogistic conclusion from two premises, which anticipated the revival of Alhazen's theory of unconscious inferences by Hermann von Helmholtz, Wilhelm Wundt, and John Stuart Mill. He also advanced the notion that the speed of mental processes is not infinitely high and that it can be measured by means of systematic experimentation. Although Parrot was only partly correct in the description of the movement-induced changes of the perceived size, his general intention to understand basic mechanisms of the human mind was in harmony with the founding ideas of experimental psychology: it is possible to study the phenomena of the mind in the same general way that the physical world is studied, either in terms of mechanical or mathematical laws.

  11. Luminance-dependence of spatial vision in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii).

    PubMed

    Lind, Olle; Sunesson, Tony; Mitkus, Mindaugas; Kelber, Almut

    2012-01-01

    Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii) are closely related birds with different activity patterns. Budgerigars are strictly diurnal while Bourke's parrots are active in dim twilight. Earlier studies show that the intensity threshold of colour vision is similar in both species while Bourke's parrots have larger eyes with a higher density of rods than budgerigars. In this study, we investigate whether this could be an adaptation for better spatial vision in dim light. We used two alternative forced-choice experiments to determine the spatial acuity of both species at light intensities ranging from 0.08 to 73 cd/m(2). We also determined the spatial contrast sensitivity function (CSF) for bright light in Bourke's parrots and compare it to existing data for budgerigars. The spatial acuity of Bourke's parrots was found to be similar to that of budgerigars at all light levels. Also the CSF of Bourke's parrots is similar to that of budgerigars with a sensitivity peak located between 2.1 and 2.6 cycles/degree. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that Bourke's parrots have superior spatial acuity in dim light compared to budgerigars and the adaptive value of the relatively rod-rich and large eyes of Bourke's parrots remains unclear. PMID:22001888

  12. Survival of captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots released in the Caribbean National Forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, T.H.; Collazo, J.A.; Vilella, F.J.

    2005-01-01

    We report first-year survival for 34 captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) released in the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico between 2000 and 2002. The purpose of the releases were to increase population size and the potential number of breeding individuals of the sole extant wild population, and to refine release protocols for eventual reintroduction of a second wild population elsewhere on the island. After extensive prerelease training, we released 10 parrots in 2000, 16 parrots in 2001, and eight parrots in 2002 ranging in age from 1-4 years old. All birds were equipped with radio-transmitters to monitor survival. The overall first-year survival estimate for the 34 parrots was 41% (CI = 22%-61%). Only one parrot died within the first week postrelease, with most (94%) surviving for at least eight weeks after release. Most (54%) documented mortalities were due to raptor predation, which claimed 21% of all released parrots. A captive-reared bird (male, age one), released in 2001, paired with a wild female and fledged two young in 2004. We also calculated survival based on 0% and 50% of observed predation losses and found hypothetical survival rates of 72% and 54%, respectively. Rigorous prerelease training and acclimation was believed to have improved initial postrelease parrot survival, and releasing mixed age-class groups suggests the potential for shortening the time to recruitment. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2005.

  13. Analgesic effects of intramuscular administration of meloxicam in Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) with experimentally induced arthritis.

    PubMed

    Cole, Gretchen A; Paul-Murphy, Joanne; Krugner-Higby, Lisa; Klauer, Julia M; Medlin, Scott E; Keuler, Nicholas S; Sladky, Kurt K

    2009-12-01

    OBJECTIVE-To evaluate the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam in parrots with experimentally induced arthritis, with extent of weight bearing and rotational perch walking used as outcome measures. ANIMALS-15 adult Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis). PROCEDURES-Arthritis was experimentally induced via intra-articular injection of microcrystalline sodium urate suspension (MSU) into 1 intertarsal joint. Parrots were treated in a crossover design. Five treatments were compared as follows: meloxicam (4 dosages) at 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg (IM, q 12 h, 3 times) and 0.03 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (IM, q 12 h, 3 times). The first treatment was given 6 hours following MSU administration. Lameness was assessed by use of a biomechanical perch to record weight-bearing load and a rotational perch to determine dexterity. Feces were collected to assay for occult blood. RESULTS-Parrots treated with meloxicam at 1.0 mg/kg had significantly better return to normal (baseline) weight bearing on the arthritic pelvic limb, compared with control parrots or parrots treated with meloxicam at 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/kg. All fecal samples collected from parrots following induction of arthritis and treatment with meloxicam had negative results for occult blood. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE-Meloxicam administered at 1.0 mg/kg, IM, every 12 hours effectively relieved arthritic pain in parrots.

  14. Luminance-dependence of spatial vision in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii).

    PubMed

    Lind, Olle; Sunesson, Tony; Mitkus, Mindaugas; Kelber, Almut

    2012-01-01

    Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii) are closely related birds with different activity patterns. Budgerigars are strictly diurnal while Bourke's parrots are active in dim twilight. Earlier studies show that the intensity threshold of colour vision is similar in both species while Bourke's parrots have larger eyes with a higher density of rods than budgerigars. In this study, we investigate whether this could be an adaptation for better spatial vision in dim light. We used two alternative forced-choice experiments to determine the spatial acuity of both species at light intensities ranging from 0.08 to 73 cd/m(2). We also determined the spatial contrast sensitivity function (CSF) for bright light in Bourke's parrots and compare it to existing data for budgerigars. The spatial acuity of Bourke's parrots was found to be similar to that of budgerigars at all light levels. Also the CSF of Bourke's parrots is similar to that of budgerigars with a sensitivity peak located between 2.1 and 2.6 cycles/degree. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that Bourke's parrots have superior spatial acuity in dim light compared to budgerigars and the adaptive value of the relatively rod-rich and large eyes of Bourke's parrots remains unclear.

  15. Cullen Sign and Grey Turner Sign Revisited.

    PubMed

    Wright, William F

    2016-06-01

    Cullen sign and Grey Turner sign, named after Thomas Stephen Cullen, MB, and George Grey Turner, MBBS, respectively, are signs of abdominal wall hemorrhage and are generally associated with acute pancreatitis. However, the research from which these signs arose was documented long before Cullen and Grey Turner made their contributions. The present article examines the history, pathologic mechanisms, and clinical application of these signs in relation to acute pancreatitis and ectopic pregnancy. PMID:27214777

  16. Exploiting the richest patch has a fitness pay-off for the migratory swift parrot.

    PubMed

    Stojanovic, Dejan; Terauds, Aleks; Westgate, Martin J; Webb, Matthew H; Roshier, David A; Heinsohn, Robert

    2015-09-01

    1. Unlike philopatric migrants, the ecology of nomadic migrants is less well understood. This life-history strategy reflects responses to spatiotemporal variation in resource availability and the need to find resource rich patches to initiate breeding. The fitness consequences of movements between regions of patchily distributed resources can provide insight into ecology of all migrants and their responses to global change. 2. We link broad-scale data on spatiotemporal fluctuation in food availability to data on settlement patterns and fitness outcomes for a nomadic migrant, the endangered swift parrot Lathamus discolor. We test several predictions to determine whether facultative movements are adaptive for individual swift parrots in an environment where resources are patchily distributed over time and space. 3. Variation in the availability of swift parrot food resources across our study period was dramatic. As a consequence, swift parrots moved to breed wherever food was most abundant and did not resettle nesting regions in successive years when food availability declined. By moving, swift parrots exploited a variable food resource and reproduced successfully. 4. Exploiting the richest patches allowed swift parrots to maintain stable fitness outcomes between discrete breeding events at different locations. Unlike sedentary species that often produce few or lower quality offspring when food is scarce, nomadic migration buffered swift parrots against extreme environmental variation. 5. We provide the first detailed evidence that facultative movements and nomadic migration are adaptive for individuals in unpredictable environments. Our data support the widely held assumption that nomadic migration allows animals to escape resource limitation.

  17. Exploiting the richest patch has a fitness pay-off for the migratory swift parrot.

    PubMed

    Stojanovic, Dejan; Terauds, Aleks; Westgate, Martin J; Webb, Matthew H; Roshier, David A; Heinsohn, Robert

    2015-09-01

    1. Unlike philopatric migrants, the ecology of nomadic migrants is less well understood. This life-history strategy reflects responses to spatiotemporal variation in resource availability and the need to find resource rich patches to initiate breeding. The fitness consequences of movements between regions of patchily distributed resources can provide insight into ecology of all migrants and their responses to global change. 2. We link broad-scale data on spatiotemporal fluctuation in food availability to data on settlement patterns and fitness outcomes for a nomadic migrant, the endangered swift parrot Lathamus discolor. We test several predictions to determine whether facultative movements are adaptive for individual swift parrots in an environment where resources are patchily distributed over time and space. 3. Variation in the availability of swift parrot food resources across our study period was dramatic. As a consequence, swift parrots moved to breed wherever food was most abundant and did not resettle nesting regions in successive years when food availability declined. By moving, swift parrots exploited a variable food resource and reproduced successfully. 4. Exploiting the richest patches allowed swift parrots to maintain stable fitness outcomes between discrete breeding events at different locations. Unlike sedentary species that often produce few or lower quality offspring when food is scarce, nomadic migration buffered swift parrots against extreme environmental variation. 5. We provide the first detailed evidence that facultative movements and nomadic migration are adaptive for individuals in unpredictable environments. Our data support the widely held assumption that nomadic migration allows animals to escape resource limitation. PMID:25973857

  18. Survival on the ark: life history trends in captive parrots

    PubMed Central

    Young, Anna M.; Hobson, Elizabeth A.; Lackey, Laurie Bingaman; Wright, Timothy F.

    2011-01-01

    Members of the order Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos) are among the most long-lived and endangered avian species. Comprehensive data on lifespan and breeding are critical to setting conservation priorities, parameterizing population viability models, and managing captive and wild populations. To meet these needs, we analyzed 83, 212 life history records of captive birds from the International Species Information System and calculated lifespan and breeding parameters for 260 species of parrots (71% of extant species). Species varied widely in lifespan, with larger species generally living longer than smaller ones. The highest maximum lifespan recorded was 92 years in Cacatua moluccensis, but only 11 other species had a maximum lifespan over 50 years. Our data indicate that while some captive individuals are capable of reaching extraordinary ages, median lifespans are generally shorter than widely assumed, albeit with some increase seen in birds presently held in zoos. Species that lived longer and bred later in life tended to be more threatened according to IUCN classifications. We documented several individuals of multiple species that were able to breed for more than two decades, but the majority of clades examined had much shorter active reproduction periods. Post-breeding periods were surprisingly long and in many cases surpassed the duration of active breeding. Our results demonstrate the value of the ISIS database to estimate life history data for an at-risk taxon that is difficult to study in the wild, and provide life history data that is crucial for predictive modeling of future species endangerment and proactively managing captive populations of parrots. PMID:22389582

  19. Survival on the ark: life history trends in captive parrots.

    PubMed

    Young, Anna M; Hobson, Elizabeth A; Lackey, Laurie Bingaman; Wright, Timothy F

    2012-02-01

    Members of the order Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos) are among the most long-lived and endangered avian species. Comprehensive data on lifespan and breeding are critical to setting conservation priorities, parameterizing population viability models, and managing captive and wild populations. To meet these needs, we analyzed 83, 212 life history records of captive birds from the International Species Information System and calculated lifespan and breeding parameters for 260 species of parrots (71% of extant species). Species varied widely in lifespan, with larger species generally living longer than smaller ones. The highest maximum lifespan recorded was 92 years in Cacatua moluccensis, but only 11 other species had a maximum lifespan over 50 years. Our data indicate that while some captive individuals are capable of reaching extraordinary ages, median lifespans are generally shorter than widely assumed, albeit with some increase seen in birds presently held in zoos. Species that lived longer and bred later in life tended to be more threatened according to IUCN classifications. We documented several individuals of multiple species that were able to breed for more than two decades, but the majority of clades examined had much shorter active reproduction periods. Post-breeding periods were surprisingly long and in many cases surpassed the duration of active breeding. Our results demonstrate the value of the ISIS database to estimate life history data for an at-risk taxon that is difficult to study in the wild, and provide life history data that is crucial for predictive modeling of future species endangerment and proactively managing captive populations of parrots. PMID:22389582

  20. Status and conservation of parrots and parakeets in the Greater Antilles, Bahama Islands, and Cayman Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    In the 1490s a minimum of 28 species of psittacines occurred in the West Indies. Today, only 43% (12) of the species survive. All macaws and most parakeet species have been lost. Although the surviving parrot fauna of the Greater Antilles, Cayman Islands, and Bahama Islands has fared somewhat better than that of the Lesser Antilles, every species has undergone extensive reductions of populations and all but two have undergone extensive reductions in range, mostly as a result of habitat loss, but also from persecution as agricultural pests, conflicts with exotic species, harvesting for pets, and natural disasters. The Cayman Brac Parrot Amazona leucocephala hesterna with its tiny population (less than 150 individuals in the wild) and range, and the Puerto Rican Parrot A. vittata, with about 22-23 birds in the wild and 56 individuals in captivity, must be considered on the verge of extinction and in need of (in the latter's case, continuing) aggressive programmes of research and management. Other populations declining in numbers and range include the Yellow-billed Amazona collaria, and Black-billed A. agilis Parrots of Jamaica, Hispaniolan Parakeet Aratinga chloroptera, Hispaniolan Parrot Amazona ventralis, Cuban Parrot A. leucocephala leucocephala and, most seriously, Cuban Parakeet Aratinga euops. The population of the Grand Cayman Parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis), although numbering only about 1,000 birds, appears stable and the current conservation programme gives hope for the survival of the race. An active conservation and public education programme has begun for the Bahama Parrot A. l. bahamensis, which still occurs in good numbers on Great Inagua Island, but is threatened on Abaco Island. Recommendations for conservation of parrots and parakeets in the region include (1) instituting long-term programmes of research to determine distribution, status, and ecology of each species; (2) developing conservation programmes through education and management

  1. Cloacolith in a blue-fronted amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Nevarez, Javier; Tully, Thomas N

    2010-06-01

    A 4-year-old blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) was admitted for vocalization secondary to constipation. Saline infusion cloacoscopy revealed the presence of a 2-cm-diameter cloacolith within the coprodeum that was obstructing the rectal opening. The cloacolith was fragmented with a pair of biopsy forceps and the pieces removed. The cloacolith was subsequently analyzed and was composed of 100% uric acid salts. The bird improved completely and was able to defecate normally after the procedure. Cloacoliths are relative uncommon cloacal conditions, and this case documents cloacoscopic findings, rectal obstruction, and confirmation of its uric acid composition by urolith analysis.

  2. Learning generalization in problem solving by a blue-fronted parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    de Mendonça-Furtado, Olívia; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2008-10-01

    Pepperberg (The Alex studies: cognitive and communicative abilities of gray parrots. Harvard University Press, Cambridge;1999) showed that some of the complex cognitive capabilities found in primates are also present in psittacine birds. Through the replication of an experiment performed with cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus oedipus) by Hauser et al. (Anim Behav 57:565-582; 1999), we examined a blue-fronted parrot's (Amazona aestiva) ability to generalize the solution of a particular problem in new but similar cases. Our results show that, at least when it comes to solving this particular problem, our parrot subject exhibited learning generalization capabilities resembling the tamarins'.

  3. Phylogeny and vicariant speciation of the Grey Rhebok, Pelea capreolus.

    PubMed

    Robinson, T J; Cernohorska, H; Diedericks, G; Cabelova, K; Duran, A; Matthee, C A

    2014-03-01

    A South African endemic antelope, the Grey Rhebok (Pelea capreolus), has long been an evolutionary enigma in bovid systematics-its phylogenetic intractability attributed to its curious combination of derived and primitive morphological attributes and the consequences of a rapid radiation. By using a combination of DNA sequences, chromosomal characteristics and quantitative and qualitative morphological features we show that the species is a sister taxon to a clade that comprises the waterbuck, reedbuck and allies. Our finding of few unambiguous synapomorphies reinforces suggestions of a rapid radiation and highlights the effects of incomplete lineage sorting, including the hemiplasic nature of several chromosomal rearrangements. We investigate these data to address the general question of what may have led to Pelea being both genetically and ecologically distinct from the Reduncini. We argue that its adaptation to exposed habitats, free of standing water, arose by vicariance prompted by increasing aridity of the extreme south/southwestern region of the African continent in the Miocene. Ancestral lineages leading to the extant Redunca and Kobus, on the other hand, retreated to water-abundant refugia in the north during these mostly globally cool phases. The mosaic of water-rich environments provided by the Okavango and the drainage systems in the southwestern extension of the East African Rift system are considered to have facilitated speciation and chromosomal evolution within these antelope.

  4. Detection and Heterogeneity of Herpesviruses Causing Pacheco's Disease in Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Tomaszewski, Elizabeth; Wilson, Van G.; Wigle, William L.; Phalen, David N.

    2001-01-01

    Pacheco's disease (PD) is a common, often fatal, disease of parrots. We cloned a virus isolate from a parrot that had characteristic lesions of PD. Three viral clones were partially sequenced, demonstrating that this virus was an alphaherpesvirus most closely related to the gallid herpesvirus 1. Five primer sets were developed from these sequences. The primer sets were used with PCR to screen tissues or tissue culture media suspected to contain viruses from 54 outbreaks of PD. The primer sets amplified DNA from all but one sample. Ten amplification patterns were detected, indicating that PD is caused by a genetically heterogeneous population of viruses. A single genetic variant (psittacid herpesvirus variant 1) amplified with all primer sets and was the most common virus variant (62.7%). A single primer set (23F) amplified DNA from all of the positive samples, suggesting that PCR could be used as a rapid postmortem assay for these viruses. PCR was found to be significantly more sensitive than tissue culture for the detection of psittacid herpesviruses. PMID:11158102

  5. Molecular mapping of brain areas involved in parrot vocal communication.

    PubMed

    Jarvis, E D; Mello, C V

    2000-03-27

    Auditory and vocal regulation of gene expression occurs in separate discrete regions of the songbird brain. Here we demonstrate that regulated gene expression also occurs during vocal communication in a parrot, belonging to an order whose ability to learn vocalizations is thought to have evolved independently of songbirds. Adult male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were stimulated to vocalize with playbacks of conspecific vocalizations (warbles), and their brains were analyzed for expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK. The results showed that there was distinct separation of brain areas that had hearing- or vocalizing-induced ZENK expression. Hearing warbles resulted in ZENK induction in large parts of the caudal medial forebrain and in 1 midbrain region, with a pattern highly reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Vocalizing resulted in ZENK induction in nine brain structures, seven restricted to the lateral and anterior telencephalon, one in the thalamus, and one in the midbrain, with a pattern partially reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Five of the telencephalic structures had been previously described as part of the budgerigar vocal control pathway. However, functional boundaries defined by the gene expression patterns for some of these structures were much larger and different in shape than previously reported anatomical boundaries. Our results provide the first functional demonstration of brain areas involved in vocalizing and auditory processing of conspecific sounds in budgerigars. They also indicate that, whether or not vocal learning evolved independently, some of the gene regulatory mechanisms that accompany learned vocal communication are similar in songbirds and parrots.

  6. CDF software distribution on the Grid using Parrot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Compostella, G.; Pagan Griso, S.; Lucchesi, D.; Sfiligoi, I.; Thain, D.

    2010-04-01

    Large international collaborations that use decentralized computing models are becoming a custom rather than an exception in High Energy Physics. A good computing model for such big collaborations has to deal with the distribution of the experiment-specific software around the world. When the CDF experiment developed its software infrastructure, most computing was done on dedicated clusters. As a result, libraries, configuration files and large executables were deployed over a shared file system. In order to adapt its computing model to the Grid, CDF decided to distribute its software to all European Grid sites using Parrot, a user-level application capable of attaching existing programs to remote I/O systems through the filesystem interface. This choice allows CDF to use just one centralized source of code and a scalable set of caches all around Europe to efficiently distribute its code and requires almost no interaction with the existing Grid middleware or with local system administrators. This system has been in production at CDF in Europe since almost two years. Here, we present CDF implementation of Parrot and some comments on its performances.

  7. Retrobulbar adenocarcinoma in an Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis).

    PubMed

    Watson, Victoria E; Murdock, Jessica H; Cazzini, Paola; Schnellbacher, Rodney; Divers, Stephen J; Sakamoto, Kaori

    2013-03-01

    Retrobulbar neoplasms are not common in mammals and are even more infrequently seen in nonmammalian species. The current report describes a retrobulbar mass creating exophthalmia and neurologic signs in a red-lored Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis). A 27-year-old female parrot presented for a 3-day history of anorexia and a 2-week history of periocular soft tissue swelling and exophthalmia of the right eye. Physical examination revealed 9% dehydration and right eye exophthalmia with inability to retropulse the globe. A fine-needle aspirate was performed, and cytologic evaluation revealed necrotic debris with scattered clusters of epithelial cells, moderate numbers of macrophages, and few heterophils. Given the possibility of neoplasia and paucity of treatment options, the owners elected euthanasia and submitted the body for necropsy. A large, fluctuant, friable, red, retrobulbar mass with multiple areas of hemorrhage, on cut surface, was noted at necropsy. Histologically, the mass was composed of neoplastic, cuboidal to columnar epithelial cells, forming rosette-like glandular structures, admixed with abundant necrotic debris. The neoplastic cells were strongly positive for cytokeratin (AE1/AE3) by immunohistochemistry. Based on histopathology and immunohistochemistry, the mass was diagnosed as an adenocarcinoma.

  8. Pharmacokinetics of nebulized terbinafine in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Emery, Lee C; Cox, Sherry K; Souza, Marcy J

    2012-09-01

    Aspergillosis is one of the most difficult diseases to treat successfully in avian species. Terbinafine hydrochloride offers numerous potential benefits over traditionally used antifungals for treatment of this disease. Adding nebulized antifungals to treatment strategies is thought to improve clinical outcomes in lung diseases. To determine plasma concentrations of terbinafine after nebulization, 6 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots were randomly divided into 2 groups of 3. Each bird was nebulized for 15 minutes with 1 of 2 terbinafine solutions, one made with a crushed tablet and the second with raw drug powder. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at multiple time points up to 720 minutes after completing nebulization. Plasma and nebulization solutions were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The terbinafine concentration of the solution made with a crushed tablet (0.87 +/- 0.05 mg/mL) was significantly lower than was that made with raw powder (1.02 +/- 0.09 mg/mL). Plasma concentrations of terbinafine did not differ significantly between birds in the 2 groups. Plasma terbinafine concentrations in birds were maintained above in vitro minimum inhibitory concentrations for approximately 1 hour in birds nebulized with the crushed tablet solution and 4 hours in birds nebulized with the raw powder solution. Higher concentrations of solution, longer nebulization periods, or more frequent administration are likely needed to reach therapeutic plasma concentrations of terbinafine for clinically relevant periods in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

  9. CDF software distribution on the grid using Parrot

    SciTech Connect

    Compostella, G.; Pagan Griso, S.; Lucchesi, D.; Sfiligoi, I.; Thain, D.; /Notre Dame U.

    2010-01-01

    Large international collaborations that use decentralized computing models are becoming a custom rather than an exception in High Energy Physics. A good computing model for such big collaborations has to deal with the distribution of the experiment-specific software around the world. When the CDF experiment developed its software infrastructure, most computing was done on dedicated clusters. As a result, libraries, configuration files and large executables were deployed over a shared file system. In order to adapt its computing model to the Grid, CDF decided to distribute its software to all European Grid sites using Parrot, a user-level application capable of attaching existing programs to remote I/O systems through the filesystem interface. This choice allows CDF to use just one centralized source of code and a scalable set of caches all around Europe to efficiently distribute its code and requires almost no interaction with the existing Grid middleware or with local system administrators. This system has been in production at CDF in Europe since almost two years. Here, we present CDF implementation of Parrot and some comments on its performances.

  10. A dermoid of the eye in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    Leber, A.C.; Bürge, T.

    1999-01-01

    A corneo-conjunctival dermoid is reported in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva). After laminar keratectomy, histology showed the epidermis with feather follicles and dermal connective tissue with lymph follicles and sebaceous glands.

  11. A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa).

    PubMed

    Lambert, Megan L; Seed, Amanda M; Slocombe, Katie E

    2015-12-01

    Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide new insights into the tool-using capabilities of parrots and highlight the greater vasa parrot as a species of interest for studies of physical cognition.

  12. A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa).

    PubMed

    Lambert, Megan L; Seed, Amanda M; Slocombe, Katie E

    2015-12-01

    Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide new insights into the tool-using capabilities of parrots and highlight the greater vasa parrot as a species of interest for studies of physical cognition. PMID:26673936

  13. Disease transmission from companion parrots to dogs and cats: what is the real risk?

    PubMed

    Bush, Jamie M; Speer, Brian; Opitz, Noel

    2011-11-01

    A number of common misconceptions exist regarding the degree of transmission from companion parrots to dogs and cats. Concern regarding bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic transmission is generally unfounded, because disease transmission between companion parrots and dogs and cats is not well-documented. Infections with Mycobacterium spp, Aspergillus spp, Giardia spp, Chlamydophila psittaci, Salmonella spp, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Cryptosporidium spp, and avian influenza are often considered possible transmissible diseases, causing pet caregivers unwarranted concerns.

  14. The intensity threshold of colour vision in two species of parrot.

    PubMed

    Lind, Olle; Kelber, Almut

    2009-11-01

    We have used behavioural tests to determine the intensity thresholds of colour vision in Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). We have also examined the relationship between these thresholds and the optical sensitivities of single photoreceptors using morphological methods. Bourke's parrots lose colour vision in brighter light (0.4 cd m(-2)) than budgerigars (0.1 cd m(-2)) and both birds lose colour vision in brighter light (;end of civil twilight') than humans (0.02 cd m(-2), ;moonlight'). The optical sensitivities of single cones are similar in both birds (budgerigar 0.27 microm(2) sr, Bourke's parrot 0.25 microm(2) sr) but Bourke's parrots have more (cone to rod ratio, 1.2:1.0), thinner (2.8 microm) and longer rods (18.5 microm) than budgerigars (2.1:1.0, 3.4 microm, 13.3 microm). Bourke's parrots thus have an eye type that, with a flexible pooling mechanism, allows for high resolution or high absolute sensitivity depending on the light conditions. The results nicely agree with the activity patterns of the birds, Bourke's parrots being active during the day and in twilight while budgerigars are not normally active before sunrise and after sunset. However, Bourke's parrots have fewer cones than budgerigars, which implies that a smaller number of cones are pooled within each retinal integration area. That could explain why Bourke's parrots have a higher intensity threshold of colour vision than budgerigars. Furthermore, the study emphasises the need to expand the sensitivity measure so that photoreceptor integration units are used rather than single receptors.

  15. Localized brain activation related to the strength of auditory learning in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Imagawa, Takuya; Matsushita, Masanori; Matsuda, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Hiro-Aki; Satoh, Ryohei; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Manabe, Kazuchika; Kawashima, Takashi; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-01-01

    Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory. PMID:22701714

  16. A Survey for Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Asymptomatic Free-Ranging Parrots.

    PubMed

    Becker Saidenberg, André; Robaldo Guedes, Neiva Maria; Fernandes Seixas, Gláucia Helena; da Costa Allgayer, Mariangela; Pacífico de Assis, Erica; Fabio Silveira, Luis; Anne Melville, Priscilla; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are frequently affected by Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections. The objective of this study was to collect information on the carrier state for E. coli pathotypes in asymptomatic free-ranging parrots. Cloacal swabs were collected from nestlings of Hyacinth, Lear's macaws and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for virulence factors commonly found in enteropathogenic, avian pathogenic, and uropathogenic E. coli strains. In total, 44 samples were cultured and E. coli isolates were yielded, from which DNA was extracted and processed by PCR. Genes commonly found in APEC isolates from Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws were expressed in 14 of these 44 samples. One atypical EPEC isolate was obtained from a sample from Lear's macaw. The most commonly found gene was the increased serum survival (iss) gene. This is the first report, that describes such pathotypes in asymptomatic free-living parrots. The findings of this study suggest the presence of a stable host/parasite relationship at the time of the sampling brings a new understanding to the role that E. coli plays in captive and wild parrots. Such information can be used to improve husbandry protocols as well as help conservation efforts of free-living populations.

  17. A Survey for Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Asymptomatic Free-Ranging Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Becker Saidenberg, André; Robaldo Guedes, Neiva Maria; Fernandes Seixas, Gláucia Helena; da Costa Allgayer, Mariangela; Pacífico de Assis, Erica; Fabio Silveira, Luis; Anne Melville, Priscilla; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are frequently affected by Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections. The objective of this study was to collect information on the carrier state for E. coli pathotypes in asymptomatic free-ranging parrots. Cloacal swabs were collected from nestlings of Hyacinth, Lear's macaws and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for virulence factors commonly found in enteropathogenic, avian pathogenic, and uropathogenic E. coli strains. In total, 44 samples were cultured and E. coli isolates were yielded, from which DNA was extracted and processed by PCR. Genes commonly found in APEC isolates from Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws were expressed in 14 of these 44 samples. One atypical EPEC isolate was obtained from a sample from Lear's macaw. The most commonly found gene was the increased serum survival (iss) gene. This is the first report, that describes such pathotypes in asymptomatic free-living parrots. The findings of this study suggest the presence of a stable host/parasite relationship at the time of the sampling brings a new understanding to the role that E. coli plays in captive and wild parrots. Such information can be used to improve husbandry protocols as well as help conservation efforts of free-living populations. PMID:23738135

  18. Being Attractive Brings Advantages: The Case of Parrot Species in Captivity

    PubMed Central

    Frynta, Daniel; Lišková, Silvie; Bültmann, Sebastian; Burda, Hynek

    2010-01-01

    Background Parrots are one of the most frequently kept and bred bird orders in captivity. This increases poaching and thus the potential importance of captive populations for rescue programmes managed by zoos and related institutions. Both captive breeding and poaching are selective and may be influenced by the attractiveness of particular species to humans. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that the size of zoo populations is not only determined by conservation needs, but also by the perceived beauty of individual parrot species assessed by human observers. Methodology/Principal Findings For the purpose of data collection, we defined four sets of species (40 parrots, 367 parrots, 34 amazons, 17 macaws). Then, we asked 776 human respondents to evaluate parrot pictures of the selected species according to perceived beauty and we analyzed its association with color and morphological characters. Irrespective of the species set, we found a good agreement among the respondents. The preferred species tended to be large, colorful, and long-tailed. Conclusions/Significance We repeatedly confirmed significant, positive association between the perceived beauty and the size of worldwide zoo population. Moreover, the range size and body size appeared to be significant predictors of zoo population size. In contrast, the effects of other explanatory variables, including the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) listing, appeared insignificant. Our results may suggest that zoos preferentially keep beautiful parrots and pay less attention to conservation needs. PMID:20830206

  19. Evolution of craniofacial novelty in parrots through developmental modularity and heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Kiyoshi, Takuya; Armstrong, Kyle N

    2007-01-01

    Parrots (order Psittaciformes) have developed novel cranial morphology. At the same time, they show considerable morphological diversity in the cranial musculoskeletal system, which includes two novel structures: the suborbital arch and the musculus (M.) pseudomasseter. To understand comprehensively the evolutionary pattern and process of novel cranial morphology in parrots, phylogenetic and developmental studies were conducted. Firstly, we undertook phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial ribosomal RNA gene sequences to obtain a robust phylogeny among parrots, and secondly we surveyed the cranial morphology of parrots extensively to add new information on the character states. Character mapping onto molecular phylogenies indicated strongly the repeated evolution of both the suborbital arch and the well-developed M. pseudomasseter within parrots. These results also suggested that the direction of evolutionary change is not always identical in the two characters, implying that these characters are relatively independent or decoupled structures behaving as separate modules. Finally, we compared the developmental pattern of jaw muscles among bird species and found a difference in the timing of M. pseudomasseter differentiation between the cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus (representative of a well-developed condition) and the peach-faced lovebird Agapornis roseicollis (representative of an underdeveloped condition). On the basis of this study, we suggest that in the development of novel traits, modularity and heterochrony facilitate the diversification of parrot cranial morphology.

  20. Health and Reproductive Assessment of Selected Puerto Rican Parrots ( Amazona vittata ) in Captivity.

    PubMed

    Clubb, Susan; Velez, Jafet; Garner, Michael M; Zaias, Julia; Cray, Carolyn

    2015-12-01

    The Puerto Rican parrot ( Amazona vittata ) has become an iconic and high-profile conservation species. The cornerstone of the recovery plan for this critically endangered species is an active captive breeding program, management of the wild population, and a long-term reintroduction program. In 2002, 40 adult Puerto Rican parrots that had not produced viable offspring were selected for reproductive assessment at 2 aviary populations in Puerto Rico (Iguaca and Río Abajo), which are the only sources of parrots for release. The goal was to enhance reproductive potential and produce productive pairings in an attempt to augment the population growth and provide ample individuals for reintroduction. Seven Hispanolian Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) that were used as surrogate parents for the Puerto Rican parrots were also included in the study. This assessment included physical examination, endoscopic evaluation, hematologic and plasma biochemical profiles, viral screening, and hormonal assays. Results of general physical examination and hematologic and plasma biochemical testing revealed overall good health and condition of this subset of the population of Puerto Rican parrots; no major infectious diseases were found. Endoscopic examination also revealed overall good health and condition, especially of females. The apparent low fertility of male birds warrants further investigation. The findings helped to define causes of reproductive failure in the selected pairs and individual birds. New pairings resulting from the assessment helped to augment reproduction of this critically endangered species.

  1. Localized brain activation related to the strength of auditory learning in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Imagawa, Takuya; Matsushita, Masanori; Matsuda, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Hiro-Aki; Satoh, Ryohei; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Manabe, Kazuchika; Kawashima, Takashi; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-01-01

    Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory.

  2. Health and Reproductive Assessment of Selected Puerto Rican Parrots ( Amazona vittata ) in Captivity.

    PubMed

    Clubb, Susan; Velez, Jafet; Garner, Michael M; Zaias, Julia; Cray, Carolyn

    2015-12-01

    The Puerto Rican parrot ( Amazona vittata ) has become an iconic and high-profile conservation species. The cornerstone of the recovery plan for this critically endangered species is an active captive breeding program, management of the wild population, and a long-term reintroduction program. In 2002, 40 adult Puerto Rican parrots that had not produced viable offspring were selected for reproductive assessment at 2 aviary populations in Puerto Rico (Iguaca and Río Abajo), which are the only sources of parrots for release. The goal was to enhance reproductive potential and produce productive pairings in an attempt to augment the population growth and provide ample individuals for reintroduction. Seven Hispanolian Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) that were used as surrogate parents for the Puerto Rican parrots were also included in the study. This assessment included physical examination, endoscopic evaluation, hematologic and plasma biochemical profiles, viral screening, and hormonal assays. Results of general physical examination and hematologic and plasma biochemical testing revealed overall good health and condition of this subset of the population of Puerto Rican parrots; no major infectious diseases were found. Endoscopic examination also revealed overall good health and condition, especially of females. The apparent low fertility of male birds warrants further investigation. The findings helped to define causes of reproductive failure in the selected pairs and individual birds. New pairings resulting from the assessment helped to augment reproduction of this critically endangered species. PMID:26771321

  3. Avian pox in blue-fronted Amazon parrots.

    PubMed

    McDonald, S E; Lowenstine, L J; Ardans, A A

    1981-12-01

    During a 1-month period at a quarantine station, an epornitic of avian pox occurred in blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva). Clinical signs included conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and varying degrees of anorexia and respiratory distress. Lesions included periocular ulcerations and scabs and necrotic plaques in the oral cavity. Histologically, the lesions consisted of epithelial hyperplasia, secondary inflammatory changes, and eosinophilic inclusions which, by electron microscopy, were shown to contain poxvirus. When chicken embryos were inoculated with material from eyelid scabs and pharyngeal plaques, lesions of avian pox developed on the chorioallantoic membrane. The death rate of infected birds was high because of secondary bacterial and fungal infections, but uncomplicated cases were usually self-limiting. Periocular lesions also developed in 2 other species of psittacine birds housed in the same facility.

  4. First captive breeding of the imperial parrot (Amazona imperialis).

    PubMed

    Reillo, Paul R; Durand, Stephen; Burton, Minchinton

    2011-01-01

    We describe the rearing and development of the first imperial parrot (Amazona imperialis) hatched and raised in captivity. A single egg was hen-incubated for 28 days, and the chick was parent-fed for ∼14 days, after which it was removed for hand-rearing. Similar to wild, parent-reared imperial nestlings, the chick developed fully within 12 weeks, weaning at 540 g body weight. Endangered and endemic to Dominica, the imperial is a vital flagship for oceanic rainforest conservation. Chronicling the neonatal development of A. imperialis helps illuminate the natural history of this enigmatic species, whose secretive nesting habits and low population density have frustrated a detailed understanding of its ecology and reproduction.

  5. Fatal toxoplasmosis in a vinaceous Amazon parrot (Amazona vinacea).

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Francisco Carlos; Donatti, Rogerio Venâncio; Marques, Marcus Vinícius Romero; Ecco, Roselene; Preis, Ingred Sales; Shivaprasad, H L; Vilela, Daniel Ambrózio da Rocha; Martins, Nelson Rodrigo da Silva

    2012-12-01

    Toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a vinaceous Amazon parrot based on histopathology and immunohistochemistry. The bird was prostrate on the bottom of the cage and died. Necropsy revealed edema and congestion of the lungs, cloudy air sacs, and mild hepatomegaly. Histopathology revealed severe pulmonary congestion and edema and interstitial mononuclear cell inflammation associated with many cysts containing bradyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii scattered throughout. The heart had mild multifocal lymphocytic myocarditis and free tachyzoites in the muscle fibers, and the kidneys had mild interstitial nephritis and a few cysts containing bradyzoites of T. gondii. Immunohistochemistry was negative for Sarcocystis falcatula and Neospora caninum and confirmed the protozoa as T. gondii. This is the first description of T. gondii in an endangered species ofa Brazilian psittacine.

  6. First report of Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in pet parrots in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Tian, Wei-Peng; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Xu, Ying-Tian; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2014-06-01

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, has become a serious public health problem worldwide. T. gondii can infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including parrots. However, little is known of T. gondii infection in parrots in China. Antibodies against T. gondii in 311 parrots including 202 Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 26 Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), 22 Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), and 61 Alexandrine Parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) in the cities of Beijing and Weifang in north China were tested using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Twenty-six (8.36%) out of 311 serum samples were positive for T. gondii at the cutoff of 1:5. Among the four species, a higher seroprevalence of T. gondii was found in Cockatiels (13.64%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00-27.98), although the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.61). Seropositivity rates against T. gondii in male parrots (10.43%, 95% CI 5.74-15.12) were not statistically different from that in female parrots (6.08%, 95% CI 2.23-9.93, p=0.17). The seropositivity of T. gondii in parrots from Weifang and Beijing was 11.11% (95% CI 6.13-16.09) and 5.70% (95% CI 2.08-9.31), respectively. The seroprevalence varied in parrots of different age groups, ranging from 5.71% (95% CI 1.27-10.15) to 13.00% (95% CI 6.41-19.69), however, the difference among age groups was not statistically significant (p=0.12). The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in parrots in summer (11.63%, 95% CI 6.84-16.42) was significantly higher than in spring (4.32%, 95% CI 0.94-7.70, p=0.02). The results of the present survey indicated that parrots in China are exposed to T. gondii. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in parrots in China. PMID:24866015

  7. First report of Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in pet parrots in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Tian, Wei-Peng; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Xu, Ying-Tian; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2014-06-01

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, has become a serious public health problem worldwide. T. gondii can infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including parrots. However, little is known of T. gondii infection in parrots in China. Antibodies against T. gondii in 311 parrots including 202 Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 26 Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), 22 Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), and 61 Alexandrine Parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) in the cities of Beijing and Weifang in north China were tested using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Twenty-six (8.36%) out of 311 serum samples were positive for T. gondii at the cutoff of 1:5. Among the four species, a higher seroprevalence of T. gondii was found in Cockatiels (13.64%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00-27.98), although the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.61). Seropositivity rates against T. gondii in male parrots (10.43%, 95% CI 5.74-15.12) were not statistically different from that in female parrots (6.08%, 95% CI 2.23-9.93, p=0.17). The seropositivity of T. gondii in parrots from Weifang and Beijing was 11.11% (95% CI 6.13-16.09) and 5.70% (95% CI 2.08-9.31), respectively. The seroprevalence varied in parrots of different age groups, ranging from 5.71% (95% CI 1.27-10.15) to 13.00% (95% CI 6.41-19.69), however, the difference among age groups was not statistically significant (p=0.12). The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in parrots in summer (11.63%, 95% CI 6.84-16.42) was significantly higher than in spring (4.32%, 95% CI 0.94-7.70, p=0.02). The results of the present survey indicated that parrots in China are exposed to T. gondii. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in parrots in China.

  8. Oxidative stress, activity behaviour and body mass in captive parrots.

    PubMed

    Larcombe, S D; Tregaskes, C A; Coffey, J; Stevenson, A E; Alexander, L G; Arnold, K E

    2015-01-01

    Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus) maintained in typical pet cages and on ad libitum food varied in oxidative profile, behaviour and body mass. Importantly, as with many birds held in captivity, they did not have enough space to engage in extensive free flight. Four types of oxidative damage, single-stranded DNA breaks (low-pH comet assay), alkali-labile sites in DNA (high-pH comet assay), sensitivity of DNA to ROS (H2O2-treated comet assay) and malondialdehyde (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation), were uncorrelated with each other and with plasma concentrations of dietary antioxidants. Without strenuous exercise over 28 days in a relatively small cage, more naturally 'active' individuals had more single-stranded DNA breaks than sedentary birds. High body mass at the start or end of the experiment, coupled with substantial mass gain, were all associated with raised sensitivity of DNA to ROS. Thus, high body mass in these captive birds was associated with oxidative damage. These birds were not lacking dietary antioxidants, because final body mass was positively related to plasma levels of retinol, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol. Individuals varied widely in activity levels, feeding behaviour, mass gain and oxidative profile despite standardized living conditions. DNA damage is often associated with poor immunocompetence, low fertility and faster ageing. Thus, we have candidate mechanisms for the limited lifespan and fecundity common to many birds kept for conservation purposes.

  9. Oxidative stress, activity behaviour and body mass in captive parrots.

    PubMed

    Larcombe, S D; Tregaskes, C A; Coffey, J; Stevenson, A E; Alexander, L G; Arnold, K E

    2015-01-01

    Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus) maintained in typical pet cages and on ad libitum food varied in oxidative profile, behaviour and body mass. Importantly, as with many birds held in captivity, they did not have enough space to engage in extensive free flight. Four types of oxidative damage, single-stranded DNA breaks (low-pH comet assay), alkali-labile sites in DNA (high-pH comet assay), sensitivity of DNA to ROS (H2O2-treated comet assay) and malondialdehyde (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation), were uncorrelated with each other and with plasma concentrations of dietary antioxidants. Without strenuous exercise over 28 days in a relatively small cage, more naturally 'active' individuals had more single-stranded DNA breaks than sedentary birds. High body mass at the start or end of the experiment, coupled with substantial mass gain, were all associated with raised sensitivity of DNA to ROS. Thus, high body mass in these captive birds was associated with oxidative damage. These birds were not lacking dietary antioxidants, because final body mass was positively related to plasma levels of retinol, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol. Individuals varied widely in activity levels, feeding behaviour, mass gain and oxidative profile despite standardized living conditions. DNA damage is often associated with poor immunocompetence, low fertility and faster ageing. Thus, we have candidate mechanisms for the limited lifespan and fecundity common to many birds kept for conservation purposes. PMID:27293729

  10. Oxidative stress, activity behaviour and body mass in captive parrots

    PubMed Central

    Larcombe, S. D.; Tregaskes, C. A.; Coffey, J.; Stevenson, A. E.; Alexander, L. G.; Arnold, K. E.

    2015-01-01

    Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus) maintained in typical pet cages and on ad libitum food varied in oxidative profile, behaviour and body mass. Importantly, as with many birds held in captivity, they did not have enough space to engage in extensive free flight. Four types of oxidative damage, single-stranded DNA breaks (low-pH comet assay), alkali-labile sites in DNA (high-pH comet assay), sensitivity of DNA to ROS (H2O2-treated comet assay) and malondialdehyde (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation), were uncorrelated with each other and with plasma concentrations of dietary antioxidants. Without strenuous exercise over 28 days in a relatively small cage, more naturally ‘active’ individuals had more single-stranded DNA breaks than sedentary birds. High body mass at the start or end of the experiment, coupled with substantial mass gain, were all associated with raised sensitivity of DNA to ROS. Thus, high body mass in these captive birds was associated with oxidative damage. These birds were not lacking dietary antioxidants, because final body mass was positively related to plasma levels of retinol, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol. Individuals varied widely in activity levels, feeding behaviour, mass gain and oxidative profile despite standardized living conditions. DNA damage is often associated with poor immunocompetence, low fertility and faster ageing. Thus, we have candidate mechanisms for the limited lifespan and fecundity common to many birds kept for conservation purposes. PMID

  11. Comparison of osmolality and refractometric readings of Hispaniolan Amazon parrot (Amazona ventralis) urine.

    PubMed

    Brock, A Paige; Grunkemeyer, Vanessa L; Fry, Michael M; Hall, James S; Bartges, Joseph W

    2013-12-01

    To evaluate the relationship between osmolality and specific gravity of urine samples from clinically normal adult parrots and to determine a formula to convert urine specific gravity (USG) measured on a reference scale to a more accurate USG value for an avian species, urine samples were collected opportunistically from a colony of Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Samples were analyzed by using a veterinary refractometer, and specific gravity was measured on both canine and feline scales. Osmolality was measured by vapor pressure osmometry. Specific gravity and osmolality measurements were highly correlated (r = 0.96). The linear relationship between refractivity measurements on a reference scale and osmolality was determined. An equation was calculated to allow specific gravity results from a medical refractometer to be converted to specific gravity values of Hispaniolan Amazon parrots: USGHAp = 0.201 +0.798(USGref). Use of the reference-canine scale to approximate the osmolality of parrot urine leads to an overestimation of the true osmolality of the sample. In addition, this error increases as the concentration of urine increases. Compared with the human-canine scale, the feline scale provides a closer approximation to urine osmolality of Hispaniolan Amazon parrots but still results in overestimation of osmolality.

  12. The evolution of the Indian Ocean parrots (Psittaciformes): extinction, adaptive radiation and eustacy.

    PubMed

    Kundu, S; Jones, C G; Prys-Jones, R P; Groombridge, J J

    2012-01-01

    Parrots are among the most recognisable and widely distributed of all bird groups occupying major parts of the tropics. The evolution of the genera that are found in and around the Indian Ocean region is particularly interesting as they show a high degree of heterogeneity in distribution and levels of speciation. Here we present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Indian Ocean parrots, identifying the possible geological and geographical factors that influenced their evolution. We hypothesise that the Indian Ocean islands acted as stepping stones in the radiation of the Old-World parrots, and that sea-level changes may have been an important determinant of current distributions and differences in speciation. A multi-locus phylogeny showing the evolutionary relationships among genera highlights the interesting position of the monotypic Psittrichas, which shares a common ancestor with the geographically distant Coracopsis. An extensive species-level molecular phylogeny indicates a complex pattern of radiation including evidence for colonisation of Africa, Asia and the Indian Ocean islands from Australasia via multiple routes, and of island populations 'seeding' continents. Moreover, comparison of estimated divergence dates and sea-level changes points to the latter as a factor in parrot speciation. This is the first study to include the extinct parrot taxa, Mascarinus mascarinus and Psittacula wardi which, respectively, appear closely related to Coracopsis nigra and Psittacula eupatria.

  13. Application of DNA fingerprinting to the recovery program of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brock, M.K.; White, B.N.

    1992-01-01

    The Puerto Rican parrot was reduced to 13 animals in 1975 and as a conservation measure, a captive population was established from a few founders taken from the wild between 1973 and 1983. The number of successful breeding pairs in captivity has been !ow, and the captive breeding program has not been as productive as that of the closely related Hispaniolan parrot. Therefore, a genetic study was initiated to examine the relative levels of relatedness of the captive founders using levels of bandsharing in DNA fingerprints. Unrelated captive founder Puerto Rican parrots had the same average level of bandsharing (0.41) as second-degree relatives of the Hispaniolan parrot (0.38, P > 0,05), with an inbreeding coefficient of 0.04. High levels of bandsharing (>40%) between pairs of males and females correlated with reproductive failure, suggesting that inbreeding depression is partly responsible for the !ow number of' breeding pairs. Consequently, DNA profiling can be used to guide the captive breeding program for the Puerto Rican parrot, and other endangered species, by identifying pairs of males and females with low levels of bandsharing.

  14. Big brains are not enough: performance of three parrot species in the trap-tube paradigm.

    PubMed

    Liedtke, Jannis; Werdenich, Dagmar; Gajdon, Gyula K; Huber, Ludwig; Wanker, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    The trap-tube task has become a benchmark test for investigating physical causality in vertebrates. In this task, subjects have to retrieve food out of a horizontal tube using a tool and avoiding a trap hole in the tube. Great apes and corvids succeeded in this task. Parrots with relative brain volumes comparable to those of corvids and primates also demonstrate high cognitive abilities. We therefore tested macaws, a cockatoo, and keas on the trap-tube paradigm. All nine parrots failed to solve the task. In a simplified task, trap tubes with a slot inserted along the top were offered. The slot allowed the birds to move the reward directly with their bills. All but one individual solved this task by lifting the food over the trap. However, the parrots failed again when they were prevented from lifting the reward, although they anticipated that food will be lost when moved into the trap. We do not think that the demanding use of an external object is the main reason for the parrots' failure. Moreover, we suppose these parrots fail to consider the trap's position in the beginning of a trial and were not able to stop their behaviour and move the reward in the trap's opposite direction.

  15. The Puerto Rican parrot reintroduction program: sustainable management of the aviary population.

    PubMed

    Earnhardt, Joanne; Vélez-Valentín, Jafet; Valentin, Ricardo; Long, Sarah; Lynch, Colleen; Schowe, Kate

    2014-01-01

    The cornerstone of the recovery plan for the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vitatta) is an actively managed, long-term reintroduction program. One captive population distributed across two aviaries in Puerto Rico is the sole source for release but its ability to persist as a managed resource has not been evaluated since 1989. We conducted an assessment for sustainable management of the aviary population while harvesting for release. To assess demographic rates such as population growth, vital rates, and age/sex structure, we compiled a studbook database on all living, dead, and released individuals in the aviary population. Using an individual-based risk assessment model we applied population specific data based on the management period from 1993 to 2012 to simulate future aviary population dynamics and evaluate future potential production. We modeled four potential management strategies to harvest parrots for proposed releases; these scenarios vary the number of parrots and the life stage. Our simulations revealed that the aviary population can be simultaneously managed for sustainability and harvesting of parrots for release. However, without cautious management, overharvesting can jeopardize sustainability of the aviary population. Our analysis of the aviary breeding program provides a rare opportunity to review progress relative to conservation program objectives after four decades of active management. The successful growth of the aviary population and its ability to serve as a sustainable source for reintroductions supports the 1973 decision to build a breeding program from a small population of 13 parrots.

  16. Parallel adaptations to nectarivory in parrots, key innovations and the diversification of the Loriinae

    PubMed Central

    Schweizer, Manuel; Güntert, Marcel; Seehausen, Ole; Leuenberger, Christoph; Hertwig, Stefan T

    2014-01-01

    Specialization to nectarivory is associated with radiations within different bird groups, including parrots. One of them, the Australasian lories, were shown to be unexpectedly species rich. Their shift to nectarivory may have created an ecological opportunity promoting species proliferation. Several morphological specializations of the feeding tract to nectarivory have been described for parrots. However, they have never been assessed in a quantitative framework considering phylogenetic nonindependence. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach with broad taxon sampling and 15 continuous characters of the digestive tract, we demonstrate that nectarivorous parrots differ in several traits from the remaining parrots. These trait-changes indicate phenotype–environment correlations and parallel evolution, and may reflect adaptations to feed effectively on nectar. Moreover, the diet shift was associated with significant trait shifts at the base of the radiation of the lories, as shown by an alternative statistical approach. Their diet shift might be considered as an evolutionary key innovation which promoted significant non-adaptive lineage diversification through allopatric partitioning of the same new niche. The lack of increased rates of cladogenesis in other nectarivorous parrots indicates that evolutionary innovations need not be associated one-to-one with diversification events. PMID:25165525

  17. 36. LARGE MOLD MAKING MACHINE, GREY IRON UNIT #4 SHOWING ...

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

    36. LARGE MOLD MAKING MACHINE, GREY IRON UNIT #4 SHOWING PATTERNS THAT FLASKS FIT OVER PRIOR TO BEING FILLED WITH SAND AND COMPRESSED. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  18. 40. THIS TUMBLING MILL IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY IS ...

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

    40. THIS TUMBLING MILL IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY IS USED TO TUMBLE CASTINGS OVER EACH OTHER TO BREAK OFF RUNNERS AND SPRUES. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  19. Tularemia without lesions in grey tree squirrels: A diagnostic challenge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fifteen cases of Francisella tularenesis infection (tularemia) were identified in western grey (Sciurus griseus) and eastern grey (Sciurus carolinesis) squirrels submitted to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory between 2008 and 2011. All of the squirrels originated in Washington stat...

  20. Psittacid herpesvirus 3 infection in the eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) in Australia.

    PubMed

    Gabor, M; Gabor, L J; Peacock, L; Srivastava, M; Rosenwax, A; Phalen, D

    2013-11-01

    Psittacid herpesvirus 3 (PsHV-3) has recently been implicated as the cause of a severe respiratory disease in Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii) in the United States. In this report, the clinical manifestations and gross and microscopic lesions of PsHV-3 infection in 2 eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) in Australia are described. The presence of a PsHV-3 infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of PsHV-3 DNA using degenerate and PsHV-3 primers. Electron microscopy of infected cells demonstrated the assembly of herpesvirus virions as well as intranuclear tubular structures. The detection of PsHV-3 in Australia in 2 eclectus parrots broadens the list of known affected species and confirms the presence of this virus in Australia.

  1. Molecular characterisation of an avihepadnavirus isolated from Psittacula krameri (ring-necked parrot).

    PubMed

    Piasecki, Tomasz; Kurenbach, Brigitta; Chrząstek, Klaudia; Bednarek, Karolina; Kraberger, Simona; Martin, Darren P; Varsani, Arvind

    2012-03-01

    Avihepadnaviruses have been documented previously in ducks, herons, geese, storks and cranes. Here, we describe the full genome of a new avihepadnavirus isolated from Psittacula krameri (ring-necked parrot) in Poland. The parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV) genome (3042 bp) shares <76% sequence identity with other avihepadnavirus isolates and is phylogenetically most closely related to heron and stork hepatitis B viruses isolates. PHBV has a genome organization similar to that of other hepadnaviruses and contains ORFs for a preC/C, preS/S and polyprotein. Additionally, we identified an X-like ORF in the genome of PHBV. The full-genome data will be useful in developing screening tools for avihepadnaviruses in parrots. PMID:22183110

  2. NORTHEAST VIEW OF FOUNDRY FROM TOP OF GREY IRON CUPOLA ...

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

    NORTHEAST VIEW OF FOUNDRY FROM TOP OF GREY IRON CUPOLA SHOWING CORE ROOM ROOF DIRECTLY NORTHEAST, GREY IRON FOUNDRY TO THE RIGHT, MALLEABLE IRON CUPOLAS AND FOUNDRY NORTHEAST OF GREY IRON FOUNDRY WITH THE BRASS FOUNDRY IN THE REAR. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  3. 78 FR 17183 - Information Collection: Grey Towers Visitor Comment Card

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-20

    ... Forest Service Information Collection: Grey Towers Visitor Comment Card AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA... collection 0596- 0222, ``Grey Towers Visitor Comment Card'' with 0596-0226, ``Forest Service Generic.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Grey Towers Visitor Comment Card. OMB Number: 0596-0222. Expiration Date...

  4. 23. INTERIOR VIEW WITH UNIT NO. 2 GREY IRON DISAMATIC ...

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

    23. INTERIOR VIEW WITH UNIT NO. 2 GREY IRON DISAMATIC SETTING A 1 X 1/2 INCH ELBOW PIPE FITTING, A 'GREY IRON EL'. THIS MACHINE SETS CORES THROUGH AN AUTOMATED PROCESS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  5. 24. INTERIOR VIEW WITH UNIT NO. 2 GREY IRON DISAMATIC ...

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

    24. INTERIOR VIEW WITH UNIT NO. 2 GREY IRON DISAMATIC SETTING A 1 X 1/2 INCH ELBOW PIPE FITTING, A 'GREY IRON EL', THROUGH AN AUTOMATED PROCESS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  6. Searching for Grey Literature for Systematic Reviews: Challenges and Benefits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahood, Quenby; Van Eerd, Dwayne; Irvin, Emma

    2014-01-01

    There is ongoing interest in including grey literature in systematic reviews. Including grey literature can broaden the scope to more relevant studies, thereby providing a more complete view of available evidence. Searching for grey literature can be challenging despite greater access through the Internet, search engines and online bibliographic…

  7. Internal seed dispersal by parrots: an overview of a neglected mutualism.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Bravo, Carolina; Pacifico, Erica C; Chamorro, Daniel; Speziale, Karina L; Lambertucci, Sergio A; Hiraldo, Fernando; Tella, José L

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that parrots (Psitacifformes) are generalist apex frugivores, they have largely been considered plant antagonists and thus neglected as seed dispersers of their food plants. Internal dispersal was investigated by searching for seeds in faeces opportunistically collected at communal roosts, foraging sites and nests of eleven parrot species in different habitats and biomes in the Neotropics. Multiple intact seeds of seven plant species of five families were found in a variable proportion of faeces from four parrot species. The mean number of seeds of each plant species per dropping ranged between one and about sixty, with a maximum of almost five hundred seeds from the cacti Pilosocereus pachycladus in a single dropping of Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari). All seeds retrieved were small (<3 mm) and corresponded to herbs and relatively large, multiple-seeded fleshy berries and infrutescences from shrubs, trees and columnar cacti, often also dispersed by stomatochory. An overview of the potential constraints driving seed dispersal suggest that, despite the obvious size difference between seeds dispersed by endozoochory and stomatochory, there is no clear difference in fruit size depending on the dispersal mode. Regardless of the enhanced or limited germination capability after gut transit, a relatively large proportion of cacti seeds frequently found in the faeces of two parrot species were viable according to the tetrazolium test and germination experiments. The conservative results of our exploratory sampling and a literature review clearly indicate that the importance of parrots as endozoochorous dispersers has been largely under-appreciated due to the lack of research systematically searching for seeds in their faeces. We encourage the evaluation of seed dispersal and other mutualistic interactions mediated by parrots before their generalized population declines contribute to the collapse of key ecosystem processes.

  8. Beak and feather disease viruses circulating in Cape parrots (Poicepahlus robustus) in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Regnard, Guy L; Boyes, Rutledge S; Martin, Rowan O; Hitzeroth, Inga I; Rybicki, Edward P

    2015-01-01

    Captive and wild psittacines are vulnerable to the highly contagious psittacine beak and feather disease. The causative agent, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), was recently detected in the largest remaining population of endangered Cape parrots (Poicepahlus robustus), which are endemic to South Africa. Full-length genomes were isolated and sequenced from 26 blood samples collected from wild and captive Cape parrots to determine possible origins of infection. All sequences had characteristic BFDV sequence motifs and were similar in length to those described in the literature. However, BFDV coat protein (CP) sequences from this study did not contain a previously identified bipartite nuclear localisation signal (NLS) within residues 39-56, which indicates that an alternate NLS is involved in shuttling the CP into the nucleus. Sequences from the wild population shared a high degree of similarity, irrespective of year or location, suggesting that the disease outbreak occurred close to the time when the samples were collected. Phylogenetic analysis of full-length genomes showed that the captive Cape parrot sequences cluster with those isolated from captive-bred budgerigars in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Exposure to captive-bred Cape parrots from a breeding facility in KwaZulu-Natal is suggested as a possible source for the virus infection. Phylogenetic analysis of BFDV isolates from wild and captive Cape parrots indicated two separate infection events in different populations, which highlights the potential risk of introducing new strains of the virus into the wild population. The present study represents the first systematic investigation of BFDV virus diversity in the southern-most population of Cape parrots.

  9. Internal seed dispersal by parrots: an overview of a neglected mutualism.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Bravo, Carolina; Pacifico, Erica C; Chamorro, Daniel; Speziale, Karina L; Lambertucci, Sergio A; Hiraldo, Fernando; Tella, José L

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that parrots (Psitacifformes) are generalist apex frugivores, they have largely been considered plant antagonists and thus neglected as seed dispersers of their food plants. Internal dispersal was investigated by searching for seeds in faeces opportunistically collected at communal roosts, foraging sites and nests of eleven parrot species in different habitats and biomes in the Neotropics. Multiple intact seeds of seven plant species of five families were found in a variable proportion of faeces from four parrot species. The mean number of seeds of each plant species per dropping ranged between one and about sixty, with a maximum of almost five hundred seeds from the cacti Pilosocereus pachycladus in a single dropping of Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari). All seeds retrieved were small (<3 mm) and corresponded to herbs and relatively large, multiple-seeded fleshy berries and infrutescences from shrubs, trees and columnar cacti, often also dispersed by stomatochory. An overview of the potential constraints driving seed dispersal suggest that, despite the obvious size difference between seeds dispersed by endozoochory and stomatochory, there is no clear difference in fruit size depending on the dispersal mode. Regardless of the enhanced or limited germination capability after gut transit, a relatively large proportion of cacti seeds frequently found in the faeces of two parrot species were viable according to the tetrazolium test and germination experiments. The conservative results of our exploratory sampling and a literature review clearly indicate that the importance of parrots as endozoochorous dispersers has been largely under-appreciated due to the lack of research systematically searching for seeds in their faeces. We encourage the evaluation of seed dispersal and other mutualistic interactions mediated by parrots before their generalized population declines contribute to the collapse of key ecosystem processes. PMID:26925322

  10. Internal seed dispersal by parrots: an overview of a neglected mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Bravo, Carolina; Pacifico, Erica C.; Chamorro, Daniel; Speziale, Karina L.; Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Hiraldo, Fernando; Tella, José L.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that parrots (Psitacifformes) are generalist apex frugivores, they have largely been considered plant antagonists and thus neglected as seed dispersers of their food plants. Internal dispersal was investigated by searching for seeds in faeces opportunistically collected at communal roosts, foraging sites and nests of eleven parrot species in different habitats and biomes in the Neotropics. Multiple intact seeds of seven plant species of five families were found in a variable proportion of faeces from four parrot species. The mean number of seeds of each plant species per dropping ranged between one and about sixty, with a maximum of almost five hundred seeds from the cacti Pilosocereus pachycladus in a single dropping of Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari). All seeds retrieved were small (<3 mm) and corresponded to herbs and relatively large, multiple-seeded fleshy berries and infrutescences from shrubs, trees and columnar cacti, often also dispersed by stomatochory. An overview of the potential constraints driving seed dispersal suggest that, despite the obvious size difference between seeds dispersed by endozoochory and stomatochory, there is no clear difference in fruit size depending on the dispersal mode. Regardless of the enhanced or limited germination capability after gut transit, a relatively large proportion of cacti seeds frequently found in the faeces of two parrot species were viable according to the tetrazolium test and germination experiments. The conservative results of our exploratory sampling and a literature review clearly indicate that the importance of parrots as endozoochorous dispersers has been largely under-appreciated due to the lack of research systematically searching for seeds in their faeces. We encourage the evaluation of seed dispersal and other mutualistic interactions mediated by parrots before their generalized population declines contribute to the collapse of key ecosystem processes. PMID:26925322

  11. Endocrine responses of healthy parrots to ACTH and thyroid stimulating hormone.

    PubMed

    Zenoble, R D; Kemppainen, R J; Young, D W; Clubb, S L

    1985-12-01

    Effects of exogenous ACTH on plasma corticosterone and cortisol concentrations and the effects of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) on plasma triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) were determined in the following 3 species of parrots: red-lored Amazon (group 1), blue-fronted Amazon (group 2), and African gray (group 3). Each bird was given ACTH (0.125 mg/bird) IM, except for 3 to 4 birds in each group, which were given saline solution (controls). Blood samples were collected before and 90 minutes after ACTH stimulation. In group 1 (n = 12), mean plasma corticosterone concentrations increased significantly (P less than 0.001) from 1.06 microgram/dl (before ACTH) to 4.89 micrograms/dl (after ACTH); mean corticosterone concentrations increased in the control birds from 1.06 microgram/dl to 1.84 microgram/dl; and mean cortisol concentrations increased only slightly from 0.228 microgram/dl to 0.266 microgram/dl. In group 2 (n = 12), mean corticosterone concentrations increased significantly (P less than 0.001) from 2.09 micrograms/dl to 10.58 micrograms/dl; control mean corticosterone concentrations decreased slightly from 2.09 micrograms/dl to 1.77 microgram/dl; and mean cortisol concentrations increased from less than or equal to 0.16 microgram/dl to 0.266 microgram/dl. In group 3 (n = 12), mean plasma corticosterone concentrations increased significantly (P less than or equal to 0.001) from 2.33 micrograms/dl to 4.67 micrograms/dl; mean control plasma corticosterone concentrations decreased from 2.33 micrograms/dl to 1.68 microgram/dl; and plasma corticol concentrations were not detectable. Each bird was given TSH, IM (1 U/bird). Blood samples were collected before and 6 hours after TSH administration. Saline solution was not administered as controls.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Evaluation of appropriate technologies for grey water treatments and reuses.

    PubMed

    Li, Fangyue; Wichmann, Knut; Otterpohl, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    As water is becoming a rare resource, the onsite reuse and recycling of grey water is practiced in many countries as a sustainable solution to reduce the overall urban water demand. However, the lack of appropriate water quality standards or guidelines has hampered the appropriate grey water reuses. Based on literature review, a non-potable urban grey water treatment and reuse scheme is proposed and the treatment alternatives for grey water reuse are evaluated according to the grey water characteristics, the proposed standards and economical feasibility.

  13. Plant food resources and the diet of a parrot community in a gallery forest of the southern Pantanal (Brazil).

    PubMed

    Ragusa-Netto, J; Fecchio, A

    2006-11-01

    Neotropical parrots usually forage in forest canopies for nectar, flowers, leaves, fruit pulp, and seeds. As they have no all-purpose territories, these birds usually exploit vegetation mosaics in order to use plentiful resources as they become available. In this study we examine the use of a gallery forest in the southern Pantanal (Brazil) by a diverse parrot community that ranged from Brotogeris chiriri (a small species) to Ara chloroptera (a large one). Plant food resources principally used by parrots were abundantly available during the rainy season (fleshy fruits), the annual floods (fleshy fruits), and the dry season (flowers). While both smaller and larger species foraged on fruits, parakeets largely consumed the pulp, while larger parrot species used pulp and seeds. In the dry season parakeets foraged extensively on nectar, especially Inga vera nectar that was abundantly available during the last two months of the dry season, the harshest period of the year. Among larger parrots, only Propyrrhura auricollis frequently harvested nectar. Fruits maturing during floods, despite being fish- or water- dispersed were extensively used by the parrots. Hence, unlike what happens in most other Neotropical dry forests, occurrence of a fruiting peak during the annual flooding, which occurs in the transition from the wet to the dry season, constitutes an extra and significant episode of food availability, since in this period, fruit production normally declines. Therefore, the unique and abundant availability of flowers and fruits in this gallery forest may account for the presence of large parrot populations in the southern Pantanal.

  14. Complete mitochondrial genome of endangered Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi) - conspecific relation of the species with Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha).

    PubMed

    Urantowka, Adam Dawid; Strzała, Tomasz; Grabowski, Krzysztof Aleksander

    2014-12-01

    Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi) is an endangered parrot endemic to pine-oak forests in north-eastern Mexico. According to all present classifications, R. terrisi as well as Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha are treated as a separate species based on some morphological and behavioral discrepancies. Despite this formal separation of the two species, some taxonomists conjecture their conspecific character. However, mutual taxonomic position of both species/subspecies was never verified by molecular research. We sequenced full mitochondrial genome of R. terrisi and constructed phylogenetic tree using sequences of mitochondrial ND2 gene from R. terrisi. R. pahyrchyncha and some other representative species of the tribe Arini. Our results indicated that in contrast to formal classification, both Rhynchopsitta taxa should be treated as subspecies.

  15. Avian Polyomavirus Genome Sequences Recovered from Parrots in Captive Breeding Facilities in Poland

    PubMed Central

    Dayaram, Anisha; Piasecki, Tomasz; Chrząstek, Klaudia; White, Robyn; Julian, Laurel; van Bysterveldt, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    Eight genomes of avian polyomaviruses (APVs) were recovered and sequenced from deceased Psittacula eupatria, Psittacula krameri, and Melopsittacus undulatus from various breeding facilities in Poland. Of these APV-positive samples, six had previously tested positive for beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and/or parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV). PMID:26404592

  16. Avian Polyomavirus Genome Sequences Recovered from Parrots in Captive Breeding Facilities in Poland.

    PubMed

    Dayaram, Anisha; Piasecki, Tomasz; Chrząstek, Klaudia; White, Robyn; Julian, Laurel; van Bysterveldt, Katherine; Varsani, Arvind

    2015-01-01

    Eight genomes of avian polyomaviruses (APVs) were recovered and sequenced from deceased Psittacula eupatria, Psittacula krameri, and Melopsittacus undulatus from various breeding facilities in Poland. Of these APV-positive samples, six had previously tested positive for beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and/or parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV). PMID:26404592

  17. Attempted semen collection using the massage technique in blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva).

    PubMed

    Della Volpe, Angelique; Volker, Schmidt; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth

    2011-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to establish a technique for collecting semen from blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and to evaluate the samples that were collected. The massage method is the most common technique used to collect semen in birds and has been proven successful in several psittacine species; however, collection attempts in larger parrots have been unsatisfactory. Six blue-fronted Amazon parrot males, 3 paired with hens and 3 unpaired, were used in this study. The semen collection technique was revised to allow collection from individual birds by a single person. Semen collection was attempted from the 6 parrots on 52-56 occasions, which totaled 330 single attempts. Nineteen ejaculates were collected, and each bird produced at least 1 ejaculate that contained spermatozoa. Large ranges of sample volume (1-15.4 microL), sperm quality (motility = 2%-60%; live:dead ratio = 2:198 to 185:15), sperm concentration (0.79-3.3 x 10(6) sperm/mL), and contamination rate (0%-100%) were observed. Measured parameters did not appear to be significantly impacted by birds being paired or kept singly. Because of the relatively short acclimation period, the birds appeared to be sexually inactive for the majority of the study. Further research using sexually active birds will be necessary to determine standard spermatological parameters and verify the success of the methodology used here.

  18. Effect of anesthesia, positioning, time, and feeding on the proventriculus: keel ratio of clinically healthy parrots.

    PubMed

    Dennison, Sophie E; Paul-Murphy, Joanne R; Yandell, Brian S; Adams, William M

    2010-01-01

    Healthy, adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) were imaged on three occasions to determine the effects of anesthesia, patient rotation, feeding, and short/long-term temporal factors on the proventriculus:keel ratio. Increasing rotation up to 15 degrees from right lateral resulted in increased inability to measure the proventriculus in up to 44% of birds, meaning that the proventriculus:keel ratio could not be calculated from those radiographs. There was a significant difference between the proventriculus:keel ratio for individual parrots when quantified 3 weeks apart. Despite this difference, all ratios remained within normal limits. No significant effect was identified due to anesthesia, feeding, fasting, or repeated imaging through an 8-h period. Interobserver agreement for measurability and correlation for the proventriculus:keel ratio values was high. It is recommended that the proventriculus:keel ratio be calculated from anesthetized parrots to attain images in true lateral recumbency. Ratio fluctuations within the normal range between radiographs obtained on different dates may be observed in normal parrots.

  19. Molecular and cellular changes associated with the evolution of novel jaw muscles in parrots.

    PubMed

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Nakayama, Tomoki; Schneider, Richard A; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2013-02-01

    Vertebrates have achieved great evolutionary success due in large part to the anatomical diversification of their jaw complex, which allows them to inhabit almost every ecological niche. While many studies have focused on mechanisms that pattern the jaw skeleton, much remains to be understood about the origins of novelty and diversity in the closely associated musculature. To address this issue, we focused on parrots, which have acquired two anatomically unique jaw muscles: the ethmomandibular and the pseudomasseter. In parrot embryos, we observe distinct and highly derived expression patterns for Scx, Bmp4, Tgfβ2 and Six2 in neural crest-derived mesenchyme destined to form jaw muscle connective tissues. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis reveals that cell proliferation is more active in the cells within the jaw muscle than in surrounding connective tissue cells. This biased and differentially regulated mode of cell proliferation in cranial musculoskeletal tissues may allow these unusual jaw muscles to extend towards their new attachment sites. We conclude that the alteration of neural crest-derived connective tissue distribution during development may underlie the spatial changes in jaw musculoskeletal architecture found only in parrots. Thus, parrots provide valuable insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms that may generate evolutionary novelties with functionally adaptive significance.

  20. Evaluation of antibody response to vaccination against West Nile virus in thick billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha).

    PubMed

    Glavis, Jennifer; Larsen, R Scott; Lamberski, Nadine; Gaffney, Patricia; Gardner, Ian

    2011-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first documented in North America in New York City in 1999. Several deaths attributable to WNV have been reported in captive thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha), an endangered psittacine native to North America. The serologic responses in 12 captive adult thick-billed parrots after a series of three initial WNV vaccine injections with annual boosters over 6 yr was evaluated. In addition, the serologic responses of 11 thick-billed parrot chicks following an initial vaccination series to determine if there were seroconversions were also reported. Most adults (67%) had seroconverted after 5 yr of annual vaccination, with a median titer of 1:80 (range 1:40-1:160) for those that seroconverted. After the first year, birds were likely naturally exposed to WNV, which limited interpretation of titers. None of the chicks seroconverted during the initial three-vaccine series; only two of four chicks (50%) had seroconverted when tested at the 1-yr yearly booster, and at 2 yr, three of four chicks had seroconverted. Although some birds had detectable antibody titers, it is unclear whether this vaccine can reliably provide protection against WNV in thick-billed parrots.

  1. Pierre-Auguste Renoir: "Woman with Parrot" (La Femme a la Perruche)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Stacy

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the author profiles Pierre-Auguste Renoir and describes Renoir's work of art, "Woman with Parrot". Renoir gained a reputation among peers for taking exceptional pleasure in painting, and his style was said to celebrate beauty and sensuality. He is recognized for showing significant empathy for the sitters in his portraits, and for…

  2. Does vocal learning accelerate acoustic diversification? Evolution of contact calls in Neotropical parrots.

    PubMed

    Medina-García, A; Araya-Salas, M; Wright, T F

    2015-10-01

    Learning has been traditionally thought to accelerate the evolutionary change of behavioural traits. We evaluated the evolutionary rate of learned vocalizations and the interplay of morphology and ecology in the evolution of these signals. We examined contact calls of 51 species of Neotropical parrots from the tribe Arini. Parrots are ideal subjects due to their wide range of body sizes and habitats, and their open-ended vocal learning that allows them to modify their calls throughout life. We estimated the evolutionary rate of acoustic parameters of parrot contact calls and compared them to those of morphological traits and habitat. We also evaluated the effect of body mass, bill length, vegetation density and species interactions on acoustic parameters of contact calls while controlling for phylogeny. Evolutionary rates of acoustic parameters did not differ from those of our predictor variables except for spectral entropy, which had a significantly slower rate of evolution. We found support for correlated evolution of call duration, and fundamental and peak frequencies with body mass, and of fundamental frequency with bill length. The degree of sympatry between species did not have a significant effect on acoustic parameters. Our results suggest that parrot contact calls, which are learned acoustic signals, show evolutionary rates similar to those of morphological traits. This is the first study to our knowledge to provide evidence that change through cultural evolution does not necessarily accelerate the evolutionary rate of traits acquired through life-long vocal learning.

  3. Molecular characterization of the cloacal microbiota of wild and captive parrots.

    PubMed

    Xenoulis, Panagiotis G; Gray, Patricia L; Brightsmith, Donald; Palculict, Blake; Hoppes, Sharman; Steiner, Jörg M; Tizard, Ian; Suchodolski, Jan S

    2010-12-15

    The gastrointestinal microbiota plays a fundamental role in health and disease. Only limited data are available about the composition of the intestinal microbiota of captive animals compared to those of wild animals. The aim of the present study was to characterize the cloacal microbiota of apparently healthy wild and captive parrots. A total of 16 parrots, 8 wild and 8 captive, belonging to 3 different species, were used in this study. Cloacal material was collected via cloacal swabbing. DNA was extracted and 16S rRNA genes were amplified using universal bacterial primers. Constructed 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were compared between groups. A total of 518 clones were analyzed, and 49 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. The OTUs were classified in 4 bacterial phyla: Firmicutes (72.9%), Proteobacteria (14.9%), Actinobacteria (12%), and Bacteroidetes (0.2%). Bacterial diversity was significantly lower in wild birds than in captive birds. Principal component analysis based on the Unifrac distance metric indicated that the cloacal microbiota differed between wild and captive parrots. Staphylococcus saprophyticus was significantly more abundant in wild birds, while Escherichia coli was significantly more abundant in captive birds. In conclusion, wild and captive parrots appear to have differences in the composition of their cloacal bacterial microbiota. The clinical significance of these differences remains to be determined.

  4. Molecular Systematics of the Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus): Implications for Taxonomy and Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Coetzer, Willem G.; Downs, Colleen T.; Perrin, Mike R.; Willows-Munro, Sandi

    2015-01-01

    The taxonomic position of the Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus robustus) has been the focus of much debate. A number of authors suggest that the Cape Parrot should be viewed as a distinct species separate from the other two P. robustus subspecies (P. r. fuscicollis and P. r. suahelicus). These recommendations were based on morphological, ecological, and behavioural assessments. In this study we investigated the validity of these recommendations using multilocus DNA analyses. We genotyped 138 specimens from five Poicephalus species (P. cryptoxanthus, P. gulielmi, P. meyeri, P. robustus, and P. rueppellii) using 11 microsatellite loci. Additionally, two mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase I gene and 16S ribosomal RNA) and one nuclear intron (intron 7 of the β-fibrinogen gene) markers were amplified and sequenced. Bayesian clustering analysis and pairwise FST analysis of microsatellite data identified P. r. robustus as genetically distinct from the other P. robustus subspecies. Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses on sequence data also supported the microsatellite analyses, placing P. r. robustus in a distinct clade separate from the other P. robustus subspecies. Molecular clock analysis places the most recent common ancestor between P. r. robustus and P. r. fuscicollis / P. r. suahelicus at 2.13 to 2.67 million years ago. Our results all support previous recommendations to elevate the Cape Parrot to species level. This will facilitate better planning and implementation of international and local conservation management strategies for the Cape Parrot. PMID:26267261

  5. Molecular systematics of the Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus): implications for taxonomy and conservation.

    PubMed

    Coetzer, Willem G; Downs, Colleen T; Perrin, Mike R; Willows-Munro, Sandi

    2015-01-01

    The taxonomic position of the Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus robustus) has been the focus of much debate. A number of authors suggest that the Cape Parrot should be viewed as a distinct species separate from the other two P. robustus subspecies (P. r. fuscicollis and P. r. suahelicus). These recommendations were based on morphological, ecological, and behavioural assessments. In this study we investigated the validity of these recommendations using multilocus DNA analyses. We genotyped 138 specimens from five Poicephalus species (P. cryptoxanthus, P. gulielmi, P. meyeri, P. robustus, and P. rueppellii) using 11 microsatellite loci. Additionally, two mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase I gene and 16S ribosomal RNA) and one nuclear intron (intron 7 of the β-fibrinogen gene) markers were amplified and sequenced. Bayesian clustering analysis and pairwise FST analysis of microsatellite data identified P. r. robustus as genetically distinct from the other P. robustus subspecies. Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses on sequence data also supported the microsatellite analyses, placing P. r. robustus in a distinct clade separate from the other P. robustus subspecies. Molecular clock analysis places the most recent common ancestor between P. r. robustus and P. r. fuscicollis / P. r. suahelicus at 2.13 to 2.67 million years ago. Our results all support previous recommendations to elevate the Cape Parrot to species level. This will facilitate better planning and implementation of international and local conservation management strategies for the Cape Parrot.

  6. [[Characterization of the potential geographical distribution area of parrot species in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Plasencia Vázquez, Alexis Herminio; Escalona Segura, Griselda

    2014-12-01

    Psittacidae family is one of the most endangered groups in Mexico, since many of their habitats are disappearing. In this research, we characterized the land cover of the potential geographical distribu- tion area of eight extant parrot species within the Yucatan Peninsula. We used the Maximum Entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) and species historical records. To externally validate the models, we used presence and absence records from field observations (2010-2012). To characterize the distribution area, we used the vegetation and land use maps of INEGI Series IV (2007-2010). The models showed a good performance, according to the values of the area under the curve (AUC), which ranged between 0.88-0.95 with the training data and between 0.82-0.91 with test data. We located most of the species in sites where the models predicted their presence. In the Peninsula, over 76% of the parrots' potential geographical distribution area is forested, except for Amazona oratrix. The subhumid tropical forest is the best represented, and the livestock for land use. The most affected species within the Peninsula are: Amazona farinosa and A. oratrix. The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is the most important area for parrots' protection in the Peninsula. Knowing the characteristics of distribution areas is an essential part in the establishment of parrots' conservation strategies.

  7. 76 FR 49201 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Four Foreign Parrot Species

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-09

    ... Federal Regulations (50 CFR 424.14(a)). On July 14, 2009 (74 FR 33957), we published a 90-day finding in... remaining parrot species for which a 90-day finding was made on July 14, 2009 (74 FR 33957) in subsequent... (Prosopeia splendens, Peale, 1848) is endemic to Fiji, where it is found in forests, on agricultural...

  8. Immobilization of lipase from grey mullet.

    PubMed

    Aryee, Alberta N A; Simpson, Benjamin K

    2012-12-01

    Grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) lipase was isolated using para-aminobenzamidine agarose and immobilized on octyl Sepharose CL-4B (o-Sep). Immobilized grey mullet lipase (GMLi) had a 10 °C higher optimum temperature compared to the free enzyme and showed remarkable thermal stability. GMLi was most active within the pH range of 8.0-9.5 with an optimum at 8.5. Immobilization also enhanced the storage stability and reusability of the enzyme with minimal changes in efficiency during repeated batches. GMLi showed variable stabilities in various organic solvents. A signal in the amide I absorption region of the FTIR spectrum of GMLi was attributed to the protein layer on o-Sep. The surface morphology of o-Sep was visualized on a Zeiss stereomicroscope as globular-shaped beads.

  9. Silvery grey hair: clue to diagnose immunodeficiency.

    PubMed

    Sahana, Ms; Sacchidanand, S; Hiremagalore, R; Asha, Gs

    2012-04-01

    Silvery hair is a common presentation of rare group of autosomal recessive disorders called Silvery hair syndromes including Griscelli syndrome (GS), Chediak-Higashi syndrome, and Elejalde syndrome. GS is characterized by a silvery grey sheen to hair, large clumped melanosomes in hair shaft, partial albinism, and variable cellular immunodeficiency. We report two cases of GS with classical clinical features and confirmatory findings by microscopic skin and hair examination.

  10. Anatomical Specializations for Nocturnality in a Critically Endangered Parrot, the Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

    PubMed Central

    Corfield, Jeremy R.; Gsell, Anna C.; Brunton, Dianne; Heesy, Christopher P.; Hall, Margaret I.; Acosta, Monica L.; Iwaniuk, Andrew N.

    2011-01-01

    The shift from a diurnal to nocturnal lifestyle in vertebrates is generally associated with either enhanced visual sensitivity or a decreased reliance on vision. Within birds, most studies have focused on differences in the visual system across all birds with respect to nocturnality-diurnality. The critically endangered Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is an example of a species that has evolved a nocturnal lifestyle in an otherwise diurnal lineage, but nothing is known about its' visual system. Here, we provide a detailed morphological analysis of the orbits, brain, eye, and retina of the Kakapo and comparisons with other birds. Morphometric analyses revealed that the Kakapo's orbits are significantly more convergent than other parrots, suggesting an increased binocular overlap in the visual field. The Kakapo exhibits an eye shape that is consistent with other nocturnal birds, including owls and nightjars, but is also within the range of the diurnal parrots. With respect to the brain, the Kakapo has a significantly smaller optic nerve and tectofugal visual pathway. Specifically, the optic tectum, nucleus rotundus and entopallium were significantly reduced in relative size compared to other parrots. There was no apparent reduction to the thalamofugal visual pathway. Finally, the retinal morphology of the Kakapo is similar to that of both diurnal and nocturnal birds, suggesting a retina that is specialised for a crepuscular niche. Overall, this suggests that the Kakapo has enhanced light sensitivity, poor visual acuity and a larger binocular field than other parrots. We conclude that the Kakapo possesses a visual system unlike that of either strictly nocturnal or diurnal birds and therefore does not adhere to the traditional view of the evolution of nocturnality in birds. PMID:21860663

  11. Plasma Drug Concentrations of Orally Administered Rosuvastatin in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Papich, Mark G; Brandão, João; Nevarez, Javier; Tully, Thomas N

    2015-03-01

    Atherosclerotic diseases are common in pet psittacine birds, in particular Amazon parrots. While hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidemia have not definitely been associated with increased susceptibility to atherosclerosis in parrots, these are important and well-known risk factors in humans. Therefore statin drugs such as rosuvastatin constitute the mainstay of human treatment of dyslipidemia and the prevention of atherosclerosis. No pharmacologic studies have been performed in psittacine birds despite the high prevalence of atherosclerosis in captivity. Thirteen Hispaniolan Amazon parrots were used to test a single oral dose of 10 mg/kg of rosuvastatin with blood sampling performed according to a balanced incomplete block design over 36 hours. Because low plasma concentrations were produced in the first study, a subsequent pilot study using a dose of 25 mg/kg in 2 Amazon parrots was performed. Most plasma samples for the 10 mg/kg dose and all samples for the 25 mg/kg dose had rosuvastatin concentration below the limits of quantitation. For the 10 mg/kg study, the median peak plasma concentration and time to peak plasma concentration were 0.032 μg/mL and 2 hours, respectively. Our results indicate that rosuvastatin does not appear suitable in Amazon parrots as compounded and used at the dose in this study. Pharmacodynamic studies investigating lipid-lowering effects of statins rather than pharmacokinetic studies may be more practical and cost effective in future studies to screen for a statin with more ideal properties for potential use in psittacine dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic diseases.

  12. Anatomical specializations for nocturnality in a critically endangered parrot, the Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus).

    PubMed

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Gsell, Anna C; Brunton, Dianne; Heesy, Christopher P; Hall, Margaret I; Acosta, Monica L; Iwaniuk, Andrew N

    2011-01-01

    The shift from a diurnal to nocturnal lifestyle in vertebrates is generally associated with either enhanced visual sensitivity or a decreased reliance on vision. Within birds, most studies have focused on differences in the visual system across all birds with respect to nocturnality-diurnality. The critically endangered Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is an example of a species that has evolved a nocturnal lifestyle in an otherwise diurnal lineage, but nothing is known about its' visual system. Here, we provide a detailed morphological analysis of the orbits, brain, eye, and retina of the Kakapo and comparisons with other birds. Morphometric analyses revealed that the Kakapo's orbits are significantly more convergent than other parrots, suggesting an increased binocular overlap in the visual field. The Kakapo exhibits an eye shape that is consistent with other nocturnal birds, including owls and nightjars, but is also within the range of the diurnal parrots. With respect to the brain, the Kakapo has a significantly smaller optic nerve and tectofugal visual pathway. Specifically, the optic tectum, nucleus rotundus and entopallium were significantly reduced in relative size compared to other parrots. There was no apparent reduction to the thalamofugal visual pathway. Finally, the retinal morphology of the Kakapo is similar to that of both diurnal and nocturnal birds, suggesting a retina that is specialised for a crepuscular niche. Overall, this suggests that the Kakapo has enhanced light sensitivity, poor visual acuity and a larger binocular field than other parrots. We conclude that the Kakapo possesses a visual system unlike that of either strictly nocturnal or diurnal birds and therefore does not adhere to the traditional view of the evolution of nocturnality in birds.

  13. Estimation of density and population size and recommendations for monitoring trends of Bahama parrots on Great Abaco and Great Inagua

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rivera-Milan, F. F.; Collazo, J.A.; Stahala, C.; Moore, W.J.; Davis, A.; Herring, G.; Steinkamp, M.; Pagliaro, R.; Thompson, J.L.; Bracey, W.

    2005-01-01

    Once abundant and widely distributed, the Bahama parrot (Amazona leucocephala bahamensis) currently inhabits only the Great Abaco and Great lnagua Islands of the Bahamas. In January 2003 and May 2002-2004, we conducted point-transect surveys (a type of distance sampling) to estimate density and population size and make recommendations for monitoring trends. Density ranged from 0.061 (SE = 0.013) to 0.085 (SE = 0.018) parrots/ha and population size ranged from 1,600 (SE = 354) to 2,386 (SE = 508) parrots when extrapolated to the 26,154 ha and 28,162 ha covered by surveys on Abaco in May 2002 and 2003, respectively. Density was 0.183 (SE = 0.049) and 0.153 (SE = 0.042) parrots/ha and population size was 5,344 (SE = 1,431) and 4,450 (SE = 1,435) parrots when extrapolated to the 29,174 ha covered by surveys on Inagua in May 2003 and 2004, respectively. Because parrot distribution was clumped, we would need to survey 213-882 points on Abaco and 258-1,659 points on Inagua to obtain a CV of 10-20% for estimated density. Cluster size and its variability and clumping increased in wintertime, making surveys imprecise and cost-ineffective. Surveys were reasonably precise and cost-effective in springtime, and we recommend conducting them when parrots are pairing and selecting nesting sites. Survey data should be collected yearly as part of an integrated monitoring strategy to estimate density and other key demographic parameters and improve our understanding of the ecological dynamics of these geographically isolated parrot populations at risk of extinction.

  14. Effects of Hurricane Georges on habitat use by captive-reared Hispaniolan Parrots (Amazona ventralis) released in the Dominican Republic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, T.H.; Collazo, J.A.; Vilella, F.J.; Guerrero, S.A.

    2005-01-01

    We radio-tagged and released 49 captive-reared Hispaniolan Parrots (Amazona ventralis) in Parque Nacional del Este (PNE), Dominican Republic, during 1997 and 1998. Our primary objective was to develop a restoration program centered on using aviary-reared birds to further the recovery of the critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (A. vittata). Hurricane Georges made landfall over the release area on 22 September 1998 with sustained winds of 224 km/h, providing us with a unique opportunity to quantify responses of parrots to such disturbances. Quantitative data on such responses by any avian species are scarce, particularly for Amazona species, many of which are in peril and occur in hurricane-prone areas throughout the Caribbean. Mean home ranges of 18 parrots monitored both before and after the hurricane increased (P = 0.08) from 864 ha (CI = 689-1039 ha) pre-hurricane to 1690 ha (CI = 1003-2377 ha) post-hurricane. The total area traversed by all parrots increased > 300%, from 4884 ha pre-hurricane to 15,490 ha post-hurricane. Before Hurricane Georges, parrot activity was concentrated in coastal scrub, tall broadleaf forest, and abandoned agriculture (conucos). After the hurricane, parrots concentrated their activities in areas of tall broadleaf forest and abandoned conucos. Topographic relief, primarily in the form of large sinkholes, resulted in "resource refugia" where parrots and other frugivores foraged after the hurricane. Habitat use and movement patterns exhibited by released birds highlight the importance of carefully considering effects of season, topography, and overall size of release areas when planning psittacine restorations in hurricane-prone areas. ?? The Neotropical Ornithological Society.

  15. Occurrence of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens in Common and Noninvasive Diagnostic Sampling from Parrots and Racing Pigeons in Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Dovč, Alenka; Jereb, Gregor; Krapež, Uroš; Gregurić-Gračner, Gordana; Pintarič, Štefan; Slavec, Brigita; Knific, Renata Lindtner; Kastelic, Marjan; Kvapil, Pavel; Mićunović, Jasna; Vadnjal, Stanka; Ocepek, Matjaž; Zadravec, Marko; Zorman-Rojs, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Airborne pathogens can cause infections within parrot (Psittaciformes) and pigeon (Columbiformes) holdings and, in the case of zoonoses, can even spread to humans. Air sampling is a useful, noninvasive method which can enhance the common sampling methods for detection of microorganisms in bird flocks. In this study, fecal and air samples were taken from four parrot holdings. Additionally, cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs as well as air samples were taken from 15 racing pigeon holdings. Parrots were examined for psittacine beak and feather disease virus (PBFDV), proventricular dilatation disease virus (PDDV), adenoviruses (AdVs), avian paramyxovirus type-1 (APMV-1), avian influenza virus (AIV), Chlamydia psittaci (CP), and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). MAC and AdVs were detected in three parrot holdings, CP was detected in two parrot holdings, and PBFDV and PDDV were each detected in one parrot holding. Pigeons were examined for the pigeon circovirus (PiCV), AdVs, and CP; PiCV and AdVs were detected in all investigated pigeon holdings and CP was detected in five pigeon holdings.

  16. Occurrence of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens in Common and Noninvasive Diagnostic Sampling from Parrots and Racing Pigeons in Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Dovč, Alenka; Jereb, Gregor; Krapež, Uroš; Gregurić-Gračner, Gordana; Pintarič, Štefan; Slavec, Brigita; Knific, Renata Lindtner; Kastelic, Marjan; Kvapil, Pavel; Mićunović, Jasna; Vadnjal, Stanka; Ocepek, Matjaž; Zadravec, Marko; Zorman-Rojs, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Airborne pathogens can cause infections within parrot (Psittaciformes) and pigeon (Columbiformes) holdings and, in the case of zoonoses, can even spread to humans. Air sampling is a useful, noninvasive method which can enhance the common sampling methods for detection of microorganisms in bird flocks. In this study, fecal and air samples were taken from four parrot holdings. Additionally, cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs as well as air samples were taken from 15 racing pigeon holdings. Parrots were examined for psittacine beak and feather disease virus (PBFDV), proventricular dilatation disease virus (PDDV), adenoviruses (AdVs), avian paramyxovirus type-1 (APMV-1), avian influenza virus (AIV), Chlamydia psittaci (CP), and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). MAC and AdVs were detected in three parrot holdings, CP was detected in two parrot holdings, and PBFDV and PDDV were each detected in one parrot holding. Pigeons were examined for the pigeon circovirus (PiCV), AdVs, and CP; PiCV and AdVs were detected in all investigated pigeon holdings and CP was detected in five pigeon holdings. PMID:27309292

  17. DNA detection and genotypic identification of potentially human-pathogenic microsporidia from asymptomatic pet parrots in South Korea as a risk factor for zoonotic emergence.

    PubMed

    Lee, So-Young; Lee, Sung-Seok; Lyoo, Young S; Park, Hee-Myung

    2011-12-01

    We detected and identified genotypes of human-pathogenic microsporidia in fecal samples from 51 asymptomatic captive-bred pet parrots in South Korea. Microsporidia were identified in 8 samples (15.7%); 7 parrots tested positive for Encephalitozoon hellem, and 1 parrot tested positive for both E. hellem and Encephalitozoon cuniculi. In genotypic identifications, E. hellem was present in genotypes 1A and 2B and E. cuniculi was present in genotype II. Pet parrots might be a source of human microsporidian infection.

  18. Searching for grey literature for systematic reviews: challenges and benefits.

    PubMed

    Mahood, Quenby; Van Eerd, Dwayne; Irvin, Emma

    2014-09-01

    There is ongoing interest in including grey literature in systematic reviews. Including grey literature can broaden the scope to more relevant studies, thereby providing a more complete view of available evidence. Searching for grey literature can be challenging despite greater access through the Internet, search engines and online bibliographic databases. There are a number of publications that list sources for finding grey literature in systematic reviews. However, there is scant information about how searches for grey literature are executed and how it is included in the review process. This level of detail is important to ensure that reviews follow explicit methodology to be systematic, transparent and reproducible. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed account of one systematic review team's experience in searching for grey literature and including it throughout the review. We provide a brief overview of grey literature before describing our search and review approach. We also discuss the benefits and challenges of including grey literature in our systematic review, as well as the strengths and limitations to our approach. Detailed information about incorporating grey literature in reviews is important in advancing methodology as review teams adapt and build upon the approaches described.

  19. Searching for grey literature for systematic reviews: challenges and benefits.

    PubMed

    Mahood, Quenby; Van Eerd, Dwayne; Irvin, Emma

    2014-09-01

    There is ongoing interest in including grey literature in systematic reviews. Including grey literature can broaden the scope to more relevant studies, thereby providing a more complete view of available evidence. Searching for grey literature can be challenging despite greater access through the Internet, search engines and online bibliographic databases. There are a number of publications that list sources for finding grey literature in systematic reviews. However, there is scant information about how searches for grey literature are executed and how it is included in the review process. This level of detail is important to ensure that reviews follow explicit methodology to be systematic, transparent and reproducible. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed account of one systematic review team's experience in searching for grey literature and including it throughout the review. We provide a brief overview of grey literature before describing our search and review approach. We also discuss the benefits and challenges of including grey literature in our systematic review, as well as the strengths and limitations to our approach. Detailed information about incorporating grey literature in reviews is important in advancing methodology as review teams adapt and build upon the approaches described. PMID:26052848

  20. Grey('s) Identity: Complications of Learning and Becoming in a Popular Television Show

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jubas, Kaela

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the author outlines an analysis of the American show "Grey's Anatomy" as an example of how popular culture represents identity and the process of professional identity construction in a medical workplace, particularly the surgical service of a large urban hospital. In discussing identity, she connects professional identity to…

  1. Synergistic antiviral activity of ribavirin and interferon-α against parrot bornaviruses in avian cells.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Antje; Horie, Masayuki; Höper, Dirk; Ohnemus, Annette; Narr, Andreas; Rinder, Monika; Beer, Martin; Staeheli, Peter; Rubbenstroth, Dennis

    2016-09-01

    Avian bornaviruses are the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a widely distributed and often fatal disease in captive psittacines. Because neither specific prevention measures nor therapies against PDD and bornavirus infections are currently available, new antiviral strategies are required to improve animal health. We show here that the nucleoside analogue ribavirin inhibited bornavirus activity in a polymerase reconstitution assay and reduced viral load in avian cell lines infected with two different parrot bornaviruses. Furthermore, we observed that ribavirin enhanced type I IFN signalling in avian cells. Combined treatment of avian bornavirus-infected cells with ribavirin and recombinant IFN-α strongly enhanced the antiviral efficiency compared to either drug alone. The combined use of ribavirin and type I IFN might represent a promising new strategy for therapeutic treatment of captive parrots persistently infected with avian bornaviruses.

  2. Nest guarding from observation blinds: strategy for improving Puerto Rican parrot nest success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindsey, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    The effectiveness of 17 yr of nestguarding from observation blinds for increasing reproductive success of the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) is described. As personnel and time allowed, active nests were guarded part-time during the nest site exploration and selection s stage of the breeding cycle, and part-time to full-time when a nest contained eggs or chicks. Biologists identified nine categories of threat to the success of parrot nests. Since 1973, a minimum of 20 nests, which otherwise would have failed, successfully produced fledglings as a direct result of nest guarding and intervention. Nest success averaged 66% with nest guarding compared to an estimated 38% without guarding. Nest guarding from blinds can help maintain a wild population of a critically endangered species while other management techniques are being developed to stimulate population growth.

  3. Annual pattern of fecal corticoid excretion in captive Red-tailed parrots (Amazona brasiliensis).

    PubMed

    Popp, Lucyenne G; Serafini, Patrícia P; Reghelin, Angela L S; Spercoski, Katherinne Maria; Roper, James J; Morais, Rosana N

    2008-05-01

    Annual patterns of fecal corticoid excretion were analyzed in the threatened Red-tailed parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) in captivity. Corticoid concentration over the 15 months of the study (mean +/- standard error, 12.6 +/- 0.32 ng g(-1), n = 585) was lowest around May (the southern Fall), and greatest around September (late winter), just prior to their normal breeding period. Corticoid excretion follows a seasonal pattern best explained by reproductive cycles rather than climate, although climate may be involved in the timing of corticoid excretion. Fecal corticoids also show promise as a tool to measure stress levels. We demonstrate that fecal corticoid measurement is a simple, yet efficient method for monitoring adrenocortical activity in captive, and perhaps wild, parrots. Monitoring adrenocortical activity can inform researchers about imposed stress in captivity, whether pair-bonds are forming in captive birds, and of the timing of breeding both in captivity and in nature.

  4. Systemic Coxiella-like infection with myocarditis and hepatitis in an eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus).

    PubMed

    Vapniarsky, N; Barr, B C; Murphy, B

    2012-07-01

    A multiorgan infection with a Coxiella-like organism was determined to be the cause of death of a female eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus). The diagnosis was based on gross lesions, histopathology, Gimenez and Gram special stains, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of a bacterial 16s rRNA gene fragment isolated from hepatic and cardiac tissue. Gross postmortem examination revealed multifocal to coalescing foci of hepatic necrosis. The most significant histologic lesions included multifocal lymphohistiocytic necrotizing hepatitis, locally extensive lymphoplasmacytic myocarditis, and myocardial degeneration and necrosis. Intralesional cytoplasmic organisms were identified in cardiomyocytes, biliary epithelium, and pancreatic exocrine cells. This is the first description of a Coxiella-like organism with wide-ranging cellular tropisms in a psittacine bird. In addition, lymphoplasmacytic neuritis, myositis, splenitis, airsacculitis, and enteritis were detected. It is also the first report of a Coxiella-like infection in an eclectus parrot.

  5. Air sac adenocarcinoma of the sternum in a Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus).

    PubMed

    Loukopoulos, Panayiotis; Okuni, Julius Boniface; Micco, Teresa; Garcia, Jorge P; Uzal, Francisco A; Diab, Santiago S

    2014-12-01

    Respiratory neoplasia is rarely reported in avian species. A 17-yr-old Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) was admitted with a 2-wk history of anorexia, depression, and respiratory distress. Clinical examination revealed a large, firm mass in the left pectoral muscle. Radiology showed a mass silhouetting the heart and the liver. Supportive treatment was provided, but the bird died during the seventh weekly visit to drain thoracic cavity fluid. Necropsy showed a white, 3 x 3 x 2-cm, hard, gritty sternal mass. Histology showed a nonencapsulated, moderately differentiated air sac carcinoma of the sternum. Immunohistochemically the neoplasm was cytokeratin positive and vimentin and calretinin negative. This is the first report of an air sac neoplasia in a Quaker parrot and one of few respiratory tumors in psittacines.

  6. Synergistic antiviral activity of ribavirin and interferon-α against parrot bornaviruses in avian cells.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Antje; Horie, Masayuki; Höper, Dirk; Ohnemus, Annette; Narr, Andreas; Rinder, Monika; Beer, Martin; Staeheli, Peter; Rubbenstroth, Dennis

    2016-09-01

    Avian bornaviruses are the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a widely distributed and often fatal disease in captive psittacines. Because neither specific prevention measures nor therapies against PDD and bornavirus infections are currently available, new antiviral strategies are required to improve animal health. We show here that the nucleoside analogue ribavirin inhibited bornavirus activity in a polymerase reconstitution assay and reduced viral load in avian cell lines infected with two different parrot bornaviruses. Furthermore, we observed that ribavirin enhanced type I IFN signalling in avian cells. Combined treatment of avian bornavirus-infected cells with ribavirin and recombinant IFN-α strongly enhanced the antiviral efficiency compared to either drug alone. The combined use of ribavirin and type I IFN might represent a promising new strategy for therapeutic treatment of captive parrots persistently infected with avian bornaviruses. PMID:27439314

  7. Red cell metabolism in red and grey kangaroos.

    PubMed

    Agar, N S

    1977-12-15

    Glucose utilization, lactate production and glutathione regeneration were measured in the red blood cells of 2 species of Australian Marsupials, Eastern grey Kangaroo (Macropus gigantus) and red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), and were found to be significantly lower in the red blood cells from grey than that of red kangaroos.

  8. 30. NATIONAL SHELL CORE MACHINE IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY ...

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

    30. NATIONAL SHELL CORE MACHINE IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY AUTOMATICALLY INJECTS SAND INTO CLOSED, HEATED CORE BOXES THAT SET THE RESINS AND PERMIT A HARDENED CORE TO BE REMOVED BY THE OPERATOR. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  9. 17. INTERIOR VIEW WITH GREY UNIT NO. 1 MOLD CONVEYOR ...

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

    17. INTERIOR VIEW WITH GREY UNIT NO. 1 MOLD CONVEYOR SHOWING CHAIN HELD WEIGHTS THAT TRAVEL AT THE SAME SPEED AS THE CONVEYOR AND REST ON COMPLETED MOLDS TO HOLD THE SAND SEAMS TOGETHER AS MOLTED IRON IS POURED INTO THE MOLD CAVITY. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  10. 11. INTERIOR VIEW WITH JAMES WILLIAMS INSIDE GREY IRON UNIT ...

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

    11. INTERIOR VIEW WITH JAMES WILLIAMS INSIDE GREY IRON UNIT NO. 1 MOLDING CONVEYOR, AIR CLEANING A PATTERN AS IT SITS WITHIN A FLASK ON A MOLDING MACHINE PRIOR TO BEING FILLED WITH SAND FROM THE OVERHEAD CONVEYOR. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  11. 33. BENCH CORE STATION, GREY IRON FOUNDRY CORE ROOM WHERE ...

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

    33. BENCH CORE STATION, GREY IRON FOUNDRY CORE ROOM WHERE CORE MOLDS WERE HAND FILLED AND OFTEN PNEUMATICALLY COMPRESSED WITH A HAND-HELD RAMMER BEFORE THEY WERE BAKED. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  12. 34. DESPATCH CORE OVENS, GREY IRON FOUNDRY CORE ROOM, BAKES ...

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

    34. DESPATCH CORE OVENS, GREY IRON FOUNDRY CORE ROOM, BAKES CORES THAT ARE NOT MADE ON HEATED OR COLD BOX CORE MACHINES, TO SET BINDING AGENTS MIXED WITH THE SAND CREATING CORES HARD ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND THE FLOW OF MOLTEN IRON INSIDE A MOLD. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  13. 31. PETIBONE SAND THROWING MACHINE BOX FLOOR GREY IRON FOUNDRY ...

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

    31. PETIBONE SAND THROWING MACHINE BOX FLOOR GREY IRON FOUNDRY FORCES CONDITIONED MOLDING SAND, AT HIGH VELOCITY, INTO MOLDS TOO BIG TO BE MADE ON ONE OF THE CONVEYOR SYSTEMS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  14. 7. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE ...

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

    7. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE AND AN IRON POUR IN PROCESS. MOLTEN DUCTILE IRON IS POURED FROM THIS 25-TON HOLDING FURNACE INTO LADLES FOR TRANSPORT TO CASTING STATIONS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  15. 8. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACES ...

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

    8. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACES AND AN IRON POUR IN PROCESS, CUPOLA TENDER RICHARD SLAUGHTER SUPERVISING THE POUR. MOLTEN DUCTILE IRON IS POURED FROM THIS 25-TON HOLDING FURNACE INTO LADLES FOR TRANSPORT TO CASTING STATIONS. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  16. 41. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE ...

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

    41. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE AND AN IRON POUR IN PROCESS. MOLTEN DUCTILE IRON IS POURED FROM THIS 25-TON HOLDING FURNACE INTO LADLES FOR TRANSPORT TO CASTING STATIONS - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  17. 42. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE ...

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

    42. INTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, WITH GREY IRON HOLDING FURNACE AND AN IRON POUR IN PROCESS. MOLTEN DUCTILE IRON IS POURED FROM THIS 25-TON HOLDING FURNACE INTO LADLES FOR TRANSPORT TO CASTING STATIONS - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  18. 32. LARGE LADLE, BOX FLOOR, GREY IRON FOUNDRY IS USED ...

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

    32. LARGE LADLE, BOX FLOOR, GREY IRON FOUNDRY IS USED TO CARRY LARGE BATCHES OF IRON FROM THE CUPOLA AREAS TO THE LARGE MOLDS MADE ON BOX FLOOR AREA. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  19. A High Precision Prediction Model Using Hybrid Grey Dynamic Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Guo-Dong; Yamaguchi, Daisuke; Nagai, Masatake; Masuda, Shiro

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a new prediction analysis model which combines the first order one variable Grey differential equation Model (abbreviated as GM(1,1) model) from grey system theory and time series Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model from statistics theory. We abbreviate the combined GM(1,1) ARIMA model as ARGM(1,1)…

  20. Puerto Rican parrots and potential limitations of the metapopulation approach to species conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Marcia H.; Kepler, Cameron B.; Snyder, Noel F.R.; Derrickson, Scott R.; Dein, F. Josh; Wiley, James W.; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Lugo, Ariel E.; Graham, David L.; Toone, William D.

    1994-01-01

    Population viability analyses for a number of endangered species have incorporated a metapopulation approach. The risk assessments of these viability analyses have indicated that some extant populations should be subdivided into numerous subgroups with exchange of individuals among them in order to reduce the chance of catastrophic loss of the species. However, routine application of a policy of extensive subdivision may have detrimental consequences for certain endangered species. We examine the Puerto Rican Parrot as a case history in which this policy is ill-advised. In 1989, a population viability analysis was conducted for the parrot. The document recommended subdivision of the existing small captive flock into three groups. One of these captive flocks would consist of individuals transferred to a multi-species facility in the continental United States. Subsequently, individuals from this facility would be exchanged with the insular captive population(s) and the relict wild flock. For two reasons, implementation of this recommendation might have led to serious repercussions. First, this parrot, like many endangered species, has gone through a genetic bottleneck and may have a heightened susceptibility to disease. Multi-species facilities are a high-risk environment favoring the transmission of pathogens, especially when the facilities are located outside the natural ranges of a particular species. Second, the parrot is a K-selected species for which mate selection is idiosyncratic. This type of species often proves difficult to breed in captivity in small groups. Part of the problem in mate selection may be reduced by a policy allowing frequent transfers of individuals among facilities, but such movements increase the chances of spreading disease in the metapopulation. Thus, population viability analyses need to acknowledge that proliferation of captive subgroups accompanied by exchanges of individuals can in themselves carry substantial risks that must be

  1. The contribution of structural-, psittacofulvin- and melanin-based colouration to sexual dichromatism in Australasian parrots.

    PubMed

    Taysom, A J; Stuart-Fox, D; Cardoso, G C

    2011-02-01

    Colour ornamentation in animals is exceptionally diverse, but some colours may provide better signals of individual quality or more efficient visual stimuli and, thus, be more often used as sexual signals. This may depend on physiological costs, which depend on the mechanism of colour production (e.g. exogenously acquired colouration in passerine birds appears to be most sexually dichromatic). We studied sexual dichromatism in a sample of 27 Australasian parrot species with pigment- (melanin and psittacofulvin) and structural-based colouration, to test whether some of these types of colouration are more prominent in sexual ornamentation. Unlike passerines, in which long wavelength colouration (yellow to red) usually involves exogenous and costly carotenoid pigments, yellow to red colouration in parrots is based on endogenously synthesized psittacofulvin pigments. This allows us to assess whether costly exogenous pigments are necessary for these plumage colours to have a prominent role in sexual signalling. Structural blue colouration showed the largest and most consistent sexual dichromatism, both in area and perceptually relevant chromatic differences, indicating that it is often ornamental in parrots. By contrast, we found little evidence for consistent sexual dichromatism in melanin-based colouration. Unlike passerines, yellow to red colouration was not strongly sexually dichromatic: although the area of colouration was generally larger in males, colour differences between the sexes were on average imperceptible to parrots. This is consistent with the idea that the prominent yellow to red sexual dichromatism in passerines is related to the use of carotenoid pigments, rather than resulting from sensory bias for these colours.

  2. Means to an end: neotropical parrots manage to pull strings to meet their goals.

    PubMed

    Schuck-Paim, Cynthia; Borsari, Andressa; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2009-03-01

    Although parrots share with corvids and primates many of the traits believed to be associated with advanced cognitive processing, knowledge of parrot cognition is still limited to a few species, none of which are Neotropical. Here we examine the ability of three Neotropical parrot species (Blue-Fronted Amazons, Hyacinth and Lear's macaws) to spontaneously solve a novel physical problem: the string-pulling test. The ability to pull up a string to obtain out-of-reach food has been often considered a cognitively complex task, as it requires the use of a sequence of actions never previously assembled, along with the ability to continuously monitor string, food and certain body movements. We presented subjects with pulling tasks where we varied the spatial relationship between the strings, the presence of a reward and the physical contact between the string and reward to determine whether (1) string-pulling is goal-oriented in these parrots, (2) whether the string is recognized as a means to obtain the reward and (3) whether subjects can visually determine the continuity between the string and the reward, selecting only those strings for which no physical gaps between string and reward were present. Our results show that some individuals of all species were able to use the string as a means to reach a specific goal, in this case, the retrieval of the food treat. Also, subjects from both macaw species were able to visually determine the presence of physical continuity between the string and reward, making their choices consistently with the recognition that no gaps should be present between the string and the reward. Our findings highlight the potential of this taxonomic group for the understanding of the underpinnings of cognition in evolutionarily distant groups such as birds and primates.

  3. Non-Invasive Measurement of Adrenocortical Activity in Blue-Fronted Parrots (Amazona aestiva, Linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Ferreira, João C P; Fujihara, Caroline J; Fruhvald, Erika; Trevisol, Eduardo; Destro, Flavia C; Teixeira, Carlos R; Pantoja, José C F; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Palme, Rupert

    2015-01-01

    Parrots kept in zoos and private households often develop psychological and behavioural disorders. Despite knowing that such disorders have a multifactorial aetiology and that chronic stress is involved, little is known about their development mainly due to a poor understanding of the parrots' physiology and the lack of validated methods to measure stress in these species. In birds, blood corticosterone concentrations provide information about adrenocortical activity. However, blood sampling techniques are difficult, highly invasive and inappropriate to investigate stressful situations and welfare conditions. Thus, a non-invasive method to measure steroid hormones is critically needed. Aiming to perform a physiological validation of a cortisone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) in droppings of 24 Blue-fronted parrots (Amazona aestiva), two experiments were designed. During the experiments all droppings were collected at 3-h intervals. Initially, birds were sampled for 24 h (experiment 1) and one week later assigned to four different treatments (experiment 2): Control (undisturbed), Saline (0.2 mL of 0.9% NaCl IM), Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg IM) and Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 25 IU IM). Treatments (always one week apart) were applied to all animals in a cross-over study design. A daily rhythm pattern in GCM excretion was detected but there were no sex differences (first experiment). Saline and dexamethasone treatments had no effect on GCM (not different from control concentrations). Following ACTH injection, GCM concentration increased about 13.1-fold (median) at the peak (after 3-9 h), and then dropped to pre-treatment concentrations. By a successful physiological validation, we demonstrated the suitability of the cortisone EIA to non-invasively monitor increased adrenocortical activity, and thus, stress in the Blue-fronted parrot. This method opens up new perspectives for investigating the connection between behavioural

  4. Non-Invasive Measurement of Adrenocortical Activity in Blue-Fronted Parrots (Amazona aestiva, Linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Ferreira, João C P; Fujihara, Caroline J; Fruhvald, Erika; Trevisol, Eduardo; Destro, Flavia C; Teixeira, Carlos R; Pantoja, José C F; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Palme, Rupert

    2015-01-01

    Parrots kept in zoos and private households often develop psychological and behavioural disorders. Despite knowing that such disorders have a multifactorial aetiology and that chronic stress is involved, little is known about their development mainly due to a poor understanding of the parrots' physiology and the lack of validated methods to measure stress in these species. In birds, blood corticosterone concentrations provide information about adrenocortical activity. However, blood sampling techniques are difficult, highly invasive and inappropriate to investigate stressful situations and welfare conditions. Thus, a non-invasive method to measure steroid hormones is critically needed. Aiming to perform a physiological validation of a cortisone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) in droppings of 24 Blue-fronted parrots (Amazona aestiva), two experiments were designed. During the experiments all droppings were collected at 3-h intervals. Initially, birds were sampled for 24 h (experiment 1) and one week later assigned to four different treatments (experiment 2): Control (undisturbed), Saline (0.2 mL of 0.9% NaCl IM), Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg IM) and Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 25 IU IM). Treatments (always one week apart) were applied to all animals in a cross-over study design. A daily rhythm pattern in GCM excretion was detected but there were no sex differences (first experiment). Saline and dexamethasone treatments had no effect on GCM (not different from control concentrations). Following ACTH injection, GCM concentration increased about 13.1-fold (median) at the peak (after 3-9 h), and then dropped to pre-treatment concentrations. By a successful physiological validation, we demonstrated the suitability of the cortisone EIA to non-invasively monitor increased adrenocortical activity, and thus, stress in the Blue-fronted parrot. This method opens up new perspectives for investigating the connection between behavioural

  5. Report: workshop on mediastinal grey zone lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Poppema, Sibrand; Kluiver, Joost L; Atayar, Cigdem; van den Berg, Anke; Rosenwald, Andreas; Hummel, Michael; Lenze, Dido; Lammert, Hetty; Stein, Harald; Joos, Stephan; Barth, Thomas; Dyer, Martin; Lichter, Peter; Klein, Uwe; Cattoretti, Giorgio; Gloghini, Annunziata; Tu, Yuhai; Stolovitzky, Gustavo A; Califano, Andrea; Carbone, Antonino; Dalla-Favera, Ricardo; Melzner, Ingo; Bucur, Alexandra J; Brüderlein, Silke; Dorsch, Karola; Hasel, Cornelia; Barth, Thomas F E; Leithäuser, Frank; Möller, Peter

    2005-07-01

    There are several indications that classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) and at least a proportion of cases of Primary Mediastinal B cell Lymphoma (PMBL) are derived from B cells at similar stages of differentiation and share common pathogenic mechanisms. The first indication was the existence of mediastinal grey zone lymphomas as identified in the 4th International Symposium on HL, with clinical, histological and immunohistochemical features intermediate between cHL and PMBL. Second, both tumor types resemble a cell that is developmentally situated in-between the germinal center reaction and a plasma cell. Third, cHL and PMBL were found to have similar gene expression profiles, including the lack of immunoglobulin expression and low levels of B cell receptor signalling molecules, and the secretion of molecules like the chemokine TARC and the prominent expression of IL-13 receptors. Fourth, both entities were found to have common genomic aberrancies, notably in 2p15 and 9p24, the sites of the REL oncogene and the tyrosine kinase gene JAK2, respectively. Further comparison of both lymphoma types may provide further insight in the pathogenic mechanisms and allow the design of diagnostic algorithms to sort out the small number of so-called mediastinal grey zone lymphomas, that appear to be intermediate between PMBL and cHL. PMID:16007868

  6. Do leucocytes reflect condition in nestling burrowing parrots Cyanoliseus patagonus in the wild?

    PubMed

    Masello, Juan F; Choconi, R Gustavo; Helmer, Matthias; Kremberg, Thomas; Lubjuhn, Thomas; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2009-02-01

    The different leucocyte types are an important part of the immune system. Thus, they have been used in ecological studies to assess immune function and physiological stress in wild birds. It is generally assumed that increased stress and decreased condition are associated with an increase in the ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes, the H/L ratio. We studied leucocyte profiles in relation to body condition in nestling Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) in North-eastern Patagonia, Argentina. As in other wild parrots, heterophils were the most numerous leucocyte type, suggesting strong investment into innate immunity. Leucocyte profiles did not change with the age, while nestlings in better body condition increased the number of heterophils. Because the number of lymphocytes was independent of body condition, as a result we observed a positive correlation between body condition and the H/L ratio. The total number of leucocytes relative to erythrocytes increased in nestlings in better body condition, indicating a larger overall investment into immune function in well-nourished nestlings. The observed heterophilic profiles of nestling Burrowing Parrots together with the positive relationship between H/L ratio and body condition may indicate a favoured investment in a robust innate immunity that reduces the risk of infection taking hold in these long-lived birds.

  7. Vocal imitation in parrots allows addressing of specific individuals in a dynamic communication network.

    PubMed

    Balsby, Thorsten J S; Momberg, Jane Vestergaard; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are known for their ability to vocally imitate humans and recently it has been shown that wild-living orange-fronted conures are able to immediately imitate other individuals' contact calls. The function of this exceptional ability to imitate remains unclear. However, orange-fronted conures live in fission-fusion flocks where they encounter many different individuals every day, and it is possible that their vocal imitation ability is a flexible means to address a specific individual within a flock. We tested this via playback to short-term captive wild conures. Test birds were placed together in pairs in outdoor aviaries to form simple flocks. To simulate imitation of a specific individual these pairs received playback of contact calls that primarily imitate one of the two birds. Overall, individuals that received simulated vocal imitations of its calls responded more frequently and faster than the other individual. This suggests that orange-fronted conures can use imitations of contact calls to address specific individuals of a flock. In the discussion we argue that the fission-fusion flock dynamics of many parrot species has been an important factor in evolving conures' and other parrots' exceptional ability to imitate.

  8. Fluoroscopic study of the normal gastrointestinal motility and measurements in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Nevarez, Javier; Taylor, W Michael; Jankowski, Gwendolyn; Rademacher, Nathalie; Gaschen, Lorrie; Pariaut, Romain; Tully, Thomas N

    2010-01-01

    Contrast fluoroscopy is a valuable tool to examine avian gastrointestinal motility. However, the lack of a standardized examination protocol and reference ranges prevents the objective interpretation of motility disorders and other gastrointestinal abnormalities. Our goals were to evaluate gastrointestinal motility in 20 Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) by contrast fluoroscopy. Each parrot was crop-fed an equal part mixture of barium sulfate and hand-feeding formula and placed in a cardboard box for fluoroscopy. Over a 3-h period, 1.5 minute segments of lateral and ventrodorsal fluoroscopy were recorded every 30 min. The gastric cycle and patterns of intestinal motility were described. The frequency of crop contractions, esophageal boluses, and gastric cycles were determined in lateral and ventrodorsal views. A range of 3.4-6.6 gastric cycles/min was noted on the lateral view and 3.0-6.6 gastric cycles/min on the ventrodorsal view. Circular measurements of the proventriculus diameter, ventriculus width, and length were obtained using the midshaft femoral diameter as a standard reference unit. The upper limits of the reference ranges were 3.6 and 4.7 femoral units for the proventriculus diameter in the lateral and ventrodorsal view, respectively. Two consecutive measurements were obtained and the measurement technique was found to have high reproducibility. In this study, we established a standardized protocol for contrast fluoroscopic examination of the gastrointestinal tract and a reliable measurement method of the proventriculus and ventriculus using femoral units in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot.

  9. Reovirus infection in two species of Psittaciformes recently imported into Italy.

    PubMed

    Conzo, G; Magnino, S; Sironi, G; Lavazza, A; Vigo, P G; Fioretti, A; Kaleta, E F

    2001-02-01

    An outbreak of reovirus infection with high mortality in two groups of recently imported psittacine birds is reported. The disease in the two species involved, African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) and Australian king parrots (Alisterus scapularis), had differences in clinical presentation and gross lesions. Reovirus particles were observed by electron microscopy and ultrastructural examination of tissues, and two viruses were isolated in cell culture, one from each bird species. Both isolates were studied by cross-neutralization with antisera against reference avian reoviruses isolated from chickens and parrots, and were found to have the greatest similarity to viruses isolated from a budgerigar and a southern screamer. PMID:19184872

  10. A multilocus molecular phylogeny of the parrots (Psittaciformes): support for a Gondwanan origin during the cretaceous.

    PubMed

    Wright, Timothy F; Schirtzinger, Erin E; Matsumoto, Tania; Eberhard, Jessica R; Graves, Gary R; Sanchez, Juan J; Capelli, Sara; Müller, Heinrich; Scharpegge, Julia; Chambers, Geoffrey K; Fleischer, Robert C

    2008-10-01

    The question of when modern birds (Neornithes) first diversified has generated much debate among avian systematists. Fossil evidence generally supports a Tertiary diversification, whereas estimates based on molecular dating favor an earlier diversification in the Cretaceous period. In this study, we used an alternate approach, the inference of historical biogeographic patterns, to test the hypothesis that the initial radiation of the Order Psittaciformes (the parrots and cockatoos) originated on the Gondwana supercontinent during the Cretaceous. We utilized broad taxonomic sampling (representatives of 69 of the 82 extant genera and 8 outgroup taxa) and multilocus molecular character sampling (3,941 bp from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes cytochrome oxidase I and NADH dehydrogenase 2 and nuclear introns of rhodopsin intron 1, tropomyosin alpha-subunit intron 5, and transforming growth factor ss-2) to generate phylogenetic hypotheses for the Psittaciformes. Analyses of the combined character partitions using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian criteria produced well-resolved and topologically similar trees in which the New Zealand taxa Strigops and Nestor (Psittacidae) were sister to all other psittaciforms and the cockatoo clade (Cacatuidae) was sister to a clade containing all remaining parrots (Psittacidae). Within this large clade of Psittacidae, some traditionally recognized tribes and subfamilies were monophyletic (e.g., Arini, Psittacini, and Loriinae), whereas several others were polyphyletic (e.g., Cyclopsittacini, Platycercini, Psittaculini, and Psittacinae). Ancestral area reconstructions using our Bayesian phylogenetic hypothesis and current distributions of genera supported the hypothesis of an Australasian origin for the Psittaciformes. Separate analyses of the timing of parrot diversification constructed with both Bayesian relaxed-clock and penalized likelihood approaches showed better agreement between geologic and diversification

  11. Evidence of psittacine beak and feather disease virus spillover into wild critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots (Neophema chrysogaster).

    PubMed

    Peters, Andrew; Patterson, Edward I; Baker, Barry G B; Holdsworth, Mark; Sarker, Subir; Ghorashi, Seyed A; Raidal, Shane R

    2014-04-01

    We report the recent emergence of a novel beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) genotype in the last remaining wild population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster). This virus poses a significant threat to the recovery of the species and potentially its survival in the wild. We used PCR to detect BFDV in the blood of three psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD)-affected wild Orange-bellied Parrot fledglings captured as founders for an existing captive breeding recovery program. Complete BFDV genome sequence data from one of these birds demonstrating a 1,993-nucleotide-long read encompass the entire circular genome. Maximum-likelihood (ML) and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic analysis supported the solitary position of this viral isolate in a genetically isolated branch of BFDV. On Rep gene sequencing, a homologous genotype was present in a second wild orange-bellied parrot and the third bird was infected with a distantly related genotype. These viruses have newly appeared in a population that has been intensively monitored for BFDV for the last 13 yr. The detection of two distinct lineages of BFDV in the remnant wild population of Orange-bellied Parrots, consisting of fewer than 50 birds, suggests a role for other parrot species as a reservoir for infection by spillover into this critically endangered species. The potential for such a scenario to contribute to the extinction of a remnant wild animal population is supported by epidemiologic theory.

  12. Use of a duodenal serosal patch in the repair of a colon rupture in a female Solomon Island eclectus parrot.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, Jeleen A; Bennett, R Avery

    2011-04-01

    Case Description-A 444-g (0.98-lb) 4-year-old sexually intact female Solomon Island eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus solomonensis) was referred and evaluated for a suspected colonic obstruction. Clinical Findings-The parrot had a 3-day history of not passing feces and lack of appetite following treatment of dystocia that included percutaneous collapse of the egg and manual removal of egg fragments via the cloaca. During this procedure, a tear in the cloacal mucosa developed. The tear was repaired via a midline cloacotomy. Although clinically stable at the time of referral, the parrot became lethargic and bradycardic and had delayed crop emptying. Treatment and Outcome-A midline celiotomy and cloacotomy were performed to relieve the colonic obstruction, during which the severely distended colon ruptured. The colonic defects were closed in a simple interrupted pattern, and a serosal patch was applied by use of the adjacent duodenum. The bird recovered uneventfully from anesthesia and was passing voluminous feces with mildly increased effort within 1 hour after surgery. At 3 weeks after surgery, the parrot was passing feces with no increase in effort and had a normal appetite. Clinical Relevance-Application of a duodenal serosal patch for repair of a colon rupture was successful in this parrot. Gastrointestinal obstruction is rare in birds, but should be considered in birds that have regurgitation, decreased fecal production, and gastrointestinal dilation. Because birds lack an omentum, serosal patching with adjacent duodenum should be considered as a viable option in avian surgery.

  13. Thermal transport properties of grey cast irons

    SciTech Connect

    Hecht, R.L.; Dinwiddie, R.B.; Porter, W.D.; Wang, Hsin

    1996-10-01

    Thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity of grey cast iron have been measured as a function of graphite flake morphology, chemical composition, and position in a finished brake rotor. Cast iron samples used for this investigation were cut from ``step block`` castings designed to produce iron with different graphite flake morphologies resulting from different cooling rates. Samples were also machined from prototype alloys and from production brake rotors representing a variation in foundry practice. Thermal diffusivity was measured at room and elevated temperatures via the flash technique. Heat capacity of selected samples was measured with differential scanning calorimetry, and these results were used to calculate the thermal conductivity. Microstructure of the various cast iron samples was quantified by standard metallography and image analysis, and the chemical compositions were determined by optical emission spectroscopy.

  14. Color and Grey Scale in Sonar Displays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kraiss, K. F.; Kuettelwesch, K. H.

    1984-01-01

    In spite of numerous publications 1 it is still rather unclear, whether color is of any help in sonar displays. The work presented here deals with a particular type of sonar data, i.e., LOFAR-grams (low frequency analysing and recording) where acoustic sensor data are continuously written as a time-frequency plot. The question to be answered quantitatively is, whether color coding does improve target detection when compared with a grey scale code. The data show significant differences in receiver-operating characteristics performance for the selected codes. In addition it turned out, that the background noise level affects the performance dramatically for some color codes, while others remain stable or even improve. Generally valid rules are presented on how to generate useful color scales for this particular application.

  15. Phylogeographic history of grey wolves in Europe

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background While it is generally accepted that patterns of intra-specific genetic differentiation are substantially affected by glacial history, population genetic processes occurring during Pleistocene glaciations are still poorly understood. In this study, we address the question of the genetic consequences of Pleistocene glaciations for European grey wolves. Combining our data with data from published studies, we analysed phylogenetic relationships and geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes for 947 contemporary European wolves. We also compared the contemporary wolf sequences with published sequences of 24 ancient European wolves. Results We found that haplotypes representing two haplogroups, 1 and 2, overlap geographically, but substantially differ in frequency between populations from south-western and eastern Europe. A comparison between haplotypes from Europe and other continents showed that both haplogroups are spread throughout Eurasia, while only haplogroup 1 occurs in contemporary North American wolves. All ancient wolf samples from western Europe that dated from between 44,000 and 1,200 years B.P. belonged to haplogroup 2, suggesting the long-term predominance of this haplogroup in this region. Moreover, a comparison of current and past frequencies and distributions of the two haplogroups in Europe suggested that haplogroup 2 became outnumbered by haplogroup 1 during the last several thousand years. Conclusions Parallel haplogroup replacement, with haplogroup 2 being totally replaced by haplogroup 1, has been reported for North American grey wolves. Taking into account the similarity of diets reported for the late Pleistocene wolves from Europe and North America, the correspondence between these haplogroup frequency changes may suggest that they were associated with ecological changes occurring after the Last Glacial Maximum. PMID:20409299

  16. Using atmospheric pressure plasma treatment for treating grey cotton fabric.

    PubMed

    Kan, Chi-Wai; Lam, Chui-Fung; Chan, Chee-Kooi; Ng, Sun-Pui

    2014-02-15

    Conventional wet treatment, desizing, scouring and bleaching, for grey cotton fabric involves the use of high water, chemical and energy consumption which may not be considered as a clean process. This study aims to investigate the efficiency of the atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) treatment on treating grey cotton fabric when compared with the conventional wet treatment. Grey cotton fabrics were treated with different combinations of plasma parameters with helium and oxygen gases and also through conventional desizing, scouring and bleaching processes in order to obtain comparable results. The results obtained from wicking and water drop tests showed that wettability of grey cotton fabrics was greatly improved after plasma treatment and yielded better results than conventional desizing and scouring. The weight reduction of plasma treated grey cotton fabrics revealed that plasma treatment can help remove sizing materials and impurities. Chemical and morphological changes in plasma treated samples were analysed by FTIR and SEM, respectively. Finally, dyeability of the plasma treated and conventional wet treated grey cotton fabrics was compared and the results showed that similar dyeing results were obtained. This can prove that plasma treatment would be another choice for treating grey cotton fabrics. PMID:24507269

  17. Phagocytosis in pup and adult harbour, grey and harp seals.

    PubMed

    Frouin, Héloïse; Lebeuf, Michel; Hammill, Mike; Fournier, Michel

    2010-04-15

    Knowledge on pinniped immunology is still in its infancy. For instance, age-related and developmental aspects of the immune system in pinnipeds need to be better described. The present study examined the phagocytic activity and efficiency of harbour, grey and harp seal leukocytes. In the first part of the study, peripheral blood was collected from captive female harbour seals of various ages. Data showed an age-related decrease in phagocytosis in female harbour seals from sub-adult to adulthood. In the second part of the study, changes in phagocytosis were quantified during lactation in wild newborn harbour, grey and harp seals and in their mothers (harp and grey seals). In newborns of the same age, leukocytes of harbour and harp seals phagocytosed less than those of grey seal pups. The phagocytic activity and efficiency increased significantly from early to mid-lactation in newborn harbour seals, and from early to late lactation in newborn grey seals, which could suggest that the transfer of phagocytosis-promoting factor(s) in colostrum is an important feature of temporary protection for pups. In contrast, no changes in phagocytic activity and efficiency were observed in lactating females of the two seal species, harp and grey, examined. At late lactation, phagocytic activity in both grey and harp seal pups and phagocytic efficiency in grey seal pups were significantly higher than in their mothers. These results could reflect either the capacity of phagocytes of the newborn harp and grey seals to respond to pathogens. Results from this study suggest that the phagocytosis of the seal species examined is not fully developed at birth as it generally increases in pups during lactation. Thereafter, the phagocytic activity of seals appears to decrease throughout adulthood.

  18. 8. VIEW OF THE LIGHT GREY GRANITE BASE WITH WHITE ...

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

    8. VIEW OF THE LIGHT GREY GRANITE BASE WITH WHITE GLAZED TERRA COTTA FINISH ABOVE. THIS IS THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE BUILDING. - Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building, 1519 Franklin Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA

  19. 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…

  20. "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…

  1. 29. DEPENDABLE FORDATHSHELL CORE MACHINES IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY ...

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

    29. DEPENDABLE FORDATH-SHELL CORE MACHINES IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY INJECTS SAND INTO A CLOSED CORE BOX. SOME OF THE UNITS HEAT THE CORE BOX TO FIX THE RESINS AS THE CORE REMAINS IN THE BOX, OTHERS MERELY SHAPED THE CORE SAND REQUIRING BAKING OF THE CORES TO HARDEN THEM. - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, Grey Iron Foundry, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  2. Survival of captive-reared Hispaniolan Parrots released in Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collazo, J.A.; White, T.H.; Vilella, F.J.; Guerrero, S.A.

    2003-01-01

    We report first-year survival rates of 49 captive-reared Hispaniolan Parrots (Amazona ventralis) released in Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic. Our goal was to learn about factors affecting postrelease survival. Specifically, we tested if survival was related to movements and whether modifying prerelease protocols influenced survival rates. We also estimated survival in the aftermath of Hurricane Georges (22 September 1998). Twenty-four parrots, fitted with radio-transmitters, were released between 14 September and 12 December 1997. Twenty-five more were released between 29 June and 16 September 1998. First-year survival rates were 30% in 1997 and 29% in 1998. Survival probability was related to bird mobility. In contrast to birds released in 1997, none of the 25 parrots released in 1998 suffered early postrelease mortality (i.e., 3-5 days after release). Two adjustments to prerelease protocols (increased exercise and reduced blood sampling) made in 1998 may have contributed to differences in mobility and survival between years. The reduction of early postrelease mortality in 1998 was encouraging, as was the prospect for higher first-year survival (e.g., 30% to 65%). Only one death was attributed to the immediate impact of the hurricane. Loss of foraging resources was likely a major contributor to ensuing mortality. Birds increased their mobility, presumably in search of food. Survival rates dropped 23% in only eight weeks posthurricane. This study underscores the value of standardized prerelease protocols, and of estimating survival and testing for factors that might influence it. Inferences from such tests will provide the best basis to make adjustments to a release program.

  3. Non-Invasive Measurement of Adrenocortical Activity in Blue-Fronted Parrots (Amazona aestiva, Linnaeus, 1758)

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, João C. P.; Fujihara, Caroline J.; Fruhvald, Erika; Trevisol, Eduardo; Destro, Flavia C.; Teixeira, Carlos R.; Pantoja, José C. F.; Schmidt, Elizabeth M. S.; Palme, Rupert

    2015-01-01

    Parrots kept in zoos and private households often develop psychological and behavioural disorders. Despite knowing that such disorders have a multifactorial aetiology and that chronic stress is involved, little is known about their development mainly due to a poor understanding of the parrots’ physiology and the lack of validated methods to measure stress in these species. In birds, blood corticosterone concentrations provide information about adrenocortical activity. However, blood sampling techniques are difficult, highly invasive and inappropriate to investigate stressful situations and welfare conditions. Thus, a non-invasive method to measure steroid hormones is critically needed. Aiming to perform a physiological validation of a cortisone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) in droppings of 24 Blue-fronted parrots (Amazona aestiva), two experiments were designed. During the experiments all droppings were collected at 3-h intervals. Initially, birds were sampled for 24 h (experiment 1) and one week later assigned to four different treatments (experiment 2): Control (undisturbed), Saline (0.2 mL of 0.9% NaCl IM), Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg IM) and Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 25 IU IM). Treatments (always one week apart) were applied to all animals in a cross-over study design. A daily rhythm pattern in GCM excretion was detected but there were no sex differences (first experiment). Saline and dexamethasone treatments had no effect on GCM (not different from control concentrations). Following ACTH injection, GCM concentration increased about 13.1-fold (median) at the peak (after 3–9 h), and then dropped to pre-treatment concentrations. By a successful physiological validation, we demonstrated the suitability of the cortisone EIA to non-invasively monitor increased adrenocortical activity, and thus, stress in the Blue-fronted parrot. This method opens up new perspectives for investigating the connection between behavioural

  4. Essential oils for the disinfection of grey water.

    PubMed

    Winward, Gideon P; Avery, Lisa M; Stephenson, Tom; Jefferson, Bruce

    2008-04-01

    Although the antimicrobial properties of many plant essential oils (EOs) are well known, their application for the disinfection of water has received little attention. In this study, their use as alternative 'natural' disinfectants for grey water reuse was assessed. Toxicity screening of eight EOs and their components highlighted origanum oil (Thymus capitatus) and carvacrol as exerting the most antimicrobial activity. Over a 30-min contact time, origanum EO concentrations of up to 94 mg L(-1) had minimal effect on total coliform concentrations in the grey water while a concentration of 468 mg L(-1) rendered total coliforms non-detectable in 100mL grey water. Coliform inactivation was found to increase with EO contact time. Organic concentration and particulate size in grey water were shown to reduce the efficacy of disinfection with origanum EO. Origanum EO prevented regrowth of coliform bacteria in reed bed-treated grey water for up to 14 days at a concentration of 468 mg L(-1), with or without prior disinfection by ultraviolet (UV) light. Based on the disinfection data reported here, the production of sufficient origanum EO for the disinfection of grey water for reuse with toilet flushing, would require approximately 35 times the average land area of a UK household.

  5. Mycobacterium marinum infection in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    Hannon, David E; Bemis, David A; Garner, Michael M

    2012-12-01

    A blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) was presented with a granuloma involving the proximal rhinotheca and extending into the rostral sinuses. Mycobacterium marinum was diagnosed based on results of biopsy and culture. Treatment was initiated with clarithromycin, rifampin, and ethambutol, but the bird died 4 months after the onset of antimicrobial therapy. Additional granulomas were found in the left lung and liver on postmortem examination. Mycobacterial isolation on postmortem samples was unsuccessful. This is the first report of Mycobacterium marinum in a bird.

  6. Granular cell tumor in an endangered Puerto Rican Amazon parrot (Amazon vittata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quist, C.F.; Latimer, K.S.; Goldade, S.L.; Rivera, A.; Dein, F.J.

    1999-01-01

    A 3 cm diameter mass from the metacarpus of a Puerto Rican Amazon parrot was diagnosed as a granular cell tumour based on light microscopy. The cytoplasmic granules were periodic-acid Schiff positive and diastase resistant. Ultrastructural characteristics of the cells included convoluted nuclei and the presence of numerous cytoplasmic tertiary lysosomes. This is only the second granular cell tumour reported in a bird. We speculate that most granular cell tumours are derived from cells that are engaged in some type of cellular degradative process, creating a similar morphologic appearance, but lacking a uniform histogenesis.

  7. Spectroscopic investigation of a brightly colored psittacofulvin pigment from parrot feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamec, František; Greco, Jordan A.; LaFountain, Amy M.; Magdaong, Nikki M.; Fuciman, Marcel; Birge, Robert R.; Polívka, Tomáš; Frank, Harry A.

    2016-03-01

    Octadecaoctaenal is a psittacofulvin pigment associated with the bright red coloration of parrots. It consists of a linear polyene chain terminated by an aldehyde group and therefore provides an opportunity to examine the fundamental factors controlling the excited state ordering and dynamics of polyenals. Steady-state and ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopy were performed on octadecaoctaenal and a derivative in which the aldehyde group was converted to a methylenehydroxyl group. It was found that for octadecaoctaenal, solvent proticity was more important than polarity in determining its excited state lifetime. Theoretical computations were carried out to reveal the origin of the effect.

  8. Effects of dietary supplementation of golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) egg on survival, pigmentation and antioxidant activity of Blood parrot.

    PubMed

    Yang, Song; Liu, Qiao; Wang, Yue; Zhao, Liu-Lan; Wang, Yan; Yang, Shi-Yong; Du, Zong-Jun; Zhang, Jia-En

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effects of supplementing golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) eggs powder (EP) in the diet as a source of natural carotenoids on survival, pigmentation and antioxidant activity of Blood parrot. A total of 90 fish were divided into three treatment groups with three replicates per treatment. Blood parrot were fed with diets containing 0 (control), 5 % (EP 5 %), and 15 % (EP 15 %) dry powder of golden apple snail egg for 60 days, and nine fish per group were sampled at 20, 40, and 60 days. No differences in survival of the fish among treatments were found throughout the experiment. The body coloration of Blood parrot was enhanced in the skin and caudal fin with increasing content of golden apple snail egg powder in the diet. At the end of the experiment, the carotenoid content in the caudal fin and the number of scale chromatophores of the fish fed dietary with EP were higher (P < 0.05) than those of the control group. The EP 15 % treated fishes showed a significant higher (P < 0.05) in the activities of SOD after 60 days, but we could not observe significant changes (P > 0.05) in CAT activities. Results demonstrated that golden apple snail eggs can be used as a colorant to promote the pigmentation efficacy of Blood parrot. PMID:27652129

  9. Australian human and parrot Chlamydia psittaci strains cluster within the highly virulent 6BC clade of this important zoonotic pathogen.

    PubMed

    Branley, James; Bachmann, Nathan L; Jelocnik, Martina; Myers, Garry S A; Polkinghorne, Adam

    2016-08-04

    Chlamydia psittaci is an avian pathogen and zoonotic agent of atypical pneumonia. The most pathogenic C. psittaci strains cluster into the 6BC clade, predicted to have recently emerged globally. Exposure to infected parrots is a risk factor with limited evidence also of an indirect exposure risk. Genome sequencing was performed on six Australian human and a single avian C. psittaci strain isolated over a 9 year period. Only one of the five human patients had explicit psittacine contact. Genomics analyses revealed that the Australian C. psittaci strains are remarkably similar, clustering tightly within the C. psittaci 6BC clade suggested to have been disseminated by South America parrot importation. Molecular clock analysis using the newly sequenced C. psittaci genomes predicted the emergence of the 6BC clade occurring approximately 2,000 years ago. These findings reveal the potential for an Australian natural reservoir of C. psittaci 6BC strains. These strains can also be isolated from seriously ill patients without explicit psittacine contact. The apparent recent and global spread of C. psittaci 6BC strains raises important questions over how this happened. Further studies may reveal whether the dissemination of this important zoonotic pathogen is linked to Australian parrot importation rather than parrots from elsewhere.

  10. Effects of dietary supplementation of golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) egg on survival, pigmentation and antioxidant activity of Blood parrot.

    PubMed

    Yang, Song; Liu, Qiao; Wang, Yue; Zhao, Liu-Lan; Wang, Yan; Yang, Shi-Yong; Du, Zong-Jun; Zhang, Jia-En

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effects of supplementing golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) eggs powder (EP) in the diet as a source of natural carotenoids on survival, pigmentation and antioxidant activity of Blood parrot. A total of 90 fish were divided into three treatment groups with three replicates per treatment. Blood parrot were fed with diets containing 0 (control), 5 % (EP 5 %), and 15 % (EP 15 %) dry powder of golden apple snail egg for 60 days, and nine fish per group were sampled at 20, 40, and 60 days. No differences in survival of the fish among treatments were found throughout the experiment. The body coloration of Blood parrot was enhanced in the skin and caudal fin with increasing content of golden apple snail egg powder in the diet. At the end of the experiment, the carotenoid content in the caudal fin and the number of scale chromatophores of the fish fed dietary with EP were higher (P < 0.05) than those of the control group. The EP 15 % treated fishes showed a significant higher (P < 0.05) in the activities of SOD after 60 days, but we could not observe significant changes (P > 0.05) in CAT activities. Results demonstrated that golden apple snail eggs can be used as a colorant to promote the pigmentation efficacy of Blood parrot.

  11. Performance on the Hamilton search task, and the influence of lateralization, in captive orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2014-07-01

    Psittacines are generally considered to possess cognitive abilities comparable to those of primates. Most psittacine research has evaluated performance on standardized complex cognition tasks, but studies of basic cognitive processes are limited. We tested orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) on a spatial foraging assessment, the Hamilton search task. This task is a standardized test used in human and non-human primate studies. It has multiple phases, which require trial and error learning, learning set breaking, and spatial memory. We investigated search strategies used to complete the task, cognitive flexibility, and long-term memory for the task. We also assessed the effects of individual strength of motor lateralization (foot preference) and sex on task performance. Almost all (92%) of the parrots acquired the task. All had significant foot preferences, with 69% preferring their left foot, and showed side preferences contralateral to their preferred limb during location selection. The parrots were able to alter their search strategies when reward contingencies changed, demonstrating cognitive flexibility. They were also able to remember the task over a 6-month period. Lateralization had a significant influence on learning set acquisition but no effect on cognitive flexibility. There were no sex differences. To our knowledge, this is the first cognitive study using this particular species and one of the few studies of cognitive abilities in any Neotropical parrot species.

  12. The long non-coding RNA PARROT is an upstream regulator of c-Myc and affects proliferation and translation.

    PubMed

    Vučićević, Dubravka; Gehre, Maja; Dhamija, Sonam; Friis-Hansen, Lennart; Meierhofer, David; Sauer, Sascha; Ørom, Ulf Andersson

    2016-06-01

    Long non-coding RNAs are important regulators of gene expression and signaling pathways. The expression of long ncRNAs is dysregulated in cancer and other diseases. The identification and characterization of long ncRNAs is often challenging due to their low expression level and localization to chromatin. Here, we identify a functional long ncRNA, PARROT (Proliferation Associated RNA and Regulator Of Translation) transcribed by RNA polymerase II and expressed at a relatively high level in a number of cell lines. The PARROT long ncRNA is associated with proliferation in both transformed and normal cell lines. We characterize the long ncRNA PARROT as an upstream regulator of c-Myc affecting cellular proliferation and translation using RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry following depletion of the long ncRNA. PARROT is repressed during senescence of human mammary epithelial cells and overexpressed in some cancers, suggesting an important association with proliferation through regulation of c-Myc. With this study, we add to the knowledge of cytoplasmic functional long ncRNAs and extent the long ncRNA-Myc regulatory network in transformed and normal cells.

  13. Molecular systematics of two enigmatic genera Psittacella and Pezoporus illuminate the ecological radiation of Australo-Papuan parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes).

    PubMed

    Joseph, Leo; Toon, Alicia; Schirtzinger, Erin E; Wright, Timothy F

    2011-06-01

    The platycercine parrots of Australia, usually recognized as the Platycercinae or Platycercini, are the broad-tailed parrots and their allies typified by the rosellas Platycercus spp. Debate concerning their circumscription has most recently centerd on the position of four genera, Neophema, Neopsephotus, Pezoporus and Psittacella, the last two having never been adequately included in sequence-based analyses. We use broad taxon sampling, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data from seven independent loci (two linked mitochondrial loci and six nuclear loci), and both gene tree and species tree approaches to reconstruct phylogenies and so determine the systematic placement all four genera. Analyses of two data sets, one of 48 taxa and five loci and one of 27 taxa and the same five plus three additional loci produced broadly congruent and consistently well-resolved phylogenies. We reject placement of any of these four genera within core platycercines. Pezoporus is closely allied to Neophema and Neopsephotus. These three genera are the likely sister group to core platycercines and we advocate their recognition as a subfamily. Psittacella is the sole extant representative of a lineage that branched very early in the history of Australo-Papuan parrot fauna and is not closely related to any of the mostly south-east Asian and Indonesian psittaculine taxa with which it is more often linked. We present a revised view of the extraordinary phylogenetic, phenotypic and ecological diversity that is the adaptive radiation of Australo-Papuan parrots. Finally, our analyses highlight the likely paraphyly of Mayr's (2008) Loricoloriinae.

  14. Sedation and physiologic response to manual restraint after intranasal administration of midazolam in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Mans, Christoph; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Lahner, Lesanna L; Paul-Murphy, Joanne; Sladky, Kurt K

    2012-09-01

    Administration of intranasal midazolam (2 mg/kg) was evaluated for sedation and effects on cloacal temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate in manually restrained Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Adult parrots (n=9) were administered either midazolam (2 mg/kg) or an equal volume of saline solution intranasally before a 15-minute manual restraint in a complete crossover study. Respiratory rate and sedation scores were recorded before and during capture and during and after 15 minutes of manual restraint. Heart rate and cloacal temperature were recorded during manual restraint. After restraint, the parrots received intranasal flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg) or an equal volume of saline solution, and the recovery time was recorded. In those birds that received midazolam, sedation was observed within 3 minutes of administration, and vocalization, flight, and defense responses were significantly reduced during capture. During manual restraint, the mean rate of cloacal temperature increase was significantly slower and remained significantly lower in birds that received midazolam compared with controls. Mean respiratory rates were significantly lower for up to 12 minutes in parrots that received midazolam compared with those receiving saline solution. Flumazenil antagonized the effects of midazolam within 10 minutes. No overt clinical adverse effects to intranasal midazolam and flumazenil administration were observed. Further studies on the safety of intranasal midazolam and flumazenil in this species are warranted.

  15. The long non-coding RNA PARROT is an upstream regulator of c-Myc and affects proliferation and translation

    PubMed Central

    Vučićević, Dubravka; Gehre, Maja; Dhamija, Sonam; Friis-Hansen, Lennart; Meierhofer, David; Sauer, Sascha; Ørom, Ulf Andersson

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs are important regulators of gene expression and signaling pathways. The expression of long ncRNAs is dysregulated in cancer and other diseases. The identification and characterization of long ncRNAs is often challenging due to their low expression level and localization to chromatin. Here, we identify a functional long ncRNA, PARROT (Proliferation Associated RNA and Regulator Of Translation) transcribed by RNA polymerase II and expressed at a relatively high level in a number of cell lines. The PARROT long ncRNA is associated with proliferation in both transformed and normal cell lines. We characterize the long ncRNA PARROT as an upstream regulator of c-Myc affecting cellular proliferation and translation using RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry following depletion of the long ncRNA. PARROT is repressed during senescence of human mammary epithelial cells and overexpressed in some cancers, suggesting an important association with proliferation through regulation of c-Myc. With this study, we add to the knowledge of cytoplasmic functional long ncRNAs and extent the long ncRNA-Myc regulatory network in transformed and normal cells. PMID:27129154

  16. Australian human and parrot Chlamydia psittaci strains cluster within the highly virulent 6BC clade of this important zoonotic pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Branley, James; Bachmann, Nathan L.; Jelocnik, Martina; Myers, Garry S. A.; Polkinghorne, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Chlamydia psittaci is an avian pathogen and zoonotic agent of atypical pneumonia. The most pathogenic C. psittaci strains cluster into the 6BC clade, predicted to have recently emerged globally. Exposure to infected parrots is a risk factor with limited evidence also of an indirect exposure risk. Genome sequencing was performed on six Australian human and a single avian C. psittaci strain isolated over a 9 year period. Only one of the five human patients had explicit psittacine contact. Genomics analyses revealed that the Australian C. psittaci strains are remarkably similar, clustering tightly within the C. psittaci 6BC clade suggested to have been disseminated by South America parrot importation. Molecular clock analysis using the newly sequenced C. psittaci genomes predicted the emergence of the 6BC clade occurring approximately 2,000 years ago. These findings reveal the potential for an Australian natural reservoir of C. psittaci 6BC strains. These strains can also be isolated from seriously ill patients without explicit psittacine contact. The apparent recent and global spread of C. psittaci 6BC strains raises important questions over how this happened. Further studies may reveal whether the dissemination of this important zoonotic pathogen is linked to Australian parrot importation rather than parrots from elsewhere. PMID:27488134

  17. The long non-coding RNA PARROT is an upstream regulator of c-Myc and affects proliferation and translation.

    PubMed

    Vučićević, Dubravka; Gehre, Maja; Dhamija, Sonam; Friis-Hansen, Lennart; Meierhofer, David; Sauer, Sascha; Ørom, Ulf Andersson

    2016-06-01

    Long non-coding RNAs are important regulators of gene expression and signaling pathways. The expression of long ncRNAs is dysregulated in cancer and other diseases. The identification and characterization of long ncRNAs is often challenging due to their low expression level and localization to chromatin. Here, we identify a functional long ncRNA, PARROT (Proliferation Associated RNA and Regulator Of Translation) transcribed by RNA polymerase II and expressed at a relatively high level in a number of cell lines. The PARROT long ncRNA is associated with proliferation in both transformed and normal cell lines. We characterize the long ncRNA PARROT as an upstream regulator of c-Myc affecting cellular proliferation and translation using RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry following depletion of the long ncRNA. PARROT is repressed during senescence of human mammary epithelial cells and overexpressed in some cancers, suggesting an important association with proliferation through regulation of c-Myc. With this study, we add to the knowledge of cytoplasmic functional long ncRNAs and extent the long ncRNA-Myc regulatory network in transformed and normal cells. PMID:27129154

  18. Australian human and parrot Chlamydia psittaci strains cluster within the highly virulent 6BC clade of this important zoonotic pathogen.

    PubMed

    Branley, James; Bachmann, Nathan L; Jelocnik, Martina; Myers, Garry S A; Polkinghorne, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Chlamydia psittaci is an avian pathogen and zoonotic agent of atypical pneumonia. The most pathogenic C. psittaci strains cluster into the 6BC clade, predicted to have recently emerged globally. Exposure to infected parrots is a risk factor with limited evidence also of an indirect exposure risk. Genome sequencing was performed on six Australian human and a single avian C. psittaci strain isolated over a 9 year period. Only one of the five human patients had explicit psittacine contact. Genomics analyses revealed that the Australian C. psittaci strains are remarkably similar, clustering tightly within the C. psittaci 6BC clade suggested to have been disseminated by South America parrot importation. Molecular clock analysis using the newly sequenced C. psittaci genomes predicted the emergence of the 6BC clade occurring approximately 2,000 years ago. These findings reveal the potential for an Australian natural reservoir of C. psittaci 6BC strains. These strains can also be isolated from seriously ill patients without explicit psittacine contact. The apparent recent and global spread of C. psittaci 6BC strains raises important questions over how this happened. Further studies may reveal whether the dissemination of this important zoonotic pathogen is linked to Australian parrot importation rather than parrots from elsewhere. PMID:27488134

  19. Assessment of global grey water footprint of major food crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hong; Liu, Wenfeng; Antonelli, Marta

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural production is one of the major sources of water pollution in the world. This is closely related to the excess application of fertilizers. Leaching of N and P to water bodies has caused serious degradation of water quality in many places. With the persistent increase in the demand for agricultural products, agricultural intensification evident during the past decades will continue in the future. This will lead to further increase in fertilizer application and consequently water pollution. Grey water footprint is a measure of the intensity of water pollution caused by water use for human activities. It is defined as the volume of water that is required to assimilate a load of pollutants to a freshwater body, based on natural background concentrations and water quality standards. This study conducts a global assessment of grey water footprint for major cereal crops, wheat, maize and rice. A crop model, Python-based EPIC (PEPIT), is applied to quantify the leaching of N and P from the fertilizer application in the three crops on a global scale with 0.5 degree spatial resolution. The hotspots of leaching are identified. The results suggest that, based on the definition and method of grey water footprint proposed by the World Water Footprint Network, the grey water footprint in many parts of the world has exceeded their total water resources availability. This indicates the seriousness of water pollution caused by agricultural production. However, the situation may also call for the development of a realistic measurement of grey water footprint which is more pertinent to water resources management. This paper proposes some alternatives in measuring grey water footprint and also discusses incorporation of grey water footprint assessment into water policy formulation and river basins plan development.

  20. Relationship between grey matter integrity and executive abilities in aging.

    PubMed

    Manard, Marine; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Salmon, Eric; Collette, Fabienne

    2016-07-01

    This cross-sectional study was designed to investigate grey matter changes that occur in healthy aging and the relationship between grey matter characteristics and executive functioning. Thirty-six young adults (18-30 years old) and 43 seniors (60-75 years old) were included. A general executive score was derived from a large battery of neuropsychological tests assessing three major aspects of executive functioning (inhibition, updating and shifting). Age-related grey matter changes were investigated by comparing young and older adults using voxel-based morphometry and voxel-based cortical thickness methods. A widespread difference in grey matter volume was found across many brain regions, whereas cortical thinning was mainly restricted to central areas. Multivariate analyses showed age-related changes in relatively similar brain regions to the respective univariate analyses but appeared more limited. Finally, in the older adult sample, a significant relationship between global executive performance and decreased grey matter volume in anterior (i.e. frontal, insular and cingulate cortex) but also some posterior brain areas (i.e. temporal and parietal cortices) as well as subcortical structures was observed. Results of this study highlight the distribution of age-related effects on grey matter volume and show that cortical atrophy does not appear primarily in "frontal" brain regions. From a cognitive viewpoint, age-related executive functioning seems to be related to grey matter volume but not to cortical thickness. Therefore, our results also highlight the influence of methodological aspects (from preprocessing to statistical analysis) on the pattern of results, which could explain the lack of consensus in literature.

  1. Phylogenetic relationships and historical biogeography of neotropical parrots (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae: Arini) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Tavares, Erika Sendra; Baker, Allan J; Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Miyaki, Cristina Yumi

    2006-06-01

    Previous hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships among Neotropical parrots were based on limited taxon sampling and lacked support for most internal nodes. In this study we increased the number of taxa (29 species belonging to 25 of the 30 genera) and gene sequences (6388 base pairs of RAG-1, cyt b, NADH2, ATPase 6, ATPase 8, COIII, 12S rDNA, and 16S rDNA) to obtain a stronger molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for this group of birds. Analyses of the combined gene sequences using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods resulted in a well-supported phylogeny and indicated that amazons and allies are a sister clade to macaws, conures, and relatives, and these two clades are in turn a sister group to parrotlets. Key morphological and behavioral characters used in previous classifications were mapped on the molecular tree and were phylogenetically uninformative. We estimated divergence times of taxa using the molecular tree and Bayesian and penalized likelihood methods that allow for rate variation in DNA substitutions among sites and taxa. Our estimates suggest that the Neotropical parrots shared a common ancestor with Australian parrots 59 Mya (million of years ago; 95% credibility interval (CrI) 66, 51 Mya), well before Australia separated from Antarctica and South America, implying that ancestral parrots were widespread in Gondwanaland. Thus, the divergence of Australian and Neotropical parrots could be attributed to vicariance. The three major clades of Neotropical parrots originated about 50 Mya (95% CrI 57, 41 Mya), coinciding with periods of higher sea level when both Antarctica and South America were fragmented with transcontinental seaways, and likely isolated the ancestors of modern Neotropical parrots in different regions in these continents. The correspondence between major paleoenvironmental changes in South America and the diversification of genera in the clade of amazons and allies between 46 and 16 Mya suggests they diversified exclusively in South

  2. Comparative brain morphology of Neotropical parrots (Aves, Psittaciformes) inferred from virtual 3D endocasts.

    PubMed

    Carril, Julieta; Tambussi, Claudia Patricia; Degrange, Federico Javier; Benitez Saldivar, María Juliana; Picasso, Mariana Beatriz Julieta

    2016-08-01

    Psittaciformes are a very diverse group of non-passerine birds, with advanced cognitive abilities and highly developed locomotor and feeding behaviours. Using computed tomography and three-dimensional (3D) visualization software, the endocasts of 14 extant Neotropical parrots were reconstructed, with the aim of analysing, comparing and exploring the morphology of the brain within the clade. A 3D geomorphometric analysis was performed, and the encephalization quotient (EQ) was calculated. Brain morphology character states were traced onto a Psittaciformes tree in order to facilitate interpretation of morphological traits in a phylogenetic context. Our results indicate that: (i) there are two conspicuously distinct brain morphologies, one considered walnut type (quadrangular and wider than long) and the other rounded (narrower and rostrally tapered); (ii) Psittaciformes possess a noticeable notch between hemisphaeria that divides the bulbus olfactorius; (iii) the plesiomorphic and most frequently observed characteristics of Neotropical parrots are a rostrally tapered telencephalon in dorsal view, distinctly enlarged dorsal expansion of the eminentia sagittalis and conspicuous fissura mediana; (iv) there is a positive correlation between body mass and brain volume; (v) psittacids are characterized by high EQ values that suggest high brain volumes in relation to their body masses; and (vi) the endocranial morphology of the Psittaciformes as a whole is distinctive relative to other birds. This new knowledge of brain morphology offers much potential for further insight in paleoneurological, phylogenetic and evolutionary studies.

  3. Pharmacokinetics of Compounded Intravenous and Oral Gabapentin in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots ( Amazona ventralis ).

    PubMed

    Baine, Katherine; Jones, Michael P; Cox, Sherry; Martín-Jiménez, Tomás

    2015-09-01

    Neuropathic pain is a manifestation of chronic pain that arises with damage to the somatosensory system. Pharmacologic treatment recommendations for alleviation of neuropathic pain are often multimodal, and the few reports communicating treatment of suspected neuropathic pain in avian patients describe the use of gabapentin as part of the therapeutic regimen. To determine the pharmacokinetics of gabapentin in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ), compounded gabapentin suspensions were administered at 30 mg/kg IV to 2 birds, 10 mg/kg PO to 3 birds, and 30 mg/kg PO to 3 birds. Blood samples were collected immediately before and at 9 different time points after drug administration. Plasma samples were analyzed for gabapentin concentration, and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated with both a nonlinear mixed-effect approach and a noncompartmental analysis. The best compartmental, oral model was used to simulate the concentration-time profiles resulting from different dosing scenarios. Mild sedation was observed in both study birds after intravenous injection. Computer simulation of different dosing scenarios with the mean parameter estimates showed that 15 mg/kg every 8 hours would be a starting point for oral dosing in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots based on effective plasma concentrations reported for human patients; however, additional studies need to be performed to establish a therapeutic dose.

  4. A novel herpesvirus associated with respiratory disease in Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii).

    PubMed

    Shivaprasad, H L; Phalen, D N

    2012-12-01

    A novel herpesvirus infection in nine Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii, formerly Neophema bourkii) housed in an outdoor aviary comprised of multiple species of birds was diagnosed based on histopathology, electron microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Clinical signs in the parrots included anorexia, ruffled feathers, depression, loss of weight and respiratory distress. The most common gross lesions were moderately congested and oedematous lungs and a mild fibrinous exudate in the air sacs and lumen of the trachea. Histological examination revealed mild to severe bronchopneumonia and airsacculitis with syncytial cells containing eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies in most birds. Other less frequent changes included tracheitis, syringitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, otitis media and conjunctivitis. Attempts to culture the virus in chicken embryos and chicken embryo liver cells were unsuccessful. Examination by transmission electron microscopy of syncytial cells from the lungs of two birds revealed intranuclear virus particles typical of the family Herpesviridae. DNA from a novel herpesvirus was amplified from lung tissue by PCR using degenerate primers derived from conserved avian herpesvirus sequences. The virus belongs in the genus Iltovirus of the Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily. It is not closely related to Psittacid herpesvirus 1 that causes Pacheco's disease but does group phylogenetically with a clade of herpesviruses that cause respiratory disease in a number of avian species. The proposed name for this herpesvirus is Psittacid herpesvirus 3.

  5. How parrots see their colours: novelty in the visual pigments of Platycercus elegans.

    PubMed

    Knott, Ben; Davies, Wayne I L; Carvalho, Livia S; Berg, Mathew L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Bowmaker, James K; Bennett, Andrew T D; Hunt, David M

    2013-12-01

    Intraspecific differences in retinal physiology have been demonstrated in several vertebrate taxa and are often subject to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, such differences are currently unknown in birds, despite variations in habitat, behaviour and visual stimuli that might influence spectral sensitivity. The parrot Platycercus elegans is a species complex with extreme plumage colour differences between (and sometimes within) subspecies, making it an ideal candidate for intraspecific differences in spectral sensitivity. Here, the visual pigments of P. elegans were fully characterised through molecular sequencing of five visual opsin genes and measurement of their absorbance spectra using microspectrophotometry. Three of the genes, LWS, SW1 and SWS2, encode for proteins similar to those found in other birds; however, both the RH1 and RH2 pigments had polypeptides with carboxyl termini of different lengths and unusual properties that are unknown previously for any vertebrate visual pigment. Specifically, multiple RH2 transcripts and protein variants (short, medium and long) were identified for the first time that are generated by alternative splicing of downstream coding and non-coding exons. Our work provides the first complete characterisation of the visual pigments of a parrot, perhaps the most colourful order of birds, and moreover suggests more variability in avian eyes than hitherto considered.

  6. Sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Satoh, Ryohei; Hata, Yuka; Yamasaki, Marika; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Okamoto, Yasuharu; Miyamoto, Takenori; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2016-01-04

    Vocalisation in songbirds and parrots has become a prominent model system for speech and language in humans. We investigated possible sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in the budgerigar, a vocally-learning parrot. Males and females were paired for 5 weeks and then separated, after which we measured vocal responsiveness to playback calls (a call of their mate versus a call of an unfamiliar conspecific). Both sexes learned to recognise mate calls during the pairing period. In males, but not females, mate calls evoked significantly fewer vocal responses than unfamiliar calls at one month after separation. Furthermore, in females, there was significantly greater molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls compared to silence in the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM), a higher-order auditory region, in both brain hemispheres. In males, we found right-sided dominance of molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls in the CMM. This is the first evidence suggesting sex differences in functional asymmetry of brain regions related to recognition of learned vocalisation in birds. Thus, sex differences related to recognition of learned vocalisations may be found at the behavioural and neural levels in avian vocal learners as it is in humans.

  7. Hydrocephalus in a yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix).

    PubMed

    Keller, Krista A; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Muthuswamy, Anantharaman; Forrest, Lisa J; Steinberg, Howard; Sladky, Kurt; Petersen, Sophie

    2011-09-01

    A 37-year-old female yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix) was presented after a 4-month-period behavior change and intermittent episodes of obtunded mentation. Clinical findings on physical examination included ataxia, a weak grasp, and reluctance to move. Results of magnetic resonance imaging were consistent with severe hydrocephalus without evidence of cerebrospinal fluid obstruction. The bird was treated with tapering dosages of prednisolone over a 4-month period, during which time the episodes did not occur. Discontinuation of treatment was attempted several times but resulted in relapse. After 3.5 years of maintenance treatment with prednisolone, the bird was presented subsequent to a 5-hour episode of obtunded mentation and worsening neurologic signs. Despite increasing the dose of prednisolone and providing additional supportive care, the bird's condition worsened, and euthanasia was elected. Necropsy findings included severe hydrocephalus with significant loss of right cerebral parenchyma and no evidence of cerebrospinal fluid obstruction. Histologic examination of the remaining cerebral parenchyma revealed a moderate, multifocal, cellular infiltrate; encephalomalacia; fibrosis; and hemosiderosis in tissue adjacent to the distended ventricles. Other findings included hepatic vacuolar degeneration. Diagnostic imaging and postmortem findings were consistent with a diagnosis of hydrocephalus ex vacuo. To our knowledge, this is the first report of hydrocephalus in an Amazon parrot as well as the first report of hydrocephalus in any avian species associated with long-term follow-up and prolonged corticosteroid treatment.

  8. Sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in a parrot

    PubMed Central

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Satoh, Ryohei; Hata, Yuka; Yamasaki, Marika; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A.; Okamoto, Yasuharu; Miyamoto, Takenori; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2016-01-01

    Vocalisation in songbirds and parrots has become a prominent model system for speech and language in humans. We investigated possible sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in the budgerigar, a vocally-learning parrot. Males and females were paired for 5 weeks and then separated, after which we measured vocal responsiveness to playback calls (a call of their mate versus a call of an unfamiliar conspecific). Both sexes learned to recognise mate calls during the pairing period. In males, but not females, mate calls evoked significantly fewer vocal responses than unfamiliar calls at one month after separation. Furthermore, in females, there was significantly greater molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls compared to silence in the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM), a higher-order auditory region, in both brain hemispheres. In males, we found right-sided dominance of molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls in the CMM. This is the first evidence suggesting sex differences in functional asymmetry of brain regions related to recognition of learned vocalisation in birds. Thus, sex differences related to recognition of learned vocalisations may be found at the behavioural and neural levels in avian vocal learners as it is in humans. PMID:26725947

  9. Choline Essentiality and Its Requirement in Diets for Juvenile Parrot Fish (Oplegnathus fasciatus)

    PubMed Central

    Khosravi, Sanaz; Jang, Ji-Woong; Rahimnejad, Samad; Song, Jin-Woo; Lee, Kyeong-Jun

    2015-01-01

    A 12-wk feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the essentiality of choline supplementation in diets for parrot fish. Five isonitrogenous and isocaloric diets were supplemented with 0 (as control), 500, 1,000, and 2,000 mg choline per kg diet, and a positive control diet without choline contained 0.3% of 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol as choline biosynthesis inhibitor (designated as Con, C500, C1000, C2000 and Con+, respectively). Triplicate groups of fish (body weight, 8.8±0.01 g) were fed one of the experimental diets at a rate of 4% body weight twice daily. The fish fed Con+ diet revealed significantly lower growth performance and feed utilization efficiency than other fish groups. Supplementation of choline to the basal diet did not significantly influence fish growth. The highest liver lipid content was observed in fish fed the Con+ diet and inversely correlated with liver choline concentration although the differences were not significant. Also, significantly higher liver linoleic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid contents were found in fish fed the Con+ diet. Innate immune parameters including respiratory burst and myeloperoxidase activities were not significantly affected by dietary choline levels. The findings in this study conclude that choline concentration of approximately 230 mg kg−1 diet meets the requirement of parrot fish. PMID:25924958

  10. Static and dynamic (18) FDG-PET in normal hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Souza, Marcy J; Wall, Jonathan S; Stuckey, Alan; Daniel, Gregory B

    2011-01-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) is often used to stage and monitor human cancer and has recently been used in a similar fashion in veterinary medicine. The most commonly used radiopharmaceutical is 2-Deoxy-2-[(18) F]-Fluoro-d-glucose ((18) F-FDG), which is concentrated and trapped within cells that use glucose as their energy substrate. We characterized the normal distribution of (18) F-FDG in 10 healthy Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) by performing whole body PET scans at steady state, 60min after injection. Significant variability was found in the intestinal activity. Avian species are known to reflux fluid and electrolytes from their cloaca into their colon. To evaluate reflux as the cause of variability in intestinal distribution of (18) F-FDG, dynamic PET scans were performed on the coelomic cavity of six Hispaniolan Amazon parrots from time 0 to 60min postinjection of radiotracer. Reflux of radioactive material from the cloaca into the colon occurred in all birds to varying degrees and occurred before 60min. To evaluate the intestinal tract of clinical avian patients, dynamic scans must be performed starting immediately after injection so that increased radioactivity due to metabolism or hypermetabolic lesions such as cancer can be differentiated from increased radioactivity due to reflux of fluid from the cloaca.

  11. Sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Satoh, Ryohei; Hata, Yuka; Yamasaki, Marika; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Okamoto, Yasuharu; Miyamoto, Takenori; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2016-01-01

    Vocalisation in songbirds and parrots has become a prominent model system for speech and language in humans. We investigated possible sex differences in behavioural and neural responsiveness to mate calls in the budgerigar, a vocally-learning parrot. Males and females were paired for 5 weeks and then separated, after which we measured vocal responsiveness to playback calls (a call of their mate versus a call of an unfamiliar conspecific). Both sexes learned to recognise mate calls during the pairing period. In males, but not females, mate calls evoked significantly fewer vocal responses than unfamiliar calls at one month after separation. Furthermore, in females, there was significantly greater molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls compared to silence in the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM), a higher-order auditory region, in both brain hemispheres. In males, we found right-sided dominance of molecular neuronal activation in response to mate calls in the CMM. This is the first evidence suggesting sex differences in functional asymmetry of brain regions related to recognition of learned vocalisation in birds. Thus, sex differences related to recognition of learned vocalisations may be found at the behavioural and neural levels in avian vocal learners as it is in humans. PMID:26725947

  12. 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 ...

  13. Grey relational clustering associated with CAPRI applied to FPGA placement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jan-Ou; Fan, Yang-Hsin; Wang, San-Fu

    2016-04-01

    Grey relational clustering is used to minimise wire length during field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) placement and routing. The proposed Grey Relational Clustering Apply to Placement (GRAP) algorithm combines grey relational clustering and convex assigned placement for regular ICs method to construct a placement netlist, which was successfully used to solve the problem of minimising wire length in an FPGA placement. Upon calculating the grey relational grade, GRAP can rank the sequence and analyse the minimal distance in configuration logic blocks based on the grey relational sequence and combined connection-based approaches. The experimental results demonstrate that the GRAP effectively compares the Hibert, Z and Snake with bounding box (BB) cost function in the space-filling curve. The GRAP improved BB cost by 0.753%, 0.324% and 0.096% for the Hilbert, Z and Snake, respectively. This study also compares the critical path with the space-filling curve. The GRAP approach improved the critical path for Snake by 1.3% in the space-filling curve; however, the GRAP increased critical path wire by 1.38% and 0.03% over that of the Hilbert and Z of space-filling curve, respectively.

  14. A grey {gamma}-ray transfer procedure for supernovae

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffery, D.J.

    1997-12-01

    The {gamma}-ray transfer in supernovae for the purposes of energy deposition in the ejecta can be approximated as grey radiative transfer using mean opacities. In past work there is a single pure absorption mean opacity which is a free parameter. Accurate results can be obtained by varying this mean opacity to fit the results of more accurate procedures. In this paper, the authors present a grey {gamma}-ray transfer procedure for energy deposition in which there are multiple mean opacities that are not free parameters and that have both absorption and scattering components. This procedure is based on a local-state (LS) approximation, and so they call it the LS grey {gamma}-ray transfer procedure or LS procedure for short.

  15. Venture Capital Investment Base on Grey Relational Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xubo

    This paper builds a venture capital investment projects selection evaluation model base on risk-weight investment return using grey relational analysis. The risk and return in venture capital investment projects selection process is analyses. These risk and return mainly constricted in management ability, operation ability, market ability, exit obtain and investment cost. The 18 sub-indicators are the impact factors contributed to these five evaluation aspects. Grey relation analysis is use to evaluate the venture capital investment selection. Get the optimal solution of risk-weight double objective investment selection evaluation model. An example is used to demonstrate the model in this paper.

  16. Dancing in the grey zone between normality and risk.

    PubMed

    Dahlen, Hannah

    2016-06-01

    Childbirth is mainly grey. The most straightforward of births can lead to unexpected, heart-stopping moments--and the highest risk woman can, despite our fears, birth without any of the imagined horrors being realised. As midwives we can choose to be paralysed with fear over this, or responsive to--and respectful of--such an amazing process. This paper discusses how midwives can learn to 'dance in the grey zone', while meeting their professional obligations and protecting women's human rights. Come dance the waltz, the tango and the hip-hop with me on the dance floor created by the 'triangle of wisdom'. PMID:27451486

  17. Stereotypies in caged parrots, schizophrenia and autism: evidence for a common mechanism.

    PubMed

    Garner, Joseph P; Meehan, Cheryl L; Mench, Joy A

    2003-10-17

    Spontaneously occurring abnormal behaviors in animals have recently received considerable attention, both in veterinary medicine and as a potential model for abnormal behavior in several human mental disorders. Stereotypies are abnormal repetitive, unvarying, and functionless behaviors that are often performed by captive and domesticated animals housed in barren environments. They closely resemble the stereotypies of autistic and mentally retarded patients, stereotypies of unmedicated chronic schizophrenic patients, certain classes of simple tic in Tourette's syndrome, and several drug-induced behaviors. However, evidence for a common mechanism has been lacking. Stereotypies in human mental disorders are indicative of profound brain dysfunction involving the basal ganglia, and are associated with pervasive voluntary-motor impairments and psychological distress. Here we show that stereotypy in captive Orange-Wing Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica) is correlated with poor performance on the same psychiatric task (the 'gambling task') as stereotypy in autistic and schizophrenic patients. The task measures recurrent perseveration-the tendency to inappropriately repeat responses. Thus, the more stereotypy a parrot performed, the more likely it was to inappropriately repeat itself from trial-to-trial on the task; and the more rapidly it made repeated, but not switched, responses. These results parallel the executive motor impairments seen in human patients, and therefore suggest that, like in human patients, stereotypy in caged parrots reflects a general disinhibition of the behavioral control mechanisms of the dorsal basal ganglia. If this result holds true in other laboratory species, stereotypic animals are likely to be of questionable utility in behavior, neuroscience, and neuropharmacological experiments. In humans, stereotypies and obsessive-compulsive behaviors are considered to be mutually exclusive categories of behavior, with different neural substrates, and

  18. Lipid metabolic dose response to dietary alpha-linolenic acid in monk parrot (Myiopsitta monachus).

    PubMed

    Petzinger, Christina; Heatley, J J; Bailey, Christopher A; Bauer, John E

    2014-03-01

    Monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) are susceptible to atherosclerosis, a progressive disease characterized by the formation of plaques in the arteries accompanied by underlying chronic inflammation. The family of n-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA), have consistently been shown to reduce atherosclerotic risk factors in humans and other mammals. Some avian species have been observed to convert α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3, ALA) to EPA and DHA (Htin et al. in Arch Geflugelk 71:258-266, 2007; Petzinger et al. in J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr, 2013). Therefore, the metabolic effects of including flaxseed oil, as a source of ALA, in the diet at three different levels (low, medium, and high) on the lipid metabolism of Monk parrots was evaluated through measuring plasma total cholesterol (TC), free cholesterol (FC), triacylglycerols (TAG), and phospholipid fatty acids. Feed intake, body weight, and body condition score were also assessed. Thus the dose and possible saturation response of increasing dietary ALA at constant linoleic acid (18:2n-6, LNA) concentration on lipid metabolism in Monk parrots (M. monachus) was evaluated. Calculated esterified cholesterol in addition to plasma TC, FC, and TAG were unaltered by increasing dietary ALA. The high ALA group had elevated levels of plasma phospholipid ALA, EPA, and docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-3, 22:5n-3). The medium and high ALA groups had suppressed plasma phospholipid 20:2n-6 and adrenic acid (22:4n-6, ADA) compared to the low ALA group. When the present data were combined with data from a previous study (Petzinger et al. in J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr, 2013) a dose response to dietary ALA was observed when LNA was constant. Plasma phospholipid ALA, EPA, DPAn-3, DHA, and total n-3 were positively correlated while 20:2n-6, di-homo-gamma-linoleic acid (20:3n-6Δ7), arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), ADA, and total n-6 were inversely correlated with dietary en% ALA.

  19. Pharmacokinetics of butorphanol after intravenous, intramuscular, and oral administration in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Flammer, Keven; Paul-Murphy, Joanne R; Barker, Steven A; Tully, Thomas N

    2011-09-01

    Previous studies have validated the clinical use of opioids with kaap-receptor affinities for pain management in birds. Butorphanol, a kappa opioid receptor agonist and a mu opioid receptor antagonist, is currently considered by many clinicians to be the opioid of choice for this use. However, despite studies reporting the analgesic properties of butorphanol in psittacine birds, dosing intervals have not been established for any psittacine species. The goals of this study in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot (Amazona ventralis) were to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of butorphanol tartrate after intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and oral (PO) administration and to determine the bioavailability of butorphanol tartrate after oral administration. Twelve Hispaniolan Amazon parrots were used in the study, with a complete-crossover experimental design and a 3-month period separating each part of the study. The birds were randomly assigned to 3 groups (n = 4) for each stage. Butorphanol tartrate was administered once at a dose of 5 mg/kg in the basilic vein or pectoral muscles or as an oral solution delivered via feeding tube into the crop for the IV, IM, and PO studies, respectively. After butorphanol administration, blood samples were collected at 1, 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes for the IV and IM studies and at 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, and 300 minutes for the PO study. Because of the size limitation of the birds, naive pooling of datum points was used to generate a mean plasma butorphanol concentration at each time point. For each study, birds in each group (n = 4) were bled 3 times after dosing. Plasma butorphanol concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry, and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated. Butorphanol tartrate was found to have high bioavailability and rapid elimination following IM administration. In contrast, oral administration resulted in low bioavailability (< 10%), thus

  20. Pharmacokinetics of butorphanol after intravenous, intramuscular, and oral administration in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Flammer, Keven; Paul-Murphy, Joanne R; Barker, Steven A; Tully, Thomas N

    2011-09-01

    Previous studies have validated the clinical use of opioids with kaap-receptor affinities for pain management in birds. Butorphanol, a kappa opioid receptor agonist and a mu opioid receptor antagonist, is currently considered by many clinicians to be the opioid of choice for this use. However, despite studies reporting the analgesic properties of butorphanol in psittacine birds, dosing intervals have not been established for any psittacine species. The goals of this study in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot (Amazona ventralis) were to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of butorphanol tartrate after intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and oral (PO) administration and to determine the bioavailability of butorphanol tartrate after oral administration. Twelve Hispaniolan Amazon parrots were used in the study, with a complete-crossover experimental design and a 3-month period separating each part of the study. The birds were randomly assigned to 3 groups (n = 4) for each stage. Butorphanol tartrate was administered once at a dose of 5 mg/kg in the basilic vein or pectoral muscles or as an oral solution delivered via feeding tube into the crop for the IV, IM, and PO studies, respectively. After butorphanol administration, blood samples were collected at 1, 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes for the IV and IM studies and at 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, and 300 minutes for the PO study. Because of the size limitation of the birds, naive pooling of datum points was used to generate a mean plasma butorphanol concentration at each time point. For each study, birds in each group (n = 4) were bled 3 times after dosing. Plasma butorphanol concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry, and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated. Butorphanol tartrate was found to have high bioavailability and rapid elimination following IM administration. In contrast, oral administration resulted in low bioavailability (< 10%), thus

  1. Comparison of grey matter volume and thickness for analysing cortical changes in chronic schizophrenia: a matter of surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast, and curvature.

    PubMed

    Kong, Li; Herold, Christina J; Zöllner, Frank; Salat, David H; Lässer, Marc M; Schmid, Lena A; Fellhauer, Iven; Thomann, Philipp A; Essig, Marco; Schad, Lothar R; Erickson, Kirk I; Schröder, Johannes

    2015-02-28

    Grey matter volume and cortical thickness are the two most widely used measures for detecting grey matter morphometric changes in various diseases such as schizophrenia. However, these two measures only share partial overlapping regions in identifying morphometric changes. Few studies have investigated the contributions of the potential factors to the differences of grey matter volume and cortical thickness. To investigate this question, 3T magnetic resonance images from 22 patients with schizophrenia and 20 well-matched healthy controls were chosen for analyses. Grey matter volume and cortical thickness were measured by VBM and Freesurfer. Grey matter volume results were then rendered onto the surface template of Freesurfer to compare the differences from cortical thickness in anatomical locations. Discrepancy regions of the grey matter volume and thickness where grey matter volume significantly decreased but without corresponding evidence of cortical thinning involved the rostral middle frontal, precentral, lateral occipital and superior frontal gyri. Subsequent region-of-interest analysis demonstrated that changes in surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast and curvature accounted for the discrepancies. Our results suggest that the differences between grey matter volume and thickness could be jointly driven by surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast and curvature.

  2. Comparison of grey matter volume and thickness for analysing cortical changes in chronic schizophrenia: a matter of surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast, and curvature.

    PubMed

    Kong, Li; Herold, Christina J; Zöllner, Frank; Salat, David H; Lässer, Marc M; Schmid, Lena A; Fellhauer, Iven; Thomann, Philipp A; Essig, Marco; Schad, Lothar R; Erickson, Kirk I; Schröder, Johannes

    2015-02-28

    Grey matter volume and cortical thickness are the two most widely used measures for detecting grey matter morphometric changes in various diseases such as schizophrenia. However, these two measures only share partial overlapping regions in identifying morphometric changes. Few studies have investigated the contributions of the potential factors to the differences of grey matter volume and cortical thickness. To investigate this question, 3T magnetic resonance images from 22 patients with schizophrenia and 20 well-matched healthy controls were chosen for analyses. Grey matter volume and cortical thickness were measured by VBM and Freesurfer. Grey matter volume results were then rendered onto the surface template of Freesurfer to compare the differences from cortical thickness in anatomical locations. Discrepancy regions of the grey matter volume and thickness where grey matter volume significantly decreased but without corresponding evidence of cortical thinning involved the rostral middle frontal, precentral, lateral occipital and superior frontal gyri. Subsequent region-of-interest analysis demonstrated that changes in surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast and curvature accounted for the discrepancies. Our results suggest that the differences between grey matter volume and thickness could be jointly driven by surface area, grey/white matter intensity contrast and curvature. PMID:25595222

  3. 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…

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. Giant axonal neuropathy-like disease in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria).

    PubMed

    Stent, Andrew; Gosbell, Matthew; Tatarczuch, Liliana; Summers, Brian A

    2015-09-01

    A chronic progressive neurological condition in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria) was manifest as intention tremors, incoordination, and seizure activity. Histology revealed large eosinophilic bodies throughout the central nervous system, and electron microscopy demonstrated that these bodies were greatly expanded axons distended by short filamentous structures that aggregated to form long strands. The presence of periodic acid-Schiff-positive material within the neuronal bodies of Purkinje cells and ganglionic neurons is another distinctive feature of this disease. The histological features of this case display some features consistent with giant axonal neuropathy as reported in humans and dogs. Based on investigation of the lineage in this case, an underlying inherited defect is suspected, but some additional factor appears to have altered the specific disease presentation in this bird. PMID:26330398

  7. An outbreak of chlamydiosis in captive blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Raso, Tânia de Freitas; Godoy, Sílvia Nery; Milanelo, Liliane; de Souza, Cláudia Almeida Igayara; Matuschima, Eliana Reiko; Araújo Júnior, João Pessoa; Pinto, Aramis Augusto

    2004-03-01

    Fifty-eight blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) nestlings, recovered from the illegal trade, became ill at a wildlife rehabilitation center in São Paulo State, Brazil. Clinical signs observed were nonspecific, and the mortality rate was 96.5% despite initial treatment with norfloxacin. Postmortem examinations were performed on 10 birds. Liver and spleen smears showed structures suggestive of Chlamydophila psittaci in four cases. Diagnosis was confirmed by seminested polymerase chain reaction on tissue samples. Other birds from the same location showed no clinical signs of the disease, although high complement fixation titers to C. psittaci were found in 10 adult psittacines. All birds in the facility were treated with doxycycline. The two surviving nestlings did not recover after two doxycycline treatments and were euthanatized. The high mortality rate observed in this outbreak was attributed to poor conditions of husbandry and delays in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. After diagnosis, improved control measures for chlamydiosis were instituted.

  8. Chronic pulmonary interstitial fibrosis in a blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva aestiva).

    PubMed

    Amann, Olga; Kik, Marja J L; Passon-Vastenburg, Maartje H A C; Westerhof, Ineke; Lumeij, Johannes T; Schoemaker, Nico J

    2007-03-01

    A 30-yr-old blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazon aestiva aestiva) was presented to the clinic with a history of sneezing more often during the last 2 mo. Physical examination revealed only a mild nasal discharge. Complete hematologic and plasma biochemical examination showed no abnormalities. Computerized tomography (CT) of the complete bird showed generalized lung alterations consistent with lung fibrosis. Two lung biopsies were taken. The results of the histologic examination of the biopsies confirmed the tentative CT diagnosis of pulmonary interstitial fibrosis. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of chronic pulmonary interstitial fibrosis diagnosed by means of a lung biopsy in an avian species. The histologic characteristics are discussed and compared with those of human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

  9. Basal cell carcinoma in a blue-fronted amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva).

    PubMed

    Tell, L A; Woods, L; Mathews, K G

    1997-01-01

    Tumors of the integumentary system are relatively common in companion birds. Dermal tumors in pet birds can be epithelial, mesenchymal, or vascular in origin. Basal cell carcinomas appear to be extremely rare in birds. An adult female blue-fronted Amazon parrot was examined because it exhibited bilateral cervical masses that extended from the base of the skull to the ingluvial region. The tumors were removed by surgical excision. Microscopic examination of the masses revealed neoplastic epithelial cells that extended to all borders of the sections; scattered vessels with neoplastic cells within their lumens were also found. The histopathologic diagnosis was basal cell carcinoma. Six weeks postoperatively, the masses recurred and the bird was euthanatized. This report suggests that basal cell carcinomas should be considered as a differential for avian dermal tumors. This neoplastic condition can be aggressive and has the potential to metastasize.

  10. Anatomy of a bottleneck: diagnosing factors limiting population growth in the Puerto Rican parrot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissenger, S.R.; Wunderle, J.M.; Meyers, J.M.; Saether, B.-E.; Engen, S.

    2008-01-01

    The relative importance of genetic, demographic, environmental, and catastrophic processes that maintain population bottlenecks has received little consideration. We evaluate the role of these factors in maintaining the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) in a prolonged bottleneck from 1973 through 2000 despite intensive conservation efforts. We first conduct a risk analysis, then examine evidence for the importance of specific processes maintaining the bottleneck using the multiple competing hypotheses approach, and finally integrate these results through a sensitivity analysis of a demographic model using life-stage simulation analysis (LSA) to determine the relative importance of genetic, demographic, environmental, and catastrophic processes on population growth. Annual population growth has been slow and variable (1.0 6 5.2 parrots per year, or an average k?1.05 6 0.19) from 16 parrots (1973) to a high of 40-42 birds (1997-1998). A risk analysis based on population prediction intervals (PPI) indicates great risk and large uncertainty, with a range of 22?83 birds in the 90% PPI only five years into the future. Four primary factors (reduced hatching success due to inbreeding, failure of adults to nest, nest failure due to nongenetic causes, and reduced survival of adults and juveniles) were responsible for maintaining the bottleneck. Egghatchability rates were low (70.6% per egg and 76.8% per pair), and hatchability increased after mate changes, suggesting inbreeding effects. Only an average of 34% of the population nested annually, which was well below the percentage of adults that should have reached an age of first breeding (41-56%). This chronic failure to nest appears to have been caused primarily by environmental and/or behavioral factors, and not by nest-site scarcity or a skewed sex ratio. Nest failure rates from nongenetic causes (i.e., predation, parasitism, and wet cavities) were low (29%) due to active management (protecting nests and fostering

  11. Mesozoic retroposons reveal parrots as the closest living relatives of passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Suh, Alexander; Paus, Martin; Kiefmann, Martin; Churakov, Gennady; Franke, Franziska Anni; Brosius, Jürgen; Kriegs, Jan Ole; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2011-08-23

    The relationships of passerines (such as the well-studied zebra finch) with non-passerine birds is one of the great enigmas of avian phylogenetic research, because decades of extensive morphological and molecular studies yielded highly inconsistent results between and within data sets. Here we show the first application of the virtually homoplasy-free retroposon insertions to this controversy. Our study examined ~200,000 retroposon-containing loci from various avian genomes and retrieved 51 markers resolving early bird phylogeny. Among these, we obtained statistically significant evidence that parrots are the closest and falcons the second-closest relatives of passerines, together constituting the Psittacopasserae and the Eufalconimorphae, respectively. Our new and robust phylogenetic framework has substantial implications for the interpretation of various conclusions drawn from passerines as model organisms. This includes insights of relevance to human neuroscience, as vocal learning (that is, birdsong) probably evolved in the psittacopasseran ancestor, >30 million years earlier than previously assumed.

  12. Coding-complete sequencing classifies parrot bornavirus 5 into a novel virus species.

    PubMed

    Marton, Szilvia; Bányai, Krisztián; Gál, János; Ihász, Katalin; Kugler, Renáta; Lengyel, György; Jakab, Ferenc; Bakonyi, Tamás; Farkas, Szilvia L

    2015-11-01

    In this study, we determined the sequence of the coding region of an avian bornavirus detected in a blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) with pathological/histopathological changes characteristic of proventricular dilatation disease. The genomic organization of the macaw bornavirus is similar to that of other bornaviruses, and its nucleotide sequence is nearly identical to the available partial parrot bornavirus 5 (PaBV-5) sequences. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these strains formed a monophyletic group distinct from other mammalian and avian bornaviruses and in calculations performed with matrix protein coding sequences, the PaBV-5 and PaBV-6 genotypes formed a common cluster, suggesting that according to the recently accepted classification system for bornaviruses, these two genotypes may belong to a new species, provisionally named Psittaciform 2 bornavirus.

  13. Giant axonal neuropathy-like disease in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria).

    PubMed

    Stent, Andrew; Gosbell, Matthew; Tatarczuch, Liliana; Summers, Brian A

    2015-09-01

    A chronic progressive neurological condition in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria) was manifest as intention tremors, incoordination, and seizure activity. Histology revealed large eosinophilic bodies throughout the central nervous system, and electron microscopy demonstrated that these bodies were greatly expanded axons distended by short filamentous structures that aggregated to form long strands. The presence of periodic acid-Schiff-positive material within the neuronal bodies of Purkinje cells and ganglionic neurons is another distinctive feature of this disease. The histological features of this case display some features consistent with giant axonal neuropathy as reported in humans and dogs. Based on investigation of the lineage in this case, an underlying inherited defect is suspected, but some additional factor appears to have altered the specific disease presentation in this bird.

  14. Spectral tuning of Amazon parrot feather coloration by psittacofulvin pigments and spongy structures.

    PubMed

    Tinbergen, Jan; Wilts, Bodo D; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2013-12-01

    The feathers of Amazon parrots are brightly coloured. They contain a unique class of pigments, the psittacofulvins, deposited in both barbs and barbules, causing yellow or red coloured feathers. In specific feather areas, spongy nanostructured barb cells exist, reflecting either in the blue or blue-green wavelength range. The blue-green spongy structures are partly enveloped by a blue-absorbing, yellow-colouring pigment acting as a spectral filter, thus yielding a green coloured barb. Applying reflection and transmission spectroscopy, we characterized the Amazons' pigments and spongy structures, and investigated how they contribute to the feather coloration. The reflectance spectra of Amazon feathers are presumably tuned to the sensitivity spectra of the visual photoreceptors.

  15. Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) reproductive behavior: a guideline for management of active nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, K.A.

    1993-01-01

    One explanation for the failure of intensively monitored Puerto Rican Parrot nests is that observers may lack the information needed to evaluate pair behavior and to recognize behaviors indicative of nest problems. I examined the behavior of Puerto Rican Parrots during eight non-problematic and six problematic nesting attempts to 1) describe behavior of pairs that experienced no notable nest problems and 2) to identify and describe behaviors associated with nest problems. I examined nest attendance, duration of attentive periods, and frequency of nest visits for both males and females, and duration of periods away from the nest for females only. Adult behavior during incubation and early chick rearing at non-problematic nests was well-defined. Females spent an average of 93.2 to 97.3% of the observation period in their nests during incubation and generally left their nests for average periods of 5 to 12 min. Female nest attendance generally declined and recesses became longer as chick rearing progressed. Males rarely entered their nests during incubation, but they generally established a regular pattern of nest visits within seven to 10 days of hatching of their young. In some cases, incidents of human disturbance to nest pairs during incubation and early chick rearing were associated with sudden changes in behavior. The key indicator of nest problems (abandonment during incubation or loss of young) was unexpected declines in female nest attendance. Declines were often accompanied by unexpected increases in female recesses or frequency of female nest visits, and sometimes by increases in male nest visits. Abandonment of nests during incubation was associated with repeated incidents of potentially disturbing activities (e.g., nest inspections). Deaths of embryos and young were associated with behaviors that allowed increased cooling of embryos.

  16. Learned vocal variation is associated with abrupt cryptic genetic change in a parrot species complex.

    PubMed

    Ribot, Raoul F H; Buchanan, Katherine L; Endler, John A; Joseph, Leo; Bennett, Andrew T D; Berg, Mathew L

    2012-01-01

    Contact zones between subspecies or closely related species offer valuable insights into speciation processes. A typical feature of such zones is the presence of clinal variation in multiple traits. The nature of these traits and the concordance among clines are expected to influence whether and how quickly speciation will proceed. Learned signals, such as vocalizations in species having vocal learning (e.g. humans, many birds, bats and cetaceans), can exhibit rapid change and may accelerate reproductive isolation between populations. Therefore, particularly strong concordance among clines in learned signals and population genetic structure may be expected, even among continuous populations in the early stages of speciation. However, empirical evidence for this pattern is often limited because differences in vocalisations between populations are driven by habitat differences or have evolved in allopatry. We tested for this pattern in a unique system where we may be able to separate effects of habitat and evolutionary history. We studied geographic variation in the vocalizations of the crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) parrot species complex. Parrots are well known for their life-long vocal learning and cognitive abilities. We analysed contact calls across a ca 1300 km transect encompassing populations that differed in neutral genetic markers and plumage colour. We found steep clinal changes in two acoustic variables (fundamental frequency and peak frequency position). The positions of the two clines in vocal traits were concordant with a steep cline in microsatellite-based genetic variation, but were discordant with the steep clines in mtDNA, plumage and habitat. Our study provides new evidence that vocal variation, in a species with vocal learning, can coincide with areas of restricted gene flow across geographically continuous populations. Our results suggest that traits that evolve culturally can be strongly associated with reduced gene flow between

  17. Pharmacokinetics of single oral dose of pimobendan in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    PubMed

    Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Beaufrère, Hugues; KuKanich, Butch; Barker, Steven A; Brandão, João; Paul-Murphy, Joanne; Tully, Thomas N

    2014-06-01

    Pimobendan is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor and calcium sensitizer with inotropic, lusitropic, and rasodilator properties used in the treatment of congestive heart failure. The mechanism of action is by inhibition of PDE III and V and by increasing intracellular calcium sensitivity in the cardiac myocardium. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies have been published in humans, dogs, and cats, but there are no studies in avian species. Pimobendan has been used in birds at the empirical dosage of 0.25 mg/kg q12h. To determine the pharmacokinetic parameters of pimobendan in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), 3 pilot studies with 2 birds, each receiving 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg PO, provided the basis for the pivotal trials with 6 birds, each receiving 10 mg/kg PO using 2 different suspensions. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, and 18 hours after drug administration. Plasma concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS) by use of electrospray ionization. Because of the erratic and low concentrations of pimobendan, pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated using naive averaged analysis. Plasma concentrations after commercial pimobendan tablet suspension at 10 mg/kg reached a Cmax of 8.26 ng/mL at 3 hours with a terminal half-life of 2.1 hours, while concentrations after the bulk chemical suspension reached a Cmax of 1.28 ng/mL at 12 hours and had a terminal half-life of 2.3 hours. Further studies evaluating the effect of oral pimobendan in parrots are needed.

  18. 20. SIMILAR TO THE SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE GREY IRON ...

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

    20. SIMILAR TO THE SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE GREY IRON FOUNDRY, MALLEABLE WORKERS FILLED MOLDS TRAVELING ON A CONVEYOR FROM LADLES ATTACHED TO OVERHEAD RAILS WHILE THEY STOOD ON A PLATFORM MOVING AT THE SAME SPEED AS THE CONVEYOR, CA. 1950 - Stockham Pipe & Fittings Company, 4000 Tenth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  19. The Grey Nomad Phenomenon: Changing the Script of Aging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onyx, Jenny; Leonard, Rosemary

    2007-01-01

    This article explores a relatively new and little understood phenomenon, that of the Australian Grey Nomads. Every year increasing numbers of older Australians take to the road. This article explores the phenomenon both empirically and theoretically. A grounded approach is used by which the experience is explored from an ethnographic account…

  20. Histories of Puerto Rican parrot nests in the Caribbean National Forest/Luquillo Experimental Forest, 1973-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wunderle, J.M.; Snyder, N.F.R.; Muiznieks, B.; Wiley, J.W.; Meyers, J.M.

    2003-01-01

    This publication summarizes the histories of all known Puerto Rican parrot nests in the Caribbean National Forest/Luquillo Experimental Forest from 1973 through 2000. Included for each nest, when known, are the identifies of the pair, clutch size, known fertile and infertile eggs, number of eggs that hatched, number of chicks that survived, sources of mortality, fostering (source, destination. or both), number of young fledged from the pair and from the nest, and percentage of days the nest was guarded. This information is useful for detecting and assessing potential changes in reproductive output and nest threats and is fundamental for understanding some of the demographic and genetic factors influencing the wild parrot population.

  1. Blue and grey water footprint of textile industry in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Laili; Ding, Xuemei; Wu, Xiongying

    2013-01-01

    Water footprint (WF) is a newly developed idea that indicates impacts of freshwater appropriation and wastewater discharge. The textile industry is one of the oldest, longest and most complicated industrial chains in the world's manufacturing industries. However, the textile industry is also water intensive. In this paper, we applied a bottom-up approach to estimate the direct blue water footprint (WFdir,blue) and direct grey water footprint (WFdir,grey) of China's textile industry at sector level based on WF methodology. The results showed that WFdir,blue of China's textile industry had an increasing trend from 2001 to 2010. The annual WFdir,blue surpassed 0.92 Gm(3)/yr (giga cubic meter a year) since 2004 and rose to peak value of 1.09 Gm(3)/yr in 2007. The original and residuary WFdir,grey (both were calculated based on the concentration of chemical oxygen demand (CODCr)) of China's textile industry had a similar variation trend with that of WFdir,blue. Among the three sub-sectors of China's textile industry, the manufacture of textiles sector's annual WFdir,blue and WFdir,grey were much larger than those of the manufacture of textile wearing apparel, footware and caps sector and the manufacture of chemical fibers sector. The intensities of WFdir,blue and WF(res)dir,grey of China's textile industry were year by year decreasing through the efforts of issuing restriction policies on freshwater use and wastewater generation and discharge, and popularization of water saving and wastewater treatment technologies.

  2. Illegal and Legal Parrot Trade Shows a Long-Term, Cross-Cultural Preference for the Most Attractive Species Increasing Their Risk of Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Tella, José L.; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Illegal trade constitutes a major threat for a variety of wildlife. A criminology framework has been recently applied to parrot poaching in Mexico, suggesting an opportunistic crime in which the most abundant and accessible species, and not the rare or highly priced species, were poached more often. We analyzed this information, together with additional long-term data (1981–2005) on both the legal and illegal trade of the 22 Mexican parrot species (n = 31,019 individuals), using multivariate statistics and hypothesis-testing approaches. Our results showed a selective capture of parrot species attending to their attractiveness. Parrot species widely differed in attractiveness to people (as reflected by their combined measures of body size, coloration, and ability to imitate human speech), and their attractiveness strongly correlated with their prices both in the Mexican and US markets. The most attractive and valuable species (amazons and macaws) were disproportionally caught attending to the number of years they were legally trapped. Similar patterns were found for parrots poached for the domestic Mexican market, for those smuggled to the USA, and for those legally exported before or after 1992, when the USA ban led parrot exports to be mostly directed to European countries. Finally, the long-term cross-cultural preference for the most attractive species has led them to be among the most threatened species today. Since current parrot poaching mostly responds to local demand, socio-ecological work is needed to reverse the long-standing pet-keeping tradition that may decimate the most desired species in Neotropical countries. PMID:25225808

  3. Illegal and legal parrot trade shows a long-term, cross-cultural preference for the most attractive species increasing their risk of extinction.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Illegal trade constitutes a major threat for a variety of wildlife. A criminology framework has been recently applied to parrot poaching in Mexico, suggesting an opportunistic crime in which the most abundant and accessible species, and not the rare or highly priced species, were poached more often. We analyzed this information, together with additional long-term data (1981-2005) on both the legal and illegal trade of the 22 Mexican parrot species (n = 31,019 individuals), using multivariate statistics and hypothesis-testing approaches. Our results showed a selective capture of parrot species attending to their attractiveness. Parrot species widely differed in attractiveness to people (as reflected by their combined measures of body size, coloration, and ability to imitate human speech), and their attractiveness strongly correlated with their prices both in the Mexican and US markets. The most attractive and valuable species (amazons and macaws) were disproportionally caught attending to the number of years they were legally trapped. Similar patterns were found for parrots poached for the domestic Mexican market, for those smuggled to the USA, and for those legally exported before or after 1992, when the USA ban led parrot exports to be mostly directed to European countries. Finally, the long-term cross-cultural preference for the most attractive species has led them to be among the most threatened species today. Since current parrot poaching mostly responds to local demand, socio-ecological work is needed to reverse the long-standing pet-keeping tradition that may decimate the most desired species in Neotropical countries.

  4. Illegal and legal parrot trade shows a long-term, cross-cultural preference for the most attractive species increasing their risk of extinction.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Illegal trade constitutes a major threat for a variety of wildlife. A criminology framework has been recently applied to parrot poaching in Mexico, suggesting an opportunistic crime in which the most abundant and accessible species, and not the rare or highly priced species, were poached more often. We analyzed this information, together with additional long-term data (1981-2005) on both the legal and illegal trade of the 22 Mexican parrot species (n = 31,019 individuals), using multivariate statistics and hypothesis-testing approaches. Our results showed a selective capture of parrot species attending to their attractiveness. Parrot species widely differed in attractiveness to people (as reflected by their combined measures of body size, coloration, and ability to imitate human speech), and their attractiveness strongly correlated with their prices both in the Mexican and US markets. The most attractive and valuable species (amazons and macaws) were disproportionally caught attending to the number of years they were legally trapped. Similar patterns were found for parrots poached for the domestic Mexican market, for those smuggled to the USA, and for those legally exported before or after 1992, when the USA ban led parrot exports to be mostly directed to European countries. Finally, the long-term cross-cultural preference for the most attractive species has led them to be among the most threatened species today. Since current parrot poaching mostly responds to local demand, socio-ecological work is needed to reverse the long-standing pet-keeping tradition that may decimate the most desired species in Neotropical countries. PMID:25225808

  5. Polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for forensic individual identification and parentage analyses of seven threatened species of parrots (family Psittacidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jan, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    The parrot family represents one of the bird group with the largest number of endangered species, as a result of habitat destruction and illegal trade. This illicit traffic involves the smuggling of eggs and animals, and the laundering through captive breeding facilities of wild-caught animals. Despite the huge potential of wildlife DNA forensics to determine with conclusive evidence illegal trade, current usage of DNA profiling approaches in parrots has been limited by the lack of suitable molecular markers specifically developed for the focal species and by low cross-species polymorphism. In this study, we isolated DNA microsatellite markers in seven parrot species threatened with extinction (Amazona brasiliensis, A. oratrix, A. pretrei, A. rhodocorytha, Anodorhynchus leari, Ara rubrogenys and Primolius couloni). From an enriched genomic library followed by 454 pyrosequencing, we characterized a total of 106 polymorphic microsatellite markers (mostly tetranucleotides) in the seven species and tested them across an average number of 19 individuals per species. The mean number of alleles per species and across loci varied from 6.4 to 8.3, with the mean observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.65 to 0.84. Identity and parentage exclusion probabilities were highly discriminatory. The high variability displayed by these microsatellite loci demonstrates their potential utility to perform individual genotyping and parentage analyses, in order to develop a DNA testing framework to determine illegal traffic in these threatened species. PMID:27688959

  6. Polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for forensic individual identification and parentage analyses of seven threatened species of parrots (family Psittacidae).

    PubMed

    Jan, Catherine; Fumagalli, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The parrot family represents one of the bird group with the largest number of endangered species, as a result of habitat destruction and illegal trade. This illicit traffic involves the smuggling of eggs and animals, and the laundering through captive breeding facilities of wild-caught animals. Despite the huge potential of wildlife DNA forensics to determine with conclusive evidence illegal trade, current usage of DNA profiling approaches in parrots has been limited by the lack of suitable molecular markers specifically developed for the focal species and by low cross-species polymorphism. In this study, we isolated DNA microsatellite markers in seven parrot species threatened with extinction (Amazona brasiliensis, A. oratrix, A. pretrei, A. rhodocorytha, Anodorhynchus leari, Ara rubrogenys and Primolius couloni). From an enriched genomic library followed by 454 pyrosequencing, we characterized a total of 106 polymorphic microsatellite markers (mostly tetranucleotides) in the seven species and tested them across an average number of 19 individuals per species. The mean number of alleles per species and across loci varied from 6.4 to 8.3, with the mean observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.65 to 0.84. Identity and parentage exclusion probabilities were highly discriminatory. The high variability displayed by these microsatellite loci demonstrates their potential utility to perform individual genotyping and parentage analyses, in order to develop a DNA testing framework to determine illegal traffic in these threatened species. PMID:27688959

  7. Polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for forensic individual identification and parentage analyses of seven threatened species of parrots (family Psittacidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jan, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    The parrot family represents one of the bird group with the largest number of endangered species, as a result of habitat destruction and illegal trade. This illicit traffic involves the smuggling of eggs and animals, and the laundering through captive breeding facilities of wild-caught animals. Despite the huge potential of wildlife DNA forensics to determine with conclusive evidence illegal trade, current usage of DNA profiling approaches in parrots has been limited by the lack of suitable molecular markers specifically developed for the focal species and by low cross-species polymorphism. In this study, we isolated DNA microsatellite markers in seven parrot species threatened with extinction (Amazona brasiliensis, A. oratrix, A. pretrei, A. rhodocorytha, Anodorhynchus leari, Ara rubrogenys and Primolius couloni). From an enriched genomic library followed by 454 pyrosequencing, we characterized a total of 106 polymorphic microsatellite markers (mostly tetranucleotides) in the seven species and tested them across an average number of 19 individuals per species. The mean number of alleles per species and across loci varied from 6.4 to 8.3, with the mean observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.65 to 0.84. Identity and parentage exclusion probabilities were highly discriminatory. The high variability displayed by these microsatellite loci demonstrates their potential utility to perform individual genotyping and parentage analyses, in order to develop a DNA testing framework to determine illegal traffic in these threatened species.

  8. Polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for forensic individual identification and parentage analyses of seven threatened species of parrots (family Psittacidae).

    PubMed

    Jan, Catherine; Fumagalli, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The parrot family represents one of the bird group with the largest number of endangered species, as a result of habitat destruction and illegal trade. This illicit traffic involves the smuggling of eggs and animals, and the laundering through captive breeding facilities of wild-caught animals. Despite the huge potential of wildlife DNA forensics to determine with conclusive evidence illegal trade, current usage of DNA profiling approaches in parrots has been limited by the lack of suitable molecular markers specifically developed for the focal species and by low cross-species polymorphism. In this study, we isolated DNA microsatellite markers in seven parrot species threatened with extinction (Amazona brasiliensis, A. oratrix, A. pretrei, A. rhodocorytha, Anodorhynchus leari, Ara rubrogenys and Primolius couloni). From an enriched genomic library followed by 454 pyrosequencing, we characterized a total of 106 polymorphic microsatellite markers (mostly tetranucleotides) in the seven species and tested them across an average number of 19 individuals per species. The mean number of alleles per species and across loci varied from 6.4 to 8.3, with the mean observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.65 to 0.84. Identity and parentage exclusion probabilities were highly discriminatory. The high variability displayed by these microsatellite loci demonstrates their potential utility to perform individual genotyping and parentage analyses, in order to develop a DNA testing framework to determine illegal traffic in these threatened species.

  9. Isolation and molecular identification of lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacterium spp. from faeces of the blue-fronted Amazon parrot in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Allegretti, L; Revolledo, L; Astolfi-Ferreira, C S; Chacón, J L; Martins, L M; Seixas, G H F; Ferreira, A J P

    2014-12-01

    In Brazil, the blue-fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva) is a common pet. The faecal microbiota of these birds include a wide variety of bacterial species, the majority of which belong to the Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria (LAB) clade. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in the diversity and abundance of LAB and Bifidobacterium spp. in the cloacae between wild and captive birds and to select, identify and characterise LAB for consideration as a parrot probiotic. Cloacal swabs were collected from 26 wild and 26 captive birds. Bacterial DNA was extracted, and the 16S rRNA genes were amplified. The numbers of PCR-positive Enterococcus, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus species isolated from wild and captive birds were significantly different (P<0.05). Enterococcus was the most frequently isolated genus, followed by Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and Bifidobacterium. Enterococcus faecium, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus coryniformis, Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis and Bifidobacterium bifidum were the most frequently isolated species from all birds. This study increases our understanding of the faecal microbiota, and may help to improve the nutrition and habitat management of captive and wild parrots. The bacterial population identified in the faecal microbiota of clinically healthy wild and captive parrots can serve as a database to analyse variations in the gut microbiota of pathogen-infected parrots and to develop probiotics specific to these genera.

  10. Sensor for Distance Measurement Using Pixel Grey-Level Information

    PubMed Central

    Lázaro, José L.; Cano, Angel E.; Fernández, Pedro R.; Pompa, Yamilet

    2009-01-01

    An alternative method for distance measurement is presented, based on a radiometric approach to the image formation process. The proposed methodology uses images from an infrared emitting diode (IRED) to estimate the distance between the camera and the IRED. Camera output grey-level intensities are a function of the accumulated image irradiance, which is also related by inverse distance square law to the distance between the camera and the IRED. Analyzing camera-IRED distance, magnitudes that affected image grey-level intensities, and therefore accumulated image irradiance, were integrated into a differential model which was calibrated and used for distance estimation over a 200 to 600 cm range. In a preliminary model, the camera and the emitter were aligned. PMID:22291543

  11. 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…

  12. 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.…

  13. Grey water on three agricultural catchments in the Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blazkova, Sarka D.; Kulasova, Alena

    2014-05-01

    The COST project EU EURO-AGRIWAT focuses apart from other problems on the assessment of water footprint (WF). WF is defined as the quantity of water used to produce some goods or a service. In particular, the WF of an agricultural product is the volume of water used during the crop growing period. It has three components: the green water which is rain or soil moisture transpired by a crop, the blue water which is the amount of irrigation water transpired and the grey water which is the volume of water required to dilute pollutants and to restore the quality standards of the water body. We have been observing three different agricultural catchments. The first of them is Smrzovka Brook, located in the protected nature area in the south part of the Jizerske Mountains. An ecological farming has been carried out there. The second agricultural catchment area is the Kralovsky Creek, which lies in the foothills of the Krkonose Mountains and is a part of an agricultural cooperative. The last agricultural catchment is the Klejnarka stream, located on the outskirts of the fertile Elbe lowlands near Caslav. Catchments Kralovsky Brook and Klejnarka carry out usual agricultural activities. On all three catchments, however, recreational cottages or houses not connected to the sewerage system and/or with inefficient septic tanks occur. The contribution shows our approach to trying to quantify the real grey water from agriculture, i.e. the grey water caused by nutrients not utilised by the crops.

  14. Spatial memory in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Lührs, Mia-Lana; Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2009-07-01

    Wild animals face the challenge of locating feeding sites distributed across broad spatial and temporal scales. Spatial memory allows animals to find a goal, such as a productive feeding patch, even when there are no goal-specific sensory cues available. Because there is little experimental information on learning and memory capabilities in free-ranging primates, the aim of this study was to test whether grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), as short-term dietary specialists, rely on spatial memory in relocating productive feeding sites. In addition, we asked what kind of spatial representation might underlie their orientation in their natural environment. Using an experimental approach, we set eight radio-collared grey mouse lemurs a memory task by confronting them with two different spatial patterns of baited and non-baited artificial feeding stations under exclusion of sensory cues. Positional data were recorded by focal animal observations within a grid system of small foot trails. A change in the baiting pattern revealed that grey mouse lemurs primarily used spatial cues to relocate baited feeding stations and that they were able to rapidly learn a new spatial arrangement. Spatially concentrated, non-random movements revealed preliminary evidence for a route-based restriction in mouse lemur space; during a subsequent release experiment, however, we found high travel efficiency in directed movements. We therefore propose that mouse lemur spatial memory is based on some kind of mental representation that is more detailed than a route-based network map.

  15. Image retrieval based on local grey-level invariants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordeaux, Eva; Shrikhande, Neelima

    2005-10-01

    During past decades, the enormous growth of image archives has significantly increased the demand for research efforts aimed at efficiently finding specific images within large databases. This paper investigates matching of images of buildings, architectural designs, blueprints and sketches. Their geometrical constrains lead to the proposed approach: the use of local grey-level invariants based on internal contours of the object. The problem involves three key phases: object recognition in image data, matching two images and searching the database of images. The emphasis of this paper is on object recognition based on internal contours of image data. In her master's thesis, M.M. Kulkarni described a technique for image retrieval by contour analysis implemented on external contours of an object in an image data. This is used to define the category of a building (tower, dome, flat, etc). Integration of these results with local grey-level invariant analysis creates a more robust image retrieval system. Thus, the best match result is the intersection of the results of contour analysis and grey-level invariants analysis. Experiments conducted for the database of architectural buildings have shown robustness w.r.t. to image rotation, translation, small view-point variations, partial visibility and extraneous features. The recognition rate is above 99% for a variety of tested images taken under different conditions.

  16. Hybrid nuclear reactor grey rod to obtain required reactivity worth

    DOEpatents

    Miller, John V.; Carlson, William R.; Yarbrough, Michael B.

    1991-01-01

    Hybrid nuclear reactor grey rods are described, wherein geometric combinations of relatively weak neutron absorber materials such as stainless steel, zirconium or INCONEL, and relatively strong neutron absorber materials, such as hafnium, silver-indium cadmium and boron carbide, are used to obtain the reactivity worths required to reach zero boron change load follow. One embodiment includes a grey rod which has combinations of weak and strong neutron absorber pellets in a stainless steel cladding. The respective pellets can be of differing heights. A second embodiment includes a grey rod with a relatively thick stainless steel cladding receiving relatively strong neutron absorber pellets only. A third embodiment includes annular relatively weak netron absorber pellets with a smaller diameter pellet of relatively strong absorber material contained within the aperture of each relatively weak absorber pellet. The fourth embodiment includes pellets made of a homogeneous alloy of hafnium and a relatively weak absorber material, with the percentage of hafnium chosen to obtain the desired reactivity worth.

  17. The trajectory prediction of spacecraft by grey method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qiyue; Zhang, Zili; Wang, Zhongyu; Wang, Yanqing; Zhou, Weihu

    2016-08-01

    The real-time and high-precision trajectory prediction of a moving object is a core technology in the field of aerospace engineering. The real-time monitoring and tracking technology are also significant guarantees of aerospace equipment. A dynamic trajectory prediction method called grey dynamic filter (GDF) which combines the dynamic measurement theory and grey system theory is proposed. GDF can use coordinates of the current period to extrapolate coordinates of the following period. At meantime, GDF can also keep the instantaneity of measured coordinates by the metabolism model. In this paper the optimal model length of GDF is firstly selected to improve the prediction accuracy. Then the simulation for uniformly accelerated motion and variably accelerated motion is conducted. The simulation results indicate that the mean composite position error of GDF prediction is one-fifth to that of Kalman filter (KF). By using a spacecraft landing experiment, the prediction accuracy of GDF is compared with the KF method and the primitive grey method (GM). The results show that the motion trajectory of spacecraft predicted by GDF is much closer to actual trajectory than the other two methods. The mean composite position error calculated by GDF is one-eighth to KF and one-fifth to GM respectively.

  18. Colour constancy: influence of viewing behaviour on grey settings.

    PubMed

    Golz, Jürgen

    2010-01-01

    In numerous studies on colour constancy or colour induction subjects have to adjust a test field so that it looks achromatic. Their viewing behaviour during these settings is often not controlled or reported. Here I show that the results of grey settings depend on whether subjects visually explore the stimulus by looking around or fixate their gaze exclusively on the test field. Two different viewing instructions are compared with regard to the degree of constancy as measured by the shift of grey settings in coloured surrounds. In variegated surrounds (but not in uniform surrounds) there is a robust effect of viewing condition for all subjects and all surround chromaticities tested, in that exploration increases colour constancy compared to fixating the test field. Values of a colour constancy index are increased by as much as 20% (where 100% colour constancy means that the subject chooses as grey the mean chromaticity of the surround) with an average across all subjects and surrounds of 12.6%. Thus, if this factor is not experimentally controlled, it could inflate variance, reduce comparability between different studies, and even lead to unwarranted conclusions if viewing behaviour unpredictably differs between experimental conditions.

  19. Population size of Cuban Parrots Amazona leucocephala and Sandhill Cranes Grus canadensis and community involvement in their conservation in northern Isla de la Juventud, Cuba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguilera, X.G.; Alvarez, V.B.; Wiley, J.W.; Rosales, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    The Cuban Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis nesiotes and Cuban Parrot Amazona leucocephala palmarum are considered endangered species in Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud (formerly Isla de Pinos). Coincident with a public education campaign, a population survey for these species was conducted in the northern part of the Isla de la Juventud on 17 December 1995, from 06hoo to 10hoo. Residents from throughout the island participated, manning 98 stations, with 1-4 observers per station. Parrots were observed at 60 (61.2%) of the stations with a total of 1320, maximum (without correction for duplicate observations), and 1100, minimum (corrected), individuals counted. Sandhill cranes were sighted at 38 (38.8%) of the stations, with a total of 115 individuals. Cranes and parrots co-occurred at 20 (20.4%) of the stations.

  20. Prevalence and Genotyping of Cryptosporidium Infection in Pet Parrots in North China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Cryptosporidium spp., sometimes leading to severe diarrhea in humans and animals. In the present study, 311 parrots, belonging to four species, namely, Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria), and Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), from Beijing and Weifang cities, were examined for Cryptosporidium spp. infection. Blood samples of each bird were examined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fecal samples were examined by Sheather's sugar flotation technique. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection were 3.22% (10/311) and 0.64% (2/311) by ELISA and Sheather's sugar flotation technique, respectively. Seroprevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in different breeds varied from 0 to 15.39%. Sequencing analysis showed that both positive samples from fecal samples belonged to Cryptosporidium avian genotype V. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in Budgerigars. The results of the present study provided foundation-data for prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis in pet birds in China. PMID:26273629

  1. Prevalence and Genotyping of Cryptosporidium Infection in Pet Parrots in North China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Cryptosporidium spp., sometimes leading to severe diarrhea in humans and animals. In the present study, 311 parrots, belonging to four species, namely, Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria), and Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), from Beijing and Weifang cities, were examined for Cryptosporidium spp. infection. Blood samples of each bird were examined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fecal samples were examined by Sheather's sugar flotation technique. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection were 3.22% (10/311) and 0.64% (2/311) by ELISA and Sheather's sugar flotation technique, respectively. Seroprevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in different breeds varied from 0 to 15.39%. Sequencing analysis showed that both positive samples from fecal samples belonged to Cryptosporidium avian genotype V. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in Budgerigars. The results of the present study provided foundation-data for prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis in pet birds in China. PMID:26273629

  2. Means-end comprehension in four parrot species: explained by social complexity.

    PubMed

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia; Bräger, Stefan; Wanker, Ralf

    2013-09-01

    A comparative approach is required to investigate the evolutionary origins of cognitive abilities. In this paper, we compare the performance of four parrot species, spectacled parrotlets (Forpus conspicillatus), rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), green-winged macaws (Ara chloroptera) and sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita triton) in standardized string-pulling and string-choice paradigms. We varied the spatial relationship between the strings, the presence of a reward and the physical contact between the string and the reward to test different cognitive skills requiring means-end comprehension. The species tested showed a high individual and inter-specific variation in their ability to solve the tasks. Spectacled parrotlets performed best among the four species and solved the most complex choice tasks, namely crossed-string task and broken-string task, spontaneously. In contrast, macaws and cockatoos failed to identify the correct string in these two tasks. The rainbow lorikeets were outperformed by the parrotlets, but outperformed in turn the macaws and the cockatoos. The findings can be best explained by the variation in social complexity among species, rather than in their ecology.

  3. Thromboelastography Values in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots ( Amazona ventralis ): A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Keller, Krista A; Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, David; Acierno, Mark J; Beaufrère, Hugues; Sinclair, Kristin M; Owens, Sean D; Paul-Murphy, Joanne; Tully, Thomas N

    2015-09-01

    Thromboelastography (TEG) provides a global assessment of coagulation, including the rate of clot initiation, clot kinetics, achievement of maximum clot strength, and fibrinolysis. Thromboelastography (TEG) is used with increasing frequency in the field of veterinary medicine, although its usefulness in avian species has not been adequately explored. The purpose of this preliminary study was to assess the applicability of TEG in psittacine birds. Kaolin-activated TEG was used to analyze citrated whole blood collected routinely from 8 healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ). The minimum and maximum TEG values obtained included time to clot initiation (2.6-15 minutes), clot formation time (4.3-20.8 minutes), α angle (12.7°-47.9°), maximum amplitude of clot strength (26.3-46.2 mm), and percentage of lysis 30 minutes after achievement of maximum amplitude (0%-5.3%). The TEG values demonstrated comparative hypocoagulability relative to published values in canine and feline species. Differences may be explained by either the in vitro temperature at which TEG is standardly performed or the method of activation used in this study. Although TEG may have significant advantages over traditional coagulation tests, including lack of need for species-specific reagents, further evaluation is required in a variety of avian species and while exploring various TEG methodologies before this technology can be recommended for use in clinical cases.

  4. Patterned-string tasks: relation between fine motor skills and visual-spatial abilities in parrots.

    PubMed

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

    2013-01-01

    String-pulling and patterned-string tasks are often used to analyse perceptual and cognitive abilities in animals. In addition, the paradigm can be used to test the interrelation between visual-spatial and motor performance. Two Australian parrot species, the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), forage on the ground, but only the galah uses its feet to manipulate food. I used a set of string pulling and patterned-string tasks to test whether usage of the feet during foraging is a prerequisite for solving the vertical string pulling problem. Indeed, the two species used techniques that clearly differed in the extent of beak-foot coordination but did not differ in terms of their success in solving the string pulling task. However, when the visual-spatial skills of the subjects were tested, the galahs outperformed the cockatiels. This supports the hypothesis that the fine motor skills needed for advanced beak-foot coordination may be interrelated with certain visual-spatial abilities needed for solving patterned-string tasks. This pattern was also found within each of the two species on the individual level: higher motor abilities positively correlated with performance in patterned-string tasks. This is the first evidence of an interrelation between visual-spatial and motor abilities in non-mammalian animals.

  5. Theoretical morphology and development of flight feather vane asymmetry with experimental tests in parrots.

    PubMed

    Feo, Teresa J; Prum, Richard O

    2014-06-01

    Asymmetry in flight feather vane width is a major functional innovation associated with the evolution of flight in the ancestors of birds. However, the developmental and morphological basis of feather shape is not simple, and the developmental processes involved in vane width asymmetry are poorly understood. We present a theoretical model of feather morphology and development that describes the possible ways to modify feather development and produce vane asymmetry. Our model finds that the theoretical morphospace of feather shape is redundant, and that many different combinations of parameters could be responsible for vane asymmetry in a given feather. Next, we empirically measured morphological and developmental model parameters in asymmetric and symmetric feathers from two species of parrots to identify which combinations of parameters create vane asymmetry in real feathers. We found that both longer barbs, and larger barb angles in the relatively wider trailing vane drove asymmetry in tail feathers. Developmentally, longer barbs were the result of an offset of the radial position of the new barb locus, whereas larger barb angles were produced by differential expansion of barbs as the feather unfurls from the tubular feather germ. In contrast, the helical angle of barb ridge development did not contribute to vane asymmetry and could be indicative of a constraint. This research provides the first comprehensive description of both the morphological and developmental modifications responsible for vane asymmetry within real feathers, and identifies key steps that must have occurred during the evolution of vane asymmetry.

  6. Prevalence and Genotyping of Cryptosporidium Infection in Pet Parrots in North China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Cryptosporidium spp., sometimes leading to severe diarrhea in humans and animals. In the present study, 311 parrots, belonging to four species, namely, Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria), and Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), from Beijing and Weifang cities, were examined for Cryptosporidium spp. infection. Blood samples of each bird were examined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fecal samples were examined by Sheather's sugar flotation technique. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection were 3.22% (10/311) and 0.64% (2/311) by ELISA and Sheather's sugar flotation technique, respectively. Seroprevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in different breeds varied from 0 to 15.39%. Sequencing analysis showed that both positive samples from fecal samples belonged to Cryptosporidium avian genotype V. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in Budgerigars. The results of the present study provided foundation-data for prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis in pet birds in China.

  7. Ultraviolet visual sensitivity in three avian lineages: paleognaths, parrots, and passerines.

    PubMed

    Aidala, Zachary; Huynen, Leon; Brennan, Patricia L R; Musser, Jacob; Fidler, Andrew; Chong, Nicola; Machovsky Capuska, Gabriel E; Anderson, Michael G; Talaba, Amanda; Lambert, David; Hauber, Mark E

    2012-07-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) light-transmitted signals play a major role in avian foraging and communication, subserving functional roles in feeding, mate choice, egg recognition, and nestling discrimination. Sequencing functionally relevant regions of the short wavelength sensitive type 1 (SWS1) opsin gene that is responsible for modulating the extent of SWS1 UV sensitivity in birds allows predictions to be made about the visual system's UV sensitivity in species where direct physiological or behavioral measures would be impractical or unethical. Here, we present SWS1 segment sequence data from representative species of three avian lineages for which visually based cues for foraging and communication have been investigated to varying extents. We also present a preliminary phylogenetic analysis and ancestral character state reconstructions of key spectral tuning sites along the SWS1 opsin based on our sequence data. The results suggest ubiquitous ultraviolet SWS1 sensitivity (UVS) in both paleognaths, including extinct moa (Emeidae), and parrots, including the nocturnal and flightless kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), and in most, but not all, songbird (oscine) lineages, and confirmed violet sensitivity (VS) in two suboscine families. Passerine hosts of avian brood parasites were included both UVS and VS taxa, but sensitivity did not co-vary with egg rejection behaviors. The results should stimulate future research into the functional parallels between the roles of visual signals and the genetic basis of visual sensitivity in birds and other taxa.

  8. A presumptive case of Baylisascaris procyonis in a feral green-cheeked Amazon parrot (Amazona viridigenalis).

    PubMed

    Done, Lisa B; Tamura, Yoko

    2014-03-01

    A feral green-cheeked Amazon parrot (Amazona viridigenalis), also known as the red-crowned Amazon, with generalized neurologic symptoms was found in Pasadena in Southern California and brought in for treatment. The bird was refractory to a wide variety of medications and supportive treatment. Tests for polyoma virus, psittacine beak and feather disease virus, and West Nile virus as well as Chlamydophila psittaci were negative. Hospitalized and home care continued for a total of 69 days. The bird was rehospitalized on day 66 for increasing severity of clinical signs and found 3 days later hanging with its head down, in respiratory arrest. Resuscitation was unsuccessful. There were no gross pathologic lesions. Histopathology showed a focal subcutaneous fungal caseous granuloma under the skin of the dorsum. Many sarcocysts morphologically consistent with Sarcocystis falcatula were found in the cytoplasm of the skeletal myofibers from skeletal muscles of different locations of this bird, a finding that was considered an incidental, clinically nonsignificant finding in this case. Necrosis with microscopic lesions typical of Baylisascaris spp. neural larva migrans was in the brain. Although multiple histologic serial sections of the brain were examined and a brain squash performed and analyzed, no Baylisascaris larvae were found. This is the first presumptive case of Baylisascaris in a feral psittacine.

  9. Genome size is inversely correlated with relative brain size in parrots and cockatoos.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Chandler B; Gregory, T Ryan

    2009-03-01

    Genome size (haploid nuclear DNA content) has been found to correlate positively with cell size and negatively with cell division rate in a variety of taxa. These cytological relationships manifest in various ways at the organism level, for example, in terms of body size, metabolic rate, or developmental rate, depending on the biology of the organisms. In birds, it has been suggested that high metabolic rate and strong flight ability are linked to small genome size. However, it was also hypothesized that the exceptional cognitive abilities of birds may impose additional constraints on genome size through effects on neuron size and differentiation, as has been observed in amphibians. To test this hypothesis, a comparative analysis was made between genome size, cell (erythrocyte) size, and brain size in 54 species of parrots and cockatoos (order Psittaciformes, family Psittacidae). Relative brain volume, which is taken as an indicator of investment in brain tissue and is widely correlated with behavioural and ecological traits, was found to correlate inversely with genome size. Several possible and mutually compatible explanations for this relationship are described.

  10. Gut Microbiome of the Critically Endangered New Zealand Parrot, the Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

    PubMed Central

    Waite, David W.; Deines, Peter; Taylor, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    The kakapo, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is currently the focus of intense research and conservation efforts with the aim of boosting its population above the current ‘critically endangered’ status. While virtually nothing is known about the microbiology of the kakapo, given the acknowledged importance of gut-associated microbes in vertebrate nutrition and pathogen defense, it should be of great conservation value to analyze the microbes associated with kakapo. Here we describe the first study of the bacterial communities that reside within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of both juvenile and adult kakapo. Samples from along the GIT, taken from the choana (≈throat), crop and faeces, were subjected to 16 S rRNA gene library analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of >1000 16 S rRNA gene clones, derived from six birds, revealed low phylum-level diversity, consisting almost exclusively of Firmicutes (including lactic acid bacteria) and Gammaproteobacteria. The relative proportions of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria were highly consistent among individual juveniles, irrespective of sampling location, but differed markedly among adult birds. Diversity at a finer phylogenetic resolution (i.e. operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of 99% sequence identity) was also low in all samples, with only one or two OTUs dominating each sample. These data represent the first analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the kakapo GIT, providing a baseline for further microbiological study, and facilitating conservation efforts for this unique bird. PMID:22530070

  11. Survey of bornaviruses in pet psittacines in Brazil reveals a novel parrot bornavirus.

    PubMed

    Philadelpho, Natalia A; Rubbenstroth, Dennis; Guimarães, Marta B; Piantino Ferreira, Antonio J

    2014-12-01

    Avian bornaviruses are the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a fatal neurological disease considered to be a major threat to psittacine bird populations. We performed a survey of the presence of avian bornaviruses and PDD in pet psittacines in Brazil and also studied PDD's clinical presentation as well as the genomic variability of the viruses. Samples from 112 psittacines with clinical signs compatible with PDD were collected and tested for the presence of bornaviruses. We found 32 birds (28.6%) positive for bornaviruses using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Twenty-one (65.6%) of the 32 bornavirus-positive birds presented neurological signs, seven (21.9%) presented undigested seeds in feces, four (12.5%) showed proventricular dilatation, six (18.8%) regurgitation, three (9.4%) feather plucking and three (9.4%) sudden death. The results confirm that avian bornaviruses are present in pet psittacines in Brazil, and sequence analysis identified a distinct virus, named parrot bornavirus 8 (PaBV-8).

  12. Factors shaping the ontogeny of vocal signals in a wild parrot.

    PubMed

    Berg, Karl S; Beissinger, Steven R; Bradbury, Jack W

    2013-01-15

    Parrots rely heavily on vocal signals to maintain their social and mobile lifestyles. We studied vocal ontogeny in nests of wild green-rumped parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) in Venezuela. We identified three successive phases of vocal signaling that corresponded closely to three independently derived phases of physiological development. For each ontogenetic phase, we characterized the relative importance of anatomical constraints, motor skills necessary for responding to specific contexts of the immediate environment, and the learning of signals that are necessary for adult forms of communication. We observed shifts in the relative importance of these three factors as individuals progressed from one stage to the next; there was no single fixed ratio of factors that applied across the entire ontogenetic sequence. The earliest vocalizations were short in duration, as predicted from physical constraints and under-developed motor control. Calls became longer and frequency modulated during intermediate nestling ages in line with motor skills required for competitive begging. In the week before fledging, calls drastically shortened in accordance with the flight-constrained short durations of adult contact calls. The latter constraints were made evident by the demonstrated links between wing-assisted incline running, a widespread prelude to avian flight, just before the shift from long-duration begging calls to short-duration contact calls. At least in this species, the shifting emphases of factors at different ontogenetic stages precluded the morphing of intermediate-stage begging calls into adult contact calls; as shown previously, the latter are influenced by sample templates provided by parents.

  13. Pericardial Mesothelioma in a Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot (Amazona auropalliata).

    PubMed

    McCleery, Brynn; Jones, Michael P; Manasse, Jorden; Johns, Sara; Gompf, Rebecca E; Newman, Shelley

    2015-03-01

    A 37-year-old female yellow-naped Amazon parrot (Amazona auropalliata) was presented with a history of lethargy, inappetence, and decreased vocalizations. On examination, the coelom was moderately distended and palpated fluctuant, and the heart was muffled on auscultation. Coelomic ultrasound, coelomocentesis, and radiographs were performed and revealed an enlarged cardiac silhouette and marked coelomic effusion. Pericardial effusion was confirmed by echocardiography. A well-circumscribed, hyperechoic soft tissue density was observed at the level of the right atrium on initial echocardiography; however, a cardiac mass was not identified by computed tomography scan or repeat echocardiograms. Ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis was performed under anesthesia, and cytology results were consistent with hemorrhage; no neoplastic cells were identified. A repeat echocardiogram 4 days after pericardiocentesis revealed recurrence of the pericardial effusion. Due to the grave prognosis, the owners declined endoscopic pericardiectomy, and the patient died the following day. On postmortem examination, the pericardial surface of the heart was covered in a white to yellow, multinodular mass layer. Histologic analysis revealed a multinodular mass extending from the atria, running along the epicardium distally, and often extending into the myocardium. Neoplastic cells present in the heart mass and pericardium did not stain with a Churukian-Schenk stain, and thyroglobulin immunohistochemistry was negative. Cytokeratin and vimentin stains showed positive expression in the neoplastic cells within the mass. These results are consistent with a diagnosis of mesothelioma. This is the first report of mesothelioma in a psittacine bird.

  14. Can you teach an old parrot new tricks? Cognitive development in wild kaka (Nestor meridionalis).

    PubMed

    Loepelt, Julia; Shaw, Rachael C; Burns, Kevin C

    2016-06-15

    Despite recent efforts to characterize innovative individuals within a species, we still know very little about the ontogeny of innovation ability. A number of studies have found that innovation rates are correlated with personality traits, such as neophilia and exploration. Juvenile birds are frequently more neophilic and explorative, yet few studies have found evidence of age-related differences in innovative problem-solving success. Here, we show consistently higher innovation efficiency in juveniles of a wild, omnivorous parrot species across a variety of tasks and contexts. We tested 104 kaka (Nestor meridionalis), ranging in age from four months to 13 years. Twenty-four individuals participated in all three of our problem-solving tasks, two of which involved a familiar feeder and one an entirely novel apparatus. Juveniles were the most efficient problem-solvers in all three tasks. By contrast, the adults' success was context dependent and limited to the novel apparatus, which did not require modification of a pre-learned behavioural response. This suggests greater behavioural flexibility in the juvenile birds, who also showed higher persistence and exploratory diversity than adults. These traits may enable young kaka to discover efficient foraging techniques, which are then maintained throughout adulthood. PMID:27252018

  15. Health evaluation of free-ranging and captive blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) in the Gran chaco, Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Deem, Sharon L; Noss, Andrew J; Cuéllar, Rosa Leny; Karesh, William B

    2005-12-01

    Bolivia has a total of 47 species of Psittacidae, seven of which have been identified in our study site, the semiarid Gran Chaco of the Isoso. One species, the blue-fronted parrot (Amazona aestiva), is frequently captured by local Isoseño Guaraní Indians for exploitation on the national and international market. These birds are often temporarily housed in small villages under unhygienic conditions with poultry and other domestic species. On occasion, these parrots escape back to the wild. Additionally, many of these birds are kept as pets or are used to lure wild. parrots within slingshot range for subsequent capture. In this study, we evaluated the health status, including the level of exposure to selected infectious agents, in the wild-caught captive birds and free-ranging birds. Physical examinations were performed, and blood was collected, from 54 live birds (20 captive and 34 free-ranging). Feces were collected from 15 birds (seven captive and eight free-ranging). Necropsies were also performed on four recently dead wild-caught birds. On serologic testing, no birds were found to have antibodies to avian influenza virus, Chlamydophila psittaci, infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, infectious laryngotracheitis virus, Marek's disease virus, paramyxovirus-1, paramyxovirus-2, paramyxovirus-3, polyomavirus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. Positive antibody titers were found for psittacine herpesvirus (8/44, 18.2%), Aspergillus spp. (3/51, 5.9%), and Salmonella pullorum (33/49, 67.3%). All three of the birds that tested antibody positive for Aspergillus spp. were captive, whereas six of the eight and 15 of the 33 birds that tested positive for psittacine herpesvirus and S. pullorum, respectively, were wild.

  16. T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix).

    PubMed

    Osofsky, Anna; Hawkins, Michelle G; Foreman, Oded; Kent, Michael S; Vernau, William; Lowenstine, Linda J

    2011-12-01

    An adult, male double yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix) was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia based on results of a complete blood cell count and cytologic examination of a bone marrow aspirate. Treatment with oral chlorambucil was attempted, but no response was evident after 40 days. The bird was euthanatized, and the diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia was confirmed on gross and microscopic examination of tissues. Neoplastic lymphocytes were found in the bone marrow, liver, kidney, testes, and blood vessels. Based on CD3-positive immunocytochemical and immunohistochemical immunophenotyping, the chronic lymphocytic leukemia was determined to be of T-cell origin.

  17. Increased microglial catalase activity in multiple sclerosis grey matter.

    PubMed

    Gray, Elizabeth; Kemp, Kevin; Hares, Kelly; Redondo, Julianna; Rice, Claire; Scolding, Neil; Wilkins, Alastair

    2014-04-22

    Chronic demyelination, on-going inflammation, axonal loss and grey matter neuronal injury are likely pathological processes that contribute to disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). Although the precise contribution of each process and their aetiological substrates is not fully known, recent evidence has implicated oxidative damage as a major cause of tissue injury in MS. The degree of tissue injury caused by oxidative molecules, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), is balanced by endogenous anti-oxidant enzymes which detoxify ROS. Understanding endogenous mechanisms which protect the brain against oxidative injury in MS is important, since enhancing anti-oxidant responses is a major therapeutic strategy for preventing irreversible tissue injury in the disease. Our aims were to determine expression and activity levels of the hydrogen peroxide-reducing enzyme catalase in MS grey matter (GM). In MS GM, a catalase enzyme activity was elevated compared to control GM. We measured catalase protein expression by immune dot-blotting and catalase mRNA by a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Protein analysis studies showed a strong positive correlation between catalase and microglial marker IBA-1 in MS GM. In addition, calibration of catalase mRNA level with reference to the microglial-specific transcript AIF-1 revealed an increase in this transcript in MS. This was reflected by the extent of HLA-DR immunolabeling in MS GM which was significantly elevated compared to control GM. Collectively, these observations provide evidence that microglial catalase activity is elevated in MS grey matter and may be an important endogenous anti-oxidant defence mechanism in MS.

  18. Rare pediatric conditions: contribution of grey-scale ultrasonography.

    PubMed

    Garel, L; Montagne, J P; Fauré, C

    1979-10-01

    The authors report some unusual pediatric conditions where grey scale ultrasound was the most useful diagnostic tool. Cases of pericardial cyst, polycystic kidney disease of the adult type, hepatic hamartoma and hepatocarcinoma, gallstones, renal pseudo tumors, calcified inferior vena caval thrombus, acute pancreatitis, multicystic kidney and retroperitoneal lymphangioma are briefly described and compared to the literature. In a patient presenting with hereditary tyrosinemia, ultrasound not only disclosed evidence of hepatocarcinoma but was shown to be the procedure of choice for following the course of the disease.

  19. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  20. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species. PMID:26378664

  1. Chlamydophila psittaci in free-living Blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) and Hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Freitas Raso, Tânia; Seixas, Gláucia Helena Fernandes; Guedes, Neiva Maria Robaldo; Pinto, Aramis Augusto

    2006-10-31

    Chlamydophila psittaci (C. psittaci) infection was evaluated in 77 free-living nestlings of Blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) and Hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Tracheal and cloacal swab samples from 32 wild parrot and 45 macaw nestlings were submitted to semi-nested PCR, while serum samples were submitted to complement fixation test (CFT). Although all 32 Amazon parrot serum samples were negative by CFT, cloacal swabs from two birds were positive for Chlamydophila DNA by semi-nested PCR (6.3%); these positive birds were 32 and 45 days old. In macaws, tracheal and cloacal swabs were positive in 8.9% and 26.7% of the samples, respectively. Complement-fixing antibodies were detected in 4.8% of the macaw nestlings; macaw nestlings with positive findings were between 33 and 88 days old. These results indicate widespread dissemination of this pathogen in the two evaluated psittacine populations. No birds had clinical signs suggestive of chlamydiosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on C. psittaci in free-living Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws in Brazil.

  2. Optimized nested polymerase chain reaction for antemortem detection of Mycobacteria in Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) and orange-winged Amazons (Amazona amazonica).

    PubMed

    Baquião, Arianne Costa; Luna, Janaina Oliveira; Medina, Aziz Orro; Sanfilippo, Luiz Francisco; de Faria, Maria Jacinta; dos Santos, Manuel Armando Azevedo

    2014-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to optimize nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Mycobacterium avium complex and Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and apply them on samples from parrots. Results were negative for the presence of these Mycobacterium in the samples, and nested PCR was specific, faster, and more sensitive than other tests, thereby justifying its use in antemortem diagnosis.

  3. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species.

  4. Pathogenicity and transmission study of the first U.S. parrot H5N2 virus of Mexican lineage in different poultry species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2004, a low pathogenic H5N2 influenza virus was identified in a psittacine bird for the first time in the United States. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the hemagglutinin gene grouped the parrot isolate under the Mexican lineage H5N2 viruses (Subgroup B) with highest similarity to recent c...

  5. Whole-Genome Sequence of a Beak and Feather Disease Virus Isolate from a Fledgling Red-Capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)

    PubMed Central

    Subir, Sarker; Forwood, Jade K.; Ghorashi, Seyed A.; Raidal, Shane R.

    2016-01-01

    The complete genome sequence of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) from a fledgling red-capped parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius) was assembled and characterized. The genome consists of 1,995 nucleotides and encodes two major proteins in opposing directions. This is the first evidence of BFDV infectivity and a complete genome sequence for this novel host. PMID:27738029

  6. Nutritional and physical characteristics of commercial hand-feeding formulas for parrots.

    PubMed

    Cornejo, J; Dierenfeld, E S; Bailey, C A; Brightsmith, D J

    2013-01-01

    Hand-rearing is a common practice for the propagation of captive psittacines, however, research on their nutrition is limited and the requirements of growing chicks are not well understood. The nutrition of 15 commercially available parrot hand-feeding formulas was compared with the average content of the crops of free living Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) chicks, as well as with the requirements of 6- to 12-week-old leghorn chickens. When the formulas were prepared for a 1-week-old chick, all except three maintained >90% of solids in suspension after 15 min and >60 after 30 min. On average the formulas had a similar metabolizable energy density as wild macaw crop samples. The concentration of crude protein in the formulas was higher than that of the crop sample average, while the crude fat was lower than the average crop samples. More than 50% of the formulas had concentrations of K, Mg, and Mn less than the crop sample average, and Ca and Na concentrations below the requirements established for 6- to 12-week-old leghorn chickens. For >45% of the formulas the concentrations of arginine, leucine, and methionine + cystine were below the requirements of 6- to 12-week leghorns. When commercial formulas were prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions, the different dilutions greatly magnified the nutritional differences among them. Overall, the inconsistency in the nutrient concentrations among the formulas suggests that there is no consensus among manufacturers of the correct nutrition for growing psittacines and the industry could benefit from continued research in this area.

  7. Enterobacterial detection and Escherichia coli antimicrobial resistance in parrots seized from the illegal wildlife trade.

    PubMed

    Hidasi, Hilari Wanderley; Hidasi Neto, José; Moraes, Dunya Mara Cardoso; Linhares, Guido Fontgallad Coelho; Jayme, Valéria de Sá; Andrade, Maria Auxiliadora

    2013-03-01

    Enteric bacteria are considered important potential pathogens in avian clinical medicine, causing either primary or opportunistic infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of enterobacteria in the intestinal microbiota of psittacine birds and to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of the Escherichia coli isolates cultured. Fecal samples were collected from 300 parrots captured from the illegal wildlife trade in Goiás, Brazil and were processed using conventional bacteriological procedures. A total of 508 isolates were obtained from 300 fecal samples: 172 E. coli (33.9% of isolates; 57.3% of individuals); 153 Enterobacter spp. (30.1% of isolates; 51.0% of individuals); 89 Klebsiella spp. (17.7% of isolates; 29.7% of individuals); 59 Citrobacter spp. (11.6% of isolates; 19.7% of individuals), 21 Proteus vulgaris (4.2% of isolates; 7.0% of individuals), 5 Providencia alcalifaciens (0.98% of isolates; 1.67% of individuals), 5 Serratia sp. (0.98% of isolates; 1.67% of individuals), 3 Hafnia aivei (0.59% of isolates; 1.00% of individuals), and 1 Salmonella sp. (0.20% of isolates; 0.33% of individuals). Escherichia coli isolates were subsequently tested for susceptibility to the following antibiotics: amoxicillin (70.93% of the isolates were resistant), ampicillin (75.58%), ciprofloxacin (23.25%), chloramphenicol (33.14%), doxycycline (64.53%), enrofloxacin (41.28%), tetracycline (69.19%), and sulfonamide (71.51%). Multi-resistance to three and four groups of antibiotics occurred in 40 samples (23.25%) and 4 samples (2.32%), respectively. These results demonstrate that illegally traded birds are carriers of potentially pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli strains with antimicrobial resistance.

  8. Comparison of two analyzers to determine selected venous blood analytes of Quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus).

    PubMed

    Rettenmund, Christy L; Heatley, J Jill; Russell, Karen E

    2014-06-01

    Point of care devices can assess electrolyte, blood gas, biochemical, and hematologic values in a critical care setting. Although these devices are commonly used in humans and companion mammals, few studies have assessed their use in avian species. This study compares electrolyte, hemoglobin (Hgb), hematocrit (Hct), acid-base, and venous blood gas parameters between the i-STAT and IRMA TruPoint blood gas analysis systems for 35 Quaker parrots. Agreement between the two analyzers and the effect of gender, time lag between sample analysis, and cartridge expiration were evaluated. Male birds had increased Hgb and Hct compared with females, independent of analyzer method. In expired i-STAT cartridges, only glucose significantly increased. Packed cell volume determined by centrifugation was higher than Hct, as calculated by either analyzer. The analyzers had good agreement for total carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, pH, and Hgb, fair agreement for potassium (K), ionized calcium (iCa), venous partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and base excess, and poor agreement for sodium (Na), venous partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), and oxygen saturation (SO2). Values for Na, iCa, PO2, and SO2 were significantly higher on the IRMA than the i-STAT, while K was significantly lower on the IRMA when compared with the i-STAT. The time lag between sample analyses on the i-STAT and IRMA did not be correlate to any analyte changes. Despite these differences, both the i-STAT and the IRMA appear to be acceptable clinical tools in avian critical care, although reference ranges for each analyzer should be created.

  9. Phylogenetic analysis of the Australian rosella parrots (Platycercus) reveals discordance among molecules and plumage.

    PubMed

    Shipham, Ashlee; Schmidt, Daniel J; Joseph, Leo; Hughes, Jane M

    2015-10-01

    Relationships and species limits among the colourful Australian parrots known as rosellas (Platycercus) are contentious because of poorly understood patterns of parapatry, sympatry and hybridization as well as complex patterns of geographical replacement of phenotypic forms. Two subgenera are, however, conventionally recognised: Platycercus comprises the blue-cheeked crimson rosella complex (Crimson Rosella P. elegans and Green Rosella P. caledonicus), and Violania contains the remaining four currently recognised species (Pale-headed Rosella P. adscitus, Eastern Rosella P. eximius, Northern Rosella P. venustus, and Western Rosella P. icterotis). We used phylogenetic analysis of ten loci (one mitochondrial, eight autosomal and one z-linked) and several individuals per nominal species primarily to examine relationships within the subgenera, especially the relationships and species limits within Violania. Of these, P. adscitus and P. eximius have long been considered sister species or conspecific due to a morphology-based hybrid zone and an early phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The multilocus phylogenetic analysis presented here supports an alternative hypothesis aligning P. adscitus and P. venustus as sister species. Using divergence rates published in other avian studies, we estimated the divergence between P. venustus and P. adscitus at 0.0148-0.6124MYA and that between the P. adscitus/P. venustus ancestor and P. eximius earlier at 0.1617-1.0816MYA, both within the Pleistocene. Discordant topologies among gene and species trees are discussed and proposed to be the result of historical gene flow and/or incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). In particular, we suggest that discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear data may be the result of asymmetrical mitochondrial introgression from P. adscitus into P. eximius. The biogeographical implications of our findings are discussed relative to similarly distributed groups

  10. Distribution of iron in the parrot brain: conserved (pallidal) and derived (nigral) labeling patterns.

    PubMed

    Roberts, T F; Brauth, S E; Hall, W S

    2001-12-01

    The distribution of iron in the brain of a vocal learning parrot, the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), was examined using iron histochemistry. In mammals, iron is a highly specific stain for the dorsal and ventral pallidal subdivision as well as specific cell groups in the brainstem, including the substantia nigra pars reticulata [Neuroscience 11 (1984) 595-603]. The purpose of this study was to compare the distribution of iron in the mammalian and avian brain focusing on pallidal and nigral cell groups. The results show that in the avian brain, iron stains oligodendrocytes, neurons and the neuropil. Cell staining changes dramatically along the rostrocaudal axis, with neuronal labeling confined to regions caudal to the thalamus and oligodendrocyte labeling denser in regions rostral to the dorsal thalamus. Many sensory forebrain regions contain appreciable iron labeling, including telencephalic vocal control nuclei. The dorsal and ventral subdivision of the avian pallidum, along with the basal ganglia component of the vocal control circuit, the magnicellular nucleus of the lobus parolfactorius, stain heavily for iron. Several brainstem regions, including nucleus rotundus, the medial spiriform nucleus (SpM), the principle nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, nucleus laminaris and scattered cell groups throughout the isthmus and pontine reticular formation stain intensely for iron. Within SpM neuronal labeling is more intense in the medial division while oligodendrocyte labeling is more intense in the lateral division. surprisingly no nigral iron staining was observed. Our results imply that iron is a conserved marker for the pallidum in birds and mammals, but that patterns of nigral staining have diverged in birds and mammals. Differences in iron staining patterns between birds and mammals may also reflect the relatively greater importance of the collothalamic visual pathways, pretectal-cerebellar pathways and specialized vocal learning circuitry in avian sensory

  11. Organization of the avian basal forebrain: chemical anatomy in the parrot (Melopsittacus undulatus).

    PubMed

    Roberts, Todd Freeman; Hall, William Sterling; Brauth, Steven Earle

    2002-12-23

    Hodological, electrophysiological, and ablation studies indicate a role for the basal forebrain in telencephalic vocal control; however, to date the organization of the basal forebrain has not been extensively studied in any nonmammal or nonhuman vocal learning species. To this end the chemical anatomy of the avian basal forebrain was investigated in a vocal learning parrot, the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Immunological and histological stains, including choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholinesterase, tyrosine hydroxylase, dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP)-32, the calcium binding proteins calbindin D-28k and parvalbumin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, iron, substance P, methionine enkephalin, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphotase diaphorase, and arginine vasotocin were used in the present study. We conclude that the ventral paleostriatum (cf. Kitt and Brauth [1981] Neuroscience 6:1551-1566) and adjacent archistriatal regions can be subdivided into several distinct subareas that are chemically comparable to mammalian basal forebrain structures. The nucleus accumbens is histochemically separable into core and shell regions. The nucleus taeniae (TN) is theorized to be homologous to the medial amygdaloid nucleus. The archistriatum pars ventrolateralis (Avl; comparable to the pigeon archistriatum pars dorsalis) is theorized to be a possible homologue of the central amygdaloid nucleus. The TN and Avl are histochemically continuous with the medial aspects of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the ventromedial striatum, forming an avian analogue of the extended amygdala. The apparent counterpart in budgerigars of the mammalian nucleus basalis of Meynert consists of a field of cholinergic neurons spanning the basal forebrain. The budgerigar septal region is theorized to be homologous as a field to the mammalian septum. Our results are discussed with regard to both the evolution of the basal forebrain and its role in vocal

  12. Forecasting Performance of Grey Prediction for Education Expenditure and School Enrollment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Hui-Wen Vivian; Yin, Mu-Shang

    2012-01-01

    GM(1,1) and GM(1,1) rolling models derived from grey system theory were estimated using time-series data from projection studies by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). An out-of-sample forecasting competition between the two grey prediction models and exponential smoothing used by NCES was conducted for education expenditure and…

  13. Neocortical grey matter distribution underlying voluntary, flexible vocalizations in chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Serena; Reyes, Laura D.; Hopkins, William D.; Taglialatela, Jared P.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2016-01-01

    Vocal learning is a key property of spoken language, which might also be present in nonhuman primate species, such as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), to a limited degree. While understanding the origins of vocal learning in the primate brain may help shed light on the evolution of speech and language, little is still known regarding the neurobiological correlates of vocal flexibility in nonhuman primates. The current study used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to assess whether the cerebral cortex of captive chimpanzees that learned to voluntarily produce sounds to attract the attention of a human experimenter (attention-getting sounds) differs in grey matter distribution compared to chimpanzees that do not exhibit this behavior. It was found that chimpanzees that produce attention-getting sounds were characterized by increased grey matter in the ventrolateral prefrontal and dorsal premotor cortices. These findings suggest that the evolution of the capacity to flexibly modulate vocal output may be associated with reorganization of regions for motor control, including orofacial movements, in the primate brain. PMID:27703216

  14. [Landscape influence on the Grey Herons colonies distribution].

    PubMed

    Boisteau, Benjamin; Marion, Loïc

    2006-03-01

    We analysed the spatial relationship between the location and the size of the 112 grey heron colonies existing in 1994 in the two refuge areas after their decline of the species in the 19th century in France: South Brittany (Loire-Atlantique and Morbihan), and eastern France (Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges). We tested 35 variables describing the hydrographical network surrounding the colonies from a local to a regional scale using a Geographic Information System. The results show that, whatever the scale, the distribution of the breeding colonies was not governed by the same elements of the hydrographical network in the different areas. Two strategies of spatial utilization were observed between the western and the eastern parts of France. Moreover, two quite distinct situations were also distinguished between Morbihan and Loire-Atlantique. This study stresses that the type and the spatial organization of the hydrographical elements, but also of the history of the populations, are important in the distribution of the Grey Heron colonies.

  15. Adoption in Eastern Grey Kangaroos: A Consequence of Misdirected Care?

    PubMed Central

    King, Wendy J.; Forsyth, David M.; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Adoption is rare in animals and is usually attributed to kin selection. In a 6-year study of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), 11 of 326 juveniles were adopted. We detected eight adoptions by observing behavioural associations and nursing between marked mothers and young and three more by analysing the relatedness of mothers and young using microsatellite DNA. Four adoptions involved reciprocal switches and three were by mothers whose own pouch young were known to subsequently disappear. Adoptive mothers were not closely related to each other or to adoptees but adoptive mothers and young associated as closely as did biological pairs, as measured by half-weight indices. Switch mothers did not associate closely. Maternal age and body condition did not influence the likelihood of adoption but females were more likely to adopt in years with high densities of females with large pouch young. Adoption did not improve juvenile survival. We conclude that adoptions in this wild population were potentially costly and likely caused by misdirected care, suggesting that eastern grey kangaroos may have poorly developed mother-offspring recognition mechanisms. PMID:25970624

  16. Adoption in eastern grey kangaroos: a consequence of misdirected care?

    PubMed

    King, Wendy J; Forsyth, David M; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Adoption is rare in animals and is usually attributed to kin selection. In a 6-year study of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), 11 of 326 juveniles were adopted. We detected eight adoptions by observing behavioural associations and nursing between marked mothers and young and three more by analysing the relatedness of mothers and young using microsatellite DNA. Four adoptions involved reciprocal switches and three were by mothers whose own pouch young were known to subsequently disappear. Adoptive mothers were not closely related to each other or to adoptees but adoptive mothers and young associated as closely as did biological pairs, as measured by half-weight indices. Switch mothers did not associate closely. Maternal age and body condition did not influence the likelihood of adoption but females were more likely to adopt in years with high densities of females with large pouch young. Adoption did not improve juvenile survival. We conclude that adoptions in this wild population were potentially costly and likely caused by misdirected care, suggesting that eastern grey kangaroos may have poorly developed mother-offspring recognition mechanisms.

  17. "Osmetrichia" in the grey brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira).

    PubMed

    Ajmat, M T; Chamut, S; Black-Decima, P

    1999-12-01

    Osmetrichia have been defined as hairs specialized in the storage of secretions used in olfactory communication between conspecifics (Müller-Schwarze, et al. 1977). These authors found highly specialized osmetrichia in the tarsal gland tufts of black-tailed but not white-tailed deer. Chemical communication appears to be well developed in grey brocket deer: the bucks scent mark by rubbing their foreheads on bushes, and all deer urinate and defecate almost exclusively on dung heaps. Brocket deer also possess tarsal tufts. The purpose of this study was to examine hairs from several glandular areas in this species. Osmetrichia, similar to those found in black tailed deer, were found in tarsal tufts and in interdigital gland hairs; these hairs possessed open scales with deep pockets suitable for holding secretions, in comparison to the flat scales seen on control hairs. Hairs with different morphological characteristics (slightly open scales) were found over the frontal gland. Specialized hairs were not found in the tarsal tufts of one specimen of a related species, the red brocket deer (Mazama americana). The similarities in the hairs of grey brocket and black-tailed deer are remarkable in light of the ecological and behavioral differences between these two species.

  18. Communications systems design for testability: Grey-box testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Probert, Robert L.; Geldrez, Cecilia

    Large systems such as telecommunications systems may involve several million lines of executable code and tend to evolve incrementally, thus rendering testing and maintainability a very complex task. For this reason, testing and verification requirements must be defined and incorporated into the development process early in the software development cycle. Thus, design becomes a key component of these systems. An approach to assist in enhancing the testability of software designs is proposed, termed grey-box testing. One particular grey-box testing paradigm named semantic instrumentation is illustrated. Designs are represented as design machines, an extension of finite-state machines. A design-level plan for verification/test is then derived to guarantee branch coverage of the design machine for both normal behaviors and for processing of exceptions. Finally, semantic probes are defined to provide a mapping from the design machine to implemented code. These probes are used to document design decisions, implementation decisions, and execution traces during code verification and test. The process of semantic instrumentation is illustrated on communications services, more precisely, on the service of the alternating bit protocol.

  19. Fully automated grey and white matter spinal cord segmentation

    PubMed Central

    Prados, Ferran; Cardoso, M. Jorge; Yiannakas, Marios C.; Hoy, Luke R.; Tebaldi, Elisa; Kearney, Hugh; Liechti, Martina D.; Miller, David H.; Ciccarelli, Olga; Wheeler-Kingshott, Claudia A. M. Gandini; Ourselin, Sebastien

    2016-01-01

    Axonal loss in the spinal cord is one of the main contributing factors to irreversible clinical disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). In vivo axonal loss can be assessed indirectly by estimating a reduction in the cervical cross-sectional area (CSA) of the spinal cord over time, which is indicative of spinal cord atrophy, and such a measure may be obtained by means of image segmentation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this work, we propose a new fully automated spinal cord segmentation technique that incorporates two different multi-atlas segmentation propagation and fusion techniques: The Optimized PatchMatch Label fusion (OPAL) algorithm for localising and approximately segmenting the spinal cord, and the Similarity and Truth Estimation for Propagated Segmentations (STEPS) algorithm for segmenting white and grey matter simultaneously. In a retrospective analysis of MRI data, the proposed method facilitated CSA measurements with accuracy equivalent to the inter-rater variability, with a Dice score (DSC) of 0.967 at C2/C3 level. The segmentation performance for grey matter at C2/C3 level was close to inter-rater variability, reaching an accuracy (DSC) of 0.826 for healthy subjects and 0.835 people with clinically isolated syndrome MS. PMID:27786306

  20. Pitching stabilization via caudal fin-wave propagation in a forward-sinking parrot cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum x Cichlasoma synspilum).

    PubMed

    Ting, S C; Yang, J T

    2008-10-01

    Caudal fin-wave propagation (CFP) is a commonly observed behavior in a fish but has been little investigated. Our objective is to understand the function of a CFP for a forward-sinking parrot cichlid that adopts a tilted-down swimming posture. We utilized stereoscopic digital particle-image velocimetry to measure the velocity fields in the wake of both the caudal fin and the pectoral fins and to evaluate the corresponding hydrodynamic forces. The tilted-down posture of this fish is inherently unstable because of the presence of the head-down pitching moment induced from the buoyant force of the body. The down-stroke of the pectoral fins results also in a head-down pitching moment that destabilizes the fish. Our results indicate that a CFP facilitates the pitching stabilization of a fish. In a forward-sinking parrot cichlid, a CFP produces periodic jets (CFP jets) that are oriented laterally and posterodorsally, which result in both thrust and negative lift that induce a head-up pitching moment. The CFP jets are initially trapped by the ventral part of the caudal fin, strengthened and reoriented by the dorsally propagating fin wave, and expelled near the dorsal part of the caudal fin. PMID:18805814

  1. The Efficacy and Safety of Topical Rocuronium Bromide to Induce Bilateral Mydriasis in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots ( Amazona ventralis ).

    PubMed

    Baine, Katherine; Hendrix, Diane V H; Kuhn, Sonia E; Souza, Marcy J; Jones, Michael P

    2016-03-01

    The efficacy and safety of topically applied rocuronium in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) was assessed in a group of 10 adult birds. A complete ophthalmic examination (including Schirmer tear test, ocular reflexes, applanation tonometry, fluorescein staining, and slit-lamp biomicroscopy) was performed, and rocuronium bromide (0.15 mg in both eyes) was administered. Pupillary light reflex (PLR) and pupillary diameter were recorded in a darkened room at the following time points: 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 220, 240, 300, and 360 minutes, and 24 hours. Fluorescein staining in both eyes was performed at 24 hours. By 10 minutes, PLR was absent in all birds (at 5 minutes, 8 birds; at 10 minutes, remaining 2 birds). Pupil diameter differed significantly from baseline at all time points. Additionally, PLR was decreased in 7/10 birds at 360 minutes and normal in all birds at 24 hours. Superficial corneal ulceration was observed at 24 hours in the left eye of 2/10 of the birds after fluorescein stain application. This study demonstrated that rocuronium bromide was an effective mydriatic agent in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots with rapid onset and prolonged duration of action.

  2. Founded: Genetic Reconstruction of Lineage Diversity and Kinship Informs Ex situ Conservation of Cuban Amazon Parrots (Amazona leucocephala).

    PubMed

    Milián-García, Yoamel; Jensen, Evelyn L; Madsen, Jeanette; Álvarez Alonso, Suleiky; Serrano Rodríguez, Aryamne; Espinosa López, Georgina; Russello, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Captive breeding is a widespread conservation strategy, yet such programs rarely include empirical genetic data for assessing management assumptions and meeting conservation goals. Cuban Amazon parrots (Amazona leucocephala) are considered vulnerable, and multiple on-island captive populations have been established from wild-caught and confiscated individuals of unknown ancestry. Here, we used mitochondrial haplotypic and nuclear genotypic data at 9 microsatellite loci to quantify the extent and distribution of genetic variation within and among captive populations in Zapata Swamp and Managua, Cuba, and to estimate kinship among breeders (n = 88). Using Bayesian clustering analysis, we detected 2 distinct clusters within the Zapata population, one of which was shared with Managua. Individuals from the cluster unique to Zapata possessed mitochondrial haplotypes with affinities to Cuban subspecies (A. l. leucocephala, A. l. palmarum); the shared cluster was similar, but also included haplotypes closely related to the subspecies restricted to Cayman Brac (A. l. hesterna). Overall mean kinship was low within each captive population (-0.026 to -0.012), with 19 and 11 recommended breeding pairs in Zapata and Managua, respectively, ranked according to mean kinship and informed by molecular sexing. Our results highlight the importance of understanding population history within ex situ management programs, while providing genetic information to directly inform Cuban parrot conservation.

  3. Beak and feather disease virus in wild and captive parrots: an analysis of geographic and taxonomic distribution and methodological trends.

    PubMed

    Fogell, Deborah J; Martin, Rowan O; Groombridge, Jim J

    2016-08-01

    Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) has emerged in recent years as a major threat to wild parrot populations and is an increasing concern to aviculturists and managers of captive populations. Pathological and serological tests for screening for the presence of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) are a critical component of efforts to manage the disease and of epidemiological studies. Since the disease was first reported in the mid-1970s, screening for BFDV has been conducted in numerous wild and captive populations. However, at present, there is no current and readily accessible synthesis of screening efforts and their results. Here, we consolidate information collected from 83 PBFD- and BFDV-based publications on the primary screening methods being used and identify important knowledge gaps regarding potential global disease hotspots. We present trends in research intensity in this field and critically discuss advances in screening techniques and their applications to both aviculture and to the management of threatened wild populations. Finally, we provide an overview of estimates of BFDV prevalence in captive and wild flocks alongside a complete list of all psittacine species in which the virus has been confirmed. Our evaluation highlights the need for standardised diagnostic tests and more emphasis on studies of wild populations, particularly in view of the intrinsic connection between global trade in companion birds and the spread of novel BFDV strains into wild populations. Increased emphasis should be placed on the screening of captive and wild parrot populations within their countries of origin across the Americas, Africa and Asia.

  4. Pacheco's parrot disease in macaws of the Lisbon's Zoological Garden. Description of an outbreak, diagnosis and management, including vaccination.

    PubMed

    Barão Da Cunha, M; Correia, J J; Fagulha, T; Fevereiro, M; Peleteiro, M C; Vollrath, G; Kaleta, E F

    2007-11-01

    The Lisbon's Zoological Garden, Portugal, has maintained for many years a large collection of psittacine birds without any serious health problems. Unexpectedly, in April 1999, a total of nine macaws died after a short period of illness. Clinical signs consisted mainly of anorexia, ruffled feathers and yellowish droppings. A herpesvirus was isolated from brain, trachea, lung, liver, spleen, kidney and intestine of each of the examined dead birds, confirming that all animals succumbed during viraemia. Serotyping of the isolate in cross neutralization tests with reference sera prove that the outbreak was caused by serotype 3 of Pacheco's parrot disease herpesviruses. An autogenous, formalin-inactivated vaccine with adjuvant (aluminium hydroxid gel) was prepared from one of the isolates and injected intramuscularly 14 days and six weeks after the onset of mortality in an attempt to protect the remaining psittacine birds in the zoo from the disease. The autogenous vaccine was well tolerated and was able to rapidly stop virus spread and morbidity and mortality among the psittacine birds. Follow-up studies demonstrate that all nine blood samples from vaccinated birds obtained nine month' after the second vaccination contain neutralizing antibodies. Twenty five month' after vaccination two out of four serum samples were still antibody positive. No herpesvirus was isolated from faecal samples nine and twenty five months after the onset of the outbreak. These data prove that the autogenous vaccine played a major role in containing a severe outbreak of Pacheco's parrot disease in a large collection of psittacine birds.

  5. The Efficacy and Safety of Topical Rocuronium Bromide to Induce Bilateral Mydriasis in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots ( Amazona ventralis ).

    PubMed

    Baine, Katherine; Hendrix, Diane V H; Kuhn, Sonia E; Souza, Marcy J; Jones, Michael P

    2016-03-01

    The efficacy and safety of topically applied rocuronium in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) was assessed in a group of 10 adult birds. A complete ophthalmic examination (including Schirmer tear test, ocular reflexes, applanation tonometry, fluorescein staining, and slit-lamp biomicroscopy) was performed, and rocuronium bromide (0.15 mg in both eyes) was administered. Pupillary light reflex (PLR) and pupillary diameter were recorded in a darkened room at the following time points: 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 220, 240, 300, and 360 minutes, and 24 hours. Fluorescein staining in both eyes was performed at 24 hours. By 10 minutes, PLR was absent in all birds (at 5 minutes, 8 birds; at 10 minutes, remaining 2 birds). Pupil diameter differed significantly from baseline at all time points. Additionally, PLR was decreased in 7/10 birds at 360 minutes and normal in all birds at 24 hours. Superficial corneal ulceration was observed at 24 hours in the left eye of 2/10 of the birds after fluorescein stain application. This study demonstrated that rocuronium bromide was an effective mydriatic agent in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots with rapid onset and prolonged duration of action. PMID:27088739

  6. Pharmacokinetics of a long-acting oxytetracycline preparation in ring-necked pheasants, great horned owls, and Amazon parrots.

    PubMed

    Teare, J A; Schwark, W S; Shin, S J; Graham, D L

    1985-12-01

    After a single IV or IM dose of a long-acting oxytetracycline (OTC) preparation, serum concentrations were determined at various times in the ring-necked pheasant, great horned owl, and Amazon parrot. Pharmacokinetic parameters, including serum half-life (t1/2) and apparent volume of distribution (Vd) were calculated from the OTC concentration-time curves for each species and route of administration. Significant differences (P less than 0.05) were found in the t1/2 and Vd parameters between species and routes of administration. Dosage regimens to maintain minimum OTC concentration of 5 micrograms/ml of serum were calculated from the t 1/2 and Vd values obtained, using steady-state pharmacokinetics. In the pheasant, the calculated mean IV dose was 23 mg/kg of body weight every 6 hours, whereas the mean IM dose was 43 mg/kg every 24 hours. The mean IM dose was 16 mg/kg every 24 hours for the owl and 58 mg/kg every 24 hours for the parrot. The small volumes required for treatment, the long-dosing interval obtainable, and the broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity of the long-acting OTC preparation studied offered major advantages over other antibiotics commonly used in treating avian species. PMID:4083606

  7. Bioflocculation of grey water for improved energy recovery within decentralized sanitation concepts.

    PubMed

    Hernández Leal, L; Temmink, H; Zeeman, G; Buisman, C J N

    2010-12-01

    Bioflocculation of grey water was tested with a lab-scale membrane bioreactor in order to concentrate the COD. Three concentration factors were tested based on the ratio of sludge retention time (SRT) and hydraulic retention time (HRT): 3, 8 and 12. COD concentration factor was up to 7.1, achieving a final concentration of 7.2 g COD L(-1). Large fractions of suspended COD were recovered in the concentrate (57%, 81% and 82% at SRT/HRT ratios of 3, 8 and 12, respectively) indicating a strong bioflocculation of grey water. A maximum of 11% of COD mineralization of grey water was measured at the longest SRT tested (1 d). The integration of bioflocculation of grey water in decentralized sanitation concepts may increase the overall production of methane by 73%, based on the biogas produced by black water only. Therefore, bioflocculation is a promising grey water pre-treatment step for energy recovery within decentralized sanitation concepts.

  8. Survival and band recovery rates of sympatric grey ducks and mallards in New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Caithness, T.; Williams, M.; Nichols, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    We used band recovery data from grey ducks (Anas superciliosa) and mallards. (A. platyrhynchos) banded sympatrically during 1957-74 to estimate annual survival and recovery rates. Young birds tended to have higher recovery rates and lower survival rates than adults for both species. Both species showed strong evidence of year-to-year variation in annual survival rates. Survival rates of male mallards were higher than those in females, as is typical for this species in North America, but there was no evidence of sex-specific survival differences in grey ducks. Recovery rate estimates for grey ducks were high and were significantly higher than those for mallards. However, survival rates did not differ significantly between the 2 species within any age-sex class. The similar survival rates, when mallard populations were increasing and grey ducks were decreasing, suggest that mallard reproductive rates have been greater than those of grey ducks.

  9. Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) diving tourism: Tourist compliance and shark behaviour at Fish Rock, Australia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kirby; Scarr, Mark; Scarpaci, Carol

    2010-11-01

    Humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks (Carcharias taurus) along the east coast of Australia. This study investigated both compliance of tourist divers to a code of conduct and legislation and the behaviour of grey nurse sharks in the presence of divers. A total of 25 data collection dives were conducted from December 2008 to January 2009. Grey nurse shark and diver behaviour were documented using 2-min scan samples and continuous observation. The proportion of time spent observing human-shark interactions was 9.4% of total field time and mean human-shark interaction time was 15.0 min. Results were used to gauge the effectiveness of current management practices for the grey nurse shark dive industry at Fish Rock in New South Wales, Australia. Grey nurse shark dive tourists were compliant to stipulations in the code of conduct and legislation (compliance ranged from 88 to 100%). The research detailed factors that may promote compliance in wildlife tourism operations such as the clarity of the stipulations, locality of the target species and diver perceptions of sharks. Results indicated that grey nurse sharks spent the majority of their time milling (85%) followed by active swimming (15%). Milling behaviour significantly decreased in the presence of more than six divers. Distance between sharks and divers, interaction time and number of sharks were not significantly correlated with grey nurse shark school behaviour. Jaw gaping, rapid withdrawal and stiff or jerky movement were the specific behaviours of grey nurse sharks that occurred most frequently and were associated with distance between divers and sharks and the presence of six or more divers. Revision of the number of divers allowed per interaction with a school of grey nurse sharks and further research on the potential impacts that shark-diving tourism may pose to grey nurse sharks is recommended. PMID:20872140

  10. Grey Nurse Shark ( Carcharias taurus) Diving Tourism: Tourist Compliance and Shark Behaviour at Fish Rock, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Kirby; Scarr, Mark; Scarpaci, Carol

    2010-11-01

    Humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks ( Carcharias taurus) along the east coast of Australia. This study investigated both compliance of tourist divers to a code of conduct and legislation and the behaviour of grey nurse sharks in the presence of divers. A total of 25 data collection dives were conducted from December 2008 to January 2009. Grey nurse shark and diver behaviour were documented using 2-min scan samples and continuous observation. The proportion of time spent observing human-shark interactions was 9.4% of total field time and mean human-shark interaction time was 15.0 min. Results were used to gauge the effectiveness of current management practices for the grey nurse shark dive industry at Fish Rock in New South Wales, Australia. Grey nurse shark dive tourists were compliant to stipulations in the code of conduct and legislation (compliance ranged from 88 to 100%). The research detailed factors that may promote compliance in wildlife tourism operations such as the clarity of the stipulations, locality of the target species and diver perceptions of sharks. Results indicated that grey nurse sharks spent the majority of their time milling (85%) followed by active swimming (15%). Milling behaviour significantly decreased in the presence of more than six divers. Distance between sharks and divers, interaction time and number of sharks were not significantly correlated with grey nurse shark school behaviour. Jaw gaping, rapid withdrawal and stiff or jerky movement were the specific behaviours of grey nurse sharks that occurred most frequently and were associated with distance between divers and sharks and the presence of six or more divers. Revision of the number of divers allowed per interaction with a school of grey nurse sharks and further research on the potential impacts that shark-diving tourism may pose to grey nurse sharks is recommended.

  11. Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) diving tourism: Tourist compliance and shark behaviour at Fish Rock, Australia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kirby; Scarr, Mark; Scarpaci, Carol

    2010-11-01

    Humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks (Carcharias taurus) along the east coast of Australia. This study investigated both compliance of tourist divers to a code of conduct and legislation and the behaviour of grey nurse sharks in the presence of divers. A total of 25 data collection dives were conducted from December 2008 to January 2009. Grey nurse shark and diver behaviour were documented using 2-min scan samples and continuous observation. The proportion of time spent observing human-shark interactions was 9.4% of total field time and mean human-shark interaction time was 15.0 min. Results were used to gauge the effectiveness of current management practices for the grey nurse shark dive industry at Fish Rock in New South Wales, Australia. Grey nurse shark dive tourists were compliant to stipulations in the code of conduct and legislation (compliance ranged from 88 to 100%). The research detailed factors that may promote compliance in wildlife tourism operations such as the clarity of the stipulations, locality of the target species and diver perceptions of sharks. Results indicated that grey nurse sharks spent the majority of their time milling (85%) followed by active swimming (15%). Milling behaviour significantly decreased in the presence of more than six divers. Distance between sharks and divers, interaction time and number of sharks were not significantly correlated with grey nurse shark school behaviour. Jaw gaping, rapid withdrawal and stiff or jerky movement were the specific behaviours of grey nurse sharks that occurred most frequently and were associated with distance between divers and sharks and the presence of six or more divers. Revision of the number of divers allowed per interaction with a school of grey nurse sharks and further research on the potential impacts that shark-diving tourism may pose to grey nurse sharks is recommended.

  12. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  13. African Studies Computer Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuntz, Patricia S.

    African studies computer resources that are readily available in the United States with linkages to Africa are described, highlighting those most directly corresponding to African content. Africanists can use the following four fundamental computer systems: (1) Internet/Bitnet; (2) Fidonet; (3) Usenet; and (4) dial-up bulletin board services. The…

  14. Understanding African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward Earl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the socialization skills, self-esteem, and academic readiness of African American males in a school environment. Discussions with students and the School Perceptions Questionnaire provided data for this investigation. The intended targets for this investigation were African American students; however, there…

  15. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  16. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

  17. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  18. African horse sickness and African carnivores.

    PubMed

    Alexander, K A; Kat, P W; House, J; House, C; O'Brien, S J; Laurenson, M K; McNutt, J W; Osburn, B I

    1995-11-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a disease that affects equids, and is principally transmitted by Culicoides spp. that are biological vectors of AHS viruses (AHSV). The repeated spread of AHSV from sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East, northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula indicate that a better understanding of AHS epizootiology is needed. African horse sickness has long been known to infect and cause mortality among domestic dogs that ingest virus contaminated meat, but it is uncertain what role carnivores play in transmission of the virus. We present evidence of widespread natural AHS infection among a diversity of African carnivore species. We hypothesize that such infection resulted from ingestion of meat and organs from AHS-infected prey species. The effect of AHS on the carnivores is unknown, as is their role in the maintenance cycle of the disease.

  19. Diabetes in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, M

    2005-01-01

    African Americans have a high risk for type 2 diabetes. Genetic traits, the prevalence of obesity, and insulin resistance all contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. African Americans have a high rate of diabetic complications, because of poor glycaemic control and racial disparities in health care in the USA. African Americans with diabetes may have an atypical presentation that simulates type 1 diabetes, but then their subsequent clinical course is typical of type 2 diabetes. Culturally sensitive strategies, structured disease management protocols, and the assistance of nurses, diabetic educators, and other health care professionals are effective in improving the outcome of diabetes in the African American community. PMID:16344294

  20. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  1. MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals.

    PubMed

    de Assunção-Franco, M; Hoffman, J I; Harwood, J; Amos, W

    2012-01-01

    The Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC) is one of the best known and best characterised components of the immune system, yet its functions remain somewhat enigmatic, including both anti-pathogen activity and kin recognition. To explore the importance of the MHC relative to literally hundreds of other components of the immune system, we compared MHC genotype frequencies between pups and adults in the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), one of many marine mammals that exhibit low allelic diversity. We find that one allele is strongly associated with pup survival, pups being more likely to be found dead if they lack it, while total allele number is a remarkably strong predictor of survivorship to adulthood. We estimate that approximately 70% of mortality can be attributed to the MHC. Our study therefore shows that low MHC allele diversity belies its critical role in determining whether a weaned pup negotiates disease to become a breeding adult. PMID:22997548

  2. Chitosan based grey wastewater treatment--a statistical design approach.

    PubMed

    Thirugnanasambandham, K; Sivakumar, V; Prakash Maran, J; Kandasamy, S

    2014-01-01

    In this present study, grey wastewater was treated under different operating conditions such as agitation time (1-3 min), pH (2.5-5.5), chitosan dose (0.3-0.6g/l) and settling time (10-20 min) using response surface methodology (RSM). Four factors with three levels Box-Behnken response surface design (BBD) were employed to optimize and investigate the effect of process variables on the responses such as turbidity, BOD and COD removal. The results were analyzed by Pareto analysis of variance (ANOVA) and second order polynomial models were developed in order to predict the responses. Under the optimum conditions, experimental values such as turbidity (96%), BOD (91%) and COD (73%) removals are closely agreed with predicted values.

  3. Causality in condensates: grey solitons as remnants of BEC formation

    SciTech Connect

    Zurek, Wojciech H

    2008-01-01

    Symmetry breaking during phase transitions can lead to the formation of topological defects (such as vortex lines in superfluids). However, the usually studied BEC's have the shape of a cigar, a geometry that impedes vortex formation, survival, and detection. I show that, in elongated traps, one can expect the formation of 'grey solitons' (long-lived, non-topological 'phase defects') as a result of the same mechanism. Their number will rise approximately in proportion to the transition rate. This steep rise is due to the increasing size of the region of the BEC cigar where the phase of the condensate wavefunction is chosen locally (rather than passed on from the already formed BEC).

  4. Lossless grey image compression using a splitting binary tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Tian, Xin; Xiong, Cheng-Yi; Li, Yan-Sheng; Zhang, Yun; Tian, Jin-Wen

    2013-10-01

    A multi-layer coding algorithm is proposed for grey image lossless compression. We transform the original image by a set of bases (e.g., wavelets, DCT, and gradient spaces). Then, the transformed image is split into a sub-image set with a binary tree. The set include two parts: major sub-images and minor sub-images, which are coded separately. Experimental results over a common dataset show that the proposed algorithm performs close to JPEG-LS in terms of bitrate. However, we can get a scalable image quality, which is similar to JPEG2000. A suboptimal compressed image can be obtained when the bitstream is truncated by unexpected factors. Our algorithm is quit suitable for image transmission, on internet or on satellites.

  5. Non-grey radiation in a liquid rocket combustion chamber

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kehtarnavaz, H.; Dang, A. L.; Chiu, H. H.; Gross, K. W.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of radiation on droplets gasification in liquid rocket combustion chambers has been studied. The modeling includes a Legendre pseudo-spectral collocation approximation to solve the Radiative Transfer Equation (RTE). The band model has been utilized to account for non-grey emitting and absorbing gases present in the comustion chamber. The GEMCHIP II code has been utilized to study the fuel and oxidizer droplets combustion and interaction. The submodels within this code are capable of accounting for group combustion and conjugate effects between many droplets. The radiative model has been coupled with the GEMCHIP II code accounting for radial effects only, to provide the tool for studying the combustion-radiation coupling effects in a bipropellant system. The results indicate that the gasification/combustion process will be enhanced upstream of the chamber causing thicker flame sheet and associated higher combustion efficiency.

  6. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species.

    PubMed

    Ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  7. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species.

    PubMed

    Ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  8. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species

    PubMed Central

    ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  9. Data expansion: the potential of grey literature for understanding floods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhlemann, S.; Bertelmann, R.; Merz, B.

    2013-03-01

    Sophisticated methods have been developed and become standard in analysing floods as well as for assessing flood risk. However, increasingly critique of the current standards and scientific practice can be found both in the flood hydrology community as well as in the risk community who argue that the considerable amount of information already available on natural disasters has not been adequately deployed and brought to effective use. We describe this phenomenon as a failure to synthesize knowledge that results from barriers and ignorance in awareness, use and management of the entire spectrum of relevant content, that is, data, information and knowledge. In this paper we argue that the scientific community in flood risk research ignores event-specific analysis and documentations as another source of data. We present results from a systematic search that includes an intensive study on sources and ways of information dissemination of flood-relevant publications. We obtain 186 documents that contain information on the sources, pathways, receptors and/or consequences for any of the 40 strongest trans-basin floods in Germany in the period 1952-2002. This study therefore provides the most comprehensive metadata collection of flood documentations for the considered geographical space and period. A total of 87.5% of all events have been documented, and especially the most severe floods have received extensive coverage. Only 30% of the material has been produced in the scientific/academic environment, and the majority of all documents (about 80%) can be considered grey literature (i.e. literature not controlled by commercial publishers). Therefore, ignoring grey sources in flood research also means ignoring the largest part of knowledge available on single flood events (in Germany). Further, the results of this study underpin the rapid changes in information dissemination of flood event literature over the last decade. We discuss the options and obstacles of incorporating

  10. Data expansion: the potential of grey literature for understanding floods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhlemann, S.; Bertelmann, R.; Merz, B.

    2012-09-01

    Sophisticated methods have been developed and become standard in analysing floods as well as for assessing the flood risk. However, increasingly critique of the current standards and scientific practice can be found both in the flood hydrology community as well as in the risk community who argue that the considerable amount of information already available on natural disasters has not been adequately deployed and brought to effective use. We describe this phenomenon as a failure to synthesize knowledge that results from barriers and ignorance in awareness, use and management of the entire spectrum of relevant content, that is, data, information and knowledge. In this paper we argue that the scientific community in flood risk research ignores event specific analysis and documentations as another source of data. We present results from a systematic search that includes an intensive study on sources and ways of information dissemination of flood relevant publications. We obtain 183 documents that contain information on the sources, pathways, receptors and/or consequences for any of the 40 strongest trans-basin floods in Germany in the period 1952-2002. This study therefore provides the most comprehensive meta-data collection of flood documentations for the considered geographical space and period. 87.5% of all events have been documented and especially the most severe floods have received extensive coverage. Only 30% of the material has been produced in the scientific/academic environment and the majority of all documents (about 80%) can be considered grey literature. Therefore, ignoring grey sources in flood research also means ignoring the largest part of knowledge available on single flood events (in Germany). Further, the results of this study underpin the rapid changes in information dissemination of flood event literature over the last decade. We discuss the options and obstacles of incorporating this data in the knowledge building process in the light of the

  11. Differential grey matter changes in sensorimotor cortex related to exceptional fine motor skills.

    PubMed

    Stoeckel, M Cornelia; Morgenroth, Farina; Buetefisch, Cathrin M; Seitz, Rüdiger J

    2012-01-01

    Functional changes in sensorimotor representation occur in response to use and lesion throughout life. Emerging evidence suggests that functional changes are paralleled by respective macroscopic structural changes. In the present study we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate sensorimotor cortex in subjects with congenitally malformed upper extremities. We expected increased or decreased grey matter to parallel the enlarged or reduced functional representations we reported previously. More specifically, we expected decreased grey matter values in lateral sensorimotor cortex related to compromised hand function and increased grey matter values in medial sensorimotor cortex due to compensatory foot use. We found a medial cluster of grey matter increase in subjects with frequent, hand-like compensatory foot use. This increase was predominantly seen for lateral premotor, supplementary motor, and motor areas and only marginally involved somatosensory cortex. Contrary to our expectation, subjects with a reduced number of fingers, who had shown shrinkage of the functional hand representation previously, did not show decreased grey matter values within lateral sensorimotor cortex. Our data suggest that functional plastic changes in sensorimotor cortex can be associated with increases in grey matter but may also occur in otherwise macroscopically normal appearing grey matter volumes. Furthermore, macroscopic structural changes in motor and premotor areas may be observed without respective changes in somatosensory cortex.

  12. Ecotoxicological assessment of grey water treatment systems with Daphnia magna and Chironomus riparius.

    PubMed

    Hernández Leal, L; Soeter, A M; Kools, S A E; Kraak, M H S; Parsons, J R; Temmink, H; Zeeman, G; Buisman, C J N

    2012-03-15

    In order to meet environmental quality criteria, grey water was treated in four different ways: 1) aerobic 2) anaerobic+aerobic 3) aerobic+activated carbon 4) aerobic+ozone. Since each treatment has its own specific advantages and disadvantages, the aim of this study was to compare the ecotoxicity of differently treated grey water using Chironomus riparius (96 h test) and Daphnia magna (48 h and 21d test) as test organisms. Grey water exhibited acute toxicity to both test organisms. The aerobic and combined anaerobic+aerobic treatment eliminated mortality in the acute tests, but growth of C. riparius was still affected by these two effluents. Post-treatment by ozone and activated carbon completely removed the acute toxicity from grey water. In the chronic toxicity test the combined anaerobic+aerobic treatment strongly affected D. magna population growth rate (47%), while the aerobic treatment had a small (9%) but significant effect. Hence, aerobic treatment is the best option for biological treatment of grey water, removing most of the toxic effects of grey water. If advanced treatment is required, the treatment with either ozone or GAC were shown to be very effective in complete removal of toxicity from grey water.

  13. Grey water characterisation and its impact on the selection and operation of technologies for urban reuse.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, B; Palmer, A; Jeffrey, P; Stuetz, R; Judd, S

    2004-01-01

    Characterisation of grey water reveals a source water that is similar in organic strength to a low-medium strength municipal sewage influent but with physical and biodegradability characteristics similar to a tertiary treated effluent. The characteristics of the water suggest biological processes are the most suitable unit processes for treating grey water. The highly variable nature of the source requires that selected technologies must be inherently robust in their operation. One potential area of concern is the high COD/BOD ratio and nutrient deficiency in terms of both macro and micro nutrients which grey water exhibits potentially retard the efficacy of biological processes.

  14. How much crosstalk can be allowed in a stereoscopic system at various grey levels?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shestak, Sergey; Kim, Daesik; Kim, Yongie

    2012-03-01

    We have calculated a perceptual threshold of stereoscopic crosstalk on the basis of mathematical model of human vision sensitivity. Instead of linear model of just noticeable difference (JND) known as Weber's law we applied nonlinear Barten's model. The predicted crosstalk threshold varies with the background luminance. The calculated values of threshold are in a reasonable agreement with known experimental data. We calculated perceptual threshold of crosstalk for various combinations of the applied grey level. This result can be applied for the assessment of grey-to-grey crosstalk compensation. Further computational analysis of the applied model predicts the increase of the displayable image contrast with reduction of the maximum displayable luminance.

  15. Grey-Markov model with state membership degree and its application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Jing; Li, Bingjun; Liu, Fang

    2013-10-01

    In the Grey-Markov forecasting, the extent of a given state that a research object belongs to is expressed as state membership degree. The state membership degree can help compensate for the inaccurate states division and improve the predicted results. Based on the Grey-Markov forecasting analysis, this paper uses the central triangle albino function to calculate the state membership degrees of research objects and determine the state transition probability. Thereby, the new model achieves the improvement of conventional Grey-Markov model. Taking the grain production of Henan Province as an example, the validity and applicability of the improved model are verified.

  16. Astronomy for African development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Kevindran

    2011-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of efforts across Africa to develop the field of astronomy as well as to reap benefit from astronomy for African people. This presentation will discuss the case of the SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP) which was set up to ensure societal benefit from astronomy. With African society as the target, the SCBP has embarked on various projects from school level education to public understanding of science to socio-economic development, the latter mainly being felt in the rural communities surrounding the South African Astronomical Observatory (home to SALT). A development plan for ``Astronomy in Africa'' will also be discussed. This plan has been drawn up with input from all over Africa and themed ``Astronomy for Education''. The Africa case stands as a good example for the IYA cornerstone project ``Developing Astronomy Globally'' which focuses on developing regions.

  17. African American Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... specific health concerns. Differences in the health of groups can result from Genetics Environmental factors Access to care Cultural factors On this page, you'll find links to health issues that affect African Americans.

  18. African American Suicide

    MedlinePlus

    ... accounted for 83.8% of Caucasian elderly suicides. • Firearms were the predominant method of suicide among African ... per 100,000 annually. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System. Mortality Data. ...

  19. Use of a Nitinol Wire Stent for Management of Severe Tracheal Stenosis in an Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus).

    PubMed

    Mejia-Fava, Johanna; Holmes, Shannon P; Radlinsky, MaryAnn; Johnson, Dan; Ellis, Angela E; Mayer, Jörg; Schnellbacher, Rodney; Divers, Stephen J

    2015-09-01

    A 25-year-old, female eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) presented for dyspnea 3 weeks after anesthesia and surgery for egg yolk coelomitis. Radiography, computed tomography, and tracheoscopy revealed multiple tracheal strictures spanning a length of 2.6 cm in the mid to distal trachea. Histopathologic examination revealed mild fibrosis, inflammation, and hyperplasia consistent with acquired tracheal strictures. Tracheal resection was not considered possible because of the length of the affected trachea. The strictures were resected endoscopically, and repeated balloon dilation under fluoroscopic guidance over the course of 10 months resulted in immediate but unsustained improvement. Computed tomography was used to measure the stenotic area. A 4 × 36-mm, custom-made, nitinol wire stent was inserted into the trachea under fluoroscopic guidance. After stent placement, intermittent episodes of mild to moderate dyspnea continued, and these responded to nebulization with a combination of saline, acetylcysteine, and dexamethasone. Multiple attempts to wean the patient off nebulization therapy and to switch to a corticosteroid-free combination were unsuccessful. The parrot eventually developed complications, was euthanatized, and necropsy was performed. Histologically, the tracheal mucosa had widespread erosion to ulceration, with accumulation of intraluminal exudate and bacteria, severe degeneration of skeletal muscle and tracheal rings, prominent fibrosis, and mild to moderate, submucosal inflammation. Clinicopathologic findings in this case suggested tracheomalacia, which has not been previously described in birds. Custom-made tracheal stents can be used for severe tracheal stenosis in birds when tracheal resection and anastomosis is not possible. Complications of tracheal stent placement in birds may include tracheitis and tracheomalacia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of tracheal stent placement in an avian species. PMID:26378671

  20. Cognition in an ever-changing world: climatic variability is associated with brain size in Neotropical parrots.

    PubMed

    Schuck-Paim, Cynthia; Alonso, Wladimir J; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2008-01-01

    Research on the conditions favoring the evolution of complex cognition and its underlying neural structures has increasingly stressed the role of environmental variability. These studies suggest that the ability to learn, behave flexibly and innovate would be favored under unpredictable variations in the availability of resources, as it would enable organisms to adjust to novel conditions. Despite the growing number of studies based on the idea that larger-brained organisms would be better prepared to cope with environmental challenges, direct testing of the association between brain size and environmental variability per se remains scant. Here we focus on Neotropical parrots as our model group and test the hypothesis that if relatively larger brains were favored in climatically variable environments, larger-brained species should currently tolerate a higher degree of environmental uncertainty. Although we show that there are also other factors underlying the dynamics of brain size variation in this group, our results support the hypothesis that proportionally larger-brained species are more tolerant to climatic variability, both on a temporal and spatial scale. Additionally, they suggest that the differences in relative brain size among Neotropical parrots represent multiple, recent events in the evolutionary history of the group, and are particularly tied to an increased dependence on more open and climatically unstable habitats. As this is the first study to present evidence of the link between brain size and climatic variability in birds, our findings provide a step towards understanding the potential benefits underlying variation in brain size and the maintenance of highly enlarged brains in this and other groups.

  1. Use of a Nitinol Wire Stent for Management of Severe Tracheal Stenosis in an Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus).

    PubMed

    Mejia-Fava, Johanna; Holmes, Shannon P; Radlinsky, MaryAnn; Johnson, Dan; Ellis, Angela E; Mayer, Jörg; Schnellbacher, Rodney; Divers, Stephen J

    2015-09-01

    A 25-year-old, female eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) presented for dyspnea 3 weeks after anesthesia and surgery for egg yolk coelomitis. Radiography, computed tomography, and tracheoscopy revealed multiple tracheal strictures spanning a length of 2.6 cm in the mid to distal trachea. Histopathologic examination revealed mild fibrosis, inflammation, and hyperplasia consistent with acquired tracheal strictures. Tracheal resection was not considered possible because of the length of the affected trachea. The strictures were resected endoscopically, and repeated balloon dilation under fluoroscopic guidance over the course of 10 months resulted in immediate but unsustained improvement. Computed tomography was used to measure the stenotic area. A 4 × 36-mm, custom-made, nitinol wire stent was inserted into the trachea under fluoroscopic guidance. After stent placement, intermittent episodes of mild to moderate dyspnea continued, and these responded to nebulization with a combination of saline, acetylcysteine, and dexamethasone. Multiple attempts to wean the patient off nebulization therapy and to switch to a corticosteroid-free combination were unsuccessful. The parrot eventually developed complications, was euthanatized, and necropsy was performed. Histologically, the tracheal mucosa had widespread erosion to ulceration, with accumulation of intraluminal exudate and bacteria, severe degeneration of skeletal muscle and tracheal rings, prominent fibrosis, and mild to moderate, submucosal inflammation. Clinicopathologic findings in this case suggested tracheomalacia, which has not been previously described in birds. Custom-made tracheal stents can be used for severe tracheal stenosis in birds when tracheal resection and anastomosis is not possible. Complications of tracheal stent placement in birds may include tracheitis and tracheomalacia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of tracheal stent placement in an avian species.

  2. Beak and feather disease virus in wild and captive parrots: an analysis of geographic and taxonomic distribution and methodological trends.

    PubMed

    Fogell, Deborah J; Martin, Rowan O; Groombridge, Jim J

    2016-08-01

    Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) has emerged in recent years as a major threat to wild parrot populations and is an increasing concern to aviculturists and managers of captive populations. Pathological and serological tests for screening for the presence of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) are a critical component of efforts to manage the disease and of epidemiological studies. Since the disease was first reported in the mid-1970s, screening for BFDV has been conducted in numerous wild and captive populations. However, at present, there is no current and readily accessible synthesis of screening efforts and their results. Here, we consolidate information collected from 83 PBFD- and BFDV-based publications on the primary screening methods being used and identify important knowledge gaps regarding potential global disease hotspots. We present trends in research intensity in this field and critically discuss advances in screening techniques and their applications to both aviculture and to the management of threatened wild populations. Finally, we provide an overview of estimates of BFDV prevalence in captive and wild flocks alongside a complete list of all psittacine species in which the virus has been confirmed. Our evaluation highlights the need for standardised diagnostic tests and more emphasis on studies of wild populations, particularly in view of the intrinsic connection between global trade in companion birds and the spread of novel BFDV strains into wild populations. Increased emphasis should be placed on the screening of captive and wild parrot populations within their countries of origin across the Americas, Africa and Asia. PMID:27151279

  3. Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) predation on harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) on the island of Helgoland, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Neer, Abbo; Jensen, Lasse Fast; Siebert, Ursula

    2015-03-01

    The prey spectrum of grey seals has to date been described as largely consisting of different fish, cephalopod and shrimp species. On the German island of Helgoland Düne, where harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) co-occur, a young male grey seal was observed in 2013 and again in 2014 preying upon young harbour seals. A harbour seal carcass with severe traumatic lesions was retrieved and post-mortem examinations were performed. In the following weeks several carcasses showing similar lesions were found. Sightings of grey seals assumed to be preying on harbour porpoises have increased around the North Sea. Increased competition as well as individualised behaviour could explain the increased number of observations, but former cases of abnormal lesions of marine mammals attributed to for example predation by sharks or mechanical processes should be revisited with regard to the emerging knowledge.

  4. The cryptic African wolf: Canis aureus lupaster is not a golden jackal and is not endemic to Egypt.

    PubMed

    Rueness, Eli Knispel; Asmyhr, Maria Gulbrandsen; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Macdonald, David W; Bekele, Afework; Atickem, Anagaw; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2011-01-01

    The Egyptian jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) has hitherto been considered a large, rare subspecies of the golden jackal (C. aureus). It has maintained its taxonomical status to date, despite studies demonstrating morphological similarities to the grey wolf (C. lupus). We have analyzed 2055 bp of mitochondrial DNA from C. a. lupaster and investigated the similarity to C. aureus and C. lupus. Through phylogenetic comparison with all wild wolf-like canids (based on 726 bp of the Cytochrome b gene) we conclusively (100% bootstrap support) place the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex, together with the Holarctic wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Like the two latter taxa, C. a. lupaster seems to represent an ancient wolf lineage which most likely colonized Africa prior to the northern hemisphere radiation. We thus refer to C. a. lupaster as the African wolf. Furthermore, we have detected C. a. lupaster individuals at two localities in the Ethiopian highlands, extending the distribution by at least 2,500 km southeast. The only grey wolf species to inhabit the African continent is a cryptic species for which the conservation status urgently needs assessment. PMID:21298107

  5. The Cryptic African Wolf: Canis aureus lupaster Is Not a Golden Jackal and Is Not Endemic to Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Rueness, Eli Knispel; Asmyhr, Maria Gulbrandsen; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Macdonald, David W.; Bekele, Afework; Atickem, Anagaw; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2011-01-01

    The Egyptian jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) has hitherto been considered a large, rare subspecies of the golden jackal (C. aureus). It has maintained its taxonomical status to date, despite studies demonstrating morphological similarities to the grey wolf (C. lupus). We have analyzed 2055 bp of mitochondrial DNA from C. a. lupaster and investigated the similarity to C. aureus and C. lupus. Through phylogenetic comparison with all wild wolf-like canids (based on 726 bp of the Cytochrome b gene) we conclusively (100% bootstrap support) place the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex, together with the Holarctic wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Like the two latter taxa, C. a. lupaster seems to represent an ancient wolf lineage which most likely colonized Africa prior to the northern hemisphere radiation. We thus refer to C. a. lupaster as the African wolf. Furthermore, we have detected C. a. lupaster individuals at two localities in the Ethiopian highlands, extending the distribution by at least 2,500 km southeast. The only grey wolf species to inhabit the African continent is a cryptic species for which the conservation status urgently needs assessment. PMID:21298107

  6. Renal lesions in Baltic grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and ringed seals (Phoca hispida botnica).

    PubMed

    Bergman, A; Bergstrand, A; Bignert, A

    2001-11-01

    A severe reduction in the populations of grey and ringed seals in the Baltic occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Adult animals showed (and still show) a series of lesions inter alia in the female reproductive organs, intestines, integument, kidneys, adrenals, and skulls (the Baltic seal disease complex). The morphology and prevalence of light microscopic changes in the kidneys of 76 grey seals and 29 ringed seals collected in the Baltic proper and the Gulf of Bothnia during 1977-1996 are presented in this report. Specific changes in the glomeruli were diffuse thickening of the capillary walls and the presence of large, rounded, hyaline bodies in the capillary or capsular walls. Specific changes in the distal convoluted tubules and the collecting ducts included focal replacement of the normal epithelium by multilayered cell proliferations. The prevalence and extent of the changes were age-related and thus correlated with the time of exposure to environmental toxicants. The lesions were more conspicuous in Baltic grey seals than in Baltic ringed seals. Similar findings were recorded in 5 grey seals from Swedish zoological gardens. These animals had been fed Baltic fish for most of their lives. Electron microscopy was performed on 5 of the Baltic grey seals and on one of the grey seals from zoological gardens. Electron microscopy results mainly based on findings in one of the Baltic grey seals, included mesangial inter-position in the glomerular capillary walls and the characteristics of intercalated cells in cell proliferations in the distal parts of the nephrons. Eleven grey seals from the Scottish coast and 23 ringed seals from Svalbard served as reference material. None of the reference seals showed the specific lesions described above. The authors propose that organochlorine pollution of the Baltic environment is a factor in the cause of these kidney changes. PMID:11795214

  7. The Role of Google Scholar in Evidence Reviews and Its Applicability to Grey Literature Searching.

    PubMed

    Haddaway, Neal Robert; Collins, Alexandra Mary; Coughlin, Deborah; Kirk, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Google Scholar (GS), a commonly used web-based academic search engine, catalogues between 2 and 100 million records of both academic and grey literature (articles not formally published by commercial academic publishers). Google Scholar collates results from across the internet and is free to use. As a result it has received considerable attention as a method for searching for literature, particularly in searches for grey literature, as required by systematic reviews. The reliance on GS as a standalone resource has been greatly debated, however, and its efficacy in grey literature searching has not yet been investigated. Using systematic review case studies from environmental science, we investigated the utility of GS in systematic reviews and in searches for grey literature. Our findings show that GS results contain moderate amounts of grey literature, with the majority found on average at page 80. We also found that, when searched for specifically, the majority of literature identified using Web of Science was also found using GS. However, our findings showed moderate/poor overlap in results when similar search strings were used in Web of Science and GS (10-67%), and that GS missed some important literature in five of six case studies. Furthermore, a general GS search failed to find any grey literature from a case study that involved manual searching of organisations' websites. If used in systematic reviews for grey literature, we recommend that searches of article titles focus on the first 200 to 300 results. We conclude that whilst Google Scholar can find much grey literature and specific, known studies, it should not be used alone for systematic review searches. Rather, it forms a powerful addition to other traditional search methods. In addition, we advocate the use of tools to transparently document and catalogue GS search results to maintain high levels of transparency and the ability to be updated, critical to systematic reviews.

  8. The Role of Google Scholar in Evidence Reviews and Its Applicability to Grey Literature Searching

    PubMed Central

    Haddaway, Neal Robert; Collins, Alexandra Mary; Coughlin, Deborah; Kirk, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Google Scholar (GS), a commonly used web-based academic search engine, catalogues between 2 and 100 million records of both academic and grey literature (articles not formally published by commercial academic publishers). Google Scholar collates results from across the internet and is free to use. As a result it has received considerable attention as a method for searching for literature, particularly in searches for grey literature, as required by systematic reviews. The reliance on GS as a standalone resource has been greatly debated, however, and its efficacy in grey literature searching has not yet been investigated. Using systematic review case studies from environmental science, we investigated the utility of GS in systematic reviews and in searches for grey literature. Our findings show that GS results contain moderate amounts of grey literature, with the majority found on average at page 80. We also found that, when searched for specifically, the majority of literature identified using Web of Science was also found using GS. However, our findings showed moderate/poor overlap in results when similar search strings were used in Web of Science and GS (10–67%), and that GS missed some important literature in five of six case studies. Furthermore, a general GS search failed to find any grey literature from a case study that involved manual searching of organisations’ websites. If used in systematic reviews for grey literature, we recommend that searches of article titles focus on the first 200 to 300 results. We conclude that whilst Google Scholar can find much grey literature and specific, known studies, it should not be used alone for systematic review searches. Rather, it forms a powerful addition to other traditional search methods. In addition, we advocate the use of tools to transparently document and catalogue GS search results to maintain high levels of transparency and the ability to be updated, critical to systematic reviews. PMID:26379270

  9. Emergency contraception in Argentina: grey areas of common sense and public policy.

    PubMed

    Pecheny, M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract This paper discusses specific obstacles to emergency contraception (EC) in Argentina, the 'grey areas' between contraception and abortion: potential users as well as health providers do not distinguish clearly between ordinary contraception, EC and abortion. Based on quantitative and qualitative findings, the study shows the need to intervene in providing the population and the health sector with information on EC, its mechanisms and accessibility, and the 'grey areas' that hinder an adequate distinction between regular contraception, EC and abortion.

  10. The Relationship between Personality Dimensions and Resiliency to Environmental Stress in Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica), as Indicated by the Development of Abnormal Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Cussen, Victoria A.; Mench, Joy A.

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are popular companion animals, but are frequently relinquished because of behavioral problems, including abnormal repetitive behaviors like feather damaging behavior and stereotypy. In addition to contributing to pet relinquishment, these behaviors are important as potential indicators of diminished psychological well-being. While abnormal behaviors are common in captive animals, their presence and/or severity varies between animals of the same species that are experiencing the same environmental conditions. Personality differences could contribute to this observed individual variation, as they are known risk factors for stress sensitivity and affective disorders in humans. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between personality and the development and severity of abnormal behaviors in captive-bred orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica). We monitored between-individual behavioral differences in enrichment-reared parrots of known personality types before, during, and after enrichment deprivation. We predicted that parrots with higher scores for neurotic-like personality traits would be more susceptible to enrichment deprivation and develop more abnormal behaviors. Our results partially supported this hypothesis, but also showed that distinct personality dimensions were related to different forms of abnormal behavior. While neuroticism-like traits were linked to feather damaging behavior, extraversion-like traits were negatively related to stereotypic behavior. More extraverted birds showed resiliency to environmental stress, developing fewer stereotypies during enrichment deprivation and showing lower levels of these behaviors following re-enrichment. Our data, together with the results of the few studies conducted on other species, suggest that, as in humans, certain personality types render individual animals more susceptible or resilient to environmental stress. Further, this susceptibility/resiliency can have a long

  11. The Relationship between Personality Dimensions and Resiliency to Environmental Stress in Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica), as Indicated by the Development of Abnormal Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are popular companion animals, but are frequently relinquished because of behavioral problems, including abnormal repetitive behaviors like feather damaging behavior and stereotypy. In addition to contributing to pet relinquishment, these behaviors are important as potential indicators of diminished psychological well-being. While abnormal behaviors are common in captive animals, their presence and/or severity varies between animals of the same species that are experiencing the same environmental conditions. Personality differences could contribute to this observed individual variation, as they are known risk factors for stress sensitivity and affective disorders in humans. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between personality and the development and severity of abnormal behaviors in captive-bred orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica). We monitored between-individual behavioral differences in enrichment-reared parrots of known personality types before, during, and after enrichment deprivation. We predicted that parrots with higher scores for neurotic-like personality traits would be more susceptible to enrichment deprivation and develop more abnormal behaviors. Our results partially supported this hypothesis, but also showed that distinct personality dimensions were related to different forms of abnormal behavior. While neuroticism-like traits were linked to feather damaging behavior, extraversion-like traits were negatively related to stereotypic behavior. More extraverted birds showed resiliency to environmental stress, developing fewer stereotypies during enrichment deprivation and showing lower levels of these behaviors following re-enrichment. Our data, together with the results of the few studies conducted on other species, suggest that, as in humans, certain personality types render individual animals more susceptible or resilient to environmental stress. Further, this susceptibility/resiliency can have a long

  12. Impacts of animal traffic on the Brazilian Amazon parrots (Amazona species) collection of the Quinzinho de Barros Municipal Zoological Park, Brazil, 1986-2007.

    PubMed

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Teixeira, Rodrigo Hidalgo Friciello; Camargo, Luis Carlos; Nunes, Adauto Luis Veloso; Matushima, Eliana Reiko

    2010-01-01

    Eleven species of Amazon parrots (genus Amazona) are known to occur in Brazil, and nest poaching and illegal traffic pose serious conservation threats to these species. When the illegal owners realize these animals are incompatible with their expectations and lifestyle, or when the police arrests traders and owners, these trafficked animals are often considered unfit for release and sent to local zoos and captive breeders. A retrospective survey of animal and necropsy records from 1986 to 2007 was used to evaluate the impacts of animal traffic on the population composition and mortality patterns of Amazon parrots at the Quinzinho de Barros Municipal Zoological Park, Sorocaba, Brazil. Data were obtained for 374 Amazon parrots of ten Brazilian species, and there was evidence that the studied population could be split into two major groups: a majority belonging to the Amazona aestiva species and a minority belonging to the remaining species. In comparison, the animals of the first group were more frequently admitted from traffic-related origins (98 vs. 75%), had a shorter lifespan (median 301 days vs. 848 days) and a higher mortality within the first year postadmission (54 vs. 37%), were less likely to receive expensive treatments, and were more frequently housed off-exhibit. On an average, parrots were found to have a short postadmission lifespan (median 356 days), with 92.5% of the birds dying within their first five years in captivity. The paper discusses the difficult dilemmas these incoming traffic-related animals pose to zoo management and official anti-traffic policies.

  13. Chlorine disinfection of grey water for reuse: effect of organics and particles.

    PubMed

    Winward, Gideon P; Avery, Lisa M; Stephenson, Tom; Jefferson, Bruce

    2008-01-01

    Adequate disinfection of grey water prior to reuse is important to prevent the potential transmission of disease-causing microorganisms. Chlorine is a widely utilised disinfectant and as such is a leading contender for disinfection of grey water intended for reuse. This study examined the impact of organics and particles on chlorine disinfection of grey water, measured by total coliform inactivation. The efficacy of disinfection was most closely linked with particle size. Larger particles shielded total coliforms from inactivation and disinfection efficacy decreased with increasing particle size. Blending to extract particle-associated coliforms (PACs) following chlorine disinfection revealed that up to 91% of total coliforms in chlorinated grey water were particle associated. The organic concentration of grey water affected chlorine demand but did not influence the disinfection resistance of total coliforms when a free chlorine residual was maintained. Implications for urban water reuse are discussed and it is recommended that grey water treatment systems target suspended solids removal to ensure removal of PACs prior to disinfection.

  14. Grey leaves in an alpine plant: a cryptic colouration to avoid attack?

    PubMed

    Niu, Yang; Chen, Gao; Peng, De-Li; Song, Bo; Yang, Yang; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2014-08-01

    Cryptic colouration is a common predation-avoidance strategy in animals that is postulated to occur in plants, but few experimental studies have rigorously tested this hypothesis. We investigated the colouration of Corydalis benecincta, an alpine plant with remarkably dimorphic leaf colours (grey and green), based on a cost-benefit analysis. First we tested the premise that herbivores (Parnassius butterflies) cannot distinguish grey leaves from a scree background by spectrographic measurements and by estimating discriminability between leaves and scree using a butterfly colour vision model. Then we estimated the potential costs of inconspicuousness by comparing the photosynthetic performance and visual attractiveness to flower visitors of the two colour morphs. Finally, we examined the potential benefits of inconspicuousness by comparing damage, survivorship and female reproductive success. It is difficult for herbivores to distinguish grey-coloured morphs against the background. This grey colour originates in a combination of anthocyanins and chlorophylls. The two colour morphs had similar photosynthetic performance, visual attractiveness and female reproductive success. However, grey morphs had significantly lower herbivore damage and higher survivorship. Grey leaves benefit C. benecincta by reducing herbivory with low investment in anthocyanin synthesis, and little cost on photosynthesis and mating opportunity. This cryptic colouration may have evolved through selection pressure imposed by visually foraging herbivores. PMID:24800901

  15. The grey relational approach for evaluating measurement uncertainty with poor information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Zai; Wang, Yanqing; Zhou, Weihu; Wang, Zhongyu

    2015-12-01

    The Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) is the master document for measurement uncertainty evaluation. However, the GUM may encounter problems and does not work well when the measurement data have poor information. In most cases, poor information means a small data sample and an unknown probability distribution. In these cases, the evaluation of measurement uncertainty has become a bottleneck in practical measurement. To solve this problem, a novel method called the grey relational approach (GRA), different from the statistical theory, is proposed in this paper. The GRA does not require a large sample size or probability distribution information of the measurement data. Mathematically, the GRA can be divided into three parts. Firstly, according to grey relational analysis, the grey relational coefficients between the ideal and the practical measurement output series are obtained. Secondly, the weighted coefficients and the measurement expectation function will be acquired based on the grey relational coefficients. Finally, the measurement uncertainty is evaluated based on grey modeling. In order to validate the performance of this method, simulation experiments were performed and the evaluation results show that the GRA can keep the average error around 5%. Besides, the GRA was also compared with the grey method, the Bessel method, and the Monte Carlo method by a real stress measurement. Both the simulation experiments and real measurement show that the GRA is appropriate and effective to evaluate the measurement uncertainty with poor information.

  16. Exposing the grey seal as a major predator of harbour porpoises

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, Mardik F.; Begeman, Lineke; van Bleijswijk, Judith D. L.; IJsseldijk, Lonneke L.; Witte, Harry J.; Gröne, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranding in large numbers around the southern North Sea with fatal, sharp-edged mutilations have spurred controversy among scientists, the fishing industry and conservationists, whose views about the likely cause differ. The recent detection of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) DNA in bite marks on three mutilated harbour porpoises, as well as direct observations of grey seal attacks on porpoises, have identified this seal species as a probable cause. Bite mark characteristics were assessed in a retrospective analysis of photographs of dead harbour porpoises that stranded between 2003 and 2013 (n = 1081) on the Dutch coastline. There were 271 animals that were sufficiently fresh to allow macroscopic assessment of grey seal-associated wounds with certainty. In 25% of these, bite and claw marks were identified that were consistent with the marks found on animals that had tested positive for grey seal DNA. Affected animals were mostly healthy juveniles that had a thick blubber layer and had recently fed. We conclude that the majority of the mutilated harbour porpoises were victims of grey seal attacks and that predation by this species is one of the main causes of death in harbour porpoises in The Netherlands. We provide a decision tree that will help in the identification of future cases of grey seal predation on porpoises. PMID:25429021

  17. Voxel-based morphometry reveals reduced grey matter volume in the temporal cortex of developmental prosopagnosics

    PubMed Central

    Furl, Nicholas; Draganski, Bogdan; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Stevens, John; Tan, Geoffrey Chern-Yee; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Ray J.; Duchaine, Bradley

    2009-01-01

    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia exhibit severe and lasting difficulties in recognizing faces despite the absence of apparent brain abnormalities. We used voxel-based morphometry to investigate whether developmental prosopagnosics show subtle neuroanatomical differences from controls. An analysis based on segmentation of T1-weighted images from 17 developmental prosopagnosics and 18 matched controls revealed that they had reduced grey matter volume in the right anterior inferior temporal lobe and in the superior temporal sulcus/middle temporal gyrus bilaterally. In addition, a voxel-based morphometry analysis based on the segmentation of magnetization transfer parameter maps showed that developmental prosopagnosics also had reduced grey matter volume in the right middle fusiform gyrus and the inferior temporal gyrus. Multiple regression analyses relating three distinct behavioural component scores, derived from a principal component analysis, to grey matter volume revealed an association between a component related to facial identity and grey matter volume in the left superior temporal sulcus/middle temporal gyrus plus the right middle fusiform gyrus/inferior temporal gyrus. Grey matter volume in the lateral occipital cortex was associated with component scores related to object recognition tasks. Our results demonstrate that developmental prosopagnosics have reduced grey matter volume in several regions known to respond selectively to faces and provide new evidence that integrity of these areas relates to face recognition ability. PMID:19887506

  18. Grey leaves in an alpine plant: a cryptic colouration to avoid attack?

    PubMed

    Niu, Yang; Chen, Gao; Peng, De-Li; Song, Bo; Yang, Yang; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2014-08-01

    Cryptic colouration is a common predation-avoidance strategy in animals that is postulated to occur in plants, but few experimental studies have rigorously tested this hypothesis. We investigated the colouration of Corydalis benecincta, an alpine plant with remarkably dimorphic leaf colours (grey and green), based on a cost-benefit analysis. First we tested the premise that herbivores (Parnassius butterflies) cannot distinguish grey leaves from a scree background by spectrographic measurements and by estimating discriminability between leaves and scree using a butterfly colour vision model. Then we estimated the potential costs of inconspicuousness by comparing the photosynthetic performance and visual attractiveness to flower visitors of the two colour morphs. Finally, we examined the potential benefits of inconspicuousness by comparing damage, survivorship and female reproductive success. It is difficult for herbivores to distinguish grey-coloured morphs against the background. This grey colour originates in a combination of anthocyanins and chlorophylls. The two colour morphs had similar photosynthetic performance, visual attractiveness and female reproductive success. However, grey morphs had significantly lower herbivore damage and higher survivorship. Grey leaves benefit C. benecincta by reducing herbivory with low investment in anthocyanin synthesis, and little cost on photosynthesis and mating opportunity. This cryptic colouration may have evolved through selection pressure imposed by visually foraging herbivores.

  19. Exposing the grey seal as a major predator of harbour porpoises.

    PubMed

    Leopold, Mardik F; Begeman, Lineke; van Bleijswijk, Judith D L; IJsseldijk, Lonneke L; Witte, Harry J; Gröne, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranding in large numbers around the southern North Sea with fatal, sharp-edged mutilations have spurred controversy among scientists, the fishing industry and conservationists, whose views about the likely cause differ. The recent detection of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) DNA in bite marks on three mutilated harbour porpoises, as well as direct observations of grey seal attacks on porpoises, have identified this seal species as a probable cause. Bite mark characteristics were assessed in a retrospective analysis of photographs of dead harbour porpoises that stranded between 2003 and 2013 (n = 1081) on the Dutch coastline. There were 271 animals that were sufficiently fresh to allow macroscopic assessment of grey seal-associated wounds with certainty. In 25% of these, bite and claw marks were identified that were consistent with the marks found on animals that had tested positive for grey seal DNA. Affected animals were mostly healthy juveniles that had a thick blubber layer and had recently fed. We conclude that the majority of the mutilated harbour porpoises were victims of grey seal attacks and that predation by this species is one of the main causes of death in harbour porpoises in The Netherlands. We provide a decision tree that will help in the identification of future cases of grey seal predation on porpoises.

  20. The perception of vocal signals by blue monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

    PubMed

    Brown, C H

    1986-01-01

    Old World forest primates may need to signal vocally over long distances in noisy habitats. Perceptual experiments focused on the audibility of signals in noise were conducted in the laboratory using standard psychoacoustical methods. Six human listeners, two blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis), and two grey-cheeked mangabeys (Cercocebus albigena) served as subjects. Based upon measurements of East African rain forests (Brown and Waser 1984) testing was conducted in the presence of simulated rain forest noise, or in the quiet. Signals consisted of pure tones 2-seconds in duration ranging in frequency from 63 Hz to 32 kHz, or recordings of vocalizations. Test vocal signals for monkey subjects were the blue monkey chirp, pyow, trill, ka, ka-train, grunt and boom calls; the mangabey chorused grunt, soft grunt, gobble and staccato bark calls. Human listeners were tested with the consonant-vowel stop consonants: ba, pa, da, ta, ga, ka; the two-syllable words: baseball, lifeguard, vessel and leisure; and the sentence "Can you hear me?" The results showed that mangabeys exhibit an audibility function nearly indistinguishable from that for blue monkeys (Brown and Waser 1984). Compared to terrestrial open country monkeys, these arboreal rain forest monkeys possess enhanced low-frequency sensitivity which coupled with mechanisms specialized for low-frequency vocal production may function as a long-distance communication system. Testing with vocalizations in the presence of a masking noise revealed that monkey calls were about 10 dB more audible in noise than were human speech sounds. No differences were found between the audibility of graded or discrete calls. Testing for species-specific abilities was conducted with a subsample of six calls. While differences were not found when testing was conducted in the quiet, in the presence of forest noise, monkeys were about 3.4 dB more sensitive to the calls of conspecifics than to the calls of sympatric species. These findings

  1. Metabolic rate and membrane fatty acid composition in birds: a comparison between long-living parrots and short-living fowl.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Magdalene K; Hulbert, A J; Buttemer, William A

    2012-01-01

    Both basal metabolic rate (BMR) and maximum lifespan potential (MLSP) vary with body size in mammals and birds and it has been suggested that these are mediated through size-related variation in membrane fatty acid composition. Whereas the physical properties of membrane fatty acids affect the activity of membrane proteins and, indirectly, an animal's BMR, it is the susceptibility of those fatty acids to peroxidation which influence MLSP. Although there is a correlation between body size and MLSP, there is considerable MLSP variation independent of body size. For example, among bird families, Galliformes (fowl) are relatively short-living and Psittaciformes (parrots) are unusually long-living, with some parrot species reaching maximum lifespans of more than 100 years. We determined BMR and tissue phospholipid fatty acid composition in seven tissues from three species of parrots with an average MLSP of 27 years and from two species of quails with an average MLSP of 5.5 years. We also characterised mitochondrial phospholipids in two of these tissues. Neither BMR nor membrane susceptibility to peroxidation corresponded with differences in MLSP among the birds we measured. We did find that (1) all birds had lower n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content in mitochondrial membranes compared to those of the corresponding tissue, and that (2) irrespective of reliance on flight for locomotion, both pectoral and leg muscle had an almost identical membrane fatty acid composition in all birds.

  2. Dysbiotic drift: mental health, environmental grey space, and microbiota.

    PubMed

    Logan, Alan C

    2015-01-01

    Advances in research concerning the mental health implications of dietary patterns and select nutrients have been remarkable. At the same time, there have been rapid increases in the understanding of the ways in which non-pathogenic microbes can potentially influence many aspects of human health, including those in the mental realm. Discussions of nutrition and microbiota are often overlapping. A separate, yet equally connected, avenue of research is that related to natural (for example, green space) and built environments, and in particular, how they are connected to human cognition and behaviors. It is argued here that in Western industrial nations a 'disparity of microbiota' might be expected among the socioeconomically disadvantaged, those whom face more profound environmental forces. Many of the environmental forces pushing against the vulnerable are at the neighborhood level. Matching the developing microbiome research with existing environmental justice research suggests that grey space may promote dysbiosis by default. In addition, the influence of Westernized lifestyle patterns, and the marketing forces that drive unhealthy behaviors in deprived communities, might allow dysbiosis to be the norm rather than the exception in those already at high risk of depression, subthreshold (subsyndromal) conditions, and subpar mental health. If microbiota are indeed at the intersection of nutrition, environmental health, and lifestyle medicine (as these avenues pertain to mental health), then perhaps the rapidly evolving gut-brain-microbiota conversation needs to operate through a wider lens. In contrast to the more narrowly defined psychobiotic, the term eco-psychotropic is introduced. PMID:25947328

  3. Genetic variability of grey snow mould (Typhula incarnata).

    PubMed

    Vergara, Georgina V; Bughrara, Suleiman S; Jung, Geunhwa

    2004-11-01

    Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of isolates of grey snow mould ('gray snow mold'), Typhula incarnata, taken from infected turfgrasses from 40 different locations in the northern USA. Data from 115 markers using 37 RAPD primers showed 48 % polymorphism. The distance coefficients between isolates indicate the wide genetic diversity of T. incarnata across the sample area. Dendrograms generated using neighbour-joining (NJ) bootstrap analyses showed three clades and suggest possible recent colonization from common founder groups. Partitioning of the genetic variance using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of four groups based on geographic locations (Michigan, lower and upper peninsula; Minnesota; Wisconsin) showed that genetic variation attributable among groups and within groups was 12.67 and 87.33 %, respectively. No correlation was found between geographic distance and pairwise genetic distance of the groups. High outcrossing and sexual recombination of T. incarnata may well be key factors explaining the genetic variability as shown with the low Fixation index (FST) and high average of genetic diversity per locus within groups.

  4. Trauma-specific Grey Matter Alterations in PTSD

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Linghui; Jiang, Jing; Jin, Changfeng; Liu, Jia; Zhao, Youjin; Wang, Weina; Li, Kaiming; Gong, Qiyong

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by different types of trauma may show divergence in epidemiology, clinical manifestation and treatment outcome. However, it is still unclear whether this divergence has neuroanatomic correlates in PTSD brains. To elucidate the general and trauma-specific cortical morphometric alterations, we performed a meta-analysis of grey matter (GM) changes in PTSD (N = 246) with different traumas and trauma-exposed controls (TECs, N = 347) using anisotropic effect-size signed differential mapping and its subgroup analysis. Our results revealed general GM reduction (GMR) foci in the prefrontal-limbic-striatal system of PTSD brains when compared with those of TECs. Notably, the GMR patterns were trauma-specific. For PTSD by single-incident traumas, GMR foci were found in bilateral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, striatum, left hippocampus and amygdala; and for PTSD by prolonged traumas in the left insula, striatum, amygdala and middle temporal gyrus. Moreover, Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores were found to be negatively associated with the GM changes in bilateral ACC and mPFC. Our study indicates that the GMR patterns of PTSD are associated with specific traumas, suggesting a stratified diagnosis and treatment for PTSD patients. PMID:27651030

  5. Pathological differences between white and grey matter multiple sclerosis lesions.

    PubMed

    Prins, Marloes; Schul, Emma; Geurts, Jeroen; van der Valk, Paul; Drukarch, Benjamin; van Dam, Anne-Marie

    2015-09-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease characterized by demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in widespread formation of white matter lesions (WMLs) and grey matter lesions (GMLs). WMLs are pathologically characterized by the presence of immune cells that infiltrate the CNS, whereas these immune cells are barely present in GMLs. This striking pathological difference between WMLs and GMLs raises questions about the underlying mechanism. It is known that infiltrating leukocytes contribute to the generation of WMLs; however, since GMLs show a paucity of infiltrating immune cells, their importance in GML formation remains to be determined. Here, we review pathological characteristics of WMLs and GMLs, and suggest some possible explanations for the observed pathological differences. In our view, cellular and molecular characteristics of WM and GM, and local differences within WMLs and GMLs (in particular, in glial cell populations and the molecules they express), determine the pathway to demyelination. Further understanding of GML pathogenesis, considered to contribute to chronic MS, may have a direct impact on the development of novel therapeutic targets to counteract this progressive neurological disorder.

  6. Oxidative injury in multiple sclerosis cerebellar grey matter.

    PubMed

    Kemp, Kevin; Redondo, Juliana; Hares, Kelly; Rice, Claire; Scolding, Neil; Wilkins, Alastair

    2016-07-01

    Cerebellar dysfunction is a significant contributor to disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). Both white matter (WM) and grey matter (GM) injury occurs within MS cerebellum and, within GM, demyelination, inflammatory cell infiltration and neuronal injury contribute to on-going pathology. The precise nature of cerebellar GM injury is, however, unknown. Oxidative stress pathways with ultimate lipid peroxidation and cell membrane injury occur extensively in MS and the purpose of this study was to investigate these processes in MS cerebellar GM. Post-mortem human cerebellar GM from MS and control subjects was analysed immunohistochemically, followed by semi-quantitative analysis of markers of cellular injury, lipid peroxidation and anti-oxidant enzyme expression. We have shown evidence for reduction in myelin and neuronal markers in MS GM, coupled to an increase in expression of a microglial marker. We also show that the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal co-localises with myelin and its levels negatively correlate to myelin basic protein levels. Furthermore, superoxide dismutase (SOD1 and 2) enzymes, localised within cerebellar neurons, are up-regulated, yet the activation of subsequent enzymes responsible for the detoxification of hydrogen peroxide, catalase and glutathione peroxidase are relatively deficient. These studies provide evidence for oxidative injury in MS cerebellar GM and further help define disease mechanisms within the MS brain. PMID:27086975

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

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. First isolation of Mycoplasma iowae in grey partridge flocks.

    PubMed

    Catania, S; Gobbo, F; Rodio, S; Qualtieri, K; Santone, C; Nicholas, R A J

    2014-06-01

    Mycoplasma iowae, an occasional pathogen of turkeys, was isolated for the first time from captive grey partridges (Perdix perdix). Clinical signs including respiratory and intestinal disorder were seen in birds of all ages but mainly in those kept housed during rearing. Mortality rates averaged over 20% during the year. Treatment with antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs produced only a transient improvement in condition. The gross pathology findings included poor body growth, lack of development of the breast muscles, abnormalities in the keel development, and bone fragility. Some birds showed infraorbital sinusitis with serous or fibrinous exudates and catarrhal tracheitis, while others presented serofibrinous airsacculitis and splenomegaly. Laboratory investigations revealed pure cultures of M. iowae in the gut as well as sinus and air sacs. While other organisms such as coccidia, Trichomonas, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, and Aspergillus spp. were detected, the similarity of the disease with that seen in turkeys infected with M. iowae strongly suggests that this mycoplasma may be the primary pathogen here. The presence of M. iowae in game birds commonly released into the wild could have serious implications particularly in areas where industrial poultry farms are concentrated. PMID:25055642

  9. Linear multifrequency-grey acceleration recast for preconditioned Krylov iterations

    SciTech Connect

    Morel, Jim E. Brian Yang, T.-Y.; Warsa, James S.

    2007-11-10

    The linear multifrequency-grey acceleration (LMFGA) technique is used to accelerate the iterative convergence of multigroup thermal radiation diffusion calculations in high energy density simulations. Although it is effective and efficient in one-dimensional calculations, the LMFGA method has recently been observed to significantly degrade under certain conditions in multidimensional calculations with large discontinuities in material properties. To address this deficiency, we recast the LMFGA method in terms of a preconditioned system that is solved with a Krylov method (LMFGK). Results are presented demonstrating that the new LMFGK method always requires fewer iterations than the original LMFGA method. The reduction in iteration count increases with both the size of the time step and the inhomogeneity of the problem. However, for reasons later explained, the LMFGK method can cost more per iteration than the LMFGA method, resulting in lower but comparable efficiency in problems with small time steps and weak inhomogeneities. In problems with large time steps and strong inhomogeneities, the LMFGK method is significantly more efficient than the LMFGA method.

  10. Discrete Diffusion Monte Carlo for grey Implicit Monte Carlo simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Densmore, J. D.; Urbatsch, T. J.; Evans, T. M.; Buksas, M. W.

    2005-01-01

    Discrete Diffusion Monte Carlo (DDMC) is a hybrid transport-diffusion method for Monte Carlo simulations in diffusive media. In DDMC, particles take discrete steps between spatial cells according to a discretized diffusion equation. Thus, DDMC produces accurate solutions while increasing the efficiency of the Monte Carlo calculation. In this paper, we extend previously developed DDMC techniques in several ways that improve the accuracy and utility of DDMC for grey Implicit Monte Carlo calculations. First, we employ a diffusion equation that is discretized in space but is continuous time. Not only is this methodology theoretically more accurate than temporally discretized DDMC techniques, but it also has the benefit that a particle's time is always known. Thus, there is no ambiguity regarding what time to assign a particle that leaves an optically thick region (where DDMC is used) and begins transporting by standard Monte Carlo in an optically thin region. In addition, we treat particles incident on an optically thick region using the asymptotic diffusion-limit boundary condition. This interface technique can produce accurate solutions even if the incident particles are distributed anisotropically in angle. Finally, we develop a method for estimating radiation momentum deposition during the DDMC simulation. With a set of numerical examples, we demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of our improved DDMC method.

  11. Trauma-specific Grey Matter Alterations in PTSD.

    PubMed

    Meng, Linghui; Jiang, Jing; Jin, Changfeng; Liu, Jia; Zhao, Youjin; Wang, Weina; Li, Kaiming; Gong, Qiyong

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by different types of trauma may show divergence in epidemiology, clinical manifestation and treatment outcome. However, it is still unclear whether this divergence has neuroanatomic correlates in PTSD brains. To elucidate the general and trauma-specific cortical morphometric alterations, we performed a meta-analysis of grey matter (GM) changes in PTSD (N = 246) with different traumas and trauma-exposed controls (TECs, N = 347) using anisotropic effect-size signed differential mapping and its subgroup analysis. Our results revealed general GM reduction (GMR) foci in the prefrontal-limbic-striatal system of PTSD brains when compared with those of TECs. Notably, the GMR patterns were trauma-specific. For PTSD by single-incident traumas, GMR foci were found in bilateral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, striatum, left hippocampus and amygdala; and for PTSD by prolonged traumas in the left insula, striatum, amygdala and middle temporal gyrus. Moreover, Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores were found to be negatively associated with the GM changes in bilateral ACC and mPFC. Our study indicates that the GMR patterns of PTSD are associated with specific traumas, suggesting a stratified diagnosis and treatment for PTSD patients. PMID:27651030

  12. Ultrafine and respirable particles in an automotive grey iron foundry.

    PubMed

    Evans, Douglas E; Heitbrink, William A; Slavin, Thomas J; Peters, Thomas M

    2008-01-01

    Ultrafine particle number and respirable particle mass concentrations were measured throughout an automotive grey iron foundry during winter, spring and summer using a particle concentration mapping procedure. Substantial temporal and spatial variability was observed in all seasons and attributed, in part, to the batch nature of operations, process emission variability and frequent work interruptions. The need for fine mapping grids was demonstrated, where elevations in particle concentrations were highly localized. Ultrafine particle concentrations were generally greatest during winter when incoming make-up air was heated with direct fire, natural gas burners. Make-up air drawn from roof level had elevated respirable mass and ultrafine number concentrations above ambient outdoor levels, suggesting inadvertent recirculation of foundry process emissions. Elevated respirable mass concentrations were highly localized on occasions (e.g. abrasive blasting and grinding), depended on the area within the facility where measurements were obtained, but were largely unaffected by season. Particle sources were further characterized by measuring their respective number and mass concentrations by particle size. Sources that contributed to ultrafine particles included process-specific sources (e.g. melting and pouring operations), and non-process sources (e.g. direct fire natural gas heating units, a liquid propane-fuelled sweeper and cigarette smoking) were additionally identified. PMID:18056626

  13. African-Americans and Alzheimer's

    MedlinePlus

    ... Share Plus on Google Plus African-Americans and Alzheimer's alz.org | IHaveAlz Introduction 10 Warning Signs Brain ... African-Americans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of ...

  14. Carnivore specific bone bioapatite and collagen carbon isotope fractionations: Case studies of modern and fossil grey wolf populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox-Dobbs, K.; Wheatley, P. V.; Koch, P. L.

    2006-12-01

    Stable isotope analyses of modern and fossil biogenic tissues are routinely used to reconstruct present and past vertebrate foodwebs. Accurate isotopic dietary reconstructions require a consumer and tissue specific understanding of how isotopes are sorted, or fractionated, between trophic levels. In this project we address the need for carnivore specific isotope variables derived from populations that are ecologically well- characterized. Specifically, we investigate the trophic difference in carbon isotope values between mammalian carnivore (wolf) bone bioapatite and herbivore (prey) bone bioapatite. We also compare bone bioapatite and collagen carbon isotope values collected from the same individuals. We analyzed bone specimens from two modern North American grey wolf (Canis lupus) populations (Isle Royale National Park, Michigan and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming), and the ungulate herbivores that are their primary prey (moose and elk, respectively). Because the diets of both wolf populations are essentially restricted to a single prey species, there were no confounding effects due to carnivore diet variability. We measured a trophic difference of approximately -1.3 permil between carnivore (lower value) and herbivore (higher value) bone bioapatite carbon isotope values, and an average inter-tissue difference of 5.1 permil between carnivore bone collagen (lower value) and bioapatite (higher value) carbon isotope values. Both of these isotopic differences differ from previous estimates derived from a suite of African carnivores; our carnivore-herbivore bone bioapatite carbon isotope spacing is smaller (-1.3 vs. -4.0 permil), and our carnivore collagen-bioapatite carbon difference is larger (5.1 vs. 3.0 permil). These discrepancies likely result from comparing values measured from a single hypercarnivore (wolf) to average values calculated from several carnivore species, some of which are insectivorous or partly omnivorous. The trophic and inter

  15. English as an African Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desai, Gaurav

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the role of the English language in postcolonial African literature, focusing on the politics of language, "Africanized" English, and the social languages used in Chinua Achebe's novels and concludes that English today is as much an African language as a British or American one. (Contains 37 references.) (MDM)

  16. The Struggles over African Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  17. Bite injuries of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).

    PubMed

    Jauniaux, Thierry; Garigliany, Mutien-Marie; Loos, Pauline; Bourgain, Jean-Luc; Bouveroux, Thibaut; Coignoul, Freddy; Haelters, Jan; Karpouzopoulos, Jacky; Pezeril, Sylvain; Desmecht, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Bite-like skin lesions on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) have been suspected to be caused by grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), and a few field observations have been reported. Bite-like skin lesions observed on stranded animals were characterized by two main components: large flaps of loose or missing skin and blubber with frayed edges and puncture lesions. Definitive demonstration of predation by a grey seal was not reported so far in those stranded animals. In this study, five stranded porpoises with bite-like skin lesions were swabbed for genetic investigations. In addition, the head of a recently dead grey seal was used to mimic bite-like skin injuries on a porpoise carcass. Subsequently, the artificial skin injuries were swabbed, along with the gum of the seal used for inflicting them (positive controls). Total DNA was extracted from the swabs and was used to retrieve a fragment of mitochondrial DNA by PCR. Primers were designed to amplify a specific stretch of mitochondrial DNA known to differ between grey seals and porpoises. The amplicon targeted was successfully amplified from the positive control and from two of the stranded porpoises, and grey seal-specific mitochondrial DNA was retrieved from all those samples. We conclude that (1) it is possible to detect grey seal DNA from dead porpoises even after several days in seawater and (2) bite-like skin lesions found on dead porpoises definitively result from grey seals attacks. The attacks are most likely linked with predation although, in a number of cases, scavenging and aggressive behaviour cannot be excluded. PMID:25461599

  18. Mathematical limitations when choosing psychophysical methods: geometric versus linear grey scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekker, Niels; Lucassen, Marcel; Kirchner, Eric; Urban, Philipp; Huertas, Rafael

    2014-02-01

    The grey scale method is commonly used for investigating differences in material appearance. Specifically, for testing color difference equations, perceived color differences between sample pairs are obtained by visually comparing to differences in a series of achromatic sample pairs. Two types of grey scales are known: linear and geometric. Their instrumental color differences vary linearly or geometrically (i.e., exponentially), respectively. Geometric grey scales are used in ISO standards and standard procedures of the textile industries. We compared both types of grey scale in a psychophysical study. Color patches were shown on a color-calibrated display. Ten observers assessed color differences in sample pairs, with color differences between ΔEab = 0.13 and 2.50. Assessments were scored by comparison to either a linear or a geometric grey scale, both consisting of six achromatic pairs. For the linear scale we used color differences ΔEab = 0.0, 0.6, 1.2,..., 3.0. For the geometric scale this was ΔEab=0.0, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.2, 6.4. Our results show that for the geometric scale, data from visual scores clutter at the low end of the scale and do not match the ΔEab range of the grey scale pairs. We explain why this happens, and why this is mathematically inevitable when studying small color differences with geometric grey scales. Our analysis explains why previous studies showed larger observer variability for geometric than for linear scales.

  19. Bite injuries of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).

    PubMed

    Jauniaux, Thierry; Garigliany, Mutien-Marie; Loos, Pauline; Bourgain, Jean-Luc; Bouveroux, Thibaut; Coignoul, Freddy; Haelters, Jan; Karpouzopoulos, Jacky; Pezeril, Sylvain; Desmecht, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Bite-like skin lesions on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) have been suspected to be caused by grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), and a few field observations have been reported. Bite-like skin lesions observed on stranded animals were characterized by two main components: large flaps of loose or missing skin and blubber with frayed edges and puncture lesions. Definitive demonstration of predation by a grey seal was not reported so far in those stranded animals. In this study, five stranded porpoises with bite-like skin lesions were swabbed for genetic investigations. In addition, the head of a recently dead grey seal was used to mimic bite-like skin injuries on a porpoise carcass. Subsequently, the artificial skin injuries were swabbed, along with the gum of the seal used for inflicting them (positive controls). Total DNA was extracted from the swabs and was used to retrieve a fragment of mitochondrial DNA by PCR. Primers were designed to amplify a specific stretch of mitochondrial DNA known to differ between grey seals and porpoises. The amplicon targeted was successfully amplified from the positive control and from two of the stranded porpoises, and grey seal-specific mitochondrial DNA was retrieved from all those samples. We conclude that (1) it is possible to detect grey seal DNA from dead porpoises even after several days in seawater and (2) bite-like skin lesions found on dead porpoises definitively result from grey seals attacks. The attacks are most likely linked with predation although, in a number of cases, scavenging and aggressive behaviour cannot be excluded.

  20. Whole-brain grey matter density predicts balance stability irrespective of age and protects older adults from falling.

    PubMed

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P; Cheval, Boris; van Ruitenbeek, Peter; Levin, Oron; Renaud, Olivier; Chanal, Julien; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2016-03-01

    Functional and structural imaging studies have demonstrated the involvement of the brain in balance control. Nevertheless, how decisive grey matter density and white matter microstructural organisation are in predicting balance stability, and especially when linked to the effects of ageing, remains unclear. Standing balance was tested on a platform moving at different frequencies and amplitudes in 30 young and 30 older adults, with eyes open and with eyes closed. Centre of pressure variance was used as an indicator of balance instability. The mean density of grey matter and mean white matter microstructural organisation were measured using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging, respectively. Mixed-effects models were built to analyse the extent to which age, grey matter density, and white matter microstructural organisation predicted balance instability. Results showed that both grey matter density and age independently predicted balance instability. These predictions were reinforced when the level of difficulty of the conditions increased. Furthermore, grey matter predicted balance instability beyond age and at least as consistently as age across conditions. In other words, for balance stability, the level of whole-brain grey matter density is at least as decisive as being young or old. Finally, brain grey matter appeared to be protective against falls in older adults as age increased the probability of losing balance in older adults with low, but not moderate or high grey matter density. No such results were observed for white matter microstructural organisation, thereby reinforcing the specificity of our grey matter findings.

  1. Grey zone simulations of the morning convective boundary layer development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efstathiou, G. A.; Beare, R. J.; Osborne, S.; Lock, A. P.

    2016-05-01

    Numerical simulations of two cases of morning boundary layer development are conducted to investigate the impact of grid resolution on mean profiles and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) partitioning from the large eddy simulation (LES) to the mesoscale limit. Idealized LES, using the 3-D Smagorinsky scheme, is shown to be capable of reproducing the boundary layer evolution when compared against measurements. However, increasing grid spacing results in the damping of resolved TKE and the production of superadiabatic temperature profiles in the boundary layer. Turbulence initiation is significantly delayed, exhibiting an abrupt onset at intermediate resolutions. Two approaches, the bounding of vertical diffusion coefficient and the blending of the 3-D Smagorinsky with a nonlocal 1D scheme, are used to model subgrid diffusion at grey zone resolutions. Simulations are compared against the coarse-grained fields from the validated LES results for each case. Both methods exhibit particular strengths and weaknesses, indicating the compromise that needs to be made currently in high-resolution numerical weather prediction. The blending scheme is able to reproduce the adiabatic profiles although turbulence is underestimated in favor of the parametrized heat flux, and the spin-up of TKE remains delayed. In contrast, the bounding approach gives an evolution of TKE that follows the coarse-grained LES very well, relying on the resolved motions for the nonlocal heat flux. However, bounding gives unrealistic static instability in the early morning temperature profiles (similar to the 3-D Smagorinsky scheme) because model dynamics are unable to resolve TKE when the boundary layer is too shallow compared to the grid spacing.

  2. Longitudinal changes in grey and white matter during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Giorgio, A; Watkins, K E; Chadwick, M; James, S; Winmill, L; Douaud, G; De Stefano, N; Matthews, P M; Smith, S M; Johansen-Berg, H; James, A C

    2010-01-01

    Brain development continues actively during adolescence. Previous MRI studies have shown complex patterns of apparent loss of grey matter (GM) volume and increases in white matter (WM) volume and fractional anisotropy (FA), an index of WM microstructure. In this longitudinal study (mean follow-up=2.5+/-0.5 years) of 24 adolescents, we used a voxel-based morphometry (VBM)-style analysis with conventional T1-weighted images to test for age-related changes in GM and WM volumes. We also performed tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data to test for age-related WM changes across the whole brain. Probabilistic tractography was used to carry out quantitative comparisons across subjects in measures of WM microstructure in two fiber tracts important for supporting speech and motor functions (arcuate fasciculus [AF] and corticospinal tract [CST]). The whole-brain analyses identified age-related increases in WM volume and FA bilaterally in many fiber tracts, including AF and many parts of the CST. FA changes were mainly driven by increases in parallel diffusivity, probably reflecting increases in the diameter of the axons forming the fiber tracts. FA values of both left and right AF (but not of the CST) were significantly higher at the end of the follow-up than at baseline. Over the same period, widespread reductions in the cortical GM volume were found. These findings provide imaging-based anatomical data suggesting that brain maturation in adolescence is associated with structural changes enhancing long-distance connectivities in different WM tracts, specifically in the AF and CST, at the same time that cortical GM exhibits synaptic "pruning". PMID:19679191

  3. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Tishkoff, Sarah A.; Reed, Floyd A.; Friedlaender, Françoise R.; Ehret, Christopher; Ranciaro, Alessia; Froment, Alain; Hirbo, Jibril B.; Awomoyi, Agnes A.; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Doumbo, Ogobara; Ibrahim, Muntaser; Juma, Abdalla T.; Kotze, Maritha J.; Lema, Godfrey; Moore, Jason H.; Mortensen, Holly; Nyambo, Thomas B.; Omar, Sabah A.; Powell, Kweli; Pretorius, Gideon S.; Smith, Michael W.; Thera, Mahamadou A.; Wambebe, Charles; Weber, James L.; Williams, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (~71%), European (~13%), and other African (~8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies. PMID:19407144

  4. Yellowing and bleaching of grey hair caused by photo and thermal degradation.

    PubMed

    Richena, M; Silveira, M; Rezende, C A; Joekes, I

    2014-09-01

    Yellowing is an undesirable phenomenon that is common in people with white and grey hair. Because white hair has no melanin, the pigment responsible for hair colour, the effects of photodegradation are more visible in this type of hair. The origin of yellowing and its relation to photodegradation processes are not properly established, and many questions remain open in this field. In this work, the photodegradation of grey hair was investigated as a function of the wavelength of incident radiation, and its ultrastructure was determined, always comparing the results obtained for the white and black fibres present in grey hair with the results of white wool. The results presented herein indicate that the photobehaviour of grey hair irradiated with a mercury lamp or with solar radiation is dependent on the wavelength range of the incident radiation and on the initial shade of yellow in the sample. Two types of grey hair were used: (1) blended grey hair (more yellow) and (2) grey hair from a single-donor (less yellow). After exposure to a full-spectrum mercury lamp for 200 h, the blended white hair turned less yellow (the yellow-blue difference, Db(*) becomes negative, Db(*)=-6), whereas the white hair from the single-donor turned slightly yellower (Db(*)=2). In contrast, VIS+IR irradiation resulted in bleaching in both types of hair, whereas a thermal treatment (at 81 °C) caused yellowing of both types of hair, resulting in a Db(*)=3 for blended white hair and Db(*)=9 for single-donor hair. The identity of the yellow chromophores was investigated by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The results obtained with this technique were contradictory, however, and it was not possible to obtain a simple correlation between the sample shade of yellow and the absorption spectra. In addition, the results are discussed in terms of the morphology differences between the pigmented and non-pigmented parts of grey hair, the yellowing and bleaching effects of grey hair, and the occurrence of dark

  5. Yellowing and bleaching of grey hair caused by photo and thermal degradation.

    PubMed

    Richena, M; Silveira, M; Rezende, C A; Joekes, I

    2014-09-01

    Yellowing is an undesirable phenomenon that is common in people with white and grey hair. Because white hair has no melanin, the pigment responsible for hair colour, the effects of photodegradation are more visible in this type of hair. The origin of yellowing and its relation to photodegradation processes are not properly established, and many questions remain open in this field. In this work, the photodegradation of grey hair was investigated as a function of the wavelength of incident radiation, and its ultrastructure was determined, always comparing the results obtained for the white and black fibres present in grey hair with the results of white wool. The results presented herein indicate that the photobehaviour of grey hair irradiated with a mercury lamp or with solar radiation is dependent on the wavelength range of the incident radiation and on the initial shade of yellow in the sample. Two types of grey hair were used: (1) blended grey hair (more yellow) and (2) grey hair from a single-donor (less yellow). After exposure to a full-spectrum mercury lamp for 200 h, the blended white hair turned less yellow (the yellow-blue difference, Db(*) becomes negative, Db(*)=-6), whereas the white hair from the single-donor turned slightly yellower (Db(*)=2). In contrast, VIS+IR irradiation resulted in bleaching in both types of hair, whereas a thermal treatment (at 81 °C) caused yellowing of both types of hair, resulting in a Db(*)=3 for blended white hair and Db(*)=9 for single-donor hair. The identity of the yellow chromophores was investigated by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The results obtained with this technique were contradictory, however, and it was not possible to obtain a simple correlation between the sample shade of yellow and the absorption spectra. In addition, the results are discussed in terms of the morphology differences between the pigmented and non-pigmented parts of grey hair, the yellowing and bleaching effects of grey hair, and the occurrence of dark

  6. Right hemisphere grey matter structure and language outcomes in chronic left hemisphere stroke.

    PubMed

    Xing, Shihui; Lacey, Elizabeth H; Skipper-Kallal, Laura M; Jiang, Xiong; Harris-Love, Michelle L; Zeng, Jinsheng; Turkeltaub, Peter E

    2016-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying recovery of language after left hemisphere stroke remain elusive. Although older evidence suggested that right hemisphere language homologues compensate for damage in left hemisphere language areas, the current prevailing theory suggests that right hemisphere engagement is ineffective or even maladaptive. Using a novel combination of support vector regression-based lesion-symptom mapping and voxel-based morphometry, we aimed to determine whether local grey matter volume in the right hemisphere independently contributes to aphasia outcomes after chronic left hemisphere stroke. Thirty-two left hemisphere stroke survivors with aphasia underwent language assessment with the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised and tests of other cognitive domains. High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained in aphasia patients and 30 demographically matched healthy controls. Support vector regression-based multivariate lesion-symptom mapping was used to identify critical language areas in the left hemisphere and then to quantify each stroke survivor's lesion burden in these areas. After controlling for these direct effects of the stroke on language, voxel-based morphometry was then used to determine whether local grey matter volumes in the right hemisphere explained additional variance in language outcomes. In brain areas in which grey matter volumes related to language outcomes, we then compared grey matter volumes in patients and healthy controls to assess post-stroke plasticity. Lesion-symptom mapping showed that specific left hemisphere regions related to different language abilities. After controlling for lesion burden in these areas, lesion size, and demographic factors, grey matter volumes in parts of the right temporoparietal cortex positively related to spontaneous speech, naming, and repetition scores. Examining whether domain general cognitive functions might explain these relationships, partial correlations demonstrated that grey matter

  7. Impacts of residence time during storage on potential of water saving for grey water recycling system.

    PubMed

    Liu, S; Butler, D; Memon, F A; Makropoulos, C; Avery, L; Jefferson, B

    2010-01-01

    Grey water recycling has been generally accepted and is about to move into practice in terms of sustainable development. Previous research has revealed the bacteria re-growth in grey water and reclaimed municipal water during storage. However, in most present grey water recycling practices, impacts of water quality changes during storage on the system's performance and design regulation have not been addressed. In this paper, performance of a constructed wetland based grey water recycling system was analysed by taking the constraint of residence time during storage into account using an object based household water cycle model. Two indicators, water saving efficiency (WSE) and residence time index (RTI), are employed to reflect the system's performance and residence time during storage respectively. Results show that WSE and RTI change with storage tank volumes oppositely. As both high WSE and RTI cannot be achieved simultaneously, it is concluded that in order to achieve the most cost-effective and safe solution, systems with both small grey and green tanks are needed, whilst accepting that only relatively modest water saving efficiency targets can be achieved. Higher efficiencies will only be practicable if water quality deterioration in the green water tank can be prevented by some means (e.g. disinfection).

  8. Grey matter changes of the pain matrix in patients with burning mouth syndrome.

    PubMed

    Sinding, Charlotte; Gransjøen, Anne Mari; Schlumberger, Gina; Grushka, Miriam; Frasnelli, Johannes; Singh, Preet Bano

    2016-04-01

    Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth, usually in the absence of clinical and laboratory findings. Latest findings indicate that BMS could result from neuropathic trigeminal conditions. While many investigations have focused on the periphery, very few have examined possible central dysfunctions. To highlight changes of the central system of subjects with BMS, we analysed the grey matter concentration in 12 subjects using voxel-based morphometry. Data were compared with a control group (Ct). To better understand the brain mechanisms underlying BMS, the grey matter concentration of patients was also compared with those of dysgeusic patients (Dys). Dysgeusia is another oral dysfunction condition, characterized by a distorted sense of taste and accompanied by a reduced taste function. We found that a major part of the 'pain matrix' presented modifications of the grey matter concentration in subjects with BMS. Six regions out of eight were affected [anterior and posterior cingulate gyrus, lobules of the cerebellum, insula/frontal operculum, inferior temporal area, primary motor cortex, dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC)]. In the anterior cingulate gyrus, the lobules of the cerebellum, the inferior temporal lobe and the DLPFC, pain intensity correlated with grey matter concentration. Dys also presented changes in grey matter concentration but in different areas of the brain. Our results suggest that a deficiency in the control of pain could in part be a cause of BMS and that BMS and dysgeusia conditions are not linked to similar structural changes in the brain.

  9. Grey matter changes of the pain matrix in patients with burning mouth syndrome.

    PubMed

    Sinding, Charlotte; Gransjøen, Anne Mari; Schlumberger, Gina; Grushka, Miriam; Frasnelli, Johannes; Singh, Preet Bano

    2016-04-01

    Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth, usually in the absence of clinical and laboratory findings. Latest findings indicate that BMS could result from neuropathic trigeminal conditions. While many investigations have focused on the periphery, very few have examined possible central dysfunctions. To highlight changes of the central system of subjects with BMS, we analysed the grey matter concentration in 12 subjects using voxel-based morphometry. Data were compared with a control group (Ct). To better understand the brain mechanisms underlying BMS, the grey matter concentration of patients was also compared with those of dysgeusic patients (Dys). Dysgeusia is another oral dysfunction condition, characterized by a distorted sense of taste and accompanied by a reduced taste function. We found that a major part of the 'pain matrix' presented modifications of the grey matter concentration in subjects with BMS. Six regions out of eight were affected [anterior and posterior cingulate gyrus, lobules of the cerebellum, insula/frontal operculum, inferior temporal area, primary motor cortex, dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC)]. In the anterior cingulate gyrus, the lobules of the cerebellum, the inferior temporal lobe and the DLPFC, pain intensity correlated with grey matter concentration. Dys also presented changes in grey matter concentration but in different areas of the brain. Our results suggest that a deficiency in the control of pain could in part be a cause of BMS and that BMS and dysgeusia conditions are not linked to similar structural changes in the brain. PMID:26741696

  10. Sampling the Structure of Convective Turbulence and Implications for Grey-Zone Parametrizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honnert, Rachel; Couvreux, Fleur; Masson, Valéry; Lancz, Dávid

    2016-07-01

    The grey zone of dry convection is the range of scales in which boundary-layer thermals are partly explicitly resolved by numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and partly parametrized. We seek to determine how thermals are divided into subgrid and resolved scales in the grey zone of convective boundary-layer thermals. Reference data for grid-scale and subgrid-scale fields at these resolutions are constructed by filtering 62.5-m large-eddy simulation data. A conditional sampling is adapted to detect subgrid thermals, and is used to characterize the subgrid thermals at several grid spacings in the grey zone. A mass-flux parametrization used in NWP models is compared with the subgrid thermal field. The analysis demonstrates that, although the mass-flux framework is suitable in the grey zone, some assumptions of the mass-flux schemes, usually used at the mesoscale, cannot be made in the grey zone. In particular, the thermal fraction is not small, the resolved vertical velocity is not negligible, the entrainment and detrainment rates depend on the horizontal resolution, the triggering and the closure at the surface are moreover random.

  11. Variability of dental cone beam CT grey values for density estimations

    PubMed Central

    Pauwels, R; Nackaerts, O; Bellaiche, N; Stamatakis, H; Tsiklakis, K; Walker, A; Bosmans, H; Bogaerts, R; Jacobs, R; Horner, K

    2013-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the use of dental cone beam CT (CBCT) grey values for density estimations by calculating the correlation with multislice CT (MSCT) values and the grey value error after recalibration. Methods A polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom was developed containing inserts of different density: air, PMMA, hydroxyapatite (HA) 50 mg cm−3, HA 100, HA 200 and aluminium. The phantom was scanned on 13 CBCT devices and 1 MSCT device. Correlation between CBCT grey values and CT numbers was calculated, and the average error of the CBCT values was estimated in the medium-density range after recalibration. Results Pearson correlation coefficients ranged between 0.7014 and 0.9996 in the full-density range and between 0.5620 and 0.9991 in the medium-density range. The average error of CBCT voxel values in the medium-density range was between 35 and 1562. Conclusion Even though most CBCT devices showed a good overall correlation with CT numbers, large errors can be seen when using the grey values in a quantitative way. Although it could be possible to obtain pseudo-Hounsfield units from certain CBCTs, alternative methods of assessing bone tissue should be further investigated. Advances in knowledge The suitability of dental CBCT for density estimations was assessed, involving a large number of devices and protocols. The possibility for grey value calibration was thoroughly investigated. PMID:23255537

  12. Grey matter networks in people at increased familial risk for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Tijms, Betty M; Sprooten, Emma; Job, Dominic; Johnstone, Eve C; Owens, David G C; Willshaw, David; Seriès, Peggy; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2015-10-01

    Grey matter brain networks are disrupted in schizophrenia, but it is still unclear at which point during the development of the illness these disruptions arise and whether these can be associated with behavioural predictors of schizophrenia. We investigated if single-subject grey matter networks were disrupted in a sample of people at familial risk of schizophrenia. Single-subject grey matter networks were extracted from structural MRI scans of 144 high risk subjects, 32 recent-onset patients and 36 healthy controls. The following network properties were calculated: size, connectivity density, degree, path length, clustering coefficient, betweenness centrality and small world properties. People at risk of schizophrenia showed decreased path length and clustering in mostly prefrontal and temporal areas. Within the high risk sample, the path length of the posterior cingulate cortex and the betweenness centrality of the left inferior frontal operculum explained 81% of the variance in schizotypal cognitions, which was previously shown to be the strongest behavioural predictor of schizophrenia in the study. In contrast, local grey matter volume measurements explained 48% of variance in schizotypy. The present results suggest that single-subject grey matter networks can quantify behaviourally relevant biological alterations in people at increased risk for schizophrenia before disease onset.

  13. Principle Study of Head Meridian Acupoint Massage to Stress Release via Grey Data Model Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ya-Ting

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the scientific study of the effectiveness and action principle of head meridian acupoint massage by applying the grey data model analysis approach. First, the head massage procedure for massaging the important head meridian acupuncture points including Taiyang, Fengfu, Tianzhu, Fengqi, and Jianjing is formulated in a standard manner. Second, the status of the autonomic nervous system of each subject is evaluated by using the heart rate variability analyzer before and after the head massage following four weeks. Afterward, the physiological factors of autonomic nerves are quantitatively analyzed by using the grey data modeling theory. The grey data analysis can point out that the status of autonomic nervous system is greatly improved after the massage. The order change of the grey relationship weighting of physiological factors shows the action principle of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves when performing head massage. In other words, the grey data model is able to distinguish the detailed interaction of the autonomic nervous system and the head meridian acupoint massage. Thus, the stress relaxing effect of massaging head meridian acupoints is proved, which is lacked in literature. The results can be a reference principle for massage health care in practice. PMID:26904144

  14. Grey matter networks in people at increased familial risk for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Tijms, Betty M; Sprooten, Emma; Job, Dominic; Johnstone, Eve C; Owens, David G C; Willshaw, David; Seriès, Peggy; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2015-10-01

    Grey matter brain networks are disrupted in schizophrenia, but it is still unclear at which point during the development of the illness these disruptions arise and whether these can be associated with behavioural predictors of schizophrenia. We investigated if single-subject grey matter networks were disrupted in a sample of people at familial risk of schizophrenia. Single-subject grey matter networks were extracted from structural MRI scans of 144 high risk subjects, 32 recent-onset patients and 36 healthy controls. The following network properties were calculated: size, connectivity density, degree, path length, clustering coefficient, betweenness centrality and small world properties. People at risk of schizophrenia showed decreased path length and clustering in mostly prefrontal and temporal areas. Within the high risk sample, the path length of the posterior cingulate cortex and the betweenness centrality of the left inferior frontal operculum explained 81% of the variance in schizotypal cognitions, which was previously shown to be the strongest behavioural predictor of schizophrenia in the study. In contrast, local grey matter volume measurements explained 48% of variance in schizotypy. The present results suggest that single-subject grey matter networks can quantify behaviourally relevant biological alterations in people at increased risk for schizophrenia before disease onset. PMID:26330380

  15. Grey-scale conversion X-ray mapping by EDS of multielement and multiphase layered microstructures.

    PubMed

    Dahl, K V; Hald, J; Horsewell, A

    2007-01-01

    A procedure for grey-scale conversion of energy dispersive spectroscopy X-ray maps has been developed, which is particularly useful for the plotting of line composition profiles across modified layered engineering surfaces. The method involves (a) the collection of grey-scale elemental maps, (b) the calculation of mean grey-scale levels along strips parallel to the layered microstructure and (c) the conversion of grey-scale line profiles into composition line profiles. As an example of the grey-scale conversion method and its advantages for multielement and multiphase layered microstructures, the procedure has been applied to a layered microstructure that results from a plasma-sprayed metallic MCrAlY coating onto a nickel-superalloy turbine blade. As a further demonstration of the accuracy and amount of compositional data that can be obtained with this procedure, measured compositional profiles have been obtained for several long-term isothermal heat treatments in which significant interdiffusion has taken place. The resulting composition profiles have greatly improved counting statistics compared to traditional point-by-point scans for the same scanning electron microscope time and may be considered as a rapid alternative to energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum imaging. The composition profiles obtained may be conveniently compared with results of multicomponent thermodynamic modelling of interdiffusion. PMID:17286693

  16. Principle Study of Head Meridian Acupoint Massage to Stress Release via Grey Data Model Analysis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ya-Ting

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the scientific study of the effectiveness and action principle of head meridian acupoint massage by applying the grey data model analysis approach. First, the head massage procedure for massaging the important head meridian acupuncture points including Taiyang, Fengfu, Tianzhu, Fengqi, and Jianjing is formulated in a standard manner. Second, the status of the autonomic nervous system of each subject is evaluated by using the heart rate variability analyzer before and after the head massage following four weeks. Afterward, the physiological factors of autonomic nerves are quantitatively analyzed by using the grey data modeling theory. The grey data analysis can point out that the status of autonomic nervous system is greatly improved after the massage. The order change of the grey relationship weighting of physiological factors shows the action principle of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves when performing head massage. In other words, the grey data model is able to distinguish the detailed interaction of the autonomic nervous system and the head meridian acupoint massage. Thus, the stress relaxing effect of massaging head meridian acupoints is proved, which is lacked in literature. The results can be a reference principle for massage health care in practice. PMID:26904144

  17. The Other African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matory, J. Lorand

    Black North America is ethnically and culturally diverse. It contains many groups who do not call themselves or have not always called themselves "Negro,""Black,""African-American," and so forth, such as Louisiana Creoles of color and many of the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. There are also numerous North American ethnic groups of African…

  18. African Oral Tradition Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Doris

    1985-01-01

    Presents the basic principles of two systems for notating African music and dance: Labanotation (created to record and analyze movements) and Greenotation (created to notate musical instruments of Africa and to parallel Labanotation whereby both music and dance are incorporated into one integrated score). (KH)

  19. Elective: African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Kenneth V.

    The make-up of a course in African literature for high school students is discussed. It is pointed out that the course can be constructed on already familiar lines. High school students will be able to describe clearly, for example, the relationship between environment and character or the dilemma of characters caught between traditional values…

  20. Cerebellar grey-matter deficits, cannabis use and first-episode schizophrenia in adolescents and young adults.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Martin; Rasser, Paul E; Peck, Greg; Carr, Vaughan J; Ward, Philip B; Thompson, Paul M; Johnston, Patrick; Baker, Amanda; Schall, Ulrich

    2012-04-01

    Epidemiological data link adolescent cannabis use to psychosis and schizophrenia, but its contribution to schizophrenia neuropathology remains controversial. First-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients show regional cerebral grey- and white-matter changes as well as a distinct pattern of regional grey-matter loss in the vermis of the cerebellum. The cerebellum possesses a high density of cannabinoid type 1 receptors involved in the neuronal diversification of the developing brain. Cannabis abuse may interfere with this process during adolescent brain maturation leading to 'schizophrenia-like' cerebellar pathology. Magnetic resonance imaging and cortical pattern matching techniques were used to investigate cerebellar grey and white matter in FES patients with and without a history of cannabis use and non-psychiatric cannabis users. In the latter group we found lifetime dose-dependent regional reduction of grey matter in the right cerebellar lobules and a tendency for more profound grey-matter reduction in lobule III with younger age at onset of cannabis use. The overall regional grey-matter differences in cannabis users were within the normal variability of grey-matter distribution. By contrast, FES subjects had lower total cerebellar grey-matter:total cerebellar volume ratio and marked grey-matter loss in the vermis, pedunculi, flocculi and lobules compared to pair-wise matched healthy control subjects. This pattern and degree of grey-matter loss did not differ from age-matched FES subjects with comorbid cannabis use. Our findings indicate small dose-dependent effects of juvenile cannabis use on cerebellar neuropathology but no evidence of an additional effect of cannabis use on FES cerebellar grey-matter pathology.

  1. Grey situation group decision-making method based on prospect theory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Na; Fang, Zhigeng; Liu, Xiaqing

    2014-01-01

    This paper puts forward a grey situation group decision-making method on the basis of prospect theory, in view of the grey situation group decision-making problems that decisions are often made by multiple decision experts and those experts have risk preferences. The method takes the positive and negative ideal situation distance as reference points, defines positive and negative prospect value function, and introduces decision experts' risk preference into grey situation decision-making to make the final decision be more in line with decision experts' psychological behavior. Based on TOPSIS method, this paper determines the weight of each decision expert, sets up comprehensive prospect value matrix for decision experts' evaluation, and finally determines the optimal situation. At last, this paper verifies the effectiveness and feasibility of the method by means of a specific example.

  2. Grey Situation Group Decision-Making Method Based on Prospect Theory

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Na; Fang, Zhigeng; Liu, Xiaqing

    2014-01-01

    This paper puts forward a grey situation group decision-making method on the basis of prospect theory, in view of the grey situation group decision-making problems that decisions are often made by multiple decision experts and those experts have risk preferences. The method takes the positive and negative ideal situation distance as reference points, defines positive and negative prospect value function, and introduces decision experts' risk preference into grey situation decision-making to make the final decision be more in line with decision experts' psychological behavior. Based on TOPSIS method, this paper determines the weight of each decision expert, sets up comprehensive prospect value matrix for decision experts' evaluation, and finally determines the optimal situation. At last, this paper verifies the effectiveness and feasibility of the method by means of a specific example. PMID:25197706

  3. Coverage of the organ donation process on Grey's Anatomy: the story of Denny Duquette.

    PubMed

    Quick, Brian L

    2009-01-01

    This investigation examined the impact of Grey's Anatomy viewing on a host of organ donation-related variables: organ donation beliefs and attitudes and a willingness to discuss organ donation with family. Following exposure to a storyline in which two myths were presented: (i) the rich and famous can buy their way to the top of organ waiting lists (purchase myth) and (ii) friends and family of medical professionals receive organ transplants quicker than other individuals (relationship myth), results revealed that loyal viewers of Grey's Anatomy are less likely to believe the purchase myth compared to non-viewers. No difference emerged between these two groups with respect to the relationship myth. Additionally, loyal viewers were more likely to talk about their willingness to donate organs than non-viewers. Results are discussed with an emphasis on how Grey's Anatomy portrayals can impact perceptions and action tendencies related to organ donation.

  4. Coverage of the organ donation process on Grey's Anatomy: the story of Denny Duquette.

    PubMed

    Quick, Brian L

    2009-01-01

    This investigation examined the impact of Grey's Anatomy viewing on a host of organ donation-related variables: organ donation beliefs and attitudes and a willingness to discuss organ donation with family. Following exposure to a storyline in which two myths were presented: (i) the rich and famous can buy their way to the top of organ waiting lists (purchase myth) and (ii) friends and family of medical professionals receive organ transplants quicker than other individuals (relationship myth), results revealed that loyal viewers of Grey's Anatomy are less likely to believe the purchase myth compared to non-viewers. No difference emerged between these two groups with respect to the relationship myth. Additionally, loyal viewers were more likely to talk about their willingness to donate organs than non-viewers. Results are discussed with an emphasis on how Grey's Anatomy portrayals can impact perceptions and action tendencies related to organ donation. PMID:19191808

  5. Grey water treatment at a sports centre for reuse in irrigation: a case study.

    PubMed

    Gabarró, J; Batchelli, L; Balaguer, M D; Puig, S; Colprim, J

    2013-01-01

    Grey water has long been considered a promising option for dealing with water scarcity and reuse. However, factors such as lack of macronutrients and low carbon content make its treatment challenging. The aim of this paper was to investigate the applicability of sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology to on-site grey water treatment at a sports centre for reuse in irrigation. The results demonstrated that the regenerated water complied with microbiological parameters concerning restriction of solids and organic matter removal. Denitrification was not fully accomplished, but ammonium was totally oxidised and low concentrations of nitrates were achieved. Effluent with good appearance and no odour was used in an experimental study to irrigate a grid system containing natural and artificial grass sections. The conclusion is that SBR technology offers a promising treatment for grey water.

  6. A new eimerian species (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the blue-fronted Amazon parrot Amazona aestiva L. (Aves: Psittacidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Hofstatter, P G; Guaraldo, A M A

    2011-12-01

    The Neotropical psittacine species Amazona aestiva, commonly known as the blue-fronted Amazon, is one of the most common and best-known psittacine birds kept as a pet worldwide. However, very little is known about the diseases or parasites of these birds. In this study, we describe a new species, Eimeria aestivae, associated with these parrots. The new species is characterized by: ovoid smooth oocysts (n  =  60), 36.8 (33.2-41.5) × 23.7 (21.7-25.7) µm, length/width ratio  =  1.55; polar granule present; ellipsoidal sporocysts (n  =  25), 19.8 (17.5-21.6) × 9.3 (8.3-9.9) µm; Stieda, sub-Stieda body, and sporocyst residuum present. Sporozoites (n  =  20), 2 per sporocyst, elongate and curved, 17.6 (15.8-19.2) × 3.8 (3.2-4.8) µm; each with 2 refractile bodies. The oocysts of the other 2 eimerian species described for Amazona are larger than those of the presented species, but they all seem to be closely related because of some similarities among them.

  7. LIMITED GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN THE VOCALIZATIONS OF THE ENDANGERED THICK-BILLED PARROT: IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION STRATEGIES.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Jaime E; Cruz-Nieto, Javier; Ortiz-Maciel, Sonia Gabriela; Wright, Timothy F

    2008-11-01

    The populations of many species are declining worldwide, and conservation efforts struggle to keep pace with extinction rates. Conservation biologists commonly employ strategies such as translocation and reintroduction, which move individuals of endangered species from one part of their range to another. Because individuals from endangered populations are nonexpendable, identifying any potential barriers to the establishment of viable populations prior to release of individuals should be a priority. This study evaluates the potential for learned communication signals to constrain conservation strategies such as reintroduction in an endangered species, the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). We conducted vocal surveys at three geographically distinct breeding populations in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua, Mexico. Acoustic analyses utilizing both spectrogram cross-correlations and parameter measurements from spectrograms revealed no significant differences among the three sites in two common call types. Calls did vary among individuals within a site. The apparent lack of significant geographic variation across sampled sites suggests that differences in learned communication signals are unlikely to pose a barrier to the integration of translocated individuals from different populations into newly established populations.

  8. RT-PCR detection of avian coronaviruses of galliform birds (chicken, turkey, pheasant) and in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Culver, Francesca Anne; Britton, Paul; Cavanagh, Dave

    2008-01-01

    Of the many primer combinations that we have investigated for the detection of avian coronaviruses, two have worked better than any of the others: they worked with the largest number of strains/samples of a given coronavirus and the most species of avian coronavirus, and they also produced the most sensitive detection tests. The primer combinations were: oligonucleotide pair 2Bp/4Bm, which is in a region of gene 1 that is moderately conserved among all species of coronavirus (1); and UTR11-/UTR41+, which are in a highly conserved part of the 3' untranslated region of avian coronaviruses related to infectious bronchitis virus (2). The gene 1 primer pair enabled the detection of a new coronavirus in a green-checked Amazon parrot (Amazon viridigenalis Cassin). In this chapter we describe the use of these oligonucleotides in a one-step (single-tube) RT-PCR, and describe the procedure that we used to extract RNA from turkey feces.

  9. Anatomical distribution of avian bornavirus in parrots, its occurrence in clinically healthy birds and ABV-antibody detection

    PubMed Central

    Lierz, Michael; Hafez, Hafez M.; Honkavuori, Kirsi S.; Gruber, Achim D.; Olias, Philipp; Abdelwhab, Elsayed M.; Kohls, Andrea; Lipkin, W. Ian; Briese, Thomas; Hauck, Ruediger

    2014-01-01

    Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) is a fatal infectious disease of birds that primarily affects psittacine birds. Although a causative agent has not been formally demonstrated, the leading candidate is a novel avian bornavirus (ABV) detected in post-mortem tissue samples of psittacids with PDD from the USA, Israel and, recently, Germany. Here we describe the presence of ABV in a parrot with PDD as well as in clinically normal birds exposed to birds with PDD. In two ABV-positive post-mortem cases, the tissue distribution of ABV was investigated by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Viraemia was observed in a PDD-affected bird whereas a restriction of ABV to nerve tissue was found in the non- PDD-affected bird. Healthy birds from the same aviary as the affected birds were also found to harbour the virus; 19/59 (32.2%) birds tested positive for ABV RNA in cloacal swabs, providing the first evidence of ABV in clinically healthy birds. In contrast, 39 birds from the same geographic area, but from two different aviaries without PDD cases in recent years, had negative cloacal swabs. ABV RNA-positive, clinically healthy birds demonstrated the same serological response as the animal with confirmed PDD. These results indicate that ABV infection may occur without clinical evidence of PDD and suggest that cloacal swabs can enable the non-invasive detection of ABV infection. PMID:19937538

  10. The assembly of montane biotas: linking Andean tectonics and climatic oscillations to independent regimes of diversification in Pionus parrots

    PubMed Central

    Ribas, Camila C; Moyle, Robert G; Miyaki, Cristina Y; Cracraft, Joel

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying the taxonomic assembly of montane biotas are still poorly understood. Most hypotheses have assumed that the diversification of montane biotas is loosely coupled to Earth history and have emphasized instead the importance of multiple long-distance dispersal events and biotic interactions, particularly competition, for structuring the taxonomic composition and distribution of montane biotic elements. Here we use phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses of species in the parrot genus Pionus to demonstrate that standing diversity within montane lineages is directly attributable to events of Earth history. Phylogenetic relationships confirm three independent biogeographic disjunctions between montane lineages, on one hand, and lowland dry-forest/wet-forest lineages on the other. Temporal estimates of lineage diversification are consistent with the interpretation that the three lineages were transported passively to high elevations by mountain building, and that subsequent diversification within the Andes was driven primarily by Pleistocene climatic oscillations and their large-scale effects on habitat change. These results support a mechanistic link between diversification and Earth history and have general implications for explaining high altitudinal disjuncts and the origin of montane biotas. PMID:17686731

  11. Measuring the Level of Agreement Between Cloacal Gram's Stains and Bacterial Cultures in Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots ( Amazona ventralis ).

    PubMed

    Evans, Erika E; Mitchell, Mark A; Whittington, Julia K; Roy, Alma; Tully, Thomas N

    2014-12-01

    Cloacal or fecal Gram's stains and bacterial cultures are routinely performed during avian physical examinations to assess the microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract. Although cloacal or fecal Gram's stains and bacterial cultures are considered routine diagnostic procedures, the level of agreement between the individual tests has not been determined. To investigate the level of agreement between results from Gram's stain and bacterial culture when used to assess cloacal or fecal samples from psittacine birds, samples were taken from 21 clinically healthy Hispaniolan Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) and tested by Gram's stain cytology and bacterial culture. Most bacteria (97.2%) identified by Gram's stain were gram positive. However, gram-negative organisms were identified in 7 of 21 (33.3%; 95% confidence interval: 13.3%-53.3%) birds. Escherichia coli was the only gram-negative organism identified on culture. Agreement between results of Gram's stain and culture was fair (weighted κ = 0.27). The results of this study suggest that Gram's stains and bacterial culture may need to be performed with a parallel testing strategy to limit the likelihood of misclassifying the microbial flora of psittacine patients.

  12. Nutritional levels of diets fed to captive Amazon parrots: does mixing seed, produce, and pellets provide a healthy diet?

    PubMed

    Brightsmith, Donald J

    2012-09-01

    Poor nutrition is a serious problem in captive psittacine birds. Seed-based diets are known to contain excess fat, low calcium:phosphorus ratios, and other nutrient deficiencies, whereas many consider nutritionally superior, formulated diets to be monotonous. As a result, many bird owners feed a mixture of seed, produce, and formulated diet. However, the nutritional contents of such mixed diets have rarely been evaluated. In this study, we describe the nutrient contents of diets consumed by 7 adult (>6 years old), captive Amazon parrots offered produce (50% fresh weight), formulated diet (25%), and seed (25%). Diets consumed were deficient in calcium, sodium, and iron and contained more than the recommended amount of fat. In addition, the birds chose foods that exacerbated these imbalances. Birds offered low-seed diets (60% pellet, 22% produce, 18% seed, wet weight) consumed diets with more fat than recommended but acceptable levels of calcium and all other nutrients measured, as well as acceptable calcium:phosphorus ratios. This suggests that small quantities of seeds may not result in nutritionally imbalanced diets. Birds fed 75% formulated diet and 25% produce consumed diets within the recommendations for nearly all measured nutrients, demonstrating that owners of psittacine birds should be encouraged to supplement manufactured diets with low energy-density, fresh produce items to provide stimulation and foraging opportunities without fear of causing major nutritional imbalances.

  13. LIMITED GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN THE VOCALIZATIONS OF THE ENDANGERED THICK-BILLED PARROT: IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION STRATEGIES.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Jaime E; Cruz-Nieto, Javier; Ortiz-Maciel, Sonia Gabriela; Wright, Timothy F

    2008-11-01

    The populations of many species are declining worldwide, and conservation efforts struggle to keep pace with extinction rates. Conservation biologists commonly employ strategies such as translocation and reintroduction, which move individuals of endangered species from one part of their range to another. Because individuals from endangered populations are nonexpendable, identifying any potential barriers to the establishment of viable populations prior to release of individuals should be a priority. This study evaluates the potential for learned communication signals to constrain conservation strategies such as reintroduction in an endangered species, the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). We conducted vocal surveys at three geographically distinct breeding populations in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua, Mexico. Acoustic analyses utilizing both spectrogram cross-correlations and parameter measurements from spectrograms revealed no significant differences among the three sites in two common call types. Calls did vary among individuals within a site. The apparent lack of significant geographic variation across sampled sites suggests that differences in learned communication signals are unlikely to pose a barrier to the integration of translocated individuals from different populations into newly established populations. PMID:22307993

  14. The genealogy and genetic viability of reintroduced Yellowstone grey wolves.

    PubMed

    Vonholdt, Bridgett M; Stahler, Daniel R; Smith, Douglas W; Earl, Dent A; Pollinger, John P; Wayne, Robert K

    2008-01-01

    The recovery of the grey wolf in Yellowstone National Park is an outstanding example of a successful reintroduction. A general question concerning reintroduction is the degree to which genetic variation has been preserved and the specific behavioural mechanisms that enhance the preservation of genetic diversity and reduce inbreeding. We have analysed 200 Yellowstone wolves, including all 31 founders, for variation in 26 microsatellite loci over the 10-year reintroduction period (1995-2004). The population maintained high levels of variation (1995 H(0) = 0.69; 2004 H(0) = 0.73) with low levels of inbreeding (1995 F(IS) = -0.063; 2004 F(IS) = -0.051) and throughout, the population expanded rapidly (N(1995) = 21; N(2004) = 169). Pedigree-based effective population size ratios did not vary appreciably over the duration of population expansion (1995 N(e)/N(g) = 0.29; 2000 N(e)/N(g) = 0.26; 2004 N(e)/N(g) = 0.33). We estimated kinship and found only two of 30 natural breeding pairs showed evidence of being related (average r = -0.026, SE = 0.03). We reconstructed the genealogy of 200 wolves based on genetic and field data and discovered that they avoid inbreeding through a wide variety of behavioural mechanisms including absolute avoidance of breeding with related pack members, male-biased dispersal to packs where they breed with nonrelatives, and female-biased subordinate breeding. We documented a greater diversity of such population assembly patterns in Yellowstone than previously observed in any other natural wolf population. Inbreeding avoidance is nearly absolute despite the high probability of within-pack inbreeding opportunities and extensive interpack kinship ties between adjacent packs. Simulations showed that the Yellowstone population has levels of genetic variation similar to that of a population managed for high variation and low inbreeding, and greater than that expected for random breeding within packs or across the entire breeding pool. Although short

  15. Sumatriptan inhibits synaptic transmission in the rat midbrain periaqueductal grey

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyo-Jin; Chenu, David; Johnson, Emma E; Connor, Mark; Vaughan, Christopher W

    2008-01-01

    Background There is evidence to suggest that the midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG) has a role in migraine and the actions of the anti-migraine drug sumatriptan. In the present study we examined the serotonergic modulation of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat midbrain PAG slices in vitro. Results Serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine, 5-HT, IC50 = 142 nM) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (30 μM) produced a reduction in the amplitude of GABAA-mediated evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in all PAG neurons which was associated with an increase in the paired-pulse ratio of evoked IPSCs. Real time PCR revealed that 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D and 5-HT1F receptor mRNA was present in the PAG. The 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptor agonists 8-OH-DPAT (3 μM), CP93129 (3 μM) and L694247 (3 μM), but not the 5-HT1F receptor agonist LY344864 (1 – 3 μM) inhibited evoked IPSCs. The 5-HT (1 μM) induced inhibition of evoked IPSCs was abolished by the 5-HT1B antagonist NAS181 (10 μM), but not by the 5-HT1A and 5-HT1D antagonists WAY100135 (3 μM) and BRL15572 (10 μM). Sumatriptan also inhibited evoked IPSCs with an IC50 of 261 nM, and reduced the rate, but not the amplitude of spontaneous miniature IPSCs. The sumatriptan (1 μM) induced inhibition of evoked IPSCs was abolished by NAS181 (10 μM) and BRL15572 (10 μM), together, but not separately. 5-HT (10 μM) and sumatriptan (3 μM) also reduced the amplitude of non-NMDA mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in all PAG neurons tested. Conclusion These results indicate that sumatriptan inhibits GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission within the PAG via a 5-HT1B/D receptor mediated reduction in the probability of neurotransmitter release from nerve terminals. These actions overlap those of other analgesics, such as opioids, and provide a mechanism by which centrally acting 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D ligands might lead to novel anti

  16. The genealogy and genetic viability of reintroduced Yellowstone grey wolves.

    PubMed

    Vonholdt, Bridgett M; Stahler, Daniel R; Smith, Douglas W; Earl, Dent A; Pollinger, John P; Wayne, Robert K

    2008-01-01

    The recovery of the grey wolf in Yellowstone National Park is an outstanding example of a successful reintroduction. A general question concerning reintroduction is the degree to which genetic variation has been preserved and the specific behavioural mechanisms that enhance the preservation of genetic diversity and reduce inbreeding. We have analysed 200 Yellowstone wolves, including all 31 founders, for variation in 26 microsatellite loci over the 10-year reintroduction period (1995-2004). The population maintained high levels of variation (1995 H(0) = 0.69; 2004 H(0) = 0.73) with low levels of inbreeding (1995 F(IS) = -0.063; 2004 F(IS) = -0.051) and throughout, the population expanded rapidly (N(1995) = 21; N(2004) = 169). Pedigree-based effective population size ratios did not vary appreciably over the duration of population expansion (1995 N(e)/N(g) = 0.29; 2000 N(e)/N(g) = 0.26; 2004 N(e)/N(g) = 0.33). We estimated kinship and found only two of 30 natural breeding pairs showed evidence of being related (average r = -0.026, SE = 0.03). We reconstructed the genealogy of 200 wolves based on genetic and field data and discovered that they avoid inbreeding through a wide variety of behavioural mechanisms including absolute avoidance of breeding with related pack members, male-biased dispersal to packs where they breed with nonrelatives, and female-biased subordinate breeding. We documented a greater diversity of such population assembly patterns in Yellowstone than previously observed in any other natural wolf population. Inbreeding avoidance is nearly absolute despite the high probability of within-pack inbreeding opportunities and extensive interpack kinship ties between adjacent packs. Simulations showed that the Yellowstone population has levels of genetic variation similar to that of a population managed for high variation and low inbreeding, and greater than that expected for random breeding within packs or across the entire breeding pool. Although short

  17. Grey matter correlates of susceptibility to scams in community-dwelling older adults.

    PubMed

    Duke Han, S; Boyle, Patricia A; Yu, Lei; Arfanakis, Konstantinos; James, Bryan D; Fleischman, Debra A; Bennett, David A

    2016-06-01

    Susceptibility to scams is a significant issue among older adults, even among those with intact cognition. Age-related changes in brain macrostructure may be associated with susceptibility to scams; however, this has yet to be explored. Based on previous work implicating frontal and temporal lobe functioning as important in decision making, we tested the hypothesis that susceptibility to scams is associated with smaller grey matter volume in frontal and temporal lobe regions in a large community-dwelling cohort of non-demented older adults. Participants (N = 327, mean age = 81.55, mean education = 15.30, 78.9 % female) completed a self-report measure used to assess susceptibility to scams and an MRI brain scan. Results indicated an inverse association between overall grey matter and susceptibility to scams in models adjusted for age, education, and sex; and in models further adjusted for cognitive function. No significant associations were observed for white matter, cerebrospinal fluid, or total brain volume. Models adjusted for age, education, and sex revealed seven clusters showing smaller grey matter in the right parahippocampal/hippocampal/fusiform, left middle temporal, left orbitofrontal, right ventromedial prefrontal, right middle temporal, right precuneus, and right dorsolateral prefrontal regions. In models further adjusted for cognitive function, results revealed three significant clusters showing smaller grey matter in the right parahippocampal/hippocampal/fusiform, right hippocampal, and right middle temporal regions. Lower grey matter concentration in specific brain regions may be associated with susceptibility to scams, even after adjusting for cognitive ability. Future research is needed to determine whether grey matter reductions in these regions may be a biomarker for susceptibility to scams in old age.

  18. Sensory migraine aura is not associated with structural grey matter abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Arngrim, Nanna; Vlachou, Maria; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée; Larsson, Henrik B W; Ashina, Messoud

    2016-01-01

    Migraine with aura (MA) is characterized by cortical dysfunction. Frequent aura attacks may alter cerebral cortical structure in patients, or structural grey matter abnormalities may predispose MA patients to aura attacks. In the present study we aimed to investigate cerebral grey matter structure in a large group of MA patients with and without sensory aura (i.e. gradually developing, transient unilateral sensory disturbances). We included 60 patients suffering from migraine with typical visual aura and 60 individually age and sex-matched controls. Twenty-nine of the patients additionally experienced sensory aura regularly. We analysed high-resolution structural MR images using two complimentary approaches and compared patients with and without sensory aura. Patients were also compared to controls. We found no differences of grey matter density or cortical thickness between patients with and without sensory aura and no differences for the cortical visual areas between patients and controls. The somatosensory cortex was thinner in patients (1.92 mm vs. 1.96 mm, P = 0.043) and the anterior cingulate cortex of patients had a decreased grey matter density (P = 0.039) compared to controls. These differences were not correlated to the clinical characteristics. Our results suggest that sensory migraine aura is not associated with altered grey matter structure and that patients with visual aura have normal cortical structure of areas involved in visual processing. The observed decreased grey matter volume of the cingulate gyrus in patients compared to controls have previously been reported in migraine with and without aura, but also in a wide range of other neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Most likely, this finding reflects general bias between patients and healthy controls.

  19. Musical training intensity yields opposite effects on grey matter density in cognitive versus sensorimotor networks.

    PubMed

    James, Clara E; Oechslin, Mathias S; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Hauert, Claude-Alain; Descloux, Céline; Lazeyras, François

    2014-01-01

    Using optimized voxel-based morphometry, we performed grey matter density analyses on 59 age-, sex- and intelligence-matched young adults with three distinct, progressive levels of musical training intensity or expertise. Structural brain adaptations in musicians have been repeatedly demonstrated in areas involved in auditory perception and motor skills. However, musical activities are not confined to auditory perception and motor performance, but are entangled with higher-order cognitive processes. In consequence, neuronal systems involved in such higher-order processing may also be shaped by experience-driven plasticity. We modelled expertise as a three-level regressor to study possible linear relationships of expertise with grey matter density. The key finding of this study resides in a functional dissimilarity between areas exhibiting increase versus decrease of grey matter as a function of musical expertise. Grey matter density increased with expertise in areas known for their involvement in higher-order cognitive processing: right fusiform gyrus (visual pattern recognition), right mid orbital gyrus (tonal sensitivity), left inferior frontal gyrus (syntactic processing, executive function, working memory), left intraparietal sulcus (visuo-motor coordination) and bilateral posterior cerebellar Crus II (executive function, working memory) and in auditory processing: left Heschl's gyrus. Conversely, grey matter density decreased with expertise in bilateral perirolandic and striatal areas that are related to sensorimotor function, possibly reflecting high automation of motor skills. Moreover, a multiple regression analysis evidenced that grey matter density in the right mid orbital area and the inferior frontal gyrus predicted accuracy in detecting fine-grained incongruities in tonal music.

  20. Comparison of trace element concentrations in grey heron and black-crowned night heron chicks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2015-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) concentrations were measured in the prey and liver of grey heron (Ardea cinerea) and black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) chicks (24-26 days after hatching) at the Pyeongtaek colony, Korea in 2001 (n = 10, respectively) and 2008 (n = 11 and n = 10). Cadmium and Pb concentrations in livers of grey heron (Cd geomean 0.06, Pb 3.90 μg/g dw) and black-crowned night heron (Cd 0.20, Pb 4.24 μg/g dw) chicks were increased with diet concentrations of grey heron (Cd 0.18, Pb 1.76 μg/g dw) and black-crowned night heron (Cd 0.20, Pb 3.96 μg/g dw) chicks. Cadmium and Pb concentrations in prey items of grey heron and black-crowned night heron chicks were a good predictor of chick liver concentrations. Cadmium concentrations in livers of both heron species collected at the Pyeongtaek heronry were relatively low and within the background level (<3 μg/g dw) for birds. Five of 20 (25.0%) grey heron and 4 of 18 (22.2%) black-crowned night heron chicks were higher than the background level for lead (>6 μg/g dw). Prey Cd and Pb concentrations were within the range of other heron and egret studies. Manganese, Zn, and Fe concentrations in grey heron and black-crowned night heron chicks were within the background or normal physiological levels reported earlier in other birds including herons and egrets.