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Sample records for alligator snapping turtle

  1. Molecular and morphological characterization of a haemogregarine in the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii (Testudines: Chelydridae).

    PubMed

    Alhaboubi, Amer Rasool; Pollard, Dana A; Holman, Patricia J

    2017-01-01

    A severely underweight alligator snapping turtle Macrochelys temminckii Troost in Harlan, 1835, was found near Tyler, Texas, and taken to the Caldwell Zoo. Blood films were submitted to Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, for morphological and molecular identification of haemogregarine-like inclusions in the red blood cells. Intraerythrocytic Haemogregarina sp. forms were found on microscopic examination at a parasitemia of <1 %. The morphology and morphometric data for the forms indicate similarity to Haemogregarina macrochelysi n. sp. Telford et al., 2009, previously reported in alligator snapping turtles in Florida and Georgia, but two characteristic stage forms were not shared between H. macrochelysi n. sp. and the parasite found in this report. The haemogregarine 18S ribosomal RNA gene (1555-bp fragment) was amplified and cloned, and five clones sequenced. The sequences were deposited in the NCBI GenBank database. All five showed ∼96 % identity to Haemogregarina balli Paterson and Desser, 1976, Hepatozoon sp., and Hemolivia stellata Petit et al., 1990. A 774-bp segment shared 98-99 % identity with the corresponding Haemogregarina sp. rDNA sequence (KR006985) from Caspian turtles (Mauremys caspica McDowell, 1964) in Iran. A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree generated from aligned sequences from the clones, 26 hematozoa, Adelina dimidiata Schneider, 1875, and Cryptosporidium serpentis Levine, 1980, revealed the cloned sequences clustered on their own branch within the Haemogregarina spp. clade. No genetic data are available for H. macrochelysi n. sp. at this time, so it remains unclear if this parasite in a Texas alligator snapping turtle is conspecific with H. macrochelysi n. sp.

  2. Microhabitat use, home range, and movements of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedle, J.D.; Shipman, P.A.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, David M.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, particularly dentography and behavior. To learn more about the species in Oklahoma, we conducted a telemetry project on 2 small streams at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,417.5-ha refuge located in east-central Oklahoma. Between June 1999 and August 2000, we fitted 19 M. temminckii with ultrasonic telemetry tags and studied turtle movements and microhahitat use. Turtles were checked 2 to 3 times weekly in summer and sporadically in winter. Several microhabitat variables were measured at each turtle location and a random location to help quantify microhabitat use vs. availability. We recorded 147 turtle locations. Turtles were always associated with submerged cover with a high percentage of overhead canopy cover. Turtles used deeper depths in late summer (but not deeper depths than random locations) and deeper depths in mid-winter (and deeper depths than random locations) than in early summer. They used shallower depths than random locations in early summer. This seasonal shift in depth use might be thermoregulatory, although evidence for this is indirect. The mean linear home range for all turtles was 777.8 m. Females had larger home ranges than males, and juveniles had larger home ranges than adults, although the latter was not statistically significant. Macrochelys temminckii used submerged structures as a core site, and stayed at each core site for an average of 12.3 d.

  3. Characterization of microsatellite DNA markers for the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii: Primer note

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackler, J.C.; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A.; Leslie, David M.

    2007-01-01

    Two trinucleotide and seven tetranucleotide microsatellite loci were isolated from an alligator snapping turtle Macrochelys temminckii. To assess the degree of variability in these nine microsatellite loci, we genotyped 174 individuals collected from eight river drainage basins in the southeastern USA. These markers revealed a moderate degree of allelic diversity (six to 16 alleles per locus) and observed heterozygosity (0.166-0.686). These polymorphic microsatellite loci provide powerful tools for population genetic studies for a species that is afforded some level of conservation protection in every state in which it occurs. ?? 2006 The Authors.

  4. Conservation genetics of the alligator snapping turtle: cytonuclear evidence of range-wide bottleneck effects and unusually pronounced geographic structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Echelle, A.A.; Hackler, J.C.; Lack, Justin B.; Ballard, S. R.; Roman, J.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie,, David M.; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A.

    2010-01-01

    A previous mtDNA study indicated that female-mediated gene flow was extremely rare among alligator snapping turtle populations in different drainages of the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we used variation at seven microsatellite DNA loci to assess the possibility of male-mediated gene flow, we augmented the mtDNA survey with additional sampling of the large Mississippi River System, and we evaluated the hypothesis that the consistently low within-population mtDNA diversity reflects past population bottlenecks. The results show that dispersal between drainages of the Gulf of Mexico is rare (F STmsat  = 0.43, ΦSTmtDNA = 0.98). Past range-wide bottlenecks are indicated by several genetic signals, including low diversity for microsatellites (1.1–3.9 alleles/locus; H e = 0.06–0.53) and mtDNA (h = 0.00 for most drainages; π = 0.000–0.001). Microsatellite data reinforce the conclusion from mtDNA that the Suwannee River population might eventually be recognized as a distinct taxonomic unit. It was the only population showing fixation or near fixation for otherwise rare microsatellite alleles. Six evolutionarily significant units are recommended on the basis of reciprocal mtDNA monophyly and high levels of microsatellite DNA divergence.

  5. Taxonomic assessment of Alligator Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae: Macrochelys), with the description of two new species from the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Travis M; Granatosky, Michael C; Bourque, Jason R; Krysko, Kenneth L; Moler, Paul E; Gamble, Tony; Suarez, Eric; Leone, Erin; Roman, Joe

    2014-04-09

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a large, aquatic turtle limited to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Previous molecular analyses using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggested that Macrochelys exhibits significant genetic variation across its range that includes three distinct genetic assemblages (western, central, and eastern = Suwannee). However, no taxonomic revision or morphological analyses have been conducted previously. In this study, we test previous hypotheses of distinct geographic assemblages by examining morphology, reanalyzing phylogeographic genetic structure, and estimating divergence dating among lineages in a coalescent framework using Bayesian inference. We reviewed the fossil record and discuss phylogeographic and taxonomic implications of the existence of three distinct evolutionary lineages. We measured cranial (n=145) and post-cranial (n=104) material on field-captured individuals and museum specimens. We analyzed 420 base pairs (bp) of mitochondrial DNA sequence data for 158 Macrochelys. We examined fossil Macrochelys from ca. 15-16 million years ago (Ma) to the present to better assess historical distributions and evaluate named fossil taxa. The morphological and molecular data both indicate significant geographical variation and suggest three species-level breaks among genetic lineages that correspond to previously hypothesized genetic assemblages. The holotype of Macrochelys temminckii is from the western lineage. Therefore, we describe two new species as Macrochelys apalachicolae sp. nov. from the central lineage and Macrochelys suwanniensis sp. nov. from the eastern lineage (Suwannee River drainage). Our estimates of divergence times suggest that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of M. temminckii (western) and M. apalachicolae (central) existed 3.2-8.9 Ma during the late Miocene to late Pliocene, whereas M. temminckii-M. apalachicolae and M. suwanniensis last shared a MRCA 5.5-13.4 Ma

  6. Population structure of the alligator snapping turtle, macrochelys temminckii, on the western edge of its distribution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedle, J.D.; Shipman, P.A.; Fox, S. F.; Hackler, J.C.; Lesie, D.M.

    2008-01-01

    A mark-recapture project on Macrochelys temminckii was conducted between 1997 and 2000 at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties, in eastern Oklahoma. Turtles were captured in all streams and exhibited equal sex ratios, marked sexual-size dimorphism, and population densities between 28 and 34 animals per km stretch of stream. There was evidence of past population perturbations, with very few large adults captured, and a cohort of subadults highly underrepresented. ?? 2008 Chelonian Research Foundation.

  7. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the distinctive features of the common snapping turtle. Discusses facts and misconceptions held about the turtle. Provides guidelines for proper care and treatment of a young snapper in a classroom environment. (ML)

  8. Post-hatching development of mitochondrial function, organ mass and metabolic rate in two ectotherms, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

    PubMed Central

    Sirsat, Sarah K. G.; Sirsat, Tushar S.; Price, Edwin R.; Dzialowski, Edward M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ontogeny of endothermy in birds is associated with disproportionate growth of thermogenic organs and increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity. However, no similar study has been made of the development of these traits in ectotherms. For comparison, we therefore investigated the metabolism, growth and muscle mitochondrial function in hatchlings of a turtle and a crocodilian, two ectotherms that never develop endothermy. Metabolic rate did not increase substantially in either species by 30 days post-hatching. Yolk-free body mass and heart mass did not change through 30 days in alligators and heart mass was a constant proportion of body mass, even after 1 year. Yolk-free body mass and liver mass grew 36% and 27%, respectively, in turtles during the first 30 days post-hatch. The mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria, assessed using permeabilized muscle fibers, increased by a non-significant 47% in alligator thigh and a non-significant 50% in turtle thigh over 30 days, but did not increase in the heart. This developmental trajectory of mitochondrial function is slower and shallower than that previously observed in ducks, which demonstrate a 90% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity in thigh muscles over just a few days, a 60% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of the heart over a few days, and disproportionate growth of the heart and other organs. Our data thus support the hypothesis that these developmental changes in ducks represent mechanistic drivers for attaining endothermy. PMID:26962048

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snapping turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Common snapping turtle preys on an adult western grebe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Peterson, S.L.

    2010-01-01

    The identification of predators of aquatic birds can be difficult. The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is considered a major predator of waterfowl and other aquatic birds, but the evidence for this reputation is based largely on circumstantial or indirect evidence rather than direct observations. Herein, the first documented observations of a snapping turtle attacking and killing an adult Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) are described.

  11. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shelly C.; Bergey, Elizabeth A.

    2017-01-01

    Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina) across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.). Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups–the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas) than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%). L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40%) on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts. PMID:28192469

  12. Coplanar PCB distribution between chorioallantoic membranes and eggs of alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Bargar, T.A.; Cobb, G.P.

    1995-12-31

    The relative distribution of coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between chorioallantoic membranes (CAMS) and eggs was investigated in inviable American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretra) eggs. Cam and egg extracts were fractionated by HPLC using a porous graphitic column (PGC) and an in line switching valve to separate coplanar from non-coplanar PCBs. The fractions were collected, concentrated by nitrogen evaporation, and injected on GC-ECD (60M DB-5 capillary column) for quantification. Alligator and Loggerhead sea turtle eggs contain toxicologically significant coplanar PCBs. Mono-ortho substituted PCBs were present with greater frequency relative to non-ortho substituted PCBs in both eggs and CAMS. The presence of coplanar PCBs in eggs appears to be correlated to coplanar PCB presence in CAMS. The chorioallantoic membrane could serve as a biomarker of embryo exposure to coplanar PCBs.

  13. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Sileo, L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in the Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the fresh-water areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolality, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicate physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  14. Atrazine and glyphosate dynamics in a lotic ecosystem: the common snapping turtle as a sentinel species.

    PubMed

    Douros, Derrick L; Gaines, Karen F; Novak, James M

    2015-03-01

    Atrazine and glyphosate are two of the most common pesticides used in the US Midwest that impact water quality via runoff, and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is an excellent indicator species to monitor these pesticides especially in lotic systems. The goals of this study were to (1) quantify atrazine, the atrazine metabolite diaminochlorotriazine (DACT), and glyphosate burdens in common snapping turtle tissue from individuals collected within the Embarras River in Illinois; (2) quantify atrazine, DACT, and glyphosate loads in water from the aquatic habitats in which common snapping turtles reside; and (3) investigate tissue loads based on turtle morphology and habitat choice. Concentrations of atrazine, DACT, and glyphosate in tissue did not show any relationship with lake habitat, carapace length, width, or mass. Both atrazine and glyphosate tissue samples varied as a function of site (river vs. lake), but DACT did not. Atrazine and glyphosate concentrations in water samples showed a linear effect on distance from the reservoir spillway and a deviation from linearity. Water column concentrations of all three contaminants varied across capture sites, but atrazine water concentration did not influence DACT water concentration nor did it exhibit a site interaction. Water atrazine and glyphosate concentrations were greater than tissue concentrations, whereas DACT water and tissue concentrations did not differ. This study showed that turtles are useful in long-term pesticide monitoring, and because DACT as a metabolite is less sensitive to variation, it should be considered as a preferred biomarker for pesticide runoff.

  15. Morphological study on the olfactory systems of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Nakamuta, Shoko; Kato, Hideaki; Yamamoto, Yoshio

    2016-06-01

    In this study, the olfactory system of a semi-aquatic turtle, the snapping turtle, has been morphologically investigated by electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and lectin histochemistry. The nasal cavity of snapping turtle was divided into the upper and lower chambers, lined by the sensory epithelium containing ciliated and non-ciliated olfactory receptor neurons, respectively. Each neuron expressed both Gαolf, the α-subunit of G-proteins coupling to the odorant receptors, and Gαo, the α-subunit of G-proteins coupling to the type 2 vomeronasal receptors. The axons originating from the upper chamber epithelium projected to the ventral part of the olfactory bulb, while those from the lower chamber epithelium to the dorsal part of the olfactory bulb. Despite the identical expression of G-protein α-subunits in the olfactory receptor neurons, these two projections were clearly distinguished from each other by the differential expression of glycoconjugates. In conclusion, these data indicate the presence of two types of olfactory systems in the snapping turtle. Topographic arrangement of the upper and lower chambers and lack of the associated glands in the lower chamber epithelium suggest their possible involvement in the detection of odorants: upper chamber epithelium in the air and the lower chamber epithelium in the water.

  16. Disposition of low and high environmental concentrations of PCBs in snapping turtle tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Bryan, A.M.; Olafsson, P.G.; Stone, W.B.

    1987-06-01

    Snapping turtles, as a result of their ability to store high concentrations of PCBs in their fat, provide an excellent screen for the detection of trace toxic substances in water. Snapping turtles may also be of value in the monitoring of the disposition of environmental pollutants in the tissues of organisms living in a particular ecosystem. Many organochlorine compounds are only slowly metabolized by animals and consequently the parent compounds tend to persist in the tissues. Differences in the degree of dissolution of various polychlorinated hydrocarbons in blood may be attributed to differences in the relative solubility of these compounds in one or more of the blood components. It has been shown that binding of individual organochlorine compounds by lipoproteins and albumin involves slowly reversible hydrophobic interactions with a quasi steady state between adipose tissue, blood and remaining tissues. If such a dynamic equilibrium is involved, it might be anticipated that, under the impact of a multi-component pollutant such as an Aroclor, the biological system would respond in the same manner over a wide range of concentrations provided that the binding of each the congeners involved reversible interactions with the quasi steady state. The net result would be that the order of quantitative disposition of PCBs in the various tissues would be maintained as the concentration in each site increased. It is the objective of this study to determine if such a pharmacodynamic equilibrium is operative in snapping turtles subjected to widely differing degrees of PCB environment contamination.

  17. Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) as biomonitors of lead contamination of the Big River in Missouri`s Old Lead Belt

    SciTech Connect

    Overmann, S.R.; Krajicek, J.J.

    1995-04-01

    The usefulness of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) as biomonitors of lead (Pb) contamination of aquatic ecosystems was assessed. Thirty-seven snapping turtles were collected from three sites on the Big River, an Ozarkian stream contaminated with Pb mine tailings. Morphometric measurements, tissue Pb concentrations (muscle, blood, bone, carapace, brain, and liver), {delta}-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase ({delta}-ALAD) activity, hematocrit, hemoglobin, plasma glucose, osmolality, and chloride ion content were measured. The data showed no effects of Pb contamination on capture success or morphological measurements. Tissue Pb concentrations were related to capture location. Hematocrit, plasma osmolality, plasma glucose, and plasma chloride ion content were not significantly different with respect to capture location. The {delta}-ALAD activity levels were decreased in turtles taken from contaminated sites. Lead levels in the Big River do not appear to be adversely affecting the snapping turtles of the river. Chelydra serpentina is a useful species for biomonitoring of Pb-contaminated aquatic environments.

  18. Disposition of toxic PCB congeners in snapping turtle eggs: expressed as toxic equivalents of TCDD

    SciTech Connect

    Bryan, A.M.; Stone, W.B.; Olafsson, P.G.

    1987-11-01

    Studies of snapping turtles, taken from the region of the Upper Hudson River, in New York State, revealed exceedingly high levels of PCBs in the adipose tissue. There is evidence to suggest that large reserves of fat provide protection against chlorinated hydrocarbon toxicity. Such storage may protect snapping turtle eggs from disposition of toxic PCB congeners and account for the apparent absence of reports regarding detrimental effects on the hatchability of eggs from turtles living in the vicinity of the upper Hudson River. The present study was undertaken to determine if indeed these eggs are protected against disposition of toxic PCB congeners by the presence of large reserves of fat. Although tissue volumes play an important role in determining the initial site of disposition, the major factor controlling the elimination of these compounds involves metabolism. For simple halogenated benzenes as well as for more complex halogenated biphenyls, oxidative metabolism catalyzed by P-448, occurs primarily at the site of two adjacent unsubstituted carbon atoms via arene oxide formation leading to the formation of water soluble metabolites. Toxicological studies have demonstrated that the most toxic PCB congeners, isosteriomers of tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), require no metabolic activation. These compounds have chlorine atoms in the meta and para positions of both rings. It may be concluded that the structures of PCB congeners and isomers which favor induction of cytochrome P-448 are also those which are toxic and resist metabolism. It is the objective of the present study to determine if the heavy fat bodies of the female turtle provide a sufficiently large sink to retain the toxic congeners and prevent their incorporation into the eggs.

  19. Phenotypic plasticity in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): long-term physiological effects of chronic hypoxia during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Wearing, Oliver H; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-15

    Studies of embryonic and hatchling reptiles have revealed marked plasticity in morphology, metabolism, and cardiovascular function following chronic hypoxic incubation. However, the long-term effects of chronic hypoxia have not yet been investigated in these animals. The aim of this study was to determine growth and postprandial O2 consumption (V̇o2), heart rate (fH), and mean arterial pressure (Pm, in kPa) of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) that were incubated as embryos in chronic hypoxia (10% O2, H10) or normoxia (21% O2, N21). We hypothesized that hypoxic development would modify posthatching body mass, metabolic rate, and cardiovascular physiology in juvenile snapping turtles. Yearling H10 turtles were significantly smaller than yearling N21 turtles, both of which were raised posthatching in normoxic, common garden conditions. Measurement of postprandial cardiovascular parameters and O2 consumption were conducted in size-matched three-year-old H10 and N21 turtles. Both before and 12 h after feeding, H10 turtles had a significantly lower fH compared with N21 turtles. In addition, V̇o2 was significantly elevated in H10 animals compared with N21 animals 12 h after feeding, and peak postprandial V̇o2 occurred earlier in H10 animals. Pm of three-year-old turtles was not affected by feeding or hypoxic embryonic incubation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological impacts of developmental hypoxia on embryonic reptiles continue into juvenile life.

  20. Effect of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane on sex determination of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina).

    PubMed

    Portelli, M J; de Solla, S R; Brooks, R J; Bishop, C A

    1999-07-01

    Recent evidence indicates that 1,1,1-trichloro-2, 2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) and some of its metabolites alter reproductive and endocrine function in wildlife. Exposure to such endocrine-disrupting compounds during embryonic development can affect sexual differentiation. The authors tested the hypothesis that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDE) causes feminization of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra s. serpentina), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, during embryonic development. Eggs from eight clutches (total eggs tested=237) were incubated at a male-producing temperature (26 degrees C). At stage 14 of embryonic development, p,p'-DDE was applied topically at four concentrations and estrogen (estradiol-17 beta) was applied as a positive control. Although application of estrogen did induce female development at this temperature, application of p,p'-DDE did not affect sex determination at the exposure levels used. Residue analysis indicated that the amount of p,p'-DDE detected in the eggs 72 h after application was considerably less than the concentrations applied. However, the amounts that penetrated the shells were comparable to levels which have been found in moderately contaminated sites in the Great Lakes. These results indicate that p, p'-DDE, at levels that exist in the environment in the Great Lakes, does not cause the feminization of snapping turtles during embryonic development.

  1. Critical Windows of Cardiovascular Susceptibility to Developmental Hypoxia in Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Embryos.

    PubMed

    Tate, Kevin B; Kohl, Zachary F; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental conditions fluctuate dramatically in some reptilian nests. However, critical windows of environmental sensitivity for cardiovascular development have not been identified. Continuous developmental hypoxia has been shown to alter cardiovascular form and function in embryonic snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), and we used this species to identify critical periods during which hypoxia modifies the cardiovascular phenotype. We hypothesized that incubation in 10% O2 during specific developmental periods would have differential effects on the cardiovascular system versus overall somatic growth. Two critical windows were identified with 10% O2 from 50% to 70% of incubation, resulting in relative heart enlargement, either via preservation of or preferential growth of this tissue, while exposure to 10% O2 from 20% to 70% of incubation resulted in a reduction in arterial pressure. The deleterious or advantageous aspects of these embryonic phenotypes in posthatching snapping turtles have yet to be explored. However, identification of these critical windows has provided insight into how the developmental environment alters the phenotype of reptiles and will also be pivotal in understanding its impact on the fitness of egg-laying reptiles.

  2. Reproductive physiology in eastern snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) exposed to runoff from a concentrated animal feeding operation

    EPA Science Inventory

    The eastern snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is widely distributed throughout the eastern and central U.S. and may be a useful model organism to study land use impacts on water quality. We compared the reproductive condition of C. serpentina from a pond impacted by runoff fr...

  3. EPINEPHRINE OR GV-26 ELECTRICAL STIMULATION REDUCES INHALANT ANESTHESTIC RECOVERY TIME IN COMMON SNAPPING TURTLES (CHELYDRA SERPENTINA).

    PubMed

    Goe, Alexandra; Shmalberg, Justin; Gatson, Bonnie; Bartolini, Pia; Curtiss, Jeff; Wellehan, James F X

    2016-06-01

    Prolonged anesthetic recovery times are a common clinical problem in reptiles following inhalant anesthesia. Diving reptiles have numerous adaptations that allow them to submerge and remain apneic for extended periods. An ability to shunt blood away from pulmonary circulation, possibly due to changes in adrenergic tone, may contribute to their unpredictable inhalant anesthetic recovery times. Therefore, the use of epinephrine could antagonize this response and reduce recovery time. GV-26, an acupuncture point with reported β-adrenergic and respiratory effects, has reduced anesthetic recovery times in other species. In this prospective randomized crossover study, six common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were anesthetized with inhalant isoflurane for 90 min. Turtles were assigned one of three treatments, given immediately following discontinuation of isoflurane: a control treatment (0.9% saline, at 0.1 ml/kg i.m.), epinephrine (0.1 mg/kg i.m.), or acupuncture with electrical stimulation at GV-26. Each turtle received all treatments, and treatments were separated by 48 hr. Return of spontaneous ventilation was 55% faster in turtles given epinephrine and 58% faster in the GV-26 group versus saline (P < 0.001). The times to movement and to complete recovery were also significantly faster for both treatments than for saline (P < 0.02). Treated turtles displayed increases in temperature not documented in the control (P < 0.001). Turtles administered epinephrine showed significantly increased heart rates and end-tidal CO(2) (P < 0.001). No adverse effects were noted in the study animals. The mechanisms of action were not elucidated in the present investigation. Nevertheless, the use of parenteral epinephrine or GV-26 stimulation in the immediate postanesthetic period produces clinically relevant reductions in anesthetic recovery time in common snapping turtle. Further research is necessary to evaluate the effects of concurrent GV-26 and epinephrine administration

  4. A Novel Candidate Gene for Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in the Common Snapping Turtle.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Anthony L; Metzger, Kelsey J; Miller, Alexandra; Rhen, Turk

    2016-05-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) was described nearly 50 years ago. Researchers have since identified many genes that display differential expression at male- vs. female-producing temperatures. Yet, it is unclear whether these genes (1) are involved in sex determination per se, (2) are downstream effectors involved in differentiation of ovaries and testes, or (3) are thermo-sensitive but unrelated to gonad development. Here we present multiple lines of evidence linking CIRBP to sex determination in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina We demonstrate significant associations between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (c63A > C) in CIRBP, transcript levels in embryonic gonads during specification of gonad fate, and sex in hatchlings from a thermal regime that produces mixed sex ratios. The A allele was induced in embryos exposed to a female-producing temperature, while expression of the C allele did not differ between female- and male-producing temperatures. In accord with this pattern of temperature-dependent, allele-specific expression, AA homozygotes were more likely to develop ovaries than AC heterozygotes, which, in turn, were more likely to develop ovaries than CC homozygotes. Multiple regression using SNPs in CIRBP and adjacent loci suggests that c63A > C may be the causal variant or closely linked to it. Differences in CIRBP allele frequencies among turtles from northern Minnesota, southern Minnesota, and Texas reflect small and large-scale latitudinal differences in TSD pattern. Finally, analysis of CIRBP protein localization reveals that CIRBP is in a position to mediate temperature effects on the developing gonads. Together, these studies strongly suggest that CIRBP is involved in determining the fate of the bipotential gonad.

  5. Effects of egg incubation condition on the post-hatching growth and performance of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, K.M.

    1990-12-01

    The effect of incubation temperature on the post-hatching growth and performance capacities of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina was investigated in the laboratory. Turtle eggs were collected from four sites in New York State and randomly assigned to four incubation temperature treatments to produce males (constant 26{degree}C and downshifted 30-26-30{degree}C) and females (constant 30{degree}C and upshifted 26-30-26{degree}C) under constant and altered temperature regimes. The incubation conditions resulted in 92% males from the constant 26{degree}C group and 93% males from the downshifted group. 100% females resulted from both the constant 30{degree}C group and the upshifted group. Turtles hatching from eggs incubated constantly at 26{degree}C were significantly larger than hatchlings from eggs incubated at a constant 30{degree}C or downshifted. Hatchlings were raised in individual aquaria at 25{degree}C and fed earthworms and fish. After a 9-month growth period, turtles which had been incubated at a constant 30{degree}C gained significantly more mass than did turtles from eggs which had been downshifted or upshifted. There was no extended effect of incubation condition on Post-hatching performance and learning ability as measured by righting and feeding responses. Thus, the mass gain differences seen in this study suggest that physiological differences do result as the consequence of incubation condition. However, these physiological differences are not reflected in normal locomotive or feeding behavior.

  6. Effects of egg incubation condition on the post-hatching growth and performance of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, K.M.

    1990-12-01

    The effect of incubation temperature on the post-hatching growth and performance capacities of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina was investigated in the laboratory. Turtle eggs were collected from four sites in New York State and randomly assigned to four incubation temperature treatments to produce males (constant 26[degree]C and downshifted 30-26-30[degree]C) and females (constant 30[degree]C and upshifted 26-30-26[degree]C) under constant and altered temperature regimes. The incubation conditions resulted in 92% males from the constant 26[degree]C group and 93% males from the downshifted group. 100% females resulted from both the constant 30[degree]C group and the upshifted group. Turtles hatching from eggs incubated constantly at 26[degree]C were significantly larger than hatchlings from eggs incubated at a constant 30[degree]C or downshifted. Hatchlings were raised in individual aquaria at 25[degree]C and fed earthworms and fish. After a 9-month growth period, turtles which had been incubated at a constant 30[degree]C gained significantly more mass than did turtles from eggs which had been downshifted or upshifted. There was no extended effect of incubation condition on Post-hatching performance and learning ability as measured by righting and feeding responses. Thus, the mass gain differences seen in this study suggest that physiological differences do result as the consequence of incubation condition. However, these physiological differences are not reflected in normal locomotive or feeding behavior.

  7. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes to assess PCB accumulation in American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles from the coast of South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1995-12-31

    Investigation of contaminant burdens in threatened and endangered species is difficult due to the small number of samples that can be collected. Many samples can be collected if the sampling methods are non-lethal and more specifically non-invasive. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes is demonstrated for American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles. Significant differences were found in PCB, uptake by alligators from the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin reference site and a contaminated site in Winyah Bay. Intrasite and intersite differences in uptake and distribution of PCB homologues were noted. These data will be discussed as they relate to egg viability and embryo development.

  8. Spontaneous Magnetic Alignment by Yearling Snapping Turtles: Rapid Association of Radio Frequency Dependent Pattern of Magnetic Input with Novel Surroundings

    PubMed Central

    Landler, Lukas; Painter, Michael S.; Youmans, Paul W.; Hopkins, William A.; Phillips, John B.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated spontaneous magnetic alignment (SMA) by juvenile snapping turtles using exposure to low-level radio frequency (RF) fields at the Larmor frequency to help characterize the underlying sensory mechanism. Turtles, first introduced to the testing environment without the presence of RF aligned consistently towards magnetic north when subsequent magnetic testing conditions were also free of RF (‘RF off → RF off’), but were disoriented when subsequently exposed to RF (‘RF off → RF on’). In contrast, animals initially introduced to the testing environment with RF present were disoriented when tested without RF (‘RF on → RF off’), but aligned towards magnetic south when tested with RF (‘RF on → RF on’). Sensitivity of the SMA response of yearling turtles to RF is consistent with the involvement of a radical pair mechanism. Furthermore, the effect of RF appears to result from a change in the pattern of magnetic input, rather than elimination of magnetic input altogether, as proposed to explain similar effects in other systems/organisms. The findings show that turtles first exposed to a novel environment form a lasting association between the pattern of magnetic input and their surroundings. However, under natural conditions turtles would never experience a change in the pattern of magnetic input. Therefore, if turtles form a similar association of magnetic cues with the surroundings each time they encounter unfamiliar habitat, as seems likely, the same pattern of magnetic input would be associated with multiple sites/localities. This would be expected from a sensory input that functions as a global reference frame, helping to place multiple locales (i.e., multiple local landmark arrays) into register to form a global map of familiar space. PMID:25978736

  9. Spontaneous magnetic alignment by yearling snapping turtles: rapid association of radio frequency dependent pattern of magnetic input with novel surroundings.

    PubMed

    Landler, Lukas; Painter, Michael S; Youmans, Paul W; Hopkins, William A; Phillips, John B

    2015-01-01

    We investigated spontaneous magnetic alignment (SMA) by juvenile snapping turtles using exposure to low-level radio frequency (RF) fields at the Larmor frequency to help characterize the underlying sensory mechanism. Turtles, first introduced to the testing environment without the presence of RF aligned consistently towards magnetic north when subsequent magnetic testing conditions were also free of RF ('RF off → RF off'), but were disoriented when subsequently exposed to RF ('RF off → RF on'). In contrast, animals initially introduced to the testing environment with RF present were disoriented when tested without RF ('RF on → RF off'), but aligned towards magnetic south when tested with RF ('RF on → RF on'). Sensitivity of the SMA response of yearling turtles to RF is consistent with the involvement of a radical pair mechanism. Furthermore, the effect of RF appears to result from a change in the pattern of magnetic input, rather than elimination of magnetic input altogether, as proposed to explain similar effects in other systems/organisms. The findings show that turtles first exposed to a novel environment form a lasting association between the pattern of magnetic input and their surroundings. However, under natural conditions turtles would never experience a change in the pattern of magnetic input. Therefore, if turtles form a similar association of magnetic cues with the surroundings each time they encounter unfamiliar habitat, as seems likely, the same pattern of magnetic input would be associated with multiple sites/localities. This would be expected from a sensory input that functions as a global reference frame, helping to place multiple locales (i.e., multiple local landmark arrays) into register to form a global map of familiar space.

  10. Embryonic common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) preferentially regulate intracellular tissue pH during acid-base challenges.

    PubMed

    Shartau, Ryan B; Crossley, Dane A; Kohl, Zachary F; Brauner, Colin J

    2016-07-01

    The nests of embryonic turtles naturally experience elevated CO2 (hypercarbia), which leads to increased blood PCO2  and a respiratory acidosis, resulting in reduced blood pH [extracellular pH (pHe)]. Some fishes preferentially regulate tissue pH [intracellular pH (pHi)] against changes in pHe; this has been proposed to be associated with exceptional CO2 tolerance and has never been identified in amniotes. As embryonic turtles may be CO2 tolerant based on nesting strategy, we hypothesized that they preferentially regulate pHi, conferring tolerance to severe acute acid-base challenges. This hypothesis was tested by investigating pH regulation in common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) reared in normoxia then exposed to hypercarbia (13 kPa PCO2 ) for 1 h at three developmental ages: 70% and 90% of incubation, and yearlings. Hypercarbia reduced pHe but not pHi, at all developmental ages. At 70% of incubation, pHe was depressed by 0.324 pH units while pHi of brain, white muscle and lung increased; heart, liver and kidney pHi remained unchanged. At 90% of incubation, pHe was depressed by 0.352 pH units but heart pHi increased with no change in pHi of other tissues. Yearlings exhibited a pHe reduction of 0.235 pH units but had no changes in pHi of any tissues. The results indicate common snapping turtles preferentially regulate pHi during development, but the degree of response is reduced throughout development. This is the first time preferential pHi regulation has been identified in an amniote. These findings may provide insight into the evolution of acid-base homeostasis during development of amniotes, and vertebrates in general.

  11. Chlorinated hydrocarbons in early life stages of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) from a coastal wetland on Lake Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, C.A.; Lean, D.R.S.; Carey, J.H.; Brooks, R.J.; Ng, P.

    1995-03-01

    To assess intra-clutch variation in contaminant concentrations in eggs, and to investigate the dynamics of chlorinated hydrocarbon accumulation in embryos of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), concentrations of p,p{prime}-DDE, hexachlorobenzene, trans-nonachlor, cis-chlordane, and six PCB congeners were measured in eggs, embryos, and hatchlings. Samples were collected from Cootes Paradise, a wetland at the western end of Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada. The intra-clutch variation in chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations within four snapping turtle clutches was determined by analyzing the first, last, and middle five eggs oviposited in the nest. The first five eggs had the highest mean concentrations of all chlorinated hydrocarbons, wet weight, and egg diameter. On a lipid weight basis, the first five eggs contained the highest concentration of all compounds except total PCBs and cis-chlordane. The concentration of cis-chlordane was the only parameter measured that was significantly different among the three sets of eggs. At hatching, snapping turtles without yolk sacs contained from 55.2 to 90.5% of the absolute amount of organochlorine compounds measured in the egg at oviposition. Eighteen days after hatching, the body burden of PCBs and pesticides decreased to 45.3 to 62.2% of that in the fresh egg. The accumulation of organochlorine chemicals in embryonic turtles peaked at or just before hatching and then declined thereafter, which is consistent with trends reported in developing sea turtles, fish, and birds.

  12. Accumulation and maternal transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls in snapping turtles of the upper Hudson River, New York, USA.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Shannon M; Eisenreich, Karen M; Baker, Joel E; Rowe, Christopher L

    2008-12-01

    We conducted field studies over three years to assess body burdens and maternal transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as well as indices of sexual dimorphism in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) of the upper Hudson River (NY, USA.) We collected adult turtles in areas known to be contaminated with PCBs and in nearby reference areas for measurement of body size, precloacal length, and penis size. We analyzed PCB concentrations in eggs collected over three years and in whole blood from adults in one year. Total PCB concentrations (mean +/- standard error) in eggs were 2,800 +/- 520 and 59 +/- 5 ng/g wet weight in the contaminated area and the reference area, respectively. Eggs from the contaminated area were significantly enriched in tri-, penta-, and hepta-PCBs relative to the reference area. Blood from adults in the contaminated area averaged 475 +/- 200 and 125 +/- 34 ng/g wet weight for males and females, respectively. In the reference area, blood PCB concentrations were 7 +/- 3 and 4 +/- 1 ng/g wet weight for males and females, respectively. Significant positive relationships were found between carapace length and blood PCB concentration for both sexes in the contaminated area; however, only a marginal relationship was found between female carapace length and concentration of PCBs in their eggs. Our results suggest that PCB contamination of the upper Hudson River presents risks of establishing high body burdens and of maternal transfer of PCBs to eggs, although our measures of gross morphology revealed no discernable expression of abnormal sexual development or reproduction.

  13. The case for a cause-effect linkage between environmental contamination and development in eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra S. serpentina) from Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, C.A.; Brooks, R.J.; Carey, J.H.; Ng, P.; Norstrom, R.J.; Lean, D.R. )

    1991-08-01

    Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans, organochlorine pesticides, and their metabolites were measured in eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra s.serpentina) collected from four wetlands on the shorelines of Lakes Ontario, and Erie, and one control location in central Ontario, Canada. Snapping turtle eggs from these sites were also artificially incubated to determine hatching success, and incidence of deformities in embryo and hatchling turtles. The hypothesis that elevated incidences of egg death and/or deformities of hatchling turtles would occur in populations with high concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in eggs was tested. The results were elevated using epidemiological criteria. Unhatched eggs and deformities occurred at significantly higher rates in eggs from Lake Ontario wetlands. Two of three sites from Lake Ontario had substantially higher levels of PCBs, dioxins, and furans compared to eggs from Lake Erie and the control site. It could not be shown that contamination of eggs preceded the occurrence of poor development of eggs, although excellent hatching success and low numbers of deformities in eggs from the control site were considered representative of development in healthy eggs. The statistical association between contaminant levels in eggs and poor development of these eggs supported the hypothesis that eggs from sites with the greatest contamination had the highest rates of abnormalities. PCBs were the most strongly associated chemicals, although possible effects due to the presence of other chemicals in eggs was a confounding factor. The deformities and rates of unhatched eggs were similar to those occurring in other vertebrates collected from highly contaminated areas of the Great Lakes. 54 references.

  14. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL ABNORMALITIES IN EGGS AND HATCHLINGS OF THE COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE (CHELYDRA SERPENTINA SERPENTINA) FROM THE GREAT LAKES-ST. LAWRENCE RIVER BASIN (1989-91). (R827102)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    During 1989-91, we assessed developmental abnormalities in embryos and hatchlings from eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina). Eggs were collected and artificially incubated from eight sites in Ontario, Canada and Akwesasne/...

  15. Temporal and geographic variation of organochlorine residues in eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) (1981-1991) and comparisons to trends in the herring gull (Larus argentatus) in the Great Lakes basin in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bishop, C A; Ng, P; Norstrom, R J; Brooks, R J; Pettit, K E

    1996-11-01

    Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) eggs from five sites within the Great Lakes basin, and from a reference site in north-central Ontario were collected during 1981-1991 and analyzed for four organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) including six non-ortho PCBs, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). The pattern of geographic variation was consistent over time in eggs with Cootes Paradise/ Hamilton Harbour and Lynde Creek eggs on Lake Ontario containing the highest concentrations and most PCDD and PCDF congeners among all sites. Eggs from Cranberry Marsh on Lake Ontario contained organochlorine concentrations similar to those from Big Creek Marsh and Rondeau Provincial Park on Lake Erie except PCDDs and PCDFs which occurred at higher concentrations and more congeners were detectable in Cranberry Marsh eggs. Concentrations of most contaminants in turtle eggs from Algonquin Park, the reference site, have significantly decreased in the past decade. Dieldrin concentrations, however, increased in Algonquin Park eggs from 1981 to 1989. Significant decreases in concentrations of hexachlorobenzene, mirex and PCBs occurred between turtle eggs collected in 1981/84 and 1989 at Big Creek Marsh and Rondeau Provincial Park, whereas there was no significant change in concentrations of p,p'-DDE and dieldrin. In Lake Ontario eggs, concentrations of PCBs, p,p'-DDE and dieldrin increased significantly between 1984 and 1991. Differences were also found in patterns of temporal variation in contamination between herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and snapping turtles which were attributed to differences in diet. Elevated and continued contamination in turtle eggs from Lake. Ontario is probably due to a combination of local sources of chemicals and consumption of large migratory fish that spawn in wetlands inhabited by these turtles.

  16. Comparative effects of in ovo exposure to sodium perchlorate on development, growth, metabolism, and thyroid function in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    PubMed

    Eisenreich, Karen M; Dean, Karen M; Ottinger, Mary Ann; Rowe, Christopher L

    2012-11-01

    Perchlorate is a surface and groundwater contaminant found in areas associated with munitions and rocket manufacturing and use. It is a thyroid-inhibiting compound, preventing uptake of iodide by the thyroid gland, ultimately reducing thyroid hormone production. As thyroid hormones influence metabolism, growth, and development, perchlorate exposure during the embryonic period may impact embryonic traits that ultimately influence hatchling performance. We topically exposed eggs of red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) to 200 and 177 μg/g of perchlorate (as NaClO(4)), respectively, to determine impacts on glandular thyroxine concentrations, embryonic growth and development, and metabolic rates of hatchlings for a period of 2 months post-hatching. In red-eared sliders, in ovo perchlorate exposure delayed hatching, increased external yolk size at hatching, increased hatchling mortality, and reduced total glandular thyroxine concentrations in hatchlings. In snapping turtles, hatching success and standard metabolic rates were reduced, liver and thyroid sizes were increased, and total glandular thyroxine concentrations in hatchlings were reduced after exposure to perchlorate. While both species were negatively affected by exposure, impacts on red-eared sliders were most severe, suggesting that the slider may be a more sensitive sentinel species for studying effects of perchlorate exposure to turtles.

  17. Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from Canadian Areas of Concern across the southern Laurentian Great Lakes: Chlorinated and brominated hydrocarbon contaminants and metabolites in relation to circulating concentrations of thyroxine and vitamin A.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Robert J; Lu, Zhe; de Solla, Shane R; Sandau, Courtney D; Fernie, Kimberly J

    2015-11-01

    The metabolites of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), as well as other halogenated phenolic contaminants (HPCs) have been shown to have endocrine-disrupting properties, and have been reported with increasing frequency in the blood of wildlife, and mainly in mammals and birds. However, little is known about the persistence, accumulation and distribution of these contaminants in long-lived freshwater reptiles. In the present study, in addition to a large suite of chlorinated and brominated contaminants, metabolites and HPCs, we assessed and compared hydroxylated (OH) PCBs and OH-PBDEs relative to PCBs and PBDEs, respectively, in the plasma of adult male common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Blood samples were collected from 62 snapping turtles (2001-2004) at 12 wetland sites between the Detroit River and the St. Lawrence River on the Canadian side of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Turtles were sampled from sites designated as Areas of Concern (AOCs) and from a relatively clean reference site in southern Georgian Bay (Tiny Marsh), Lake Huron. Plasma concentrations of Σ46PCB (10-340 ng/g wet weight (ww)) and Σ28OH-PCB (3-83 ng/g ww) were significantly greater (p<0.05) in turtles from the Turkey Creek and Muddy Creek-Wheatley Harbour sites in Lake Erie compared with the reference site turtles. The HPC, pentachlorophenol (PCP), had a mean concentration of 9.6±1.1 ng/g ww. Of the 28 OH-CB congeners screened for, 4-OH-CB187 (42±7 ng/g ww) was the most concentrated of all HPCs measured. Of the 14 OH-BDE congeners examined, four (4'-OH-BDE17, 3-OH-BDE47, 5-OH-BDE47 and 4'-OH-BDE49) were consistently found in all plasma samples. p,p'-DDE was the most concentrated of the 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) examined. The mean concentrations of circulating total thyroxine (TT4), dehydroretinol and retinol in the plasma of the male snapping turtles regardless of sampling site were 5.4±0.3, 81±4.7 and 291±13

  18. Distribution of ventilation in American alligator Alligator mississippiensis

    SciTech Connect

    Bickler, P.E.; Spragg, R.G.; Hartman, M.T.; White, F.N.

    1985-10-01

    The regional distribution of ventilation in the multicameral lung of spontaneously ventilating alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was studied with TTXe scintigraphy. Frequent gamma camera images of TTXe washin and washout were obtained and processed to allow evaluation of regional ventilation. Washin of TTXe to equilibrium occurred in three to four breaths in anterior, central, and posterior compartments. Washin was most rapid in the posterior compartment and slowest in the anterior. The structure of the lungs and distribution of ventilation of inspired gas is consistent with the rapid radial spread of gas through a parallel arrangement of lung units surrounding the central intrapulmonary bronchus. Washout to equilibrium of TTXe from all compartments occurred within three to four breaths. This rapid washin and washout of gas to all parts of the lung stands in contrast to the lungs of turtles and snakes, in which the caudal air sacs are relatively poorly ventilated.

  19. SNAP Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampton, Michael L.; Akerlof, Carl W.; Aldering, Greg; Amanullah, R.; Astier, Pierre; Barrelet, E.; Bebek, Christopher; Bergstrom, Lars; Bercovitz, John; Bernstein, G.; Bester, Manfred; Bonissent, Alain; Bower, C. R.; Carithers, William C., Jr.; Commins, Eugene D.; Day, C.; Deustua, Susana E.; DiGennaro, Richard S.; Ealet, Anne; Ellis, Richard S.; Eriksson, Mikael; Fruchter, Andrew; Genat, Jean-Francois; Goldhaber, Gerson; Goobar, Ariel; Groom, Donald E.; Harris, Stewart E.; Harvey, Peter R.; Heetderks, Henry D.; Holland, Steven E.; Huterer, Dragan; Karcher, Armin; Kim, Alex G.; Kolbe, William F.; Krieger, B.; Lafever, R.; Lamoureux, J.; Levi, Michael E.; Levin, Daniel S.; Linder, Eric V.; Loken, Stewart C.; Malina, Roger; Massey, R.; McKay, Timothy; McKee, Shawn P.; Miquel, Ramon; Mortsell, E.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, Stuart; Musser, J. A.; Nugent, Peter E.; Oluseyi, Hakeem M.; Pain, Reynald; Palaio, Nicholas P.; Pankow, David H.; Perlmutter, Saul; Pratt, R.; Prieto, Eric; Refregier, Alexandre; Rhodes, J.; Robinson, Kem E.; Roe, N.; Sholl, Michael; Schubnell, Michael S.; Smadja, G.; Smoot, George F.; Spadafora, A.; Tarle, Gregory; Tomasch, Andrew D.; von der Lippe, H.; Vincent, R.; Walder, J.-P.; Wang, Guobin

    2002-12-01

    The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will require a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction limited images spanning a one degree field in the visible and near infrared wavelength regime. This requirement, equivalent to nearly one billion pixel resolution, places stringent demands on its optical system in terms of field flatness, image quality, and freedom from chromatic aberration. We discuss the advantages of annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescopes for applications such as SNAP, and describe the features of the specific optical configuration that we have baselined for the SNAP mission. We discuss the mechanical design and choice of materials for the telescope. Then we present detailed ray traces and diffraction calculations for our baseline optical design. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of tasks to be carried out during the upcoming SNAP research and development phase.

  20. SNAP telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Lampton, Michael L.; Akerlof, C.W.; Aldering, G.; Amanullah, R.; Astier, P.; Barrelet, E.; Bebek, C.; Bergstrom, L.; Bercovitz, J.; Bernstein, G.; Bester, M.; Bonissent, A.; Bower, C.; Carithers Jr., W.C.; Commins, E.D.; Day, C.; Deustua, S.E.; DiGennaro, R.; Ealet, A.; Ellis,R.S.; Eriksson, M.; Fruchter, A.; Genat, J.-F.; Goldhaber, G.; Goobar,A.; Groom, D.; Harris, S.E.; Harvey, P.R.; Heetderks, H.D.; Holland,S.E.; Huterer, D.; Karcher, A.; Kim, A.G.; Kolbe, W.; Krieger, B.; Lafever, R.; Lamoureux, J.; Levi, M.E.; Levin, D.S.; Linder, E.V.; Loken,S.C.; Malina, R.; Massey, R.; McKay, T.; McKee, S.P.; Miquel, R.; Mortsell, E.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, S.; Musser, J.; Nugent, P.; Oluseyi,H.; Pain, R.; Palaio, N.; Pankow, D.; Perlmutter, S.; Pratt, R.; Prieto,E.; Refregier, A.; Rhodes, J.; Robinson, K.; Roe, N.; Sholl, M.; Schubnell, M.; Smadja, G.; Smoot, G.; Spadafora, A.; Tarle, G.; Tomasch,A.; von der Lippe, H.; Vincent, R.; Walder, J.-P.; Wang, G.; Wang, G.

    2002-07-29

    The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will require a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction limited images spanning a one degree field in the visible and near infrared wavelength regime. This requirement, equivalent to nearly one billion pixel resolution, places stringent demands on its optical system in terms of field flatness, image quality, and freedom from chromatic aberration. We discuss the advantages of annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescopes for applications such as SNAP, and describe the features of the specific optical configuration that we have baselined for the SNAP mission. We discuss the mechanical design and choice of materials for the telescope. Then we present detailed ray traces and diffraction calculations for our baseline optical design. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of tasks to be carried out during the upcoming SNAP research and development phase.

  1. A Mycoplasma species of Emydidae turtles in the northeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Niederriter, Holly; Zarate, Brian; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-04-01

    Mycoplasma infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in captive and wild chelonians. As part of a health assessment of endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in the northeastern US, choanal and cloacal swabs from these and other sympatric species, including spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from 10 sampling sites in the states (US) of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma. Of 108 turtles tested, 63 (58.3%) were PCR positive for Mycoplasma including 58 of 83 bog turtles (70%), three of three (100%) eastern box turtles, and two of 11 (18%) spotted turtles; all snapping turtles (n = 7) and wood turtles (n = 4) were negative. Sequence analysis of portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed a single, unclassified species of Mycoplasma that has been previously reported in eastern box turtles, ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata), western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans). We document a high incidence of Mycoplasma, in the absence of clinical disease, in wild emydid turtles. These findings, along with wide distribution of the identified Mycoplasma sp. across a broad geographic region, suggest this bacterium is likely a commensal inhabitant of bog turtles, and possibly other species of emydid turtles, in the northeastern US.

  2. Body burdens of heavy metals in Lake Michigan wetland turtles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Dayna L; Cooper, Matthew J; Kosiara, Jessica M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Tissue heavy metal concentrations in painted (Chrysemys picta) and snapping (Chelydra serpentina) turtles from Lake Michigan coastal wetlands were analyzed to determine (1) whether turtles accumulated heavy metals, (2) if tissue metal concentrations were related to environmental metal concentrations, and (3) the potential for non-lethal sampling techniques to be used for monitoring heavy metal body burdens in freshwater turtles. Muscle, liver, shell, and claw samples were collected from painted and snapping turtles and analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Turtle tissues had measurable quantities of all eight metals analyzed. Statistically significant correlations between tissue metal concentrations and sediment metal concentrations were found for a subset of metals. Metals were generally found in higher concentrations in the larger snapping turtles than in painted turtles. In addition, non-lethal samples of shell and claw were found to be possible alternatives to lethal liver and muscle samples for some metals. Human consumption of snapping turtles presents potential health risks if turtles are harvested from contaminated areas. Overall, our results suggest that turtles could be a valuable component of contaminant monitoring programs for wetland ecosystems.

  3. Reptilian prey of the sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) with comments on saurophagy and ophiophagy in North American Turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, J.; Drost, C.; Monatesti, A.J.; Casper, D.; Wood, D.A.; Girard, M.

    2010-01-01

    We detected evidence of predation by the Sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) on the Arizona alligator lizard (Elgaria kingii nobilis) and the ground snake (Sonora semiannulata) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona. Lizards have not been reported in the diet of K. sonoriense, and saurophagy is rare in turtles of the United States, having been reported previously in only two other species:, the false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) and the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). While the diet of K. sonoriense includes snakes, ours is the first record of S. semiannulata as food of this turtle. Ophiophagy also is rare in turtles of the United States with records for only five other species of turtles. Given the opportunistic diets of many North American turtles, including K. sonoriense, the scarcity of published records of saurophagy and ophiophagy likely represents a shortage of observations, not rarity of occurrence.

  4. Assessing Trophic Position and Mercury Accumulation in Sanpping Turtles

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study determined the trophic position and the total mercury concentrations of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) captured from 26 freshwater sites in Rhode Island. Turtles were captured in baited wire cages, and a non-lethal sampling technique was used in which tips of ...

  5. SNAP E&T

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lower-Basch, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    This document provides an overview of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T). SNAP E&T is a funding source that allows states to provide employment and training and related supportive services to individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)…

  6. Gastric nematode diversity between estuarine and inland freshwater populations of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, daudin 1802), and the prediction of intermediate hosts

    PubMed Central

    Tellez, Marisa; Nifong, James

    2014-01-01

    We examined the variation of stomach nematode intensity and species richness of Alligator mississippiensis from coastal estuarine and inland freshwater habitats in Florida and Georgia, and integrated prey content data to predict possible intermediate hosts. Nematode parasitism within inland freshwater inhabiting populations was found to have a higher intensity and species richness than those inhabiting coastal estuarine systems. This pattern potentially correlates with the difference and diversity of prey available between inland freshwater and coastal estuarine habitats. Increased consumption of a diverse array of prey was also correlated with increased nematode intensity in larger alligators. Parasitic nematodes Dujardinascaris waltoni, Brevimulticaecum tenuicolle, Ortleppascaris antipini, Goezia sp., and Contracaecum sp. were present in alligators from both habitat types. Dujardinascaris waltoni, B. tenuicolle, and O. antipini had a significantly higher abundance among inland inhabiting alligators than hosts from estuarine populations. Our findings also suggest that host specific nematode parasites of alligators may have evolved to infect multiple intermediate hosts, particularly fishes, crabs, and turtles, perhaps in response to the opportunistic predatory behaviors of alligators. PMID:25426417

  7. Imaging of snapping phenomena

    PubMed Central

    Guillin, R; Marchand, A J; Roux, A; Niederberger, E; Duvauferrier, R

    2012-01-01

    Snapping phenomena result from the sudden impingement between anatomical and/or heterotopical structures with subsequent abrupt movement and noise. Snaps are variously perceived by patients, from mild discomfort to significant pain requiring surgical management. Identifying the precise cause of snaps may be challenging when no abnormality is encountered on routinely performed static examinations. In this regard, dynamic imaging techniques have been developed over time, with various degrees of success. This review encompasses the main features of each imaging technique and proposes an overview of the main snapping phenomena in the musculoskeletal system. PMID:22744321

  8. Acoustic signals of Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis): social communication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianyan; Wang, Ding; Wu, Xiaobing; Wang, Renping; Wang, Chaolin

    2007-05-01

    This paper reports the first systematic study of acoustic signals during social interactions of the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). Sound pressure level (SPL) measurements revealed that Chinese alligators have an elaborate acoustic communication system with both long-distance signal-bellowing-and short-distance signals that include tooting, bubble blowing, hissing, mooing, head slapping and whining. Bellows have high SPL and appear to play an important role in the alligator's long range intercommunion. Sounds characterized by low SPL are short-distance signals used when alligators are in close spatial proximity to one another. The signal spectrographic analysis showed that the acoustic signals of Chinese alligators have a very low dominant frequency, less than 500 Hz. These frequencies are consistent with adaptation to a habitat with high density vegetation. Low dominant frequency sound attenuates less and could therefore cover a larger spatial range by diffraction in a densely vegetated environment relative to a higher dominant frequency sound.

  9. A big alligator snacks on a smaller alligator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    A large alligator attacks and eats a smaller one in a natural display of cannibalism. Although this event has been observed infrequently by Kennedy Space Center's staff photographers, it is common feeding behavior among the wild alligator population on the space center. Alligators are carnivorous and will eat any living thing that crosses their paths and is small enough for them to kill. For this reason, it is dangerous to feed wild alligators, and in Florida, it is also illegal. Kennedy Space Center is located on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Physiological thermoregulation of mature alligators.

    PubMed

    Smith, E N; Standora, E A; Robertson, S L

    1984-01-01

    A 67.1 kg alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), tested in air, heated twice as fast as it cooled. The cooling thermal time constant was 425 min while alive. Warming and cooling thermal time constants were 421 min after death. The thermal time constant was not appropriate in describing warming in air of mature alligators. Surface and subdermal heat flow measurements of the 67.1 kg animal indicate greater blood flow in the skin during warming compared to cooling. Two mature alligators, 49.9 and 103 kg, were heated and cooled in water. Warming time constants were 67 and 110 min respectively. Cooling time constants were 180 and 246 min. Data from this study were combined with previously published thermal time constants for alligators providing regression equations for alligators ranging from 37 g to 103 kg. Regression equations for alligators tested in water are: tau w = 8.81 M050 tau c = 12.6 M0.62. Time constants (tau) are in minutes (w = warming, c = cooling) with all measurements in stirred water; mass, M, is in kg. Thermal conductance and metabolism data are combined to provide an estimate of the amount the body temperature of theoretical alligators ranging from 50 g to 1000 kg would be elevated by metabolism. A body temperature of 34.2 degrees C is predicted for a 1000 kg theoretical alligator in 30 degrees C water.

  11. Snapping mechanical metamaterials under tension.

    PubMed

    Rafsanjani, Ahmad; Akbarzadeh, Abdolhamid; Pasini, Damiano

    2015-10-21

    A snapping mechanical metamaterial is designed, which exhibits a sequential snap-through behavior under tension. The tensile response of this mechanical metamaterial can be altered by tuning the architecture of the snapping segments to achieve a range of nonlinear mechanical responses, including monotonic, S-shaped, plateau, and non-monotonic snap-through behavior.

  12. Turtle Girls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Charles; Ponder, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    The day the Turtle Girls received Montel's adoption papers, piercing screams ricocheted across the school grounds instantaneously and simultaneously--in that moment, each student felt the joy of civic stewardship. Read on to find out how a visit to The Turtle Hospital inspired a group of elementary students to create a club devoted to supporting…

  13. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P Martin

    2007-08-07

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys quenstedti. Comparison of their shell bone histology with that of extant turtles preferring either aquatic habitats or terrestrial habitats clearly reveals congruence with terrestrial turtle taxa. Similarities in the shell bones of these turtles are a diploe structure with well-developed external and internal cortices, weak vascularization of the compact bone layers and a dense nature of the interior cancellous bone with overall short trabeculae. On the other hand, 'aquatic' turtles tend to reduce cortical bone layers, while increasing overall vascularization of the bone tissue. In contrast to the study of limb bone proportions, the present study is independent from the uncommon preservation of appendicular skeletal elements in fossil turtles, enabling the palaeoecological study of a much broader range of incompletely known turtle taxa in the fossil record.

  14. The 'Angry Alligator'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) as seen from the Gemini 9 spacecraft during one of their three rendezvous in space. The ATDA and Gemini 9 spacecraft are 66.5 ft. apart. Failure of the docking adapter protective cover to fully separate on the ATDA prevented the docking of the two spacecraft. The ATDA was described by the Gemini 9 crew as an 'angry alligator.'

  15. American alligator digestion rate of blue crabs and its implications for stomach contents analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nifong, James C.; Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Johnson, Nathan A.; Barichivich, William; Silliman, Brian; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    Stomach contents analysis (SCA) provides a snap-shot observation of a consumer's diet. Interpretation of SCA data can be complicated by many factors, including variation in gastric residence times and digestion rates among prey taxa. Although some SCA methods are reported to efficiently remove all stomach contents, the effectiveness of these techniques has rarely been tested for large irregular shaped prey with hard exoskeletons. We used a controlled feeding trial to estimate gastric residency time and decomposition rate of a large crustacean prey item, the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus), which is consumed by American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), an abundant apex predator in coastal habitats of the southeastern United States. The decomposition rate of C. sapidus in the stomachs of A. mississippiensis followed a predictable pattern, and some crab pieces remained in stomachs for at least 14 days. We also found that certain portions of C. sapidus were prone to becoming caught within the stomach or esophagus, meaning not all crab parts are consistently recovered using gastric lavage techniques. However, because the state of decomposition of crabs was predictable, it is possible to estimate time since consumption for crabs recovered from wild alligators. This information, coupled with a detailed understanding of crab distributions and alligator movement tactics could help elucidate patterns of cross-ecosystem foraging by the American Alligator in coastal habitats

  16. Replication and persistence of VHSV IVb in freshwater turtles.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Andrew E; Merry, Gwenn E

    2011-05-09

    With the emergence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) strain IVb in the Great Lakes of North America, hatchery managers have become concerned that this important pathogen could be transmitted by animals other than fish. Turtles are likely candidates because they are poikilotherms that feed on dead fish, but there are very few reports of rhabdovirus infections in reptiles and no reports of the fish rhabdoviruses in animals other than teleosts. We injected common snapping turtles Chelydra serpentine and red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta elegans intraperitoneally with 10(4) median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) of VHSV-IVb and 21 d later were able to detect the virus by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qrt-RTPCR) in pools of kidney, liver, and spleen. In a second experiment, snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders T. scripta scripta, and northern map turtles Grapetemys geographica at 14 degrees C were allowed to feed on tissues from bluegill dying of VHSV IVb disease. Turtle kidney, spleen, and brain pools were not positive by qrt-RTPCR on Day 3 post feeding, but were positive on Days 10 and 20. Map turtles on Day 20 post-feeding were positive by both qrt-RTPCR and by cell culture. Our work shows that turtles that consume infected fish are a possible vector for VHSV IVb, and that the fish rhabdoviruses may have a broader host range than previously suspected.

  17. Tupinambis merianae as nest predators of crocodilians and turtles in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; McEachern, Michelle A.; Rochford, Michael; Reed, Robert; Ketterlin Eckles, Jennifer; Vinci, Joy; Edwards, Jake; Wasilewki, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Tupinambis merianae, is a large, omnivorous tegu lizard native to South America. Two populations of tegus are established in the state of Florida, USA, but impacts to native species are poorly documented. During summer 2013, we placed automated cameras overlooking one American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nest, which also contained a clutch of Florida red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) eggs, and one American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) nest at a site in southeastern Florida where tegus are established. We documented tegu activity and predation on alligator and turtle eggs at the alligator nest, and tegu activity at the crocodile nest. Our finding that one of the first two crocodilian nests to be monitored was depredated by tegus suggests that tegus should be further evaluated as a threat to nesting reptiles in Florida.

  18. Alligators as West Nile virus amplifiers.

    PubMed

    Klenk, Kaci; Snow, Jamie; Morgan, Katrina; Bowen, Richard; Stephens, Michael; Foster, Falicia; Gordy, Paul; Beckett, Susan; Komar, Nicholas; Gubler, Duane; Bunning, Michel

    2004-12-01

    Recent evidence suggests that American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) may be capable of transmitting West Nile virus (WNV) to other alligators. We experimentally exposed 24 juvenile alligators to WNV parenterally or orally. All became infected, and all but three sustained viremia titers >5.0 log10 PFU/mL (a threshold considered infectious for Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes) for 1 to 8 days. Noninoculated tankmates also became infected. The viremia profiles and multiple routes of infection suggest alligators may play an important role in WNV transmission in areas with high population densities of juvenile alligators.

  19. OOGENESIS AND OVARIAN HISTOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although folliculogenesis and oogenesis have been observed in numerous reptiles, these phenomena have not been described in detail in a crocodilian. Oogenesis and histological features of the adult ovary of Alligator mississippiensis are described. Using a complex process, the ov...

  20. Mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jagoe, C.H.; Arnold-Hill, B.; Yanochko, G.M.; Winger, P.V.; Brisbin, I.L.

    1998-01-01

    Mercury methylation may be enhanced in wetlands and humic-rich, blackwater systems that crocodiles and alligators typically inhabit. Given their high trophic level and long life-spans, crocodilians could accumulate significant burdens of Hg. Our objectives were to survey Hg concentrations in alligators from several areas in the southeastern United States to test their utility as sentinels of Hg contamination, to examine relationships among Hg concentrations in various tissues and to look for any differences in tissue Hg concentrations among locations. We measured total Hg concentrations in alligators collected in the Florida Everglades (n = 18), the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia (n = 9), the Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina (n = 49) and various locations in central Florida ( n = 21), sampling tissues including blood, brain, liver, kidney, muscle, bone, fat, spleen, claws and dermal scutes. Alligators from the Everglades were mostly juvenile, but Hg concentrations in tissues were high (means: liver 41.0, kidney 36.4, muscle 5.6 mg Hg/kg dry wt.). Concentrations in alligators from other locations in Florida were lower (means: liver 14.6, kidney 12.6, muscle 1.8 mg Hg/kg dry wt.), although they tended to be larger adults. Alligators from the Okefenokee were smallest and had the lowest Hg concentrations (means: liver 4.3, kidney 4.8, muscle 0.8 mg Hg/kg dry wt.). At some locations, alligator length was correlated with Hg concentrations in some internal organs. However, at three of the four locations, muscle Hg was not related to length. Tissue Hg concentrations were correlated at most locations; however, claw or dermal scute Hg explained less than 74% of the variation of Hg in muscle or organs, suggesting readily-obtained tissues, such as scutes or claws, have limited value for nondestructive screening of Hg in alligator populations.

  1. Mortality of American alligators attributed to cannibalism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Delany, Michael F.; Woodward, Allan R.; Kiltie, Richard A.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2011-01-01

    Mortality of juvenile (Alligator mississippiensis) attributed to cannibalism on Orange Lake, Florida was examined. Alligator web tags used in mark–recapture studies were found in 12% of 267 stomachs sampled from alligators ≥168 cm TL. Captive alligators retained 76% of force-fed tags during a 588-d tag-retention trial. Models relating the probability of tag recovery to the annual probabilities of juvenile survival, cannibalism, tag retention, adult survival, and adult harvest suggested that cannibalism may on average remove 6–7% of the juvenile alligator population annually. Vulnerability continued to 140 cm TL (age 6–8 yr). Cannibalism of juveniles may serve to regulate the alligator population on Orange Lake. Alligator cannibalism may vary widely among populations, depending on demography and environmental conditions. The role and importance of cannibalism in alligator population dynamics should be more fully assessed and environmental and population factors that influence cannibalism identified to better evaluate management programs.

  2. Developmental morphology of the neonatal alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) ovary.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Uribe-Aranzábal, Mari Carmen; Boggs, Ashley S P; Guillette, Louis J

    2008-03-01

    American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) ovary development is incomplete at hatching. During the months following hatching, the cortical processes of oogenesis started in ovo continues and folliculogenesis is initiated. Additionally, the medullary region of the gonad undergoes dramatic restructuring. We describe alligator ovarian histology at hatching, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months of age in order to characterize the timing of morphological development and compare these findings to chicken ovary development. At hatching, the ovarian cortex presents a germinal epithelium containing oogonia and a few primary oocytes irregularly scattered between somatic epithelial cells. The hatchling medulla shows fragmentation indicative of the formation of lacunae. By 1 week of age, oocytes form growing nests and show increased interactions with somatic cells, indicative of the initiation of folliculogenesis. Medullary lacunae increase in diameter and contain secretory material in their lumen. At 1 month, nest sizes and lacunar diameters continue to enlarge. Pachytene oocytes surrounded by somatic cells are more frequent. Trabeculae composed of dense irregular connective tissue divide cortical nests. Three months after hatching oocytes in meiotic stages of prophase I up to diplotene are present. The ovary displays many enlarged follicles with oocytes in diplotene arrest, thecal layers, lampbrush chromosomes, and complete layers of follicular cells. The medulla is an elaborated complex of vascularized lacunae underlying the cortex and often containing discrete lymphoid aggregates. While the general morphology of the alligator ovary is similar to that of the chicken ovary, the progression of oogenesis and folliculogenesis around hatching is notably slower in alligators. Diplotene oocytes are observed at hatching in chickens, but not until 3 months in alligators. Folliculogenesis is completed at 3 weeks in chickens whereas it is still progressing at 3 months in alligators.

  3. SNAP Telescope Latest Developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampton, M.; SNAP Collaboration

    2004-12-01

    The coming era of precision cosmology imposes new demands on space telescopes with regard to spectrophotometric accuracy and image stability. To meet these requirements for SNAP we have developed an all reflecting two-meter-class space telescope of the three-mirror anastigmat type. Our design features a large flat annular field (1.5 degrees = 580mm diameter) and a telephoto advantage of 6, delivering a 22m focal length within an optical package length of only 3.5 meters. The use of highly stable materials (Corning ULE glass and carbon-fiber reinforced cyanate ester resin for the metering structure) combined with agressive distributed thermal control and an L2 orbit location will lead to unmatched figure stability. Owing to our choice of rigid structure with nondeployable solar panels, finite-element models show no structural resonances below 10Hz. An exhaustive stray light study has been completed. Beginning in 2005, two industry studies will develop plans for fabrication, integration and test, bringing SNAP to a highly realistic level of definition. SNAP is supported by the Office of Science, US DoE, under contract DE-AC03-76SF00098.

  4. SNAP Assay Technology.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Thomas P

    2015-12-01

    The most widely used immunoassay configuration is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) because the procedure produces highly sensitive and specific results and generally is easy to use. By definition, ELISAs are immunoassays used to detect a substance (typically an antigen or antibody) in which an enzyme is attached (conjugated) to one of the reactants and an enzymatic reaction is used to amplify the signal if the substance is present. Optimized ELISAs include several steps that are performed in sequence using a defined protocol that typically includes application of sample and an enzyme-conjugated antibody or antigen to an immobilized reagent, followed by wash and enzyme reaction steps. The SNAP assay is an in-clinic device that performs each of the ELISA steps in a timed sequential fashion with little consumer interface. The components and mechanical mechanism of the assay device are described. Detailed descriptions of features of the assay, which minimize nonspecific binding and enhance the ability to read results from weak-positive samples, are given. Basic principles used in assays with fundamentally different reaction mechanisms, namely, antigen-detection, antibody-detection, and competitive assays are given. Applications of ELISA technology, which led to the development of several multianalyte SNAP tests capable of testing for up to 6 analytes using a single-sample and a single-SNAP device are described.

  5. Developmental plasticity of mitochondrial function in American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Crossley, Janna; Elsey, Ruth M.; Dzialowski, Edward M.; Shiels, Holly A.; Crossley, Dane A.

    2016-01-01

    The effect of hypoxia on cellular metabolism is well documented in adult vertebrates, but information is entirely lacking for embryonic organisms. The effect of hypoxia on embryonic physiology is particularly interesting, as metabolic responses during development may have life-long consequences, due to developmental plasticity. To this end, we investigated the effects of chronic developmental hypoxia on cardiac mitochondrial function in embryonic and juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Alligator eggs were incubated in 21% or 10% oxygen from 20 to 90% of embryonic development. Embryos were either harvested at 90% development or allowed to hatch and then reared in 21% oxygen for 3 yr. Ventricular mitochondria were isolated from embryonic/juvenile alligator hearts. Mitochondrial respiration and enzymatic activities of electron transport chain complexes were measured with a microrespirometer and spectrophotometer, respectively. Developmental hypoxia induced growth restriction and increased relative heart mass, and this phenotype persisted into juvenile life. Embryonic mitochondrial function was not affected by developmental hypoxia, but at the juvenile life stage, animals from hypoxic incubations had lower levels of Leak respiration and higher respiratory control ratios, which is indicative of enhanced mitochondrial efficiency. Our results suggest developmental hypoxia can have life-long consequences for alligator morphology and metabolic function. Further investigations are necessary to reveal the adaptive significance of the enhanced mitochondrial efficiency in the hypoxic phenotype. PMID:27707718

  6. Growth rates of Chinese and American alligators.

    PubMed

    Herbert, J D; Coulson, T D; Coulson, R A

    2002-04-01

    Growth rates in two closely related species, Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator) and Alligator sinensis (Chinese alligator), were compared under identical conditions for at least 1 year after hatching. When hatched, Chinese alligators were approximately 2/3 the length and approximately 1/2 the weight of American alligator hatchlings. At the end of 1 year of growth in captivity in heated chambers, the Chinese alligators were approximately 1/2 as long and weighed approximately 1/10 as much as American alligator yearlings. When the animals were maintained at 31 degrees C, Chinese alligator food consumption and length gain rates dropped to near zero during autumn and winter and body weights decreased slightly, apparently in response to the change in day length. At constant temperature (31 degrees C), food consumption by American alligators remained high throughout the year. Length gain rates in American alligators decreased slowly as size increased, but were not affected by photoperiod. Daily weight gains in American alligators increased steadily throughout the year. In autumn, provision of artificial light for 18 h a day initially stimulated both length and weight gain in Chinese alligators, but did not affect growth in American alligators. Continuation of the artificial light regimen seemed to cause deleterious effects in the Chinese alligators after several months, however, so that animals exposed to the normal light cycle caught up to and then surpassed the extra-light group in size. Even after removal of the artificial light, it was several months before these extra-light animals reverted to a normal growth pattern. These findings may be of interest to those institutions engaged in captive growth programs intended to provide animals for reintroduction to the wild or to protected habitat.

  7. Alligator diet in relation to alligator mortality on Lake Griffin, FL

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, A.N.; Ross, J.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligators) demonstrated low hatch-rate success and increased adult mortality on Lake Griffin, FL, between 1998 and 2003. Dying Lake Griffin alligators with symptoms of poor motor coordination were reported to show specific neurological impairment and brain lesions. Similar lesions were documented in salmonines that consumed clupeids with high thiaminase levels. Therefore, we investigated the diet of Lake Griffin alligators and compared it with alligator diets from two lakes that exhibited relatively low levels of unexplained alligator mortality to see if consumption of Dorosoma cepedianum (gizzard shad) could be correlated with patterns of mortality. Shad in both lakes Griffin and Apopka had high levels of thiaminase and Lake Apopka alligators were consuming greater amounts of shad relative to Lake Griffin without showing mortality rates similar to Lake Griffin alligators. Therefore, a relationship between shad consumption alone and alligator mortality is not supported.

  8. Molecular cloning, characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the hibernation and reproductive periods of estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruidong; Hu, Yuehong; Wang, Huan; Yan, Peng; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Rong; Wu, Xiaobing

    2016-10-01

    Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis, is a critically endangered reptile species unique to China. Little is known about the mechanism of growth- and reproduction-related hormones gene expression in Chinese alligator. Estrogens play important roles in regulating multiple reproduction- and non-reproduction-related functions by binding to their corresponding receptors. Here, the full-length cDNA of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα/ESR1) was cloned and sequenced from Chinese alligator for the first time, which comprises 1764bp nucleotides and encodes a predicted protein of 587 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis of ESR1 showed that crocodilians and turtles were the sister-group of birds. The results of real-time quantitative PCR indicated that the ESR1 mRNA was widely expressed in the brain and peripheral tissues. In the brain and pituitary gland, ESR1 was most highly transcribed in the cerebellum. But in other peripheral tissues, ESR1 mRNA expression level was the highest in the ovary. Compared with hibernation period, ESR1 mRNA expression levels were increased significantly in the reproductive period (P<0.05) in cerebellum, pituitary gland, liver, spleen, lung, kidney and ovary, while no significant change in other examined tissues (P>0.05). The ESR1 mRNA expression levels changes during the two periods of different tissues suggested that ESR1 might play an important role in mediation of estrogenic multiple reproductive effects in Chinese alligator. Furthermore, it was the first time to quantify ESR1 mRNA level in the brain of crocodilians, and the distribution and expression of ESR1 mRNA in the midbrain, cerebellum and medulla oblongata was also reported for the first time in reptiles.

  9. Seroprevalence of Mycoplasma alligatoris among free-ranging alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida--2003.

    PubMed

    Brown, Daniel R; Zacher, Laurie A; Carbonneau, Dwayne A

    2005-06-01

    Mycoplasma alligatoris causes acute lethal infection of alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). The objective of this study was to assess the current seroprevalence of M. alligatoris among free-ranging, juvenile and subadult alligators in Florida. Thirty-two of 592 (5.4%) plasma samples from alligators at 12 of 20 sites (60%) in April and October 2003 were tested seropositive (titer 1: > or = 32) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for anti-M. alligatoris antibodies. These results show that alligators throughout Florida have a recent history of exposure to M. alligatoris and suggest that contact with free-ranging alligators may constitute a risk of lethal infection of susceptible crocodilians.

  10. AFFINITY OF THE ALLIGATOR ESTROGEN RECEPTOR FOR SERUM PESTICIDE CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Top predators, like the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) bioaccumulate and biomagnify persistent pollutants, such as organochlorine pesticides. In a recently published study, several pesticides and pesticide metabolites not previously reported in alligator eggs wer...

  11. SNAP focal plane

    SciTech Connect

    Lampton, Michael L.; Kim, A.; Akerlof, C.W.; Aldering, G.; Amanullah, R.; Astier, P.; Barrelet, E.; Bebek, C.; Bergstrom, L.; Berkovitz, J.; Bernstein, G.; Bester, M.; Bonissent, A.; Bower, C.; Carithers Jr., W.C.; Commins, E.D.; Day, C.; Deustua, S.E.; DiGennaro,R.; Ealet, A.; Ellis, R.S.; Eriksson, M.; Fruchter, A.; Genat, J.-F.; Goldhaber, G.; Goobar, A.; Groom, D.; Harris, S.E.; Harvey, P.R.; Heetderks, H.D.; Holland, S.E.; Huterer, D.; Karcher, A.; Kolbe, W.; Krieger, B.; Lafever, R.; Lamoureux, J.; Levi, M.E.; Levin, D.S.; Linder,E.V.; Loken, S.C.; Malina, R.; Massey, R.; McKay, T.; McKee, S.P.; Miquel, R.; Mortsell, E.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, S.; Musser, J.; Nugent, P.; Oluseyi, H.; Pain, R.; Palaio, N.; Pankow, D.; Perlmutter, S.; Pratt, R.; Prieto, E.; Refregier, A.; Rhodes, J.; Robinson, K.; Roe, N.; Sholl, M.; Schubnell, M.; Smadja, G.; Smoot, G.; Spadafora, A.; Tarle, G.; Tomasch,A.; von der Lippe, H.; Vincent, R.; Walder, J.-P.; Wang, G.

    2002-07-29

    The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square-degree field sensitive in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. We describe the requirements for the instrument suite and the evolution of the focal plane design to the present concept in which all the instrumentation--visible and near-infrared imagers, spectrograph, and star guiders--share one common focal plane.

  12. Pathology of experimental mycoplasmosis in American alligators.

    PubMed

    Brown, D R; Nogueira, M F; Schoeb, T R; Vliet, K A; Bennett, R A; Pye, G W; Jacobson, E R

    2001-10-01

    Mycoplasma alligatoris was the suspected etiology of an epidemic of acute multisystemic inflammatory disease which emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida (USA) in 1995. In an experimental inoculation study conducted from April through October 1999, 18 alligators were inoculated with 10(2), 10(4), or 10(6) colony forming units (CFU) of M. alligatoris by instillation into the glottis. As early as 1 wk post-inoculation (PI), mycoplasma were cultured from blood of three of six alligators inoculated with 10(6) CFU. Two of those died and the third was euthanatized within 4 wk PI. Necropsy gross findings included fibrinous polyserositis and polyarthritis. Histopathologic changes in affected individuals included pulmonary edema, interstitial pneumonia, pericarditis, myocarditis, meningitis, and synovitis. Mycoplasma were cultured quantitatively in high numbers from trachea, lung, coelomic cavity, liver, spleen, interior of pericardial sac, heart, blood, brain, and limb joints. In alligators inoculated with 10(6) CFU, heterophilia and moderate hyperglycemia peaked about 4 wk PI, and seroconversion occurred by 6 to 8 wk PI. Necropsy gross and histologic findings were generally unremarkable for the surviving alligators inoculated with 10(6) CFU, alligators inoculated with 10(2) or 10(4) CFU, and four uninoculated control alligators. Mycoplasma were not cultured at any time point from those alligators. The findings confirm that M. alligatoris can cause fulminant inflammatory disease and rapid death of alligators.

  13. Structural design and mechanical behavior of alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) osteoderms.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chang-Yu; Chen, Po-Yu

    2013-11-01

    Alligator is a well-adapted living fossil covered with dorsal armor. This dermal shield consists of bony plates, called osteoderms, interconnected by sutures and non-mineralized collagen fibers, providing a dual function of protection and flexibility. Osteoderm features a sandwich structure, combining an inner porous core and an outer dense cortex, to offer enhancements for stiffness and energy absorbance. In this study, we investigated the multi-scale structure and mechanical behaviors of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) osteoderm. Microcomputed tomography was applied to reveal the complex neurovascular network. Through the observation under optical and scanning electron microscopes, the osteoderm was found to consist of woven bone in the dorsal region and lamellar-zonal bone in the ventral region. Nanoindentation and compressive tests were performed to evaluate the mechanical properties of osteoderms. The varying mineral contents and porosity result in a graded mechanical property: a hard and stiff dorsal cortex gradually transform to a more compliant ventral base. Three protective mechanisms optimized for alligator osteoderms were proposed and elucidated.

  14. Morphology and histochemistry of juvenile American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nephrons.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Hyndman, Kelly A; Cox, Ashley; Lawler, Ashley; Mathavan, Ketan; Guillette, Louis J

    2009-10-01

    Here we present a detailed morphological description of the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) kidney and nephron. We present a series of histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical markers that clearly define the seven regions of the alligator nephron. The alligator kidney is composed of many paired (mirrored) lobules on each kidney (lobe). Single nephrons span the width of lobules three times. The fine structure of glomeruli, lying in rows spanning the height of the lobule, is resolved by periodic acid methionine silver (PAMS) and periodic acid Schiff's (PAS) histochemistry. Glomeruli are connected to the proximal tubule (PT) via a neck segment. The PT is alcian blue-negative, making it distinct from the distal tubule (DT), connecting segment (CS), and collecting duct (CD). The PT is clearly identifiable by a PAS-positive brush border membrane. The PT is connected to the DT via an intermediate segment (IS) that makes a 180 degrees turn to connect these tubules. PAMS-positive material is found in the lumens of the PT, IS, and DT. Also, PAMS-positive granules are found in the DT, CS, and CD. Immunolocalization of the Na(+), K(+)-ATPase to the basolateral membrane of the DT, CS, and CD suggests a role of this enzyme in driving primary and secondary transport processes in these segments, including bicarbonate transport into the lumen of the DT (leading to an alkaline urine). Through the techniques described here, we have identified a series of distinct markers to be used by pathologists, veterinarians, and researchers to easily identify alligator nephron segments. Anat Rec, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Gender differences in haemogregarine infections in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at Savannah River, South Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew K; Horan, Robert V; Grosse, Andrew M; Harris, Bess B; Metts, Brian S; Scott, David E; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2011-10-01

    We report a host gender bias in haemogregarine infection characteristics in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA. Prevalence and severity in female alligators was higher than it was in males. The reason for this pattern is not clear.

  16. Alligators in the Sewers? Really?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egbert, Joy

    2009-01-01

    A large number of alligators, flushed down toilets as babies, have grown up and proliferated in the bowels of New York City. Over the years, they have grown in number and size and frequently terrorize those foolish enough to visit the subways. This tale has been making its way around the Internet ever since there's been an Internet. It's wild…

  17. The aquatic turtle assemblage inhabiting a highly altered landscape in southeast Missouri

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Vaughn, Allison J.; Waddle, J. Hardin

    2010-01-01

    Turtles are linked to energetic food webs as both consumers of plants and animals and prey for many species. Turtle biomass in freshwater systems can be an order of magnitude greater than that of endotherms. Therefore, declines in freshwater turtle populations can change energy transfer in freshwater systems. Here we report on a mark–recapture study at a lake and adjacent borrow pit in a relict tract of bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi River floodplain in southeast Missouri, which was designed to gather baseline data, including sex ratio, size structure, and population size, density, and biomass, for the freshwater turtle population. Using a variety of capture methods, we captured seven species of freshwater turtles (snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina; red-eared slider Trachemys scripta; southern painted turtle Chrysemys dorsalis; river cooter Pseudemys concinna; false map turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica; eastern musk turtle Sternotherus odoratus; spiny softshell Apalone spinifera) comprising four families (Chelydridae, Emydidae, Kinosternidae, Trinoychidae). With the exception of red-eared sliders, nearly all individuals captured were adults. Most turtles were captured by baited hoop-nets, and this was the only capture method that caught all seven species. The unbaited fyke net was very successful in the borrow pit, but only captured four of the seven species. Basking traps and deep-water crawfish nets had minimal success. Red-eared sliders had the greatest population estimate (2,675), density (205/ha), and biomass (178 kg/ha). Two species exhibited a sex-ratio bias: snapping turtles C. serpentina in favor of males, and spiny softshells A. spinifera in favor of females.

  18. Occurrence of decabromodiphenyl ethane in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Hong, Bing; Wu, Ting; Zhao, Guangchao; Sun, Yuxin; Wang, Xinming; Zhao, Juan; Yi, Zhigang; Wu, Xiaobing; Mai, Bixian

    2015-01-01

    Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), a replacement for decabromodiphenyl ether (deca-BDE), was investigated in captive Chinese alligators from China. DBDPE was detected in adult tissues, neonates and eggs of Chinese alligators with concentrations ranging from 4.74-192, 0.24-1.94, and 0.01-0.51 ng g(-1) lipid weight, respectively. Compared to PBDEs and PCBs, DBDPE contamination was limited in Chinese alligators. Additionally, DBDPE concentrations in adult muscles were one to three orders of magnitude higher than those in neonates and eggs, suggesting the limited maternal transfer potential of DBDPE in Chinese alligators. This is the first study to report the occurrence of DBDPE in Chinese alligators.

  19. Assessing potential risk to alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, from nutria control with zinc phosphide rodenticide baits.

    PubMed

    Witmer, Gary W; Eisemann, John D; Primus, Thomas M; O'Hare, Jeanette R; Perry, Kelly R; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2010-06-01

    Nutria, Myocastor coypus, populations must be reduced when they cause substantial wetland damage. Control can include the rodenticide zinc phosphide, but the potential impacts to American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, must be assessed. The mean amount of zinc phosphide per nutria found in nutria carcasses was 50 mg. Risk assessment determined that a conservative estimate for maximum exposure would be 173 mg zinc phosphide for a 28 kg alligator, or 6.2 mg/kg. Probit analysis found an LD(50) for alligators of 28 mg/kg. Our studies suggest that the use of zinc phosphide to manage nutria populations would pose only a small risk to alligators.

  20. Endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure and the American alligator: a review of the potential role of environmental estrogens on the immune system of a top trophic carnivore.

    PubMed

    Finger, John W; Gogal, Robert M

    2013-11-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) alter cellular and organ system homeostasis by interfering with the body's normal physiologic processes. Numerous studies have identified environmental estrogens as modulators of EDC-related processes in crocodilians, notably in sex determination. Other broader studies have shown that environmental estrogens dysregulate normal immune function in mammals, birds, turtles, lizards, fish, and invertebrates; however, the effects of such estrogenic exposures on alligator immune function have not been elucidated. Alligators occupy a top trophic status, which may give them untapped utility as indicators of environmental quality. Environmental estrogens are also prevalent in the waters they occupy. Understanding the effects of these EDCs on alligator immunity is critical for managing and assessing changes in their health and is thus the focus of this review.

  1. Snap-through and Continuation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-02-01

    This system will be scrutinized using classical analysis techniques as well as experimental verification to shed light on the issue of dynamic snap... prestress on the free vibration characteristics of clamped rectangular plates: theory and experiment. Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, 119:243–249...the critical snap-free temperature for members of general geometry and loading pattern; the analogy between mechanical prestress and thermal strain

  2. Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis: molecular characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the female reproductive cycle.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Shengzhou; Zhu, Xue; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2015-05-01

    The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) plays a central role in vertebrate reproduction, with the actions of FSH mediated by FSH receptors (FSHRs) on the granulosa cells of the ovary. The present study reports the cloning and characterization of FSHR in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis (caFSHR), and its tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the reproductive cycle. The mature protein of caFSHR displays typical features of the glycoprotein hormone receptor family, but also contains some remarkable differences when compared with other vertebrate FSHRs. The deduced amino acid sequence of the caFSHR shares identity of 85% with Chinese softshell turtle, 84-87% with birds, 77-78% with mammals, 67-73% with amphibians and 51-58% with fishes. Phylogenetic tree analysis of the FSHR amino acid sequence indicated that alligators cluster into the bird branch. Tissue expression analysis showed that caFSHR was not only expressed in the ovary, but also in the stomach, intestine, pancreas liver and oviduct at similar levels, while it was not detectable in heart, thymus or thyroid. Expression of caFSHR in the ovary is high in May (breeding prophase) and peaks in July during the breeding period, where it is maintained at high levels through September (breeding anaphase). Expression decreases significantly in November (hibernating period) and then remains relatively low from January to March (hibernating period). These temporal changes in FSHR expression suggest that it plays an important role in promoting ovarian development during the female reproductive cycle of Chinese alligator.

  3. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Bierman, Hilary S.; Thornton, Jennifer L.; Jones, Heath G.; Koka, Kanthaiah; Young, Bruce A.; Brandt, Christian; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E.; Tollin, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Physiological and anatomical studies have suggested that alligators have unique adaptations for spatial hearing. Sound localization cues are primarily generated by the filtering of sound waves by the head. Different vertebrate lineages have evolved external and/or internal anatomical adaptations to enhance these cues, such as pinnae and interaural canals. It has been hypothesized that in alligators, directionality may be enhanced via the acoustic coupling of middle ear cavities, resulting in a pressure difference receiver (PDR) mechanism. The experiments reported here support a role for a PDR mechanism in alligator sound localization by demonstrating that (1) acoustic space cues generated by the external morphology of the animal are not sufficient to generate location cues that match physiological sensitivity, (2) continuous pathways between the middle ears are present to provide an anatomical basis for coupling, (3) the auditory brainstem response shows some directionality, and (4) eardrum movement is directionally sensitive. Together, these data support the role of a PDR mechanism in crocodilians and further suggest this mechanism is a shared archosaur trait, most likely found also in the extinct dinosaurs. PMID:24671963

  4. Environmental influence on yolk steroids in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Hamlin, Heather J; Lowers, Russell H; Albergotti, Lori C; McCoy, Michael W; Mutz, Jessica; Guillette, Louis J

    2010-11-01

    The egg yolk serves as a significant source of maternally derived steroids that are available to the embryo during early development. Altered deposition of yolk steroids can change the developmental trajectory of the embryo and have long lasting or permanent consequences. Alligators from contaminated environments have shown significant reproductive and developmental dysfunction, and it is unclear if altered deposition of yolk steroids could be a contributing factor. Alligator eggs were collected from Lake Woodruff (a reference lake), Lake Apopka (a site of known agricultural contamination), and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) (home of the Kennedy Space Center and a site of heavy metal contamination). The yolks of eggs at embryonic stages 12 (prior to sex determination) and 24 (post-sex determination) were evaluated for concentrations of progesterone, 17-beta estradiol, and testosterone. Yolk concentrations of progesterone were significantly lower at embryonic stage 12 in eggs from Lake Apopka and MINWR when compared to eggs from Lake Woodruff. Yolk concentrations of 17-beta estradiol were significantly lower at embryonic stage 12 in eggs from MINWR when compared to the other two sites. Reductions in yolk 17-beta estradiol concentrations from embryonic stage 12 to 24 were significantly attenuated in eggs from MINWR versus that of Lakes Woodruff and Apopka. This study suggests that altered deposition of yolk steroids, and possibly differential utilization by the embryo, could be a contributory mechanism in the reproductive and developmental abnormalities seen in alligators from contaminated locales.

  5. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Bierman, Hilary S; Thornton, Jennifer L; Jones, Heath G; Koka, Kanthaiah; Young, Bruce A; Brandt, Christian; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E; Tollin, Daniel J

    2014-04-01

    Physiological and anatomical studies have suggested that alligators have unique adaptations for spatial hearing. Sound localization cues are primarily generated by the filtering of sound waves by the head. Different vertebrate lineages have evolved external and/or internal anatomical adaptations to enhance these cues, such as pinnae and interaural canals. It has been hypothesized that in alligators, directionality may be enhanced via the acoustic coupling of middle ear cavities, resulting in a pressure difference receiver (PDR) mechanism. The experiments reported here support a role for a PDR mechanism in alligator sound localization by demonstrating that (1) acoustic space cues generated by the external morphology of the animal are not sufficient to generate location cues that match physiological sensitivity, (2) continuous pathways between the middle ears are present to provide an anatomical basis for coupling, (3) the auditory brainstem response shows some directionality, and (4) eardrum movement is directionally sensitive. Together, these data support the role of a PDR mechanism in crocodilians and further suggest this mechanism is a shared archosaur trait, most likely found also in the extinct dinosaurs.

  6. Bioprospecting the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) host defense peptidome.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Barney M; Juba, Melanie L; Devine, Megan C; Barksdale, Stephanie M; Rodriguez, Carlos Alberto; Chung, Myung C; Russo, Paul S; Vliet, Kent A; Schnur, Joel M; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Cationic antimicrobial peptides and their therapeutic potential have garnered growing interest because of the proliferation of bacterial resistance. However, the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from animals has proven challenging due to the limitations associated with conventional biochemical purification and difficulties in predicting active peptides from genomic sequences, if known. As an example, no antimicrobial peptides have been identified from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, although their serum is antimicrobial. We have developed a novel approach for the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from these animals, one that capitalizes on their fundamental and conserved physico-chemical properties. This sample-agnostic process employs custom-made functionalized hydrogel microparticles to harvest cationic peptides from biological samples, followed by de novo sequencing of captured peptides, eliminating the need to isolate individual peptides. After evaluation of the peptide sequences using a combination of rational and web-based bioinformatic analyses, forty-five potential antimicrobial peptides were identified, and eight of these peptides were selected to be chemically synthesized and evaluated. The successful identification of multiple novel peptides, exhibiting antibacterial properties, from Alligator mississippiensis plasma demonstrates the potential of this innovative discovery process in identifying potential new host defense peptides.

  7. Palaeontology: turtles in transition.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael S Y

    2013-06-17

    One of the major remaining gaps in the vertebrate fossil record concerns the origin of turtles. The enigmatic little reptile Eunotosaurus could represent an important transitional form, as it has a rudimentary shell that resembles the turtle carapace.

  8. Jumping the Alligators in the Ditch.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Rims

    Poor black young people in rural Mississippi contemplate their schooling with the same feelings as their friends who dare to jump the local ditches filled with alligators: the odds are against escaping the alligators, and the advantages of getting to the far side are not very apparent. Living in conditions of extreme poverty, these young people…

  9. The SNAP near infrared detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Tarle, G.; Akerlof, C.; Aldering, G.; Amanullah, R.; Astier, P.; Barrelet, E.; Bebek, C.; Bergstrom, L.; Bercovitz, J.; Bernstein, G.; Bester, M.; Bonissent, A.; Bower, C.; Carithers, W.; Commins, E.D.; Day, C.; Deustua, S.; DiGennaro, R.; Ealet, Anne; Ellis, R.S.; Eriksson, M.; Fruchter, A.; Genat, J.-F.; Goldhaber, G.; Goobar, A.; Groom, D.; Harris, S.; Harvey, P.; Heetderks, H.; Holland, S.; Huterer, D.; Karcher, A.; Kim, A.; Kolbe, W.; Krieger, B.; Lafever, R.; Lamoureux, J.; Lampton, M.; Levi, M.E.; Levin, D.; Linder, E.; Loken, S.; Malina, R.; Massey, R.; Miguel, R.; McKay, T.; McKee, S.; Mortsell, E.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, S.; Musser, J.; Nugent, P.; Oluseyi, H.; Pain, R.; Palaio, N.; Pankow, D.; Perlmutter, S.; Pratt, R.; Prieto, E.; Refregier, A.; Rhodes, J.; Robinson, K.; Roe, N.; Sholl, M.; Schubnell, M.; Smadja, G.; Smoot, G.; Spadafora, A.; Tomasch, A.; von der Lippe, H.; Vincent, R.; Walder, J.; Wang, G.

    2002-07-29

    The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure precisely the cosmological expansion history over both the acceleration and deceleration epochs and thereby constrain the nature of the dark energy that dominates our universe today. The SNAP focal plane contains equal areas of optical CCDs and NIR sensors and an integral field spectrograph. Having over 150 million pixels and a field-of-view of 0.34 square degrees, the SNAP NIR system will be the largest yet constructed. With sensitivity in the range 0.9-1.7 {micro}m, it will detect Type Ia supernovae between z = 1 and 1.7 and will provide follow-up precision photometry for all supernovae. HgCdTe technology, with a cut-off tuned to 1.7 {micro}m, will permit passive cooling at 140 K while maintaining noise below zodiacal levels. By dithering to remove the effects of intrapixel variations and by careful attention to other instrumental effects, we expect to control relative photometric accuracy below a few hundredths of a magnitude. Because SNAP continuously revisits the same fields we will be able to achieve outstanding statistical precision on the photometry of reference stars in these fields, allowing precise monitoring of our detectors. The capabilities of the NIR system for broadening the science reach of SNAP are discussed.

  10. Superlattice nanowire pattern transfer (SNAP).

    PubMed

    Heath, James R

    2008-12-01

    During the past 15 years or so, nanowires (NWs) have emerged as a new and distinct class of materials. Their novel structural and physical properties separate them from wires that can be prepared using the standard methods for manufacturing electronics. NW-based applications that range from traditional electronic devices (logic and memory) to novel biomolecular and chemical sensors, thermoelectric materials, and optoelectronic devices, all have appeared during the past few years. From a fundamental perspective, NWs provide a route toward the investigation of new physics in confined dimensions. Perhaps the most familiar fabrication method is the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth technique, which produces semiconductor nanowires as bulk materials. However, other fabrication methods exist and have their own advantages. In this Account, I review a particular class of NWs produced by an alternative method called superlattice nanowire pattern transfer (SNAP). The SNAP method is distinct from other nanowire preparation methods in several ways. It can produce large NW arrays from virtually any thin-film material, including metals, insulators, and semiconductors. The dimensions of the NWs can be controlled with near-atomic precision, and NW widths and spacings can be as small as a few nanometers. In addition, SNAP is almost fully compatible with more traditional methods for manufacturing electronics. The motivation behind the development of SNAP was to have a general nanofabrication method for preparing electronics-grade circuitry, but one that would operate at macromolecular dimensions and with access to a broad materials set. Thus, electronics applications, including novel demultiplexing architectures; large-scale, ultrahigh-density memory circuits; and complementary symmetry nanowire logic circuits, have served as drivers for developing various aspects of the SNAP method. Some of that work is reviewed here. As the SNAP method has evolved into a robust nanofabrication

  11. Microsatellite DNA analyses support an east-west phylogeographic split of American alligator populations.

    PubMed

    Davis, Lisa M; Glenn, Travis C; Strickland, Denise C; Guillette, Louis J; Elsey, Ruth M; Rhodes, Walter E; Dessauer, Herbert C; Sawyer, Roger H

    2002-12-15

    We examined the population genetic structure of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) sampled from 12 localities across the southeastern United States. The primary goal of this study was to determine the extent of population differentiation among alligators from four Florida lakes using eight microsatellite loci and compare the results to additional sites located at varying distances from them. Analyses of population structure revealed little differentiation (F(ST)=0.039; Rho=0.012) among the four Florida lakes, Apopka, Griffin, Orange and Woodruff, which are all located in the St. John&'s River watershed in north-central Florida. Further, there was little differentiation among these samples and samples collected from the Everglades National Park (F(ST)=0.044; Rho=0.009) and south Georgia (F(ST)=0.045; Rho=0.032). Therefore, these six samples were pooled together as a "FL/sGA group." Similarly, samples collected in the western extent of the range, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and Salvador Wildlife Management Area, Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, also lacked population structure (F(ST)=0.024; R(ST)=0.040). These four populations were pooled into the "TX/LA group." Comparisons of these two groups with samples taken from the Santee Coastal Reserve in South Carolina and Mobile, Alabama yielded three to four times more differentiation among groups (F(ST)=0.131; Rho=0.187). These and other analyses support the hypothesis of an east-west phylogeographic split in American alligator populations and are consistent with studies of many freshwater fish and aquatic and terrestrial turtles distributed throughout this same geographic region.

  12. Initial antibiotic therapy for alligator bites: characterization of the oral flora of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Flandry, F; Lisecki, E J; Domingue, G J; Nichols, R L; Greer, D L; Haddad, R J

    1989-02-01

    An open thumb fracture resulting from an alligator bite became infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, Enterobacter agglomerans, and Citrobacter diversus. The patient was treated by surgical debridement and antibiotic therapy. We obtained cultures from the mouth of ten alligators to characterize their oral flora. Initial empiric therapy after alligator bites should be directed at gram-negative species, in particular, Aeromonas hydrophila and anaerobic species including Clostridium. Of the numerous fungi that were isolated, none has been reported to result in wound infection after alligator bites.

  13. On the variability of alligator sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Chabreck, R.H.

    1980-01-01

    Samples of alligators from wild and 'farm' populations exhibited disproportionate sex ratios. Males predominated among young alligators from wild populations, whereas females were much more abundant than males in the farm population, where resources were superabundant. These results and other considerations lead us to hypothesize that environmental factors influence sex determination in alligators. During favorable environmental conditions natural selection is expected to favor a preponderance of the sex whose individuals exhibit the greater environmentally associated variation in relative fitness. We hypothesize that environmentally associated variation in age at sexual maturity of females produces sufficient variation in relative fitness of females to result in selection for low sex ratios during periods of resource abundance.

  14. Methyltestosterone alters sex determination in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Murray, Christopher M; Easter, Michael; Merchant, Mark; Rheubert, Justin L; Wilson, Kelly A; Cooper, Amos; Mendonça, Mary; Wibbels, Thane; Marin, Mahmood Sasa; Guyer, Craig

    2016-09-15

    Effects of xenobiotics can be organizational, permanently affecting anatomy during embryonic development, and/or activational, influencing transitory actions during adulthood. The organizational influence of endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDC's) produces a wide variety of reproductive abnormalities among vertebrates that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Typically, such influences result in subsequent activational malfunction, some of which are beneficial in aquaculture. For example, 17-αmethyltestosterone (MT), a synthetic androgen, is utilized in tilapia farming to bias sex ratio towards males because they are more profitable. A heavily male-biased hatchling sex ratio is reported from a crocodile population near one such tilapia operation in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. In this study we test the effects of MT on sexual differentiation in American alligators, which we used as a surrogate for all crocodilians. Experimentally, alligators were exposed to MT in ovo at standard ecotoxicological concentrations. Sexual differentiation was determined by examination of primary and secondary sex organs post hatching. We find that MT is capable of producing male embryos at temperatures known to produce females and demonstrate a dose-dependent gradient of masculinization. Embryonic exposure to MT results in hermaphroditic primary sex organs, delayed renal development and masculinization of the clitero-penis (CTP).

  15. Coronary blood flow in the anesthetized American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Bjarke; Elfwing, Magnus; Elsey, Ruth M; Wang, Tobias; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-01

    Coronary circulation of the heart evolved early within ectothermic vertebrates and became of vital importance to cardiac performance in some teleost fish, mammals and birds. In contrast, the role and function of the coronary circulation in ectothermic reptiles remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the systemic and coronary arterial responses of five anesthetized juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to hypoxia, acetylcholine, adenosine, sodium nitroprusside, isoproterenol, and phenylephrine. We recorded electrocardiograms, monitored systemic blood pressure, blood flows in both aortae, and blood flow in a major coronary artery supplying most of the right ventricle. Coronary arterial blood flow was generally forward, but there was a brief retrograde flow during a ventricular contraction. Blood pressure was significantly changed in all conditions. Acetylcholine decreased coronary forward flow, but this response was confounded by the concomitant lowered work of the ventricles due to decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Coronary forward flow was poorly correlated with heart rate and mean arterial pressure across treatments. Overall changes in coronary forward flow, significant and not significant, were generally in the same direction as mean arterial pressure and ventricular power, approximated as the product of systemic cardiac output and mean arterial pressure.

  16. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1986-01-01

    Provides basic information on the anatomy, physiology, behaviors, and distribution patterns of the box turtle. Offers suggestions for the turtle's care and maintenance in a classroom environment. (ML)

  17. Comparison of Two Freshwater Turtle Species as Monitors of Environmental Contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schone, L.

    1990-01-01

    Two species of turtles that occupy different ecological niches were compared for their usefulness as monitors of contamination in freshwater ecosystems. Trachemvs scrinta (Agassiz) (yellow-bellied slider) and Chelvdra sernentina (Linnaeus) (common snapping turtle) were selected for comparison based on species abundance and differences in food habits and sediment contact. A review of the literature on contaminants in turtles and results of preliminary surveys conducted at the field sites, which are included in this study, were used to direct and focus this research project. White Oak Lake, a settling basin for low-level radioactive and nonradioactive contaminants, and Bearden Creek Embayment, an uncontaminated reference site upriver, were used as study sites in the investigation of turtles as indicators of chemical contamination. Turtles were analyzed for concentrations of strontium-go, cesium-137, cobalt 60, and mercury in specific target tissues, and for single-stranded DNA breaks, a non-specific indicator of possible exposure to genotoxic agents in the environment. Significantly higher concentrations of {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 60}Co, and mercury were detected in turtles from White Oak Lake than in turtles from the reference site. In addition, turtles from White Oak Lake contained a significantly greater amount of DNA damage than those from the reference site. Although this suggests greater exposure of White Oak Lake turtles to genotoxic agents, further studies are needed to establish the cause of the enhanced amount of single-stranded breaks. Interspecific comparisons of the turtles from White Oak Lake indicated that diet may play a significant role in the exposure of turtles to certain contaminants. No difference was detected between the concentrations of {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 60}Co between the two species.

  18. THE BOG TURTLE: Georgia's Rarest Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Lawrence

    1991-01-01

    This article discusses the description and range, the status, the habitat, the natural history, and the proper management of the diminutive, rare, and endangered species known as the box turtle. (JJK)

  19. Chronic incidental lead ingestion in a group of captive-reared alligators (Alligator mississippiensis): possible contribution to reproductive failure.

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A; Horn, Thomas R; Elsey, Ruth M; de Peyster, Ann

    2006-01-01

    An American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) breeding facility using male and female alligators raised from artificially incubated eggs was established in 1975. These alligators first reproduced at 6 years of age as compared to 10-12 years in wild alligators, but the eggs produced showed a lower hatching rate than those collected from the wild. By age 21 reproduction had failed almost completely. The alligators were sacrificed and tissues collected at necropsy from 44 captive and 15 wild animals and assayed for metals. Results showed that captive alligators had significantly higher tissue levels of lead than wild alligators. Cadmium did not differ between wild and captive and selenium was 50% higher in wild than captive alligator kidneys. Bone lead in captive alligators was 252,443 +/- 20,462 ng/g. High yolk lead was suggested as a probable cause for early embryonic death in alligator eggs. The high tissue lead levels in captive alligators was attributed to long-term consumption of nutria (Myocastor coypus) meat contaminated with lead shot. Liver, ovary, and testis were assayed for lipid peroxidation using the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) test. Captive alligators had 3.6 fold increased TBA-reactive materials in the liver tissue compared to wild. Lipid peroxidation was strongly suspected as having been enhanced by consumption of rancid nutria meat containing lead.

  20. Why do Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) form bellowing choruses: a playback approach.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianyan; Wang, Ding; Zhang, Song; Wang, Chaolin; Wang, Renping; Wu, Xiaobing

    2009-10-01

    Crocodilians are quite vocal relative to other reptile groups, and the alligators are among the most vocal of the crocodilians. The Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis, is usually solitary but engages in bellowing choruses in certain waters during the mating season. This paper reports the organization of Chinese alligator's bellowing choruses based upon field observations and playback experiments. Alligators of both genders engaged in the choruses, remaining immobile throughout and inclining toward bellowing synchronously (i.e., starting and finishing at about the same time). The choruses lasted about 10 min with abrupt onset and offset. Moreover, playback experiments revealed that both male and female alligators responded equally to bellowing stimuli from the same and opposite sexes and that none of the tested alligators approached the loudspeaker in spite of playback of male or female stimuli. These suggest that Chinese alligators may not bellow to compete for or attract mates during the choruses. Instead, when their ecological behaviors, namely, dispersed inhabitation, multi-copulation, restricted mating season, etc., are considered, we hypothesize that they may synchronize bellows to enhance group detectability for assembling individuals into certain waters for subsequent copulations.

  1. POPS IN ALLIGATOR LIVERS FROM LAKE APOPKA, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  2. SEASONAL VARIATION IN PLASMA SEX STEROID CONCENTRATION IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal variation in plasma sex steroid concentrations is common in mature vertebrates, and is occasionally seen in juvenile animals. In this study, we examine the seasonal pattern of sex hormone concentration in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and make...

  3. Organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, trace elements and metals in western pond turtle eggs from Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Beal, K.F.; Bury, R. Bruce; Goggans, R.

    2003-01-01

    With increased concern over the status of reptile populations globally, contaminant studies should be part of species evaluations. We analyzed eggs of western pond turtles from Fern Ridge Reservoir in western Oregon for 20 organochlorine (OC) pesticides or metabolites, 42 congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 16 trace elements or metals. These eggs represent the first of this species analyzed. The OC pesticides and PCB residue concentrations in the western pond turtle eggs were generally low and similar to those found in eggs of snapping turtles from a remote site in Ontario, Canada. Western pond turtle eggs also contained mercury and chromium, which are metals of special concern. Although few reptilian eggs have been analyzed for metals, the 44.9 mug/g dry weight chromium in a western pond turtle egg in this study may be the highest reported in a reptilian egg. We found no significant difference in contaminant concentrations in eggs from nests in Oregon, where all turtle eggs failed to hatch compared to those where some eggs hatched. During this initial project, however, we were unable to assess fully the role of OCs, PCBs and other contaminants in the western pond turtle decline. Factors other than contaminants may be involved. In another study, snapping turtle eggs near the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin were much more contaminated with evidence reported of effects on sex differentiation and reproductive endocrine function. Egg hatchability, the only reproductive parameter monitored, may not be the most sensitive endpoint. Other endpoints, including endocrine function, deformity rates, growth rates, and sex determination need study.

  4. THYROID STATUS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE SITES ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been shown to alter normal thyroid function in various wildlife species, including the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Abnormalities in circulating levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) have been reported in juven...

  5. Turtle isochore structure is intermediate between amphibians and other amniotes.

    PubMed

    Chojnowski, Jena L; Braun, Edward L

    2008-10-01

    Vertebrate genomes are comprised of isochores that are relatively long (>100 kb) regions with a relatively homogenous (either GC-rich or AT-rich) base composition and with rather sharp boundaries with neighboring isochores. Mammals and living archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) have heterogeneous genomes that include very GC-rich isochores. In sharp contrast, the genomes of amphibians and fishes are more homogeneous and they have a lower overall GC content. Because DNA with higher GC content is more thermostable, the elevated GC content of mammalian and archosaurian DNA has been hypothesized to be an adaptation to higher body temperatures. This hypothesis can be tested by examining structure of isochores across the reptilian clade, which includes the archosaurs, testudines (turtles), and lepidosaurs (lizards and snakes), because reptiles exhibit diverse body sizes, metabolic rates, and patterns of thermoregulation. This study focuses on a comparative analysis of a new set of expressed genes of the red-eared slider turtle and orthologs of the turtle genes in mammalian (human, mouse, dog, and opossum), archosaurian (chicken and alligator), and amphibian (western clawed frog) genomes. EST (expressed sequence tag) data from a turtle cDNA library enriched for genes that have specialized functions (developmental genes) revealed using the GC content of the third-codon-position to examine isochore structure requires careful consideration of the types of genes examined. The more highly expressed genes (e.g., housekeeping genes) are more likely to be GC-rich than are genes with specialized functions. However, the set of highly expressed turtle genes demonstrated that the turtle genome has a GC content that is intermediate between the GC-poor amphibians and the GC-rich mammals and archosaurs. There was a strong correlation between the GC content of all turtle genes and the GC content of other vertebrate genes, with the slope of the line describing this relationship also

  6. SnapShot: Interferon Signaling.

    PubMed

    Chow, Kwan T; Gale, Michael

    2015-12-17

    Interferons (IFNs) are crucial cytokines of antimicrobial, antitumor, and immunomodulatory activity. The three types of IFN (I, II, and III) are classified by their receptor specificity and sequence homology. IFNs are produced and secreted by cells in response to specific stimuli. Here, we review the subsequent IFN signaling events occurring through unique receptors leading to regulation of gene expression for modulation of innate and adaptive immunity. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.

  7. Cytochrome P4501A immunoassay in freshwater turtles and exposure to PCBs and environmental pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Yawetz, A.; Benedek-Segal, M.; Woodin, B.

    1997-09-01

    This is the result of a comparative study of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) induction in liver microsomes from three species of freshwater turtles. CYP1A induction in turtle hepatic microsomes was compared to CYP1A induction in microsomes from the alligator. Alligator mississippiensis. Treatment of two species of freshwater turtles with four consecutive intraperitoneal injections of 100 mg/kg Aroclor 1254 caused a four- to five-fold increase in P4501A in hepatic microsomes of Chrysemys picta picta and Chrysemys picta elegans. The same treatment administered to another freshwater turtle, Mauremys caspica rivulata, resulted in a very low but significant (p < 0.01) induction of P4501A in hepatic microsomes. Specimens of M. caspica rivulata collected from an organic waste oxidation pond near the petrochemical industry area of the city of Ashdod exhibited normal levels of total hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450 but no detectable level of induction of cytochrome P4501A. The lack of P4501A1 induction could have resulted from two possible reasons. The first possibility is that the turtles were not exposed to residues of petrochemical waste in the pond. More likely, the apparent lack of induction resulted from the low response to CYP1A inducers found in this species. Induction of cytochrome P4501A was evaluated immunohistochemically in liver tissue of C. picta picta pretreated with Aroclor 1254 or 3,3{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl. The most intensive staining was exhibited by sections of liver from a 3,3{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl-treated turtle. Staining of P4501A in liver sections from Aroclor 1254-treated turtles was relatively moderate. In induced turtles, staining of the hepatocytes concentrated near the cell membranes and nuclear membranes, but stained granules were observed throughout the cytoplasm. The presence of inducible CYP1A enzymes in turtles is of importance from an evolutionary point of view and has potential ecological relevance.

  8. Near infrared detectors for SNAP

    SciTech Connect

    Schubnell, M.; Barron, N.; Bebek, C.; Brown, M.G.; Borysow, M.; Cole, D.; Figer, D.; Lorenzon, W.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, S.; Seshadri, S.; Smith, R.; Tarle, G.

    2006-05-23

    Large format (1k x 1k and 2k x 2k) near infrared detectors manufactured by Rockwell Scientific Center and Raytheon Vision Systems are characterized as part of the near infrared R&D effort for SNAP (the Super-Nova/Acceleration Probe). These are hybridized HgCdTe focal plane arrays with a sharp high wavelength cut-off at 1.7 um. This cut-off provides a sufficiently deep reach in redshift while it allows at the same time low dark current operation of the passively cooled detectors at 140 K. Here the baseline SNAP near infrared system is briefly described and the science driven requirements for the near infrared detectors are summarized. A few results obtained during the testing of engineering grade near infrared devices procured for the SNAP project are highlighted. In particular some recent measurements that target correlated noise between adjacent detector pixels due to capacitive coupling and the response uniformity within individual detector pixels are discussed.

  9. Hatching behavior in turtles.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Ricky-John; Janzen, Fredric J

    2011-07-01

    Incubation temperature plays a prominent role in shaping the phenotypes and fitness of embryos, including affecting developmental rates. In many taxa, including turtles, eggs are deposited in layers such that thermal gradients alter developmental rates within a nest. Despite this thermal effect, a nascent body of experimental work on environmentally cued hatching in turtles has revealed unexpected synchronicity in hatching behavior. This review discusses environmental cues for hatching, physiological mechanisms behind synchronous hatching, proximate and ultimate causes for this behavior, and future directions for research. Four freshwater turtle species have been investigated experimentally, with hatching in each species elicited by different environmental cues and responding via various physiological mechanisms. Hatching of groups of eggs in turtles apparently involves some level of embryo-embryo communication and thus is not a purely passive activity. Although turtles are not icons of complex social behavior, life-history theory predicts that the group environment of the nest can drive the evolution of environmentally cued hatching.

  10. Arthroscopic Taloplasty for an Anterolateral Snapping Ankle.

    PubMed

    Lui, Tun Hing

    2016-12-01

    Anterior ankle snapping syndrome is rare. Snapping of the extensor digitorum longus due to attenuated inferior extensor retinaculum and snapping due to hypertrophied or low-lying peroneal tertius muscle have been reported. We reported a new mechanism of anterolateral snapping due to a hypertrophied talar head. Anterolateral snapping ankle can be revealed by active dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the ankle with the foot inverted. Foot inversion will tension the inferior extensor retinaculum and uncover the dorsolateral prominence of the talar head. The dorsolateral prominence of the talar head will snap over the proximal edge of the inferior extensor retinaculum. This technical note reports the technique of arthroscopic contouring of the talar head via extra-articular ankle arthroscopy. We named this technique arthroscopic taloplasty.

  11. Seasonal variation in plasma thyroxine concentrations in juvenile alligators (Alligators mississippiensis) from three Florida Lakes.

    PubMed

    Bermudez, Dieldrich S; Milnes, Matthew R; Bryan, Teresa A; Gunderson, Mark P; Tubbs, Christopher; Woodward, Allan R; Guillette, Louis J

    2005-05-01

    Circulating concentrations of thyroxine (T(4)) vary seasonally in many vertebrates. This study examined the seasonal variation in plasma concentrations of T(4) in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three populations in central Florida, USA. One site, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, is considered a reference site whereas the other two lakes, Lake Apopka and Orange Lake, are significantly impacted by human activity. Juvenile American alligators ranging from 75-150 cm in total length were hand-captured at night from November 2000-April 2002. Plasma thyroxine concentrations were analyzed using a radioimmunoassay (RIA) previously validated for alligator plasma. Juvenile American alligators display seasonal variation in circulating T(4) concentrations. Plasma T(4) concentrations decrease from August/September to November and then begin a slow rise until April, at which point they plateau. Sex of juveniles influenced plasma concentrations of T(4) in some months but did not appear to alter the pattern in seasonal variation. The pattern we observed in plasma T(4) concentrations is not directly related to an environmental factor such as ambient temperature but is similar to that seen in plasma sex steroid concentrations during the reproductive cycle of adult alligators. Although the pattern and plasma concentration of T(4) exhibits significant variation among the three lakes studied, the pattern in seasonal variation appears similar. Comparing the seasonal pattern in plasma T(4) with plasma concentrations of sex steroids (testosterone and estradiol-17beta) or corticosterone could provide important information on the peripubescent life stage of the American alligator.

  12. Comparison of two freshwater turtle species as monitors of radionuclide and chemical contamination: DNA damage and residue analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schoene, L. ); Shugart, L.R.; Beauchamp, J.J.; Walton, B.T. )

    1993-08-01

    Two species of turtles that occupy different ecological niches were compared for their usefulness as monitors of freshwater ecosystems where both low-level radioactive and nonradioactive contaminants are present. The pond slider (Trachemys scripta) and common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) were analyzed for the presence of [sup 90]Sr, [sup 137]Cs, [sup 60]Co, and Hg, radionuclides and chemicals known to be present at the contaminated site, and single-strand breaks in liver DNA. The integrity of the DNA was examined by the alkaline unwinding assay, a technique that detects strand breaks as a biological marker of possible exposure to genotoxic agents. This measure of DNA damage was significantly increased in both species of turtles at the contaminated site compared with turtles of the same species at a reference site, and shows that contaminant-exposed populations were under more severe genotoxic stress than those at the reference site. The level of strand breaks observed at the contaminated site was high and in the range reported for other aquatic species exposed to deleterious concentrations of genotoxic agents such as chemicals and ionizing radiation. Statistically significantly higher concentrations of radionuclides and Hg were detected in the turtles from the contaminated area. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in the more carnivorous snapping turtle compared with the slider; however, both species were effective monitors of the contaminants.

  13. An indoor air quality study of an alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) holding facility.

    PubMed

    Wilson, S C; Holder, H W; Martin, J M; Brasel, T L; Andriychuk, L A; Wu, C; Straus, D C; Aguilar, R

    2006-06-01

    An environmental microbiologic investigation was conducted in an alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) holding facility in a zoo in the southeastern U.S. The facility had housed five alligators between March 1999 and February 2005. In the exhibit, one alligator died and all experienced poor health. It was hypothesized that environmental microbial contamination was associated with these issues. Samples were collected for fungal identification and quantification, microcystin analysis, and airborne mycotoxins. Analyses of air and water were conducted and an examination of the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) for design, maintenance, and operating issues was made. Two control sites, a facility for false gharials (Tomistoma schlegelii) and an off-site alligator breeding facility, were also tested. Morbidity and mortality records were examined for all sites. Results showed that, compared to the control sites, the test alligator facility and its HVAC system were extensively contaminated with a range of fungi. Nearly all sampled surfaces featured fungal growth. There were also significantly higher counts of Penicillium/Aspergillus-like and Chrysosporium-like spores in the air (P < 0.004). The design, maintenance, and operation of the HVAC system were all inadequate, resulting in poorly conditioned and mold-contaminated air being introduced to the facility. Morbidity records revealed solitary pulmonary disorders over time in three alligators, with one dying as a result. The other two alligators suffered from general malaise and a range of nonspecific symptoms. The control facilities had no morbidity or mortality issues. In conclusion, although no causal links could be demonstrated because of the nature of the morbidity data, environmental mold contamination appeared to be associated with the history of morbidity and mortality in the alligator exhibit.

  14. Endogenous and exogenous estrogens during embryonic development affect timing of hatch and growth in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Cruze, Lori; Roark, Alison M; Rolland, Gabrielle; Younas, Mona; Stacy, Nicole; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-06-01

    Prenatal exposure to estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can affect length of gestation and body mass and size of offspring. However, the dose, timing, and duration of exposure as well as sex and strain of the experimental animals determine the direction and magnitude of these effects. In this study, we examined the effects of a one-time embryonic exposure to either 17 β-estradiol (E2) or bisphenol A (BPA) on rate of development and growth in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Our results indicate that BPA and E2-treated alligators hatched approximately 1.4 days earlier than vehicle-treated (control) alligators, suggesting that estrogenic chemicals hasten hatching in these animals. We assessed growth rates, growth allometry, and body condition for 21 weeks after hatching and found that BPA-treated alligators grew more quickly shortly after hatching but more slowly thereafter compared to control alligators. Conversely, E2-treated alligators grew more slowly shortly after hatching but more quickly thereafter compared to control alligators. As a result of differences in growth rate, BPA-treated alligators were heavier, longer, and fatter than control alligators at age 5 weeks but were similar in size and leaner than control alligators at age 21 weeks. Biochemical analytes were examined at the end of the 21-week study to assess overall metabolic condition. We found that E2-treated alligators had significantly higher circulating plasma concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides than control alligators while BPA-treated alligators had blood profiles comparable to control alligators. Our results provide important insights into the effects of exogenous estrogens on morphology and metabolism in an oviparous, semi-aquatic reptile.

  15. Snapping Pes Syndrome after Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Taketomi, Shuji; Yamagami, Ryota; Tahara, Keitaro; Tanaka, Sakae

    2016-01-01

    Snapping pes syndrome is defined as a snapping sensation in the medial knee caused by pes anserinus and rarely occurs. Snapping pes syndrome after unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) has not been reported yet. We experienced two cases with this syndrome after UKA. Conservative treatment was effective in one case, while surgical excision of the gracilis tendon was necessary to relieve painful snapping in the other case. The main cause of the first case might be posteromedial overhang of the tibial tray that reached up to 5 mm. The probable cause of the second case was posteromedial overhang of the mobile bearing. PMID:27274476

  16. The ORNL-SNAP shielding program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mynatt, F. R.; Clifford, C. E.; Muckenthaler, F. J.; Gritzner, M. L.

    1972-01-01

    The effort in the ORNL-SNAP shielding program is directed toward the development and verification of computer codes using numerical solutions to the transport equation for the design of optimized radiation shields for SNAP power systems. A brief discussion is given for the major areas of the SNAP shielding program, which are cross-section development, transport code development, and integral experiments. Detailed results are presented for the integral experiments utilizing the TSF-SNAP reactor. Calculated results are compared with experiments for neutron and gamma-ray spectra from the bare reactor and as transmitted through slab shields.

  17. Nematodes collected by gastric lavage from live American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, in Florida.

    PubMed

    Waddle, Amanda Rice; Kinsella, John M; Ross, J Perran; Rojas-Flores, Edith; Percival, H Franklin; Forrester, Donald J

    2009-10-01

    Stomach nematodes were collected from 151 live American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, from 3 lakes (Apopka, Griffin, and Woodruff) in north-central Florida using a gastric lavage technique. Four species were identified: Dujardinascaris waltoni, Ortleppascaris antipini, Brevimulticaecum tenuicolle, and larvae of Contracaecum sp. Of these, D. waltoni was the most prevalent species in all 3 lakes and was more prevalent in Lake Apopka than in the other 2 lakes. This is the first record of Contracaecum larvae in the American alligator and the second record of O. antipini.

  18. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    PubMed

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of turtles is poorly understood compared with the other reptiles. Although the mechanism of transduction of sound into a neural signal via hair cells has been described in detail, the rest of the auditory system is largely a black box. What is known is that turtles have higher hearing thresholds than other reptiles, with best frequencies around 500 Hz. They also have lower underwater hearing thresholds than those in air, owing to resonance of the middle ear cavity. Further studies demonstrated that all families of turtles and tortoises share a common middle ear cavity morphology, with scaling best suited to underwater hearing. This supports an aquatic origin of the group. Because turtles hear best under water, it is important to examine their vulnerability to anthropogenic noise. However, the lack of basic data makes such experiments difficult because only a few species of turtles have published audiograms. There are also almost no behavioral data available (understandable due to training difficulties). Finally, few studies show what kinds of sounds are behaviorally relevant. One notable paper revealed that the Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga) has a vocal repertoire in air, at the interface, and under water. Findings like these suggest that there is more to the turtle aquatic auditory scene than previously thought.

  19. Metabolic scaling in turtles.

    PubMed

    Ultsch, Gordon R

    2013-04-01

    Bennett and Dawson (1976) presented an analysis of the relationship of metabolic rate (MR) and body mass among turtles, based on 10 studies, but unlike most of other groups of ectotherms, there has been no update to include the many later reports on turtles. Here I present a review of the data on turtle metabolic rates at 20, 25, and 30°C, along with regression equations and graphical analyses from a large number of studies. Two generalities emerge: (1) reported metabolic rates for sea turtles are higher than for other chelonians, although it is not certain whether this is an intrinsic characteristic of sea turtles or an artifact related to experimental conditions (such as greater activity of sea turtles in metabolic chambers and the fact that a number of studies were done with the turtles out of water), and (2) the slopes of the log-log plots of metabolic rate (MR) vs. body mass [b in the allometric equation MR=a(mass)(b)] are mostly lower than previously reported in smaller studies.

  20. Continuation of studies on thermoregulation of fish and turtles in thermally stressed habitats. Summary progress report, 1 October 1977-30 September 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Spotila, J.R.

    1980-05-01

    Biophysical-behavioral-ecological models have been completed to explain the behavioral thermoregulation of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and turtles (Chrysemys scripta). Steady state and time dependent mathematical models accurately predict the body temperatures of largemouth bass. Field experiments using multichannel radio transmitters have provided temperatures of several body compartments of free ranging bass in their natural habitat. Initial studies have been completed to describe the behavioral thermoregulation of bass in a reactor cooling reservoir. Energy budgets, fundamental climate spaces, and realized climate spaces have been completed for the turtle, C. scripta. We have described the behavioral thermoregulation of C. scripta in Par Pond, S.C. and have measured its movements, home ranges and population levels in heated and unheated arms of the reservoir. Operative environmental temperature is a good predictor of the basking behavior of this turtle. A new synthesis explained the evolution of thermoregulatory strategies among animals. Laboratory experiments clarified the effects of movement, diving and temperature on the blood flow of alligators. Other experiments defined the role of boundary layers in controlling the evaporation of water from the surfaces of turtles and alligators in still and moving air. Nutritional status may be an important factor affecting the thermoregulatory behavior of turtles.

  1. An algae-covered alligator rests warily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    An algae-covered alligator keeps a wary eye open as it rests in one of the ponds at Kennedy Space Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  2. A mother alligator protects her young

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In the water near Kennedy Space Center, a mother alligator gathers her six offspring. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  3. METALS AND METALLOIDS IN TISSUES OF AMERICAN ALLIGATORS IN THREE FLORIDA LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concentrations of metals and selenium were examined in tissues of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three lakes in central Florida, in one of which alligators have exhibited reproductive or developmental defects. Our overall objective was to determine whether ...

  4. Low cost of ventilation in the vagotomised alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Wang, Tobias

    2007-10-15

    Pulmonary ventilation requires energy, but the estimated costs of breathing in reptiles vary from 1 to 30% of resting metabolic rate. The low values have been estimated from changes in oxygen uptake during hypoxia or hypercapnia, but it remains possible that these treatments affected metabolism. We equipped alligators with masks for simultaneous measurements of ventilation and oxygen uptake during hypercapnia, hypoxia and bilateral vagotomy. Hypercapnia and hypoxia caused a marked increase in total ventilation, but oxygen uptake remained unchanged indicating a very low energetic cost of breathing. Upon vagotomy, breathing pattern changed to occasional and exceedingly deep breaths (76.1+/-11.1 ml kg(-1)) followed by buccal oscillations and shallower breaths (22.2+/-2.3 ml kg(-1)) interspersed between long non-ventilatory periods. This change in breathing pattern did not affect oxygen uptake. The duration of inspiration increased substantially upon vagotomy, so that inspiratory flow rate did not increase proportionally to tidal volume. These prolonged inspiratory times leads to less flow resistance and may explain that tidal volume could be increased substantially without a measurable energetic cost.

  5. SNAP Satellite Focal Plane Development

    SciTech Connect

    Bebek, C.; Akerlof, C.; Aldering, G.; Amanullah, R.; Astier, P.; Baltay, C.; Barrelet, E.; Basa, S.; Bercovitz, J.; Bergstrom, L.; Berstein, G.P.; Bester, M.; Bohlin, R.; Bonissent, A.; Bower, C.; Campbell, M.; Carithers, W.; Commins, E.; Day, C.; Deustua, S.; DiGennaro, R.; Ealet, A.; Ellis, R.; Emmett, W.; Eriksson, M.; Fouchez,D.; Fruchter, A.; Genat, J-F.; Goldhaber, G.; Goobar, A.; Groom, D.; Heetderks, H.; Holland, S.; Huterer, D.; Johnson, W.; Kadel, R.; Karcher,A.; Kim, A.; Kolbe, W.; Lafever, R.; Lamoureaux, J.; Lampton, M.; Lefevre, O.; Levi, M.; Levin, D.; Linder, E.; Loken, S.; Malina, R.; Mazure, A.; McKay, T.; McKee, S.; Miquel, R.; Morgan, N.; Mortsell, E.; Mostek, N.; Mufson, S.; Musser, J.; Roe, N.; Nugent, P.; Oluseyi, H.; Pain, R.; Palaio, N.; Pankow, D.; Perlmutter, S.; Prieto, E.; Rabinowitz,D.; Refregier, A.; Rhodes, J.; Schubnell, M.; Sholl, M.; Smadja, G.; Smith, R.; Smoot, G.; Snyder, J.; Spadafora, A.; Szymkowiak, A.; Tarle,G.; Taylor, K.; Tilquin, A.; Tomasch, A.; Vincent, D.; von der Lippe, H.; Walder, J-P.; Wang, G.

    2003-07-07

    The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square degree field in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. The requirements for the instrument suite and the present configuration of the focal plane concept are presented. A two year R&D phase, largely supported by the Department of Energy, is just beginning. We describe the development activities that are taking place to advance our preparedness for mission proposal in the areas of detectors and electronics.

  6. Lymphoid follicular cloacal inflammation associated with a novel herpesvirus in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Govett, Pamela D; Harms, Craig A; Johnson, April J; Latimer, Kenneth S; Wellehan, James F X; Fatzinger, Michael H; Christian, L Shane; Kelly, Terra R; Lewbart, Gregory A

    2005-09-01

    Multifocal hyperemic nodules and plaques associated with the cloacal mucosa of juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at a public aquarium were investigated. Grossly, pale pink to dark red multifocal, circular lesions of varying degrees of severity were identified on the cloacal and, in males, phallus mucosa. Cloacal mucosa biopsies were obtained from 2 of the alligators. These samples were examined histologically and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using consensus primers targeting a conserved region of the herpesvirus polymerase gene. Microscopically, the lesions were characterized as submucosal lymphoid follicles with hyperemia and hemorrhage. No inclusion bodies were observed. Minimal to no anisokaryosis was present, and no etiologic agents were identified. Through PCR, a band consistent in size with herpesvirus was observed. Tissues showing similar clinical, histopathologic, and PCR findings were collected from animals at an alligator farm several months later. Sequencing of the PCR amplicon resulted in a 180-base pair sequence that shared 85% sequence identity with tortoise herpesvirus-1.

  7. MORPHOLOGICAL VARIATION IN HATCHLING AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM THREE FLORIDA LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Morphological variation of 508 hatchling alligators from three lakes in north central Florida (Lakes Woodruff, Apopka, and Orange) was analyzed using multivariate statistics. Morphological variation was found among clutches as well as among lakes. Principal components analysis wa...

  8. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this study was to determine whether hepatic biotransformation of testosterone is normally sexually dimorphic in juvenile alligators and whether living in a contaminated environment affects hepatic dimorphism. Lake Woodruff served as our reference site. Moonshine Bay, ...

  9. An immunohistochemical approach to identify the sex of young marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Tezak, Boris M; Guthrie, Kathleen; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2017-03-13

    Marine turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). During critical periods of embryonic development, the nest's thermal environment directs whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. At warmer sand temperatures nests tend to produce female-biased sex ratios. The rapid increase of global temperature highlights the need for a clear assessment of its effects on sea turtle sex ratios. However, estimating hatchling sex ratios at rookeries remains imprecise due to the lack of sexual dimorphism in young marine turtles. We rely mainly upon laparoscopic procedures to verify hatchling sex; however, in some species, morphological sex can be ambiguous even at the histological level. Recent studies using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques identified that embryonic snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ovaries over-expressed a particular Cold-induced RNA Binding Protein in comparison to testes. This feature allows the identification of females vs. males. We modified this technique to successfully identify the sexes of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings, and independently confirmed the results by standard histological and laparoscopic methods that reliably identify sex in this species. We next tested the CIRBP IHC method on gonad samples from leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Leatherbacks display delayed gonad differentiation, when compared to other sea turtles, making hatchling gonads difficult to sex using standard H and E stain histology. The IHC approach was successful in both C. caretta and D. coriacea samples, offering a much-needed tool to establish baseline hatchling sex ratios, particularly for assessing impacts of climate change effects on leatherback turtle hatchlings and sea turtle demographics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. SNAP Cuts Put Youth at Risk

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lower-Basch, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    In a typical month in 2011, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) served 4.3 million low-income young adults ages 18-24, helping them buy needed groceries. This brief report demonstrates the detrimental impact the cuts proposed to SNAP in the House-passed Farm bill (H.R. 3102)--which is now…

  11. Internal snapping hip syndrome in dynamic ultrasonography

    PubMed Central

    Maczuch, Jarosław; Skupiński, Jarosław; Kukawska-Sysio, Karolina; Wawrzynek, Wojciech

    2016-01-01

    Snapping hip syndrome is an audible or palpable snap in a hip joint during movement which may be accompanied by pain or locking. It is typically seen in young athletes performing activities requiring repeated extreme movements of the hip. It may also follow a physical trauma, intramuscular injections or surgeries. There are two main forms of snapping hip: extra- or intra-articular. Extra-articular snapping hip is elicited by an abnormal movement of specific tendons and is divided into two forms: internal and external. The internal form of snapping hip syndrome is attributed to an abrupt movement of an iliopsoas tendon against an iliopectineal eminence. Radiograph results in patients with this form of snapping tend to be normal. Dynamic ultrasound is the gold standard diagnostic technique in both forms of extra-articular snapping hip syndrome. The objective of the following text is to describe a step-by-step dynamic ultrasonography examination in internal extra-articular snapping hip syndrome in accordance to the proposed checklist protocol. To evaluate abrupt movement of an involved tendon, the patient needs to perform specific provocation tests during the examination. With its real-time imaging capabilities, dynamic ultrasonography detects the exact mechanism of the abnormal tendon friction during hip movement in a noninvasive way. It also allows for a diagnosis of additional hip tissue changes which may be causing the pain. PMID:27679733

  12. Home range and movements of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in an estuary habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Denton, Mathew J.

    2014-01-01

    This study reveals consistent use of estuary habitat by American alligators. The alligators showed variations in their movement pattern and seasonal habitat, with movement attributable to environmental factors. Although satellite-derived locations were more dispersed compared to locations collected using VHF radio-tags, data collected from VHF tracking omitted some habitat used for a short period of time, indicating the effectiveness of satellite telemetry to continuously track animals for ecosystem-scale studies.

  13. Turtles as hopeful monsters.

    PubMed

    Rieppel, O

    2001-11-01

    A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties. The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation.

  14. Alligators, contaminants and steroid hormones.

    PubMed

    Guillette, Louis J; Edwards, Thea M; Moore, Brandon C

    2007-01-01

    Steroids are essential for successful reproduction in all vertebrate species. Over the last several decades, extensive research has indicated that exposure to various environmental pollutants can disrupt steroidogenesis and steroid signaling. Although steroidogenesis is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, it is also modified by various paracrine and autocrine factors. Furthermore, the classical two-cell model of steroidogenesis in the developing ovarian follicle, involving the granulosa and theca cells in mammals, may not be universal. Instead, birds and probably reptiles use the two thecal compartments (theca interna and theca externa) as sites of steroid production. We have documented that embryonic or juvenile exposure to a complex mixture of contaminants from agricultural and storm water runoff leads to altered steroid hormone profiles in American alligators. Our observations suggest that alterations in plasma steroid hormone concentrations are due in part to altered gene expression, modified hepatic biotransformation and altered gonadal steroidogenesis. Future studies must examine the interplay between endocrine and paracrine regulation in the development and expression of gonadal steroidogenesis in individuals exposed to endocrine disrupting contaminants at various life stages if we are to fully understand potential detrimental outcomes.

  15. International Alligator Rivers Analog Project

    SciTech Connect

    Bichard, G.F.

    1988-01-01

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, the U.K. Department of the Environment, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation of Japan are participating under the aegis of the Nuclear Energy Agency in the International Alligator Rivers Analog Project. The project has a duration of 3 yr, starting in 1988. The project has grown out of a research program on uranium ore bodies as analogs of high-level waste (HLW) repositories undertaken by ANSTO supported by the NRC. A primary objective of the project is to develop an approach to radionuclide transport model validation that may be used by the participants to support assessments of the safety of radioactive waste repositories. The approach involves integrating mathematical and physical modeling with hydrological and geochemical field and laboratory investigations of the analog site. The Koongarra uranium ore body has been chosen as the analog site because it has a secondary ore body that has formed over the past million years as a result of leaching by groundwater flowing through fractures in the primary ore body.

  16. Snap-in compressible biomedical electrode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, J. D., Jr.; Hillman, C. E., Jr. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    A replaceable, prefilled electrode enclosed in a plastic seal and suitably adapted for attachment to a reusable, washable cap having snaps thereon is disclosed. The apparatus is particularly adapted for quick positioning of electrodes to obtain an EEG. The individual electrodes are formed of a sponge body which is filled with a conductive electrolyte gel during manufacture. The sponge body is adjacent to a base formed of a conductive plastic material. The base has at its center a male gripper snap. The cap locates the female snap to enable the electrode to be positioned. The electrode can be stored and used quickly by attaching to the female gripper snap. The snap is correctly positioned and located by mounting it in a stretchable cap. The cap is reusable with new electrodes for each use. The electrolyte gel serves as the contact electrode to achieve a good ohmic contact with the scalp.

  17. Understanding and Treating the Snapping Hip

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Yi-Meng; Lewis, Cara L.; Kim, Young-Jo

    2016-01-01

    Snapping hip, or coxa saltans is a palpable or auditory snapping with movement of the hip joint. Extra-articular snapping is divided into external and internal types, and is caused laterally by the iliotibial band and anteriorly by the iliopsoas tendon. Snapping of the iliopsoas usually requires contraction of the hip flexors and may be difficult to distinguish from intra-articualar coxa saltans. Ultrasound can be a useful modality to dynamically detect tendon translation during hip movement to support the diagnosis of extra-articular snapping. Coxa saltans is typically treated with conservative measures including anti-inflammatories, stretching and avoidance of inciting activities. Recalcitrant cases are treated with surgery to lengthen the iliopsoas or iliotibial band. PMID:26524554

  18. Urinary Phthalate Metabolites in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Selected Florida Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Brock, John W; Bell, Jane Margaret; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Phthalates have been shown to cause endocrine disruption in laboratory animals and are associated with altered development of the reproductive system in humans. Further, human have significant exposure to phthalates. However, little is known concerning the exposure of wildlife to phthalates. We report urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations from fifty juvenile alligators from three Florida lakes and a site in the Everglades. Urinary phthalate monoester concentrations varied widely among alligators from the different sites but also among alligators from the same site. Mono-2-ethylhexy phthalate and monobutyl phthalate were found in most samples of alligator urine with maximums of 35,700 ng/mL and 193 ng/mL, respectively. Monobenzyl phthalate was found in 5 alligators with a maximum of 66.7 ng/mL. Other monoesters were found in only one or two alligator urine samples. The wide variation within and among sites, in addition to the high levels of mEHP, mBP and mBzP, is consistent with exposure arising from the intermittent spraying of herbicide formulations to control invasive aquatic plants in Florida freshwater sites. Phthalate diesters are used as adjuvants in many of these formulations.

  19. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  20. Material properties of mandibular cortical bone in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Zapata, Uriel; Metzger, Keith; Wang, Qian; Elsey, Ruth M; Ross, Callum F; Dechow, Paul C

    2010-03-01

    This study reports the elastic material properties of cortical bone in the mandible of juvenile Alligator mississippiensis obtained by using an ultrasonic wave technique. The elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and Poisson's ratio were measured on 42 cylindrical Alligator bone specimens obtained from the lingual and facial surfaces of 4 fresh Alligator mandibles. The data suggest that the elastic properties of alligator mandibular cortical bone are similar to those found in mammals and are orthotropic. The properties most resemble those found in the cortex of mammalian postcranial long bones where the bone is most stiff in one direction and much less stiff in the two remaining orthogonal directions. This is different from cortical bone found in the mandibles of humans and some monkeys, where the bone has greatest stiffness in one direction, much less stiffness in another direction, and an intermediate amount in the third orthogonal direction. This difference suggests a relationship between levels of orthotropy and bending stress. The comparability of these elastic moduli to those of other vertebrates suggest that the high bone strain magnitudes recorded from the alligator mandible in vivo are not attributable to a lower stiffness of alligator mandibular bone.

  1. Survival and growth of American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) hatchlings after artificial incubation and repatriation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Temsiripong, Y.; Woodward, A.R.; Ross, J.P.; Kubilis, P.S.; Percival, H.F.

    2006-01-01

    Hatchling American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) produced from artificially incubated wild eggs were returned to their natal areas (repatriated). We compared artificially incubated and repatriated hatchlings released within and outside the maternal alligator's home range with naturally incubated hatchlings captured and released within the maternal alligator's home range on Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, and Orange Lake in Florida. We used probability of recapture and total length at approximately nine months after hatching as indices of survival and growth rates. Artificially incubated hatchlings released outside of the maternal alligator's home range had lower recapture probabilities than either naturally incubated hatchlings or artificially incubated hatchlings released near the original nest site. Recapture probabilities of other treatments did not differ significantly. Artificially incubated hatchlings were approximately 6% shorter than naturally incubated hatchlings at approximately nine months after hatching. We concluded that repatriation of hatchlings probably would not have long-term effects on populations because of the resiliency of alligator populations to alterations of early age-class survival and growth rates of the magnitude that we observed. Repatriation of hatchlings may be an economical alternative to repatriation of older juveniles for population restoration. However, the location of release may affect subsequent survival and growth. Copyright 2006 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  2. Characterization of phospholipase A(2) activity in serum of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Merchant, Mark; Heard, Raphiel; Monroe, Caleb

    2009-11-01

    PLA(2) is a diverse class of enzymes with a broad spectrum of physiological functions. Secretory PLA(2) isoforms have been reported to exhibit important innate immune function in higher vertebrates. This study was conducted to characterize PLA(2) activity in the serum of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We used a glycerophospholipid with a fatty acid in the sn-2 position labeled with a fluorescent probe (BODIPY) to detect and quantify alligator serum PLA(2) activity. Incubation of BODIPY-labeled bacteria with different concentrations of alligator serum resulted in a concentration-dependent detection of PLA(2) activity. Kinetic studies showed that product formation was rapid, with substantial activity within 5 min, and maximal activity at approximately 20 min. The alligator PLA(2) activity was temperature-dependent, with activity at lower temperatures (5-10 degrees C) approximately half of that observed at temperatures of 30-40 degrees C. In addition, the generation of fluorescent product was reduced by a specific inhibitor (p-bromophenacyl bromide) of secretory PLA(2) in a concentration-dependent manner, enforcing the idea that the observed activities are due to a secretory PLA(2) enzyme in alligator serum.

  3. The isolation of parvalbumin isoforms from the tail muscle of the American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis).

    PubMed

    Laney, E L; Shabanowitz, J; King, G; Hunt, D F; Nelson, D J

    1997-04-01

    Multiple parvalbumin isoforms have been detected in the tail (skeletal) muscle of the American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis). One of these isoforms (APV-1) has been highly purified and partially characterized. Protein purification involved mainly gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography, and characterization included gel electrophoresis, amino acid composition analysis, metal ion analysis, MALDI-TOF and ESI mass spectrometry, ultraviolet and fluorescence spectroscopy, and one- and two-dimensional 500 MHz proton NMR spectroscopy. The alligator isoforms are rich in phenylalanine and deficient in the other aromatic residues as is typical for parvalbumins. In fact, the one highly purified isoform that forms the basis of this study has only phenyl-alanine as an aromatic residue. Ion exchange chromatography further indicates that this isoform has a relatively high isoelectric point (pl approximately 5.0), indicating that it is an alpha-lineage parvalbumin. This alligator parvalbumin isoform is unusual in that it has an atypically high Ca2+ content (almost 3.0 mole of Ca2+ per mole of protein) following purification, a fact supported by terbium fluorescence titration experiments. Preliminary comparative analysis of the highly purified alligator parvalbumin isoform (in the Ca2-loaded state) by two-dimensional 1H-NMR (2D 1H TOCSY and 2D 1H NOESY) indicates that there is considerable similarity in structure between the alligator protein and a homologous protein obtained from the silver hake (a saltwater fish species).

  4. Young Children and Turtle Graphics Programming: Understanding Turtle Commands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    The LOGO programing language developed for children includes a set of primitive graphics commands that control the displacement and rotation of a display screen cursor called a turtle. The purpose of this study was to examine 4- to 7-year-olds' understanding of single turtle commands as transformations that connect turtle states and to…

  5. Sound Localization in the Alligator

    PubMed Central

    Carr, Catherine E.

    2016-01-01

    In early tetrapods, it is assumed that the tympana were acoustically coupled through the pharynx and therefore inherently directional, acting as pressure difference receivers. The later closure of the middle ear cavity in turtles, archosaurs, and mammals is a derived condition, and would have changed the ear by decoupling the tympana. Isolation of the middle ears would then have led to selection for structural and neural strategies to compute sound source localization in both archosaurs and mammalian ancestors. In the archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) the presence of air spaces in the skull provided connections between the ears that have been exploited to improve directional hearing, while neural circuits mediating sound localization are well developed. In this review, we will focus primarily on directional hearing in crocodilians, where vocalization and sound localization are thought to be ecologically important, and indicate important issues still awaiting resolution. PMID:26048335

  6. Sound localization in the alligator.

    PubMed

    Bierman, Hilary S; Carr, Catherine E

    2015-11-01

    In early tetrapods, it is assumed that the tympana were acoustically coupled through the pharynx and therefore inherently directional, acting as pressure difference receivers. The later closure of the middle ear cavity in turtles, archosaurs, and mammals is a derived condition, and would have changed the ear by decoupling the tympana. Isolation of the middle ears would then have led to selection for structural and neural strategies to compute sound source localization in both archosaurs and mammalian ancestors. In the archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) the presence of air spaces in the skull provided connections between the ears that have been exploited to improve directional hearing, while neural circuits mediating sound localization are well developed. In this review, we will focus primarily on directional hearing in crocodilians, where vocalization and sound localization are thought to be ecologically important, and indicate important issues still awaiting resolution.

  7. Crocodiles and Alligators. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farre, Marie

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume describes the physical characteristics, behavior, and peculiar habits of crocodiles, including how to distinguish them from close relatives such as alligators, cayman, and gharials. (YP)

  8. Bio-gas production from alligator weeds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Latif, A.

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to study the effect of temperature, sample preparation, reducing agents, light intensity and pH of the media, on bio-gas and methane production from the microbial anaerobic decomposition of alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides. Efforts were also made for the isolation and characterization of the methanogenic bacteria.

  9. Alternathera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach - alligator weed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control of Alternanthera philoxeroides, alligator weed, began when George Vogt, USDA, conducted several surveys by public transport in South America during the 1960s. Three agents were released in USA and two of them, the flea beetle Agasicles hygrophila and the moth Arcola malloi were re...

  10. Elemental Levels Analyzed by PIXE in Florida Alligators

    SciTech Connect

    Kuharik, J.C.; Kravchenko, I.I.; Dunnam, F.E.; Rinsvelt, H.A. van; Ross, J.P.

    2003-08-26

    Unusual and alarming mortality of alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) has been reported from Lake Griffin, Florida, where almost 400 dead alligators have been observed since 1997. In addition, the hatch rate for alligator eggs around Lake Griffin fell below 10% and remains low (30-45%) while the normal hatch rate is typically 80%. Standard diagnostic methods have been ineffective in determining the cause of the phenomenon. Many possibilities have been considered including pollutants, nutrition, and toxic algae. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) analysis is highly suitable for investigating concentrations of a wide range of elements in animal tissue. Liver, kidney and spinal cord tissues from healthy and sick alligators have been analyzed by PIXE for elemental content. Initial results showed positive correlation between certain elements and neural impairment and morbidity of alligators in Lake Griffin, but have failed to prove significant.

  11. Elemental Levels Analyzed by PIXE in Florida Alligators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuharik, J. C.; Kravchenko, I. I.; Dunnam, F. E.; Van Rinsvelt, H. A.; Ross, J. P.

    2003-08-01

    Unusual and alarming mortality of alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) has been reported from Lake Griffin, Florida, where almost 400 dead alligators have been observed since 1997. In addition, the hatch rate for alligator eggs around Lake Griffin fell below 10% and remains low (30-45%) while the normal hatch rate is typically 80%. Standard diagnostic methods have been ineffective in determining the cause of the phenomenon. Many possibilities have been considered including pollutants, nutrition, and toxic algae. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) analysis is highly suitable for investigating concentrations of a wide range of elements in animal tissue. Liver, kidney and spinal cord tissues from healthy and sick alligators have been analyzed by PIXE for elemental content. Initial results showed positive correlation between certain elements and neural impairment and morbidity of alligators in Lake Griffin, but have failed to prove significant.

  12. How the Venus flytrap snaps.

    PubMed

    Forterre, Yoël; Skotheim, Jan M; Dumais, Jacques; Mahadevan, L

    2005-01-27

    The rapid closure of the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) leaf in about 100 ms is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. This led Darwin to describe the plant as "one of the most wonderful in the world". The trap closure is initiated by the mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs. Previous studies have focused on the biochemical response of the trigger hairs to stimuli and quantified the propagation of action potentials in the leaves. Here we complement these studies by considering the post-stimulation mechanical aspects of Venus flytrap closure. Using high-speed video imaging, non-invasive microscopy techniques and a simple theoretical model, we show that the fast closure of the trap results from a snap-buckling instability, the onset of which is controlled actively by the plant. Our study identifies an ingenious solution to scaling up movements in non-muscular engines and provides a general framework for understanding nastic motion in plants.

  13. How the Venus flytrap snaps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forterre, Yoël; Skotheim, Jan M.; Dumais, Jacques; Mahadevan, L.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid closure of the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) leaf in about 100ms is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. This led Darwin to describe the plant as ``one of the most wonderful in the world''. The trap closure is initiated by the mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs. Previous studies have focused on the biochemical response of the trigger hairs to stimuli and quantified the propagation of action potentials in the leaves. Here we complement these studies by considering the post-stimulation mechanical aspects of Venus flytrap closure. Using high-speed video imaging, non-invasive microscopy techniques and a simple theoretical model, we show that the fast closure of the trap results from a snap-buckling instability, the onset of which is controlled actively by the plant. Our study identifies an ingenious solution to scaling up movements in non-muscular engines and provides a general framework for understanding nastic motion in plants.

  14. Implementing Herpetofaunal Inventory and Monitoring Efforts on Corps of Engineers Project Lands

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    Snapping Turtle, Texas Horned LizardS , Timber Rattlesnake, Louisiana Pine Snake, Scarlet Snake Galveston District Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Atlantic...Eastern/Central North America . Boston, MA: Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company. Daszak, P., D. E. Scott, A. M. Kilpatrick, C...Reptilia Northern Alligator Lizard Elgaria coerulea Slender Glass Lizard Ophisaurus attenuatus Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard Gambelia sila Texas Horned

  15. Intraocular pressure variation associated with body length in young American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Whittaker, C J; Heaton-Jones, T G; Kubilis, P S; Smith, P J; Brooks, D E; Kosarek, C; Mackay, E O; Gelatt, K N

    1995-10-01

    Using an applanation tonometer, 5 replicate intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements were obtained from each eye of 12 young clinically normal, American alligators. Alligator length ranged from 46 to 117 cm, measured from snout to tail tip. All IOP were recorded by a single observer at an ambient temperature of approximately 25 C, and ranged from 5 to 35 mm of Hg. Observer reliability was excellent (intraclass r = 0.93), and IOP did not change over the ordered sequence of 5 replicate measurements/eye. Replicate IOP) measurements were, therefore, averaged in each eye for comparison between eyes of the same alligator. Left and right eve IOP were highly correlated within individual alligators (r = 0.92), whereas the mean within animal difference between left and right eye IOP was not statistically significant (95% confidence interval [CI] for the left eye-right eye mean difference, - 1.9 to 1.3 min of Hg). Mean IOP determined for 5 confirmed females and 3 confirmed males did not differ significantly between the sexes (95% CI for the male-female difference in means, -2.1 to 3.7 mm of Hg). Mean +/- SEM IOP of 23.7 + 2.1 mm of Hg determined for 4 alligators < -50 cm long was significantly (P = 0.009) greater than mean IOP of 11.6 + 0.5 mm of Hg determined for 8 alligators > 50 cm long (95% CI for the difference in means, 8.5 to 15.7 mm of Hg). In young alligators, the relation between body length and IOP appears to be nonlinear, possibly with a negative exponent.

  16. Levels of mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected along a transect through the Florida Everglades.

    PubMed

    Rumbold, D G; Fink, L E; Laine, K A; Niemczyk, S L; Chandrasekhar, T; Wankel, S D; Kendall, C

    2002-10-07

    As part of a multi-agency study of alligator health, 28 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were captured along a transect through the Florida Everglades in 1999. Liver and tail muscle tissues were sampled and analyzed on a wet weight basis for total mercury (THg) using cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. All tissues had detectable concentrations of THg that ranged from 0.6 to 17 mg/kg in liver and from 0.1 to 1.8 mg/kg in tail muscle. THg was more concentrated in liver tissue than tail muscle, but levels were highly correlated between tissues. THg concentrations in tissue differed significantly among locations, with animals from Everglades National Park (ENP) having mean concentrations of THg in liver (10.4 mg/kg) and tail muscle (1.2 mg/kg) that were two-fold higher than basin-wide averages (4.9 and 0.64 mg/kg, respectively). The reasons for higher contamination of ENP alligators were unclear and could not be explained by differences in sex, length, weight or animal age. While delta15N values were positively correlated with THg concentrations in tail muscle, spatial patterns in isotopic composition did not explain the elevated THg levels in ENP alligators. Therefore, it appears that ENP alligators were more highly exposed to mercury in their environment than individuals in other areas. Comparisons to a previous survey by Yanochko et al. [Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 32 (1997) 323] suggest that mercury levels have declined in some Everglades alligators since 1994.

  17. Levels of mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected along a transect through the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rumbold, D.G.; Fink, L.E.; Laine, K.A.; Niemczyk, S.L.; Chandrasekhar, T.; Wankel, Scott D.; Kendall, C.

    2002-01-01

    As part of a multi-agency study of alligator health, 28 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were captured along a transect through the Florida Everglades in 1999. Liver and tail muscle tissues were sampled and analyzed on a wet weight basis for total mercury (THg) using cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. All tissues had detectable concentrations of THg that ranged from 0.6 to 17 mg/kg in liver and from 0.1 to 1.8 mg/kg in tail muscle. THg was more concentrated in liver tissue than tail muscle, but levels were highly correlated between tissues. THg concentrations in tissue differed significantly among locations, with animals from Everglades National Park (ENP) having mean concentrations of THg in liver (10.4 mg/kg) and tail muscle (1.2 mg/kg) that were two-fold higher than basin-wide averages (4.9 and 0.64 mg/kg, respectively). The reasons for higher contamination of ENP alligators were unclear and could not be explained by differences in sex, length, weight or animal age. While ??15N values were positively correlated with THg concentrations in tail muscle, spatial patterns in isotopic composition did not explain the elevated THg levels in ENP alligators. Therefore, it appears that ENP alligators were more highly exposed to mercury in their environment than individuals in other areas. Comparisons to a previous survey by Yanochko et al. [Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 32 (1997) 323] suggest that mercury levels have declined in some Everglades alligators since 1994. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular cloning of anti-Müllerian hormone from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Urushitani, Hiroshi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2011-02-20

    Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) plays an important role in male sex differentiation in vertebrates. AMH produced by Sertoli cells of the fetal testis induces regression of the Müllerian duct in mammalian species. In alligators, sexual differentiation is controlled by the temperature during egg incubation, termed temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). The TSD mechanism inducing sex differentiation is thought to be unique and different from that of genetic sex determination as no gene such as the SRY of mammals has been identified. However, many of the genes associated with gonadal differentiation in mammals also are expressed in the developing gonads of species exhibiting TSD. To clarify the molecular mechanisms associated with gonad formation during the temperature-sensitive period (TSP), we have cloned the full length AMH gene in the alligator, and quantitatively compared mRNA expression patterns in the gonad-adrenal-mesonephros (GAM) complex isolated from alligator embryos incubated at male and female producing temperatures. The deduced amino acid sequence of the alligator AMH cDNA showed high identity (59-53%) to avian AMH genes. AMH mRNA expression was high in the GAM of male alligator embryos at stage 24 (immediately after sex determination) and hatchlings, but suppressed in the GAM of estrogen-exposed hatchlings incubated at the male-producing temperature. In the alligator AMH proximal promoter, a number of transcriptional factors (for SF-1. GATA, WT-1 and SOX9) binding elements were also identified and they exhibit a conserved pattern seen in other species. SOX9 up-regulates transcriptional activity through the amAMH promoter region. These results suggested that AMH and SOX9 play important roles in TSD of the American alligator.

  19. Gizzard shad thiaminase activity and its effect on the thiamine status of captive American alligators Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Ross, J Perran; Honeyfield, Dale C; Brown, Scott B; Brown, Lisa R; Waddle, Amanda Rice; Welker, Michael E; Schoeb, Trenton R

    2009-12-01

    Adult mortality and low egg hatch rate were observed among American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in Lake Griffin, Florida, between 1998 and 2003. Previous studies show that the alligator mortality is due to neurological impairment associated with thiamine (vitamin Bt) deficiency. This study determined the rate of thiaminase activity in gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum, a fish often eaten by alligators, and examined the thiamine status of captive adult alligators fed only gizzard shad. We found that the thiaminase activity of gizzard shad in Lake Griffin is 16,409 +/- 2,121 pmol/g/min (mean +/- 2SEs). This high rate of thiaminase activity was present in most months and across a wide range of shad sizes. Seven alligators were captured in the wild from Lake Griffin and Lake Woodruff, held in captivity, and fed gizzard shad. We monitored blood and muscle thiamine levels throughout the experiment and liver thiamine at the end. Over a period of 6-12 months, all of the alligators maintained weight but blood and muscle thiamine levels decreased to 25-50% of the original (healthy) values. Three animals with the greatest reduction in thiamine died, demonstrating mobility impairment and neural histopathology similar to those seen in wild alligators in Lake Griffin. Two alligators were fed shad for 10 months but then treated with thiamine. These animals showed a reduction in thiamine while eating shad, but treatment restored their thiamine levels to the initial values, which were comparable to those of normal wild Lake Griffin alligators. We demonstrated that thiamine deficiency can be induced by a diet of gizzard shad and cause neurological signs and death in alligators in captivity. We conclude that the thiaminase activity in gizzard shad is high enough to cause thiamine deficiency in wild alligators when shad are a major part of their diet.

  20. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the…

  1. Identification and Characterization of the Androgen Receptor From the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Miyagawa, Shinichi; Yatsu, Ryohei; Kohno, Satomi; Doheny, Brenna M.; Ogino, Yukiko; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Guillette, Louis J.

    2015-01-01

    Androgens are essential for the development, reproduction, and health throughout the life span of vertebrates, particularly during the initiation and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. Androgen signaling is mediated by the androgen receptor (AR), a member of the steroid nuclear receptor superfamily. Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors, such as exogenous hormones or contaminants that mimic hormones, can disrupt endocrine signaling and function. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a unique model for ecological research in that it exhibits environment-dependent sex determination, is oviparous and long lived. Alligators from a contaminated environment exhibit low reproductive success and morphological disorders of the testis and phallus in neonates and juveniles, both associated with androgen signaling; thus, the alterations are hypothesized to be related to disrupted androgen signaling. However, this line of research has been limited because of a lack of information on the alligator AR gene. Here, we isolated A mississippiensis AR homologs (AmAR) and evaluated receptor-hormone/chemical interactions using a transactivation assay. We showed that AmAR responded to all natural androgens and their effects were inhibited by cotreatment with antiandrogens, such as flutamide, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, and vinclozolin. Intriguingly, we found a spliced form of the AR from alligator cDNA, which lacks seven amino acids within the ligand-binding domain that shows no response to androgens. Finally, we have initial data on a possible dominant-negative function of the spliced form of the AR against androgen-induced AmAR. PMID:25974402

  2. Exhaustive exercise training enhances aerobic capacity in American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Gwalthney, June; Blank, Jason M; Rourke, Bryan C; Hicks, James W

    2009-11-01

    The oxygen transport system in mammals is extensively remodelled in response to repeated bouts of activity, but many reptiles appear to be 'metabolically inflexible' in response to exercise training. A recent report showed that estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) increase their maximum metabolic rate in response to exhaustive treadmill training, and in the present study, we confirm this response in another crocodilian, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We further specify the nature of the crocodilian training response by analysing effects of training on aerobic [citrate synthase (CS)] and anaerobic [lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)] enzyme activities in selected skeletal muscles, ventricular and skeletal muscle masses and haematocrit. Compared to sedentary control animals, alligators regularly trained for 15 months on a treadmill (run group) or in a flume (swim group) exhibited peak oxygen consumption rates higher by 27 and 16%, respectively. Run and swim exercise training significantly increased ventricular mass (~11%) and haematocrit (~11%), but not the mass of skeletal muscles. However, exercise training did not alter CS or LDH activities of skeletal muscles. Similar to mammals, alligators respond to exercise training by increasing convective oxygen transport mechanisms, specifically heart size (potentially greater stroke volume) and haematocrit (increased oxygen carrying-capacity of the blood). Unlike mammals, but similar to squamate reptiles, alligators do not also increase citrate synthase activity of the skeletal muscles in response to exercise.

  3. Identification and Characterization of the Androgen Receptor From the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Shinichi; Yatsu, Ryohei; Kohno, Satomi; Doheny, Brenna M; Ogino, Yukiko; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-08-01

    Androgens are essential for the development, reproduction, and health throughout the life span of vertebrates, particularly during the initiation and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. Androgen signaling is mediated by the androgen receptor (AR), a member of the steroid nuclear receptor superfamily. Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors, such as exogenous hormones or contaminants that mimic hormones, can disrupt endocrine signaling and function. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a unique model for ecological research in that it exhibits environment-dependent sex determination, is oviparous and long lived. Alligators from a contaminated environment exhibit low reproductive success and morphological disorders of the testis and phallus in neonates and juveniles, both associated with androgen signaling; thus, the alterations are hypothesized to be related to disrupted androgen signaling. However, this line of research has been limited because of a lack of information on the alligator AR gene. Here, we isolated A mississippiensis AR homologs (AmAR) and evaluated receptor-hormone/chemical interactions using a transactivation assay. We showed that AmAR responded to all natural androgens and their effects were inhibited by cotreatment with antiandrogens, such as flutamide, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, and vinclozolin. Intriguingly, we found a spliced form of the AR from alligator cDNA, which lacks seven amino acids within the ligand-binding domain that shows no response to androgens. Finally, we have initial data on a possible dominant-negative function of the spliced form of the AR against androgen-induced AmAR.

  4. Hypoxic alligator embryos: chronic hypoxia, catecholamine levels and autonomic responses of in ovo alligators.

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Altimiras, Jordi; Hicks, James W; Crossley, Dane A

    2011-11-01

    Hypoxia is a naturally occurring environmental challenge for embryonic reptiles, and this is the first study to investigate the impact of chronic hypoxia on the in ovo development of autonomic cardiovascular regulation and circulating catecholamine levels in a reptile. We measured heart rate (f(H)) and chorioallantoic arterial blood pressure (MAP) in normoxic ('N21') and hypoxic-incubated ('H10'; 10% O(2)) American alligator embryos (Alligator mississippiensis) at 70, 80 and 90% of development. Embryonic alligator responses to adrenergic blockade with propranolol and phentolamine were very similar to previously reported responses of embryonic chicken, and demonstrated that embryonic alligator has α and β-adrenergic tone over the final third of development. However, adrenergic tone originates entirely from circulating catecholamines and is not altered by chronic hypoxic incubation, as neither cholinergic blockade with atropine nor ganglionic blockade with hexamethonium altered baseline cardiovascular variables in N21 or H10 embryos. In addition, both atropine and hexamethonium injection did not alter the generally depressive effects of acute hypoxia - bradycardia and hypotension. However, H10 embryos showed significantly higher levels of noradrenaline and adrenaline at 70% of development, as well as higher noradrenaline at 80% of development, suggesting that circulating catecholamines reach maximal levels earlier in incubation for H10 embryos, compared to N21 embryos. Chronically elevated levels of catecholamines may alter the normal balance between α and β-adrenoreceptors in H10 alligator embryos, causing chronic bradycardia and hypotension of H10 embryos measured in normoxia.

  5. Production of superoxide ions by leukocytes of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Merchant, Mark; Williams, Stetson; Hardy, Ross

    2009-01-01

    This study was conducted to characterize the production of superoxide ions by leukocytes in whole blood of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We used WST-1, a tetrazolium salt which can be reduced to a water-soluble formazan compound with high molar absorptivity at 438 nm, to probe the production of superoxide by alligator leukocytes. Incubation of alligator whole blood with WST-1 resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent increase in absorbance of the plasma at 438 nm. The reduction of WST-1 was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of superoxide to peroxide, confirming that the reduction of WST-1 was due to the presence of superoxide. Treatment of whole blood with nitrotetrazolium blue (NBT) resulted in the staining of heterophils and monocytes, enforcing the idea that that the production of superoxide is due to the presence of leukocytes, and not other blood cell components. It is interesting to note that the production of superoxide by the alligator leukocytes required no external stimulation while human leukocytes must be stimulated with an immunological challenge before producing superoxide. This is the first report of the production of superoxide as an innate immune mechanism in crocodilians.

  6. Age- and gender-related accumulation of perfluoroalkyl substances in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis).

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianshe; Zhang, Yating; Zhang, Fang; Yeung, Leo W Y; Taniyasu, Sachi; Yamazaki, Eriko; Wang, Renping; Lam, Paul K S; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Dai, Jiayin

    2013-08-01

    Fourteen perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were measured in serum of the highly endangered captive Chinese alligators, whole body homogenates of six kinds of fish (alligator prey species), and pond water (alligator habitat) in the Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction. Six PFASs, including PFOS and five perfluorinated carboxylates, were detected in all alligator samples. The most dominant PFAS was PFUnDA, with a mean value of 31.4 ng/mL. Significant positive correlations were observed among the six PFASs, suggesting that they shared similar sources of contamination. Significantly higher PFOS and PFUnDA levels were observed in males, but the other four PFCAs did not differ between genders. An age related PFAS bioaccumulation analysis showed a significant negative correlation of the concentrations for five PFCAs to age, which means that higher concentrations were found in younger animals. Bioaccumulation factors (BAF) in fish for PFASs ranged from 21 to 28,000, with lower BAF for PFOA than that for longer carbon chain PFCAs, including PFUnDA, PFDA, and PFNA.

  7. Radiation load to the SNAP CCD

    SciTech Connect

    N. V. Mokhov, I. L. Rakhno and S. I. Striganov

    2003-08-14

    Results of an express Monte Carlo analysis with the MARS14 code of radiation load to the CCD optical detectors in the Supernova Acceleration Project (SNAP) mission presented for realistic radiation environment over the satellite orbit.

  8. The snapping medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve.

    PubMed

    Cesmebasi, Alper; O'driscoll, Shawn W; Smith, Jay; Skinner, John A; Spinner, Robert J

    2015-10-01

    Snapping elbow is a well-known condition where elbow flexion and extension elicits a painful, popping sensation. The most frequent etiology is anterior dislocation of the ulnar nerve over the medial epicondyle. Four patients (3 females and 1 male) presented with complaints of a popping sensation in the elbow, pain over the medial aspect of the forearm, and ulnar neuritis. All patients underwent preoperative dynamic ultrasound and surgical exploration of the medial elbow. Intraoperatively, snapping of the MABC over the medial epicondyle was discovered in all four patients. In three patients, there was abnormal displacement of the medial triceps and ulnar nerve: in two of these, both structures dislocated over the medial epicondyle and in one patient both structures subluxated. In each case, the MABC was decompressed (n = 1) and transposed (n = 3), and in three cases, the medial triceps and ulnar nerve were addressed as well. Symptomatic improvement was achieved in all cases. Retrospective review of the ultrasound revealed the snapping MABC, though it was less effective prospectively in the cases when snapping MABC was not suspected. In conclusion, snapping of the MABC broadens the spectrum of disorders that results in snapping elbow. To our knowledge, we are unaware of prior reports of this entity.

  9. Low cost of pulmonary ventilation in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) stimulated with doxapram.

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Crossley, Dane A; Wang, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    To determine the costs of pulmonary ventilation without imposing severe oxygen limitations or acidosis that normally accompany exposures to hypoxia or hypercapnia, we opted to pharmacologically stimulate ventilation with doxapram (5 and 10 mg kg(-1)) in alligators. Doxapram is used clinically to alleviate ventilatory depression in response to anaesthesia and acts primarily on the peripheral oxygen-sensitive chemoreceptors. Using this approach, we investigated the hypothesis that pulmonary ventilation is relatively modest in comparison to resting metabolic rate in crocodilians and equipped seven juvenile alligators with masks for concurrent determination of ventilation and oxygen uptake. Doxapram elicited a dose-dependent and up to fourfold rise in ventilation, primarily by increasing ventilatory frequency. The accompanying rise in oxygen uptake was very small; ventilation in resting animals constitutes no more than 5% of resting metabolic rate. The conclusion that pulmonary ventilation is energetically cheap is consistent with earlier studies on alligators where ventilation was stimulated by hypoxia or hypercapnia.

  10. Pharmacokinetics of tetracycline after single-dose oral administration in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Rivera, Sam; Nevarez, Javier G; Maxwell, Lara K; Barker, Steven A

    2012-12-01

    The major objective of the study was to assess the pharmacokinetics of tetracycline administered orally to fasted and nonfasted American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at 50 mg/kg. Plasma levels of tetracycline were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. The concentration versus time curve was analyzed using a compartmental modeling technique. A one-compartment model with first-order absorption and elimination, as well as a lag time to absorption, best described the data. The area under the curve and mean residence time values differed significantly between the fasted and nonfasted groups. Based on the results of this study, tetracycline suspension administered once orally at 50 mg/kg to American alligators is not expected to reach plasma concentrations above the breakpoint minimum inhibitory concentration of 4 microg/ml for susceptible organisms.

  11. Salmonella Enterica Serovar Pomona Infection in Farmed Juvenile American Alligators ( Alligator Mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, K; Nevarez, J G; Del Piero, F

    2017-03-01

    A fatal epizootic of salmonellosis occurred in farmed juvenile American alligators in Louisiana. Six animals were examined. Gross lesions included severe fibrinonecrotizing enterocolitis, necrotizing splenitis, coelomic effusion, and perivisceral and pulmonary edema. Microscopic examination revealed severe necrotizing enterocolitis and splenitis with intralesional bacteria and pneumocyte necrosis with fibrin thrombi. Salmonella enterica serovar Pomona was isolated from intestine and lung. Clinical salmonellosis is a rare finding in reptiles and salmonellosis caused by S. Pomona is not previously reported in American alligators. Since S. Pomona is a commonly isolated Salmonella serotype from patients with reptile-associated salmonellosis in the United States, and since alligator meat is consumed and the skin is exported to numerous countries, risk of human and animal infection should be considered.

  12. Developmental effects of embryonic exposure to toxaphene in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Milnes, Matthew R; Allen, Davina; Bryan, Teresa A; Sedacca, Cassidy D; Guillette, Louis J

    2004-05-01

    A variety of organochlorine pesticides have been shown to adversely affect embryonic development. A number of abnormalities have been documented in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from highly-contaminated Lake Apopka, FL, USA that are similar to the results of experimental studies exposing embryos to pesticides. In the current study, we exposed developing alligator embryos to varying concentrations of toxaphene, a broad-spectrum pesticide found in relatively high concentration in Lake Apopka alligator egg yolk. The toxaphene, dissolved in 50 microl of ethanol, was applied topically to the eggshell just prior to the sex-determining period of development. Shortly after hatching, we examined a number of morphological and physiological endpoints to determine the consequences of sub-lethal embryonic exposure to toxaphene. Our results indicate that toxaphene had little or no effect on the morphological endpoints examined including body mass (BM) and size, liver, thyroid, and gonad development. In addition, toxaphene failed to affect sexual differentiation, or in vitro thyroxin, testosterone (T), and estradiol production. However, male plasma T concentration was higher in animals treated with 10 and 0.01 microg toxaphene/kg (based on mean egg mass) than control males. Because in vitro T production was not different among control groups, we suggest the difference in plasma T could be due to differences in hypothalamic-pituitary stimulation of the gonad or hepatic steroid degradation. This study indicates that technical grade toxaphene, at the applied doses, does not induce the same developmental abnormalities associated with alligators living in Lake Apopka. Future studies should consider the effects of embryonic exposure to a mixture of chemicals, including toxaphene metabolites, on development in alligators to better evaluate the consequences of environmental contamination.

  13. In ovo and in vitro susceptibility of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to avian influenza virus infection.

    PubMed

    Temple, Bradley L; Finger, John W; Jones, Cheryl A; Gabbard, Jon D; Jelesijevic, Tomislav; Uhl, Elizabeth W; Hogan, Robert J; Glenn, Travis C; Tompkins, S Mark

    2015-01-01

    Avian influenza has emerged as one of the most ubiquitous viruses within our biosphere. Wild aquatic birds are believed to be the primary reservoir of all influenza viruses; however, the spillover of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and the recent swine-origin pandemic H1N1 viruses have sparked increased interest in identifying and understanding which and how many species can be infected. Moreover, novel influenza virus sequences were recently isolated from New World bats. Crocodilians have a slow rate of molecular evolution and are the sister group to birds; thus they are a logical reptilian group to explore susceptibility to influenza virus infection and they provide a link between birds and mammals. A primary American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) cell line, and embryos, were infected with four, low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) strains to assess susceptibility to infection. Embryonated alligator eggs supported virus replication, as evidenced by the influenza virus M gene and infectious virus detected in allantoic fluid and by virus antigen staining in embryo tissues. Primary alligator cells were also inoculated with the LPAI viruses and showed susceptibility based upon antigen staining; however, the requirement for trypsin to support replication in cell culture limited replication. To assess influenza virus replication in culture, primary alligator cells were inoculated with H1N1 human influenza or H5N1 HPAI viruses that replicate independent of trypsin. Both viruses replicated efficiently in culture, even at the 30 C temperature preferred by the alligator cells. This research demonstrates the ability of wild-type influenza viruses to infect and replicate within two crocodilian substrates and suggests the need for further research to assess crocodilians as a species potentially susceptible to influenza virus infection.

  14. A mother alligator protects her young

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  15. HISTOPATHOLOGY OF GASTRIC WALL IN CHINESE ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR SINENSIS INFECTED WITH ORTLEPPASCARIS SINENSIS (NEMATODA: ASCARIDOIDEA).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jinhong; Wang, Shaosheng; Tu, Genjun; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing; Li, Chaopin

    2015-09-01

    Crocodiles are susceptible to infection with a wide array of external and internal gastrointestinal helminths, yet little is known on the histopathology following infection or the effects of these parasites. The present study was aimed at evaluating the impact of infection by Ortleppascaris sinensis (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea) on the stomach of captive Alligator sinensis. The histological examination of the stomach revealed presence of superficial ulcer in mucous layer and granulomatous inflammation in submucous layer at entire gastric walls of the Alligator sinensis. Our findings also confirm that development of Ortleppascaris sinensis is in close association with the wall of the stomach.

  16. In vitro drug susceptibility pattern of Mycoplasma alligatoris isolated from symptomatic American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Helmick, Kelly E; Brown, Daniel R; Jacobson, Elliott R; Brown, Mary B

    2002-06-01

    A recently described mycoplasma, Mycoplasma alligatoris, was isolated from dead American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) that had demonstrated clinical signs of lethargy, anorexia, bilateral ocular discharge, edema. paraparesis, and polyarthritis. The in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration for nine antibacterial agents was determined through serial dilution in broth and plate culture for M. alligatoris isolates. The inhibitory concentration obtained for doxycycline, enrofloxacin, sarafloxacin, oxytetracycline, tilmicosin, and tylosin (< 1 microg/ml) was lower than that of clindamycin (1-8 microg/ml), chloramphenicol (8-16 microg/ml), and erythromycin (32-138 microg/ml).

  17. Gonadotropin-induced testosterone response in peripubertal male alligators.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Thea M; Gunderson, Mark P; Milnes, Matthew R; Guillette, Louis J

    2004-02-01

    Based on the response to three different gonadotropin challenges, we evaluated seasonal production of testosterone in a group of captive-raised four-year-old male alligators that varied in size. To stimulate gonadal steroidogenesis, we injected each alligator with ovine FSH (150 ng/ml plasma). Plasma testosterone concentrations were measured in repeated blood samples taken between 0 and 72 h after FSH injection. To determine if there was seasonal variation in response, we repeated the experiment on the same alligators three times during the breeding season (March, May, and July, 2000). All alligators responded to exogenous FSH by exhibiting increased plasma concentrations of testosterone (p < 0.0001 for all months). However, the degree of the response depended on body size. Thus, larger alligators produced more testosterone and were more affected by changes in season compared to smaller alligators. We have previously observed that juvenile male alligators display seasonal changes in plasma testosterone concentrations that mimic the cycle observed in adult males. Our present data suggest that seasonal changes in plasma testosterone appear to be associated not only with changes in gonadotropin release but in gonadal responsiveness as well. We propose, given these observations, that alligators experience an extended period of puberty, during which the gonads synthesize gradually increasing steroid hormone concentrations. These peripubertal animals are not juveniles but sub-adults capable of responding to the seasonal signals associated with reproductive timing in adults.

  18. Structure and dynamics of [gamma]-SNAP: Insight into flexibility of proteins from the SNAP family

    SciTech Connect

    Bitto, Eduard; Bingman, Craig A.; Kondrashov, Dmitry A.; McCoy, Jason G.; Bannen, Ryan M.; Wesenberg, Gary E.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2010-02-19

    Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein gamma ({gamma}-SNAP) is a member of an eukaryotic protein family involved in intracellular membrane trafficking. The X-ray structure of Brachydanio rerio {gamma}-SNAP was determined to 2.6 {angstrom} and revealed an all-helical protein comprised of an extended twisted-sheet of helical hairpins with a helical-bundle domain on its carboxy-terminal end. Structural and conformational differences between multiple observed {gamma}-SNAP molecules and Sec17, a SNAP family protein from yeast, are analyzed. Conformational variation in {gamma}-SNAP molecules is matched with great precision by the two lowest frequency normal modes of the structure. Comparison of the lowest-frequency modes from {gamma}-SNAP and Sec17 indicated that the structures share preferred directions of flexibility, corresponding to bending and twisting of the twisted sheet motif. We discuss possible consequences related to the flexibility of the SNAP proteins for the mechanism of the 20S complex disassembly during the SNAP receptors recycling.

  19. Replacing SNAP-25b with SNAP-25a expression results in metabolic disease.

    PubMed

    Valladolid-Acebes, Ismael; Daraio, Teresa; Brismar, Kerstin; Harkany, Tibor; Ögren, Sven Ove; Hökfelt, Tomas G M; Bark, Christina

    2015-08-04

    Synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is a key molecule in the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein (SNARE) complex mediating fast Ca(2+)-triggered release of hormones and neurotransmitters, and both splice variants, SNAP-25a and SNAP-25b, can participate in this process. Here we explore the hypothesis that minor alterations in the machinery mediating regulated membrane fusion can increase the susceptibility for metabolic disease and precede obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thus, we used a mouse mutant engineered to express normal levels of SNAP-25 but only SNAP-25a. These SNAP-25b-deficient mice were exposed to either a control or a high-fat/high-sucrose diet. Monitoring of food intake, body weight, hypothalamic function, and lipid and glucose homeostases showed that SNAP-25b-deficient mice fed with control diet developed hyperglycemia, liver steatosis, and adipocyte hypertrophy, conditions dramatically exacerbated when combined with the high-fat/high-sucrose diet. Thus, modified SNARE function regulating stimulus-dependent exocytosis can increase the vulnerability to and even provoke metabolic disease. When combined with a high-fat/high-sucrose diet, this vulnerability resulted in diabesity. Our SNAP-25b-deficient mouse may represent a diabesity model.

  20. Multi-scale hierarchy of Chelydra serpentina: microstructure and mechanical properties of turtle shell.

    PubMed

    Balani, Kantesh; Patel, Riken R; Keshri, Anup K; Lahiri, Debrupa; Agarwal, Arvind

    2011-10-01

    Carapace, the protective shell of a freshwater snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, shields them from ferocious attacks of their predators while maintaining light-weight and agility for a swim. The microstructure and mechanical properties of the turtle shell are very appealing to materials scientists and engineers for bio-mimicking, to obtain a multi-functional surface. In this study, we have elucidated the complex microstructure of a dry Chelydra serpentina's shell which is very similar to a multi-layered composite structure. The microstructure of a turtle shell's carapace elicits a sandwich structure of waxy top surface with a harder sub-surface layer serving as a shielding structure, followed by a lamellar carbonaceous layer serving as shock absorber, and the inner porous matrix serves as a load-bearing scaffold while acting as reservoir of retaining water and nutrients. The mechanical properties (elastic modulus and hardness) of various layers obtained via nanoindentation corroborate well with the functionality of each layer. Elastic modulus ranged between 0.47 and 22.15 GPa whereas hardness varied between 53.7 and 522.2 MPa depending on the microstructure of the carapace layer. Consequently, the modulus of each layer was represented into object oriented finite element (OOF2) modeling towards extracting the overall effective modulus of elasticity (~4.75 GPa) of a turtle's carapace. Stress distribution of complex layered structure was elicited with an applied strain of 1% in order to understand the load sharing of various composite layers in the turtle's carapace.

  1. Hexavalent Chromium Is Cytotoxic and Genotoxic to American Alligator Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Sandra S.; Wise, Catherine; Xie, Hong; Guillette, Louis J.; Zhu, Cairong; Wise, John Pierce; Wise, John Pierce

    2016-01-01

    Metals are a common pollutant in the aquatic ecosystem. With global climate change, these levels are anticipated to rise as lower pH levels allow sediment bound metals to be released. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is an apex predator in the aquatic ecosystem and is considered a keystone species; as such it serves as a suitable monitor for localized pollution. One metal of increasing concern is hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). It is present in the aquatic environment and is a known human carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. We measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in American alligator cells derived from scute tissue. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to alligator cells in a concentration-dependent manner. These data suggest that alligators may be used as a model for assessing the effects of environmental Cr(VI) contamination as well as for other metals of concern. PMID:26730726

  2. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to American alligator cells.

    PubMed

    Wise, Sandra S; Wise, Catherine; Xie, Hong; Guillette, Louis J; Zhu, Cairong; Wise, John Pierce; Wise, John Pierce

    2016-02-01

    Metals are a common pollutant in the aquatic ecosystem. With global climate change, these levels are anticipated to rise as lower pH levels allow sediment bound metals to be released. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is an apex predator in the aquatic ecosystem and is considered a keystone species; as such it serves as a suitable monitor for localized pollution. One metal of increasing concern is hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). It is present in the aquatic environment and is a known human carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. We measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in American alligator cells derived from scute tissue. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to alligator cells in a concentration-dependent manner. These data suggest that alligators may be used as a model for assessing the effects of environmental Cr(VI) contamination as well as for other metals of concern.

  3. Pathology, physiologic parameters, tissue contaminants, and tissue thiamine in morbid and healthy central Florida adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Honeyfield, D.C.; Ross, J.P.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Terrell, S.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Schoeb, T.R.; Perceval, H.F.; Hinterkopf, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    An investigation of adult alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mortalities in Lake Griffin, central Florida, was conducted from 1998-2004. Alligator mortality was highest in the months of April and May and annual death count peaked in 2000. Bacterial pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides were not linked with the mortalities. Blood chemistry did not point to any clinical diagnosis, although differences between impaired and normal animals were noted. Captured alligators with signs of neurologic impairment displayed unresponsive and uncoordinated behavior. Three of 21 impaired Lake Griffin alligators were found to have neural lesions characteristic of thiamine deficiency in the telencephalon, particularly the dorsal ventricular ridge. In some cases, lesions were found in the thalamus, and parts of the midbrain. Liver and muscle tissue concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B"1) were lowest in impaired Lake Griffin alligators when compared to unimpaired alligators or to alligators from Lake Woodruff. The consumption of thiaminase-positive gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is thought to have been the cause of the low tissue thiamine and resulting mortalities. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  4. Pathology, physiologic parameters, tissue contaminants, and tissue thiamine in morbid and healthy central Florida adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Honeyfield, Dale C; Ross, J Perran; Carbonneau, Dwayne A; Terrell, Scott P; Woodward, Allan R; Schoeb, Trenton R; Perceval, H Franklin; Hinterkopf, Joy P

    2008-04-01

    An investigation of adult alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mortalities in Lake Griffin, central Florida, was conducted from 1998-2004. Alligator mortality was highest in the months of April and May and annual death count peaked in 2000. Bacterial pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides were not linked with the mortalities. Blood chemistry did not point to any clinical diagnosis, although differences between impaired and normal animals were noted. Captured alligators with signs of neurologic impairment displayed unresponsive and uncoordinated behavior. Three of 21 impaired Lake Griffin alligators were found to have neural lesions characteristic of thiamine deficiency in the telencephalon, particularly the dorsal ventricular ridge. In some cases, lesions were found in the thalamus, and parts of the midbrain. Liver and muscle tissue concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B(1)) were lowest in impaired Lake Griffin alligators when compared to unimpaired alligators or to alligators from Lake Woodruff. The consumption of thiaminase-positive gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is thought to have been the cause of the low tissue thiamine and resulting mortalities.

  5. Heavy metal and selenium concentrations in liver tissue from wild American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) livers near Charleston, South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Joshua W; Waters, Matthew N; Tarter, Anna; Jackson, Jennifer

    2010-10-01

    Liver samples from 33 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) livers from the Charleston, South Carolina, area were analyzed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) concentrations. Alligators are top predators and are considered a good biomonitoring species for various toxins, including heavy metals. Alligators from other areas in the US have shown high concentrations of mercury and other heavy metals, but the Charleston area, which is highly industrialized, has not been investigated. We found wide variation in hepatic heavy metal and selenium concentrations among alligators. Length and sex did not show a strong relationship with any metal based on statistical analysis. However, cluster analysis revealed three groupings of alligators based on liver metal concentrations. Alligators with low Se:Hg ratios also had high concentrations of Hg. Due to the wide variation in metal concentrations among individual alligators, we postulate that individual diet and microhabitat usage could be the cause for this variation.

  6. Biochemical indicators of contaminant exposure in birds and turtles of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, C.; Trudeau, S.; Kennedy, S.; Norstrom, R.; Stegeman, J.

    1995-12-31

    Pre-fledgling chicks of tree swallows, double-crested cormorants, herring gulls, common terns and hatchling snapping turtles were collected from contaminated Areas of Concern and reference sites in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to determine the geographic and species variation in biomarker responses. EROD activity in colonial waterbirds was generally an order of magnitude above EROD activity in tree swallows and snapping turtles. Notably, EROD activity in colonial waterbirds did not correlate with organochlorine contamination in livers at one industrialized site suggesting that exposure to other contaminants, possibly PAHs, may be an important factor. Retinol concentrations in cormorants were non-detectable and retinyl palmitate concentrations were equal or greater than those in herring gulls. In tree swallows, there was a significant negative correlation between vitamin A concentration in liver and kidney and EROD activity. In snapping turtles, there was a significant induction in EROD activity and significantly higher cytochrome P450 IAI level in livers from the Great Lakes site relative to a clean inland location. There were no significant differences in porphyrin concentrations between sites.

  7. A phylogenomic analysis of turtles.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Nicholas G; Parham, James F; Sellas, Anna B; Faircloth, Brant C; Glenn, Travis C; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Henderson, James B; Hansen, Madison H; Simison, W Brian

    2015-02-01

    Molecular analyses of turtle relationships have overturned prevailing morphological hypotheses and prompted the development of a new taxonomy. Here we provide the first genome-scale analysis of turtle phylogeny. We sequenced 2381 ultraconserved element (UCE) loci representing a total of 1,718,154bp of aligned sequence. Our sampling includes 32 turtle taxa representing all 14 recognized turtle families and an additional six outgroups. Maximum likelihood, Bayesian, and species tree methods produce a single resolved phylogeny. This robust phylogeny shows that proposed phylogenetic names correspond to well-supported clades, and this topology is more consistent with the temporal appearance of clades and paleobiogeography. Future studies of turtle phylogeny using fossil turtles should use this topology as a scaffold for their morphological phylogenetic analyses.

  8. Turtle Graphics of Morphic Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zantema, Hans

    2016-02-01

    The simplest infinite sequences that are not ultimately periodic are pure morphic sequences: fixed points of particular morphisms mapping single symbols to strings of symbols. A basic way to visualize a sequence is by a turtle curve: for every alphabet symbol fix an angle, and then consecutively for all sequence elements draw a unit segment and turn the drawing direction by the corresponding angle. This paper investigates turtle curves of pure morphic sequences. In particular, criteria are given for turtle curves being finite (consisting of finitely many segments), and for being fractal or self-similar: it contains an up-scaled copy of itself. Also space-filling turtle curves are considered, and a turtle curve that is dense in the plane. As a particular result we give an exact relationship between the Koch curve and a turtle curve for the Thue-Morse sequence, where until now for such a result only approximations were known.

  9. Polychlorinated biphenyls in eggs and chlorioallantoic membranes of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from coastal South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1997-07-01

    Assessing chemical exposure in threatened or endangered wildlife species presents unique analytical problems. Chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs) have been proposed as surrogate tissues for evaluation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure in oviparous species. Research was undertaken to determine the extent of PCB accumulation in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at sites along the coast of South Carolina and to evaluate the utility of CAMs as surrogate tissues for determining PCB concentrations in whole alligator eggs. Polychlorinated biphenyls were found in eggs and CAMs of alligators from both sites examined. Concentrations of PCBs were higher in CAMs (p = 0.02) and eggs (p = 0.001) from sites known to contain chlorinated hydrocarbons than from more pristine sites. Total PCBs partitioned predictably (r{sup 2} > 0.59; p < 0.02) between egg and CAM tissues indicating the utility of CAMs to serve as surrogate tissues when comparing total PCB concentrations in whole eggs. Tetrachloro through octachloro biphenyl homologues and total PCBs in CAMs from reference areas were correlated with concentrations of these homologues in eggs. At contaminated sites, total PCB concentrations in CAMs were correlated with total PCB concentrations in eggs.

  10. West Nile virus infection in farmed American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Ginn, Pamela E; Troutman, J Mitchell; Farina, Lisa; Stark, Lillian; Klenk, Kaci; Burkhalter, Kristen L; Komar, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    In September and October 2002, an epizootic of neurologic disease occurred at an alligator farm in Florida (USA). Three affected American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were euthanatized and necropsied, and results confirmed infection with West Nile virus (WNV). The most significant microscopic lesions were a moderate heterophilic to lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalomyelitis, necrotizing hepatitis and splenitis, pancreatic necrosis, myocardial degeneration with necrosis, mild interstitial pneumonia, heterophilic necrotizing stomatitis, and glossitis. Immunohistochemistry identified WNV antigen, with the most intense staining in liver, pancreas, spleen, and brain. Virus isolation and RNA detection by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction confirmed WNV infection in plasma and tissue samples. Of the tissues, liver had the highest viral loads (maximum 10(8.9) plaque-forming units [PFU]/0.5 cm3), whereas brain and spinal cord had the lowest viral loads (maximum 10(6.6) PFU/0.5 cm3 each). Virus titers in plasma ranged from 10(3.6) to 10(6.5) PFU/ml, exceeding the threshold needed to infect Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes (10(5) PFU/ml). Thus, alligators may serve as a vertebrate amplifying host for WNV.

  11. Gene expression patterns in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) exposed to environmental contaminants.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Bermudez, Dieldrich S; Katsu, Yoshinao; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2008-06-23

    Reproductive and developmental abnormalities have been reported in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) population from Lake Apopka, FL, that is chronically exposed to a complex mixture of environmental contaminants. To begin to understand the molecular mechanisms that could lead to the observed abnormalities of the reproductive and endocrine system, we quantified concentrations of the steroid hormones testosterone (T) and estradiol-17beta (E(2)) and expression of steroid hormone receptors and genes relating to steroidogenesis in gonadal tissue from juvenile alligators from three lakes in Florida using enzyme immunoassay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Alterations of ESR2 (estrogen receptor beta) and SF1 (steroidogenic factor 1) mRNA expression in male gonadal tissue, without an observed difference in plasma concentrations of T, from the different lakes, begin to provide insight into potential mechanisms underlying the alterations of the reproductive system previously observed. Likewise, alterations in P450 aromatase and DAX1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on the X chromosome, gene 1) mRNA expression, with elevated plasma E(2) concentrations in females, provide leads to the potential mechanisms modifying folliculogenesis and ovarian development. The investigation of these genes also helps clarify normal endocrine and reproductive system function in the American alligator.

  12. Morphogenesis and patterning of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Gredler, Marissa L; Seifert, Ashley W; Cohn, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    In most animals, reproduction by internal fertilization is facilitated by an intromittent organ, such as the penis in amniote vertebrates. Recent progress has begun to uncover the mechanisms of mammalian external genital development; however, comparatively little is known about the development of the reptilian penis and clitoris. Here, we describe the development of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. The embryonic precursor of the penis and clitoris is the genital tubercle, which forms by the budding of genital mesenchyme beneath the ventral body wall ectoderm, adjacent to the cloacal membrane. The cloacal lips develop from another pair of outgrowths, the lateral swellings. Early development of the alligator phallus, cloaca, and urogenital ducts generally resembles that of other reptiles, suggesting that differences in adult reptilian phallus and cloacal anatomy arise at later stages. The phallic sulcus is derived from the cloacal endoderm, indicating that the crocodilian sulcus is functionally and developmentally homologous to the mammalian urethra. Initial external genital outgrowth and patterning occur prior to temperature-dependent sex determination. Our analysis of alligator phallus and cloaca development suggests that modifications of an ancestral program of urogenital development could have generated the morphological diversity found in the external genitalia of modern amniotes.

  13. Molecular and functional characterization of BAFF from the Yangtze alligator (Alligator sinensis, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-Xin; Song, Ren; Sang, Ming; Sun, Si-Qing; Ma, Lei; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Shuang-Quan

    2015-10-01

    B-cell activating factor (BAFF) from the TNF family is critical for B-cell survival and maturation. In this study, we identified a Yangtze alligator (Alligator sinensis, Alligatoridae) BAFF cDNA, designated as asBAFF, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The open reading frame of this cDNA encodes a 287-amino acid protein containing a predicted transmembrane domain and a furin protease cleavage site, similar to mammalian and avian BAFF. The amino acid identity between biologically soluble asBAFF (assBAFF) and csBAFF, hsBAFF, and msBAFF is 94, 76, and 71%, respectively. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that the asBAFF gene is strongly expressed in the spleen. Since BAFF is always expressed as inclusion bodies in bacteria, it is difficult to purify. To enhance the soluble expression of assBAFF in Escherichia coli, we fused the extracellular region of the asBAFF gene to a small ubiquitin-related modifier gene (SUMO). Purified assBAFF was able to promote the survival of splenic lymphocytes and co-stimulate the proliferation of mouse B cells with anti-mouse IgM. These findings suggest that asBAFF plays an important role in the survival and proliferation of Yangtze alligator B cells, and because it is evolutionarily highly conserved, functional cross-reactivity exists between mammalian and Yangtze alligator BAFF.

  14. Persistent halogenated compounds in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ting; Hong, Bing; Wu, Xiaobing; Wu, Jiangping; Wang, Xinming; Yi, Zhigang; Zhao, Juan; Zhan, Miao; Mai, Bixian

    2014-09-01

    While a number of studies have reported residual levels of persistent halogenated compounds (PHCs) in crocodilia, there is still a dearth of information on the Chinese alligator, a critically endangered crocodilian species. In the present study, several PHCs, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), were detected in the adult tissues, neonates, and eggs of captive Chinese alligators from China. The concentrations of ΣPBDEs, ΣPCBs, and ΣDDTs in Chinese alligators ranged from 0.11 to 16.1, 1.12 to 22.2, and 6.03 to 1020ngg(-1) wet weight, respectively, with higher levels of ΣPCBs and ΣDDTs in the neonates and eggs than in muscle tissues. The ΣDDT residues in the studied Chinese alligators were at the high end of reported ranges from crocodilia around the world, and some results exceeded levels known to cause a female-biased sex ratio in crocodilians.

  15. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Frances M; Parrott, Benjamin B; Bowden, John A; Kassim, Brittany L; Somerville, Stephen E; Bryan, Teresa A; Bryan, Colleen E; Lange, Ted R; Delaney, J Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-03-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS/MS) approach, global DNA methylation levels were measured in red blood cells of 144 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from 6 sites with variable levels of mercury contamination across Florida's north-south axis. Variation in mercury concentrations measured in whole blood was highly associated with location, allowing the comparison of global DNA methylation levels across different "treatments" of mercury. Global DNA methylation in alligators across all locations was weakly associated with increased mercury exposure. However, a much more robust relationship was observed in those animals sampled from locations more highly contaminated with mercury. Also, similar to other vertebrates, global DNA methylation appears to decline with age in alligators. The relationship between age-associated loss of global DNA methylation and varying mercury exposures was examined to reveal a potential interaction. These findings demonstrate that global DNA methylation levels are associated with mercury exposure, and give insights into interactions between contaminants, aging, and epigenetics.

  16. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Nilsen, Frances M.; Parrott, Benjamin B.; Bowden, John A.; Kassim, Brittany L.; Somerville, Stephen E.; Bryan, Teresa A.; Bryan, Colleen E.; Lange, Ted R.; Delaney, J. Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M.; Long, Stephen E.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS/MS) approach, global DNA methylation levels were measured in red blood cells of 144 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from 6 sites with variable levels of mercury contamination across Florida’s north-south axis. Variation in mercury concentrations measured in whole blood was highly associated with location, allowing the comparison of global DNA methylation levels across different “treatments” of mercury. Global DNA methylation in alligators across all locations was weakly associated with increased mercury exposure. However, a much more robust relationship was observed in those animals sampled from locations more highly contaminated with mercury. Also, similar to other vertebrates, global DNA methylation appears to decline with age in alligators. The relationship between age-associated loss of global DNA methylation and varying mercury exposures was examined to reveal a potential interaction. These findings demonstrate that global DNA methylation levels are associated with mercury exposure, and give insights into interactions between contaminants, aging, and epigenetics. PMID:26748003

  17. Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in Plasma of American Alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis) from Florida and South Carolina

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bangma, Jacqueline T.; Bowden, John A.; Brunell, Arnold M.; Christie, Ian; Finnell, Brendan; Guillette, Matthew P.; Jones, Martin; Lowers, Russell H.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reiner, Jessica L.; Wilkinson, Philip M.; Guillette, Louis J., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to quantitate fourteen perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in 125 adult American alligators at twelve sites across the southeastern US. Of those fourteen PFAAs, nine were detected in 65% - 100% of the samples: PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA, PFTriA, PFTA, PFHxS, and PFOS. Males (across all sites) showed significantly higher concentrations of four PFAAs: PFOS (p = 0.01), PFDA (p = 0.0003), PFUnA (p = 0.021), and PFTriA (p = 0.021). Concentrations of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFDA in plasma were significantly different among the sites in each sex. Alligators at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Kiawah Nature Conservancy both exhibited some of the highest PFOS concentrations (medians 99.5 ng/g and 55.8 ng/g respectively) in plasma measured to date in a crocodilian species. A number of positive correlations between PFAAs and snout-vent length (SVL) were observed in both sexes suggesting PFAA body burdens increase with increasing size. In addition, several significant correlations among PFAAs in alligator plasma may suggest conserved sources of PFAAs at each site throughout the greater study area. This study is the first to report PFAAs in American alligators, reveals potential PFAA hot spots in Florida and South Carolina, and provides and additional contaminant of concern when assessing anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem health.

  18. Estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1; ERα), not ESR2 (ERβ), modulates estrogen-induced sex reversal in the American alligator, a species with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Bernhard, Melissa C; Katsu, Yoshinao; Zhu, Jianguo; Bryan, Teresa A; Doheny, Brenna M; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-05-01

    All crocodilians and many turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination where the temperature of the incubated egg, during a thermo-sensitive period (TSP), determines the sex of the offspring. Estrogens play a critical role in sex determination in crocodilians and turtles, as it likely does in most nonmammalian vertebrates. Indeed, administration of estrogens during the TSP induces male to female sex reversal at a male-producing temperature (MPT). However, it is not clear how estrogens override the influence of temperature during sex determination in these species. Most vertebrates have 2 forms of nuclear estrogen receptor (ESR): ESR1 (ERα) and ESR2 (ERβ). However, there is no direct evidence concerning which ESR is involved in sex determination, because a specific agonist or antagonist for each ESR has not been tested in nonmammalian species. We identified specific pharmaceutical agonists for each ESR using an in vitro transactivation assay employing American alligator ESR1 and ESR2; these were 4,4',4''-(4-propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol (PPT) and 7-bromo-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,3-benzoxazol-5-ol (WAY 200070), respectively. Alligator eggs were exposed to PPT or WAY 200070 at a MPT just before the TSP, and their sex was examined at the last stage of embryonic development. Estradiol-17β and PPT, but not WAY 200070, induced sex reversal at a MPT. PPT-exposed embryos exposed to the highest dose (5.0 μg/g egg weight) exhibited enlargement and advanced differentiation of the Müllerian duct. These results indicate that ESR1 is likely the principal ESR involved in sex reversal as well as embryonic Müllerian duct survival and growth in American alligators.

  19. Fluctuating water depths affect American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) body condition in the Everglades, Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brandt, Laura A.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2016-01-01

    Successful restoration of wetland ecosystems requires knowledge of wetland hydrologic patterns and an understanding of how those patterns affect wetland plant and animal populations.Within the Everglades, Florida, USA restoration, an applied science strategy including conceptual ecological models linking drivers to indicators is being used to organize current scientific understanding to support restoration efforts. A key driver of the ecosystem affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms is the timing, distribution, and volume of water flows that result in water depth patterns across the landscape. American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are one of the ecological indicators being used to assess Everglades restoration because they are a keystone species and integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations through all life stages. Alligator body condition (the relative fatness of an animal) is one of the metrics being used and targets have been set to allow us to track progress. We examined trends in alligator body condition using Fulton’s K over a 15 year period (2000–2014) at seven different wetland areas within the Everglades ecosystem, assessed patterns and trends relative to restoration targets, and related those trends to hydrologic variables. We developed a series of 17 a priori hypotheses that we tested with an information theoretic approach to identify which hydrologic factors affect alligator body condition. Alligator body condition was highest throughout the Everglades during the early 2000s and is approximately 5–10% lower now (2014). Values have varied by year, area, and hydrology. Body condition was positively correlated with range in water depth and fall water depth. Our top model was the “Current” model and included variables that describe current year hydrology (spring depth, fall depth, hydroperiod, range, interaction of range and fall depth, interaction of range and hydroperiod). Across all models, interaction

  20. Rapid suppression of testosterone secretion after capture in male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A; Elsey, Ruth M; Butterstein, George; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2004-01-15

    All reptiles studied to date show an increase in circulating corticosterone following capture. This rise in corticosterone has also been shown in a number of instances to result in a decline in reproductive steroids within hours after capture. As a result of these observations it has been considered imperative to collect blood samples as soon as possible after capture to get reliable measures of reproductive hormones. It has been claimed, however, that there is no effect of capture stress on reproductive steroids in juvenile alligators held for 2 h following capture. As we generally reject blood samples that are not collected within 15 min of capture we decided to reinvestigate the effect of short-term capture (2 h) on corticosterone and testosterone in male alligators. Four groups of alligators, ranging in size from 74 to 212 cm total length were captured in a 2-week period in May, the time of year when testosterone levels are highest. Two groups were captured during the day (eight bled at capture and again at 2 h, eight bled at 2 h only) and two at night (10 bled at capture and again at 2 h, 10 bled at 2 h only). Testosterone and corticosterone in alligators bled immediately on capture and at 2 h were not significantly different in the AM and PM samples so the results were combined (Initial bleed: corticosterone, 0.95 +/- 0.09 ng/ml, n=18; testosterone, 6.06 +/- 2.09 ng/ml, n=18. Two-hour bleed: corticosterone 15.68 +/- 1.91, n=18; testosterone, 2.75 +/- 0.79, n=18). Both the increase in corticosterone and the decline in testosterone at 2 h were significant (p<0.05). Corticosterone and testosterone in the alligators sampled only once at 2 h were not significantly different from the 2-h values in alligators sampled twice (corticosterone 15.04 +/- 1.29, n=18; testosterone, 1.85 +/- 0.62, n=18). These results clearly demonstrate that short-term capture stress results in a significant decline in testosterone in male alligators.

  1. Elastocapillary-driven snap-through instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fargette, Aurelie; Antkowiak, Arnaud; Neukirch, Sebastien

    2012-02-01

    The snap-through instability, which is present in a wide range of systems ranging from carnivorous plants to MEMS, is a well-known phenomenon in solid mechanics : when a buckled elastic beam is subjected to a transverse force, above a critical load value the buckling mode is switched. Here, we revisit this phenomenon by studying snap-through under capillary forces. In our experiment, a droplet (which replaces the usual dry load) is deposited on a buckled thin strip, clamped horizontally at both ends. In this setup both the weight of the drop and capillary forces jointly act toward the instability. The possibility of reverse elastocapillary snap-through, where the droplet is put under the beam, is then tested and successfully observed, showing the predominance of capillary forces at small enough scales.

  2. Comparative kinematical analyses of Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) snap traps.

    PubMed

    Poppinga, Simon; Kampowski, Tim; Metzger, Amélie; Speck, Olga; Speck, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Although the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) can be considered as one of the most extensively investigated carnivorous plants, knowledge is still scarce about diversity of the snap-trap motion, the functionality of snap traps under varying environmental conditions, and their opening motion. By conducting simple snap-trap closure experiments in air and under water, we present striking evidence that adult Dionaea snaps similarly fast in aerial and submersed states and, hence, is potentially able to gain nutrients from fast aquatic prey during seasonal inundation. We reveal three snapping modes of adult traps, all incorporating snap buckling, and show that millimeter-sized, much slower seedling traps do not yet incorporate such elastic instabilities. Moreover, opening kinematics of young and adult Dionaea snap traps reveal that reverse snap buckling is not performed, corroborating the assumption that growth takes place on certain trap lobe regions. Our findings are discussed in an evolutionary, biomechanical, functional-morphological and biomimetic context.

  3. Comparative kinematical analyses of Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) snap traps

    PubMed Central

    Kampowski, Tim; Metzger, Amélie; Speck, Olga; Speck, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Summary Although the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) can be considered as one of the most extensively investigated carnivorous plants, knowledge is still scarce about diversity of the snap-trap motion, the functionality of snap traps under varying environmental conditions, and their opening motion. By conducting simple snap-trap closure experiments in air and under water, we present striking evidence that adult Dionaea snaps similarly fast in aerial and submersed states and, hence, is potentially able to gain nutrients from fast aquatic prey during seasonal inundation. We reveal three snapping modes of adult traps, all incorporating snap buckling, and show that millimeter-sized, much slower seedling traps do not yet incorporate such elastic instabilities. Moreover, opening kinematics of young and adult Dionaea snap traps reveal that reverse snap buckling is not performed, corroborating the assumption that growth takes place on certain trap lobe regions. Our findings are discussed in an evolutionary, biomechanical, functional–morphological and biomimetic context. PMID:27335756

  4. "Sea Turtles" and "Ground Beetles" [Land Turtles] Should Shake Hands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

    This article talks about those who come back to China after studies abroad, characterized as "sea turtles" and those scholars who have remained in China to arduously pursue their studies, characterized as "ground beetles". " Sea turtles" are those foreign MBAs and Ph.D.s who are objects of praise, admiration and are…

  5. Biophysics. For certain shrimp, life's a snap.

    PubMed

    Brown, K

    2000-09-22

    On page 2114 of this issue, physicists report that a collapsing bubble outside the claw of the snapping shrimp Alpheus heterochaelis causes its characteristic clack. According to this new study, A. heterochaelis clamps its claw so rapidly that a water jet gushing from the claw first loses and then gains pressure, causing an air bubble in the jet to swell and collapse with a pronounced "snap!" The imploding bubble generates shock waves that stun nearby prey and ward off other shrimp, who have learned to keep their distance.

  6. Umbilical scarring in hatchling American alligators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiebe, J.J.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Buckland, J.E.; Anderson, S.R.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Umbilical scarring is the presence of excess scar tissue deposited between abdominal dermal layers at the site of yolk sac absorption in hatchling American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). The presence of this dermal condition plays a key evaluatory role in the overall quality and subsequent value for various commercial leather products. Despite the prevalent nature of this condition, currently the industry has no standardized protocols for its quantification. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between hatchling weight and age and incidence of umbilical scarring and to develop a quantifiable and reproducible technique to measure this dermal condition in hatchling American alligators. Thirty eggs from each of nine clutches were incubated in two separate incubators at different facilities and hatchling umbilical scarring was measured at 2 and 10 days of age using digital calipers. Umbilical area was calculated by multiplying umbilical length times umbilical width. There was a significant effect of both age and clutch on umbilical area (overall decline of 64%) by 10 days post-hatch. However, only five of the nine clutches utilized expressed a noticeable decline in the size of this dermal condition (range 67-74%). We had hypothesized that larger hatchlings would have larger umbilical areas and a slower rate of improvement in this condition during the first few days post-hatch. The differences in umbilical area and percent decline with age across clutches, however, were not associated with differences in initial hatchling weights. Within clutches and time periods, hatchling weight had no significant effect on the size and/or rate of decline of this condition. ?? 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. American Alligator Research on the Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowers, Russell H.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the research conducted at the Kennedy Space Center on the American Alligator. The objectives of the research were to establish life history baseline at the Kennedy Space Center and at the Merit Island National Wildlife Reserve (MINWR). Some of the factors that were examined are: nesting success, movement patterns, and population structure. Another objective was to determine the overall health of the alligator population, by analyzing blood and tissue chemistry, and urine analysis. A third objective was to compare alligators at KSC/MINWR to the statewide population. Some of the results are shown in charts and graphs.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newsom, John D.; Joanen, Ted; Howard, Rebecca J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model for evaluating American alligator habitat quality. The model is applicable in marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is scaled to produce an index between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  9. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR BEGINS TO CROSS KENNEDY PARKWAY

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    Harold O'Connor, manager of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, watches a 10-foot-long alligator inch its way toward a busy highway at the Kennedy Space Center. O'Connor, aided by assistant Jerome Carroll, not shown, guided the large gator to safety in a nearby pond, several miles south of the Vehicle Assembly Building, in background. The Apollo 12 astronauts will be launched no earlier than November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center on the Nation's second manned lunar landing mission.

  10. Electrostatic anchoring precedes stable membrane attachment of SNAP25/SNAP23 to the plasma membrane

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Pascal; Batoulis, Helena; Rink, Kerstin M; Dahlhoff, Stefan; Pinkwart, Kerstin; Söllner, Thomas H; Lang, Thorsten

    2017-01-01

    The SNAREs SNAP25 and SNAP23 are proteins that are initially cytosolic after translation, but then become stably attached to the cell membrane through palmitoylation of cysteine residues. For palmitoylation to occur, membrane association is a prerequisite, but it is unclear which motif may increase the affinities of the proteins for the target membrane. In experiments with rat neuroendocrine cells, we find that a few basic amino acids in the cysteine-rich region of SNAP25 and SNAP23 are essential for plasma membrane targeting. Reconstitution of membrane-protein binding in a liposome assay shows that the mechanism involves protein electrostatics between basic amino acid residues and acidic lipids such as phosphoinositides that play a primary role in these interactions. Hence, we identify an electrostatic anchoring mechanism underlying initial plasma membrane contact by SNARE proteins, which subsequently become palmitoylated at the plasma membrane. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19394.001 PMID:28240595

  11. SnapShot: chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Ciccone, Maria; Ferrajoli, Alessandra; Keating, Michael J; Calin, George A

    2014-11-10

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia among adults in western countries. This SnapShot depicts the origins and evolution of this B cell malignancy, describes prognostic factors and CLL animal models, and illustrates therapies in preclinical and clinical development against CLL.

  12. An alligator basks in the sun at KSC.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On the bank of a levee near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center, an alligator suns itself with a wary eye out for trespassers. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with the Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Wildlife Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  13. 109. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of alligator back and ...

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

    109. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of alligator back and the parkway seen from bluff mountain. Looking west. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  14. ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CONTAMINANTS AND ALLIGATOR EMBRYOS: A LESSON FROM WILDLIFE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many xenobiotic compounds introduced into the environment by human activity adversely affect wildlife. A number of these contaminants have been hypothesized to induce non lethal, multigenerational effects by acting as endocrine disrupting agents. One case is that of the alligator...

  15. Influence of collection time on hematologic and immune markers in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Finger, John W; Williams, Robert J; Hamilton, Matthew T; Elsey, Ruth M; Oppenheimer, Victor A; Holladay, Steven D; Gogal, Robert M

    2015-01-01

    Crocodilians are important keystone species and indicators of environmental health. Much remains unknown, however regarding utility of field-collected crocodilian blood samples for ecologic assessments. Field sampling sites are also often distant to analysis centers, necessitating development of new techniques and panels of assays that will yield environmentally relevant data. Stability and viability of hematological and immunological indices have been of particular interest for linking ecosystem health to biomarkers in resident species. In this study, we investigated the effect of time at analysis post-blood sampling at 4 and 24 hr on a panel of potential biomarkers in alligator blood. Our results suggest alligator blood samples can be reliably evaluated for both hematologic and immunologic profile 24 hr after sampling.

  16. Morphology and histochemistry of juvenile male American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) phallus.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Mathavan, Ketan; Guillette, Louis J

    2012-02-01

    Phalli of male crocodilians transfer sperm to female cloaca during sexual intercourse, resulting in internal fertilization. For over a century there have been scientific descriptions of crocodilian phallus morphologies; however, little work has presented detailed cellular-level analyses of these structures. Here we present a histological investigation of the complex functional anatomy of the juvenile male American alligator phallus, including fibrous and vascular erectile structures, a variety of secretory epithelium morphologies, and observed immune cells. Using 3D reconstruction software, we show the shape and location of vascular erectile tissues within the phallus. Histochemical staining detected mucin-rich secretory cells in glandular epithelial cells of the phallic shaft and also of the semen-conducting ventral sulcus. Lymphoid aggregates, lymphocytes, and epithelial mucin coats suggest an active immune system in the phallus defending from both the external and intracloacal environments. These results better characterize the complexity of the alligator phallus and predict later reproductive functions during adulthood.

  17. Development of sympathetic cardiovascular control in embryonic, hatchling, and yearling female American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2013-06-01

    We used arterial tyramine injections to study development of sympathetic actions on in vivo heart rate and blood pressure in embryonic, hatching and yearling female American alligators. Tyramine is a pharmacological tool for understanding comparative and developmental sympathetic regulation of cardiovascular function, and this indirect sympathomimetic agent causes endogenous neuronal catecholamine release, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Arterial tyramine injection in hatchling and yearling alligators caused the typical vertebrate response - rise in heart rate and blood pressure. However, in embryonic alligators, tyramine caused a substantial and immediate bradycardia at both 70% and 90% of embryonic development. This embryonic bradycardia was accompanied by hypotension, followed by a sustained hypertension similar to the hatchling and juvenile responses. Pretreatment with atropine injection (cholinergic receptor blocker) eliminated the embryonic hypotensive bradycardia, and phentolamine pretreatment (α-adrenergic receptor blocker) eliminated the embryonic hypotensive and hypertensive responses but not the bradycardia. In addition, hexamethonium pretreatment (nicotinic receptor blocker) significantly blunted embryos' bradycardic tyramine response. However, pretreatment with 6-hydroxydopamine, a neurotoxin that destroys catecholaminergic terminals, did not eliminate the embryonic bradycardia. Tyramine likely stimulated a unique embryonic response - neurotransmitter release from preganglionic nerve terminals (blocked with hexamethonium) and an acetylcholine mediated bradycardia with a secondary norepinephrine-dependent sustained hypertension. In addition, tyramine appears to stimulate sympathetic nerve terminals directly, which contributed to the overall hypertension in the embryonic, hatchling and yearling animals. Data demonstrated that humoral catecholamine control of cardiovascular function was dominant over the immature parasympathetic nervous system

  18. Chronic hypoxic incubation blunts a cardiovascular reflex loop in embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Hicks, James W; Crossley, Dane A

    2011-10-01

    Hypoxia is a naturally occurring environmental challenge for embryonic non-avian reptiles, and this study is the first to investigate the impact of chronic hypoxia on a possible chemoreflex loop in a developing non-avian reptile. We measured heart rate and blood pressure in normoxic and hypoxic-incubated (10% O(2)) American alligator embryos (Alligator mississippiensis) at 70 and 90/95% of development. We hypothesized that hypoxic incubation would blunt embryonic alligators' response to a reflex loop stimulated by phenylbiguanide (PBG), a 5-HT(3) receptor agonist that stimulates vagal pulmonary C-fiber afferents. PBG injection caused a hypotensive bradycardia in 70 and 95% of development embryos (paired t tests, P < 0.05), a response similar to mammals breathing inspired air (all injections made through occlusive catheter in tertiary chorioallantoic membrane artery). Hypoxic incubation blunted the bradycardic response to PBG in embryos at 95% of development (two-way ANOVA, P < 0.01). We also demonstrated that the vagally mediated afferent limb of this reflex can be partially or completely blocked in ovo with a 5-HT(3) receptor blockade using ondansetron hydrochloride dihydrate (OHD), with a ganglionic blockade using hexamethonium, or with a cholinergic blockade using atropine. Atropine eliminated the hypotensive and bradycardic responses to PBG, and OHD and hexamethonium significantly blunted these responses. This cardiovascular reflex mediated by the vagus was affected by hypoxic incubation, suggesting that reptilian sympathetic and parasympathetic reflex loops have the potential for developmental plasticity in response to hypoxia. We suggest that the American alligator, with an extended length of time between each developmental stage relative to avian species, may provide an excellent model to test the cardiorespiratory effects of prolonged exposure to changes in atmospheric gases. This extended period allows for lengthy studies at each stage without the

  19. Effects of dehydration on cardiovascular development in the embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis).

    PubMed

    Tate, Kevin B; Eme, John; Swart, Justin; Conlon, J Michael; Crossley, Dane A

    2012-07-01

    Effects of dehydration on reptilian embryonic cardiovascular function are unknown. Here, we present the first morphological and physiological data quantifying the cumulative effects of four acute dehydration events on the embryonic American alligator, Alligator mississipiensis. We hypothesized that dehydration would alter embryonic morphology, reduce blood volume and augment the response to angiotensin II (Ang II), a key osmotic and blood volume regulatory response element in adult vertebrates. Drying events at 30%, 40%, 50%, and 60% of embryonic incubation reduced total egg water content by 14.43 ± 0.37 g, a 3.4 fold increase relative to controls. However, embyronic blood volume was greater in the dehydration group at 70% of embryonic incubation compared to controls (0.39 ± 0.044 mLg(-1) and 0.22 ± 0.03 mLg(-1), respectively), however, both groups were similar at 90% of incubation (0.18 ± 0.02 mLg(-1) in the controls and 0.23 ± 0.03 mLg(-1) in the dehydrated group). Dehydration altered the morphological phenotype and resulted in an overall reduction in embryonic mass at both incubation time points measured. Dehydration also altered the physiological phenotype, resulting in embryonic alligators that were relatively bradycardic at 90% of incubation. Arterial Ang II injections resulted in a dose dependent hypertension, which increased in intensity over the span of incubation studied. While progressive incubation altered the Ang II response, dehydration had no impact on the cardiovascular responses to the peptide. Quantification of Ang II type-1 receptor protein using western blot analysis illustrated that dehydration condition and incubation time point did not alter protein quantity. Collectively, our results show that dehydration during embryonic development of the American alligator alters embryonic morphology and baseline heart rate without altering arterial pressure and response to Ang II.

  20. Persistent Organochlorine Pesticides and their Metabolites in Alligator Livers from Lakes Apopka and Woodruff, Florida, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  1. Population status of the American alligator on the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, T.M.

    1981-04-01

    Estimates are presented of alligator numbers, size distribution, sex ratios, reproductive effort, and population trends for all major components of the entire Savannah River Plant (SRP) alligator population. Savannah River Plant operations have impacted the alligator population in many different ways. The formation of man-made reservoirs has dramatically increased the amount of aquatic habitat available to alligators and has therefore increased the carrying capacity of the SRP site for this species. The thermal alteration of aquatic habitats on the SRP has also impacted the resident alligator population. Temperature elevations of aquatic habitat to greater than 38/sup 0/C result in the loss of this habitat to alligators. Moderate thermal increases on the other hand are responded to by alligator movement. The current information available on the alligators of the SRP suggests the following future trends: low density populations distant from thermally altered areas will continue at a low density with the exception of localized increases.

  2. Seasonal androgen cycles in adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from a barrier island population.

    PubMed

    Hamlin, Heather J; Lowers, Russell H; Guillette, Louis J

    2011-12-01

    The seasonal patterns of two primary plasma androgens, testosterone (T) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), were assessed in adult male alligators from the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a unique barrier island environment and home to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Samples were collected monthly from 2008 to 2009, with additional samples collected at more random intervals in 2007 and 2010. Plasma T concentrations peaked in April, coincident with breeding and courtship, and declined rapidly throughout the summer. Seasonal plasma T patterns in smaller though reproductively active adult males differed from those in their larger counterparts during the breeding season. Both size classes showed significant increases in plasma T concentration from February to March, at the beginning of the breeding season. However, smaller adults did not experience the peak in plasma T concentrations in April that were observed in larger adults, and their concentrations were significantly lower than those of larger males for the remainder of the breeding season. Plasma DHEA concentrations peaked in May and were significantly reduced by June. This is the first study to demonstrate the presence of DHEA in a crocodilian, and the high plasma DHEA concentrations that paralleled the animals' reproductive activity suggest a reproductive and/or behavioral role in adult male alligators. Similar to androgen variations in some birds, plasma DHEA concentrations in the alligators were considerably higher than T concentrations during the nonbreeding season, suggesting a potential role in maintaining nonbreeding seasonal aggression.

  3. Molecular characterization of dental development in a toothed archosaur, the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Olivia; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2013-01-01

    Few skeletal structures are as informative of the adaptive natural history of vertebrate animals as their teeth. Understanding principles of tooth development is key to understanding evolution of the vertebrate dentition in general and emergence of multiple specialized tooth types in particular. Morphological and phylogenetic considerations suggest that crocodilians have the most primitive mode of dentition within extant tetrapods, displaying simple, conical, socketed, and continuously replaced teeth. Previous histological studies revealed several dental fates, including functional and non-functional teeth (rudiments) in the developing alligator embryos. We analyze expression of key odontogenic regulators and markers to better characterize the molecular patterning of crocodilian dentition. Importantly, we demonstrate that the morphologically distinct tooth types in Alligator mississippiensis are distinguishable by differences in their developmental programs. We also present evidence showing that tooth maturation is accompanied by dynamic gene expression in the epithelial and mesenchymal cells involved in tooth development. Our data reveal a significant morphological and genetic variation in early dental fates. We believe that this underlying developmental variation reflects modularity, or the ability of teeth to develop semi-autonomously along the alligator jaw. We propose that such modularity may have been a crucial for adaptive evolution within Amniota, allowing for the progressive modifications to tooth replacement, number, and shape.

  4. Variation in perfluoroalkyl acids in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

    PubMed

    Bangma, Jacqueline T; Reiner, Jessica L; Jones, Martin; Lowers, Russell H; Nilsen, Frances; Rainwater, Thomas R; Somerville, Stephen; Guillette, Louis J; Bowden, John A

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to quantify concentrations of fifteen perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in the plasma of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting wetlands surrounding the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, USA located at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR). Approximately 10 male and 10 female alligators (ntotal = 229) were sampled each month during 2008 and 2009 to determine if seasonal or spatial trends existed with PFAA burden. PFOS represented the highest plasma burden (median 185 ng/g) and PFHxS the second highest (median 7.96 ng/g). While no significant seasonal trends were observed, unique spatial trends emerged. Many of the measured PFAAs co-varied strongly together and similar trends were observed for PFOS, PFDA, PFUnA, and PFDoA, as well as for PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA, PFTriA, and PFTA, suggesting more than one source of PFAAs at MINWR. Higher concentrations of PFOS and the PFAAs that co-varied with PFOS were collected from animals around sites that included the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) fire house and the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) retention pond, while higher concentrations of PFOA and the PFAA that co-varied with PFOA were sampled from animals near the gun range and the old fire training facility. Sex-based differences and snout-vent length (SVL) correlations with PFAA burden were also investigated.

  5. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis (Reptilia: Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Touzinsky, Katherine F; Siegel, Dustin S; Venable, Katherine J; Hester, Georgia L; Elsey, Ruth M

    2011-11-01

    This study details the ultrastructure of the spermatozoa of the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. American Alligator spermatozoa are filiform and slightly curved. The acrosome is tapered at its anterior end and surrounded by the acrosome vesicle and an underlying subacrosomal cone, which rests just cephalic to the nuclear rostrum. One endonuclear canal extends from the subacrosomal cone through the rostral nucleus and deep into the nuclear body. The neck region separates the nucleus and midpiece and houses the proximal centriole and pericentriolar material. The distal centriole extends through the midpiece and has 9 × 3 sets of peripheral microtubules with a central doublet pair within the axoneme that is surrounded by a dense sheath. The midpiece is composed of seven to nine rings of mitochondria, which have combinations of concentrically and septate cristae. The principal piece has a dense fibrous sheath that surrounds an axoneme with a 9 + 2 microtubule arrangement. The sheath becomes significantly reduced in size caudally within the principal piece and is completely missing from the endpiece. Dense peripheral fibers, especially those associated with microtubule doublets 3 and 8, penetrate into the anterior portion of the principal piece axoneme. The data reported here hypothesize that sperm morphology is highly conserved in Crocodylia; however, specific morphological differences can exist between species.

  6. Proteome analysis of the leukocytes from the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) using mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Darville, Lancia N F; Merchant, Mark E; Hasan, Azeem; Murray, Kermit K

    2010-12-01

    Mass spectrometry was used in conjunction with gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography, to determine peptide sequences from American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) leukocytes and to identify similar proteins based on homology. The goal of the study was to generate an initial database of proteins related to the alligator immune system. We have adopted a typical proteomics approach for this study. Proteins from leukocyte extracts were separated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the major bands were excised, digested and analyzed by on-line nano-LC MS/MS to generate peptide sequences. The sequences generated were used to identify proteins and characterize their functions. The protein identity and characterization of the protein function were based on matching two or more peptides to the same protein by searching against the NCBI database using MASCOT and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). For those proteins with only one peptide matching, the phylum of the matched protein was considered. Forty-three proteins were identified that exhibit sequence similarities to proteins from other vertebrates. Proteins related to the cytoskeletal system were the most abundant proteins identified. These proteins are known to regulate cell mobility and phagocytosis. Several other peptides were matched to proteins that potentially have immune-related function.

  7. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  8. Role of the left aortic arch and blood flows in embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Crossley, Dane A; Hicks, James W

    2011-04-01

    All embryonic and fetal amniotes possess a ductus(i) arteriosus(i) that allows blood to bypass the pulmonary circulation and the non-functional lungs. The central hemodynamic of embryonic reptiles are unique, given the additional systemic aorta that allows pulmonary circulatory bypass, the left aorta (LAo). The LAo exits in the right ventricle or 'pulmonary side' of reptilian hearts in both embryos and adults, but its functional significance in ovo is unknown. This study investigated the role of the LAo in embryonic American alligators by surgically occluding the LAo and measuring oxygen consumption and, in addition, measured hemodynamic responses to hypoxia in embryonic alligators. We measured systemic cardiac output and primary chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) artery blood flow for normoxic and hypoxic-incubated (10% O(2)) American alligator embryos (Alligator mississippiensis). Chronic blood flow (1-124 h) in the primary CAM artery for hypoxic-incubated embryos (92 ± 26 ml min(-1) kg(-1)) was elevated when compared with normoxic-incubated embryos (29 ± 14 ml min(-1) kg(-1), N = 6; P = 0.039). For hypoxic-incubated embryos, acute LAo blood flow (49.6 ± 24.4 ml min(-1) kg(-1)) was equivalent to the combined flow of the three systemic great vessels that arise from the left ventricle, the right aorta, common carotid and subclavian arteries (43.6 ± 21.5 ml min(-1) kg(-1), N = 5). Similarly, for normoxic-incubated embryos, LAo blood flow (27.3 ± 6.6 ml min(-1) kg(-1)) did not statistically differ from the other three vessels (18.4 ± 4.9 ml min(-1) kg(-1), N = 5). This study contains the first direct test of LAo function and the first measurements of blood flow in an embryonic reptile. These data support the hypotheses that embryonic alligators utilize the LAo to divert a significant amount of right ventricular blood into the systemic circulation, and that CAM blood flow increases following chronic hypoxic conditions. However, surgical occlusion of the LAo did not

  9. Low mitochondrial DNA variation among American alligators and a novel non-coding region in crocodilians.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Travis C; Staton, Joseph L; Vu, Alex T; Davis, Lisa M; Bremer, Jaime R Alvarado; Rhodes, Walter E; Brisbin, I Lehr; Sawyer, Roger H

    2002-12-15

    We analyzed 1317-1823 base pairs (bp) of mitochondrial DNA sequence beginning in the 5' end of cytochrome b (cyt b) and ending in the central domain of the control region for 25 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and compared these to a homologous sequence from a Chinese alligator (A. sinensis). Both species share a non-coding spacer between cyt b and tRNA(Thr). Chinese alligator cyt b differs from that of the American alligator by 17.5% at the nucleotide level and 13.8% for inferred amino acids, which is consistent with their presumed ancient divergence. Only two cyt b haplotypes were detected among the 25 American alligators (693-1199 bp surveyed), with one haplotype shared among 24 individuals. One alligator from Mississippi differed from all other alligators by a single silent substitution. The control region contained only slightly more variation among the 25 American alligators, with two variable positions (624 bp surveyed), yielding three haplotypes with 22, two, and one individuals in each of these groups. Previous genetic studies examining allozymes and the proportion of variable microsatellite DNA loci also found low levels of genetic diversity in American alligators. However, in contrast with allozymes, microsatellites, and morphology, the mtDNA data shows no evidence of differentiation among populations from the extremes of the species range. These results suggest that American alligators underwent a severe population bottleneck in the late Pleistocene, resulting in nearly homogenous mtDNA among all American alligators today.

  10. Clinical and necropsy findings associated with increased mortality among American alligators of Lake Griffin, Florida.

    PubMed

    Schoeb, Trenton R; Heaton-Jones, Terrell G; Clemmons, Roger M; Carbonneau, Dwayne A; Woodward, Allan R; Shelton, Diane; Poppenga, Robert H

    2002-04-01

    From December, 1997, through November, 2000, 306 deaths were documented among adult and subadult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) of Lake Griffin, Florida (USA). Some live alligators were lethargic and unresponsive to approach. To determine the cause, we examined ten alligators captured from Lake Griffin between December 1997 and June 1999. Initially, four alligators, three of which were clinically unresponsive, were sacrificed for routine diagnostic necropsy. The other six Lake Griffin alligators, and five control alligators captured from Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, where mortality was negligible, were studied extensively by clinical neurologic examination, electromyography, hematology, serum chemical analyses, and blood culture, then sacrificed and necropsied. Samples of brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, skeletal muscle, and major internal organs were examined by light microscopy for abnormalities. Samples of nervous tissue also were examined by electron microscopy, and samples of various tissues were collected for toxicologic analyses. Clinical signs included swimming in circles, inability to submerge, lethargy, weakness, unresponsiveness, slow reflexes, dragging the dorsal surfaces of the hind feet, head tilt, and anisocoria. Lake Griffin alligators had significantly lower distal sciatic nerve conduction velocities than Lake Woodruff alligators, and the most severely affected alligators had the lowest velocities; but morphologic abnormalities in peripheral nerves were not evident in most cases. Three severely affected alligators had acute focal necrosis of the torus semicircularis in the midbrain, two had skeletal myofiber atrophy, another had diffuse nonsuppurative encephalomyelitis, and one mildly affected alligator had skeletal myodegeneration. The cause or causes have not yet been identified.

  11. 78 FR 57480 - Safety Zone; 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, Atlantic Ocean; Islamorada, FL

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-19

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator... Islamorada, Florida, during the 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse on September 21, 2013.... is hosting the 1st Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse. The event will be held on...

  12. 33 CFR 165.T05-0091 - Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC... Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC. (a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, Captain of the Port... on the waters of the Alligator River centered at (35°54′3″ N/076°00′25″ W) a position directly...

  13. SNAP-8 electrical generating system development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    The SNAP-8 program has developed the technology base for one class of multikilowatt dynamic space power systems. Electrical power is generated by a turbine-alternator in a mercury Rankine-cycle loop to which heat is transferred and removed by means of sodium-potassium eutectic alloy subsystems. Final system overall criteria include a five-year operating life, restartability, man rating, and deliverable power in the 90 kWe range. The basic technology was demonstrated by more than 400,000 hours of major component endurance testing and numerous startup and shutdown cycles. A test system, comprised of developed components, delivered up to 35 kWe for a period exceeding 12,000 hours. The SNAP-8 system baseline is considered to have achieved a level of technology suitable for final application development for long-term multikilowatt space missions.

  14. Episodic breathing in alligators: role of sensory feedback.

    PubMed

    Douse, M A; Mitchell, G S

    1992-01-01

    The episodic breathing pattern in many reptiles consists of two or more clustered breaths separated by variable non-ventilatory periods. This pattern is commonly postulated to result from oscillations in lung and/or blood PO2 or PCO2 via chemoreceptor feedback. We tested this hypothesis by monitoring breathing pattern in: (1) awake, undisturbed alligators and (2) sedated alligators (approx. 25 mg/kg pentobarbital, i.p.; 3 days prior to data collection). In sedated alligators, measurements were made: (1) before and after bilateral cervical vagotomy, a procedure that removes peripheral arterial chemoreceptors, CO2-sensitive intrapulmonary chemoreceptors and pulmonary stretch receptors (n = 6); and (2) during unidirectional ventilation (UDV) at high flow rates (greater than 2 L/min), thereby minimizing oscillations in lung and blood PO2 and PCO2 (n = 6). Measurements on sedated alligators were made at 30 and 20 degrees C in each of these conditions. In awake, undisturbed alligators, breathing was typically episodic with 2-7 breaths/cluster, although the pattern was easily altered (increased breaths/cluster) by even seemingly minor disturbances. In sedated alligators, episodic breathing was still evident after vagotomy, but only at increased inspired CO2; at 5% CO2 four of six alligators exhibited episodic breathing consisting of 2-3 breaths/cluster interspersed with occasional single breaths. An episodic breathing pattern was also evident during UDV; at low levels of CO2, 2-4 breaths/cluster interspersed with occasional single breaths were evident in four alligators, while two had 6-8 breaths/cluster. Increasing CO2 in the UDV gas stream generally increased the number of breaths/cluster. After vagotomy, all six alligators could manifest an episodic breathing pattern during UDV in at least one CO2 condition (greater than 2 breaths/cluster interspersed with occasional single breaths). The episodic breathing pattern was very labile, sometimes changing to single breaths

  15. Demonstration/Validation of the Snap Sampler

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    low-flow sampling. 5. Carefully selecting a sampling order that reduces sampler impacts on subsequent sam- pling events. 5.1.2 Baseline...flow sampling.  Carefully selecting a sampling order that reduces sampler impacts on subsequent sam- pling events. 5.2.2 Baseline Characterization...ER D C/ CR R EL T R -1 1 -1 1 Project ER-063 Demonstration/Validation of the Snap Sampler Cost and Performance: Final Report C ol d R eg

  16. SNAP: An Astrophysical Camp That Flies High!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, D.; English, D.

    2010-08-01

    It has become widely recognized that there is a shortage of students coming out of provincial high schools who plan to pursue careers in scientific and technical fields. We aim to capture the interest and excite the imaginations of Grade 11 students in a three-day camp. The School for Nuclei, Astrophysics, and Particles (SNAP) will combine an introduction to astrophysics with the building and flying of a balloon-borne cosmic-ray detector to the very edge of space.

  17. Triggered Snap-Through of Bistable Shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Yijie; Huang, Shicheng; Trase, Ian; Hu, Nan; Chen, Zi

    Elastic bistable shells are common structures in nature and engineering, such as the lobes of the Venus flytrap or the surface of a toy jumping poppers. Despite their ubiquity, the parameters that control the bistability of such structures are not well understood. In this study, we explore how the geometrical features of radially symmetric elastic shells affect the shape and potential energy of a shell's stable states, and how to tune certain parameters in order to generate a snap-through transition from a convex semi-stable state to concave stable state. We fabricated a series of elastic shells with varying geometric parameters out of silicone rubber and measured the resulting potential energy in the semi-stable state. Finite element simulations were also conducted in order to determine the deformation and stress in the shells during snap-through. It was found that the energy of the semi-stable state is controlled by only two geometric parameters and a dimensionless ratio. We also noted two distinct transitions during snap-through, one between monostability and semi-bistability (the state a popper toy is in before it snaps-through and jumps), and a second transition between semi-bistability and true bistability. This work shows that it is possible to use a set of simple parameters to tailor the energy landscape of an elastic shell in order to generate complex trigger motions for their potential use in smart applications. Z.C. acknowledge support from Society in Science-Branco Weiss Fellowship, administered by ETH Zurich.

  18. SnapShot: GI tract development.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Patrick S; Wells, James M

    2015-03-26

    The endoderm germ layer contributes to the respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) lineages during development, giving rise to an array of specialized epithelial cell types lining organs, including the thyroid, thymus, lungs, liver, biliary system, pancreas, and intestines. This SnapShot timelines and summarizes key stages following gastrulation, including endoderm patterning, organ specification, and organogenesis. A lineage tree of the developing endocrine pancreas is outlined to further illustrate this process.

  19. Vortex Formation with a Snapping Shrimp Claw

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Gasket and snap ring installation tool

    DOEpatents

    Southerland, Jr., James M.; Barringer, Jr., Curtis N.

    1994-01-01

    A tool for installing a gasket and a snap ring including a shaft, a first plate attached to the forward end of the shaft, a second plate slidably carried by the shaft, a spring disposed about the shaft between the first and second plates, and a sleeve that is free to slide over the shaft and engage the second plate. The first plate has a loading surface with a loading groove for receiving a snap ring and a shoulder for holding a gasket. A plurality of openings are formed through the first plate, communicating with the loading groove and approximately equally spaced about the groove. A plurality of rods are attached to the second plate, each rod slidable in one of the openings. In use, the loaded tool is inserted into a hollow pipe or pipe fitting having an internal flange and an internal seating groove, such that the gasket is positioned against the flange and the ring is in the approximate plane of the seating groove. The sleeve is pushed against the second plate, sliding the second plate towards the first plate, compressing the spring and sliding the rods forwards in the openings. The rods engage the snap ring and urge the ring from the loading groove into the seating groove.

  1. Unidirectional airflow in the lungs of alligators.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G; Sanders, Kent

    2010-01-15

    The lungs of birds move air in only one direction during both inspiration and expiration through most of the tubular gas-exchanging bronchi (parabronchi), whereas in the lungs of mammals and presumably other vertebrates, air moves tidally into and out of terminal gas-exchange structures, which are cul-de-sacs. Unidirectional flow purportedly depends on bellowslike ventilation by air sacs and may have evolved to meet the high aerobic demands of sustained flight. Here, we show that air flows unidirectionally through parabronchi in the lungs of the American alligator, an amphibious ectotherm without air sacs, which suggests that this pattern dates back to the basal archosaurs of the Triassic and may have been present in their nondinosaur descendants (phytosaurs, aetosaurs, rauisuchians, crocodylomorphs, and pterosaurs) as well as in dinosaurs.

  2. Young Children Learn Geometric Concepts Using Logo with a Screen Turtle and a Floor Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Constance L.

    This research was designed to investigate several primary questions in comparing the Logo floor turtle to the Logo screen turtle: (1) Do young children gain different geometric concepts from experiences with the floor turtle than they do with the screen turtle? (2) Do young children learn to use the four basic Logo commands more efficiently with…

  3. Ontogenetic development of otoliths in Alligator Gar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Long, James M.; Snow, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula is a species of conservation concern throughout its range, and better definition of otoliths during early development would aid understanding its life history and ecology. We conducted X-ray computed tomography scans, scanning electron microscopy, and light microscopy to examine the three pairs of otoliths and how they developed over time in relation to fish size and age. The sagittae are the largest, possessing distinct dorsal and ventral lobes covered with small otoconia concentrated in the sulcul region. The sagittae exhibited allometric growth, increasing more rapidly in the ventral lobe than in the dorsal. The asterisci were smaller and also exhibited small otoconia on their surface, but much less than the sagittae. The lapilli were oriented laterally, in contrast to the sagittae and asterisci, which were oriented vertically, with a hump on the dorsum and very large otoconia on the lateral surface that appeared to fuse into the main otolith as the fish grew. Based on size measurements and ring counts in all three pairs of otoliths from 101 known-age Alligator Gar sampled weekly through 91 d after hatch, we developed regression models to examine otolith growth and predict age. All relationships were significant and highly explanatory, but the strongest relationships were between otolith and fish size (for measurements from sagittae) and for age predictions from the lapillus. Age prediction models all resulted in a slope near unity, indicating that ring deposition occurred approximately daily. The first ring in sagittae and lapilli corresponded to swim-up, whereas the first ring formed in asterisci approximately 8 d after swim-up. These results fill a gap in knowledge and can aid understanding of evolutionary processes as well as provide useful information for management and conservation.

  4. Alligator physiology and life history: the importance of temperature.

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A

    2003-07-01

    Alligators are the most northerly distributed of the extant Crocodilia. Reproducing populations are found as far north as 35 degrees latitude in the freshwater marshes and rivers of coastal North Carolina, and as far south as 25 degrees latitude in the Florida Keys. Thus different populations are exposed to very different annual thermal cycles. Alligators stop eating when ambient temperature drops below 16 degrees C. This anorexia lasts at least 6 months at 35 degrees latitude. In southwest Louisiana alligators stop feeding in October and do not resume feeding until late March or early April. It is only during the warmer months when actively feeding that growth occurs. Even with this restricted growing season Louisiana alligators grow about 30 cm a year for the first 6 years. When alligators reach sexual maturity at about 1.85 m total length growth slows in both sexes, but is significantly slower in females than males. As a result of differences in thermal regime sexual maturity is estimated at around 18 years in North Carolina and about 10 years in Louisiana. Females lay one clutch of around 40 eggs in June, but the time of nesting is also tightly linked to temperature. In a cool spring nesting can occur as late as July 5th, and in a warm spring as early as June 5th. Immature male alligators undergo a seasonal hormonal cycle similar to fully mature breeding males, but testosterone levels differ by an order of magnitude. The number of mature females reproducing each year is rarely greater than 50%, but data on internest interval is lacking. Immature female alligators show no seasonal hormonal cycle.

  5. Body temperature null distributions in reptiles with nonzero heat capacity: seasonal thermoregulation in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2003-01-01

    Regulation of body temperature may increase fitness of animals by ensuring that biochemical and physiological processes proceed at an optimal rate. The validity of current methods of testing whether or not thermoregulation in reptiles occurs is often limited to very small species that have near zero heat capacity. The aim of this study was to develop a method that allows estimation of body temperature null distributions of large reptiles and to investigate seasonal thermoregulation in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Continuous body temperature records of wild alligators were obtained from implanted dataloggers in winter (n=7, mass range: 1.6-53.6 kg) and summer (n=7, mass range: 1.9-54.5 kg). Body temperature null distributions were calculated by randomising behavioural postures, thereby randomly altering relative animal surface areas exposed to different avenues of heat transfer. Core body temperatures were predicted by calculations of transient heat transfer by conduction and blood flow. Alligator body temperatures follow regular oscillations during the day. Occasionally, body temperature steadied during the day to fall within a relatively narrow range. Rather than indicating shuttling thermoregulation, however, this pattern could be predicted from random movements. Average daily body temperature increases with body mass in winter but not in summer. Daily amplitudes of body temperature decrease with increasing body mass in summer but not in winter. These patterns result from differential exposure to heat transfer mechanisms at different seasons. In summer, alligators are significantly cooler than predictions for a randomly moving animal, and the reverse is the case in winter. Theoretical predictions show, however, that alligators can be warmer in winter if they maximised their sun exposure. We concluded that alligators may not rely exclusively on regulation of body temperature but that they may also acclimatise biochemically to seasonally

  6. Effects of prolonged lung inflation or deflation on pulmonary stretch receptor discharge in the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Marschand, Rachel E; Wilson, Jenna L; Burleson, Mark L; Crossley, Dane A; Hedrick, Michael S

    2014-08-15

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a semi-aquatic diving reptile that has a periodic breathing pattern. Previous work identified pulmonary stretch receptors, that are rapidly and slowly adapting, as well as intrapulmonary chemoreceptors (IPC), sensitive to CO2, that modulate breathing patterns in alligators. The purpose of the present study was to quantify the effects of prolonged lung inflation and deflation (simulated dives) on pulmonary stretch receptors (PSR) and/or IPC discharge characteristics. The effects of airway pressure (0-20 cm H2O), hypercapnia (7% CO2), and hypoxia (5% O2) on dynamic and static responses of PSR were studied in juvenile alligators (mean mass=246 g) at 24°C. Alligators were initially anesthetized with isoflurane, cranially pithed, tracheotomized and artificially ventilated. Vagal afferent tonic and phasic activity was recorded with platinum hook electrodes. Receptor activity was a mixture of slowly adapting PSR (SAR) and rapidly adapting PSR (RAR) with varying thresholds and degrees of adaptation, without CO2 sensitivity. Receptor activity before, during and after 1 min periods of lung inflation and deflation was quantified to examine the effect of simulated breath-hold dives. Some PSR showed a change in dynamic response, exhibiting inhibition for several breaths after prolonged lung inflation. Following 1 min deflation, RAR, but not SAR, exhibited a significant potentiation of burst frequency relative to control. For SAR, the post-inflation receptor inhibition was blocked by CO2 and hypoxia; for RAR, the post-inflation inhibition was potentiated by CO2 and blocked by hypoxia. These results suggest that changes in PSR firing following prolonged inflation and deflation may promote post-dive ventilation in alligators. We hypothesize that PSR in alligators may be involved in recovery of breathing patterns and lung volume during pre- and post-diving behavior and apneic periods in diving reptiles.

  7. Association of West Nile virus with lymphohistiocytic proliferative cutaneous lesions in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) detected by RT-PCR.

    PubMed

    Nevarez, Javier G; Mitchell, Mark A; Morgan, Timothy; Roy, Alma; Johnson, April

    2008-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is known to affect captive populations of alligators and, in some instances, cause significant mortalities. Alligators have been shown to amplify the virus, serve as a reservoir host, and even represent a source of infection for humans. This study describes a cutaneous manifestation of WNV in captive-reared American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), previously described as lymphohistiocytic proliferative syndrome of alligators (LPSA), based on the findings of gross examination, histopathologic evaluation, WNV antibody testing, and WNV reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Forty alligators with LPSA and 41 controls were examined. There was a significant difference (P = 0.01(-21)) in the WNV serostatus between the treatment group (100%) and the control group (0%, 95% CI: 0-7.3%). In the treatment group, 97.5% (39/40) (95% CI: 92.7-102.3%) of the LPSA skin lesions were positive for WNV via RT-PCR. Of the skin sections within the treatment group that had no LPSA lesions, 7.5% (3/40) (95% CI: 0-15.7%) were positive for WNV. In the control group, all of the skin samples were negative for WNV (41/41) (0%; 95% CI: 0-7.3%). The LPSA skin lesions were significantly more likely to be WNV positive by RT-PCR when compared to control animals (P = 0.07(-20)) and normal skin sections from affected animals (P = 0.08(-16)). There was no significant difference in the WNV RT-PCR results between control animals and normal skin sections from affected animals (P = 0.24). These findings suggest that LPSA is a cutaneous manifestation of WNV in alligators.

  8. Rewarding Healthy Food Choices in SNAP: Behavioral Economic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Michael R; Sindelar, Jody L

    2013-01-01

    Context American obesity rates continue to escalate, but an effective policy response remains elusive. Specific changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been proposed as one way to improve nutrition and combat obesity among lower-income populations. While current SNAP proposals hold promise, some important challenges still remain. Methods We discuss the four most common recommendations for changes to SNAP and their benefits and limitations. We then propose three new delivery options for SNAP that take advantage of behavioral economic insights and encourage the selection of healthy foods. Findings Although the existing proposals could help SNAP recipients, they often do not address some important behavioral impediments to buying healthy foods. We believe that behavioral economics can be used to design alternative policies with several advantages, although we recognize and discuss some of their limitations. The first proposal rewards healthy purchases with more SNAP funds and provides an additional incentive to maintain healthier shopping patterns. The second proposal uses the opportunity to win prizes to reward healthy food choices, and the prizes further support healthier habits. The final proposal simplifies healthy food purchases by allowing individuals to commit their SNAP benefits to more nutritious selections in advance. Conclusions Reforming the delivery structure of SNAP's benefits could help improve nutrition, weight, and overall health of lower-income individuals. We advocate for more and diverse SNAP proposals, which should be tested and, possibly, combined. Their implementation, however, would require political will, administrative capacity, and funding. PMID:23758515

  9. Snap-Through Instability Patterns in Truss Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hrinda, Glenn A.

    2010-01-01

    Geometrically nonlinear truss structures with snap-through behavior are demonstrated by using an arc length approach within a finite element analysis. The instability patterns are equilibrium paths that are plotted throughout the snap-through event. Careful observation of these patterns helps to identify weak designs in large space structures, as well as identify desirable snap-through behavior in the miniaturization of electronic devices known as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Examples of highly nonlinear trusses that show snap-through behavior are examined by tracing their equilibrium paths.

  10. Engaging Students in Science: Turtle Nestwatch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine; Mansfield, Caroline

    2009-01-01

    Involving students in authentic science work is one way to enhance their interest in science. This paper reports a project in which Year 4-7 students actively participated in a study that involved the provision of a suitable nesting site for local turtles. The students collected data on turtle nests at the site and evidence of turtle hatchlings at…

  11. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  12. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  13. TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Radia

    TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System) is a device which can be used to study or nurture the cognitive development of preschool children. The device consists of a "turtle" which the child can control by use of buttons on a control panel. The "turtle" can be made to move in prescribed directions, to take a…

  14. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  15. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  16. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  17. Genetic effects of landscape, habitat preference and demography on three co-occurring turtle species.

    PubMed

    Reid, Brendan N; Mladenoff, David J; Peery, M Zachariah

    2017-02-01

    Expanding the scope of landscape genetics beyond the level of single species can help to reveal how species traits influence responses to environmental change. Multispecies studies are particularly valuable in highly threatened taxa, such as turtles, in which the impacts of anthropogenic change are strongly influenced by interspecific differences in life history strategies, habitat preferences and mobility. We sampled approximately 1500 individuals of three co-occurring turtle species across a gradient of habitat change (including varying loss of wetlands and agricultural conversion of upland habitats) in the Midwestern USA. We used genetic clustering and multiple regression methods to identify associations between genetic structure and permanent landscape features, past landscape composition and landscape change in each species. Two aquatic generalists (the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, and the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina) both exhibited population genetic structure consistent with isolation by distance, modulated by aquatic landscape features. Genetic divergence for the more terrestrial Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), on the other hand, was not strongly associated with geographic distance or aquatic features, and Bayesian clustering analysis indicated that many Emydoidea populations were genetically isolated. Despite long generation times, all three species exhibited associations between genetic structure and postsettlement habitat change, indicating that long generation times may not be sufficient to delay genetic drift resulting from recent habitat fragmentation. The concordances in genetic structure observed between aquatic species, as well as isolation in the endangered, long-lived Emydoidea, reinforce the need to consider both landscape composition and demographic factors in assessing differential responses to habitat change in co-occurring species.

  18. A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the genera of Spirorchinae (Digenea: Spirorchidae) parasitic in freshwater turtles.

    PubMed

    Platt, T R

    1992-08-01

    Cladistic analysis of the freshwater genera of Spirorchinae (Schistosomatoidea: Spirorchidae sensu Yamaguti, 1971) plus Haematotrema Stunkard, 1923, and Aphanospirorchis Platt, 1990, was completed. The Spirorchinae were considered monophyletic based on synapomorphies of the esophagus. Three lineages, Spirhapalum (Europe/Asia), Plasmiorchis+Hemiorchis (India), and Spirorchis + Henotosoma + Haematotrema + Aphanospirorchis (North America), were identified. Nelsen consensus analysis was used as the basis for recognizing 3 valid monophyletic genera: Spirhapalum, Plasmiorchis, and Spirorchis. Hapalotrematinae sensu Smith, 1972 (e.g., Hapalorhynchus/Coeuritrema), is considered the most plesiomorphic group of spirorchids. Freshwater representatives of the hapalotrematines have been reported from 7 of 12 extant turtle families, including the relatively primitive Pelomedusidae (Pleurodira) and exhibit a worldwide distribution. It is hypothesized that this group arose in the early Triassic period, prior to the breakup of Pangea. Thus, it represents a primitive lineage that was present during the diversification of turtle lineages in the mid-Mesozoic era. Spirorchinae arose later (late Cretaceous period) as a Laurasian component parasitic in the more recent pond turtles (Emydidae + Bataguridae). Species of Spirhapalum retained a relatively plesiomorphic distribution, and they are found in emydids (Europe) and batagurids (Asia). Species of Spirorchis arose and diversified with North America emydids following the separation of North America and Europe in the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary periods. Species of Plasmiorchis are hypothesized to be derived from Asian ancestors that accompanied the colonization of India by Asian batagurids during the early Tertiary period. The presence of Spirorchis species in snapping turtles (Chelydridae/North America) and of Plasmiorchis species in Indian soft-shelled turtle (Trionychidae) are considered independent colonization events.

  19. SNAP25 Expression in Mammalian Retinal Horizontal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hirano, Arlene A.; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut; Morgans, Catherine W.; Brecha, Nicholas C.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal cells mediate inhibitory feedforward and feedback lateral interactions in the outer retina at photoreceptor terminals and bipolar cell dendrites; however, the mechanisms that underlie synaptic transmission from mammalian horizontal cells are poorly understood. The localization of a vesicular γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter (VGAT) to horizontal cell processes in primate and rodent retinae suggested that mammalian horizontal cells release transmitter in a vesicular manner. Toward determining whether the molecular machinery for vesicular transmitter release is present in horizontal cells, we investigated the expression of SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa), a key SNARE protein, by immunocytochemistry with cell type-specific markers in the retinae of mouse, rat, rabbit, and monkey. Different commercial antibodies to SNAP25 were tested on vertical sections of retina. We report the robust expression of SNAP25 in both plexiform layers. Double labeling with SNAP25 and calbindin antibodies demonstrated that horizontal cell processes and their endings in photoreceptor triad synapses were strongly labeled for both proteins in mouse, rat, rabbit, and monkey retinae. Double labeling with parvalbumin antibodies in monkey retina verified SNAP25 immunoreactivity in all horizontal cells. Pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy in rabbit retina confirmed expression of SNAP25 in lateral elements within photoreceptor triad synapses. The SNAP25 immunoreactivity in the plexiform layers and outer nuclear layer fell into at least three patterns depending on the antibody, suggesting a differential distribution of SNAP25 isoforms. The presence of SNAP25a and SNAP25b isoforms in mouse retina was established by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. SNAP25 expression in mammalian horizontal cells along with other SNARE proteins is consistent with vesicular exocytosis. PMID:21280047

  20. SNAP-8 refractory boiler development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, R. A.

    1974-01-01

    Performance and endurance tests of the SNAP-8, SN-1 refractory metal boiler are described. The tests were successful and indicated that the boiler heat transfer area could be reduced significantly primarily because of the wetting characteristics of mercury on tantalum in a contaminant-free environment. A continuous endurance test of more than 10,000 hours was conducted without noticeable change in the thermal performance of the boiler. A conclusion of the metallographic examination of the boiler following the endurance test was that expected boiler life would be of the order of 40,000 hours at observed corrosion rates.

  1. The alligator gut microbiome and implications for archosaur symbioses.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Sarah W; Engel, Annette Summers; Elsey, Ruth M

    2013-10-07

    Among vertebrate gastrointestinal microbiome studies, complete representation of taxa is limited, particularly among reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for previously unrecognized host-microbiome associations along the gastrointestinal tract from the American alligator, a crown archosaur with shared ancestry to extinct taxa, including dinosaurs. Microbiome compositional variations reveal that the digestive system consists of multiple, longitudinally heterogeneous microbiomes that strongly correlate to specific gastrointestinal tract organs, regardless of rearing histories or feeding status. A core alligator gut microbiome comprised of Fusobacteria, but depleted in Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria common to mammalians, is compositionally unique from other vertebrate gut microbiomes, including other reptiles, fish, and herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. As such, modern alligator gut microbiomes advance our understanding of archosaur gut microbiome evolution, particularly if conserved host ecology has retained archosaur-specific symbioses over geologic time.

  2. Estimating sighting proportions of American alligator nests during helicopter survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, Kenneth G.; Percival, H. Franklin; Woodward, Allan R.

    2000-01-01

    Proportions of American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nests sighted during aerial survey in Florida were estimated based upon multiple surveys by different observers. We compared sighting proportions across habitats, nesting seasons, and observer experience levels. The mean sighting proportion across all habitats and years was 0.736 (SE=0.024). Survey counts corrected by the mean sighting proportion reliably predicted total nest counts (7?2=0.933). Sighting proportions did not differ by habitat type (P=0.668) or year P=0.328). Experienced observers detected a greater proportion of nests (P<0.0001) than did either less experienced or inexperienced observers. Reliable estimates of nest abundance can be derived from aerial counts of alligator nests when corrected by the appropriate sighting proportion.

  3. The alligator gut microbiome and implications for archosaur symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Keenan, Sarah W.; Engel, Annette Summers; Elsey, Ruth M.

    2013-01-01

    Among vertebrate gastrointestinal microbiome studies, complete representation of taxa is limited, particularly among reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for previously unrecognized host-microbiome associations along the gastrointestinal tract from the American alligator, a crown archosaur with shared ancestry to extinct taxa, including dinosaurs. Microbiome compositional variations reveal that the digestive system consists of multiple, longitudinally heterogeneous microbiomes that strongly correlate to specific gastrointestinal tract organs, regardless of rearing histories or feeding status. A core alligator gut microbiome comprised of Fusobacteria, but depleted in Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria common to mammalians, is compositionally unique from other vertebrate gut microbiomes, including other reptiles, fish, and herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. As such, modern alligator gut microbiomes advance our understanding of archosaur gut microbiome evolution, particularly if conserved host ecology has retained archosaur-specific symbioses over geologic time. PMID:24096888

  4. Respiration in Neonate Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Paladino, Frank V.; Strohl, Kingman P.; Pilar Santidrián, T.; Klann, Kenneth; Spotila, James R.

    2007-01-01

    The pattern and control of respiration is virtually unknown in hatchling sea turtles. Using incubator-raised turtles, we measured oxygen consumption, frequency, tidal volume, and minute volume for leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtle hatchlings for the first six days after pipping. In addition, we tested the hatchlings’ response to hypercapnic, hyperoxic, and hypoxic challenges over this time period. Hatchling sea turtles generally showed resting ventilation characteristics that are similar to those of adults: a single breath followed by a long respiratory pause, slow frequency, and high metabolic rate. With hypercapnic challenge, both species responded primarily by elevating respiratory frequency via a decrease in the non-ventilatory period. Leatherback resting tidal volume increased with age but otherwise, neither species’ resting respiratory pattern nor response to gas challenge changed significantly over the first few days after hatching. At the time of nest emergence, sea turtles have achieved a respiratory pattern that is similar to that of actively diving adults. PMID:17258487

  5. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2004-01-07

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserved, Proganochelys quenstedti and Palaeochersis talampayensis, to discover that these earliest turtle outgroups were decidedly terrestrial. We then plot the observed distribution of aquatic versus terrestrial habits among living turtles onto their hypothesized phylogenies. Both lines of evidence indicate that although the common ancestor of all living turtles was aquatic, the earliest turtles clearly lived in a terrestrial environment. Additional anatomical and sedimentological evidence favours these conclusions. The freshwater aquatic habitat preference so characteristic of living turtles cannot, consequently, be taken as positive evidence for an aquatic origin of turtles, but must rather be considered a convergence relative to other aquatic amniotes, including the marine sauropterygians to which turtles have sometimes been allied.

  6. A document review to characterize Atomic International SNAP fuels shipped to INEL 1966--1973

    SciTech Connect

    Wahnschaffe, S.D.; Lords, R.E.; Kneff, D.W.; Nagel, W.E.; Pearlman, H.; Schaubert, V.J.

    1995-09-01

    This report provides the results of a document search and review study to obtain information on the spent fuels for the following six Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) reactor cores now stored at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL): SNAP-2 Experimental Reactor, SNAP-2 Development Reactor, SNAP-10A Ground Test Reactor, SNAP-8 Experimental Reactor, SNAP-8 Development Reactor, and Shield Test Reactor. The report also covers documentation on SNAP fuel materials from four in-pile materials tests: NAA-82-1, NAA-115-2, NAA-117-1, and NAA-121. Pieces of these fuel materials are also stored at INEL as part of the SNAP fuel shipments.

  7. Wave reflection effects in the central circulation of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis): what the heart sees.

    PubMed

    Syme, Douglas A; Gamperl, A Kurt; Braun, Marvin H; Jones, David R

    2006-10-01

    A large central compliance is thought to dominate the hemodynamics of all vertebrates except birds and mammals. Yet large crocodilians may adumbrate the avian and mammalian condition and set the stage for significant wave transmission (reflection) effects, with potentially detrimental impacts on cardiac performance. To investigate whether crocodilians exhibit wave reflection effects, pressures and flows were recorded from the right aorta, carotid artery, and femoral artery of six adult, anesthetized American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) during control conditions and after experimentally induced vasodilation and constriction. Hallmarks of wave reflection phenomena were observed, including marked differences between the measured profiles for flow and pressure, peaking of the femoral pressure pulse, and a diastolic wave in the right aortic pressure profile. Pulse wave velocity and peripheral input impedance increased with progressive constriction, and thus changes in both the timing and magnitude of reflections accounted for the altered reflection effects. Resolution of pressure and flow waves into incident and reflected components showed substantial reflection effects within the right aorta, with reflection coefficients at the first harmonic approaching 0.3 when constricted. Material properties measured from isolated segments of blood vessels revealed a major reflection site at the periphery and, surprisingly, at the junction of the truncus and right aorta. Thus, while our results clearly show that significant wave reflection phenomena are not restricted to birds and mammals, they also suggest that rather than cope with potential negative impacts of reflections, the crocodilian heart simply avoids them because of a large impedance mismatch at the truncus.

  8. An examination of the sensory structures in the oral cavity of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Rehorek, Susan J; Duffy, Michael; Zacherl, Janelle R; Anand, Kusuma; Elsey, Ruth M; Smith, Timothy S

    2014-11-01

    The location and distribution of mucosal sensory structures of the crocodilian oral cavity are poorly understood. Although there are several descriptions of these structures in adults, nothing is known about their development. The purpose of this study was to document location, morphology, and relative abundance of these mucosal sensory structures in both hatchling and subadult alligators. Numerous mucosal sensory structures and pale staining dome-shaped papillae were observed only in the upper palate and tongue. In hatchlings, these papillae, which house either mechanoreceptive or chemosensory (taste buds) structures, were larger and more prevalent on the tongue than the upper palate. In the subadult, however, these papillae housed primarily mechanoreceptive structures and possibly degenerate taste buds. Although the presence of the mechanoreceptive structures in the palates of the suabadult alligator are to be expected, the loss of most taste buds is hitherto undocumented. Thus, there is morphological support for an ontogenetic shift in the role of the sensory palate, from a prey detection gustatory sensory system in hatchlings to a prey-manipulative mechanoreceptive system in subadults.

  9. 78 FR 44878 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 Turtles Intrastate and Interstate... public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches... turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the spread of...

  10. 78 FR 44915 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 Turtles Intrastate and Interstate... commercial or public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than... distribution of viable turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the...

  11. Critical slowing down in purely elastic 'snap-through' instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Michael; Moulton, Derek E.; Vella, Dominic

    2016-10-01

    Many elastic structures have two possible equilibrium states: from umbrellas that become inverted in a sudden gust of wind, to nanoelectromechanical switches, origami patterns and the hopper popper, which jumps after being turned inside-out. These systems typically transition from one state to the other via a rapid `snap-through’. Snap-through allows plants to gradually store elastic energy, before releasing it suddenly to generate rapid motions, as in the Venus flytrap. Similarly, the beak of the hummingbird snaps through to catch insects mid-flight, while technological applications are increasingly exploiting snap-through instabilities. In all of these scenarios, it is the ability to repeatedly generate fast motions that gives snap-through its utility. However, estimates of the speed of snap-through suggest that it should occur more quickly than is usually observed. Here, we study the dynamics of snap-through in detail, showing that, even without dissipation, the dynamics slow down close to the snap-through transition. This is reminiscent of the slowing down observed in critical phenomena, and provides a handheld demonstration of such phenomena, as well as a new tool for tuning dynamic responses in applications of elastic bistability.

  12. Environmental Assessment for Beddown of Air Force Reserve Command Classic Associate Unit on A/OA-10 Operations and Maintenance Moody Air Force Base, Georgia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-09-01

    state listed as threatened or endangered (round-tailed muskrat [Neofiber alleni], alligator snapping turtle [Macroclemys temminckii], gopher tortoise...occasional hour a weekday between training runs at Grand Bay Range (Moody AFB 2008e). Limited management of the habitat for round-tailed muskrats

  13. Environmental Assessment for Aviation Foreign Internal Defense Beddown (AvFID) at Duke Field, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-01

    York Allentown Mount CarmelCentury Bluff Springs McDavid Bogia Pine Barren Molino Cottage Hill Gonzalez Riverview Ensley Brent Bellview Pensacola...Hyla andersonii pine barrens treefrog - SSC Macroclemys temminckii alligator snapping turtle - SSC Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus Florida pine ...Leonia Glendale Darlington Gaskin Campton Auburn Mossyhead Caryville Izagora New Hope Westville Red Head Eucheeanna Pine Log West Bay Santa Rosa

  14. Environmental Assessment: Construction and Operation of an Alternate Drone Launch System at Tyndall Air Force Base

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-01

    Egretta rufescens SSC Brackish marsh, shallow coastline Snowy egret Egretta thula SSC Marshes, lakes, ponds, shallow coastline Snowy plover Charadrius...tern Sterna antillarum T Barrier island, shoreline Little blue heron Egretta caerulea SSC Marshes, ponds, lakes Osprey Pandion haliaetus SSC... Egretta tricolor SSC Marshes, ponds White ibis Eudocimus albus SSC Marshes, lakes REPTILES Alligator snapping turtle Macroclemys temmincki ce SSC

  15. Evaluation of an 18-micron filter for use in reptile blood transfusions using blood from American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nevarez, Javier G; Cockburn, Jennifer; Kearney, Michael T; Mayer, Joerg

    2011-06-01

    Blood transfusions are a common therapeutic procedure in small animal medicine and have been investigated in some exotic species but little information is available about their safety and efficacy in reptiles. In human pediatrics and small animal practice, the Hemo-Nate18-micro filter is used to prevent embolic clots and particulate waste from entering the recipient during a transfusion. The goal of this study was to determine the hemolytic effect of an 18-micro Hemo-Nate filter for whole blood cell transfusions in reptiles using the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a reptilian model. Results revealed no significant difference in free plasma hemoglobin between the unfiltered and filtered samples (P = 0.21). There was no difference in the prefiltration and postfiltration packed cell volume (PCV) (P = 0.41). Results suggest that an 18-micro Hemo-Nate filter does not cause hemolysis or decrease the PCV of small quantities of alligator blood.

  16. Morphological and molecular characterization of Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea) from the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, J H; Wang, S S; Tu, G J; Zhou, Y K; Wu, X B

    2016-05-01

    A new nematode species, Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Ascaridoidea), is described from specimens found in the stomach and intestine of the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis Fauvel, 1879 (Crocodilian: Alligatoridae) in the National Nature Reserve of Chinese Alligator (Chinese Crocodile Lake) in Anhui Province, China. This is the first description of O. sinensis sp. nov. in both China and this crocodile host, increasing its distribution in South Asia as well as expanding the number of helminths known to infect this crocodile. The detailed description of O. sinensis sp. nov., based on light and scanning electron microscopic examination, provides new taxonomic data for this species, and we also report sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS), small subunit DNA segments (18S) and the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene.

  17. Snapping Supernovae at z>1.7

    SciTech Connect

    Aldering, Greg; Kim, Alex G.; Kowalski, Marek; Linder, Eric V.; Perlmutter, Saul

    2006-07-03

    We examine the utility of very high redshift Type Ia supernovae for cosmology and systematic uncertainty control. Next generation space surveys such as the Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will obtain thousands of supernovae at z>1.7, beyond the design redshift for which the supernovae will be exquisitely characterized. We find that any z gtrsim 2 standard candles' use for cosmological parameter estimation is quite modest and subject to pitfalls; we examine gravitational lensing, redshift calibration, and contamination effects in some detail. The very high redshift supernovae - both thermonuclear and core collapse - will provide copious interesting information on star formation, environment, and evolution. However, the new observational systematics that must be faced, as well as the limited expansion of SN-parameter space afforded, does not point to high value for 1.7SNAP can already achieve at z<1.7. Synergy with observations from JWST and thirty meter class telescopes afford rich opportunities for advances throughout astrophysics.

  18. SNAP Visible Detectors: Status and Plans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, S. J.; Bebek, C. J.; SNAP

    2004-12-01

    The SuperNova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure approximately 2000 type Ia supernovae from redshift z=0.3 to 1.7 in nine photometric bands and perform a wide area weak lensing survey. This requires radiation hard CCDs with high resolution, low noise, low dark current, and high quantum efficiency (QE) from blue to near-infrared wavelengths. On this poster we report the current status and recent progress of the SNAP CCD development using UCB/LBNL thick (200-300 μ m) fully depleted CCDs. These CCDs have QE > 80% from 450 to 950 nm and maintain QE 50% at 1000 nm. This CCD technology has been deployed on 4 telescopes and has been selected as the technology choice for DECam, a 520 megapixel camera planned for installation at the Blanco 4-m telescope at CTIO. We describe the current performance, production, and packaging for these CCDs as well as future plans. This work has been supported by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Science, under contract DE-AC03-76SF00098.

  19. Nitric oxide-donor SNAP induces Xenopus eggs activation.

    PubMed

    Jeseta, Michal; Marin, Matthieu; Tichovska, Hana; Melicharova, Petra; Cailliau-Maggio, Katia; Martoriati, Alain; Lescuyer-Rousseau, Arlette; Beaujois, Rémy; Petr, Jaroslav; Sedmikova, Marketa; Bodart, Jean-François

    2012-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is identified as a signaling molecule involved in many cellular or physiological functions including meiotic maturation and parthenogenetic activation of mammalian oocytes. We observed that nitric oxide donor SNAP was potent to induce parthenogenetic activation in Xenopus eggs. NO-scavenger CPTIO impaired the effects of SNAP, providing evidence for the effects of the latter to be specific upon NO release. In Xenopus eggs, SNAP treatment induced pigment rearrangement, pronucleus formation and exocytosis of cortical granules. At a biochemical level, SNAP exposure lead to MAPK and Rsk inactivation within 30 minutes whereas MPF remained active, in contrast to calcium ionophore control where MPF activity dropped rapidly. MAPK inactivation could be correlated to pronuclear envelope reformation observed. In SNAP-treated eggs, a strong increase in intracellular calcium level was observed. NO effects were impaired in calcium-free or calcium limited medium, suggesting that that parthenogenetic activation of Xenopus oocytes with a NO donor was mainly calcium-dependent.

  20. Atmospheric oxygen level affects growth trajectory, cardiopulmonary allometry and metabolic rate in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Elsey, Ruth M; Hicks, James W

    2009-05-01

    Recent palaeoatmospheric models suggest large-scale fluctuations in ambient oxygen level over the past 550 million years. To better understand how global hypoxia and hyperoxia might have affected the growth and physiology of contemporary vertebrates, we incubated eggs and raised hatchlings of the American alligator. Crocodilians are one of few vertebrate taxa that survived these global changes with distinctly conservative morphology. We maintained animals at 30 degrees C under chronic hypoxia (12% O(2)), normoxia (21% O(2)) or hyperoxia (30% O(2)). At hatching, hypoxic animals were significantly smaller than their normoxic and hyperoxic siblings. Over the course of 3 months, post-hatching growth was fastest under hyperoxia and slowest under hypoxia. Hypoxia, but not hyperoxia, caused distinct scaling of major visceral organs-reduction of liver mass, enlargement of the heart and accelerated growth of lungs. When absorptive and post-absorptive metabolic rates were measured in juvenile alligators, the increase in oxygen consumption rate due to digestion/absorption of food was greatest in hyperoxic alligators and smallest in hypoxic ones. Hyperoxic alligators exhibited the lowest breathing rate and highest oxygen consumption per breath. We suggest that, despite compensatory cardiopulmonary remodelling, growth of hypoxic alligators is constrained by low atmospheric oxygen supply, which may limit their food utilisation capacity. Conversely, the combination of elevated metabolism and low cost of breathing in hyperoxic alligators allows for a greater proportion of metabolised energy to be available for growth. This suggests that growth and metabolic patterns of extinct vertebrates would have been significantly affected by changes in the atmospheric oxygen level.

  1. Seasonal Variation of Total Mercury Burden in the American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis) at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR), Florida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nilsen, Frances M.; Dorsey, Jonathan E.; Long, Stephen E.; Schock, Tracey B.; Bowden, John A.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal variation of mercury (Hg) is not well studied in free-ranging wildlife. Atmospheric deposition patterns of Hg have been studied in detail and have been modeled for both global and specific locations with great accuracy and correlates to environment impact. However, monitoring these trends in wildlife is complicated due to local environmental parameters (e.g., rainfall, humidity, pH, bacterial composition) that can affect the transformation of atmospheric Hg to the biologically available forms. Here, we utilized an abundant and healthy population of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR), FL, and assessed Hg burden in whole blood samples over a span of 7 years (2007 2014; n 174) in an effort to assess seasonal variation of total [Hg]. While the majority of this population is assumed healthy, 18 individuals with low body mass indices (BMI, defined in this study) were captured throughout the 7 year sampling period. These individual alligators exhibited [Hg] that were not consistent with the observed overall seasonal [Hg] variation, and were statistically different from the healthy population of alligators. The alligators with low BMI had elevated concentrations of Hg compared to their age/sex/season matched counterparts with normal BMI. Statistically significant differences were found between the winter and spring seasons for animals with normal BMI. The data in this report supports the conclusion that organismal total [Hg] do fluctuate directly with seasonal deposition rates as well as other seasonal environmental parameters, such as average rainfall and prevailing wind direction. This study highlights the unique environment of MINWR to permit annual assessment of apex predators, such as the American alligator, to determine detailed environmental impact of contaminants of concern.

  2. Alligator osteoderms: mechanical behavior and hierarchical structure.

    PubMed

    Chen, Irene H; Yang, Wen; Meyers, Marc A

    2014-02-01

    Osteoderms are bony scutes embedded underneath the dermal layers of the skin acting as a protection of the alligator (Archosauria: Crocodylia) internal organs and tissues. Additionally, these scutes function as an aid in temperature regulation. The scutes are inter-linked by fibrous connective tissue. They have properties similar to bone and thus have the necessary toughness to provide protection against predators. The scutes consist of hydroxyapatite and have a porosity of approximately 12%. They have a disc-like morphology with a ridge along the middle of the plate, called the keel; the outer perimeter of the disc has depressions, grooves, and jagged edges which anchor the collagen and act as sutures. Computerized tomography reveals the pattern of elongated pores, which emanate from the keel in a radial pattern. Micro-indentation measurements along the cross-section show a zigzag behavior due to the porosity. Compression results indicate that the axial direction is the strongest (UTS ~67 MPa) and toughest (11 MJ/m(3)); this is the orientation in which they undergo the largest external compression forces from predator teeth. Toughening mechanisms are identified through observation of the damage progression and interpreted in mechanistic terms. They are: flattening of pores, microcrack opening, and microcrack growth and coalescence. Collagen plays an essential role in toughening and plasticity by providing bridges that impede the opening of the cracks and prevent their growth.

  3. Potential molecular wires and molecular alligator clips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumm, Jeffry S.; Pearson, Darren L.; Jones, LeRoy, II; Hara, Ryuichiro; Tour, James M.

    1996-12-01

    The synthesis of oligo(2-ethylphenylene-ethynylene)s, oligo(2-(0957-4484/7/4/023/img1-ethylheptyl)phenylene-ethynylene)s, and oligo(3-ethylthiophene-ethynylene)s is described via an iterative divergent convergent approach. Synthesized were the monomer, dimer, tetramer, octamer and 16-mer of the oligo(3-ethylthiophene-ethynylene)s and oligo(2-0957-4484/7/4/023/img1-ethylheptyl)phenylene-ethynylene)s. The 16-mers are 100 Å and 128 Å long, respectively. At each stage in the iteration, the length of the framework doubles. Only three sets of reaction conditions are needed for the entire iterative synthetic sequence; an iodination, a protodesilylation, and a Pd/Cu-catalyzed cross coupling. The oligomers were characterized spectroscopically and by mass spectrometry. The optical properties are presented which show the stage of optical absorbance saturation. The size exclusion chromatography values for the number average weights, relative to polystyrene, illustrate the tremendous differences in the hydrodynamic volume of these rigid rod oligomers versus the random coils of polystyrene. These differences become quite apparent at the octamer stage. The preparation of thiol-protected end groups is described. These may serve as molecular alligator clips for adhesion to gold surfaces. These oligomers may act as molecular wires in molecular electronic devices and they also serve as useful models for understanding related bulk polymers.

  4. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

    Individuals who live and work in the Southeastern coastal range of the 3 US crocodilian carnivores, American alligators, American crocodiles, and caiman, understand the risks of reptile-human encounters. Individuals who live in other parts of the country maybe exposed through contact with exotic pets at private homes, small menageries, or petting zoos or from escaped or abandoned animals. During these encounters, individuals may be severely injured.Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and animal welfare workers in nonhabitat areas are usually not trained in the handling and safe removal of injured individuals from the scene when the reptile is present. The emergency management of large crocodilian injuries is similar to that of other major trauma; however, providers also must take into consideration the significant crush component potentially inflicted by the tremendous bite power and shaking inflicting during attacks by these large reptiles, appropriate antibiotic coverage for less common organisms that inhabit their mouths, and management of possible psychological distress, including posttraumatic stress disorder produced by such an unusual attack. Emergency physicians should support the development of a readily available national database of scientifically collect information on attacks to inform appropriate care and support efforts to explore responsible measures that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies can take to ensure ethical and biologically sustainable management of our large reptiles, which also helps to ensure the safety of the public.

  5. Estimating trends in alligator populations from nightlight survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Cherkiss, Michael; Jeffery, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Nightlight surveys are commonly used to evaluate status and trends of crocodilian populations, but imperfect detection caused by survey- and location-specific factors makes it difficult to draw population inferences accurately from uncorrected data. We used a two-stage hierarchical model comprising population abundance and detection probability to examine recent abundance trends of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in subareas of Everglades wetlands in Florida using nightlight survey data. During 2001–2008, there were declining trends in abundance of small and/or medium sized animals in a majority of subareas, whereas abundance of large sized animals had either demonstrated an increased or unclear trend. For small and large sized class animals, estimated detection probability declined as water depth increased. Detection probability of small animals was much lower than for larger size classes. The declining trend of smaller alligators may reflect a natural population response to the fluctuating environment of Everglades wetlands under modified hydrology. It may have negative implications for the future of alligator populations in this region, particularly if habitat conditions do not favor recruitment of offspring in the near term. Our study provides a foundation to improve inferences made from nightlight surveys of other crocodilian populations.

  6. Estimating trends in alligator populations from nightlight survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, F.J.; Dorazio, R.M.; Rice, K.G.; Cherkiss, M.; Jeffery, B.

    2011-01-01

    Nightlight surveys are commonly used to evaluate status and trends of crocodilian populations, but imperfect detection caused by survey- and location-specific factors makes it difficult to draw population inferences accurately from uncorrected data. We used a two-stage hierarchical model comprising population abundance and detection probability to examine recent abundance trends of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in subareas of Everglades wetlands in Florida using nightlight survey data. During 2001-2008, there were declining trends in abundance of small and/or medium sized animals in a majority of subareas, whereas abundance of large sized animals had either demonstrated an increased or unclear trend. For small and large sized class animals, estimated detection probability declined as water depth increased. Detection probability of small animals was much lower than for larger size classes. The declining trend of smaller alligators may reflect a natural population response to the fluctuating environment of Everglades wetlands under modified hydrology. It may have negative implications for the future of alligator populations in this region, particularly if habitat conditions do not favor recruitment of offspring in the near term. Our study provides a foundation to improve inferences made from nightlight surveys of other crocodilian populations. ?? 2011 US Government.

  7. The origin of turtles: a paleontological perspective.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    The origin of turtles and their unusual body plan has fascinated scientists for the last two centuries. Over the course of the last decades, a broad sample of molecular analyses have favored a sister group relationship of turtles with archosaurs, but recent studies reveal that this signal may be the result of systematic biases affecting molecular approaches, in particular sampling, non-randomly distributed rate heterogeneity among taxa, and the use of concatenated data sets. Morphological studies, by contrast, disfavor archosaurian relationships for turtles, but the proposed alternative topologies are poorly supported as well. The recently revived paleontological hypothesis that the Middle Permian Eunotosaurus africanus is an intermediate stem turtle is now robustly supported by numerous characters that were previously thought to be unique to turtles and that are now shown to have originated over the course of tens of millions of years unrelated to the origin of the turtle shell. Although E. africanus does not solve the placement of turtles within Amniota, it successfully extends the stem lineage of turtles to the Permian and helps resolve some questions associated with the origin of turtles, in particular the non-composite origin of the shell, the slow origin of the shell, and the terrestrial setting for the origin of turtles.

  8. Alligators and crocodiles as indicators for restoration of Everglades ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Best, G. Ronnie; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2009-01-01

    Alligators and crocodiles integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations, affecting them at all life stages through three key aspects of Everglades ecology: (1) food webs, (2) diversity and productivity, and (3) freshwater flow. Responses of crocodilians are directly related to suitability of environmental conditions and hydrologic change. Correlations between biological responses and environmental conditions contribute to an understanding of species' status and trends over time. Positive or negative trends of crocodilian populations relative to hydrologic changes permit assessment of positive or negative trends in restoration. The crocodilian indicator uses monitoring parameters (performance measures) that have been shown to be both effective and efficient in tracking trends. The alligator component uses relative density (reported as an encounter rate), body condition, and occupancy rates of alligator holes; the crocodile component uses juvenile growth and hatchling survival. We hypothesize that these parameters are correlated with hydrologic conditions including depth, duration, timing, spatial extent and water quality. Salinity is a critical parameter in estuarine habitats. Assessments of parameters defined for crocodilian performance measures support these hypotheses. Alligators and crocodiles are the charismatic megafauna of the Everglades. They are both keystone and flagship species to which the public can relate. In addition, the parameters used to track trends are easy to understand. They provide answers to the following questions: How has the number of alligators or crocodiles changed? Are the animals fatter or thinner than they should be? Are the animals in the places (in terms of habitat and geography) where they should be? As surely as there is no other Everglades, no other single species defines the Everglades as does the American alligator. The Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles exist. Crocodilians

  9. Emydid herpesvirus 1 infection in northern map turtles (Graptemys geographica) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Newton, Alisa L; Seimon, Tracie A; Moore, Robert P; McAloose, Denise

    2015-05-01

    A captive, juvenile, female northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) was found dead following a brief period of weakness and nasal discharge. Postmortem examination identified pneumonia with necrosis and numerous epithelial, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies, consistent with herpesviral pneumonia. Similar intranuclear inclusions were also associated with foci of hepatocellular and splenic necrosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of fresh, frozen liver for the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene yielded an amplicon with 99.2% similarity to recently described emydid herpesvirus 1 (EmyHV-1). Molecular screening of turtles housed in enclosures that shared a common circulation system with the affected map turtle identified 4 asymptomatic, EmyHV-1 PCR-positive painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 1 asymptomatic northern map turtle. Herpesvirus transmission between painted and map turtles has been previously suggested, and our report provides the molecular characterization of a herpesvirus in asymptomatic painted turtles that can cause fatal herpesvirus-associated disease in northern map turtles.

  10. Immunoglobulin genes of the turtles.

    PubMed

    Magadán-Mompó, Susana; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    The availability of reptile genomes for the use of the scientific community is an exceptional opportunity to study the evolution of immunoglobulin genes. The genome of Chrysemys picta bellii and Pelodiscus sinensis is the first one that has been reported for turtles. The scanning for immunoglobulin genes resulted in the presence of a complex locus for the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH). This IGH locus in both turtles contains genes for 13 isotypes in C. picta bellii and 17 in P. sinensis. These correspond with one immunoglobulin M, one immunoglobulin D, several immunoglobulins Y (six in C. picta bellii and eight in P. sinensis), and several immunoglobulins that are similar to immunoglobulin D2 (five in C. picta belli and seven in P. sinensis) that was previously described in Eublepharis macularius. It is worthy to note that IGHD2 are placed in an inverted transcriptional orientation and present sequences for two immunoglobulin domains that are similar to bird IgA domains. Furthermore, its phylogenetic analysis allows us to consider about the presence of IGHA gene in a primitive reptile, so we would be dealing with the memory of the gene that originated from the bird IGHA. In summary, we provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in a turtle, whose analysis supports the idea that turtles emerged from the evolutionary line from the differentiation of birds and the presence of the IGHA gene present in a common ancestor.

  11. Basking Behavior of Painted Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1982-01-01

    Examines the basking postures of captive eastern painted turtles exposed to two different sources of illumination (white floor lamps and infrared heat lamps) and three types of substrates (sphagnum, rock, wood) and discusses possible ecological and evolutionary significance of these behaviors. (Author/JN)

  12. The SNAP-25 Linker as an Adaptation Toward Fast Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Gábor; Milosevic, Ira; Mohrmann, Ralf; Wiederhold, Katrin; Walter, Alexander M.

    2008-01-01

    The assembly of four soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor domains into a complex is essential for membrane fusion. In most cases, the four SNARE-domains are encoded by separate membrane-targeted proteins. However, in the exocytotic pathway, two SNARE-domains are present in one protein, connected by a flexible linker. The significance of this arrangement is unknown. We characterized the role of the linker in SNAP-25, a neuronal SNARE, by using overexpression techniques in synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) null mouse chromaffin cells and fast electrophysiological techniques. We confirm that the palmitoylated linker-cysteines are important for membrane association. A SNAP-25 mutant without cysteines supported exocytosis, but the fusion rate was slowed down and the fusion pore duration prolonged. Using chimeric proteins between SNAP-25 and its ubiquitous homologue SNAP-23, we show that the cysteine-containing part of the linkers is interchangeable. However, a stretch of 10 hydrophobic and charged amino acids in the C-terminal half of the SNAP-25 linker is required for fast exocytosis and in its absence the calcium dependence of exocytosis is shifted toward higher concentrations. The SNAP-25 linker therefore might have evolved as an adaptation toward calcium triggering and a high rate of execution of the fusion process, those features that distinguish exocytosis from other membrane fusion pathways. PMID:18579690

  13. Geomagnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohmann, K.; Putman, N.; Lohmann, C.

    2011-12-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the north Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Newly hatched turtles (hatchlings) begin the migration with a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial geographic boundaries. In laboratory experiments, young turtles that had never before been in the ocean were exposed to fields like those that exist at various, widely separated locations along their transoceanic migratory route. Turtles responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help them remain within the North Atlantic gyre currents and advance along the migratory pathway. The results demonstrate that turtles can derive both longitudinal and latitudinal information from the Earth's field, and provide strong evidence that hatchling loggerheads inherit a remarkably elaborate set of responses that function in guiding them along their open-sea migratory route. For young sea turtles, couplings of oriented swimming to regional magnetic fields appear to provide the fundamental building blocks from which natural selection can sculpt a sequence of responses capable of guiding first-time ocean migrants along complex migratory routes. The results imply that hatchlings from different populations in different parts of the world are likely to have magnetic navigational responses uniquely suited for the migratory routes that each group follows. Thus, from a conservation perspective, turtles from different populations are not interchangeable. From an evolutionary perspective, the responses are not incompatible with either secular variation or magnetic polarity reversals. As Earth's field gradually changes, strong selective pressure presumably acts to maintain an approximate match between the responses of hatchlings and the fields that exist at critical points along

  14. Mild cognitive impairment with suspected nonamyloid pathology (SNAP)

    PubMed Central

    Caroli, Anna; Prestia, Annapaola; Galluzzi, Samantha; Ferrari, Clarissa; van der Flier, Wiesje M.; Ossenkoppele, Rik; Van Berckel, Bart; Barkhof, Frederik; Teunissen, Charlotte; Wall, Anders E.; Carter, Stephen F.; Schöll, Michael; Choo, Il Han; Grimmer, Timo; Redolfi, Alberto; Nordberg, Agneta; Scheltens, Philip; Drzezga, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of progressive cognitive deterioration in patients with suspected non–Alzheimer disease pathology (SNAP) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: We measured markers of amyloid pathology (CSF β-amyloid 42) and neurodegeneration (hippocampal volume on MRI and cortical metabolism on [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose–PET) in 201 patients with MCI clinically followed for up to 6 years to detect progressive cognitive deterioration. We categorized patients with MCI as A+/A− and N+/N− based on presence/absence of amyloid pathology and neurodegeneration. SNAPs were A−N+ cases. Results: The proportion of progressors was 11% (8/41), 34% (14/41), 56% (19/34), and 71% (60/85) in A−N−, A+N−, SNAP, and A+N+, respectively; the proportion of APOE ε4 carriers was 29%, 70%, 31%, and 71%, respectively, with the SNAP group featuring a significantly different proportion than both A+N− and A+N+ groups (p ≤ 0.005). Hypometabolism in SNAP patients was comparable to A+N+ patients (p = 0.154), while hippocampal atrophy was more severe in SNAP patients (p = 0.002). Compared with A−N−, SNAP and A+N+ patients had significant risk of progressive cognitive deterioration (hazard ratio = 2.7 and 3.8, p = 0.016 and p < 0.001), while A+N− patients did not (hazard ratio = 1.13, p = 0.771). In A+N− and A+N+ groups, none of the biomarkers predicted time to progression. In the SNAP group, lower time to progression was correlated with greater hypometabolism (r = 0.42, p = 0.073). Conclusions: Our findings support the notion that patients with SNAP MCI feature a specific risk progression profile. PMID:25568301

  15. Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis (Reptilia, Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Siegel, Dustin S; Anzalone, Marla L; Jackson, Daniel P; Venable, Katherine J; Rheubert, Justin L; Elsey, Ruth M

    2010-10-01

    Testicular samples were collected to describe the ultrastructure of spermiogenisis in Alligator mississipiensis (American Alligator). Spermiogenesis commences with an acrosome vesicle forming from Golgi transport vesicles. An acrosome granule forms during vesicle contact with the nucleus, and remains posterior until mid to late elongation when it diffuses uniformly throughout the acrosomal lumen. The nucleus has uniform diffuse chromatin with small indices of heterochromatin, and the condensation of DNA is granular. The subacrosome space develops early, enlarges during elongation, and accumulates a thick layer of dark staining granules. Once the acrosome has completed its development, the nucleus of the early elongating spermatid becomes associated with the cell membrane flattening the acrosome vesicle on the apical surface of the nucleus, which aids in the migration of the acrosomal shoulders laterally. One endonuclear canal is present where the perforatorium resides. A prominent longitudinal manchette is associated with the nuclei of late elongating spermatids, and less numerous circular microtubules are observed close to the acrosome complex. The microtubule doublets of the midpiece axoneme are surrounded by a layer of dense staining granular material. The mitochondria of the midpiece abut the proximal centriole resulting in a very short neck region, and possess tubular cristae internally and concentric layers of cristae superficially. A fibrous sheath surrounds only the axoneme of the principal piece. Characters not previously described during spermiogenesis in any other amniote are observed and include (1) an endoplasmic reticulum cap during early acrosome development, (2) a concentric ring of endoplasmic reticulum around the nucleus of early to middle elongating spermatids, (3) a band of endoplasmic reticulum around the acrosome complex of late developing elongate spermatids, and (4) midpiece mitochondria that have both tubular and concentric layers of

  16. Concentrations of trace elements in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Horai, Sawako; Itai, Takaaki; Noguchi, Takako; Yasuda, Yusuke; Adachi, Haruki; Hyobu, Yuika; Riyadi, Adi S; Boggs, Ashley S P; Lowers, Russell; Guillette, Louis J; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2014-08-01

    Concentrations of 28 trace elements (Li, Mg, Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Cs, Tl, Hg, Pb, and Bi) in the livers of juvenile and adult American alligators inhabiting two central Florida lakes, Lake Apopka (LA), and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (LW) and one lagoon population located in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR; NASA), were determined. In juveniles from MINWR, concentrations of nine elements (Li, Fe, Ni, Sr, In, Sb, Hg, Pb and Bi) were significantly higher, whereas six elements (V, Fe, As, Sr, Hg and Bi) were elevated in adults (p<0.05) obtained from MINWR. Significant enrichment of some trace elements in adults, relative to juveniles, was observed at all three sampling areas. Specifically, Fe, Pb and Hg were significantly elevated in adults when compared to juveniles, suggesting age-dependent accumulation of these elements. Further, As, Se and Sn showed the same trend but only in animals collected from MINWR. Mean Fe concentrations in the livers of adults from LA, LW and MINWR were 1770 μg g(-1) DW, 3690 μg g(-1) DW and 5250 μg g(-1) DW, respectively. More than half of the adult specimens from LW and MINWR exhibited elevated hepatic Fe concentrations that exceed the threshold value for toxic effects in donkey, red deer and human. These results prompted us to express our concern on possible exposure and health effects in American alligators by some trace elements derived from NASA activities.

  17. Chronic hypercapnic incubation increases relative organ growth and reduces blood pressure of embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Crossley, Dane A

    2015-04-01

    Reptilian nests can experience natural hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions. We incubated alligator eggs at a female-only producing temperature (30°C) in three conditions: 21% O2/0.04% CO2, 21% O2/3.5% CO2 and 21% O2/7% CO2. Alligator embryos chronically incubated in high CO2 were markedly hypotensive (blood pressure reduced by 46%) and had relatively (mass-specific) enlarged hearts (dry mass increased by 20%), lungs (dry mass increased by 17%), and kidneys (dry mass increased by 14%). This study is the first to chronically incubate reptilian eggs in hypercapnia and suggests that high CO2 alters the cardiovascular phenotype of alligator embryos (low blood pressure, relatively enlarged hearts), as well as the relative size of the organs primarily responsible for acid base balance, lungs and kidneys. The lungs and kidneys are largely non-functional during embryonic development, and the embryonic phenotype of increased relative mass may be a predictive-adaptation to metabolic or respiratory acidosis, such as during exercise or high respiratory CO2. This study demonstrates that phenotypic plasticity of alligator embryos incubated in high CO2 may result in either preferential organ growth, or maintenance of organ growth with reduced somatic growth.

  18. Penile anatomy and hypotheses of erectile function in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis): muscular eversion and elastic retraction.

    PubMed

    Kelly, D A

    2013-03-01

    The intromittent organs of most amniotes contain variable-volume hydrostatic skeletons that are stored in a flexible state and inflate with fluid before or during copulation. However, the penis in male crocodilians is notable because its shaft does not seem to change either its shape or bending stiffness as blood enters its vascular spaces before copulation. Here I report that crocodilians may have evolved a mechanism for penile shaft erection that does not require inflation and detumescence. Dissections of the cloaca in sexually mature male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) show that the cross section of the proximal shaft of the alligator penis contains dense collagenous tissues that do not significantly change shape when fluid is added to the central vascular space. The large amount of collagen in the wall and central space of the alligator penis stiffen the structure so it can be simply everted for copulation and rapidly retracted at its completion. Because no muscles insert directly onto the penis, eversion and retraction must be produced indirectly. My results suggest that the contraction of paired levator cloacae muscles around the anterior end of the cloaca rotates the penis out of the cloacal opening and strains the ligamentum rami that connect the base of the penis to the ischia. When the cloacal muscles relax, the elastic recoil of the ligamentum rami can return the penis to its original position inside the cloaca.

  19. Computed tomography of granulomatous pneumonia with oxalosis in an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) associated with Metarhizium anisopliae var anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Hall, Natalie H; Conley, Kenneth; Berry, Clifford; Farina, Lisa; Sigler, Lynne; Wellehan, James F X; Roehrl, Michael H A; Heard, Darryl

    2011-12-01

    An 18-yr-old, male, albino, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was evaluated for decreased appetite and abnormal buoyancy. Computed tomography (CT) of the coelomic cavity showed multifocal mineral and soft tissue attenuating pulmonary masses consistent with pulmonary fungal granulomas. Additionally, multifocal areas of generalized, severe emphysema and pulmonary and pleural thickening were identified. The alligator was euthanized and necropsy revealed severe fungal pneumonia associated with oxalosis. Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae was cultured from lung tissue and exhibited oxalate crystal formation in vitro. Crystals were identified as calcium oxalate monohydrate by X-ray powder defractometry. Fungal identification was based on morphology, including tissue sporulation, and DNA sequence analysis. This organism is typically thought of as an entomopathogen. Clinical signs of fungal pneumonia in nonavian reptiles are often inapparent until the disease is at an advanced stage, making antemortem diagnosis challenging. This case demonstrates the value of CT for pulmonary assessment and diagnosis of fungal pneumonia in the American alligator. Fungal infection with associated oxalosis should not be presumed to be aspergillosis.

  20. Ultrasonography of reproductive structures and hormonal correlates of follicular development in female American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, in southwest Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A; Rostal, David C; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2009-07-01

    Ultrasonography has been used effectively to study reproduction in a variety of reptile species, but its application to crocodilians has been relatively limited. We present results from a study testing the efficacy of using ultrasonography to monitor reproduction in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Ultrasound results were then compared with plasma hormone levels. A total of 124 females were examined during March, April, May, and early June (2001-2003). Ultrasound results were validated on a series of reproductive females (n=14) necropsied for other studies. Previtellogenic follicles, vitellogenic follicles, recently shelled eggs, fully developed well-calcified eggs, and atretic follicles were readily discernible with ultrasound in mature females. Reproductive structures were observed in 57 females of which 43 were actively reproductive, while 14 were non-reproductive, but contained large atretic follicles from prior years. Oviducts were discernible in females with eggs. Ovarian state was also correlated with hormone levels. These results are in agreement with previous studies that showed that 50% or less of the adult female alligator population is reproductively active in a given year. Ultrasonography can be used to make an accurate assessment of reproductive condition in wild alligator populations.

  1. Contribution of the diaphragmaticus muscle to vital capacity in fasting and post-prandial American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Uriona, T J; Farmer, C G

    2006-11-01

    The importance of the diaphragmaticus muscle to vital capacity was investigated in juvenile American alligators by transection of this muscle. In both fasting and post-prandial animals a pneumotach was used to study vital capacity that was stimulated by either a hypercapnic-anoxic gas mixture or a hypercapnic-normoxic gas mixture in two types of control groups of animals (a shamoperated group and a group receiving no treatment) and in the experimental (transected) group. Transection did not significantly reduce vital capacity or affect time of inspiration or expiration in fasted animals. For both the experimental and control groups vital capacity was greatly reduced in post-prandial animals compared to the fasting state. Furthermore, alligators with a transected diaphragmaticus muscle showed a 16-18% greater drop in vital capacity in the post-prandial state than did alligators with an intact diaphragmaticus muscle. The post-prandial decrease in vital capacity for alligators with a transected diaphragmaticus occurred concomitantly with a significant increase in time to inspire and a decrease in maximum rate of inspiration when compared to control animals. The results from this study suggest that the diaphragmaticus muscle plays an important role in enabling large volumes of oxygen to be taken into the lungs in the post-prandial state.

  2. Isolation and determination of the primary structure of a lectin protein from the serum of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Darville, Lancia N F; Merchant, Mark E; Maccha, Venkata; Siddavarapu, Vivekananda Reddy; Hasan, Azeem; Murray, Kermit K

    2012-02-01

    Mass spectrometry in conjunction with de novo sequencing was used to determine the amino acid sequence of a 35kDa lectin protein isolated from the serum of the American alligator that exhibits binding to mannose. The protein N-terminal sequence was determined using Edman degradation and enzymatic digestion with different proteases was used to generate peptide fragments for analysis by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS). Separate analysis of the protein digests with multiple enzymes enhanced the protein sequence coverage. De novo sequencing was accomplished using MASCOT Distiller and PEAKS software and the sequences were searched against the NCBI database using MASCOT and BLAST to identify homologous peptides. MS analysis of the intact protein indicated that it is present primarily as monomer and dimer in vitro. The isolated 35kDa protein was ~98% sequenced and found to have 313 amino acids and nine cysteine residues and was identified as an alligator lectin. The alligator lectin sequence was aligned with other lectin sequences using DIALIGN and ClustalW software and was found to exhibit 58% and 59% similarity to both human and mouse intelectin-1. The alligator lectin exhibited strong binding affinities toward mannan and mannose as compared to other tested carbohydrates.

  3. Olfactory and solitary chemosensory cells: two different chemosensory systems in the nasal cavity of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Anne

    2007-01-01

    Background The nasal cavity of all vertebrates houses multiple chemosensors, either innervated by the Ist (olfactory) or the Vth (trigeminal) cranial nerve. Various types of receptor cells are present, either segregated in different compartments (e.g. in rodents) or mingled in one epithelium (e.g. fish). In addition, solitary chemosensory cells have been reported for several species. Alligators which seek their prey both above and under water have only one nasal compartment. Information about their olfactory epithelium is limited. Since alligators seem to detect both volatile and water-soluble odour cues, I tested whether different sensory cell types are present in the olfactory epithelium. Results Electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry were used to examine the sensory epithelium of the nasal cavity of the American alligator. Almost the entire nasal cavity is lined with olfactory (sensory) epithelium. Two types of olfactory sensory neurons are present. Both types bear cilia as well as microvilli at their apical endings and express the typical markers for olfactory neurons. The density of these olfactory neurons varies along the nasal cavity. In addition, solitary chemosensory cells innervated by trigeminal nerve fibres, are intermingled with olfactory sensory neurons. Solitary chemosensory cells express components of the PLC-transduction cascade found in solitary chemosensory cells in rodents. Conclusion The nasal cavity of the American alligator contains two different chemosensory systems incorporated in the same sensory epithelium: the olfactory system proper and solitary chemosensory cells. The olfactory system contains two morphological distinct types of ciliated olfactory receptor neurons. PMID:17683564

  4. FlexSnap: Flexible Non-sequential Protein Structure Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salem, Saeed; Zaki, Mohammed J.; Bystroff, Chris

    Proteins have evolved subject to energetic selection pressure for stability and flexibility. Structural similarity between proteins which have gone through conformational changes can be captured effectively if flexibility is considered. Topologically unrelated proteins that preserve secondary structure packing interactions can be detected if both flexibility and sequence permutations are considered. We propose the FlexSnap algorithm for flexible non-topological protein structural alignment. The effectiveness of FlexSnap is demonstrated by measuring the agreement of its alignments with manually curated non-sequential structural alignments. FlexSnap showed competitive results against state-of-the-art algorithms, like DALI, SARF2, MultiProt, FlexProt, and FATCAT.

  5. SNAP sky background at the north ecliptic pole

    SciTech Connect

    Aldering, Greg

    2002-07-01

    I summarize the extant direct and indirect data on the sky background SNAP will see at the North Ecliptic Pole over the wavelength range 0.4 < {lambda} < 1.7 {micro}m. At the spatial resolution of SNAP the sky background due to stars and galaxies is resolved, so the only source considered is zodiacal light. Several models are explored to provide interpolation in wavelength between the broadband data from HST and COBE observations. I believe the input data are now established well enough that the accuracy of the sky background presented here is sufficient for SNAP simulations, and that it will stand up to scrutiny by reviewers.

  6. Sex-steroid and thyroid hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from contaminated and reference lakes in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grain, D.A.; Guillette, L.J.; Pickford, D.B.; Percival, H.F.; Woodward, A.R.

    1998-01-01

    Sex-steroid and thyroid hormones are critical regulators of growth and reproduction in all vertebrates, and several recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can alter circulating concentrations of these hormones. This study examines plasma concentrations of estradiol-171?? (E2), testosterone (T), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) in juvenile alligators (60-140 cm total length) from two contaminated lakes and one reference lake in Florida. First, the data were analyzed by comparing hormone concentrations among males and females from the different lakes. Whereas there were no differences in plasma E2 concentrations among animals of the three lakes, male alligators from the contaminated lakes (Lake Apopka and Lake Okeechobee) had significantly lower plasma T concentrations compared 10 males from the reference take (Lake Woodruff). Concentrations of thyroid hormones also differed in animals of the three lakes, with T4 concentrations being elevated in Lake Okeechobee males compared to Lake Woodruff males. Second, the relationship between body size and hormone concentration was examined using regression analysis. Most notably for steroid hormones, no clear relationship was detected between E2 and total length in Apopka females (r2 0.09, p = 0.54) or between T and total length in Apopka males (r2 = 0.007, p = 0.75). Females from Apopka (r2 = 0.318, p = 0.09) and Okeechobee (r2 = 0.222, p = 0.09) exhibited weak correlations between T3 and total length. Males from Apopka (r2 = 0.015, p = 0.66) and Okeechobee (r2 = 0.128, p = 0.19) showed no correlation between T4 and total length. These results indicate: some of the previously reported abnormalities in steroid hormones of hatchling alligators persist, at least, through the juvenile years; steroid and thyroid hormones are related to body size in juvenile alligators from the reference lake, whereas alligators living in lakes Apopka and Okeechobee experience alterations in circulating thyroid and steroid

  7. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace.

    PubMed

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell.

  8. Spatial and temporal variability in estuary habitat use by American alligators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Estuarine habitat occupied by Alligator mississippiensis, a primarily freshwater species, is spatially and temporally heterogeneous largely due to a salinity gradient that fluctuates. Using long-term night light survey data, we examined seasonal patterns in alligators’ habitat use by size classes in midstream and downstream estuary zones of Shark River, Everglades National Park, in southern Florida. We observed predominantly large-sized alligators (total length ≥ 1.75 m); observations of alligators in the small size classes (0.5 m ≤ total length < 1.25 m) were rare especially in the higher-salinity downstream zone. The density of alligators in the downstream zone was lower than that of the midstream zone during the dry season when salinity increases due to reduced precipitation. Conversely, the density of the large size alligators was higher in the downstream zone than in the midstream zone during the wet season, likely because of reduced salinity. We also found a significant declining trend over time in the number of alligators in the dry season, which coincides with the reported decline in alligator relative density in southern Florida freshwater wetlands. Our results indicated high adaptability of alligators to the fluctuating habitat conditions. Use of estuaries by alligators is likely driven in part by physiology and possibly by reproductive cycle, and our results supported their opportunistic use of estuary habitat and ontogenetic niche shifts.

  9. Increased posthatching mortality and loss of sexually dimorphic gene expression in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from a contaminated environment.

    PubMed

    Milnes, Matthew R; Bryan, Teresa A; Katsu, Yoshinao; Kohno, Satomi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2008-05-01

    A previous study from our laboratory examining development in neonatal alligators from polluted Lake Apopka, Florida, found numerous differences relative to neonates from a reference site, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. We postulated that the differences were the result of organizational changes derived from embryonic exposure to environmental contaminants and are related to the poor reproductive success reported in alligators from Lake Apopka. In this study we examine differences in alligators collected as eggs from these two populations and raised under similar conditions for 1 yr. Egg hatch rates did not differ between lake populations; however, posthatching mortality was much higher among Lake Apopka hatchlings. Snout-vent length and body mass were greater in Lake Apopka hatchlings, but no differences were detected between lake populations in thyroid, liver, and spleen mass corrected for body size or in plasma concentrations of testosterone and estradiol. Males from Lake Woodruff exhibited greater relative expression of gonadal mRNA for steroidogenic factor 1 (Nr5a1) and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star) than males from Lake Apopka. Alligators from Lake Woodruff also expressed all genes examined in a sexually dimorphic pattern. In contrast, mRNA expression did not differ between males and females from Lake Apopka for Nr5a1, Star, cytochrome P450 11A1 (Cyp11a1), and hydroxy-delta-5-steroid dehydrogenase, 3 beta- and steroid delta-isomerase 1 (Hsd3b1). Our results document persistent differences in development, survivorship, and gene expression in alligators from a contaminated environment. Because these animals were raised under similar laboratory conditions, the differences are most likely of embryonic origin and organizational in nature.

  10. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    PubMed Central

    Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  11. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland.

    PubMed

    Flint, Jaylene; Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  12. Functional Measures of Sea Turtle Hearing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    anatomy among stages and species and physiologically by brainstem evoked potential techniques. Sea turtles employed in this work were provided by NMFS...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Sea turtle hearing was investigated fmorphometrically by analyzing variations in auditory anatomy a and physiologically by...A t Project Title: Functional Measures of Sea Turtle Hearing ONR Award No: N00014-02-1-0510 Organization Award No: 13051000 Final Report Award Period

  13. Amniote phylogeny and the position of turtles.

    PubMed

    Hedges, S Blair

    2012-07-27

    The position of turtles among amniotes remains in dispute, with morphological and molecular comparisons giving different results. Morphological analyses align turtles with either lizards and their relatives, or at the base of the reptile tree, whereas molecular analyses, including a recent study by Chiari et al. in BMC Biology, place turtles with birds and crocodilians. Molecular studies have not wavered as the numbers of genes and species have increased, but morphologists have been reluctant to embrace the molecular tree.

  14. Turtle groups or turtle soup: dispersal patterns of hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, J M; Abreu-Grobois, F A; Austin, T J; Broderick, A C; Bruford, M W; Coyne, M S; Ebanks-Petrie, G; Formia, A; Meylan, P A; Meylan, A B; Godley, B J

    2009-12-01

    Despite intense interest in conservation of marine turtles, spatial ecology during the oceanic juvenile phase remains relatively unknown. Here, we used mixed stock analysis and examination of oceanic drift to elucidate movements of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and address management implications within the Caribbean. Among samples collected from 92 neritic juvenile hawksbills in the Cayman Islands we detected 11 mtDNA control region haplotypes. To estimate contributions to the aggregation, we performed 'many-to-many' mixed stock analysis, incorporating published hawksbill genetic and population data. The Cayman Islands aggregation represents a diverse mixed stock: potentially contributing source rookeries spanned the Caribbean basin, delineating a scale of recruitment of 200-2500 km. As hawksbills undergo an extended phase of oceanic dispersal, ocean currents may drive patterns of genetic diversity observed on foraging aggregations. Therefore, using high-resolution Aviso ocean current data, we modelled movement of particles representing passively drifting oceanic juvenile hawksbills. Putative distribution patterns varied markedly by origin: particles from many rookeries were broadly distributed across the region, while others would appear to become entrained in local gyres. Overall, we detected a significant correlation between genetic profiles of foraging aggregations and patterns of particle distribution produced by a hatchling drift model (Mantel test, r = 0.77, P < 0.001; linear regression, r = 0.83, P < 0.001). Our results indicate that although there is a high degree of mixing across the Caribbean (a 'turtle soup'), current patterns play a substantial role in determining genetic structure of foraging aggregations (forming turtle groups). Thus, for marine turtles and other widely distributed marine species, integration of genetic and oceanographic data may enhance understanding of population connectivity and management requirements.

  15. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Describes teaching strategies, including science activities, for challenging students' misconceptions about turtles and helping limited-English-proficiency students enhance their language proficiency. (PR)

  16. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection.

  17. SNAP: A General Purpose Network Analysis and Graph Mining Library.

    PubMed

    Leskovec, Jure; Sosič, Rok

    2016-10-01

    Large networks are becoming a widely used abstraction for studying complex systems in a broad set of disciplines, ranging from social network analysis to molecular biology and neuroscience. Despite an increasing need to analyze and manipulate large networks, only a limited number of tools are available for this task. Here, we describe Stanford Network Analysis Platform (SNAP), a general-purpose, high-performance system that provides easy to use, high-level operations for analysis and manipulation of large networks. We present SNAP functionality, describe its implementational details, and give performance benchmarks. SNAP has been developed for single big-memory machines and it balances the trade-off between maximum performance, compact in-memory graph representation, and the ability to handle dynamic graphs where nodes and edges are being added or removed over time. SNAP can process massive networks with hundreds of millions of nodes and billions of edges. SNAP offers over 140 different graph algorithms that can efficiently manipulate large graphs, calculate structural properties, generate regular and random graphs, and handle attributes and meta-data on nodes and edges. Besides being able to handle large graphs, an additional strength of SNAP is that networks and their attributes are fully dynamic, they can be modified during the computation at low cost. SNAP is provided as an open source library in C++ as well as a module in Python. We also describe the Stanford Large Network Dataset, a set of social and information real-world networks and datasets, which we make publicly available. The collection is a complementary resource to our SNAP software and is widely used for development and benchmarking of graph analytics algorithms.

  18. Seeing the Nature of the Accelerating Physics: It's a SNAP

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, J.; Aldering, G.; Allam, S.; Althouse, W.; Amanullah, R.; Annis, J.; Astier, P.; Aumeunier, M.; Bailey, S.; Baltay, C.; Barrelet, E.; Basa, S.; Bebek, C.; Bergstom, L.; Bernstein, G.; Bester, M.; Besuner, B.; Bigelow, B.; Blandford, R.; Bohlin, R.; Bonissent, A.; /Caltech /LBL, Berkeley /Fermilab /SLAC /Stockholm U. /Paris, IN2P3 /Marseille, CPPM /Marseille, Lab. Astrophys. /Yale U. /Pennsylvania U. /UC, Berkeley /Michigan U. /Baltimore, Space Telescope Sci. /Indiana U. /Caltech, JPL /Australian Natl. U., Canberra /American Astron. Society /Chicago U. /Cambridge U. /Saclay /Lyon, IPN

    2005-08-05

    For true insight into the nature of dark energy, measurements of the precision and accuracy of the Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) are required. Precursor or scaled-down experiments are unavoidably limited, even for distinguishing the cosmological constant. They can pave the way for, but should not delay, SNAP by developing calibration, refinement, and systematics control (and they will also provide important, exciting astrophysics).

  19. SNAP: A General Purpose Network Analysis and Graph Mining Library

    PubMed Central

    Leskovec, Jure; Sosič, Rok

    2016-01-01

    Large networks are becoming a widely used abstraction for studying complex systems in a broad set of disciplines, ranging from social network analysis to molecular biology and neuroscience. Despite an increasing need to analyze and manipulate large networks, only a limited number of tools are available for this task. Here, we describe Stanford Network Analysis Platform (SNAP), a general-purpose, high-performance system that provides easy to use, high-level operations for analysis and manipulation of large networks. We present SNAP functionality, describe its implementational details, and give performance benchmarks. SNAP has been developed for single big-memory machines and it balances the trade-off between maximum performance, compact in-memory graph representation, and the ability to handle dynamic graphs where nodes and edges are being added or removed over time. SNAP can process massive networks with hundreds of millions of nodes and billions of edges. SNAP offers over 140 different graph algorithms that can efficiently manipulate large graphs, calculate structural properties, generate regular and random graphs, and handle attributes and meta-data on nodes and edges. Besides being able to handle large graphs, an additional strength of SNAP is that networks and their attributes are fully dynamic, they can be modified during the computation at low cost. SNAP is provided as an open source library in C++ as well as a module in Python. We also describe the Stanford Large Network Dataset, a set of social and information real-world networks and datasets, which we make publicly available. The collection is a complementary resource to our SNAP software and is widely used for development and benchmarking of graph analytics algorithms. PMID:28344853

  20. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  1. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  2. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  3. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  4. A new, nearly complete stem turtle from the Jurassic of South America with implications for turtle evolution.

    PubMed

    Sterli, Juliana

    2008-06-23

    Turtles have been known since the Upper Triassic (210Myr old); however, fossils recording the first steps of turtle evolution are scarce and often fragmentary. As a consequence, one of the main questions is whether living turtles (Testudines) originated during the Late Triassic (210Myr old) or during the Middle to Late Jurassic (ca 160Myr old). The discovery of the new fossil turtle, Condorchelys antiqua gen. et sp. nov. from the Middle to Upper Jurassic (ca 160-146Myr old) of South America (Patagonia, Argentina), presented here sheds new light on early turtle evolution. An updated cladistic analysis of turtles shows that C. antiqua and other fossil turtles are not crown turtles, but stem turtles. This cladistic analysis also shows that stem turtles were more diverse than previously thought, and that until the Middle to Upper Jurassic there were turtles without the modern jaw closure mechanism.

  5. Detection of antibodies to a pathogenic mycoplasma in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), broad-nosed Caimans (Caiman latirostris), and Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis).

    PubMed

    Brown, D R; Schumacher, I M; Nogueira, M F; Richey, L J; Zacher, L A; Schoeb, T R; Vliet, K A; Bennett, R A; Jacobson, E R; Brown, M B

    2001-01-01

    An epidemic of pneumonia with fibrinous polyserositis and multifocal arthritis emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida, United States, in 1995. Mycoplasma alligatoris sp. nov. was cultured from multiple organs, peripheral blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid of affected alligators. In a subsequent experimental inoculation study, the Henle-Koch-Evans postulates were fulfilled for M. alligatoris as the etiological agent of fatal mycoplasmosis of alligators. That finding was remarkable because mycoplasmal disease is rarely fatal in animals. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies produced by alligators in response to M. alligatoris exposure was developed by using plasma obtained from naturally infected alligators during the original epidemic. The assay was validated by using plasma obtained during an experimental dose-response study and applied to analyze plasma obtained from captive and wild crocodilian species. The ELISA reliably detected alligator seroconversion (P < 0.05) beginning 6 weeks after inoculation. The ELISA also detected seroconversion (P < 0.05) in the relatively closely related broad-nosed caiman Caiman latirostris and the relatively distantly related Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis following experimental inoculation with M. alligatoris. The ELISA may be used to monitor exposure to the lethal pathogen M. alligatoris among captive, repatriated, and wild crocodilian species.

  6. Validation and use of an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of antibodies to West Nile virus in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Johnson, April J; Hernandez, Jorge A; Tucker, Sylvia J; Dupuis, Alan P; Stevens, Robert; Carbonneau, Dwayne; Stark, Lillian

    2005-01-01

    In October 2002, West Nile virus (WNV) was identified in farmed American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida showing clinical signs and having microscopic lesions indicative of central nervous system disease. To perform seroepidemiologic studies, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to determine exposure of captive and wild alligators to WNV. To validate the test, a group of WNV-seropositive and -seronegative alligators were identified at the affected farm using hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The indirect ELISA utilized a rabbit anti-alligator immunoglobulins polyclonal antibody as the secondary antibody, and inactivated WNV-infected Vero cells were used as the coating antigen. For all samples (n=58), the results of the ELISA were consistent with the HAI and PRNT findings. Plasma was collected from 669 free-ranging alligators from 21 sites across Florida in April and October 2003. Four samples collected in April and six in October were positive for WNV antibodies using HAI, PRNT, and the indirect ELISA. This indicated that wild alligators in Florida have been exposed to WNV. These findings can be used as a baseline for future surveys.

  7. Survival of young American alligators on a Florida lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodward, A.R.; Hines, T.C.; Abercrombie, C.L.; Nichols, J.D.

    1987-01-01

    A capture-recapture study was conducted on Orange Lake, Florida, from 1979 through 1984 to estimate survival rates of young in an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) populations. Hatchlings remained together in sibling groups (pods) for at least their 1st year and then began to disperse during their 2nd spring and summer. Mortality through mid-November of their 1st year was negligible. Jolly-Seber (JS) survival estimates of hatchlings for 6 and 12 months were 76 and 41%, respectively. The 2-year JS estimate for the 1980 cohort was 8%. Minimum-Known-Alive (MKA) survival values were 72 and 46% of JS estimates for 6 months and 1 year of age. Survival during the 2nd 6 months of life (spring-summer) tended to be lower than survival during the 1st 6 months (fall-winter).

  8. A new alligator-clip compound for molecular electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacob, Timo; Blanco, Mario; Goddard, William A.

    2004-06-01

    We used the B3LYP flavor of density functional calculations to study new alligator-clip compounds for molecular electronics with platinum electrodes. First, with commonly used S-based linkage molecule 3-methyl-1,2-dithiolane (MDTL) we find that after chemisorption on Pt(1 1 1) the most stable structure is ring-opened with a binding energy of 32.44 kcal/mol. Among several alternative alligator-clip compounds we find that P-based molecules lead to much higher binding energies. For the ring-closed structure of 3-methyl-1,2-diphospholane (MDPL) a binding energy of 47.72 kcal/mol was calculated and even 54.88 kcal/mol for the ring-opened molecule. Thus, MDPL provides a more stable link to the metal surface and might increase the conductance.

  9. Water Hyacinths and Alligator Weeds for Final Filtration of Sewage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Mcdonald, R. C.; Gordon, J.

    1976-01-01

    The potential of water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxerides) (Mart.) Griesb. as secondary and tertiary filtration systems for domestic sewage was demonstrated. These two vascular aquatic plants reduced the suspended solids, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, BOD sub 5, and total organic carbon levels in domestic sewage from 60 percent to 98 percent within a two week period. These plants grown in domestic sewage were also free of toxic levels of trace heavy metals.

  10. The evolutionary position of turtles revised

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2001-05-01

    Consensus on the evolutionary position of turtles within the amniote phylogeny has eluded evolutionary biologists for more than a century. This phylogenetic problem has remained unsolved partly because turtles have such a unique morphology that only few characters can be used to link them with any other group of amniotes. Among the many alternative hypotheses that have been postulated to explain the origin and phylogenetic relationships of turtles, a general agreement among paleontologists emerged in favoring the placement of turtles as the only living survivors of the anapsid reptiles (those that lack temporal fenestrae in the skull). However, recent morphological and molecular studies have radically changed our view of amniote phylogenetic relationships, and evidence is accumulating that supports the diapsid affinities of turtles. Molecular studies favor archosaurs (crocodiles and birds) as the living sister group of turtles, whereas morphological studies support lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards, and snakes) as the closest living relatives of turtles. Accepting these hypotheses implies that turtles cannot be viewed any longer as primitive reptiles, and that they might have lost the temporal holes in the skull secondarily rather than never having had them.

  11. Why do turtles live so long

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbons, J.W.

    1987-04-01

    Turtles appear to live longer than most other species of vertebrates, according to both maximal lifespans from zoo records and survivorship patterns in natural populations. Turtle longevity may reflect low metabolic activity, an absence of physiological and anatomical senility, a large investment in the adult's protective shell, and a life history with a long maturation period.

  12. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xin, Tian

    2005-01-01

    "Sea turtle" and "seaweed"--otherwise known as "returnee from abroad" and "unemployed from abroad," respectively-- are a pair of popular new terms that are innately connected. In this article, the author discusses the common plight faced by "sea turtles" and "seaweeds" who returned from…

  13. Dune vegetation fertilization by nesting sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Hannan, Laura B; Roth, James D; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Weishampel, John F

    2007-04-01

    Sea turtle nesting presents a potential pathway to subsidize nutrient-poor dune ecosystems, which provide the nesting habitat for sea turtles. To assess whether this positive feedback between dune plants and turtle nests exists, we measured N concentration and delta15N values in dune soils, leaves from a common dune plant (sea oats [Uniola paniculata]), and addled eggs of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) across a nesting gradient (200-1050 nests/km) along a 40.5-km stretch of beach in east central Florida, USA. The delta15N levels were higher in loggerhead than green turtle eggs, denoting the higher trophic level of loggerhead turtles. Soil N concentration and delta15N values were both positively correlated to turtle nest density. Sea oat leaf tissue delta15N was also positively correlated to nest density, indicating an increased use of augmented marine-based nutrient sources. Foliar N concentration was correlated with delta15N, suggesting that increased nutrient availability from this biogenic vector may enhance the vigor of dune vegetation, promoting dune stabilization and preserving sea turtle nesting habitat.

  14. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment. PMID:26555363

  15. Parental exposure to pesticides and poor clutch viability in American alligators.

    PubMed

    Rauschenberger, R Heath; Wiebe, Jon J; Sepúlveda, Maria S; Scarborough, Janet E; Gross, Timothy S

    2007-08-01

    In central Florida, alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting lakes contaminated with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) produce eggs that have high OCP concentrations and low clutch viability (proportion of eggs in a clutch that yield a live hatchling) compared to those from less contaminated lakes (reference lakes). However, a clear dose-response relationship has not been established between OCPs and poor clutch viability. In order to better elucidate a cause and effect relationship between OCP exposure and clutch viability, we conducted concurrent field and laboratory studies. Our field study reaffirmed that eggs of wild alligators from OCP-contaminated lakes and wetlands continue to have lower clutch viability and higher OCP burdens than eggs from reference lakes. Our field study also demonstrated that OCP egg burdens were strongly correlated with clutch viability for some of the OCP-contaminated sites, but not all. To better test causal relationships, a parental exposure study was conducted using captive adult alligators. Our laboratory study demonstrated that dietary exposure of captive alligators to an ecologically relevant OCP mixture caused alligators to produce eggs with higher OCP burdens and reduced clutch viability, as compared to the captive-control population. The experimentally induced egg burdens and clutch viability reductions were similar to those of wild alligators from OCP-contaminated sites. Our field and laboratory results suggest parental OCP exposure may be contributing to low clutch viability in wild alligators inhabiting OCP-contaminated habitats, raising some concern for endangered crocodilians living in OCP-contaminated habitats.

  16. PLASMA STEROID CONCENTRATIONS IN RELATION TO SIZE AND AGE IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS FROM TWO FLORIDA LAKES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous studies have reported a number of physiological differences among juvenile alligators from two well-studied populations (Lake Apopka and Lake Woodruff) in north central Florida. These studies obtained alligators of similar size from each lake under the assumption that th...

  17. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites.

    PubMed

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment.

  18. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR STROLLS FROM TURN BASIN TO LC 39 PRESS SITE GRANDSTAND

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    A 12-foot alligator worked his way up from the turn basin at Press Site 39 to the grandstand seats. The toothy reptile was later wrangled by wildlife trappers who relocated him to a less populated area on KSC. The alligator is one of approximately 4,000 on KSC/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  19. Similarity of osmoregulatory capacity in coastal and inland alligator gar.

    PubMed

    Allen, Peter J; Haukenes, Alf; Lochmann, Steve E

    2017-04-08

    The alligator gar Atractosteus spatula is a primitive fish species, occupying a wide range of temperature and salinity habitats. Long-distance movements are limited, leading to genetic differentiation between inland and coastal populations. Unknown is whether physiological capacity differs between geographically separated populations, particularly for traits important to osmoregulation in saline environments. Alligator gar from inland and coastal populations were reared in a similar environment and exposed to temperature (10, 30 °C) and salinity (0, 20 ppt) extremes to determine whether iono- and osmoregulatory ability differed between populations. There were few differences in osmoregulatory ability between populations, with similar gill, blood and gastrointestinal tract osmoregulatory parameters. Blood plasma osmolality, ion concentrations, intestinal pH and bicarbonate base concentrations, intestinal fluid osmolality, ion concentrations and gill Na(+), K(+)-ATPase (NKA) activity were similar between populations. Notably, gar from both populations did not osmoregulate well at low temperature and high salinity, with elevated plasma osmolality and ion concentrations, low gill NKA, and little evidence of gastrointestinal tract contribution to ionic and base regulation based on a lack of intestinal fluid and low base content. Therefore, the hypothesis that coastal gar would have improved hypo-osmotic regulatory ability as compared to inland alligator gar was not supported, suggesting physiological capacity may be retained in primitive species possibly due to its importance to their persistence through time.

  20. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements F Appendix F to Part 622 Wildlife and Fisheries... 622—Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements...

  1. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements F Appendix F to Part 622 Wildlife and Fisheries...—Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements A. Sea...

  2. North American box turtles: A natural history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    Once a familiar backyard visitor in many parts of the United States and Mexico, the box turtle is losing the battle against extinction. In North American Box Turtles, C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr., has written the first book-length natural history of the twelve species and subspecies of this endangered animal. This volume includes comprehensive information on the species’ evolution, behavior, courtship and reproduction, habitat use, diet, population structure, systematics, and disease. Special features include color photos of all species, subspecies, and their habitats; a simple identification guide to both living and fossil species; and a summary of information on fossil Terrapene and Native uses of box turtles. End-of-chapter sections highlight future research directions, including the need for long-term monitoring and observation of box turtles within their natural habitat and conservation applications. A glossary and a bibliography of literature on box turtles accompany the text.

  3. Island-finding ability of marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Akesson, Susanne; Broderick, Annette C; Glen, Fiona; Godley, Brendan J; Papi, Floriano; Luschi, Paolo

    2003-08-07

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) swim from foraging grounds along the Brazilian coast to Ascension Island to nest, over 2200 km distant in the middle of the equatorial Atlantic. To test the hypothesis that turtles use wind-borne cues to locate Ascension Island we found turtles that had just completed nesting and then moved three individuals 50 km northwest (downwind) of the island and three individuals 50 km southeast (upwind). Their subsequent movements were tracked by satellite. Turtles released downwind returned to Ascension Island within 1, 2 and 4 days, respectively. By contrast, those released upwind had far more difficulty in relocating Ascension Island, two eventually returning after 10 and 27 days and the third heading back to Brazil after failing to find its way back to the island. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that wind-borne cues are used by turtles to locate Ascension Island.

  4. Island-finding ability of marine turtles.

    PubMed Central

    Hays, Graeme C; Akesson, Susanne; Broderick, Annette C; Glen, Fiona; Godley, Brendan J; Papi, Floriano; Luschi, Paolo

    2003-01-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) swim from foraging grounds along the Brazilian coast to Ascension Island to nest, over 2200 km distant in the middle of the equatorial Atlantic. To test the hypothesis that turtles use wind-borne cues to locate Ascension Island we found turtles that had just completed nesting and then moved three individuals 50 km northwest (downwind) of the island and three individuals 50 km southeast (upwind). Their subsequent movements were tracked by satellite. Turtles released downwind returned to Ascension Island within 1, 2 and 4 days, respectively. By contrast, those released upwind had far more difficulty in relocating Ascension Island, two eventually returning after 10 and 27 days and the third heading back to Brazil after failing to find its way back to the island. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that wind-borne cues are used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. PMID:12952621

  5. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

  6. Mathematical models for growth in alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryos developing at different incubation temperatures.

    PubMed

    Bardsley, W G; Ackerman, R A; Bukhari, N A; Deeming, D C; Ferguson, M W

    1995-08-01

    A variety of model-based (growth models) and model-free (cubic splines, exponentials) equations were fitted using weighted-nonlinear least squares regression to embryonic growth data from Alligator mississippiensis eggs incubated at 30 and 33 degrees C. Goodness of fit was estimated using a chi 2 on the sum of squared, weighted residuals, and run and sign tests on the residuals. One of the growth models used (Preece & Baines, 1978) was found to be superior to the classical growth models (exponential, monomolecular, logistic, Gompertz, von Bertalanffy) and gave an adequate fit to all longitudinal measures taken from the embryonic body and embryonic mass. However, measurements taken from the head could not be fitted by growth models but were adequately fitted by weighted least squares cubic splines. Data for the stage of development were best fitted by a sum of 2 exponentials with a transition point. Comparison of the maximum growth rates and parameter values, indicated that the growth data at 30 degrees C could be scaled to 33 degrees C to multiplying the time by a scaling factor of 1.2. This is equivalent to a Q10 of about 1.86 or, after solving the Arrhenius equation, an E++ of 46.9 kJmol-1. This may be interpreted as indicating a common rate-limiting step in development at the 2 temperatures.

  7. Hox expression in the American alligator and evolution of archosaurian axial patterning.

    PubMed

    Mansfield, Jennifer H; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2010-12-15

    The avian body plan has undergone many modifications, most associated with adaptation to flight and bipedal walking. Some of these modifications may be owing to avian-specific changes in the embryonic Hox expression code. Here, we have examined Hox expression in alligator, the closest living relative of birds, and an archosaur with a more conservative body plan. Two differences in Hox expression between chick, alligator, and other tetrapods correlate with aspects of alligator or bird-specific skeletal morphology. First, absence of a thoracic subdomain of Hoxc-8 expression in alligator correlates with morphological adaptations in crocodilian thoracic segments. Second, Hoxa-5, a gene required to pattern the cervical-thoracic transition, shows unique patterns of expression in chick, alligator, and mouse, correlating with species-specific morphological patterning of this region. Given that cervical vertebral morphologies evolved independently in the bird and mammalian lineages, the underlying developmental mechanisms, including refinement of Hox expression domains, may be distinct.

  8. Specific accumulation of arsenic compounds in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Ishigaki Island, Japan.

    PubMed

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Takagi, Kozue; Kubota, Reiji; Anan, Yasumi; Iwata, Hisato; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2008-05-01

    Concentrations of total arsenic (As) and individual compounds were determined in green and hawksbill turtles from Ishigaki Island, Japan. In both species, total As concentrations were highest in muscle among the tissues. Arsenobetaine was a major compound in most tissues of both turtles. High concentrations of trimethylarsine oxide were detected in hawksbill turtles. A significant negative correlation between standard carapace length (SCL), an indicator of age, and total As levels in green turtles was found. In contrast, the levels increased with SCL of hawksbill turtles. Shifts in feeding habitats with growth may account for such a growth-dependent accumulation of As. Although concentrations of As in marine sponges, the major food of hawksbill turtles are not high compared to those in algae eaten by green turtles, As concentrations in hawksbill turtles were higher than those in green turtles, indicating that hawksbill turtles may have a specific accumulation mechanism for As.

  9. Sex-biased expression of sex-differentiating genes FOXL2 and FGF9 in American alligators, alligator Mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Janes, D E; Elsey, R M; Langan, E M; Valenzuela, N; Edwards, S V

    2013-01-01

    Across amniotes, sex-determining mechanisms exhibit great variation, yet the genes that govern sexual differentiation are largely conserved. Studies of evolution of sex-determining and sex-differentiating genes require an exhaustive characterization of functions of those genes such as FOXL2 and FGF9. FOXL2 is associated with ovarian development, and FGF9 is known to play a role in testicular organogenesis in mammals and other amniotes. As a step toward characterization of the evolutionary history of sexual development, we measured expression of FOXL2 and FGF9 across 3 developmental stages and 8 juvenile tissue types in male and female American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis. We report surprisingly high expression of FOXL2 before the stage of embryonic development when sex is determined in response to temperature, and sustained and variable expression of FGF9 in juvenile male, but not female tissue types. Novel characterization of gene expression in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination such as American alligators may inform the evolution of sex-determining and sex-differentiating gene networks, as they suggest alternative functions from which the genes may have been exapted. Future functional profiling of sex-differentiating genes should similarly follow other genes and other species to enable a broad comparison across sex-determining mechanisms.

  10. Sex steroid and thyroid hormone receptor expressions in the thyroid of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) during different life stages.

    PubMed

    Bermudez, Dieldrich S; Skotko, Jeremy P; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Boggs, Ashley S P; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2011-06-01

    The expression of estrogen receptors, ESR1 (ERα) and ESR2 (ERβ), and androgen receptors (AR) in the thyroid gland has been reported in few vertebrate species other than a few mammals. This study reports the presence of sex steroid hormone receptors and thyroid receptors (ERα, ERβ, AR, TRα, and TRβ) in the thyroid gland of the American alligator at several life stages. It provides a semiquantification and distribution of ERα in the thyroid follicle cells using an immunohistochemical approach as well as reports quantitative differences in mRNA expression of ERα, ERβ, TRα, TRβ, and AR in the same tissue using quantitative real time-PCR (Q-PCR) with primers designed specifically for alligators. The thyroid tissue of the American alligator expresses ERα, ERβ, and AR at all of the life stages examined here although no statistically significant differences were observed between male and female in thyroid mRNA expression for any of the genes analyzed. No sexual dimorphism was observed in ERα immunostaining. No statistical analysis across life stages were performed due to confounding factor of season.

  11. Endoscopic release of internal snapping hip: a review of literature

    PubMed Central

    Via, Alessio Giai; Basile, Attilio; Wainer, Mauricio; Musa, Carlos; Padulo, Johnny; Mardones, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Internal snapping hip is a common clinical condition, characterized by an audible or palpable snap of the medial compartment of the hip. In most cases it is asymptomatic, while in a few patients, mostly in athletes who participate in activities requiring extremes of hip range of motion, the snap may become painful (internal snapping hip syndrome - ISHS). Materials and methods This is a review of current literature, focused on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of ISHS. Conclusion The pathogenesis of ISHS is multifactorial, and it is traditionally believed to be caused by the tendon snapping over the anterior femoral head or the iliopectineal ridge. Most cases of ISHS resolve with conservative treatment, which includes avoidance of aggravating activities, stretching, and NSAIDs. In recalcitrant cases, surgery may be indicated. Better results have been reported with endoscopic iliopsoas tendon release compared with open techniques, which may be related to the treatment of concomitant intra-articular pathologies. Furthermore, endoscopic treatment showed fewer complications, decreased failure rate and postop erative pain. It is important to remember that in most cases, a multiple iliopsoas tendon may exist, and that the incomplete release of the iliopsoas tendon can be a reason for refractory pain and poor results. Then, even if of not clinical relevance at long term follow-up, patients should be told about the inevitable loss of flexion strength after iliopsoas tenotomy. Level of evidence II. PMID:28066743

  12. SNAP-25, a Known Presynaptic Protein with Emerging Postsynaptic Functions

    PubMed Central

    Antonucci, Flavia; Corradini, Irene; Fossati, Giuliana; Tomasoni, Romana; Menna, Elisabetta; Matteoli, Michela

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark of synaptic specializations is their dependence on highly organized complexes of proteins that interact with each other. The loss or modification of key synaptic proteins directly affects the properties of such networks, ultimately impacting synaptic function. SNAP-25 is a component of the SNARE complex, which is central to synaptic vesicle exocytosis, and, by directly interacting with different calcium channels subunits, it negatively modulates neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels, thus regulating intracellular calcium dynamics. The SNAP-25 gene has been associated with distinct brain diseases, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, indicating that the protein may act as a shared biological substrate among different “synaptopathies”. The mechanisms by which alterations in SNAP-25 may concur to these psychiatric diseases are still undefined, although alterations in neurotransmitter release have been indicated as potential causative processes. This review summarizes recent work showing that SNAP-25 not only controls exo/endocytic processes at the presynaptic terminal, but also regulates postsynaptic receptor trafficking, spine morphogenesis, and plasticity, thus opening the possibility that SNAP-25 defects may contribute to psychiatric diseases by impacting not only presynaptic but also postsynaptic functions. PMID:27047369

  13. SNAP-27/ALSEP power subsystem used in the Apollo program.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remini, W. C.; Grayson, J. H.

    1972-01-01

    The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) measures lunar physical and environmental characteristics and transmits the data to receiving stations on earth. The data are used to derive information on the composition and structure of the moon. The electrical power subsystem generates and conditions all the electrical power for operations of the ALSEP system. The power source for the ALSEP is the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG). The generator produces electricity by thermoelectric conversion. The radioactive isotope plutonium 238 is used as the energy source for the SNAP-27. By April 1, 1970, the SNAP-27 RTG had produced more than 230 kWh of continuous and stable power for the ALSEP.-

  14. [A new sock and snap electrode for epicardial mapping].

    PubMed

    Iwa, T; Misaki, T; Tsubota, M

    1990-06-01

    Simultaneous recording of epicardial activation from multiple sites during anti-arrhythmic surgery is essential to determine the location of the arrhythmic source. We formed a new sock from Presnet tubular dressing material with 87 snap electrodes. Bipolar recording sites, 1.0 mm in diameter and separated 1.5 mm, are constructed of gold and attached to steel wire directly at the male snap without button. This new Sock and Snap electrode was used to record in 7 patients; 5 of WPW syndrome and 2 of non-ischemic ventricular tachycardia. Satisfactory epicardial contact was obtained in all patients without any hemodynamic change. We could get a rapid display of epicardial mapping using a computer.

  15. Structurally-Tailorable, Nonlinear, Snap-Through Spring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Starnes, James H., Jr.; Farley, Gary L.; Mantay, Wayne R.

    1989-01-01

    Abrupt change in load/deflection response controllable and predictable. Structurally-tailorable, nonlinear, snap-through spring (STNSTS) exhibits controllable and predictable abrupt change in load/deflection response and based upon known phenomenon of snap-through structural response. Composed of pin-connected two-bar linkage which depicts combined tension/compression springs. As load applied to STNSTS, stiffness is function of internal spring and bending stiffness of pin-connected bars. As load increases, bars deform laterally until they collapse and snap through. Has application in passively-tailored rotor-blade flap, pitch, and lag response, to improve aerodynamic performance and stability characteristics of rotors; in aerodynamically- and aeroelastically-tailored wing spars and ribs, to produce tailored deformation state for improved effectiveness in maneuvering, aerodynamic performance, and stability characteristics; and in energy absorbers for automobile bumpers and aircraft land

  16. Snap-in of particles at curved liquid interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chao; Moradiafrapoli, Momene; Marston, Jeremy

    2016-11-01

    The contact of particles with liquid interfaces constitutes the first stage in the formation of a particle-laden interface, the so-called "snap-in effect". Here, we report on an experimental study using high-speed video to directly visualize the snap-in process and the approach to the equilibrium state of a particle at a curved liquid interface (i.e. droplet surface). We image the evolution of the contact line, which is found to follow a power-law scaling in time, and the dynamic contact angle during the snap-in. Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic particles are explored and we match the lift-off stage of the particles with a simple force balance. We also explore some multi-particle experiments, eluding to the dynamics of particle-laden interface formation.

  17. Experimental Criticality Benchmarks for SNAP 10A/2 Reactor Cores

    SciTech Connect

    Krass, A.W.

    2005-12-19

    This report describes computational benchmark models for nuclear criticality derived from descriptions of the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) Critical Assembly (SCA)-4B experimental criticality program conducted by Atomics International during the early 1960's. The selected experimental configurations consist of fueled SNAP 10A/2-type reactor cores subject to varied conditions of water immersion and reflection under experimental control to measure neutron multiplication. SNAP 10A/2-type reactor cores are compact volumes fueled and moderated with the hydride of highly enriched uranium-zirconium alloy. Specifications for the materials and geometry needed to describe a given experimental configuration for a model using MCNP5 are provided. The material and geometry specifications are adequate to permit user development of input for alternative nuclear safety codes, such as KENO. A total of 73 distinct experimental configurations are described.

  18. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    PubMed

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development.

  19. 78 FR 52899 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Enhancing Retail Food Store Eligibility...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-27

    ... Food and Nutrition Service Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Enhancing Retail Food Store Eligibility--Listening Sessions AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: This... regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer eligibility requirements (78 FR...

  20. Observation of a snap-through instability in graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharfenberg, Scott; Mansukhani, Nikhita; Chialvo, Cesar; Weaver, Richard L.; Mason, Nadya

    2012-01-01

    We examine the competition between adhesive and bending energies for few-layer graphene (FLG) samples placed on microscale-corrugated metallic substrates. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that the graphene undergoes a sharp "snap-through" transition as a function of layer thickness, where the material transitions between conforming to the substrate and lying flat on top of the substrate. By utilizing the critical snap-through thickness in an elasticity model for the FLG's bending, we extract a value for graphene-surface adhesion energy of 1.1 eV/nm2.

  1. Beyond velocity and acceleration: jerk, snap and higher derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eager, David; Pendrill, Ann-Marie; Reistad, Nina

    2016-11-01

    The higher derivatives of motion are rarely discussed in the teaching of classical mechanics of rigid bodies; nevertheless, we experience the effect not only of acceleration, but also of jerk and snap. In this paper we will discuss the third and higher order derivatives of displacement with respect to time, using the trampolines and theme park roller coasters to illustrate this concept. We will also discuss the effects on the human body of different types of acceleration, jerk, snap and higher derivatives, and how they can be used in physics education to further enhance the learning and thus the understanding of classical mechanics concepts.

  2. Influence of tissue, age, and environmental quality on DNA methylation in Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Parrott, Benjamin B; Bowden, John A; Kohno, Satomi; Cloy-McCoy, Jessica A; Hale, Matthew D; Bangma, Jacqueline T; Rainwater, Thomas R; Wilkinson, Phillip M; Kucklick, John R; Guillette, Louis J

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are key mediators of the interactions between the environment and an organism's genome. DNA methylation represents the best-studied epigenetic modification to date and is known to play key roles in regulating transcriptional activity and promoting chromosome stability. Our laboratory has previously demonstrated the utility of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a sentinel species to investigate the persistent effects of environmental contaminant exposure on reproductive health. Here, we incorporate a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to directly measure the total (global) proportion of 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5mdC) in ovarian and whole blood DNA from alligators. Global DNA methylation in ovaries was significantly elevated in comparison with that of whole blood. However, DNA methylation appeared similar in juvenile alligators reared under controlled laboratory conditions but originating from three sites with dissimilar environmental qualities, indicating an absence of detectable site-of-origin effects on persistent levels of global 5mdC content. Analyses of tissues across individuals revealed a surprising lack of correlation between global methylation levels in blood and ovary. In addition, global DNA methylation in blood samples from juvenile alligators was elevated compared with those from adults, suggesting that age, as observed in mammals, may negatively influence global DNA methylation levels in alligators. To our knowledge, this is the first study examining global levels of DNA methylation in the American alligator and provides a reference point for future studies examining the interplay of epigenetics and environmental factors in a long-lived sentinel species.

  3. Growth plate formation and development in alligator and mouse metapodials: evolutionary and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Reno, Philip L; Horton, Walter E; Elsey, Ruth M; Lovejoy, C Owen

    2007-05-15

    Mammalian metapodials (metacarpals and metatarsals), unlike most long bones, form a single growth plate, and undergo longitudinal growth at only one end. The growth dynamics of non-mammalian tetrapod metapodials have not been systematically examined in order to determine if unidirectional growth is unique to mammals. Here we compare murine metapodial ossification in growth stages that parallel those of embryonic, juvenile and subadult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Safranin O staining was used for qualitative histology, and chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation were assessed via immunohistochemistry for type X collagen and proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). We establish that growth plates form at both ends of alligator metapodials and are maintained in the subadult. PCNA results show that alligators and mice share common patterns of chondrocyte proliferation during growth plate formation. In addition, while alligators and mice differ initially in the degree of organization and pace of chondrocyte differentiation, these parameters are largely similar in established growth plates. However, the replacement of cartilage by bone is highly irregular throughout growth in the alligator, in contrast to the more uniform process in the mouse. These results indicate that while alligators and mammals share common mechanisms of chondrocyte regulation, they differ substantially in their processes of ossification. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the direct ossification of one epiphysis and reliance on a single growth plate is a derived character (synapomorphy) in therian mammals and likely indicates an adaptation for erect quadrupedal gait.

  4. Dry years decrease abundance of American alligators in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waddle, J. Hardin; Brandt, Laura A.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    The Everglades has been greatly reduced and is threatened by land use change and altered hydrology. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan calls for monitoring and assessment of key ecosystem attributes, one of which is abundance of American alligators. We examined 10 years of alligator night spotlight counts from Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge along two canals and in the interior marsh to determine trends and how dry years affect alligator abundance. Alligators showed population response to hydrologic conditions. In particular, there were declines in abundance after dry years followed by an apparent recovery in abundance in subsequent years. Increases in abundance were lower in the marsh than L-40 Canal. In addition, there was evidence that intensity of dry events affected population dynamics with greater declines observed in years with drier conditions. Results revealed that overall population of alligators increased from 2004 to 2013, but that increases varied by survey route. These results demonstrate that dry years cause a decline in alligator abundance proportional to the intensity of the dry event, and that it is important to make a distinction between canals and marsh when measuring alligator response to hydrology.

  5. Evaluation of the Snap Sampler for Sampling Ground Water Monitoring Wells for Inorganic Analytes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    within the well. The slits in the two discs were misaligned to limit water exchange. The discs are attached to the Snap Sampler trigger line with...ER D C/ CR R EL T R -0 8 -2 5 Evaluation of the Snap Sampler for Sampling Ground Water Monitoring Wells for Inorganic Analytes...Louise V. Parker, Nathan D. Mulherin, and Gordon E. Gooch December 2008 Well Screen Baffle Snap Sampler Trigger Line Pump Tubing Top Snap Sampler RGC

  6. Transcriptomic responses to environmental temperature by turtles with temperature-dependent and genotypic sex determination assessed by RNAseq inform the genetic architecture of embryonic gonadal development

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Srihari; Literman, Robert; Neuwald, Jennifer; Severin, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Vertebrate sexual fate is decided primarily by the individual’s genotype (GSD), by the environmental temperature during development (TSD), or both. Turtles exhibit TSD and GSD, making them ideal to study the evolution of sex determination. Here we analyze temperature-specific gonadal transcriptomes (RNA-sequencing validated by qPCR) of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta TSD) before and during the thermosensitive period, and at equivalent stages in soft-shell turtles (Apalone spinifera—GSD), to test whether TSD’s and GSD’s transcriptional circuitry is identical but deployed differently between mechanisms. Our data show that most elements of the mammalian urogenital network are active during turtle gonadogenesis, but their transcription is generally more thermoresponsive in TSD than GSD, and concordant with their sex-specific function in mammals [e.g., upregulation of Amh, Ar, Esr1, Fog2, Gata4, Igf1r, Insr, and Lhx9 at male-producing temperature, and of β-catenin, Foxl2, Aromatase (Cyp19a1), Fst, Nf-kb, Crabp2 at female-producing temperature in Chrysemys]. Notably, antagonistic elements in gonadogenesis (e.g., β-catenin and Insr) were thermosensitive only in TSD early-embryos. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles disputing its purported key TSD role. Genes that may convert thermal inputs into sex-specific development (e.g., signaling and hormonal pathways, RNA-binding and heat-shock) were differentially regulated. Jak-Stat, Nf-κB, retinoic-acid, Wnt, and Mapk-signaling (not Akt and Ras-signaling) potentially mediate TSD thermosensitivity. Numerous species-specific ncRNAs (including Xist) were differentially-expressed, mostly upregulated at colder temperatures, as were unannotated loci that constitute novel TSD candidates. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles. Consistent transcription between turtles and alligator revealed putatively-critical reptilian TSD elements for male (Sf1, Amh, Amhr2) and female (Crabp2 and

  7. Comparison of metabolic substrates in alligators and several birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Sweazea, Karen L; McMurtry, John P; Elsey, Ruth M; Redig, Patrick; Braun, Eldon J

    2014-08-01

    On average, avian blood glucose concentrations are 1.5-2 times those of mammals of similar mass and high concentrations of insulin are required to lower blood glucose. Whereas considerable data exist for granivorous species, few data are available for plasma metabolic substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations for carnivorous birds and alligators. Birds and mammals with carnivorous diets have higher metabolic rates than animals consuming diets with less protein whereas alligators have low metabolic rates. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations in several birds of prey and a phylogenetically close relative of birds, the alligator. The hypothesis was that the combination of carnivorous diets and high metabolic rates favored the evolution of greater protein and fatty acid utilization leading to insulin resistance and high plasma glucose concentrations in carnivorous birds. In contrast, it was hypothesized that alligators would have low substrate utilization attributable to a low metabolic rate. Fasting plasma substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations were compared for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Avian species had high circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (10-21 mg/dl) compared to alligators (2.81 ± 0.16 mg/dl). In mammals high concentrations of this byproduct of fatty acid utilization are correlated with insulin resistance. Fasting glucose and insulin concentrations were positively correlated in eagles whereas no relationship was found between these variables for owls, hawks or alligators. Additionally, β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were low in alligators. Similar to carnivorous mammals, ingestion of a high protein diet may have favored the utilization of fatty acids and protein for energy thereby promoting the development of insulin

  8. SNAP Employment and Training: Washington's Basic Food Employment & Training Program (BFET)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohan, Lavanya

    2014-01-01

    SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) is an important component of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) that supports a variety of education, training, employment, and related services for SNAP recipients. It gives recipients opportunities to gain skills, training, or experience that will…

  9. Analysis of variation for white mold resistance in the BeanCAP snap bean panel

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    White mold disease caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Lib. de Bary, is one of the most devastated diseases that infect snap and dry beans (Miklas et al. 2013). The USDA-NIFA supported Bean Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) has assembled and genotyped dry and a snap bean panels. The snap bean pa...

  10. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Dutton, P.; Sutton, C.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Casey, R.N.; Diez, C.E.; Parker, Dana C.; St. Ledger, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    We document three examples of fibropapillomatosis by histology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sequence analysis from three different geographic areas. Tumors compatible in morphology with fibropapillomatosis were seen in green turtles from Puerto Rico and San Diego (California) and in a hybrid loggerhead/ hawksbill turtle from Florida Bay (Florida). Tumors were confirmed as fibropapillomas on histology, although severity of disease varied between cases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed infection with the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) in all cases, albeit at highly variable copy numbers per cell. Alignment of a portion of the polymerase gene from each fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus isolate demonstrated geographic variation in sequence. These cases illustrate geographic variation in both the pathology and the virology of fibropapillomatosis.

  11. Possible generational effects of habitat degradation on alligator reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rice, K.G.; Woodward, A.R.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Population decline of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was observed in Lake Apopka in central Florida, USA, in the early 1980s. This decline was thought to result from adult mortality and nest failure caused by anthropogenic increases in sediment loads, nutrients, and contaminants. Reproductive impairment also was reported. Extensive restoration of marshes associated with Lake Apopka has been conducted, as well as some limited restoration measures on the lake. Monitoring by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) has indicated that the adult alligator population began increasing in the early 1990s. We expected that the previously reported high proportion of complete nest failure (??0) during the 1980s may have decreased. We collected clutches from alligator nests in Lake Apopka from 1983 to 2003 and from 5 reference areas from 1988 to 1991, and we artificially incubated them. We used a Bayesian framework with Gibbs sampler of Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation to analyze ??0. Estimated ??0was consistently higher in Lake Apopka compared with reference areas, and the difference in ??0 ranged from 0.19 to 0.56. We conducted change point analysis to identify and test the significance of the change point in ??0in Lake Apopka between 1983 and 2003, indicating the point of reproductive recovery. The estimated Bayes factor strongly supported the single change point hypothesis against the no change point hypothesis. The major downward shift in ??0 probably occurred in the mid-1990s, approximately a generation after the major population decline in the 1980s. Furthermore, estimated ??0 values after the change point (0.21) were comparable with those of reference areas (0.07-0.31). These results combined with the monitoring by FFWCC seem to suggest that anthropogenic habitat degradation caused reproductive impairment of adult females and decreases in ??0 occurred with the sexual maturity of a new generation of breeding females. Long

  12. Bibliography of marine turtles in Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.

    1981-07-01

    Information on the organisms at proposed Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) sites is required to assess the potential impacts of OTEC power plant operations. This bibliography is the product of a literature survey on marine turtles at two proposed OTEC sites in Hawaii. The OTEC sites are located off Keahole Point, Hawaii and Kahe Point, Oahu. The references included in this bibliography provide information on the distribution, ecology and biology of marine turtles in Hawaii.

  13. An Updated AP2 Beamline TURTLE Model

    SciTech Connect

    Gormley, M.; O'Day, S.

    1991-08-23

    This note describes a TURTLE model of the AP2 beamline. This model was created by D. Johnson and improved by J. Hangst. The authors of this note have made additional improvements which reflect recent element and magnet setting changes. The magnet characteristics measurements and survey data compiled to update the model will be presented. A printout of the actual TURTLE deck may be found in appendix A.

  14. Reconceiving SNAP: Is Nutritional Assistance Really Income Support?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besharov, Douglas J.

    2016-01-01

    Since its creation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has changed from an antihunger program to an income-supplementation program. Because the program (and its predecessor Food Stamp Program) was not designed for this purpose, the result is a program that has many unintended and, many believe, negative effects. The key challenge…

  15. The SNAP Platform: Social Networking for Academic Purposes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirkwood, Keith

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to introduce an enterprise-wide Web 2.0 learning support platform--SNAP, developed at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Design/methodology/approach: Pointing to the evolution of the social web, the paper discusses the potential for the development of e-learning platforms that employ constructivist, connectivist,…

  16. 40 CFR 82.180 - Agency review of SNAP submissions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... conditions of use are met to minimize risks to human health and the environment. Where users intending to... adverse effects to human health and the environment and that other alternatives exist that reduce overall... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Agency review of SNAP submissions....

  17. SNAP: A computer program for generating symbolic network functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, P. M.; Alderson, G. E.

    1970-01-01

    The computer program SNAP (symbolic network analysis program) generates symbolic network functions for networks containing R, L, and C type elements and all four types of controlled sources. The program is efficient with respect to program storage and execution time. A discussion of the basic algorithms is presented, together with user's and programmer's guides.

  18. Creating a Minnesota Statewide SNAP-Ed Program Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Abby; Barno, Trina Adler; Sherman, Shelley; Lovett, Kathleen; Hurtado, G. Ali

    2013-01-01

    Systematic evaluation is an essential tool for understanding program effectiveness. This article describes the pilot test of a statewide evaluation tool for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). A computer algorithm helped Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) build surveys specific to their varied educational settings…

  19. 40 CFR 82.180 - Agency review of SNAP submissions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... evaluate: (i) Atmospheric effects and related health and environmental impacts; (ii) General population... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Agency review of SNAP submissions. 82.180 Section 82.180 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR...

  20. 40 CFR 82.180 - Agency review of SNAP submissions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... evaluate: (i) Atmospheric effects and related health and environmental impacts; (ii) General population... 40 Protection of Environment 17 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Agency review of SNAP submissions. 82.180 Section 82.180 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR...

  1. 40 CFR 82.180 - Agency review of SNAP submissions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... evaluate: (i) Atmospheric effects and related health and environmental impacts; (ii) General population... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Agency review of SNAP submissions. 82.180 Section 82.180 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR...

  2. Magnetite in Black Sea Turtles (Chelonia agassizi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes, A.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Garduño, V.; Sanchez, J.; Rizzi, A.

    2004-12-01

    Previous studies have reported experimental evidence for magnetoreception in marine turtles. In order to increase our knowledge about magnetoreception and biogenic mineralization, we have isolated magnetite particles from the brain of specimens of black sea turtles Chelonia agassizi. Our samples come from natural deceased organisms collected the reserve area of Colola Maruata in southern Mexico. The occurrence of magnetite particles in brain tissue of black sea turtles offers the opportunity for further studies to investigate possible function of ferrimagnetic material, its mineralogical composition, grain size, texture and its location and structural arrangement within the host tissue. After sample preparation and microscopic examination, we localized and identified the ultrafine unidimensional particles of magnetite by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Particles present grain sizes between 10.0 to 40.0Mm. Our study provides, for the first time, evidence for biogenic formation of this material in the black sea turtles. The ultrafine particles are apparently superparamagnetic. Preliminary results from rock magnetic measurements are also reported and correlated to the SEM observations. The black turtle story on the Michoacan coast is an example of formerly abundant resource which was utilized as a subsistence level by Nahuatl indigenous group for centuries, but which is collapsing because of intensive illegal commercial exploitation. The most important nesting and breeding grounds for the black sea turtle on any mainland shore are the eastern Pacific coastal areas of Maruata and Colola, in Michoacan. These beaches are characterized by important amounts of magnetic mineral (magnetites and titanomagnetites) mixed in their sediments.

  3. Chronic hypoxic incubation blunts thermally dependent cholinergic tone on the cardiovascular system in embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Marks, Chris; Eme, John; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions play a major role in shaping reptilian embryonic development, but studies addressing the impact of interactions between chronic and acute environmental stressors on embryonic systems are lacking. In the present study, we investigated thermal dependence of cholinergic and adrenergic cardiovascular tone in embryonic American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and assessed possible phenotypic plasticity in a chronic hypoxic incubation treatment. We compared changes in heart rate (f H) and mean arterial blood pressure (P M) for chronically hypoxic and normoxic-incubated embryos after cholinergic and adrenergic blockade following three different acute temperature treatments: (1) 30 °C (control incubation temperature), (2) acute, progressive decrease 30-24 °C then held at 24 °C, and (3) acute, progressive increase 30-36 °C then held at 36 °C. f H progressively fell in response to decreasing temperature and rose in response to increasing temperature. P M did not significantly change with decreasing temperature, but was lowered significantly with increasing acute temperature in the normoxic group at 90 % of development only. Propranolol administration (β adrenergic antagonist) produced a significant f H decrease at 24, 30, and 36 °C that was similar at all temperatures for all groups. For normoxic-incubated embryos at 90 % of development, atropine administration (cholinergic antagonist) significantly increased f H in both 24 and 36 °C treatments, but not in the 30 °C control treatment. This atropine response at 24 and 36 °C demonstrated acute thermally dependent cholinergic tone on f H late in development for normoxic-incubated, but not chronically hypoxic-incubated embryos. Collectively, data indicated that cardiovascular control mechanisms in embryonic alligators may be activated by thermal extremes, and the maturation of control mechanisms was delayed by chronic hypoxia.

  4. Young Children and Turtle Graphics Programming: Generating and Debugging Simple Turtle Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    Turtle graphics is a popular vehicle for introducing children to computer programming. Children combine simple graphic commands to get a display screen cursor (called a turtle) to draw designs on the screen. The purpose of this study was to examine young children's abilities to function in a simple computer programming environment. Four- and…

  5. First fossil gravid turtle provides insight into the evolution of reproductive traits in turtles.

    PubMed

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, Franc Ois; Joyce, Walter G; Brinkman, Donald B

    2008-12-23

    Here we report on the first discovery of shelled eggs inside the body cavity of a fossil turtle and on an isolated egg clutch, both referable to the Cretaceous turtle Adocus. These discoveries provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the reproductive traits of an extinct turtle and to understand the evolution of such traits among living turtles. The gravid adult and egg clutch indicate that Adocus laid large clutches of rigid-shelled spherical eggs and established their nests near rivers, traits that are shared by its closest living relatives, the soft-shelled turtles. Adocus eggshell, however, was probably more rigid than that of living turtles, based on its great thickness and structure, features that may represent unique adaptations to intense predation or to arid nest environments. In light of the reproductive traits observed in Adocus, the distribution of reproductive traits among turtles reveals that large clutches of rigid-shelled eggs are primitive for hidden-necked turtles (cryptodirans) and that spherical eggs may have evolved independently within this group.

  6. Fine structure of the developing epidermis in the embryo of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, Crocodilia, Reptilia)

    PubMed Central

    ALIBARDI, LORENZO; THOMPSON, MICHAEL B.

    2001-01-01

    The morphological transition from the simple epidermis that contacts the amniotic fluid of embryonic crocodilians to the adult epidermis required in a terrestrial environment has never been described. We used light and electron microscopy to study the development, differentiation and keratinisation of the epidermis of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, between early and late stages of embryonic skin formation. In early embryonic development, the epidermis consists of a flat bilayer. As it develops, the bilayered epidermis comes to lie beneath the peridermis. Glycogen is almost absent from the bilayered epidermis but increases in basal and suprabasal cells when scales form. Glycogen disappears from suprabasal cells that accumulate keratin. The peridermis and 1 or 2 subperidermal layers form an embryonic epidermis that is partially or totally lost before hatching. These cells accumulate coarse filaments and form reticulate bodies. Mucous and lamellate granules are produced in the Golgi apparatus and are partly secreted extracellularly. The embryonic cells darken with the formation of larger reticulate bodies that aggregate with intermediate filaments and other cell organelles, as their nuclear chromatin condenses. Thin β-cells resembling those of scutate scales of birds develop beneath the embryonic epidermis and form a stratified β-layer that varies in thickness in different body regions. The epidermis differentiates first in the back, tail and belly. At the beginning of β-cell differentiation, the cytoplasm contains sparse bundles of α-keratin filaments, glycogen and lipid droplets or vacuoles apparently derived from the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. These organelles disappear rapidly as irregular bundles of electron-dense β-keratin filaments accumulate and form larger bundles. The larger bundles consist of 3 nm thick electron-pale keratin microfibrils and are derived from the assemblage of β-keratin molecules produced by

  7. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

  8. 77 FR 29586 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-18

    ... Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction AGENCY... turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, and announced five public hearings to be held in...

  9. Juvenile turtles for mosquito control in water storage tanks.

    PubMed

    Borjas, G; Marten, G G; Fernandez, E; Portillo, H

    1993-09-01

    Juvenile turtles, Trachemys scripta, provided highly effective control of mosquito larvae in cement tanks (pilas) where water was stored for household cleaning. When single turtles were introduced to tanks with histories of high mosquito production, nearly all turtles remained in good health and no mosquito larvae survived to the pupal stage. Families welcome turtles in their water storage containers in Honduras. Humane conditions for turtles can be assured by providing small quantities of table scraps to supplement their diet and by placing a small floating platform in the tank for basking. Although turtles can serve as alternate hosts for Salmonella, available evidence suggests that turtles in tanks should not be a source of human infection. Further confirmation that there is no Salmonella hazard should precede routine use of turtles for mosquito control.

  10. Modifications of traps to reduce bycatch of freshwater turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R. Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Mortality of freshwater turtles varies among types and deployments of traps. There are few or no losses in hoop or fyke traps set where turtles may reach air, including placement in shallows, addition of floats on traps, and tying traps securely to a stake or to shore. Turtle mortality occurs when traps are set deep, traps are checked at intervals >1 day, and when turtles are captured as bycatch. Devices are available that exclude turtles from traps set for crab or game fish harvest. Slotted gates in front of the trap mouth reduce turtle entry, but small individuals still may be trapped. Incidental take of turtles is preventable by integrating several designs into aquatic traps, such as adding floats to the top of traps so turtles may reach air or an extension tube (chimney, ramp) that creates an escape route.

  11. Mapping snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) pod and color traits, in a dry bean x snap bean recombinant inbred population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) breeding programs are tasked with developing varieties that meet the standards of the vegetable processing industry and ultimately that of the consumer; all the while matching or exceeding the field performance of existing varieties. While traditional breeding methods ...

  12. ALTERED HISTOLOGY OF THE THYMUS AND SPLEEN IN CONTAMINANT-EXPOSED JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Morphological difference in spleen and thymus are closely related to functional immune differences. Hormonal regulation of the immune system has been demonstrated in reptilian splenic and thymic tissue. Spleens and thymus were obtained from juvenile alligators at two reference si...

  13. Concentrations of contaminants in muscle of the American alligator in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Delany, M.F.; Bell, J.U.; Sundlof, S.F.

    1988-01-01

    Samples of tail muscle from 32 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida were analyzed for contaminant concentrations to provide preliminary information on the potential public health hazard of meat consumption. Detectable levels were found for eight metals; copper, zinc, iron, chromium, mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Mean residue was highest for mercury (geometric mean = 0.61 ppm). DDE, DDD, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, lindane, and PCB's were found. Mean residue concentrations were compared by lake. Alligators appeared to be suitable monitors of environmental pollution. Concentrations of contaminants found in these animals probably pose little threat to public health. However, recommendations must await analysis of larger sample sizes and information on amount and frequency of meat consumption. Alligators killed for human consumption should continue to be monitored for contaminant residues.

  14. Seasonal variation in plasma thyroid hormone concentrations in coastal versus inland populations of juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis): influence of plasma iodide concentrations.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Ashley S P; Hamlin, Heather J; Lowers, Russell H; Guillette, Louis J

    2011-12-01

    Thyroid hormones, essential for normal growth and health, are associated with changes in temperature, photoperiod, and reproduction. Iodide, a necessary element for thyroid hormone production, varies in diet, and is more abundant in estuarine environments, which could alter thyroid hormone variation. However, associations between thyroid hormone concentrations in animals from marine versus freshwater environments, which could become more pertinent with rising sea levels associated with global climate change, are not well studied. To determine the importance of dietary iodide in seasonal variation of plasma thyroid hormone concentrations, we analyzed seasonal variation of plasma thyroxine (T(4)) and triiodothyronine (T(3)) concentrations in juvenile alligators from an estuarine habitat (Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge; MI) and a freshwater habitat (Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge; LW) and compared these results to plasma inorganic iodide (PII) concentrations. Alligators from MI did not display seasonal variation in plasma T(4), but exhibited a seasonal pattern in plasma T(3) concentrations similar to alligators from LW. Plasma thyroid hormone concentrations were consistently higher at MI than at LW. PII concentrations were correlated with plasma T(4) and T(3) concentrations in juvenile alligators from LW but not MI. The data on plasma T(4) and T(3) concentrations suggest altered iodide metabolism in estuarine alligators. Differences in thyroid hormone concentrations between the populations could be due to differences in dietary iodide, which need to be further evaluated.

  15. Calcium transport in turtle bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A. )

    1987-12-01

    Unidirectional {sup 45}Ca fluxes were measured in the turtle bladder under open-circuit and short-circuit conditions. In the open-circuited state net calcium flux (J{sup net}{sub Ca}) was secretory (serosa to mucosa). Ouabain reversed J{sup net}{sub Ca} to an absorptive flux. Amiloride reduced both fluxes such that J{sup net}{sub Ca} was not significantly different from zero. Removal of mucosal sodium caused net calcium absorption; removal of serosal sodium caused calcium secretion. When bladders were short circuited, J{sup net}{sub Ca} decreased to approximately one-third of control value but remained secretory. When ouabain was added under short-circuit conditions, J{sup net}{sub Ca} was similar in magnitude and direction to ouabain under open-circuited conditions (i.e., absorptive). Tissue {sup 45}Ca content was {approx equal}30-fold lower when the isotope was placed in the mucosal bath, suggesting that the apical membrane is the resistance barrier to calcium transport. The results obtained in this study are best explained by postulating a Ca{sup 2+}-ATPase on the serosa of the turtle bladder epithelium and a sodium-calcium antiporter on the mucosa. In this model, the energy for calcium movement would be supplied, in large part, by the Na{sup +}-K{sup +}-ATPase. By increasing cell sodium, ouabain would decrease the activity of the mucosal sodium-calcium exchanger (or reverse it), uncovering active calcium transport across the serosa.

  16. Interaction between temperature and hypoxia in the alligator.

    PubMed

    Branco, L G; Pörtner, H O; Wood, S C

    1993-12-01

    Hypoxia elicits behavioral hypothermia in alligators. Under normoxic conditions, the selected body temperature is 27.8 +/- 1.2 degrees C. However, when inspired O2 is lowered to 4%, selected body temperature decreases to 15.4 +/- 1.0 degrees C. The threshold for the behavioral hypothermia is between 4 and 5% inspired O2, the lowest threshold measured so far in terrestrial vertebrates. This study assessed the physiological significance of the behavioral hypothermia. The body temperature was clamped at 15, 25, and 35 degrees C for measurements of ventilation, blood gases, metabolic rate, plasma lactate, and acid-base status. Hypoxia-induced changes in ventilation, acid-base status, oxygen consumption, and lactate were proportional to body temperature, being pronounced at 35 degrees C, less at 25 degrees C, and absent at 15 degrees C. The correlation between selected body temperature under severe hypoxia and the measured parameters show that behavioral hypothermia is a beneficial response to hypoxia in alligators.

  17. Pulmonary gas exchange during intermittent ventilation in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    Hicks, J W; White, F N

    1992-01-01

    The present study characterized pulmonary gas exchange in the American alligator, Alligator mississipiensis during ventilation and apnea at a body temperature (Tb) of 25 degrees C. Pulmonary gas exchange parameters were measured on a breath-by-breath basis utilizing a computer-assisted data acquisition system. In addition, paired blood samples were analyzed from left and right atrium during ventilation and voluntary apneas (1, 2, 5 and 10 min). Measurements of lung PO2 and PCO2 indicated that as apnea progressed, CO2 flux into the lung decreased rapidly while O2 was continuously removed at a constant and steady rate. The reduction in VCO2 resulted in a decrease in R (less than 0.4). Blood gas measurements indicated that the pulmonary arterial-pulmonary venous PCO2 difference, (Ppa-Ppv)CO2 was 4.9 +/- 0.9 mmHg during ventilation, decreased and became negative within 2 min of apnea, reaching -3.9 +/- 0.6 mmHg after 10 min. It is postulated that during apnea the Haldane effect accounts for both the blood gas behavior across the lung and insures a continued CO2 flux into the lung during apnea.

  18. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian.

    PubMed

    Reber, Stephan A; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2015-08-01

    Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as 'bellows' year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians.

  19. Specialized stem cell niche enables repetitive renewal of alligator teeth.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ping; Wu, Xiaoshan; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Elsey, Ruth M; Temple, Bradley L; Divers, Stephen J; Glenn, Travis C; Yuan, Kuo; Chen, Min-Huey; Widelitz, Randall B; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2013-05-28

    Reptiles and fish have robust regenerative powers for tooth renewal. However, extant mammals can either renew their teeth one time (diphyodont dentition) or not at all (monophyodont dentition). Humans replace their milk teeth with permanent teeth and then lose their ability for tooth renewal. Here, we study tooth renewal in a crocodilian model, the American alligator, which has well-organized teeth similar to mammals but can still undergo life-long renewal. Each alligator tooth is a complex family unit composed of the functional tooth, successional tooth, and dental lamina. Using multiple mitotic labeling, we map putative stem cells to the distal enlarged bulge of the dental lamina that contains quiescent odontogenic progenitors that can be activated during physiological exfoliation or artificial extraction. Tooth cycle initiation correlates with β-catenin activation and soluble frizzled-related protein 1 disappearance in the bulge. The dermal niche adjacent to the dermal lamina dynamically expresses neural cell adhesion molecule, tenascin-C, and other molecules. Furthermore, in development, asymmetric β-catenin localization leads to the formation of a heterochronous and complex tooth family unit configuration. Understanding how these signaling molecules interact in tooth development in this model may help us to learn how to stimulate growth of adult teeth in mammals.

  20. Kinesin-1 plays a role in transport of SNAP-25 to the plasma membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Morton, April M.; Cunningham, Anthony L.; Diefenbach, Russell J.

    2010-01-01

    The cellular molecular motor kinesin-1 mediates the microtubule-dependent transport of a range of cargo. We have previously identified an interaction between the cargo-binding domain of kinesin-1 heavy chain KIF5B and the membrane-associated SNARE proteins SNAP-25 and SNAP-23. In this study we further defined the minimal SNAP-25 binding domain in KIF5B to residues 874-894. Overexpression of a fragment of KIF5B (residues 594-910) resulted in significant colocalization with SNAP-25 with resulting blockage of the trafficking of SNAP-25 to the periphery of cells. This indicates that kinesin-1 facilitates the transport of SNAP-25 containing vesicles as a prerequisite to SNAP-25 driven membrane fusion events.

  1. Altered histology of the thymus and spleen in contaminant-exposed juvenile American alligators.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Andrew A; Bermudez, Dieldrich S; Guillette, Louis J

    2003-06-01

    Morphological differences in spleen and thymus are closely related to functional immune differences. Hormonal regulation of the immune system has been demonstrated in reptilian splenic and thymic tissue. Spleens and thymus were obtained from juvenile alligators at two reference sites in Florida, USA: Orange Lake and a National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Woodruff, as well as from a contaminated lake, Lake Apopka. Lake Apopka has been extensively polluted with agricultural pesticides. Tissues were prepared for histological analysis to determine if previously detected endocrine abnormalities associated with contaminant exposure might also be reflected in morphological differences in splenic and thymic structures important for immunological response. Similar tissues were taken from captive-raised juvenile female alligators (3 years old) that were hatched from eggs collected on Lake Woodruff and Lake Apopka. Differences in thymic ratios (medulla/cortex) were found among alligators collected from the two lakes (P = 0.0051). Alligators from Lake Apopka had smaller thymic ratios than animals from either reference lake. Males from Lake Woodruff had significantly smaller lymphocyte sheaths in the spleen than females (P = 0.0009), indicative of a normal sexual dimorphism. Lymphocyte sheath width differed among females obtained from the three lakes, with females from Lake Apopka having the smallest sheath width and those from Orange Lake having the largest. Malpighian body area was largest in alligators from Orange Lake, intermediate in Lake Woodruff, and smallest in Lake Apopka. In contrast to that observed for wild-caught animals, no difference was found in the thymic medulla/cortex ratio of captive-raised female alligators (P = 0.378). Captive-raised female alligators from Lake Apopka and Lake Woodruff displayed lake-associated differences in lymphocyte sheath width as observed in wild animals; Lake Apopka alligators had smaller lymphocyte sheath width compared to Woodruff

  2. Against Oversimplifying the Issues on Relocating Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    Translocating sea turtle eggs at risk from high tides to safer places is one of the most widely undertaken conservation measures on behalf of these species. Recent research work has shown that individual female turtles differ in their nest-site preferences. If more of the nests saved by translocation come from turtles with tendencies to lay near the water, might this perhaps interfere with natural selection? This possibility adds to the controversy already surrounding relocation of turtle nests.

  3. Against oversimplifying the issues on relocating turtle eggs.

    PubMed

    Mrosovsky, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    Translocating sea turtle eggs at risk from high tides to safer places is one of the most widely undertaken conservation measures on behalf of these species. Recent research work has shown that individual female turtles differ in their nest-site preferences. If more of the nests saved by translocation come from turtles with tendencies to lay near the water, might this perhaps interfere with natural selection? This possibility adds to the controversy already surrounding relocation of turtle nests.

  4. Scale-dependent habitat selection and size-based dominance in adult male American alligators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  5. Maternal investment and nutrient use affect phenotype of American alligator and domestic chicken hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Thomas C; Groth, Kevin D; Sotherland, Paul R

    2010-09-01

    Maternal investment by oviparous amniotes, in the form of yolk and albumen, and the mechanisms by which embryos use available energy and nutrients have a profound effect on embryo and, consequently, hatchling phenotype. Nutrient provisioning and uptake vary within and among oviparous taxa, avian and non-avian reptiles, due to differences and similarities in environment, behavior, and phylogeny. Eggs of crocodilians, the closest extant relatives to modern birds, are ideal models for examining modes of embryonic development, especially with regard to nutrient uptake, in non-avian reptiles and comparing them with those of birds. In this study, we investigated egg composition, embryo growth, and nutrient use in the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) and American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We explored egg composition by separating and weighing components of fresh eggs. We measured embryo growth and nutrient usage by dissecting embryos and by obtaining samples of liquid from the amnion, digestive tract, and yolk sac throughout the last half of incubation. Variation in albumen mass contributed most to egg mass variation in chicken eggs, whereas alligator eggs were composed almost equally of yolk and albumen, although larger eggs contained proportionally more albumen and less yolk than smaller eggs. Both chicken and alligator albumen were mostly water (87% and 96%, respectively) although chicken albumen contained over three times more solid mass per gram than alligator albumen. In both species, yolk contained a high proportion of solids. Larger eggs produced larger hatchlings in both chickens and alligators, but albumen solids contributed to embryo mass only in chicken embryos. However, intact albumen proteins appeared in the stomach in embryos of both species. While the final disposition of albumen in alligators is unclear, variation in maternal investment of yolk at oviposition was responsible for nearly all of the variation in alligator hatchling phenotype

  6. Does variation in movement tactics and trophic interactions among American alligators create habitat linkages?

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Adam E; Heithaus, Michael R

    2011-07-01

    1. Highly mobile top predators are hypothesized to spatially and/or temporally link disparate habitats through the combination of their movement and feeding patterns, but recent studies suggest that individual specialization in habitat use and feeding could keep habitats compartmentalized. 2. We used passive acoustic telemetry and stable isotope analysis to investigate whether specialization in movement and feeding patterns of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in an oligotrophic subtropical estuary created habitat linkages between marine and estuarine/freshwater food webs. 3. Individual alligators adopted one of the three relatively distinct movement tactics that were linked to variation in diets. Fifty-six per cent of alligators regularly travelled from the upstream (freshwater/mid-estuary) areas into the downstream (marine-influenced) areas where salinities exceed those typically tolerated by alligators. Thirty-one per cent of the alligators made regular trips from the mid-estuarine habitat into the upstream habitat; 13% remained in the mid-estuary zone year-round. 4. Stable isotopic analysis indicated that, unlike individuals remaining in the mid-estuary and upstream zones, alligators that used the downstream zone fed at least partially from marine food webs and likely moved to access higher prey abundance at the expense of salt stress. Therefore, 'commuting' alligators may link marine food webs with those of the estuary and marshes in the coastal Everglades and create an upstream vector for allochthonous nutrient inputs into the estuary. 5. This study lends further support to the hypothesis that large-bodied highly mobile predators faced with trade-offs are likely to exhibit individual specialization leading to habitat linkages, rather than compartmentalization. However, the conditions under which this scenario occurs require further investigation.

  7. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco J.; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  8. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR STRADDLES TWO PARKING SPACES IN FRONT OF OFFICE TRAILER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Double-parked, an angry alligator straddles two parking spaces outside an office trailer at NASA's Launch Complex 17. Hank Curtin of Pan Am watches from a safe perch as John Tanner gets ready to wrap a rope around the snout of the 10-foot, 9-inch beast. It's all in a day's work for Tanner, who has a contract with the state of Florida to remove nuisance alligators.

  9. Sea Turtles: An Auditorium Program, Grades 6-9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore's sea turtle auditorium program introduces students in grades 6-9 to the seven (or eight, depending on which expert is consulted) species of sea turtles alive today. The program, which includes slides, films, artifacts, and discussion, focuses on sea turtle biology and conservation. This booklet covers most of…

  10. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  11. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as...

  12. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  13. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  14. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  15. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  16. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  17. Decline of the Sea Turtles: Causes and Prevention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Commission on Life Sciences.

    A report submitted by the Committee on Sea Turtle Conservation, addresses threats to the world's sea turtle populations to fulfill a mandate of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 1988. It presents information on the populations, biology, ecology, and behavior of five endangered or threatened turtle species: the Kemp's ridley, loggerhead,…

  18. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as...

  19. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  20. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  1. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  2. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  3. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  4. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as...

  5. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  6. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  7. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. 226.207 Section 226.207 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  8. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea Turtle conservation. 648.106 Section 648.106 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  9. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea Turtle conservation. 648.106 Section... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Link to an amendment published at 76 FR 60629, Sept. 29, 2011. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. Effective Date...

  10. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as...

  11. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as...

  12. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  13. Young Children's Misconceptions of Simple Turtle Graphics Commands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    Four- and 5-year-olds' understanding of basic turtle graphics commands was examined before and after a hands-on, interactive problem-solving experience. Children (n=32) saw display screen events consisting of an initial turtle state, a command transformation, and the resulting turtle state. They were asked to give the command executed in each…

  14. Use of alligator hole abundance and occupancy rate as indicators for restoration of a human-altered wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Ogurcak, Danielle; Rochford, Michael; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Use of indicator species as a measure of ecosystem conditions is an established science application in environmental management. Because of its role in shaping wetland systems, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is one of the ecological indicators for wetland restoration in south Florida, USA. We conducted landscape-level aerial surveys of alligator holes in two different habitats in a wetland where anthropogenic modification of surface hydrology has altered the natural system. Alligator holes were scarcer in an area where modified hydrology caused draining and frequent dry-downs compared to another area that maintains a functional wetland system. Lower abundance of alligator holes indicates lack of alligator activities, lower overall species diversity, and lack of dry-season aquatic refugia for other organisms. The occupancy rate of alligator holes was lower than the current restoration target for the Everglades, and was variable by size class with large size-class alligators predominantly occupying alligator holes. This may indicate unequal size-class distribution, different habitat selection by size classes, or possibly a lack of recruitment. Our study provides pre-restoration baseline information about one indicator species for the Everglades. Success of the restoration can be assessed via effective synthesis of information derived by collective research efforts on the entire suite of selected ecological indicators.

  15. Detection of West Nile virus RNA in mosquitoes and identification of mosquito blood meals collected at alligator farms in Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Unlu, Isik; Kramer, Wayne L; Roy, Alma F; Foil, Lane D

    2010-07-01

    Since 2001, alligator farms in the United States have sustained substantial economic losses because of West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Once an initial infection is introduced into captive alligators, WNV can spread among animals by contaminative transmission. Some outbreaks have been linked to feeding on infected meat or the introduction of infected hatchlings, but the initial source of WNV infection has been uncertain in other outbreaks. We conducted a study to identify species composition and presence of WNV in mosquito populations associated with alligator farms in Louisiana. A second objective of this study was to identify the origin of mosquito blood meals collected at commercial alligator farms. Mosquitoes were collected from 2004 to 2006, using Centers for Disease Control light traps, gravid traps, backpack aspirators, and resting boxes. We collected a total of 58,975 mosquitoes representing 24 species. WNV was detected in 41 pools of females from 11 mosquito species: Anopheles crucians, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, Coquillettidia perturbans, Culex coronator, Culex erraticus, Culex nigripalpus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Mansonia titillans, Aedes sollicitans, Psorophora columbiae, and Uranotaenia lowii. The blood meal origins of 213 field-collected mosquitoes were identified based on cytochrome B sequence identity. Alligator blood was detected in 21 mosquitoes representing six species of mosquitoes, including Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus. Our results showed that mosquitoes of species that are known to be competent vectors of WNV fed regularly on captive alligators. Therefore, mosquitoes probably are important in the role of transmission of WNV at alligator farms.

  16. TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIATION IN PLASMA THYROXINE (T4) CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS COLLECTED FROM LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND THE NORTHERN EVERGLADES, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined variation in plasma thyroxine (T4) in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected from three sites within the Kissimmee River drainage basin (FL, USA). Based on historical sediment data, Moonshine Bay served as the low contaminant exposure site...

  17. Seasonal variation in plasma sex steroid concentrations in juvenile American alligators.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Andrew A; Crain, D Andrew; Woodward, Allan R; Guillette, Louis J

    2004-01-01

    Seasonal variation in plasma sex steroid concentrations is common in mature vertebrates, and is occasionally seen in juvenile animals. In this study, we examine the seasonal pattern of sex hormone concentration in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and make a limited comparison of these seasonal patterns on two different lakes in Florida. Male juvenile alligators from a reference lake, Lake Woodruff, displayed temporal patterns in plasma testosterone (T) concentrations that appear to be seasonal. A similar pattern in plasma estradiol-17beta (E(2)) was observed in juvenile females from Lake Woodruff. Males had significantly elevated T concentrations during the spring and late summer, whereas females had elevated E(2) in the spring and late summer and significantly depressed E(2) concentrations during the winter. A limited 4-month survey of animals from contaminated Lake Apopka found a lack of such seasonality. These results suggest that: (1) healthy wild populations of juvenile alligators have a prolonged peripubescent period that is marked by seasonal hormonal cycles, (2) juvenile alligators exposed to environmental contaminants can lack such seasonal cyclicity, and (3) future studies of juvenile alligators should incorporate such seasonality into the experimental design.

  18. The tale of the tail: limb function and locomotor mechanics in Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Willey, Jeffrey S; Biknevicius, Audrone R; Reilly, Stephen M; Earls, Kathleen D

    2004-01-01

    Crocodilians tow their large muscular tail behind them during terrestrial bouts when they high walk (a walking trot). Analysis of ground reaction forces in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) revealed the consequences of tail-dragging. Individual limb and tail ground reaction force records show that the hindlimbs of Alligator take on a substantial role in body mass support consistent with the more caudal location of its center of mass due to the presence of a particularly heavy tail (representing nearly 28% of total body mass). Furthermore, because the constant drag imposed by the tail is substantial, both fore- and hindlimbs in Alligator have a heightened propulsive role as a means of countering the net braking effect of the tail. Ground reaction forces of the whole body were used to assess how well Alligator was able to utilize mechanical energy-saving mechanisms (inverse pendulum or mass-spring). A high-walking Alligator recovers, on average, about 20% of its mechanical energy by inverse pendulum mechanics. These modest energy recovery levels are likely to be due to a combination of factors that may include low locomotor speed, imprecise coordination of contralateral limbs in the trot, frequent dragging of feet of protracting limbs during swing phase and, possibly, tail dragging.

  19. Relationship between body condition of American alligators and water depth in the Everglades, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rice, Kenneth G.; Pearlstine, Leonard G.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2009-01-01

    Feeding opportunities of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in freshwater wetlands in south Florida are closely linked to hydrologic conditions. In the Everglades, seasonally and annually fluctuating surface water levels affect populations of aquatic organisms that alligators consume. Since prey becomes more concentrated when water depth decreases, we hypothesized an inverse relationship between body condition and water depth in the Everglades. On average, condition of adult alligators in the dry season was significantly higher than in the wet season, but this was not the case for juveniles/subadults. The correlation between body condition and measured water depth at capture locations was weak; however, there was a significant negative correlation between the condition and predicted water depth prior to capture for all animals except for spring juveniles/subadults which had a weak positive condition-water depth relationship. Overall, a relatively strong inverse correlation occurred at 10-49 days prior to the capture day, suggesting that current body condition of alligators may depend on feeding opportunities during that period. Fitted regression of body condition on water depth (mean depth of 10 days when condition-water depth correlation was greatest) resulted in a significantly negative slope, except for spring adult females and spring juveniles/subadults for which slopes were not significantly different from zero. Our results imply that water management practices may be critical for alligators in the Everglades since water depth can affect animal condition in a relatively short period of time.

  20. The reproductive hormone cycle of adult female American alligators from a barrier island population.

    PubMed

    Hamlin, Heather J; Lowers, Russell H; Kohno, Satomi; Mitsui-Watanabe, Naoko; Amano, Haruna; Hara, Akihiko; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2014-06-01

    Comparatively, little data are available detailing the geographic variation that exists in the reproductive endocrinology of adult alligators, especially those living in barrier islands. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MI) is a unique barrier island environment and home to the Kennedy Space Center (FL, USA). Seasonal patterns of sex steroids were assessed in adult female American alligators from MI monthly from 2008 to 2009, with additional samples collected at more random intervals in 2006, 2007, and 2010. Plasma 17β-estradiol and vitellogenin concentrations peaked in April, coincident with courtship and mating, and showed patterns similar to those observed in adult female alligators in other regions. Plasma concentrations of progesterone, however, showed patterns distinctly different than those reported for alligator populations in other regions and remained relatively constant throughout the year. Plasma DHEA peaked in July around the time of oviposition, decreased in August, and then remained constant for the remaining months, except for a moderate increase in October. Circulating concentrations of DHEA have not been previously assessed in a female crocodilian, and plasma concentrations coincident with reproductive activity suggest a reproductive and/or behavioral role. Interestingly, plasma testosterone concentrations peaked in May of 2008, as has been shown in female alligator populations in other regions, but showed no peak in 2009, demonstrating dramatic variability from year to year. Surveys showed 2009 to be particularly depauperate of alligator nests in MI, and it is possible that testosterone could serve as a strong indicator of breeding success.

  1. A new species of freshwater turtle of the genus Elseya (Testudinata: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from the Northern Territory of Australia.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Scott; Georges, Arthur

    2016-01-04

    The genus Elseya has had a checkered taxonomic history, but is now restricted to species characterized by an alveolar ridge on the triturating surfaces of the jaw. The Australian forms were once regarded as a single widespread species extending from the Mary River of south-eastern Queensland to the Fitzroy River of north Western Australia, but a number of Australian species have now been identified based on a combination of molecular and morphological data-Elseya dentata, E. irwini, E. lavarackorum and E. albagula. The genus is represented in New Guinea by E. branderhorsti, E. novaeguineae, E. schultzii, and E. rhodini. One additional Australian taxon first identified in 1981 and subsequently established as a distinct taxon by molecular studies, is described here. It is a large chelid turtle that can be distinguished from all other Australian members of the genus Elseya by the distinctive cream or yellow plastron, free of the dark streaking, blotches or suffusing present in other species; an extensive bridge with little or no abrupt angle between the bridge and the ventral surface of the plastron; a head shield broken into a series of small plates rather than a single unit; flat uncornified temporal scales; and a narrower, less robust skull. Osteologically, it can be distinguished from Elseya dentata by the contact of the vomer and the pterygoids. The carapace is typically a light to medium brown in color whereas the carapace of Elseya dentata is typically dark brown to almost black in color. Distribution is the Mary, South Alligator, East Alligator, Goyder and Mann River drainages of the north east of the Northern Territory, Australia. It does not appear to be in sympatry with any other member of Elseya. It is, however, in sympatry with three species of Chelodina, at least two species of Emydura, Myuchelys latisternum and Carettochelys insculpta.

  2. Tracking sea turtles in the Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long history of conducting research on threatened, endangered, and at-risk species inhabiting both terrestrial and marine environments, particularly those found within national parks and protected areas. In the coastal Gulf of Mexico region, for example, USGS scientist Donna Shaver at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas has focused on “headstarting” hatchlings of the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). She is also analyzing trends in sea turtle strandings onshore and interactions with Gulf shrimp fisheries. Along south Florida’s Gulf coast, the USGS has focused on research and monitoring for managing the greater Everglades ecosystem. One novel project involves the endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The ecology and movements of adult green turtles are reasonably well understood, largely due to decades of nesting beach monitoring by a network of researchers and volunteers. In contrast, relatively little is known about the habitat requirements and movements of juvenile and subadult sea turtles of any species in their aquatic environment.

  3. Evolutionary origin of the turtle shell.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Scheyer, Torsten M; Hsiang, Allison Y; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2013-06-17

    The origin of the turtle shell has perplexed biologists for more than two centuries. It was not until Odontochelys semitestacea was discovered, however, that the fossil and developmental data could be synthesized into a model of shell assembly that makes predictions for the as-yet unestablished history of the turtle stem group. We build on this model by integrating novel data for Eunotosaurus africanus-a Late Guadalupian (∼260 mya) Permian reptile inferred to be an early stem turtle. Eunotosaurus expresses a number of relevant characters, including a reduced number of elongate trunk vertebrae (nine), nine pairs of T-shaped ribs, inferred loss of intercostal muscles, reorganization of respiratory muscles to the ventral side of the ribs, (sub)dermal outgrowth of bone from the developing perichondral collar of the ribs, and paired gastralia that lack both lateral and median elements. These features conform to the predicted sequence of character acquisition and provide further support that E. africanus, O. semitestacea, and Proganochelys quenstedti represent successive divergences from the turtle stem lineage. The initial transformations of the model thus occurred by the Middle Permian, which is congruent with molecular-based divergence estimates for the lineage, and remain viable whether turtles originated inside or outside crown Diapsida.

  4. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the world’s largest reptile – the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea – conducts flexible foraging migrations that can cover thousands of kilometres between nesting sites and distant foraging areas. The vast distances that may be travelled by migrating leatherback turtles have greatly complicated conservation efforts for this species worldwide. However, we demonstrate, using a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis, that approximately half of the nesting leatherbacks from an important rookery in South Africa do not migrate to distant foraging areas, but rather, forage in the coastal waters of the nearby Mozambique Channel. Moreover, this coastal cohort appears to remain resident year-round in shallow waters (<50 m depth) in a relatively fixed area. Stable isotope analyses further indicate that the Mozambique Channel also hosts large numbers of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. The rare presence of a resident coastal aggregation of leatherback turtles not only presents a unique opportunity for conservation, but alongside the presence of loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine megafauna in the Mozambique Channel, highlights the importance of this area as a marine biodiversity hotspot. PMID:27886262

  5. Temporal bone arrangements in turtles: an overview.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar

    2012-06-01

    The temporal region of turtles is characterized by significant anatomical diversity. Turtles show a pure anapsid morphotype that exhibits various different marginal reductions known as emarginations. As a result of this diversity, turtles can be taken as a model by which to understand the processes that may have resulted in the highly debated anatomy of the amniote temporal region in general. In this review on almost forgotten literature, I summarize ten potential factors that may act on the skull to shape the temporal region of turtles. These are: (1) phylogenetic constraints, (2) skull weights, (3) type of food, (4) skull dimensions, (5) muscle bulging, (6) ear anatomy and jaw muscle bending mechanisms, (7) extent and nature of muscle attachment sites, (8) internal forces within the jaw adductor chamber, (9) environmental pressure, and (10) neck bending mechanisms. Particular focus is laid on the interrelationship of the jaw musculature and the dermatocranial armour, which were assumed to influence each other to a certain degree. In the literature, cranial dimensions were assumed to influence temporal bone formation within major tetrapod groups. Among these, turtles seem to represent a kind of intermixture, a phenomenon that may be reflected in their specific anatomy. The references presented should be understood as product of the scientific environment in which they developed and the older literature does not always insist current empirical demands. However, the intuitive and creative ideas and the comprehensive anatomical considerations of these authors may inspire future studies in several fields related to this topic.

  6. Wide-field surveys from the SNAP mission

    SciTech Connect

    agkim@lbl.gov

    2002-07-23

    The Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a proposed space-borne observatory that will survey the sky with a wide-field optical/NIR imager. The images produced by SNAP will have an unprecedented combination of depth, solid-angle, angular resolution, and temporal sampling. Two 7.5 square-degree fields will be observed every four days over 16 months to a magnitude depth of AB = 27.7 in each of nine filters. Co-adding images over all epochs will give an AB = 30.3 per filter. A 300 square-degree field will be surveyed with no repeat visits to AB = 28 per filter. The nine filters span 3500-17000 {angstrom}. Although the survey strategy is tailored for supernova and weak gravitational lensing observations, the resulting data supports a broad range of auxiliary science programs.

  7. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species

    PubMed Central

    Majewska, Roksana; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.; Rojas, Lourdes; Zardus, John D.; Pinou, Theodora

    2016-01-01

    The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals. PMID:27257972

  8. SnapShot: Nucleic acid immune sensors, part 2.

    PubMed

    Hornung, Veit

    2014-12-18

    The innate immune system has evolved sensors that can detect specific molecular fingerprints of non-self RNA or DNA. At the same time, some receptors respond to nucleic acids of both exogenous and endogenous origin, yet they are spatially segregated from endogenous nucleic acids. This SnapShot schematizes families and individual members of nucleic acid sensors with a focus on their ligands and the signaling pathways they employ.

  9. Status of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Participation in SNAP

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rauscher, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Dr. Rauscher will present programatic status and high-level/summary information on the technical status of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's participation in the SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAP). Goddard's participation falls into four areas, and status in each of these will be covered. These areas are as follows: (I) focal plane array and packaging, (2) Teledyne HAWAII-4RG sensor chip assembly, (3) communications studies, and (4) integration and test studies.

  10. SnapShot: Hormones of the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Coate, Katie C; Kliewer, Steven A; Mangelsdorf, David J

    2014-12-04

    Specialized endocrine cells secrete a variety of peptide hormones all along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, making it one of the largest endocrine organs in the body. Nutrients and developmental and neural cues trigger the secretion of gastrointestinal (GI) hormones from specialized endocrine cells along the GI tract. These hormones act in target tissues to facilitate digestion and regulate energy homeostasis. This SnapShot summarizes the production and functions of GI hormones.

  11. Conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons. Pictorial essay

    PubMed Central

    Fantino, Olivier; Borne, J.; Bordet, Bertrand

    2012-01-01

    Conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons are common, and ultrasound (US) is the method of choice for evidencing these conditions thanks to the possibility to perform dynamic maneuvers during imaging studies. A conflict can occur between a tendon and a bone structure, other tendons, the retinacula or pulleys. Snapping can occur due to instability caused by rupture of the retinaculum, conflict between a thickened retinaculum and a bone prominence or due to an abnormal position of the tendon. Instability can occur due to insufficient ability of the retinaculum to keep the tendons in the bone groove or its failure to hold the tendons applied to the bone. The technique for evidencing conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons is very demanding because it requires a thorough knowledge of the US appearance and dynamic maneuvers. However, at the present time US examination completed with dynamic maneuvers is the investigation of choice for evidencing these disorders and providing the clinicians with the necessary information. PMID:23396604

  12. Contactless, photoinitiated snap-through in azobenzene-functionalized polymers

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, M. Ravi; Smith, Matthew L.; Tondiglia, Vincent P.; Lee, Kyung Min; McConney, Michael E.; Wang, David H.; Tan, Loon-Seng; White, Timothy J.

    2013-01-01

    Photomechanical effects in polymeric materials and composites transduce light into mechanical work. The ability to control the intensity, polarization, placement, and duration of light irradiation is a distinctive and potentially useful tool to tailor the location, magnitude, and directionality of photogenerated mechanical work. Unfortunately, the work generated from photoresponsive materials is often slow and yields very small power densities, which diminish their potential use in applications. Here, we investigate photoinitiated snap-through in bistable arches formed from samples composed of azobenzene-functionalized polymers (both amorphous polyimides and liquid crystal polymer networks) and report orders-of-magnitude enhancement in actuation rates (approaching 102 mm/s) and powers (as much as 1 kW/m3). The contactless, ultra-fast actuation is observed at irradiation intensities <<100 mW/cm2. Due to the bistability and symmetry of the snap-through, reversible and bidirectional actuation is demonstrated. A model is developed to elucidate the underlying mechanics of the snap-through, specifically focusing on isolating the role of sample geometry, mechanical properties of the materials, and photomechanical strain. Using light to trigger contactless, ultrafast actuation in an otherwise passive structure is a potentially versatile tool to use in mechanical design at the micro-, meso-, and millimeter scales as actuators, as well as switches that can be triggered from large standoff distances, impulse generators for microvehicles, microfluidic valves and mixers in laboratory-on-chip devices, and adaptive optical elements. PMID:24190994

  13. Hunting for ghosts in elastic snap-through

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Michael; Moulton, Derek E.; Vella, Dominic

    Elastic `snap-through' is a striking instability often seen when an elastic system loses bistability, e.g. due to a change in geometry or external loading. The switch from one state to another is generally rapid and hence is used to generate fast motions in biology and engineering. While the onset of instability has been well studied, the dynamics of the transition itself remain much less well understood. For example, the dynamics exhibited by children's jumping popper toys, or the leaves of the Venus flytrap plant, are much slower than would be expected based on a naive estimate of the elastic timescales. To explain this discrepancy, the natural conclusion has been drawn that some other effect, such as viscoelasticity, must play a role. We demonstrate here that purely elastic systems may show similar `slow' dynamics during snap-through. This behaviour is due to a remnant (or `ghost') of the snap-through bifurcation underlying the instability, analogously to bottleneck phenomena in 1-D dynamical systems. This slowness is a generic consequence of being close to bifurcation -- it does not require dissipation. We obtain scaling laws for the length of the delay and compare these to numerical simulations and experiments on real samples.

  14. SNAP (Sentinel Application Platform) and the ESA Sentinel 3 Toolbox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuhlke, Marco; Fomferra, Norman; Brockmann, Carsten; Peters, Marco; Veci, Luis; Malik, Julien; Regner, Peter

    2015-12-01

    ESA is developing three new free open source Toolboxes for the scientific exploitation of the Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 missions. The Toolboxes are based on a common software platform, namely the Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP). SNAP is an evolution of the proven ESA BEAM/NEST architecture inheriting all current BEAM and NEST functionality including multi-mission support for SAR and optical missions to support ESA and third party missions for years to come. The Sentinel-3 Toolbox includes generic function for visualisation and analysis of Sentinel-3 OLCI and SLSTR Level 1 and Level 2 data, as well as specific processing tools such as cloud screening, water constituent retrieval and SST retrieval. The Toolbox will put emphasis on access to remote in-situ databases such as Felyx or MERMAID, and exploitation of the data-uncertainty information which is included in the Sentinel-3 data products. New image classification, segmentation and filtering methods, as well as interoperability with the ORFEO Toolbox and the GDAL libraries will be additional new tools. New challenges stemming from Sentinel-3 sensors, such as raster data in different resolutions within a single dataset, will be supported gracefully. The development of SNAP and the Sentinel Toolboxes is funded through the “Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions (SEOM)” programme, a new programme element of ESA’s fourth period of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (2013-2017).

  15. Conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons. Pictorial essay.

    PubMed

    Fantino, Olivier; Borne, J; Bordet, Bertrand

    2012-02-01

    Conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons are common, and ultrasound (US) is the method of choice for evidencing these conditions thanks to the possibility to perform dynamic maneuvers during imaging studies. A conflict can occur between a tendon and a bone structure, other tendons, the retinacula or pulleys. Snapping can occur due to instability caused by rupture of the retinaculum, conflict between a thickened retinaculum and a bone prominence or due to an abnormal position of the tendon. Instability can occur due to insufficient ability of the retinaculum to keep the tendons in the bone groove or its failure to hold the tendons applied to the bone.The technique for evidencing conflicts, snapping and instability of the tendons is very demanding because it requires a thorough knowledge of the US appearance and dynamic maneuvers. However, at the present time US examination completed with dynamic maneuvers is the investigation of choice for evidencing these disorders and providing the clinicians with the necessary information.

  16. Overview of the SuperNova/Acceleration probe (SNAP)

    SciTech Connect

    galdering@lbl.gov

    2002-07-29

    The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a space-based experiment to measure the expansion history of the Universe and study both its dark energy and the dark matter. The experiment is motivated by the startling discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. A 0.7 square-degree imager comprised of 36 large format fully-depleted n-type CCD's sharing a focal plane with 36 HgCdTe detectors forms the heart of SNAP, allowing discovery and lightcurve measurements simultaneously for many supernovae. The imager and a high-efficiency low-resolution integral field spectrograph are coupled to a 2-m three mirror anastigmat wide-field telescope, which will be placed in a high-earth orbit. The SNAP mission can obtain high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra for over 2000 Type Ia supernovae at redshifts between z = 0.1 and 1.7. The resulting data set can not only determine the amount of dark energy with high precision, but test the nature of the dark energy by examining its equation of state. In particular, dark energy due to a cosmological constant can be differentiated from alternatives such as ''quintessence'', by measuring the dark energy's equation of state to an accuracy of {+-} 0.05, and by studying its time dependence.

  17. Do roads reduce painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) populations?

    PubMed

    Dorland, Alexandra; Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-01-01

    Road mortality is thought to be a leading cause of turtle population decline. However, empirical evidence of the direct negative effects of road mortality on turtle population abundance is lacking. The purpose of this study was to provide a strong test of the prediction that roads reduce turtle population abundance. While controlling for potentially confounding variables, we compared relative abundance of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) in 20 ponds in Eastern Ontario, 10 as close as possible to high traffic roads (Road sites) and 10 as far as possible from any major roads (No Road sites). There was no significant effect of roads on painted turtle relative abundance. Furthermore, our data do not support other predictions of the road mortality hypothesis; we observed neither a higher relative frequency of males to females at Road sites than at No Road sites, nor a lower average body size of turtles at Road than at No Road sites. We speculate that, although roads can cause substantial adult mortality in turtles, other factors, such as release from predation on adults and/or nests close to roads counter the negative effect of road mortality in some populations. We suggest that road mitigation for painted turtles can be limited to locations where turtles are forced to migrate across high traffic roads due, for example, to destruction of local nesting habitat or seasonal drying of ponds. This conclusion should not be extrapolated to other species of turtles, where road mortality could have a larger population-level effect than on painted turtles.

  18. Alligator rivers analogue project an OECD/NEA international project

    SciTech Connect

    Duerden, P.; Airey, P.; Pescatore, C.

    1994-12-31

    The Koongarra uranium deposit in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia was studied as a natural analogue of the far field behaviour of high level waste repositories following groundwater ingress. A number of mathematical modelling approaches were developed for processes as diverse as groundwater transport, host rock weathering, radionuclide sorption, evolution of the uranium dispersion fan and the distribution of uranium series nuclides between mineral assemblages in weathered host rock. Some of these models are relevant to performance assessment at the level of individual processes and subsystem performance. Through the project, new insights into the application of the natural analogue approach to the assessment of potential waste repository sites were obtained.

  19. Isolation and characterization of sulfite oxidase from Alligator mississipiensis

    SciTech Connect

    Robbins, A.; Neame, P.J.; Barber, M.J. )

    1991-03-11

    Sulfite oxidase has been isolated from fresh alligator liver using ammonium sulfate and acetone fractionation, DEAE chromatography and FPLC on Mono Q. The enzyme is dimeric and exhibits a subunit M. Wt. of approximately 58 kDa, larger than that of chicken SO. EPR spectroscopy of the partially-reduced enzyme revealed a single Mo(V) species while visible spectroscopy revealed the presence of cytochrome b{sub 557}. Maximal activities were obtained at pH 8 and 9, respectively. K{sub m}'s for SO{sub 3}{sup 2 {minus}}, cyt. c and Fe(CN){sub 6}{sup 3 {minus}} were 23.5 uM, 2.9 uM and 8.0 uM, respectively. Sequencing of peptides obtained by endoprotease K digestion indicated regions of extensive sequence similarity to chicken and rat enzymes in both heme and Mo-pterin domains. Regions of sequence dissimilarity were also found.

  20. Decompression sickness ('the bends') in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    García-Párraga, D; Crespo-Picazo, J L; de Quirós, Y Bernaldo; Cervera, V; Martí-Bonmati, L; Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Moore, M J; Jepson, P D; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-10-16

    Decompression sickness (DCS), as clinically diagnosed by reversal of symptoms with recompression, has never been reported in aquatic breath-hold diving vertebrates despite the occurrence of tissue gas tensions sufficient for bubble formation and injury in terrestrial animals. Similarly to diving mammals, sea turtles manage gas exchange and decompression through anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. In the former group, DCS-like lesions have been observed on necropsies following behavioral disturbance such as high-powered acoustic sources (e.g. active sonar) and in bycaught animals. In sea turtles, in spite of abundant literature on diving physiology and bycatch interference, this is the first report of DCS-like symptoms and lesions. We diagnosed a clinico-pathological condition consistent with DCS in 29 gas-embolized loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta from a sample of 67. Fifty-nine were recovered alive and 8 had recently died following bycatch in trawls and gillnets of local fisheries from the east coast of Spain. Gas embolization and distribution in vital organs were evaluated through conventional radiography, computed tomography, and ultrasound. Additionally, positive response following repressurization was clinically observed in 2 live affected turtles. Gas embolism was also observed postmortem in carcasses and tissues as described in cetaceans and human divers. Compositional gas analysis of intravascular bubbles was consistent with DCS. Definitive diagnosis of DCS in sea turtles opens a new era for research in sea turtle diving physiology, conservation, and bycatch impact mitigation, as well as for comparative studies in other air-breathing marine vertebrates and human divers.

  1. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian

    PubMed Central

    Reber, Stephan A.; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as ‘bellows’ year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians. PMID:26246611

  2. Posthatching development of Alligator mississippiensis ovary and testis.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Hamlin, Heather J; Botteri, Nicole L; Lawler, Ashley N; Mathavan, Ketan K; Guillette, Louis J

    2010-05-01

    We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first 5 months posthatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we used histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, and 5-month-old gonads. We found profound morphological changes in both ovary and testis. During this time, oogenesis progressed up to diplotene arrest and meiotic germ cells increasingly interacted with follicular cells. Concomitant with follicles becoming invested with full complements of granulosa cells, a periodic acid Schiff's (PAS)-positive basement membrane formed. As follicles enlarged and thecal layers were observed, basement membranes and thecal compartments gained periodic acid-methionine silver (PAMS)-reactive fibers. The ovarian medulla increased first PAS- and then PAMS reactivity as it fragmented into wide lacunae lined with low cuboidal to squamous epithelia. During this same period, testicular germ cells found along the tubule margins were observed progressing from spermatogonia to round spermatids located within the center of tubules. Accompanying this meiotic development, interstitial Leydig cell clusters become more visible and testicular capsules thickened. During the observed testis development, the thickening tunica albuginea and widening interstitial tissues showed increasing PAS- and PAMS reactivity. We observed putative intersex structures in both ovary and testis. On the coelomic aspect of testes were cell clusters with germ cell morphology and at the posterior end of ovaries, we observed "medullary rests" resembling immature testis cords. We hypothesize laboratory conditions accelerated gonad maturation due to optimum conditions, including nutrients and temperature. Laboratory alligators grew more rapidly and with increased body conditions compared with previous measured, field-caught animals. Additionally, we predict the morphological

  3. Post-hatching development of Alligator mississippiensis ovary and testis

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Brandon C.; Hamlin, Heather J.; Botteri, Nicole L.; Lawler, Ashley N.; Mathavan, Ketan K.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first five months post-hatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we employed histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in one-week, one-month, three-month, and five-month-old gonads. We found profound morphological changes in both ovary and testis. During this time, oogenesis progressed up to diplotene arrest and meiotic germ cells increasingly interacted with follicular cells. Concomitant with follicles becoming invested with full complements of granulosa cells, a periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS)-positive basement membrane formed. As follicles enlarged and thecal layers were observed, basement membranes and thecal compartments gained periodic acid-methionine silver (PAMS)-reactive fibers. The ovarian medulla increased first PAS- and then PAMS-reactivity as it fragmented into wide lacunae lined with low cuboidal to squamous epithelia. During this same period, testicular germ cells found along the tubule margins were observed progressing from spermatogonia to round spermatids located within the center of tubules. Accompanying this meiotic development, interstitial Leydig cell clusters become more visible and testicular capsules thickened. During the observed testis development, the thickening tunica albuginea and widening interstitial tissues showed increasing PAS- and PAMS-reactivity. We observed putative inter-sex structures in both ovary and testis. On the coelomic aspect of testes were cell clusters with germ cell morphology and at the posterior end of ovaries, we observed “medullary rests” resembling immature testis cords. We hypothesize laboratory conditions accelerated gonad maturation due to optimum conditions, including nutrients and temperature. Laboratory alligators grew more rapidly and with increased body conditions compared to previous measured, field-caught animals. Additionally, we

  4. Biochemical composition of the alligator pipefish, Syngnathoides biaculeatus (Bloch, 1785)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanaye, Sushant Vilas; Pawar, Ashwini Pandurang; Rivonker, Chandrasheker Umanath; Sreepada, Rayadurga Anantha; Ansari, Zakir Ali; Ram, Anirudh

    2016-12-01

    Considering the economic importance in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and lack of baseline information, we evaluated the proximate composition, fatty acid and amino acid profiles, trace element content and C:N ratio in the alligator pipefish, Syngnathoides biaculeatus. Amongst proximate principals, a crude protein formed the major biochemical component ((58.9±2.2)% dry weight). Mean percent concentrations (dry weight) of other components such as a total lipid (TL), ash and nitrogen-free extract measured were, (1.8±0.2)%, (19.2±2.2)% and (20.1±0.45)%, respectively. The fatty acid profile revealed the presence of 27 saturated fatty acids (SFA) with 13 straight-chained and 14 branched-chained, 28 unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) with 14 monounsaturated and 14 polyunsaturated and nine other minor fatty acids. Mean percent contributions of total SFAs and UFAs to TL were found to be (55.41±0.24)% and (44.05±0.25)%, respectively. Altogether, 16 different amino acids with an equal number of essential (EAA) and non-essential (NAA) ones were identified. Percent contributions by EAA and NAA to the total amino acid content were 38.11% and 61.89%, respectively. Trace metal concentrations in S. biaculeatus were generally low and their distribution followed the order, Mg>Fe>Zn>Mn>Cu>Cr>Ni>Hg>Co. The C:N ratio was (4.37±0.04)%. The profile of major biochemical constituents in alligator pipefish, S. biaculeatus revealed its potential use in TCM as well as a nutritional diet for human consumption. The results of the study would also form the basis for formulation and optimization of diets for the culture of S. biaculeatus.

  5. Thermal acclimation, mitochondrial capacities and organ metabolic profiles in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Seebacher, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles thermoregulate behaviourally, but change their preferred temperature and the optimal temperature for performance seasonally. We evaluated whether the digestive and locomotor systems of the alligator show parallel metabolic adjustments during thermal acclimation. To this end, we allowed juvenile alligators to grow under thermal conditions typical of winter and summer, providing them with seasonally appropriate basking opportunities. Although mean body temperatures of alligators in these groups differed by approximately 10°C, their growth and final anatomic status was equivalent. While hepatic mitochondria isolated from cold-acclimated alligators had higher oxidative capacities at 30°C than those from warm-acclimated alligators, the capacities did not differ at 20°C. Cold acclimation decreased maximal oxidative capacities of muscle mitochondria. For mitochondria from both organs and acclimation groups, palmitate increased oligomycin-inhibited respiration. GDP addition reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates more in liver mitochondria from warm- than cold-acclimated alligators. In muscle mitochondria, carboxyatractyloside significantly reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates. This effect was not changed by thermal acclimation. The aerobic capacity of liver, skeletal muscle and duodenum, as estimated by activities of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), increased with cold acclimation. At acclimation temperatures, the activities of COX and citrate synthase (CS) in these organs were equivalent. By measuring COX and CS in isolated mitochondria and tissue extracts, we estimated that cold acclimation did not change the mitochondrial content in liver, but increased that of muscle. The thermal compensation of growth rates and of the aerobic capacity of the locomotor and digestive systems suggests that alligators optimised metabolic processes for the seasonally altered, preferred body temperature. The precision of this compensatory response exceeds that typically shown by aquatic

  6. Free body analysis, beam mechanics, and finite element modeling of the mandible of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Porro, Laura B; Holliday, Casey M; Anapol, Fred; Ontiveros, Lupita C; Ontiveros, Lolita T; Ross, Callum F

    2011-08-01

    The mechanical behavior of mammalian mandibles is well-studied, but a comprehensive biomechanical analysis (incorporating detailed muscle architecture, accurate material properties, and three-dimensional mechanical behavior) of an extant archosaur mandible has never been carried out. This makes it unclear how closely models of extant and extinct archosaur mandibles reflect reality and prevents comparisons of structure-function relationships in mammalian and archosaur mandibles. We tested hypotheses regarding the mechanical behavior of the mandible of Alligator mississippiensis by analyzing reaction forces and bending, shear, and torsional stress regimes in six models of varying complexity. Models included free body analysis using basic lever arm mechanics, 2D and 3D beam models, and three high-resolution finite element models of the Alligator mandible, incorporating, respectively, isotropic bone without sutures, anisotropic bone with sutures, and anisotropic bone with sutures and contact between the mandible and the pterygoid flange. Compared with the beam models, the Alligator finite element models exhibited less spatial variability in dorsoventral bending and sagittal shear stress, as well as lower peak values for these stresses, suggesting that Alligator mandibular morphology is in part designed to reduce these stresses during biting. However, the Alligator models exhibited greater variability in the distribution of mediolateral and torsional stresses than the beam models. Incorporating anisotropic bone material properties and sutures into the model reduced dorsoventral and torsional stresses within the mandible, but led to elevated mediolateral stresses. These mediolateral stresses were mitigated by the addition of a pterygoid-mandibular contact, suggesting important contributions from, and trade-offs between, material properties and external constraints in Alligator mandible design. Our results suggest that beam modeling does not accurately represent the

  7. Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Karl, S A

    2007-12-01

    The seven species of sea turtles occupy a diversity of niches, and have a history tracing back over 100 million years, yet all share basic life-history features, including exceptional navigation skills and periodic migrations from feeding to breeding habitats. Here, we review the biogeographic, behavioural, and ecological factors that shape the distribution of genetic diversity in sea turtles. Natal homing, wherein turtles return to their region of origin for mating and nesting, has been demonstrated with mtDNA sequences. These maternally inherited markers show strong population structure among nesting colonies while nuclear loci reveal a contrasting pattern of male-mediated gene flow, a phenomenon termed 'complex population structure'. Mixed-stock analyses indicate that multiple nesting colonies can contribute to feeding aggregates, such that exploitation of turtles in these habitats can reduce breeding populations across the region. The mtDNA data also demonstrate migrations across entire ocean basins, some of the longest movements of marine vertebrates. Multiple paternity occurs at reported rates of 0-100%, and can vary by as much as 9-100% within species. Hybridization in almost every combination among members of the Cheloniidae has been documented but the frequency and ultimate ramifications of hybridization are not clear. The global phylogeography of sea turtles reveals a gradient based on habitat preference and thermal regime. The cold-tolerant leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) shows no evolutionary partitions between Indo-Pacific and Atlantic populations, while the tropical green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea vs. L. kempi) have ancient separations between oceans. Ridleys and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) also show more recent colonization between ocean basins, probably mediated by warm-water gyres that occasionally traverse the frigid upwelling zone in southern Africa. These rare events may

  8. Comparative analysis of pleurodiran and cryptodiran turtle embryos depicts the molecular ground pattern of the turtle carapacial ridge.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Sato, Iori; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    The turtle shell is a wonderful example of a genuine morphological novelty, since it has no counterpart in any other extant vertebrate lineages. The evolutionary origin of the shell is a question that has fascinated evolutionary biologists for over two centuries and it still remains a mystery. One of the turtle innovations associated with the shell is the carapacial ridge (CR), a bulge that appears at both sides of the dorsal lateral trunk of the turtle embryo and that probably controls the formation of the carapace, the dorsal moiety of the shell. Although from the beginning of this century modern genetic techniques have been applied to resolve the evolutionary developmental origin of the CR, the use of different models with, in principle, dissimilar results has hampered the establishment of a common mechanism for the origin of the shell. Although modern turtles are divided into two major groups, Cryptodira (or hidden-necked turtles) and Pleurodira (or side-necked turtles), molecular developmental studies have been carried out mostly using cryptodiran models. In this study, we revisit the past data obtained from cryptodiran turtles in order to reconcile the different results. We also analyze the histological anatomy and the expression pattern of main CR factors in a pleurodiran turtle, the red-bellied short-necked turtle Emydura subglobosa. We suggest that the turtle shell probably originated concomitantly with the co-option of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway into the CR in the last common ancestor of the turtle.

  9. NIP-SNAP-1 and -2 mitochondrial proteins are maintained by heat shock protein 60.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Soh; Okamoto, Tomoya; Ogasawara, Noriko; Hashimoto, Shin; Shiraishi, Tsukasa; Sato, Toyotaka; Yamamoto, Keisuke; Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki; Takano, Kenichi; Himi, Testuo; Itoh, Hideaki; Yokota, Shin-Ichi

    2017-02-12

    NIP-SNAP-1 and -2 are ubiquitous proteins thought to be associated with maintenance of mitochondrial function, neuronal transmission, and autophagy. However, their physiological functions remain largely unknown. To elucidate their functional importance, we screened for proteins that interact with NIP-SNAP-1 and -2, resulting in identification of HSP60 and P62/SQSTM1 as binding proteins. NIP-SNAP-1 and -2 localized in the mitochondrial inner membrane space, whereas HSP60 localized in the matrix. Native gel electrophoresis and filter trap assays revealed that human HSP60 prevented aggregation of newly synthesized NIP-SNAP-2 in an in vitro translation system. Moreover, expression levels of NIP-SNAP-1 and -2 in cells were decreased by knockdown of HSP60, but not HSP10. These findings indicate that HSP60 promotes folding and maintains the stability of NIP-SNAP-1 and -2.

  10. Snap-through buckling of initially curved microbeam subject to an electrostatic force

    PubMed Central

    Chen, X.; Meguid, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, the snap-through buckling of an initially curved microbeam subject to an electrostatic force, accounting for fringing field effect, is investigated. The general governing equations of the curved microbeam are developed using Euler–Bernoulli beam theory and used to develop a new criterion for the snap-through buckling of that beam. The size effect of the microbeam is accounted for using the modified couple stress theory, and intermolecular effects, such as van der Waals and Casimir forces, are also included in our snap-through formulations. The snap-through governing equations are solved using Galerkin decomposition of the deflection. The results of our work enable us to carefully characterize the snap-through behaviour of the initially curved microbeam. They further reveal the significant effect of the beam size, and to a much lesser extent, the effect of fringing field and intermolecular forces, upon the snap-through criterion for the curved beam. PMID:27547104

  11. Helminth communities of the exotic introduced turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans in southwestern Spain: Transmission from native turtles.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo-Vila, J; Díaz-Paniagua, C; Ribas, A; Florencio, M; Pérez-Santigosa, N; Casanova, J C

    2009-06-01

    We report the prevalence and diversity of helminth parasites found in native turtles Mauremys leprosa and Emys orbicularis from three localities in southwestern Spain and we describe the helminth communities of exotic turtles Trachemys scripta elegans coexisting in the wild with both native turtle species. Five nematodes species were identified, of which Serpinema microcephalus was the only species common between two localities, although infection parameters were different between them. This is the first report of cross transmission of S. microcephalus and Falcaustra donanaensis from native to exotic turtles and the first report of genus Physaloptera in turtles of the Palearctic Region. Continuous releasing of exotic pet turtles in wildlife ecosystems increases the risk of parasite introductions and, consequently, potential transmission to native species, and highlights the impending need for regulation of pet turtle trade in Europe.

  12. A new stem turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland: new insights into the evolution and palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    PubMed

    Anquetin, Jérémy; Barrett, Paul M; Jones, Marc E H; Moore-Fay, Scott; Evans, Susan E

    2009-03-07

    The discovery of a new stem turtle from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) deposits of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, sheds new light on the early evolutionary history of Testudinata. Eileanchelys waldmani gen. et sp. nov. is known from cranial and postcranial material of several individuals and represents the most complete Middle Jurassic turtle described to date, bridging the morphological gap between basal turtles from the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic and crown-group turtles that diversify during the Late Jurassic. A phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon within the stem group of Testudines (crown-group turtles) and suggests a sister-group relationship between E. waldmani and Heckerochelys romani from the Middle Jurassic of Russia. Moreover, E. waldmani also demonstrates that stem turtles were ecologically diverse, as it may represent the earliest known aquatic turtle.

  13. Epigenetic control of gonadal aromatase (cyp19a1) in temperature-dependent sex determination of red-eared slider turtles.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yuiko; Buemio, Alvin; Chu, Randy; Vafaee, Mozhgon; Crews, David

    2013-01-01

    In the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the expression of the aromatase gene during gonad development is strictly limited to the female-producing temperature. The underlying mechanism remains unknown. In this study, we identified the upstream 5'-flanking region of the aromatase gene, gonad-specific promoter, and the temperature-dependent DNA methylation signatures during gonad development in the red-eared slider turtle. The 5'-flanking region of the slider aromatase exhibited sequence similarities to the aromatase genes of the American alligator, chicken, quail, and zebra finch. A putative TATA box was located 31 bp upstream of the gonad-specific transcription start site. DNA methylation at the CpG sites between the putative binding sites of the fork head domain factor (FOX) and vertebrate steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) and adjacent TATA box in the promoter region were significantly lower in embryonic gonads at the female-producing temperature compared the male-producing temperature. A shift from male- to female-, but not from female- to male-, producing temperature changed the level of DNA methylation in gonads. Taken together these results indicate that the temperature, particularly female-producing temperature, allows demethylation at the specific CpG sites of the promoter region which leads the temperature-specific expression of aromatase during gonad development.

  14. Epigenetic Control of Gonadal Aromatase (cyp19a1) in Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination of Red-Eared Slider Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Yuiko; Buemio, Alvin; Chu, Randy; Vafaee, Mozhgon; Crews, David

    2013-01-01

    In the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the expression of the aromatase gene during gonad development is strictly limited to the female-producing temperature. The underlying mechanism remains unknown. In this study, we identified the upstream 5′-flanking region of the aromatase gene, gonad-specific promoter, and the temperature-dependent DNA methylation signatures during gonad development in the red-eared slider turtle. The 5′-flanking region of the slider aromatase exhibited sequence similarities to the aromatase genes of the American alligator, chicken, quail, and zebra finch. A putative TATA box was located 31 bp upstream of the gonad-specific transcription start site. DNA methylation at the CpG sites between the putative binding sites of the fork head domain factor (FOX) and vertebrate steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) and adjacent TATA box in the promoter region were significantly lower in embryonic gonads at the female-producing temperature compared the male-producing temperature. A shift from male- to female-, but not from female- to male-, producing temperature changed the level of DNA methylation in gonads. Taken together these results indicate that the temperature, particularly female-producing temperature, allows demethylation at the specific CpG sites of the promoter region which leads the temperature-specific expression of aromatase during gonad development. PMID:23762231

  15. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ...) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls... serial number. (e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be...

  16. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls... serial number. (e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be...

  17. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ...) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls... serial number. (e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be...

  18. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls... serial number. (e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be...

  19. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ...) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls... serial number. (e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be...

  20. Evaluation of the Snap Sampler for Sampling Ground Water Monitoring Wells for VOCs and Explosives

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-01

    ER D C/ CR R EL T R -0 7 -1 4 Evaluation of the Snap Sampler for Sampling Ground Water Monitoring Wells for VOCs and Explosives Louise...release; distribution is unlimited. ERDC/CRREL TR-07-14 August 2007 Evaluation of the Snap Sampler for Sampling Ground Water Monitoring...determine the ability of the Snap Sampler to recover representative concentrations of VOC and explosives in ground water . For the laboratory studies

  1. SNAP-23 participates in SNARE complex assembly in rat adipose cells.

    PubMed Central

    St-Denis, J F; Cabaniols, J P; Cushman, S W; Roche, P A

    1999-01-01

    SNARE proteins are required for vesicle docking and fusion in eukaryotic cells in processes as diverse as homotypic membrane fusion and synaptic vesicle exocytosis [SNARE stands for SNAP receptor, where SNAP is soluble NSF attachment protein]. The SNARE proteins syntaxin 4 and vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) 2/3 also participate in the insulin-stimulated translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular vesicles to the plasma membrane in adipose cells. We now report the molecular cloning and characterization of rat SNAP-23, a ubiquitously expressed homologue of the essential neuronal SNARE protein SNAP-25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa). Rat SNAP-23 is 86% and 98% identical respectively to human and mouse SNAP-23. Southern blot analysis reveals that the rat, mouse and human SNAP-23 genes encode species-specific isoforms of the same protein. Co-immunoprecipitation of syntaxin 4 and SNAP-23 shows association of these two proteins in rat adipose cell plasma membranes, and insulin stimulation does not alter the SNAP-23/syntaxin 4 complex. In addition, we demonstrate for the first time the participation of SNAP-23, along with syntaxin 4 and VAMP2/3, in the formation of 20S SNARE complexes prepared using rat adipose cell membranes and recombinant alpha-SNAP and NSF proteins. The stoichiometry of the SNARE complexes formed is essentially identical using membranes from either unstimulated or insulin-stimulated adipose cells. These data demonstrate that rat SNAP-23 associates with syntaxin 4 before insulin stimulation and is present in the SNARE complexes known to mediate the translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular vesicles to the plasma membrane of rat adipose cells. PMID:10051443

  2. Validation of a Computerized Adaptive Version of the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simms, Leonard J.; Clark, Lee Anna

    2005-01-01

    This is a validation study of a computerized adaptive (CAT) version of the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP) conducted with 413 undergraduates who completed the SNAP twice, 1 week apart. Participants were assigned randomly to 1 of 4 retest groups: (a) paper-and-pencil (P&P) SNAP, (b) CAT, (c) P&P/CAT, and (d) CAT/P&P. With…

  3. The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific body plan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Zadissa, Amonida; Li, Wenqi; Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Beal, Kathryn; Nozawa, Masafumi; Li, Qiye; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Hongyan; Yu, Lili; Shigenobu, Shuji; Wang, Junyi; Liu, Jiannan; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Steve; Wang, Jun; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yin, Ye; Aken, Bronwen; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki

    2013-06-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ∼267.9-248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell.

  4. Phase I and II liver enzyme activities in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected from three sites in the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage, Florida (USA).

    PubMed

    Gunderson, M P; Oberdörster, E; Guillette, L J

    2004-10-01

    We examined CYP1A (measured using hepatic EROD and MROD activities) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected from three sites with varying contamination in the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage in south Florida. We hypothesized that contaminants present in areas with intermediate or higher contaminant concentrations would alter hepatic enzyme activities in juvenile alligators from those sites when compared to hepatic enzyme activity in animals from the area with the least contamination. EROD activity was found to be higher in animals from the site with lower reported levels of contamination relative to those from the site with the highest reported contamination suggesting an inhibition of CYP1A expression or activity. No differences among animals from the three sites were observed for hepatic MROD and GST activities. A significant negative relationship between EROD, MROD, and GST activities and body size was exhibited in alligators from the site with the lowest contamination. No relationship between body size and hepatic enzyme activity was found in animals from the sites with intermediate and higher contamination, suggesting that contaminants present at these sites act to alter this relationship. No correlation was observed in this study between plasma steroid concentrations (estradiol-17 beta or testosterone) and hepatic EROD, MROD, or GST activities.

  5. Chronic Ingestion of Coal Fly-Ash Contaminated Prey and Its Effects on Health and Immune Parameters in Juvenile American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T; Metts, Brian S; Glenn, Travis C; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-10-01

    Coal-burning power plants supply approximately 37 % of the electricity in the United States. However, incomplete combustion produces ash wastes enriched with toxic trace elements that have historically been disposed of in aquatic basins. Organisms inhabiting such habitats may accumulate these trace elements; however, studies investigating the effects on biota have been primarily restricted to shorter-lived, lower-trophic organisms. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a long-lived, top-trophic carnivore, has been observed inhabiting these basins, yet the health or immune effects of chronic exposure and possible accumulation remains unknown. In this study, we investigated how chronic dietary ingestion of prey contaminated with coal combustion wastes (CCWs) for 25 months, and subsequent accumulation of trace elements present in CCWs, affected juvenile alligator immune function and health. Alligators were assigned to one of four dietary-treatment groups including controls and those fed prey contaminated with CCWs for one, two, or three times a week. However, no effect of Dietary Treatment (p > 0.05) was observed on any immune parameter or hematological or plasma analyte we tested. Our results suggest that neither exposure to nor accumulation of low doses of CCWs had a negative effect on certain aspects of the immune and hematological system. However, future studies are required to elucidate this further.

  6. Temporal profile of nerve growth factor expression in the partial central nervous system of the Yangtze alligator Alligator sinensis (Reptilia,Crocodylia) during early postnatal growth.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lanrong; Chen, Fangfang; Wang, Renping; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2013-05-01

    Expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) in structures of the partial central nervous system of the Yangtze alligator, Alligator sinensis (Reptilia, Crocodylia) was examined during early postnatal growth using immunohistochemistry and Western blot assays. In animals 0-2 years of age NGF-positive cells in the cerebral cortex increased gradually in number and size, and were predominantly distributed in the molecular layer. NGF-positive cells in the midbrain showed similar increases but with predominant distribution in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells increased in the cerebellum between 0 and 1 years of age, with increased NGF expression being seen during the first 2 years of life mostly in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells were mainly found in the gray matter of the spinal cord with decreasing cell numbers, NGF expression levels being seen from 0 to 2 years and small processes without synaptic connection from 1 to 2 years. These results suggest that NGF is involved in the early postnatal growth of several structures of Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system, suggesting a possible role of NGF in the Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system.

  7. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses. PMID:26553740

  8. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-11-10

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses.

  9. Acquisition of Salmonella flora by turtle hatchlings on commercial turtle farms.

    PubMed

    Izadjoo, M J; Pantoja, C O; Siebeling, R J

    1987-08-01

    A commercial turtle pond in South Louisiana was studied to identify the mechanism by which turtle hatchlings acquire Salmonella flora. The visceral organs and mature eggs removed from 31 adult gravid female turtles over the course of two egg-laying seasons and from 37 adult females during one winter dormant period were examined bacteriologically for Salmonella. Pond water, egg nest soil, and hatchlings produced by eggs removed from the oviducts and nest soil were also tested. Eighty-eight turtles hatched from eggs removed from the oviducts of 15 turtles at necropsy did not excrete or harbor systemically Salmonella, nor were these pathogens isolated from ovarian tissue or immature eggs. The findings suggest transovarian transmission of these pathogens does not occur frequently. Turtles hatched from eggs retrieved from soil nests 1 to 2 h after deposition harbor and excrete these organisms. This result coupled with the isolation of these pathogens from the cloaca, colon contents, and bursal fluid from 18 females captured in the act of egg laying supports the cloaca to egg and nest soil to egg mode for salmonellae infection in the resultant hatchling. Salmonella arizonae and Salmonella serogroups B, C2, and E1 were isolated from the cloaca, colon contents, pond water, and nest soil, and were excreted by hatchlings produced from eggs removed from the soil nests. These same serogroups were isolated from the colon contents of 19 of 37 females tested during the dormant period, suggesting the salmonellae persist in the pond environment in the adult throughout the year.

  10. Lateral sided snapping elbow caused by a meniscus: two case reports and literature review.

    PubMed

    Kang, Shin-Taek; Kim, Tae-Ho

    2010-06-01

    Lateral sided snapping elbow is an unusual condition, and it is apt to be misdiagnosed as lateral epicondylitis. The causes of lateral sided snapping elbow have been attributed to intraarticular loose bodies, instability, synovial plicae and torn annular ligament. We report our experiences for treating lateral sided snapping elbow caused by a meniscus in the radio-humeral joint. In the present cases, the cause of snapping was detected using double contrast arthrogram under fluoroscopic control, and histology revealed that it was a meniscus. Complete removal of the meniscus allowed immediate relief of the symptom, and there was no recurrence in both cases.

  11. Evolving Darwin's 'most wonderful' plant: ecological steps to a snap-trap.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Thomas C; Waller, Donald M

    2009-08-01

    Among carnivorous plants, Darwin was particularly fascinated by the speed and sensitivity of snap-traps in Dionaea and Aldrovanda. Recent molecular work confirms Darwin's conjecture that these monotypic taxa are sister to Drosera, meaning that snap-traps evolved from a 'flypaper' trap. Transitions include tentacles being modified into trigger hairs and marginal 'teeth', the loss of sticky tentacles, depressed digestive glands, and rapid leaf movement. Pre-adaptations are known for all these traits in Drosera yet snap-traps only evolved once. We hypothesize that selection to catch and retain large insects favored the evolution of elongate leaves and snap-tentacles in Drosera and snap-traps. Although sticky traps efficiently capture small prey, they allow larger prey to escape and may lose nutrients. Dionaea's snap-trap efficiently captures and processes larger prey providing higher, but variable, rewards. We develop a size-selective model and parametrize it with field data to demonstrate how selection to capture larger prey strongly favors snap-traps. As prey become larger, they also become rarer and gain the power to rip leaves, causing returns to larger snap-traps to plateau. We propose testing these hypotheses with specific field data and Darwin-like experiments. The complexity of snap-traps, competition with pitfall traps, and their association with ephemeral habitats all help to explain why this curious adaptation only evolved once.

  12. 76 FR 29718 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles, which will enable American Samoa longline fishing vessels to continue... turtle populations. DATES: Comments on Amendment 5, including an environmental assessment, must...

  13. Effects of life-history requirements on the distribution of a threatened reptile.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Denise M; Ligon, Day B; Patton, Jason C; Papeş, Monica

    2017-04-01

    Survival and reproduction are the two primary life-history traits essential for species' persistence; however, the environmental conditions that support each of these traits may not be the same. Despite this, reproductive requirements are seldom considered when estimating species' potential distributions. We sought to examine potentially limiting environmental factors influencing the distribution of an oviparous reptile of conservation concern with respect to the species' survival and reproduction and to assess the implications of the species' predicted climatic constraints on current conservation practices. We used ecological niche modeling to predict the probability of environmental suitability for the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii). We built an annual climate model to examine survival and a nesting climate model to examine reproduction. We combined incubation temperature requirements, products of modeled soil temperature data, and our estimated distributions to determine whether embryonic development constrained the northern distribution of the species. Low annual precipitation constrained the western distribution of alligator snapping turtles, whereas the northern distribution was constrained by thermal requirements during embryonic development. Only a portion of the geographic range predicted to have a high probability of suitability for alligator snapping turtle survival was estimated to be capable of supporting successful embryonic development. Historic occurrence records suggest adult alligator snapping turtles can survive in regions with colder climes than those associated with consistent and successful production of offspring. Estimated egg-incubation requirements indicated that current reintroductions at the northern edge of the species' range are within reproductively viable environmental conditions. Our results highlight the importance of considering survival and reproduction when estimating species' ecological niches, implicating

  14. Environmental Assessment, SR 123 (Roger J. Clary Highway) from North of the Intersection of SR 123 and SR 85S to SR 85N, Okaloosa County, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-05-01

    Scientific Name Common Name Scientific Name Red-cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis Wood Duck Aix sponsa Pine Barrens Tree Frog Hyla andersonii...melanoleucus mugitus SSC Xeric pine flatwoods Documented Gopher Frog Rana capito SSC Xeric upland forest/marshes Potential Pine Barrens Treefrog Hyla... Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii), a species of the unique seepage bog habitats, the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) and the

  15. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  16. Effects of egg and hatchling harvest on American alligators in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, K.G.; Percival, H.F.; Woodward, A.R.; Jennings, Michael L.

    1999-01-01

    Harvest of crocodilian eggs and young for captive rearing (ranching) has been used worldwide as an option for producing crocodilian skins and meat from wild stock. The long-term effects of harvesting a certain proportion of early age class, wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) without repatriation is unknown. We removed an estimated 50% of annual production of alligators on Lakes Griffin and Jesup in central Florida over an 11-year period and monitored population levels via night-light counts. Densities of the total alligator population increased (P 0.117), and subadult (122-182 cm TL) alligators increased (P < 0.011) on harvest areas. The density of juveniles on the control area increased (P = 0.006), and the density of subadults showed some evidence of increasing (P = 0.088). No changes were detected in size distributions on the treatment areas. Nest production, as observed from aerial helicopter surveys, increased (P < 0.039) on Lake Woodruff NWR and Lake Jesup and showed some evidence of an increase on Lake Griffin (P = 0.098) during 1983-91. A 50% harvest rate of eggs or hatchlings did not adversely affect recruitment into the subadult or adult size classes.

  17. Body temperatures and behavior of American alligators during cold winter weather

    SciTech Connect

    Brisbin, I.L., Jr.; Standora, E.A.; Vargo, M.J.

    1982-04-01

    Data from two large (188 and 135 kg) male alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) indicated that 4-5 C seemed to be the lowest body temperatures that they could endure with subsequent recovery. Although one animal in shallow water managed to keep a breathing hole open for several days, in ice that was 1.5 cm thick, it later died following a decrease of its body temperature to 4.0 C. The second alligator which was located in a deeper portion of the reservoir used both terrestrial and aquatic basking behavior to raise its body temperature and level of activity. Except in the case of basking events, there was not clear evidence of significant evaluations of the body temperatures of either the live or dead alligators above those of their adjacent water. When located side-by-side, diurnal cycles of deep body temperatures exceeding adjacent water temperatures to a maximum extent near dawn and usually falling below water temperatures during the afternoon and early evening hours. The physical properties and thermal inertia of the bodies of such large alligators, when placed in appropriate microclimates, may be sufficient in themselves to explain the general patterns and levels of body temperature changes observed at these low temperatures.

  18. Morphology of the embryonic and hatchling American alligator ductus arteriosi and implications for embryonic cardiovascular shunting.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Kimberley; Goy, Sarah K; Dzialowski, Edward M

    2012-02-01

    The ductus arteriosi (DA) are embryonic blood vessels found in amniotic vertebrates that shunt blood away from the pulmonary artery and lungs and toward the aorta. Here, we examine changes in morphology of the right and left DA (LDA), and right and left aorta (LAo) from embryonic and hatchling alligators. The developing alligator has two-patent DA that join the right and LAo. Both DA exhibit a muscular phenotype composed of an internal smooth muscle layer (2-4 cells thick). At hatching, the lumen diameter of both DA decreases as the vessels begin to close within the first 12 h of posthatch life. Between day 1 and day 12 posthatching, the vessel becomes fully occluded with endothelial and smooth muscle cells filling the lumen. A number of DA from hatchlings contained blood clots along their length. The lumen of the full term alligator DA is reduced in comparison with the full term chicken DA. The developing alligator embryo has an additional right-to-left shunt pathway in the LAo arising from the right ventricle. The embryonic LAo diameter is twice the diameter of either the right DA or LDA, providing a lower resistance pathway for blood leaving the right ventricle. On the basis of these findings, we propose that the paired DA of the embryonic alligator have a reduced role in the embryonic right-to-left shunt of blood from the right ventricle when compared with the avian DA.

  19. The effects of hurricane Rita and subsequent drought on alligators in southwest Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A; Elsey, Ruth M; Butterstein, George; Trosclair, Phillip L; Merchant, Mark

    2010-02-01

    Hurricane Rita struck the coast of southwest Louisiana in September 2005. The storm generated an enormous tidal surge of approximately four meters in height that inundated many thousands of acres of the coastal marsh with full strength seawater. The initial surge resulted in the deaths of a number of alligators and severely stressed those who survived. In addition, a prolonged drought (the lowest rainfall in 111 years of recorded weather data) following the hurricane resulted in highly saline conditions that persisted in the marsh for several months. We had the opportunity to collect 11 blood samples from alligators located on Holly Beach less than a month after the hurricane, but were unable to collect samples from alligators on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge until February 2006. Conditions at Rockefeller Refuge did not permit systematic sampling, but a total of 201 samples were collected on the refuge up through August 2006. The blood samples were analyzed for sodium, potassium, chloride, osmolality, and corticosterone. Blood samples from alligators sampled on Holly Beach in October 2005, showed a marked elevation in plasma osmolality, sodium, chloride, potassium, corticosterone, and an elevated heterophil/lymphocyte ratio. Blood samples from alligators on Rockefeller Refuge showed increasing levels of corticosterone as the drought persisted and elevated osmolality and electrolytes. After substantial rainfall in July and August, these indices of osmotic stress returned to within normal limits.

  20. Improved genome assembly of American alligator genome reveals conserved architecture of estrogen signaling.

    PubMed

    Rice, Edward S; Kohno, Satomi; John, John St; Pham, Son; Howard, Jonathan; Lareau, Liana F; O'Connell, Brendan L; Hickey, Glenn; Armstrong, Joel; Deran, Alden; Fiddes, Ian; Platt, Roy N; Gresham, Cathy; McCarthy, Fiona; Kern, Colin; Haan, David; Phan, Tan; Schmidt, Carl; Sanford, Jeremy R; Ray, David A; Paten, Benedict; Guillette, Louis J; Green, Richard E

    2017-01-30

    The American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, like all crocodilians, has temperature-dependent sex determination, in which the sex of an embryo is determined by the incubation temperature of the egg during a critical period of development. The lack of genetic differences between male and female alligators leaves open the question of how the genes responsible for sex determination and differentiation are regulated. Insight into this question comes from the fact that exposing an embryo incubated at male-producing temperature to estrogen causes it to develop ovaries. Because estrogen response elements are known to regulate genes over long distances, a contiguous genome assembly is crucial for predicting and understanding their impact. We present an improved assembly of the American alligator genome, scaffolded with in vitro proximity ligation (Chicago) data. We use this assembly to scaffold two other crocodilian genomes based on synteny. We perform RNA sequencing of tissues from American alligator embryos to find genes that are differentially expressed between embryos incubated at male- versus female-producing temperature. Finally, we use the improved contiguity of our assembly along with the current model of CTCF-mediated chromatin looping to predict regions of the genome likely to contain estrogen-responsive genes. We find that these regions are significantly enriched for genes with female-biased expression in developing gonads after the critical period during which sex is determined by incubation temperature. We thus conclude that estrogen signaling is a major driver of female-biased gene expression in the post-temperature sensitive period gonads.