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Sample records for alligators alligator mississippiensis

  1. Nonpineal melatonin in the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Roth, J J; Gern, W A; Roth, E C; Ralph, C L; Jacobson, E

    1980-10-31

    All living and most fossil representatives of the reptilian subclass Archosauria lack pineal bodies. Arrhythmic, low-level, nonpineal melatonin is present, however, in the blood of Alligator mississippiensis. Although pineal bodies have been implicated in circadian phenomena, these results suggest that arrhytmic melatonin in alligators may not be involved incircadian events and indicate that the pineal is not the only source of the hormone melatonin. The evolutionary loss of the pineal in Archosauria occurred during the Mesozoic, and era noted for its seasonal stability. Arrhythmic melatonin titers inalligators and pineal loss in alligators and other archosaurs may be related to Mesozoic seasonal stability.

  2. 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...

  3. Essential fatty acid nutrition of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Staton, M A; Edwards, H M; Brisbin, I L; Joanen, T; McNease, L

    1990-07-01

    The essential fatty acid (EFA) nutrition of young American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was examined by feeding a variety of fats/oils with potential EFA activity. Over a 12-wk period, alligators fed diets containing 2.5 or 5.0% chicken liver oil grew longer and heavier and converted feed to body mass more efficiently than alligators fed other fat/oil combinations that lacked or contained only trace amounts of arachidonic acid [20:4(n-6)]. Alligators fed an EFA-deficient diet (containing only coconut fat as the dietary fat) were the slowest-growing animals and converted feed to body mass least efficiently. However, over a 41-wk feeding period, alligators fed this diet showed no obvious external signs of deficiency other than being reduced in size and unthrifty. Fatty acid composition of heart, liver, muscle, skin and adipose tissue lipids was influenced markedly by dietary fat composition. Tissues varied significantly in response to dietary fat composition. Heart lipids contained the lowest levels of short- and medium-chain fatty acids and the highest levels of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid levels were less influenced by diet than were levels of other 20- and 22-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids. Radiotracer studies indicated that linoleic acid was converted to arachidonic acid in the liver. Nevertheless, tissue arachidonic acid levels also appeared to be maintained by concentration from dietary sources and selective conservation. It appears that a dietary source of arachidonic acid may be required for a maximum rate of growth.

  4. Glutamine synthetase in liver of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Smith, D D; Campbell, J W

    1987-01-01

    Glutamine synthetase was shown to be localized in liver mitochondria of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, by immunofluorescent staining of frozen liver sections and by the detection of enzymatic activity and immunoreactive protein in the mitochondrial fraction following subcellular fractionation of liver tissue by differential centrifugation. The primary translation product of alligator liver glutamine synthetase mRNA was shown to have an Mr = 45,000 which is similar if not identical in size to that of the mature subunit. This mRNA was found to be heterogeneous in size with a major form corresponding to 2.8-3.0 kb and a lesser form corresponding to around 2 kb. Both are in excess of the size required to code for the glutamine synthetase subunit. The synthesis and presumably the mitochondrial import of glutamine synthetase in alligator liver are thus very similar to the same processes in avian liver. Despite the excretion of a high percentage of nitrogen as ammonia, the demonstration of a mitochondrial glutamine synthetase indicates the alligator has the typical avian-type uricotelic ammonia-detoxification system in liver. This suggests that the transition to uricotelism occurred in the sauropsid line of evolution and has persisted through both the lepidosaurian (snakes, lizards) and archosaurian (dinosaurs, crocodilians, birds) lines.

  5. Bioprospecting the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Host Defense Peptidome

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25671663

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26436857

  10. 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.

  11. Fibrous trabeculae in the liver of alligator (alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Beresford, W A

    1993-08-01

    In the mature alligator, fibrous trabeculae run from the portal areas and capsule through the hepatic parenchyma. The extent of these trabeculae becomes clear only after staining for collagen with, for example, Fast green or Picrosirius red. The trabeculae are less well developed in young caiman. The alligator's liver might use the trabeculae to withstand thrashing of the body.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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). PMID:27401264

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25974402

  19. A study on biliary ductal system and bile fistula in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Xu, G; Elsey, R M; Lance, V A; Javors, B; Chen, T S; Salen, G; Tint, G S

    1997-12-15

    The anomalous arrangement of bile ducts in the Crocodylia has not been fully appreciated. A clear understanding of biliary anatomy is necessary in order to create complete bile drainage in these reptiles. The object of this study was to clarify the anatomy of the bile ductal system and to establish total bile fistulas in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Bile duct anatomy was studied in 104 juvenile alligators, and bile fistulas were constructed in seven alligators. In 93 out of 104 (89%) of the juveniles dissected there was an interconnection between the right and left hepatic duct before the right hepatic duct emptied into the gallbladder. The left hepatic duct then entered the duodenum independently of the cystic duct which drained the gallbladder directly into the duodenum. In 8% of the animals, the left hepatic duct did not enter the duodenum but joined with the right duct, forming a common hepatic duct that emptied into the gallbladder. In 3% of the cases, the right hepatic duct emptied into the gallbladder, while the left duct had no communication with the right hepatic duct and drained separately into the duodenum. This arrangement of bile ducts is similar to that seen in birds and reflects the common ancestry of crocodiles and birds. In other reptiles, the biliary system shows much more variability and is different from the alligator. In five of seven alligators in which total biliary diversion was attempted, the biliary catheter remained in place and stayed patent from 2-7 weeks. Bile flow was extremely low (1.5-2.5 ml/24 h) when compared to that of mammals (80-100 ml/24 h). This study demonstrates the variable nature of the biliary ductal system in Alligator mississippiensis and suggest a method for constructing an effective total bile fistula in these animals.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Blood and Plasma Biochemistry Reference Intervals for Wild Juvenile American Alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ).

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Matthew T; Kupar, Caitlin A; Kelley, Meghan D; Finger, John W; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-07-01

    : American alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ) are one of the most studied crocodilian species in the world, yet blood and plasma biochemistry information is limited for juvenile alligators in their northern range, where individuals may be exposed to extreme abiotic and biotic stressors. We collected blood samples over a 2-yr period from 37 juvenile alligators in May, June, and July to establish reference intervals for 22 blood and plasma analytes. We observed no effect of either sex or blood collection time on any analyte investigated. However, our results indicate a significant correlation between a calculated body condition index and aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase. Glucose, total protein, and potassium varied significantly between sampling sessions. In addition, glucose and potassium were highly correlated between the two point-of-care devices used, although they were significantly lower with the i-STAT 1 CG8+ cartridge than with the Vetscan VS2 Avian/Reptile Rotor. The reference intervals presented herein should provide baseline data for evaluating wild juvenile alligators in the northern portion of their range. PMID:27224213

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26748003

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Alterations in steroidogenesis in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) exposed naturally and experimentally to environmental contaminants.

    PubMed Central

    Crain, D A; Guillette, L J; Rooney, A A; Pickford, D B

    1997-01-01

    Many environmental contaminants alter the reproduction of animals by altering the development and function of the endocrine system. The ability of environmental contaminants to alter the endocrine system of alligators was studied both in a descriptive study in which juvenile alligators from a historically contaminated lake were compared to animals from a control lake and in an experimental study in which hatchling control alligators were exposed in ovo to several endocrine-disrupting standards and two modern-use herbicides. Endocrine status was assessed by examining plasma hormone concentrations, gonadal-adrenal mesonephros (GAM) aromatase activity, and gonadal histopathology. In the descriptive study, juvenile alligators from the contaminated lake had significantly lower plasma testosterone concentrations (29.2 pg/ml compared to 51.3 pg/ml), whereas plasma 17 beta-estradiol concentrations did not vary when compared to controls. GAM aromatase activity was significantly decreased n the alligators from the contaminated lake (7.6 pmol/g/hr compared to 11.4 pmol/g/hr). In the experimental study, the endocrine-disrupting standards had the expected effects. 17 beta-Estradiol and tamoxifen caused sex reversal from male to female, with a corresponding increase in aromatase activity. Vinclozolin had no apparent effect on male or female alligators. Among the herbicides tested, atrazine induced GAM aromatase activity in male hatchling alligators that was neither characteristic of males nor females, although testicular differentiation was not altered. Exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid had no effect on the endocrine parameters that were measured. Together, these studies show that exposure to some environmental chemicals (such as atrazine) can alter steroidogenesis in alligators, but the endocrine alterations previously noted for Lake Apopka, Florida, alligators can not be fully explained by this mechanism. Images Figure 1. PMID:9222139

  16. 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, ...

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

    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. PMID:7591979

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26743198

  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. A 3D interactive model and atlas of the jaw musculature of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Casey M; Tsai, Henry P; Skiljan, Rebecca J; George, Ian D; Pathan, Sami

    2013-01-01

    Modern imaging and dissemination methods enable morphologists to share complex, three-dimensional (3D) data in ways not previously possible. Here we present a 3D interactive model of the jaw musculature of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Alligator and crocodylian jaw musculature is notoriously challenging to inspect and interpret because of the derived nature of the feeding apparatus. Using Iodine-contrast enhanced microCT imaging, a segmented model of jaw muscles, trigeminal nerve, brain and skull are presented as a cross-sectional atlas and 3D, interactive pdf of the rendered model. Modern 3D dissemination methods like this 3D Alligator hold great potential for morphologists to share anatomical information to scientists, educators, and the public in an easily downloadable format. PMID:23762228

  3. Respiratory bronchoscopy of subadult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and tracheal wash evaluation.

    PubMed

    Lafortune, Maud; Göbel, Thomas; Jacobson, Elliot; Heard, Darryl; Brown, Dan; Alleman, Rick; Vliet, Kent; Harr, Kendal E; Hernandez, Jorge

    2005-03-01

    Twelve healthy approximately 3-yr-old captive-born 4.5-9 kg American alligators (Alligator mississipiensis) each had bronchoscopy and tracheal washes performed four times during a 10-mo period to evaluate seasonal respiratory microbiology and cytology. Cytologic evaluation of most samples showed a small amount of mucus and low numbers of ciliated columnar epithelium, cubodial epithelium, and keratinized squamous cells. No bacteria or parasites were observed, and there was no seasonal variation in the cytology. No significant bacterial or fungal growth was identified in any season. Hematology performed in the spring and fall evaluations showed seasonal variation in the red blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, eosinophil count, and thrombocyte count. The lower respiratory tract (at the tracheal level) of healthy subadult alligators appears to be sterile, and cytology is similar to that described in domestic mammals. PMID:17315452

  4. 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. PMID:26896538

  5. 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.

  6. Periods of cardiovascular susceptibility to hypoxia in embryonic american alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Tate, Kevin B; Rhen, Turk; Eme, John; Kohl, Zachary F; Crossley, Janna; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-06-01

    During embryonic development, environmental perturbations can affect organisms' developing phenotype, a process known as developmental plasticity. Resulting phenotypic changes can occur during discrete, critical windows of development. Critical windows are periods when developing embryos are most susceptible to these perturbations. We have previously documented that hypoxia reduces embryo size and increases relative heart mass in American alligator, and this study identified critical windows when hypoxia altered morphological, cardiovascular function and cardiac gene expression of alligator embryos. We hypothesized that incubation in hypoxia (10% O2) would increase relative cardiac size due to cardiac enlargement rather than suppression of somatic growth. We exposed alligator embryos to hypoxia during discrete incubation periods to target windows where the embryonic phenotype is altered. Hypoxia affected heart growth between 20 and 40% of embryonic incubation, whereas somatic growth was affected between 70 and 90% of incubation. Arterial pressure was depressed by hypoxic exposure during 50-70% of incubation, whereas heart rate was depressed in embryos exposed to hypoxia during a period spanning 70-90% of incubation. Expression of Vegf and PdgfB was increased in certain hypoxia-exposed embryo treatment groups, and hypoxia toward the end of incubation altered β-adrenergic tone for arterial pressure and heart rate. It is well known that hypoxia exposure can alter embryonic development, and in the present study, we have identified brief, discrete windows that alter the morphology, cardiovascular physiology, and gene expression in embryonic American alligator. PMID:27101296

  7. Periods of cardiovascular susceptibility to hypoxia in embryonic american alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Tate, Kevin B; Rhen, Turk; Eme, John; Kohl, Zachary F; Crossley, Janna; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-06-01

    During embryonic development, environmental perturbations can affect organisms' developing phenotype, a process known as developmental plasticity. Resulting phenotypic changes can occur during discrete, critical windows of development. Critical windows are periods when developing embryos are most susceptible to these perturbations. We have previously documented that hypoxia reduces embryo size and increases relative heart mass in American alligator, and this study identified critical windows when hypoxia altered morphological, cardiovascular function and cardiac gene expression of alligator embryos. We hypothesized that incubation in hypoxia (10% O2) would increase relative cardiac size due to cardiac enlargement rather than suppression of somatic growth. We exposed alligator embryos to hypoxia during discrete incubation periods to target windows where the embryonic phenotype is altered. Hypoxia affected heart growth between 20 and 40% of embryonic incubation, whereas somatic growth was affected between 70 and 90% of incubation. Arterial pressure was depressed by hypoxic exposure during 50-70% of incubation, whereas heart rate was depressed in embryos exposed to hypoxia during a period spanning 70-90% of incubation. Expression of Vegf and PdgfB was increased in certain hypoxia-exposed embryo treatment groups, and hypoxia toward the end of incubation altered β-adrenergic tone for arterial pressure and heart rate. It is well known that hypoxia exposure can alter embryonic development, and in the present study, we have identified brief, discrete windows that alter the morphology, cardiovascular physiology, and gene expression in embryonic American alligator.

  8. Variations in hepatic biomarkers in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three sites in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Mark P; Pickett, Melissa A; Martin, Justin T; Hulse, Elizabeth J; Smith, Spenser S; Smith, Levi A; Campbell, Rachel M; Lowers, Russell H; Boggs, Ashley S P; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Sub-individual biomarkers are sub-lethal biological responses commonly used in the assessment of wildlife exposure to environmental contaminants. In this study, we examined the activity of glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and metallothionein (MT) concentrations among captive-raised alligator hatchlings, wild-caught juveniles, and wild-caught adults. Juveniles and adults were collected from three locations in Florida (USA) with varying degrees of contamination (i.e. Lake Apopka (organochlorine polluted site), Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (metal polluted site), and Lake Woodruff NWR (reference site)). We examined whether changes in the response of these three biomarkers were age and sex dependent or reflected site-specific variations of environmental contaminants. Juvenile alligators from Merritt Island NWR had higher MT concentrations and lower GST activity compared to those from the other two sites. This outcome was consistent with higher metal pollution at this location. Sexually dimorphic patterns of MT and GST (F > M) were observed in juvenile alligators from all sites, although this pattern was not observed in adults. GST activity was lower in captive-raised alligators from Lake Apopka and Merritt Island NWR as compared to animals from Lake Woodruff NWR, suggesting a possible developmental modulator at these sites. No clear patterns were observed in LDH activity. We concluded that GST and MT demonstrate age and sex specific patterns in the alligators inhabiting these study sites and that the observed variation among sites could be due to differences in contaminant exposure. PMID:27111470

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

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Daniel E.; Elsey, Ruth M.; Langan, Esther M.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Edwards, Scott 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 three developmental stages and eight 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. PMID:23689672

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:24698170

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Achieving environmentally relevant organochlorine pesticide concentrations in eggs through maternal exposure in Alligator mississippiensis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rauschenberger, R.H.; Wiebe, J.J.; Buckland, J.E.; Smith, Joe T.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Alligator mississippiensis eggs from organochlorine pesticide (OCP) contaminated sites in Florida exhibit high rates of embryonic mortality compared to reference sites (p<0.05). The objective of the present study was to use captive adult alligators to test the hypotheses that maternal exposure to OCPs results in increased OCP concentrations in eggs, and that increased exposure is associated with increased embryonic mortality. A total of 24 adult alligators (8 males and 16 females) were housed in eight pens. Eight females in four pens were dosed with a mixture of p,p'-DDE, toxaphene, dieldrin, and chlordane at a rate of 0.2 ? 0.01 mg/kg/day for 274 ? 8 days. Treated females produced eggs containing higher OCP concentrations (12,814 ? 813 ng/g yolk) than controls (38 ? 4 ng/g yolk). Eggs of treated females exhibited decreased viability (13 ? 22%) as compared to controls (45 ? 20%). Results indicated that 0.6% of administered OCPs were maternally transferred to the eggs of American alligators, and that maternal exposure is associated with decreased egg/embryo viability in this species.

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

    PubMed

    Tellez, Marisa; Nifong, James

    2014-12-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. Do egg-laying crocodilian (Alligator mississippiensis) archosaurs form medullary bone?

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, M H; Elsey, R M; Dacke, C G; Horner, J R; Lamm, E-T

    2007-04-01

    It is beyond question that Mesozoic dinosaurs, like Aves and Crocodylia, are archosaurs. However, within the archosaurian clade, the origin and distribution of some major features are less clear, particularly with respect to reproductive physiology. Medullary bone, a highly mineralized, bony reproductive tissue present in the endosteal cavities of all extant egg-laying birds thus far examined, has recently been reported in Tyrannosaurus rex. Its presence or absence in extant crocodilians, therefore, may shed light on the timing of its evolutionary appearance. If medullary bone is present in all three taxa, it arose before the three lineages diverged. However, if medullary bone arose after this divergence, it may be present in both extinct dinosaurs and birds, or in birds only. If present in extinct dinosaurs and birds, but not crocodilians, it would indicate that it arose in the common ancestor of this clade, thus adding support to the closer phylogenetic relationship of dinosaurs and birds relative to crocodilians. Thus, the question of whether the crocodilian Alligator mississippiensis forms medullary bone during the production of eggs has important evolutionary significance. Our examination of long bones from several alligators (two alligators with eggs in the oviducts, one that had produced eggs in the past but was not currently in reproductive phase, an immature female and an adult male) shows no differences on the endosteal surfaces of the long bones, and no evidence of medullary bone, supporting the hypothesis that medullary bone first evolved in the dinosaur-bird line, after the divergence of crocodilians from this lineage.

  18. Seasonal acclimatisation of muscle metabolic enzymes in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

    Reptiles living in heterogeneous thermal environments are often thought to show behavioural thermoregulation or to become inactive when environmental conditions prevent the achievement of preferred body temperatures. By contrast, thermally homogeneous environments preclude behavioural thermoregulation, and ectotherms inhabiting these environments (particularly fish in which branchial respiration requires body temperature to follow water temperature) modify their biochemical capacities in response to long-term seasonal temperature fluctuations. Reptiles may also be active at seasonally varying body temperatures and could, therefore, gain selective advantages from regulating biochemical capacities. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that a reptile (the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis) that experiences pronounced seasonal fluctuations in body temperature will show seasonal acclimatisation in the activity of its metabolic enzymes. We measured body temperatures of alligators in the wild in winter and summer (N=7 alligators in each season), and we collected muscle samples from wild alligators (N=31 in each season) for analysis of metabolic enzyme activity (lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase). There were significant differences in mean daily body temperatures between winter (15.66+/-0.43 degrees C; mean +/- S.E.M.) and summer (29.34+/-0.21 degrees C), and daily body temperatures fluctuated significantly more in winter compared with summer. Alligators compensated for lower winter temperatures by increasing enzyme activities, and the activities of cytochrome c oxidase and lactate dehydrogenase were significantly greater in winter compared with summer at all assay temperatures. The activity of citrate synthase was significantly greater in the winter samples at the winter body temperature (15 degrees C) but not at the summer body temperature (30 degrees C). The thermal sensitivity (Q(10)) of mitochondrial enzymes decreased

  19. Functional morphology of the Alligator mississippiensis larynx with implications for vocal production.

    PubMed

    Riede, Tobias; Li, Zhiheng; Tokuda, Isao T; Farmer, Colleen G

    2015-04-01

    Sauropsid vocalization is mediated by the syrinx in birds and the larynx in extant reptiles; but whereas avian vocal production has received much attention, the vocal mechanism of basal reptilians is poorly understood. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) displays a large vocal repertoire during mating and in parent-offspring interactions. Although vocal outputs of these behaviors have received some attention, the underlying mechanism of sound production remains speculative. Here, we investigate the laryngeal anatomy of juvenile and adult animals by macroscopic and histological methods. Observations of the cartilaginous framework and associated muscles largely corroborate earlier findings, but one muscle, the cricoarytenoideus, exhibits a heretofore unknown extrinsic insertion that has important implications for effective regulation of vocal fold length and tension. Histological investigation of the larynx revealed a layered vocal fold morphology. The thick lamina propria consists of non-homogenous extracellular matrix containing collagen fibers that are tightly packed below the epithelium but loosely organized deep inside the vocal fold. We found few elastic fibers but comparatively high proportions of hyaluronan. Similar organizational complexity is also seen in mammalian vocal folds and the labia of the avian syrinx: convergent morphologies that suggest analogous mechanisms for sound production. In tensile tests, alligator vocal folds demonstrated a linear stress-strain behavior in the low strain region and nonlinear stress responses at strains larger than 15%, which is similar to mammalian vocal fold tissue. We have integrated morphological and physiological data in a two-mass vocal fold model, providing a systematic description of the possible acoustic space that could be available to an alligator larynx. Mapping actual call production onto possible acoustic space validates the model's predictions.

  20. 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...

  1. 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. PMID:27475646

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Summary 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°C under chronic hypoxia (12% O2), normoxia (21% O2) or hyperoxia (30% O2). 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. PMID:19376944

  4. Animal-borne imaging reveals novel insights into the foraging behaviors and Diel activity of a large-bodied apex predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nifong, James C; Nifong, Rachel L; Silliman, Brian R; Lowers, Russell H; Guillette, Louis J; Ferguson, Jake M; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals' experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal-borne imaging when

  5. Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Nifong, James C.; Nifong, Rachel L.; Silliman, Brian R.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J.; Ferguson, Jake M.; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals’ experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal

  6. In vivo bone strain and finite element modeling of the mandible of Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Porro, Laura B; Metzger, Keith A; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Ross, Callum F

    2013-01-01

    Forces experienced during feeding are thought to strongly influence the morphology of the vertebrate mandible; in vivo strain data are the most direct evidence for deformation of the mandible induced by these loading regimes. Although many studies have documented bone strains in the mammalian mandible, no information is available on strain magnitudes, orientations or patterns in the sauropsid lower jaw during feeding. Furthermore, strain gage experiments record the mechanical response of bone at a few locations, not across the entire mandible. In this paper, we present bone strain data recorded at various sites on the lower jaw of Alligator mississippiensis during in vivo feeding experiments. These data are used to understand how changes in loading regime associated with changes in bite location are related to changes in strain regime on the working and balancing sides of the mandible. Our results suggest that the working side mandible is bent dorsoventrally and twisted about its long-axis during biting, and the balancing side experiences primarily dorsoventral bending. Strain orientations are more variable on the working side than on the balancing side with changes in bite point and between experiments; the balancing side exhibits higher strain magnitudes. In the second part of this paper, we use principal strain orientations and magnitudes recorded in vivo to evaluate a finite element model of the alligator mandible. Our comparison demonstrates that strain orientations and mandibular deformation predicted by the model closely match in vivo results; however, absolute strain magnitudes are lower in the finite element model. PMID:23855772

  7. Quantification of intraskeletal histovariability in Alligator mississippiensis and implications for vertebrate osteohistology.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Holly N; Horner, John R; Farlow, James O

    2014-01-01

    Bone microanalyses of extant vertebrates provide a necessary framework from which to form hypotheses regarding the growth and skeletochronology of extinct taxa. Here, we describe the bone microstructure and quantify the histovariability of appendicular elements and osteoderms from three juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to assess growth mark and tissue organization within and amongst individuals, with the intention of validating paleohistological interpretations. Results confirm previous observations that lamellar and parallel fibered tissue organization are typical of crocodylians, and also that crocodylians are capable of forming woven tissue for brief periods. Tissue organization and growth mark count varies across individual skeletal elements and reveal that the femur, tibia, and humerus had the highest annual apposition rates in each individual. Cyclical growth mark count also varies intraskeletally, but data suggest these inconsistencies are due to differing medullary cavity expansion rates. There was no appreciable difference in either diaphyseal circumference or cyclical growth mark circumferences between left and right element pairs from an individual if diaphyses were sampled from roughly the same location. The considerable intraskeletal data obtained here provide validation for long-held paleohistology assumptions, but because medullary expansion, cyclical growth mark formation, and variable intraskeletal growth rates are skeletal features found in tetrapod taxa living or extinct, the validations presented herein should be considered during any tetrapod bone microanalysis. PMID:24949239

  8. 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

  9. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Matthew T; Finger, John W; Winzeler, Megan E; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3 (-)), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F 2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. Lastly, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood. PMID:27382469

  10. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3₋), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. In conclusion, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood.

  11. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    DOE PAGES

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressuremore » of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3₋), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. In conclusion, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood.« less

  12. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3−), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. Lastly, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood. PMID:27382469

  13. Ontogeny of the Middle-Ear Air-Sinus System in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Dufeau, David L; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2015-01-01

    Modern crocodylians, including Alligator mississippiensis, have a greatly elaborated system of pneumatic sinuses invading the cranium. These sinuses invade nearly all the bones of the chondrocranium and several bony elements of the splanchnocranium, but patterns of postnatal paratympanic sinus development are poorly understood and documented. Much of crocodylomorph--indeed archosaurian--evolution is characterized by the evolution of various paratympanic air sinuses, the homologies of which are poorly understood due in large part to the fact that individual sinuses tend to become confluent in adults, obscuring underlying patterns. This study seeks to explore the ontogeny of these sinuses primarily to clarify the anatomical relations of the individual sinuses before they become confluent and thus to provide the foundation for later studies testing hypotheses of homology across extant and extinct Archosauria. Ontogeny was assessed using computed tomography in a sample of 13 specimens covering an almost 19-fold increase in head size. The paratympanic sinus system comprises two major inflations of evaginated pharyngeal epithelium: the pharyngotympanic sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the lateral (true) Eustachian tubes and forms the cavum tympanicum proprium, and the median pharyngeal sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the median pharyngeal tube. Each of these primary inflations gives rise to a number of secondary inflations that further invade the bones of the skull. The primary sinuses and secondary diverticula are well developed in perinatal individuals of Alligator, but during ontogeny the number and relative volumes of the secondary diverticula are reduced. In addition to describing the morphological ontogeny of this sinus system, we provide some preliminary exploratory analyses of sinus function and allometry, rejecting the hypothesis that changes in the volume of the paratympanic sinuses are simply an allometric function of braincase

  14. Ontogeny of the Middle-Ear Air-Sinus System in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria: Crocodylia)

    PubMed Central

    Dufeau, David L.; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern crocodylians, including Alligator mississippiensis, have a greatly elaborated system of pneumatic sinuses invading the cranium. These sinuses invade nearly all the bones of the chondrocranium and several bony elements of the splanchnocranium, but patterns of postnatal paratympanic sinus development are poorly understood and documented. Much of crocodylomorph—indeed archosaurian—evolution is characterized by the evolution of various paratympanic air sinuses, the homologies of which are poorly understood due in large part to the fact that individual sinuses tend to become confluent in adults, obscuring underlying patterns. This study seeks to explore the ontogeny of these sinuses primarily to clarify the anatomical relations of the individual sinuses before they become confluent and thus to provide the foundation for later studies testing hypotheses of homology across extant and extinct Archosauria. Ontogeny was assessed using computed tomography in a sample of 13 specimens covering an almost 19-fold increase in head size. The paratympanic sinus system comprises two major inflations of evaginated pharyngeal epithelium: the pharyngotympanic sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the lateral (true) Eustachian tubes and forms the cavum tympanicum proprium, and the median pharyngeal sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the median pharyngeal tube. Each of these primary inflations gives rise to a number of secondary inflations that further invade the bones of the skull. The primary sinuses and secondary diverticula are well developed in perinatal individuals of Alligator, but during ontogeny the number and relative volumes of the secondary diverticula are reduced. In addition to describing the morphological ontogeny of this sinus system, we provide some preliminary exploratory analyses of sinus function and allometry, rejecting the hypothesis that changes in the volume of the paratympanic sinuses are simply an allometric function of braincase

  15. Hepatic and renal trace element concentrations in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) following chronic dietary exposure to coal fly ash contaminated prey.

    PubMed

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Scott, David E; Metts, Brian S; Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T

    2016-07-01

    Little is known about the propensity of crocodilians to bioaccumulate trace elements as a result of chronic dietary exposure. We exposed 36 juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to one of four dietary treatments that varied in the relative frequency of meals containing prey from coal combustion waste (CCW)-contaminated habitats vs. prey from uncontaminated sites, and evaluated tissue residues and growth rates after 12 mo and 25 mo of exposure. Hepatic and renal concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and selenium (Se) varied significantly among dietary treatment groups in a dose-dependent manner and were higher in kidneys than in livers. Exposure period did not affect Se or As levels but Cd levels were significantly higher after 25 mo than 12 mo of exposure. Kidney As and Se levels were negatively correlated with body size but neither growth rates nor body condition varied significantly among dietary treatment groups. Our study is among the first to experimentally examine bioaccumulation of trace element contaminants in crocodilians as a result of chronic dietary exposure. A combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments will be required to understand the effects of different exposure scenarios on tissue residues, and ultimately link these concentrations with effects on individual health. PMID:27149145

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. Predicting maternal body burdens of organochlorine pesticides from eggs and evidence of maternal transfer in Alligator mississippiensis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rauschenberger, R.H.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Wiebe, J.J.; Szabo, N.J.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Few data exist regarding maternal-embryonal transfer of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in reptiles. The objective of the present study was to evaluate maternal transfer of OCPs in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from low-, intermediate-, and high-OCP-exposure sites. Overall, total OCP burdens ranged from less than 0.8 ppb in blood to more than 44,000 ppb in abdominal adipose tissue (wet wt concentrations). Lipid-adjusted ratios of maternal adipose burdens (total OCPs) to yolk burdens were close to one (0.94 ?? 0.31:1), suggesting that animals were in steady state and that OCPs in eggs originated from adipose lipids. In contrast, lipid-adjusted muscle and liver OCP burdens were greater than yolk OCP burdens, suggesting that lipids in muscle were not utilized during oogenesis and that nonlipid liver tissue sequesters OCPs. Predictive equations were derived for several tissues and several OCP analytes with r2 values ranging from 0.40 to 0.99 (p < 0.05). We suggest that yolk burdens are predictive of maternal tissue burdens for certain tissues and OCPs and that certain OCPs are maternally transferred in the American alligator. Furthermore, we suggest that future studies should investigate the applicability of these predictive equations for assessing maternal exposure in other crocodilian species.

  1. Histology-based morphology of the neurocentral synchondrosis in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria, Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Ikejiri, Takehito

    2012-01-01

    Morphology of the neurocentral synchondroses--thin cartilaginous layers between centra and neural arches--are documented in the extant crocodilian, Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria, Crocodylia). Examination of dry skeletons demonstrates that neurocentral suture closure occurs in very late postnatal ontogeny (after reaching sexual maturity and/or body size ca. 40% from the upper range). Before sexual maturity (body length (BL) ≥ ca. 1.80 m), completely fused centra and neural arches are restricted to the caudal vertebral series. In contrast, the presacral vertebrae often remain unfused throughout postnatal ontogeny, retaining open sutures in very mature individuals (BL ≥ 2.80 m). These unfused centra and neural arches are structurally supported by the relatively large surface area of the neurocentral junctions, which results from primarily horizontal (mediolateral) increases with strong positive allometry. Cleared and stained specimens show that the cartilaginous neurocentral synchondrosis starts to form after approximately 40 embryonic days. Histological examination of the neurocentral junction in dorsal and anterior caudal vertebrae of six individuals (BL = 0.28-3.12 m) shows : (1) neurocentral fusion is the result of endochondral ossification of the neurocentral synchondrosis, (2) the neurocentral synchondrosis exhibits bipolar organization of three types of cartilaginous cells, and (3) complex neurocentral sutures (i.e., curved, zigzagged, and/or interdigitated boundaries) come from clumping of bone cells of the neural arches and centra into the neurocentral synchondrosis. The last two morphological features can be advantageous for delaying neurocentral fusion, which seems to be unique in crocodilians and possibly their close relatives, including nonavian dinosaurs and other Mesozoic archosaurs. PMID:22095938

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:11897202

  5. New insight into the anatomy of the hyolingual apparatus of Alligator mississippiensis and implications for reconstructing feeding in extinct archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhiheng; Clarke, Julia A

    2015-07-01

    Anatomical studies of the cranium of crocodilians motivated by an interest in its function in feeding largely focused on bite force, the jaw apparatus and associated muscles innervated by the trigeminal nerve. However, the ossified and cartilaginous elements of the hyoid and the associated hyolingual muscles, innervated by the facial, hypoglossal and glossopharyngeal nerves, received much less attention. Crocodilians are known to retain what are ancestrally the 'Rhythmic Hyobranchial Behaviors' such as buccal oscillation, but show diminished freedom and movement for the hyobranchial apparatus and the tongue in food transport and manipulation. Feeding among crocodilians, generally on larger prey items than other reptilian outgroups, involves passive transport of the food within the mouth. The tongue in extant crocodilians is firmly attached to the buccal floor and shows little movement during feeding. Here, we present a detailed anatomical description of the myology of the hyolingual apparatus of Alligator mississippiensis, utilizing contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography and dissection. We construct the first three-dimensional (3D) description of hyolingual myology in Alligator mississippiensis and discuss the detailed implications of these data for our understanding of hyolingual muscle homology across Reptilia. These anatomical data and an evaluation of the fossil record of hyoid structures also shed light on the evolution of feeding in Reptilia. Simplification of the hyoid occurs early in the evolution of archosaurs. A hyoid with only one pair of ceratobranchials and a weakly ossified or cartilaginous midline basihyal is ancestral to Archosauriformes. The comparison with non-archosaurian reptilian outgroup demonstrates that loss of the second set of ceratobranchials as well as reduced ossification in basihyal occurred prior to the origin of crown-clade archosaurs, crocodilians and birds. Early modification in feeding ecology appears to characterize the

  6. 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 ...

  7. Ontogeny of the palatoquadrate and adjacent lateral cranial wall of the endocranium in prehatching Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Klembara, Jozef

    2004-11-01

    The purpose of this article is to gain insight into the ossification sequence of the palatoquadrate and the adjacent lateral cranial wall of prehatching Alligator mississippiensis, a process about which there is almost no published information. Results were obtained by studying serial histological sections of the series of ontogenetic stages and enlarged wax-plate models of several stages. The cartilage of the palatoquadrate starts to ossify endochondrally in the quadrate portion of the pars pterygoquadrata palatoquadrati in Stage 6A. In this stage, a bone, called the lamina palatoquadrati anterior here, appears at and close to the anteromedial wall of the cartilaginous pterygoid portion of the pars pterygoquadrata. The lamina palatoquadrati anterior ossifies in membrane. Later in ontogeny, the lamina palatoquadrati anterior spreads into the cavum epiptericum and sheathes the posterior portion of the trigeminal ganglion laterally. The jaw adductor muscles insert at the outer surface of the lamina palatoquadrati anterior. The lamina palatoquadrati anterior is a new structure not previously recorded in crocodylians or any other Recent reptile. The topology, mode of ossification, and functional anatomy of the lamina palatoquadrati anterior correspond to those of the membranous ossification of the alisphenoid of marsupials. Another bone, called the lamina prootici anterior here, spreads in membrane from the anterolateral wall of the prootic portion of the otic capsule into the prootic fenestra, above the trigeminal ganglion. The lamina prootici anterior represents a structure not recorded previously in crocodylians. It contributes to the orbitotemporal braincase wall. PMID:15376273

  8. Development of the dermal skeleton in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria, Crocodylia) with comments on the homology of osteoderms.

    PubMed

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; Hall, Brian K

    2008-04-01

    The dermal skeleton (=exoskeleton) has long been recognized as a major determinant of vertebrate morphology. Until recently however, details of tissue development and diversity, particularly among amniotes, have been lacking. This investigation explores the development of the dermatocranium, gastralia, and osteoderms in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. With the exception of osteoderms, elements of the dermal skeleton develop early during skeletogenesis, with most initiating ossification prior to mineralization of the endoskeleton. Characteristically, circumoral elements of the dermatocranium, including the pterygoid and dentigerous elements, are among the first to form. Unlike other axially arranged bones, gastralia develop in a caudolateral to craniomedial sequence. Osteoderms demonstrate a delayed onset of development compared with the rest of the skeleton, not appearing until well after hatching. Osteoderm development is asynchronous across the body, first forming dorsally adjacent to the cervical vertebrae; the majority of successive elements appear in caudal and lateral positions. Exclusive of osteoderms, the dermal skeleton initiates osteogenesis via intramembranous ossification. Following the establishment of skeletal condensations, some preossified spicules become engorged with many closely packed clusters of chondrocyte-like cells in a bone-like matrix. This combination of features is characteristic of chondroid bone, a tissue otherwise unreported among nonavian reptiles. No secondary cartilage was identified in any of the specimens examined. With continued growth, dermal bone (including chondroid bone) and osteoid are resorbed by multinucleated osteoclasts. However, there is no evidence that these cells contribute to the rugose pattern of bony ornamentation characteristic of the crocodylian dermatocranium. Instead, ornamentation develops as a result of localized concentrations of bone deposited by osteoblasts. Osteoderms develop in the

  9. Ontogeny of the partial secondary wall of the otoccipital region of the endocranium in prehatching Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria, Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Klembara, Jozef

    2005-12-01

    The ontogeny of the posterior otic and anterior occipital portions of the neural endocranium of prehatching Alligator mississippiensis was investigated by reconstruction from sectioned material. In Stage 6 of this species, in which the endochondral ossification of the otoccipital region of the neural endocranium is only in its very early stage, two bony outgrowths-laminae-are present at the external wall of the posterior portion of the neural endocranium. The anterior lamina arises from the external surface of the basal plate at the level of the posterior margin of the subcapsular process; the posterior lamina arises from the external surface of that portion of the pila occipitalis that forms the posteroventral wall of the metotic fissure. During ontogeny, both laminae lying in the anteroposterior sequence ossify in membrane, fuse together, grow laterodorsally, and fuse with the lateral wall of the lateral semicircular canal and the crista parotica. This lamina forms a new, secondary wall enclosing the posterior section of the otic capsule and contains the large external jugular foramen (or foramen vagi) in its basal portion. The laminae, designated lamina juxtaotica anterior and posterior (lamina juxtaotica when fused together), have not been recorded previously in crocodylians and are absent in all other Recent reptiles. From the functional point of view, the juxtaotic lamina 1) forms the margins of the external jugular foramen, and 2) forms the floor of the posterior section of the Eustachian tube. In birds, the structure called the metotic cartilage, which arises in ontogeny as an independent element, has a similar position as the juxtaotic lamina. However, the two structures differ in their developmental origins and their relation to the Eustachian tube and the ramus hyomandibularis of the facialis nerve. Moreover, there is no external jugular foramen in birds. PMID:16235248

  10. Laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of the radial distribution of lead in the femur of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Seltzer, Michael D; Lance, Valentine A; Elsey, Ruth M

    2006-06-15

    A laser ablation ICP-MS technique has been used to examine the radial distribution of lead in transverse sections of alligator femur. Annual bone growth in the femur results in the deposition of incremental layers of calcified tissue at the periphery of existing bone. Patterns of lead concentration within these layers provide a record of time-dependent accumulation from which exposure history can potentially be deduced. Femur specimens obtained from captive-reared alligators exhibited levels of lead accumulation that were entirely consistent with previously documented clinical signs of lead intoxication. In contrast, femurs obtained from wild alligators contained only minor amounts of lead that were likely accumulated as a result of incidental exposure.

  11. Laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of the radial distribution of lead in the femur of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Seltzer, Michael D; Lance, Valentine A; Elsey, Ruth M

    2006-06-15

    A laser ablation ICP-MS technique has been used to examine the radial distribution of lead in transverse sections of alligator femur. Annual bone growth in the femur results in the deposition of incremental layers of calcified tissue at the periphery of existing bone. Patterns of lead concentration within these layers provide a record of time-dependent accumulation from which exposure history can potentially be deduced. Femur specimens obtained from captive-reared alligators exhibited levels of lead accumulation that were entirely consistent with previously documented clinical signs of lead intoxication. In contrast, femurs obtained from wild alligators contained only minor amounts of lead that were likely accumulated as a result of incidental exposure. PMID:15982720

  12. Organizational Changes to Thyroid Regulation in Alligator mississippiensis: Evidence for Predictive Adaptive Responses

    PubMed Central

    Boggs, Ashley S. P.; Lowers, Russell H.; Cloy-McCoy, Jessica A.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2013-01-01

    During embryonic development, organisms are sensitive to changes in thyroid hormone signaling which can reset the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. It has been hypothesized that this developmental programming is a ‘predictive adaptive response’, a physiological adjustment in accordance with the embryonic environment that will best aid an individual's survival in a similar postnatal environment. When the embryonic environment is a poor predictor of the external environment, the developmental changes are no longer adaptive and can result in disease states. We predicted that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and environmentally-based iodide imbalance could lead to developmental changes to the thyroid axis. To explore whether iodide or EDCs could alter developmental programming, we collected American alligator eggs from an estuarine environment with high iodide availability and elevated thyroid-specific EDCs, a freshwater environment contaminated with elevated agriculturally derived EDCs, and a reference freshwater environment. We then incubated them under identical conditions. We examined plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations, thyroid gland histology, plasma inorganic iodide, and somatic growth at one week (before external nutrition) and ten months after hatching (on identical diets). Neonates from the estuarine environment were thyrotoxic, expressing follicular cell hyperplasia (p = 0.01) and elevated plasma triiodothyronine concentrations (p = 0.0006) closely tied to plasma iodide concentrations (p = 0.003). Neonates from the freshwater contaminated site were hypothyroid, expressing thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia (p = 0.01) and depressed plasma thyroxine concentrations (p = 0.008). Following a ten month growth period under identical conditions, thyroid histology (hyperplasia p = 0.04; colloid depletion p = 0.01) and somatic growth (body mass p<0.0001; length p = 0.02) remained altered among the

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The provenance of alveolar and parabronchial lungs: insights from paleoecology and the discovery of cardiogenic, unidirectional airflow in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2010-01-01

    Birds and mammals evolved greater aerobic abilities than their common ancestor had. This required expansion of the cardiopulmonary system's capacity for gas exchange, but while directional selection for this expanded capacity resulted in extremely similar avian and mammalian hearts, strikingly different lungs arose, and the reasons for this divergence in lung morphology are not understood. In birds, gas exchange occurs in the lungs as air moves through small tubes (parabronchi) in one direction; in mammals, air flows tidally into and out of the alveoli. Here, I present a scenario for the origin of both the alveolar and parabronchial lungs that explains when and how they could have arisen by a gradual sequence of steps. I argue that (1) the alveolar lung evolved in the late Paleozoic, when high levels of atmospheric oxygen relaxed selection for a thin blood-gas barrier within the lung; (2) unidirectional flow originated in the ectothermic ancestral archosaur, the forerunner of birds and crocodilians, to enable the heart to circulate pulmonary gases during apnea. This hypothesis would be supported by a demonstration of unidirectional flow in the lungs of crocodilians, the extant sister taxon of birds. Airflow in the lungs of juvenile alligators was measured during apnea using dual thermistor flowmeters, and cardiac activity was measured with electrocardiography. Coincident with each heartbeat, a pulse of air flowed in the pulmonary conduit under study with a bias in the direction of movement, yielding a net unidirectional flow. These data suggest the internal structures requisite for unidirectional flow were present in the common ancestors of birds and crocodilians and may have preadapted the lungs of archosaurs to function advantageously during the oxygen-poor period of the early Mesozoic.

  18. The provenance of alveolar and parabronchial lungs: insights from paleoecology and the discovery of cardiogenic, unidirectional airflow in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2010-01-01

    Birds and mammals evolved greater aerobic abilities than their common ancestor had. This required expansion of the cardiopulmonary system's capacity for gas exchange, but while directional selection for this expanded capacity resulted in extremely similar avian and mammalian hearts, strikingly different lungs arose, and the reasons for this divergence in lung morphology are not understood. In birds, gas exchange occurs in the lungs as air moves through small tubes (parabronchi) in one direction; in mammals, air flows tidally into and out of the alveoli. Here, I present a scenario for the origin of both the alveolar and parabronchial lungs that explains when and how they could have arisen by a gradual sequence of steps. I argue that (1) the alveolar lung evolved in the late Paleozoic, when high levels of atmospheric oxygen relaxed selection for a thin blood-gas barrier within the lung; (2) unidirectional flow originated in the ectothermic ancestral archosaur, the forerunner of birds and crocodilians, to enable the heart to circulate pulmonary gases during apnea. This hypothesis would be supported by a demonstration of unidirectional flow in the lungs of crocodilians, the extant sister taxon of birds. Airflow in the lungs of juvenile alligators was measured during apnea using dual thermistor flowmeters, and cardiac activity was measured with electrocardiography. Coincident with each heartbeat, a pulse of air flowed in the pulmonary conduit under study with a bias in the direction of movement, yielding a net unidirectional flow. These data suggest the internal structures requisite for unidirectional flow were present in the common ancestors of birds and crocodilians and may have preadapted the lungs of archosaurs to function advantageously during the oxygen-poor period of the early Mesozoic. PMID:20377411

  19. 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...

  20. The utility of captive animals in actualistic research: A geometric morphometric exploration of the tooth row of Alligator mississippiensis suggesting ecophenotypic influences and functional constraints.

    PubMed

    Drumheller, Stephanie K; Wilberg, Eric W; Sadleir, Rudyard W

    2016-07-01

    Captive broad snouted crocodylians are generally thought to have wider, shorter rostra than their wild counterparts. Interpreted to reflect morphological change in response to the conditions of captivity, this qualitative pattern could affect the utility of these animals in a variety of fields of research. However, due to relative ease of access and availability of life history data, captive animals are often utilized in actualistic research. Thus, this issue should be addressed in more detail. Here we explore snout shape variation between captive and wild members of Alligator mississippiensis using two-dimensional (2D) morphometric techniques. Several landmark schemesare used to assess the utility of different aspects of morphology in distinguishing the groups. While statistical analyses consistently differentiated between the groups, the area of morphospace occupied by wild members of A. mississippiensis generally overlapped with the larger area encompassing the captive specimens. This indicates that the captive condition is not as uniform as previously thought and instead encompasses a large spectrum of morphologies, ranging from the stereotypical broad, shortened snouts to outlines that are indistinguishable from the wild morphotype. These results align well with the interpretation that this change reflects an extreme example of ecophenotypy, since ranched, farmed, or zoo organisms are held in an array of enclosures, ranging from indoor, climate controlled pens to outdoor, more natural areas. This variation in environments should be reflected in different reactions to the animals' surroundings, resulting in a broad spectrum of morphotypes. While wild specimens are still preferred, especially for fine scale analyses, these results indicate that not all captive members of A. mississippiensis exhibit the extreme morphological alterations often cited in the literature. Weighing the conditions in which the animals are held and exploring the possibility of

  1. 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. 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. 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.

  4. 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.'

  5. The impact of bone and suture material properties on mandibular function in Alligator mississippiensis: testing theoretical phenotypes with finite element analysis

    PubMed Central

    Reed, David A; Porro, Laura B; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Lemberg, Justin B; Holliday, Casey M; Anapol, Fred; Ross, Callum F

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The functional effects of bone and suture stiffness were considered here using finite element models representing three different theoretical phenotypes of an Alligator mississippiensis mandible. The models were loaded using force estimates derived from muscle architecture in dissected specimens, constrained at the 18th and 19th teeth in the upper jaw and 19th tooth of the lower jaw, as well as at the quadrate-articular joint. Stiffness was varied systematically in each theoretical phenotype. The three theoretical phenotypes included: (i) linear elastic isotropic bone of varying stiffness and no sutures; (ii) linear elastic orthotropic bone of varying stiffness with no sutures; and (iii) linear elastic isotropic bone of a constant stiffness with varying suture stiffness. Variation in the isotropic material properties of bone primarily resulted in changes in the magnitude of principal strain. By comparison, variation in the orthotropic material properties of bone and isotropic material properties of sutures resulted in: a greater number of bricks becoming either more compressive or more tensile, changing between being either dominantly compressive or tensile, and having larger changes in the orientation of maximum principal strain. These data indicate that variation in these model properties resulted in changes to the strain regime of the model, highlighting the importance of using biologically verified material properties when modeling vertebrate bones. When bones were compared within each set, the response of each to changing material properties varied. In two of the 12 bones in the mandible, varied material properties within sutures resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of principal strain in bricks adjacent to the bone/suture interface and decreases in stored elastic energy. The varied response of the mandibular bones to changes in suture stiffness highlights the importance of defining the appropriate functional unit when addressing relationships of

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Morphological characteristics regulating phallic glans engorgement in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Spears, David; Mascari, Taylor; Kelly, Diane A

    2016-10-01

    The distal part of the crocodilian phallus consists of a bulbous glans containing well-developed vascular tissues that can inflate before or during sexual activity, enlarging and elaborating the glans into a complex, though still functionally undefined, copulatory structure. An enlarged glans putatively interacts with the female cloaca and may change the shape of her reproductive tract to facilitate insemination and increase the probability of fertilization. Here, we investigated the cellular-level properties of the glans and other inflatable phallic tissues associated with the sperm-conducting sulcus spermaticus in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Using histochemical staining, we visualized and defined collagen and elastin fiber densities and orientations in these tissues. Extracellular matrix architectures provided insights about phallic glans material properties and how they may affect tissue strength and flexibility during inflation and in response to copulatory forces. We also investigated the potential sources of fluids that induce inflation in alligator phalli. Combining serial sectioning and three-dimensional reconstruction, we identified a pair of supracrucal plexus vascular bodies at the proximal end of the alligator phallus that extend distally adjacent to ventro-medial sulcus tissues. Together, our gross and histological examination of the American alligator phallic glans suggests that its tissues are arranged in a manner that would allow vascular inflation to expand the glans to a specific and repeatable shape, and potentially release secretory products into the female reproductive tract. Both elements could play roles in postcopulatory sexual selection, by mechanically and/or chemically affecting female reproductive physiology.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26555363

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:17285637

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators.

    PubMed

    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. 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

  9. 75 FR 34365 - Safety Zone, Alligator River, NC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-17

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Alligator River, NC AGENCY: Coast Guard... the waters of the Alligator River at East Lake, North Carolina. The safety zone is intended to... on the Alligator River makes safety zone regulations necessary to provide for the safety...

  10. 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.

  11. American alligator proximal pedal phalanges resemble human finger bones: Diagnostic criteria for forensic investigators.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Joseph V; Binetti, Katie M

    2014-07-01

    A scientific approach to bone and tooth identification requires analysts to pursue the goal of empirical falsification. That is, they may attribute a questioned specimen to element and taxon only after having ruled out all other possible attributions. This requires analysts to possess a thorough understanding of both human and non-human osteology, particularly so for remains that may be morphologically similar across taxa. To date, forensic anthropologists have identified several potential 'mimics' for human skeletal remains, including pig teeth and bear paws. Here we document another possible mimic for isolated human skeletal elements--the proximal pedal phalanges of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) closely resemble the proximal and intermediate hand phalanges of adult humans. We detail morphological similarities and differences between these elements, with the goal of providing sufficient information for investigators to confidently falsify the hypothesis that a questioned phalanx is derived from an American alligator.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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). PMID:9076974

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. TRPV4 associates environmental temperature and sex determination in the American alligator

    PubMed Central

    Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Saito, Shigeru; Lowers, Russell H.; Ogino, Yukiko; Fukuta, Naomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Tominaga, Makoto; Guillette Jr, Louis J.; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), commonly found among reptiles, is a sex determination mode in which the incubation temperature during a critical temperature sensitive period (TSP) determines sexual fate of the individual rather than the individual’s genotypic background. In the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), eggs incubated during the TSP at 33 °C (male producing temperature: MPT) yields male offspring, whereas incubation temperatures below 30 °C (female producing temperature: FPT) lead to female offspring. However, many of the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive, and the molecular link between environmental temperature and sex determination pathway is yet to be elucidated. Here we show the alligator TRPV4 ortholog (AmTRPV4) to be activated at temperatures proximate to the TSD-related temperature in alligators, and using pharmacological exposure, we show that AmTRPV4 channel activity affects gene expression patterns associated with male differentiation. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between a well-described thermo-sensory mechanism, TRPV4 channel, and its potential role in regulation of TSD in vertebrates, shedding unique new light on the elusive TSD molecular mechanism. PMID:26677944

  5. TRPV4 associates environmental temperature and sex determination in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Saito, Shigeru; Lowers, Russell H; Ogino, Yukiko; Fukuta, Naomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Tominaga, Makoto; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), commonly found among reptiles, is a sex determination mode in which the incubation temperature during a critical temperature sensitive period (TSP) determines sexual fate of the individual rather than the individual's genotypic background. In the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), eggs incubated during the TSP at 33 °C (male producing temperature: MPT) yields male offspring, whereas incubation temperatures below 30 °C (female producing temperature: FPT) lead to female offspring. However, many of the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive, and the molecular link between environmental temperature and sex determination pathway is yet to be elucidated. Here we show the alligator TRPV4 ortholog (AmTRPV4) to be activated at temperatures proximate to the TSD-related temperature in alligators, and using pharmacological exposure, we show that AmTRPV4 channel activity affects gene expression patterns associated with male differentiation. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between a well-described thermo-sensory mechanism, TRPV4 channel, and its potential role in regulation of TSD in vertebrates, shedding unique new light on the elusive TSD molecular mechanism. PMID:26677944

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26319836

  8. Contaminants in American alligator eggs from Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, and Lake Okeechobee, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Percival, H.F.; Jennings, Michael L.

    1991-01-01

    Residues of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 16 elements were measured in American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) eggs collected in 1984 from Lakes Apopka, Griffin, and Okeechobee in central and south Florida. Organochlorine pesticides were highest in eggs from Lake Apopka. None of the elements appeared to be present at harmful concentrations in eggs from any of the lakes. A larger sample of eggs was collected in 1985, but only from Lakes Griffin, a lake where eggs were relatively clean, and Apopka, where eggs were most contaminated. In 1985, hatching success of artificially incubated eggs was lower for Lake Apopka, and several organochlorine pesticides were higher than in eggs from Lake Griffin. However, within Lake Apopka, higher levels of pesticides in chemically analyzed eggs were not associated with reduced hatching success of the remaining eggs in the clutch. Therefore, it did not appear that any of the pesticides we measured were responsible for the reduced hatching of Lake Apopka eggs.

  9. The first fossil skull of Alligator sinensis from the Pleistocene, Taiwan, with a paleogeographic implication of the species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsi-yin, Shan; Yen-nien, Cheng; Xiao-chun, Wu

    2013-06-01

    A nearly complete fossil skull of Alligatoridae from the Pleistocene, Penghu Channel, east of Taiwan, is reported. It can be referred to the most latest clade of Alligatorinae, which includes Alligator sinensis, Alligator mississippiensis and Alligator mefferdi, on the basis of the following features: the splenial is excluded from the mandibular symphysis; the anterior tip of the splenial passes dorsal to the Meckelian groove; and the mandible is gently curved between the fourth alveoli and the mid dentary. It differs from A. mississippiensis and A. mefferdi mainly in the following characters: the breadth between the supratemporal fenestrae is approximately equal to the interorbital width, the snout is about half the length of the skull; and the anterior part of the snout is subtriangular in dorsal view. These features suggest that the Penghu alligator is most probably referable to A. sinensis. This is the only fossil skull of A. sinensis known. The discovery of the skull in Penghu Channel not only provides the first solid fossil evidence to indicate that the geological distribution of A. sinensis extended farther southeast than the historical/archeological range of the species but also adds new information on the biodiversity of the Penghu fauna.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26116474

  12. The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: Microbial Symbioses of the American Alligator.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Sarah W; Elsey, Ruth M

    2015-12-01

    Vertebrates coexist with microorganisms in diverse symbiotic associations that range from beneficial to detrimental to the host. Most research has aimed at deciphering the nature of the composite microbial assemblage's genome, or microbiome, from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and skin of mammals (i.e., humans). In mammals, the GI tract's microbiome aids digestion, enhances uptake of nutrients, and prevents the establishment of pathogenic microorganisms. However, because the GI tract microbiome of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is distinct from that of all other vertebrates studied to date, being comprised of Fusobacteria in the lower GI tract with lesser abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes, the function of these assemblages is largely unknown. This review provides a synthesis of our current understanding of the composition of alligators' microbiomes, highlights the potential role of microbiome members in alligators' health (the good), and presents a brief summary of microorganisms detrimental to alligators' health (the bad) including Salmonella spp. and others. Microbial assemblages of the GI tract have co-evolved with their vertebrate host over geologic time, which means that evolutionary hypotheses can be tested using information about the microbiome. For reptiles and amphibians, the number of taxa studied at present is limited, thereby restricting evolutionary insights. Nevertheless, we present a compilation of our current understanding of reptiles' and amphibians' microbiomes, and highlight future avenues of research (the unknown). As in humans, composition of microbiome assemblages provides a promising tool for assessing hosts' health or disease. By further exploring present-day associations between symbiotic microorganisms in the microbiomes of reptiles and amphibians, we can better identify good (beneficial) and bad (detrimental) microorganisms, and unravel the evolutionary history of the acquisition of

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Incubation history prior to the canonical thermosensitive period determines sex in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Jessica A; Parrott, Benjamin B; Rainwater, Thomas R; Wilkinson, Phillip M; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-10-01

    Despite the widespread occurrence of environmental sex determination (ESD) among vertebrates, our knowledge of the temporal dynamics by which environmental factors act on this process remains limited. In many reptiles, incubation temperature determines sex during a discrete developmental window just prior to and coincident with the differentiation of the gonads. Yet, there is substantial variation in sex ratios among different clutches of eggs incubated at identical temperatures during this period. Here, we test the hypothesis that temperatures experienced prior to the reported thermosensitive period for alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) can impact how the sex determination system responds to thermal cues later in development. Temperature shift experiments on eggs collected from the field within 24  h of oviposition were employed to decouple various maternal influences from thermal effects, and results demonstrate a previously undefined window of thermosensitivity occurring by stage 15 of embryonic development, six stages earlier than previously reported. We also examine the intrasexual expression of several male- and female-biased genes and show that while male-biased genes display no intrasexual differences, ovarian CYP19A1 (aromatase) transcript abundance differs by approximately twofold depending on thermal exposures experienced at early stages of embryonic development. These findings expand our understanding of the ESD in the alligator and provide the rationale for reevaluation of the temporal dynamics of sex determination in other crocodilians. PMID:26183894

  19. 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.

  20. Nutrient and organochlorine pesticide concentrations in American alligator eggs and their associations with clutch viability.

    PubMed

    Rauschenberger, R Heath; Sepúlveda, Maria S; Wiebe, Jon J; Wiebe, Janet E; Honeyfield, Dale C; Gross, Timothy S

    2009-12-01

    Since the early 1900s, the lakes of the Ocklawaha basin in central Florida have experienced ecological degradation due to anthropogenic development. One species affected by this degradation is the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis, which has suffered from poor clutch viability and embryo mortality. Although some studies indicate that organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) may be involved, OCPs do not account for all of the variation seen in hatch rates. Indeed, nutrition and non-OCP contaminants have been associated with developmental problems in fish and birds. Our study evaluated embryo mortality in alligators at reference and OCP-contaminated sites as a function of exposure to OCPs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), along with egg nutrients (Zn, Se, and vitamins A, E, and B1). The four-pronged study consisted of a case-control cohort study, an expanded field study, a topical egg treatment thiamine amelioration experiment, and a topical egg treatment thiamine antagonist experiment. The results from the two field studies suggested that the total thiamine levels in the eggs were positively associated with clutch viability and negatively associated with the lipid content and certain OCPs measured in egg yolks. In addition, PCBs, PAHs, Zn, Se, and vitamins A and E were not found to be associated with the observed clutch viability defects. The thiamine levels in the eggs explained 38% of the variation in clutch survival in the case-control cohort study and 27% in the expanded field study. The topical egg treatment experiments were successful in elevating the thiamine concentrations in the albumin but not the yolk. No significant differences were noted among treatment groups in either egg treatment experiment with respect to clutch survival. In summary, thiamine egg concentrations explain some of the variation in the clutch viability of free-ranging alligators, but the cause-effect relationships are still unclear. PMID

  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. PMID:20075253

  2. 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.

  3. Slow isotope turnover rates and low discrimination values in the American alligator: implications for interpretation of ectotherm stable isotope data.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Adam E; Heithaus, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis has become a standard ecological tool for elucidating feeding relationships of organisms and determining food web structure and connectivity. There remain important questions concerning rates at which stable isotope values are incorporated into tissues (turnover rates) and the change in isotope value between a tissue and a food source (discrimination values). These gaps in our understanding necessitate experimental studies to adequately interpret field data. Tissue turnover rates and discrimination values vary among species and have been investigated in a broad array of taxa. However, little attention has been paid to ectothermic top predators in this regard. We quantified the turnover rates and discrimination values for three tissues (scutes, red blood cells, and plasma) in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Plasma turned over faster than scutes or red blood cells, but turnover rates of all three tissues were very slow in comparison to those in endothermic species. Alligator δ(15)N discrimination values were surprisingly low in comparison to those of other top predators and varied between experimental and control alligators. The variability of δ(15)N discrimination values highlights the difficulties in using δ(15)N to assign absolute and possibly even relative trophic levels in field studies. Our results suggest that interpreting stable isotope data based on parameter estimates from other species can be problematic and that large ectothermic tetrapod tissues may be characterized by unique stable isotope dynamics relative to species occupying lower trophic levels and endothermic tetrapods.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:24332253

  8. Gonadal steroidogenesis in vitro from juvenile alligators obtained from contaminated or control lakes.

    PubMed Central

    Guillette, L J; Gross, T S; Gross, D A; Rooney, A A; Percival, H F

    1995-01-01

    The ubiquitous distribution of many contaminants and the nonlethal, multigenerational effects of such contaminants on reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems have led to concerns that wildlife worldwide are affected. Although the causal agents and effects are known for some species, the underlying physiological mechanisms associated with contaminant-induced reproductive modifications are still poorly understood and require extensive research. We describe a study examining the steroidogenic activity of gonads removed from juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) obtained from contaminated or control lakes in central Florida. Synthesis of estradiol-17 beta (E2) was significantly different when ovaries from the contaminated and control lakes were compared in vitro. Additionally, testes from males obtained from the contaminated lake. Lake Apopka, synthesized significantly higher concentrations of E2 when compared to testes obtained from control males. In contrast, testosterone (T) synthesis from all testes examined in this study displayed a normal pattern and produced concentrations greater than that observed from ovaries obtained from either lake. Interestingly, the pattern of gonadal steroidogenesis differs from previously reported plasma concentrations of these hormones obtained from the same individuals. We suggest that the differences between the in vivo and in vitro patterns are due to modifications in the hepatic degradation of plasma sex steroid hormones. PMID:7556021

  9. Three-dimensional skeletal kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb in walking Alligator

    PubMed Central

    Baier, David B; Gatesy, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

    Crocodylians occupy a key phylogenetic position for investigations of archosaur locomotor evolution. Compared to the well-studied hindlimb, relatively little is known about the skeletal movements and mechanics of the forelimb. In this study, we employed manual markerless XROMM (X-ray Reconstruction Of Moving Morphology) to measure detailed 3-D kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb bones of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) walking on a treadmill. Digital models of the interclavicle, scapulocoracoid, humerus, radius and ulna were created using a 3-D laser scanner. Models were articulated and aligned to simultaneously recorded frames of fluoroscopic and standard light video to reconstruct and measure joint motion. Joint coordinate systems were established for the coracosternal, glenohumeral and elbow joints. Our analysis revealed that the limb joints only account for about half of fore/aft limb excursion; the remaining excursion results from shoulder girdle movements and lateral bending of the vertebral column. Considerable motion of each scapulocoracoid relative to the vertebral column is consistent with coracosternal mobility. The hemisellar design of the glenohumeral joint permits some additional translation, or sliding in the fore-aft plane, but this movement does not have much of an effect on the distal excursion of the bone. PMID:24102540

  10. Evaluating recent taxonomic changes for alligator snapping turtles (Testudines: Chelydridae).

    PubMed

    Folt, Brian; Guyer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii Troost in Harlan 1835, sensu lato) has been historically treated as a single, wide-ranging species, until a recently published paper by Thomas et al. (2014; hereafter Thomas et al.) analyzed variation in morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequence data to describe two new species of Macrochelys: the Apalachicola Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys apalachicolae Thomas, Granatosky, Bourque, Krysko, Moler, Gamble, Suarez, Leone & Roman 2014) and the Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis Thomas, Granatosky, Bourque, Krysko, Moler, Gamble, Suarez, Leone & Roman 2014). The specific epithet temminckii was retained for populations in drainages from the Yellow River in Alabama and Florida west to the San Antonio River, Texas. Because populations of Macrochelys have been historically exploited by humans (Pritchard 1989) and the life-history strategies of large, long-lived turtles make them susceptible to declines from harvest (Congdon et al. 1994), a sound understanding of species delimitation and richness is critical for the conservation of alligator snapping turtles, especially if the acceptance of a widely distributed species disguises the presence of multiple, smaller-ranged species. PMID:25947748

  11. 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

  12. Turning crocodilian hearts into bird hearts: growth rates are similar for alligators with and without right-to-left cardiac shunt

    PubMed Central

    Eme, John; Gwalthney, June; Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Blank, Jason M.; Hicks, James W.

    2010-01-01

    The functional and possible adaptive significance of non-avian reptiles' dual aortic arch system and the ability of all non-avian reptiles to perform central vascular cardiac shunts have been of great interest to comparative physiologists. The unique cardiac anatomy of crocodilians – a four-chambered heart with the dual aortic arch system – allows for only right-to-left (R–L; pulmonary bypass) cardiac shunt and for surgical elimination of this shunt. Surgical removal of the R–L shunt, by occluding the left aorta (LAo) upstream and downstream of the foramen of Panizza, results in a crocodilian with an obligatory, avian/mammalian central circulation. In this study, R–L cardiac shunt was eliminated in age-matched, female American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; 5–7 months of age). We tested the hypothesis that surgical elimination of R–L cardiac shunt would impair growth (a readily measured proxy for fitness) compared with sham-operated, age-matched controls, especially in animals subjected to exhaustive exercise. While regular exercise caused a decrease in size (snout-to-vent length, head length and body mass), elimination of the capacity for R–L cardiac shunt did not greatly reduce animal growth, despite a chronic ventricular enlargement in surgically altered juvenile alligators. We speculate that, despite being slightly smaller, alligators with an occluded LAo would have reached sexual maturity in the same breeding season as control alligators. This study suggests that crocodilian R–L cardiac shunt does not provide an adaptive advantage for juvenile alligator growth and supports the logic that cardiac shunts persist in crocodilians because they have not been selected against. PMID:20639429

  13. Necropsy findings in American alligator late-stage embryos and hatchlings from northcentral Florida lakes contaminated with organochlorine pesticides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, M.S.; Del, Piero F.; Wiebe, J.J.; Rauschenberger, H.R.; Gross, T.S.

    2006-01-01

    Increased American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryo and neonatal mortality has been reported from several northcentral Florida lakes contaminated with old-use organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). However, a clear relationship among these contaminants and egg viability has not been established, suggesting the involvement of additional factors in these mortalities. Thus, the main objective of this study was to determine the ultimate cause of mortality of American alligator late-stage embryos and hatchlings through the conduction of detailed pathological examinations, and to evaluate better the role of OCPs in these mortalities. Between 2000 and 2001, 236 dead alligators were necropsied at or near hatching (after ???65 days of artificial incubation and up to 1 mo of age posthatch). Dead animals were collected from 18 clutches ranging in viability from 0% to 95%. Total OCP concentrations in yolk ranged from ???100 to 52,000 ??g/kg, wet weight. The most common gross findings were generalized edema (34%) and organ hyperemia (29%), followed by severe emaciation (14%) and gross deformities (3%). Histopathologic examination revealed lesions in 35% of the animals, with over half of the cases being pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and atelectasis. Within and across clutches, dead embryos and hatchlings compared with their live cohorts were significantly smaller and lighter. Although alterations in growth and development were not related to yolk OCPs, there was an increase in prevalence of histologic lesions in clutches with high OCPs. Overall, these results indicate that general growth retardation and respiratory abnormalities were a major contributing factor in observed mortalities and that contaminants may increase the susceptibility of animals to developing certain pathologic conditions. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2006.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Barrier cells in gills of the alligator gar.

    PubMed

    Henderson, V

    1999-10-01

    Studies of barrier cells in fishes are few and have been restricted primarily to salmonids. Moreover, these studies revealed the presence of barrier cells only in hematopoietic and lymphoid organs. The alligator gar, Lepisosteus spatula, possesses similar tissues within the gills which are readily accessible; therefore, they were the organs of choice. An electron microscopical analysis of the gills was undertaken to determine if barrier cells exist and if they possess an ultrastructural design comparable to their counterparts in the brain and lungs of higher vertebrates and hematopoietic/lymphoid tissues in fishes. The present study revealed that barrier cells were found only within non-hematopoietic/lymphoid areas. Barrier cells surrounded endocrine components, nerves, and sinusoids rather than capillary endothelium or hematopoietic/lymphoid tissues. Barrier cells in the alligator gar displayed a complex envelopment more similar to those found in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid, blood-brain, and blood-gas barriers in higher vertebrates than in salmonids. The barrier in the alligator gar consisted of: (1) an endothelium whose cells displayed tight junctions; (2) a basement membrane; and (3) an outer adventitia composed of fibrocytic cells in syncytium. PMID:18627869

  17. Barrier cells in gills of the alligator gar.

    PubMed

    Henderson, V

    1999-10-01

    Studies of barrier cells in fishes are few and have been restricted primarily to salmonids. Moreover, these studies revealed the presence of barrier cells only in hematopoietic and lymphoid organs. The alligator gar, Lepisosteus spatula, possesses similar tissues within the gills which are readily accessible; therefore, they were the organs of choice. An electron microscopical analysis of the gills was undertaken to determine if barrier cells exist and if they possess an ultrastructural design comparable to their counterparts in the brain and lungs of higher vertebrates and hematopoietic/lymphoid tissues in fishes. The present study revealed that barrier cells were found only within non-hematopoietic/lymphoid areas. Barrier cells surrounded endocrine components, nerves, and sinusoids rather than capillary endothelium or hematopoietic/lymphoid tissues. Barrier cells in the alligator gar displayed a complex envelopment more similar to those found in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid, blood-brain, and blood-gas barriers in higher vertebrates than in salmonids. The barrier in the alligator gar consisted of: (1) an endothelium whose cells displayed tight junctions; (2) a basement membrane; and (3) an outer adventitia composed of fibrocytic cells in syncytium.

  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. 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...

  20. 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... SECURITY (CONTINUED) PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS... Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC. (a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, Captain of the...

  1. Alligators and Crocodiles Have High Paracellular Absorption of Nutrients, But Differ in Digestive Morphology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    Tracy, Christopher R; McWhorter, Todd J; Gienger, C M; Starck, J Matthias; Medley, Peter; Manolis, S Charlie; Webb, Grahame J W; Christian, Keith A

    2015-12-01

    Much of what is known about crocodilian nutrition and growth has come from animals propagated in captivity, but captive animals from the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae respond differently to similar diets. Since there are few comparative studies of crocodilian digestive physiology to help explain these differences, we investigated young Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus in terms of (1) gross and microscopic morphology of the intestine, (2) activity of the membrane-bound digestive enzymes aminopeptidase-N, maltase, and sucrase, and (3) nutrient absorption by carrier-mediated and paracellular pathways. We also measured gut morphology of animals over a larger range of body sizes. The two species showed different allometry of length and mass of the gut, with A. mississippiensis having a steeper increase in intestinal mass with body size, and C. porosus having a steeper increase in intestinal length with body size. Both species showed similar patterns of magnification of the intestinal surface area, with decreasing magnification from the proximal to distal ends of the intestine. Although A. mississippiensis had significantly greater surface-area magnification overall, a compensating significant difference in gut length between species meant that total surface area of the intestine was not significantly different from that of C. porosus. The species differed in enzyme activities, with A. mississippiensis having significantly greater ability to digest carbohydrates relative to protein than did C. porosus. These differences in enzyme activity may help explain the differences in performance between the crocodilian families when on artificial diets. Both A. mississippiensis and C. porosus showed high absorption of 3-O methyl d-glucose (absorbed via both carrier-mediated and paracellular transport), as expected. Both species also showed surprisingly high levels of l-glucose-uptake (absorbed paracellularly), with fractional absorptions as high as those

  2. Alligators and Crocodiles Have High Paracellular Absorption of Nutrients, But Differ in Digestive Morphology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    Tracy, Christopher R; McWhorter, Todd J; Gienger, C M; Starck, J Matthias; Medley, Peter; Manolis, S Charlie; Webb, Grahame J W; Christian, Keith A

    2015-12-01

    Much of what is known about crocodilian nutrition and growth has come from animals propagated in captivity, but captive animals from the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae respond differently to similar diets. Since there are few comparative studies of crocodilian digestive physiology to help explain these differences, we investigated young Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus in terms of (1) gross and microscopic morphology of the intestine, (2) activity of the membrane-bound digestive enzymes aminopeptidase-N, maltase, and sucrase, and (3) nutrient absorption by carrier-mediated and paracellular pathways. We also measured gut morphology of animals over a larger range of body sizes. The two species showed different allometry of length and mass of the gut, with A. mississippiensis having a steeper increase in intestinal mass with body size, and C. porosus having a steeper increase in intestinal length with body size. Both species showed similar patterns of magnification of the intestinal surface area, with decreasing magnification from the proximal to distal ends of the intestine. Although A. mississippiensis had significantly greater surface-area magnification overall, a compensating significant difference in gut length between species meant that total surface area of the intestine was not significantly different from that of C. porosus. The species differed in enzyme activities, with A. mississippiensis having significantly greater ability to digest carbohydrates relative to protein than did C. porosus. These differences in enzyme activity may help explain the differences in performance between the crocodilian families when on artificial diets. Both A. mississippiensis and C. porosus showed high absorption of 3-O methyl d-glucose (absorbed via both carrier-mediated and paracellular transport), as expected. Both species also showed surprisingly high levels of l-glucose-uptake (absorbed paracellularly), with fractional absorptions as high as those

  3. Organochlorine pesticides and thiamine in eggs of largemouth bass and American alligators and their relationship with early life-stage mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, M.S.; Wiebe, J.J.; Honeyfield, D.C.; Rauschenberger, H.R.; Hinterkopf, J.P.; Johnson, W.E.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Thiamine deficiency has been linked to early mortality syndrome in salmonids in the Great Lakes. This study was conducted to compare thiamine concentrations in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) eggs from sites with high embryo mortality and high exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) (Lakes Apopka and Griffin, and Emeralda Marsh, Florida, USA) to those from sites that have historically exhibited low embryo mortality and low OCPs (Lakes Woodruff and Orange, Florida). During June-July 2000, 20 alligator clutches were collected from these sites, artificially incubated, and monitored for embryo mortality. Thiamine and OCPs were measured in one egg/clutch. During February 2002, 10 adult female bass were collected from Emeralda Marsh and Lake Woodruff and mature ovaries analyzed for thiamine and OCP concentrations. Although ovaries from the Emeralda Marsh bass contained almost 1,000-fold more OCPs compared with the reference site, Lake Woodruff, there were no differences in thiamine concentrations between sites (11,710 vs. 11,857 pmol/g). In contrast, alligator eggs from the reference site had five times the amount of thiamine compared with the contaminated sites (3,123 vs. 617 pmol/g). Similarly, clutches with > 55% hatch rates had significantly higher concentrations of thiamine compared with clutches with <54% hatch rates (1,119 vs. 201 pmol/g). These results suggest that thiamine deficiency might be playing an important role in alligator embryo survival but not in reproductive failure and recruitment of largemouth bass. The cause(s) of this thiamine deficiency are unknown but might be related to differences in the nutritional value of prey items across the sites studied and/or to the presence of high concentration of contaminants in eggs. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2004.

  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. Traumatic Amputation of Finger From an Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert D; Nielsen, Cynthia L

    2016-06-01

    Legend states that the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) should be handled with extreme caution as it has jaw strength powerful enough to bite a wooden broomstick in half. Tales of bite injuries from what is the largest freshwater turtle in North America exist anecdotally, yet there are few descriptions of medical encounters for such. The risk of infection from reptilian bites to the hand in an aquatic environment warrants thorough antibiotic treatment in conjunction with hand surgery consultation. We present the first case report of a near total amputation of an index finger in an adolescent boy who had been bitten by a wild "gator snapper." PMID:27116923

  6. [Formation of the genome of the alligator gar Lepisosteus osseus (Ganoidomorpha) genome].

    PubMed

    Vladychenskaia, N S; Kedrova, O S; Petrov, N B

    1983-01-01

    Genome structure of the alligator gar was studied by means of a comparison of reassociation kinetics of short and long DNA fragments, an estimation of hyperchromicity of reassociated repetitive DNA as a function of fragments length, and length estimation of S1-resistant duplexes by gel filtration. It was shown that most of the repeated sequences in the alligator gar DNA are no less than 2000 b.p. long and weakly divergent. Little or no interspersion of unique and short repeated sequences were observed in this genome. No highly divergent repeats were found in the alligator gar genome. PMID:6855762

  7. [Formation of the genome of the alligator gar Lepisosteus osseus (Ganoidomorpha) genome].

    PubMed

    Vladychenskaia, N S; Kedrova, O S; Petrov, N B

    1983-01-01

    Genome structure of the alligator gar was studied by means of a comparison of reassociation kinetics of short and long DNA fragments, an estimation of hyperchromicity of reassociated repetitive DNA as a function of fragments length, and length estimation of S1-resistant duplexes by gel filtration. It was shown that most of the repeated sequences in the alligator gar DNA are no less than 2000 b.p. long and weakly divergent. Little or no interspersion of unique and short repeated sequences were observed in this genome. No highly divergent repeats were found in the alligator gar genome.

  8. IgH loci of American alligator and saltwater crocodile shed light on IgA evolution.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Immunoglobulin loci of two representatives of the order Crocodylia were studied from full genome sequences. Both Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus have 13 genes for the heavy chain constant regions of immunoglobulins. The IGHC locus contains genes encoding four immunoglobulins M (IgM), one immunoglobulin D (IgD), three immunoglobulins A (IgA), three immunoglobulins Y (IgY), and two immunoglobulins D2 (IgD2). IgA and IgD2 genes were found in reverse transcriptional orientation compared to the other Ig genes. The IGHD gene contains 11 exons, four of which containing stop codons or sequence alterations. As described in other reptiles, the IgD2 is a chimeric Ig with IgA- and IgD-related domains. This work clarifies the origin of bird IgA and its evolutionary relationship with amphibian immunoglobulin X (IgX) as well as their links with mammalian IgA.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE OF THE FEMALE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS). (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  13. ALTERATIONS IN STEROIDOGENESIS IN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) EXPOSED NATURALLY AND EXPERIMENTALLY TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. PMID:26246611

  19. 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

    ... laws regulating harvest seasons and methods. (iii) Total allowable harvest of the species. (iv..., including harvest of nuisance alligators, methods used to determine harvest levels, demographics of the harvest, and methods used to determine the total number and population trends of alligators in the...

  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

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Naval Support Activity Panama 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...

  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

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Naval Support Activity Panama 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...

  2. 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

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Naval Support Activity Panama 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...

  3. 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

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Naval Support Activity Panama 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27212643

  6. [Comparison of the genome of the alligator gar with the genomes of several other fish].

    PubMed

    Kedrova, O S; Vladychenskaia, N S; Antonov, A S

    1983-01-01

    Hybridization of alligator gar (Lepisosteus osseus, Lepisosteiformes, Ganoidomorpha) [125I]- or [3H]DNA fractions with DNAs of more or less phylogenetically related fishes was studied. Almost all of the repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNA of the spotted gar (from the same genus) are highly homologous (1-2% of nucleotide substitutions). The degrees of homology between repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNAs of the representatives of Acipenseriformes (the same super-order Ganoidomorpha), Latimeria chalumnae (another subclass, Sarcopterygii) and a shark (another class, Chondrichthyes) are of the same order, and the levels of divergency of their DNAs sequences are similar. These results demonstrate, that the joining of Lepisosteiformes and Acipenseriformes in one and the same group of Ganoidomorpha is artificial, and that the superclass of fishes, Pisces, includes more taxons of the class rank then it has been taken in theory. PMID:6855763

  7. [Comparison of the genome of the alligator gar with the genomes of several other fish].

    PubMed

    Kedrova, O S; Vladychenskaia, N S; Antonov, A S

    1983-01-01

    Hybridization of alligator gar (Lepisosteus osseus, Lepisosteiformes, Ganoidomorpha) [125I]- or [3H]DNA fractions with DNAs of more or less phylogenetically related fishes was studied. Almost all of the repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNA of the spotted gar (from the same genus) are highly homologous (1-2% of nucleotide substitutions). The degrees of homology between repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNAs of the representatives of Acipenseriformes (the same super-order Ganoidomorpha), Latimeria chalumnae (another subclass, Sarcopterygii) and a shark (another class, Chondrichthyes) are of the same order, and the levels of divergency of their DNAs sequences are similar. These results demonstrate, that the joining of Lepisosteiformes and Acipenseriformes in one and the same group of Ganoidomorpha is artificial, and that the superclass of fishes, Pisces, includes more taxons of the class rank then it has been taken in theory.

  8. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of silver, cobalt, and strontium from polluted waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

    Water hyacinths and alligator weeds demonstrated the ability to rapidly remove heavy metals from an aqueous system by root absorption and concentration. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.439 mg of silver, 0.568 mg of cobalt, and 0.544 mg of strontium in an ionized form per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. Alligator weeds removed a maximum of 0.439 mg of silver, 0.130 mg of cobalt, and 0.161 mg of strontium per gram of dry plant material per day.

  9. Dujardinascaris gigantea sp. n. (Nematoda: Ascaridida) from the critically endangered crocodile Alligator sinensis Fauvel (Reptilia: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jin-Hong; Li, Liang; Guo, Yan-Ning; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2015-03-01

    The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis Fauvel (Reptilia: Crocodylia) is considered as one of the most critically endangered species of the 23 extant crocodiles. However, our knowledge of the helminth parasites of this rare animal is completely lacking. During a helminthological survey of reptiles in China, we found a new ascaridoid nematode, Dujardinascaris gigantea sp. n. from A. sinensis. The morphology of D. gigantea sp. n. was studied using light and scanning electron microscopy. The new species was also characterised using molecular methods by sequencing and analysing the small ribosomal DNA (18S) and the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2).

  10. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in Mexican alligator lizards, Barisia imbricata

    PubMed Central

    Dashevsky, Daniel; Meik, Jesse M; Mociño-Deloya, Estrella; Setser, Kirk; Schaack, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    We compare morphological characteristics of male and female Barisia imbricata, Mexican alligator lizards, and find that mass, head length, coloration, incidence of scars from conspecifics, tail loss, and frequency of bearing the color/pattern of the opposite sex are all sexually dimorphic traits. Overall size (measured as snout–vent length), on the other hand, is not different between the two sexes. We use data on bite scar frequency and fecundity to evaluate competing hypotheses regarding the selective forces driving these patterns. We contend that sexual selection, acting through male-male competition, may favor larger mass and head size in males, whereas large females are likely favored by natural selection for greater fecundity. In addition, the frequency of opposite-sex patterning in males versus females may indicate that the costs of agonistic interactions among males are severe enough to allow for an alternative mating strategy. Finally, we discuss how sexual and natural selective forces may interact to drive or mask the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits. PMID:23467394

  11. Intra-population variation in activity ranges, diel patterns, movement rates, and habitat use of American alligators in a subtropical estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank M; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Movement and habitat use patterns are fundamental components of the behaviors of mobile animals and help determine the scale and types of interactions they have with their environments. These behaviors are especially important to quantify for top predators because they can have strong effects on lower trophic levels as well as the wider ecosystem. Many studies of top predator movement and habitat use focus on general population level trends, which may overlook important intra-population variation in behaviors that now appear to be common. In an effort to better understand the prevalence of intrapopulation variation in top predator movement behaviors and the potential effects of such variation on ecosystem dynamics, we examined the movement and habitat use patterns of a population of adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in a subtropical estuary for nearly four years. We found that alligators exhibited divergent behaviors with respect to activity ranges, movement rates, and habitat use, and that individualized behaviors were stable over multiple years. We also found that the variations across the three behavioral metrics were correlated such that consistent behavioral types emerged, specifically more exploratory individuals and more sedentary individuals. Our study demonstrates that top predator populations can be characterized by high degrees of intra-population variation in terms of movement and habitat use behaviors that could lead to individuals filling different ecological roles in the same ecosystem. By extension, one-size-fits-all ecosystem and species-specific conservation and management strategies that do not account for potential intra-population variation in top predator behaviors may not produce the desired outcomes in all cases.

  12. Intra-population variation in activity ranges, diel patterns, movement rates, and habitat use of American alligators in a subtropical estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael; Jeffery, Brian M.

    2013-12-01

    Movement and habitat use patterns are fundamental components of the behaviors of mobile animals and help determine the scale and types of interactions they have with their environments. These behaviors are especially important to quantify for top predators because they can have strong effects on lower trophic levels as well as the wider ecosystem. Many studies of top predator movement and habitat use focus on general population level trends, which may overlook important intra-population variation in behaviors that now appear to be common. In an effort to better understand the prevalence of intra-population variation in top predator movement behaviors and the potential effects of such variation on ecosystem dynamics, we examined the movement and habitat use patterns of a population of adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in a subtropical estuary for nearly four years. We found that alligators exhibited divergent behaviors with respect to activity ranges, movement rates, and habitat use, and that individualized behaviors were stable over multiple years. We also found that the variations across the three behavioral metrics were correlated such that consistent behavioral types emerged, specifically more exploratory individuals and more sedentary individuals. Our study demonstrates that top predator populations can be characterized by high degrees of intra-population variation in terms of movement and habitat use behaviors that could lead to individuals filling different ecological roles in the same ecosystem. By extension, one-size-fits-all ecosystem and species-specific conservation and management strategies that do not account for potential intra-population variation in top predator behaviors may not produce the desired outcomes in all cases.

  13. 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. PMID:25765682

  14. A group of alligators basks in the sun and rest in the water at KSC.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This pond near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center is host to a least the nine alligators shown on the banks and in the water. 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.

  15. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Daniel E; Allen, Peter J

    2014-03-01

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth rates and ionic and osmoregulation, juvenile alligator gar (330 days after hatch; 185 g) were exposed to 4 different salinities (0, 8, 16, and 24 ppt) for a 30-day period. Specific growth rate, plasma osmolality and ion concentrations, gill and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities, and drinking rate were compared. Juvenile alligator gar were able to tolerate hyperosmotic salinities up to 24 ppt for a 30 day period, albeit with decreased growth resulting largely from decreased food consumption. Plasma osmolality and ionic concentrations were elevated in hyperosmotic salinities, and drinking rates and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities increased, particularly in the pyloric caeca, presumably the primary location of water absorption. Therefore, juvenile alligator gar<1 year of age are capable of prolonged exposure to hyperosmotic salinities, but, based on the inference of these data, require access to lower salinities for long-term survival. PMID:24368134

  16. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth ra...

  17. The evolutionary history of an invasive species: alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The eco-evolutionary mechanisms of biological invasions are still not thoroughly understood. Alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Gisebach (Amaranthaceae), is a plant native to South America and a weed in Australia and other countries. To better understand its success as an invader,...

  18. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Daniel E; Allen, Peter J

    2014-03-01

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth rates and ionic and osmoregulation, juvenile alligator gar (330 days after hatch; 185 g) were exposed to 4 different salinities (0, 8, 16, and 24 ppt) for a 30-day period. Specific growth rate, plasma osmolality and ion concentrations, gill and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities, and drinking rate were compared. Juvenile alligator gar were able to tolerate hyperosmotic salinities up to 24 ppt for a 30 day period, albeit with decreased growth resulting largely from decreased food consumption. Plasma osmolality and ionic concentrations were elevated in hyperosmotic salinities, and drinking rates and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities increased, particularly in the pyloric caeca, presumably the primary location of water absorption. Therefore, juvenile alligator gar<1 year of age are capable of prolonged exposure to hyperosmotic salinities, but, based on the inference of these data, require access to lower salinities for long-term survival.

  19. Simple solar technology saves money for alligator farms

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, A.

    1993-01-01

    In 1990, a high-volume solar thermal water-heating system in Florida was installed in Okeechobee County by Solar Development, Inc. (SDI). The system is designed to provide large quantities of hot water for commercial use and heat water to as high as 140[degrees]F. The design in Florida is known as a Shallow Solar Pond (SSP). It was completed with the help of the Florida Alligator Farmers Association, the Florida Energy Office, Foster Farms, and SDI. The SSP is a modular system built on site and modified to meet the specific needs of each application. The tank and the collector are the same unit, which keeps the system cost very low. The typical SSP module is 16 feet wide and up to 200 feet long. The module contains one or two reinforced-rubber flat water bags similar to a water bed. The bags rest on a layer of insulation or sand inside concrete or fiberglass curbs. In the Foster Farms SSP, the insulation was omitted and the water bags are placed on sand. The bag is protected against damage and heat loss by greenhouse-type glazing. At Foster Farms there are 3 SSPs, set in approximately 8,000 square feet, with two 5,000-gallon bags per unit. In addition, there is a pressurizing pump/tank system. Every morning, the heated water from the bags drains into a sump tank. While the bags are emptied into the backup system, well water is pumped in and the solar heating process starts all over again.

  20. Genome analysis and signature discovery for diving and sensory properties of the endangered Chinese alligator

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Qiu-Hong; Pan, Sheng-Kai; Hu, Li; Zhu, Ying; Xu, Peng-Wei; Xia, Jin-Quan; Chen, Hui; He, Gen-Yun; He, Jing; Ni, Xiao-Wei; Hou, Hao-Long; Liao, Sheng-Guang; Yang, Hai-Qiong; Chen, Ying; Gao, Shu-Kun; Ge, Yun-Fa; Cao, Chang-Chang; Li, Peng-Fei; Fang, Li-Ming; Liao, Li; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Meng-Zhen; Dong, Wei; Fang, Sheng-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Crocodilians are diving reptiles that can hold their breath under water for long periods of time and are crepuscular animals with excellent sensory abilities. They comprise a sister lineage of birds and have no sex chromosome. Here we report the genome sequence of the endangered Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) and describe its unique features. The next-generation sequencing generated 314 Gb of raw sequence, yielding a genome size of 2.3 Gb. A total of 22 200 genes were predicted in Alligator sinensis using a de novo, homology- and RNA-based combined model. The genetic basis of long-diving behavior includes duplication of the bicarbonate-binding hemoglobin gene, co-functioning of routine phosphate-binding and special bicarbonate-binding oxygen transport, and positively selected energy metabolism, ammonium bicarbonate excretion and cardiac muscle contraction. Further, we elucidated the robust Alligator sinensis sensory system, including a significantly expanded olfactory receptor repertoire, rapidly evolving nerve-related cellular components and visual perception, and positive selection of the night vision-related opsin and sound detection-associated otopetrin. We also discovered a well-developed immune system with a considerable number of lineage-specific antigen-presentation genes for adaptive immunity as well as expansion of the tripartite motif-containing C-type lectin and butyrophilin genes for innate immunity and expression of antibacterial peptides. Multifluorescence in situ hybridization showed that alligator chromosome 3, which encodes DMRT1, exhibits significant synteny with chicken chromosome Z. Finally, population history analysis indicated population admixture 0.60-1.05 million years ago, when the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau was uplifted. PMID:23917531

  1. The oldest record of Alligator sinensis from the Late Pliocene of Western Japan, and its biogeographic implication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iijima, Masaya; Takahashi, Keiichi; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu

    2016-07-01

    The late Cenozoic fossil record of alligators in East Asia is crucial in understanding the origin and past distribution of Asian alligators that are now represented by a single species, Alligator sinensis. This study reports a partial skeleton of A. sinensis from the Late Pliocene (approximately 3.0 Ma) of western Japan. This Japanese A. sinensis is large in size (>200 cm total length), comparable to the maximum size of extant individuals. It demonstrates the oldest record of A. sinensis and wider distribution of this species in the past. Tectonic and geographic history of East Asia suggests that alligators presumably dispersed into Japan before 25 Ma or after 10 Ma, yet finally were wiped out from Japan due to the semi-isolated condition of the Japanese island arc and the deteriorated climate during the Plio-Pleistocene.

  2. EAARL coastal topography--Alligator Point, Louisiana, 2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nayegandhi, Amar; Bonisteel-Cormier, J.M.; Wright, C.W.; Brock, J.C.; Nagle, D.B.; Vivekanandan, Saisudha; Fredericks, Xan; Barras, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    This project provides highly detailed and accurate datasets of a portion of Alligator Point, Louisiana, acquired on March 5 and 6, 2010. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers. An innovative airborne lidar instrument originally developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility, and known as the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL), was used during data acquisition. The EAARL system is a raster-scanning, waveform-resolving, green-wavelength (532-nanometer) lidar designed to map near-shore bathymetry, topography, and vegetation structure simultaneously. The EAARL sensor suite includes the raster-scanning, water-penetrating full-waveform adaptive lidar, a down-looking red-green-blue (RGB) digital camera, a high-resolution multispectral color-infrared (CIR) camera, two precision dual-frequency kinematic carrier-phase GPS receivers, and an integrated miniature digital inertial measurement unit, which provide for sub-meter georeferencing of each laser sample. The nominal EAARL platform is a twin-engine aircraft, but the instrument was deployed on a Pilatus PC-6. A single pilot, a lidar operator, and a data analyst constitute the crew for most survey operations. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in measuring sub-aerial and submarine coastal topography within cross-environmental surveys. Elevation measurements were collected over the survey area using the EAARL system, and the resulting data were then processed using the Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a custom-built processing system developed in a NASA-USGS collaboration. ALPS supports the exploration and processing of lidar data in an interactive or batch mode. Modules for presurvey flight-line definition, flight-path plotting, lidar raster and waveform investigation, and digital camera image playback have been developed. Processing algorithms have

  3. Herpetofaunal diversity of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyers, J.M.; Pike, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    In the past century, habitat alteration and fragmentation have increased dramatically, which increases the need for improving our understanding of how species and biological communities react to these modifications. A national strategy on biological diversity has focused attention on how these habitat modifications affect species, especially herpetofauna (i.e., changes in species richness, community evenness and similarity, and dominant/rare species). As part of this strategy, we surveyed Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, a coastal, mixed second-growth forested swamp (MFS) and pocosin wetland (PW), in North Carolina for amphibians and reptiles from September 2000 to August 2001. We randomly selected three sites (3 x 3 km) in two major habitat types (MFS, PW) and completed random surveys and trapping using transects, quadrats, nighttime aural road surveys, drift fences, canal transects, coverboards, incidental captures, and evening road surveys. We also collected herpetofauna opportunistically throughout the refuge to establish an updated species list. For analysis, we used Shannon-Weiner species diversity (H'), evenness (1'), species richness and species detectability (COMDYN4), and community percent similarity index to determine herpetofaunal community differences. We estimated 39 species in MFS and 32 species in PW (P < 0.10). Species detectability was similar between habitats (0.84 to 0.86). More reptilian species (+ 31 %) inhabited MFS than PW, but estimated amphibian species richness was identical (17 spp.). H' was higher (P < 0.000 I) for PW (2.6680) than for MFS (2.1535) because of lower J' in the latter (0.6214 vs. 0.8010). Dominance of three Rana species caused lower J' and H' in MFS. Similarity between the communities was 56.6%; we estimated 22-24 species in common for each habitat (95% CI = 18 to 31 spp.). We verified 49 of the 52 herpetofaunal species on the refuge that were known to exist in the area. Restoration of natural water flows may

  4. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of lead and mercury from polluted waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

    Removal of lead and mercury by water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (Mart.) Griesb. was investigated. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.176 mg of lead and 0.150 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material from distilled water and river water in a 24-hour period. One acre of water hyacinths is potentially capable of removing 105.6 grams of lead and 90.0 grams of mercury per day. Alligator weeds removed 0.101 mg of lead per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. This same plant also demonstrated the ability to remove a minimum of 0.153 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material in a six hour period.

  5. Regulatory peptides in the gastrointestinal tract of Alligator mississipiensis. An immunocytochemical study.

    PubMed

    Buchan, A M; Lance, V; Polak, J M

    1983-01-01

    The gastrointestinal tract of the alligator Alligator mississipiensis has been investigated for the presence of immunoreactivity to fourteen regulatory peptides all known to occur in the mammalian gut system. Mucosal endocrine cells reacting specifically with the antisera to neurotensin, C-terminal gastrin, somatostatin, bombesin, secretin, pancreatic glucagon and enteroglucagon were detectable, the distribution of these cells being, in general, similar to the mammalian pattern. Peripheral nerve cell bodies and nerve fibres were detected with the antisera to vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, substance P, bombesin and somatostatin again with a distribution similar to that seen in mammals. No immunoreactivity was observed with the available antisera to glicentin, motilin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, gastrin 34, cholecystokinin 9-20 and met-enkephalin.

  6. Hydrodynamic analysis, performance assessment, and actuator design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philen, Michael; Neu, Wayne

    2011-09-01

    The overall objective of this research is to develop analysis tools for determining actuator requirements and assessing viable actuator technology for design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator. A simple hydrodynamic model that includes both reactive and resistive forces along the tail is proposed and the calculated mean thrust agrees well with conventional estimates of drag. Using the hydrodynamic model forces as an input, studies are performed for an alligator ranging in size from 1 cm to 2 m at swimming speeds of 0.3-1.8 body lengths per second containing five antagonistic pairs of actuators distributed along the length of the tail. Several smart materials are considered for the actuation system, and preliminary analysis results indicate that the acrylic electroactive polymer and the flexible matrix composite actuators are potential artificial muscle technologies for the system.

  7. Determining the size of American alligators using hind-foot track length

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilkinson, Philip M.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2000-01-01

    Size distribution information is useful for crocodilian management, but can be hard to obtain. Indirect and less costly demographic inferences made from track measurements may be valuable for management decisions. We related hind-foot lengths (HF) with total length (TL) to determine if we could indirectly assess alligator size using track length. Regression showed that HF was an excellent predictor (F1,246= 15722.9, R2=0.98, P<0.01) of TL and track length was an exceptional predictor of HF (F1,14=7520.3, R2= 1.00, P<0.01). The correlation between track length and HF length also was significant (N= 15, r=0.99, P <0.01). Thus, alligator size can be accurately estimated from measures of track length at sites where capture and direct measurement is impractical.

  8. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR NAMED KASEY LIVES IN POND IN FRONT OF HEADQUARTERS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    A big, toothy saurian grin is flashed by this alligator in the pond in front of the KSC Headquarters Building. And wy not? After years of namelessness, he [or she] has a name. The 'gator was dubbed Kasey following a ''Name the Gator'' contest in which scores of Spaceport employees submitted name suggestions. Kasey is one of two 'gators placed in the pond in an attempt to restore its natural ecology.

  9. Biosorption of As(V) onto dried alligator weed root: role of metal (hydro) oxides.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Tao, Weihua; Sun, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The present work investigates the adsorption of As(V) onto the dried powder of alligator weed root as bio-sorbent, using acid pre-treated alligator weed root powder as the reference. The isotherm study suggested there is a favorable As(V) adsorption happened on the AWR surface. The batch adsorption experimental results indicated that the ionic strength has little impact on the adsorption, while the solution pH has a significant effect on the adsorption with apparent inhibition appearing in both extreme acidic and alkaline pH region. In addition, the properties of the biosorbent were characterized by various techniques including SEM-EDS, FT-IR, and ICP detection. The analysis results suggested that the metals including Mn, Fe, and Al enrich over the alligator weed root surface in the morphology of metal (hydro) oxide. Based on the nature of the biosorbent and As(V) besides the adsorption performance, the metal (hydro) oxides over biosorbent surface is suggested as the essential role to drive the adsorption. With the metal (hydro) oxides denuded in the pre-treatment, the biosorbent loses its adsorption capability for As(V) totally.

  10. Environmental risk assessment of compost prepared from salvinia, egeria densa, and alligator weed.

    PubMed

    Dorahy, C G; Pirie, A D; McMaster, I; Muirhead, L; Pengelly, P; Chan, K Y; Jackson, M; Barchia, I M

    2009-01-01

    Approximately 70,000 m(3) of salvinia (Salvinia molesta) was removed from the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, during 2004. This study assessed the risks associated with applying compost prepared from aquatic weeds (AWC) to land, namely, survival and spread of aquatic and terrestrial weeds, eutrophication of waterways, accumulation of heavy metals and phytotoxicity. The results demonstrate composting is an effective method of reducing the viability of aquatic and terrestrial weeds. However, mortality of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), which was used as an indicator plant, was significantly (P < 0.001) correlated with the temperature within the windrows and the length of time the material was subjected to composting. Conditions within the central core of the windrow were sufficient to kill the alligator weed, although not all of the aquatic weed material was exposed to the windrows' central core. This resulted in alligator weed continuing to grow at the base of the windrow. To reduce the risk of weeds surviving and spreading in aquatic and terrestrial environments it is suggested compost windrows should be located on an appropriate hard pad to enable complete mixing of the material and ensure all material is exposed to temperatures >55 degrees C for greater than three consecutive days. The likelihood of other risks associated with the AWC was low. If composting is selected as the preferred method for managing organic material harvested from waterways, then ongoing monitoring and evaluation is required to validate the composting process and ensure consumer confidence in the final product.

  11. Biosorption of As(V) onto dried alligator weed root: role of metal (hydro) oxides.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Tao, Weihua; Sun, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The present work investigates the adsorption of As(V) onto the dried powder of alligator weed root as bio-sorbent, using acid pre-treated alligator weed root powder as the reference. The isotherm study suggested there is a favorable As(V) adsorption happened on the AWR surface. The batch adsorption experimental results indicated that the ionic strength has little impact on the adsorption, while the solution pH has a significant effect on the adsorption with apparent inhibition appearing in both extreme acidic and alkaline pH region. In addition, the properties of the biosorbent were characterized by various techniques including SEM-EDS, FT-IR, and ICP detection. The analysis results suggested that the metals including Mn, Fe, and Al enrich over the alligator weed root surface in the morphology of metal (hydro) oxide. Based on the nature of the biosorbent and As(V) besides the adsorption performance, the metal (hydro) oxides over biosorbent surface is suggested as the essential role to drive the adsorption. With the metal (hydro) oxides denuded in the pre-treatment, the biosorbent loses its adsorption capability for As(V) totally. PMID:26458188

  12. Analysis of the landsat remote sensing images of the types of habitats of Yangtze alligators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zhujian; Lin, Hengzhang; Zhang, Shengkai

    1986-12-01

    The Chinese “Yangtze” alligator is a rare reptile that has been listed as an “endangered species” by the United Nations, so its preservation has become an urgent task. A study of its habitats through analysis of their Landsat images will provide a scientific basis for the government departments concerned to select the best locations for its breeding. The Chinese alligator is a subtropical reptile of freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. Found only in China, it is now distributed only in the border region between the three provinces of Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. On the basis of previous investigations by Chinese scientists, and from an analysis and interpretation of their Landsat images, we made a special study, review, and classification of the natural environment of the alligator’s present habitats (and the modern changes in the natural background of these hatitats) so that the government departments concerned with the preservation of the reptiles may have a scientific basis for determining the best locations for the breeding and propagation of the alligator.

  13. Estimating spawning times of Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snow, Richard A.; Long, James M.

    2015-01-01

    In 2013, juvenile Alligator Gar were sampled in the reservoir-river interface of the Red River arm of Lake Texoma. The Red River, which flows 860 km along Oklahoma’s border with Texas, is the primary in-flow source of Lake Texoma, and is impounded by Denison Dam. Minifyke nets were deployed using an adaptive random cluster sampling design, which has been used to effectively sample rare species. Lapilli otoliths (one of the three pair of ear stones found within the inner ear of fish) were removed from juvenile Alligator Gar collected in July of 2013. Daily ages were estimated by counting the number of rings present, and spawn dates were back-calculated from date of capture and subtracting 8 days (3 days from spawn to hatch and 5 days from hatch to swimup when the first ring forms). Alligator Gar daily age estimation ranged from 50 to 63 days old since swim-up. Spawn dates corresponded to rising pool elevations of Lake Texoma and water pulses of tributaries.

  14. Health assessment of free-ranging alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) in Georgia and Florida.

    PubMed

    Chaffin, Kristen; Norton, Terry M; Gilardi, Kirsten; Poppenga, Robert; Jensen, John B; Moler, Paul; Cray, Carolyn; Dierenfeld, Ellen S; Chen, Tai; Oliva, Marcie; Origgi, Francesco C; Gibbs, Samantha; Mazzaro, Lisa; Mazet, Jonna

    2008-07-01

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is a large freshwater turtle endemic to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Turtle populations were sharply reduced by commercial harvest in the 1970s and 1980s; however, the species has yet to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. While anthropogenic stressors such as habitat fragmentation and degradation and illegal capture continue to threaten populations, the degree to which disease may be contributing to any decline of the Alligator Snapping Turtle is unknown. Data were collected from 97 free-ranging Alligator Snapping Turtles in nine waterways in Florida and Georgia from 2001 to 2006. Eleven turtles were captured more than once, resulting in a total sample pool of 123. Reference ranges were established for complete blood count, plasma biochemistry values, trace metals (mercury, zinc, copper, lead, and arsenic), and nutrient parameters (vitamins A, E, D, and selenium). Variations by capture location, sex, and season were detected and likely resulted from external factors such as habitat and diet. Turtles sampled in one location were positive for tortoise herpesviral antibodies. Blood mercury values also differed among populations. This study provides justification for the use of these long-lived aquatic turtles as biologic monitors of the health of local freshwater ecosystems. PMID:18689653

  15. SEX-STEROID AND THYROID HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE LAKES IN FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    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-...

  16. IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS FROM THE OVIDUCT OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS). (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  17. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES. (R826129)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  18. DIFFERENCES IN SENSITIVITY BUT NOT SELECTIVITY OF XENOESTROGEN BINDING TO ALLIGATOR VERSUS HUMAN ESTROGEN RECEPTOR ALPHA

    PubMed Central

    Rider, Cynthia V.; Hartig, Phillip C.; Cardon, Mary C.; Lambright, Christy R.; Bobseine, Kathy L.; Guillette, Louis J.; Gray, L. Earl; Wilson, Vickie S.

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive abnormalities in alligators exposed to contaminants in Lake Apopka, Florida, USA represent a clear example of endocrine disruption in wildlife. Several of these contaminants that are not able to bind to mammalian estrogen receptors (such as atrazine and cyanazine) have previously been reported to bind to the alligator estrogen receptor from oviductal tissue. Binding of known Lake Apopka contaminants to full length estrogen receptors alpha from human (hERα) and alligator (aERα) was assessed in a side-by-side comparison within the same assay system. Baculovirus-expressed recombinant hERα and aERα were used in a competitive binding assay. Atrazine and cyanazine were not able to bind to either receptor. p,p′-Dicofol was able to bind to aERα with a concentration inhibiting 50% of binding (IC50) of 4 μM, while only partially displacing 17β-estradiol (E2) from hERα and yielding a projected IC50 of 45 μM. Chemicals that only partially displaced E2 from either receptor, including some dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) metabolites and trans-nonachlor, appeared to have higher affinity for aERα than hERα. p,p′-Dicofol-mediated transcriptional activation through aERα and hERα was assessed to further explore the preferential binding of p,p′-dicofol to aERα over hERα. p,p′-Dicofol was able to stimulate transcriptional activation in a similar manner with both receptors. However, the in vitro results obtained with p,p′-dicofol were not reflected in an in vivo mammalian model, where Kelthane™ (mixed o,p′-and p,p′-dicofol isomers) did not elicit estrogenic effects. In conclusion, although there was no evidence of exclusively species-specific estrogen receptor binders, some xenoestrogens, especially p,p′-dicofol, had a higher affinity for aERα than for hERα. PMID:20821664

  19. Physiological response of alligator gar juveniles (Atractosteus spatula) exposed to sub-lethal doses of pollutants.

    PubMed

    González, Carlos Aguilera; Cruz, Julio; Alfaro, Roberto Mendoza

    2015-08-01

    Alligator gar populations have declined because of overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. Over time, the exposure to different pollutants have affected these fishes as a consequence of their high trophic level, bottom-dwelling habits and long life span. In order to evaluate the physiological effects of pollutants on alligator gar, juveniles (6, 12 and 24 months) were exposed to sub-lethal doses of diazinon, β-naphthoflavone (BNF) and 17 β-estradiol (E2) by intraperitoneal injection. After 2 days of exposure, liver samples were taken to determine the activities of acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase; alkaline and acid phosphatases (ALP and ACP); ethoxyresorufin o-deethylase (EROD); glutathione s-transferase (GST); superoxide dismutase (SOD), and vitellogenin (VTG) concentration. Two additional bioassays consisting on the exposure of compounds through water or food were performed and after 4 and 28 days, respectively, biomarkers were determined. All esterases were inhibited in organisms exposed to diazinon as well as in 6-months gar exposed to E2 and BNF. In contrast, ALP activity increased in gar exposed to diazinon and E2, while ACP activity did not show any variations. No EROD activity was registered after exposure to the different pollutants, despite being one of the most sensitive and common detoxification biomarkers used for fishes. GST activity reduction was detected when gar were exposed to E2 and BNF, while SOD activity increased after exposure to diazinon and E2. Finally, VTG levels were higher in animals exposed to E2 compared to other treatments. Overall, these results suggest that alligator gar juveniles have a low biotransformation metabolism and show that they are especially sensitive to those pollutants affecting the nervous system. PMID:25948055

  20. Full-length cDNA cloning and structural characterization of preproinsulin in Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, R; Zhang, S Z; Li, E; Wang, C; Wang, C L; Wu, X B

    2014-01-01

    Insulin is an important endocrine hormone that plays a critical physiological role in regulating metabolism and glucostasis in vertebrates. In this study, the complete cDNA of Alligator sinensis preproinsulin gene was cloned for the first time by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends methods; the amino acid sequence encoded and protein structure were analyzed. The full-length of preproinsulin cDNA sequence consists of 528 base pairs (bp), comprising a 34-bp 5'-untranslated region, a 170-bp 3'-untranslated region and an open reading frame that is 324 bp in length. The open reading frame encodes a 107-amino acid preproinsulin with a molecular weight of approximately 12,153.8 Da, theoretical isoelectric point of 5.68, aliphatic index of 92.06, and grand average of hydropathicity of -0.157, from which a signal peptide, a B-chain, a C-peptide, and an A-chain are derived. Online analysis suggested that the deduced preproinsulin amino acid sequence contains a transmembrane region, and that it has a signal peptide whose cleavage site occurs between alanine 24 and alanine 25. Comparative analysis of preproinsulin amino acid sequences indicated that the A-chain and B-chain sequences of preproinsulins are highly conserved between reptiles and birds, and that the preproinsulin amino acid sequence of Alligator sinensis shares 89% similarity to that of Chelonia mydas, but low similarity of 48-63% to those of mammals and fishes. The phylogenetic tree constructed using the neighbor-joining method revealed that preproinsulin of Alligator sinensis had high homology with reptiles and birds, such as Chelonia mydas, Gallus gallus, and Columba livia. PMID:25366775

  1. Plasma steroid concentrations and male phallus size in juvenile alligators from seven Florida lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    Neonatal and juvenile alligators from contaminated Lake Apopka in central Florida exhibit abnormal plasma sex steroid concentrations as well as morphological abnormalities of the gonad and phallus. This study addresses whether similar abnormalities occur in juvenile alligators inhabiting six other lakes in Florida. For analysis, animals were partitioned into two subsets, animals 40-79 cm total length (1-3 years old) and juveniles 80-130 cm total length (3-7 years old). Plasma testosterone (T) concentrations were lower in small males from lakes Apopka, Griffin, and Jessup than from Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Similar differences were observed in the larger juveniles, with males from lakes Jessup, Apopka, and Okeechobee having lower plasma T concentrations than Lake Woodruff males. Plasma estradiol-17?? (E2) concentrations were significantly elevated in larger juvenile males from Lake Apopka compared to Lake Woodruff NWR. When compared to small juvenile females from Lake Woodruff NWR, females from lakes Griffin, Apopka, Orange, and Okeechobee had elevated plasma E2 concentrations. Phallus size was significantly smaller in males from lakes Griffin and Apopka when compared to males from Lake Woodruff NWR. An association existed between body size and phallus size on all lakes except Lake Apopka and between phallus size and plasma T concentration on all lakes except lakes Apopka and Orange. Multiple regression analysis, with body size and plasma T concentration as independent covariables, explained the majority of the variation in phallus size on all lakes. These data suggest that the differences in sex steroids and phallus size observed in alligators from Lake Apopka are not limited to that lake, nor to one with a history of a major pesticide spill. Further work examining the relationship of sex steroids and phallus size with specific biotic and abiotic factors, such as antiandrogenic or estrogenic contaminants, is needed.

  2. Physiological response of alligator gar juveniles (Atractosteus spatula) exposed to sub-lethal doses of pollutants.

    PubMed

    González, Carlos Aguilera; Cruz, Julio; Alfaro, Roberto Mendoza

    2015-08-01

    Alligator gar populations have declined because of overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. Over time, the exposure to different pollutants have affected these fishes as a consequence of their high trophic level, bottom-dwelling habits and long life span. In order to evaluate the physiological effects of pollutants on alligator gar, juveniles (6, 12 and 24 months) were exposed to sub-lethal doses of diazinon, β-naphthoflavone (BNF) and 17 β-estradiol (E2) by intraperitoneal injection. After 2 days of exposure, liver samples were taken to determine the activities of acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase; alkaline and acid phosphatases (ALP and ACP); ethoxyresorufin o-deethylase (EROD); glutathione s-transferase (GST); superoxide dismutase (SOD), and vitellogenin (VTG) concentration. Two additional bioassays consisting on the exposure of compounds through water or food were performed and after 4 and 28 days, respectively, biomarkers were determined. All esterases were inhibited in organisms exposed to diazinon as well as in 6-months gar exposed to E2 and BNF. In contrast, ALP activity increased in gar exposed to diazinon and E2, while ACP activity did not show any variations. No EROD activity was registered after exposure to the different pollutants, despite being one of the most sensitive and common detoxification biomarkers used for fishes. GST activity reduction was detected when gar were exposed to E2 and BNF, while SOD activity increased after exposure to diazinon and E2. Finally, VTG levels were higher in animals exposed to E2 compared to other treatments. Overall, these results suggest that alligator gar juveniles have a low biotransformation metabolism and show that they are especially sensitive to those pollutants affecting the nervous system.

  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. Urinary iodine and stable isotope analysis to examine habitat influences on thyroid hormones among coastal dwelling American alligators.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Ashley S P; Hamlin, Heather J; Nifong, James C; Kassim, Brittany L; Lowers, Russell H; Galligan, Thomas M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-01-15

    The American alligator, generally a freshwater species, is known to forage in marine environments despite the lack of a salt secreting gland found in other crocodylids. Estuarine and marine foraging could lead to increased dietary uptake of iodine, a nutrient necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. To explore the influence of dietary iodine on thyroid hormone health of coastal dwelling alligators, we described the seasonal plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay and urinary iodine (UI) concentrations measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We also analyzed long-term dietary patterns through stable isotope analysis of scute tissue. Snout-to-vent length (SVL) was a significant factor among UI and stable isotope analyses. Large adult males greater than 135cm SVL had the highest UI concentrations but did not display seasonality of thyroid hormones. Alligators under 135 SVL exhibited seasonality in thyroid hormones and a positive relationship between UI and triiodothyronine concentrations. Isotopic signatures provided supporting evidence that large males predominantly feed on marine/estuarine prey whereas females showed reliance on freshwater/terrestrial prey supplemented by marine/estuarine prey. UI measurement provided immediate information that correlated to thyroid hormone concentrations whereas stable isotope analysis described long-term dietary patterns. Both techniques demonstrate that adult alligators in coastal environments are utilizing estuarine/marine habitats, which could alter thyroid hormone physiology.

  5. Nuclear β-catenin localization supports homology of feathers, avian scutate scales, and alligator scales in early development.

    PubMed

    Musser, Jacob M; Wagner, Günter P; Prum, Richard O

    2015-01-01

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops.

  6. Cloning of the growth hormone cDNA of alligator gar Atractosteus spatula and its expression through larval development.

    PubMed

    Revol, Agnès; Garza Rodríguez, Maria de Lourdes; Hernández Montenegro, Víctor; Aguilera, Carlos; Barrera Saldaña, Hugo; Mendoza, Roberto

    2005-04-01

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is the largest freshwater fish inhabiting rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico. This primitive fish shows a fast growth rate since its early larval stages. This is attributed to the action of growth hormone (GH), an anterior pituitary gland hormone responsible for linear growth in vertebrates that can also be expressed in extrapituitary adult tissues and in fish embryos. The present research was aimed at obtaining the GH coding sequence of the alligator gar and studying its expression through larval development. A cDNA was obtained by RT-PCR, cloned and sequenced. The alligator gar GH cDNA sequence shares 98% nucleotide similarity with that reported for Lepisosteus osseus, indicating a very slow evolution of the GH within the primitive fish, in contrast with the burst of changes observed in euteleosts. Using RT-PCR and RNA nuclease protection assays, GH transcripts were detected at very high levels in eggs, embryos and in several larval stages. These data suggest that the GH may play an important role during embryogenesis in fish. The better understanding of alligator gar larval physiology will facilitate the culture of larvae and juvenile gar and consequently may allow the restoration of their natural populations. PMID:15936701

  7. Cloning of the growth hormone cDNA of alligator gar Atractosteus spatula and its expression through larval development.

    PubMed

    Revol, Agnès; Garza Rodríguez, Maria de Lourdes; Hernández Montenegro, Víctor; Aguilera, Carlos; Barrera Saldaña, Hugo; Mendoza, Roberto

    2005-04-01

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is the largest freshwater fish inhabiting rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico. This primitive fish shows a fast growth rate since its early larval stages. This is attributed to the action of growth hormone (GH), an anterior pituitary gland hormone responsible for linear growth in vertebrates that can also be expressed in extrapituitary adult tissues and in fish embryos. The present research was aimed at obtaining the GH coding sequence of the alligator gar and studying its expression through larval development. A cDNA was obtained by RT-PCR, cloned and sequenced. The alligator gar GH cDNA sequence shares 98% nucleotide similarity with that reported for Lepisosteus osseus, indicating a very slow evolution of the GH within the primitive fish, in contrast with the burst of changes observed in euteleosts. Using RT-PCR and RNA nuclease protection assays, GH transcripts were detected at very high levels in eggs, embryos and in several larval stages. These data suggest that the GH may play an important role during embryogenesis in fish. The better understanding of alligator gar larval physiology will facilitate the culture of larvae and juvenile gar and consequently may allow the restoration of their natural populations.

  8. Urinary iodine and stable isotope analysis to examine habitat influences on thyroid hormones among coastal dwelling American alligators.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Ashley S P; Hamlin, Heather J; Nifong, James C; Kassim, Brittany L; Lowers, Russell H; Galligan, Thomas M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-01-15

    The American alligator, generally a freshwater species, is known to forage in marine environments despite the lack of a salt secreting gland found in other crocodylids. Estuarine and marine foraging could lead to increased dietary uptake of iodine, a nutrient necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. To explore the influence of dietary iodine on thyroid hormone health of coastal dwelling alligators, we described the seasonal plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay and urinary iodine (UI) concentrations measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We also analyzed long-term dietary patterns through stable isotope analysis of scute tissue. Snout-to-vent length (SVL) was a significant factor among UI and stable isotope analyses. Large adult males greater than 135cm SVL had the highest UI concentrations but did not display seasonality of thyroid hormones. Alligators under 135 SVL exhibited seasonality in thyroid hormones and a positive relationship between UI and triiodothyronine concentrations. Isotopic signatures provided supporting evidence that large males predominantly feed on marine/estuarine prey whereas females showed reliance on freshwater/terrestrial prey supplemented by marine/estuarine prey. UI measurement provided immediate information that correlated to thyroid hormone concentrations whereas stable isotope analysis described long-term dietary patterns. Both techniques demonstrate that adult alligators in coastal environments are utilizing estuarine/marine habitats, which could alter thyroid hormone physiology. PMID:26684734

  9. Spermiogenesis in the imbricate alligator lizard, Barisia imbricata (Reptilia, Squamata, Anguidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Touzinsky, Katherine; Hanover, Jessica; Matchett, Caroline L; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2013-06-01

    Although the events of spermiogenesis are commonly studied in amniotes, the amount of research available for Squamata is lacking. Many studies have described the morphological characteristics of mature spermatozoa in squamates, but few detail the ultrastructural changes that occur during spermiogenesis. This study's purpose is to gain a better understanding of the subcellular events of spermatid development within the Imbricate Alligator Lizard, Barisia imbricata. The morphological data presented here represent the first complete ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis within the family Anguidae. Samples of testes from four specimens collected on the northwest side of the Nevado de Toluca, México, were prepared using standard techniques for transmission electron microscopy. Many of the ultrastructural changes occurring during spermiogenesis within B. imbricata are similar to that of other squamates (i.e., early acrosome formation, chromatin condensation, flagella formation, annulus present, and a prominent manchette). However, there are a few unique characteristics within B. imbricata spermatids that to date have not been described during spermiogenesis in other squamates. For example, penetration of the acrosomal granule into the subacrosomal space to form the basal plate of the perforatorium during round spermatid development, the clover-shaped morphology of the developing nuclear fossa of the flagellum, and the bulbous shape to the perforatorium are all unique to the Imbricate Alligator Lizard. These anatomical character differences may be valuable nontraditional data that along with more traditional matrices (such as DNA sequences and gross morphological data) may help elucidate phylogenetic relationships, which are historically considered controversial within Squamata.

  10. Acanthostomum macroclemidis n. sp. (Digenea: Cryptogonimidae: Acanthostominae) from the alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temmincki.

    PubMed

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Snyder, Scott D

    2003-02-01

    Acanthostomum macroclemidis n. sp. is described from specimens found in the intestine of an alligator snapping turtle Macroclemys temmincki from southern Mississippi. The most important diagnostic features of the new species are the general shape and proportions of the body, the position of the pharynx (relative length of the prepharynx and esophagus), the egg size, the relative length and position of the vitelline fields, and the number, shape, and size of the circumoral spines. The new species has a very elongated body (length-width ratio, 8.9-13.0:1), 26 circumoral spines, which are almost oval in shape, a long prepharynx and a very short (shorter than the pharynx) esophagus, a seminal receptacle situated between the ovary and the anterior testis, a uterus not extending posterior to the anterior margin of the ovary, a long-stemmed and short-armed excretory vesicle, and 2 anal openings. Some features of the external morphology, such as the suckers, circumoral spines, sensory papillae, tegumental spines, and morphology of the posterior end, are examined using scanning electron microscopy. A diagnosis differentiating A. macroclemidis n. sp. from some other acanthostomine digeneans is provided. Acanthostomum macroclemidis n. sp. is the first digenean reported from an alligator snapping turtle and represents the northernmost record of an acanthostomine from turtles. PMID:12659321

  11. Abnormal bone composition in female juvenile American alligators from a pesticide-polluted lake (Lake Apopka, Florida).

    PubMed Central

    Lind, P Monica; Milnes, Matthew R; Lundberg, Rebecca; Bermudez, Dieldrich; Orberg, Jan A; Guillette, Louis J

    2004-01-01

    Reproductive disorders have been found in pesticide-exposed alligators living in Lake Apopka, Florida (USA). These disorders have been hypothesized to be caused by exposure to endocrine- disruptive estrogen-like contaminants. The aim of this study was to expand our analysis beyond previous studies by investigating whether bone tissue, known to be affected by sex steroid hormones, is a potential target of endocrine disruptors. Long bones from 16 juvenile female alligators from Lake Apopka (pesticide-contaminated lake) and Lake Woodruff (control lake) were evaluated by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. We observed significant differences in bone composition, with female alligators from the contaminated lake having greater trabecular bone mineral density (BMD), total BMD, and trabecular mineral content compared with females from the control lake (p < 0.05). Increased trabecular and total BMD measurements suggest that juvenile female alligators from Lake Apopka were exposed to contaminants that created an internal environment more estrogenic than that normally observed. This estrogenic environment could be caused by both natural and anthropogenic compounds. Effects on BMD indicate interference with bone homeostasis. We hypothesize that contaminants present in the lake inhibit the natural and continuous resorption of bone tissue, resulting in increased bone mass. Although this is the only study performed to date examining effects of environmental estrogenic compounds on alligator bones, it supports previous laboratory-based studies in rodents. Further, this study is important in demonstrating that the alterations in morphology and physiology induced in free-ranging individuals living in environments contaminated with endocrine-active compounds are not limited to a few systems or tissues; rather, effects can be observed in many tissues affected by these hormones. PMID:14998753

  12. Developmental abnormalities of the gonad and abnormal sex hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators from contaminated and control lakes in Florida.

    PubMed Central

    Guillette, L J; Gross, T S; Masson, G R; Matter, J M; Percival, H F; Woodward, A R

    1994-01-01

    The reproductive development of alligators from a contaminated and a control lake in central Florida was examined. Lake Apopka is adjacent to an EPA Superfund site, listed due to an extensive spill of dicofol and DDT or its metabolites. These compounds can act as estrogens. Contaminants in the lake also have been derived from extensive agricultural activities around the lake that continue today and a sewage treatment facility associated with the city of Winter Garden, Florida. We examined the hypothesis that an estrogenic contaminant has caused the current failure in recruitment of alligators on Lake Apopka. Supporting data include the following: At 6 months of age, female alligators from Lake Apopka had plasma estradiol-17 beta concentrations almost two times greater than normal females from the control lake, Lake Woodruff. The Apopka females exhibited abnormal ovarian morphology with large numbers of polyovular follicles and polynuclear oocytes. Male juvenile alligators had significantly depressed plasma testosterone concentrations comparable to levels observed in normal Lake Woodruff females but more than three times lower than normal Lake Woodruff males. Additionally, males from Lake Apopka had poorly organized testes and abnormally small phalli. The differences between lakes and sexes in plasma hormone concentrations of juvenile alligators remain even after stimulation with luteinizing hormone. Our data suggest that the gonads of juveniles from Lake Apopka have been permanently modified in ovo, so that normal steroidogenesis is not possible, and thus normal sexual maturation is unlikely. Images p680-a Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. A Figure 3. B Figure 3. C Figure 4. A Figure 4. B Figure 4. C Figure 4. D Figure 5. A Figure 5. B Figure 5. C PMID:7895709

  13. Study of red-sore disease in alligators. Final report, September 1, 1976-September 3, 1980. [Predisposing factors

    SciTech Connect

    Gorden, R.E.; Esch, G.W.

    1980-01-01

    Necropsies of eight alligators which died following capture within a thermally-altered reservoir demonstrated the presence of the gram negative, pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila, in internal tissues. A study designed to demonstrate whether A. hydrophila were capable of causing infection and death of the ecologically threatened alligator and, if so, the mechanism of exposure and infection in natural habitats was undertaken. The pathology and response to infection were also studied. When juvenile alligators were exposed under experimental conditions to increasing concentrations of A. hydrophila in water, by oral inoculation, or by intramuscular injections at 20/sup 0/, 25/sup 0/, 30/sup 0/, and 35/sup 0/C, they developed external lesions. These lesions were likely to become severe and lead to death of the animal at 30 and 35/sup 0/C. Infected animals produced: (a) increased numbers of white blood cells; (b) increased specific antibody titer; and (c) alpha 2 peaks higher than albumen peaks (except at 35/sup 0/C). Biweekly intraperitoneal injections of live, washed A. hydrophila were apparently more effective in the prevention of infection and of external lesions than were the antibiotics Kanamycin and OTH-Puramycin. Topical applications of Neosporin ointment resulted in the healing of severe lesions on confined animals. Alligators which were shown to be exposed to A. hydrophila in their natural habitats showed no external evidence of infection by the bacteria. It is recommended that exposure to conditions of stress, including water temperatures greater than 30/sup 0/C, be kept to a minimum during the capture, transport, and captivity of alligators. (ERB)

  14. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA CONCENTRATIONS OF SEX AND STRESS HORMONES IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS LIVING IN CONTROL AND CONTAMINATED LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental contaminants can act as stressors, inducing elevated circulating concentrations of stress hormones such as corticosterone and cortisol. Development in contaminated eggs has been reported to modify circulating sex steroid hormone concentrations in alligators (Alligat...

  15. THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL OBSERVATIONS OF THE NEONATAL REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM OF ALLIGATORS EXPOSED IN OVO TO ATRAZINE, 2,4-D, OR ESTRADIOL.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wild alligators exposed to persistent organochlorine contaminants, municipal waste compounds, and contemporary-use herbicides exhibit reproductive alterations that are thought to be caused by endocrine disruption. This study tests the hypothesis that these alterations, at least i...

  16. Using the American alligator and a repeated-measures design to place constraints on in vivo shoulder joint range of motion in dinosaurs and other fossil archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Joel D; Hutson, Kelda N

    2013-01-15

    Using the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs (crocodylians and birds), recent work has reported that elbow joint range of motion (ROM) studies of fossil dinosaur forearms may be providing conservative underestimates of fully fleshed in vivo ROM. As humeral ROM occupies a more central role in forelimb movements, the placement of quantitative constraints on shoulder joint ROM could improve fossil reconstructions. Here, we investigated whether soft tissues affect the more mobile shoulder joint in the same manner in which they affect elbow joint ROM in an extant archosaur. This test involved separately and repeatedly measuring humeral ROM in Alligator mississippiensis as soft tissues were dissected away in stages to bare bone. Our data show that the ROMs of humeral flexion and extension, as well as abduction and adduction, both show a statistically significant increase as flesh is removed, but then decrease when the bones must be physically articulated and moved until they separate from one another and/or visible joint surfaces. A similar ROM pattern is inferred for humeral pronation and supination. All final skeletonized ROMs were less than initial fully fleshed ROMs. These results are consistent with previously reported elbow joint ROM patterns from the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs. Thus, studies that avoid separation of complementary articular surfaces may be providing fossil shoulder joint ROMs that underestimate in vivo ROM in dinosaurs, as well as other fossil archosaurs.

  17. Isolation and structures of alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula) insulin and pancreatic polypeptide.

    PubMed

    Pollock, H G; Kimmel, J R; Hamilton, J W; Rouse, J B; Ebner, K E; Lance, V; Rawitch, A B

    1987-09-01

    Insulin and a 36-residue peptide with homology to pancreatic polypeptide (PP) were isolated from the endocrine pancreas of the alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula), a ganoid fish, by gel filtration and HPLC. Heterologous radioimmunoassays were used to detect insulin-like and PP-like immunoreactivities during purification of the two peptides. The sequence of the 36-amino acid peptide containing a C-terminal tyrosinamide was identical at 31 of 36 positions to porcine neuropeptide Y (NPY). The amino acid sequence of this peptide is YPPKPENPGEDAPPEELAKYYSALRHYINLITRQRY-NH2. The second peptide, gar insulin, contains 52 amino acid residues and is composed of a 21-residue A chain and a 31-residue B chain. The sequence of the A chain is GIVEQCCHKPCTIYELENYCN. The sequence of the B chain is AANQHLCGSHLVEALYLVCGEKGFFYNPNKV. PMID:3311873

  18. Isolation and structures of alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula) insulin and pancreatic polypeptide.

    PubMed

    Pollock, H G; Kimmel, J R; Hamilton, J W; Rouse, J B; Ebner, K E; Lance, V; Rawitch, A B

    1987-09-01

    Insulin and a 36-residue peptide with homology to pancreatic polypeptide (PP) were isolated from the endocrine pancreas of the alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula), a ganoid fish, by gel filtration and HPLC. Heterologous radioimmunoassays were used to detect insulin-like and PP-like immunoreactivities during purification of the two peptides. The sequence of the 36-amino acid peptide containing a C-terminal tyrosinamide was identical at 31 of 36 positions to porcine neuropeptide Y (NPY). The amino acid sequence of this peptide is YPPKPENPGEDAPPEELAKYYSALRHYINLITRQRY-NH2. The second peptide, gar insulin, contains 52 amino acid residues and is composed of a 21-residue A chain and a 31-residue B chain. The sequence of the A chain is GIVEQCCHKPCTIYELENYCN. The sequence of the B chain is AANQHLCGSHLVEALYLVCGEKGFFYNPNKV.

  19. Guidelines for choosing molecular "alligator clip" binding motifs in electron transport devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reuter, Matthew G.; Seideman, Tamar; Ratner, Mark A.

    2011-04-01

    We employ a one-electron, tight-binding model of an electrode-molecule-electrode junction to explore the fundamental relationship between adsorption geometry and electron transport, producing exact results (within this model). By varying the chemisorption location (e.g., atop a surface atom or in a hollow site between surface atoms) and the molecule-electrode coupling, we find that the largest currents are realized when the molecule (i) is highly coordinated by the surface and (ii) has favorable overlap with electrode states near the Fermi level. We also show the importance of electrode-induced molecular level shifting for certain adsorption geometries, which can cause molecular levels far from the Fermi level to conduct better than those near the Fermi level. Since all of these factors are greatly influenced by the chemical moiety used to link the molecule to an electrode, these results present a set of guidelines to help choose "alligator clips" for molecular electronic devices.

  20. Evolution of corticosteroid specificity for human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Kohno, Satomi; Oka, Kaori; Baker, Michael E

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the evolution of the response of human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) to dexamethasone, cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, 11-deoxycortisol and aldosterone. We find significant differences among these vertebrates in the transcriptional activation of their full length GRs by these steroids, indicating that there were changes in the specificity of the GR for steroids during the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates. To begin to study the role of interactions between different domains on the GR in steroid sensitivity and specificity for terrestrial GRs, we investigated transcriptional activation of truncated GRs containing their hinge domain and ligand binding domain (LBD) fused to a GAL4 DNA binding domain (GAL4-DBD). Compared to corresponding full length GRs, transcriptional activation of GAL4-DBD_GR-hinge/LBD constructs required higher steroid concentrations and displayed altered steroid specificity, indicating that interactions between the hinge/LBD and other domains are important in glucocorticoid activation of these terrestrial GRs. PMID:27317937

  1. ALLIGATOR - An apparatus for ion beam assisted deposition with a broad-beam ion source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wituschek, H.; Barth, M.; Ensinger, W.; Frech, G.; Rück, D. M.; Leible, K. D.; Wolf, G. K.

    1992-04-01

    Ion beam assisted deposition is a versatile technique for preparing thin films and coatings for various applications. Up to now a prototype setup for research purposes has been used in our laboratory. Processing of industrial standard workpieces requires a high current ion source with broad beam and high uniformity for homogeneous bombardment. In this contribution a new apparatus for large area samples will be described. It is named ALLIGATOR (German acronym of facility for ion assisted evaporation on transverse movable or rotary targets). In order to have a wide energy range available two ion sources are used. One delivers a beam energy up to 1.3 keV. The other is suitable for energies from 5 keV up to 40 keV. The ``high-energy'' ion source is a multicusp multiaperture source with 180-mA total current and a beam diameter of 280 mm at the target position.

  2. Plasma catecholamines and plasma corticosterone following restraint stress in juvenile alligators.

    PubMed

    Lance, V A; Elsey, R M

    1999-05-01

    Ten juvenile alligators, mean body mass 793 g, hatched from artificially incubated eggs and raised under controlled conditions, were held out of water with their jaws held closed for 48 hr. An initial blood sample was taken and further samples collected at 1, 2, 4, 8, 24, and 48 hr. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine were measured in plasma aliquots of 1.5 ml using high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Corticosterone was measured by radioimmunoassay. Plasma glucose was measured using the Trinder method and plasma calcium, cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured in an autoanalyzer. Epinephrine was about 4 ng/ml at the initial bleed, but declined steadily to < 0.4 ng/ml by 24 hr. Norepinephrine was also about 4 ng/ml at the initial bleed, but rose to over 8 ng/ml at 1 hr, and then declined to < 0.2 ng/ml at 24 hr. A second, but smaller increase in plasma norepinephrine was seen at 48 hr. Plasma dopamine was low at the initial bleed (< 0.7 ng/ml), rose to over 8 ng/ml at 1 hr, then declined to < 0.2 ng/ml. Plasma corticosterone rose progressively for the first 4 hr, declined at 8 hr and 24 hr, then rose again at 48 hr. Plasma glucose rose significantly by 24 hr and remained elevated for 48 hr. Plasma calcium increased at 1, 2, and 4 hr then returned to levels not significantly different from the initial sample at 24 and 48 hr. The white blood cells showed changes indicating immune system suppression. By the end of the treatment the hetorophil/lymphocyte ratio increased to 4.7. These results suggest that handling alligators, taking multiple blood samples, and keeping them restrained for more than 8 hr is a severe stress to the animals.

  3. Nuclear β-catenin localization supports homology of feathers, avian scutate scales, and alligator scales in early development.

    PubMed

    Musser, Jacob M; Wagner, Günter P; Prum, Richard O

    2015-01-01

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops. PMID:25963196

  4. Cadmium and lead residues in field-collected red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and uptake by alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxiroides

    SciTech Connect

    Naqvi, S.M.; Howell, R.D.; Sholas, M. . Dept. of Biological Sciences and Health Research Center)

    1993-01-01

    The whole-body residues of Cd and Pb in the tissues of Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) were determined by flame AAS technique. Test animals were collected from roadside ditches alongside major highways. The water and soil samples were also collected from the same sites. The mean Cd and Pb concentrations in crayfish tissues were 0.46 and 0.07, respectively. The levels of Cd and Pb in the water were 0.09 and 0.04; and in soil were 2.85 and 0.87 mg/1, respectively. The concentration of cadmium was 32 and Pb 12 times more than in the water. The bioaccumulation factors (BF) for Cd and Pb in crayfish tissues were 5.1 and 1.7, respectively. Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxiroides) plants were exposed to 0.5 mg/1 Cd-chloride or Pb-nitrate solutions for 3 wk period, thrice. The mean Pb accumulation in roots was 1.31 mg/1, followed by stem (0.078 mg/1), but Cd only accumulated in root (0.83 mg/1). The BF for Pb and Cd in plant tissues were 14.8 and 16.6, respectively. The uptake of metals was time-dependent. These data suggest that although there is no biomagnification of Cd and Pb from alligator weed to crayfish, both metals readily accumulate in field-collected crayfish and laboratory-exposed alligator weed.

  5. The orientation and navigation of juvenile alligators: evidence of magnetic sensitivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, Gordon H.

    1984-01-01

    Displaced juvenile alligators, Alligator mississipiensis, were released on land in a 9 m diameter dodecagonal arena to test their ability to orient in the absence of terrestrial landmarks. Navigational ability seemed to improve with age. When displaced along a fairly direct route yearlings (age 7–14 months) compensated for their displacement, moving in the direction from the arena to their home sites. When displaced by a circuitous route, yearlings failed to compensate for their displacement, exhibiting instead simple compass orientation in a direction that would have returned them to water had they been released on land near the site where they were captured. The older juveniles were oriented in a homeward direction under all displacement and test conditions. The latter animals may have been using geomagnetic map information to select their homeward directions as the errors in their homeward bearings correlated with small deviations in the geomagnetic field's dip angle at the time of the test (1980r s=−0.6047,P=0.0131, all testsr s= −0.4652,P=0.0084). This effect appeared to depend on a very short-term assessment of geomagnetic conditions, as values measured 20 min before or 30 min after the tests began did not correlate with the directions the animals moved. The older juveniles appeared to use magnetically quiet hours on the night of their capture as the baseline from which to measure the geomagnetic deviations that occurred at the time of the arena test. The magnitude of the magnetic effect in the older animals suggests that the geomagnetic information may have been used to perform a ‘map’ step, as small fluctuations in dip angle correlated with much larger deviations in homeward bearings. In addition, the compass-oriented yearlings and the seemingly route-based behavior of the homeward-oriented yearlings did not appear to be influenced by geomagnetic conditions. These findings have many parallels in results obtained from bird orientation studies

  6. Primary alkaline magmas associated with the Quaternary Alligator Lake volcanic complex, Yukon Territory, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiché, G. E.; Francis, D. M.; Ludden, J. N.

    1987-02-01

    The Alligator Lake complex is a Quaternary alkaline volcanic center located in the southern Yukon Territory of Canada. It comprises two cinder cones which cap a shield consisting of five distinct lava units of basaltic composition. Units 2 and 3 of this shield are primitive olivine-phyric lavas (13.5 19.5 cation % Mg) which host abundant spinel lherzolite xenoliths, megacrysts, and granitoid fragments. Although the two lava types have erupted coevally from adjacent vents and are petrographically similar, they are chemically distinct. Unit 2 lavas have considerably higher abundances of LREE, LILE, and Fe, but lower HREE, Y, Ca, Si, and Al relative to unit 3 lavas. The 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd isotopic ratios of these two units are, however, indistinguishable. The differences between these two lava types cannot be explained in terms of low pressure olivine fractionation, and the low concentrations of Sr, Nb, P, and Ti in the granitoid xenoliths relative to the primitive lavas discounts differential crustal contamination. The abundance of spinel lherzolite xenoliths and the high Mg contents in the lavas of both units indicates that their compositional differences originated in the upper mantle. The Al and Si systematics of these lavas suggests that, compared to unit 3 magmas, the unit 2 magmas may have segregated at greater depths from a garnet lherzolite mantle. The identical isotopic composition and similar ratios of highly incompatible elements in these two lava units argues against their differences being a consequence of random metasomatism or mantle heterogeneity. The lower Y and HREE contents but higher concentrations of incompatible elements in the unit 2 lavas relative to unit 3 can be most simply explained by differential partial melting of similar garnet-bearing sources. The unit 2 magmas thus appear to have been generated by smaller degrees of melting at a greater depth than the unit 3 magmas. The contemporaneous eruption of two distinct but

  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. Formation and regression of the corpus luteum of the American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guillette, L.J.; Woodward, A.R.; You-Xiang, Q.; Cox, M.C.; Matter, J.H.; Gross, T.S.

    1995-01-01

    Luteal morphology of the American alligator is unique when compared to other reptiles but is similar to that of its phylogenetic relatives, the birds. The theca is extensively hypertrophied, but the granulosa never fills the cavity formed following the ovulation of the ovum. The formation of the corpus luteum (CL) is correlated with elevated plasma progesterone concentrations, which decline dramatically after oviposition with the onset of luteolysis. Unlike those of most other reptiles, the central luteal cell mass is composed of two cell types; one presumably is derived from the granulosa, whereas the other is from the theca interna. Both cell types are present throughout gravidity but only one cell type is seen during mid to late luteolysis. A significant decline in luteal volume occurs following oviposition and continues throughout the post-oviposition period. The fastest decline in luteal volume occurs in the month immediately after oviposition; this rate then slows. Luteolysis appears to continue for a year or more following oviposition, as distinct structures of luteal origin can still be identified in animals 9 months after oviposition. The size of persistent CL can be used to determine whether a given female oviposited during the previous nesting season. Females with CL having volumes greater than 0.2 cm2 or CL diameters greater than 0.4 cm were active the previous season. 

  9. 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.

  10. Sorption of sulphamethoxazole by the biochars derived from rice straw and alligator flag.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingqiang; Han, Xuan; Liang, Chengfeng; Shohag, M J I; Yang, Xiaoe

    2015-01-01

    The sorption ability of sulphamethoxazole (SMX) by biochar derived from rice straw (RS) and alligator flag (AF) at 600°C was studied to assess the ability of biochar as adsorbent to remove SMX from aqueous solution. The results indicated that sorption of SMX by biochars was well described using the Langmuir equation (R2>0.94), and the maximum sorption parameter (Q) of RS (3650 mg kg(-1)) was much higher than that of AF (1963 mg kg(-1)). Temperature had no effect on SMX sorption by biochars, while thermodynamics analysis indicated that the sorption of SMX on both biochars was a spontaneous physical process. The d 250 RS (diameter of RS sieved through 250 µm) and d 150 AF (diameter of AF sieved through 150 µm) showed excellent sorption ability for SMX. The sorption amount of RS was larger than that of AF when pH<7, whereas, the sorption amount of AF surpassed RS when pH≥7. The presence of Cu2+ and/or Cd2+ ion at low concentrations (20 mg L(-1)) significantly (P<0.05) increased the sorption of SMX on both RS and AF. Our study confirms that biochar derived from the wetland plants could be used as effective adsorbents to remove SMX from aqueous solution. PMID:25413119

  11. Macroderoides texanus n. sp. (Digenea: Macroderoididae) from alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula in Texas.

    PubMed

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Strand, Eric J; Froese, Leanne

    2008-12-01

    Macroderoides texanus n. sp. is described based on 16 specimens collected from the intestine of the North American alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula. Of the five established species of Macroderoides, the new species is morphologically most similar to Macroderoides spiniferus and Macroderoides trilobatus. M. texanus n. sp. differs from M. spiniferus by having the ovary situated immediately posterior to the cirrus sac rather than at mid-way between the cirrus sac and anterior testis, the ventral sucker situated further posteriorly, and the vitelline fields extending somewhat posterior to posterior testis rather than to the middle of posterior testis. M. texanus n. sp. differs from M. trilobatus by having the ovary positioned immediately adjacent to, or overlapping the cirrus sac rather than at some distance posterior to it, and by having significantly larger eggs. Additionally, the new species has two distinctive rows of spines on the postero-ventral surface of the oral sucker that are lacking in M. spiniferus and M. trilobatus. Comparison of approximately 2,700-base-pair sequences of nuclear rDNA (partial 18S, complete ITS region and partial 28S) from M. texanus n. sp., M. spiniferus and M. trilobatus, strongly supports the status of M. texanus n. sp. as a new species. PMID:18762983

  12. Structure and fracture resistance of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) armored fish scales.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Gludovatz, Bernd; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Bale, Hrishikesh A; Ritchie, Robert O; Meyers, Marc A

    2013-04-01

    The alligator gar is a large fish with flexible armor consisting of ganoid scales. These scales contain a thin layer of ganoine (microhardness ~2.5 GPa) and a bony body (microhardness ~400 MPa), with jagged edges that provide effective protection against predators. We describe here the structure of both ganoine and bony foundation and characterize the mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms. The bony foundation is characterized by two components: a mineralized matrix and parallel arrays of tubules, most of which contain collagen fibers. The spacing of the empty tubules is ~60 μm; the spacing of those filled with collagen fibers is ~7 μm. Using micromechanical testing of such scales in a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope, we identify interactions between propagating cracks and the microstructure, and show that the toughness of the scales increases with crack extension in a classical resistance-curve response from the activation of extrinsic toughening mechanisms. We demonstrate how mechanical damage evolves in these structures, and further identify that the reinforcement of the mineral by the network of collagen fibers is the principal toughening mechanism resisting such damage. Additionally, we define the anisotropy of the toughness of the scales and relate this to the collagen fiber orientation. PMID:23274521

  13. Structure and fracture resistance of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) armored fish scales.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Gludovatz, Bernd; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Bale, Hrishikesh A; Ritchie, Robert O; Meyers, Marc A

    2013-04-01

    The alligator gar is a large fish with flexible armor consisting of ganoid scales. These scales contain a thin layer of ganoine (microhardness ~2.5 GPa) and a bony body (microhardness ~400 MPa), with jagged edges that provide effective protection against predators. We describe here the structure of both ganoine and bony foundation and characterize the mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms. The bony foundation is characterized by two components: a mineralized matrix and parallel arrays of tubules, most of which contain collagen fibers. The spacing of the empty tubules is ~60 μm; the spacing of those filled with collagen fibers is ~7 μm. Using micromechanical testing of such scales in a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope, we identify interactions between propagating cracks and the microstructure, and show that the toughness of the scales increases with crack extension in a classical resistance-curve response from the activation of extrinsic toughening mechanisms. We demonstrate how mechanical damage evolves in these structures, and further identify that the reinforcement of the mineral by the network of collagen fibers is the principal toughening mechanism resisting such damage. Additionally, we define the anisotropy of the toughness of the scales and relate this to the collagen fiber orientation.

  14. Macroderoides texanus n. sp. (Digenea: Macroderoididae) from alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula in Texas.

    PubMed

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Strand, Eric J; Froese, Leanne

    2008-12-01

    Macroderoides texanus n. sp. is described based on 16 specimens collected from the intestine of the North American alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula. Of the five established species of Macroderoides, the new species is morphologically most similar to Macroderoides spiniferus and Macroderoides trilobatus. M. texanus n. sp. differs from M. spiniferus by having the ovary situated immediately posterior to the cirrus sac rather than at mid-way between the cirrus sac and anterior testis, the ventral sucker situated further posteriorly, and the vitelline fields extending somewhat posterior to posterior testis rather than to the middle of posterior testis. M. texanus n. sp. differs from M. trilobatus by having the ovary positioned immediately adjacent to, or overlapping the cirrus sac rather than at some distance posterior to it, and by having significantly larger eggs. Additionally, the new species has two distinctive rows of spines on the postero-ventral surface of the oral sucker that are lacking in M. spiniferus and M. trilobatus. Comparison of approximately 2,700-base-pair sequences of nuclear rDNA (partial 18S, complete ITS region and partial 28S) from M. texanus n. sp., M. spiniferus and M. trilobatus, strongly supports the status of M. texanus n. sp. as a new species.

  15. Sorption of sulphamethoxazole by the biochars derived from rice straw and alligator flag.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingqiang; Han, Xuan; Liang, Chengfeng; Shohag, M J I; Yang, Xiaoe

    2015-01-01

    The sorption ability of sulphamethoxazole (SMX) by biochar derived from rice straw (RS) and alligator flag (AF) at 600°C was studied to assess the ability of biochar as adsorbent to remove SMX from aqueous solution. The results indicated that sorption of SMX by biochars was well described using the Langmuir equation (R2>0.94), and the maximum sorption parameter (Q) of RS (3650 mg kg(-1)) was much higher than that of AF (1963 mg kg(-1)). Temperature had no effect on SMX sorption by biochars, while thermodynamics analysis indicated that the sorption of SMX on both biochars was a spontaneous physical process. The d 250 RS (diameter of RS sieved through 250 µm) and d 150 AF (diameter of AF sieved through 150 µm) showed excellent sorption ability for SMX. The sorption amount of RS was larger than that of AF when pH<7, whereas, the sorption amount of AF surpassed RS when pH≥7. The presence of Cu2+ and/or Cd2+ ion at low concentrations (20 mg L(-1)) significantly (P<0.05) increased the sorption of SMX on both RS and AF. Our study confirms that biochar derived from the wetland plants could be used as effective adsorbents to remove SMX from aqueous solution.

  16. Thermoluminescence and excess 226Ra decay dating of late Quaternary fluvial sands, East Alligator River, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Andrew; Wohl, Ellen; East, Jon

    1992-01-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) dating was applied to seven samples of siliceous fluvial sands from the East Alligator River of Northern Australia, giving ages ranging from modern to 6000 yr B.P. Two methods of estimating the equivalent dose (ED), total bleach and regenerative, were applied to the 90- to 125-μm quartz fraction of the samples in order to determine the reliability and internal consistency of the technique. High-resolution γ and α spectroscopy were used to measure radionuclide contents; these measurements revealed an excess 226Ra activity compared with 230Th. This excess decreased with depth, and was used directly to derive mean sedimentation rates, and thus sediment ages. Both this method and one 14C date confirmed the validity of the TL values, which increased systematically with depth and were consistent with site stratigraphy. TL was of limited use in the dating of these late Holocene deposits because of age uncertainties of 500 to 1600 yr, resulting from a significant residual ED. This residual probably resulted from incomplete bleaching during reworking upstream of the sampling site. For Pleistocene deposits, the residual ED will be less significant because of higher total EDs, and TL dates will be correspondingly more accurate.

  17. Two modes of motion of the alligator lizard cochlea: Measurements and model predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranyosi, A. J.; Freeman, Dennis M.

    2005-09-01

    Measurements of motion of an in vitro preparation of the alligator lizard basilar papilla in response to sound demonstrate elliptical trajectories. These trajectories are consistent with the presence of both a translational and rotational mode of motion. The translational mode is independent of frequency, and the rotational mode has a displacement peak near 5 kHz. These measurements can be explained by a simple mechanical system in which the basilar papilla is supported asymmetrically on the basilar membrane. In a quantitative model, the translational admittance is compliant while the rotational admittance is second order. Best-fit model parameters are consistent with estimates based on anatomy and predict that fluid flow across hair bundles is a primary source of viscous damping. The model predicts that the rotational mode contributes to the high-frequency slopes of auditory nerve fiber tuning curves, providing a physical explanation for a low-pass filter required in models of this cochlea. The combination of modes makes the sensitivity of hair bundles more uniform with radial position than that which would result from pure rotation. A mechanical analogy with the organ of Corti suggests that these two modes of motion may also be present in the mammalian cochlea.

  18. Invertebrate community composition differs between invasive herb alligator weed and native sedges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Imogen E.; Paynter, Quentin; Beggs, Jacqueline R.

    2012-05-01

    Chemical and/or architectural differences between native and exotic plants may influence invertebrate community composition. According to the enemy release hypothesis, invasive weeds should host fewer and less specialised invertebrates than native vegetation. Invertebrate communities were compared on invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed) and native sedges (Isolepis prolifer and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) in a New Zealand lake. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Lower invertebrate abundance, richness and proportionally fewer specialists were predicted on A. philoxeroides compared to native sedges, but with greatest differences between A. philoxeroides and S. tabernaemontani. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Invertebrate abundance showed taxa-specific responses, rather than consistently lower abundance on A. philoxeroides. Nevertheless, as predicted, invertebrate fauna of A. philoxeroides was more similar to that of I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. The prediction of a depauperate native fauna on A. philoxeroides received support from some but not all taxa. All vegetation types hosted generalist-dominated invertebrate communities with simple guild structures. The enemy release hypothesis thus had minimal ability to predict patterns in this system. Results suggest the extent of architectural and chemical differences between native and invasive vegetation may be useful in predicting the extent to which they will host different invertebrate communities. However, invertebrate ecology also affects whether invertebrate taxa respond positively or negatively to weed invasion. Thus, exotic vegetation may support distinct invertebrate communities despite similar overall invertebrate abundance to native vegetation.

  19. Direct comparison of the electronic coupling efficiency of sulfur and selenium alligator clips for molecules adsorbed onto gold electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrone, L.; Palacin, S.; Bourgoin, J. P.

    2003-05-01

    Scanning tunneling microscopy experiments have been performed to compare the electronic coupling provided by S and by Se used as alligator clips for bisthiol- and biselenol-terthiophene molecules adsorbed onto gold. The molecules were inserted in a dodecanethiol (DT) self-assembled monolayer. Their apparent height above the dodecanethiol matrix was used as a measure of the electronic coupling strength corresponding to S and Se, respectively. We show that the insertion behaviors of the two molecules are qualitatively the same, and that Se provides systematically a better coupling link than S, whatever the tunneling conditions.

  20. A moss-covered alligator rests in the sun at KSC. copy form; photos beginning with 99PD are only ava

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On top of what may be a nest on the edge of an algae-coated canal near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center, a moss-covered alligator rests while keeping a wary eye open 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 usually 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.

  1. Preliminary report on the intestinal parasites and their diversity in captive Chinese alligators.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jinhong; Zhou, Yongkang; Wang, Shaosheng; Tu, Genjun; Tang, Xiaoniu; Wu, Xiaobing

    2014-10-20

    Objetivo: Aunque los parásitos intestinales son comúnmente detectados en los cocodrilos salvajes o en criados en cautividad en otras partes del mundo, existen muy pocos informes el caso concreto del caimán chino criado en cautividad (Alligator sinensis), ya que sólo están distribuidos en las zonas del sur del río Yangtze. El presente trabajo fue realizado para investigar los parásitos intestinales y su diversidad en las especies de cocodrilo chino. Métodos: En mayo y octubre de 2013, se recopilaron aleatoriamente un total de 328 muestras fecales de caimanes chinos en cautividad de un centro de cría en el sur de la provincia de Anhui. Resultados: Fueron identificados tres géneros de protozoos (Entaoeba, Eimeria e Isospora), cinco géneros de nematodos (Ascaris, Dujardin Ascaris, Capillaria, Toxocara y Strongylus), dos géneros de trematodos (Echinostoma y Clonorchis) y dos familias de trematodos (Schistosomatidae y Cryptogonimidae), de los cuales la mayor prevalencia correspondió a Dujardin Ascaris y producían la mayor tasa de infección (14,33%); entaoeba se situó en el segundo puesto (13,11%). El número de especies, índice de riqueza, índice de diversidad y de equitatividad fue superior en los meses de julio y agosto, y éstos, relativamente más para caimanes jóvenes y sub-adultos. Conclusiones: Nuestros resultados apuntan la prevalencia de la infección por parásitos intestinales en caimanes chinos en cautividad y ello exige nuestra atención, ya sea para controlar o prevenir la propagación de la enfermedad parasitaria intestinal a los seres humanos, o para la conservación de esta especie en peligro de extinción.

  2. Effect of lymph composition on an in vitro preparation of the alligator lizard cochlea.

    PubMed

    Freeman, D M; Hendrix, D K; Shah, D; Fan, L F; Weiss, T F

    1993-02-01

    The effects of different artificial lymphs on the cochlear duct of the alligator lizard were studied in an in vitro preparation. The duct was dissected and cemented to the glass floor of a chamber that had been filled with an artificial lymph. The vestibular membrane was removed and latex beads (1-5 microns in diameter) were allowed to settle on the endolymphatic surface of the duct. During perfusion with an artificial lymph solution, the positions of beads were measured and video images of the duct were obtained. Artificial lymphs were isosmotic and included artificial endolymph (AE), artificial perilymph (AP), Leibovitz's L-15 culture medium, an AE solution whose calcium concentration was the same as that of AP, and AE and AP solutions in which gluconate was substituted for chloride ions. Results obtained in AE were consistently different from those in other lymphs. The displacements of beads, the projected area of the papilla, the occurrence of blebs, and direct observation of cells in the duct all indicated that the tissue swelled in AE (with or without 2 mmol/l Ca) but showed no consistent shrinking or swelling in any of the other artificial lymphs. Thus for the solutions we used, the presence of both potassium and chloride was required to elicit the swelling response to isosmotic artificial lymphs. There were some regional differences in the swelling response: the swelling of the endolymphatic surface of the tissue in a direction orthogonal to the basilar membrane surface was smaller on the free-standing region of the basilar papilla than either on the tectorial membrane or on the hyaline epithelial cells. The preparation was osmotically stable in AP and in both AE and AP solutions in which gluconate was substituted for chloride ions. After exposure to these solutions for as much as 300 min, the preparation showed no gross signs of deterioration visible with the light microscope, and continued to exhibit a highly specific osmotic response to the composition

  3. Mercury contamination in alligators (Melanosuchus niger) from Mamirauá Reservoir (Brazilian Amazon) and human health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Correia, Jozélia; Cesar, Ricardo; Marsico, Eliane; Diniz, George Tadeu Nunes; Zorro, Mauricio Camargo; Castilhos, Zuleica

    2014-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in muscles of wild alligators (Melanosuchus niger) from the Mamirauá Reservoir (a reference area in the Brazilian Amazon) and the human health risks associated with its consumption were assessed. The mean Hg concentration in alligator muscles was 0.407 ± 0.114 μg/g (N = 61). Close to 5 % of the muscle samples showed Hg levels above the World Health Organization guideline for fish consumption (0.5 μg/g). A positive and significant relationship was observed between Hg concentrations in muscle and the age of the specimens. The dose-response approach suggests that close to 27.4 years is required for half of the exposed specimens to attain 0.5 μg/g. The hazard quotient (HQ) is a risk indicator which defines the ratio of exposure level and a toxicological reference dose. HQ resulted above the unity for all the specimens when the ingestion rate for riverine communities (200 g of muscle per day) is considered, indicating the existence of hazard. When the ingestion rate for market consumers (28.57 g/day) is considered, the risks are much lower (mean HQ = 0.55), suggesting that such group is not at risk. The establishment of local and regional ingestion rates for riverine populations and market consumers is extremely recommended.

  4. Infestation of the southern alligator lizard (Squamata: Anguidae) by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and its susceptibility to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Lane, R S; Clover, J R

    1998-11-01

    To investigate the reservoir potential of the southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata (Blainville), for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, 14 lizards were collected from 1 county on each side of the northern Central Valley of California. Seven animals were collected from a Placer County site (Drivers Flat) and a Yolo County site (Cache Creek) where B. burgdorferi had been isolated previously from Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. Overall, the mean abundance of I. pacificus on all 14 lizards was 34.1 (range, 3-63) for larvae and 11.0 (range, 1-28) for nymphs. In captivity, field-attached I. pacificus larvae and nymphs required, on average, 12.6 (range, 1-37) and 14.4 (range, 5-44) d to feed to repletion, respectively. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.4% in Cache Creek Canyon and 9.9% in Drivers Flat. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from lizard blood or ticks that had fed on lizards and subsequently molted were unsuccessful as were efforts to cultivate spirochetes in lizard sera. These data suggest that the southern alligator lizard is not a competent reservoir for B. burgdorferi, although it is an important host for I. pacificus subadults. PMID:9835700

  5. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xifeng; Cheng, Gang; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates.

  6. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  7. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xifeng; Cheng, Gang; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  8. Alligator ridge district, East-Central Nevada: Carlin-type gold mineralization at shallow depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nutt, C.J.; Hofstra, A.H.

    2003-01-01

    Carlin-type deposits in the Alligator Ridge mining district are present sporadically for 40 km along the north-striking Mooney Basin fault system but are restricted to a 250-m interval of Devonian to Mississippian strata. Their age is bracketed between silicified ca. 45 Ma sedimentary rocks and unaltered 36.5 to 34 Ma volcanic rocks. The silicification is linked to the deposits by its continuity with ore-grade silicification in Devonian-Mississippian strata and by its similar ??18O values (_e1???17???) and trace element signature (As, Sb, Tl, Hg). Eocene reconstruction indicates that the deposits formed at depths of ???300 to 800 m. In comparison to most Carlin-type gold deposits, they have lower Au/Ag, Au grades, and contained Au, more abundant jasperoid, and textural evidence from deposition of an amorphous silica precursor in jasperoid. These differences most likely result from their shallow depth of formation. The peak fluid temperature (_e1???230??C) and large ??18OH2O value shift from the meteroric water line (_e1???20???) suggest that ore fluids were derived from depths of 8 km or more. A magnetotelluric survey indicates that the Mooney Basin fault system penetrates to mid-crustal depths. Deep circulation of meteoric water along the Mooney Basin fault system may have been in response to initial uplift of the East Humboldt-Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex; convection also may have been promoted by increased heat flow associated with large magnitude extension in the core complex and regional magmatism. Ore fluids ascended along the fault system until they encountered impermeable Devonian and Mississippian shales, at which point they moved laterally through permeable strata in the Devonian Guilmette Formation, Devonian-Mississippian Pilot Shale, Mississippian Joana Limestone, and Mississippian Chainman Shale toward erosional windows where they ascended into Eocene fluvial conglomerates and lake sediments. Most gold precipitated by sulfidation of host

  9. SEX-STEROID AND THYROID HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE LAKES IN FLORIDA. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  10. Effect of aqueous extracts of alligator pear seed (Persea americana mill) on blood glucose and histopathology of pancreas in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Edem, Do; Ekanem, Is; Ebong, Pe

    2009-07-01

    Effects of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed on normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were investigated in 6 groups of rats (5 rats per group). Test groups were made diabetic with intra-peritoneal injection of alloxan and treated with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight of alligator pear seed extract. Two non-diabetic groups were also administered with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight extract. The levels of blood glucose were examined in all 6 experimental groups. In diabetic rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 73.26-78.24% on consumption of the extracts, with greater effect exhibited by the 600 mg/kg extract. In normal rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 34.68-38.9% on consumption of the seed extract. Histological studies showed a degenerative effect on the pancreatic islet cells of diabetic rats. The result suggested restorative (protective) effect of the extract on pancreatic islet cells. Administration of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed may contribute significantly to the reduction of blood glucose levels and can be useful in the treatment of diabetes.

  11. Mining in the Alligator Rivers Region, northern Australia: assessing potential and actual effects on ecosystem and human health.

    PubMed

    van Dam, R A; Humphrey, C L; Martin, P

    2002-12-27

    This paper presents an overview of issues related to surface water contamination arising from uranium mining activities in the Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) of northern Australia, and a program of research and monitoring that must assess the potential and actual effects on ecosystem and human health. The program of assessing effects on aquatic ecosystems involves a four-tiered approach including the derivation of local water quality guideline trigger values, direct toxicity assessment of mine waters prior to their release, creekside or in situ monitoring for early warning of adverse effects during mine water release, and longer-term monitoring of macroinvertebrate and fish communities. Bioaccumulation in aquatic biota is also assessed, and is an issue of importance not only to ecosystem health, but also to the health of local Aboriginal people. The aquatic animals they consume represent potential sources of radiological dose, and as a result, a major component of the program to assess potential effects on human health is the prediction of doses to Aboriginal people living downstream of mining activities. Acknowledging the assumptions and uncertainties, the calculation of concentration factors for local aquatic (and other) food sources allows the prediction of potential radiological exposure to people following hypothetical mine water releases. The approaches described form the basis of best-practice protocols that are relevant at both regional and national levels.

  12. Summary of well construction, testing, and preliminary findings from the Alligator Alley test well, Broward County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, F.W.

    1988-01-01

    A 2,811-foot deep test well was drilled during 1980 in The Everglades along Alligator Alley as part of the Floridan Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis project. The well was cased 895 feet deep. Hydraulic packers were used to isolate selected zones in the open hole for water samples and measurement of water levels. The well penetrated the surficial and intermediate aquifers into the Floridan aquifer system. The top of the Floridan aquifer system occurs at 770 feet and includes limestone ranging in age from Oligocene to early Eocene. About 67 percent of the total thickness of the Floridan aquifer system was penetrated by the well. The chief water-producing zones in the Floridan aquifer system occur at about 1,030 feet and at about 2,560 feet. The 1,030-foot zone contains brackish artesian groundwater, and the 2,560-foot zone contains salty artesian groundwater similar in composition to seawater. The static water geothermal gradient is indicated, and radiocarbon activities suggest that the saltwater in the lower zone is younger than brackish groundwater in the upper zone. (USGS)

  13. 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.

  14. Fine structure of crystalline inclusions in B-cells of the islets of Langerhans in the alligator.

    PubMed

    Raska, I; Komrska, J; Titlbach, M; Rieder, M

    1978-03-13

    The ultrastructure of crystalline beta granules of the islets of Langerhans in the alligator has been investigated. From optical diffraction analysis and serial sectioning, the existence of four distinct types of crystalline inclusions was established in ultrathin sections. The first type is the most frequent and is interpreted as a rhombohedron with a base, the ortho-hexagonal unit-cell edges being a equal to 18.9 nm, c equal to 23.0 nm. The second type of crystal (not observed in serial sections) is found compatible with a rhomb-dodecahedron which indexes on a cubic cell with a equal to 9.6 nm. The third type of crystal was assigned to dipyramids. Dipyramids are extremely rare, and only two diffraction patterns were obtained; their crystal system could not be determined. Prisms, which are second in abundance, represent the fourth type of crystal. Spacings as well as the symmetry differ from those of the above three crystal types and indicate a tetragonal cell with a equal to 4.2 nm, c equal to 14.2 nm. The data for the prismatic crystals are strikingly similar to those of proinsulin and may represent the first case of agreement between crystals (i) formed in vitro and studied by X-ray diffraction and (ii) those investigated in situ by electron microscopy.

  15. A thermal history of the Proterozoic East Alligator River Terrain, N.T., Australia: a fission track study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koul, Sohan L.; Wilde, A. R.; Tickoo, Awtar K.

    1988-01-01

    Radiometric data indicate a major thermal event in Proterozoic rocks of the East Alligator River Terrain, at 1870 Ma. These data, together with metamorphic mineral assemblages, demonstrate peak temperatures in excess of 600 ° C, close to the melting temperature of more deeply buried rocks. A cooling rate following peak metamorphism of 3°C/Ma is suggested. Fission-track dates of peak metamorphic phases, however, reveal a thermal event (or events), after 1650 Ma, rather than the peak metamorphic event. This rise in temperature was the result of thermal blanketing of the metamorphic basement by Carpentarian sediments and anomalous radiogenic heat flow from underlying granitoid gneiss. The temperatures so generated (≥ 175 ° C) were insufficient to reset Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems, but are clearly in excess of F.T. annealing temperatures for all the phases investigated. A cooling history, extending over 1000 m.y. and reflecting gradual erosion of the sedimentary cover, is revealed. This history is consistent with the extraordinary tectonic stability of the region. The importance of F.T. studies in establishing a thermal history is underscored, particularly when maximum temperatures experienced were less than those required to reset Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems.

  16. 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. PMID:25714813

  17. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moyer, G.R.; Sloss, Brian L.; Kreiser, B.R.; Feldheim, K.A.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the isolation of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), a large-bodied species that has experienced population declines across much of its range. These loci possessed 2-19 alleles and observed heterozygosities of 0-0.974. All loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations, and none exhibited linkage disequilibrium. Nine and eight of these loci were found to be polymorphic in the related species Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus, respectively. These microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of A. spatula through the study of population structure and hatchery broodstock management. ?? 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae.

    PubMed

    Moyer, Gregory R; Sloss, Brian L; Kreiser, Brian R; Feldheim, Kevin A

    2009-05-01

    We report on the isolation of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), a large-bodied species that has experienced population declines across much of its range. These loci possessed 2-19 alleles and observed heterozygosities of 0-0.974. All loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations, and none exhibited linkage disequilibrium. Nine and eight of these loci were found to be polymorphic in the related species Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus, respectively. These microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of A. spatula through the study of population structure and hatchery broodstock management. PMID:21564806

  19. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae.

    PubMed

    Moyer, Gregory R; Sloss, Brian L; Kreiser, Brian R; Feldheim, Kevin A

    2009-05-01

    We report on the isolation of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), a large-bodied species that has experienced population declines across much of its range. These loci possessed 2-19 alleles and observed heterozygosities of 0-0.974. All loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations, and none exhibited linkage disequilibrium. Nine and eight of these loci were found to be polymorphic in the related species Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus, respectively. These microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of A. spatula through the study of population structure and hatchery broodstock management.

  20. PLASMA DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE CONCENTRATIONS AND PHALLUS SIZE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (A. MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE POPULATIONS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Evidence increasingly suggests that some environmental pollutants are able to permanently affect development of the endocrine system in wildlife. Embryonic and neonatal exposure to these "endocrine-disrupting contaminants" can cause structural and functional abnormalities of the ...

  1. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA B-CORTICOSTERONE, ESTRADIOL-17B AND TESTOSTERONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS COLLECTED FROM THREE SITES WITHIN THE KISSIMMEE-EVERGLADES DRAINAGE BASIN IN FLORIDA (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effect of acute stress on plasma b-corticosterone (B), testosterone (T) and estradiol-17b (E2), concentrations in juvenile alligators collected from sites with varying sediment contaminants was examined in this study. Dramatic increases in plasma B concentrations were observe...

  2. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Water in the Lithospheric Mantle Beneath a Phanerozoic Continental Belt: FTIR Analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gelber, McKensie; Peslier, Ann H.; Brandon, Alan D.

    2015-01-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and (is) approximately140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths, suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low ((is) less than 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment.

  4. Alligator pepper/Grain of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) modulates Angiotensin-I converting enzyme activity, lipid profile and oxidative imbalances in a rat model of hypercholesterolemia.

    PubMed

    Adefegha, Stephen A; Oboh, Ganiyu; Adefegha, Omowunmi M; Henle, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    Alligator pepper [Aframomum melegueta Roscoe K. (Zingiberaceae)] seeds have been reportedly used in folkloric medicine in the management of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension with limited scientific basis for their action. This study was conducted to characterize the amino acids in Alligator pepper seeds (APS), assess their effects on lipid profile and enzyme linked to blood pressure regulation in hypercholesterolemic rat (rats fed 2% cholesterol diet) model. Free and total amino acids of APS were extracted and their various constituents were analyzed using the amino acid analyzer and ultra-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of dietary inclusion of APS (2-4%) on the lipid profile, angiotensin I-enzyme (ACE) activity and antioxidant status in hypercholesterolemic rats (HCR) for 30days was assessed. The results suggest that APS may modulate blood lipid profile, ameliorate blood pressure, attenuate hepatotoxicity and exert antihypercholesterolemic effect. γ - amino butyric acid (GABA), tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan that were subsequently detected in APS. The observed salutary effects of APS may be attributed to the synergistic or/and additive actions of the amino acids present with other antioxidant phytoconstituents. These findings may therefore provide pharmacological basis for APS use in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.

  5. Supporting-cell and extracellular responses to acoustic clicks in the free-standing region of the alligator lizard cochlea.

    PubMed

    Baden-Kristensen, K; Weiss, T F

    1982-12-01

    1. Acoustic clocks were delivered to the tympanic membrane of anesthetized alligator lizards, and electric responses were measured within the free-standing region of the cochlea using glass micropipettes. Responses were recorded intracellularly in supporting cells and extracellularly in the receptor organ and in the scalae. Gross responses were also recorded with wire electrodes in scala tympani. 2. Intra- and extracellular responses contain two components: (1) an early (with latent period less than 0.15 ms after the onset of the click), rate-independent component presumed to originate in the receptor cells, which we call the 'receptor component'; and (2) a later (with latent period from 2 to 5 ms after the onset of the click), rate-dependent component presumed to originate in the primary neurons, which we call the 'neural component'. 3. The receptor component consists of a positive, slow, polarity-independent potential which is superimposed on a small, oscillatory, polarity-dependent potential. The average magnitude of the receptor component in supporting cells (0.72 mV for -20 dB clicks) is about 10 times that in the extracellular spaces and about 1/5 of that recorded in receptor cells. This component depends nonlinearly on the sound stimulus in the -20 to -55 dB range of click levels. 4. The average magnitude of the neural component in supporting cells (0.3 mV for clicks at -20 dB and 10 clicks/s) is about 5-10 times larger than that in the extracellular spaces. 5. The receptor and neural components have different distributions within the cochlea. The slow potential of the receptor component has positive polarity within the receptor organ and in scala tympani, and negative polarity in scala media. In contrast, the neural component has approximately the same biphasic (negative then positive) waveform in all extracellular compartments where it was detected. However, the neural component has a larger magnitude and an inverted (positive then negative) waveform in

  6. Water in the lithospheric mantle beneath a Phanerozoic continental belt: FTIR analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelber, M.; Peslier, A. H.; Brandon, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites [1-2]. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 °C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth [3]. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites [3]. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and ~140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths [4], suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before [3]. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low (< 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment [5]. [1] Francis. 1987 JP 28, 569-97. [2] Eiche et al. 1987 CMP 95, 191-201. [3] Shi et al. 1997 CMP 131, 39-53. [4] Peslier et al. 2015 GGG 154, 98-117. [5] Bai et al. 1993 PCM 19, 460-71.

  7. A new Haemogregarina species of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii (Testudines: Chelydridae), in Georgia and Florida that produces macromeronts in circulating erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Telford, Sam R; Norton, Terry M; Moler, Paul E; Jensen, John B

    2009-02-01

    Haemogregarina macrochelysi n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemogregarinidae) of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is characterized by slender, recurved gamonts 29-35 x 3-4.5 microm, in which the anterior limb comprises 48-54% of the total length. The gamont nucleus, 5-7.5 x 2-5 microm, is situated at approximately midbody of the gamont. Meronts typical of Haemogregarina occupying erythrocytes have 3-8 small, compact nuclei and are 13-17 x 4.5-9 microm. Erythrocytic meronts that contain larger, nearly square or rectangular nuclei become rounded, and then undergo 7 or more nuclear divisions, which produce very large, usually ovoid to rounded meronts that may contain up to 150 nuclei or more within the thinly stretched host erythrocyte membrane. In tissues of the Placobdella spp. leech vectors, merogony occurs directly from sporozoites, forming merozoites that presumably are infective for the turtle host. PMID:19245282

  8. A new Haemogregarina species of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii (Testudines: Chelydridae), in Georgia and Florida that produces macromeronts in circulating erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Telford, Sam R; Norton, Terry M; Moler, Paul E; Jensen, John B

    2009-02-01

    Haemogregarina macrochelysi n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemogregarinidae) of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is characterized by slender, recurved gamonts 29-35 x 3-4.5 microm, in which the anterior limb comprises 48-54% of the total length. The gamont nucleus, 5-7.5 x 2-5 microm, is situated at approximately midbody of the gamont. Meronts typical of Haemogregarina occupying erythrocytes have 3-8 small, compact nuclei and are 13-17 x 4.5-9 microm. Erythrocytic meronts that contain larger, nearly square or rectangular nuclei become rounded, and then undergo 7 or more nuclear divisions, which produce very large, usually ovoid to rounded meronts that may contain up to 150 nuclei or more within the thinly stretched host erythrocyte membrane. In tissues of the Placobdella spp. leech vectors, merogony occurs directly from sporozoites, forming merozoites that presumably are infective for the turtle host.

  9. Wrestling the process alligator

    SciTech Connect

    Springer, F.E.

    1993-04-01

    The Office of Hydropower Licensing's (FERC) current efforts to address the procedural problems in hydropower licensing are briefly described. A reorganization has taken place along functional lines to focus efforts in the three major programmatic functions: licensing, compliance, and dam safety. Other measures are also described.

  10. Tissue PAH, blood cell and tissue changes following exposure to water accommodated fractions of crude oil in alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Omar-Ali, Ahmad; Hohn, Claudia; Allen, Peter J; Rodriguez, Jose; Petrie-Hanson, Lora

    2015-07-01

    Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula acclimated to brackish water (9 ppt) were exposed to water accommodated fraction oil loadings (surrogate to Macondo Deepwater Horizon, northern Gulf of Mexico) of 0.5 and 4.0 gm oil/L tank water for 48 h. The surrogate oil was approximately 98% alkanes and alkynes and 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons. The 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons were predominately naphthalene. After 48 h, naphthalene levels in fish liver exposed to 0.5 or 4 gm oil/L were 547.79 and 910.68 ppb, while muscle levels were 214.11 and 253.84 ppb. There was a significant decrease in peripheral blood lymphocyte numbers and a significant reduction of granulocytes in the kidney marrow of the same fish. Tissue changes included hepatocellular vacuolization and necrosis, necrotizing pancreatitis, renal eosinophilia, and splenic congestion. After 7 days recovery, liver naphthalene levels decreased to 43.59 and 43.20 ppb, while muscle levels decreased to 9.74, and 16.78 ppb for oil exposures of 0, 0.5 or 4 g/L. In peripheral blood and kidney marrow, blood cell counts returned to normal. The severity of liver and kidney lesions lessened after 7 days recovery in non-oiled water, but splenic congestion remained in all gar. PMID:25956543

  11. Isolation of alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula) glucagon, oxyntomodulin, and glucagon-like peptide: amino acid sequences of oxyntomodulin and glucagon-like peptide.

    PubMed

    Pollock, H G; Kimmel, J R; Ebner, K E; Hamilton, J W; Rouse, J B; Lance, V; Rawitch, A B

    1988-01-01

    Oxyntomodulin, glucagon, and a glucagon-like peptide (GLP) have been isolated from the endocrine pancreas of the alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula), a ganoid fish. The three peptides were isolated by gel filtration and HPLC and were identified by size, composition, and glucagon-like immunoreactivity. The amino acid sequences of the oxyntomodulin and GLP were determined. The oxyntomodulin contains 36 amino acid residues and its sequence is H S Q G T F T N D Y S K Y L D T R R A Q D F V Q W L M S T K R S G G I T. The composition of the glucagon is identical to the N-terminal 29 residues of the gar oxyntomodulin. The single form of GLP found contains 34 amino acid residues in the following sequence: H A D G T Y T S D V S S Y L Q D Q A A K K F V T W L K Q G Q D R R E. These findings suggest that all three peptides are derived from a common precursor. PMID:3282974

  12. Isolation of alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula) glucagon, oxyntomodulin, and glucagon-like peptide: amino acid sequences of oxyntomodulin and glucagon-like peptide.

    PubMed

    Pollock, H G; Kimmel, J R; Ebner, K E; Hamilton, J W; Rouse, J B; Lance, V; Rawitch, A B

    1988-01-01

    Oxyntomodulin, glucagon, and a glucagon-like peptide (GLP) have been isolated from the endocrine pancreas of the alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula), a ganoid fish. The three peptides were isolated by gel filtration and HPLC and were identified by size, composition, and glucagon-like immunoreactivity. The amino acid sequences of the oxyntomodulin and GLP were determined. The oxyntomodulin contains 36 amino acid residues and its sequence is H S Q G T F T N D Y S K Y L D T R R A Q D F V Q W L M S T K R S G G I T. The composition of the glucagon is identical to the N-terminal 29 residues of the gar oxyntomodulin. The single form of GLP found contains 34 amino acid residues in the following sequence: H A D G T Y T S D V S S Y L Q D Q A A K K F V T W L K Q G Q D R R E. These findings suggest that all three peptides are derived from a common precursor.

  13. Tissue PAH, blood cell and tissue changes following exposure to water accommodated fractions of crude oil in alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Omar-Ali, Ahmad; Hohn, Claudia; Allen, Peter J; Rodriguez, Jose; Petrie-Hanson, Lora

    2015-07-01

    Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula acclimated to brackish water (9 ppt) were exposed to water accommodated fraction oil loadings (surrogate to Macondo Deepwater Horizon, northern Gulf of Mexico) of 0.5 and 4.0 gm oil/L tank water for 48 h. The surrogate oil was approximately 98% alkanes and alkynes and 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons. The 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons were predominately naphthalene. After 48 h, naphthalene levels in fish liver exposed to 0.5 or 4 gm oil/L were 547.79 and 910.68 ppb, while muscle levels were 214.11 and 253.84 ppb. There was a significant decrease in peripheral blood lymphocyte numbers and a significant reduction of granulocytes in the kidney marrow of the same fish. Tissue changes included hepatocellular vacuolization and necrosis, necrotizing pancreatitis, renal eosinophilia, and splenic congestion. After 7 days recovery, liver naphthalene levels decreased to 43.59 and 43.20 ppb, while muscle levels decreased to 9.74, and 16.78 ppb for oil exposures of 0, 0.5 or 4 g/L. In peripheral blood and kidney marrow, blood cell counts returned to normal. The severity of liver and kidney lesions lessened after 7 days recovery in non-oiled water, but splenic congestion remained in all gar.

  14. Phenrica littoralis (Bechyné, 1955) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) a potential candidate for the biological control of alligator weed, Alternantheraphiloxeroides (Martius) Grisebach (Amaranthaceae): redescription of the adult, first description of immature stages, and biological notes.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Nora; Sosa, Alejandro J; Julien, Mic

    2013-01-01

    Flea beetles of alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach (Amaranthaceae), were collected in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. Species in the genera Disonycha Chevrolat, Agasicles Jacoby, Systena Chevrolat and Phenrica Bechyné were frequently found on this weed. Phenrica littoralis (Bechyn6) was the most abundant within this genus. The male is described and the holotype female is redescribed adding new diagnostic characters of the mouthparts, hind wings, metendosternite, and male and female genitalia. Larva and pupa are described and illustrated for the first time providing data for future phylogenetic studies in the subtribe Disonychina.

  15. Sequencing three crocodilian genomes to illuminate the evolution of archosaurs and amniotes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The International Crocodilian Genomes Working Group (ICGWG) will sequence and assemble the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) genomes. The status of these projects and our planned analyses are described. PMID:22293439

  16. Devin, Alligators, Jellyfish, and Me.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsuchiyama, Elaine

    1997-01-01

    Describes how a first-grade teacher used the "hypothesis-test" approach with Devin, a first grader who struggled as a reader and writer. Points out that, when she started working with Devin, she wanted to understand his difficulties, but by the end, she realized that it was her curriculum, not his difficulties, that needed to be in the foreground.…

  17. Swamps, Alligators, and Adult Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnham, Byron R.

    1990-01-01

    Choice taking is a personal matter that results from consideration of the issues and beliefs about the nature of reality, humans, and social context. Systematic consideration of these elements forms the foundation of professional practice. (Author)

  18. Alligator clips to molecular dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopuk, Nicholas; Son, Kyung-Ah

    2008-09-01

    Techniques for fabricating nanospaced electrodes suitable for studying electron tunneling through metal-molecule-metal junctions are described. In one approach, top contacts are deposited/placed on a self-assembled monolayer or Langmuir-Blodgett film resting on a conducting substrate, the bottom contact. The molecular component serves as a permanent spacer that controls and limits the electrode separations. The top contact can be a thermally deposited metal film, liquid mercury drop, scanning probe tip, metallic wire or particle. Introduction of the top contact can greatly affect the electrical conductance of the intervening molecular film by chemical reaction, exerting pressure, or simply migrating through the organic layer. Alternatively, vacant nanogaps can be fabricated and the molecular component subsequently inserted. Strategies for constructing vacant nanogaps include mechanical break junction, electromigration, shadow mask lithography, focused ion beam deposition, chemical and electrochemical plating techniques, electron-beam lithography, and molecular and atomic rulers. The size of the nanogaps must be small enough to allow the molecule to connect both leads and large enough to keep the molecules in a relaxed and undistorted state. A significant advantage of using vacant nanogaps in the construction of metal-molecule-metal devices is that the junction can be characterized with and without the molecule in place. Any electrical artifacts introduced by the electrode fabrication process are more easily deconvoluted from the intrinsic properties of the molecule.

  19. 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. PMID:26048335

  20. Cloning and sequence analysis of the coding sequence of β-actin cDNA from the Chinese alligator and suitable internal reference primers from the β-actin gene.

    PubMed

    Zhu, H N; Zhang, S Z; Zhou, Y K; Wang, C L; Wu, X B

    2015-01-01

    β-Actin is an essential component of the cytoskeleton and is stably expressed in various tissues of animals, thus, it is commonly used as an internal reference for gene expression studies. In this study, a 1731-bp fragment of β-actin cDNA from Alligator sinensis was obtained using the homology cloning technique. Sequence analysis showed that this fragment contained the complete coding sequence of the β-actin gene (1128 bp), encoding 375 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of β-actin is highly conserved and its nucleotide sequence is slightly variable. Multiple alignment analyses showed that the nucleotide sequence of the β-actin gene from A. sinensis is very similar to sequences from birds, with 94-95% identity. Ten pairs of primers with different product sizes and different annealing temperatures were screened by PCR amplification, agarose gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing, and could be used as internal reference primers in gene expression studies. This study expands our knowledge of β-actin gene phylogenetic evolution and provides a basis for quantitative gene expression studies in A. sinensis. PMID:26505364

  1. Alligators, hospital birth and other urban legends.

    PubMed

    Cohain, Judy Slome

    2012-05-01

    The belief that hospital birth for low risk pregnancies has better outcomes than planned, attended homebirth is an urban legend. The choice of low-risk women to deliver in hospital is a result of the dominant and irrational human propensities to gossip, to follow the crowd and to cling to irrational hope. Rational analysis shows that planned homebirth with experienced trained attendants has the best outcomes for both mother and newborn for low risk pregnancy.

  2. The Psychologist's Dilemma: Killing Alligators vs. Draining The Swamp

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Withers, Thomas

    1973-01-01

    Analyzes the problems of the school psychologist, his relationship with the school as a whole as well as with individual children, and the effect teachers can have on child psychological development. (RK)

  3. A modular solar system provides hot water for alligator farm

    SciTech Connect

    Healey, H.M. )

    1994-03-01

    This article describes an 8,000 ft[sup 2] (743 m[sup 2]), site-built, large volume, Integral Collector Storage (ICS) solar water heating system installed at the farm to preheat water for the building washdown as part of a Florida Energy Office demonstration project. The project utilized at Foster Farms was a Shallow Solar Pond (SSP)--a modular, site-built, solar water heating system capable of providing in excess of 5,000 heated gallons (19 m[sup 3]) per day. During the past 10 years, a large number of solar systems have been proposed to provide economical hot water for industrial processes. Most of these water heating systems have proven to be too costly or too complex to compete with the traditional water heating methods using conventional fuels. Technology initiated at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and expanded upon by the Tennessee Valley Authority was shown to have outstanding potential in Florida. This technology, which was utilized at Foster Farms, consists of a site-built large-volume ICAS system called the Shallow Solar Pond. Shallow Solar Pond (SSP) systems utilize the modular approach in which modules, built in a standardized size, are tied together to supply the required load. The SSP module can be ground mounted or installed on a roof. Each SSP module is typically 16 ft (5 m) wide and up to 200 ft (61 m) in length. The module contains one or two flat waterbags similar to a waterbed. The bags rest on a layer of insulation or bed of sand inside concrete or fiberglass curbs. The bag is protected against damage and heat loss by greenhouse-type glazing. A typical 200 ft [times] 16 ft (61 m [times] 5 m) pond, filled to a 4 in. (10 cm) depth, holds approximately 8,000 gallons (30 m[sup 3]) of water.

  4. Balancing Teaching with Other Responsibilities: Integrating Roles or Feeding Alligators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colbeck, Carol L.

    This study investigated how university research faculty balanced undergraduate teaching with their other professional responsibilities, noting how discipline and rank influenced their efforts to balance their work responsibilities. Interviews with 97 faculty members from the University of Texas at Knoxville, the University of Texas at Austin, and…

  5. When You're Up to Your Ears in Alligators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumbach, Donna

    1997-01-01

    Discusses 10 challenges media specialists must overcome to effectively use technology in education. Highlights include people opposed to technology; teacher training to help develop collaborative relationships; establishing and using a comprehensive technology plan; assuming more professional responsibility; and empowerment. (LRW)

  6. 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.

  7. "Equability," continentality, and Tertiary "climate": The crocodilian perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markwick, Paul J.

    1994-07-01

    The distributions of fossil crocodilians are used to examine North American continental paleoclimates for four time periods in the Cenozoic. Control groups provide a qualitative means of examining the completeness of the record and thus the validity of crocodilian patterns. By analogy with the range of the extant American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, the patterns imply that mid- to high-latitude continental interiors during the Eocene and Miocene did not undergo seasonal temperature extremes as great as those observed in such areas today. This is compatible with the paleobotanical data. During both the late Oligocene and the Pleistocene (times of major glaciation), crocodilians were restricted to more maritime localities.

  8. Presence of Breeding Birds Improves Body Condition for a Crocodilian Nest Protector.

    PubMed

    Nell, Lucas A; Frederick, Peter C; Mazzotti, Frank J; Vliet, Kent A; Brandt, Laura A

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations where one species enhances habitat for another nearby species (facilitations) shape fundamental community dynamics and can promote niche expansion, thereby influencing how and where species persist and coexist. For the many breeding birds facing high nest-predation pressure, enemy-free space can be gained by nesting near more formidable animals for physical protection. While the benefits to protected species seem well documented, very few studies have explored whether and how protector species are affected by nest protection associations. Long-legged wading birds (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes) actively choose nesting sites above resident American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), apparently to take advantage of the protection from mammalian nest predators that alligator presence offers. Previous research has shown that wading bird nesting colonies could provide substantial food for alligators in the form of dropped chicks. We compared alligator body condition in similar habitat with and without wading bird nesting colonies present. Alligator morphometric body condition indices were significantly higher in colony than in non-colony locations, an effect that was statistically independent of a range of environmental variables. Since colonially nesting birds and crocodilians co-occur in many tropical and subtropical wetlands, our results highlight a potentially widespread keystone process between two ecologically important species-groups. These findings suggest the interaction is highly beneficial for both groups of actors, and illustrate how selective pressures may have acted to form and reinforce a strongly positive ecological interaction.

  9. Presence of Breeding Birds Improves Body Condition for a Crocodilian Nest Protector.

    PubMed

    Nell, Lucas A; Frederick, Peter C; Mazzotti, Frank J; Vliet, Kent A; Brandt, Laura A

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations where one species enhances habitat for another nearby species (facilitations) shape fundamental community dynamics and can promote niche expansion, thereby influencing how and where species persist and coexist. For the many breeding birds facing high nest-predation pressure, enemy-free space can be gained by nesting near more formidable animals for physical protection. While the benefits to protected species seem well documented, very few studies have explored whether and how protector species are affected by nest protection associations. Long-legged wading birds (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes) actively choose nesting sites above resident American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), apparently to take advantage of the protection from mammalian nest predators that alligator presence offers. Previous research has shown that wading bird nesting colonies could provide substantial food for alligators in the form of dropped chicks. We compared alligator body condition in similar habitat with and without wading bird nesting colonies present. Alligator morphometric body condition indices were significantly higher in colony than in non-colony locations, an effect that was statistically independent of a range of environmental variables. Since colonially nesting birds and crocodilians co-occur in many tropical and subtropical wetlands, our results highlight a potentially widespread keystone process between two ecologically important species-groups. These findings suggest the interaction is highly beneficial for both groups of actors, and illustrate how selective pressures may have acted to form and reinforce a strongly positive ecological interaction. PMID:26934602

  10. Presence of Breeding Birds Improves Body Condition for a Crocodilian Nest Protector

    PubMed Central

    Nell, Lucas A.; Frederick, Peter C.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Vliet, Kent A.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations where one species enhances habitat for another nearby species (facilitations) shape fundamental community dynamics and can promote niche expansion, thereby influencing how and where species persist and coexist. For the many breeding birds facing high nest-predation pressure, enemy-free space can be gained by nesting near more formidable animals for physical protection. While the benefits to protected species seem well documented, very few studies have explored whether and how protector species are affected by nest protection associations. Long-legged wading birds (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes) actively choose nesting sites above resident American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), apparently to take advantage of the protection from mammalian nest predators that alligator presence offers. Previous research has shown that wading bird nesting colonies could provide substantial food for alligators in the form of dropped chicks. We compared alligator body condition in similar habitat with and without wading bird nesting colonies present. Alligator morphometric body condition indices were significantly higher in colony than in non-colony locations, an effect that was statistically independent of a range of environmental variables. Since colonially nesting birds and crocodilians co-occur in many tropical and subtropical wetlands, our results highlight a potentially widespread keystone process between two ecologically important species-groups. These findings suggest the interaction is highly beneficial for both groups of actors, and illustrate how selective pressures may have acted to form and reinforce a strongly positive ecological interaction. PMID:26934602

  11. ALLIGATORS AND ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CONTAMINANTS: A CURRENT PERSPECTIVE.AMERICAN ZOOLOGIST

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many xenobiotic compounds introduced into the environment by human activity have been shown to adversely affect wildlife. Reproductive disorders in wildlife include altered fertility, reduced viability of offspring, impaired hormone secretion or activity and modified reproductive...

  12. Radium concentration factors in passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Medley, Peter; Bollhöfer, Andreas; Parry, David; Martin, Paul

    2013-12-01

    In this study, uptake of Ra from soil into the edible fruit of the wild passionfruit species Passiflora foetida was investigated, using selective extraction from the soil samples. A wide range of environmental exposure conditions were represented by the locations that were sampled, including both natural soils, and soils influenced by past and present uranium mining activities. The bioavailable (226)Ra fraction in soils was found to be a better predictor of (226)Ra fruit activity concentrations than the total soil activity concentration, or any of the other fractions studied. Concentration Factors (CFs) derived using the bioavailable fraction varied by only a factor of 7 between different locations, whereas CFs derived using other fractions and total soil varied by up to two orders of magnitude. CFs were highest for those soils containing the lowest concentrations of Mg, Ca and Ba, and approached a saturation value at higher soil concentrations. This finding suggests that group II elements influence radium uptake, most likely the result of increased pressure on the plant to take up essential nutrient group II elements from soil with the lower concentrations, with Ra being taken up as an analogue element. It is also possible that at higher concentrations of bioavailable Ca and Mg in the soil, these ions will outcompete Ra for adsorption sites in the soil and/or on the root surfaces. The study also shows that (228)Ra can potentially be a significant contributor to ingestion doses and should also be considered when assessing committed effective doses from the ingestion of fruits.

  13. Phenotypic variation and water selection potential in the stem structure of invasive alligator weed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Leshan; Yang, Beifen; Guan, Wenbin; Li, Junmin

    2016-02-01

    The morphological and anatomical characteristics of stems have been found to be related to drought resistance in plants. Testing the phenotypic selection of water availability on stem anatomical traits would be useful for exploring the evolutionary potential of the stem in response to water availability. To test the phenotypic variation of the stem anatomical traits of an invasive plant in response to water availability, we collected a total of 320 individuals of Alternanthera philoxeroides from 16 populations from terrestrial and aquatic habitats in 8 plots in China and then analyzed the variation, differentiation, plasticity and selection potential of water availability on the stem anatomical traits. We found that except for the thickness of the cortex, all of the examined phenotypic parameters of the A. philoxeroides stem were significantly and positively correlated with soil water availability. The phenotypic differentiation coefficient for all of the anatomical structural parameters indicated that most of the variation existed between habitats within the same plot, whereas there was little variation among plots or among individuals within the same habitat except for variation in the thickness of the cortex. A significant phenotypic plasticity response to water availability was found for all of the anatomical traits of A. philoxeroides stem except for the thickness of the cortex. The associations between fitness and some of the anatomical traits, such as the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio, the pith cavity area-to-stem area ratio and the density of vascular bundles, differed with heterogeneous water availability. In both the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, no significant directional selection gradient was found for the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio or the density of vascular bundles. These results indicated that the anatomical structure of the A. philoxeroides stem may play an important role in the adaptation to changes in water availability.

  14. Babies, Dogs, Alligators, Fast Cars, and Dirty Socks: Just Another Day in Kindergarten.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Grace Gilliard

    Fundamental aspects of the play behavior of kindergarten children are illustrated in five vignettes. Aspects include the function of smiles in play, sex differences in verbal and physical aggression, the simultaneous occurrence of flignt and fantasy in the play of boys, successful nonverbal participation in play, gender stereotypes, the sequencing…

  15. 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

    ... Lighthouse, Atlantic Ocean; Islamorada, FL AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final rule. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in... waters of the Atlantic Ocean located in Islamorada, Florida. Approximately 300 swimmers will...

  16. Beyond the Egg Carton Alligator: To Recycle Is To Recall and Restore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congdon, Kristin G.

    2000-01-01

    States that the art of recycling has more to do with connecting people with objects, traditions, and rituals than sustaining the natural environment. Discusses some lessons learned in four categories: (1) recycling as self-sufficiency; (2) recycling as renewal; (3) recycling as a spiritual activity; and (4) recycling as aesthetic transformation.…

  17. Radium concentration factors in passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Medley, Peter; Bollhöfer, Andreas; Parry, David; Martin, Paul

    2013-12-01

    In this study, uptake of Ra from soil into the edible fruit of the wild passionfruit species Passiflora foetida was investigated, using selective extraction from the soil samples. A wide range of environmental exposure conditions were represented by the locations that were sampled, including both natural soils, and soils influenced by past and present uranium mining activities. The bioavailable (226)Ra fraction in soils was found to be a better predictor of (226)Ra fruit activity concentrations than the total soil activity concentration, or any of the other fractions studied. Concentration Factors (CFs) derived using the bioavailable fraction varied by only a factor of 7 between different locations, whereas CFs derived using other fractions and total soil varied by up to two orders of magnitude. CFs were highest for those soils containing the lowest concentrations of Mg, Ca and Ba, and approached a saturation value at higher soil concentrations. This finding suggests that group II elements influence radium uptake, most likely the result of increased pressure on the plant to take up essential nutrient group II elements from soil with the lower concentrations, with Ra being taken up as an analogue element. It is also possible that at higher concentrations of bioavailable Ca and Mg in the soil, these ions will outcompete Ra for adsorption sites in the soil and/or on the root surfaces. The study also shows that (228)Ra can potentially be a significant contributor to ingestion doses and should also be considered when assessing committed effective doses from the ingestion of fruits. PMID:23994954

  18. Hormone Binding to Recombinant Estrogen Receptors from Human, Alligator, Quail, Salamander, and Fathead Minnow

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this work, a 96-well plate estrogen receptor binding assay was developed to facilitate the direct comparison of chemical binding to full-length recombinant estrogen receptors across vertebrate classes. Receptors were generated in a baculovirus expression system. This approach ...

  19. Uranium mine rehabilitation: the story of the South Alligator Valley intervention.

    PubMed

    Waggitt, Peter W

    2004-01-01

    The rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated sites is an activity generally regarded with suspicion by the community. This is certainly the case for Australian Aboriginal traditional landowners. This paper describes the historical background to, and the successful development and implementation of, a consultation and planning process to rehabilitate former uranium mining and milling facilities on Aboriginal lands of the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. The process of developing an appropriate community communication and consultation process to allay concerns about radioactivity is a cornerstone of the rehabilitation program. The initial stages of the program's implementation are also described. This program is also the first example of a radiological intervention under modern environmental and radiation protection legislation in the region. It was necessary to develop radiological standards for use in the program as none had been promulgated under existing relevant legislation.

  20. “Patterns of morphological variation of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides): from native to invasive regions”

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The damage caused by biological invasions has traditionally been thought to result from alien species taking advantage of ecological differences between the native and introduced regions. In contrast, evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process...

  1. REPRODUCTIVE TOXINS AND ALLIGATOR ABNORMALITIES AT LAKE APOPKA, FLORIDA. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. Cytogenetic effect of Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed) on Agasicles hygrophila (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in its native range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant polyploidy potentially affects plant-insect interactions; however, its effect on insect fitness remains largely unexplored. Alternanthera philoxeroides is a South American amphibious Amaranthaceae, which invades aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Different morphotypes and cytotypes were identif...

  3. "Alligator Eats Cookie": Acquisition of Writing and Reading Skills by Deaf Children Using the Microcomputer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prinz, Philip M.; Nelson, Keith E.

    1985-01-01

    Reports research which investigated the effects of microcomputer technology on the acquisition of writing and reading skills in 32 deaf children. The learning mechanism underlying the instructional system used is responsive, interactional and exploratory, reflective of the way most children acquire a first language. (SED)

  4. PLASMA STEROID CONCENTRATIONS AND MALE PHALLUS SIZE IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS FROM SEVEN FLORIDA LAKES. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  5. Like Alligators Bobbing for Poodles? A Critical Discussion of Education, ADHD and the Biopsychosocial Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Paul

    2008-01-01

    ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) continues to be a controversial issue among some educationalists. This paper argues that negativity towards the ADHD concept shown by some antagonists is based on outdated thinking and a lack of understanding of the diagnosis and the biopsychosocial paradigm through which it can be usefully…

  6. Reading Is Fun--with a Keyboard, a Hat, and an Alligator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prinz, Philip M.; Nelson, Keith E.

    1984-01-01

    A program at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf uses microcomputers to help students initiate communication and play an active role in deciding the topic of communication and the way the lesson proceeds. Preliminary results suggest the program can enhance reading skills as well as broader aspects of language use. (CL)

  7. The research component of specialist registration--a question of alligators and swamps? A personal view.

    PubMed

    Aldous, C M; Adhikari, M; Rout, C C

    2015-01-01

    The recent implementation of the research requirement for specialist registration presents difficulties with regard to the provision of research supervision, particularly in those medical schools that previously followed the path of qualification via the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa examinations. The differences between the requirements for research supervision as stated in the Health Professions Council of South Africa memorandum and those of the Committee for Higher Education are causing disparities between medical schools similar to those that led to the memorandum in the first place. While the research component of specialist training can only improve the quality of both patient care and academic endeavour, it requires an enormous investment of time on the part of both the specialist trainees and their supervisors. In order to deal with this, specific issues outlined in the article need to be addressed. PMID:26046156

  8. 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.

  9. Radionuclide migration at the Koongarra uranium deposit, Northern Australia Lessons from the Alligator Rivers analogue project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Timothy E.; Airey, Peter L.

    The Koongarra uranium deposit in Northern Australia provides a ‘natural analogue’ for processes that are of relevance for assessing the safety of radioactive waste disposal. In an international project extending over two decades, the Koongarra ore body was studied to increase the understanding of radionuclide migration and retention mechanisms that might occur in the vicinity of a geological repository. The research effort included extensive characterisation of the geological, hydrological and geochemical conditions at the site. Patterns of the distribution of radionuclides (predominantly members of the 238U decay chain, but also the rare isotopes 239Pu, 99Tc and 129I) were studied in both solid and groundwater phases. The project included detailed studies of uranium adsorption on mineral surfaces, and of subsequent processes that may lead to long-term uranium immobilisation. Numerous models for uranium migration were developed during the project. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the research at Koongarra, and assesses the value of the site for integrating the results of a complex series of laboratory, modelling and field studies. The insights gained from this review of the Koongarra project may assist in maximising the potential scientific benefit of future natural analogue studies.

  10. Fusion Patterns in the Skulls of Modern Archosaurs Reveal That Sutures Are Ambiguous Maturity Indicators for the Dinosauria.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Alida M; Scannella, John B; Horner, John R; Evans, David C

    2016-01-01

    The sutures of the skulls of vertebrates are generally open early in life and slowly close as maturity is attained. The assumption that all vertebrates follow this pattern of progressive sutural closure has been used to assess maturity in the fossil remains of non-avian dinosaurs. Here, we test this assumption in two members of the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket of the Dinosauria, the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae and the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, by investigating the sequence and timing of sutural fusion in their skulls. As expected, almost all the sutures in the emu skull progressively close (i.e., they get narrower) and then obliterate during ontogeny. However, in the American alligator, only two sutures out of 36 obliterate completely and they do so during embryonic development. Surprisingly, as maturity progresses, many sutures of alligators become wider in large individuals compared to younger, smaller individuals. Histological and histomorphometric analyses on two sutures and one synchondrosis in an ontogenetic series of American alligator confirmed our morphological observations. This pattern of sutural widening might reflect feeding biomechanics and dietary changes through ontogeny. Our findings show that progressive sutural closure is not always observed in extant archosaurs, and therefore suggest that cranial sutural fusion is an ambiguous proxy for assessing maturity in non-avian dinosaurs. PMID:26862766

  11. Factors affecting individual foraging specialization and temporal diet stability across the range of a large “generalist” apex predator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Nifong, James C.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Elsey, Ruth M.; Decker, Rachel A.; Silliman, Brian R.; Guillette, Louis J.; Lowers, Russell H.; Larson, Justin C.

    2015-01-01

    Individual niche specialization (INS) is increasingly recognized as an important component of ecological and evolutionary dynamics. However, most studies that have investigated INS have focused on the effects of niche width and inter- and intraspecific competition on INS in small-bodied species for short time periods, with less attention paid to INS in large-bodied reptilian predators and the effects of available prey types on INS. We investigated the prevalence, causes, and consequences of INS in foraging behaviors across different populations of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), the dominant aquatic apex predator across the southeast US, using stomach contents and stable isotopes. Gut contents revealed that, over the short term, although alligator populations occupied wide ranges of the INS spectrum, general patterns were apparent. Alligator populations inhabiting lakes exhibited lower INS than coastal populations, likely driven by variation in habitat type and available prey types. Stable isotopes revealed that over longer time spans alligators exhibited remarkably consistent use of variable mixtures of carbon pools (e.g., marine and freshwater food webs). We conclude that INS in large-bodied reptilian predator populations is likely affected by variation in available prey types and habitat heterogeneity, and that INS should be incorporated into management strategies to efficiently meet intended goals. Also, ecological models, which typically do not consider behavioral variability, should include INS to increase model realism and applicability.

  12. Fusion Patterns in the Skulls of Modern Archosaurs Reveal That Sutures Are Ambiguous Maturity Indicators for the Dinosauria

    PubMed Central

    Bailleul, Alida M.; Scannella, John B.; Horner, John R.; Evans, David C.

    2016-01-01

    The sutures of the skulls of vertebrates are generally open early in life and slowly close as maturity is attained. The assumption that all vertebrates follow this pattern of progressive sutural closure has been used to assess maturity in the fossil remains of non-avian dinosaurs. Here, we test this assumption in two members of the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket of the Dinosauria, the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae and the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, by investigating the sequence and timing of sutural fusion in their skulls. As expected, almost all the sutures in the emu skull progressively close (i.e., they get narrower) and then obliterate during ontogeny. However, in the American alligator, only two sutures out of 36 obliterate completely and they do so during embryonic development. Surprisingly, as maturity progresses, many sutures of alligators become wider in large individuals compared to younger, smaller individuals. Histological and histomorphometric analyses on two sutures and one synchondrosis in an ontogenetic series of American alligator confirmed our morphological observations. This pattern of sutural widening might reflect feeding biomechanics and dietary changes through ontogeny. Our findings show that progressive sutural closure is not always observed in extant archosaurs, and therefore suggest that cranial sutural fusion is an ambiguous proxy for assessing maturity in non-avian dinosaurs. PMID:26862766

  13. Comparative development of the crocodylian interclavicle and avian furcula, with comments on the homology of dermal elements in the pectoral apparatus.

    PubMed

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; Hall, Brian K

    2010-05-15

    The pectoral apparatus (shoulder girdle plus sternum) of amniotes plesiomorphically includes an unpaired element of dermal origin. In crocodylians, lepidosaurs, and nontherian synapsids (monotremes and their ancestors) this element is identified as the interclavicle, in Testudines (turtles and tortoises) as the entoplastron, and in Aves as the furcula. We investigated embryonic development of the interclavicle in Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator) and of the furcula in Gallus gallus (domestic chicken). The interclavicle and furcula are among the first skeletal elements to ossify, beginning at Ferguson stage 19 (Alligator) and Hamburger and Hamilton stage 33 (Gallus). Both elements: occupy a similar mid-ventral position within the pectoral apparatus; develop from paired (bilateral) cell condensations; never coexist at anytime during ontogeny or in the adult; and undergo intramembranous (i.e., direct) ossification. For both the interclavicle and the furcula, the initial onset of ossification is concomitant with mineralization of elements of the dermatocranium, and occurs in advance of mineralization of the replacement bones (e.g., scapula, metacoracoid) of the pectoral apparatus. Shortly after the initiation of ossification the paired condensations of both elements fuse. For each of Alligator and Gallus, only one pair of skeletogenic condensations is present during embryonic development. Based on these data and a review of the evolution and development of dermal elements in the pectoral apparatus, we conclude that the interclavicle is equally parsimonious as a homolog of the furcula. PMID:20422674

  14. Technique for the collection of clear urine from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Myburgh, Jan G; Huchzermeyer, Fritz W; Soley, John T; Booyse, Dirk G; Groenewald, Herman B; Bekker, Lizette C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2012-07-03

    Urine samples can be a very useful diagnostic tool for the evaluation of animal health. In this article, a simple technique to collect urine from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) was described, based on a similar unpublished technique developed for the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) using a canine urinary catheter. With this technique, it was possible to collect relatively clean urine samples from Nile crocodiles of different sizes using canine urinary catheters or small diameter stomach tubes. Based on the gross anatomical features of the cloaca of the Nile crocodile, it was confirmed that urine accumulates in a chamber consisting of the urodeum and coprodeum. Faecal material is stored temporarily in the very short rectum, which is separated from the urinary chamber by the rectocoprodeal sphincter.

  15. Record length, mass, and clutch size in the nonindigenous Burmese Python, Python bivittatus Kuhl 1820 (Squamata: Pythonidae), in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krysko, Kenneth L.; Hart, Kristen M.; Smith, Brian J.; Selby, Thomas H.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Coutu, Nicholas T.; Reichart, Rebecca M.; Nuñez, Leroy P.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Snow, Ray W.

    2012-01-01

    The Burmese Python, Python bivittatus Kuhl 1820 (Squamata: Pythonidae), is indigenous to northern India,east to southern China, and south to Vietnam and a few islands in Indonesia (Barker and Barker 2008, Reed and Rodda 2009). This species has been introduced since at least 1979 in southern Florida, USA, where it likely began reproducing and became established during the 1980s (Meshaka et al. 2000, Snowet al. 2007b,Kraus 2009, Krysko et al. 2011, Willson et al. 2011). Python bivittatus has been documented in Florida consuming a variety of mammals and birds, and the American Alligator(Alligator mississippiensis) (Snowet al. 2007a, 2007b; Harvey et al. 2008; Rochford et al. 2010b; Holbrook and Chesnes 2011), many of which are protected species. Herein, we provide details on two of the largest known wild P. bivittatus in Florida to date, including current records on length,mass,clutch size, and diet.

  16. Yolk steroid hormones and sex determination in reptiles with TSD.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K

    2003-07-01

    In reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines the sex of the offspring. The molecular switch responsible for determining sex in these species has not yet been elucidated. We have examined the dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during embryonic development in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, and the alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and have found that yolk estradiol (E(2)) responds differentially to incubation temperature in both of these reptiles. Based upon recently reported roles for E(2) in modulation of steroidogenic factor 1, a transcription factor known to be significant in the sex differentiation process, we hypothesize that yolk E(2) is a link between temperature and the gene expression pathway responsible for sex determination and differentiation in at least some of these species. Here we review the evidence that supports our hypothesis. PMID:12849957

  17. EFFECTS OF INCUBATION TEMPERATURE AND ESTROGEN EXPOSURE ON AROMATASE ACTIVITY IN THE BRAIN AND GONADS OF EMBRYONIC ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    During embryogenesis, incubation temperature and the hormonal environment influence gonadal differentiation of some reptiles, including all crocodilians. Current evidence suggests that aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens, has a role in sexual differentiatio...

  18. INTERACTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS WITH THE ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS FROM THE OVIDUCT OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  19. Molecular alligator clips: a theoretical study of adsorption of S, Se and S H on Au(111)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mankefors, S.; Grigoriev, A.; Wendin, G.

    2003-08-01

    For the binding of thiols to Au, the Au-S interaction is decisive for the geometry, bonding strength and transmissivity of the metal-molecule interface. Using ab initio methods we investigate the adsorption of sulfur (S) on the Au(111) surface for different coverages between 0.25 and 1.0 monolayers (ML). Corresponding geometries with adsorbed Se are included to establish possible differences between S- and Se-based metal-molecule interfaces. We furthermore investigate hydrogenation of sulfur-covered Au(111) surfaces to establish the energetics and resulting geometry of adsorption of S-H groups on clean Au(111), using it as a simple model system. For the relatively low coverage of 0.25 ML the S and Se atoms are found to prefer the in-hollow sites, with Se displaying a substantially stronger bond. Increasing the coverage leads to depletion of available free charge in the gold surface, which weakens the bonds to the S (Se). Due to the more extensive hybridization, Se is more insensitive to the exact geometry, and the stacking fault position only costs 0.04 eV. At even higher coverage (0.75 ML) the adsorbed atoms hybridize internally and form triatomic molecules situated on top of the Au surface atoms. In S (Se) rich environments this turns out to be the most stable configuration investigated, while in S (Se) poor conditions the surface will adsorb all available S (Se). Forcing the system to adsorb atoms beyond this coverage increases the total energy. For all physically realizable coverages the Au-Se bond is found to be geq0.25 eV stronger than the corresponding Au-S bond. The Se bond also displays a higher degree of metallicity and should be expected to make a better head group for thiols, for example; this is relevant for both bonding and conductivity. Turning to the hydrogenated S systems we find that surfaces with a high coverage of S only weakly bind H at low partial hydrogenation, while H adsorption in systems with medium and low S concentrations is found to be energetically stable by around 0.3 eV per H atom. The adsorption geometry is sensitive to the concentration: exposed to free S, the system will increase the S coverage and expel H.

  20. SERUM CONCENTRATIONS OF VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO SEX STEROID CONCENTRATIONS IN THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  1. IN VITRO SYNERGISTIC INTERACTION OF ALLIGATOR AND HUMAN ESTROGEN RECEPTORS WITH COMBINATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. Geochemistry, mineralization, structure, and permeability of a normal-fault zone, Casino mine, Alligator Ridge district, north central Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, K. Jill; Evans, James P.

    2003-05-01

    We examine the geochemical signature and structure of the Keno fault zone to test its impact on the flow of ore-mineralizing fluids, and use the mined exposures to evaluate structures and processes associated with normal fault development. The fault is a moderately dipping normal-fault zone in siltstone and silty limestone with 55-100 m of dip-slip displacement in north-central Nevada. Across-strike exposures up to 180 m long, 65 m of down-dip exposure and 350 m of along-strike exposure allow us to determine how faults, fractures, and fluids interact within mixed-lithology carbonate-dominated sedimentary rocks. The fault changes character along strike from a single clay-rich slip plane 10-20 mm thick at the northern exposure to numerous hydrocarbon-bearing, calcite-filled, nearly vertical slip planes in a zone 15 m wide at the southern exposure. The hanging wall and footwall are intensely fractured but fracture densities do not vary markedly with distance from the fault. Fault slip varies from pure dip-slip to nearly pure strike-slip, which suggests that either slip orientations may vary on faults in single slip events, or stress variations over the history of the fault caused slip vector variations. Whole-rock major, minor, and trace element analyses indicate that Au, Sb, and As are in general associated with the fault zone, suggesting that Au- and silica-bearing fluids migrated along the fault to replace carbonate in the footwall and adjacent hanging wall rocks. Subsequent fault slip was associated with barite and calcite and hydrocarbon-bearing fluids deposited at the southern end of the fault. No correlation exists at the meter or tens of meter scale between mineralization patterns and fracture density. We suggest that the fault was a combined conduit-barrier system in which the fault provides a critical connection between the fluid sources and fractures that formed before and during faulting. During the waning stages of deposit formation, the fault behaved as a localized conduit to hydrocarbon-bearing calcite veins. The results of this study show that fault-zone character may change dramatically over short, deposit- or reservoir-scale distances. The presence of damage zones may not be well correlated at the fine scale with geochemically defined regions of the fault, even though a gross spatial correlation may exist.

  3. Total Quality & Basic Skills. The TQ Castle--Using Basic Skills Development to Evade Alligators in the Moat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewe, Glenda

    1994-01-01

    Key skills required in the total quality workplace are cross-functional teaming, interpreting charts/graphs, oral communication, brainstorming, understanding cause/effect, categorizing ideas, critical pathing, formulating suggestions, analyzing the needs of internal and external customers, and writing status reports. (SK)

  4. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... by latitude 30°09′45.6″ N., longitude 85°44′20.6″ W.; thence proceed 100 feet waterward of the mean high water line directly to a point at latitude 30°09′46.8″ N., longitude 85°44′20.6″ W. From this... mean high water line to a point at latitude 30°10′16.7″ N., longitude 85°45′01.2″ W. located east...

  5. 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

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false How can I trade internationally in... Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION...) CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) International...

  6. 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

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false How can I trade internationally in... Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION...) CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) International...

  7. 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

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false How can I trade internationally in... Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION...) CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) International...

  8. 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

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false How can I trade internationally in... Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION...) CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) International...

  9. New species of Gymnocarena Hering (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Eastern North America and Guatemala, and the redescription of G. mississippiensis Norrbom

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe three new species of fruit flies (Tephritidae: Tephritinae), Gymnocarena defoei sp. n. and G. norrbomi sp. n., from eastern North America and G. monzoni sp. n. from Guatemala, and redescribe G. mississippiensis Norrbom. Gymnocarena monzoni is the first species to be recorded from Guatema...

  10. A repeated-measures analysis of the effects of soft tissues on wrist range of motion in the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs: Implications for the functional origins of an automatic wrist folding mechanism in Crocodilia.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Joel David; Hutson, Kelda Nadine

    2014-07-01

    A recent study hypothesized that avian-like wrist folding in quadrupedal dinosaurs could have aided their distinctive style of locomotion with semi-pronated and therefore medially facing palms. However, soft tissues that automatically guide avian wrist folding rarely fossilize, and automatic wrist folding of unknown function in extant crocodilians has not been used to test this hypothesis. Therefore, an investigation of the relative contributions of soft tissues to wrist range of motion (ROM) in the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs, and the quadrupedal function of crocodilian wrist folding, could inform these questions. Here, we repeatedly measured wrist ROM in degrees through fully fleshed, skinned, minus muscles/tendons, minus ligaments, and skeletonized stages in the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis and the ostrich Struthio camelus. The effects of dissection treatment and observer were statistically significant for alligator wrist folding and ostrich wrist flexion, but not ostrich wrist folding. Final skeletonized wrist folding ROM was higher than (ostrich) or equivalent to (alligator) initial fully fleshed ROM, while final ROM was lower than initial ROM for ostrich wrist flexion. These findings suggest that, unlike the hinge/ball and socket-type elbow and shoulder joints in these archosaurs, ROM within gliding/planar diarthrotic joints is more restricted to the extent of articular surfaces. The alligator data indicate that the crocodilian wrist mechanism functions to automatically lock their semi-pronated palms into a rigid column, which supports the hypothesis that this palmar orientation necessitated soft tissue stiffening mechanisms in certain dinosaurs, although ROM-restricted articulations argue against the presence of an extensive automatic mechanism. Anat Rec, 297:1228-1249, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Androgynous rex - the utility of chevrons for determining the sex of crocodilians and non-avian dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Gregory M; Kristopher Lappin, A; Larson, Peter

    2005-01-01

    The sex of non-avian dinosaurs has been inferred on numerous occasions using a variety of anatomical criteria, but the efficacy of none has been proven. Nearly 50 years ago Romer suggested that the cranial-most or first chevron in the tails of some reptiles, including crocodilians, is sexually dimorphic. Recent work on this subject purportedly substantiated that the female first chevron articulates in a more caudal position than in males. Furthermore, it was concluded that this element is shorter in females. These phenotypic attributes theoretically provide a broader cloacal passageway for eggs by ovipositing females and a greater attachment area for male "penile retractor muscles". Because theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex presumably show similar variation in chevron anatomy, the same criteria has been advocated for sexing dinosaurs. We tested the neontological model for the chevron sexual dimorphism hypothesis using a skeletonized growth series of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) of known sex. No statistical support for the hypothesis was found. Furthermore, analysis of a diversity of crocodilian taxa from museum collections revealed similar findings suggesting the alligator results are not taxon specific. Study of well-preserved tyrannosaurid dinosaurs in museum collections showed nearly invariant chevron positioning like that seen in crocodilians. This suggests the usefulness of chevron anatomy for sexing dinosaurs is tenuous.

  12. Successful treatment of a radioulnar synostosis in a Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Ammersbach, Mélanie; Nevarez, Javier; Heggem, Brittany; Tully, Thomas N

    2012-06-01

    A Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) was presented to the Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, for an inability to fly and was subsequently diagnosed with a minimally displaced, closed, simple, short oblique, diaphyseal fracture of the distal third of the right ulna. A figure-8 bandage was initially applied to the wing to stabilize the fracture. Over a 5-week period, the kite developed progressive reduction in wing extension, and serial radiographs revealed a bridging callus at the ulnar fracture site, as well as development of a radioulnar synostosis. To restore wing function and extension, surgical excision of the bony union between the radius and the ulna was performed, after which a polypropylene mesh implant was interposed between the 2 bones. Within 2 weeks after the surgical procedure, the kite had recovered normal wing extension and was able to fly without noticeable impairment. The bird was released 2 weeks after surgery. This case illustrates a common complication of external coaptation used as sole means of managing fractures of the avian ulna, radius, or both, which results from lack of interosseous soft tissue in the antebrachial area. On the basis of the successful outcome in this case, surgical excision of the interdiaphyseal callus and interposition of a polypropylene mesh could be a viable option for management of posttraumatic radioulnar synostosis in birds of prey. PMID:22872982

  13. Feeding Mechanics in Spinosaurid Theropods and Extant Crocodilians

    PubMed Central

    Cuff, Andrew R.; Rayfield, Emily J.

    2013-01-01

    A number of extant and extinct archosaurs evolved an elongate, narrow rostrum. This longirostrine condition has been associated with a diet comprising a higher proportion of fish and smaller prey items compared to taxa with broader, more robust snouts. The evolution of longirostrine morphology and a bulbous anterior rosette of premaxillary teeth also occurs in the spinosaurid theropod dinosaurs, leading to suggestions that at least some members of this clade also had a diet comprising a notable proportion of fish or other small vertebrates. Here we compare the rostral biomechanics of the spinosaurs Baryonyx walkeri and Spinosaurus c.f. S. aegyptiacus to three extant crocodilians: two longistrine taxa, the African slender-snouted crocodile Mecistops cataphractus and the Indian gharial Gavialis gangeticus; and the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis. Using computed tomography (CT) data, the second moments of area and moments of inertia at successive transverse slices along the rostrum were calculated for each of the species. Size-independent results tested the biomechanical benefits of material distribution within the rostra. The two spinosaur rostra were both digitally reconstructed from CT data and compared against all three crocodilians. Results show that African slender-snouted crocodile skulls are more resistant to bending than an equivalent sized gharial. The alligator has the highest resistances to bending and torsion of the crocodiles for its size and greater than that of the spinosaurs. The spinosaur rostra possess similar resistance to bending and torsion despite their different morphologies. When size is accounted for, B. walkeri performs mechanically differently from the gharial, contradicting previous studies whereas Spinosaurus does not. Biomechanical data support known feeding ecology for both African slender-snouted crocodile and alligator, and suggest that the spinosaurs were not obligate piscivores with diet being determined by individual

  14. Size, sex and individual-level behaviour drive intrapopulation variation in cross-ecosystem foraging of a top-predator.

    PubMed

    Nifong, James C; Layman, Craig A; Silliman, Brian R

    2015-01-01

    Large-bodied, top-predators are often highly mobile, with the potential to provide important linkages between spatially distinct food webs. What biological factors contribute to variation in cross-ecosystem movements, however, have rarely been examined. Here, we investigated how ontogeny (body size), sex and individual-level behaviour impacts intrapopulation variation in cross-ecosystem foraging (i.e. between freshwater and marine systems), by the top-predator Alligator mississippiensis. Field surveys revealed A. mississippiensis uses marine ecosystems regularly and are abundant in estuarine tidal creeks (from 0·3 to 6·3 individuals per km of creek, n = 45 surveys). Alligator mississippiensis captured in marine/estuarine habitats were significantly larger than individuals captured in freshwater and intermediate habitats. Stomach content analysis (SCA) showed that small juveniles consumed marine/estuarine prey less frequently (6·7% of individuals) than did large juveniles (57·8%), subadult (73%), and adult (78%) size classes. Isotopic mixing model analysis (SIAR) also suggests substantial variation in use of marine/estuarine prey resources with differences among and within size classes between sexes and individuals (range of median estimates for marine/estuarine diet contribution = 0·05-0·76). These results demonstrate the importance of intrapopulation characteristics (body size, sex and individual specialization) as key determinants of the strength of predator-driven ecosystem connectivity resulting from cross-ecosystem foraging behaviours. Understanding the factors, which contribute to variation in cross-ecosystem foraging behaviours, will improve our predictive understanding of the effects of top-predators on community structure and ecosystem function.

  15. Influence of group II metals on Radium-226 concentration ratios in the native green plum (Buchanania obovata) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Medley, Peter; Bollhöfer, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    In this study, uptake of Ra from soil, and the influence of group II metals on Ra uptake, into the stones and edible flesh of the fruit of the wild green plum, Buchanania obovata, was investigated. Selective extraction of the exchangeable fraction of the soil samples was undertaken but was not shown to more reliably predict Ra uptake than total soil Ra activity concentration. Comparison of the group II metal to Ca ratios (i.e. Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, Ra/Ca) in the flesh with exchangeable Ca shows that Ca outcompetes group II metals for root uptake and that the uptake pathway discriminated against group II metals relative to ionic radius, with uptake of Ca > Sr > Ba > Ra. Flesh and stone analysis showed that movement of group II metals to these components of the plant, after root uptake, was strongly related. This supports the hypothesis that Sr, Ba and Ra are being taken up as analogue elements, and follow the same uptake and translocation pathways, with Ca. Comparison with previously reported data from a native passion fruit supports the use of total soil CRs on natural, undisturbed sites. As exchangeable CRs for Ra reach a saturation value it may be possible to make more precise predictions using selective extraction techniques for contaminated or disturbed sites.

  16. Phenrica littoralis a potential candidate for the biological control of alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides: redscription of the adult, first description of immature stages and biological notes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flea beetles of aliligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach (Amaranthaceae), were collected in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Species in the genera Disonycha Chevrolat, Agasicles Jacoby Systena Chevrolat and Phenrica Bechyne were frequently found on this weed. Phenric...

  17. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA TESTOSTERONE, ESTRADIOL-17B AND CORTICOSTERONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS LIVING IN CONTROL AND CONTAMINATED LAKES. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  18. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in bony fish that are phylogenetically ancient: reedfish (Calamoichthys calabaricus), sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), and alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula).

    PubMed

    Sherwood, N M; Doroshov, S; Lance, V

    1991-10-01

    Three species of fish that are phylogenetically older than other members of the bony fish lineage were selected to determine if gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is present in their brains. Brain extracts were prepared from each species and found to contain immunoreactive (ir) GnRH. To further characterize the molecular forms of GnRH in each species, the extracts were injected into a high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC). The elution time of each GnRH-like form was compared to those of the synthetic forms of the five known GnRHs. Several antisera were used to detect both the synthetic and unknown GnRHs in the HPLC fractions. All three species of fish had two forms of GnRH: a dominant form that is mammalian GnRH-like (mGnRH), and a minor form of irGnRH material that is similar to chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II). The other known forms of GnRH (salmon, lamprey, and chicken-I) were not detected. The appearance in these ancient bony fish of a mammalian-like form of GnRH, which has not been found in the jawless or cartilaginous fish studied to date, suggests that mGnRH arose in a common phylogenetic ancestor of the bony fish and tetrapods. This mGnRH-like molecule is known to have been conserved in the amphibian and mammalian lineage, but not in the reptilian or avian line. In addition, the presence of a cGnRH-II-like molecule in the bony fish examined here, and in the cartilaginous fish studied earlier, implies that this form of GnRH may have been present in an ancestor common to both of these classes of fish. PMID:1778410

  19. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in bony fish that are phylogenetically ancient: reedfish (Calamoichthys calabaricus), sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), and alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula).

    PubMed

    Sherwood, N M; Doroshov, S; Lance, V

    1991-10-01

    Three species of fish that are phylogenetically older than other members of the bony fish lineage were selected to determine if gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is present in their brains. Brain extracts were prepared from each species and found to contain immunoreactive (ir) GnRH. To further characterize the molecular forms of GnRH in each species, the extracts were injected into a high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC). The elution time of each GnRH-like form was compared to those of the synthetic forms of the five known GnRHs. Several antisera were used to detect both the synthetic and unknown GnRHs in the HPLC fractions. All three species of fish had two forms of GnRH: a dominant form that is mammalian GnRH-like (mGnRH), and a minor form of irGnRH material that is similar to chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II). The other known forms of GnRH (salmon, lamprey, and chicken-I) were not detected. The appearance in these ancient bony fish of a mammalian-like form of GnRH, which has not been found in the jawless or cartilaginous fish studied to date, suggests that mGnRH arose in a common phylogenetic ancestor of the bony fish and tetrapods. This mGnRH-like molecule is known to have been conserved in the amphibian and mammalian lineage, but not in the reptilian or avian line. In addition, the presence of a cGnRH-II-like molecule in the bony fish examined here, and in the cartilaginous fish studied earlier, implies that this form of GnRH may have been present in an ancestor common to both of these classes of fish.

  20. Influence of group II metals on Radium-226 concentration ratios in the native green plum (Buchanania obovata) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Medley, Peter; Bollhöfer, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    In this study, uptake of Ra from soil, and the influence of group II metals on Ra uptake, into the stones and edible flesh of the fruit of the wild green plum, Buchanania obovata, was investigated. Selective extraction of the exchangeable fraction of the soil samples was undertaken but was not shown to more reliably predict Ra uptake than total soil Ra activity concentration. Comparison of the group II metal to Ca ratios (i.e. Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, Ra/Ca) in the flesh with exchangeable Ca shows that Ca outcompetes group II metals for root uptake and that the uptake pathway discriminated against group II metals relative to ionic radius, with uptake of Ca > Sr > Ba > Ra. Flesh and stone analysis showed that movement of group II metals to these components of the plant, after root uptake, was strongly related. This supports the hypothesis that Sr, Ba and Ra are being taken up as analogue elements, and follow the same uptake and translocation pathways, with Ca. Comparison with previously reported data from a native passion fruit supports the use of total soil CRs on natural, undisturbed sites. As exchangeable CRs for Ra reach a saturation value it may be possible to make more precise predictions using selective extraction techniques for contaminated or disturbed sites. PMID:26277654

  1. Towards an understanding of the evolution of the chorioallantoic placenta: steroid biosynthesis and steroid hormone signaling in the chorioallantoic membrane of an oviparous reptile.

    PubMed

    Cruze, Lori; Kohno, Satomi; McCoy, Michael W; Guillette, Louis J

    2012-09-01

    Amniotes, mammals, reptiles, and birds form common extraembryonic membranes during development to perform essential functions, such as protection, nutrient transfer, gas exchange, and waste removal. Together with the maternal uterus, extraembryonic membranes of viviparous (live-bearing) amniotes develop as an endocrine placenta that synthesizes and responds to steroid hormones critical for development. The ability of these membranes to synthesize and respond to steroid hormone signaling has traditionally been considered an innovation of placental amniotes. However, our laboratory recently demonstrated that this ability extends to the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of an oviparous (egg-laying) amniote, the domestic chicken, and we hypothesized that steroidogenic extraembryonic membranes could be an evolutionarily conserved characteristic of all amniotes because of similarities in basic structure, function, and shared evolutionary ancestry. In this study, we examined steroid hormone synthesis and signaling in the CAM of another oviparous amniote, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We quantified mRNA expression of a steroidogenic factor involved in the regulation of steroidogenesis (NR5A1), the key steroidogenic enzymes involved in the synthesis of progestins (HSD3B1), androgens (CYP17A1), and estrogens (CYP19A1), and the receptors involved in the signaling of progestins (PR), androgens (AR), estrogens (ESR1 and ESR2), and glucocorticoids (GR). Furthermore, we performed protein immunolocalization for PR and ESR1. Collectively, our findings indicate that the alligator CAM has the capability to regulate, synthesize, and respond to steroid hormone signaling, thus, supporting our hypothesis that the extraembryonic membranes of Amniota share a unifying characteristic, that is, the ability to synthesize and respond to steroid hormones.

  2. Macrogeographic genetic variation in broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Villela, Priscilla Marqui Schmidt; Coutinho, Luiz Lehmann; Piña, Carlos Ignacio; Verdade, Luciano M

    2008-12-01

    Broad-snouted caiman's (Caiman latirostris) geographic distribution comprises one of the widest latitudinal ranges among all crocodilians. In this study we analyzed the relationship between geographic distance (along the species latitudinal range) and genetic differentiation using DNA microsatellite loci developed for C. latirostris and Alligator mississippiensis. The results suggest that there is a consistent relationship between geographic distance and genetic differentiation; however, other biogeographical factors seem to be relevant. The Atlantic Chain (Serra do Mar) seems to be an effective geographic barrier, as well as the relatively narrow (< or =1.5 km) sea channel between Cardoso Island and the continent. In addition, coastal populations seem to have been well connected in recent geological time (Pleistocene 16,000 years ago) all along the eastern Brazilian coast. Further studies should focus on the São Francisco River drainage, which is still poorly known for this species. PMID:18661469

  3. In vivo cranial bone strain and bite force in the agamid lizard Uromastyx geyri.

    PubMed

    Porro, Laura B; Ross, Callum F; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; O'Reilly, James C; Evans, Susan E; Fagan, Michael J

    2014-06-01

    In vivo bone strain data are the most direct evidence of deformation and strain regimes in the vertebrate cranium during feeding and can provide important insights into skull morphology. Strain data have been collected during feeding across a wide range of mammals; in contrast, in vivo cranial bone strain data have been collected from few sauropsid taxa. Here we present bone strain data recorded from the jugal of the herbivorous agamid lizard Uromastyx geyri along with simultaneously recorded bite force. Principal and shear strain magnitudes in Uromastyx geyri were lower than cranial bone strains recorded in Alligator mississippiensis, but higher than those reported from herbivorous mammals. Our results suggest that variations in principal strain orientations in the facial skeleton are largely due to differences in feeding behavior and bite location, whereas food type has little impact on strain orientations. Furthermore, mean principal strain orientations differ between male and female Uromastyx during feeding, potentially because of sexual dimorphism in skull morphology.

  4. In vivo cranial bone strain and bite force in the agamid lizard Uromastyx geyri

    PubMed Central

    Porro, Laura B.; Ross, Callum F.; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; O'Reilly, James C.; Evans, Susan E.; Fagan, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    In vivo bone strain data are the most direct evidence of deformation and strain regimes in the vertebrate cranium during feeding and can provide important insights into skull morphology. Strain data have been collected during feeding across a wide range of mammals; in contrast, in vivo cranial bone strain data have been collected from few sauropsid taxa. Here we present bone strain data recorded from the jugal of the herbivorous agamid lizard Uromastyx geyri along with simultaneously recorded bite force. Principal and shear strain magnitudes in Uromastyx geyri were lower than cranial bone strains recorded in Alligator mississippiensis, but higher than those reported from herbivorous mammals. Our results suggest that variations in principal strain orientations in the facial skeleton are largely due to differences in feeding behavior and bite location, whereas food type has little impact on strain orientations. Furthermore, mean principal strain orientations differ between male and female Uromastyx during feeding, potentially because of sexual dimorphism in skull morphology. PMID:24577443

  5. Three crocodilian genomes reveal ancestral patterns of evolution among archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Green, Richard E; Braun, Edward L; Armstrong, Joel; Earl, Dent; Nguyen, Ngan; Hickey, Glenn; Vandewege, Michael W; St John, John A; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Castoe, Todd A; Kern, Colin; Fujita, Matthew K; Opazo, Juan C; Jurka, Jerzy; Kojima, Kenji K; Caballero, Juan; Hubley, Robert M; Smit, Arian F; Platt, Roy N; Lavoie, Christine A; Ramakodi, Meganathan P; Finger, John W; Suh, Alexander; Isberg, Sally R; Miles, Lee; Chong, Amanda Y; Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Gongora, Jaime; Moran, Christopher; Iriarte, Andrés; McCormack, John; Burgess, Shane C; Edwards, Scott V; Lyons, Eric; Williams, Christina; Breen, Matthew; Howard, Jason T; Gresham, Cathy R; Peterson, Daniel G; Schmitz, Jürgen; Pollock, David D; Haussler, David; Triplett, Eric W; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki; Jarvis, Erich D; Brochu, Christopher A; Schmidt, Carl J; McCarthy, Fiona M; Faircloth, Brant C; Hoffmann, Federico G; Glenn, Travis C; Gabaldón, Toni; Paten, Benedict; Ray, David A

    2015-01-01

    To provide context for the diversifications of archosaurs, the group that includes crocodilians, dinosaurs and birds, we generated draft genomes of three crocodilians, Alligator mississippiensis (the American alligator), Crocodylus porosus (the saltwater crocodile), and Gavialis gangeticus (the Indian gharial). We observed an exceptionally slow rate of genome evolution within crocodilians at all levels, including nucleotide substitutions, indels, transposable element content and movement, gene family evolution, and chromosomal synteny. When placed within the context of related taxa including birds and turtles, this suggests that the common ancestor of all of these taxa also exhibited slow genome evolution and that the relatively rapid evolution of bird genomes represents an autapomorphy within that clade. The data also provided the opportunity to analyze heterozygosity in crocodilians, which indicates a likely reduction in population size for all three taxa through the Pleistocene. Finally, these new data combined with newly published bird genomes allowed us to reconstruct the partial genome of the common ancestor of archosaurs providing a tool to investigate the genetic starting material of crocodilians, birds, and dinosaurs. PMID:25504731

  6. Tidal salt marshes of the southeast Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Wiegert, R.G.; Freeman, B.J.

    1990-09-01

    This report is part of a series of community profiles on the ecology of wetland and marine communities. This particular profile considers tidal marshes of the southeastern Atlantic coast, from North Carolina south to northern Florida. Alone among the earth's ecosystems, coastal communities are subjected to a bidirectional flooding sometimes occurring twice each day; this flooding affects successional development, species composition, stability, and productivity. In the tidally influenced salt marsh, salinity ranges from less than 1 ppt to that of seawater. Dominant plant species include cordgrasses (Spartina alterniflora and S. cynosuroides), black needlerush (Juncus romerianus), and salt marsh bulrush (Scirpus robustus). Both terrestrail and aquatic animals occur in salt marshes and include herons, egrets ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis), manatees (Trichecus manatus), oysters, mussels, and fiddler crabs. Currently, the only significant direct commercial use of the tidal salt marshes is by crabbers seeking the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, but the marshes are quite important recreationally, aesthetically, and educationally. 151 refs., 45 figs., 6 tabs.

  7. Effects of hypoxia on vertebrate blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Russell, Michael J; Dombkowski, Ryan A; Olson, Kenneth R

    2008-03-01

    Hypoxia contracts mammalian respiratory vessels and increases vascular resistance in respiratory tissues of many vertebrates. In systemic vessels these responses vary, hypoxia relaxes mammalian vessels and contracts systemic arteries from cyclostomes. It has been proposed that hypoxic vasoconstriction in cyclostome systemic arteries is the antecedent to mammalian hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, however, phylogenetic characterization of hypoxic responses is lacking. In this study, we characterized the hypoxic response of isolated systemic and respiratory vessels from a variety of vertebrates using standard myography. Pre-gill/respiratory (ventral aorta, afferent branchial artery, pulmonary artery) and post-gill/systemic (dorsal and thoracic aortas, efferent branchial artery) from lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), chicken (Gallus domesticus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) were exposed to hypoxia at rest or during pre-stimulation (elevated extracellular potassium, epinephrine or norepinephrine). Hypoxia produced a relaxation or transient contraction followed by relaxation in all pre-gill vessels, except for contraction in lamprey, and vasoconstriction or tri-phasic constriction-dilation-constriction in all pulmonary vessels. Hypoxia contracted systemic vessels from all animals except shark and rat and in pre-contracted rat aortas it produced a transient contraction followed by relaxation. These results show that while the classic "systemic hypoxic vasodilation and pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction" may occur in the microcirculation, the hypoxic response of the vertebrate macrocirculation is quite variable. These findings also suggest that hypoxic vasoconstriction is a phylogenetically ancient response. PMID:18214862

  8. Three crocodilian genomes reveal ancestral patterns of evolution among archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Green, Richard E; Braun, Edward L; Armstrong, Joel; Earl, Dent; Nguyen, Ngan; Hickey, Glenn; Vandewege, Michael W; St John, John A; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Castoe, Todd A; Kern, Colin; Fujita, Matthew K; Opazo, Juan C; Jurka, Jerzy; Kojima, Kenji K; Caballero, Juan; Hubley, Robert M; Smit, Arian F; Platt, Roy N; Lavoie, Christine A; Ramakodi, Meganathan P; Finger, John W; Suh, Alexander; Isberg, Sally R; Miles, Lee; Chong, Amanda Y; Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Gongora, Jaime; Moran, Christopher; Iriarte, Andrés; McCormack, John; Burgess, Shane C; Edwards, Scott V; Lyons, Eric; Williams, Christina; Breen, Matthew; Howard, Jason T; Gresham, Cathy R; Peterson, Daniel G; Schmitz, Jürgen; Pollock, David D; Haussler, David; Triplett, Eric W; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki; Jarvis, Erich D; Brochu, Christopher A; Schmidt, Carl J; McCarthy, Fiona M; Faircloth, Brant C; Hoffmann, Federico G; Glenn, Travis C; Gabaldón, Toni; Paten, Benedict; Ray, David A

    2014-12-12

    To provide context for the diversification of archosaurs--the group that includes crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds--we generated draft genomes of three crocodilians: Alligator mississippiensis (the American alligator), Crocodylus porosus (the saltwater crocodile), and Gavialis gangeticus (the Indian gharial). We observed an exceptionally slow rate of genome evolution within crocodilians at all levels, including nucleotide substitutions, indels, transposable element content and movement, gene family evolution, and chromosomal synteny. When placed within the context of related taxa including birds and turtles, this suggests that the common ancestor of all of these taxa also exhibited slow genome evolution and that the comparatively rapid evolution is derived in birds. The data also provided the opportunity to analyze heterozygosity in crocodilians, which indicates a likely reduction in population size for all three taxa through the Pleistocene. Finally, these data combined with newly published bird genomes allowed us to reconstruct the partial genome of the common ancestor of archosaurs, thereby providing a tool to investigate the genetic starting material of crocodilians, birds, and dinosaurs. PMID:25504731

  9. Osteology and skeletal development of Apalone spinifera (Reptilia: Testudines: Trionychidae).

    PubMed

    Sheil, Christopher A

    2003-04-01

    Despite considerable attention that other groups of reptiles have received, few descriptions of the development and sequences of chondrification and ossification of the entire skeleton of turtles exist. Herein, the adult skeleton of the spiny softshell turtle, Apalone spinifera (Testudines: Trionychidae), is described; this description forms a basis of comparison for the embryonic skeleton and its ontogenesis. Descriptions are made on the basis of cleared and double-stained embryos and dry skeletal postembryonic specimens. The embryonic chondrocranium of A. spinifera is described and compared to those of Emys orbicularis and Caretta caretta, the sequence of chondrification of fore- and hindlimbs are compared with published descriptions of Chelydra serpentina and Chrysemys picta, and the sequence of ossification of elements is compared with those of C. serpentina, Lacerta vivipara, and Alligator mississippiensis. In A. spinifera, the first elements that ossify (Stage 17) are associated with the dermatocranium and mandible, followed by elements of the dermal skull table, lower jaw, and dermal elements of the plastron. In A. spinifera, the sequence of chondrification of limb elements is similar to that of C. serpentina; however, the sequence of ossification varies greatly among Apalone, Chelydra, Lacerta, and Alligator. PMID:12616574

  10. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes.

    PubMed

    Lainoff, Alexis J; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S; Hlusko, Leslea J

    2015-05-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record.

  11. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Lainoff, Alexis J.; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E.; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S.; Hlusko, Leslea J.

    2015-01-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record. PMID:25678399

  12. KSC-04PD-0203

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. A moss-covered alligator stretches out on the waters edge at a bank on the west side of NASAs Kennedy Space Center. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  13. KSC-05PD-0309

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. An alligator strolls across the ground near the Vehicle Assembly Building (in the background). Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  14. KSC-04PD-0050

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An alligator is spotted sunning on the muddy bank of a canal in KSC. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  15. KSC-04PD-0200

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. An alligator slides off a bank into the water on the west side of NASAs Kennedy Space Center. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  16. KSC-04PD-0049

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An alligator is spotted sunning on the muddy bank of a canal in KSC. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  17. KSC-04PD-0201

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. An alligator makes a splashy entrance into the water on the west side of NASAs Kennedy Space Center. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

  18. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  19. Iodine-enhanced micro-CT imaging: methodological refinements for the study of the soft-tissue anatomy of post-embryonic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gignac, Paul M; Kley, Nathan J

    2014-05-01

    The now widespread use of non-destructive X-ray computed tomography (CT) and micro-CT (µCT) has greatly augmented our ability to comprehensively detail and quantify the internal hard-tissue anatomy of vertebrates. However, the utility of X-ray imaging for gaining similar insights into vertebrate soft-tissue anatomy has yet to be fully realized due to the naturally low X-ray absorption of non-mineralized tissues. In this study, we show how a wide diversity of soft-tissue structures within the vertebrate head-including muscles, glands, fat deposits, perichondria, dural venous sinuses, white and gray matter of the brain, as well as cranial nerves and associated ganglia-can be rapidly visualized in their natural relationships with extraordinary levels of detail using iodine-enhanced (i-e) µCT imaging. To date, Lugol's iodine solution (I2 KI) has been used as a contrast agent for µCT imaging of small invertebrates, vertebrate embryos, and certain isolated parts of larger, post-embryonic vertebrates. These previous studies have all yielded promising results, but visualization of soft tissues in smaller invertebrate and embryonic vertebrate specimens has generally been more complete than that for larger, post-embryonic vertebrates. Our research builds on these previous studies by using high-energy µCT together with more highly concentrated I2 KI solutions and longer staining times to optimize the imaging and differentiation of soft tissues within the heads of post-embryonic archosaurs (Alligator mississippiensis and Dromaius novaehollandiae). We systematically quantify the intensities of tissue staining, demonstrate the range of anatomical structures that can be visualized, and generate a partial three-dimensional reconstruction of alligator cephalic soft-tissue anatomy.

  20. Histological evidence for muscle insertion in extant amniote femora: implications for muscle reconstruction in fossils

    PubMed Central

    Petermann, Holger; Sander, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Since the 19th century, identification of muscle attachment sites on bones has been important for muscle reconstructions, especially in fossil tetrapods, and therefore has been the subject of numerous biological and paleontological studies. At the microscopic level, in histological thin sections, the only features that can be used reliably for identifying tendon–bone or muscle–tendon-bone interactions are Sharpey's fibers. Muscles, however, do not only attach to the bone indirectly with tendons, but also directly. Previous studies failed to provide new indicators for muscle attachment, or to address the question of whether muscles with direct attachment can be identified histologically. However, histological identification of direct muscle attachments is important because these attachments do not leave visible marks (e.g. scars and rugosities) on the bone surface. We dissected the right hind limb and mapped the muscle attachment sites on the femur of one rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), one Alligator mississippiensis, and one turkey (Meleagris cuniculus). We then extracted the femur and prepared four histological thin sections for the rabbit and the turkey and five histological thin sections for the alligator. Sharpey's fibers, vascular canal orientation, and a frayed periosteal margin can be indicators for indirect but also direct muscle attachment. Sharpey's fibers can be oriented to the cutting plane of the thin section at high angles, and two Sharpey's fibers orientations can occur in one area, possibly indicating a secondary force axis. However, only about 60% of mapped muscle attachment sites could be detected in thin sections, and frequently histological features suggestive of muscle attachment occurred outside mapped sites. While these insights should improve our ability to successfully identify and reconstruct muscles in extinct species, they also show the limitations of this approach. PMID:23439026

  1. Similarity of Crocodilian and Avian Lungs Indicates Unidirectional Flow Is Ancestral for Archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of airflow and pulmonary anatomy were studied in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus), the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), and Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). In addition, anatomy was studied in the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius). Airflow was measured using heated thermistor flow meters and visualized by endoscopy during insufflation of aerosolized propolene glycol and glycerol. Computed tomography and gross dissection were used to visualize the anatomy. In all species studied a bird-like pattern of unidirectional flow was present, in which air flowed caudad in the cervical ventral bronchus and its branches during both lung inflation and deflation and craniad in dorsobronchi and their branches. Tubular pathways connected the secondary bronchi to each other and allowed air to flow from the dorsobronchi into the ventrobronchi. No evidence for anatomical valves was found, suggesting that aerodynamic valves cause the unidirectional flow. In vivo data from the American alligator showed that unidirectional flow is present during periods of breath-holding (apnea) and is powered by the beating heart, suggesting that this pattern of flow harnesses the heart as a pump for air. Unidirectional flow may also facilitate washout of stale gases from the lung, reducing the cost of breathing, respiratory evaporative water loss, heat loss through the heat of vaporization, and facilitating crypsis. The similarity in structure and function of the bird lung with pulmonary anatomy of this broad range of crocodilian species indicates that a similar morphology and pattern of unidirectional flow were present in the lungs of the common ancestor of crocodilians and birds. These data suggest a paradigm shift is needed in our understanding of the evolution of this

  2. Structure, innervation and response properties of integumentary sensory organs in crocodilians

    PubMed Central

    Leitch, Duncan B.; Catania, Kenneth C.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Integumentary sensory organs (ISOs) are densely distributed on the jaws of crocodilians and on body scales of members of the families Crocodilidae and Gavialidae. We examined the distribution, anatomy, innervation and response properties of ISOs on the face and body of crocodilians and documented related behaviors for an alligatorid (Alligator mississippiensis) and a crocodylid (Crocodylus niloticus). Each of the ISOs (roughly 4000 in A. mississippiensis and 9000 in C. niloticus) was innervated by networks of afferents supplying multiple different mechanoreceptors. Electrophysiological recordings from the trigeminal ganglion and peripheral nerves were made to isolate single-unit receptive fields and to test possible osmoreceptive and electroreceptive functions. Multiple small (<0.1 mm2) receptive fields, often from a single ISO, were recorded from the premaxilla, the rostral dentary, the gingivae and the distal digits. These responded to a median threshold of 0.08 mN. The less densely innervated caudal margins of the jaws had larger receptive fields (>100 mm2) and higher thresholds (13.725 mN). Rapidly adapting, slowly adapting type I and slowly adapting type II responses were identified based on neuronal responses. Several rapidly adapting units responded maximally to vibrations at 20–35 Hz, consistent with reports of the ISOs' role in detecting prey-generated water surface ripples. Despite crocodilians' armored bodies, the ISOs imparted a mechanical sensitivity exceeding that of primate fingertips. We conclude that crocodilian ISOs have diverse functions, including detection of water movements, indicating when to bite based on direct contact of pursued prey, and fine tactile discrimination of items held in the jaws. PMID:23136155

  3. KSC-03PD-0777

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A large alligator claims this stretch of water at Kennedy Space Center. 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, plus a variety of insects.

  4. KSC-03PD-0953

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A very long alligator strolls the bank alongside the Tow Road on Kennedy Space Center. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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, plus a variety of insects.

  5. KSC-03PD-0954

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This alligator strolls the bank alongside the Tow Road on Kennedy Space Center. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 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, plus a variety of insects.

  6. 77 FR 9635 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in Cooperation With the North...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-17

    ... the improvement of US 64 to a multilane facility, and replacement of the Lindsay C. Warren bridge, in... replacement of the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge over the Alligator River. The purpose of the proposed project...

  7. 76 FR 69761 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-09

    ..., 11000859 FLORIDA Monroe County Alligator Reef Light, (Light Stations of the United States MPS) Offshore 3.5... Columbus Dr., Yazoo Lake, Garfield, Monroe, & Gen. Lee Sts. & Wright, Lafayette, & McKinley...

  8. EMERGING ISSUES RELATED TO ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANDROGENS AND ANTIANDROGENS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wildlife populations from contaminated ecosystems display a variety of reproductive alterations including cryptorchidism in the Florida panther, small baculum in young male otters, small penises in alligators, sex reversal in fish, and altered social behavior in birds. In some c...

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF ENDOCRINE-DISRUPTION AND CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS IN LARGE-MOUTH BASS FROM FLORIDA LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous efforts from this laboratory, have documented altered endocrine function and sexual differentiation for alligators and turtles from Lake Apopka in Central Florida. This lake has been exposed to a variety of contaminants which are potentially endocrine-disrupting. Therefo...

  10. Crafty Corner.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Contains three projects that relate to plants and animals of wetlands. Includes instructions and patterns for making cattails, pitcher plants (that really catch flies), and stand-up wetland animals such as insects, birds, crabs, and alligators. (TW)

  11. KSC Wildlife Show

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This video highlights footage of the many forms of animal and plant life that inhabit the environs surrounding KSC. Shown are birds, alligators, butterflies, and plants as they react to shuttle launches and other activities eminating from KSC.

  12. Bioactive peptides and serotonin in the gut endocrine cells of the crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus (Laurenti 1768): an immunocytochemical study.

    PubMed

    Van Aswegen, G; Kotzé, S H; van der Merwe, N J; Smith, G A

    1992-06-01

    Little is known about peptide-storing endocrine cells in the gut of the Nile crocodile. As in the case of other reptiles, particularly the alligator, a limited range of peptide-storing cells was found in the gut of the crocodile. They were somatostatin, glucagon, gastrin, neurotensin and pancreatic polypeptide. The topographical distribution of cells immunoreactive to somatostatin and gastrin in the gut of the crocodile is comparable to the situation in the alligator. Glucagon and neurotensin immunoreactive cells have a much wider distribution in the gastro-intestinal tract of the crocodile compared to the alligator. Cholecystokinin and bombesin cells previously reported in the small intestine of the alligator were not detected in this study. This is the first report to demonstrate pancreatic polypeptide and serotonin immunoreactivity in the gut of a crocodilian specie.

  13. 33 CFR 165.729 - Jacksonville Harbor, Florida-security zone.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... regulations governing security zones contained in 33 CFR 165.33 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port... from the eastern end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island...

  14. 115. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of roadway alignment around ...

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

    115. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of roadway alignment around alligator back and parking overlook in foreground. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  15. 33 CFR 165.729 - Jacksonville Harbor, Florida-security zone.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... regulations governing security zones contained in 33 CFR 165.33 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port... from the eastern end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island...

  16. 33 CFR 165.729 - Jacksonville Harbor, Florida-security zone.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... regulations governing security zones contained in 33 CFR 165.33 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port... from the eastern end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island...

  17. 33 CFR 165.728 - Jacksonville, Florida-safety zones.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port Jacksonville, Florida will activate... end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island Terminal,...

  18. 33 CFR 165.728 - Jacksonville, Florida-safety zones.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port Jacksonville, Florida will activate... end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island Terminal,...

  19. 111. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of parkway with the ...

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

    111. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of parkway with the road crossing alligator back. Facing southeast. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  20. 33 CFR 165.729 - Jacksonville Harbor, Florida-security zone.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... regulations governing security zones contained in 33 CFR 165.33 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port... from the eastern end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island...

  1. 114. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of Laurel Spring Valley ...

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

    114. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of Laurel Spring Valley in distance, alligator back, and overlook in foreground. Looking west. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  2. 33 CFR 165.728 - Jacksonville, Florida-safety zones.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port Jacksonville, Florida will activate... end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island Terminal,...

  3. 33 CFR 165.728 - Jacksonville, Florida-safety zones.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. (d) The Captain of the Port Jacksonville, Florida will activate... end of Transit Shed #2 to the east shore of Alligator Creek at Blount Island Terminal,...

  4. The evolution, development and skeletal identity of the crocodylian pelvis: revisiting a forgotten scientific debate.

    PubMed

    Claessens, Leon P A M; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2012-10-01

    Unlike most tetrapods, in extant crocodylians the acetabulum is formed by only two of the three skeletal elements that constitute the pelvis, the ilium, and ischium. This peculiar arrangement is further confused by various observations that suggest the crocodylian pelvis initially develops from four skeletal elements: the ilium, ischium, pubis, and a novel element, the prepubis. According to one popular historical hypothesis, in crocodylians (and many extinct archosaurs), the pubis fuses with the ischium during skeletogenesis, leaving the prepubis as a distinct element, albeit one which is excluded from the acetabulum. Whereas the notion of a distinct prepubic element was once a topic of considerable interest, it has never been properly resolved. Here, we combine data gleaned from a developmental series of Alligator mississippiensis embryos, with a revised interpretation of fossil evidence from numerous outgroups to Crocodylia. We demonstrate that the modern crocodylian pelvis is composed of only three elements: the ilium, ischium, and pubis. The reported fourth pelvic element is an unossified portion of the ischium. Interpretations of pelvic skeletal homology have featured prominently in sauropsid systematics, and the unambiguous identification of the crocodylian pubis provides an important contribution to address larger scale evolutionary questions associated with locomotion and respiration.

  5. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles.

  6. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles. PMID:26716007

  7. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles. PMID:26716007

  8. 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.

  9. Phylogenomic investigation of CR1 LINE diversity in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shedlock, Andrew M

    2006-12-01

    It is unlikely that taxonomically diverse phylogenetic studies will be completed rapidly in the near future for nonmodel organisms on a whole-genome basis. However, one approach to advancing the field of "phylogenomics" is to estimate the structure of poorly known genomes by mining libraries of clones from suites of taxa, rather than from single species. The present analysis adopts this approach by taking advantage of megabase-scale end-sequence scanning of reptilian genomic clones to characterize diversity of CR1-like LINEs, the dominant family of transposable elements (TEs) in the sister group of mammals. As such, it helps close an important gap in the literature on the molecular systematics and evolution of retroelements in nonavian reptiles. Results from aligning more than 14 Mb of sequence from the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), painted turtle (Chrysemys picta), Bahamian green anole (Anolis smaragdinus), Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), and Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) against a comprehensive library approximately 3000 TE-encoding peptides reflect an increasing abundance of LINE and non-long-terminal-repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposon repeat types with the age of common ancestry among exemplar reptilian clades. The hypothesis that repeat diversity is correlated with basal metabolic rate was tested using comparative methods and a significant nonlinear relationship was indicated. This analysis suggests that the age of divergence between an exemplary clade and its sister group as well as metabolic correlates should be considered in addition to genome size in explaining patterns of retroelement diversity. The first phylogenetic analysis of the largely unexplored chicken repeat 1 (CR1) 3' reverse transcriptase (RT) conserved domains 8 and 9 in nonavian reptiles reveals a pattern of multiple lineages with variable branch lengths, suggesting presence of both old and young elements and the existence of several

  10. Fate of Airborne Contaminants in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Lasier, P.J.

    1997-01-01

    Designation of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge as a Class I Air Quality Area (given the highest level of protection possible from air pollutants under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977) affords mandatory protection of the Refuge's airshed through the permit-review process for planned developments. Rainfall is the major source of water to the swamp, and potential impacts from developments to the airshed are high. To meet management needs for baseline information, chemical contributions from atmospheric deposition and partitioning of anions and cations, with emphasis on mercury and lead, in the various matrices of the Swamp were determined between July 1993 and April 1995. Chemistry of rainfall was determined on an event basis from one site located at Refuge Headquarters. Field samples of surface water, pore water, floc and sediment were collected from four locations on the Refuge: Chesser Prairie, Chase Prairie, Durden Prairie, and the Narrows. A sediment core sample was collected from the Refuge interior at Bluff Lake for aging of mercury deposition. Rainfall was acidic (pH 4.8) with sulfate concentrations averaging 1.2 mg/L and nitrate averaging 0.8 mg/L. Lead in rainfall averaged 1 ?g/L and total and methylmercury concentrations were 11.7 ng/L and 0.025 ng/L, respectively. The drought of 1993 followed by heavy rains during the fall and winter caused a temporary alteration in the cycling and availability of trace-elements within the different matrices of the Swamp. Surface water was acidic (pH 3.8 to 4.1), dilute (specific conductance 35-60 ?S/cm), and highly organic (DOC 35-50 mg/L). Sediment and floc were also highly organic (>90%). Total mercury averaged 3.6 ng/L in surface water, 9.0 ng/L in pore water and about 170 ng/g in floc and sediments. Mercury bioaccumulated in the biota of the Refuge: fish fillets (Centrarchus macropterus, Esox niger, Lepomus gulosus and Amia calva) had >2 ?g/g dry weight, alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) >4 ?g/g dry

  11. A comparative analysis of vertebrate sex determination.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Andrew; Smith, Craig; Western, Patrick; McClive, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Sex determination in vertebrates is controlled by a variety of mechanisms. We compared the expression of SF1, DAX1, DMRT1, SOX9 and AMH during gonadogenesis in the mouse, chicken and alligator embryo. In contrast to the expression profile of Sf1 in mouse embryos, chicken and alligator embryos show higher levels of Sf1 expression in the developing ovaries compared to testes. This may reflect the higher level of sex hormone synthesis in the ovary compared to the testis in chickens and alligators. The DAX1 gene has a similar expression profile in all three vertebrate species but appears to have different gene structure. As in mouse, DMRT1 was expressed at very high levels in the chicken and alligator male gonad. The male-specific up-regulation of SOX9 expression appears to be a common feature in all three vertebrates. In the chicken and alligator AMH is expressed prior to SOX9, suggesting that in these species SOX9 cannot initiate AMH expression as it does in mammals. SOX9 acts at multiple points in the vertebrate testis pathway but it appears that only some of these functions have been conserved through evolution. PMID:11990786

  12. Small sample sizes in the study of ontogenetic allometry; implications for palaeobiology

    PubMed Central

    Vavrek, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative morphometric analyses, particularly ontogenetic allometry, are common methods used in quantifying shape, and changes therein, in both extinct and extant organisms. Due to incompleteness and the potential for restricted sample sizes in the fossil record, palaeobiological analyses of allometry may encounter higher rates of error. Differences in sample size between fossil and extant studies and any resulting effects on allometric analyses have not been thoroughly investigated, and a logical lower threshold to sample size is not clear. Here we show that studies based on fossil datasets have smaller sample sizes than those based on extant taxa. A similar pattern between vertebrates and invertebrates indicates this is not a problem unique to either group, but common to both. We investigate the relationship between sample size, ontogenetic allometric relationship and statistical power using an empirical dataset of skull measurements of modern Alligator mississippiensis. Across a variety of subsampling techniques, used to simulate different taphonomic and/or sampling effects, smaller sample sizes gave less reliable and more variable results, often with the result that allometric relationships will go undetected due to Type II error (failure to reject the null hypothesis). This may result in a false impression of fewer instances of positive/negative allometric growth in fossils compared to living organisms. These limitations are not restricted to fossil data and are equally applicable to allometric analyses of rare extant taxa. No mathematically derived minimum sample size for ontogenetic allometric studies is found; rather results of isometry (but not necessarily allometry) should not be viewed with confidence at small sample sizes. PMID:25780770

  13. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

  14. First Record of Eocene Bony Fishes and Crocodyliforms from Canada’s Western Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Eberle, Jaelyn J.; Gottfried, Michael D.; Hutchison, J. Howard; Brochu, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    time between the two extant alligatorid lineages Alligator mississippiensis and A. sinensis, and high-latitude dispersal across Beringia. PMID:24788829

  15. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

  16. Multidisciplinary study of radionuclides and heavy-metal concentrations in wildlife on phosphate-mined and reclaimed lands. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchard, P.C.H.; Bloodwell, J.M.

    1986-11-01

    The phosphate-rich mineral deposits of central Florida tend to exhibit background radiation levels that are elevated due to the uranium and its decay products found in association with the ore. The report documents radioactivity levels in two groups of animals that had heretofore not been examined by other investigators -- aquatic reptiles (American alligators, softshell turtles, and Florida cooter turtles) and terrestrial mammals (armadillos), based on the criterion that these species have significant proportions of their mass comprised of bony tissue likely to show elevated concentrations of radium. The alligator bones contained only low concentrations of radium, and there were no significant differences between alligators collected from mined, mineralized-unmined, or unmineralized land. Whether the levels of radium in the bones of the turtles represents a hazard to the health of these long-lived animals or to humans who may consume their flesh is unclear.

  17. Flexible Dermal Armor in Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wen; Chen, Irene H.; Mckittrick, Joanna; Meyers, Marc A.

    2012-04-01

    Many animals possess dermal armor, which acts primarily as protection against predators. We illustrate this through examples from both our research and the literature: alligator, fish (alligator gar, arapaima, and Senegal bichir), armadillo, leatherback turtle, and a lizard, the Gila monster. The dermal armor in these animals is flexible and has a hierarchical structure with collagen fibers joining mineralized units (scales, tiles, or plates). This combination significantly increases the strength and flexibility in comparison with a simple monolithic mineral composite or rigid dermal armor. This dermal armor is being studied for future bioinspired armor applications providing increased mobility.

  18. KSC-04PD-1250

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. Above, herons, a roseate spoonbill and other species of water birds gather in a canal near KSC, which shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Below is an alligator. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

  19. Stratigraphy, structure and regional correlation of eastern Blue Ridge sequences in southern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina: an interim report from new USGS mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, Mark W.; Merschat, Arthur J.

    2014-01-01

    The contact between eastern Blue Ridge stratified rocks above Mesoproterozoic basement rocks is mostly faulted (Gossan Lead and Red Valley). The Callaway fault juxtaposes Ashe and Lynchburg rocks above Wills Ridge Formation. Alligator Back Formation rocks overlie Ashe and Lynchburg rocks along the Rock Castle Creek fault, which juxtaposes rocks of different metamorphism. The fault separates major structural domains: rocks with one penetrative foliation in the footwall, and pin-striped recrystallized compositional layering, superposed penetrative foliations, and cleavage characterize the hanging wall. These relationships are ambiguous along strike to the southwest, where the Ashe and Alligator Back formations are recrystallized at higher metamorphic grades.

  20. Pace's Maxims for Homegrown Library Projects. Coming Full Circle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pace, Andrew K.

    2005-01-01

    This article discusses six maxims by which to run library automation. The following maxims are discussed: (1) Solve only known problems; (2) Avoid changing data to fix display problems; (3) Aut viam inveniam aut faciam; (4) If you cannot make it yourself, buy something; (5) Kill the alligator closest to the boat; and (6) Just because yours is…

  1. 78 FR 2687 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-14

    ... County Black, L.A., Rice Milling Association Inc. Office, 508 S. Monroe St., DeWitt, 12001229 Columbia... Orleans, 12001241 MISSOURI Buchanan County Ryan Block, (St. Joseph MPS (AD)) 1137-1141 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, 12001242 St. Louis Independent city Alligator Oil Clothing Company Building,...

  2. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

    Many children have an enormous fascination for reptiles of all kinds--snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Whatever the reason for their interest, you can channel the enthusiasm of reptile fans and build the interest of curious students with a few simple activities, e.g., getting acquainted with reptile characteristics…

  3. Large reptiles and cold temperatures: Do extreme cold spells set distributional limits for tropical reptiles in Florida?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Parry, Mark; Beauchamp, Jeff; Rochford, Mike; Smith, Brian J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Distributional limits of many tropical species in Florida are ultimately determined by tolerance to low temperature. An unprecedented cold spell during 2–11 January 2010, in South Florida provided an opportunity to compare the responses of tropical American crocodiles with warm-temperate American alligators and to compare the responses of nonnative Burmese pythons with native warm-temperate snakes exposed to prolonged cold temperatures. After the January 2010 cold spell, a record number of American crocodiles (n = 151) and Burmese pythons (n = 36) were found dead. In contrast, no American alligators and no native snakes were found dead. American alligators and American crocodiles behaved differently during the cold spell. American alligators stopped basking and retreated to warmer water. American crocodiles apparently continued to bask during extreme cold temperatures resulting in lethal body temperatures. The mortality of Burmese pythons compared to the absence of mortality for native snakes suggests that the current population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades is less tolerant of cold temperatures than native snakes. Burmese pythons introduced from other parts of their native range may be more tolerant of cold temperatures. We documented the direct effects of cold temperatures on crocodiles and pythons; however, evidence of long-term effects of cold temperature on their populations within their established ranges remains lacking. Mortality of crocodiles and pythons outside of their current established range may be more important in setting distributional limits.

  4. The Development of Afterlife Beliefs in Religiously and Secularly Schooled Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bering, Jesse M.; Blasi, Carlos Hernandez; Bjorklund, David F.

    2005-01-01

    Children aged from 4;10 to 12;9 attending either a Catholic school or a public, secular school in an eastern Spanish city observed a puppet show in which a mouse was eaten by an alligator. Children were then asked questions about the dead mouse's biological and psychological functioning. The pattern of results generally replicated that obtained…

  5. Use of a fiberoptic accessory for retrieval of adult heartworms in a dog with postcaval syndrome.

    PubMed

    Howard, P E; Pitts, R P

    1986-11-15

    Use of a spiral fiberoptic basket for the removal of adult heartworms from the vena cava and right atrium of a dog with postcaval syndrome is described. Complications reported with the use of alligator forceps were not encountered with the basket.

  6. 29 CFR 1915.116 - Use of gear.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... handled on and off hulls by means of shackles whenever possible. Clips or pads of ample size shall be... possible to make holes in or to weld pads to the plate, alligator tongs, grab clamps or screw clamps may be... of idle legs of slings in use shall be hung on the hook. (i) Employees shall not be permitted to...

  7. 29 CFR 1915.116 - Use of gear.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... handled on and off hulls by means of shackles whenever possible. Clips or pads of ample size shall be... possible to make holes in or to weld pads to the plate, alligator tongs, grab clamps or screw clamps may be... of idle legs of slings in use shall be hung on the hook. (i) Employees shall not be permitted to...

  8. Systena silvestrii bechyne (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae):Redescripton,new distribution and adult host records

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The flea beetle Systena silvestrii Bechyné 1957, was studied in context with the evaluation of natural enemies of the alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach (Amaranthaceae). The female is described and the holotype male is redescribed adding new diagnostic characters: mouth...

  9. Hormonal control of metabolic substrate use by birds and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The differential use of metabolic substrates by birds is not well understood. Therefore, to clarify which substrates are preferentially utilized, studies were conducted on birds with divergent dietary habits and on a close non-avian relative of birds, alligators. Fasting plasma substrate and hormone...

  10. Into the Curriculum: Reading/Language Arts/Art: Using Amelia Bedelia Books to Teach Figurative and Literal Meanings [and] Reading/Language Arts/Mathematics: Create an Internet Pizza Cafe that Serves Pizza, Poetry, Technology, and More! [and] Reading/Language Arts: Finding Secret Words: Beginning Dictionary Skills [and] Science: What Big Teeth You Have! Alligators All Around [and] Science: Rube Goldberg and Simple Machines [and] Social Studies: Folklore--An Integrated Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Eve; Maggi, Barbara Hall; Napier, Marion; Troisi, Andrea; Heiser, Pam; Rinehart, Sharon

    1998-01-01

    Provides six fully developed library media activities that are designed for use with specific curriculum units in reading and language arts, art, mathematics, science, and social studies. Library media skills, objectives, grade levels, instructional roles, evaluation, and follow-up are described for each activity. (LRW)

  11. Large Scale Discovery and De Novo-Assisted Sequencing of Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides (CAMPs) by Microparticle Capture and Electron-Transfer Dissociation (ETD) Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The identification and sequencing of novel cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) have proven challenging due to the limitations associated with traditional proteomics methods and difficulties sequencing peptides present in complex biomolecular mixtures. We present here a process for large-scale identification and de novo-assisted sequencing of newly discovered CAMPs using microparticle capture followed by tandem mass spectrometry equipped with electron-transfer dissociation (ETD). This process was initially evaluated and verified using known CAMPs with varying physicochemical properties. The effective parameters were then applied in the analysis of a complex mixture of peptides harvested from American alligator plasma using custom-made (Bioprospector) functionalized hydrogel particles. Here, we report the successful sequencing process for CAMPs that has led to the identification of 340 unique peptides and the discovery of five novel CAMPs from American alligator plasma. PMID:26327436

  12. Large Scale Discovery and De Novo-Assisted Sequencing of Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides (CAMPs) by Microparticle Capture and Electron-Transfer Dissociation (ETD) Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The identification and sequencing of novel cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) have proven challenging due to the limitations associated with traditional proteomics methods and difficulties sequencing peptides present in complex biomolecular mixtures. We present here a process for large-scale identification and de novo-assisted sequencing of newly discovered CAMPs using microparticle capture followed by tandem mass spectrometry equipped with electron-transfer dissociation (ETD). This process was initially evaluated and verified using known CAMPs with varying physicochemical properties. The effective parameters were then applied in the analysis of a complex mixture of peptides harvested from American alligator plasma using custom-made (Bioprospector) functionalized hydrogel particles. Here, we report the successful sequencing process for CAMPs that has led to the identification of 340 unique peptides and the discovery of five novel CAMPs from American alligator plasma.

  13. L-Lake wildlife: L Lake/Steel Creek Biological Monitoring Program, January 1986--December 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, K.K.; Giffin, M.A.

    1988-03-01

    Reptile and amphibian populations of L-Lake were assessed in monthly or quarterly sampling programs. Both the number of individuals and the number of species collected decreased from 1986 to 1987. The greatest difference between years occurred with amphibians. No new species were collected, less than 50% of the species collected in 1986 were collected in 1987, and only one-third as many individuals were collected. Lizard and snake populations appear unaffected by L-Lake or reactor operations. Turtles appeared to be less abundant in 1987 than in 1986. This may be due to a lack of suitable cover and food sources. With the development of macrophyte beds, the turtle populations should increase. Observations of alligators were more numerous in 1987 than 1986. Alligators successfully inhabit Par Pond, another cooling reservoir on the Savannah River Plant, and a resident population will probably become established in L-Lake.

  14. Percutaneous heartworm removal from dogs with severe heart worm (Dirofilaria immitis) infestation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Gon; Moon, Hyeong-Sun

    2008-01-01

    Canine heart worm disease is often life-threatening due to its various complications, including right side heart failure, caval syndrome and pulmonary eosinophilic granulomatosis. Several preventive medications and melarsomine have been developed and they are very effective to control heartworm infestation. However, in a case of severe infestation, melarsomine therapy often results in an unfavorable outcome because of the severe immune reaction caused by rapid killing of the adult worm. Surgical removal and an interventional method using flexible alligator forceps have been well described in the literature. Despite the usefulness of mechanical removal using flexible alligator forceps, the methodology still needs to be upgraded for increasing the applicability for treating dogs with severe infestation. We describe herein a newly developed percutaneous removal method for heartworms and this was successfully applied to 4 dogs with severe heartworm infestation. The follow-up studies also showed favorable outcomes with no complications. PMID:18487942

  15. A Research on the Association of Pavement Surface Damages Using Data Mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Ching-Tsung; Chang, Jia-Ray; Chen, Jian-Da; Chou, Chien-Cheng; Chen, Shih-Huang

    The association of pavement surface damages used to rely on the judgments of the experts. However, with the accumulation of data in the pavement surface maintenance database and the improvement of Data Mining, there are more and more methods available to explore the association of pavement surface damages. This research adopts Apriori algorithm to conduct association analysis on pavement surface damages. From the experience of experts, it has been believed that the association of road damages is complicated. However, through case studies, it has been found that pavement surface damages are caused among longitudinal cracking, alligator cracking and pen-holes, and they are unidirectional influence. In addition, with the help of association rules, it has been learned that, in pavement surface preventative maintenance, the top priority should be the repair of longitudinal cracking and alligator cracking, which can greatly reduce the occurrence of pen-holes and the risk of state compensations.

  16. Snakes in the wrong places: Gordon Rodda’s career in invasive species research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Jim

    2012-01-01

    When USGS research zoologist Gordon G. Rodda was a graduate student at Cornell University studying behavioral biology of alligators —or later, completing a post-doc at the Smithsonian Institute studying the social behavior of green iguanas in Venezuela or following that, as a statistics and sociobiology instructor at the University of Tennessee—he did not foresee that his professional future was in snakes. Lots of snakes, and in places they don’t belong.

  17. The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) surface-water model, version 2

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Telis, Pamela A.; Xie, Zhixiao; Liu, Zhongwei; Li, Yingru; Conrads, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    Three applications of the EDEN-modeled water surfaces and other EDEN datasets are presented in the report to show how scientists and resource managers are using EDEN datasets to analyze biological and ecological responses to hydrologic changes in the Everglades. The biological responses of two important Everglades species, alligators and wading birds, to changes in hydrology are described. The effects of hydrology on fire dynamics in the Everglades are also discussed.

  18. Surveys of tidal river systems in the northern territory of Australia and their crocodile populations

    SciTech Connect

    Vorlicek, G.C.; Messel, H.; Green, W.J.

    1986-01-01

    This book provides an update on the population dynamics of Crocodylus porous in the tidal waterways of Van Diemen Gulf and the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, during 1984 and 1985. Contents: Prologue; Dedication; Introduction; Status of Crocodylus porous. July 1984, in the tidal waterways of the Alligator Region and in the Adelaide River System of Northern Australia: recovery underway; Resurvey of Crocodylus porous populations in the tidal waterways of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, September - October 1985; Local knowledge - Northern Australia style.

  19. Pulmonary anatomy in the Nile crocodile and the evolution of unidirectional airflow in Archosauria

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, John R.; Farmer, CG

    2013-01-01

    The lungs of birds have long been known to move air in only one direction during both inspiration and expiration through most of the tubular gas-exchanging bronchi (parabronchi). Recently a similar pattern of airflow has been observed in American alligators, a sister taxon to birds. The pattern of flow appears to be due to the arrangement of the primary and secondary bronchi, which, via their branching angles, generate inspiratory and expiratory aerodynamic valves. Both the anatomical similarity of the avian and alligator lung and the similarity in the patterns of airflow raise the possibility that these features are plesiomorphic for Archosauria and therefore did not evolve in response to selection for flapping flight or an endothermic metabolism, as has been generally assumed. To further test the hypothesis that unidirectional airflow is ancestral for Archosauria, we measured airflow in the lungs of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). As in birds and alligators, air flows cranially to caudally in the cervical ventral bronchus, and caudally to cranially in the dorsobronchi in the lungs of Nile crocodiles. We also visualized the gross anatomy of the primary, secondary and tertiary pulmonary bronchi of C. niloticus using computed tomography (CT) and microCT. The cervical ventral bronchus, cranial dorsobronchi and cranial medial bronchi display similar characteristics to their proposed homologues in the alligator, while there is considerable variation in the tertiary and caudal group bronchi. Our data indicate that the aspects of the crocodilian bronchial tree that maintain the aerodynamic valves and thus generate unidirectional airflow, are ancestral for Archosauria. PMID:23638399

  20. Lithium metal for x-ray refractive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Nino R.; Arms, Dohn A.; Clarke, Roy; Dierker, Steve B.; Dufresne, Eric; Foster, D.

    2001-12-01

    Lithium is the best material for refractive x-ray lenses, with peak performance around 8 keV. To date we have built a prototype of Cederstrom's so-called alligator lens, and have tested the lens with beamline 7ID's 10 keV x-rays on the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratories. To date we have attained only a threefold gain, most likely limited by surface roughness that is avoidable with more careful manufacturing techniques.

  1. Potential molecular wires by an iterative divergent/convergent approach. Doubling of molecular length at each iteration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Darren L.; Schumm, Jeffry S.; Jones, Leroy, II; Tour, James M.

    1994-06-01

    We have devised an iterative convergent/divergent approach to conjugated oligomers that might serve as molecular wires. The molecular length doubles with each iteration. The systems prepared are completely monodispersed and based upon oligo(thiophene-ethynylene)s (1) and oligo(phenylene-ethynylene)s at 100 A and 128 A long, respectively. The optical and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) properties are discussed. Methods are outlined to attach end groups that might serve as molecular alligator clips.

  2. The effect of hair bundle shape on hair bundle hydrodynamics of non-mammalian inner ear hair cells for the full frequency range.

    PubMed

    Shatz, Lisa F

    2004-09-01

    The effect of the size and the shape of the hair bundle of a hair cell in the inner ear of non-mammals on its motion for the full range of frequencies is determined thereby extending the results of a previous analysis of hair bundle motion for high and low frequencies [Hear Res. 141 (2000) 39-50]. A hemispheroid is used to represent the hair bundle because it can represent a full range of shapes, from thin, pencil-like shapes to wide, flat, disk-like shapes. Boundary element methods are used to approximate the solution for the hydrodynamics. For physiologically relevant parameters, an excellent match is obtained between the model's predictions and measurements of hair bundle motion in the free-standing region of the basilar papilla of the alligator lizard [Aranyosi, Measuring sound-induced motions of the alligator lizard cochlea. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD Thesis, 2002]. Neither in the model's predictions nor in experimental measurements is sharp tuning observed. The model predicted the low frequency region of neural tuning curves for the alligator lizard and bobtail lizard, but could not predict the sharp tuning or the high frequency region. An element that represents an active mechanism is added to the hair bundle model to predict neural tuning curves, which are sharply tuned, and an excellent match is obtained for all the characteristics of neural tuning curves for the alligator lizard, and for the low and high frequency regions for the bobtail lizard. The model does not predict well the sharp tuning of the shorter hair bundles of the bobtail lizard, possibly because it does not represent tectorial sallets.

  3. KSC-04PD-0170

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. As Karen Holloway-Adkins, KSC wildlife specialist, begins a tour of the Banana River, this alligator sunning itself attracts attention. Holloway-Adkins is studying the life history of sea turtles, especially what they eat, where they lay their eggs and what factors might harm their survival. On the boat trip she is also monitoring the growth of sea grasses and algae and the water quality of estuaries and lagoons used by sea turtles and other aquatic wildlife.

  4. Cartilaginous Epiphyses in Extant Archosaurs and Their Implications for Reconstructing Limb Function in Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Holliday, Casey M.; Ridgely, Ryan C.; Sedlmayr, Jayc C.; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2010-01-01

    Extinct archosaurs, including many non-avian dinosaurs, exhibit relatively simply shaped condylar regions in their appendicular bones, suggesting potentially large amounts of unpreserved epiphyseal (articular) cartilage. This “lost anatomy” is often underappreciated such that the ends of bones are typically considered to be the joint surfaces, potentially having a major impact on functional interpretation. Extant alligators and birds were used to establish an objective basis for inferences about cartilaginous articular structures in such extinct archosaur clades as non-avian dinosaurs. Limb elements of alligators, ostriches, and other birds were dissected, disarticulated, and defleshed. Lengths and condylar shapes of elements with intact epiphyses were measured. Limbs were subsequently completely skeletonized and the measurements repeated. Removal of cartilaginous condylar regions resulted in statistically significant changes in element length and condylar breadth. Moreover, there was marked loss of those cartilaginous structures responsible for joint architecture and congruence. Compared to alligators, birds showed less dramatic, but still significant changes. Condylar morphologies of dinosaur limb bones suggest that most non-coelurosaurian clades possessed large cartilaginous epiphyses that relied on the maintenance of vascular channels that are otherwise eliminated early in ontogeny in smaller-bodied tetrapods. A sensitivity analysis using cartilage correction factors (CCFs) obtained from extant taxa indicates that whereas the presence of cartilaginous epiphyses only moderately increases estimates of dinosaur height and speed, it has important implications for our ability to infer joint morphology, posture, and the complicated functional movements in the limbs of many extinct archosaurs. Evidence suggests that the sizes of sauropod epiphyseal cartilages surpassed those of alligators, which account for at least 10% of hindlimb length. These data suggest that

  5. Comprehensive cooling water study annual report. Volume X: endangered species, Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Gladden, J.B.; Lower, M.W.; Mackey, H.E.; Specht, W.L.; Wilde, E.W.

    1985-07-01

    Federally endangered species which occur on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) include the American alligator, red-cockaded woodpecker, the shortnose sturgeon, and the wood stork. Of these species, only the alligator, sturgeon, and wood stork are likely to be affected by the intake or release of cooling water at the SRP. The nearest colony of wood storks to the SRP is the Birdsville Colony, about 40-45 km southwest of potential foraging areas in the SRP Savannah River swamp. In 1983, it contained about six percent of the nesting pairs in the United States and produced about 250 fledglings. Its reproductive success was about the same in 1984. Based on the results of surveys made of foraging areas, both on SRP and offsite in 1983 and 1984, forage fish availability could be reduced by increased water depths in the Steel Creek delta area following L-Reactor restart with once-through cooling. Effluent discharge from SRP facilities probably limits the potential use of the SRP Savannah River swamp by foraging wood storks. The SRP supports a low-to-moderate alligator population. The current information available on the alligators of the SRP suggests that populations in suitable habitats (e.g., Beaver Dam Creek, Steel Creek, and Par Pond) should continue to benefit from the protection provided by the SRP and should remain stable or continue to increase. Based upon information from the literature and fisheries data for the Savannah River, the operations of the SRP do not appear to have adverse effects on the shortnose sturgeon. Based on known life history characteristics, there is no indication that spawning, rearing, or foraging habitats are affected by SRP operations. 64 refs., 20 figs., 12 tabs.

  6. Advances in molecular electronics: Synthesis and testing of potential molecular electronic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, David Wilson, Jr.

    New potential molecular electronics devices have been synthesized based on our knowledge of previous systems that have come out of our group. Previous studies and current studies have shown that simple molecular systems demonstrate negative differential resistance (NDR) and memory characteristics. The new systems rely primarily on the redox properties of the compounds to improve upon the solid state properties already observed. Most of these new organic compounds use thiol-based "alligator clips" for attachment to metal surfaces. Some of the compounds, however, contain different "alligator clips," primarily isonitriles, for attachment to metal substrates. It is our hope that these new "alligator clips" will offer lower conductivity barriers (higher current density). Electrochemical tests have been performed in order to evaluate those redox properties and in the hope of using those electrochemical results as a predictive tool to evaluate the usefulness of those compounds. Also, organic structures with polymerizable functionalities have been synthesized in order to cross-link the molecules once they are a part of a self-assembled monolayer (SAM). This has been shown to enable the electrochemical growth of polypyrrole from a SAM in a controllable manner.

  7. Evaluation of the Steel Creek ecosystem in relation to the proposed restart of the L-Reactor: interim report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-09-01

    This interim report of findings from studies by SREL has updated information on several key components of the Steel Creek ecosystem. We have emphasized two categories of the Steel Creek biota: Endangered Species (American alligator) and species for which environmental degradation within SRP boundaries might result in changes in offsite resource abundance. Wintering waterfowl surveys in the vicinity of the Steel Creek delta have demonstrated a pattern of increased utilization over the duration of these studies (1981-83). Wood stork utilization of SRP swamp areas also appeared to be substantially increased relative to previous years. Thermal alteration of the Steel Creek delta areas will eliminate this area as wood stork foraging habitat. Anadromous fish utilization of the Steel Creek area was also substantially increased in 1983 relative to 1982. The differences in anadromous fish species utilization patterns between 1982 and 1983 are probably a result of the markedly different river flow conditions between the two years. Studies of the American alligator have continued. No further reproduction by alligators has been observed in the Steel Creek system. 24 references, 14 figures, 13 tables.

  8. [Blood supply of the compact and spongy myocardium of fish, amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Romenskiĭ, O Iu

    1978-07-01

    Coronal arteries were injected with lead carbonate suspension and with Indian ink and cleared preparations 150--300 mkm thick were made in 195 hearts of fish, amphibians and reptiles and studied roentgenographically. It was stated that in Chondrichthyes (shark, skate) and in Chondrostei (beluga, stellate sturgeon, sturgeon), as well as in alligator both compact and spongy myocardium of the cardiac ventricle possess blood vessels. In teleostei, amphibians and reptiles (except alligator) spongy myocardium is avascular and receives its nutrition from the ventricle. In view of the data on the presence of blood vessels in the spongy myocardium in some vertebrates, it is impossible to accept the theory suggested by Grant and Regnier according to which vessels in the heart walls appear only in connection with compactization of the myocardium. Vascularization of the spongy myocardium is closely connected with oxygen saturation of the blood flowing through the heart. When this saturation is not satisfactory, the spongy myocardium has blood vessels. In alligator, vascularization of the spongy myocardium is connected with the fact that the heart has four chambers and there are arterial and venous blood streams.

  9. Threatened and Endangered Species Survey for Patrick Air Force Base, Florida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oddy, Donna M.; Stolen, Eric D.; Schmalzer, Paul A.; Larson, Vickie L.; Hall, Patrice; Hensley, Melissa A.

    1997-01-01

    characteristic of species that occur in the Indian River Lagoon system. Twenty-five species of waterbirds were observed during quarterly surveys on PAFB, including five species listed as species of special concern by the state of Florida: Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolo4, White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). The Golf Course was used extensively by almost all species of waterbirds on PAFB. Twenty-two species of shorebirds were observed on PAFB. Although no listed species were observed, the potential exists for several protected species of shorebirds to use the beach at PAFB during some parts of the year. The Airfield runways and associated grass areas were important sites at PAFB for loafing and feeding for some shorebirds. Surveys of rooftop nesting by Least Terns (Stema antillarum) on PAFB found a large colony on a rooftop in the PAFB Industrial Area. This colony produced some independent young. Two rooftop Least Tern colonies reported from previous years were inactive during 1996. A small number of Black Skimmers (Rhynchops nigee attempted to nest at the Least Ten colony but were unsuccessful. Surveys for the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) revealed burrows and tortoises only at the Waste Study Site; five burrows and three tortoises were observed. No Florida scrub lizards (Sceloporus woodi), eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon corais couperl), or diamondback terrapins (Malademys terrapin terrapin) were observed. American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were observed on the Golf Course and using ditches, ponds, and areas along the Banana River. The amount of dune habitat could be expanded by not mowing areas adjacent to the dunes to allow dune species to colonize and expand. Planting dune species as part of the beach renourishment project will also increase this habitat. Exotic plants dominate several areas on the base and are used by threatened, endangered, and

  10. Olfactory Receptor Subgenomes Linked with Broad Ecological Adaptations in Sauropsida.

    PubMed

    Khan, Imran; Yang, Zhikai; Maldonado, Emanuel; Li, Cai; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jarvis, Erich D; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E; Antunes, Agostinho

    2015-11-01

    Olfactory receptors (ORs) govern a prime sensory function. Extant birds have distinct olfactory abilities, but the molecular mechanisms underlining diversification and specialization remain mostly unknown. We explored OR diversity in 48 phylogenetic and ecologically diverse birds and 2 reptiles (alligator and green sea turtle). OR subgenomes showed species- and lineage-specific variation related with ecological requirements. Overall 1,953 OR genes were identified in reptiles and 16,503 in birds. The two reptiles had larger OR gene repertoires (989 and 964 genes, respectively) than birds (182-688 genes). Overall, birds had more pseudogenes (7,855) than intact genes (1,944). The alligator had significantly more functional genes than sea turtle, likely because of distinct foraging habits. We found rapid species-specific expansion and positive selection in OR14 (detects hydrophobic compounds) in birds and in OR51 and OR52 (detect hydrophilic compounds) in sea turtle, suggestive of terrestrial and aquatic adaptations, respectively. Ecological partitioning among birds of prey, water birds, land birds, and vocal learners showed that diverse ecological factors determined olfactory ability and influenced corresponding olfactory-receptor subgenome. OR5/8/9 was expanded in predatory birds and alligator, suggesting adaptive specialization for carnivory. OR families 2/13, 51, and 52 were correlated with aquatic adaptations (water birds), OR families 6 and 10 were more pronounced in vocal-learning birds, whereas most specialized land birds had an expanded OR family 14. Olfactory bulb ratio (OBR) and OR gene repertoire were correlated. Birds that forage for prey (carnivores/piscivores) had relatively complex OBR and OR gene repertoires compared with modern birds, including passerines, perhaps due to highly developed cognitive capacities facilitating foraging innovations. PMID:26219582

  11. Con-specific neighbours may enhance compensation capacity in an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Lu, X; Dai, H; Ding, J

    2010-05-01

    Facilitation, both by inter- and intra-specific neighbours, is known to be an important process in structuring plant communities. However, only a small number of experiments have been reported on facilitation in plant invasions, especially between invasive con-specific individuals. Here, we focus on how con-specific neighbours of the invasive alien plant alligator weed affect the tolerance of alligator weed to herbivory by the introduced biological control agent, Agasicles hygrophila. We conducted greenhouse and garden experiments in which invasive plant density and herbivory intensity (artificial clipping and real herbivory) were manipulated. In the greenhouse experiment, artificial clipping significantly reduced plant biomass when plants were grown individually, but when con-specific neighbours were present in the same pot, biomass was not significantly different from control plants. Similarly, when compared to control plants, plants that were subjected to herbivory by A. hygrophila produced more biomass when grown with two con-specific neighbours than when grown alone. Real herbivory also resulted in an increased number of vegetative buds, and again when two con-specific neighbours were present this effect was increased (a 55.3% increase in buds when there was no neighbour, but a 111.6% increase in buds when two con-specific neighbours were present). In the garden experiment, in which plants were grown at high density (6 plants per pot), alligator weed fully recovered from defoliation caused by insects at levels from 20-30% to 100%. Our results indicate that the con-specific association may increase the compensatory ability to cope with intense damage in this invasive plant.

  12. Hydrothermal systematics, alteration, and mineralization in the Grant Canyon, Bacon Flat, and Blackburn Oil Fields, Nevada - Intriguing Parallels with Carlin-Type gold deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Hulen, J.B.; Nielson, D.L. )

    1993-08-01

    Nevada's three known thermally active oil reservoirs-Blackburn, Bacon Flat, and Grand Canyon-share a surprisingly long list of essential attributes with the Carlin-type, low-grade, sediment-hosted gold deposits, particularly those of the Alligator Ridge mining district. Like these rich precious-metal ore bodies, the three fields (1) are hosted by Paleozoic carbonate and calcareous silici-clastic strata; (2) occur in structural or structural/stratigraphic traps sealed beneath shales or hydrothermally argillized and silicified tuffs and epiclastic debris, (3) have undergone intense fracturing and brecciation, as well as massive hydrothermal decalcification as major porosity-creating processes; (4) occupy rocks partly altered to or veined by the secondary-mineral assemblage quartz-kaolin-barite-pyrite-marcasite; (5) have a direct geothermal connection; (6) are enriched in the elements arsenic, antimony, mercury, thallium, and even contain significant traces of gold-up 50 ppb in altered Mississippian Chainmain Shale in the Blackburn field. Moreover, measured temperatures, as well as late-stage, fluid-inclusion homogenization temperatures (T[sub h]) at the fields-all in the range 100-135[degrees]C-fall within the fluid-inclusion T[sub h] span of 90-165[degrees]C recorded for multiple Alligator Ridge deposits. Fracture-controlled live oil and oil-bearing fluid inclusions in some of the Alligator Ridge ores provide further evidence of genetic similarities with the oil reservoirs. The authors suggest that the three oil fields could represent either weakly mineralized analogs of the gold deposits or an incipient phase in their evolution ultimately leading to ore mineralization.

  13. Application of vascular aquatic plants for pollution removal, energy and food production in a biological system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Barlow, R. M.; Mcdonald, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Vascular aquatic plants such as water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (Mart.) Griesb., when utilized in a controlled biological system (including a regular program of harvesting to achieve maximum growth and pollution removal efficiency), may represent a remarkably efficient and inexpensive filtration and disposal system for toxic materials and sewage released into waters near urban and industrial areas. The harvested and processed plant materials are sources of energy, fertilizer, animal feed, and human food. Such a system has industrial, municipal, and agricultural applications.

  14. A continuation of base-line studies for environmentally monitoring Space Transportation Systems (STS) at John F. Kennedy Space Center. Volume 4: Threatened and endangered species of the Kennedy Space Center. Part 2: Threatened and endangered birds and other threatened and endangered forms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ehrhart, L. M.

    1980-01-01

    Data are presented which were collected by ground and aerial surveillance of 37 species of birds observed within the environs of KSC which are on lists of rare and endangered biota in Florida. Additional information was obtained on other threatened species such as the West Indian manatee, the salt marsh snake, the Indigo snake, the Gopher tortoise, the American alligator, and the Florida mouse. Results of the literature search were used to obtain a historical perspective and aid in the analysis of the field data collected.

  15. Light O{sup ++} Mesons: Scalargators in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Pennington, M. R.

    2010-08-05

    Light scalar mesons abound in hadron processes, like the alligators in the Florida Everglades. Moreover, scalars are intimately tied to the vacuum structure of QCD. They are the product of many decays. Consequently, a rich source of recent information about them has come from experiments producing heavy flavour mesons. Indeed, scalars will continue to dominate many of the processes to be studied at forthcoming facilities like BESIII in Beijing, FAIR at GSI Darmstadt and the GlueX experiment at JLab, making an understanding (or at least an excellent and theoretically consistent description) essential for the physics missions of these facilities.

  16. New microlaryngeal instruments for phonatory surgery and pediatric applications.

    PubMed

    Shapshay, S M; Healy, G B

    1989-10-01

    A new microlaryngeal instrument set has been developed for phonatory surgery in adults and for pediatric laryngology. This 20-instrument set consists of forceps (cupped and alligator type) and scissors with 1-mm distal grasping and cutting tips. Open tip and whistle tip variety suction instruments with tip diameters of 1.0, 1.5, and 2 mm are also available. Included as well are fine (1.0-mm) probes for palpation and laser welding and smoke evacuation double-action grasping forceps. This microlaryngeal instrument set has been extremely useful in more than 80 clinical applications.

  17. KSC-05PD-1705

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. In a pond near Launch Pad 39B, an alligator lurks near the tall grass. Nearby is Space Shuttle Discovery, in full launch configuration after rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS). Rollback of the RSS is a major preflight milestone, typically occurring during the T-11-hour hold on L-1 (the day before launch). Discovery is scheduled to lift off on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114 at 10:39 a.m. EDT July 26 with a crew of seven.

  18. KSC-05PD-1704

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. In a pond near Launch Pad 39B, an alligator lurks near the tall grass. Nearby is Space Shuttle Discovery, in full launch configuration after rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS). Rollback of the RSS is a major preflight milestone, typically occurring during the T-11-hour hold on L-1 (the day before launch). Discovery is scheduled to lift off on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114 at 10:39 a.m. EDT July 26 with a crew of seven.

  19. KSC-05PD-1706

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. In a pond near Launch Pad 39B, an alligator lurks near the tall grass on the lower right side. In the background is Space Shuttle Discovery, in full launch configuration after rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS). Rollback of the RSS is a major preflight milestone, typically occurring during the T-11-hour hold on L-1 (the day before launch). Discovery is scheduled to lift off on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114 at 10:39 a.m. EDT July 26 with a crew of seven.

  20. Climate changes, shifting ranges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romanach, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Even a fleeting mention of the Everglades conjures colorful images of alligators, panthers, flamingos, and manatees. Over the centuries, this familiar cast of characters has become synonymous with life in south Florida. But the workings of a changing climate have the potential to significantly alter the menagerie of animals that call this area home. Global projections suggest south Florida wildlife will need to contend with higher temperatures, drier conditions, and rising seas in the years ahead. Recent modeling efforts shed new light on the potential outcomes these changes may have for threatened and endangered species in the area.

  1. A Universal Spring-Probe System for Reliable Probing of Electrochemical Lab-on-a-Chip Devices

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Moon-Keun; Lee, Tae Jae; Choi, Ho Woon; Shin, Su Jeong; Park, Jung Youn; Lee, Seok Jae

    2014-01-01

    For achieve sensitivity in lab-on-a-chip electrochemical detection, more reliable probing methods are required, especially for repeated measurements. Spring-probes are a promising candidate method which can replace needle-like probes and alligator clips that usually produce scratches on the surface of gold electrodes due to the strong physical contacts needed for electrochemical measurements. The superior reliability of amperometric measurements by a spring-probe system was compared with results by conventional probing methods. We demonstrated that a universal spring-probe system would be potentially suitable to achieve high performance in lab-on-a-chip devices using electrochemical detection. PMID:24406857

  2. Geothermal pipeline: Progress and development update from the geothermal progress monitor

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-01

    This document is a progress and development update from the Geothermal Progress Monitor prepared by the Geo-Heat Center at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Several upcoming meetings and workshops in the field of geothermal energy and resource development are announced. Geothermal exploration and development projects in several areas are described in this document: New San Luis Valley Training Program, Fish and Alligator Ranching in Idaho, the geothermal drilling operation at Newberry Volcanic Crater near Bend, Oregon, and Australian Red Claw Lobster raised in aquaculture ponds at Belmont Hot Springs, Utah.

  3. Right atriotomy using total venous inflow occlusion for removal of heartworms in a cat.

    PubMed

    Iizuka, Tomoya; Hoshi, Katsuichiro; Ishida, Yuzuru; Sakata, Ikuo

    2009-04-01

    Heartworm infection with caval syndrome was detected in a thirteen-year-old male cat. However, removal of the heartworms via a jugular venotomy was infeasible because the size of the jugular vein limited our ability to use flexible alligator forceps. Therefore, a right atriotomy using total venous inflow occlusion was performed to remove the heartworms. The procedure was accomplished successfully, and the cat recovered from its symptoms. The present case suggests that right atriotomy using venous inflow occlusion is practical for removal and prevention of rupture of heartworms.

  4. Current shot noise characteristics in biphenyl diamine and biphenyl dithiol devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    kalsoom, Ambreen; Song, Siyu; Li, Guiqin

    2014-09-01

    Current shot noise characteristics, away from their average current, in biphenyl diamine and biphenyl dithiol devices are investigated. The relations among the shot noise and the applied bias, the coupling factors, as well as the alligator clips are revealed. The regular change of the shot noise in biphenyl diamine device and irregular change of the shot noise in biphenyl dithiol device are shown as the coupling strength change from full coupling to weak coupling. It is found that the shot noise suppression in biphenyl diamine device is enhanced at the higher bias. The large differences of the shot noise suppression in the biphenyl dithiol device are revealed.

  5. A Novel Endoscopic Method to Relieve Food Impaction Using an Inflatable Balloon.

    PubMed

    Anand, Rohit; Garg, Shashank; Dubin, Ethan; Dutta, Sudhir

    2015-01-01

    Food impaction in the esophagus is a relatively common medical emergency. Most of these food impactions are relieved spontaneously. But for complete esophageal food impactions or impactions not relieved spontaneously, traditional endoscopic methods like using a Roth net, polypectomy snare, or rat or alligator tooth forceps are used to gently manipulate the food material into the stomach. However, these methods may not work in certain circumstances. We present a case of proximal esophageal food impaction that was relieved using an inflatable balloon after the conventional methods proved unsuccessful. PMID:26266059

  6. Impacted Sharp Oesophageal Foreign Bodies--A Novel Technique of Removal with the Paediatric Bronchoscope.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Aparajita; Bajpai, Minu

    2016-04-01

    Sharp foreign bodies in the oesophagus may present as an entirely asymptomatic child with only radiological evidence but require emergent surgical management. Safety pins, razor blades and needles are a few of the commonly ingested sharp objects in developing countries. The open safety pin is a particularly interesting clinical problem, as the management depends on its location and orientation. Many methods and instruments have been used over the years to remove them from the upper digestive tract. We present a novel method using the rigid paediatric bronchoscope and alligator forceps for the extraction of this unusual foreign body from the oesophagus of a 6 year old girl. PMID:26851436

  7. A Micromechanical Contribution to Cochlear Tuning and Tonotopic Organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holton, Thomas; Hudspeth, A. J.

    1983-11-01

    The response properties of hair cells and nerve fibers in the alligator lizard cochlea are frequency selective and tonotopically organized with longitudinal position in the organ. The lengths of the hair-cell hair bundles also vary monotonically with longitudinal position. In this study, quantitative measurements were made of the motion of individual hair bundles in an excised preparation of the cochlea stimulated at auditory frequencies. The angular displacement of hair bundles is frequency selective and tonotopically organized, demonstrating the existence of a micromechanical tuning mechanism.

  8. Direct comparison of the electronic coupling efficiency of sulfur and selenium anchoring groups for molecules adsorbed onto gold electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrone, L.; Palacin, S.; Bourgoin, J. P.; Lagoute, J.; Zambelli, T.; Gauthier, S.

    2002-08-01

    We performed air and ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy experiments in order to compare the electronic coupling provided by S and by Se used as alligator clips for bisthiol- and biselenol-terthiophene molecules adsorbed onto gold. The molecules were inserted in a dodecanethiol self-assembled monolayer. Their apparent height above the dodecanethiol matrix was used as a measure of the electronic coupling strength corresponding to S and Se, respectively. We show that the insertion behaviors of the two molecules are qualitatively the same, and that Se provides systematically a better coupling link than S whatever the tunneling conditions.

  9. Active oil seep at Nevada gold mine holds intrigue for more exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnell, M.L.; Blake, J.G. ); Hulen, J.B. )

    1991-07-15

    This paper reports on an active oil seep has been discovered in one of Nevada's famous Carlin-type low grade disseminated gold deposits. This unique seep, at the Yankee gold mine in White Pine County, may have important implications for both oil and gas and gold exploration in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. The open pit Yankee mine, near the western margin of Long Valley, exploits one of numerous Carlin-type gold ore bodies in the alligator Ridge mining district; all are currently owned and operated by USMX Corp.

  10. Light O++ Mesons: Scalargators in Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennington, M. R.

    2010-08-01

    Light scalar mesons abound in hadron processes, like the alligators in the Florida Everglades. Moreover, scalars are intimately tied to the vacuum structure of QCD. They are the product of many decays. Consequently, a rich source of recent information about them has come from experiments producing heavy flavour mesons. Indeed, scalars will continue to dominate many of the processes to be studied at forthcoming facilities like BESIII in Beijing, FAIR at GSI Darmstadt and the GlueX experiment at JLab, making an understanding (or at least an excellent and theoretically consistent description) essential for the physics missions of these facilities.

  11. Swamp to Space exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The menacing-looking alligator is really harmless. It is one of the realistic props to help convince visitors that the feel of the swamp is real in StenniSphere's Swamp to Space exhibit at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss. The historical section of the Swamp to Space exhibit tells the story of why and how Stennis Space Center came to be. It also pays tribute to the families who moved their homes to make way for the space age in Mississippi.

  12. Cutaneous fibroma in a captive common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    PubMed

    Gonzales-Viera, O; Bauer, G; Bauer, A; Aguiar, L S; Brito, L T; Catão-Dias, J L

    2012-11-01

    An adult female common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) had a mass on the plantar surface of the right forelimb that was removed surgically. Microscopical examination revealed many spindle cells with mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and a surrounding collagenous stroma. There were no mitoses. Immunohistochemistry showed that the spindle cells expressed vimentin, but not desmin. A diagnosis of cutaneous fibroma was made. Tumours are reported uncommonly in chelonian species. Cutaneous fibroma has been diagnosed in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), but not previously in a common snapping turtle. PMID:22578330

  13. Nondestructive measurement of large objects with electron paramagnetic resonance: Pottery, sculpture, and jewel ornament

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeya, Motoji; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Ishii, Hiroshi

    1994-12-01

    A cylindicral cavity of TE111 mode with an aperture of 3 mm in diameter has been used to measure the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum of a large object placed over the aperture. EPR spectra of a precious fossil of a dinosaur tooth piece and a fossil bone of the Machikane Alligator were measured nondestructively in addition to a jadeite sculpture, a pearl and turquoise necklace, a large turmaline, a star ruby, and ceramic pottery. Thus, EPR can be a nondestructive tool to detect forgery and to test the authenticity in art as well as to allocate ancient objects in archaeological provenance study.

  14. A study of radionuclides, metals and stable lead isotope ratios in sediments and soils in the vicinity of natural U-mineralisation areas in the Northern Territory.

    PubMed

    Frostick, A; Bollhöfer, A; Parry, D

    2011-10-01

    Australian guidelines recommend that tailings materials from uranium (U) mining and milling be contained without any detrimental impact on the environment for at least 1000 years. Natural analogue sites are being investigated to determine if they can provide data on the rates of natural erosion processes which occur over these timescales, for input into predictive geomorphic computer models. This paper presents radionuclide, metal and stable lead (Pb) isotope data from sediment cores and surface soils in the vicinity of two mineralised areas in the Alligator Rivers Region. Surface scrapes from the natural Anomaly #2, south of the Ranger mineral lease, exhibit radiogenic (206)Pb/(207)Pb and (208)Pb/(207)Pb ratios, and elevated U and metal concentrations typical for a near surface U anomaly. In contrast, samples taken from the Koongarra mineral lease (KML) show radionuclide activity and metal concentrations similar to natural areas elsewhere in the Alligator Rivers Region and Pb isotope ratios are closer to present day average crustal ratios (PDAC), as the orebodies at KML are covered by surficial sand. A sediment core collected from Anbangbang Billabong, downstream of KML, exhibits small variations in Pb isotope ratios that indicate that approximately 1% of the upper sediments in the sediment core may be derived from material originating from the U anomaly at Koongarra.

  15. Salinity Effects on Photosynthesis and Growth in Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. 1

    PubMed Central

    Longstreth, David J.; Bolaños, Jorge A.; Smith, James E.

    1984-01-01

    Alternanthera philoxeroides, alligator weed, was grown at five different NaCl concentrations to determine the effect of salinity on factors related to the net rate of CO2 uptake (Pn). Over the range of 0 to 400 millimolar NaCl, Pn declined 51%. Stomatal conductance declined in parallel with Pn and as a result there was no reduction in intercellular CO2 concentration and therefore no reduction in the amount of CO2 available for photosynthesis. The CO2 compensation point did not change with salt stress. Increases in leaf thickness tended to compensate slightly for the negative effects of salinity on leaf cell metabolism, at least in relation to Pn. On a mesophyll cell area basis, soluble protein was relatively constant in leaves developed at 100 to 400 millimolar NaCl while total chlorophyll decreased at all salinities. Dry weight production and Pn were closely correlated in alligator weed grown at different salinities. Plants produced less leaf area per unit dry weight as salinity increased, which may aid in water conservation. PMID:16663731

  16. 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.

  17. Using scenario planning to evaluate the impacts of climate change on wildlife populations and communities in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Catano, Christopher P.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Beerens, James M.; Pearlstine, Leonard G.; Brandt, Laura A.; Hart, Kristen M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Trexler, Joel C.

    2015-01-01

    It is uncertain how climate change will impact hydrologic drivers of wildlife population dynamics in freshwater wetlands of the Florida Everglades, or how to accommodate this uncertainty in restoration decisions. Using projections of climate scenarios for the year 2060, we evaluated how several possible futures could affect wildlife populations (wading birds, fish, alligators, native apple snails, amphibians, threatened and invasive species) across the Everglades landscape and inform planning already underway. We used data collected from prior research and monitoring to parameterize our wildlife population models. Hydrologic data were simulated using a spatially explicit, regional-scale model. Our scenario evaluations show that expected changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level could significantly alter important ecological functions. All of our wildlife indicators were negatively affected by scenarios with less rainfall and more evapotranspiration. Under such scenarios, habitat suitability was substantially reduced for iconic animals such as wading birds and alligators. Conversely, the increased rainfall scenario benefited aquatic prey productivity and apex predators. Cascading impacts on non-native species is speculative, but increasing temperatures could increase the time between cold events that currently limit expansion and abundance of non-native fishes, amphibians, and reptiles with natural ranges in the tropics. This scenario planning framework underscored the benefits of proceeding with Everglades restoration plans that capture and clean more freshwater with the potential to mitigate rainfall loss and postpone impacts of sea level rise.

  18. Using Scenario Planning to Evaluate the Impacts of Climate Change on Wildlife Populations and Communities in the Florida Everglades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catano, Christopher P.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Beerens, James M.; Pearlstine, Leonard G.; Brandt, Laura A.; Hart, Kristen M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Trexler, Joel C.

    2015-04-01

    It is uncertain how climate change will impact hydrologic drivers of wildlife population dynamics in freshwater wetlands of the Florida Everglades, or how to accommodate this uncertainty in restoration decisions. Using projections of climate scenarios for the year 2060, we evaluated how several possible futures could affect wildlife populations (wading birds, fish, alligators, native apple snails, amphibians, threatened and invasive species) across the Everglades landscape and inform planning already underway. We used data collected from prior research and monitoring to parameterize our wildlife population models. Hydrologic data were simulated using a spatially explicit, regional-scale model. Our scenario evaluations show that expected changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level could significantly alter important ecological functions. All of our wildlife indicators were negatively affected by scenarios with less rainfall and more evapotranspiration. Under such scenarios, habitat suitability was substantially reduced for iconic animals such as wading birds and alligators. Conversely, the increased rainfall scenario benefited aquatic prey productivity and apex predators. Cascading impacts on non-native species is speculative, but increasing temperatures could increase the time between cold events that currently limit expansion and abundance of non-native fishes, amphibians, and reptiles with natural ranges in the tropics. This scenario planning framework underscored the benefits of proceeding with Everglades restoration plans that capture and clean more freshwater with the potential to mitigate rainfall loss and postpone impacts of sea level rise.

  19. Postembryonic Nephrogenesis and Persistence of Six2-Expressing Nephron Progenitor Cells in the Reptilian Kidney.

    PubMed

    Camarata, Troy; Howard, Alexis; Elsey, Ruth M; Raza, Sarah; O'Connor, Alice; Beatty, Brian; Conrad, Jack; Solounias, Nikos; Chow, Priscilla; Mukta, Saima; Vasilyev, Aleksandr

    2016-01-01

    New nephron formation (nephrogenesis) ceases in mammals around birth and is completely absent in adults. In contrast, postembryonic nephrogenesis is well documented in the mesonephric kidneys of fishes and amphibians. The transient mesonephros in reptiles (including birds) and mammals is replaced by the metanephros during embryogenesis. Thus, one may speculate that postembryonic nephrogenesis is restricted to the mesonephric kidney. Previous reports have suggested the metanephros of non-avian reptiles (hereafter reptiles) may continually form nephrons throughout life. We investigated the presence of adult nephrogenesis in reptiles by examining adult kidneys from several species including Trachemys scripta, Chrysemys picta, Boa constrictor, Tupinambis tegu, Anolis carolinensis, and Alligator mississipiensis among others. We found that all major reptilian groups (Testudines, Crocodylia, and Squamates) showed the presence of adult nephrogenesis. The total amount of nephrogenesis varied greatly between species with turtles displaying the highest density of nephrogenesis. In contrast, we were unable to detect adult nephrogenesis in monotremes, and in the iguanid A. carolinensis. Nephron progenitor cells express the transcription factor Six2, which in mammals, becomes downregulated as the progenitor cell population is exhausted and nephrogenesis ends. Using the alligator as a model, we were able to detect Six2-positive cap mesenchyme cells in the adult kidney, which spatially correlated with areas of nephrogenesis. These results suggest that the metanephric kidney of reptiles has maintained the ability to continually grow new nephrons during postembryonic life, a process lost early in mammalian evolution, likely due to the persistence of a Six2-expressing progenitor cell population. PMID:27144443

  20. A New Class of SINEs with snRNA Gene-Derived Heads

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Kenji K.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are colonized by various transposons including short interspersed elements (SINEs). The 5′ region (head) of the majority of SINEs is derived from one of the three types of RNA genes—7SL RNA, transfer RNA (tRNA), or 5S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)—and the internal promoter inside the head promotes the transcription of the entire SINEs. Here I report a new group of SINEs whose heads originate from either the U1 or U2 small nuclear RNA gene. These SINEs, named SINEU, are distributed among crocodilians and classified into three families. The structures of the SINEU-1 subfamilies indicate the recurrent addition of a U1- or U2-derived sequence onto the 5′ end of SINEU-1 elements. SINEU-1 and SINEU-3 are ancient and shared among alligators, crocodiles, and gharials, while SINEU-2 is absent in the alligator genome. SINEU-2 is the only SINE family that was active after the split of crocodiles and gharials. All SINEU families, especially SINEU-3, are preferentially inserted into a family of Mariner DNA transposon, Mariner-N4_AMi. A group of Tx1 non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons designated Tx1-Mar also show target preference for Mariner-N4_AMi, indicating that SINEU was mobilized by Tx1-Mar. PMID:26019167