Science.gov

Sample records for blunt-nosed leopard lizard

  1. Diet of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, on Naval Petroleum Reserves No. 1 and No. 2, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; Rose, B.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1987-09-01

    A preliminary inventory of the prey consumed by the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus) was conducted by analysis of prey fragments present in scat collected during 1982 and 1984. Information on the diet of this species and a method to collect serial samples without sacrificing individuals were needed before an assessment of the potential effects of Malathion spraying to control the beet leafhopper (Circulifer tennelus) could be conducted. The study indicated that analysis of scats can accurately determine the diet of this endangered species. The diet of blunt-nosed leopard lizards as determined from 16 scats in order of numerical importance was: grasshoppers (orthropterans) (54.5%), bees (hymenopterans) (18.2%), true bugs (hemipterans) (16.7%), beetles (coleopterans) (4.5%), and lizards (4.5%). These results are similar to those reported by Tollestrup (1979) and Montanucci (1965, 1967) in the high proportion of diet consisting of insects. Results confirmed that vertebrates are sometimes consumed by blunt-nosed leopard lizards, as was reported by Montanucci (1967); Tollestrup (1979) found no vertebrate remains in stomachs. The combination of scat analysis and monitoring by radiotelemetry provided techniques which will permit collecting sufficient data to determine whether pest control programs negatively affect blunt-nosed leopard lizards.

  2. Distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard on the Naval Petroleum Reserves, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; Rose, B.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1987-09-01

    The distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, was studied on and adjacent to Naval Petroleum Reserves No. 1 (NPR-1, Elk Hills), and No. 2 (NPR-2, Buena Vista), Kern County, CAlifornia. A total of 262 blunt-nosed leopard lizards were seen over 8 years (1979-1987) in 28 sections of NPR-1, 15 sections of NPR-2, and 10 sections adjacent to the petroleum reserves. All but one were in areas of gentle or flat relief with sparse annual ground cover. Home range size and overlap, activity patterns, and habitat use were determined from monitoring blunt-nosed leopard lizards fitted with miniature radiocollars on two study sites. Mean home range size estimated by the minimum polygon method was 2.7 acres for female blunt-nosed leopard lizards, which was significantly smaller than the 5.4 acres mean home range size for males inhabiting a major wash. The structure of the habitat affected significantly the lizards' activity and burrow use. Lizards inhabiting the wash study site were more frequently seen on the surface not associated with a burrow than lizards in the more sparsely vegetated grassland study site (63% compared with 48% of their sightings); 51.5% of the sightings for lizards in the grassland study site were associated with burrows, compared with 37.1% for lizards in the wash study site. Burrows were not shared and some burrows were used more than once (30% of burrows and 62% of burrow sightings).

  3. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Michael F; Stewart, Joseph A E; Tennant, Erin N; Butterfield, H Scott; Sinervo, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity.

  4. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity. PMID:27136458

  5. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Michael F; Stewart, Joseph A E; Tennant, Erin N; Butterfield, H Scott; Sinervo, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity. PMID:27136458

  6. Biological assessment of the effects of petroleum production at maximum efficient rate, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills), Kern County, California, on the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1986-06-01

    Surveys to determine the distribution and relative abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards on Naval Petroleum Reserve-1 were conducted in 1980 and 1981. In 1982 radiotelemetry and pitfall trapping techniques were used to gain additional information on the species and develop alternative methods of study. Incidental observations of blunt-nosed leopard lizards were recorded and used in the distribution information for NPR-1. DOE determined during this biological assessment that the construction projects and operational activities necessary to achieve and sustain MER have not adversely affected the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and its habitat, because only approximately 6% of the potential blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitat on NPR-1 was disturbed by construction and operational activities. DOE believes that the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of MER will not jeopardize the continued existence of the species, because results of surveys indicated that blunt-nosed leopard lizards are mainly distributed near the periphery of Elk Hills where few petroleum developments occurred in the past and where they are unlikely to occur in the future. A policy of conducting preconstruction surveys to protect blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitat was initiated, a habitat restoration plan was developed and implemented, and administrative policies to reduce vehicle speeds, contain oil spills, restrict off-road vehicle (ORV) travel, and to prohibit public access, livestock grazing, and agricultural activities were maintained.

  7. Relationship between abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards, Crotaphytus silus, and intensity of petroleum field development in Kern County, California, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.

    1980-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the distribution and relative abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards, Crotaphytus silus, on three sections of BLM land impacted by light to moderate petroleum developments; (2) correlate relative density estimates with absolute density estimates, characteristics of the dominant vegetation associations, density of animal burrows, percent open space, and level of oil field development; and (3) determine the radius of movement for the species. Relative densities of lizards in each section were measured by counting all lizards seen during four surveys conducted between May and July 1980.

  8. Elk Hills Endangered Species Program: environmental assessment of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus silus. Phase 2, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Mullen, R.K.

    1981-02-01

    This report represents an extension of previous findings concerning the status of the endangered species, Crotaphytus silus (blunt-nosed leopard lizard) on the Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 1 (NPR-1), Elk Hills, California. Previous findings in 1979 were limited to superficial observations of the occurrence and distribution of C. silus on NPR-1. The present report details findings from more extensive field work conducted from late May to early August 1980, and complements the 1979 work. The ultimate purpose of the investigations reported here is to provide sufficient bases for making informed decisions concerning the relationships of present and possible future oil-related activities at Elk Hills to the status of C. silus. There have been no particularly unique life history indicators of environmental impact on C. silus mediated through activities on NPR-1. Observations may be made, however, on the seasonal correlates of such activities: (1) individual C. silus may be buried or fatally exposed to the environment by construction activities occurring during the species' hibernation; (2) during periods when adult C. silus is active on the surface, construction activities may displace individuals that may not then be able to successfully occupy a new range, although it is to be noted in this regard that the home range of the species can be rather plastic; (3) construction activities bury or expose nest chambers of C. silus. This would unfavorably affect an average of three potential hatchlings with each burial or exposure; and (4) construction occurring when only (or predominantly) hatchlings are active on the surface may affect animals less able to avoid these activities than adults. In addition, hibernating adults will be affected, as previously noted.

  9. Potential of BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey Counties, California, as critical habitats for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; McCue, P.; Kato, T.

    1981-11-01

    The major objectives were to determine the presence and relative density of the San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard on BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey counties, California, and to determine the potential of these lands as critical habitat for these endangered species. A total of 6220 acres in the Ciervo Hills and 4000 acres near Coalinga were surveyed for both San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizards; 810 acres in the Griswold Hills were surveyed for kit fox only; and 2000 acres in the Tumey Hills were surveyed for blunt-nosed leopard lizards only. Eight line transects per mile were used to gather information on: (1) kit fox dens, scats, tracks, and remains of their prey; (2) presence of blunt-nosed leopard lizards; (3) vegetation associations; (4) density of rodent burrows on lands surveyed for leopard lizards; (5) topography; (6) evidence of human activities; (7) presence of other wildlife species; and (8) any additional scientific data related to endangered species. Night spotlight surveys were conducted in the Ciervo Hills, Griswold Hills, and on lands adjacent to Coalinga and San Ardo to document presence of kit fox, their potential prey, and other vertebrates. Of BLM land surveyed in 1981, the Coalinga Land Unit had the highest potential as critical habitat for the San Joaquin kit fox, the Ciervo Hills Land Unit was ranked second,and parcels in the Griswold Hills received the lowest score given since inventories were initiated in 1979. Public lands in the Salinas Valley were too steep to serve as habitat for kit fox. Over 70% of the parcels had only fair to no potential as critical habitat for the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. BLM lands near Coalinga and those in the central plateau of the Tumey Hills visually appeared to have some potential as habitat for the species.

  10. Assessment of proposed agricultural outleasing - Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus (=Gambelia) silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1982-11-01

    The United States Navy proposes to outlease lands adjacent to the runways of Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, for agricultural purposes. These lands are currently undeveloped annual grasslands that have been modified by past land management practices. The proposed site is thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. It has also been speculated that another endangered species, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, may occur on the station. The objectives of this study were to determine whether kit fox and leopard lizards occurred on NAS, Lemoore, and to assess the possible impacts of the agricultural outlease program on these species and their essential habitats. Between 24 to 28 May 1982, ground transects studies, a helicopter overflight, night spotlight surveys, and live-trapping for kit fox were conducted on approximately 2700 acres to determine presence of the species. No evidence of either kit fox or blunt-nosed leopard lizards was found. It is unlikely that the Navy's proposed outlease program will negatively affect either species or jeopardize their continued existence.

  11. Possible effects of drilling operations in Section 6D, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.

    1982-12-01

    Getty Oil Company requested permission from the US Department of Energy to drill 10 petroleum wells and one water disposal well in Section 6D, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California, which is thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and two sensitive species: the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective of this study was to assess the possible impacts of development drilling on these species and their essential habitats. Most of the proposed wells will be located on or near existing well pads; therefore, only 2 hectares of potential habitat will be disturbed. Although 21 kit fox dens were found, none were closer than 10 m from proposed well pads, and most were more than 40 m away. No evidence of either the blunt-nosed leopard lizard or giant kangaroo rat was gathered. Ten San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels were observed. Although 2 hectares of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate that any of the species has burrows that will be lost during landclearing. Loss of vegetation may have some small, unknown impacts on food supplies for species preyed upon by kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizards, but the disturbed vegetation represents a small fraction of the food supplies available in the surrounding habitat. Because the project poses few threats to individuals of the endangered or sensitive species surveyed, it was concluded that completion of the drilling is unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of any of the species or their essential habitats if: (1) present kit fox dens are protected during construction activities, (2) topsoil removed during land-levelling is used to reclaim past disturbances of the habitat, and (3) artificial kit fox dens are installed to compensate for the possible loss of denning sites.

  12. Biological assessment: possible impacts of exploratory drilling in sections 8B and 18H, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1982-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy proposes to drill exploratory wells on two sections, 8B and 18H, within Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 in western Kern County, California. The proposed sites are thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, as well as two sensitive species: the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective was to assess the possible impacts of the exploratory drilling on these species and their essential habitats. Although 23 potential San Joaquin kit fox den sites were found during surveys of a total of 512 ha (1280 acres) surrounding both well sites, no burrows were closer than 30 m from proposed disturbance, and most were over 200 m away. Two blunt-nosed leopard lizards were observed on private land within 8B, one was observed on private land in 18H, and two were seen on DOE portions of 18H. No evidence of blunt-nosed leopard lizards was gathered in the immediate vicinity of either proposed well site. Although 5 ha of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate any of the species has burrows on-site that will be lost during land clearing. Loss of habitat will be mitigated during the cleanup and restoration phases when disturbed areas will be revegetated. Increased traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibration levels, as well as illumination throughout the night, may disturb the fauna. However, these species have adapted to intensive human disturbances on Elk Hills without obvious negative effects. The short duration of the project should allow any displaced animals to return to the sites after drilling ceases.

  13. Biological assessment: possible impacts of exploratory drilling in Section 18B, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.

    1981-11-01

    The proposed site is thought to provide habitat for the endangered an Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, as well as the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective of this study was to assess the possible impacts of the exploratory drilling on these species and their essential habitats. The proposed project will have four phases: (1) surveying; (2) site preparation; (3) drilling, logging, and testing; and (4) cleanup and restoration. During site preparation approximately 1.5 acres of vegetation and surface soils will be removed for an access road and well pad. During a 20-day drilling, logging, and testing phase, there will be increased vehicular traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibrations, and illumination during the night. Although 1.5 acres of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate any of the species has burrows on-site that will be lost during land clearing. Loss of habitat will be mitigated during the cleanup and restoration phases when disturbed areas will be revegetated. Increased traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibration levels, as well as illumination throughout the night, may disturb the fauna. However, these species have adapted to intensive human disturbances on Elk Hills without obvious negative effects. The most direct threat to the species is the possibility that they might be killed by vehicles. Since the project poses so few threats to individual endangered or sensitive species, and since minor habitat disturbances will be mitigated during a restoration program, it is unlikely that completion of the project jeopardizes the continued existence of any of the species or their essential habitats. (ERB)

  14. Effect of trap color and height on captures of blunt-nosed and sharp-nosed leafhoppers (hemiptera: cicadellidae) and non-target arthropods in cranberry bogs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A series of field experiments were conducted in cranberry bogs in 2006-2010 to determine adult attraction of the two most economically important leafhopper pests of cultivated Vaccinium spp. in the northeast USA, the blunt-nosed leafhopper, Limotettix vaccinii, and sharp-nosed leafhopper, Scaphytopi...

  15. Experimental study of sharp and blunt nose streamwise corners at Mach 20. [hypersonic shock-boundary layer interaction parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, R. D.

    1974-01-01

    Extensive heat transfer and pressure distribution data and oil flow studies on sharp and blunt-nose streamwise corners at Mach 20 in helium are presented. The far corner boundary layers on the wedge surfaces forming the corners are laminar for most test conditions. Analysis of the data indicates that the corner flow field geometry can be described in terms of the inviscid shock pattern on the two dimensional surfaces forming the corner. Parameters used to correlate blunt shock growth can be used to correlate features of the flow field observed in oil flow photographs in addition to the measured pressure and heat transfer distributions on the models. The flow field structure is described from available experimental data. Regions of the flow in which the structure still is not known are discussed.

  16. An approximate viscous shock layer technique for calculating chemically reacting hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. Mcneil; Dejarnette, Fred R.

    1991-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method was developed which can reliably calculate fully viscous hypersonic flows over blunt nosed bodies. By substituting Maslen's second order pressure expression for the normal momentum equation, a simplified form of the viscous shock layer (VSL) equations is obtained. This approach can solve both the subsonic and supersonic regions of the shock layer without a starting solution for the shock shape. The approach is applicable to perfect gas, equilibrium, and nonequilibrium flowfields. Since the method is fully viscous, the problems associated with a boundary layer solution with an inviscid layer solution are avoided. This procedure is significantly faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes (PNS) or VSL solvers and would be useful in a preliminary design environment. Problems associated with a previously developed approximate VSL technique are addressed before extending the method to nonequilibrium calculations. Perfect gas (laminar and turbulent), equilibrium, and nonequilibrium solutions were generated for airflows over several analytic body shapes. Surface heat transfer, skin friction, and pressure predictions are comparable to VSL results. In addition, computed heating rates are in good agreement with experimental data. The present technique generates its own shock shape as part of its solution, and therefore could be used to provide more accurate initial shock shapes for higher order procedures which require starting solutions.

  17. LEOPARD syndrome

    MedlinePlus

    LEOPARD syndrome is a very rare inherited disorder in which there are problems with the skin, face, ... LEOPARD syndrome is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. This means the person only needs the abnormal ...

  18. Forces and Moments on Pointed Blunt-nosed Bodies of Revolution at Mach Numbers from 2.75 to 5.00

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dennis, David H; Cunningham, Bernard E

    1952-01-01

    Results of tests to determine the aerodynamic forces and moments on bodies of revolution at angles of attack from 0 degrees to 25 degrees are presented and compared with theory. Cones and ogives of fineness ratios 3 to 7 and two blunt-nosed body shapes with fineness ratios 3 and 5 were tested at Mach numbers from 2.75 to 5.00. Reynolds numbers were from 0.5 million to 6.4 million, depending on Mach number and body fineness ratio.

  19. The missing leopard lizard: Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., a new species of the leopardinus clade (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae) from the Andes of the O'Higgins Region in Chile.

    PubMed

    Esquerré, Damien; Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Garín, Carlos F; Núnez, Herman

    2014-01-01

    Liolaemus is an extremely species rich genus of iguanid lizards from southern South America. Most of the diversity though is found in the Andes Cordillera, between Argentina and Chile. Here we describe Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., from El Teniente Mine, in the Andean mountains of the O'Higgins Region in Chile. This species presents scalation and pattern traits that belong to the leopardinus clade, a group of viviparous, high altitude lizards that inhabit the mountain ranges surrounding Santiago City. The species of this clade in turn belong to the Andean and Patagonian elongatus-kriegi complex. Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov. has been previously recognized as L. leopardinus and L. elongatus, nevertheless we present diagnostic traits that allow us to describe it as a new species. It mainly differs from the rest of the leopardinus clade (L. leopardinus, L. ramonensis, L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii) by having the following unique combination of traits: ochre background coloration, a wide dark occipital stripe, dark flanks, white dots dispersed on the dorsum, absence of leopard-like spots and enlarged infralabial scales.  PMID:24943631

  20. LEOPARD Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sudip Kumar; Majumdar, Biswajit; Rudra, Olympia; Chakraborty, Sougat

    2015-10-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited or sporadic disorder of variable penetrance and expressivity. The acronym LEOPARD stands for its cardinal clinical features including Lentigines, Electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormalities of genitalia, Retardation of growth, and Deafness. We present herein a patient with LEOPARD syndrome and distinctive features. It was noteworthy that our patient presented with the concern of generalized lentiginosis and subsequent evaluation revealed that the patient had LEOPARD syndrome. In this report we would like to highlight the importance of detailed clinical examination and appropriate imaging in patients with multiple lentigines.

  1. Calculation of Flow Fields from Bow-Wave Profiles for the Downstream Region of Blunt-Nosed Circular Cylinders in Axial Hypersonic Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin; Whiting, Ellis E.

    1961-01-01

    A method by which known bow-wave profiles may be analyzed to give the flow fields around blunt-nosed cylinders in axial hypersonic flow is presented. In the method, the assumption is made that the pressure distribution curve in a transverse plane is similar to that given by blast- wave theory. Numerical analysis based on the one-dimensional energy and continuity equations then leads to distributions of all the flow variables in the cross section, for either a perfect gas or a real gas. The entire flow field need not be solved. Attention can be confined to any desired station. The critical question is the validity of the above assumption. It is tested for the case of a hemisphere cylinder in flight at 20,000 ft/sec. The flow is analyzed for three stations along the cylindrical afterbody, and found to compare very closely with the results of an exact (inviscid) solution. The assumed form of the pressure distribution occurs at stations as close as 1.2 diameters to the body nose. However, it is suggested that the assumption may not apply this far forward in general, particularly when bodies of nonsmooth contour are considered.

  2. Effects of canard location on the aerodynamic characteristics of a blunt-nosed missile at Mach numbers of 1.5 and 2.0. [in the Ames 6x6 wind tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kassner, D. L.; Wettlaufer, B.

    1977-01-01

    A blunt-nosed missile model with nose-mounted canards and cruciform tail surfaces was tested in the Ames 6 by 6-Foot Wind Tunnel to determine the contributions of the component aerodynamic surfaces to the static aerodynamic characteristics at Mach numbers of 1.5 and 2.0 and Reynolds number of 1 million based on body diameter. Data were obtained at angles of attack ranging from -3 deg to 12 deg and canard-deflection angles from -3 deg to 15 deg for various stages of model build-up (i.e., with and without canard and/or tail surfaces). Results were obtained with the canards at two different nose locations. For the canard and tail arrangements investigated, the model was trimmable at angles of attack up to about 4 deg or 5 deg with canard deflections of 9 deg. For this blunt-nosed model, there was little effect of canard location on trim angle of attack. The tail arrangements studied provided ample pitch stability.

  3. A fatal leopard attack.

    PubMed

    Hejna, Petr

    2010-05-01

    A rare case of a big cat fatal attack is presented. A male leopard that had escaped from its unlocked cage attacked a 26-year-old male zoo worker. The man sustained penetrating injuries to the neck with consequent external bleeding. The man died while being transported to the hospital as a result of the injuries sustained. The wounds discovered on the victim's body corresponded with the known methods of leopard attacks and with findings on the carcasses of animals killed by leopards in the wild. The conclusion of the medicolegal investigation was that the underlying cause of death was a bite wound to the neck which lacerated the left internal jugular vein, the two main branches of the left external carotid artery, and the cervical spine. The cause of death was massive external bleeding. Special attention is paid to the general pattern of injuries sustained from big cat attacks.

  4. LEOPARD on a personal computer

    SciTech Connect

    Lancaster, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    The LEOPARD code is very widely used to produce four- or two-group cross sections for water reactors. Although it is heavily used it had not been downloaded to the PC. This paper has been written to announce the completion of downloading LEOPARD. LEOPARD can now be run on anything from the early PC to the most advanced 80386 machines. The only requirements are 512 Kbytes of memory (LEOPARD actually only needs 235, but with buffers, 256 Kbytes may not be enough) and two disk rives (preferably, one is a hard drive). The run times for various machines and configurations are summarized. The accuracy of the PC-LEOPARD results are documented.

  5. Leopard predation and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuberbühler, Klaus; Jenny, David

    2002-12-01

    Although predation is an important driving force of natural selection its effects on primate evolution are still not well understood, mainly because little is known about the hunting behaviour of the primates' various predators. Here, we present data on the hunting behaviour of the leopard (Panthera pardus), a major primate predator in the Tai; forest of Ivory Coast and elsewhere. Radio-tracking data showed that forest leopards primarily hunt for monkeys on the ground during the day. Faecal analyses confirmed that primates accounted for a large proportion of the leopards' diet and revealed in detail the predation pressure exerted on the eight different monkey and one chimpanzee species. We related the species-specific predation rates to various morphological, behavioural and demographic traits that are usually considered adaptations to predation (body size, group size, group composition, reproductive behaviour, and use of forest strata). Leopard predation was most reliably associated with density, suggesting that leopards hunt primates according to abundance. Contrary to predictions, leopard predation rates were not negatively, but positively, related to body size, group size and the number of males per group, suggesting that predation by leopards did not drive the evolution of these traits in the predicted way. We discuss these findings in light of some recent experimental data and suggest that the principal effect of leopard predation has been on primates' cognitive evolution.

  6. Tyzzer's disease in snow leopards.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, R E; Eisenbrandt, D L; Hubbard, G B

    1984-01-01

    Tyzzer's disease was diagnosed histologically in 2 litters of newborn snow leopard kittens. The gross and histological lesions were similar to those reported in domestic cats and other animals. No signs of illness was noted in either of the snow leopard dams.

  7. Tyzzer's disease in snow leopards.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, R E; Eisenbrandt, D L; Hubbard, G B

    1984-01-01

    Tyzzer's disease was diagnosed histologically in 2 litters of newborn snow leopard kittens. The gross and histological lesions were similar to those reported in domestic cats and other animals. No signs of illness was noted in either of the snow leopard dams. PMID:6699226

  8. Periodontal status in snow leopards.

    PubMed

    Cook, R A; Stoller, N H

    1986-11-01

    Periodontal examinations were performed on ten 1- to 22-year-old snow leopards (6 males and 4 females), using dentistry methods for determining the plaque and gingival indices. All tooth surfaces were probed, and alveolar bone attachment loss was determined. After subgingival plaque removal, plaque specimens were examined for differential bacterial morphotypes. The small number of leopards evaluated precluded definitive statistical analysis. However, the progression from gingival health to gingivitis to periodontitis was similar to that seen in man. Therefore, the use of plaque index, gingival index, alveolar bone attachment loss, and differential bacterial morphotypes can be used to determine the dental health of snow leopards. PMID:3505932

  9. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses mechanisms and functional intent of visual communication signals in iguanid/agamid lizards. Demonstrated that lizards communicate with each other by using pushups and head nods and that each species does this in its own way, conveying different types of information. (JN)

  10. Semi-automated identification of leopard frogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petrovska-Delacrétaz, Dijana; Edwards, Aaron; Chiasson, John; Chollet, Gérard; Pilliod, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Principal component analysis is used to implement a semi-automatic recognition system to identify recaptured northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Results of both open set and closed set experiments are given. The presented algorithm is shown to provide accurate identification of 209 individual leopard frogs from a total set of 1386 images.

  11. Detection of Cryptosporidium species in feces or gastric contents from snakes and lizards as determined by polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene.

    PubMed

    Richter, Barbara; Nedorost, Nora; Maderner, Anton; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2011-05-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is a well-known gastrointestinal disease of snakes and lizards. In the current study, 672 samples (feces and/or gastric contents or regurgitated food items) of various snakes and lizards were examined for the presence of cryptosporidia by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting a part of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. A consecutive sequencing reaction was used to identify the cryptosporidian species present in PCR-positive samples. Cryptosporidium varanii (saurophilum) was detected in 17 out of 106 (16%) samples from corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and in 32 out of 462 (7%) samples from leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Cryptosporidium serpentis was found in 8 out of 462 (2%) leopard gecko samples, but in no other reptile. The Cryptosporidium sp. "lizard genotype" was present in 1 leopard gecko sample, and 1 sample from a corn snake showed a single nucleotide mismatch to this genotype. Pseudoparasitic cryptosporidian species were identified in 5 out of 174 (3%) ophidian samples, but not in lizards. Other sequences did not show complete similarity to previously published Cryptosporidium sequences. The results stress the importance for diagnostic methods to be specific for Cryptosporidium species especially in snakes and show a relatively high prevalence of C. varanii in leopard geckos and corn snakes.

  12. The Classroom Animal: The Leopard Frog.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science and Children, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Describes the natural history of the leopard frog and factors which make it appropriate for short-term study in the classroom. Information on the frog's habits, life cycle, housing, care, and health is included. (DH)

  13. Leading-edge receptivity for blunt-nose bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerschen, Edward J.

    1991-01-01

    This research program investigates boundary-layer receptivity in the leading-edge region for bodies with blunt leading edges. Receptivity theory provides the link between the unsteady distrubance environment in the free stream and the initial amplitudes of the instability waves in the boundary layer. This is a critical problem which must be addressed in order to develop more accurate prediction methods for boundary-layer transition. The first phase of this project examines the effects of leading-edge bluntness and aerodynamic loading for low Mach number flows. In the second phase of the project, the investigation is extended to supersonic Mach numbers. Singular perturbation techniques are utilized to develop an asymptotic theory for high Reynolds numbers. In the first year, the asymptotic theory was developed for leading-edge receptivity in low Mach number flows. The case of a parabolic nose is considered. Substantial progress was made on the Navier-Sotkes computations. Analytical solutions for the steady and unsteady potential flow fields were incorporated into the code, greatly expanding the types of free-stream disturbances that can be considered while also significantly reducing the the computational requirements. The time-stepping algorithm was modified so that the potential flow perturbations induced by the unsteady pressure field are directly introduced throughout the computational domain, avoiding an artificial 'numerical diffusion' of these from the outer boundary. In addition, the start-up process was modified by introducing the transient Stokes wave solution into the downstream boundary conditions.

  14. Detection and Analysis of Six Lizard Adenoviruses by Consensus Primer PCR Provides Further Evidence of a Reptilian Origin for the Atadenoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Wellehan, James F. X.; Johnson, April J.; Harrach, Balázs; Benkö, Mária; Pessier, Allan P.; Johnson, Calvin M.; Garner, Michael M.; Childress, April; Jacobson, Elliott R.

    2004-01-01

    A consensus nested-PCR method was designed for investigation of the DNA polymerase gene of adenoviruses. Gene fragments were amplified and sequenced from six novel adenoviruses from seven lizard species, including four species from which adenoviruses had not previously been reported. Host species included Gila monster, leopard gecko, fat-tail gecko, blue-tongued skink, Tokay gecko, bearded dragon, and mountain chameleon. This is the first sequence information from lizard adenoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses belong to the genus Atadenovirus, supporting the reptilian origin of atadenoviruses. This PCR method may be useful for obtaining templates for initial sequencing of novel adenoviruses. PMID:15542689

  15. Detection and analysis of six lizard adenoviruses by consensus primer PCR provides further evidence of a reptilian origin for the atadenoviruses.

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Johnson, April J; Harrach, Balázs; Benkö, Mária; Pessier, Allan P; Johnson, Calvin M; Garner, Michael M; Childress, April; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2004-12-01

    A consensus nested-PCR method was designed for investigation of the DNA polymerase gene of adenoviruses. Gene fragments were amplified and sequenced from six novel adenoviruses from seven lizard species, including four species from which adenoviruses had not previously been reported. Host species included Gila monster, leopard gecko, fat-tail gecko, blue-tongued skink, Tokay gecko, bearded dragon, and mountain chameleon. This is the first sequence information from lizard adenoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses belong to the genus Atadenovirus, supporting the reptilian origin of atadenoviruses. This PCR method may be useful for obtaining templates for initial sequencing of novel adenoviruses.

  16. Annual summary of endangered species preconstruction surveys conducted during 1986 on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.

    1987-07-01

    Preconstruction surveys were implemented as part of the US Department of Energy's compensation/mitigation plan to offset possible effects of petroleum developments on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and the proposed endangered giant kangaroo rat. These surveys were conducted to gather information that could be used to assess potential impacts of construction activity on endangered species and their habitats, and to formulate alternatives that resulted in avoiding or minimizing the effects. During 1986 a total of 130 preconstruction surveys covering approximately 665 acres were conducted. Approximately 273.5 acres of the area surveyed were subsequently disturbed by construction or maintenance activities. A total of 45 kit fox dens, numerous giant kangaroo rat burrow systems, and 47 washes representing habitat for blunt-nosed leopard lizards were found. Three kit fox dens and one wash were not considered to be threatened by construction, but all giant kangaroo rat burrows were. Impacts to 41 kit fox dens, all of the burrows, and 46 of the washes were avoided by 27 project modifications. One den was excavated to prevent potential burial of a kit fox or other wildlife during construction. 10 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  17. Annual summary of endangered species preconstruction surveys conducted during 1985 on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.

    1986-10-01

    Preconstruction surveys were implemented as part of the US Department of Energy's compensation/mitigation plan to offset possible effects of petroleum developments on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 on endangered species and their habitats. These surveys were conducted to gather information that could be used to assess potential impacts of construction activity on these endangered species and habitats and to formulate alternatives that resulted in avoiding or minimizing the effects. During 1985 a total of 128 preconstruction surveys were conducted covering approximately 457.5 acres of which approximately 300 acres were for long-term disturbances and approximately 157.5 acres were for superficial disturbances. The area surveyed during preconstruction surveys was usually larger than the actual area disturbed. A total of 37 kit fox dens, four culverts and two erosion gullies used by kit fox, and six blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitats were found. All of the dens and culverts threatened by construction were avoided by modifications at 11 project sites. Three of the four threatened blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitats were avoided by modifications at three project sites. No new construction projects on NPR-1 were completed before a preconstruction survey was conducted. Preconstruction surveys continued to be a useful tool to eliminate or minimize potential direct effects of construction activities on endangered species, proposed endangered species, and their habitats on NPR-1. 4 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  18. Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation.

    PubMed

    Li, Juan; Wang, Dajun; Yin, Hang; Zhaxi, Duojie; Jiagong, Zhala; Schaller, George B; Mishra, Charudutt; McCarthy, Thomas M; Wang, Hao; Wu, Lan; Xiao, Lingyun; Basang, Lamao; Zhang, Yuguang; Zhou, Yunyun; Lu, Zhi

    2014-02-01

    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the rugged mountains in 12 countries of Central Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau. Due to poaching, decreased abundance of prey, and habitat degradation, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1972. Current conservation strategies, including nature reserves and incentive programs, have limited capacities to protect snow leopards. We investigated the role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation in the Sanjiangyuan region in China's Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. From 2009 to 2011, we systematically surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan region. We used the MaxEnt model to determine the relation of their presence to environmental variables (e.g., elevation, ruggedness) and to predict snow leopard distribution. Model results showed 89,602 km(2) of snow leopard habitat in the Sanjiangyuan region, of which 7674 km(2) lay within Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve's core zones. We analyzed the spatial relation between snow leopard habitat and Buddhist monasteries and found that 46% of monasteries were located in snow leopard habitat and 90% were within 5 km of snow leopard habitat. The 336 monasteries in the Sanjiangyuan region could protect more snow leopard habitat (8342 km(2) ) through social norms and active patrols than the nature reserve's core zones. We conducted 144 household interviews to identify local herders' attitudes and behavior toward snow leopards and other wildlife. Most local herders claimed that they did not kill wildlife, and 42% said they did not kill wildlife because it was a sin in Buddhism. Our results indicate monasteries play an important role in snow leopard conservation. Monastery-based snow leopard conservation could be extended to other Tibetan Buddhist regions that in total would encompass about 80% of the global range of snow leopards.

  19. Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation.

    PubMed

    Li, Juan; Wang, Dajun; Yin, Hang; Zhaxi, Duojie; Jiagong, Zhala; Schaller, George B; Mishra, Charudutt; McCarthy, Thomas M; Wang, Hao; Wu, Lan; Xiao, Lingyun; Basang, Lamao; Zhang, Yuguang; Zhou, Yunyun; Lu, Zhi

    2014-02-01

    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the rugged mountains in 12 countries of Central Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau. Due to poaching, decreased abundance of prey, and habitat degradation, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1972. Current conservation strategies, including nature reserves and incentive programs, have limited capacities to protect snow leopards. We investigated the role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation in the Sanjiangyuan region in China's Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. From 2009 to 2011, we systematically surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan region. We used the MaxEnt model to determine the relation of their presence to environmental variables (e.g., elevation, ruggedness) and to predict snow leopard distribution. Model results showed 89,602 km(2) of snow leopard habitat in the Sanjiangyuan region, of which 7674 km(2) lay within Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve's core zones. We analyzed the spatial relation between snow leopard habitat and Buddhist monasteries and found that 46% of monasteries were located in snow leopard habitat and 90% were within 5 km of snow leopard habitat. The 336 monasteries in the Sanjiangyuan region could protect more snow leopard habitat (8342 km(2) ) through social norms and active patrols than the nature reserve's core zones. We conducted 144 household interviews to identify local herders' attitudes and behavior toward snow leopards and other wildlife. Most local herders claimed that they did not kill wildlife, and 42% said they did not kill wildlife because it was a sin in Buddhism. Our results indicate monasteries play an important role in snow leopard conservation. Monastery-based snow leopard conservation could be extended to other Tibetan Buddhist regions that in total would encompass about 80% of the global range of snow leopards. PMID:23992599

  20. Status of the Leopard Laser Project in Nevada Terawatt Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiewior, Piotr P.; Astanovitskiy, A.; Aubry, G.; Batie, S.; Caron, J.; Chalyy, O.; Cowan, T.; Haefner, C.; Le Galloudec, B.; Le Galloudec, N.; Macaulay, D.; Nalajala, V.; Pettee, G.; Samek, S.; Stepanenko, Y.; Vesco, J.

    2009-06-01

    Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) currently operates a high-intensity laser system—Leopard. NTF already operates a powerful z-pinch device, called Zebra, for plasma and High Energy Density physics research. The unique research opportunities arise from the combination of NTF's terawatt Zebra z-pinch with 50-terawatt-class Leopard laser. This combination also provides opportunities to address fundamental physics of inertial fusion and high energy density physics with intense laser beam. We report on the status, design and architecture of the Leopard laser project. A first experiments carried out with Leopard will be also briefly mentioned.

  1. Schrodinger Leopards in Bose-Einstein Condensates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Lincoln D.; Dounas-Frazer, Dimitri R.

    2008-03-01

    We present the complex quantum dynamics of vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates in a double well via exact diagonalization of a discretized Hamiltonian. When the barrier is high, vortices evolve into macroscopic superposition (NOON) states of a vortex in either well -- a Schrodinger cat with spots. Such Schrodinger leopard states are more robust than previously proposed NOON states, which only use two single particle modes of the double well potential.

  2. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    State-licensed animal trapper James Dean sets the open door of an animal trap on KSC. He hopes to catch a large monitor lizard spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  3. A spotlight on snow leopard conservation in China.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine S; Zhang, Chengcheng; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2016-07-01

    China holds the greatest proportion of the snow leopard's (Panthera uncia) global range and is central to their conservation. The country is also undergoing unprecedented economic growth, which increases both the threats to the snow leopard and the opportunities for its conservation. In this paper we aim to review published literature (from 1950 to 2014) in English and Mandarin on snow leopard ecology and conservation in China in order to identify thematic and geographic research gaps and propose research priorities. We first retrieved all published items that considered snow leopards in China (n = 106). We extracted from these papers 274 reports of snow leopard presence in China. We then reviewed a subset of papers (n = 33) of this literature, which specifically focused on snow leopard ecology and conservation within China. We introduced a thematic framework that allows a structured and comprehensive assessment of findings. This framework recognizes 4 critical and interrelated topics underpinning snow leopard ecology and conservation: habitat (distribution and protected area coverage); prey (distribution and abundance, predator-prey relationships); human interactions (hunting and trade, livestock interactions and conflicts); and the underlying policy context. Significant gains in knowledge as well as research gaps and priorities are discussed with reference to our framework. The modest quantity and limited scope of published research on the snow leopard in China calls for a continued and intensified effort to inform and support national conservation policies.

  4. A spotlight on snow leopard conservation in China.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine S; Zhang, Chengcheng; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2016-07-01

    China holds the greatest proportion of the snow leopard's (Panthera uncia) global range and is central to their conservation. The country is also undergoing unprecedented economic growth, which increases both the threats to the snow leopard and the opportunities for its conservation. In this paper we aim to review published literature (from 1950 to 2014) in English and Mandarin on snow leopard ecology and conservation in China in order to identify thematic and geographic research gaps and propose research priorities. We first retrieved all published items that considered snow leopards in China (n = 106). We extracted from these papers 274 reports of snow leopard presence in China. We then reviewed a subset of papers (n = 33) of this literature, which specifically focused on snow leopard ecology and conservation within China. We introduced a thematic framework that allows a structured and comprehensive assessment of findings. This framework recognizes 4 critical and interrelated topics underpinning snow leopard ecology and conservation: habitat (distribution and protected area coverage); prey (distribution and abundance, predator-prey relationships); human interactions (hunting and trade, livestock interactions and conflicts); and the underlying policy context. Significant gains in knowledge as well as research gaps and priorities are discussed with reference to our framework. The modest quantity and limited scope of published research on the snow leopard in China calls for a continued and intensified effort to inform and support national conservation policies. PMID:27135283

  5. Personality assessment in snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of individual personality is a useful tool in animal husbandry and can be used effectively to improve welfare. This study assessed personality in snow leopards (Uncia uncia) by examining their reactions to six novel objects and comparing them to personality assessments based on a survey completed by zookeepers. The objectives were to determine whether these methods could detect differences in personality, including age and sex differences, and to assess whether the two methods yielded comparable results. Both keeper assessments and novel object tests identified age, sex, and individual differences in snow leopards. Five dimensions of personality were found based on keepers' ratings: Active/Vigilant, Curious/Playful, Calm/Self-Assured, Timid/Anxious, and Friendly to Humans. The dimension Active/Vigilant was significantly positively correlated with the number of visits to the object, time spent locomoting, and time spent in exploratory behaviors. Curious/Playful was significantly positively correlated with the number of visits to the object, time spent locomoting, and time spent in exploratory behaviors. However, other dimensions (Calm/Self-Assured, Friendly to Humans, and Timid/Anxious) did not correlate with novel-object test variables and possible explanations for this are discussed. Thus, some of the traits and behaviors were correlated between assessment methods, showing the novel-object test to be useful in assessing an animal's personality should a keeper be unable to, or to support a keeper's assessment. PMID:21455952

  6. LEOPARD Syndrome: Clinical Features and Gene Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Quintana, E.; Rodríguez-González, F.

    2012-01-01

    The RAS/MAPK pathway proteins with germline mutations in their respective genes are associated with some disorders such as Noonan, LEOPARD (LS), neurofibromatosis type 1, Costello and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes. LEOPARD is an acronym, mnemonic for the major manifestations of this disorder, characterized by multiple lentigines, electrocardiographic abnormalities, ocular hypertelorism, pulmonic stenosis, abnormal genitalia, retardation of growth, and sensorineural deafness. Though it is not included in the acronym, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most frequent cardiac anomaly observed, representing a potentially life-threatening problem in these patients. PTPN11, RAF1 and BRAF are the genes known to be associated with LS, identifying molecular genetic testing of the 3 gene mutations in about 95% of affected individuals. PTPN11 mutations are the most frequently found. Eleven different missense PTPN11 mutations (Tyr279Cys/Ser, Ala461Thr, Gly464Ala, Thr468Met/Pro, Arg498Trp/Leu, Gln506Pro, and Gln510Glu/Pro) have been reported so far in LS, 2 of which (Tyr279Cys and Thr468Met) occur in about 65% of the cases. Here, we provide an overview of clinical aspects of this disorder, the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis and major genotype-phenotype correlations. PMID:23239957

  7. Trichinella britovi in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran.

    PubMed

    Mowlavi, Gholamreza; Marucci, Gianluca; Mobedi, Iraj; Zahabiioon, Farzaneh; Mirjalali, Hamed; Pozio, Edoardo

    2009-10-14

    Nematodes of the genus Trichinella are zoonotic parasites with a cosmopolitan distribution. In Iran, these parasites have mainly been detected in carnivorous mammals, yet information on the Trichinella taxa circulating in this country date back to a time when biochemical and molecular tests were not available. We describe the first detection of Trichinella larvae in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Asia and its identification at the species level. The larvae recovered from the leopard muscles were identified as Trichinella britovi using multiplex PCR. The detection of Trichinella infection in a leopard confirms literature data on the high prevalence of infection in carnivorous mammals in Iran.

  8. Scar-free wound healing and regeneration following tail loss in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Delorme, Stephanie Lynn; Lungu, Ilinca Mihaela; Vickaryous, Matthew Kenneth

    2012-10-01

    Many lizards are able to undergo scar-free wound healing and regeneration following loss of the tail. In most instances, lizard tail loss is facilitated by autotomy, an evolved mechanism that permits the tail to be self-detached at pre-existing fracture planes. However, it has also been reported that the tail can regenerate following surgical amputation outside the fracture plane. In this study, we used the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, to investigate and compare wound healing and regeneration following autotomy at a fracture plane and amputation outside the fracture plane. Both forms of tail loss undergo a nearly identical sequence of events leading to scar-free wound healing and regeneration. Early wound healing is characterized by transient myofibroblasts and the formation of a highly proliferative wound epithelium immunoreactive for the wound keratin marker WE6. The new tail forms from what is commonly referred to as a blastema, a mass of proliferating mesenchymal-like cells. Blastema cells express the protease matrix metalloproteinase-9. Apoptosis (demonstrated by activated caspase 3 immunostaining) is largely restricted to isolated cells of the original and regenerating tail tissues, although cell death also occurs within dermal structures at the original-regenerated tissue interface and among clusters of newly formed myocytes. Furthermore, the autotomized tail is unique in demonstrating apoptosis among cells adjacent to the fracture planes. Unlike mammals, transforming growth factor-β3 is not involved in wound healing. We demonstrate that scar-free wound healing and regeneration are intrinsic properties of the tail, unrelated to the location or mode of tail detachment.

  9. Lizard threat display handicaps endurance.

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Y

    2003-01-01

    Honest-signalling theory asserts that threat displays reliably advertise attributes that influence fighting success. Endurance, as measured by treadmill performance, predicts the outcome of agonistic interactions among lizards. If threat displays in lizards function to advertise endurance capacity then variation in threat displays should correlate with endurance. I tested this prediction for the duration of threat posturing in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) and examined whether threat displays act as quality handicaps, reliable signals that expend the attribute that is advertised. Individual variation in the duration of threat posturing correlated with endurance, while an experimental reduction of endurance diminished the duration of threat posturing. As expected of a quality handicap, endurance fell below baseline after display production. A restriction of aerobic metabolism can account for this effect. In threat posturing, lateral compression of the thorax may interfere with respiration or with circulation, limiting aerobic metabolism and causing a compensatory increase in anaerobic metabolism, thereby generating lactate and diminishing locomotor capacity. Concentrations of lactate measured after display production were higher than baseline, consistent with the proposed mechanism. By restricting aerobic metabolism, the threat posture can act as a quality handicap, simultaneously advertising and expending the endurance capacity of displaying lizards. PMID:12803896

  10. Gastroesophageal intussusception in a leopard (Panthera pardus).

    PubMed

    Hettlich, Bianca F; Hobson, H Phil; Snakard, Eileen P; Johnson, James H

    2010-09-01

    An 8-yr-old male leopard (Panthera pardus) was presented with a 4-day history of lethargy, vomiting, and anorexia. Thoracic and abdominal radiographs revealed a soft-tissue mass cranial to the diaphragm and atypical appearance of the gastric fundus. Esophagoscopy revealed gastric mucosa in the lumen of the esophagus, which confirmed gastroesophageal intussusception. An exploratory celiotomy with manual reduction of the intussusception was performed. Reduction was verified by intraoperative esophagoscopy and gastroscopy. An incisional fundic gastropexy to the left abdominal wall was performed to reduce the chance of a recurrence of the intussusception. No postoperative complications related to the surgery were observed, and the animal resumed eating within 48 hr of surgery. A subsequent recurrence of clinical signs was not noted by the owner.

  11. Resurrecting an Extinct Species: Archival DNA, Taxonomy, and Conservation of the Vegas Valley Leopard Frog

    EPA Science Inventory

    Suggestions that the extinct Vegas Valley leopard frog (Rana fisheri = Lithobates fisheri) may have been synonymous with one of several declining species has complicated recovery planning for imperiled leopard frogs in southwestern North America. To address this concern, we recon...

  12. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY90

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted by DOE at Naval Petroleum Reserve {number_sign}1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1990 (FY90).

  13. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted by DOE at Naval Petroleum Reserve {number sign}1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1990 (FY90).

  14. Inventory of San Joaquin kit fox on BLM lands in southern and southwestern San Joaquin Valley. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.; McCue, P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1980-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to provide the Bureau of Land Management, Bakersfield District, with information on the distribution of the San Joaquin kit fox, an endangered species, on public lands in the southern and southwestern San Joaquin Valley of California, and to develop information essential for designating kit fox critical habitats on lands under their jurisdiction as outlined by the Endangered Species Act and its amendments. A total of 31,860 acres of BLM lands were surveyed using line transects at a density of 8 per linear mile. Observations were recorded on: (1) kit fox dens, tracks, scats, and remains of their prey; (2) vegetation associations; (3) topography; (4) evidence of human activities; (5) species composition and abundance of wildlife seen, especially lagomorphs; (6) presence of Eriogonum gossypinum, a plant of special interest; and (7) presence of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, another endangered species.

  15. Wildlife management plan, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Scrivner, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    Under the Naval Petroleum Act of 1976, Congress directed the Secretary of the Navy and subsequently the Secretary of Energy, to produce petroleum products from Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in Kern County, California, at the maximum efficient rate consistent with sound engineering practices. Because of the presence of two endangered species and the quality, quantity, and contiguous nature of habitat on NPR-1, the area is unique and management of its resources deserves special attention. The purpose of this wildlife management plan is to: (1) draw together specific information on NPR-1 wildlife resources; (2) suggest management goals that could be implemented, which if achieved, would result in diverse, healthy wildlife populations; and (3) reinitiate cooperative agreements between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other conservation organizations regarding the management of wildlife on NPR-1. NPR-1 supports an abundant and diverse vertebrate fauna. Twenty-five mammalian, 92 avian, eight reptilian, and two amphibian species have been observed on Elk Hills. Of these, three are endangered (San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica; giant kangaroo rat, Dipodomys ingens; blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus). Nine vertebrates, six invertebrates, and four plant species known to occur or suspected of occurring on Elk Hills are potential candidates for listing. A major objective of this management plan is to minimize the impact of petroleum development activities on the San Joaquin kit fox, giant kangaroo rat, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and their essential habitats. This will mainly be achieved by monitoring the status of these species and their habitat and by restoring disturbed habitats. In general, management policies designed to benefit the above three species and other species of concern will also benefit other wildlife inhabiting NPR-1.

  16. A population model of the lizard Uta stansburiana in southern Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, F.B.; Medica, P.A.; Bridges, K.W.; Jennrich, R.I.

    1982-01-01

    Population densities, reproduction, and survival of the lizard Uta stansburiana were measured at the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, USA, between 1964 and 1974. These data were used to develop a model of the population dynamics of this species. Results of irrigation experiments in 0.4-ha enclosures near Mercury, Nevada, were used to formulate multiple-regression equations predicting frequency and size of clutches laid by two age-classes of females in terms of winter rainfall, March air temperatures and Uta population density. Densities of Uta in these enclosures were manipulated, and age-specific survival modeled in terms of spring densities of Uta. Experiments in which an important predator on Uta (the leopard lizard, Crotaphytus wislizeni) was removed from enclosures were used to estimate the influence of the predator on basic survival rates of hatchling and older Uta. The model was generally developed from data acquired in the small enclosures, but predictions were compared with actual observations of changes in Uta populations in Rock Valley (19 km west of Mercury, Nevada) between 1966 and 1972. The basic model included three density-dependent parameters: clutch frequency, clutch size, and adult survival. It was concluded that processes relating to egg production were modeled more effectively than those influencing survival, and that improvement of the model will depend on more detailed studies of the impact of predation on age-specific survival rates of Uta.

  17. Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards.

    PubMed

    Ropiquet, Anne; Knight, Andrew T; Born, Céline; Martins, Quinton; Balme, Guy; Kirkendall, Lawrence; Hunter, Luke; Senekal, Charl; Matthee, Conrad A

    2015-11-01

    The leopard (Panthera pardus) is heavily persecuted in areas where it predates livestock and threatens human well-being. Attempts to resolve human-leopard conflict typically involve translocating problem animals; however, these interventions are rarely informed by genetic studies and can unintentionally compromise the natural spatial genetic structure and diversity, and possibly the long-term persistence, of the species. No significant genetic discontinuities were definable within the southern African leopard population. Analysis of fine-scale genetic data derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the primary natural process shaping the spatial genetic structure of the species is isolation-by-distance (IBD). The effective gene dispersal (σ) index can inform leopard translocations and is estimated to be 82 km for some South African leopards. The importance of adopting an evidence-based strategy is discussed for supporting the integration of genetic data, spatial planning and social learning institutions so as to promote collaboration between land managers, government agency staff and researchers. PMID:26321316

  18. Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards.

    PubMed

    Ropiquet, Anne; Knight, Andrew T; Born, Céline; Martins, Quinton; Balme, Guy; Kirkendall, Lawrence; Hunter, Luke; Senekal, Charl; Matthee, Conrad A

    2015-11-01

    The leopard (Panthera pardus) is heavily persecuted in areas where it predates livestock and threatens human well-being. Attempts to resolve human-leopard conflict typically involve translocating problem animals; however, these interventions are rarely informed by genetic studies and can unintentionally compromise the natural spatial genetic structure and diversity, and possibly the long-term persistence, of the species. No significant genetic discontinuities were definable within the southern African leopard population. Analysis of fine-scale genetic data derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the primary natural process shaping the spatial genetic structure of the species is isolation-by-distance (IBD). The effective gene dispersal (σ) index can inform leopard translocations and is estimated to be 82 km for some South African leopards. The importance of adopting an evidence-based strategy is discussed for supporting the integration of genetic data, spatial planning and social learning institutions so as to promote collaboration between land managers, government agency staff and researchers.

  19. Molecular evidence for species-level distinctions in clouded leopards.

    PubMed

    Buckley-Beason, Valerie A; Johnson, Warren E; Nash, Willliam G; Stanyon, Roscoe; Menninger, Joan C; Driscoll, Carlos A; Howard, JoGayle; Bush, Mitch; Page, John E; Roelke, Melody E; Stone, Gary; Martelli, Paolo P; Wen, Ci; Ling, Lin; Duraisingam, Ratna K; Lam, Phan V; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2006-12-01

    Among the 37 living species of Felidae, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is generally classified as a monotypic genus basal to the Panthera lineage of great cats. This secretive, mid-sized (16-23 kg) carnivore, now severely endangered, is traditionally subdivided into four southeast Asian subspecies (Figure 1A). We used molecular genetic methods to re-evaluate subspecies partitions and to quantify patterns of population genetic variation among 109 clouded leopards of known geographic origin (Figure 1A, Tables S1 ans S2 in the Supplemental Data available online). We found strong phylogeographic monophyly and large genetic distances between N. n. nebulosa (mainland) and N. n. diardi (Borneo; n = 3 individuals) with mtDNA (771 bp), nuclear DNA (3100 bp), and 51 microsatellite loci. Thirty-six fixed mitochondrial and nuclear nucleotide differences and 20 microsatellite loci with nonoverlapping allele-size ranges distinguished N. n. nebulosa from N. n. diardi. Along with fixed subspecies-specific chromosomal differences, this degree of differentiation is equivalent to, or greater than, comparable measures among five recognized Panthera species (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, and snow leopard). These distinctions increase the urgency of clouded leopard conservation efforts, and if affirmed by morphological analysis and wider sampling of N. n. diardi in Borneo and Sumatra, would support reclassification of N. n. diardi as a new species (Neofelis diardi).

  20. Molecular evidence for species-level distinctions in clouded leopards.

    PubMed

    Buckley-Beason, Valerie A; Johnson, Warren E; Nash, Willliam G; Stanyon, Roscoe; Menninger, Joan C; Driscoll, Carlos A; Howard, JoGayle; Bush, Mitch; Page, John E; Roelke, Melody E; Stone, Gary; Martelli, Paolo P; Wen, Ci; Ling, Lin; Duraisingam, Ratna K; Lam, Phan V; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2006-12-01

    Among the 37 living species of Felidae, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is generally classified as a monotypic genus basal to the Panthera lineage of great cats. This secretive, mid-sized (16-23 kg) carnivore, now severely endangered, is traditionally subdivided into four southeast Asian subspecies (Figure 1A). We used molecular genetic methods to re-evaluate subspecies partitions and to quantify patterns of population genetic variation among 109 clouded leopards of known geographic origin (Figure 1A, Tables S1 ans S2 in the Supplemental Data available online). We found strong phylogeographic monophyly and large genetic distances between N. n. nebulosa (mainland) and N. n. diardi (Borneo; n = 3 individuals) with mtDNA (771 bp), nuclear DNA (3100 bp), and 51 microsatellite loci. Thirty-six fixed mitochondrial and nuclear nucleotide differences and 20 microsatellite loci with nonoverlapping allele-size ranges distinguished N. n. nebulosa from N. n. diardi. Along with fixed subspecies-specific chromosomal differences, this degree of differentiation is equivalent to, or greater than, comparable measures among five recognized Panthera species (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, and snow leopard). These distinctions increase the urgency of clouded leopard conservation efforts, and if affirmed by morphological analysis and wider sampling of N. n. diardi in Borneo and Sumatra, would support reclassification of N. n. diardi as a new species (Neofelis diardi). PMID:17141620

  1. Operation of the Lectric Leopard. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Kamm, I.O.

    1981-07-01

    The vehicle selected for the demonstration project is a Lectric Leopard built by US Electricar Corporation. The vehicle was unable to fulfill the intentions of the program because of continuous failures in the control system and an inability of the factory to fix them. Our requests to obtain circuit diagrams of the system so that we could make repairs ourselves were turned down, stating that this information was proprietary. The vehicle was demonstrated three times, to a student audience, Public Service Electric and Gas Company Day at Stevens and the Rotary Club of Hoboken; but because of the large amounts of downtime the vehicle only accumulated 900 miles over a one year period. In May 1981 we were informed that in a frontal barrier test, the rear batteries had broken loose delivering a second impact on the driver and dumping several gallons of acid into the occupant compartment. On the advise of DOE the vehicle has not been used since. If Stevens is permitted to keep the vehicle it is our intent to make it the subject of several student senior design projects to make the vehicle safe for use by containerizing the rear batteries.

  2. Segregating variation for temperature-dependent sex determination in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A; Sakata, J T; Huang, V; Crews, D

    2011-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) was first reported in 1966 in an African lizard. It has since been shown that TSD occurs in some fish, several lizards, tuataras, numerous turtles and all crocodilians. Extreme temperatures can also cause sex reversal in several amphibians and lizards with genotypic sex determination. Research in TSD species indicates that estrogen signaling is important for ovary development and that orthologs of mammalian genes have a function in gonad differentiation. Nevertheless, the mechanism that actually transduces temperature into a biological signal for ovary versus testis development is not known in any species. Classical genetics could be used to identify the loci underlying TSD, but only if there is segregating variation for TSD. Here, we use the ‘animal model' to analyze inheritance of sexual phenotype in a 13-generation pedigree of captive leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius, a TSD reptile. We directly show genetic variance and genotype-by-temperature interactions for sex determination. Additive genetic variation was significant at a temperature that produces a female-biased sex ratio (30 °C), but not at a temperature that produces a male-biased sex ratio (32.5 °C). Conversely, dominance variance was significant at the male-biased temperature (32.5 °C), but not at the female-biased temperature (30 °C). Non-genetic maternal effects on sex determination were negligible in comparison with additive genetic variance, dominance variance and the primary effect of temperature. These data show for the first time that there is segregating variation for TSD in a reptile and consequently that a quantitative trait locus analysis would be practicable for identifying the genes underlying TSD. PMID:20700140

  3. Multiple ocular colobomas in the snow leopard (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Barnett, K C; Lewis, J C M

    2002-09-01

    Two singleton female snow leopard cubs are reported with bilateral central upper lid colobomas. In addition, one cub had a coloboma of the fundus in one eye extending from the lower optic disc region. Surgical treatment by wedge resection was successful in both cases. Details of ocular colobomas in other snow leopards reported in the literature are described and it is suggested that the exact etiology of the condition in this species may be discovered by further study of similar colobomas in the domestic cat.

  4. Multiple ocular colobomas in the snow leopard (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Barnett, K C; Lewis, J C M

    2002-09-01

    Two singleton female snow leopard cubs are reported with bilateral central upper lid colobomas. In addition, one cub had a coloboma of the fundus in one eye extending from the lower optic disc region. Surgical treatment by wedge resection was successful in both cases. Details of ocular colobomas in other snow leopards reported in the literature are described and it is suggested that the exact etiology of the condition in this species may be discovered by further study of similar colobomas in the domestic cat. PMID:12236871

  5. Defrosting Polar Dunes--'The Snow Leopard'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The patterns created by dark spots on defrosting south polar dunes are often strange and beautiful. This picture, which the Mars Orbiter Camera team has dubbed, 'the snow leopard,' shows a dune field located at 61.5oS, 18.9oW, as it appeared on July 1, 1999. The spots are areas where dark sand has been exposed from beneath bright frost as the south polar winter cap begins to retreat. Many of the spots have a diffuse, bright ring around them this is thought to be fresh frost that was re-precipitated after being removed from the dark spot. The spots seen on defrosting polar dunes are a new phenomenon that was not observed by previous spacecraft missions to Mars. Thus, there is much about these features that remains unknown. For example, no one yet knows why the dunes become defrosted by forming small spots that grow and grow over time. No one knows for sure if the bright rings around the dark spots are actually composed of re-precipitated frost. And no one knows for sure why some dune show spots that appear to be 'lined-up' (as they do in the picture shown here).

    This Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera image is illuminated from the upper left. North is toward the upper right. The scale bar indicates a distance of 200 meters (656 feet).

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  6. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, L.A.; Hart, W.E.; Wilson, D.B.

    1996-01-12

    This work gives a proof of convergence for a randomized learning algorithm that describes how anoles (lizards found in the Carribean) learn a foraging threshold distance. This model assumes that an anole will pursue a prey if and only if it is within this threshold of the anole`s perch. This learning algorithm was proposed by the biologist Roughgarden and his colleagues. They experimentally confirmed that this algorithm quickly converges to the foraging threshold that is predicted by optimal foraging theory our analysis provides an analytic confirmation that the learning algorithm converses to this optimal foraging threshold with high probability.

  7. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Locomotion strategies in heterogeneous granular environments (common substrates in deserts), are relatively unexplored. The zebra-tailed lizard (C. draconoides) is a useful model organism for such studies owing to its exceptional ability to navigate a variety of desert habitats at impressive speed (up to 50 body-lengths per second) using both quadrapedal and bidepal gaits. In laboratory experiments, we challenge the lizards to run across a field of boulders (2.54 cm diameter glass spheres or 3.8 cm 3D printed spheres) placed in a lattice pattern and embedded in a loosely packed granular medium of 0.3 mm diameter glass particles. Locomotion kinematics of the lizard are recorded using high speed cameras, with and without the scatterers. The data reveals that unlike the lizard's typical quadrupedal locomotion using a diagonal gait, when scatterers are present the lizard is most successful when using a bipedal gait, with a raised center of mass (CoM). We propose that the kinematics of bipedal running in conjunction with the lizard's long toes and compliant hind foot are the keys to this lizard's successful locomotion in the presence of such obstacles. NSF PoLS

  8. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, S.C.; Porter, W.P. )

    1993-08-01

    Lizard life-history characteristics vary widely among species and populations. Most authors seek adaptive or phylogenetic explanations for life-history patterns, which are usually presumed to reflect genetic differences. However, lizard life histories are often phenotypically plastic, varying in response to temperature, food availability, and other environmental factors. Despite the importance of temperature to lizard ecology and physiology, its effects on life histories have received relatively little attention. The authors present a theoretical model predicting the proximate consequences of the thermal environment for lizard life histories. Temperature, by affecting activity times, can cause variation in annual survival rate and fecundity, leading to a negative correlation between survival rate and fecundity among populations in different thermal environments. Thus, physiological and evolutionary models predict the same qualitative pattern of life-history variation in lizards. They tested their model with published life-history data from field studies of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus, using climate and geographical data to reconstruct estimated annual activity seasons. Among populations, annual activity times were negatively correlated with annual survival rate and positively correlated with annual fecundity. Proximate effects of temperature may confound comparative analyses of lizard life-history variation and should be included in future evolutionary models. 125 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  9. Face Value: Towards Robust Estimates of Snow Leopard Densities.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine S; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2015-01-01

    When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trap-days, representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01) individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87). Our results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality.

  10. Face Value: Towards Robust Estimates of Snow Leopard Densities.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine S; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2015-01-01

    When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trap-days, representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01) individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87). Our results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality. PMID:26322682

  11. Face Value: Towards Robust Estimates of Snow Leopard Densities

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trap-days, representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01) individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87). Our results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality. PMID:26322682

  12. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In hope of catching a large monitor lizard seen in the area, state-licensed animal trappers Dewey Kessler and James Dean (at left), with Gary Povitch (kneeling) of the U.S. Wildlife and Dan Turner (standing) set up a trap on KSC. The lizard has been spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. Turner is a monitor expert. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  13. Prey Preferences of the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia): Regional Diet Specificity Holds Global Significance for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P.; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W.; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km2 globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36–76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation. PMID:24533080

  14. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    PubMed

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation.

  15. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    PubMed

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation. PMID:24533080

  16. A panel of microsatellites to individually identify leopards and its application to leopard monitoring in human dominated landscapes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Leopards are the most widely distributed of the large cats, ranging from Africa to the Russian Far East. Because of habitat fragmentation, high human population densities and the inherent adaptability of this species, they now occupy landscapes close to human settlements. As a result, they are the most common species involved in human wildlife conflict in India, necessitating their monitoring. However, their elusive nature makes such monitoring difficult. Recent advances in DNA methods along with non-invasive sampling techniques can be used to monitor populations and individuals across large landscapes including human dominated ones. In this paper, we describe a DNA-based method for leopard individual identification where we used fecal DNA samples to obtain genetic material. Further, we apply our methods to non-invasive samples collected in a human-dominated landscape to estimate the minimum number of leopards in this human-leopard conflict area in Western India. Results In this study, 25 of the 29 tested cross-specific microsatellite markers showed positive amplification in 37 wild-caught leopards. These loci revealed varied levels of polymorphism (four-12 alleles) and heterozygosity (0.05-0.79). Combining data on amplification success (including non-invasive samples) and locus specific polymorphisms, we showed that eight loci provide a sibling probability of identity of 0.0005, suggesting that this panel can be used to discriminate individuals in the wild. When this microsatellite panel was applied to fecal samples collected from a human-dominated landscape, we identified 7 individuals, with a sibling probability of identity of 0.001. Amplification success of field collected scats was up to 72%, and genotype error ranged from 0-7.4%. Conclusion Our results demonstrated that the selected panel of eight microsatellite loci can conclusively identify leopards from various kinds of biological samples. Our methods can be used to monitor leopards over small

  17. Molecular findings of disseminated histoplasmosis in two captive snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Espinosa-Avilés, David; Taylor, Maria Lucia; del Rocio Reyes-Montes, Maria; Pérez-Torrez, Armando

    2008-09-01

    This paper reports two cases of disseminated histoplasmosis in captive snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Histoplasmosis was diagnosed based on histopathology, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and molecular findings.

  18. Benign gastric neuroendocrine tumors in three snow leopards (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Dobson, Elizabeth C; Naydan, Dianne K; Raphael, Bonnie L; McAloose, Denise

    2013-06-01

    Neuroendocrine tumors are relatively rare neoplasms arising from neuroendocrine cells that are distributed throughout the body and are predominant in the gastrointestinal tract. This report describes benign, well-differentiated gastric neuroendocrine tumors in three captive snow leopards (Panthera uncia). All tumors were well circumscribed, were within the gastric mucosa or submucosa, and had histologic and immunohistochemical features of neuroendocrine tumors. Histologic features included packeted cuboidal to columnar epithelial cells that were arranged in palisades or pseudorosettes and contained finely granular cellular cytoplasm with centrally placed, round nuclei. Cytoplasmic granules of neoplastic cells strongly expressed chromogranin A, variably expressed neuron-specific enolase, and did not express synaptophysin or gastrin. Each leopard died or was euthanatized for reasons unrelated to its tumor.

  19. Benign gastric neuroendocrine tumors in three snow leopards (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Dobson, Elizabeth C; Naydan, Dianne K; Raphael, Bonnie L; McAloose, Denise

    2013-06-01

    Neuroendocrine tumors are relatively rare neoplasms arising from neuroendocrine cells that are distributed throughout the body and are predominant in the gastrointestinal tract. This report describes benign, well-differentiated gastric neuroendocrine tumors in three captive snow leopards (Panthera uncia). All tumors were well circumscribed, were within the gastric mucosa or submucosa, and had histologic and immunohistochemical features of neuroendocrine tumors. Histologic features included packeted cuboidal to columnar epithelial cells that were arranged in palisades or pseudorosettes and contained finely granular cellular cytoplasm with centrally placed, round nuclei. Cytoplasmic granules of neoplastic cells strongly expressed chromogranin A, variably expressed neuron-specific enolase, and did not express synaptophysin or gastrin. Each leopard died or was euthanatized for reasons unrelated to its tumor. PMID:23805563

  20. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  1. Seminoma and parathyroid adenoma in a snow leopard (Panthera unica).

    PubMed

    Doster, A R; Armstrong, D L; Bargar, T W

    1989-05-01

    A seminoma and parathyroid adenoma were diagnosed in an aged snow leopard. The ultrastructural appearance of the seminoma was similar to that described in the dog and in man. The lack of significant amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes and free ribosomes in the parathyroid adenoma suggested that it was non-functional. Parathyroid adenoma has not been previously described in a large wild feline.

  2. Seminoma and parathyroid adenoma in a snow leopard (Panthera unica).

    PubMed

    Doster, A R; Armstrong, D L; Bargar, T W

    1989-05-01

    A seminoma and parathyroid adenoma were diagnosed in an aged snow leopard. The ultrastructural appearance of the seminoma was similar to that described in the dog and in man. The lack of significant amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes and free ribosomes in the parathyroid adenoma suggested that it was non-functional. Parathyroid adenoma has not been previously described in a large wild feline. PMID:2760281

  3. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  4. Sceloporus occidentalis: Preferred Body Temperature of the Western Fence Lizard.

    PubMed

    McGinnis, S M

    1966-05-20

    Given equal thermal opportunities during four seasonal test periods, western fence lizards active above ground preferred constant body temperature throughout the year. Lizards recovered from subsurface retreats in the fall exhibited a mean body temperature significantly lower than that for sequestered lizards recorded during winter, spring, and summer. PMID:17754818

  5. Numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equations for blunt nosed bodies in supersonic flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warsi, Z. U. A.; Devarayalu, K.; Thompson, J. F.

    1978-01-01

    A time dependent, two dimensional Navier-Stokes code employing the method of body fitted coordinate technique was developed for supersonic flows past blunt bodies of arbitrary shapes. The bow shock ahead of the body is obtained as part of the solution, viz., by shock capturing. A first attempt at mesh refinement in the shock region was made by using the forcing function in the coordinate generating equations as a linear function of the density gradients. The technique displaces a few lines from the neighboring region into the shock region. Numerical calculations for Mach numbers 2 and 4.6 and Reynolds numbers from 320 to 10,000 were performed for a circular cylinder with and without a fairing. Results of Mach number 4.6 and Reynolds number 10,000 for an isothermal wall temperature of 556 K are presented in detail.

  6. Challenges in cryopreservation of clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Pukazhenthi, Budhan; Laroe, Debra; Crosier, Adrienne; Bush, Lena May; Spindler, Rebecca; Pelican, Katherine M; Bush, Mitchell; Howard, Jo Gayle; Wildt, David E

    2006-10-01

    The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is an endangered species that is difficult to breed in captivity. Species management could benefit from the use of artificial insemination (AI) with frozen-thawed spermatozoa, but there have been no detailed studies of sperm cryosensitivity. The purposes of this study were to: (1) re-characterize seminal characteristics in the clouded leopard 20 years after the first descriptive studies Wildt et al., [Wildt DE, Howard JG, Hall LL, Bush M. Reproductive physiology of the clouded leopard. I. Electroejaculates contain high proportions of pleiomorphic spermatozoa throughout the year. Biol Reprod 1986; 34: 937-947]; and (2) conduct a comparative cryopreservation study on the feasibility of sperm from this species surviving a freeze-thawing stress. Ejaculates were collected from five adult males and subjected to standard analysis, followed by a two-step straw freezing protocol that evaluated the impact of thawing, dilution, centrifugation and in vitro culture (through 4 h) on sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Additionally, we assessed the impact of both a traditional permeating cryoprotectant (glycerol at a final dilution of 4%) and an unconventional nonpermeating trisaccharide; raffinose (R) at a final dilution of 4% or 8%, with or without 4% glycerol on sperm cryosurvival. The clouded leopard produced an extremely poor quality ejaculate; although approximately 70% of fresh sperm were motile, >80% were malformed. Phase contrast microscopy revealed that 40% of all sperm had abnormal acrosomes, but Coomassie blue staining indicated that acrosomal abnormalities existed in almost 70% of spermatozoa. Upon freeze-thawing, sperm motility declined markedly (P < 0.05) by an average of 40%, regardless of diluent used. Interestingly, raffinose was as effective as glycerol in protecting both sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Although no acrosomal damage was seen immediately after thawing, < 6% morphologically normal intact

  7. Challenges in cryopreservation of clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Pukazhenthi, Budhan; Laroe, Debra; Crosier, Adrienne; Bush, Lena May; Spindler, Rebecca; Pelican, Katherine M; Bush, Mitchell; Howard, Jo Gayle; Wildt, David E

    2006-10-01

    The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is an endangered species that is difficult to breed in captivity. Species management could benefit from the use of artificial insemination (AI) with frozen-thawed spermatozoa, but there have been no detailed studies of sperm cryosensitivity. The purposes of this study were to: (1) re-characterize seminal characteristics in the clouded leopard 20 years after the first descriptive studies Wildt et al., [Wildt DE, Howard JG, Hall LL, Bush M. Reproductive physiology of the clouded leopard. I. Electroejaculates contain high proportions of pleiomorphic spermatozoa throughout the year. Biol Reprod 1986; 34: 937-947]; and (2) conduct a comparative cryopreservation study on the feasibility of sperm from this species surviving a freeze-thawing stress. Ejaculates were collected from five adult males and subjected to standard analysis, followed by a two-step straw freezing protocol that evaluated the impact of thawing, dilution, centrifugation and in vitro culture (through 4 h) on sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Additionally, we assessed the impact of both a traditional permeating cryoprotectant (glycerol at a final dilution of 4%) and an unconventional nonpermeating trisaccharide; raffinose (R) at a final dilution of 4% or 8%, with or without 4% glycerol on sperm cryosurvival. The clouded leopard produced an extremely poor quality ejaculate; although approximately 70% of fresh sperm were motile, >80% were malformed. Phase contrast microscopy revealed that 40% of all sperm had abnormal acrosomes, but Coomassie blue staining indicated that acrosomal abnormalities existed in almost 70% of spermatozoa. Upon freeze-thawing, sperm motility declined markedly (P < 0.05) by an average of 40%, regardless of diluent used. Interestingly, raffinose was as effective as glycerol in protecting both sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Although no acrosomal damage was seen immediately after thawing, < 6% morphologically normal intact

  8. Toxoplasmosis May Lead to Road Kills of Persian Leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Golestan National Park, Iran.

    PubMed

    Namroodi, Somayeh; Gholami, Alireza; Shariat-Bahadori, Ehsan

    2016-04-28

    Three Persian leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) that died from car accidents in Golestan National Park, Iran, were tested for Toxoplasma gondii and rabies virus infection. Acute T. gondii infection was diagnosed in two Persian leopards; no rabies virus was detected. Acute toxoplasmosis may be a factor in Persian leopard road kills.

  9. Toxoplasmosis May Lead to Road Kills of Persian Leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Golestan National Park, Iran.

    PubMed

    Namroodi, Somayeh; Gholami, Alireza; Shariat-Bahadori, Ehsan

    2016-04-28

    Three Persian leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) that died from car accidents in Golestan National Park, Iran, were tested for Toxoplasma gondii and rabies virus infection. Acute T. gondii infection was diagnosed in two Persian leopards; no rabies virus was detected. Acute toxoplasmosis may be a factor in Persian leopard road kills. PMID:26981691

  10. LAPAROSCOPIC SALPINGECTOMY IN TWO CAPTIVE LEOPARDS (PANTHERA PARDUS) USING A SINGLE PORTAL ACCESS SYSTEM.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Marthinus J; Monnet, Eric; Kirberger, Robert M; Schoeman, Johan P

    2015-12-01

    Laparoscopic salpingectomy was performed in two adult leopards (Panthera pardus) using a single portal access system, with a multicannulated single-incision laparoscopic surgery port, without any complications. The poorly developed ovarian bursa provided easy access to the uterine tube for salpingectomy. Laparoscopic salpingectomy can be safely performed in the leopard using a single portal access system.

  11. Phylogeography of Declining Relict and Lowland Leopard Frogs in the Desert Southwest of North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the phylogeography of the closely related relict leopard frog (Rana onca) and lowland leopard frog (R. yavapaiensis) – two declining anurans from the warm-desert regions of southwestern North America. We used sequence data from two mitochondrial DNA genes to asses...

  12. LAPAROSCOPIC SALPINGECTOMY IN TWO CAPTIVE LEOPARDS (PANTHERA PARDUS) USING A SINGLE PORTAL ACCESS SYSTEM.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Marthinus J; Monnet, Eric; Kirberger, Robert M; Schoeman, Johan P

    2015-12-01

    Laparoscopic salpingectomy was performed in two adult leopards (Panthera pardus) using a single portal access system, with a multicannulated single-incision laparoscopic surgery port, without any complications. The poorly developed ovarian bursa provided easy access to the uterine tube for salpingectomy. Laparoscopic salpingectomy can be safely performed in the leopard using a single portal access system. PMID:26667558

  13. Lizard locomotion on weak sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, Daniel

    2005-03-01

    Terrestrial animal locomotion in the natural world can involve complex foot-ground interaction; for example, running on sand probes the solid and fluid behaviors of the medium. We study locomotion of desert-dwelling lizard Callisaurus draconoides (length 16 cm, mass=20 g) during rapid running on sand. To explore the role of foot-ground interaction on locomotion, we study the impact of flat disks ( 2 cm diameter, 10 grams) into a deep (800 particle diameters) bed of 250 μm glass spheres of fixed volume fraction φ 0.59, and use a vertical flow of air (a fluidized bed) to change the material properties of the medium. A constant flow Q below the onset of bed fluidization weakens the solid: at fixed φ the penetration depth and time of a disk increases with increasing Q. We measure the average speed, foot impact depth, and foot contact time as a function of material strength. The animal maintains constant penetration time (30 msec) and high speed (1.4 m/sec) even when foot penetration depth varies as we manipulate material strength. The animals compensate for decreasing propulsion by increasing stride frequency.

  14. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1

    The south polar region of Mars is covered seasonally with translucent carbon dioxide ice. In the spring gas subliming (evaporating) from the underside of the seasonal layer of ice bursts through weak spots, carrying dust from below with it, to form numerous dust fans aligned in the direction of the prevailing wind.

    The dust gets trapped in the shallow grooves on the surface, helping to define the small-scale structure of the surface. The surface texture is reminiscent of lizard skin (figure 1).

    Observation Geometry Image PSP_003730_0945 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 14-May-2007. The complete image is centered at -85.2 degrees latitude, 181.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 248.5 km (155.3 miles). At this distance the image scale is 24.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects 75 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel . The image was taken at a local Mars time of 06:04 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 69 degrees, thus the sun was about 21 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 237.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Autumn.

  15. Cranial kinesis in gekkonid lizards

    PubMed

    Herrel; De Vree F; Delheusy; Gans

    1999-12-01

    Cranial kinesis was studied in two species of gekkonid lizard, Gekko gecko and Phelsuma madagascariensis, using cineradiography and electromyography. The skull of these geckoes showed the three types of kinesis described by Versluys at the beginning of this century: streptostyly, mesokinesis and metakinesis. In accordance with the later model of Frazzetta, the skull of these animals can be modelled by a quadratic crank system: when the mouth opens during feeding, the quadrate rotates forward, the palato-maxillary unit is lifted and the occipital unit swings forward. During jaw closing, the inverse movements are observed; during crushing, the system is retracted beyond its resting position. The data gathered here indicate that the coupled kinesis (streptostyly + mesokinesis) is most prominently present during the capture and crushing cycles of feeding and is largely absent during late intraoral transport, swallowing, drinking and breathing. The electromyographic data indicate a consistent pattern of muscular activation, with the jaw opener and pterygoid protractor always active during the fast opening phase, and the jaw closers active during closing and crushing. Our data generally support the model of Frazzetta. Although the data gathered here do not allow speculation on the functional significance of the kinesis, they clearly provide some key elements required for a further investigation of the functional and adaptive basis of the system.

  16. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain).

    PubMed

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave. PMID:24642667

  17. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain).

    PubMed

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave.

  18. LEOPARD syndrome is not linked to the Marfan syndrome and the Watson syndrome loci

    SciTech Connect

    Rass-Rothchild, A.: Abeliovitch, D.; Kornstein, A. |

    1994-09-01

    The acronym LEOPARD stands for a syndromic association of Lentigines, Eletrocardiographic changes, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonic stenosis, Abnormal genitalia, Retardation of growth and sensorineural Deafness. Inheritance is autosomal dominant with high penetrance and variable expressivity. In 1990 Torok et al. reported on the association of LEOPARD and Marfan syndrome. In addition a clinical similarity (cardiac and cutaneous involvement) exists with the Watson syndrome (neurofibromatosis and pulmonic stenosis) which is linked to the marker D17S33 on chromosome 17. We studied possible linkage of LEOPARD syndrome to the Marfan syndrome locus on chromosome 15 (D15S1, MF13, and (TAAAA)n repeats) and to the NF-1 locus on chromosome 17 in a family with 9 cases of LEOPARD syndrome. Close linkage between LEOPARD syndrome and both the Marfan locus on chromosome 15 and the NF-1 locus on chromosome 17 was excluded (lod score <-2.0 through {theta} = 0.1).

  19. Bone Accumulation by Leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo Massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave. PMID:24642667

  20. Plasma lipid concentrations for some Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

    Gillett, M P; Lima, V L; Costa, J C; Sibrian, A M

    1979-01-01

    1. Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, phospholipids and triglycerides were determined for ten species of Brazilian lizards, Iguana iguana, Tropidurus torquatos and T. semitaeniatus (Iguanidae), Tupinambis teguixin, Ameiva ameiva and Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Teiidae), Mabuya maculata (Scincidae), Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae), Amphisbaenia vermicularis and Leposternon polystegum (Amphisbaenidae). 2. Considerable inter- and intra-species variations in plasma lipid concentrations were observed. 3. The percentage of total cholesterol esterified and the individual phospholipid composition of plasma were relatively constant for each species. 4. Over 60% of the cholesteryl esters present in plasma from three species each of iguanid and teiid lizards were polyenoic. PMID:318307

  1. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A

    2015-08-26

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  2. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Tiago R.; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Kellner, Alexander W. A.

    2015-01-01

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized. PMID:26306778

  3. Unusually high predation on chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) by female leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Waterberg Mountains, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Jooste, E; Pitman, R T; van Hoven, W; Swanepoel, L H

    2012-01-01

    Leopards do not preferentially favour baboons as prey, but they are considered the primary predators of baboons across Africa. Even in areas where baboons are abundant, their contribution to leopard diet seldom exceeds 5% of biomass. It is suggested that the extreme aggressiveness of baboons, group vigilance and their high mobility when escaping may limit leopard predation. Male baboons are particularly aggressive, and retaliation often leads to the death of the leopard. However, evidence suggests that leopards may learn to catch and kill certain dangerous prey. This study reports predation on chacma baboons by 3 female leopards on a private game reserve in the Waterberg Mountains of South Africa. Potential leopard feeding sites were identified using global positioning system (GPS) location clusters obtained from GPS collars. Over a 5-month period, we investigated 200 potential leopard feeding sites and located 96 leopard feeding/kill sites. Baboons constituted 18.7% of the leopards' biomass intake. The majority of baboons preyed upon were adults and 70% of the kills were diurnal. In terms of the measured variables, there were no significant differences in the way the leopards preyed upon baboons, compared to the rest of the prey species.

  4. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Dellarupe, A; Unzaga, J M; Moré, G; Kienast, M; Larsen, A; Stiebel, C; Rambeaud, M; Venturini, M C

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum). This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina. PMID:27419102

  5. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Dellarupe, A.; Unzaga, J.M.; Moré, G.; Kienast, M.; Larsen, A.; Stiebel, C.; Rambeaud, M.; Venturini, M.C.

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum). This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina. PMID:27419102

  6. Chemoreception, symmetry and mate choice in lizards.

    PubMed Central

    Martín, J; López, P

    2000-01-01

    Research on fluctuating asymmetry (FA)-mediated sexual selection has focused almost exclusively on visual signals and ignored chemical communication despite the fact that many species rely on chemical signals for attracting mates. Female mate choice based on visual traits appears to be rare in lizards. However, the femoral glands of male lizards produce pheromones which might transmit chemical information about an individual's developmental stability. Therefore, we hypothesized that mate choice may be based on chemical cues. We analysed the effect of the developmental stability levels of males on the attractiveness of males' scents to females in a laboratory experiment with the lizard Lacerta monticola. When we offered two males of similar body size, females preferentially associated with the scents of males with low FA in their femoral pores and also with the scents of males with a higher number of femoral pores. This suggested that the females were able to discriminate the FA of the males by chemical signals alone and that the females preferred to be in areas marked by males of high quality, thus increasing their opportunities of mating with males of high quality. We suggest that the quality and/or amount of male pheromones could communicate the heritable genetic quality of a male to the female and thereby serve as the basis for adaptive female choice in lizards. PMID:10972119

  7. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Toni, Mattia; Cioni, Carla; De Angelis, Federica; di Patti, Maria Carmela Bonaccorsi

    2016-08-01

    The synuclein (syn) family comprises three proteins: α-, β- and γ-syns. In humans, they are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and in tumors. Members of the syn family were sequenced in representative species of all vertebrates and the comparative analysis of amino acid sequences suggests that syns are evolutionarily conserved, but information about their expression in vertebrate lineages is still scarce and completely lacking in reptiles. In this study, the expression of genes coding for α-, β- and γ-syns was analyzed in the green lizard Anolis carolinensis by semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. Results demonstrate good expression levels of the three syns in the lizard nervous system, similarly to human syns. This, together with the high identity between lizard and human syns, suggests that these proteins fulfill evolutionarily conserved functions. However, differences between lizard and humans in the expression of syn variants (two different variants of γ-syn were detected in A. carolinensis) and differences in some amino acids in key positions for the regulation of protein conformation and affinity for lipid and metal ions also suggest that these proteins may have acquired different functional specializations in the two lineages. PMID:27393691

  8. Integrative biology of tail autotomy in lizards.

    PubMed

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P; Zani, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Self-amputation (autotomy) of the tail is essential for the survival of many lizards. Accordingly, it has garnered the attention of scientists for more than 200 years. Several factors can influence the release of the tail, such as the size, sex, and age of the lizard; type of predator; ecology; and evolutionary history of the lineage. Once lost, the tail will writhe for seconds to minutes, and these movements likely depend on the size and physiology of the tail, habitat of the lizard, and predation pressure. Loss of the tail will, in turn, have impacts on the lizard, such as modified locomotor performance and mechanics, as well as escape behavior. However, the tail is almost always regenerated, and this involves wound healing, altered investment of resources, and tissue differentiation. The regenerated tail generally differs from the original in several ways, including size, shape, and function. Here we summarize recent findings of research pertaining to tail autotomy, and we propose a framework for future investigations.

  9. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-01

    Islands are considered to be natural laboratories in which to examine evolution because of the implicit assumption that limited gene flow allows tests of evolutionary processes in isolated replicates. Here we show that this well-accepted idea requires re-examination. Island inundation during hurricanes can have devastating effects on lizard populations in the Bahamas. After severe storms, islands may be recolonized by over-water dispersal of lizards from neighbouring islands. High levels of gene flow may homogenize genes responsible for divergence, and are widely viewed as a constraining force on evolution. Ultimately, the magnitude of gene flow determines the extent to which populations diverge from one another, and whether or not they eventually form new species. We show that patterns of gene flow among island populations of Anolis lizards are best explained by prevailing ocean currents, and that over-water dispersal has evolutionary consequences. Across islands, divergence in fitness-related morphology decreases with increasing gene flow. Results suggest that over-water dispersal after hurricanes constrains adaptive diversification in Anolis lizards, and that it may have an important but previously undocumented role in this classical example of adaptive radiation.

  10. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Toni, Mattia; Cioni, Carla; De Angelis, Federica; di Patti, Maria Carmela Bonaccorsi

    2016-08-01

    The synuclein (syn) family comprises three proteins: α-, β- and γ-syns. In humans, they are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and in tumors. Members of the syn family were sequenced in representative species of all vertebrates and the comparative analysis of amino acid sequences suggests that syns are evolutionarily conserved, but information about their expression in vertebrate lineages is still scarce and completely lacking in reptiles. In this study, the expression of genes coding for α-, β- and γ-syns was analyzed in the green lizard Anolis carolinensis by semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. Results demonstrate good expression levels of the three syns in the lizard nervous system, similarly to human syns. This, together with the high identity between lizard and human syns, suggests that these proteins fulfill evolutionarily conserved functions. However, differences between lizard and humans in the expression of syn variants (two different variants of γ-syn were detected in A. carolinensis) and differences in some amino acids in key positions for the regulation of protein conformation and affinity for lipid and metal ions also suggest that these proteins may have acquired different functional specializations in the two lineages.

  11. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-01

    Islands are considered to be natural laboratories in which to examine evolution because of the implicit assumption that limited gene flow allows tests of evolutionary processes in isolated replicates. Here we show that this well-accepted idea requires re-examination. Island inundation during hurricanes can have devastating effects on lizard populations in the Bahamas. After severe storms, islands may be recolonized by over-water dispersal of lizards from neighbouring islands. High levels of gene flow may homogenize genes responsible for divergence, and are widely viewed as a constraining force on evolution. Ultimately, the magnitude of gene flow determines the extent to which populations diverge from one another, and whether or not they eventually form new species. We show that patterns of gene flow among island populations of Anolis lizards are best explained by prevailing ocean currents, and that over-water dispersal has evolutionary consequences. Across islands, divergence in fitness-related morphology decreases with increasing gene flow. Results suggest that over-water dispersal after hurricanes constrains adaptive diversification in Anolis lizards, and that it may have an important but previously undocumented role in this classical example of adaptive radiation. PMID:14654839

  12. Developmental basis of limb homology in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fabrezi, Marissa; Abdala, Virginia; Oliver, María Inés Martínez

    2007-07-01

    Shubin and Alberch (Evol Biol 1986;20:319-387) proposed a scheme of tetrapod limb development based on cartilage morphogenesis that provides the arguments to interpret the homologies of skeletal elements and sets the basis to explain limb specialization through later developmental modification. Morphogenetic evidence emerged from the study of some reptiles, but the availability of data for lizards is limited. Here, the study of adult skeletal variation in 41 lizard taxa and ontogeny in species of Liolaemus and Tupinambis attempts to fill in this gap and provides supporting evidence for the Shubin-Alberch scheme. Six questions are explored. Is there an intermedium in the carpus? Are there two centralia in the carpus? Is there homology among proximal tarsalia of reptiles? Does digit V belong to the digital arch? Is the pisiform an element of the autopodium plan? And should the ossification processes be similar to cartilage morphogenesis? We found the following answers. Some taxa exhibit an ossified element that could represent an intermedium. There is one centrale in the carpus. Development of proximal tarsalia seems to be equivalent with that observed among reptiles. Digit V could arise from the digital arch. Pisiform does not arise as part of the limb plan. And different patterns of ossification occur following a single and conservative cartilaginous configuration. Lizard limb development shows an early pattern common to other reptiles with clear primary axis and digital arch. The pattern then becomes lizard-specific with specialization involving some reduction in prechondrogenic elements. PMID:17415759

  13. Enclosure design and space utilization by Indian leopards (Panthera pardus) in four zoos in Southern India.

    PubMed

    Mallapur, Avanti; Qureshi, Qamar; Chellam, Ravi

    2002-01-01

    Enclosure design and the use of enclosure space influence the activity budget of cap-tive leopards. The study laid out in grids all enclosures on the base map and segregated these grids into 4 zones. Every 5 min, the study recorded the proportion of time spent in these zones with the leopards' behavior. Captive leopards most frequently used the "edge" zone. Almost all leopards used the edge zone for stereotypic pacing, the "back" zone for resting, and the "other" zone for activity. The study positively corre-lated the proportion of time spent in the "enriched" zone with activity levels exhibited by leopards housed in some enclosures and with resting in others. Thus, the study seg-regated structural objects in the enriched zone into activity-related features (e.g., logs) and rest-related features (e.g., trees and sleeping platforms). Compared with individu-als housed in barren enclosures, leopards housed in structurally enriched on-exhibit enclosures exhibited higher levels of activity. Enclosure design was found to be an important factor influencing the welfare of leopards in captivity.

  14. Veno-occlusive disease in snow leopards (Panthera uncia) from zoological parks.

    PubMed

    Munson, L; Worley, M B

    1991-01-01

    Livers from 54 snow leopards, 4 days to 23 years old, that had died in 23 US zoos, were evaluated histopathologically to determine if the hepatic fibrosis, which has been noted to be prevalent in this species, was due to chronic active hepatitis from hepadnaviral infection, Ito cell proliferation, or hemosiderosis. Forty-two of 54 snow leopards had subintimal vascular fibrosis with partial or total occlusion of central and sublobular veins (veno-occlusive disease) of unknown origin. All 21 leopards older than 5 years were affected. Four leopards had chronic active hepatitis, and 12 leopards had cholangiohepatitis; but these lesions were not connected anatomically to central and sublobular venous fibrosis. Hepatocellular and Kupffer cell siderosis and Ito cell proliferation were prevalent and often coexisted with perisinusoidal, central, and sublobular venous fibrosis; but fibrosis was present in leopards without siderosis or Ito cell proliferation. The pattern and prevalence of veno-occlusive disease in these leopards was similar to that reported in captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), suggesting that a common extrinsic factor may cause the majority of hepatic disease in these large felid animals in captivity.

  15. Veno-occlusive disease in snow leopards (Panthera uncia) from zoological parks.

    PubMed

    Munson, L; Worley, M B

    1991-01-01

    Livers from 54 snow leopards, 4 days to 23 years old, that had died in 23 US zoos, were evaluated histopathologically to determine if the hepatic fibrosis, which has been noted to be prevalent in this species, was due to chronic active hepatitis from hepadnaviral infection, Ito cell proliferation, or hemosiderosis. Forty-two of 54 snow leopards had subintimal vascular fibrosis with partial or total occlusion of central and sublobular veins (veno-occlusive disease) of unknown origin. All 21 leopards older than 5 years were affected. Four leopards had chronic active hepatitis, and 12 leopards had cholangiohepatitis; but these lesions were not connected anatomically to central and sublobular venous fibrosis. Hepatocellular and Kupffer cell siderosis and Ito cell proliferation were prevalent and often coexisted with perisinusoidal, central, and sublobular venous fibrosis; but fibrosis was present in leopards without siderosis or Ito cell proliferation. The pattern and prevalence of veno-occlusive disease in these leopards was similar to that reported in captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), suggesting that a common extrinsic factor may cause the majority of hepatic disease in these large felid animals in captivity. PMID:2017826

  16. Modeling outcomes of approaches to sustained human and snow leopard coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wilman, Elizabeth A; Wilman, Elspeth N

    2016-02-01

    The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is in danger of extinction. Killing to protect livestock is among the primary causes of its decline. Efforts to mitigate this threat have focused on balancing the need to conserve the snow leopard with the needs of local people in snow leopard habitat, many of whom rely on raising livestock for their livelihoods. Conservation of the snow leopard has the characteristics of a public good, and outside funding is required to support conservation efforts. There are 5 commonly discussed approaches to resolving this issue: (1) direct payments for conservation, (2) investments in protection from predation, (3) damage compensation payments, (4) investments in better livestock husbandry, and (5) leases of pastureland for wild prey. After a review of these 5 conservation strategies, an economic-ecologic model, which includes the interactions between the snow leopard, its wild prey, and livestock, is used to evaluate the 2 most promising conservation strategies. The model reveals that investments in protection from predation and leases of pastureland for wild prey are effective but only in delaying the eventual extinction of the snow leopard. To preserve the snow leopard, these approaches must be applied more aggressively and new ones explored.

  17. Seasonal and diurnal calling patterns of Ross and leopards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Tracey L.; Rowney, Gayle A.; Ciaglia, Michaela B.; Cato, Douglas H.

    2005-09-01

    The temporal calling patterns of two Antarctic pack ice seals, the leopard and Ross seal, were examined. This included seasonal onset and decline of calling (coinciding with their breeding season) as well as diurnal changes. Understanding of calling behavior has important implications for acoustic surveying, since this allows the number of calls to be related to an index of the number of animals present and to estimate abundance. The monthly changes in diurnal calling and haul-out patterns (measured via satellite telemetry) were compared. Underwater acoustic recordings were made between 14 October 2003 and 10 January 2004 off Mawson, Eastern Antarctica (660 44.243S and 690 48.748E). Recordings were made using an Acoustics Recording Package (ARP by Dr. John Hildebrand, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA) which is designed to sit on the seafloor and passively record acoustic signals. The package was deployed at a depth of 1320.7 m. The sampling rate was 500 Hz and the effective bandwidth from 10 to 250 Hz, covering the bandwidth of only the low-frequency calls of the Ross and leopard seal.

  18. Translocation as a tool for mitigating conflict with leopards in human-dominated landscapes of India.

    PubMed

    Athreya, Vidya; Odden, Morten; Linnell, John D C; Karanth, K Ullas

    2011-02-01

    We examined the efficacy of a translocation program in which large numbers of leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) were trapped in human-dominated landscapes where livestock attacks were common and human attacks rare and released into adjoining forested areas in an attempt to reduce leopard presence and mitigate conflicts at the capture site. In the year starting in February of 2001, 29 leopards were captured in the human-dominated rural landscape of the Junnar region (4275 km(2) , 185 people/km(2) ), Maharashtra, India, and released an average of 39.5 km away in adjoining forests. Eleven leopards were also relocated to the same forests from other districts. Prior to the large-scale translocation program, an average of four leopard attacks on humans occurred each year between 1993 and 2001. After the translocation program was initiated, the average increased substantially to 17 attacks. Linear and logistic models showed that attack frequency increased in Junnar following nearby releases of leopards and decreased when leopards were removed for releases far away; that attacks became more lethal when the number of leopards introduced from other districts increased; and that attacks were most likely to occur in the regions where the largest number of leopards had been introduced from other areas. These results suggest that leopards did not stay at the release sites and that translocation induced attacks on people. Potential explanations for these results include increased aggression induced by stress of the translocation process, movement through unfamiliar human-dominated landscapes following release, and loss of fear of humans due to familiarity with humans acquired during captivity. Our results show that reactive solutions to attacks on humans by leopards, such as translocation, could in fact increase human-leopard conflict. Measures to reduce human-carnivore conflicts may include more effective compensation procedures to pay livestock owners for the loss of animals to

  19. Lizards infected with malaria: physiological and behavioral consequences.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1982-09-10

    In northern California, western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, are frequently parasitized by Plasmodium mexicanum, which causes malaria. Animals with this naturally occurring malarial infection are anemic: immature erythrocytes in peripheral blood become abundant (1 to 30 percent), and blood hemoglobin concentration decreases 25 percent. Maximal oxygen consumption decreases 15 percent and aerobic scope drops 29 percent in infected lizards; both correlate with blood hemoglobin concentration. Running stamina, but not burst running speed, is reduced in malarious lizards. There is a hierarchical relation between infection with malaria and effects on hematology, physiological function, and behavioral capacity. The results suggest that malarial infection may have significant effects on the ecology of lizard hosts. PMID:7112113

  20. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelegrin, N.; Chani, J. M.; Echevarria, A. L.; Bucher, E. H.

    2013-08-01

    Lizards partition resources in three main niche dimensions: time, space and food. Activity time and microhabitat use are strongly influenced by thermal environment, and may differ between species according to thermal requirements and tolerance. As thermal characteristics are influenced by habitat structure, microhabitat use and activity of lizards can change in disturbed habitats. We compared activity and microhabitat use of two abundant lizard species of the Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina between a restored and a highly degraded Chaco forest, to determine how habitat degradation affects lizard segregation in time and space, hypothesizing that as activity and microhabitat use of lizards are related to habitat structure, activity and microhabitat use of individual species can be altered in degraded habitats, thus changing segregation patterns between them. Activity changed from an overlapped pattern in a restored forest to a segregated pattern in a degraded forest. A similar trend was observed for microhabitat use, although to a less extent. No correlation was found between air temperature and lizard activity, but lizard activity varied along the day and among sites. Contrary to what was believed, activity patterns of neotropical diurnal lizards are not fixed, but affected by multiple factors related to habitat structure and possibly to interspecific interactions. Changes in activity patterns and microhabitat use in degraded forests may have important implications when analyzing the effects of climate change on lizard species, due to synergistic effects.

  1. LEOPARD syndrome without hearing loss or pulmonary stenosis: a report of 2 cases.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Geldres, T T; Dávila-Seijo, P; Duat-Rodríguez, A; Noguera-Morel, L; Ezquieta-Zubicaray, B; Rosón-López, E; Hernández-Martín, A; Torrelo-Fernández, A

    2015-05-01

    LEOPARD syndrome is an autosomal dominant disease caused by germline mutations in the RAS-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. LEOPARD is an acronym for the main manifestations of the syndrome, namely, multiple Lentigines, Electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormalities of genitalia, Retardation of growth, and sensorineural Deafness. None of these characteristic features, however, are pathognomonic of LEOPARD syndrome, and since they are highly variable, they are often not present at the time of diagnosis. We describe 2 cases of LEOPARD syndrome without hearing loss or pulmonary stenosis in which diagnosis was confirmed by identification of a mutation in the PTPN11 gene. Regular monitoring is important for the early detection of complications, as these can occur at any time during the course of disease.

  2. Molecular findings of disseminated histoplasmosis in two captive snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Espinosa-Avilés, David; Taylor, Maria Lucia; del Rocio Reyes-Montes, Maria; Pérez-Torrez, Armando

    2008-09-01

    This paper reports two cases of disseminated histoplasmosis in captive snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Histoplasmosis was diagnosed based on histopathology, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and molecular findings. PMID:18817010

  3. Evidence of a High Density Population of Harvested Leopards in a Montane Environment

    PubMed Central

    Chase Grey, Julia N.; Kent, Vivien T.; Hill, Russell A.

    2013-01-01

    Populations of large carnivores can persist in mountainous environments following extensive land use change and the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture and human habitation in lower lying areas of their range. The significance of these populations is poorly understood, however, and little attention has focussed on why certain mountainous areas can hold high densities of large carnivores and what the conservation implications of such populations might be. Here we use the leopard (Panthera pardus) population in the western Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa, as a model system and show that montane habitats can support high numbers of leopards. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis recorded the highest density of leopards reported outside of state-protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This density represents a temporally high local abundance of leopards and we explore the explanations for this alongside some of the potential conservation implications. PMID:24349375

  4. Occurrence of Gnathostoma spinigerum in a leopard cat from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.

    PubMed

    Lenka, Dibya Ranjan; Johns, Joju; Gopi, Jyothimol; Chandy, George; Narayanan, Priya Manakkulamparambil; Kalarikkal, Deepa Chundayil; Ravindran, Reghu

    2016-06-01

    The post-mortem examination of a leopard cat from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, died in a road accident, revealed presence of gastric tumours containing worms which were identified as Gnathostoma spinigerum based on morphological characteristics. PMID:27413340

  5. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    PubMed Central

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-01-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems. PMID:22393523

  6. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Velenovsky, David S.; Bonine, Kevin E.

    2011-11-01

    The present study empirically explores the relationship between spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) and stimulus-frequency emissions (SFOAEs) in lizards, an ideal group for such research given their relatively simple inner ear (e.g., lack of basilar membrane traveling waves), diverse morphology across species/families (e.g., tectorial membrane structure) and robust emissions. In a nutshell, our results indicate that SFOAEs evoked using low-level tones are intimately related to underlying SOAE activity, and appear to represent the entrained response of active oscillators closely tuned to the probe frequency. The data described here indicate several essential features that are desirable to capture in theoretical models for auditory transduction in lizards, and potentially represent generic properties at work in many different classes of "active" ears.

  7. Temperature regulation in lizards: effects of hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Hicks, J W; Wood, S C

    1985-05-01

    Temperature regulation during external (lowered lung PO2) and internal hypoxia (anemia) was examined in four species of lizards. Exposure to a hypoxic gas mixture in a thermogradient resulted in the animals lowering their selected (preferred) body temperature. A 50% reduction in the O2 carrying capacity of the blood also reduced the selected body temperature. Lizards "shuttle" when forced to select a temperature either above or below their normal selected temperature. Exposure to hypoxia decreases the upper and lower exit temperatures during shuttling. Furthermore, a decrease in the inspired O2 causes the rate of heating to no longer exceed the rate of cooling as is normal. The behavioral reduction of body temperature and the altered neural and physiological aspects of temperature regulation appear to be generalized responses to impaired O2 transport and not PO2 per se. The reduced body temperature, by lowering metabolic demand, provides an effective, even life-saving, adaptation to hypoxia.

  8. Parietal eye nerve in the fence lizard.

    PubMed

    EAKIN, R M; STEBBINS, R C

    1959-12-01

    A nerve from the parietal eye of the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, is described as leaving inconspicuously from the third-eye and extending caudally under the dura mater and then ventrally along the left anterolateral surface of the epiphysis to the habenular commissure of the brain. The existence of a parietal nerve must be considered in interpreting the effects of parietalectomy. PMID:13819089

  9. Distribution and postbreeding environmental relationships of Northern leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens) in Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germaine, S.S.; Hays, D.W.

    2009-01-01

    Northern leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens) are considered sensitive, threatened, or endangered in all western states and western Canadian provinces. Historically present in eastern Washington in 6 major river drainages, leopard frogs are now only known to occur at 2 localized areas in the Crab Creek drainage in Grant County. During the summers of 2002-2005, we surveyed both areas to document extent of leopard frog distributions and to describe habitat and vertebrate community characteristics associated with leopard frog site occupancy. At Gloyd Seeps, 2 juvenile leopard frogs were observed in a total of 8.2 person-days of searching along a 5-km stream reach. At Potholes Reservoir, we surveyed 243 wetland sites in 7 management units known to have been occupied by leopard frogs during the 1980s. We confirmed leopard frog presence at only 87 sites (36%) in 4 management units. Site occupancy models for individual ponds indicated that, compared to unoccupied sites, occupied sites had slightly greater pond depths, less tall emergent vegetation, more herbaceous vegetative cover, and fewer neighboring ponds containing nonnative predatory fish. Models developed at the 1-km2 scale indicated that occupied areas had greater average midsummer pond depths, fewer ponds occupied by bullfrogs (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), and more herbaceous vegetation surrounding ponds. The Gloyd Seeps population now appears defunct, and the Potholes Reservoir population is in sharp decline. Unless management actions are taken to reduce nonnative fish and bullfrogs and to enhance wetland vegetation, leopard frogs may soon be extirpated from both sites and possibly, therefore, from Washington.

  10. [Multiple ocular coloboma (MOC) with persistent pupillary membrane in the snow leopard (Panthera uncia)].

    PubMed

    Schäffer, E; Wiesner, H; von Hegel, G

    1988-01-01

    In a litter of three snow leopards, bilateral colobomata of the upper temporal eyelids, bilateral persistent pupillary membranes and a unilateral coloboma of the optic nerve entrance are described as "Multiple Ocular Colobomata" (MOC). The causal pathogenesis of each of the colobomata is discussed comparatively. The colobomata of the eyelids, essential feature of the MOC syndrome in snow leopards, are most probably not of hereditary, but rather of intrauterine infectious viral origin.

  11. [Multiple ocular coloboma (MOC) with persistent pupillary membrane in the snow leopard (Panthera uncia)].

    PubMed

    Schäffer, E; Wiesner, H; von Hegel, G

    1988-01-01

    In a litter of three snow leopards, bilateral colobomata of the upper temporal eyelids, bilateral persistent pupillary membranes and a unilateral coloboma of the optic nerve entrance are described as "Multiple Ocular Colobomata" (MOC). The causal pathogenesis of each of the colobomata is discussed comparatively. The colobomata of the eyelids, essential feature of the MOC syndrome in snow leopards, are most probably not of hereditary, but rather of intrauterine infectious viral origin. PMID:3368914

  12. Development of the dorsal circumorbital bones in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) and its bearing on the homology of these elements in the gekkota.

    PubMed

    Wise, Patrick Arthur David; Russell, Anthony Patrick

    2010-12-01

    Five nominal elements comprise the circumorbital series of bones in gekkotans: prefrontal, postfrontal, postorbital, jugal, and lacrimal. Determination of the homology of two of these, the postfrontal and postorbital, has been particularly problematic. Two conflicting hypothesis exist relating to these: either the postorbital is lost and the postfrontal remains or they fuse during development to form a combined element, the postorbitofrontal. Such a combined element apparently occurs in at least some members of all lizard clades. There is, however, no direct developmental evidence that supports either theory. To overcome that, we investigate the sequence and pattern of ossification in the circumorbital region in a developmental series of the Leopard gecko. We posit that both the postfrontal and postorbital appear during development. Contrary to previous predictions they neither fuses to each other, nor do either degenerate. Instead, the postfrontal shifts anteriorly and fuses with the frontal to become indistinguishable from it by the time of hatching, and the postorbital persists as a robust independent element bounding the frontoparietal suture. These observations accord, in part, with both hypotheses of homology of these elements and result in the recognition of a new pattern, placing in doubt the existence of the composite postorbitofrontal. The phylogenetic implications of these findings may prove to be far reaching if similar and conserved patterns of development are encountered in other clades. PMID:21046667

  13. Identifying ecological corridors for Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) and Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Miquelle, Dale G; Rozhnov, Vyachaslav V; Ermoshin, Victor; Murzin, Andre A; Nikolaev, Igor G; Hernandez-Blanco, Jose A; Naidenko, Sergie V

    2015-07-01

    The rapid explosion of human populations and the associated development of human-dominated landscapes have drastically reduced and fragmented habitat for tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) across Asia, resulting in multiple small populations. However, Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) habitat in Russia has remained largely interconnected, except for a break between tigers in southwest Primorye and the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. This habitat patch in southwest Primorye also retains the last population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis). Genetic differentiation of tigers in southwest Primorye and the Sikhote-Alin Mountains along with survey data suggest that habitat fragmentation is limiting movement of tigers and leopards across the Razdolnaya River basin. We looked at historical and recent survey data on tigers and leopards and mapped existing cover types to examine land-use patterns of both large felids and humans in the development strip along the Razdolnaya River. We then used least-cost distance analyses to identify the most effective potential corridor to retain connectivity for large felids between Land of the Leopard National Park and Ussuriskii Zapovednik (Reserve). We identified a single potential corridor that still exists with a total distance of 62.5 km from Land of the Leopard National Park to Ussuriskii Zapovednik, mostly (93%) through forested habitat. We recommend formal recognition of a Razdolnaya ecological corridor and provide specific recommendations for each of 3 proposed management sections.

  14. Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Andrew P; Gerngross, Peter; Lemeris, Joseph R; Schoonover, Rebecca F; Anco, Corey; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Durant, Sarah M; Farhadinia, Mohammad S; Henschel, Philipp; Kamler, Jan F; Laguardia, Alice; Rostro-García, Susana; Stein, Andrew B; Dollar, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The leopard's (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard's status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25-37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard's extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km(2) of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected.

  15. Effects of trophy hunting on lion and leopard populations in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Packer, C; Brink, H; Kissui, B M; Maliti, H; Kushnir, H; Caro, T

    2011-02-01

    Tanzania holds most of the remaining large populations of African lions (Panthera leo) and has extensive areas of leopard habitat (Panthera pardus), and both species are subjected to sizable harvests by sport hunters. As a first step toward establishing sustainable management strategies, we analyzed harvest trends for lions and leopards across Tanzania's 300,000 km(2) of hunting blocks. We summarize lion population trends in protected areas where lion abundance has been directly measured and data on the frequency of lion attacks on humans in high-conflict agricultural areas. We place these findings in context of the rapidly growing human population in rural Tanzania and the concomitant effects of habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and cultural practices. Lion harvests declined by 50% across Tanzania between 1996 and 2008, and hunting areas with the highest initial harvests suffered the steepest declines. Although each part of the country is subject to some form of anthropogenic impact from local people, the intensity of trophy hunting was the only significant factor in a statistical analysis of lion harvest trends. Although leopard harvests were more stable, regions outside the Selous Game Reserve with the highest initial leopard harvests again showed the steepest declines. Our quantitative analyses suggest that annual hunting quotas be limited to 0.5 lions and 1.0 leopard/1000 km(2) of hunting area, except hunting blocks in the Selous Game Reserve, where harvests should be limited to 1.0 lion and 3.0 leopards/1000 km(2) .

  16. Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Andrew P; Gerngross, Peter; Lemeris, Joseph R; Schoonover, Rebecca F; Anco, Corey; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Durant, Sarah M; Farhadinia, Mohammad S; Henschel, Philipp; Kamler, Jan F; Laguardia, Alice; Rostro-García, Susana; Stein, Andrew B; Dollar, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The leopard's (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard's status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25-37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard's extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km(2) of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected. PMID:27168983

  17. Identifying ecological corridors for Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) and Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Miquelle, Dale G; Rozhnov, Vyachaslav V; Ermoshin, Victor; Murzin, Andre A; Nikolaev, Igor G; Hernandez-Blanco, Jose A; Naidenko, Sergie V

    2015-07-01

    The rapid explosion of human populations and the associated development of human-dominated landscapes have drastically reduced and fragmented habitat for tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) across Asia, resulting in multiple small populations. However, Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) habitat in Russia has remained largely interconnected, except for a break between tigers in southwest Primorye and the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. This habitat patch in southwest Primorye also retains the last population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis). Genetic differentiation of tigers in southwest Primorye and the Sikhote-Alin Mountains along with survey data suggest that habitat fragmentation is limiting movement of tigers and leopards across the Razdolnaya River basin. We looked at historical and recent survey data on tigers and leopards and mapped existing cover types to examine land-use patterns of both large felids and humans in the development strip along the Razdolnaya River. We then used least-cost distance analyses to identify the most effective potential corridor to retain connectivity for large felids between Land of the Leopard National Park and Ussuriskii Zapovednik (Reserve). We identified a single potential corridor that still exists with a total distance of 62.5 km from Land of the Leopard National Park to Ussuriskii Zapovednik, mostly (93%) through forested habitat. We recommend formal recognition of a Razdolnaya ecological corridor and provide specific recommendations for each of 3 proposed management sections. PMID:26096589

  18. Leopard frog and wood frog reproduction in Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Livo, Lauren J.

    1989-01-01

    Between 1978 and 1988, we recorded reproductive information from populations of ranid frogs in Colorado and Wyoming. Egg masses from five plains and montane populations of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) contained 645-6272 eggs (x̄ = 3045, N = 68 egg masses). In two montane populations of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) numbers of eggs per egg mass varied from 711-1248 (x̄ = 876, N = 15) and probably were equal to total clutch size. Mean hatching success was 90% in egg masses from one R. sylvatica population and ranged from 70% to 99% in R. pipiens egg masses. Rana pipiens egg masses from one location were assigned to three overlapping size distributions, which we believe reflects the underlying age structure of female frogs.

  19. Stifle osteochondritis dissecans in snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Herrin, Kimberly Vinette; Allan, Graeme; Black, Anthony; Aliah, Rhonda; Howlett, Cameron Rolfe

    2012-06-01

    Three snow leopard (Uncia uncia) cubs, female and male siblings and an unrelated female, had lameness attributed to osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions noted at 6, 8, and 10 mo of age, respectively. All cubs were diagnosed with OCD via radiographs. The sibling cubs both had lesions of the right lateral femoral condyles, while the unrelated cub had bilateral lesions of the lateral femoral condyles. Subsequently, OCD was confirmed in all three cases during surgical correction of the lateral femoral condyle lesions via lateral stifle arthrotomies, flap removal, and debridement of the defect sites. Histopathology also supported the diagnosis of OCD. Postoperatively, the sibling cubs developed seromas at the incision sites and mild lameness, which resolved within a month. To date, two cubs have been orthopedically sound, while one of the sibling cubs has developed mild osteoarthritis. OCD has rarely been reported in domestic felids, and to the authors' knowledge these are the first reported cases of OCD in nondomestic felids.

  20. Stifle osteochondritis dissecans in snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Herrin, Kimberly Vinette; Allan, Graeme; Black, Anthony; Aliah, Rhonda; Howlett, Cameron Rolfe

    2012-06-01

    Three snow leopard (Uncia uncia) cubs, female and male siblings and an unrelated female, had lameness attributed to osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions noted at 6, 8, and 10 mo of age, respectively. All cubs were diagnosed with OCD via radiographs. The sibling cubs both had lesions of the right lateral femoral condyles, while the unrelated cub had bilateral lesions of the lateral femoral condyles. Subsequently, OCD was confirmed in all three cases during surgical correction of the lateral femoral condyle lesions via lateral stifle arthrotomies, flap removal, and debridement of the defect sites. Histopathology also supported the diagnosis of OCD. Postoperatively, the sibling cubs developed seromas at the incision sites and mild lameness, which resolved within a month. To date, two cubs have been orthopedically sound, while one of the sibling cubs has developed mild osteoarthritis. OCD has rarely been reported in domestic felids, and to the authors' knowledge these are the first reported cases of OCD in nondomestic felids. PMID:22779240

  1. LEOPARD syndrome: clinical dilemmas in differential diagnosis of RASopathies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Diagnosis within RASopathies still represents a challenge. Nevertheless, many efforts have been made by clinicians to identify specific clinical features which might help in differentiating one disorder from another. Here, we describe a child initially diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome. The follow-up of the proband, the clinical evaluation of his father together with a gene-by-gene testing approach led us to the proper diagnosis. Case presentation We report a 8-year-old male with multiple café-au-lait macules, several lentigines and dysmorphic features that suggest Noonan syndrome initially diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome. However, after a few years of clinical and ophthalmological follow-up, the absence of typical features of Neurofibromatosis type 1 and the lack of NF1 mutation led us to reconsider the original diagnosis. A new examination of the patient and his similarly affected father, who was initially referred as healthy, led us to suspect LEOPARD syndrome, The diagnosis was then confirmed by the occurrence in both patients of a heterozygous mutation c.1403 C > T, p.(Thr468Met), of PTPN11. Subsequently, the proband was also found to have type-1 Arnold-Chiari malformation in association with syringomyelia. Conclusion Our experience suggests that differential clinical diagnosis among RASopathies remains ambiguous and raises doubts on the current diagnostic clinical criteria. In some cases, genetic tests represent the only conclusive proof for a correct diagnosis and, consequently, for establishing individual prognosis and providing adequate follow-up. Thus, molecular testing represents an essential tool in differential diagnosis of RASophaties. This view is further strengthened by the increasing accessibility of new sequencing techniques. Finally, to our knowledge, the described case represents the third report of the occurrence of Arnold Chiari malformation and the second description of syringomyelia with

  2. Horned lizards (Phrynosoma) incapacitate dangerous ant prey with mucus.

    PubMed

    Sherbrooke, Wade C; Schwenk, Kurt

    2008-10-01

    Horned lizards (Iguanidae, Phrynosomatinae, Phrynosoma) are morphologically specialized reptiles characterized by squat, tank-like bodies, short limbs, blunt snouts, spines and cranial horns, among other traits. They are unusual among lizards in the degree to which they specialize on a diet of ants, but exceptional in the number of pugnacious, highly venomous, stinging ants they consume, especially harvester ants (genus Pogonomyrmex). Like other iguanian lizards, they capture insect prey on the tongue, but unlike other lizards, they neither bite nor chew dangerous prey before swallowing. Instead, they employ a unique kinematic pattern in which prey capture, transport and swallowing are combined. Nevertheless, horned lizards consume dozens of harvester ants without harm. We show that their derived feeding kinematics are associated with unique, mucus-secreting pharyngeal papillae that apparently serve to immobilize and incapacitate dangerous ants as they are swallowed by compacting them and binding them in mucus strands. Radially branched esophageal folds provide additional mucus-secreting surfaces the ants pass through as they are swallowed. Ants extracted from fresh-killed horned lizard stomachs are curled ventrally into balls and bound in mucus. We conclude that the pharyngeal papillae, in association with a unique form of hyolingual prey transport and swallowing, are horned lizard adaptations related to a diet of dangerous prey. Harvester ant defensive weapons, along with horned lizard adaptations against such weapons, suggest a long-term, predator-prey, co-evolutionary arms race between Phrynosoma and Pogonomyrmex.

  3. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub - thorn woodland - thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. Body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with doubly labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient were compared. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =100 lizards/ha) than at the thorn scrub site near the ocean (approx. =50 lizards/ha). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/,> and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/O influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. Causal factors for the difference in daily activity period are suggested, and implications of length of daily foraging period for adult body, size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards are discussed.

  4. Salmonellosis in laboratory-housed iguanid lizards (Sceloporus spp.).

    PubMed

    Kalvig, B A; Maggio-Price, L; Tsuji, J; Giddens, W E

    1991-10-01

    Fifteen wild-caught iguanid lizards (14 Sceloporus variabilis and one S. malachiticus) were used in a 3 mo study on thermal acclimation. Over a 2 mo period, five of the lizards showed decreased activity, anorexia and enlarged joints, and were either found moribund or were euthanatized due to their poor condition. Specimens taken from lesions in four of the five lizards were cultured and were infected with Salmonella spp. Salmonella spp. was cultured from cloacal swabs in six of the 10 surviving lizards. Standard metabolic rates of those that were infected did not differ significantly from those that were not infected. We postulate that the lizards were inapparent carriers of Salmonella spp. at the time of capture and, as a result of stress, five developed active overwhelming systemic infections. PMID:1758020

  5. Lizards in the ecology of salmonellosis in Panama.

    PubMed Central

    Kourany, M; Telford, S R

    1981-01-01

    Enteropathogenic bacteria was isolated from 131 of 447 (29.4%) neotropical Panamanian lizards belonging to 34 species of seven families. Overall, 147 strains of bacteria were isolated comprising 26 Salmonella and 10 Arizona serotypes. Gymnopthalmus speciosus had the highest infection rate, 12 of 13 individuals (92.3%), whereas Gonatodes fuscus exhibited the lowest, 1 of 18 (5.6%). The highest infection was detected in lizards whose behavioral patterns were secretive (42.0%) and terrestrial (42.6%), whereas the lowest infection was among the scansorial lizards (17.5%). Rates were highest during the dry season, from January through April. Many neotropical Panamanian lizards were multiply infected by Salmonella an Arizona strains representing representing a wide range of serotypes. Infected lizards were distributed in areas varying from remote rural and forested regions to urban developments, offering a potentially important reservoir of enteropathogenic bacteria known to cause infection in man and domestic animals. PMID:7259156

  6. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  7. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats. PMID:19928477

  8. Density-dependent natal dispersal patterns in a leopard population recovering from over-harvest.

    PubMed

    Fattebert, Julien; Balme, Guy; Dickerson, Tristan; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Natal dispersal enables population connectivity, gene flow and metapopulation dynamics. In polygynous mammals, dispersal is typically male-biased. Classically, the 'mate competition', 'resource competition' and 'resident fitness' hypotheses predict density-dependent dispersal patterns, while the 'inbreeding avoidance' hypothesis posits density-independent dispersal. In a leopard (Panthera pardus) population recovering from over-harvest, we investigated the effect of sex, population density and prey biomass, on age of natal dispersal, distance dispersed, probability of emigration and dispersal success. Over an 11-year period, we tracked 35 subadult leopards using VHF and GPS telemetry. Subadult leopards initiated dispersal at 13.6 ± 0.4 months. Age at commencement of dispersal was positively density-dependent. Although males (11.0 ± 2.5 km) generally dispersed further than females (2.7 ± 0.4 km), some males exhibited opportunistic philopatry when the population was below capacity. All 13 females were philopatric, while 12 of 22 males emigrated. Male dispersal distance and emigration probability followed a quadratic relationship with population density, whereas female dispersal distance was inversely density-dependent. Eight of 12 known-fate females and 5 of 12 known-fate male leopards were successful in settling. Dispersal success did not vary with population density, prey biomass, and for males, neither between dispersal strategies (philopatry vs. emigration). Females formed matrilineal kin clusters, supporting the resident fitness hypothesis. Conversely, mate competition appeared the main driver for male leopard dispersal. We demonstrate that dispersal patterns changed over time, i.e. as the leopard population density increased. We conclude that conservation interventions that facilitated local demographic recovery in the study area also restored dispersal patterns disrupted by unsustainable harvesting, and that this indirectly improved connectivity among

  9. Prey preference of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Shehzad, Wasim; McCarthy, Thomas Michael; Pompanon, Francois; Purevjav, Lkhagvajav; Coissac, Eric; Riaz, Tiayyba; Taberlet, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    Accurate information about the diet of large carnivores that are elusive and inhabit inaccessible terrain, is required to properly design conservation strategies. Predation on livestock and retaliatory killing of predators have become serious issues throughout the range of the snow leopard. Several feeding ecology studies of snow leopards have been conducted using classical approaches. These techniques have inherent limitations in their ability to properly identify both snow leopard feces and prey taxa. To examine the frequency of livestock prey and nearly-threatened argali in the diet of the snow leopard, we employed the recently developed DNA-based diet approach to study a snow leopard population located in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. After DNA was extracted from the feces, a region of ∼100 bp long from mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was amplified, making use of universal primers for vertebrates and a blocking oligonucleotide specific to snow leopard DNA. The amplicons were then sequenced using a next-generation sequencing platform. We observed a total of five different prey items from 81 fecal samples. Siberian ibex predominated the diet (in 70.4% of the feces), followed by domestic goat (17.3%) and argali sheep (8.6%). The major part of the diet was comprised of large ungulates (in 98.8% of the feces) including wild ungulates (79%) and domestic livestock (19.7%). The findings of the present study will help to understand the feeding ecology of the snow leopard, as well as to address the conservation and management issues pertaining to this wild cat.

  10. Density-Dependent Natal Dispersal Patterns in a Leopard Population Recovering from Over-Harvest

    PubMed Central

    Fattebert, Julien; Balme, Guy; Dickerson, Tristan; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Natal dispersal enables population connectivity, gene flow and metapopulation dynamics. In polygynous mammals, dispersal is typically male-biased. Classically, the ‘mate competition’, ‘resource competition’ and ‘resident fitness’ hypotheses predict density-dependent dispersal patterns, while the ‘inbreeding avoidance’ hypothesis posits density-independent dispersal. In a leopard (Panthera pardus) population recovering from over-harvest, we investigated the effect of sex, population density and prey biomass, on age of natal dispersal, distance dispersed, probability of emigration and dispersal success. Over an 11-year period, we tracked 35 subadult leopards using VHF and GPS telemetry. Subadult leopards initiated dispersal at 13.6 ± 0.4 months. Age at commencement of dispersal was positively density-dependent. Although males (11.0 ± 2.5 km) generally dispersed further than females (2.7 ± 0.4 km), some males exhibited opportunistic philopatry when the population was below capacity. All 13 females were philopatric, while 12 of 22 males emigrated. Male dispersal distance and emigration probability followed a quadratic relationship with population density, whereas female dispersal distance was inversely density-dependent. Eight of 12 known-fate females and 5 of 12 known-fate male leopards were successful in settling. Dispersal success did not vary with population density, prey biomass, and for males, neither between dispersal strategies (philopatry vs. emigration). Females formed matrilineal kin clusters, supporting the resident fitness hypothesis. Conversely, mate competition appeared the main driver for male leopard dispersal. We demonstrate that dispersal patterns changed over time, i.e. as the leopard population density increased. We conclude that conservation interventions that facilitated local demographic recovery in the study area also restored dispersal patterns disrupted by unsustainable harvesting, and that this indirectly improved

  11. Density-dependent natal dispersal patterns in a leopard population recovering from over-harvest.

    PubMed

    Fattebert, Julien; Balme, Guy; Dickerson, Tristan; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Natal dispersal enables population connectivity, gene flow and metapopulation dynamics. In polygynous mammals, dispersal is typically male-biased. Classically, the 'mate competition', 'resource competition' and 'resident fitness' hypotheses predict density-dependent dispersal patterns, while the 'inbreeding avoidance' hypothesis posits density-independent dispersal. In a leopard (Panthera pardus) population recovering from over-harvest, we investigated the effect of sex, population density and prey biomass, on age of natal dispersal, distance dispersed, probability of emigration and dispersal success. Over an 11-year period, we tracked 35 subadult leopards using VHF and GPS telemetry. Subadult leopards initiated dispersal at 13.6 ± 0.4 months. Age at commencement of dispersal was positively density-dependent. Although males (11.0 ± 2.5 km) generally dispersed further than females (2.7 ± 0.4 km), some males exhibited opportunistic philopatry when the population was below capacity. All 13 females were philopatric, while 12 of 22 males emigrated. Male dispersal distance and emigration probability followed a quadratic relationship with population density, whereas female dispersal distance was inversely density-dependent. Eight of 12 known-fate females and 5 of 12 known-fate male leopards were successful in settling. Dispersal success did not vary with population density, prey biomass, and for males, neither between dispersal strategies (philopatry vs. emigration). Females formed matrilineal kin clusters, supporting the resident fitness hypothesis. Conversely, mate competition appeared the main driver for male leopard dispersal. We demonstrate that dispersal patterns changed over time, i.e. as the leopard population density increased. We conclude that conservation interventions that facilitated local demographic recovery in the study area also restored dispersal patterns disrupted by unsustainable harvesting, and that this indirectly improved connectivity among

  12. Prey preference of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Shehzad, Wasim; McCarthy, Thomas Michael; Pompanon, Francois; Purevjav, Lkhagvajav; Coissac, Eric; Riaz, Tiayyba; Taberlet, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    Accurate information about the diet of large carnivores that are elusive and inhabit inaccessible terrain, is required to properly design conservation strategies. Predation on livestock and retaliatory killing of predators have become serious issues throughout the range of the snow leopard. Several feeding ecology studies of snow leopards have been conducted using classical approaches. These techniques have inherent limitations in their ability to properly identify both snow leopard feces and prey taxa. To examine the frequency of livestock prey and nearly-threatened argali in the diet of the snow leopard, we employed the recently developed DNA-based diet approach to study a snow leopard population located in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. After DNA was extracted from the feces, a region of ∼100 bp long from mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was amplified, making use of universal primers for vertebrates and a blocking oligonucleotide specific to snow leopard DNA. The amplicons were then sequenced using a next-generation sequencing platform. We observed a total of five different prey items from 81 fecal samples. Siberian ibex predominated the diet (in 70.4% of the feces), followed by domestic goat (17.3%) and argali sheep (8.6%). The major part of the diet was comprised of large ungulates (in 98.8% of the feces) including wild ungulates (79%) and domestic livestock (19.7%). The findings of the present study will help to understand the feeding ecology of the snow leopard, as well as to address the conservation and management issues pertaining to this wild cat. PMID:22393381

  13. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub-thorn woodland-thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. The authors compared body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with double labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =50 lizards/ha.). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 site J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/ influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. We suggest causal factors for the difference in daily activity period, and discuss implications of length of daily forging period for adult body size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards.

  14. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

    During the vacation with my wife in Cornwall, we by chance were walking by the Lizard wireless station, originally installed by Guglielmo Marconi and recently refurbished by The National Trust/UK. Fortunately the shed was open for public visitors and a student was present telling stories about the station and its history. The historic equipment was demonstrated by sending some Morse codes. The high voltage sparks and its sound were quite impressive while in the background the Morse code receiver punched dots and dashes onto the strip chart.

  15. Morbid attraction to leopard urine in Toxoplasma-infected chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Poirotte, Clémence; Kappeler, Peter M; Ngoubangoye, Barthelemy; Bourgeois, Stéphanie; Moussodji, Maick; Charpentier, Marie J E

    2016-02-01

    Parasites are sometimes capable of inducing phenotypic changes in their hosts to improve transmission [1]. Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan that infects a broad range of warm-blooded species, is one example that supports the so-called 'parasite manipulation hypothesis': it induces modifications in rodents' olfactory preferences, converting an innate aversion for cat odor into attraction and probably favoring trophic transmission to feline species, its only definitive hosts [2]. In humans, T. gondii induces behavioral modifications such as personality changes, prolonged reaction times and decreased long-term concentration [3]. However, modern humans are not suitable intermediate hosts because they are no longer preyed upon by felines. Consequently, behavioral modifications in infected people are generally assumed to be side effects of toxoplasmosis or residual manipulation traits that evolved in appropriate intermediate hosts. An alternative hypothesis, however, states that these changes result from parasite manipulative abilities that evolved when human ancestors were still under significant feline predation [3,4]. As such, T. gondii also alters olfactory preferences in humans; infected men rate cat urine, but not tiger urine, as pleasant while non-infected men do not [5]. To unravel the origin of Toxoplasma-induced modifications in humans, we performed olfactory tests on a living primate still predated by a feline species. We found in our closest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes), that Toxoplasma-infected (TI) animals lost their innate aversion towards the urine of leopards (Panthera pardus), their only natural predator. By contrast, we observed no clear difference in the response of TI and Toxoplasma-non-infected (TN) animals towards urine collected from other definitive feline hosts that chimpanzees do not encounter in nature. Although the adaptive value of parasitically induced behavior should be assessed carefully, we suggest that the

  16. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests. PMID:25163614

  17. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests.

  18. Who bites the bullet first? The susceptibility of leopards Panthera pardus to trophy hunting.

    PubMed

    Braczkowski, Alex Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Macdonald, David Whyte; Fattebert, Julien; Dickerson, Tristan; Johnson, Paul; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Reliable data is fundamentally important for managing large carnivore populations, and vital for informing hunting quota levels if those populations are subject to trophy hunting. Camera-trapping and spoor counts can provide reliable population estimates for many carnivores, but governments typically lack the resources to implement such surveys over the spatial scales required to inform robust quota setting. It may therefore be prudent to shift focus away from estimating population size and instead focus on monitoring population trend. In this paper we assess the susceptibility of African leopards Panthera pardus to trophy hunting. This has management ramifications, particularly if the use of harvest composition is to be explored as a metric of population trend. We explore the susceptibility of different leopard age and sex cohorts to trophy hunting; first by examining their intrinsic susceptibility to encountering trophy hunters using camera-traps as surrogates, and second by assessing their extrinsic susceptibility using photographic questionnaire surveys to determine their attractiveness to hunters. We show that adult male and female leopards share similar incident rates to encountering hunters but adult males are the most susceptible to hunting due to hunter preference for large trophies. In contrast, sub-adult leopards rarely encounter hunters and are the least attractive trophies. We suggest that our findings be used as a foundation for the exploration of a harvest composition scheme in the Kwazulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces where post mortem information is collected from hunted leopards and submitted to the local provincial authorities.

  19. Detection of Hepatozoon sp. in a Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica).

    PubMed

    Khoshnegah, Javad; Mohri, Mehrdad; Mirshahi, Ali; Mousavi, Seyed Javad

    2012-07-01

    A free-ranging, adult, male Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica) was found at Geloul-Sarani protected zone, province of North-Khorasan, Iran and transported to the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The leopard had normal temperature and respiratory and cardiac frequency, but was significantly dehydrated and had elevated capillary perfusion. The animal also was cachectic, with pale mucus membranes, third-eyelid protrusion, and bilaterally enlarged submandibular lymph nodes. The leopard was stabilized by intensive fluid and electrolyte therapy and hospitalized. In 2 days, the leopard had improved clinically but had severe ataxia and head pressing. Blood smears revealed gamonts of Hepatozoon sp. within some neutrophils. Hematologic and plasma chemistry abnormalities included moderate anemia, leukocytosis, hypocholestrolemia, and hypophosphatemia. In radiographic evaluations, no sign of periosteal reactions or new bone formation was seen on the skull, spine, long bones, pelvis, or vertebrae. The leopard was treated successfully with Tazocin and clindamycin for 1 mo. This is the first detection of a Hepatozoon sp. in wild Felidae in Iran. Because most Iranian wild felids and canids are endangered, knowing whether Hepatozoon infection represents a threat for these animals is important.

  20. New hope for the survival of the Amur leopard in China.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guangshun; Qi, Jinzhe; Wang, Guiming; Shi, Quanhua; Darman, Yury; Hebblewhite, Mark; Miquelle, Dale G; Li, Zhilin; Zhang, Xue; Gu, Jiayin; Chang, Youde; Zhang, Minghai; Ma, Jianzhang

    2015-12-07

    Natural range loss limits the population growth of Asian big cats and may determine their survival. Over the past decade, we collected occurrence data of the critically endangered Amur leopard worldwide and developed a distribution model of the leopard's historical range in northeastern China over the past decade. We were interested to explore how much current range area exists, learn what factors limit their spatial distribution, determine the population size and estimate the extent of potential habitat. Our results identify 48,252 km(2) of current range and 21,173.7 km(2) of suitable habitat patches and these patches may support 195.1 individuals. We found that prey presence drives leopard distribution, that leopard density exhibits a negative response to tiger occurrence and that the largest habitat patch connects with 5,200 km(2)of Russian current range. These insights provide a deeper understanding of the means by which endangered predators might be saved and survival prospects for the Amur leopard not only in China, but also through imperative conservation cooperation internationally.

  1. Who Bites the Bullet First? The Susceptibility of Leopards Panthera pardus to Trophy Hunting

    PubMed Central

    Braczkowski, Alex Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Macdonald, David Whyte; Fattebert, Julien; Dickerson, Tristan; Johnson, Paul; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Reliable data is fundamentally important for managing large carnivore populations, and vital for informing hunting quota levels if those populations are subject to trophy hunting. Camera-trapping and spoor counts can provide reliable population estimates for many carnivores, but governments typically lack the resources to implement such surveys over the spatial scales required to inform robust quota setting. It may therefore be prudent to shift focus away from estimating population size and instead focus on monitoring population trend. In this paper we assess the susceptibility of African leopards Panthera pardus to trophy hunting. This has management ramifications, particularly if the use of harvest composition is to be explored as a metric of population trend. We explore the susceptibility of different leopard age and sex cohorts to trophy hunting; first by examining their intrinsic susceptibility to encountering trophy hunters using camera-traps as surrogates, and second by assessing their extrinsic susceptibility using photographic questionnaire surveys to determine their attractiveness to hunters. We show that adult male and female leopards share similar incident rates to encountering hunters but adult males are the most susceptible to hunting due to hunter preference for large trophies. In contrast, sub-adult leopards rarely encounter hunters and are the least attractive trophies. We suggest that our findings be used as a foundation for the exploration of a harvest composition scheme in the Kwazulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces where post mortem information is collected from hunted leopards and submitted to the local provincial authorities. PMID:25860139

  2. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae.

  3. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae. PMID:26520053

  4. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624076

  5. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided.

  6. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J

    2015-12-01

    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura.

  7. Limb development in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis: A reconsideration of homology in the lizard carpus and tarsus.

    PubMed

    Leal, Francisca; Tarazona, Oscar A; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2010-11-01

    Despite the attention squamate lizards have received in the study of digit and limb loss, little is known about limb morphogenesis in pentadactyl lizards. Recent developmental studies have provided a basis for understanding lizard autopodial element homology based on developmental and comparative anatomy. In addition, the composition and identity of some carpal and tarsal elements of lizard limbs, and reptiles in general, have been the theme of discussions about their homology compared to non-squamate Lepidosauromorpha and basal Amniota. The study of additional embryonic material from different lizard families may improve our understanding of squamate limb evolution. Here, we analyze limb morphogenesis in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis describing patterns of chondrogenesis and ossification from early stages of embryonic development to hatchlings. Our results are in general agreement with previous developmental studies, but we also show that limb development in squamates probably involves more chondrogenic elements for carpal and tarsal morphogenesis, as previously recognized on the grounds of comparative anatomy. We provide evidence for the transitory presence of distal carpale 1 and intermedium in the carpus and tibiale, intermedium, distal centralia, and distal tarsale 2 in the tarsus. Hence, we demonstrate that some elements that were believed to be lost in squamate evolution are conserved as transitory elements during limb development. However, these elements do not represent just phylogenetic burden but may be important for the morphogenesis of the lizard autopodium.

  8. Limb development in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis: A reconsideration of homology in the lizard carpus and tarsus.

    PubMed

    Leal, Francisca; Tarazona, Oscar A; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2010-11-01

    Despite the attention squamate lizards have received in the study of digit and limb loss, little is known about limb morphogenesis in pentadactyl lizards. Recent developmental studies have provided a basis for understanding lizard autopodial element homology based on developmental and comparative anatomy. In addition, the composition and identity of some carpal and tarsal elements of lizard limbs, and reptiles in general, have been the theme of discussions about their homology compared to non-squamate Lepidosauromorpha and basal Amniota. The study of additional embryonic material from different lizard families may improve our understanding of squamate limb evolution. Here, we analyze limb morphogenesis in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis describing patterns of chondrogenesis and ossification from early stages of embryonic development to hatchlings. Our results are in general agreement with previous developmental studies, but we also show that limb development in squamates probably involves more chondrogenic elements for carpal and tarsal morphogenesis, as previously recognized on the grounds of comparative anatomy. We provide evidence for the transitory presence of distal carpale 1 and intermedium in the carpus and tibiale, intermedium, distal centralia, and distal tarsale 2 in the tarsus. Hence, we demonstrate that some elements that were believed to be lost in squamate evolution are conserved as transitory elements during limb development. However, these elements do not represent just phylogenetic burden but may be important for the morphogenesis of the lizard autopodium. PMID:20715100

  9. Verification tests of the US Electricar Corporation Lectric Leopard

    SciTech Connect

    Dowgiallo, E.J. Jr.; Snellings, I.R.; Chapman, R.D.

    1982-04-01

    The Lectric Leopard, manufactured by US Electricar Corporation, was tested during the period 3 August 1981 to 25 September 1981. Part of the verification results are summarized below (complete tests results are contained in Section V): Acceleration: 0-50 km/h (31.1 mi/h) in 9.9 s. Range: SAE J227a cycle ''C'' on level (+-1-percent grade) terrain yielded 66.2 km (41.2 mi) and 120 cycles. Forward Speed Capability: Forward speed of 80 km/h (50 mi/h) was maintained for more than 5 min on the level (+-1-percent grade) portion of the MERADCOM Test Track. Gradeability at Speed: At 25 km/h (15.5 mi/h) the vehicle can traverse a 15.5-percent grade based on calculations from acceleration tests. Gradeability Limit: Calculations based on drawbar-pull test indicate a 35.2-percent forward and a 36.4-percent gradeability for at least 20 s.

  10. Blood parasites in two co-existing species of lizards (Zootoca vivipara and Lacerta agilis).

    PubMed

    Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Haklová, Božena; Hromada, Martin; Ekner, Anna; Antczak, Marcin; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2010-10-01

    We investigated the occurrence of blood parasites of two lizard species: the common or viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) in western Poland. Selected traits of lizard body morphology were studied with respect to the presence and intensity of haematozoan infection in blood samples collected from 218 adult lizards; 88 of the common lizard and 130 of the sand lizard. Haemogregarinid blood parasites were found to be the common parasite of both lizard species in studied locality with prevalence 39.8 (95% CL, 29.5-50.8) for Z. vivipara and 22.3 (95% CL, 15.5-30.4) for L. agilis. Incidence of parasitemia did not differ between sexes and was not correlated with morphological traits or presence of ectoparasites--Ixodes ricinus ticks. However, a significant difference between the two species of lizards was a greater frequency of haemogregarinid parasitism in Z. vivipara.

  11. Specific PCR detection of tiger, leopard, and lion ingredients from test samples.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jijuan; Xu, Junyi; Liu, Ran; Yu, Ke; Wang, Changwen

    2011-01-01

    A PCR method was developed for specific detection of tiger, leopard, and lion DNA from test specimens for inspection and quarantine or for law-enforced animal protection. Three pairs of specific primers were designed based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of tiger, leopard, and lion and used in the PCR testing. To mimic the effect of food processing on the sensitivity of the test, the tiger muscle and bovine bonemeal powder samples were treated at 133 degrees C for 30 min. At this processing condition, the method was sensitive enough to detect as low as 0.05% of tiger-derived ingredients from the mixed bonemeal powders. The data demonstrate that our PCR method is convenient and economic, with high sensitivity and repeatability, and can be used to detect and identify tiger, leopard, and lion ingredients from various test samples.

  12. Anterior segment dysgenesis (Peters' anomaly) in two snow leopard (Panthera uncia) cubs.

    PubMed

    Hamoudi, Hassan; Rudnick, Jens-Christian; Prause, Jan U; Tauscher, Kerstin; Breithaupt, Angele; Teifke, Jens P; Heegaard, Steffen

    2013-07-01

    Two sibling snow leopards, a male and a female, with bilateral anterior segment dysgenesis (ASD), are reported. Both snow leopards also had colobomas of both upper eyelids. All eyes exhibited a central corneal opacity associated with a defect in posterior corneal stroma, endothelium and Descemet's membrane. Iris strands were present attached to the termination of Descemet's membrane and to the periphery of the posterior corneal defect. The iris was hypoplastic, and cataract was present in all four eyes. The left eye of the female was microphthalmic, with no trabecular meshwork and with persistent remnant of the hyaloid artery. The male had hydrocephalus and thus some of the features of Peters' plus syndrome (Peters' anomaly in addition to systemic malformations). The histological findings in the eyes of these snow leopard siblings are identical with those described in humans with Peters' anomaly.

  13. Anterior segment dysgenesis (Peters' anomaly) in two snow leopard (Panthera uncia) cubs.

    PubMed

    Hamoudi, Hassan; Rudnick, Jens-Christian; Prause, Jan U; Tauscher, Kerstin; Breithaupt, Angele; Teifke, Jens P; Heegaard, Steffen

    2013-07-01

    Two sibling snow leopards, a male and a female, with bilateral anterior segment dysgenesis (ASD), are reported. Both snow leopards also had colobomas of both upper eyelids. All eyes exhibited a central corneal opacity associated with a defect in posterior corneal stroma, endothelium and Descemet's membrane. Iris strands were present attached to the termination of Descemet's membrane and to the periphery of the posterior corneal defect. The iris was hypoplastic, and cataract was present in all four eyes. The left eye of the female was microphthalmic, with no trabecular meshwork and with persistent remnant of the hyaloid artery. The male had hydrocephalus and thus some of the features of Peters' plus syndrome (Peters' anomaly in addition to systemic malformations). The histological findings in the eyes of these snow leopard siblings are identical with those described in humans with Peters' anomaly. PMID:23217015

  14. Severe, early onset hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a family with LEOPARD syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Limongelli, Giuseppe; Pacileo, Giuseppe; Russo, Maria Giovanna; Sarkozy, Anna; Felicetti, Maria; Di Salvo, Giovanni; Morelli, Carmela; Calabrò, Paolo; Paladini, Dario; Marino, Bruno; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Calabrò, Raffaele

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Leopard syndrome is an acronym (multiple Lentigines, electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, ocular hypertelorism, pulmonic stenosis, abnormal genitalia, retardation of growth, and sensorineural deafness) describing an autosomal dominant disease due to mutations in the raS-MapK pathway. Methods: Here, we describe a family (mother and daughter) with clinical and molecular diagnosis of Leopard syndrome 1 and HCM, and we report the prenatal diagnosis of HCM in a fetus at risk for Leopard syndrome. Results: An echocardiography was conducted showing a significant hypertrophy of both ventricles (left and right ventricular wall thickness 9mm and 3 mm). After a multidisciplinary counseling the couple opted for the termination of pregnancy Conclusion: Further genotype-phenotype studies are warranted to fully elucidate the impact of the genotype on the natural history of patients with LS and LVH PMID:22439023

  15. Patterns of Snow Leopard Site Use in an Increasingly Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine Shanti; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M; Shi, Kun; Hughes, Joelene; Riordan, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1) key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2) the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10)], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67). Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08)]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research.

  16. Estimating snow leopard population abundance using photography and capture-recapture techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jackson, R.M.; Roe, J.D.; Wangchuk, R.; Hunter, D.O.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation and management of snow leopards (Uncia uncia) has largely relied on anecdotal evidence and presence-absence data due to their cryptic nature and the difficult terrain they inhabit. These methods generally lack the scientific rigor necessary to accurately estimate population size and monitor trends. We evaluated the use of photography in capture-mark-recapture (CMR) techniques for estimating snow leopard population abundance and density within Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India. We placed infrared camera traps along actively used travel paths, scent-sprayed rocks, and scrape sites within 16- to 30-km2 sampling grids in successive winters during January and March 2003-2004. We used head-on, oblique, and side-view camera configurations to obtain snow leopard photographs at varying body orientations. We calculated snow leopard abundance estimates using the program CAPTURE. We obtained a total of 66 and 49 snow leopard captures resulting in 8.91 and 5.63 individuals per 100 trap-nights during 2003 and 2004, respectively. We identified snow leopards based on the distinct pelage patterns located primarily on the forelimbs, flanks, and dorsal surface of the tail. Capture probabilities ranged from 0.33 to 0.67. Density estimates ranged from 8.49 (SE = 0.22; individuals per 100 km2 in 2003 to 4.45 (SE = 0.16) in 2004. We believe the density disparity between years is attributable to different trap density and placement rather than to an actual decline in population size. Our results suggest that photographic capture-mark-recapture sampling may be a useful tool for monitoring demographic patterns. However, we believe a larger sample size would be necessary for generating a statistically robust estimate of population density and abundance based on CMR models.

  17. Patterns of Snow Leopard Site Use in an Increasingly Human-Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1) key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2) the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10)], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67). Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08)]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research. PMID:27171203

  18. Patterns of Snow Leopard Site Use in an Increasingly Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine Shanti; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M; Shi, Kun; Hughes, Joelene; Riordan, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1) key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2) the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10)], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67). Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08)]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research. PMID:27171203

  19. Xantusiid lizards have low energy, water, and food requirements.

    PubMed

    Mautz, W J; Nagy, K A

    2000-01-01

    Lizards in the family Xantusiidae (the night lizards) are known to have resting metabolic rates that are only half those of other lizards of comparable size. We evaluated whether xantusiids also have low field metabolic rates (FMR) and food requirements by measuring FMR and water flux rates with doubly labeled water in three xantusiid species in their natural habitats. Free-living Xantusia vigilis, Xantusia henshawi, and Xantusia riversiana processed energy and water very slowly, about one-third as fast as do other reptiles of similar size. Xantusiid lizards have a distinctive life history that is characterized by very slow growth and low reproductive rates, and they are intensely reclusive. This general lifestyle is also found in some species that live in environments with scarce food resources, such as in caves and in arid habitats, and these species may also have relatively low energy requirements.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the North Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis).

    PubMed

    Dou, Hailong; Feng, Limin; Xiao, Wenhong; Wang, Tianming

    2016-01-01

    The North Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis) is an endemic subspecies of Panthera pardus to China, living in small and isolated populations with a severely fragmented distribution. Here we first sequenced and annotated its complete mitochondrial genome. The total length of the North Chinese Leopard is of 16,966 base pairs that consist of 2 rRNA gene, 22 tRNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 1 OLR and 1 control region (CR). The structures of the genomes were highly similar to other Felidae.

  1. A trial of semen collection by transrectal electroejaculation method from Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus)

    PubMed Central

    TAJIMA, Hideo; YOSHIZAWA, Madoka; SASAKI, Shinichi; YAMAMOTO, Fujio; NARUSHIMA, Etsuo; OGAWA, Yuka; ORIMA, Hiromitsu; TSUTSUI, Toshihiko; TOYONAGA, Mari; KOBAYASHI, Masanori; KAWAKAMI, Eiichi; HORI, Tatsuya

    2016-01-01

    We collected semen from a male Amur leopard cat using the transrectal electroejaculation method and investigated the semen qualities for about four years. In addition, the influence of the season on the spermatogenic function of the Amur leopard cat was investigated with regard to the semen qualities, testicular volume and serum testosterone level. As a result, we could collect semen with good sperm qualities that would be useable for artificial insemination. Some seasonality was noted in the testicular volume and serum testosterone level. We clarified that the semen qualities were favorable before and during the female breeding season compared with those after the breeding season. PMID:26935841

  2. Anaplasma sp. and hemoplasma infection in leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) from Korea

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jusun; Oh, Dae-Hyun; Lee, Hang

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the occurrence of Anaplasma spp. and hemoplasma infection in leopard cats, Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus, in Korea. Twenty-nine biological samples were tested by molecular analysis. Two (6.9%) and eight (27.6%) tested specimens were positive for Anaplasma bovis and hemoplasma infection, respectively. Based on our results, Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. and hemoplasma are regularly infecting leopard cat populations of Korea. Considering their endangered status, regular monitoring of infection by arthropod-borne pathogens known to cause clinical symptoms in feline hosts such as Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. and hemoplasma would be crucial as part of ongoing conservation efforts. PMID:26040618

  3. Status of the Island Night Lizard and Two Non-Native Lizards on Outlying Landing Field San Nicolas Island, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, Gary M.; Drost, Charles A.; Murphey, Thomas G.

    2008-01-01

    More than 900 individually marked island night lizards (Xantusia riversiana) were captured on San Nicolas Island, California, between 1984 and 2007 as part of an ongoing study to monitor the status of this threatened species. Our data suggest that at least a few lizards are probably more than 20 years old, and one lizard would be 31.5 years old if it grew at an average rate for the population. Ages of 20 and 30 years seem reasonable given the remarkably slow growth during capture intervals of more than a decade for five of the lizards which we estimated to be 20 or more years old. Like other lizards, island night lizard growth rates vary by size, with larger lizards growing more slowly. In general, growth rates were somewhat greater on San Nicolas Island (compared with Santa Barbara Island), and this increase was sustained through all of the intermediate size classes. The higher growth rate may account for the somewhat larger lizards present on San Nicolas Island, although we cannot discount the possibility that night lizards on San Nicolas are merely living longer. The high percentage of small lizards in the Eucalyptus habitat might seem to reflect a healthy population in that habitat, but the high proportion of small lizards appears to be caused by good reproduction in the 1900s and substantially poorer reproduction in subsequent years. The Eucalyptus habitat has dried quite a bit in recent years. Night lizards in the Haplopappus/Grassland habitat have shown an increase in the proportion of larger lizards since 2000. There has also been an increase in the proportion of large lizards in the Rock Cobble habitat at Redeye Beach. However, there are has been some change in habitat with more elephant seals occupying the same area just above the high tide as do the night lizards. Southern alligator lizards and side-blotched lizards are both non-native on San Nicolas Island. Neither lizard causes obvious harm to island night lizards, and management time and effort should

  4. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America.

  5. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America. PMID:26131767

  6. Life-History Patterns of Lizards of the World.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Daniel O; Costa, Gabriel C; Colli, Guarino R; Costa, Taís B; Shepard, Donald B; Vitt, Laurie J; Pianka, Eric R

    2016-06-01

    Identification of mechanisms that promote variation in life-history traits is critical to understand the evolution of divergent reproductive strategies. Here we compiled a large life-history data set (674 lizard populations, representing 297 species from 263 sites globally) to test a number of hypotheses regarding the evolution of life-history traits in lizards. We found significant phylogenetic signal in most life-history traits, although phylogenetic signal was not particularly high. Climatic variables influenced the evolution of many traits, with clutch frequency being positively related to precipitation and clutches of tropical lizards being smaller than those of temperate species. This result supports the hypothesis that in tropical and less seasonal climates, many lizards tend to reproduce repeatedly throughout the season, producing smaller clutches during each reproductive episode. Our analysis also supported the hypothesis that viviparity has evolved in lizards as a response to cooler climates. Finally, we also found that variation in trait values explained by clade membership is unevenly distributed among lizard clades, with basal clades and a few younger clades showing the most variation. Our global analyses are largely consistent with life-history theory and previous results based on smaller and scattered data sets, suggesting that these patterns are remarkably consistent across geographic and taxonomic scales. PMID:27172590

  7. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards.

    PubMed

    Stöhr, Anke C; Blahak, Silvia; Heckers, Kim O; Wiechert, Jutta; Behncke, Helge; Mathes, Karina; Günther, Pascale; Zwart, Peer; Ball, Inna; Rüschoff, Birgit; Marschang, Rachel E

    2013-09-27

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards.

  8. Refuge sharing network predicts ectoparasite load in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Kappeler, Peter M; Bull, C Michael

    2010-09-01

    Living in social groups facilitates cross-infection by parasites. However, empirical studies on indirect transmission within wildlife populations are scarce. We investigated whether asynchronous overnight refuge sharing among neighboring sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa, facilitates indirect transmission of its ectoparasitic tick, Amblyomma limbatum. We fitted 18 neighboring lizards with GPS recorders, observed their overnight refuge use each night over 3 months, and counted their ticks every fortnight. We constructed a transmission network to estimate the cross-infection risk based on asynchronous refuge sharing frequencies among all lizards and the life history traits of the tick. Although self-infection was possible, the network provided a powerful predictor of measured tick loads. Highly connected lizards that frequently used their neighbors' refuges were characterized by higher tick loads. Thus, indirect contact had a major influence on transmission pathways and parasite loads. Furthermore, lizards that used many different refuges had lower cross- and self-infection risks and lower tick loads than individuals that used relatively fewer refuges. Increasing the number of refuges used by a lizard may be an important defense mechanism against ectoparasite transmission in this species. Our study provides important empirical data to further understand how indirectly transmitted parasites move through host populations and influence individual parasite loads.

  9. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards. PMID:24073785

  10. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, R.N.; Suarez, A.V.; Case, T.J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing tender the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2-3 years. At each array we measured 26 "local" site descriptors and averaged these values with other "regional" measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales (hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome structure of snow leopard Panthera uncia.

    PubMed

    Wei, Lei; Wu, Xiaobing; Jiang, Zhigang

    2009-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of snow leopard Panthera uncia was obtained by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique based on the PCR fragments of 30 primers we designed. The entire mtDNA sequence was 16 773 base pairs (bp) in length, and the base composition was: A-5,357 bp (31.9%); C-4,444 bp (26.5%); G-2,428 bp (14.5%); T-4,544 bp (27.1%). The structural characteristics [0] of the P. uncia mitochondrial genome were highly similar to these of Felis catus, Acinonyx jubatus, Neofelis nebulosa and other mammals. However, we found several distinctive features of the mitochondrial genome of Panthera unica. First, the termination codon of COIII was TAA, which differed from those of F. catus, A. jubatus and N. nebulosa. Second, tRNA(Ser) ((AGY)), which lacked the ''DHU'' arm, could not be folded into the typical cloverleaf-shaped structure. Third, in the control region, a long repetitive sequence in RS-2 (32 bp) region was found with 2 repeats while one short repetitive segment (9 bp) was found with 15 repeats in the RS-3 region. We performed phylogenetic analysis based on a 3 816 bp concatenated sequence of 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, ND2, ND4, ND5, Cyt b and ATP8 for P. uncia and other related species, the result indicated that P. uncia and P. leo were the sister species, which was different from the previous findings.

  12. Skin peptides protect juvenile leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) against chytridiomycosis.

    PubMed

    Pask, James D; Cary, Tawnya L; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2013-08-01

    One issue of great concern for the scientific community is the continuing loss of diverse amphibian species on a global scale. Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing serious losses due to the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This pathogen colonizes the skin, leading to the disruption of ionic balance and eventual cardiac arrest. In many species, antimicrobial peptides secreted into the mucus are thought to contribute to protection against colonization by skin pathogens. Although it is generally thought that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis, much of the current evidence relies on correlations between effective antimicrobial peptide defenses and species survival. There have been few studies to directly demonstrate that antimicrobial peptides play a role. Using the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, we show here that injection of noradrenaline (norepinephrine) brings about a long-term depletion of skin peptides (initial concentrations do not recover until after day 56). When peptide stores recovered, the renewed peptides were similar in composition to the initial peptides as determined by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and in activity against B. dendrobatidis as determined by growth inhibition assays. Newly metamorphosed froglets depleted of their peptide stores and exposed to B. dendrobatidis died more rapidly than B. dendrobatidis-exposed froglets with their peptides intact. Thus, antimicrobial peptides in the skin mucus appear to provide some resistance to B. dendrobatidis infections, and it is important for biologists to recognize that this defense is especially important for newly metamorphosed frogs in which the adaptive immune system is still immature. PMID:23580715

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome structure of snow leopard Panthera uncia.

    PubMed

    Wei, Lei; Wu, Xiaobing; Jiang, Zhigang

    2009-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of snow leopard Panthera uncia was obtained by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique based on the PCR fragments of 30 primers we designed. The entire mtDNA sequence was 16 773 base pairs (bp) in length, and the base composition was: A-5,357 bp (31.9%); C-4,444 bp (26.5%); G-2,428 bp (14.5%); T-4,544 bp (27.1%). The structural characteristics [0] of the P. uncia mitochondrial genome were highly similar to these of Felis catus, Acinonyx jubatus, Neofelis nebulosa and other mammals. However, we found several distinctive features of the mitochondrial genome of Panthera unica. First, the termination codon of COIII was TAA, which differed from those of F. catus, A. jubatus and N. nebulosa. Second, tRNA(Ser) ((AGY)), which lacked the ''DHU'' arm, could not be folded into the typical cloverleaf-shaped structure. Third, in the control region, a long repetitive sequence in RS-2 (32 bp) region was found with 2 repeats while one short repetitive segment (9 bp) was found with 15 repeats in the RS-3 region. We performed phylogenetic analysis based on a 3 816 bp concatenated sequence of 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, ND2, ND4, ND5, Cyt b and ATP8 for P. uncia and other related species, the result indicated that P. uncia and P. leo were the sister species, which was different from the previous findings. PMID:18431688

  14. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Tobler, Michael; Olsson, Mats

    2012-08-01

    Telomeres shorten as a consequence of DNA replication, in particular in cells with low production of telomerase and perhaps in response to physiological stress from exposure to reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide. This process of telomere attrition is countered by innate antioxidation, such as via the production of superoxide dismutase. We studied the inheritance of telomere length in the Australian painted dragon lizard ( Ctenophorus pictus) and the extent to which telomere length covaries with mass-corrected maternal reproductive investment, which reflects the level of circulating yolk precursor and antioxidant, vitellogenin. Our predictors of offspring telomere length explained 72 % of telomere variation (including interstitial telomeres if such are present). Maternal telomere length and reproductive investment were positively influencing offspring telomere length in our analyses, whereas flow cytometry-estimated superoxide level was negatively impacting offspring telomere length. We suggest that the effects of superoxide on hatchling telomere shortening may be partly balanced by transgenerational effects of vitellogenin antioxidation.

  15. Tracing the geographic origin of traded leopard body parts in the indian subcontinent with DNA-based assignment tests.

    PubMed

    Mondol, Samrat; Sridhar, Vanjulavalli; Yadav, Prasanjeet; Gubbi, Sanjay; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2015-04-01

    Illicit trade in wildlife products is rapidly decimating many species across the globe. Such trade is often underestimated for wide-ranging species until it is too late for the survival of their remaining populations. Policing this trade could be vastly improved if one could reliably determine geographic origins of illegal wildlife products and identify areas where greater enforcement is needed. Using DNA-based assignment tests (i.e., samples are assigned to geographic locations), we addressed these factors for leopards (Panthera pardus) on the Indian subcontinent. We created geography-specific allele frequencies from a genetic reference database of 173 leopards across India to infer geographic origins of DNA samples from 40 seized leopard skins. Sensitivity analyses of samples of known geographic origins and assignments of seized skins demonstrated robust assignments for Indian leopards. We found that confiscated pelts seized in small numbers were not necessarily from local leopards. The geographic footprint of large seizures appeared to be bigger than the cumulative footprint of several smaller seizures, indicating widespread leopard poaching across the subcontinent. Our seized samples had male-biased sex ratios, especially the large seizures. From multiple seized sample assignments, we identified central India as a poaching hotspot for leopards. The techniques we applied can be used to identify origins of seized illegal wildlife products and trade routes at the subcontinent scale and beyond.

  16. Tracing the geographic origin of traded leopard body parts in the indian subcontinent with DNA-based assignment tests.

    PubMed

    Mondol, Samrat; Sridhar, Vanjulavalli; Yadav, Prasanjeet; Gubbi, Sanjay; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2015-04-01

    Illicit trade in wildlife products is rapidly decimating many species across the globe. Such trade is often underestimated for wide-ranging species until it is too late for the survival of their remaining populations. Policing this trade could be vastly improved if one could reliably determine geographic origins of illegal wildlife products and identify areas where greater enforcement is needed. Using DNA-based assignment tests (i.e., samples are assigned to geographic locations), we addressed these factors for leopards (Panthera pardus) on the Indian subcontinent. We created geography-specific allele frequencies from a genetic reference database of 173 leopards across India to infer geographic origins of DNA samples from 40 seized leopard skins. Sensitivity analyses of samples of known geographic origins and assignments of seized skins demonstrated robust assignments for Indian leopards. We found that confiscated pelts seized in small numbers were not necessarily from local leopards. The geographic footprint of large seizures appeared to be bigger than the cumulative footprint of several smaller seizures, indicating widespread leopard poaching across the subcontinent. Our seized samples had male-biased sex ratios, especially the large seizures. From multiple seized sample assignments, we identified central India as a poaching hotspot for leopards. The techniques we applied can be used to identify origins of seized illegal wildlife products and trade routes at the subcontinent scale and beyond. PMID:25376464

  17. Lizards as hosts for immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Levine, J F; Apperson, C S; Howard, P; Washburn, M; Braswell, A L

    1997-11-01

    Previously archived museum specimens of lizards collected throughout North Carolina were examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say). Lizards (n = 1,349) collected in 80 of North Carolina's 100 counties were examined. Lizards with ticks were collected in 23 (29%) of the 80 counties from which lizards were examined. I. scapularis was detected on 8.7% (n = 117) of the lizards and was the sole species of tick obtained from lizards. Immature ticks were most frequently found on the southeastern five-lined skink, Eumeces inexpectatus, and the eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis. Larvae were most frequently found on the six-lined racerunner, Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. One C. sexlineatus harbored 177 larvae and 2 nymphs. Nymphs were most frequently observed on E. inexpectatus. The majority of counties (chi 2, P < 0.01) where ticks were found on lizards were in the Coastal Plain.

  18. Diversity and evolutionary patterns of immune genes in free-ranging Namibian leopards (Panthera pardus pardus).

    PubMed

    Castro-Prieto, Aines; Wachter, Bettina; Melzheimer, Joerg; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Sommer, Simone

    2011-01-01

    The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are a key component of the mammalian immune system and have become important molecular markers for fitness-related genetic variation in wildlife populations. Currently, no information about the MHC sequence variation and constitution in African leopards exists. In this study, we isolated and characterized genetic variation at the adaptively most important region of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB genes in 25 free-ranging African leopards from Namibia and investigated the mechanisms that generate and maintain MHC polymorphism in the species. Using single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing, we detected 6 MHC class I and 6 MHC class II-DRB sequences, which likely correspond to at least 3 MHC class I and 3 MHC class II-DRB loci. Amino acid sequence variation in both MHC classes was higher or similar in comparison to other reported felids. We found signatures of positive selection shaping the diversity of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB loci during the evolutionary history of the species. A comparison of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB sequences of the leopard to those of other felids revealed a trans-species mode of evolution. In addition, the evolutionary relationships of MHC class II-DRB sequences between African and Asian leopard subspecies are discussed.

  19. Wild Asian elephants distinguish aggressive tiger and leopard growls according to perceived danger.

    PubMed

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well.

  20. Endoscopy-guided ectopic egg removal from the urinary bladder in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    PubMed

    Mans, Christoph; Foster, Jonathan D

    2014-06-01

    Egg retention in the urinary bladder of a leopard tortoise was diagnosed by radiography and confirmed by cystoscopy. The egg was removed with a modified polypectomy snare, aided by a flexible endoscope and insufflation. No complications occurred during the procedures and the tortoise made a complete recovery.

  1. New hope for the survival of the Amur leopard in China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guangshun; Qi, Jinzhe; Wang, Guiming; Shi, Quanhua; Darman, Yury; Hebblewhite, Mark; Miquelle, Dale G.; Li, Zhilin; Zhang, Xue; Gu, Jiayin; Chang, Youde; Zhang, Minghai; Ma, Jianzhang

    2015-01-01

    Natural range loss limits the population growth of Asian big cats and may determine their survival. Over the past decade, we collected occurrence data of the critically endangered Amur leopard worldwide and developed a distribution model of the leopard’s historical range in northeastern China over the past decade. We were interested to explore how much current range area exists, learn what factors limit their spatial distribution, determine the population size and estimate the extent of potential habitat. Our results identify 48,252 km2 of current range and 21,173.7 km2 of suitable habitat patches and these patches may support 195.1 individuals. We found that prey presence drives leopard distribution, that leopard density exhibits a negative response to tiger occurrence and that the largest habitat patch connects with 5,200 km2of Russian current range. These insights provide a deeper understanding of the means by which endangered predators might be saved and survival prospects for the Amur leopard not only in China, but also through imperative conservation cooperation internationally. PMID:26638877

  2. EVIDENCE FOR PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, ARIZONA

    EPA Science Inventory


    Remnant populations of leopard frogs exist within the Virgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River (Black Canyon) in northwestern Arizona and southern Nevada. These populations either represent the reportedly extinct taxa Rana onca or northern, disjunct R...

  3. POPULATION STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF A DECIMATED AMPHIBIAN, THE RELICT LEOPARD FROG (RANA ONCA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relict leopard frog (Rana onca) was once thought to be extinct, but has recently been shown to comprise a valid taxon with extant populations. We delineate the minimum historical range of the species, and report results of surveys at 12 historical and 54 other localities to d...

  4. Leopard frog PCB levels and evaluation of EROD as a biomarker in Green Bay ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Y.W.; Karasov, W.H.; Patnode, K.P.

    1995-12-31

    The induction of mixed function oxidases has been shown to be a promising biomarker in many taxa of wildlife, though not yet tested for amphibians. The three hypotheses tested in this study were (1) activities of hepatic EROD of leopard frog (Rana pipiens) are induced following exposure to planar chlorinated PCBs, (2) tissue PCB residue levels of leopard frogs are positively correlated with their wetland sediment PCB levels, and (3) EROD activities are positively correlated with tissue PCB concentrations and sediment PCB. In the laboratory, EROD was increased 2--3 times seven days after i.p. injection with PCB 126 at doses {ge} 2.3 ppm (wet mass basis). Leopard frogs from seven sites along the Lower Fox River and Green Bay in 1994--1995 were assayed for hepatic EROD activities and total PCB levels in carcasses. Tissue PCB levels ranged from 3 to 152 ppb (including coplanar congeners) and were highest from sites with higher sediment PCB. EROD activity in frogs collected in August--September was not significantly correlated with frog body mass and was similar among sites with one exception. There was no significant correlation between EROD activity and tissue PCB concentration. This result was consistent with the fact that the frogs collected from the Green Bay ecosystem had relatively low PCB levels compared with what was required for induction in the laboratory. The authors conclude that EROD activity is not a sensitive biomarker of PCB exposure in leopard frogs in this ecosystem.

  5. The Developmental Effects Of A Municipal Wastewater Effluent On The Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wastewater effluents are complex mixtures containing a variety of anthropogenic compounds, many of which are known endocrine disruptors. In order to characterize the development and behavorial effects of such a complex mixture, northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, were e...

  6. Variations in leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) skull morphology and body size: sexual and geographic influences.

    PubMed

    Sicuro, Fernando L; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2015-01-01

    The leopard cat, Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792), is one of the most widespread Asian cats, occurring in continental eastern and southeastern Asia. Since 1929, several studies have focused on the morphology, ecology, and taxonomy of leopard cats. Nevertheless, hitherto there has been no agreement on basic aspects of leopard cat biology, such as the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism, morphological skull and body differences between the eleven recognized subspecies, and the biogeography of the different morphotypes. Twenty measurements on 25 adult leopard cat skulls from different Asian localities were analyzed through univariate and multivariate statistical approaches. Skull and external body measurements from studies over the last 77 years were assembled and organized in two categories: full data and summary data. Most of this database comprises small samples, which have never been statistically tested and compared with each other. Full data sets were tested with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses; summary data sets (i.e., means, SDs, and ranges) were analyzed through suitable univariate approaches. The independent analyses of the data from these works confirmed our original results and improved the overview of sexual dimorphism and geographical morphological variation among subspecies. Continental leopard cats have larger skulls and body dimensions. Skulls of Indochinese morphotypes have broader and higher features than those of continental morphotypes, while individuals from the Sunda Islands have skulls with comparatively narrow and low profiles. Cranial sexual dimorphism is present in different degrees among subspecies. Most display subtle sex-related variations in a few skull features. However, in some cases, sexual dimorphism in skull morphology is absent, such as in P. b. sumatranus and P. b. borneoensis. External body measurement comparisons also indicate the low degree of sexual dimorphism. Apart from the gonads, the longer hind

  7. Modelling predation by transient leopard seals for an ecosystem-based management of Southern Ocean fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forcada, J.; Malone, D.; Royle, J. Andrew; Staniland, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Correctly quantifying the impacts of rare apex marine predators is essential to ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, where harvesting must be sustainable for targeted species and their dependent predators. This requires modelling the uncertainty in such processes as predator life history, seasonal abundance and movement, size-based predation, energetic requirements, and prey vulnerability. We combined these uncertainties to evaluate the predatory impact of transient leopard seals on a community of mesopredators (seals and penguins) and their prey at South Georgia, and assess the implications for an ecosystem-based management. The mesopredators are highly dependent on Antarctic krill and icefish, which are targeted by regional fisheries. We used a state-space formulation to combine (1) a mark-recapture open-population model and individual identification data to assess seasonally variable leopard seal arrival and departure dates, numbers, and residency times; (2) a size-based bioenergetic model; and (3) a size-based prey choice model from a diet analysis. Our models indicated that prey choice and consumption reflected seasonal changes in leopard seal population size and structure, size-selective predation and prey vulnerability. A population of 104 (90-125) leopard seals, of which 64% were juveniles, consumed less than 2% of the Antarctic fur seal pup production of the area (50% of total ingested energy, IE), but ca. 12-16% of the local gentoo penguin population (20% IE). Antarctic krill (28% IE) were the only observed food of leopard seal pups and supplemented the diet of older individuals. Direct impacts on krill and fish were negligible, but the "escapement" due to leopard seal predation on fur seal pups and penguins could be significant for the mackerel icefish fishery at South Georgia. These results suggest that: (1) rare apex predators like leopard seals may control, and may depend on, populations of mesopredators dependent on prey species

  8. Modelling predation by transient leopard seals for an ecosystem-based management of Southern Ocean fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forcada, J.; Royle, J. Andrew; Staniland, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Correctly quantifying the impacts of rare apex marine predators is essential to ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, where harvesting must be sustainable for targeted species and their dependent predators. This requires modelling the uncertainty in such processes as predator life history, seasonal abundance and movement, size-based predation, energetic requirements, and prey vulnerability. We combined these uncertainties to evaluate the predatory impact of transient leopard seals on a community of mesopredators (seals and penguins) and their prey at South Georgia, and assess the implications for an ecosystem-based management. The mesopredators are highly dependent on Antarctic krill and icefish, which are targeted by regional fisheries. We used a state-space formulation to combine (1) a mark-recapture open-population model and individual identification data to assess seasonally variable leopard seal arrival and departure dates, numbers, and residency times; (2) a size-based bioenergetic model; and (3) a size-based prey choice model from a diet analysis. Our models indicated that prey choice and consumption reflected seasonal changes in leopard seal population size and structure, size-selective predation and prey vulnerability. A population of 104 (90?125) leopard seals, of which 64% were juveniles, consumed less than 2% of the Antarctic fur seal pup production of the area (50% of total ingested energy, IE), but ca. 12?16% of the local gentoo penguin population (20% IE). Antarctic krill (28% IE) were the only observed food of leopard seal pups and supplemented the diet of older individuals. Direct impacts on krill and fish were negligible, but the ?escapement? due to leopard seal predation on fur seal pups and penguins could be significant for the mackerel icefish fishery at South Georgia. These results suggest that: (1) rare apex predators like leopard seals may control, and may depend on, populations of mesopredators dependent on prey species

  9. Variations in leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) skull morphology and body size: sexual and geographic influences

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B.

    2015-01-01

    The leopard cat, Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792), is one of the most widespread Asian cats, occurring in continental eastern and southeastern Asia. Since 1929, several studies have focused on the morphology, ecology, and taxonomy of leopard cats. Nevertheless, hitherto there has been no agreement on basic aspects of leopard cat biology, such as the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism, morphological skull and body differences between the eleven recognized subspecies, and the biogeography of the different morphotypes. Twenty measurements on 25 adult leopard cat skulls from different Asian localities were analyzed through univariate and multivariate statistical approaches. Skull and external body measurements from studies over the last 77 years were assembled and organized in two categories: full data and summary data. Most of this database comprises small samples, which have never been statistically tested and compared with each other. Full data sets were tested with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses; summary data sets (i.e., means, SDs, and ranges) were analyzed through suitable univariate approaches. The independent analyses of the data from these works confirmed our original results and improved the overview of sexual dimorphism and geographical morphological variation among subspecies. Continental leopard cats have larger skulls and body dimensions. Skulls of Indochinese morphotypes have broader and higher features than those of continental morphotypes, while individuals from the Sunda Islands have skulls with comparatively narrow and low profiles. Cranial sexual dimorphism is present in different degrees among subspecies. Most display subtle sex-related variations in a few skull features. However, in some cases, sexual dimorphism in skull morphology is absent, such as in P. b. sumatranus and P. b. borneoensis. External body measurement comparisons also indicate the low degree of sexual dimorphism. Apart from the gonads, the longer hind

  10. Variations in leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) skull morphology and body size: sexual and geographic influences.

    PubMed

    Sicuro, Fernando L; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2015-01-01

    The leopard cat, Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792), is one of the most widespread Asian cats, occurring in continental eastern and southeastern Asia. Since 1929, several studies have focused on the morphology, ecology, and taxonomy of leopard cats. Nevertheless, hitherto there has been no agreement on basic aspects of leopard cat biology, such as the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism, morphological skull and body differences between the eleven recognized subspecies, and the biogeography of the different morphotypes. Twenty measurements on 25 adult leopard cat skulls from different Asian localities were analyzed through univariate and multivariate statistical approaches. Skull and external body measurements from studies over the last 77 years were assembled and organized in two categories: full data and summary data. Most of this database comprises small samples, which have never been statistically tested and compared with each other. Full data sets were tested with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses; summary data sets (i.e., means, SDs, and ranges) were analyzed through suitable univariate approaches. The independent analyses of the data from these works confirmed our original results and improved the overview of sexual dimorphism and geographical morphological variation among subspecies. Continental leopard cats have larger skulls and body dimensions. Skulls of Indochinese morphotypes have broader and higher features than those of continental morphotypes, while individuals from the Sunda Islands have skulls with comparatively narrow and low profiles. Cranial sexual dimorphism is present in different degrees among subspecies. Most display subtle sex-related variations in a few skull features. However, in some cases, sexual dimorphism in skull morphology is absent, such as in P. b. sumatranus and P. b. borneoensis. External body measurement comparisons also indicate the low degree of sexual dimorphism. Apart from the gonads, the longer hind

  11. Lizard and Frog Prestin: Evolutionary Insight into Functional Changes

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L.; Fritzsch, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken’s and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  12. Lizard and frog prestin: evolutionary insight into functional changes.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L; Fritzsch, Bernd; Beisel, Kirk W; He, David Z Z

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken's and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  13. Adaptable Neighbours: Movement Patterns of GPS-Collared Leopards in Human Dominated Landscapes in India

    PubMed Central

    Odden, Morten; Athreya, Vidya; Rattan, Sandeep; Linnell, John D. C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the nature of the interactions between humans and wildlife is of vital importance for conflict mitigation. We equipped five leopards with GPS-collars in Maharashtra (4) and Himachal Pradesh (1), India, to study movement patterns in human-dominated landscapes outside protected areas. An adult male and an adult female were both translocated 52 km, and exhibited extensive, and directional, post release movements (straight line movements: male  = 89 km in 37 days, female  = 45 km in 5 months), until they settled in home ranges of 42 km2 (male) and 65 km2 (female). The three other leopards, two adult females and a young male were released close to their capture sites and used small home ranges of 8 km2 (male), 11 km2 and 15 km2 (females). Movement patterns were markedly nocturnal, with hourly step lengths averaging 339±9.5 m (SE) during night and 60±4.1 m during day, and night locations were significantly closer to human settlements than day locations. However, more nocturnal movements were observed among those three living in the areas with high human population densities. These visited houses regularly at nighttime (20% of locations <25 m from houses), but rarely during day (<1%). One leopard living in a sparsely populated area avoided human settlements both day and night. The small home ranges of the leopards indicate that anthropogenic food resources may be plentiful although wild prey is absent. The study provides clear insights into the ability of leopards to live and move in landscapes that are extremely modified by human activity. PMID:25390067

  14. Scent Lure Effect on Camera-Trap Based Leopard Density Estimates.

    PubMed

    Braczkowski, Alexander Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Fattebert, Julien; Johnson, Paul; Dickerson, Tristan; Macdonald, David Whyte; Hunter, Luke

    2016-01-01

    Density estimates for large carnivores derived from camera surveys often have wide confidence intervals due to low detection rates. Such estimates are of limited value to authorities, which require precise population estimates to inform conservation strategies. Using lures can potentially increase detection, improving the precision of estimates. However, by altering the spatio-temporal patterning of individuals across the camera array, lures may violate closure, a fundamental assumption of capture-recapture. Here, we test the effect of scent lures on the precision and veracity of density estimates derived from camera-trap surveys of a protected African leopard population. We undertook two surveys (a 'control' and 'treatment' survey) on Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa. Survey design remained consistent except a scent lure was applied at camera-trap stations during the treatment survey. Lures did not affect the maximum movement distances (p = 0.96) or temporal activity of female (p = 0.12) or male leopards (p = 0.79), and the assumption of geographic closure was met for both surveys (p >0.05). The numbers of photographic captures were also similar for control and treatment surveys (p = 0.90). Accordingly, density estimates were comparable between surveys (although estimates derived using non-spatial methods (7.28-9.28 leopards/100km2) were considerably higher than estimates from spatially-explicit methods (3.40-3.65 leopards/100km2). The precision of estimates from the control and treatment surveys, were also comparable and this applied to both non-spatial and spatial methods of estimation. Our findings suggest that at least in the context of leopard research in productive habitats, the use of lures is not warranted. PMID:27050816

  15. Scent Lure Effect on Camera-Trap Based Leopard Density Estimates

    PubMed Central

    Braczkowski, Alexander Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Fattebert, Julien; Johnson, Paul; Dickerson, Tristan; Macdonald, David Whyte; Hunter, Luke

    2016-01-01

    Density estimates for large carnivores derived from camera surveys often have wide confidence intervals due to low detection rates. Such estimates are of limited value to authorities, which require precise population estimates to inform conservation strategies. Using lures can potentially increase detection, improving the precision of estimates. However, by altering the spatio-temporal patterning of individuals across the camera array, lures may violate closure, a fundamental assumption of capture-recapture. Here, we test the effect of scent lures on the precision and veracity of density estimates derived from camera-trap surveys of a protected African leopard population. We undertook two surveys (a ‘control’ and ‘treatment’ survey) on Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa. Survey design remained consistent except a scent lure was applied at camera-trap stations during the treatment survey. Lures did not affect the maximum movement distances (p = 0.96) or temporal activity of female (p = 0.12) or male leopards (p = 0.79), and the assumption of geographic closure was met for both surveys (p >0.05). The numbers of photographic captures were also similar for control and treatment surveys (p = 0.90). Accordingly, density estimates were comparable between surveys (although estimates derived using non-spatial methods (7.28–9.28 leopards/100km2) were considerably higher than estimates from spatially-explicit methods (3.40–3.65 leopards/100km2). The precision of estimates from the control and treatment surveys, were also comparable and this applied to both non-spatial and spatial methods of estimation. Our findings suggest that at least in the context of leopard research in productive habitats, the use of lures is not warranted. PMID:27050816

  16. Adaptable neighbours: movement patterns of GPS-collared leopards in human dominated landscapes in India.

    PubMed

    Odden, Morten; Athreya, Vidya; Rattan, Sandeep; Linnell, John D C

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the nature of the interactions between humans and wildlife is of vital importance for conflict mitigation. We equipped five leopards with GPS-collars in Maharashtra (4) and Himachal Pradesh (1), India, to study movement patterns in human-dominated landscapes outside protected areas. An adult male and an adult female were both translocated 52 km, and exhibited extensive, and directional, post release movements (straight line movements: male = 89 km in 37 days, female = 45 km in 5 months), until they settled in home ranges of 42 km2 (male) and 65 km2 (female). The three other leopards, two adult females and a young male were released close to their capture sites and used small home ranges of 8 km2 (male), 11 km2 and 15 km2 (females). Movement patterns were markedly nocturnal, with hourly step lengths averaging 339±9.5 m (SE) during night and 60±4.1 m during day, and night locations were significantly closer to human settlements than day locations. However, more nocturnal movements were observed among those three living in the areas with high human population densities. These visited houses regularly at nighttime (20% of locations <25 m from houses), but rarely during day (<1%). One leopard living in a sparsely populated area avoided human settlements both day and night. The small home ranges of the leopards indicate that anthropogenic food resources may be plentiful although wild prey is absent. The study provides clear insights into the ability of leopards to live and move in landscapes that are extremely modified by human activity.

  17. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions.

  18. The Ins & Outs of Developing a Field-Based Science Project: Learning by Lassoing Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine E.; Huffling, Lacey D.; Benavides, Aerin

    2014-01-01

    We describe a field-based lizard project we did with high school students as a part of our summer Herpetological Research Experiences. We describe data collection on lizards captured, identified, and marked as a part of our mark-recapture study. We also describe other lizard projects that are ongoing in the United States and provide resources for…

  19. 76 FR 62087 - Draft Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Texas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-06

    ... Lizard, Texas AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; announcement... application includes the draft Texas Conservation Plan for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (TCP). The draft TCP... Service (Service) and the Applicant for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) throughout...

  20. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  1. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Stephan T.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  2. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards: a comparison of the skink-like lizard families Cordylidae and Gerrhosauridae.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2009-09-01

    Lizard families can be grouped into larger units comprising those families that are closely related and whose auditory papillae are morphologically very similar. Based on the few species studied at that time [Manley, G.A., 1997. Diversity in hearing-organ structure and the characteristics of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards. In: Lewis, E.R., Long, G.R., Lyon, R.F., Narins, P.M., Steele, C.R. (Eds.), Diversity in Auditory Mechanics. World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, pp. 32-38], it was suggested that SOAE spectral patterns are strongly influenced by papillar anatomy. However, in two family groups, only one single species has been studied and we have no data on the regularity of pattern within related lizard families. Within the group of skink-like lizards, whose papillae all have salletal tectorial structures, the only detailed SOAE studies so far were on the skink genus Tiliqua. To ascertain the similarity of SOAE in species from families related to the skinks, we have studied one species each from two families that are closely related to skinks, the Cordylidae (Girdle-tailed lizards) and the Gerrhosauridae (plated lizards). Gerrhosaurus and Cordylus have a similar number and amplitudes of SOAE to Tiliqua (Skinkidae). The maximal frequency shifts of SOAE under the influence of external tones is also similar to that of Tiliqua. However, the maximal suppression and maximal facilitation are smaller. In general, the patterns displayed by the SOAE of lizards of these two new families are recognizably similar to the skink Tiliqua, suggesting that the anatomy of the papilla and the tectorial structures do play an important role in determining how SOAE are manifested in papillae that possess tectorial sallets.

  3. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group. PMID:26624071

  4. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-09-18

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group.

  5. Experimental infections in Venezuelan lizards by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Urdaneta-Morales, S; McLure, I

    1981-06-01

    Virulent trypomastigotes of the Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi were administered to Tropidurus hispidus, Ameiva ameiva, Cnemidophorus lemniscatus, Polychrus marmoratus, and Phyllodactylus ventralis (Sauria). Intraperitoneal and subcutaneous inoculations of lizards with mouse blood or with feces of infected Rhodnius prolixus (Reduviidae, Triatominae), as well as forced ingestion of triturated Rhodnius, produced no parasitaemias detectable either directly or by xenodiagnosis, while control mice became parasitized. Pretreatment with the immunosuppressive drug Fluocinolone acetonide led to establishing patent infections in inoculated lizards. Cryptic infections were established by inoculation of 1 X 10(6) parasites from Davis' medium, or by 95 X 10(3) parasites from lizard tissue culture. Parasites were not seen in tissues. Mice inoculated with blood or tissue homogenates from these lizards became parasitized. Parasites from Davis' medium inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of lizards were capable, to a very low degree, of penetrating the free peritoneal macrophages and changing into amastigotes. The factors possibly responsible for the natural resistance of poikilothermic vertebrates to T. cruzi are discussed. PMID:6115559

  6. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-08-01

    Thermal biology of lizards affects their overall physiological performance. Thus, it is crucial to study how abiotic constraints influence thermoregulation. We studied the effect of wind speed on thermoregulation in an endangered mountain lizard (Iberolacerta aurelioi). We compared two populations of lizards: one living in a sheltered rocky area and the other living in a mountain ridge, exposed to strong winds. The preferred temperature range of I. aurelioi, which reflects thermal physiology, was similar in both areas, and it was typical of a cold specialist. Although the thermal physiology of lizards and the structure of the habitat were similar, the higher wind speed in the exposed population was correlated with a significant decrease in the effectiveness thermoregulation, dropping from 0.83 to 0.74. Our results suggest that wind reduces body temperatures in two ways: via direct convective cooling of the animal and via convective cooling of the substrate, which causes conductive cooling of the animal. The detrimental effect of wind on thermoregulatory effectiveness is surprising, since lizards are expected to thermoregulate more effectively in more challenging habitats. However, wind speed would affect the costs and benefits of thermoregulation in more complex ways than just the cooling of animals and their habitats. For example, it may reduce the daily activity, increase desiccation, or complicate the hunting of prey. Finally, our results imply that wind should also be considered when developing conservation strategies for threatened ectotherms.

  7. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Grasping is one of a few adaptive mechanisms that, in conjunction with clinging, hooking, arm swinging, adhering, and flying, allowed for incursion into the arboreal eco-space. Little research has been done that addresses grasping as an enhanced manual ability in non-mammalian tetrapods, with the exception of studies comparing the anatomy of muscle and tendon structure. Previous studies showed that grasping abilities allow exploitation for narrow branch habitats and that this adaptation has clear osteological consequences. The objective of this work is to ascertain the existence of morphometric descriptors in the hand skeleton of lizards related to grasping functionality. A morphological matrix was constructed using 51 morphometric variables in 278 specimens, from 24 genera and 13 families of Squamata. To reduce the dimensions of the dataset and to organize the original variables into a simpler system, three PCAs (Principal Component Analyses) were performed using the subsets of (1) carpal variables, (2) metacarpal variables, and (3) phalanges variables. The variables that demonstrated the most significant contributions to the construction of the PCA synthetic variables were then used in subsequent analyses. To explore which morphological variables better explain the variations in the functional setting, we ran Generalized Linear Models for the three different sets. This method allows us to model the morphology that enables a particular functional trait. Grasping was considered the only response variable, taking the value of 0 or 1, while the original variables retained by the PCAs were considered predictor variables. Our analyses yielded six variables associated with grasping abilities: two belong to the carpal bones, two belong to the metacarpals and two belong to the phalanges. Grasping in lizards can be performed with hands exhibiting at least two different independently originated combinations of bones. The first is a combination of a highly elongated centrale

  8. Use of xylazine hydrochloride-ketamine hydrochloride for immobilization of wild leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) in emergency situations.

    PubMed

    Belsare, Aniruddha V; Athreya, Vidya R

    2010-06-01

    In India, leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) inhabit human-dominated landscapes, resulting in encounters that require interventions to prevent harm to people, as well as the leopards. Immobilization is a prerequisite for any such intervention. Such emergency field immobilizations have to be carried out with limited tools, often amidst large uncontrollable crowds. An effective and practicable approach is discussed, based on 55 wild leopard immobilizations undertaken between January 2003 and April 2008. A xylazine hydrochloride (1.4 +/- 0.3 mg/kg)--ketamine hydrochloride (5 +/- 2 mg/kg) mixture was used for immobilization of leopards, based on estimated body weight. When weight could not be estimated, a standard initial dose of 50 mg of xylazine--150 mg of ketamine was used. Supplemental doses (50-75 mg) of only ketamine were used as required. No life-threatening adverse effects of immobilization were documented for at least 1 mo postimmobilization.

  9. Pleistocene leopards in the Iberian Peninsula: New evidence from palaeontological and archaeological contexts in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis, Alfred; Tormo, Carmen; Sauqué, Víctor; Sanchis, Vicent; Díaz, Rebeca; Ribera, Agustí; Villaverde, Valentín

    2015-09-01

    This study analyses the fossil record of leopards in the Iberian Peninsula. According to the systematic and morphometric features of new remains, identified mainly in Late Pleistocene palaeontological and archaeological sites of the Mediterranean region, they can be attributed to Panthera pardus Linnaeus 1758. The findings include the most complete leopard skeleton from the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most complete in Europe, found in a chasm (Avenc de Joan Guitón) south of Valencia. The new citations and published data are used to establish the leopard's distribution in the Iberian Peninsula, showing its maximum development during the Late Pleistocene. Some references suggest that the species survived for longer here (Lateglacial-Early Holocene) than in other parts of Europe. Finally, the contexts of appearance and origin of leopard remains are described and the processes of interaction with prehistoric human groups are assessed.

  10. EVIDENCE OF PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Remnant populations of leopard frogs within the Virgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River (Black Canyon) in northwestern Arizona and southern Nevada either represent the reportedly extinct taxon Rana onca or northern, disjunct Rana yavapaiensis. To determi...

  11. [Individual identification of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) using molecular-genetic methods and estimation of the population].

    PubMed

    Rozhnov, V V; Sorokin, P A; Lukarevskiĭ, V S; Naĭdenko, S V; Ernandes-Blanko, Kh A; Lukarevskiĭ, S V

    2013-01-01

    For the first time, the genetic structure of a population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) in southwest Primorie was analyzed in detail. In 2010-2012, 23 individuals were identified individually. It was shown that the studied microsatellite markers are suitable for individual identification of leopards, monitoring the population numbers, and creating a unified database of genetic profiles of this species to solve research and nature-preserving tasks.

  12. Endangered species and cultural resources program Naval petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY96

    SciTech Connect

    1997-07-01

    In FY96, Enterprise Advisory Services, Inc. (EASI) continued to support efforts to protect endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on federal properties. Population monitoring activities were conducted for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly-star. Kit fox abundance and distribution was assessed by live-trapping over a 329-km{sup 2} area. Kit fox reproduction and mortality were assessed by radiocollaring and monitoring 22 adults and two pups. Reproductive success and litter size were determined through live-trapping and den observations. Rates and sources of kit fox mortality were assessed by recovering dead radiocollared kit foxes and conducting necropsies to determine cause of death. Abundance of coyotes and bobcats, which compete with kit foxes, was determined by conducting scent station surveys. Kit fox diet was assessed through analysis of fecal samples collected from live-trapped foxes. Abundance of potential prey for kit foxes was determined by conducting transect surveys for lagornorphs and live-trapping small mammals.

  13. Endangered species program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY88

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    Construction and development activities conducted at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) potentially threatened the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species; the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys engines), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. We are also obliged to determine whether actions taken by lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. NPR-1 and NPR-2 are located approximately 26 miles west-southwest and southwest, respectively, of Bakersfield, Kern County, California. NPR-1 consists of 47,245 acres and is located just north of NPR-2 and abuts its northwestern border. NPR-2 consists of 30,080 acres of which 10,400 acres are administered by DOE. The remainder of NPR-2 is privately owned and the city of Taft occupies 1,280 acres in the southern corner. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1988 (FY88).

  14. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR- 1), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, ({ital Vulpes macrotis mutica}), blunt-nosed leopard lizard ({ital Gambelia silus}), giant kangaroo rat ({ital Dipodomys ingens}), and Tipton kangaroo rat ({ital Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides}). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during FY 1989. 5 figs., 16 tabs.

  15. Endangered species program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    Construction and development activities conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C), at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 potentially threatened the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox. (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens) and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. DOE is obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1989 (FY89). 4 figs., 18 tabs.

  16. Results of preconstruction surveys used as a management technique for conserving endangered species and their habitats on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Johnson, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    In 1976 an intensive program of petroleum production at maximum efficient rate was initiated on the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills) in western Kern County, California. In a Biological Opinion required by the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that proposed construction and production activities may jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, inhabiting the Reserve. DOE committed itself to carrying out a compensation/mitigation plan to offset impacts of program activities on endangered species and their habitats. One compensation/mitigation strategy was to develop and implement preconstruction surveys to assess potential conflicts between proposed construction activities, and endangered species and their critical habitats, and to propose reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid conflicts. Between 1980 and 1984, preconstruction surveys were completed for 296 of a total of 387 major construction projects encompassing 3590 acres. Fewer than 22% of the projects potentially conflicted with conservation of endangered species, and most conflicts were easily resolved by identifying sensitive areas that required protection. Only 8% of the projects received minor modification in their design or locations to satisfy conservation needs, and only three projects had to be completely relocated. No projects were cancelled or delayed because of conflicts with endangered species, and costs to conduct preconstruction surveys were minimal. 27 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report, FY91

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) and Hoover`s Wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for the continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1991 (FY91).

  18. Biological survey of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (Buena Vista), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1987-06-01

    A field survey of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California, was conducted to determine the distribution and relative abundance of endangered species and other wildlife. Of the 343 San Joaquin kit fox dens found in 40 sections, 33 were observed by surveyors in transit and 310 were found along transects. Of the latter, 264 were typical subterranean dens and 46 were atypical dens in man-made structures. Estimated density of dens was 28.8 +- 4.4 per square mile; relative density was 9.2/1000 acres. The number of typical dens observed per section was inversely correlated with the number of petroleum wells per section (intensity of development). Atypical dens were usually found to be in pipes or pipe culverts and were positively correlated with density of wells. Relative densities of black-tailed jackrabbits (41.9/1000 acres) and desert cottontails (17.1/1000 acres), preferred prey for foxes, were high compared with densities reported on other public lands. Most (81%) of the 19 blunt-nosed leopard lizards were observed in six adjacent sections located in the gentle foothills near Buena Vista Lake playa. Most (86%) of the 275 giant kangaroo rat burrow systems were observed in ten sections containing flat, relatively undeveloped terrain in and around upper Buena Vista Valley. San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels were the second most commonly observed diurnal vertebrate: 761 observations in 45 sections. A total of 6740 observations of 61 species of wildlife were made.

  19. Endangered Species Program: Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY87

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-02-01

    Construction and development activities conducted by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C), at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in compliance with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258) potentially threatened the continued existence of three federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), and giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens). All three are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205) which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. 54 refs., 2 figs., 19 tabs.

  20. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report, FY92

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) is operated by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC): the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), and Hoover`s wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declaresthat it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered SpeciesAct. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1992 (FY92).

  1. Endangered species and cultural resources program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California, annual report FY97

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are oil fields administered by the DOE in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. Four federally endangered animal species and one federally threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides), and Hoover`s wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The DOE/NPRC is obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The primary objective of the Endangered Species and Cultural Resources Program is to provide NPRC with the scientific expertise necessary for compliance with the ESA, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress, results, and accomplishments of the program during fiscal year 1997 (FY97).

  2. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) and Hoover's Wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for the continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1991 (FY91).

  3. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY93

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. Production Company (CPDN). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, and Hoover`s wooly-star. All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which declares that it is ``...the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.`` DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPRC is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise necessary for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during fiscal year 1993.

  4. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) is operated by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC): the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), and Hoover's wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declaresthat it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered SpeciesAct. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1992 (FY92).

  5. Naval Petroleum Reserves in California site environmental report for calendar year 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    This summary for Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) is divided into NPR-1 and NPR-2. Monitoring efforts at NPR-1 include handling and disposal of oilfield wastes; environmental preactivity surveys for the protection of endangered species and archaeological resources; inspections of topsoil stockpiling; monitoring of revegetated sites; surveillance of production facilities for hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (NO{sub x}) emissions; monitoring of oil spill prevention and cleanup; and monitoring of wastewater injection. No major compliance issues existed for NPR-1 during 1989. Oil spills are recorded, reviewed for corrective action, and reported. Environmental preactivity surveys for proposed projects which may disturb or contaminate the land are conducted to prevent damage to the federally protected San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Tipton kangaroo rat and the giant kangaroo rat. Projects are adjusted or relocated as necessary to avoid impact to dens, burrows, or flat-bottomed drainages. A major revegetation program was accomplished in 1989 for erosion control enhancement of endangered species habitat. The main compliance issue on NPR-2 was oil and produced water discharges into drainages by lessees. An additional compliance issue on NPR-2 is surface refuse from past oilfield operations. 17 refs.

  6. High sensitivity to short wavelengths in a lizard and implications for understanding the evolution of visual systems in lizards

    PubMed Central

    Fleishman, Leo J.; Loew, Ellis R.; Whiting, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and microspectrophotometry, we studied the visual system of the cordylid lizard Platysaurus broadleyi because it represents an unstudied clade (Scinciformata) with respect to visual systems and because UV signals feature prominently in its social behaviour. The retina possessed four classes of single and one class of double cones. Sensitivity in the ultraviolet region (UV) was approximately three times higher than previously reported for other lizards. We found more colourless oil droplets (associated with UV-sensitive (UVS) and short wavelength-sensitive (SWS) photoreceptors), suggesting that the increased sensitivity was owing to the presence of more UVS photoreceptors. Using the Vorobyev–Osorio colour discrimination model, we demonstrated that an increase in the number of UVS photoreceptors significantly enhances a lizard's ability to discriminate conspecific male throat colours. Visual systems in diurnal lizards appear to be broadly conserved, but data from additional clades are needed to confirm this. PMID:21389031

  7. Evaluation of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) as laboratory reptile models for toxicological investigations.

    PubMed

    Talent, Larry G; Dumont, James N; Bantle, John A; Janz, David M; Talent, Scott G

    2002-05-01

    A need is recognized for one or more laboratory reptile models for use in ecotoxicological studies and risk assessments. Maintenance of breeding populations of most reptile species under laboratory conditions is not practical because of their size and slow maturation rate. However, a number of species of spiny lizards (Sceloporus sp.) are small, mature quickly, and reproduce under laboratory conditions. We evaluated three populations of western fence lizards (S. occidentalis) and four populations of eastern fence lizards (S. undulatus) for their performance under laboratory conditions. We reared an F1 generation of each population and compared their performance relative to survival, growth, maturation rate, and reproductive output. A population from the San Joaquin Valley (CA. USA) performed especially well under laboratory conditions and is a good candidate for a laboratory model. We also examined the sensitivity of developing fence lizard embryos to an estrogenic chemical to determine if male secondary sex characteristics were affected. Microinjecting eggs with an estrogenic chemical (17alpha-ethinylestradiol) feminized males and prevented development of embryonic secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, embryonic fence lizards may be useful for studying the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. PMID:12013135

  8. Interactions between a lizard and its thermal environment: implications for sprint performance and space utilization in the lizard Uta stansburiana

    SciTech Connect

    Waldschmidt, S.; Tracy, C.R.

    1983-06-01

    At the end of their breeding season, male side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana from western Colorado decreased their home range to a size not different from that of females. Both males and females showed a high degree of overlap in home ranges, not found in populations previously studied in Texas. Uta's sprint speed was dependent on body temperature, with maximum sprint speed occurring at body temperatures between 35/sup 0/C and 38/sup 0/C, with lower speeds at higher and lower temperatures. An energy budget model was used to predict the range of body temperatures (and thus sprint speeds) available to lizards in four microhabitats within each animal's home range. Predicted body temperatures were converted to a space-time index. The distribution of the space-time index in each microhabitat was used to predict the spatial and temporal distributions of lizards. Predicted distributions accurately reflected the measured distributions of lizards in the morning and late afternoon, but did not reflect the measured distributions during midday. These inconsistencies are thought to be the result of lizard responses to other temperature-dependent processes, such as evaporite water loss.

  9. High sensitivity to short wavelengths in a lizard and implications for understanding the evolution of visual systems in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fleishman, Leo J; Loew, Ellis R; Whiting, Martin J

    2011-10-01

    Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and microspectrophotometry, we studied the visual system of the cordylid lizard Platysaurus broadleyi because it represents an unstudied clade (Scinciformata) with respect to visual systems and because UV signals feature prominently in its social behaviour. The retina possessed four classes of single and one class of double cones. Sensitivity in the ultraviolet region (UV) was approximately three times higher than previously reported for other lizards. We found more colourless oil droplets (associated with UV-sensitive (UVS) and short wavelength-sensitive (SWS) photoreceptors), suggesting that the increased sensitivity was owing to the presence of more UVS photoreceptors. Using the Vorobyev-Osorio colour discrimination model, we demonstrated that an increase in the number of UVS photoreceptors significantly enhances a lizard's ability to discriminate conspecific male throat colours. Visual systems in diurnal lizards appear to be broadly conserved, but data from additional clades are needed to confirm this.

  10. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Glenn J; Leite, Cleo A C; Sanders, Colin E; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Milsom, William K

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as "true endotherms": the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy.

  11. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Glenn J.; Leite, Cleo A. C.; Sanders, Colin E.; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V.; Abe, Augusto S.; Milsom, William K.

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as “true endotherms”: the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy. PMID:26844295

  12. Neural tuning in the granite spiny lizard.

    PubMed

    Turner, R G

    1987-01-01

    Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the basilar papilla of the granite spiny lizard. The papilla contains three distinct hair cell populations: an apical and a basal population with free-standing cilia, and a central population with a tectorial membrane. In the free-standing populations, stereocilium length decreases towards the ends of the papilla. Ciliary tuft morphology differs in the free-standing and the tectorial membrane populations, except that several of the free-standing hair cells with the shortest stereocilia have a tuft morphology like the hair cells in the tectorial membrane population. On the basis of single-fiber physiology, auditory nerve fibers can be divided into a low characteristic frequency (CF) and a high CF population. Mappings of the tonotopic organization of the nerve demonstrated two groups of high CF fibers that correspond to the two free-standing hair cell populations. The low CF fibers are associated with the tectorial membrane hair cell population. Fiber CF correlated with hair cell cilium length, not position on basilar membrane, for hair cells with free-standing cilia. Tonotopic organization of high CF fibers could be predicted reasonably well from the histogram of fiber CFs.

  13. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-01-01

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624073

  14. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided.

  15. Oxidative stress decreases with elevation in the lizard Psammodromus algirus.

    PubMed

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Trenzado, Cristina E; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress is considered one of the main ecological and evolutionary forces. Several environmental stressors vary geographically and thus organisms inhabiting different sites face different oxidant environments. Nevertheless, there is scarce information about how oxidative damage and antioxidant defences vary geographically in animals. Here we study how oxidative stress varies from lowlands (300-700 m asl) to highlands (2200-2500 m asl) in the lizard Psammodromus algirus. To accomplish this, antioxidant enzymatic activity (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, DT-diaphorase) and lipid peroxidation were assayed in tissue samples from the lizards' tail. Lipid peroxidation was higher in individuals from lowlands than from highlands, indicating higher oxidative stress in lowland lizards. These results suggest that environmental conditions are less oxidant at high elevations with respect to low ones. Therefore, our study shows that oxidative stress varies geographically, which should have important consequences for our understanding of geographic variation in physiology and life-history of organisms.

  16. Paralogous origin of the rhodopsinlike opsin genes in lizards.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, S; Yokoyama, S

    1995-06-01

    Rhodopsinlike opsins constitute a distinct phylogenetic group (Yokoyama 1994, Mol. Biol. Evol. 11:32-39). This RH2 group includes the green-sensitive opsins in chicken and goldfish and the blue-sensitive opsin in a nocturnal lizard gecko. In the present study, we isolated and sequenced the genomic DNA clones for the RH2 opsin gene, rh2Ac, of the diurnal lizard Anolis carolinensis. This single-copy gene spans 18.3 kb from start to stop codons, making it the longest opsin gene known in vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests that rh2Ac is more closely related to the chicken green opsin gene than to the gecko blue opsin gene. This gene tree differs from the organismal tree, where the two lizard species should be most closely related, implying that rh2Ac and the gecko blue-sensitive opsin genes have been derived from duplicate ancestral genes.

  17. Omnivory in lacertid lizards: adaptive evolution or constraint?

    PubMed

    Herrel, A; Vanhooydonck, B; Van Damme, R

    2004-09-01

    Feeding specializations such as herbivory are an often cited example of convergent and adaptive evolution. However, some groups such as lizards appear constrained in the evolution of morphological specializations associated with specialized diets. Here we examine whether the inclusion of plant matter into the diet of omnivorous lacertid lizards has resulted in morphological specializations and whether these specializations reflect biomechanical compromises as expected if omnivores are constrained by functional trade-offs. We examined external head shape, skull shape, tooth structure, intestinal tract length and bite performance as previous studies have suggested correlations between the inclusion of plants into the diet and these traits. Our data show that omnivorous lacertid lizards possess modifications of these traits that allow them to successfully exploit plant material as a food source. Conversely, few indications of a compromise phenotype could be detected, suggesting that the evolution towards herbivory is only mildly constrained by functional trade-offs.

  18. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  19. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert N.; Suarez, Andrew V.; Case, Ted J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (   Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2–3 years. At each array we measured 26 “local” site descriptors and averaged these values with other “regional” measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (  Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales ( hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  20. Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Libby, Thomas; Moore, Talia Y; Chang-Siu, Evan; Li, Deborah; Cohen, Daniel J; Jusufi, Ardian; Full, Robert J

    2012-01-04

    In 1969, a palaeontologist proposed that theropod dinosaurs used their tails as dynamic stabilizers during rapid or irregular movements, contributing to their depiction as active and agile predators. Since then the inertia of swinging appendages has been implicated in stabilizing human walking, aiding acrobatic manoeuvres by primates and rodents, and enabling cats to balance on branches. Recent studies on geckos suggest that active tail stabilization occurs during climbing, righting and gliding. By contrast, studies on the effect of lizard tail loss show evidence of a decrease, an increase or no change in performance. Application of a control-theoretic framework could advance our general understanding of inertial appendage use in locomotion. Here we report that lizards control the swing of their tails in a measured manner to redirect angular momentum from their bodies to their tails, stabilizing body attitude in the sagittal plane. We video-recorded Red-Headed Agama lizards (Agama agama) leaping towards a vertical surface by first vaulting onto an obstacle with variable traction to induce a range of perturbations in body angular momentum. To examine a known controlled tail response, we built a lizard-sized robot with an active tail that used sensory feedback to stabilize pitch as it drove off a ramp. Our dynamics model revealed that a body swinging its tail experienced less rotation than a body with a rigid tail, a passively compliant tail or no tail. To compare a range of tails, we calculated tail effectiveness as the amount of tailless body rotation a tail could stabilize. A model Velociraptor mongoliensis supported the initial tail stabilization hypothesis, showing as it did a greater tail effectiveness than the Agama lizards. Leaping lizards show that inertial control of body attitude can advance our understanding of appendage evolution and provide biological inspiration for the next generation of manoeuvrable search-and-rescue robots.

  1. The effects of prey species on food conversion efficiency and growth of an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2008-05-01

    Little is known about the effects of different prey species on lizard growth. We conducted a 6-week study to determine the relative effects of prey species on growth parameters of hatchling western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Lizards were fed house cricket nymphs, Acheta domesticus, or mealworm larvae, Tenebrio molitor. The effects of prey species on growth were determined by measuring prey consumption, gross conversion efficiency of food [gain in mass (g)/food consumed (g)], gain in mass, and gain in snout-vent length. Lizards grew well on both the prey species. However, lizards that fed on crickets consumed a significantly higher percentage of their body mass per day than those fed mealworms. Nevertheless, lizards that consumed mealworms ingested significantly more metabolizable energy, had significantly higher food conversion efficiencies, significantly higher daily gains in mass, and significantly greater total growth in mass than lizards that fed on crickets. PMID:19360616

  2. Besnoitia in a palaearctic lizard (Lacerta dugesii) from Madeira.

    PubMed

    Frank, W; Frenkel, J K

    1981-01-01

    Besnoitia cysts in the heart of a lizard (Lacerta dugesii) from the islands of Madeira are the first record of besnoitiosis in a poikilothermic animal in the Old World. The size of the cysts corresponds to those found in lizard genera (Basiliscus and Ameiva) from Panama which belong to B. darlingi. Up to now nothing is known concerning the life cycle of this species from Madeira but it seems possible that cats function as definitive hosts as well as in the other species. PMID:6782782

  3. Muscle directly meets the vast power demands in agile lizards.

    PubMed

    Curtin, Nancy A; Woledge, Roger C; Aerts, Peter

    2005-03-22

    Level locomotion in small, agile lizards is characterized by intermittent bursts of fast running. These require very large accelerations, often reaching several times g. The power input required to increase kinetic energy is calculated to be as high as 214 W kg(-1) muscle (+/-20 W kg(-1) s.e.; averaged over the complete locomotor cycle) and 952 W kg(-1) muscle (+/-89 W kg(-1) s.e.; instantaneous peak power). In vitro muscle experiments prove that these exceptional power requirements can be met directly by the lizard's muscle fibres alone; there is no need for mechanical power amplifying mechanisms.

  4. The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes.

    PubMed

    Cho, Yun Sung; Hu, Li; Hou, Haolong; Lee, Hang; Xu, Jiaohui; Kwon, Soowhan; Oh, Sukhun; Kim, Hak-Min; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Sangsoo; Shin, Young-Ah; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Chang-Uk; Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Turner, Jason A; Marker, Laurie; Harper, Cindy; Miller, Susan M; Jacobs, Wilhelm; Bertola, Laura D; Kim, Tae Hyung; Lee, Sunghoon; Zhou, Qian; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Xu, Xiao; Gadhvi, Priyvrat; Xu, Pengwei; Xiong, Yingqi; Luo, Yadan; Pan, Shengkai; Gou, Caiyun; Chu, Xiuhui; Zhang, Jilin; Liu, Sanyang; He, Jing; Chen, Ying; Yang, Linfeng; Yang, Yulan; He, Jiaju; Liu, Sha; Wang, Junyi; Kim, Chul Hong; Kwak, Hwanjong; Kim, Jong-Soo; Hwang, Seungwoo; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Chang-Bae; Kim, Sangtae; Bayarlkhagva, Damdin; Paek, Woon Kee; Kim, Seong-Jin; O'Brien, Stephen J; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong

    2013-01-01

    Tigers and their close relatives (Panthera) are some of the world's most endangered species. Here we report the de novo assembly of an Amur tiger whole-genome sequence as well as the genomic sequences of a white Bengal tiger, African lion, white African lion and snow leopard. Through comparative genetic analyses of these genomes, we find genetic signatures that may reflect molecular adaptations consistent with the big cats' hypercarnivorous diet and muscle strength. We report a snow leopard-specific genetic determinant in EGLN1 (Met39>Lys39), which is likely to be associated with adaptation to high altitude. We also detect a TYR260G>A mutation likely responsible for the white lion coat colour. Tiger and cat genomes show similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny. Genomic data from the five big cats provide an invaluable resource for resolving easily identifiable phenotypes evident in very close, but distinct, species.

  5. Clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) predation on proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) in Sabah, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Ikki; Tuuga, Augustine; Higashi, Seigo

    2008-07-01

    In this study, we have reported two direct observations of individuals from a one-male group of proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) being killed by clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) in the riverine forest along the Menanggul river, a tributary of the Kinabatangan river in Sabah, Malaysia. One of the two individuals was an infant female and the other was a juvenile female. Based on literature reviews and the observations reported here, we suggest that clouded leopard and crocodile might be significant potential predators of proboscis monkeys of any age or sex and that predation threats elicit the monkeys' anti-predator strategies. Moreover, the observations of the monkeys' behaviour when the group is attacked by a predator suggest that the adult males in one-male groups play an important role as protectors. PMID:18484152

  6. The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yun Sung; Hu, Li; Hou, Haolong; Lee, Hang; Xu, Jiaohui; Kwon, Soowhan; Oh, Sukhun; Kim, Hak-Min; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Sangsoo; Shin, Young-Ah; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Chang-uk; Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E.; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Turner, Jason A.; Marker, Laurie; Harper, Cindy; Miller, Susan M.; Jacobs, Wilhelm; Bertola, Laura D.; Kim, Tae Hyung; Lee, Sunghoon; Zhou, Qian; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Xu, Xiao; Gadhvi, Priyvrat; Xu, Pengwei; Xiong, Yingqi; Luo, Yadan; Pan, Shengkai; Gou, Caiyun; Chu, Xiuhui; Zhang, Jilin; Liu, Sanyang; He, Jing; Chen, Ying; Yang, Linfeng; Yang, Yulan; He, Jiaju; Liu, Sha; Wang, Junyi; Kim, Chul Hong; Kwak, Hwanjong; Kim, Jong-Soo; Hwang, Seungwoo; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Chang-Bae; Kim, Sangtae; Bayarlkhagva, Damdin; Paek, Woon Kee; Kim, Seong-Jin; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong

    2013-01-01

    Tigers and their close relatives (Panthera) are some of the world’s most endangered species. Here we report the de novo assembly of an Amur tiger whole-genome sequence as well as the genomic sequences of a white Bengal tiger, African lion, white African lion and snow leopard. Through comparative genetic analyses of these genomes, we find genetic signatures that may reflect molecular adaptations consistent with the big cats’ hypercarnivorous diet and muscle strength. We report a snow leopard-specific genetic determinant in EGLN1 (Met39>Lys39), which is likely to be associated with adaptation to high altitude. We also detect a TYR260G>A mutation likely responsible for the white lion coat colour. Tiger and cat genomes show similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny. Genomic data from the five big cats provide an invaluable resource for resolving easily identifiable phenotypes evident in very close, but distinct, species. PMID:24045858

  7. Simulation modeling of population viability for the leopard darter (Percidae: Percina pantherina)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, L.R.; Echelle, A.A.; Toepfer, C.S.; Williams, M.G.; Fisher, W.L.

    1999-01-01

    We used the computer program RAMAS to perform a population viability analysis for the leopard darter, Percina pantherina. This percid fish is a threatened species confined to five isolated rivers in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma and Arkansas. A base model created from life history data indicated a 6% probability that the leopard darter would go extinct in 50 years. We performed sensitivity analyses to determine the effects of initial population size, variation in age structure, variation in severity and probability of catastrophe, and migration rate. Catastrophe (modeled as the probability and severity of drought) and migration had the greatest effects on persistence. Results of these simulations have implications for management of this species.

  8. The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes.

    PubMed

    Cho, Yun Sung; Hu, Li; Hou, Haolong; Lee, Hang; Xu, Jiaohui; Kwon, Soowhan; Oh, Sukhun; Kim, Hak-Min; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Sangsoo; Shin, Young-Ah; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Chang-Uk; Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Turner, Jason A; Marker, Laurie; Harper, Cindy; Miller, Susan M; Jacobs, Wilhelm; Bertola, Laura D; Kim, Tae Hyung; Lee, Sunghoon; Zhou, Qian; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Xu, Xiao; Gadhvi, Priyvrat; Xu, Pengwei; Xiong, Yingqi; Luo, Yadan; Pan, Shengkai; Gou, Caiyun; Chu, Xiuhui; Zhang, Jilin; Liu, Sanyang; He, Jing; Chen, Ying; Yang, Linfeng; Yang, Yulan; He, Jiaju; Liu, Sha; Wang, Junyi; Kim, Chul Hong; Kwak, Hwanjong; Kim, Jong-Soo; Hwang, Seungwoo; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Chang-Bae; Kim, Sangtae; Bayarlkhagva, Damdin; Paek, Woon Kee; Kim, Seong-Jin; O'Brien, Stephen J; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong

    2013-01-01

    Tigers and their close relatives (Panthera) are some of the world's most endangered species. Here we report the de novo assembly of an Amur tiger whole-genome sequence as well as the genomic sequences of a white Bengal tiger, African lion, white African lion and snow leopard. Through comparative genetic analyses of these genomes, we find genetic signatures that may reflect molecular adaptations consistent with the big cats' hypercarnivorous diet and muscle strength. We report a snow leopard-specific genetic determinant in EGLN1 (Met39>Lys39), which is likely to be associated with adaptation to high altitude. We also detect a TYR260G>A mutation likely responsible for the white lion coat colour. Tiger and cat genomes show similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny. Genomic data from the five big cats provide an invaluable resource for resolving easily identifiable phenotypes evident in very close, but distinct, species. PMID:24045858

  9. Auditory hair cell innervational patterns in lizards.

    PubMed

    Miller, M R; Beck, J

    1988-05-22

    The pattern of afferent and efferent innervation of two to four unidirectional (UHC) and two to nine bidirectional (BHC) hair cells of five different types of lizard auditory papillae was determined by reconstruction of serial TEM sections. The species studies were Crotaphytus wislizeni (iguanid), Podarcis (Lacerta) sicula and P. muralis (lacertids), Ameiva ameiva (teiid), Coleonyx variegatus (gekkonid), and Mabuya multifasciata (scincid). The main object was to determine in which species and in which hair cell types the nerve fibers were innervating only one (exclusive innervation), or two or more hair cells (nonexclusive innervation); how many nerve fibers were supplying each hair cell; how many synapses were made by the innervating fibers; and the total number of synapses on each hair cell. In the species studies, efferent innervation was limited to the UHC, and except for the iguanid, C. wislizeni, it was nonexclusive, each fiber supplying two or more hair cells. Afferent innervation varied both with the species and the hair cell types. In Crotaphytus, both the UHC and the BHC were exclusively innervated. In Podarcis and Ameiva, the UHC were innervated exclusively by some fibers but nonexclusively by others (mixed pattern). In Coleonyx, the UHC were exclusively innervated but the BHC were nonexclusively innervated. In Mabuya, both the UHC and BHC were nonexclusively innervated. The number of afferent nerve fibers and the number of afferent synapses were always larger in the UHC than in the BHC. In Ameiva, Podarcis, and Mabuya, groups of bidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in regions of cytologically distinct UHC, and in Ameiva, unidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in cytologically distinct BHC regions. PMID:3385019

  10. Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, Kirsten E.; Harmon, Luke J.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2007-01-01

    Background The dewlaps of Anolis lizards provide a classic example of a complex signaling system whose function and evolution is poorly understood. Dewlaps are flaps of skin beneath the chin that are extended and combined with head and body movements for visual signals and displays. They exhibit extensive morphological variation and are one of two cladistic features uniting anoles, yet little is known regarding their function and evolution. We quantified the diversity of anole dewlaps, investigated whether dewlap morphology was informative regarding phylogenetic relationships, and tested two separate hypotheses: (A) similar Anolis habitat specialists possess similar dewlap configurations (Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis), and (B) sympatric species differ in their dewlap morphologies to a greater extent than expected by chance (Species Recognition hypothesis). Methodology/Principal Findings We found that dewlap configurations (sizes, patterns and colors) exhibit substantial diversity, but that most are easily categorized into six patterns that incorporate one to three of 13 recognizable colors. Dewlap morphology is not phylogenetically informative and, like other features of anoles, exhibits convergence in configurations. We found no support for the Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis; species using the same structural habitat were no more similar in dewlap configuration than expected by chance. With one exception, all sympatric species in four communities differ in dewlap configuration. However, this provides only weak support for the Species Recognition hypothesis because, due to the great diversity in dewlap configurations observed across each island, few cases of sympatric species with identical dewlaps would be expected to co-occur by chance alone. Conclusions/Significance Despite previous thought, most dewlaps exhibit easily characterizable patterns and colorations. Nevertheless, dewlap variation is extensive and explanations for the origin and evolution of this

  11. A reference system for animal biometrics: application to the northern leopard frog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petrovska-Delacretaz, D.; Edwards, A.; Chiasson, J.; Chollet, G.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2014-01-01

    Reference systems and public databases are available for human biometrics, but to our knowledge nothing is available for animal biometrics. This is surprising because animals are not required to give their agreement to be in a database. This paper proposes a reference system and database for the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens). Both are available for reproducible experiments. Results of both open set and closed set experiments are given.

  12. Patent ductus arteriosus in an adult amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Douay, Guillaume; Drut, Amandine; Ribas, Thibault; Gomis, David; Graille, Mélanie; Lemberger, Karin; Bublot, Isabelle

    2013-03-01

    A clinically healthy 16-yr-old female leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus on echocardiography and later confirmed on necropsy A murmur was heard on auscultation during a routine examination, and the congenital defect was an incidental finding. The animal had been asymptomatic its entire life. This deformity is rarely observed in nondomestic felids and may be asymptomatic, as has been described in domestic cats.

  13. Two-stage Turing model for generating pigment patterns on the leopard and the jaguar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, R. T.; Liaw, S. S.; Maini, P. K.

    2006-07-01

    Based on the results of phylogenetic analysis, which showed that flecks are the primitive pattern of the felid family and all other patterns including rosettes and blotches develop from it, we construct a Turing reaction-diffusion model which generates spot patterns initially. Starting from this spotted pattern, we successfully generate patterns of adult leopards and jaguars by tuning parameters of the model in the subsequent phase of patterning.

  14. First report of Ancylostoma tubaeforme in Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor).

    PubMed

    Youssefi, Mr; Hoseini, Sh; Hoseini, Sm; Zaheri, Ba; Tabari, M Abouhosseini

    2010-03-01

    Ancylostoma tubaeforme was originally described as a separate species parasitizing the cat. The adults of A. tubaeforme are 7 to 12 mm long. A. tubaeforme can be differentiated from the adults of A. braziliense and A. ceylanicum by the presence of three teeth. Here we describe the first report of A. tubaeforme in a Persian young female leopard, 2-3 years old, with head and trunk length 120 centimeters, length of tail 98 centimeters and body weight 35 kilograms.

  15. Assessment of the prevailing physics codes: LEOPARD, LASER, and EPRI-CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Lan, J.S.

    1981-01-01

    In order to analyze core performance and fuel management, it is necessary to verify reactor physics codes in great detail. This kind of work not only serves the purpose of understanding and controlling the characteristics of each code, but also ensures the reliability as codes continually change due to constant modifications and machine transfers. This paper will present the results of a comprehensive verification of three code packages - LEOPARD, LASER, and EPRI-CELL.

  16. Tidal influence on spatial dynamics of leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata, in Tomales Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Kondratieff, Matthew C.; Matern, Scott A.; Cech, Joseph J. Jr.

    2000-01-01

    We used ultrasonic telemetry to determine the movement directions and movement rates of leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata, in Tomales Bay, California. To analyze tide and time of day effects, we surgically implanted transmitters in the peritoneal cavities of one male and five female leopard sharks, which we located during summer for three to five sampling sessions lasting 12 to 24 h each. All leopard sharks showed strong movement direction patterns with tide. During incoming tides, sharks moved significantly (p<0.0001) towards the inner bay, apparently to exploit the extensive inner bay muddy littoral zones' food resources. On outgoing tides, sharks showed significant (p<0.0001) movements towards the outer bay. During high tide, there was no discernible pattern to their movements (p=0.092). Shark movement rates were significantly (p<0.0001) greater during dark periods (mean±SE: 10.5±1.0 m min−1), compared with fully lighted ones (6.7±0.5 m min−1). Movement rates of longer sharks tended to be greater than those of shorter ones (range means±SE: 5.8±0.6 m min−1 for the 91 cm shark, to 12.8±1.6 m min−1 for the 119 cm shark), but the leopard sharks' overall mean movement rate (8.1±0.5 m min−1) was slower than other (more pelagic) sharks.

  17. Suppression of leopard moth (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) populations in olive trees in Egypt through mating disruption.

    PubMed

    Hegazi, E M; Khafagi, W E; Konstantopoulou, M A; Schlyter, F; Raptopoulos, D; Shweil, S; Abd El-Rahman, S; Atwa, A; Ali, S E; Tawfik, H

    2010-10-01

    The leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina (L.) (Lepidoptera: Cossidae), is a damaging pest for many fruit trees (e.g., apple [Malus spp.], pear [Pyrus spp.] peach [Prunus spp.], and olive [Olea]). Recently, it caused serious yield losses in newly established olive orchards in Egypt, including the death of young trees. Chemical and biological control have shown limited efficiency against this pest. Field tests were conducted in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate mating disruption (MD) for the control of the leopard moth, on heavily infested, densely planted olive plots (336 trees per ha). The binary blend of the pheromone components (E,Z)-2,13-octadecenyl acetate and (E,Z)-3,13-octadecenyl acetate (95:5) was dispensed from polyethylene vials. Efficacy was measured considering reduction of catches in pheromone traps, reduction of active galleries of leopard moth per tree and fruit yield in the pheromone-treated plots (MD) compared with control plots (CO). Male captures in MD plots were reduced by 89.3% in 2005 and 82.9% in 2006, during a trapping period of 14 and 13 wk, respectively. Application of MD over two consecutive years progressively reduced the number of active galleries per tree in the third year where no sex pheromone was applied. In all years, larval galleries outnumbered moth captures. Fruit yield from trees where sex pheromone had been applied in 2005 and 2006 increased significantly in 2006 (98.8 +/- 2.9 kg per tree) and 2007 (23 +/- 1.3 kg per tree) compared with control ones (61.0 +/- 3.9 and 10.0 +/- 0.6 kg per tree, respectively). Mating disruption shows promising for suppressing leopard moth infestation in olives.

  18. Threats from the past: Barbados green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fear leopards after centuries of isolation.

    PubMed

    Burns-Cusato, Melissa; Glueck, Amanda C; Merchak, Andrea R; Palmer, Cristin L; Rieskamp, Joshua D; Duggan, Ivy S; Hinds, Rebecca T; Cusato, Brian

    2016-05-01

    Ability to recognize and differentiate between predators and non-predators is a crucial component of successful anti-predator behavior. While there is evidence that both genetic and experiential mechanisms mediate anti-predator behaviors in various animal species, it is unknown to what extent each of these two mechanisms are utilized by the green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus). Green monkeys on the West Indies island of Barbados offer a unique opportunity to investigate the underpinnings of anti-predator behaviors in a species that has been isolated from ancestral predators for over 350 years. In the first experiment, monkeys in two free-ranging troops were presented with photographs of an ancestral predator (leopard, Panthera pardus) and a non-predator (African Buffalo, Syncerus caffer). Relative to non-predator stimuli, images of a leopard elicited less approach, more alarm calls, and more escape responses. Subsequent experiments were conducted to determine whether the monkeys were responding to a leopard-specific feature (spotted fur) or a general predator feature (forward facing eyes). The monkeys showed similar approach to images of an unfamiliar non-predator regardless of whether the image had forward facing predator eyes or side facing non-predator eyes. However, once near the images, the monkeys were less likely to reach for peanuts near the predator eyes than the non-predator eyes. The monkeys avoided an image of spotted leopard fur but approached the same image of fur when the dark spots had been removed. Taken together, the results suggest that green monkey anti-predator behavior is at least partially mediated by genetic factors. PMID:26910174

  19. Virus-like particles in cystic mammary adenoma of a snow leopard.

    PubMed

    Chandra, S; Laughlin, D C

    1975-11-01

    Virus-like particles were observed in the giant cells of a mammary adenoma of a snow leopard kept in captivity. Particles that measured 115 to 125 nm in diameter budded from the lamella of endoplasmic reticulum and were studded on their inner surfaces with dense granules (approximately 12 nm) that gave them their unique ultrastructural morphology. Such particles were not observed extracellularly. Type B or type C particles were not seen in the tumor tissue.

  20. Detection of testudinid herpesvirus type 4 in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    PubMed

    Kolesnik, Ekaterina; Mittenzwei, Frank; Marschang, Rachel E

    2016-08-17

    Several animals from a mixed species collection of tortoises in Germany died unexpectedly. Some of the affected leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) from this group showed respiratory signs. Samples were collected from one of the ill tortoises, and a Mycoplasma spp. and a herpesvirus were detected by PCR. Sequencing of a portion of the DNA polymerase gene of the herpesvirus showed 99% identity with testudinid herpesvirus 4, previously described only once in a bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) in the United States. PMID:27301060

  1. Dissatisfaction with Veterinary Services Is Associated with Leopard (Panthera pardus) Predation on Domestic Animals.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor; Soofi, Mahmood; Khaleghi Hamidi, Amirhossein; Ghoddousi, Arash; Waltert, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus) conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conflict determinants and to use them in predicting the probabilities of conflict and killing of cattle, sheep and goats, and dogs. We found that the more villagers were dissatisfied with veterinary services, the more likely they were to lose livestock and dogs to leopard predation. Dissatisfaction occurred when vaccination crews failed to visit villages at all or, in most cases, arrived too late to prevent diseases from spreading. We suggest that increased morbidity of livestock makes them particularly vulnerable to leopard attacks. Moreover, conflicts and dog killing were higher in villages located closer to the boundaries of the protected area than in distant villages. Therefore, we appeal for improved enforcement and coordination of veterinary services in our study area, and propose several priority research topics such as veterinarian studies, role of wild prey in diseases of domestic animals, and further analysis of potential conflict predictors.

  2. Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks triakis semifasciata

    PubMed

    Ferry-Graham

    1998-08-01

    Recent work on teleosts suggests that attack behaviors or kinematics may be modified by a predator on the basis of the size of the prey or the ability of the prey to sense predators and escape capture (elusivity). Sharks are generally presumed to be highly visual predators; thus, it is reasonable to expect that they might also be capable of such behavioral modulation. In this study, I investigated the effect of prey item size and type on prey-capture behavior in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that had been acclimated to feeding in the laboratory. Using high-speed video, sharks were filmed feeding on two sizes of the same prey item (thawed shrimp pieces) and two potentially more elusive prey items (live earthworms and live mud shrimp). In leopard sharks, little effect of prey elusivity was found for kinematic variables during prey capture. However, the large proportion of successful captures of the live prey suggests that they did not prove to be truly elusive prey items for the leopard shark. There were significant size effects on prey-capture kinematics, with the larger non-elusive items inducing greater head expansion during prey capture. Ram-suction index values also indicated that strikes on large, non-elusive prey had a significantly larger suction component than strikes on similar small prey items. This finding is interesting given that the two sizes of non-elusive prey item offered no differential challenge in terms of a performance consequence (reduced capture success). PMID:9679105

  3. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Catherine E.; Feinberg, Jeremy A.; Rissler, Leslie J.; Burger, Joanna; Shaffer, H. Bradley

    2014-01-01

    Past confusion about leopard frog (genus Rana) species composition in the Tri-State area of the US that includes New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT) has hindered conservation and management efforts, especially where populations are declining or imperiled. We use nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to clarify the identification and distribution of leopard frog species in this region. We focus on four problematic frog populations of uncertain species affiliation in northern NJ, southeastern mainland NY, and Staten Island to test the following hypotheses: (1) they are conspecific with Rana sphenocephala or R. pipiens, (2) they are hybrids between R. sphenocephala and R. pipiens, or (3) they represent one or more previously undescribed cryptic taxa. Bayesian phylogenetic and cluster analyses revealed that the four unknown populations collectively form a novel genetic lineage, which represents a previously undescribed cryptic leopard frog species, Rana sp. nov. Statistical support for R. sp. nov. was strong in both the Bayesian (pp = 1.0) and maximum-likelihood (bootstrap = 99) phylogenetic analyses as well as the Structure cluster analyses. While our data support recognition of R. sp. nov. as a novel species, we recommend further study including fine-scaled sampling and ecological, behavioral, call, and morphological analyses before it is formally described. PMID:22321689

  4. Functional Responses of Retaliatory Killing versus Recreational Sport Hunting of Leopards in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Swanepoel, Lourens H.; Somers, Michael J.; Dalerum, Fredrik

    2015-01-01

    Predation strategies in response to altering prey abundances can dramatically influence the demographic effects of predation. Despite this, predation strategies of humans are rarely incorporated into quantitative assessments of the demographic impacts of humans killing carnivores. This scarcity largely seems to be caused by a lack of data. In this study, we contrasted predation strategies exhibited by people involved in retaliatory killing and recreational sport hunting of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Waterberg District Municipality, South Africa. We predicted a specialist predation strategy exemplified by a type II functional response for retaliatory killing, and a generalist strategy exemplified by a type III functional response for recreational sport hunting. We could not distinguish between a type I, a type II, or a type III functional response for retaliatory killing, but the most parsimonious model for recreational sport hunting corresponded to a type I functional response. Kill rates were consistently higher for retaliatory killing than for recreational sport hunting. Our results indicate that retaliatory killing of leopards may have severe demographic consequences for leopard populations, whereas the demographic consequences of recreational sport hunting likely are less dramatic. PMID:25905623

  5. Dissatisfaction with Veterinary Services Is Associated with Leopard (Panthera pardus) Predation on Domestic Animals

    PubMed Central

    Khaleghi Hamidi, Amirhossein; Ghoddousi, Arash; Waltert, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus) conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conflict determinants and to use them in predicting the probabilities of conflict and killing of cattle, sheep and goats, and dogs. We found that the more villagers were dissatisfied with veterinary services, the more likely they were to lose livestock and dogs to leopard predation. Dissatisfaction occurred when vaccination crews failed to visit villages at all or, in most cases, arrived too late to prevent diseases from spreading. We suggest that increased morbidity of livestock makes them particularly vulnerable to leopard attacks. Moreover, conflicts and dog killing were higher in villages located closer to the boundaries of the protected area than in distant villages. Therefore, we appeal for improved enforcement and coordination of veterinary services in our study area, and propose several priority research topics such as veterinarian studies, role of wild prey in diseases of domestic animals, and further analysis of potential conflict predictors. PMID:26114626

  6. Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range

    PubMed Central

    Gerngross, Peter; Lemeris Jr., Joseph R.; Schoonover, Rebecca F.; Anco, Corey; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Durant, Sarah M.; Farhadinia, Mohammad S.; Henschel, Philipp; Kamler, Jan F.; Laguardia, Alice; Rostro-García, Susana; Stein, Andrew B.; Dollar, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The leopard’s (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard’s status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25–37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard’s extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km2 of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected. PMID:27168983

  7. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US.

    PubMed

    Newman, Catherine E; Feinberg, Jeremy A; Rissler, Leslie J; Burger, Joanna; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2012-05-01

    Past confusion about leopard frog (genus Rana) species composition in the Tri-State area of the US that includes New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT) has hindered conservation and management efforts, especially where populations are declining or imperiled. We use nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to clarify the identification and distribution of leopard frog species in this region. We focus on four problematic frog populations of uncertain species affiliation in northern NJ, southeastern mainland NY, and Staten Island to test the following hypotheses: (1) they are conspecific with Rana sphenocephala or R. pipiens, (2) they are hybrids between R. sphenocephala and R. pipiens, or (3) they represent one or more previously undescribed cryptic taxa. Bayesian phylogenetic and cluster analyses revealed that the four unknown populations collectively form a novel genetic lineage, which represents a previously undescribed cryptic leopard frog species, Rana sp. nov. Statistical support for R. sp. nov. was strong in both the Bayesian (pp=1.0) and maximum-likelihood (bootstrap=99) phylogenetic analyses as well as the Structure cluster analyses. While our data support recognition of R. sp. nov. as a novel species, we recommend further study including fine-scaled sampling and ecological, behavioral, call, and morphological analyses before it is formally described.

  8. Ecology Driving Genetic Variation: A Comparative Phylogeography of Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in India

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomita; Krishnan, Anand; Tamma, Krishnapriya; Home, Chandrima; R, Navya; Joseph, Sonia; Das, Arundhati; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2010-01-01

    Background Comparative phylogeography links historical population processes to current/ecological processes through congruent/incongruent patterns of genetic variation among species/lineages. Despite high biodiversity, India lacks a phylogeographic paradigm due to limited comparative studies. We compared the phylogenetic patterns of Indian populations of jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Given similarities in their distribution within India, evolutionary histories, body size and habits, congruent patterns of genetic variation were expected. Methodology/Principal Findings We collected scats from various biogeographic zones in India and analyzed mtDNA from 55 jungle cats (460 bp NADH5, 141 bp cytochrome b) and 40 leopard cats (362 bp NADH5, 202 bp cytochrome b). Jungle cats revealed high genetic variation, relatively low population structure and demographic expansion around the mid-Pleistocene. In contrast, leopard cats revealed lower genetic variation and high population structure with a FST of 0.86 between North and South Indian populations. Niche-model analyses using two approaches (BIOCLIM and MaxEnt) support absence of leopard cats from Central India, indicating a climate associated barrier. We hypothesize that high summer temperatures limit leopard cat distribution and that a rise in temperature in the peninsular region of India during the LGM caused the split in leopard cat population in India. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicate that ecological variables describing a species range can predict genetic patterns. Our study has also resolved the confusion over the distribution of the leopard cat in India. The reciprocally monophyletic island population in the South mandates conservation attention. PMID:21060831

  9. Leaping Lizards And Learning. In the Curriculum: Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Diane; Nelson, Cathi

    2004-01-01

    In the broad fields that stretch toward the horizon in the Columbia Basin region of Washington state, the land is just right for at least two purposes: growing dryland wheat and providing habitat for shorthorned lizards, also known as horny toads. Our elementary school, enrolling 150 children from this rural farming community, has become a hub for…

  10. Intestinal helminths of the granite spiny lizard (Sceloporus orcutti).

    PubMed

    Goldberg, S R; Bursey, C R

    1991-04-01

    Examination of the intestinal tracts of 74 granite spiny lizards (Sceloporus orcutti) from Riverside County, California (USA) revealed infection with one cestode species Oochoristica scelopori (Anoplocephalidae) and one nematode species Spauligodon giganticus (Pharyngodonidae). Helminth prevalence was 24%. The presence of Oochoristica scelopori represents a new host record.

  11. Effects of inorganic lead on Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Suski, Jamie G; Bazar, Matthew A; Talent, Larry G

    2009-12-01

    Although anthropogenic pollutants are thought to threaten reptilian species, there are few toxicity studies on reptiles. We evaluated the toxicity of Pb as lead acetate to the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). The acute lethal dose and sub-acute (14-day) toxicity studies were used to narrow exposure concentrations for a sub-chronic (60-day) study. In the sub-chronic study, adult and juvenile male lizards were dosed via gavage with 0, 1, 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/day. Mortality was limited and occurred only at the highest dose (20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d). There were statistically significant sub-lethal effects of 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d on body weight, cricket consumption, organ weight, hematological parameters and post-dose behaviors. Of these, Pb-induced changes in body weight are most useful for ecological risk assessment because it is linked to fitness in wild lizard populations. The Western fence lizard is a useful model for reptilian toxicity studies. PMID:19631431

  12. Convergent evolution of kin-based sociality in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Davis, Alison R; Corl, Ammon; Surget-Groba, Yann; Sinervo, Barry

    2011-05-22

    Studies of social birds and mammals have produced extensive theory regarding the formation and dynamics of kin-based social groups in vertebrates. However, comparing kin dynamics in birds and mammals to social reptiles provides the opportunity to identify selective factors that promote independent origins of kin sociality across vertebrates. We combined a 5-year mark-recapture study with a DNA microsatellite analysis of relatedness in a social lizard (Xantusia vigilis) to examine the formation and stability of kin groups. We found that these lizards are highly sedentary and that groups often form through the delayed dispersal of offspring. Groups containing juveniles had higher relatedness than adult-only groups, as juveniles were commonly found in aggregations with at least one parent and/or sibling. Groups containing nuclear family members were more stable than groups of less-related lizards, as predicted by social theory. We conclude that X. vigilis aggregations conform to patterns of kin sociality observed in avian and mammalian systems and represent an example of convergent evolution in social systems. We suggest that kin-based sociality in this and other lizards may be a by-product of viviparity, which can promote delayed juvenile dispersal by allowing prolonged interaction between a neonate and its mother.

  13. Ecological release in lizard assemblages of neotropical savannas.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Colli, Guarino Rinaldi; Vitt, Laurie J

    2007-08-01

    We compare lizard assemblages of Cerrado and Amazonian savannas to test the ecological release hypothesis, which predicts that niche dimensions and abundance should be greater in species inhabiting isolated habitat patches with low species richness (Amazonian savannas and isolated Cerrado patches) when compared with nonisolated areas in central Cerrado with greater species richness. We calculated microhabitat and diet niche breadths with data from 14 isolated Cerrado patches and Amazon savanna areas and six central Cerrado populations. Morphological data were compared using average Euclidean distances, and lizard abundance was estimated using the number of lizards captured in pitfall traps over an extended time period. We found no evidence of ecological release with respect to microhabitat use, suggesting that historical factors are better microhabitat predictors than ecological factors. However, data from individual stomachs indicate that ecological release occurs in these areas for one species (Tropidurus) but not others (Ameiva ameiva, Anolis, Cnemidophorus, and Micrablepharus), suggesting that evolutionary lineages respond differently to environmental pressures, with tropidurids being more affected by ecological factors than polychrotids, teiids, and gymnophthalmids. We found no evidence that ecological release occurs in these areas using morphological data. Based on abundance data, our results indicate that the ecological release (density compensation) hypothesis is not supported: lizard species are not more abundant in isolated areas than in nonisolated areas. The ecology of species is highly conservative, varying little from assemblage to assemblage. Nevertheless, increases in niche breadth for some species indicate that ecological release occurs as well. PMID:17437128

  14. Technique for Measuring Speed and Visual Motion Sensitivity in Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

    Testing sensory characteristics on herpetological species has been difficult due to a range of properties related to physiology, responsiveness, performance ability, and the type of reinforcer used. Using the Jacky lizard as a model, we outline a successfully established procedure in which to test the visual sensitivity to motion characteristics.…

  15. A review of diagnostic imaging of snakes and lizards.

    PubMed

    Banzato, T; Hellebuyck, T; Van Caelenberg, A; Saunders, J H; Zotti, A

    2013-07-13

    Snakes and lizards are considered 'stoic' animals and often show only non-specific signs of illness. Consequently, diagnostic imaging--along with clinical examination and laboratory tests--is gaining importance in making a final diagnosis and establishing a correct therapy. The large number of captive snake and lizard species commonly kept as pets, together with the high inter- and intraspecific morphological variability that is innate in these animals, make the analysis of diagnostic images challenging for the veterinary practitioner. Moreover, a thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the species that are the object of clinical investigation is mandatory for the correct interpretation of diagnostic images. Despite the large amount of clinical and scientific work carried out in the past two decades, the radiographic features of snakes and lizards have not undergone systematic description, and therefore veterinarians often have to rely mostly on anatomical studies rather than radiological literature. The aim of this paper is to review the most commonly used diagnostic imaging modalities, as well as to provide an overview of the available international original studies and scientific reviews describing the normal and pathological imaging features in snakes and lizards.

  16. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  17. A preliminary report on the distribution of lizards in Qatar

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Castilla, Aurora M; Valdeón, Aitor; Gosá, Alberto; Al-Jaidah, Noora; Alkuwary, Ali; Saifelnasr, Essam O. H.; Mas-Peinado, Paloma; Richer, Renee; Al-Hemaidi, Ahmad Amer Mohd

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We have updated the list of the lizard species present in Qatar and produced the first distribution maps based on two field surveys in 2012 and 2013. We used the QND95/Qatar National Grid with a grid of 10 × 10 km squares for mapping. Our results show the occurrence of 21 lizard species in Qatar, from the 15 species indicated in the last biodiversity report conducted in 2004. The most abundant family found in Qatar is Gekkonidae with nine species (Bunopus tuberculatus, Cyrtopodion scabrum, Hemidactylus robustus, H. flaviviridis, H. persicus, Stenodactylus arabicus, S. slevini, S. doriae, Pseudoceramodactylus khobarensis), followed by Lacertidae with four species (Acanthodactylus schmidti, A. opheodurus, Mesalina brevirostris, M. adramitana), Agamidae with three species (Trapelus flavimaculatus, Uromastyx aegyptia, Phrynocephalus arabicus), Scincidae with two species (Scincus mitranus, Trachylepis septemtaeniata), and Varanidae (Varanus griseus), Sphaerodactylidae (Pristurus rupestris) and Trogonophiidae (Diplometopon zarudnyi) with one species each. The species richness fluctuated largely across Qatar between one and eleven species per grid square. We believe that the lizard fauna records in Qatar are still incomplete and that additional studies are required. However, our study here fills a gap concerning lizard biodiversity knowledge in the Gulf Region. PMID:24493961

  18. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  19. Structure and function of the hearts of lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Bjarke; Moorman, Antoon F M; Wang, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    With approximately 7000 species, snakes and lizards, collectively known as squamates, are by far the most species-rich group of reptiles. It was from reptile-like ancestors that mammals and birds evolved and squamates can be viewed as phylogenetically positioned between them and fishes. Hence, their hearts have been studied for more than a century yielding insights into the group itself and into the independent evolution of the fully divided four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds. Structurally the heart is complex and debates persist on rudimentary issues such as identifying structures critical to understanding ventricle function. In seeking to resolve these controversies we have generated three-dimensional (3D) models in portable digital format (pdf) of the anaconda and anole lizard hearts ('typical' squamate hearts) and the uniquely specialized python heart with comprehensive annotations of structures and cavities. We review the anatomy and physiology of squamate hearts in general and emphasize the unique features of pythonid and varanid lizard hearts that endow them with mammal-like blood pressures. Excluding pythons and varanid lizards it is concluded that the squamate heart has a highly consistent design including a disproportionately large right side (systemic venous) probably due to prevailing pulmonary bypass (intraventricular shunting). Unfortunately, investigations on rudimentary features are sparse. We therefore point out gaps in our knowledge, such as the size and functional importance of the coronary vasculature and of the first cardiac chamber, the sinus venosus, and highlight areas with implications for vertebrate cardiac evolution.

  20. Spotted in the News: Using Media Reports to Examine Leopard Distribution, Depredation, and Management Practices outside Protected Areas in Southern India.

    PubMed

    Athreya, Vidya; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Karanth, Krithi K; Kumar, N Samba; Karanth, K Ullas

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns and identify hotspots of livestock/human depredation. We also evaluated management responses like removals of 'problem' leopards through capture and translocations. Leopards occupied around 84,000 km2 or 47% of the State's geographic area, outside designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Their presence was facilitated by extent of vegetative cover- including irrigated croplands, rocky escarpments, and prey base in the form of feral and free-ranging dogs. Higher probabilities of livestock/human attacks by leopards were associated with similar ecological features as well as with capture/removals of leopards. Of the 56 cases of leopard removals reported, 91% did not involve human attacks, but followed livestock predation or only leopard sightings. The lack of knowledge on leopard ecology in human-use areas has resulted in unscientific interventions, which could aggravate the problem rather than mitigating it. Our results establish the presence of resident, breeding leopards in human-use areas. We therefore propose a shift in management focus, from current reactive practices like removal and translocation of leopards, to proactive measures that ensure safety of human lives and livelihoods.

  1. Spotted in the News: Using Media Reports to Examine Leopard Distribution, Depredation, and Management Practices outside Protected Areas in Southern India

    PubMed Central

    Athreya, Vidya; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Karanth, Krithi K.; Kumar, N. Samba; Karanth, K. Ullas

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns and identify hotspots of livestock/human depredation. We also evaluated management responses like removals of ‘problem’ leopards through capture and translocations. Leopards occupied around 84,000 km2 or 47% of the State’s geographic area, outside designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Their presence was facilitated by extent of vegetative cover- including irrigated croplands, rocky escarpments, and prey base in the form of feral and free-ranging dogs. Higher probabilities of livestock/human attacks by leopards were associated with similar ecological features as well as with capture/removals of leopards. Of the 56 cases of leopard removals reported, 91% did not involve human attacks, but followed livestock predation or only leopard sightings. The lack of knowledge on leopard ecology in human-use areas has resulted in unscientific interventions, which could aggravate the problem rather than mitigating it. Our results establish the presence of resident, breeding leopards in human-use areas. We therefore propose a shift in management focus, from current reactive practices like removal and translocation of leopards, to proactive measures that ensure safety of human lives and livelihoods. PMID:26556229

  2. Nocturnal activity by diurnal lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi, S. virgatus) eaten by small owls (Glaucidium gnoma, Otus trichopsis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duncan, W.W.; Gehlbach, F.R.; Middendorf, G. A.

    2003-01-01

    Whiskered screech-owls (Otus trichopsis) and northern pygmy-owls (Glaucidium gnoma) delivered freshly caught Yarrow's spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) and striped plateau lizards (S. virgatus) to nestlings from dusk to dark in southeastern Arizona. This observation stimulated studies of the prey deliveries by the owls and lizard activity patterns, because the lizards are not known to be nocturnal. Lizards were more frequent prey of both owls than endothermic vertebrates but infrequent compared to arthropods, a pattern in the pygmy-owl that differs from its northern populations. Yarrow's spiny lizard, the most abundant and frequently captured lizard, was most active in the morning but also active in the evening. Striped plateau lizard, the second most abundant and depredated species, had morning and evening peaks of activity. Few lizards, including S. clarki and Urosaurus ornatus, but not Cnemidophorus exsanguis and C. sonorae, were active at or after dark, when relatively few were captured by the owls.

  3. Comparison of Subjective Well-Being and Personality Assessments in the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), and African Lion (Panthera leo).

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The study of subjective well-being in nonhuman animals is growing in the field of psychology, but there are still only a few published studies and the focus is on primates. To consider whether the construct of subjective well-being could be found in another mammal, this study aimed to assess subjective well-being in felids and to examine its association with personality. Personality is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being in humans. This relationship could have important implications for other species, because personality has also been shown to affect health outcomes including stress, morbidity, and mortality. As in previous studies in nonhuman animals, the study results revealed that subjective well-being was related to agreeableness/openness and neuroticism in clouded leopards, neuroticism in snow leopards, and impulsiveness and neuroticism in African lions. The implications of these results for health outcomes and the welfare of animals in captivity are discussed. More research on any direct links among personality, subjective well-being, and these outcomes is important to advancing this field and adding another tool for improving captive animals' lives.

  4. Comparison of Subjective Well-Being and Personality Assessments in the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), and African Lion (Panthera leo).

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The study of subjective well-being in nonhuman animals is growing in the field of psychology, but there are still only a few published studies and the focus is on primates. To consider whether the construct of subjective well-being could be found in another mammal, this study aimed to assess subjective well-being in felids and to examine its association with personality. Personality is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being in humans. This relationship could have important implications for other species, because personality has also been shown to affect health outcomes including stress, morbidity, and mortality. As in previous studies in nonhuman animals, the study results revealed that subjective well-being was related to agreeableness/openness and neuroticism in clouded leopards, neuroticism in snow leopards, and impulsiveness and neuroticism in African lions. The implications of these results for health outcomes and the welfare of animals in captivity are discussed. More research on any direct links among personality, subjective well-being, and these outcomes is important to advancing this field and adding another tool for improving captive animals' lives. PMID:26983676

  5. Functional and Structural Diversification of the Anguimorpha Lizard Venom System*

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Bryan G.; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A.; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J. A.; van Osch, Matthias J. P.; Teeuwisse, Wouter M.; van der Weerd, Louise; Mcnaughtan, Judith E.; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J.; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2010-01-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A2 toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained highlight

  6. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    PubMed

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  7. Functional and structural diversification of the Anguimorpha lizard venom system.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J A; van Osch, Matthias J P; Teeuwisse, Wouter M; van der Weerd, Louise; McNaughtan, Judith E; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2010-11-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A(2) toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained

  8. Stable social aggregations in an Australian lizard, Egernia stokesii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffield, Glen; Bull, Michael

    2002-08-01

    Social groups in many animal species contain family members, and are maintained by parental care, and then tolerance of related individuals in the group. Lizards rarely show prolonged parental care, and rarely form stable social aggregations, although cohesive groups have been reported in the Australian skink genus, Egernia. A population of Egernia stokesii was surveyed for six seasons on Camel Hill, South Australia. At this site individuals occupied rock crevices for refuges on an isolated rocky outcrop of about 1.5 ha. The population was divided into 17 stable social groups, each containing 2-17 individual lizards. Surveyed juveniles took more than 5 years to reach mature size, and most juveniles and subadults remained in the social group of their parents for that period and longer. There were 2-8 permanent adult members of each group. Group members shared common crevice refuges, basked close together (and sometimes on top of each other) and defecated in common scat piles. There was low mortality after the first 2 years of life, and low dispersal either into or out of the population. Some individuals were "floaters" that did not belong to a social group. Over the study a number of these became established in groups. The social structure of these lizards resembles the family groups reported in many species of birds and mammals where group members help to raise the offspring of relatives. The low level of parental care in lizards suggests that the evolution of this form of social organisation in lizards has resulted from different processes than in other vertebrate taxa.

  9. Fecal endocrine monitoring of reproduction in female snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Reichert-Stewart, Jamie L; Santymire, Rachel M; Armstrong, Diana; Harrison, Tara M; Herrick, Jason R

    2014-07-01

    Although the snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a common endangered felid species in zoos, little is known about the complex endocrine interactions controlling ovarian function and conception in this species. The goal of this work was to characterize ovarian activity throughout the estrous cycle, nonpregnant luteal phase (pseudopregnancy), and gestation in female snow leopards. This goal was accomplished using an enzyme immunoassay to measure fecal concentrations of estrogen metabolites (E) and progesterone metabolites (P). Fecal samples were collected from 12 female snow leopards (ages 18 months to 18 years) during one to three breeding seasons. In each breeding season, the majority of females (78%, 88%, and 100%, respectively) began to exhibit ovarian activity in December or January. The estrous cycle, defined by the first day of estrus (E ≥ 2 × basal concentration) to the first day of the subsequent estrus, was 12.7 ± 0.6 days (n = 145 cycles). Estrus lasted 4.3 ± 0.4 days with mean concentrations of fecal E during the follicular phase (1661 ± 139 ng/g feces) increasing 3.2-fold above basal concentrations (515 ± 32 ng/g feces). No spontaneous ovulations were observed in any of the cycling females. Nonpregnant luteal phases were observed in eight females that bred but did not become pregnant. The length of the nonpregnant luteal phase ranged from 11 to 72 days (45.7 ± 5.7 days; n = 10) with mean concentrations of fecal P during the luteal phase (12.46 ± 1.7 μg/g feces) increasing 6.2-fold above basal concentrations of P (2.01 ± 0.2 μg/g feces). Three of the females in the study became pregnant and gave birth after a gestation of 93 (n = 2) and 95 (n = 1) days. Fecal P concentrations during pregnancy increased to 11.64 ± 1.3 μg/g feces, or 5.8-fold above basal concentrations. The results of this study provide a comprehensive characterization of reproductive endocrinology in snow leopards, and confirm that fecal hormone monitoring is an effective way to

  10. Fecal endocrine monitoring of reproduction in female snow leopards (Uncia uncia).

    PubMed

    Reichert-Stewart, Jamie L; Santymire, Rachel M; Armstrong, Diana; Harrison, Tara M; Herrick, Jason R

    2014-07-01

    Although the snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a common endangered felid species in zoos, little is known about the complex endocrine interactions controlling ovarian function and conception in this species. The goal of this work was to characterize ovarian activity throughout the estrous cycle, nonpregnant luteal phase (pseudopregnancy), and gestation in female snow leopards. This goal was accomplished using an enzyme immunoassay to measure fecal concentrations of estrogen metabolites (E) and progesterone metabolites (P). Fecal samples were collected from 12 female snow leopards (ages 18 months to 18 years) during one to three breeding seasons. In each breeding season, the majority of females (78%, 88%, and 100%, respectively) began to exhibit ovarian activity in December or January. The estrous cycle, defined by the first day of estrus (E ≥ 2 × basal concentration) to the first day of the subsequent estrus, was 12.7 ± 0.6 days (n = 145 cycles). Estrus lasted 4.3 ± 0.4 days with mean concentrations of fecal E during the follicular phase (1661 ± 139 ng/g feces) increasing 3.2-fold above basal concentrations (515 ± 32 ng/g feces). No spontaneous ovulations were observed in any of the cycling females. Nonpregnant luteal phases were observed in eight females that bred but did not become pregnant. The length of the nonpregnant luteal phase ranged from 11 to 72 days (45.7 ± 5.7 days; n = 10) with mean concentrations of fecal P during the luteal phase (12.46 ± 1.7 μg/g feces) increasing 6.2-fold above basal concentrations of P (2.01 ± 0.2 μg/g feces). Three of the females in the study became pregnant and gave birth after a gestation of 93 (n = 2) and 95 (n = 1) days. Fecal P concentrations during pregnancy increased to 11.64 ± 1.3 μg/g feces, or 5.8-fold above basal concentrations. The results of this study provide a comprehensive characterization of reproductive endocrinology in snow leopards, and confirm that fecal hormone monitoring is an effective way to

  11. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    PubMed

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  12. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    PubMed

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  13. Scent marking in Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi): novel observations close a key gap in understanding felid communication behaviours

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Maximilian L.; Wittmer, Heiko U.; Setiawan, Endro; Jaffe, Sarah; Marshall, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Intraspecific communication is integral to the behavioural ecology of solitary carnivores, but observing and quantifying their communication behaviours in natural environments is difficult. Our systematic literature review found that basic information on scent marking is completely lacking for 23% of all felid species, and information on 21% of other felid species comes solely from one study of captive animals. Here we present results of the first systematic investigation of the scent marking behaviours of Sunda clouded leopards in the wild. Our observations using motion-triggered video cameras in Indonesian Borneo are novel for clouded leopards, and contrary to previous descriptions of their behaviour. We found that clouded leopards displayed 10 distinct communication behaviours, with olfaction, scraping, and cheek rubbing the most frequently recorded. We also showed that males make repeated visits to areas they previously used for marking and that multiple males advertise and receive information at the same sites, potentially enhancing our ability to document and monitor clouded leopard populations. The behaviours we recorded are remarkably similar to those described in other solitary felids, despite tremendous variation in the environments they inhabit, and close a key gap in understanding and interpreting communication behaviours of clouded leopards and other solitary felids. PMID:27739507

  14. Susceptibility of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) to the Lyme borreliosis spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi).

    PubMed

    Lane, R S

    1990-01-01

    Attempts to infect juvenile and adult western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) with the Lyme borreliosis spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) were largely unsuccessful. Spirochetes could not be isolated from the blood and various tissues of 14 lizards 21-32 days after they had been inoculated ip (n = 8) or sc (n = 6) with 10(6) or 10(8) B. burgdorferi representing 3 tick isolates, although 1 lizard apparently developed a transitory spirochetemia lasting 2 days. Similarly, spirochetes could not be detected in the blood or tissues of 5 lizards fed upon by 2- greater than 8 infected larvae or nymphs of the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Sixty-five blood samples from 59 lizards in an endemic area and various tissues from 20 of the same lizards were also assayed for B. burgdorferi with negative results. The implications of these findings for the maintenance of this spirochete in natural foci are discussed. PMID:2301709

  15. Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).

    PubMed

    New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael

    2012-10-01

    The Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) is a large day-active skink which occupies stable overlapping home ranges and maintains long-term monogamous relationships. Its behavioral ecology has been extensively studied, making the sleepy lizard an ideal model for investigation of the lizard visual system and its specializations, for which relatively little is known. We examine the morphology, density, and distribution of retinal photoreceptors and describe the anatomy of the sleepy lizard eye. The sleepy lizard retina is composed solely of photoreceptors containing oil droplets, a characteristic of cones. Two groups could be distinguished; single cones and double cones, consistent with morphological descriptions of photoreceptors in other diurnal lizards. Although all photoreceptors were cone-like in morphology, a subset of photoreceptors displayed immunoreactivity to rhodopsin-the visual pigment of rods. This finding suggests that while the morphological properties of rod photoreceptors have been lost, photopigment protein composition has been conserved during evolutionary history.

  16. Rock-dwelling lizards exhibit less sensitivity of sprint speed to increases in substrate rugosity.

    PubMed

    Collins, Clint E; Self, Jessica D; Anderson, Roger A; McBrayer, Lance D

    2013-06-01

    Effectively moving across variable substrates is important to all terrestrial animals. The effects of substrates on lizard performance have ecological ramifications including the partitioning of habitat according to sprinting ability on different surfaces. This phenomenon is known as sprint sensitivity, or the decrease in sprint speed due to change in substrate. However, sprint sensitivity has been characterized only in arboreal Anolis lizards. Our study measured sensitivity to substrate rugosity among six lizard species that occupy rocky, sandy, and/or arboreal habitats. Lizards that use rocky habitats are less sensitive to changes in substrate rugosity, followed by arboreal lizards, and then by lizards that use sandy habitats. We infer from comparative phylogenetic analysis that forelimb, chest, and tail dimensions are important external morphological features related to sensitivity to changes in substrate rugosity.

  17. Zinc-positive boutons in the cerebral cortex of lizards show glutamate immunoreactivity.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Guijarro, F J; Soriano, E; Del Rio, J A; Lopez-Garcia, C

    1991-10-01

    Zinc-positive boutons, originating in the medial cortex of lizards, exhibit glutamate immunoreactivity. This finding supports the presumed homology between lizard zinc-positive boutons and the hippocampal mossy fibres of mammals, which are also glutamate-immunoreactive and zinc-positive. Zinc-positive boutons of lizards contain a chelatable pool of zinc located in the hippocampal mossy fibres of mammals. These synaptic systems also contain glutamate, which indicates a possible simultaneous action of zinc and glutamate during synaptic transmission.

  18. PREVALENCE OF VALVULAR REGURGITATIONS IN CLINICALLY HEALTHY CAPTIVE LEOPARDS AND CHEETAHS: A PROSPECTIVE STUDY FROM THE WILDLIFE CARDIOLOGY (WLC) GROUP (2008-2013).

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin; Petit, Thierry; Kohl, Muriel; Bourgeois, Aude; Gouni, Vassiliki; Trehiou-Sechi, Emilie; Misbach, Charlotte; Petit, Amandine; Damoiseaux, Cécile; Garrigou, Audrey; Guepin, Raphaëlle; Pouchelon, Jean Louis; Chetboul, Valérie

    2015-09-01

    The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate transthoracic echocardiograms from clinically healthy large felids for the presence of valvular regurgitations (VR). Physiologic VR commonly occur in normal dogs and cats, but the percentage of large felids with VR has not been previously reported. During a 5-yr study period (2008-2013), 28 healthy animals were evaluated under general anesthesia: 16 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringuii) with a mean age of 1.5±0.8 yr (range 0.7-3.5 yr), 5 Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 snow leopard (Uncia uncia), and 6 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa). For this study, all the leopards were gathered in one so-called "leopards group" with a mean age of 2.8±3.4 yr (range 0.3-10.7 yr). All valves observed in each view were examined for evidence of regurgitant jets and turbulent blood flow using the color-flow Doppler mode. Valves were also examined for structural changes. Mitral valve and aortic cusp abnormalities were considered to be of congenital origin. Mitral valve lesions led to mitral insufficiency in all the felids. Aortic cusp abnormalities led to aortic regurgitation in 94% of the cheetahs and 67% of the leopards. Leopards showed a predominance of early systolic mitral regurgitations, whereas all the mitral regurgitation jets in cheetahs were holosystolic. Tricuspid regurgitation was found in 81% of the cheetahs and in 50% of the leopards, whereas pulmonic regurgitation was detected in 44% of the cheetahs and 33% of the leopards. Interestingly, none of these tricuspid and pulmonic regurgitations were associated with two-dimensional structural valve abnormalities, thus suggesting their physiologic origin, as described in humans, cats, and dogs. In conclusion, subclinical valvular diseases are common in apparently healthy leopards and cheetahs. Longitudinal follow-up of affected animals is therefore required to assess their clinical outcome.

  19. PREVALENCE OF VALVULAR REGURGITATIONS IN CLINICALLY HEALTHY CAPTIVE LEOPARDS AND CHEETAHS: A PROSPECTIVE STUDY FROM THE WILDLIFE CARDIOLOGY (WLC) GROUP (2008-2013).

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin; Petit, Thierry; Kohl, Muriel; Bourgeois, Aude; Gouni, Vassiliki; Trehiou-Sechi, Emilie; Misbach, Charlotte; Petit, Amandine; Damoiseaux, Cécile; Garrigou, Audrey; Guepin, Raphaëlle; Pouchelon, Jean Louis; Chetboul, Valérie

    2015-09-01

    The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate transthoracic echocardiograms from clinically healthy large felids for the presence of valvular regurgitations (VR). Physiologic VR commonly occur in normal dogs and cats, but the percentage of large felids with VR has not been previously reported. During a 5-yr study period (2008-2013), 28 healthy animals were evaluated under general anesthesia: 16 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringuii) with a mean age of 1.5±0.8 yr (range 0.7-3.5 yr), 5 Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 snow leopard (Uncia uncia), and 6 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa). For this study, all the leopards were gathered in one so-called "leopards group" with a mean age of 2.8±3.4 yr (range 0.3-10.7 yr). All valves observed in each view were examined for evidence of regurgitant jets and turbulent blood flow using the color-flow Doppler mode. Valves were also examined for structural changes. Mitral valve and aortic cusp abnormalities were considered to be of congenital origin. Mitral valve lesions led to mitral insufficiency in all the felids. Aortic cusp abnormalities led to aortic regurgitation in 94% of the cheetahs and 67% of the leopards. Leopards showed a predominance of early systolic mitral regurgitations, whereas all the mitral regurgitation jets in cheetahs were holosystolic. Tricuspid regurgitation was found in 81% of the cheetahs and in 50% of the leopards, whereas pulmonic regurgitation was detected in 44% of the cheetahs and 33% of the leopards. Interestingly, none of these tricuspid and pulmonic regurgitations were associated with two-dimensional structural valve abnormalities, thus suggesting their physiologic origin, as described in humans, cats, and dogs. In conclusion, subclinical valvular diseases are common in apparently healthy leopards and cheetahs. Longitudinal follow-up of affected animals is therefore required to assess their clinical outcome. PMID:26352956

  20. Advantages in exploring a new environment with the left eye in lizards.

    PubMed

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-07-01

    Lizards (Podarcis muralis) preferentially use the left eye during spatial exploration in a binocular condition. Here we allowed 44 adult wild lizards to explore an unknown maze for 20 min under a temporary monocular condition whilst recording their movements, particularly the direction of turns made whilst walking within the maze. Lizards with a patch on their right eye, i.e. using their left eye to monitor the environment, moved faster than lizards with a patch on their left eye when turning both leftward and rightward in a T-cross. Hence, right eye-patched lizards were faster than left eye-patched lizards also in turning right, although their right eye was covered. Thus, lizards that could use the left eye/right hemisphere to attend spatial cues appeared to have more control and to be more prompt in exploring the maze. In addition, female lizards with their left eye covered stopped very frequently when they reached crosses, showing a high level of indecision. Results confirm that P. muralis lizards using their left eye only in exploring a new environment react faster and more efficiently than those using the right eye only in exploration. Hence lateralisation of spatial stimuli mediated by the left eye/right hemisphere could provide an advantage to this species.

  1. Use of positive reinforcement conditioning to monitor pregnancy in an unanesthetized snow leopard (Uncia uncia) via transabdominal ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Broder, Jacqueline M; Macfadden, Annabell J; Cosens, Lindsay M; Rosenstein, Diana S; Harrison, Tara M

    2008-01-01

    Closely monitoring snow leopard (Uncia uncia) fetal developments via transabdominal ultrasound, with minimal stress to the animal, was the goal of this project. The staff at Potter Park Zoo has used the principles of habituation, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to train a female snow leopard (U. uncia). Ultrasound examinations were preformed on an unanesthetized feline at 63 and 84 days. The animal remained calm and compliant throughout both procedures. Fetuses were observed and measured on both occasions. The absence of anesthesia eliminated components of psychologic and physiologic stress associated with sedation. This was the first recorded instance of transabdominal ultrasound being carried out on an unanesthetized snow leopard. It documents the feasibility of detecting pregnancy and monitoring fetal development via ultrasound. Zoo Biol 27:78-85, 2008. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Koustubh; Bayrakcismith, Rana; Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel; Johansson, Orjan; Sevger, Purevsuren; McCarthy, Tom; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (λ = 1.08+-0.25). Comparison of model results with the "known population" of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+-0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+-0.15) and 0.77 (SE +-0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +-0.19 and 0.68, SE +-0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+-0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation.

  3. Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Koustubh; Bayrakcismith, Rana; Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel; Johansson, Orjan; Sevger, Purevsuren; McCarthy, Tom; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (λ = 1.08+-0.25). Comparison of model results with the "known population" of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+-0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+-0.15) and 0.77 (SE +-0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +-0.19 and 0.68, SE +-0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+-0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation. PMID:25006879

  4. Population status and population genetics of northern leopard frogs in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Theimer, Tad C.; Drost, Charles A.; O'Donnell, Ryan P.; Mock, Karen E.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing isolation of populations by habitat fragmentation threatens the persistence of many species, both from stochastic loss of small isolated populations, and from inbreeding effects in populations that have become genetically isolated. In the southwestern United States, amphibian habitat is naturally patchy in occurrence because of the prevailing aridity of the region. Streams, rivers, and other wetlands are important both as habitat and as corridors that connect populations. However, populations of some species have become more fragmented and isolated by habitat degradation and loss. Northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) have experienced serious declines in the Southwest. We conducted an extensive survey across the known range of northern leopard frogs in Arizona to determine the current distribution and abundance of the species. From a range that once spanned much of the northern and central part of the State, northern leopard frogs have been reduced to three or four widely separated populations, near Lyman Lake in east-central Arizona, in the Stoneman Lake area south of Flagstaff, along Truxton Wash near Peach Springs, and a population of uncertain extent on Navajo Nation lands. The Lyman Lake and Truxton Wash populations are small and extremely isolated. The Stoneman Lake population, however, is an extensive metapopulation spread across several stream drainages, including numerous ponds, wetlands, and artificial tanks. This is the only population in Arizona that is increasing in extent and numbers, but there is concern about the apparent introduction of nonnative genetic stock from eastern North America into this area. We analyzed genetic diversity within and genetic divergence among populations of northern leopard frogs, across both extant and recently extirpated populations in Arizona. We also analyzed mitochondrial DNA to place these populations into a larger phylogenetic framework and to determine whether any populations contained genetic material

  5. Verification tests of the U. S. Electricar Corporation Lectric Leopard. Technical report 3 Aug-25 Sep 81

    SciTech Connect

    Dowgiallo, E.J. Jr; Snellings, I.R.; Chapman, R.D.

    1982-04-01

    The Lectric Leopard manufactured by U.S. Electricar Corporation was tested at MERADCOM as part of the Department of Energy project to verify conformity to performance standards of electric vehicles. The Leopard is a standard Fiat Strada sedan which has been converted to an electric vehicle. It is powered by 16 6-V batteries through a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) Controller to a 23-hp series-wound d.c. motor. It is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, power-assisted disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. It is not equipped with regenerative braking.

  6. Delayed postnatal neurogenesis in the cerebral cortex of lizards.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Garcia, C; Molowny, A; Garcia-Verdugo, J M; Ferrer, I

    1988-10-01

    Labelled cells were consistently observed in the medial cortex of the lizard brain after i.p. injections of tritiated thymidine (5 microCi/g b. wt.), 1, 7, 18 or 28 days of survival and posterior autoradiographic evaluation. In 3 groups of specimens (postnatal, young and adult) of the species Podarcis hispanica, after one day of survival, labelled cells were located in the ependymal cell layer underlying the medial cortex. After intermediate survival times (7, 18 days), labelled cells were found in 3 zones: the ependymal layer, the inner plexiform layer and the granular layer. After one month of survival, most labelled cells were observed in the granular layer. In the granular layer, these cells were distributed at random. These results show that postnatal neurogenesis in the medial cortex of the lizard occurs following a spatio-temporal pattern reminiscent of that found in the fascia dentata of the mammalian hippocampus.

  7. Muscle directly meets the vast power demands in agile lizards

    PubMed Central

    Curtin, Nancy A; Woledge, Roger C; Aerts, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Level locomotion in small, agile lizards is characterized by intermittent bursts of fast running. These require very large accelerations, often reaching several times g. The power input required to increase kinetic energy is calculated to be as high as 214 W kg−1 muscle (±20 W kg−1 s.e.; averaged over the complete locomotor cycle) and 952 W kg−1 muscle (±89 W kg−1 s.e.; instantaneous peak power). In vitro muscle experiments prove that these exceptional power requirements can be met directly by the lizard's muscle fibres alone; there is no need for mechanical power amplifying mechanisms. PMID:15817432

  8. Colorful displays signal male quality in a tropical anole lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Ellee G.; Murphy, Troy G.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

  9. The nature of the gecko lizard adhesive force.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wanxin; Neuzil, Pavel; Kustandi, Tanu Suryadi; Oh, Sharon; Samper, Victor D

    2005-08-01

    The extraordinary climbing skills of gecko lizards have been under investigation for a long time. Here we report results of direct measurement of single spatula forces in air with varying relative humidities and in water, by the force-distance method using an atomic force microscope. We have found that the presence of water strongly affects the adhesion force and from analysis of our results, we have demonstrated that the dominant force involved is the capillary force.

  10. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

  11. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

  12. Inducing pluripotency in somatic cells from the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), an endangered felid.

    PubMed

    Verma, R; Holland, M K; Temple-Smith, P; Verma, P J

    2012-01-01

    Induced pluripotency is a new approach to produce embryonic stem-like cells from somatic cells that provides a unique means to understand both pluripotency and lineage assignment. To investigate whether this technology could be applied to endangered species, where the limited availability of gametes makes production and research on embryonic stem cells difficult, we attempted generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from snow leopard (Panthera uncia) fibroblasts by retroviral transfection with Moloney-based retroviral vectors (pMXs) encoding four factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and cMYC). This resulted in the formation of small colonies of cells, which could not be maintained beyond four passages (P4). However, addition of NANOG, to the transfection cocktail produced stable iPS cell colonies, which formed as early as D3. Colonies of cells were selected at D5 and expanded in vitro. The resulting cell line was positive for alkaline phosphatase (AP), OCT4, NANOG, and Stage-Specific embryonic Antigen-4 (SSEA-4) at P14. RT-PCR also confirmed that endogenous OCT4 and NANOG were expressed by snow leopard iPS cells from P4. All five human transgenes were transcribed at P4, but OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG transgenes were silenced as early as P14; therefore, reprogramming of the endogenous pluripotent genes had occurred. When injected into immune-deficient mice, snow leopard iPS cells formed teratomas containing tissues representative of the three germ layers. In conclusion, this was apparently the first derivation of iPS cells from the endangered snow leopard and the first report on induced pluripotency in felid species. Addition of NANOG to the reprogramming cocktail was essential for derivation of iPS lines in this felid. The iPS cells provided a unique source of pluripotent cells with utility in conservation through cryopreservation of genetics, as a source of reprogrammed donor cells for nuclear transfer or for directed differentiation to gametes in the future.

  13. Bilateral lenticular Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in a snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Scurrell, Emma Jane; Holding, Ellen; Hopper, Jane; Denk, Daniela; Fuchs-Baumgartinger, Andrea; Silbermayr, Katja; Nell, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Bilateral phacoclastic uveitis caused by lenticular infection with Encephalitozoon cuniculi is described in a snow leopard. The diagnosis was made on histopathological and immunohistological examination of both eyes submitted after postmortem examination. There was a positive antibody titer for E. cuniculi (1:320). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ocular tissue detected the DNA of E. cuniculi, strain III. No other systemic lesions attributable to the E. cuniculi infection were identified.

  14. Extinction of montane populations of the northern leopard frog (Rana pippins) in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Fogleman, James C.

    1984-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1982 nine populations of the northern leopard frog in the Red Feather Lakes region of Larimer County, Colorado, failed in reproduce. These failures all resulted in extinction of the populations. One area formerly supporting a population was recolonized in 1980, but no frogs were observed at any of the nine sites in 1981 or 1982. Six of the populations went extinct because the breeding ponds dried up. The remaining populations were small enough to be susceptible to random events, but the nature of these events is unknown.

  15. Bilateral lenticular Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in a snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Scurrell, Emma Jane; Holding, Ellen; Hopper, Jane; Denk, Daniela; Fuchs-Baumgartinger, Andrea; Silbermayr, Katja; Nell, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Bilateral phacoclastic uveitis caused by lenticular infection with Encephalitozoon cuniculi is described in a snow leopard. The diagnosis was made on histopathological and immunohistological examination of both eyes submitted after postmortem examination. There was a positive antibody titer for E. cuniculi (1:320). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ocular tissue detected the DNA of E. cuniculi, strain III. No other systemic lesions attributable to the E. cuniculi infection were identified. PMID:25311355

  16. Inducing pluripotency in somatic cells from the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), an endangered felid.

    PubMed

    Verma, R; Holland, M K; Temple-Smith, P; Verma, P J

    2012-01-01

    Induced pluripotency is a new approach to produce embryonic stem-like cells from somatic cells that provides a unique means to understand both pluripotency and lineage assignment. To investigate whether this technology could be applied to endangered species, where the limited availability of gametes makes production and research on embryonic stem cells difficult, we attempted generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from snow leopard (Panthera uncia) fibroblasts by retroviral transfection with Moloney-based retroviral vectors (pMXs) encoding four factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and cMYC). This resulted in the formation of small colonies of cells, which could not be maintained beyond four passages (P4). However, addition of NANOG, to the transfection cocktail produced stable iPS cell colonies, which formed as early as D3. Colonies of cells were selected at D5 and expanded in vitro. The resulting cell line was positive for alkaline phosphatase (AP), OCT4, NANOG, and Stage-Specific embryonic Antigen-4 (SSEA-4) at P14. RT-PCR also confirmed that endogenous OCT4 and NANOG were expressed by snow leopard iPS cells from P4. All five human transgenes were transcribed at P4, but OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG transgenes were silenced as early as P14; therefore, reprogramming of the endogenous pluripotent genes had occurred. When injected into immune-deficient mice, snow leopard iPS cells formed teratomas containing tissues representative of the three germ layers. In conclusion, this was apparently the first derivation of iPS cells from the endangered snow leopard and the first report on induced pluripotency in felid species. Addition of NANOG to the reprogramming cocktail was essential for derivation of iPS lines in this felid. The iPS cells provided a unique source of pluripotent cells with utility in conservation through cryopreservation of genetics, as a source of reprogrammed donor cells for nuclear transfer or for directed differentiation to gametes in the future. PMID

  17. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother–offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection. PMID:25937911

  18. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  19. Eating lizards: a millenary habit evidenced by Paleoparasitology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Analyses of coprolites have contributed to the knowledge of diet as well as infectious diseases in ancient populations. Results of paleoparasitological studies showed that prehistoric groups were exposed to spurious and zoonotic parasites, especially food-related. Here we report the findings of a paleoparasitological study carried out in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Findings Eggs of Pharyngodonidae (Nematoda, Oxyuroidea), a family of parasites of lizards and amphibians, were found in four human coprolites collected from three archaeological sites. In one of these, lizard scales were also found. Conclusions Through the finding of eggs of Pharyngodonidae in human coprolites and reptile scales in one of these, we have provided evidence that humans have consumed reptiles at least 10,000 years ago. This food habit persists to modern times in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Although Pharyngodonidae species are not known to infect humans, the consumption of raw or undercooked meat from lizards and other reptiles may have led to transmission of a wide range of zoonotic agents to humans in the past. PMID:23098578

  20. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  1. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Noble, Daniel W A; Byrne, Richard W; Whiting, Martin J

    2014-07-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to 'young' and 'old' age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed.

  2. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards. PMID:21884063

  3. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-01-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa. PMID:27703708

  4. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J.

    2012-01-01

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility. PMID:21752816

  5. Speed and Endurance Do Not Trade Off in Phrynosomatid Lizards.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ralph Lacerda; Bonine, Kevin E; Garland, Theodore

    2015-01-01

    Trade-offs are a common focus of study in evolutionary biology and in studies of locomotor physiology and biomechanics. A previous comparative study of 12 species of European lacertid lizards found a statistically significant negative correlation between residual locomotor speed and stamina (controlling for variation in body size), consistent with ideas about trade-offs in performance based on variation in muscle fiber type composition and other subordinate traits. To begin examining the generality of this finding in other groups of squamates, we measured maximal sprint running speed on a high-speed treadmill and endurance at 1.0 km/h (0.28 m/s) in 14 species of North American phrynosomatid lizards, plus a sample of nine additional species to encompass some of the broadscale diversity of lizards. We used both conventional and phylogenetically informed regression analyses to control for some known causes of performance variation (body size, stockiness, body temperature) and then computed residual performance values. We found no evidence for a trade-off between speed and endurance among the 14 phrynosomatids or among the 23 species in the extended data set. Possible explanations for the apparent difference between lacertids and phrynosomatids are discussed. PMID:26658411

  6. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring.

    PubMed

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-04-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother-offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection.

  7. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly. PMID:17972107

  8. Relative importance of lizards and mammals as hosts for ixodid ticks in northern California.

    PubMed

    Casher, Leslie; Lane, Robert; Barrett, Reginald; Eisen, Lars

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Lizards and mammals were trapped and examined for ticks from August 1992 to June 1993 in two habitat types, chaparral and woodland-grass, in northern California. Five tick species were collected from mammals (Dermacentor occidentalis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, I. woodi), but only I. pacificus was found on lizards. Dermacentor occidentalis, I. pacificus, and I. woodi occurred in both habitats, whereas H. leporispalustris and I. spinipalpis were found only on animals trapped in chaparral. The tick species most commonly encountered on mammals was D. occidentalis in chaparral and I. pacificus in woodland-grass. Peak infestation of mammals occurred in spring for I. pacificus immatures and H. leporispalustris, summer for D. occidentalis immatures, fall through spring for I. woodi immatures, and fall through winter for I. spinipalpis. The primary aim of the study was to quantify the relative importance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), which is reservoir-incompetent for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), and mammalian B. burgdorferi s.l.-reservoirs as hosts for the immature stages of I. pacificus in spring. The estimated relative utilization by I. pacificus of the western fence lizard versus mammals was 88% for larvae and 99% for nymphs in chaparral in May. When tick infestation data were corrected for a two-fold lower efficiency of field examinations for rodents than for lizards, the western fence lizard still accounted for 78% of larval and 98% of nymphal feedings. In woodland-grass, 46% of 100 I. pacificus larvae and 100% of 52 nymphs recovered from mammals or western fence lizards during May-June were collected from the lizards. However, this may represent an underestimate of the importance of the western fence lizard as a larval host in this habitat because inclement weather during the late May sampling period doubtless resulted in significantly decreased lizard activity. In conclusion, the

  9. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD), indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  10. Relative importance of lizards and mammals as hosts for ixodid ticks in northern California.

    PubMed

    Casher, Leslie; Lane, Robert; Barrett, Reginald; Eisen, Lars

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Lizards and mammals were trapped and examined for ticks from August 1992 to June 1993 in two habitat types, chaparral and woodland-grass, in northern California. Five tick species were collected from mammals (Dermacentor occidentalis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, I. woodi), but only I. pacificus was found on lizards. Dermacentor occidentalis, I. pacificus, and I. woodi occurred in both habitats, whereas H. leporispalustris and I. spinipalpis were found only on animals trapped in chaparral. The tick species most commonly encountered on mammals was D. occidentalis in chaparral and I. pacificus in woodland-grass. Peak infestation of mammals occurred in spring for I. pacificus immatures and H. leporispalustris, summer for D. occidentalis immatures, fall through spring for I. woodi immatures, and fall through winter for I. spinipalpis. The primary aim of the study was to quantify the relative importance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), which is reservoir-incompetent for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), and mammalian B. burgdorferi s.l.-reservoirs as hosts for the immature stages of I. pacificus in spring. The estimated relative utilization by I. pacificus of the western fence lizard versus mammals was 88% for larvae and 99% for nymphs in chaparral in May. When tick infestation data were corrected for a two-fold lower efficiency of field examinations for rodents than for lizards, the western fence lizard still accounted for 78% of larval and 98% of nymphal feedings. In woodland-grass, 46% of 100 I. pacificus larvae and 100% of 52 nymphs recovered from mammals or western fence lizards during May-June were collected from the lizards. However, this may represent an underestimate of the importance of the western fence lizard as a larval host in this habitat because inclement weather during the late May sampling period doubtless resulted in significantly decreased lizard activity. In conclusion, the

  11. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly.

  12. Tests of the contribution of acclimation to geographic variation in water loss rates of the West Indian lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Alex R; Siegel, Jeremy; Leal, Manuel

    2011-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can contribute to the process of adaptive radiation by facilitating population persistence in novel environments. West Indian Anolis lizards provide a classic example of an adaptive radiation, in which divergence has occurred along two primary ecological axes: structural microhabitat and climate. Adaptive plasticity in limb morphology is hypothesized to have facilitated divergence along the structural niche axis in Anolis, but very little work has explored plasticity in physiological traits. Here, we experimentally ask whether Puerto Rican Anolis cristatellus from mesic and xeric habitats differ in desiccation rates, and whether these lizards exhibit an acclimation response to changes in relative humidity. We first present microclimatic data collected at lizard perch sites that demonstrate that abiotic conditions experienced by lizards differ between mesic and xeric habitat types. In Experiment 1, we measured desiccation rates of lizards from both habitats maintained under identical laboratory conditions. This experiment demonstrated that desiccation rates differ between populations; xeric lizards lose water more slowly than mesic lizards. In Experiment 2, lizards from each habitat were either maintained under the conditions of Experiment 1, or under extremely low relative humidity. Desiccation rates did not differ between lizards from the same habitat maintained under different treatments and xeric lizards maintained lower desiccation rates than mesic lizards within each treatment. Our results demonstrate that A. cristatellus does not exhibit an acclimation response to abrupt changes of hydric conditions, and suggest that tropical Anolis lizards might be unable to exhibit physiological plasticity in desiccation rates in response to varying climatic conditions.

  13. Risk analysis of feline immunodeficiency virus infection in Tsushima leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) and domestic cats using a geographic information system.

    PubMed

    Hayama, Shin-ichi; Yamamoto, Hanae; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Hiyama, Tomotsugu; Murayama, Akira; Mori, Hiroshi; Sugitani, Atsushi; Fujiwara, Shin-ichi

    2010-09-01

    In this study, based on the data from FIV screening surveys of captive cats conducted by the Kyushu Veterinary Union and collaborators as part of the infection control program for Tsushima leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus), we elucidated the spatial distribution of FIV-positive individuals among leopard cats and domestic cats using a geographic information system. Data from FIV screening surveys carried out among 86 leopard cats (1996-2006) and 713 captive domestic cats (2001-2006) were used for analysis. The analysis results were then spatially layered with the population density of leopard cats and that of captive domestic cats estimated from the number of households and used for assessment of FIV infection risk in each area. The prevalence rates of FIV were 3% (3/86) in leopard cats in Kami-shima, 13.6% (38/280) in domestic cats in Kami-shima and 10.6% (46/433) in domestic cats in Shimo-shima. The distribution of FIV on Tsushima Island was not uniform; on Kami-shima Island, FIV-positive domestic cats were concentrated in particular areas. We also performed risk analysis based on the population density of leopard cats, the prevalence rate of FIV among domestic cats in each area and the estimated population density of captive domestic cats and identified high FIV infection risk areas. All FIV-positive leopard cats were found in the identified high FIV infection risk areas.

  14. The phylogeny of varanoid lizards and the affinities of snakes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, M. S. Y.

    1997-01-01

    Evidence that platynotan squamates (living varanoid lizards, snakes and their fossil relatives) are monophyletic is presented. Evolutionary relationships within this group are then ascertained through a cladistic analysis of 144 osteological characters. Mosasauroids (aigialosaurs and mosasaurs), a group of large marine lizards, are identified as the nearest relatives of snakes, thus resolving the long-standing problem of snake affinities. The mosasauroid–snake clade (Pythonomorpha) is corroborated by 40 derived characters, including recumbent replacement teeth, thecodonty, four or fewer premaxillary teeth, supratemporal–prootic contact, free mandibular tips, crista circumfenestralis, straight vertical splenio-angular joint, loss of posterior ramus of the coronoid, reduced basipterygoid processes, reduced interpterygoid vacuity, zygosphene–zygantral articulations, and absence of epiphyses on the axial skeleton and skull. After mosasauroids, the next closest relatives of snakes are varanids (Varanus, Saniwa and Saniwides) and lanthanotids (Lanthanotus and Cherminotus). Derived features uniting varanids and lanthanotids include nine cervical vertebrae and three or fewer pairs of sternal ribs. The varanid–lanthanotid–pythonomorph clade, here termed Thecoglossa, is supported by features such as the anteriorly positioned basal tubera, and the loss of the second epibranchial. Successive outgroups to thecoglossans are Telmasaurus, an unresolved polytomy (Estesia, Gobidermatidae and Helodermatidae), Paravaranus and Proplatynota. The 'necrosaurs' are demonstrated to be an artificial (polyphyletic) assemblage of primitive platynotans that are not particularly closely related to each other. Snakes are presumed to have evolved from small, limbless, burrowing lizards and the inability of previous analyses to resolve the affinities of snakes has been attributed to extensive convergence among the numerous lineages of such lizards. The present study contradicts this claim

  15. Personality structure in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and African lion (Panthera leo): a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    Although the study of nonhuman personality has increased in the last decade, there are still few studies on felid species, and the majority focus on domestic cats. We assessed the structure of personality and its reliability in five felids-domestic cats, clouded leopards, snow leopards, African lions, and previous data on Scottish wildcats-and compared the results. In addition to the benefits of understanding more about this taxon, comparative studies of personality structure have the potential to provide information on evolutionary relationships among closely related species. Each of the species studied was found to have three factors of personality. Scottish wildcats' factors were labeled Dominance, Agreeableness, and Self Control; domestic cats' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism; clouded leopards' factors were Dominance/Impulsiveness, Agreeableness/Openness, and Neuroticism; snow leopards' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness/Openness, and Neuroticism; and African lions' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism. The Neuroticism and Impulsiveness factors were similar, as were two of the Dominance factors. A taxon-level personality structure also showed three similar factors. Age and sex effects are also discussed.

  16. Personality structure in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and African lion (Panthera leo): a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    Although the study of nonhuman personality has increased in the last decade, there are still few studies on felid species, and the majority focus on domestic cats. We assessed the structure of personality and its reliability in five felids-domestic cats, clouded leopards, snow leopards, African lions, and previous data on Scottish wildcats-and compared the results. In addition to the benefits of understanding more about this taxon, comparative studies of personality structure have the potential to provide information on evolutionary relationships among closely related species. Each of the species studied was found to have three factors of personality. Scottish wildcats' factors were labeled Dominance, Agreeableness, and Self Control; domestic cats' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism; clouded leopards' factors were Dominance/Impulsiveness, Agreeableness/Openness, and Neuroticism; snow leopards' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness/Openness, and Neuroticism; and African lions' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism. The Neuroticism and Impulsiveness factors were similar, as were two of the Dominance factors. A taxon-level personality structure also showed three similar factors. Age and sex effects are also discussed. PMID:25111629

  17. Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S; Lane, Robert S; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2011-10-01

    The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus--the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae failed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors. PMID:21325326

  18. Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S; Lane, Robert S; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2011-10-01

    The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus--the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae failed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors.

  19. 76 FR 19304 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

    ... a proposed rule (75 FR 77801) to list the dunes sagebrush lizard, a lizard known from southeastern..., 2010 (75 FR 77801). We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on... the species. If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (75 FR 77801, December...

  20. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  1. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    PubMed

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use.

  2. Looking at a predator with the left or right eye: asymmetry of response in lizards.

    PubMed

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-01-01

    Studies carried out with the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) revealed preferential use of the left eye during responses to predatory threat in laboratory settings and in the wild. Here we tested lizards under monocular conditions of vision, using temporary eye-patching. Lizards were facing a (simulated) predatory threat laterally, from the side of the non-patched eye. Results showed that lizards with the left eye uncovered during predatory threat used the left eye to monitor the predator, whereas lizards with the right eye uncovered nonetheless tried to use the covered left eye. Moreover, lizards frequently tried to change the eye exposition, making a body C-bend behaviour. Right-eyed lizards showed more frequent and faster C-bending responses than left-eyed lizards, trying to monitor the predator with the left eye even though it was patched. Results fit with asymmetries in spontaneous eye use observed in laboratory conditions and in the wild in this species, confirming that structures located on the right side of the brain (mainly served by the left eye) predominantly attend to predatory threat.

  3. Physiological and microbial adjustments to diet quality permit facultative herbivory in an omnivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Brun, Antonio; Magallanes, Melisa; Brinkerhoff, Joshua; Laspiur, Alejandro; Acosta, Juan Carlos; Bordenstein, Seth R; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique

    2016-06-15

    While herbivory is a common feeding strategy in a number of vertebrate classes, less than 4% of squamate reptiles feed primarily on plant material. It has been hypothesized that physiological or microbial limitations may constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Herbivorous lizards exhibit adaptations in digestive morphology and function that allow them to better assimilate plant material. However, it is unknown whether these traits are fixed or perhaps phenotypically flexible as a result of diet. Here, we maintained a naturally omnivorous lizard, Liolaemus ruibali, on a mixed diet of 50% insects and 50% plant material, or a plant-rich diet of 90% plant material. We compared parameters of digestive performance, gut morphology and function, and gut microbial community structure between the two groups. We found that lizards fed the plant-rich diet maintained nitrogen balance and exhibited low minimum nitrogen requirements. Additionally, lizards fed the plant-rich diet exhibited significantly longer small intestines and larger hindguts, demonstrating that gut morphology is phenotypically flexible. Lizards fed the plant-rich diet harbored small intestinal communities that were more diverse and enriched in Melainabacteria and Oscillospira compared with mixed diet-fed lizards. Additionally, the relative abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the small intestine significantly correlated with whole-animal fiber digestibility. Thus, we suggest that physiological and microbial limitations do not sensu stricto constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Rather, ecological context and fitness consequences may be more important in driving the evolution of this feeding strategy.

  4. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    PubMed

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use. PMID:26817923

  5. Development of the Zebra load region for increased capability plasma diagnostics and improved Leopard laser access

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astanovitskiy, Alexey; Presura, R.; Ivanov, V. V.; Haboub, A.; Plachaty, C.; Kindel, J. M.

    2008-11-01

    A new geometry for the load area in the Zebra (1MA pulse generator) is developed. It will form the basis for future experiments requiring Leopard (1057nm, 50TW laser) to Zebra coupling and give extended capability to z-pinch diagnostics. This required the development of a new current return, which allows laser access and installation of the OD 4'' parabolic mirror for the x-ray radiography, isochoric heating and magnetized plasma experiments, and accommodates wire-array z-pinch loads, to which the laser may then be coupled. In addition, this configuration allows diagnostics access close to the plasma, leading to a significant increase of the spatial resolution for imaging of z-pinches, as well as the photon flux in imaging and spectroscopy of laser produced plasmas. These diagnostics will allow coupling of the Leopard beam for x-ray laser probing of the pinch plasma and we will test point-projection x-ray backlighting of the pinch plasma.

  6. Geographical variation in the clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, reveals two species.

    PubMed

    Kitchener, Andrew C; Beaumont, Mark A; Richardson, Douglas

    2006-12-01

    The clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, is an endangered semiarboreal felid with a wide distribution in tropical forests of southern and southeast Asia, including the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in the Indonesian archipelago. In common with many larger animal species, it displays morphological variation within its wide geographical range and is currently regarded as comprising of up to four subspecies. It is widely recognized that taxonomic designation has a major impact on conservation planning and action. Given that the last taxonomic revision was made over 50 years ago, a more detailed examination of geographical variation is needed. We describe here the results of a morphometric analysis of the pelages of 57 clouded leopards sampled throughout the species' range. We conclude that there are two distinct morphological groups, which differ primarily in the size of their cloud markings. These results are supported by a recent genetic analysis. On that basis, we give diagnoses for the distinction of two species, one in mainland Asia (N. nebulosa) and the other in Indonesia (N. diardi). The implications for conservation that arise from this new taxonomic arrangement are discussed. PMID:17141621

  7. Phylogeography of declining relict and lowland leopard frogs in the desert Southwest of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olah-Hemmings, V.; Jaeger, J.R.; Sredl, M.J.; Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Jennings, R.D.; Drost, C.A.; Bradford, D.F.; Riddle, B.R.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the phylogeography of the closely related relict leopard frog Rana onca (=Lithobates onca) and lowland leopard frog Rana yavapaiensis (=Lithobates yavapaiensis) – two declining anurans from the warm-desert regions of south-western North America. We used sequence data from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to assess 276 individuals representing 30 sites from across current distributions. Our analysis supports a previously determined phylogenetic break between these taxa, and we found no admixing of R. onca and R. yavapaiensis haplotypes within our extensive sampling of sites. Our phylogeographic assessment, however, further divided R. yavapaiensis into two distinct mtDNA lineages, one representing populations across Arizona and northern Mexico and the other a newly discovered population within the western Grand Canyon, Arizona. Estimates of sequence evolution indicate a possible Early Pleistocene divergence of R. onca and R. yavapaiensis, followed by a Middle Pleistocene separation of the western Grand Canyon population of R. yavapaiensis from the main R. yavapaiensis clade. Phylogeographic and demographic analyses indicate population or range expansion for R. yavapaiensis within its core distribution that appears to predate the latest glacial maximum. Species distribution models under current and latest glacial climatic conditions suggest that R. onca and R. yavapaiensis may not have greatly shifted ranges.

  8. Complex spatial dynamics maintain northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) genetic diversity in a temporally varying landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Chen, Yongjiu; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to most local amphibian populations, northeastern populations of the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) have displayed uncharacteristically high levels of genetic diversity that have been attributed to large, stable populations. However, this widely distributed species also occurs in areas known for great climatic fluctuations that should be reflected in corresponding fluctuations in population sizes and reduced genetic diversity. To test our hypothesis that Northern Leopard Frog genetic diversity would be reduced in areas subjected to significant climate variability, we examined the genetic diversity of L. pipiens collected from 12 sites within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Despite the region's fluctuating climate that includes periods of recurring drought and deluge, we found unexpectedly high levels of genetic diversity approaching that of northeastern populations. Further, genetic structure at a landscape scale was strikingly homogeneous; genetic differentiation estimates (Dest) averaged 0.10 (SD = 0.036) across the six microsatellite loci we studied, and two Bayesian assignment tests (STRUCTURE and BAPS) failed to reveal the development of significant population structure across the 68 km breadth of our study area. These results suggest that L. pipiens in the Prairie Pothole Region consists of a large, panmictic population capable of maintaining high genetic diversity in the face of marked climate variability.

  9. Gene flow and demographic history of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the central Indian highlands

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Trishna; Sharma, Sandeep; Maldonado, Jesús E; Wood, Thomas C; Panwar, Hemendra S; Seidensticker, John

    2013-01-01

    Gene flow is a critical ecological process that must be maintained in order to counteract the detrimental effects of genetic drift in subdivided populations, with conservation benefits ranging from promoting the persistence of small populations to spreading adaptive traits in changing environments. We evaluated historical and contemporary gene flow and effective population sizes of leopards in a landscape in central India using noninvasive sampling. Despite the dramatic changes in land-use patterns in this landscape through recent times, we did not detect any signs that the leopard populations have been through a genetic bottleneck, and they appear to have maintained migration–drift equilibrium. We found that historical levels of gene flow (mean mh = 0.07) were significantly higher than contemporary levels (mean mc = 0.03), and populations with large effective population sizes (Satpura and Kanha Tiger Reserves) are the larger exporters of migrants at both timescales. The greatest decline in historical versus contemporary gene flow is between pairs of reserves that are currently not connected by forest corridors (i.e., Melghat-Pench mh − mc = 0.063; and Kanha-Satpura mh − mc = 0.054). We attribute this reduction in gene flow to accelerated fragmentation and habitat alteration in the landscape over the past few centuries, and suggest protection of forest corridors to maintain gene flow in this landscape. PMID:24062803

  10. Field evidence for linking Altosid applications with increased amphibian deformities in southern leopard frogs [abstract

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    1998-01-01

    During the summer of 1997 we repeatedly sprayed Altosid, a formulation of 4% methoprene used for mosquito control, on six constructed macrocosms. Six additional macrocosms were sprayed with Abate4E, containing the organophosphate pesticide temephos, and six were sprayed with water (controls). The wetlands were created on an impermeable foundation for research purposes and averaged 215 m2 in area and 0.5 m deep. Application rates and frequency of Abate4E and Altosid followed label directions and mimicked procedures for mosquito control in National Wildlife Refuges. In early September juvenile frogs and metamorphing tadpoles were collected with dip nets from each pond and examined for deformities. In all, 91 juveniles and metamorph southern leopard frogs (Rana utricularia) were collected from Altosid sprayed wetlands with 14 (15%) demonstrating deformities. Seventyseven juveniles and metamorphs were collected from control wetlands with three (4%) showing deformities. Only six juveniles and metamorphs were collected from Abate4E wetlands and none showed deformities. Deformities included missing or deformed hind limbs (9 of 10 involving only the right hind limb), missing eyes, and abnormal color. The differences in rate of deformities was dependent on treatment (X2=6.44, p< 0.02). The number of leopard frogs caught per unit effort (tadpoles and juveniles) differed among treatments (p=0.032) with Abate4E wetlands producing fewer individuals per capture effort than either Altosid or control wetlands.

  11. How the leopard hides its spots: ASIP mutations and melanism in wild cats.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Barsh, Gregory S; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the 'black panther' and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism.

  12. Earliest “Domestic” Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

    PubMed Central

    Vigne, Jean-Denis; Evin, Allowen; Cucchi, Thomas; Dai, Lingling; Yu, Chong; Hu, Songmei; Soulages, Nicolas; Wang, Weilin; Sun, Zhouyong; Gao, Jiangtao; Dobney, Keith; Yuan, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat ‘domestic’ relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat’s ‘domestic’ status, however, appears to have been short-lived—its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris. PMID:26799955

  13. Earliest "Domestic" Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

    PubMed

    Vigne, Jean-Denis; Evin, Allowen; Cucchi, Thomas; Dai, Lingling; Yu, Chong; Hu, Songmei; Soulages, Nicolas; Wang, Weilin; Sun, Zhouyong; Gao, Jiangtao; Dobney, Keith; Yuan, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat 'domestic' relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat's 'domestic' status, however, appears to have been short-lived--its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris. PMID:26799955

  14. Function and culture requirements of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) spermatozoa in vitro.

    PubMed

    Roth, T L; Howard, J G; Donoghue, A M; Swanson, W F; Wildt, D E

    1994-08-01

    Electroejaculates from eight snow leopards were used to determine how the motility of spermatozoa was influenced by (i) type of media (Ham's F10, PBS, human tubal fluid or RPMI-1640); (ii) holding temperature (23 degrees C versus 37 degrees C); (iii) washing of spermatozoa and (iv) a sperm metabolic enhancer, pentoxifylline. The duration of sperm motility was assessed by evaluating samples in each treatment every hour for 6 h and a sperm motility index (a value combining percentage sperm motility and rate of forward progression) calculated. Spermatozoa from the Ham's F10, PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline treatments were also co-incubated with zona-intact, domestic cat eggs that were fixed and evaluated for spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, penetrating the outer and inner layers of the zona pellucida and within the perivitelline space. During the 6 h co-incubation, the sperm motility index in PBS with pentoxifylline was greater (P < 0.05) than in PBS alone which, in turn, was greater (P < 0.05) than in the other three test media. Washing the spermatozoa enhanced (P < 0.05) motility in both PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline relative to unwashed samples, but there was no effect (P > 0.05) of holding temperature. Pentoxifylline supplementation enhanced (P < 0.05) the proportion of cat eggs with bound, but not penetrated, snow leopard spermatozoa in the inner layer of the zona pellucida, and there were no spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  15. Function and culture requirements of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) spermatozoa in vitro.

    PubMed

    Roth, T L; Howard, J G; Donoghue, A M; Swanson, W F; Wildt, D E

    1994-08-01

    Electroejaculates from eight snow leopards were used to determine how the motility of spermatozoa was influenced by (i) type of media (Ham's F10, PBS, human tubal fluid or RPMI-1640); (ii) holding temperature (23 degrees C versus 37 degrees C); (iii) washing of spermatozoa and (iv) a sperm metabolic enhancer, pentoxifylline. The duration of sperm motility was assessed by evaluating samples in each treatment every hour for 6 h and a sperm motility index (a value combining percentage sperm motility and rate of forward progression) calculated. Spermatozoa from the Ham's F10, PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline treatments were also co-incubated with zona-intact, domestic cat eggs that were fixed and evaluated for spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, penetrating the outer and inner layers of the zona pellucida and within the perivitelline space. During the 6 h co-incubation, the sperm motility index in PBS with pentoxifylline was greater (P < 0.05) than in PBS alone which, in turn, was greater (P < 0.05) than in the other three test media. Washing the spermatozoa enhanced (P < 0.05) motility in both PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline relative to unwashed samples, but there was no effect (P > 0.05) of holding temperature. Pentoxifylline supplementation enhanced (P < 0.05) the proportion of cat eggs with bound, but not penetrated, snow leopard spermatozoa in the inner layer of the zona pellucida, and there were no spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7966009

  16. How the Leopard Hides Its Spots: ASIP Mutations and Melanism in Wild Cats

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the ‘black panther’ and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism. PMID:23251368

  17. Source levels of the underwater calls of a male leopard seal.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-10-01

    Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are top predators in the Antarctic ecosystem. They produce stereotyped calls as part of a stylized underwater vocal display. Understanding of their acoustic behavior is improved by identifying the amplitude of their calls. The amplitude of five types of calls (n = 50) from a single male seal were measured as broadband source levels and ranged from 153 to 177 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. The mean source levels differed between call types, the lower frequency calls (L, D, and O) tended to have source levels 10 dB higher than the higher frequency calls (H and M). Information on call-type source levels is important to take into account for passive acoustic studies investigating repertoire usage as calls produced with greater amplitudes are likely to have larger acoustic ranges, especially when these are also the calls with lower frequencies, such as is the case in leopard seals.

  18. Scar-free cutaneous wound healing in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Peacock, Hanna M; Gilbert, Emily A B; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2015-11-01

    Cutaneous wounds heal with two possible outcomes: scarification or near-perfect integumentary restoration. Whereas scar formation has been intensively investigated, less is known about the tissue-level events characterising wounds that spontaneously heal scar-free, particularly in non-foetal amniotes. Here, a spatiotemporal investigation of scar-free cutaneous wound healing following full-thickness excisional biopsies to the tail and body of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) is provided. All injuries healed without scarring. Cutaneous repair involves the development of a cell-rich aggregate within the wound bed, similar to scarring wounds. Unlike scar formation, scar-free healing involves a more rapid closure of the wound epithelium, and a delay in blood vessel development and collagen deposition within the wound bed. It was found that, while granulation tissue of scarring wounds is hypervascular, scar-free wound healing conspicuously does not involve a period of exuberant blood vessel formation. In addition, during scar-free wound healing the newly formed blood vessels are typically perivascular cell-supported. Immunohistochemistry revealed widespread expression of both the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor A and the anti-angiogenic factor thrombospondin-1 within the healing wound. It was found that scar-free wound healing is an intrinsic property of leopard gecko integument, and involves a modulation of the cutaneous scar repair program. This proportional revascularisation is an important factor in scar-free wound healing.

  19. Semen characteristics and sperm morphology in the Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) and how these vary with age and season.

    PubMed

    de Haas van Dorsser, Florine J; Strick, Jacqueline A

    2005-01-01

    The Arabian leopard is a critically endangered species. Since there are only an estimated 200 animals remaining in the wild, careful management of the captive population is necessary to minimise inbreeding. The objective of this study was to characterise sperm morphology and ejaculate quality in captive males. Semen was collected by electroejaculation from 8 adult captive male leopards (aged 2-16 years) during the summer and winter months, and semen parameters, including sperm morphology, were assessed. Two-year-old leopards showed lower total sperm counts per ejaculate than older animals and these counts declined at > 8 years. Ejaculates collected during the hot summer showed significantly lower sperm concentrations, total sperm counts, sperm motility and viability and percentage of spermatozoa showing normal morphology than ejaculates collected in the cooler winter. The results showed that the male leopard attains sexual maturity between 2 and 3 years of age and exhibits good semen quality until 8 years. Collection of semen for artificial breeding or banking would best be carried out in the cooler winter months.

  20. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  1. Intraspecific competition and high food availability are associated with insular gigantism in a lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Meiri, Shai; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Valakos, Efstratios

    2009-09-01

    Resource availability, competition, and predation commonly drive body size evolution. We assess the impact of high food availability and the consequent increased intraspecific competition, as expressed by tail injuries and cannibalism, on body size in Skyros wall lizards ( Podarcis gaigeae). Lizard populations on islets surrounding Skyros (Aegean Sea) all have fewer predators and competitors than on Skyros but differ in the numbers of nesting seabirds. We predicted the following: (1) the presence of breeding seabirds (providing nutrients) will increase lizard population densities; (2) dense lizard populations will experience stronger intraspecific competition; and (3) such aggression, will be associated with larger average body size. We found a positive correlation between seabird and lizard densities. Cannibalism and tail injuries were considerably higher in dense populations. Increases in cannibalism and tail loss were associated with large body sizes. Adult cannibalism on juveniles may select for rapid growth, fuelled by high food abundance, setting thus the stage for the evolution of gigantism.

  2. Ecological disturbance in a sandhills prairie: impact and importance to the lizard community on Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Ballinger, R.E.; Jones, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Lizard species occurring in the sandhills prairie of western Nebraska are typically restricted to microhabitats which have sparse vegetation. The fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) and the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) are especially abundant in open blowouts. Only the six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus) occupies microhabitats with dense grass. Since cattle grazing was discontinued on Arapaho Prairie in 1977, associated vegetational changes have tended to reduce the microhabitats available for lizards. As a result of the decreased disturbance to the vegetation, lizards have become more restricted and less abundant on Arapaho Prairie. 19 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  3. The lizard celestial compass detects linearly polarized light in the blue.

    PubMed

    Beltrami, Giulia; Parretta, Antonio; Petrucci, Ferruccio; Buttini, Paola; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2012-09-15

    The present study first examined whether ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, are able to orientate using plane-polarized light produced by an LCD screen. Ruin lizards were trained and tested indoors, inside a hexagonal Morris water maze positioned under an LCD screen producing white polarized light with a single E-vector, which provided an axial cue. White polarized light did not include wavelengths in the UV. Lizards orientated correctly either when tested with E-vector parallel to the training axis or after 90 deg rotation of the E-vector direction, thus validating the apparatus. Further experiments examined whether there is a preferential region of the light spectrum to perceive the E-vector direction of polarized light. For this purpose, lizards reaching learning criteria under white polarized light were subdivided into four experimental groups. Each group was tested for orientation under a different spectrum of plane-polarized light (red, green, cyan and blue) with equalized photon flux density. Lizards tested under blue polarized light orientated correctly, whereas lizards tested under red polarized light were completely disoriented. Green polarized light was barely discernible by lizards, and thus insufficient for a correct functioning of their compass. When exposed to cyan polarized light, lizard orientation performances were optimal, indistinguishable from lizards detecting blue polarized light. Overall, the present results demonstrate that perception of linear polarization in the blue is necessary - and sufficient - for a proper functioning of the sky polarization compass of ruin lizards. This may be adaptively important, as detection of polarized light in the blue improves functioning of the polarization compass under cloudy skies, i.e. when the alternative celestial compass based on detection of the sun disk is rendered useless because the sun is obscured by clouds.

  4. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joshua F; Tempa, Tshering; Norbu, Nawang; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mills, L Scott; Wangchuk, Tshewang R; Lukacs, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010-2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the "true" explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25-15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide to

  5. Presence-absence surveys of prey and their use in predicting leopard (Panthera pardus) densities: a case study from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor G; Malkhasyan, Alexander G; Abramov, Alexei V

    2008-12-01

    It is important to predict how many individuals of a predator species can survive in a given area on the basis of prey sufficiency and to compare predictive estimates with actual numbers to understand whether or not key threats are related to prey availability. Rugged terrain and low detection probabilities do not allow for the use of traditional prey count techniques in mountain areas. We used presence-absence occupancy modeling and camera-trapping to estimate the abundance and densities of prey species and regression analysis to predict leopard (Panthera pardus) densities from estimated prey biomass in the mountains of the Nuvadi area, Meghri Ridge, southern Armenia. The prey densities were 12.94 ± 2.18 individuals km(-2) for the bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), 6.88 ± 1.56 for the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and 0.44 ± 0.20 for the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The detection probability of the prey was a strong function of the activity patterns, and was highest in diurnal bezoar goats (0.59 ± 0.09). Based on robust regression, the estimated total ungulate prey biomass (720.37 ± 142.72 kg km(-2) ) can support a leopard density of 7. 18 ± 3.06 individuals 100 km(-2) . The actual leopard density is only 0.34 individuals 100 km(-2) (i.e. one subadult male recorded over the 296.9 km(2) ), estimated from tracking and camera-trapping. The most plausible explanation for this discrepancy between predicted and actual leopard density is that poaching and disturbance caused by livestock breeding, plant gathering, deforestation and human-induced wild fires are affecting the leopard population in Armenia. PMID:21396082

  6. Presence-absence surveys of prey and their use in predicting leopard (Panthera pardus) densities: a case study from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor G; Malkhasyan, Alexander G; Abramov, Alexei V

    2008-12-01

    It is important to predict how many individuals of a predator species can survive in a given area on the basis of prey sufficiency and to compare predictive estimates with actual numbers to understand whether or not key threats are related to prey availability. Rugged terrain and low detection probabilities do not allow for the use of traditional prey count techniques in mountain areas. We used presence-absence occupancy modeling and camera-trapping to estimate the abundance and densities of prey species and regression analysis to predict leopard (Panthera pardus) densities from estimated prey biomass in the mountains of the Nuvadi area, Meghri Ridge, southern Armenia. The prey densities were 12.94 ± 2.18 individuals km(-2) for the bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), 6.88 ± 1.56 for the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and 0.44 ± 0.20 for the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The detection probability of the prey was a strong function of the activity patterns, and was highest in diurnal bezoar goats (0.59 ± 0.09). Based on robust regression, the estimated total ungulate prey biomass (720.37 ± 142.72 kg km(-2) ) can support a leopard density of 7. 18 ± 3.06 individuals 100 km(-2) . The actual leopard density is only 0.34 individuals 100 km(-2) (i.e. one subadult male recorded over the 296.9 km(2) ), estimated from tracking and camera-trapping. The most plausible explanation for this discrepancy between predicted and actual leopard density is that poaching and disturbance caused by livestock breeding, plant gathering, deforestation and human-induced wild fires are affecting the leopard population in Armenia.

  7. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joshua F; Tempa, Tshering; Norbu, Nawang; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mills, L Scott; Wangchuk, Tshewang R; Lukacs, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010-2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the "true" explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25-15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide to

  8. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Joshua F.; Tempa, Tshering; Norbu, Nawang; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mills, L. Scott; Wangchuk, Tshewang R.; Lukacs, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010–2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the “true” explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25–15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide

  9. The disappearing northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens): conservation genetics and implications for remnant populations in western Nevada

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Serena D; Peacock, Mary M

    2012-01-01

    Global amphibian declines suggest a major shift in the amount and quality of habitat for these sensitive taxa. Many species that were once widespread are now experiencing declines either in part of or across their historic range. The northern leopard frog (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens] has undergone significant declines particularly in the western United States and Canada. Leopard frog population losses in Nevada are largely due to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of nonnative fish, amphibian, and plant species. Only two populations remain in the Truckee and Carson River watersheds of western Nevada which represents the western boundary of this species range. We used sequence data for an 812 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase 1 (ND1) gene to support a native origin for western Nevada populations. All frogs had a single haplotype (W07) from the distinct western North America ND1 haplotype clade. Data from seven polymorphic microsatellite loci show that Truckee and Carson River populations are highly differentiated from each other and from leopard frogs collected from eastern Nevada sites. Lack of gene flow among and distinct color morphs among the western Nevada populations likely predates the current geographical isolation. Comparisons with other peripheral L. pipiens populations show western Nevada populations have similar levels of gene diversity despite their contemporary isolation (HE 0.411, 0.482). Restoration of leopard frog populations in these watersheds will be challenging given well-entrenched nonnative bullfrog populations and major changes to the riparian zone over the past century. Declines of once common amphibian species has become a major conservation concern. Contemporary isolation of populations on a species range periphery such as the leopard frog populations in the Truckee and Carson rivers further exacerbate extirpation risk as these populations are likely to have fewer genetic resources to adaptively respond to

  10. Thermal dependence of sprint performance in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-meter elevational gradient: Cold-habitat lizards do not perform better at low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Rubiño-Hispán, María Virtudes; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-08-01

    Sprint speed has a capital relevance in most animals' fitness, mainly for fleeing from predators. Sprint performance is maximal within a certain range of body temperatures in ectotherms, whose thermal upkeep relies on exogenous thermal sources. Ectotherms can respond to diverse thermal environments either by shifting their thermal preferences or maintaining them through different adaptive mechanisms. Here, we tested whether maximum sprint speed of a lizard that shows conservative thermal ecology along a 2200-meter elevational gradient differs with body temperature in lizards from different elevations. Lizards ran faster at optimum than at suboptimum body temperature. Notably, high-elevation lizards were not faster than mid- and low-elevation lizards at suboptimum body temperature, despite their low-quality thermal environment. This result suggests that both preferred body temperature and thermal dependence of speed performance are co-adapted along the elevational gradient. High-elevation lizards display a number of thermoregulatory strategies that allow them to achieve high optimum body temperatures in a low thermal-quality habitat and thus maximize speed performance. As for reproductive condition, we did not find any effect of it on sprint speed, or any significant interaction with elevation or body temperature. However, strikingly, gravid females were significantly slower than males and non-gravid females at suboptimum temperature, but performed similarly well at optimal temperature.

  11. Thermoregulatory consequences of salt loading in the lizard Pogona vitticeps.

    PubMed

    Scarpellini, Carolina da Silveira; Bícego, Kênia C; Tattersall, Glenn J

    2015-04-15

    Previous research has demonstrated that dehydration increases the threshold temperature for panting and decreases the thermal preference of lizards. Conversely, it is unknown whether thermoregulatory responses such as shuttling and gaping are similarly influenced. Shuttling, as an active behavioural response, is considered one of the most effective thermoregulatory behaviours, whereas gaping has been proposed to be involved in preventing brain over-heating in lizards. In this study we examined the effect of salt loading, a proxy for increased plasma osmolality, on shuttling and gaping in Pogona vitticeps. Then, we determined the upper and lower escape ambient temperatures (UETa and LETa), the percentage of time spent gaping, the metabolic rate (V̇O2 ), the evaporative water loss (EWL) during gaping and non-gaping intervals and the evaporative effectiveness (EWL/V̇O2 ) of gaping. All experiments were performed under isotonic (154 mmol l(-1)) and hypertonic saline injections (625, 1250 or 2500 mmol l(-1)). Only the highest concentration of hypertonic saline altered the UETa and LETa, but this effect appeared to be the result of diminishing the animal's propensity to move, instead of any direct reduction in thermoregulatory set-points. Nevertheless, the percentage of time spent gaping was proportionally reduced according to the saline concentration; V̇O2 was also decreased after salt loading. Thermographic images revealed lower head than body surface temperatures during gaping; however this difference was inhibited after salt loading. Our data suggest that EWL/V̇O2 is raised during gaping, possibly contributing to an increase in heat transfer away from the lizard, and playing a role in head or brain cooling.

  12. Chasing the Patagonian sun: comparative thermal biology of Liolaemus lizards.

    PubMed

    Azócar, Débora Lina Moreno; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Bonino, Marcelo F; Perotti, M Gabriela; Abdala, Cristian S; Schulte, James A; Cruz, Félix B

    2013-04-01

    The importance of the thermal environment for ectotherms and its relationship with thermal physiology and ecology is widely recognized. Several models have been proposed to explain the evolution of the thermal biology of ectotherms, but experimental studies have provided mixed support. Lizards from the Liolaemus goetschi group can be found along a wide latitudinal range across Argentina. The group is monophyletic and widely distributed, and therefore provides excellent opportunities to study the evolution of thermal biology. We studied thermal variables of 13 species of the L. goetschi group, in order to answer three questions. First, are aspects of the thermal biology of the L. goetschi group modelled by the environment or are they evolutionarily conservative? Second, have thermal characteristics of these animals co-evolved? And third, how do the patterns of co-evolution observed within the L. goetschi group compare to those in a taxonomically wider selection of species of Liolaemus? We collected data on 13 focal species and used species information of Liolaemus lizards available in the literature and additional data obtained by the authors. We tackled these questions using both conventional and phylogenetically based analyses. Our results show that lizards from the L. goetschi group and the genus Liolaemus in general vary in critical thermal minimum in relation to mean air temperature, and particularly the L. goetschi group shows that air temperature is associated with critical thermal range, as well as with body temperature. Although the effect of phylogeny cannot be ignored, our results indicate that these thermal biology aspects are modelled by cold environments of Patagonia, while other aspects (preferred body temperature and critical thermal maximum) are more conservative. We found evidence of co-evolutionary patterns between critical thermal minimum and preferred body temperature at both phylogenetic scales (the L. goetschi group and the extended sample of

  13. Field energetics and foraging mode of Kalahari lacertid lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Nagy, K.A.; Huey, R.B.; Bennett, A.F.

    1984-04-01

    The authors examined the energetic costs associated with foraging mode in the widely foraging lizard Eremias lugubris (mean mass 3.83 g) and the sit-and-wait lizard Eremias lineoocellata (3.27 g). These lizards are broadly sympatric in the Kalahari desert. The widely foraging species had significantly higher field metabolic rates (800 vs. 544 J/d, as measured with doubly labeled water), feeding rates (metabolizable energy of 1165 vs. 739 J/d), production rates (365 vs. 195 J/d) and water influx rates (0.285 vs. 0.156 mL/d). Measurements were made before the reproductive season began; there were no significant differences in these measures between sexes within either species. Resting metabolic rates (measured as O/sub 2/ consumed) were similar at 37/sup 0/C (0.240 vs. 0.252 mL g/sup -1/ H/sup -1/) and 26/sup 0/ (0.094 vs. 0.103 mL g/sup -1/ h/sup -1/), the field active and nocturnal burrow temperatures respectively, of both species. Field metabolic rates, on a 24-h basis, were 3.1 x resting in E. lugubris and 2.2 x resting in E. lineoocellata. Energy expenditures during the activity period were 12.0 x resting in the wide forager and 2.8 x resting in the sit-and-wait predator. Foraging efficiency (metabolizable energy gained while foraging/total energy spent while foraging) was higher in the wide forager (2.0 than in the sit-and-wait predator. The wide forager grew nearly twice as fast as did the sit-and-wait predator during this study. On an annual basis, variation in food availability or differences in predation rate may alter the relative fitness of these foraging modes.

  14. The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many small vertebrates on islands grow larger, mature later, lay smaller clutches/litters, and are less sexually dimorphic and aggressive than their mainland relatives. This set of observations is referred to as the 'Island Syndrome'. The syndrome is linked to high population density on islands. We predicted that when population density is low and/or fluctuating insular vertebrates may evolve correlated trait shifts running opposite to the Island Syndrome, which we collectively refer to as the 'reversed island syndrome' (RIS) hypothesis. On the proximate level, we hypothesized that RIS is caused by increased activity levels in melanocortin receptors. Melanocortins are postranslational products of the proopiomelanocortin gene, which controls pleiotropically pigmentation, aggressiveness, sexual activity, and food intake in vertebrates. Results We tested the RIS hypothesis performing a number of behavioral, genetic, and ontogenetic tests on a blue colored insular variant of the Italian Wall lizard Podarcis sicula, living on a small island off the Southern Italian coast. The population density of this blue-colored variant was generally low and highly fluctuating from one year to the next. In keeping with our predictions, insular lizards were more aggressive and sexually dimorphic than their mainland relatives. Insular males had wide, peramorphic heads. The growth rate of insular females was slower than growth rates of mainland individuals of both sexes, and of insular males. Consequently, size and shape dimorphism are higher on the Island. As predicted, melanocortin receptors were much more active in individuals of the insular population. Insular lizards have a higher food intake rate than mainland individuals, which is consistent with the increased activity of melanocortin receptors. This may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment such as Licosa Island. Insular lizards of both sexes spent less time basking than their mainland relatives. We suspect this

  15. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    PubMed

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. PMID:25143047

  16. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    PubMed

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats.

  17. Who’s behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat’s Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed

    PubMed Central

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-01-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (APbe) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. PMID:25143047

  18. The relative influence of road characteristics and habitat on adjacent lizard populations in arid shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hubbard, Kaylan A.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Gerow, Kenneth G.

    2016-01-01

    As road networks continue to expand globally, indirect impacts to adjacent wildlife populations remain largely unknown. Simultaneously, reptile populations are declining worldwide and anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are frequently cited causes. We evaluated the relative influence of three different road characteristics (surface treatment, width, and traffic volume) and habitat features on adjacent populations of Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), Plateau Fence Lizards (S. tristichus), and Greater Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in mixed arid shrubland habitats in southwest Wyoming. Neither odds of lizard presence nor relative abundance was significantly related to any of the assessed road characteristics, although there was a trend for higher Sceloporus spp. abundance adjacent to paved roads. Sceloporus spp. relative abundance did not vary systematically with distance to the nearest road. Rather, both Sceloporus spp. and Greater Short-Horned Lizards were associated strongly with particular habitat characteristics adjacent to roads. Sceloporus spp. presence and relative abundance increased with rock cover, relative abundance was associated positively with shrub cover, and presence was associated negatively with grass cover. Greater Short-Horned Lizard presence increased with bare ground and decreased marginally with shrub cover. Our results suggest that habitat attributes are stronger correlates of lizard presence and relative abundance than individual characteristics of adjacent roads, at least in our system. Therefore, an effective conservation approach for these species may be to consider the landscape through which new roads and their associated development would occur, and the impact that placement could have on fragment size and key habitat elements.

  19. Thyroid disruption in the lizard Podarcis bocagei exposed to a mixture of herbicides: a field study.

    PubMed

    Bicho, Rita C; Amaral, Maria José; Faustino, Augusto M R; Power, Deborah M; Rêma, Alexandra; Carretero, Miguel A; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2013-01-01

    Pesticide exposure has been related with thyroid disrupting effects in different vertebrate species. However, very little is known about the effects of these compounds in reptiles. In the Mediterranean area, lacertid lizards are the most abundant vertebrate group in agroecosystems, and have been identified as potential model species for reptile ecotoxicology. The aim of this study was to understand if the herbicides applied in corn fields have thyroid disruptive effects in the lizard Podarcis bocagei. Adult male lizards were captured in north-western Portugal in corn fields treated with herbicides (exposed sites), and in organic agricultural fields (reference sites). Thyroid and male gonad morphology and functionality, and testosterone levels were investigated through histological, immunohistochemical and biochemical techniques. Lizards from exposed locations displayed thyroid follicular lumens with more reabsorption vacuoles and significantly larger follicular area than those from reference fields. Furthermore, testes of lizards from exposed locations had significantly larger seminiferous tubule diameters, significantly higher number of spermatogenic layers and displayed an up-regulation of thyroid hormone receptors when compared with lizards from reference areas. These findings strongly suggest that the complex mixture of herbicides that lizards are exposed to in agricultural areas have thyroid disrupting effects which ultimately affect the male reproductive system. Alachlor, which has demonstrated thyroid effects in mammals, may be largely responsible for the observed effects.

  20. Diagnostic sensitivity of ultrasound, radiography and computed tomography for gender determination in four species of lizards.

    PubMed

    Di Ianni, Francesco; Volta, Antonella; Pelizzone, Igor; Manfredi, Sabrina; Gnudi, Giacomo; Parmigiani, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Gender determination is frequently requested by reptile breeders, especially for species with poor or absent sexual dimorphism. The aims of the current study were to describe techniques and diagnostic sensitivities of ultrasound, radiography, and computed tomography for gender determination (identification of hemipenes) in four species of lizards. Nineteen lizards of known sex, belonging to four different species (Pogona vitticeps, Uromastyx aegyptia, Tiliqua scincoides, Gerrhosaurus major) were prospectively enrolled. With informed owner consent, ultrasound, noncontrast CT, contrast radiography, and contrast CT (with contrast medium administered into the cloaca) were performed in conscious animals. Imaging studies were reviewed by three different operators, each unaware of the gender of the animals and of the results of the other techniques. The lizard was classified as a male when hemipenes were identified. Nineteen lizards were included in the study, 10 females and nine males. The hemipenes were seen on ultrasound in only two male lizards, and appeared as oval hypoechoic structures. Radiographically, hemipenes filled with contrast medium appeared as spindle-shaped opacities. Noncontrast CT identified hemipenes in only two lizards, and these appeared as spindle-shaped kinked structures with hyperattenuating content consistent with smegma. Hemipenes were correctly identified in all nine males using contrast CT (accuracy of 100%). Accuracy of contrast radiography was excellent (94.7%). Accuracy of ultrasound and of noncontrast CT was poor (64.3% and 63.1%, respectively). Findings from the current study supported the use of contrast CT or contrast radiography for gender determination in lizards.

  1. One solution for two challenges: the lizard Microlophus atacamensis avoids overheating by foraging in intertidal shores.

    PubMed

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas.

  2. One Solution for Two Challenges: The Lizard Microlophus atacamensis Avoids Overheating by Foraging in Intertidal Shores

    PubMed Central

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P.; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas. PMID:24839969

  3. Nuclear and microtubule remodeling and in vitro development of nuclear transferred cat oocytes with skin fibroblasts of the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

    PubMed

    Yin, X J; Lee, Y H; Jin, J Y; Kim, N H; Kong, I K

    2006-10-01

    The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), a member of the felidae family, is a threatened animal in South Korea. In terms of protecting endangered felids, nuclear transfer (NT) is a potentially valuable technique for assuring the continuation of species with dwindling numbers. In the present experiment, nuclear and microtubule remodeling and the in vitro developmental potential of enucleated domestic cat oocytes reconstructed with nuclei of somatic cells from either domestic cat fibroblast (DCF) or leopard cat fibroblast (LCF) were evaluated. Microtubule aster is allocated to de-condensed chromatin following nuclear transfer (3h after activation) of fibroblast cells from both domestic and leopard cats, suggesting the introduction of a somatic cell centrosome. The transferred fibroblast nuclei formed a large, swollen, pronuclear-like structure in most reconstructed oocytes, in the cat or leopard cat. At 18h following nuclear transfer, mitosis occurred, and according to the photo (F) it appears that spindle microtubules and two asters were observed. The percentages of blastocyst formation from nuclear transfer embryos derived from domestic cat fibroblasts (4/46, 8.6%) were not significantly different than those for nuclear transfer embryos constructed with leopard cat fibroblasts (4/52, 7.6%). These results indicate that nuclear and microtubule remodeling processes and in vitro developmental ability are similar in reconstructed cat oocytes following transfer of nuclei from either domestic or leopard cats. PMID:16310987

  4. Purulent meningoventriculitis caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus in a snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, R; Nakamura, S; Hori, H; Kato, Y; Une, Y

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (SEZ) is a zoonotic pathogen that causes respiratory tract infections in man and animals. SEZ infections are very rare in felids. This report describes purulent meningoventriculitis caused by SEZ in an approximately 16-year-old male snow leopard (Panthera uncia). The animal exhibited neurological signs and died 1 month after their onset. On necropsy examination, the surface blood vessels of the brain were swollen and there was an increased volume and turbidity of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Microscopically, suppurative inflammation accompanied by gram-positive cocci was observed in the meninges and near the ventricles. SEZ was isolated from the brain tissue and CSF. This is the first report of infection with SEZ in a felid other than a domestic cat. This animal had not had direct contact with horses, but it had been fed horse flesh that may have been the source of infection.

  5. Femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    PubMed

    Naylor, Adam D

    2013-12-01

    Cases of femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty are infrequently reported in reptiles, and details of surgical technique and clinical outcome in chelonia are lacking. An adult female leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) was presented with chronic non-weight-bearing lameness of the left hind limb. Examination and radiography were consistent with coxofemoral luxation, and as a result of the chronic presentation, surgical intervention was recommended. A cranial approach to the joint via the prefemoral fossa afforded good surgical exposure. A depressed lytic acetabular lesion was noted during the procedure, postulated to be a result of abnormal wear from the luxated femoral head. A fiberglass prop was used during recovery to allow extension of the limb without full weight-bearing. Lameness persisted postoperatively, but limb usage significantly improved.

  6. Phaeohyphomycosis in a snow leopard (Uncia uncia) due to Cladophialophora bantiana.

    PubMed

    Janovsky, M; Gröne, A; Ciardo, D; Völlm, J; Burnens, A; Fatzer, R; Bacciarini, L N

    2006-01-01

    Phaeohyphomycosis caused by Cladophialophora bantiana was diagnosed in a 5-month-old snow leopard with spastic paralysis of the hind legs and inability to defaecate or urinate. At post-mortem examination, a greenish soft mass resembling an abscess was found on one side of the epidural space at the fourth lumbar vertebral body. Histological examination revealed a purulent meningitis with myelomalacia. Dematiaceous fungal hyphae, present within the inflammatory infiltrate, were identified as C. bantiana by culture and sequence analysis of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. This neurotropic fungus rarely affects organs other than the brain in human beings and cats, and has been reported only occasionally in Europe. The case described suggests that phaeohyphomycosis due to C. bantiana infection may be recognized more frequently in the future and the possible involvement of organs other than the brain should be borne in mind.

  7. De novo Assembly and Analysis of the Northern Leopard Frog Rana pipiens Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Christenson, Matthew K.; Trease, Andrew J.; Potluri, Lakshmi-Prasad; Jezewski, Andrew J.; Davis, Vincent M.; Knight, Lindsey A.; Kolok, Alan S.; Davis, Paul H.

    2014-01-01

    The northern leopard frog Rana (Lithobates) pipiens is an important animal model, being used extensively in cancer, neurology, physiology, and biomechanical studies. R. pipiens is a native North American frog whose range extends from northern Canada to southwest United States, but over the past few decades its populations have declined significantly and is now considered uncommon in large portions of the United States and Canada. To aid in the study and conservation of R. pipiens, this paper describes the first R. pipiens transcriptome. The R. pipiens transcriptome was annotated using Gene Ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), and Eukaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG). Differential expression analysis revealed universal and tissue specific genes, and endocrine-related genes were identified. Transcriptome assemblies and other sequence data are available for download. PMID:25371763

  8. Purulent meningoventriculitis caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus in a snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, R; Nakamura, S; Hori, H; Kato, Y; Une, Y

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (SEZ) is a zoonotic pathogen that causes respiratory tract infections in man and animals. SEZ infections are very rare in felids. This report describes purulent meningoventriculitis caused by SEZ in an approximately 16-year-old male snow leopard (Panthera uncia). The animal exhibited neurological signs and died 1 month after their onset. On necropsy examination, the surface blood vessels of the brain were swollen and there was an increased volume and turbidity of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Microscopically, suppurative inflammation accompanied by gram-positive cocci was observed in the meninges and near the ventricles. SEZ was isolated from the brain tissue and CSF. This is the first report of infection with SEZ in a felid other than a domestic cat. This animal had not had direct contact with horses, but it had been fed horse flesh that may have been the source of infection. PMID:22516084

  9. Identification of a PTPN11 hot spot mutation in a child with atypical LEOPARD syndrome.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia; Shen, Jinwen; Cheng, Ruhong; Ni, Cheng; Liang, Jianying; Li, Ming; Yao, Zhirong

    2016-09-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder primarily caused by mutations in the PTPN11, RAF1 and BRAF genes. Characteristic features include lentigines, craniofacial dysmorphism, myocardium or valve abnormalities, eletrocardiographic conduction defects and deafness. LS, neurofibromatosis type 1, Noonan syndrome and Legius syndrome are a group of highly overlapped disorders termed 'RASopathies'. Therefore, clinical discrimination between these syndromes represents a huge challenge. The present study reports a young child diagnosed with LS via identification of a common p.Thr468Met mutation in PTPN11. Taking into account two Taiwanese LS cases with an identical mutation, Thr468Met is likely to be the most prevalent mutation in the Chinese population. Furthermore, this study suggests that a clinical diagnosis of LS should be considered for individuals with congenital cardiac defects and atypical lentigines (i.e., light brown freckles) scattered particularly on the face. PMID:27484170

  10. Representation of the visual field in the anterior thalamus of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens.

    PubMed

    Skorina, Laura K; Recktenwald, Eric W; Dudkin, Elizabeth A; Saidel, William M; Gruberg, Edward R

    2016-05-16

    We used physiological and anatomical methods to elucidate how the visual field is represented in the part of the dorsal anterior thalamus of the leopard frog that receives direct retinal projections. We recorded extracellularly while presenting visual stimuli, and characterized a physiologically defined region that encompasses the retinal projections as well as an extended zone beyond them. We probed the area systematically to determine if the zone is organized in a visuotopic map: we found that it is not. We found that units in this region respond only to stimuli in the contralateral half of the visual field, which is similar to what is seen in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in mammals. When we backfilled retinal ganglion cells from application of HRP to the anterior thalamus, we found labeled cells only in those parts of the retina corresponding to the contralateral hemifield, confirming our physiological observations. PMID:27064110

  11. Reversible immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards (panthera uncia) with a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Örjan; Malmsten, Jonas; Mishra, Charudutt; Lkhagvajav, Purevjav; McCarthy, Tom

    2013-04-01

    Conservation and research of the elusive snow leopard (Panthera uncia) have been hampered by inadequate knowledge about its basic life history. Global positioning system (GPS) collars can provide useful information, but there has been limited information available on safe capture methods, drug doses, and efficacy for effective immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We describe a drug protocol using a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam for the chemical immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We also describe physiologic responses to immobilization drugs, including rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and relative hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) recorded every 10 min. Our study was carried out in the Tost Mountains adjacent to the Great Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia, between August 2008 and April 2012. Eighteen snow leopards were captured or recaptured with foot-snares on 42 occasions and anesthetized for marking with GPS collars. The snow leopards received on average (±SD) 0.020±0.04 mg/kg body mass medetomidine and 2.17±0.45 mg/kg tiletamine-zolazepam. The duration of ensuing anesthesia was 69±13 min, including an induction period of 10 (±4) min. Anesthesia was reversed with 4 mg (0.10±0.04 mg/kg) atipamezole administered intramuscularly. The mean value for SpO2 for the 37 captures where we could record physiologic values was 91±4. The SpO2 increased significantly during anesthesia (+0.06±0.02%/min), whereas rectal temperature (average 38.1±0.7 C/min, change -0.04±0.003 C/min), heart rate (average 97±9 beats/min, change -0.20±0.03 beats/min), and respiratory rate (average 26±6 breaths/min, change -0.11±0.03 breaths/min) decreased significantly. A dose of 80 mg tiletamine-zolazepam (2 mg/kg body weight) and 0.72 mg medetomidine (0.02 mg/kg body weight) safely immobilized all adult and subadult snow leopards (weight 25-45 kg) in our study. All measured physiologic values remained within clinically

  12. Reversible immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards (panthera uncia) with a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Örjan; Malmsten, Jonas; Mishra, Charudutt; Lkhagvajav, Purevjav; McCarthy, Tom

    2013-04-01

    Conservation and research of the elusive snow leopard (Panthera uncia) have been hampered by inadequate knowledge about its basic life history. Global positioning system (GPS) collars can provide useful information, but there has been limited information available on safe capture methods, drug doses, and efficacy for effective immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We describe a drug protocol using a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam for the chemical immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We also describe physiologic responses to immobilization drugs, including rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and relative hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) recorded every 10 min. Our study was carried out in the Tost Mountains adjacent to the Great Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia, between August 2008 and April 2012. Eighteen snow leopards were captured or recaptured with foot-snares on 42 occasions and anesthetized for marking with GPS collars. The snow leopards received on average (±SD) 0.020±0.04 mg/kg body mass medetomidine and 2.17±0.45 mg/kg tiletamine-zolazepam. The duration of ensuing anesthesia was 69±13 min, including an induction period of 10 (±4) min. Anesthesia was reversed with 4 mg (0.10±0.04 mg/kg) atipamezole administered intramuscularly. The mean value for SpO2 for the 37 captures where we could record physiologic values was 91±4. The SpO2 increased significantly during anesthesia (+0.06±0.02%/min), whereas rectal temperature (average 38.1±0.7 C/min, change -0.04±0.003 C/min), heart rate (average 97±9 beats/min, change -0.20±0.03 beats/min), and respiratory rate (average 26±6 breaths/min, change -0.11±0.03 breaths/min) decreased significantly. A dose of 80 mg tiletamine-zolazepam (2 mg/kg body weight) and 0.72 mg medetomidine (0.02 mg/kg body weight) safely immobilized all adult and subadult snow leopards (weight 25-45 kg) in our study. All measured physiologic values remained within clinically

  13. Vigorous Dynamics Underlie a Stable Population of the Endangered Snow Leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Koustubh; Bayrakcismith, Rana; Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel; Johansson, Orjan; Sevger, Purevsuren; McCarthy, Tom; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (λ = 1.08+−0.25). Comparison of model results with the “known population” of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+−0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+−0.15) and 0.77 (SE +−0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +−0.19 and 0.68, SE +−0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+−0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation. PMID:25006879

  14. Virulence of lizard malaria: the evolutionary ecology of an ancient parasite-host association.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1990-01-01

    The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with

  15. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of the lizard Podarcis hispanica.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Guijarro, F J; Soriano, E; del Rio, J A; Lopez-Garcia, C

    1991-05-01

    An antibody against the calcium binding protein parvalbumin selectively labels a set of neurons in the cerebral cortex of lizards. Golgi-like immunostained bipolar, multipolar and pyramid-like neurons appear mainly located in the inner plexiform layers. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PARV-IR) puncta are concentrated in the cell layer of the dorsal and dorsomedial cortices showing a basket-like distribution. The morphology and distribution of PARV-IR neurons and puncta overlap GABA-immunostaining in the cerebral cortex of lizards. Thus, it is likely that PARV-IR neurons are a subset of the cortical GABAergic neurons of lizards.

  16. A first record of Amblyomma dissimile (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Suzana Gomes; Andrade, Gilda Vasconcellos de; Costa-Júnior, Lívio Martins

    2010-01-01

    A non-engorged adult female Amblyomma dissimile and two Amblyomma sp. larvae were found parasitizing the lizard Ameiva ameiva in the municipality of Chapadinha, State of Maranhão. This is the first record in the state of Maranhão and fills a gap in the distribution of A. dissimile in Brazil. The lizard A. ameiva represents a new host for A. dissimile, and also the first record of this tick species infesting lizards of the family Teiidae in Brazil. PMID:21184707

  17. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    PubMed

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

  18. Evaluation of cheetah and leopard spermatozoa developmental capability after interspecific ICSI with domestic cat oocytes.

    PubMed

    Moro, L N; Sestelo, A J; Salamone, D F

    2014-08-01

    The ICSI procedure is potentially of great value for felids, and it has not been extensively studied in these species. The objectives of this work were to determine the best conditions for ICSI in the domestic cat (DC) to generate interspecific embryos by injecting cheetah (Ch) and leopard (Leo) spermatozoa. Firstly, DC oocytes were matured with insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) or without it (MM) and cultured using atmospheric (21%) or low (5%) oxygen tension after ICSI. The group ITS-5%O2 showed the highest blastocyst rate (p < 0.05), 20.9% vs 8.7%, 7% and 6.5%, for MM-21%O2 , MM-5%O2 and ITS-21%O2 , respectively. The best conditions were used to generate the interspecific embryos, together with ionomycin activation (Io) after ICSI. Interspecific embryos resulted in high rates of blastocysts that were not positively affected by Io activation: 32.6% vs 21% for Ch and Ch-Io, 9.8% vs 21% for Leo and Leo-Io, and 20% vs 17.4% for DC and DC-Io. We also evaluated DNA-fragmented nuclei of experiment 1 and 2 blastocysts, using TUNEL assay. The fragmented nucleus proportion was higher in the ITS-5%O2 group, 67.6%. Surprisingly, interspecific blastocysts showed the lowest fragmented nucleus proportion: 27% and 29.9% for Ch and Leo, respectively. We concluded that ITS and 5%O2 improve blastocyst formation in DC, although with a concomitant increase in DNA fragmentation. Most importantly, cheetah and leopard spermatozoa were able to generate blastocysts without artificial activation, which suggests that developmental capacity of wild felid spermatozoa can be evaluated by interspecific ICSI. This technique should be used to assist wild felid reproduction.

  19. Oxidative stress induced in PCB 126-exposed northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huang, Y.-W.; Hoffman, D.J.; Karasov, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Northern leopard frogs Rana pipiens exposed to PCB 126 (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl) were examined for hepatic oxidative stress. In a dose-response study, northern leopard frogs were injected intraperitoneally with either PCB 126 in corn oil (0.2, 0.7, 2.3, or 7.8 mg/kg body weight) or corn oil alone. In a time-course study, frogs received 7.8 mg/kg or corn oil alone, and were examined at 1, 2, 3, and 4 wk after dosing. Hepatic concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and total sulfhydryls (total SH), as well as activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-P), GSSG reductase (GSSG-R), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH), and glutathione S-transferase (GSH-S-T) were measured. In the dose-response experiment, few effects were apparent 1 wk after dosing. In the time-course experiment, significant changes were observed in the 7.8-mg/kg group at 2 wk or more posttreatment. Hepatic concentrations of GSH and TBARS were higher than in corresponding controls at wk 3 and 4; the activities of GSSG-R and GSH-S-T were higher than in controls at wk 2 and 4; and the activity of G-6-PDH was increased at wk 2 and 4. These data collectively indicate that altered glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress occurred and were indicative of both toxicity and induction of protective mechanisms in frogs exposed to PCB. A similar delay in response was reported in fish and may relate to lower metabolic rate and physiological reactions in ectothermic vertebrates

  20. Evaluation of metomidate hydrochloride as an anesthetic in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    PubMed

    Doss, Grayson A; Nevarez, Javier G; Fowlkes, Natalie; da Cunha, Anderson F

    2014-03-01

    Metomidate hydrochloride is an imidazole-based, nonbarbiturate hypnotic drug primarily used as an immersion sedation and anesthetic agent in freshwater and marine finfish. To the authors' knowledge, there is no documentation in the literature of its use in amphibians. In this study, 7 male and 4 female leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) were induced with metomidate hydrochloride via immersion bath at a concentration of 30 mg/L for 60 min. The pH of the induction solution ranged from 7.63 to 7.75. Each frog was then removed from the induction solution, rinsed, and recovered in 26.6 degrees C amphibian Ringer's solution. After 210 min in the Ringer's solution, the frogs were transferred to moist paper towels for recovery. Heart rate, gular and abdominal respiration rates, righting reflex, superficial and deep pain withdrawal reflexes, corneal and palpebral reflexes, and escape response were monitored and recorded at defined intervals during both induction and recovery. The average time to loss of righting reflex and escape response was 17.36 min and 17.82 min, respectively. Metomidate produced clinical sedation in all frogs (n = 11). Surgical anesthesia was achieved in only 27% (3/11), with an anesthetic duration that ranged from 9 to 20 min. Recovery times were extremely prolonged and varied, with a range from 313 min to longer than 600 min. The findings of this study indicate that metomidate hydrochloride is unsuitable as a sole anesthetic agent in leopard frogs, and further research is needed to evaluate its suitability in other amphibians. PMID:24712162

  1. Body mass dynamics in hand reared clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) cubs from birth to weaning.

    PubMed

    Nájera, Fernando; Brown, Janine; Wildt, David E; Virolle, Laurie; Kongprom, Urarikha; Revuelta, Luis; Goodrowe-Beck, Karen

    2015-01-01

    To study the dynamics of body mass changes in hand reared clouded leopards, we analyzed 3,697 weight data points during the first 3 months of life in 49 cubs from 24 zoo-born litters from 2003 through 2012. All cubs were fed the same formula mixture after a similar weaning protocol. The hand rearing process was divided into three periods based on feeding protocols: Stage 1: formula only (Days 1-28; Day 0 = day of birth); Stage 2, formula supplemented with protein (e.g., turkey baby food; Days 29-42); Stage 3, formula in decreasing amounts supplemented with meat (chicken and/or beef; Days 43-90). Weights at birth were 11.2% higher (P < 0.001) for males (n = 29) than females (n = 20). Daily weight gain was slowest (P < 0.05) during Stage 1 when cubs were fed straight formula only and fastest during Stage 3 when provided a mixture of formula and meat. Mean growth rate (± SD) during hand rearing differed (P < 0.05) by gender, being 34.6 ± 1.4 g/day for male and 30.0 ± 1.2 g/day for female cubs. Eighteen cubs (37%) exhibited mild to severe diarrhea during the study; however, palliative treatment resulted in similar (P > 0.05) growth and weaning weights compared to healthy counterparts. These are the first data documenting, on a large scale, the growth patterns for zoo born, hand reared clouded leopard cubs. Findings are valuable as an aid in managing this rare species, including for helping identify early onset of medical issues and further determining key factors regulating the first 3 months of development. PMID:25716685

  2. Hypothermia modulates circadian clock gene expression in lizard peripheral tissues.

    PubMed

    Vallone, Daniela; Frigato, Elena; Vernesi, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto; Foulkes, Nicholas S; Bertolucci, Cristiano

    2007-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms whereby the circadian clock responds to temperature changes are poorly understood. The ruin lizard Podarcis sicula has historically proven to be a valuable vertebrate model for exploring the influence of temperature on circadian physiology. It is an ectotherm that naturally experiences an impressive range of temperatures during the course of the year. However, no tools have been available to dissect the molecular basis of the clock in this organism. Here, we report the cloning of three lizard clock gene homologs (Period2, Cryptochrome1, and Clock) that have a close phylogenetic relationship with avian clock genes. These genes are expressed in many tissues and show a rhythmic expression profile at 29 degrees C in light-dark and constant darkness lighting conditions, with phases comparable to their mammalian and avian counterparts. Interestingly, we show that at low temperatures (6 degrees C), cycling clock gene expression is attenuated in peripheral clocks with a characteristic increase in basal expression levels. We speculate that this represents a conserved vertebrate clock gene response to low temperatures. Furthermore, these results bring new insight into the issue of whether circadian clock function is compatible with hypothermia.

  3. Historical contingency and behavioural divergence in territorial Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Ord, T J

    2012-10-01

    The extent that evolution - including adaptation - is historically contingent (dependent on past events) has often been hotly debated, but is still poorly understood. In particular, there are little data on the degree that behaviour, an aspect of the phenotype that is strongly linked to contemporary environments (social or physical), retains the imprint of evolutionary history. In this study, I examined whether differences in the design of the territorial displays among species of Caribbean Anolis lizards reflect island-specific selection regimes, or historically contingent predispositions associated with different clade histories. Adult males advertise territory ownership using a series of headbobs and dewlap extensions, bouts of which vary in duration among species. When display durations were mapped onto the Anolis phylogeny, prominent differences between species belonging to the Western and Eastern Caribbean radiations were apparent. Statistical analyses confirmed that species differences in the duration of headbob displays, and to some extent the duration of dewlap extensions, were historically contingent. The unique evolutionary histories of each clade have seemingly had a profound effect on the subsequent direction of display evolution among descendent taxa. These results combined with those from previous studies on these lizards show that past history can have an important impact on the type of behaviour exhibited by species today, to the point that adaptive evolution can proceed quite differently in lineages originating from different evolutionary starting points. PMID:22862423

  4. Age structured dynamical model for an endangered lizard Eulamprus leuraensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Supriatna, A. K.; Rachmadani, Q.; Ilahi, F.; Anggriani, N.; Nuraini, N.

    2014-02-01

    The Blue Mountains Water Skink, Eulamprus leuraensis, is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. This lizard species has a typical characteristic of growth with a low fecundity. It is known that the offspring quality may decline with maternal age of the parents despite they can grow rapidly from neonatal size to adult size within two to three years. It is also believed that low adult survival rates and specialization on rare and fragmented type of habitat are the main cause leading to the endangered status of the lizard. A mathematical model with age structure for Eulamprus leuraensis, taking into account the variation of survival rate in each structure and the declining of offspring quality with respect to maternal age is considered here. Stable coexistence of non-trivial equilibriumis shown. It is also shown that an endangered status is due to combination oflow reproductive output and low rates of adult survival. Further, understanding the age structure within populations can facilitate efective management of the endangered species.

  5. Postautotomy tail activity in the Balearic lizard, Podarcis lilfordi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Valakos, Efstratios

    2008-03-01

    Caudal autotomy is an effective antipredator strategy widespread among lizards. The shed tail thrashes vigorously for long periods to distract the predator and facilitate the lizard’s escape. This movement is maintained by energy supplied by the anaerobic conversion of glycogen into lactate. It has been suggested that lactate accumulation serves as an index for the vigor of tail thrashing. We made three predictions: (1) tail loss frequency should be higher under heavier predation regime, (2) the duration of postautotomy tail movement should be extended in populations under heavy predation pressure as an adaptation to the higher risk and the increased need for defense, and (3) as result, lactate in these tail tissues should be concentrated at higher levels. To eliminate the impact of phylogeny and environmental factors on the interpretation of our result, we focused exclusively on one species, the Balearic lizard ( Podarcis lilfordi). We studied three populations under different predation pressure but sharing the same climatic conditions. We found no differences among the studied populations either in postautotomy duration of tail movement or in levels of final lactate accumulation while autotomy frequency was higher where predation pressure was more intense. Τail loss effectiveness is directly influenced by the level of predation, while secondary features of the trait appear to remain independent from the impact of environment.

  6. Embryonic oxygen enhances learning ability in hatchling lizards

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Producing smart offspring is an important fitness trait; individuals with enhanced cognitive ability should be more adept at responding to complex environmental demands. Cognitive ability can be influenced by conditions experienced during embryonic development. Although oxygen is necessary for embryonic development, availability can be limited within the nest environment because of substrate type, hydric conditions, and temperature. We do not yet understand, however, whether oxygen availability during embryonic development influences offspring fitness, especially cognitive ability. To address this question we incubated Mongolian Racerunner lizard (Eremias argus) eggs under hypoxic (12% O2), normoxic (21% O2), and hyperoxic conditions (30% O2). Results Hypoxia not only slowed hatching time, but also resulted in constrained cognitive ability relative to hatchlings experiencing normoxic or hyperoxic incubation conditions. Oxygen did not influence hatching success, body size or sprint speed of hatchlings. Conclusions Oxygen availability during embryonic development has important influences on incubation duration and cognitive ability of hatchling lizards. This study provides the first evidence that oxygen availability during embryonic development can modify cognitive ability of oviparous reptiles. PMID:24589451

  7. Mother-offspring interactions affect natal dispersal in a lizard.

    PubMed Central

    Le Galliard, Jean-François; Ferrière, Régis; Clobert, Jean

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between relatives operate strong selective pressures on dispersal. Recently, a correlative study in the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) suggested that natal dispersal might respond plastically to mother-offspring interactions. Here, we describe a factorial experiment supporting this observation. Two crossed treatments were applied to experimental patches of the common lizard: (i) presence versus absence of the mother, inducing a difference of kinship in offspring neighbourhoods; and (ii) high versus low patch density, resulting in two levels of conspecific abundance and modulating the effect of mother presence on the average kinship within a patch. Dispersal of the same cohort of offspring was observed at the juvenile and yearling stages. We found a sex-dependent response of offspring dispersal to the removal of the mother at the two stages. During the juvenile stage, higher dispersal was found in females in the presence of the mother, with males unaffected. During the yearling stage, the responses of both sexes to the presence of the mother opposed each other. In addition, we found a negative relationship between dispersal and patch density at the juvenile stage. No interaction between density and the presence of the mother was detected, which suggests that behavioural responses to kinship and density are disconnected and that kinship is assessed at a small social scale. We discuss the role of competition and inbreeding avoidance to explain the observed pattern. PMID:12816655

  8. Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran.

    PubMed

    Smíd, Jiří; Moravec, Jiří; Kodym, Petr; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Yousefkhani, Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian; Frynta, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We present a comprehensive summary of the distribution of the lizards of Iran accompanied by an annotated checklist. The updated maps of distribution of all 146 species of 41 genera of 11 families are based on all available bibliographic records, catalogues of museum collections and our own field observations. The final dataset used for the distribution maps contains 8525 georeferenced records and cover 41% of the country when plotted on a grid of 0.25° × 0.25° resolution. The dataset is publicly accessible through GBIF portal (http://www.gbif.org/dataset/7db4f705-61ae-4c6e-9de2-06674e7d46b2). Following the latest biogeographic division of the country, ~53% of the species (76 species) inhabit the Iranian Province, ~41% (60 species) the Western Asian mountain transition zone, ~9% (13 species) the Turanian Province, and ~18% (27 species) the Arabian Province. In addition, ~2% (3 species) reach Iran from the Indo-Malay biogeographic region and ~2% (3 species) are believed to have been introduced to Iran by humans. Endemic species (46) represent ~32% of the known species diversity. The most species-rich family of lizards in Iran is Lacertidae with 47 species, followed by Gekkonidae (41), Agamidae (18), Scincidae (15), Phyllodactylidae (10), Sphaerodactylidae (4), Eublepharidae and Uromastycidae (3), Anguidae and Varanidae (2), and Trogonophidae with one representative. 

  9. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-07-01

    Vertebrates possess diverse sex-determining systems, which differ in evolutionary stability among particular groups. It has been suggested that poikilotherms possess more frequent turnovers of sex chromosomes than homoiotherms, whose effective thermoregulation can prevent the emergence of the sex reversals induced by environmental temperature. Squamate reptiles used to be regarded as a group with an extensive variability in sex determination; however, we document how the rather old radiation of lizards from the genus Anolis, known for exceptional ecomorphological variability, was connected with stability in sex chromosomes. We found that 18 tested species, representing most of the phylogenetic diversity of the genus, share the gene content of their X chromosomes. Furthermore, we discovered homologous sex chromosomes in species of two genera (Sceloporus and Petrosaurus) from the family Phrynosomatidae, serving here as an outgroup to Anolis. We can conclude that the origin of sex chromosomes within iguanas largely predates the Anolis radiation and that the sex chromosomes of iguanas remained conserved for a significant part of their evolutionary history. Next to therian mammals and birds, Anolis lizards therefore represent another adaptively radiated amniote clade with conserved sex chromosomes. We argue that the evolutionary stability of sex-determining systems may reflect an advanced stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes rather than thermoregulation strategy.

  10. [Using thin-layer chromatography of fecal bile acid to study the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica) population].

    PubMed

    Khorozian, I G; Cazon, A; Malkhasian, A G; Abramov, A V

    2007-01-01

    Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) of fecal bile acids has been used to confirm visual identification of 30 scat samples found in Armenia from April 2004 to November 2005 and attributed to the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica). The results of TLC do not differ significantly from those of visual identification, confirming the reliability of the latter method. All samples identified incorrectly (lynx and wolf scats) are from the Meghri Ridge, indicating that the ecological niches of the three predators apparently overlap in this area. Taking into account the frequency and distribution of scats, two priority areas for leopard conservation have been identified: the Central and Khachadzor districts of the Khosrov Nature Reserve and the Nuvadi-Shvanidzor area in eastern Meghri ridge.

  11. Post-Wildfire Sedimentation in Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District, and Effects on Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, John T.C.

    2006-01-01

    The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park occupies about 272 square kilometers of mountains, canyons, and alluvial fans in southeastern Arizona just east of Tucson. The park contains some of the last remaining habitat in the Tucson Basin of the lowland leopard frog that lives in the bedrock pools called tinajas in canyons at elevations between 850 and 1,800 meters. Those tinajas that contain water year-round are critical winter habitat for tadpoles, and the breeding success of the leopard frogs depends on these features. In recent years, many tinajas that previously had provided habitat for the leopard frogs have been buried beneath large volumes of coarse sandy gravel that resulted from severe, stand-replacing wildfires in the watersheds above them. The U. S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Park Service, conducted a study in 2004-06 to determine critical sediment-source areas, and the mechanisms of sediment delivery from hillslopes to stream channels to areas of leopard frog habitat and to estimate the increase in rates of sedimentation resulting from wildfires. Spatial data of watershed characteristics, as well as historical data, including photographs, monitoring surveys, precipitation and stream discharge records, were used in conjunction with field observations conducted between spring 2004 and fall 2005. The Helens II fire in 2003, the fifth largest wildfire to burn in the Rincon Mountains since 1989, offered an opportunity to observe mechanisms of sediment erosion, transport, and deposition in the immediate post-fire environment. Reduction of the forest canopy, understory vegetation, and organic litter on the ground surface in severe burn areas caused increased surface runoff in the Joaquin Canyon watershed that led to intensified erosion of hillslopes. An initial flush of fine material, mostly ash, was transported to lower channel reaches with the first significant precipitation event following the fire. Subsequently, the main

  12. Experimental exposure of adult San Marcos salamanders and larval leopard frogs to the cercariae of Centrocestus formosanus.

    PubMed

    Huston, D C; Cantu, V; Huffman, D G

    2014-04-01

    The gill parasite Centrocestus formosanus (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) is an exotic parasite of concern in Texas because it has been shown to infect multiple threatened and endangered fish species. The purpose of this study was to determine if C. formosanus could present a threat to larval anurans, as well as threatened neotenic salamanders endemic to the spring-fed systems of Texas. We exposed adults of the San Marcos salamander Eurycea nana (Caudata: Plethodontidae) and tadpoles of the Rio Grande leopard frog Lithobates berlandieri (Anura: Ranidae) to the cercariae of C. formosanus . The San Marcos salamander showed no signs of metacercarial infection, suggesting that E. nana may be refractory to C. formosanus cercariae. Centrocestus formosanus readily infects the gills of leopard frog tadpoles, but the metacercariae apparently died prior to reaching maturity in our tadpoles.

  13. Dirofilaria immitis infection of a snow leopard (Uncia uncia) in a Japanese zoo with mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Murata, Koichi; Yanai, Tokuma; Agatsuma, Takeshi; Uni, Shigehiko

    2003-08-01

    Three dog heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) were detected in the lumen of the right cardiac ventriculus and of the pulmonary artery of a captive female snow leopard (Uncia uncia) that died of pancreatic carcinoma at a zoo in Japan. Neither clinical respiratory nor circulatory symptoms caused by the heartworm infection were observed. The filarial worms were identified as D. immitis from the morphologic characteristics of the esophagus, the presence of faint longitudinal ridges on the cuticular surface, the situation of vulva posterior to the esophagus, and the measurements of the body. The heartworms from the snow leopard were identical to that of D. immitis from dogs in the sequence of the cytochrome oxidase I region in the mitochondrial DNA. This host record is the first of D. immitis in U. uncia.

  14. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-01-01

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades. PMID:26624083

  15. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-09-18

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades.

  16. The effect of exogenous testosterone on ectoparasite loads in free-ranging western fence lizards.

    PubMed

    Pollock, Nicholas B; Vredevoe, Larisa K; Taylor, Emily N

    2012-08-01

    Numerous factors impact the dynamics of host-parasite relationships, such as host sex, hormonal state, reproductive condition, host health, and behavior. In particular, males from a variety of taxa frequently carry heavier parasite burdens than females, particularly during breeding season when testosterone concentrations are elevated. Using western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), we tested the hypothesis that high circulating testosterone concentrations in male lizards induce high tick and mite loads. We implanted male lizards with either testosterone or control implants in the field during the spring, when tick and mite loads are highest. One month later, testosterone-implanted males had significantly higher tick loads, but lower mite loads, than control males. These results suggest that testosterone differentially impacts ectoparasitic acarine burdens. Testosterone may modulate aspects of lizard physiology and behavior that enhance or diminish parasitism by certain acarines during periods of peak reproductive effort. PMID:22689269

  17. Management of a black leopard (Panthera pardus) with seasonal atopy and cutaneous adverse food reaction by using transmucosal immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Newton, Heather P; Gamble, Kathryn C; Friberg, Cecilia

    2013-03-01

    An 11-yr-old female black leopard (Panthera pardus) was presented with pruritus and intermittent gastrointestinal distress for a duration of 18 mo. Dietary elimination trial and challenge confirmed food hypersensitivity. Milder and persistent pruritus, while consuming a strict elimination diet, confirmed atopic dermatitis also was related to airborne environmental triggers identified by intradermal allergy testing. Ultimately, atopy was controlled successfully by antihistamines and transmucosal immunotherapy for 7 yr after diagnosis.

  18. Temporal occurrence and community structure of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, from north central Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Vhora, M Suhail; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-03-01

    Currently, little information is available about the temporal recruitment of helminth communities in amphibian hosts. We examined the helminth community structure and temporal recruitment of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala. Specifically, we were interested in how host life history such as habitat, age and/or size, diet, sex, and temporal variation in abiotic factors (precipitation and temperature) were important in determining monthly infection patterns of helminth populations and communities in southern leopard frogs. From May to September 2011, 74 southern leopard frogs were collected from Teal Ridge in Stillwater Payne County, OK, USA. Sixty-nine (93 %) of 74 frogs were infected with 1 or more helminth species. During our collecting period, the average monthly temperature was lowest in May and highest in July, and monthly precipitation was highest in May and lowest during the first week of September. The component community consisted of 11 species of helminth, including 1 larval and 1 adult cestode, 2 larval and 3 adult trematodes, and 1 juvenile and 3 adult nematodes. Of the 1790 helminths recovered, 51 % (911) were nematodes, 47 % (842) were cestodes, and 2 % (37) were trematodes. There were significant differences in the total abundance and mean species richness of helminths acquired by skin contact or through frog diet in monthly component communities of southern leopard frogs. A positive correlation existed for percentage of all helminths acquired by skin contact and monthly precipitation (r = 0.94, P < 0.01). Conversely, a negative correlation existed for monthly precipitation and percentage of helminths acquired by diet (r = -0.94, P < 0.01). Our results indicate that abiotic conditions such as precipitation have a major influence on the avenues for and constraints on the transmission of helminths with life cycles associated with water/moisture or terrestrial intermediate/paratenic hosts and are important in structuring

  19. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population. PMID:26857980

  20. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population.

  1. On the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards: A unifying physical perspective.

    PubMed

    Aristoff, Jeffrey M; Stocker, Roman; Reis, Pedro M; Jung, Sunghwan

    2011-03-01

    We consider two biological phenomena taking place at the air-water interface: the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards. Although seemingly disparate motions, we show that they are intimately linked by their underlying hydrodynamics and belong to a broader class of processes called Froude mechanisms. We describe how both felines and lizards exploit inertia to defeat gravity, and discuss water lapping and water running in the broader context of water exit and water entry, respectively.

  2. Dicofol and DDT residues in lizard carcasses and bird eggs from Texas, Florida, and California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Hothem, R.L.; Belisle, A.A.

    1995-01-01

    Relatively high dicofol residues occured in some lizards in Texas citrus orchards in early summer when female lizards were producing eggs. The data from bird eggs were too few for conclusions, but to detect peak residue loads, future dicofol studies should concentrate on predaceous bird species likely to feed within the treated agricultural habitats, and collecting of eggs for analysis should begin within days after spray application.

  3. Uncommon or cryptic? Challenges in estimating leopard seal abundance by conventional but state-of-the-art methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southwell, Colin; Paxton, Charles G. M.; Borchers, David; Boveng, Peter; Rogers, Tracey; de la Mare, William K.

    2008-04-01

    The method traditionally used to estimate pack-ice seal abundance employs sighting surveys from ships or aircraft to estimate the number of seals hauled out on the ice, combined with studies of haul-out behaviour to estimate the proportion of time spent on the ice. Application of this approach has been improved in recent times by developments in survey methodology and satellite technology that theoretically allow biases in the estimation of hauled-out abundance and haul-out behaviour to be accounted for that previously could not be addressed. A survey using these conventional but state-of-the-art methods was undertaken in the summer of 1999/2000 off east Antarctica between longitudes 64°E and 150°E to estimate the abundance of leopard ( Hydrurga leptonyx) and other pack-ice seal species. Because they are either uncommon or very cryptic, very few leopard seals were encountered despite a large survey effort. This presented challenges in both application of the methods and analysis of the data. Abundance estimates were derived using a number of plausible predictive models. The model considered as the most reliable returned best estimates of 7300 and 12,100 for definite and definite plus probable leopard seal sightings, respectively, with 95% confidence intervals of 3700-14,500 and 7100-23,400. These estimates are likely to be negatively biased and should be treated as minimum estimates only.

  4. Twenty-five thousand years of fluctuating selection on leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness in horses

    PubMed Central

    Ludwig, Arne; Reissmann, Monika; Benecke, Norbert; Bellone, Rebecca; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Cieslak, Michael; Fortes, Gloria G.; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Hofreiter, Michael; Pruvost, Melanie

    2015-01-01

    Leopard complex spotting is inherited by the incompletely dominant locus, LP, which also causes congenital stationary night blindness in homozygous horses. We investigated an associated single nucleotide polymorphism in the TRPM1 gene in 96 archaeological bones from 31 localities from Late Pleistocene (approx. 17 000 YBP) to medieval times. The first genetic evidence of LP spotting in Europe dates back to the Pleistocene. We tested for temporal changes in the LP associated allele frequency and estimated coefficients of selection by means of approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our results show that at least some of the observed frequency changes are congruent with shifts in artificial selection pressure for the leopard complex spotting phenotype. In early domestic horses from Kirklareli–Kanligecit (Turkey) dating to 2700–2200 BC, a remarkably high number of leopard spotted horses (six of 10 individuals) was detected including one adult homozygote. However, LP seems to have largely disappeared during the late Bronze Age, suggesting selection against this phenotype in early domestic horses. During the Iron Age, LP reappeared, probably by reintroduction into the domestic gene pool from wild animals. This picture of alternating selective regimes might explain how genetic diversity was maintained in domestic animals despite selection for specific traits at different times. PMID:25487337

  5. Twenty-five thousand years of fluctuating selection on leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness in horses.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Arne; Reissmann, Monika; Benecke, Norbert; Bellone, Rebecca; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Cieslak, Michael; Fortes, Gloria G; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Hofreiter, Michael; Pruvost, Melanie

    2015-01-19

    Leopard complex spotting is inherited by the incompletely dominant locus, LP, which also causes congenital stationary night blindness in homozygous horses. We investigated an associated single nucleotide polymorphism in the TRPM1 gene in 96 archaeological bones from 31 localities from Late Pleistocene (approx. 17 000 YBP) to medieval times. The first genetic evidence of LP spotting in Europe dates back to the Pleistocene. We tested for temporal changes in the LP associated allele frequency and estimated coefficients of selection by means of approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our results show that at least some of the observed frequency changes are congruent with shifts in artificial selection pressure for the leopard complex spotting phenotype. In early domestic horses from Kirklareli-Kanligecit (Turkey) dating to 2700-2200 BC, a remarkably high number of leopard spotted horses (six of 10 individuals) was detected including one adult homozygote. However, LP seems to have largely disappeared during the late Bronze Age, suggesting selection against this phenotype in early domestic horses. During the Iron Age, LP reappeared, probably by reintroduction into the domestic gene pool from wild animals. This picture of alternating selective regimes might explain how genetic diversity was maintained in domestic animals despite selection for specific traits at different times.

  6. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation.

  7. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation. PMID:27408548

  8. Twenty-five thousand years of fluctuating selection on leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness in horses.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Arne; Reissmann, Monika; Benecke, Norbert; Bellone, Rebecca; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Cieslak, Michael; Fortes, Gloria G; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Hofreiter, Michael; Pruvost, Melanie

    2015-01-19

    Leopard complex spotting is inherited by the incompletely dominant locus, LP, which also causes congenital stationary night blindness in homozygous horses. We investigated an associated single nucleotide polymorphism in the TRPM1 gene in 96 archaeological bones from 31 localities from Late Pleistocene (approx. 17 000 YBP) to medieval times. The first genetic evidence of LP spotting in Europe dates back to the Pleistocene. We tested for temporal changes in the LP associated allele frequency and estimated coefficients of selection by means of approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our results show that at least some of the observed frequency changes are congruent with shifts in artificial selection pressure for the leopard complex spotting phenotype. In early domestic horses from Kirklareli-Kanligecit (Turkey) dating to 2700-2200 BC, a remarkably high number of leopard spotted horses (six of 10 individuals) was detected including one adult homozygote. However, LP seems to have largely disappeared during the late Bronze Age, suggesting selection against this phenotype in early domestic horses. During the Iron Age, LP reappeared, probably by reintroduction into the domestic gene pool from wild animals. This picture of alternating selective regimes might explain how genetic diversity was maintained in domestic animals despite selection for specific traits at different times. PMID:25487337

  9. Histology of selected tissues of the leopard seal and implications for functional adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2006-01-01

    The microscopic anatomy of the cardio-respiratory system, digestive system, kidney, lymphatic system and integument was investigated in the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, by examining histological sections of tissues collected from leopard seals in Antarctica and New South Wales, Australia. The majority of the tissues had similar histological features to those described in terrestrial mammals and other pinniped species, particularly phocid seals. Differences noted included readily identifiable Purkinje cells within the endocardium, muscular rather than cartilaginous reinforcement of the smaller airways, a single capillary layer within the alveolar septa, limited and variable keratinization of the oesophageal epithelium, few lymphoid follicles within the lamina propria of the gastrointestinal tract, and an absence of a sporta perimedullaris musculosa described in the kidney of cetaceans and some pinniped species. Adaptations of the lung, spleen and integument, similar to those described in other pinnipeds, including reinforcement of the pulmonary terminal airways, prominent pulmonary interlobular septa, ample smooth muscle in the capsule and trabeculae of the spleen, increased thickness of the epidermis, well-developed dermal sebaceous glands, and a thick blubber layer, appear to confer upon the leopard seal advantages related to its aquatic lifestyle. PMID:16879598

  10. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation. PMID:27408548

  11. Frustrated appetitive foraging behavior, stereotypic pacing, and fecal glucocorticoid levels in snow leopards (Uncia uncia) in the Zurich Zoo.

    PubMed

    Burgener, Nicole; Gusset, Markus; Schmid, Hans

    2008-01-01

    This study hypothesized that permanently frustrated, appetitive-foraging behavior caused the stereotypic pacing regularly observed in captive carnivores. Using 2 adult female snow leopards (Uncia uncia), solitarily housed in the Zurich Zoo, the study tested this hypothesis experimentally with a novel feeding method: electronically controlled, time-regulated feeding boxes. The expected result of employing this active foraging device as a successful coping strategy was reduced behavioral and physiological measures of stress, compared with a control-feeding regime without feeding boxes. The study assessed this through behavioral observations and by evaluating glucocorticoid levels noninvasively from feces. Results indicated that the 2 snow leopards did not perform successful coping behavior through exercising active foraging behavior or through displaying the stereotypic pacing. The data support a possible explanation: The box-feeding method did not provide the 2 snow leopards with the external stimuli to satisfy their appetitive behavioral needs. Moreover, numerous other factors not necessarily or exclusively related to appetitive behavior could have caused and influenced the stereotypic pacing. PMID:18444028

  12. The use of a lacertid lizard as a model for reptile ecotoxicology studies: part 2--biomarkers of exposure and toxicity among pesticide exposed lizards.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Maria José; Bicho, Rita C; Carretero, Miguel A; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Faustino, Augusto M R; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2012-05-01

    As part of a wider study examining the impacts of corn pesticides on lacertid lizards in north-western Portugal, we examined various physiological, biochemical, and histological biomarkers of exposure and effect among field populations of Podarcis bocagei. Biomarkers included body condition index, standard metabolic rate, locomotor performance, parasitization, glutathione oxidative pathways and related enzyme activity, lipid peroxidation and liver and testis histology. Few of the various biomarkers investigated provided statistically significant evidence of toxic effect. However, using a weight of evidence approach, we conclude that pesticides are affecting lizards living in the vicinity of pesticide exposed corn agriculture sites. Lizards from these locations present a profile of animals under metabolic stress with reduced condition indices, increased standard metabolic rate, lower incidence of hepatocyte vacuolation, altered iron metabolism, increased activation of GSH oxidation pathways, and even increased prevalence of hemoparasites.

  13. The impact of the introduction of the colubrid snake, Boiga irregularis, on Guam's lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.

    1992-01-01

    The extirpation of Guam's forest avifauna has been attributed to the accidental introduction and subsequent irruption of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis. However, recent dietary studies of this nocturnal arboreal snake indicate that it now preys primarily on lizards, not birds. We evaluated the effect the snake has had on Guam's lizards by contrasting lizard communities on Guam with those on adjacent snake-free islands and by comparing the extant lizard communities on Guam with those that were present before the snake arrived. Both comparisons revealed radical reductions in abundance of Guam's native nocturnal lizards and the extirpation of several species. The effect of the snake on diurnal lizards (skinks) is more equivocal. Skinks are still common on Guam, but several species no longer exist on the island. Identification of causes of these extirpations is complicated by the snake's elimination of an important avian skink predator, the concurrent irruption of a shrew, and the effects of predation and competition between the native skinks and an introduced skink.

  14. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups for females but not for males, whereas parasitemia was significantly correlated with lymphocyte counts for males, but not for females. This study supports the theory that infection with P. mexicanum stimulates the lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear. PMID:24945903

  15. Influence of predation pressure on the escape behaviour of Podarcis muralis lizards.

    PubMed

    Diego-Rasilla, F J.

    2003-05-28

    Relationships between predator avoidance behaviour and predation pressure were investigated in the wall lizard, Podarcis muralis. The wariness of lizards belonging to high (1185m) and low elevation (308m) populations under two different predation pressure levels was compared. Wall lizards belonging to the lowland population experienced greater predation pressure than those belonging to the highland population. Lizards belonging to the population under higher predation pressure had higher frequency of refuge use, and had longer flight initiation distances (i.e. the distance lizards allowed the observer to approach before fleeing). In contrast, neither the distance fled (i.e. the total distance they fled in one continuous movement from the lizard's initial position until hiding or stopping at a safe distance) nor the distance to the nearest refuge were significantly different between populations. Escape responses were independent of ambient temperature in the lowland population, but animals belonging to the highland population had longer flight initiation distances when the ambient temperatures were higher. These findings suggest that predator avoidance behaviour may vary with predation pressure.

  16. Male-biased predation of western green lizards by Eurasian kestrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, David; Bruner, Emiliano; Fanfani, Alberto; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2007-12-01

    Selective predation can be an important force driving the evolution of organisms. In particular, sex-biased predation is expected to have implications for sexual selection, sex allocation and population dynamics. In this study, we analysed sex differences in the predation of the western green lizard ( Lacerta bilineata) by the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus) during the reproductive season. In addition, we investigated whether the rate of predation differed during the 8-year study period and among the three habitats studied. We collected lizard remains from nest boxes of kestrels. Freshly killed lizards were sexed by visual inspection, whilst the sex of head remains was assigned by analysing the cephalic scale morphology using geometric morphometrics. Our results show that the risk of being predated by a kestrel in our population was overall about 3.55 times higher for males than for females. To our knowledge this is the first study showing a male-biased predation in a lizard species. The selective predation of males was consistent between years over the 8-year study period (1999-2006) and also consistent between the three types of kestrel hunting habitat. Overall predation rates on lizards differed between habitats, depending on the year. We propose that the observed sex-biased predation is mainly due to sex differences in lizard behaviour.

  17. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  18. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups for females but not for males, whereas parasitemia was significantly correlated with lymphocyte counts for males, but not for females. This study supports the theory that infection with P. mexicanum stimulates the lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear.

  19. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    PubMed

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  20. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    PubMed

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms.

  1. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance.

  2. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters)

    PubMed Central

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2014-01-01

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation. PMID:25533521

  3. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    PubMed

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms. PMID:24956958

  4. Running on water: Three-dimensional force generation by basilisk lizards

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, S. Tonia; Lauder, George V.

    2004-01-01

    Water provides a unique challenge for legged locomotion because it readily yields to any applied force. Previous studies have shown that static stability during locomotion is possible only when the center of mass remains within a theoretical region of stability. Running across a highly yielding surface could move the center of mass beyond the edges of the region of stability, potentially leading to tripping or falling. Yet basilisk lizards are proficient water runners, regularly dashing across bodies of water to evade predators. We present here direct measurements of time-averaged force produced by juvenile plumed basilisk lizards (Basiliscus plumifrons) while running across water. By using digital particle image velocimetry to visualize fluid flow induced by foot movement, we show that sufficient support force is generated for a lizard to run across water and that novel strategies are also required to run across a highly yielding surface. Juvenile basilisk lizards produce greatest support and propulsive forces during the first half of the step, when the foot moves primarily vertically downwards into the water; they also produce large transverse reaction forces that change from medial (79% body weight) to lateral (37% body weight) throughout the step. These forces may act to dynamically stabilize the lizards during water running. Our results give insight into the mechanics of how basilisk lizards run across water and, on a broader scale, provide a conceptual basis for how locomotor surface properties can challenge established rules for the mechanics of legged locomotion. PMID:15550546

  5. Postbite elevation in tongue-flicking rate by an iguanian lizard,Dipsosaurus dorsalis.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E; Alberts, A C

    1993-10-01

    The herbivorous iguanid lizardDipsosaurus dorsalis exhibited PETF (postbite elevation in tongue-flicking rate), an increase in tongue-flicking rate after experimental removal from the mouth of food that had been bitten. This was demonstrated by a significantly higher tongue-flick rate after having bitten food than in three experimental conditions controlling for responses to the experimental setting, sight of food, and mechanical disturbance caused by the experimental removal of food from a lizard's mouth. As in most other families of lizards, PETF was brief, occurring only during the first minute. Lizards are divided into two major suprafamilial taxa, Iguania and Scleroglossa, consisting of carnivorous species characterized by two major foraging modes, ambush and active, and of herbivores and omnivores. PETF is absent in the two families of carnivorous iguanian lizards studied that are ambush foragers but present in three families of scleroglossan lizards that are active foragers. However, PETF is absent in the two species studied in a scleroglossan family, Gekkonidae, which forages by ambush, and present in an iguanian herbivore, as reported herein. We propose that the presence or absence of PETF, in addition to its phylogenetic determinants, is adaptively adjusted to foraging mode.

  6. Reactions of green lizards (Lacerta viridis) to major repellent compounds secreted by Graphosoma lineatum (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae).

    PubMed

    Gregorovičová, Martina; Černíková, Alena

    2015-06-01

    The chemical defence of Heteroptera is primarily based on repellent secretions which signal the potential toxicity of the bug to its predators. We tested the aversive reactions of green lizards (Lacerta viridis) towards the major compounds of the defensive secretion of Graphosoma lineatum, specifically: (i) a mixture of three aldehydes: (E)-hex-2-enal, (E)-oct-2-enal, (E)-dec-2-enal; (ii) a mixture of these three aldehydes and tridecane; (iii) oxoaldehyde: (E)-4-oxohex-2-enal; (iv) secretion extracted from metathoracic scent glands of G. lineatum adults and (v) hexane as a non-polar solvent. All chemicals were presented on a palatable food (Tenebrio molitor larvae). The aversive reactions of the green lizards towards the mealworms were evaluated by observing the approach latencies, attack latencies and approach-attack intervals. The green lizards exhibited a strong aversive reaction to the mixture of three aldehydes. Tridecane reduced the aversive reaction to the aldehyde mixture. Oxoaldehyde caused the weakest, but still significant, aversive reaction. The secretion from whole metathoracic scent glands also clearly had an aversive effect on the green lizards. Moreover, when a living specimen of G. lineatum or Pyrrhocoris apterus (another aposematic red-and-black prey) was presented to the green lizards before the trials with the aldehyde mixture, the aversive effect of the mixture was enhanced. In conclusion, the mixture of three aldehydes had the strong aversive effect and could signal the potential toxicity of G. lineatum to the green lizards. PMID:25869384

  7. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur. PMID:26624065

  8. Morphological disparity opposes latitudinal diversity gradient in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Miles, Donald B; Müller, Johannes

    2014-05-01

    While global variation in taxonomic diversity is strongly linked to latitude, the extent to which morphological disparity follows geographical gradients is less well known. We estimated patterns of lineage diversification, morphological disparity and rates of phenotypic evolution in the Old World lizard family Lacertidae, which displays a nearly inverse latitudinal diversity gradient with decreasing species richness towards the tropics. We found that lacertids exhibit relatively constant rates of lineage accumulation over time, although the majority of morphological variation appears to have originated during recent divergence events, resulting in increased partitioning of disparity within subclades. Among subclades, tropical arboreal taxa exhibited the fastest rates of shape change while temperate European taxa were the slowest, resulting in an inverse relationship between latitudinal diversity and rates of phenotypic evolution. This pattern demonstrates a compelling counterexample to the ecological opportunity theory of diversification, suggesting an uncoupling of the processes generating species diversity and morphological differentiation across spatial scales. PMID:24806424

  9. Sexual selection drives asymmetric introgression in wall lizards.

    PubMed

    While, Geoffrey M; Michaelides, Sozos; Heathcote, Robert J P; MacGregor, Hannah E A; Zajac, Natalia; Beninde, Joscha; Carazo, Pau; Pérez I de Lanuza, Guillem; Sacchi, Roberto; Zuffi, Marco A L; Horváthová, Terézia; Fresnillo, Belén; Schulte, Ulrich; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel; Uller, Tobias

    2015-12-01

    Hybridisation is increasingly recognised as an important cause of diversification and adaptation. Here, we show how divergence in male secondary sexual characters between two lineages of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) gives rise to strong asymmetries in male competitive ability and mating success, resulting in asymmetric hybridisation upon secondary contact. Combined with no negative effects of hybridisation on survival or reproductive characters in F1-hybrids, these results suggest that introgression should be asymmetric, resulting in the displacement of sexual characters of the sub-dominant lineage. This prediction was confirmed in two types of secondary contact, across a natural contact zone and in two introduced populations. Our study illustrates how divergence in sexually selected traits via male competition can determine the direction and extent of introgression, contributing to geographic patterns of genetic and phenotypic diversity.

  10. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur.

  11. Genetic regulation of sex differences in songbirds and lizards.

    PubMed

    Wade, Juli

    2016-02-19

    Sex differences in the morphology of neural and peripheral structures related to reproduction often parallel the frequency of particular behaviours displayed by males and females. In a variety of model organisms, these sex differences are organized in development by gonadal steroids, which also act in adulthood to modulate behavioural expression and in some cases to generate parallel anatomical changes on a seasonal basis. Data collected from diverse species, however, suggest that changes in hormone availability are not sufficient to explain sex and seasonal differences in structure and function. This paper pulls together some of this literature from songbirds and lizards and considers the information in the broader context of taking a comparative approach to investigating genetic mechanisms associated with behavioural neuroendocrinology.

  12. Regulation of body temperature in the blue-tongued lizard.

    PubMed

    Hammel, H T; Caldwell, F T; Abrams, R M

    1967-06-01

    Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides) regulated their internal body temperature by moving back and forth between 15 degrees and 45 degrees C environments to maintain colonic and brain temperatures between 30 degrees and 37 degrees C. A pair of thermodes were implanted across the preoptic region of the brain stem, and a reentrant tube for a thermocouple was implanted in the brain stem. Heating the brain stem to 41 degrees C activated the exit response from the hot environment at a colonic temperature 1 degrees to 2 degrees C lower than normal, whereas cooling the brain stem to 25 degrees C delayed the exit from the hot environment until the colonic temperature was 1 degrees to 2 degrees C higher than normal. The behavioral thermoregulatory responses of this ectotherm appear to be activated by a combination of hypothalamic and other body temperatures.

  13. Oxygen supply limits the heat tolerance of lizard embryos.

    PubMed

    Smith, Colton; Telemeco, Rory S; Angilletta, Michael J; VandenBrooks, John M

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms that set the thermal limits to life remain uncertain. Classically, researchers thought that heating kills by disrupting the structures of proteins or membranes, but an alternative hypothesis focuses on the demand for oxygen relative to its supply. We evaluated this alternative hypothesis by comparing the lethal temperature for lizard embryos developing at oxygen concentrations of 10-30%. Embryos exposed to normoxia and hyperoxia survived to higher temperatures than those exposed to hypoxia, suggesting that oxygen limitation sets the thermal maximum. As all animals pass through an embryonic stage where respiratory and cardiovascular systems must develop, oxygen limitation may limit the thermal niches of terrestrial animals as well as aquatic ones. PMID:25926695

  14. Comparison of tiletamine and zolazepam pharmacokinetics in tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus): do species differences account for adverse effects in tigers?

    PubMed

    Lewis, J C M; Teale, P; Webber, G; Sear, J W; Taylor, P M

    2014-09-01

    Serious post-operative neurological complications of unknown aetiology are reported in tigers after immobilisation using tiletamine and zolazepam. These complications may arise from the persistent effects of tiletamine or active metabolites of tiletamine or zolazepam. Concentrations of tiletamine, zolazepam and some metabolites were measured using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in plasma from captive tigers (n = 8) and leopards (n = 9; an unaffected species, for comparison) during anaesthesia for routine clinical procedures. The zolazepam:tiletamine (Z:T) ratio was calculated. Peak concentrations occurred at 9-33 min and ranged from 83.5 to 379.2 ng/mL for tiletamine and 301.1 to 1239.3 ng/mL for zolazepam after correction for dose by weight. There were no significant differences between tigers and leopards. The Z:T ratio was generally <5 and did not differ between species. In both tigers and leopards, zolazepam metabolism appeared to be primarily via demethylation. There was evidence for hydroxylation in leopards, but much less in tigers than leopards. No major differences between the species in parent pharmacokinetics were identified. The metabolism of tiletamine could not be defined with any degree of certainty for either species.

  15. Ovarian activity in Arabian leopards (Panthera pardus nimr): sexual behaviour and faecal steroid monitoring during the follicular cycle, mating and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    de Haas van Dorsser, Florine J; Green, Daphne I; Holt, William V; Pickard, Amanda R

    2007-01-01

    The Arabian leopard is a critically endangered subspecies endemic to the Arabian Peninsula. A fundamental understanding of the ovarian activity of the leopard is important to enhance the success with which it breeds in captivity. The objective of the present study was to characterise the endocrinology of the follicular cycle, ovulation and pregnancy in captive females using faecal steroid hormone analyses and observations of sexual behaviour. The follicular cycle of the leopard was shown to last 18-23 days based on the interval between consecutive peaks of faecal oestrogen conjugates, and the occurrence of silent heats was high. Puberty had commenced at 2 years of age, but faecal steroid profiles did not match those of the adult female until 3 years of age. No seasonal change in ovarian steroid excretion was observed, although behavioural oestrus was suppressed in summer. Significant rises in faecal progestagen concentrations were only recorded in mated leopards, indicating that these females were strictly induced ovulators. However, only 60% of these mating periods were ovulatory. Progestagen concentrations during pregnancy were significantly higher than those of the non-pregnant luteal phase. The average duration of the non-pregnant and pregnant luteal phases was 39 and 97 days, respectively. The basic features of the reproductive cycle of the Arabian leopard described here form an important foundation for further study into its reproduction.

  16. Comparison of tiletamine and zolazepam pharmacokinetics in tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus): do species differences account for adverse effects in tigers?

    PubMed

    Lewis, J C M; Teale, P; Webber, G; Sear, J W; Taylor, P M

    2014-09-01

    Serious post-operative neurological complications of unknown aetiology are reported in tigers after immobilisation using tiletamine and zolazepam. These complications may arise from the persistent effects of tiletamine or active metabolites of tiletamine or zolazepam. Concentrations of tiletamine, zolazepam and some metabolites were measured using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in plasma from captive tigers (n = 8) and leopards (n = 9; an unaffected species, for comparison) during anaesthesia for routine clinical procedures. The zolazepam:tiletamine (Z:T) ratio was calculated. Peak concentrations occurred at 9-33 min and ranged from 83.5 to 379.2 ng/mL for tiletamine and 301.1 to 1239.3 ng/mL for zolazepam after correction for dose by weight. There were no significant differences between tigers and leopards. The Z:T ratio was generally <5 and did not differ between species. In both tigers and leopards, zolazepam metabolism appeared to be primarily via demethylation. There was evidence for hydroxylation in leopards, but much less in tigers than leopards. No major differences between the species in parent pharmacokinetics were identified. The metabolism of tiletamine could not be defined with any degree of certainty for either species. PMID:25011709

  17. Endangered species program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY94

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    In FY94, EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) continued to support efforts to conserve endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on Federal properties. Population monitoring activities are conducted annually for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly star. To mitigate impacts of oil field activities on listed species, 400 preactivity surveys covering approximately 315 acres were conducted in FY94. Mitigation measures implemented as a result of survey findings resulted in avoidance of incidental takes of listed species during construction activities. EG and G/EM also assisted with mitigating effects from third-party projects, primarily by conducting biological and cultural resource consultations with regulatory agencies. Third-party projects in FY94 included three pipeline projects and two well abandonment/clean-up projects. Cultural resource support provided to NPRC consisted primarily of conducting preliminary surveys for cultural resources, and preparing a Cultural Resource Management Plan and Programmatic Agreement for NPR-1. These two documents will be finalized in FY95. EG and G/EM has conducted an applied habitat reclamation program at NPRC since 1985. In FY94, an evaluation of revegetation rates on reclaimed and non-reclaimed disturbed lands was initiated to assess reclamation efficacy. Results will be used to direct future habitat reclamation efforts at NPRC. In addition to this effort, 347 reclaimed sites were assessed to evaluate reclamation success.

  18. Habitat restoration plan for Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Mitchell, D.L.

    1985-10-01

    In 1976 Congress directed that production on the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in Kern County, California, be increased to the maximum efficient rate to fulfill some United States needs for domestic oil and gas. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a Biological Opinion, required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, that proposed construction activities on NPR-1 would jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) and blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus) and damage their critical habitats. One of the reasonable and prudent alternatives that the FWS required if the project were to proceed was that DOE prepare this plan to restore disturbed habitats. The plan was based on published information and the results of habitat restoration studies conducted on NPR-1 between 1981 and 1983. Preconstruction surveys will be used to insure that new disturbances are the minimum size necessary, topsoil is salvaged, and engineering practices are implemented to control soil erosion and enhance revegetation. Existing disturbances will be located, inventoried, classified, and restored using existing guidelines. Native and naturalized plant seeds will be harvested and cultivated; shrub seedlings will be grown in containers suitable for transplantation. An inventory of disturbances, results of preconstruction activities, inventory of topsoil reserves, changes in habitat quality, uses of herbicides and toxic substances, and program costs will be monitored and used to document progress and evaluate the success of the program. Results of the program will be documented in an annual report, at technical information meetings and published in DOE topical reports and scientific journals. 46 refs., 1 fig. 4 tabs.

  19. Endangered species and cultural resources program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY95

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    In FY95, EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) continued to support efforts to protect endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on Federal properties. Population monitoring activities are conducted annually for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly-star. To mitigate impacts of oil field activities on listed species, 674 preactivity surveys covering approximately 211 hectares (521 acres) were conducted in FY95. EG and G/EM also assisted with mitigating effects from third-party projects, primarily by conducting biological and cultural resource consultations with regulatory agencies. EG and G/EM has conducted an applied habitat reclamation program at NPRC since 1985. In FY95, an evaluation of revegetation rates on reclaimed and non-reclaimed disturbed lands was completed, and the results will be used to direct future habitat reclamation efforts at NPRC. In FY95, reclamation success was monitored on 50 sites reclaimed in 1985. An investigation of factors influencing the distribution and abundance of kit foxes at NPRC was initiated in FY94. Factors being examined include habitat disturbance, topography, grazing, coyote abundance, lagomorph abundance, and shrub density. This investigation continued in FY95 and a manuscript on this topic will be completed in FY96. Also, Eg and G/EM completed collection of field data to evaluate the effects of a well blow-out on plant and animal populations. A final report will be prepared in FY96. Finally, EG and G/EM completed a life table analysis on San Joaquin kit foxes at NPRC.

  20. Ultraviolet radiation does not increase oxidative stress in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Melero, Elena; García-Mesa, Sergio; Trenzado, Cristina E; Cabrerizo, Marco J; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-05-01

    Lizards, as ectotherms, spend much time basking for thermoregulating exposed to solar radiation. Consequently, they are subjected to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), which is the most harmful component of solar radiation spectrum. UVR can provoke damages, from the molecular to tissue level, even cause death. Photooxidation triggered by UVR produces reactive oxidative species (ROS). When antioxidant machinery cannot combat the ROS concentration, oxidative stress occurs in the organisms. Given that UVR increases with elevation, we hypothesised that lizards from high elevations should be better adapted against UVR than lizards from lower elevations. In this work, we test this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus along an elevation gradient (three elevational belts, from 300 to 2500 m above sea level). We ran an experiment in which lizards from each elevation belt were exposed to 5-hour doses of UVR (UV-light bulb, experimental group) or photosynthetically active radiation (white-light bulb, control group) and, 24 h after the exposure, we took tissue samples from the tail. We measured oxidative damage (lipid and protein peroxidation) and antioxidant capacity as oxidative-stress biomarkers. We found no differences in oxidative stress between treatments. However, consistent with a previous work, less oxidative damage appeared in lizards from the highlands. We conclude that UVR is not a stressor agent for P. algirus; however, our findings suggest that the lowland environment is more oxidative for lizards. Therefore, P. algirus is well adapted to inhabit a large elevation range, and this would favour the lizard in case it ascends in response to global climate change.

  1. Spectroscopic Analysis of High Intensity Laser Beam Jets Interaction Experiments on the Leopard Laser at UNR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkov, E. E.; Weller, M. E.; Kantsyrev, V. L.; Safronova, A. S.; Moschella, J. J.; Shrestha, I.; Shlyapsteva, V. V.; Stafford, A.; Keim, S. F.; University of Nevada Reno Team

    2013-10-01

    Results of Ar gas-puff experiments performed on the high power Leopard laser at UNR are presented. Flux density of laser radiation in focal spot was up to 2 × 1016 W/cm2 (pulse duration was 0.8 ns and laser wavelength was 1.057 μm). Specifically, spectroscopic analysis of K-shell Ar spectra are investigated and compared as functions of the orientation of the laser beam to linear gas jet. The laser beam axis was positioned either along the jet plane or orthogonal to it at a distance of 1 mm from the nozzle output. The diagnostics used included a time-integrated x-ray spectrometer along with a set of filtered Si diodes with various cutoff energies. In order to identify lines, a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) kinetic model was utilized and was also used to determine plasma parameters such as electron temperature and density. The importance of the spectroscopic study of high intensity laser beam-jets interaction experiments is discussed. This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Basic Research Award # HDTRA1-13-1-0033, to University of Nevada, Reno, and in part by the DOE/NNSA Cooperative agreements DE-NA0001984 and DE-FC52-06NA27616.

  2. Investigation of energy partitioning from Leopard short-pulse laser interactions in mass limited targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, B.; Sawada, H.; Yabuuchi, T.; McLean, H.; Patel, P.; Beg, F.

    2013-10-01

    The energy distribution in the interaction of a high-intensity, short-pulse laser with a mass limited target was investigated by simultaneously collecting x-ray and particle data. The Leopard laser system at the Nevada Terawatt Facility delivered 15 J of energy in a 350 fs pulse duration. With a beam spot size limited to within 8 μm, the target interaction achieved a peak intensity of 1019 W/cm2 at 20° incidence. The size of the Cu foil targets was varied from 2-20 μm in thickness and from 50 by 50 μm to 2000 by 2000 μm in surface area. A Bragg crystal x-ray spectrometer and a spherical crystal imager were used to measure 7.5-9.5 keV x-rays and 8.05 keV monochromatic x-ray images respectively. The escaping electrons and protons in the rear were monitored with a magnet-based electron spectrometer and radiochromic film. Preliminary results show both a decrease of the K β/K α ratio and a stronger He α emission for smaller sized targets, less than 250 by 250 μm. The detailed analyses of the K α images and particle data will be presented.

  3. Sublethal effects of chronic exposure to an organochlorine compound on northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Glennemeler, K A; Denver, R J

    2001-01-01

    Global contamination with organochlorine compounds (OCs) has posed developmental and reproductive problems in wildlife worldwide. However, little is known about the impact of OCs or other pollutants on amphibians, despite mounting concerns about amphibian population declines and developmental deformities in the wild. Wildlife populations may be affected critically by sublethal impacts of anthropogenic disturbances, yet little research has focused on such effects in amphibians. In the current study, northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) tadpoles were chronically exposed to a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener, 77-TCB, and effects on behavior, morphology, competitive performance, and corticosterone content were determined. R. pipiens activity levels and feeding rates were decreased by 77-TCB exposure, but morphology of mouthparts and body proportions were unaffected. 77-TCB enhanced growth and altered competitive interactions between R. pipiens and wood frog (Rana sylvatica) tadpoles. R. pipiens tadpoles exposed to 77-TCB showed decreased whole-body corticosterone content compared to controls both before and after injection with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). All of the factors examined in the current study play critical roles in tadpole development, growth, survivorship, and eventual reproductive success, suggesting negative population-level consequences for amphibians in PCB-contaminated habitats.

  4. Pathogenesis of multiple lentigines in LEOPARD syndrome with PTPN11 gene mutation.

    PubMed

    Motegi, Sei-Ichiro; Yokoyama, Yoko; Ogino, Sachiko; Yamada, Kazuya; Uchiyama, Akihiko; Perera, Buddhini; Takeuchi, Yuko; Ohnishi, Hiroshi; Ishikawa, Osamu

    2015-11-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant condition with multiple anomalies, including multiple lentigines. LS is caused by mutations in PTPN11, encoding the protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-2. We report here 2 unrelated Japanese cases of LS with different PTPN11 mutations (p.Y279C and p.T468P). To elucidate the pathogenesis of multiple lentigines in LS, ultrastructural and immunohistochemical analyses of lentigines and non-lesional skin were performed. Numerous mature giant melanosomes in melanocytes and keratinocytes were observed in lentigines. In addition, the levels of expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1), phosphorylated Akt, mTOR and STAT3 in the epidermis in lentigines were significantly elevated compared with non-lesional skin. In in vitro assays, melanin synthesis in human melanoma cells expressing SHP-2 with LS-associated mutations was higher than in cells expressing normal SHP-2, suggesting that LS-associated SHP-2 mutations might enhance melanin synthesis in melanocytes, and that the activation of Akt/mTOR signalling may contribute to this process.

  5. Contribution of eye retraction to swallowing performance in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens.

    PubMed

    Levine, Robert P; Monroy, Jenna A; Brainerd, Elizabeth L

    2004-03-01

    Most anurans retract and close their eyes repeatedly during swallowing. Eye retraction may aid swallowing by helping to push food back toward the esophagus, but this hypothesis has never been tested. We used behavioral observations, cineradiography, electromyography and nerve transection experiments to evaluate the contribution of eye retraction to swallowing in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. Behavioral observations of frogs feeding on 1.5 cm long crickets reveal a high degree of variability in eye retraction and swallowing. Eye retraction can occur bilaterally or unilaterally, and both swallowing movements and eye retraction can occur separately as well as together. During swallowing, cineradiography shows that the eyes and associated musculature retract well into the oropharynx and appear to make contact with the prey item. This contact appears to help push the prey toward the esophagus, and it may also serve to anchor the prey for tongue-based transport. Electromyographic recordings confirm strong activity in the retractor bulbi muscles during eye retraction. After bilateral denervation of the retractor bulbi, frogs maintain the ability to swallow but show a 74% increase in the number of swallows required per cricket (from a mean of 2.3 swallows to a mean of 4.0 swallows per cricket). Our results indicate that, in Rana pipiens feeding on medium-sized crickets, eye retraction is an accessory swallowing mechanism that assists the primary tongue-based swallowing mechanism.

  6. Directionality of the pressure-difference receiver ears in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens pipiens.

    PubMed

    Ho, Calvin C K; Narins, Peter M

    2006-04-01

    We studied the directional response of the coupled-eardrum system in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens pipiens. Eardrum behavior closely approximates a linear time-invariant system, with a highly correlated input-output relationship between the eardrum pressure difference and the eardrum velocity. Variations in the eardrum transfer function at frequencies below 800 Hz indicate the existence of an extratympanic sound transmission pathway which can interfere with eardrum motions. The eardrum velocity was shown to shift in phase as a function of sound incident angle, which was a direct result of the phase-shift of the eardrum pressure difference. We used two laser-Doppler vibrometers to measure the interaural vibration time difference (IVTD) and the interaural vibration amplitude difference (IVAD) between the motions of the two eardrums. The coupled-eardrum system enhanced the IVTD and IVAD by a factor of 3 and 3 dB, respectively, when compared to an isolated-eardrum system of the same size. Our findings are consistent with the time-delay sensitivity of other coupled-eardrum systems such as those found in crickets and flies.

  7. Modeling habitat connectivity to inform reintroductions: a case study with the Chiricahua Leopard Frog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarchow, Christopher J; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Managing species with intensive tools such as reintroduction may focus on single sites or entire landscapes. For vagile species, long-term persistence will require colonization and establishment in neighboring habitats. Therefore, both suitable colonization sites and suitable dispersal corridors between sites are required. Assessment of landscapes for both requirements can contribute to ranking and selection of reintroduction areas, thereby improving management success. Following eradication of invasive American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) from most of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR; Arizona, United States), larval Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis) from a private pond were reintroduced into three stock ponds. Populations became established at all three reintroduction sites followed by colonization of neighboring ponds in subsequent years. Our aim was to better understand colonization patterns by the federally threatened L. chiricahuensis which could help inform other reintroduction efforts. We assessed the influence of four landscape features on colonization. Using surveys from 2007 and information about the landscape, we developed a habitat connectivity model, based on electrical circuit theory, that identified potential dispersal corridors after explicitly accounting for imperfect detection of frogs. Landscape features provided little insight into why some sites were colonized and others were not, results that are likely because of the uniformity of the BANWR landscape. While corridor modeling may be effective in more-complex landscapes, our results suggest focusing on local habitat will be more useful at BANWR. We also illustrate that existing data, even when limited in spatial or temporal resolution, can provide information useful in formulating management actions.

  8. Large intestine bacterial flora of nonhibernating and hibernating leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    PubMed Central

    Gossling, J; Loesche, W J; Nace, G W

    1982-01-01

    The bacteria in the large intestines of 10 northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) were enumerated and partially characterized. Four nonhibernating frogs were collected in the summer, four hibernating frogs were collected in the winter, and two frogs just emerged from hibernation were collected in the spring. All frogs had about 10(10) bacteria per g (wet weight) of intestinal contents and about 10(9) bacteria per g (wet weight) of mucosal scraping, although the counts from the winter frogs were slightly less than those from the other two groups of frogs. Another group of 14 summer frogs, after treatment to induce hibernation, showed a drop in bacterial counts accompanied by a change in the composition of the flora. In most frogs, Bacteroides was the dominant organism. Other bacteria repeatedly isolated at high dilutions were strict anaerobes, including butyrigenic and acetogenic helically coiled bacteria; fusobacteria; and acetogenic, small, gram-positive bacilli. These data indicate that the intestinal flora of frogs is similar to that of mammals and birds and that this flora can be maintained at temperatures close to freezing. PMID:6982025

  9. Seasonal effects on seminal and endocrine traits in the captive snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Johnston, L A; Armstrong, D L; Brown, J L

    1994-09-01

    The annual reproductive cycle of the male snow leopard (Panthera uncia) was characterized by evaluating seminal and endocrine traits monthly. Testicular volume was greatest (P < 0.05) during the winter months when the quality of ejaculate was optimal. Ejaculate volume, total sperm concentration ml-1, motile sperm concentration per ejaculate, sperm morphology and sperm motility index were lowest during the summer and autumn months compared with the winter and spring. Peripheral LH, FSH and testosterone concentrations were also lowest during the summer months, increasing during the autumn just before the increase in semen quality, and were maximal during the winter months. There was a direct relationship (P < 0.01) between: (1) testosterone and testicular volume, total sperm concentration ml-1, motile sperm concentration per ejaculate and ejaculate volume, and (2) LH and testicular volume and motile sperm concentration per ejaculate. In summary, although spermatozoa were recovered throughout the year, optimal gamete quality was observed during the winter and spring. Although previous studies in felids have demonstrated seasonal effects on either seminal or endocrine traits, this is the first study to demonstrate a distinct effect of season on both pituitary and testicular function.

  10. Lethal and sublethal effects of chronic cadmium exposure on northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Gross, Jackson A; Chen, Te-Hao; Karasov, William H

    2007-06-01

    Data on the chronic effects of cadmium on amphibians are lacking in spite of widespread anthropogenic contamination of terrestrial and aquatic systems. We exposed embryos and tadpoles of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) to Cd (control, 0.25, 5.0, and 20.0 microg/L as CdCl2, nominal concentrations) in a static renewal system from embryonic stages to complete tail resorption. Survival of embryos (Gosner stage [GS] 17-25) was greater than 97% in all treatments. Tadpole survival was negatively correlated with dose and was significantly reduced in the 5.0 and 20.0 microg/L treatments compared with controls. Tadpole survival was greater than 80% through GS 42, forelimb emergence, for all other treatments. Tadpoles exposed to 0.25 and 5.0 microg/L exhibited increased growth by week 11; tadpoles exposed to 5.0 microg/L were significantly younger at forelimb emergence. Whole-tadpole body burdens of Cd were positively correlated with increasing Cd treatments. Cadmium was shown to alter growth and development in a native amphibian species at ecologically relevant concentrations. The existing chronic water quality criterion for Cd appears to be protective of amphibians. However, additional studies with other chemicals are needed to further explore the potential for adverse effects of contaminants on the complex life cycle of amphibians.

  11. Germline BRAF mutations in Noonan, LEOPARD and cardiofaciocutaneous syndromes: molecular diversity and associated phenotypic spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Sarkozy, Anna; Carta, Claudio; Moretti, Sonia; Zampino, Giuseppe; Digilio, Maria C.; Pantaleoni, Francesca; Scioletti, Anna Paola; Esposito, Giorgia; Cordeddu, Viviana; Lepri, Francesca; Petrangeli, Valentina; Dentici, Maria L.; Mancini, Grazia M.S.; Selicorni, Angelo; Rossi, Cesare; Mazzanti, Laura; Marino, Bruno; Ferrero, Giovanni B.; Silengo, Margherita Cirillo; Memo, Luigi; Stanzial, Franco; Faravelli, Francesca; Stuppia, Liborio; Puxeddu, Efisio; Gelb, Bruce D.; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Tartaglia, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Noonan, LEOPARD and cardiofaciocutaneous syndromes (NS, LS and CFCS) are developmental disorders with overlapping features including distinctive facial dysmorphia, reduced growth, cardiac defects, skeletal and ectodermal anomalies, and variable cognitive deficits. Dysregulated RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal traffic has been established to represent the molecular pathogenic cause underlying these conditions. To investigate the phenotypic spectrum and molecular diversity of germline mutations affecting BRAF, which encodes a serine/threonine kinase functioning as a RAS effector frequently mutated in CFCS, subjects with a diagnosis of NS (N= 270), LS (N= 6) and CFCS (N= 33), and no mutation in PTPN11, SOS1, KRAS, RAF1, MEK1 or MEK2, were screened for the entire coding sequence of the gene. Besides the expected high prevalence of mutations observed among CFCS patients (52%), a de novo heterozygous missense change was identified in one subject with LS (17%) and 5 individuals with NS (1.9%). Mutations mapped to multiple protein domains and largely did not overlap with cancer-associated defects. NS-causing mutations had not been documented in CFCS, suggesting that the phenotypes arising from germline BRAF defects might be allele specific. Selected mutant BRAF proteins promoted variable gain of function of the kinase, but appeared less activating compared than the recurrent cancer-associated p.Val600Glu mutant. Our findings provide evidence for a wide phenotypic diversity associated with mutations affecting BRAF, and occurrence of a clinical continuum associated with these molecular lesions. PMID:19206169

  12. PTPN11-Associated Mutations in the Heart: Has LEOPARD changed its RASpots?

    PubMed Central

    Lauriol, Jessica; Kontaridis, Maria I.

    2012-01-01

    In this review, we focus on elucidating the cardiac function of germline mutations in the PTPN11 gene, encoding the SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2. PTPN11 mutations cause LEOPARD Syndrome (LS) and Noonan Syndrome (NS), two disorders that are part of a newly classified family of autosomal dominant syndromes termed “RASopathies,” which are caused by germline mutations in components of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK MAPK pathway. LS and NS mutants have opposing biochemical properties, and yet, in patients, these mutations produce similar cardiac abnormalities. Precisely how LS and NS mutations lead to such similar disease etiology remains largely unknown. Recent complementary in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo analyses reveal new insights into the functions of SHP2 in normal and pathological cardiac development. These findings also reveal the need for individualized therapeutic approaches in the treatment of patients with LS and NS, and more broadly, patients with the other “RASopathy” gene mutations as well. PMID:22681964

  13. PZR Coordinates Shp2 Noonan and LEOPARD Syndrome Signaling in Zebrafish and Mice

    PubMed Central

    Paardekooper Overman, Jeroen; Yi, Jae-Sung; Bonetti, Monica; Soulsby, Matthew; Preisinger, Christian; Stokes, Matthew P.; Hui, Li; Silva, Jeffrey C.; Overvoorde, John; Giansanti, Piero; Heck, Albert J. R.; Kontaridis, Maria I.; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by activating mutations in the PTPN11 gene encoding Shp2, which manifests in congenital heart disease, short stature, and facial dysmorphia. The complexity of Shp2 signaling is exemplified by the observation that LEOPARD syndrome (LS) patients possess inactivating PTPN11 mutations yet exhibit similar symptoms to NS. Here, we identify “protein zero-related” (PZR), a transmembrane glycoprotein that interfaces with the extracellular matrix to promote cell migration, as a major hyper-tyrosyl-phosphorylated protein in mouse and zebrafish models of NS and LS. PZR hyper-tyrosyl phosphorylation is facilitated in a phosphatase-independent manner by enhanced Src recruitment to NS and LS Shp2. In zebrafish, PZR overexpression recapitulated NS and LS phenotypes. PZR was required for zebrafish gastrulation in a manner dependent upon PZR tyrosyl phosphorylation. Hence, we identify PZR as an NS and LS target. Enhanced PZR-mediated membrane recruitment of Shp2 serves as a common mechanism to direct overlapping pathophysiological characteristics of these PTPN11 mutations. PMID:24865967

  14. Seasonal effects on seminal and endocrine traits in the captive snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    PubMed

    Johnston, L A; Armstrong, D L; Brown, J L

    1994-09-01

    The annual reproductive cycle of the male snow leopard (Panthera uncia) was characterized by evaluating seminal and endocrine traits monthly. Testicular volume was greatest (P < 0.05) during the winter months when the quality of ejaculate was optimal. Ejaculate volume, total sperm concentration ml-1, motile sperm concentration per ejaculate, sperm morphology and sperm motility index were lowest during the summer and autumn months compared with the winter and spring. Peripheral LH, FSH and testosterone concentrations were also lowest during the summer months, increasing during the autumn just before the increase in semen quality, and were maximal during the winter months. There was a direct relationship (P < 0.01) between: (1) testosterone and testicular volume, total sperm concentration ml-1, motile sperm concentration per ejaculate and ejaculate volume, and (2) LH and testicular volume and motile sperm concentration per ejaculate. In summary, although spermatozoa were recovered throughout the year, optimal gamete quality was observed during the winter and spring. Although previous studies in felids have demonstrated seasonal effects on either seminal or endocrine traits, this is the first study to demonstrate a distinct effect of season on both pituitary and testicular function. PMID:7799318

  15. Unlikely Remedy: Fungicide Clears Infection from Pathogenic Fungus in Larval Southern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

    PubMed Central

    Hanlon, Shane M.; Kerby, Jacob L.; Parris, Matthew J.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus) to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM) at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath. PMID:22912890

  16. Direct and indirect effects of petroleum production activities on the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) as a surrogate for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Knox, Ami; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-05-01

    The dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is a habitat specialist of conservation concern limited to shin oak sand dune systems of New Mexico and Texas (USA). Because much of the dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat occurs in areas of high oil and gas production, there may be direct and indirect effects of these activities. The congeneric Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) was used as a surrogate species to determine direct effects of 2 contaminants associated with oil and gas drilling activities in the Permian Basin (NM and TX, USA): herbicide formulations (Krovar and Quest) and hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Lizards were exposed to 2 concentrations of H2 S (30 ppm or 90 ppm) and herbicide formulations (1× or 2× label application rate) representing high-end exposure scenarios. Sublethal behavioral endpoints were evaluated, including sprint speed and time to prey detection and capture. Neither H2S nor herbicide formulations caused significant behavioral effects compared to controls. To understand potential indirect effects of oil and gas drilling on the prey base, terrestrial invertebrate biomass and order diversity were quantified at impacted sites to compare with nonimpacted sites. A significant decrease in biomass was found at impacted sites, but no significant effects on diversity. The results suggest little risk from direct toxic effects, but the potential for indirect effects should be further explored. PMID:26456391

  17. Thyroid regulation of resting metabolic rate and intermediary metabolic enzymes in a lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    John-Alder, H B

    1990-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of physiological increments in plasma thyroxine (T4) at three levels of biological organization in thyroid-intact and thyroidectomized captive western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Two doses of T4-loaded pellets elevated plasma T4 in thyroid-intact lizards from 4.8 +/- 0.47 to 10.7 +/- 2.25 and 20.4 +/- 5.77 ng/ml (mean +/- SE). Surgical thyroidectomy reduced T4 to 1.8 +/- 0.23 ng/ml, and subsequent T4 pellet implantation raised T4 to 14.8 +/- 4.30 ng/ml. Minimal resting metabolic rate (= standard metabolic rate; SMR), a common organismal metric of thyroid perturbation, was reduced 31% (P less than 0.0001) by thyroidectomy and was restored by T4 replacement but was not stimulated by T4 supplementation in thyroid-intact lizards. In T4-replaced, thyroidectomized lizards, SMR was significantly correlated with plasma T4 (r2 = 0.626, P = 0.003, n = 11). At the organ level, liver mass was not changed by any treatment; heart mass was decreased by thyroid deficiency and restored by T4 replacement. At the molecular level, citrate synthase activity was significantly reduced by thyroidectomy and was returned to control levels by T4 replacement in liver and skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius) but was not changed in cardiac muscle. Citrate synthase was not affected in any tissue by T4 supplementation in thyroid-intact lizards. Pyruvate kinase activity was not affected by any of the treatments in any of the tissues. Cytosolic alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase was significantly reduced in liver by all treatments and in skeletal muscle by T4 replacement after thyroidectomy. These results indicate that SMR and cardiac muscle mass in lizards are dependent on normal thyroid function and are expressed maximally in euthyroid animals. The stimulatory effect of T4 on SMR in thyroid-intact lizards, which has been reported previously by several investigators, is a nonphysiological response to pharmacological T4 levels, at least in these captive

  18. What are carotenoids signaling? Immunostimulatory effects of dietary vitamin E, but not of carotenoids, in Iberian green lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopena, Renata; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2014-12-01

    In spite that carotenoid-based sexual ornaments are one of the most popular research topics in sexual selection of animals, the antioxidant and immunostimulatory role of carotenoids, presumably signaled by these colorful ornaments, is still controversial. It has been suggested that the function of carotenoids might not be as an antioxidant per se, but that colorful carotenoids may indirectly reflect the levels of nonpigmentary antioxidants, such as melatonin or vitamin E. We experimentally fed male Iberian green lizards ( Lacerta schreiberi) additional carotenoids or vitamin E alone, or a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E dissolved in soybean oil, whereas a control group only received soybean oil. We examined the effects of the dietary supplementations on phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-induced skin-swelling immune response and body condition. Lizards that were supplemented with vitamin E alone or a combination of vitamin E and carotenoids had greater immune responses than control lizards, but animals supplemented with carotenoids alone had lower immune responses than lizards supplemented with vitamin E and did not differ from control lizards. These results support the hypothesis that carotenoids in green lizards are not effective as immunostimulants, but that they may be visually signaling the immunostimulatory effects of non-pigmentary vitamin E. In contrast, lizards supplemented with carotenoids alone have higher body condition gains than lizards in the other experimental groups, suggesting that carotenoids may be still important to improve condition.

  19. 75 FR 9377 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard as Threatened

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-02

    ... distinct vertebrate population segments (61 FR 4722). (6) The potential effects global climate change may..., 1993 (58 FR 62624), to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species, and reopens the... proposed rule to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species under the Act (58 FR 62624)....

  20. Understanding lizard's microhabitat use based on a mechanistic model of behavioral thermoregulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Teng; Venus, Valentijn; Toxopeus, Bert; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Schlerf, Martin; Liu, Yaolin; van Overdijk, Sjef; Bian, Meng

    2008-12-01

    Lizards are an "excellent group of organisms" to examine the habitat and microhabitat use mainly because their ecology and physiology is well studied. Due to their behavioral body temperature regulation, the thermal environment is especially linked with their habitat use. In this study, for mapping and understanding lizard's distribution at microhabitat scale, an individual of Timon Lepidus was kept and monitored in a terrarium (245×120×115cm) in which sand, rocks, burrows, hatching chambers, UV-lamps, fog generators and heating devices were placed to simulate its natural habitat. Optical cameras, thermal cameras and other data loggers were fixed and recording the lizard's body temperature, ground surface temperature, air temperature, radiation and other important environmental parameters. By analysis the data collected, we propose a Cellular Automata (CA) model by which the movement of lizards is simulated and translated into their distribution. This paper explores the capabilities of applying GIS techniques to thermoregulatory activity studies in a microhabitat-scale. We conclude that microhabitat use of lizards can be explained in some degree by the rule based CA model.