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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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. On the numerical simulation of spatial disturbances in blunt-nose flat plate flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laurien, Eckart

    1990-01-01

    The feasibility of the simulation of the evolution of spatially amplified disturbances in realistic airfoil flows using a standard Navier-Stokes airfoil code is considered for a blunt-nose flat plate flow. A basic stationary flow and its linear-stability-theory characteristics are analyzed. A computational C-grid is generated using an algebraic grid-generation technique. It is concluded that further improvements to the computational grid and to the code are necessary to make the proposed simulations economical.

  14. An approximate viscous shock layer method for calculating the hypersonic flow over blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grantz, A. C.; Dejarnette, F. R.; Thompson, R. A.

    1989-01-01

    The approximate axisymmetric method presented for accurately calculating the surface and flowfield properties of fully viscous hypersonic flow over blunt-nosed bodies incorporates the turbulence model of Cebeci-Smith (1970) and the equilibrium air tables of Hansen (1959). The method is faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes or viscous shock layer solvers that it could replace for preliminary design determinations. Surface heat transfer and pressure predictions for the present method are comparable with the more accurate viscous shock layer method as well as flight test and wind tunnel data. A starting solution is not required.

  15. An approximate viscous shock layer technique for calculating nonequilibrium hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. M.; Dejarnette, F. R.

    1992-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method has been developed which can reliably calculate nonequilibrium 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. This procedure is significantly faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes and VSL solvers and would be useful in a preliminary design environment. Solutions have been generated for air flows over several analytic body shapes. Surface heat transfer and pressure predictions are comparable to VSL results. 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.

  16. Effect of nose perturbation on asymmetric vortices over a blunt-nose body at high angle of attack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sha, Y. X.; Wang, Y. K.; Qi, Z. Y.

    2017-04-01

    To improve the maneuverability, the modern missiles of blunt-nose slender body configuration are required to flight at high angle of attack where many research show complex asymmetric vortices flow will develop over the slender body. The effect of artificial perturbation located on the nose of a blunt slender body at high angle of attack(α=50°) on asymmetric vortices has been investigated with low speed wind tunnel test. The Reynolds number(ReD) of the experiment was 1.48×105. The experimental results are shown to be the following: Asymmetric flow over blunt-nose body was extremely sensitive to the machining tolerances of the nose and can be governed by the artificial perturbation; with the circumferential angle of artificial perturbation varied a period, asymmetric vortices present a behavior of single-period.

  17. An approximate viscous shock layer approach to calculating hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. MCN.; Dejarnette, F. R.

    1991-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method has been 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. Since the method is fully viscous, the problems associated with coupling 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. Surface heat transfer and pressure predictions are comparable to both VSL results and 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2014-06-17

    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. 

  4. Effects of age and sociosexual experience on the morphology and metabolic capacity of brain nuclei in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Crews, D; Coomber, P; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    1997-05-30

    In vertebrates having sex chromosomes, sexual behavior is influenced by steroid hormones throughout life as well as by the cumulative experiences of the individual. Because males and females differ genetically as well as hormonally, it would be valuable to distinguish the contribution of sex-specific genes from hormones. In addition, since animals age as they gain sociosexual experience, but do not necessarily gain sociosexual experience as they age, it is important to separate the effects of age from those attributable to experience. The leopard gecko is a lizard lacking sex chromosomes, depending instead upon the temperature during incubation to establish gonadal sex. This effectively removes sex-specific genetic influences from any study of sexual differentiation. Eggs were incubated at either 26 degrees C or 32.5 degrees C, temperatures that produce only female hatchlings or a male-biased sex ratio, respectively. By raising geckoes in isolation and then housing some animals together in breeding groups at different ages after they attained sexual maturity, it was possible to assess the relative effects of age and sociosexual experience on the volume and metabolic capacity of limbic and non-limbic brain areas. In general, males showed more changes compared to females. For example, there was a decrease with age in the volume of the preoptic area and the ventromedial hypothalamus in males, but not in females. Both age and sociosexual experience influenced cytochrome oxidase activity in these and other brain areas. Experienced animals had greater metabolic capacity in nuclei functionally associated with sociosexual behavior in lizards and other vertebrates. For example, cytochrome oxidase activity was higher in the anterior hypothalamus of males, in the ventromedial hypothalamus of both males and females from the male-biased incubation temperature, and in the preoptic area of females from both incubation temperatures. These differences were not paralleled by

  5. Incubation temperature and gonadal sex affect growth and physiology in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1995-05-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), in which the temperature at which an egg incubates determines the sex of the individual, occurs in egg-laying reptiles of three separate orders. Previous studies have shown that the embryonic environment can have effects lasting beyond the period of sex determination. We investigated the relative roles of incubation temperature, exogenous estradiol, and gonadal sex (testis vs. ovary) in the differentiation of adult morphological and physiological traits of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. The results indicate that incubation temperature, steroid hormones, and gonads interact in the development of morphological and physiological characters with incubation temperature resulting in the greatest differences in adult phenotype. Incubation temperature did not affect reproductive success directly, but may influence offspring survival in natural situations through effects on adult female body size. Postnatal hormones seem to be more influential in the formation of adult phenotypes than prenatal hormones. These results demonstrate that TSD species can be used to investigate the effects of the physical environment on development in individuals without a predetermined genetic sex and thus provide further insight into the roles of gonadal sex and the embryonic environment in sexual differentiation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Wind Tunnel Tests of Ailerons at Various Speeds I : Ailerons of 0.20 Airfoil Chord and True Contour with 0.35 Aileron-chord Extreme Blunt Nose Balance on the NACA 66,2-216 Airfoil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Letko, W; Denaci, H. G.; Freed, C

    1943-01-01

    Hinge-moment, lift, and pressure-distribution measurements were made in the two-dimensional test section of the NACA stability tunnel on a blunt-nose balance-type aileron on an NACA 66,2-216 airfoil at speeds up to 360 miles per hour corresponding to a Mach number of 0.475. The tests were made primarily to determine the effect of speed on the action of this type of aileron. The balance-nose radii of the aileron were varied from 0 to 0.02 of the airfoil chord and the gap width was varied from 0.0005 to 0.0107 of the airfoil chord. Tests were also made with the gap sealed.

  9. Quantification of three steroid hormone receptors of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination: their tissue distributions and the effect of environmental change on their expressions.

    PubMed

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2003-12-01

    Sex steroid hormones play a central role in the reproduction of all vertebrates. These hormones function through their specific receptors, so the expression levels of the receptors may reflect the responsibility of target organs. However, there was no effective method to quantify the expression levels of these receptors in reptilian species. In this study, we established the competitive-PCR assay systems for the quantification of the mRNA expression levels of three sex steroid hormone receptors in the leopard gecko. These assay systems were successfully able to detect the mRNA expression level of each receptor in various organs of male adult leopard geckoes. The expression levels of mRNA of these receptors were highly various depending on the organs assayed. This is the first report regarding the tissue distributions of sex steroid hormone receptor expressions in reptile. The effects of environmental conditions on these hormone receptor expressions were also examined. After the low temperature and short photoperiod treatment for 6 weeks, only the androgen receptor expression was significantly increased in the testes. The competitive-PCR assay systems established in this report should be applicable for various studies of the molecular mechanism underlying the reproductive activity of the leopard gecko.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Independent effects of incubation temperature and gonadal sex on the volume and metabolic capacity of brain nuclei in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Coomber, P; Crews, D; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    1997-04-14

    The extent to which variation within and between the sexes can be assigned to genes vs. environment is problematic, because, in most vertebrates, males and females differ genetically. However, factors other than sex chromosomes and the consequent sex-typical gonadal hormone secretions may play important roles in the differentiation of the neural mechanisms underlying individual and sex differences in aggressive and sexual behavior. The leopard gecko, like many oviparous reptiles, lacks sex chromosomes. Instead, gonadal sex is determined by temperature during embryogenesis, with low and high incubation temperatures producing females and intermediate temperatures producing mixed sex ratios. In essence, this allows for the study of individual and sex differences without the confounding variable of genetically determined gender. Experiments have shown that the temperature experienced during incubation plays a critical role in establishing the adult morphological, endocrinological, and behavioral phenotype. In this experiment, the independent effects of incubation temperature and gonadal sex on the morphology and metabolic capacity of specific brain nuclei were determined. Both individual and sex differences in the volume of the preoptic area and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus are determined primarily by incubation temperature, not by gonadal sex. However, incubation temperature and gonadal sex are both important in determining the metabolic capacity in the anterior hypothalamus, external amygdala, dorsal lateral nucleus of the hypothalamus, dorsal lateral nucleus of the thalamus, dorsal ventricular ridge, habenula, lateral hypothalamus, nucleus rotundus, nucleus sphericus, periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, preoptic area, periventricular nucleus of the preoptic area, septum, striatum, torus semicircularis, and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. This is the first demonstration in a vertebrate that factors other than gonadal sex hormones, which

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    Southwestern Pond TurtleS, Western Pond Turtle, Blunt- nosed Leopard LizardFED-E, San Joaquin CoachwhipS, California Red- legged FrogFED-T, Foothill...ups can have severe impacts on local snake populations. Finally, global amphibian populations have been impacted by the patho- genic chytrid fungus ...photo by John White ). Careful attention must be placed on a standardized number of seine sam- ples, or dipnet sweeps for long-term monitoring and

  14. A picture is worth a thousand data points: an imagery dataset of paired shrub-open microsites within the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

    PubMed

    Noble, Taylor J; Lortie, Christopher J; Westphal, Michael; Butterfield, H Scott

    2016-09-27

    Carrizo Plain National Monument (San Joaquin Desert, California, USA) is home to many threatened and endangered species including the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila). Vegetation is dominated by annual grasses, and shrubs such as Mormon tea (Ephedra californica), which is of relevance to our target species, the federally listed blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and likely also provides key ecosystem services. We used relatively nonintrusive camera traps, or trail cameras, to capture interactions between animals and these shrubs using a paired shrub-open deployment. Cameras were placed within the shrub understory and in open microhabitats at ground level to estimate animal activity and determine species presence. Twenty cameras were deployed from April 1st, 2015 to July 5th, 2015 at paired shrub-open microsites at three locations. Over 425,000 pictures were taken during this time, of which 0.4 % detected mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles including the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. Trigger rate was very high on the medium sensitivity camera setting in this desert ecosystem, and rates did not differ between microsites. Camera traps are an effective, less invasive survey method for collecting data on the presence or absence of desert animals in shrub and open microhabitats. A more extensive array of cameras within an arid region would thus be an effective tool to estimate the presence of desert animals and potentially detect habitat use patterns.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular cloning of P450 aromatase from the leopard gecko and its expression in the ovary.

    PubMed

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2005-07-01

    In this study, we identified the cDNA of P450 aromatase in the leopard gecko, a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination. The cDNA encodes a putative protein of 505 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of leopard gecko aromatase cDNA showed 80% identity with that of turtles, 70% with humans and 77% with chickens. This is the first report of the identification of P450 aromatase cDNA in squamata species. It has been reported that this gene is expressed in different layers of cells in the ovary of mammalian species and avian species. Thus, we also investigated cells expressing the mRNA of this gene in the ovary of the leopard gecko by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The mRNA expression of leopard gecko P450 aromatase was localized in both the thecal and granulosa cell layers in the ovary. The expression in thecal and granulosa cell layers was examined in the largest follicle, second largest follicle and third largest follicle by RT-PCR. A higher level of mRNA expression was observed in the granulosa cell layer of the second largest follicle than in other cell layers. This result may reflect the characteristics of follicles in species with automonochronic ovulation.

  18. 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.

  19. Flight Investigation at Low Angles of Attack to Determine the Longitudinal Stability and Control Characteristics of a Cruciform Canard Missile Configuration with a Low-Aspect-Ratio Wing and Blunt Nose at Mach Numbers from 1.2 to 2.1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Clarence A , Jr

    1957-01-01

    A full- scale rocket-powered model of a cruciform canard missile configuration with a low- aspect - ratio wing and blunt nose has been flight tested by the Langley Pilotless Aircraft Research Division. Static and dynamic longitudinal stability and control derivatives of this interdigitated canard-wing missile configuration were determined by using the pulsed- control technique at low angles of attack and for a Mach number range of 1.2 to 2.1. The lift - curve slope showed only small nonlinearities with changes in control deflection or angle of attack but indicated a difference in lift- .curve slope of approximately 7 percent for the two control deflections of delta = 3.0 deg and delta= -0.3 deg . The large tail length of the missile tested was effective in producing damping in pitch throughout the Mach number range tested. The aerodynamic- center location was nearly constant with Mach number for the two control deflections but was shown to be less stable with the larger control deflection. The increment of lift produced by the controls was small and positive throughout the Mach number range tested, whereas the pitching moment produced by the controls exhibited a normal trend of reduced effectiveness with increasing Mach number.The effectiveness of the controls in producing angle of attack, lift, and pitching moment was good at all Mach numbers tested.

  20. Flight Investigation at Low Angles of Attack to Determine the Longitudinal Stability and Control Characteristics of a Cruciform Canard Missile Configuration with a Low-Aspect-Ratio Wing and Blunt Nose at Mach Numbers from 1.2 to 2.1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, C. A., Jr.

    1957-01-01

    A full-scale rocket-powered model of a cruciform canard missile configuration with a low-aspect-ratio wing and blunt nose has been flight tested by the Langley Pilotless Aircraft Research Division. Static and dynamic longitudinal stability and control derivatives of this interdigitated canard-wing missile configuration were determined by using the pulsed-control technique at low angles of attack and for a Mach number range of 1.2 to 2.1. The lift-curve slope showed only small nonlinearities with changes in control deflection or angle of attack but indicated a difference in lift-curve slope of approximately 7 percent for the two control deflections of delta = 3.0 deg and delta = -0.3 deg. The large tail length of the missile tested was effective in producing damping in pitch throughout the Mach number range tested. The aerodynamic-center location was nearly constant with Mach number for the two control deflections but was shown to be less stable with the larger control deflection. The increment of lift produced by the controls was small and positive throughout the Mach number range tested, whereas the pitching moment produced by the controls exhibited a normal trend of reduced effectiveness with increasing Mach number. The effectiveness of the controls in producing angle of attack, lift, and pitching moment was good at all Mach numbers tested.

  1. Draft genome of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zijun; Li, Fang; Li, Qiye; Zhou, Long; Gamble, Tony; Zheng, Jiao; Kui, Ling; Li, Cai; Li, Shengbin; Yang, Huanming; Zhang, Guojie

    2016-10-26

    Geckos are among the most species-rich reptile groups and the sister clade to all other lizards and snakes. Geckos possess a suite of distinctive characteristics, including adhesive digits, nocturnal activity, hard, calcareous eggshells, and a lack of eyelids. However, one gecko clade, the Eublepharidae, appears to be the exception to most of these 'rules' and lacks adhesive toe pads, has eyelids, and lays eggs with soft, leathery eggshells. These differences make eublepharids an important component of any investigation into the underlying genomic innovations contributing to the distinctive phenotypes in 'typical' geckos. We report high-depth genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation for a male leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius (Eublepharidae). Illumina sequence data were generated from seven insert libraries (ranging from 170 to 20 kb), representing a raw sequencing depth of 136X from 303 Gb of data, reduced to 84X and 187 Gb after filtering. The assembled genome of 2.02 Gb was close to the 2.23 Gb estimated by k-mer analysis. Scaffold and contig N50 sizes of 664 and 20 kb, respectively, were comparable to the previously published Gekko japonicus genome. Repetitive elements accounted for 42 % of the genome. Gene annotation yielded 24,755 protein-coding genes, of which 93 % were functionally annotated. CEGMA and BUSCO assessment showed that our assembly captured 91 % (225 of 248) of the core eukaryotic genes, and 76 % of vertebrate universal single-copy orthologs. Assembly of the leopard gecko genome provides a valuable resource for future comparative genomic studies of geckos and other squamate reptiles.

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. Do you know this syndrome? Leopard syndrome*

    PubMed Central

    Cançado, Flávio Heleno da Silva Queiroz; da Silva, Luis Candido Pinto; Taitson, Paulo Franco; de Andrade, Ana Carolina Dias Viana; Pithon, Matheus Melo; Oliveira, Dauro Douglas

    2017-01-01

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is known as Leopard syndrome, which is a mnemonic rule for multiple lentigines (L), electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities (E), ocular hypertelorism (O), pulmonary stenosis (P), abnormalities of genitalia (A), retardation of growth (R), and deafness (D). We report the case of a 12-year-old patient with some of the abovementioned characteristics: hypertelorism, macroglossia, lentigines, hypospadias, cryptorchidism, subaortic stenosis, growth retardation, and hearing impairment. Due to this set of symptoms, we diagnosed Leopard syndrome. PMID:28225973

  6. Clinical and pathological observations on natural infections of cryptosporidiosis and flagellate protozoa in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Taylor, M A; Geach, M R; Cooley, W A

    1999-12-11

    A group of adult leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) which had been losing weight for several months were found to be infected with Cryptosporidium species. Histological and electron microscopical investigations on the intestines of five of the lizards revealed the presence of large numbers of the developmental stages of Cryptosporidium species attached to the mucosal surface of the lower intestine, and large numbers of flagellate protozoa, suspected to be predominantly Trichomonas species, in the gut lumen. The clinical signs were attributed to the presence of one or both types of parasites.

  7. 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. © 2011 The Author(s)

  8. Plasticity of thermoregulatory behavior in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius, Blyth 1954).

    PubMed

    Craioveanu, Octavian; Craioveanu, Cristina; Mireşan, Vioara

    2017-07-01

    Studies on thermoregulation in nocturnal lizards have shown that their thermal regimes are similar to those of diurnal lizards, even though they hide during the daytime and are active mostly at night, when heat sources are very scarce. As a result, nocturnal lizards display an active thermoregulatory behavior consisting of seeking warm shelters to hide during the daytime, using accumulated heat for the nocturnal activity. Based on this information, we hypothesize that when leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius, Blyth 1954) are presented with the choice of safety in cool shelters or vulnerability in heated open areas, suitable temperature will prevail in importance, i.e. they will trade the advantages provided by the shelter for an exposed, but physiologically necessary heat source. Data on the time juvenile E. macularius spent in shelters, and in open areas along a thermal gradient and under a 12/12 hr photoperiod, from eight individuals confirmed our hypothesis. We found that, not only did they select heat sources over shelters, but, along with the light/dark cycle, temperature may also represent a cue for activity. Additionally we found that substrate moisture plays an important role in shelter preference. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Tangential injection to a supersonic flow on a blunted nose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuvakhov, P. V.; Egorov, I. V.; Ezhov, I. V.; Ezhov, I. V.; Novikov, I. V.; Vasilevskiy, E. B.

    2017-06-01

    The flow pattern and the heat §ux to a body surface at a tangential gas injecting have been investigated. The cooling air was injected to a §ow through the tangential axisymmetric slot on the spherically blunted cylinder. The experiments were conducted at M∞ = 6, Re∞,Rw = 0.76 · 106, angle of attack α = 0°-30°, and the slot width hk/Rw = 0-0.021. The mass rate of the injecting gas was G∗ = gj/(πρ∞ u2∞w) = 0- 0.16. It has been shown that maximum of the heat §ux toward the sphere surface can be sufficiently decreased. Numerical investigations have been carried out using the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations for axisymmetric two-dimensional (2D) viscous compressible unsteady §ows at α = 0.

  10. 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.

  11. Leading-edge receptivity for blunt-nose bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammerton, P. W.; Kerschen, E. J.

    1992-01-01

    Boundary-layer receptivity in the leading edge region for bodies with blunt leading edges is investigated in this research program. Receptivity theory provides the link between the unsteady disturbance environment in the freestream and the initial amplitudes of 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.

  12. The regenerated tail of juvenile leopard geckos (Gekkota: Eublepharidae: Eublepharis macularius) preferentially stores more fat than the original.

    PubMed

    Russell, Anthony P; Lynn, Sabrina E; Powell, G Lawrence; Cottle, Andrew

    2015-06-01

    The tail of many species of lizard is used as a site of fat storage, and caudal autotomy is a widespread phenomenon among lizards. This means that caudal fat stores are at risk of being lost if the tail is autotomized. For fat-tailed species, such as the leopard gecko, this may be particularly costly. Previous work has shown that tail regeneration in juveniles of this species is rapid and that it receives priority for energy allocation, even when dietary resources are markedly reduced. We found that the regenerated tails of juvenile leopard geckos are more massive than their original counterparts, regardless of dietary intake, and that they exhibit greater amounts of skeleton, inner fat, muscle and subcutaneous fat than original tails (as assessed through cross-sectional area measurements of positionally equivalent stations along the tail). Autotomy and regeneration result in changes in tail shape, mass and the pattern of tissue distribution within the tail. The regenerated tail exhibits enhanced fat storage capacity, even in the face of a diet that results in significant slowing of body growth. Body growth is thus sacrificed at the expense of rapid tail growth. Fat stores laid down rapidly in the regenerating tail may later be used to fuel body growth or reproductive investment. The regenerated tail thus seems to have adaptive roles of its own, and provides a potential vehicle for studying trade-offs that relate to life history strategy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Time-varying motor control of autotomized leopard gecko tails: multiple inputs and behavioral modulation.

    PubMed

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P

    2012-02-01

    Autotomy (voluntary loss of an appendage) is common among diverse groups of vertebrates and invertebrates, and much attention has been given to ecological and developmental aspects of tail autotomy in lizards. Although most studies have focused on the ramifications for the lizard (behavior, biomechanics, energetics, etc.), the tail itself can exhibit interesting behaviors once segregated from the body. For example, recent work highlighted the ability of leopard gecko tails to jump and flip, in addition to being able to swing back and forth. Little is known, however, about the control mechanisms underlying these movements. Using electromyography, we examined the time-varying in vivo motor patterns at four sites (two proximal and two distal) in the tail of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, following autotomy. Using these data we tested the hypothesis that the disparity in movements results simply from overlapping pattern generators within the tail. We found that burst duration, but not cycle duration, of the rhythmic swings reached a plateau at approximately 150 s following autotomy. This is likely because of physiological changes related to muscle fatigue and ischemia. For flips and jumps, burst and cycle duration exhibited no regular pattern. The coefficient of variation in motor patterns was significantly greater for jumps and flips than for rhythmic swings. This supports the conclusion that the different tail behaviors do not stem from overlapping pattern generators, but that they rely upon independent neural circuits. The signal controlling jumps and flips may be modified by sensory information from the environment. Finally, we found that jumps and flips are initiated using relatively synchronous activity between the two sides of the tail. In contrast, alternating activation of the right and left sides of the tail result in rhythmic swings. The mechanism underlying this change in tail behavior is comparable to locomotor gait changes in vertebrates.

  15. Normally occurring intersexuality and testosterone induced plasticity in the copulatory system of adult leopard geckos.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Melissa M; Putz, Oliver; Crews, David; Wade, Juli

    2005-04-01

    The copulatory neuromuscular system of lizards is highly sexually dimorphic. Adult males possess bilateral penises called hemipenes, which are independently controlled by two muscles, the retractor penis magnus (RPM) and transversus penis (TPN). These structures are not obvious in adult females. However, in adult female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), testosterone induces hemipene growth. We investigated whether these structures develop de novo in adulthood or are histologically present as rudimentary structures in the female leopard gecko. We also investigated the extent of sexual dimorphisms and plasticity in the associated neuromuscular components. To do this, we compared copulatory morphology (sizes of hemipenes, RPM and TPN muscle fibers, and associated motoneurons, as well as motoneuron and RPM fiber number) in adult females treated with testosterone, control females, and control males. All of the geckos possessed hemipenes, RPMs and TPNs, but these structures were indeed vestigial in control females. Testosterone induced striking increases in hemipene and copulatory muscle fiber size in females, but not to levels equivalent to control males. In parallel, males with increased levels of androgenic activity had larger hemipenes, suggesting naturally occurring steroid-induced plasticity. Copulatory motoneurons were not sexually dimorphic in size or number, and these measures did not respond to testosterone. The data demonstrate that the copulatory system of leopard geckos, in which gonadal sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, differs from that of many species (both reptilian and mammalian) with genotypic sex determination. Indeed, the system is remarkable in that adult females have normally occurring intersex characteristics and they exhibit substantial steroid-induced morphological plasticity in adulthood.

  16. 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.

  17. Behavioral hypothermia of a domesticated lizard under treatment of the hypometabolic agent 3-iodothyronamine.

    PubMed

    Ha, Kyoungbong; Shin, Haksup; Ju, Hyunwoo; Chung, Chan-Moon; Choi, Inho

    2017-05-03

    Ectothermic animals rely on behavioral thermoregulation due to low capacity of heat production and storage. Previously, lizards were shown to achieve 'fever' during microbial infection by increasing their preferred body temperature (PBT) behaviorally, thereby attaining a relatively high survival rate. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether domesticated lizards pursued 'behavioral hypothermia' induced by a hypometabolic agent 3-iodothyronamine (T1AM). We found that treatment with 8.0 mg/kg T1AM caused a lizard species, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), to decrease its ventilation and oxygen consumption rates 0.64- and 0.76-fold, respectively, compared to those of the control (P<0.05). The lizards, habituated at an ambient temperature of 30 ± 0.5°C, also showed a significant decrease in the PBT range over a freely accessible thermal gradient between 5°C and 45°C. The upper limit of the PBT in the treated lizards lowered from 31.9°C to 30.6°C, and the lower limit from 29.5°C to 26.3°C (P<0.001). These findings demonstrate that the treated lizards pursued behavioral hypothermia in conjunction with hypoventilation and hypometabolism. Because prior studies reported a similar hypometabolic response in T1AM-injected laboratory mice, the domesticated lizards, as a part of the vertebrate phylogeny, may be a useful laboratory model for biological and pharmacological researches such as drug potency test.

  18. Behavioral hypothermia of a domesticated lizard under treatment of the hypometabolic agent 3-iodothyronamine

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Kyoungbong; Shin, Haksup; Ju, Hyunwoo; Chung, Chan-Moon; Choi, Inho

    2016-01-01

    Ectothermic animals rely on behavioral thermoregulation due to low capacity of heat production and storage. Previously, lizards were shown to achieve ‘fever’ during microbial infection by increasing their preferred body temperature (PBT) behaviorally, thereby attaining a relatively high survival rate. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether domesticated lizards pursued ‘behavioral hypothermia’ induced by a hypometabolic agent 3-iodothyronamine (T1AM). We found that treatment with 8.0 mg/kg T1AM caused a lizard species, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), to decrease its ventilation and oxygen consumption rates 0.64- and 0.76-fold, respectively, compared to those of the control (P<0.05). The lizards, habituated at an ambient temperature of 30 ± 0.5°C, also showed a significant decrease in the PBT range over a freely accessible thermal gradient between 5°C and 45°C. The upper limit of the PBT in the treated lizards lowered from 31.9°C to 30.6°C, and the lower limit from 29.5°C to 26.3°C (P<0.001). These findings demonstrate that the treated lizards pursued behavioral hypothermia in conjunction with hypoventilation and hypometabolism. Because prior studies reported a similar hypometabolic response in T1AM-injected laboratory mice, the domesticated lizards, as a part of the vertebrate phylogeny, may be a useful laboratory model for biological and pharmacological researches such as drug potency test. PMID:27795490

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Reproductive Medicine in Lizards.

    PubMed

    Knotek, Zdenek; Cermakova, Eva; Oliveri, Matteo

    2017-05-01

    Common reproductive problems in captive male lizards are hemipenile plugs in hemipenial sac, unilateral prolapse of hemipenis, or bilateral prolapse of hemipene. Although the orchiectomy is performed as a treatment for testicular disease, the effectiveness in reducing aggressive behavior is unclear. Female captive lizards suffer from cloacal prolapse, preovulatory follicular stasis, or dystocia. The veterinarian must differentiate between the disorders because the treatment differs. Mating, physical, or visual contact with the male stimulates ovulation and prevents preovulatory follicular stasis. Surgical intervention is usually required for dystocia. This article discusses selected procedures and use of ultrasonography and diagnostic endoscopy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular characterization of thyroid hormone receptors from the leopard gecko, and their differential expression in the skin.

    PubMed

    Kanaho, Yoh-Ichiro; Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2006-06-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play crucial roles in various developmental and physiological processes in vertebrates, including squamate reptiles. The effect of THs on shedding frequency is interesting in Squamata, since the effects on lizards are quite the reverse of those in snakes: injection of thyroxine increases shedding frequency in lizards, but decreases it in snakes. However, the mechanism underlying this differential effect remains unclear. To facilitate the investigation of the molecular mechanism of the physiological functions of THs in Squamata, their two specific receptor (TRalpha and beta) cDNAs, which are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, were cloned from a lizard, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This is the first molecular cloning of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) from reptiles. The deduced amino acid sequences showed high identity with those of other species, especially in the C and E/F domains, which are characteristic domains in nuclear hormone receptors. Expression analysis revealed that TRs were widely expressed in many tissues and organs, as in other animals. To analyze their role in the skin, temporal expression analysis was performed by RT-PCR, revealing that the two TRs had opposing expression patterns: TRalpha was expressed more strongly after than before skin shedding, whereas TRbeta was expressed more strongly before than after skin shedding. This provides good evidence that THs play important roles in the skin, and that the roles of their two receptor isoforms are distinct from each other.

  4. Leopard in a tea-cup: A study of leopard habitat-use and human-leopard interactions in north-eastern India.

    PubMed

    Kshettry, Aritra; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Athreya, Vidya

    2017-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of the importance of multi-use landscapes for the conservation of large carnivores. However, when carnivore ranges overlap with high density of humans, there are often serious conservation challenges. This is especially true in countries like India where loss of peoples' lives and property to large wildlife are not uncommon. The leopard (Panthera pardus) is a large felid that is widespread in India, often sharing landscapes with high human densities. In order to understand the ecology of leopards in a human use landscape and the nature of human-leopard interactions, we studied (i) the spatial and temporal distribution and the characteristics of leopard attacks on people, (ii) the spatial variability in the pattern of habitat use by the leopard, and (iii) the spatial relationship between attack locations and habitat use by leopards. The study site, located in northern West Bengal, India, is a densely populated mixed-use landscape of 630 km2, comprising of forests, tea plantations, agriculture fields, and human settlements. A total of 171 leopard attacks on humans were reported between January 2009 and March 2016, most of which occurred within the tea-gardens. None of the attacks was fatal. We found significant spatial clustering of locations of leopard attacks on humans. However, most of the attacks were restricted to certain tea estates and occurred mostly between January and May. Analysis of habitat use by leopards showed that the probability of use of areas with more ground vegetation cover was high while that of areas with high density of buildings was low. However, locations of leopard attacks on people did not coincide with areas that showed a higher probability of use by leopards. This indicates that an increased use of an area by leopards, by itself, does not necessarily imply an increase in attacks on people. The spatial and temporal clustering of attack locations allowed us to use this information to prioritize areas to focus

  5. 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.

  6. 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. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  7. Relative apportioning of resources to the body and regenerating tail in juvenile leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) maintained on different dietary rations.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sabrina E; Borkovic, Benjamin P; Russell, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    Caudal autotomy is a widespread phenomenon among lizards, and similar processes occur in other groups of vertebrates and invertebrates. Many costs have been associated with autotomy, including the regeneration of lost biomass. For lizards, it is not known whether resources are preferentially directed toward caudal regeneration or whether regeneration occurs only when resources are abundant. Conflicting information is present in the literature, and an absence of controlled experiments prevents determination of what pattern of regeneration may occur under a given set of circumstances. We employed the leopard gecko, a fat-tailed species, to examine whether tail regeneration is a priority and, if so, whether it remains so when resources become limiting. We explored this through caudal autotomy and dietary manipulation under conditions that ensured that differences in diet were sufficient to permit differential growth. We examined juvenile leopard geckos because these animals are rapidly growing and allocation of energy is not compromised by reproductive investment. The effects of dietary resource availability and the demands of caudal regeneration were compared in intact and regenerating animals. Our evidence indicates that caudal regeneration is a priority, even when resources are limiting. We conclude that tail regrowth is a priority that is associated with long-term survival and possibly reproductive success.

  8. Sociosexual Investigation in Sexually Experienced, Hormonally Manipulated Male Leopard Geckos: Relation With Phosphorylated DARPP-32 in Dopaminergic Pathways

    PubMed Central

    HUANG, VICTORIA; HEMMINGS, HUGH C.; CREWS, DAVID

    2015-01-01

    Dopaminergic activity is both associated with sociosexual exposure and modulated by sexual experience and hormonal state across vertebrate taxa. Mature leopard geckos, a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination, have dopaminoceptive nuclei that are influenced by their embryonic environment and sensitive to adult hormonal manipulation. In this study, we exposed hormonally manipulated male leopard geckos from different incubation temperatures to conspecifics and measured their sociosexual investigation, as well as phosphorylated DARPP-32 at Threonine 34 (pDARPP-32) immunoreactivity as a marker for D1 dopamine receptor activity in the nucleus accumbens, striatum, and preoptic area. Social investigation time by males of different incubation temperatures was modulated in opposite directions by exogenous androgen treatment. Males exposed to novel stimuli spent a greater proportion of time investigating females of different incubation temperatures. The time spent investigating females was positively correlated to pDARPP-32 immunoreactivity in the preoptic area. This is the first study quantifying pDARPP-32 in a lizard species, and suggests the protein as a potential marker to measure differences in the dopaminergic pathway in a social setting with consideration of embryonic environment and hormonal state. PMID:25351686

  9. Applicability of age-based hunting regulations for African leopards.

    PubMed

    Balme, Guy Andrew; Hunter, Luke; Braczkowski, Alex Richard

    2012-01-01

    In species in which juvenile survival depends strongly on male tenure, excessive trophy hunting can artificially elevate male turnover and increase infanticide, potentially to unsustainable levels. Simulation models show that the likelihood of safe harvests can be improved by restricting offtakes to males old enough to have reared their first cohort of offspring to independence; in the case of African leopards, males were ≥7 years old. Here, we explore the applicability of an age-based approach for regulating trophy hunting of leopards. We conducted a structured survey comprising photographs of known-age leopards to assess the ability of wildlife practitioners to sex and age leopards. We also evaluated the utility of four phenotypic traits for use by trophy hunters to age male leopards in the field. Our logistic regression models showed that male leopard age affected the likelihood of survey respondents identifying the correct sex; notably, males <2 years were typically misidentified as females, while mature males (≥4 years) were sexed correctly. Mature male leopards were also more likely to be aged correctly, as were portrait photographs. Aging proficiency was also influenced by the profession of respondents, with hunters recording the lowest scores. A discriminant model including dewlap size, the condition of the ears, and the extent of facial scarring accurately discriminated among male leopard age classes. Model classification rates were considerably higher than the respective scores attained by survey respondents, implying that the aging ability of hunters could theoretically improve with appropriate training. Dewlap size was a particularly reliable indicator of males ≥7 years and a review of online trophy galleries suggested its wider utility as an aging criterion. Our study demonstrated that an age-based hunting approach is practically applicable for leopards. However, implementation would require major reform within the regulatory framework and the

  10. Applicability of Age-Based Hunting Regulations for African Leopards

    PubMed Central

    Balme, Guy Andrew; Hunter, Luke; Braczkowski, Alex Richard

    2012-01-01

    In species in which juvenile survival depends strongly on male tenure, excessive trophy hunting can artificially elevate male turnover and increase infanticide, potentially to unsustainable levels. Simulation models show that the likelihood of safe harvests can be improved by restricting offtakes to males old enough to have reared their first cohort of offspring to independence; in the case of African leopards, males were ≥7 years old. Here, we explore the applicability of an age-based approach for regulating trophy hunting of leopards. We conducted a structured survey comprising photographs of known-age leopards to assess the ability of wildlife practitioners to sex and age leopards. We also evaluated the utility of four phenotypic traits for use by trophy hunters to age male leopards in the field. Our logistic regression models showed that male leopard age affected the likelihood of survey respondents identifying the correct sex; notably, males <2 years were typically misidentified as females, while mature males (≥4 years) were sexed correctly. Mature male leopards were also more likely to be aged correctly, as were portrait photographs. Aging proficiency was also influenced by the profession of respondents, with hunters recording the lowest scores. A discriminant model including dewlap size, the condition of the ears, and the extent of facial scarring accurately discriminated among male leopard age classes. Model classification rates were considerably higher than the respective scores attained by survey respondents, implying that the aging ability of hunters could theoretically improve with appropriate training. Dewlap size was a particularly reliable indicator of males ≥7 years and a review of online trophy galleries suggested its wider utility as an aging criterion. Our study demonstrated that an age-based hunting approach is practically applicable for leopards. However, implementation would require major reform within the regulatory framework and the

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. A novel amniote model of epimorphic regeneration: the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Epimorphic regeneration results in the restoration of lost tissues and structures from an aggregation of proliferating cells known as a blastema. Among amniotes the most striking example of epimorphic regeneration comes from tail regenerating lizards. Although tail regeneration is often studied in the context of ecological costs and benefits, details of the sequence of tissue-level events are lacking. Here we investigate the anatomical and histological events that characterize tail regeneration in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Results Tail structure and tissue composition were examined at multiple days following tail loss, revealing a conserved pattern of regeneration. Removal of the tail results in a consistent series of morphological and histological events. Tail loss is followed by a latent period of wound healing with no visible signs of regenerative outgrowth. During this latent period basal cells of the epidermis proliferate and gradually cover the wound. An additional aggregation of proliferating cells accumulates adjacent to the distal tip of the severed spinal cord marking the first appearance of the blastema. Continued growth of the blastema is matched by the initiation of angiogenesis, followed by the re-development of peripheral axons and the ependymal tube of the spinal cord. Skeletal tissue differentiation, corresponding with the expression of Sox9, and muscle re-development are delayed until tail outgrowth is well underway. Conclusions We demonstrate that tail regeneration in lizards involves a highly conserved sequence of events permitting the establishment of a staging table. We show that tail loss is followed by a latent period of scar-free healing of the wound site, and that regeneration is blastema-mediated. We conclude that the major events of epimorphic regeneration are highly conserved across vertebrates and that a comparative approach is an invaluable biomedical tool for ongoing regenerative research. PMID:21846350

  15. A novel amniote model of epimorphic regeneration: the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    McLean, Katherine E; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2011-08-16

    Epimorphic regeneration results in the restoration of lost tissues and structures from an aggregation of proliferating cells known as a blastema. Among amniotes the most striking example of epimorphic regeneration comes from tail regenerating lizards. Although tail regeneration is often studied in the context of ecological costs and benefits, details of the sequence of tissue-level events are lacking. Here we investigate the anatomical and histological events that characterize tail regeneration in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Tail structure and tissue composition were examined at multiple days following tail loss, revealing a conserved pattern of regeneration. Removal of the tail results in a consistent series of morphological and histological events. Tail loss is followed by a latent period of wound healing with no visible signs of regenerative outgrowth. During this latent period basal cells of the epidermis proliferate and gradually cover the wound. An additional aggregation of proliferating cells accumulates adjacent to the distal tip of the severed spinal cord marking the first appearance of the blastema. Continued growth of the blastema is matched by the initiation of angiogenesis, followed by the re-development of peripheral axons and the ependymal tube of the spinal cord. Skeletal tissue differentiation, corresponding with the expression of Sox9, and muscle re-development are delayed until tail outgrowth is well underway. We demonstrate that tail regeneration in lizards involves a highly conserved sequence of events permitting the establishment of a staging table. We show that tail loss is followed by a latent period of scar-free healing of the wound site, and that regeneration is blastema-mediated. We conclude that the major events of epimorphic regeneration are highly conserved across vertebrates and that a comparative approach is an invaluable biomedical tool for ongoing regenerative research.

  16. Congenital ankyloblepharon in a leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Rival, Franck

    2015-01-01

    A 6-month-old leopard gecko with unilateral partially fused eyelids since birth was presented for examination. A diagnosis of congenital ankyloblepharon was made and surgical correction was performed successfully. © 2014 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  17. Pathological findings of a fatal leopard seal attack.

    PubMed

    Rutty, Guy N

    2007-03-01

    A unique case of a fatal leopard seal attack against an adult human female is presented. The death occurred in Rothera, Antarctica when the female was snorkeling while undertaking scientific research. The principle injuries occurred, during life, to the facial areas prior to the act of drowning. The method of attack of leopard seals against their natural prey is discussed and related to the findings on the deceased.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Calcitonin produces hypercalcemia in leopard sharks.

    PubMed

    Glowacki, J; O'Sullivan, J; Miller, M; Wilkie, D W; Deftos, L J

    1985-02-01

    Calcitonin was detected by RIA in sera from four marine species, leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata), horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci), thornback rays (Platyrhinoides triseriata), and kelp bass (Paralabrax clathratus). These animals have levels of calcitonin and calcium higher than freshwater and terrestrial species have. The administration of salmon calcitonin to bass (4 micrograms/kg BW) produced hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia as has been reported for other bony vertebrates. In marked contrast, calcitonin produced a prompt hypercalcemia in sharks; the average was 9.8% increase in serum calcium in nine animals with no attendant change in phosphorus. These findings demonstrate that calcitonin can increase serum calcium in sharks. Because shark skeleton is composed of cartilage, this hypercalcemic effect of calcitonin does not require a bony skeleton.

  2. Reproductive tradeoffs and yolk steroids in female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Crews, D; Fivizzani, A; Elf, P

    2006-11-01

    Life history theory predicts tradeoffs among reproductive traits, but the physiological mechanisms underlying such tradeoffs remain unclear. Here we examine reproductive tradeoffs and their association with yolk steroids in an oviparous lizard. Female leopard geckos lay two eggs in a clutch, produce multiple clutches in a breeding season, and reproduce for several years. We detected a significant tradeoff between egg size and the number of clutches laid by females during their first two breeding seasons. Total reproductive effort was strongly condition-dependent in the first season, but much less so in the second season. Although these and other tradeoffs were unmistakable, they were not associated with levels of androstenedione, oestradiol, or testosterone in egg yolk. Female condition and egg size, however, were inversely related to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in egg yolk. Finally, steroid levels in egg yolk were not directly related to steroid levels in the maternal circulation when follicles were developing, indicating that steroid transfer to eggs is regulated. These findings suggest that maternal allocation of DHT could mitigate tradeoffs that lead to poor offspring quality (i.e. poor female condition) and small offspring size (i.e. small egg size).

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2006-12-05

    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).

  7. Molecular Evidence for Species-Level Distinctions in Clouded Leopards

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2017-01-01

    Summary 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 [1–5]. This secretive, mid-sized (16–23 kg) carnivore, now severely endangered, is traditionally subdivided into four southeast Asian subspecies (Figure 1A) [4–8]. 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 and 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

  8. 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.

  9. Defrosting Polar Dunes -- "The Snow Leopard"

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-05-16

    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 61.5°S, 18.9°W, 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). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02301

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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).

  13. Evidence of leopard predation on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Danielle E; Hohmann, Gottfried; Fruth, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    Current models of social organization assume that predation is one of the major forces that promotes group living in diurnal primates. As large body size renders some protection against predators, gregariousness of great apes and other large primate species is usually related to other parameters. The low frequency of observed cases of nonhuman predation on great apes seems to support this assumption. However, recent efforts to study potential predator species have increasingly accumulated direct and indirect evidence of predation by leopards (Panthera pardus) on chimpanzees and gorillas. The following report provides the first evidence of predation by a leopard on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

  14. Verification Tests of the US Electricar Corp. Lectric Leopard.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-10-01

    ASTRACr eftwen as rewee eIN and IF~~ by bloek umber) TheMS e~eua. .’Letri Lopadj a eault Le Car that has been converted to an electric vehicle. It was...34Perfor- mance Standards for Demonstrations." IV. TEST VEHICLE DESCRIPTION The Electricar Lectric Leopard is a standard Renault Le Car Passenger car ...a 12-hp, compound-wound d.c. motor manufactured by Prestolite Corporation. The Leopard has the standard Renault Le Car torsion bar suspen- sion

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Acoustical Coupling of Lizard Eardrums

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    Lizard ears are clear examples of two-input pressure-difference receivers, with up to 40-dB differences in eardrum vibration amplitude in response to ipsi- and contralateral stimulus directions. The directionality is created by acoustical coupling of the eardrums and interaction of the direct and indirect sound components on the eardrum. The ensuing pressure-difference characteristics generate the highest directionality of any similar-sized terrestrial vertebrate ear. The aim of the present study was to measure the gain of the direct and indirect sound components in three lizard species: Anolis sagrei and Basiliscus vittatus (iguanids) and Hemidactylus frenatus (gekkonid) by laser vibrometry, using either free-field sound or a headphone and coupler for stimulation. The directivity of the ear of these lizards is pronounced in the frequency range from 2 to 5 kHz. The directivity is ovoidal, asymmetrical across the midline, but largely symmetrical across the interaural axis (i.e., front–back). Occlusion of the contralateral ear abolishes the directionality. We stimulated the two eardrums with a coupler close to the eardrum to measure the gain of the sound pathways. Within the frequency range of maximal directionality, the interaural transmission gain (compared to sound arriving directly) is close to or even exceeds unity, indicating a pronounced acoustical transparency of the lizard head and resonances in the interaural cavities. Our results show that the directionality of the lizard ear is caused by the acoustic interaction of the two eardrums. The results can be largely explained by a simple acoustical model based on an electrical analog circuit. PMID:18648878

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Lizard Bite Masquerading as Scorpion Sting Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Neelannavar, Ramesh; Patil, Shankargouda; Lakhkar, Bhavana; Shegji, Vijaykumar

    2016-01-01

    Lizard bite is very infrequent in children. Lizards tend to avoid confrontation. Bites are only inflicted when they are manipulated or when they are cornered and feel threatened. Lizard bites may be frightening but most do not cause serious health problems. The wall lizard or gecko, found in most homes, is not poisonous at all. It only checks insect population. A two-year-old boy was brought with history of lizard bite over right hand when he was trying to capture it. The child had experienced excessive sweating and irritability within two hours of bite. He was treated with supportive care. Prazosin hydrochloride was administered in the dose of 30μ/kg as his symptoms mimicked the autonomic storm which is typically seen with scorpion sting envenomation. To the best of our knowledge autonomic storm following lizard bite has not been reported in the Indian literature so far. PMID:28050465

  2. Digestive parameters and water turnover of the leopard tortoise.

    PubMed

    McMaster, Megan K; Downs, Colleen T

    2008-09-01

    Leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) experience wide fluctuations in environmental conditions and unpredictable availability of food and water within the Nama-Karoo biome. It was hypothesised that tortoises fed two diets differing in preformed water and fibre content would have differing food intake, gut transit rate, assimilation efficiency, faecal and urinary water loss, and urine concentrations. It was predicted that tortoises fed these contrasting diets would attempt to maintain energy and water balance by altering their digestive parameters. Leopard tortoises fed lucerne (Medicago sativa) had a low food intake coupled with long gut transit times, which resulted in the lowest amount of faecal energy and faecal water lost. Tortoises fed tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) had higher food intake and faster gut transit times, but more energy and water was lost in the faeces. However, daily energy assimilated and assimilation efficiency were comparable between tortoises fed the two diets. Urine osmolality was significantly different between tortoises on the two diets. Results indicate that leopard tortoises can adjust parameters such as transit rate, food intake, water loss and urine osmolality to maintain body mass, water and energy balance in response to a high fibre, low water content and a low fibre, high water content diet. This study suggests that this digestive flexibility allows leopard tortoises in the wild to take advantage of unpredictable food and water resources.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Neural stem/progenitor cells are activated during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Eab; Vickaryous, M K

    2017-10-04

    As for many lizards, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) can self-detach its tail to avoid predation and then regenerate a replacement. The replacement tail includes a regenerated spinal cord with a simple morphology: an ependymal layer surrounded by nerve tracts. We hypothesized that cells within the ependymal layer of the original spinal cord include populations of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) that contribute to the regenerated spinal cord. Prior to tail loss, we performed a bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experiment and found that a subset of ependymal layer cells (ELCs) were label-retaining after a 140-day chase period. Next, we conducted a detailed spatiotemporal characterization of these cells before, during, and after tail regeneration. Our findings show that SOX2, a hallmark protein of NSPCs, is constitutively expressed by virtually all ELCs before, during, and after regeneration. We also found that during regeneration, ELCs express an expanded panel of NSPC and lineage-restricted progenitor cell markers, including MSI-1, SOX9 and TUJ1. Using electron microscopy, we determined that multiciliated, uniciliated, and biciliated cells are present, although the latter was only observed in regenerated spinal cords. Our results demonstrate that cells within the ependymal layer of the original, regenerating and fully regenerate spinal cord represent a heterogeneous population. These include radial glia comparable to Type E and Type B cells, and a neuronal-like population of cerebrospinal fluid-contacting cells. We propose that spinal cord regeneration in geckos represents a truncation of the restorative trajectory observed in some urodeles and teleosts, resulting in the formation of a structurally distinct replacement. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Blood vessel formation during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius): The blastema is not avascular.

    PubMed

    Payne, Samantha L; Peacock, Hanna M; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2017-03-01

    Unique among amniotes, many lizards are able to self-detach (autotomize) their tail and then regenerate a replacement. Tail regeneration involves the formation of a blastema, an accumulation of proliferating cells at the site of autotomy. Over time, cells of the blastema give rise to most of the tissues in the replacement tail. In non-amniotes capable of regenerating (such as urodeles and some teleost fish), the blastema is reported to be essentially avascular until tissue differentiation takes place. For tail regenerating lizards less is known. Here, we investigate neovascularization during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). We demonstrate that the gecko tail blastema is not an avascular structure. Beginning with the onset of regenerative outgrowth, structurally mature (mural cell supported) blood vessels are found within the blastema. Although the pattern of blood vessel distribution in the regenerate tail differs from that of the original, a hierarchical network is established, with vessels of varying luminal diameters and wall thicknesses. Using immunostaining, we determine that blastema outgrowth and tissue differentiation is characterized by a dynamic interplay between the pro-angiogenic protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the anti-angiogenic protein thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1). VEGF-expression is initially widespread, but diminishes as tissues differentiate. In contrast, TSP-1 expression is initially restricted but becomes more abundant as VEGF-expression wanes. We predict that variation in the neovascular response observed between different regeneration-competent species likely relates to the volume of the blastema. J. Morphol. 278:380-389, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Cheetahs have a stronger constitutive innate immunity than leopards

    PubMed Central

    Heinrich, Sonja K.; Hofer, Heribert; Courtiol, Alexandre; Melzheimer, Jörg; Dehnhard, Martin; Czirják, Gábor Á.; Wachter, Bettina

    2017-01-01

    As a textbook case for the importance of genetics in conservation, absence of genetic variability at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is thought to endanger species viability, since it is considered crucial for pathogen resistance. An alternative view of the immune system inspired by life history theory posits that a strong response should evolve in other components of the immune system if there is little variation in the MHC. In contrast to the leopard (Panthera pardus), the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has a relatively low genetic variability at the MHC, yet free-ranging cheetahs are healthy. By comparing the functional competence of the humoral immune system of both species in sympatric populations in Namibia, we demonstrate that cheetahs have a higher constitutive innate but lower induced innate and adaptive immunity than leopards. We conclude (1) immunocompetence of cheetahs is higher than previously thought; (2) studying both innate and adaptive components of immune systems will enrich conservation science. PMID:28333126

  14. Cutaneous atypical mycobacteriosis in a clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).

    PubMed

    Cerveny, Shannon N S; Thompson, Michelle E; Corner, Sarah M; Swinford, Amy K; Coke, Rob L

    2013-09-01

    A 16-yr-old male clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) was presented for lethargy and anorexia. A cutaneous abdominal mass extending from the pubis to just caudal to the xiphoid process was present. A biopsy revealed histologic lesions consistent with an atypical mycobacterial infection consisting of diffuse, severe, pyogranulomatous dermatitis and panniculitis, with clear vacuoles and 3-5 microm, intravacuolar, faintly eosinophilic, filamentous bacilli that stained positively with FiteFaraco modified acid-fast stain. The clouded leopard had biochemical findings suggestive of chronic renal failure and euthanasia was elected. Histological evaluation of tissues collected at postmortem examination revealed multicentric B-cell lymphoma involving the oral cavity, liver, spleen, and multiple lymph nodes, bilateral testicular seminomas, thyroid follicular cell adenoma, thyroid C cell adenoma, and biliary cystadenomas. Bacterial culture and molecular sequencing identified the causative agent of the cutaneous abdominal mass as belonging to the Mycobacterium fortuitum group.

  15. 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

  16. Range-Wide Snow Leopard Phylogeography Supports Three Subspecies.

    PubMed

    Janecka, Jan E; Zhang, Yuguang; Li, Diqiang; Munkhtsog, Bariushaa; Bayaraa, Munkhtsog; Galsandorj, Naranbaatar; Wangchuk, Tshewang R; Karmacharya, Dibesh; Li, Juan; Lu, Zhi; Uulu, Kubanychbek Zhumabai; Gaur, Ajay; Kumar, Satish; Kumar, Kesav; Hussain, Shafqat; Muhammad, Ghulam; Jevit, Matthew; Hacker, Charlotte; Burger, Pamela; Wultsch, Claudia; Janecka, Mary J; Helgen, Kristofer; Murphy, William J; Jackson, Rodney

    2017-09-01

    The snow leopard, Panthera uncia, is an elusive high-altitude specialist that inhabits vast, inaccessible habitat across Asia. We conducted the first range-wide genetic assessment of snow leopards based on noninvasive scat surveys. Thirty-three microsatellites were genotyped and a total of 683 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequenced in 70 individuals. Snow leopards exhibited low genetic diversity at microsatellites (AN = 5.8, HO = 0.433, HE = 0.568), virtually no mtDNA variation, and underwent a bottleneck in the Holocene (∼8000 years ago) coinciding with increased temperatures, precipitation, and upward treeline shift in the Tibetan Plateau. Multiple analyses supported 3 primary genetic clusters: (1) Northern (the Altai region), (2) Central (core Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau), and (3) Western (Tian Shan, Pamir, trans-Himalaya regions). Accordingly, we recognize 3 subspecies, Panthera uncia irbis (Northern group), Panthera uncia uncia (Western group), and Panthera uncia uncioides (Central group) based upon genetic distinctness, low levels of admixture, unambiguous population assignment, and geographic separation. The patterns of variation were consistent with desert-basin "barrier effects" of the Gobi isolating the northern subspecies (Mongolia), and the trans-Himalaya dividing the central (Qinghai, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal) and western subspecies (India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan). Hierarchical Bayesian clustering analysis revealed additional subdivision into a minimum of 6 proposed management units: western Mongolia, southern Mongolia, Tian Shan, Pamir-Himalaya, Tibet-Himalaya, and Qinghai, with spatial autocorrelation suggesting potential connectivity by dispersing individuals up to ∼400 km. We provide a foundation for global conservation of snow leopard subspecies, and set the stage for in-depth landscape genetics and genomic studies. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of endurance training in the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata.

    PubMed

    Gruber, S J; Dickson, K A

    1997-01-01

    This study is the first to examine the effects of endurance training in an elasmobranch fish. Twenty-four leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) were divided randomly into three groups. Eight sharks were killed immediately, eight were forced to swim continuously for 6 wk against a current of 35 cm s-1 (60%-65% of maximal sustainable swimming speed), and eight were held for 6 wk in a tank without induced current. There were no changes due to training in maximal sustainable speed, oxygen consumption rates, percentage of the myotome composed of red and white muscle fibers, blood oxygen-carrying capacity, liver mass, liver lipid, glycogen, and protein concentrations, white muscle protein content, heart ventricle mass, or the specific activities of the enzymes citrate synthase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase in the heart ventricle. In red myotomal muscle, citrate synthase activity increased 17% as a result of training, but there was no change in muscle fiber diameter. The greatest effects occurred in white myotomal muscle, in which a 34% increase in fiber diameter and a 36% increase in the activities of citrate synthase and lactate dehydrogenase occurred as a result of training. The conditioned fish also had significantly higher growth rates. The observed effects within the myotomal muscle may reflect the higher growth rates of the trained leopard sharks, or they may be a specific response to the increased energetic demands of the training activity, indicating characteristics that limit swimming performance in leopard sharks.

  19. LEOPARD syndrome with partly normal skin and sex chromosome mosaicism.

    PubMed

    Writzl, Karin; Hoovers, Jan; Sistermans, Erik A; Hennekam, Raoul C M

    2007-11-01

    We report on a family with LEOPARD syndrome which was molecularly proven (p.Thr468Met in PTPN11) in a father and his adult son. The father had multiple lentigines dispersed equally over his body; the son was similarly affected except for the left part of thorax, back and left arm, which were completely devoid of lentigines and only showed a few nevi. In addition, the son was found to have a mosaic karyotype, 47,XYY/46,XY, in lymphocytes. Skin biopsies from the pigmented and unpigmented forearm showed that mainly a 47,XYY karyotype was present in the pigmented skin and mainly a 46,XY karyotype in the unpigmented skin. In both fibroblast cultures the PTPN11 mutation was present, and no additional mutation could be detected. We discuss the various possible explanations for this phenotype, which include the possibility of coincidence; revertant mosaicism; silencing of a second PTPN11 mutation; gene(s) located on a sex chromosome influencing the phenotype; and epigenetic influences. We favor that the co-occurrence of a sex chromosome mosaicism and mosaicism for skin symptoms in a single patient with LEOPARD syndrome is coincidence, but that mosaicism for LEOPARD skin symptoms in itself may well be more frequent and needs additional studies. Each of the above-hypothesized mechanisms may then remain possible.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories.

    PubMed

    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. We 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. We tested our 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. Controlled chaos: three-dimensional kinematics, fiber histochemistry, and muscle contractile dynamics of autotomized lizard tails.

    PubMed

    Higham, Timothy E; Lipsett, Kathryn R; Syme, Douglas A; Russell, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    The ability to shed an appendage occurs in both vertebrates and invertebrates, often as a tactic to avoid predation. The tails of lizards, unlike most autotomized body parts of animals, exhibit complex and vigorous movements once disconnected from the body. Despite the near ubiquity of autotomy across groups of lizards and the fact that this is an extraordinary event involving the self-severing of the spinal cord, our understanding of why and how tails move as they do following autotomy is sparse. We herein explore the histochemistry and physiology of the tail muscles of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a species that exhibits vigorous and variable tail movements following autotomy. To confirm that the previously studied tail movements of this species are generally representative of geckos and therefore suitable for in-depth muscle studies, we quantified the three-dimensional kinematics of autotomized tails in three additional species. The movements of the tails of all species were generally similar and included jumps, flips, and swings. Our preliminary analyses suggest that some species of gecko exhibit short but high-frequency movements, whereas others exhibit larger-amplitude but lower-frequency movements. We then compared the ATPase and oxidative capacity of muscle fibers and contractile dynamics of isolated muscle bundles from original tails, muscle from regenerate tails, and fast fibers from an upper limb muscle (iliofibularis) of the leopard gecko. Histochemical analysis revealed that more than 90% of the fibers in original and regenerate caudal muscles had high ATPase but possessed a superficial layer of fibers with low ATPase and high oxidative capacity. We found that contraction kinetics, isometric force, work, power output, and the oscillation frequency at which maximum power was generated were lowest in the original tail, followed by the regenerate tail and then the fast fibers of the iliofibularis. Muscle from the original tail exhibited

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. LI. Ticks infesting leopard tortoises Stigmochelys pardalis, hingeback tortoises Kinixys zombensis and angulate tortoises Chersina angulata.

    PubMed

    Horak, Ivan G; Pearcy, Ashley; Lloyd, Kyle J

    2017-02-28

    The objective of the study was to record the tick species collected from three species of tortoise, each in a different province of South Africa. Ticks were collected from leopard tortoises, Stigmochyles pardalis, in the southern region of the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga province; from hingeback tortoises, Kinixys zombensis, in the Enseleni Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal province and from angulate tortoises, Chersina angulata, in the West Coast National Park, Western Cape province. Of the 63 leopard tortoises examined, 58 were infested with Amblyomma marmoreum and 49 with Amblyomma hebraeum, and all stages of development of both species were recovered. Amblyomma nuttalli was collected from 25 hingeback tortoises, and all stages of development were present. All 24 angulate tortoises examined were infested with Amblyomma sylvaticum, and large numbers of larvae, nymphs and adults were collected. Three snake species and a sand lizard were also infested with A. sylvaticum. The adults of A. marmoreum, A. nuttalli and A. sylvaticum were identified as specific parasites of the family Testudinidae, whereas all stages of development of A. hebraeum were classified as generalists.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Wind-Tunnel Investigations of the Characteristics of Blunt-Nose Ailerons on a Tapered Wing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1943-02-01

    v\\—i^- -Medium radius i^ nuru ib I i s N M >», ^ M n ^H *-! I - - _ _ 1—i ^r i H J rk N s, j r ’S y-s K \\ I V *\\i [\\. ts, n Nl ( . a . (deg...fc i ~" « n vo 0 \\ f,~ —• .-- ̂ 3 Si -04 5 X i Z -08 1 Nose i^ radii 1 unrerpuiartfa ^ Small ) t~~~. fi~..r„ *T \\ 1 C-/^ >- ———o...15 20 S5 Aileron deflection, Sa,deg (b) Sf~50’. Figure ££.- Concluded. 3 NACA ./ff J£ i- St Z .04 % 8 o $-.04 -.08 l 12 -tS -.20 II

  1. 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.

  2. Development of Flow over Blunt-Nosed Slender Bodies at Transonic Mach Numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamashetti, Gireesh; Suryanarayana, G. K.; Mukherjee, Rinku

    2017-04-01

    Comparisons of the development of flow over a cylinder with a 20° cone nose and a cylinder with an ogive nose, which represent typical heat-shield configurations are studied using CFD and experiments at transonic Mach numbers. The Cp plots are studied to locate expansion or separation. Experiments are carried out at M = 0.8, 0.9, 0.95 and 1.1 and Re ≈ 2.45 × 106. Computations are carried out using the commercial package, FLUENT 6.3. Inadequate spatial resolution of pressure ports in experiments as well as limitations of the CFD tool result in some differences in experimental and CFD results.

  3. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57), collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km) that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples), whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%). Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%), but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%), and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%). The sexual difference agrees with previous

  4. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Chetri, Madhu; Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57), collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km) that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples), whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%). Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%), but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%), and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%). The sexual difference agrees with previous

  5. 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

  6. Enterobacteriaceae isolated from iguanid lizards of west-central Texas.

    PubMed Central

    Mathewson, J J

    1979-01-01

    The prevalence of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae in the intestines of seven species of iguanid lizards native to west-central Texas was determined. Of the 67 lizard specimens examined, 48.7% were infected with Salmonella and 9% were infected with Salmonella arizonae. Two lizard species (Sceloporus olivaceus and Crotaphytus collaris) were shown to have a 100% prevalence of Salmonella. PMID:533273

  7. Information entropy analysis of leopard seal vocalization bouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, John R.; Rogers, Tracey L.; Cato, Douglas H.

    2004-05-01

    Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are solitary pinnipeds who are vocally active during their brief breeding season. The seals produce vocal bouts consisting of a sequence of distinct sounds, with an average length of roughly ten sounds. The sequential structure of the bouts is thought to be individually distinctive. Bouts recorded from five leopard seals during 1992-1994 were analyzed using information theory. The first-order Markov model entropy estimates were substantially smaller than the independent, identically distributed model entropy estimates for all five seals, indicative of constraints on the sequential structure of each seal's bouts. Each bout in the data set was classified using maximum-likelihood estimates from the first-order Markov model for each seal. This technique correctly classified 85% of the bouts, comparable to results in Rogers and Cato [Behaviour (2002)]. The relative entropies between the Markov models were found to be infinite in 18/20 possible cross-comparisons, indicating there is no probability of misclassifying the bouts in these 18 comparisons in the limit of long data sequences. One seal has sufficient data to compare a nonparametric entropy estimate with the Markov entropy estimate, finding only a small difference. This suggests that the first-order Markov model captures almost all the sequential structure in this seal's bouts.

  8. Conservation genetics of the Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Uphyrkina, O; Miquelle, D; Quigley, H; Driscoll, C; O'Brien, S J

    2002-01-01

    The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) survives today as a tiny relict population of 25-40 individuals in the Russian Far East. The population descends from a 19th-century northeastern Asian subspecies whose range extended over southeastern Russia, the Korean peninsula, and northeastern China. A molecular genetic survey of nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation validates subspecies distinctiveness but also reveals a markedly reduced level of genetic variation. The amount of genetic diversity measured is the lowest among leopard subspecies and is comparable to the genetically depleted Florida panther and Asiatic lion populations. When considered in the context of nonphysiological perils that threaten small populations (e.g., chance mortality, poaching, climatic extremes, and infectious disease), the genetic and demographic data indicate a critically diminished wild population under severe threat of extinction. An established captive population of P. p. orientalis displays much higher diversity than the wild population sample, but nearly all captive individuals are derived from a history of genetic admixture with the adjacent Chinese subspecies, P. p. japonensis. The conservation management implications of potential restoration/augmentation of the wild population with immigrants from the captive population are discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Density and distribution of cutaneous sensilla on tails of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in relation to caudal autotomy.

    PubMed

    Russell, Anthony P; Lai, Erica K; Lawrence Powell, G; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-09-01

    The lizard tail is well known for its ability to autotomize and regenerate. Physical contact of the tail by a predator may induce autotomy at the location at which the tail is grasped, and upon detachment the tail may undergo violent, rapid, and unpredictable movements that appear to be, to some degree, regulated by contact with the physical environment. Neither the mechanism by which tail breakage at a particular location is determined, nor that by which environmental feedback to the tail is received, are known. It has been suggested that mechanoreceptors (sensilla) are the means of mediation of such activities, and reports indicate that the density of sensilla on the tail is high. To determine the feasibility that mechanoreceptors are involved in such phenomena, we mapped scale form and the size, density, distribution, and spacing of sensilla on the head, body, limbs, and tail of the leopard gecko. This species has a full complement of autotomy planes along the length of the tail, and the postautotomic behavior of its tail has been documented. We found that the density of sensilla is highest on the tail relative to all other body regions examined; a dorsoventral gradient of caudal sensilla density is evident on the tail; sensilla are more closely spaced on the dorsal and lateral regions of the tail than elsewhere and are carried on relatively small scales; and that the whorls of scales on the tail bear a one to one relationship with the autotomy planes. Our results are consistent with the hypotheses of sensilla being involved in determining the site at which autotomy will occur, and with them being involved in the mediation of tail behavior following autotomy. These findings open the way for experimental neurological investigations of how autotomy is induced and how the detached tail responds to external environmental input. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Tail autotomy and subsequent regeneration alter the mechanics of locomotion in lizards.

    PubMed

    Jagnandan, Kevin; Russell, Anthony P; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-11-01

    Animals can undergo significant weight change for a variety of reasons. Autotomy, the voluntary shedding of an appendage in response to a predator stimulus, provides an effective model for measuring the effects of rapid weight change on locomotor behavior and the responses to more gradual weight gain, particularly in lizards capable of both autotomizing and regenerating their tail. Although the general effects of autotomy on locomotor performance are commonly explored, we investigated changes in locomotor mechanics associated with tail loss and long-term regeneration for the first time by measuring morphology, 3D kinematics and ground reaction forces (GRFs) in the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. Tail autotomy resulted in a 13% anterior shift in the center of mass (CoM), which only partially recovered after full regeneration of the tail. Although no changes in body or forelimb kinematics were evident, decreases in hindlimb joint angles signify a more sprawled posture following autotomy. Changes in hindlimb GRFs resulted in an increase in weight-specific propulsive force, without a corresponding change in locomotor speed. Hindlimb kinematics and GRFs following autotomy recovered to pre-autotomy values as the tail regenerated. These results suggest an active locomotor response to tail loss that demonstrates the causal relationships between variations in morphology, kinematics and force. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Evidence of a high density population of harvested leopards in a montane environment.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. [Leopard syndrome with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and cerebral arteriovenous malformation. Report of a case].

    PubMed

    Cabañas, A; Baduí, E; Estañol, B; Aguilar, F; González, N; López, J

    1985-01-01

    We report a case of a 27-year-old woman with Leopard syndrome in which we observed the association of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy with arteriovenous cerebral shunt. This association has not been reported previously in the literature.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. Leopard syndrome associated with hyperelastic skin: analysis of collagen metabolism in cultured skin fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Ohkura, T; Ohnishi, Y; Kawada, A; Tajima, S; Ishibashi, A; Ono, K

    1999-01-01

    We present a patient with Leopard syndrome and hyperelastic skin. Biochemical analysis using cultured skin fibroblasts showed normal type III and V collagen synthesis, lysyl hydroxylation level of type I procollagen and processing of pro-alpha(1) and alpha(2)(I). Our results suggest that molecular defects of hyperelasticity in Leopard syndrome are not related to abnormal collagen metabolism, although not all steps of collagen synthesis have been investigated.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Historical mitochondrial diversity in African leopards (Panthera pardus) revealed by archival museum specimens.

    PubMed

    Anco, Corey; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Henschel, Philipp; Cunningham, Seth W; Amato, George; Hekkala, Evon

    2017-04-19

    Once found throughout Africa and Eurasia, the leopard (Panthera pardus) was recently uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Historically, more than 50% of the leopard's global range occurred in continental Africa, yet sampling from this part of the species' distribution is only sparsely represented in prior studies examining patterns of genetic variation at the continental or global level. Broad sampling to determine baseline patterns of genetic variation throughout the leopard's historical distribution is important, as these measures are currently used by the IUCN to direct conservation priorities and management plans. By including data from 182 historical museum specimens, faecal samples from ongoing field surveys, and published sequences representing sub-Saharan Africa, we identify previously unrecognized genetic diversity in African leopards. Our mtDNA data indicates high levels of divergence among regional populations and strongly differentiated lineages in West Africa on par with recent studies of other large vertebrates. We provide a reference benchmark of genetic diversity in African leopards against which future monitoring can be compared. These findings emphasize the utility of historical museum collections in understanding the processes that shape present biodiversity. Additionally, we suggest future research to clarify African leopard taxonomy and to differentiate between delineated units requiring monitoring or conservation action.

  4. 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.

  5. 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) .

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Schrodinger's scat: a critical review of the currently available tiger (Panthera Tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) specific primers in India, and a novel leopard specific primer.

    PubMed

    Maroju, Pranay Amruth; Yadav, Sonu; Kolipakam, Vishnupriya; Singh, Shweta; Qureshi, Qamar; Jhala, Yadvendradev

    2016-02-09

    Non-invasive sampling has opened avenues for the genetic study of elusive species, which has contributed significantly to their conservation. Where field based identity of non-invasive sample is ambiguous (e.g. carnivore scats), it is essential to establish identity of the species through molecular approaches. A cost effective procedure to ascertain species identity is to use species specific primers (SSP) for PCR amplification and subsequent resolution through agarose gel electrophoresis. However, SSPs if ill designed can often cross amplify non-target sympatric species. Herein we report the problem of cross amplification with currently published SSPs, which have been used in several recent scientific articles on tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) in India. Since these papers form pioneering research on which future work will be based, an early rectification is required so as to not propagate this error further. We conclusively show cross amplification of three of the four SSPs, in sympatric non-target species like tiger SSP amplifying leopard and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), and leopard SSP amplifying tiger, lion (Panthera leo persica) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), with the same product size. We develop and test a non-cross-amplifying leopard specific primer pair within the mitochondrial cytochrome b region. We also standardize a duplex PCR method to screen tiger and leopard samples simultaneously in one PCR reaction to reduce cost and time. These findings suggest the importance of an often overlooked preliminary protocol of conclusive identification of species from non-invasive samples. The cross amplification of published primers in conspecifics suggests the need to revisit inferences drawn by earlier work.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-04

    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.

  16. Lizard thermal biology: do genders differ?

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Pianka, Eric R

    2007-09-01

    For more than six decades, physiological ecologists have intensively studied diverse aspects of lizard thermal biology. Nevertheless, a recent review notes that prior studies have generally ignored gender differences in body temperatures, thermal sensitivity, or other aspects of thermal biology. We concur that gender differences have been ignored and should be examined: if gender differences prove common, standard protocols for studying lizard natural history, thermal physiology, and ecology will require significant modification. To help resolve this issue, we conducted a retrospective analysis of our huge data set on the thermal biology of many desert lizards (more than 11,000 individuals from 56 species in seven major clades) from Africa, Australia, and North America. Results are unambiguous: gender differences in body temperature, air temperature, and time of activity--and thus in field thermal biology--are almost always minor. In fact, mean body temperatures of males and females differ by less than 1 degrees C in 80.4% of species. For desert lizards, gender differences in thermal biology are the exception, not the rule. Nevertheless, gender differences should be examined when feasible because exceptions--though likely rare--could be biologically interesting.

  17. 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.

  18. Phacoemulsification in an adult Savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Colitz, Carmen M H; Lewbart, Greg; Davidson, Michael G

    2002-09-01

    An adult male Savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus) was presented for bilateral lens opacities that had progressed rapidly over the previous 2 months. A diagnosis of bilateral mature cataracts was made and phacoemulsification cataract extraction was performed. Surgery restored vision and normal activity to the patient.

  19. Prey Preference of Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Competition with wall lizards does not explain the alpine confinement of Iberian rock lizards: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Monasterio, Camila; Salvador, Alfredo; Díaz, José A

    2010-10-01

    Interspecific competition can limit the distribution of species along altitudinal gradients. It has been suggested that Western European rock lizards (genus Iberolacerta) are restricted to mountains due to the expansion of wall lizards (Podarcis), but there is no experimental evidence to corroborate this hypothesis. This study examines if interference competition with Podarcis muralis is a plausible explanation for the alpine confinement of Iberian rock lizards Iberolacerta cyreni. In a first experiment, we used an enclosure with four types of microhabitats to investigate whether adult rock and/or wall lizards shifted microhabitat or refuge preferences in the presence of the other species, and to detect aggressive interactions between them. In a second experiment, we staged heterospecific encounters between naïve, laboratory-born juveniles to identify behavioural differences and agonistic interactions. In the enclosure, neither rock nor wall lizards changed their microhabitat preferences in the presence of the other species. Nevertheless, rock lizards increased the diversity of microhabitats and nocturnal refuges used in the single species trials, which had twice the number of conspecifics. Aggressive interactions involved mainly large rock lizard males. Juveniles did not show any interspecific agonistic behaviour, but rock lizards spent more time basking and less time moving. Thus, we found no evidence of competition between both species in terms of habitat shifts or agonistic interactions, although intraspecific interactions seemed to explain the behaviour of adult rock lizards. We conclude that other factors are currently determining the alpine confinement of rock lizards.

  4. Borrelia lusitaniae and green lizards (Lacerta viridis), Karst Region, Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Derdáková, Marketa; Víchová, Bronislava; Pet'ko, Branislav

    2006-12-01

    In Europe, spirochetes within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks. Specific associations are described between reservoir hosts and individual genospecies. We focused on green lizard (Lacerta viridis) as a host for ticks and potential host for borreliae. In 2004 and 2005, a total of 146 green lizards infested by ticks were captured, and 469 I. ricinus ticks were removed. Borrelial infection was detected in 16.6% of ticks from lizards. Of 102 skin biopsy specimens collected from lizards, 18.6% tested positive. The most frequently detected genospecies was B. lusitaniae (77.9%-94.7%). More than 19% of questing I. ricinus collected in areas where lizards were sampled tested positive for borreliae. B. garinii was the dominant species, and B. lusitaniae represented 11.1%. The presence of B. lusitaniae in skin biopsy specimens and in ticks that had fed on green lizards implicates this species in the transmission cycle of B. lusitaniae.

  5. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Vidal, Nicolas; Norman, Janette A; Vonk, Freek J; Scheib, Holger; Ramjan, S F Ryan; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Fung, Kim; Hedges, S Blair; Richardson, Michael K; Hodgson, Wayne C; Ignjatovic, Vera; Summerhayes, Robyn; Kochva, Elazar

    2006-02-02

    Among extant reptiles only two lineages are known to have evolved venom delivery systems, the advanced snakes and helodermatid lizards (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard). Evolution of the venom system is thought to underlie the impressive radiation of the advanced snakes (2,500 of 3,000 snake species). In contrast, the lizard venom system is thought to be restricted to just two species and to have evolved independently from the snake venom system. Here we report the presence of venom toxins in two additional lizard lineages (Monitor Lizards and Iguania) and show that all lineages possessing toxin-secreting oral glands form a clade, demonstrating a single early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Construction of gland complementary-DNA libraries and phylogenetic analysis of transcripts revealed that nine toxin types are shared between lizards and snakes. Toxinological analyses of venom components from the Lace Monitor Varanus varius showed potent effects on blood pressure and clotting ability, bioactivities associated with a rapid loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding in prey. The iguanian lizard Pogona barbata retains characteristics of the ancestral venom system, namely serial, lobular non-compound venom-secreting glands on both the upper and lower jaws, whereas the advanced snakes and anguimorph lizards (including Monitor Lizards, Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard) have more derived venom systems characterized by the loss of the mandibular (lower) or maxillary (upper) glands. Demonstration that the snakes, iguanians and anguimorphs form a single clade provides overwhelming support for a single, early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. These results provide new insights into the evolution of the venom system in squamate reptiles and open new avenues for biomedical research and drug design using hitherto unexplored venom proteins.

  6. Chiricahua leopard frog status in the Galiuro Mountains, Arizona, with a monitoring framework for the species' entire range

    Treesearch

    Lawrence L. C. Jones; Michael J. Sredl

    2005-01-01

    The Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) was historically widespread in suitable habitat throughout its range. Reports of recent population declines led to inventories of Chiricahua leopard frog localities. Surveys reported here establish a new baseline of occurrence in the Galiuros: only two of 21 historical localities were found to be...

  7. Records of the bont tick, Amblyomma hebraeum, from the angulate tortoise, Chersina angulata, and the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis.

    PubMed

    Walker, J B; Schulz, K C

    1984-09-01

    A. hebraeum nymphae were found on 4 angulate tortoises and 13 leopard tortoises in the Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape Province. Adults of this species were collected for the 1st time from a leopard tortoise in the Mkuze Game Reserve, Natal. The significance of this finding, in relation to the normal host preferences of this tick, is briefly discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards

    PubMed Central

    Redpath, Stephen M.; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Chaturvedi, Vaibhav; Smout, Sophie C.; Mishra, Charudutt

    2017-01-01

    An increasing proportion of the world's poor is rearing livestock today, and the global livestock population is growing. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory killing is becoming an economic and conservation concern. A common recommendation for carnivore conservation and for reducing predation on livestock is to increase wild prey populations based on the assumption that the carnivores will consume this alternative food. Livestock predation, however, could either reduce or intensify with increases in wild prey depending on prey choice and trends in carnivore abundance. We show that the extent of livestock predation by the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia intensifies with increases in the density of wild ungulate prey, and subsequently stabilizes. We found that snow leopard density, estimated at seven sites, was a positive linear function of the density of wild ungulates—the preferred prey—and showed no discernible relationship with livestock density. We also found that modelled livestock predation increased with livestock density. Our results suggest that snow leopard conservation would benefit from an increase in wild ungulates, but that would intensify the problem of livestock predation for pastoralists. The potential benefits of increased wild prey abundance in reducing livestock predation can be overwhelmed by a resultant increase in snow leopard populations. Snow leopard conservation efforts aimed at facilitating increases in wild prey must be accompanied by greater assistance for better livestock protection and offsetting the economic damage caused by carnivores. PMID:28680665

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2016-02-08

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Morphological Study of the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) Tongue.

    PubMed

    Sadeghinezhad, J; Sheibani, M T; Memarian, I; Chiocchetti, R

    2017-01-24

    This study described the morphological features of the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) tongue using light and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The keratinized filiform papillae were distributed all over the entire dorsal surface of the tongue and contained small processes. They were changed into a cylindrical shape in the body and conical shape in the root. The fungiform papillae were found on the apex and margin of the tongue. Few taste pores were observed on the dorsal surface of each papilla. The foliate papillae on the margins of the tongue were composed of several laminae and epithelial fissures. Taste buds were not seen within the non-keratinized epithelium. The vallate papillae were six in total and arranged in a "V" shape just rostral to the root. Each papilla was surrounded by a groove and pad. Taste buds were seen within their lateral walls. Lyssa was visible on the ventral surface of the tongue tip and was found as cartilaginous tissue surrounded by thin connective tissue fibres. The core of the tongue was composed of lingual glands, skeletal muscle and connective tissue. These glands were confined to the posterior portion of the tongue and were composed of many serous cells and a few mucous cells. The results of this study contributed to the knowledge of the morphological characteristics of the tongue of wild mammals and provided data for the comparison with other mammals.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  3. Clouded leopard phylogeny revisited: support for species recognition and population division between Borneo and Sumatra

    PubMed Central

    Wilting, Andreas; Buckley-Beason, Valerie A; Feldhaar, Heike; Gadau, Jürgen; O'Brien, Stephen J; Linsenmair, K Eduard

    2007-01-01

    Background The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is one of the least known cat species and depletion of their forested habitats puts it under heavy pressure. Recently reclassification of Bornean clouded leopards (N. nebulosa diardi) to species level (N.diardi) was suggested based on molecular and morphological evidence. Since the genetic results were based solely on three Bornean samples we re-evaluated this partition using additional samples of Bornean clouded leopards (N = 7) and we were also able to include specimens from Sumatra (N = 3), which were lacking in previous analysis. Results We found strong support for the distinction between N. nebulosa and N. diardi based on three fragments of mtDNA (900 bp) and 18 microsatellites. Forty-one fixed mitochondrial nucleotide differences and non-overlapping allele sizes in 8 of 18 microsatellite loci distinguished N. nebulosa and N. diardi. This is equivalent to the genetic divergence among recognized species in the genus Panthera. Sumatran clouded leopards clustered with specimens from Borneo, suggesting that Sumatran individuals also belong to N. diardi. Additionally, a significant population subdivision was apparent among N. diardi from Sumatra and Borneo based on mtDNA and microsatellite data. Conclusion Referring to their origin on two Sunda Islands we propose to give N. diardi the common name "Sundaland clouded leopard". The reduced gene flow between Borneo and Sumatra might suggest the recognition of two subspecies of N. diardi. Based on this reclassification of clouded leopards not only species, but also the populations on Borneo and Sumatra should be managed separately and a higher priority should be placed to protect the different populations from extinction. PMID:17535420

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins.

    PubMed

    Müller, Johannes; Hipsley, Christy A; Head, Jason J; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Hilger, André; Wuttke, Michael; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-05-19

    Amphisbaenia is a speciose clade of fossorial lizards characterized by a snake-like body and a strongly reinforced skull adapted for head-first burrowing. The evolutionary origins of amphisbaenians are controversial, with molecular data uniting them with lacertids, a clade of Old World terrestrial lizards, whereas morphology supports a grouping with snakes and other limbless squamates. Reports of fossil stem amphisbaenians have been falsified, and no fossils have previously tested these competing phylogenetic hypotheses or shed light on ancestral amphisbaenian ecology. Here we report the discovery of a new lacertid-like lizard from the Eocene Messel locality of Germany that provides the first morphological evidence for lacertid-amphisbaenian monophyly on the basis of a reinforced, akinetic skull roof and braincase, supporting the view that body elongation and limblessness in amphisbaenians and snakes evolved independently. Morphometric analysis of body shape and ecology in squamates indicates that the postcranial anatomy of the new taxon is most consistent with opportunistically burrowing habits, which in combination with cranial reinforcement indicates that head-first burrowing evolved before body elongation and may have been a crucial first step in the evolution of amphisbaenian fossoriality.

  7. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in monitor lizards.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2004-03-01

    Monitors (all of which belong to the genus Varanus) make up a very uniform family of often large lizards. They have a large auditory papilla that is not highly specialized, but is divided into two unequal sub-papillae. All hair cells are covered by a tectorial membrane. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE) were examined in Cape monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus) and found between 1.08 and 2.91 kHz (at 32 degrees C) and with levels between -2.8 and 25.8 dB SPL. The frequency of SOAE was temperature dependent, with a maximal shift of 0.07 octaves/degrees C. All SOAE could be suppressed by external tones, most easily by tones near the center frequency and thus suppression tuning curves were V-shaped. In addition, SOAE could be facilitated by external tones, the amplitude increasing up to 10 dB. The most effective tones were generally those between 0.33 and 0.75 octaves above the respective center frequency of the SOAE. External tones could also change the center frequency of SOAE by up to several hundred Hz, most tones causing frequency 'pushing'. Compared to SOAE of other lizards, Varanus SOAE have larger amplitudes and show larger frequency shifts with temperature. Both of these features may be the result of the coupling of large numbers of hair cells via the continuous tectorial membrane.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Growth and activity of Sceloporus cowlesi (southwestern fence lizard)

    Treesearch

    Heather L. Bateman; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey

    2012-01-01

    Lizards from the Sceloporus undulatus complex have been the subject of many studies on lizard ecology (Hager 2001; Rosenblum 2006; Rosenblum et al. 2007), behavior (Hein and Whitaker 1997; Robertson and Rosenblum 2009), and reproduction (Vinegar 1975; Robertson and Rosenblum 2010). However, genetic data (Leache and Reeder 2002) support reallocation of the subspecies of...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation: the Southeast Asian Draco lizards and Caribbean Anolis lizards compared.

    PubMed

    Ord, Terry J; Klomp, Danielle A

    2014-06-01

    Sympatric species that initially overlap in resource use are expected to partition the environment in ways that will minimize interspecific competition. This shift in resource use can in turn prompt evolutionary changes in morphology. A classic example of habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation are the Caribbean Anolis lizards. Less well studied, but nevertheless striking analogues to the Anolis are the Southeast Asian Draco lizards. Draco and Anolis have evolved independently of each other for at least 80 million years. Their comparison subsequently offers a special opportunity to examine mechanisms of phenotypic differentiation between two ecologically diverse, but phylogenetically distinct groups. We tested whether Draco shared ecological axes of differentiation with Anolis (e.g., habitat use), whether this differentiation reflected interspecific competition, and to what extent adaptive change in morphology has occurred along these ecological axes. Using existing data on Anolis, we compared the habitat use and morphology of Draco in a field study of allopatric and sympatric species on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo and in the Philippines. Sympatric Draco lizards partitioned the environment along common resource axes to the Anolis lizards, especially in perch use. Furthermore, the morphology of Draco was correlated with perch use in the same way as it was in Anolis: species that used wider perches exhibited longer limb lengths. These results provide an important illustration of how interspecific competition can occur along common ecological axes in different animal groups, and how natural selection along these axes can generate the same type of adaptive change in morphology.

  18. 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.

  19. Predicting global population connectivity and targeting conservation action for snow leopard across its range

    Treesearch

    Philip Riordan; Samuel A. Cushman; David Mallon; Kun Shi; Joelene Hughes

    2016-01-01

    Movements of individuals within and among populations help to maintain genetic variability and population viability. Therefore, understanding landscape connectivity is vital for effective species conservation. The snow leopard is endemic to mountainous areas of central Asia and occurs within 12 countries. We assess potential connectivity across the species’...

  20. 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...

  1. Clinal patterns in genetic variation for northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens): Conservation status and population histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stockwell, Craig A.; Fisher, Justin D.L.; McLean, Kyle I.

    2016-01-01

    The security of the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) varies spatially with populations east and west of North Dakota considered as secure and at risk, respectively. We used genetic markers to characterize the conservation status of northern leopard frog populations across North Dakota. We used multiple regression analyses and model selection to evaluate correlations of expected heterozygosity (HE) with the direct and additive effects of: i) geographic location,ii) wetland density and iii) average annual precipitation. There was lower genetic diversity in the western portion of the state due to lower levels of diversity for populations southwest of the Missouri River. This may reflect a refugial/colonization signature for the only non-glaciated area of North Dakota. Genetic diversity was also positively associated with wetland densities which is consistent with the reliance of this species on a mosaic of wetlands. Our findings suggest that populations in the southwestern part of North Dakota are of higher conservation concern, a finding consistent with the higher risk noted for northern leopard frog populations in most states west of North Dakota. Our findings also pose the hypothesis that climate change induced changes in wetland densities will reduce genetic diversity of northern leopard frog populations.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. LEOPARD: A grid-based dispersion relation solver for arbitrary gyrotropic distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astfalk, Patrick; Jenko, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Particle velocity distributions measured in collisionless space plasmas often show strong deviations from idealized model distributions. Despite this observational evidence, linear wave analysis in space plasma environments such as the solar wind or Earth's magnetosphere is still mainly carried out using dispersion relation solvers based on Maxwellians or other parametric models. To enable a more realistic analysis, we present the new grid-based kinetic dispersion relation solver LEOPARD (Linear Electromagnetic Oscillations in Plasmas with Arbitrary Rotationally-symmetric Distributions) which no longer requires prescribed model distributions but allows for arbitrary gyrotropic distribution functions. In this work, we discuss the underlying numerical scheme of the code and we show a few exemplary benchmarks. Furthermore, we demonstrate a first application of LEOPARD to ion distribution data obtained from hybrid simulations. In particular, we show that in the saturation stage of the parallel fire hose instability, the deformation of the initial bi-Maxwellian distribution invalidates the use of standard dispersion relation solvers. A linear solver based on bi-Maxwellians predicts further growth even after saturation, while LEOPARD correctly indicates vanishing growth rates. We also discuss how this complies with former studies on the validity of quasilinear theory for the resonant fire hose. In the end, we briefly comment on the role of LEOPARD in directly analyzing spacecraft data, and we refer to an upcoming paper which demonstrates a first application of that kind.

  8. 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...

  9. Resistance of leopard tortoises and helmeted guineafowl to Cowdria ruminantium infection (heartwater).

    PubMed

    Peter, T F; Mahan, S M; Burridge, M J

    2001-07-27

    Experimental infection trials were conducted to investigate susceptibility of leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis) and helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) to infection with Cowdria ruminantium, the causative agent of heartwater, a tickborne disease of domestic and wild ruminants. Ten guineafowl were inoculated intravenously with a virulent dose of C. ruminantium derived from bovine endothelial cell cultures, and four leopard tortoises were exposed to C. ruminantium infection by the feeding of infected Amblyomma hebraeum ticks. Uninfected A. hebraeum ticks (on both tortoises and guineafowl) and Amblyomma marmoreum ticks (on tortoises only) were fed on the animals during weeks 2 and 3 post-exposure in an attempt to detect infection. These ticks were analyzed for C. ruminantium infection by xenodiagnosis and with the C. ruminantium-specific pCS20 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Attempts to detect infection in ticks fed on either species were negative by both tests. These results suggest that leopard tortoises and helmeted guineafowl are refractory to C. ruminantium infection and, therefore, are unlikely to be capable of introducing heartwater directly into new areas. However, leopard tortoises are efficient hosts of A. marmoreum and A. hebraeum and are likely to be important epidemiologically in the transport and maintenance of these tick vector species.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mans, Christoph; Foster, Jonathan D.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24891641

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. GABAergic cell types in the lizard hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Guirado, S; Dávila, J C

    1999-04-01

    The neurochemical classification of GABAergic cells in the lizard hippocampus resulted in a further division into four major, non-overlapping subtypes. Each GABAergic cell subtype displays specific targets on the principal hippocampal neurons. The synaptic targets of the GABA/neuropeptide subtype are the distal apical dendrites of principal neurons. Calretinin- and parvalbumin-containing GABAergic cells synapse on the cell body and proximal dendrites of principal cells. Calbindin is expressed in a distinct group of interneurons, the synapses of which are directed to the dendrites of principal neurons. Finally, another subtype displays NADPH-diaphorase activity, but its synaptic target has not been established.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015

  7. Scale dependence of felid predation risk: Identifying predictors of livestock kills by tiger and leopard in Bhutan

    Treesearch

    Susana Rostro-Garcia; Lhendup Tharchen; Leandro Abade; Christos Astaras; Samuel A. Cushman; David W. Macdonald

    2016-01-01

    Livestock predation by tiger and leopard in Bhutan is a major threat to the conservation of these felids. Conflict mitigation planning would benefit from an improved understanding of the spatial pattern of livestock kills by the two predators.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards.

    PubMed

    Clause, Amanda R; Capaldi, Elizabeth A

    2006-12-01

    Caudal autotomy, or the voluntary self-amputation of the tail, is an anti-predation strategy in lizards that depends on a complex array of environmental, individual, and species-specific characteristics. These factors affect both when and how often caudal autotomy is employed, as well as its overall rate of success. The potential costs of autotomy must be weighed against the benefits of this strategy. Many species have evolved specialized behavioral and physiological adaptations to minimize or compensate for any negative consequences. One of the most important steps following a successful autotomous escape involves regeneration of the lost limb. In some species, regeneration occurs rapidly; such swift regeneration illustrates the importance of an intact, functional tail in everyday experience. In lizards and other vertebrates, regeneration is a highly ordered process utilizing initial developmental programs as well as regeneration-specific mechanisms to produce the correct types and pattern of cells required to sufficiently restore the structure and function of the sacrificed tail. In this review, we discuss the behavioral and physiological features of self-amputation, with particular reference to the costs and benefits of autotomy and the basic mechanisms of regeneration. In the process, we identify how these behaviors could be used to explore the neural regulation of complex behavioral responses within a functional context.

  18. Prevalence and determinants of stereotypic behaviours and physiological stress among tigers and leopards in Indian zoos.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Janice; Narayan, Edward J; Dileep Kumar, R; Thenmozhi, K; Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy; Baskaran, Nagarajan

    2017-01-01

    India's charismatic wildlife species are facing immense pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental perturbations. Zoos play a major role in the conservation of threatened species, but their adaptation in captivity is posing a major challenge globally. Stress from inadequate adaptation could lead to suppression of cognitive functioning and increased display of stereotypic behaviour. It is thus necessary to measure biological traits like behaviour, stress physiology, and contextual factors driving the animals maintained at zoos. In this study, we assessed stereotypic behaviour and stress physiology employing standard behaviour scoring, non-invasive stress monitoring, and their contextual drivers in a sub-population of two large felid species managed in six Indian zoos. The prevalence and intensity of stereotypic behaviours and levels of faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) were ascertained among 41 Royal Bengal tigers Panthera tigris tigris and 21 Indian leopards Panthera pardus fusca between April 2014 and March 2015. Behavioural observations showed that tigers spent more time stereotyping (12%) than leopards (7%) during daylight hours. Stress levels assessed using FCM revealed that tigers (23.6 ± 1.62 ng/g) had marginally lower level of corticosterone metabolites than leopards (27.2 ±1.36 ng/g). Stereotypic behaviour increased significantly with FCM level when the effect of heath status was controlled in tigers, and the effects tree cover, stone, den and keeper attitude controlled in leopards. Comparison of stereotypes of tigers with various biological and environmental factors using binary logistic regression revealed that stereotypic prevalence decreased with increased enclosure size, and enclosure enrichments like presence of pools and stones, when managed socially with conspecifics, and with positive keeper attitude, these factors accounting for 43% of variations in stereotypic prevalence among tigers. Stereotype among leopards was significantly

  19. Prevalence and determinants of stereotypic behaviours and physiological stress among tigers and leopards in Indian zoos

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Janice; Narayan, Edward J.; Dileep Kumar, R.; Thenmozhi, K.; Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy

    2017-01-01

    India’s charismatic wildlife species are facing immense pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental perturbations. Zoos play a major role in the conservation of threatened species, but their adaptation in captivity is posing a major challenge globally. Stress from inadequate adaptation could lead to suppression of cognitive functioning and increased display of stereotypic behaviour. It is thus necessary to measure biological traits like behaviour, stress physiology, and contextual factors driving the animals maintained at zoos. In this study, we assessed stereotypic behaviour and stress physiology employing standard behaviour scoring, non-invasive stress monitoring, and their contextual drivers in a sub-population of two large felid species managed in six Indian zoos. The prevalence and intensity of stereotypic behaviours and levels of faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) were ascertained among 41 Royal Bengal tigers Panthera tigris tigris and 21 Indian leopards Panthera pardus fusca between April 2014 and March 2015. Behavioural observations showed that tigers spent more time stereotyping (12%) than leopards (7%) during daylight hours. Stress levels assessed using FCM revealed that tigers (23.6 ± 1.62 ng/g) had marginally lower level of corticosterone metabolites than leopards (27.2 ±1.36 ng/g). Stereotypic behaviour increased significantly with FCM level when the effect of heath status was controlled in tigers, and the effects tree cover, stone, den and keeper attitude controlled in leopards. Comparison of stereotypes of tigers with various biological and environmental factors using binary logistic regression revealed that stereotypic prevalence decreased with increased enclosure size, and enclosure enrichments like presence of pools and stones, when managed socially with conspecifics, and with positive keeper attitude, these factors accounting for 43% of variations in stereotypic prevalence among tigers. Stereotype among leopards was significantly

  20. Costs and benefits of the presence of leopards to the sport-hunting industry and local communities in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Agostinho A; Vanak, Abi T; Thaker, Maria; Begg, Colleen; Slotow, Rob

    2013-08-01

    Sport hunting is often proposed as a tool to support the conservation of large carnivores. However, it is challenging to provide tangible economic benefits from this activity as an incentive for local people to conserve carnivores. We assessed economic gains from sport hunting and poaching of leopards (Panthera pardus), costs of leopard depredation of livestock, and attitudes of people toward leopards in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique. We sent questionnaires to hunting concessionaires (n = 8) to investigate the economic value of and the relative importance of leopards relative to other key trophy-hunted species. We asked villagers (n = 158) the number of and prices for leopards poached in the reserve and the number of goats depredated by leopard. Leopards were the mainstay of the hunting industry; a single animal was worth approximately U.S.$24,000. Most safari revenues are retained at national and international levels, but poached leopard are illegally traded locally for small amounts ($83). Leopards depredated 11 goats over 2 years in 2 of 4 surveyed villages resulting in losses of $440 to 6 households. People in these households had negative attitudes toward leopards. Although leopard sport hunting generates larger gross revenues than poaching, illegal hunting provides higher economic benefits for households involved in the activity. Sport-hunting revenues did not compensate for the economic losses of livestock at the household level. On the basis of our results, we propose that poaching be reduced by increasing the costs of apprehension and that the economic benefits from leopard sport hunting be used to improve community livelihoods and provide incentives not to poach. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. A gliding lizard from the Early Cretaceous of China.

    PubMed

    Li, Pi-Peng; Gao, Ke-Qin; Hou, Lian-Hai; Xu, Xing

    2007-03-27

    Gliding is an energetically efficient mode of locomotion that has evolved independently, and in different ways, in several tetrapod groups. Here, we report on an acrodontan lizard from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of China showing an array of morphological traits associated with gliding. It represents the only known occurrence of this specialization in a fossil lizard and provides evidence of an Early Cretaceous ecological diversification into an aerial niche by crown-group squamates. The lizard has a dorsal-rib-supported patagium, a structure independently evolved in the Late Triassic basal lepidosauromorph kuehneosaurs and the extant agamid lizard Draco, revealing a surprising case of convergent evolution among lepidosauromorphans. A patagial character combination of much longer bilaterally than anteroposteriorly, significantly thicker along the leading edge than along the trailing edge, tapered laterally to form a wing tip, and secondarily supported by an array of linear collagen fibers is not common in gliders and enriches our knowledge of gliding adaptations among tetrapods.

  2. Intestinal bacterial flora of the household lizard, Gecko gecko.

    PubMed

    Tan, R J; Lim, E W; Ishak, B

    1978-03-01

    A total of 114 isolates was recovered from the intestines of 43 househould lizards, Gecko gecko. Among the important ones were Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis and Edwardsiella tarda.

  3. A hydrodynamic model of locomotion in the Basilisk Lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasheen, J. W.; McMahon, T. A.

    1996-03-01

    ORGANISMS with a body mass of more than one gram and which live at the air-water interface generally support their weight with their buoyant bodies. The maximum swimming speed these animals can attain is limited by wave-making resistance1-3. For high-speed progression across a body of water, shore birds and basilisk lizards (Basiliscus basiliscus) support their bodies above the water surface by repeatedly striking the surface with their feet. Here we investigate the mechanism of support in moderately sized basilisk lizards (about 90 g) by combining hydrodynamic measurements of a physical model of the lizards' feet with an analysis of video records of foot movements. We find basilisks of intermediate size obtain little support for their body weight by slapping the water surface; most of the support comes from stroking the foot downwards while expanding an air cavity underwater. The lizard minimizes downward forces by pulling its foot upward before the cavity collapses.

  4. 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

  5. Morphological evolution of the lizard skull: a geometric morphometrics survey.

    PubMed

    Stayton, C Tristan

    2005-01-01

    Patterns of diversity among lizard skulls were studied from a morphological, phylogenetic, and functional perspective. A sample of 1,030 lizard skulls from 441 species in 17 families was used to create a lizard skull morphospace. This morphospace was combined with a phylogeny of lizard families to summarize general trends in the evolution of the lizard skull. A basal morphological split between the Iguania and Scleroglossa was observed. Iguanians are characterized by a short, high skull, with large areas of attachment for the external adductor musculature, relative to their sister group. The families of the Iguania appear to possess more intrafamilial morphological diversity than families of the Scleroglossa, but rarefaction of the data reveals this to be an artifact caused by the greater number of species represented in Iguanian families. Iguanian families also appear more dissimilar to one another than families of the Scleroglossa. Permutation tests indicate that this pattern is real and not due to the smaller number of families in the Iguanidae. Parallel and convergent evolution is observed among lizards with similar diets: ant and termite specialists, carnivores, and herbivores. However, these patterns are superimposed over the more general phylogenetic pattern of lizard skull diversity. This study has three central conclusions. Different clades of lizards show different patterns of disparity and divergence in patterns of morphospace occupation. Phylogeny imposes a primary signal upon which a secondary ecological signal is imprinted. Evolutionary patterns in skull metrics, taken with functional landmarks, allow testing of trends and the development of new hypotheses concerning both shape and biomechanics.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Borrelia lusitaniae and Green Lizards (Lacerta viridis), Karst Region, Slovakia

    PubMed Central

    Majláth, Igor; Derdáková, Marketa; Víchová, Bronislava; Peťko, Branislav

    2006-01-01

    In Europe, spirochetes within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks. Specific associations are described between reservoir hosts and individual genospecies. We focused on green lizard (Lacerta viridis) as a host for ticks and potential host for borreliae. In 2004 and 2005, a total of 146 green lizards infested by ticks were captured, and 469 I. ricinus ticks were removed. Borrelial infection was detected in 16.6% of ticks from lizards. Of 102 skin biopsy specimens collected from lizards, 18.6% tested positive. The most frequently detected genospecies was B. lusitaniae (77.9%–94.7%). More than 19% of questing I. ricinus collected in areas where lizards were sampled tested positive for borreliae. B. garinii was the dominant species, and B. lusitaniae represented 11.1%. The presence of B. lusitaniae in skin biopsy specimens and in ticks that had fed on green lizards implicates this species in the transmission cycle of B. lusitaniae. PMID:17326941

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Refuge sharing network predicts ectoparasite load in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Kappeler, Peter M.; Bull, C. Michael

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20802788

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [The comparative aspects of spatial ecology of lizards exemplified by the toad-headed lizards (Reptilia, Agamidae, Phrynocephalus)].

    PubMed

    Semenov, D V

    2007-01-01

    The possibility of analysis of phylogenetic parameters of the spatial distribution of populations is discussed by an example of the agamid toad-headed lizards (Phrynocephalus). Summarizing both original and published data on the individual home ranges and the relocation of individuals of 30 populations from 12 species showed that differentiation of the type of spatial distribution is weak in toad-headed lizards. This observation confirms the idea that this clade of agamids is phylogenetically young and relatively recently radiated. At the interspecific level, positive correlation between home range size and body size was observed in the studied group. Such spatial parameters, shared by all toad-headed lizards, as relatively large size and weakly structured individual home ranges can be explained by the peculiarities of their reproduction features and their foraging mode. The individual type of space-usage in toad-headed does not fit the traditional scheme dividing all the lizards into the territorial Iguania and the nonterritorial Autarchoglossa.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum treatment of moribund Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) infected with Cryptosporidium sp.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, T K; Cranfield, M R; Bostwick, E F

    1999-01-01

    Therapy based on the protective passive immunity of hyperimmune bovine colostrum (HBC) was applied to 12 moribund Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) infected with Cryptosporidium sp. The geckos were lethargic and moderately to severely emaciated, weighing on average 36% of the baseline body weight value. Seven gastric HBC treatments at 1-week intervals each decreased the relative output of Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts and the prevalence of oocyst-positive fecal specimens. Histologically, after 8 weeks of therapy, seven out of 12 geckos had only single developmental stages of Cryptosporidium sp. in the intestinal epithelium, and three, one and one geckos had low, moderate and high numbers, respectively, of the pathogen developmental stages. The HBC therapy was efficacious in decreasing the parasite load in moribund geckos. Morphometric and immunologic analysis of Cryptosporidium sp. oocyst isolates originating from Leopard geckos (E. macularius) demonstrated differences between gecko-derived oocyst isolates and isolates of C. serpentis recovered from snakes.

  19. Proliferative enteritis in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) associated with Cryptosporidium sp. infection.

    PubMed

    Terrell, Scott P; Uhl, Elizabeth W; Funk, Richard S

    2003-03-01

    Twenty-three leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) with various clinical histories of weight loss, anorexia, lethargy, and diarrhea were submitted either intact or as biopsy specimens to the University of Florida Anatomic Pathology Service. Gross necropsy findings in the intact geckos included marked reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue stores at the tail base and mild thickening and reddening of the small intestine. Histologic examination revealed Cryptosporidium sp. infection associated with hyperplasia and mononuclear inflammation of the small intestine in all geckos. Parasites and lesions were only rarely observed in the stomach and large intestine of geckos. The histologic and ultrastructural lesions in the small intestine of leopard geckos infected with Cryptosporidium sp. have not been well characterized previously. This report implicates Cryptosporidium sp. as the cause of disease in the geckos and describes the range of histologic lesions observed.

  20. Dermatitis and cellulitis in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) caused by the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii.

    PubMed

    Toplon, D E; Terrell, S P; Sigler, L; Jacobson, E R

    2013-07-01

    An epizootic of ulcerative to nodular ventral dermatitis was observed in a large breeding colony of 8-month to 5-year-old leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) of both sexes. Two representative mature male geckos were euthanized for diagnostic necropsy. The Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV) was isolated from the skin lesions, and identification was confirmed by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region of the rRNA gene. Histopathology revealed multifocal to coalescing dermal and subcutaneous heterophilic granulomas that contained septate fungal hyphae. There was also multifocal epidermal hyperplasia with hyperkeratosis, and similar hyphae were present within the stratum corneum, occasionally with terminal chains of arthroconidia consistent with the CANV. In one case, there was focal extension of granulomatous inflammation into the underlying masseter muscle. This is the first report of dermatitis and cellulitis due to the CANV in leopard geckos.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Conservation of sex chromosomes in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Moravec, Jiří; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2016-07-01

    Sex chromosomes are believed to be stable in endotherms, but young and evolutionary unstable in most ectothermic vertebrates. Within lacertids, the widely radiated lizard group, sex chromosomes have been reported to vary in morphology and heterochromatinization, which may suggest turnovers during the evolution of the group. We compared the partial gene content of the Z-specific part of sex chromosomes across major lineages of lacertids and discovered a strong evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes. We can conclude that the common ancestor of lacertids, living around 70 million years ago (Mya), already had the same highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Molecular data demonstrating an evolutionary conservation of sex chromosomes have also been documented for iguanas and caenophidian snakes. It seems that differences in the evolutionary conservation of sex chromosomes in vertebrates do not reflect the distinction between endotherms and ectotherms, but rather between amniotes and anamniotes, or generally, the differences in the life history of particular lineages.

  5. Spatial memory: are lizards really deficient?

    PubMed

    Ladage, L D; Roth, T C; Cerjanic, A M; Sinervo, B; Pravosudov, V V

    2012-12-23

    In many animals, behaviours such as territoriality, mate guarding, navigation and food acquisition rely heavily on spatial memory abilities; this has been demonstrated in diverse taxa, from invertebrates to mammals. However, spatial memory ability in squamate reptiles has been seen as possible, at best, or non-existent, at worst. Of the few previous studies testing for spatial memory in squamates, some have found no evidence of spatial memory while two studies have found evidence of spatial memory in snakes, but have been criticized based on methodological issues. We used the Barnes maze, a common paradigm to test spatial memory abilities in mammals, to test for spatial memory abilities in the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana). We found the existence of spatial memory in this species using this spatial task. Thus, our study supports the existence of spatial memory in this squamate reptile species and seeks to parsimoniously align this species with the diverse taxa that demonstrate spatial memory ability.

  6. Characterization of Salmonella isolates from captive lizards.

    PubMed

    Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An; Boyen, Filip; Vandekerchove, Dominique; Wybo, Ingrid; Immerseel, Filip Van; Heyndrickx, Marc; Collard, Jean Marc; Ducatelle, Richard; Haesebrouck, Freddy

    2005-10-31

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans is an increasing public health issue. This study aimed at characterizing Salmonella isolates from captive lizards and to compare them to human isolates. Salmonella was isolated from 25 of 33 cloacal and 47 of 79 faecal samples from captive lizards (75.8 and 59.5%, respectively). The strains belonged to 44 serotypes of subspecies I (27 serotypes), II (9), IIIb (3) and IV (5). Two strains, one of serotype Enteritidis and one of serotype Amsterdam, were resistant to nitrofurantoin. Invasion assays in Caco-2 cells were performed with 40 saurian isolates of subspecies I, 15 isolates of subspecies II, 4 strains of subspecies IIIb, 6 subspecies IV isolates and 17 human isolates of corresponding serotypes of subspecies I. Saurian isolates belonging to subspecies I invaded the Caco-2 cells to a higher extent than those from the other subspecies. The human isolates invaded the Caco-2 cells to a lesser degree compared to their saurian counterparts. In the same strains, the presence of virulence genes agfA, shdA, spvR, pefA and sopE was determined using PCR. Whereas agfA was detected in all strains, pefA was only detected in one saurian and in the human serotype Enteritidis strains. The spvR gene was detected in the same serotype Enteritidis strains and in 33% of the subspecies IV strains. The shdA gene was present in all the human isolates and in 86% of subspecies I saurian isolates. SopE was found in 17% of the human isolates, in 24% of the saurian subspecies I strains and in all of the subspecies IV strains.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Ecology driving genetic variation: a comparative phylogeography of jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in India.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-29

    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. 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 F(ST) 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. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mapping black panthers: Macroecological modeling of melanism in leopards (Panthera pardus).

    PubMed

    da Silva, Lucas G; Kawanishi, Kae; Henschel, Philipp; Kittle, Andrew; Sanei, Arezoo; Reebin, Alexander; Miquelle, Dale; Stein, Andrew B; Watson, Anjali; Kekule, Laurence Bruce; Machado, Ricardo B; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    The geographic distribution and habitat association of most mammalian polymorphic phenotypes are still poorly known, hampering assessments of their adaptive significance. Even in the case of the black panther, an iconic melanistic variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus), no map exists describing its distribution. We constructed a large database of verified records sampled across the species' range, and used it to map the geographic occurrence of melanism. We then estimated the potential distribution of melanistic and non-melanistic leopards using niche-modeling algorithms. The overall frequency of melanism was ca. 11%, with a significantly non-random spatial distribution. Distinct habitat types presented significantly different frequencies of melanism, which increased in Asian moist forests and approached zero across most open/dry biomes. Niche modeling indicated that the potential distributions of the two phenotypes were distinct, with significant differences in habitat suitability and rejection of niche equivalency between them. We conclude that melanism in leopards is strongly affected by natural selection, likely driven by efficacy of camouflage and/or thermoregulation in different habitats, along with an effect of moisture that goes beyond its influence on vegetation type. Our results support classical hypotheses of adaptive coloration in animals (e.g. Gloger's rule), and open up new avenues for in-depth evolutionary analyses of melanism in mammals.

  9. Genetic Structure and Phylogeography of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) Inferred from Mitochondrial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Patel, Riddhi P; Wutke, Saskia; Lenz, Dorina; Mukherjee, Shomita; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Veron, Géraldine; Fickel, Jörns; Wilting, Andreas; Förster, Daniel W

    2017-06-01

    The Leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis is a habitat generalist that is widely distributed across Southeast Asia. Based on morphological traits, this species has been subdivided into 12 subspecies. Thus far, there have been few molecular studies investigating intraspecific variation, and those had been limited in geographic scope. For this reason, we aimed to study the genetic structure and evolutionary history of this species across its very large distribution range in Asia. We employed both PCR-based (short mtDNA fragments, 94 samples) and high throughput sequencing based methods (whole mitochondrial genomes, 52 samples) on archival, noninvasively collected and fresh samples to investigate the distribution of intraspecific genetic variation. Our comprehensive sampling coupled with the improved resolution of a mitochondrial genome analyses provided strong support for a deep split between Mainland and Sundaic Leopard cats. Although we identified multiple haplogroups within the species' distribution, we found no matrilineal evidence for the distinction of 12 subspecies. In the context of Leopard cat biogeography, we cautiously recommend a revision of the Prionailurus bengalensis subspecific taxonomy: namely, a reduction to 4 subspecies (2 mainland and 2 Sundaic forms). © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Mapping black panthers: Macroecological modeling of melanism in leopards (Panthera pardus)

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Lucas G.; Kawanishi, Kae; Henschel, Philipp; Kittle, Andrew; Sanei, Arezoo; Reebin, Alexander; Miquelle, Dale; Stein, Andrew B.; Watson, Anjali; Kekule, Laurence Bruce; Machado, Ricardo B.

    2017-01-01

    The geographic distribution and habitat association of most mammalian polymorphic phenotypes are still poorly known, hampering assessments of their adaptive significance. Even in the case of the black panther, an iconic melanistic variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus), no map exists describing its distribution. We constructed a large database of verified records sampled across the species’ range, and used it to map the geographic occurrence of melanism. We then estimated the potential distribution of melanistic and non-melanistic leopards using niche-modeling algorithms. The overall frequency of melanism was ca. 11%, with a significantly non-random spatial distribution. Distinct habitat types presented significantly different frequencies of melanism, which increased in Asian moist forests and approached zero across most open/dry biomes. Niche modeling indicated that the potential distributions of the two phenotypes were distinct, with significant differences in habitat suitability and rejection of niche equivalency between them. We conclude that melanism in leopards is strongly affected by natural selection, likely driven by efficacy of camouflage and/or thermoregulation in different habitats, along with an effect of moisture that goes beyond its influence on vegetation type. Our results support classical hypotheses of adaptive coloration in animals (e.g. Gloger’s rule), and open up new avenues for in-depth evolutionary analyses of melanism in mammals. PMID:28379961

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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).

  14. 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).

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Hotter nests produce hatchling lizards with lower thermal tolerance.

    PubMed

    Dayananda, Buddhi; Murray, Brad R; Webb, Jonathan K

    2017-06-15

    In many regions, the frequency and duration of summer heatwaves is predicted to increase in future. Hotter summers could result in higher temperatures inside lizard nests, potentially exposing embryos to thermally stressful conditions during development. Potentially, developmentally plastic shifts in thermal tolerance could allow lizards to adapt to climate warming. To determine how higher nest temperatures affect the thermal tolerance of hatchling geckos, we incubated eggs of the rock-dwelling velvet gecko, Amalosia lesueurii, at two fluctuating temperature regimes to mimic current nest temperatures (mean 23.2°C, range 10-33°C, 'cold') and future nest temperatures (mean 27.0°C, range 14-37°C, 'hot'). Hatchlings from the hot incubation group hatched 27 days earlier and had a lower critical thermal maximum (CTmax 38.7°C) and a higher critical thermal minimum (CTmin 6.2°C) than hatchlings from cold incubation group (40.2 and 5.7°C, respectively). In the field, hatchlings typically settle under rocks near communal nests. During the hatching period, rock temperatures ranged from 13 to 59°C, and regularly exceeded the CTmax of both hot- and cold-incubated hatchlings. Because rock temperatures were so high, the heat tolerance of lizards had little effect on their ability to exploit rocks as retreat sites. Instead, the timing of hatching dictated whether lizards could exploit rocks as retreat sites; that is, cold-incubated lizards that hatched later encountered less thermally stressful environments than earlier hatching hot-incubated lizards. In conclusion, we found no evidence that CTmax can shift upwards in response to higher incubation temperatures, suggesting that hotter summers may increase the vulnerability of lizards to climate warming. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 its...

  9. 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

    ...; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed... rule to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) under the Endangered Species Act of... dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) that was published in the Federal Register on December 14...

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Development of a PCR Assay to detect Papillomavirus Infection in the Snow Leopard

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Papillomaviruses (PVs) are a group of small, non-encapsulated, species-specific DNA viruses that have been detected in a variety of mammalian and avian species including humans, canines and felines. PVs cause lesions in the skin and mucous membranes of the host and after persistent infection, a subset of PVs can cause tumors such as cervical malignancies and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in humans. PVs from several species have been isolated and their genomes have been sequenced, thereby increasing our understanding of the mechanism of viral oncogenesis and allowing for the development of molecular assays for the detection of PV infection. In humans, molecular testing for PV DNA is used to identify patients with persistent infections at risk for developing cervical cancer. In felids, PVs have been isolated and sequenced from oral papillomatous lesions of several wild species including bobcats, Asian lions and snow leopards. Since a number of wild felids are endangered, PV associated disease is a concern and there is a need for molecular tools that can be used to further study papillomavirus in these species. Results We used the sequence of the snow leopard papillomavirus UuPV1 to develop a PCR strategy to amplify viral DNA from samples obtained from captive animals. We designed primer pairs that flank the E6 and E7 viral oncogenes and amplify two DNA fragments encompassing these genes. We detected viral DNA for E6 and E7 in genomic DNA isolated from saliva, but not in paired blood samples from snow leopards. We verified the identity of these PCR products by restriction digest and DNA sequencing. The sequences of the PCR products were 100% identical to the published UuPV1 genome sequence. Conclusions We developed a PCR assay to detect papillomavirus in snow leopards and amplified viral DNA encompassing the E6 and E7 oncogenes specifically in the saliva of animals. This assay could be utilized for the molecular investigation of papillomavirus in

  15. 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

  16. Noninvasive genetic population survey of snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in Kangchenjunga conservation area, Shey Phoksundo National Park and surrounding buffer zones of Nepal.

    PubMed

    Karmacharya, Dibesh B; Thapa, Kamal; Shrestha, Rinjan; Dhakal, Maheshwar; Janecka, Jan E

    2011-11-28

    The endangered snow leopard is found throughout major mountain ranges of Central Asia, including the remote Himalayas. However, because of their elusive behavior, sparse distribution, and poor access to their habitat, there is a lack of reliable information on their population status and demography, particularly in Nepal. Therefore, we utilized noninvasive genetic techniques to conduct a preliminary snow leopard survey in two protected areas of Nepal. A total of 71 putative snow leopard scats were collected and analyzed from two different areas; Shey Phoksundo National Park (SPNP) in the west and Kangchanjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the east. Nineteen (27%) scats were genetically identified as snow leopards, and 10 (53%) of these were successfully genotyped at 6 microsatellite loci. Two samples showed identical genotype profiles indicating a total of 9 individual snow leopards. Four individual snow leopards were identified in SPNP (1 male and 3 females) and five (2 males and 3 females) in KCA. We were able to confirm the occurrence of snow leopards in both study areas and determine the minimum number present. This information can be used to design more in-depth population surveys that will enable estimation of snow leopard population abundance at these sites.

  17. Noninvasive genetic population survey of snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in Kangchenjunga conservation area, Shey Phoksundo National Park and surrounding buffer zones of Nepal

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The endangered snow leopard is found throughout major mountain ranges of Central Asia, including the remote Himalayas. However, because of their elusive behavior, sparse distribution, and poor access to their habitat, there is a lack of reliable information on their population status and demography, particularly in Nepal. Therefore, we utilized noninvasive genetic techniques to conduct a preliminary snow leopard survey in two protected areas of Nepal. Results A total of 71 putative snow leopard scats were collected and analyzed from two different areas; Shey Phoksundo National Park (SPNP) in the west and Kangchanjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the east. Nineteen (27%) scats were genetically identified as snow leopards, and 10 (53%) of these were successfully genotyped at 6 microsatellite loci. Two samples showed identical genotype profiles indicating a total of 9 individual snow leopards. Four individual snow leopards were identified in SPNP (1 male and 3 females) and five (2 males and 3 females) in KCA. Conclusions We were able to confirm the occurrence of snow leopards in both study areas and determine the minimum number present. This information can be used to design more in-depth population surveys that will enable estimation of snow leopard population abundance at these sites. PMID:22117538

  18. Alterations in selected serum biochemistry values of free-ranging Bornean leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis borneoensis) captured by box traps.

    PubMed

    Nájera, Fernando; Hearn, Andrew J; Ross, Joanna; Nathan, Senthivel; Revuelta, Luis

    2014-09-01

    Box-traps for capturing wild cats are widely used by researchers since it is one of the most effective methods for trapping these species. Although they are extensively utilised, the effects on the physiology of trapped felids remain unclear. Researchers frequently make judgements regarding the safety of such capture devices by examination of external injuries but often fail to take into consideration other physiological parameters. To assess the effects of capture events on selected serum biochemistry values of free-ranging Bornean leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis borneoensis) six free-ranging leopard cats (four males, two females) were trapped by using box-traps in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Blood was collected by jugular venipucture after chemical immobilization with a mixture of tiletamine and zolazepam. Blood was analysed for 17 serum biochemistry parameters. The most consistent and significantly higher value found in both sexes was aspartate aminotransferase (AST), followed by high mean value of alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Both mean values exceeded the upper limit of the reference range for captive leopard cats. These results demonstrate that captured leopard cats by box-traps undergo physical exertion and consequently some type of muscle injury/damage. Researchers and wildlife managers should be aware of the physiological response of trapped felids when using box-traps. Devices that facilitate the prompt removal of leopard cats from the traps would be useful for researchers to avoid further damage while live trapping this species.

  19. Identification of the reptilian prolactin and its receptor cDNAs in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Kato, Keisuke; Ikemoto, Tadahiro; Park, Min Kyun

    2005-02-14

    In spite of their physiological significance, there is no available information about the nucleotide sequences of prolactin (PRL) and its receptor in reptilian species. In order to fill this gap, PRL and its receptor cDNAs were identified in a reptilian species, the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. The deduced leopard gecko PRL polypeptide showed high identities with the corresponding polypeptides of other reptiles. The leopard gecko PRL receptor (PRLR) was estimated to have tandem repeated regions in its extracellular domain, which had been originally found in avian PRLR. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that these tandem repeated regions were generated by the duplication of the extracellular region in the latest common ancestor among reptiles and birds. In addition, tissue distributions of PRL and PRLR in the leopard gecko were examined by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PRLR mRNA was detected in all tissues examined and highly expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, intestine, kidney, ovary, oviduct and testis. Whereas, PRL mRNA was expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, ovary and testis. The co-expressions of PRL and its receptor in some extrapituitary organs suggest that PRL acts as an autocrine/paracrine factor in such organs of the leopard gecko.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Tail loss and thermoregulation in the common lizard Zootoca vivipara

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herczeg, Gábor; Kovács, Tibor; Tóth, Tamás; Török, János; Korsós, Zoltán; Merilä, Juha

    2004-10-01

    Tail autotomy in lizards is an adaptive strategy that has evolved to reduce the risk of predation. Since tail loss reduces body mass and moving ability—which in turn are expected to influence thermal balance—there is potential for a trade-off between tail autotomy and thermoregulation. To test this hypothesis, we studied a common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) population at high latitude, inhabiting a high-cost thermal environment. Z. vivipara is a small, non-territorial lizard known as a very accurate thermoregulator. We made two predictions: (1) the reduced body weight due to tail loss results in faster heating rate (a benefit), and (2) the reduction in locomotor ability after tail loss induces a shift to the use of thermally poorer microhabitats (a cost), thus decreasing the field body temperatures of active lizards. We did not find any effect of tail loss on heating rate in laboratory experiments conducted under different thermal conditions. Likewise, no significant relationship between tail condition and field body temperatures, or between tail condition and thermal microhabitat use, were detected. Thus, our results suggest that tail autotomy does not influence the accuracy of thermoregulation in small-bodied lizards.

  3. A genome draft of the legless anguid lizard, Ophisaurus gracilis.

    PubMed

    Song, Bo; Cheng, Shifeng; Sun, Yanbo; Zhong, Xiao; Jin, Jieqiong; Guan, Rui; Murphy, Robert W; Che, Jing; Zhang, Yaping; Liu, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Transition from a lizard-like to a snake-like body form is one of the most important transformations in reptilian evolution. The increasing number of sequenced reptilian genomes is enabling a deeper understanding of vertebrate evolution, although the genetic basis of the loss of limbs in reptiles remains enigmatic. Here we report genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation for the Asian glass lizard Ophisaurus gracilis, a limbless lizard species with an elongated snake-like body form. Addition of this species to the genome repository will provide an excellent resource for studying the genetic basis of limb loss and trunk elongation. O. gracilis genome sequencing using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform resulted in 274.20 Gbp of raw data that was filtered and assembled to a final size of 1.78 Gbp, comprising 6,717 scaffolds with N50 = 1.27 Mbp. Based on the k-mer estimated genome size of 1.71 Gbp, the assembly appears to be nearly 100% complete. A total of 19,513 protein-coding genes were predicted, and 884.06 Mbp of repeat sequences (approximately half of the genome) were annotated. The draft genome of O. gracilis has similar characteristics to both lizard and snake genomes. We report the first genome of a lizard from the family Anguidae, O. gracilis. This supplements currently available genetic and genomic resources for amniote vertebrates, representing a major increase in comparative genome data available for squamate reptiles in particular.

  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. Tail loss and thermoregulation in the common lizard Zootoca vivipara.

    PubMed

    Herczeg, Gábor; Kovács, Tibor; Tóth, Tamás; Török, János; Korsós, Zoltán; Merilä, Juha

    2004-10-01

    Tail autotomy in lizards is an adaptive strategy that has evolved to reduce the risk of predation. Since tail loss reduces body mass and moving ability-which in turn are expected to influence thermal balance-there is potential for a trade-off between tail autotomy and thermoregulation. To test this hypothesis, we studied a common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) population at high latitude, inhabiting a high-cost thermal environment. Z. vivipara is a small, non-territorial lizard known as a very accurate thermoregulator. We made two predictions: (1) the reduced body weight due to tail loss results in faster heating rate (a benefit), and (2) the reduction in locomotor ability after tail loss induces a shift to the use of thermally poorer microhabitats (a cost), thus decreasing the field body temperatures of active lizards. We did not find any effect of tail loss on heating rate in laboratory experiments conducted under different thermal conditions. Likewise, no significant relationship between tail condition and field body temperatures, or between tail condition and thermal microhabitat use, were detected. Thus, our results suggest that tail autotomy does not influence the accuracy of thermoregulation in small-bodied lizards.

  6. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    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. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Why tropical forest lizards are vulnerable to climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Huey, Raymond B.; Deutsch, Curtis A.; Tewksbury, Joshua J.; Vitt, Laurie J.; Hertz, Paul E.; Álvarez Pérez, Héctor J.; Garland, Theodore

    2009-01-01

    Biological impacts of climate warming are predicted to increase with latitude, paralleling increases in warming. However, the magnitude of impacts depends not only on the degree of warming but also on the number of species at risk, their physiological sensitivity to warming and their options for behavioural and physiological compensation. Lizards are useful for evaluating risks of warming because their thermal biology is well studied. We conducted macrophysiological analyses of diurnal lizards from diverse latitudes plus focal species analyses of Puerto Rican Anolis and Sphaerodactyus. Although tropical lowland lizards live in environments that are warm all year, macrophysiological analyses indicate that some tropical lineages (thermoconformers that live in forests) are active at low body temperature and are intolerant of warm temperatures. Focal species analyses show that some tropical forest lizards were already experiencing stressful body temperatures in summer when studied several decades ago. Simulations suggest that warming will not only further depress their physiological performance in summer, but will also enable warm-adapted, open-habitat competitors and predators to invade forests. Forest lizards are key components of tropical ecosystems, but appear vulnerable to the cascading physiological and ecological effects of climate warming, even though rates of tropical warming may be relatively low. PMID:19324762

  10. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fontanarrosa, Gabriela; Abdala, Virginia

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2011-10-07

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Tail regeneration affects the digestive performance of a Mediterranean lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Karambotsi, Niki; Bletsa, Aristoula; Reppa, Aikaterini; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2017-04-01

    In caudal autotomy, lizards shed their tail to escape from an attacking predator. Since the tail serves multiple functions, caudal regeneration is of pivotal importance. However, it is a demanding procedure that requires substantial energy and nutrients. Therefore, lizards have to increase energy income to fuel the extraordinary requirements of the regenerating tail. We presumed that autotomized lizards would adjust their digestion to acquire this additional energy. To clarify the effects of tail regeneration on digestion, we compared the digestive performance before autotomy, during regeneration, and after its completion. Tail regeneration indeed increased gut passage time but did not affect digestive performance in a uniform pattern: though protein income was maximized, lipid and sugar acquisition remained stable. This divergence in proteins may be attributed to their particular role in tail reconstruction, as they are the main building blocks for tissue formation.

  18. Nematode Parasites of Teiid Lizards from the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Lilian Cristina; Gardner, Scott L; Melo, Francisco Tiago Vasconcelos; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Dos Santos, Jeannie Nascimento

    2016-11-30

    This study presents the helminth composition and parameters of infection by several species of nematodes in teiid lizards, Ameiva a. ameiva (Linnaeus, 1758), Cnemidophorus cryptus Cole & Dessauer, 1993, and Kentropyx calcarata Spix, 1825 from the Brazilian Amazonian Rainforest. The lizard populations we studied were parasitized by six species of Nemata, including: Spinicauda spinicauda (Olfers, 1919), Parapharyngodon alvarengai Freitas, 1957, Physaloptera sp. (adults), Physaloptera sp. (larvae), Piratuba digiticauda Lent and Freitas, 1941, and Anisakidae (larvae). The overall prevalence was 66.17% and the mean intensity of infection was 19.40 ± 25.48. The association between the body-length of lizards and abundance and richness of parasitic nematodes was statistically significant only in Ameiva a. ameiva. A new host record is reported here with one specimen of the family Anasakidae in Ameiva a. ameiva. Both S. spinicauda and Physaloptera sp. represent new records from C. cryptus.

  19. 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.

  20. Polycirridae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Hutchings, Pat; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-09-18

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island Group, sixteen species of polycirrids were found, from material collected during the two weeks Lizard Island Taxonomic Workshop, together with material collected by previous projects of the Australian Museum based at Lizard Island, including CReefs (http://www. gov.au/creefs/field-program.html). Those species are distributed as follows: two species of Amaeana Hartman, 1959, one new species of Hauchiella Levinsen, 1893, 2 species of Lysilla Malmgren, 1866, one of which is new to science, and 11 species of Polycirrus Grube, 1850, eight of which are new to science. Keys for identification of these genera and species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, except for those with recent descriptions, and comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners, in the case of the new species.

  1. Tikiguania and the antiquity of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes).

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Mark N; Skinner, Adam; Lee, Michael S Y

    2012-08-23

    Tikiguania estesi is widely accepted to be the earliest member of Squamata, the reptile group that includes lizards and snakes. It is based on a lower jaw from the Late Triassic of India, described as a primitive lizard related to agamids and chamaeleons. However, Tikiguania is almost indistinguishable from living agamids; a combined phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data places it with draconines, a prominent component of the modern Asian herpetofauna. It is unlikely that living agamids have retained the Tikiguania morphotype unchanged for over 216 Myr; it is much more conceivable that Tikiguania is a Quaternary or Late Tertiary agamid that was preserved in sediments derived from the Triassic beds that have a broad superficial exposure. This removes the only fossil evidence for lizards in the Triassic. Studies that have employed Tikiguana for evolutionary, biogeographical and molecular dating inferences need to be reassessed.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Does thermal ecology influence dynamics of side-blotched lizards and their micro-parasites?

    PubMed

    Paranjpe, Dhanashree A; Medina, Dianna; Nielsen, Erica; Cooper, Robert D; Paranjpe, Sharayu A; Sinervo, Barry

    2014-07-01

    Hosts and parasites form interacting populations that influence each other in multiple ways. Their dynamics can also be influenced by environmental and ecological factors. We studied host-parasite dynamics in a previously unexplored study system: side-blotched lizards and their micro-parasites. Compared with uninfected lizards, the infected lizards elected to bask at lower temperatures that were outside their range of preferred temperatures. Infected lizards also were not as precise as uninfected lizards in maintaining their body temperatures within a narrow range. At the ecological scale, areas with higher infection rates coincided with more thermally heterogeneous microhabitats as well as with the areas where lizards tended to live longer. Thermal heterogeneity of lizards' microhabitats may provide important clues to the spatial and temporal distribution of infections.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J.; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards ( Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  9. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards.

    PubMed

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards (Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  10. 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.

  11. Earliest example of a giant monitor lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Major histocompatibility complex and mate choice in sand lizards.

    PubMed Central

    Olsson, Mats; Madsen, Thomas; Nordby, Jessica; Wapstra, Erik; Ujvari, Beata; Wittsell, Håkan

    2003-01-01

    In mice and man, females prefer males with a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotype different to their own. We tested whether this phenomenon also occurs in the Swedish sand lizard (Lacerta agilis). Females in a laboratory experiment preferred to associate with odour samples obtained from more distantly related males at the MHC class 1 loci. Data on free-ranging lizards suggest that associations between males and females are nonrandom with respect to MHC genotype. However, male spatial distribution and mobility during the mating season suggest that the non-random pairing process in the wild may also be driven by corresponding genetic benefits to males pairing with less related females. PMID:14667398

  14. Contribution of gular pumping to lung ventilation in monitor lizards.

    PubMed

    Owerkowicz, T; Farmer, C G; Hicks, J W; Brainerd, E L

    1999-06-04

    A controversial hypothesis has proposed that lizards are subject to a speed-dependent axial constraint that prevents effective lung ventilation during moderate- and high-speed locomotion. This hypothesis has been challenged by results demonstrating that monitor lizards (genus Varanus) experience no axial constraint. Evidence presented here shows that, during locomotion, varanids use a positive pressure gular pump to assist lung ventilation. Disabling the gular pump reveals that the axial constraint is present in varanids but it is masked by gular pumping under normal conditions. These findings support the prediction that the axial constraint may be found in other tetrapods that breathe by costal aspiration and locomote with a lateral undulatory gait.

  15. 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

  16. Neocortical neuronal morphology in the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Cameron B; Schall, Matthew; Tennison, Mackenzie E; Garcia, Madeleine E; Shea-Shumsky, Noah B; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Bertelsen, Mads F; Waller, Leona C; Walsh, Timothy; Roberts, John F; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Manger, Paul R; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-12-01

    Despite extensive investigations of the neocortex in the domestic cat, little is known about neuronal morphology in larger felids. To this end, the present study characterized and quantified the somatodendritic morphology of neocortical neurons in prefrontal, motor, and visual cortices of the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). After neurons were stained with a modified Golgi technique (N = 194), dendritic branching and spine distributions were analyzed using computer-assisted morphometry. Qualitatively, aspiny and spiny neurons in both species appeared morphologically similar to those observed in the domestic cat. Although the morphology of spiny neurons was diverse, with the presence of extraverted, inverted, horizontal, and multiapical pyramidal neurons, the most common variant was the typical pyramidal neuron. Gigantopyramidal neurons in the motor cortex were extremely large, confirming the observation of Brodmann ([1909] Vergleichende Lokalisationlehre der Grosshirnrinde in ihren Prinzipien dargestellt auf Grund des Zellenbaues. Leipzig, Germany: J.A. Barth), who found large somata for these neurons in carnivores in general, and felids in particular. Quantitatively, a MARSplines analysis of dendritic measures differentiated typical pyramidal neurons between the Siberian tiger and the clouded leopard with 93% accuracy. In general, the dendrites of typical pyramidal neurons were more complex in the tiger than in the leopards. Moreover, dendritic measures in tiger pyramidal neurons were disproportionally large relative to body/brain size insofar as they were nearly as extensive as those observed in much larger mammals (e.g., African elephant). Comparison of neuronal morphology in a more diverse collection of larger felids may elucidate the comparative context for the relatively large size of the pyramidal neurons observed in the present study. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3641-3665, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Effects of testosterone on sexual behavior and morphology in adult female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Ross, J; Crews, D

    1999-10-01

    The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is a species in which testosterone (T) is the primary circulating sex hormone in adults of both sexes. There are, however, sex differences in T physiology. Whereas males have prolonged periods with high T levels, T levels cycle in accord with follicular development in females. Specifically, T concentration increases during vitellogenesis, drops after ovulation, and then remains at previtellogenic levels until eggs are laid and the next follicular cycle begins. To determine the function of T in females, we manipulated both the level and the duration of T elevation using Silastic implants in intact, adult female leopard geckos. Females had low ( approximately 1 ng/ml), medium ( approximately 100 ng/ml), or high ( approximately 200 ng/ml) T levels for either a short (8 days) or a long (35 days) duration. Behavior tests with males were conducted on days 1-5 in the short-duration group or on days 29-33 in the long-duration group. For both short- and long-duration groups, T treatment decreased attractivity in females with medium and high T levels compared to females with low T levels. In contrast, females with a medium T level were more receptive than females with a low T level in the short-duration group. Females in the long-duration group were unreceptive regardless of T level. Females treated for a long duration also displayed more aggression toward and evoked more aggression from males than short duration females. Short-duration T treatment had no masculinizing effect on female morphology, whereas medium and high T levels for a long duration induced development of hemipenes. Overall, these results suggest that T can both increase and decrease sexual behaviors in the female leopard gecko.

  18. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun; Kim, Yumi; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Cho, Suan; Uphyrkina, Olga; Kostyria, Aleksey; Goodrich, John; Miquelle, Dale; Roelke, Melody; Lewis, John; Yurchenko, Andrey; Bankevich, Anton; Cho, Juok; Lee, Semin; Edwards, Jeremy S; Weber, Jessica A; Cook, Jo; Kim, Sangsoo; Lee, Hang; Manica, Andrea; Lee, Ilbeum; O'Brien, Stephen J; Bhak, Jong; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2016-10-11

    There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes. We generated a new high-quality leopard genome assembly, as well as two wild Amur leopard whole genomes. In addition to a clear contraction in gene families for starch and sucrose metabolism, the carnivore genomes showed evidence of shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with diet, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for successful hunting and meat consumption. Additionally, an analysis of highly conserved regions at the family level revealed molecular signatures of dietary adaptation in each of Felidae, Hominidae, and Bovidae. However, unlike carnivores, omnivores and herbivores showed fewer shared adaptive signatures, indicating that carnivores are under strong selective pressure related to diet. Finally, felids showed recent reductions in genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, which may be due to the inflexible nature of their strict diet, highlighting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our study provides a large-scale family level comparative genomic analysis to address genomic changes associated with dietary specialization. Our genomic analyses also provide useful resources for diet-related genetic and health research.

  19. Survival estimates for reintroduced populations of the Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howell, Paige E; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chandler, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Global amphibian declines have been attributed to a number of factors including disease, invasive species, habitat degradation, and climate change. Reintroduction is one management action that is commonly used with the goal of recovering imperiled species. The success of reintroductions varies widely, and evaluating their efficacy requires estimates of population viability metrics, such as underlying vital rates and trends in abundance. Although rarely quantified, assessing vital rates for recovering populations provides a more mechanistic understanding of population growth than numerical trends in population occupancy or abundance. We used three years of capture-mark-recapture data from three breeding ponds and a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model to estimate annual apparent survival for reintroduced populations of the federally threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), in the Altar Valley, Arizona, USA. To place our results in context, we also compiled published survival estimates for other ranids. Average apparent survival of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs at BANWR was 0.27 (95% CI [0.07, 0.74]) and average individual capture probability was 0.02 (95% CI [0, 0.05]). Our apparent survival estimate for Chiricahua Leopard Frogs is lower than for most other ranids and is not consistent with recent research that showed metapopulation viability in the Altar Valley is high. We suggest that low apparent survival may be indicative of high emigration rates. We recommend that future research should estimate emigration rates so that actual, rather than apparent, survival can be quantified to improve population viability assessments of threatened species following reintroduction efforts.

  20. Differences induced by incubation temperature, versus androgen manipulation, in male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Huang, Victoria; Crews, David

    2012-08-20

    A fundamental tenet of sexual selection is that in sexually dimorphic traits, there is variation within a sex. In leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, embryonic temperature contributes both to sex determination and polymorphisms within each sex. In this study we report that males from different incubation temperatures, one hitherto untested, exhibit significant differences in behavior even when castrated. Further, treatment with dihydrotestosterone increases scent marking, a territorial behavior. This supports previous results indicating that temperature has a direct organizing action on brain and sociosexual behavior independent of gonadal hormones. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The developmental success of Amblyomma hebraeum and Amblyomma marmoreum on the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis.

    PubMed

    Dower, K M; Petney, T N; Horak, I G

    1988-03-01

    The success of natural infestations of various life history stages of Amblyomma hebraeum and Amblyomma marmoreum on the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis, was compared. Success was measured by the time taken for ticks to detach, as well as the percentage of ticks engorging and subsequently either moulting to the next life history stage or laying viable eggs. Larvae of A. hebraeum were the only developmental stage not recovered. Nymphae and female A. hebraeum were less successful in moulting or laying eggs than the corresponding stages of A. marmoreum. Nevertheless, 48,7% of A. hebraeum nymphae moulted, while 1 of 6 females laid viable eggs.

  5. Naloxone blocks the analgesic action of levorphanol but not of dextrorphan in the leopard frog.

    PubMed

    Stevens, C W; Pezalla, P D

    1984-05-28

    Intraspinal injection of levorphanol (3 micrograms) at the lumbar area of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens, induced analgesia which was completely blocked by co-injection of naloxone (3 micrograms), whereas dextrorphan (3 micrograms) induced analgesia which was unaffected by naloxone. Subcutaneous levorphanol (20 or 80 mg/kg) induced a dose-dependent analgesia which was blocked by concurrent naloxone (2 mg/kg), while only the higher dose of dextrorphan (80 mg/kg) induced analgesia which was unaffected by concurrent naloxone at 8 or 80 mg/kg. These data are the first to indicate naloxone-insensitive, dextrorphan-induced analgesia.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Lack of convergence in aquatic Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Leal, Manuel; Knox, Alison K; Losos, Jonathan B

    2002-04-01

    Why convergent evolution occurs among some species occupying similar habitats but not among others is a question that has received surprisingly little attention. Caribbean Anolis lizards, known for their extensive convergent evolution among islands in the Greater Antilles, are an appropriate group with which to address this question. Despite the well-documented pattern of between-island convergence, some Greater Antillean anoles are not obviously part of the convergence syndrome. One example involves aquatic anoles--species that are found near to and readily enter streams-which have evolved independently twice in the Caribbean and also twice on mainland Central America. Despite being found in similar habitats, no previous study has investigated whether aquatic anoles represent yet another case of morphological convergence. We tested this hypothesis by collecting morphological data for seven aquatic anole species and 29 species from the six convergent types of Greater Antillean habitat specialists. We failed to find evidence for morphological convergence: the two Caribbean aquatic species are greatly dissimilar to each other and to the Central American species, which, however, may be convergent upon each other. We suggest two possible reasons for this lack of convergence in an otherwise highly convergent system: either there is more than one habitat type occupied by anoles in the proximity of water, or there is more than one way to adapt to a single aquatic habitat. We estimate that almost all of the 113 species of Greater Antillean anoles occupy habitats that are also used by distantly related species, but only 15% of these species are not morphologically similar to their distantly related ecological counterparts. Comparative data from other taxa would help enlighten the question of why the extent of convergence is so great in some lineages and not in others.

  9. Low leopard populations in protected areas of Maputaland: a consequence of poaching, habitat condition, abundance of prey, and a top predator.

    PubMed

    Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Kalle, Riddhika; Rosenlund, Havard; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Identifying the primary causes affecting population densities and distribution of flagship species are necessary in developing sustainable management strategies for large carnivore conservation. We modeled drivers of spatial density of the common leopard (Panthera pardus) using a spatially explicit capture-recapture-Bayesian approach to understand their population dynamics in the Maputaland Conservation Unit, South Africa. We camera-trapped leopards in four protected areas (PAs) of varying sizes and disturbance levels covering 198 camera stations. Ours is the first study to explore the effects of poaching level, abundance of prey species (small, medium, and large), competitors (lion Panthera leo and spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta), and habitat on the spatial distribution of common leopard density. Twenty-six male and 41 female leopards were individually identified and estimated leopard density ranged from 1.6 ± 0.62/100 km(2) (smallest PA-Ndumo) to 8.4 ± 1.03/100 km(2) (largest PA-western shores). Although dry forest thickets and plantation habitats largely represented the western shores, the plantation areas had extremely low leopard density compared to native forest. We found that leopard density increased in areas when low poaching levels/no poaching was recorded in dry forest thickets and with high abundance of medium-sized prey, but decreased with increasing abundance of lion. Because local leopard populations are vulnerable to extinction, particularly in smaller PAs, the long-term sustainability of leopard populations depend on developing appropriate management strategies that consider a combination of multiple factors to maintain their optimal habitats.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Characteristics of tooth system in gekkonid lizards ( Teratoscincus, Gekkonidae) and other lizards (Gekkota, Sauria, Reptilia)].

    PubMed

    Nikitina, N G; Anan'eva, N B

    2009-01-01

    The dentition and tooth crown microstructure of gekkonids and eublepharids are examined. Scanning electron microscopy shows that the lingual surface of teeth in these lizards has one, two, or, occasionally, several cusps separated by grooves. The teeth of geckoes usually have two (lingual and labial) cusps in the apical region. With respect to the number of teeth, the majority of Gekkota fall into two groups. The first includes a few species with many teeth (50 or more) in the dentary and maxilla, the eublepharids Goniurosaurus and Aeluroscalabotes, and the gekkonid Cyrtopodion louisiadensis. The second group, comprising most of the species, is subdivided into two subgroups, species with 20-30 or 30-40 teeth in jaw bones. Teratoscincus belongs to the first subgroup of the second group.

  13. 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

  14. Reproductive strategies in males of the world's southernmost lizards.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Jimena B; Medina, Marlin; Kubisch, Erika L; Scolaro, José A; Ibargüengoytía, Nora R

    2017-03-01

    Reproductive and life history patterns in reptiles are tightly related to the environmental conditions, so male reproductive cycles have been historically characterized as continuous, for tropical lizards, or seasonal, for temperate lizards. However, males of Liolaemus and Phymaturus lizards (Liolaemidae), from cold temperate climates of high altitudes or latitudes in Argentina and Chile, have developed a variety of reproductive cycles to coordinate with the short female reproductive season and to deal with the low frequency of reproductive females in the population. Using gonadal histology and morphological analysis, we describe the male reproductive biology, fat storage and sexual dimorphism of the viviparous lizards Liolaemus sarmientoi and Liolaemus magellanicus that inhabit an austral grass steppe at 51°S, in the southern limit of the American continent. Males of L. sarmientoi and L. magellanicus are reproductively available during the entire activity season of approximately 5 months. In addition, males of both species exhibit greater body sizes than females in morphological variables relevant in sexual selection. Meanwhile, females of both species exhibit larger inter-limb length than conspecific males, which suggests fecundity selection to increase space for a larger litter size. The continuous sperm production throughout the activity season allows these liolaemids to mate at any time when females ovulate, representing a selective advantage to deal with the short activity season and the adversities of the cold environment they inhabit.

  15. A gliding lizard from the Early Cretaceous of China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Pi-Peng; Gao, Ke-Qin; Hou, Lian-Hai; Xu, Xing

    2007-01-01

    Gliding is an energetically efficient mode of locomotion that has evolved independently, and in different ways, in several tetrapod groups. Here, we report on an acrodontan lizard from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of China showing an array of morphological traits associated with gliding. It represents the only known occurrence of this specialization in a fossil lizard and provides evidence of an Early Cretaceous ecological diversification into an aerial niche by crown-group squamates. The lizard has a dorsal-rib-supported patagium, a structure independently evolved in the Late Triassic basal lepidosauromorph kuehneosaurs and the extant agamid lizard Draco, revealing a surprising case of convergent evolution among lepidosauromorphans. A patagial character combination of much longer bilaterally than anteroposteriorly, significantly thicker along the leading edge than along the trailing edge, tapered laterally to form a wing tip, and secondarily supported by an array of linear collagen fibers is not common in gliders and enriches our knowledge of gliding adaptations among tetrapods. PMID:17376871

  16. Effects of different substrates on the sprint performance of lizards.

    PubMed

    Tulli, Maria Jose; Abdala, Virginia; Cruz, Felix B

    2012-03-01

    The variation in substrate structure is one of the most important determinants of the locomotor abilities of lizards. Lizards are found across a range of habitats, from large rocks to loose sand, each of them with conflicting mechanical demands on locomotion. We examined the relationships among sprint speed, morphology and different types of substrate surfaces in species of lizards that exploit different structural habitats (arboreal, saxicolous, terrestrial and arenicolous) in a phylogenetic context. Our main goals were to assess which processes drive variability in morphology (i.e. phylogeny or adaptation to habitat) in order to understand how substrate structure affects sprint speed in species occupying different habitats and to determine the relationship between morphology and performance. Liolaemini lizards show that most morphological traits are constrained by phylogeny, particularly toe 3, the femur and foot. All ecological groups showed significant differences on rocky surfaces. Surprisingly, no ecological group performed better on the surface resembling its own habitat. Moreover, all groups exhibited significant differences in sprint speed among the three different types of experimental substrates and showed the best performance on sand, with the exception of the arboreal group. Despite the fact that species use different types of habitats, the highly conservative morphology of Liolaemini species and the similar levels of performance on different types of substrates suggest that they confer to the 'jack of all trades and master of none' principle.

  17. Terebellidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Hutchings, Pat; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-09-18

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, sixteen new species of terebellids, plus one previously described species, were found from material collected during the two week long Lizard Island Taxonomic Workshop in 2013, along with material collected from previous projects carried out at Lizard Island. This included the CReefs Project (http://www. gov.au/creefs/field-program.html), of which Lizard was one of the nodes. Those species are distributed as follows: one species of each of the following genera Eupolymnia Verrill, 1900, Lanice Malmgren, 1866; Lanicides Hessle, 1917, Lanicola Hartmann-Schröder, 1986, Pistella Hartmann-Schröder, 1996, Reteterebella Hartman, 1963, and Terebella Linnaeus, 1767; two species of Nicolea Malmgren, 1866; three species of Pista Malmgren, 1866 and four of Loimia Malmgren, 1866, together with another new species, belonging to the new genus Lizardia n. gen. Keys for identification of these genera and species are provided, together with generic diagnoses and full descriptions for all species; for each new species, comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners are provided. A redescription of Reteterebella queenslandia Hartman, 1963 is also included.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-25

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20926442

  20. 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.…

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Ontogenetic scaling of bite force in lizards and turtles.

    PubMed

    Herrel, Anthony; O'reilly, James C

    2006-01-01

    Because selection on juvenile life-history stages is likely strong, disproportionately high levels of performance (e.g., sprint speed, endurance, etc.) might be expected. Whereas this phenomenon has been demonstrated with respect to locomotor performance, data for feeding are scarce. Here, we investigate the relationships among body dimensions, head dimensions, and bite force during growth in lizards and turtles. We also investigate whether ontogenetic changes in bite performance are related to changes in diet. Our analyses show that, for turtles, head dimensions generally increase with negative allometry. For lizards, heads scale as expected for geometrically growing systems. Bite force generally increased isometrically with carapace length in turtles but showed significant positive allometry relative to body dimensions in lizards. However, both lizards and turtles display positive allometric scaling of bite force relative to some measures of head size throughout ontogeny, suggesting (1) strong selection for increased relative bite performance with increasing head size and (2) intrinsic changes in the geometry and/or mass of the jaw adductors during growth. Whereas our data generally do not provide strong evidence of compensation for lower absolute levels of performance, they do show strong links among morphology, bite force, and diet during growth.

  6. Recognition of partially concealed leopards by wild bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata). The role of the spotted coat.

    PubMed

    Coss, Richard G; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Schank, Jeffrey

    2005-02-28

    Wild bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) have been shown to recognize models of leopards (Panthera pardus), based on their configuration and spotted yellow coat. This study examined whether bonnet macaques could recognize the spotted and dark melanic morph when partially concealed by vegetation. Seven troops were studied at two sites in southern India, the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. The forequarters and hindquarters of the two leopard morphs were presented from behind thick vegetation to individuals at feeding stations 25 m away. Flight reaction times and frequency of flight were obtained from video for only those individuals who oriented towards the models prior to hearing alarm calls. Bonnet macaques exhibited faster reaction times and greater frequency of flight after looking at the spotted morph's forequarter than after looking at either its spotted hindquarter or the dark morph's forequarter. The hindquarter of the dark morph was ignored completely. Artificial neural network modeling examined the perceptual aspects of leopard face recognition and the role of spots as camouflage. When spots were integrated into the pattern recognition process via network training, these spots contributed to leopard face recognition. When networks were not trained with spots, spots did not act as camouflage by disrupting facial features.

  7. Accelerated hatching of southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala) eggs in response to the presence of a crayfish Procambarus nigrocinctus predator

    Treesearch

    Daniel Saenz; James B. Johnson; Cory K. Adams; Gage H. Dayton

    2003-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, such as morphological and behavioral changes in response to predators, is common in larval anurans. Less is known about inducible defenses in the embryonic stages of development. We investigated the predation risk imposed by crayfish (Procambarus nigrocinctus) on southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala)...

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. CARCINOMA IN THE LEOPARD FROG: ITS PROBABLE CAUSATION BY A VIRUS

    PubMed Central

    Lucké, Balduin

    1938-01-01

    An epithelial tumor with acidophilic intranuclear inclusions frequently occurs in the kidneys of leopard frogs. This tumor usually has the appearance of an infiltrating and destructive adenocarcinoma, which, when large, not uncommonly metastasizes; less often it is more orderly and adenomatous. When inoculated as living fragments or cell suspensions into the lymph sacs, the cranial cavity, or the abdomen, no significant local growth results and the implanted material is resorbed. However, in approximately 20 per cent of the frogs surviving inoculation for more than 6 months, tumors develop in the kidney, which are like the "spontaneous" neoplasms. The incidence far exceeds that in the controls. Desiccated and glycerinated tumor injected into the abdomen gives the same result as inoculation with living tumor; in somewhat over 20 per cent of animals surviving more than 6 months kidney tumors occur. In alien species of frogs, no such tumors are produced by inoculation either with living or with desiccated tumor. These experiments indicate the probability that the kidney tumor of the leopard frog is caused by an inclusion-forming, organ-specific virus. PMID:19870798

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Identification and characterization of a reptilian GnRH receptor from the leopard gecko.

    PubMed

    Ikemoto, T; Enomoto, M; Park, M K

    2004-02-12

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of reproductive functions through interactions with its specific receptor. We describe the first molecular cloning and characterization of a full-length GnRH receptor (GnRHR) from the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. It has a distinct genomic structure consisting of five exons and four introns, compared with all the other reported GnRHR genes. A native GnRH form, cGnRH-II, stimulated inositol phosphate (IP) production in COS-7 cells transiently transfected with the GnRHR, in a dose dependent manner. The mRNA was expressed in all the tissues and organs examined. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that the cloned GnRHR belongs to the type 2/nonmammalian I GnRHR. Low-expression levels were observed from the pituitary glands of reproductively active leopard geckos, indicating the possibility that there is at least one more type of GnRHR highly expressed in the pituitary gland for the gonadotropin secretion in this reptile.

  15. Characterization of TGFβ signaling during tail regeneration in the leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Richard W D; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Viloria-Petit, Alicia M

    2013-07-01

    The transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)/activin signaling pathway has a number of documented roles during wound healing and is increasingly appreciated as an essential component of multi-tissue regeneration that occurs in amphibians and fish. Among amniotes (reptiles and mammals), less is known due in part to the lack of an appropriate model organism capable of multi-tissue regeneration. The leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius is able to spontaneously, and repeatedly, regenerate its tail following tail loss. We examined the expression and localization of several key components of the TGFβ/activin signaling pathway during tail regeneration of the leopard gecko. We observed a marked increase in phosphorylated Smad2 expression within the regenerate blastema indicating active TGFβ/activin signaling. Interestingly, during early regeneration, TGFβ1 expression is limited whereas activin-βA is strongly upregulated. We also observe the expression of EMT transcription factors Snail1 and Snail2 in the blastema. Combined, these observations provide strong support for the importance of different TGFβ ligands during multi-tissue regeneration and the potential role of TGFβ/activin-induced EMT programs during this process. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Haematoloechus sp. infection in wild-caught northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    PubMed

    Hsu, Charlie; Carter, D Bart; Williams, Donna; Besch-Williford, Cynthia

    2004-11-01

    Three male, wild-caught northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) died over a 1-week period with no previous history of clinical illness or disease. Noteworthy necropsy findings in one of the three frogs included depleted fat bodies in the coelomic cavity, indicating a poor nutritional condition, and a heavy parasite burden in the lungs. The location of infection and morphologic characteristics of the parasite were consistent with infection by the common lung fluke, Haematoloechus sp. In contrast to the heavy fluke load, only minor microscopic changes were observed in the lungs. Lesions included mild hypertrophy of the bronchiolar epithelium, with few submucosal inflammatory cells consisting predominantly of lymphocytes. Subsequent review of the literature revealed little about the pathologic effects of these parasites except that small numbers are thought to cause the host little harm. Our findings suggest that even with a large number of parasites, there is minimal pathologic impact in the lungs. We conclude that heavy lung-fluke infection should not be diagnosed as the sole or major etiology of death or illness in leopard frogs.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. The ability of lizards to identify an artificial Batesian mimic.

    PubMed

    Beneš, Josef; Veselý, Petr

    2017-08-01

    Birds are usually considered the main predators shaping the evolution of aposematic signals and mimicry. Nevertheless, some lizards also represent predominately visually oriented predators, so they may also play an important role in the evolution of aposematism. Despite this fact, experimental evidence regarding the responses of lizards to aposematic prey is very poor compared to such evidence in birds. Lizards possess very similar sensory and cognitive abilities to those of birds and their response to aposematic prey may thus be affected by very similar processes. We investigated the reactions of a lizard, the Gran Canaria skink (Chalcides sexlineatus), to an aposematic prey and its artificial Batesian mimic. Further, we attempted to ascertain whether the lizard's food experience has any effect on its ability to recognise an artificial Batesian mimic, by using two groups of predators differing in their prior experience with the prey from which the mimic was fabricated. The red firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) was used as an aposematic model, and the Guyana spotted roach (Blaptica dubia) as the palatable prey from which the mimic was fabricated. The appearance of the roach was modified by a paper sticker placed on its back. The skinks showed a strong aversion towards the model firebug. They also avoided attacking the cockroaches with the firebug pattern sticker. This suggests that a visual rather than a chemical signal is responsible for this aversion. The protection provided by the firebug sticker was even effective when the skinks were familiar with unmodified cockroaches (previous food experience). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  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. The decoupling of abundance and species richness in lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, Dale G; James, Simon G; Kelly, Luke T; Watson, Simon J; Bennett, Andrew F

    2011-05-01

    1. Patterns of species richness often correlate strongly with measures of energy. The more individuals hypothesis (MIH) proposes that this relationship is facilitated by greater resources supporting larger populations, which are less likely to become extinct. Hence, the MIH predicts that community abundance and species richness will be positively related. 2. Recently, Buckley & Jetz (2010, Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 358-365) documented a decoupling of community abundance and species richness in lizard communities in south-west United States, such that richer communities did not contain more individuals. They predicted, as a consequence of the mechanisms driving the decoupling, a more even distribution of species abundances in species-rich communities, evidenced by a positive relationship between species evenness and species richness. 3. We found a similar decoupling of the relationship between abundance and species richness for lizard communities in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. However, we note that a positive relationship between evenness and richness is expected because of the nature of the indices used. We illustrate this mathematically and empirically using data from both sets of lizard communities. When we used a measure of evenness, which is robust to species richness, there was no relationship between evenness and richness in either data set. 4. For lizard communities in both Australia and the United States, species dominance decreased as species richness increased. Further, with the iterative removal of the first, second and third most dominant species from each community, the relationship between abundance and species richness became increasingly more positive. 5. Our data support the contention that species richness in lizard communities is not directly related to the number of individuals an environment can support. We propose an alternative hypothesis regarding how the decoupling of abundance and richness is accommodated; namely, an inverse

  9. Do lizards and snakes really differ in their ability to take large prey? A study of relative prey mass and feeding tactics in lizards.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard; Thomas, Jai

    2005-07-01

    Adaptations of snakes to overpower and ingest relatively large prey have attracted considerable research, whereas lizards generally are regarded as unable to subdue or ingest such large prey items. Our data challenge this assumption. On morphological grounds, most lizards lack the highly kinetic skulls that facilitate prey ingestion in macrostomate snakes, but (1) are capable of reducing large items into ingestible-sized pieces, and (2) have much larger heads relative to body length than do snakes. Thus, maximum ingestible prey size might be as high in some lizards as in snakes. Also, the willingness of lizards to tackle very large prey items may have been underestimated. Captive hatchling scincid lizards (Bassiana duperreyi) offered crickets of a range of relative prey masses (RPMs) attacked (and sometimes consumed parts of) crickets as large as or larger than their own body mass. RPM affected foraging responses: larger crickets were less likely to be attacked (especially on the abdomen), more likely to be avoided, and less likely to provide significant nutritional benefit to the predator. Nonetheless, lizards successfully attacked and consumed most crickets < or =35% of the predator's own body mass, representing RPM as high as for most prey taken by snakes. Thus, although lizards lack the impressive cranial kinesis or prey-subduction adaptations of snakes, at least some lizards are capable of overpowering and ingesting prey items as large as those consumed by snakes of similar body sizes.

  10. Sensitivity to exogenous gonadotropins for ovulation induction and laparoscopic artificial insemination in the cheetah and clouded leopard.

    PubMed

    Howard, J G; Roth, T L; Byers, A P; Swanson, W F; Wildt, D E

    1997-04-01

    Ovarian sensitivity to exogenous gonadotropins was assessed in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) to help optimize artificial insemination (AI). Eighteen female cheetahs were used on 29 occasions and were given i.m. injections of 100, 200, or 400 IU eCG and 100 or 250 IU hCG 80 h later. Twenty-three female clouded leopards were treated i.m. on 27 occasions with 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, or 400 IU eCG followed 80 h later with 75, 140, or 280 IU hCG. Ovaries were examined laparoscopically at 43-48 h after hCG in cheetahs and 39-50 h in clouded leopards. All gonadotropin dosages stimulated ovarian activity in both species, but ovulation success and corpus luteum (CL) morphology varied (p < 0.05) with treatment. For both species, the highest and intermediate eCG dosages resulted in ovulation in a high proportion (72-100%) of females. The lowest eCG dosage, although capable of stimulating follicular development, compromised ovulation and resulted in few (< 26%) postovulatory females. For each species, small CL (2-4-mm diameter) were observed with the highest and lowest eCG dosage, and large CL (5-8-mm diameter) were associated with intermediate eCG dosages. Aged CL (10-12 mm diameter) were observed in 4 of 23 (17.4%) clouded leopards with no prior male exposure, indicating occasional spontaneous ovulation. Nineteen laparoscopic intrauterine AI procedures were performed in eCG/hCG-treated postovulatory cheetahs. Eighteen AI procedures were conducted in eCG/hCG-treated postovulatory clouded leopards. Six of the 13 cheetahs (46%), all in the 200-IU eCG/100-IU hCG group, became pregnant, in contrast to none of the clouded leopards. This study has revealed differences in ovarian activity in two wild felid species as a result of changes in exogenous gonadotropin dosage. Because of this dose-effect response, this comparative approach is necessary to identify a gonadotropin regimen that can mimic "normalcy." Even then, the relatively high AI

  11. Lizard tricks: overcoming conflicting requirements of speed versus climbing ability by altering biomechanics of the lizard stride.

    PubMed

    Clemente, Christofer J; Withers, Philip C; Thompson, Graham G; Lloyd, David

    2013-10-15

    Adaptations promoting greater performance in one habitat are thought to reduce performance in others. However, there are many examples of animals in which, despite habitat differences, such predicted differences in performance do not occur. One such example is the relationship between locomotory performance to habitat for varanid lizards. To explain the lack of difference in locomotor performance we examined detailed observations of the kinematics of each lizard's stride. Differences in kinematics were greatest between climbing and non-climbing species. For terrestrial lizards, the kinematics indicated that increased femur adduction, femur rotation and ankle angle all contributed positively to changes in stride length, but they were constrained for climbing species, probably because of biomechanical restrictions on the centre of mass height (to increase stability on vertical surfaces). Despite climbing species having restricted stride length, no differences have been previously reported in sprint speed between climbing and non-climbing varanids. This is best explained by climbing varanids using an alternative speed modulation strategy of varying stride frequency to avoid the potential trade-off of speed versus stability on vertical surfaces. Thus, by measuring the relevant biomechanics for lizard strides, we have shown how kinematic differences among species can mask performance differences typically associated with habitat variation.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Energy consumption by embryos of a viviparous lizard, Eulamprus tympanum, during development.

    PubMed

    Robert, K A; Thompson, M B

    2000-12-01

    Energy consumption during development has been measured in many oviparous lizards, but not in viviparous lizards in utero. It has always been assumed that energy consumption by embryos of viviparous lizards during development is similar to that of oviparous species. Estimation of energy consumption of viviparous lizards in vivo are confounded by the possible influence of pregnancy on maternal metabolism. Here we separated maternal and embryonic metabolism in measurements of pregnant Eulamprus tympanum throughout pregnancy. Our data support the hypothesis that the energetic cost of development in viviparous lizards (19.8 kJ g(-1)) is similar to that in oviparous lizards (mean 16.2 kJ g(-1)), at least for a species with a simple placenta. An increase in maternal metabolism of 29% above that for non-pregnant E. tympanum goes to maintain pregnancy, and represents an important component of the reproductive effort in E. tympanum.

  19. Increased metal concentrations in giant sungazer lizards (Smaug giganteus) from mining areas in South Africa.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Trevor; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-11-01

    Environmental contaminants from anthropogenic activity such as mining can have profound health effects on the animals living in adjacent areas. We investigated whether inorganic contaminants associated with gold-mining waste discharges were accumulated by a threatened species of lizard, Smaug giganteus, in South Africa. Lizards were sampled from two mining sites and two control sites. Blood samples from the most contaminated mining site had significantly greater concentrations of lithium, sodium, aluminum, sulfur, silicon, chromium, manganese, iron, nickel, copper, tungsten, and bismuth than the remaining sites. Contaminant concentrations were not significantly related to lizard body condition, although these relationships were consistently negative. The adult sex ratio of the population inhabiting the most contaminated site also deviated from an expected 1:1 ratio in favour of female lizards. We demonstrate that lizards at these mining sites contained high concentrations of heavy metals that may be imposing as yet poorly understood costs to these lizards.

  20. New genus and species names for the Eocene lizard Cadurcogekko rugosus Augé, 2005.

    PubMed

    Bolet, Arnau; Daza, Juan D; Augé, Marc; Bauer, Aaron M

    2015-07-10

    Cadurcogekko rugosus Augé, 2005 was described as a gekkotan lizard from the Eocene of France. A revision of the material has revealed that the holotype, a nearly complete dentary, actually belongs to a scincid lizard, for which we erect the new genus Gekkomimus. The rest of material originally referred to C. rugosus is of undoubted gekkotan nature and is included in the new species Cadurcogekko verus, with the exception of a partial left dentary belonging to the iguanid lizard Cadurciguana hoffstetteri.

  1. Aegean wall lizards switch foraging modes, diet, and morphology in a human-built environment.

    PubMed

    Donihue, Colin M

    2016-10-01

    Foraging mode is a functional trait with cascading impacts on ecological communities. The foraging syndrome hypothesis posits a suite of concurrent traits that vary with foraging mode; however, comparative studies testing this hypothesis are typically interspecific. While foraging modes are often considered typological for a species when predicting foraging-related traits or mode-specific cascading impacts, intraspecific mode switching has been documented in some lizards. Mode-switching lizards provide an opportunity to test foraging syndromes and explore how intraspecific variability in foraging mode might affect local ecological communities.Because lizard natural history is intimately tied to habitat use and structure, I tested for mode switching between populations of the Aegean wall lizard, Podarcis erhardii, inhabiting undisturbed habitat and human-built rock walls on the Greek island of Naxos. I observed foraging behavior among 10 populations and tested lizard morphological and performance predictions at each site. Furthermore, I investigated the diet of lizards at each site relative to the available invertebrate community.I found that lizards living on rock walls were significantly more sedentary-sit and wait-than lizards at nonwall sites. I also found that head width increased in females and the ratio of hindlimbs to forelimbs in both sexes increased as predicted. Diet also changed, with nonwall lizards consuming a higher proportion of sedentary prey. Lizard bite force also varied significantly between sites; however, the pattern observed was opposite to that predicted, suggesting that bite force in these lizards may more closely relate to intraspecific competition than to diet.This study demonstrates microgeographic variability in lizard foraging mode as a result of human land use. In addition, these results demonstrate that foraging mode syndromes can shift intraspecifically with potential cascading effects on local ecological communities.

  2. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in lizards and their ticks from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Földvári, Gábor; Rigó, Krisztina; Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Farkas, Róbert; Pet'ko, Branislav

    2009-06-01

    To investigate the involvement of lizard species in the natural cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in Hungary, a total of 186 reptiles belonging to three species--126 green lizards (Lacerta viridis), 40 Balkan wall lizards (Podarcis taurica), and 20 sand lizards (Lacerta agilis)--were captured in 2007 and 2008. All ticks removed from the lizards were Ixodes ricinus, either larvae (324/472; 68.6%) or nymphs (148/472; 31.4%). More than half (66/126; 52.4%) of L. viridis individuals were infested, and the prevalence of tick infestation on both the other two species was 35% each. All 472 I. ricinus ticks and tissue samples collected from 134 collar scales and 62 toe clips of lizards were further analyzed for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. with polymerase chain reaction. The amplification of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA was successful in 8% (n = 92) of L. viridis, 9% (n = 32) of P. taurica, and 10% (n = 10) of L. agilis tissue samples. Restriction fragment length polymorphism genotyping identified the species Borrelia lusitaniae in all tested lizard samples. Prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks collected from L. viridis, P. taurica, and L. agilis was 8%, 2%, and 0%, respectively. Most of the infected ticks carried B. lusitaniae (74% of genotyped positives); however, Borrelia afzelii (5%) and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (21%) were detected in ticks removed from green lizards and Balkan wall lizards, respectively. We conclude that lizards, particularly L. viridis, can be important hosts for I. ricinus larvae and nymphs; thus, they can be regarded as reservoirs of these important pathogen vectors. The role of green lizards has been confirmed, and the implication of Balkan wall lizards is suggested in the natural cycle of B. lusitaniae at our study site.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Helminths of the Lizard Salvator merianae (Squamata, Teiidae) in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, A A M; Brito, S V; Teles, D A; Ribeiro, S C; Araujo-Filho, J A; Lima, V F; Pereira, A M A; Almeida, W O

    2017-01-01

    The lizard Salvator merianae is a widely distributed species in South America, occurring from southern Amazonia to the eastern Andes and northern Patagonia. Studies on the parasitic fauna of this lizard have revealed that it is a host for helminths in various Brazilian biomes. The present work provides new parasitological data on the gastrointestinal nematodes associated with the lizard S. merianae. Sixteen specimens were analyzed from nine different locations in a semi-arid region in northeastern Brazil. Five species of nematodes were identified. Oswaldofilaria petersi was first recorded as a parasite of the S. merianae, thus increasing the knowledge of the fauna of parasites that infect large Neotropical lizards.

  5. 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. © 2014 The Authors. Animal Genetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  6. Comparison of subcutaneous dexmedetomidine-midazolam versus alfaxalone-midazolam sedation in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    PubMed

    Doss, Grayson A; Fink, Dustin M; Sladky, Kurt K; Mans, Christoph

    2017-04-24

    To compare dexmedetomidine-midazolam with alfaxalone-midazolam for sedation in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Prospective, randomized, blinded, complete crossover study. Nine healthy adult leopard geckos. Geckos were administered a combination of dexmedetomidine (0.1 mg kg(-1)) and midazolam (1.0 mg kg(-1); treatment D-M) or alfaxalone (15 mg kg(-1)) and midazolam (1.0 mg kg(-1); treatment A-M) subcutaneously craniodorsal to a thoracic limb. Heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (fR), righting reflex, palpebral reflex, superficial and deep pain reflexes, jaw tone and escape response were assessed every 5 minutes until reversal. Conditions for intubation and response to needle prick were evaluated. Antagonist drugs [flumazenil (0.05 mg kg(-1)) ± atipamezole (1.0 mg kg(-1))] were administered subcutaneously, craniodorsal to the contralateral thoracic limb, 45 minutes after initial injection, and animals were monitored until recovery. HR, but not fR, decreased significantly over time in both treatments. HR was significantly lower than baseline at all time points in D-M and for all but the 5 and 10 minute time points in A-M. HR was significantly higher in A-M at all time points after drug administration when compared with D-M. Sedation scores between protocols were similar for most time points. All animals in A-M lost righting reflex compared with seven out of nine (78%) geckos in D-M. Geckos in A-M lost righting reflex for significantly longer time. Mean ± standard deviation time to recovery after antagonist administration was 6.1 ± 2.2 minutes for D-M and 56 ± 29 minutes for A-M, and these times were significantly different. Combination D-M or A-M provided sedation of a level expected to allow physical examinations and venipuncture in leopard geckos. A-M provided a faster onset of sedation compared with D-M. Recovery was significantly faster following antagonist reversal of D-M, compared with A-M. Copyright © 2017 Association of

  7. Sperm ultrastructure and spermatogenesis in the lizard, Tropidurus itambere.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adelina; Dolder, Heidi

    2003-12-01

    Spermatogenesis, with emphasis on spermiogenesis, is described for the lizard, Tropidurus itambere, using light microscopy, phase contrast and epifluorescence, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Cellular differentiation involves events of chromatin condensation, nuclear elongation and the formation of structural complexes, such as the acrosomal and axonemal ones. Other new characteristics, exclusive for this species, include various aspects of the subacrosomal granule, the insertion of the pro-acrosomal vesicle and the development of these structures to participate in the acrosomal complex. Radial projections occurjust above the nuclear shoulders, which have been recognized already from the beginning of cellular elongation. The development of the midpiece, the dense bodies, formation of the flagellum and elimination of residual cytoplasm result in the final characterization of the mature spermatozoon. Comparisons between Tropiduridae and other lizard families are made.

  8. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

    Among tetrapods, viviparity is estimated to have evolved independently within Squamata (lizards and snakes) more than 100 times, most frequently in species occupying cold climate environments. Because of this relationship with cold climates, it is sometimes assumed that many origins of squamate viviparity occurred over the past 2.5–4 Myr during the Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations; however, this hypothesis is untested. Divergence-dating analysis on a 733-species tree of Iguanian lizards recovers 20 independent lineages that have evolved viviparity, of which 13 multispecies groups derived live birth prior to glacial advances (8–66 Myr ago). These results place the transitions from egg-laying to live birth among squamates in a well-supported historical context to facilitate examination of the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this complex shift in reproduction. PMID:19812068

  9. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene--Pleistocene glaciations.

    PubMed

    Schulte, James A; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-04-23

    Among tetrapods, viviparity is estimated to have evolved independently within Squamata (lizards and snakes) more than 100 times, most frequently in species occupying cold climate environments. Because of this relationship with cold climates, it is sometimes assumed that many origins of squamate viviparity occurred over the past 2.5-4 Myr during the Pliocene-Pleistocene glaciations; however, this hypothesis is untested. Divergence-dating analysis on a 733-species tree of Iguanian lizards recovers 20 independent lineages that have evolved viviparity, of which 13 multispecies groups derived live birth prior to glacial advances (8-66 Myr ago). These results place the transitions from egg-laying to live birth among squamates in a well-supported historical context to facilitate examination of the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this complex shift in reproduction.

  10. Partial characterization of new adenoviruses found in lizards.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Behncke, Helge; Schmidt, Volker; Geflügel, F T A; Papp, Tibor; Stöhr, Anke C; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-06-01

    In the years 2011-2012, a consensus nested polymerase chain reaction was used for the detection of adenovirus (AdV) infection in reptiles. During this screening, three new AdVs were detected. One of these viruses was detected in three lizards from a group of green striped tree dragons (Japalura splendida). Another was detected in a green anole (Anolis carolinensis). A third virus was detected in a Jackson's chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii). Analysis of a portion of the DNA-dependent DNA polymerase genes of each of these viruses revealed that they all were different from one another and from all previously described reptilian AdVs. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial DNA polymerase gene sequence showed that all newly detected viruses clustered within the genus Atadenovirus. This is the first description of AdVs in these lizard species.

  11. Lizard thermal trait variation at multiple scales: a review.

    PubMed

    Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2014-01-01

    Thermal trait variation is of fundamental importance to forecasting the impacts of environmental change on lizard diversity. Here, we review the literature for patterns of variation in traits of upper and lower sub-lethal temperature limits, temperature preference and active body temperature in the field, in relation to space, time and phylogeny. Through time, we focus on the direction and magnitude of trait change within days, among seasons and as a consequence of acclimation. Across space, we examine altitudinal and latitudinal patterns, incorporating inter-specific analyses at regional and global scales. This synthesis highlights the consistency or lack thereof, of thermal trait responses, the relative magnitude of change among traits and several knowledge gaps identified in the relationships examined. We suggest that physiological information is becoming essential for forecasting environmental change sensitivity of lizards by providing estimates of plasticity and evolutionary scope.

  12. An Upper Cretaceous lizard with a lower temporal arcade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, Jun-Chang; Ji, Shu-An; Dong, Zhi-Ming; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2008-07-01

    The reduced lower temporal arcade of the skull and the movable quadrate are the most distinctive features of squamates. Up to now, no exception has been documented for any fossil or extant squamates. We report here a new fossil lizard that possesses a complete lower temporal arcade and an unmovable quadrate. The anatomical relationships indicate that those two modifications were secondarily obtained in the new lizard. The complete lower temporal bar and the firm contact between the pterygoid and quadrate may have served as a brace to support the quadrate jaw articulation and thus prevent it from twisting anteriorly rather than posteriorly during the bite cycles. This represents an entirely new pattern of jaw muscle functions within the Squamata.

  13. Herpesvirus-associated papillomatosis in a green lizard.

    PubMed

    Literak, I; Robesova, B; Majlathova, V; Majlath, I; Kulich, P; Fabian, P; Roubalova, E

    2010-01-01

    Papillomatous skin lesions from a green lizard (Lacerta viridis) were examined histologically, using electron microscopy and DNA was isolated from the lesions for herpes-viral DNA detection. Histology confirmed the lesions to be squamous epithelial papillomas. Using electron microscopy, no virus particles were detected. The specific sequence of herpesviral DNA-directed DNA polymerase (EC 2.7.7.7) was amplified using degenerate primers in a nested format. The 235-base-pair (bp) sequence was sequenced and compared with previously published DNA-directed DNA polymerase sequences from various reptile herpesviruses. The sequence from the green lizard showed significant similarity with sequence of fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesviruses from sea turtles.

  14. Colorful displays signal male quality in a tropical anole lizard.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Body size development of captive and free-ranging Leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis).

    PubMed

    Ritz, Julia; Hammer, Catrin; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    The growth and weight development of Leopard tortoise hatchings (Geochelone pardalis) kept at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), Qatar, was observed for more than four years, and compared to data in literature for free-ranging animals on body weight or carapace measurements. The results document a distinctively faster growth in the captive animals. Indications for the same phenomenon in other tortoise species (Galapagos giant tortoises, G. nigra; Spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca; Desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizi) were found in the literature. The cause of the high growth rate most likely is the constant provision with highly digestible food of low fiber content. Increased growth rates are suspected to have negative consequences such as obesity, high mortality, gastrointestinal illnesses, renal diseases, "pyramiding," fibrous osteodystrophy or metabolic bone disease. The apparently widespread occurrence of high growth rates in intensively managed tortoises underlines how easily ectothermic animals can be oversupplemented with nutrients.

  19. UNSEDATED COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY FOR DIAGNOSIS OF PELVIC CANAL OBSTRUCTION IN A LEOPARD GECKO (EUBLEPHARIS MACULARIUS).

    PubMed

    DeCourcy, Kelly; Hostnik, Eric T; Lorbach, Josh; Knoblaugh, Sue

    2016-12-01

    An adult leopard gecko ( Eublepharis macularius ) presented for lethargy, hyporexia, weight loss, decreased passage of waste, and a palpable caudal coelomic mass. Computed tomography showed a heterogeneous hyperattenuating (∼143 Hounsfield units) structure within the right caudal coelom. The distal colon-coprodeum lumen or urinary bladder was hypothesized as the most likely location for the heterogeneous structure. Medical support consisted of warm water and lubricant enema, as well as a heated environment. Medical intervention aided the passage of a plug comprised centrally of cholesterol and urates with peripheral stratified layers of fibrin, macrophages, heterophils, and bacteria. Within 24 hr, a follow-up computed tomography scan showed resolution of the pelvic canal plug.

  20. Temperature-dependent sex determination in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Viets, B E; Tousignant, A; Ewert, M A; Nelson, C E; Crews, D

    1993-05-01

    The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Previous reports have shown that females are produced predominantly at cool incubation temperatures and males are produced predominantly at warm incubation temperatures (Pattern Ib). We report here that incubation at even higher temperatures (34 and 35 degrees C) produces mostly females (Pattern II). The lethal maximum constant incubation temperature for this species appears to be just above 35 degrees C. Although a previous study indicated that females from a warm incubation temperature (32 degrees C) failed to lay eggs, we found that 12 of 14 mature females incubated at 32.5 degrees C, and 5 of 6 mature females incubated at 34 degrees C produced fertile eggs and viable hatchlings.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Seasonal abundance of the tortoise tick Amblyomma marmoreum (Acari: Ixodidae) on the leopard tortoise, Geochelone paradalis.

    PubMed

    Rechav, Y; Fielden, L J

    1995-03-01

    A survey of Amblyomma marmoreum Koch ticks recorded from the leopard tortoise, Geochelone paradalis Bell, in the National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria, South Africa, was carried out over a 19-mo period. No significant differences were found between the tick burdens on male and female tortoises. A. marmoreum showed a clear seasonal pattern of abundance. Larvae were present on the tortoise host during late summer, with a peak in February and March; nymphs were abundant during winter, with a peak in June and July. Male ticks were found throughout the year, but females were present only during spring and early to midsummer with a peak in October. It was demonstrated that each developmental stage of A. marmoreum showed only one peak of activity per year.

  4. 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.

  5. The leopard in the garden: life in close quarters at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle.

    PubMed

    Burkhardt, Richard W

    2007-12-01

    French naturalists at the Muséum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris in the early nineteenth century recognized that their individual and collective successes were intimately linked to questions of power over specimens. France's strength abroad affected the growth of the museum's collections. At the museum, preserving, naming, classifying, displaying, interpreting, and otherwise deploying specimens went hand in hand with promoting scientific theories, advancing scientific careers, and instructing the public. The control of specimens, both literally and figuratively, was the museum's ongoing concern. The leopard in this essay's title, a live specimen confiscated from the streets of Paris in 1793, serves here to represent the tensions created in an existing order of things by the introduction of a potentially disruptive agent. The essay explores the life of the museum and the interrelations among its naturalists, the special challenges created by the establishment of a menagerie, and the histories of particular specimens and ideas.

  6. Toneburst-evoked auditory brainstem response in a leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx.

    PubMed

    Tripovich, J S; Purdy, S C; Hogg, C; Rogers, T L

    2011-01-01

    Toneburst-evoked auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were recorded in a captive subadult male leopard seal. Three frequencies from 1 to 4 kHz were tested at sound levels from 68 to 122 dB peak equivalent sound pressure level (peSPL). Results illustrate brainstem activity within the 1-4 kHz range, with better hearing sensitivity at 4 kHz. As is seen in human ABR, only wave V is reliably identified at the lower stimulus intensities. Wave V is present down to levels of 82 dB peSPL in the right ear and 92 dB peSPL in the left ear at 4 kHz. Further investigations testing a wider frequency range on seals of various sex and age classes are required to conclusively report on the hearing range and sensitivity in this species.

  7. Classification and distribution of large intestinal bacteria in nonhibernating and hibernating leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    PubMed

    Banas, J A; Loesche, W J; Nace, G W

    1988-09-01

    The large intestinal flora of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens, was examined to determine whether differences existed between the nonhibernating and hibernating states of the animal and to determine the relative concentrations and proportions of potential frog pathogens. Hibernators had a logarithmic decrease of bacteria per milligram of intestine averaging one, and significantly greater proportions of facultative bacteria and psychrophiles relative to nonhibernators. The predominant anaerobic bacteria were gram-positive Clostridium species and gram-negative Bacteroides and Fusobacterium species. The predominant facultative bacteria were enterobacteria in nonhibernators but Pseudomonas species in hibernators. Many species of Pseudomonas are pathogenic for frogs, and thus the intestinal flora in hibernators may be a potential source of infectious disease.

  8. 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

  9. 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. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  10. Physiological ecology of frillneck lizards in a seasonal tropical environment.

    PubMed

    Christian, Keith A; Griffiths, Anthony D; Bedford, Gavin S

    1996-04-01

    The frillneck lizard, Chlamydosaurus kingii, is a conspicuous component of the fauna of the wetdry tropics of northern Australia during the wet season, but it is rarely seen in the dry season. Previous studies have demonstrated that during the dry season the field metabolic rate (FMR) is only about one-quarter of the wet-season rate, and one factor involved in this seasonal drop is a change in the behavioural thermoregulation of the species such that lower body temperatures (T bs) are selected during dry-season days. Here we examine other factors that could be responsible for the seasonal change in FMR: standard metabolic rates (SMR) and activity. Samples from stomach flushing revealed that the lizards in the dry season continued to feed, but the volume of food was half as much as in the wet season. SMR in the laboratory was 30% less in the dry season. During the dry season, the energy expended by the lizards is 60.4 kJ kg(-1) day(-1) less than during the wet season. Combining laboratory and field data, we determined the relative contribution of the factors involved in this energy savings: 10% can be attributed to lower nighttime T b, 12% is attributable to lower daytime T b, 12% is attributable to decreased metabolism, and the remaining 66% is attributable to other activities (including e.g. locomotion, reproductive costs, digestion). Calculations indicate that if FMR did not drop in the dry season the lizards would not survive on the observed food intake during this season. Seasonal analysis of blood plasma and urine indicated an accumulation of some electrolytes during the dry season suggesting modest levels of water stress.

  11. Comparison of paramyxovirus isolates from snakes, lizards and a tortoise.

    PubMed

    Marschang, Rachel E; Papp, Tibor; Frost, Jens W

    2009-09-01

    Previously uncharacterized paramyxovirus (PMV) isolates from four snakes, three lizards and a tortoise were compared based on partial sequences of the L, HN, and U genes. Analysis of the sequences supported the classification of all reptilian PMVs in a separate genus (Ferlavirus) in the subfamily Paramyxovirinae. Within each of the gene segments, the squamatid isolates could be divided into two groups with a sequence divergence of 0.3-15.6% nt (0-6.8% aa) within the groups and 19.5-22.3% nt (5-7.4% aa) between the groups for the L gene, and 0.9-15.4% nt (0-6.9% aa) within the groups and 18.2-22.5% nt (4.4-9.5% aa) between the groups for the HN gene while higher values of 0.4-17.1% nt (0-13.3% aa) within the groups and 28.9-31.3% nt (25.5-27.8% aa) between the groups were found for the U gene. Isolates from lizards were found in both groups. There was no host species specificity in the grouping of the isolates from snakes and lizards. However, the L gene sequence obtained from the tortoise isolate differed significantly from the sequences obtained from the snake and lizard isolates. This isolate showed divergence values of 24.2-27% nt (18.5-20.9% aa) compared to the squamatid sequences. The tortoise isolate clustered together with the other reptilian PMVs, but not into any of the squamatid groups on the phylogenetic tree. It is hypothesized that this chelonian PMV has a more unique genome sequence as neither HN nor U gene parts could be amplified using newly designed consensus nested PCRs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  15. Organization and activation of sexual and agonistic behavior in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Crews, D

    2000-04-01

    Gonadal sex is determined by the temperature experienced during incubation in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Furthermore, both factors, incubation temperature and gonadal sex, influence adult sexual and agonistic behavior in this species. Yet it is unclear whether such differences in behavior are irreversibly organized during development or are mediated by differences in hormone levels in adulthood. To address this question, we gonadectomized adult females and males generated from a female-biased (30 degrees C) and a male-biased (32.5 degrees C) incubation temperature and treated them with equivalent levels of various sex steroids. We found that 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) activated sexual receptivity in females but not males, suggesting an organized sex difference in behavioral sensitivity to E(2). There were also organized and activated sex differences in attractivity to stimulus males. Although females were more attractive than males when treated with E(2), both sexes were equally unattractive when treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or testosterone (T). Likewise, sex differences in aggressive and submissive behavior were organized and activated. Attacks on stimulus males were activated by T in males but not in females. In contrast, hormones did not influence flight behavior in males but did affect female submissiveness. Overall, males also evoked more attacks by stimulus males than did females. Nevertheless, females and males treated with androgens evoked more attacks than animals of the same sex that were treated with cholesterol or E(2). Incubation temperature had some weak effects on certain behaviors and no effect on others. This suggests that temperature effects in gonadally intact geckos may be due primarily to differences in circulating levels of hormones in adulthood. We conclude that gonadal sex has both organizational and activational effects on various behaviors in the leopard gecko. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

  16. 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.

  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. Metal levels in southern leopard frogs from the Savannah River Site: location and body compartment effects.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Snodgrass, J

    2001-06-01

    Tadpoles have been proposed as useful bioindicators of environmental contamination; yet, recently it has been shown that metal levels vary in different body compartments of tadpoles. Metals levels are higher in the digestive tract of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles, which is usually not removed during such analysis. In this paper we examine the heavy metal levels in southern leopard frog (R. utricularia) tadpoles from several wetlands at the Savannah River Site and test the null hypotheses that (1) there are no differences in metal levels in different body compartments of the tadpoles, including the digestive tract; (2) there are no differences in heavy metal levels among different wetlands; and (3) there are no differences in the ratio of metals in the tail/body and in the digestive tract/body as a function of metal or developmental stage as indicated by body weight. Variations in heavy metal levels were explained by wetland and body compartment for all metals and by tadpole weight for selenium and manganese. In all cases, levels of metals were higher in the digestive tract than in the body or tail of tadpoles. Metal levels were highest in a wetland that had been remediated and lowest in a wetland that was never a pasture or remediated (i.e., was truly undisturbed). Although tadpoles are sometimes eaten by fish and other aquatic predators, leopard frogs usually avoid laying their eggs in ponds with such predators. However, avian predators will eat them. These data suggest that tadpoles can be used as bioindicators of differences in metal levels among wetlands and as indicators of potential exposure for higher-trophic-level organisms, but that to assess effects on the tadpoles themselves, digestive tracts should be removed before analysis.

  19. Reproductive strategies of leopard toad and mascarene frog from Giza, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Akef, Mamdouh S A

    2014-01-01

    I examined the reproductive strategies of leopard toad and mascarene frog by studying their annual vitellogenic cycle, monthly changes of masses of ovary, liver and fat bodies as well as egg size and number in two study areas, Abo Roash and El Mansuriya, and in the years 2001, 2005, and 2008-2009, particularly during the final two years of that period. Based on the presence of the mature ova, I found that vitellogenic cycle is continuous in toad, but discontinuous in frog. Further, leopard body reserves allocated more energy to vitellogenesis than did mascarene frog. Hence, fecundity in toad was higher than that in frog, as associated with higher egg number and size. During oviposition, female mascarene retained a small portion of a clutch, whereas toad shed all egg mass at once. Over the study period, both body and reproductive conditions reacted positively in toad, but negatively in frog. Warm temperature and long photoperiod elucidated ovarian development under high relative humidity in frog. In contrast, in toad, low relative humidity may be an environmental cue for the increase in ovarian mass. Thus, higher sexual activities occurred in spring for toad (dry environment), but in moist summer for frog. Ovarian mass and egg number were temperature-dependent in frog, but independent in toad. Relative humidity correlated significantly and negatively to egg size in both populations. It also related inversely to egg number in toad, but not in frog. Hence, eggs of the frog are controlled by both temperature and humidity in summer season. Rainfall had no effect on sexual parameters in both species.

  20. Changes in digestive enzyme activities during larval development of leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea).

    PubMed

    Martínez-Lagos, R; Tovar-Ramírez, D; Gracia-López, V; Lazo, J P

    2014-06-01

    The leopard grouper is an endemic species of the Mexican Pacific with an important commercial fishery and good aquaculture potential. In order to assess the digestive capacity of this species during the larval period and aid in the formulation of adequate weaning diets, this study aimed to characterize the ontogeny of digestive enzymes during development of the digestive system. Digestive enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin, acid protease, leucine-alanine peptidase, alkaline phosphatase, aminopeptidase N, lipase, amylase and maltase were quantified in larvae fed live prey and weaned onto a formulated microdiet at 31 days after hatching (DAH) and compared with fasting larvae. Enzyme activity for trypsin, lipase and amylase were detected before the opening of the mouth and the onset of exogenous feeding, indicating a precocious development of the digestive system that has been described in many fish species. The intracellular enzyme activity of leucine-alanine peptidase was high during the first days of development, with a tendency to decrease as larvae developed, reaching undetectable levels at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, activities of enzymes located in the intestinal brush border (i.e., aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase) were low at the start of exogenous feeding but progressively increased with larval development, indicating the gradual maturation of the digestive system. Based on our results, we conclude that leopard grouper larvae possess a functional digestive system at hatching and before the onset of exogenous feeding. The significant increase in the activity of trypsin, lipase, amylase and acid protease between 30 and 40 DAH suggests that larvae of this species can be successfully weaned onto microdiets during this period.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Daniel W. A.; Byrne, Richard W.; Whiting, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25009244

  4. 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.

  5. Remote sensing as a tool to analyse lizards behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dos Santos, Remi; Teodoro, Ana C.; Carretero, Miguel; Sillero, Neftalí

    2016-10-01

    Although the spatial context is expected to be a major influence in the interactions among organisms and their environment, it is commonly ignored in ecological studies. This study is part of an investigation on home ranges and their influence in the escape behaviour of Iberian lizards. Fieldwork was conducted inside a 400 m2 mesocosm, using three acclimatized adult male individuals. In order to perform analyses at this local scale, tools with high spatial accuracy are needed. A total of 3016 GPS points were recorded and processed into a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), with a pixel resolution of 2 cm. Then, 1156 aerial photos were taken and processed to create an orthophoto. A refuge map, containing possible locations for retreats was generated with supervised image classification algorithms, obtaining four classes (refuges, vegetation, bare soil and organic soil). Furthermore, 50 data-loggers were randomly placed, recording evenly through the area temperature and humidity every 15'. After a month of recording, all environmental variables were interpolated using Kriging. The study area presented an irregular elevation. The humidity varied according to the topography and the temperature presented a West-East pattern. Both variables are of paramount importance for lizard activity and performance. In a predation risk scenario, a lizard located in a temperature close to its thermal optimum will be able to escape more efficiently. Integration of such ecologically relevant elements in a spatial context exemplifies how remote sensing tools can contribute to improve inference in behavioural ecology.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. The auditory brainstem response in two lizard species

    PubMed Central

    Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Tang, Yezhong; Carr, Catherine; Dooling, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Although lizards have highly sensitive ears, it is difficult to condition them to sound, making standard psychophysical assays of hearing sensitivity impractical. This paper describes non-invasive measurements of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) in both Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko; nocturnal animals, known for their loud vocalizations) and the green anole (Anolis carolinensis, diurnal, non-vocal animals). Hearing sensitivity was measured in 5 geckos and 7 anoles. The lizards were sedated with isoflurane, and ABRs were measured at levels of 1 and 3% isoflurane. The typical ABR waveform in response to click stimulation showed one prominent and several smaller peaks occurring within 10 ms of the stimulus onset. ABRs to brief tone bursts revealed that geckos and anoles were most sensitive between 1.6–2 kHz and had similar hearing sensitivity up to about 5 kHz (thresholds typically 20–50 dB SPL). Above 5 kHz, however, anoles were more than 20 dB more sensitive than geckos and showed a wider range of sensitivity (1–7 kHz). Generally, thresholds from ABR audiograms were comparable to those of small birds. Best hearing sensitivity, however, extended over a larger frequency range in lizards than in most bird species. PMID:20707448

  12. 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.