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Sample records for caiman caiman latirostris

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  2. Irregularly calcified eggs and eggshells of Caiman latirostris (Alligatoridae: Crocodylia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Mariela Soledad; Simoncini, Melina Soledad; Dyke, Gareth

    2013-05-01

    We describe irregularly calcified egg and eggshell morphologies for the first time in nests of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris. Research is based on detailed descriptions of 270 eggs from a total sample of 46,800 collected between 2005 and 2011 in Santa Fe Province, Argentina, and encompasses animals from both natural habitats and held in captivity. We discuss possible reasons for the occurrence of eggs with different mineralisation patterns in our extensive C. latirostris field sample and its conservation significance; the chemistry of egg laying in amniotes is sensitive to environmental contamination which, in turn, has biological implications. Based on our egg sample, we identify two caiman eggshell abnormalities: (1) regularly calcified eggs with either calcitic nodules or superficial wrinkles at one egg end and (2) irregularly calcified eggs with structural gaps that weaken the shell. Some recently laid clutches we examined included eggs with most of the shell broken and detached from the flexible membrane. Most type 1 regularly calcified eggs lost their initial calcified nodules during incubation, suggesting that these deposits do not affect embryo survival rates. In contrast, irregularly calcified caiman eggs have a mean hatching success rate of 8.9 % (range 0-38 %) across our sample compared to a mean normal success of 75 %. Most irregularly calcified caiman eggs probably die because of infections caused by fungi and bacteria in the organic nest material, although another possible explanation that merits further investigation could be an increase in permeability, leading to embryo dehydration.

  3. Parentage test in broad-snouted caimans (Caiman latirostris, Crocodylidae) using microsatellite DNA

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    In this study, microsatellite markers, developed for Alligator mississipiensis and Caiman latirostris, were used to assess parentage among individuals from the captive colony of Caiman latirostris at the University of São Paulo, in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. Many of the females in the colony were full siblings, which made maternal identification difficult due to genotypic similarity. Even so, the most likely mother could be identified unambiguously among offspring in most of the clutches studied. Two non-parental females displayed maternal behavior which would have misled managers in assigning maternity based on behavior alone. This set of variable loci demonstrates the utility of parentage testing in captive propagation programs. PMID:21637468

  4. Motilin-immunoreactive cells in the duodenum, pyloric stomach and pancreas of caimans (Caiman latirostris and Caiman crocodilus, alligatorinae): a further comparison using region-specific motilin antisera.

    PubMed

    Yamada, J; Rodrigues, M A; Kitamura, N; Pai, V D; Yamashita, T; Motizuki, T; Yanaihara, N

    1991-07-01

    Motilin-immunoreactive cells in the duodenum, pyloric stomach and pancreas of Caiman latirostris and Caiman crocodilus were investigated using region specific antisera for porcine and canine motilin molecules. Motilin-immunoreactive cells were found in the duodenum, pyloric stomach and pancreas of both caiman species. These cells were primarily open-type endocrine ones in the epithelium of the duodenum and pyloric stomach. Motilin-immunoreactive cells were observed in both the exocrine and endocrine portions of the pancreas, and frequently exhibited one or more cytoplasmic processes of variable length. Since motilin-immunoreactive cells do not cross-react with serotonin or any of the other pancreatic and gut hormones, they are considered to be cell type independent from any of the other known pancreatic or gut endocrine cells. The molecular similarity between caiman motilin and porcine and canine motilins and the heterogeneity of the motilin molecule in the caiman digestive system is discussed.

  5. Immunotoxicity of commercial-mixed glyphosate in broad snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Latorre, María A; Merchant, Mark E; Ortega, Hugo H; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-01-25

    The expansion and intensification of agriculture during the past 50 years is unprecedented, and thus environmental problems have been triggered at different scales. These transformations have caused the loss of habitat and biodiversity, and disruption of the structure and functioning of ecosystems. As a result of the expansion of the agricultural frontier in the recent past, many areas of the natural geographic distribution of the local wildlife, among them crocodilians and particularly the broad snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), are being exposed to contaminants. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of commercially-mixed glyphosate (RU) on some parameters of the immune system of C. latirostris. Two groups of caimans were exposed for two months to different concentrations of RU recommended for its application in the field, while one group was maintained as an unexposed control. The RU concentration was progressively decreased through the exposure period to simulate glyphosate degradation in water. After exposure, total and differential white blood cell (WBC), and complement system activity (CS) were determined. In addition, the animals were injected with a solution of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli to trigger an immune response and evaluate the parameters associated with it. The results showed that an effect of the herbicide on CS was observed, as animals exposed to RU showed a lower CS activity than animals from the negative control (NC) but not in total WBC. In the case of leukocyte population counts, differences were only found for heterophils and lymphocytes. PMID:26658029

  6. Postnatal development and histofunctional differentiation of the oviduct in the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Galoppo, G H; Stoker, C; Canesini, G; Schierano-Marotti, G; Durando, M; Luque, E H; Muñoz-de-Toro, M

    2016-09-15

    Caiman latirostris is a South American crocodilian species characterized as a sentinel of the presence of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). Evaluating developmental events in hormone-dependent organs, such as the oviduct, is crucial to understand physiological postnatal development, to identify putative periods of exposure sensitive to EDCs, and/or to identify biomarkers useful to evaluate the effects of EDC exposure. In this study, we describe the histomorphological features of C. latirostris oviducts by establishing the ontogeny of changes at cellular, tissue and molecular levels from the neonatal to the pre-pubertal juvenile stages. Since the histological diagnosis of the adenogenic oviduct lies on a group of features, here we defined a histofunctional score system and a cut-off value to distinguish between preadenogenic and adenogenic oviducts. Our results showed that the maturation of the C. latirostris oviduct is completed postnatally and characterized by changes that mimic the pattern of histological modifications described for the mammalian uterus. Ontogenic changes in the oviductal epithelium parallel changes at subepithelial level, and include collagen remodeling and characteristic spatial-temporal patterns of α-actin and desmin. The expression pattern of estrogen receptor alpha and progesterone receptor evidenced that, even at early postnatal developmental stages, the oviduct of C. latirostris is a target organ of endogenous and environmental hormones. Besides, oviductal adenogenesis seems to be an estrogen-dependent process. Results presented here provide not only insights into the histophysiological aspect of caiman female reproductive ducts but also new tools to better characterize caimans as sentinels of endocrine disruption. PMID:27388661

  7. Histomorphological changes in testes of broad-snouted caimans (Caiman latirostris) associated with in ovo exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

    PubMed

    Durando, Milena; Canesini, Guillermina; Cocito, Laura L; Galoppo, Germán H; Zayas, Marcelo A; Luque, Enrique H; Muñoz-de-Toro, Mónica

    2016-01-01

    Studies regarding the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the reproductive functions of wild animals have raised increasing concern. Thus, here we evaluated the consequences of in ovo exposure to endosulfan (END) and bisphenol A (BPA) in testes from neonatal to juvenile (Juv) caimans (Caiman latirostris). Caiman eggs were collected from areas with low to moderate anthropogenic intervention and incubated at male-producing temperature. At stage 20 of embryonic development (previous to gonad sex determination), eggs were exposed to either END (20 ppm) or BPA (1.4 ppm) and male gonad histomorphology examined in 10-day-old, 90-day-old, and Juv caimans. The relative seminiferous tubular area (RTA) was measured in testes and the proliferation index and the expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) were quantified in intratubular cells. Regardless of the treatment, all eggs resulted in male hatchlings. The testes of EDC-exposed caimans presented tortuous seminiferous tubules with empty tubular lumens. The RTA of 10-day-old caimans exposed to BPA was decreased. The percentage of cells expressing ERα was not different after in ovo treatment with EDCs (compared to the Control group), although caimans exposed to END showed a different ERα distribution pattern. The proliferation index was lower in 90-day-old caimans exposed to END, and higher in Juv caimans exposed to BPA. In ovo exposure to END or BPA modified sensitive parameters of C. latirostris male gonads. The alterations described here might compromise not only the sexual maturation but also the reproductive performance of adult caimans. J. Exp. Zool. 325A:84-96, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26639912

  8. Distribution of populations of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris, Daudin 1802, Alligatoridae) in the São Francisco River basin, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Filogonio, R; Assis, V B; Passos, L F; Coutinho, M E

    2010-11-01

    We surveyed populations of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris, throughout the São Francisco River basin, from Três Marias reservoir, State of Minas Gerais, to the river delta, at the boarder of Sergipe and Alagoas states. We registered the occurrence of crocodilians in 61% of all surveyed localities (n = 64), in which the presence of C. latirostris was confirmed in 44% of the surveyed sites. Caimans occurred in both lentic and lotic habitats, although there was a preference for small dams, oxbow lakes and wetlands. Despite the hunting pressure and human impact on natural habitats, our results indicate that the populations of C. latirostris in the São Francisco basin are not fragmented. PMID:21180900

  9. Distribution of populations of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris, Daudin 1802, Alligatoridae) in the São Francisco River basin, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Filogonio, R; Assis, V B; Passos, L F; Coutinho, M E

    2010-11-01

    We surveyed populations of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris, throughout the São Francisco River basin, from Três Marias reservoir, State of Minas Gerais, to the river delta, at the boarder of Sergipe and Alagoas states. We registered the occurrence of crocodilians in 61% of all surveyed localities (n = 64), in which the presence of C. latirostris was confirmed in 44% of the surveyed sites. Caimans occurred in both lentic and lotic habitats, although there was a preference for small dams, oxbow lakes and wetlands. Despite the hunting pressure and human impact on natural habitats, our results indicate that the populations of C. latirostris in the São Francisco basin are not fragmented.

  10. Genotoxicity of the herbicide formulation Roundup (glyphosate) in broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) evidenced by the Comet assay and the Micronucleus test.

    PubMed

    Poletta, G L; Larriera, A; Kleinsorge, E; Mudry, M D

    2009-01-31

    The genotoxicity of pesticides is an issue of worldwide concern. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the genotoxic potential of a widely used herbicide formulation, Roundup (glyphosate), in erythrocytes of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) after in ovo exposure. Caiman embryos were exposed at early embryonic stage to different sub-lethal concentrations of Roundup (50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 750, 1000, 1250 and 1750microg/egg). At time of hatching, blood samples were obtained from each animal and two short-term tests, the Comet assay and the Micronucleus (MN) test, were performed on erythrocytes to assess DNA damage. A significant increase in DNA damage was observed at a concentration of 500microg/egg or higher, compared to untreated control animals (p<0.05). Results from both the Comet assay and the MN test revealed a concentration-dependent effect. This study demonstrated adverse effects of Roundup on DNA of C. latirostris and confirmed that the Comet assay and the MN test applied on caiman erythrocytes are useful tools in determining potential genotoxicity of pesticides. The identification of sentinel species as well as sensitive biomarkers among the natural biota is imperative to thoroughly evaluate genetic damage, which has significant consequences for short- and long-term survival of the natural species.

  11. Biomarkers of oxidative damage and antioxidant defense capacity in Caiman latirostris blood.

    PubMed

    Poletta, Gisela L; Simoniello, María Fernanda; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-01-01

    Several xenobiotics, and among them pesticides, can produce oxidative stress, providing a mechanistic basis for their observed toxicity. Chronic oxidative stress induces deleterious modifications to DNA, lipids and proteins that are used as effective biomarkers to study pollutant-mediated oxidative stress. No previous report existed on the application of oxidative damage and antioxidant defense biomarkers in Caiman latirostris blood, while few studies reported in other crocodilians were done in organs or muscles of dead animals. The aim of this study was to characterize a new set of oxidative stress biomarkers in C. latirostris blood, through the modification of conventional techniques: 1) damage to lipids by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), 2) damage to DNA by comet assay modified with the enzymes FPG and Endo III, and 3) antioxidant defenses: catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione; in order to apply them in future biomonitoring studies. We successfully adapted standard procedures for CAT, SOD, GSH and TBARS determination in C. latirostris blood. Calibration curves for FPG and Endo III showed that the three dilutions tested were appropriate to conduct the modified comet assay for the detection of oxidized bases in C. latirostris erythrocytes. One hour of incubation allowed a complete repair of the damage generated. The incorporation of these biomarkers in biomonitoring studies of caiman populations exposed to xenobiotics is highly important considering that this species has recovered from a serious endangered state through the implementation of sustainable use programs in Argentina, and represents nowadays a relevant economic resource for many human communities. PMID:26299575

  12. An immunohistochemical study of the endocrine cells in the gastrointestinal mucosa of the Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Yamada, J; Campos, V J; Kitamura, N; Pacheco, A C; Yamashita, T; Yanaihara, N

    1987-05-01

    Twelve endocrine cell types immunoreactive for either 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), somatostatin, gastrin, motilin, neurotensin, bovine pancreatic polypeptide (BPP), avian pancreatic polypeptide (APP), pancreatic glucagon, enteroglucagon, glicentin, secretin or cholecystokinin (CCK) were found in gastrointestinal mucosa of Caiman latirostris. Moderate numbers of enteroglucagon-immunoreactive cells, a few 5-HT-, somatostatin- and motilin-immunoreactive cells and rare pancreatic glucagon-immunoreactive cells were found in the fundic stomach. Numerous gastrin-immunoreactive cells and moderate numbers of somatostatin- and motilin-immunoreactive cells were seen in the pyloric stomach. Moderate numbers of 5-HT-, gastrin-, motilin- and enteroglucagon-immunoreactive cells, a few somatostatin-, neurotensin- and BPP-immunoreactive cells, and rare APP-, pancreatic glucagon-, glicentin-, secretin- and CCK-immunoreactive cells were observed in the proximal intestine. Moderate numbers of 5-HT-immunoreactive cells, small to moderate numbers of neurotensin- and enteroglucagon-immunoreactive cells and occasional somatostatin-, motilin- and BPP-immunoreactive cells were seen in the distal intestine. Moderate numbers of neurotensin-immunoreactive cells and a few 5-HT-immunoreactive cells were found also in the cloaca. Cells immunoreactive for gastrin releasing polypeptide, bombesin and gastric inhibitory peptide were not observed in the caiman gastrointestinal epithelium. The differences in endocrine cell types between the caiman and alligator are discussed in terms of their topographic distribution.

  13. The eggshell features and clutch viability of the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) are associated with the egg burden of organochlorine compounds.

    PubMed

    Stoker, C; Zayas, M A; Ferreira, M A; Durando, M; Galoppo, G H; Rodríguez, H A; Repetti, M R; Beldoménico, H R; Caldini, E G; Luque, E H; Muñoz-de-Toro, M

    2013-12-01

    Organochlorine compounds (OCCs) are toxic and have been identified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The broad-snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris) is an oviparous species widely distributed in South America with potential to accumulate OCCs. The eggshell is formed during passage of the eggs through the oviduct. Since the oviduct is a target of hormone actions, exposure to OCCs could modify eggshell quality, thus affecting clutch viability. Eight clutches were collected from wetlands of Parana River tributaries, in north-eastern Argentina. Two to four eggs per clutch were used to establish the burden of OCCs, eggshell thickness and eggshell porosity. The remaining eggs were incubated in controlled conditions. Ten days after hatching, hatchling survival was assessed. Organochlorine pesticide residues (OCPs) were found in all clutches, while polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were present in all but one clutch. The principal contributors to the OCP burden were members of the DDT family and oxychlordane. Eggshell thickness was 400.9±6.0 μm and, unexpectedly, no association between eggshell thickness and the OCC burden was found. The number of pores in the outer surface was 25.3±4.3 pores/cm². A significant inverse correlation between porosity and OCC burden was found (Pearson r= -0.81, p= 0.01). Furthermore, a decrease in caiman survival with decreased pore density was observed (Pearson r= 0.73, p= 0.04). Our findings highlight another potential negative impact of current and past use of OCCs on wildlife species.

  14. Sex reversal effects on Caiman latirostris exposed to environmentally relevant doses of the xenoestrogen bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Stoker, C; Rey, F; Rodriguez, H; Ramos, J G; Sirosky, P; Larriera, A; Luque, E H; Muñoz-de-Toro, M

    2003-10-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants known as endocrine disruptors (EDs) alters the development and function of reproductive organs in several species. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogenic chemical that leaches from dental materials and plastic food and beverage containers. BPA has been found in sewage, surface and drinking water, and therefore poses a potentially significant risk for human and wildlife. Prenatal exposure of rodents to environmentally relevant doses of BPA alters the development of the reproductive organs of male and female offspring. Species with temperature dependent sex determination (TSD) could act as sentinels of ecosystem health by providing sensitive biomarkers of endocrine disruptor's effects. We selected Caiman latirostris as an animal model to study endocrine disruption caused by BPA. The aim of this study was to determine whether exposure in ovum to BPA could cause estrogen-like effects on the reproductive system of C. latirostris. Sex determination and gonadal histoarchitecture were the endpoints evaluated after in ovum exposure to different doses of BPA and 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). We confirmed that C. latirostris is a species with TSD and additionally demonstrated that BPA causes estrogen-like developmental effects by reversing gonadal sex and altering gonadal histoarchitecture. Differences in responses to BPA and E(2) in our in vivo system were on the order of 100-fold. In contrast published in vitro studies have reported differences on the order of 10,000x or more. These results support the utility of C. latirostris, a species in which sex determination is temperature dependent, as a tool in assessing estrogenic activity in vivo and as a sentinel to monitor EDs in aquatic environment.

  15. Phenotypic variability and heritability of the cephalic region of Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Imhoff, Carolina; Giri, Federico; Siroski, Pablo; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-03-01

    The study of the cephalic shape of crocodilian is relevant in the fields of ecology, systematics, evolution, and conservation. Therefore, the integration of geometric analysis within quantitative genetics allows the evaluation of the inheritable shape components. In this study, the dorsal cephalic region of 210 Caiman latirostris hatchlings was analyzed from seven populations in Santa Fe, Argentina, to detect intra-, and inter-population phenotypic variability, and to determine the heritability of biological shape and size, using newly available geometric morphometric tools. The principal component analysis showed two configurations of cephalic shape that could be related to sexual dimorphism. In the canonical variate analysis, Procrustes distances between groups indicated that there are differences in shape among populations. Furthermore, the method of partial least squares indicated a covariation between cephalic shape and environmental variables. Regarding to CS of the skull we found significant differences among populations, moreover the partial least squares was also significant. Estimates of the heritability of shape and size were high, indicating that the components of these features are susceptible to the selection.

  16. Phenotypic variability and heritability of the cephalic region of Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Imhoff, Carolina; Giri, Federico; Siroski, Pablo; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-03-01

    The study of the cephalic shape of crocodilian is relevant in the fields of ecology, systematics, evolution, and conservation. Therefore, the integration of geometric analysis within quantitative genetics allows the evaluation of the inheritable shape components. In this study, the dorsal cephalic region of 210 Caiman latirostris hatchlings was analyzed from seven populations in Santa Fe, Argentina, to detect intra-, and inter-population phenotypic variability, and to determine the heritability of biological shape and size, using newly available geometric morphometric tools. The principal component analysis showed two configurations of cephalic shape that could be related to sexual dimorphism. In the canonical variate analysis, Procrustes distances between groups indicated that there are differences in shape among populations. Furthermore, the method of partial least squares indicated a covariation between cephalic shape and environmental variables. Regarding to CS of the skull we found significant differences among populations, moreover the partial least squares was also significant. Estimates of the heritability of shape and size were high, indicating that the components of these features are susceptible to the selection. PMID:26682625

  17. First Report of Trypanosoma sp. in Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus): Morphological and Phylogenetic Relationships

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Andrea P.; Acosta, Igor C. L.; de Lima, Julia T. R.; Minervino, Antonio H. H.; Gennari, Solange M.

    2013-01-01

    In Crocodylidae family three trypanosomes species were described, T. grayi in African crocodilian and T. cecili and Trypanosoma sp. in Caimans species from Brazil. T. grayi was transmitted by tsetse flies and the vector of Brazilian caimans trypanosomes is unknown. We characterized first Brazilian trypanosome isolated in spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from Mato Grosso State in Brazil. Morphological findings in epimastigotes forms from axenic culture showed high similarity with Trypanosoma sp. described in Caiman yacare from Brazilian Pantanal. Phylogenetic studies performed with SSU rDNA and gGAPDH (glyceraldehydes-3-phosphato dehydrogenase glycosomal) clustering in T. grayi Clade and together to genotype Cay 01 from Trypanosoma unnamed species isolated in C. yacare. This is the first isolate of Trypanosoma sp. from C. crocodilus and the phylogenetic position with isolates in C. yacare from Pantanal region and demonstrates the low host specificity of cayman trypanosomes in Brazil. PMID:27335853

  18. Pesticides in blood from spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) downstream of banana plantations in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Grant, Paul B C; Woudneh, Million B; Ross, Peter S

    2013-11-01

    Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) are fish-eating crocodilians that inhabit freshwater habitat in tropical regions of the Americas. To assess the exposure of caiman to pesticides from banana plantations, the authors collected whole blood samples (30 mL) from 14 adult caiman that were captured in the North Atlantic region of Costa Rica. Blood samples were analyzed for 70 legacy- and current-use pesticides and breakdown products using newly developed ultra-trace, high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Caiman accumulated pesticides ranked by concentration as dieldrin > permethrin > mirex > 4,4'-DDE > alpha-endosulfan > heptachlor epoxide > oxychlordane > heptachlor > cypermethrin. Caiman within the high-intensity banana crop watershed of Rio Suerte had higher pesticide burdens relative to other more remote locations (F = 12.79; p = 0.00). Pesticide concentration decreased with distance from upstream banana plantations in this river system (F = 20.76; p = 0.00). Caiman body condition was negatively correlated with total pesticide concentrations (F = 6.23; p = 0.02) and with proximity to banana plantations (F = 5.05; p = 0.04). This suggests that either pesticides elicited toxic effects in caiman, resulting in diminished overall health, or that the quantity or quality of their prey was reduced by pesticides downstream of plantation waterways. The authors' results indicate that pesticide use in banana plantations is impacting a high trophic level species inhabiting one of the most important wilderness areas in Costa Rica (Tortuguero National Park).

  19. Pesticides in blood from spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) downstream of banana plantations in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Grant, Paul B C; Woudneh, Million B; Ross, Peter S

    2013-11-01

    Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) are fish-eating crocodilians that inhabit freshwater habitat in tropical regions of the Americas. To assess the exposure of caiman to pesticides from banana plantations, the authors collected whole blood samples (30 mL) from 14 adult caiman that were captured in the North Atlantic region of Costa Rica. Blood samples were analyzed for 70 legacy- and current-use pesticides and breakdown products using newly developed ultra-trace, high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Caiman accumulated pesticides ranked by concentration as dieldrin > permethrin > mirex > 4,4'-DDE > alpha-endosulfan > heptachlor epoxide > oxychlordane > heptachlor > cypermethrin. Caiman within the high-intensity banana crop watershed of Rio Suerte had higher pesticide burdens relative to other more remote locations (F = 12.79; p = 0.00). Pesticide concentration decreased with distance from upstream banana plantations in this river system (F = 20.76; p = 0.00). Caiman body condition was negatively correlated with total pesticide concentrations (F = 6.23; p = 0.02) and with proximity to banana plantations (F = 5.05; p = 0.04). This suggests that either pesticides elicited toxic effects in caiman, resulting in diminished overall health, or that the quantity or quality of their prey was reduced by pesticides downstream of plantation waterways. The authors' results indicate that pesticide use in banana plantations is impacting a high trophic level species inhabiting one of the most important wilderness areas in Costa Rica (Tortuguero National Park). PMID:24115123

  20. Isotope incorporation in broad-snouted caimans (crocodilians)

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Summary The trophic ecology and migration of vertebrate species have been increasingly studied using stable isotope analysis. However, this approach requires knowledge on how dietary isotopic values are reflected in consumers' tissues. To date, this information has only been obtained for a handful of ectotherms; in particular, little is known about crocodilians. In this study, diet-tissue discrimination factors (DTDFs) and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope turnover rates were estimated for plasma, red blood cells (RBCs), and muscle obtained from broad-snouted caimans (Caiman latirostris). Individuals were fed two different control diets for 189 days. DTDFs for δ15N (Δ15N) and δ13C (Δ13C) ranged from −2.24‰ to 0.39‰ and from −0.52‰ to 1.06‰, respectively. Isotope turnover rates in tissues, expressed as half-lives, ranged from 11 to 71 days, with plasma

  1. Mercury concentration in the spectacled caiman and black caiman (Alligatoridae) of the Amazon: implications for human health.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Larissa; Peleja, Reinaldo Pacheco; Kluczkovski, Augusto; Freire, Guilherme Martinez; Marioni, Boris; Vogt, Richard Carl; Da Silveira, Ronis

    2012-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in the Amazon are generally high, but no studies have been published on Hg concentrations in caimans (Alligatoridae) from the region. Aiming for sizes representative of caimans traded for food in the Amazon, we measured Hg concentration in tail muscle of spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus) and black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) from the Purus River basin. The information on Hg concentration in caimans from this area is important because of the potential health risk to humans and other animals that eat them as well as the potential use of these top-level predators as bioindicators. There were no significant interspecific or sex differences in Hg concentrations. The mean Hg concentration was 291.2 μg/kg in C. c. crocodilus and 193.9 μg/kg in M. niger. A significant positive correlation between Hg concentration and size was found for M. niger (p = 0.005) but not for C. c. crocodilus. Our Hg sample from M. niger corresponded to the size of M. niger collected for commercial trade, but our Hg sample from C. c. crocodilus turned out to be significantly smaller than the trade samples (p = 0.004), but this difference is not pertinent in the absence of a correlation between size and Hg concentration for this species. Although there are no standards for reptile meat, both species had mean Hg concentrations lower than the maximum allowable level of 500 μg/kg Hg recommended by the World Health Organization and by the Brazilian Health Ministry for fish. However, by calculating daily consumptions limits and number of meals per month that can be safely consumed, we found that consumers who eat caimans frequently may be at risk for Hg-related health problems.

  2. Observations on the thermal selection of the pantanal caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) hatchlings (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, M S; Andreotti E Silva, R A; Santos, S A

    2001-05-01

    Three options of water temperatures in a thermal gradient that changed from 22 to 35 degrees C were offered to Pantanal caiman (Caiman croocodilus yacare) hatchlings. Animals from two nests were submitted to temperatures during 19 days (Nest 1 -- 20 caimans caught in the nature hours after hatching), corresponding to 1 to 7 observations periods, and 13 days (Nest 2 -- 20 animals obtained by artificial incubation) relative to observation period 8. Caimans remain fasting during experimental period. Hatchlings were allocated in a enclosure containing three styrofoam boxes (120 L) disposed side by side enclosed by wire netting and filled with water to the top. Thus, the animals were free to access the boxes, which temperatures were changed at the end of each observation period to avoid position effects. Air temperature was keep close to 22 degrees C by air conditioning and water temperature was controlled by thermostats. The trial was divided in three phases determined by elimination of the less frequented temperature and its substitution by another temperature. In a first phase of the experiment that contained 1, 2 and 3 observation periods, the thermostats were regulated to 22 degrees C (BoxD), 26 degrees C (BxC) and 32 degrees C (BxA). In phase 2 to 26 degrees C, 29.5 degrees C (BxB) and 32 degrees C, including 4, 5 and 6 periods. In the third phase that included 7 and 8 periods, the thermostats were adjusted to 29.5 degrees C, 32 degrees C and 35 degrees C (BxE). The number of caimans in each box was recorded two to three times a day (8:00, 14:00 and 17:00h) before pointed water temperature. Mean water temperatures (+ standard deviation) and respective caiman frequency means by box/temperature were: Phase 1 (BxD/22.3 +/- 1.2 degrees C - 10.3%; BxC/27.0 +/- 2.4 degrees C - 32.0% and BxA/31.2 +/- 1.1 degrees C - 57.6%); Phase 2 (BxC/26.6 +/- 2.8 degrees C - 13.3%; BxB/29.3 +/- 2.2 degrees C - 27.7% and BxA/31.3 +/- 1.2 degrees C - 59.0%) and Phase 3 (BxB/29.5 +/- 3

  3. Morphometric analysis of the Rio Apaporis Caiman (Reptilia, Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; Velasco, Julián A; González-Maya, José F; Resetar, Alan

    2015-12-23

    Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis has been considered by several authors as an extreme of morphological variation within the Caiman crocodilus complex. Here, we evaluate its position in the Caiman crocodilus complex morphospace using morphological traits from head shape. We examined the holotype and seventeen paratypes of Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis Medem 1955 deposited at the Field Museum of Natural History. We performed multivariate morphometric analyses: principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant function analysis (DFA), based on 21 cranial traits of of C. c. apaporiensis, C. yacare and the C. crocodilus complex (C. c. chiapasius, C. c. fuscus andC. c. crocodilus). We find a notable separation of C.c. apaporiensis from C. yacare and C. crocodilus complex in the morphospace. We suggest that geographic isolation might have driven this morphological separation from the C. crocodilus complex, but further analysis are necessary to confirm whether these differences are related with genetic differentiation within the complex. In addition, we suggest that environmental heterogeneity might drive the evolution of independent lineages within the C. crocodilus complex.

  4. Morphometric analysis of the Rio Apaporis Caiman (Reptilia, Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; Velasco, Julián A; González-Maya, José F; Resetar, Alan

    2015-01-01

    Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis has been considered by several authors as an extreme of morphological variation within the Caiman crocodilus complex. Here, we evaluate its position in the Caiman crocodilus complex morphospace using morphological traits from head shape. We examined the holotype and seventeen paratypes of Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis Medem 1955 deposited at the Field Museum of Natural History. We performed multivariate morphometric analyses: principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant function analysis (DFA), based on 21 cranial traits of of C. c. apaporiensis, C. yacare and the C. crocodilus complex (C. c. chiapasius, C. c. fuscus andC. c. crocodilus). We find a notable separation of C.c. apaporiensis from C. yacare and C. crocodilus complex in the morphospace. We suggest that geographic isolation might have driven this morphological separation from the C. crocodilus complex, but further analysis are necessary to confirm whether these differences are related with genetic differentiation within the complex. In addition, we suggest that environmental heterogeneity might drive the evolution of independent lineages within the C. crocodilus complex. PMID:26701577

  5. Mortadella sausage manufactured with Caiman yacare (Caiman crocodilus yacare) meat, pork backfat, and soybean oil.

    PubMed

    Morais, C S N; Morais Júnior, N N; Vicente-Neto, J; Ramos, E M; Almeida, J; Roseiro, C; Santos, C; Gama, L T; Bressan, M C

    2013-10-01

    Mortadellas manufactured using Caiman yacare meat (70%) and pork fat (30%) were reformulated by substituting pork fat with increasing amounts of soybean oil (25%, 50%, and 100%) and evaluated 7, 30, and 60 days post-manufacture. The substitutions resulted in an increase in fat content and in the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (total PUFA; 18:2 n-6 and 18:3 n-3), and a reduction in saturated fatty acids (total SFA; 14:0 and 16:0). These alterations reduced (P<0.01) the indices of atherogenicity and thrombogenicity by 4- to 5-fold in the formulation with 100% soybean oil compared to the original formulation. The levels of TBARS obtained at day 7 were positively correlated (P<0.01) with 18:2 n-6 and 18:3 n-3 (r=0.83 and 0.84, respectively) and negatively correlated with 17:0 and 17:1 (r=-0.91 and -0.89, respectively). All formulations received favourable overall acceptability by the sensory panel.

  6. Field and experimental evidence of a new caiman trypanosome species closely phylogenetically related to fish trypanosomes and transmitted by leeches

    PubMed Central

    Fermino, Bruno R.; Paiva, Fernando; Soares, Priscilla; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R.; Viola, Laerte B.; Ferreira, Robson C.; Botero-Arias, Robinson; de-Paula, Cátia D.; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmen S.A.; Teixeira, Marta M.G.; Camargo, Erney P.

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or

  7. Caiman periodontium as an intermediate between basal vertebrate ankylosis-type attachment and mammalian "true" periodontium.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, James E; Anderton, Xochitl; Flores-De-Jacoby, Lavinia; Carlson, David S; Shuler, Charles F; Diekwisch, Thomas G H

    2002-12-01

    The teeth of many fish, amphibia, and reptiles are attached to the alveolar bone via ankylosis. In contrast, mammalian periodontia are characterized by a gomphosis, an attachment of the tooth root in the alveolar bone socket via periodontal ligament fibers. Among the reptiles, the crocodilians are the only group featuring a gomphosis-type connection between tooth root and alveolar bone, while in other reptiles tooth-root and jawbone are connected via ankylosis. The purpose of the present study was to compare several key features of the crocodilian periodontium with those of the mammalian and noncrocodilian reptile periodontium. As experimental models for our study we chose the periodontium of newborn geckos (Hemidacylus turcicus), juvenile caimans (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), and 10-day-postnatal Swiss-Webster mice (Mus musculus) as representative models for noncrocodilian reptiles, crocodilian reptiles, and mammals. The caiman periodontium emerged as an intermediary between the mineral-free mouse ligament and the mineralized gecko ankylosis-type attachment. Caiman ligament fibers were less organized than mouse ligament fibers but featured distinct fasciae surrounding ligament fiber bundles. Caiman Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) was similarly perforated as mouse HERS and distinctly different from the continuous gecko HERS. Both caiman and mouse HERS covered the entire tooth root length, while in the gecko HERS was limited to the coronal portion of the root, allowing for cementoid-mediated ankylosis at the apical tip of the root. We interpret our data to indicate distinct differences in mineral distribution, periodontal ligament fiber organization, and HERS distribution between noncrocodilian reptiles, crocodilian reptiles, and mammals. Mineral deposits in the caiman ligament may reflect an evolutionary position of the caiman periodontium between ankylosis and gomphosis.

  8. A PUFFERFISH (TETRADON NIGROVIRIDIS) AVAILABLE IN THE COMMON PET TRADE HARBORS LETHAL CONCENTRATIONS OF TETRODOTOXIN: A CASE STUDY OF POISONING IN A CUVIER'S DWARF CAIMAN (PALEOSUCHUS PALPEBROSUS).

    PubMed

    Williams, Becky L; Powers, Lauren V; Garner, Michael M

    2016-06-01

    Many pufferfish possess tetrodotoxin (TTX). Unaware of this fact, the owner of a 3-mo-old pet Cuvier's dwarf caiman ( Paleosuchus palpebrosus ) fed the caiman a green spotted pufferfish ( Tetraodon nigroviridis ), acquired from a local discount department store. The caiman was nonresponsive within an hour of consumption of the fish. The caiman was presented for veterinary evaluation but died despite intensive medical care. High-performance liquid chromatography and a competitive inhibition enzyme immunoassay were used to determine whether the pufferfish was tetrodotoxic and whether the deceased caiman had TTX in its system. Skin and liver of the pufferfish harbored high concentrations of TTX, and the caiman had TTX in the blood, liver, and kidney. The clinical signs and presence of TTX in the caiman suggest that the caiman succumbed to tetrodotoxicosis. The implication is that lethally poisonous species are available commercially and pose a danger to other pets and possibly small children.

  9. A PUFFERFISH (TETRADON NIGROVIRIDIS) AVAILABLE IN THE COMMON PET TRADE HARBORS LETHAL CONCENTRATIONS OF TETRODOTOXIN: A CASE STUDY OF POISONING IN A CUVIER'S DWARF CAIMAN (PALEOSUCHUS PALPEBROSUS).

    PubMed

    Williams, Becky L; Powers, Lauren V; Garner, Michael M

    2016-06-01

    Many pufferfish possess tetrodotoxin (TTX). Unaware of this fact, the owner of a 3-mo-old pet Cuvier's dwarf caiman ( Paleosuchus palpebrosus ) fed the caiman a green spotted pufferfish ( Tetraodon nigroviridis ), acquired from a local discount department store. The caiman was nonresponsive within an hour of consumption of the fish. The caiman was presented for veterinary evaluation but died despite intensive medical care. High-performance liquid chromatography and a competitive inhibition enzyme immunoassay were used to determine whether the pufferfish was tetrodotoxic and whether the deceased caiman had TTX in its system. Skin and liver of the pufferfish harbored high concentrations of TTX, and the caiman had TTX in the blood, liver, and kidney. The clinical signs and presence of TTX in the caiman suggest that the caiman succumbed to tetrodotoxicosis. The implication is that lethally poisonous species are available commercially and pose a danger to other pets and possibly small children. PMID:27468050

  10. Economic aspects of production of Caiman crocodilus yacare.

    PubMed

    Carreira, Laura B T; Sabbag, Omar J

    2015-03-01

    The breeding of crocodilians is still a recent activity in Brazil. Its peak was in the 1990's, but it has gaps in its production, as there are no norms for the commercial breeding of these animals in captivity. However, its economic potential is great, and the search for ecological balance and viability of commercial production has become a challenge among farmers of this activity. Therefor, the objective of the study was to economically analyze the production of Caiman crocodilus yacare on a farm located in Caceres, state of Mato Grosso, identifying relevant items of costs in the activity, as well as the parameters related to the profitability and viability of the activity. The economic results for the breeding of this animal were positive, with profitability ratios higher than 70%. PMID:25806993

  11. Economic aspects of production of Caiman crocodilus yacare.

    PubMed

    Carreira, Laura B T; Sabbag, Omar J

    2015-03-01

    The breeding of crocodilians is still a recent activity in Brazil. Its peak was in the 1990's, but it has gaps in its production, as there are no norms for the commercial breeding of these animals in captivity. However, its economic potential is great, and the search for ecological balance and viability of commercial production has become a challenge among farmers of this activity. Therefor, the objective of the study was to economically analyze the production of Caiman crocodilus yacare on a farm located in Caceres, state of Mato Grosso, identifying relevant items of costs in the activity, as well as the parameters related to the profitability and viability of the activity. The economic results for the breeding of this animal were positive, with profitability ratios higher than 70%.

  12. Bombesin-like immunoreactivity and the effect of bombesin in the gut, circulatory system and lung of the caiman, Caiman crocodylus crocodylus, and the crocodile, Crocodylus porosus.

    PubMed

    Holmgren, S; Axelsson, M; Jensen, J; Aldman, G; Sundell, K; Jönsson, A C

    1989-01-01

    The presence of bombesin-like material in nerves and endocrine cells of the gastrointestinal canal, the circulatory system and the lung of the caiman, Caiman crocodylus crocodylus, has been investigated with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and radioimmunoassay (RIA). The effect of bombesin has been studied on the vascularly perfused lung and on isolated strip preparations of the gut wall of the caiman, and on the circulatory system in vivo in both the caiman and the crocodile, Crocodylus porosus. Bombesin-like immunoreactivity is present in water and acid extracts of the muscle layer and the mucosal layer of the gut. IHC demonstrated a dense network of nerve fibres in the sub-mucosa, circular muscle layer and myenteric plexus of the whole gut. A more sparse innervation by single fibres often following septal edges or small vessels is found in the lung. Systemic vessels are innervated by a loose plexus of small fibre bundles. The levels of immunoreactive material in the lung and heart were low. Bombesin is excitatory on strip preparations of the smooth muscle layers of the intestinal wall, and causes an increase in inflow resistance in the perfused lung. In vivo, bombesin increases the blood flow in the left aorta and the coeliac artery.

  13. Amino acid transport in the intestine of the caiman.

    PubMed

    Coulson, R A; Hernandez, T

    1983-01-01

    Seventeen amino acids were fed singly to small caimans and the rates of their disappearance from the gut lumen, and of their appearance in intestinal mucosa, whole intestine, whole stomach, and plasma were determined. The results were compared with those in which massive amounts of protein were fed. When single amino acids were fed, only traces of arginine, ornithine, lysine, aspartate and asparagine were absorbed intact. Glycine, alanine and serine were absorbed rapidly reaching mucosal concentrations as high as 40 mM. The others were not concentrated as highly and most were absorbed by the mucosa more slowly than the glycine group. Protein feeding did not result in high amino acid concentrations in the mucosa. Whether amino acids were ingested as protein or in the free state, glycine, alanine and glutamine increased in the mucosa, suggesting these three incorporate nitrogen released from the others. It appeared that several transport systems operate if amino acids are given singly, and that a different more efficient transport system operates during protein digestion.

  14. Unidirectional Photoreceptor-to-Müller Glia Coupling and Unique K+ Channel Expression in Caiman Retina

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Yomarie; Benedikt, Jan; Ulbricht, Elke; Karl, Anett; Dávila, José; Savvinov, Alexey; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy; Inyushin, Mikhail; Cubano, Luis A.; Pannicke, Thomas; Veh, Rüdiger W.; Francke, Mike; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Eaton, Misty J.; Reichenbach, Andreas; Skatchkov, Serguei N.

    2014-01-01

    Background Müller cells, the principal glial cells of the vertebrate retina, are fundamental for the maintenance and function of neuronal cells. In most vertebrates, including humans, Müller cells abundantly express Kir4.1 inwardly rectifying potassium channels responsible for hyperpolarized membrane potential and for various vital functions such as potassium buffering and glutamate clearance; inter-species differences in Kir4.1 expression were, however, observed. Localization and function of potassium channels in Müller cells from the retina of crocodiles remain, hitherto, unknown. Methods We studied retinae of the Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus), endowed with both diurnal and nocturnal vision, by (i) immunohistochemistry, (ii) whole-cell voltage-clamp, and (iii) fluorescent dye tracing to investigate K+ channel distribution and glia-to-neuron communications. Results Immunohistochemistry revealed that caiman Müller cells, similarly to other vertebrates, express vimentin, GFAP, S100β, and glutamine synthetase. In contrast, Kir4.1 channel protein was not found in Müller cells but was localized in photoreceptor cells. Instead, 2P-domain TASK-1 channels were expressed in Müller cells. Electrophysiological properties of enzymatically dissociated Müller cells without photoreceptors and isolated Müller cells with adhering photoreceptors were significantly different. This suggests ion coupling between Müller cells and photoreceptors in the caiman retina. Sulforhodamine-B injected into cones permeated to adhering Müller cells thus revealing a uni-directional dye coupling. Conclusion Our data indicate that caiman Müller glial cells are unique among vertebrates studied so far by predominantly expressing TASK-1 rather than Kir4.1 K+ channels and by bi-directional ion and uni-directional dye coupling to photoreceptor cells. This coupling may play an important role in specific glia-neuron signaling pathways and in a new type of K+ buffering. PMID

  15. Thalamic reticular nucleus in Caiman crocodilus: Relationship with the dorsal thalamus.

    PubMed

    Pritz, M B

    2016-05-13

    The thalamic reticular nucleus was investigated in one group of crocodilians, Caiman crocodilus. This neuronal aggregate is composed of two parts: a compact portion and a diffuse region made up of scattered cells within the forebrain bundles. In Caiman, both the lateral and medial forebrain bundles project to the telencephalon and the thalamic reticular nucleus is associated with each fiber tract. In the lateral forebrain bundle, the compact area is termed the nucleus of the dorsal peduncle (dorsal peduncular nucleus) while the diffuse part is called the perireticular area. In the medial forebrain bundle, the interstitial nucleus comprises one part of the compact area while another region without a specific neuronal label is also present. Similar to the perireticular cells of the lateral forebrain bundle, scattered cells are also present in the medial forebrain bundle. Morphological features of the thalamic reticular nucleus are revealed with stains for the following: fibers; cells; succinic acid dehydrogenase; and acetylcholinesterase. Regardless of which dorsal thalamic nucleus was injected, a localized region of the thalamic reticular nucleus contained retrogradely labeled cells and anterogradely labeled axons and terminals. This grouping was termed clusters and was felt to represent the densest interconnection between the dorsal thalamus and the reticular nucleus. Using clusters as an index of interconnections, the reticular nucleus was divided into sectors, each of which was associated with a specific dorsal thalamic nucleus. An organization similar to that found in Caiman is present in other sauropsids as well as in mammals. These data suggest that a thalamic reticular nucleus is present in all amniotes and has morphological properties similar to those described in this analysis. Lastly, a hypothesis is presented to explain how the external shape of the reticular nucleus in Caiman might be transformed into the homologous area in a representative bird and

  16. Low temperatures reduce skin healing in the Jacaré do Pantanal (Caiman yacare, Daudin 1802)

    PubMed Central

    Pressinotti, Leandro Nogueira; Borges, Ricardo Moraes; Alves De Lima, Angela Paula; Aleixo, Victor Manuel; Iunes, Renata Stecca; Borges, João Carlos Shimada; Cogliati, Bruno; Cunha Da Silva, José Roberto Machado

    2013-01-01

    Summary Studies of skin wound healing in crocodilians are necessary given the frequent occurrence of cannibalism in intensive farming systems. Air temperature affects tissue recovery because crocodilians are ectothermic. Therefore, the kinetics of skin wound healing in Caiman yacare were examined at temperatures of 33°C and 23°C. Sixteen caiman were selected and divided into two groups of eight maintained at 23°C or 33°C. The studied individuals' scars were photographed after 1, 2, 3, 7, 15 and 30 days of the experimental conditions, and samples were collected for histological processing after 3, 7, 15 and 30 days. Macroscopically, the blood clot (heterophilic granuloma) noticeably remained in place covering the wound longer for the caiman kept at 23°C. Microscopically, the temperature of 23°C slowed epidermal migration and skin repair. Comparatively, new blood vessels, labeled using von Willebrand factor (vWF) antibody staining, were more frequently found in the scars of the 33°C group. The collagen fibers in the dermis were denser in the 33°C treatment. Considering the delayed healing at 23°C, producers are recommended to keep wounded animals at 33°C, especially when tanks are cold, to enable rapid wound closure and better repair of collagen fibers because such lesions tend to compromise the use of their skin as leather. PMID:24244853

  17. Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Eggins, Sam; Schneider, Larissa; Krikowa, Frank; Vogt, Richard C; Da Silveira, Ronis; Maher, William

    2015-12-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96%) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500 µg kg(-1)), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200 µg kg(-1)). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans. PMID:26387493

  18. Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Eggins, Sam; Schneider, Larissa; Krikowa, Frank; Vogt, Richard C; Da Silveira, Ronis; Maher, William

    2015-12-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96%) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500 µg kg(-1)), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200 µg kg(-1)). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans.

  19. Initial sequence characterization of the rhabdoviruses of squamate reptiles, including a novel rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis)

    PubMed Central

    Wellehan, James F.X.; Pessier, Allan P.; Archer, Linda L.; Childress, April L.; Jacobson, Elliott R.; Tesh, Robert B.

    2012-01-01

    Rhabdoviruses infect a variety of hosts, including non-avian reptiles. Consensus PCR techniques were used to obtain partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from five rhabdoviruses of South American lizards; Marco, Chaco, Timbo, Sena Madureira, and a rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis). The caiman lizard rhabdovirus formed inclusions in erythrocytes, which may be a route for infecting hematophagous insects. This is the first information on behavior of a rhabdovirus in squamates. We also obtained sequence from two rhabdoviruses of Australian lizards, confirming previous Charleville virus sequence and finding that, unlike a previous sequence report but in agreement with serologic reports, Almpiwar virus is clearly distinct from Charleville virus. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis revealed that most known rhabdoviruses of squamates cluster in the Almpiwar subgroup. The exception is Marco virus, which is found in the Hart Park group. PMID:22397930

  20. Initial sequence characterization of the rhabdoviruses of squamate reptiles, including a novel rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis).

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Pessier, Allan P; Archer, Linda L; Childress, April L; Jacobson, Elliott R; Tesh, Robert B

    2012-08-17

    Rhabdoviruses infect a variety of hosts, including non-avian reptiles. Consensus PCR techniques were used to obtain partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from five rhabdoviruses of South American lizards; Marco, Chaco, Timbo, Sena Madureira, and a rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis). The caiman lizard rhabdovirus formed inclusions in erythrocytes, which may be a route for infecting hematophagous insects. This is the first information on behavior of a rhabdovirus in squamates. We also obtained sequence from two rhabdoviruses of Australian lizards, confirming previous Charleville virus sequence and finding that, unlike a previous sequence report but in agreement with serologic reports, Almpiwar virus is clearly distinct from Charleville virus. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis revealed that most known rhabdoviruses of squamates cluster in the Almpiwar subgroup. The exception is Marco virus, which is found in the Hart Park group.

  1. Physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase and salt replacers.

    PubMed

    Canto, Anna C V C S; Lima, Bruno R C Costa; Suman, Surendranath P; Lazaro, Cesar A; Monteiro, Maria Lucia G; Conte-Junior, Carlos A; Freitas, Monica Q; Cruz, Adriano G; Santos, Erica B; Silva, Teofilo J P

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to examine the physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase (MTG) and salt replacers (KCl and MgCl2). Trimmings from caiman carcasses were processed into restructured steaks with or without MTG and salt replacers; the five treatments were CON (1.5% NaCl), T-1 (1.5% NaCl+1% MTG), T-2 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% KCl), T-3 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% MgCl2), and T-4 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.375% KCl+0.375% MgCl2). T-4 demonstrated the greatest (P<0.05) succulence and the lowest (P<0.05) values for cooked hardness, springiness, and cohesiveness. The greatest (P<0.05) purchase intention was for T-3. Furthermore, T-3 and T-4 were similar (P>0.05) to controls in salty flavor. Our findings suggest that the combination of MTG, KCl, and MgCl2 can be employed as a suitable salt reduction strategy in restructured caiman steaks without compromising sensory attributes and consumer acceptance. PMID:24036259

  2. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Reproduction of a Generalist Crocodilian, Caiman crocodilus yacare, in a Seasonally Flooded Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Zilca; Mourão, Guilherme; Coutinho, Marcos; Magnusson, William E.; Soriano, Balbina M. A.

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the number of caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) nests in two ranches in the Brazilian Pantanal that cover an area of about 50.000 ha for 28 years (1987–2014). The number of nests was related to combinations of rainfall, water level, and number of days with temperature below 20°C, depending on the area. Most of the variation in number of nests could not be predicted by the environmental variables, but could be represented mathematically by a sine wave. We were not able to identify any external driver and suspect that the regular fluctuations may have resulted from an intrinsic population process. Presently, ranches are used as management units under the legislation for ranching Pantanal caimans. However, although some breeding females were recaptured in the area after periods of up to 21 years, most were not recaptured near nests or in general surveys of the area, suggesting that females are not strongly philopatric and that ranches do not represent isolated demographic units. PMID:26107847

  3. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Reproduction of a Generalist Crocodilian, Caiman crocodilus yacare, in a Seasonally Flooded Wetland.

    PubMed

    Campos, Zilca; Mourão, Guilherme; Coutinho, Marcos; Magnusson, William E; Soriano, Balbina M A

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the number of caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) nests in two ranches in the Brazilian Pantanal that cover an area of about 50.000 ha for 28 years (1987-2014). The number of nests was related to combinations of rainfall, water level, and number of days with temperature below 20°C, depending on the area. Most of the variation in number of nests could not be predicted by the environmental variables, but could be represented mathematically by a sine wave. We were not able to identify any external driver and suspect that the regular fluctuations may have resulted from an intrinsic population process. Presently, ranches are used as management units under the legislation for ranching Pantanal caimans. However, although some breeding females were recaptured in the area after periods of up to 21 years, most were not recaptured near nests or in general surveys of the area, suggesting that females are not strongly philopatric and that ranches do not represent isolated demographic units. PMID:26107847

  4. Physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase and salt replacers.

    PubMed

    Canto, Anna C V C S; Lima, Bruno R C Costa; Suman, Surendranath P; Lazaro, Cesar A; Monteiro, Maria Lucia G; Conte-Junior, Carlos A; Freitas, Monica Q; Cruz, Adriano G; Santos, Erica B; Silva, Teofilo J P

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to examine the physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase (MTG) and salt replacers (KCl and MgCl2). Trimmings from caiman carcasses were processed into restructured steaks with or without MTG and salt replacers; the five treatments were CON (1.5% NaCl), T-1 (1.5% NaCl+1% MTG), T-2 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% KCl), T-3 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% MgCl2), and T-4 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.375% KCl+0.375% MgCl2). T-4 demonstrated the greatest (P<0.05) succulence and the lowest (P<0.05) values for cooked hardness, springiness, and cohesiveness. The greatest (P<0.05) purchase intention was for T-3. Furthermore, T-3 and T-4 were similar (P>0.05) to controls in salty flavor. Our findings suggest that the combination of MTG, KCl, and MgCl2 can be employed as a suitable salt reduction strategy in restructured caiman steaks without compromising sensory attributes and consumer acceptance.

  5. Ultrastructural studies on the sporogony of Hepatozoon spp. in Culex quinquefasciatus say, 1823 fed on infected Caiman crocodilus and Boa constrictor from northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Paperna, I; Lainson, R

    2003-08-01

    Laboratory reared Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 originating from the vicinity of Belem, in northern Brazil, were allowed to engorge on caimans (Caiman c. crocodilus) infected with Hepatozoon caimani (Carini, 1909) and boas (Boa constrictor) infected with H. cf. terzii (Sambon and Seligmann, 1907) both from Para State. Engorged mosquitoes killed on successive days post-feeding (p.f.) were studied by transmission electron microscopy. Images of oocysts from 13 days p.f., caiman-fed mosquitoes were also examined by scanning electron microscopy. The Hepatozoon spp. from the respective hosts differed in their ability to develop in C. quinquefasciatus. Most female mosquitoes fed on caimans, became fully engorged, and survived beyond 22 days p.f., whereas those engorged on boa became debilitated and did not survive beyond 9 days p.f. In boa-fed mosquitoes oocysts were found on the 6th day p.f. The few mosquitoes surviving to the 9th day p.f. contained either undivided oocysts or those that had already commenced sporogenic division. By 8-10 days p.f. caiman-fed mosquitoes contained uninucleate oocysts. Sporogonic divisions were observed from day 12 p.f. onwards. Although sporogenic development conformed in general with the previously reported accounts, the study allowed a more detailed examination of the plasmalemmal endocytotic system, and the consolidation of the crystalline body in specialized 'factories' of cystalline material. Sporozoite differentiation occasionally started on the 18th day p.f., but otherwise was observed only on day 22 p.f.

  6. Distribution patterns, population status and conservation of Melanosuchus niger and Caiman yacare (Crocodylia, Alligatoridae) in oxbow lakes of the Ichilo river floodplain, Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, Ximena; Coronel, Jorge S; Thierry, Oberdorff; Van Damme, Paul A

    2008-06-01

    Caiman yacare (lagarto) and Melanosuchus niger (black caiman), sympatric species in the Bolivian Amazon basin, have been severely overexploited in the past. We present the results of a standardized survey of C. yacare and M. niger populations in order to evaluate their actual population status in twelve oxbow lakes of the Ichilo River floodplain. Additionally we explored the effect of environmental and anthropogenic variables on caiman distribution patterns. The average density of C yacare and M niger in the shoreline of floodplain lakes was of 6 and 1 ind/km, respectively. For both species, the population was composed mainly of juvenile individuals. We used regression tree analysis (RTA) to assess patterns of M. niger and C. yacare densities with eight environmental and two anthropogenic variables. The RTA analysis showed that the variation in the densities of both C. yacare (52.4%) and M. niger (36.8 %) was related to water conductivity. For C yacare, higher densities occurred at higher values of water conductivity, while M. niger densities followed an opposite trend, resulting in relatively well spatially segregated populations of the two species. After excluding conductivity, Lake-River Distance (LRD) was shown to be the main splitting variable in the RTA analysis. The observed distribution patterns may be the result of the historical post-hunting situation, in combination with differences in habitat selection by the two species, and competitive exclusion processes between the two species. M. niger, a species reported to be recovering slowly from previous low population levels, appears relatively well protected in the Ichilo river floodplain. PMID:19256453

  7. Lack of conventional oxygen-linked proton and anion binding sites does not impair allosteric regulation of oxygen binding in dwarf caiman hemoglobin

    PubMed Central

    Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Storz, Jay F.; Gorr, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to other vertebrate hemoglobins (Hbs) whose high intrinsic O2 affinities are reduced by red cell allosteric effectors (mainly protons, CO2, organic phosphates, and chloride ions), crocodilian Hbs exhibit low sensitivity to organic phosphates and high sensitivity to bicarbonate (HCO3−), which is believed to augment Hb-O2 unloading during diving and postprandial alkaline tides when blood HCO3− levels and metabolic rates increase. Examination of α- and β-globin amino acid sequences of dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) revealed a unique combination of substitutions at key effector binding sites compared with other vertebrate and crocodilian Hbs: β82Lys→Gln, β143His→Val, and β146His→Tyr. These substitutions delete positive charges and, along with other distinctive changes in residue charge and polarity, may be expected to disrupt allosteric regulation of Hb-O2 affinity. Strikingly, however, P. palpebrosus Hb shows a strong Bohr effect, and marked deoxygenation-linked binding of organic phosphates (ATP and DPG) and CO2 as carbamate (contrasting with HCO3− binding in other crocodilians). Unlike other Hbs, it polymerizes to large complexes in the oxygenated state. The highly unusual properties of P. palpebrosus Hb align with a high content of His residues (potential sites for oxygenation-linked proton binding) and distinctive surface Cys residues that may form intermolecular disulfide bridges upon polymerization. On the basis of its singular properties, P. palpebrosus Hb provides a unique opportunity for studies on structure-function coupling and the evolution of compensatory mechanisms for maintaining tissue O2 delivery in Hbs that lack conventional effector-binding residues. PMID:23720132

  8. 76 FR 18239 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-01

    ... to import biological specimens from broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) from ranched animals in... activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Metro Richmond Zoo, Moseley, VA... species. Applicant: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, MN; PRT-37786A The applicant requests a permit to...

  9. Morphometry, bite-force, and paleobiology of the late miocene caiman Purussaurus brasiliensis.

    PubMed

    Aureliano, Tito; Ghilardi, Aline M; Guilherme, Edson; Souza-Filho, Jonas P; Cavalcanti, Mauro; Riff, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Purussaurus brasiliensis thrived in the northwestern portion of South America during the Late Miocene. Although substantial material has been recovered since its early discovery, this fossil crocodilian can still be considered as very poorly understood. In the present work, we used regression equations based on modern crocodilians to present novel details about the morphometry, bite-force and paleobiology of this species. According to our results, an adult Purussaurus brasiliensis was estimated to reach around 12.5 m in length, weighing around 8.4 metric tons, with a mean daily food intake of 40.6 kg. It was capable of generating sustained bite forces of 69,000 N (around 7 metric tons-force). The extreme size and strength reached by this animal seems to have allowed it to include a wide range of prey in its diet, making it a top predator in its ecosystem. As an adult, it would have preyed upon large to very large vertebrates, and, being unmatched by any other carnivore, it avoided competition. The evolution of a large body size granted P. brasiliensis many advantages, but it may also have led to its vulnerability. The constantly changing environment on a large geological scale may have reduced its long-term survival, favoring smaller species more resilient to ecological shifts. PMID:25689140

  10. Morphometry, Bite-Force, and Paleobiology of the Late Miocene Caiman Purussaurus brasiliensis

    PubMed Central

    Aureliano, Tito; Ghilardi, Aline M.; Guilherme, Edson; Souza-Filho, Jonas P.; Cavalcanti, Mauro; Riff, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Purussaurus brasiliensis thrived in the northwestern portion of South America during the Late Miocene. Although substantial material has been recovered since its early discovery, this fossil crocodilian can still be considered as very poorly understood. In the present work, we used regression equations based on modern crocodilians to present novel details about the morphometry, bite-force and paleobiology of this species. According to our results, an adult Purussaurus brasiliensis was estimated to reach around 12.5 m in length, weighing around 8.4 metric tons, with a mean daily food intake of 40.6 kg. It was capable of generating sustained bite forces of 69,000 N (around 7 metric tons-force). The extreme size and strength reached by this animal seems to have allowed it to include a wide range of prey in its diet, making it a top predator in its ecosystem. As an adult, it would have preyed upon large to very large vertebrates, and, being unmatched by any other carnivore, it avoided competition. The evolution of a large body size granted P. brasiliensis many advantages, but it may also have led to its vulnerability. The constantly changing environment on a large geological scale may have reduced its long-term survival, favoring smaller species more resilient to ecological shifts. PMID:25689140

  11. Mycobacteriosis in two captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sato, Tsuneo; Shibuya, Hisashi; Ohba, Shigeo; Nojiri, Toshio; Shirai, Wataru

    2003-06-01

    Two male Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) died at the marine aquarium in Inagi City, Tokyo, Japan. Acid-fast bacteria were demonstrated in tuberculoid nodules in the lungs from both manatees. Mycobacterium marinum and M. fortuitum were isolated from one manatee; M. marinum and M. kansasii were cultured from the second animal. This report confirms the pathogenicity and potentially fatal outcome of mycobacterial infection in manatees. In addition, the pathologic response to infection with these mycobacteria in manatees is similar to that associated with Mycobacterium spp. in other animals.

  12. Viral papillomatosis in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Bossart, Gregory D; Ewing, Ruth Y; Lowe, Mark; Sweat, Mark; Decker, Susan J; Walsh, Catherine J; Ghim, Shin-je; Jenson, A Bennett

    2002-02-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is one of the most endangered marine mammals in American coastal waters. Naturally resistant to infectious disease, the manatee immune system appears highly developed to protect it against the harsh marine environment and the effects of human-related injury. In 1997, seven captive Florida manatees developed multiple, cutaneous, pedunculated papillomas over a period of 6 months. Approximately 3 years later, four of the seven manatees developed multiple, cutaneous, sessile papillomas topically and clinically distinct from the initial lesions, some of which are still present. Histologic, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical features indicated that the two distinct phenotypic lesions were caused by papillomaviruses (PVs). Preliminary immunologic data correlated with daily clinical observations suggested that the manatees were immunologically suppressed and that the papillomas were caused by activation of latent PV infections and reinoculation from active infections. The emergence of PV-induced papillomas in captive manatees, the possibility of activation of latent infection or transmission of active infection to free-ranging manatees, and the underlying cause of immune suppression predisposing manatees to develop viral papillomatosis are serious concerns for the future management of this highly endangered species.

  13. Echocardiographic evaluation of clinically healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Maisenbacher, Herbert W; de Wit, Martine; Ball, Ray L; Walsh, Michael T

    2013-06-01

    Antemortem studies pertaining to the manatee cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems are limited despite reports of cardiac disease in postmortem specimens. The objective of this project was to develop a technique for echocardiography in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Because of their unique anatomy, a ventral approach was employed by use of an echocardiography table designed specifically for this study. Fourteen clinically healthy, free-ranging and captive Florida manatees underwent echocardiography between the fall of 2011 and winter of 2012. Eight females and six males of various age categories were included in the study. Clear visualization of all valves and chambers was accomplished, and length and width measurements of the left atrium, peak aortic flow velocity, and ejection fraction percentage were calculated in most animals. Abnormalities observed during the study included atrioventricular regurgitation and severe right-atrial enlargement. Based on the results of this study, echocardiography in the Florida manatee is possible, which has both clinical and research implications in larger epidemiologic studies evaluating diseases of the cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular systems.

  14. Echocardiographic evaluation of clinically healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Maisenbacher, Herbert W; de Wit, Martine; Ball, Ray L; Walsh, Michael T

    2013-06-01

    Antemortem studies pertaining to the manatee cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems are limited despite reports of cardiac disease in postmortem specimens. The objective of this project was to develop a technique for echocardiography in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Because of their unique anatomy, a ventral approach was employed by use of an echocardiography table designed specifically for this study. Fourteen clinically healthy, free-ranging and captive Florida manatees underwent echocardiography between the fall of 2011 and winter of 2012. Eight females and six males of various age categories were included in the study. Clear visualization of all valves and chambers was accomplished, and length and width measurements of the left atrium, peak aortic flow velocity, and ejection fraction percentage were calculated in most animals. Abnormalities observed during the study included atrioventricular regurgitation and severe right-atrial enlargement. Based on the results of this study, echocardiography in the Florida manatee is possible, which has both clinical and research implications in larger epidemiologic studies evaluating diseases of the cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular systems. PMID:23805547

  15. Diaphragmatic hernia and right-sided heart enlargement in a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; de Wit, Martine; Landolfi, Jennifer A

    2012-10-01

    Postmortem evaluation of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) revealed cold stress lesions and previous watercraft trauma that included broken ribs, a diaphragmatic hernia, an enlarged vena cava, and right-sided cardiomegaly. We discuss these findings and present a possible pathogenesis for the cardiomegaly.

  16. Diaphragmatic hernia and right-sided heart enlargement in a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; de Wit, Martine; Landolfi, Jennifer A

    2012-10-01

    Postmortem evaluation of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) revealed cold stress lesions and previous watercraft trauma that included broken ribs, a diaphragmatic hernia, an enlarged vena cava, and right-sided cardiomegaly. We discuss these findings and present a possible pathogenesis for the cardiomegaly. PMID:23060518

  17. Digesta passage rates in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Larkin, Iskande L V; Fowler, Vivienne F; Reep, Roger L

    2007-11-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Sirenia: Trichechidae), is an herbivorous marine mammal found within coastal areas throughout the state of Florida, which feeds on both fresh and salt water sea grasses. Manatees, like other Sirenians, are a tropical species with little tolerance for water temperatures below 20 degrees C, rely on a relatively poor nutritional food source, and have a low metabolic rate. Although manatees are hindgut fermenting herbivores, they are very efficient at extracting nutrients from the plants on which they feed. Slow passage rates of digesta have been suggested to be a factor in this increased efficiency. Two studies monitored the digesta passage times and mixing of particulate digesta within the manatee digestive tract using MicroGrits colored corncob grit as a fecal marker. Fecal samples were collected subsequently from four manatees in Study 1 and 3 manatees in Study 2, grit pieces removed, counted, and measured. The digesta passage times ranged from 6 and 10 days in Study 1, and 4.3 and 8.3 days in Study 2, supporting data presented in previous studies. When two different colored markers were administered on sequential days, minimal to no mixing was seen in recovered feces, suggesting that the digesta from a given day traveled through the tract as a bolus. Less than 1% of the marker fed was recovered and we hypothesize that perpendicular folds of the large intestine may be the major contributing factor, with pieces being retained and eventually digested. Zoo Biol 26:503-515, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Clinical biochemistry in healthy manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harvey, John W; Harr, Kendal E; Murphy, David; Walsh, Michael T; Chittick, Elizabeth J; Bonde, Robert K; Pate, Melanie G; Deutsch, Charles J; Edwards, Holly H; Haubold, Elsa M

    2007-06-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are endangered aquatic mammals living in coastal and riverine waterways of Florida and adjacent states. Serum or plasma biochemical analyses are important tools in evaluating the health of free-ranging and captive manatees. The purpose of this study was to measure diagnostically important analytes in the plasma of healthy manatees and to determine whether there was significant variation with respect to location (free-ranging versus captive), age class (small calves, large calves, subadults, adults), and gender. No significant differences in plasma sodium, potassium, bilirubin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase, or creatine kinase were found among these classes of animals. Compared to free-ranging manatees, captive animals had significantly lower mean concentrations of plasma chloride, phosphate, magnesium, triglycerides, anion gap, and lactate. Captive manatees had significantly higher mean values of total CO2, calcium, urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio than did free-ranging animals. Differences in the environments of these two groups, including diet, temperature, salinity, and stress, might account for some of these results. The higher plasma lactate and anion gap concentrations and lower total CO2 concentrations of free-ranging manatees were probably due to greater exertion during capture, but the lack of elevated plasma creatine kinase activity relative to captive animals indicates that there was no serious muscle injury associated with capture. Plasma phosphate decreased and total globulins increased with age. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were highest in small calves. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase was higher in large calves than in adults and subadults, and the albumin/ globulin ratio was higher in subadults than in adults. Plasma total CO2 was higher and chloride was slightly lower in females than in

  19. Digesta passage rates in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Larkin, Iskande L V; Fowler, Vivienne F; Reep, Roger L

    2007-11-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Sirenia: Trichechidae), is an herbivorous marine mammal found within coastal areas throughout the state of Florida, which feeds on both fresh and salt water sea grasses. Manatees, like other Sirenians, are a tropical species with little tolerance for water temperatures below 20 degrees C, rely on a relatively poor nutritional food source, and have a low metabolic rate. Although manatees are hindgut fermenting herbivores, they are very efficient at extracting nutrients from the plants on which they feed. Slow passage rates of digesta have been suggested to be a factor in this increased efficiency. Two studies monitored the digesta passage times and mixing of particulate digesta within the manatee digestive tract using MicroGrits colored corncob grit as a fecal marker. Fecal samples were collected subsequently from four manatees in Study 1 and 3 manatees in Study 2, grit pieces removed, counted, and measured. The digesta passage times ranged from 6 and 10 days in Study 1, and 4.3 and 8.3 days in Study 2, supporting data presented in previous studies. When two different colored markers were administered on sequential days, minimal to no mixing was seen in recovered feces, suggesting that the digesta from a given day traveled through the tract as a bolus. Less than 1% of the marker fed was recovered and we hypothesize that perpendicular folds of the large intestine may be the major contributing factor, with pieces being retained and eventually digested. Zoo Biol 26:503-515, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:19360597

  20. Clinical biochemistry in healthy manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harvey, John W; Harr, Kendal E; Murphy, David; Walsh, Michael T; Chittick, Elizabeth J; Bonde, Robert K; Pate, Melanie G; Deutsch, Charles J; Edwards, Holly H; Haubold, Elsa M

    2007-06-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are endangered aquatic mammals living in coastal and riverine waterways of Florida and adjacent states. Serum or plasma biochemical analyses are important tools in evaluating the health of free-ranging and captive manatees. The purpose of this study was to measure diagnostically important analytes in the plasma of healthy manatees and to determine whether there was significant variation with respect to location (free-ranging versus captive), age class (small calves, large calves, subadults, adults), and gender. No significant differences in plasma sodium, potassium, bilirubin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase, or creatine kinase were found among these classes of animals. Compared to free-ranging manatees, captive animals had significantly lower mean concentrations of plasma chloride, phosphate, magnesium, triglycerides, anion gap, and lactate. Captive manatees had significantly higher mean values of total CO2, calcium, urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio than did free-ranging animals. Differences in the environments of these two groups, including diet, temperature, salinity, and stress, might account for some of these results. The higher plasma lactate and anion gap concentrations and lower total CO2 concentrations of free-ranging manatees were probably due to greater exertion during capture, but the lack of elevated plasma creatine kinase activity relative to captive animals indicates that there was no serious muscle injury associated with capture. Plasma phosphate decreased and total globulins increased with age. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were highest in small calves. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase was higher in large calves than in adults and subadults, and the albumin/ globulin ratio was higher in subadults than in adults. Plasma total CO2 was higher and chloride was slightly lower in females than in

  1. Clinical biochemistry in healthy manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, J.W.; Harr, K.E.; Murphy, D.; Walsh, M.T.; Chittick, E.J.; Bonde, R.K.; Pate, M.G.; Deutsch, C.J.; Edwards, H.H.; Haubold, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are endangered aquatic mammals living in coastal and riverine waterways of Florida and adjacent states. Serum or plasma biochemical analyses are important tools in evaluating the health of free-ranging and captive manatees. The purpose of this study was to measure diagnostically important analytes in the plasma of healthy manatees and to determine whether there was significant variation with respect to location (free-ranging versus captive), age class (small calves, large calves, subadults, adults), and gender. No significant differences in plasma sodium, potassium, bilirubin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase, or creatine kinase were found among these classes of animals. Compared to free-ranging manatees, captive animals had significantly lower mean concentrations of plasma chloride, phosphate, magnesium, triglycerides, anion gap, and lactate. Captive manatees had significantly higher mean values of total CO2, calcium, urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio than did free-ranging animals. Differences in the environments of these two groups, including diet, temperature, salinity, and stress, might account for some of these results. The higher plasma lactate and anion gap concentrations and lower total CO2 concentrations of free-ranging manatees were probably due to greater exertion during capture, but the lack of elevated plasma creatine kinase activity relative to captive animals indicates that there was no serious muscle injury associated with capture. Plasma phosphate decreased and total globulins increased with age. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were highest in small calves. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase was higher in large calves than in adults and subadults, and the albumin/ globulin ratio was higher in subadults than in adults. Plasma total CO2 was higher and chloride was slightly lower in females than in

  2. Diagnostic stages of the parasites of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Bando, Monica; Larkin, Iskande V; Wright, Scott D; Greiner, Ellis C

    2014-02-01

    Limited information is available on diagnostic stages of parasites in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). We examined 67 fecal samples from captive and wild manatees to define the diagnostic stages of the parasite fauna known to occur in Florida manatees. Parasite eggs were freshly extracted ex utero from identified mature helminths and subsequently characterized, illustrated, and matched to those isolated from fecal samples. In addition, coccidian oocysts in the fecal samples were identified. These diagnostic stages included eggs from 5 species of trematodes (Chiorchis fabaceus, Chiorchis groschafti, Pulmonicola cochleotrema, Moniligerum blairi, and Nudacotyle undicola), 1 nematode (Heterocheilus tunicatus), and oocysts of 2 coccidians (Eimeria manatus and Eimeria nodulosa).

  3. Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pause, K.C.; Nourisson, C.; Clark, A.; Kellogg, M.E.; Bonde, R.K.; McGuire, P.M.

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are marine mammals that inhabit the coastal waters and rivers of the southeastern USA, primarily Florida. Previous studies have shown that Florida manatees have low mitochondrial DNA variability, suggesting that nuclear DNA loci are necessary for discriminatory analyses. Here we report 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci with an average of 4.2 alleles per locus, and average heterozygosity of 50.1%. These loci have been developed for use in population studies, parentage assignment, and individual identification. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Diagnostic stages of the parasites of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Bando, Monica; Larkin, Iskande V; Wright, Scott D; Greiner, Ellis C

    2014-02-01

    Limited information is available on diagnostic stages of parasites in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). We examined 67 fecal samples from captive and wild manatees to define the diagnostic stages of the parasite fauna known to occur in Florida manatees. Parasite eggs were freshly extracted ex utero from identified mature helminths and subsequently characterized, illustrated, and matched to those isolated from fecal samples. In addition, coccidian oocysts in the fecal samples were identified. These diagnostic stages included eggs from 5 species of trematodes (Chiorchis fabaceus, Chiorchis groschafti, Pulmonicola cochleotrema, Moniligerum blairi, and Nudacotyle undicola), 1 nematode (Heterocheilus tunicatus), and oocysts of 2 coccidians (Eimeria manatus and Eimeria nodulosa). PMID:24116863

  5. Conservative management of pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum in two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Sadler, Valerie M; Ball, Ray L

    2013-12-01

    Two distressed Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The first animal was determined to be an abandoned, emaciated calf. The second animal was a nursing calf that had sustained watercraft-related trauma. Both animals were captured and transported to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, where diagnostic evaluations, including physical examinations, blood work, computed tomography (CT), and radiographs were performed. Radiograph and CT scans identified the presence of free air within the pleural and abdominal cavities of both animals. Based on the lack of substantial findings in the first animal and a rapid resolution of clinical signs in the second animal, both animals were managed conservatively. This report documents simultaneous pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum, the associated clinical and diagnostic findings, and conservative medical management of these conditions in the Florida manatee.

  6. REPRODUCTIVE NEOPLASMS IN WILD AND LONG-TERM CAPTIVE FEMALE FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren N; Rotstein, David S; Ball, Ray L; Gerlach, Trevor J; Kinsel, Michael; Rodriguez, Maya; de Wit, Martine

    2015-12-01

    Few reports of neoplastic diseases in manatees exist in the veterinary literature. This case series presents reproductive neoplasia noted in eight wild and long-term captive female Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) obtained through carcass recovery and animal rehabilitation programs between April 2009 and May 2014. All cases were evaluated histologically, and diagnoses of uterine carcinoma (n = 1), granulosa cell tumor (n = 2), ovarian adnexal tumor (n = 1), and leiomyoma (n = 5) were made. The underlying cause of tumor development and effects on reproductive success is currently unknown, but possible asymmetric reproductive aging and/or a correlation between obesity and reproductive disorder in long-term nonreproductive female manatees are of interest and warrant further investigation.

  7. Temporal resolution of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) auditory system.

    PubMed

    Mann, David A; Colbert, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Casper, Brandon M; Cook, Mandy L H; Reep, Roger L; Bauer, Gordon B

    2005-10-01

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were measured in response to amplitude modulated tones. The AEP measurements showed weak responses to test stimuli from 4 kHz to 40 kHz. The manatee modulation rate transfer function (MRTF) is maximally sensitive to 150 and 600 Hz amplitude modulation (AM) rates. The 600 Hz AM rate is midway between the AM sensitivities of terrestrial mammals (chinchillas, gerbils, and humans) (80-150 Hz) and dolphins (1,000-1,200 Hz). Audiograms estimated from the input-output functions of the EPs greatly underestimate behavioral hearing thresholds measured in two other manatees. This underestimation is probably due to the electrodes being located several centimeters from the brain.

  8. PERMANENT GENETIC RESOURCES: Eighteen new polymorphic microsatellite markers for the endangered Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Tringali, Michael D; Seyoum, Seifu; Carney, Susan L; Davis, Michelle C; Rodriguez-Lopez, Marta A; Reynolds Iii, John E; Haubold, Elsa

    2008-03-01

    Here we describe 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci for Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee), isolated using a polymerase chain reaction-based technique. The number of alleles at each locus ranged from two to four (mean = 2.5) in specimens from southwest (n = 58) and northeast (n = 58) Florida. Expected and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.11 to 0.67 (mean = 0.35) and from 0.02 to 0.78 (mean = 0.34), respectively. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium occurred at two loci. There was no evidence of genotypic disequilibrium for any pair of loci. For individual identification, mean random-mating and θ-corrected match probabilities were 9.36 × 10(-7) and 1.95 × 10(-6) , respectively.

  9. ESTABLISHMENT OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC PARAMETERS OF CLINICALLY HEALTHY FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Lamb, Kenneth E; Ball, Ray L; de Wit, Martine; Walsh, Mike T

    2015-06-01

    A standardized echocardiographic technique was recently established for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). There are no available published data on normal echocardiographic parameters in any Sirenian species. The purpose of this study was to report reference parameters for various echocardiographic measurements. These parameters are intended to serve as a comparison for future research into the prevalence of cardiac diseases in the manatee and to aid in diagnosing animals with suspected cardiac disease in rehabilitation facilities. Annual health assessments of free-ranging manatees in Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, and pre-release health assessments of rehabilitated manatees at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo permitted comparison of echocardiographic measurements in adult (n=14), subadult (n=7), and calf (n=8) animals under manual restraint.

  10. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoa from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Miller, D L; Dougherty, M M; Decker, S J; Bossart, G D

    2001-08-01

    Semen was opportunistically collected from a free-ranging, 10-year-old, 275 cm (total length) Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) during rehabilitation treatments. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoa was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and differed slightly from that described for other mammals. Comparisons to the manatee's closest phylogenetic relatives, the elephant and hyrax, were made. The manatee spermatozoa had a similar acrosome but a distinct annulus and lacked the dense bodies observed in the neck of the elephant spermatozoa. Additionally, manatee spermatozoa lacked the lateral vacuoles observed in the nuclear chromatin from of the hyrax spermatozoa. These data add to our understanding of manatees and allow for comparative studies with other species that may be useful in phylogenetic and reproductive studies.

  11. CT scans and 3D reconstructions of Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) heads and ear bones.

    PubMed

    Chapla, Marie E; Nowacek, Douglas P; Rommel, Sentiel A; Sadler, Valerie M

    2007-06-01

    The auditory anatomy of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was investigated using computerized tomography (CT), three-dimensional reconstructions, and traditional dissection of heads removed during necropsy. The densities (kg/m3) of the soft tissues of the head were measured directly using the displacement method and those of the soft tissues and bone were calculated from CT measurements (Hounsfield units). The manatee's fatty tissue was significantly less dense than the other soft tissues within the head (p<0.05). The squamosal bone was significantly less dense than the other bones of the head (p<0.05). Measurements of the ear bones (tympanic, periotic, malleus, incus, and stapes) collected during dissection revealed that the ossicular chain was overly massive for the mass of the tympanoperiotic complex.

  12. PERMANENT GENETIC RESOURCES: Eighteen new polymorphic microsatellite markers for the endangered Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Tringali, Michael D; Seyoum, Seifu; Carney, Susan L; Davis, Michelle C; Rodriguez-Lopez, Marta A; Reynolds Iii, John E; Haubold, Elsa

    2008-03-01

    Here we describe 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci for Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee), isolated using a polymerase chain reaction-based technique. The number of alleles at each locus ranged from two to four (mean = 2.5) in specimens from southwest (n = 58) and northeast (n = 58) Florida. Expected and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.11 to 0.67 (mean = 0.35) and from 0.02 to 0.78 (mean = 0.34), respectively. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium occurred at two loci. There was no evidence of genotypic disequilibrium for any pair of loci. For individual identification, mean random-mating and θ-corrected match probabilities were 9.36 × 10(-7) and 1.95 × 10(-6) , respectively. PMID:21585782

  13. CT scans and 3D reconstructions of Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) heads and ear bones.

    PubMed

    Chapla, Marie E; Nowacek, Douglas P; Rommel, Sentiel A; Sadler, Valerie M

    2007-06-01

    The auditory anatomy of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was investigated using computerized tomography (CT), three-dimensional reconstructions, and traditional dissection of heads removed during necropsy. The densities (kg/m3) of the soft tissues of the head were measured directly using the displacement method and those of the soft tissues and bone were calculated from CT measurements (Hounsfield units). The manatee's fatty tissue was significantly less dense than the other soft tissues within the head (p<0.05). The squamosal bone was significantly less dense than the other bones of the head (p<0.05). Measurements of the ear bones (tympanic, periotic, malleus, incus, and stapes) collected during dissection revealed that the ossicular chain was overly massive for the mass of the tympanoperiotic complex. PMID:17420106

  14. REPRODUCTIVE NEOPLASMS IN WILD AND LONG-TERM CAPTIVE FEMALE FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren N; Rotstein, David S; Ball, Ray L; Gerlach, Trevor J; Kinsel, Michael; Rodriguez, Maya; de Wit, Martine

    2015-12-01

    Few reports of neoplastic diseases in manatees exist in the veterinary literature. This case series presents reproductive neoplasia noted in eight wild and long-term captive female Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) obtained through carcass recovery and animal rehabilitation programs between April 2009 and May 2014. All cases were evaluated histologically, and diagnoses of uterine carcinoma (n = 1), granulosa cell tumor (n = 2), ovarian adnexal tumor (n = 1), and leiomyoma (n = 5) were made. The underlying cause of tumor development and effects on reproductive success is currently unknown, but possible asymmetric reproductive aging and/or a correlation between obesity and reproductive disorder in long-term nonreproductive female manatees are of interest and warrant further investigation. PMID:26667547

  15. ESTABLISHMENT OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC PARAMETERS OF CLINICALLY HEALTHY FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Lamb, Kenneth E; Ball, Ray L; de Wit, Martine; Walsh, Mike T

    2015-06-01

    A standardized echocardiographic technique was recently established for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). There are no available published data on normal echocardiographic parameters in any Sirenian species. The purpose of this study was to report reference parameters for various echocardiographic measurements. These parameters are intended to serve as a comparison for future research into the prevalence of cardiac diseases in the manatee and to aid in diagnosing animals with suspected cardiac disease in rehabilitation facilities. Annual health assessments of free-ranging manatees in Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, and pre-release health assessments of rehabilitated manatees at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo permitted comparison of echocardiographic measurements in adult (n=14), subadult (n=7), and calf (n=8) animals under manual restraint. PMID:26056870

  16. Conservative management of pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum in two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Sadler, Valerie M; Ball, Ray L

    2013-12-01

    Two distressed Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The first animal was determined to be an abandoned, emaciated calf. The second animal was a nursing calf that had sustained watercraft-related trauma. Both animals were captured and transported to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, where diagnostic evaluations, including physical examinations, blood work, computed tomography (CT), and radiographs were performed. Radiograph and CT scans identified the presence of free air within the pleural and abdominal cavities of both animals. Based on the lack of substantial findings in the first animal and a rapid resolution of clinical signs in the second animal, both animals were managed conservatively. This report documents simultaneous pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum, the associated clinical and diagnostic findings, and conservative medical management of these conditions in the Florida manatee. PMID:24450060

  17. First report of a Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Cuba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alvarez-Aleman, Anmari; Beck, Cathy A.; Powell, James A.

    2010-01-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Florida utilize intake and effluent canals of power plants as resting and thermoregulatory habitat. We report the use of a power plant canal in Cuba by a known Florida manatee, the first documented case of movement by a manatee between Florida and Cuba. In January, February, and April 2007, two manatees (mother and calf) were reported entering a power plant canal in north Havana, Cuba. The larger manatee had several distinctive scars which were photographed. Digital images were matched to a previously known Florida manatee (CR131) with a sighting history dating from December 1979 to July 2006. Exchanges of individuals between Florida and Cuba may have important genetic implications, particularly since there appears to be little genetic exchange between the Florida manatee subspecies with populations of the Antillean manatee subspecies (T. m. manatus) in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

  18. A first generation cytogenetic ideogram for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) based on multiple chromosome banding techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, B.A.; Zori, Roberto T.; McGuire, P.M.; Bonde, R.K.

    2002-01-01

    Detailed chromosome studies were conducted for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) utilizing primary chromosome banding techniques (G- and Q-banding). Digital microscopic imaging methods were employed and a standard G-banded karyotype was constructed for both sexes. Based on chromosome banding patterns and measurements obtained in these studies, a standard karyotype and ideogram are proposed. Characterization of additional cytogenetic features of this species by supplemental chromosome banding techniques, C-banding (constitutive heterochromatin), Ag-NOR staining (nucleolar organizer regions), and DA/DAPI staining, was also performed. These studies provide detailed cytogenetic data for T. manatus latirostris, which could enhance future genetic mapping projects and interspecific and intraspecific genomic comparisons by techniques such as zoo-FISH.

  19. Molecular characterization of novel mucosotropic papillomaviruses from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    We isolated two new manatee papillomavirus (PV) types, TmPV3 and TmPV4, from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Two PV types were previously isolated from this species. TmPV1 is widely dispersed amongst manatees and a close-to-root PV; not much is known about TmPV2. The genomes of TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 7622 and 7771 bp in size, respectively. Both PVs had a genomic organization characteristic of all PVs, with one non-coding region and seven ORFs, including the E7 ORF that is absent in other cetacean PVs. Although these PVs were isolated from separate genital lesions of the same manatee, an enlarged E2/E4 ORF was found only in the TmPV4 genome. The full genome and L1 sequence similarities between TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 63.2 and 70.3 %, respectively. These genomes shared only 49.1 and 50.2 % similarity with TmPV1. The pairwise alignment of L1 nucleotide sequences indicated that the two new PVs nested in a monophyletic group of the genus Rhopapillomavirus, together with the cutaneotropic TmPV1 and TmPV2.

  20. Gross and microscopic observations on the lingual structure of the Florida Manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Levin, M J; Pfeiffer, C J

    2002-10-01

    The tongue of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was studied macroscopically, light and electron microscopically. The tongue was slender, muscular and firmly fixed in the oral cavity; only the cranial tip was free and mobile. Numerous filiform papillae were distributed over the dorsal surface of the rostral tongue. Multiple raised, round fungiform-like papillae were distributed over most of the dorsum. Typical fungiform papillae were restricted to the lateral margins of the tongue. Foliate papillae, presenting as multi-fossulate openings, were noted on the caudolateral margins. Open pits were located on the dorsocaudal surface and lateral walls. Microscopic examination showed that most of the lingual dorsum was covered with a thick stratified squamous epithelium. Open pits led to well-developed mucous salivary glands. Glands within the foliate papillae were mostly mucous, although some seromucous glands were present. Taste buds were restricted to the epithelium of the foliate papillae. Throughout the tongue, striated muscle was abundant below the epithelium. Blood vessels, lymph channels and nerve fibres were freely distributed throughout the intermuscular stroma. Nerve fibres reacted positively with neurone specific enolase (NSE) antibody throughout the tongue, including nerve bundles, glands and taste buds. Clear to translucent vacuoles were found juxtaposed to nuclei in the stratum spinosum in the foliate papillae epithelium.

  1. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal E; Hall, Jeffery O; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A; Bonde, Robert K; Heard, Darryl

    2013-06-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P < 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P < or = 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P < or = 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation.

  2. Vertebral anatomy in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: a developmental and evolutionary analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Booth, Amy C; Webbink, Katherine E

    2007-06-01

    The vertebral column of the Florida manatee presents an unusual suite of morphological traits. Key among these are a small precaudal count, elongate thoracic vertebrae, extremely short neural spines, lack of a sacral series, high lumbar variability, and the presence of six instead of seven cervical vertebrae. This study documents vertebral morphology, size, and lumbar variation in 71 skeletons of Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee) and uses the skeletons of Trichechus senegalensis (west African manatee) and Dugong dugon (dugong) in comparative analysis. Vertebral traits are used to define morphological, and by inference developmental, column modules and to propose their hierarchical relationships. A sequence of evolutionary innovations in column morphology is proposed. Results suggest that the origin of the fluke and low rates of cervical growth originated before separation of trichechids (manatees) and dugongids (dugongs). Meristic reduction in count is a later, trichechid innovation and is expressed across the entire precaudal column. Elongation of thoracic vertebrae may be an innovative strategy to generate an elongate column in an animal with a small precaudal count. Elimination of the lumbus through both meristic and homeotic reduction is currently in progress.

  3. Low-frequency vocalizations in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Katherine; Frisch, Stefan

    2003-10-01

    Vocalizations produced by Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have been characterized as being of relatively high frequency, with fundamental tones ranging from 2500-5000 Hz. These sounds have been variously described as squeaks, squeals, and chirps. Vocalizations below 500 Hz have not been previously reported. Two captive-born Florida manatees were recorded at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. The analysis of these vocalizations provides evidence of a new category of low-frequency sounds produced by manatees. These sounds are often heard in conjunction with higher-frequency vocalizations. The low-frequency vocalizations are relatively brief and of low amplitude. These vocalizations are perceived as a series of impulses rather than a low-frequency periodic tone. Knowledge of these low-frequency vocalizations could be useful to those developing future management strategies. Interest has recently increased in the development of acoustic detection and deterrence devices to reduce the number of manatee watercraft interactions. The design of appropriate devices must take into account the apparent ability of manatees to perceive and produce sounds of both high and low frequency. It is also important to consider the possibility that acoustic deterrence devices may disrupt the potentially communicative frequencies of manatee vocalizations.

  4. Vascular adaptations for heat conservation in the tail of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, Sentiel A; Caplan, Heather

    2003-04-01

    Although Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low basal metabolic rates for aquatic mammals of their size, they maintain normal mammalian core temperatures. We describe vascular structures in the manatee tail that permit countercurrent heat exchange (CCHE) to conserve thermal energy. Approximately 1000 arteries juxtaposed to 2000 veins are found at the cranial end of the caudal vascular bundle (CVB); these numbers decrease caudally, but the 1:2 ratio of arteries to veins persists. Arterial walls are relatively thin when compared to those previously described in vascular countercurrent heat exchangers in cetaceans. It is assumed that CCHE in the CVB helps manatees to maintain core temperatures. Activity in warm water, however, mandates a mechanism that prevents elevated core temperatures. The tail could transfer heat to the environment if arterial blood delivered to the skin were warmer than the surrounding water; unfortunately, CCHE prevents this heat transfer. We describe deep caudal veins that provide a collateral venous return from the tail. This return, which is physically outside the CVB, reduces the venous volume within the bundle and allows arterial expansion and increased arterial supply to the skin, and thus helps prevent elevated core temperatures.

  5. Characterization of kidney epithelial cells from the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Sweat JMDunigan, D D; Wright, S D

    2001-06-01

    The West-Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a herbivorous marine mammal found in the coastal waters of Florida. Because of their endangered status, animal experimentation is not allowed. Therefore, a cell line was developed and characterized from tissue collected during necropsies of the manatees. A primary cell culture was established by isolating single cells from kidney tissue using both enzymatic and mechanical techniques. Primary manatee kidney (MK) cells were subcultured for characterization. These cells were morphologically similar to the cell lines of epithelial origin. An immunocytochemistry assay was used to localize the cytokeratin filaments common to cells of epithelial origin. At second passage, epithelial-like cells had an average population-doubling time of 48 h, had an optimum seeding density of 5 x 10(3) cells/cm2, and readily attached to plastic culture plates with a high level of seeding efficiency. Although the epithelial-like cells had a rapid growth rate during the first three passages, the cloning potential was low. These cells did not form colonies in agar medium, were serum dependent, had a limited life span of approximately nine passages, and possessed cell-contact inhibition. These data suggest that the cells were finite (noncontinuous growth), did not possess transformed properties, and were of epithelial origin. These cells are now referred to as MK epithelial cells.

  6. Seroepidemiology of TmPV1 infection in captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Donà, Maria Gabriella; Rehtanz, Manuela; Adimey, Nicole M; Bossart, Gregory D; Jenson, Alfred B; Bonde, Robert K; Ghim, Shin-je

    2011-07-01

    In 1997, cutaneous papillomatosis caused by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris [Tm]) papillomavirus 1 (TmPV1) was detected in seven captive manatees at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida, USA, and, subsequently, in two wild manatees from the adjacent Homosassa River. Since then, papillomatosis has been reported in captive manatees housed in other locations, but not in wild animals. To determine TmPV1 antibody prevalence in captive and wild manatees sampled at various locations throughout Florida coastal regions, virus-like particles, composed of the L1 capsid protein of TmPV1, were generated with a baculovirus expression system and used to measure anti-TmPV1 antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serologic analysis of 156 manatees revealed a TmPV1 antibody prevalence of 26.3%, with no significant difference between captive (n=39) and wild (n=117) manatees (28.2% and 25.6%, respectively). No antibody-positive wild animal showed PV-induced cutaneous lesions, whereas papillomatosis was observed in 72.7% of antibody-positive captive manatees. Our data indicate that Florida manatees living in the wild are naturally infected by TmPV1 but rarely show TmPV1-induced papillomatosis. Hence, it appears that the wild population would not be harmed in a case of contact with captive animals without visible lesions and productive infections, which could be thus released into the wild.

  7. Ganglion cell distribution and retinal resolution in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Mass, Alla M; Ketten, Darlene R; Odell, Daniel K; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2012-01-01

    The topographic organization of retinal ganglion cells was examined in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to assess ganglion cell size and distribution and to estimate retinal resolution. The ganglion cell layer of the manatee's retina was comprised primarily of large neurons with broad intercellular spaces. Cell sizes varied from 10 to 60 μm in diameter (mean 24.3 μm). The retinal wholemounts from adult animals measured 446-501 mm(2) in area with total ganglion cell counts of 62,000-81,800 (mean 70,200). The cell density changed across the retina, with the maximum in the area below the optic disc and decreasing toward the retinal edges and in the immediate vicinity of the optic disc. The maximum cell density ranged from 235 to 337 cells per millimeter square in the adult retinae. Two wholemounts obtained from juvenile animals were 271 and 282 mm(2) in area with total cell numbers of 70,900 and 68,700, respectively (mean 69,800), that is, nearly equivalent to those of adults, but juvenile retinae consequently had maximum cell densities that were higher than those of adults: 478 and 491 cells per millimeter square. Calculations indicate a retinal resolution of ∼19' (1.6 cycles per degree) in both adult and juvenile retinae.

  8. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  9. Brevetoxicosis in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) from the 1996 epizootic: gross, histologic, and immunohistochemical features.

    PubMed

    Bossart, G D; Baden, D G; Ewing, R Y; Roberts, B; Wright, S D

    1998-01-01

    In 1996, at least 149 manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) died in an unprecedented epizootic along the southwest coast of Florida. At about the same time, a bloom of the brevetoxin-producing dinoflagellates, Gymnodinium breve, was present in the same area. Grossly, severe nasopharyngeal, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, and cerebral congestion was present in all cases. Nasopharyngeal and pulmonary edema and hemorrhage were also seen. Consistent microscopic lesions consisted of catarrhal rhinitis, pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, multiorgan hemosiderosis, and nonsuppurative leptomeningitis. Immunohistochemical staining using a polyclonal primary antibody to brevetoxin (GAB) showed intense positive staining of lymphocytes and macrophages in the lung, liver, and secondary lymphoid tissues. Additionally, lymphocytes and macrophages associated with the inflammatory lesions of the nasal mucosa and meninges were also positive for brevetoxin. These findings implicate brevetoxicosis as a component of and the likely primary etiology for the epizootic. The data suggest that mortality resulting from brevetoxicosis may not necessarily be acute but may occur after chronic inhalation and/or ingestion. Immunohistochemical staining with interleukin-1-beta-converting enzyme showed positive staining with a cellular tropism similar to GAB. This suggests that brevetoxicosis may initiate apoptosis and/or the release of inflammatory mediators that culminate in fatal toxic shock.

  10. Seroepidemiology of TmPV1 infection in captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dona, Maria Gabriella; Rehtanz, Manuela; Adimey, Nicole M.; Bossart, Gregory D.; Jenson, Alfred B.; Bonde, Robert K.; Ghim, Shin-je

    2011-01-01

    In 1997, cutaneous papillomatosis caused by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris [Tm]) papillomavirus 1 (TmPV1) was detected in seven captive manatees at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida, USA, and, subsequently, in two wild manatees from the adjacent Homosassa River. Since then, papillomatosis has been reported in captive manatees housed in other locations, but not in wild animals. To determine TmPV1 antibody prevalence in captive and wild manatees sampled at various locations throughout Florida coastal regions, virus-like particles, composed of the L1 capsid protein of TmPV1, were generated with a baculovirus expression system and used to measure anti-TmPV1 antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serologic analysis of 156 manatees revealed a TmPV1 antibody prevalence of 26.3%, with no significant difference between captive (n=39) and wild (n=117) manatees (28.2% and 25.6%, respectively). No antibody-positive wild animal showed PV-induced cutaneous lesions, whereas papillomatosis was observed in 72.7% of antibody-positive captive manatees. Our data indicate that Florida manatees living in the wild are naturally infected by TmPV1 but rarely show TmPV1-induced papillomatosis. Hence, it appears that the wild population would not be harmed in a case of contact with captive animals without visible lesions and productive infections, which could be thus released into the wild.

  11. Population viability analysis of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 1976-1991

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marmontel, M.; Humphrey, S.R.; O'Shea, T.J.

    1997-01-01

    Recent development of age-determination techniques for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has permitted derivation of age-specific data on reproduction and survival of a sample of 1212 carcasses obtained throughout Florida from 1976–1991. Population viability analysis using these data projects a slightly negative growth rate (−0.003) and an unacceptably low probability of persistence (0.44) over 1000 years. The main factors affecting population projections were adult survival and fecundity. A 10% increase in adult mortality would drive the population to extinction over a 1000-year time scale, whereas a 10% decrease in adult mortality would allow slow population growth. A 10% decrease in reproduction would also result in extinction. We conclude that management must focus on retaining and improving the conditions under which manatee demography operates. The major identified agent of mortality is boat-manatee collisions, and rapidly increasing numbers of humans and registered boats portend an increase in manatee mortality. Zoning of manatee-occupied waters for reductions in boating activity and speed is essential to safeguard the manatee population. If boating regulations being implemented by the state of Florida in each of 13 key coastal counties are completed, enforced, and effective, manatees and human recreation could coexist indefinitely. If regulation is unsuccessful, the Florida manatee population is likely to decline slowly toward extinction.

  12. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction. PMID:17315428

  13. Vertebral anatomy in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: a developmental and evolutionary analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Booth, Amy C; Webbink, Katherine E

    2007-06-01

    The vertebral column of the Florida manatee presents an unusual suite of morphological traits. Key among these are a small precaudal count, elongate thoracic vertebrae, extremely short neural spines, lack of a sacral series, high lumbar variability, and the presence of six instead of seven cervical vertebrae. This study documents vertebral morphology, size, and lumbar variation in 71 skeletons of Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee) and uses the skeletons of Trichechus senegalensis (west African manatee) and Dugong dugon (dugong) in comparative analysis. Vertebral traits are used to define morphological, and by inference developmental, column modules and to propose their hierarchical relationships. A sequence of evolutionary innovations in column morphology is proposed. Results suggest that the origin of the fluke and low rates of cervical growth originated before separation of trichechids (manatees) and dugongids (dugongs). Meristic reduction in count is a later, trichechid innovation and is expressed across the entire precaudal column. Elongation of thoracic vertebrae may be an innovative strategy to generate an elongate column in an animal with a small precaudal count. Elimination of the lumbus through both meristic and homeotic reduction is currently in progress. PMID:17516429

  14. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Estrada, A.; Bonde, R.K.; Wong, A.; Estrada, D.J.; Harr, K.

    2006-01-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  15. Diaphragm structure and function in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, S; Reynolds, J E

    2000-05-01

    Relative to many other mammals, little is known about the functional morphology of the four extant species of the order Sirenia. In this study, 166 Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) carcasses fresh enough to collect detailed anatomical information were examined to describe the gross anatomy of the diaphragm. Our results show that the Florida manatee's diaphragm differs from those of other mammals in that it: lies in a dorsal plane, rather than in the more typical transverse plane; is located dorsal to the heart and does not attach to the sternum; and attaches medially at the "I"-shaped central tendon to bony projections extending ventrally from the vertebral bodies, forming two distinct hemidiaphragms. The manatee's transverse septum is a separate structure that lies at a right angle to the diaphragm and separates the heart from the liver and other viscera. The extreme muscularity of the diaphragm and the ability of manatees to adjust their position in the water column with minimal external movement suggest that diaphragmatic contractions may change the volume of each pleural cavity to affect buoyancy, roll, and pitch. We also hypothesize that such contractions, in concert with contractions of powerful abdominal muscles, may compress gas in the massive large intestine, and thereby also contribute to buoyancy control.

  16. Molecular characterization of novel mucosotropic papillomaviruses from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    We isolated two new manatee papillomavirus (PV) types, TmPV3 and TmPV4, from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Two PV types were previously isolated from this species. TmPV1 is widely dispersed amongst manatees and a close-to-root PV; not much is known about TmPV2. The genomes of TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 7622 and 7771 bp in size, respectively. Both PVs had a genomic organization characteristic of all PVs, with one non-coding region and seven ORFs, including the E7 ORF that is absent in other cetacean PVs. Although these PVs were isolated from separate genital lesions of the same manatee, an enlarged E2/E4 ORF was found only in the TmPV4 genome. The full genome and L1 sequence similarities between TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 63.2 and 70.3 %, respectively. These genomes shared only 49.1 and 50.2 % similarity with TmPV1. The pairwise alignment of L1 nucleotide sequences indicated that the two new PVs nested in a monophyletic group of the genus Rhopapillomavirus, together with the cutaneotropic TmPV1 and TmPV2. PMID:26395390

  17. Ganglion cell distribution and retinal resolution in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Mass, Alla M; Ketten, Darlene R; Odell, Daniel K; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2012-01-01

    The topographic organization of retinal ganglion cells was examined in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to assess ganglion cell size and distribution and to estimate retinal resolution. The ganglion cell layer of the manatee's retina was comprised primarily of large neurons with broad intercellular spaces. Cell sizes varied from 10 to 60 μm in diameter (mean 24.3 μm). The retinal wholemounts from adult animals measured 446-501 mm(2) in area with total ganglion cell counts of 62,000-81,800 (mean 70,200). The cell density changed across the retina, with the maximum in the area below the optic disc and decreasing toward the retinal edges and in the immediate vicinity of the optic disc. The maximum cell density ranged from 235 to 337 cells per millimeter square in the adult retinae. Two wholemounts obtained from juvenile animals were 271 and 282 mm(2) in area with total cell numbers of 70,900 and 68,700, respectively (mean 69,800), that is, nearly equivalent to those of adults, but juvenile retinae consequently had maximum cell densities that were higher than those of adults: 478 and 491 cells per millimeter square. Calculations indicate a retinal resolution of ∼19' (1.6 cycles per degree) in both adult and juvenile retinae. PMID:21964938

  18. Seroepidemiology of TmPV1 infection in captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Donà, Maria Gabriella; Rehtanz, Manuela; Adimey, Nicole M; Bossart, Gregory D; Jenson, Alfred B; Bonde, Robert K; Ghim, Shin-je

    2011-07-01

    In 1997, cutaneous papillomatosis caused by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris [Tm]) papillomavirus 1 (TmPV1) was detected in seven captive manatees at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida, USA, and, subsequently, in two wild manatees from the adjacent Homosassa River. Since then, papillomatosis has been reported in captive manatees housed in other locations, but not in wild animals. To determine TmPV1 antibody prevalence in captive and wild manatees sampled at various locations throughout Florida coastal regions, virus-like particles, composed of the L1 capsid protein of TmPV1, were generated with a baculovirus expression system and used to measure anti-TmPV1 antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serologic analysis of 156 manatees revealed a TmPV1 antibody prevalence of 26.3%, with no significant difference between captive (n=39) and wild (n=117) manatees (28.2% and 25.6%, respectively). No antibody-positive wild animal showed PV-induced cutaneous lesions, whereas papillomatosis was observed in 72.7% of antibody-positive captive manatees. Our data indicate that Florida manatees living in the wild are naturally infected by TmPV1 but rarely show TmPV1-induced papillomatosis. Hence, it appears that the wild population would not be harmed in a case of contact with captive animals without visible lesions and productive infections, which could be thus released into the wild. PMID:21719832

  19. Vascular adaptations for heat conservation in the tail of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, Sentiel A; Caplan, Heather

    2003-04-01

    Although Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low basal metabolic rates for aquatic mammals of their size, they maintain normal mammalian core temperatures. We describe vascular structures in the manatee tail that permit countercurrent heat exchange (CCHE) to conserve thermal energy. Approximately 1000 arteries juxtaposed to 2000 veins are found at the cranial end of the caudal vascular bundle (CVB); these numbers decrease caudally, but the 1:2 ratio of arteries to veins persists. Arterial walls are relatively thin when compared to those previously described in vascular countercurrent heat exchangers in cetaceans. It is assumed that CCHE in the CVB helps manatees to maintain core temperatures. Activity in warm water, however, mandates a mechanism that prevents elevated core temperatures. The tail could transfer heat to the environment if arterial blood delivered to the skin were warmer than the surrounding water; unfortunately, CCHE prevents this heat transfer. We describe deep caudal veins that provide a collateral venous return from the tail. This return, which is physically outside the CVB, reduces the venous volume within the bundle and allows arterial expansion and increased arterial supply to the skin, and thus helps prevent elevated core temperatures. PMID:12739612

  20. Status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Martin, Julien; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    The endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), especially the Florida subspecies (T. m. latirostris), has been the focus of conservation efforts and extensive research since its listing under the Endangered Species Act. On the basis of the best information available as of December 2012, the threats facing the Florida manatee were determined to be less severe than previously thought, either because the conservation efforts have been successful, or because our knowledge of the demographic effects of those threats is increased, or both. Using the manatee Core Biological Model, we estimated the probability of the Florida manatee population on either the Atlantic or Gulf coast falling below 500 adults in the next 150 years to be 0.92 percent. The primary threats remain watercraft-related mortality and long-term loss of warm-water habitat. Since 2009, however, there have been a number of unusual events that have not yet been incorporated into this analysis, including several severely cold winters, a severe red-tide die off, and substantial loss of seagrass habitat in Brevard County, Fla. Further, the version of the Core Biological Model used in 2012 makes a number of assumptions that are under investigation. A revision of the Core Biological Model and an update of this quantitative threats analysis are underway as of 2015.

  1. Digestive efficiencies of ex situ and in situ West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Worthy, Graham A J; Worthy, Tamara A M

    2014-01-01

    Digestive efficiencies (Dm) of ex situ and in situ manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were, for the first time, assessed using manganese (Mn(2+)) as a naturally occurring marker. The Dm of ex situ manatees determined using [Mn(2+)] did not differ significantly from the Dm assessed using lignin, supporting the efficacy of the manganese approach. Gastrointestinal tract samples, obtained from recently dead animals, showed [Mn(2+)] concentrations were lowest in the stomach and remained low in the duodenum and small intestine but increased in the cecum, colon, and rectum, consistent with colonic digestion and absorption. In situ manatees consuming marine vegetation had significantly lower Dm (mean ± SE, 46.9% ± 1.8%; n=8) than did in situ manatees consuming freshwater vegetation (77.8% ± 2.6%; n=7), which in turn had significantly lower values than did ex situ manatees consuming lettuce (84.0% ± 0.7%; n=37). In situ manatees eating seagrasses had significantly higher Dm than did long-term ex situ animals consuming seagrass for short periods of time (46.9% ± 1.8% vs. 36.2% ± 1.2%, respectively), suggesting potential modification of gut flora over time. One significant ramification of our results is that manatees consuming seagrasses would require a greater standing biomass to support their needs than would be required if they were eating freshwater vegetation. This reinforces the critical need to implement habitat conservation and protection before considering downlisting or delisting manatees as an endangered species.

  2. Four-choice sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Colbert, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger; Mann, David A; Bauer, Gordon B

    2009-07-01

    The absolute sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were measured using a four-choice discrimination paradigm, with test locations positioned at 45 deg., 90 deg., 270 deg. and 315 deg. angles relative to subjects facing 0 deg. Three broadband signals were tested at four durations (200, 500, 1000, 3000 ms), including a stimulus that spanned a wide range of frequencies (0.2-20 kHz), one stimulus that was restricted to frequencies with wavelengths shorter than their interaural time distances (6-20 kHz) and one that was limited to those with wavelengths longer than their interaural time distances (0.2-2 kHz). Two 3000 ms tonal signals were tested, including a 4 kHz stimulus, which is the midpoint of the 2.5-5.9 kHz fundamental frequency range of manatee vocalizations and a 16 kHz stimulus, which is in the range of manatee best-hearing sensitivity. Percentage correct within the broadband conditions ranged from 79% to 93% for Subject 1 and from 51% to 93% for Subject 2. Both performed above chance with the tonal signals but had much lower accuracy than with broadband signals, with Subject 1 at 44% and 33% and Subject 2 at 49% and 32% at the 4 kHz and 16 kHz conditions, respectively. These results demonstrate that manatees are able to localize frequency bands with wavelengths that are both shorter and longer than their interaural time distances and suggest that they have the ability to localize both manatee vocalizations and recreational boat engine noises.

  3. Swimming kinematics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): hydrodynamic analysis of an undulatory mammalian swimmer.

    PubMed

    Kojeszewski, Tricia; Fish, Frank E

    2007-07-01

    The submerged swimming of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, was studied by filming individuals as they swam rectilinearly in a large pool at several rehabilitation centers. The swimming was analyzed using videography to detail the kinematics in conjunction with a hydromechanical model to determine the power output (P(t)) and propulsive efficiency (eta(p)). Manatees swam at velocities of 0.06-1.14 m s(-1). Locomotion was accomplished by undulation of the body and caudal fluke. Undulatory locomotion is a rapid and relatively high-powered propulsive mode involved in cruising and migrating by a variety of swimmers. Manatees displayed an undulatory swimming mode by passing a dorso-ventrally oriented traveling wave posteriorly along the body. The propulsive wave traveled at a higher velocity than the forward velocity of the animal. The frequency of the propulsive cycle (f) increased linearly with increasing swimming velocity (U). Amplitude at the tip of the caudal fluke (A) remained constant with respect to U and was 22% of body length. P(t) increased curvilinearly with U. The mean eta(p), expressing the relationship of the thrust power generated by the paddle-shaped caudal fluke to the total mechanical power, was 0.73. The maximum eta(p) was 0.82 at 0.95 m s(-1). Despite use of a primitive undulatory swimming mode and paddle-like fluke for propulsion, the manatee is capable of swimming with a high efficiency but lower power outputs compared with the oscillatory movements of the high-aspect ratio flukes of cetaceans. The swimming performance of the manatee is in accordance with its habits as an aquatic grazer that seasonally migrates over extended distances.

  4. Comparison of methods used to diagnose generalized inflammatory disease in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal; Harvey, John; Bonde, Robert; Murphy, David; Lowe, Mark; Menchaca, Maya; Haubold, Elsa; Francis-Floyd, Ruth

    2006-06-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are afflicted with inflammatory and infectious disease secondary to human interaction, such as boat strike and entanglement, as well as "cold stress syndrome" and pneumonia. White-blood-cell count and fever, primary indicators of systemic inflammation in most species, are insensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease in manatees. Acute phase-response proteins, such as haptoglobin and serum amyloid A, have proven to be sensitive measures of inflammation/infection in domestic large animal species. This study assessed diagnosis of generalized inflammatory disease by different methods including total white-blood-cell count, albumin: globulin ratio, gel electrophoresis analysis, C-reactive protein, alpha, acid glycoprotein, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A. Samples were collected from 71 apparently healthy and 27 diseased animals during diagnostic medical examination. Serum amyloid A, measured by ELISA, followed by albumin:globulin ratio, measured by plasma gel electrophoresis, were most sensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease, with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90%. The reference interval for serum amyloid A is <10-50 microg/ml with an equivocal interval of 51-70 microg/ml. The reference interval for albumin:globulin ratio by plasma gel electrophoresis is 0.7-1.1. Albumin: globulin ratio, calculated using biochemical techniques, was not accurate due to overestimation of albumin by bromcresol green dye-binding methodology. Albumin:globulin ratio, measured by serum gel electrophoresis, has a low sensitivity of 15% due to the lack of fibrinogen in the sample. Haptoglobin, measured by hemoglobin titration, had a reference interval of 0.4-2.4 mg/ml, a diagnostic sensitivity of 60%, and a diagnostic specificity of 93%. The haptoglobin assay is significantly affected by hemolysis. Fibrinogen, measured by heat precipitation, has a reference interval of 100-400 mg/dl, a diagnostic sensitivity

  5. Audiogram and auditory critical ratios of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2012-05-01

    Manatees inhabit turbid, shallow-water environments and have been shown to have poor visual acuity. Previous studies on hearing have demonstrated that manatees possess good hearing and sound localization abilities. The goals of this research were to determine the hearing abilities of two captive subjects and measure critical ratios to understand the capacity of manatees to detect tonal signals, such as manatee vocalizations, in the presence of noise. This study was also undertaken to better understand individual variability, which has been encountered during behavioral research with manatees. Two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were tested in a go/no-go paradigm using a modified staircase method, with incorporated 'catch' trials at a 1:1 ratio, to assess their ability to detect single-frequency tonal stimuli. The behavioral audiograms indicated that the manatees' auditory frequency detection for tonal stimuli ranged from 0.25 to 90.5 kHz, with peak sensitivity extending from 8 to 32 kHz. Critical ratios, thresholds for tone detection in the presence of background masking noise, were determined with one-octave wide noise bands, 7-12 dB (spectrum level) above the thresholds determined for the audiogram under quiet conditions. Manatees appear to have quite low critical ratios, especially at 8 kHz, where the ratio was 18.3 dB for one manatee. This suggests that manatee hearing is sensitive in the presence of background noise and that they may have relatively narrow filters in the tested frequency range.

  6. Topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christopher D; Vaughn, Susan D; Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) possess modified vibrissae that are used in conjunction with specialized perioral musculature to manipulate vegetation for ingestion, and aid in the tactile exploration of their environment. Therefore it is expected that manatees possess a large facial motor nucleus that exhibits a complex organization relative to other taxa. The topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus of five adult Florida manatees was analyzed using neuroanatomical methods. Cresyl violet and hematoxylin staining were used to localize the rostrocaudal extent of the facial motor nucleus as well as the organization and location of subdivisions within this nucleus. Differences in size, length, and organization of the facial motor nucleus among mammals correspond to the functional importance of the superficial facial muscles, including perioral musculature involved in the movement of mystacial vibrissae. The facial motor nucleus of Florida manatees was divided into seven subnuclei. The mean rostrocaudal length, width, and height of the entire Florida manatee facial motor nucleus was 6.6 mm (SD 8 0.51; range: 6.2-7.5 mm), 4.7 mm (SD 8 0.65; range: 4.0-5.6 mm), and 3.9 mm (SD 8 0.26; range: 3.5-4.2 mm), respectively. It is speculated that manatees could possess direct descending corticomotorneuron projections to the facial motornucleus. This conjecture is based on recent data for rodents, similiarities in the rodent and sirenian muscular-vibrissal complex, and the analogous nature of the sirenian cortical Rindenkerne system with the rodent barrel system.

  7. Production of nitric oxide by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Stuckey, Joyce E; Cox, Heather; Smith, Brett; Funke, Christina; Stott, Jeff; Colle, Clarence; Gaspard, Joseph; Manire, Charles A

    2007-08-15

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are exposed to many conditions in their habitat that may adversely impact health and impair immune function in this endangered species. In an effort to increase the current knowledge base regarding the manatee immune system, the production of an important reactive nitrogen intermediate, nitric oxide (NO), by manatee peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was investigated. PBMC from healthy captive manatees were stimulated with LPS, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha, either alone or in various combinations, with NO production assessed after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h of culture. NO production in response to LPS stimulation was significantly greater after 48, 72, or 96 h of culture compared to NO production after 24h of culture. A specific inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), L-NIL (L-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl)lysine), significantly decreased NO production by LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC. Manatee specific oligonucleotide primers for iNOS were designed to measure expression of relative amounts of mRNA in LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC from captive manatees. NO production by PBMC from manatees exposed to red tide toxins was analyzed, with significantly greater NO production by both unstimulated and LPS stimulated PBMC from red tide exposed compared with healthy captive or cold-stress manatees. Free-ranging manatees produced significantly lower amounts of nitric oxide compared to either captive or red tide rescued manatees. Results presented in this paper contribute to the current understanding of manatee immune function and represent the first report of nitric oxide production in the immune system of a marine mammal.

  8. Effects of environmental stressors on lymphocyte proliferation in Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Cathy J; Luer, Carl A; Noyes, David R

    2005-02-10

    The health of many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is adversely affected each year by exposure to cold weather or harmful algal blooms (red tide; Karenia brevis). Exposures can be sublethal, resulting in stressed animals that are rescued and taken to authorized facilities for rehabilitation, or lethal if exposures are prolonged or unusually severe. To investigate whether sublethal environmental exposures can impair immune function in manatees, rendering animals vulnerable to disease or death, mitogen-induced proliferation was assessed in lymphocytes from manatees exposed to cold temperatures (N=20) or red tide (N=19) in the wild, and compared to lymphocyte responses from healthy free-ranging manatees (N=32). All animals sampled for this study were adults. Lymphocytes were stimulated in vitro with either concanavalin A (ConA) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and proliferation was assessed after 96 h using incorporation of the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), into newly synthesized DNA. Proliferation of lymphocytes from manatees rescued from exposure to red tide or cold-stress was approximately one-third that of lymphocytes from healthy free-ranging manatees. To examine the direct effects of red tide toxins on lymphocyte function, mitogen-induced proliferation was assessed following co-culture of lymphocytes with K. brevis toxin extracts. Stimulation indices decreased with increasing toxin concentration, with a significant decrease in proliferation occurring in the presence of 400 ng red tide toxins/ml. When lymphocytes from cold-stressed manatees were co-cultured with red tide toxin extracts, proliferative responses were reduced even further, suggesting multiple stressors may have synergistic effects on immune function in manatees.

  9. Four-choice sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Colbert, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger; Mann, David A; Bauer, Gordon B

    2009-07-01

    The absolute sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were measured using a four-choice discrimination paradigm, with test locations positioned at 45 deg., 90 deg., 270 deg. and 315 deg. angles relative to subjects facing 0 deg. Three broadband signals were tested at four durations (200, 500, 1000, 3000 ms), including a stimulus that spanned a wide range of frequencies (0.2-20 kHz), one stimulus that was restricted to frequencies with wavelengths shorter than their interaural time distances (6-20 kHz) and one that was limited to those with wavelengths longer than their interaural time distances (0.2-2 kHz). Two 3000 ms tonal signals were tested, including a 4 kHz stimulus, which is the midpoint of the 2.5-5.9 kHz fundamental frequency range of manatee vocalizations and a 16 kHz stimulus, which is in the range of manatee best-hearing sensitivity. Percentage correct within the broadband conditions ranged from 79% to 93% for Subject 1 and from 51% to 93% for Subject 2. Both performed above chance with the tonal signals but had much lower accuracy than with broadband signals, with Subject 1 at 44% and 33% and Subject 2 at 49% and 32% at the 4 kHz and 16 kHz conditions, respectively. These results demonstrate that manatees are able to localize frequency bands with wavelengths that are both shorter and longer than their interaural time distances and suggest that they have the ability to localize both manatee vocalizations and recreational boat engine noises. PMID:19525437

  10. Production of nitric oxide by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Stuckey, Joyce E; Cox, Heather; Smith, Brett; Funke, Christina; Stott, Jeff; Colle, Clarence; Gaspard, Joseph; Manire, Charles A

    2007-08-15

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are exposed to many conditions in their habitat that may adversely impact health and impair immune function in this endangered species. In an effort to increase the current knowledge base regarding the manatee immune system, the production of an important reactive nitrogen intermediate, nitric oxide (NO), by manatee peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was investigated. PBMC from healthy captive manatees were stimulated with LPS, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha, either alone or in various combinations, with NO production assessed after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h of culture. NO production in response to LPS stimulation was significantly greater after 48, 72, or 96 h of culture compared to NO production after 24h of culture. A specific inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), L-NIL (L-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl)lysine), significantly decreased NO production by LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC. Manatee specific oligonucleotide primers for iNOS were designed to measure expression of relative amounts of mRNA in LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC from captive manatees. NO production by PBMC from manatees exposed to red tide toxins was analyzed, with significantly greater NO production by both unstimulated and LPS stimulated PBMC from red tide exposed compared with healthy captive or cold-stress manatees. Free-ranging manatees produced significantly lower amounts of nitric oxide compared to either captive or red tide rescued manatees. Results presented in this paper contribute to the current understanding of manatee immune function and represent the first report of nitric oxide production in the immune system of a marine mammal. PMID:17614139

  11. Topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christopher D; Vaughn, Susan D; Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) possess modified vibrissae that are used in conjunction with specialized perioral musculature to manipulate vegetation for ingestion, and aid in the tactile exploration of their environment. Therefore it is expected that manatees possess a large facial motor nucleus that exhibits a complex organization relative to other taxa. The topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus of five adult Florida manatees was analyzed using neuroanatomical methods. Cresyl violet and hematoxylin staining were used to localize the rostrocaudal extent of the facial motor nucleus as well as the organization and location of subdivisions within this nucleus. Differences in size, length, and organization of the facial motor nucleus among mammals correspond to the functional importance of the superficial facial muscles, including perioral musculature involved in the movement of mystacial vibrissae. The facial motor nucleus of Florida manatees was divided into seven subnuclei. The mean rostrocaudal length, width, and height of the entire Florida manatee facial motor nucleus was 6.6 mm (SD 8 0.51; range: 6.2-7.5 mm), 4.7 mm (SD 8 0.65; range: 4.0-5.6 mm), and 3.9 mm (SD 8 0.26; range: 3.5-4.2 mm), respectively. It is speculated that manatees could possess direct descending corticomotorneuron projections to the facial motornucleus. This conjecture is based on recent data for rodents, similiarities in the rodent and sirenian muscular-vibrissal complex, and the analogous nature of the sirenian cortical Rindenkerne system with the rodent barrel system. PMID:17595536

  12. Swimming kinematics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): hydrodynamic analysis of an undulatory mammalian swimmer.

    PubMed

    Kojeszewski, Tricia; Fish, Frank E

    2007-07-01

    The submerged swimming of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, was studied by filming individuals as they swam rectilinearly in a large pool at several rehabilitation centers. The swimming was analyzed using videography to detail the kinematics in conjunction with a hydromechanical model to determine the power output (P(t)) and propulsive efficiency (eta(p)). Manatees swam at velocities of 0.06-1.14 m s(-1). Locomotion was accomplished by undulation of the body and caudal fluke. Undulatory locomotion is a rapid and relatively high-powered propulsive mode involved in cruising and migrating by a variety of swimmers. Manatees displayed an undulatory swimming mode by passing a dorso-ventrally oriented traveling wave posteriorly along the body. The propulsive wave traveled at a higher velocity than the forward velocity of the animal. The frequency of the propulsive cycle (f) increased linearly with increasing swimming velocity (U). Amplitude at the tip of the caudal fluke (A) remained constant with respect to U and was 22% of body length. P(t) increased curvilinearly with U. The mean eta(p), expressing the relationship of the thrust power generated by the paddle-shaped caudal fluke to the total mechanical power, was 0.73. The maximum eta(p) was 0.82 at 0.95 m s(-1). Despite use of a primitive undulatory swimming mode and paddle-like fluke for propulsion, the manatee is capable of swimming with a high efficiency but lower power outputs compared with the oscillatory movements of the high-aspect ratio flukes of cetaceans. The swimming performance of the manatee is in accordance with its habits as an aquatic grazer that seasonally migrates over extended distances. PMID:17601944

  13. Comparison of methods used to diagnose generalized inflammatory disease in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal; Harvey, John; Bonde, Robert; Murphy, David; Lowe, Mark; Menchaca, Maya; Haubold, Elsa; Francis-Floyd, Ruth

    2006-06-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are afflicted with inflammatory and infectious disease secondary to human interaction, such as boat strike and entanglement, as well as "cold stress syndrome" and pneumonia. White-blood-cell count and fever, primary indicators of systemic inflammation in most species, are insensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease in manatees. Acute phase-response proteins, such as haptoglobin and serum amyloid A, have proven to be sensitive measures of inflammation/infection in domestic large animal species. This study assessed diagnosis of generalized inflammatory disease by different methods including total white-blood-cell count, albumin: globulin ratio, gel electrophoresis analysis, C-reactive protein, alpha, acid glycoprotein, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A. Samples were collected from 71 apparently healthy and 27 diseased animals during diagnostic medical examination. Serum amyloid A, measured by ELISA, followed by albumin:globulin ratio, measured by plasma gel electrophoresis, were most sensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease, with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90%. The reference interval for serum amyloid A is <10-50 microg/ml with an equivocal interval of 51-70 microg/ml. The reference interval for albumin:globulin ratio by plasma gel electrophoresis is 0.7-1.1. Albumin: globulin ratio, calculated using biochemical techniques, was not accurate due to overestimation of albumin by bromcresol green dye-binding methodology. Albumin:globulin ratio, measured by serum gel electrophoresis, has a low sensitivity of 15% due to the lack of fibrinogen in the sample. Haptoglobin, measured by hemoglobin titration, had a reference interval of 0.4-2.4 mg/ml, a diagnostic sensitivity of 60%, and a diagnostic specificity of 93%. The haptoglobin assay is significantly affected by hemolysis. Fibrinogen, measured by heat precipitation, has a reference interval of 100-400 mg/dl, a diagnostic sensitivity

  14. Comparison of methods used to diagnose generalized inflammatory disease in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, K.E.; Harvey, J.W.; Bonde, R.K.; Murphy, D.; Lowe, Mark; Menchaca, M.; Haubold, E.M.; Francis-Floyd, R.

    2006-01-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are afflicted with inflammatory and infectious disease secondary to human interaction, such as boat strike and entanglement, as well as “cold stress syndrome” and pneumonia. White-blood-cell count and fever, primary indicators of systemic inflammation in most species, are insensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease in manatees. Acute phase-response proteins, such as haptoglobin and serum amyloid A, have proven to be sensitive measures of inflammation/infection in domestic large animal species. This study assessed diagnosis of generalized inflammatory disease by different methods including total white-blood-cell count, albumin: globulin ratio, gel electrophoresis analysis, C-reactive protein, alpha1 acid glycoprotein, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A. Samples were collected from 71 apparently healthy and 27 diseased animals during diagnostic medical examination. Serum amyloid A, measured by ELISA, followed by albumin:globulin ratio, measured by plasma gel electrophoresis, were most sensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease, with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90%. The reference interval for serum amyloid A is <10–50 μg/ml with an equivocal interval of 51–70 μg/ml. The reference interval for albumin:globulin ratio by plasma gel electrophoresis is 0.7–1.1. Albumin: globulin ratio, calculated using biochemical techniques, was not accurate due to overestimation of albumin by bromcresol green dye-binding methodology. Albumin:globulin ratio, measured by serum gel electrophoresis, has a low sensitivity of 15% due to the lack of fibrinogen in the sample. Haptoglobin, measured by hemoglobin titration, had a reference interval of 0.4–2.4 mg/ml, a diagnostic sensitivity of 60%, and a diagnostic specificity of 93%. The haptoglobin assay is significantly affected by hemolysis. Fibrinogen, measured by heat precipitation, has a reference interval of 100–400 mg/dl, a diagnostic

  15. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal E; Hall, Jeffery O; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A; Bonde, Robert K; Heard, Darryl

    2013-06-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P < 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P < or = 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P < or = 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation. PMID:23805546

  16. Audiogram and auditory critical ratios of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2012-05-01

    Manatees inhabit turbid, shallow-water environments and have been shown to have poor visual acuity. Previous studies on hearing have demonstrated that manatees possess good hearing and sound localization abilities. The goals of this research were to determine the hearing abilities of two captive subjects and measure critical ratios to understand the capacity of manatees to detect tonal signals, such as manatee vocalizations, in the presence of noise. This study was also undertaken to better understand individual variability, which has been encountered during behavioral research with manatees. Two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were tested in a go/no-go paradigm using a modified staircase method, with incorporated 'catch' trials at a 1:1 ratio, to assess their ability to detect single-frequency tonal stimuli. The behavioral audiograms indicated that the manatees' auditory frequency detection for tonal stimuli ranged from 0.25 to 90.5 kHz, with peak sensitivity extending from 8 to 32 kHz. Critical ratios, thresholds for tone detection in the presence of background masking noise, were determined with one-octave wide noise bands, 7-12 dB (spectrum level) above the thresholds determined for the audiogram under quiet conditions. Manatees appear to have quite low critical ratios, especially at 8 kHz, where the ratio was 18.3 dB for one manatee. This suggests that manatee hearing is sensitive in the presence of background noise and that they may have relatively narrow filters in the tested frequency range. PMID:22496279

  17. Digestive efficiencies of ex situ and in situ West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Worthy, Graham A J; Worthy, Tamara A M

    2014-01-01

    Digestive efficiencies (Dm) of ex situ and in situ manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were, for the first time, assessed using manganese (Mn(2+)) as a naturally occurring marker. The Dm of ex situ manatees determined using [Mn(2+)] did not differ significantly from the Dm assessed using lignin, supporting the efficacy of the manganese approach. Gastrointestinal tract samples, obtained from recently dead animals, showed [Mn(2+)] concentrations were lowest in the stomach and remained low in the duodenum and small intestine but increased in the cecum, colon, and rectum, consistent with colonic digestion and absorption. In situ manatees consuming marine vegetation had significantly lower Dm (mean ± SE, 46.9% ± 1.8%; n=8) than did in situ manatees consuming freshwater vegetation (77.8% ± 2.6%; n=7), which in turn had significantly lower values than did ex situ manatees consuming lettuce (84.0% ± 0.7%; n=37). In situ manatees eating seagrasses had significantly higher Dm than did long-term ex situ animals consuming seagrass for short periods of time (46.9% ± 1.8% vs. 36.2% ± 1.2%, respectively), suggesting potential modification of gut flora over time. One significant ramification of our results is that manatees consuming seagrasses would require a greater standing biomass to support their needs than would be required if they were eating freshwater vegetation. This reinforces the critical need to implement habitat conservation and protection before considering downlisting or delisting manatees as an endangered species. PMID:24457923

  18. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Harr, Kendal E.; Hall, Jeffery O.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Heard, Darryl

    2013-01-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P ≤ 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation.

  19. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  20. A core stochastic population projection model for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    A stochastic, stage-based population model was developed to describe the life history and forecast the population dynamics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four separate regions of Florida. This population model includes annual variability in survival and reproductive rates, demographic stochasticity, effects of changes in warm-water capacity, and catastrophes. Further, the model explicitly accounts for uncertainty in parameter estimates. This model is meant to serve as a flexible tool for use in assessments relevant to management decision making, and was used in the State of Florida's recent biological status review. The parameter estimates and model structure described herein reflect our understanding of manatee demography at the time that this status review was completed. In the Northwest and Upper St. Johns regions, the model predicts that the populations will increase over time until warm-water capacity is reached, at which point growth will taper off. In the Atlantic region, the model predicts a stable or slightly increasing population over the next decade or so, and then a decrease as industrial warm-water capacity is lost. In the Southwest region, the model predicts a decline over time, driven by high annual mortality in the short-term and exacerbated by loss of industrial warm-water winter refuges over the next 40 years. Statewide, the likelihood of a 50% or greater decline in three manatee generations was 12%; the likelihood of a 20% or greater decline in two generations was 56%. These declines are largely driven by the anticipated loss of warm-water capacity, especially in the Atlantic and Southwest regions. The estimates of probability of extinction within 100 years were 11.9% for the Southwest region, 0.6% for the Northwest, 0.04% for the Atlantic, and <0.02% for the Upper St. Johns. The estimated probability that the statewide population will fall below 1000 animals within 100 years was 2.3%. Thus, while the estimated

  1. Estimates of annual survival probabilities for adult Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; O'Shea, T.J.; Pradel, R.; Beck, C.A.

    1998-01-01

    The population dynamics of large, long-lived mammals are particularly sensitive to changes in adult survival. Understanding factors affecting survival patterns is therefore critical for developing and testing theories of population dynamics and for developing management strategies aimed at preventing declines or extinction in such taxa. Few studies have used modern analytical approaches for analyzing variation and testing hypotheses about survival probabilities in large mammals. This paper reports a detailed analysis of annual adult survival in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), an endangered marine mammal, based on a mark-recapture approach. Natural and boat-inflicted scars distinctively 'marked' individual manatees that were cataloged in a computer-based photographic system. Photo-documented resightings provided 'recaptures.' Using open population models, annual adult-survival probabilities were estimated for manatees observed in winter in three areas of Florida: Blue Spring, Crystal River, and the Atlantic coast. After using goodness-of-fit tests in Program RELEASE to search for violations of the assumptions of mark-recapture analysis, survival and sighting probabilities were modeled under several different biological hypotheses with Program SURGE. Estimates of mean annual probability of sighting varied from 0.948 for Blue Spring to 0.737 for Crystal River and 0.507 for the Atlantic coast. At Crystal River and Blue Spring, annual survival probabilities were best estimated as constant over the study period at 0.96 (95% CI = 0.951-0.975 and 0.900-0.985, respectively). On the Atlantic coast, where manatees are impacted more by human activities, annual survival probabilities had a significantly lower mean estimate of 0.91 (95% CI = 0.887-0.926) and varied unpredictably over the study period. For each study area, survival did not differ between sexes and was independent of relative adult age. The high constant adult-survival probabilities estimated

  2. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  3. A core stochastic population projection model for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Sanders-Reed, C.A.; Fonnesbeck, C.J.

    2007-01-01

    A stochastic, stage-based population model was developed to describe the life history and forecast the population dynamics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four separate regions of Florida. This population model includes annual variability in survival and reproductive rates, demographic stochasticity, effects of changes in warm-water capacity, and catastrophes. Further, the model explicitly accounts for uncertainty in parameter estimates. This model is meant to serve as a flexible tool for use in assessments relevant to management decision making, and was used in the State of Florida?s recent biological status review. The parameter estimates and model structure described herein reflect our understanding of manatee demography at the time that this status review was completed. In the Northwest and Upper St. Johns regions, the model predicts that the populations will increase over time until warm-water capacity is reached, at which point growth will taper off. In the Atlantic region, the model predicts a stable or slightly increasing population over the next decade or so, and then a decrease as industrial warm-water capacity is lost. In the Southwest region, the model predicts a decline over time, driven by high annual mortality in the short-term and exacerbated by loss of industrial warmwater winter refuges over the next 40 years. Statewide, the likelihood of a 50% or greater decline in three manatee generations was 12%; the likelihood of a 20% or greater decline in two generations was 56%. These declines are largely driven by the anticipated loss of warm-water capacity, especially in the Atlantic and Southwest regions. The estimates of probability of extinction within 100 years were 11.9% for the Southwest region, 0.6% for the Northwest, 0.04% for the Atlantic, and <0.02% for the Upper St. Johns. The estimated probability that the statewide population will fall below 1000 animals within 100 years was 2.3%. Thus, while the estimated

  4. Interactions between non-native armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) and native Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in artesian springs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.; Loftus, William F.; Reid, James P.

    2009-01-01

    Non-native suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) of the genus Pterygoplichthys are now common throughout much of peninsular Florida. In this paper, we present preliminary observations on interactions between a Pterygoplichthys species, tentatively identified as P. disjunctivus (Weber, 1991), and endangered native Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Harlan, 1824), in artesian spring systems in Florida's St. Johns River drainage. The introduced catfish have become abundant in spring habitats, sites used by manatees as winter thermal refuges. In the spring runs, Pterygoplichthys regularly attaches to manatees and grazes the epibiota on their skin. On occasion, dozens of Pterygoplichthys congregate on individual manatees. Manatee responses varied widely; some did not react visibly to attached catfish whereas others appeared agitated and attempted to dislodge the fish. The costs and/or benefits of this interaction to manatees remain unclear.

  5. Assessement of serum amyloid A levels in the rehabilitation setting in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Cray, Carolyn; Dickey, Meranda; Brewer, Leah Brinson; Arheart, Kristopher L

    2013-12-01

    The acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) has been previously shown to have value as a biomarker of inflammation and infection in many species, including manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). In the current study, results from an automated assay for SAA were used in a rehabilitation setting. Reference intervals were established from clinically normal manatees using the robust method: 0-46 mg/L. More than 30-fold higher mean SAA levels were observed in manatees suffering from cold stress and boat-related trauma. Poor correlations were observed between SAA and total white blood count, percentage of neutrophils, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio. A moderate correlation was observed between SAA and the presence of nucleated red blood cells. The sensitivity of SAA testing was 93% and the specificity was 98%, representing the highest combined values of all the analytes. The results indicate that the automated method for SAA quantitation can provide important clinical data for manatees in a rehabilitation setting.

  6. FullSSR: Microsatellite Finder and Primer Designer

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Sebastián; Cabrera, Juan Manuel; Rueda, Eva; Giri, Federico; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites are genomic sequences comprised of tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs widely used as molecular markers in population genetics. FullSSR is a new bioinformatic tool for microsatellite (SSR) loci detection and primer design using genomic data from NGS assay. The software was tested with 2000 sequences of Oryza sativa shotgun sequencing project from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Trace Archive and with partial genome sequencing with ROCHE 454® from Caiman latirostris, Salvator merianae, Aegla platensis, and Zilchiopsis collastinensis. FullSSR performance was compared against other similar SSR search programs. The results of the use of this kind of approach depend on the parameters set by the user. In addition, results can be affected by the analyzed sequences because of differences among the genomes. FullSSR simplifies the detection of SSRs and primer design on a big data set. The command line interface of FullSSR was intended to be used as part of genomic analysis tools pipeline; however, it can be used as a stand-alone program because the results are easily interpreted for a nonexpert user. PMID:27366148

  7. FullSSR: Microsatellite Finder and Primer Designer.

    PubMed

    Metz, Sebastián; Cabrera, Juan Manuel; Rueda, Eva; Giri, Federico; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites are genomic sequences comprised of tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs widely used as molecular markers in population genetics. FullSSR is a new bioinformatic tool for microsatellite (SSR) loci detection and primer design using genomic data from NGS assay. The software was tested with 2000 sequences of Oryza sativa shotgun sequencing project from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Trace Archive and with partial genome sequencing with ROCHE 454® from Caiman latirostris, Salvator merianae, Aegla platensis, and Zilchiopsis collastinensis. FullSSR performance was compared against other similar SSR search programs. The results of the use of this kind of approach depend on the parameters set by the user. In addition, results can be affected by the analyzed sequences because of differences among the genomes. FullSSR simplifies the detection of SSRs and primer design on a big data set. The command line interface of FullSSR was intended to be used as part of genomic analysis tools pipeline; however, it can be used as a stand-alone program because the results are easily interpreted for a nonexpert user.

  8. FullSSR: Microsatellite Finder and Primer Designer.

    PubMed

    Metz, Sebastián; Cabrera, Juan Manuel; Rueda, Eva; Giri, Federico; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites are genomic sequences comprised of tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs widely used as molecular markers in population genetics. FullSSR is a new bioinformatic tool for microsatellite (SSR) loci detection and primer design using genomic data from NGS assay. The software was tested with 2000 sequences of Oryza sativa shotgun sequencing project from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Trace Archive and with partial genome sequencing with ROCHE 454® from Caiman latirostris, Salvator merianae, Aegla platensis, and Zilchiopsis collastinensis. FullSSR performance was compared against other similar SSR search programs. The results of the use of this kind of approach depend on the parameters set by the user. In addition, results can be affected by the analyzed sequences because of differences among the genomes. FullSSR simplifies the detection of SSRs and primer design on a big data set. The command line interface of FullSSR was intended to be used as part of genomic analysis tools pipeline; however, it can be used as a stand-alone program because the results are easily interpreted for a nonexpert user. PMID:27366148

  9. Characterization of a novel close-to-root papillomavirus from a Florida manatee by using multiply primed rolling-circle amplification: Trichechus manatus latirostris papillomavirus type 1.

    PubMed

    Rector, Annabel; Bossart, Gregory D; Ghim, Shin-Je; Sundberg, John P; Jenson, A Bennett; Van Ranst, Marc

    2004-11-01

    By using an isothermal multiply primed rolling-circle amplification protocol, the complete genomic DNA of a novel papillomavirus was amplified from a skin lesion biopsy of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), one of the most endangered marine mammals in United States coastal waters. The nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic position of the Trichechus manatus latirostris papillomavirus type 1 (TmPV-1) were determined. TmPV-1 is the first virus isolated from the order of Sirenia. A phylogenetic analysis shows that TmPV-1 is only distantly related to other papillomavirus sequences, and it appears in our phylogenetic tree as a novel close-to-root papillomavirus genus.

  10. Characterization of a Novel Close-to-Root Papillomavirus from a Florida Manatee by Using Multiply Primed Rolling-Circle Amplification: Trichechus manatus latirostris Papillomavirus Type 1†

    PubMed Central

    Rector, Annabel; Bossart, Gregory D.; Ghim, Shin-Je; Sundberg, John P.; Jenson, A. Bennett; Van Ranst, Marc

    2004-01-01

    By using an isothermal multiply primed rolling-circle amplification protocol, the complete genomic DNA of a novel papillomavirus was amplified from a skin lesion biopsy of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), one of the most endangered marine mammals in United States coastal waters. The nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic position of the Trichechus manatus latirostris papillomavirus type 1 (TmPV-1) were determined. TmPV-1 is the first virus isolated from the order of Sirenia. A phylogenetic analysis shows that TmPV-1 is only distantly related to other papillomavirus sequences, and it appears in our phylogenetic tree as a novel close-to-root papillomavirus genus. PMID:15507660

  11. Do hummingbirds have a sweet-tooth? Gustatory sugar thresholds and sugar selection in the broad-billed hummingbird Cynanthus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Medina-Tapia, Nubia; Ayala-Berdon, Jorge; Morales-Pérez, Lorena; Melo, Leticia Mirón; Schondube, Jorge E

    2012-03-01

    Nectar is a solution of mainly three sugars: sucrose, glucose and fructose. Studies have demonstrated that pollinators have preferences according to the sugar composition presented in their diet, and these preferences may be caused by sugar assimilation capacities. However, sugar flavor could also play an important role for sugar preferences of nectar-feeding animals. We evaluated the sugar gustatory thresholds of the broad-billed hummingbird Cynanthus latirostris for sucrose, glucose, fructose and a 1:1 mixture of glucose-fructose. We presented eight C. latirostris to paired feeders containing either a sugar solution or pure water. Additionally, we conducted sugar preference tests at three different concentrations (146, 730 and 1022mmolL(-1)), to relate sugar preferences with sugar gustatory thresholds. C. latirostris had different gustatory thresholds for the three different sugars tested. At low sugar concentrations (146mmolL(-1)), sugar selection followed the gustatory thresholds. Hummingbird sugar preference patterns can be affected by different mechanisms, both pre- and post-ingestive. At low concentrations gustatory thresholds may play an important role to determine sugar selection. However, at intermediate and high concentrations, sugar assimilation rates, and velocity of food processing generated by osmotic constraints, can be the mechanisms that explain the sugar selection of these animals.

  12. A Quantitative Threats Analysis for the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered marine mammal endemic to the southeastern United States. The primary threats to manatee populations are collisions with watercraft and the potential loss of warm-water refuges. For the purposes of listing, recovery, and regulation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), an understanding of the relative effects of the principal threats is needed. This work is a quantitative approach to threats analysis, grounded in the assumption that an appropriate measure of status under the ESA is based on the risk of extinction, as quantified by the probability of quasi-extinction. This is related to the qualitative threats analyses that are more common under the ESA, but provides an additional level of rigor, objectivity, and integration. In this approach, our philosophy is that analysis of the five threat factors described in Section 4(a)(1) of the ESA can be undertaken within an integrated quantitative framework. The basis of this threats analysis is a comparative population viability analysis. This involves forecasting the Florida manatee population under different scenarios regarding the presence of threats, while accounting for process variation (environmental, demographic, and catastrophic stochasticity) as well as parametric and structural uncertainty. We used the manatee core biological model (CBM) for this viability analysis, and considered the role of five threats: watercraft-related mortality, loss of warm-water habitat in winter, mortality in water-control structures, entanglement, and red tide. All scenarios were run with an underlying parallel structure that allowed a more powerful estimation of the effects of the various threats. The results reflect our understanding of manatee ecology (as captured in the structure of the CBM), our estimates of manatee demography (as described by the parameters in the model), and our characterization of the mechanisms by which the threats act on manatees. As an

  13. Variation in the hindgut microbial communities of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris over winter in Crystal River, Florida.

    PubMed

    Merson, Samuel D; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Klieve, Athol; Bonde, Robert K; Burgess, Elizabeth A; Lanyon, Janet M

    2014-03-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a hindgut-fermenting herbivore. In winter, manatees migrate to warm water overwintering sites where they undergo dietary shifts and may suffer from cold-induced stress. Given these seasonally induced changes in diet, the present study aimed to examine variation in the hindgut bacterial communities of wild manatees overwintering at Crystal River, west Florida. Faeces were sampled from 36 manatees of known sex and body size in early winter when manatees were newly arrived and then in mid-winter and late winter when diet had probably changed and environmental stress may have increased. Concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolite, an indicator of a stress response, were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Using 454-pyrosequencing, 2027 bacterial operational taxonomic units were identified in manatee faeces following amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3/V4 region. Classified sequences were assigned to eight previously described bacterial phyla; only 0.36% of sequences could not be classified to phylum level. Five core phyla were identified in all samples. The majority (96.8%) of sequences were classified as Firmicutes (77.3 ± 11.1% of total sequences) or Bacteroidetes (19.5 ± 10.6%). Alpha-diversity measures trended towards higher diversity of hindgut microbiota in manatees in mid-winter compared to early and late winter. Beta-diversity measures, analysed through PERMANOVA, also indicated significant differences in bacterial communities based on the season.

  14. Methods used during gross necropsy to determine watercraft-related mortality in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Lightsey, Jessica D; Rommel, Sentiel A; Costidis, Alexander M; Pitchford, Thomas D

    2006-09-01

    Between 1993 and 2003, 713 (24%) of 2,940 dead Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) recovered from Florida waters and examined were killed by watercraft-induced trauma. It was determined that this mortality was the result of watercraft trauma because the external wound patterns and the internal lesions seen during gross necropsy are recognizable and diagnostic. This study documents the methods used in determining watercraft-related mortality during gross necropsy and explains why these findings are diagnostic. Watercraft can inflict sharp- and blunt-force trauma to manatees, and both types of trauma can lead to mortality. This mortality may be a direct result of the sharp and blunt forces or from the chronic effects resulting from either force. In cases in which death is caused by a chronic wound-related complication, the original incident is usually considered to be the cause of death. Once a cause of death is determined, it is recorded in an extensive database and is used by Federal and state managers in developing strategies for the conservation of the manatee. Common sequelae to watercraft-induced trauma include skin lesions, torn muscles, fractured and luxated bones, lacerated internal organs, hemothorax, pneumothorax, pyothorax, hydrothorax, abdominal hemorrhage and ascites, and pyoperitoneum.

  15. Functional morphology of venous structures associated with the male and female reproductive systems in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, S A; Pabst, D A; McLellan, W A

    2001-12-01

    The reproductive organs of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are surrounded by thermogenic locomotory muscles and insulating fat. Manatees are reported to maintain core body temperatures of 35.6 degrees -36.4 degrees C, temperatures known to interfere with production and maturation of viable sperm in terrestrial mammals. We describe two novel venous plexuses associated with the manatee epididymis. Each epididymis is located in a hypogastric fossa at the caudolateral extremity of the abdominal cavity. Each hypogastric fossa is lined by an inguinal venous plexus that receives cooled blood from a superficial thoracocaudal plexus. We conclude that male manatees may prevent hyperthermic insult to their reproductive tissues by feeding cooled superficial blood to venous plexuses deep within their bodies. Female manatees also possess hypogastric fossae and venous structures similar to those found in male manatees. The ovaries, uterine tubes, and distal tips of the uterine horns are located in the hypogastric fossae. We suggest that the thermovascular structures we describe also prevent hypothermic insult to female manatee reproductive tissues. The venous structures in manatees are functionally similar to structures associated with reproductive thermoregulation in cetaceans and phocid seals. Thus, these thermovascular structures appear to be convergent morphological adaptations that occur in three clades of diving mammals with independent evolutionary histories.

  16. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche.

  17. Characterization of surface interleukin-2 receptor expression on gated populations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Sweat, J M; Johnson, C M; Marikar, Y; Gibbs, E P

    2005-12-15

    An in vitro system to determine surface interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) expression on mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from free-ranging manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris was developed. Human recombinant IL-2, conjugated with a fluorescein dye was used in conjunction with flow cytometric analysis to determine changes in surface expression of IL-2R at sequential times over a 48-h period of in vitro stimulation. Surface expression of IL-2R was detected on manatee PBMC, which also cross-reacted with an anti-feline pan T-cell marker. An expression index (EI) was calculated by comparing mitogen-activated and non-activated PBMC. Based on side- and forward-scatter properties, flow cytometric analysis showed an increase in the number of larger, more granular "lymphoblasts" following concanavalin A (Con A) stimulation. The appearance of lymphoblasts was correlated with an increase in their surface expression of IL-2 receptors. Surface IL-2R expression, in Con A-stimulated PBMC, was detected at 16 h, peaked at 24-36 h, and began to decrease by 48 h. Characterization of the IL-2R expression should provide additional information on the health status of manatees, and the effect of their sub lethal exposure to brevetoxin.

  18. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope turnover rates and diet-tissue discrimination in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D; Worthy, Graham A J

    2009-08-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a herbivorous marine mammal that occupies freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats. Despite being considered endangered, relatively little is known about its feeding ecology. The present study expands on previous work on manatee feeding ecology by providing critical baseline parameters for accurate isotopic data interpretation. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were examined over a period of more than 1 year in the epidermis of rescued Florida manatees that were transitioning from a diet of aquatic forage to terrestrial forage (lettuce). The mean half-life for (13)C turnover was 53 and 59 days for skin from manatees rescued from coastal and riverine regions, respectively. The mean half-life for (15)N turnover was 27 and 58 days, respectively. Because of these slow turnover rates, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis in manatee epidermis is useful in summarizing average dietary intake over a long period of time rather than assessing recent diet. In addition to turnover rate, a diet-tissue discrimination value of 2.8 per thousand for (13)C was calculated for long-term captive manatees on a lettuce diet. Determining both turnover rate and diet-tissue discrimination is essential in order to accurately interpret stable isotope data.

  19. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope turnover rates and diet-tissue discrimination in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D; Worthy, Graham A J

    2009-08-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a herbivorous marine mammal that occupies freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats. Despite being considered endangered, relatively little is known about its feeding ecology. The present study expands on previous work on manatee feeding ecology by providing critical baseline parameters for accurate isotopic data interpretation. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were examined over a period of more than 1 year in the epidermis of rescued Florida manatees that were transitioning from a diet of aquatic forage to terrestrial forage (lettuce). The mean half-life for (13)C turnover was 53 and 59 days for skin from manatees rescued from coastal and riverine regions, respectively. The mean half-life for (15)N turnover was 27 and 58 days, respectively. Because of these slow turnover rates, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis in manatee epidermis is useful in summarizing average dietary intake over a long period of time rather than assessing recent diet. In addition to turnover rate, a diet-tissue discrimination value of 2.8 per thousand for (13)C was calculated for long-term captive manatees on a lettuce diet. Determining both turnover rate and diet-tissue discrimination is essential in order to accurately interpret stable isotope data. PMID:19617427

  20. Variation in the hindgut microbial communities of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris over winter in Crystal River, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merson, Samuel D.; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Klieve, Athol; Bonde, Robert K.; Burgess, Elizabeth A.; Lanyon, Janet M.

    2014-01-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a hindgut-fermenting herbivore. In winter, manatees migrate to warm water overwintering sites where they undergo dietary shifts and may suffer from cold-induced stress. Given these seasonally induced changes in diet, the present study aimed to examine variation in the hindgut bacterial communities of wild manatees overwintering at Crystal River, west Florida. Faeces were sampled from 36 manatees of known sex and body size in early winter when manatees were newly arrived and then in mid-winter and late winter when diet had probably changed and environmental stress may have increased. Concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolite, an indicator of a stress response, were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Using 454-pyrosequencing, 2027 bacterial operational taxonomic units were identified in manatee faeces following amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3/V4 region. Classified sequences were assigned to eight previously described bacterial phyla; only 0.36% of sequences could not be classified to phylum level. Five core phyla were identified in all samples. The majority (96.8%) of sequences were classified as Firmicutes (77.3 ± 11.1% of total sequences) or Bacteroidetes (19.5 ± 10.6%). Alpha-diversity measures trended towards higher diversity of hindgut microbiota in manatees in mid-winter compared to early and late winter. Beta-diversity measures, analysed through permanova, also indicated significant differences in bacterial communities based on the season.

  1. Assessement of serum amyloid A levels in the rehabilitation setting in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Cray, Carolyn; Dickey, Meranda; Brewer, Leah Brinson; Arheart, Kristopher L

    2013-12-01

    The acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) has been previously shown to have value as a biomarker of inflammation and infection in many species, including manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). In the current study, results from an automated assay for SAA were used in a rehabilitation setting. Reference intervals were established from clinically normal manatees using the robust method: 0-46 mg/L. More than 30-fold higher mean SAA levels were observed in manatees suffering from cold stress and boat-related trauma. Poor correlations were observed between SAA and total white blood count, percentage of neutrophils, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio. A moderate correlation was observed between SAA and the presence of nucleated red blood cells. The sensitivity of SAA testing was 93% and the specificity was 98%, representing the highest combined values of all the analytes. The results indicate that the automated method for SAA quantitation can provide important clinical data for manatees in a rehabilitation setting. PMID:24450049

  2. Variation in the hindgut microbial communities of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris over winter in Crystal River, Florida.

    PubMed

    Merson, Samuel D; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Klieve, Athol; Bonde, Robert K; Burgess, Elizabeth A; Lanyon, Janet M

    2014-03-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a hindgut-fermenting herbivore. In winter, manatees migrate to warm water overwintering sites where they undergo dietary shifts and may suffer from cold-induced stress. Given these seasonally induced changes in diet, the present study aimed to examine variation in the hindgut bacterial communities of wild manatees overwintering at Crystal River, west Florida. Faeces were sampled from 36 manatees of known sex and body size in early winter when manatees were newly arrived and then in mid-winter and late winter when diet had probably changed and environmental stress may have increased. Concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolite, an indicator of a stress response, were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Using 454-pyrosequencing, 2027 bacterial operational taxonomic units were identified in manatee faeces following amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3/V4 region. Classified sequences were assigned to eight previously described bacterial phyla; only 0.36% of sequences could not be classified to phylum level. Five core phyla were identified in all samples. The majority (96.8%) of sequences were classified as Firmicutes (77.3 ± 11.1% of total sequences) or Bacteroidetes (19.5 ± 10.6%). Alpha-diversity measures trended towards higher diversity of hindgut microbiota in manatees in mid-winter compared to early and late winter. Beta-diversity measures, analysed through PERMANOVA, also indicated significant differences in bacterial communities based on the season. PMID:24215517

  3. Nocturnal and diurnal activity of armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) associated with wintering Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.

    2010-01-01

    Several Pterygoplichthys species, members of the Neotropical catfish family Loricariidae, have been widely introduced outside their native ranges. In this paper, I present observations on the diel activity pattern of non-native Pterygoplichthys, tentatively identified as P. disjunctivus, with respect to their attachment and grazing on endangered Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris. The study was conducted in December 2009 at Volusia Blue Spring, an artesianal spring system in the St. Johns River basin, Florida (USA). Supplemented by information gathered during previous visits to the spring site, this study revealed that adult Pterygoplichthys are active throughout the diel period (day, twilight and night). However, juvenile Pterygoplichthys were largely nocturnal and only at night did they consistently join adults in attaching to manatees. The juveniles generally remain hidden during the day, probably responding to presence of diurnal predators, mainly birds. Differences in diel behaviors among different Pterygoplichthys size classes in Florida are consistent with published observations on loricariids inhabiting clearwater streams within their native ranges.

  4. Methods used during gross necropsy to determine watercraft-related mortality in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Lightsey, Jessica D; Rommel, Sentiel A; Costidis, Alexander M; Pitchford, Thomas D

    2006-09-01

    Between 1993 and 2003, 713 (24%) of 2,940 dead Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) recovered from Florida waters and examined were killed by watercraft-induced trauma. It was determined that this mortality was the result of watercraft trauma because the external wound patterns and the internal lesions seen during gross necropsy are recognizable and diagnostic. This study documents the methods used in determining watercraft-related mortality during gross necropsy and explains why these findings are diagnostic. Watercraft can inflict sharp- and blunt-force trauma to manatees, and both types of trauma can lead to mortality. This mortality may be a direct result of the sharp and blunt forces or from the chronic effects resulting from either force. In cases in which death is caused by a chronic wound-related complication, the original incident is usually considered to be the cause of death. Once a cause of death is determined, it is recorded in an extensive database and is used by Federal and state managers in developing strategies for the conservation of the manatee. Common sequelae to watercraft-induced trauma include skin lesions, torn muscles, fractured and luxated bones, lacerated internal organs, hemothorax, pneumothorax, pyothorax, hydrothorax, abdominal hemorrhage and ascites, and pyoperitoneum. PMID:17319124

  5. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. PMID:27166161

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

    PubMed

    Beresford, W A

    1993-08-01

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

  7. 78 FR 38161 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing One Distinct Population Segment of Broad...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-25

    ... (59 FR 34270), and the Office of Management and Budget's Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer... Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), reclassify the... special rule for trade in caiman species. Inclusion in this special rule allows U.S. commerce in...

  8. Comparison of blood aminotransferase methods for assessment of myopathy and hepatopathy in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Allison, Kathryn; Bonde, Robert K; Murphy, David; Harvey, John W

    2008-06-01

    Muscle injury is common in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is frequently used to assess muscular damage in capture myopathy and traumatic injury. Therefore, accurate measurement of AST and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is important in managed, free-ranging animals, as well as in those rehabilitating from injury. Activities of these enzymes, however, are usually not increased in manatees with either acute or chronic muscle damage, despite marked increases in plasma creatine kinase activity. It is hypothesized that this absence of response is due to apoenzymes in the blood not detected by commonly used veterinary assays. Addition of coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P or vitamin B6) should, therefore, result in higher measured enzyme activities. The objective of this study was to determine the most accurate, precise, and diagnostically useful method for aminotransferase measurement in manatees that can be used in veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, appropriate collection and storage techniques were assessed. The use of an optimized commercial wet chemical assay with 100 micromol P5P resulted in a positive bias of measured enzyme activities in a healthy population of animals. However, AST and ALT were still much lower than that typically observed in domestic animals and should not be used alone in the assessment of capture myopathy and muscular trauma. Additionally, the dry chemistry analyzer, typically used in clinics, reported significantly higher and less precise AST and ALT activities with poor correlation to those measured with wet chemical methods found in diagnostic laboratories. Therefore, these results cannot be clinically compared. Overall, the optimized wet chemical method was the most precise and diagnostically useful measurement of aminotransferase in samples. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between paired serum and plasma measurement

  9. Detection and identification of plasma progesterone metabolites in the female Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) using GC/MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Tripp, K M; Dubois, M; Delahaut, P; Verstegen, J P

    2009-08-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low peripheral concentrations of progesterone (P4). The objective of this study was to determine if these relatively low P4 concentrations are associated with a high ratio of progestin metabolites and to document metabolite concentrations from individual blood samples obtained from manatees during diestrus or pregnancy. Metabolites known to exist in elephants-terrestrial manatee relatives-were targeted. These included 5alpha-reduced progestins (5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione [5alpha-DHP] and 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one [5alpha-P3-OH]) and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17alpha-OHP), which occurs in Asian elephants. An additional, inactive metabolite, 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (20alpha-OHP), indicative of P4 overproduction, was also targeted. Progesterone itself was the predominant progestin detected in pregnant and nonpregnant manatee plasma (n = 10) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with tandem quadrupole detectors (GC/MS/MS). Progesterone concentrations in pregnant females varied from early (moderate to high) through mid and late (low) pregnancy. Progesterone concentrations ranged from low to high in nonpregnant, nonlactating females. The most commonly detected metabolite was 5alpha-P3-OH (n = 7), which occurred in pregnant (lower limit of detection [LLOD] to high) and nonpregnant (trace to high) females. The 5alpha-DHP metabolite was also detected in pregnant (LLOD to moderate) and nonpregnant (low) females. The 17alpha-OHP metabolite was not detected in any tested female. The 20alpha-OHP metabolite was detected in one nonpregnant, nonlactating, captive female (LLOD). Metabolites were most prevalent during early pregnancy, concurrent with maximum P4 concentrations. Based on their concentrations in peripheral circulation, we inferred that these metabolites may have, opposite to elephants, a limited physiologic role during luteal, pregnant, and nonpregnant phases in the manatee.

  10. Comparison of blood aminotransferase methods for assessment of myopathy and hepatopathy in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Allison, Kathryn; Bonde, Robert K; Murphy, David; Harvey, John W

    2008-06-01

    Muscle injury is common in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is frequently used to assess muscular damage in capture myopathy and traumatic injury. Therefore, accurate measurement of AST and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is important in managed, free-ranging animals, as well as in those rehabilitating from injury. Activities of these enzymes, however, are usually not increased in manatees with either acute or chronic muscle damage, despite marked increases in plasma creatine kinase activity. It is hypothesized that this absence of response is due to apoenzymes in the blood not detected by commonly used veterinary assays. Addition of coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P or vitamin B6) should, therefore, result in higher measured enzyme activities. The objective of this study was to determine the most accurate, precise, and diagnostically useful method for aminotransferase measurement in manatees that can be used in veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, appropriate collection and storage techniques were assessed. The use of an optimized commercial wet chemical assay with 100 micromol P5P resulted in a positive bias of measured enzyme activities in a healthy population of animals. However, AST and ALT were still much lower than that typically observed in domestic animals and should not be used alone in the assessment of capture myopathy and muscular trauma. Additionally, the dry chemistry analyzer, typically used in clinics, reported significantly higher and less precise AST and ALT activities with poor correlation to those measured with wet chemical methods found in diagnostic laboratories. Therefore, these results cannot be clinically compared. Overall, the optimized wet chemical method was the most precise and diagnostically useful measurement of aminotransferase in samples. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between paired serum and plasma measurement

  11. Detection and identification of plasma progesterone metabolites in the female Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) using GC/MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Tripp, K M; Dubois, M; Delahaut, P; Verstegen, J P

    2009-08-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low peripheral concentrations of progesterone (P4). The objective of this study was to determine if these relatively low P4 concentrations are associated with a high ratio of progestin metabolites and to document metabolite concentrations from individual blood samples obtained from manatees during diestrus or pregnancy. Metabolites known to exist in elephants-terrestrial manatee relatives-were targeted. These included 5alpha-reduced progestins (5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione [5alpha-DHP] and 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one [5alpha-P3-OH]) and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17alpha-OHP), which occurs in Asian elephants. An additional, inactive metabolite, 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (20alpha-OHP), indicative of P4 overproduction, was also targeted. Progesterone itself was the predominant progestin detected in pregnant and nonpregnant manatee plasma (n = 10) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with tandem quadrupole detectors (GC/MS/MS). Progesterone concentrations in pregnant females varied from early (moderate to high) through mid and late (low) pregnancy. Progesterone concentrations ranged from low to high in nonpregnant, nonlactating females. The most commonly detected metabolite was 5alpha-P3-OH (n = 7), which occurred in pregnant (lower limit of detection [LLOD] to high) and nonpregnant (trace to high) females. The 5alpha-DHP metabolite was also detected in pregnant (LLOD to moderate) and nonpregnant (low) females. The 17alpha-OHP metabolite was not detected in any tested female. The 20alpha-OHP metabolite was detected in one nonpregnant, nonlactating, captive female (LLOD). Metabolites were most prevalent during early pregnancy, concurrent with maximum P4 concentrations. Based on their concentrations in peripheral circulation, we inferred that these metabolites may have, opposite to elephants, a limited physiologic role during luteal, pregnant, and nonpregnant phases in the manatee. PMID

  12. Secretion of anti-Müllerian hormone in the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris, with implications for assessing conservation status

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Rhian C.; Reynolds, John E.; Wetzel, Dana L.; Schwierzke-Wade, Leslie; Bonde, Robert K.; Breuel, Kevin F.; Roudebush, William E.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental and anthropogenic stressors can affect wildlife populations in a number of ways. For marine mammals (e.g. the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris), certain stressors or conservation risk factors have been identified, but sublethal effects have been very difficult to assess using traditional methods. The development of 'biomarkers' allows us to correlate effects, such as impaired reproduction, with possible causes. A recently developed biomarker (anti-Müllerian hormone, AMH) provides an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of gonadal function. The study objective was to determine AMH levels in wild manatees. In total, 28 male and 17 female manatee serum samples were assayed. Animal demographics included collection date, body weight (kg) and total length (cm). In certain cases, age of individuals was also known. AMH levels ranged from 160 to 2451.85 ng ml-1 (mean = 844.65 ng ml-1) in males and 0.00 to 0.38 ng ml-1 (mean = 0.10 ng ml-1) in females. Linear regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between male AMH levels and body weight (R2 = 0.452; p 2 = 0.338; p < 0.001). Due to the small sample size, regression analyses for female AMH and body weight and length were not significant. This represents the first report of AMH detection in a marine mammal. AMH levels in male manatees are the highest of any species observed to date, whereas levels in females are within reported ranges. Further studies will promote improved conservation decision by assessing AMH levels in the manatee as a function of various stressors including, but not limited to, nutritional status, serious injuries (e.g. watercraft collisions), exposure to biotoxins or contaminants, or disease.

  13. An evaluation of the use of reptile dermal scutes as a non-invasive method to monitor mercury concentrations in the environment.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Larissa; Eggins, Sam; Maher, William; Vogt, Richard C; Krikowa, Frank; Kinsley, Les; Eggins, Stephen M; Da Silveira, Ronis

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles are ideal organisms for the non-invasive monitoring of mercury (Hg) contamination. We have investigated Hg bioaccumulation in tissue layers of reptile dermis as a basis for establishing a standardized collection method for Hg analysis. Tissue samples from freshwater turtle species Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa and caiman species Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus, all from the Amazonian region, were analysed in this study. We first tested the relationships between Hg concentrations in keratin and bone to Hg concentrations in muscle to determine the best predictor of Hg concentration in muscle tissue. We then investigated the potential for measuring Hg concentrations across turtle carapace growth rings as an indicator of longer term changes in Hg concentration in the environment. Hg concentrations were significantly lower in bone (120 ng g(-1) caimans and 1 ng g(-1) turtles) than keratin (3600 ng g(-1) caimans and 2200 ng g(-1) turtles). Keratin was found to be a better predictor of exposure to Hg than muscle and bone tissues for both turtles and caimans and also to be a reliable non-invasive tissue for Hg analysis in turtles. Measurement of Hg in carapace growth rings has significant potential for estimating Hg bioaccumulation by turtles over time, but full quantification awaits development and use of a matrix-matched reference material for laser ablation ICPMS analysis of Hg concentrations in keratin. Realising this potential would make a valuable advance to the study of the history of contamination in mining and industrial sites, which have until now relied on the analysis of Hg concentrations in sediments. PMID:24974226

  14. Comparison of blood aminotransferase methods for assessment of myopathy and hepatopathy in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, K.E.; Allison, K.; Bonde, R.K.; Murphy, D.; Harvey, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Muscle injury is common in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Plasma aspartate amino-transferase (AST) is frequently used to assess muscular damage in capture myopathy and traumatic injury. Therefore, accurate measurement of AST and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is important in managed, free-ranging animals, as well as in those rehabilitating from injury. Activities of these enzymes, however, are usually not increased in manatees with either acute or chronic muscle damage, despite marked increases in plasma creatine kinase activity. It is hypothesized that this absence of response is due to apoenzymes in the blood not detected by commonly used veterinary assays. Addition of coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P or vitamin B6) should, therefore, result in higher measured enzyme activities. The objective of this study was to determine the most accurate, precise, and diagnostically useful method for aminotransferase measurement in manatees that can be used in veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, appropriate collection and storage techniques were assessed. The use of an optimized commercial wet chemical assay with 100 ??mol P5P resulted in a positive bias of measured enzyme activities in a healthy population of animals. However, AST and ALT were still much lower than that typically observed in domestic animals and should not be used alone in the assessment of capture myopathy and muscular trauma. Additionally, the dry chemistry analyzer, typically used in clinics, reported significantly higher and less precise AST and ALT activities with poor correlation to those measured with wet chemical methods found in diagnostic laboratories. Therefore, these results cannot be clinically compared. Overall, the optimized wet chemical method was the most precise and diagnostically useful measurement of aminotransferase in samples. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between paired serum and plasma measurement

  15. Characterization of highly informative cross-species microsatellite panels for the Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) including five novel primers.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Margaret Kellogg; Broderick, Damien; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Bonde, Robert K; McGuire, Peter M; Lanyon, Janet M

    2010-03-01

    The Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are threatened species of aquatic mammals in the order Sirenia. Sirenian conservation and management actions would benefit from a more complete understanding of genetic diversity and population structure. Generally, species-specific microsatellite markers are employed in conservation genetic studies; however, robust markers can be difficult and costly to isolate. To increase the number of available markers, dugong and manatee microsatellite primers were evaluated for cross-species amplification. Furthermore, one manatee and four dugong novel primers are reported. After polymerase chain reaction optimization, 23 (92%) manatee primers successfully amplified dugong DNA, of which 11 (48%) were polymorphic. Of the 32 dugong primers tested, 27 (84%) yielded product in the manatee, of which 17 (63%) were polymorphic. Dugong and manatee primers were compared and the most informative markers were selected to create robust and informative marker-panels for each species. These cross-species microsatellite marker-panels can be employed to assess other sirenian populations and can provide beneficial information for the protection and management of these unique mammals.

  16. Characterization of highly informative cross-species microsatellite panels for the Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) including five novel primers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Margaret Kellogg; Broderick, Damien; Ovenden, Jennifer R.; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Bonde, Robert K.; McGuire, Peter M.; Lanyon, Janet M.

    2010-01-01

    The Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are threatened species of aquatic mammals in the order Sirenia. Sirenian conservation and management actions would benefit from a more complete understanding of genetic diversity and population structure. Generally, species-specific microsatellite markers are employed in conservation genetic studies; however, robust markers can be difficult and costly to isolate. To increase the number of available markers, dugong and manatee microsatellite primers were evaluated for cross-species amplification. Furthermore, one manatee and four dugong novel primers are reported. After polymerase chain reaction optimization, 23 (92%) manatee primers successfully amplified dugong DNA, of which 11 (48%) were polymorphic. Of the 32 dugong primers tested, 27 (84%) yielded product in the manatee, of which 17 (63%) were polymorphic. Dugong and manatee primers were compared and the most informative markers were selected to create robust and informative marker-panels for each species. These crossspecies microsatellite marker-panels can be employed to assess other sirenian populations and can provide beneficial information for the protection and management of these unique mammals.

  17. Proximate nutrient analyses of four species of submerged aquatic vegetation consumed by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) compared to romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Scott, Karen C; Gerlach, Trevor; Sirois, Paul; Reuter, Mike; Crewz, David W; Hill, Richard C

    2010-12-01

    Free-ranging Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) consume a variety of sea grasses and algae. This study compared the dry matter (DM) content, proximate nutrients (crude protein [CP], ether-extracted crude fat [EE], nonfiber carbohydrate [NFC], and ash), and the calculated digestible energy (DE) of sea grasses (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme) collected in spring, summer, and winter, and an alga (Chara sp.) with those of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia). Neutral-detergent fiber (NDF), acid-detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin (L) measured after ash-extraction were also compared. Results of statistical tests (C = 0.01) revealed DM content was higher in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce (P = 0.0001), but NDF and ADF were up to threefold greater, EE (P = 0.00001) and CP (P = 0.00001) were 2-9 times less, and NFC (P = 0.0001) was 2-6 times lower in sea grass than in lettuce, on a DM basis. Chara was lower in NDF, ADF, L, EE, CP, and NFC relative to lettuce on a DM basis. Ash content (DM basis) was higher (P = 0.0001), and DE was 2-6 times lower in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce. Sea grass rhizomes had lower L and higher ash contents (DM basis) than sea grass leaves. Based on the nutrient analyses, romaine lettuce and sea grasses are not equivalent forages, which suggests that the current diet of captive Florida manatees should be reassessed.

  18. Twenty-six years of post-release monitoring of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): evaluation of a cooperative rehabilitation program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adimey, Nicole M.; Ross, Monica; Hall, Madison; Reid, James P.; Barlas, Margie E.; Keith Diagne, Lucy W; Bonde, Robert K.

    2016-01-01

    The rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) into the wild has occurred since 1974; however, a comprehensive evaluation of the outcomes of the releases has never been conducted. Herein, we examined data for 136 Florida manatees that were rehabilitated and released with telemetry tags between 1988 and 2013 to determine release outcome of each individual as either success (acclimation) or failure after at least 1 y. Ten predictor variables were statistically evaluated for potential relationships to release outcome. To assess the contribution of each predictor variable to release outcome, each variable was tested for significance in univariate analyses. Manatees born in captivity experienced poor success after release (14%), whereas the overall success of wild-born individuals was higher (72%). When compared with other variables in our dataset, number of days in captivity was the strongest predictor for determining success. Manatees rescued as calves and held in captivity for more than 5 y had a high likelihood of failure, while subadults and adults had a high likelihood of success, regardless of the amount of time spent in captivity. Ensuring the success of individual manatees after release is critical for evaluating the contribution of the manatee rehabilitation program to the growth of the wild population.

  19. Characterization of highly informative cross-species microsatellite panels for the Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) including five novel primers.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Margaret Kellogg; Broderick, Damien; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Bonde, Robert K; McGuire, Peter M; Lanyon, Janet M

    2010-03-01

    The Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are threatened species of aquatic mammals in the order Sirenia. Sirenian conservation and management actions would benefit from a more complete understanding of genetic diversity and population structure. Generally, species-specific microsatellite markers are employed in conservation genetic studies; however, robust markers can be difficult and costly to isolate. To increase the number of available markers, dugong and manatee microsatellite primers were evaluated for cross-species amplification. Furthermore, one manatee and four dugong novel primers are reported. After polymerase chain reaction optimization, 23 (92%) manatee primers successfully amplified dugong DNA, of which 11 (48%) were polymorphic. Of the 32 dugong primers tested, 27 (84%) yielded product in the manatee, of which 17 (63%) were polymorphic. Dugong and manatee primers were compared and the most informative markers were selected to create robust and informative marker-panels for each species. These cross-species microsatellite marker-panels can be employed to assess other sirenian populations and can provide beneficial information for the protection and management of these unique mammals. PMID:21565032

  20. Proximate nutrient analyses of four species of submerged aquatic vegetation consumed by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) compared to romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Scott, Karen C; Gerlach, Trevor; Sirois, Paul; Reuter, Mike; Crewz, David W; Hill, Richard C

    2010-12-01

    Free-ranging Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) consume a variety of sea grasses and algae. This study compared the dry matter (DM) content, proximate nutrients (crude protein [CP], ether-extracted crude fat [EE], nonfiber carbohydrate [NFC], and ash), and the calculated digestible energy (DE) of sea grasses (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme) collected in spring, summer, and winter, and an alga (Chara sp.) with those of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia). Neutral-detergent fiber (NDF), acid-detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin (L) measured after ash-extraction were also compared. Results of statistical tests (C = 0.01) revealed DM content was higher in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce (P = 0.0001), but NDF and ADF were up to threefold greater, EE (P = 0.00001) and CP (P = 0.00001) were 2-9 times less, and NFC (P = 0.0001) was 2-6 times lower in sea grass than in lettuce, on a DM basis. Chara was lower in NDF, ADF, L, EE, CP, and NFC relative to lettuce on a DM basis. Ash content (DM basis) was higher (P = 0.0001), and DE was 2-6 times lower in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce. Sea grass rhizomes had lower L and higher ash contents (DM basis) than sea grass leaves. Based on the nutrient analyses, romaine lettuce and sea grasses are not equivalent forages, which suggests that the current diet of captive Florida manatees should be reassessed. PMID:21370638

  1. Sexing sirenians: validation of visual and molecular sex determination in both wild dugongs (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Aquatic Mammals 35(2):187-192.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, Robert K.; Lanyon, J.; Sneath, H.; Ovenden, J.; Broderick, D.

    2009-01-01

    Sexing wild marine mammals that show little to no sexual dimorphism is challenging. For sirenians that are difficult to catch or approach closely, molecular sexing from tissue biopsies offers an alternative method to visual discrimination. This paper reports the results of a field study to validate the use of two sexing methods: (1) visual discrimination of sex vs (2) molecular sexing based on a multiplex PCR assay which amplifies the male-specific SRY gene and differentiates ZFX and ZFY gametologues. Skin samples from 628 dugongs (Dugong dugon) and 100 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were analysed and assigned as male or female based on molecular sex. These individuals were also assigned a sex based on either direct observation of the genitalia and/or the association of the individual with a calf. Individuals of both species showed 93 to 96% congruence between visual and molecular sexing. For the remaining 4 to 7%, the discrepancies could be explained by human error. To mitigate this error rate, we recommend using both of these robust techniques, with routine inclusion of sex primers into microsatellite panels employed for identity, along with trained field observers and stringent sample handling.

  2. Sexing sirenians: Validation of visual and molecular sex determination in both wild dugongs (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanyon, J.M.; Sneath, H.L.; Ovenden, J.R.; Broderick, D.; Bonde, R.K.

    2009-01-01

    Sexing wild marine mammals that show little to no sexual dimorphism is challenging. For sirenians that are difficult to catch or approach closely, molecular sexing from tissue biopsies offers an alternative method to visual discrimination. This paper reports the results of a field study to validate the use of two sexing methods: (1) visual discrimination of sex vs (2) molecular sexing based on a multiplex PCR assay which amplifies the male-specific SRY gene and differentiates ZFX and ZFY gametologues. Skin samples from 628 dugongs (Dugong dugon) and 100 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were analysed and assigned as male or female based on molecular sex. These individuals were also assigned a sex based on either direct observation of the genitalia and/or the association of the individual with a calf. Individuals of both species showed 93 to 96% congruence between visual and molecular sexing. For the remaining 4 to 7%, the discrepancies could be explained by human error. To mitigate this error rate, we recommend using both of these robust techniques, with routine inclusion of sex primers into microsatellite panels employed for identity, along with trained field observers and stringent sample handling.

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF REFERENCE RANGES FOR PLASMA TOTAL CHOLINESTERASE AND BRAIN ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN FREE-RANGING CARNABY'S BLACK-COCKATOOS (CALYPTORHYNCHUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Vaughan-Higgins, Rebecca; Vitali, Simone; Reiss, Andrea; Besier, Shane; Hollingsworth, Tom; Smith, Gerard

    2016-07-01

    Published avian reference ranges for plasma cholinesterase (ChE) and brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) are numerous. However, a consistently reported recommendation is the need for species- and laboratory-specific reference ranges because of variables, including assay methods, sample storage conditions, season, and bird sex, age, and physiologic status. We developed normal reference ranges for brain AChE and plasma total ChE (tChE) activity for Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) using a standardized protocol (substrate acetylthiocholine at 25 C). We report reference ranges for brain AChE (19-41 μmol/min per g, mean 21±6.38) and plasma tChE (0.41-0.53 μmol/min per mL, mean 0.47±0.11) (n=15). This information will be of use in the ongoing field investigation of a paresis-paralysis syndrome in the endangered Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos, suspected to be associated with exposure to anticholinesterase compounds and add to the paucity of reference ranges for plasma tChE and brain AChE in Australian psittacine birds.

  4. Trypanosoma naviformis sp. nov. (Kinetoplastidae: Trypanosomatidae) from widespread African songbirds, the Olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea) and Yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Marzec, Timothy; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2015-10-29

    Trypanosoma naviformis n. sp. is described from the African olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea in Ghana based on the morphology of its hematozoic trypomastigotes and partial sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. This parasite belongs to the group of small non-striated avian trypanosomes (< 30 µm in length in average) with the kinetoplast situated close to the posterior end of the body. Trypanosoma naviformis can be distinguished from other small avian trypanosomes due to its poorly visible flagellum, central position of its nucleus, and the symmetrically (in relation to the nucleus) narrowing of both ends of the hematozoic trypomastigotes, which are boat-like in shape. Illustrations of trypomastigotes of the new species are given, and SSU rDNA lineages associated with this parasite are documented. This parasite has been reported in Ghana and Cameroon and was also found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul, Andropadus latirostris in these countries. It appears to be widespread in its range given the distribution of these bird species in Africa.

  5. A review of the nutritional content and technological parameters of indigenous sources of meat in South America.

    PubMed

    Saadoun, A; Cabrera, M C

    2008-11-01

    Meat yields, proximate compositions, fatty acids compositions and technological parameters are reviewed for species which might be further developed as indigenous sources of meat in South America. These include the alpaca (Lama pacos), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), guanaco (Lama guanicoe), llama (Lama glama), nutria (Myocastor coypus), collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), greater rhea (Rhea americana), lesser rhea (Rhea pennata), yacare (Caiman crocodilus yacare), tegu lizard (Tupinambis merianae) and green iguana (Iguana iguana).

  6. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands.

    PubMed

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V; Wesselingh, Frank P; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman-Gnatusuchus pebasensis-bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene.

  7. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands.

    PubMed

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V; Wesselingh, Frank P; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman-Gnatusuchus pebasensis-bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene. PMID:25716785

  8. Seasonal response of ghrelin, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor I in the free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tighe, Rachel L; Bonde, Robert K.; Avery, Julie P.

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal changes in light, temperature, and food availability stimulate a physiological response in an animal. Seasonal adaptations are well studied in Arctic, Sub-Arctic, and hibernating mammals; however, limited studies have been conducted in sub-tropical species. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a sub-tropical marine mammal, forages less during colder temperatures and may rely on adipose stores for maintenance energy requirements. Metabolic hormones, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, and ghrelin influence growth rate, accretion of lean and adipose tissue. They have been shown to regulate seasonal changes in body composition. The objective of this research was to investigate manatee metabolic hormones in two seasons to determine if manatees exhibit seasonality and if these hormones are associated with seasonal changes in body composition. In addition, age related differences in these metabolic hormones were assessed in multiple age classes. Concentrations of GH, IGF-I, and ghrelin were quantified in adult manatee serum using heterologous radioimmunoassays. Samples were compared between short (winter) and long (summer) photoperiods (n = 22 male, 20 female) and by age class (adult, juvenile, and calf) in long photoperiods (n = 37). Short photoperiods tended to have reduced GH (p = 0.08), greater IGF-I (p = 0.01), and greater blubber depth (p = 0.03) compared with long photoperiods. No differences were observed in ghrelin (p = 0.66). Surprisingly, no age related differences were observed in IGF-I or ghrelin concentrations (p > 0.05). However, serum concentrations of GH tended (p = 0.07) to be greater in calves and juveniles compared with adults. Increased IGF-I, greater blubber thickness, and reduced GH during short photoperiod suggest a prioritization for adipose deposition. Whereas, increased GH, reduced blubber thickness, and decreased IGF-I in long photoperiod suggest prioritization of lean tissue

  9. Serum amyloid A (SAA) as a biomarker of chronic infection due to boat strike trauma in a free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) with incidental polycystic kidneys.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Rember, Renee; Ginn, Pamela E; Lightsey, Jessica; Keller, Martha; Reid, James; Bonde, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    Watercraft-related trauma is the predominant cause of human-induced mortality in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a federal- and state-listed endangered species. Pyothorax (documented in this case report) and other secondary infections are common sequelae of inhalation of water and the open wounds caused by boat propellers. These secondary infections can lead to the demise of the animal weeks to months after the traumatic incident when external wounds have healed. Diagnosis of underlying disease on physical examination during capture and restraint can be difficult. Acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and albumin can be used to diagnose inflammatory disease in manatees and improve quality of medical care and husbandry. We also provide the first report of polycystic kidneys in Sirenians.

  10. Serum amyloid A (SAA) as a biomarker of chronic infection due to boat strike trauma in a free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) with incidental polycystic kidneys.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Rember, Renee; Ginn, Pamela E; Lightsey, Jessica; Keller, Martha; Reid, James; Bonde, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    Watercraft-related trauma is the predominant cause of human-induced mortality in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a federal- and state-listed endangered species. Pyothorax (documented in this case report) and other secondary infections are common sequelae of inhalation of water and the open wounds caused by boat propellers. These secondary infections can lead to the demise of the animal weeks to months after the traumatic incident when external wounds have healed. Diagnosis of underlying disease on physical examination during capture and restraint can be difficult. Acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and albumin can be used to diagnose inflammatory disease in manatees and improve quality of medical care and husbandry. We also provide the first report of polycystic kidneys in Sirenians. PMID:22102678

  11. Serum amyloid A (SAA) as a biomarker of chronic infection due to boat strike trauma in a free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) with incidental polycystic kidneys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, Kendal E.; Rember, Renee; Ginn, Pamela E.; Lightsey, Jessica; Keller, Martha; Reid, James; Bonde, Robert K.

    2011-01-01

    Watercraft-related trauma is the predominant cause of human-induced mortality in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a federal- and state-listed endangered species. Pyothorax (documented in this case report) and other secondary infections are common sequelae of inhalation of water and the open wounds caused by boat propellers. These secondary infections can lead to the demise of the animal weeks to months after the traumatic incident when external wounds have healed. Diagnosis of underlying disease on physical examination during capture and restraint can be difficult. Acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and albumin can be used to diagnose inflammatory disease in manatees and improve quality of medical care and husbandry. We also provide the first report of polycystic kidneys in Sirenians.

  12. What can two years of monitoring tell us about Venezuelan coral reefs? the Southern Tropical America Node of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (STA-GCRMN).

    PubMed

    Cróquer, Aldo; Debrot, Denise; Klein, Eduardo; Kurten, Martina; Rodríguez, Sebastian; Bastidas, Carolina

    2010-05-01

    In spite of their economic importance, coral reef communities of the world are rapidly decreasing, and an adequate management planification is needed. The benthic and fish communities of Dos Mosquises Sur and Madrizqui at Los Roques National Park, and Caiman and Cayo Norte at Morrocoy National Park, in Venezuela were monitored during 2003 and 2004. The CARICOMP method was used to describe the benthic community, and the AGRRA protocol was applied to the fish community assessment. The benthic cover of five broad living categories (i.e. corals, algae, sponge and octocorals) differed across the sites (Nested ANOVA, p < 0.05), but there were no statistical differences between parks. Despite being on different parks, the benthic cover in Dos Mosquises Sur and Cayo Norte was similar (76% based on Bray-Curtis), whereas Caiman differed greatly (57- 68%) from all other sites. The cover of hard coral, algae, sponges and octocorals was similar between 2003 and 2004 in all four sites. Similarly, the fish community structure of both parks did not change over time, and was dominated by herbivores (Pomacentridac, Scaridae and Acanthuridae). However, commercially important carnivores (e.g. Lutjanids and Serranids) were more abundant in Los Roques than in Morrocoy. Although it was expected that the benthic cover and fish community would reflect greater differences between Los Roques and Morrocoy, only the fish community appeared healthier in Los Roques, whereas Cayo Norte (Morrocoy), had a coral cover similar or higher than both sites of Los Roques. Thus, our results suggest that in Venezuela, oceanic reef sites are not necessarily 'healthier' (i.e. higher coral cover) than land-influenced coral communities. The addition of three new sites and the reincorporation of Caiman has improved and expanded the monitoring capabilities in Venezuela and it represents the first step towards the consolidation of a coral reef monitoring program for the country.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-20

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

  14. Can Scat Analysis Describe the Feeding Habits of Big Cats? A Case Study with Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Southern Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Perilli, Miriam L L; Lima, Fernando; Rodrigues, Flávio H G; Cavalcanti, Sandra M C

    2016-01-01

    Large cats feeding habits have been studied through two main methods: scat analysis and the carcasses of prey killed by monitored animals. From November 2001 to April 2004, we studied jaguar predation patterns using GPS telemetry location clusters on a cattle ranch in southern Pantanal. During this period, we recorded 431 carcasses of animals preyed upon by monitored jaguars. Concurrently, we collected 125 jaguar scats opportunistically. We compared the frequencies of prey found through each method. We also compared the prey communities using Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient. These comparisons allowed us to evaluate the use of scat analysis as a means to describe jaguar feeding habits. Both approaches identified prey communities with high similarity (Bray-Curtis coefficient > 70). According to either method, jaguars consume three main prey: cattle (Bos taurus), caiman (Caiman yacare) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). The two methods did not differ in the frequency of the three main prey over dry and wet seasons or years sampled. Our results show that scat analysis is effective and capable of describing jaguar feeding habits.

  15. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J.; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V.; Wesselingh, Frank P.; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman—Gnatusuchus pebasensis—bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene. PMID:25716785

  16. Serological evidence of widespread circulation of West Nile virus and other flaviviruses in equines of the Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Campos, Zilca; Juliano, Raquel; Velez, Jason; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-02-01

    A recent study reported neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) in horses from four ranches of southern Pantanal. To extend that study, a serosurvey for WNV and 11 Brazilian flaviviruses was conducted with 760 equines, 238 sheep and 61 caimans from 17 local cattle ranches. Among the tested equines, 32 were collected from a ranch where a neurologic disorder outbreak had been recently reported. The sera were initially screened by using a blocking ELISA and then titrated by 90% plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT90) for 12 flaviviruses. Employing the criterion of 4-fold greater titer, 78 (10.3%) equines were seropositive for Ilheus virus, 59 (7.8%) for Saint Louis encephalitis virus, 24 (3.2%) for WNV, two (0.3%) for Cacipacore virus and one (0.1%) for Rocio virus. No serological evidence was found linking the neurological disease that affected local equines to WNV. All caimans and sheep were negative by blocking ELISA for flaviviruses. There were no seropositive equines for Bussuquara, Iguape, Yellow fever and all four Dengue virus serotypes. The detection of WNV-seropositive equines in ten ranches and ILHV and SLEV-seropositive equines in fourteen ranches of two different sub-regions of Pantanal is strong evidence of widespread circulation of these flaviviruses in the region.

  17. Crocodylus niloticus (Crocodilia) is highly sensitive to water surface waves.

    PubMed

    Grap, Nadja J; Monzel, Anna S; Kohl, Tobias; Bleckmann, Horst

    2015-10-01

    Crocodiles show oriented responses to water surface wave stimuli but up to now behavioral thresholds are missing. This study determines the behavioral thresholds of crocodilians to water surface waves. Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) were conditioned to respond to single-frequency water surface wave stimuli (duration 1150 ms, frequency 15, 30, 40, 60 and 80 Hz), produced by blowing air onto the water surface. Our study shows that C. niloticus is highly sensitive to capillary water surface waves. Threshold values decreased with increasing frequency and ranged between 10.3 μm (15 Hz) and 0.5 μm (80 Hz) peak-to-peak wave amplitude. For the frequencies 15 Hz and 30 Hz the sensitivity of one spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) to water surface waves was also tested. Threshold values were 12.8 μm (15 Hz) down to 1.76 μm (30 Hz), i.e. close to the threshold values of C. niloticus. The surface wave sensitivity of crocodiles is similar to the surface wave sensitivity of semi-aquatic insects and fishing spiders but does not match the sensitivity of surface-feeding fishes which is higher by one to two orders of magnitude.

  18. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Toyosawa, S; O'hUigin, C; Figueroa, F; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1998-10-27

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci.

  19. Crocodylus niloticus (Crocodilia) is highly sensitive to water surface waves.

    PubMed

    Grap, Nadja J; Monzel, Anna S; Kohl, Tobias; Bleckmann, Horst

    2015-10-01

    Crocodiles show oriented responses to water surface wave stimuli but up to now behavioral thresholds are missing. This study determines the behavioral thresholds of crocodilians to water surface waves. Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) were conditioned to respond to single-frequency water surface wave stimuli (duration 1150 ms, frequency 15, 30, 40, 60 and 80 Hz), produced by blowing air onto the water surface. Our study shows that C. niloticus is highly sensitive to capillary water surface waves. Threshold values decreased with increasing frequency and ranged between 10.3 μm (15 Hz) and 0.5 μm (80 Hz) peak-to-peak wave amplitude. For the frequencies 15 Hz and 30 Hz the sensitivity of one spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) to water surface waves was also tested. Threshold values were 12.8 μm (15 Hz) down to 1.76 μm (30 Hz), i.e. close to the threshold values of C. niloticus. The surface wave sensitivity of crocodiles is similar to the surface wave sensitivity of semi-aquatic insects and fishing spiders but does not match the sensitivity of surface-feeding fishes which is higher by one to two orders of magnitude. PMID:26153334

  20. Can Scat Analysis Describe the Feeding Habits of Big Cats? A Case Study with Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Southern Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Perilli, Miriam L L; Lima, Fernando; Rodrigues, Flávio H G; Cavalcanti, Sandra M C

    2016-01-01

    Large cats feeding habits have been studied through two main methods: scat analysis and the carcasses of prey killed by monitored animals. From November 2001 to April 2004, we studied jaguar predation patterns using GPS telemetry location clusters on a cattle ranch in southern Pantanal. During this period, we recorded 431 carcasses of animals preyed upon by monitored jaguars. Concurrently, we collected 125 jaguar scats opportunistically. We compared the frequencies of prey found through each method. We also compared the prey communities using Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient. These comparisons allowed us to evaluate the use of scat analysis as a means to describe jaguar feeding habits. Both approaches identified prey communities with high similarity (Bray-Curtis coefficient > 70). According to either method, jaguars consume three main prey: cattle (Bos taurus), caiman (Caiman yacare) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). The two methods did not differ in the frequency of the three main prey over dry and wet seasons or years sampled. Our results show that scat analysis is effective and capable of describing jaguar feeding habits. PMID:27002524

  1. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Toyosawa, Satoru; O’hUigin, Colm; Figueroa, Felipe; Tichy, Herbert; Klein, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci. PMID:9789040

  2. Neutralising antibodies for Mayaro virus in Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Juliano, Raquel Soares; Campos, Zilca; Velez, Jason; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Komar, Nicholas

    2015-02-01

    The Pantanal hosts diverse wildlife species and therefore is a hotspot for arbovirus studies in South America. A serosurvey for Mayaro virus (MAYV), eastern (EEEV), western (WEEV) and Venezuelan (VEEV) equine encephalitis viruses was conducted with 237 sheep, 87 free-ranging caimans and 748 equids, including 37 collected from a ranch where a neurologic disorder outbreak had been recently reported. Sera were tested for specific viral antibodies using plaque-reduction neutralisation test. From a total of 748 equids, of which 264 were immunised with vaccine composed of EEEV and WEEV and 484 had no history of immunisation, 10 (1.3%) were seropositive for MAYV and two (0.3%) for VEEV using criteria of a ≥ 4-fold antibody titre difference. Among the 484 equids without history of immunisation, 48 (9.9%) were seropositive for EEEV and four (0.8%) for WEEV using the same criteria. Among the sheep, five were sero- positive for equine encephalitis alphaviruses, with one (0.4%) for EEEV, one (0.4%) for WEEV and three (1.3%) for VEEV. Regarding free-ranging caimans, one (1.1%) and three (3.4%), respectively, had low titres for neutralising antibodies to VEEV and undetermined alphaviruses. The neurological disorder outbreak could not be linked to the alphaviruses tested. Our findings represent strong evidence that MAYV and all equine encephalitis alphaviruses circulated in the Pantanal. PMID:25742272

  3. Non-lethal sampling for mercury evaluation in crocodilians.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Wilkinson L; de Oliveira, Robson F; dos Santos-Filho, Manoel; da Silva, Carolina J; Malm, Olaf; Ignácio, Áurea R A; Díez, Sergi

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that poses potential threats to ecosystems due to its toxicity to humans and wildlife. The development of non-lethal sampling techniques is a critical step for evaluation of Hg in threatened species in tropical floodplain environments, where most of Hg found is the result of land use and gold mining activities, and more methylation sites are available. We evaluated the spatial and seasonal effectiveness of caudal scutes and claws to estimate Hg bioaccumulation in crocodilians (Caiman yacare), in the scarcely documented Pantanal. Hence, we investigated the potential for Hg bioaccumulation in top predators according to its proximity to mining sites, and in water bodies with different hydrological characteristics and connectivity with the main river during two phases of the flood pulse (dry and flood). The highest Hg concentrations were detected in caimans captured close to mining activities, in claws (2176 ng g(-1) ww) and caudal scutes (388 ng g(-1) ww). THg concentration in claws was related to the flood season and its mean concentration was thirteen fold higher than Hg concentration in scutes during whole year. Both tissues were found to be effective as non-lethal sampling techniques for measuring Hg bioaccumulation in reptiles over time. Nevertheless, claw tissue seems to have a more consistent result, since its constitutional chemical characteristics makes it a better indicator of spatial patterns that influence on Hg exposure. PMID:26026900

  4. Can Scat Analysis Describe the Feeding Habits of Big Cats? A Case Study with Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Southern Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Perilli, Miriam L. L.; Lima, Fernando; Rodrigues, Flávio H. G.; Cavalcanti, Sandra M. C.

    2016-01-01

    Large cats feeding habits have been studied through two main methods: scat analysis and the carcasses of prey killed by monitored animals. From November 2001 to April 2004, we studied jaguar predation patterns using GPS telemetry location clusters on a cattle ranch in southern Pantanal. During this period, we recorded 431 carcasses of animals preyed upon by monitored jaguars. Concurrently, we collected 125 jaguar scats opportunistically. We compared the frequencies of prey found through each method. We also compared the prey communities using Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient. These comparisons allowed us to evaluate the use of scat analysis as a means to describe jaguar feeding habits. Both approaches identified prey communities with high similarity (Bray-Curtis coefficient > 70). According to either method, jaguars consume three main prey: cattle (Bos taurus), caiman (Caiman yacare) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). The two methods did not differ in the frequency of the three main prey over dry and wet seasons or years sampled. Our results show that scat analysis is effective and capable of describing jaguar feeding habits. PMID:27002524

  5. Crocodylians evolved scattered multi-sensory micro-organs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background During their evolution towards a complete life cycle on land, stem reptiles developed both an impermeable multi-layered keratinized epidermis and skin appendages (scales) providing mechanical, thermal, and chemical protection. Previous studies have demonstrated that, despite the presence of a particularly armored skin, crocodylians have exquisite mechanosensory abilities thanks to the presence of small integumentary sensory organs (ISOs) distributed on postcranial and/or cranial scales. Results Here, we analyze and compare the structure, innervation, embryonic morphogenesis and sensory functions of postcranial, cranial, and lingual sensory organs of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Our molecular analyses indicate that sensory neurons of crocodylian ISOs express a large repertoire of transduction channels involved in mechano-, thermo-, and chemosensory functions, and our electrophysiological analyses confirm that each ISO exhibits a combined sensitivity to mechanical, thermal and pH stimuli (but not hyper-osmotic salinity), making them remarkable multi-sensorial micro-organs with no equivalent in the sensory systems of other vertebrate lineages. We also show that ISOs all exhibit similar morphologies and modes of development, despite forming at different stages of scale morphogenesis across the body. Conclusions The ancestral vertebrate diffused sensory system of the skin was transformed in the crocodylian lineages into an array of discrete multi-sensory micro-organs innervated by multiple pools of sensory neurons. This discretization of skin sensory expression sites is unique among vertebrates and allowed crocodylians to develop a highly-armored, but very sensitive, skin. PMID:23819918

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

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Free amino acids in crocodilians fed proteins of different biological value.

    PubMed

    Herbert, J D; Coulson, R A

    1975-05-01

    Changes in plasma levels of amino acids derived from fed protein were determined by feeding crocodilians (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus and Alligator mississipiensis) 7.5 g protein/kg body weight and by monitoring the plasma free amino acids for several days. Zein and several other vegetable proteins produced no rise in plasma amino acids and were excreted intact in the feces. Casein and fish muscle were rapidly digested but produced little rise in plasma amino acids, and the increases showed no relationship to the composition of the protein fed. Gelatin feeding led to large increases in plasma amino acids that persisted for more than a week, and the resulting pattern was nearly identical to the composition of gelatin with the exception of aspartic and glutamic acids, and several animals died. Equivalent quantities of fish muscle protein were assimilated without difficulty by the crocodilians. Endogenous protein secreted into the gut apparently contributed little to the amino acid mixture absorbed.

  8. Salmonella serotypes in reptiles and humans, French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Gay, Noellie; Le Hello, Simon; Weill, François-Xavier; de Thoisy, Benoit; Berger, Franck

    2014-05-14

    In French Guiana, a French overseas territory located in the South American northern coast, nearly 50% of Salmonella serotypes isolated from human infections belong to serotypes rarely encountered in metropolitan France. A reptilian source of contamination has been investigated. Between April and June 2011, in the area around Cayenne, 151 reptiles were collected: 38 lizards, 37 snakes, 32 turtles, 23 green iguanas and 21 caimans. Cloacal swab samples were collected and cultured. Isolated Salmonella strains were identified biochemically and serotyped. The overall carriage frequency of carriage was 23.2% (95% confidence interval: 16.7-30.4) with 23 serotyped strains. The frequency of Salmonella carriage was significantly higher for wild reptiles. Near two-thirds of the Salmonella serotypes isolated from reptiles were also isolated from patients in French Guiana. Our results highlight the risk associated with the handling and consumption of reptiles and their role in the spread of Salmonella in the environment.

  9. "Pig in a poke (gato por liebre)": the "mota" (Calophysus macropterus) fishery, molecular evidence of commercialization in Colombia and toxicological analyses.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Cristian; Cubillos, Juan Camilo; Gómez, Rigoberto; Trujillo, Fernando; Caballero, Susana

    2014-06-01

    Overfishing has affected the population abundance trends of many commercial fish species. In the Amazon, the fishery of a catfish commonly known as "mota" or "piracatinga" (Calophysus macropterus) has become an important economic activity in the region as this species has replaced a number of other overexploited great catfish species in the markets. Due to this high exploitation, ways in which to increase captures have been identified. One strategy is to use decomposing animal carcasses as bait. Such strategy has increased the hunting pressure on endangered species such as caimans and river dolphins. We investigated which catfish species are currently commercialized in Colombian fish markets using DNA barcoding, and measured mercury concentration in the tissues of fish molecularly identified as C. macropterus. We collected 86 fish samples in markets of four Colombian cities. Sixty-eight of these were identified molecularly as C.macropterus. The mercury concentration of 29 such samples was analyzed. Samples presented total Hg concentrations higher than the limit for human consumption established by the WHO (0.5 μg/g). These results are worrisome and suggest that (1) C. macropterus is a widely used fish species for human consumption in Colombia and (2) C. macropterus has high concentrations of total Hg, making its consumption a public health risk. Results presented here suggest that C. macropterus has replaced capaz in most Colombian markets. This fishery threatens wild species of river dolphins and caimans, and is also a public health risk given the high mercury levels we found in a subsample of these fishes. PMID:24419666

  10. "Pig in a poke (gato por liebre)": the "mota" (Calophysus macropterus) fishery, molecular evidence of commercialization in Colombia and toxicological analyses.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Cristian; Cubillos, Juan Camilo; Gómez, Rigoberto; Trujillo, Fernando; Caballero, Susana

    2014-06-01

    Overfishing has affected the population abundance trends of many commercial fish species. In the Amazon, the fishery of a catfish commonly known as "mota" or "piracatinga" (Calophysus macropterus) has become an important economic activity in the region as this species has replaced a number of other overexploited great catfish species in the markets. Due to this high exploitation, ways in which to increase captures have been identified. One strategy is to use decomposing animal carcasses as bait. Such strategy has increased the hunting pressure on endangered species such as caimans and river dolphins. We investigated which catfish species are currently commercialized in Colombian fish markets using DNA barcoding, and measured mercury concentration in the tissues of fish molecularly identified as C. macropterus. We collected 86 fish samples in markets of four Colombian cities. Sixty-eight of these were identified molecularly as C.macropterus. The mercury concentration of 29 such samples was analyzed. Samples presented total Hg concentrations higher than the limit for human consumption established by the WHO (0.5 μg/g). These results are worrisome and suggest that (1) C. macropterus is a widely used fish species for human consumption in Colombia and (2) C. macropterus has high concentrations of total Hg, making its consumption a public health risk. Results presented here suggest that C. macropterus has replaced capaz in most Colombian markets. This fishery threatens wild species of river dolphins and caimans, and is also a public health risk given the high mercury levels we found in a subsample of these fishes.

  11. Gut blood flow in the estuarine crocodile, Crocodylus porosus.

    PubMed

    Axelsson, M; Fritsche, R; Holmgren, S; Grove, D J; Nilsson, S

    1991-08-01

    Simultaneous recordings of blood flow in the right and left aorta and carotid and coeliac artery were made in the crocodile, Crocodylus porosus at rest and during various stimuli. In resting animals the right aorta and carotid artery flow profiles resembled the recordings obtained in the caiman (Axelsson et al. 1989a), with an anterograde blood flow throughout the cardiac cycle. As in the caiman, the left aorta flow profile was complex with both anterograde and retrograde blood flow during the cardiac cycle, and a net left aorta blood flow near zero at rest. The coeliac artery blood flow profile did not show the complex pattern seen in the upper aorta, immediately suggesting that most of the coeliac artery blood originates elsewhere. We believe that coeliac artery blood flow in the resting animal derives from the right aorta via the abdominal anastomosis between the two aortas. Feeding induced an increase in the coeliac artery and left aorta blood flow, probably due to a decrease in visceral vascular resistance, and hence coeliac arterial and the left aorta blood pressure, which facilitates blood flow (from right to left aorta) through the foramen of Panizza. During short 'fright dives', heart rate fell and there was a decrease in the recorded blood flows: carotid artery blood flow did not decrease to the same extent as the RAo and coeliac artery flow, indicating some capacity for redistribution of blood to the cephalic circuits during diving. Similarly, a near-unimpaired carotid artery blood flow was maintained after adrenaline injection. Substance P increased the coeliac artery blood flow and produced a right-to-left cardiac shunt, probably by construction of the pulmonary vasculature.

  12. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Tripp, Kathleen M; Verstegen, John P; Deutsch, Charles J; Bonde, Robert K; de Wit, Martine; Manire, Charles A; Gaspard, Joseph; Harr, Kendal E

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ≤23.5 and ≤16.7%; and ACTH: ≤6.9 and ≤8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R(2)≥0.87 for serum cortisol and ≥0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1 µg/dl) and ACTH (10.0 pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ≥1.0 µg/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ≥87.5 pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4±0.2 µg/dl) and ACTH (47.7±15.9 pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate.

  13. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, K.M.; Verstegen, J.P.; Deutsch, C.; Bonde, Robert K.; de Wit, M.; Manire, C.A.; Gaspard, J.; Harr, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ≤23.5 and ≤16.7%; and ACTH: ≤6.9 and ≤8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R(2)≥0.87 for serum cortisol and ≥0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1 µg/dl) and ACTH (10.0 pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ≥1.0 µg/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ≥87.5 pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4±0.2 µg/dl) and ACTH (47.7±15.9 pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate.

  14. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, K.M.; Verstegen, J.P.; Deutsch, C.J.; Bonde, R.K.; Wit, M.D.; Manire, C.A.; Gaspard, J.; Harr, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ???23.5 and ???16.7%; and ACTH: ???6.9 and ???8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R2???0.87 for serum cortisol and ???0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1??g/dl) and ACTH (10.0pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ???1.0??g/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ???87.5pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4??0.2??g/dl) and ACTH (47.7??15.9pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate. ?? 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Distribution patterns and predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in experimentally infected Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti).

    PubMed

    La Grange, Louis J; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2014-02-21

    No controlled studies have been conducted to determine the predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) or the influence of infection intensity on the distribution of the larvae in crocodiles. The distribution of larvae in muscles of naturally infected Nile crocodiles and experimentally infected caimans (Caiman crocodilus) and varans (Varanus exanthematicus) have been reported in literature. To determine the distribution patterns of T. zimbabwensis larvae and predilection muscles, 15 crocodiles were randomly divided into three cohorts of five animals each, representing high infection (642 larvae/kg of bodyweight average), medium infection (414 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) and low infection (134 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) cohorts. In the high infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were observed in the triceps muscles (26%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the medium infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were found in the triceps muscles (50%), sternomastoid (18%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the low infection cohort, larvae were mainly found in the intercostal muscles (36%), longissimus complex (27%), forelimb muscles (20%) and hind limb muscles (10%). Predilection muscles in the high and medium infection cohorts were similar to those reported in naturally infected crocodiles despite changes in infection intensity. The high infection cohort had significantly higher numbers of larvae in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles (p < 0.05) compared with the medium infection cohort. In comparison with the low infection cohort, the high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae in all muscles (p < 0.05) except for the tongue. The high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae (p < 0.05) in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex

  16. Creating sustainable performance.

    PubMed

    Spreitzer, Gretchen; Porath, Christine

    2012-01-01

    What makes for sustainable individual and organizational performance? Employees who are thriving-not just satisfied and productive but also engaged in creating the future. The authors found that people who fit this description demonstrated 16% better overall performance, 125% less burnout, 32% more commitment to the organization, and 46% more job satisfaction than their peers. Thriving has two components: vitality, or the sense of being alive and excited, and learning, or the growth that comes from gaining knowledge and skills. Some people naturally build vitality and learning into their jobs, but most employees are influenced by their environment. Four mechanisms, none of which requires heroic effort or major resources, create the conditions for thriving: providing decision-making discretion, sharing information about the organization and its strategy, minimizing incivility, and offering performance feedback. Organizations such as Alaska Airlines, Zingerman's, Quicken Loans, and Caiman Consulting have found that helping people grow and remain energized at work is valiant on its own merits-but it can also boost performance in a sustainable way. PMID:22299508

  17. Reentry survivability modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fudge, Michael L.; Maher, Robert L.

    1997-10-01

    Statistical methods for expressing the impact risk posed to space systems in general [and the International Space Station (ISS) in particular] by other resident space objects have been examined. One of the findings of this investigation is that there are legitimate physical modeling reasons for the common statistical expression of the collision risk. A combination of statistical methods and physical modeling is also used to express the impact risk posed by re-entering space systems to objects of interest (e.g., people and property) on Earth. One of the largest uncertainties in the expressing of this risk is the estimation of survivable material which survives reentry to impact Earth's surface. This point was recently demonstrated in dramatic fashion by the impact of an intact expendable launch vehicle (ELV) upper stage near a private residence in the continental United States. Since approximately half of the missions supporting ISS will utilize ELVs, it is appropriate to examine the methods used to estimate the amount and physical characteristics of ELV debris surviving reentry to impact Earth's surface. This paper examines reentry survivability estimation methodology, including the specific methodology used by Caiman Sciences' 'Survive' model. Comparison between empirical results (observations of objects which have been recovered on Earth after surviving reentry) and Survive estimates are presented for selected upper stage or spacecraft components and a Delta launch vehicle second stage.

  18. Measurements of Sr/Ca in bones to evaluate differences in temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, P. R.; Added, N.; Aburaya, J. H.; Rizzutto, M. A.

    2008-04-01

    Analysis of aragonite from sea shells and coral skeletons showed a clear correlation between the strontium and calcium concentrations for these crystals (Sr/Ca ratio) and seawater temperature obtained by satellites and ship readings. In this work we present the results of a study that correlates Sr/Ca ratio with formation temperature of another calcium crystal, the hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2), main mineral compound of teeth and bones from vertebrates. These animals, independent of its thermoregulation pattern (endothermic or ectothermic) have variations of internal temperature along the body. One interesting application of this work is to differentiate warm-blooded animals from cold-blooded ones just by measuring Sr/Ca ratio in their bones. Bones from a crocodile from Caiman yacare species and two dogs, a poodle and a non defined race, were analyzed using PIXE technique and thick target correction. A 1.78 (18) MeV external proton beam was used in LAMFI-USP with an accumulated charge of about 10 μC for probing the samples. Emitted X-rays were collected using Si-PIN detectors (140 keV for Fe). As in coral skeletons, the Sr/Ca ratio of animals is lower in the body's warmer parts and higher in colder parts.

  19. Role of Chromosome Changes in Crocodylus Evolution and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thapana, Watcharaporn; Muangmai, Narongrit

    2015-01-01

    The karyotypes of most species of crocodilians were studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetics. These provided an important contribution of chromosomal rearrangements for the evolutionary processes of Crocodylia and Sauropsida (birds and reptiles). The karyotypic features of crocodilians contain small diploid chromosome numbers (30~42), with little interspecific variation of the chromosome arm number (fundamental number) among crocodiles (56~60). This suggested that centric fusion and/or fission events occurred in the lineage, leading to crocodilian evolution and diversity. The chromosome numbers of Alligator, Caiman, Melanosuchus, Paleosuchus, Gavialis, Tomistoma, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus were stable within each genus, whereas those of Crocodylus (crocodylians) varied within the taxa. This agreed with molecular phylogeny that suggested a highly recent radiation of Crocodylus species. Karyotype analysis also suggests the direction of molecular phylogenetic placement among Crocodylus species and their migration from the Indo-Pacific to Africa and The New World. Crocodylus species originated from an ancestor in the Indo-Pacific around 9~16 million years ago (MYA) in the mid-Miocene, with a rapid radiation and dispersion into Africa 8~12 MYA. This was followed by a trans-Atlantic dispersion to the New World between 4~8 MYA in the Pliocene. The chromosomes provided a better understanding of crocodilian evolution and diversity, which will be useful for further study of the genome evolution in Crocodylia. PMID:26865840

  20. Role of Chromosome Changes in Crocodylus Evolution and Diversity.

    PubMed

    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Thapana, Watcharaporn; Muangmai, Narongrit

    2015-12-01

    The karyotypes of most species of crocodilians were studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetics. These provided an important contribution of chromosomal rearrangements for the evolutionary processes of Crocodylia and Sauropsida (birds and reptiles). The karyotypic features of crocodilians contain small diploid chromosome numbers (30~42), with little interspecific variation of the chromosome arm number (fundamental number) among crocodiles (56~60). This suggested that centric fusion and/or fission events occurred in the lineage, leading to crocodilian evolution and diversity. The chromosome numbers of Alligator, Caiman, Melanosuchus, Paleosuchus, Gavialis, Tomistoma, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus were stable within each genus, whereas those of Crocodylus (crocodylians) varied within the taxa. This agreed with molecular phylogeny that suggested a highly recent radiation of Crocodylus species. Karyotype analysis also suggests the direction of molecular phylogenetic placement among Crocodylus species and their migration from the Indo-Pacific to Africa and The New World. Crocodylus species originated from an ancestor in the Indo-Pacific around 9~16 million years ago (MYA) in the mid-Miocene, with a rapid radiation and dispersion into Africa 8~12 MYA. This was followed by a trans-Atlantic dispersion to the New World between 4~8 MYA in the Pliocene. The chromosomes provided a better understanding of crocodilian evolution and diversity, which will be useful for further study of the genome evolution in Crocodylia. PMID:26865840

  1. When You Get What You Haven't Paid for: Molecular Identification of "Douradinha" Fish Fillets Can Help End the Illegal Use of River Dolphins as Bait in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Haydée A; da Silva, Vera M F; Santos, Teresa E C; Moreira, Stella M; do Carmo, Nivia A S; Solé-Cava, Antonio M

    2015-01-01

    The fishery for Calophysus macropterus, an Amazonian necrophagous catfish, is highly detrimental to river dolphins and caimans, which are deliberately killed for use as bait. In the Brazilian Amazon, this fishery has increased over the last decade, in spite of the rejection of scavenger fishes by Brazilian consumers. It was suspected that C. macropterus fillets were being sold in Brazilian markets, disguised as a fictitious fish (the "douradinha"). We collected 62 fillets from "douradinha" and other suspiciously named fish from 4 fish-processing plants sold at 6 markets in Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, and sequenced the cytochrome b gene to identify fillets to species. Sixty percent of fillets labeled "douradinha" or with other deceptive names were actually C. macropterus. Six other fish species of low commercial value were also found. The presence of dolphin tissue in the stomach contents of C. macropterus was confirmed by mtDNA control region sequencing. Our results formed the scientific basis for a moratorium on the fishing and fraudulent selling of C. macropterus, issued by the Brazilian Ministries of the Environment and Fisheries. Exposure of this fraud via the mass media can help end the illegal use of dolphins as bait in Brazil. PMID:26245791

  2. Origin of gene overlap: the case of TCP1 and ACAT2.

    PubMed Central

    Shintani, S; O'hUigin, C; Toyosawa, S; Michalová, V; Klein, J

    1999-01-01

    The human acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 2 gene, ACAT2, codes for a thiolase, an enzyme involved in lipid metabolism. The human T-complex protein 1 gene, TCP1, encodes a molecular chaperone of the chaperonin family. The two genes overlap by their 3'-untranslated regions, their coding sequences being located on opposite DNA strands in a tail-to-tail orientation. To find out how the overlap might have arisen in evolution, the homologous genes of the zebrafish, the African toad, caiman, platypus, opossum, and wallaby were identified. In each species, standard or long polymerase chain reactions were used to determine whether the ACAT2 and TCP1 homologs are closely linked and, if so, whether they overlap. The results reveal that the overlap apparently arose during the transition from therapsid reptiles to mammals and has been retained for >200 million years. Part of the overlapping untranslated region shows remarkable sequence conservation. The overlap presumably arose during the chromosomal rearrangement that brought the two unrelated and previously separated genes together. One or both of the transposed genes found by chance signals that are necessary for the processing of their transcripts to be present on the noncoding strand of the partner gene. PMID:10353914

  3. When You Get What You Haven't Paid for: Molecular Identification of "Douradinha" Fish Fillets Can Help End the Illegal Use of River Dolphins as Bait in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Haydée A; da Silva, Vera M F; Santos, Teresa E C; Moreira, Stella M; do Carmo, Nivia A S; Solé-Cava, Antonio M

    2015-01-01

    The fishery for Calophysus macropterus, an Amazonian necrophagous catfish, is highly detrimental to river dolphins and caimans, which are deliberately killed for use as bait. In the Brazilian Amazon, this fishery has increased over the last decade, in spite of the rejection of scavenger fishes by Brazilian consumers. It was suspected that C. macropterus fillets were being sold in Brazilian markets, disguised as a fictitious fish (the "douradinha"). We collected 62 fillets from "douradinha" and other suspiciously named fish from 4 fish-processing plants sold at 6 markets in Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, and sequenced the cytochrome b gene to identify fillets to species. Sixty percent of fillets labeled "douradinha" or with other deceptive names were actually C. macropterus. Six other fish species of low commercial value were also found. The presence of dolphin tissue in the stomach contents of C. macropterus was confirmed by mtDNA control region sequencing. Our results formed the scientific basis for a moratorium on the fishing and fraudulent selling of C. macropterus, issued by the Brazilian Ministries of the Environment and Fisheries. Exposure of this fraud via the mass media can help end the illegal use of dolphins as bait in Brazil.

  4. Seasonal variations in black-faced black spider monkey (Ateles chamek) habitat use and ranging behavior in a southern Amazonian tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Robert B

    2006-04-01

    Data are presented regarding the habitat use and ranging behavior of a spider monkey (Ateles chamek) community at Lago Caiman in northeastern Bolivia. Habitat use was driven primarily by fruit availability and distribution across the community home range. Strong seasonal variations occurred in fruit availability within all five of the floristically and phenologically distinct habitat types identified within the study site, and the spider monkeys dramatically shifted their ranging according to which habitat was richest in fleshy fruits. This use of local habitat diversity resulted in an unusually elongated shape for the home range that was otherwise typical of previous Ateles studies in terms of size. Ranging behavior was clumped and community core areas shifted seasonally across the focal community home range. Individual core areas were not relevant to the study due to dramatic community-wide shifts in ranging patterns. Day journey lengths were highly variable (460-5,690 m) and the distribution and abundance of fleshy fruit resources explained 81% of the monthly variations in mean day journey length. Keystone habitats for forest frugivores are identified and results are discussed with reference to previous studies on this genus, and the importance of considering keystone habitats and local habitat diversity within the management of forestry concessions in the region. Results are also discussed with reference to the behavioral ecology of the genus Ateles.

  5. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

    Individuals who live and work in the Southeastern coastal range of the 3 US crocodilian carnivores, American alligators, American crocodiles, and caiman, understand the risks of reptile-human encounters. Individuals who live in other parts of the country maybe exposed through contact with exotic pets at private homes, small menageries, or petting zoos or from escaped or abandoned animals. During these encounters, individuals may be severely injured.Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and animal welfare workers in nonhabitat areas are usually not trained in the handling and safe removal of injured individuals from the scene when the reptile is present. The emergency management of large crocodilian injuries is similar to that of other major trauma; however, providers also must take into consideration the significant crush component potentially inflicted by the tremendous bite power and shaking inflicting during attacks by these large reptiles, appropriate antibiotic coverage for less common organisms that inhabit their mouths, and management of possible psychological distress, including posttraumatic stress disorder produced by such an unusual attack. Emergency physicians should support the development of a readily available national database of scientifically collect information on attacks to inform appropriate care and support efforts to explore responsible measures that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies can take to ensure ethical and biologically sustainable management of our large reptiles, which also helps to ensure the safety of the public. PMID:24332253

  6. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2013-06-01

    Florida manatees inhabit the coastal and inland waters of the peninsular state. They have little difficulty navigating the turbid waterways, which often contain obstacles that they must circumnavigate. Anatomical and behavioral research suggests that the vibrissae and associated follicle-sinus complexes that manatees possess over their entire body form a sensory array system for detecting hydrodynamic stimuli analogous to the lateral line system of fish. This is consistent with data highlighting that manatees are tactile specialists, evidenced by their specialized facial morphology and use of their vibrissae during feeding and active investigation/manipulation of objects. Two Florida manatees were tested in a go/no-go procedure using a staircase method to assess their ability to detect low-frequency water movement. Hydrodynamic vibrations were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz, which are below the apparent functional hearing limit of the manatee. The manatees detected particle displacement of less than 1 μm for frequencies of 15-150 Hz and of less than a nanometer at 150 Hz. Restricting the facial vibrissae with various size mesh openings indicated that the specialized sensory hairs played an important role in the manatee's exquisite tactile sensitivity.

  7. Corneal vascularization in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and three-dimensional reconstruction of vessels.

    PubMed

    Harper, Jennifer Y; Samuelson, Don A; Reep, Roger L

    2005-01-01

    The cornea of the Florida manatee is unique and unusual in its anatomy in that blood vessels have been found throughout. In all other animal species, this is considered a pathological condition impeding vision, and is usually caused by injury or trauma. The purpose of this study was to more clearly describe corneal vascularization by examining the architecture through three-dimensional reconstruction in order to find possible patterns in size, distribution, and location of blood vessels relative to gender, age, location, and season. Twenty-six eyes from 22 individuals were prepared for histologic examination and subsequent three-dimensional reconstruction. Every specimen examined had blood vessels in the cornea, comprising an average of 0.3% of total surface density (volume) of the cornea. No differences were found between individuals based on gender, age, and season. Environmental influences were not a significant factor either, which was not originally anticipated. The presence of vessels at the level of the anterior epithelium was surprising and it appeared that the vascularization was directed more anteriorly than was originally thought. The presence of blood vessels in a prenatal eye was also found. In all the eyes examined, no signs of injury or trauma could be observed. The presence of blood vessels appears to minimally impair vision based on their low density, size, and location. The association of vessels with the anterior epithelium and development of vessels within the fetus point to an evolutionary adaptation possibly due to the manatee's unique ability to move between water bodies.

  8. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2013-06-01

    Florida manatees inhabit the coastal and inland waters of the peninsular state. They have little difficulty navigating the turbid waterways, which often contain obstacles that they must circumnavigate. Anatomical and behavioral research suggests that the vibrissae and associated follicle-sinus complexes that manatees possess over their entire body form a sensory array system for detecting hydrodynamic stimuli analogous to the lateral line system of fish. This is consistent with data highlighting that manatees are tactile specialists, evidenced by their specialized facial morphology and use of their vibrissae during feeding and active investigation/manipulation of objects. Two Florida manatees were tested in a go/no-go procedure using a staircase method to assess their ability to detect low-frequency water movement. Hydrodynamic vibrations were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz, which are below the apparent functional hearing limit of the manatee. The manatees detected particle displacement of less than 1 μm for frequencies of 15-150 Hz and of less than a nanometer at 150 Hz. Restricting the facial vibrissae with various size mesh openings indicated that the specialized sensory hairs played an important role in the manatee's exquisite tactile sensitivity. PMID:23660811

  9. A chondroitin sulfate chain attached to the bone dentin matrix protein 1 NH2-terminal fragment.

    PubMed

    Qin, Chunlin; Huang, Bingzhen; Wygant, James N; McIntyre, Bradley W; McDonald, Charles H; Cook, Richard G; Butler, William T

    2006-03-24

    Dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) is an acidic noncollagenous protein shown by gene ablations to be critical for the proper mineralization of bone and dentin. In the extracellular matrix of these tissues DMP1 is present as fragments representing the NH2-terminal (37 kDa) and COOH-terminal (57 kDa) portions of the cDNA-deduced amino acid sequence. During our separation of bone noncollagenous proteins, we observed a high molecular weight, DMP1-related component (designated DMP1-PG). We purified DMP1-PG with a monoclonal anti-DMP1 antibody affinity column. Amino acid analysis and Edman degradation of tryptic peptides proved that the core protein for DMP1-PG is the 37-kDa fragment of DMP1. Chondroitinase treatments demonstrated that the slower migration rate of DMP1-PG is due to the presence of glycosaminoglycan. Quantitative disaccharide analysis indicated that the glycosaminoglycan is made predominantly of chondroitin 4-sulfate. Further analysis on tryptic peptides led us to conclude that a single glycosaminoglycan chain is linked to the core protein via Ser74, located in the Ser74-Gly75 dipeptide, an amino acid sequence specific for the attachment of glycosaminoglycans. Our findings show that in addition to its existence as a phosphoprotein, the NH2-terminal fragment from DMP1 occurs as a proteoglycan. Amino acid sequence alignment analysis showed that the Ser74-Gly75 dipeptide and its flanking regions are highly conserved among a wide range of species from caiman to the Homo sapiens, indicating that this glycosaminoglycan attachment domain has survived an extremely long period of evolution pressure, suggesting that the glycosaminoglycan may be critical for the basic biological functions of DMP1.

  10. Non-legalized commerce in game meat in the Brazilian Amazon: a case study.

    PubMed

    Baía Jr, Pedro Chaves; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2010-09-01

    In tropical forests, wild game meat represents an option or the only protein source for some human populations. This study analyzed the wildlife meat trade destined to human consumption in an open market of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Wildlife meat trade was monitored during 2005 through interviews to vendors and consumers in order to evaluate the socioeconomic profile of the sellers, the main species and byproducts sold, their geographical origin, commercial value, frequency of sale and product demand. Data indicated that vendors were financially highly dependant of this activity, getting a monthly income up to US$271.49. During the survey, the amount of wildlife meat on sale added a total of 5 970kg, as follows: 63.2% capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), 34.4% cayman (Melanosuchus niger and/or Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), 1.1% paca (Cuniculus paca); 0.6% armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), 0.5% deer (Mazama americana), 0.2% matamata (Chelus fimbriatus), and 0.1% opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Most of the commercialized species were not slaughtered locally. The consumption of wildlife meat was admitted by 94% of the interviewed, consisting of 27 ethno-species: 19 mammals, 6 reptiles, and 2 birds. The same percentage of the interviewed (94%) already bought wildlife meat of 18 species: 12 mammals and 6 reptiles. The great amount of wildlife meat traded and the important demand for these products by the local population, point out the necessity to adopt policies for a sustainable management of cinegetic species, guaranteeing the conservation of the environment, the improvement of living standards, and the maintenance of the local culture.

  11. Selection and Trans-Species Polymorphism of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Genes in the Order Crocodylia

    PubMed Central

    Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Isberg, Sally R.; Higgins, Damien P.; Miles, Lee G.; Gongora, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II genes encode for molecules that aid in the presentation of antigens to helper T cells. MHC characterisation within and between major vertebrate taxa has shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms shaping the diversity within this genomic region, though little characterisation has been performed within the Order Crocodylia. Here we investigate the extent and effect of selective pressures and trans-species polymorphism on MHC class II α and β evolution among 20 extant species of Crocodylia. Selection detection analyses showed that diversifying selection influenced MHC class II β diversity, whilst diversity within MHC class II α is the result of strong purifying selection. Comparison of translated sequences between species revealed the presence of twelve trans-species polymorphisms, some of which appear to be specific to the genera Crocodylus and Caiman. Phylogenetic reconstruction clustered MHC class II α sequences into two major clades representing the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae. However, no further subdivision within these clades was evident and, based on the observation that most MHC class II α sequences shared the same trans-species polymorphisms, it is possible that they correspond to the same gene lineage across species. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses of MHC class II β sequences showed a mixture of subclades containing sequences from Crocodilidae and/or Alligatoridae, illustrating orthologous relationships among those genes. Interestingly, two of the subclades containing sequences from both Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae shared specific trans-species polymorphisms, suggesting that they may belong to ancient lineages pre-dating the divergence of these two families from the common ancestor 85–90 million years ago. The results presented herein provide an immunogenetic resource that may be used to further assess MHC diversity and functionality in Crocodylia. PMID:24503938

  12. Debromoaplysiatoxin in Lyngbya-dominated mats on manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in the Florida King's Bay ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Szabo, Nancy J; Cichra, Mary; Phlips, Edward J

    2008-08-01

    Proliferation of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium, Lyngbya, in Florida lakes and rivers has raised concerns about ecosystem and human health. Debromoaplysiatoxin (DAT) was measured in concentrations up to 6.31 microg/g wet weight lyngbyatoxin A equivalents (WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from natural substrates. DAT was also detected (up to 1.19 microg/g WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from manatee dorsa. Ulcerative dermatitis found on manatees is associated with, but has not been proven to be caused by DAT.

  13. Managing endangered species within the use-preservation paradox: the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as a tourism attraction.

    PubMed

    Sorice, Michael G; Shafer, C Scott; Ditton, Robert B

    2006-01-01

    A significant challenge to wildlife managers in tourism settings is to provide visitors with opportunities to observe rare and endangered wildlife while simultaneously protecting the target species from deleterious impacts. Nearly 100,000 people annually visit Crystal River, Florida, USA to observe and swim with the Florida manatee, an endangered species. This research aimed to investigate and describe human-manatee interactions in a tourism context, to understand the salient issues related to such interactions as identified by stakeholders, and to recommend a course of action to address multiple interests in the planning and management of human-manatee interactions. Five issues were identified by all stakeholder groups: water quality, harassment, density and crowding, education, and enforcement. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for manatee management, does not have mechanisms in place to manage the tourism component of the manatee encounter. Although a regulatory approach can be taken, a better approach would be to create an organization of tour operators to establish "best practices" that reflect the goal of the managing agency to enhance manatee protection (and thus ensure their livelihood) and to enhance the visitor experience.

  14. Managing Endangered Species Within the Use-Preservation Paradox: The Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) as a Tourism Attraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorice, Michael G.; Shafer, C. Scott; Ditton, Robert B.

    2006-01-01

    A significant challenge to wildlife managers in tourism settings is to provide visitors with opportunities to observe rare and endangered wildlife while simultaneously protecting the target species from deleterious impacts. Nearly 100,000 people annually visit Crystal River, Florida, USA to observe and swim with the Florida manatee, an endangered species. This research aimed to investigate and describe human-manatee interactions in a tourism context, to understand the salient issues related to such interactions as identified by stakeholders, and to recommend a course of action to address multiple interests in the planning and management of human-manatee interactions. Five issues were identified by all stakeholder groups: water quality, harassment, density and crowding, education, and enforcement. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for manatee management, does not have mechanisms in place to manage the tourism component of the manatee encounter. Although a regulatory approach can be taken, a better approach would be to create an organization of tour operators to establish “best practices” that reflect the goal of the managing agency to enhance manatee protection (and thus ensure their livelihood) and to enhance the visitor experience.

  15. Fatty acid profiles as a potential lipidomic biomarker of exposure to brevetoxin for endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Dana L; Reynolds, John E; Sprinkel, Jay M; Schwacke, Lori; Mercurio, Philip; Rommel, Sentiel A

    2010-11-15

    Fatty acid signature analysis (FASA) is an important tool by which marine mammal scientists gain insight into foraging ecology. Fatty acid profiles (resulting from FASA) represent a potential biomarker to assess exposure to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Florida manatees are well studied, and an excellent necropsy program provides a basis against which to assess this budding tool. Results using samples from 54 manatees assigned to four cause-of-death categories indicated that those animals exposed to or that died due to brevetoxin exposure (red tide, or RT samples) demonstrate a distinctive hepatic fatty acid profile. Discriminant function analysis indicated that hepatic fatty acids could be used to classify RT versus non-RT liver samples with reasonable certainty. A discriminant function was derived based on 8 fatty acids which correctly classified 100% of samples from a training dataset (10 RT and 25 non-RT) and 85% of samples in a cross-validation dataset (5 RT and 13 non-RT). Of the latter dataset, all RT samples were correctly classified, but two of thirteen non-RT samples were incorrectly classified. However, the "incorrect" samples came from manatees that died due to other causes during documented red tide outbreaks; thus although the proximal cause of death was due to watercraft collisions, exposure to brevetoxin may have affected these individuals in ways that increased their vulnerability. This use of FASA could: a) provide an additional forensic tool to help scientists and managers to understand cause of death or debilitation due to exposure to red tide in manatees; b) serve as a model that could be applied to studies to improve assessments of cause of death in other marine mammals; and c) be used, as in humans, to help diagnose metabolic disorders or disease states in manatees and other species.

  16. Managing endangered species within the use-preservation paradox: the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as a tourism attraction.

    PubMed

    Sorice, Michael G; Shafer, C Scott; Ditton, Robert B

    2006-01-01

    A significant challenge to wildlife managers in tourism settings is to provide visitors with opportunities to observe rare and endangered wildlife while simultaneously protecting the target species from deleterious impacts. Nearly 100,000 people annually visit Crystal River, Florida, USA to observe and swim with the Florida manatee, an endangered species. This research aimed to investigate and describe human-manatee interactions in a tourism context, to understand the salient issues related to such interactions as identified by stakeholders, and to recommend a course of action to address multiple interests in the planning and management of human-manatee interactions. Five issues were identified by all stakeholder groups: water quality, harassment, density and crowding, education, and enforcement. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for manatee management, does not have mechanisms in place to manage the tourism component of the manatee encounter. Although a regulatory approach can be taken, a better approach would be to create an organization of tour operators to establish "best practices" that reflect the goal of the managing agency to enhance manatee protection (and thus ensure their livelihood) and to enhance the visitor experience. PMID:16362492

  17. Debromoaplysiatoxin in Lyngbya-dominated mats on manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in the Florida King's Bay ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Szabo, Nancy J; Cichra, Mary; Phlips, Edward J

    2008-08-01

    Proliferation of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium, Lyngbya, in Florida lakes and rivers has raised concerns about ecosystem and human health. Debromoaplysiatoxin (DAT) was measured in concentrations up to 6.31 microg/g wet weight lyngbyatoxin A equivalents (WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from natural substrates. DAT was also detected (up to 1.19 microg/g WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from manatee dorsa. Ulcerative dermatitis found on manatees is associated with, but has not been proven to be caused by DAT. PMID:18585400

  18. Fatty acid profiles as a potential lipidomic biomarker of exposure to brevetoxin for endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Dana L; Reynolds, John E; Sprinkel, Jay M; Schwacke, Lori; Mercurio, Philip; Rommel, Sentiel A

    2010-11-15

    Fatty acid signature analysis (FASA) is an important tool by which marine mammal scientists gain insight into foraging ecology. Fatty acid profiles (resulting from FASA) represent a potential biomarker to assess exposure to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Florida manatees are well studied, and an excellent necropsy program provides a basis against which to assess this budding tool. Results using samples from 54 manatees assigned to four cause-of-death categories indicated that those animals exposed to or that died due to brevetoxin exposure (red tide, or RT samples) demonstrate a distinctive hepatic fatty acid profile. Discriminant function analysis indicated that hepatic fatty acids could be used to classify RT versus non-RT liver samples with reasonable certainty. A discriminant function was derived based on 8 fatty acids which correctly classified 100% of samples from a training dataset (10 RT and 25 non-RT) and 85% of samples in a cross-validation dataset (5 RT and 13 non-RT). Of the latter dataset, all RT samples were correctly classified, but two of thirteen non-RT samples were incorrectly classified. However, the "incorrect" samples came from manatees that died due to other causes during documented red tide outbreaks; thus although the proximal cause of death was due to watercraft collisions, exposure to brevetoxin may have affected these individuals in ways that increased their vulnerability. This use of FASA could: a) provide an additional forensic tool to help scientists and managers to understand cause of death or debilitation due to exposure to red tide in manatees; b) serve as a model that could be applied to studies to improve assessments of cause of death in other marine mammals; and c) be used, as in humans, to help diagnose metabolic disorders or disease states in manatees and other species. PMID:20880571

  19. The biology of some intraerythrocytic parasites of fishes, amphibia and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Davies, A J; Johnston, M R

    2000-01-01

    Fishes, amphibia and reptiles, the ectothermic vertebrates, are hosts for a variety of intraerythrocytic parasites including protists, prokaryotes, viruses and structures of uncertain status. These parasites may experience host temperature fluctuations, host reproductive strategies, population genetics, host habitat and migratory behaviour quite unlike those of endothermic hosts. Few blood infections of fishes, amphibia and reptiles have proven pathogenicity, in contrast to the many intraerythrocytic parasites of mammals and some birds which harm their hosts. Although not given the attention afforded to intraerythrocytic parasites of endotherms, those of ectotherms have been studied for more than a century. This review reports on the diversity, general biology and phylogeny of intraerythrocytic parasites of ectotherms. The existence of taxonomic confusion is emphasized and the main taxonomic features of most of the 23 better characterized genera, particularly the kinetoplastid and apicomplexan protists, are summarized. Transmission of protistan infections of aquatic ectotherms is also discussed. Leeches can transfer sporozoties or merozoites to the vertebrate host during feeding. Dormant sporozoites of Lankesterella may permit transmission of species of this genus between vertebrates by predation. The fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina bigemina, probably has gnathiid isopods, rather than leeches, as its definitive hosts. Hepatozoon spp. in aquatic hosts, and Progarnia of caiman, may also use invertebrate hosts other than leeches. Protistan infections of terrestrial or semi-terrestrial hosts are transmitted by a variety of arthropods, or, in some cases, leeches, contaminated paratenic hosts, or sporocysts free in water. Transfer of protists between vertebrates by predation and congenitally may also occur. The biology of the host cells of these infections, the red blood cells of ectotherm vertebrates, is summarized and compared with that of mammalian erythrocytes

  20. Adaptations in the structure and innervation of follicle-sinus complexes to an aquatic environment as seen in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L; Mazurkiewicz, Joseph E; Rice, Frank L

    2007-09-20

    Florida manatees are large-bodied aquatic herbivores that use large tactile vibrissae for several purposes. Facial vibrissae are used to forage in a turbid water environment, and the largest perioral vibrissae can also grasp and manipulate objects. Other vibrissae distributed over the entire postfacial body appear to function as a lateral line system. All manatee vibrissae emanate from densely innervated follicle-sinus complexes (FSCs) like those in other mammals, although proportionately larger commensurate with the caliber of the vibrissae. As revealed by immunofluorescence, all manatee FSCs have many types of C, Adelta and Abeta innervation including Merkel, club, and longitudinal lanceolate endings at the level of the ring sinus, but they lack other types such as reticular and spiny endings at the level of the cavernous sinus. As in non-whisking terrestrial species, the inner conical bodies of facial FSCs are well innervated but lack Abeta-fiber terminals. Importantly, manatee FSCs have two unique types of Abeta-fiber endings. First, all of the FSCs have exceptionally large-caliber axons that branch to terminate as novel, gigantic spindle-like endings located at the upper ring sinus. Second, facial FSCs have smaller caliber Abeta fibers that terminate in the trabeculae of the cavernous sinus as an ending that resembles a Golgi tendon organ. In addition, the largest perioral vibrissae, which are used for grasping, have exceptionally well-developed medullary cores that have a structure and dense small-fiber innervation resembling that of tooth pulp. Other features of the epidermis and upper dermis structure and innervation differ from that seen in terrestrial mammals.

  1. Improving Conservation of Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris): Conceptualization and Contributions Toward a Regional Warm-Water Network Management Strategy for Sustainable Winter Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision.

  2. Improving conservation of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): conceptualization and contributions toward a regional warm-water network management strategy for sustainable winter habitat.

    PubMed

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision.

  3. Adaptations in the structure and innervation of follicle-sinus complexes to an aquatic environment as seen in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L; Mazurkiewicz, Joseph E; Rice, Frank L

    2007-09-20

    Florida manatees are large-bodied aquatic herbivores that use large tactile vibrissae for several purposes. Facial vibrissae are used to forage in a turbid water environment, and the largest perioral vibrissae can also grasp and manipulate objects. Other vibrissae distributed over the entire postfacial body appear to function as a lateral line system. All manatee vibrissae emanate from densely innervated follicle-sinus complexes (FSCs) like those in other mammals, although proportionately larger commensurate with the caliber of the vibrissae. As revealed by immunofluorescence, all manatee FSCs have many types of C, Adelta and Abeta innervation including Merkel, club, and longitudinal lanceolate endings at the level of the ring sinus, but they lack other types such as reticular and spiny endings at the level of the cavernous sinus. As in non-whisking terrestrial species, the inner conical bodies of facial FSCs are well innervated but lack Abeta-fiber terminals. Importantly, manatee FSCs have two unique types of Abeta-fiber endings. First, all of the FSCs have exceptionally large-caliber axons that branch to terminate as novel, gigantic spindle-like endings located at the upper ring sinus. Second, facial FSCs have smaller caliber Abeta fibers that terminate in the trabeculae of the cavernous sinus as an ending that resembles a Golgi tendon organ. In addition, the largest perioral vibrissae, which are used for grasping, have exceptionally well-developed medullary cores that have a structure and dense small-fiber innervation resembling that of tooth pulp. Other features of the epidermis and upper dermis structure and innervation differ from that seen in terrestrial mammals. PMID:17640045

  4. Hysteroscopy and episiotomy in a rescued, cold-stressed Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) for diagnosis and treatment of a retained fetal skeleton.

    PubMed

    Hall, Natalie H; Walsh, Mike; DeLuca, Catherine; Bukoski, Alex

    2012-09-01

    A rescued female manatee was observed expelling a fetal bone from the vulva. The manatee was anesthetized and diagnosed with uterine retention of a fetal skeleton by ultrasound and hysteroscopy. Episiotomy was performed to gain manual access to the vagina and uterus for removal of the skeleton. Second intention healing of the episiotomy site produced excellent results. Rescued female manatees should receive a thorough reproductive tract evaluation since presence of retained fetal tissues might not be evident in blood or hormone analyses. Retention of a whole or partial dead fetus can be life-threatening to manatees, and retained tissues should be removed as early as possible. PMID:23082540

  5. Improving conservation of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): conceptualization and contributions toward a regional warm-water network management strategy for sustainable winter habitat.

    PubMed

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision. PMID:23161252

  6. One fledgling or two in the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris): a strategy for survival or legacy from a bygone era?

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Denis A.; Mawson, Peter R.; Dawson, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Of the five species of black cockatoo in the genus Calyptorhynchus, those species with red tail bands (Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Glossy Black Cockatoo) lay clutches of only one egg and those with white or yellow tail bands (Carnaby's Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo) usually lay clutches of two. The breeding of the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo has been studied from 1969 to 2012 at a number of localities throughout its range in south-western Australia within a region largely cleared for agriculture. When raising nestlings the species feeds on seeds of native vegetation, and there was a strong but not significant negative relationship between nesting success and percentage loss of native vegetation within 6 and 12 km of nest hollows. There was a significant negative relationship between the health of nestlings and percentage loss of native vegetation around nest hollows. While the usual clutch size is two, average clutch size tended to be lower in areas where much native vegetation has been cleared. While both eggs hatch in 77% of two-egg clutches, the species normally fledges only one young. However, the species is capable of fledging both nestlings from a breeding attempt. Sets of siblings are usually the product of older, more experienced females nesting in areas where more native vegetation has been retained. The conservation implications of these findings are discussed in the light of predicted changes to the climate of south-western Australia. PMID:27293622

  7. Hysteroscopy and episiotomy in a rescued, cold-stressed Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) for diagnosis and treatment of a retained fetal skeleton.

    PubMed

    Hall, Natalie H; Walsh, Mike; DeLuca, Catherine; Bukoski, Alex

    2012-09-01

    A rescued female manatee was observed expelling a fetal bone from the vulva. The manatee was anesthetized and diagnosed with uterine retention of a fetal skeleton by ultrasound and hysteroscopy. Episiotomy was performed to gain manual access to the vagina and uterus for removal of the skeleton. Second intention healing of the episiotomy site produced excellent results. Rescued female manatees should receive a thorough reproductive tract evaluation since presence of retained fetal tissues might not be evident in blood or hormone analyses. Retention of a whole or partial dead fetus can be life-threatening to manatees, and retained tissues should be removed as early as possible.

  8. Calcium isotopes in fossil bones and teeth — Diagenetic versus biogenic origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuser, Alexander; Tütken, Thomas; Gussone, Nikolaus; Galer, Stephen J. G.

    2011-06-01

    We present the first systematic study of Ca isotopes ( δ44/40Ca) in Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous dinosaur bones and teeth (enamel and dentin) from sympatric herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs. The samples derive from five different localities, and data from embedding sediments are also presented. Additional δ44/40Ca in skeletal tissues from modern reptiles and birds (avian dinosaurs) were measured for comparison in order to examine whether the original Ca isotopic composition in dinosaur skeletal apatite was preserved or might have changed during the diagenesis and fossilization process. δ44/40Ca of fossil skeletal tissues range from -1.62‰ ( Tyrannosaurus rex enamel) to +1.08‰ ( Brachiosaurus brancai bone), while values in modern archosaur bones and teeth range from -1.63‰ (caiman enamel) to -0.37‰ (ostrich bone). The average δ44/40Ca of the three types of fossil skeletal tissue analyzed - bone, dentin and enamel - show some systematic differences: while δ44/40Ca in bone exhibits the highest values, while δ44/40Ca in enamel has the lowest values, and dentin δ44/40Ca falls in between. Values of δ44/40Ca in the remains of herbivorous dinosaurs (0.1-1.1‰) are generally higher than those of bones of modern mammalian herbivores (-2.6‰ to -0.8‰) and from modern herbivorous archosaurs, which exhibit intermediate δ44/40Ca (-0.8‰ to -0.4‰). These systematic isotopic shifts may reflect physiological differences between dinosaurs, mammals and reptiles representing different taxonomic groups of vertebrates. Systematic offsets in skeletal apatite δ44/40Ca between herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs are not obvious, indicating a lack of a clear-cut Trophic Level Effect (TLE) shift between herbivores and carnivores in dinosaurs. This observation can be explained if the carnivorous dinosaurs in this study fed mainly on soft tissues from their prey and did not ingest hard (calcified) tissue to much extent. The most striking indication that the

  9. Population biology of the Florida manatee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J.; Ackerman, Bruce B.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1995-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a unique element of the U.S. fauna. It is a distinct subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Domning and Hayek 1986) and one of the largest inshore mammals of the continent, reaching weights to 1,650 kg (Rathbun et al. 1990). Annual migratory circuits of some individuals through the intracoastal waterways of the Atlantic Coast are 1,700 km round trips at seasonal travel rates as high as 50km/day (*3 Reid and O'Shea 1989; Reid et al. 1991), resulting in one of the longest remaining intact mammalian migrations in the eastern United States.

  10. Acoustic signal detection of manatee calls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disc. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~=96% of the manatee vocalizations. However the system also results in a false positive rate of ~=16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  11. Research on the impacts of past and future hurricanes on the endangered Florida manatee: Chapter 6J in Science and the storms-the USGS response to the hurricanes of 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, Catherine A.; Krohn, M. Dennis; Stith, Bradley M.; Reid, James P.; Beck, C.A.; Butler, Susan M.

    2007-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research on Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) from 1982 through 1998 identified lower apparent survival rates for adult manatees during years when Hurricane Elena (1985), the March "Storm of the Century"(1993), and Hurricane Opal (1995) hit the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Although our analysis showed that a significant number of our monitored individual manatees failed to return to their winter homes after these storms, their actual fate remains unknown. With the aid of new satellite technology to track manatees during storms and new statistical techniques to determine survival and emigration rates, researchers are working to understand how hurricanes impact the endangered species by studying manatees caught in the path of the destructive hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.

  12. Acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-09-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disk. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~96% of the manatee vocalizations. However, the system also results in a false alarm rate of ~16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  13. Molecular identification of a papilloma virus from cutaneous lesions of captive and free-ranging Florida manatees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodruff, R.A.; Bonde, R.K.; Bonilla, J.A.; Romero, C.H.

    2005-01-01

    Cutaneous papillomatous lesions were biopsied from three captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (HSSWP), Homosassa, Florida, USA, and from six free-ranging Florida manatees from Crystal and Homosassa rivers, Florida. Total DNA extracted from these lesions was assayed for the presence of papilloma virus genomes using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers that target the L1 capsid protein gene. The amplification generated DNA fragments 458 base pairs in length that encompassed a highly conserved domain within the L1 capsid protein and translated into identical polypeptides of 152 amino acids, suggesting the involvement of a single papilloma virus genotype. Multiple amino acid sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the L1 fragment indicated that the Florida manatee papilloma virus is a unique and quite distinct papillomavirus from other known papilloma viruses. The emergence of this new pathogen raises concerns about its potential impact on the already endangered Florida manatee.

  14. Estimating cause-specific mortality rates using recovered carcasses.

    PubMed

    Joly, Damien O; Heisey, Dennis M; Samuel, Michael D; Ribic, Christine A; Thomas, Nancy J; Wright, Scott D; Wright, Irene E

    2009-01-01

    Stranding networks, in which carcasses are recovered and sent to diagnostic laboratories for necropsy and determination of cause of death, have been developed to monitor the health of marine mammal and bird populations. These programs typically accumulate comprehensive, long-term datasets on causes of death that can be used to identify important sources of mortality or changes in mortality patterns that lead to management actions. However, the utility of these data in determining cause-specific mortality rates has not been explored. We present a maximum likelihood-based approach that partitions total mortality rate, estimated by independent sources, into cause-specific mortality rates. We also demonstrate how variance estimates are derived for these rates. We present examples of the method using mortality data for California sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). PMID:19204341

  15. Temperature inverted haloclines provide winter warm-water refugia for manatees in southwest Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stith, Bradley M.; Reid, James P.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Swain, Eric D.; Doyle, Terry J.; Slone, Daniel H.; Decker, Jeremy D.; Soderqvist, Lars E.

    2010-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) overwintering in the Ten Thousand Islands and western Everglades have no access to power plants or major artesian springs that provide warm-water refugia in other parts of Florida. Instead, hundreds of manatees aggregate at artificial canals, basins, and natural deep water sites that act as passive thermal refugia (PTR). Monitoring at two canal sites revealed temperature inverted haloclines, which provided warm salty bottom layers that generally remained above temperatures considered adverse for manatees. At the largest PTR, the warmer bottom layer disappeared unless significant salt stratification was maintained by upstream freshwater inflow over a persistent tidal wedge. A detailed three-dimensional hydrology model showed that salinity stratification inhibited vertical convection induced by atmospheric cooling. Management or creation of temperature inverted haloclines may be a feasible and desirable option for resource managers to provide passive thermal refugia for manatees and other temperature sensitive aquatic species.

  16. Possible effects of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes on manatee survival rates and movement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; Krohn, M.D.; Reid, J.P.; Stith, B.M.; Beck, C.A.

    2006-01-01

    Prior research on manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) survival in northwest Florida, based on mark-resighting photo-identification data from 1982-1998, showed that annual adult apparent survival rate was significantly lower during years with extreme storms. Mechanisms that we proposed could have led to lower estimates included stranding, injury from debris, being fatally swept out to sea, or displacement into poorly monitored areas due to storm-generated longshore currents or storm-related loss of habitat. In 2004 and 2005, seven major hurricanes impacted areas of Florida encompassing three regional manatee subpopulations, enabling us to further examine some of these mechanisms. Data from a group of manatees tracked in southwest Florida with satellite transmitters during Hurricanes Charley, Katrina, and Wilma showed that these animals made no significant movement before and during storm passage. Mark-resighting data are being collected to determine if survival rates were lower with the 2004 and 2005 storms. ?? 2006 Estuarine Research Federation.

  17. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats.

    PubMed

    Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-10-01

    Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations.

  18. The insular cortex: a comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    Butti, Camilla; Hof, Patrick R

    2010-06-01

    The human insular cortex is involved in a variety of viscerosensory, visceromotor, and interoceptive functions, and plays a role in complex processes such as emotions, music, and language. Across mammals, the insula has considerable morphologic variability. We review the structure and connectivity of the insula in laboratory animals (mouse, domestic cat, macaque monkey), and we present original data on the morphology and cytoarchitecture of insular cortex in less common species including a large carnivore (the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus), two artiodactyls (the pigmy hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon liberiensis, and the Western bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus), two cetaceans (the beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, and the minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and a sirenian (the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris). The insula shows substantial variability in shape, extent, and gyral and sulcal patterns, as well as differences in laminar organization, cellular specialization, and structural association with the claustrum. Our observations reveal that the insular cortex is extremely variable among mammals. These differences could be related to the role exerted by specific and selective pressures on cortical structure during evolution. We conclude that it is not possible to identify a general model of organization for the mammalian insular cortex. PMID:20512368

  19. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2004-01-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re 1 μPa) @ 1 m.

  20. Autocorrelation based denoising of manatee vocalizations using the undecimated discrete wavelet transform.

    PubMed

    Gur, Berke M; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2007-07-01

    Recent interest in the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) vocalizations has been primarily induced by an effort to reduce manatee mortality rates due to watercraft collisions. A warning system based on passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is desired. The success and feasibility of such a system depends on effective denoising of the vocalizations in the presence of high levels of background noise. In the last decade, simple and effective wavelet domain nonlinear denoising methods have emerged as an alternative to linear estimation methods. However, the denoising performances of these methods degrades considerably with decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and therefore are not suited for denoising manatee vocalizations in which the typical SNR is below 0 dB. Manatee vocalizations possess a strong harmonic content and a slow decaying autocorrelation function. In this paper, an efficient denoising scheme that exploits both the autocorrelation function of manatee vocalizations and effectiveness of the nonlinear wavelet transform based denoising algorithms is introduced. The suggested wavelet-based denoising algorithm is shown to outperform linear filtering methods, extending the detection range of vocalizations.

  1. Florida manatee avoidance technology: A pilot program by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Katherine; Haubold, Elsa

    2003-10-01

    Since 1976, approximately 25% of the annual Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) mortality has been attributed to collisions with watercraft. In 2001, the Florida Legislature appropriated $200,000 in funds for research projects using technological solutions to directly address the problem of collisions between manatees and watercraft. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission initially funded seven projects for the first two fiscal years. The selected proposals were designed to explore technology that had not previously been applied to the manatee/boat collision problem and included many acoustic concepts related to voice recognition, sonar, and an alerting device to be put on boats to warn manatees. The most promising results to date are from projects employing voice-recognition techniques to identify manatee vocalizations and warn boaters of the manatees' presence. Sonar technology, much like that used in fish finders, is promising but has met with regulatory problems regarding permitting and remains to be tested, as has the manatee-alerting device. The state of Florida found results of the initial years of funding compelling and plans to fund further manatee avoidance technology research in a continued effort to mitigate the problem of manatee/boat collisions.

  2. Wavelet based detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gur, Berke M.; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. Several boater warning systems, based upon manatee vocalizations, have been proposed to reduce the number of collisions. Three detection methods based on the Fourier transform (threshold, harmonic content and autocorrelation methods) were previously suggested and tested. In the last decade, the wavelet transform has emerged as an alternative to the Fourier transform and has been successfully applied in various fields of science and engineering including the acoustic detection of dolphin vocalizations. As of yet, no prior research has been conducted in analyzing manatee vocalizations using the wavelet transform. Within this study, the wavelet transform is used as an alternative to the Fourier transform in detecting manatee vocalizations. The wavelet coefficients are analyzed and tested against a specified criterion to determine the existence of a manatee call. The performance of the method presented is tested on the same data previously used in the prior studies, and the results are compared. Preliminary results indicate that using the wavelet transform as a signal processing technique to detect manatee vocalizations shows great promise.

  3. A wavelet packet adaptive filtering algorithm for enhancing manatee vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Gur, M Berke; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2011-04-01

    Approximately a quarter of all West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) mortalities are attributed to collisions with watercraft. A boater warning system based on the passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is one possible solution to reduce manatee-watercraft collisions. The success of such a warning system depends on effective enhancement of the vocalization signals in the presence of high levels of background noise, in particular, noise emitted from watercraft. Recent research has indicated that wavelet domain pre-processing of the noisy vocalizations is capable of significantly improving the detection ranges of passive acoustic vocalization detectors. In this paper, an adaptive denoising procedure, implemented on the wavelet packet transform coefficients obtained from the noisy vocalization signals, is investigated. The proposed denoising algorithm is shown to improve the manatee detection ranges by a factor ranging from two (minimum) to sixteen (maximum) compared to high-pass filtering alone, when evaluated using real manatee vocalization and background noise signals of varying signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Furthermore, the proposed method is also shown to outperform a previously suggested feedback adaptive line enhancer (FALE) filter on average 3.4 dB in terms of noise suppression and 0.6 dB in terms of waveform preservation.

  4. A stage-based model of manatee population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Langtimm, C.A.; Kendall, W.L.

    2004-01-01

    A stage-structured population model for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was developed that explicitly incorporates uncertainty in parameter estimates. The growth rates calculated with this model reflect the status of the regional populations over the most recent 10-yr period. The Northwest and Upper St. Johns River regions have growth rates (8) of 1.037 (95% interval, 1.016?1.056) and 1.062 (1.037?1.081), respectively. The Southwest region has a growth rate of 0.989 (0.946?1.024), suggesting this population has been declining at about 1.1% per year. The estimated growth rate in the Atlantic region is 1.010 (0.988?1.029), but there is some uncertainty about whether adult survival rates have been constant over the last 10 yr; using the mean survival rates from the most recent 5-yr period, the estimated growth rate in this region is 0.970 (0.938?0.998). Elasticity analysis indicates that the most effective management actions should seek to increase adult survival rates. Decomposition of the uncertainty in the growth rates indicates that uncertainty about population status can best be reduced through increased monitoring of adult survival rate.

  5. Theoretical detection ranges for acoustic based manatee avoidance technology.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2006-07-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. To reduce the number of collisions, warning systems based upon detecting manatee vocalizations have been proposed. One aspect of the feasibility of an acoustically based warning system relies upon the distance at which a manatee vocalization is detectable. Assuming a mixed spreading model, this paper presents a theoretical analysis of the system detection capabilities operating within various background and watercraft noise conditions. This study combines measured source levels of manatee vocalizations with the modeled acoustic properties of manatee habitats to develop a method for determining the detection range and hydrophone spacing requirements for acoustic based manatee avoidance technologies. In quiet environments (background noise approximately 70 dB) it was estimated that manatee vocalizations are detectable at approximately 250 m, with a 6 dB detection threshold, In louder environments (background noise approximately 100dB) the detection range drops to 2.5 m. In a habitat with 90 dB of background noise, a passing boat with a maximum noise floor of 120 dB would be the limiting factor when it is within approximately 100 m of a hydrophone. The detection range was also found to be strongly dependent on the manatee vocalization source level.

  6. Background noise cancellation for improved acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees, so that a collision can be avoided, is desired. Practical implementation of the technology is dependent on the hydrophone spacing and range of detection. These parameters are primarily dependent on the manatee vocalization strength, the decay of the signal strength with distance, and the background noise levels. An efficient method to extend the detection range by using background noise cancellation is proposed in this paper. An adaptive line enhancer (ALE) that can detect and track narrowband signals buried in broadband noise is implemented to cancel the background noise. The results indicate that the ALE algorithm can efficiently extract the manatee calls from the background noise. The improved signal-to-noise ratio of the signal can be used to extend the range of detection of manatee vocalizations and reduce the false alarm and missing detection rate in their natural habitat.

  7. Behavioral response of manatees to variations in environmental sound levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miksis-Olds, J. L.; Wagner, T.

    2011-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabit coastal regions because they feed on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters, which are the same areas where human activities are greatest. Noise produced from anthropogenic and natural sources has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. Sound levels were calculated from recordings made throughout behavioral observation periods. An information theoretic approach was used to investigate the relationship between behavior patterns and sound level. Results indicated that elevated sound levels affect manatee activity and are a function of behavioral state. The proportion of time manatees spent feeding and milling changed in response to sound level. When ambient sound levels were highest, more time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behavior of feeding, whereas less time was spent engaged in undirected behavior such as milling. This work illustrates how shifts in activity of individual manatees may be useful parameters for identifying impacts of noise on manatees and might inform population level effects. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  8. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich

    2001-05-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re:1 Pa) @ 1 m.

  9. Background noise cancellation for improved acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2005-06-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees, so that a collision can be avoided, is desired. A practical implementation of the technology is dependent on the hydrophone spacing and range of detection. These parameters are primarily dependent on the manatee vocalization strength, the decay of the signal's strength with distance, and the background noise levels. An efficient method to extend the detection range by using background noise cancellation is proposed in this paper. An adaptive line enhancer (ALE) that can detect and track narrow band signals buried in broadband noise is implemented to cancel the background noise. The results indicate that the ALE algorithm can efficiently extract the manatee calls from the background noise. The improved signal-to-noise ratio of the signal can be used to extend the range of detection of manatee vocalizations and reduce the false alarm and missing detection rate in their natural habitat. .

  10. The effect of herbivore faeces on the edaphic mite community: implications for tapeworm transmission.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan; Kalúz, Stanislav

    2014-03-01

    Oribatid mites may be of epidemiological and medical importance because several species have been shown to serve as intermediate hosts for anoplocephalid tapeworms of wild and domestic animals. Despite their economic and conservation significance, relatively few studies examined factors influencing the effective number of oribatid mites that can serve as intermediate hosts. We examined variation in the structure of the edaphic arthropod community in functionally different territory parts of the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris), a known definitive host of a prevalent anoplocephalid tapeworm, Ctenotaenia marmotae. We used a field experiment to test whether the abundance of oribatid mites in marmot pastures is affected by the presence of fresh herbivore faeces. We found that the abundance of soil and litter dwelling oribatid mites in marmot pastures did not change shortly after faeces addition. In contrast, numbers of other predominant soil-litter and phoretic microarthropods increased after faeces addition. The abundance of the two predominant phoretic mites colonizing the faeces was inversely related to the abundance of oribatid mites. In contrast, the abundance of a ubiquitous soil-litter mesostigmatid mite was a positive function of oribatid numbers. Although absolute numbers of oribatid mites did not change after faeces addition, our study suggests that, depending on soil quality or type, the probability of tapeworm egg ingestion by oribatid mites can be reduced due to increased interspecific prey-predatory and trophic interactions. Latrine site selection in Alpine marmots is consistent with a reduced probability of tapeworm transmission by oribatids.

  11. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    Pardini, A T; O'Brien, P C M; Fu, B; Bonde, R K; Elder, F F B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F; Robinson, T J

    2007-05-22

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n=56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n=48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n=20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events.

  12. Tactile hairs on the postcranial body in Florida manatees: a Mammalian lateral line?

    PubMed

    Reep, R L; Marshall, C D; Stoll, M L

    2002-01-01

    Previous reports have suggested that the sparsely distributed hairs found on the entire postcranial body of sirenians are all sinus type tactile hairs. This would represent a unique arrangement because no other mammal has been reported to possess tactile hairs except on restricted regions of the body, primarily the face. In order to investigate this issue further, hair counts were made systematically in three Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and hair follicle microanatomy was studied in 110 specimens gathered from 9 animals. We found that the postcranial body possesses approximately 1500 hairs per side, and hair density decreases from dorsal to ventral. External hair length ranged from 2-9 mm, and most hairs were separated from their nearest neighbor by 20-40 mm, resulting in an independent domain of movement for each hair. All hairs exhibited the anatomical characteristics of follicle-sinus complexes typical of tactile hairs, including a dense connective tissue capsule containing an elongated circumferential blood sinus and innervation by 20-50 axons which ascend the mesenchymal sheath. We conclude that this represents a unique distributed underwater tactile system capable of conveying detailed and significant external information concerning approaching animals, water currents and possibly the presence of large stationary features of the environment. Such a system would be analogous to the lateral line in fish, and would be particularly useful in the turbid habitat frequented by Florida manatees.

  13. Eight-choice sound localization by manatees: performance abilities and head related transfer functions.

    PubMed

    Colbert-Luke, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger L; Bauer, Gordon B; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Mann, David A

    2015-02-01

    Two experiments investigated the ability and means by which two male Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) may determine the direction of a sound source. An eight-choice discrimination paradigm was used to determine the subjects' sound localization abilities of five signal conditions covering a range of frequencies, durations, and levels. Subjects performed above the 12.5% chance level for all broadband frequencies and were able to localize sounds over a large level range. Errors were typically located to either side of the signal source location when presented in the front 180° but were more dispersed when presented from locations behind the subject. Front-to-back confusions were few and accuracy was greater when signals originated from the front 180°. Head-related transfer functions were measured to determine if frequencies were filtered by the manatee body to create frequency-specific interaural level differences (ILDs). ILDs were found for all frequencies as a function of source location, although they were largest with frequencies above 18 kHz and when signals originated to either side of the subjects. Larger ILDs were found when the signals originated behind the subjects. A shadowing-effect produced by the body may explain the relatively low occurrence of front-back confusions in the localization study.

  14. Multiple conformations are a conserved and regulatory feature of the RB1 5′ UTR

    PubMed Central

    Kutchko, Katrina M.; Sanders, Wes; Ziehr, Ben; Phillips, Gabriela; Solem, Amanda; Halvorsen, Matthew; Weeks, Kevin M.; Moorman, Nathaniel

    2015-01-01

    Folding to a well-defined conformation is essential for the function of structured ribonucleic acids (RNAs) like the ribosome and tRNA. Structured elements in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are known to control expression. The importance of unstructured regions adopting multiple conformations, however, is still poorly understood. High-resolution SHAPE-directed Boltzmann suboptimal sampling of the Homo sapiens Retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) 5′ UTR yields three distinct conformations compatible with the experimental data. Private single nucleotide variants (SNVs) identified in two patients with retinoblastoma each collapse the structural ensemble to a single but distinct well-defined conformation. The RB1 5′ UTRs from Bos taurus (cow) and Trichechus manatus latirostris (manatee) are divergent in sequence from H. sapiens (human) yet maintain structural compatibility with high-probability base pairs. SHAPE chemical probing of the cow and manatee RB1 5′ UTRs reveals that they also adopt multiple conformations. Luciferase reporter assays reveal that 5′ UTR mutations alter RB1 expression. In a traditional model of disease, causative SNVs disrupt a key structural element in the RNA. For the subset of patients with heritable retinoblastoma-associated SNVs in the RB1 5′ UTR, the absence of multiple structures is likely causative of the cancer. Our data therefore suggest that selective pressure will favor multiple conformations in eukaryotic UTRs to regulate expression. PMID:25999316

  15. Observations and relocation of a West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) off Bimini, The Bahamas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melillo-Sweeting, Kelly; Reid, James P.; Gittens, Lester; Adimey, Nicole; Dillet, Jared Z.

    2011-01-01

    West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are listed as vulnerable (IUCN Red List, 7 March 2009; Deutsch et al., 2008), with the subspecies Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus (Florida and Antillean, respectively) considered endangered (IUCN Red List, 21 January 2011; Deutsch, 2008; Self-Sullivan & Mignucci-Giannoni, 2008). Manatees are not native to The Bahamas; however, sightings have been recorded periodically since 1904, with an increase in sightings documented in the 1990s (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In the area of Bimini, The Bahamas, the first recorded manatee sighting was in 1904 of a single individual that was apparently killed (Allen, 1942). The second was not until 1996, which was poorly documented. The small adult remained for approximately 6 wks before disappearing (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In 1998, a third sighting was reported off Bimini of a single individual. Although the animal was seen for several weeks and was relatively habituated to human presence (Al Sweeting, Jr., pers. comm., 28 November 2008), no data were collected on this individual nor any photographs suitable for identification purposes.

  16. Adjusting multistate capture-recapture models for misclassification bias: manatee breeding proportions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.

    2003-01-01

    Matrix population models are important tools for research and management of populations. Estimating the parameters of these models is an important step in applying them to real populations. Multistate capture-recapture methods have provided a useful means for estimating survival and parameters of transition between locations or life history states but have mostly relied on the assumption that the state occupied by each detected animal is known with certainty. Nevertheless, in some cases animals can be misclassified. Using multiple capture sessions within each period of interest, we developed a method that adjusts estimates of transition probabilities for bias due to misclassification. We applied this method to 10 years of sighting data for a population of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in order to estimate the annual probability of transition from nonbreeding to breeding status. Some sighted females were unequivocally classified as breeders because they were clearly accompanied by a first-year calf. The remainder were classified, sometimes erroneously, as nonbreeders because an attendant first-year calf was not observed or was classified as more than one year old. We estimated a conditional breeding probability of 0.31 + 0.04 (estimate + 1 SE) when we ignored misclassification bias, and 0.61 + 0.09 when we accounted for misclassification.

  17. Capture-recapture analysis for estimating manatee reproductive rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Langtimm, C.A.; Beck, C.A.; Runge, M.C.

    2004-01-01

    Modeling the life history of the endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an important step toward understanding its population dynamics and predicting its response to management actions. We developed a multi-state mark-resighting model for data collected under Pollock's robust design. This model estimates breeding probability conditional on a female's breeding state in the previous year; assumes sighting probability depends on breeding state; and corrects for misclassification of a cow with first-year calf, by estimating conditional sighting probability for the calf. The model is also appropriate for estimating survival and unconditional breeding probabilities when the study area is closed to temporary emigration across years. We applied this model to photo-identification data for the Northwest and Atlantic Coast populations of manatees, for years 1982?2000. With rare exceptions, manatees do not reproduce in two consecutive years. For those without a first-year calf in the previous year, the best-fitting model included constant probabilities of producing a calf for the Northwest (0.43, SE = 0.057) and Atlantic (0.38, SE = 0.045) populations. The approach we present to adjust for misclassification of breeding state could be applicable to a large number of marine mammal populations.

  18. Measurement of the acoustic reflectivity of sirenia (Florida manatees) at 171 kHz.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, Jules S; Simonet, Fernando; Roberts, Paul L D; Bowles, Ann E

    2007-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered sirenian. At present, its adult population (approximately 2200) seems stable, but tenuous. Manatee-boat collisions are a significant proportion (approximately 25%) of mortalities. Here, the potential use of active sonar for detecting manatees by quantifying sonic reflectivity is explored. In order to estimate reflectivity two methods were used. One method measured live reflections from captive animals using a carefully calibrated acoustic and co-registered optical system. The other method consisted of the analysis of animal tissue in order to obtain estimates of the sound speed and density and to predict reflectivity. The impedance measurement predicts that for a lateral view, the tissue reflectivity is close to 0.13, with a critical grazing angle of 28 degrees. Data measured from live animals indicate that substantial reflections can be recorded, however in many instances observed "empirical target strengths" were less than an experimentally dependent -48-dB threshold. Conclusions favor the hypothesis that the animals reflect substantial amounts of sound; however, the reflections can often be specular, and therefore impractical for observation by a manatee detection sonar operating at 171 kHz. PMID:17297771

  19. Six novel gammaherpesviruses of Afrotheria provide insight into the early divergence of the Gammaherpesvirinae.

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Johnson, April J; Childress, April L; Harr, Kendal E; Isaza, Ramiro

    2008-03-18

    The Afrotheria represent an early branching of placental mammals. Only two herpesviruses from Afrotheria have been previously identified, and the genus Proboscivirus in the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae has been proposed for them. Six novel gammaherpesviruses were identified in four species in the superorder Afrotheria by detection and analysis of their DNA polymerase genes. Elephantid herpesvirus 3 (ElHV3) and Elephantid herpesvirus 4 (ElHV4) were identified from conjunctival swabs from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). ElHV3 was also found in a vaginal swab from one elephant with vaginitis. Elephantid herpesvirus 5 (ElHV5) was identified from vaginal swabs of two Asian elephants with vaginal plaques. Elephantid herpesvirus 6 was discovered in a conjunctival swab from an African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Procavid herpesvirus 1 (PrHV1) was found in spleen and conjunctival swabs of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). Trichechid herpesvirus 1 (TrHV1) was identified from skin and buffy coats of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). ElHV3 and ElHV4 form a distinct cluster, and ElHV5, ElHV6, TrHV1, and PrHV1 form a second cluster. These viruses may have codiverged with their host species. Phylogenetic analysis of these novel herpesviruses suggests that two separate groups of gammaherpesviruses may have codiverged with the Afrotheria. PMID:17884307

  20. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    Pardini, A T; O'Brien, P C M; Fu, B; Bonde, R K; Elder, F F B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F; Robinson, T J

    2007-05-22

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n=56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n=48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n=20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. PMID:17374594

  1. Theoretical detection ranges for acoustic based manatee avoidance technology.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2006-07-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. To reduce the number of collisions, warning systems based upon detecting manatee vocalizations have been proposed. One aspect of the feasibility of an acoustically based warning system relies upon the distance at which a manatee vocalization is detectable. Assuming a mixed spreading model, this paper presents a theoretical analysis of the system detection capabilities operating within various background and watercraft noise conditions. This study combines measured source levels of manatee vocalizations with the modeled acoustic properties of manatee habitats to develop a method for determining the detection range and hydrophone spacing requirements for acoustic based manatee avoidance technologies. In quiet environments (background noise approximately 70 dB) it was estimated that manatee vocalizations are detectable at approximately 250 m, with a 6 dB detection threshold, In louder environments (background noise approximately 100dB) the detection range drops to 2.5 m. In a habitat with 90 dB of background noise, a passing boat with a maximum noise floor of 120 dB would be the limiting factor when it is within approximately 100 m of a hydrophone. The detection range was also found to be strongly dependent on the manatee vocalization source level. PMID:16875213

  2. Autocorrelation based denoising of manatee vocalizations using the undecimated discrete wavelet transform.

    PubMed

    Gur, Berke M; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2007-07-01

    Recent interest in the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) vocalizations has been primarily induced by an effort to reduce manatee mortality rates due to watercraft collisions. A warning system based on passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is desired. The success and feasibility of such a system depends on effective denoising of the vocalizations in the presence of high levels of background noise. In the last decade, simple and effective wavelet domain nonlinear denoising methods have emerged as an alternative to linear estimation methods. However, the denoising performances of these methods degrades considerably with decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and therefore are not suited for denoising manatee vocalizations in which the typical SNR is below 0 dB. Manatee vocalizations possess a strong harmonic content and a slow decaying autocorrelation function. In this paper, an efficient denoising scheme that exploits both the autocorrelation function of manatee vocalizations and effectiveness of the nonlinear wavelet transform based denoising algorithms is introduced. The suggested wavelet-based denoising algorithm is shown to outperform linear filtering methods, extending the detection range of vocalizations. PMID:17614478

  3. A source separation approach to enhancing marine mammal vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Gur, M Berke; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2009-12-01

    A common problem in passive acoustic based marine mammal monitoring is the contamination of vocalizations by a noise source, such as a surface vessel. The conventional approach in improving the vocalization signal to noise ratio (SNR) is to suppress the unwanted noise sources by beamforming the measurements made using an array. In this paper, an alternative approach to multi-channel underwater signal enhancement is proposed. Specifically, a blind source separation algorithm that extracts the vocalization signal from two-channel noisy measurements is derived and implemented. The proposed algorithm uses a robust decorrelation criterion to separate the vocalization from background noise, and hence is suitable for low SNR measurements. To overcome the convergence limitations resulting from temporally correlated recordings, the supervised affine projection filter update rule is adapted to the unsupervised source separation framework. The proposed method is evaluated using real West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) vocalizations and watercraft emitted noise measurements made within a typical manatee habitat in Florida. The results suggest that the proposed algorithm can improve the detection range of a passive acoustic detector five times on average (for input SNR between -10 and 5 dB) using only two receivers. PMID:20000920

  4. Background noise cancellation of manatee vocalizations using an adaptive line enhancer.

    PubMed

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Cattafesta, Louis N; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2006-07-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become an endangered species partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees is desired. Previous research has shown that background noise limits the manatee vocalization detection range (which is critical for practical implementation). By improving the signal-to-noise ratio of the measured manatee vocalization signal, it is possible to extend the detection range. The finite impulse response (FIR) structure of the adaptive line enhancer (ALE) can detect and track narrow-band signals buried in broadband noise. In this paper, a constrained infinite impulse response (IIR) ALE, called a feedback ALE (FALE), is implemented to reduce the background noise. In addition, a bandpass filter is used as a baseline for comparison. A library consisting of 100 manatee calls spanning ten different signal categories is used to evaluate the performance of the bandpass filter, FIR-ALE, and FALE. The results show that the FALE is capable of reducing background noise by about 6.0 and 21.4 dB better than that of the FIR-ALE and bandpass filter, respectively, when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the original manatee call is -5 dB. PMID:16875212

  5. Monitoring oral temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) during capture and handling in the field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wong, Arthur W.; Bonde, Robert K.; Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Stamper, M. Andrew; Colee, James; Powell, James A.; Reid, James P.; Deutsch, Charles J.; Harr, Kendal E.

    2012-01-01

    West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are captured, handled, and transported to facilitate conservation, research, and rehabilitation efforts. Monitoring manatee oral temperature (OT), heart rate (HR), and respiration rate (RR) during out-of-water handling can assist efforts to maintain animal well-being and improve medical response to evidence of declining health. To determine effects of capture on manatee vital signs, we monitored OT, HR, and RR continuously for a 50-min period in 38 healthy, awake, juvenile and adult Florida manatees (T. m. latirostris) and 48 similar Antillean manatees (T. m. manatus). We examined creatine kinase (CK), potassium (K+), serum amyloid A (SAA), and lactate values for each animal to assess possible systemic inflammation and muscular trauma. OT range was 29.5 to 36.2° C, HR range was 32 to 88 beats/min, and RR range was 0 to 17 breaths/5 min. Antillean manatees had higher initial OT, HR, and RR than Florida manatees (p < 0.001). As monitoring time progressed, mean differences between the subspecies were no longer significant. High RR over monitoring time was associated with high lactate concentration. Antillean manatees had higher overall lactate values ([mean ± SD] 20.6 ± 7.8 mmol/L) than Florida manatees (13.7 ± 6.7 mmol/L; p < 0.001). We recommend monitoring manatee OT, HR, and RR during capture and handling in the field or in a captive care setting.

  6. Pine as fast food: foraging ecology of an endangered cockatoo in a forestry landscape.

    PubMed

    Stock, William D; Finn, Hugh; Parker, Jackson; Dods, Ken

    2013-01-01

    Pine plantations near Perth, Western Australia have provided an important food source for endangered Carnaby's Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) since the 1940s. Plans to harvest these plantations without re-planting will remove this food source by 2031 or earlier. To assess the impact of pine removal, we studied the ecological association between Carnaby's Cockatoos and pine using behavioural, nutritional, and phenological data. Pine plantations provided high densities of seed (158,025 seeds ha(-1)) over a large area (c. 15,000 ha). Carnaby's Cockatoos fed throughout these plantations and removed almost the entire annual crop of pine cones. Peak cockatoo abundance coincided with pine seed maturation. Pine seed had energy and protein contents equivalent to native food sources and, critically, is available in summer when breeding pairs have young offspring to feed. This strong and enduring ecological association clearly suggests that removing pine will have a significant impact on this endangered species unless restoration strategies, to establish alternative food sources, are implemented.

  7. Survival estimates for Florida manatees from the photo-identification of individuals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; Beck, C.A.; Edwards, H.H.; Fick-Child, K. J.; Ackerman, B.B.; Barton, S.L.; Hartley, W.C.

    2004-01-01

    We estimated adult survival probabilities for the endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four regional populations using photo-identification data and open-population capture-recapture statistical models. The mean annual adult survival probability over the most recent 10-yr period of available estimates was as follows: Northwest - 0.956 (SE 0.007), Upper St. Johns River - 0.960 (0.011), Atlantic Coast - 0.937 (0.008), and Southwest - 0.908 (0.019). Estimates of temporal variance independent of sampling error, calculated from the survival estimates, indicated constant survival in the Upper St. Johns River, true temporal variability in the Northwest and Atlantic Coast, and large sampling variability obscuring estimates for the Southwest. Calf and subadult survival probabilities were estimated for the Upper St. Johns River from the only available data for known-aged individuals: 0.810 (95% CI 0.727-0.873) for 1st year calves, 0.915 (0.827-0.960) for 2nd year calves, and 0.969 (0.946-0.982) for manatee 3 yr or older. These estimates of survival probabilities and temporal variance, in conjunction with estimates of reproduction probabilities from photoidentification data can be used to model manatee population dynamics, estimate population growth rates, and provide an integrated measure of regional status.

  8. Low genetic diversity and minimal population substructure in the endangered Florida manatee: implications for conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Hunter, Margaret E.; Bonde, Robert K.; Austin, James D.; Clark, Ann Marie; Beck, Cathy A.; McGuire, Peter M.; Oli, Madan K.

    2012-01-01

    Species of management concern that have been affected by human activities typically are characterized by low genetic diversity, which can adversely affect their ability to adapt to environmental changes. We used 18 microsatellite markers to genotype 362 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and investigated genetic diversity, population structure, and estimated genetically effective population size (Ne). The observed and expected heterozygosity and average number of alleles were 0.455 ± 0.04, 0.479 ± 0.04, and 4.77 ± 0.51, respectively. All measures of Florida manatee genetic diversity were less than averages reported for placental mammals, including fragmented or nonideal populations. Overall estimates of differentiation were low, though significantly greater than zero, and analysis of molecular variance revealed that over 95% of the total variance was among individuals within predefined management units or among individuals along the coastal subpopulations, with only minor portions of variance explained by between group variance. Although genetic issues, as inferred by neutral genetic markers, appear not to be critical at present, the Florida manatee continues to face demographic challenges due to anthropogenic activities and stochastic factors such as red tides, oil spills, and disease outbreaks; these can further reduce genetic diversity of the manatee population.

  9. Eight-choice sound localization by manatees: performance abilities and head related transfer functions.

    PubMed

    Colbert-Luke, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger L; Bauer, Gordon B; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Mann, David A

    2015-02-01

    Two experiments investigated the ability and means by which two male Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) may determine the direction of a sound source. An eight-choice discrimination paradigm was used to determine the subjects' sound localization abilities of five signal conditions covering a range of frequencies, durations, and levels. Subjects performed above the 12.5% chance level for all broadband frequencies and were able to localize sounds over a large level range. Errors were typically located to either side of the signal source location when presented in the front 180° but were more dispersed when presented from locations behind the subject. Front-to-back confusions were few and accuracy was greater when signals originated from the front 180°. Head-related transfer functions were measured to determine if frequencies were filtered by the manatee body to create frequency-specific interaural level differences (ILDs). ILDs were found for all frequencies as a function of source location, although they were largest with frequencies above 18 kHz and when signals originated to either side of the subjects. Larger ILDs were found when the signals originated behind the subjects. A shadowing-effect produced by the body may explain the relatively low occurrence of front-back confusions in the localization study. PMID:25533765

  10. A wavelet packet adaptive filtering algorithm for enhancing manatee vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Gur, M Berke; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2011-04-01

    Approximately a quarter of all West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) mortalities are attributed to collisions with watercraft. A boater warning system based on the passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is one possible solution to reduce manatee-watercraft collisions. The success of such a warning system depends on effective enhancement of the vocalization signals in the presence of high levels of background noise, in particular, noise emitted from watercraft. Recent research has indicated that wavelet domain pre-processing of the noisy vocalizations is capable of significantly improving the detection ranges of passive acoustic vocalization detectors. In this paper, an adaptive denoising procedure, implemented on the wavelet packet transform coefficients obtained from the noisy vocalization signals, is investigated. The proposed denoising algorithm is shown to improve the manatee detection ranges by a factor ranging from two (minimum) to sixteen (maximum) compared to high-pass filtering alone, when evaluated using real manatee vocalization and background noise signals of varying signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Furthermore, the proposed method is also shown to outperform a previously suggested feedback adaptive line enhancer (FALE) filter on average 3.4 dB in terms of noise suppression and 0.6 dB in terms of waveform preservation. PMID:21476661

  11. Multiple conformations are a conserved and regulatory feature of the RB1 5' UTR.

    PubMed

    Kutchko, Katrina M; Sanders, Wes; Ziehr, Ben; Phillips, Gabriela; Solem, Amanda; Halvorsen, Matthew; Weeks, Kevin M; Moorman, Nathaniel; Laederach, Alain

    2015-07-01

    Folding to a well-defined conformation is essential for the function of structured ribonucleic acids (RNAs) like the ribosome and tRNA. Structured elements in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are known to control expression. The importance of unstructured regions adopting multiple conformations, however, is still poorly understood. High-resolution SHAPE-directed Boltzmann suboptimal sampling of the Homo sapiens Retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) 5' UTR yields three distinct conformations compatible with the experimental data. Private single nucleotide variants (SNVs) identified in two patients with retinoblastoma each collapse the structural ensemble to a single but distinct well-defined conformation. The RB1 5' UTRs from Bos taurus (cow) and Trichechus manatus latirostris (manatee) are divergent in sequence from H. sapiens (human) yet maintain structural compatibility with high-probability base pairs. SHAPE chemical probing of the cow and manatee RB1 5' UTRs reveals that they also adopt multiple conformations. Luciferase reporter assays reveal that 5' UTR mutations alter RB1 expression. In a traditional model of disease, causative SNVs disrupt a key structural element in the RNA. For the subset of patients with heritable retinoblastoma-associated SNVs in the RB1 5' UTR, the absence of multiple structures is likely causative of the cancer. Our data therefore suggest that selective pressure will favor multiple conformations in eukaryotic UTRs to regulate expression. PMID:25999316

  12. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted.

  13. Pine as Fast Food: Foraging Ecology of an Endangered Cockatoo in a Forestry Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Stock, William D.; Finn, Hugh; Parker, Jackson; Dods, Ken

    2013-01-01

    Pine plantations near Perth, Western Australia have provided an important food source for endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) since the 1940s. Plans to harvest these plantations without re-planting will remove this food source by 2031 or earlier. To assess the impact of pine removal, we studied the ecological association between Carnaby’s Cockatoos and pine using behavioural, nutritional, and phenological data. Pine plantations provided high densities of seed (158 025 seeds ha−1) over a large area (c. 15 000 ha). Carnaby’s Cockatoos fed throughout these plantations and removed almost the entire annual crop of pine cones. Peak cockatoo abundance coincided with pine seed maturation. Pine seed had energy and protein contents equivalent to native food sources and, critically, is available in summer when breeding pairs have young offspring to feed. This strong and enduring ecological association clearly suggests that removing pine will have a significant impact on this endangered species unless restoration strategies, to establish alternative food sources, are implemented. PMID:23593413

  14. Passive thermal refugia provided warm water for Florida manatees during the severe winter of 2009-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stith, B.M.; Slone, D.H.; de Wit, M.; Edwards, H.H.; Langtimm, C.A.; Swain, E.D.; Soderqvist, L.E.; Reid, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    Haloclines induced by freshwater inflow over tidal water have been identified as an important mechanism for maintaining warm water in passive thermal refugia (PTR) used by Florida manatees Trichechus manatus latirostris during winter in extreme southwestern Florida. Record-setting cold during winter 2009–2010 resulted in an unprecedented number of manatee deaths, adding to concerns that PTR may provide inadequate thermal protection during severe cold periods. Hydrological data from 2009–2010 indicate that 2 canal systems in the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) region acted as PTR and maintained warm bottom-water temperatures, even during severe and prolonged cold periods. Aerial survey counts of live and dead manatees in TTI during the winter of 2009–2010 suggest that these PTR were effective at preventing mass mortality from hypothermia, in contrast to the nearby Everglades region, which lacks similar artificial PTR and showed high manatee carcass counts. Hydrological data from winter 2008–2009 confirmed earlier findings that without haloclines these artificial PTR may become ineffective as warm-water sites. Tidal pumping of groundwater appears to provide additional heat to bottom water during low tide cycles, but the associated thermal inversion is not observed unless salinity stratification is present. The finding that halocline-driven PTR can maintain warm water even under extreme winter conditions suggests that they may have significant potential as warm-water sites. However, availability and conflicting uses of freshwater and other management issues may make halocline-driven PTR unreliable or difficult to manage during winter.

  15. An epizootic of Florida manatees associated with a dinoflagellate bloom

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Rathbun, G.B.; Bonde, R.K.; Buergelt, C.D.; Odell, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    Over a 10-wk period in early 1982, 39 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were found dead in the lower Caloosahatchee River and nearby waters of southwestern Florida. Two were killed by boats. The remainder showed no evidence of trauma. Lesions indicative of infectious agents were not identified, and bacteriological and contaminant residue findings were unremarkable. Nonspecific lesions of congestion and hemorrhage were identified in brain tissue. Numerous reports were also received of manatee morbidity. Some distressed manatees showed no biochemical lesions in clinical analyses of blood samples and recovered quickly. Timing of manatee illnesses coincided with fish and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) mortality and morbidity. A widespread bloom of the dinoflagellate red tide organism (Gymnodinium breve) also coincided with these incidents. G. breve produces potent neurotoxins (brevetoxins). Circumstantial evidence links these events, and possible routes of exposure may include ingestion of filter-feeding ascidians. Ecological conditions that magnified the extent of the epizootic included an early dispersal of manatees into the area from a nearby winter aggregation site and unusually high salinities that facilitated the inshore spread of the red tide bloom. Management responses to future episodes of red tide in manatee areas are suggested.

  16. Reproductive biology and nectar production of the Mexican endemic Psittacanthus auriculatus (Loranthaceae), a hummingbird-pollinated mistletoe.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Crespo, M J; Ornelas, J F; Martén-Rodríguez, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Lara, C

    2016-01-01

    Many mistletoe species produce 'bird'-pollinated flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Psittacanthus auriculatus is a Mexican endemic mistletoe, most common in open, dry mesquite grassland. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of P. auriculatus is essential for understanding species formation and diversification of Psittacanthus mistletoes, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied floral biology and phenology, nectar production and breeding system and pollination of this species. The hermaphroditic red-pink flowers open from the middle to the tip and petals are curly, but remain partially fused forming a floral tube of ca. 20-mm long. Flowers are partially protandrous, produce large amounts of nectar, last 2 days, and stigma receptivity is highest during the second day. We recorded hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris, Hylocharis leucotis, Amazilia beryllina, A. violiceps, Calothorax lucifer, Archilochus colubris) and less commonly butterflies (Agraulis vanillae, Anteos clorinde, Papilio multicaudatus, Phocides urania, Phoebis sennae) as floral visitors. P. auriculatus flowers are self-compatible. However, this mistletoe is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. Under natural conditions, reproductive success was higher than in manually selfed or cross-pollinated flowers, likely due to the traplining foraging behaviour of hummingbirds. We suggest that the apparent efficient foraging behaviour of hummingbirds maintains gene flow among P. auriculatus, promoting outcrossing. PMID:26154599

  17. Reproductive biology and nectar production of the Mexican endemic Psittacanthus auriculatus (Loranthaceae), a hummingbird-pollinated mistletoe.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Crespo, M J; Ornelas, J F; Martén-Rodríguez, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Lara, C

    2016-01-01

    Many mistletoe species produce 'bird'-pollinated flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Psittacanthus auriculatus is a Mexican endemic mistletoe, most common in open, dry mesquite grassland. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of P. auriculatus is essential for understanding species formation and diversification of Psittacanthus mistletoes, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied floral biology and phenology, nectar production and breeding system and pollination of this species. The hermaphroditic red-pink flowers open from the middle to the tip and petals are curly, but remain partially fused forming a floral tube of ca. 20-mm long. Flowers are partially protandrous, produce large amounts of nectar, last 2 days, and stigma receptivity is highest during the second day. We recorded hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris, Hylocharis leucotis, Amazilia beryllina, A. violiceps, Calothorax lucifer, Archilochus colubris) and less commonly butterflies (Agraulis vanillae, Anteos clorinde, Papilio multicaudatus, Phocides urania, Phoebis sennae) as floral visitors. P. auriculatus flowers are self-compatible. However, this mistletoe is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. Under natural conditions, reproductive success was higher than in manually selfed or cross-pollinated flowers, likely due to the traplining foraging behaviour of hummingbirds. We suggest that the apparent efficient foraging behaviour of hummingbirds maintains gene flow among P. auriculatus, promoting outcrossing.

  18. Measurement of the acoustic reflectivity of sirenia (Florida manatees) at 171 kHz.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, Jules S; Simonet, Fernando; Roberts, Paul L D; Bowles, Ann E

    2007-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered sirenian. At present, its adult population (approximately 2200) seems stable, but tenuous. Manatee-boat collisions are a significant proportion (approximately 25%) of mortalities. Here, the potential use of active sonar for detecting manatees by quantifying sonic reflectivity is explored. In order to estimate reflectivity two methods were used. One method measured live reflections from captive animals using a carefully calibrated acoustic and co-registered optical system. The other method consisted of the analysis of animal tissue in order to obtain estimates of the sound speed and density and to predict reflectivity. The impedance measurement predicts that for a lateral view, the tissue reflectivity is close to 0.13, with a critical grazing angle of 28 degrees. Data measured from live animals indicate that substantial reflections can be recorded, however in many instances observed "empirical target strengths" were less than an experimentally dependent -48-dB threshold. Conclusions favor the hypothesis that the animals reflect substantial amounts of sound; however, the reflections can often be specular, and therefore impractical for observation by a manatee detection sonar operating at 171 kHz.

  19. Age determination in manatees using growth-layer-group counts in bone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marmontel, M.; O'Shea, T.J.; Kochman, H.I.; Humphrey, S.R.

    1996-01-01

    Growth layers were observed in histological preparations of bones of known-age, known minimum-age, and tetracycline-marked free-ranging and captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), substantiating earlier preliminary findings of other studies. Detailed analysis of 17 new case histories showed that growth-layer group (GLG) counts in the periotic bone were consistent with known age, or time since tetracycline administration, but were less reliable in other bones. GLG counts were also made in periotic bones of 1,196 Florida manatees of unknown age found dead from 1974 through 1991. These counts were conducted in order to assess variability and to determine relationships among estimated age, size, sex, and degree of bone resorption. Resorption can interfere with accuracy of GLG counts. This effect does not occur until ages greater than about 15 yr and body lengths greater than 300 cm are attained. GLGs were also observed in periotic bones of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) but were not validated against known-age specimens. Use of GLG counts in the periotic bone is suitable for application to studies of population dynamics and other age-related aspects of manatee biology.

  20. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: Support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pardini, A.T.; O'Brien, P. C. M.; Fu, B.; Bonde, R.K.; Elder, F.F.B.; Ferguson-Smith, M. A.; Yang, F.; Robinson, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n = 56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n = 48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n = 20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. ?? 2007 The Royal Society.

  1. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. PMID:24613263

  2. Manatees in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, Robert K.; Lefebvre, Lynn W.

    2001-01-01

    The endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabits rivers and estuaries along both coasts of Florida and, to a lesser extent, adjacent states (Figure 1). Since 1990, documented sightings of manatees outside of Florida have been increasing. This increase in sightings probably represents northward shifts in manatee distribution made possible by man-made sources of warm water (i.e., industrial effluents), as well as a decade of relatively warm winters. The most likely source of emigrants on the Gulf coast is the population of manatees that overwinter in the headwaters of the Crystal and Homosassa Rivers, Citrus County, FL. This group of manatees has undergone a steady increase in numbers, (approximately 7% per year from 1977-1991; Eberhardt and O’Shea 1995). Some emigrants may also come from the Tampa-Ft. Myers region, where human impacts on habitat are greater. Manatees are intelligent, long-lived mammals that appear to adapt readily to new environments and situations. However, manatees have relatively low metabolic rates, and cold winter temperatures restrict their northern distribution.

  3. New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Chasar, Anthony; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-10-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) megaglobularis n. sp. was recorded in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, and Plasmodium (Novyella) globularis n. sp. and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) vacuolatus n. sp. were found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lineages closely related to these parasites. Traditional taxonomy of avian pigment-forming haemosporidians of the families Plasmodiidae and Haemoproteidae is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. We conclude that further work to increase the number of precise linkages between haemosporidian DNA sequences and their corresponding morphospecies is needed before revising the current classification of haemosporidians. This study emphasises the value of both the polymerase chain reaction and microscopy in the identification of avian haemosporidian parasites.

  4. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Chasar, Anthony; Hutchinson, Anna; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2010-02-01

    Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Previous studies have found complex patterns of prevalence with respect to habitat characteristics and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia intensity and the prevalence of co-infections may vary in space. Here, using both molecular methods and microscopy, we report an analysis of the variation of parasitemia intensity and co-infections of avian haemosporidian parasites ( Plasmodium and Haemoproteus species) in 2 common African birds species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul ( Andropadus latirostris ) and the olive sunbird ( Cyanomitra olivacea ), at 3 sites with distinct habitat characteristics in Ghana. First, we found an interaction between the site and host species for the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. For the olive sunbird, the prevalence of Plasmodium spp., as well as the number of individuals with co-infections, varied significantly among the sites, but these measures remained constant for the yellow-whiskered greenbul. In addition, yellow-whiskered greenbuls infected with Haemoproteus spp. were found only at 1 site. Furthermore, for both bird species, the parasitemia intensity of Plasmodium spp. varied significantly among the 3 sites, but with opposing trends. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity differently affects haemosporidian infection parameters in these vertebrate-hosts. Environmental conditions here can either favor or reduce parasite infection. We discuss the implications of these discrepancies for conservation and ecological studies of infectious diseases in natural populations.

  5. Influence of Manatees' Diving on Their Risk of Collision with Watercraft

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Holly H.; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J.; Muller, Robert G.; Koslovsky, Stacie M.; Smith, Alexander J.; Barlas, Margaret E.

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population’s growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time–depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002–2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water’s surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62–86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93–0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93–0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58–0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection. PMID:27049326

  6. Influence of Manatees' Diving on Their Risk of Collision with Watercraft.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Holly H; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J; Muller, Robert G; Koslovsky, Stacie M; Smith, Alexander J; Barlas, Margaret E

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population's growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time-depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002-2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water's surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62-86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93-0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93-0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58-0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection.

  7. Patterns of mortality among South Florida Manatees: Evidence from oxygen, sulfur and deuterium stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacAvoy, S. E.; Bacalan, V.; Kazantseva, M.; Rhodes, J.; Kim, K.

    2012-12-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered marine mammal whose coastal habitat has been heavily altered by human development. Sources of mortality include anthropogenic and environmental causes. Necropsies were completed on 75 deceased individuals, and tissues, including bone samples, were collected for later analysis. This study investigates the utility of manatee bone stable oxygen (δ18O), sulfur (δ34S) and deuterium (δD) for determining where the animals lived (which may not be where they where their bodies were recovered), and the relative importance of marine versus freshwater for the individual animals. The isotopes can provide a "geochemical map" showing the distribution of mortality, aiding in the evaluation of geographical patterns in mortality. The δ18O signatures of the bones ranged from 14 to 18.5‰, with no significant difference between male and female mean values. δ18O significantly decreased with increasing latitude (p=.0016), a trend positively correlated with coastal Florida seawater δ18O literature values obtained from the NASA Global Seawater Oxygen-18 Database (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/o18data/) and the EAIA stable isotope database (http://www.univie.ac.at/cartography/project/wiser/). Bone δ34S indicated the influence of marine versus coastal freshwater dietary sources on the animals. Most individuals showed 34S-depleted signatures, which indicated a non-marine sulfur source; however some individuals clearly had taken up marine sulfate (mean 4.9 ± 3.7‰, range 0.8 to 13.8‰). Deuterium values were not available at the time this abstract was written, however we hypothesize that those values will co-vary with δ18O. We conclude that manatee diets are based on both marine and freshwater sources, but freshwater sources exert more influence. Marine water and manatee δ18O co-vary with latitude, suggesting that stable oxygen isotopes may be useful indicators of the latitude where manatees lived.

  8. Osmoregulation in wild and captive West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus).

    PubMed

    Ortiz, R M; Worthy, G A; MacKenzie, D S

    1998-01-01

    The ability of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus) to inhabit both freshwater and marine habitats presents an interesting model to study osmoregulation in sirenians. Blood samples were analyzed from manatees held in fresh- and saltwater and from wild animals captured in fresh-, brackish, and saltwater for concentrations of aldosterone, arginine vasopressin, plasma renin activity, Na+, K+, Cl-, and osmolality. Two separate experiments were also conducted on captive animals to evaluate osmoregulatory responses to acute saltwater exposure and freshwater deprivation. Spurious differences were observed in plasma electrolyte and osmolality among the captive and wild groups. Wild brackish water animals exhibited the highest vasopressin concentrations, while wild freshwater manatees had the highest aldosterone levels. A significant correlation between mean vasopressin and osmolality was demonstrated for captive and wild animals. When freshwater animals were acutely exposed to saltwater, osmolality, Na+, and Cl- increased 5.5%, 8.0%, and 14%, respectively, while aldosterone decreased 82.6%. Saltwater animals deprived of freshwater exhibited an almost twofold increase in aldosterone during the deprivation period and a fourfold decrease when freshwater was again provided. Within this group, osmolality increased significantly by 3.4% over the course of the study; however, electrolytes did not change. The lack of consistent differences in electrolyte and osmolality among wild and captive groups suggests that manatees are good osmoregulators regardless of the environment. The high aldosterone levels in wild freshwater animals may indicate a need to conserve Na+, while the high vasopressin levels in wild brackish-water manatees suggest an antidiuretic state to conserve water. Vasopressin levels appear to be osmotically mediated in manatees as in other mammals.

  9. Deforestation does not affect the prevalence of a common trypanosome in African birds.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2016-10-01

    In spite of numerous reports of avian Trypanosoma spp. in birds throughout the world, patterns of the distribution and prevalence of these blood parasites remains insufficiently understood. It is clear that spatial heterogeneity influences parameters of parasite distributions in natural populations, but data regarding avian trypanosomes are scarce. Using microscopy and molecular diagnostic methods, we analysed the variation of prevalence of avian Trypanosoma parasites in two widespread African bird species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris and the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea. In all, 353 birds were captured in pristine forests and agroforest sites in Cameroon and Ghana. Overall, the prevalence of avian trypanosomes was 51.3%. Five morphospecies were reported (Trypanosoma everetti, T. anguiformis, T. avium, T. naviformis, T. ontarioensis). Trypanosoma everetti predominated, representing 98% of all Trypanosoma spp. reports, and it was present in both avian hosts. The prevalence of T. everetti was significantly less in the yellow-whiskered greenbul (19%) than olive sunbird (83%), and the same pattern of prevalence was reported in these avian hosts at different study sites. We found no interaction between sites and the prevalence of T. everetti. For both avian hosts, the prevalence did not differ significantly between pristine forests and agroforests. This indicates the same pattern of transmission at sites with different levels of deforestation and suggests that spatial heterogeneity related to deforestation does not affect the prevalence of avian Trypanosoma infections. It is likely that host-related factors, but not environmental conditions favour or reduce these parasite infections in forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Microscopic and PCR-based diagnostics showed the same sensitivity in diagnostics of T. everetti. We discuss the implications of these findings for the epidemiology of avian trypanosomiasis in natural populations. PMID:27421797

  10. Sublethal red tide toxin exposure in free-ranging manatees (Trichechus manatus) affects the immune system through reduced lymphocyte proliferation responses, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Butawan, Matthew; Yordy, Jennifer; Ball, Ray; Flewelling, Leanne; de Wit, Martine; Bonde, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    The health of many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is adversely affected by exposure to blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis blooms are common in manatee habitats of Florida's southwestern coast and produce a group of cyclic polyether toxins collectively referred to as red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Although a large number of manatees exposed to significant levels of red tide toxins die, several manatees are rescued from sublethal exposure and are successfully treated and returned to the wild. Sublethal brevetoxin exposure may potentially impact the manatee immune system. Lymphocyte proliferative responses and a suite of immune function parameters in the plasma were used to evaluate effects of brevetoxin exposure on health of manatees rescued from natural exposure to red tide toxins in their habitat. Blood samples were collected from rescued manatees at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL and from healthy, unexposed manatees in Crystal River, FL. Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) isolated from whole blood were stimulated with T-cell mitogens, ConA and PHA. A suite of plasma parameters, including plasma protein electrophoresis profiles, lysozyme activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen (ROS/RNS) species, was also used to assess manatee health. Significant decreases (p<0.05) in lymphocyte proliferation were observed in ConA and PHA stimulated lymphocytes from rescued animals compared to non-exposed animals. Significant correlations were observed between oxidative stress markers (SOD, ROS/RNS) and plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Sublethal exposure to brevetoxins in the wild impacts some immune function components, and thus, overall health, in the Florida manatee.

  11. Feeding preferences of West Indian manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico as indicated by stable isotope analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D.; Worthy, Graham A.J.; Bonde, Robert K.

    2010-01-01

    The endangered West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus has 2 recognized subspecies: the Florida T. m. latirostris and Antillean T. m. manatus manatee, both of which are found in freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats. A better understanding of manatee feeding preferences and habitat use is essential to establish criteria on which conservation plans can be based. Skin from manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico, as well as aquatic vegetation from their presumed diet, were analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. This is the first application of stable isotope analysis to Antillean manatees. Stable isotope ratios for aquatic vegetation differed by plant type (freshwater, estuarine, and marine), collection location, and in one instance, season. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for manatee skin differed between collection location and in one instance, season, but did not differ between sex or age class. Signatures in the skin of manatees sampled in Belize and Puerto Rico indicated a diet composed primarily of seagrasses, whereas those of Florida manatees exhibited greater regional variation. Mixing model results indicated that manatees sampled from Crystal River and Homosassa Springs (Florida, USA) ate primarily freshwater vegetation, whereas manatees sampled from Big Bend Power Plant, Ten Thousand Islands, and Warm Mineral Springs (Florida) fed primarily on seagrasses. Possible diet-tissue discrimination values for 15N were estimated to range from 1.0 to 1.5 per mil. Stable isotope analysis can be used to interpret manatee feeding behavior over a long period of time, specifically the use of freshwater vegetation versus seagrasses, and can aid in identifying critical habitats and improving conservation efforts.

  12. Estimation of survival of adult Florida manatees in the Crystal River, at Blue Spring, and on the Atlantic Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Ackerman, B.B.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1995-01-01

    We applied Cormack-Jolly-Seber open population models to manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) photo-identification databases to estimate adult survival probabilities. The computer programs JOLLY and RECAPCO were used to estimate survival of 677 individuals in three study areas: Crystal River (winters 1977-78 to 1990-91), Blue Spring (winters 1977-78 to 1990-91), and the Atlantic Coast (winters 1984-85 to 1990-91). We also estimated annual survival from observations of 111 manatees tagged for studies with radiotelemetry. Survival estimated from observations with telemetry had broader confidence intervals than survival estimated with the Cormack-Jolly-Seber models. Annual probabilities of capture based on photo-identification records were generally high. The mean annual adult survival estimated from sighting-resighting records was 0.959-0.962 in the Crystal River and 0.936-0.948 at Blue Spring and may be high enough to permit population growth, given the values of other life-history parameters. On the Atlantic Coast, the estimated annual adult survival (range of means = 0.877-0.885) may signify a declining population. However, for several reasons, interpretation of data from the latter study group should be tempered with caution. Adult survivorship seems to be constant with age in all three study groups. No strong differences were apparent between adult survival ofmales and females in the Crystal River or at Blue Spring; the basis of significant differences between sexes on the Atlantic Coast is unclear. Future research into estimating survival with photo-identification and the Cormack-Jolly-Seber models should be vigorously pursued. Estimates of annual survival can provide an additional indication of Florida manatee population status with a stronger statistical basis than aerial counts and carcass totals.

  13. Evidence of sirenian cold stress syndrome in dugongs Dugong dugon from southeast Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Owen, Helen C; Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin J; Palmieri, Chiara; Mills, Paul C

    2013-03-13

    Cold stress syndrome (CSS) is the term used to describe the range of clinical signs and chronic disease processes that can occur in Florida, USA, manatees Trichechus manatus latirostris exposed to water temperatures below 20°C for extended periods. Although no cold-related adverse events have been described in the closely related dugong Dugong dugon thus far, it has been established that they make movements in response to water temperatures lower than about 17 to 18°C. In this study, archive reports for dugong carcasses submitted to The University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science for post mortem examination during 2010 to 2012 were examined. These animals had been recovered from Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia, and 10 out of 14 fulfilled the criteria for 'potential cold stress cases.' Epidermal hyperplasia and secondary bacterial infection, serous atrophy of pericardial adipose tissue, and multisystem abscessation were features commonly noted in these cases. Water temperature data were correlated with the time of year that carcasses were submitted for examination. Higher numbers of carcasses diagnosed with potential CSS were noted during sustained periods in which water temperature was below 20°C. Given the pattern of increased submission of non-specifically, chronically unwell animals in the colder months and evidence that environmental conditions known to precipitate CSS occur in southeast Queensland, it is probable that, like manatees, dugongs in this area are affected by CSS. Further investigation to confirm and to better characterize the syndrome is recommended to refine management practices and improve treatment of affected animals. PMID:23482380

  14. Evaluation of exertion and capture stress in serum of wild dugongs (Dugong dugon).

    PubMed

    Lanyon, Janet M; Sneath, Helen L; Long, Trevor

    2012-03-01

    Seven hundred fifty-one dugongs (Dugong dugon) were pursued, captured, and handled for up to 20 min for population sampling. Fifty of these dugongs were then removed from the water for up to 55 min for comprehensive medical examination. Fifty whole blood and separated serum samples were analyzed for potassium, sodium, chloride, creatinine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), urea, creatinine, glucose, anion gap, and total blood CO2. Serum biochemical variables of the dugong were compared with those obtained in previous studies of the related West Indian manatee, a mammal that does not appear to experience capture myopathy based on available data. Differences between these species included higher blood sodium and chloride in dugongs, which may reflect differences in salt balance and renal function, and higher blood lactate and CO2. Some biochemical analytes such as CK and AST, which may be indicative of rhabdomyolysis associated with capture stress myopathy (a potentially fatal condition for which dugongs have been thought to be highly susceptible) were high compared with levels previously measured in wild West Indian manatees (Trichechus latirostris). One of the 50 dugongs had marked elevations of CK and AST but showed no other clinical indications of rhabdomyolysis associated with capture myopathy such as hyperthermia. Rather, generally high levels of lactate, CK, and AST most probably reflect metabolic acidosis resulting from the exertion involved in the pursuit prior to capture. Earlier observations suggesting that dugongs were probably susceptible to capture stress myopathy (based on high serum potassium levels) were not supported by this study. Capture and handling methods currently used on dugongs in this research program do not appear to result in acute capture stress. PMID:22448507

  15. Sublethal red tide toxin exposure in free-ranging manatees (Trichechus manatus) affects the immune system through reduced lymphocyte proliferation responses, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Butawan, Matthew; Yordy, Jennifer; Ball, Ray; Flewelling, Leanne; de Wit, Martine; Bonde, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    The health of many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is adversely affected by exposure to blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis blooms are common in manatee habitats of Florida's southwestern coast and produce a group of cyclic polyether toxins collectively referred to as red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Although a large number of manatees exposed to significant levels of red tide toxins die, several manatees are rescued from sublethal exposure and are successfully treated and returned to the wild. Sublethal brevetoxin exposure may potentially impact the manatee immune system. Lymphocyte proliferative responses and a suite of immune function parameters in the plasma were used to evaluate effects of brevetoxin exposure on health of manatees rescued from natural exposure to red tide toxins in their habitat. Blood samples were collected from rescued manatees at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL and from healthy, unexposed manatees in Crystal River, FL. Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) isolated from whole blood were stimulated with T-cell mitogens, ConA and PHA. A suite of plasma parameters, including plasma protein electrophoresis profiles, lysozyme activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen (ROS/RNS) species, was also used to assess manatee health. Significant decreases (p<0.05) in lymphocyte proliferation were observed in ConA and PHA stimulated lymphocytes from rescued animals compared to non-exposed animals. Significant correlations were observed between oxidative stress markers (SOD, ROS/RNS) and plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Sublethal exposure to brevetoxins in the wild impacts some immune function components, and thus, overall health, in the Florida manatee. PMID:25678466

  16. Influence of Manatees' Diving on Their Risk of Collision with Watercraft.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Holly H; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J; Muller, Robert G; Koslovsky, Stacie M; Smith, Alexander J; Barlas, Margaret E

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population's growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time-depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002-2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water's surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62-86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93-0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93-0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58-0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection. PMID:27049326

  17. Puerto Rico and Florida manatees represent genetically distinct groups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Margaret E.; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; King, Timothy L.; Bonde, Robert K.; Gray, Brian A.; McGuire, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) populations in Florida (T. m. latirostris) and Puerto Rico (T. m. manatus) are considered distinct subspecies and are listed together as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act. Sustained management and conservation efforts for the Florida subspecies have led to the suggested reclassification of the species to a threatened or delisted status. However, the two populations are geographically distant, morphologically distinct, and habitat degradation and boat strikes continue to threaten the Puerto Rico population. Here, 15 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial control region sequences were used to determine the relatedness of the two populations and investigate the genetic diversity and phylogeographic organization of the Puerto Rico population. Highly divergent allele frequencies were identified between Florida and Puerto Rico using microsatellite (F ST = 0.16; R ST = 0.12 (P ST = 0.66; Φ ST = 0.50 (P E = 0.45; NA = 3.9), were similar, but lower than those previously identified in Florida (HE = 0.48, NA = 4.8). Within Puerto Rico, the mitochondrial genetic diversity values (π = 0.001; h = 0.49) were slightly lower than those previously reported (π = 0.002; h = 0.54) and strong phylogeographic structure was identified (F ST global = 0.82; Φ ST global = 0.78 (P < 0.001)). The genetic division with Florida, low diversity, small population size (N = 250), and distinct threats and habitat emphasize the need for separate protections in Puerto Rico. Conservation efforts including threat mitigation, migration corridors, and protection of subpopulations could lead to improved genetic variation in the endangered Puerto Rico manatee population.

  18. Effects of brevetoxins on murine myeloma SP2/O cells: Aberrant cellular division

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Han, T.K.; Derby, M.; Martin, D.F.; Wright, S.D.; Dao, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    Massive deaths of manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) during the red tide seasons have been attributed to brevetoxins produced by the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (formerly Ptychodiscus breve and Gymnodinium breve). Although these toxins have been found in macrophages and lymphocytes in the lung, liver, and secondary lymphoid tissues of these animals, the molecular mechanisms of brevetoxicosis have not yet been identified. To investigate the effects of brevetoxins on immune cells, a murine myeloma cell line (SP2/O) was used as a model for in vitro studies. By adding brevetoxins to cultures of the SP2/O cells at concentrations ranging from 20 to 600 ng/ml, an apparent increase in proliferation was observed at around 2 hours post challenge as compared to the unchallenged cell cultures. This was followed by a drop in cell number at around 3 hours, suggesting an aberrant effect of brevetoxins on cellular division, the cells generated at 2 hours being apparently short-lived. In situ immunochemical staining of the SP2/O cells at 1 and 2 hour post challenge showed an accumulation of the toxins in the nucleus. A 21-kDa protein was subsequently isolated from the SP2/O cells as having brevetoxin-binding properties, and immunologically identified as p21, a nuclear factor known to down-regulate cellular proliferation through inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases. These data are the first on a possible effect of brevetoxins on the cell cycle via binding to p21, a phenomenon that needs to be further investigated and validated in normal immune cells.

  19. Influence of manatees' diving on their risk of collision with watercraft

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Holly H.; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J.; Muller, Robert G; Koslovsky, Stacie M.; Smith, Alexander J; Barlas, Margie E.

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population’s growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time–depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002–2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water’s surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62–86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93–0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93–0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58–0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection.

  20. Integration of manatee life-history data and population modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberhardt, L.L.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Ackerman, B.B.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1995-01-01

    Aerial counts and the number of deaths have been a major focus of attention in attempts to understand the population status of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Uncertainties associated with these data have made interpretation difficult. However, knowledge of manatee life-history attributes increased and now permits the development of a population model. We describe a provisional model based on the classical approach of Lotka. Parameters in the model are based on data from'other papers in this volume and draw primarily on observations from the Crystal River, Blue Spring, and Adantic Coast areas. The model estimates X (the finite rate ofincrease) at each study area, and application ofthe delta method provides estimates of variance components and partial derivatives ofX with respectto key input parameters (reproduction, adult survival, and early survival). In some study areas, only approximations of some parameters are available. Estimates of X and coefficients of variation (in parentheses) of manatees were 1.07 (0.009) in the Crystal River, 1.06 (0.012) at Blue Spring, and 1.01 (0.012) on the Atlantic Coast. Changing adult survival has a major effect on X. Early-age survival has the smallest effect. Bootstrap comparisons of population growth estimates from trend counts in the Crystal River and at Blue Spring and the reproduction and survival data suggest that the higher, observed rates from counts are probably not due to chance. Bootstrapping for variance estimates based on reproduction and survival data from manatees at Blue Spring and in the Crystal River provided estimates of X, adult survival, and rates of reproduction that were similar to those obtained by other methods. Our estimates are preliminary and suggestimprovements for future data collection and analysis. However, results support efforts to reduce mortality as the most effective means to promote the increased growth necessary for the eventual recovery of the Florida manatee

  1. Deforestation does not affect the prevalence of a common trypanosome in African birds.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2016-10-01

    In spite of numerous reports of avian Trypanosoma spp. in birds throughout the world, patterns of the distribution and prevalence of these blood parasites remains insufficiently understood. It is clear that spatial heterogeneity influences parameters of parasite distributions in natural populations, but data regarding avian trypanosomes are scarce. Using microscopy and molecular diagnostic methods, we analysed the variation of prevalence of avian Trypanosoma parasites in two widespread African bird species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris and the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea. In all, 353 birds were captured in pristine forests and agroforest sites in Cameroon and Ghana. Overall, the prevalence of avian trypanosomes was 51.3%. Five morphospecies were reported (Trypanosoma everetti, T. anguiformis, T. avium, T. naviformis, T. ontarioensis). Trypanosoma everetti predominated, representing 98% of all Trypanosoma spp. reports, and it was present in both avian hosts. The prevalence of T. everetti was significantly less in the yellow-whiskered greenbul (19%) than olive sunbird (83%), and the same pattern of prevalence was reported in these avian hosts at different study sites. We found no interaction between sites and the prevalence of T. everetti. For both avian hosts, the prevalence did not differ significantly between pristine forests and agroforests. This indicates the same pattern of transmission at sites with different levels of deforestation and suggests that spatial heterogeneity related to deforestation does not affect the prevalence of avian Trypanosoma infections. It is likely that host-related factors, but not environmental conditions favour or reduce these parasite infections in forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Microscopic and PCR-based diagnostics showed the same sensitivity in diagnostics of T. everetti. We discuss the implications of these findings for the epidemiology of avian trypanosomiasis in natural populations.

  2. New malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella in African rainforest birds, with remarks on their high prevalence, classification and diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-04-01

    Blood samples from 655 passerine birds were collected in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon and examined both by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques. The overall prevalence of Plasmodium spp. was 46.6%, as determined by combining the results of both these diagnostic methods. In comparison to PCR-based diagnostics, microscopic examination of blood films was more sensitive in determining simultaneous infection of Plasmodium spp., but both detection methods showed similar trends of prevalence of malaria parasites in the same study sites. Plasmodium (Novyella) lucens n. sp., Plasmodium (Novyella) multivacuolaris n. sp. and Plasmodium (Novyella) parahexamerium n. sp. were found in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Nectariniidae), yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris (Picnonotidae), and white-tailed alethe Alethe diademata (Turdidae), respectively. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies DNA lineages closely related to these parasites. Malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella with small erythrocytic meronts clearly predominate in African passerines. It is probable that the development of such meronts is a characteristic feature of evolution of Plasmodium spp. in African rainforest birds. Subgeneric taxonomy of avian Plasmodium spp. is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. It is concluded that a multi-genome phylogeny is needed before revising the current subgeneric classification of Plasmodium. We supported a hypothesis by Hellgren, Krizanauskiene, Valkiūnas, Bensch (J Parasitol 93:889-896, 2007), according to which, haemosporidian species with a genetic differentiation of over 5% in mitochondrial cyt b gene are expected to be

  3. Lower survival probabilities for adult Florida manatees in years with intense coastal storms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; Beck, C.A.

    2003-01-01

    The endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabits the subtropical waters of the southeastern United States, where hurricanes are a regular occurrence. Using mark-resighting statistical models, we analyzed 19 years of photo-identification data and detected significant annual variation in adult survival for a subpopulation in northwest Florida where human impact is low. That variation coincided with years when intense hurricanes (Category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) and a major winter storm occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Mean survival probability during years with no or low intensity storms was 0.972 (approximate 95% confidence interval = 0.961-0.980) but dropped to 0.936 (0.864-0.971) in 1985 with Hurricanes Elena, Kate, and Juan; to 0.909 (0.837-0.951) in 1993 with the March "Storm of the Century"; and to 0.817 (0.735-0.878) in 1995 with Hurricanes Opal, Erin, and Allison. These drops in survival probability were not catastrophic in magnitude and were detected because of the use of state-of-the-art statistical techniques and the quality of the data. Because individuals of this small population range extensively along the north Gulf coast of Florida, it was possible to resolve storm effects on a regional scale rather than the site-specific local scale common to studies of more sedentary species. This is the first empirical evidence in support of storm effects on manatee survival and suggests a cause-effect relationship. The decreases in survival could be due to direct mortality, indirect mortality, and/or emigration from the region as a consequence of storms. Future impacts to the population by a single catastrophic hurricane, or series of smaller hurricanes, could increase the probability of extinction. With the advent in 1995 of a new 25- to 50-yr cycle of greater hurricane activity, and longer term change possible with global climate change, it becomes all the more important to reduce mortality and injury

  4. Reproduction and early-age survival of manatees at Blue Spring, Upper St. Johns River, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J.; Hartley, W.C.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Ackerman, B.B.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1995-01-01

    We summarize reproduction of adults and survival of calves and subadult Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) that were identified in winter at Blue Spring on the upper St. Johns River in Florida. Some records span more than 20 years, but most are from 15-year continuous annual observations during winter 1978-79 through winter 1992-93. Fifty-seven, first-year calves were identified; 55 litter sizes were one, and one consisted oftwins (1.79% of all births). Sex ratios of first-year calves did notsignificantly differfrom 1:1. Based on 21 of35 sighted females (15 individuals) that appeared pregnant and returned with calves during the subsequent winter, we estimated an early (neonatal to about 6 months) calf survival of 0.600. Based on estimations with a minimum-number-known-alive method, calf survival from the first to the second winter was at least 0.822, and subadult survival was 0.903 to the third, 0.958 to the fourth, 1.00 to the fifth, and 1.00 to the sixth winters. Seven females were observed from year of birth to their first winter with a nursing calf; the mean age at parturition to the first calf that survived to the next winter was 5.4 + 0.98 (SD) years. The estimated ages at first conception ranged from 3 to 6 years. The proportion of adult pregnant females was 0.410/year. Weaning was not observed in winter. Intervals between births averaged 2.60 + 0.81 years. The pooled proportion of adult females nursing first-winter calves was 0.303; the proportion of adult females nursing calves of any age was 0.407. These values do not significantly differ from those ofmanatees from the Crystal River or Atlantic Coast study areas. Anecdotal accounts are provided that suggested the existence of a pseudo estrus, an 11 to 13-month gestation, suppression of parturition in winter, and giving birth in quiet backwaters and canals. A female from Blue Spring produced at least seven calves during the 22 years since first observed and died giving birth at an estimated

  5. Accounting for non-independent detection when estimating abundance of organisms with a Bayesian approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Julien; Royle, J. Andrew; MacKenzie, Darryl I.; Edwards, Holly H.; Kery, Marc; Gardner, Beth

    2011-01-01

    Summary 1. Binomial mixture models use repeated count data to estimate abundance. They are becoming increasingly popular because they provide a simple and cost-effective way to account for imperfect detection. However, these models assume that individuals are detected independently of each other. This assumption may often be violated in the field. For instance, manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) may surface in turbid water (i.e. become available for detection during aerial surveys) in a correlated manner (i.e. in groups). However, correlated behaviour, affecting the non-independence of individual detections, may also be relevant in other systems (e.g. correlated patterns of singing in birds and amphibians). 2. We extend binomial mixture models to account for correlated behaviour and therefore to account for non-independent detection of individuals. We simulated correlated behaviour using beta-binomial random variables. Our approach can be used to simultaneously estimate abundance, detection probability and a correlation parameter. 3. Fitting binomial mixture models to data that followed a beta-binomial distribution resulted in an overestimation of abundance even for moderate levels of correlation. In contrast, the beta-binomial mixture model performed considerably better in our simulation scenarios. We also present a goodness-of-fit procedure to evaluate the fit of beta-binomial mixture models. 4. We illustrate our approach by fitting both binomial and beta-binomial mixture models to aerial survey data of manatees in Florida. We found that the binomial mixture model did not fit the data, whereas there was no evidence of lack of fit for the beta-binomial mixture model. This example helps illustrate the importance of using simulations and assessing goodness-of-fit when analysing ecological data with N-mixture models. Indeed, both the simulations and the goodness-of-fit procedure highlighted the limitations of the standard binomial mixture model for aerial

  6. New aerial survey and hierarchical model to estimate manatee abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langimm, Cahterine A.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Stith, Bradley M.; Doyle, Terry J.

    2011-01-01

    Monitoring the response of endangered and protected species to hydrological restoration is a major component of the adaptive management framework of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) lives at the marine-freshwater interface in southwest Florida and is likely to be affected by hydrologic restoration. To provide managers with prerestoration information on distribution and abundance for postrestoration comparison, we developed and implemented a new aerial survey design and hierarchical statistical model to estimate and map abundance of manatees as a function of patch-specific habitat characteristics, indicative of manatee requirements for offshore forage (seagrass), inland fresh drinking water, and warm-water winter refuge. We estimated the number of groups of manatees from dual-observer counts and estimated the number of individuals within groups by removal sampling. Our model is unique in that we jointly analyzed group and individual counts using assumptions that allow probabilities of group detection to depend on group size. Ours is the first analysis of manatee aerial surveys to model spatial and temporal abundance of manatees in association with habitat type while accounting for imperfect detection. We conducted the study in the Ten Thousand Islands area of southwestern Florida, USA, which was expected to be affected by the Picayune Strand Restoration Project to restore hydrology altered for a failed real-estate development. We conducted 11 surveys in 2006, spanning the cold, dry season and warm, wet season. To examine short-term and seasonal changes in distribution we flew paired surveys 1–2 days apart within a given month during the year. Manatees were sparsely distributed across the landscape in small groups. Probability of detection of a group increased with group size; the magnitude of the relationship between group size and detection probability varied among surveys. Probability