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Sample records for caiman caiman latirostris

  1. Isolation of Salmonella spp. from yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) and broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) from the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Uhart, Marcela; Ferreyra, Hebe; Mattiello, Rosana; Caffer, María Inés; Terragno, Raquel; Schettino, Adriana; Prado, Walter

    2011-04-01

    Presence of Salmonella spp. was evaluated in yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) and broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) from a ranching facility in the Argentine Chaco. Crocodilian ranching programs are based on captive breeding of wild-harvested eggs and release of excess hatchlings into the wild. Samples for bacterial isolation were collected from 102 captive (35 C. yacare and 67 C. latirostris) and seven free-ranging caiman (four C. yacare and three C. latirositris) between 2001 and 2005 and from three artificially incubated C. yacare wild eggs. Two Salmonella spp. of known zoonotic potential, S. infantis and S. nottingham, were isolated from captive caiman in 2001 and 2002, respectively. This is the first report for S. nottingham in reptiles and of S. infantis in caiman. Salmonella spp. prevalence varied significantly between years, with a 77% prevalence peak in 2002. Although the cause of this increase was not confirmed, we found no correlation with the type of enclosure, caiman species, or body weight. Deteriorated physical condition of caiman hatchlings due to dietary changes in 2002 could have influenced Salmonella spp. shedding. However, external sources such as food, water, or enclosures could not be ruled out. Pathogenic Salmonella spp. present a risk for human infection. Inadvertent introduction of Salmonella spp. or other bacteria into the environment when caiman are released could pose a threat to wild caiman populations. Prophylactic measures to detect and decrease Salmonella spp. presence in caiman ranching facilities are recommended to reduce risk to humans and make caiman-ranching a sound conservation strategy for crocodilian species.

  2. Embryological development of Caiman latirostris (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Iungman, Josefina; Piña, Carlos I; Siroski, Pablo

    2008-08-01

    A standard development embryological series is the primary basis to organize information of any embryological study and is also used to determine the age of eggs and embryos in field conditions. In this article, we calibrate developmental series of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris, against an established series for Alligator mississippiensis. Morphometric measures and extend of the opaque-shell banding were also related to embryo age. In earlier stages, external morphological features alone can account for embryo age, but we suggest that morphometric measurements should be introduced later in the development. Unlike morphologic and morphometric attributes, the opaque patch was not a useful age predictor. As expected, a close correlation between embryonic development of C. latirostris and A. mississippiensis was observed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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.

  6. Genetic and morphometric variability in Caiman latirostris (broad-snouted caiman), reptilia, Alligatoridae.

    PubMed

    Amavet, Patricia; Vilardi, Juan César; Rosso, Esteban; Saidman, Beatriz

    2009-04-01

    Caiman latirostris (broad-snouted caiman) is a crocodilian species from Argentina subject of management plans. The goal of this study was estimating the distribution of genetic variability using RAPD markers and quantitative traits in wild populations of C. latirostris from Santa Fe province, Argentina. We sampled animals from four populations to obtain DNA and morphometric measurements. Eight RAPD primers were used and PCR products were analyzed on 4% polyacrylamide gels stained with silver nitrate. Eleven allometric measurements were obtained in animals within 48 hr after birth. We were able to reveal a relatively high number of variable markers in the studied populations. Our estimates of polymorphism and heterozygosity are higher than recorded values in other crocodilians using isozymes, the studied populations showed low levels of gene flow and some population subdivision. The study of quantitative traits conducted by nested analysis of variance and principal component analysis indicated higher levels of variance among nests within populations than among populations. We found that some head measurements have the highest contribution to morphological differences among populations; this fact could support the role of these traits in reproductive or feeding behavior. Estimated genetic differentiation value (F(ST)) among populations was higher than quantitative trait differentiation value (Q(ST)), suggesting a higher contribution of neutral than adaptive loci to the genetic differentiation among populations. Quantitative traits are probably more related with fitness and the differentiation among populations remained relatively lower. The high heritability estimated for some traits indicates great potential to improve them in management plans.

  7. Regression equations between body and head measurements in the broad-snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Verdade, L M

    2000-08-01

    In the present study, regression equations between body and head length measurements for the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) are presented. Age and sex are discussed as sources of variation for allometric models. Four body-length, fourteen head-length, and ten ratio variables were taken from wild and captive animals. With the exception of body mass, log-transformation did not improve the regression equations. Besides helping to estimate body-size from head dimensions, the regression equations stressed skull shape changes during the ontogenetic process. All age-dependent variables are also size-dependent (and consequently dependent on growth rate), which is possibly related to the difficulty in predicting age of crocodilians based on single variable growth curves. Sexual dimorphism was detected in the allometric growth of cranium but not in the mandible, which may be evolutionarily related to the visual recognition of gender when individuals exhibit only the top of their heads above the surface of the water, a usual crocodilian behavior.

  8. Intraspecific isotopic niche variation in broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Marques, Thiago S; Lara, Neliton R F; Bassetti, Luis A B; Piña, Carlos I; Camargo, Plínio B; Verdade, Luciano M

    2013-01-01

    Strategies to minimise intraspecific competition are common in wild animals. For example, individuals may exploit food resources at different levels of the food chain. Analyses of stable isotopes are particularly useful for confirming variations in an intraspecific niche because the chemical composition of animals tends to reflect both the food consumed and the habitats occupied by the species. However, studies using this methodology to investigate neotropical crocodilians are scarce. This study aimed to verify the existence of ontogenetic and sexual niche variation in broad-snouted caiman in a silvicultural landscape in Brazil through the use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. The isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen were determined in claw samples collected from 24 juveniles, 8 adults, and 16 hatchlings of C. latirostris. We identified a discrete ontogenetic variation in the isotopic niche and sexual difference only for juveniles. These results may indicate differences in the exploitation resources and a consequent reduction in competition between age classes.

  9. Ophthalmic diagnostic tests, orbital anatomy, and adnexal histology of the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Oriá, Arianne P; Oliveira, Alberto Vinícius D; Pinna, Melissa H; Martins Filho, Emanoel F; Estrela-Lima, Alessandra; Peixoto, Tiago C; Silva, Renata Maria M da; Santana, Fernanda O; Meneses, Íris Daniela S; Requião, Kátia G; Ofri, Ron

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to establish normal ophthalmic parameters for selected diagnostic tests, and to describe the orbital anatomy and adnexal histology of the broad-snouted caiman. A total of 35 Caiman latirostris that were free of obvious ocular diseases were used to measure the parameters in this investigation. Ages ranged from 5 to 15 years. Ophthalmic diagnostic tests were conducted, including evaluation of tear production with Schirmer Tear test-1 (STT1), culture of the conjunctival bacterial flora, applanation tonometry, conjunctival cytology, nictiating membrane incursion frequency test (NMIFT), endodontic absorbent paper point tear test (EAPPTT), palpebral fissure length measurement (PFL) and B-mode ultrasonography. Adnexal histology and skull samples were studied. Mean (±SD) STT1 was 3.4 ± 3.6 mm/min (95% confidence interval of 2.01-4.78 mm/min), intraocular pressure (IOP) was 12.9 ± 6.2 mmHg, NMIFT was 6.0 ± 3.5, EAPPTT was 17.1 ± 2.5 mm/min, PFL was 28.9 ± 3.0 mm, anterior chamber depth was 3.1 ± 0.3 mm, lens axial length was 8.4 ± 0.6 mm, vitreous chamber depth was 7.9 ± 0.7 mm and axial globe length was 19.9 ± 1.3 mm. For all animals evaluated, Bacillus sp., Diphteroids and Staphylococcus sp. were predominant. © 2013 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  10. Experimental inoculation of broad-nosed caimans (Caiman latirostris) and Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) with Mycoplasma alligatoris.

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

    An outbreak of mycoplasmosis caused by Mycoplasma alligatoris resulted in the death or euthanasia of 60 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from a population of 74 captive bull alligators in Florida in 1995. The natural reservoir, routes of transmission, and host range of M. alligatoris are unknown. This study was undertaken to determine whether crocodilian species other than American alligators are susceptible to M. alligatoris. Six broad-nosed caimans (Caiman latirostris) and six Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) were experimentally inoculated with 10(6) colony forming units (CFU) of M. alligatoris instilled through the glottis. Two caimans and two crocodiles were used as negative controls. Six and four American alligators were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Three of six (50%) inoculated caimans died within 10 wk postinoculation (PI) of severe mycoplasmosis. Gross necropsy, histopathologic, and culture results were similar for broad-nosed caimans and American alligators. None of the inoculated Siamese crocodiles developed mycoplasmosis, though M. alligatoris was isolated from the tonsils in three of six (50%) animals at necropsy. All the inoculated crocodilians that survived showed significant seroconversion by 6-8-wk PI (P < 0.05). The infective dose 50% (ID50) and lethal dose 50% (LD50) of M. alligatoris for the broad-nosed caiman are 10(6) CFU when instilled through the glottis, which is similar to that of the American alligator. Although the host range of M. alligatoris is not restricted to the American alligator, the organism does not appear to be pathogenic for Siamese crocodiles. Other species of crocodilians may be susceptible to infection with M. alligatoris, and this organism should be considered when the rapid onset of clinical signs of pneumonia, polyarthritis, pericarditis, and death occur.

  11. Prenatal exposure to pesticides disrupts testicular histoarchitecture and alters testosterone levels in male Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Rey, Florencia; González, Marianela; Zayas, Marcelo A; Stoker, Cora; Durando, Milena; Luque, Enrique H; Muñoz-de-Toro, Mónica

    2009-07-01

    The increased use of agrochemical pesticides, such as atrazine (ATZ) and endosulfan (END), may have a significant impact on ecosystem health and biodiversity. The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of in ovum exposure to ATZ and END on Caiman latirostris gonadal histo-functional features. Caiman eggs were collected from environmentally pristine areas and incubated in controlled conditions at male producing temperature (33 degrees C). At stage 20 of embryonic development, the sensitive stage for gonadal sex determination, eggs were exposed to one dose of either END or ATZ. Gonadal histo-morphology was examined in caiman hatchlings and serum levels of testosterone were measured. Regardless of treatment condition, all eggs incubated at 33 degrees C resulted in male hatchlings. Tortuous seminiferous tubules with increased perimeter, disrupted distribution of peritubular myoid cells (desmin positive), and emptied tubular lumens characterized the testes of pesticide-exposed caiman. An imbalance between proliferative activity and cell death was observed in the testes of caiman exposed to the higher doses of END, mainly due to a high frequency of apoptosis in intratubular cells. This altered cell turnover was associated with decreased testosterone levels. Prenatal exposure to only one dose of END and ATZ disrupted neonatal male gonadal histo-functional features. Alterations described here could have detrimental effects on the sexual maturation of the caiman and, ultimately, on the success of male caiman reproduction.

  12. 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.

  13. Micronuclei and other nuclear abnormalities on Caiman latirostris (Broad-snouted caiman) hatchlings after embryonic exposure to different pesticide formulations.

    PubMed

    López González, E C; Larriera, A; Siroski, P A; Poletta, G L

    2017-02-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the embryotoxicity and genotoxicity of pesticide commercial formulations widely used in soybean crops through the Micronucleus (MN) test and other Nuclear Abnormalities (NAs) in erythrocytes of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), exposed by topical application through the eggshell. Embryos were exposed (during all incubation: 70 days approximately) to sub-lethal concentrations of two glyphosate formulations PanzerGold® (PANZ) and Roundup® Full II (RU) (500, 750, 1000µg/egg); to the endosulfan (END) formulation Galgofan® and the cypermethrin (CYP) formulation Atanor® (1, 10, 100, and 1000µg/ egg). Blood samples were taken at the moment of hatching from the spinal vein for the application of the MN test and analysis of other NAs in erythrocytes, as markers of genotoxicity. Results indicated a significant increase in the frequency of MN for PANZ1000, END 10, CYP 1 and CYP 100 (p<0.05), and in the frequency of other NAs including Buds: END 100, 1000 and CYP 10 (p<0.05), eccentric nuclei: END 1, 10, 1000, CYP 10, 100, 1000 (p<0.01) and END 100 (p<0.05), notched nuclei: END 1, 10 (p<0.01) and END 1000, CYP 10, 100,1000 (p<0.05), and total nuclear abnormalities: END 1, 10, 100, 1000, CYP 10, 100 and 1000 (p<0.01), and the positive control (PC) (p<0.05), compared with the negative control. It was demonstrated a concentration dependent-effect in MN frequency only for PANZ (R(2)=0.98; p<0.01). Our study demonstrated that commercial formulations of pesticides induced genotoxic effects on C. latirostris, and NAs are a good indicator of genotoxicity in this specie. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of in vivo exposure to Roundup® on immune system of Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Latorre, María Agustina; López González, Evelyn Cecilia; Larriera, Alejandro; Poletta, Gisela Laura; Siroski, Pablo Ariel

    2013-01-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of Roundup(®) (RU, glyphosate-based formulation) on some parameters of the immune system and growth of Caiman latirostris. Seventy-two caimans (20-day-old) from Proyecto Yacaré (Gob. Santa Fe/MUPCN) were used. Two groups were exposed for 2 months to different concentrations of RU (11 or 21 mg/L; taking into account the concentration recommended for its application in the field), while one group was maintained as control. The RU concentration was progressively decreased through the exposure period to simulate glyphosate degradation in water. Animals were measured and weighed at the beginning and end of the experiment, and blood samples taken after exposure to determine total and differential white blood cell (WBC) counts as well as total protein concentration (TPC), and for performing protein electrophoresis. The results showed that, compared against control hosts, there was a decrease in WBC counts, a higher percentage of heterophils, a higher TPC (with a low percentage of F2 protein fraction), and a negative effect on growth in the young caimans exposed to RU. These results demonstrate that in vivo exposure to RU induced alterations in the selected immune parameters, plasma proteins, and growth of caimans, thereby providing relevant information about the effects of this type of pesticide in this important species in the Argentinian wetlands.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Microsatellite DNA markers applied to detection of multiple paternity in Caiman latirostris in Santa Fe, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Amavet, Patricia; Rosso, Esteban; Markariani, Rosa; Piña, Carlos Ignacio

    2008-12-01

    Detecting multiple paternity in wild populations of the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) has important implications for conservation efforts. We have applied microsatellite markers to examine genetic variation in C. latirostris and also have provided the first data concerning detection of multiple paternity in wild populations of this species. Blood samples from four nest-guarding C. latirostris females and their hatchlings were obtained from Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Amplified products were analyzed by electrophoresis on 10% polyacrylamide gels and visualized with silver staining. Four out of the eight markers tested reliably amplified and yielded useful data. Using polyacrylamide gels with silver staining provides high enough resolution to obtain individual genotypes. In order to assess the presence or absence of more than two parents in each nest, we used the single locus Minimum Method, and applied Cervus 3.0 and Gerud 2.0 software in parentage analyses. Our results indicate more than one father in at least two families. This behavior could be the consequence of high habitat variability in the area where our population was sampled. The ability to understand mating systems is important for maintaining viable populations of exploited taxa like C. latirostris.

  18. Ultraviolet radiation on innate immunity and growth of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris): implications for facilities design.

    PubMed

    Siroski, Pablo Ariel; Poletta, Gisela Laura; Fernandez, Lucia; Ortega, Hugo Héctor; Merchant, Mark Edwin

    2012-01-01

    Sunlight is a key environmental factor in almost all ecosystems, and it is necessary for many physiological functions. Many vertebrates require ultraviolet (UV) radiation to perform different physiological processes. Artificial light is used to supplement UV in captive animals, through appropriate photoperiods and UV wavelengths. Previous studies reported that repeated exposure to artificial UV radiation may cause damage to the immune system. Taking into account the importance of UV effects and the serum complement system, the relationship between them was investigated. The study lasted 90 days and was carried out in plastic chambers. Ninety six broad-snouted caiman (C. latirostris) were assigned to four treatment groups with two replicates each: total darkness (TD), 8 hr per day (8 hr) and 16 hr per day (16 hr) of artificial UV/visible light exposure, and normal photoperiod of natural light (NP). Snout-vent length was measured to determine animal growth. Hemolytic assays were performed to evaluate the effects of artificial UV/visible light, TD, and NP on the serum complement system. Results showed that animals grew more in the NP group. The capacity of C. latirostris serum to hemolyze sheep red blood cells was higher in the NP group than when they are maintained in constant light-dark cycles (8 and 16 hr) or in TD. These data demonstrate that artificial UV should be considered as a potential hazard for captive crocodilians if it is not properly managed, and this should be taken into account in the general design of facilities for reptilian husbandry. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Evaluation of Stage-Dependent Genotoxic Effect of Roundup(®) (Glyphosate) on Caiman latirostris Embryos.

    PubMed

    Burella, Pamela Mariana; Simoniello, Maria Fernanda; Poletta, Gisela Laura

    2017-01-01

    The agricultural expansion over the past decades, along with the associated increase in the use of pesticides, represents a high risk for many wild species. Caiman latirostris is a South American caiman with many features that make it highly vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Considering previous finding on the genotoxicity of the glyphosate-based formulation Roundup(®) in this species, the aim of this study was to evaluate the possible stage-dependent effect of this compound on C. latirostris embryos through the Comet assay (CA), micronuclei (MN), and nuclear abnormalities (NA) tests. Caiman eggs were exposed to three effective concentrations of Roundup® (750, 1250, 1750 µg/egg) in three different stages of the incubation period (total duration 70 ± 3 days at 31 ± 2 °C) of approximately 23 days each. A statistically significant difference in DNA damage determined by the CA was found between groups exposed to different concentrations of RU (p < 0.05) and the negative control, but no difference was observed among the three stages of exposure within any treatment (p > 0.05). There was no differences in the MN or NA frequencies between the different groups and the negative control (p > 0.05), nor among the different stages within each treatment. The results obtained in this study indicate that RU produce DNA damage on C. latirostris embryos independently of the developmental stage where the exposure occurs, implying an important risk for the species during all its period of development, when pesticide application is at maximum rate.

  20. 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.

  1. Detection of Antibodies to a Pathogenic Mycoplasma in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Broad-Nosed Caimans (Caiman latirostris), and Siamese Crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis)

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

    An epidemic of pneumonia with fibrinous polyserositis and multifocal arthritis emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida, United States, in 1995. Mycoplasma alligatoris sp. nov. was cultured from multiple organs, peripheral blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid of affected alligators. In a subsequent experimental inoculation study, the Henle-Koch-Evans postulates were fulfilled for M. alligatoris as the etiological agent of fatal mycoplasmosis of alligators. That finding was remarkable because mycoplasmal disease is rarely fatal in animals. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies produced by alligators in response to M. alligatoris exposure was developed by using plasma obtained from naturally infected alligators during the original epidemic. The assay was validated by using plasma obtained during an experimental dose-response study and applied to analyze plasma obtained from captive and wild crocodilian species. The ELISA reliably detected alligator seroconversion (P < 0.05) beginning 6 weeks after inoculation. The ELISA also detected seroconversion (P < 0.05) in the relatively closely related broad-nosed caiman Caiman latirostris and the relatively distantly related Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis following experimental inoculation with M. alligatoris. The ELISA may be used to monitor exposure to the lethal pathogen M. alligatoris among captive, repatriated, and wild crocodilian species. PMID:11136785

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. Genetic, enzymatic and developmental alterations observed in Caiman latirostris exposed in ovo to pesticide formulations and mixtures in an experiment simulating environmental exposure.

    PubMed

    Poletta, Gisela L; Kleinsorge, Elisa; Paonessa, Adriana; Mudry, Marta D; Larriera, Alejandro; Siroski, Pablo A

    2011-05-01

    In South America, economic interests in last years have produced a constant increase in transgenic soybean cropping, with the corresponding rise in pesticide formulated products. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of pesticides formulations and mixtures on a South American caiman, Caiman latirostris, after in ovo exposure. We conducted a field-like experiment which simulates the environmental exposure that a caiman nest can receive in neighbouring croplands habitats. Experimental groups were Control group, Treatment 1: sprayed with a glyphosate herbicide formulation, and Treatment 2: sprayed with a pesticide mixture of glyphosate, endosulfan and cypermethrin formulations. Results demonstrated genotoxicity, enzymatic and metabolic alterations, as well as growth delay in caimans exposed in ovo to Treatments 1 and 2, showing a higher toxicity for the mixture. Integral evaluation through biomarkers of different biological meaning is highly informative as early indicators of contamination with pesticides and mixtures in this wildlife species. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Eggshell structure in Caiman latirostris eggs improves embryo survival during nest inundation.

    PubMed

    Cedillo-Leal, César; Simoncini, Melina S; Leiva, Pamela M L; Larriera, Alejandro; Lang, Jeffrey W; Piña, Carlos I

    2017-05-17

    Egg inundation often results in poor hatching success in crocodylians. However, how tolerant eggs are to submergence, and/or how eggshell ultrastructure may affect embryo survival when inundated, are not well understood. In this study, our objective was to determine if embryo survival in Caiman latirostris is affected by eggshell surface roughness, when eggs are submerged under water. Tolerance to inundation was tested early (day 30) versus late (day 60) in development, using eight clutches (four per time treatments), subdivided into four groups: (N = 9 per clutch per treatment; 9 × 4 = 36 eggs per group). 'Rough' eggshell represented the natural, unmodified eggshell surface structure. 'Smooth' eggshell surface structure was created by mechanically sanding the natural rough surface to remove surface columnar elements and secondary layer features, e.g. irregularities that result in 'roughness'. When inundated by submerging eggs under water for 10 h at day 30, 'smooth' eggshell structure resulted in more than twice as many dead embryos (16 versus 6, smooth versus rough; N = 36), and fewer than half as many healthy embryos (6 versus 13, smooth versus rough, respectively; N = 36). By contrast, at day 60, inundation resulted in very low hatching success, regardless of eggshell surface structure. Only two hatchlings survived the inundation, notably in the untreated group with intact, rough eggshells. Inundation produced a high rate of malformations (58% at day 30), but did not affect hatchling size. Our results indicate that eggshell roughness enhances embryo survival when eggs are inundated early in development, but not late in development. Apparently, the natural surface 'roughness' entraps air bubbles at the eggshell surface during inundation, thereby facilitating gas exchange through the eggshell even when the egg is submerged under water. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Aerobic bacterial microflora of Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) oral cavity and cloaca, originating from parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, Paraíba, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Silva, J.S.A.; Mota, R.A.; Pinheiro Júnior, J.W.; Almeida, M.C.S.; Silva, D.R.; Ferreira, D.R.A.; Azevedo, J.C.N.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to isolate and identify the aerobic bacterial microflora from the oral cavity mucosa and cloaca’s samples, collected from Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), born and bred in captivity at Parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. The most common bacteria were Staphylococcus sp. (14.74%), Corynebacterium sp. (13.68%), Escherichia coli (13.68%) and Shigella sp.(11.58%), and the less common were Citrobacter sp. (1.05%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (1.05%) and Salmonella sp. (1.05%).This emphasizes the importance of these microorganisms’ participation in infectious processes (sepsis) and injuries caused by crocodilians. PMID:24031343

  7. Aerobic bacterial microflora of Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) oral cavity and cloaca, originating from parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, Paraíba, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silva, J S A; Mota, R A; Pinheiro Júnior, J W; Almeida, M C S; Silva, D R; Ferreira, D R A; Azevedo, J C N

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to isolate and identify the aerobic bacterial microflora from the oral cavity mucosa and cloaca's samples, collected from Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), born and bred in captivity at Parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. The most common bacteria were Staphylococcus sp. (14.74%), Corynebacterium sp. (13.68%), Escherichia coli (13.68%) and Shigella sp.(11.58%), and the less common were Citrobacter sp. (1.05%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (1.05%) and Salmonella sp. (1.05%).This emphasizes the importance of these microorganisms' participation in infectious processes (sepsis) and injuries caused by crocodilians.

  8. Total and differential white blood cell counts in Caiman latirostris after in ovo and in vivo exposure to insecticides.

    PubMed

    Latorre, María A; Romito, María L; Larriera, Alejandro; Poletta, Gisela L; Siroski, Pablo A

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural activities associated mainly with soybean crops affect the natural environment and wildlife by habitat destruction and the extensive use of agrochemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate immunotoxic effects of the insecticides cypermethrin (CYP) and endosulfan (END) in Caiman latirostris analyzing total blood cell count (TWBC) and differential white blood cell count (DWBC) after in ovo and in vivo exposure. Eggs (in ovo) and hatchlings (in vivo) from nests harvested in natural habitats were artificially incubated and reared under controlled conditions in the Proyecto Yacaré (Gob.Santa Fe/MUPCN) facilities. Exposure of embryos was performed by topication on the eggshell during the first stage of development. The treatments were distilled water (negative control; NC), ethanol (vehicle control; VC), four groups treated with different concentrations of CYP and four groups with END. In vivo exposure was performed by immersion; treatments were NC, VC, two groups exposed to CYP and two to END. After embryonic exposure to the insecticides, no differences were found in TWBC or DWBC among the neonates exposed to pesticides versus controls. In the in vivo scenario, similar results were obtained for TWBC, but DWBC data showed differences between NC hatchlings and CYP-1 hosts for heterophil, lymphocyte and monocyte levels, and between NC and END-1 hosts for lymphocyte and monocyte levels. Research on the effects of pesticide exposure on this species is of special interest not only to assess the impact on caiman populations, but also to further characterize the species as a potential sentinel of ecosystem health.

  9. Diet of the non-native spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) in Puerto Rico

    Treesearch

    Damien Bontemps; Elvira Cuevas; Eileen Ortiz; Joseph Wunderle Jr.; Rafael Joglar

    2016-01-01

    The spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) was introduced to Puerto Rico over 50 years ago with the Tortuguero Lagoon Natural Reserve (TLNR) as its epicenter, where it is now established as an apex predator. Although concerns have been raised regarding the potential impact of this naturalized predator on Puerto Rico’s native fauna, little was known of the caiman’s diet...

  10. 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

  11. 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). © 2013 SETAC.

  12. Organization of ascending spinal projections in Caiman crocodilus.

    PubMed

    Ebbesson, S O; Goodman, D C

    1981-01-01

    Ascending spinal projections in the caiman (Caiman crocodilus) were demonstrated with Nauta and Fink-Heimer methods following hemisections of the third spinal segment in a series of twelve animals. These results were compared with earlier data in the literature obtained from a turtle, a snake, and a lizard using the same experimental and histological procedures. The results show remarkable similarities considering that each species represents a different reptilian order with different evolutionary history and habitat. However, the caiman displays several important peculiarities. Although the dorsal funiculus of the caiman contains the largest number of ascending spinal projections of the four species examined, this funiculus has not differentiated into cuneate and gracile fasciculi as is the case in the tegu lizard. The ventro-lateral ascending spinal projections follow a fundamentally similar general morphologic pattern in the four species with only minor variations. The anatomical arrangement in the caiman and tegu lizard appears most similar in the high cervical and the medullary regions; however, this is not the case in midbrain and thalamic regions where considerably more extensive projections are seen in the caiman. In the caiman an extensive spinal connection to the ventro-lateral nucleus of the dorsal thalamus is present; this connection is reminiscent of the mammalian spinal projection to the ventro-basal complex. The caiman has in common with the other three reptilian species a small projection to another dorsal thalamic region that is apparently homologous to the mammalian intralaminar nuclei, which are the destination of the mammalian paleospinothalamic tract.

  13. Mercury and methyl mercury ratios in caimans (Caiman crocodilus yacare) from the Pantanal area, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vieira, L M; Nunes, V da S; Amaral, M C do A; Oliveira, A C; Hauser-Davis, R A; Campos, R C

    2011-02-01

    The Pantanal region is the largest floodplain area in the world and of great biological importance due to its unique flora and fauna. This area is continuously undergoing increasing anthropogenic threats, and has also experienced mercury contamination associated with gold mining and other anthropogenic activities. Pantanal caimans are top-level predators, and, as such, show great potential to accumulate mercury (Hg) by biomagnification. In this study 79 specimens from four locations in the Pantanal were analyzed for total Hg and methyl mercury (MeHg) by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Total Hg contents ranged from 0.02 to 0.36 µg g(-1) (ww), and most specimens presented MeHg ratios above 70%. One of the sites, impacted by anthropogenic activities, presented significantly higher total Hg in comparison to three less impacted sites, supporting the hypothesis that caimans can, in fact, be considered effective bioindicators of ecosystem health.

  14. Growth of Caiman crocodilus yacare in the Brazilian Pantanal

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Zilca; Mourão, Guilherme; Coutinho, Marcos; Magnusson, William E.

    2014-01-01

    We studied growth of the caiman, Caiman crocodilus yacare, in the Brazilian Pantanal for 27 years between 1987 and 2013.We recaptured 647 of 7769 C. c. yacare initially marked in an area of 50 km2, in two ranches. We were able to determine size at age accurately for 24 male and17 female caimans that had been marked at hatching or less than 1 year old, and recaptured over periods of 5 to 24 years. The other 606 caimans were used to evaluate short-term growth rates. Age-size relationships were estimated using growth models from the Richards family of curves (full model, von Bertalanffy and monomolecular). The form of the relationships differed between analyses based on caimans of known age and analyses based on integration of growth rate on size relationships for caimans whose ages were not known. Individuals showed large variation in short-term growth rates, but data on known-age animals indicated little between-individual variability in long-term growth rates. There was evidence of a small effect of rainfall, but not temperature, on short-term growth of small caimans, but most variation in growth rates was unexplained by variables other than age and sex. Data on known-age individuals indicated that female C. c. yacare generally reach sexual maturity between 10 and 15 years of age. Because of the asymptotic relationship between age and size, deviations of observations from the model for age are larger than for size, and estimates of age at a given size have greater errors than estimates of size at a given age. Integration of growth rate on size relationships may be adequate for estimating size from age in many cases, but accurate estimates of age from size require data on known-age individuals over the size range of the species. PMID:24586719

  15. 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.

  16. In vitro evaluation of synergistic activity between ciprofloxacin and broad snouted caiman serum against Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Siroski, P A; Russi, N B; Ortega, H H; Formentini, E A

    2015-02-01

    The in vitro synergistic activity between ciprofloxacin and serum of broad snouted caiman on Escherichia coli was studied. The estimated MIC value of ciprofloxacin was 0.0188 µg/ml, and two assays of kill curve during 5 hours were performed: the first one in a standard culture medium and the second one in the presence of caiman serum. Different concentrations of ciprofloxacin were tested. Ciprofloxacin showed higher values of bacterial elimination rate in the presence of caiman serum in all concentrations tested. The combined activity of sub-inhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin and the humoral immune factors present in caiman serum determined an increase in the bacterial elimination observed in this assay. We suggest that the antibacterial activity of complement and natural antibodies present in caiman serum, which can bind to both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and acting through the classical complement pathway, can inhibit bacterial growth of Escherichia coli by lysis.

  17. Evolutionary history of trypanosomes from South American caiman (Caiman yacare) and African crocodiles inferred by phylogenetic analyses using SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes.

    PubMed

    Viola, L B; Almeida, R S; Ferreira, R C; Campaner, M; Takata, C S A; Rodrigues, A C; Paiva, F; Camargo, E P; Teixeira, M M G

    2009-01-01

    In this study, using a combined data set of SSU rDNA and gGAPDH gene sequences, we provide phylogenetic evidence that supports clustering of crocodilian trypanosomes from the Brazilian Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) and Trypanosoma grayi, a species that circulates between African crocodiles (Crocodilydae) and tsetse flies. In a survey of trypanosomes in Caiman yacare from the Brazilian Pantanal, the prevalence of trypanosome infection was 35% as determined by microhaematocrit and haemoculture, and 9 cultures were obtained. The morphology of trypomastigotes from caiman blood and tissue imprints was compared with those described for other crocodilian trypanosomes. Differences in morphology and growth behaviour of caiman trypanosomes were corroborated by molecular polymorphism that revealed 2 genotypes. Eight isolates were ascribed to genotype Cay01 and 1 to genotype Cay02. Phylogenetic inferences based on concatenated SSU rDNA and gGAPDH sequences showed that caiman isolates are closely related to T. grayi, constituting a well-supported monophyletic assemblage (clade T. grayi). Divergence time estimates based on clade composition, and biogeographical and geological events were used to discuss the relationships between the evolutionary histories of crocodilian trypanosomes and their hosts.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-12-01

    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

  20. The mitochondrial genomes of the iguana (Iguana iguana) and the caiman (Caiman crocodylus): implications for amniote phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Janke, A; Erpenbeck, D; Nilsson, M; Arnason, U

    2001-03-22

    The complete mitochondrial genomes of two reptiles, the common iguana (Iguana iguana) and the caiman (Caiman crocodylus), were sequenced in order to investigate phylogenetic questions of tetrapod evolution. The addition of the two species allows analysis of reptilian relationships using data sets other than those including only fast-evolving species. The crocodilian mitochondrial genomes seem to have evolved generally at a higher rate than those of other vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of 2889 amino-acid sites from 35 mitochondrial genomes supported the bird-crocodile relationship, lending no support to the Haematotherma hypothesis (with birds and mammals representing sister groups). The analyses corroborated the view that turtles are at the base of the bird-crocodile branch. This position of the turtles makes Diapsida paraphyletic. The origin of the squamates was estimated at 294 million years (Myr) ago and that of the turtles at 278 Myr ago. Phylogenetic analysis of mammalian relationships using the additional outgroups corroborated the Marsupionta hypothesis, which joins the monotremes and the marsupials to the exclusion of the eutherians.

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanics of the basilar membrane in Caiman crocodilus.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J P; Smolders, J W; Klinke, R

    1985-04-01

    Vibration measurements were made at a number of positions near the proximal (basal) end of the basilar membrane, and on the columella footplate, of Caiman crocodilus using a capacitive probe. The measurements established the existence of a mechanical travelling wave in this species. They showed no significant change of mechanical tuning with temperature, and were highly significantly different from previous reports of neural temperature sensitivity (Smolders, J. and Klinke, R. (1984): J. Comp. Physiol. 155, 19-30). Thus the neural sensitivity to temperature change appears not to depend upon basilar membrane mechanics. One interpretation of this is that the basilar membrane passively precedes an active temperature-sensitive filter. It was also found that the limbus supporting the basilar membrane had a measurable, but unturned, vibration and that the effect of draining scala tympani for the measurements was to increase the basilar membrane tuning frequency by a factor of about 1.5.

  3. Temporal variation in black-caiman-nest predation in varzea of central Brazilian amazonia.

    PubMed

    Torralvo, Kelly; Botero-Arias, Robinson; Magnusson, William E

    2017-01-01

    On the Amazon floodplain, the main predators of black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) eggs are jaguars (Panthera onca), tegu lizards (Tupinambis teguixim), capuchin monkeys (Sapajus macrocephalus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In this study, we investigated the relationship between predator attacks on nests and incubation period, and evaluated the influence of initial predation on subsequent predation in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. We also evaluated the influence of presence of females near the nests and manipulation of nests on the occurrence of attacks. We compared results from data obtained with camera traps and vestiges left by predators on estimates of rates of predation by different predators. Egg predation was recorded in 32% of the 658 black caiman nests monitored during two years. Our results suggest that the probability of predation on black caiman eggs is relatively constant throughout the incubation period and that predation on eggs was lower when adults, presumably females, were present. Careful opening of nests and handling of eggs did not increase the number of attacks on black caiman nests. Nest opening by a predator appeared to increase the chances of a subsequent attack because most of the attacks on nests occurred soon after a predator first opened the nest. However, attacks by another species of predator do not appear to be necessary to initiate attacks by any other species of predator. Results based on camera traps and vestiges differed, but use of vestiges was adequate for identifying the principal predators on eggs in black caiman nests and, in many circumstances, the vestiges may be better for estimating predation by humans. In this study, opening nests and handling eggs did not increase the number of attacks on black caiman nests.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Complete nucleotide sequence of an immunoglobulin VH gene homologue from Caiman, a phylogenetically ancient reptile.

    PubMed

    Litman, G W; Berger, L; Murphy, K; Litman, R; Hinds, K; Jahn, C L; Erickson, B W

    1983-05-26

    Immunoglobulin variable (V) gene regions typify extensive multigenic families in terms of overall size, chromosomal arrangement and presence of large numbers of apparent pseudogenes. A unique mechanism of somatic reorganization involving recombination of VH, D and JH or VL and JL segments accompanies the differentiation of lymphoid cells and together with somatic mutation and other types of recombination accounts for V-region diversity. Although these processes have been well characterized in higher mammals, little is known concerning their origin and diversification during phylogenetic time. Previously, we described the blot-hybridization characteristics of murine VHIII probes with restriction enzyme-digested genomic DNA isolated from several phylogenetically critical species, including Caiman crocodylus, a modern representative of an ancient reptilian subclass. Here we have used a murine probe, S107V, to select homologous clones from a library of Caiman genomic DNA constructed in a lambda bacteriophage. The complete nucleotide sequence of a Caiman gene homologous to the murine VH gene and its adjacent 5' and 3' region is described. Comparison of the sequence with mammalian prototypes shows evidence of considerable organizational and structural homology extending outside the presumed VH-coding region and including elements believed to be involved in somatic recombination. Inferences about the evolution of this multigenic family can now be extended to the level of phylogenetic class.

  7. Tool use by Amazonian capuchin monkeys during predation on caiman nests in a high-productivity forest.

    PubMed

    Torralvo, Kelly; Rabelo, Rafael M; Andrade, Alfredo; Botero-Arias, Robinson

    2017-04-01

    Descriptions of new tool-use events are important for understanding how ecological context may drive the evolution of tool use among primate traditions. Here, we report a possible case of the first record of tool use by wild Amazonian capuchin monkeys (Sapajus macrocephalus). The record was made by a camera trap, while we were monitoring caiman nest predation at Mamirauá Reserve in Central Amazonia. An adult individual was registered in a bipedal posture, apparently using a branch as a shovel to dig eggs out of a nest. Caiman eggs are frequently depredated by opportunistic animals, such as the capuchin monkeys. As the Mamirauá Reserve is covered by a high-productivity forest, and caiman eggs are a high-quality food resource seasonally available on the ground, we believe that tool use by capuchins is more likely to be opportunity driven, rather than necessity driven, in our study site.

  8. Mating System of Caiman yacare (Reptilia: Alligatoridae) Described from Microsatellite Genotypes.

    PubMed

    Ojeda, Guillermo N; Amavet, Patricia S; Rueda, Eva C; Siroski, Pablo A; Larriera, Alejandro

    2017-03-01

    The yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) is a reptile from South America and 1 of the 2 crocodilian species present in Argentina. The degradation of their natural habitat and strong hunting pressure led to a sharp numerical decline of wild populations. Nowadays, C. yacare is included in Appendix II of CITES, and ranching practices in some areas in Argentina are helping hatching success. In this context, it is important to better understand the population structure and mating system of the species. To do this, we amplified 10 microsatellite markers (SSRs) in 148 individuals of 13 C. yacare nests. All of the markers were polymorphic with 2–12 alleles per locus, with allelic sizes ranging between 154 and 400 bp and medium levels of polymorphism (Ho = 0.152–0.551 and He = 0.221–0.621). We were able to determine the maternal genotype in 9 out of 13 nests. In 6 of them we found more than 1 paternal genotype, with a maximum of 3 fathers for a single nest. This study is the first to provide evidence of multiple paternity behavior. These findings will be useful to improve management and conservation strategies for the species.

  9. Mating System of Caiman yacare (Reptilia: Alligatoridae) Described from Microsatellite Genotypes.

    PubMed

    Ojeda, Guillermo N; Amavet, Patricia S; Rueda, Eva C; Siroski, Pablo A; Larriera, Alejandro

    2016-12-06

    The yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) is a reptile from South America and 1 of the 2 crocodilian species present in Argentina. The degradation of their natural habitat and strong hunting pressure led to a sharp numerical decline of wild populations. Nowadays, C. yacare is included in Appendix II of CITES, and ranching practices in some areas in Argentina are helping hatching success. In this context, it is important to better understand the population structure and mating system of the species. To do this, we amplified 10 microsatellite markers (SSRs) in 148 individuals of 13 C. yacare nests. All of the markers were polymorphic with 2-12 alleles per locus, with allelic sizes ranging between 154 and 400 bp and medium levels of polymorphism (H o = 0.152-0.551 and H e = 0.221-0.621). We were able to determine the maternal genotype in 9 out of 13 nests. In 6 of them we found more than 1 paternal genotype, with a maximum of 3 fathers for a single nest. This study is the first to provide evidence of multiple paternity behavior. These findings will be useful to improve management and conservation strategies for the species.

  10. Genetic Evidence for Polygamy as a Mating Strategy in Caiman crocodilus.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Deyla P; Marioni, Boris; Farias, Izeni P; Hrbek, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    The mating system of the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) was investigated in the Piagaçu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil. We used 6 polymorphic microsatellite loci to genotype 13 females and 174 hatchlings representing 20 nests sampled over 4 consecutive reproductive seasons (2007-2010). Paternity was determined by 2 methods: simple counts, and statistical analysis using Gerud 2.0. Results were congruent between the 2 approaches, and the null hypothesis of single paternity was rejected in 19 of the 20 nests analyzed, thereby demonstrating that C. crocodilus females are polyandrous and that the breeding system of the species can be characterized as polygamous. The data suggest that 1-4 fathers were responsible for the paternity of the offspring, and that the males contributed differently (9-100%) to each of the 20 nests. A total of 53 males copulated with the 20 females mothering the nests. This is the first study on the mating system of C. crocodilus and the frequency of multiple paternity is among the highest values (95%) reported thus far for crocodilians.

  11. The feeding apparatus of Caiman crocodilus; a functional-morphological study.

    PubMed

    van Drongelen, W; Dullemeijer, P

    1982-01-01

    A functional morphological study on the cranio-facial region of Caiman crocodilus was carried out. The anatomy of the skull, mandible, cartilaginous structures and the muscles of the jaw was described. Myography experiments, an X-ray study and observations of behaviour gave insight into the sequence of actions during food-intake. Evidence has been obtained that the cartilago transiliens, attached to the medial side of the mandible, is used to block the jaws relative to each other. For each food-intake action, the amount of material necessary to resist muscle force was calculated. Integration of these figures, together with a consideration on the lines of stress, resulted in a paradigm for the mandible.

  12. Morphology of the male reproductive duct system of Caiman crocodilus (Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Sandra M; Calderón, Martha L; de Pérez, Gloria R; Ramírez Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2004-06-01

    The male reproductive duct system of Caiman crocodilus in different reproductive stages was studied using light and electron microscopy, to determine whether shared morphological features exist between Crocodylia and Aves, in concurrence with the Archosauria hypothesis. The sexual duct system of Caiman crocodilus is constituted of the rete testis, ductuli efferentes, ductuli epididymides, ductus epididymidis, and ductus deferens. The morphology and histochemical properties of these ducts suggest their involvement in seminal fluid production and/or its modification. Three types of non-ciliated cells were identified along the duct system. 1. The noncliated cells of the ductuli efferentes contain electron dense worm-like structures and coated vesicles, both related to absorptive processes, as has been suggested in Aves. 2. The non-ciliated cells of the ductuli epididymides have apical electron dense granules suggesting a secretory role, and 3. The non-ciliated cells of the ductus epididymidis and ductus deferens did not exhibit conspicuous storage of secretory material, but have a prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum content indicating active protein production. The occurrence of abundant secretory granules in the epithelial cells of the distal ductus deferens during non-reproductive stages suggests its participation in the removal of luminal debris when the reproductive season ends. Additional ducts were observed running along the ductus deferens; they shared morphological characteristics with the ductuli epididymides. The maximum diameter and therefore the greatest sperm accumulation of the excurrent ducts were observed during the initial testicular regression. The comparative analysis suggests that the male reproductive system of the Crocodylia exhibits structural characteristics nearer to those of Aves than to Lepidosauria, Testudines, and Mammalia, additional data that support an Aves and Crocodylia sister group relationship.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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. © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The American Meat Science Association. All rights reserved.

  15. The metabolic cost of nesting: body condition and blood parameters of Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus niger in Central Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Barão-Nóbrega, José António Lemos; Marioni, Boris; Botero-Arias, Robinson; Nogueira, António José Arsénia; Lima, Emerson Silva; Magnusson, William Ernest; Da Silveira, Ronis; Marcon, Jaydione Luiz

    2017-06-19

    Although nesting ecology is well studied in several crocodilian species, it is not known how nest attendance influences physiology and body condition of nesting females. In this study, we describe body condition and serum biochemical values of nesting female, non-nesting female and male spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) and black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) in two areas of Central Amazonia. We also evaluated the effect of nest age and nest distance to water on body condition and blood parameters of nesting females. Body condition and plasmatic concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, lactate and uric acid of nesting females were significantly different from those of non-nesting females and males in C. crocodilus, but not in M. niger. Our study also demonstrated that nest age and distance to water had a negative effect on female body condition in C. crocodilus, but not in M. niger. Female C. crocodilus attending older nests or nests built further away from permanent water bodies tended to have lower body condition. Our results demonstrate that the nesting strategy of C. crocodilus has a metabolic cost associated with nest attendance for nesting females, which appear to depend on accumulated energetic reserves during nest attendance. In contrast, nest attendance had little effect on the physiology of female M. niger.

  16. 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

  17. Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of Caiman crocodilus in Mesoamerica and South America.

    PubMed

    Venegas-Anaya, Miryam; Crawford, Andrew J; Escobedo Galván, Armando H; Sanjur, Oris I; Densmore, Llewellyn D; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2008-12-01

    The Neotropical crocodylian species, Caiman crocodilus, is widely distributed through Mesoamerica, northern South America, and the Amazon basin. Four subspecies are recognized within C. crocodilus, suggesting some geographic variation in morphology. In this study, we utilized mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data from 45 individuals of C. crocodilus throughout its range to infer its evolutionary history and population structure, as well as to evaluate genealogical support for subspecies and their geographic distributions. Our molecular phylogenetic results identified five mtDNA haplotype clades with a mean sequence divergence of 3.4%, indicating considerable evolutionary independence among phylogeographic lineages. Our results were also broadly consistent with current subspecific taxonomy, with some important additional findings. First, we found substantial genetic structuring within C. c. fuscus from southern Mesoamerica. Second, though we confirmed the existence of a widespread Amazonian clade, we also discovered a cryptic and divergent mtDNA lineage that was indistinguishable from C. c. crocodilus based on external morphology. Third, we confirm the status of C. c. chiapasius as a distinct evolutionary lineage, and provide evidence that C. c. fuscus may be moving northward and hybridizing with C. c. chiapasius in northern Mesoamerica. Finally, our results parallel previous phylogeographic studies of other organisms that have demonstrated significant genetic structure over shorter geographic distances in Mesoamerica compared with Amazonia. We support conservation efforts for all five independent lineages within C. crocodilus, and highlight the subspecies C. c. chiapasius as a unit of particular conservation concern.

  18. Activity of tabanids (Insecta: Diptera: Tabanidae) attacking the reptiles Caiman crocodilus (Linn.) (Alligatoridae) and Eunectes murinus (Linn.) (Boidae), in the central Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ruth L M; Henriques, Augusto L; Rafael, José A

    2002-01-01

    Tabanid females are better known as hematophagous on man and other mammals, and linked to mechanical transmission of parasites. The association between tabanids and reptiles is poorly known, but has been gaining more corroboration through experiments and occasional observation in the tropics. The present study was conducted at a military base (CIGS/BI-2), situated 54 km from Manaus, Amazonas, in a small stream in a clearing (02 degrees 45'33"S; 59 degrees 51'03"W). Observations were made monthly, from April 1997 to March 1998, during two consecutive days. At the same time, other vertebrate animals were offered, including humans. However in this paper only data obtained on a common caiman, Caiman crocodilus (Linn.), and an anaconda, Eunectes murinus (Linn.), in diurnal observations from 05:30 a.m. to 18:30 p.m., will be discussed. A total of 254 tabanid specimens were collected, 40 from the anaconda and 214 from the caiman. Four tabanid species were recorded on these two reptiles: Stenotabanus cretatus Fairchild, S. bequaerti Rafael et al., Phaeotabanus nigriflavus (Kröber) and Tabanus occidentalis Linn. Diurnal activities showed species-specific patterns. The first three species occurred only in the dry season. T. occidentalis occurred during the whole observation period, and with increased frequency at the end of the dry season. We observed preferences for body area and related behavior of the host. Observations on the attack of tabanids on one dead caiman are also presented.

  19. Some morphological features of a visual thalamic nucleus in a reptile: observations on nucleus rotundus in Caiman crocodilus.

    PubMed

    Pritz, M B

    1997-01-01

    The morphology of nucleus rotundus, a visual thalamic nucleus, was investigated in one species of reptiles. Caiman crocodilus, using Nisst stained material in transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes. The topographical location of nucleus rotundus and its relationship to surrounding thalamic nuclear groups are described. Nucleus rotundus in Caiman can be subdivided into three areas: (1) an outer shell; (2) an inner core; and (3) a cell poor zone located between the shell and core. Most rotundal core neurons were round, fusiform, triangular, pear-shaped, or elliptical. Core neurons were not distributed evenly throughout the nucleus but, in many instances, were arranged in clusters composed of two to ten neurons. Quantitative measurements of area, perimeter, and eccentricity (greatest width/greatest length), which served as an index of cell roundness, were made on rotundal core neuron profiles in transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes of section. Qualitative and quantitative observations were not appreciably different regardless of the plane of orientation. Both qualitative and quantitative data suggest that relay cells located in the core of nucleus rotundus are not a homogeneous population of neurons but comprise several subtypes.

  20. 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.

  1. Low total mercury in Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) as compared to carnivorous, and non-carnivorous fish consumed by Amazonian indigenous communities.

    PubMed

    Rivera, S J; Pacheco, L F; Achá, D; Molina, C I; Miranda-Chumacero, G

    2016-11-01

    Mercury contamination in the River Beni basin is an important health risk factor, primarily for indigenous communities that live along the river. Among them are the Tacana, living in their original territory with sustainable use of their natural resources, consuming fish, Caiman yacare, and other riverine resources as their main source of protein. To assess mercury exposure to Tacana people, total mercury (THg) was evaluated in the muscle of seven commercial fish, and Caiman yacare (yacare caiman) during 2007 and 2008. THg was extracted by acid digestion and concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Mean mercury concentrations in C. yacare was 0.21 ± 0.22 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. (wet weight), which is lower than expected given its high trophic level, and its long life-span. It is possible that mercury in C. yacare is accumulated in other organs, not included in this study; but it is also possible that physiological mechanisms are involved that help caimans get rid of ingested mercury, or simply that C. yacare's diverse diet reduces THg accumulation. Carnivorous fishes (Pygocentrus nattereri, Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum, Zungaro zungaro, Plagioscion squamosissimus, and Leiarius marmoratus) had the highest total mercury concentrations, ranging from 0.35 to 1.27 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. moreover, most were above the limit recommended by WHO (0.5 μg g(-1)Hg w.w.); except for Leiarius marmuratus, which presented a mean of 0.353 ± 0.322 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. The two non-carnivorous fish species (Prochilodus nigricans, and Piaractus brachypomus) present mean concentrations of 0.099 ± 0.027, and 0.041 ± 0.019 μg g(-1)Hg w.w., respectively. Finally, recommendations on the consumption habits of Tacana communities are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. 78 FR 44961 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... (Podocnemis unifilis) Spotted pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii) Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) Indian python (Python molurus molurus... rhombifer), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), yacare caiman (Caiman yacare), caiman...

  4. 78 FR 38162 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing One Distinct Population Segment of Broad...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-25

    ...Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), reclassify the broad- snouted caiman in Argentina from endangered to threatened in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. As part of this final rule, we have established two distinct population segments (DPSs) of the broad- snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris): A DPS in Argentina and a DPS encompassing Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This second DPS remains listed as endangered under the ESA. We are finalizing this action under the ESA based on the best available data indicating that the Argentine population of the broad-snouted caiman no longer meets the definition of endangered under the ESA. Intense management of the species in Argentina has brought the Argentine DPS to the point where a change in status is appropriate. As of the effective date of this final rule, the broad-snouted caiman will be included in the special rule for trade in caiman species. Inclusion in this special rule allows U.S. commerce in skins, other parts, and products of this species originating from Argentina, and reexport of such specimens originating in Argentina, if certain conditions are met prior to exportation to the United States.

  5. 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

  6. 77 FR 665 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Two Distinct Population Segments of Broad...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-05

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the broad-snouted caiman in Argentina from endangered to threatened in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA or Act). As part of this proposed rule, we would establish two distinct population segments (DPSs) of the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris): a DPS in Argentina and a DPS that would encompass Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This second DPS would remain listed as endangered under the Act. We are proposing this action under the Act based on the best available data indicating that the Argentine population of the broad- snouted caiman no longer meets the definition of endangered under the Act. Intense management of the species in Argentina has brought the Argentine DPS to the point where a change in status is appropriate. This also serves as our 5-year review. We also propose that the Argentine population of broad-snouted caiman be included in the special rule for trade in caiman species. Inclusion in this special rule would allow U.S. commerce in skins, other parts, and products of this species originating from Argentina, and reexport of such specimens originating in Argentina, if certain conditions are met prior to exportation to the United States. We are seeking information, data, and comments from the public on this proposed rule. This proposed rule to reclassify the broad-snouted caiman in Argentina to threatened under the Act also constitutes our warranted 12-month finding (status review) on a petition.

  7. Fatal Systemic Salmonellosis in a Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Vorbach, Bryan S; Rotstein, David S; Stacy, Nicole I; Mavian, Carla; Salemi, Marco; Waltzek, Thomas B; de Wit, Martine

    2017-05-02

    A subadult male Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) stranded dead on Florida's Atlantic coast in January 2015. Necropsy and histopathologic findings confirmed chronic systemic bacterial infection caused by Salmonella enterica serotype IV 50:z4,z23,:- involving renal, respiratory, lymphatic, and skeletal systems. This was a unique case of systemic salmonellosis in a Florida manatee.

  8. 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.

  9. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in reptiles: a comparative study of four species with different lung structures and pulmonary blood pressures.

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Abe, Augusto S; Andrade, Denis V; Wang, Tobias

    2005-11-01

    Low O2 levels in the lungs of birds and mammals cause constriction of the pulmonary vasculature that elevates resistance to pulmonary blood flow and increases pulmonary blood pressure. This hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) diverts pulmonary blood flow from poorly ventilated and hypoxic areas of the lung to more well-ventilated parts and is considered important for the local matching of ventilation to blood perfusion. In the present study, the effects of acute hypoxia on pulmonary and systemic blood flows and pressures were measured in four species of anesthetized reptiles with diverse lung structures and heart morphologies: varanid lizards (Varanus exanthematicus), caimans (Caiman latirostris), rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus), and tegu lizards (Tupinambis merianae). As previously shown in turtles, hypoxia causes a reversible constriction of the pulmonary vasculature in varanids and caimans, decreasing pulmonary vascular conductance by 37 and 31%, respectively. These three species possess complex multicameral lungs, and it is likely that HPV would aid to secure ventilation-perfusion homogeneity. There was no HPV in rattlesnakes, which have structurally simple lungs where local ventilation-perfusion inhomogeneities are less likely to occur. However, tegu lizards, which also have simple unicameral lungs, did exhibit HPV, decreasing pulmonary vascular conductance by 32%, albeit at a lower threshold than varanids and caimans (6.2 kPa oxygen in inspired air vs. 8.2 and 13.9 kPa, respectively). Although these observations suggest that HPV is more pronounced in species with complex lungs and functionally divided hearts, it is also clear that other components are involved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. © 2007 The Authors.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Manatee cerebral cortex: cytoarchitecture of the frontal region in Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Reep, R L; Johnson, J I; Switzer, R C; Welker, W I

    1989-01-01

    Members of the order Sirenia are unique among mammals in being the only totally aquatic herbivores. They display correspondingly specialized physiological, behavioral and anatomical features. There have been few reports concerning sirenian neuroanatomy, and most of these have consisted of gross anatomical observations. Our interest in Sirenia stems from the desire to understand neuroanatomical specializations in the context of behavior and the effort to elucidate trends in mammalian brain evolution. The architecture of frontal regions of cerebral cortex was investigated in several brains of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris. Through observation of sections stained for Nissl substance or myelinated fibers, several distinct cortical areas were identified on the basis of laminar organization. These range from areas with poorly defined laminae to those having 6 well-defined layers, some of which exhibit sublayers. Two cortical areas exhibit pronounced cell clusters in layer VI, and these stain positively for acetylcholinesterase and cytochrome oxidase. We hypothesize that these clusters may be involved in perioral tactile bristle function. Certain of our findings are consistent with previous observations in the literature on the brains of dugongs. On the basis of their lamination patterns, these frontal cortical areas appear to be organized into concentric zones of allocortex, mesocortex and isocortex.

  9. Structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, J E; Rommel, S A

    1996-07-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Sirenia: Trichechidae), is the largest herbivorous marine mammal. Previously, components of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the species have been described, but no comprehensive descriptions of the gross and microscopic anatomy existed. This study integrates function and structure of the entire Florida manatee GI tract. The GI tracts of several recently dead Florida manatees were examined from the following viewpoints: gross anatomical studies of preserved and unpreserved specimens, histology and histochemistry, and ultrastructure. The manatee GI tract has an enlarged hindgut, as do other nonruminant herbivores (i.e., hindgut digesters such as horses), but it also has important adaptations not seen in most other mammals. These structural adaptations include a discrete accessory digestive gland (the cardiac gland), submucosal mucous glands along the greater curvature of the stomach, and unkeratinized, stratified squamous epithelial cells overlying the glandular mucosae of the pyloric antrum, midgut cecum, colon, and rectum. The adaptations described above may relate to osmoregulation as well as to herbivory. The Florida manatee GI tract is most similar to those of other members of the Order Sirenia and to that of the herbivorous green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), but it also shows superficial similarities to those of phylogenetically close Orders, the Proboscidea and Hyracoidea. The immense size of both the manatee and its large intestine suggests that, relative to smaller hindgut digesters, manatees have a slow rate of passage of digesta and efficient breakdown of fibrous plant material.

  10. 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.

  11. Identifying coagulopathies in the pathophysiology of cold stress syndrome in the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Barratclough, Ashley; Conner, Bobbi J; Brooks, Marjory B; Pontes Stablein, Alyssa; Gerlach, Trevor J; Reep, Roger L; Ball, Ray L; Floyd, Ruth Francis

    2017-08-09

    Cold stress syndrome (CSS) in the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris has been defined as morbidity and mortality resulting from prolonged exposure to water temperatures <20°C. The pathophysiology is described as multifactorial, involving nutritional, immunological and metabolic disturbances; however, the exact mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesized that thromboembolic complications contribute to the pathophysiology of CSS in addition to the previously described factors. During the winter of 2014-2015, 10 Florida manatees with clinical signs of CSS were presented to Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, FL, USA. Thromboelastography (TEG) and coagulation panels were performed at admission. In addition, coagulation panel data from 23 retrospective CSS cases were included in the analyses. There were numerous differences between mean values of TEG and coagulation parameters for healthy manatees and those for CSS cases. Among TEG parameters, reaction time (R), clot formation time (K) and percentage of clot lysed after 30 min (LY30) values were significantly different (p < 0.05) between the 2 groups. CSS cases also had significantly higher mean D-dimer concentration and coagulation factor XI activity, prolonged mean activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and significantly decreased mean antithrombin activity. These combined abnormalities include clinicopathologic criteria of disseminated intravascular coagulation, indicating an increased risk of thromboembolic disease associated with manatee CSS.

  12. 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. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rommel, Sentiel A; Caplan, Heather

    2003-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Do crocodilians get the flu? Looking for influenza A in captive crocodilians.

    PubMed

    Davis, Lisa Marie; Spackman, Erica

    2008-12-01

    It is well established that several wild aquatic bird species serve as reservoirs for the influenza A virus. It has also been shown that the influenza A virus can be transmitted to mammalian species such as tigers and domestic cats and dogs through ingestion of infected birds. Another group of animals that should also be considered as potential hosts for the influenza A virus are the crocodilians. Many crocodilian species share aquatic environments with wild birds that are known to harbor influenza viruses. In addition, many large crocodilians utilize birds as a significant food source. Given these factors in addition to the close taxonomic proximity of aves to the crocodilians, it is feasible to ask whether crocodilian species may also harbor the influenza A virus. Here we analyzed 37 captive crocodilians from two locations in Florida (plus 5 wild bird fecal-samples from their habitat) to detect the presence of influenza A virus. Several sample types were examined. Real-time RT-PCR tests targeting the influenza A matrix gene were positive for four individual crocodilians--Alligator sinensis, Paleosuchus trigonatus, Caiman latirostris and Crocodylus niloticus. Of the seven serum samples tested with the avian influenza virus agar gel immunodiffusion assay, three showed a nonspecific reaction to the avian influenza virus antigen-A. sinensis, P. trigonatus and C. niloticus (C. latirostris was not tested). Viable virus could not be recovered from RT-PCR-positive samples, although this is consistent with previous attempts at viral isolation in embryonated chicken eggs with crocodilian viruses.

  7. Normal Hemostatic Profiles and Coagulation Factors in Healthy Free-Living Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Barratclough, Ashley; Floyd, Ruth Francis; Conner, Bobbi; Reep, Roger; Ball, Ray; Stacy, Nicole

    2016-10-01

    Hemostatic disorders presumptively play an important role in the pathophysiology of several important disease conditions in the Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris). Prior to pursuing such clinical implications, it is essential to establish normal hemostatic profiles in clinically healthy animals. During annual health assessments of free-living manatees organized by the US Geological Survey, blood samples were collected from 12 healthy animals from the Atlantic coast and 28 from the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida, with body lengths of 210-324 cm. The following analyses were performed on citrated plasma: prothrombin (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), and concentrations of fibrinogen, D-dimers, and coagulation factors VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII. Compared to other mammalian species, manatees had short PT (9.2±1.5 s) and PTT (10.7±0.5 s), fibrinogen was 369±78.7 mg/dL, antithrombin III was 132±11%, and D-dimer was 142±122 ng/mL. Baseline concentrations for the listed coagulation factors were established. When comparing coagulation factors between locations, Atlantic coast manatees had significantly higher factors VIII, IX, and X than did Gulf Coast manatees. This finding may reflect differences in water salinity, diet, or genetics. There were no differences in coagulation factors when among sexes and sizes. These baselines for hemostatic profiles and coagulation factors in healthy free-living manatees lay the foundation for diagnosis and future research of hemostatic disorders and contribute to understanding their role in the pathophysiology of manatees affected by various diseases.

  8. 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.

  9. Morphometric body condition indices of wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harshaw, Lauren T.; Larkin, Iskande V.; Bonde, Robert K.; Deutsch, Charles J.; Hill, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    In many species, body weight (W) increases geometrically with body length (L), so W/L3 provides a body condition index (BCI) that can be used to evaluate nutritional status once a normal range has been established. No such index has been established for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). This study was designed to determine a normal range of BCIs of Florida manatees by comparing W in kg with straight total length (SL), curvilinear total length (CL), and umbilical girth (UG) in m for 146 wild manatees measured during winter health assessments at three Florida locations. Small calves to large adults of SL from 1.47 to 3.23 m and W from 77 to 751 kg were compared. BCIs were significantly greater in adult females than in adult males (p < 0.05). W scaled proportionally to L3 in females but not in males, which were slimmer than females. The logarithms of W and of each linear measurement were regressed to develop amended indices that allow for sex differences. The regression slope for log W against log SL was 2.915 in females and 2.578 in males; W/SL2.915 ranged from 18.9 to 29.6 (mean 23.2) in females and from 24.6 to 37.3 (mean 29.8) in males. Some BCIs were slightly (4%), but significantly (p ≤ 0.05), higher for females in Crystal River than in Tampa Bay or Indian River, but there was no evidence of geographic variation in condition among males. These normal ranges should help evaluate the nutritional status of both wild and rehabilitating captive manatees.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. Development of a quantitative PCR assay for measurement of trichechid herpesvirus 1 load in the Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Jason A; Cortés-Hinojosa, Galaxia; Archer, Linda L; Wellehan, James F X

    2017-07-01

    Trichechid herpesvirus 1 (TrHV-1) is currently the only known herpesvirus in any sirenian. We hypothesized that stress may lead to recrudescence of TrHV-1 in manatees, thus making TrHV-1 a potential biomarker of stress. We optimized and validated a TrHV-1 real-time quantitative probe hybridization PCR (qPCR) assay that was used to quantify TrHV-1 in manatee peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Average baseline TrHV-1 loads in a clinically healthy wild Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) population ( n = 42) were 40.9 ± SD 21.2 copies/100 ng DNA; 19 of 42 manatees were positive. TrHV-1 loads were significantly different between the 2 field seasons ( p < 0.025). This optimized and validated qPCR assay may be used as a tool for further research into TrHV-1 in Florida manatees.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Hostetler, Jeffrey A.; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J.; Ward-Geiger, Leslie I.; Mahon, Gary L.

    2017-04-11

    Trichechus manatus (West Indian manatee), especially T. m. latirostris, the Florida subspecies, has been the focus of conservation efforts and extensive research since its listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. To determine the status of, and severity of threats to, the Florida manatee, a comprehensive revision and update of the manatee Core Biological Model was completed and used to perform a population viability analysis for the Florida manatee. The probability of the Florida manatee population falling below 500 adults on either the Gulf or East coast within the next 100 years was estimated to be 0.42 percent. This risk of quasi-extinction is low because the estimated adult survival rates are high, the current population size is greater than 2,500 on each coast, and the estimated carrying capacity for manatees is much larger than the current abundance estimates in all four regions of Florida. Three threats contribute in roughly equal measures to the risk of quasi-extinction: watercraft-related mortality, red-tide mortality, and loss of warm-water habitat. Only an increase in watercraft-related mortality has the potential to substantially increase the risk of quasi-extinction at the statewide or coastal level. Expected losses of warm-water habitat are likely to cause a major change in the distribution of the population from the regions where manatees rely heavily on power plant effluents for warmth in winter (Southwest and Atlantic regions) to the regions where manatees primarily use natural springs in winter (Northwest and Upper St. Johns regions). The chances are nearly 50 percent that manatee populations in the Southwest and Atlantic regions will decrease from their 2011 levels by at least 30 percent over the next century.A large number of scenarios were examined to explore the possible effects of potential emerging threats, and in most of them, the risk of quasi-extinction at the coastal scale within 100 years did not rise above 1 percent. The four

  10. Disseminated toxoplasmosis Toxoplasma gondii in a wild Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris and seroprevalence in two wild populations.

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren N; Waltzek, Thomas B; Rotstein, David S; Francis-Floyd, Ruth; Walsh, Michael T; Wellehan, James F X; Gerhold, Rick; Chapman, Alycia E; de Wit, Martine

    2016-11-22

    Marine mammals are important indicators for ecosystem health and serve as sentinel species for infectious agents including zoonoses. Histological examination of tissues from a stranded Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris revealed protozoal cysts in the cerebrum and intrahistiocytic tachyzoites in the liver and caudal mesenteric lymph node. Disseminated Toxoplasma gondii infection was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and sequencing of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region of formalin-fixed tissues. The lack of baseline information on Florida manatees' exposure to this pathogen prompted a study into the seroprevalence of T. gondii in 2 separate geographic habitats in Florida, USA, during the winters from 2011-2014. Serum was collected during routine health assessments of 44 apparently healthy manatees from Crystal River (n = 26) on the west central coast of Florida and Brevard County (n = 18) on the east coast of Florida. Serum was screened for detection of T. gondii immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies via the modified agglutination test. Two animals from Crystal River from 2011 and 2012 (7.7%) and one animal from Brevard County from 2011 (5.6%) tested positive for T. gondii antibodies. Overall seroprevalence for T. gondii was low in the 2 sampled populations and may reflect a low seroprevalence or animal susceptibility. However, continued monitoring of this pathogen in aquatic ecosystems is warranted due to both possible anthropogenic sources and zoonotic potential.

  11. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) immunoglobulin heavy chain suggests the importance of clan III variable segments in repertoire diversity.

    PubMed

    Breaux, Breanna; Deiss, Thaddeus C; Chen, Patricia L; Cruz-Schneider, Maria Paula; Sena, Leonardo; Hunter, Margaret E; Bonde, Robert K; Criscitiello, Michael F

    2017-01-25

    Manatees are a vulnerable, charismatic sentinel species from the evolutionarily divergent Afrotheria. Manatee health and resistance to infectious disease is of great concern to conservation groups, but little is known about their immune system. To develop manatee-specific tools for monitoring health, we first must have a general knowledge of how the immunoglobulin heavy (IgH) chain locus is organized and transcriptionally expressed. Using the genomic scaffolds of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), we characterized the potential IgH segmental diversity and constant region isotypic diversity and performed the first Afrotherian repertoire analysis. The Florida manatee has low V(D)J combinatorial diversity (3744 potential combinations) and few constant region isotypes. They also lack clan III V segments, which may have caused reduced VH segment numbers. However, we found productive somatic hypermutation concentrated in the complementarity determining regions. In conclusion, manatees have limited IGHV clan and combinatorial diversity. This suggests that clan III V segments are essential for maintaining IgH locus diversity.

  12. PROPOSAL AND APPLICATION OF A NOVEL DISSEMINATED INTRAVASCULAR COAGULATION SCORING SYSTEM IN THE FLORIDA MANATEE (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Barratclough, Ashley; Ball, Ray L; Floyd, Ruth Francis; Reep, Roger L; Conner, Bobbi J

    2017-03-01

      Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) is an acquired disorder of hemostasis resulting in activation of the coagulation and fibrinolytic pathways. It is reported secondarily to multiple disease processes and can be associated with increased mortality. Previous research at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo (LPZ) demonstrated that Florida manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) with cold stress syndrome (CSS) demonstrated thromboembolic disease. The object of this retrospective study was to establish the presence and clinical relevance of DIC in Florida manatees admitted to LPZ for rehabilitation from 07 March 2010 to 15 August 2015. A coagulation panel, including prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, fibrinogen level, and D-dimer level was used to diagnose DIC. There were 100 cases identified in the study period: 35 trauma, 43 CSS, 17 secondary to harmful algae blooms (HAB), and five miscellaneous. Manatees with CSS had the highest incidence of DIC with 24 of 43 cases (56%) affected, followed by trauma with 18 of 35 cases (52%) affected. None of the manatees with HAB were found to have DIC. Manatees that developed DIC during rehabilitation or when DIC progressed did not survive. Due to the clinical implications of DIC, identifying its presence and recognizing its severity could improve clinical outcomes by enabling more intensive treatment protocols.

  13. 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.

  14. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) immunoglobulin heavy chain suggests the importance of clan III variable segments in repertoire diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breaux, Breanna; Deiss, Thaddeus C.; Chen, Patricia L.; Cruz-Schneider, Maria Paula; Sena, Leonardo; Hunter, Margaret E.; Bonde, Robert K.; Criscitiello, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Manatees are a vulnerable, charismatic sentinel species from the evolutionarily divergent Afrotheria. Manatee health and resistance to infectious disease is of great concern to conservation groups, but little is known about their immune system. To develop manatee-specific tools for monitoring health, we first must have a general knowledge of how the immunoglobulin heavy (IgH) chain locus is organized and transcriptionally expressed. Using the genomic scaffolds of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), we characterized the potential IgH segmental diversity and constant region isotypic diversity and performed the first Afrotherian repertoire analysis. The Florida manatee has low V(D)J combinatorial diversity (3744 potential combinations) and few constant region isotypes. They also lack clan III V segments, which may have caused reduced VH segment numbers. However, we found productive somatic hypermutation concentrated in the complementarity determining regions. In conclusion, manatees have limited IGHV clan and combinatorial diversity. This suggests that clan III V segments are essential for maintaining IgH locus diversity.

  15. Composition of the milks of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops trucatus) and the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, S; Brew, K

    1986-01-01

    Milk samples from four individual bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) of known lactation stages were analyzed for protein, carbohydrate and lipid composition, as well as for activity levels of alpha-lactalbumin, the regulatory protein of lactose synthase. The milk from both species had relatively high protein and lipid levels, as reported previously for other marine mammals. The major proportion of the lipid was in the form of triglycerides. Dolphin milk contained an average of 2.2% neutral sugars, which was essentially all in the form of lactose, as determined by several criteria. Manatee milk samples contained 0.6% of neutral sugars, and a larger proportion (about 2%) of amino sugars. Lactose was not detected by enzymatic assay or paper chromatography, but HPLC analysis indicated the presence of low levels of lactose together with two components that were tentatively identified as oligosaccharides. alpha-Lactalbumin activity, determined by assay with bovine galactosyltransferase, was found in both dolphin and manatee milk. The level in dolphin milk was comparable with that found in bovine and other milk, but the level in the manatee was less than 10% of that in the dolphin.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Multiple components in restriction enzyme digests of mammalian (insectivore), avian and reptilian genomic DNA hybridize with murine immunoglobulin VH probes.

    PubMed

    Litman, G W; Berger, L; Jahn, C L

    1982-06-11

    High molecular weight genomic DNAs isolated from an insectivore, Tupaia, and a representative reptilian, Caiman, and avian, Gallus, were digested with restriction endonucleases transferred to nitrocellulose and hybridized with nick-translated probes of murine VH genes. The derivations of the probes designated S107V (1) and mu 107V (2,3) have been described previously. Under conditions of reduced stringency, multiple hybridizing components were observed with Tupaia and Caiman; only mu mu 107V exhibited significant hybridization with the separated fragments of Gallus DNA. The nick-translated S107V probe was digested with Fnu4H1 and subinserts corresponding to the 5' and 3' regions both detected multiple hybridizing components in Tupaia and Caiman DNA. A 5' probe lacking the leader sequence identified the same components as the intact 5' probe, suggesting that VH coding regions distant as the reptilians may possess multiple genetic components which exhibit significant homology with murine immunoglobulin in VH regions.

  9. 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

  10. Model description and evaluation of the mark-recapture survival model used to parameterize the 2012 status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, Catherine A.; Kendall, William L.; Beck, Cathy A.; Kochman, Howard I.; Teague, Amy L.; Meigs-Friend, Gaia; Peñaloza, Claudia L.

    2016-11-30

    This report provides supporting details and evidence for the rationale, validity and efficacy of a new mark-recapture model, the Barker Robust Design, to estimate regional manatee survival rates used to parameterize several components of the 2012 version of the Manatee Core Biological Model (CBM) and Threats Analysis (TA).  The CBM and TA provide scientific analyses on population viability of the Florida manatee subspecies (Trichechus manatus latirostris) for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 5-year reviews of the status of the species as listed under the Endangered Species Act.  The model evaluation is presented in a standardized reporting framework, modified from the TRACE (TRAnsparent and Comprehensive model Evaluation) protocol first introduced for environmental threat analyses.  We identify this new protocol as TRACE-MANATEE SURVIVAL and this model evaluation specifically as TRACE-MANATEE SURVIVAL, Barker RD version 1. The longer-term objectives of the manatee standard reporting format are to (1) communicate to resource managers consistent evaluation information over sequential modeling efforts; (2) build understanding and expertise on the structure and function of the models; (3) document changes in model structures and applications in response to evolving management objectives, new biological and ecological knowledge, and new statistical advances; and (4) provide greater transparency for management and research review.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Establishment of reference values for various coagulation tests in healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and evaluation of coagulation in debilitated manatees during rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Bandt, Carsten; Conner, Bobbi; Ball, Ray L

    2015-11-01

    To establish reference ranges for coagulation parameters in healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and compare results with those for debilitated manatees undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation facility. Prospective study. 29 healthy manatees and 45 debilitated manatees with various diseases. Manatees considered healthy on the basis of results of physical examination, CBC, and serum biochemical analysis underwent coagulation testing including measurement of prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, D-dimer concentration, platelet count, and fibrinogen concentration to establish reference ranges. For comparison, a group of manatees undergoing rehabilitation was also tested, and the results were compared. Thromboelastography was also performed on some animals. Values for D-dimer concentration were significantly higher in debilitated versus healthy animals. There was no significant difference for prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, or fibrinogen concentration between groups. Thromboelastography was performed on 8 healthy animals. Reference ranges were established for various tests of coagulation that may assist clinicians during the initial evaluation and rehabilitation of Florida manatees. Future research to evaluate the effect of specific disease processes on the coagulation cascade is recommended.

  14. 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.

  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

    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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. Neutralising antibodies for West Nile virus in horses from Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Morales, Maria Alejandra; Levis, Silvana; Figueiredo, Luis Tadeu Moraes; Couto-Lima, Dinair; Campos, Zilca; Nogueira, Marcia Furlan; da Silva, Edson Elias; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Schatzmayr, Hermann Gonçalves

    2011-06-01

    Despite evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) activity in Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina, this virus has not been reported in most South American countries. In February 2009, we commenced an investigation for WNV in mosquitoes, horses and caimans from the Pantanal, Central-West Brazil. The sera of 168 horses and 30 caimans were initially tested using a flaviviruses-specific epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (blocking ELISA) for the detection of flavivirus-reactive antibodies. The seropositive samples were further tested using a plaque-reduction neutralisation test (PRNT90) for WNV and its most closely-related flaviviruses that circulate in Brazil to confirm the detection of specific virus-neutralising antibodies. Of the 93 (55.4%) blocking ELISA-seropositive horse serum samples, five (3%) were seropositive for WNV, nine (5.4%) were seropositive for St. Louis encephalitis virus, 18 (10.7%) were seropositive for Ilheus virus, three (1.8%) were seropositive for Cacipacore virus and none were seropositive for Rocio virus using PRNT90, with a criteria of ≥ four-fold antibody titre difference. All caimans were negative for flaviviruses-specific antibodies using the blocking ELISA. No virus genome was detected from caiman blood or mosquito samples. The present study is the first report of confirmed serological evidence of WNV activity in Brazil.

  20. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order Crocodylia...

  1. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order Crocodylia...

  2. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order Crocodylia...

  3. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order Crocodylia...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Analysis of bicarbonate binding to crocodilian hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Bauer, C; Forster, M; Gros, G; Mosca, A; Perrella, M; Rollema, H S; Vogel, D

    1981-08-25

    Crocodilian hemoglobin has a high intrinsic oxygen affinity but does not react with those organic phosphate esters that normally control the oxygen affinity of blood in higher vertebrates. Instead, its oxygen affinity is greatly lowered by CO2. The present study was undertaken to determine the nature of the CO2 binding to the hemoglobin of a crocodilian species, the Caiman, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The following parameters were measured: (a) carbamino compounds of deoxy- and oxyhemoglobin, (b) the effect of CO2 (at constant pH) on the oxygen affinity of Caiman hemoglobin, (c) total CO2 concentration of hemoglobin solutions at different pH and pCO2 values, and (d) the effect of CO2 on CD spectra of Caiman aquomethemoglobin. An analysis of the results of these measurements revealed that CO2 binding in the form of carbamate was not oxygen-linked and cannot, therefore, mediate the CO2 effect on the oxygen affinity. It was found, however, that 2 mol of bicarbonate can be bound/hemoglobin tetramer and that the association constant of the bicarbonate anion greatly depends upon the state of ligation. At pH 7.02 and 25 degrees C, a numerical value of 2.0 X 10(3) M-1 was obtained for deoxyhemoglobin, while for oxyhemoglobin no significant bicarbonate binding could be observed. At more alkaline pH (pH greater than or equal to 7.5), the association constant for deoxyhemoglobin decreases. Circular dichroism of Caiman aquomethemoglobin decreased considerably in the 287-nm region upon addition of CO2 at constant pH, an effect very similar to the one caused by inositol hexaphosphate in human aquomethemoglobin.

  9. 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

    2015-04-07

    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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Multiple components in restriction enzyme digests of mammalian (insectivore), avian and reptilian genomic DNA hybridize with murine immunoglobulin VH probes.

    PubMed Central

    Litman, G W; Berger, L; Jahn, C L

    1982-01-01

    High molecular weight genomic DNAs isolated from an insectivore, Tupaia, and a representative reptilian, Caiman, and avian, Gallus, were digested with restriction endonucleases transferred to nitrocellulose and hybridized with nick-translated probes of murine VH genes. The derivations of the probes designated S107V (1) and mu 107V (2,3) have been described previously. Under conditions of reduced stringency, multiple hybridizing components were observed with Tupaia and Caiman; only mu mu 107V exhibited significant hybridization with the separated fragments of Gallus DNA. The nick-translated S107V probe was digested with Fnu4H1 and subinserts corresponding to the 5' and 3' regions both detected multiple hybridizing components in Tupaia and Caiman DNA. A 5' probe lacking the leader sequence identified the same components as the intact 5' probe, suggesting that VH coding regions distant as the reptilians may possess multiple genetic components which exhibit significant homology with murine immunoglobulin in VH regions. Images PMID:6285298

  11. 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.

  12. PEO CS&CSS 2011: Advanced Planning Brief to Industry

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-28

    Containerized Self-Serve Laundry (CSSL) • Containerized Shower System (CSS) • Shop Equipment Small Arms Repair • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, Caiman Plus / Mama...Bear XM1230 (EFP Protected) • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, Cougar A2 • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, Cougar HEV (Hardened Engineer Vehicle) • MRAP Vehicle, CAT ...I, MaxxPro (Base) • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, MaxxPro Dash • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, MaxxPro MEAP Protected • MRAP Vehicle, CAT I, MaxxPro Plus (EFP

  13. Contrasting DNA sequence organisation patterns in sauropsidian genomes.

    PubMed

    Epplen, J T; Diedrich, U; Wagenmann, M; Schmidtke, J; Engel, W

    1979-11-01

    The genomic DNA organisation patterns of four sauropsidian species, namely Python reticularis, Caiman crocodilus, Terrapene carolina triungius and Columba livia domestica were investigated by reassociation of short and long DNA fragments, by hyperchromicity measurements of reannealed fragments and by length estimations of S1-nuclease resistant repetitive duplexes. While the genomic DNA of the three reptilian species shows a short period interspersion pattern, the genome of the avian species is organised in a long period interspersion pattern apparently typical for birds. These findings are discussed in view of the close phylogenetic relationships of birds and reptiles, and also with regard to a possible relationship between the extent of sequence interspersion and genome size.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Serological Evidence of Widespread Circulation of West Nile Virus and Other Flaviviruses in Equines of the Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24551266

  17. 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.

  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. Neutralising antibodies for Mayaro virus in Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. 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

    2015-02-03

    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.

  1. Spinally projecting neurons of the dorsal column nucleus in a reptile: locus of origin and trajectory of termination.

    PubMed

    Pritz, M B

    1996-01-01

    Interconnections between the dorsal column nucleus and the spinal cord were investigated in a reptile, Caiman crocodilus. After placement of an anterograde tracer into the dorsal column nucleus, descending fibers are seen to leave this nucleus to enter the dorsal funiculus where they course ventrally to terminate in lamina V of the spinal cord as far caudally as C2. Placement of a retrograde tracer into cut fibers of the cervical spinal cord identified the relay cells of the dorsal column nucleus that project to the spinal cord. These neurons were mainly clustered in a caudal and ventral part of this nucleus. The soma of these spinally projecting cells were small and were generally round or oval in shape. A number of these neurons had the long axis of their soma oriented dorsoventrally, with a primary dendrite extending dorsally. Fibers in the dorsal funiculus that originated from the spinal cord enter the caudal part of the dorsal column nucleus and turn ventral. In the dorsal column nucleus, these axons run parallel to the vertically oriented dendrites of these spinally projecting cells before termination in close relation to the cell bodies of these neurons. Quantitative observations (mean +/- standard error) were made on well labeled neurons and included several measurements: area, perimeter, and degree of eccentricity (greatest width/greatest length) in both the transverse as well as the sagittal plane. These spinally projecting neurons in Caiman are located in the dorsal column nucleus in a position similar to that of spinally projecting cells in cats.

  2. Crocodilian phylogeny inferred from twelve mitochondrial protein-coding genes, with new complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae.

    PubMed

    Man, Zhang; Yishu, Wang; Peng, Yan; Xiaobing, Wu

    2011-07-01

    We report complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae, whose gene orders match those of other crocodilians. Phylogenetic analyses based on the sequences of 12 mitochondrial protein-coding genes support monophyly of two crocodilian taxonomic families, Alligatoridae (genera Alligator, Caiman, and Paleosuchus) and Crocodylidae (genera Crocodylus, Gavialis, Mecistops, Osteolaemus, and Tomistoma). Our results are consistent with monophyly of all crocodilian genera. Within Alligatoridae, genus Alligator is the sister taxon of a clade comprising Caiman and Paleosuchus. Within Crocodylidae, the basal phylogenetic split separates a clade comprising Gavialis and Tomistoma from a clade comprising Crocodylus, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus. Mecistops and Osteolaemus form the sister taxon to Crocodylus. Within Crocodylus, we sampled five Indopacific species, whose phylogenetic ordering is ((C. mindorensis, C. novaeguineae), (C. porosus, (C. siamensis, C. palustris))). The African species C. niloticus and New World species C. acutus form the sister taxon to the Indopacific species, although our sampling lacks three other New World species and an Australian species of Crocodylus. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  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. Impact of radiofrequency energy on intraoperative outcomes of laparoscopic colectomy for cancer in obese patients.

    PubMed

    Cassini, Diletta; Miccini, Michelangelo; Gregori, Matteo; Manoochehri, Farshad; Baldazzi, Gianandrea

    2017-05-04

    Nowadays laparoscopic approach is accepted as a valid alternative to open surgery for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Several studies consider this approach to be safe and feasible also in obese patients, even if dissection in these patients may require a longer operative time and involve higher blood loss. To facilitate laparoscopic approach, more difficult in these patients, several energy sources for laparoscopic dissection and sealing, has been adopted recently. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible intraoperative advantages of radiofrequency energy in terms of blood loss and operative time in obese patients undergoing laparoscopic resection for cancer. All patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer from January 2010 to December 2015 were registered in a prospective database. Patients with a body mass index BMI (kg/m(2)) ≥30 were defined as obese, and patients with a BMI (kg/m(2)) <30 were defined as non-obese. All 136 obese patients observed were divided retrospectively into 2 groups according to the devices used for dissection: 83 patients (Historical group: B) on whom dissection and coagulation were performed using other energy sources (monopolar electrocautery scissors, bipolar electrical energy, ultrasonic coagulating shears) and 53 patients who were treated with electrothermal bipolar vessel sealing (Caiman group: A). In group A, the Laparoscopic Caiman 5 (Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen, Germany) was the only instrument employed in the whole procedure. The study examined only three types of operation: right colectomy (RC), left colectomy (LC), and anterior resection (AR). Preoperative data were similar for RC, LC, and AR in both groups (A and B). The mean operative time was statistically shorter in the Caiman group than in the Historical group [104 vs 124 min (p 0.004), 116 vs 140 min (p 0.004), and 125 vs 151 min (p 0.003) for RC, LC, and AR between group A and B, respectively]. Also intraoperative blood loss

  7. 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

  8. 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, Charles 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Crocodylian History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brochu, Christopher A.

    A review of crocodylian phylogeny reveals a more complex history than might have been anticipated from a direct reading of the fossil record without consideration of phylogenetic relationships. The three main extant crocodylian lineagesGavialoidea, Alligatoroidea, Crocodyloideaare known from fossils in the Late Cretaceous, and the group is found nearly worldwide during the Cenozoic. Some groups have distributions that are best explained by the crossing of marine barriers during the Tertiary. Early Tertiary crocodylian faunas are phylogenetically composite, and clades tend to be morphologically uniform and geographically widespread. Later in the Tertiary, Old World crocodylian faunas are more endemic. Crocodylian phylogeneticists face numerous challenges, the most important being the phylogenetic relationships and time of divergence of the two living gharials (Gavialis gangeticus and Tomistoma schlegelii), the relationships among living true crocodiles (Crocodylus), and the relationships among caimans.

  14. Occurrence of Amblyomma dissimile on wild crocodylians in southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Charruau, Pierre; Pérez-Flores, Jonathan; Cedeño-Vázquez, J Rogelio; Gonzalez-Solis, David; González-Desales, Giovany A; Monroy-Vilchis, Octavio; Desales-Lara, Marco A

    2016-09-26

    Ticks are common ectoparasites of amphibians and reptiles but very few reports of such parasites on crocodylians exist worldwide. Herein, we report the first detailed observations of Amblyomma dissimile Koch, 1844 on the 3 crocodylian species present in Mexico, with the first report of tick parasitism on Crocodylus acutus and the second on Caiman crocodilus chiapasius. This is also the first report of A. dissimile in the state of Quintana Roo. Proportions of infested individuals found in this study ranged from 0.51 to 1.96%, suggesting that tick parasitism in crocodylians is likely opportunistic and occurs when individuals leave the water for terrestrial activities. Tick parasitism does not represent a major threat to crocodylians. The increasing habitat destruction/fragmentation and cattle expansion in southeastern Mexico, however, could increase tick populations and trigger tick parasitism and tick-borne diseases in herpetofauna and other vertebrates, including humans. Thus, studies are needed to better understand these relationships.

  15. "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.

  16. [Vertebrate mortality in the Guanare-Guanarito road, Portuguesa state, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Seijas, Andrés Eloy; Araujo-Quintero, Alexis; Velásquez, Nadines

    2013-12-01

    Roads directly or indirectly affect the structure, dynamics and function of ecosystems that they traverse. Most studies on the effect of roads on wildlife focus on the evaluation of mortality of vertebrates by vehicle collisions. Despite the extensive road network that exists in Venezuela, studies of wildlife mortality in them are scarce. In this paper, we analyzed the temporal and spatial pattern of vertebrate's collisions along the road Guanare-Guanarito, in Portuguesa state. We travelled 26 times between these towns (74 km) to localize dead vertebrates, at a speed of 50-60km/h. of those trips were conducted from March 13 to October 26, 2010, and 10 additional trips from December 7, 2009 to December 14, 2010; these ones, with the aim to include months and seasons that were insufficiently sampled during the first period. The elapsed time between trips varied from 14 to 37 days. The total distance traveled was 1 924 km. Dead animals found amounted 464 individuals, 66 of them were birds (25 identified species), 130 mammals (15 species) and 268 reptiles (18 species). The species with the highest number of individuals were the snake Leptodeira annulata (n=119), the oppossum Didelphis marsupialis (n=39) and the spectacled caiman Caiman crocodilus (n=33). Excluding domestic animals, the rate of road-killed vertebrates was 0.2282 indiv./km, a figure 28.3% higher than previous studies in the same road. Changes in the relative number of collisions for some species, respect to the numbers reported 20 years ago, were linked to the increase in traffic flow and changes in land use. Road segments with collision rates higher than expected by chance were identified. Collition by cars may be the principal cause of mortality for species like the tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) and the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the last considered a vulnerable species. Some basic measures are proposed to reduce wildlife mortality on the road.

  17. The phylogeography of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids is consistent with the geological history of South American river basins and the transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Little is known about the diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeography of trypanosomes infecting non-mammalian hosts. In this study, we investigated the influence of host species and biogeography on shaping the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and distribution of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids. Methods Small Subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) and glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes were employed for phylogenetic inferences. Trypanosomes from crocodilians were obtained by haemoculturing. Growth behaviour, morphology, and ultrastructural features complement the molecular description of two new species strongly supported by phylogenetic analyses. Results The inferred phylogenies disclosed a strongly supported crocodilian-restricted clade comprising three subclades. The subclade T. grayi comprised the African Trypanosoma grayi from Crocodylus niloticus and tsetse flies. The subclade T. ralphi comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma ralphi n. sp. from Melanosuchus niger, Caiman crocodilus and Caiman yacare from Brazilian river basins. T. grayi and T. ralphi were sister subclades. The basal subclade T. terena comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma terena n. sp. from Ca. yacare sharing hosts and basins with the distantly genetic related T. ralphi. This subclade also included the trypanosome from Ca. crocodilus from the Orinoco basin in Venezuela and, unexpectedly, a trypanosome from the African crocodilian Osteolaemus tetraspis. Conclusion The close relationship between South American and African trypanosomes is consistent with paleontological evidence of recent transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene/Pliocene boundaries (4–5 mya), and host-switching of trypanosomes throughout the geological configuration of South American hydrographical basins shaping the evolutionary histories of the crocodilians and their trypanosomes

  18. The phylogeography of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids is consistent with the geological history of South American river basins and the transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene.

    PubMed

    Fermino, Bruno R; Viola, Laerte B; Paiva, Fernando; Garcia, Herakles A; de Paula, Catia D; Botero-Arias, Robinson; Takata, Carmen S A; Campaner, Marta; Hamilton, Patrick B; Camargo, Erney P; Teixeira, Marta M G

    2013-10-29

    Little is known about the diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeography of trypanosomes infecting non-mammalian hosts. In this study, we investigated the influence of host species and biogeography on shaping the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and distribution of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids. Small Subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) and glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes were employed for phylogenetic inferences. Trypanosomes from crocodilians were obtained by haemoculturing. Growth behaviour, morphology, and ultrastructural features complement the molecular description of two new species strongly supported by phylogenetic analyses. The inferred phylogenies disclosed a strongly supported crocodilian-restricted clade comprising three subclades. The subclade T. grayi comprised the African Trypanosoma grayi from Crocodylus niloticus and tsetse flies. The subclade T. ralphi comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma ralphi n. sp. from Melanosuchus niger, Caiman crocodilus and Caiman yacare from Brazilian river basins. T. grayi and T. ralphi were sister subclades. The basal subclade T. terena comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma terena n. sp. from Ca. yacare sharing hosts and basins with the distantly genetic related T. ralphi. This subclade also included the trypanosome from Ca. crocodilus from the Orinoco basin in Venezuela and, unexpectedly, a trypanosome from the African crocodilian Osteolaemus tetraspis. The close relationship between South American and African trypanosomes is consistent with paleontological evidence of recent transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene/Pliocene boundaries (4-5 mya), and host-switching of trypanosomes throughout the geological configuration of South American hydrographical basins shaping the evolutionary histories of the crocodilians and their trypanosomes.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the postcranial body of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Mann, David A; Boerner, Katharine; Denum, Laura; Frances, Candice; Reep, Roger L

    2017-02-01

    Manatees live in shallow, frequently turbid waters. The sensory means by which they navigate in these conditions are unknown. Poor visual acuity, lack of echolocation, and modest chemosensation suggest that other modalities play an important role. Rich innervation of sensory hairs that cover the entire body and enlarged somatosensory areas of the brain suggest that tactile senses are good candidates. Previous tests of detection of underwater vibratory stimuli indicated that they use passive movement of the hairs to detect particle displacements in the vicinity of a micron or less for frequencies from 10 to 150 Hz. In the current study, hydrodynamic stimuli were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz. Go/no-go tests of manatee postcranial mechanoreception of hydrodynamic stimuli indicated excellent sensitivity but about an order of magnitude less than the facial region. When the vibrissae were trimmed, detection thresholds were elevated, suggesting that the vibrissae were an important means by which detection occurred. Manatees were also highly accurate in two-choice directional discrimination: greater than 90% correct at all frequencies tested. We hypothesize that manatees utilize vibrissae as a three-dimensional array to detect and localize low-frequency hydrodynamic stimuli.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Exchange and reduction of Cu(2+) ions in clinoptilolite.

    PubMed

    Iznaga, I Rodríguez; Petranovskii, V; Fuentes, G Rodríguez; Mendoza, C; Aguilar, A Benítez

    2007-12-15

    The ion-exchange and reduction processes for Cu(2+) ions in clinoptilolite from the Caimanes deposit (Moa, Cuba) were studied at different temperatures. The ion-exchange studies were done to determine the kinetic parameters of Cu(2+) removal from solution by this clinoptilolite modified previously to NH(+)(4) form, and thermodynamic parameters of Cu(2+) elution from zeolite using NH(4)Cl solution. The results show that temperature increase favors the exchange and that it is a reversible process. The external diffusion rate appreciably increases with temperature, while, the internal diffusion coefficient rises relatively little. This means that besides ion exchange other processes (such as precipitation of the low-solubility phase and/or salt adsorption) occur, which cause copper removal from solution and affect the intracrystalline diffusion of the ions. For steric reasons the exchange of [Cu(H(2)O)(6)](2+) ions from a solution must occur with a number of water molecules n smaller than 6 (6 > n > or = 0). Cu(2+) reduction by hydrogen and the formation of Cu-particles in the clinoptilolite were verified. The Cu(2+) reduction mechanism is complex, indirect, and sensitive to reduction temperature; consequently, Cu(+)(n) states intermediate between Cu(2+) and Cu(0) should be present in the reduced samples.

  5. The mosasaur tooth attachment apparatus as paradigm for the evolution of the gnathostome periodontium.

    PubMed

    Luan, Xianghong; Walker, Cameron; Dangaria, Smit; Ito, Yoshihiro; Druzinsky, Robert; Jarosius, Kristina; Lesot, Herve; Rieppel, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Vertebrate teeth are attached to jaws by a variety of mechanisms, including acrodont, pleurodont, and thecodont modes of attachment. Recent studies have suggested that various modes of attachment exist within each subcategory. Especially squamates feature a broad diversity of modes of attachment. Here we have investigated tooth attachment tissues in the late cretaceous mosasaur Clidastes and compared mosasaur tooth attachment with modes of attachment found in other extant reptiles. Using histologic analysis of ultrathin ground sections, four distinct mineralized tissues that anchor mosasaur teeth to the jaw were identified: (i) an acellular cementum layer at the interface between root and cellular cementum, (ii) a massive cone consisting of trabecular cellular cementum, (iii) the mineralized periodontal ligament containing mineralized Sharpey's fibers, and (iv) the interdental ridges connecting adjacent teeth. The complex, multilayered attachment apparatus in mosasaurs was compared with attachment tissues in extant reptiles, including Iguana and Caiman. Based on our comparative analysis we postulate the presence of a quadruple-layer tissue architecture underlying reptilian tooth attachment, comprised of acellular cementum, cellular cementum, mineralized periodontal ligament, and interdental ridge (alveolar bone). We propose that the mineralization status of the periodontal ligament is a dynamic feature in vertebrate evolution subject to functional adaptation.

  6. 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. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Centenary of the death of Elie Metchnikoff: a visionary and an outstanding team leader.

    PubMed

    Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Legout, Sandra

    2016-10-01

    Elie Metchnikoff passed away on July 15th, 1916. He is considered to be the father of phagocytes, cellular innate immunity, probiotics, and gerontology. In all of these fields, he was a visionary. To achieve such a notability and produce so many masterpieces, Metchnikoff used more than 30 animal species to support his findings, and his pasteurian laboratory published more than 200 papers in the Annales de l'Institut Pasteur. As a wonderful team leader and a great mentor, during his 28 years at Institut Pasteur, he welcomed and supervised more than 100 young trainees. Trained as an embryologist, he contributed to the birth of immunology and to the understanding of physiology and pathology. Indeed, Metchnikoff and his team investigated inflammation in guinea pigs, rats, frogs; studied infectious diseases in monkeys, caimans, geese; investigated aging in parrots, dogs, humans; proposed hypotheses to understand age-associated senility using rabbits and humans; developed germ free tadpoles, flies, chicks; studied the gut flora in bats, horses, birds, humans; and popularized the use of probiotics as a tool to delay the deleterious effects of toxic compounds derived from putrefactive gut bacteria. He was also a philosopher and penned essays on human disharmony and on pessimism and optimism. Copyright © 2016 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. A laboratory study of the performance of the handheld diffusion size classifier (DiSCmini) for various aerosols in the 15-400 nm range.

    PubMed

    Bau, S; Zimmermann, B; Payet, R; Witschger, O

    2015-02-01

    In addition to chemical composition, particle concentration and size are among the main parameters used to characterize exposure to airborne ultrafine or nanoparticles. To assess occupational inhalation exposure, real-time instruments are recommended in recent strategies published. Among portable devices for personal exposure assessment in the workplace, DiSCmini (Matter Aerosol AG, Switzerland) has been identified as a potential candidate with its capacity to measure the airborne nanoparticle concentration and average particle size with good time-resolution. Monodisperse and polydisperse test nanoaerosols of varying compositions and morphologies were produced in the laboratory using the CAIMAN facility. These aerosols covered a range of particle sizes between 15 and 400 nm and number concentrations from 700 to 840,000 cm(-3). The aerosols were used to investigate the behavior of DiSCmini, comparing experimental data to reference data. In spite of a slight tendency to underestimate particle size, all particle diameters, number concentrations and surface area concentrations measured were in the same order of magnitude as reference data. Furthermore, no significant effect due to particle composition or morphology was noted.

  10. Mosasaurs and snakes have a periodontal ligament: timing and extent of calcification, not tissue complexity, determines tooth attachment mode in reptiles.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Lamoureux, Denis O; Caldwell, Michael W

    2017-09-12

    Squamates present a unique challenge to our understanding of dental evolution in amniotes because they are the only extant tooth-bearing group for which a ligamentous tooth attachment is considered to be absent. This has led to the assumption that mammals and crocodilians have convergently evolved a ligamentous tooth attachment, composed of root cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone, whereas squamates are thought to possess a single bone of attachment tissue that fuses teeth to the jaws. The identity and homology of tooth attachment tissues between squamates, crocodilians, and mammals have thus been a focal point of debate for decades. We provide a novel interpretation of the mineralized attachment tissues in two focal taxa in this debate, mosasaurids and snakes, and compare dental tissue histology with that of the extant crocodilian Caiman sclerops. We identify a periodontal ligament in these squamates that usually exists temporarily as a soft connective tissue anchoring each tooth to the alveolar bone. We also identify two instances where complete calcification of the periodontal ligament does not occur: in a durophagous mosasaur, and in the hinged teeth of fossil and modern snakes. We propose that the periodontal ligament rapidly calcifies in the majority of mosasaurids and snakes, ankylosing the tooth to the jaw. This gives the appearance of a single, bone-like tissue fusing the tooth to the jaw in ankylosed teeth, but is simply the end stage of dental tissue ontogeny in most snakes and mosasaurids. © 2017 Anatomical Society.

  11. 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.

  12. The Mosasaur Tooth Attachment Apparatus as Paradigm for the Evolution of the Gnathostome Periodontium

    PubMed Central

    Luan, Xianghong; Walker, Cameron; Dangaria, Smit; Ito, Yoshihiro; Druzinsky, Robert; Jarosius, Kristina; Lesot, Herve; Rieppel, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Vertebrate teeth are attached to jaws by a variety of mechanisms, including acrodont, pleurodont, and thecodont modes of attachment. Recent studies have suggested that various modes of attachment exist within each sub-category. Especially squamates feature a broad diversity of modes of attachment. Here we have investigated tooth attachment tissues in the late cretaceous mosasaur Clidastes and compared mosasaur tooth attachment with modes of attachment found in other extant reptiles. Using histologic analysis of ultrathin ground sections, four distinct mineralized tissues that anchor mosasaur teeth to the jaw were identified: (i) an acellular cementum layer at the interface between root and cellular cementum, (ii) a massive cone consisting of trabecular cellular cementum, (iii) the mineralized periodontal ligament containing mineralized Sharpey’s fibers, and (iv) the interdental ridges connecting adjacent teeth. The complex, multilayered attachment apparatus in mosasaurs was compared with attachment tissues in extant reptiles, including Iguana and Caiman. Based on our comparative analysis we postulate the presence of a quadruple-layer tissue architecture underlying reptilian tooth attachment, comprised of acellular cementum, cellular cementum, mineralized periodontal ligament, and interdental ridge (alveolar bone). We propose that the mineralization status of the periodontal ligament is a dynamic feature in vertebrate evolution subject to functional adaptation. PMID:19469852

  13. [West Nile virus; ecology and epidemiology of an emerging pathogen in Colombia].

    PubMed

    Berrocal, Luis; Peña, José; González, Marco; Mattar, Salim

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has an enzootic mosquito-bird-mosquito cycle in nature, Culex sp mosquitoes being the main vectors. Birds are the main amplifying hosts. Humans and horses are incidental dead-end hosts. It produces a flu-like or a self-limited febrile disease in most humans. It can cause encephalitis, meningitis or meningoencephalitis in cases of neurological disease, having greater incidence and mortality from encephalitis in older people and immune-compromised patients. Outbreaks have been reported in Africa, the Middle-east, Europe and Asia. WNV first appeared in North-America in 1999 and its circulation has been documented in Mexico, the Caiman islands, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Guadalupe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, El Salvador and more recently in Colombia. The public health concern regarding WNV if it becomes introduced into Middle- and South-America will depend upon the interaction of several factors. The prevailing conditions in Colombia are apt for its spread and development. There are two main hypotheses; the virus could become enzootic and endemic and cause limited human disease, or it could become epidemic and cause annual outbreaks affecting large numbers of humans and animals. It will depend upon Colombian birds' susceptibility to the virus because of biological differences and intra-specific geographical variations in mosquitoe species' vector competence and the environmental effects on its ability to transmit the virus; such factors are determinant in the primary amplifying cycle.

  14. Crocodilian Forebrain: Evolution and Development

    PubMed Central

    Pritz, Michael B.

    2015-01-01

    Organization and development of the forebrain in crocodilians are reviewed. In juvenile Caiman crocodilus, the following features were examined: identification and classification of dorsal thalamic nuclei and their respective connections with the telencephalon, presence of local circuit neurons in the dorsal thalamic nuclei, telencephalic projections to the dorsal thalamus, and organization of the thalamic reticular nucleus. These results document many similarities between crocodilians and other reptiles and birds. While crocodilians, as well as other sauropsids, demonstrate several features of neural circuitry in common with mammals, certain striking differences in organization of the forebrain are present. These differences are the result of evolution. To explore a basis for these differences, embryos of Alligator misissippiensis were examined to address the following. First, very early development of the brain in Alligator is similar to that of other amniotes. Second, the developmental program for individual vesicles of the brain differs between the secondary prosencephalon, diencephalon, midbrain, and hindbrain in Alligator. This is likely to be the case for other amniotes. Third, initial development of the diencephalon in Alligator is similar to that in other amniotes. In Alligator, alar and basal parts likely follow a different developmental scheme. PMID:25829019

  15. Characterization of a complete immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region germ-line gene of rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, T; Chen, T; Törmänen, V

    1990-10-01

    A germ-line heavy-chain variable region (VH) gene (RTVH431) has been isolated from a rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and characterized by complete nucleotide sequencing. It is characteristic of VH, as shown by the conserved octamer and TATA motif in the 5' region, the heptamernonamer recombination signal sequence in the 3' region, and the 18-amino-acid-long hydrophobic leader interrupted by an intron. The 98-amino-acid-long VH coding region has 50-70% nucleotide sequence homology and 40-60% amino acid sequence homology with VHS of various vertebrate species. We have also found unique or species-specific amino acid residues in the VHS of rainbow trout, amphibia (Xenopus), reptile (Caiman), and shark (Heterodontus) in our sequence analyses. The RTVH431 has an unusual amino acid in the conserved 34th position in complementarity-determining region 1 of VH. Southern hybridization results suggest the presence of a large gene family related to RTVH431 in the trout genome. The complex evolution of antibody V genes is discussed.

  16. Characterization of a complete immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region germ-line gene of rainbow trout.

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, T; Chen, T; Törmänen, V

    1990-01-01

    A germ-line heavy-chain variable region (VH) gene (RTVH431) has been isolated from a rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and characterized by complete nucleotide sequencing. It is characteristic of VH, as shown by the conserved octamer and TATA motif in the 5' region, the heptamernonamer recombination signal sequence in the 3' region, and the 18-amino-acid-long hydrophobic leader interrupted by an intron. The 98-amino-acid-long VH coding region has 50-70% nucleotide sequence homology and 40-60% amino acid sequence homology with VHS of various vertebrate species. We have also found unique or species-specific amino acid residues in the VHS of rainbow trout, amphibia (Xenopus), reptile (Caiman), and shark (Heterodontus) in our sequence analyses. The RTVH431 has an unusual amino acid in the conserved 34th position in complementarity-determining region 1 of VH. Southern hybridization results suggest the presence of a large gene family related to RTVH431 in the trout genome. The complex evolution of antibody V genes is discussed. Images PMID:2120708

  17. Performance study of portable devices for the real-time measurement of airborne particle number concentration and size (distribution)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bau, Sébastien; Payet, Raphaël; Witschger, Olivier; Jankowska, Elżbieta

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the performance of both portable and transportable devices devoted to the real-time measurement of airborne particle number concentration and size (distribution). Electrical mobility spectrometers (SMPS, FMPS, Nanoscan) as well as diffusion chargers (DiSCmini, Nanotracer) were studied. Both monodisperse and polydisperse aerosols were produced within the CAIMAN facility to challenge the instruments. The monodisperse test aerosols were selected in the 15-400 nm diameter range using a differential mobility analyser (DMA), and presented number concentrations of between 6.102 and 2.105 cm-3. The polydisperse test aerosols presented modal diameters of between 8 and 270 nm and number concentrations between 4.103 to 106 cm-3. The behavior of the different devices is expressed as (1) the ratio of the reported diameter to the reference diameter, and (2) the ratio of the reported number concentration to the reference concentration. These results are displayed as boxplots to better represent the statistical distribution of the experimental results. For the group of electrical mobility spectrometers, a good agreement between SMPS and FMPS and the reference was demonstrated. A slight tendency for the Nanoscan to underestimate particle size distribution for particles above around 100 nm was observed. The data reported for the group of diffusion chargers demonstrate that all, except the Nanotracer, show a tendency to underestimate particle diameter, by a factor around -40% to -10%. In the case of particle concentration, larger deviations were observed.

  18. The turtle thalamic anterior entopeduncular nucleus shares connectional and neurochemical characteristics with the mammalian thalamic reticular nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kenigfest, Natalia; Belekhova, Margarita; Repérant, Jacques; Rio, Jean Paul; Ward, Roger; Vesselkin, Nikolai

    2005-10-01

    Neurochemical and key connectional characteristics of the anterior entopeduncular nucleus (Enta) of the turtle (Testudo horsfieldi) were studied by axonal tracing techniques and immunohistochemistry of parvalbumin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). We showed that the Enta, which is located within the dorsal peduncle of the lateral forebrain bundle (Pedd), has roughly topographically organized reciprocal connections with the dorsal thalamic visual nuclei, the nucleus rotundus (Rot) and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (GLd). The Enta receives projections from visual telencephalic areas, the anterior dorsal ventricular ridge and dorsolateral cortex/pallial thickening. Most Enta neurons contained GABA and parvalbumin, and some of them were retrogradely labeled when the tracer was injected into the visual dorsal thalamic nuclei. Further experiments using double immunofluorescence revealed colocalization of GAD and parvalbumin in the vast majority of Enta neurons, and many of these cells showed retrograde labeling with Fluoro-gold injected into the Rot and/or GLd. According to these data, the Enta may be considered as a structural substrate for recurrent inhibition of the visual thalamic nuclei. Based on morphological and neurochemical similarity of the turtle Enta, caiman Pedd nucleus, the superior reticular nucleus in birds, and the thalamic reticular nucleus in mammals, we suggest that these structures represent a characteristic component which is common to the thalamic organization in amniotes.

  19. 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.

  20. Phorcotabanus cinereus (Wiedemann, 1821) (Diptera, Tabanidae), an ornithophilic species of Tabanid in Central Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Limeira-de-Oliveira, Francisco; Rafael, José Albertino; Henriques, Augusto Loureiro

    2002-09-01

    In Central Amazon, Brazil, the tabanid Phorcotabanus cinereus (Wiedemann) was recorded attacking the native duck Cairina moschata (Linnaeus) (Anseriformes, Anatidae). The flight and behavior of the tabanid during the attacks and the host's defenses were videotaped and analyzed in slow motion. The tabanid was recorded flying rapidly around the heads of the ducks before landing. Landing always took place on the beak, and then the tabanid walked to the fleshy caruncle on the basal part of the beak to bite and feed. Firstly the duck defends itself through lateral harsh head movements, and then, when it is being bitten, it defends itself by rubbing its head on the body, or dipping the head into water, when swimming. If disturbed, the fly resumed the same pattern of flight as before and would generally try to land again on the same host and bite in the same place. This feeding activity was observed predominantly between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm and always in open areas, near aquatic environments, from June 1996 to January 1997, the dry season in Central Amazon. To test the attractiveness of other animals to P. cinereus, mammals, caimans and domestic and wild birds were placed in suitable habitat and the response of P. cinereus observed. P. cinereus did not attack these animals, suggesting that this species has a preference for ducks, which are plentiful in the region.

  1. Towing the party line: territoriality, risky boundaries and male group size in spider monkey fission-fusion societies.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Robert B

    2008-03-01

    Spider monkey communities are classic fission-fusion primate societies. I present data suggesting that spider monkeys (Ateles chamek) at Lago Caiman are territorial; adult males traveled further and faster than adult females and subgroup size was significantly higher in boundary areas of the spider monkey territory where intercommunity disputes were observed than in non-boundary areas. I then go on to examine data from 20 Ateles communities distributed across 14 study sites and five species to investigate how a series of demographic, ecological and geographical parameters influence the number of males in a given spider monkey community. Analyses suggest that the number of males is not significantly related to the number of females in a community, the area of the community home range, or the total perimeter length of the community boundary. However, risky boundary perimeter length, or the length of perimeter that directly borders another spider monkey community, explains 88% of observed variations in the number of males in each community. I discuss the results in relation to spider monkey ecology and territoriality, as well as the potential of this relationship for explaining chimpanzee (Pan) behavior given their extremely similar fruit specialist, male philopatry, territoriality and fission-fusion social system.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Identification and characterization of a squamate reptilian amelogenin gene: Iguana iguana.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinping; Fan, Ji-Lao; Ito, Yoshihiro; Luan, Xianghong; Diekwisch, Thomas G H

    2006-07-15

    As the principal components of the developing tooth enamel matrix, amelogenins play a significant role in tooth enamel formation and organization. In order to elucidate the structure and function of amelogenins in the evolution of enamel, we have selected the Iguana iguana as a squamate model organism. Here we report the first complete squamate amelogenin sequence available as of yet and document unique features of Iguana amelogenins and enamel. Transmission electron microscopy documented randomly oriented Iguana enamel crystals during the elongation phase compared with organized enamel crystal patterns at comparable stages in mammals. Sequencing of PCR amplified products revealed a full-length I. iguana amelogenin cDNA containing 877 nucleotides with a 564 nucleotide coding sequence encoding 187 amino acids. The homologies of the newly discovered I. iguana amelogenin amino acid sequence with the published mouse, caiman (Palaeosuchus), and snake (Elaphe) amelogenin were 41.3%, 53.5%, and 55.5%, respectively. On Western blots one major protein with a molecular weight of 24 kDa, and two minor proteins with molecular weights of 28 and 13.5 kDa, respectively, were detected based on the cross-reactivity of antisera against recombinant Rana pipiens amelogenin proteins. Sequence analysis revealed a moderate sequence homology between mammalian and reptilian amelogenin genes. A significant alteration was the deletion of the hydrophilic GSP sequence from exon 3 in the mouse sequence resulting in a conversion to a hydrophobic region in Iguana. Together, these findings identified a novel amelogenin cDNA sequence in the squamate reptilian I. iguana and functional implications for the evolution of amelogenins and enamel in squamates.

  10. Sharing the earth: case studies on population, wildlife, and the environment.

    PubMed

    Waak-strom, P

    1994-01-01

    In 1988 the National Audubon Society's population program began to develop a joint project on the issues of human population growth and wildlife management by comparing sites in the United States and overseas to identify actions necessary for a sustainable ecosystem. Eight US sites were matched with eight sites in other countries. The Audubon wildlife managers visited their partners' international settings and then hosted their counterparts at their own sanctuaries in the US. All sites involved water resources: three were coastal systems, two had major rivers, and three were freshwater wetlands. Coastal systems comprised Tampa Bay sanctuaries, Florida, Wat Phai Lom, Wat Asokaram, and Ban Lung Jorm, Thailand. In Thailand wildlife sanctuaries have been set aside within monastery grounds, hence Thai bird colonies are more secure than those of Rookery Bay Sanctuary, Florida and Pulau Rambut, Indonesia. An Audubon warden patrols southwest Florida's Rookery Bay, whereas in Pulau Rambut there is insufficient government staff to protect it from human disturbance. Along the Yucatan Peninsula, Louisiana's Rainey Sanctuary and Mexico's Rio Lagartos system both encompass great tracts of fertile wetlands teeming with wildlife. However, Louisiana is losing 130 square kilometers of coastal wetland a year, the most rapid loss on earth. Population growth, poverty, and unsustainable economic activities put pressure on the Sabal Palm Grove Sanctuary, Texas, and the Biotopo del Manati, Guatemala, river systems. Deforestation is a serious problem in both areas. Platte River, Nebraska, and Indus River, Pakistan. Indus River, Pakistan, still maintains much of its pristine quality, while Platte River, Nebraska, has been dammed and diverted. Freshwater Wetlands include the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Florida, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, Alkali Lake Sanctuary, North Dakota, and Estancia Caiman, Brazil. The Corkscrew area's growth is caused by migration, while Nakuru's growth is a result of migration

  11. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria).

    PubMed

    Chiari, Ylenia; Cahais, Vincent; Galtier, Nicolas; Delsuc, Frédéric

    2012-07-27

    The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. These results provide a phylogenetic framework

  12. Selection and trans-species polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex class II genes in the order Crocodylia.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. Conclusions These results

  14. 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

  15. Strong purifying selection in endogenous retroviruses in the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the nuclear DNA of a germ-line cell. Here we present the results of a survey into the ERV complement of Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater crocodile, representing 45 individuals from 17 sampling locations in the Northern Territory of Australia. These retroelements were compared with published ERVs from other species of Crocodylia (Crocodilians; alligators, caimans, gharials and crocodiles) as well as representatives from other vertebrates. This study represents one of the first in-depth studies of ERVs within a single reptilian species shedding light on the diversity of ERVs and proliferation mechanisms in crocodilians. Results Analyses of the retroviral pro-pol gene region have corroborated the presence of two major clades of ERVs in C. porosus and revealed 18 potentially functional fragments out of the 227 recovered that encode intact pro-pol ORFs. Interestingly, we have identified some patterns of diversification among those ERVs as well as a novel sequence that suggests the presence of an additional retroviral genus in C. porosus. In addition, considerable diversity but low genetic divergence within one of the C. porosus ERV lineages was identified. Conclusions We propose that the ERV complement of C. porosus has come about through a combination of recent infections and replication of ancestral ERVs. Strong purifying selection acting on these clades suggests that this activity is recent or still occurring in the genome of this species. The discovery of potentially functional elements is an interesting development that warrants further investigation. PMID:23217152

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Check-list of the pentastomid parasites crocodilians and freshwater chelonians.

    PubMed

    Junker, K; Boomker, J

    2006-03-01

    Based on published records and own data a summary is given of the geographical distribution of the currently known species of pentastomid parasites infecting crocodiles and alligators, as well as freshwater chelonians. A brief generic diagnosis is provided for each genus. Fourteen out of the currently 23 living crocodilian species have been recorded as being host to one or more pentastomes. Out of the 32 pentastome species six are considered species inquirendae. Presently, six genera of crocodilian pentastomes, Agema, Alofia, Leiperia, Sebekia, Selfia and Subtriquetra are recognized. African crocodiles harbour eight pentastome species, six of which have been recorded from the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus. Three species belong to the genus Sebekia, Alofia being represented by two and Leiperia by only one species. Two species, Alofia parva and Agema silvae-palustris, occur in the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, and the slender-snouted crocodile, Crocodylus cataphractus, exclusively, but a single Sebekia species is shared with the Nile crocodile. The genus Agema is endemic to the African region. Infective stages of the pentastome Subtriquetra rileyi, thought to utilize Nile crocodiles as final hosts, have been recovered only from fishes. The largest number of pentastome species is found in the Australasian region. Of these, the Indo-Pacific crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, harbours seven, representing the genera Alofia, Sebekia, Leiperia and Selfia. Selfia is exclusive to the latter host. The genus Subtriquetra has been reported from "Indian crocodiles", a term possibly referring to either Crocodylus palustris, Crocodylus porosus or Gavialis gangeticus. Ten species of pentastomes parasitizing the crocodilian genera Alligator, Caiman, Crocodylus and Melanosuchus have been recorded from the Neotropical region including the southern states of the North American continent. The two most wide-spread pentastome genera, Alofia and Sebekia, have been recorded

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Molecular phylogeny and morphological revision of Myotis bats (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Taiwan and adjacent China.

    PubMed

    Ruedi, Manuel; Csorba, Gábor; Lin, Liang-Kong; Chou, Cheng-Han

    2015-02-20

    In taxonomic accounts, three species of Myotis have been traditionally reported to occur on the island of Taiwan: Watase's bat (M. formosus watasei Kishida), the Formosan broad-muzzled bat (M. muricola latirostris Kishida) and the Formosan mouse-eared bat (M. adversus taiwanensis Linde). The discovery in 1997 of an unknown taxon not fitting to the description of any of these species encouraged us to re-examine more thoroughly the systematics and phylogeny of Myotis bats inhabiting Taiwan. We used a combination of morphologic and molecular methods to aid the identification of the different taxa from this island and reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. Multivariate analyses based on 17 craniodental characters of 105 specimens caught across Taiwan and further external characters allowed us to discriminate eight taxa of Myotinae co-occurring on this island. A subset of 80 specimens were further sequenced for the cytochrome b gene (1140 bp) and subjected to phylogenetic reconstructions including representative species from adjacent China and from all main lineages of the worldwide Myotis radiation. These molecular reconstructions showed that the Myotinae from Taiwan are phylogenetically diverse and are issued from several independent clades. The genetic results were completely congruent with the phenetic groupings based on craniodental and external morphology, as each of the eight Taiwanese taxa proved to be reciprocally monophyletic. Two unnamed taxa that did not fit into any of the known species were described as species new to science. Furthermore the taxon latirostris usually associated to the Asian M. muricola, was phylogenetically and morphologically distant from any other known Myotis and was assigned here to the fossil (Miocene) genus Submyotodon. Submyotodon latirostris, M. secundus sp. n. and M. soror sp. n. are endemic species from Taiwan, whereas the other five Myotis are more widespread and also found in the mainland. An identification key is

  7. 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.

  8. Marine hydroid perisarc: a chitin- and melanin-reinforced composite with DOPA-iron(III) complexes.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Dong Soo; Masic, Admir; Prajatelistia, Ekavianty; Iordachescu, Mihaela; Waite, J Herbert

    2013-09-01

    Many marine invertebrates utilize biomacromolecules as building blocks to form their load-bearing tissues. These polymeric tissues are appealing for their unusual physical and mechanical properties, including high hardness and stiffness, toughness and low density. Here, a marine hydroid perisarc of Aglaophenia latirostris was investigated to understand how nature designs a stiff, tough and lightweight sheathing structure. Chitin, protein and a melanin-like pigment, were found to represent 10, 17 and 60 wt.% of the perisarc, respectively. Interestingly, similar to the adhesive and coating of marine mussel byssus, a DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) containing protein and iron were detected in the perisarc. Resonance Raman microprobe analysis of perisarc indicates the presence of catechol-iron(III) complexes in situ, but it remains to be determined whether the DOPA-iron(III) interaction plays a cohesive role in holding the protein, chitin and melanin networks together.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Woodruff, Rebecca A; Bonde, Robert K; Bonilla, J Alfredo; Romero, Carlos H

    2005-04-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. .

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich

    2004-05-01

    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.

  10. Florida Red Tides, Manatee Brevetoxicosis, and Lung Models

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Colbert, Debborah E.; Dalpra, Dana; Newton, Elizabeth A. C.; Gaspard, Joseph; Littlefield, Brandi; Manire, Charles

    2010-01-01

    In 1996, 149 Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris, died along the southwest coast of Florida. Necropsy pathology results of these animals indicated that brevetoxin from the Florida red tide, Karenia brevis, caused their death. A red tide bloom had been previously documented in the area where these animals stranded. The necropsy data suggested the mortality occurred from chronic inhalation and/or ingestion. Inhalation theories include high doses of brevetoxin deposited/stored in the manatee lung or significant manatee sensitivity to the brevetoxin. Laboratory models of the manatee lungs can be constructed from casts of necropsied animals for further studies; however, it is necessary to define the breathing pattern in the manatee, specifically the volumes and flow rates per breath to estimate toxin deposition in the lung. To obtain this information, two captive-born Florida manatees, previously trained for husbandry and research behaviors, were trained to breathe into a plastic mask placed over their nares. The mask was connected to a spirometer that measured volumes and flows in situ. Results reveal high volumes, short inspiratory and expiratory times and high flow rates, all consistent with observed breathing patterns. PMID:26448968

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Florida Red Tides, Manatee Brevetoxicosis, and Lung Models.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Colbert, Debborah E; Dalpra, Dana; Newton, Elizabeth A C; Gaspard, Joseph; Littlefield, Brandi; Manire, Charles

    In 1996, 149 Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris, died along the southwest coast of Florida. Necropsy pathology results of these animals indicated that brevetoxin from the Florida red tide, Karenia brevis, caused their death. A red tide bloom had been previously documented in the area where these animals stranded. The necropsy data suggested the mortality occurred from chronic inhalation and/or ingestion. Inhalation theories include high doses of brevetoxin deposited/stored in the manatee lung or significant manatee sensitivity to the brevetoxin. Laboratory models of the manatee lungs can be constructed from casts of necropsied animals for further studies; however, it is necessary to define the breathing pattern in the manatee, specifically the volumes and flow rates per breath to estimate toxin deposition in the lung. To obtain this information, two captive-born Florida manatees, previously trained for husbandry and research behaviors, were trained to breathe into a plastic mask placed over their nares. The mask was connected to a spirometer that measured volumes and flows in situ. Results reveal high volumes, short inspiratory and expiratory times and high flow rates, all consistent with observed breathing patterns.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Copyright

  12. 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

  13. Molecular phylogenetic reconstructions identify East Asia as the cradle for the evolution of the cosmopolitan genus Myotis (Mammalia, Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Ruedi, Manuel; Stadelmann, Benoît; Gager, Yann; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Francis, Charles M; Lin, Liang-Kong; Guillén-Servent, Antonio; Cibois, Alice

    2013-12-01

    Sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (1140 bp) and nuclear Rag 2 (1148 bp) genes were used to assess the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan bat genus Myotis, based on a worldwide sampling of over 88 named species plus 7 species with uncertain nomenclature. Phylogenetic reconstructions of this comprehensive taxon sampling show that most radiation of species occurred independently within each biogeographic region. Our molecular study supports an early divergence of species from the New World, where all Nearctic and Neotropical species plus a lineage from the Palaearctic constitute a monophyletic clade, sister to the remaining Old World taxa. The major Old World clade includes all remaining Eurasian taxa, most Oriental species, one Oceanian, and all Ethiopian species. Another lineage, including M. latirostris from Taiwan, appears at the base of these two major biogeographic clades and, because it bears nyctalodont molars, could be considered as a distinct genus. However, this molar configuration is also found in crown-group species, indicating that these dental characters are variable in the genus Myotis and may confound interpretation of the fossil record. Molecular datings suggest an origin of all recent Myotis in the early Miocene (about 21MYA with 95% highest posterior density interval 23-20MYA). This period was characterized by a global climatic cooling that reduced the availability of tropical habitats and favoured the development of more temperate vegetation. This sharp climatic change might have triggered the evolution of Myotis in the Northern continents, because Myotis ancestors seem to have been well adapted and successful in such temperate habitats. Ancestral area reconstructions based on the molecular phylogeny suggest that the eastern portion of the Asian continent was an important center of origin for the early diversification of all Myotis lineages, and involved relatively few subsequent transcontinental range expansions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Flight mechanics and control of escape manoeuvres in hummingbirds. I. Flight kinematics.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Bo; Tobalske, Bret W; Powers, Donald R; Hedrick, Tyson L; Wethington, Susan M; Chiu, George T C; Deng, Xinyan

    2016-11-15

    Hummingbirds are nature's masters of aerobatic manoeuvres. Previous research shows that hummingbirds and insects converged evolutionarily upon similar aerodynamic mechanisms and kinematics in hovering. Herein, we use three-dimensional kinematic data to begin to test for similar convergence of kinematics used for escape flight and to explore the effects of body size upon manoeuvring. We studied four hummingbird species in North America including two large species (magnificent hummingbird, Eugenes fulgens, 7.8 g, and blue-throated hummingbird, Lampornis clemenciae, 8.0 g) and two smaller species (broad-billed hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris, 3.4 g, and black-chinned hummingbirds Archilochus alexandri, 3.1 g). Starting from a steady hover, hummingbirds consistently manoeuvred away from perceived threats using a drastic escape response that featured body pitch and roll rotations coupled with a large linear acceleration. Hummingbirds changed their flapping frequency and wing trajectory in all three degrees of freedom on a stroke-by-stroke basis, likely causing rapid and significant alteration of the magnitude and direction of aerodynamic forces. Thus it appears that the flight control of hummingbirds does not obey the 'helicopter model' that is valid for similar escape manoeuvres in fruit flies. Except for broad-billed hummingbirds, the hummingbirds had faster reaction times than those reported for visual feedback control in insects. The two larger hummingbird species performed pitch rotations and global-yaw turns with considerably larger magnitude than the smaller species, but roll rates and cumulative roll angles were similar among the four species. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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